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  • Wes Novack 9:29 pm on June 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Vibrant turquoise waters of Bear Lake 

    This past weekend we made the drive up north to visit Bear Lake. Sliced just about symmetrically by the Utah/Idaho border, the lake is nestled in the mountains, offering up sandy beaches, gorgeous views and unbelievably bright blue-green aqua water.

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    The photo above does not accurately capture the brilliance, beauty and vibrant colors of the lake water.

    We stayed in a dinky, miniature cabin (and I use that term loosely), at the KOA camp grounds at Bear Lake.

    The place was wayyy too small for 2 adults and 2 toddlers. Sardine life FTL! Tera guesstimated it at about 200 square feet.

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    Thankfully the KOA grounds do offer many family friendly amenities such as a jumping pillow, a playground, pools, etc. We got settled in on Friday and then hung out at the playground and pool whilst sipping on a few brewskis. The boys thoroughly enjoyed the pool while wearing their life jackets. The boys enjoyed floating, bobbing, spinning, swimming, splashing and playing with us.

    Day 2

    On our second day, we drove up to the North beach area to meet our friends who were RV’ing it up.

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    It was a cold, windy, drizzly day, but we still had a good time hanging with friends by the campfire, letting the boys play at the beach with Jozie and spending some time in the hot springs pool, directly adjacent to our friends’ camp site.

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    The camper door and mini sliding window was a hit with the boys

    After hanging at the camp for a bit, we were off to the beach for some play time!

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    The boys found a sand castle and immediately stomped down the towers. We built a couple more towers, which were then promptly destroyed, naturally. After that, wet sand balls were harvested and tossed into the puddles for a half hour of fun.

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    If you couldn’t tell, I was thoroughly impressed by the beauty of Bear lake and I would like to return when it’s warmer, and not stay at the KOA.

    Thank you to LaDawn, Dave and family for inviting us out!

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  • Wes Novack 1:50 pm on April 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Happy Easter 2014! 

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    Happy Easter! This year, we held a backyard Easter egg hunt for the boys mid-week and then on the weekend, we attended the “6th Annual Vegan Easter (no) Egg Hunt and vegan potluck!” organized by veganfamilies.org and sponsored by Cakewalk Baking Company. Huge thanks to Kelly Green, Cakewalk and all volunteers for putting on this amazing event!

    Dan.Easter.2014

    Wes.Boys.Easter.Event.2014

    Kim.Boys.Easter.2014

     

    We captured a few videos of the festivities, which you can checkout below.

    Backyard Easter egg hunt

    6th Annual Vegan Easter (no) Egg Hunt

    Water guns!

    We also gave the boys a few squirt guns, and they had a great time running around the yard, shooting each other, squirting us and squealing with joy.

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    On Easter Sunday, Papa, Nana and cousin Brayden came over and we all had a good time running around outside, playing, shooting water guns and bouncing on the trampoline.

     
  • Wes Novack 6:21 pm on April 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Zion’s Riverside Walk trail 

    While in Springdale, we consulted with the locals and were advised that the Riverwalk trail inside Zion would be the most appropriate hike for toddlers.

    The 2 mile, round trip, paved trail, runs alongside a river within a canyon, with mellow ups and downs. We rolled the stroller along with us, in case the boys got tired, but it definitely wasn’t necessary. I’m sure the boys would have preferred to walk run the entire time, but since it was pretty cold at first, the stroller allowed us to bundle them up with a blanket.

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    The hike was a very easy one, although it was a bit straining to push the fully loaded double stroller up a few of the hills on the way down the trail.

    It was a gorgeous stroll, with awe inspiring views of the looming canyon walls, with the serene sound of water flowing along beside us.

    At the end of the path, we took the stairs down to the river bed area, where the boys jumped around on the rocks and sand.

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    There were tons of unique stone benches, rock seats and other spots to pause for a rest and a view along the trail.

    Zion was an utterly amazing natural wonder. I hope to get the chance to trek up some of the more advanced trails there in the future.

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    Riverside Walk trail part 2 post coming soon!

     
  • Wes Novack 10:18 pm on April 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Springdale town park 

    If you’re traveling with 2 toddlers, it’s mandatory to seek out a local playground. It’s a must!

    Thankfully Springdale has a quaint little park in the middle of town with breath taking views of the surrounding rock formations, stretching up to the sky.

    I snapped a few photos with the front facing cam on my Moto X, while trying to get the boys to laugh.

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    The playground was perfect for the boys. A few different slides, lots of swings, various obstacles and a rope bridge!

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    The boys were fascinated with the rope bridge, as it was there first encounter with such an obstacle.

    Dylan crossed the bridge over and over (and over!), taking the curved slide down on the other end.

    Ashton preferred the straight double slides and took rides down them most of the time.

    The playground also has a kiddie sized telescope. The boys took turns looking through the lens to view the mountains, but Ashton particularly took a liking to it. He just kept going back to peer through the scope again and again.

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    While Dylan and I were walking around the park, we came upon a ladybug. I let it crawl onto my finger and Dylan stared at it with curiosity. I asked him if he wanted it to crawl on his finger, he said yes, but he held up his shaking finger with trepidation. Once it crawled onto his index digit, he cracked the biggest smile across his face. I then had him hold his hand up, ready to snap the perfect photo. But alas, just as I was about to take the picture, the ladybug flew up into the air and away.

    We had a great time there and Springdale town park certainly has the toddler stamp of approval!

    Another post is coming soon about our hike on the Riverwalk trail in Zion national park.

    More posts about this trip
    Zion’s Riverside Walk trail
    Springdale & Zion National park

     
    • Jason Novack 7:29 pm on April 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Awesome! What is a moto? That’s really cool that you guys got to meet Jesus! I didn’t picture him making funny faces…. :) Tell my nephews I said I love them!

    • Eric 1:46 am on April 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Wow. Zion national park. I would love to go sometime with you guys. The scenery looks amazing and the boys look like they’re having an amazing childhood. Glad you write these posts and share all your activities with us. Looking forward to seeing you all and see how big the boys have gotten

  • Wes Novack 4:24 pm on March 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Springdale & Zion National park 

    ROAD TRIP! March 21-23 we partook on a much needed family getaway to Springdale and Zion National park, situated in the high desserts of southern Utah.

    Our 2 two and a half year old boys behaved very well on the 4.5 hour drive each way, particularly considering that we forgot to bring toys (doh!). Lots of talking, singing, snacking on pretzel sticks (as well as other foods), and even a little DVD viewing ensued, with Thomas the Train and Baby Signing Time videos.

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    The view on the way into Springdale

    We stayed at the Driftwood Lodge in Springdale for 2 nights, and despite my reservations about the pricey rate, it was the perfect accommodation for us. It turns out that the price of everything is inflated in the tiny tourist town of Springdale. Even so, it’s a fantastic place and I wouldn’t hesitate recommending it as a destination.

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    View from our room, side windows

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    View from our room looking back

    Our room, the views and the lodge were idyllic. We stayed in a signature king room in the court of the patriarchs, the only rooms in the lodge that are new.

    The lodge features a heated pool and hot tub, on site laundry, and other amenities. One of the best features for us was the large grassy area near the rear of the property, bordering a serene stream with sandy banks.

    This area was the perfect family haven. Tera and I relaxed to the calming sounds of flowing water, sipping adult beverages. Meanwhile, the boys ran wild in the field, all right on the premises of the lodge.

    The boys had a blast running around in the grass, climbing on chairs, playing with branches, picking wild flowers and repeatedly crossing a makeshift bridge that was covering a hole in the ground.

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    Tree huggers!

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    The toddler bridge!

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    Playing with branches longer than they are tall.

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    Loungin'

    More posts and photos coming soon about the Springdale town park, the playground, our Riverwalk hike, and our scenic drive through Zion national park.

     
    • Eric 8:34 pm on March 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Looks amazing! More pictures of kids and mountain views please. I’d love to join sometime with Honey lol

    • Ben 12:52 pm on March 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Nice tree hugging photo, they are a riot

  • Wes Novack 5:51 pm on January 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    My 2013 top posts on Instagram 

    Statigram invited me to create a video containing my top 2013 most “hearted” posts on Instagram. The result is below (best viewed in Firefox or Internet Exploder 11).

    It’s interesting to see that all of the most popular ‘grams were late 2013. I chalk this up to more and more people using Instagram (compared to the beginning of the year) and more and more friends following me on Instagram (compared to year begin).

    If you want to check out the rest of my Hinstary, you can view my ‘grams on the web at http://instagram.com/wesleytech

     
  • Wes Novack 11:23 pm on October 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Video: the boys first time on their new swings 

    We picked up a couple of toddler seat swings at Lowe’s and hooked them up to our swingset. Below is a video of the boys’ first time on the swings! They loved it!

     
  • Wes Novack 12:03 pm on September 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    College Savings accounts for Ashton & Dylan 

    Ashton & Dylan’s 2nd birthday is coming up soon (Sept 14th)!

    With that in mind, I wanted to let our friends and family know that we have College Savings accounts setup for them. If you’d like to contribute to Ashton & Dylan’s educational funds, you can do so at GradSave by using the following links:

    https://www.gradsave.com/ashtonnovack

    https://www.gradsave.com/dylannovack

    Thank you!

     
  • Wes Novack 5:53 pm on June 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Adventures in toddler land 

    It’s never a dull moment in toddler land. Lately it’s been a whole lot of screaming, throwing things and of course, making huge messes everywhere.

    Today the boys both crawled in the toy box and were chillin.

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    Dylan was chillin so hard that his peeps were calling him up on the baby celly.

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    Yesterday we broke out the single stroller and the boys took turns pushing eachother around the house.

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    There was also some peekaboo, laughing and head petting involved.

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    We also let the boys run around the park and everyone found some sticks to carry around.

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    Dylan found some BIG sticks.

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    It’s always a fun time when we have the boys engaged and an activity to do, but these last couple of weeks their tolerance for playing on their own without our attention has dwindled.

    Of course we’d love to give them attention all day, but we have to get things done around the house!

    But don’t get me wrong, even though it can be frustrating sometimes, every day the boys do something that makes me laugh or smile, which makes it all worthwhile. I couldn’t imagine life without these two cute little human tornadoes in our household.

    Hope you enjoyed this quick little peek into #toddlerlife

     
  • Wes Novack 4:22 pm on December 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    AZ state tax credits 

    Arizona residents! As the end of year quickly approaches, I would like to bring your attention to 2 state tax credit programs that I highly recommend that you take advantage of.

    1) Working Poor tax credit. Get a 100% tax credit for all money donated to a qualifying AZ charitable organization, up to $200 for individuals and $400 for married couples.
    http://www.azdor.gov/TaxCredits/WorkingPoorTaxCredit.aspx

    2) School tax credit. Get a 100% tax credit for all money donated to an AZ school in support of extracurricular fee based activities, up to $200 for individuals and $400 for married couples. Tax credit carries over to new years if not fully utilized.http://www.azdor.gov/TaxCredits/SchoolTaxCreditsforIndividuals.aspx

    Please take advantage of these fantastic state tax credits and support your local community!

     
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