Green Bluff 2014

Green Bluff 2014 | The Urban Pig

I cannot begin to explain how excited I am to have my hometown traditions back, including one of my all-time favorites for Autumn…Green Bluff farms! Maybe you remember last year’s search for a pumpkin patch while living in Denver. It didn’t go so well, and I was left without a pumpkin or caramel apple and really without any kind of experience at all. Since moving back, I have been looking forward to this day to revisit my favorite farms on the bluff, Siemer’s and Harvest House. How I missed the expansive rolling hills that look out to the mountains and over the valleys, the live music and people-watching, the sweet smells of warm pumpkin donuts and caramel apples. Autumn never feels complete without a trip to Green Bluff with out family. In fact, I feel like our family photos taken there each year show our growth the best from little kids to adults.

Green Bluff 2014 | The Urban Pig

Soon we will be carving our pumpkins and this year we will be trying to use the pumpkin seeds to bake and eat as a snack! It seems crazy that we have never tried that, but it will be a new and fun experience to actually use all of those pumpkin guts. :)

Green Bluff 2014 | The Urban Pig

Green Bluff 2014 | The Urban Pig

 

Huckleberries!

Huckleberries! | The Urban Pig

It’s been a long long time since I last went huckleberry picking, I mean, at least five, maybe ten years! The other weekend we went to our cabin at Priest Lake with some family and friends and picking huckleberries was pretty much our main goal for the time we spent there. We went two different mornings, for 3-4 hours each time, running from berry patch to berry patch and filling our buckets. By the end of the weekend, each person had a gallon (considering there were 7 of us, that is a lot of berries we found)!

Huckleberries! | The Urban Pig

Huckleberries! | The Urban Pig

Huckleberries! | The Urban Pig

Huckleberries! | The Urban Pig

I decided to use Connor and my two gallons for a couple different treats, including several mason jars full of huckleberry sauce (some which we gave out as gifts but plan to use on ice cream and cheesecake), huckleberry lemonade (which I drank all myself), and still have a ton left over, which I have yet to decide what to use for. Suggestions or recipes, anyone? Send them my way! Here are a few pictures from when we cleaned all the berries and boiled them into sauce.

Huckleberries! | The Urban Pig

Huckleberries! | The Urban Pig

Huckleberries! | The Urban Pig

Huckleberries! | The Urban Pig

Bowl & Pitcher Hike

Bowl and Pitcher | The Urban Pig

I was super excited when one of my best friends asked me if I wanted to go on a hike and have a picnic at the Bowl and Pitcher, a popular spot along the Spokane river for camping and trails for walking and biking. It is a place I have visited many times before, but never really explored the paths to realize how large it is. We started wandering just around lunchtime, and after choosing some random paths, we were on our way. There were large rock mountains everywhere, and we got curious about how high they went and what was up before. So, we started climbing. At the top, we ran across an open space and a road that we saw a couple bikers riding along.

Bowl and Pitcher | The Urban Pig

We figured we should follow them and see what they were heading toward. But, it turned out that the road they were traveling was a bit long and we had no idea where we were. We kept walking at this point because there were no signs or trails to navigate. After walking further up hill for a few more miles, we came across a scenic viewpoint, looking over the river, the forests, and the city in the distance.

Bowl and Pitcher | The Urban Pig

Here, at the viewpoint, was a map. It appeared that we had walked several miles already, and the next closest thing was an equestrian center, a mile away. I remember my mother-in-law telling me about the paths of the Bowl and Pitcher — the one on the right (which we took) went into the woods, and the one on the left took you to the equestrian center. I figured, then, we must be close. So we continued down the road to the equestrian center, catching up on life and talking about future events. It felt like we were walking forever, but we saw a lot of pretty areas along the way.

When we finally reached the equestrian center, we were starving, but we found another map. We thought we had to be getting close back to the wooden bridge that would get us across the river and to the parking lot (where our food was waiting for us in the car). But after viewing the map, we had totally overshot the bridge and had a long hike back to the park. We memorized the trail we would need to take — two intersections where we would turn left on both — and headed off back into the woods. The trails seemed hardly used, and it turns out, there was more than just the two intersections the map had shown. We kept taking lefts anyway, and we got lucky enough to end back up on the right path, following the curves of the river. By the time we got back to the wood bridge, we had probably walked a total of at least 6 miles (which was more than either of us had anticipated), but it was a fun adventure nevertheless. We had built up an appetite and enjoyed the rest of our afternoon dipping our feet in the river and munching on picnic-y snacks.

Bowl and Pitcher | The Urban Pig

Bowl and Pitcher | The Urban Pig

Bowl and Pitcher | The Urban Pig

How I love taking adventures and chatting with good friends! And how I love being back within nature’s reach!

The Reservoir

The Reservoir | The Urban Pig

The Reservoir | The Urban Pig

This last weekend’s weather was absolutely beautiful and gave me a bit of spring fever. We have been doing lots of work on our home, and the weekend gave us enough time to paint the whole main floor of our house, have a lazy day, and have an adventure. I was looking on google maps one day and realized there was a reservoir maybe 10 minutes from our house. Reservoirs are sort of a new thing to us since coming to Colorado, so we wanted to check it out. Some are big and some are small, this one was right in the middle. It had a small beach and play area. The water was almost completely frozen over, and so of course Connor wanted to play on it. He didn’t go out too far, and good thing, because 5 minutes into the fun and games he found himself ankle-deep in ice cold water.

The Reservoir | The Urban Pig

The Reservoir | The Urban Pig

The Reservoir | The Urban Pig

Being outside and in “nature” made me so ready for some adventure and outdoors in my life. We had the whole place to ourselves and it was pretty nice hearing nothing but the birds and the cracks of Connor throwing rocks onto the ice. I seem to miss out on these things, being so close to the city. But sometimes we find going out so overwhelming, not knowing where to go or where we are; nothing is familiar. It’s time to find our courage. It’s time to find what we are looking for and get out there. It’s time to find our oasis from the big city.

The Reservoir | The Urban Pig

The Reservoir | The Urban Pig

The Reservoir | The Urban Pig

The Reservoir | The Urban Pig

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays | The Urban Pig

Merry Christmas! This picture was from last night, during our tradition of driving to look at lights on Christmas eve. I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday spent with friends and family! My parents are scheduled to arrive in Colorado tomorrow evening, so today, Connor and I mostly spent with just the two of us, but we did have dinner with some friends. Considering most holidays we spend with so much family, it was just nice to get out and see some faces.

This Christmas has been very different from those in the previous years in many ways. Like this last thanksgiving, it was our first Christmas away from our families. Even though my parents will be here tomorrow, it still seems strange to wake up Christmas morning to just the two of us. We made a yummy breakfast and watched a movie, and opened a few gifts. This year was also different in the gift-giving category, as well. Of course I love gifts, but this year Connor and I decided we would not get anything for each other, since we have been spending so much on the house. It was definitely weird to have Christmas very much unfocused on the gifts, but it was also sort of refreshing. Although we spent much of the day cleaning and preparing our house for my parents’ visit, we also had a slow, relaxing morning where we simply enjoyed our time with each other. I began to just think about how appreciative I am for all that I have, both in the “material world” and more importantly, the loving husband I have. I am very blessed.

It’s crazy to think this is the last blog post I will have for the year of 2013. I feel that Connor and I are ending this year well, and although time seems to be flying by, I am so excited for 2014 and the changes I hope for it to bring.

Happy holidays, see you in 2014!!

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