Monday, June 17, 2013

Happy Monday.

I started summer vacation with a good deed.  Now I'm ten inches lighter, a little blonder and happy knowing this is going to a good organization...

I've donated my hair several times over the years and it always makes the chop easier knowing it is not going to be swept up and thrown away.  It's an easy way to help.  It will be turned into a wig for women battling cancer.  I can't think of a better place for it to go.  I loved my hair long, but it was time for a change.  I finally decided to give in to the battle of the greys and professionally dye them away.  Once you begin dyeing your hair you can no longer donate it.  I figured I should go for it one more time.  I had a bit of regret a couple days after, but it quickly passed.  It's just hair and it was time to change it up a bit.  As a creature of habit I can easily get stuck in a rut.  Hair today, gone tomorrow.

When I had my moment of regret I thought of my sister who had to shave her head last summer.  That quickly put it in perspective.  She's a rock star.  

We began summer vacation appropriately with our first family hike of the season.  There is still snow in some of our mountains, so we stayed close to town.  It was a glorious morning...sun shining bright as we made our way up the mountain.  Stopping, of course to pick wildflowers along the way...

I thought it would be fun to do a scavenger hunt for this hike.  We made up a list on the drive to the trail and it didn't take long for them to begin crossing things off.

We found everything except an acorn and a snake.  Glad we didn't find a snake.  
This particular trail is one of the girls favorites because at the top is a fort...

We've come a long ways since our early hiking days with the girls.  Now they are strong and capable...running up the mountain without complaint.  This was not always the case.   I don't remember hiking when Ava was a baby.  I was either too tired from sleep deprivation during those days to remember or we were too worried of parents to ever do it.  However, I remember going when Layla was a baby.  The first time I had her in a front pack and Matt had Ava in a hiking backpack.  We were about a half mile in an easy trail up the canyon.  Layla was sound asleep, Ava was happy pointing out birds.  Then Layla made the tiniest of peeps and I was so worried she was going to wake up screaming and we would be stuck up a mountain I made us all turn around and get back to the car.  It ended up being a 15 minute hike after an hour car ride to get there.  Not very successful for two people who were used to hiking to the tops of peaks, but I felt like we had accomplished something so big.  Just making the effort to get back up in the mountains was huge.  Doing it with a two year old and newborn strapped to your sweating body was even bigger.  Hiking became a more regular thing again after that.  Many times it wasn't worth the effort.  It wasn't worth everything that need to be packed for it.  It wasn't worth sitting on an uncomfortable rock trying to nurse a baby.  It wasn't worth listening to a whining "MY LEGS HURRRRRRRRRRRT"  "I'M SOOOOO TIIIIIIRED" for an hour out in the mountains.  There were plenty of times Matt and I looked at each wondering why we were doing this and is it ok to threaten to leave them in the mountains?  Or is that bad parenting?  It turned out all the effort was worth it.  Now we get excited squeals when we suggest going for a hike.  There is no complaining, just happy girls out exploring the wilderness.  Stopping to pick wildflowers, observe a caterpillar and look out in awe when we reach the top.  I hope this love of the mountains and outdoors stays with them wherever they may go or end up.  

Yesterday we celebrated Father's Day.  My girls are so very lucky because their dad is pretty amazing.

He loves these girls like no other.  Best part is, he's not afraid to show it.  I didn't grow up in a house where we were overly affectionate.  We didn't say "I love you" all the time.  The love was just there.  You could feel it even if it wasn't said.  Matt grew up differently and brings so much love and affection to our home.  Not a day goes by without at least a dozen "I love yous" getting flown about.  I love the importance he puts on his relationship with the girls.  He lets them be themselves and gets involved with what they enjoy.  Whether it's tossing a ball around the backyard or getting on the floor playing Polly Pockets.  He'll sit on the floor and let them put one hundred hair things in his hair.  Now, that is love.  There is no one else I would want to share this journey of parenthood with. He is a natural.  While I read every parenting book there was and fretted constantly about doing things the "right" way, he just goes with what feels right.  And, judging by what awesome little girls they are, I'd say he is doing something right.  Happy Father's Day.

It's the first official week of summer vacation and I don't know where to start.  I was talking to my friend Amy and in our short conversation we talked about going to a park, the beach, camping and the museum.  We then stopped ourselves realizing we don't have to do everything the first week in.  I blame Montana...we have so few months you can't help but feel you need to cram it all in on every nice day.  Especially when it is finally feeling so warm, you forget that we actually do get a whole summer of it.  Gotta take a breath and enjoy it.  

Deep breath, inhale the delicious smell of lilacs flowing in...enjoy.  

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