Winter hike-in cabin camping with children at Tettegouche State Park

Micmac Lake in Tettegouche State Park

Every winter some friends of ours hike into a cabin at Tettegouche State Park, and I’ve always wanted to try it. Their trips sounded so magical — sipping coffee while big snowflakes fall outside, taking long snowshoe or ski outings on the vast network of trails, reading in front of the wood stove. Our seven years at Lake Maria State Park have made us winter-hiking-in-to-a-rustic-cabin veterans, but the hike-ins at Lake Maria are under a mile, and the park is only an hour from Minneapolis. Tettegouche — with a steep 1.7 mile hike in, more remote/beautiful location north of Lake Superior, and 3.5 hour drive to get there — would be a significant increase in difficulty.

Heady with New Year’s Eve suggestibility last year, we decided with our friends to reserve a trip for the following winter. So just after Christmas last week, we packed up the car and headed up north.

The cabin we reserved is part of the historic Tettegouche Camp, a series of four cabins plus outbuildings located in Tettegouche State Park. Like at Lake Maria, you have to hike all your food, bedding, and personal gear in, but unlike Lake Maria, the Tettegouche cabins have kitchens, access to water, and a proper shower building with flush toilets, so once you get there it’s a bit cushier. The Tettegouche cabins are located close to one another and there’s also a lodge you can use, so you don’t feel as if you’re there on your own (in a good way). The cabins are wood stove heated, with baseboard heat backup if the inside temperature dips to 50 degrees. {Continue reading…}

Top 14 posts of 2014

top 14 imageToday is the end of our third full year of blogging, and as is tradition, we end the year with our most-read posts of 2014. We chose 14 (seven each), plus one bonus guest post that was the most-read post of any we published in 2014.

The top post of 2014

The gift of Hannah: Carrying and birthing a baby with a fatal genetic disorder

This post is a gift, to us and to anyone who reads it. Our friend Christine writes about loving and losing her baby daughter Hannah, and how Hannah still blesses her life.


Jen’s top 7

It is interesting how things change from year to year. With my first full year back to work complete, there were fewer how-to or I-tried-this kind of posts (and I still haven’t gotten around to writing up Noah’s 7th birthday party) and more Real Truth posts — those moments or experiences that stuck with me long enough to think others might like to share them. Turns out you did.

Four favorite pumpkin recipes

No surprise that this was a big post; if you are on Pinterest from August-November you know the pumpkin mania. These are tasty; you should try them sometime.

Seven things I won’t miss about my 30s

I like this one, written the night before I turned 40. Worrying about turning 40 was worse than doing so, and once I thought about it, there was plenty I was fine with leaving behind.

That time I judged myself: Teeth whitening

There’s something about a confessional post that makes me feel better. When vanity cost me money and caused me pain, I really had to wonder about myself. (It did work, though.)

Summer’s great and all: Four reasons I’m ready for fall

Minnesotans live for summer and it does become a bit of a free-for-all. Fall, with its return to schedules and accountability, is actually welcome.

Type S for struggler: Why Jen can’t have nice things

More confessions, prompted by chipping my just-whitened front tooth on a plate of nachos. I might be type A most of the time, but actually I’m a major struggler.

On trail and on the town

This one is sweet and makes me happy that people wanted to read it. My oldest son enters the teenage years and it is a joy to be a part of watching him discover himself.

Women and the Confidence Gap

It’s not all confessional — here’s a professional post about a book I read on women and confidence. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you do, then check out the book and other online resources.

Breanne’s top 7

One of my favorite topics to write about is the outdoor adventures my husband and I take with our kids, mostly because I enjoy reading posts like this for the tips and inspiration and like to return the favor for others Google searching similar topics.I’m also wildly proud that three of my top seven posts are NOT about motherhood/child-rearing.

Winter backpacking and camping with a baby and a toddler

A write-up of our annual  hike-in-to-a-cabin trip. The awkward/long title is an attempt to help people Googling for topics like this to find it.

Why we let our three-year-old sleep in our bed: Adventures in accidental bedsharing

A confessional post about our struggles with our night-wandering three-year-old and the bed-sharing compromise we came up with.

Four strategies Lean In gave me courage to try

Real truth about working motherhood and strategies that have helped.

Taking young kids on a BWCA canoe trip

Our first Boundary Water trip with the kids. I’m proud that post has already inspired others to plan trips with their children! Also, every time Blythe says “Loon! Loon!” or Beatrice correctly identifies kindling, I swoon.

Unleash your hidden curl

I love this post because it’s about HAIR STYLING, a topic that gets little press on Borealis. Also, it changed my life (well, as least my hair).

Why we love our standing desks

Turns out you are as interested in standing desks as we are. This one got a lot of “Me too” love from others who are also standing-desk converts.

Spring break in Madison

This post is part travel post, part comparison of our spring break trip this year vs. last year, and how much easier things are getting as the girls grow older.

There you have it! I wonder what 2015 will hold? We can’t wait to find out!

Why we love our standing desks


Like we often do, because great minds think alike, Jen and I decided independently to get standing desks this year. If you’ve read any of the research, they are calling sitting the new smoking, and saying that even if you exercise regularly you cannot overcome the adverse affects of sitting at your work all day. I’ve […]

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Saying Goodbye to the Buddy


Before we were actual parents, we were cat parents. When we found mice in our first apartment in Uptown, we brought my childhood cat, Rocky, to live with us. (And yes, he solved the mice problem). When he passed away two years later, we adopted Cadbury (Cat-buddy) and Stilton, two Siamese brothers. They were more […]

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Borealis gift guides: Minnesota-made gifts that work

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We work hard in Minnesota, and we expect our gifts do the same. These are some very Minnesota-nice, useful, practical, yet delightful gifts we’ll love to give — and would love to get. Totally getting this for some men in my life who both paddle and motorcycle and everything in between. From Winona-based Sanborn Canoe […]

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Borealis gift guides: Minnesota-made gifts for play

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Here’s Borealis’s curated picks for gifts that are fun to shop for and get, for the kids and adults in your life. These Minnesota-made gifts would be welcome under any tree (especially ours!) Blocks are possibly the best toy ever invented (though they may share that honor with Legos), and quality blocks will last your […]

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Borealis Holiday 2014: Our picks for gifts made in Minnesota

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We love writing gift guides and are so excited to bring you this year’s series, featuring gifts made here right in Minnesota. Some by artists and craftspeople, some by world-renowned (yet home-grown brands) — all reflecting the practical, artistic, playful, smart, humble, and beautiful spirit of this northern life. Our series starts today with “Indulge in Minnesota” — luxurious gifts you secretly want […]

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Borealis gift guides: Minnesota-made gifts to indulge

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How do you define an indulgent gift? Is it a little me-time, something delicious, or something that makes you feel confident or playful? Something glittery and shiny or simply something well-made that transcends trends and time? (For us practical, realistic, and resilient Minnesotans, indulgent may simply be defined as really great boots.) Here are a few Minnesota-made gifts that […]

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