Little Changes

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I have said this before and I will say it again, our life is a never ending sea of change! Mostly good, but change all the same. Some small changes, some unexpected changes and some major life changes have been thrown our direction as of lately.

So let's start with the small...after almost exactly TWO YEARS of tlc for my hair I have taken the plunge back into golden locks. AKA I am blonde again! At first I missed my natural color and hobo ombre...because as often as change hits me I will never be comfortable with it at first. But now I am oh so glad I made the decision! Also thank the hair fairies for finally giving me some length...for those of you who know how much of a journey it has been to get this far you can imagine how hard it was for me to let her cut off 1 3/4 inches!

Also the coloring is kind of off due to issues with the sun not obeying my wishes. But you get the idea!

And then I had to watch my mom fall apart as she sent three of us away...Jessica for the first time. But the best part about this change is that I now have two of my three sisters in Rexburg with me! Woo hoo!

 My dad stayed with us in Rexburg for a solid week to get my sisters settled...and help with my major project of a home. So stay tuned to see our progress on the forever needy house we are learning to love!

The best change of all though is that after 3 long weeks without my other half Kirby has made it home safe and we are counting our blessings every day that we have together.

Ok maybe none of this seems like anything drastic...the major changes have mostly involved our new residence, unexpected bumps with out car, and of course starting a new semester...but I will save those for another time. We are thankful for our life and the chance that we get to live and grow together.


The Skunk/Bear Situation

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The first couple weeks back to Rexburg is generally the only window of time that we have to enjoy what Idaho has to offer before the frigid temperatures set in. So we decided to head out after class/work Friday evening, with a few of our favorite friends - Tyson and Hanna, Jordan and Kenady, and Dan and Ella - to spend some carefree moments in Ashton, Idaho. 

As we pulled in to camp, our friends who had been there for a couple of hours already warned us that the camp host had said that a black bear had been spotted near our site earlier that day. At first we were a little weary, but as the evening progressed the bear was mostly forgotten as our troubles seemed to be forced somewhere else.

We got to our site, set up our little tent and settled in for some tin foil dinners, fireside conversation, and my personal favorite...s'mores. Well that was the plan anyway, and it played out pretty well, except for one stinky hiccup that seemed determined to steal our attention.

As we were finishing up dinner some movement over my right shoulder quickly stole my attention. Luckily, it wasn't our black bear friend, but we almost would have preferred him. A skunk with an attitude was headed straight for us. We all panicked (ok, maybe not all of us) and quickly ditched our seats by the fire for a safer spot a little distance away. We watched as the skunk (who was soon given the name Ruby by Ella) shimmied her way around our chairs by the fire, sniffing out her dinner. She settled on a few Doritos, and a couple of hotdogs. Kirby, who is the best in these situations tried leading her away with a trail of Doritos, but she wasn't having it. Eventually, after what felt like hours, she was full enough to leave us alone for a little while. Just to be safe though, a couple of guys set out a few of her favorite hot dogs a little farther way down the river, in case she got hungry again and came looking for a second meal.

After our pest situation seemed solved, we took our fireside seats, settled back into conversation, and started on roasting the marshmallows. Everyone shared their favorite bear stories, and I made sure to get a few pointers in case Pooh decided to come check out our dinner too. 

Ruby had become a thing of the past, nothing but a good story for a later camping trip...or so we thought. A couple of hours later Tyson spotted her hanging out just behind his like last time, our warm seats by the fire were abandoned for little miss Ruby and her never ending appetite. 

This time got a little messier...she ate what she could get her paws on from around the table...then headed for the trash, and the silly thing got herself stuck in the bag. Now we were worried. What if she couldn't find her way out? Would she freak out and spray? How could we help her out without threatening her? All we could do was stand around and wait for her to figure it out, which eventually she did and left us for good. 

Now that we were done eating, and even more so done with dealing with Ruby we packed up all the food and trash and hid them in our cars. All was well again. We finished our late night ramblings, then said goodnight as we all set out to settle down in our separate tents.

Remember how I said the bear was mostly forgotten? I meant it was mostly forgotten until it was time to go to sleep. Kirby and I laid there listening to the sounds around us. Every twig that snapped sounded like a bear walking, every throat clearing from our friends in neighboring tents sounded like a bear breathing, and I could barely take it. The worst was when Kirby lifted his head a little to listen to what sounded like something walking in the river...Kirby doesn't get nervous, or at least tries to hide it from me so that I feel safe, so as soon as I could tell he was a little nervous too, I just about lost it. 

We eventually fell into a restless sleep. Each and every sound of nature woke me in a fright. But we made it through the night. The morning greeted us with the best breakfast any camper could hope for. We had pancakes, sausage, bacon, hash browns, and orange juice a little ways down from our site in an area set aside for cooking...and when we got back to our little site a new friend was there to welcome us. 

As we started cleaning up our area Jordan spotted the thing we had all been waiting for. In the bushes dividing the river from our tents was a black bear. He was pretty occupied with his berries and didn't seem to be too much of a threat at the after the initial shock, and after I was done insisting that we leave right then, we stuck around. Our little bear friend just sat there, feet away from us, as we finished cleaning up our tents and watched the crazy boys jump in the freezing water. Every time he looked straight at us, or moved at all actually, I was ready to book it to the car. But we all made it out alive...I only wonder if he really was the source of the night time sounds keeping us on edge.

As we were pulling out of the campground the same bear walked across the road right in front of our car as if to say good bye. I am sure that Ruby and him are destined to become friends, they both have a strange love for this group of campers.

After a wonderful camping trip the eight of us headed up to Mesa Falls, and then grabbed some of the best pizza and milkshakes around.

So here is to good friends, sticky situations, and new campfire stories.

The best weekend adventures always seem to follow this trend.

 We were so stoked to be on our way to camping this became the ultimate selfie fail.

 Ruby, in the flesh.

Boys, breakfast, and bacon.

 Keepin an eye on our beary friend, while folding up the tent.

 Crazy boys in the not so Warm River.

 I have the cutest friends around.

 And the cutest husband!

The brave souls sitting too close to the bear (just in those bushes) for my comfort.

We kept our distance.

 There is no fear when it comes to getting a good picture of a bear in the wild.

 The ultimate selfie at lower Mesa Falls.

 leaving town with bellies full of food, brains full of the best memories, and hearts full of love for our friends.

Our Little House by the Ocean

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Oregon Coast is a very special place to my family. Not only is this where my parents spent their honeymoon, but our family has been making the little trek there for over 20 YEARS! It is fun to see the traditions that stand the trials of time, and collect new ones each and every year. We stay in a condo near Lincoln City and New Port called the Inn at Otter Crest, but to little Madison Wiberg it was always the "little house by the ocean."

It is my family's happy place.

I missed out on the past couple of years...growing up and getting married will do that to you. And my dream is to be able to bring my husband (in case you haven't been following he is still working in Texas, and they were moved into hotels so I had to leave him behind to get us moved into our new place...after a little trip to the coast of course). But someday his summer job and our schooling will line up just right to allow us to experience this special place together.

The one good thing about Kirby not being there was that we had room from Aunt Myndie to come with us! I don't know how we used to fit all of my mom's family, but it has been done!

I have been to several tropical beaches, beaches where it feels like you are swimming in bath water it is so warm, beaches where you just walk around in a swimsuit and soak up the sun until you need to cool off and play in the waves...and this is not that kind of vacation.

Here we wear jackets, can't feel our feet after a little bit of wading in the water, and curling up in a blanket on the balcony with a cup of hot chocolate is the perfect evening get away. And to me, there is nothing more peaceful and comforting than a week on the Oregon Coast in our Little House by the Ocean.


A Blast from the Past 

Before I show you the pics from this year let's embrace the awkward phases of my childhood at the coast. I got tired of digging through all the pictures we had...but you get the idea.

 This is Dad and Mandy on the loft in the condo.
 And this is Dad dangling me from the loft in the condo.
 And this, my friends, is my favorite sweatshirt of all time.
And this is the rope swing in our forest.
 And the famous picture.
 And now the awkward phases begin...
We still take time to get our favorite ice-cream cones every time we go.
 PS: This is my mom and my aunt, Myndie, that came with us this year!
 My dad will always be the pro though...
In case you were starting to think we never took Bailey...she just wasn't born or was too teeny weeny until now! Look at that cutie.


Now to the Present.
Newport...oh how I love you and your stinky chum buckets. 
One of my favorite stops on our long list of Oregon Coast Must-dos. 
From the dock overlooking the howling sea-lions, the fishers going about their daily business, the fresh fish and chips, and the adorable shops lining the streets. 
Thank you once again for keeping us constantly entertained.

This young chap is my good friend Terry. He sits here and draws the most amazing scenes with nothing but a black and red pen on rocks that he finds on the coast. I am a regular customer of his, and he never disappoints!
Salt water taffy is a must...I am just so proud of myself for making it this long without stealing one of the candies I picked out for Kirby!

Jessica decided to pose with each of the pirates we ran into...and there were quite a lot.
When you order popcorn shrimp, and they catch the little guys in their backyard, you know it will be good.

 Our beach

I view this staircase, and this beach as ours. The only access to it is from our condo, so we never have to worry about a large crowd keeping us company. This is the first beach I ever stepped on, the first beach I collected sea-shells on, and the beach that made me fall in love with the ocean.

It has everything you could ever need for an ocean adventure...complete with access into the Devils Punch Bowl at low tide.

So the next two pictures are from the inside of the punch bowl...
And this is it from above!
So we have kind of adopted another beach over the past couple of visits. Just a quick walk from the condo, past it's little duck pond, and through my forrest (yes I am taking ownership of the forest as well) and you will find Moe's, the only place I eat clam chowder and the first restaurant I remember eating at, and the staircase down to the new addition to our beach.

We LOVE it at this beach. It has such a different feel than it's neighboring beach and we love to get the different vibes. Plus my sisters love the surfers ;) 
Oh and of course the sand castles, sometimes it is my dad building by himself and us being impressed (as you probably saw above), sometimes it is the girls, but this year Mom bought some fancy tools and a how-to book so we tried some new techniques...and Bailey built her own next door.

Lincoln City

One of our favorite of the fancier restaurants is Kyllo's in Lincoln City, which means that it is close to the Outlets (a back to school shopping tradition) and my mom's favorite beach. So it's a must stop.

Oh and the wall...this year I tried to write something special for Kirby...but I over estimated my height and had some trouble getting my head in those arrows...but you get the point.

Depot Bay 

Something we always look forward to about the coast is the sighting of our good friends, the local whales. They always like to put on a good show for us. We watch them from our balcony, from the beach, from restaurants, and of course the wall at Depot Bay. This guy in the picture below was even closer to us than he was to the whale watching boat! I have some pretty awesome videos of him showing off for us, but I thought I would spare you the lengthy videos.

Our newest tradition - The Christmas Cottage - was instantly a hit with the whole family. Plus the fact that I bought us some new stockings, in August, at the coast, will make Christmas even more special.
And of course a stop at our favorite bakery for pizza and some sweet treats.
This tradition goes back as far as I can remember...this little ice-cream shop better know how special it is! (Recognize this from the old pictures?)
And the classic picture somehow always happens too..

 The Last Night

On our last day we made sure to go out with a bang...breakfast at the wildflower cafe, a trip to 4 different beaches, our favorite gift shop on the edge of a cliff, and a fire on a foggy beach.

Family Frisbee
Oh and a Bigfoot sighting...

And another Bigfoot sighting...

And a Shout out to my Boo!

Kirby is still working his booty off day in and day out. I cannot express how much I appreciate his hard work and the constant sacrifices he makes. I really am the luckiest girl alive!

I miss this blue eyed boy so much...the only way I have stayed sane is through constant snap chats, and phone I may or may not be sleeping with a piles of pillow on his side of the bed.

So here's to you bun, thank you for all you do...I'm all about you!

Also...he packed up our apartment and squeezed it into our little car by go live out of a hotel with some of the other guys.

What a man!

Hopefully next year I will be able to include him in our Condo post ;)

Thanks always,

Madison Muir

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