Sunday, October 16, 2011

weekend exploring

aaaaahhhhhh......another weekend come and gone. 
The weather was absolutely perfect, the trees on fire, and we couldn't wait to get out and explore.
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You see, a little thing happened this summer.

Stars aligned and we discovered something....or, re-discovered something really.   
I grew up, quite literally, in the middle of a field. Acres and acres surrounded us, with the Rocky Mountains in the distance and the biggest, bluest sky up above. We spent a lot of time outdoors--picnicking, camping, fishing with my dad. And it didn't end when the weather turned cold--we went sledding often, climbed mountains to cut down our own Christmas tree, and I even remember spending one [January] birthday outdoors, sledding and opening presents in the snow.

Robby also grew up spending much of his time outdoors--hiking, backpacking, and exploring in the foothills where he grew up. When we married, we acquired new camping gear as wedding gifts, and spent part of our  honeymoon in Glacier National Park.

We were off to a good start.

But lives soon got busy. 
Full time work and school for both of us left little time to play. 
We managed to squeeze in a little snowboarding in the winter, and that was about it for adventures.

A baby boy came and we camped a few times, the boy strapped on our backs and up for anything.

A baby girl came next, ant that's when things really slowed down. 

Exploring with a toddler and a baby just wasn't going to happen......going to the store with the two was adventure enough for me.

So a few years passed. We attempted camping a couple of times, and each time spent the night with a crying baby in the car. Oh the joys.

But this year. 

This year was different.

The Littles are finally able to go. 

And go, and go and go. 

They run, they hike, they climb. 
And then they ask for more.

This year we have been lucky enough to find ourselves in the great outdoors over and over again.

I feel like I have found myself all over again--there is no place I am happier than being outside in the colors and fresh air with my family. 

It is overwhelmingly perfect.

The colors are unreal right now as fall continues to take over the mountains.
No photo can capture exactly what it feels like to stand in a meadow surrounded by blazing reds, oranges, and golds.

This weekend we found a new favorite spot up Tibble Fork, followed by a hike uuuuuupppppp the mountain to the Timpanogos Caves. If you find yourselves in the mood for the steep climb to the caves (1100 ft in 1.5 miles, but all smooth paved trail)--we would recommend it. The Littles couldn't believe they were actually INSIDE a mountain, and while they were a bit disappointed we didn't see any bats, they can't wait to get up there again. 
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photos taken near Tibble Fork in American Fork Canyon, and hiking up Mt. Timpanogos to the caves.

the end.

see more outdoor adventures here here and here


summer said...

this is such a happy story! i think i might go back and read it over again:)

Shokoofeh said...

These is something really special in your photos.
Happy autumn, dear Sheena. :)

birdhouse productions said...

I love your little life, Sheena. There is so much happiness and in some ways, a soothingness (if that's even a word) in the photos and writings of your adventures. Happy fall :)

~C said...

Reading this has left me inspired. I want to go out and find my own adventures. The mountains are part of my soul, and to hear that you have been able to make time to participate in escapades, I find that I am left with no excuse. Thank you. Your family is beautiful.


mimi charmante said...

Mom of the summer goes to you girlie! I am honestly so inspired by your complete joie de vivre! What lucky littles you have - you are making memories that they will in turn share with their children~
Have a wonderful week,

Unknown said...

You make me miss Utah SO MUCH.

So much.

Beautiful photos!

Alex said...

Woooow, how incredible!! Those are some lucky kiddos!

becca said...

montana! really?
somehow I didn't realize you guys lived in heaven. jeez.
so incredibly pretty.

Hannah Nicole said...

I love this! just beautiful.

Kelly said...

Just Beautiful and heart warming. Your "littles" are absolutely darling!

Meg said...

Beautiful... and this is why we are packing up our life and moving back to Utah. We miss the mountains, we miss the outdoors. I can hardly wait!

cara lou said...

I love this more than I can even say!!! I crave spending more time as a family in the out-of-doors having adventures. Now that the weather is starting to (maybe) be getting cooler here, I'm going to do everything in my power to make it happen more often.

Now if only John wasn't so busy...

Nora Kathleen said...

I've been silently reading your blog for a few months now and I finally had to leave a comment. I think it's so wonderful how you and your family do things like this! You're creating such great memories for your kids that I'm sure they will some day pass down to theirs. It's truly inspiring :)

Laura said...

Yes, I so agree with you. We got the backpacking gear and everything and then had kids.....and got discouraged with two little littles. Now they are two and four and I'm starting to think there will be hope for us. :) I feel so calm and centered in nature. I LOVE IT. Sounds like our families would get along swimmingly. :) Thanks for blogging!!

Tanae Nelson said...

I am so glad that we are lucky enough to live in an area where we have all 4 seasons to enjoy outside. Of course one season is slightly longer than I would like. My husband and I also spend some of our honeymoon in Glacier. We love it up there.

Kimmie said...

You are SO awesome Sheena! It is SO nice when your young kids finally get to an age, where you can have LOTS of family fun and take them on many great outdoor adventures.

You post the most BEAUTIFUL photos and I have to agree with previous peoples comments at how you really make us all feel like we were really there experiencing it with you.

We are backpackers and go on multiple day excursions to the high country with carrying everything on our backs and our kids just LOVE it! We have been doing this since our oldest was 10 and he is now 17.

It's refreshing seeing other families getting out there and HAVING FUN in the outdoors!! People think we're crazy...I have to disagree.

(here's a few links you might enjoy of our family backpacking fun

Have a happy weekend!

Kimmie said...

Thought you might enjoy this little outdoor adventure post...

Still amazed out how you perfectly capture the moments so amazingly!! I hope to someday be half as talented as you with taking photos.