New Year, Who Dis?

Okay, so it’s now March, but this is my first post in the new year so bear with me. I’m not gonna lie, 2019 so far has not been my favorite. Our family has been perpetually sick since the ball dropped on New Year’s Eve. We have had stomach bugs, diarrhea, pink eye, Influenza, sinus infections, Croup, ear infections, and chest colds!

Sounds like a party am I right? 2019’s really not winning me over.

On top of the revolving door of sickness, this new year has presented a lot of changes for our family. All of them are good ones, but involve a lot of time and work. To be honest, I haven’t even felt like writing, like AT ALL. So, that’s why there has been a pretty big gap between my last post until now. Life has just felt a bit overwhelming because of all that’s been going on, so writing wasn’t really a priority to me. But now that I’m sitting down and putting these feelings into words I can tell you that I have missed it! I’m going to make sure I start writing more often again. So here is an update on all that has been going on:

First, Jess and I have been working our butts off fixing up the first home we owned, (which we have been renting out),and with the aforementioned sicknesses we have all been having this has been a HARD. Jess and I would often have to split up, and one stay home with the sickies, while the other went to go put a few hours in, and then we would switch. It was a long few months but I am happy to announce we officially listed it yesterday! I am so relieved it’s done because even though it didn’t initially seem like a lot of work, it WAS! We would think it would be done, and then another little project would appear. I’m a little sad to see this home go. We have so many memories attached to it, and being inside it so much recently made me nostalgic. But, we moved on to bigger and better!

The second big announcement is that I have chosen to go back to school! I got my Associate’s degree in 2010, and would like to now get my Bachelor’s degree. I have chosen to go into Social Work, with an emphasis on Human Rights. My dream is to work for the UN, but I know I need to start small and work my way up. I was so inspired by my trip to Rwanda and I have a very strong desire to help people. I would love to work abroad, but can do plenty of amazing things locally as well. So, for this momma, school is gonna be back in session! I’m a little nervous to be going back to school in my mid-thirties but I know I’ve got this!

The third announcement is that we are moving out of Utah to Tennessee!


I know, guys, this is huge news! I will do an entire post about our move soon, but for now all I can really say is that Jess and I have felt for a while now that we needed to get out of Utah and let our kids experience other parts of the country, and the world for that matter! But, we aren’t made of money so picking up and moving to say Switzerland isn’t exactly realistic. A girl can dream though! So Tennessee it is!

The hardest part, is that we will be far from family. It has been such a blessing to be close to everyone, but for now our own little family needs this adventure. Jess and I have discussed it, prayed about it, and slept on it, and we know it’s the right decision. My twin sister Aly has no choice though, and is coming with us whether she wants to or not!

So, with a move looming over us (like in four months!) across the country, the packing up of our home has got to happen, and fast! Now that our other home is done being fixed up, I can concentrate solely on packing up our belongings and figuring out what’s not going with us. Marie Kondo could not have come on Netflix at a better time! I am gonna have one heck of an amazing garage sale in a few months, so keep your eyes peeled local Utahns!

So, there you have it. That’s pretty much what’s been going on with us lately. Life has been very busy, and doesn’t have any indication of slowing down. But here’s hoping that the sicknesses at least can be done in our family so we don’t end up having 2019 being the year of illnesses!



The Raw Brunette

A New Rhythm


This was a juvenile male of the family who I called my handsome boy

As cliche as it might sound, pretty much as soon as we landed in Kigali the popular 80’s song, (you all know it), “Africa” by the band Toto was on repeat in my head. There was even a day I jokingly played it on my phone while we were on safari in the Akagera Game Reserve.

It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you.

There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do.

I bless the rains down in Africa…

Don’t you lie to me, I know you’re all now singing it either in your head or out loud. It’s okay, this is a safe space; I am a huge fan of this song myself. It’s interesting that an almost comical song has become such a classic. For me, it really inspires me. It’s also one of those songs that when it comes on the radio, you turn it up and sing along! It’s really hard to be in a bad mood while this song is on.  More than anything, this song makes me want to go back to Africa very badly.

Good Vibrations

The trip to and from Rwanda was about 40 hours one way. This sounds long, which it was, but I was too excited to be tired on the way there. As I stepped off the plane in Kigali and my boots met the ground, my entire body was buzzing, almost like the energy from the Earth itself was transferring to me through my shoes. This was my first trip to the African continent, and I’m determined that it will be the first of many to come. I swear, the magic of it’s energy hummed through me on our whole trip.

The Rwandan people, greatly added to this good energy. I liked them immediately; it was hard not to! They are such friendly and warm people, and my friend Anne, who I met on this trip, perfectly described their smiles as their entire face smiling. You cannot help but smile back, and feel the good vibes from these incredible people. They work hard, love hard, and have bravely endured some of the most harrowing events before, during, and after the Rwandan Genocide.


We met Iman on the street and he gave us a tour of a local market in this small village we stopped at for gas

It inspired me to be a much better version of myself after meeting the Rwandan people. I have been through my own traumatic events and trials in life, but can never compare to the things they struggle with on a daily basis. I want to be a much more positive person and help spread that love and good energy to others. Keep those good vibrations going.

I Bless the Rains

Water. It’s essential for all life. Yet, it’s something that I take for granted here in the United States. I am so privileged to have clean, drinkable water available to me always. It’s not like I have never known how lucky we are here, but going to Rwanda my eyes were quickly opened when I realized I needed to have a bottle of water on me at all times so I could drink.

The kids would always wave and yell at us through our open windows of our green Land Cruiser we traveled in with our guide, Mr. Kirenga. We learned fast that “mzungu” means “white person” in Swahili. It was often squealed by the adorable masses of kiddos in the streets who saw us. When they weren’t immediately asking for money, they would be asking for our empty water bottles so they could go fill them with water from the public wells. It soon became our mission to seek out a lone kid on the side of the road that we could toss an empty bottle to. If there was more than one kid, a fight would break out, so one child was preferred. The roads were a popular hangout, so it would never take us long to see one. They always quickly dashed and grabbed that bottle, often holding it up and jumping around triumphantly. It made my heart ache a little when I thought of the things my kids say they “need” like toys, when these kids only worry about collecting water.


These darling kids greeted us by the bamboo forest on our way to see the gorillas.

I have always loved the line in the song Africa “I bless the rains”. We often prayed and thanked God for rain (or snow) growing up in my home, but like I have said before, I grew up priveledged to never have to worry about drinkable water, and we did not live on a farm where water is needed to sustain crops.

Once I was in Rwanda, and saw with my own eyes the daily struggles many people go through to attain water for their family, it made me feel guilty for never having to worry about water where I live. Just tonight, my four-year-old son came out of his bedroom demanding his third cold drink before bed. I couldn’t help but think what some kids in Rwanda would give for even one cold drink before bed. I’m not saying I will deprive my kids of water. But I will continue to educate them and make them aware of how privileged they truly are, so that they do not take it for granted.

Music and Magic for the Soul

The magic of Africa cannot properly be described to someone who hasn’t been there. It may only be described as just that: magic. It’s a continent where many believe life first began. And today, it remains a place of majestic landscapes, people, and creatures unrivaled in most other places in the world.

I was charmed the moment I arrived. Even as I sat on a plane traveling across the Atlantic Ocean, the idea that I was going to be in a place that had long been a dream of mine to see, it didn’t feel real.

I can attest that the magic of Africa – Rwanda specifically, is in fact real. That buzzing I talked about earlier? That’s it. It comes from the earth itself, almost as if it is absorbed through your feet as they meet the ground. It is radiated by the beautiful people and their kind hearts and bright smiles. The breathtaking landscapes never ceased to amaze me, with high rolling terraced hills, and seemingly endless vibrant green tea fields. The streets lined with women and men in brightly colored native fabrics with unbelievable amounts of different items piled on their heads. I witnessed some of the world’s most incredible animals in the wild that let me tell you, is in fact NOT the same as seeing them in a zoo! I also had the extreme privilege to hike up the volcanoes and sit feet from a silverback gorilla and his family of 15 females, juvenile males, and infants. Watching them, and being so close took the literal breath from my body and is by far one of the coolest things I will ever have done. Magic.


Our group with our guide, porters, and trackers when we tracked the Chimpanzees


This cute little guy hopped aboard our boat hoping for food. He was disappointed


There are 5 million fruit bats on Napoleon Island


The handmade fabrics were unbelievable


I was never a fan of giraffes but now I am a huge one!



The green Land Cruiser we traveled in


I told him he was my handsome boy and he smiled for me


A section of the Rwandan Genocide Memorial in Kigali


The bamboo forest


Canopy Walk in Nyungwe National Park

To once again quote Toto:

“It’s gonna take a lot to take me away from you”

Just like in the song, I feel it will be hard to take the things I felt in Africa from me. The moment we landed in the US, I longed to be going back. A piece of my heart was left behind, and a piece of Rwanda replaced it. My heart, and life for that matter, have forever been changed by it. The new piece has given my heart a new rythym, a drum beat if you will. It is forever beating onward leading me to the new and better person I want to be, and to what changes I hope to make in this world.



The Raw Brunette

|Lisbon, Barcelona, and Home Again|

Lisbon! This was our final stop on our trip before we flew back to Barcelona and from there to the States. It was bittersweet leaving Lagos, which was literally a paradise for the last five days, but we were excited to have a day in Lisbon and do something different. We had to leave our Airbnb at 6:30 AM to catch the train back north and had a good three hour sleep which helped give us some energy since we only had one full day in Lisbon and needed to catch a plane the next morning for Barcelona.

We arrived and quickly figured out how to get to our Airbnb in Lisbon. It was in the historic old part of the city, and was in the cutest neighborhood filled with rows of colorful buildings with the Castello de St. Jorge towering on the hill above. We walked through the tiny streets until we found our apartment building, and then climbed three flights of wooden steps to the apartment which then had another staircase once you entered. This apartment was definitely not for someone who had trouble climbing stairs! It was well worth the climb though, because it was an immaculate, darling, eclectic little apartment. on Airbnb’s website it was called the “Rose Apartment”, and it was rightly named because everything was pink. Jess and I took the more pink of the two pink bedrooms and our window had a perfect view of the castle.


I loved the cute little streets



The view from our bedroom window!

We dropped off our bags and headed into Lisbon to see as much as we could.  We didn’t really have a plan, so we just sort of wandered, but it was perfect. Along the way we were suddenly starving, and as we rounded a corner there it was: Burger King. Let me just make a little side note here: I NEVER eat fast food, but for whatever reason American greasy fries and burgers sounded like heaven. We shamelessly gorged ourselves until we were full and then walked down to the waterfront. It was so warm and sunny that day, but super windy by the water so we didn’t stick around long.


We headed back into the city and made our way to the Castello de St. Jorge. It was a maze of tiny streets to find the entrance, and an extremely uphill climb. We purchased tickets to go inside and then explored the grounds for a good hour or so. Not much of the interior of the gigantic Moorish castle remains, but it dates back to the 11th century. There were a few peacocks roaming the grounds, but it was amusing to us that there were also quite a few cats who lived there. Apparently castle cats are a thing in Lisbon? Either way, they were pretty cute. The views from the top of the castle were worth the 8 or so Euros it cost to enter.


When we left the castle grounds we wanted to go see a few more sights, but first needed to get gelato because, gelato. Then we made our way to the Church of Sao Vincente of Fora, but were very sad that it had just closed. We saw what we could of the exterior, and enjoyed some lovely fountains. Then we tried to go and see the National Pantheon which much to our dismay was also closed.


The Church of Sao Vincente de Fora



The National Pantheon


At this point it was getting dark, and since we had such an early flight the next day we decided to go grab some dinner by the waterfront where there were lots of restaurants and shops and then go home. Once back at the Pink Apartment, we showered, packed, and hit the hay. I had to sneak one last view of the castle which was lit up at night outside our window. It was such a dreamy view that I didn’t want to forget!

The next morning we hopped on the subway to the airport in Lisbon which only took us about 20-30 minutes. Once there, however, we were told our flight was delayed at least an hour for the heavy fog. We now got to hang out at the airport for a few hours, but thankfully there was some good food for breakfast. After what felt like a lifetime we finally boarded our plane and made the flight back to Barcelona. The only problem was that when we had been in Barcelona the first time, we had made reservations to see La Sagrada Familia, but since our flight was so late, there was no way we would make it in time to our reservation. I can’t describe to you just how upset I was. The interior of La Sagrada Familia is on my bucket list and we were so close to seeing it!  but now we just need to make another trip back there one day so I can see it!

So, since we were now stuck in the airport for about 3.5 hours we decided to change into some comfy traveling clothes, explore the mall that was inside the airport, and charge our phones. I got some more cute trinkets for the kids, and we loaded up on snacks for the 7 hour plane ride to New York. Our plan on the way back was to stay up the entire flight watching movies, which Jess and I did on the way back from Europe a few years ago. It really helped us adjust to the jet lag easier, because by the time we landed, went through customs which took (FOREVER), and got to our hotel we were exhausted and passed out. Aly and I had a flight the next morning at 7 AM and were up and ready quite early. Jess had to wait until 7 PM that night. So we said goodbye to him and headed out. Not only did he get more sleep than we did, but he was on a non-stop flight to Salt Lake, while Aly and I had to go through Seattle.

It seemed like a terribly long day, but we were finally home! I was so happy to grab all my kids from the sitters and be with them. Our trip was an incredible two weeks, but coming back home is always the best part!



The Raw Brunette

Total Solar Eclipse 2017| Rexburg, Idaho

We just got back from one of the most amazing weekends EVER. The total solar eclipse occurred on Monday August 21, 2017. My in laws just so happen to live in Rexburg, Idaho which was in the zone of totality, but also close to Idaho Falls which is one of the places that NASA declared as the best to view the eclipse.

Despite the news for months saying that there would be horrendous crowds of people migrating to Idaho Falls and Rexburg Idaho for the eclipse, our family headed up there too. I questioned my sanity a few times while preparing for our trip because of said stories on the news, and the preparations in case crowds got too rowdy or some catastrophic event like a wild fire was to happen. So, in order to avoid the crowds in, I drove up on Thursday the 17 and headed to my in-laws who just so happen to live in Rexburg, and in the zone of totality.

With a few extra days to spare, my kids enjoyed every moment of time spent with their grandparents on the farm. This included four-wheeler rides to help water the cow, running through the neighbors yard that was flooded for watering, four-wheeler rides just because, throwing rocks and racing sticks in the canal, feeding the goats, harvesting and shucking corn, pulling vegetables from the garden to have fresh for dinner, petting and feeding the neighbors horses, playing in the sprinklers and the ditch, having rides in Grandpa’s bucket of the tractor, roasting weenies and desserts in the fire pit, playing board games, and reading books with Grandma.


It’s pretty safe to say that every time we visit Rexburg, it’s like Disneyland for my kids! They would all pass out at night from pure exhaustion (which is what this Momma loves!). I am so grateful for my good relationship with my in-laws that I can go visit without my husband and still have such a wonderful time.

On Saturday, everyone else showed up for the eclipse! Sherri and Rick joined us from Vancouver, WA, and my Grandparents came from Midway, Utah. My Uncle Brad and my cousin Matthew also came but not until late Sunday night from Park City. It was such a special weekend too, because my in-laws were able to meet my birth mom Sherri and some of her family!

It was incredible for me to sit back and watch as two families I loved came together. Sunday Rick and Sherri scoped out the perfect spot for us to watch the eclipse the next day. Jess and I made a big dinner for everyone that night which we ate outside, and the day was ended playing some rowdy card games very late into the night.

The next morning we were all up early; anxious for the coming event. After breakfast those of us who wanted to go watch from the spot Rick found caravanned over. It took us about 15 minutes, and we were up on the eastern hills above Rexburg. We had a perfect view of the Menan Butte to the West from where we were, and we were nestled right at the edge of a golden wheat field.


It really was the perfect spot. We could eventually see the shadow of the moon coming from the West. It was INSANE.

Once the eclipse began around 10:15 AM we had our various glasses and other viewing devices at the ready. The kids were pretty worried about going blind so we also brought a strainer which we projected the various stages of the eclipse onto a brown paper bag. It was actually really pretty!


Around 11:30 is when the full totality was upon us. We all watched with anticipation as the shadow was bearing down on us from the west. It was moving 2000 MPH! That is SO fast! When the last sliver of light from the sun was covered, we were suddenly in nighttime darkness! We could see stars around us, and even venus! The temperature also dramatically dropped within minutes and we were all shivering.

I wish I could accurately describe how gorgeous the total eclipse was. There was light emanating around the moon in a blueish hue, and I commented that I felt like we were watching a planet be created. It was such a breathtaking sight, and me and several others in our group were moved to tears. It was definitely a life changing event, and I am so grateful I got to witness it with my husband and children. All three of my littles kept commenting after how beautiful it was. Even little Memphis proclaimed: “Mommy that was bootiful!”


Papa making sure his glasses worked


Memphis got the hang of them pretty quick!


My cousin Matthew and my Uncle Brad watching on with Papa



My Grandma, Sherri, Rick, Papa, Brad, and Matthew


pretty stylin!


If any of you have plans to go and see the next total eclipse in 2024, GO! We are already planning our trip. See ya there!




The Raw Brunette

Register Rock | American Falls, Idaho

A few weeks ago, we traveled from Boise East to a small city called Sugar City, Idaho. This is where my husband grew up. The drive was actually quite beautiful, as we followed the Snake river for part of it. When we drove through American Falls, there was an exit sign for “Register Rock”. Curious, I told Jess to pull over so we could check it out. I am so glad we did!

Register Rock, is a prominent piece of history for the emigrants who headed West, whether on the Oregon Trail, or the Mormon pioneers escaping for religious freedom. Apparently this rock was a place where those travelers would stop and make camp, would carve their names into. It’s basically like a guest book.

IMG_4572IMG_4571IMG_4569IMG_4568IMG_4565There were other rocks in the area that were also used similarly, but most of them have worn away, or maybe haven’t even been discovered yet.

The rock now is protected by a shelter, and is behind a fence so you can’t touch it. There’s a small window you can peek through to get a good look at the rock though, which was nice.

The oldest inscription I found was 1835! It was very cool to stop and see something like this, especially because I have many pioneer ancestors who made this journey or ones like it across the plains.

After we looked at the rock for a while, we decided to hike for a bit, and I was so glad we did! This area of Idaho is just gorgeous. It’s in Massacre Rocks State Park, which was called so by the emigrants because of the constant fears of being ambushed by the Native Americans above them on the rocks. I would love to come back here and camp!


It’s amazing what beautiful things we have in our own backyards. I was so glad we decided to pull over when I saw that sign!



The Raw Brunette

Wahclella Falls and the Fish Hatchery at Bonneville Dam in Oregon

What a weekend! We drove up to Portland to visit my family and we definitely packed as much as we could in the 4 days we had up there. I wish we could have stayed longer, but it’s just a good reason to go back! We took two days to explore the breathtaking Columbia Gorge. There’s so many hikes and waterfalls- it would literally take a week maybe two to see it all! Because we have littles and little legs we needed to pick holes that were kid friendly.

The first day we went to the gorge, we hiked Wahclella Falls. It was not a flat or easy hike, and Memphis protested and demanded to be held several times, but we survived. Us out of towners were pretty cold at first and all had our layers on, but by the time we reached the falls I was sweating! The weather here is so unpredictable but we got really lucky and it ended up being sunny and pretty warm.




The hike itself was gorgeous. I still cannot get over the moss covered trees! My kids called them “fuzzy trees”. My stepdad Rick was a fountain of knowledge pointing out every plant we passed and telling us what it was stinging nettle, and Poison Oak which thankfully no one walked through or touched! We even picked some delicious wild raspberries along the trail, but also saw salmon berries,Oregon Grapes, and huckleberries! We saw a few garter snakes and Rick picked it up while the littles squealed with delight.

The Falls were quite impressive. The greenery surrounding Wahclella makes it seem like you should be in Ireland instead of Oregon. It was quite magical really. We made our way to the water which was too cold to swim in, but the littles had a good time throwing rocks in the water for a long time. Okay, the adults threw some rocks too! The kids explored a cool dripping cave, and then we headed back down the trail to the cars.

That same day, we visited the Fish Hatchery which is across the road from the Wahclella Trailhead at the Bonneville Dam.



We saw lots of fish, and even Bigfoot! It was worth driving over to see the hatchery.I had never been to one before, so it was very interesting to walk by all the huge tanks holding the baby fish in them. Tons of tiny fish were leaping out of the water which the kids enjoyed watching. We moved on to the Rainbow Trout which were so vividly colored, and the kids liked throwing in fish food and watching a giant writhing pile of rainbow fish fight over it.

From there, we moved to the sturgeon viewing areas. Man, were these prehistoric fish impressive! They even had a viewing window under their pond so you could watch them swimming underwater. The largest one they had must have been at least 10-15 feet long! Memphis loved looking at their eyes, and Calvin loved to point at the pieces of dead fish along the bottom of their tank. Shay just couldn’t wrap her head around the fact that they are as old as dinosaurs.

Once we were done watching them, we drove up to the actual dam. Inside, we took the elevator down so we were underneath it, and they had these viewing windows where you could watch the fish swimming up the ladder from under the water. We maybe saw one fish from under there, but were much more interested in the alien-like Lamprey which were suctioned to the windows! Their alarmingly sharp little teeth made it look like a horror film! Honestly, I could have watched them all day. I never knew that they are basically leeches and suck the fluids out of the fish they attach to! Calvin started talking to a group of people and told them that “They are basically related to Dracula!” which made us all laugh! He’s such a good tour guide!

We walked outside to watch the fish leap up the ladder from the top of the water. Sadly, we saw plenty of fish but none of them were jumping so we didn’t stay long. We got a good view of the dam from up there, and then called it a day.

It was such a jam-packed day of fun and we really lucked out with the weather being so nice and sunny! I snapped this photo of Memphis when we pulled into my birth mom Sherri’s house.


You know it was a good day when he’s asleep in the car (which he never does anymore) AND covered in dirt!



The Raw Brunette

Jump Creek Falls

Just outside of a small town called Marsing, Idaho is Jump Creek Canyon. Without GPS it would have been impossible to find as we maneuvered around private land. This one neighbor is obviously FED up with travellers thinking his property was the way to Jump Creek.


Yikes. We get the hint!

There is an upper trail and a lower trail. The upper one looked a little too advanced for the littles, so we decided to do the lower one. I’m so glad we did! It was not a super long hike, but it was windy and uphill with lots of rocks and slippery gravel. It winds along the stream that comes down from the falls. So, we took our time with the kids, and that was just fine. There were lots of caves and cool rocks to explore on our way.


The mouth of Jump Creek Canyon



One of the many caves and caverns we discovered!


Once we made it to the end of the trail we were pleasantly surprised by the waterfall! It’s not as full as it would be at the end of spring/beginning of summer with most of the snow melt but it was still very awesome. There a good-sized pool underneath that’s perfect for swimming in. It happened to be an extremely hot day too (98) so the kids didn’t mind the chilly water. Shay discovered a cool tunnel right by the waterfall that she liked to explore and climb through. Memphis was content to stand in the shallows and throw rocks, but Calvin and Jess and I braved the cold water for a few minutes.


When we had our fun with the water, we decided to climb up some rock formations to get a better look at the top of the waterfall.  I asked a very drunk gentleman to take our family pic, and thankfully there was one good one, because the rest had his finger in the way!


On our hike back through the canyon we decided to follow the stream instead of the trail and it was a whole different experience! We had to hold Memphis through some of the deeper water, but most of it he was fine wading through.


Jump Creek Falls was totally worth it, and I cannot wait to go back and do the upper trail one day!



The Raw Brunette

MK Nature Center in Boise

You know what sucks? Sinus infections. Even more so in the middle of the heat of June. Thankfully, a visit to the local Urgent Care has gotten me some meds so hopefully I will be feeling back to my normal self by tomorrow.

So, while I am sick at our temporary home here in Boise it gives me some time to sit down and write about our adventures last week to the Morris Knudsen Nature Center. It’s located on Walnut street behind the Idaho Fish and Game Headquarters. It’s also situated right on the Boise river and the green belt of the city.


The littles LOVED these fish signs!


We always have a HOOT!

The best thing about the MK Nature Center is it’s FREE! I love some good free fun, and this place offers so much. It’s 4.6 acres of gorgeous forest with an enormous pond and stream in the middle that has board walks to walk and observe the fish. They had some GIANT white sturgeon which the species itself is about 200 Million years old. My kids could not even wrap their heads around the fact that they were looking at something as old as dinosaurs. The longer one was about 7 feet long and 200 lbs!

rawbrunettemknature1rawbrunettemknature2rawbrunettemknauture3rawbrunettemknature12rawbrunettemknature13I could have watched the fish swim around all day, but my littles have much shorter attention spans. So, we kept walking along the stream walk. As you go further up, there are these cool viewing windows that give you a look under the water. There were lots of charts and signs telling us what we were looking at, and the kids really enjoyed it.


As we made our way down the stream walk, I took a tremendous fall. I was attempting to take a photo, and thought that standing on a log would help me get a better view. Unfortunately for me, the log was not stable so the moment I put my weight on it, the thing rolled from under me. My legs literally went up over my head and I landed on top of the log with my back and my elbow went directly into the ground. It hurt, but thankfully other than some nasty scrapes and bruises I am alright. I am, however, grateful that no one other than my children witnessed my epic fall! After a trip back to the visitor center and some band aids, we continued on our adventures.


Once we completed the stream walk, we visited the Butterfly Gardens, and then headed back to the visitor center where there was plenty to see and do. They had the cutest little burrowing owl named Hoots, a turtle named Splashy, and a one-eyed American Kestrel named Fiona who were outside that the kids had a good time watching for a while. A very informative employee had a table set up outside with various horns and antlers that the kids could touch and pick up. She even taught us how to tell the animals ages by counting the rings on their horns!


We finished our day exploring the inside of the visitor center which had plenty to do and see. The kids looked at the different stuffed animals who are native to Idaho. My daughter particularly loved the display about bats, since bats are one of her favorite animals. They also got to say hello to a gopher snake named George, and three adorable tiger salamanders. They made rubbings of different animals and charts, guess what skulls belonged to what animals, and even got to guess how much a newborn black bear cub weighs, (spoiler: it weighs 8 oz! I was surprised too!)

rawbrunettemknature23rawbrunettemknature22rawbrunettemknature20rawbrunettemknature19So, if you want something fun and FREE to do with the kiddos in Boise definitely visit the MK Nature Center! It did not disappoint! Now, here’s praying my meds kick in quickly and this sinus infection is soon a thing of the past!



The Raw Brunette