Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Fall Hike

One of our family goals is to go on at least one hike together every month. (Except for the cold months--we're not that die-hard about it!) In October we went for a picturesque hike on a Saturday morning. The weather was overcast and damp, which is just the way I like it. A lot of the foliage was still on the trees, so it was really pretty and atmospheric. Of course I forgot to bring my camera, but I had my phone to snap some pictures with while we walked. (Because to be honest, it often feels more like a long walk than an actual hike. I once lived in Utah right by the mountains so I know what hiking is. But maybe I'm just super-fit. Ha ha.)

A twisting staircase in the woods. Cool!

Sam was cute. He packed his own hiking backpack all on his own (and then didn't use anything in it). 

John was thinking about jumping here. You can just see those little wheels turning in his head. 
I threatened him, so he didn't. Mom to the rescue!

Speaking of threatening, I love moody, threatening, cloudy weather. I think it's the best!

All of the Americans out there who think that Iowa is just farmland (and I was once one of them) are very much mistaken!

I spy John...

John loves these hikes. He knows that nature makes the best gym. 

Fallen trees make for good balancing practice. 

 Leaves cling to branches as the wind tries to blow them away. 

Staircases in the woods make me feel like I'm in a fantasy novel or movie.

I loved the contrast of the dark, wet wood with the bright yellow leaves.


Peter and John were in the lead while Sam and I were the caboose. 

I can honestly say that I enjoyed every minute of this hike!

Monday, November 30, 2015

An Evening at the Circus

Last month we went to the circus! 
It was Wringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey so it was a good one. It was one of their smaller traveling circuses, not one of the big ones that go to the major cities around the country. The last Wringling Bros./B&B circus we went to was over a decade ago at Madison Square Garden in New York City and that was a big one!

This was a one-ring circus instead of a three-ring circus, but it was still very good. 
(That's what you get when you live in Iowa! Ha ha.)

The elephants are always my favorite. The show started and began with them.
While I'm glad that Wringling Bros./B&B will be phasing them out in the coming years due to animals rights concerns, the show won't be the same without them. Elephants are powerful, gentle giants who are so smart and it's neat that we can see them and what they're capable of in their circus acts. But it's even more good that they'll be able to live a more peaceful, natural, non-circus life. So I'm cool with it. :-) 

We had good seats right on the floor. The only thing that would have been better would have been sitting in the first row instead of the second row.

This act was cool! These two guys stood on the backs of running horses and did flips and jumps and other seemingly impossible stunts.  

He's about to do a backward flip onto the back of the other horse! Holy cow! I mean, holy horse. 
(Please allow me to indulge in the corniness that comes so easily to me!)

This was a really neat act where these two super-strong guys tossed these two ladies back and forth through the air. There was only one fall, which is why that big long trampoline is down there at the bottom.

I don't have many good pictures of it, but the dog show was one of the cutest things I've ever seen!

This dude and dudette were super strong and flexible and they had exceptionally good balance.

This was cool too. This contraption went around and around up high and down low with these two men running and flipping around in it, hamster-style. (Don't you just love my descriptive commentary?)
 There were other good acts too, with motorcycles in globes and Harlem Globetrotter-type guys on unicycles, but my pictures of those weren't that good. 

And finally, as I mentioned previously, they saved the best for last--the elephants!


Taking a well-deserved bow.

And then the grand finale! 
That man in the front was the ringmaster.

It was a good show ("the greatest show on earth," actually!). We all enjoyed our evening at the circus!

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Rose from My Dad

Last night my dad arrived from Utah for a quick visit before he continues on his road trip to Massachusetts next week to spend Thanksgiving with the rest of my family and stay at our Cape house. (I'm jealous!)
When my dad came to visit a few months ago he brought me this yellow rose. There's something about fathers giving things to their daughters like this that is so sweet, whether they're little girls, teenagers, or grown women. Thanks, Dad.

Doesn't it look like the rose and the greenery behind it are engaged in a graceful arabesque together?  
I kept thinking that whenever I'd look at it.

Parent/grandparent visits are nice for other reasons too.

This is my last post before Thanksgiving, so Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your feast!

(I found this cute illustration on Pinterest last year, printed it out, and framed it in a pretty gold 5x7 frame. It's one of my favorite Thanksgiving decorations and I made it myself! Sort of.)