Monday, March 30, 2015

Has This Been Here All Along?

I read an article recently where the author suggested we ought not use the word "busy" to describe our lives.  Rather we should use the word "full".  I like that.  Busy suggests that what we're spending our time on isn't that important-- just busy work.  Or perhaps it implies that we aren't choosing how to spend our time, rather just reacting to what comes our way.     "Full" is more descriptive-- It is how we fill our time.  Hopefully our days are full of things that fulfill and satisfy us.

While I have my share of things I am reacting to, most of the things that fill up the hours of my day are immensely satisfying.  Lately, I feel like life has been so full of good things, that there has hardly been time or room enough to enjoy them all.  Unfortunately, my stress level has been pretty high as I've scrambled to try to keep up with the fullness of life!

This evening I am enjoying a moment of calm that I've been looking forward to for several weeks.  I write from a hotel room in Moab, UT.  You see, my people and I are making our way down to Phoenix, AZ for another FIRST Robotics Competition regional with Clark's Prototype X team.  I've looked forward to this trip for many reasons, but specifically, life has been so FULL that I have not had time to blog about all the satisfying happenings in our family.  And I love writing on my blog.  Very cathartic for me.  I feel like I have been running absolute full steam for about three weeks straight.  No bueno.  Not healthy for me.  Not so nice for my family.  All the activities that have been keeping us busy so fulfilled were amazing and we're chock full of cherished family memories, but enough already!!!  It's time to chillax.  It's time to blog. 

I have successfully put baby Peter to bed in a crib right next to me with his blessed white noise machine blaring the sound of a gentle rain storm.  Now then, where to begin?  I think I'll begin with today and then back track a bit.
And today was a very good day.  I am ashamed to admit that I have lived in Utah for almost twenty years straight and this is the first time I have ever visited the Moab, UT area.  That's right.  I mean, I've seen our state license plate with the Delicate Arch.  On some level I knew these AMAZING vistas and formations existed, but had I really known what was here, I think I would have come much sooner and more often.  WOW!  Northern Utah is beautiful, but Southern Utah is unbelievable.
Here is the family picture at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park.
Can I even count all the things I love about this picture?  Abe and Bethany holding hands.  Peter's delicious chunky baby legs.  Abe carrying Peter in the same backpack he carried Clark in.  The fox purse Bethany received as a gift from her cousin Julia two or three Christmases ago and she still loves it.  Bethany's hat.  Exercising together as a family in the great outdoors.  I could go on.  LOVE.
 Cannon and Faith wearing the Junior Ranger backpacks they checked out at Canyonlands and will turn in at Arches National Park tomorrow.  They contain a magnifying glass, binoculars, activities, thermometer, etc.  They are in heaven.  I need not mention these two never run out of energy.
 Team Little Kids.  Why, yes, I am wearing my glasses.  How good of you to notice.  I woke up with a bit of pink eye and it has been itching like crazy today.  But even that could not detract from the fabulousness of the day.
We went on a couple of short hikes that were just right.  Actually, they weren't quite enough and they've left us excited for more adventures tomorrow.  George, in the background, looks precariously perched.  Don't worry, he was by Bethany and they were not as close to the edge as he looks.  That being said, if you have any kind of fear of heights, which Abe may or may not have, this Island in the Sky area of the park can be nerve racking.  Not just nervousness for yourself, but constant concern for little kids.  We don't have any real dare devils, but even still, there was a lot of, "That's close enough!", "Stop, don't go any further!", "Come over here by me!", "Hold my hand!"
Glad to have everyone safely in the other hotel room watching Animal Planet.
Peter did fairly well.  He's not much of a scheduled sleeper at home anyway, so I don't know that it's that big of a deal for him to be toted around the great outdoors.  The temperatures were warm, with a slight breeze, so it was quite lovely.  Abe said he was hiking along and suddenly felt dead weight on his neck.  Peter was out.
George loved the hiking and had no trouble keeping up with the big kids. 
Clark was the lizard whisperer and Abe was his trusty assistant.  Clark caught two, but saw several more.  He said these Southern Utah lizards are FAST!  Thankfully, we will not be bringing those lizards home with us.
This little beauty is biting Clark's finger.
Well now, I think she was just trying to shock her father.  I hear teenagers try to do things like that.
I'm going to take a moment to brag.
Holy smokes!  That's one good looking young man!
And now he's mad at me for saying that, but I'm sorry, it's true. I only speak the truth.
It's pretty easy to take great pictures with such vibrant colors all around. 
The day had been a grand success and then we saw THIS!  A huge sand hill with ant-like children and adults climbing up and then run/rolling/falling down as fast as they could. 
Perfect way to finish off the day's adventures.
They look so small, but the five kids on the rocks are Bethany, Elinor, Faith, Cannon, and George.
Here's the close up view.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Clark was hunting reptiles.
We had dinner at the Denny's right across from our hotel.  It was very fun and funny.  I, like my mother before me, got a case of the giggles over something and couldn't stop laughing.  This is problematic when uncontrollable laughter is not appropriate-- Oh, say, when your family is singing together at a Christmas church function.  This did not happen to me, but it did to my mother.  Or when the extended family is gathered for a family picture and your face is all red from laughing and crying.  Once again, my mother.  Now, Denny's is a perfectly acceptable place to start laughing/crying/laughing.  But, I fear I am getting worse as I get older.  The laughter commences more easily and less predictably.  It's only a matter of time. 

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