Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Happiness Is

Happiness is laughter, 
and what puts a smile on your face.

It could be the feeling of sunshine
or Quinn on the floor playing bass.

Happiness is hunting through tide pools,
and hearing the ocean waves.

It's putting on your favorite apron
and baking cookies to last for days!

It's making memories with family,
to remember when times grow hard.

Remember the times of happiness
when lighting lanterns in the yard.

Happiness is a wish made as the last
of the candles go out.

And knowing that wish will come true someday,
for you don't have reason to doubt.


What are some things in your life that make you happy? 
Share with us down below in the comments!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Our Guide to Juneau - Mendenhall Glacier

We're doing a short little series on our favorite places here in Juneau! So many times up at the tram, we are asked where the locals go, or where the prettiest spots are. 
Well, here are your questions answered! Our favorite places to go to, and the places we think you've just gotta see while you're here!


The glacier is certainly up there in my personal favorite places around Juneau. Not only is the hiking great around this spot, but the views from practically anywhere just can't be beat.

The mountains are usually always visible, even in rainy weather! Tourists coming to Juneau will easily be able to find a bus from downtown to get here, making this a perfect spot to spend an afternoon.

Be careful bringing food, though!
Because of the large black bear population around the glacier, no food is allowed.
In summer, bears are often seen catching salmon or climbing trees near by, so be careful! 

One summer evening my family took some friends to the glacier to see some bears. We had just finished a spaghetti dinner, and my younger sister Valerie (who was very young at the time) had gotten spaghetti sauce all over her shirt. 

A momma bear and her two young cubs were fishing for salmon below a high bridge we were on. One of the little cubs must have smelled Valerie's shirt, because he stood up on his hind legs and sniffed at her as she kneeled down on the bridge to get a better look.
Make sure to stay far from the bears, if you do see one. They are wild animals, and the mother's are especially dangerous if their young cubs are near.

The trails around the Mendenhall Glacier and it's visitor center (offering lots of educational and helpful displays) are easy and available to anyone. 

An easy fifteen minute walk will have you next to Nugget Falls, the large waterfall to the right of the glacier. 

Many icebergs from the calving glacier wash up on the little beach against the waterfall, perfect for photos!

If you can't tell, that's my "Wow! These are colder then I thought they would be!" face.

Ice chunks from the glacier are always floating around the lake, so you'll be sure to see some!

Nugget Falls is very large, and you can often spy mountain goats up along the left hand side of it. Just look for the tiny white dots! Though sadly we didn't see any the day we took this photo...

The other trail that is easily accessed from this spot is the East Glacier trail. This trail involves a bit more uphill hiking, but the views of the glacier and the surrounding valley just cannot be matched! 

Quinn and I hiked this trail with my sister Valerie not long ago and had a great time. Many old pieces of machinery can be seen in the woods from the old mining days on the trail, making it even more fun to explore!

If you want to hike to the glacier, that's a whole different trail on the opposite side of the lake. We hiked that trail at the beginning of the year (and shot a cool video of it) and had lots of fun. It's more for an experienced hiker, as it involves a bit of climbing. To see more of that hike, you can click here.

That's the Mendenhall Glacier for you! 
If you plan to visit Juneau soon, you will have to come see it. It's vanishing fast, so we're trying to appreciate it while we can!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Taking of a Late Honeymoon

We're back!

Yep, a whole week to ourselves. No practice, no work, and lots and lots of sunshine!

Also lots and lots of beach!

Quinn was definitely a happy camper.

I was happy to use my parasol that Quinn had gotten me for Christmas (there hadn't been a whole lot of sunny days to use it back home...).

We made a little video with some of the highlights from our trip, and we thought we'd share it with you! We used our only Hawaiian tune, Mele Kalikimaka (Yes, it is a Christmas song, but I love it so much I sing it all year!), as the song for the video. We hope you enjoy this little look into our vacation!

Quinn and I both agree one of the best highlights was hiking four miles to Hanakapi'ai Falls. We were able to swim in the cold pool underneath it; talk about invigorating! 

We were also able to go to the National Tropical Botanical Garden! Besides seeing the biggest spider ever right outside the bathrooms (Quinn may have almost had a heart-attack), we got to explore the lovely native (and non-native) Hawaiian plant garden. 

Quinn's favorite part?
No, not the spider...

Getting to see these amazing ficus trees! This is where they filmed part of the first Jurassic Park movie. We looked all over for some raptors, but wild roosters were all we saw.

Thank you all so much for all the kind words you left us! We both had an amazing time and we're so happy we got to finally go on our honeymoon.

And yes, we both agreed that we would never move away from Juneau (we love our own mountains and beaches too much...even if there isn't nearly enough sunshine!).

This little break away from home was nice, but now we're ready and looking forward to a summer full of shows and new exciting adventures! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Blog Note:

Hello friends and readers! 
Emily here, and I have some exciting news to share:

Quinn and I are finally getting to go on our honeymoon!

Because of the timing when we got married last July, we were not able to leave Juneau. It was the middle of tourist season, and we needed to play with the rest of the family, and we've been so busy ever since!

Quinn surprised me (Yes! Isn't that just lovely?), and we'll be off to the Hawaiian island of Kauai this week! What does this mean for you, you ask? Well I wont be here to write for the blog, so you'll have to go a week without me (sorry!). I promise to tell you about any adventures we may have though.
So until next week, goodbye for now!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Hiking Through the Snow

Not long ago, Paul suggested to Quinn that he take his quadcopter up to a certain waterfall, way up in the mountains, to get some good aerial views of a spot they hiked to quite often when the kids were younger.

Quinn and I had been wanting to go up and do just that, so when a sunny Saturday came along, we headed out!

To get to the amazing waterfall, you needed to take two trails and hike over seven miles round trip.

All while Quinn carried his quadcopter case...

And don't those signs just look super inviting? Haha!

There were some VERY steep cliffs!

Here you can see where a fence has crumbled and fallen away with the rock underneath it. I didn't get too close to the edge, and I made sure Quinn didn't either...

The view down the side of the steep cliffs was just beautiful though, here Ebner Falls twinkles bright blue in the sunlight.

Up and up the trail went, climbing higher and higher into what once was land for gold and mineral mines.

This was clearly seen in the rail tracks visible on some sides of the mountains from old mine carts. We even happened across a mine entrance! A cold wind blew from inside it, but there was no chance to go into the mountain - it was locked up tight (and our mother would not have been happy if we had gone exploring).

The higher we climbed, the prettier the view got!

The original trail we started out on was called the Perseverance Trail, but it branches up into many more trails along the way. The trail we went off on was called Granite Creek trail.

Granite Creek seemed pretty low as we kept on going. Quinn had hiked this trail many times, but usually during summer, when snow is melting quickly and causes the water levels to rise.

We stopped and rested at a beautiful spot on the creek, and of course Quinn had to pull out the sword he brought (you never know when you'll need one).

This was my first time ever hiking the Granite Creek trail, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I can tell you one thing: I wasn't expecting to hike through snow!

Yes, near the end of the trail, a whole beautiful valley opened up before our eyes...and there was snow everywhere! 

Thankfully we had worn good hiking shoes, but that didn't stop snow from getting in them! But the cold, wet feet was worth it seeing the view before us:

The waterfall roared next to us as we sat down in the sun to eat some lunch and take in our beautiful surroundings. We were so awed by God's beautiful creation that we started singing, and didn't stop till we were already part way back down the mountain.

We put a little video together so we could share with you the adventures and views we saw that day.

This was my first time going up Granite Creek trail, and it wont be the last!

He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth-- the LORD God Almighty is his name.
Amos 4:13

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Photos in the Rain

If you've been following the band's adventures since last September, you may remember a particular blog post (read it here) about how I wasn't in any of the band pictures (and why that needed to change). 

Well I have good news! I am finally going to be in an actual band picture! And this time, I wont have to photoshop my one-year-old adorable face into it! 

Yes, I was an adorable little one-year-old.
But a band picture takes a lot of work to organize, namely matching outfits and lots of makeup and fancy hair-dos! 
Also, crazy socks!
Our feet weren't going to be in the pictures, and it was a bit too nasty outside to hike around in heals. So boots are what we wore!

Our cousin Henry came over to take the photos. We started out downstairs in Abigail's studio to first get some close-ups(because we knew when we came back our hair and makeup would be done-for).

But all too soon it was time to go out into the elements, so we each bundled up (us girls being careful to not crease and wrinkle our freshly ironed dresses) and set out for the end of North Douglas Island, just a few miles from home.

Doesn't Abby look great in her beehive hair-do?
And can you tell she's already cold?

Off we went! Cameras, instruments, and rain gear all piled high in our arms.
Thankfully, it didn't rain too much while we took the pictures. But let me tell you, there was a strong, cold wind blowing most of the time!

Melissa remarked to me that this was the coldest photo shoot she had ever done, but Quinn was quick to remind her of every other band photo shoot (some including glaciers and chilly waterfalls). She agreed that maybe this photo shoot wasn't that bad...

Well, we all agreed it could have been warmer!

I wont point any fingers...

but someone had the bright idea to bring Cedar with us.

She made it into quite a few of our pictures by accident.

Can you tell we're freezing? 

Oh yes, we are so, so lovely.
Well Abigail and I are at least!

I simply can't tell you how excited I am to finally finally finally be in a band picture! I mean, Quinn and I have been married for almost a year, and I've been playing with the band for longer then that! But I'm not bitter, promise.