It is hot. But still beautiful.

It’s been hot, but also so much fun to be out enjoying nature. We took the kids out on a hike. They were not enthused about it (you can tell in the pictures). We cut the hike short. I still think the kids enjoy going out, the highpoint were all the silk worms.

Another time, we went camping at Willard Bay. They have a new beach, and no one else was there when we were. It was great fun and a beautiful weekend.

This is what our house looks like right now. It’s a mess, but also it’s getting close to painting.

No Room

The room was small.

I was a little late, and peered in. My son saved me a seat. But I didn’t go in immediately. Because there were a lot of people still waiting to get in. 

The man next to me said, “I think we can fit.”

I counted. 12 more people. Maybe enough seats?

I said, “There’s a lot of people still out here.”

Because there were probably others that would still be later. Others that wouldn’t want to sit with someone and couldn’t. Or others who would feel uncomfortable with the small space. We might have fit. But it was so tight that it would have been so easy to have someone excluded. 

I waited, worried…and then relieved. The person in charge gave the order. Everyone stood up, grabbed their chairs and moved to the other room. A big room with more space, more chairs to set up.

Everyone could be included. 

Do we sometimes try to fit people into places they might not comfortably fit? Fit people into our bias, stereotypes, schedules…

Maybe it’s time to stand up and move to a bigger room. So anyone that is late can still come. Anyone that needs more space can have it. Everyone will be included and no one will be listening from outside the door.

Let’s not squeeze people into stereotypes. Let’s free up time on schedules for unanticipated opportunities to connect with others. Let’s open up and make sure everyone has a place to belong and be included.

Rethinking what I desire

In a couple of books I was reading, two separate authors talked about growing up without a lot of money. They made their gifts, decorations in their homes, and did without a lot of normal thing. They still had a loving family, and mentioned that they found these times in their lives full of joy and didn’t mind the lack of material things.

A lot of things are easy to desire: wealth, indulging in pleasures, have an easy life and doing lazy things. But I know those things don’t really make me happy. I often hate how they make me feel. I played a game on my phone the other day because I was tired, and it was fun. But a couple of hours later, I felt more tired, depressed, and less in control of myself. I neglected more important things.

Other thing make me feel so much better. Working, helping others, spending time in nature, being creative, learning. Those things aren’t at all dependent on wealth: and sometimes without wealth we are forced into situations where we have to do them. I remember the homemade gifts I made for people when I didn’t have that much money to buy nice things. They meant a whole lot more.

Do I want to live in a home full of love, creativity, and work, even if it might be poor? Or a rich home full of nice things, even when devoid of the things that bring meaning? And if the answer is obvious, is that how I am actually living life?

Gardening

It’s spring. So I’ve been gardening. I planted three flats of flowers, rows of veggies, and all my bare-root trees leafed out. And I’ve also fallen behind in weeding, and tried to resurrect lawn that was played on too much when it was dormant.

Red Butte Garden

I took my camera and promptly gave it to my nine-year-old to take pictures. I would much rather see what he finds beautiful than take my own pictures.

Hiking

We went on the Birdsong Trail in Ogden. I was on the search for spring wildflowers, and there were a bunch. We’ve been pretty busy with work, school, and home projects. But I still think it’s very important to spend some time as a family being outside. We all enjoyed ourselves very much.

April Flowers

Spring is beautiful and in full swing. It’s nice not having to grab a jacket, and getting sandals on.

We’ve been hiking, to the Zoo. The kids started soccer. Henry finished up choir, which he loved to do. We got baby chicks too. My semester is nearly over, which is one step closer to getting done with school.

Spring Break

First stop was the Tabernacle Hill Lava Tubes by Fillmore. We pulled up and it wasn’t much to look it. But once you got exploring, it was very cool. Lots of caves and canyons. It felt a lot like exploring Minecraft. There is a also Meadow Hot Spring nearby, we stopped by but also had a kid sleeping in the car.

Next stop was Kolob Canyon in Zion’s. We did an overlook hike.

We spent the night in Mesquite. (At the Virgin River Casino, because they have cheap hotel rooms…also, the best way to cook in a hotel room is to bring a waffle iron.)

Next morning we drove to Lake Havasu to see the London Bridge, and we played at the beach at the lake.

We continued driving to the Phoenix area, and had a great time visiting my Uncle and Aunt. After spending the night, we had a picnic and hiked Hole in the Rock at Papago Park, and then spent a brief time at Sea Life aquarium, and most of the afternoon at the Legoland Discovery Center. The kids loved it there, we basically stayed until closing.

We spent the night at a Drury Inn and Northern Phoenix, and took a hot hike the next morning to the Sonora preserve. The kids weren’t liking the heat, but there was an awesome owl at the end of the hike.

We drove up to the Walnut Canyon National Monument and hiked to some cliff dwellings. The kids loved this hike.

We also stopped by Horseshoe Bend and an overlook for the Glen Canyon Dam before spending the night in Kanab @ Aiken’s Lodge. It was a long day, but beautiful.

Final stop of the trip was at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes (a repeat from the last Vacation we went on that was to part of the same area).

And then we made it home with enough time to unpack and do some laundry.

Parks

In school, I’m working on a project looking at parks in the area of west Salt Lake County. I took the opportunity to visit a bunch of parks in the area as part of that project. I’ve been working getting a degree in landscape architecture in part because I know it can lead to jobs designing parks. After visiting a lot of parks with my children, I would love to start designing ones.

Anyway, I was biased in our trip and picked mostly fun and interesting parks and trails. If you want more info on any of parks, or an example of what I’m doing for school, here’s the result of my school project.