Category: recreation


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?


Part Four: A Legacy of Recreation

The legacy of recreation in my family runs deep and wide. I come from a long line of Recreation Professionals, my mother, her two brother, my two sisters and I all graduated with degrees in or worked in recreation. My mother’s father volunteered in the Boy Scouts for years, and instilled in his children a love for the outdoors.

I love this man so much! I am just crying thinking about him.
Ky and I look like children, haha. But I love this picture of us after a hike at Zions National Park
My mother front left and her parents and siblings. I love these people so much and have so much support from my family it makes my heart burst.

Real quick one funny story to demonstrate my Grandpa’s gusto for life, when I was 18 I went for a walk with my Grandpa and then 10-year-old and baby cousins. I was pushing the stroller sandwiched between Grandpa and Tayla on a country road in Idaho. Looking down this long road, then to my right and to my left. Surely, I thought, I can beat these two at foot race, it’s on! So I issued the challenge and both parties accepted. Next thing I knew I was being beat by a kid and an old man, and he won!

Anyway back to my family, gratefully my mother instilled this love for recreation in all of her children. Wow my heart is so full of gratitude to that woman right now it might burst! We did lots of camping, and hiking, and scouting, swim lessons all summer, little league sports, we owned balls of every shape and size,  croquette sets, horseshoes, frisbees and bats, we spent summers at scout camps and at our grandparents and aunts in the country where we rode horses and worked on the farm. And let’s not forget dad, he would sneak us out of school or take us out late at night to go fishing, seriously cherished memories. These experience have made me and my amazing siblings who we are.

My mom and my older sisters prob 1983, isn’t she beautiful?
Our oldest sister Micah, our second mom. Back in the day in high school
The second oldest, K’Leena. This girl has spunk!
Our bro Jake Jake. Four wheeln’ it in St. Georgia, UT

From a young age I knew I was strong, (wow feeling emotional). I knew I could do hard things. I knew that I could do anything my male equivalents could, and no I am not a feminist (not that being a feminist is a bad thing, I’m just not), but I knew that I really could do anything if I applied my self and worked hard at it. I knew my family loved me and that my parents valued our time together. I am loving that I am now finding out that these are things I want my children to know. By golly, I am going to work my darndest to get these points driven deep into their souls just as it was in mine.

Thank you to my mother and father, my siblings, my grand parents and my aunts and uncles, for helping me to enjoy recreation to feel all of the benefits of it my life. I love you all so much and you have had a part in shaping me into the woman I am today. For better or worse, haha. Writing this post and looking through photos makes me want to fly into the arms of my family I feel so homesick and want to cry.

PS this journey to re-finding me, is amazing. I am feeling in my soul who I was, who I am and who I want to be. Thank you so much for reading along. This is changing my life, and I can not wait to see the further changes I make.


Part Three: Life After

After Kace things slowed down some but not terribly, I still went swimming three days a week (thanks to a wonderful friend), I walked everywhere, we went snow boarding, and I joined a co-ed soccer team. I worked pretty hard to keep recreation in my life. Once Kyle finished up at BYU-I and we moved away things dramatically changed. I found my self first, in one unfamiliar town then in a completely unfamiliar state. Of course our finances were tight so that became an excuse for not heading out and doing a ton of recreation. We have found time to do a couple things here and there but it definitely has not been a major focus or something that we purposefully made time for. But dag nabit that is going to change. I feel so rejuvenated after I head outdoors for a bit.

I want my children and family to feel all of the benefits mentioned in Mrs. Freemans speech.

Pretty much I have just decided that if recreation is so important to me and makes me so happy then it is high time I put aside the excuses and just get my fam damily out there enjoying it. In whatever small ways we can. Last weekend I packed up the hubby and kids and headed out for an overnight family camp out. We went to a beautiful state park, Ricketts Glen. The park has seven beautiful falls you can hike to, though we only made it to four. We had such a wonderful time and our kids loved it.

 Oh yeah well they loved it until we went to the lake the next day. Kacen had a frog floaty that I brought because I thought the weather might be good enough for a swim, it wasn’t. He wanted to play with it so bad but I kept telling him he had to wait until we went to the lake. We got to the lake and he started to undress in the 50 degree weather, haha. We had to explain to him that we couldn’t get in. Well then he though, if I put my floaty in water and hop on then I won’t get wet. So he gingerly placed his tube in the water being sure to keep his feet dry and the wind swept away his froggie so fast. Poor kid. He was devastated and just kept crying/screaming “help, help.” And then the epic fit of a century ensued with full on body slams into the sand, jumping up and landing straight on his back, rolling everywhere and eventually ending with him wading into the water fully dressed. Finally I ran back to the car and grabbed another floaty and he was pacified.

And Andie was crying too, don’t know why.

The crying aside, as it always must be,  I came back feeling like a whole new person. It was exactly what I needed to feel centered and grounded. Being wholly removed from technology (we had no cell service) and just taking it easy and at whatever pace we wanted, was so fun. To just BE with our children and my busy husband with no distractions was so enjoyable. I look forward to more adventures like this. I hope my children can look back to their childhood and feel the legacy of recreation I have felt in my life.
So any fun summer plans?

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.


Value Recreation: Part One

One childhood camping trip sticks our vividly in my memory. My parents took us to a site near a river. My older brother, Jake, my sister K’Leena and I loved exploring the river and its banks. At one point in the river a giant log created a waterfall running into a small pool that housed an island. We absolutely loved that island, it became our everything that week. And would you imagine to our surprise when one day there was magically a six pack of Pepsi wading in the river near our island? We couldn’t believe that someone had let their Pepsi run down the river and that it happened to shore up on our island. Then the next day a giant watermelon was resting in a little pool off our island. What? Sweeping up the watermelon we ran back to camp to show our mom the treasure. It was then that we realized that sometimes while camping people use the river as a natural cooler. Woops. We had to return the watermelon but there was no returning the soda.
A month ago I was talking to my mother, a recreation professional, about my new parental views about simplicity and she said, “I have an article you would love!” She sent this baby over to me and yes, I do love it and hope you will too. It is actually a speech given by Patti Freeman, you can watch her speech by clicking here.

I do know that I love nature, it rejuvenates me. The idea of shutting out technology and going back to the basics resonates with my heart. I am sorry my sketchy cut and paste job is difficult to read.

Oh man doesn’t that just ring true with your soul? It does mine. More on this line of thought tomorrow.


Give Me Those Endorphins Baby

The past two days I had been one ornery mama. Don’t know why exactly, but I was testy. So I tried shopping therapy, and that seemed to help some, new skirt, blouse, dress, and t. Then I grabbed the kids and went out for a walk, and man-o-man, it was hot. So Kace and I hurried back home, grabbed our sneakers and headed out for a run. Dude that felt so freaking good.

During the “Bummer Zone” period of my life, aka postpartum, my friend Brenda gave me some great advice. She said that in here experience getting up in the morning and doing even a couple of jumping jacks really got your body going. Though, as I do with most good advice, I don’t always put it into practice. But man I felt like I was on a high after two days of orneryness and only a half mile run. It is so true that exercise gives you those happy endorphins.

Isn’t my buddy too cool? He ran a half mile, even after taking most of the skin off both of his knees a quarter of the way through. The knees didn’t bother him til we got home, then right before I went to take this picture he noticed them and was really worried. But I took him inside and he went straight to the kitchen and got a towel and started to clean it up all by himself, he sat there scrubbing at the scrapes til he he could exclaim, “That’s better.” I love how tough this kid is, too cool I tell ya, too cool. 

Also, I think if I lived my life in workout clothes I would be more fit, cuz at a moments notice I would be dressed and ready for running, playing, jumping, whatev. Hmmm maybe that is more who I am, a workout clothes person? Things to ponder.  Have a nice weekend, get out there and get your endorphins flowing!