adventures

Happy June, friends! Before I wrote this post I peeked back at last year's post and see so much repetition: camping, kicking off cold treats on Wednesdays, enjoying the summer so far, and even last year's June goal of catching up on kid art work which will make an appearance in this month's list. And yet we're all a year older and have lived a lot of life since last year's June post was written. I love the familiar grooves of each season, and find a deep joy in seeing what stays the same while also noticing how the kids... Read more →


Recently we drove for two long days to arrive in Austin in time to see the total solar eclipse on April 8. Originally I thought I'd do a recap post just about our experience traveling to and seeing the eclipse. But on the way home we drove along the border wall at the U.S.-Mexico border for many miles and I can't separate the two experiences, solar eclipse and border wall, and so I had to write about them both. On the road again We were all road trip pros after our recent trip to California and overall the kids did... Read more →


Earlier this week, I wrote about the first half of our spring break trip to Joshua Tree National Park. I'd love to share a recap of the second part of our trip in San Juan Capistrano, California. Let's go! San Juan Capistrano After the remote desert of Joshua Tree National Park, we were excited to get to the beach. Our trip to San Juan Capistrano came about through Home Exchange when a woman reached out to me with interest in staying in our home. Otherwise San Juan Capistrano would not have been on my radar for a trip. But I'm... Read more →


Hello, friends! We arrived back home after a nine day family trip that included two nights at Joshua Tree National Park and six nights in San Juan Capistrano, both in California. I'll give you a recap today of our trip to Joshua Tree National Park and later this week our trip to San Juan Capistrano. Maeve doing the "cool" hand signs like her brothers! Remote desert beauty To drive to Joshua Tree National Park from Arizona you first drive through hours of open desert. There are long stretches without even a gas station in sight. At one point we could... Read more →


The boys say that they want to open a restaurant called Breakfast Bros which I think sounds fantastic. Stay tuned for the opening date... It's June and there are summer vibes in the form of cold brew in the fridge, tan boys with swim-wet hair, and weekly cold treats. Last weekend I took the boys camping with three other moms and their kids for an adventurous summer kick-off weekend. It was so fun! We wore long sleeves one last time before we pack them away until November, spent three days outside, and ate our fill of s'mores. On the drive... Read more →


Thank you to the Phoenix airport employee who was so kind to take our photo! Recently I flew with Maeve twice, to and from Minneapolis for our Eau Claire trip. Each flight was about two and a half hours and I was nervous about how it would go. That's a long time to be stuck in a confined area if your toddler is unhappy! I'm happy, and relieved, to report that Maeve was a champ traveler and I truly enjoyed traveling with her. In case anyone else will soon be traveling with a toddler I wanted to share some tips... Read more →


I'm back home in Gilbert after spending a month in Eau Claire, Wisconsin where we bought a house this spring. Before arriving I had never been to Eau Claire and had only been to Wisconsin once before several years ago. I felt a bit lonely and untethered when we first arrived, understandable since I have so much routine, familiarity, and community in Gilbert. But as we prepared to leave I felt sad to go. Chris and I both fell in love with Eau Claire and the surround region as well as our Eau Claire house and neighborhood. Now that I'm... Read more →


We recently took a short road trip from Eau Claire to spend five days in Madison, Wisconsin. During our stay we had our first HomeExchange experience and it was really positive so I wanted to share a bit more about that. I first heard about HomeExchange from my sister-in-law who's been using HE for several years. She’s had great travel experiences with her family as well as good hosting experiences. Hearing her positive first-hand experience made me feel comfortable trying it out. The cool thing about HE is that you can arrange reciprocal exchanges (you stay in their house, they... Read more →


here's our house; we think it's so cute! I'm really looking forward to a fresh coat of paint at some point next year / University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus and Rod and Gun Park Yesterday we woke to rain. Glorious rain. When we checked the rain gauge on our deck in the afternoon it read nearly 1.5 inches which is a bit shy of a quarter of our annual rainfall in Arizona. I've become relatively acclimated to the very extreme climate in Arizona and so now marvel at the most mundane weather. We still have two weeks left in Wisconsin... Read more →


This post is also available as a podcast in which I read the post. Search for "rising shining" on most podcast platforms to listen. For the boys' fall break we took a family adventure to Colorado Springs and had a great time! Unfortunately the trip wasn't with the whole family as we had planned. Two days before we left, Maeve came down with RSV and a double ear infection, poor gal! So Chris stayed home with her so that I could go enjoy the trip I had spent so much time planning. After the initial disappointment of not having Chris... Read more →