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Camping is a bit crazy. Especially tent camping with kids and a dog.

Difficult and time consuming to pack. Difficult and time consuming to unpack. Dirty. Risky with a toddler. Tiring. You catch my drift.

But here is my reason that it’s all worth it:  Closeness in proximity to nature and each other breeds closeness in spirit.  There is something magical about it that can’t be replicated.

Waking to the earliest of early light rays.

Taking a look around and inhaling all that it means to put aside distractions and live in the one true and glorious moment in front of me.

Sneaking out from my cozy sleeping bag as slowly and quietly as I can to capture this: My heart. Closeness in proximity and closeness in spirit.

Oh, how I have missed capturing and documenting these amazing lives.

More to come.

Neon Jog-a-thon

Yesterday we had too much fun watching Ethan and his friends run their Jog-a-thon.  Neon colors always add an extra dose of flair to an event and some of the teachers and students really did it up with the colors.  We found neon shirts for me, Ethan, and Rowan at Michaels for $10 total! (Love their 40% off coupons!)  Nick was out of luck on a cheap neon find but we were happy to have him there in his plain ol’ grey shirt.  The kindergarten classes only ran for 6 minutes, but it was 6 minutes of pure comedy!  Disclaimer:  I wonder if a parent of another child would not be too thrilled if they stumbled across pics of their kids on here who happened to be in the shots with Ethan.  I’m not sure…but I’ll limit the pics I post here to the ones where I was able to crop out most of the other kids, except of course for Ethan’s best friend!  Up first was J’s class.

The little brothers seemed less than thrilled to be missing out on a nap, both little L and Rowan.
Nick and sleepy Rowan.
Next it was Ethan’s turn-I’d swear by these pics that he’s saying, ‘Let’s Do This’!
He was all business before he started, and all smiles while he ran.  
I know I have a very limited time frame left where he’ll openly offer me a kiss at school.  I’ll take it while I can.
3o minutes of plain old fun!


Here we go.  Today we start Kindergarten.  As Ethan learns tons of stuff this year, we’ll also be learning with him.  Mainly how to let go of being in control over how his whole day is structured , how to let this experience be his, and how to adjust to a set school schedule.  No more mid-week beach trips when the traffic is sparse and hotel rates are low.  No more Thursday morning Ikea trips.  Man, I loved hanging out with all the retired folks on the beach on a Monday morning…but now, we’ll be fighting for weekend hotel reservations and waiting in long lines with the best of ‘em.  It will be a challenge for me to trust that he will be safe, make friends, be a good friend, and continue to come to me anytime he has a problem.  But, he’s pretty awesome and that makes me feel like I have a good head start facing that challenge!  I’m so excited for Ethan though.  He had an incredible preschool experience and is so ready for this year! And once all the emotion and jitters on my part wind down, I know that I’ll be ready too.  I’m looking forward to giving Rowan more personal attention and to having more stillness and silence during the day when I can give some time to my back-shelf projects and passions.  But, as great as all that will be, I already can’t wait to pick him up and hear all about his day!

So fun to look back at him a year ago, before he was a big brother and a big Kindergartener!

The Color Run-San Francisco

Be prepared for a blast of color in the coming photos!  A few weeks ago I spent a girls weekend in San Francisco for The Color Run with six other friends.  I came ready to put my camera to use!  We spent the night before the run just having fun.  Dinner, wine, painting shirts, and we threw in a mini dance party while we were at it.  My pre-apologies for the fish face.  What can I say?!

Lucky us, we registered for the later start time for the run so we had plenty of morning time for quiche, coffee, hydrating,–ahheemm–(mimosas anyone?) and getting colored up in our gear.  
We took a short drive to Candlestick Park and arrived with plenty of time before the start to get photos of the members on our team roster.

And now I’ll introduce the vibrant members of The Rainbow Brights—(please read these in your mind like a sports announcer so you get the effect, okay?!)

Leading the way in the rainbow spectrum, representing only the finest color of wine, is our weekend hostess with the mostess…..Kristy “Wineaux” Cropper!!

Next up, all the way from Colorado, soaking up sunny California-her home away from home-is the Birthday Girl…Sheri “Iddy Biddy” Morrison!!

And now, making sure she told-you-so, is our Bay Area tour guide extraordinaire, Jaime “TMITYSMF” (wrap your mind around that one!) Blanchard!!

Right in the middle, blending both ends of the rainbow seamlessly, is our classy road-trip chauffeur–Heather “Heazy” Betner!!

Up next, rounding the rainbow corner with her camera in your grill, is yours truly–Heidi “Cupcake” Betner!!

Now up to bat is the lovely-ready at any minute to whip up an amazing and ballzy DIY project-, Jennifer “Amaze-Ballz” Brantley!!

And blinging out the end of the rainbow in style, is the always spunky and vivacious–Ashley “$M@SH” Clark!!

Everyone was ready and willing to amuse me while I captured some of the fun while we were still crisp and bright.  Gooooooo Team!!

We lined up-or more accurately-clustered up with thousands of others waiting for the start.  Colors were already flying.
We headed out for the 5K and traveled every way our feet could take us.  We jogged, skipped, grape-vined, walked, and strolled through the color stations to make sure we got our fair share of the color blasts.  There was no timer ticking, just a goal to enjoy the company of friends and the gorgeous San Francisco weather.
The post race party kept the lively fun going.  We busted open our color packets and finished off the job!  I definitely spent several days scrubbing off all the residual color.  I’m telling you, that powder sticks.  Confession coming now; my color run shoes and clothes are still sitting in a bag in my laundry room so I’m not sure yet how the washing out of color will go.

I had a fantastic weekend with great friends and I enjoyed some laughs, some relaxing, and some tasty eats and drinks. Thanks ladies for some colorful memories!