Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Outdoorsy?...Not So Sure

Those who know us well, know that Romney and I are not the outdoorsy type.  Neither of us like to camp...confession, we have never been camping since we have been married.  We like to think of it as a great accomplishment.  Romney has always said that camping is "Mocking the Homeless." (btw, I love him). Too funny.

Although we don't like to camp, over the past few years, we have found ourselves "appreciating nature" with our kids.  On countless Saturdays, we have enjoyed amazing hikes and walks in spectacular mountain settings.  It has been really fun.

Colorado offers countless easy hikes and sites to see.  A friend of mine put together a list some of her favorite hikes she has done with her family.  We ventured out this past weekend to tackle the first on the list.  Let's just say that it did not go so well.

We piled our very grumpy and reluctant children into the hot car and drove the mountains of Boulder.  We followed our little mapquest on the iphone and got to the the destination parking lot as instructed.  My friend had said that this easy hike was her family's favorite.  Many locals call it "Little Switzerland."

This was the view from the parking lot.

Once we got out of the car it was a little confusing.  There were at least 6 trails, none of them labeled...all pointing in different directions.

We approached a hiker who looked pretty legit.  He was wearing hiking boots, he had an REI purchased walking stick and of course a dog.  He bragged that he was from Boulder and showed us exactly where we needed to go.  Perfect.

Well, his suggestion was wrong.  I am convinced that he felt that he had to act like he knew what he was saying.  He was clearly just a Boulder-wanna-be.  We took his suggestion and walked on a hot, flat road for over a mile in the hot sun and never saw the beautiful views we had hoped to see.  The kids were miserable, Romney was hungry and I was that obnoxious mom trying to remind the kids that we were having fun.  It did not work.


I tried to point out that at least the flowers were beautiful....

We decided to turn around and make our way back to the car. As Romney pointed out, we lost some major capital on that dumb hike. Thanks dumb Boulder hiker!

Sophie was a doll and never complained once.  Can I just say that she melts my heart?

Too bad about the hike.  Maybe we should just accept the fact that we are city slickers after all, (evidenced by Sophie's hiking shoes).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It's Official...I'm a Coloradan.

This may not seem significant, but it was to me.  It took me almost one year to make the switch from Utah to Colorado plates.  It wasn't the move, my kids enrolled in Colorado schools, Romney's job or the fact that we actually live here, it was changing my plates that made it official in my mind.

(Please excuse my filthy car).

It is hard to keep my car clean because it rains here every afternoon...not just any rain...a torrential downpour.  I am getting used to the strange weather with tons of thunder an lightening and an unbelievable amount of water.  It is weird.   It even hailed so much last week that it snapped the tree in our front yard in half.  It was easily an 18' tree.   I am really bummed about this.

The storms last about 20 minutes. 

This is our garbage can getting carried away by the water.  We retrieved it about 5 houses down the street.

Twenty minutes later and we get this...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Fun and A Little Perspective

Summer is long.  Every once in a while I want to raise my hand and ask, "Whose idea was it to have the kids without structure, order and activity for 3 months in the heat?"  I am positive that whoever thought up this idea of a summer break did not get input from moms.

The kids are bored and the fighting between them is at an all time high.  I kind of hate it and it breaks my heart that I can't seem to break through the stubbornness.  Is being kind really that hard?

We had a great lesson in Relief Society yesterday on families.  I have been thinking a lot about it because I needed to be reminded that being a good parent is not a state of being rather it is a process.   We read the words from primary song called "The Family is of God."

One line really stood out.  It reads, "God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be."  The word "become" is interesting, because it means that it is a process of developing and growing into becoming something better.

The teacher also read a quote from a Lynn Robbins' General Conference talk.  It was, "With which child will your patience, long suffering and other virtues be tested developed and refined?  Could it be possible that you need this child as much as this child needs you?"

Certainly a healthy reminder for me to refocus and allow this motherhood experience...even in challenging sibling relationship times...to help me "become" better.

So, although summer is long, we are doing our best to eliminate boredom and create some lasting, happy memories that will help the kids remember that we do enjoy being together and also that I was a mom that enjoyed being a mom.


Marisa and I have been trying to see each other more and give the kids plenty of cousin time.  She has made the drive several times.  Once she came up and helped me unpack and this past weekend she came up and we made the skirts for our girls to wear for Kara's upcoming wedding.

On one of these weekends the kids enjoyed a water balloon fight...or I guess I should say, "Water Balloon War."

Friday, July 15, 2011

Some summer highlights...

For the 4th of July, my parents wanted to get us all together, so they rented a cabin in Steamboat Springs, CO.  It was an absolutely beautiful town nestled in the Rocky mountains.  We were all able to make the trip and we soaked up every second together and all but one sister and her family and one sister-in-law and one brother-in-law.  (I won't mention names, but these individuals are also known as "The Party Poopers"...jk). 

In true Thompson fashion, there was lots of laughing, tons of good food, plenty of Diet Coke...or as Rick says, "Thompson Water," and oodles of cousin time.

A few miles from the house where we stayed was a beautiful waterfall called, "Fish Creek Falls".  A few of us made the trip and it was absolutely spectacular.  The water runoff from the melting snow surged the water to an unbelievably high level.  It was so intense and absolutely breathtaking.

I overheard other hikers saying that his waterfall is the image that is used on the Coors can.  Not sure, but it does make for an interesting story.

One of the highlights of the trip was that my darling sister Kara got engaged.  She met an amazing guy Adam several months ago and we have been crossing our fingers for them ever since.  They had spent a week together in Southern California with his family and immediately after getting off the plane, they drove the long drive to Steamboat to spend some time with the family.  Adam thought it would be nice for Kara and all of us if he proposed in Steamboat.  He whisked her away one evening and surprised Kara with a beautiful engagement ring that his grandma wore for her whole life.

We all cheered when they came walking in with the amazing news.  Adam is perfect and he is wonderful addition to our family.  CONGRATULTIONS!!!! (Since McSean and Kera's family are here in the U.S. until August 30th before they head back to Abu Dhabi, the wedding date is set for August 27th.) So fun.

Thank you Mom and Dad for an incredible weekend of fun and memories.  We loved every second of it and can't thank you enough for making that possible for all of us.


Well, a lot has been going on around here.  For starters, we bought our house and moved in.  We had a really quick closing...less than 30 days.  I only panicked once...okay more like 22...about buying a home in this economy.  The news and headlines of a double recession didn't help my anxiety, but Romney in his calm and loving way reminded me that we had been blessed with a really calm assurance that we were making the right choice for our family.  (I always thank him for being the calm one, the good looking one and the wise one.)

Now that we are here, I know he was right.  We are really enjoying our new lives and we could not have asked for better neighbors.  Our neighbor next door has already proposed that we install a gate in the fence so that the kids can go back and forth easier from our yard to theirs.  Perfect.

My mom and siblings have been begging for some pictures, so here are a few.

I am still getting pictures up on the walls and trying to personalize the house to make it our own, but so far we are all adjusting well.

 It feels good to finally be home.  I just pray now that we will all bloom where we are planted.
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