Lately I've been feeling really irritable.  For no good reason.  My fuse has been short.  The littlest things cause me annoyance, and I feel like I've been a terrible wife/mom/friend.  Yesterday I felt like I was at the end of my rope.  The kids were running around our house, and when I say "like wild animals" I am not exaggerating.  Trust me.  I kept trying to take deep breaths-- relax, and find ways to connect with them in a meaningful way.  I did find a few good moments, but by the end of the night my stomach was in knots with stress.  I think I was actually having contractions, which I'm sure cannot be good.

I went to bed wondering why I'm feeling so uptight and irritable.  I can't blame it all on pregnancy (or can I?). Right before falling asleep I had the thought come to me that I need to be filling my time with things that "fill me up" the most.  That I needed to take a close look at how I am spending the bulk of my time, and what is bringing me happiness, and what is draining me.

I love when truths come to me in such a simple way.

This morning I woke up, and I knew that I needed to get to the canyons.  I've been spending little time there since the summer, mostly because it's way too hot to climb and hike in the day, and I've had the hardest time peeling myself out of bed and getting going in the morning.  But it was 6:15am when the kids awoke me, and I knew we could get a good couple of hours in before the hot sun settled in.

I'm so happy that I decided to go.  We got a quick slice of bread, and packed the camera, some water and fruit with us, and were hiking by 7 in seventy degree weather, mostly in the shade.

No matter how many times we step into this beautiful place, I'm always amazed by its beauty, and how it seems to transform us.  The kids play together in such a sweet way.  They examine the things around them with awe.  We smile and laugh and feel so alive.

"Here's a fwower for you Mom."

The boys were excited to find a few wild flowers and picked some for me, which I put in my hair (after we had a conversation about why we shouldn't pick the flowers here).  :-)

We did our usual climbing and exploring, and found a whole new space that we've never seen before on this turnoff, because it's usually blocked by a large pool of water.  We were all so excited by the new cliffs and caves and ledges and rocks.

The boys found some good sticks to hike with, and we even saw some lizards, a jackrabbit, and plenty of birds.

Their favorite spot was this little area (above), which they made into their house.  They went through organizing rocks into rooms and areas, and kept saying how they wish we could live at Red Rocks.

This was their kitchen table, where we stopped and had a dinner of oranges and water.  I was their server.  When I told the boys that the sun was getting hot and that it was time to go home Mason exclaimed "But we are home!"

After getting home we met some friends at the pool and enjoyed the cool water, and play and conversation.  The boys are napping now, and I think I'll join them.

I'm grateful for the things that fill me up the most in life, and am hoping I can spend more time doing the things that bring me the most happiness.