this past weekend, i was invited to host a pop-up event with my local madewell store. and it was simply the best! i had such a great time choosing looks + partying the afternoon away with friends + family, and sweet guests. such an honor to have spent the day at one of my favorite stores. special thanks to sam, claire, and team at arbor hills for all their help along the way + for helping make the afternoon special and perfect.
i am beyond excited to be partnering with my local madewell store at arbor hills to co-host a pop up event!
i’ll be there this saturday, december 2nd from 1-3pm. come on out and celebrate with sips + snacks from local vendors [ i can hardly wait to try them all!] and an amazing shopping discount. i hope to see my local friends + family there and cannot wait to shop with you! xx
this year was definitely a special one. i turned 30 in april, my dad turned 60 in may, and my mimi turned 80 this past week. and this week in june was even more special, as our entire family flew out to arizona to spend this special time with her and to help celebrate a new decade.
i haven’t been back to arizona, in the summer, in quite some time. probably not since i was a little girl. but holy smokes, it is hot [insert flame emoji x 100]. and people from around here like to say, “yeah, but it’s a dry heat”. no heat is heat my friends. and it was scorchin’ at 107 degrees. we spent most of our days soaking up each other + soaking in the pool. eating eegee’s every day, and hunting lizards in the mornings. i often wonder how my parents could leave such a beautiful place, but then i remember, my beautiful family wouldn’t be here if they didn’t.
our trip marked finley’s first flight. he actually did amazing. he snoozed off after a few snacks and slept the majority of the ride on our laps. and on the way home, we even were graced with the job of changing his dirty diaper in the smallest bathroom to ever exist. yes, he pooed right before take off, and it was a very pleasant twenty minutes for everyone sitting near us ha.
on saturday we woke early. like 5am early [thanks time change + toddlers]. we were welcomed by our lovely pons waiting for us in the desert. we spent the morning hunting lizards and then drove into tucson. we had lunch at the sweetest cafe that totally reminded me of the restaurant we ate at in charleston. those hidden alleys and back garden lots have a way of speaking to my soul. today would be the day the rest of the family would arrive. and the day of the big party! it was so fulfilling seeing all of the people come out to celebrate my mimi. she had the biggest smile on her face all night and i am just so happy we were there to surround her with extra love and to meet all of her friend’s that have turned into family for her.
on sunday we had a big ol’ bbq at my aunt + uncle’s house in tucson. the entire pain side family was there. if you remember, i finally got to visit with them after twenty years last winter, but my dad was unable to make the trip. so this made this trip that much more memorable. my dad + uncle are two peas in a pod and the entire family is loud and so full of love. the boys were sugared out from all of the sweet treats coming their way, along with the special candy straight from mexico. here’s a photo of all the cousins and our significant others.
we spent the rest of our time wandering canyons, adventuring further south to visit mimi’s home she built back in the day with grandpa kenny, visiting more friends, eating yummy food, and splashing by the pool. the week went entirely too fast. and i am already hoping for our next visit [just maybe not in the summer].
ya’ll, i cannot even with this weather currently. yesterday was eighty-five degrees. EIGHTY-FIVE. and it immediately had me wishing for more spring weather. well enter today. it has been grey + stormy one minute and bright + sunny the next. repeat. for the last five hours. but, i have two boys napping and i am just over here cinderellin’ away. sort of. mostly admiring these sweet slippers and staging my house. HA. i mean, if it makes ya happy…
so anyways, let’s talk about those slippers shall we. they are by the lovely haflinger. haflinger, located in goslar, is a company who’s mission is to create products in total unison with nature. and they do exactly that. our slippers are made with 100% wool, so your foot is surrounded by 100% natural material, always. the thing i absolutely love, is that wool is able to store it’s own humidity and because of that, your feet will stay warm in the winter or cool in the summer, making these slippers perfect for any time of the year. and also, making them incredibly comfortable. and i personally love how the styles of these are classic. but mainly, i just cannot get over those little tiny ones to the left of mine. SO SWEET
okay, back to cleaning i go [ or something like that ;)]
i feel so silly saying this, because unlike past years, this winter has been relatively good to us. we had a few surprise days with outrageously nice weather, and i feel like it has snowed maybe two times. however, the days have been gray for far too long. rain, rain, and more rain has been handed down to us. i hardly remember the days where the sun used to shine. and on the rare occasion that the sun does decide to show his face, he only streams through our windows for a short ten minutes.
but every year, at this very same time, i find myself feeling so many emotions, most of them not positive. and lately i have just been in a complete funk. i think it is so important to pick yourself back up and surround yourself with something that makes you happy each day. and people that make you happy. for me, that’s a car ride to grab my favorite iced coffee, dance parties in the living room with my tinies, a day of thrifting, and weekend adventures as a family. and sometimes, all four in one day. and of course, lots and lots of praying. He will get me through this hard time and lift me up more than i know.
so i guess what i am trying to say is, if you feel this way, if you think this way, than i feel for you. and i am praying for you, too. and in the meantime, i will be counting down the days until spring. and slinging my baby bird a bit harder for all the extra snuggles.
i know by now you have probably heard all the rave, but when julie asked me to try this new product i was like, ABSOFREAKINLUTELY. and ladies, they have done it. they have created a smudge proof, kiss proof, eat your cheeseburger without getting a bottom lip proof lipstick. the brand? lip sense.
i mean, just look at how good it stays on! heart eyes. heart eyes. heart eyes.
you guys. i have slacked. a few months ago, i introduced a new series to you all; badenhop best. after two runs, i completely was overwhelmed by doing all the fall activities. and then came thanksgiving. and quickly after, christmas. i totally dropped the ball. this year, i have high hopes of really balancing this whole blog/mama/wife life out. i hope to continue this series, because i really love to share what we are loving at home and in our lives with you all.
so for the first installment of badenhop best, i give you the best of 2016.
gathre mat: we started the year off with one and quickly found ourselves with two; a midi and a maxi. each mat is made of beautiful leather and are completely versatile. we use ours inside for crafts or under the boys’ seats at the dinner table, or outside for picnics, play dates, and more.
seventh generation products: this year we have been introduced to seventh generation, focusing on their free and clear line; no dyes + no fragrances. from diapers to shampoos, and laundry detergent to all purpose cleaner, our house has been completely stocked with seventh generation products. we just love them.
tubby todd:another introduction to us this year and one that will stick with us for years to come. each tubby todd product is made with 100% natural ingredients that are simple and safe. bonus: they added a mama’s line! we absolutely LOVE their dream cream + all over ointment, and i have been spraying myself daily with the freshening spray.
natursutten pacifiers: i am giving all the praise hands to these little guys, the soothers of my baby fin. we have spent the entire year using these. the reason why we love them? they are 100% natural. no artificial colors, no chemicals, no parabens, making them safe for baby.
hazel village animals: the boys absolutely love their animals, and although we have so many other dolls + toys that we could easily choose too, these ones have been a part of our year the longest. the animals are individually handcrafted in nyc with organic cotton fleece, and wrapped up beautifully in a cotton bag with a satchel full of lavender inside. and now, you can even get matching outfits for your kids! truly an heirloom for our family.
cleansing grains: my face has been a total whirlwind this year. i blame motherhood, but honestly, it’s the worst it has been my entire life and i often find myself hiding behind things. i just recently came across urban oreganics; which is handcrafted in small batches using 100% natural ingredients. everything is organic + vegan. i am loving the detox cleansing grains. use code ‘lindsey20’ for 20% off your purchase.
personalized jewelry: i have been a fan of personalized jewelry since the boys were both teeny tiny babes. my first piece was a tiny gold ring that spelled out ‘hayden’. i have since lost it, but it was always my absolute favorite. this year i have grown my collection by adding several meaningful pieces. check out bstampedbritt +james michelle + the shine project.
wildbird sling: this was my saving grace this past year. wherever i went, our wildbird sling went as well. i am bit embarrassed to share with your our “stash”, but let’s just say we now are the proud of owners of four. i know, this is not simplifying, buttttt…. one for home, car, diaper bag [insert tongue sticking out face here], you get it. they are just all so beautiful! the slings are offered in single or double layer and are available in linen, chambray, and bamboo.
gigi pip hats: 2016 brought on the year of raising to wild boys, and the year of less hair washes. i have always had a love for hats, but this year, that love grew emensly. i love supporting mama shops, and this one is run by the sweetest. from beanies, to any style fedora, to baseball caps, gigi pip has you covered. literally. use code ‘badenhop’ for 20% off your purchase.
my diaper bags: oh the diaper bag. it is with us everywhere we go, so why not have a functional, yet cute bag. this year i carried a brand i first found when finley was born, along with coming across a new brand. both have been by my side throughout the past year. they are, fawn design; a versatile backpack, that can also be turned into a cross body and the gail satchel by newlie; a bag that by the looks of it you would never guess to be a diaper bag. both beautiful. both fully functional.
chemex: i received this little guy for my birthday last year and i am currently wondering how i ever lived without him. i am sure he has been filling your feeds lately, but honestly, he’s more than just ‘for looks’. the flavor that is produced by using this pour-over coffee maker is out of this world. so good.
olly vitamins: the boys are completely obsessed with taking vitamins, and who would i be to not think that is a good thing? we recently came across olly several months ago and it’s been love ever since. olly vitamins are available in children’s, women’s, and men’s.
letterfolk board: a huge staple in our home this past year. it has been so fun changing them up and creating new sayings.
stendig calendar: a huge calendar, that also works as decor. it is perfect. now to order one for 2017, because, mama needs to hide those giant holes from last year. and it just makes me so happy! [not seen here, because well, it’s long gone now. see a photo of it in our home here]
diffusing + essential oils: diffusing is so important in our home. i think we now have a diffuser in every room, and now it all rides on if i remember to fill them in the morning/night. i’ve come across many diffusers throughout the past few years, but these are some of my favorites: the stadler by jasmine, doterra cloud [which i think is gone. insert sad face], and this wood one i found on amazon. you can shop our doterra oils here.
rompers: i think one of my favorite style of clothing that the boys wear, is rompers. i love how easy they are to get on and off. but also, they are just always the sweetest pieces. check out these favorite small shops of ours for some romper love; fin & vince, little cotton wood, kid + kind, and rylee & cru. of course zara always has some great rompers as well, like this one.
clogs: i remember wearing clogs back when i was a kid, but this year i decided to give them a try again. i mean seriously, thee comfiest/stylish shoe to chase your kids around in. i fell i love with these ones by lotta from stockholm.
i mean sure, there are many different hats i wear in my life; mother, wife, daughter, sister, creative, nurse, chef, house-builder, nurturer, milk man.. i mean woman, storyteller, tickle monster to name just a few. but what i mean is that i literally wear many hats. like lots. lots. lots. lots. if i could, i would wear a hat every day outside of this house. to me, hats are a way of showing your personality. to add a little something something to my now pretty simplified wardrobe. they’re fun. they’re loud. they just completely make your outfit come together, i think. and most importantly, they hide that unwashed, four day old, mom hair [raising hand up over here for that one].
i have followed along with ginger for some time now. drawn in by her style, and struck hard by her adorable family + heart. so when she announced her new hat line, i knew it would be so, so good. and it is better than i ever imagined .gigi pip is a women’s hat-osphere where life is embraced to the fullest. they offer everything from wide brimmed fedoras to baseball caps, to beanies in the winter. there is literally a hat for anyone + everyone [i mean everyone. don’t say you don’t look good in a hat. i KNOW you do ;)]. and, all of the hats are incredibly gorgeous and each one so special in its own way.
i am so excited to be teaming up with gigi pip to offer you all a special discount to get your hat collection growing. use the code ‘badenhop’ for twenty percent off your purchase!
so, to the mama who wears many hats …. here’s another for you. xo
i have to tell you guys about this brand i recently found; belmto. “inspired by the basics, we embrace simplicity and minimalism, refining and defining our style.” um hello, perfect! everything is just so lovely and i think you’ll like.
this time last summer, while searching for swimsuits for my post baby body, i came across kortni jeane. i was immediately obsessed with the looks, but even more so with the fit. fast forward to this summer, and we had the pleasure of working with kortni and her sweet swimmer brand. one of the greatest parts about kortni jeane, is that they offer mix + match swimsuits [that are unique and always changing. so if you see something you like, you better be quick to snag it before it is gone!] to fit every body style. and bonus, they now are also offering swimmers in mens, mini mens, and mini girls. so you can match with any member of your family, which if you ask me, is the absolute best. hashtag twinning forever.
the latest swimmer line was released friday and you just do not want to miss it!
since having the boys, i have began to simplify my life, and with that i have simplified my own personal style on a day to day basis. of course i still have my ‘fancy jewels’ stored away waiting for those special days, but i rarely leave my house without a watch. of course i am using that said watch for obvious reasons, but honestly, i like the little splash of style they add. so naturally when jord so generously gifted me this new watch, i jumped all over it!
jord is a unique brand offering all different styles and sizes of watches made of…wood! i first fell in love with how different these watches were. they are beautiful. but then i saw this; “the value of a watch is not in being able to tell how much time has passed, but in being aware of the need to make that time count. moments are bigger than minutes and your watch should tell more than time.” and i just love that.
i’ve teamed up with jord for a fun giveaway and a chance for a lucky someone to get a $75 credit towards their own wood watch. you can enter the giveaway here, and just for doing so you get a $20 e-gift card[these will expire 1.117]. the giveaway will close on august 14th, so hurry on over! best of luck. xo
on friday, hayden saw me post a picture of the beach. as soon as he saw it he was all, “i want to go to the beach. i want to go to the beach, ya! ya! ya! ya!” over and over and over again. this pretty much went on the majority of the morning. no, the majority of the day! at one point we even had to make a phone call to daddy to tell him all about his grand plans. and he even came down the stairs with a handful of underwear and socks, saying “i go to the beach!’ bless his heart.
but we live in ohio. and the closest ‘beach’ [you know, the whole ocean +beach combo thing] is hours away [emphasis on the hours part]. so we sat there thinking for a bit, and that’s when the lightbulb went off. what if we took a day trip to lake michigan?! water + beach, problem solved. we woke up a little extra early saturday morning, piled in the car, and started down the road. in three short hours hayden had his beach. and finley would be able to experience the beach for the first time.
we decided to stop at warren dunes state park. the water was blue, there was a nice little river behind the lake where the kids splashed and swam. we built the tallest sand castles, hunted down the softest rocks, climbed the sand dunes, and munched on chips and demo snacks. hayden would ribbit like a frog across the river, and finley, well he just munched on sticks the entire time. and he definitely was not afraid of putting his face in the water. both boys were just so, so happy. once leaving the beach, the boys were snoozing hard as soon as they hit their seats. we stopped at a local cafe for take out, where we got the yummiest pizza i have ever tasted. our car is covered in sand, we might be a little crispy, but this first beach trip as a family of four is one for the books. i’m already daydreaming of our next mini road trip back.
happy first day of summer! what’s summer anyways if you don’t make a trip to pick some berries? we went to a local orchard this morning, and spent a good hour picking the juiciest, yummiest, ripe red strawberries. hayden diligently looked over each one before he would place it in his basket. finley sat in the same spot for a good twenty minutes stuffing his face with whatever he picked. it was then, when hayden realized he could get a taste of them too. and then this mama had to hustle to keep up! the sun was beating down on us, but there was the most perfect breeze cooling us off. the boys were covered in juice, their bodies stained red, but boy did we al enjoy ourselves. we will be eating strawberry ice cream, strawberry jam, and strawberry shortcake for days!
on sunday, we celebrated finley’s first birthday with family and friends. it was just the most perfect, beyond beautiful day celebrating our littlest love. he sure is one lucky fella. the love he received today, and every day, is such a blessing.
when it came time to decide on a theme, i loved the idea of a wild one. get it, he’s one. and he’s certainly wild. i mean, he was on the go-go-go the entire day. so i loved the idea of incorporating ‘where the wild things are’ into the party. and so out came, finley’s wild rumpus.
food was eaten. cakes were smashed [literally + figuratively ]. presents were opened and played with. it also needs to be noted that finley would walk up to his cake, grab ahandful, and walk to the crowd to pick someone out to hand the piece to. such a sharer! we had the best time. and i cannot believe we now have a one year old. happiest birthday to our baby.
the majority of our memorial day weekend was spent down by the river. and it’s probably where you will find us for the better part of the summer. this year it’s going to be even sweeter, having both of our parents camping next door to each other.
we took our first boat ride of the season. tasted our first marshmallow toasted by the fire. and had our first of many barbecues.
we’ve been waiting since last summer to make a trip back to the children’s zoo. so on monday, we did just that, grandma included. we enjoyed a sky safari over the african journey, feeding the giraffes, taking pony rides, and roaming around the indiana family farm. okay, really we enjoyed every bit of it and we’re already planning our trip back with daddy.
these cookies. yummy gooey chocolatey goodness. i have had the sweetest tooth lately (okay let’s be honest, i just want to eat everything in site) so this afternoon i whipped up a simple yummy treat for desert…or to snack on as soon as they were done baking. i think you will really like this one!
i stumbled upon this recipe a bit ago, while scrolling through endless amounts of “healthy” options and let me tell you, this one is heavenly. i mean, you won’t even feel bad if you eat half the batch! and that’s exactly what happens around here. they are so quick to disappear and rarely last a full two days in our home. if you’re feeling the need to indulge in a guilt free treat, make these! just do it.
healthy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
3/4 cup oat flour – i grind old fashioned oats
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
4 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil – melted
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
in a medium bowl, stir oat flour, old-fashioned oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt together. i throw in a few tablespoons of chia seeds as well. in another bowl, stir together vanilla, egg, brown sugar, and coconut oil (make sure this is measured at liquid state). add dry ingredients to wet. fold in chocolate chips. i also add in a handful of raisins. cover bowl and chill for thirty minutes. bake in a 350 degree oven for 7-9 minutes. grab two at a time. enjoy!
the diaper bag. the black hole. the place where you go to grab something, and dig for like ever, pulling out every tiny thing, smushed puffs included. only to never really end up finding what you were looking for in the first place. it’s the place where crumbled up receipts and lost hair ties go to die and where that cute paci clip has been hiding for the past month.
when we first had hayden, we had a ‘legit’ diaper bag. you know, the one with a million different compartments. and we filled that thing to the max. mostly with everything we thought we needed. it didn’t take us long to figure out that those ‘thoughts’ were just that. did i really need to be carrying a tube of vaseline, the snot sucker, an extra bottle for my breastfed baby, and nail clippers? absolutely not! as he grew, the two of us shared a bag and i got to ditch the extra load (and the commercialized diaper bag). now, carrying for both kids + myself, it is so important for us to simplify. the things we ‘think’ we might need, are now tucked away in a small basket we keep in the car.
here’s what our every day carrying looks like.
our diaper bag i recently was gifted this nena&co daybag II (similar here) from my sweet husband + boys for my birthday. and i am slightly obsessed. the patterns, the colors. the vintage fabric. the leather. it’s all so lovely and it has been the perfect size for the three of us.
swaddle blanket nursing cover. rain protector. nap cuddler. you name it, we will be using it for something. we love our lost boy goods blankets. made of bamboo muslin, they are hand dyed by the sweetest mama and are as soft as butter.
snacks i mean, when in doubt, hand the kids some food. #amiright we can never have enough snacks on hand and it’s the one thing i have to make sure we have packed and ready to go. total lifesaver. we have been huge fans of the happy family brand, and are super excited about these new ‘clearly crafted’ pouches. our snack container is the sumo snack stacker. it has two more stacks that can be attached and is perfect for extra long days.
binkies+toys i always make sure we have one paci with a clip and one toy for each boy in the bag. anymore and it shifts back to the whole black hole mess. finley currently loves chomping on this teether. i love it because it’s free from all chemicals+toxins.
essential oils it’s essential (haha girl’s got jokes!) for us to carry hand sanitizer + a few essential oils that we use most. you can find more on essential oils here.
a bonnet mainly because it’s cute, but also to keep those little ears warm on chilly spring days. and here in ohio, those have been happening more than not. our favorite bonnet is this one from briar handmade. it’s soft and the perfect neutral.
lotion dry hands + chapped skin. it’s a must. we’re currently using the ‘charity pot’ from lush.
our sling i just used a sling for the first time a few months ago and i am never looking back. seriously, i cannot say enough good things about our wildbird. it’s so easy to use and the fabric is super breathable. added bonus? the hip carry! can i get one in every color?! (okay that defeats the simplifying process, but still)
diapers+wipes+booty cream because hello, DIAPER bag! we’re proud supporters of the honest company for three years now. you can read more on who they are and what they have to offer here.
and that’s basically it! of course it’s always changing and we are always simplifying. but for now, these are the items we cannot get through the day without. our go-tos. our must haves. what are your favorite things to carry?
ah spring, it has to be my second favorite season. the sun starts shining more, the birds wake you up with their pretty songs, and there is so much new life [including the two litters of kittens we have out back]. my plant babies are sprouting new arms, the grass is turning green, and our trees and bushes are budding. but planting our garden, well that has to be my favorite part of spring.yesterday, the boys and i took a trip to a local greenhouse where we always buy a few tomato and pepper plants. and a few leads to a lot. this year when we pulled up, to our surprise it wasn’t open yet and with our luck, was opening in a few days. so what did we do? well of course we took this as a sign to try out a new place, so we hopped back in the car and drove a few miles down the road. perfect idea. this beauty had five different greenhouses, filled with plants + flowers + cacti + veggies and fruits. hayden even tried to convince me into taking home the two little parakeets that we’re ‘free to a good home’. it didn’t work.
we spent the rest of the afternoon planting little seeds + the plants we picked out at the greenhouse. hayden dug tiny little holes for me, and sprinkled the dirt back into the hole for me. fin, well he had more fun trying to eat everything. including that dirt.
soon there will be snap peas and red peppers to munch on. sunflowers blooming so big as they look over our garden. tomatoes that we will turn into pasta, and sauce, and salsa. spinach to add to our afternoon smoothies. fresh herbs to spice up our eats. and plenty of green veggies to make us happy.
ten months. ten incredibly fast months with our sweet finley. they say it goes by fast, but i swear the second one grows even quicker.
kid, you are obsessed with eating. food is your jam, and you’re on the ‘see food’ diet. twenty whole pounds, but those yummy rolls are slowly disappearing. i must figure out a way to fatten you back up! ‘dada’ is your go to word. it’s what is mostly coming out of your mouth lately. along with the drool. boy! you got four feeth all at the same time this month! you decided to take your first steps this month, too. well, three to be exact. i’m so proud of you, and so happy, but my mama heart aches a tad that her baby is growing into a little boy.
when i’m holding you, you lean all the way in, face right in front of mine. as close as it can get. and smile so big as you nod your head and begin to chuckle. you give the best open mouthed, sloppy kisses, and even say ‘mwah’ after you smack one on me.
as soon as daddy gets home you crawl super speed over to him and reach for him to pick you up. once you’re nice and high and in arms reach, that hat is yours. you take it off his head over and over and over and …. laughing non stop.
little boy you are sweet, loving, demanding, and absolutely hilarious. you make this mama very, very happy. we are so blessed to have you.
hello spring, i finally see you. it was a gorgeous sunshine day, with temps reaching all the way to 85. yes, i said 85! my sister is in town, so we decided it was a perfect day to pack up the boys and head to the zoo for our first trip of the year.
i’ll never forget the squeals as finley put his little hands on the glass to see the polar bears. i think i spent the majority of the day, just staring at him in awe. i can’t explain the feeling i had watching him take in everything for the first time at this stage in his life. he just makes my mama heart sing.
the day was spent gazing at monkeys, flamingos, and rhinos. sitting under a tree scarfing down hot dogs + french fries. and chasing each other in the forest. the boys fell asleep as soon as their bottoms hit their carseats and i got to hit target alone while all three napped in the car [and seriously, i scored the best deals! cartwheel app anyone?!]. once we were home, we sat outside picking bouquets of dandelions and drawing blue horses with chalk. a perfect monday if you ask me.
and by little, i mean long, very long. eleven states + four more repeats. eleven days. five thousand miles. six hotels. and seventy plus hours together in the car to be exact.
back in february, the four of us + my mom set out to arizona to stay with my grandma and visit family. of course along the way we had to take a slight detour to stop in waco [um hello, team chip and jo forever]. it was the best decision ever. i think my favorite part of the drive on the road trip was driving the back roads of texas. so peaceful. so beautiful.
enter tuscon. the cacti. swoon. the sunshine, refreshing. we spent the days wandering around the desert, snacking on whata burger + jack in the box, sipping on eegee’s, and visiting family. if you could believe me, it’s been twenty years since i’ve seen the majority of my family. they’re loud, hilarious, and so loving, and we just had the best time being with them. we rounded out arizona with a trip to the grand canyon. absolutely breath taking.