My Dearest Adrik,
Today you are FOUR, and four really marks the age of moving out of toddler-hood and into little boy-hood, it kills me.

You love dinosaurs, your babies, animals and riding your motorcycle. You also love to go on bike rides and ride in the buggy. You would cuddle with Mama all day if I let you.


You are very observant. Things that you see stay etched in your memory forever, just like Daddy.
You can be very emotional and you live in a world of your own, with your incredible imagination. I love watching you make up worlds for your toys to live in.

Your brothers wanted to go to Build-A-Bear workshop for their birthday dates, so of course you did as well. You love your brothers, but you don't follow all that they do. You have your own ideas and your own likes, and you don't care if you play by yourself instead of joining the crowd.
We ate lunch at Panera, your favorite place for soup and bread, then we ended the day with ice cream at Creekside.

I love your chatter, you chatter A LOT.  I hope you never stop talking to me, I love your stories and how they are not always reality but always creative.

You will always be our baby and I'm having a  very hard time letting you grow up, but Mama and Daddy will love you the whole way.

I love you more than all the stars in the sky our sweet little man.

~Mama


Birthday Questions:
How old are you?  4
What is your favorite color?  blue       
What is your favorite animal?  dinosaurs & zebras
What is your favorite book?  Godzilla
What is your favorite TV show?  Peppa Pig & Umizoomi
What is your favorite movie? Godzilla
What is your favorite song? ABCs
What is your favorite food?  chicken on the bone
What is your favorite drink? cherry lemonade
What is your favorite breakfast food? Lucky Charms
What is your favorite snack? Lucky Charms
What is your favorite outfit?  Godzilla
What is your favorite game? Nintendo
What is your favorite toy?  tablet
Who is your best friend?  I don't have any friends...my brothers
What is your favorite thing to do? Go to COSI
What is your favorite thing to do outside? slides and swings
What is your favorite holiday?  Halloween, no wait...Christmas
What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Bunny
Where is your favorite place to go? COSI
What is your favorite restaurant? Panera
Where do you want to go on vacation? the beach
What do you want to be when you grow up? a mom, no wait...a dad
What did you do on your birthday? I blew dinosaur bubbles...best day ever.

 
 
We go on adventures a lot,  and we get along best when we're traveling. These memories are shaping our boys' childhood into something that will be buried deep in their souls, and I have a feeling they will emerge when they're sitting around the campfire telling stories of their adventures when they were little boys, to their children.
That thought makes me happy.


Please have a look at my sweet and talented friend Rowe Timson and her amazing life/adventures living in Bali with her beautiful girl and hubs.
 
 
This is your last year in single digits.  I can still remember your sweet face as a toddler and your little voice...I can still hear it.  However now, you are growing at a rapid rate. I suspect you will be taller than me in a few short years and will eventually be taller than Daddy as well. You have the most amazing eyes and eye lashes that go on forever. I love your crooked smile, and I'm sad that soon that innocent smile will be corrected with braces.

My hope for you is that you continue to be exactly who you are becoming, strong, kind, modest, innovative, smart, we are so, very proud of you.

You love Pokemon, the Cavaliers, the Steelers , traveling, camping, and playing outdoors.  I am in awe at the way you love animals, you are very gentle with them and they are drawn to you. You still blow me kisses and hold my hand, even if not quite as tight and for as long, it's still there and I will hold on as long as I can.

You wanted to get a Cavalier Build a Bear, and I was happy to oblige that sweetness. You named him Little Cav. We then had to make a pit stop at Trader Joes before lunch. You are a great shopper. I remember loving to grocery shop with Mimi when I was little and I love having that same feeling with you. You love BBQ like Daddy, so we got City BBQ for lunch and took it down to Creekside. It was a beautiful day with dandelion fuzzies blowing all around us. Our final stop was Cold Stone and the Pigskin, with ice cream for you and an amber ale for me.

The rest of the day was spent hanging out together and talking. I never want us to stop talking, I hope you continue to talk my ear off, for the rest of my life.

It was such a great day, I look forward to these dates all year with you and your brothers, and I am so lucky to call you my son.

I love you more than all the stars in the sky my sweet little man.

~Mama


Birthday Questions:

Nicknames:  Kai
How old are you?  9
What is your favorite color?  blue       
What is your favorite animal?  wolf
What is your favorite book?  informational books
What is your favorite TV show?  Pokemon
What is your favorite movie? Godzilla
What is your favorite song? all Old Crowe Medicine Show songs
What is your favorite food?  crab cakes
What is your favorite drink?  root beer
What is your favorite breakfast food? bacon
What is your favorite snack? toaster struddles
What is your favorite outfit?  Cavaliers jersey
What is your favorite game? Madden 15
What is your favorite toy?  Pokemon cards
Who is your best friend?  Jase, Mason, Audrey, Oni
What is your favorite thing to do? travel
What is your favorite thing to do outside? football & basketball
What is your favorite holiday?  Thanksgiving
What do you like to take to bed with you at night?  Little Slush
Where is your favorite place to go?  North Carolina
What is your favorite restaurant?  City BBQ
Where do you want to go on vacation? Jamaica, South America, Costa Rica
What do you want to be when you grow up? Basketball player & artist
What did you do on your birthday? go out to eat, not sure where yet

 
 
My Dearest KK,
6? Your number is now on two hands! I cannot believe that. You are artistic, athletic, sweet, fun and incredibly smart.
You fill my heart with  love and happiness when I see you drawing, playing with legos, playing soccer or simply sleeping...
I still sneak in at night and run my fingers through your thick hair and over your chubby cheeks, you used to purr like a kitten when I would do that when you were a baby.

We weren't sure if we wanted to send you to kindergarten this year or next year with your hearing aid being a part of your life. We didn't want you to struggle. We are blown away at how intelligent and self sufficient you are. You have done amazing this year and we're so happy we decided to let you fly. 

I couldn't be prouder of the little boy you are becoming.

You said you wanted to go to the Creekside Cafe' for breakfast and then to Build a Bear workshop for your birthday date, and we ended the day with Jeni's lavender ice cream. These dates have become my favorite days of the year with you and your brothers, and I was excited myself to see how the building of a bear actually worked. You decided on the Captain America Bear and quickly fell in love with "Blues."

It was a perfect day spent with my perfect little man and I never want to forget you as 6.
I love you more than all the stars in the sky my sweet Kk.

~mama

Birthday Questions...

Nicknames:  Kk, Kaes
How old are you?  6
What is your favorite color?  blue       
What is your favorite animal?  jaguar
What is your favorite book?  funny ones
What is your favorite TV show?  Pokemon
What is your favorite movie? Home
What is your favorite song? Monkey Man (Toots and the Maytalls)
What is your favorite food?  cake
What is your favorite drink?  root beer
What is your favorite breakfast food?  pancakes   
What is your favorite snack?  cheesy popcorn
What is your favorite outfit?  Captain America
What is your favorite game?  Infinity
What is your favorite toy?  Pokemon cards
Who is your best friend?  Nolen & Katherine
What is your favorite thing to do?  have my birthday party
What is your favorite thing to do outside? throw the frisbee
What is your favorite holiday?   Christmas
What do you like to take to bed with you at night?  Blues
Where is your favorite place to go?  Kings Island
What is your favorite restaurant?  Donatos
Where do you want to go on vacation?  Puerto Rico
What do you want to be when you grow up?  football player
What did you do on your birthday?
went to my soccer game and had my party




 
 
If you give a toddler a muffin...he might just eat it in a box...naked.

I love the age of 3.

He has his fits.

But he worships the ground I walk on.

He tells me "Mama, you're so beautiful."

I know this stage is fleeting.


He still loves to pretend.

I love that he will turn a cardboard box into a make believe land...while eating his muffin.



Now please pop over and see the very talented Melissa Weicker's work....I LOVE her work.
 
 
We went sledding...and it was brutal.

snowday~yippie!

20 degreeeeeees

some tears from the wind

well needed hot chocolate and coffee.



Now please have a look at my wonderfully talented Bali friend Rowe Timson. Her work is simply gorgeous.
 
 
It's really cold in Ohio right now. 

They're predicting we will get many Polar Votexes this winter.

Fantastic.


The only good thing about that is snow days.

This was our first snow day of the year.

and it was 18 degrees.

We had to get out of the house before we killed one another.

We lasted 15 minutes.

Please continue on with our circle and see what winter looks like for the other awesome ladies in this group.
Sara is a talented cold weather babe as well...love her.
 
 
I'm so happy my favorite blog cirlcle of amazing photographers are getting into the swing again...I've missed them.
Please pop over to the very talented and now mama of TWO little boys,
Sara Garcia and see what her beautiful family has been up to.

We love to camp, especially with our dear friends of 20 years.
However, it has been more difficult to get out in the woods the past few years with Adrik being so little.
Camping with three kids takes a lot of effort, but it's so worth the effort.
I truly feel like it makes us better people, it reminds us to live simply.

The boys are now at a great age to camp, I don't have to worry about Adrik wondering off a cliff.


This was the coldest camping experience we had ever had. At night the temperature got down to 34. I didn't sleep at all, waking up most of the night to make sure my babies were warm enough. That part was tough, but to wake up the next morning and build a fire, fix a hot breakfast with coffee made the cold night worth it.

we chased sea gulls (I brought my Lensbaby out to play for a bit)

the boys fished and threw the ball

we
played in the leaves

made S'mores

went to an apple orchard

and stopped at a covered bridge on the way home.


again, the simple things.





 
 
B A C K  T H E N

We met in Negril, Jamaica 15 years ago and I said yes to him 10 Years ago on 7.30.2004.
He still makes my heart skip a beat and he still makes me a bit crazy sometimes.
That's how I felt 9 years ago when we had been together for 6 years and he still had not asked me to marry him.

Back then, he was a ramblin' man
.
He had always had the dream to take off out west by himself and figure things out.
He decided to do this two days after 9.11.2001.
I was heartbroken.
The world was so unstable and I thought I would loose him for sure.
I sobbed on the evening he left, I wanted to kill him, but I also knew it was something he had to do.
He was gone for almost two months and when he came home, there was still no ring.
That's how he rolls, he does things on his own terms, the way he wants, when he wants....
wait a minute, am I talking about him or me?
I guess that's why we go together so well.

One of his stops on his way westward was the Bluegrass Festival in Telluride, Colorado.
As he neared the town, his car broke down. He was able to hitch a ride into town and still catch the festival.

This was the beginning of our love affair with this unique little town.

Two years later he proposed.

We flew out to Arizona and drove to Nevada and Telluride.
After being in the desert, it was a relief to see green again.
I remember pulling into town and smelling the air, it was the sweetest smell.
The pines touched the sky. It felt familiar, almost like home.


10  Y E A R S  L A T E R

We skipped the fancy dinner, left the boys with their grandparents and headed back to Telluride.

The town itself sits at 8,745 elevation and we knew that we had to ease into hiking to avoid altitude sickness.
Our first hike was two hours up to Bear Creek Falls, our heads felt like balloons when we got to the top.
It helped prepare our bodies for the next day.

This was a big one for us.
We planned to hike
9.5 miles through prairies and up a mountain to our final destination,
Navajo Lake, which sits at 11,500 elevation.
It was 7 hours round trip. We're pretty avid hikers, and thought PSHH, we got this.
I thought I was going to have to give Eric a piggy back ride up the mountain.
It was the most strenuous hike we have ever done together.
The switch backs were only a foot wide and the mountain was very crumbly and rocky under our feet.
If a big gust of wind had come by, we would have been blown off the mountain.
It was awesome.

But we did it,
and besides giving birth to my babies, it was the best thing we have ever done together.

In the quiet of the morning, we would rise, there would still be a tinge of coolness in the air,
we would sip our coffee and watch as the town awoke, ready for an adventure.
Not only is it the most beautiful place we have ever traveled, it's the people.
They live, they live the way people should live and they are K I N D.

No one speeding by,
no distractions of phones,
you can escape your digital leash...

I believe, this is why, they are truly H A P P Y.


I want that kind of life for my family.

The town, the people, really left a mark on us this time. We appreciated what it's all about more than ever.

The only reason we wanted to leave, was to get home to the boys, but we are already planning our next trip...

there will be
F I V E in tow next time for sure.

Here's to 10 more years of
adventures honey! I love you more than all the stars. xo


Telluride is tricky to get to, we flew into Grand Junction and then had to drive 2.5 hours to get there.
You can fly straight into Telluride, but it costs an arm and a leg.
Bear Creek Falls hike. We came upon hundreds of these rock sculptures.
Victorian Inn.
We stayed there the first two nights, nothing fancy but the people that run it are awesome and they have a great free breakfast.
Gondola station...takes you up to Mountain village, the ski village.
Telluride's gondola is the only free public transportation in the world.
looking down on Telluride from Mountain Village.
Mountain Village
the drive to get to Navajo Lake's trailhead.
Eric gets really excited about maps. I think he told me 15 times how much he loved this map,
because it's waterproof.
about riiiight here, is where we both started to struggle, 3 hours in.
hallelujah. 11,500 elevation.
marmots! they were so cute.
it was nice to come back to a bit nicer room in Mountain Village after that hike. our legs felt like noodles.
back down to town, for our last night.
until next time Telluride.
 
 
My Dearest Adrik,

When did you get so big? You are my baby and the thought of you becoming such a big boy makes me well up. You are a funny little man and I just want to eat you up most of the time, except when you're having your 3 year old fits. I wish I could keep you little forever. We are in the process of potty training. You aren't loving it, but you're not hating it either. You will be heading to preschool next year. I feel like it is all downhill from there as far as you growing up. Once the school years start, the years fly by even more quickly it seems.

Animals are still a great love for you. When I asked you where you wanted to go for your birthday date, you said "the farm." So that's where we went. You get so excited for animals, especially farm animals. You squealed with delight when you saw all the farm cats, chickens and especially the baby goats.

You said you wanted soup and a smoothie for lunch, so that's what we ate.

You make my heart skip a beat when you smile and that dimple on your right cheek caves in. I watch you and your brothers when you're sleeping and wonder what you will grow up to be. You have a wonderful mind and I know you will be brilliant at whatever you choose do do in life. I hope you are always as sweet and empathetic as you are at this moment. I wish for you to be a happy your whole life.

I love you more than all the stars in the sky my sweet boy and I am so proud to be your mama.

~Mama