Saturday, September 16, 2017

Buying Land in Garden Valley

It has been my dream for 13 years to own property in Garden Valley... ever since my first visit to Robin's cabin.  I almost bought some land back in 2006 when some 1/3 acre lots were for sale by Robin, but I really wanted a lot on the river like Robin's, so I held out :-) Since we've been married, Matt has shared in my dream, and has spent the last 5 years checking properties on Zillow. There have been several times when Matt has suggested we drive to go look at some of the properties he's found, but we never went because it wasn't a real possibility at the time.

In April, Matt and I went to the Parade of Homes, and my friend Sally (who is a realtor) was talking to us about the housing market... Well, that conversation caused us to think about selling our rental. I went home that evening, crunched some numbers, and saw that it would make significant financial sense for us to sell our rental and put that money toward our current mortgage. It took a little longer than we had hoped to sell the house (due to the fact that we had just extended a year lease with the current renters so we had to sell to an investor), but we finally accepted an offer toward the end of June.

The last week of June, while Matt was at Trek, I had a crazy idea. What if we saved back some of the money from the sale of our rental and bought some land?! I found a property on Zillow that looked promising and sent the link to Matt, saying I thought we should go check it out. Matt called me as soon as he saw my text and was on board! The funny thing is that he had already "favorited" that exact property on Zillow (it had been on the market for about a year!). Shortly after Matt got home from Trek, we seriously started looking for properties. There were a few that looked like good possibilities, but I was really set on Garden Valley. I remember Robin telling me how they could get their kids off to school, head up the one hour to Garden Valley to work on their cabin all day, and then be home before their kids got home from school. That short drive was the biggest selling point for me, but Garden Valley also has so many other bonuses... Starlight Mountain Theater, an awesome tubing hill, a gun range, a river for floating or rafting, great hiking trails, and more.

We drove up and looked at a couple different properties. There was a gorgeous one-acre lot right next to Robin's property, and I was almost sold on it, but it didn't have direct water access. Matt really wanted water on whichever property we bought (and honestly, I did too), so we kept going back to that original property I texted him about. It was a three acre lot that backed up to BLM land and had a creek running right through the middle of it. The creek is what really sold us. We envisioned so many family memories being made there, and we decided to pull the trigger and take the first step toward making our dream a reality. We closed on the land the first of August and have been giddy about it ever since. It is our new "happy place". Every time we go up there (which was at least twice a week the entire month of August), we just can't believe that little piece of heaven is ours. Stay tuned for way too many future posts about our new home away from home (even though it's just bare land right now!).

Friday, September 15, 2017

Bull Trout Neighbor Campout

You know it's going to be a good weekend when this is the view up and down your street! In July, we went on our second annual neighbor campout. We rented a trailer and headed up to Bull Trout Lake - a little gem of a location close to Stanley. It was the perfect setting, made even better by the fact that we had the entire loop in our campground to ourselves! This was the best decision - it was so nice letting the kids roam and not having to worry that they would bother someone else.

Our camp spots were right on the water, and there were plenty of toys to play in the water with!

Saturday morning, a few of us decided to head up near Stanley to go on a hike. The weather was perfect and the scenery was breathtaking. I was proud of the kids and how well they did (although Bradley and Tyler did end up being carried for a lot of it!).

And you can't have a campout without dutch oven! We had our second annual dutch oven cookoff. My macaroni and cheese was a bust (too salty!) but there was plenty of amazing food - chili and cornbread, nachos, potatoes, sloppy joes, and more macaroni. Yum.

Our family loves camping. We love being out in nature. But camping with friends makes camping even better! Looking forward to next year!

4th of July 2017

Forth of July was just as wonderful as I have come to expect. I love everything from the flag raising ceremony to the parade to the outdoor activities to the company.

Tyler has been begging to try his "BB8" gun (he called it this even though I told him a dozen times it was a BB gun!). It was so cute watching Matt help the boys shoot the soda can.

Fishing was definitely a highlight of the trip. "The Farm" is so so beautiful, and we love that Grandpa stocks the pond! Tyler even caught his first fish (well, his first several fish!). We ended up going two days in a row :-)


I think one of my favorite parts about visiting Inkom is seeing the sweet relationship that my kids have developed with their great-grandpa.

One last picture... who needs fireworks when nature gives you this?! It was the perfect end to a perfect trip.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Birthday Celebrations (Including My First Ride Along!)

I had a really great birthday! The morning of my birthday, I had a go/no-go call for a big project I had been managing at work... and it was a "go", so that started things off right! As soon as that call was over, I packed up the boys and we headed to the Jackson Family Farm for a free dairy tour. Of course my phone died right after we got there, but we had fun going on a hay ride around the dairy, seeing some baby cows, and drinking chocolate milk :-)

The evening of my birthday, we headed up with a bunch of family for a picnic and a show at Starlight Mountain Theater (thanks mom and dad!). It was fun watching my cousin Todd perform in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. It capped off a really wonderful day.

By birthday present from Matt came a few weeks later when he arranged for his parents to watch the kids so I could go on a ride along with him! I had such an enjoyable time and really grew to appreciate Matt even more. I'll share a few stories from the evening below.

Saving a Life - The first call that Matt and I went to was at an apartment complex. The apartment managers indicated that a man was late on paying his rent and nobody had seen him for a few days. According to them, the man had lived in the apartment since the 80s, didn't own a car, never went on vacation, and was never late on rent. Matt explained to the apartment manager that he couldn't just go into the apartment, but if the managers wanted to go in, then that was their decision. We followed them to the apartment and they opened the door, and Matt walked in with them to check on the tenant. They found him, laying on the ground in the kitchen. He couldn't talk,but was responsive (he could wiggle his toes and open his eyes), and it was apparent from the fluids around him that he had been there for several days. Matt was able to call an ambulance right away and talked to the man letting him know that help was on its way. This poor man had been alone in his apartment, with no air conditioning on, but thanks to observant apartment managers and neighbors, and thanks to Matt and the paramedics, it looked like the man was going to be okay. The paramedics indicated that the man probably wouldn't have lived until morning. I got a little teary as we walked back to the car. I think a lot of times, people only think of police officers writing tickets or catching "bad guys", but I just watched my husband help save a man's life!

Curry - Matt gets to deal with some interesting people on his job! Matt spoke to one lady on the phone who was convinced her upstairs neighbors didn't like her and that they were "scratching curry into the floor" and it was coming through her ceiling. She said they were doing it to be malicious because they didn't like her, and it made it hard for her to breathe. She told Matt that they were friends with the apartment manager, so the apartment manager wouldn't make her upstairs neighbors move, even though this lady had lived in her apartment longer than them. It was seriously so funny listen to her going on and on about them "scratching curry" into their floor. Matt had put her on speaker, and I was trying so hard no to laugh. But the best part was listening to how nice Matt was to her and how sympathetic he was. The lady just needed someone to vent to, and Matt let her vent! He suggested that she talk to the apartment manager to see if there was another unit available that she might be able to move to :-)

There were several other calls, including going lights and sirens to a car crash in the middle of an intersection during rush hour, responding to an apartment where the caller then proceeded to go get a gun when the officers showed up (they were trying to talk to her because she had called the cops asking for help from a situation the previous evening) and wouldn't put it down after being asked repeatedly to put the gun down (Matt had to pull the gun out of her hands), going to a call at a field where a bondsman found an abandoned car of someone he was trying to track down, etc. It was an exciting evening and I really enjoyed getting a feel for what Matt does every day. My love and appreciation for him grew, and I can't wait until I can go back out with him.

Swimming and Splash Pads!

My kids love summer. They love being outside, and they especially love being in the water. This summer, Kylee and Tyler both did a session of swimming lessons. Kylee is becoming quite the swimmer, and has decided she wants to do indoor swimming lessons this fall/winter, and possibly join swim team next summer. It is nice to have a proficient swimmer - I know I need to still watch her, but it makes taking the kids to the pool by myself (without Matt) a little less stressful!

I loved watching Tyler in his lessons. I was proud of him for finally feeling comfortable putting his entire face in the water.

He especially loved the "horsey rides", haha.


I'm hoping to do lessons with Bradley starting next year. In the mean time, he had fun at our neighborhood pool and enjoyed going to the splash pad!