Monday, June 30, 2014

Some thoughts

Tanner and I watched a couple of documentaries last night (which was probably a mistake considering how LITTLE the little man has been sleeping the last few nights...painful). Anyway - one was called A mile/mile and a half - about a small group of people that backpack the John Muir Trail with a ton of camera gear for to document the journey.  Gorgeous.  The other one was called Tiny - about this kid who builds a tiny house and moves it to a big batch of property he bought in Colorado. I quite enjoyed both of them but it got my mind to thinking a lot. And I can't tell if it's turning the wheels on something that might actually move and cause change, or if it's something that will lose momentum in a few days.  You know those movies you watch and you feel so ultimately inspired your are determined you're going to stop eating meat or give all your money to ending the war in Rwanda or going to build schools in Pakistan? And then a few days later you kind of forget there is even a war in Rwanda? Ya, well, that has probably happened to me on a few occasions. But I will say, I have had these things on my mind for some time - so the movies just pushed me to try and precipitate out my random thoughts and feelings.

When I say random, I actually really mean it.  I'm writing this not for anyone else, but really for me to try to put down in writing what's going on in my mind to see if I can sort it out enough to motivate myself to change and/or find more peace...I guess you could say. I've been reading one of my best friends blogs quite frequently ever since she started it several months ago.  I think it's wonderful ( I think she is a great writer and has a lot of really wisdom...a great combination if you ask me and also lots of REALLY good quotes. Anyway, as you can see from the title, she writes a lot about minimizing and being content with less.  "SIMPLIFY" is a word that I think has been at the center of my thoughts the last several months.  I feel like in church we hear about simplifying our lives all the time, but I usually allow my brain to gloss over those things because I've never felt like I had a big problem being "complicated". I don't actually feel complicated now, but I feel like there's a nagging feeling of discontent about something with my life that I am hoping to remedy.

I served in the Peace Corps about 10 years ago. Woah. Weird. I am old. I often think about the simplicity of life there.  More in a physical sense for me and an all around sense for the people there.  There was plenty of emotional complication while being there ;) The to-do list for them consisted of basic survival tasks and necessities. I miss so many things about living there - mostly for that reason. Simple food, simple shopping, 5 or 6 outfits for 2 years, sleeping under the stars, learning, real conversation, forming relationships, etc. But I feel like THAT much simplicity is unrealistic here (in America).  And I honestly don't want to go back to that kind of "simplicity". I don't think having "things" is bad. I like things.  I feel so incredibly blessed to live in America where anything and everything is available to us. I love the variety of food we are blessed to be able to enjoy. I love the variety of sports and recreational things we can participate in and all the different ways we can enjoy the creation God gave us. I believe he WANTS us to enjoy it. I think he enjoys when we go fishing or biking or play in a baseball game and are happy doing it.

So herein lies my dilemma.  No, I don't want to sell our newish fly fishing gear and cross country skis and 78% of the rest of our belongings and live in a 100-sq ft tiny house.  I have established at least that in my mind.  But one thing I really liked about the movie Tiny was a part were a different tiny house liver talked about how her simplified life gave her more time to focus on relationships.  (I can't remember the exact way she said it...but that was the gist). I did feel a sense of envy about a life so clutter free. Also in the movie it talked about not needing to be all or nothing in the sense of simplifying, but that everyone can do something to downsize, or lessen their impact on the environment, or cut down on the waste and consumerism. So where the other documentary plays in to all my pondering, is that I love the mountains :) I grew up in them and around them and by default and maybe by design, I developed a really deep love and appreciation for them. They just spent a few months planning this trip that took 25 days.  A little bit bigger than a weekend over-nighter, but not such a huge thing that it's unrealistic for 90% of the population. It just made me think that I want a simpler life because I want to have time and money to enjoy things like that - things that I really value. I'm not saying that should be everyone's thing and where everyone should place their value - it's just something that is really important to me.

So those thoughts and probably some others were permeating my brain as I was trying to sleep last night. And what it made me want to do was to re-evaluate my priorities now.  I want to redefine what is important and essential and what I REALLY want out of life.  To draw a better line between WANTS and NEEDS. There are SO many THINGS and so much of the world says it's better to have more and have bigger and be involved in everything.  And you can't help but let your mind believe that it's true. I have a huge list of things I want to do. Play the piano more, learn the harmonica, read, learn spanish, get better at my job, play golf better, get back in a kayak and get better at mtn biking and run farther and faster and and and...  Right now I'm still finding it hard just juggling life and finding a balance between being a wife and a mom and working and my spiritual and physical well being and church responsibilities - which is really a completely different story.  Let me try to simplify this post and actually try and sum up my thoughts.

There are a million GOOD things that we can do. There are a million GOOD things we can have that are worthwhile and bring diversity and joy to life. But I want to step back and think about my choices differently.  I want to ask myself, is it essential?  Does it uplift me? Does it better me spiritually, mentally, physically or emotionally? My boss, Dr. Macuga has often said to me that the order of priorities in life should be God, Family and Emergency Medicine, in that order.  I think that's a pretty good and simple list. Do I have to be the best mountain biker who can play the harmonica and speak spanish? I'm letting too many things stress me out and pressure me. I want less.  I want to be happy with less.  I want Harvey to grow up knowing how to work hard and to appreciate life in it's raw form. I don't want him to need the latest gadgets and more toys.  I want him to be confident and have his worth not be defined by how expensive his clothes are and how fancy his toys are and how young he was when he got his first phone or iPad. Having a kid is really being the best thing for me to reevaluate how I live because of how I want him to live.  And unfortunately right now there are some discrepancies. I want us both to live in the world but not be OF the world.  A nice church phrase that I think can apply to more than just morals and standards.  I can't escape things.  I can't escape waste or use or consumerism or technology.  But I can simplify. I can make more time for the BEST things. Not just the good or better stuff :) I wonder how I can really do it right now. So much feels essential to me :) Yes I need 6 spatulas and 3 measuring cup sets and 4 pairs of tennis shoes, etc etc. I think it could be a hard and painful "journey" if one could even call it that. Baby steps. I might go home and set one spatula aside to take to our local thrift store. Look out world ;)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Harv's first camping trip/Anniversary getaway

Hopefully not all anniversary trips will include kids, but we made an exception this year.  We headed down towards Mt. Rushmore and stayed in a campsite at Pactola Reservoir.  Tanner found some good fly fishing around there so we thought it was a good all around place to be. We drove down Wednesday after Tanner got off of work and found a great campsite in plenty of time to get camp set up before dark. Harvey was really excited about s'mores on the way down.

 The next day Tanner fished a little in the morning at the lake. He also made a killer dutch oven quiche. We played our favorite camping game - Ten thousand - which Tanner schooled me at, as usual. We hiked a bit around the lake.  Rozzi and I swam. It was a lovely, mellow afternoon.

He had to keep score on his phone because somehow we didn't have a pen.


 She actually swam pretty well and fetched quite impressively, even without the Sams helping her out. She's still been so melancholy so it was fun having her out and acting like a happy dog again.

We decided to head to Mt. Rushmore that night since it was only about a half hour away.  We also made a stop in Rapid City to by a charcoal chimney and get Little Ceasar's crazy bread - something we'd been craving for months :)  We even ran into a family I grew up with, the Warner's. Really random but also very fun. 

Harvey fell asleep on the way back and Tanner and I enjoyed ourselves a nice camp fire.  It was the eve of summer solstice and there were some folks enjoying their evening with hula hoops and harmonica's and drums.  Not terrible annoying until it went on well past "quiet time" and neither of us could sleep. So I was that girl and walked over there and asked them nicely to stop the drumming.  Luckily they were pretty cool about it. 
The next morning was more gaming and relaxing and hanging out. We had left over quiche and then went to the river coming out of the reservoir to try our hand at some more fly fishing.  Tanner is getting pretty good.  I didn't really fish this trip because of the wee one.  It was super hot though when we went so after a couple hours we went back with hopes of returning later in the evening (the rain had other plans for us).
Hammock naps are the best!

Dad saying he's number one after multiple 10,000 domination's.

After we got back Tanner started making some dinner (he keeps telling me he can't cook. pshh).   And Harv pooped all over me.  Camping blowouts are a little bit more complicated but we survived :)

 Those photos go nicely next to each other, right? Once we got the coals going and things cooking, it started looking like rain.  So we tried to protect all the things we could and when it started raining, we headed to the tent. It POURED for about 30 minutes.  After it let up I grabbed the food (luckily it was pretty well cooked) and we ate in the tent. 

We had service up there so Tanner checked the weather channel radar and things were not looking good for the rest of the night or the morning.  We made a game time decision that we'd rather not be stuck in the tent the rest of the night and then still have to put down camp in pouring rain. So while it was "nice" we tour down camp - in about 30 minutes. Harvey sat in his bumbo on the picnic table and got rained on a little.  He liked it.  And then we drove the 6 hrs home and left the muddy, wet mess in the truck and showered and crashed.  The next day was a big mess clean up but it is totally worth it to me.  I LOVE camping and I want Harvey to have lots of memories in a tent and around a fire and in the mountains! I was probably about his age the first time my parents took me camping - not that I remember it - but we all grew up camping and it's definitely made me appreciate and yearn for mountains! So glad we got a little chance to get away and break Harvey in while we celebrated (almost) 3 years of marital bliss!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Hawaii part 3

Last one :) Sunday we drove back across the island to go to church just outside of Hilo. After sacrament, we spent the rest of the day at Volcanoe's National Park.  That place was amazing.  Lots more trees and tropical beauty than we were all expecting. So cool to see and imagine what it was like when it was really erupting. We could see steam from a couple of the craters but no actual lava. Such a cool place! This is the other thing that would be a MUST see if you're ever in the area :) So

Then the lava tube...

Then some other random little hikes...

Then we went on a little longer hike.  The weather was really perfect that day. It misted a bit to keep us cool while we were hiking. Harvey did great on this last hike - he got a little fussy so he ate while we hiked.  And then he got really tired at the end and that equaled mad.  But we got him back to the car and let him fall asleep and he was pretty good until one more mild melt down the last place we got out of the car.  It was a long day.  Poor kid.

 Last spot at the park...Dallin stayed in the car with Harvey who woke up soon after and gave him a run for his money. Oops.

 Jim also made us a divine dinner that night. BBQ ahi tuna and steak and rice and salad, etc. He is a killer cook.  Definitely rivaled any of the restaurants we went to!
Last day :( We spent a good part of the morning cleaning up.  We had exploded all over poor Jim and Leah's house and we had a bit of work to do to make sense of the chaos. After that we went to a beach Laura's friend had told her we'd have luck seeing turtles (we did! Long walk to get to them but totally worth it) and then back to that awesome private beach to soak up as much more sun as we could.

And then we got fish and chips and went to the airport to catch our red eye flight. So sad.  Laura and Dallin left a little later than us.  I was on the same flight as my parents till LA and then we parted ways. Harv did awesome on the way back.  Like almost didn't even make a peep! Thank goodness!  The trip home went way smoother. 

 Random Harvey cuteness...

 Airport tiredness.
And that's it. The whole vacation was so much fun and I definitely could have enjoyed a lot more lazy, stress free beach days but baby and momma missed the dad! Next time he's coming with :)