Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Hiking Adventures

Today I took the kids for a hike at Matthews/Winters in Golden. You know, because dragging a three year old and a baby through a mountain trail by myself is a great way to spend a morning. Actually, we had a really great time minus a case of the grumpies on Eli's part.

The hike went something like this:

First five minutes: Eli runs ahead and gets excited about everything. He smells flowers, points out rocks, and has a huge smile on his face. I feel like an amazing mom on a really cool adventure.
Six minutes in: "Mommy, my legs hurt."
Six minutes, 30 seconds: "Mommy, I want to go home. Mommy, did you bring snacks? Mommy, let's turn around now, ok?"
Seven minutes to ten minutes: Crying.
Ten minutes: Tessa manages to fall asleep in the baby carrier despite the noise and I decide to dig my heels in and keep going so she can have a nap.
Eleven minutes to twenty minutes: Intermittent crying, whining, grumpy faces, and general complaining.
Twenty minutes: Eli slides on some dirt and falls down. Cue sobbing. I decide it might be wise to turn around.
Twenty-one minutes to end: Some whining with promises of returning to the car. We spot wildlife, flowers, rocks, and actually have a nice time for a bit.
I'd say the whole endeavor was a success, would you?

Sometimes I can't quite believe I live in Colorado. This view is stunning and I only drove 15 minutes to get here! I need to start taking the kids to the foothills more often. We saw a lot of wildlife today too, which was super fun. There were butterflies, dragonflies, birds, bugs, and even a couple of deer with antlers!

After our hiking adventures, we stopped to play in the creek near the trailhead for a bit. We started by having a merry time throwing rocks and wading.

But then a slip by Eli turned our fun into this:

Tessa remained unflappable as always and enjoyed splashing her toes in the water and eating grass. She also tried her hardest to eat as much dirt and rock as possible, but Mommy prevailed.

Until next time...

Monday, August 3, 2015

Too Much

Does anyone feel like there is simply too much in their life right now? Too much to do, too much stuff, too many responsibilities.

Ben and I stayed up late talking last night about parenting issues we're having after reading this article. Our conversation turned to we can reduce the stuff in our life and increase our gratitude, both for ourselves and the kids. I've been reading a lot about minimalism and have been really inspired.

Then this morning I woke up with a mile long to-do list rolling around in my head. I just laid the kids down for naps and sat down with a huge sigh. Where did all this come from?! I was managing so well and then suddenly I get overwhelmed again. Summer is supposed to be a time for long free days, but I'm not feeling like that at all.

I'm making it a goal to reduce stress, eliminate clutter, and find time for what is important. Here are a few specifics for me:

Intentional Mornings: Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you I'm not a morning person. I hate getting up before 8 am, and I stay in my pajamas as long as possible. I've discovered since having kids, though, that mornings are crucial to how our day turns out. If I'm cranky and tired our whole day is off. My goal is to get up half an hour before the kids do and try a few of these ideas to improve my mornings.

Dedicated Productivity: At this moment, I'm grading papers, writing this blog post, going through photos, and answering emails. I'm going to take a wild guess and say I'd get a whole lot more done if I was doing one thing rather than all four at the same time. I am hoping to restructure my free time (do you hear my laughter? free time?! come on!) schedule so that I get more done. I'm thinking nap times for grading papers, evenings after the kids are in bed for blogging or reading, etc.

Simpler Clothes: A lot of bloggers have been posting about capsule wardrobes or pairing down their clothes lately, and I'm really loving this idea. I spend way too much time in the mornings wondering what on earth to wear, so I find I end up in yoga pants most day. I'd like to look presentable but not put a lot of effort into it. I'm thinking it's time for a "Momiform" if you will- basics that I wear most days to help me stop wondering what to wear every morning. I haven't quite nailed this down yet, but so far I've got my Everlane t-shirts, Gap Factory jeans (exact), and some simple jewelry from Target. I'm hoping to post more on this soon.

Declutter: I LOVE going through things. I find such a satisfaction in getting rid of things I don't need. After reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up I know that Marie and I could be best friends. That book made my soul sing. It's actually a problem to the point that Ben going through stuff before I donate it. It's funny, though, how much stuff we still accumulate. Our toys are out of control and I have stuff tucked away that I need to go through. I'm hoping to take some evenings this month to declutter at a more basic level. I'm asking myself "Do I need this now?", not wondering if I should keep it for years to come.

What about you? How are you simplifying your life this summer?