This and That - A Thought and Photo Dump

Gwen's break ended last Tuesday, and we're settling back into our more normal routines and rhythms. There is definitely catch-up to do when a big break ends (especially when much of that break was spent roadtripping), and I'm using this as a good enough excuse to do a bit of a photo dump and share some pictures I've taken over the past few weeks, but haven't gotten to share otherwise.

Now that its getting warmer, we love going on walks. Those walks often end up down by the Creek we live near, and inevitably Daisy ends up in that water at some point!

When we get home, we all head out to the porch so Daisy can sun herself dry, while Gwen and I relax and enjoy the warmth a bit more.

Did you know that a physical yoga practice (asanas) is both a great body workout, but it is also meant to help calm your mind and prepare you for the practice of meditation? Asanas are meant to be a little difficult... not painfully or frustratingly so, but enough that your mind is focused completely on them and not all the other junk going on in life. I've enjoyed deepening my practice over the past few months!

Gwen has developed a natural love for hockey, specifically for the Avalanche and the Quinnipiac Bobcats! One of Trav's coworkers will often give us hockey tickets if he can't use them, and his son plays for the Bobcats. Gwen loves going to the games, and always roots for the Avs now... even when Mommy's precious Flyers are playing them!

Trav's ready to get her playing.  :-)

Gwen is a "Dolphin" now in swim lessons. She's progressing so well, and she really loves swimming. One of my favorite days of her break was going for the free swim time at the pool where she takes her lessons. It was nice to get in the water myself, and so nice for her to just get to be a little fish for a few hours.

A video posted by Meegs (@tattooedmeegs) on

Trav and I are both excited to see how she does up in Cape Cod this year!

Our other little fish, out on a walk with Trav one of the weekends Gwen and I were away. 

I got a few shirts from a site called Look Human a few months back. I just have to share this one because I love it so much! 

I have another that says Roadtrip Warrior. I'm looking forward to wearing that for all our upcoming trips!

Speaking of trips, my strongest scent memory of California is now definitely going to be the smell of orange blossoms! Such a beautiful scent, but WOW was it strong in Porterville, where we went to visit Babs.

The place is completely surrounded by orange groves, and the smell is intense! It did make me want to go out and look for an orange blossom body lotion for the summer!

Months ago I requested a mala from my teacher and friend Maram Yoga. I gave her some general parameters, but left the final design up to her. She did not disappoint!

She is an amazing person and she makes truly gorgeous stuff.

And there is all your Friday morning randomness!


Wordless Wednesday {YTT Ashram Field Trip!}

We visited an ashram as a yoga teacher training field trip. Yoga, meditation, and lunch.

It was a great day with great people in a beautiful place! 


But the Good News Is...

I feel like I've been writing a lot lately about all the fun stuff that we've been up to, and showing a lot of what has been happening with me and yoga. All of that is true. But there are definitely days of frustration.

There are days when I look at the same counter that I've cleaned off 100 times before, and there are a dozen other things to do, but here I am cleaning that same counter. Days when Gwen is cranky, and I'm patient for the first 20 snappish remarks, but then I am cranky too. Days when I realized that I messed up some plans, and just feel so frustrated with myself. Days when I think I've done all I need to do, only to remember 5 more things as soon as I lay in bed.

Gwen returned to school last Tuesday. We have had some really amazing times during her break, but I'm not going to lie, its always a bit of a relief when she goes back. Its a little disheartening when her breaks sometimes feel like daily reminders of why I'm not meant to be a stay-at-home-mom, but I remind myself that we truly love time together... 3-weeks is a long time though for a sweet 6 year old who thrives in school and during time spent with friends her age, and a Mama who needs her yoga time.

That is definitely a big part. Its hard when I can't get to yoga as regularly, I feel it in my body, mind and soul. I do my best to have a healthy home practice... but that definitely isn't the same with Gwen in tow (in both good and bad ways).

But the good news is... I am much more surprised by the not so good days. We've settled into such a rhythm here and I'm doing so many wonderful things to support my mental health, that the bad days are few and far between. I am so happy that we are well into Spring. The warmer months bring so much that I love: outdoor time and travel, especially.

There are always going to be normal life frustrations, but overall, things really are good.


Earth Day - Everyday! What its about and why its for Everyone.

Ah Earth Day! On of my favorite non-traditional-holiday Holidays.
Click the pic to find that cutie on a shirt, lunch bag, tote,
or button (not my design, not my sale!).

Did you know that Earth Day began in 1970 as a day of learning created by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin? [1] Nelson, after seeing the damage done by a 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, was inspired to organize a national day that focused on educating the public about the environment. He wanted to raise awareness of nature and how we can work to preserve her natural beauty. It is now an annual holiday that is celebrated on April 22, not only in the United States but in many other countries.

Everything we do makes a difference. Going to plant trees this past weekend was one way that we contributed, and its an easy way to make a big difference! (Not to mention, very fitting, since the 2016 theme is Trees!) Other easy ways: reduce your consumption, don't litter, recycle, and encourage others to do the same.

My personal contribution this year is a re-commitment to my Nothing New project. Our consumption habits make such a difference, either positively or negatively, on the environment. I'm making the choice to make my efforts be a positive one.

There is this funny idea that caring about the Earth and wanting to protect her is a hippie thing, a pagan thing, a weird liberal thing. But the truth is, it has to be an everyone thing, because it is about survival! We have but one planet and our current level of consumption and destruction is unsustainable. There is a reason for everyone to care! Christians (and many other religions) are charged with protecting what God created for us. Economically it makes sense for us to be more energy independent. Parents can all agree that we want to leave our children and grandchildren a place to live as beautiful as what we have.

Whatever your reasoning, whatever your level of celebration today, I hope that you have a beautiful Earth Day 2016!!

Find events near you and more about the Earth Day organizations work, Here.

[1] Find out more here: Earth History


Semi-Wordless Wednesday {Yogi Night Out}

Hat twins!

What happens when yogis get a little crazy.  ;-) 

I'm so happy I found these people!


For the Love of Trees

This past Friday Gwen and I celebrated an early Arbor Day by heading into Denver and participating in the Mile High Million Tree Planting (via the Sierra Club)!

Originally we were all supposed to go on Saturday, but seeing as a huge snow storm was set to come barrelling through, they bumped it up. (Ahh, Colorado spring...)

It was a fun day, though dirty and tiring! But we got over a dozen trees in the ground between the two volunteer groups.

Its awesome doing hard work, knowing that the finished project will be here a decade from now! I love showing Gwen that we can make a difference, one day, one tree, at a time. 

I love this time of year, and how much of it we spend outside. Gwen and I have been spending some amazing nature time in California and here in Colorado, and I feel like it gifts us so much. Its energizing, rejuvenating, and reconnecting. Its amazing to have the opportunity to give back to nature in this way.

Especially with Earth Day coming up, its a great time to make whatever difference we can!


Colorado Springs {2016 Roadtrip #2}

Gwen and I ended up getting the National Parks Annual Pass when we took our big road trip last fall. We were hitting up multiple parks and monuments, so it just made sense, and it would be a good excuse to get us out traveling for some more parks. Back in February I started thinking about that, and decided to do some Googling. It turns out that Yellowstone is only a day's drive from us (about 8 hours) and the Grand Tetons are only 40 minutes from there! That was absolutely worth a long weekend visit! [As an aside: Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands are even closer, so look forward to that trip in June!]

But this post isn't about Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons.  ::sigh::  Remember that post about you plan, God laughs? Yeah, Yellowstone will come later. So will Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park, which were my next choices (but was not happening after the insanity we encountered in the mountains on the way home from California).  ::sigh again::

In the meantime, all was not lost. We wanted to take a trip in April when 1) Gwen was on school break, so the long weekend was open to us, and 2) there would be no crowds, while 3) not being so freezing that camping was impossible. So after some last minute searching, last Friday we headed out in the morning for the quick drive down to Colorado Springs.

The drive was so easy! I've forgotten what a 1-hour road trip feel like.  ;-)  We found Cheyenne Mountain State Park (where we'd be camping) no problem. We got our camp all set up, met our "neighbors," and then headed out for our first activity... a visit to the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. It was the farthest away, and a good first day activity.

Gwen and I both loved it. Such beautiful, important creatures. This place is a wonderful sanctuary for those that can't be returned to the wild, as well as an amazing group of advocates for these keystone predators.

We headed back to camp and cooked up some soup on the fire for dinner.

It was cold at night, but we had brought extra sleeping bags and a comforter, so we were nice and toasty!

Saturday we were up early thanks to the sun, the birds, and.... the damn trumpeting from Fort Carson! Ha. That was unexpected.

We headed out to spend a few hours hiking around checking out some of the trails that Cheyenne Mountain State Park had to offer. They are different then what I'm used to hiking (tall grasses, short trees, scrub and rocks vs. the forests I favor), but beautiful in their own way.

In the afternoon, we decided to pick up some lunch from Manitou Springs, then drive Pike's Peak Highway. Manitou Springs is the cutest town, and Gwen begged to go back after our Pike's Peak adventure. We were warned at the gate to the highway that they'd just had a snow storm come through so the last few miles of road were currently closed. They were trying to clear the roads, but there were no guarantees. We decided to give it a shot anyway. So up we climbed.

When we got to mile 13, the road was still closed, but 10 minutes later, after a bathroom break in the gift shop, we lucked out and they opened it back up!

The drive up is dizzying! The views are absolutely awe inspiring though! Its just crazy to know that you are at the very top point of this huge fourteener (mountain above 14000'). We didn't get to spend too much time at the top since the snow was starting again, but I'm so happy we made it!

We took the drive down a lot slower, and stopped more frequently.

It is a beautiful place.

On our way back to our campsite we stopped again in Manitou Springs, as promised, and let Gwen loose on the playground.

It turned out to be a great idea, since Gwen made some friends, who's parents I talked to, and we got a great hiking recommendation for the next day!

Sunday... more trumpets.  ::sigh::  The early rising time did help us to have a relaxed morning (breakfast while we played cards), and still get the the trails of North Cheyenne Canyon plenty early. First up was the Helen Hunt Falls Trail.

Its a steeper hike, but not a long one, so it was a great warm-up.

That was the only particular trail that was recommended to us, but after that we decided to just explore a bit and randomly pick another.

It was a truly beautiful place!

Gwen is a great hiking buddy! I love that she loves camping and hiking and all these outdoor things that mean so much to me. Before this trip was over, she was already asking when we'd be going on another!

We also had really wonderful talks about what it means to care about the environment, and how it's everyone's responsibility! Little environmentalist in the making.

As we were finishing our walk, the weather started to get a little dreary, rainy, and cold. Outdoor time for the day seemed to be coming to an end, leaning towards something a little more covered. I had another activity on my list that seemed to fit the bill perfectly, so we headed off to check out the Cave of the Winds.

A cave tour fit the bill perfectly, was fun and interesting, and bridged the gap between the end of our hiking and dinner time. After dinner there was time for some cards in the tent before getting ready for bed.

That night the dreary light rain turned into a heavy storm with 10-20 mph winds! Gwen slept through it all while I shot up quick prayers to the heavens that our wind ties would hold and the tent would stay upright and whole!

It did, and we made it to Monday morning no worse for wear.... though we were in for a bit of a surprise when we stepped out of the tent in the morning!

Apparently at some point that rain turned into snow! Check snow camping off my list of things I never really intended to do! It was still a very chilly, damp day; though at least it wasn't raining or snowing when we got up in the morning.

We headed out for a breakfast treat of pancakes to warm us up, then on to Garden of the Gods, our last stop of the trip.

It is an impressive place!

We definitely want to check it out again sometime when it isn't so dreary!

After that it was back to the campsite to break everything down, pack it away, and get on the road home. We were back in time for me to make us a late lunch, get all showered, and get Gwen to her swim lesson.

While this trip might not have been what I originally thought, it was wonderful, and I'm so glad that we can have these amazing adventures out here! There are a hundred different places that I want to see out West (and every where!), and while the draw to check new states off my list is strong, its great to also see all the awesome things in our own backyard. I'm already looking forward to the next trip!


Semi-Wordless Wednesday {Instagram Challenge Variations}

Sorry, if you're on Instagram, you're seen these already, but I just had to share. 

An Instagram challenge last month has pushed me to try some new things, and try some old things in new ways.

I love the chance to experiment. Sometimes doing something you didn't think possible, becomes possible with a new approach.

It's been a really fun challenge and I've learned a lot.