a couple of cubs

In the six years I've lived and hiked around Knoxville I have never seen a bear out in the wild. Plenty of people I know have seen them multiple times while hiking or driving around the Smokies and no harm has befallen them so I've always kept a sharp eye out for my own bear. Well, we went hiking this past Friday and I finally got my wish! Rangers were in the process of relocating a mama bear and her three cubs at the trailhead when we finished the hike so we stuck around for a bit to catch a glimpse of the two remaining cubs not yet caught. A few minutes in, the teensiest cub meandered across the street just a little ways from us and we barely managed to catch its tail end on camera as it padded back into the woods. Its too bad Jake was asleep and missed our first bear sighting on his first hike. For shame, kid.


A+ for napping

Jake's already an expert at vacationing. All he needed was some chilly, fresh air (Michigan, I love you) and a warm body and he knocked out for hours at a time. He soaked up every minute of the week as he napped on almost every member of the family. This kid is a pro traveler too and didn't cry even once on the long drive to and from Michigan. I think he's already resigned himself to the fact that long car rides are a necessary evil if we ever want to see family.



We had the best time at Port Hope this year. The five days were packed with projects, paddle boarding and archery, learning to knit, great food and ice cream/ Red Pop runs. Port Hope is the perfect place to catch up with family that we rarely get to see.  We've already planned for next summer and we're counting down the days!

(photos from Instagram via myself, mom, sisters and brother-in-law)


night owl

A few nights ago, Jake decided to stay up with us til midnight. It didn't bother me; we went about our night as usual and Jake sat back and observed. About midnight I decided to snap some pictures, right when he started to get tired and upset (but he's still cute when he cries--that lip!). Good thing Deric was there to play the pacifier game with him until he eventually drifted off. We sure love that little guy, even when he hogs the bed. ;)