Tag Archives: McCall


We made it out again. Friday afternoon we said, “See ya later,” and packed up the kids, Scout, and some snacks for the road and left for McCall. It was exactly what we needed to reset. I think it’s really easy to forget how slow and non-urgent life can be when you’re away from the every day, even if that just means driving a few hours. We were away from laundry and away from house clutter. Work didn’t need us and all our other commitments were put on hold. We had the mountains and the lake and our McCall friends and it was perfect.

Huckleberries are out and we happen to have friends who don’t mind sharing their secret (not-so-secret now) spot.

If you’ve never been huckleberry picking, you won’t know that these gems…


…take forever and a day to pick. The berries are soft and delicate so you have to be careful when you pick. They break apart easily and, just like the picture, they rarely pop up in huge clumps. They stand alone so you have to pick them each individually. We managed to pick for a couple hours and got a gallon bag full.

Some ate more than they picked.


And some just hitched a ride.


But it’s cool because being in the mountains and letting the kids roam and explore was perfect. And we scored, too.


And of course no trip (to any location) would be complete without a trip to the skatepark.


Our McCall friends are skaters, too.


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We’re so lucky that our kids get along so well with their kids. We’re missing Little Alice and Jamie in this picture, unfortunately, but you get the idea. They laugh and play the whole time they’re together and it’s perfect.


We managed to get out Saturday night and have dinner with Josh and Alexa while the big girls babysat. We enjoyed (t00 many) beverages and popped over to Jared and Audrey’s and hung for a bit before going back to the little monsters. The next day we scoped out some potential property options then headed to the river.

This spot was incredible and is now our new favorite.


The water was shallow the entire width of the river with virtually no current so the kids could walk across and back over and over and over without any worry.


We found frogs and tadpoles and baby fish.

We even found a snake.


We were surrounded by wild and the kids could feel the magic.


But today we’re back to our every day, which is okay. It’s hard to appreciate the wild when you don’t know the calm and mundane.

Maria has ballet intensive this week and we have a couple work things and kid’s camp. I should probably do some laundry and clean. I might con my neighbor into some drinks. Busy, busy week.

Happy Monday!


A Shift

Finally, there’s been a shift in the seasons. But unfortunately, we can only feel it if we drive a bit — so this weekend we drove.


McCall is becoming less and less just Danny’s place and more and more our place.

I’m making a noticeable shift in the things I view as being most important. I’m less concerned about making sure I’m giving and giving (to people who may not want or appreciate or care about it — and believe me, it’s not as if I think everyone should be falling head over heels for me and my ‘giving’, haha. It’s my issue, 100%…) and more concerned about being present for the people who I know love our family, are mindful of their actions and how they affect us, and who set good examples for both our kids and Danny and me. (ooooh, you thought this post would just be about McCall? Silly goose.)

Life is hard, no doubt, but it’s easier when you have a solid handful of people in the latter group.

And sometimes, hanging out with just Danny and the kids is exactly what is perfect.

We took a few hours on Saturday to go hunting for some “really beautiful and shiny crystals” (according to Charlotte) and walked away with some pretty impressive rocks.

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It’s easy for me to forget that sometimes the kids just need a little freedom to run around to have the very best time. I’m one who usually thinks a scheduled play date or an activity at a set time in a set place doing a specific thing is what they’d love. But again…I’m shifting. Or trying to, at least! They all had such a great time hiking the rocks, running around, finding the most beautiful and the most unique (half of them being set aside for Bellamy of course) rocks and they all whined when we said it was time to go.

Even the tiniest kitten enjoyed herself.


[she’s getting so big — sprouting teeth and everything]


The rest of our Saturday we spent checking out some lots (we would LOVE to have a place in McCall of our own!), carving pumpkins, roller blading and biking, skateboarding…

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…and then had our Hopkins friends over for some sushi.

And drinks. Because….duh.

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[malibu rum mixed with pretty much anything is delicious.]


And then they invited us for breakfast — their adorable family of three invited us….a big family of EIGHT…over for pumpkin pancakes, sausage, fruit, and bacon. I mean, of course we accepted the invite.

And we were VERY pleasantly surprised to arrive and see more friends there, too! Audrey and Jared introduced us to their good friends who have two kids, Salem and Cypress, and our kids get along so well. Especially Jamie and Salem. I’m so thankful because Jamie is usually the odd man out, off reading his book or playing video games alone. But with Salem in the mix, they ran crazy and played and laughed it it made me so happy.

And Francesca was in heaven.


When she wasn’t crawling around getting dirty and getting in the way, she had all kinds of attention. Cypress played with her, Audrey held her, she got fed, walked, tickled, you name it. I think she must feel like McCall is just the best.

And just when I feel like maybe we should just pack up and move to McCall, we pull back into our driveway on the Boulevard and see Christian and Tara and then get a text from Lala or Papa and make plans for coffee with friends and I’m reminded that home is pretty incredible, too.




Since I’m a quitter, I have more time for blogging. OH MY GOSH, YOU’RE WELCOME! Apparently I have more time for parties, too, because I’m in the middle of party planning for Halloween and I’ll be blogging it all.

Happy Sunday!

Mountain Time

We are the first to admit how lucky we are to have access to some pretty incredible vacation homes. To have in laws who are always encouraging us to spend time at their summer and winter getaways is pretty amazing, we know.

One of our favorite places to go is McCall. Until recently, it’s only been Dan’s favorite place to go. I’ve made some choices in my life that make my free time less free. Having kids affects both Dan and I, but it was (and is) my choice to nurse my kids as long as they want it…which means that I miss out on lots of fun adventures because I can’t be away from the kittens for too long. I don’t regret my choice at all, but I do know that I miss out. Winter is hardest, I think, because while Danny LOVES to snowboard, it’s just not as fun for me to go and join him when I’m stuck in the cabin with 6 kids. Or stuck alone taking on and off winter gear for 5 of them over and over and over while they play in the snow. Dan’s up on the hill which isn’t just a couple minutes away, so he’s gone most of the day while we wait for him.

But summer is a different story.

This is the first year we’ve decided to go to McCall a little more often and the reason is mostly this:

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We have a pretty ace group of friends from Boise who go to McCall quite often. So when we hear they are spending the weekend there, we cross our fingers we are free, too.

They are the type of people who will scoop up your kids just because.


Every get together is kid-friendly.

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The attitudes are always (always) easy going and light hearted.


(he’s pretending to call the fire marshall to come and help get the girls’ tongues un-stuck from their frozen treats — they think he’s the most hilarious ever.)


(just a game of jump rope, nbd)


(Alice II is telling a story — she’s the best)

The kids feel welcomed and wanted and appreciated and that’s something these guys do that I’m learning and hoping it rubs off on me. I have a tendency to get with friends and want the kids to leave me alone. These friends are so nice.

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(the kids created clubs…the girls had several while Jamie had one: Ancient Greece and History Club. I think he was the only member…)



I think they laughed the whole night.

We come away from every single get-together saying, “They are the nicest. They are so much fun.” And it’s all true. They are the nicest. We rolled in on Friday night around 8:30 I think. Audrey and Jared had family and friends over, but when they saw us, what did they do? They came right up, gave us all hugs, greeted all of us (yeah, even all the kids) by name and introduced us to everyone. They made sure we had drinks and were comfortable and that the kids were introduced to the other kids and were on their way to having fun. If one of my kids ever needs anything, ANY ONE of these people jumps in, without hesitation. We have the best friends, both home and away.

Do you all know how rare it is to find a group of people, not just 1 or 2, who treat you like family. TRULY like family? It’s rare.

My kids adore them. Which, duh, they should, they are spoiled rotten around them. Aubrey and Alice II are the other kids in the group of friends and they could not be sweeter. Aubrey is Jamie’s age and Maria thinks she is the best thing since pointe shoes (and we all know how much she loves those pointe shoes). Alice II is between Ollie and Charlotte and is so freaking hilarious and cute…I think Danny would sneak her home if he could.

Weekends like this remind you of how life should be. It should be fun and spent with people. It should be full of get togethers and everyone contributing and treating everyone around you like you’ve known them your whole life. It should definitely be full of more laughing, less arguing. More bike rides, less TV. More s’mores, less take out. More trips, less boredom.

I mean, we like these peeps. It’s like taking the Boulevard to Mountain Time. Minus 1/2 the Boulevard…. (sometimes people break elbows and can’t feed themselves, much less vacation…thanks for ruining Dan’s summer, Christian.)

But Sunday came too soon and we had to head home. Lucky for us, the trip home is along a river and Danny happens to be an expert in secret spots. We shimmied down a hill and hit up a beach.


The kids were in heaven.

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And now, back at home, school’s out.

We’ve got dentist’s appointments and ballet camps and doctor’s visits and playdates and lots of NOTHING lined up. Happy summer!