Mountain Mom and Tots Monthly Outdoor Challenge

Happy New Year! What will your 2017 bring? If you made a goal to get outdoors more in 2017, you’re in luck! That’s my 2017 goal too. I wouldn’t call it a resolution because I don’t believe in those. Instead I’m thinking of it as an outdoor hobby of the month. A monthly outdoor challenge that will encourage me and my kids to get outdoors. Will you join me? There are PRIZES involved!

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Is it Spring? Make Up Your Mind Already!

In Like a Lion, Out like a Lamb. March means spring in Utah. And that means sun. Or snow. Or both.

I love that first day of the season when I don’t have to bundle myself and my kids into snow coats, hats and mittens. I love feeling warm sun on my face after months of chilling wind. I love having picnics with my tots at local parks. But the beginning of spring also means the end of winter. No more snow for sledding, snowboards or nordic skiing. No more snuggly nights by a fire or beautiful snow covered pine trees.

I love spring, but I hate that it means winter is over. Living in the mountains makes that two way pull even stronger. At my house, snow still clings to the ground and Sundance Mountain Resort is open for business. The snow will fall and I’ll get some great turns on my snowboard or get out on the flats with the We! Ski Kit.  Then the sun will shine and I’ll crave to go play at a park with my kids or break out the bikes. Just twenty minutes down the canyon daffodils are poking through the dirt and city parks are busy with laughing kids.

It’s hard to flip from cold to warm weather activities. It’s hard to bundle up with scarves and mittens one day, and find all our bike helmets the next. But this season, instead of being annoyed I’ve decided to embrace the change. Sure being prepared for cold and warm activities means the skis and baseball gloves are all pulled out of the garage at the same time. Yes my son has gone to school with either too much coat or not enough. It’s hard to balance some of the aspects of changing seasons, but what a blessing to be able to ski in the morning and bike in the afternoon. There’s not many places in the world where I can comfortably do that. Utah is one of those places.
In the past I’ve considered this shoulder season the ugliest season of all. The snow is gone but the green hasn’t come in yet. Now I’m more nuanced in my opinion. Yes, the majority of my surroundings are not as beautiful as they are in deep summer or winter, but there are still pockets of gorgeous everywhere. Driving down the canyon I can enjoy the pine tree sentinels on the side of the road. Playing by the river I can watch the currents in the water. The jagged rocks on a recent hike reminded me of the beauty of non growing things. And it gave Little g a great place to climb. There is beauty all around, even on early spring days.
The return to warm days is gradual. I can embrace that and appreciate all the opportunities it gives me.

Between Seasons Bump

I woke up this morning to a thick layer of ice on my deck. Last night I heard thunder and rain pounded against my roof. Last week we wore t shirts and basked in the sun while playing at the park.

We are officially on the bump. It’s no longer winter, but not quite spring.

Part of me mourns the lost winter, part of me loves the sun. My tots plead daily to go outside. Little g by her actions of constantly bringing shoes to me and E by just walking out the door with no shoes at all.

This time of year is awkward. Do we wear winter coats or t shirts? Pull out squirt guns (E asks daily) or go skiing?

Soon flowers will bloom and birds will twitter. I’m excited for the time when I won’t even think twice about walking out without a jacket. The weather will be warm, unlike today when E said his sandbox toys were all frozen. For now we’ll make do, and someday soon we’ll be over the bump.