Saturday, September 26, 2015

Pictures and Packing

Marc couldn't be more excited about my new-found/rediscovered love of mountain adventure.

He was so excited when I agreed to go with him on a backpack trip in the local canyon.

Marc and I hiked and backpacked a lot when we were first married.

I never really enjoyed it. At least, not as much as Marc did. I really got no true joy out of hiking a mountain just to turn around and walk back the same way.

I am not sure what has changed for me, but now I enjoy it and actually look forward to it.

This trip was going to be especially fun because my little sister, Kirsten and her hubby, Jeremy were going with us. Yay! A double date backpack trip!

I was also really excited because I was bringing along me camera so I could get some great shots of our great pack trip.

First, though, I am going to show you the pics I got on my iPhone camera.

Marc heading up the hill

I had to try a few selfies

Kirsten is laughing at my selfie efforts to include her in the shot

I am not sure if Jeremy thought he saw another trail or just was trying to avoid the shot...

Here we are after getting our tent set up.

Once we got to our destination we did a little exploring in the meadow above our campground.

OK, now I am posting a few of the shots I took with my real camera, they are my favorites!

Jeremy and Kirsten

Me and Marc—this is now my favorite picture of us together and, yes, that is a chair I have
on my backpack and the back separating me and Marc is my camera bag. I felt pretty official.

I always love pictures of my hubby, but this one is especially hot!

The area we hiked to and camped was beautiful and I love this shot of Marc hiking through the middle of it.
Fall in the mountains is truly amazing!

Marc is getting our dinner ready. That's another reason I enjoyed this backpack trip was having Marc cook dinner for me.

The moon just before sunset was amazing and made such a nice addition to the fall colors.

I'm working on night time photography so I was experimenting
with light and our tent and I really like how this one came out.

In the morning we were able to watch deer cross the meadow and
I even caught this curious guy trying to figure out what we were there for.

While Marc and I were out on our overnight backpack trip we had our caregiver and friend, Jeremy with the kids.

When we got home I was thrilled to see they all survived and were quite happy. It was fun when Jeremy showed us pictures of fun with the kids, mostly Baby because she's the one who still likes to have her picture taken...

Baby stole Jeremy's glasses and was cheesing it up:

That missing tooth is just too danged cute!

It is such a blessing to know that our kids are just as happy with their caregivers at home as we are when we're out on a date or adventure.

I just can't not see special childcare as an awesome UP in Our Life.

I'm so thankful.

Days 258-259 of 365 Days of Up

Happy Chalk

I haven't taken the time to draw on my sidewalk for a few months now.

I am going to blame it on the depression I couldn't seem to kick to the curb.

It's weird, with depression, it's almost as if you punish yourself because of how you are feeling by not doing things that bring you joy. It's a stupid cycle, but it happens.

Anyway, I finally went out and did it on a Sunday after church.

It made me so happy to draw and bring color to the gray of our street by creating an original art piece just for the fun of seeing the colors emerge. It added to my happiness when many neighbors walked by saying how happy they were to see me out chalking again. It's amazing how things that bring me so much happiness can also bring it to others just because I am sharing it.

I also LOVE the fact that because my kids have been watching me do this for 3 years now they love to join in too. I'm not good at sharing so they have to have their own spot, but I love seeing what they create.

This little guy was Sister's creation and she was so proud of herself. I love that girl and the challenges she takes on!

In case you are wondering, it is a ninja alien... she's been watching a lot of Power Rangers on Netflix lately. As she drew this picture she was making karate chop noises and alien beeps. It was quite entertaining, but also enlightening when I saw the finished product.

Day 254 of 365 Days of Up

I'm just gonna keep going!

Maybe I have ADHD.

Maybe I am indecisive.

All I know is that I just have to keep trying and doing new things and seeing if I want to keep them around.

For instance, I've told you about my excitement about being in plays.

I thought maybe I did that once I would have it out of my system, but now I'm addicted.

I auditioned for "James and The Giant Peach" a while back and didn't make it in. Then just this past Wednesday night I auditioned for "It's a Wonderful Life." I at least got into callbacks for that one, but I'll give you details on that later.

What I want to tell you about is my new interest and passion.

It's something I have always wanted to do and even did a little bit of it just after Marc and I were married. The desire took a backseat because of many reasons and recently I have had the opportunity to get into it again.

I wanted to start at the beginning so that I could really feel confident in my ability.

So a few Saturdays ago I attended my first class to start me on my journey to becoming a rock climber, repeller, canyoneer, and ice climber.

Watch out world! Here comes a 38 year old mother of 3 special needs children who is ready to take on the ropes!

I just had to take a picture of me working on tying knots before we actually headed up Rock Canyon to repel.

This is our good friend Dan who is also my adventure guide teaching me the ropes of mountain fun. I am really excited to tell you about our joint collaborations to benefit his company, my life and my children.

After getting our helmets, harnesses and gloves on...
Then we scrambled/climbed up this.

Here are a few of my fellow classmates and I waiting our turn to repel.

Here I go!

I have a new love in my life!

I am so excited to continue this journey in becoming a better mountain adventurer.

I just wanna prove that you're only as old as you let yourself feel... or at least inspire other moms in my situation to find things that keep them going.

Day 253 of 365 Days of Up

If you start it, they will notice...

Having kids with special needs sometimes puts you into a funky frame of mind sometimes where you think you can't push your kids to do things that require attention, commitment and a little work. So we get stuck in our little ruts sometimes and forget to do important things.

I always feel so accomplished when we are able to do something like that and have success.

Remember, though, "success" at our house isn't always success in the way you may think of success in your house.

Marc decided about a month ago that we would read scriptures (specifically the Book of Mormon) every night as a family and then say family prayers before putting the kids in bed.

This started a bit rocky, and, frankly, still usually is. We get the whining, ignoring, meltdowns, and tantrums that typically accompany family scripture reading time...


But, we kept on plugging along and even reading scripture while one was down the hall, another was screaming and the other one was hiding under a blanket. Both Marc and I started to wonder what in the world we were trying to do here. It wasn't exactly fun.

Then, one evening after dinner, Baby went to Marc and asked, "gripchers?"

She wanted to use his book while we read and he had to use my phone to read the scriptures from there.

Even when we think that our children are not paying attention to the things we are doing in our home they are paying more attention than we realize.

The secret smiles that Marc and I exchanged during the 5 minutes of reading was how we expressed our astonished excitement at the success that we thought was becoming a failure.

Just keep plugging forward doing what you know is good for your family.

They will notice.

Day 251 of 365 Days of Up

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Hungry Hippos and Happy Humans

We have been so blessed to be in a neighborhood and LDS church ward that includes Brother so much. They just love him and involve him in as much as he is willing to participate in.

Our Young Women planned an epic activity of playing Human-sized Hungry Hippo.

It was such a riot!

It was loud and crazy and I thought for sure that Brother would melt and fall apart in the hallway, but I was oh so wrong!

They forgot to send him with the basket that time.
Don't worry, he waited patiently in the balloons until they brought him one.

He got right in there!

This kid absolutely amazes me with what he does!

I'm so thankful that we have had the drive and patience to continue to push him as far as he can go. He has broken so many barriers of Fragile X that I just can't help, but to be proud.
He's trying to hide his laugh

He's getting after the Bishop for taking his picture again

I do hope, too, though that the things he is doing and how far he has come will be an inspiration to other mothers of sons with Fragile X.

Yes, he still has Fragile X.

He still has really tough times.

But, these successes carry us through.

It's so fun to watch!

Day 250 of 365 Days of Up

Taking care of ponies and puppies

The day before Marc went on the backpack trip with Sister he had brought in a shelf from the garage and thought it would be a good thing for Baby to organize all her ponies on so they weren't stacked in her window sill.

He had it all set up for her when she woke up in the morning.

She wasn't happy. In fact she completely fell apart. She was yelling at me in her British accent and telling me to leave her alone. It was quite disheartening to see that again, we as parents, tried and failed.

She then spent the next 30 minutes putting everything in its exact spot from before.

When she had done this I just figured the shelf was no use and we would just need to take it back out of her room.

Then another 30 minutes went by and I checked in on her and she had put her ponies back on the shelf in stead of the in the window sill.

I guess she wanted to make the choice of where things all went instead of us treading on her space.

On the Friday night that Marc and Sister went backpacking I went to see my cousin, Colton, Peter Pan—a play that was down in Payson.

It was such a great relief for me and it really kept me smiling.

Colton was one of the pirates so I had to get a picture with him afterwards. (The photobombs were classic.)

The next morning I was getting a chuckle out of Baby treating Ranger like a baby. She was saying sweet things to him, wrapping him up and giving him kisses goodnight. I just had to take a picture.

That little pack of tissue to the right of his head is his pillow... it doesn't get any cuter than that!

Days 244-246 of 365 Days of Up