Sunday, October 26, 2014


***And just like that, we're here in St. Louis, starting the next chapter of our story.  We spent nearly 3 months on the road exploring, visiting, and dining our way through 26 beautiful states.  We're so thankful for the friends and family who opened their doors and schedules to spend time with us and for the blessing of safety, good health, and time to enjoy an incredible journey.***


Elise & Caleb:  So excited to see our "very own" National Park, it was the first thing on our list once we arrived!  They also wanted to savor the thought of getting a Jr. Ranger badge here and decided to wait for it until their second or third visit.  (Love them!)

...They also started school this week!  We had a pretty great time learning on the road, but they were also quite excited to begin second grade and kindergarten at our neighborhood elementary school.  

Lucas:  Soaking up some quite time - just the two of us.  (Big kids off to school, Josh at a meeting for work, and Eden down for a nap)

Eden:  Spent the day at Mills Apple Farm guessed it, apples!  This little one rode on my back most of the time and I loved hearing her intermittent slurping and crunching while she chomped on her very own apple.


***The last official week of our road trip was spent in the snowy mountains of Colorado!  We loved spending time at my Uncle Lee's cabin and visiting family in Denver before making the long trek down Route 70 to our new home in St. Louis.***


Elise:  Point Breeze cabin was the perfect place for a cozy fire, cookies & milk, and our family's first ever game of Monopoly. 

Caleb:  That smile!  This guy has become quite the outdoorsman lately...once again had to pull him in the door after playing in the snow until it was dark.  

Lucas:  So excited for snow in October...what a birthday treat!

Eden:  Snack break!  It's hard work playing the snow in a giant marshmallow suit.


***After a few glorious days at the Grand Canyon we traveled on to Utah to spend some time enjoying Zion and Arches National Parks.  (Wished we'd had longer stays in both!)  By the end of the week we were in Colorado, having a wonderful visit with my Rimel family in and around Vail.*** 


Elise:  Love the enthusiasm!  She's such a trooper when it comes to hiking, climbing, and exploring!  (Balancing Rock, Arches)

Caleb: Oh, to ride a bike again!  During our visit to Colorado we got to be a part of a special day for my Uncle Lee when the town of Avon dedicated a trail (Lee's Way) that he helped to develop in the Vail Valley.  My cousins were kind enough to bring enough bikes along for all our kids.  We basically had to drag Caleb off the bike at the end of the day.

Lucas:  FOUR!!!  So special to celebrate the birthday of our sweet, silly, monkey of a boy that we love so very much!  We partied in style with our Colorado cousins...and it even snowed!!!  What a day!

Eden:  While the rest of us were busy unpacking the car, this little lady helped herself to my diaper bag and got all dolled up.  She was so proud!

And just because I rarely get to be in a picture with all four kiddos:

Sunday, October 19, 2014


*** Heading north for a bit more time on the Pacific, we spent most of the week with our West Coast Woodworth and Arthur families in LA and Orange County.   Our wonderful visits included Josh's aunt and her mom and my 91 year old great uncle and all of his immediate family!! From there we began our eastward journey with a visit to the Grand Canyon...***

Elise:  Loved spending with Rochelle...Knotts Berry Farm was a big hit for everyone!

Caleb:  Getting an intense chopstick lesson from Rochelle while attempting to eat his sweet and sour chicken.

Lucas:  Oh, dear...what am I going to do with these two?!?!  (Grand Canyon)

Eden:  The "Huff and Puff" ride at Knotts Berry Farm - Yes, a self propelled "roller coaster" (appropriately labeled "low thrill" in the safely guidelines).  This girl went around at least 8 times...and cried every time we tried to take her away!


***A whole week with some of our very best friends in the whole wide world...yes, please!!!  Did I mention they live in Coronado?!?  What a wonderful, beautiful week of togetherness with the amazing Garber crew!***

Elise:  Everybody's big sister; she really loves doting on Lena!

Caleb:  Oh, how we've missed home baked goodies these past 8 glad these little chefs were on hand to help Becca make a double batch of cinnamon rolls.  Yum!

Lucas:  Rehearsal dinner pic...just throwing it out there...

Eden:  Sometimes you just have to catch up on your beauty sleep when you have the chance. 


***After a few beautiful days in San Francisco, we traveled inland to check out Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks.  More climbing, hiking, and exploring for our traveling crew!***

Elise:  Just hanging out in a 1,000 year old tree... (Sequoia)

Caleb:  Jr. Rangers unite!  (Sequoia)

Lucas:  Super climbing man...or adorable woodland creature?!?! (Kings Canyon)

Eden:  Sometimes I wonder if she would like to trade us in for a calmer, more normal family, but I think she likes us!  (Yosemite)