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May 16, 2017

WHERE TO STAY IN MCCALL, IDAHO - BUNGALOW at BLACKHAWK

okay okay! let's talk about vacationing in my very most favorite idaho location - mccall. it is the sweetest, quaintest, most beautiful little location. it has everything for the winter...and everything for the summer...not to mention we found our new go-to for home vacation rentals - The Bungalow at Blackhawk!

summer - biking, hiking, camping, boating, kayaking, rafting, waterskiing, canoeing. sports not your thing? how about the farmer's market, or shops browsing, or ice cream at the hidden ice cream alley? you can have sushi on the balcony overlooking the lake or you can enjoy a world-class dinner...almost in the lake. oh! and i nearly forgot to mention the music festivals that occur during the summer at the local ski resort! i mean - recalling all the summer delights has me all sorts of antsy to get back up there. it's an absolute dream location.

and winter doesn't disappoint either!

winter - skiing...give me all the skiing! especially after the epic snowfall they had this past season. snowshoeing, cross country, snowmobiling, hot springs...oh! the hot springs. i really should do a whole separate post on all the places you can visit to get your soak on. again, if the outdoor sporting isn't quite your thing, get your hands on a home with a fireplace and and epic view of the mountains (there's no shortage of them) and hunker down with a good book. or walk around town during the winter carnival and enjoy the absolutely amazing artwork on display in the form of snow sculptures! you'll also find food vendors, a bonfire, and some serious pedestrian traffic. it's quite the event.

what i'm saying is this. mccall is my favorite. i really wish i didn't have such a love affair going on...sometimes it makes farm-living a little hard. but it makes it all that much sweeter when we take our family trips.

kind of like the family trip we just took for mother's day! now, normally i put on a big brunch out at the farm for family and friends...but that's a lot of work. and what with being all pregnant and tired and just not really feeling like pounding a bunch of champagne (eh-hum...mother's day 2016)...i put together this trip for our family and amy's bunch of boys balanced out the male to female ratio!

i worked with ashely at mccall vacation rentals for our booking of the house. i picked a home large enough that we could bunk up the kids with a nice kitchen that we wouldn't all be on top of each other the entire time. oh...and it had to have a cozy fireplace. so...it was a big win on all fronts.


the house we picked was found in the Blackhawk on the River development (which is where i'd love to build a vacation home one day!)...and it was perfection. quiet / low on traffic, so we didn't have to worry about the kids running around outside. there was a pond just beyond the fire pit...that had it not snowed four inches!! on the night of may 13th...we totally would have taken advantage of and toasted way too many marshmallows...and maybe a hot dog or eleven.

(have i mentioned i've been craving hot dogs this pregnancy? not the fancy kind. just a dog with some mustard, ketchup, and onions. certainly not my typical go-to.) anyway...

on friday we got settled, grocery shopped, and essentially let the kids tire themselves out. the Bungalow at Blackhawk is totally set up for kids because it has toys, twin beds, and aside from the large telescope we hid from the children...is pretty kid-proof. love that. to wind them down we took advantage of the Amazon Prime offered on the big TV in front of the fireplace. the kids watched...the adults chatted...until 2 am. see...30 year olds can still totally be crazy! (minus the alcohol...or bar scene...add sleeping children...)


but what i love is that had we been staying in a hotel - none of that would have been possible. house rentals for vacation is where it's at.

the next morning we cooked up breakfast and all sat around the big table drinking coffee and watching amy's one year old eat more food than all the kids combined.

next on the agenda - a workout and spa day for the moms! amy and i popped over to the Blackhawk Lodge (five minute walk)...to take advantage of the glorious gym area! it was completely empty so it was like having a private gym. love that - because i can't think of too many people that would want to see a pregnant gal turn purple trying to run out three miles.

after we got our sweat on we headed to Shore Lodge to visit their in-house spa, The Cove. we each got a glorious massage...and i can honestly say it was the best massage i've ever had...or maybe i just needed one that badly? regardless, it was just what the mother's day doctor ordered. and just to quickly brag...this is where you soak as you wait to be called back for your treatment...all i have to say is i was so glad we arrived an hour early. they'll even bring you food and drink right to the soaking pool.

to round out our mini spa day we snagged some pizza for everyone for dinner and brought it back to the The Bungalow...because taking five kids out to dinner didn't seem like a super fun idea after a day of relaxing.

work out - massage - soaking - pizza - playing - relaxing - ice cream...just about the most ideal mother's day ever. not to mention all the sweet kisses i received from my two best gal's when we got home.


sunday (actual mother's day) consisted of a late start to the day. the kids played in the snow until it melted off in the 50ยบ temps. we rallied the troops and went out for lunch at the salmon river brewery, walked around town and thought about going ice skating...and then realized the parent to kid ratio + one pregnant gal did not an ice skating adventure make, so we opted for a walk by the lake and then...more ice cream. because...vacation.



to work off the ice cream we headed back to The Bungalow and popped over to the lodge for some hot tub time. that hot tub does not disappoint for young and old alike...and even a little daddy / daughter love affair. these two...they have all the heart eyes for each other.




because of farm and work obligations we headed back down the mountain on sunday evening, but it really was the most perfect little getaway for mother's day. you know you've had a great, little vacation when the kids are exhausted and the parents feel refreshed.

if you're headed to idaho for all it's glorious offerings, i can't recommend a getaway to mccall more. if you have any questions on activities, places to stay, general information - i'm so happy to help! and let me just plug The Bungalow about 27 more times...it's been by far our best vacation rental to date. not a thing was missing or an "oh! i wish the house had this..." situation. it was perfect.

don't hesitate to get in touch with ashely from mccall idaho vacation rentals to book your next vacation!

May 12, 2017

OH HEY, FRIDAY! | SUMMER BREAKY-BREAK + BREAKING & ENTERING


all the good mornings and happy friday's and all that.

and here we are. summer break for oh hey, friday! i think it's high-time...considering there have been over 150 of them in a row. that's...a lot of friday's.

also...amy and i were talking about it last night - since her only blogging day was friday...and then i'm having this third baby and all...maybe our days of blogging are extremely numbered?

who. knows? for those who blog...do you ever wonder when it's time to throw in the towel?

for me, it's kind of like i have to keep going because i did all those monthly updates and photoshoots for kaye and sawyer each month...and can't leave this little turkey behind! they would feel totally left out! or would they?

speaking of feeling left out...don't forget to cast your vote for the gender! so far it's looking like we are supposed to have a mini farmer on our hands! (at least according to the poll...)

okay - it's business time...

1 | grab this here snazzy button and link back to Sept. Farm.
2 | link up your post at the bottom of this post.
3 | tell all your friends + have a fantastic friday.


1 | monday mama - something i want to keep going
hey hey! so...i started this little series every monday and then life got really busy and i stopped reaching out to moms i wanted to feature. low and behold, i have zero moms lined up for this monday or the next or the next.

so...whoops. might have a little monday break this week, but i'll get my act together for the next. promise. and in the meantime - if you are a mama or know of a mama who owns / started their very own business and they want to be featured...i'd just love that!

2 | oh hey, vacation!
today my two best gals and i are headed right on up to our very most favorite place - mccall! we love getting away. amy and her boys are also driving up and we plan on being there well into monday. our two farmers will be driving up later because...farming. but we're just so grateful they can even make it, because...farming. oh...and did i mention amy and i will be enjoying a little spa day in celebration of mother's day? hey hey spoiled!
the past few years i've thrown mother's day celebrations here on the farm, but this year i just...i just didn't have it in me. work, pregnant, excuse, excuse. those parties are a lot of work! plus i would have had to make sure my house was clean...and who has time for that? but you can see past parties here and here and here. holy cow - blast from the past. i can't even believe how little my two mother's day muffins were last year...or the year before...or the year before!!! since there's no party - if you want to see some fun happenings this weekend, be sure to watch the instagram stories!

3 | that mom at swim class

did i already talk about this? i feel like i have because...i don't know whey? anyway, a few weeks ago at swim class a mom who has a daughter in kaye's class stopped me and said, "your daughter is crazy. i'm always afraid she's going to drown."

i was like...mkkkkkk. no response. blank stare fro me, because i don't even know what she's trying to tell me. i think i said, "yeah, she's wild!" (thanks annoying lady.)
fast forward to this week and class and kaye told me afterwards that her coach told her she was acting crazy. well, i put two and two together and was like...bah! kaye - sweetheart, you can't act crazy. you have to be a good listener. we have to learn to swim so we can have a great summer. being a good listener shows mommy you're ready for school and blah blah blah...

kaye felt terrible and said, "okay, mommy." and that was the end of that...
then i got an e-mail the next morning from her swimming coach saying a different time opened up and she wanted to know if we wanted it? ummm...yes! we want it! and by the way - what can i do to make sure kaye's being a good listener and not distracting the other kids?

the coach immediately e-mailed me back and said kaye was not crazy and she's doing really well, she just had a "wiggly body" in the water this week. she's a great listener and she's not distracting other kids.
i pulled kaye aside that morning and told her that the coach loved having her in class and that coach didn't mean she was acting crazy, she just had a wiggly body. i told kaye i was proud of her for being a good listener and for doing so well in class. we both felt better after that convo. 
but that brings me back to that mom. apparently i can't get over it - where did she get off seeking me out, pulling me aside, and telling me that my daughter is going to drown? people are nuts...

4 | did you see how we broke into a house this week?
so...the farmer and i have a rental property in boise (my farmer's first house after college) that we've decided to do a quick quick flip on and then get it on the market. well, work has begun and while we were in town for swimming lessons the girls and i stopped for a smoothie and then headed over to the property - except i forgot the key. hey idiot. i felt so dumb. so...with my glass half full i though, we'll just photograph the exterior and look around at the work that's been done on the yard. well, when we got to the back i remembered there was a dog door! yay! with a board over it. damn. what did i do? i kicked it in. badass. then, i sent kaye through (and sawyer followed). kaye couldn't figure out the lock on the sliding glass door, but she totally figured out the deadbolt on the front door...and just like that - we got into the house. our realtor texted me and said, "breaking and entering is a skill best learned young." i could not agree more.
5 | weekly photo dump
i just can't even with this girl. this was alllllll her. where did she get those sunglasses?

happiest mother's day weekend!
May 08, 2017

MONDAY MAMA | KATIE with BELLE FITNESS & NUTRITION


good morning! are we all super exhausted even though it's monday and we should feel rested?

this pregnancy is really taking it out of me. i've had to tell my farmer more than once that my energy is just zapped. and my poor gals - i snagged them on friday and they've been immediately thrown into the harsh reality that mommy is definitely not as fun as nana and grandpa...and mommy says "no" a lot. bummer.

actually - i told kaye yesterday that mommy needed to sit down for a break because the baby wanted me to...and she COMPLETELY understood. she asked me again later in the day if the baby needed a break, and you know what? the baby does need breaks. multiple times a day. and my sweet sweet four year old is giving me license to do so. kaye really is the most amazingly sensitive and perceptive sweetheart. all the heart eyes for that gal.

which brings me to - three kids. THREE. i know i'm not the first to have three kids. but man does it feel like a big step.

two - i'm used to two / pairs of everything. hands / eyes / ears / legs / boobs...things come in twos.

three? awkward. i guess we can still go out to eat and sit at a square table. my farmer just can't come.

but you know who's killing it in the three department? my gal katie of a worker at home. she really is. it's gals like her that give me the confidence that maybe, i too, can pull this work from home, raise kids, be healthy, do it all - with grace.

let's hear all about it, but first, as a reminder -

monday mama is a little series i put together to feature moms who have started their own businesses. i was curious as to how these moms were balancing their day to day lives and still looked like they had brushed their hair...because friends...i'm still struggling. #hotmess

with that...katie of a worker at home AND her brand new business - Belle Fitness & Nutrition!

KARLI |  where did your idea for your small business come from?

KATIE | There's so much noise and clutter out there in the fitness industry. So many women get sucked into the "eat this but don't eat this" mentality or follow a crowd to the newest and latest diet (ugh I hate that word!). Or, they spend hours on a treadmill thinking that's how they are going to lose weight or place drastic restrictions on themselves because we're supposed to be miserable and hungry all the time right!? No. Please, no. I want to be a breath of fresh air in an industry that heaps on guilt and overwhelm. I started Belle Fitness & Nutrition to help men and women find hope and freedom in being fit and strong and confident in who they are and where they are in their own life. Following a workout plan from a magazine or youtube video can be great, but I think to actually reach long-term goals sometimes we just need someone who has experience and an outside perspective to be there for us. We may need someone to keep us accountable and push us towards doing the hard things and making the changes we need to.

Many people can't afford a personal trainer at a gym who they would only see once a week, and they wouldn't necessarily be paired with a trainer who was best for them anyways. For people who aren't able to fit the traditional personal trainer model into their lives like busy professionals, mamas, military families like ours (who move around a lot or are left solo-parenting regularly), and others, hiring an online personal trainer and nutrition coach just makes a whole lot more sense. I'm able to meet my clients where they are at in their lives, get to know them personally to best coach them and they can work through our training program on their schedule. Plus they have access to me through email or text any time of day or night.

KARLI | who's your biggest support?

KATIE |  My husband by far is my biggest support even when he's thousands of miles away. He has never doubted me for a second and has cheered me on even when I doubted myself. He's my better half for sure.

KARLI | what's been your biggest win?

KATIE |  I have been working with some amazing women in the few months since I have been officially open for business. Besides seeing them lose inches and pounds they thought were pretty stubborn, it has been incredible to see their mindsets shift from guilt or uncertainty or obsession with food or with the scale to freedom from all of that. Seeing these women realize the beauty and simplicity of listening to their bodies, making self-care important, and working hard to feel strong and healthy and energetic in a way that works in their lives has floored me. My clients who are from all walks of life and are all in different stages of life fire me up every day to keep doing what I'm doing. Their encouragement to me whether through feedback on the programs they are going through, or the texts they send me after they have had an awesome day will always be major wins to me. It's the little things that mean so much!

KARLI | how do you balance your business and your kids? 

KATIE | I solo-parent thanks to the military taking my husband away for extended periods of time, and am mom AND dad a lot of the time, so to say life is exhausting is an understatement. Finding a balance will forever be tricky especially with how often our family's life changes. To me, it all comes down to priorities. I work out every day because it's a priority to me. When my husband is home, focusing on our marriage is a top priority. So because running a business and being a mom who is present and engaged with my littles are important to me too, I intentionally set aside time every day to drop all of the distractions and focus on those things. Being able to work with clients and trying to grow as a professional in the few hours of quiet I (might) get rejuvenates and refreshes me, so that helps me feel motivated. When it comes time to be with my kids, I know that Belle will be waiting for me as soon as I am back.

KARLI | where do you see Belle Fitness & Nutrition in the future?

KATIE |  I hope to continue to grow and work with more clients online. Eventually, if my husbands' schedule becomes more predictable (ha!) I would love to start training clients locally in person too. Even if that doesn't happen, the beauty of Belle F&N is that training and coaching nutrition online can go wherever the military takes us, and I'm always just a text or email away from my clients! what do you do with your kids while you work? If they are sleeping, I'm usually getting work done. If I'm working while they are awake, they are with each other in our play room. They are so young, that independence is a struggle for them most days, but as they get older they are playing together more and I'm able to get more work done.


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total rockstar - that katie. military wife. she's moved all over the country. three babies. business owner. passionate about her health and others'. TOTALLY INSPIRATIONAL!

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and hey! are you a mama or know of a mama who wants to be featured on Sept. Farm for the Monday Mama series? i'd absolutely love that. the only criteria is that you have to be a mama AND have started your own business...you know, so you can share your wealth of knowledge on how you're keeping your sh*t together while simultaneously tending your children throughout the day AND working. hello power-multi-tasker. just send me an e-mail at karli@sept-farm.com.

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