30 June 2010

searching for a better way

I have been reading this blog this morning, Plastic Manners, and it is very inspiring. It's about this girl who is trying to live plastic-free. And it is just insane how much plastic we use on a daily basis when you really sit down and think about it.

I already have been trying, a little, to live a greener life. (I picture Jonathan snickering at that statement!) But we recycle everything we can and try to use less electricity. We are growing some of our own vegetables and herbs and I want to can some of our little harvest. But there is just so much more to do. I want our family to eat better, use less energy, reduce our waste, compost... It is a bit overwhelming. Okay, a lot overwhelming!

But, for now, I have put links to some of the blogs I found under the "lives less ordinary" heading and hopefully these will inspire me to try harder.

26 June 2010

father's day camping trip

For Father's Day we went camping in Rocky Mountain National Park.

our campsite

We went for a hike on Cub Lake Trail. It was gorgeous.

But unfortunately it was dusk and even with bug spray on, the mosquitoes were as bad as back in Virginia so we eventually turned back. We saw a bull elk on the way back, though. It was very close to us and it lifted his huge head and just stared at us. It was a bit eerie...

I have to admit, it was not as perfect as our camping trip last year. Lion was a little moody. That made all of us a little moody...

Wait! Is that a smile?!

And he woke up at around 4 am because he had gotten out of his sleeping bag. I think he said he got out of it because he was hot. But whatever the reason, Lion woke us all up screaming and crying because he was cold. He was sitting in the corner of the tent over by our duffel bags (perhaps planning to grab more clothes?) and wouldn't get back into his sleeping bag. Or let me put him in his sleeping bag. Or touch him. Or look at him. He just screamed and cried. I thought Jonathan was going to implode.

I finally got him to be quiet and get back into his sleeping bag. I fell immediately back asleep, but Jonathan was wide awake so he just stayed up until the rest of us got up. Not a very fun time.

Lion was pretty crabby in the car on the way home, too. And Jonathan and I decided to go a long way home. We wanted to drive Trail Ridge Road, since it is closed most of the year and had just opened up again for the summer.

the view from Trail Ridge Road

It was gorgeous, but Lion was such a pill! There was one point where our car was ridiculously high up on this windy road with no guard rail and Lion wouldn't stop yelling and I just looked at his angry little face and I was feeling extremely carsick and therefore clutching a lukewarm can of Coke in my hand and I just seriously wanted to pour my Coke all over him. Sigh. Not a great Mommy moment for me. I didn't, of course, and I am appalled that I even felt that way, but there you have it.

We saw this camera-shy moose on the way home by the side of the road! He is the first moose I have ever seen outside of a zoo.

Anyway. I hope Jonathan had a decent Father's Day. We all survived. And we are all still speaking to each other! We are camping again in August so we'll see how that goes...

14 June 2010

wizard of oz

I bought The Wizard of Oz today. It was a cold, rainy day so Jonathan and I curled up on the couch with the kids and watched the movie and ate some popcorn. I was afraid they might be scared by the tornado or the witch or the flying monkeys, but they were fine. I guess movies and television shows in general are just much scarier than that.

It was very surreal watching the movie with them. How many times in my life have I seen that movie? And now I have seen it with my children...

05 June 2010


Jonathan and the kids are planting our vegetable garden! Last year we grew tomatoes, squash, zucchini, peppers, pumpkins, cilantro, mint and basil. We would have had strawberries, too, but the damn bunnies ate them all. There is an abundance of bunnies in Colorado. At first I thought they were cute. Now I just think they are pests.

This year the strawberries and the mint grew back. And we bought another pumpkin plant and more tomatoes and cilantro and a loooooot more basil. We eat a lot of tomatoes and basil. My grandfather would approve. Last year the kids would just pick the cherry tomatoes and eat them while they were playing in the back yard.

I would have liked to have gotten some lettuce, too, but, like I said, the damn bunnies...

brave new boy

We left Colorado in May and headed to Disney World with a little boy. A little boy who hates being off of the ground. Who does not go on carousels or swings or down slides.

We left Disney World with a Lion who has grown up so much!

Here he is going down a slide:

Riding a carousel:

Going down a water slide:

If you look closely, you can see him riding his very first roller coaster:

It was an amazing week, watching him evolve. On the very first day in the Magic Kingdom, we walked into the park and saw a show at Cinderella's castle called "Dreams Come True." The witch from "Sleeping Beauty" appeared on stage and Lion freaked out. He grabbed my hand and dragged me away, crying and just seriously freaking out. I brought him over to some bushes so the witch couldn't see him. He told me later he thought she was going to turn into a dragon (like she does in the movie) and breathe fire on everyone.

That was the first day. And it was a huge reminder to all of us that Lion is only four and that we should not try to talk him into any ride or attraction that might be too scary for him.

But by the end of the week, Lion chose to try so many new things. And he loved them all.

This last picture sums up Lion's adventure in Disney World perfectly. Climbing, exploring on his own. Headed away from Mommy.

Disney World

04 June 2010

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Mary Oliver