A Scenic Hike for 5

Pinetop Arizona Day Hike

My father-in-law convinced us all to take a scenic hike through the White Mountains while on vacation last weekend. I’m so glad that he did! It was gorgeous. I was able to chat with my father-in-law, sister-in-law, her boyfriend and my husband without interruption. The only interruption came when Lauren and I thought there was a snake around every turn, “It’s just a cricket Ryan would tell us.” Riiiiiight. Crickets hiss and rattle, eh? (don’t tell him, but he was probably right, and we were probably just paranoid.)


Pinetop Arizona Day Hike

Pinetop Arizona Day Hike

You know a hike is legit when you sport a fanny pack for your water. Notice the hats? The minute he puts a ASU hat on, I have to cancel him out by wearing a UofA hat, naturally.  Hey, they say opposites attract.

PInetop Arizona HikePinetop Arizona Day Hike


There was this dog named, Billy, who was hiking with his owners. It was the cutest thing to watch him jump into the creek and then run up the hill to catch up with the rest of us. Billy made me miss our pooch, Logan. He would have loved it up here.

Pinetop Arizona Day Hike

Rob knew everything about this area. We joked that we had our own personal tour guide along for the ride. We were sure lucky to have him too … because I’m pretty sure without his guidance we would have taken a few wrong turns and ended up in the woods with snakes … ahem, lots of crickets around.

Pinetop Arizona Day Hike

Pinetop Arizona Day Hike

many hats of a mom

And that is my husband frolicking in the forest. In this moment, my husband was dancing around when he came upon an empty water bottle that some other hiker left behind. It was empty. It was crushed. And it was a bit gross. Ryan immediately picked it up and said, “It’s a good thing I found this. We need to keep the forest clean,” and then stuffed that nasty water bottle into his little fanny pack and kept on hiking. Yep, just call him Park Ranger Cross.





And then … my father-in-law says “Anyone want to go to Green’s Peak?” It’s just a quick 30 minute drive and its beautiful, I am told. Sure. No big deal, right? Well, he failed to mention that we would be taking a giant incline up the steepest mountain ever in our Jeep. Did I mention I am terrified of heights?

I nearly peed my pants on the drive up, but we made it. And it was beautiful. There were cows along the way, lots of pretty clouds and great views to take it. Oh, and on the way back to the cabin, Rob treated us to funnel cake from a local Indian stand near the casino. The day was perfect, in my opinion.



greens peak

greens peak

greens peak

funnel cake

“Mom, I got this.”

Kelsey has the art of posing in front of the camera down like a science. It’s like girls are just born with natural swagger. Colton on the other hand could care less if the camera is pointed his way.

I kept saying, “Colon, look over here. Colton, look at mommy. Colton, smile.” Finally, Kelsey took matters into her own hands and said, “Mom, I can get him to look at you.” Thanks, Kelsey.

little bear lake - manyhatsofamom.com

little bear lake - manyhatsofamom.comlittle bear lake We took these two to “Little Bear Lake” and watched as they strutted around. Kelsey was so proud to show me her “camp site”. It was actually this location where Ryan and Kelsey recently went camping (more from their past kids camping trip here.) We hope the first few days of summer are treating you well. We sure are having fun.

Christmas Trees and Eskimo Kisses

We did it. We cut down our first Christmas tree. Let me rephrase that. Ryan and my father-in-law cut down our first Christmas tree. Kelsey and her cousin went with them and picked it out. I told Kelsey to look for a tree that was tall, was green, and was bushy. So she did!

Colton and I didn’t go with them because it was 30 degrees. To Colton that’s like a million below freezing so my mother-in-law and I stayed behind. Kelsey was so proud of this tree. It’s not as full as what I’m used to, but she was so proud of her selection that it made me so happy to display it.

We’re up for this adventure again next year. Only if Colton and I get to go.
.Christmas Winter gap baby christmas in winterOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAchristmas kidsEskimo kisses. Snow. These two go hand in hand.

Christmas christmas tree Christmas Tree Forest

And they’re off! The hunt for the perfect tree begins.
 .Christmas Tree Forest Christmas Tree ForestFound it! Merry Christmas.

The Family Hat: Father’s Day Rewind

I am finally getting around to uploading photos from Father’s Day. I know. I know. But, we’ve been busy around here. I love these pictures because they represent how much fun we had.

We had a mini pool party in my parents backyard. My mom held no mercy when it came to the squirt guns and literally blasted everyone! Even Kelsey. (She’s kind of competitive).

I just love summer pool days (although we’re getting ready for cooler weather). Come August, everyone out here is just ‘so over’ the heat. Soon enough we’ll be dabbling in fall color, candles and cooler nights.


The Travel Hat: His and Her Hikes

Ryan and Rob hiked one morning. I mean, really hiked. Like, a we-spotted-deer-within-yards-from-us-because-we-were-so-far-up-the-mountain kind of hike. I spotted them on their decline, just as I was looking outside my room window (note: lazy and tired) and snapped a pic.

The next day, the girls decided to give it a whirl. We took Kelsey and made it to the … well, not really even close to the top, but we got a good work out in regardless. Or, I did rather. I ended up carrying Kelsey half way up the hill.

She loved it though. We would pass really tall grass and colorful thistles and she would say, “these are like the flowers in Pixie Hollow”. So cute. And sad to admit that the only reason I knew they are called thistles is from Tinker Bell movies too.


hiking 12

hike in deer valley

deer valley hike hike in deer valley hike in deer valley hike in deer valley hike in deer valley

hike in deer valley(See the boys? Look closely.)

hike in deer valley

(Ryan picked Kelsey a bouquet of wildflowers on his hike)

wildflower boquet


hike in deer valley

hike in deer valleyhike in deer valley

hike in deer valley, utah

 hike in deer valley        hike in deer valley

 deer valley hike

The Friendship Hat: Saturday Swim Party

The best part of suburbia is nearly every home comes with a pool. And I told you, the pool is where you can find us this summer. Saturday, The Tings came over for a dip. They brought the cocktails, we made the snacks and – together with the babes – we jumped in. We soaked in the sun for over 2 hours.

Afterwards, I ordered a small pizza. It was brought to my attention (many times that night) that no one (apparently no one) orders an 8 inch pizza. Ryan finally got over the pizza’s small size and before I knew it, it was 8pm and Ryan, Colton and Kelsey were passed out in bed. The sun did the trick!






The Travel Hat: Princeville Horseback Ride

You can’t get a better view than this. Horseback riding in Princeville was one of the most scenic things we have ever done. Neither one of us had ridden a horse before, so when we saw this Waterfall Horseback Picnic Ride, we jumped at the chance. Out of all of the activities we did in Kauai, this horseback ride was our favorite.

kauai adventures horseback riding

Princevill Ranch Adventures

horseback ride kauai horseback ride kauai horseback ride kauai

The tour guides, the horses, the location, the weather … it was all perfect. We started our morning getting acquainted with our horses. Then, we saddled up and hit the open road. We rode for about 45 minutes before coming to a “parking lot” where we tied up the horses.

We then hiked down to a beautiful waterfall where we stopped for lunch. In case you were wondering there were chickens walking around by the waterfall (where do these guys come from?). They are like ants of the island. Everywhere.

princeville ranch adventures princeville ranch adventures

Of course, Ryan and I jumped right into the waterfall. When in Rome, right? The water was freezing, but well worth it. Then we hiked back to camp where we met our horses for the second half of the ride. The hike was amazing. You were in the middle of nowhere and somewhere spectacular, all at the same time.

princeville ranch adventureshiking in kauaiRyan was our ‘mule’. He carried the medicine and first aid kit for the group. In his hand was another bag (as if he wasn’t carrying enough) complete with my iPhone and camera case. What a good man, eh?
.princeville ranch adventures OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have no idea what was so funny. In fact, Ryan wasn’t taking picture of me here. He was getting a photo of this beautiful tree – just look at those roots! Probably some of the most beautiful (and apparently funny) landscape we have ever seen.

princeville horseback riding

princeville ranch adventuresMy horse, Rusty, kicked in the back of the line the entire time. When I asked why he was so slow our tour guide replied, “He’s next to retire”. Fabulous. Ryan had the opposite problem.

His horse, Hanna, hated to be last. So he shimmied his way to the front of the line every time we rode. I think Hanna made Ryan feel like a real Cowboy. You should have heard him! He kept saying, “You know. They told me this was the same kind of horse they rode in Braveheart.” His favorite movie. Yes, babe. You looked just like Mel Gibson up there.

princeville ranch horseback riding

We would highly recommend the Waterfall Picnic ride at Princeville Ranch. My pictures don’t do the view justice. Two thumbs up from us.

The Travel Hat: Kauai Beach and Pool

If you get the chance to vacation to Kauai, Hawaii – take it! It’s truly remarkable. I don’t think Ryan and I have ever seen a place so lush in trees, exotic plants, roosters (more on that later) and beautiful mountainsides.

There is history every where you turn – from the filming of Jurassic Park to a mountain that looks like King Kong to a little bar called The Nui where they filmed The Descendents. The North Shore was filled with so many great stories. I’ll walk you through some of our adventures and our tips on what to do when you’re in Kauai a bit later.

But first, we start at the pool. Day One of paradise, Ryan and I hung out at the St. Regis resort pool for five hours. Five. Hours! I had to pry Ryan off of his chair, only because we had a dinner to get to. I would argue with you that this was the best resort pool and beach in Kauai.

The Pool at St. Regis Princeville is a large infinity pool overlooking Hanalei Bay and the views do not disappoint. Get their early before everyone else and you’ll get some great photos. Walk down to the beach and you may see some roosters. They are everywhere.

The poolside restaurant is the Nalu Kai Grill – which opens for cocktails at 10:30am. Yep, you guessed it. We were first in line for drinks – Mai Tai for him Pele’s Lemonade for me. Here’s a peek into what the pool area and beach looks like.

st regis kauai pool

This is real life. I didn’t even edit this photo.
st regis kauai poolst regis kauai pool

st regis kauai pool

Before settling into a lounge chair, we walked around the beach.
st regis kauai pool

This is Hanalei Bay. The view was unreal.
st regis kauai pool  st regis kauai pool

Chickens. Roosters. Everywhere!
st regis kauai pool
Private dining, anyone? It’s only $890.00 per couple. Only.
st regis kauai pool

My handsome husband.
st regis kauai poolLava rocks, I assume.
st regis princeville pool

This was the view from our room. Ugly, isn’t it?

kauai pool area

And, the bar opens at 10:30am.