Mikkelsons in Seattle.

Casey (Kyle's sister) and her husband Bryce came out to Seattle and spent a week with us.  We had a blast exploring and eating our way through the city.  The highlight was a short trip to the San Juan Islands.  It was great to spend quality time together and we're so glad they could come visit!

Glacier | Banff | & Jasper.

We just returned from a two week trip exploring Glacier, Banff and Jasper on what we've called our #zabelGBJadventure!  Each national park had such unique beauty.  Photos can't do justice for the magnitude, brilliance and complexity of the landscapes.  Here are a few photos and memories from each of the parks we explored.

Glacier National Park (Montana):  

  • Taking a dip in Lake McDonald after a hot day of hiking
  • A full day of rain meant: 1) morning breakfast at Eddies while strategizing how to effectively pack up camp to keep our gear dry, and 2) hanging out indoors at Lake McDonald Lodge
  • Going to the Sun road - epic beauty (when the clouds stay away!) 
  • Exploring Many Glacier: lunch at the lodge, hiking to Iceberg Lake and seeing a moose! 
  • Hiking the Highline Trail (we attempted 3x due to weather... and finally on our last day were able to make the 13 mile trek along the ridge line).  This hike included a gorgeous view of Grinnell Glacier, a close encounter with a mama grizzly and her cub, and so many beautiful flowers
  • Campfires (and s'mores) in the evenings

Banff National Park (Alberta, Canada):

  • That first shower after a week of camping... heaven!
  • Ski-lift ride up Mt. Norquay + lunch with a spectacular view
  • Hiking to the two tea houses around Lake Louise: Lake Agnes + Plain of Six Glaciers
  • Camping at a site with a bear proof electric fence (i.e they had had six grizzlies around the perimeter the day we checked in) 
  • Sunrise view of Lake Louise from our room (thanks for the upgrade Fairmont!) 
  • Canoeing on Lake Louise: the baby blue water is unreal!

Jasper National Park (Alberta, Canada):

  • Driving the Icefields Parkway from Lake Louise to Jasper.  We spent 5 hours taking in the breathtaking sites along the drive, but definitely could have taken more time! 
  • Dinner at a local brewery
  • The Miette Hot Springs after a long day of driving 
  • Celebrating our 3rd anniversary: relaxing by the pool, time at the spa and date night dinner with a view!

Quick camping weekend.

Last weekend we took a quick trip camping with some sweet friends up near Bellingham.  It was a relaxing break from the busyness of this past month! We drank coffee, made s'mores near the campfire, and napped. It finally felt like summer in the PNW! Here are a few photos from the weekend. 

Final Date Night in Green Lake.

A few weeks ago a friend + photographer (Kelsey Moll) came over to document our last date night in Green Lake before the move to Kirkland. With busy schedules throughout the week, Kyle and I look forward to slow Friday nights at home - often with a cocktail, charcuterie board, homemade pizza, and a walk around the lake (weather permitting). I'm so glad to have captured some sweet moments of our date night rhythms in Green Lake. 

Moving on.

A week ago, Kyle and I moved from our old home in Green Lake to start a new adventure in Kirkland.  Green Lake had been home for the past three years since we got married.  We made the move to be closer to work (no more tolls + hours in the car) and to simplify life a bit.  The decision to transition to the Eastside (across Lake Washington) didn't come without a few tears (to clarify Kyle didn't cry).  We were blessed to have family and friends to help with the move.  My dad drove 1,500 miles from AZ to WA with some of our new furniture.  He was such a huge help with the whole process and it was fun to spend time together!  I am so thankful how God orchestrated so many details - from finding a great parking spot for the moving truck in Green Lake (no easy task during the summer) to my dad's availability to and help.  

Here are a few photos from the move.  

We're slowly getting settled into our new space (with a guest room ready for visitors).

Stay tuned for more photos and stories to come from Kirkland! 

4th of July Weekend | Mt. Rainier National Park

Kyle and I headed out to Mt. Rainier National Park with some friends this past 4th of July weekend. It was great to get off the grid to camp, hike and hang out by the fire!

Our initial plan was to hike to Camp Muir (base camp for the Rainier summit), but due to low clouds and white-out conditions, the ranger didn't recommend a trek to such high elevation. Instead we hiked to Panorama Point which still involved crossing snow patches, glissading, and some spectacular views!  

Hope you enjoyed your 4th of July weekend! 

Arizona Family Vacation.

Last week we traveled to Arizona for a family vacation, including Kyle's parents (Barry and Beth) and my parents (Mark and Ann).  Kyle and I grew up in different states and our folks met for the first time at our wedding (almost 3 years ago - how has time gone by so fast?!) so we wanted to carve out some time and space for everyone to get to know each other better.  

Our trip was mostly based in Prescott, AZ (at my parents' cabin) with day trips mixed in throughout the week.  We also had a side project (reupholstering some of our teak furniture) to keep us busy.  Here are some photos of the trip:

We celebrated Mother's Day by grilling, chatting, and playing Sequence. 

We took a day trip to see Montezuma's Castle and the ghost town of Jerome. 

We reupholstered our teak dining chairs. 

We enjoyed the red rock beauty of Sedona with a hike at Oak Creek Canyon and views from the Chapel of the Holy Cross.

We finished the trip with spectacular vistas at the Grand Canyon.

I am so grateful that we were able to spend this past week with our family.  We created memories and added new depths to our relationships.  

Summer Dreaming | 2016.

Each spring, as the rain slows and the days lengthen, my heart begins to long for summer here in the PNW.  It's our favorite time of the year.  I like to make a bucket list before summer begins because without a plan the season can slip away so quickly! Here are the lists from 2015 and 2014.  What are you dreaming up for this summer? 

Summer Bucket List 2016:

Family trip to Prescott (Zabels + Benadoms)

Hike to Camp Muir at Mt. Rainier 

Camping in Winthrop

Anniversary expedition: Glacier + Banff + Jasper

Leavenworth Weekend Getaway.

We recently headed to the mountains with friends to relax and enjoy some snowshoeing.  We stopped in downtown Leavenworth to stroll the streets and grab a beer at Icicle Brewing.  

We enjoyed two days of snowshoeing near Stevens Pass at Lake Valhalla and Lanham Lake.  Fresh powder and falling snowflakes, made the trail feel like a winter wonderland! 

The highlight of our AirBnB cabin was its hot tub overlooking the Wenatchee river.  It was awesome to soak after a full day of snowshoeing. 

The weekend was a perfect mix of adventure, relaxation, good conversation, and laughter!