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We’re Home. I dread unpacking…


When we were leaving Idaho to come home to Colorado, my little boy shouted, “Yay, let’s go home!!”  And my little girl grumbled, “I don’t want to go home.”  Our little guy craves his routine but our little girl knows that once we go home, each and every minute won’t be jam packed with visits and scheduled outings and cousins and new faces, etc.

Sorry little Missy.  All vacations come to an end.


We all enjoyed ourselves though.  It was great to get away for a week. 

And Steve (my husband) enjoyed his time away from his grad school books.

. . .



Steve and I both received our undergrad in Rexburg, ID…… BYU-Idaho.  We took a stroll through campus one day and couldn’t believe all of the changes.  It made my heart miss that tiny little campus.  But I love the growth, the huge new buildings, and the new flow and busy-ness of campus.  It was refreshing to stroll around for a few hours.




Another place we decided to visit?  Yellowstone Bear World.  It’s right between Rexburg and Idaho Falls (which is where my husband is from).  While living there, I swore I would never pay the money to visit that silly bear zoo.  Our loss all those years…….because it was definitely worth the money.  And so much fun for our kiddos.  We have been to the real Yellowstone (which is big, grand, and breathtaking) a few times but you never know what animals you’re going to see there, if any at all.  So we decided to skip the 2 hour drive and the risk of hibernating animals……and check out Bear World instead.



At Bear World, you can drive around this large fenced in area, and see all sorts of animals……..right from your car.



And you have to drive slow.  Really slow.



But that’s okay, there’s lots to see.  (We loved it so much…..we drove through twice.)




And after the little driving tour, they have a great little petting zoo (that’s where my little guy watched the pig poo, from this post)…….that my little kiddos loved.




My little girl thought it was especially cool to feed the baby deer.




My little guy gave it a try too……but the deer pawed his stomach with his hoof, begging for more grass.  And, well, if felt like  punch to the gut.  And he was traumatized.




Oh, their other favorite?  Watching the baby bears.  They were such cute little show-offs.





And maybe you thought Bear World was enough animals for the kiddos……nope, it wasn’t.

Steve’s grandpa has horses.… they were so excited to feed them the next day.




And picking the wild flowers out in his big open field, may have been my little girls favorite thing to do.




And in case you were wondering if we left Baby Girl home in Colorado…….no, she was there too.  Usually smiling as she was shuffled from lap to lap.   She truly was as happy as a sweet little clam.  (Are clams really that happy?)



The rest of the trip was filled with lots of beautiful family, dear old friends, swimming, parks, BBQs, and just plain relaxing.  It was all thoroughly enjoyed.  Can we come back to you Idaho?  Thanks for having us and giving us such great weather.  It was perfect.



(And those of you living nearby…….sorry we missed you.  I kept thinking I should plan a little meet-up.  Or lunch.  Or something.  But there just wasn’t time to plan anything before leaving.  Bummer.  But those of you in Colorado…….we should plan something.  Ideas???)

. . .



Now we’re back home.  And holy cow, the laundry pile is huge. 


Isn’t it some unwritten rule that you have to take a vacation after you go on a vacation?


Sit there all you want dirty laundry…….today is resting day. :)



Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Marybeth says:

    This post cracked me up and made me sad at the same time. I moved from Idaho Falls to Colorado this week. My husband and I met at BYU-I and I grew up just north of Rexburg. So I’m missing Idaho but so far things are going well. My biggest pet peeve with BYUI growing bigger is the no parking on streets next to campus.

  2. Anonymous says:

    We went to Yellowstone this summer and Bear World was the only place we actually saw a bear. We had a bear walk right in front of our car, stop, and proceed to lick the bumper for a few minutes. My kids can’t stop talking about it. I am pretty sure we rode that little train at least 25 times with my 2 year old.

  3. Kacey says:

    Did you make a pit stop at Temple Square? Because I’m pretty sure I saw you with your cute little family as I was leaving the General RS Meeting! I didn’t say anything though…seemed too stalker-ish. Haha. :)

    1. Ashley says:

      How funny! Yes, that was totally us!! 2 other girls emailed me asking me the same thing. Why didn’t you stop us?!?!?! That would have been so funny to meet someone that read this ‘ol blog. Well, as long as I wasn’t tripping, scolding a child, or sticking out my gut. Haha!!!! Temple square was seriously crowded but we were determined to show the kiddos the statue of Christ. Totally worth it. Anyway…….next time, yank on my pant leg or the back of my shirt, then I’ll just think you’re one of the kids. Haha!! ;)

  4. Kimberly @ The Brown Eyes Have It says:

    I knew you were at Bear World (with my kids all confirming it for me!) My husband refuses to go to Bear World, we live very close, but my parents always take my kids. This year, the animals were okay, half of them are still scared of the petting zoo animals (not big animal lovers in my house), but the rides are sooo cool! They keep asking to go to Bear World just for the rides. :)
    Yup, it’s a little sad to see BYU-I get so big. I miss the old day of Ricks, especially since it meant so many less college kids. lol Sometimes they are so annoying. :) But Rexburg is the best!

  5. Kylie says:

    Your kids are so adorable. Itnis fun to see them grow in your posts. My husband and I just left Rexburg for southern Idaho and I guess it still reminds me of studying and tests so it’s not quite so nostalgic for me yet. We never did go to Bear World, we spent more time at the sand dunes :) but I might have to convince him to go back and visit sometime!

  6. Becki says:

    It was so good to finally meet up with you guys! Pablo and I have talked about you and your family for days now! Pablo was so grateful to see Steve again and said it was awesome to see him with his kids. Good luck on the laundry, etc.

  7. Michelle says:

    Oh we live in Rexburg :) My husband and I met on campus as well! We just moved back after been gone a few years and i get lost on campus now! It’s changed a lot. Glad you had fun and totally understand not having a get-together. I would have loved to meet you but who wants to clutter their vacation with work? And I also refuse to go to Bear World because of the money but you have convinced me its worth it!

  8. Kirsten says:

    Welcome home to CO again:) Ever since you moved here I’ve been wondering if I ever might bump into you, so I’d approve of a meet up! Of course, when I think of it, and check out the moms with cute kids running around the craft store, or other locations, I remind myself that I’m not really a stalker, and to back off!!! And then I wonder if you ever see people wandering around town toting something along that’s a replica of what you’ve posted. Has it ever happened to you? Anyway, thank you for all of the work you put into this blog… I truly love it and am so inspired by it! I had gone several months of being in a rut craftiness-wise, but then you posted the adorable little leggings post and it suddenly flung me back into creativity mode! I made some very similar pants for my son using fleece last year, and I suddenly knew that this was a quick and easy project that my now 15 month old could benefit from, and ever since I’ve mended a couple pairs of jeans for my brother (reminds me of your jeans and brother post!), a cosmetic bag for his girlfriend, and an ergo styled baby carrier (I could have used your step-by-step instructions, but it turned out amazingly anyway!). Now my husband keeps hinting at me needing to make a replacement tent bag… that’s next… maybe… Anyway, I’m rambling. What I’m getting at though, is that I LOVE your blog and so much appreciate all you share with us! Thank you!

  9. Stephanie says:

    I miss our dear little Rexburg! Watching the campus grow makes my heart hurt and wish we were there to experience it all. That’s great you went to Bear World. We drove past that place hundreds of times without a second glance. Looks like it really is worth it!

  10. Laura says:

    I understand your nostalgia over Rexburg, ID. My hubby and I also went to BYU-I, and we got to visit Rexburg on our way through from Nevada to Montana this summer. I never realized how much I’d miss that place, but I really do…so many good memories. My first child was born there, but we moved away when she was very young (8 years ago–aaaggghhh), so she was thrilled about being able to go see where she was born. Good ol’ Rexburg :)

  11. Danette says:

    Glad you had such a good time in good old Idaho! It was great to see you again, keep in touch.

  12. Kel says:

    Thanks for sharing your holiday (and previous poop post – hilarious) :-) Looks and sounds like you had a lovely time.
    Wish I wasn’t so far away (Australia) – I wanna visit bear world! Haha.
    I’ll go to Koorana Crocodile farm for you instead…

  13. Kiersten says:

    Funny, when I was at Ricks, I won tickets on the radio for bear world so my cousin (also my roommate) and I went together. We thought it was lame. But if I had kids, I probably would have thought it was great!

    We also went back to Rexburg this summer (where my husband and I met) after 7 years of being gone and I couldn’t believe the changes! It was so fun to walk around campus and reminisce. It was especially fun to check out the Snow building, where we both spent most of our time. It was so surreal to be there. I loved it but I’m glad I don’t have to deal with those winters anymore! We live in San Diego now.

  14. Candee says:

    OH! Good old Rexburg! That’s where my husband and I met. His family lives there so we visit often. I can’t believe the changes there, either. But I tell ya, Idaho boys are the BEST!

  15. julianne says:

    I can’t believe that you were in rexburg! (that’s where i live) i would of loved to meet you!

  16. Emily says:

    Glad to hear your thoughts (and see your pictures) about Bear World. We’ve been in IF for three years and haven’t been.

  17. Emily says:

    Welcome to Colorado! We hope you enjoy it here :)

  18. Anonymous says:

    When I go to visit family, I always borrow the washing machine the night before we leave. I do load after load while we visit or play a board game or watch a movie. That way I can unpack clean laundry instead of dirty and actually get in a rest day when we get back home.

  19. Kristen says:

    You just made me “homesick”! I never really considered Rexburg home until we moved away, but now we miss it so much! We’re hoping we can get back to check out BYU-I sometime soon, too. I want to see what they’ve done with the place!

  20. t says:

    my neck of the woods! excellent!

    hugs, T
    (blackfoot, idaho)

  21. Blythe says:

    Oh,looks like lots of fun!!!
    Goats are fun,your kids would probably love my sisters goats,she raises nigerian dwarfs….the baby goats are like lap dogs. :)

    OHHH,horses are fun too.

  22. Janeen says:

    It’s great to see your cute family; they are all growing so fast! Glad you got to reminisce a little in good old Rexburg. :)

  23. Amie {Kitty Cats and Airplanes} says:

    Holy my goodness I LOVE BEAR WORLD! The hubs and I went two or three times while we were at BYU-I. Seeing this post made me miss Rexburg sooo badly…we left over a year ago once my hubby graduated and we’ve been aching to go back.

  24. Anonymous says:

    My hubby and I graduated from there too, but never went to Bear World. We might just have to visit with our kiddos!

  25. Audrey says:

    Okay you have me convinced. I’ve been in Rexburg for 3 years and have never been to Bear World… I guess we better go! And I see your daughter has a Sophie Giraffe… I have a little present for her:) I’ll need your address though!

  26. Heidi says:

    Yes…a vacation from your vacation!!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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