Wow- a few free minutes to touch back into the blog world only to reveal it has been a whole 3 months since I posted anything!! Time sure does fly and what can I say, my family and I have been on a journey. Little Eva is almost four months old and though she is a total delight, she arrived with her own set of curve balls that have had us all kind of scrambling for some semblance of normalcy around here. What I am constantly reminded of though, is that life with baby is never normal, it is unique, special, fully consuming and totally fleeting, so giving life the permission to NOT be normal is my biggest task right now. Accepting the beauty along with the challenges, and truly being grateful for all that we are given. Daily stretching myself even further to rise to what is and releasing what is not to be. I know all humans are working on that everyday, but sometimes life gives us an extra dose to kick our growth into high gear… and that is where I am and most days I end with a humble thanks. While being worked on inside and out, I have learned so much and the thing I am grateful for the most is the presence of my family. You see, we are a little counter-culture, not really keeping up with the Jones very well. We work for ourselves, we grow our own food and we have very little money and we spend a lot of time together. We can get a little fussy with each other with all this time, but these past months, the support and simple company of my family has gotten me through a very hard time. Their laughter and warmth, their help and compassion. Honestly we have all been re-calibrated by this time and have grown strong together. If our schedules had been different this time would have been much harder, maternity leave being long gone by now. Though we would have had more money, I am not sure where the heck I would be right now, so I consider our togetherness our greatest wealth. Another great freedom is that I can work from anywhere right now (if my kids are with me I am working!!). Joel was invited to Utah to work on various projects so I thought it would be a good idea to tag along a get a little fresh air. Because we don’t really have typical family vacations in our equation, we made the trip a family adventure, totally vacating from our little hive and bringing the show on the road. First we went to Boulder Utah— Have you heard of this place? The residents will probably have my hide for letting out their secret– but this town is a gem!! Very isolated and hard to get to makes it not an easy place to live, but if you, you are pretty lucky. Joel was asked to help them establish a food forest in their town park through a Permaculture design community process. The kids and I got to play with some new friends but kindred souls, Ana & Jeff in the many town play grounds, rivers and their backyard which was pretty much a bird sanctuary (we saw three families of geese raising their young a whooping crane nesting 100 yards from the house!) From there we drove the Burr Trail to Capital Reef which will go down in history as one of the most beautiful drives of my life. Though I didn’t get to take any pictures, the fields of desert wild flowers were truly remarkable and this year may have been the best for Desert Wild flowers ever. We then rambled up to Moab where Joel taught the Interns of Community Rebuilds Permaculture principles to integrate into their low-income straw bale housing projects. They always welcome our little family so warmly in Moab and it is no secret that Moab is a great place to play. The Mulberry trees were bursting and the town a buzz with spring blooms. The kids and I spent a lot of time on the Mill Creek bike trail “fishing”and basking in desert shade. I frequently wandered the awesome Youth Garden Project to photograph all their cool structures for inspiration and inspiring it was. Then it was on to the First Four Corners Permaculture Convergence in Cortez, CO where Joel gave a talk and we romped around in the mud with the Curry Boys, ogggled the baby goats and got to sleep in a very tiny house! We ended the trip at our beloved Circle A Ranch with the Tracking project Mentorship program which always feels like coming home. Finally home now and so happy for it. The poppies are up to my waist, the locust tree bursting with blooms and though there is plenty of work to be done around here, there is a welcome lightness that the journey gave us which we will keep kindled in our home.