Before Baby

So. I know everyone is mostly just wanting to see pictures of our new little addition. And hear how he is, and just how absolutely happy we are. And trust me. I am more than willing to share. But due to my obsessive compulsive nature, I cannot simply bypass the events of the past year just to appease those baby lovers out there. So, here I will do a quick review of all that has happened prior to that grandeur event. Because, again, I want to look back and remember that my life is good. Reeeeal good. So here we go.

First off, Cameron’s work is awesome. And he works with the best folks around. And they do awesome stuff. Like plan work parties where everyone packs up and drives to New Mexico to the local casino to gamble lots of money. And since we are a young, super rich couple who loves to gamble, we went. Ok. Not really. But since we are a young couple with loads of time and being more than willing to pocket the said “gambling money”…we went. On the bus ride up they played games and handed out the cash. Cameron and I were so giddy over that envelope we could hardly keep from running down the isles tossing our benjamin’s in the air. But. We managed to control ourselves.

Before heading to the great and spacious (ie. casino) we moseyed around Sante Fe. Which is the most darling little town. But upon seeing so many shops full of trinkets, one tends to lose interest. So to keep ourselves amused, Mr. Barr and I invented a sort of...competition. The goal was to walk into the little shops and (without peeking at price tags) within 1 minute each competitor had to pick an object in the store that one thought would be the most expensive (or atleast more expensive than the object the opponent had chosen). It turned out to be great fun. Sometimes with quite surprising results (especially in art and clothing stores). But upon my celebrations getting too loud, (I was slowing gaining ground... my husband was kicking my hiney) Mr. Barr concluded that we were creating too much of a scene (Or rather, he was afraid of forfeiting his reign) and insisted we move our attention elsewhere. Which just so happened to be food. Duh. Which was quite fun and delicious.
Stopped at the most darling
French shop and had
ourselves a little cream
Upon finally arriving to the casino, Cameron wandered around doing…well I don’t really know. Because with our newfound wealth my darling had purchased me a full body massage. Because I was pregnant. And mostly because he is the kindest human around.

So I meandered up stairs. Stripped to my skivvies. Took a deep breath. And met my new best friend.
Kind of.

 I entered a dark room with a Sweed with greasy hair and cold hands. Brave I know. But she was nice. And strong. Too strong. "Zat feeel goood?" says the Sweed. I managed to squeak out a "yes" as her boney little fingers dug into my shoulders and neck. I was bracing myself for one long hour when a timer dinged and that woman whipped out hot towels. Glory hallelujah. Heaven bless hot towels. All was going to be well.

Yet, perhaps next time my money could be better spent begging that boyfriend of mine for an ol’ fashioned back tickle. I know. Ridiculous. But somehow having a stranger massage on you dims in comparison to good conversation, laughs, and tickles from my darling dear.

Regardless. It still felt nice.

Finally I met back up with that boy of mine as we made our way to the buffet and stuffed ourselves on a variety of roast, fried shrimp, lo mein, and cheesecake.

As we climbed back into the bus and made our way home, I rested my head on Mr. Barrs shoulder and stared out the window. And all was right in the world.

The following weekend we journeyed to Denver and made a pit stop at the ol museum. Which was the coolest! First off, Dinosaurs are the coolest things ever. I think when I grow up…I want to be… a person that goes to museums and stares at Dinosaur bones all the time. Because they never get old.

And Mr. Barr and I especially loved the “lab” portion of the museum. Except the brain power game. I mostly hated that one. Mostly because I lost. Every time. You see, we put on these cool helmets. And sit on opposite ends of a long table. With a ball in the middle. We then, with our minds, push that ball in our opponents direction. Except my brain never pushed a doggone thing. My "pushing" was consistently interrupted by that stupid ball arriving at my station. Usually at mock speed. It's like my brain wasn't even trying. I'd peek only to see Mr. Barr's eyes still closed because there is no way he expected his brain to be so powerful and push THAT fast. But it did.

I'm pretty sure my helmet was broken or something.

Finally, surrounded by eight year olds, we moved to a new lab. (Thank Heavens!) We slid on our white jackets and rubber gloves. Mr. Barr, in typical fashion, was slightly mortified to be participating in such a petty activity. But upon my insistence, we continued. And after some convincing, Mr. Barr took to it quite nicely. He was even willing to stand in line waiting for different science booth to open (the cereal one. It looked SO cool) But. Upon noticing (once again) that we were surrounded by others significantly younger than ourselves, he insisted to head somewhere more adultish. And we did.  Atleast I got to do the bacteria and germs tables. So I was happy. 

My scientist. Whose hair I cut. It's ok.
You don't need to praise me or anything.
I'm just really good at that.
Looking quite professional.
Oh. And we liked the animals. A lot. And then there was this selfie I had to take with this walrus guy. Because. I mean really. Is he not the happiest thing you ever did see?

And then we hopped in our non-ac speedster and hit the road. Of course, only after stopping off to pick up lamb food. Then while riding in our 97 degree vehicle (It's true. Thats how hot is was in our vehicle. We had a thermometer.) I decided I was feeling a wee bit nauseous. (And pregnant) So we stopped and ate. Because stuffing myself would make my sick tummy better? Anyway. It did. And then we took the scenic route home. And followed the rainbow. To our pot of gold. And lived happily ever after.


That One Time We Missed Our Flight...

Mr. Barr and I rolled off our blow-up mattress and felt our way around the pitch black basement until we dressed ourselves enough to look somewhat presentable for our 6 am flight.

Amanda, in an attempt not to wake her sweet husband, slept on the couch awaiting our nudge. Upon such, she rubbed enough sleep out of her eyes to manage the trek to the airport.

In all the hustle-bustle and fun, my darlin’ and I didn’t pre-print our boarding passes—A typical practice for us. So we made our way through the crowded thanksgiving-weekend-packed aiport to the check in. Only, to our surprise, to be told we better hustle because our flight was overbooked and we better try to secure a spot.

And hustle we did.

You see, flights had been canceled due to bad weather the previous night. And in addition, the flight company we booked with didn’t fly out of Seattle, and booted us to their sister company—Alaskan Air. And being that we didn’t book with them initially, or print out our boarding passes the night before, we were left hangin.

After charging up the escalators, we met a very sorry attendant shaking her head. “I don’t think you’re making this one.” So we plumped our backpacks, printed tickets, and heavy hearts down.

“Why in the world did we wake up so early!” I exclaimed.
Cameron tossed his head to the side and held my gaze with raised eyebrows. Almost to exclaim, seriously, sleep, that’s all you're worried about?
You see, he mirrored my frustration, but for far different reasons. If we arrived home later, that meant he had to make the long drive later. In the dark. Or far worse, resign to the passengers seat while letting me man the wheel. He shuddered at the thought.

After a few short moments of complaints of how a booked flight almost three months in advance didn’t secure a seat, Mr. Barr muttered, “Well we better at least get some McDonald vouchers for breakfast.”
And then, after a brief few seconds, the ridiculousness of the words that just came out of his mouth sunk in, and we busted up.

An angered, tired, man mustered all his contempt into that one comment?

The ridiculousness of my dear’s words somehow helped us to see the ridiculousness of our own poor attitudes. And that they didn’t fix anything.

So we shaped up. And snuggled up on our grey polyester seats. And watched everyone file in line and fill up our flight.

As my honey took a walk and phone call to explain our predicament to our sweet Uncle Kent and Aunt Patty (our transportation from our destination in Denver), I was called to the desk.

Upon walking up, I tried to be really nice, cuz this lady with a sleek pony-tail and hard red-lips was not about to take no crap off of nobody.

Upon her explanation that we were, indeed, not making it, I told her I totally understood. And was totally fine with it. Kind of. And then with her eyes glued to the computer, she continued, explaining that we were already booked on our next flight. At no cost.

And then Mr. Barr showed up at my hip at the counter. Just in time. She leaned a little close and those red lips parted into a smile. Sliding a paper in our direction she whispered “And you actually might make a little money today!”.

You see, that little white paper, she continued, explains that if you are booted from a flight and the next one is within an hour, you just hop on that and are good. But if it’s not for two hours, you make a little money. And if it’s over three hours, you make a little more money. “And your flight” she said,  “isn’t for another four hours” and those red lips flashed into an even bigger smile.  

“And you are reimbursed 400% of your ticket price.”

Those words juggled around my brain as we made our way back to our polyester seats. I turned to Mr. Barr and stuttered, “So wait, what exactly…” before finishing he cut me short.
“There’s no way…that’s like two grand?”

And before I could even let myself get a little excited at the thought of money in our pockets, the most darling man came up to us.
“Mr. and Mrs. Barr? May I confirm your reimbursement before I retrieve your checks?” And there it was. On again, another beautiful white little piece of paper sat our names.  And two numbers.
And dollars signs. 

$1,183.20 for you.
$1,183.20 for me.

And there it was. The clouds parted and sun burst through as confetti fell and everyone in the airport simultaneously began dancing and singing. Cheering Mr. Barr and I on as we laughed and danced our way through the flowery tunnel of our adoring fans on our way wealth and prosperity.

Ok. Actually. We mostly just sat still. Silent. And then I started to get a lil’ excited. And bouncy. And clappy. And then Cameron squeezed my hand—a somewhat frequent signal from that man motioning me to calm down or whatever. But as I peeked a look at our flight attendant, she flashed a smile and clapped her hands in our direction—assuring me my reaction was quite alright.

And then that darling man came back. With those checks.
And slid em’ in our fingers, slapped us on our backs and wished us well.
Silently, before anyone could change their mind, we zipped up our bags, tried not to make eye contact, and slipped away.
As though all was well.

Until, of course, we turned the corner and Mr. Barr dropped his luggage, grabbed my face, and upon squishing my cheeks together laid a big one on me.
He then slapped his hands together and rubbed em’ back and forth in a fast motion Mr. Miyagi would be proud of. Amongst our scattered laughs and squeals I jumped up and down. 
And covered my face. 
Repeating, “oh my gosh. OH MY GOSH. Oh my GOOOOOOOSHH!!”

After a quite thankful thanks and a promise that we would never again complain about a missed flight (or print off our boarding passes prior to flight) my honey and I locked fingers, threw our bags on our back, and danced our way to the food court.
To retrieve Mr. Barr that McDonald’s breakfast. 


Sleepless in Seattle

In the San Luis Valley I have the privilege of having the Barr clan all around me. Thus, whenever I get the itchin for some family, I just gotta drive down the block. It's pretty fantastic. 
But the Young clan isn't so fortunate. We are spread from hell to breakfast. And so every once in a while we all meander together for a week. And this thanksgiving it landed in Seattle. So my honey and I packed our suitcases and headed for  the great northwest. 

So, first of all we went to Pikes. Duh.
And it's a good thing Mr. Fisher Man was a little slow on the uptake.
Had that dude jumped, poor grandma would've made
quite the scene. And probably rolled her ankle.
Trying to escape or something.

And of course, we fell in love with the flowers.
 And had to walk past them seventeen thousand times 
until our lovely madre found just the right one for her entry way. 

Another evening we went to the zoo. And it was great. And then we went to the museum at the zoo. And it had a "snowball fight" area. Which got really great. And probably terrifying for every spectator and toddler age participant. You see. Youngs aren't spectators. And are quite competitive. And have an impeccable ability to clear any room at a moments notice, when there is any opportunity for competition. And compete we did. Initially grandma and grandpa took Elise and Emerson for a few shots. Then Dan got involved. Suddenly no one was safe. With Dan's fast pitch white puff whirling at your face it was either arm and defend yourself, or die. So before too long all were enlisted and jackets and scarfs, hit the floor. And the battle was on. We stood in a whirlwind of the aforementioned fast pitch by Dan dear, Mothers spuratic hurls taking out any poor soul that meandered within...well within anywhere really (Aim is hard for our sweet mother), Dads winded breath from working so hard, Dj's head shots, and Cameron's sneaking shots as he stayed clear of the battlefield meandering through the onlooking audience of terrified parents frantically looking for their children to rescue from the wreckage. 
Finally, after Grandpa was officially out of breath, and everyone recognized that the children were gone hiding in the snow cave, and the room was officially clear of any previous on-lookers, peace was formed and the warriors tossed on their winter wear onto their sweaty bodies and rounded up the ninos. And went outside and took a picture with a scary mouse. And then headed for the reptile room. 
 It was a night to be remembered, indeed.
Here's grandma with her cute hair, thanks
to Elise. And, notice she is wearing an apron.
Even on vacation she just can't help herself.
She is the kindest helper momma sweetheart out there. 
The hub is an obsessive honey-doer. I know. How'd I get so lucky.
Thus, he spent an evening dinkin' around the kitchen.
And Trey came to help Uncle Tamwin fix da Fwidge. 
Grandpa and his knobby thumb and
dollar-store/kid friendly specs
are a smashing hit with the ninos. 
Trey was quite fond of his cousin's pink cowgirl
His father was not. 
Uncle Cameron playing 'Too Slow' with
Emerson. Setting him up for a future full
of complexes. 
Em & Em lookin' smashing for Thanksgiving. 
This race to catch a duck left the poor animals frazzled and
Elise in tears. Oh to be young. 
Mike and Boo hauled lil Petunia all the way up
for Emy-loo-hoo. So obviously we did a
photo shoot with her.  
Mike and Boo brought this lil fella (or lady?)
too. I know. Dogs. Everywhere.
But Elise is darling.
I'm tired of diggin grandpa.
Well that's too
dang bad!

 Let me explain the previous photo. In Seattle it rains. And Amanda's house is on a hill and totally got flooded. Last year. And this year she has two babies to take care of. And her husband works full-time. And they are still finishing the inside of their house. Thus, leaving little time to provide themselves with a drain ditch. 
So. Duh. Family. That's what we're for. 
So we dug. 
This freakin' huge hole.
With shovels.

Also, I think it's only fair I show my portrait of
"puppy in the park". Because it so
perfectly captures my love for these animals.

Oh, and we bumped into Ashley!!!
Just kidding.
That's not Ashley.
Dan & I are just super mean.
Ashley is one long tall beauty and we are all jealous.
So we send her pictures like this.
So she knows we are thinking of her.
So much happy goin' on.
Emily is quite the master at the 'grumpy cat face', and
struggled all week to teach us her ways.
Cameron is still workin' on it. 
Amanda too. 
Since we are such fashionable women, we all did "cat eyes".
And soI had to document them.
And Brittany.
I mostly just had to document Brittany.
Since Ralph is quite the meat consumer, it's
only right that we took him to a
Brazilian Steak House.
And it was fabulouso! 

 Well...so, we mostly just stayed home. With each other. Proving better entertainment, joy, and satisfaction than any tour around town.

 Because when you grow up in the boondocks with friends far, far away, every minute, day, hour, month and year is spent in the company of these hooligans. 
(Which, sometimes, wasn't always wonderful.)

And then you grow up.
 And just want those moments back. Those days, weeks, and years that seemed to never end. Because you learned all too fast that they do, indeed, end.  And you'd do just about anything for those loud, miserable, impossible and terribly embarrassing siblings of yours to be once again right beside ya. And to talk to your mom til' two in the morning. And ask your Dad for advice.  So, that is what we did. 
And all was right.

Kind of. 
Let me explain. Let's talk about how I was puking my guts out the day before this grand adventure began? Like lay in bed and can't pack bags sick. And we had to leave at the bum crack of dawn to catch our plane.
Ya. Stress.
 Amid dry heaving and maneuvering the bucket to catch the contents shooting from both the nose and mouth, I managed to ask my dear if he still loved me after this. He did. So that was good.
But anyways...what I want to say is that he made me chug a coke. Fast. And I thought he was crazy.
Cuz when you're sick you don't chug coke. Ya just don't.
 But my honey explained to me that it seems if a coke can eat away a nail, it can kill whatever nasty was in in my belly. So, chug I did. And cross my heart swear to die, I stopped puking. 
And was healed. So...that teaches us that coke is pretty scary. 
Anyways, it was great. 
But not so great when I passed it onto our sweet darling Trey in Seattle.
And I must admit, he made quite less of a scene than his aunt. Tough. He is way tough.
But it didn't stop there. That nasty nast was eventually passed on to every member of the fam-damily. And entire town of Austin upon my family's return. 
You're welcome.

So. I just had to tell that.
But I mostly just want to express the incredible joy of family.
And joy in knowing that families that shovel together, sweat together, smash fingers together, hit each other with snowballs, and puke together, stay together!

So here's to you Ralph and Patsy. 
You done did good. 



 The other day I watched a little video on facebook about how Ugg boots come from bad men doing bad things to sheep. At one point in the video it showed men “abusing” the helpless little fellas. Slapping their bottoms with sticks while pushing them up a shoot. I laughed out loud a little. Oh if only the makers of this video had actually ever worked with sheep. Only then would they really know what its like…then they themselves would soon be reaching for the closest stick…trust me. Let me explain.

As I came home the other day…dirt smudged around my lips, up my nose, and smelling like…well like poop. Literally. My husband asked me if two years ago, would I ever have thought I would be doing what I did that day.
Nope. No way.

You see, Tom Barr shears sheep. And was a little low on help. So, I volunteered. Because I grew up around cows. And sheep are like half their size. And I could make a couple bucks. Which is nice.

So upon Tom’s arrival bright and early, I snatched up my Carrhart beanie and was out the door. Eager to show him my grew-up-on-a-farm-girlness. After tossing aside a few greasy tools, rolls of twine, and empty sandwich baggies, I slid in on the grease stained bench seat of the ol’ pickup truck. I came right up next to his fine flee infested, face licken, stinky breathed sheep dogs. Blek. Tom leaned on over and tossed the pups over the bench seat into the opening between us and the torn off truck bed. I felt right at home.

After a quick stop at the local gas station for a few soda pops, we settled in, turned the radio up and made our way out into the wilderness. Not long after, we entered the scene. There I found myself among 1100 hacking/stinky sheep, an amish dude who would tackle the sheep, a puruvian non-english speaking herder fresh off the mountain, one great big dog, Tom Barr, and Katy Perry blaring in the background. Yeah. I was in way over my head on this one. I imagine we looked a little bit like an old time photograph with everyone lined up, looked weary and worn out, with a little bit of crazy seeping outta our eyes.

While scouting the area I reminisced… You see when growing up and helping your dad herd cows, they turn around and charge you. Causing you to turn and run bounding over (or mostly just on) any near fence screaming crying, begging to go home and do dishes or vacuum or whatever just to get out of there. Thus becoming a farmers daughter, who is supposed to be tough. But mostly just ending up being a great big whimp. Because you know. You know animals are mean.
Or you become a crazy person who hates animals. And wants mostly just destroy them.
But. Sheep don’t charge. And they are soft. And little children dream about them. And stuff. So. Bring it on. Confidently I walked on over to the nearby sheep with my male counterparts.

But upon walking behind them in a small corral, I quickly realized they are a whole different kind of terrible awful beast. In hopes of pushing them into a shoot (a narrow hallway leading up to the trailer), these sheep lost it. Like freakin’ crazy people. Scattering in every available direction (except, of course, the direction in which you want them to go) they began smashing their faces through the small 5 inch openings in the wire fence. Over and over again. Like that was their only option. Flailing like a fish out of water, they would time and time again slam those little faces through that unwelcoming wire, fly through the air, dive bomb onto eachother, etc. as a path, straight ahead, remained untouched. Chaos. It was mad chaos.
So the top right is the initial corral we push the
sheep into. And then they walk up that long wood
hallway thingie. And its' never this still and serene.
We simply hadn't started yet. 

That. That was when I realized I was going to hate sheep. Not because they are mean and scary. But stupid. Sheep are just really really stupid.

Let me paint a picture for you. There are a thousand sheep. They are divided into a number of different corrals. They are pushed (or pulled, hauled, yanked, etc.) into a thin wood shoot. There the sheep, one by walk, walk up this shoot into a horse trailer looking contraption. (Now that’s ideal. Mostly it’s just a lot of flying dust, swearing men, and screaming sheep. Oh, and hip-hop’s top 20 blaring in the background from Tom Barr’s 1980 boombox in the back of the trailer.) At the end of their journey they are pulled out one by one so that Tom Barr can shave their little bottoms. You see, they eat lots of grass and then poop out lots of grass. And that creates these…well, they are dingleberries. Which are the most efficient chastity belt, says Tom Barr. So. He shaves it. And well, That’s enough of that.
Roy pulling out the next sheep.
For Tom to shave it.
After doing that about
a thousand times,
I'm pretty sure their back
just about falls off. 

Annnnyways…my job was to push the sheep up the shoot. Which should be super easy. I mean. It’s not like there is anywhere for these animals to go. But forward. But these animals, with a passion and stubbornness beyond anything I’ve ever encountered, went anywhere but forward.
This picture. It just. No words. Almost makes ya wanna
like this lil fella...

Let me outline just a few of their methods.

First, there is the ‘lay-down’. Here. They just. Well, they lay down. With subsequent sheep smashing their pointy little legs into their faces. And then rolling over on them and causing the most impossible pile-up wreck. And they (the entire pile) are in no hurry to get up. No. They would much prefer to just die right there. And you, after the thousandth time of this mishap, would be happy to do them the pleasure.

That is cousin to the ‘nose dive’. In which their front legs stop working. Which is not so bad. Because here the herder promptly grabs their knobby tail and all sorts of dingleberries attached and simply drags them forward. On their little nose. Which somehow offers a little bit of joy.

Then there is the ‘back up”. Where for the first time in their life, sheep put it into high gear. In reverse. With wild wide-eyes they run backwards smashing and propelling the remaining sheep…in..again, the wrong direction, as you run along beside them shouting all sorts of profanities.

Another ‘satisfying’ and equally maddening move is the ‘turn-around’. Which seems totally impossible. That in a squished tight wooden hallway, they are able to contort their body in such a way that would make such a feat possible. But, again, I remind you. Passion. Idiotic passion. But, as I mentioned, this does offer some sort of satisfaction to the herder. As they are able to open the latched gate along the hallway and pull that animal out. Slamming it on its bottom. Shoving its front legs in the correct direction. Then ever so passionately blasting it forward. It was in these moments that a few degrees of one’s built up fire of hatred for these beasts can be released. Which is nice.

Lastly, there is the ‘ewe’ position. Let me explain. In this position sheep suddenly weigh five thousand pounds and are not going anywhere. No matter how you shove, heave, yank, beg, holler, clobber, etc. Thus, prompting some ‘ewe’ rhetoric. “Ewe freakin’ idiot” “Ewe piece of crap” to name a few.

Well, after working through their multiple methods, and going through multiple weapons, I was finally able to call it a day. Upon walking back to the pickup truck, we swept up the dingleberries, snatched the empty candy wrappers and plastic baggies from our lunch break, and hit the road once more.

On the trip home I had a little time to think. About how sheep are just awful bad.  And how there must be opposition in all things. And sheep are the perfect example. God had to send us sheep. He knew they would about be our downfall. But he also knew that through sheep, He would teach us to be happy and grateful. Because if there weren’t things like sheep, we wouldn’t know how to be so doggone blasted mad, and if we weren’t ever that mad, we wouldn’t appreciate the times when we were so doggone happy and glad.

And then I thought about how Christ is the Shephard and we are the sheep. Why? Because people too, like sheep, are stupid. And so frequently fight against the little prods God gives us in the right direction. We think he is torturing us or really just trying to make our lives miserable. When in reality, if we would simply do as He asks and move forward, we would realize that it is much better than fighting or giving up! For he knows what is best for us! If we just have the faith the keep moving forward.

Amazing, right? What sheep can teach us.

Anyways, upon arriving home I started up the ol’ bath-tub. But before taking the plunge, I set aside my dirty britches and hoodie, just so when Tom Barr called again, I’d be ready. Cuz there is some kind of incredible satisfaction in hard work, and being part of America’s bottom-line industry—agriculture.  


As the hubs and I sit in our recliners sippin’ hot cocoa as the eight inches of snow outside continue to amplify, I can’t help but reminisce on warmer days…(Well, I feel it is important to mention that my husband is now up doing a solo act dancing to the “little drummer boy”. Off beat, of course. Regardless, it still gets my heart a pitter-pattering. He is just the best person.)

Anyways. So, for my birthday (which yes, I realize was in August) (And yes, I realize was 3 months ago) Cameron took me to Elitch Gardens in Denver. It’s kind of like a six flags. I think. That’s what people tell me, as Lagoon is about the most theme park experience I have. Nevertheless, it was so fun! I mean, it had rollercoasters and funnel cake. Duh.

Food is always a favorite part of my day! Plus, we are soaking
wet from a log ride. Cameron liked it. Alot. Like three times
consecutively lot. 
But, we left a little early. You see, Denver just got Cabella’s. (Or maybe we left early cuz he was a lil embarrassed from looking at me in my swimshorts with my ridiculous tan line directly above my knee just screaming. Or perhaps it was his own t-shirt line. Yeah, we are that couple. Our poor children.) But anyways, Cabella’s. So obviously, Cameron had to go. Which, I’m totally ok with. Cuz in that store, he buys me stuff.  Cuz he feels this wild and ridiculous loyalty to it. Which, again, is cool. Cuz they have the most darling little coats and sweatshirts.

Next, we went and stayed at Chris and Hayley’s for the night. Which, we were just completely giddy about. You see, they have a TV. We don’t. And we have become those people who, upon walking in a room with a TV on, become zombified and lose all ability to communicate in any form. Because we are sucked in. Because, again, we don’t have a TV. Like, not that we don’t have satellite. No. We don’t have any kind of box that portrays any kind of media. Yeah. I know. But really, I secretly love it.

But, Chris and Hayley also have a hot tub. So, of course, we made a pit stop there first. I slowly attempt to snuggle up next to my man and enjoy that moment. Well, of course he wasn’t having that. I mean, what if someone walked by and saw a married couple snuggled up next to each other holding hands in a hot tub? That is just far too scandalous for that man of mine.  So, I settled for him giving me lessons on how to efficiently shave a beard. Using bubbles. Obviously. He would lather up my cheeks real good and then swiftly scrape away the clinging suds with his finger. Then I would practice on him. Naturally. I was rather impressed. His method was quite efficient and effective. Except the part where he shaved from my top lip up towards my nostrils—propelling suds deep into my sinus. (Thanks hun.) Perhaps that is why men’s nose hairs grow so fast. They are just propelling freshly cut whiskers right up there, where they promptly multiply and replenish. Ha, just kidding. Kind of.
We are like, four years old. 

Anywaysss..after the hot tub rendezvous, there was little time left for TV. We were tuckered out. But, despite our lack of mind numbing delight, it was still a wonderful weekend!

And since we are talking about weekends, I gotta mention my hubby’s success. Cuz it involved plenty of weekends. Weekends away from his wife. L  Anyways…Remember all those posts about looking for sheep. Well, he found one. GLORY HALLELUJAH! And, in the process he was still able to work full time each week and never miss a Sunday. Such a blessing! Oh, and he didn’t die in all the floods going crazy around him. So that was good too.

The thigh. I didn't want to document this. But, I just had to. 
But, just shooting the thing wasn’t quite enough. We had to eat it. And of course he had to drag it into my kitchen. And chop it all up in my house. Which was gross. So gross. I lit every scentsy. And ran away and cried.
 Well, I didn’t cry. But I could’ve. Don’t ever let your husband cut up his dead creature in your house. You’ll gag all over the place.  

So, after that mess, we cooked it up on his parents fire. And. It surprisingly, was not awful bad. How things can smell one way and taste another is beyond me. But my husband was ecstatic. Exclaiming “Definitely the best wild game!” But, last week I threw away the last piece of leftover sheep. Because upon asking him if he wanted it, he simply said no. So…if “the best wild game meat” isn’t worthy of seconds I’m terrified to try what other wild animal he’s gonna drag home next. But don’t worry, we’ll have plenty of other chances for seconds. There is still a huge thigh and 5 billion steaks sitting in our freezer. I think we are going to feed them to the missionaries. J
The first taste of the sheep meat. That face! Oh,
and he doesn't wear his jamies everyday.
It was Sunday. So, duh. Jamies it is. 

Oh, and he shot an elk. And had the entire thing put in sausage and jerky. I like that.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that
we are making a rug out of this
fella. We seriously are. And I am
really excited for it. 

And since this post has no real theme, I might as well keep going.

I have one uplifting incident I just gotta share. On Sabbath days my husband is usually out the door on his way to early morning meeting before I ever even begin to peel the mattress off my back.

Well a few Sundays ago our Branch Pres. Called and told my Husb to stay with me instead of going to those meetings. Which I needed. After surviving a rough lonely weekend. I didn’t know if I could make the 45 minute commute without suffering a major meltdown. Inspiration is real. God gave me just what I needed, through a man who probably had know idea the impact of that phone call. So, a few hours later we skipped out the door and bound towards our buggy hand-in-hand.

While singing hymns (me in English as Cameron hollers along in Portuguese. It is just about my favorite part of our Sundays) something exploded. Our tire. It blew up. And my knight in shining armour pulled over and fixed it in a jiffy. Peeling away shreds of what used to be our tire. Upon putting on our spare we immediately realized this detour was far from over. Upon letting our jack down we saw our spare, airless, shrink flat as a rug.
I was gonna get down there and help him, but it was much
more important that I document the situation.  

But, thankfully, my darling inlaws, running a hair late, were still behind us. Upon watching the silver bullet blur past us, we were still able to flag them down by phone. Tome drives fast. But he tossed that beast in reverse and saved the day.

Together we all we trotted through the Colorado wilderness until arriving at our seemingly insignificant white chapel on the side of the road. Where, as always, I understood very little of the Spanish spoken, but again, as always, felt the overwhelming assurance in my heart that God knew me and loved me. And that this life is indeed, beautiful. 


Pics from that one hunting trip...

Taking full advantage of that fire we worked so hard for.
Our beautiful mountains! Cameron is dangling over a cliff. Lookin' for those blasted sheep!

Me in my over-sized rain gear. Freezing to death. 
Me n' my best friend. 

On our way to our first destination. I loved the clouds resting on the hills. And that mans face. I love that too. 
Cliffside glassin. 
Lake Ann. This is where I saw all those people having fun. Without me. And we camped here too.
I'm on a horse. And smiling. Not because I like horses. But because we were heading home. And I could get off. 

Finally saw rams! Celebrate!

Why Husbands Don't Take Their Wives Hunting...

I used to see wives that would stay home and let their husbands take some other guy with them on this really fun hunting trip. I would never be that wife! No way. I would be the one going with him, if I was in that situation. That would be so fun!

Or so I thought…Ladies. Let this be a warning.

Last weekend my husband took me with him on a scouting pack trip. And I finally understood why. Why all those women stayed home.

You see, I should have known before we even hit the trail. First a man comes rushing out of the woods. Breathlessly explaining that he had been walking since northern Washington, (so obviously was a tough mountain man son-of-a-gun, dude) but he could not take another minute of that rain. He promptly asked where the closest hotel was. We pointed in the general direction and he was off.

Next, a fisherman was abandoning the woods. He was a friendly, positive guy. Telling us to watch out for the trails, cuz they were a little “sloppy”. A little sloppy. I quickly learned he was a verrry positive man.

Because within minutes we ventured out on that ‘slightly sloppy’ trail. With our horses slippin and slidin through inches of muck and mud, I was about ready to turn around. That is if I could actually get my horse to obey me long enough to abandon his friends.

See, we had with us three horses—Sassy, Fig, and Everest. I rode fig. And I was so scared. Because horses scare the crap out of me. And crap is a bad word. But it’s the only way I can accurately communicate my fear of these stupid animals. And, these already scary animals were slippin and sliding all OVER those freakin trails. (Again, bad word. But, you will soon realize that this was a trip of all sorts of colorful words.)

Anyways, Fig. She didn’t kill me. Which really made me happy. But, she did manage to walk 2 inches from the edge of every deadly dropoff of every cliffside. With her head cocked to the side admiring our soon to be sure death, she would undoubtedly, every time, stumble on some barren stump on the path. Throwing me into all sorts of meltdowns.  And she really enjoyed brushing me practically off on any remotely available pinyon tree. During this entire expenditure I somehow survived by just closing my eyes and trying to breath slowly, before I had a complete meltdown and started bawling crying begging to walk the rest of the way, however far, I would do it if he just please wouldn’t make me get back on that animal! But, luckily we are still newlyweds so I tried to contain some dignity so he could think of me as a brave capable woman. Every time he turned around to check on me, I quickly played cowgirl and smilingly exclaiming, “Isn’t this just beautiful”! ….pfff…I never saw the scenery. My eyes were either locked on the path…watching for those slippery slopes or closed. Because I was praying. The whole time. I wanted to cry. Like so bad. I hate horses. (Don’t worry, by the end of the trip I clearly let him see the real me and my not so brave self.)

So, all I’m really trying to say is I didn’t get many pictures, due to my white knuckles clenched on the twine reigns and sweaty saddle horn the entire way!

Annnyways…on the way up we passed through one storm. And, we were still happy. Singing “Singin in the rain”. And hymns. And stuff.

Finally we made it to camp…a sopping wet field. But I was off a horse. So I was totally happy. I peeled my sopping socks off my white wrinkled feet. Next, my shivering hands managed to find our mashed tin-foil dinners. A warm supper. Oh but wait. It had been raining. Remember? And wet wood won’t burn. No matter how mad you get at it.

So, back on came the socks. And if you have ever had to pull freaking cold heavy socks back onto your already prune chaffed feet you would understand that that…. that will make any grown dignified woman want to fall down and pitch a fit. Like, a big one.  

But alas, off we headed to borrow some fire from some fellow camper back down the trail. Well, by this time it was dark. And we slipped and slid our way down the mountain. Constantly in tense (almost losing it) tones I requested if the dim glare of the flashlight could perhaps just be flashed in my direction in order for me to avoid who knows what kind of rocks, sink holes, or death waiting for me. Well, one quick flick of the flashlight behind his back (the light hitting some far off knoll out yonder) and he kept on trudging. Thanks honey.

We arrived at the camp. Woke the campers up. Begged for their fire. Cooked our food. And left. Nice people are so nice.

So, back we went. After another battle for flashlight control, we finally arrived at our 1 man tent. With hunched over shoulders and kinked necks, we hunkered over our delicious warm meal, anxiously awaiting the next morning.

Ok, so I guess there is one good thing about camping with your husband. When your sleeping bag is wet. You can shiver super loud all night, until your husband starts feeling a little bad. Well, hold on. You have to move around a lot first, to wake him up, and then he can hear your shivering. Then. You see. He feels a little bad. And lets you snuggle with him. I liked that.

Well the morning was good. We looked at rocks. All day. But, I was dry so I was happy. Finally, we meandered back from the peaks to our home camping spot. I happened to glimpse over at the lake and saw girls and boys frolicking around the shoreline, soaking their toes and splashing one another. Laughing. I could feel my head tilt and a smile slide across my dried crusty face. I cried a little. Fun camping. I love fun camping….. I was abruptly brought back to reality by my husband hollering to pack up the tent while he saddled the horses. No sitting down to relax. No fire. No happiness. Just packing and moving to a new and probably wetter and unhappier location.

Back on the horses. And here the party really started. The horses were just being so scary. They could smell my fear. I know it. (Like dogs, they know when they got ya.) After a few battles (consisting of my husband hopping off his horse to come lead my horse as I tried not to scream and cry and start walking home, cuz I apparently couldn’t show Fig I was the boss) we were almost to our new destination. I could cry. And then, it happened. I hear my husband behind me…. “you idiot”…..Everest may have just forgotten he had fragile boxes (stuffed with our rations for the next two days) strapped on his back…when he decided to lay down. Well, it didn’t last for long. He shot back up and went buck-wild. Literally. Packsaddles flying everywhere. My horse thought it would like to join in the fun. And it was the boss, remember? So I knew what was coming. I heard my husband somewhere in the madness holler at me to jump off. He didn’t have to ask twice. One swift barrel-roll and I was off and running for cover. After seeing Fig make a mad dash off into the boondocks, I heard my husband say, “tiff, grab your reigns…well just...hold on”. He shoved the reigns of his steed into my quivering hands as we went to find the now two buckin bronks. There I stood. Not knowing whether to be afraid or just plain ol embarrassed. I settled for both.

When my husband returned with our smashed crackers and ripped bags, we silently made our way to Brookie pond—our new home.

We quickly unloaded and set up. And nope. You got it.  No relaxing. No fun.

Cameron gives my shoulder straps of the camo backpack one more good tug before we begin climbing to find another rocky Cliffside to glass. (glass—a term cool hunter guys use to describe staring at rocks in cold windy miserable weather in hopes of seeing a sheep)

As we are walking it starts raining. I mean duh. Here I kind of forget my ‘try to be tough for your new husband’ attitude and proclaim that I will not go in this rain. And that my husband was crazy for trying to make me. “Tiff, the storm is going away from us. Trust me, we will walk right through it.” A few seconds later, one big lightening crack, and down came the hail.  Now he was getting the silent treatment. Granted I couldn’t give it well cuz I was mostly just huffing and puffing five feet behind him trying to keep up as he just kept on plain ol walking.
I was in his XL rain gear. So, in an effort to keep my britches from falling off, I mostly just created the most perfect pocket for hail to slide right down into my bum crack. Seriously.

Finally he turned around. I thought we were free. Going back. Nope. He just says “Tell me if it (big mountain hail) starts hurting and we’ll bunker down under a tree for a bit.” Well, I was giving him the silent treatment, remember? So we walked on.

Finally arriving at the peak of the mountain, I hear my husband “Now, I could’ve sworn it was going that way… (of course, he is referring to this storm. That is still raging around us)… (a few seconds later and a few octaves quieter) I wish I knew which direction this thing was headed”.  Yet…we kept walking. And it kept hailing. And my husband would motion over his shoulder with his two fingers thrusting forward. Meaning, come on. But of course, he couldn’t speak. Cuz the sheep would hear us (over sonic boom thunder and pounding hail) and would fluster the poor things. Raging. I was raging.

After a few quick minutes of…well…just standing. And after one loud crack of thunder (which might I add, at 13,000 ft feels like a leer jet 10 feet above your head) we headed for a pine tree. And bunkered down. Under a pine tree. You can just imagine how good little pine needles are at keeping people dry.

Finally, the storm clears. And we’re off. To the Cliffside. We walk a ways. And he asks me if I think this spot right next to us is good. Yes! I say. And start taking off my bag. “Well, I was actually thinking about that knob…over there.” And he is pointing like five miles away. “No. No Cameron. That a whole nother mountain!” … “Tiff, it will only take us five minutes. I promise.” Well, I knew it was in no way only a five minute walk. So I bet him. Cuz I wanted a good reason to really chew him up. Well…five minutes and a half sprint later, my husband leans over on the knob and wheezes, “See, I told you.” I’m, of course, in the background puking my guts out. Boys cheat.

So, we start glassing. And, we see a ram. Four in fact. I almost felt happiness. And then, he saw a big dandy! (Let me tell you how he discovered it. I leaned over to take a peak into the scope. And of course, I smashed into with my face. Knocking the whole thing out of view. As I peeled myself off the rocks and tried to somehow react with any slight sense of coolness, Cameron began working to get it back into view. And in doing so, saw the grand daddy ram. See, I was helpful. J )

But, while sitting staring at the mountain side. I finally decided that I would be a strong independent woman. I told Cameron I was going to camp. Not like in a mad way. Cuz we were happy. Cuz we saw a ram. But, I was just ready to sit in a warm tent.

So, I was off. And Cameron was going to catch up with me. But…I got kind of far off the mountain, and he hadn’t yet. No sign of him. And, the sun was going down. And in Colorado, mountains are not just like one single big tall peak. It is like a bajillion of them. And they all look the same. And I was getting scared. But, as long as I could see two lakes, I knew my campsite was below them. But, I dropped down low in a canyon. And had to cross a creek. But, the drop off was too steep. So, I had to walk quite a ways before I could find a point of entry. Upon climbing out of the canyon, to my despair, my lakes were out of sight. And the sun soon would be too. I began to run. Maybe they were just beyond this knoll? Maybe the next? I became frantic. Tripping. Praying aloud. I cried for my husband. Why had I left? Night was coming and my destination was nowhere in sight. I ran harder. I prayed louder. I could not make it through a night alone. Fear would kill me. My heart raced as I ran through endless grass and creeks. At the point of despair I crossed one final knoll, and at the bottom I saw Fig’s legs. Our horses. I fell to my knees and cried.  

Upon arrival I felt much better. But, I was still alone. And there were weird noises all around. Suddenly the horses jolted, and so did my heart. I turned around just to see my husband running to camp. I turned around and ran to him bursting out crying. He saw me and stopped. And bent to catch his breathe. He was scared for me too. We hugged. I cried. And I promised to never ever leave again.

So night came. And with that. Freezing to death. But, my husband was determined. No amount of wet wood could stop him. So after an hour and half. Seriously…who has that patience? Well after that huge amount of time. He finally found success. And we snuggled by a fire.

And I was able to reminisce. On this infamous trip. And how perhaps it wasn’t entirely horrid. There were moments. Good ones. Like when my husband would wink at me from his horse as we rode. Or when he would hold my hand as we walked over grassy hillsides and steep passes. Or how he never became upset with my constant whining, but rather smiled and walked on. Occasionally singin to me tunes of encouragement. Like (in the tune of count your blessings..) Iiiiits ok Tiff, we will some find sheep. Juuuuuust hang in there tiff, yes we will find sheep. Ohhhhhh Tiiiiiff, I promise we’ll find sheep…(like it was the fact we hadn’t seen sheep that was making me mad….but, it was an effort. And I liked it.) Or how he had introduced me into such lovely landscapes. Big skies. Massive cliffs.  Endless meadows surrounded by wandering streams. Seeing deer stand and watch us pass by. (Horses didn’t seem to spook them. Which is weird, cuz they sure spook the crap outta me.) And I could see that I couldn’t have gone with anyone with a better sense of humor, patience, or protection than that man.

And now, as I sit at home, (as my husband is again in the mountains doing the actual hunt) I realize that I would immediately give up my warm comfortable bed, roof, and hot food just to have his company. Because he makes everything good.

So, next time he goes hunting and asks me to tag along, will I? Yes, absolutely.