A Few Beautiful Things

I found myself dwelling on beauty while were were on vacation. Not the cosmetic kind, but the beauty around us, and in life in general. A few things I find beautiful:

-Choosing an authentic life rather than an easy life. I saw some of the happiest kiddos and family ever on this trip. Is it easy to make some of the choices made to live a life that’s true to family values, spiritual beliefs, and financial goals…not always. But, in the harder life choices there was contentment, amazingly well behaved kids, a lot of loving family living in close proximity, and lot’s of old fashioned fun. Beautiful family life indeed.

-Sky’s (kids in general really) love of life. Embracing every opportunity for adventure given her, and not caring who’s watching.

On stage drumming away without a care in the world. 

Complete and total silence. The darkest darkness I’ve ever seen. Stars glowing bright overhead. The sound of a Night Hawk diving for dinner. Enjoying wonderful food, good wine, better conversation, and amazing sunsets from a mountaintop. 
-A really good cupcake, like the perfect cupcake! 
-Watching dreams be born. Not that we are getting her a horse, but it’s sure fun watching her fall in love with them, and talk about being a rodeo queen or a roper. 
Blurry I know…my phone and blogger hate each other apparently. 

-Trying new things for the first time with cousins. She was a little scared of it, but a lot fascinated by it. 
Biggest Sparklers I’ve ever seen. 

-4th of July in a small town. Everyone should experience it at least once. The pride, the coming together of a small community to make it amazing, the food, flags, and fireworks. Small town red, white and blue is beautiful! 
-The patchwork quilt of farm land as far as the eye can see. All the greens, browns, tans coming together to make the perfect pattern. 
-Cuddles, your 4 year old telling you she loves you, it really is the best. 
-A planted vineyard, especially one that’s soaked up your own sweat. Watching my aunt and uncle live out their dream in real life. 
-No cartoons, phone calls, movies, limited social media to distract us. Spending so much time reading, talking, just being together in peace and quiet without distraction.
-Coming home. There is no place as beautiful as this life we are living, the home we have created, and the little girl that helps us see life in fresh new ways. 
What do you find beautiful?

Zion National Park

After spending several days exploring everything around Zion we actually got to spend the day yesterday in the park! 

I don’t have the words to describe how amazingly beautiful it is.  Nor do I have the pictures to show how beautiful it is.  I snapped some with my phone, but will have to wait until we are home from our trip to share Mark’s much better pictures. 

It rained most of the morning while we did the tram tour.  It stopped in several places along it’s route and we got out wherever there were kid friendly little walks/hikes to do with the kiddos. 

She’s starting a new trend
 

After a morning in the park doing the free tram tour of the part of the park that you can’t drive through, we headed into Springdale, a little town just outside the park, and had lunch and shopped a little.  We then headed back into the park to drive through on Highway 9.  It was breathtaking, just beyond words beautiful.  We even saw a heard of Big Horn Sheep!!!  Pretty cool. 

What I liked the most about it is that it is accessible to everyone!  While there are spots to stop and get out and walk around and take pics you could just take pics from your car window.  There were lots of wheelchair/stroller friendly spaces to visit.  Anyone can enjoy the beauty of Zion without having to hike in for miles and miles. 

There is however plenty of back-country stuff to do as well.  Tomorrow the plan is for the 4 adults to head into the park and attempt a pretty wicked hike.  Since we are having daily thunder storms with rain we will have to see how the weather is in the morning though, and if it rained all night or not.  If it’s wet we won’t be doing it…too dangerous and there have been some deaths on this particular trail.  We aren’t taking on any additional risk like wet slick trail on the edge of a cliff! 

Check out THIS link for Angels Landing trail info.

As for running, we scoped out another trail to run on but then found out that Hunger Game style booby traps had been found on the trail, so now I’m done running in Utah.  I can’t even imagine what a shock that would be to run into!  I’m going to have to hit it hard when we get back to be ready for the last half!