Where we’ve been….

In case you have missed some of our posts over on Facebook, there is a (really) good reason why things have been so quiet here on the blog lately.  We have been working tremendously hard getting our family moved into our permament home in Yellowstone National Park and finding some semblance of “settled”.  It is a whole different ball game when you are moving with young kids – as soon as you find a good spot to put something away, they find a good way to move it.  It’s maddening, really.  It literally makes everything take twice as long.

Over the past week, I have spent more than a few minutes daydreaming about what it would be like to have everything we own fit in a camper or truck or a cute and cozy little cabin.  Ah, the simplicity of a life with fewer material possessions.

Instead, we are sorting through the gear that we depend on to get our family safely outside, tripping over baby furniture that we just aren’t quite ready to get rid of and isn’t easily replaceable in our location, and trying to muster up the energy to put it all away right (so we aren’t scrambling later.)

Our move also came coincidently with the first snow of the year.  Miss Gear Queen (yours truly) couldn’t find snow boots for the kids, and gloves were in short supply.  Luckily, however, we did have a great supply of wool socks.  Extra socks on the feet to keep toesies warm in hiking boots and extra socks covering hands (and arms) of fingers that were too small to find any warmth in gloves we could find.  Mtn Papa and I have been going crazy turning in circles looking for missing items, and the kids have been going crazy being cooped up inside.  Fifteen minutes (which we have made sure to continue) is simply not enough for these boys.  They want to be outside all day.

Before you get all caught up daydreaming yourself about what it would be like to live in Yellowstone, here’s a few of the realities about life here:

-       A fence (which has to be approved before it can be built) is an absolute must with kids and a dog.  The wildlife is incredible and beautiful, but it is everywhere.  Herds of elk pass within inches of our living room windows and bison, wolves and coyotes are nearby.  Since the fence wasn’t up until yesterday, no one could go outside unsupervised.

-       We live in a government house (required for Mtn Papa’s job).  We are thankful for a basement for extra storage, but we are definitely downsizing.  I am all for smaller homes to keep families closer together (and promote outdoor time) but it takes some work.  Other downside?  All the homes in the area no longer have woodstoves, nor are they allowed to (good ol’ politics at it’s best….)  Heating these inefficient homes is expensive, so we turn it down and wear more clothing.

-       While it is finally almost over now, when the elk are in the Rut, they are to be avoided at all costs.  The bulls are crazy about protecting their cows.  While it really is no big deal, we have had to talk the “long” way home numerous times in the past few days.


Besides getting used to what life is here, we are excited about this new adventure of ours.  The community is incredible, we are surrounded by beautiful land to explore and living a “once-in-a-lifetime” adventure.   Count on some glimpses into life in Yellowstone National Park, and some continuing tips and tricks (along with the usual gear reviews and giveaways) as we navigate through raising our outdoor family.

And now, back to the boxes…..

Does anyone else feel tied down by material possessions that keep you from the peace a simple life provides?   What is one (or a few…) things you would keep with you if you had to get rid of everything else (and why?) 


Amelia lives with her husband and three young children in Yellowstone National Park. As a family, they believe that life is precious, short and should be lived to the fullest. That includes introducing a life of adventures for their boys in the form of skiing, hiking, biking, running, camping and lots of outdoor playing. Amelia writes at Tales of a Mountain Mama in an attempt to inspire others to get outside daily too with tips and tricks, stories and lots of gear reviews.


  1. Yes, yes, yes I would love to downsize…but like you as soon as I think can I do without this I find I needed it yesterday. Mostly I would get rid of all the extra furniture, extra dishes, extra clothing…that are years and years old. I would keep all outdoor stuff in every size for the “just in case” visitors, oh yes all my arts and crafts. Enjoy your new home!

  2. It sounds like you are living the dream! How fun. What incredible memories you will make. My goal is to clean out a lot of our extra things that we have been hanging onto in case we need them again. I think most of these things would never be missed. Congrats on your new home!

  3. We moved from a 2,000 square foot house to a 900 square foot house last winter and haven’t looked back! We have to stay a little bit (okay, a lot) more organized but it’s cozy, inexpensive to maintain and we’re minimalists….of course I’m sure we’ll have to upgrade as our family grows. We’ve had our share of government housing when we were in the Army, and your assessment is correct, it can be interesting :) Good luck, sounds like a great adventure.

  4. Sounds like a great adventure! We moved into a 3,000 square foot house last year and I love the extra space, but I am definitely not a clutter hound. I make an effort to tidy closets, purge regularly, and keep a donation pile going at all times. What’s really taking over our storage space? Baby gear! So much of it, but I know holding on to it will be worth it when #2 comes along!

    • YES! The baby gear gets completely out of hand….but I am not willing to go through the effort of re-collecting it down the road if we have another! :)

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