Flying U Ranch Adventures! Best tradition ever!

So, as you have probably seen on my blog, we discovered a little slice of heaven about 18 years ago! The Flying U Ranch is a very special place to us. You can revisit this blog link (click here) for a little back story. Let's just say that way back in our pre-kid days, we'd visit the Flying U, watching other family's kids run free having the time of their lives. We'd dream of the day we'd return with our own kids and share with them this beautiful place where there are no screens, tons of funs, great adventure, and the best imaginative play ever. And now, here were are. And to share it with special friends just makes it that much better. 

I have to share this photo....circa 2005. Audrey age 17 months! 

Our trip last month was fabulous. We added a new 3 month old (she rocked her first trip), a new family (we loved having you guys with us), more days, every type of weather you can imagine and FABULOUS fun! 

Before I share my photos, I asked Audrey if I could share a story she wrote at school a few weeks back. It was perfect and I thought it needed to be forever documented on this blog! So first Audrey's experience and then the photos!!!! 

Cheers to fun family traditions - whatever they might be for you! Just don't ever stop making fun memories! 

By Audrey, age 10......

The Flying U

In August, the week before school started , my family , my friend Jenna’s family , and my friend Kelen’s family went to the Flying U ranch! It is in Canada. You ride horses there and stay in little cabins. They provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My horse was named Zepher, my mom’s horse was Camaro, my dad’s horse was Dino, my brother’s horse was Kahuna, Jenna’s horse was Maiden, her dad’s horse was Bruno, her sister’s horse was Dixie, Kelen’s horse was Ziena, her dad’s horse was Slim, and her brother’s horse was Blaze. It was really fun! We got to swim in the lake, go on a hayride, play games, go see the horses and pigs, and play in the hail and rain. We saw cattle, bucks, and we heard coyotes howling. We had a fire and s’mores too! We saw the Big Dipper and Little Dipper, and we saw a glimpse of the Northern Lights! There was really nice ranch hands and their names were Amanda and another boy who’s name I can’t remember!  Amanda was from Australia so she had a really pretty Australian accent. During the storms we would go into the lodge, play mexican horse and have cookies and hot cocoa. If I had to pick anywhere in the world to go, I would choose the Flying U Ranch!

Sweet girl.....I couldn't have said it better myself! 

 Nate found a shrew about 5 minutes after arrival. 

 Old Schmidt Ranch. So awesome.

 The craziest storm ever came through. 

And this is what she thought of it! Ha!

And of course the hail came and he decided to get pummeled! 

Happy Flying U!


Stiefel Family Awesomeness {Gig Harbor Family Photographer}

Where do I even begin with this fabulous family?!

I think it's easiest for me to make a list......

1. Jen and Justin are two of the most loving, focused, hilarious, fun, hard working and super giving people! They are a team for sure and you know that after being around them for about 5 minutes. I loved our time together!
2. Their three kids.....HYSTERICAL. Honestly these three have the most diverse range of facial expressions, levels of silly, love for each other and there is never a dull moment. I had to give them so many extra photos, because when a family brings such a range of awesome feeling and fun in photos - I can't leave many out!
3. They own one of the coolest businesses in Gig Harbor....Heritage Distilling Company. If you haven't checked out there website or visited their fabulous distillery in Gig Harbor, you should! And go read their "about us" section. I loved it!

Justin gifted me with some of their Batch sure to look for it in your local area stores. It's the real deal!

So, here we go Stiefel family! You guys are many levels of fabulous!!! I loved our morning together!

These two. L.O.V.E.! 
I loved that in the middle of chaos and noise all around us, we found some time just for them!

Pictures with mom always make my heart melt! 
Jen, you are so stunning! 

Best role model ever!!!! Justin, they are all so lucky to have you! 

A mama and her oldest. 
Her son and my daughter are the same age. 
I love sweet moments with our "big" kids. 

And when your parents own a distillery with a super rad warehouse,
you learn to man pallet jacks and make the best box forts EVER from a very young age! 

Stiefel family, you guys are the best!



How Audrey Made My Anniversary Night.....

My sweet Audrey. She blows me away sometimes. When I'm least expecting it!

As parents, we can only hope that we are imparting good things on our children. Sometimes, we are better at it then others (like at 7:30pm, my rough time of night where my tone of voice isn't always my best).

And then we go to open house and see things like this.  Audrey clearly has her priorities in order and is dreaming big...... I couldn't have asked for a better anniversary gift!

Keep on dreaming Audrey !

To my favorite (and only) daughter - I love you more than you can possibly imagine.




Jessica + Steve {Cutest Couple of the Century}

This was one of those wedding days where you left filled with more love and good feelings than words can describe.

He happens to be my husband's brother and now SHE is officially my sister (although I will note she has felt like one for waaaaaaay longer).

I was so honored to tell the story of this most memorable day.

You may remember my blog post from their engagement shoot last fall (click here to stroll down memory lane). It was on this day that I dubbed them "the most enthusiastically in love couple ever". It's no joke and on their wedding day, their love oozed. In fact, it wasn't just their love...there was love everywhere. These two have a village to support them for the rest of their lives. village is wide! On this day, two families came together to become one. And, I'll side note and say how glad I am for that because I ADORE Jessica's family and friends! 

I will stop rambling here and let this story be told. 

To Jessica and Steve, I hope you know how loved you are by so many. We adore you both and can't wait to see the many amazing life adventures that are to come!

You two, together, make this world better. You were so meant to be. 

So sit back, pour some wine and enjoy this story of incredibly passionate love!!

Many of these girls have been friends since grade school. I loved it and them!

Uh, handsome ring-bearer!

The details were to die for! 

So loved!

First Look!
Steve! You killed me here! 
I love your love for her!

It was the perfect day!

Cheers to you Jessica and Steve Gendreau!!!! Love you so much. 

 Click here to enjoy their wedding slideshow.



Extra tidbits....
Venue: Natures Connection Place
Cake: RTC catering
Make Up: Flawless Beauty Bar
Dress: Lanieemeg Bridal 
Florist: Maxine's Floral & Gift