Thursday, February 26, 2015

Elk Mountain Accomplished

Ever wanted to crawl back into bed after one of those very early Saturday morning hockey practices?  I mean really, it was still dark outside anyways. 

After kind of making plans to get my courage to try the Elk Mountain hike, I felt I just simply had to do it.  I didn't even line up a trail buddy just 'cause I wanted the option to back out if I simply wasn't feeling motivated enough.

But for whatever reason, I had this amazing sense of ambition.  So, before that ambition left, off I went.  Water, ear buds, phone and a carb loaded bagel to get me off to a good start.  I know many think it's simply crazy to go out on the trails alone.  But... I knew that it was highly likely there wouldn't be others this early morning also prepared to climb the mountain.  

And sure enough.  It was an Asian Invasion! A whole crew of people were preparing their packs and armed with walking sticks, ready to climb up to one of the most beautiful mountain peaks in the Lower Mainland.  So,  just to feel like I was part of a crowd,  I set off with them.  See, I wasn't alone:)

But after slowly rounding a few corners, and I mean slowly, it was time to cut lose.  And off I went.  I am not sure what it was, but I was pumped to rock this climb.  And with Toby Mac music playing in my ears, I did rock it.  Right up to the top.

Only to discover: No View!  The clouds were all around me.  But, I truly did not care.  I still had a vision of the surrounding valley views in my head from the time I climbed this peak a few summers ago.  And with my heart pumping and my soul happy, I just imagined what was beyond the clouds.

After a few moments of peace, the peak started to get invaded by more climbers.  It was my cue to go.  And down the steep and slippery trail I went.  By the time I made it down to the bottom of the trail I had only lost one water-bottle over the side of the cliff and had mud half way up leg.  But all was awesome!  So looking forward to doing it again.  Very soon.  

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Perfection On Family Day Weekend

It was one of those kind of Sunday's.  Started with a great message from Pastor Matt and quickly followed with an impromptu plan to get outdoors with the family for a hike up Lyndeman.  And even more impromptu, was the invite to a family we didn't even know to join us.  I have seen the Friesen family on a weekly basis sitting just in front of or behind us every Sunday. And knew they have only been in Chilliwack for the past six months.  So, why not share the wonders of our little hillsides. 

It was hard to say what was the most rewarding.  The workout I got packing up a 30 pound bundle of cuteness, getting to know a lot more about a new family or the intense beauty of the Lake once we reached our final destination.  It  was all very good for my body, mind and soul. 

Peyton made me very proud.  She walked up the trail all on her own for the first time.  She has always been lucky to get a ride in my pack.  But with the addition of Ava, her time has come to an end.  But... she was pretty determined that she was not going to walk down.  Not this time anyways.

So, as persuasive as Peyton is, she convinced me to take her down.  And Jeremy, who had the empty pack going up, know had a rider for his very first time.  Yes, first time.  I'm the one that enjoys the extra workout and happily take on the extra weight challenge:)

So, an amazing day we had.  And looking forward to many more!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Four Going on Twelve

Wow, was I ever blasted by my little 4 year old spitfire, Peyton tonight.  I was in a bit of a rush, as per usual and I was tasked to quickly put on an episode of Barbie for the girls.  The TV wasn't co-operating with me, and in my impatience I told Peyton Netflix simply was not working.

Peytons hands reached out for the remote.  "Let me do it!  I'm 4 years old and know better than you how to make it work!"   I looked at her, or I should say glared at her and responded, "Fine, you do it!" with my own little snappiness. 

She takes the remotes and with a running commentary tells me exactly what she needs to do.  And Voila.  Barbie was on Netflix in only a few short moments.  A few thoughts went through my head.  Not totally polite of course.   I did just showed up by a four year old afterall.

 I have a very independant and bright girl on my hands and she knows way too much about electronics.  Could be a very good thing.  Or... I am in trouble:)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Reliving November 2014

November 4 we celebrated Peyton's 4th birthday.  What a spunky little girl this 4 year old is.  She laughs at nearly everything.  Unless of course she isn't getting her way.  Then it's tears or her demanding little look.
 Peyton's favorite things and activities are fairly wide, which makes her even that more fun.  She loves to play with her Barbies.  And Ava too.  She is also good at being a great big sister to Ava.  The two are such a joy to watch together.  Peyton loves her dance and when the time is right will be perfect for a drama class.  This girl loves to be the center of attention for sure.  Since she is now 4, she has gained some new responsibility as well.  She gets to set the table at dinner and never complains.  Unlike her brothers that argue at every request.

Peyton is incredibly social.  And likes to line up her own sleepovers:)  And because she is confident and brave, she will walk right in to her friends with hardly a backward glance or even a wave.  This girl provides our family with such entertainment and we sure love her. 

My brother and I share our birthday and with my dad's being just a few days earlier and my older sisters being just a few weeks later, we love to celebrate together at The Capital.  Our favorite restaurant for sure.  The conversation around the table is always quite interesting. Sometimes we make people blush. But, we are a fairly open minded group and don't hold each other too accountable for poking fun at each other.

The ongoing birthday present saga did not let me down.  Frank is incredibly difficult to please.  A joke gift is never recieved well.  And neither is it ever forgotten.  Hence the Boxer shorts gift comes up every year!  So, I thought for sure this year I was doing OK.  A Tim Hortons gift card and a great big bag of Munchies for night time TV watching.  Before I even handed him his gift I said, "I don't want any complaints about the present I am giving you."

He opens it up, and no word of a lie this is what he says, " I don't drink Tim Hortons anymore and I like Ketchup chips."  Oh my was I ever mad!  But... I considered the source and said, "no more birthday gifts for you!"  Problem solved. But... unfortunately I will miss the birthday present drama:) 

Just another little hang out with my girls at our favourite stop. Starbucks.  Hot Chocolate for them and coffee for me.  A little book reading at times or just some giggles and talk.  I love these coffee dates and sure would love to include more of them into my schedule.

You would have thought my Aunt Francine and I had called each other to coordinate our outfits:) 

My first climb up Mt. Thom in almost 2 years!  And what a change. Gone were the nice woody trails and replaced was a nicely groomed pathways.  Perfect for the winter rainy season but will definitely not be my first choice for most of my trail runs in the future.  The one unchanged thing was the amazing view at the peak. After my climb with my new morning trail run partner, Tracy, I found myself very disappointed with my loss of endurance.  But the upside is, I have lots of room to get faster:)

An afternoon of cookie making for the kidlets and Silke.  It was so nice to come home from work to trays of sugar cookies just waiting to be decorated.  I think the boys had enough interest in decorating just one cookie each.  Then off they snuck, cookie in hand leaving Peyton and Silke with the balance of a sea of cookies. Wow did I admire Peytons diligence!  She did not quit until every cookie was decorated.  Even Silke was sick of cookie decorating by that point. 

Mommy's chair usually sits empty.  It seems I rarely get to sit down long enough to enjoy it.  But when I do, I feel a deep sense of well-being and a little wisp of regret at how busy times are these days.  I'm guessing Peyton took this picture.  Pretty good I must say.  

Peyton and Ava enjoying some 'homework' time on the floor. Silly Peyton chooses the hardwood floor while cutie patootie Ava chooses a nice plush spot on the area rug.  

November seems like so long ago.  And I can't even remember all the many events that happened.  So grateful for the invention of camera phones to help capture these little moments as they happen:)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Nine Chicks And An Epic Adventure

Ever feel a deep dread of an upcoming event?  A commitment made that just seems just a little overwhelming?  And actually backed out and felt an amazing amount of regret.

Well, I knew that if I didn't go on the annual Elfin Lake ladies snowshoe trek I would feel a lot of disappointment after seeing the pictures posted to Facebook and all the talk.  So, will a bit of worry, off we went early Saturday morning on our adventure.

First laughable moment was a picture Kelly posted to Facebook of her with her backpack.  The pack looked like it out weighed her by a few pounds!  I arrived at the hotel early in Saturday morning to pick up Julie and Kelly.  And discovered that Kelly wasn't the only one with an extremely dauntingly heavy looking back.  Her sister Julie's backpack was just as big.

Newbies!  I knew after experiencing this hardcore snowshoe trip last year that packing as light and small as possible was a very wise thing.  I think one of us experienced ladies neglected to share very important information:)  Or.... maybe we did this on purpose?  Julie and Kelly are both very competitive and fit chicks and maybe one of us wanted a chance to beat them to the finish line 12 kilometres up the mountain?

We all made it up the destination where we traded our wheels for our snowshoes.  With excitement and maybe just a bit of worry, we all got our overnight backpacks on and headed up the familiar trail.

It was simply amazing.  Up, up we all went.  Chattering and laughing up the trail we went.  A great group of women with so many stories to share.  A few of us were old friends, going back to many seasons of playing soccer together.  There were a few ladies I had never met and it was wonderful to make some new friends with some similar interests.

Carmen was introduced to me as a very fun lady.  And that she was.  So much laughter due to something she either said or did.  Wow, it was great to have her along.  After nearly the whole trek and overnight had passed, I finally clued in to who Leah was.  I knew her as "Crossfit" Leah, even though we had never met. It was on our way back down the mountain that the conversation of Crossfit came up.   I clued in  that this lady was the Leah I had heard so much of for being an awesome trainer.

Back to the trek.  Part way up, the look on Julie and Kelly's faces were awesome.  And so was their exclamation, "You were all smiling in the pictures!  You looked happy and everything was beautiful!  No one told us it would be this hard!"  Oh yeah.  I felt a little bit good:)  Well, as much as they weren't prepared for the exhaustion of climbing up and up, they were amazing.

 One of the most funny moments on the trip was when the three of us were pushing hard towards the end of the five hour climb.  We were absolutely exhausted.  And desperate.  We knew we had to move it in order to have any chance at getting a bed for the night at the rustic cabin. (By bed, I mean a piece of plywood:)

We were only about a 1/2 hour out of our destination.  I had almost nothing left in my tank.  I told Kelly and Julie I simply had to stop to catch a breath.  Never will I forget Kelly's words and her expression.  "No your not stopping!  Have some water!  And here, have a quionia bite! Let's go! There are Zombies behind us!"

Sure enough, I looked behind me.  That's exactly what it looked like.  Zombies walking down the trail behind us with the same crazed expression Kelly had.  So, off I went.  For a little longer, then I simply had to stop for a minute and the Perry sisters kept rocking it.

They managed to get to the cabin and secured one bed.  Yes, only one and there were nine of us in our group.  Julie looks around and says out loud "What are we going to do?  There are nine of us ladies?  Where are my friends going to sleep?

Well, by the time the rest of our group made it, we had seven beds and 2 floor spots!  LOL!  Oh the charm of a lady:)

The hours in the rustic cabin were passed playing cards, sharing more stories and more laughter.  We forced ourselves to stay awake until 9:00 pm.  Yes, we had to force ourselves to do this.  We all were that exhausted.  I don't think any of us managed to get a solid sleep with all the snoring and rustling of fifty cabin mates.  But hey, we knew that was part of experience.

After packing quickly and and quick breakfast down the mountain we went.  The sky's were grey, but at least we could see all the mountain ranges around us.  We didn't have much of a view coming up the night before because of all the fog.

By the time we made it down, we all had hamburgers and beer on our mind.  A much needed reward for the completion of yet another adventure.

Still all smiling.  No idea what she's in for:)
Julie with a pack that weighs as much as she does.  Still made it up there first though!
Private joke.  Just ask Julie about the knife.

There were so many overnighters that some had to make snow caves or set up tents for the night.

Just a bit of wine was all we needed to get us ready for a good night.
Leah, Kelly, Silke, Julie, Liana, Lindsay, Cher, Carmen, Michelle

We did it!