Our Top 12 Outdoor Moments of 2012

As 2012 is winding down, I feel a little sad that my family and I have not been able to spend as much time outdoors as we normally do.  With three rounds of family strep (yes, 3!!) and other medical issues, getting outdoors has been hard for us over the last couple of months.  So I’m really looking forward to getting back in the groove of outdoor livin’ in 2013.  To cheer myself up a bit, I decided to take a look back and reminisce on our favorite outdoor moments of 2012.

12. New Year tree huggin’ on Fiery Gizzard Trail (our fave trail), January 2012


11. Autism and the healing power of nature, February 2012


10. Nature day with mama, March 2012


9. First canoe trip of 2012, April 2012


8. Nature for all, May 2012


7. Mother’s Day Caving, May 2012


6. The Great Sand Dunes, June 2012


5. Mini Muddy Buddy Run, July 2012


4. Alone in the wilderness, August 2012


3. Adventure and the special needs child, June 2012


2. Alpine Views in Colorado, June 2012


1. Water fun and Little Man’s 1st Kayak, July 2012


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo what was your favorite moment of 2012? Any adventures you want to share before the new year falls upon us?!


World Changers: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty in Vietnam (empowering single mothers and their children)

Did you know that in Vietnam, the birth country of Little Man, 50% of the population lives on less than $2/day?

We fell in love with this amazing country and its people when we had the honor of adopting Little Man in 2008.  After a month stay in Vietnam, we knew our hearts would be forever tied to this beautiful land.

Once back in the United States, I sought out organizations that were fighting to empower women, children and families in Vietnam.  One such organization is called Children of Vietnam.

Please take a few moments to watch this video and see how they are breaking the cycle of poverty in Vietnam.  One of their efforts involves empowering single mothers to obtain economic stability so that they can provide for their families and so that their children can receive an education.  Please watch and please consider how you can make a difference.

World Changers–those who change the world for one person at a time.  Pass it on….

Nature for All: Creating a Family-friendly, Special Needs-friendly Hiking Group

What do you get when you mix a beautiful day, 9 beautiful kids (some who have special needs) and a beautiful, family-friendly hiking trail? A spectacular day that is full of fun, adventure and empowerment.

excuse the bad photography–I was busy with the kiddos and just trying to keep up!

I decided to create a hiking group in my community that would be geared towards the motto of nature for all. Here is the description I used when I first launched the idea:

We are a group of families who believe that every child should have the chance to explore nature. All types of families are welcome, especially those with special needs children. Our goal is to plan one family-friendly nature walk/nature hike each month, in addition to a twice yearly super-sized hiking event. You can attend just one, or come to them all! All excursions will be educational, non-intimidating and fun!

Today was our first hike and it was a great success. A good time was had by all! I am so excited to show the world that nature and outdoor exploration is for all, one family at a time.






We shall get there someday…


“The mark of a successful man is one that has spent an entire day on the bank of a river without feeling guilty about it.”
– Chinese Proverb


“To put your hands in a river is to feel the chords that bind the earth together.”
– Barry Lopez


“Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.”
– William Arthur Ward


“What makes a river so restful to people is that it doesn’t have any doubt it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn’t want to go anywhere else.”
– Hal Boyle



“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.
– A. A. Milne, Pooh’s Little Instruction Book


Big Brother had a rough day– what we call an off day around here. I am always amazed, however, how he is suddenly and completely transformed into a child at peace by a simple walk in the woods. He is smiling and happy. He is splashing in the creek and playing in the dirt. There is a bounce in his step. There is peace inside.

Afterwards, it is back to the turmoil. I cherish our times in the stillness of nature for it reminds me that we shall indeed get there some day. We just keep putting one foot in front of the other, always hopeful that tomorrow will be a better day. Reading this article about special needs parents reminds me that I am not alone, and that we are all hoping for better days ahead.