Our Base Camp

There was a time my parents would invite us to join them in Colorado during the summer and we could never go. At first it was our jobs and my husband’s seminary classes that kept us away. Then it was three summer pregnancies and/or baby’s due dates.

But finally the year came when our family of five was ready to go! We loaded up the Expedition for the long drive and haven’t stopped making the annual trek since. That was nine years ago, which is easy to remember because my youngest who is 10 today (and loves his birthday as much as I love mine) celebrates it in Colorado each year.

His first birthday in Colorado.

His first birthday in Colorado.

And the next...

And the next…

I love that even the pool flowers appeared in the annual birthday pic.

I love the consistency of even the pool flowers in the birthday pictures from year to year.

A more recent birthday, but plenty of others in between.

A more recent birthday, but plenty in between spent at the same Colorado pool.

And the more activities we can cram in to the day in his honor, the better!

The big one caught on his big day!

The big one caught on his big day!

The activities we enjoy during out time in the mountains are many – hiking, biking, golfing, swimming, fishing, playing in the park, strolling in town. We always go to the Farmers Market on Saturday and have a picnic at the Music Tent on Sunday.  We hike up the exact same trail heads and ride our bikes down-valley on the river trail every year. Some years, depending on ages and interests, we have added in river rafting, bunging jumping on the mountain top, the children’s theater or Rodeo.

But it’s the year after year activities that have come to define this place that we long for. They never get old. They have become tradition. They have created memories. They mark the years and show us how we’ve changed and grown.

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And each year we retell the stories they’ve created… like the one year on the Woody Creek ride one of my sons fell off his bike and I ran over him! (Yes, he had tire tracks on his shirt, now known as the unlucky Under Armour shirt!)

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Or the year on the same ride a mudslide had swallowed up the path and we all got our bikes stuck.

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Or when each of our kids first conquered the Ute Trail up the mountain.

Rebecca did the Ute

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And the time my husband and kids got stuck on the mountain in a lightening storm. (No pictures of that!)

All these many memories and so many more!

What a blessing to escape to this place we call “Base Camp”.  A blessing to be with and enjoy each other and our extended family, which includes my parents, sister, her husband and girls.  To have that focused time together without all the distractions of technology and other demands on our time.

A blessing to take a break from our regular routines. To slow down and escape from the every day stress and take in the much needed rest and refreshment we all need; especially my pastor/husband who can temporarily step away from the pulpit and the church and just be my husband and a dad.

A blessing to be reminded of the God we serve as we soak in the beauty of His creation. To look out all around us at the majestic mountains, the river, the trees and know they speak to the power and glory of His name.

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This blessing of a “Base Camp”… a place that is grounding and “home” in the sense that it brings about rest, family, enjoyment and joy. A place that always keeps us coming back for more!

Praise be to God for it all, and a Happy Birthday to my Baby!

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