A Year with My Fitbit

December 15th marks one year with my Fitbit! I made a promise to myself that I’d reach 10,000 steps every day, even if I went over the day before. I DID IT!! I didn’t miss a single day. I walked almost 3000 miles! I averaged almost 17,000 steps a day, which is almost 8 miles a day. I’m pretty proud of myself, if I do say so myself. 😉

I feel better. My clothes fit better. I have more energy. I can do long hikes now without being winded.

This has been a great decision, and I’m so glad I stuck with it.

Here’s to the next 3000 miles! 😀

Outdoor Lab

During the week of October 23rd, Claire had the opportunity to go to Outdoor Lab. (I wrote about that here.) I’ve finally had a chance to sort through all the pictures that were shared with me, and I’m amazed at what was captured!

She told me that the rappelling was her favorite part. (!?) She said, “The first time I did it, I was so scared my legs were shaking! The second time, I was still scared, but my legs weren’t shaking, and the third time I did it, it was just a lot of fun!”

Yes, she did something that terrified her THREE times…because of course she did.

We’re capable of doing hard things, and the sooner she learns this, the better. It was such a great experience for her!

So, without further ado, here are some super-cool pictures of Claire on the High Ropes Course and Rappelling. (As always, click the photos to enlarge. I did alter some of the shadowing on the photos so as to see more detail in some of them.)

Enjoy! (Or not, if you’re afraid of heights!)

High Ropes Course:

She had to stretch to reach this first rope.

…then she had to reach even farther, which involved letting go!


At one point, her harness got tangled, and she had to figure out what to do.

…but she figured it out!

See the moon?

Ending in a ride on the Zipline!



Click to enlarge photo.

On Thanksgiving Day, we stuffed ourselves at Fogo de Chão in Denver and then went on a hike in the mountains. It was amazing all around. Above, you’ll see my two hikers. I’m so thankful.

Claire’s First Concert – Katy Perry!

Claire turns 12 on Thursday, and the Katy Perry concert just happened to coincide nicely with this big event. Back in August, some friends and I purchased a group of tickets. They were nosebleed tickets, but we knew Katy would put on a great show regardless of the seats.

Fast forward to tonight.

Claire and another girl and I decided to take the stairs (as opposed to squeezing on the escalator with the mob), and we hoofed it to the second floor.

We make it up to the 2nd floor (our seats are on the 3rd floor) and an usher stops us by the stairs and says, “Are your seats on this level?” I say, “Nope. We’re in 320…upstairs,” and she says, “Would you like to upgrade to the floor for free?”

“…for real.”

They upgraded all 7 of our tickets TO THE FLOOR from the 3rd floor NOSEBLEED.


We were flabbergasted.

We were like 20 feet from Katy Perry. It was a fantastic show. Claire (and all the girls in our party) got one of the eyeballs they tossed into the crowd!! It’s MASSIVE. (I can’t stop joking about that. #ItsAllFunAndGamesUntil… #IveGotMyEyeOnYou… ) WHAT A GREAT EXPERIENCE. Wow.

And on a school night, no less.

Click photos to zoom.

Another friend was there and took this picture! I found us! (See the circled area. Claire is behind me with her pink cat ears.)

Here’s what the giant eyeball looked like while we were waiting. The eye moved around and blinked!

The eye was also used throughout the show. The sets were absolutely amazing!

**And, yes, we were very cognizant of hearing protection. We got all the girls concert earplugs that they could use last night and at any concerts in the future!

Hearing Her Voice

My husband and I have done trips without Claire in the past. The grandparents have graciously dropped everything in their (albeit retired) lives and come to stay with her, handling school and activities in our absence. The longest trip we took was 2-weeks in Hawaii. Every day, we’d call and talk to her. Correction: Every day, we’d call and they’d MAKE her talk to us. She didn’t really miss us. Not really.

I’ll never forget the day we raced around the island (we’d gone exploring in the boonies) to reach a spot where we had cell service so that we could call her for bedtime, and we stood on tippy toe, holding the phone just right to have enough bars, and she didn’t even really want to talk to us. 😀

This week, Claire has been in Outdoor Lab, and I haven’t missed her. Not really. I know she’s in great hands, and she needs this time to stretch her wings. I’ve relished my new schedule. The lack of early morning alarms means I don’t have as many stellar sunrise photos, but I’ve adjusted. 😉

What I realized today is that I miss hearing her voice. I can’t wait to hear about all her adventures. I’m glad she’s been cut off from us, but I’m starting to feel the tug on my heart.

What a great experience this has been. (…and I don’t even have the details yet!)

😀 ♥

Edited to add: I’ve finally uploaded some photos!

Chasing the Sunset

Just another sunrise

…ho hum.

So boring.



Petroglyph Hike

When we were in Albuquerque, we got up at 3am to see the Balloon Fiesta. Then, after a quick stop at the hotel, we went on a hike. (Naturally.) 😉

We headed out to Boca Negra Canyon to check out the petroglyphs!


More Petroglyphs

See the Macaw?

Watch your step!

We hiked to the top of Mesa Point. This pic is deceptive. The cairn is at the top, and the cliff edge blends in with the gorgeous view.

Meow Wolf

You’ve seen a couple posts about our visit to one of Santa Fe’s newest attractions: Meow Wolf, The House of Eternal Return. We had a fantastic visit! It’s an immersive art exhibit with a mystery woven through the stories & dimensions. It’s one of those places that is so hard to explain; you just have to see it. (And even seeing it won’t make you believe some of these things!) The interactive displays are designed to trick your eyes while expanding your mind, and we left wanting more.

The plan for our adventure was to leave Albuquerque (where we’d been to see the Balloon Fiesta), drive to Santa Fe and do a hike before lunch. We would do lunch and then pop over to Meow Wolf for a couple of hours before checking into our next hotel and relaxing in Santa Fe for the evening.

Well, we got to Meow Wolf, and discovered the line of people wrapping from out the doorway around the building!

So, we opted to take photos of the HUGE sculptures in the parking lot and then come back after dinner.

Our plan worked like a charm! Of course, because we had to come back, we only had two hours to explore and play. On one hand, it was enough. Our brains were overloaded and could barely process what we were seeing, hearing, and experiencing. But on the other hand, we could have spent at least two more hours there…and more! If it wasn’t 6 hours away, we’d have gone back this weekend!

From what I’ve researched, this exhibit is built into an old 34,000 sq. ft. bowling alley. Inside, there is a 2-story (maybe 3?) Victorian House. There are “portals” or secret entrances throughout the exhibit. Everything is interactive and either lights up, makes noise, or is more than meets the eye. There are no maps of the place. You’re set free to explore, at your own pace, in your own direction. It was busy when we were there, but rather than being a hindrance, watching others interact with the displays helped us stumble upon secrets we would have never discovered on our own. (The hardest part was remembering we were supposed to touch things!)

Here’s a shot of Claire and me looking for clues in the mailbox outside the Victorian house.

A magnifying kaleidoscope (searching for more clues)

When you check in, you’re given the option of purchasing ChromaDepth glasses. They make the colors and lights split and pop! You can experience Meow Wolf without these, but we HIGHLY recommend them for just that added oomph!

You can crawl through the fireplace! You find yourself INSIDE the fish tank in the living room! You can walk into/through the fridge! (I didn’t get photos of that, but some lady came up beside us when we were looking at the kitchen for clues, and watching her open the fridge door AND THEN STEP INSIDE AND CLOSE IT BEHIND HER was one of the most startling and hilarious things I’ve experienced.) You can take a tumble in the dryer!

You can walk through a hidden door! (One of MANY different types!)

One of Claire’s favorite parts was opening the space-age doors (in one of the dimensions). Be sure  your sound is turned up for the video. Click on the above photo to see the video or click here for the link. (It will open another page to view the video my Instagram account.)

In one of the hidden rooms, we discovered lasers piercing a theatrical-smoke filled room. We then discovered they were much more than a pretty display!

These lasers are also “strings” that can be played when your hand touches them! It’s ABSOLUTELY MAGICAL.


Needless to say, we’re smitten with Meow Wolf. These photos and blog posts are just a teeny tiny tip of the iceberg. We’re not even sure if we saw it all (and we’re pretty sure we didn’t.) We gathered some clues, but not enough to even come close to solving the mystery of what happened to the family that lived in the Victorian house. (But that’s okay! It’s so much more than the mystery.) When we make the trek back to Santa Fe in the future, we’re definitely immersing ourselves in another round of mind-blowing awesomeness.

**Why is it called Meow Wolf? As the story goes, those involved in the creation of it had everyone write down two random words on separate pieces of paper that were then put in a hat. One paper was pulled out of the hat: Meow. Another piece was chosen: Wolf. There you have it. 😉

Meow Wolf – A Tumble Thru the Dryer

One of the best parts of exploring Meow Wolf was stumbling upon regular ol’ everyday items that were transformed into mystical portals to another dimension. (What?? I told you it was hard to wrap your head around this place!!) Imagine our delight when we discovered that the dryer in the laundry room off the kitchen was more than meets the eye!

Let’s open the dryer to see if we can find any clues…

It’s a slide! What!? Claire goes first… Headfirst! (What??There’s no other way to really go into a dryer…)

There she goes!

If you look, you can see her feet!

She made it! (Dad took the picture from the cosmic side of the dryer…)

My turn! First, I sent my bag down the chute. (As one does. Duh.)

Here I go!

Don’t laugh too much at the astonished joy on my face. YOU try keeping your composure after going headfirst into a dryer!!!

I love how it looks like we’re being tumbled around in a dryer. Because we kinda were!


One of my favorite parts was when the the lady who went down before us yelled, “Hey! I found my sock!”  Hee hee!