Sunday, July 29, 2012

...And Spiders

For those of you who know me, you know my one true, debilitating fear.
My mother sent me t-shirt a while ago that says, 
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself...and spiders."
Then it has a picture of little spider guy hanging from a thin black thread.
It's too bad the spider guy is on there, I just can't bring myself to put it on.
When my children are looking at nurture books and bring me photos of arachnids I come unglued and give them unreasonable consequences.
I think I may have blogged about this subject before.
Normally one blog post would suffice, but I have some recent experiences that some of you may or may not find hilarious.
I do not.
Maybe someday I will, but for now, I'm still in shock and will likely never hike to what used to be my favorite waterfall ever again.
A few years ago Mr Bird and I hiked said trail with some friends for date night. 
On the way up a huge tarantula decided to make himself cozy right in the middle of the path.
Mr Bird got some gnarly pictures of it, pictures which I to this day can not bring myself to even look at, let alone desecrate my blog with.
I stayed far, far away and only passed the spot after I was sure any sign of him was long gone.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Shame on me!
Last week my wonderful nephew took me and my brood up to the fabulous waterfall for one last hike before he leaves for law school for 3 long years.
We chose our favorite spot, waterfall canyon.
The hike up was grueling, but we all made it to the top after some blood, sweat and even a few tears.
We played in the cool spray of the waterfall and dipped our toes in the little pools made by the constant dripping water.
We had a water fight and ate our snacks.
Finally, it was time to head home and back to the beds we longed to fall into.
I strapped M&M in the hiking backpack and we were off.
I love the hike down, it's always so nice to be headed downhill with the gorgeous, trickling  river winding along the path.
Some of the boulders on that path are so huge that you have to put your hand down and sit on them as you drop your legs down to the ground below to reach the lower ground.
You kind of get into a groove and it's much faster going down than up.
Imagine my surprise when, coming to a steep decline, I put my hand out to help myself down only to see a spider the size of the palm of my hand camped out right on the rock I needed for support.
It all happened in a flash, but time seemed to stand still.
I paused, not sure of what to do.
The baby was on my back, so I knew I had to watch my step, I knew it was steep.
I was at an impasse.
That is, I was, until that thing locked eyes with me.
Yes, it was big enough that I could see its eyes and it looked right at me.
Then as if it read my mind, it jetted right for me at lightening speed!
That's when my brain turned off.
The next thing I know, I'm leaping through the air and down the steep boulders as if they were clouds with M&M still on my back all while shrieking at the top of my lungs and flailing my arms in all directions.
It must have been quite a sight to behold.
I'm pretty sure that was a new record for spider freak outs on my part.
I must have run screaming like that for a good 1/4 mile.
It was like I was not in control of my body, it just kept going down, down down, screaming in horror.
I could hear myself doing it, but I had no power to stop.
Finally the screams subsided only to be replaced with hyperventilation.
Horrifying memories of the nasty bugger charging at me kept playing through my mind and it felt like I could not breath.
I had been under attack, an attack of the worst possible kind.
I think I must have stopped shaking at some point before we got all the way off the mountain.
I did not stop to take pictures, but the image of that thing is seared into my brain.
I will never be rid of it.
In fact for two nights after the unfortunate event I lay awake at night unable to sleep thinking of it.
It caused me panic attacks.
I have never had a panic attack before, but I have a new found sympathy for those who have them.
And now a hike that I once loved has forever been ruined.
It will always be known to me hereafter as The Freakishly Huge Spider Trail.
I do not trust it anymore.
A part of me may have died...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Happiest Place on Earth

Last weekend we spent an afternoon at Snow Basin, otherwise known as the happiest place on Earth.
Disney has it all wrong.
I mean really, look  at this place! What could possibly be better?

This little cowboy absolutely breaks my heart with the cuteness.
Doesn't he look like he could step into a Norman Rockwell painting? 
Just classic.

This is what happens to cowboys when the horses have been riding all day and are tired and just don't want to go anymore.
They nose up to the trailer, practically begging the saddle to be taken off.
This one may as well have been a mule, he was not going to budge.
But the little man on back desperately wanted one last ride around the lot.

And then there's the cowgirl, she can get that horse to do anything she wants it to, she's never happier than when she's on the back of that horse.
A ride on the mountain trial is never complete without a lope or two around the parking lot.
Tired horse or not.

I love that my children are being raised in the mountains. 
We get out there as much as we can this time of year.
It is usually at least 10 degrees cooler up there.
We can leave the scorching heat for a few hours and enjoy their magic.

I sometimes wish I could bottle these days. 
The cool grass under our bare feet and rolling up pant legs to feel the cool rush of the brook on our bare toes on hot Summer afternoons.
I feel like I may need these happy memories one day.
I will need the pig tails and the too big cowboy hats and the blazing Summer sun telling me that life is good.
I will need friends playing in the mountains with laughter ringing in the trees.
I will need muddy feet and watermelon juice running down little chins.
I will need BFFs and plaid shirts.
I will need skipping stones and babies sleeping in the car on the way home.
I will need the towering aspens with their leaves that twinkle in the breeze.
I will need the lunches packed up and hiked to a picnic table deep in the trees, away from all the care and worries of this thing called life.

Little M&M and her BFF

 I just keep thinking that my kids only have one shot at childhood, and this is it.
I want them to have the happiest memories possible.
Happy enough to get them through whatever life throws at them when they are older.
I can not tell what may or may not happen in the years to come, but for right here and right now, this is childhood, and I bask in the richness of it all!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Fourth of July Is...

Babies in sunhats

Waking up at the crack of dawn for the annual 5K

Riding bikes in the bike parade, shimmering streamers of red, silver and blue taped to the handle bars fluttering in the breeze

Eating peanuts while waiting for the parade to begin

Wondering if the parade will EVER end...

Fire trucks, need I say more?

Little boys passing out the parade candy they gathered

Patriotic under roos

Five million degrees before noon

Cooling off in the shade of the willow for a family BBQ

Traditional flag cake with homemade whipped cream and fresh berries

Making wedding plans with your cousin 

Visiting with our four legged cousins
(this has got to be my favorite photo of the entire day!)

The best water fight of the entire year

Big boys versus little boys

Brother against brother

Both water hoses running full blast

Little boys in swim suits

Unbridled permission to get as wet as you want with your clothes on

No questions asked

 Long afternoon naps waiting for the fire works to start

Nieces growing up too fast

Up by 6am, back to bed no earlier than midnight

The smell of fire crackers

"Oooooo, ahhhhhhhh!"

Glow sicks

Trying to keep the baby on the blanket in the pitch blackness of night

Little ones falling asleep to the booms and bangs of fireworks

Sitting by my lover, hoping this spectacular moment will never end

 A million and one pictures to remember the fun

Being sad when it's all over, knowing we have to wait another long year before the festivities happen again

Sunday, July 1, 2012

God is in the Details

 "Thanks is what multiplies the joy and makes any life large, and I hunger for it."
"God is in the details; God is in the moment. God is in all that blurs by in life-even hurts in a life."
 ~ Ann Voskamp
13. Brother reading to brothers after lights out
14. Sister sandwich hug
15. Perfect ripe raspberries, thick as leaves
16. Soft baby kissy cheeks
17. Baby sucky face
18. Sparkly glitter clippie in curly baby pig tail
19. The hum of the air conditioner
20. Hiking in my mountains before the sun is up
21. The warming first rays of the sun on my frigid skin
22. Wild mountain flowers basking in the morning light
23. Little feet stepping double time to keep up with big ones
24. Baby in the backpack
25. The ring of laughter echoing from majestic peeks
26. The dead batteries in the camera holding out for that one last, perfect photo
27. Naps on a lazy Saturday afternoon with my soul mate
28. The gorgeous, long shade of the willow in the early twilight, my little ones running wild in it
29. Summer nights that never end