Growing Up


A few nights ago my oldest called me into her room. It had been about an hour after I had kissed her goodnight and turned the lights out. 

Her eyes were wet and her sweet chin quivered. 

I asked her what was going on. 

She managed to utter a quiet, "I don't want to grow up."

I snuggled up to her and held her for a while. 

We talked about growing and getting bigger. We talked about being there for each other. We talked about her sisters and how they will be her best friends forever because we are sealed to one another. We talked about all the fun we will have as she grows and changes. 

My sweet oldest girl has been through a lot of change. We have moved a lot and she has been forced to adapt to new homes, schools, friends, and situations. But even when she feels weak I know how strong she really is. 

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For our summer send-off we went up to the mountains a couple of weeks ago. To a beautiful place that you cannot even get to now that the roads have all been washed away. 

I am grateful for these times we have together with our girls in the mountains. There is little to worry about other than the occasional blister, bug bite, or some random kid stealing your hard-earned walking stick.


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These are the very best moments for my little family and I crave them. I feel like it makes us stronger. I love packing up food, driving up up up into the sky and finding pockets of treasure where we can let them run free and explore. 


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I hope we can get up there again for one last mountain fill-up before winter hits and our visits are less frequent.


I love that we have the beautiful mountains so close. Going there is therapy for our little family.

I pray my girl will remember these times and the strength of family when she is feeling alone and afraid - I hope she will always call on me to help remind her of that.


Falling for Fall

9 . 25 . 13

I hated seeing summer end this year. We had a really really really amazing summer. It was full of all the things we love - the pool, the mountains, road trips, cousins, friends, fireworks, bbq, sunscreen, food trucks, hiking, exploring. 

The goodness was kind of unsustainable so I'm happy to report that it ended well and will go down as the best summer ever.

What makes it easier is that fall in Colorado is amazing. 

The air is crisp and cool in the evenings and mornings, the sun warm us up for t-shirts in the middle of the day, and then the air cools off again at night for warm soup and a fire. 


It gets me giddy and puts me in the mode to prepare our nest for winter. I painted the kitchen last week. 


It was time to relieve ourselves from some of the boring beige that plagues the house. The new muted blue/green is perfect in my white kitchen. It's called Southern Breeze from Behr. 


With the big girls back in school after a week off from all the flooding things have started to get back to normal around here. The little two and I are enjoying our time together playing, baking, and just being silly. 

A big part of me (just like in the summer) wants these perfect days to never end, but there is the promise of snow around the corner and I must say that I'm pretty excited about that.


And in just a couple short weeks our little Roo girl will be 4. A sweet little birthday is a sure way to celebrate the season. 




My alarm went off way too early. 6am. 

A month ago I was used to getting up between 5:30 and 6am every other day for my morning run. I had an internal alarm clock and it just went off and I was up. 

I haven't been running because I physically have not been able to. I hate it. 

At the beginning of August my plantar fasciitis flared up so I took a couple weeks off. My PF is manageable and I wasn't worried about it at all. When we got back from Bermuda my feet were feeling really good so I went out for my usual 3 mile easy run. After just 1/2 mile I felt something pulling at the back of my knee. With each step it got a little worse. I slowed my pace and wondered if it would work itself out. I kept going for a bit, but 1 mile in I had to stop. I couldn't go a step further. I very gingerly turned around and walked home my leg aching with each step. 

For about 10 days it ached and pulled. I was freaking out. I could barely descend my driveway, stairs, or even push a shopping cart. I was icing it, taking max doses of Ibuprofen, resting, and wrapping it. I felt little relief from all the at-home treatment. There were very few days that I felt optimistic about it and I was ready to throw in the towel for Ragnar.  

I was going through my phone one day deleting old notes to myself when I came across a referral my yoga instructor had given me to a sports acupuncturist in Boulder. She recommended this office to me when I hurt my hip back in April and to be honest it seemed a little hokey.

I am a nurse. I believe in medicine, but I also believe in the body's ability to heal itself. I've seen busted and broken bodies bounce back.  I also to a certain extent believe in natural medicine - this won't surprise you if you know my mom. She is somewhat of a witch doctor. My brother's wrestling teams often have referred to her as "The Medicine Woman."

I talked to a lot of friends about acupuncture. My mom fell off a ladder once and broke a wrist. She was a painter and after her initial recovery she couldn't even hold a paintbrush. She did acupuncture after lots of therapy and it completely healed her hand. 

Another friend had a similar knee injury. She didn't do acupuncture but did dry needling with her physical therapist and she bounced right back. 

I looked up the office online. Only good reviews and a Groupon deal popped up. After talking to our insurance company (not even close to meeting our deductible) I felt this was the way to go as opposed to going to a doctor - having him tell me to stay off it, referring me to PT and spending weeks in therapy.  I don't have time for that. 

I called the acupuncturist and talked to him about the injury. He was confident that he could get me back running. He works on sports related injuries, is an avid cycler (like everyone else in Boulder) and has seen and treated many many people just like me. 


The next thing I know I'm lying on a table with needles in my ears. 


And in my legs. The session was an hour. He put stimulators on my knee and ultrasound then dry needled my muscles in my quads, IT band, high on my calf, gluteus, and hamstrings. It was crazy feeling my muscles kick then relax as all the tension was released. I made another appt and he told me I'd be achy the rest of the day, to take it easy, then go for a light run the next morning. And holy hell I was so sore! I could barely walk.

I found myself waking to that 6am running alarm the next morning - still a little achy.

I could see the sunrise peeking over the horizon as the windows in my room began to glow hot orange - it was beckoning me. Time to run. I stretched my PF, jumped up, threw my clothes on and got out the door to really enjoy it.

I walked to a dirt road nearby then slowly picked up my pace as I carefully ran down the path and back home.

1 mile.

1 slow mile with that beautiful sunrise.

I was worried the entire time my knee would begin to pull and it just...didn't. I felt weak and afraid, but no pain. No big deal.

Friday morning came (without a beautiful sunrise) and I went 2 miles.

No pain.

Turns out this Ragnar thing might work out after all.

And it also turns out that I'm a believer in needles.


100 Year Flood


So you know, we got flooded. 

Big time. 

Not us personally. We have been pretty safe, but our neighbors in Boulder, Estes, Lyons, Longmont, Greeley etc. They were hit soooo hard.

Basements flooded.
Homes washed away. 
Roads collapsed. 

You've seen it all on the news, right?

It's tragic. 


This is the creek that runs behind our neighborhood - just 1/4 mile away from our back door. It's usually only a few feet wide and winds along the trails where we ride our bikes, run, and play.

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School was cancelled Thursday then again on Friday. Saturday the sun finally shown for a few hours then the rain started again on Sunday. We lost power quite a few times and had to reinforce some of the grading on our house that washed away while keeping an eye on our basement, windows, and drainage areas.

Easy had a hard time getting home on Friday night and was detoured quite a few times due to flooded roadways.

The girls have been troopers and were happy to spend the time together coloring, playing, and painting.

Church was cancelled on Sunday.


We took a walk while it was just sprinkling to the creek. It was raging.

This morning we woke to more overcast.

I was sooooo over it.

As noon approached the clouds lifted and the girls made a break for the sunshine.


And they didn't come back in until dinner.

School resumes Thursday.


Goodbye Bermuda!

Friday we went to the beach in the morning, but the tide was high and the there was quite the drop-off into the water so we headed elsewhere.


And ended up out at Daniels Head beach.


Easy really wanted to swim out to and uninhabited island and we knew one was there from our jet-skiing adventure a couple of days before - Yep, the one where we saw the stingray, almost killed a turtle, and snorkeled around and climbed onto a shipwreck - The Vixen.


A shipwreck! You can't make this stuff up. It was sickly amazing, and awesome, and hands down one of the coolest things we have ever done. I mean, who does that???

Before our jetski adventure we hung out with these kids for a bit. They liked showing off for us. I liked hearing their cute British Island accents. It was just a bonus seeing their cool tricks.


Anyway, Daniel's Head - we snorkeled around a bit with Fat and Steph then E and I took off for the island. It was a little ways off but totally doable. We were almost there when I saw a strange flower shape right in front of and slightly underneath me. I looked closer and realized there was a halo around it about a foot in diameter. It hit me that it was a jellyfish and I quickly swan around it panicking only a little since in my mind jellyfish = extreme neurological pain.

When we got to the island it was nothing but sharp rocks and brush. We tried to climb up through the vegitaiton (in our flippers) but only got about 30 ft before calling it good and turning around. Just as we got back in the water the blister popped open on my leg. Needles were sent into my skin as the salt water hit it. I swam back as quickly and as gently as possible then we climbed through the stilts holding up the little blue houses to get back to the beach.


After Daniels head we loaded the scooters on a ferry at the Dockyard and took a 20 min ride over to the capital, Hamilton.


We unloaded then walked to the cathedral for a quick tour.


It was beautiful inside and out.


That night good ol Mother Nature gave us a sunset worthy of our final evening.


As the sun continued to dip I couldn't keep from taking picture after picture.


I never wanted to forget it. A grand finale.

Saturday morning we ditched the scooters and cruised around with Rachel until our plane departed.


There was a place along that road that E and I had passed by on the scooter several times and we never stopped. It looked like what I imagine the deep dense jungles in South America would be like.


The trees are called Indian Rubber Trees - I'm pretty certain that they aren't native to the island, but they sure were dramatic - and actually kind of eerie all growing into each other.

We then went to the Horseshoe Beach for one last hurrah.


And the 4 of them entertained me on the beach with their synchronized swimming while I nursed my leg. 


A perfect ending if I must say.

Rivaling that sunset.



Beloved Bermuda!

part 2 of 3

. Nic . Rachel . Fat . Steph . Easy . Hayley. 
Dinner on the Beach

Easy's brother Fat and his wife Steph arrived on Tuesday for their babymoon.

We really were so excited to have our vacations overlap a few days.

Easy and Fat out on the rocks. 
It was kinda hard to tell them apart out there. 

Thursday morning E and I took off to St George early. We cruised around then did a little hiking on a trail that eventually just ended - completely overgrown. 


We were hoping to end at an old fort. Luckily there was another one close by (I swear there is like 50 on that tiny island) for us to explore.

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Easy loved checking out the old forts. I was pretty satisfied after the second one.  


Especially after going to Fort Hamilton the day before - which has been maintained and is absoutely beautiful.


It's like a giant fortress turned into a park.


With an amazing jungle for a moat.


And the grounds are any kids' dream for playing hide-and-seek: hidden tunnels, overlooks, dark stairways, and peepholes. 


This is where I'm like, "Okay this is cool, but get me to the beach." 


While we were gassing up the scooter another super friendly Bermudian told us to go to the beach at  Clearwater. 


Before heading there we stopped at St David's Lighthouse to take in the views. Since the island is pretty flat the best way to get a good view is from a lighthouse. 


St David's was very charming. See Easy waaaaay up top?


You can almost always trust the locals. Clearwater was gorgeous, but we had a snorkeling date with our family so we didn't stay long. 


Due to my leg swimming was minimized for me, but I got a killer tan. We snorkeled with Fat and Steph at Tobacco Bay where they all saw a tiny squid family and parrot fish.

The day before we went jet skiing and E and I saw a stingray jump a couple of feet out of the water. He saw it first and was like, "What was that? Hayley, did you see it? Something just jumped out of the water!" "It was probably just a wave" was my reply as I shrugged him off. Sure enough the thing jumped again and it was undeniable that it was a 3-4 ft stingray - long skinny tail and all.


After snorkeling with every other tourist on the island at Tobacco Bay we checked out the Unfinished Cathedral in St George. 


Of course my husband had to trespass and go inside. 

It was pretty fun bumming around with Fat and Steph - they are super chill and the cutest pair.   Baby Gardiner is set to arrive in January. And guess what they are having a BOY! Wahoo!


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