Category: beautiful life

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A Week of Firsts

This past week was a fun week of firsts, I learned a lot, had some really fun cultural experiences and had a wonderful holiday with my family. I have felt something lately that just makes me want to try all sorts of new things and I just love it. The “old” me used to love having new experiences, I was usually up to trying anything, Heather of late seems to be a little more stuck in her ways, going along with hum drum. But I am so excited to be finding new experience to immerse me and my children into.

This week was:

my first week on a plant-based, wholefood diet

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my first time making dinner in a pumpkin

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my first time making sushi

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my first time going to Greek Food Bazaar

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my first time needle felting and learning to puppet

and my first time leaving Kacen at a Birthday party

I’ll chat a little more in detail about each of these events through the week. I just realized that most of these revolve around food, hopefully that doesn’t bore you. Hope you had a wonderful weekend and a happy Halloween, check in tomorrow for the first, first: plant-based wholefood eating.

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Beginning the Fall Festival

I am largely the least celebratory person I know. Which is super weird because I love planning parties and what not, but when it comes to me and mine I have been very low-key. While I still plan to keep life simple I also want to begin to bring a flow of the year into my children’s lives.

Part of that flow is recognizing yearly milestones; holidays, birthdays and seasons. We have made a plan to celebrate each season by enjoying it’s unique characteristics.

Autumn time is a wonderful time to help children live the colors, red, yellow and brown.

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Children enjoy the scents of Fall through daily outdoor activity, picking fresh apples and pumpkins. Through cooking they come to appreciate the pungent spices of cinnamon, thyme, sage, clove and nutmeg, in conjunction with the wonderful Fall produce.

By spending a large part of each day outside, regardless of the temperature, children will come to appreciate the crisp autumn breeze and the refreshing Fall drizzles.

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By bringing the outdoors inside, through pumpkins, gourds, corn cobs and leaves to play with and decorate they will have tactile connection to the signatures of autumn time.

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Living here in Central Pennsylvania we have a mecca of farms, which means a bounty of affordable seasonal produce. Just around the bend from me is a family-run farm where I buy my pumpkins and squashes. The children and I have spent a couple of mornings here already this year. One to gather small pumpkins for our table center piece (which is also a great play thing while they wait for meals) and some small bales of hay for the their figurines and toys to explore and build with. The other was to choose pumpkins for painting to decorate our door step.

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I love this little stand, it is all pay on your honor (actually a few farms I love run on that system), it all feels so quaint and personal.

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After we have sufficiently decorated our home in honor of the Fall season we will then plan and cook some wonderful dishes to have on a special evening with all our family to reach a climax of Fall celebration with our own family Fall Festival.

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Doing Something I Did Before I Had Kids: Backyard Jam Sesh

Last week the kids, Kyle and I went down to Baltimore with my mother-in-law. On our way home a bad winter storm was rolling in. It took us three hours to drive what normal takes a little over one hour. As we pulled into the driveway at 11:00 p.m. I said, “Well I am gonna go get my skis and hit the back yard.” Valarie replied, “You know the snow will be here tomorrow.” “I can go then too,” I said.

I really love skiing and snowboarding. I really love using this magnificent body of mind for physical activity.
 
Before I had kids skiing and snowboarding was a huge part of my winter. I worked at a ski resort for three years and when we weren’t at the resort we were just at parks around town building kickers to jump off.


Lately our are has been getting some snow so I  have taken the opprotunity to head out in the backyard for a little fun.

It has been a huge blast just getting out even late at night just to do what I used to. But the funnest part has actually been teaching little Kacer-roo how to ski. He has been doing pretty well and we are really excited to teach our kids to ski and hope to make skiing and snowboarding a integral part of every winter. I didn’t learn to snowboard until I was an adult and we really hope we can get our kids out there early so they can enjoy this life long sport.

Have any of you been doing things you used to do before you had kids?

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Part Two: Life Before

In 2009 I graduate from Brigham Young University Idaho with a degree in Recreation management. Before our little guy came along you could say I spent a lot of time outdoors. Yeah you could say that and it would be an understatement. Daily I was rock climbing, swimming, snowboarding, skiing, swimming, running, hiking, backpacking, water skiing or wake boarding.

back packing Lightening Peak, Provo UT

Jet skiing Bear Lake, UT
Ky and I snow shoeing, Provo Canyon, Provo UT

My sister K’Leena and I same hike

Snowboarding Grand Targhee, Alta WY
After a day on the slopes, yep I’m G


Fire Hole River with Kyle’s family, Yellowstone National Park
hike to Bridalveil Falls, Provo, UT

Seriously I did multiple forms of recreation a week.


The day I realized I was pregnant. I was competing in a speed climbing comp in Rexburg, ID

Even after finding out I was pregnant I didn’t slow down, I may or may not have water skied, jet skied, flow boarded, rock climbed and snowboarded. It really is no wonder my son is an adrenaline junky.

Those years were my rec era, but life does take cycles and maybe it will cycle right back around again. I have had opportunities since having my children to begin amazing recreation careers (think cruise ship deck director, school recreation director and rec facility management), but with each opportunity I prayed about what was best for my family and it always came back around to being at home with my children. And I have never regretted that. Of course I have daydreamed about what that other life might look like, especially the other me with sun tans and muscle tone, haha. And I really do hope that some day I can get back to work in the rec field but for now I will do the most important work I can.

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Do Something You Did Before Kids

This week on doing something I did before I had kids
Painting my nails
I know that some, well probably most of you are pretty good at taking care of yourselves, I guess I am too, most of the time. Showering at least twice a week counts right? Oh man I remember when I was single and showered every day, went to the gym, did my hair every day and always had cute toe nails. I actually remember being sixteen and looking at the moms in church and thinking, “Seriously, they can’t wake up early enough to at least curl their hair and put on a dab of makeup?” Now I see it is much less about the time and much more about the will, not as if I have a ton of “free” time these days either. 
In fact, the whole painting my nails thing only worked today because both kids went down to naps simultaneously… and I choose to ignore the host of other tasks that are always there waiting to be done when nap time comes. Cuz you know that as soon as you put that polish on fifty new things will pop into your head bidding for you attention. But if you don’t wait the full fifteen minutes until the polish is set and hard your are gonna make a mess and the whole thing will be for naught.
Here is the mess I was in
 Pretty sure that has been sitting on those not so pretty piggies since last Summer or at least Fall
Shopping for polish was fun, except I am so cheap and don’t know what colors are “in,” but this is what I came home with
And here is the final product.
 And just for fun, I did my nails too. As I was painting them my mother-in-law said, “I don’t think I have ever seen you with painted nails.” And she is probably right, between sports and food service I have not often painted my nails. But I think I kinda like it.
PS to you moms out there who do rock it and get your self together every day, hair, make up, shoes and great outfit power to ya. Seriously that is awesome and I idealize you. But to you that don’t that is ok too man, it is all about feeling good and being happy in your own skin. These pretty girl things do make me feel happy and I do like my nails being done, that is why when I thought about some of the things I did before I had kids this was the first thing I decided to try.
So get out there and do something you enjoy that you haven’t done in a while.