Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Go West! Vol. 2: Utah.

Ya know, cause it's a road trip.
So, I last shared pics of our time in Colorado. Y'all are so encouraging and I appreciate it. It's cool to have an online scrapbook of sorts.
It's also sort of nerve-wracking for my conspiracy theorist/ Big Brother-is-watching voices, but I shut them up enough to publish this jazz.

Anyway, after leaving Grand Junction, we  headed Southwest a bit, by way of Moab, Utah and Arches National Park.

Amazeballs has never really been part of my vernacular, but it might be now.
I'm serious. If it's even possible to be taken seriously when using the word amazeballs, then I am very serious: this place needs to be added to the list of places to see in 'Merica.

No joke, I'm averaging about 7 selfies a day on this trip.
Embarrassing. But this is cutesy.

It is cool to have kids big enough to take pictures of The Spouses.
Plus, they tend to give me the biz if I get too many of them. 

As we were headed out and further South, we passed Wilson Arch. 
The Big Sister asked, "Can we climb it?" Um. Yep!

So we did. :)

If you know me in real life, you know that I take feet pictures as often as possible.
Here's one of my favorites ever. I mean, of non-beach ones. 
On the way up the side of that rock, I said, "Hey, Y'all. Just so ya know, I'm not climbing this rock for nature & stuff. I'm only doing it for the glutes." Meant it.
The view wasn't terrible, though.

Spouse has this thing about the Colorado River. To aggravate the girls, every river we pass, even a creek, he will say, "Girls, Look! The Colorado River!" It might be Toad Pass, and he's calling it the CR. This was the real deal, so naturally, we took a selfie.

Parting Shot: Somewhere around Monument Valley, the Lord painted a Chevron pattern (or Charlie Brown Zig Zag, if you're me) on the rock. So cool.
Photo Credit: The Big Sister.

Thanks for following along!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Go West! Vol. 1: Colorado

Pikes Peak declaring the glory of the Lord. 
This very moment, we are driving North on I-15 on yet another stretch of highway that neither Spouse nor I have ever seen. From the moment we got on a plane to Denver, we have been in a part of the country that we've never been. Such a fun experience for us. 

This is our map-ish.
We reserve the right to change the route at any time. As a matter of fact, this is the third screenshot, I believe. :) It's definitely more of a guideline. 
Y'all know I can't have anything too binding. 
Grinning. But, seriously. 

Since I've been in total Mamarazzi Mode, I'll break these posts up as best I can. 
I mean, if I'm going to bore you with slides of the family vacation, 
I might as well drag it out, right?

Here are a few things about our 30-ish hours in Colorado:

Denver is beautiful. I love this city.
It's so weird and hipster and clean.
Our friend, Ashley, directed us to the Cherry Cricket in Cherry Creek. Cute little area.
Also, I think Ashley was maybe 13 or 14 when we met her-give or take- and I remember the day she trusted Jesus with her life. Now she is real grownup living in Denver. Whaaat?
Spouse, Me, & Adult Ashley. *Sigh*

Spring is in the air.
We got so excited about a group of prairie dogs in a field just next to a little mall. Seriously, they were right there! So cute. I just started snapping pics like crazy. When I looked through the pics on the computer, I saw this jazz! Inappropriate, Prairie Dogs!

Since we had limited time while Spouse was working, the girls and I drove down to Colorado Springs to Garden of the Gods. This was the beginning of my love of the red rock.

That's Pikes Peak in the background. Mercy. It doesn't even look real.
Photo credit: The Little Sister.
This place is so awesome. Fantastic, gorgeous weather.

Since we had gone to the place of little g's, I wanted to visit a place that is all about the 
Big G God, so we went to Focus on the Family. :)

Spouse had some things to do in Littleton, so I just had to go by Columbine High School. I felt sort of weird for wanting to see it, but I just did. It was a totally reverent and respectful curiosity.

So beautiful. Littleton is a beautiful little town and we couldn't help but ask for more healing and blessings over its residents. As we saw some little kids at the park, the girls and I wondered if some of their parents were at Columbine High School in April 1999. Crazy.

That evening, we headed over to Grand Junction to get this little trek party started. This road trip has not been a disappointment. We got some serious snow! We thought we'd stop and build a little snowman, but determined that we did not, in fact want to build a snow man. We were too cold and that snow was coming in sideways! Hitting me right in my very eyes!

It looked good on her, though!

And him. :)

I mean, seriously!? Look at it! In mid-May?!
This is our rented minivan. The girls are wanting us to get another one.
So funny.

Awkward yearbook note to Colorado:

Colorado, We don't know each other that well, but I think you are so lovely! I look forward to another little visit next weekend. :) You are beautiful. Don't ever change! Keep in touch! XOXO

Monday, May 5, 2014

When Much Is Preceded By Too.

It's just too much.
Too much space, too much separation, too much stuff.  
Stuff we don't use, books we're not going to read again (or can get at the library), 
games we don't play.

We've always been mindful of not collecting "things" for the sake of a collection and not being emotionally connected to stuff, but when you continually tack on square footage, before you know it, you spread out and fill the space.
In addition, the more stuff you have, the more "stuck" you feel.
You just aren't as mobile.

We want to be intentional about guarding our flexible and mobile status.
We wrote a "blank check" with our whole lives.
We meant it then and we mean it now.
We weren't kidding when we said we'd "Go."
(There is no news I'm keeping or a secret story here, that I'm aware of. :))

Also, this two-level house bit has never sat right with me. I am grateful for a beautiful home, don't misunderstand me, but it's just too easy for the teenager to retreat in the bedroom upstairs and too hard to coax her out all the time. It's also too easy for the state of the upstairs bathroom to go unnoticed by the House Manager for too long a time period. I'm not saying anything, but I'm just saying that Mommy Dearest may have been near. 
We need less stuff, less space.

So, we're doing something about it.

Here's the plan of attack for Operation Downsize:

Purge Stuff
And, since we do purge semi-often, this time it's stinging a bit. It's kinda the sting of smacking the water with your just your arm, not the whole belly flop sting. There's not really weeping and gnashing of teeth over it, but there is a little blood (paper cut), sweat (getting hot), and tears (all. the. pictures. stay.). The stinging is mostly on my part, actually. I'm seeing dollar signs. I know what we paid for this accumulation of stuff. 
The Little Sister has placed herself in charge of this little purge party. The other day, we were going through some books, & came across a really cool US States book that we have used and enjoyed and I paid good money for at the Homeschool Convention! Still, Little Miss Getter Done was all, "Mom. It goes. We have the Google."  
Just like that arm flop in the pool, the sting only lasted for a minute. 

I know I've got to (CLICHE ALERT!) put my money where mouth is and do the thing. 
So I forced the book on a friend not five minutes ago. :)

We're Moving.
Because we are a special kind of crazy.
We have been in this house 8 months. And we are moving 1.2 miles down the road. It is the kind of nutty that can only be explained by the Lord, but the short explanation is that we were feeling it and then we got a call from the homeowner of the house we currently live in. After an honest conversation, we realized we were on the same page. (Thank you, Lord.) So, we are parting ways at a mutual beneficial time. This couple has been amazing; we are grateful.
We aren't quite sure what the Lord is doing with this nomadic lifestyle we've adopted these last couple of years, but it's what we're doing. We lived in one place for five years, then another for eleven. Since March 2012, we've had mail delivered to six different addresses. 
I don't even know.
Also, moving is the debul!

The New Digs.
We are going back to an apartment and we are so excited!
We are knocking off about a 1000 sq ft of living space, including two bedrooms and a bathroom. We will still have two bathrooms, we currently have three. While I believe three bathrooms for four people is absurd, one would be catastrophic. I was kidding before about the Mommy Dearest thing, but sharing a bathroom for any long period of time would make Joan a reality.
Check this out, though: the girls are even pumped to share a room. Although, I'm fairly sure they are blinded by a balcony and a pool view. :) Still,  I can already hear the "Conflict Resolution Practice" in my head. It's good for them. 
I know it's not for everyone, but we've done apartment living several times and we like it.
There are so many factors to this.
Listen, the older these Sisters get, the heavier their school load is, and they are planning to play volleyball for our homeschool league, which is a big commitment. the low maintenance apartment will be helpful, I believe.
No lawn maintenance, a clean pool, onsite fitness, and daily valet trash pickup. 
Those are beautiful words:
Daily valet trash pickup.
Lest anyone worry for my poor kids, that left balcony just above the barbecue area-
on the 2nd floor-that's the balcony off the girls' room.
In order to combat the boredom we evidently fear, we thought we'd go ahead and do this little purgey-movey show in about thirty days with a preplanned trip thrown in the middle. You know? The episode where Spazzy Spouse gets an idea that has to be executed now? So, the whole family condenses life from a four-bedroom house to a two bedroom apartment in two-weeks, then goes on a big road trip, and comes back to move and send kids off to camp!
Yah, that one!

I wonder how these plans will change as soon as I hit the "publish" button? 

I wanna hear y'all's crazy moving stories!