A Mother’s Day Wishlist… of the material kind

Starting very soon (as in any day now) I’ll join the league of females with their own special day to be appreciated each year:  Mothers.

Growing up, we celebrated Mother’s Day (and in August, my mother’s birthday) with a trip to the desert for some exploring of new roads and mountain tops, but with one slight change.  Mom got to pick where we were going all day long.  At every fork in the road we yielded to her whims.  I don’t know if it is how she wanted to be appreciated, but to us kids it seemed like a pretty big deal.  It seemed like a huge responsibility too… what if she chose wrong?  What if the adventure of a lifetime lay down the right fork, and she chose left?  I wondered if she might have appreciated a new sun hat more than the weight of Fate resting on her decisions.

Looking back I realize we never once regretted my mother’s choices–never once did we go home thinking “Man, that’s the last time we let her decide which way to go!”  And I also recall her enthusiasm about what we saw after each decision (“oooooh, look!  A Short-eared Owl is hiding in that Juniper!”,  “My goodness!  Have you ever seen such a view?” , “Those clouds remind me of a Maxwell Parish painting!”).  Adventure is in the eye of the beholder, and mom showed us how to recognize it, no matter which path you took.

Andy at Sierra Trading Post asked Lindsey and I last week what items from Sierra Trading Post we would love to get for Mother’s Day.  This was a lot easier to decide on than I imagine picking the right or left fork on a dusty forgotten road is!  Here’s my (current) list of favorite items at Sierra Trading Post.  If you ask me in a week, I’ll probably have a new list of favorite items… sigh. Such is the life of a dreamer.  The nice thing about the trading post is that some of those ‘dreams’ are achievable thanks to their great prices (especially important when kids outgrow and wear things out so fast).  Don’t believe me?  Sign up for their dealflyer email and you will!

If you also have favorite items at Sierra Trading Post, I bet you’d like to know that they’re having a $50 gift card give away Monday through Wednesday of this week!  Go to the Sierra SocialHub blog to enter.  There’s also a coupon code for even more off! 

1)  A REALLY nice wool shirt.  I first saw Icebreaker shirts when I went to visit my sister in New Zealand.  They were soft, like a… like a little lamb.  And warm, and durable, and stylish.  Had I not spent all my money flying to New Zealand I might have brought one back.    I have been dreaming about them ever since.


2)  Some new socks.  Smartwools are my go-to socks for teleskiing, hiking, and winter walks.  Mine are all seven years old.  (I don’t update my wardrobe very often.)  When I go out on the town I’m wearing what I wore the year I graduated from college.  Lindsey and I went shopping for dresses a few months ago in the mall.  I was wearing a flannel and baggy jeans.  All the chicas in the mall were wearing spandex and fancy boots with buckles.    I felt as out of place as if I’d stepped onto the set of Star Trek.  New smartwools would make me feel like I was hip and up on all the latest sock styles.


3)  A good pair of Sorels.  Like slippers for the outdoor world.  Is there anything better than fluff-lined winter boots that last for 20 years?  I don’t think so.  Plus, they would go perfectly with some new smartwools.


4)  A hammock.  My husband and I are about to buy a house.  Finally.  After renting for the last three years.  We peruse each property and imagine ourselves in it.  My husband put together a list of important features to look for and ask about:  property taxes, age of the roof, etc. etc.  My list of important features includes the size of the bathtub and whether or not there are a couple of good trees for a hammock.  What else matters, really?


5)  A purse.  My favorite purse ever was my last one.  It had one pocket and was made entirely from a piece of zipper zipped on itself.  One day as I left the store I heard the sound of falling change and looked down to see that my zipper purse had unzipped itself into one long piece of half-zip.  I went to the local department store and poured over plaid purses, animal-print purses, giant purses, pocketed purses, over-the-shoulder purses, and under-the-arm purses.  I finally settled on the most bland medium sized purse I could find.  It was bigger than my last one, but with a baby on the way I figured the extra space would come in handy.  I hate it.  Last week I lost my keys.  In my purse.  The week before I lost my phone.  In my purse.  The cavernous size makes it impossible to keep track of anything.  I feel like Mary Poppins with her carpet bag.  I want simple.  I want chic.  And I don’t care if it means I end up carrying baby wipes in my back pocket and a pacifier behind my ear instead of in a purse.


6)  A new camp chair.  My pregnancy has brought with it the unexpected side effect of immobility.  On doctor’s orders I am to minimize walking, hiking, biking, or anything else remotely exciting so that my loose pelvic joints don’t permanently misalign.  My outdoor activity these days is hucking the ball for our dogs with a ball-thrower.  I sit in my camp chair with a glass of lemon-water, enjoying the sun, and throwing a soggy tennis ball.  A month ago my trusty camp chair called it quits.  Too much time in the sun, and too much weight from baby and me was enough to wear out the canvas.  In one loud RIP the bottom of the chair gave way, leaving me with my legs by my ears and my butt on the soggy grass.  To celebrate the moment, my German Shepherd dropped her ball in the little nook under my neck that was conveniently at her eye level.  My neighbor boy, who spies on me through the fence, thought it was the greatest thing he’d ever seen.

Want to see the wishlists of some other moms?

Tales of a Mountain Mama is doing a tribute to other moms who like being outside, and she’s also listed her favorite items from Sierra Trading Post.

Bring-The-Kids made an awesome list of her favorite items from Sierra Trading Post too.

6 Comments so far

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  1. Kristal

    I totally hear you on the purse thing. I cannot stand most standard purses. My go-to purses are either: a) a mountainsmith hip pack that is just the right size for water, snacks, my phone, bug net, and a change of pants for the little dude; or b) a purse that my sister made for me. She knows me well and so far I’ve gotten 2 purses from her. The first was knitted and lasted me 3 years. This Christmas: new sister purse. I love it and hope it never dies.

  2. Really love that wool shirt..and a hammock! :)

  3. Daktari

    Liv, I bought a travel purse from REI. They don’t make that specific model anymore, but it has lots of compartments for keeping things separate and organized. My biggest suggestion on getting a purse is find one with a light color liner inside. You can find nothing in a black-lined purse. Also, regarding hammocks. I bought an ENO double-nest because of the high recommendation by the Schmale’s. Is was the smartest thing I’ve ever gotten. It’s great on everything from backyard fun times to car camping. You have no idea what a nap in the backyard is like in that thing. Like you, I need a new camp chair. Mine has seen better days. And one can NEVER go wrong with smartwools.

    PS: Hi Kristal!

    • Liz, I looked at purses at REI last weekend, couldn’t believe the prices for a good, simple little number. I’m now waiting for sale day. My current one has a very light tan interior, and I still lose things in the bottom… it is just too roomy for me I guess!
      Thanks very much for the hammock suggestion, and as for camp chairs, if I recall you and I bought ours at about the same time some five years ago–too much time in the sun and too many hours around campfires is likely their undoing. Beware the sound of ripping canvas!

  4. Love your wish list! I am definitely not the roses and jewelry type and would much prefer any of these things! We have a hammock hanging in our backyard trees. I gave it to my hubby for Father’s Day several years ago but it is pretty much my favorite place to relax!

    • Thanks Tricia! Though I love flowers and minerals, I’m not into roses and jewelry either… Give me socks or a new headlamp and I’ll be a happy woman! Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day.


    I'm Lindsey. I'm an environmental educator, my husband's a biologist. The outdoors is infused into everything we do; which explains why I'm better at mud pies than home decorating. More About Me

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