Adventures with Littles

Crewing my ex for 200 miles

Is a terrible idea… or at least I thought it would be.

I made a comment a month ago out of the blue “well if you want the best crew around, Tag and I are free” which was met with silence, not even a laugh. A couple of days later I got a text “were you serious about crewing me for Tahoe”

Not even a question mark, I hate a lack of punctuation (insert joke about how I use too much punctuation).


That’s all I had in an answer… was I serious? I don’t think I even knew.

I read (aka listened to) Shanda Rhimes “Year of Yes” and made a mental note to say yes to any and all adventures that came my way. I have so many things I make excuses to not do, so many adventures I put on the back burner because I find something more pertinent to do, so now I’m saying yes to anything I can… 200 miles of crewing a man I barely speak to sounded like an adventure.

You see, we broke up when I was 5 months pregnant, and it was bad. He was out of my life in the blink of an eye, out of my kids lives, and I was out of the community I had helped him create. Taggart was born and there have been 2 1/2 years of trying to work together with 2 steps forward and 3 back. We aren’t friends. I have an Ex-husband  who I consider a friend. Anything I need he would do his best to be there for. We talk and I don’t even feel uncomfortable around him. It is wonderful for the kids to be able to go on vacation with all their important adults (step-mom included) and while I want that for Tag as well, for 3 years it has seemed nearly impossible.

Cue me sitting on a plane next to my toddler, with his sleeping father across the row… I’m really doing this, and it really started with him sleeping the entire flight while I entertain a toddler…

Here’s where I don’t know how to say things… it was just uneventful. I asked no questions  before hand so really just trusted he had everything taken care of, which would have been totally out of character for me in our relationship. My biggest wonder, and the most frequently asked question, one room or two. One. We walked in and it hit me, we are sharing a room. Two beds, one room. This man I don’t speak to about anything other then our son and I are sleeping in the same room…. and it’s almost not weird? Well it is weird to hear those sleeping sounds people make when you haven’t been there for them in 3 years. That may stir up some memories… just maybe…

Taggart “I have a Mommy and a Daddy!”

ok….everything is ok…

“Mommy did you go to the bathroom to change so I don’t see your butt?”

“No buddy, I went to the bathroom to change so Daddy didn’t see my butt”

Toddler Giggles.

Over the next 64 hours I drove around the mountains, slept in a car, gave food and gear to my ex, all with a 2 1/2 year old in tow… and it wasn’t bad. It was long, I didn’t get enough sleep, but it was fun in a weird way.

Watching my ex jump as I woke him up from his nap and my face was the first thing he saw was a huge highlight.  Who wants to see their ex’s face 142 miles into a race? I’ve crewed him many times and have watched him break down. I’ve had to help put the pieces back together and send him on his way again, I never saw that man out there. He struggled, it wasn’t easy, but he always looked strong to me. (ok even I cringed typing that, but it’s true..)

It was not the adventure I thought it would be at all. I didn’t get some crazy awesome ridiculous story out of the weekend. There wasn’t any intense fights to write about.  It was just, normal. Or however normal crewing someone for 200 miles can be…


Adventures of a Mom and a toddler for 200 miles


Categories: Adventures with Littles, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Slowing down.

I have this thing with always trying to make every trip as epic as possible. I need to go all the places, do all the things, and end up stressed about not doing enough… Having a 2-year-old is a great reminder to just slow it down. On a recent Mommy and Me trip so southern California we took the toddler pace and had a blast! With one big trek up a snow covered San Jacinto Peak and a lot of tiny hikes on tiny legs we had a great time connecting with each other and taking things slow.

Categories: Adventures with Littles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dear Assholes of the Mountain,

While I believe there are many assholes of the mountain, I am only going to focus on a few. I don’t have time to write a book… maybe I should write a book?

I preach the gospel of spending time in nature. I am the for most advocate of getting your kids outside and having epic adventures with them. But, let’s be smart people.

In the heart of Phoenix we have Camelback Mountain. Per Strava, it is 2.2 miles round trip with 1,877 feet of gain. Yes, it is a beast! And while my training is calling for 10,000 feet of climbing or more per week, it is my new best friend. With this friendship has come a lot of stress on my patience, sanity, and overall tested my ability to not push people off the mountain… (seriously I would never do that… but some people make it hard not to…)

So stupid people who come to the mountains (any and all not just camelback)  for your selfies and bragging rights without real knowledge of etiquette or concern for nature- I call you out.

To the people with music blaring- You suck. I do NOT want to hear your crappy music and as a matter fact I would really like to listen for snakes. Thanks.

When a trail says “extremely difficult” there really is no need to ask the Ranger how difficult it “really” is. If you can’t look at the sign and say “eh?” and keep moving with confidence, get the fuck off the mountain and find something within your wheel house.

Up hill has the right of way. I actually heard someone tell his kid to move out-of-the-way of downhill hikes, um, nope. People going uphill should not be made to stop their momentum for downhill goers. Even when I’m runningdownhill, if it’s single track I will stop my run and pull off to the side, because it polite and my Strava isn’t that important.

Say hi! If you do not look at me and say hello I assume you are a serial killer. Now, if you look totally exhausted and like saying hello may take all your extra energy and you’ll die, I give you a pass. Otherwise, at least give a polite head nod and keep rolling.

To the parents/ relatives / friends with children- do not bring kids up anything that you can not do easily. If your ass can’t carry a kid down if something bad happens, you should not be there with kids. Listening to grumpy adults who are struggling themselves pressure tired children to keep going infuriates me. When it’s a summit hike and there are kids that clearly aren’t going to make it I get frustrated. Please take children to mountains, teach children about nature and caring for it. But, taking a child to something they are going to fail on does not instill a love for nature, it makes them hate it. Set them up for success.

Heat- you’re stupid. Look, I will be out running in the heat, so will my friends, but this is what we do! A novice hiker does not need to be out in 100 degree heat. AND—-

Kids in the heat??? This is child endangerment. Even I, me, this lady that does crazy shit with her kids, will not take my kids out in the heat. Over 95 degrees and the older ones could put in some miles, but the little ones will not be on the trails. And over 100? NO WAY will any of my kids be on the trail. I love my kids and value their lives… the risk is not worth any reward.

Please keep getting out into the mountains. Protect our public lands- protect our wild places- teach kids to love nature so they will do the same- but at least be smart about it.


Categories: Adventures with Littles, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

My Kids Hate hiking

It’s that time of year again! My kids and I head out on some awesome Mommy and kid adventures: me smiling from ear to ear with pride, them skipping their way up mountains all day. I mean, that is what my social media shows after all! And for some reason that was what  I was expecting…

I have two tweens, and they happen to be two of my most opinionated children I own. Apparently they thought going to Silverton Colorado this year was going to be a lot of walking around town, hanging out at the library, and eating candy. Ummm?? Have they met their Mom??

My oldest is out-of-town so it was just the youngest 5 and I in a tent. Every single hike I suggested was met with whinnying and complaints. The tweens wanted no part of it. They picked apart every hike trying to decide which would take the least amount of time. They wanted to get hikes done quickly then go to town…not my idea of living in the mountains.

I was mad. I was hurt. I was legitimently wondering where I went wrong… We have spent countless summers in the mountains. We have spent days hiking together happily… What was different?

Then I had an epiphany-

A happy Mom is a caffeinated Mom. So, more caffeine for me…and headphones!

Look, I knew in my heart they would be happy once they go out there. Every runner that has been out for a while knows how hard it is to get that motivation back. I knew a couple of miles in they would find their groove and be those mountain loving kids again. But it was ME that was the real problem. I was getting hurt by their refusal, I just had to figure out how to get myself out there and “out there” in a positive mood!

So that’s what I did. I shoved my headphones into my pack and over caffeinated myself. I was ready for whatever foul mood they wanted to pull. And guess what? They had fun!

So Mom hack #207- Caffeine, caffeine, and more caffeine! Plus some headphones! (which I never ended up having to use!)

Categories: Adventures with Littles, Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Havasupai with a Baby

Decided to take Mr. Tag down to Havasupai Falls because, why not?


Packing for all day adventures is soooo simple with a baby… Note to self, babies’ need way too much stuff…


One of us was awake…

He did well for most of the hike in, nursing and sleeping like a baby does.




Another baby on the trail!

Per usual he was very uninterested in the awesome views…





No? Ok then….

At some points he was awake and even got to enjoy a little of the falls. Though is was a little cold for such a little guy.


Aaaand, back to sleep….

What I learned on the way out is 11 1/2 hours of my shannaingans is all he is willing to tolerate.


Awake baby on the trail!

While singing dancing and overall being crazy would keep him happy for a moment, he was unwilling to calm down totally until he was out of the carrier. -Sigh- Nothing like carrying a baby in your arms at the end of a 12 hour day on the CLIMB out….


But we made it. It was fun, and I learned I am terrible at taking care of my calories. With nursing him all day and hiking I need to figure out just how many calories I need so I don’t feel awful the next day. FOOOOOD! A work in progress!


You know the amazing feeling of cleaning yourself up and getting changed at the trail head after a long day on the trail? Yeah I don’t, but Tag sure does…


Categories: Adventures with Littles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Take a hike! With your kids.

The biggest question I get asked if how I get my kids to hike as far as I do.

Well, bribery.

Yes my kids love nature, yes my kids like hiking, but even they hit a point where bribery is the only option. Even my kids need that carrot to keep them moving at times….

Well not a carrot. A carrot would not even work for my crazy vegan kids. It’s chocolate, gummy snacks, or treats of any sort.

Sometimes it is a playground at the end of the hike! By far my favorite hike to take “newby” hiking kids on, that is also close to Phoenix, is in Cave Creek Regional Park.

“Let’s go hike kids!”

“waaahhh I don’t wanna”

“We can play on the playground after”


Everyone wins!

Starting at the Go John trail head you have the one big climb of the hike, we call it the ant hill. Once you reach the saddle you have the best stop for a snack and take some pictures spot. Do not spend too long hanging out here, when kids get to thinking how tired they are its hard to get them moving again! When you come to a junction take a left on Overton. You will meander around the mountain for some more awesome views and some fun little downhill sections.

Eventually you will spot the nature center which is a great little stop to see some critters. You will also spot the playground which is a great end of hike motivator for the Little ones!  It’s funny how moments ago they were “so tired” after 3 (ish) miles but when they hit that playground they have all the energy in the world!

For a hike this length my Little People don’t have that many snacks, but if yours is new to this sort of distance plan on a little something at the saddle and maybe a couple more along the way. I tend to try and give them something “healthy” in the beginning, fruit of veggies, and use the sugary snack as a motivator to keep moving as the miles drag on. I usually plan on something they love (for us its chips) at the park as an added “yay you made it” bonus!

The best part about Cave Creek Regional Park is once your kids have mastered the short hike there are many options to add on miles and still have the playground as motivation! And for us parents, the views are all beautiful!


Teach your kids trail etiquette before you go. My rule for my Little People is the almost always move off the trail and let adults go by. It’s just easier that way.

Have snacks. Delicious ones. Probably chocolate.

Let your kids carry their own stuff. Camelback has the best kids packs on the market currently. Buy your kid one, go outside and use it!

Take time to hunt for lizards, watch a bug cross the trail or stare at the hawk flying by.

Buy good shoes. It’s important. Velcro is BAD for kids hiking (ask Tru, he lost 2 toenails last summer)

Use motivators when needed. Talk, play games, run, smile, give snacks. Have fun yourself so your kids can have fun too!


Give snacks every time they ask. Always give a “snack point”. “When we get to the saddle we will have -blank-“. If they start getting what they want by whining I promise you will regret it later in the hike!

Carry their pack. Yes they will get tired. Yes their pack is heavy. Do not let them get away with being lazy! Let them feel strong and capable.

Commiserate. Instead of complaining when they do, talk about how happy you are that your legs hurt because of how strong they are becoming. If you complain they complain and that is no fun at all!

So get out with your Little People and have fun!


Categories: Adventures with Littles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You Should Never Hike The Grand Canyon with a Baby

but I did….

(but I’m not telling you to)

Despite growing up in AZ I had never actually hiked into the Canyon. After having Tag and feeling great post birth (and in the best shape I have been in in a long time) I decided I would put everything I could on my “to-do” list and make adventures happen. Having limited time away from him at least half my training for my races has included hiking as steep an incline as I can find while wearing him. He has been quite the trooper and really taken to napping while we hike (which can be a bummer on a day I’m not feeling like hiking!).

I have hiked a lot while baby wearing, 13 years of baby wearing for me at this point. The biggest question I get is “aren’t you afraid of falling”. Well, yes I am. I used to live in a 3 story town house when I had only 2 little ones and I would constantly be scared of falling down the stairs with them. Curbs scare me when I’m holding little ones. Basically my fears come from the “normal” things in life. The things you aren’t normally thinking about, that is when accidents happen. When I am hiking I am very aware of every step and overly cautious. No, I am not going to stand on the very edge of the Canyon and stare over the side, but as long as I am conscious of what I am doing and paying attention, the likelihood of tripping is less then normal day to day activities. Plus when you are wearing (as oppose to holding) you have 2 hands free to catch yourself!

So the plan was set to do a Rim-River-Rim with baby Tag. Despite everything online telling you to not try to do it in a day, 18 miles seemed doable for me while baby wearing (totally not for everyone). I didn’t have many reservations but as the day grew closer and rain was in the forecast, I became a little concerned. I HATE being cold, and I really couldn’t worry about myself as much. I had to be sure Tag was comfortable. All this meant was some online shopping for the perfect baby gear.

Waking up the day of our hike I was reminded how difficult it is to get yourself AND a newborn ready for a big adventure. Waking up a baby to get him ready, having to pee, it being cold outside, trying to plan when I could nurse before we started, how I could not make everyone else late (we started at the same time as some other friends) and trying to make sure I didn’t forget anything… Exhausting! But it worked out and Tag (such a trooper) allowed me to get us both ready, nurse him, and he slept the entire way to the South Kaibab Trail head.


We totally weren’t scared!

Honestly, it was a pretty uneventful hike (that’s a good thing!). My sister joined us on minimal training and we took our time into the Canyon. Down to Phantom Ranch took almost 4 hours with no stopping just slow walking. Tag nursed a little on the way down but mostly slept comfortably. There was a drizzle of rain but nothing too crazy. At Phantom we took a 45 minute break where Tag was awake and playing. He hung out, made friends, and had a diaper change in the fresh rainy air. Putting him back on to head out, he fussed some but went directly back to sleep.



Pretty sure I was explaining that he was in fact a real live baby he just sleeps and makes me do all the hard work!




Phantom Ranch chillin


The smallest person at the bottom of the Canyon that day!


Heading up Bright Angel the rain picked up some but Tag was unconcerned. As long as I kept the boob out, he had no worries in the world. I did not enjoy the cold boob or rain drops in my cleavage, but baby always wins. If you saw me in the canyon that day there is a good chance you saw my nipple, sorry about that! There were plenty of nice men I played leapfrog with on the way up (I would power up then wait for my sister. I was “that” annoying hiker but Tag needed me to move!).  I got a lot of questions about how Tag was doing (what about mmmmeeee??) and my answer was almost always “sleeping”. At one point Tag was screaming and a couple of runners (dirtbag runners I believe) came by, “Are you ok?”… Me “Oh yes he just lost the boob”.. Silence…. I must have not thought about my audience for that one!

We made it out of the Canyon with a totally time of about 11 hours which included resting at Phantom Ranch and 2 other diaper change stops. Could I have done fast? Yes. I promised myself (and my sister) that there would be no time goals and no plan. Just a long walk all day looking at a beautiful place. Even with the rain and fog (that settled in as we were almost of the canyon) the Canyon is amazing. Don’t ask Tag about it though, he wasn’t very awed….


Tan lines=Boob is out





So let’s talk gear!

Sleeping- Camping with babies is always a pain. They move, sleeping bags move, they need to be warm! I bought Tag the Frosty Freeze Bunting by Columbia and was so flipping happy about it! We slept in the car and he slept on my chest. At one point as he woke up to nurse I reached in to feel his body temperature and he was on fire! I had to unzip him to cool him off some. Now with the fluffiness of it, if I didn’t co-sleep and have him touching me the entire evening, I may be slightly uncomfortable with him sleeping in it, but it worked perfectly for us.


Wearing- I am huge into more “traditional” carriers. I use mei tais, ring slings, wraps, nothing with buckles. A while ago a friend suggested a Boba Air and I decided to have it as a “keep in the car” carrier. Not only is it awesome in how little space it takes up, but I can wear a baby on my front and my hydration pack (Ultimate direction Jenny Vest) on my back! With how minimal the Boba air is (unlike a ergo with padded straps) the pack fits like normal and I was not uncomfortable at all, over 11 hours of baby/pack wearing and I felt awesome. I did end up with a small side blister from the Boba which I found entertaining more than anything. At no point did I feel it happening and only noticed the next day when I went running shirtless!


A rare moment of Tag awakeness in the Canyon! Boba + Jenny Vest for the win!


What Baby Wore- When I ordered the sleeping bunting I also ordered Columbia bugababy interchange bunting, oh my greatness! Tag was wearing a short sleeve onesie, a long sleeve footsie onesie, smart wool socks, and the bunting. He was dry and warm the entire time! I was actually jealous every time I put my hand in to feel how warm he was! My Northface shell is great but by the end I was cold and wet, not Tag! One thing I do regret is I bought 0-3 month and when I was wearing him I couldn’t pull the cuffs over his feet to keep them dry as well. I ended up wrapping a dollar store poncho around my waist to cover his feet which worked out just fine. I am so stocked with both my Columbia purchases and how well they worked for my little guy!


Tag in his perfect rain attire with my Sis.

All and all it was a Grand adventure for the 3 of us! Do I recommend heading out the the Canyon right now for everyone? No. But with my experience and the time I took preparing both baby and myself, we were ready and had an amazing day together! Start with a small victory, a small mountain, a short trail, just get moving! Eventually your perception changes and anything is possible!


We made it! (Tag still sleeping…)


All warm and dry in the car!


Categories: Adventures with Littles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Javelina with a Little Lady (again!)

For some reason this blog has been hard for me to write. I just haven’t decided where to go with it…. The truth is, Tea running was met with criticism to the race director just days after she finished. My awesome race community came to the rescue talking about how wonderful my Little Lady is. I can not thank you enough for loving my Lady. But to the critiques wondering why a 9-year-old is running a 100k and the race director is allowing it, do your research said “9-year-old”  happens to live with said “race director”… funny how that works…


But enough about that, she is qualified. Well, maybe not this year. The amount of 9-year-old little girl tantrums we had was pretty special.  No not about computer time, her phone being taken away (she doesn’t have one), or not being able to go to the mall, all tantrums were about the time she spend training. She was disappointed. We went on runs and she cried. She knew that she was nowhere near ready, and I spent time trying to tell her it was ok it really wasn’t her fault (and may have spent a lot of money at Ivivva trying to convince her the right outfit would help). The reality is she only ran when she was with me, and I was too broken to run so she had to run with +1 (which she actually likes, he listens well 🙂 ). So training was nowhere near where it was last year and she knew it was going to hurt.

We both did practice napping...

We both did practice napping…

We are very good at napping training....

We are very good at napping training….












Our last run together was suppose to be 10 miles but turned into a pathetic 6 with the complaining and commiserating we both did. But whatever, we both knew we were in for pain (me feeling super broken and wondering when I would have to call in a replacement “run 100k with a Little Lady”) and we stepped to the starting line.

The cutest runner out there! And rocking her Run Steep and Ivivva gear!

The cutest runner out there! And rocking her Run Steep and Ivivva gear!

And by step to the starting line I mean fumbled to grab our stuff (put clothing on) and watch the 100milers start. Tea loves her ultra peeps and was really excited to see Catra (who isn’t!). So we watched them leave and got our shit together. Nathan’s happens to make bottles that are great for her little hands so I bought her an extra (if you don’t carry enough water at Javelina you are screwing your race) and I carried two bottle too. And we were off… off to pain… off to an adventure together… off to our second buckle together.

The first loop went fine. Nothing notable really, Tea was just excited to see friends out there but was somewhat disappointed at how slow we were. We came into headquarters and +1 had my pack ready. Knowing we would be out there in the heat of the day a pack was necessary as a “just in case”. We took a minute and off we went again, pretty much alone. You know, many people thought the trail was going to be crowded, maybe even I did a little, but Tea and I went for long stretched not seeing anyone even on this loop. You know who we did see?

We could be friends with this guy, at a distance...

We could be friends with this guy, at a distance…



Our first rattle snake out on the trail. “Gosh” I thought “good thing we got that out of the way”. And on we went… Now the faster people are coming at us. Going counterclockwise is not our favorite so we vowed to walk as much as we wanted and to not feel bad about it. We picked up the pace a little and started to scoot over for a fast guy coming our way when he gave a “OH SHIT” and JUMPED! It took a minute to see it, and then we heard it! This guy was hidden well!

NOT a friends!

NOT a friends!


Afraid that he wasn’t going to move out of the way and someone might catch him in a bad mood we waited for a couple minutes warning people “Big circle people!” until our not so friend left. We were warned about a snake ahead 2 other times but only saw these two. Apparently they wanted to party in the desert too.


It was about this time that I started to have a “oh shit that hurts” moment but we were running with a friend so I didn’t mention it. A little while after Jackass Tea and I stepped off the trail to talk “hey Hunny, my ass really hurts” “Mine too Mommy” ummm…. Neither of us have ever dealt with ass chafing before and this Momma was not prepared! Of course vaseline didn’t help, I knew it wouldn’t … (oops) and so we were in pain. The awesome “hey Mommy it looks like you peed you pants” comment she made earlier (isn’t she sweet?)  is telling me it might be a little more humid out then I had planned for. We ran into Jean Ho who kindly shared something with us (totally can’t remember the name!) but I think we were to far beyond repare at this point.  Hobble in to finish the silly second loop is what we did, both thinking and not mentioning to each other that if we couldn’t fix this we were done.

As we ran in to headquarters I saw the always amazing Angela Shartel “I have a question” I yelled and she joins us trotting in. “Umm… we need desitin, do you have any?” “Hold on I’ll find something!” Yup, just like superwoman! Over she comes with some RunGoo and I give Tea some first “Oh my goodness Mommy, it feels better already!”. Angela saves the day!


Food, warm clothes (last year we were freezing so we were over prepared this year), and off we head into the impending darkness. Tea wanted to hold off on caffeine until it was dark but she decided to try some coffee before this loop, not a fan, caffeinated gels it is, This loop was just going to be a long walk with Tea reminding me how close she was to her crash time along the way and we were already close. But we made it to Jackass, the most welcoming party you can ever come across in the desert in the dark!

Together we aren't afraid of the dark!

Together we aren’t afraid of the dark!

We helped a couple friends off the trail to safety.

We helped a couple friends off the trail to safety.













Walking out of Jackass (Jackbutt as Tea calls it) lead way to both of us complaining. Without saying too much, Tea was unhappy. So now in the middle of the night walking with my daughter we both cried, a lot. I always talk about how amazing it is sharing a journey like this with your little person and the deep bond it creates, conversations it spurs, and insight into their world you get. It’s eye opening, but sometimes it hurts. Tea shared with me memories of the past that you wish your child never was to be privy to. It reiterated the failure I felt in my ability to protect my Littles. So we hugged, walked, cried, and talked about how thankful we are for times like these, out on the trial, just us, free from the world and able to share honestly and openly.

All we could say as we finished are 3rd loop was “BED”. And we slept.

Up at 4 (somethingish) and moving by 4:45, time to finish this! What made this loop special was seeing all the 100 milers on their last loop. Last year we were so late in the race we hardly saw anyone. This year the smiles, high fives, and hugs really made it special. Yes it was a lot of walking, but the day could not have been more beautiful and the people as well. The best part of a race with Tea is by far the finish. Watching her decide our run/walk schedule, making deals with herself along the way, and then her always strong finish! All smiles of course.

Running to the finish! Thanks for the photo Jess Soco.

Running to the finish! Thanks for the photo Jess Soco.


We finish, my Mom drops all the kids off with me, and now I’m Mommy to 5 who just finished a super long 100k adventure and just really wants a nap! Apparently none of my little people did though….

Attacking Uncle J LU. He doesn't stand a chance.

Attacking Uncle J LU. He doesn’t stand a chance.

And finding adorable little friends.

And finding adorable little friends.





















I have to say thank you to everyone out there who stopped to tell little Tea how amazing she was. Your stories of how she inspired you really touch my heart. Thank you to my Ultra Family for loving my Little Lady and seeing how strong she is!

As always Javelina was an amazing event (not that I’m bias). Great volunteers, great friends, and a great party! I count myself a very lucky Mother to be able to share all this with my wonderful daughter.

At the after party. Poor Tea didn't ant to leave and tried so hard to keep herself awake!

At the after party. Poor Tea didn’t ant to leave and tried so hard to keep herself awake!




Categories: Adventures with Littles | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

5 kids. 1 Mommy. 1 Big Peak. Humphreys.

I don’t like to compare my kids to other peoples, I get it, they are all unique and special in their own way… But mine are pretty badass!

Tenny is 4. She is adorable, funny, a pain in the ass, and full of energy.  She loves running but gymnastics is definitely her thing. This tiny little body is packed with muscle…. but she is only 4…

Most of the time when we hike she gets worn, because wearing two babies is apparently my thing

Spending time in colorado she spent a lot of time on her feet. The largest hike being nearly 4 miles with just under 3,000 of elevation gain (Island Lake). After hiking up, she slept on my back majority of the way down. Although she is clearly tough, the idea of taking a 4-year-old on an all day hike (oh yeah and 4 other children) alone is somewhat frightening. Apparently I like watching my life flash before my eyes…

When +1 said he had work to do in Flagstaff I said “great we will join you! I want to take the kids up Humphreys myself”. I’m pretty sure to anyone that just sounds stupid. 5 kids, age 11-3, almost 5 miles  and over 3,000 feet of climbing, sound like a good time?

They were all thrilled to be woken up early.

They were all thrilled to be woken up early.

Getting ready for an all day trek with everyone is stressful in itself. We rolled up the the parking lot and they all ran off to play. I did my best to round them up for sunscreen and to throw some packs on the big ones. Tenny was stoked to hike and took off in a sprint, which resulted in a potty break before we could even hit the trees “I have to pee now Mommy!” She almost got off the trail…

And we are off!

And we are off!


The first half hour she ran, a lot. Girl was excited to be on her own two feet. By an hour in it was snack time, eat and hike peeps we gotta keep moving.

Just keep moving.

Just keep moving… in American Apparel leggings of course.

*Note- I do not have a lot of pictures. My phone is super ghetto and the battery does not last long anymore. Even on airplane mode trying to save the battery for as long as possibly, I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to get a picture at the top if I wasn’t careful. Sorry…

So we snacked every half an hour or so and they kept moving. They love to play together while hiking and their was some sort of Pokemon/horse game going on. I was happy they didn’t need me at this point as Tru was in the worst mood ever! My Little hiking buddy needed a nap and was not having it for some reason.. ugh… there may have been threats of bear attacks if he continued to scream which did cause them to subside enough for him to fall asleep for a while. Pokemon/horse continued on.

I missed a turn. I know I suck. So we scrambled up. Teagan continued to question me and all I responded was “up”. We trudged on with Tajh behind Tenny to keep her from sliding down. Eventually we found the trail, hit the saddle, and into the rocks larger then Tenny.



“Tajh just push her butt up” I commanded after watching him try and have her step on his hand, which took forever. “This is awkward…” because he is 11 and everything is awkward.  At no point have we rested at all, I knew we didn’t have time in the day for that. We did though move off the trail if anyone was coming toward us. One of these times Tenny took the opportunity to lay down on a large rock “I just want to go to bed Mommy”, “Yes hunny, me too, lets go”.

So sleepy...

So sleepy…

She picked a nice view.

She picked a nice view.



















On we went. If was windy and cold up top and holding hands was necessary to help the Little Lady up the steps larger then she. No one was complaining, other then about being cold. I sent the Bigs ahead as soon as we saw the summit, and not gonna lie, I got pretty darn excited hiking up with Tenny.

Up go the Big's

Up go the Bigs


5 hours and 5 minutes after starting Tenny summited Humphreys Peak.

My Littles.

My Littles.

Second nap of the day for this guy.

Second nap of the day for this guy.




























We sat and she ate her peanut butter cup (yup just one). The Big’s and I discussed letting her take a nap, but at this point it was pretty late. After a 30 minute rest we started down the mountain again. They discussed how heading straight down the scree would be much fast “see mommy then we just head through the trees to the car”. Sigh… That’s a no.

Having left without our sandwiches we had only snacks all day, everyone was starving. We daydreamed about pizza, all of us, and hiked. The horse game came back (no pokemon this time) and Tenny fell, “That was (insert horses name)’s fault. I’m ok”.  Although none of them ever had imaginary friends, they really commit when playing in the mountains.

We finished with only pizza on our minds, 4 1/2 hours after leaving the summit (down is hard when you are super short). Tenny was asleep within 2 minutes of driving but woke in time to eat. They probably all passed right out at bedtime you assume? Of course not!  They would not go to sleep! Does anything exhaust my Littles? I’ve yet to find it! When asked what he favorite part of the day was Tenny responded “seeing the top”, yup, that’s my girl. All my Littles continue to amazing me. I’m one proud Momma.

All 5 kids took in 3,850 calories over the nearly 10 hour day.



Categories: Adventures with Littles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Island Lake? Psh my 4-year-old can do that.

Did someone say epic? Oh yeah, that’s how we roll. A journey with 5 kids into the unknown? Yes please. Even better, let someone tell me there is “lots of snow up there” and apparently I decide it’s an even better idea. With +1 at the lead I strapped Tru on my back and headed to Island Lake.

Now we have done part of this journey before. Last year we drove to the parking lot at the end of South Mineral campground and headed up Ice Lake trail. To head to Island Lake you take a turn at some point, that’s all I knew. Last year I was in shape, this year I haven’t done anything in a nearly a month, I knew this was going to hurt, at least a little.

Now let’s remember, little Tenny is 4. I had NO clue how long this hike was going to be, but I knew from the start she was going to make it on her own 2 feet.

Off we go!

Off we go!

The first hour was a nice hike. Upness was there, but everyone was moving pretty well with Tenny moving at “4-year-old who randomly gets boosts of energy to catch her siblings” pace. River crossings were met with helping hands from siblings, and Tru took his first nap of the day. I’m pretty sure this kid only likes hiking for the naps!

First river crossing. They got larger!

First river crossing. They got larger!

See, larger.

See, larger.

I get by with a little help from my siblings.

I get by with a little help from my siblings.



















I figured snack after an hour and then maybe another within the next half hour, they had other plans. These kids were hungry! So they ate and hiked and Little Miss Tenny got a second wind, even if it only lasted a little while.

Snack break turned into birdwatching time.

Snack break turned into birdwatching time.



"Mommy van!" -Tru

“Mommy van!” -Tru

Now about snow, I don’t like it. I am not a fan of being cold. So we hit some snow fields, and some more, and some sketchier ones. I spent a lot of time asking the kids to watch their feet and asking (re-asking) +1 if it was safe.

More snow.

More snow.















Still snow.

Still snow, and Tenny!

Tenny does not like having cold and which did lead to some freak outs EVERY time she fell…which was a lot. Luckily +1 did help her through some of the extra crazy spots. And then we saw it:



The amazing blue of the water could been seen through the ice layer, which the kids promptly began throwing rocks at. What kid doesn’t want to watch ice break? We had lunch, threw more rocks, and laid our shoes and socks out to dry. And then got attacked by marmots-


I can confidently say the best playground for children is a giant frozen lake over 12,000 feet in the sky. The only way to live.


Ice Breaking.

Ice Breaking.

More Ice Breaking.

More Ice Breaking.












Rock throwing,

Rock throwing,

Time to leave.

The snow fields on the way drown were beyond sketchy. Sadly my phone died (then came back to life further down the mountain) so I wasn’t able to get any of the epic shots on +1 skiing on his feet down crazy snow fields at 12,000 feet or my Littles getting cold butts as they sledding (sans sled) down. We will have to head back and make it happen.

Drinking from waterfalls "best water ever!"

Drinking from waterfalls “best water ever!”

"Mommy next time lets bring no water and just fill in the waterfalls" Good plan kids... good plan.

“Mommy next time lets bring no water and just fill in the waterfalls” Good plan kids… good plan.



















Tenny napped on my back (girl deserved the break!) , Tru on +1’s (so thankful to have another adult for this trek) and we all made is safely back down. In case you are keeping track, My 4-YEAR-OLD hiked for 3 1/2 hours over 4 miles up with nearly 3,000 elevation gain. Yup, she is bad ass. All in all it was nearly an 8 hour day and so worth it! If only for the marmot eating Tay’s pee off the ground story…


Dirty shoes picture requested by Tay.

Dirty shoes picture requested by Tay.

and some others.

and some others.




















And let me say, my Little people who have been fighting and struggling to be friends the last few months were AMAZING the entire 8 hours. Helpful to one another and kinder then I could ever ask for. Thank you nature!

Oh yes, and my adorable pollen nose little buddy. Best hiking friend ever! Anytime I fall and give a "shit" under my breath I'm met with "ok mommy?". Love him!

Oh yes, and my adorable pollen nose little buddy. Best hiking friend ever! Anytime I fall and give a “shit” under my breath I’m met with “ok mommy?”. Love him!

Categories: Adventures with Littles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Blog at