It seems that we've finally surfaced from a full five week submersion in wildfire smoke. Smoke that was so thick at times we could hardly see the river from the house. I'm crossing my fingers the clean air is here to stay for a while, it's been missed. There is still a hint of pollution on the horizon but everything seems amazingly vibrant and full of life, the river extra sparkly and crystal clear, the sky overhead more blue then ever before. 

Despite the smoke stealing our clean air, August was good to us, we finally sold THE house. It's hard to believe it actually happened. I'm not sure the escrow officer had seen two people quite so happy to sign away ownership. We restrained ourselves from skipping right out of the title company but did high five the minute we got out of sight in the truck and offered up a huge prayer of thanksgiving (huge in feeling not articulate or lengthy whatsoever).

Denver put in a small dock down by the river. I think it's nice to stay out of the mud getting in and out of the water. The twins think it's a pretty great place for practicing risky maneuvers. When he's not busy perfecting his somersaults or high dives off the dock Cas has been busy growing teeth. Those teeth have been causing everyone all sorts of misery. I counted them up the other day, turns out he's already got 16 of 20 teeth in so hopefully the worst is almost over. Alta is a less aggressive tooth grower, she loves small tubes and laughing at her brothers antics. Cas has always got some sort of game up his sleeve (usually along the line of hiding behind something and popping up with grin) but sometimes all he has to do is lean back against the pillow with a sly smile and Alta is thrown into a fit of giggles. One year old humor is sometimes lost on Denver and me.  

I've decided that each night of camping with the twins is the equivalent to at least three nights without the twins. Which basically means all we've been doing is camping for over a month now and I'm ready to go home and never go again. 



Our beloved Sprinter has gone on to it's new owner and it's back to tent camping for the whole family. As the twins have gotten older we were starting to think about reworking the interior build-out to make better sleeping space for all four of us. After doing some research though, we realized that selling ours with all the upgrades could pay for a different build out on a new van and as we had already put almost 50k miles on ours it seemed like a good idea to start fresh.  

The fresh start has taken an entirely different turn as Denver went out and found himself an old landcruiser. The plan is to do a full restoration with engine swap which is good because the truck is about as far away from mint condition as you could get (which I'm told is the point). Denver is really excited about the project and I'm really excited about the end product and having two drive-able vehicles again! 

After delivering the van, we got a chance to spend a couple of days at the beach and put the surfboard to good use, so great to catch some waves again. 

The house project is pretty much wrapped up, the final inspections passed and Denver built the longest of long kitchen tables to satisfy all of my long kitchen table dreams.

The trailer got a new coat of paint. Something I've been wanting to do ever since we bought the thing. The project got off on the wrong foot (as my projects are always inclined to do) but it came together in the end and I'm pretty thrilled to tone down the original 50s diner look. 

The twins are summering hard. Maybe wishing Mom and Dad would buy them a bigger pool so they didn't have to take turns soaking in the flower pot. Their favorite activity these days is pushing the camp chairs around on the deck. Back and forth. Back and forth.



It feels like all we've been doing lately is working, some of these photos testify to the result of that, but also to all the sweet moments in between. We're over at the river house now and it is quite possibly the most beautiful place I've ever lived. I just can't get over the views, the morning light and this rad little cabin that Denver somehow put together largely by himself over the last year. We picked up two cheap inflatable paddle boards from Costco and it's been so fun to access the river from a different vantage point. 

The house "to do" list is shrinking day by day. All that's really left is the loft railing, a kitchen island (that will also serve as our dining table) and some more cabinetry in the entry and pantry. I couldn't find cabinets and closet doors that would work in the space for a reasonable price so Denver just ended up making everything out in the driveway these last few weeks, taking his usual DIY philosophy to another level of madness.

The house that we ended up moving into last summer is still managing to defy all reasonable odds by refusing to sell (at a huge loss I might add). It's been a ten year burden and money pit that I've prayed so hard to get out of. It's still ours and though my prayers have not been answered the way I would like, God has provided far more generously then we ever deserved. Even giving us the ability to pay the mortgage every month while still giving Denver the opportunity to work independently. 

The house has been a hard blessing (I think of hard blessings as good for the soul but hard on the heart) and a constant reminder that although we are gifted so much independence we are still incredibly dependent on our Creator (nothing self-made going on here!). I'm trying to pray that God would bring us a buyer but that even more importantly I could learn to pay the mortgage or mow the lawn without letting the situation rattle my good cheer and then the good cheer of those around me. Because the truth is, if it wasn't the house getting me all out of sorts there's always something else that could send me for an unattractive tailspin.

God has been so faithful, through the good and the rough, the hard and the easy blessings.