Thursday, September 12, 2013

Summer of fun in Colo-RAD-o part 2.

After the family reunion, my family stayed in the mountains but changed our location to Silverthorne/Dillon where we spent a few days hiking, kayaking, and working at that bucket list with a hot air balloon ride.  As I wrote about earlier, this is the summer that I truly fell head over heels for Colorado and this weekend definitely increased my love for this beautiful place I get to call home.  Nothing beats enjoying the outdoors with my family!  

Early in the morning before our flight.  

Mom and Dad came up to watch the kids while we were up in the air.  We blew lots of kisses to each other and waved dramatically as we got further and further away.  

Saying goodbye to our "small" people on the ground.  

Love the pics with the shadow of the balloon behind us.  
It doesn't look like it, but we are high in the air.  

From my dad's camera.  
Other people had the same idea!

They put us to work after the flight...

The balloon is massive!
Rolling it up.
Our view during the flight.  Sharing this once in a lifetime trip with my love was incredible!

 Other fun things we did this summer included family camping, lots of mountain biking for Blaine, a few Rockies games, and lots of pool time.  Why does summer have to end???
Cousin Ellie came along and shared her enthusiasm for all things outdoors!  

Hoping to catch a fish!

Bella caught...moss!

Cooking our traditional hobo foil dinners.  YUM!

Getting a little sticky!

Those jumbo marshmallows are really quite HUGE!

We actually found some GF graham crackers so Blaine didn't have to miss out on the fun.  That is one BIG S'more!  
One last fishing attempt before bed and they actually caught a fish!

Hobby or obsession?  Maybe a little bit of both!

We love a good groupon deal!  Family horseride in Estes Park.  

The girls both squeezed into their "too small" pink cowgirl boots for the occasion.  

Bella did awesome on her own.  

Mom found out on this trip that she is allergic to horse dander.  


Grandpa, the cowboy.  

The kids loved chasing around the farm animals.  

Fun in the $5 rock pile seats!  When we ended up getting rained out...we sure were glad we didn't have more expensive seats!

Fun at the ballpark with my nieces.  
Glad Makell could visit us from Oregon. 
Bella and friends, Kinley and Sophie.  
And we ended our summer, as always, celebrating our wedding anniversary.  For our 12th, we got to spend 24 hours kid-free (thanks to family and friends) where we enjoyed an afternoon being quite glutenous at a gluten free expo.  We found new products and ate everything to our heart's content.  It was pretty enjoyable!  I'm so grateful to have married this guy 12 years ago and for all of the joy our relationship and family brings to me.  I am beyond blessed!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Our little gymnast

 This first year of competitive gymnastics was a huge learning curve for both Bella and I!  These are just a few of the things that we learned this year...
1) A gymnast's hair is VERY important!  (Who knew???)
2) Whenever possible...get your awesome friend to do your child's hair!
3) Since said awesome friend is not always available, figure out how to do 1 hairstyle yourself!  (I'm pretty proud of this because I am far from that mom who does really cute hair on her girls!)

4) Bringing my smaller kids to a VERY long meet is NEVER a good idea!!!
(I don't even know why I'm smiling in this picture!  I'm pretty sure this was the last meet that Ez and Cali attended!  It was babysitting city after that!
5) Bringing other family members IS a good idea and cheering for my little girl never gets old!


6) Gymnastics has been a great way to increase Bella's confidence, teach discipline and work ethic, and a fun way for her to meet positive, supportive friends.  

7) Watching her on the beam is the most stressful event for me!

8) Bella is "tight".  It took me all season to figure out what that meant.

9) An iphone just can't catch action shots!  Thanks Kelli for the awesome pics!
10) Vault was the hardest event for Bella to "get" but once she did...she really "got" it!

11) The bars are Bella's favorite event.  

12) Wow!  My little girl is strong!  
13) Saluting the judges is important.
14) Annoying floor routine music can really get stuck in your head!

15) Being the smallest person on your team means you are always at the front of the line.  

16) There is a lot of "down time" waiting for your turn to compete.  

17) Going out on a Mom/Daughter date for frozen yogurt after each meet is a fun, new tradition we have together now. 

18) Little Miss Bella is really quite good at this sport!  Since this was her first year, we had no idea what to expect and it was fun to cheer Bella all the way to 2nd place overall at STATE for her age and level.  WAY TO GO, BELLA!!!


19) But even though she is good, as soon as this gets too competitive for her and it isn't FUN anymore, that is when we will quit.  
20) And after many, many hours on bleachers, one of the most important things I learned too late in the season is that portable, supportive bleacher seats are a necessity!

I'm so proud of you, my Bella Joy!  I loved watching you grow stronger, not only physically but emotionally, too.  I enjoyed seeing your positive attitude blossom this truly are a STAR in my eyes!