Thursday, July 21, 2011

This summer feels like we have turned a corner, or made a leap...or something.  My kids are just suddenly so...I don't even know.  Capable?  Accomplished? Grown up?  All of the above.   It's enough to take your breath away.  And sometimes leaves me standing around wondering what I should be doing.  Is it Ok, for me to sit and read a magazine??  I'm just not used to not being...needed.  Le sigh. 

But I do like to read magazines...

We headed into Spring with me in a panic over the lack of swimming skills at Casa Del Clover.  It felt like a big parenting failure on our parts.  So I signed the kids up for 4 weeks of swimming lessons and crossed my fingers.  On day one, Sweet Pea jumped in the deep end and swam across the pool.  Yay!  Yay!  So she's taken care of, and that was my #1 goal.  But now I have to finish 2 more weeks of Mommy and Me swimming lessons at the public pool.  And that is another post entirely.  (They don't heat the public pool.  Did you know that?  And if you think I'm being a weenie about that, don't even ask me about the lack of waitstaff.  I'm just sayin'...)

Anyhoo...I'm so excited about the newfound water skills.  To that end, we have been beaching, boating, pooling and otherwise consuming more than our fair share of spray on sunscreen.  (Has anyone else noticed how expensive that stuff has gotten?  It's like $10 for two trips to the pool.  I've over it.  I bought a bottle of old school No Ad the other day.  I guess that's another perk of older kids.  They don't squirm while you grease 'em up.)

This week we are soaking up our summer sun Mountain style.  These are some pics of day two of our Southern Idaho Staycation, at Davis Beach in McCall. (Courtesy of Mr. G.) In just a few days we'll head to Sun Valley for part deux of G Family Fun.  My happy kids tell me they like this summer itenerary.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

You know that thrill you get when you get to make the very first tracks in fresh snow?  I absolutely love that.  Ever since I was a little girl I've daydreamed about what a place would look like without buildings or roads, or even footprints.  It's not often that I've been able to see a place that really looked untouched by people.  A few days ago we went on a hike that was probably as close to that as I've ever been.  Of course we saw the occasional trail marker, footprint, and even an old log fence.  So it wasn't exactly an appearance on Survivor.  But you felt like you could see for miles, and for miles and miles we didn't see another soul. 

For all my local peeps, you should hike this trail.  And if you camp, check out Goose Lake which is on the way.  It is stunning and the campsites are right on the little lake.  I think it would be perfect if you're camping with kids, but ready to break out of the campground scene.  It would be even more fun if you had a canoe.  (And I will come visit you and then drive back to my bed at my nice warm cabin.  Hey, I'm honest...)

The trail we hiked is the Twin Lakes Trail.  It is past the ski resort on Brundage Mountain in McCall, Idaho.  (You keep driving on that road for 9 miles past the lodge.)  The drive is stunning.  The hike is listed as moderately strenuous.  It's 3 miles roundtrip.  A mile and a half up to the lake, and then you just hike the same trail back down the hill.  It was muddy and rocky, and we found lots of little patches of snow.  But the kids and the (old) dog did great.  There was so much to look at (and sniff) that I guess they didn't notice they were climbing a pretty steep hill.   This is a good one for families, but not an easy one.  Everyone is going to need to be able to walk the entire distance on their own. 

It's mid July and the trail was definately still mucky and wet.  I wouldn't hike this with kids in the springtime.  And there are big stretches without much shade, so pick a cooler day and wear sunscreen!

 By the time you see this sign, you're almost there!

You start out in this meadow full of little yellow and white flowers.  Wear hiking boots!  It's soggy.

There was a big fire here in 1994.  Ghost trees everywhere.

Up the creekbed.  I bet the water was raging down this hill a few weeks ago.

Snow in July!

A vantage point about 1/4 of the way up.

The lake!  The name Twin Lakes suggests there is another one, but I didn't see it.

See the snow?  Yeah...the lake is c.o.l.d.

William's walking stick.

A family picture at the top.

When we got back to the meadow, Will found a lucky horseshoe!

Hope you get to have a beautiful summer day here, or whereever you may be!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I love that I am married to a guy who can program websites, balance the books, and make incredible art!  Mr. G. has been tinkering with our camera and finally cracked the code on how to manage some manual settings in the way that he wanted.  The results and have been breathtaking!  I'm sharing a few courtesy of my better half...


Monday, July 18, 2011

My list of reasons for not posting more here is long and predictable. This job thing is kicking my butt.

I love my job. Really and truly I do. I am back to doing something that makes a difference in people’s lives. If you have a bit of a superhero complex like I do, you just can’t beat a career like that.

Not that staying home with my kids wasn’t impacting lives. I mean…duh. But that’s not on the table anymore. So as long as I have to go to work, I’m glad I love what I do. And bonus, my job comes with a few incredible family perks. Win. Win.

I’m doing a lot of writing at work. I think more than anything I’m all written out. And that’s been the pin in this grenade. Ok, that and my valiant attempt not to gain 20 lbs. In order to make it to my 6:00 a.m. gym date I have to go to bed really stupidly early. I’m just not one of those people who can function on less than 7 hours worth of sleep. If you know how I can change that, please share. If I could squeeze a couple more hours into the day I think I’d be a lot less stressed out.

I can’t help it. I like my stuff the way I like my stuff. It bothers me that my house is a mess. I miss planning lovely dinners. I long for organized rooms and shiny surfaces. I look sadly at neglected projects and undocumented events. (And in my head I pretend that all that stuff happened when I wasn’t working…)

But c’est la vie! We go to the lake instead of cleaning the house. We haul our laundry with us to the mountains. We hike and swim and eat takeout. And yeah, I gaine 5 lbs. (Damnit!) It is what it is. I’m learning how to be Ok with that. (And also I have threatened to leave the country if the housecleaner isn’t hired back the second school starts. So there’s that.)

Mr. G is picking up the slack in so many ways. Although its less sexy than emptying the dishwasher…he is doing a great job of documenting our summer fun. Pictures soon to come. In the meantime, here’s some stuff you might like to know:

Sweet Pea has spent the last few months becoming a world class athlete and scholar. She can now swim the full length of the pool, serve a tennis ball, hit a golf ball straight, kick a soccer ball, cross the monkey bars and…most importantly…READ.

She’s in a summer reading program - courtesy of Aunt Sue, the recently retired second grade teacher – and she’s making great strides. We were so lucky to have the first grade teacher and reading staff that we had. They got everything clicking and really lit a fire in her. This summer has been about working out some kinks. I know she’s going to have a great second grade year.

And speaking of…we’re off to a new school. As bittersweet as that decision was, we felt like we had to take advantage of the free tuition for catholic school that came with my new job. I’ve chatted with her teacher, made friends with a couple of new moms and tapped into the network of cool families we already know at St. New School. There are two uniforms hanging in her closet. I guess we’re ready! It’s going to be a big adjustment in terms of logistics and volunteer expectations. But I think it will be good. And when I think of the big picture, the fact that her school will also be part of her faith, I get a little misty eyed.

Will is absolutely hilarious right now. And also three, which means maddening. Mr. G calls him the Sour Patch kid. First he’s sour, then he’s sweet. He is so grown up suddenly. Of course I get a little sentimental about my baby getting independent. But mostly its fantastic! We can do so many big kid things now. Golfing, hiking, movies, restaurants…I love my little foursome.

We have discovered that Will has no volume control. Is that a 3 year old thing? He shouts All. The. Time. OMg, I’m not even exaggerating. By the end of the day he’s hoarse. Every day! I hope he grows out of it. If not, he’s going to be that loud guy. The good news is, the stuff he shouts is generally brilliant and really funny. He also randomly tells me how much he loves me and begs for butterfly kisses and lullabies. I’ll keep him.

I kept those babies up late last night so that they could roast marshmellows and hike around in the woods with headlamps on. They have been sleeping soundly, but I think I hear some rustling. I suppose that means it’s time to sign off for now. But since I’m on day three of my Southern Idaho Staycation, I’ll post more soon. Otherwise, it might be Thanksgivng break before you hear from me again…

A few summer snaps. Taken on my new fancy iphone and "Instagrammed." I <3 that app!

Froggy Friend

The famous Packer John's Cabin

Sailboats on Payette Lake

 Tubers on Payette Lake

 Will and Brennan feel the need for speed!

Sweet Pea's "Bird"

Flowers in my yard. 

Summer is here!

He does everything with gusto.

At the park with Miss S., our summer Mary Poppins

Another baby tooth bites the dust.

Big, BIG rock.

Hiking the Goose Creek trail.