5 on friday: chasing the last of summer

chasing the last of summer

I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen a lot of fall talk floating around the interwebs and social media lately. People are looking forward to fall and, for what may be the first time ever in my life, I’m really not! I’ve always had a thing for fall. There’s something about the leaves changing colors, that crisp breeze in the air, and the undeniable smell of the season’s change. Fall in Washington is different though. It means that we’re heading back into the rainy season we know all too well. We’re not afraid of a little rain, and fall here is still beautiful, but spring and summer in Washington are fickle, and I feel like summer just started. So, while everyone is lighting their pumpkin spice candles and drinking their lattes, ya girl over here is still chasing the last of summer.

For the first time since we left Fort Drum, Ryan is heading into a significant chunk of block leave, next week. Sure, he’s had little bits of leave for holidays here and there during our time at JBLM, but most of that has involved a TDY on the back end of it, or a flight across the country to see family. For the first time, we’re going to be here as a little family, and before our world descends into the chaos that is sure to be the start of the school season, we’re determined to make the most of it. So, for today’s Friday five, I’m sharing how we’re chasing the last of summer together as a family.

1 // We Have More Hikes Up Our Sleeves

I’m thanking my lucky stars that Ryan is back for a little bit of this summer with us because, as much as I’m willing to go hiking alone with the kids, it’s so much more fun doing it altogether. And, selfishly, it’s a bajillion times easier when he’s carrying Mieke, of course. Regardless, since our last hikes at Emmons Moraine and Spider Lake were such successes, we’ve decided to embark on some more before the weather turns too much. We don’t mind a good fall hike, but I think it’s safe to say we’re a lake family, so our hiking/swimming combo will be over once the season turns cold. We’re heading back up to the Mt. Rainier area this weekend, and we’re excited to get on the trails again!

tips for hiking with young kids

kid friendly hikes mt. rainier

best outdoor spots near rainier

2 // The Pre-PCS Purge Begins

If all goes accordingly to plan and COVID-willing, we’ll have moved by this time next year. I know a lot of people have asked, but no, we don’t know (officially) where we’re going yet, and we likely won’t until around Christmas or just after the New Year. In the meantime, however, this is the perfect time for us to start purging all the stuff we know we won’t want to take in our household goods. Whether CONUS or OCONUS, we’re allowed a certain weight of goods, and we’re always significantly under that. However, we like to trim the fat, so to speak, before we leave, because it makes it so much easier to start fresh on the other side of a move. Plus, the weather is great, so now is the time to dump it all!

3 // We’re Going Camping (Again)

You may remember we took all three kids camping for the first time last weekend. We had a blast, and the kids had so much fun. We definitely got a better gauge of what we do and don’t need for our next camping trip, so we decided to just go for it. Before the chaos of school starts and while Ryan is on leave, we’re going to head out to Leavenworth to camp for a couple days. We spent one day in Leavenworth last fall, but we’re excited to hike, as well as have a little more time to explore this time around.

camping with kids

camping with babies

where to camp near spider lake

running losing weight

4 // All the Outdoor Running

I’ve shared on my instagram that I’ve been running a lot. Rather than training for a race this time though, I’m honestly just training for me. For life. While Ryan was TDY this past time, I decided that enough was enough, and I wasn’t going to deal with a body that felt sluggish and tired, was overweight and, frankly, was leading to a downward spiral in my mental health. So, I stepped up my running. I dialed in my diet with an anti-inflammatory, gluten-free approach, and I’ve made the time to really soak up every bit of Vitamin D while running that’s possible. I’ve lost 11 lbs, and I’m enjoying the process for a change.

5 // Checking Things Off Our Bucket List

2020 has definitely not been the best year for bucket lists – especially prior to a PCS – but it’s the best we’ve got right now. When we made our summer bucket list, we kept things small, and we’ve done well at ticking things off. Some of them (like the markets) just aren’t going to happen though, and that’s okay. I’m focusing on our big JBLM bucket list though, and I’m loving all the memories we’ve made and the things we’ve got coming before we leave the PNW next year. It’s the best way for us to spend time chasing the last of summer.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend ahead, my friends! Any fun plans?