twenty.eight and life is great

Not to be all Suzy Sunshine, but this year for my birthday, I got everything I ever wanted! How often can an American consumer say that?

The Kosker's took their first family camping vacation over my birthday and look what fell out of the sky on the anniversary of my birth...

So glad that Jake was a cat in a previous life and still has those reflexes! To top off that gift from heaven, look what I found when I was unwrapping my present...

"Happy bday MOM"

So, since I was a closet Catholic school girl growing up, the only thing (if we're talking extremes here) I ever wanted was to be a mom! (It's possible that getting married was a more important goal than getting a college degree, but I will never confirm that. Yes, for me being married was a given if I was ever gonna be a mom. Who's a prude?) Since her butt said "Happy Birthday Mom", I figure that I get to keep her! WOW!

Crater Lake NP was gorgeous, but definitely only a 2-day event. I mean, how long can you look at the same lake? It was really hot during the day and the surrounding area was high dessert, so not too appealing for exploration. I love this next pic 'cause it catches Jake looking serious- didn't think that was possible! Also, please note that Jake is wearing my orange Life Is Good yoga tee. He packed ONE tee-shirt for this trip (P U!).

Since Hazel was being such a great camper, we took her for some killer (literally, ask my glutes) hikes around Crater Lake National Park . Check out the pristine water...Then Jake decided to show me his manliness and jumped off of a huge cliff. He tried to talk me into it, but since I finally have everything I want, I didn't want to risk leaving this earth.

This sweet girl and I hung-out at the base of Crater Lake while Jake tried (ouch, that word has to hurt his ego!) to fish. This pic makes me think of the ole Bible School classic "I've got the whole world, in my hands...".

For dinner we had foil packs stuffed with marinated chicken (rooster to be exact, guess how I know?) breasts with peppers and onions. We also had rice as a side dish, but I forgot to pack a pot (I also forgot an axe, extra water and matches. We looked like mega-inexperienced campers!). So, Jake went to a near-by camp site and asked a nice family if we could borrow their pot. Turns out they were from Switzerland (as is my grandfather). This made me excited and I walked over to tell them about my heritage and relatives that are in Switzerland. So, I guess to thank us for borrowing their pot and in honor of my Swissness, they gave us a HUGE bag of Swiss chocolates. Best birthday cake EVER!

Then our trip continued to Grants Pass where we spent 2 blissful days with my 2nd cousin, Becky and her hubby (I didn't get permission to post pics of them and I'm in the mood to abide by some internet etiquette today). Finally our trip ended with a swoop down to California so that I could hump a redwood....

I wouldn't joke about a thing like that.
I'll end this mega-post with one more picture of sweet Hazel. Check out her awesome hat (the pic doesn't actually show all of the cute details, but you get an idea!) made by Sarie...


  1. 1) Your new camera is definately worth the money!
    2) Glad vacation went so well!
    3) Good thing you were unprepared those chocolates must have been amazing!!
    4) Hazel is ridiculously cute in every picture! How does one pull that off? I'm going to start taking lessions from her;)

  2. Julie! Hazel just keeps getting prettier and prettier. And your vacay looks amazing! I can't wait to see all these places for myself. You make me miss camping, too - I haven't done it for real in about six years - I do have a tent though and I will make it a priority!

  3. HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY JULIE! Hazel is such a cutie and it looks like you guys haven't skipped a beat with having her around. I'm glad you had such a good day and that you got everything you wanted:) That was pretty clever of Jake to write you a birthday note on her bum. I have memories of camping with you guys last year at this time.

  4. I love your new camera, my neice, and you two, too! The pic of Jake jumping off the cliff should go in an REI catalog or something!

  5. Julie,

    I'm glad to see you didn't make Hazel sleep in that tarp you and Jake used to call a tent!!! She atleast had walls all around her.
    :) Kelly


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