Wildflowers

Hey everyone! I have some beautiful pictures to share today! ūüôā

My mom takes breathtaking pictures!¬†So all the photos you see on my page today are taken by her! I keep telling her she needs to go into some type of photography business ūüėČ

I wanted to share some of the pictures that she took on a walk this past weekend through the beautiful “Old Mill District” in Bend. They have planted several large areas of wildflowers.

We are so blessed to be surrounded by such beautiful landscapes and natural scenery!

I will be posting¬†MORE of her photos over time…

don’t worry! ūüôā

I love that sunflower one… and this next one is soooo beautiful with the color variation!

One reason I have not been posting so much is because my camera is somewhat “out of commission”… it is full of pictures that I have taken over the past few months but unfortunately I lost my camera adapter and charger on our move (of which will be fixed very soon)! My pictures don’t compare to hers, but sometime, I will have some posts/pictures to catch up on!

Fall season is upon us which I love, but that means the weather will be getting cooler (aka winter is around the corner). We are making a “bucket list” of things to do before the “snow flies” as mom says. Nothing too major and all around this area, but I will share as I can! A bonus to being a stay-at-home-mommy (for now) is getting to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather daily. My sweet boy and I, whether alone… with my husband, mom, aunt, friend or any combination¬†have been getting out for a nice daily walk! So whether we actually go anywhere out-of-town or not, my list includes getting outside as much as possible, even if it means watching the laundry pile grow, or the dishes have babies!

HAPPY SEPTEMBER EVERYONE!

Check back later for updates or more pretty pictures!

April Showers Bring…

…May flowers…

 right?

Well at least that is what they say and that  what I have always heard!

For us, come April, we¬†will have¬†us a bundle of joy…

a little one…

a baby!

Yep, talk about some very exciting changes for us ahead.¬† I thought Chaco¬†would be expansion, as blogged about before… ¬†but now we are really really expanding our family!¬† We are truly excited about what is ahead and I feel like I have so much to learn and do before that time comes, but no matter what I get done or what I learn – it is coming! I am almost half-way!

Here is our little one “bean” –¬†“brewing” at my first ultrasound at ~10 weeks.

¬†(we call it a bean to avoid calling it, just that… an IT! )

ūüôā

Will we be picking out boy or girl names?

So, hey – definitely new blog topics ahead right? It is pretty amazing how each day seems basically the same, but when you look back everything is totally different.¬† It was not too long ago I had completely different thoughts that I do now… it is amazing how fast things change!

I’ve got to say I have been pretty busy lately with work and little odds-n ends and have not blogged like I would like to, but stay tuned and don’t give up on me! I will be back before too long again for another update from the land of “us”!

Have a wonderful day and may this find you with lots to smile about!

Color your Diet!

Today I am supposed to be productive – at least that is what I told myself!¬† It is a really rainy day, which is fine with me, but it makes me want to do things like oh… drink coffee, relax,¬†¬†then repeat.

So, I figure I will do that for part of the day at least, then get on to some of the projects I want to get done.  I am counting this blogging stuff in with my drinking coffee and relaxing section today so I will make it kind of short (you are welcome) and then I have a magazine that came in the mail I want to look through (Thanks mom for my food network subscription!)

The topic of the day:

COLORFUL FOOD!

(not necessarily M&M’s, but nice try!)

Call me weird, but food is so pretty!¬† I mean think about all the colors food comes in…. I am talking about NATURAL food here… fruits and vegetables!¬†It is one thing to walk into a department store and see all the pretty spring colors, all the new clothes… but walk into a field of wildflowers or a garden… or the produce section of a nice grocery store and tell me that is not pretty! I love it!¬† But of course, I am a foodie and it makes me so excited!

Did you know that vitamins and all that healthy stuff¬†are what gives food its natural color? Eating a variety of colors… a¬† rainbow of colorful foods is what helps¬†provide nutrient rich foods in your diet… which will in turn¬†help you feel better,¬†have a healthier life and even have more energy.¬† There is not a pill out there to match the health benefits of real, natural food!¬†

If you think of your dinner plate as a picture, how much color is there? Try and at least have each “item” a different color.¬† Brown is a color, but for the sake of my example it does not count…. and neither does potatoes or pasta.¬† So, think of adding color to those basic “staple”/”common” items.¬† Here are some examples…

  • meat and potatoes can be spruced up by swapping the potato for sweet potatoes or yams… or even better, broccoli, squash, beans etc… think vibrant color, not bland.¬† The brighter the color, the more nutrients.¬†
  • Salad is a way to add nutrients to any meal…
  • Adding fresh fruit as a side/condiment or topping is a great idea too!
  • Here are some pictures from “my kitchen” showing some color and ways to add fruits and veggies….

This is bold, but hey I am going to say it!¬† Fruits and veggies are expensive but so is going to the doctor and so is medication.¬† I’m not saying that people who eat healthy never go to the doctor, or people who don’t always go… but¬†I am quite sure they go less if not a lot less.¬†¬†

If you can buy fruits and vegetables when they are in season, it is very¬† helpful.¬†¬†For example, strawberries in Florida are pretty cheap right now, but tomatoes are not…¬†¬† Think of ways to¬†incorporate more strawberries is a great idea (at least right now) and saving your recipes that use a lot of tomatoes may be good if you are on a budget…. don’t make salsa right now! ūüôā¬† OR grow your own, which I want to try this year by the way!¬†But my point is look at what is on sale where you live, shop around¬†and don’t let the price alone determine whether you buy or not, think about the benefits and the fun¬†of colorful food too!¬†¬†¬†Often we over-look the frozen foods section, often there are good deals there for berries, peas etc.¬† They are also easy to prepare in many cases because they are already washed and ready to go!

Color your plate, your diet and your world! ūüôā

 

A Foggy morning with the hope of spring!

It is a foggy morning around these parts, but the promise of spring is in the air! We have had a few warmer days combined with some good rain which has encouraged some green to come out! This is really exciting because I love spring! ¬†The warmth from the sun the past few days feels so nice… so nice that it is hard to stay¬†inside and get things done!¬† I love how the sun warms me and¬†puts a tingle on my face!¬† The weather people tell us not to get our hopes up about warmer weather sticking, but how can I not? I love it!¬†Anyhow, we will enjoy it while we can and if it is not here to stay, I know it will be back!

The warm weather is especially welcomed because we¬†have had¬†a lot of cold weather (yes, in Florida)! We’ve experienced many nights near or¬†below freezing along with¬†days of needing at least a jacket, if not a coat too!¬† I am used to¬†colder and harsher winters…moreso used to SNOW which brings with it shoveling, scraping etc.¬†¬† Locals have said it is a colder winter this year than usual. There has been¬†longer spells of cold and it just¬†hangs on longer.¬†¬† I am still thankful to have a break from the elements¬†though!¬† Snow,¬†ice and freezing¬† temperatures most of the time is a winter I am used to but I¬†have to admit, I kind of miss¬†it!¬†¬†Something I am not used to however ,¬† is the “wet cold”¬† here… it has more of a “bite” and it does not have to be too cold to feel it!¬†Enough about the weather… there are many many other great things to do and talk about – like things we CAN control! ūüôā

I hope this finds you enjoying your February day!

To the Window…

We went on an amazing (amazingly loooong as well as amazingly wonderful) ¬†hike… TO THE WINDOW in September… and I am just slow to post about it with moving and being a busy bee!¬† This¬†“window” I speak of is¬†located along the south ridge of the Rio Grande Pyramid (the pyramid is the¬†highest peak in Colorado’s eastern San Juan mountain range at about 13,800 fee above sea level).¬† As you can see by the pictures the window is pretty much a perfect notch out of the mountain ridge, allowing a “window”¬† to¬†look out/through each side of the range.¬†¬†This¬†was the most breathtaking experience I have ever had (I am not referring to my breath here, but it was a struggle to get my breath several times). ¬†It was very exhausting and trying but incredible and I would do it again! Most do this hike over a 2 day time span and also summit the Pyramid as well, but we will save that for another time. We WILL be back to do that!¬†My dad wants to¬†do that and I would not miss out¬†on doing that with him! ¬†This was our biggest adventure of the summer for sure! I believe it was around a 20 or so mile hike round trip and was very rewarding to accomplish it and see the beauty!¬†

We thought it would be a good idea (we… as in my husband because he is always looking out for what¬†is¬†best) to use our heart rate monitors on this hike not only for the curiosity of it, but to monitor the workload on us.¬† I can go a while with a high heart rate, but then after a while I will crash because it is not something I can maintain all day, so knowing we had over 20 miles to hike in a day’s time with a lot of elevation gain – (already at a high altitude, it was good to try to keep our heart rates lower for as long as we could in order to have adequate energy all day).¬† Just walking at a high altitude is harder on your body than at a lower elevation.¬† So this meant more resting than usual and a slower pace than we thought – especially for him having to wait for me while I kept my heart rate lower.¬†This ended up being a great thing to do because most of the elevation gain was after¬†we already hiked around¬†10 miles! It was awesome to¬†have the energy to climb up that last 1,000 feet with enough energy to make it 10¬† miles back to the truck!¬† We left the window about sunset – so you can imagine that we hiked home in the dark! We had our tent and were prepared to stay the night and had whatever emergency supplies we needed, but after a day life that, all that sounds good is a hot meal, bath and warm bed! We hit the trail and got back in half the time as it took us to get there!

A lesson can be learned from this too…¬†¬†Life is a journey, and hopefully a long one… if we are always in a hurry to get somewhere and don’t enjoy it (the¬†process)¬†then we can miss out on so much and wear ourselves out.¬†¬† If we would have pushed it and tried to set a record in getting there by a certain time (which we could have I am certain) we may have been too tired to enjoy it or¬†had an injury, or¬†been too wiped out to enjoy the next day!¬† ¬†Instead we took care of ourselves along the way and took time to enjoy it so we could enjoy more for longer!

Fresh Wild Mountain-Grown Raspberries!!

My husband and I picked some fresh raspberries a few days ago that were growing in the rocks by the Rio Grande Reservoir! What a treat!¬† We stumbled upon them at the very beginning of our¬†hike to “ditch camp” where our bosses work to maintain a ditch that flows down through the Weminuche Wilderness… anyways we hiked up there on their few days off and stayed at camp for a night! How beautiful it is up there, and also neat to see what they do when they are hard at work up in higher country.¬† Here is a picture from our hike of the “window” and Rio Grande Pyramid…

The window and Rio Grande Pyramid

ok… now back to the raspberries!¬† I was so excited to get back to the beginning of the trail so we could pick raspberries.¬† We picked about 4 cups of fresh berries! It was raining so I did not take any pictures of the berries on the bushes, but did take some pictures of what I made with the berries (in addition to eating them fresh as well) and hopefully I can post recipes sometime soon! The problem is that I don’t really measure everything and it is hard for me to leave a recipe alone… always trying something new! Ok, here we go…

Raspberry Coffee Cake

Raspberry Dutch Baby

wonderful week 7! (more pics)

It is amazing here.

I love it.

I don’t want to leave!

 Thats it.

Slumber under the Stars

The glimmer from my candle out under the night sky!

The glimmer from my candle out under the night sky!

I spent a few nights this week sleeping  out under the open sky. I have always though that it would be neat to do, but never did.  I have probably freaked myself out about the idea or not had the right opportunity. OK, I was probably terrified at the thought of being in the mountains sleeping outside because I would get eaten. I lived and really enjoyed it!

¬†When the sun goes down out here, it is very dark – no street lights, no cities in the distance, but these few nights just the moon and stars. So it is quite amazing to be out and enjoy the night sky this way. I made up a place to sleep in the bed of my truck and it was perfect.¬† In the past I have always been cold up here, even when I sleep inside, but my parents gave me a great graduation gift that has changed my sleeping life!¬†They got me a¬†hard core down comforter (which I would reccomend in¬†a heart beat)… so I was actually warm and cozy – no hint of cold, even outside (during this particular season).

I’m not sure there could have been a better few nights for me to do this.¬† There was not a cloud in the sky all night and the stars were numerous and bright.¬† I was so comfortable when I got in bed that I could hardly stay awake for the moon-rise. It was beautiful falling asleep with the sound of the river below me and the light, fresh mountain breeze slowly moving¬†about.¬†I also loved waking¬†up with the sting of the sunrise on my cheeks. That is a¬†neat feeling. It was fun to lift¬†up my head and see the horses grazing nearby lifting their heads to say hello. Pretty amazing few nights I must say.