8/09/2017

Kings Peak



















It was on our bucketlist to summit the tallest peak in Utah--Kings Peak.

The day before, as we packed and prepared, while we loaded all of the gear and food and water we would need, I started to get terribly anxious about the trip. I asked myself, WHY are we doing this again? Why are we not just going out to dinner and then binge watching Ozark this weekend like any sane human being?!

But it is of the utmost importance for me to constantly remind myself that every beautiful life changing adventure we have experienced has started with my nerves screaming "WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS!?" and in turn, me pushing past my fears to do it anyway.

I suppose the thing is, sometimes I just want to really live, you know? I want to feel my lungs expanding in my chest and listen to my heart pounding loudly, reminding me that I am alive. I want to jump outside of my comfort zone for a time, outside of the ease and luxury of this life, outside of the mundane and the day-to-day routine. I want to feel some pain and fear, just the right amount, the kind that reminds me of how strong and capable I truly am. I want to ache for home so that I remember how fortunate I am to have a place called home at all.

I am a glorious mess of a human being, made up of scars and bruises and passions and flaws and emotions so heavy that it's a wonder I can walk at all.

So sometimes, occasionally, I just want to really live.

4/18/2017

Spring Break 2017



 ^^ for the record, I know at first glance it looks like Dan is smoking but that's just a candy bar, sorry to disappoint...












^^ a little backstory for that picture there: last year sometime I picked up some t-shirts at the thrift store, as one does. There was one particular shirt that was very comfy in all of the right form-fitting ways and it quickly became one of my favorites to wear. The front of it says "be kind" and I vaguely remember seeing on the back of the shirt that it was from a coffee shop in Colorado. Fast forward to earlier this year when we booked our trip for Spring Break, and it clicked! Estes Park Colorado! That's where the coffee shop on my thrift store shirt is! And so, of course, we made it a special point to find Kind Coffee (which was easy, it is right on the main street in town) and take a picture while wearing my be kind shirt. (I mean and yes, buy their coffee, which we did as well.)

Annnyyyway, boring stuff, I know.

For Spring Break we stayed in Estes Park, which is just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park, which has been on my bucket list. It was absolutely lovely there! Every morning I sat on the patio sipping my steamy coffee while listening to the music of the river running below and the birds chirping in the pines above. I would close my eyes and picture this as my life. A cabin with a river flowing in the backyard, sitting on the patio, living slowly and filled with awareness, breathing the fresh crisp mountain air.

It was a perfect reset button and a perfect Spring Break!

I feel that I should apologize for not being around much here on the blog. I have a lot of pictures stored that I could post, and a loooootttt of words filed away in my head, wanting so badly to get out somehow. But I find that I shy away from this space, the place where I once would write the words whenever they came to me. I know that I need to write, but I also sense that a massive internal awakening has been slowly occurring over the past year or so. I am respecting the awakening inside of me, and reverently honoring the meaningful changes that are demanding to be felt.

I thought I would be able to write more. I thought that my wounds would scab over and I would be able to come here, to tell my story, to tell my little brother's story, to tell about grief and pain and change and hope and despair. I know that it is important for us to be open and vulnerable about these things, because in the end that is what really connects us all together as human beings. We need to hear each others stories, to live in this solidarity that give us something to hold onto when we aren't sure how we will make it through.

And so, I thought I would be able to write more.

But as it turns out, all of these intense emotions brewing inside of me are taking a lot more time than I had realized they would take. I feel in my bones that I am not ready yet. I wish I were, but I am not. I am not ready yet to write my truths and to write all of my stories.

Not yet.

But I am learning and growing and changing tremendously. I will still be here! I will always be here to update the internet world (but mostly, to update my future posterity) about my life and its stories.

Thank you for being here.


xoxo

3/17/2017

river therapy







(If you look really closely in those pics there, you'll see a little white spot beneath Dan's paddle, which is Jace's glove. He was laying down flat to stay warm.)

Some of our very dear friends just purchased their very own kayaks and we are thrilled to finally have some kayak buddies! We were so excited that we couldn't wait, so we have been taking out the kayaks the past couple of weekends. We are perhaps a tad overanxious for Spring in this, because the last outing was quite cold. But always worth it! I remember one year Dan and I went kayaking in the late Fall, way up the mountains to Tony Grove, where we FROZE our buns (hands, really) right off even beneath all of our layers, but when we left all rosy cheeked and numb we still couldn't stop smiling because it had been such a fun time. Truth be told, I might choose colder-day kayaking over hotter-day kayaking.

And anyway, the weather this week has rocked our socks off. Seventy-degrees and sunshine and mayyyybe the first time in my life that I have thoroughly loved daylight savings. Every day after work and school we go outside and, minus a short break for dinner, we stay there until the sun goes down. (Even after the sun goes down I have to drag the boys kicking and screaming to come back inside.) We could not be happier about these sun filled days! I have already logged in eight miles this week on the trails and I am going to be putting all of our winter gear in storage this weekend with a big fat GOOD RIDDANCE TO YA.

My apologies for being so annoyingly excited in this post. I'm really not that overly happy of a person, but my optimistic side really comes out of hibernation when Spring arrives. This past winter was especially hard and I have been beyond ready for the warmer weathered days.

Happy Friday to you and yours! Go enjoy some sunshine!


xoxo

3/02/2017

Surviving Winter







February, you big jerk.

Mother Nature is the moodiest in February, taunting us with Spring days and then turning right around and throwing a full-blown freezing snow filled winter in our faces.

But March is here now and doesn't that sound lovely? March. A stepping stone into a season that is easier to love. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the next season, trying not to wish my days away while also waving my white flag in surrender because Winter has beaten me down once again.

And it's not just me, you know. My kids are all sorts of antsy for better weathered days. After the long winter they are a little more moody and grumpy, a little more sullen and stone faced. Jace said to me, "Mom, can we move somewhere where they have no snow and you can ride your bike any day you want to?" He is a child after my own soul. He wants to run wild, ride bikes, build forts and soak up the sunshine until after bedtime.

And anyway, March! We welcome you with open arms!

Currently getting me through seasonal depression:

TV:

This Is Us, best show! I cry every episode. All of the feelings.

The Bachelor, duh. Mind numbing stupid reality tv at its finest.

Big Little Lies, new show on HBO.

Trolls is on repeat at our house, we loooove it.


BOOKS:

Currently reading The Nature Fix, a book that Dan got me for Valentine's Day, and it is perfect for me.

Over the winter I read and enjoyed:

Brene Brown's Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection

Looking For Alaska

Anne of Green Gables (classic)


MUSIC:

Music is so huge for my moods. I need music that speaks to my soul. I need it most when I'm winding down after a long day, or when I'm about to begin a long day. This winter I have stuck with just a few that have really fueled me:

The Lumineers and Mumford and Sons on repeat.

Also loving Alan Isakov.

And occasionally still finding peace through Dashboard Confessional.


COMFORT FOOD:

It's no secret that I am in love with Larabars, all natural and sweet enough to curb sugar cravings. My favorites are: peanut butter brownie, coconut cream pie, lemon bar and chocolate chip cookie dough.

Cooked dates rolled in crushed almonds or coconut flakes.

This black bean hummus has been my go-to for munching. So soooo good.


MANTRAS:

Slow. I have been so inspired to make my life less busy. I don't want crazy, I want easy. I want as much peace and simplicity as I can find. I want more time with my family. I want mornings to breathe and sip coffee and read. More sunrises and sunsets. Less distractions. I am straying away from a life packed with too many things to do.


MINDFULNESS:

My sister told me about a new meditation technique and it has been an absolute life changer. For five minutes you close your eyes and clear your mind. During the five minutes, any time a thought enters your mind, shut it down and re-clear. After the five minutes is up grab your journal and jot down all of the thoughts that entered your mind during the meditation. This has hugely impacted my awareness and my ability to let go of the thoughts and worries that aren't beneficial to me. LIFE. CHANGING.



Anyway. I truly hope you are getting through all right. I hope you are being slow and kind to yourself. (Better days are ahead! And very soon, according to the weatherman!) We can do hard things!



xoxo

2/10/2017

Spring is on the way



I love my morning time so much. Currently while I write this, I am sipping from my second cup of steaming hot coffee with sweet cream and the birds outside the patio door next to me are chirping and singing away beneath a sprinkle of rain that is trickling down from the sky.

On Tuesday it was Rockie's SEVENTH Birthday. Can you believe she is seven?! I, for one, can not! She was my very first baby. We still have the video of Dan surprising me with her back when we were young and engaged. It was on April Fool's Day that he was able to bring her home, and I kept saying "Is this a joke?? This is a MEAN JOKE!" as I instantly fell in love with her and couldn't believe that she was really mine.

I was hoping to make a doggie Birthday cake but as it was, we had a sick toddler and a crazy schedule so I missed the doggie-cake train. We did give her a shiny new elk antler bone to chew on (forever, because they last FOREVER) and we let the boys run around the house dropping chicken treats everywhere for her. It was so much fun. While I watched them all laughing and Rockie running around with her little stub tail wagging, I was all sorts of emotional thinking about what a wonderful life she has and how loved she is.

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY Rockster you cutest, sweetest, most adventurous s pup I know and love!

It is February and I am grateful for February, always, especially after a long January. We have had glimpses into Spring, tiny rays of sunshine that burrow into my soul and restore some hope. Just last Wednesday I was able to take full advantage of the Spring feel when Rockie and I hit up a trail to run in the mountains. It was a little bit muddy from the rain, a little bit of chunky slippery snow here and there, but beneath the shining sun and the blue sky in forty degree weather my heart sung praises. It was so very lovely and perfect.


xoxo

2/05/2017

Limber Pine Trail











^^another day, another incredible sunrise.

A couple of weeks ago we spent three days in Bear Lake with the Croft side of the family. The entire weekend it dumped snow, which is perfect when you are staying in a condominium stocked with hot chocolate and within walking distance of an indoor pool and hot tub.

The day we were coming home we woke to find they had shut down our main canyon to get there, but we found a way to drive around and through a different canyon and still made it home safely. (that canyon ended up closing too only hours after we drove home!) The snow this year has been epic, it reminds me of my childhood when this was always a normal winter before the seasons started warming up in recent years. I could do without the negative twenty degree temperatures and the inversion in the Valley, but I will take all of this snow happily because I know that we need the water!

(Still not friends with winter, just being an adult, you know.)

Oh also, did I tell you that I have been taking a photography class this year? It has been so wonderful, stepping out of my comfort zone and shooting in manual mode. Photography is something that really makes me excited. Finding new and unique ways of capturing the beauty out there in this gorgeous world is turning into such a fulfilling hobby for me! (it should be noted that all of the pictures in this post were from our iPhones. I tragically left my digital camera home when we spent the weekend at bear lake. But the pictures from my last post were taken when I was practicing manual mode on my digital camera, if you care to know!)

We officially booked a couple of trips for the year and still have more in the works. It's nice to have some things to look forward to in these dreary winter months! We have another full year of being able to live slowly before some big changes come our way, and so I am going to soak up this year. I am going to miss this stage of life one day, this beautiful and painful and lovely and hard stage of life. These ages of the boys that are simultaneously so hard and so sweet all at the same time, living in our tiny condo life, I just know that I am going to miss it all so much one day!


xoxo