Sunday, October 20, 2013

Caprock Canyon with Buffalo

We debated back and forth whether or not to go on the ward campout. We have a baby who is quite active, and runs away with no care in the world where his parents are. I mean if he sees us, he loves us, smiles and runs to us and wants us to pick him up. But you wouldn't know that he did love us by his running. Also, he is a good sleeper, but he has to be alone, he won't fall asleep in my arms at church. He barely falls asleep in cars, and mostly he just needs to be alone. So this whole tent thing was going to be tricky.

We arrived at the site with only a few minor problems, Siri took us to the sand dunes, where we got stuck and a family who timed it perfectly that day to leave their campsite and go see where they had gotten stuck the night before... and they helped us get unstuck.

Its the small miracles.
We thought we had my tent here, which is a four man, but we had Brad's sister's tent, which we took a gamble that it would be a four man...nope 2 man. So the pack and play idea was out. 
Camping just got real.
No pack n play. So we had a rollie pollie with us all night. I made him a bed, put 4 layers on him, but it was in the 40s and he doesn't keep a blanket on him, so I put him next to me, keep the little monkey warm. Basically he took up the entire air mattress, because everytime I tried to scoot him over, he cried, so I just stopped moving him in the night. Brad and I shared less than half of the air mattress, and Miles mostly slept using my stomach as a pillow, and Brad kept pulling the blanket up over us, and I kept pulling it down because it was over Miles head. My shoulders were chronically cold. And my boob not to mention...because I'm still nursing, and since we didn't want to wake up the entire campground IE our ward, I just basically nursed him all night. 
If a picture is worth 1000 words, or what our night was like... Here it is. But somehow he wakes up happy as a lark.

Three is definitely a crowd.

Especially when the 3rd is an overactive toddler.

Who is hot and cold with his happiness.

And, his favorite thing to do was just explore and pick up all the rocks and sticks-and lick them of course.

It was a chilly morning!

But so beautiful.

We sat around the warm fire when we woke up.

We stayed around the fire, until I took the trek to the bathrooms to get Miles in a new diaper and relieve myself. You see, it was quite a hike to the potty, and I did pee in the bushes a few times to avoid that trek.

We enjoyed sitting around the fire, watching the buffalo across the lake.

Miles never enjoys sitting.

On our way back from the bathroom we took pictures by the lake.

It really was so pretty.

A nice escape from Lubbock.

We talked about Brad's picture taking skills after somehow he managed to get the light in every picture.

And he didn't even notice it was ruining the natural beauty.

But the point is, we documented, light and all.

We loved it. It was such a nice break from the hustle and bustle.
We need these breaks.

Here we switched, and after a picture I noticed the light..

So I tried again, but dang, the light still made the pic :)
It was hard to see the screen in the blaring light-

Aside from Brad's eyes, I love this pic.

We love the outdoors.

And grabbing things..

If Brad were to drop him, it would not be in water...surprisingly the dock was not over the water. 

I always wonder what he is thinking. He is probably like a puppy. I wanna lick I wanna lick I wanna bite I wanna bite....but sometimes I think he knows....he knows how to act. So I like to think he has deeper thinking than that.

After all...

Its moments like these that may seem simple to the eye, but in these moments I get all giddy and cannot contain the love that fills inside of me. The love for these two, its the thing that gets me up in the morning, and it keeps me real. It keeps me happy.

I am so grateful for these two. In so many ways. I am grateful for Miles, because he is making me a better person, making me care about things that are really important, taught me how to love deeper and stronger, and teaching me the importance and reality of eternal families. He is teaching me that small things bring joy, like the sound of ripping tape, and the sound of the knife hitting the cutting board while cutting carrots. He has brought happiness into my life, and been my little companion during this difficult time of medical school away from our family and loved ones. He loves me and forgives me instantly (please last forever) and his kisses and hugs are worth every pain I have ever suffered. I am grateful for Brad, that he is such a dedicated hard worker, and that he cares about his life path, and he wants to be the best he can be, and that even though he has difficult tasks at hand, he stays calm and collective, and he continues to be diligent and accomplishes the task at hand.  

He just mentioned to me that he wants to do his best in this current class, and he is scared that he won't receive the highest grade because it is so difficult, but he then said, "I'll only be mad at myself if I didn't do my best." Then I thought, wow that is such a great way to look at life. If we all do our best and still fall short, we have to know that we did our best, and sometimes winning, or becoming valedictorian, or whatever trophy wasn't our path, but yet the journey was our true purpose. Not saying the grade isn't important, but yet, doing our best is most important.

Now that I have gotten all deep, lets switch gears and watch Miles try to get out of the tent. He is so graceful.

It was quite painful to watch him. He would try to walk out, but then would just end up tripping, and falling on his face. Then be all tangled. He would pull his legs, but the tent kept bending and he could never get them over.

And the tent kept giving and he kept squiggling out of there..

And once he was out, he was free as a bird.

He thought he was the coolest, and just escaped with no turning back.

I took lots of pictures of him trying to get out because it really was funny to me.

It took him at least 2 minutes everytime. Best part is...he didn't even whine or cry, he just kept grunting and pushing and grunting knowing that the end was near.

Wow, hows that for a scenery shot? There are buffalo in that picture-I promise.

Oh thats a little better.....I promise we saw buffalo.

And to finish with my favorite picture of the trip. This baby bear who although was a complete whirlwind in our freezing cold night-loved every minute of his first camping trip.
Thank you Caprock Canyon for reminding us of the beauty of this earth, and bringing us back to reality. 
That even if we lived in a tent, and froze every night, and ate only smores (due to us not being smart enough to bring anything to eat for dinner-and thankfully being saved by a kind souls spare tin foil dinner) family, is the only thing that really matters.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Palo Duro Canyon

We decided to drive to Amarillo (2 hours) because Brad had a break between his two block classes. He has 2 classes per semester, and they had a week long break where they learned stuff that they didn't need to study for, just protocol stuff I guess (I don't really know because I didn't go). 
So we went on a Tuesday, and it was nice because we were all alone on the trail aside from one serious hiking elderly couple. It wasn't Zions but its the best we have! Brad agreed to carry the pack of all our cargo-Miles included. Miles pretty much was miserable-hot and and kept whining and groaning-and sometimes full on crying.
We thought he would take a great nap in the car on the way to Amarillo so we drove during his nap time. Of course he didn't sleep much, and so hence our whiney pants.

Oh my gosh, this picture is with my cell phone, and no filter, I can't believe how blue the sky is. It looks like a green screen for sure.

I would feed Miles on the go, including dumping water on him. If you didn't know this about babies, I will tell you-they cannot regulate their temperature like a normal human. So, that means you have to dump water on them when its kinda hot, and dress them extra warm when its a little bit chilly. 

Brad was completely soaking wet in sweat by the time we were done, it was like 98 or something, we went at the hottest time of the day, but don't worry, we went canyoneering in Fat Man's Misery, where we ran out of water because my camelback leaked out all over my back in the first hour. And so Brad and I were sharing his small camelback over a 10 hour 100 degree weather-no shade period. Everyone else ran out of water too, because the prepared ones had to share with the unprepared ones. I drank an entire hot water bottle when we got done. So we didn't want to make that mistake again. 

And we didn't-we had like 4 bottles left over, because this hike was only 3.5 miles or something.

We decided we wanted to go up the steep part so we could actually see the main attraction.
It was really not the best for a baby in a pack-but we accomplished it with no injuries.

Brad took a rest, as we looked at the impressive lighthouse.

It was kinda disappointing, but its like giving someone who has had a 5 star feast, a measly stale roll. 
We did love seeing a piece of canyon in flat Texas.

Does Miles look like a girl in this hat? We were going for most coverage, and he wouldn't wear it most of the time, it made his head so sweaty, but the pale little thing burns if he gets one drop of sun.

I promise there are pictures of me, but they are on Brad's phone.

Panoramic view. LOL its terrible.

Miles looked like he was going to just dump right out on the downhill. He was clutching the pack so tight.

We kinda felt more at home in this canyon. It was such a good bonding experience for Brad and I. At one point he asked me to do impressions of people, I couldn't come up with any, so he spewed out a few, mostly all hilarious. Probably not you, he didn't target blog readers.  

I followed behind Brad, for some reason he felt the need to take his extremely long legs and walk so fast. I really had to jog next to him to keep up. At one point we did jog together. Miles really liked that.

Here I am! I made the picture! At the end we let Miles get out and walk. He wanted to touch and grab everything. 

Brad has been talking about this food place for so long. It was on Man vs. Food. And Man vs. Food has taken us to many places. Coyote Bluff Cafe. Darn show, but it doesn't disappoint. This was the chili cheese fries- I normally don't like them, but these were just fries with cheese and green chilies on top. So they were good, and I was starving, because Brad always wants to 'save up' for good eating places-and I am not a save upper. Because I don't think I eat my body's weight in one sitting, never not ever. Even starving I ate half of my hamburger. Although Miles was freaking out, due to no nap, an extremely hot hike and it was like 8 PM. Bedtime! And they had no high chairs-so he was on my lap the entire time. 
Which if you know Miles, he doesn't rest easy when there are things to grab and see. 
So I left early to the car while Brad finished up.
Somehow after all that food we got ice cream, because it sounded cold and good, we only ate like half of ours. 
Miles and I konked out quickly as soon as we got in the car-so tired. 
Such a fun mini vacation for us. I loved the alone time with Brad, and I came up with this great idea for struggling couples. Put them on a 4 hour hike together, with no cell phones, and make them talk to each other- or better yet a camping trip with no connection to the outside world. That would for sure make or break their marriage. I just think alone time aside from the hustle and bustle is really rejuvenating for ones soul.
Now I'll get to do that again when we go on the ward campout! To a different canyon!