Friday, July 31, 2015

Kanarraville Falls...

I'd seen a few peoples' pictures on social media from this place called "Kanarraville Falls" and I was smitten.  We'd done our fair share of hikes and I wanted a little break from all the swimming in St. George before we headed to our mountain spot, so this seemed just right.  A little pleasure in life that clearly, the Gardner guys needed to experience.  Fine... and their mama too.
 These boys are troopers.  I'm doing nothing but "building up their endurance" as we traverse from canyon to mountain to swimming pool, as opposed to "wearing them out"; but since I get to tag along and they alternate holding my hand...  whelp, I'm in.  Again & Again.
 It was all fun and games, trudging through cool water and back out to red rocks & red dirt for a good couple of miles.  They were gathering sticks as we walked and we talked about all the best things that run through little boys' heads... including Star Wars characters, "Whose older, Darth Vader or Yoda?" and the best comebacks from their favorite movie, "The Sandlot", wherein we landed on, "You Play Ball Like a Girl!"  {I'm still working on that one} And what animals we could eat if we had to stay the night and light a fire and make a bed out of pine needles... burning questions of little minds.
 And then we started to enter the slot canyon portion of our journey... 
 And I started to get a teeny tiny bit nervous since RyGar was working and I was the solo adult/Girl Scout leading my trio of adventurers.
 And then I saw "The ladder" and my "teeny tiny bit" of nerves morphed into a "near heart-attack level" bundle of nerves.  How exactly was I going to carry on with a five, four, and three-year-old up this questionable looking log/ladder?  And as I sat back to ponder if we should just turn around, they just climbed on up.  One at a time, like the sure-footed little mountain goats they are.
And I, like the decisive leader, shrugged my shoulders and thought, "Well, here I go."
Fist Bumps to my fine parenting/reasoning skills, yeah?
It was a gorgeous day.  The scenes of my tiny trekkers will forever be etched in my mind.  I love adventuring with them.  And you are well aware of my feelings of adoration about the red rock places in the world... they will always prevail and put wind in my hair and get me out there.  
 Another one of Summer's simple pleasures has been fully experienced by all but the big guy.  So dang, twist our arms, we'll be forced to head back next year and teach him our ways.  And let his heart do a little dance of nerves when we encounter that dang ladder part.  Whew.  :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Georgetown U.S.A...

I'll admit... our summer memory books have a great many pages that contain St. George.  We love it there.  Especially this July in particular where the highs were 97 degrees.  Perfect swimming weather.  And we're like Pavlov's dog when we see any commercial on tv that shows off the red rocks and blue skies we've learned to love so dearly.
So, when I have a blank week staring back at me on the calendar... it's a relief AND a no brainer.  I announce my intentions, the boys run like wild indians through the house gathering all manner of "supplies" they might need tossing them into their little blue roller bags and the madness begins.
It's the best.
And side note... RyGar is the best for encouraging these little escapades.  No joke, instead of being ornery or jealous he makes sure the oil looks good in the car, helps me load up sunglasses for each little dude, and kisses us all good bye telling us to "have a great time" and telling me to "keep it reasonable".  Ha Ha.  I asked him this last go around if he did it because of selfish (quiet) reasons, and he replied, "No, I just know I would hit the road all the time if it were my role to be home with these guys."
So sweet.  He's a keeper.  Plus, it's that or hosting a house full of neighbor folk, so three is easy peasy.
Anyway, as we were... George town loves us.  We love it.  We have a symbiotic swimming relationship that goes like this:
We swim in the am
We swim in the pm
They crash hard.
We repeat.
 They're getting dang good too.
The only down side is that I live in a damp suit all week with a cover up on and my hair piled on top of my head.  It ain't fancy folks... why primp when we'll be back in the water in a couple of hours?  So we swing by Swig or "Old McDonalds" for nourishment lookin' mighty fine.  :)
When they're tired of the full submersion bit (or more like I tell them they're tired so they'll take a break) we run a couple of errands and inevitably end up back in the water.  Sometimes we hit an awesome splash pad or two just to keep things fresh.
 And sometimes I cry at the fact that Acey is now taller than the little statue dude at the city center.
Hold me.
Our own little splash pad doesn't suck either.  And if I have to be honest, I think it comes with the best playground equipment in the entire valley.
My little hick town fellers were  selling fictional "deer meat" from the top of the playground in exchange for three rocks or three wood chips.  Business was boomin'.  Probably in large part because they're customers were curious to find out what deer meat actually was?  Makes me laugh.
They were also practicing their Ninja Warrior moves on the spinning monkey bars, and lemme just say, those aren't easy.  I tried them.  Another reason you'll want to pretend not to know me if you see me in Dixie.  I really, completely get it.
Bottom Line... We find a little more magic every time we visit our Oasis in the dessert.  We get excited to make more memories every trip.  
 And rest assured, when we're back, we'll dive right in where we left off.  :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Big K is Six Today...

Six years ago he made us parents.
He has taught us the very best of what parenthood is made of.
Yes, since that day in July, six years ago, our little dirt-ologist has taught us ever so much using his own little language of love.
His language is kind of a mystical, spiritual, heartfelt language that goes as deep as his little boy soul can go.  It consists of his lock-eyed gazes that end in magic shy grins or thought provoking questions.   And chubby little dimpled fingers smoothly rubbing wrists or hands as he snuggles in close.  And let's not forget the hugs he gives -- the tightest, warmest, strongest little man hugs that will rock you to your very core and summon all the clarity in the world in that moment.
Other parts of his alphabet include him being the world's biggest tease.  As soul quenching as his quiet moments can be, he can turn on his flip side and laugh the world's best and loudest belly laugh at the silliest things.
He is fearless.  Truly has not shown a real fear of anything.  But rather than be proud of that fact, or boast, just helps others understand his rational way of thinking through something that could be perceived as "scary".
He is the world's best helper.  No joke, that kid loves to work.  If he's unhappy or mercilessly teasing - give that boy a job.  Something to achieve - Some Everest to summit.  He thrives on it.  Loves it.  Rocks it.  Hand him a wrench and let him turn it -- he'll probably create something amazing.
He goes against the grain sometimes, and he kind of digs it.  I love that he doesn't care about Pokemon cards just because the other kids in the hood are into them.  He likes what he likes and he doesn't adhere to anyone else's perception of what he should like.  At such a young age -- that really makes me starry eyed.  Strong and solid with just a pinch of weird = Our rad boy Kael.
He has a heart of gold.  Seriously, my brother-in-law told us after watching him, "You know, he is a little boy.  He makes mischief and he's loud and gets dirty; but you don't ever have to worry about his heart."  Goodness flows from this little man.  I hope he always continues to choose kindness.
But mostly I hope he knows how much we love him.  Six magical years.  We're gonna "SAIL-ebrate" on the boat with cousins today and hit his favorite restaurant tonight - all his choice.  
I think that's about perfect for our summer time six-year-old.
XO Forever, Kael & Happy 6th Birthday!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Horsin' Around...

This past weekend we escaped the valley and headed up to the land of Cache to visit my brother and his cute little family.  They basically possess a "host a slew of extra little boys" super power because they had assembled the big wall tent in the back yard, and left the eggs in the chicken coop for eager little hands to gather.  Translation:  They had set up a back yard of dreams for my little misters.

And the next day?  Well, we headed up Logan canyon with their horses for a stellar morning ride.
(I'll skip over the part where we were greeted by a rattler on the trail and I almost had a heart attack) 
And I'll jump right to the part where my kids felt like real horse men in an instant.
I must say, that a horse ride, as opposed to a razor or four-wheeler ride, is pretty dang rad.  You can actually look around, listen, and kind of more fully experience the area around you.  Do I sound all "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Repair"?  Well, I'm a zen artist then, because it was really gorgeous.
We'll exchange boat rides equally for horse rides.  How's that for livin'?  
We've really got it made.  :)
And after a hot day in the saddle, the kiddos strip teased and jumped into the creek.  Dax took the Polar Bear Challenge and fully submerged in the frigid waters like a champ.  Ace nearly had a panic attack when his shoe began to float downstream.  And Kaelster finally washed off his 'stache comprised of dirt, dust and sunscreen.
Thanks for the great weekend, BA!  We'll horse around with y'all any time you'll have us!
And end up looking like complete Clampetts.  That's part of the experience.