Going on a hike to breathe my feelings into nature.

So the day this happened was the day after Allan asked for a divorce. I was surprised when he asked for divorce, even though maybe others would think I wouldn’t be after all that’s gone down the last 2 1/2 years? I don’t know, but I was.
I was upset for a million reasons.
Watching someone make choices you don’t agree with and walk away from a family they made… it’s a bad feeling. Watching the person who made vows to build a life together betray those vows over and over again. It hurts.
After going for a drive and crying my eyes out, silently so the kids had no idea, I decided to pull my shit TOGETHER and do the thing that most makes me feel like me and helps me focus on my own dang self and how to be the best person I can be, HIKING WITH MY KIDS.
Nature, motherhood.
They are the only two absolutes in my life so, off on a hike we went! It really was encouraging to be out in nature where everything has a place and does exactly as nature told it to. It made me feel more peaceful like… you know what, doesn’t matter what level of emotional hurt is going on inside me, I am being nature and I can still be nature. I can still be what a human is meant to be even if what happens around me doesn’t look like the blueprint I was given when I was younger. I’m taking care of these kids the best I can and I guess that’s ALL THAT REALLY MATTERS! Becoming better for them and not because I’ll get a happily ever after by those actions. Not because I’ll be a “good mom” if I do a good job. But because I can make their lives a little better if I do a good job. I need to work on me so that I’m a force of good in the world and impact others positively instead of becoming dark and depressed and selfish in my misery. I see easily why humans go down that road and so I want to take the other route… where it doesn’t actually matter what happens to me, I still stand up afterwards and try to find ways I can add good to the world instead of bad. SO WHAT something sad happened to me? I can still put out good in the world.

Thank you all for following my journey. I’m sorry when my sad feelings seep out and don’t inspire. I’m not a hallmark card, though. I’m a person with a jumble of emotions and when I’m in a dark place I hope that you can feel better about your own dark places instead of feeling saddened or even hateful toward me letting you down. I can’t inspire with my perfect life because my life is so far from perfect, but I am real. This is my messy life I’m trying to manage the best way I can with whatever human traits I have. Sometimes I fail and make huge messes. I hope you love me anyway.

I hope I can make myself leave my house and go out into nature more often. I hope that for you, too. I know it’s hard. It’s so much easier to hide in a house where it’s safe from scary people that might hurt me. Some people are freaking scary. They just hurt me for no reason. They say, “I love you” and then punch me in the face.
I’m sorry for being hurt, for hurting others, and for all the hurt you reading have had. Nothing changes it.
But there are other people who are there through the storms, and you can’t find them hiding in your house. They’re out there in the world. It’s worth the battle scars of hurtful human interaction to find the ones who help, uplift, and heal. Who connect and love with everything in them.

I don’t know what I’m saying.
I love you. I hope you love me. Thank you for being here.

Look at Payson, can you believe how big this kid is getting? Wasn’t he just a little toddler yesterday? Where does time go! It drifts quickly by when you’re not looking.

Am I really someone who has had hurtful things happen to her? You could never say that about this woman below, could you? How can anything matter when she has those kids? She is one lucky, lucky, lucky human.

Look at this cute little bug in this pretty flower! I loved watching it.

I only have 3 years left with Brooke at home. That’s so sad. I better get to treasuring it and watching and listening to her more!

This is so funny… Ember found this sign post that had the number 7 and asked for a picture since she is 7…

And we couldn’t find the 4 sign so Everett settled on posing with the #2. haha. That kid is the best kid.

Look at what I get to see when I drive around my neighborhood. How beautiful is that?

Sneakily snapped this while they were talking.

Waiting for KFC. Because while I was trying my very best to hold it together, cooking dinner seemed like it might break me and so KFC stepped in to help out. haha

Back to our Favorite State Park

Most hikes Allan ends up holding a tired Ember half the time. This time we let her sit in the stroller and Allan held Everett!

Ember used a stick to pretend to sweep this entire area we were hanging out at. There was a bench there and the kids were sick to death of hiking (mostly Ember and Everett) so we just stopped and spent time there. Ember cleared pretty much every pine needle out of the area! She was very determined!

Everett got the idea to throw rocks from the bench area we were sitting at into the trees below. We were on a hill so it was fun for him to watch it fly out of sight. He did that for a long time and got excited and proud of himself each time!

I set up the camera and timer to show us all looking off at the lake, which is what we were doing, but then everyone ran off right then to do other things and I didn’t want a picture of me just standing there alone so I just bent over and showed my rock. lol

Allan was kneeling in front of some stairs because Everett really wanted to climb down them but they were steep and dangerous.

Ember and Everett spent lots of time picking up stuff off the ground around them and throwing it off the deck we were on.

Someone texted me. Everett heard my phone beep from the stroller and helpfully went to retrieve it. If I don’t look at my phone when it beeps he gets really annoyed! haha! He likes me checking those messages!

He found a big stick and was happy about waving it around like a sword. He hit a bunch of things with it making a sword poking sound each time.

Allan Takes a Day Off and I Take a Hundred Pictures!

Allan took a Wednesday off work and we went for a hike atΒ  our favorite state park. Then we picked up Brooke from school and went to Cafe Rio. Then Brooke had young women’s and while she was in young women’s we went to Wal-Mart for groceries.

It was quite chilly when we got to the trail and Ember didn’t have a sweater! We’re still adjusting to the weather suddenly being fall-like and not summer-like anymore! I let Ember wear my sweater and I just had a tank top! I was chilly!

The kids were using all the sticks and rocks as weapons. It was adorable.

Usually Allan wears Everett but I wore him this time. He kept me warm!

I couldn’t stop taking pictures of Ember hiking around in my sweater. I loved how she looked swimming in it! haha!

Running to catch up to daddy!

The trail went right by the lake.

Everett woke up from his long nap near the last part of the hike.

The clouds moved in, that was cool.

Look what Allan got! I love this picture!

Allan took this, too!

We drove to Brooke’s school to get her and then went straight to Cafe Rio! Allan took these next two pictures while I was ordering the food.

This is when Everett saw me walking back from ordering. He lit up and smiled and waved! AWWW! So glad Allan took this!

When we were getting ready to go Payson and Ember went outside (there was a door right next to our table) and did funny faces and made up sign language through the window πŸ™‚

And lastly we went to Wal-Mart that night. It was a fun, busy day!

Hiking at English Point

This was a really easy hike we went on. It was really, really beautiful there. Sometimes we go on hikes and I only take one or two pictures and sometimes we go somewhere so pretty I can’t barely make myself put my camera down! This was one of those places! I need to go there with the purpose being photography because man oh man, it was amazing!

I love it when Allan wears Everett on hikes. I really don’t like my back being destroyed all the time holding that kid. It’s so nice to just hike with no one on me!

Plus, how cute is this sight??! So. So cute.

Sierra found this cool stick so we had to take some pictures.

The light was interesting that day. It was partly cloudy so sometimes super bright through the tops of the trees and other times muted and almost dark in there. It was really humid that day, too. I think 77% humidity.

Sometimes I look back at pictures and wonder what my kids were laughing at. Here I’d give Ember a small bouqet of purple flowers thinking she’d love those. She is in an anti flower phase after being chased by a bee and then stung by a wasp, she hates being near flowers, wearing flowers, or holding flowers! She’s terrified a bee or wasp will chase or sting her.
So when I gave her the flowers she immediately tossed them on the ground. I looked down at the flowers with fake concern and hurt. She cracked up. I milked the moment by saying sadly, “I can’t believe you threw my flowers on the ground.”

After the photos I took of the girls Payson wanted some of his own. I said okay, smile. He said, “No, zombie!”
Okay then.

Eating brains, naturally.

Oh I never talked about how it had rained while we were out. It started pouring and Allan found a completely dry spot under a thick tree. We hung out under the tree keeping Everett and the camera dry while the four other kids ran around up and down the path in the rain. It was REALLY fun!

Payson plays this game with the other kids where he is King Simon and barks orders at them. He uses a rough, deep voice and takes this game very seriously. The other kids obey his orders (which is probably why he loves it, respect and obedience from his usual bully sisters?!) and Everett busts up laughing over Payson’s voice so it’s a fun game for all. A loud game (King Simon is never quiet) but fun.

We Went Hiking at Mineral Ridge!

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How does Allan do this?!  photo 372eresized_zps8qqydx43.jpg photo 377eresized_zpsahsboqsa.jpg photo 381eresized_zpsc0ju9ayg.jpg photo 383eresized_zpsrpivjyhu.jpg photo 385eresized_zpsfc98taim.jpg photo 386eresized_zpsmug9huc8.jpg photo 392eresized_zpscnzrz4zu.jpg photo 393eresized_zpsm5bgzpkn.jpg

Excuse the fifty picture post! It was just so pretty!  photo 396eresized_zpsa0y1tkbf.jpg photo 397eresized_zpsnfkssjel.jpg photo 400eresized_zpso27gmkeu.jpg photo 403e2resized_zpsopiklqgy.jpg photo 406eresized_zpsab2ow1qj.jpg photo 408eresized_zpstryonkvv.jpg photo 429eresized_zpsxh68lhif.jpg photo 432eresized_zpselngwoaf.jpg photo 434eresized_zpsgwd6d2lv.jpg photo 436eresized_zpsqfcwauxb.jpg photo 448eresized_zpsoxkluuig.jpg

There’s a nice view of Lake Coeur d’Alene from up there.  photo 454eresized_zpswpqcezdb.jpg photo 463eresized_zpsoyckuqyn.jpg photo 791eresized_zpsnuwf7gnk.jpg photo 793eresized_zps8nic0ia0.jpg photo 808eresized_zpshug4sj3u.jpg photo 809eresized_zpsfxthtlcx.jpg

Seriously, how does he do it?!  photo 812eresized_zpsymd8tfkr.jpg photo 815eresized_zpsovcw5d1x.jpg photo 821eresized_zpsjsda42be.jpg photo 822eresized_zps9mdobxj0.jpg photo 825eresized_zpsa8j77bc5.jpg photo 836eresized_zpss5uagd3g.jpg

We tell our little kids lots of times not to run down the path during hikes. But they do anyway and sometimes they go flying. Ember did such a huge fall that her shoes came off!  photo 839eresized_zpsoj6qb0ky.jpg photo 853eresized_zpskzu8avin.jpg

The sun started to set and was so beautiful!  photo 471eresized_zpsm9u8ynqk.jpg photo 486eresized_zpsylyoltrg.jpg photo 491eresized_zps5kfynrla.jpg photo 494eresized_zpswbwaiqyr.jpg photo 496eresized_zpsxna5kiii.jpg photo 500eresized_zpsedvm7gpy.jpg

Brooke took this of me and Allan πŸ™‚  photo 504eresized_zpsipdkzazd.jpg photo 507eresized_zpsuzsg6o98.jpg photo 509eresized_zpsqit3oj5q.jpg photo 512eresized_zpslrdjt5gf.jpg photo 857eresized_zpsd6vsl0iw.jpg photo 862eresized_zpswlno1jyk.jpg photo 866eresized_zpsvxddqnct.jpg photo 875eresized_zpsfj8mpcrn.jpg

Easter 2015!

We’d told the kids ahead of time that Easter 2015 was road trip themed and that they could eat and play with some of the stuff but that the rest we’re saving for a little while later when we were moving.
They were super excited about their stuff. Later on we took them on a little hike to go hide the Easter eggs up on a hill/mountain thing. Spruce Canyon? Bruce Canyon? Something like that. I’ll ask Allan and add the name later. haha

So yeah, Easter.  photo 246eresized_zpsuz3gtlco.jpg photo 249eresized_zps2q6te6jf.jpg photo 251eresized_zpsl4cyfcct.jpg photo 252eresized_zpsftbufjrv.jpg photo 255eresized_zpsezxyvub2.jpg photo 260eresized_zpsvuyk7fpo.jpg photo 261eresized_zpsgkcqemwa.jpg

Instead of using their Easter baskets I put their stuff in these bags that I bought for their road trip stuff. They LOVED these.  photo 266eresized_zpsfr8zrw0y.jpg

I had in mind these draw string bags and was lucky enough to find some at Hobby Lobby for only $1 each! They were on clearance and those were the only four colors. And normally I don’t get stuff that says Jeses on it but that’s fine, too. These four colors are ironically my kids’ favorite colors these days! Brooke’s favorite color changes all the time but is mostly blue. Sometimes green. Payson’s has been red forever. Ember’s has been purple forever. Sierra’s was pink for all of her life up until a week before I bought those bags… she randomly decided to change her favorite color to orange and it was kinda crazy that there was no pink but was orange. Whew! It all worked out!  photo 268eresized_zps5wsri1ds.jpg photo 269eresized_zpslfc7xbyl.jpg photo 272eresized_zpsrkhhtssb.jpg

They all got new sandals for the upcoming summer, too.  photo 273eresized_zpshpf50v77.jpg

And of course some candy and little toys.  photo 275eresized_zpsmyvsjkvj.jpg

Wearing his bag.  photo 276eresized_zps12acsjnv.jpg photo 278eresized_zpsaj9g2bxh.jpg

Next was time for the hike. The kids really wanted to bring their new drawstring bags! It was difficult to convince them to leave all their Easter goodies at home, though! Luckily we brought all the Easter eggs to hide up on the mountain so that was exciting enough to have them abandon their other goodies back at home.  photo 283eresized_zpswlz1vyny.jpg photo 286eresized_zpsmlm70etn.jpg photo 289eresized_zpscmsunkqj.jpg photo 291eresized_zps1lmjfkoe.jpg photo 294eresized_zpshdgisprq.jpg photo 295eresized_zpsdekm9ic2.jpg

Allan wore Everett which I was so relieved about. Everett is getting heavy and kills my back.  photo 297eresized_zpsuxxm0mnx.jpg photo 299eresized_zpspedqs84i.jpg photo 304eresized_zpssqwr6bub.jpg photo 307eresized_zpsuwiubkfz.jpg photo 311eresized_zps3jasuue2.jpg

Up at the top the view was amazing!  photo 321eresized_zpsk3vktw1v.jpg photo 324eresized_zpskb5dihop.jpg photo 325eresized_zpsvcgxycdm.jpg

Payson spotted this boulder and claimed it right away. This of course made Ember want to sit on that boulder more than anything in the world and much fighting and arguing ensued. I finally took her away to another area with boulders and sat her up on her own so Payson could have his own.  photo 328eresized_zpsu2n3kuq4.jpg photo 341e2resized_zpsgquckred.jpg photo 338eresized_zpslfa8zzbk.jpg  photo 332eresized_zpsxtblbsse.jpg

Brooke and Sierra naturally gravitated to the most dangerous spot of all and climbed around on it as if there was no danger at all. We told them to sit down or climb down off of there. That annoyed the crap out of Brooke who started arguing about how safe she was being and how it was just fine and we were worrying for nothing. And then Sierra up on her freaking toes (she’s more clumsy than average because of her toes) is just prancing around up there right by the freaking edge that looks over a huge drop to certain death.
After telling them nicely to not discourage their free spirits and having them argue back at me I told them firmly, sit down right this second or get off and go stand by dad the rest of the time.  photo 343eresized_zps05cakrql.jpg photo 344eresized_zpsygxrcorp.jpg photo 347eresized_zpsher2cu8e.jpg photo 350eresized_zpsmukiictv.jpg

Next we walked further on to get away from the crowds (it was busy that day) to hide all the eggs! Allan hid the eggs while I told the kids a story to keep their attention on me and away from the temptation to peek at Allan hiding the eggs! haha

I swear I had a couple point and shoot pictures of the kids looking for their eggs but I can’t find any. Maybe I’m just thinking of the video I recorded! I recorded the whole egg hunt. It was cute. We sat on a bench and the kids opened up their eggs and ate the candy inside.  photo 376e2resized_zpsao3aacw0.jpg photo 381eresized_zpsrnwfjrnw.jpg photo 383eresized_zpsan73qmkr.jpg photo 384eresized_zpsdqwwqbep.jpg photo 387eresized_zpsv2yvl3tc.jpg photo 401eresized_zps7uvdv1mh.jpg photo 402eresized_zpst84murot.jpg photo 404eresized_zpseubvlzc6.jpg

Ember was very into sharing with me, Allan, and Everett since we didn’t have any.  photo 407eresized_zpsvwl40dgo.jpg photo 412eresized_zpsxvsgutqg.jpg photo 413eresized_zpsz1mbfdvk.jpg photo 416eresized_zpsypqrapj1.jpg photo 417eresized_zpsccyjkvxk.jpg photo 424eresized_zpsrwkg6w38.jpg photo 430eresized_zpsx8oehayr.jpg photo 433eresized_zpsir8lyk3k.jpg

After an hour or so we headed back down.  photo 439eresized_zpsecq3xhzh.jpg

After a snowy winter it was fun seeing all the signs of spring.  photo 450eresized_zpszewn777l.jpg photo 453eresized_zpsqfjqrjnp.jpg

I wore Everett on the way back down which was good because Ember wanted to be held a lot and Allan was able to hold her. I don’t know how he does it. I would’ve had a broken back holding her while hiking.  photo 462eresized_zpsrlxrnvbb.jpg photo 463eresized_zpsrotihw6p.jpg photo 467eresized_zpsmg3ougu3.jpg

I was taking pictures willy nilly and randomly snapped this one when Sierra held her egg up and the sun rays seemed to point right to the egg! Coincidental timing that she holds up her cross egg on Easter and the sun hits it just right as I take a picture! Seriously, unplanned and unposed!  photo 479eresized_zpsnzqnoowb.jpg photo 483eresized_zpsguodpzqw.jpg photo 489eresized_zps9teegaqw.jpg

One of my favorite pictures:  photo 514eresized_zpshppf4vf6.jpg

Almost back to the car.  photo 523eresized_zpss8hww8tz.jpg photo 528eresized_zpszndt2vzv.jpg photo 531eresized_zpsuoqytcgo.jpg

Allan was looking at the map and I told him to point to where we’d gone.  photo 545eresized_zpspl8t7huq.jpg

And then Payson wanted a picture up there.  photo 547rresized_zpstb2ckf6g.jpg

This baby had fallen asleep in the ergo.  photo 552eresized_zpsskx1c5px.jpg photo 555eresized_zpslgys2jue.jpg

We’re Going on a Hike!

We went to the same place we went to on our first hike in Colorado back in January when we first moved here! Fun, huh?
Winter coming means our chances to go hiking are fading away. We’re excited about winter but we’ll miss hiking!  photo 098eresized_zps31f140a9.jpg photo 104eresized_zps03f77afa.jpg

It was so nice to not be the one wearing Everett!! Not just to give my poor back a break but because look at the cute view I got to see:
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The kids did great! There wasn’t any complaining!  photo 117eresized_zpsa5ec5c7a.jpg photo 132eresized_zpsf9a9c7ae.jpg photo 153eresized_zps9ff32568.jpg photo 163eresized_zps1a6126e9.jpg

Ember was doing pretty good but got tired. She probably would’ve hiked the rest of the way but verrrry slowly. I’m sure an extra hour would have been added onto our hike had Allan not picked her up and carried her the rest of the way.
Allan’s strong! (I’m so glad this wasn’t me carrying those kids!)  photo 176eresized_zpsde02e8f8.jpg photo 185eresized_zps20dc127c.jpg photo 192eresized_zps5efee331.jpg photo 197eresized_zps60cd11d7.jpg photo 203eresized_zps0cc9b192.jpg photo 208eresized_zps53f1a7e7.jpg photo 216eresized_zpsb27508d3.jpg photo 218eresized_zps947cda6b.jpg photo 223eresized_zps83320711.jpg photo 237eresized_zps5c2c2cfa.jpg photo 250eresized_zpsa5329fd9.jpg photo 259eresized_zps715a7a25.jpg photo 270efinalresized_zpse75bbac5.jpg photo 271eresized_zpsb72f7731.jpg photo 272eresized_zps987cad25.jpg

This next picture cracks me up. We were just sitting waiting while Allan fiddled with the camera settings.  photo 277eresized_zpsd2552f53.jpg

I’d set my camera to manual focus and he didn’t know how to turn it back to automatic focus. I showed him and then he took this:  photo 283eresized_zpsbbd1afe9.jpg

Point and shoot snaps:  photo 006bwresized_zpsd6111381.jpg

Sierra wanted us to look scared. (of wolves)  photo 026eresized_zpsf399a6cd.jpg