Monthly Archives: September 2022

Bucket List Item #10: Ride a Roller Coaster

The theme parks in Idaho are few and far between. In fact, I can only think of one and it is about as far away from Boise at the northern-most part of the state. To cross this bucket list item off, my husband and I first talked about using his flight benefits to jaunt down to Salt Lake City for a day trip to their amusement park Lagoon. However, snagging a standby seat these days is a rare event. The benefit for pilot families to travel for free was once a loathsome perk, but nowadays it’s a laughable empty promise as nearly every flight is overbooked. Standby seats come with the high risk of getting stuck on a layover or without a flight back home (been there, done that!). A risk we weren’t willing to take with our 6.5 month old. So, we scratched that idea (which totally would have been something our pre-parent selves would have done). And instead we made a family day to the lone mountain coaster in the Treasure Valley.

About 40 minutes away from us is a small ski area called Bogus Basin. In the summertime, they offer great mountain biking trails, sunrise yoga classes, lots of kids’ activities, some outdoor concerts, and Idaho’s only “mountain coaster” which they call the Glade Runner.

It’s built right into the landscape, so as you climb to the top of the peak you are brushing past wildflowers and brush. The twists and turns down the course wind directly through huge pine trees along the hillside so it’s a really unique ride in nature that’s almost a mile long!

Zeb, Brynnley and I hopped in the car pretty shortly after we woke up on the Saturday morning and we were the first people at the ticket counter when they opened. We actually got there a little early so we did as much of a “hike” as Brynnley’s stroller situation would allow. She looked stylin’ in a pair of sunglasses from when I was a baby!

Then Zeb and I took turns riding the roller coaster one at a time so the other could stay with Brynnley and the diaper bag and lunch pail. I went first, and I’m definitely the more “chicken” one. The speed of the coaster is completely at your control because once you start the downhill section you are just using gravity along with a hand brake. It picks up speed so quickly that I thought I HAD to brake periodically otherwise it would be out of control by the end. But my husband told me after his ride that he never touched the hand brakes and the ride automatically caps your speed at a certain point so it doesn’t get carried away. I wish I knew that before I went and I would have been a little braver with my brake usage!

We shared an iced coffee and had some granola bars and pistachios at the picnic area before heading home. It was a beautiful morning on the mountain and great to have a fun little family outing before the chaos of October. October is hunting season for my husband, who participates in the deer and elk season in Idaho when he has breaks from work. October will bring a lot of Mommy & Me time for Brynnley and I so I am looking forward to planning some fall activities for her and I :)

I recently joined MOPS – which is an organization that stands for Moms Of Preschoolers, though you can join during pregnancy and continue until your youngest child is 5 years old. I’ve only been to one meeting and one zoo play date so far, but I’m excited about the new opportunity to build friendships with other fellow moms in the area and branch out. Being a first-time mom brings so many questions and now I have 99 women who have all done it before (some of them several times) to gain more insight from and just connect and talk with when most of my days seem like they are consumed with my tiny human’s bodily functions. That was today. Note to self: no more pears for baby.

My family just got back from an incredible weeklong vacation to the San Juan Islands which I will be blogging all about next week, and I can’t wait to share some of our photos and travel recommendations. So bring a cup of coffee and come back later next week for that fun post! :)

Bucket List Item #9: Stand Up Paddle Board

The summer weekends are dwindling down, so we have crammed in as much waterside activities as we possibly can! Paddle boarding, swimming pool, floating the river, and boating…..and we’ve taken our baby along with us because she is such a little adventurous trooper!

My parents have these inflatable paddle boards, so we met them at Quinn’s Pond right along the Boise River. It’s a popular spot because there’s a little beach sand area, three ponds for kayaking or paddle boarding, lots of grass and park area, and a snow cone truck in the parking lot. It’s right off of the Boise Greenbelt directly across from some great bars and restaurants with outdoor patios. In the summertime in Boise, it’s the place to be. ☺️

We’ve been having a heat wave in this part of Idaho, so we kept Brynnley in the shade under umbrellas. We took turns with my parents taking out the paddle boards two at a time – first I went out with my dad, then with my husband. It was such a hot sunny day, the cool pond felt refreshing and was pretty crowded! The water is calm and you aren’t fighting a current or waves, so standing on the paddle board is very easy here. The last (and only other) time I paddle boarded was with Zeb on our honeymoon in the bay of the Caribbean. The constant tide and waves made standing up a lot more challenging. This time was a piece of cake. Zeb took out a fishing pole on the board with him one time but we didn’t see any fish in the water.

Poor Brynnley girl was pretty hot so we called it a day early.

There’s not much else to this bucket list item! So I’ll go back to a little old school style blogging like back in the day for a bit 🙂 Today I did some online shopping for our outfits for a fall family photo shoot later this month. I am having way too much fun dressing Brynnley up every day like she’s my little doll, and I feel like the outfits are getting so much better now that she’s a little bigger. During her newborn months, I preferred just to leave her in cozy onesies but now we are venturing out into cargo pants, skorts, denim overalls and soon she can even where cable knits for pumpkin season!

Brynnley sat in her little kitchen seat to watch me make a recipe that’s not new to Strong Like My Coffee – peanut butter oatmeal energy bites.

One of my family friends who reads this blog, Johnna, will also appreciate this creation because I still refer to it by the name they introduced to us as……..”Cat Balls.” The story goes that they made a batch of these yummy snacks the day their cat was neutered and that has always stuck in my head when I make them. It makes me chuckle when I tell my husband I’m making him a batch of cat balls to take on his trip with him, but they are so delicious and perfect to grab in the morning with my coffee before I feed Brynnley!

After I hit “publish” on this post, my husband is making me watch YouTube videos with him on how to cut men’s hair 😁 In the four years we’ve been together, he has let me give him three haircuts. Not for my lack of offering. He’s very picky and insists on paying a barber but I’ve lobbied to save $30ish a month. Personally I don’t think I’ve ever done a terrible job with his cuts. He’s definitely had worse results from an actual salon before. But he’s annoyed that I’ve never actually looked up any tips or examples on how to cut hair so tonight he has queued up some YouTube tutorials to watch as homework.

Lastly, I have already crossed off Bucket List item #10 but I’m going to wait to blog about it until I get some of the professional photos back, if that gives you any hints 😉 Until then, I realized I should spend some time updating my “about me” page and side panel photos. It’s been well over 6 years since I added those and they are definitely outdated by now!

Bucket List Item #8: Attend a Concert

This post has taken me a bit longer to put together, because life (and summer) with a six-month-old has felt like days fly by with only a scratch to the surface of my to-do lists! This past week, we began a sleep training program for Brynnley to hopefully help us all get a longer and better night’s sleep – and getting this active little one to bed closer to 8pm than 10pm will also open up a whole new world of personal time again which I am ready for! ☺️

We actually crossed this bucket list item off back on August 9th.

If you include county fairs and local festivals, we attend LOTS of concerts every year. We love live music so much and its definitely the form of entertainment I don’t mind spending money on! So already this year, I’ve attended quite a few concerts – Russel Dickerson, Lauren Alaina, Jordan Davis. (Noticing a country theme here?) But I knew the one I wanted to blog about for the bucket list item!

Remember Daughtry from American Idol circa 2006? Yeah, well, he’s still around, still putting out new music, and still very nice to look at 😁 There was a sale back in May where tickets were $25 each for one day only. I quickly texted my parents to ask for babysitting services for the evening, which they happily confirmed.

Zeb and I dropped off Brynnley at my parents’ house around 5pm and headed on our mid-week date night. The concert didn’t begin until 7:30 and the venue is pretty small so we weren’t worried about getting there early for good seats. We went to the brewery in the same parking lot as the concert house for a drink and dinner, and I think the majority of the other concert goers did the same. We were trying to figure out who Daughtry’s main demographic is, now that they’ve been around for 16 years. Middle age women was my guess, and the tables around the restaurant of Girls Nights Out seemed to support my theory.

I ordered street tacos and a glass of pinot grigio, and Zeb had a burger and a beer. We always sit on the same side when we eat in a booth, and people-watched around the brewery. I’m more used to dressing up for country concerts in my cowgirl boots and sun dresses so it felt a little out of place among everyone else in their black rock t-shirts and grunge hair.

We walked across the parking lot to catch the last half of the opening band, Black Stone Cherry. Zeb bought some ear plugs at the bar, which I judged as “so not rock n’ roll” but honestly, I really should have done the same! The indoor venue was so small, and my ears did not recover for 48 hours. I seriously googled “when should I be concerned about my ears ringing after concert” the next morning! Apparently ear protection is yet another lovely thing to look forward to in turning 30.

Daughtry’s performance was awesome, and even with general admission seats we still felt close to the stage and had a great view. I enjoyed the songs from his first album the most, but they filled the majority of their set list with titles off their newest release Dearly Beloved which I wasn’t as familiar with. We had a great time watching the band perform, and the only criticism I would give is it was way too short! In total, Daughtry only performed for an hour, and we were texting my parents that we were on our way to pick up our baby by 9:30pm. I felt like he could have easily spent another 30 minutes covering the hits that made them famous over a decade ago.

It was a great show, and the first non-country band I’ve seen in a LONG time!