Category Archives: My Adventures

What should have been Family ‘Burning Man’

This past week my friend Amber and I planned a camping trip. Our hope was that it wouldn’t be like your regular run-of-the-mill camping trip. We wanted to create a family style Burning Man festival. We live in Nevada, so it seemed only fitting, and we hoped to add a little of that Burning Man creativity, pizzaz, and chaos (I like to think we nailed the ‘chaos’ part pretty well).

What we got instead were 35 MPH winds. We couldn’t camp in the Burning-Man-esque dry lake bed we’d picked out because the wind was too strong.  If we’d made a burning man, we would have watched him take flight across the desert soon after.   Our hot dogs would have dried out before they got to the fire pit.  And the materials we’d brought for art projects would have scattered across the desert like New Year’s confetti faster than you can count down from ten.  We had to opt for a sheltered rock cove and a low key evening instead.

I’m proud to say we stuck out the camping trip despite the never ending wind, though Amber and I were somewhat disappointed. The kids, on the other hand, could have cared less. They ran around the rocks pretend-shooting each other for hours, took advantage waves created by the wind at the lake, flew kites, hunted for bones, mastered the giant sling shot, and ate dust while taking rides on the tailgate of the truck. I suppose we made due.  I suppose they’ll remember it fondly anyway, burning man or not.

I managed a few pics.


The day my dog started to stink: The effects of pregnancy on ones canine

We have a border collie, red heeler, Australian shepherd mutt. Her name is K-So (technically pronounced Queso if you speak Spanish). We adopted her a year or so before our oldest was born.

I saw her at a local pet adoption extravaganza. She was the only dog not barking. She was malnourished, had a pretty good case of mange, and looked completely miserable. I couldn’t bring myself to leave her there. I took her home and nursed her back to health. She loved me. I was the Alpha and she was happy to be whatever other greek letter I desired her to be.

Like most non-kid couples we treated our dog to all the luxuries you would bestow upon a child. Undivided attention, training, treats, exercise, playtime with other dogs, and car rides in the front seat. She enjoyed her life immensely.

When I became pregnant with our first child she sorta fed off the energy. We were happy, so she was happy. I mean really, this picture, taken a few weeks before Ari was born says it all: Happy, excited and ready to party!

When Ari was born, K-So quickly settled into her new role at the bottom of the totem pole. She took the toddler maulings with grace and patience. I think she understood that I was grateful for her good temper, and that Ari had something other than me to look at once in awhile.

Then I got pregnant with child #2. She seemed to enter a state of insecurity the day she noticed my growing gut. Or maybe her insecurity came from the fact that I all of the sudden found myself totally repulsed by the smell of dog. The more I tried not to be around her so that I didn’t puke, the more she felt the need to follow me. My poor clingy dog was constantly under my feet. Literally. She was a furry yellow stinking shadow. It was dangerous. I couldn’t see my feet, let alone my dog, and I was constantly tripping over her, thus yelling at her, thus reinforcing her feelings of woe. (more…)

Getting outside during a hard pregnancy

With my first pregnancy I was the poster child of an active pregnant woman. I recall tele-skiing, hiking, climbing, biking and exercising right up until I gave birth at 41 weeks. I still had leg muscles.  It was fabulous.

I followed a similar course with my second pregnancy.  It was harder to stay active while also taking care of a 2 year old, but I managed to do pretty good until I hit 32 weeks. At that time I started showing signs of pre-term labor and was put on bed rest until my second son was born at 38 weeks.

Then there was this pregnancy…

I spent the first 24 weeks feeling incredibly nauseous; all food sounded terrible and I didn’t sleep well. Consequently there was not a lot of extra energy to go around. I tried to keep exercising a few times a week, as exercise was the only thing that helped with my nausea, but most days it took what little energy I had just to take care of my kids.

When I finally got over the nausea, I had two really great weeks.  I celebrated with an awesome November bike ride. Alas, at 26 weeks I (again) started showing signs of pre-term labor. I was put on “low mobility”. This means walking at a snail’s pace, and as infrequently as possible.  No hiking, no biking, no jogging, no cavorting, no anything vigorous, exciting, or otherwise resembling ‘fun’.  I felt like I’d been grounded for bad behavior. (more…)

Welcome to the world little Viv

It’s been my intention for the last few months to take next week (April 30 – May 6) off from the blog in honor of Screen Free Week. Just so happens I now have another reason to take a brief hiatus.

Our little Viviann arrived about a week ago. The birth went quickly and beautifully. In fact I think choosing a name was almost harder than actually giving birth… almost. Everyone is doing really well. Her oldest brother paid her the highest compliment possible when he said “Mom, I think Viv’s even funer than R2” (his R2D2 robot). Little brother is still adjusting right along with the rest of us.

Happy Screen Free and I Had a Baby Week. See you all soon.

Chaco: A love story that began in 2001…

Going for a new tan line. My first pair of chacos over my Teva tan. Circa May 2001.

I like to think the story of how I became a Chaco Ambassador dates back to just past the turn of the century. The year was 2001. Y2K had proved a fluke–my computer still worked as it should.  The stock market hadn’t crashed.  Aliens hadn’t landed.  And I was more than a little disappointed. It was also my last semester of College.  My future, empty, and vast as a future without Y2K catastrophes, awaited.

I was planning a move to a little desert town in south-central Utah by the name of Escalante. I had landed a job on a research crew studying the native bee population in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. I knew the job involved a lot of hiking, backpacking, and observing in extremely hot weather, in a country replete with sand.  So I  purchased a brand new pair of Tevas (my sandal of choice since the late 80’s) to celebrate the occasion.

I packed up my ’85 Corolla with all my belongs.  My hope chest, a 20-gallon blue cooler, sat in the back, nestled between my trusty sleeping bag, a bag of clothes, and a water jug. I set my sparklingly clean new shoes on top of the car, under the kayak mounted on my homemade 2X4 roof rack. I ran into the house to bid adieu to my roommates. And I hit the road!

Somewhere around mile 14 something else hit the road. I saw a foreign object fly off the roof of my car and land smack dab in the middle of the highway. (more…)

Natures Soccer Field

We left home today without much of a plan. Just a van full of random stuff we might need. Those always turn out to be the best kind of adventures. Good day.

This post is part of our (somewhat neglected) photo series on unstructured play. For more photos in this series click here.

A Very miniVan Valentine’s

Valentine’s Day is typically one of those holidays that come and go with little notice from us. We give cards and use it as a good excuse to eat Indian food, but that’s about it.

This year things were different. Ari’s old enough to realize when a holiday is upon him, and he wanted to celebrate with great fanfare. He had plans. His plans started with wanting to decorate the van. No, not his room. Not the house. The minivan. I guess that’s how it all started. After I realized we were going to be decorating the van, I figured we better go somewhere and celebrate amidst the decor.

So Ari and I decided to plan a surprise party for Isaac and Dad. We whispered ideas back and forth, and as soon as Isaac went down for a nap, the crafting began. I have to admit, for someone with a crafting phobia (me), we did a pretty darn good job decorating.  I know I’m running the risk of becoming a pinterest sesation by showing you this, but I have to share.

Behold, the final product.

As we decorated we hatched the rest of our plan. The evening went mostly as planned, it unfolded like this: (more…)

Enjoying January… Wait. Is that Lake Tahoe?

Last week was wonderful here in the greater Reno area. I know I’ll regret that statement come May and there’s no kayak season; and I feel bad for all the ski resorts around Tahoe, I really do… But we just couldn’t help but take advantage of that spring like sunshine. The kids and I spent a day by the lake. Feet in the sand, toes in the water, my arm sore from skipping rocks over and over and over trying unsuccessfully to prove I was a “better rock skipper than Dad”. We built sand piles (Tahoe sand doesn’t pack well), laid in the sun, ate lots of snacks, dug for treasures and threw a Christmas party for all the plastic sea animals we’d brought.

It was one of those days I just loved being a Mom. I think we all need a warm January day now-and-then.

But judging by this picture of my kids attire while playing trains today, I think it’s safe to say their ready for some snow… (more…)

Holiday in the Sunshine

I don’t have a post prepared for today. Like most of you I’m enjoying time with family… with a little southern Utah scenery thrown in there. Therefore, I present a few photos from the past few days outside adventures.

Hope you all are also enjoying a sunshine laden holiday season.


Traditions: Often weird, always wonderful

Family Rock Hunting TripI love traditions.  I love the anticipation.  Knowing what’s going to happen next.  Sharing something with friends and family.  Having an activity that is unique to us.  It makes me proud.  Happy.  It makes me want to hug the world.  My family has always been big on traditions, though we never said as much out loud.  But our traditions were never… shall we say… normal.  They weren’t the same traditions everybody else had.

At Christmas time, our neighbors placed blow up reindeer in their front yards, they set waving cardboard Santas near their smokeless chimneys, and they put out enough lights to make our street look like an air force landing strip.  Our house looked like a black hole in comparison.  My sister and I yearned to decorate something. My mother had a pitiful looking Norwegian Pine; I think it wanted to die but my mom intervened just regularly enough to keep it living, but sorrowful.  The poor thing never grew to more than three feet tall and frequently struggled just to maintain a sense of Tree.  It was often more brown than green.  Since an entire strand of lights wouldn’t fit on the miserable thing, we wrapped them around the banister separating the living room from the stairs to the basement instead. We also hung a few colorful ornaments from the prongs on the antelope head that hangs between the living room windows.  The colorful glass globes would reflect in his black plastic eyeballs, giving their normally stoic glare a bit of holiday cheer.  Christmas eve we would turn off the lights, lay on the living room floor, and have intimate conversations with each other while staring at the blinking light patterns on the living room ceiling, and in the eyeballs of the antelope.

It took me a long time to figure out that nobody’s traditions are normal.  If we all did the same thing, it would violate the my sacred definition of Tradition.  I can’t find a good definition of tradition.  Some take it very seriously, and if it isn’t passed down across hundreds of generations and replete with symbolic gestures, phrases, and trinkets, then it doesn’t count… kind of like this.  To me a tradition needs only three things: (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

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