Oh ColoRADo


There are moments when I just don't think that Colorado could get any better and then she goes and really really throws it down. 

That is clearly what happened over the 4th of July when we planned out Silverton/Telluride trip. 

We pulled into Silverton late one evening and pitched our tent for a good nights rest as we planned to hike to Ice Lake in the morning. We snuggled in for a damp night and woke early in the morning for the trail.


We knew it was going to be long (7 miles) and hard (2500 ft elevation gain) so we packed all sorts of snacks, a water purifier, the carrier for Rose, and overly optimistic parental attitudes for what lay ahead. 


Right off the bat we came to the most intimidating waterfall crossing I have ever seen - I considered turning around right then.  The water was soooo icy and pounding so hard down the cliff 30 feet above us and 50 feet below that Easy had to carefully carried each girl across one by one. I don't know how he did it. It was so cold that I could barely get across once and I didn't even do that on my own!! - he met me halfway and held my hand to the other side when I panicked. 


We wound around the trees and followed the switch-backs until we got to Lower Basin where the trail opened up into a beautiful valley scattered with wildflowers, more streams to cross (these were less intimidating), snow in the crevices, and so far my very favorite views in the whole state.


Soooo green!


Keeping the girls going involved lots of, "Lets see how many different flowers we can find" "Lets sing a song""You can do hard things!" "I know it's hard, but look how great you are doing!" 


As we ascended the steep, snowy, slick last mile after the valley all spirits were down. I knew the Rockies had gotten a lot of snow over the winter and early spring, but I wasn't expecting this much on the trail. At times mine and E's legs would drop through the pack 12-15" and snow would completely cover our exposed feet - I carried Roo most of the way. The girls' socks and shoes were soggy and the thin icy air at 12,000ft made it hard to press on. We had a few moments where I was truly worried about our crew.

Easy kept saying, "It's just up a little further." And the girls' faces would sink when the lake didn't appear after each little ridge.

When we got to the top I was expecting what all the pictures had shown, a beautiful aqua blue ice lake, but instead we were met with...more ice and snow almost completely covering the dark water. I was a little mad actually (!!!) for just a moment. But holy cow our girls did it! They made the ascent and traversed that slippery icy trail, 5+ freezing stream crossings, and kept on going despite being tired, cold, and defeated.  We huddled around, fueled our bodies, and thawed our feet as E filtered us fresh icy water for the trek down.


Going back through the snow proved to be just as tricky on the way down, but things were warming up a bit (slippery!!) and we were in a hurry to make a train so we busted it out of there. 


We missed our train by minutes and had to hang around town for a bit then finally caught another one for Durango.

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The sights along the Durango-Silveton Narrow Gauge Railroad were spectacular along the Animas River...


and we were so grateful to rest our tired legs. 

We got into Durango with only a backpack for the 6 of us and grabbed some burgers then walked to our hotel for the night where we cleaned up and tried to sleep. Unfortunately though we awoke in the wee morning hours to Rosie puking. Agh!!! Then just before breakfast I barely got Mae into the street from the lobby to wretch. Horrible. 

We loaded the train back to Silverton with a barf bag and hopes of everyone else keeping their food down. 


Our train was heavy...they said the rails were wet...who knows really...whatever...the point is that it couldn't get up the hill. 

And it attempted to back up and try again and again with no result. 

We were stuck. 

For hours. 

On a train. 

With lots of people. 

E and 2 of the girls were seated a few cars away from me. And after time ticked by he eventually got the great idea to chauffeur our little family on into the empty first class car. So there we were and no one said a thing about it.


We had an entire car to ourselves and when the diesel engine came down to get us we rode the rest of the way back with complete freedom in comfy seats. That man of mine is a genius!!


Here we are with that damn engine.


After we got in we attempted to drive off road a bit to a ghost town but we couldn't quite make the trek in our mini van (this was the first of many times this summer that we were held back due to not having a higher clearance vehicle) so we headed back to camp.


The next morning we got up, packed up our campsite and headed over to the parade to celebrate the 4th.


These girls are troopers and the best ages for any kind of celebration. They get so into it! 

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The parade was kicked off with jets flying overhead, lots of jeeps, fire engines spraying the crowd, tav's, thousands of mardi-gras type beads, and of course candy. 

After the parade we drove back across the million dollar highway (highway of sheer death) over to Telluride.

Telluride is gorgeous!


We could have easily spent more time there, but with one day we hit the gondola, got some pizza, walked the main road, and set up along the river for fireworks to finish off the 4th. 




Waiting for fireworks. 


We left the next morning for home after hitting up the hotel pool. 

If anyone asks me what my favorite adventure in Colorado is I'd have say this..

or our Twin Lakes/Ice Caves trip last from our first summer here...

or maybe Mesa Verde/Pagosa Springs.



Roo Crashes


Our little Roo graduated from her balance bike right as school got out this summer. 

She was a little wild rider at first, but was so brave! 

One night she went out riding with E and she went down pretty hard. I was waiting for them on the driveway when he came around the corner with her bike in one hand and Roo in the other all bloodied (gratefully she was wearing her helmet).

I grabbed her and we went inside where I laid her on the counter and inspected. Her nose was bleeding and swollen, under her upper lip there was a big deep gash, and her gums were bleeding a little around her teeth. Ugh!


We put some ice on it and took off for Urgent Care. On the way she had trouble calming down and started repeating herself to me. 

At the urgent care we waited and waited then got to see the doc. 


We ended up not stitching her lip (it is uncommon to stitch inner mouth lacerations due to risk of infection and it being extremely painful) as the cut was nicely approximated, left with instructions to see an ENT about her nose, and see the dentist about her teeth. She was also diagnosed with a mild concussion.

She swore off biking for the rest of her life. 

Although it was traumatic and painful she did so well and healed up nicely. 


After a week she saw the ENT and a surgeon. They decided her nose, although still a little swollen, looked good. 


And in the meantime she finished up her job chart for her American Girl doll and we went to the store for her to pick it out. 


She was pleased as punch and when she finally decided which one she wanted. There was no wavering after that point. We got the doll and an outfit and she has been in heaven with her older sisters ever since. 

And about a month later she got back on her bike...and hasn't crashed since. 

double 3s


Right off the bat in June I turned 33. 

I really adore this age. I feel settled and calm. 33 is good. 

I love nothing more than being with my husband and children with an occasional break with friends. I love laughing and playing with my kids. I love seeing them learn new things, enjoy books, reach goals, and carry on with confidence. 

My age is starting to show a little with sun spots and wrinkles, my skin isn't as plump and hydrated, I have found just a couple grey hairs, and unless I'm eating right and working out I often feel fatigued and grumpy. I'm okay with all of this. 

I have struggled with my testimony more this year than ever. I have been striving to hold onto the basics and personal witnesses I have received of the truthfulness of the gospel to stay committed to it. It is hard though. I often feel torn, and guilty, and tired. Through this struggle I have learned that it's okay to have questions and doubts. It's okay to not have perfect faith. I know God loves me. I know he wants my success. I have decided that ultimately I want my kids to grow up in a Christ centered home, I feel balanced and happy when following the teachings of the scriptures, and I just need to not be so hard on myself. As I continue to grow I hope to increase in faith and feel closer to the spirit, I hope to be kinder to myself and others - growing up is hard stuff. 

I love yoga at 33. It's my exercise of choice. It's sweaty, stretchy, strengthening, and centering. I have a great studio I've been going to in town that I absolutely love - it's hard to find that. 

I'm watching Parenthood, Grey's Anatomy, and Wayward Pines (with E).

Most used apps on my phone are Instagram, Clash of Clans, Weatherbug, Walmart Savings Catcher, Feedly, LDS Library, and Yelp. 

I continue to take piano lessons. 

I serve in the Relief Society as First Counselor. 

I love listening to SOHN, Little Dragon, Santigold, Mt Eden, Lorde, Alt-J, and Sylvan Esso with an occasional T-Swift. When I'm alone in the car I listen to Rihanna "Bitch Better have My Money" really loud. 

I am working nights on a joint replacement and spinal surgery unit at a local hospital. I often float to the med/surg floor to help with staffing needs. I love working - but it drains me creatively. I want to get my ACLS certification and move to a job where I'd be in the ER - once all my kiddos are in school. I love working once or twice a week. It's perfect right now. 

In the mornings my favorite thing is going out to inspect my garden. The bees are usually at work pollinating things, the tomatoes are turning, the grass is wet and everything is calm. 

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