Kristina

I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

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July 14, 2014

Our first camping trip

Our first camping trip with kids, that is. It was totally awesome, truly. Also a little challenging at times, as you might imagine. But really really a great trip. I grew up camping on the regular, to the desert and mountains and Mexico. All over the place. And I used to complain that I just wanted to go to Hawaii like normal people (LOL), but we always had a great time in the dirt once we got there. I hope this trip hooks our kiddos too. Dash wasn’t ready to leave and neither were we.

We laughed at how much of our gear arrived at camp with REI tags still in place. Apparently camping is a low key, low cost trip only after the 15th trip, when the initial gear investment begins to pay off.

The river right below our site was so super beautiful all day long. Particularly in the evening when it was cooler and the light was perfect. The big boys loved their first “fishing” experience. I brought them each a butterfly net, which quickly became a net for scooping sand out of the river.

His lovey was sooooooo dirty by the end. Had to run all the kids’ clothes through three wash cycles to get the dirt out.

Brock does not like to see a weekend pass without a Manhattan, so naturally he made them with a headlamp on top of the bear box whilst camping. We could not have fit one more item into our car, and he still made from for cocktail supplies. I like that in a man.

Little Bowie. The camper of all campers. I don’t think this little guy sat still for three days.

J and D watching a bear on the other side of the river. You can see the little black shape that kind of looks like a dog if you look closely.

Coffee just tastes better when you drink it outdoors in Falcon Enamelware.

Aren’t Jason and Laura the cutest? Good friends really make a vacation special.

I made the older guys each a collecting box that they could fill with treasures from around the campsite. And we brought a big box of art supplies for down time. They didn’t get nearly as into that as I thought they would, but next time maybe. A mom at our preschool gave me a great tip to just make a camping art box and leave it with the camping supplies. After seeing how incredibly dirty camping with kids can be, I’m glad I followed her advice. I stocked up at Target on Kid Made Modern supplies, and now we’re all set for our next trip!

Creating a space at camp that felt a little more “inside” with a shade and rug and chairs was nice for a little down time. The more gear the better, if you ask me. Quite a change from our backpacking days when we’d agonize over whether to bring one pen or two.

My big guy is so super into letters and forms and names right now. I love watching him devote such intense focus to creating things with his pens. Over a morning cup of hot cocoa. I think he might take after his mama in that regard.

Laura and I had a Google spreadsheet going to plan meals and gear between our two families. Works great when you’re trying to organize a trip that requires so much, well, organization. We also texted each other about 400 times in the week leading up to departure.

Forrest wasn’t too sure about a late evening walk over to the ranger campfire show, but he road along pretty happily in our Phil & Ted’s backpack. Staying up late is one of the joys of camping for little ones, don’t you think?

The only thing I wish is that we’d stayed longer! But alas this trip was really just to get our confidence up, and our gear in order. Plus we are at the end of escrow on a new house at the moment (fingers crossed!) and really couldn’t be away for that long anyway. There were plenty of people who were quite anxious that they couldn’t reach us for four days as it was. Did I mention we had no cell service? No phone! No internet! No instagram! It was awesome.

We managed to plan 4 new camping trips while we were gone so hopefully by next summer we really will be pros. We have a tent the size of a small apartment, which I think means we’re committed for a least a few years of outdoor adventuring.

If you’re curious, we camped at Sheep Creek campground in Cedar Grove at the bottom of King’s Canyon. We had a huge site above the river, number 12, I think. We drove through all four campgrounds there to find the best spot available (naturally), since they are all first come – first served. Would totally recommend this spot! There’s a nice swimming beach at the end of the road (literally called Road’s End) with rocks for jumping and a sweet little meadow walk that’s perfect for kids. You can also access the trail there for a really beautiful backpacking trip (Rae Lakes Loop) from there and some nice day hikes too.

My lingering sentiment about the trip: CAMP MORE!

April 24, 2014

Spring Cleaning

I have been enjoying spring more this year than any other year in recent memory. I usually think of spring as being fairly annoying in it’s tease between summer and winter. It’s usually sunny and windy, except when it’s grey and blah, and generally neither here nor there. But this year for loads of reasons it’s just been really calm and lovely.

The fava beans are blooming, the peas are curling up the trellis, the trees are flowering, the boys are eating dinner in the backyard, and one way or another I feel like we are going to have more living space this year, at some point. And it’s been timed perfectly with finally finally finally finishing Simplicity Parenting, after many months of coming and going from it’s pages. I’ve loved it so much that it’s been nice to spread it out and digest it slowly. To me it feels like the eternal spring of parenting. Less a parenting book and more a sort of manual on family life. I suppose it’s not for everyone but it is certainly for me and I’m so glad I finally moved it to the top of the stack on my nightstand, after many years waiting in the wings.

Now that we’re out of the trenches (how I refer to the first year as a family of 4), it’s been nice to start to focus some energy on something other than surviving and juggling and adjusting. And truly I think that’s what this book is about. It validates so many of my natural tendencies as a parent, it’s like ahhhhhh. There, see? I was right after all. Not unlike binging on NPR as a liberal. So satisfying and affirming.

I’ve been gleefully purging over the last few months, which is actually a near and dear hobby of mine on the regular. But now I have validation that it’s okay to put things directly from the wrapping paper into the Goodwill pile! Maybe it sounds extreme, but in my mind it’s the perfectly sane thing to do. (Side note, it also makes you feel just the slightest bit crazy; like when you ask friends to only bring one book as a gift for your 4 year old’s birthday, and then freak out because there are TOO MANY BOOKS. Koo-koo.) Which is just the tip of proverbial iceberg that this book discusses. There’s so much goodness to take away for both your children and for you. And even if you feel that you have a fairly rhythmic household, which I feel we do, I’ve found so many great lessons within it’s pages and so many interesting ideas that I can see being helpful for all of us now and for the years ahead.

I’m rambling. But really, it’s so worth a read. So perfect for spring, when one’s inclination is to refresh what you already have in one way or another. If you’ve read it, do tell what you think. If you haven’t, I couldn’t recommend it more.

Simplicity Parenting.

April 7, 2014

14/52

So I fell of this project for a few weeks. Eeee. I guess that was inevitable. But I’m hoping to start again this week.

We spent the weekend in Palm Springs, at one of our favorite hotels. The grounds are so lush and big. Perfect spot for little boys to explore while their parents pretend they are on “vacation”.

Dash watching a rolly polly climb over his fingers.

Forrest being the delicious dumpling that he is.

“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.” (ish.)

March 28, 2014

9/52

That time Brooke Schwab came to town and shot a bunch of gorgeous photos of my guys.

Lots more over on Cakelet!

February 27, 2014

8/52

Outside on the sidewalk, after a big birthday.

February 19, 2014

7/52

We visited a different park this weekend. How adventurous! Forrest naturally runs to the farthest corners of the park, stomping in sprinkler puddles and chewing on seed pods. While Dashiell works intently at the excavator in the sand box. It wasn’t the greatest week for photos, but I imagine some will be like that this year.

“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014.”

February 12, 2014

6/52

Forrest is (if I do say so myself) a pretty amazing self-entertainer for his age. I’ll give the credit mostly to birth order, but he really does surprise me on the daily.

And Dash, my funny goofy guy. As four approaches I’m sense some changes for him. New boundaries to push, more questions than I could possibly ever answer. Just doin’ his job, every day.

“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

February 3, 2014

5/52

I swear I don’t normally dress them like twins, it’s just with hand-me-downs and all, they end up wearing the same clothes all the time.

“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

They’re both totally digging the sunglasses we picked up at the Honest party last week. It was really fun, and even though I am generally in the habit of flaking at the last minute, especially when it involves an event that I have to drag both kids to after a full day of work, (not to mention make myself look presentable), I’m so glad we went.

And a quick plug for their products because I can’t resist… we’ve been using them since Forrest was born and I really genuinely think they’re a great company. So if you’re curious… you should totally give them a try!

January 28, 2014

4/52

I’ve already fallen off the wagon, people. Last week I didn’t get any photos that I love of the guys. But do you know who did? Jamie. She stopped by for a bit on Sunday, to shoot some photos of our newest family member, Melanie‘s baby Huck, and the rest of our families too. She’s quickly becoming our official family photographer and that’s perfectly fine with me.

“A portrait of my children, every week in 2014″.

Thank you, James.

*Photos by Jamie Street.

January 20, 2014

3/52

Gorgeous weather last week made the third week easy. There’s just no place more entertaining for children than the beach. Why must I forget this for such long stretches of the year?

I think I am supposed to post just ONE photo of each kid, each week. But I’m kind of digging more of a little photo story instead. Also it’s incredibly difficult to get an actual portrait of these two. Moving moving moving all the time.

“A portrait of my children each week in 2014″ / The 52 Project