24 November 2014

If I Must Turn 30...

I turned 30 on Friday. And then I went skydiving in Moab on Saturday. Eric came with, and yes, he also jumped.

I have always wanted to go skydiving, so I was incredibly excited to begin with.

The flight up was in a teensy plane. The five jumpers (two pairs of tandems and one singleton) were pretty crammed in there.

The scariest part, by far, was getting out of the plane. There was a little ledge to put our feet on. We were right beneath the wing. Once I had my feet positioned, I closed my eyes and waited for my tandem instructor to do everything else.

There was some cloud cover when we arrived at the airport, and we almost had to do a lower jump. The clouds cleared just before our flight so we could reach altitude (10,000 feet). And we got to dive through the clouds. Although, to be truthful, I was too terrified to really enjoy it.
But how terrifying could it be if I was smiling in every picture?

Eventually, blessed be, my tandem instructor opened the parachute. I loved the ride down once the parachute was open.

Immediately after the jump I was confident I'd never to do it again. Now that I'm a few days past it, I'm pretty sure I would, as long as somebody else paid for it.

(As scary as jumping out of the plane was, the drive through the canyon to get to Moab and to get home was almost as bad.)

10 November 2014

Canoeing with Little Kids

Since May we have canoed with our little boys numerous times:

Our first trip was a short stretch (about 3 miles) on the Jordan River. I didn't take any pictures on the boat, but the boys were sure adorable getting ready to get in.

About a month later we canoed on the Buffalo National River in Arkansas.

In July we canoed a slow stretch of the Snake River in Teton National Park with Eric's parents.

We did the same stretch again in September (by ourselves this time).

We canoed the Provo River (near Utah Lake) on three separate occasions in October, two of which were at night.

And we canoed a decently long stretch (8 miles?) of the Colorado River in Southern Utah in October as well.

Which is all to say, we know a thing or two about canoeing with little kids. Here are some things we've learned:
  • Bring water and snacks. We are not normally fond of giving snacks to our kids, but on a long canoe trip, we pile it on.
  • Be on the lookout for wildlife. We've seen so many cool animals while canoeing this year. (A bald eagle, otters, beavers, fish, turtles, ducks, cormorants, yellow-headed blackbirds, herons, pelicans, geese, swallows, and countless others that I couldn't name off the top of my head.) We love teaching our boys about the animals we see, and we love coming home to learn more about them. (Okay, that only happens sometimes, but it's fun to teach our kids that way.)
  • If you've got a pre-schooler, consider finding things to count. On the Jordan River we counted yellow-headed blackbirds. (We didn't know what they were called at the time, but I went home and looked them up!)
  • Consider gathering rocks or other natural things for the kids to throw in the river along the way.
  • If you are in a group, allow your kids to switch canoes periodically. (This is how we survived the Colorado River without tantrums. It was a long day, but our kids loved the chance to canoe with different relatives and consume a wider variety of snacks.)
  • If you are using a canoe-outfitter, bring your own child-sized life jackets. Most likely they will only have adult and "youth" sizes that will not accommodate very small children.
  • If you give your child a paddle, do not be surprised when he is incapable of using it correctly and usually just puts it in the water to create more drag.
  • Wear bug spray, sunscreen, and hats. Also layers so you can peel them off if it's warm.

01 November 2014

Halloween 2014

Last week the boys donned their Halloween costumes for the first time. Somebody was happy to be a knight.

Somebody else was not.

 Like, for real, not happy about being a knight.

Once he took his hood off, he was sort of okay, but he grabbed at his tunic frequently and whined, "Off! Off!"

By Monday night he was sufficiently distracted to agree to wear the hood for quite a while.

And on Real Halloween, there was some finagling, but he eventually agreed.

They had a great night begging the neighbors for candy.

I used variations of this pattern for their knight hoods. They weren't particularly challenging, but they were reasonably time-consuming. Eric is responsible for everything else you see.