July 14.

 A few photos from the past few days....

Moving Westward in the timezone is always so refreshing for me. I’m sleepy in the evening, despite the persistent daylight, and I wake up feeling rested at six or so. I try to ignore the voice that’s telling me it’s eight in New England, and rather attend to the reality that I’ve gotten myself up at a good, early hour. I was up before the girls today, which made me feel like a version of myself I haven’t seen in quite some time. 

We picked today’s hike last night, a short, but steep climb that began just a few miles from our house. We were at the trailhead by nine and it was immediately obvious that this hike was perfect for our first of the season. It climbed steeply and the views were just incredible. Liam and Aoife scrambled up the trail -- it was called the Grassi Lake trail-- like two little mountain goats. There were stone steps carved into the rocks, steep waterfalls, and breathtaking scenery. At the top of the loop were two pristine, crystal clear mountain pools. We stopped for some trail mix, swatting mosquitoes the whole time, and took in the view. 

I find that when I return to the Rockies it at once looks absolutely normal, just like the Rockies always look, but at the same time I never lose the appreciation for the  awesomeness of the craggy, tall peaks. While they’ve become familiar to me, they still always seem breathtaking and unreal. They clear my mind and make me relax immediately. I still feel like I have to pinch myself that we will be staying in this house for sixteen more days. 

Traveling with the girls hasn’t been too difficult. Even with the combination of the two of them, I feel constantly reminded that we really have left the baby days behind-- for better or for worse. Most routines we have can be flexible, most baby/toddler gear which is convenient at home is flexible. The girls have done fine switching time zones and houses and meal schedules. I feel proud of them and of us, and I am scheming already for more adventure. 

I am sitting on the deck now while they sleep. Nearly everyone else, it seems, is napping. Aoife is playing contentedly with an enormous five-gallon pail of Lego that we found in the house and Liam is playing cribbage with Grandma. The contrast to my life of four weeks ago, of seemlingly endless loads of laundry, a house full of mess to keep track of, van loads of children to shuttle from place to place, couldn’t be more stark. I am so grateful for this literal breath of fresh air. 

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