Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mountain Biking in Moab

Isn't that background amazing????? We went to visit Mike's family last week and had the great opportunity to go mountain biking one afternoon in nearby Moab. I was so happy!!!!!!! Being with Mike in a beautiful place on mountain bikes was definitely the highlight of our trip. I was in awe the whole time. SOOOOO beautiful. Mike convinced me that we could handle the toughest trail in Moab known as the Slickrock trail. It was EXTREMELY difficult and although Mike and I used to mountain bike all the time when we were dating, I haven't been for a long time. It became readily apparent early on that I could not hack the trail and we switched to another trail. Thank you Mike.
We also enjoyed meeting a soon to be sister-in-law and mingling with family.
If only it didn't take 13 hours in a car with 2 kids to get there.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sometimes you just gotta outsource

When Blake announced a few weeks back that he wanted a Lightning Mcqueen Cake for his birthday I knew we were in trouble. I have NO cake decorating skills. Suffice it to say that Mike has frosted every cake I have made since we have been married. And while Mike fares better than me in this regard, his talent doesn't extend to Lightning McQueen. And then I had a brilliant idea-Paul. Paul is my very artistic nephew who lives close by. He agreed to take on the task, and so tonight, he and his girlfriend Ashley came over and managed to take 2 9x13 cakes I baked and transform them into this AWESOME Lightning McQueen cake. Thanks Paul and Ashley. Blake will be in heaven when he wakes up tomorrow on his birthday and sees the wonderful creation.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Look what we found!!!

I am absolutely terrified/fascinated by snakes. On Saturday morning we took a little family hike near our home and Mike spotted the above gem slightly off the trail. There was a nice little bulge in his belly so he had probably just eaten and Mike also spotted the rattle at the end of the tail so yup folks it was a real live rattlesnake. Mike was surprised that I didn't make us turn around after seeing it.
Look at the waterfall that awaited us at the end. All you can see of Julia is her little hat poking up behind Blake.
Blake was so excited about the hike he couldn't even stand still to take a picture in front of the beautiful wildflowers. We were pretty impressed that he ran in front of us about half the way.
I was in wildflower heaven the whole time!!!!!
Once again, Happy Spring!! Now if it would just cool down. It has been very unseasonably HOT around here the past few days.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I Love April

I know that many people love the summer because it's fun to go to the beach and pool, etc etc. Others love the fall because of the beautiful leaves changing colors, but I have to say that Spring is my favorite season. I love it. I wish it was April every month. I love looking at the hill behind my home in full green splendor. I love the smell of Jasmine. I love the wildflowers that grow like crazy around here. I love that it is neither hot nor cold but really just the perfect weather. I love that when I go running it isn't dark yet (like winter) nor do I have to spend 40 minutes cooling down (like summer).

On Saturday I ran a 10k that was ranked in the top ten most beautiful 10ks in the nation. I seriously wanted to stop several times during the race because it was just so breathtakingly beautiful. The bright green hills were covered with gorgeous yellow wildflowers. If only I had taken a picture after the race.

There really is so much beauty in nature. And there are so many different kinds of beautiful. For the 4 years that I lived in Utah while I was a student at BYU I was constantly amazed at how gorgeous the mountains were during all the different seasons. Every time I go home to see my Mom I am amazed at how beautiful the ocean is. When we go to see Mike's family I am awed by the beautiful red rock formations. But without a doubt the most beautiful thing in the whole world to me is Iguacu Falls in Brasil. Imagine more waterfalls than you can count all in the same place. What's your favorite thing in nature?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Now it's your turn.......

I really enjoyed all your comments about the subject matter of my last post. What can I say, I like a good discussion. I wanted to clarify a few things just to be sure you understand where I am coming from. First off, I completely agree that it's all about how we as mothers explain things to our children. For example, when I was a very small girl my Mom took me to see Cinderella and as we were walking out of the theater she told me that real life wasn't "happily ever after" as portrayed in the movie. She then explained how true happiness was achieved through work and sacrifice. Obviously that made a lasting impression on me if I can still remember it almost 25 years later.
If I came across sounding like I was attacking those of you who have princess stuff at your homes I am sorry because that was not my point at all. I think it is wonderful for little girls to dress up and play pretend. I do not intend to "ban" Disney princess material at my home, I just want to limit its influence, and explain explain explain what I feel are the incorrect messages behind it. Now for another example from my childhood. When I was a girl, my Mom hated Barbies. She didn't relish the idea of her little girl playing with a large chested woman doll. I don't think she liked the message behind the Barbie which seemed to say, Being beautiful is being big boobed, anorexically skinny, having blond hair and blue eyes and boyfriend named Ken. (she never told me this as a child, only as an adult when I asked her why she didn't allow me to play with them.) Therefore Barbies were not played with at my home. I always secretly wanted one but I never got one. So, I'm not real keen on "banning" things as I think it almost has the opposite effect of making your child want what she can't have. (I do have to draw the line at the Bratz dolls-horrible- those will not come in my house)
And finally, perhaps most of you are thinking I am just over analyzing something kind of dumb. Perhaps you are right, but let me explain why. Having a baby girl a little over a year ago has changed my life in a much more profound way than having a boy did. Everything Julia learns about what it means to be a woman will come primarily from me. During my pregnancy I was very anxious and flat out terrified of this awesome responsibility to NOT screw up my child's life and to set a good example of what it means to be a good woman. I began to look at everything differently. Kind of akin to reading the ingredients on the box of cereal you eat everyday , because you are about to feed it to your toddler for the first time. (does that analagy make sense?) I started to look at simple things with more penetrating eyes, knowing that my job would be to explain the barrage of messages that will come her way.
Well, now that you all know what my parenting "thing" is, I'm curious to know what you feel strongly about. Come on, everyone has something. Examples: Maybe you only feed your children organic food because of all the hormones and pesticides in ordinary food. Maybe you won't allow your boys to have any pretend guns in the house because you feel it promotes violence. Maybe your children don't play with any "made in China" toys because you don't want to risk the exposure to lead and other toxins. Please don't be shy. Share...............