Sunday, July 23, 2017

With Time for Reflectin

 My kids (and John) will be home any minute.

 I know this because John shared his location with me on Google Maps and he is driving back from his weekend camping trip with the kids.  (John being John and always using the latest Google technology).

 I've never had a weekend "away" from the family while not actually being away.

 Luckily I still had Harper to keep me company, but she isn't much of a conversationalist.

 As a mom, or parent for that matter, so many days just blur together and the hours stretch between every wake-up and bedtime day after day.

 There are so many wonderful moments, as well as many awful moments and many dull moments too.

 But there definitely isn't much time for reflection, at least for me.

 The work of raising kids is exhausting and takes so much mental and physical energy that it's almost inexplicable.

 It's almost like you have to live it to believe it.

 But this weekend alone left me time for reflection.  Lots of time.  So much time alone.

 And I missed John and my kids like crazy.  More than I ever thought I would.

 As much as I was able to enjoy some wonderful adult activities like a trip to the museum, a nice meal out, and attending a beautiful wedding, it still left me yearning to be with my family.

 I realized that as much as I crave and need these non-child-tending activities, and as much as they lift me up, I really want to come home from any outing and be with my family.

 John and the kids were almost unreachable for a few days because they didn't have cell phone reception, and I can't wait to hear about all of their adventures and give them all a tight squeeze.

 This family of mine is just that - mine - and I am so grateful for them.

With time for reflection, I think I'll keep 'em.

And I might just hold them extra close tonight.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Poolside Snow

 Well, there's a first time for everything.

 And visiting a pool at 8,200 feet elevation next to snowy mountains was definitely a first for us.

 The pool was heated, but it was not very warm.  The wind off the snow was definitely chilly.

 But what kids (young and old), don't love a pool?

 And what photographer doesn't love a pool with snow-capped mountains in the background?

 The hot tub was a lot more appealing, but the kids weren't old enough to swim in there this time.  Noni brought some snow over to the pool ledge and Orelia kept sneaking bites of it (yuck), and Bennett used his trucks to dig with it.

 A few days after we visited they had skiing on these mountains for 4th of July, but I'm glad we stuck to the pool idea.

One day these kids might ski the slopes from Squaw Valley used in the Olympics, but for now we drank hot chocolate by the pool instead.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Home, Again

 We drove back home today, and even though I wasn't missing home, it's good to be back.

 Vacations are filled with sweet treats, staying up past bedtime (adults and kids alike), and lots of new and exciting things.

 But tonight I got to take Harper for my usual evening walk around the block, and it was so relaxing to be in my neighborhood strolling past the same neighbors I usually see every day.

 We don't have gigantic bags of Doritos within hands-reach at home, so the kids devoured actual green vegetables at dinner tonight.

 From the time we got home (around 2:30 PM) until bedtime, Orelia has changed her outfit at least a dozen times (probably more).  She is loving being reunited with her wardrobe again.

 Bennett had at least twenty trucks and vehicles on vacation with us, but he has laid hands on every truck we left behind in the few short hours we have been home.

 While we got plenty of beach time the past two weeks, I'm not sure the kids set foot on a single patch of grass during that time.  This evening they couldn't get enough of barefoot games of chase in our backyard.

 Tomorrow John goes back to work, and we will all be devastated.

 Losing all the Daddy time will be especially hard on Bennett, who has barely let John out of his sight for two weeks.  Whenever John went to run an errand or walk Harper, Bennett was screaming to accompany him (and John is too nice to say no).

 Orelia will be missing her partner in adventures, as there aren't any ziplines, tubing, or horseback riding in her near future.

On our drive home today we passed some lakes and rivers that are close to home.  They all looked a murky green, instead of the beautiful blue of Lake Tahoe.

There's plenty to be happy about back home, but Lake Tahoe captured our hearts this trip, and we can't wait to swim in this cold but gorgeous lake again soon!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Grins and Adventures

 We are still here and loving life in Lake Tahoe.

 Life back home seems like a million miles away.

 And my backyard at home certainly doesn't look like this.

 No matter where we are, however, there always seems to be lots of shenanigans with Daddy.

 But Daddy gets his payback when he somewhat drags Orelia into the lake.

 I love this photo my Dad captured of John capturing Orelia.

 Our house was very well equipped, and even included a kayak.  Both kids loved setting off with Daddy for adventures.

 Bennett, true to form, enjoyed his pouring water, digging in dirt/sand, and generally being a 2.5 year old boy.

 A natural sandbox suits him just fine.

 When Orelia is energetic these days, she seems to go forever.

 She would literally sprint up and down our tiny beach until she was panting.

 And then, there's no better way to cool off than a dip in a snow-melt-filled lake!

I think this princess has found a new domain.

 Uncle Bobby loved getting energy out with the kids.

 And occasionally John got his energy out on Uncle Bobby.

 Lake Tahoe is way too cold for Mommy to venture into, but I'm glad Orelia and Bennett are made of stronger stuff than me.

 Orelia and Uncle Bobby made up a game about "energy rocks" and throwing them in the lake and some sort of good energy and bad energy.

 I definitely don't understand the ins and outs of these energy rocks very well, but I know that it always makes Orelia laugh and run around in search of the best rocks to toss into the lake.

This girl has a great mischievous grin.

And we are having a blast on our trip.

I have many more grins and adventures to share with everyone soon!