Category Archives: My Adventures

Lessons from the 2 greatest moms we know: Ours.

Moms. Let’s face it. They play a huge role in the people we become.

We’ve done interviews with lots of amazing moms over the last few years, but lately we’ve both been thinking about our own moms, and how important their lessons 30 years ago influence us now, so many years later.

For me (Lindsey), it was suddenly having a daughter.  That mother/daughter relationship was brought to the forefront of my mind. The thought of raising a daughter seemed daunting. I started to examine how I turned out so… well, cool (by my own standards of course). The answer: My Mom.

The three most important things I learned from her.

1. There is no substitute for hard work.
2. Letting your kids run outdoors unsupervised is a good thing.
3. Taking your kids out for adventures is exhausting. My Mom did it with 6 kids in tow.  Get over it, and get out there.

This is the interview with my Mom (6/14/2011) Nancy: Adventure. Exhausting, but worth it

For me (Olivia), my mom is constantly in my head.  The older I get the less I need to call her and ask for her advise (though I do…) because I can hear what she’d say without her having to say it (some people have bumper stickers on their car that say WWJD; What Would Jesus Do–my bumper sticker should say WWMMD; What Would My Mother Do.  And honestly I think Jesus and My Mother would do similar things, though I am unfamiliar with what Jesus took on camping trips).

From packing for camping trips to married life to (very soon) taking care of a little girl, I think back to my own childhood, and what my mom did, to figure out what I should do.

The sacrifices she made were completely lost on me as a child.  It is only decades later that I realize what an incredible mom she is.

This is the interview with my Mom (5/5/2011) Bonnie: Raising Outdoor Savvy Kids 

Happy Mothers Day to all the great Moms  (future, present and past) who read this blog.

Desert camping with an 11-month-old quadruped.

I forgot how hard it is to camp with an semi-mobile infant. They crawl around camp picking up dirt and rocks and sticking it in their mouth. They make attempts to eat rabbit poop and are fascinated by cacti, drop offs and sharp natural objects. I swear Viv’s got to be well on her way to developing a gizzard after last weeks camping trip.

Camping with a crawling baby.

None-the-less we had a great trip last week. We spent  a few days at our vacation home in Southern Utah (aka my parents house) then headed even further south for a little (aka a lot) sun on the Nevada/Arizona boarder. Spring fever is in full swing around here now.

I’ll let the photos do the talking. Happy almost spring everyone.


Someday I’ll look back and laaaaugh… Foreign travel while pregnant

My husband works for the forest service as a fire fighter, and spends a good portion of the hotter months of the year away or on call.  So when we got married in February, we decided to delay our honeymoon until after the fire season was over.  We finally bought our tickets to Peru over labor day weekend.  On September 9, I found out I was pregnant.  Lindsey is an old pro at the whole pregnancy thing.  Every time she’s told me she was pregnant it was like.  So, yeah, I’m having a baby in nine months.  What are you going to be doing?

Me?  I went into shock.  How much yummy soft cheese had I digested in the last month?  Was that last glass of wine three nights ago the end of my baby’s future?  My body was going to change forever… in the wrong ways.  How was I going to get a job after finishing the PhD if I also had a baby?  And how in the world was I going to get back the money we’d spent on our Peru plane tickets? (more…)

And then there were 3: Road bumps in the life of an outdoor family

About two months ago, Meghan called me.  She’s an avid outdoors woman, soon to be mother of one, and the mastermind behind the Adventures in Parenthood Project. She’s spent a good part of this past year calling and interviewing parents who have managed to stay active in the outdoors with children in tow (more about her interview with me here).

Ever since she called, I’ve been half wishing she would have called me at this time last year instead, I think the interview would have been more upbeat.

Remember this “life comes at you fast” commercial? I’ve sorta felt like MC Hammer this past year.

Just. One. Step. Behind…..  Thinking about the ‘good old days’ when I was ‘2 Legit’.

Meghan asked me a whole series of questions, and I reminisced about long river trips before kids, exploring with just Ari strapped on my back, and even adventures with both of my little boys.  Her last question to me was: What would you have to say to an outdoor adventurer who is feeling uncertain about starting a family because it may compromise their adventurous lifestyle?

My answer: It does change your lifestyle.

There’s no may about it.  Children change everything. (more…)

My 10th Anniversary work of art

Joe and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary last month. To commemorate the occasion Joe, knowing I’m a sucker for the hand made gift, made me a bit of art.

Some might look at this and wonder why on earth he would give me a bird made of dead plant matter instead of a diamond encrusted jewel on such an occasion. I think you guys probably understand.

There’s symbolism in this little bird. We met in the fall. Our first date was a hike among the changing leaves. We were married in the fall. Our boys were born in the fall. I’m somewhat obsessed with this season…

A the bird? It’s a wren. My favorite bird. So diverse, so happy. Most are rather small, palin and inconspicuous, but are known for their loud and often complex melodies. Joe thinks the wren and I have a few other traits in common. And my favorite wren? My daughter Viviann Wren. My new favorite piece of art? This one.


“Ooooon this Harvest Moon”

I have a thing for the Harvest Moon. Maybe it’s the time of year? The air is getting crisp, the leaves are starting to change, the chaos of summer is over, I get to start wearing a jacket again… Or maybe it’s just the fact that I’m a big Neil Young fan?

Whatever the reason, the Harvest Moon has driven me to the top of a mountain peak every year for the last three years. I try to time arrival on the summit to just as the sun is starting to dip below the horizon in the west while the moon rises in the east. I sit on top of the peak, bask in the beauty, eat really good snacks, and as soon as it’s too cold to loyter any longer, I hike back down by the light of the moon.

This year I hiked Deseret Peak in Northern Utah. The view was a bit smoky (from all the fires in Idaho), but the company was great. I don’t get the chance to hike with Olivia much these days, and that’s really unfortunate, for her. Pretty sure I talked her ear off for five hours straight.

I love this tradition.


Postpartum Mountain Biking – When to get back on the bike?

Note: this post contains words related to child-birth. If theses sort of words make you light-headed, please look at this post instead.

Shortly after every pregnancy I’ve opened up my laptop, pulled up the internet and typed in to the search bar things like “postpartum mountain biking”, “how soon can I mountain bike after pregnancy”, “mountain biking after delivery”, “getting back on my bike after vaginal delivery”, etc.

I never find anything. No testimonials, no words of wisdom, no pictorials. Nada. I am going to rectify that situation. This post is for all those new OutsideMoms looking to see when other Moms get back on their mountain bikes after the brutal event known as ‘giving birth’. (more…)

My camping style: no fees, no toilets, no people

I’m not that in to campgrounds. They make me feel claustrophobic, you have neighbors, you can hear them, your dog has to be on a leash, you have to pay, you feel bad for peeing outside your tent in the middle of the night.  I always feel like I need to keep my kids quiet… and it’s just sorta stressful for me.

I go camping to get away from the world.

This is why I love camping on public lands. You can pretty much set up camp wherever you want, which is technically known as ‘dispersed camping‘. I have topo maps of just about every state in the west for the sole purpose of knowing exactly where to find Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land.  I pour over the maps, until I’ve located the perfect obscure road. (more…)

Teaching science and coming out alive: Lessons learned from a pack of kids

When I wrote about the giant slingshots a few weeks ago, I felt the need to tell the back story that goes with my building them.  But it made for a ridiculously long post, and the slingshots were hidden beneath my prattle about teaching.

So here is the back story… the saga of how I learned to teach science to small people.

About four months ago I landed myself a part-time job teaching science labs for an after school program here in town.  I have Kindergarten through seventh grade, one grade at a time, each grade once a week.  I was so excited to start—I love kids, and I love teaching… what could go wrong?

My first week they ate me alive.  I’m 35 years old and by the end of the first week I was weeping at my kitchen table, to the horror of my poor husband who couldn’t figure out how a first grader could bring me so quickly to tears.  Here are some highlights of that first week: (more…)


    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

    I don't blog alone! Meet outsidemom contributer Olivia