Cragmama "Not all who wander are lost…" JRR Tolkien

Category Archives: Reflections

Musings on life based on my personal experiences.

Mom Guilt and Type 2 Fun…aka Making Lemonade

Mom Guilt and Type 2 Fun…aka Making Lemonade

“Well, this sure is some slip-sliding fun!” I said with my best fake smile to both of my kids as we made our way down the gully to the base of the cliff.  We’d been hiking for about an hour along a trail that featured a steep incline, several hundred wooden steps, and LOTS of wet leaves.  Our pace had been slow but consistent, in a cold, misty drizzle that didn’t look like it had any intention of letting up any time soon, despite what the radar/forecast showed on my phone.  We were on our way to meet up with…Read the rest of this entry →

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2016: Tis the Season for a Year in Review

2016: Tis the Season for a Year in Review

In my tick list for 2016 I stated that one of my main goals was to “focus more on the process than crossing something off the list.”  And by that I meant that I wanted to be more picky in the routes that I invest extra time on, choosing quality over quantity.  At the end of 2015 I found myself easily frustrated at the amount of routes I had “unfinished business” on.  Our family’s climb time is at a premium, and the logistics of getting back to certain climbs with an extra partner often ends up being a crux.  So this year I made…Read the rest of this entry →

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The Tick List for 2016

The Tick List for 2016

For our family this year, the holidays have involved sharing a little more with each other than we had intended – our winter break started with a stomach virus that violently ransacked it’s way through our entire household in a matter of hours.  The next two weeks were a blur of family, friends, and Christmas cookies…LOTS of Christmas cookies.  As far as climbing goes, we did manage to squeeze in a few days at the gym here and there, as well as a laidback day outside on the first day of 2016.  But overall the ratio of Christmas cookies to climbing…Read the rest of this entry →

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Climbing in 2015 – The Year in Review

Climbing in 2015 – The Year in Review

For many of us, the end of a year marks a time to reflect on the goals we had for the previous year, as well as make new ones for the next year.  With regards to climbing, I’d left my goals for 2015 fairly open-ended, so as not to get bogged down with all the crazy logistics that go hand in hand with family craggin’.  I basically had 3 items on my list – take a “big” family climbing trip, find some 12c/d routes that played well to my strengths, and send some 12a/b’s that forced me to work on my weaknesses. Overall I’d…Read the rest of this entry →

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Most Popular Posts 2015

Most Popular Posts 2015

It’s tradition this time of year to take a stroll down memory lane and revisit the most popular posts of the year.  As a writer it gives me a helpful perspective on what my readers responded to most.  As a reader it gives you guys a chance to catch up on what you may have missed and, if you’re new around here, get a big picture of what this site is all about.  In looking back over the posts, I realized I didn’t write anywhere near the amount of posts as I have in year’s past.  Now that there are two…Read the rest of this entry →

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The Stinkbug Saga

The Stinkbug Saga

Last Monday we were almost late to school because of a stink bug.  Yup, a stink bug.  Actually, a brown marmorated stink bug to be exact.  But that’s how the saga ends, not begins.  Let me back up. It had to be at least a month ago when I first noticed him (her?) motoring around the walls around our kitchen table.  “Look at the stinkbug!” I announced to Baby Zu, pointing.  Her eyes lit up as her gaze followed him around the room, and her tiny pointer finger bobbed up and down excitedly.  “BUH!!!!!  BUH!!!!!!!” she sang out.  We watched together for a…Read the rest of this entry →

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Post-Halloween Tips from the Archives

Post-Halloween Tips from the Archives

Back in the days when I actually had time to write (ie one child, who was in preschool a couple mornings a week), I loved writing seasonally appropriate posts for every holiday, Halloween included.  Now that I’ve got a toddler running me ragged a lot less time, those sort of posts have gone on the backburner.  Back when Baby Zu was a newborn, I threw all the blogging “rules” out the window in the hopes of keeping my sanity (it helped?!?)  While writing soothes my soul, not putting pressure on myself to do it means a lot less stress – and…Read the rest of this entry →

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Big C’s First Project: Big Emotions, Little Body

Big C’s First Project: Big Emotions, Little Body

“BUT I WANTED TO SEND IT!!!!!!!!!”  A distraught Big C let out while fighting back big crocodile tears.  He was trying to put up a brave front on the way out of the climbing gym, but the waterworks let loose once we got to the car. It was the end of Day 2 of Big C’s very first “legit” bouldering project (ie, only using holds that are “on.”)  For a while now he’s been able to climb the easier routes in the gym using the intended holds, but bouldering had always been a free for all “rainbow” session, using any holds…Read the rest of this entry →

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From 1 Kid to 2…How Outdoor Adventures Have Changed…

From 1 Kid to 2…How Outdoor Adventures Have Changed…

A couple of weeks ago I received a question from reader Patricia T. that really made me stop and think.  She basically wanted to know specifics about how life has changed for us since adding another child to our family.  In her words – “…I’ve had so many people tell me that the second one really shuts your life down.  Now, I’m trying to take that with a grain of salt, b/c I think we (I’m assuming she meant outdoorsy folks) are cut from a different cloth.  But it still worries me.  What’s your take on this?”   I wrote a…Read the rest of this entry →

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To All the Guy Climbers: A Rant and a Salute…

To All the Guy Climbers: A Rant and a Salute…

It was pretty crowded in the gym last Sunday.  The weather was crappy and there were a LOT of birthday parties going on.  I was patiently trying to maneuver through my fairly extensive warm-up routine before retreating to the training area to do some Power Enduro laps.  I was almost ready, just needed to do a handful of more challenging problems that I had really dialed. There was already someone (a 20-something guy) working one of the boulder problems I was interested in doing.  He tried several times, and kept getting stuck at the crux, 3 moves in.  I waited until he took a break…Read the rest of this entry →

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“You’re a Good Mom.”

“You’re a Good Mom.”

Today’s post is for the moms out there that find themselves living in doubt.  It’s an experience that happened a couple of months ago when our family was vacationing in Disney World for my son’s 5th birthday.  I hope that it will serve as a reminder to not underestimate the power that we have to encourage (or discourage) our fellow moms… It started out as nothing more than a stubborn whine, easily drowned out by the swarms of folks making their way through Frontierland.  I glanced around – no one had even batted an eye.  I calmly scooted my rocking chair…Read the rest of this entry →

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The Perfect Hand-Me-Down: 3 Kids and 1 Down Suit

The Perfect Hand-Me-Down: 3 Kids and 1 Down Suit

Before I became pregnant with my first child, I was blessed to have some like-minded friends who were just phasing out of the life stage we were just getting ourselves into.  Their then-toddler would be their last child, and they were actually preparing to move to Germany…which meant our family was one of the many to benefit from their infant outdoor gear archives! We scored bigtime in the clothing and shoe department, most of which at this point has either been worn into the ground or given to other families of outdoorsy little boys who like to play in the mud.  However,…Read the rest of this entry →

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Why Today is TWICE as Special…

Why Today is TWICE as Special…

March 2 has been a special day in our family for the past 13 years – it’s the day the Crag-Daddy and I said “I Do!”  But in 2014 our beautiful little girl gave us yet another reason to celebrate this day.  Needless to say, last year’s anniversary was a rather unconventional one.  We weren’t exactly expecting to spend the day at the hospital, but it was certainly worth it!   So today on this day, hubby and I celebrate not only our love for each other, but also the love we have for our sweet baby girl.  I found…Read the rest of this entry →

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Climbing Goals for 2015

Climbing Goals for 2015

Now that our family of 4 has settled into a new “normal,” it’s  tempting to try and make up for lost time with a mile long tick list for 2015.  But I still want to make sure my life stays balanced.  Family climbing time involves FAMILY first, CLIMBING second.  That means that when it  comes to planning climbing trips, there are far more logistics to consider than my own tick list.  That being said, here’s what I personally would be delighted to accomplish in 2015. Since we almost always climb as a party of 5+, (mom, dad, 2 kids, and 1 or…Read the rest of this entry →

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Climbing Hit List for 2014 – Year in Review

Climbing Hit List for 2014 – Year in Review

Considering that I was a large and in charge, 30+ weeks along pregnant mama last year at this time, my climbing goals for the year were pretty low key.  I wanted to find that balance between motivating myself and overwhelming myself!  Anyway, I ended up choosing 3 broad goals that seemed doable with a little bit of work and committment.  Here’s how I fared… 1.  ESTABLISH A TRAINING ROUTINE It took some trial and error, and those first few months we were all flying by the seat of our pants, but at nearly 10 months postpartum, our family feels pretty…Read the rest of this entry →

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Most Popular Posts of 2014

Most Popular Posts of 2014

The end of the calendar year is a time that a lot of folks use for reflection, including myself.  One of the ways I do this on the blog is by revisiting the most popular posts of the year – ie, the ones that generated the most comments, site traffic, social media action, and just overall “buzz.”  As a writer it’s helpful for me to see what my readers responded to most.  For my faithful long-time readers, it’s a chance to stroll down memory lane and possibly catch up on some goodies that you may have missed earlier in the year.…Read the rest of this entry →

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How to Keep Warm on Winter Climbing Days

How to Keep Warm on Winter Climbing Days

Contrary to popular “non-climber” belief, the best weather conditions for climbing often occur during cold weather.  The crux moves on your project on a hot (or worse yet, hot AND humid) summer day can easily feel several letter grades harder than it would on a cool, crisp winter day.  With that in mind, sending odds can sometimes be dramatically increased for those that are willing to brave the cold.  And while how cold is “too cold” to climb varies from person to person, here are some ideas for turning miserable, finger-numbing weather into perfect sending conditions.  (Unless of course you’re a mountaineer…in…Read the rest of this entry →

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Dare to “What If…” Like a Kid!

Dare to “What If…” Like a Kid!

As most of us are probably all too painfully aware, little boys (and little girls!) grow WAY too fast…and growing feet need new climbing shoes on the regular, often before the current pair is worn out.  So far we’ve been pretty lucky in the hand-me-down department (we’ve got several pairs in the garage just waiting to be grown into!)  Just recently I noticed that Big C’s shoes had gone from comfortable to what grown-up climbers would refer to as “performance fit”…great for sending that project, but not so great for little feet that are still developing.  So we went into…Read the rest of this entry →

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When Family Outdoor Time Sucks…

When Family Outdoor Time Sucks…

Do outdoor adventures with your family ever feel like this picture?  If so, you are so not alone.  These sort of pictures are not the ones that usually show up on social media.  In fact, scenes like this are generally not even photographed.  This one happened to be captured by my husband on a picnic lunch at Julian Price Memorial Park.  We’d just set up camp, and were grabbing a bite to eat before setting off on a family hike.  Unbeknownst to the Crag-Daddy, Big C and I had been arguing about food (“Hiking bears are not for lunch.  You…Read the rest of this entry →

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The Freedom of Stepping Back

The Freedom of Stepping Back

I learned a long time ago that any writing done when I am rushed and/or not inspired to write is writing that is not worth reading.  Which is why you may have noticed things have been a little quieter around here of late.  The arrival of Baby Z, combined with summer (meaning no preschool mornings for Big C…) has put a giant dent in the time I have available to write.  In fact, over the past few weeks I’ve seen the small windows of time that I previously had for myself shrinking away to practically nothing.   While Baby Z is a…Read the rest of this entry →

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Another Reason to Put Your Swimsuit On

Another Reason to Put Your Swimsuit On

Recently I read this article encouraging moms to put aside their body insecurities, throw on a swimsuit, and jump in the pool/ocean/lake with their kids.  The message was that a child will remember those carefree moments spent playing with you and couldn’t care less about how you look in a bathingsuit.  The writer emphasizes that “at the end of the day, it is not about me.  It is about my kids.”   I agree with those sentiments wholeheartedly.  And, as someone who for a long time struggled with an unhealthy relationship with food, this line resonated with me especially: “Because…Read the rest of this entry →

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Sentimental Snapsots: The Power of “Do-Overs”

Sentimental Snapsots: The Power of “Do-Overs”

With a 4 month old in the house, one on one fun with my son is at a premium these days.  I always know his (and my) quality time tank is running on fumes when we have a day where everything seems to be falling apart.  You know the kind I mean – when you feel as though you can’t do anything right, and are a complete failure as a parent.  Yep, those days.  You’d think that by the second kid my track record would’ve improved a bit, but now that there are two of them, those out of control days seem to show…Read the rest of this entry →

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Just Love.

Just Love.

“I just don’t know what to do.” was the very frustrated text I’d sent my husband one afternoon a couple of weeks ago.  Baby Z was wide awake…again, after trying to get her to sleep for the umpteenth time.  It was clear that my ordinarily fairly predictable little sleeper was having a series of off days.  I’d remembered Big C having plenty of days like this (call them growth spurts, developmental spurts, or just the age-old infant constant of “change.”), but knowing it was just a phase didn’t help get my day under control, hence the text of desperation.  I’m…Read the rest of this entry →

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Hey Moms, Slow Down!

Hey Moms, Slow Down!

Most of my runs these days are done behind the wheels of my trusty jogging stroller.  I leave the house in my running clothes, drop Big C off at preschool at 9 am, and if all goes according to plan, Baby Z is drifting peacefully off to sleep right about the time I pull back into the driveway.  I shuffle her into the stroller as quietly as I can, and I’m off – pounding the pavement for a 4-5 mile respite while my little girl enjoys her peaceful slumber. Sometimes I’m able to squeeze in a solo run on the weekend, sans…Read the rest of this entry →

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A Stick is an Excellent Thing…

A Stick is an Excellent Thing…

Recently while at the library, we checked out a book of poems geared towards encouraging outdoor play, entitled “A Stick is an Excellent Thing.”  It’s by Marilyn Singer, with charming illustrations by LeUyen Pham.  One of my favorite poems is the one that the book is named by.  I love it because it creates a beautiful imagery of what happens when children are allowed to let their imaginations run free during unstructured outdoor play times (what we refer to as “green hours” around here.)   Specifically, it reminds me of this special stick that C found out at the crag…Read the rest of this entry →

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The Newborn Days w/Baby #2 – Keeping Your Sanity the 1st Month

The Newborn Days w/Baby #2 – Keeping Your Sanity the 1st Month

Wow, just 6 short weeks ago I shared my last preggo update…10 days later I gave birth to a magical little girl, and today she is celebrating one month of life!  The past 4 weeks have been a whirlwind of eating, sleeping, and not sleeping…and showering every now and then.  Slowly but surely we’ve started to get into a groove with life as a family of four.  There have been a few key strategies and pieces of gear that have helped us find our stride, so I thought I’d share them… 1.  OLDER SIBLING ONE ON ONE TIME –  The…Read the rest of this entry →

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Why the Second Baby is Easier…and Harder

Why the Second Baby is Easier…and Harder

From the moment we told the world we were pregnant again, it seemed that everyone that had been there, done that more than once, felt obligated to express their opinions.  It seemed like everyone clearly fell into one of two camps – the “Number 2 will be a breeze compared to Number 1” folks, and the “Number 2 makes life really complicated” people.  With such a wide range of (unsolicited) experiences to take in, we really didn’t know what to expect.  (And considering that our number 2 is not even a month old yet, we hardly qualify as experts when…Read the rest of this entry →

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4 Years and 1 Proud Mama

4 Years and 1 Proud Mama

The other day I was cleaning up the kitchen after breakfast, and as usual, there was a children’s folk song station playing on Pandora in the background.  C had been painting at his art table, and had just left the room to go get some more paper, and a song came on that I’d never heard before that stopped me in my tracks.  I felt a wave of emotion come over me as I listened to the words that described EXACTLY what I felt about my little guy.  Then right on cue my sweet little boy came bounding around the…Read the rest of this entry →

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How to Cultivate Independent Play in Your Child

How to Cultivate Independent Play in Your Child

It’s probably safe to assume that most parents would agree that allowing your child to park him/herself in front of the TV all day is a bad idea.  So why is it that in 2009, the average 2-5 year old watched a screen (TV, DVD, iPad, computer) for an astounding 32 hours per week?!?  (And 6-11 year olds weren’t that much better, at 28 hours per week.)  That’s more than an entire day out of every week!  As shocking as those statistics are, I think the reason behind them is simple.  Parents are tired, and stretched too thin – an educational DVD…Read the rest of this entry →

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On Change…and How Love Multiplies

On Change…and How Love Multiplies

 As I sit here and type this with my little girl snuggled up against my chest in our Boba 4G carrier (review coming soon!), it’s getting harder and harder to remember what life without Baby Z was like.  I remember that strange phenomenon happening with C, but for some reason it still took me by surprise this time around.   I guess that’s because families aren’t  designed to stay the same.  Even if your family is finished adding members, everyone is getting older with each passing year (and each passing minute for the youngest ones!)  That means the family dynamic…Read the rest of this entry →

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Introducing the Newest Cragbaby!

Introducing the Newest Cragbaby!

Our family was delighted to welcome Baby Z to this world on Sunday, March 2, at 3:08 pm.  That day also happened to be me and the Crag-Daddy’s 12 year anniversary – so what special and unique way to celebrate!    Labor and delivery went smoothly without complication, and we were able to bring her home yesterday morning. At only 5 pounds, 12 ounces, our sweet girl is just a little peanut, but she’s just bursting with life, and our hearts are overflowing with love at our little miracle.       That being said, while I’ve got some blog…Read the rest of this entry →

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Slab Climbing Lessons – Both Literal and Metaphorical…

Slab Climbing Lessons – Both Literal and Metaphorical…

Ah, slab climbing.  Levitating your body up a lower-angled section of rock while relying almost entirely upon the friction created between the rock and the rubber on your climbing shoes – actual holds are few and far between, and after a hard day of slabbin’ it’s your calves that are sore rather than your guns.  Most people either love it or hate it, but regardless of which side of the spectrum you fall in, everyone can usually agree that there’s no better teacher for learning to trust your feet. As for me, though I don’t want a steady diet of…Read the rest of this entry →

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Climbing Mantras From a Toddler

Climbing Mantras From a Toddler

Sometimes as climbers it’s easy to get bogged down with training philosophies, number chasing, or even just overzealous trip planning.  All of those things have their place, but too much focus on any of them can lead to burn-out pretty quickly.  Every now and then it’s good to take a step back and remember the basics of climbing… 1.  Climbing should be fun.  If it’s not, pick a another route.  Or do something else different entirely.2.  Sometimes climbing is easy.  When it’s easy, relax and enjoy it.  3.  Sometimes climbing is hard.  When it’s hard, you have to try hard.…Read the rest of this entry →

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2013 Year in Review and Climbing Hit List for 2014

2013 Year in Review and Climbing Hit List for 2014

This time of year in my climbing journey always involves a lot of reflection.  I look back on how well I accomplished my goals for the past year, and I look forward to setting new goals for the upcoming year.  But as soon as I saw two lines on a pregnancy test last June, it’s fair to say that my list of climbing projects got put on the backburner.  Pregnancy is obviously not the time to explore your limits.  That being said, I “failed” miserably at crossing off even half of what I set out to do on my 2013…Read the rest of this entry →

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Greatest Hits 2013 (and Taking Requests 2014)

Greatest Hits 2013 (and Taking Requests 2014)

The past couple of years on this blog I’ve designated the week of New Year’s as “Highlight Week.”  In addition to reflecting on last year’s goals and next year’s goals (that post will be up on Thursday…), it’s a chance to revisit posts that were particularly popular (that’s this post!)  For those of you that are relatively new Cragmama readers, here’s some goodies that you may have missed throughout the year.  And for those of you that have been reading for a while, it’ll be a stroll down memory lane!  Posts were selected based on initial visitors, long-term traffic, and…Read the rest of this entry →

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The 5 Most Unpleasant Things I’m Thankful For This Year…

The 5 Most Unpleasant Things I’m Thankful For This Year…

Well, it’s Thanksgiving again, and like many of you probably have, I’ve taken some time to pause and reflect on what I’m thankful for this year.  However, at the risk of sounding cliche and sappy, this post is going to take a different perspective than the usual rote lists of blessings.  Often times, situations that seem unpleasant at first glance end up being the gateway to other blessings that we never would have encountered without the former unpleasantries.  I think it was Garth Brooks who once sang that “some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”  I’ve certainly found that…Read the rest of this entry →

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“Just Like You, Mommy!” aka The Story of the Striped Pants

“Just Like You, Mommy!” aka The Story of the Striped Pants

“NO I DON’T LIKE THE PANTS WITH STRIPES ON THEM!”  C was shouting with the melodrama that can only come from being 3 years old.  I sighed.  As a mother to a strong-willed and highly opinionated little boy, I’ve realized that I need to pick and choose my battles wisely.  Last month, we had to visit our dentist at Delaney Park Dental, and because I could not give him the freedom I would’ve liked to in the office, he was very loud and obnoxious during the appointment, creating a really embarassing situation there. C responds best to freedom within parameters,…Read the rest of this entry →

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The Murky Ethical Waters of Onsight Climbing…

The Murky Ethical Waters of Onsight Climbing…

Nothing earns you more street cred in the climbing world than an onsight near your limit.  Because let’s face it, figuring things out on the fly is hard!  Odds are good that on your first time through, you’re gonna botch a few sequences, or at the very least, do them less efficiently than you would if you were more familiar with the route.  Once you’ve touched all the holds you start to piece the route together in chunks, and can usually make a better plan of attack (figure out clipping stances, find rests and shake-out spots, etc).  Not to mention…Read the rest of this entry →

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Being Patient with Toddler Fears…

Being Patient with Toddler Fears…

 Sometimes fear happens because of a traumatic event, such as a scary fall, or otherwise bad experience.  But other times fear can creep in without warning and show up suddenly – like at the first swim lesson of the summer for your 3 year old! Let me back up a bit first – as a 2 year old last year my son knew no fear in the water.  Dunking himself underwater, cackling with laughter as his Daddy tossed him high into the air, and gleefully jumping super man style into the water (with my outstretched arms close by, of course!) …Read the rest of this entry →

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Finding Nature (and Ducks!) in Unexpected Places

Finding Nature (and Ducks!) in Unexpected Places

“That Mommy Duck is peeking at me!” C shouted excitedly as he slid over to make room for me and the rest of our food at our table.  It was a Friday night, which of course meant we were at Chick-fila.  Ever since we moved to Charlotte (and actually even before then), our family has had a long-standing tradition of heading to the neighborhood Chick-fila on Friday evenings when we aren’t heading off on a climbing trip for the weekend.  When the weather is nice and the days are long, we walk, usually pulling C in the wagon and waving…Read the rest of this entry →

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15 Simple Ways Your Family Can Go Greener…

15 Simple Ways Your Family Can Go Greener…

In case you didn’t know it, today is EARTH DAY!  Today (and on every April 22nd since 1970), there will be thousands of environmental awareness events going on in communities worldwide.  Schools, libraries, workplaces, and parks will be buzzing with festivals, workshops, and eco-friendly activities geared towards promoting education about environmental issues.  For our family, it’s a good reminder to reevaluate the efforts our family has (or has not) been making to protect the earth for the past year.   Why is the message of environmental stewardship important for families?  On a personal, spiritual level, I believe that one of…Read the rest of this entry →

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What Autism Has To Do With Butterflies

What Autism Has To Do With Butterflies

In honor of Autism Awareness Month, today’s post is brought to you by my friend Melonie.  Melonie was one of my best friends in middle and high school, and as I reminisce about all the numerous conversations we’d had about boys, weddings, and starting a family, I’m pretty sure that neither of us would have pictured ourselves in the lives we have now.  But I’m also equally sure that neither of us would trade what we’ve got for anything in the world!  Melonie has two beautiful children, both of which have been diagnosed with autism, so her passion surrounding this subject is…Read the rest of this entry →

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Why You Should Let Your Kids Run Around Barefoot…

Why You Should Let Your Kids Run Around Barefoot…

“It’s fluffy Mommy!”, announced C excitedly, as he danced and jumped around in the soft, tickly grass in our backyard.  Those first few barefoot days of spring are priceless – reconnecting us with the earth in the last gasps of winter.  For our family, footwear has always been optional in warm weather.  It’s not like we’re dirty hippies – we wear shoes to church, school, and the grocery store.  But shoes are the first to come off when we arrive back home, both inside and out when the weather is warm.  I’ll be honest, for us it’s always just been a comfort thing – who doesn’t…Read the rest of this entry →

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My Little Man is THREE!!!!!

My Little Man is THREE!!!!!

How in the world did this happen?  One day I’m staying up all night with marathon nursing sessions.  Then when I finally go to sleep I wake up and he’s running into his classroom without so much as an afterthought glance in my direction!  Ok ok maybe it didn’t happen EXACTLY like that, but some days it seems like it!  Fortunately for us, we’ve been blessed to have shared hundreds upon thousands of wonderful memories with our little Cragbaby these past three years, who most CERTAINLY has graduated to Crag-Kiddo status at this point!  I’ve been doing a lot of reflection recently…Read the rest of this entry →

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In Memory of Axel Charrette

In Memory of Axel Charrette

Ordinarily I’m very organized with the writing for this blog.  Initial thoughts may pour out of my head in a jumble, but by the time the words hit the page and I hit publish, they are constructed into nice and neat little packages.  Once I’m satisfied with the end product, the post goes into the queue, poised on deck until the timing is right.  But this post is not like other posts.  This is the hardest post I have EVER had to write.  As my thoughts fill up this screen my eyes fill up with tears, and as the words come…Read the rest of this entry →

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Life Lessons You Can Learn From a Rock Climber

Life Lessons You Can Learn From a Rock Climber

The writer in me loves metaphors and analogies, which is one reason why I love writing about climbing.  Time and time again I’ve been able to apply concepts from the rock climbing world to my life as a mother, wife, and friend.  What a lot of non-climbers don’t realize is that there are actually several different disciplines, or styles, of climbing – some of us may have an end goal to climb Mt. Everest, whereas others of us may aspire to touch every piece of local rock that we can.  Each discipline has a different set of values, ethics, and…Read the rest of this entry →

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Adventuring with Toddlers – In a Nutshell Why It’s Worth It

Adventuring with Toddlers – In a Nutshell Why It’s Worth It

A lot of times I get asked what makes it worth it.  Why do I put forth so much effort to continue down such an adventurous path now that I’ m a mom?  Maybe because it seems so natural to me that I can’t imagine life any other way, but I sometimes have trouble finding the words to answer that question on the spot.  But as I look back and reflect on how much our family has been able to share together, I know that those memories speak louder than any words ever could…so here’s my attempt to (briefly) address…Read the rest of this entry →

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A Good Reminder from a Toddler…

A Good Reminder from a Toddler…

  “Hey Mommy, I love you,” says a little voice coming from beside my bed.  I smile and say it back, fumbling in the early morning light as I lean over to help my struggling toddler climb into bed with me without whacking me on the head with the armload of books he’s toting.  He cozies up into the nook of my shoulder, all the while pronouncing his love for “sweet, snuggly Mommy.”  Somedays we’ll snuggle in silence for almost an hour (especially if we fall back asleep!), and other times it’s only for 15 minutes.  Sometimes he’ll get bored with me and roll…Read the rest of this entry →

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A Year Ago Today…A Reflection on Health and Happiness

A Year Ago Today…A Reflection on Health and Happiness

A year ago today I was not a happy hiker, camper, or any of those other cute little clichés used to describe outdoors enthusiasts.  A year ago today I bashed my foot into the  rock face and had to be carried away from the cliff like a sack of potatoes.  A year ago today I went to sleep in tears from frustration, pain, and self-pity.  But that was a year ago, and this is today.  Today I smiled as I thought about our family adventures from this past weekend.  Today I will laugh with my little boy outside in his sandbox. …Read the rest of this entry →

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3 Ways to TRY HARDER So You Can CLIMB HARDER!

3 Ways to TRY HARDER So You Can CLIMB HARDER!

This just in: If you try harder, you can climb harder!  At first glance, this might seem glaringly obvious, but it was rather eye-opening for me a few weeks ago after my hubby (tactfully) pointed out that it looked like I “gave up before I even tried” on a route that was giving me trouble at the New River Gorge.  That statement prompted a very reflective and enlightening discussion on the drive home that caused me to develop a new mantra for pushing my limits on the rock.  And though simple, I’ve already seen improvements from it, so it seemed worth sharing!  Basically it all boils down to the mantra of…Read the rest of this entry →

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Hit List 2013

Hit List 2013

With 2012 in the archives, it’s time to look forward to another year…and another Hit List!  Each time I write out a year’s worth of climbing goals, I get a little bit nervous.  What if I fail?  What if I am nowhere close to any of these goals by the end of the year?  The truth is, that could easily happen.  Maybe the logistics don’t cooperate for me to be able to put in the time needed to cross some of these routes off.  Or worse, maybe I’m able to invest plenty of time into a project, and still come up short!  Goal-setting can be…Read the rest of this entry →

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Hit List for 2012 – The Year in Review

Hit List for 2012 – The Year in Review

Well, another year has come and gone, which means another Hit List has drawn to a close.  This was the second time I’ve put my year-long goals out there in cyber space (for 2011 Hit List click here), and once again, it was a wild ride, with plenty of bumps (and bruises) along the way!  After an unexpected injury started the year off on the “wrong foot” (sorry, couldn’t help myself…), I found a lot of my mental battles this year revolved around fear.  Fear in trusting my ankle again, fear in getting my lead head back, along with an…Read the rest of this entry →

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Cragbaby Highlights for 2012

Cragbaby Highlights for 2012

It’s been a big year for C, who went from a curious, craggin’ toddler to a big boy with his own agenda at the crag (which may or may not have anything to do with  climbing…).  So in honor of Highlight Week 2012, here’s a look back at some of C’s favorite moments from this year (from his perspective, of course!)… 5.  Big Boy Climbing Gear – This year I had my very own climbing gear – shoes, chalkbag, harness, and helmet.  Just like Mommy and Daddy!  Even though I don’t always use all of it, having my own gear…Read the rest of this entry →

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Greatest Hits 2012 (and Taking Requests!)

Greatest Hits 2012 (and Taking Requests!)

It’s tradition around here to designate the beginning of the new year as “Highlight Week.”  And I figured there was no better way to start the week AND end the year than with a “Greatest Hits” post. For those of you that are relatively new Cragmama readers (or for those interested in a walk down memory lane), here’s a look back at the most popular posts over the last year.  ”Popular” in this case means high traffic and a lot of overall buzz – via hits, comments, and social media.  I chose some from multiple categories… TRAINING:  This was a…Read the rest of this entry →

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Setting Your Mind: From a Toddler’s Perspective

Setting Your Mind:  From a Toddler’s Perspective

 “You can do anything you set your mind to.” Benjamin Franklin said it first, but it’s been said millions (and probably billions) of times since then.  It’s one of those inspirational, “action phrases.”  Teachers say it to their students to motivate them to aim high, and parents whisper it to their children to encourage them to dream big.  I’m sure we’ve all heard someone say it to us at some point, and in turn, I’m sure we’ve all said it to someone else.   It’s also the phrase that immediately popped into my head when I saw this picture.  Some…Read the rest of this entry →

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Finding Success in Failure (aka No More “Whining”)

Finding Success in Failure (aka No More “Whining”)

This past Sunday marked Day 3 of work on my most recent climbing project at my local crag, Crowders Mountain.  This route was one that I had picked out for my Hit List for 2o12 – The Whining (5.11d).  I chose it not only because it’s an area classic, but because it specifically plays to my weaknesses – a one-move wonder, go-go-gadget-reach style crux.  The route only officially goes at 5.11d, but the running joke is that for every inch you are under 5.8, it’s a letter grade harder.  Most are able to make the long reach by utilizing a…Read the rest of this entry →

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Lessons from a Toddler on Giving

Lessons from a Toddler on Giving

This week marked my annual attempt at domesticity, the one time of year where I actually break out the Kitchen-aid and pretend I know my way around the kitchen. I usually pick something that is easy to make, difficult to mess up, and of course, super yummy to eat.  This year, however, I had something else to factor in – an enthusiastic “helper,” one that might actually believe me if I told him I taught Betty Crocker everything she knows! My usual holiday repertoire consists of goodies that involve nothing more than compiling ingredients together and throwing them in the…Read the rest of this entry →

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Just Like Daddy!

Just Like Daddy!

“Just like Daddy, Mommy,” says Cragbaby with a beaming smile, as he carefully pre-loads his plastic power drill with a toy screw and prepares to drill into the wall.  My heart melts, as I glance up from my gardening to see my two favorite boys hard at work on the side of the house, one the spitting image of the other.  With every passing day, it becomes more and more apparent that C watches our every move, absorbing each word, action, and deed like a sponge.  On the one hand, it’s charming and sweet.  On the other hand, there’s a…Read the rest of this entry →

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FINISH STRONG! (aka #FinishStrong2012 )

FINISH STRONG! (aka #FinishStrong2012 )

p>While the holidays can be an exciting time, it can also wreak havoc on our everyday schedules, priorities, and goals.  Constant holiday hubbub can make it darn near impossible to find some down time for yourself.  Chaos ensues as we desperately try to balance our budgets with our Christmas spending.  We put exercising on the backburner as we hastily get ready for the holidays.  Gingerbread men, snowflake cookies, and eggnog are routine appearances at work and social gatherings, making it very difficult to make healthy food choices.   And let’s be honest, it’s easy to let things slide here at…Read the rest of this entry →

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Through a Toddler’s Eyes

Through a Toddler’s Eyes

Before I became a mom, I remember hearing people say that one of the best things about parenting is the joy of discovering the world again through the eyes of a child.  In the past 2 and a half (almost 3, where does the time go!) years that C has been around, I’ve certainly found that to be true.  For instance, I never really gave bulldozers a second thought.  But C is crazy about them (as well as excavators, steam rollers, and the like, whenever the chance arises, he will visit the skid steer rental in Vancouver ).  And much to…Read the rest of this entry →

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Surviving a Toddler’s First Overnighter

Surviving a Toddler’s First Overnighter

This post could just have easily been titled “Surviving a MOMMY’s First Overnighter,” because I feel like this milestone was just as hard for me, if not more so!  As many of you know, my husband and I just recently took our very first trip away from Cragbaby last week…and since our family never does anything halfway, we decided to spend it enjoying the sandstone of Red Rock Canyon, just 30 miles outside of Las Vegas!  (Stay tuned for the trip recap in a couple of days…) We did a lot of different things to prepare C for our time…Read the rest of this entry →

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My ABC’s of Thanksgiving

My ABC’s of Thanksgiving

The alphabet song is definitely Top 40 at our house these days.  And I must say I never grow tired of hearing my little guy gleefully sing “em-em-ento-pee” in between bites of PBJ.  So instead of bullet-listing what first comes to mind that I’m grateful for, I thought I would honor my favorite little boy’s play list and come up with something for every letter of the alphabet.  So here’s my “thankful” list (in ABC order, of course ;))  A – Autumn.  I could make a case for any season, but I really do think Autumn is my favorite time…Read the rest of this entry →

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Cragbaby’s Photo Shoot: Anatomy of a Good Jump

Cragbaby’s Photo Shoot:  Anatomy of a Good Jump

As many of you know, I posted up some of the leftover photos from some of the recent Trango shoots last week…but what you probably didn’t know is that during one of those Trango shoots, Cragbaby was involved in a photo session of his own!  My favorite climbing photographer (who also happens to be one of my favorite people period!) knows firsthand just how much my little guy enjoys hamming it up for the camera.  So when she started snapping photos of C jumping off a boulder, his efforts went from casual to full throttle in about 1.4 seconds!  …Read the rest of this entry →

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Meet Your Moment…a Giveaway from CLIF!

Meet Your Moment…a Giveaway from CLIF!

We’ve all had “moments.”  Experiences where time stands still, the rest of the world stops, and everything else fades into the background as that one moment comes vividly into focus.  It could be something epic that you share with hundreds of people, or it could be something personal that’s just between you and your Maker.  It could be a tender family moment, or a loud, joyous occasion.  Some moments define who we are as a person, while others are just a nice reminder of why it’s good to be alive.  I have “moments” all the time when I’m climbing –…Read the rest of this entry →

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Play Hard, Sleep Hard (and GIVEAWAY!)

Play Hard, Sleep Hard (and GIVEAWAY!)

Today’s Sentimental Snapshot is twofold.  First off, it represents how everyone in our family feels at the end of the summer.  South Dakota, Wyoming, Ocean Isle Beach, New River Gorge, Obed Scenic River, visits FROM family, visits TO family, and of course several day trips to local crags thrown in for good measure – it seems to reflect Cragbaby’s motto of “Play Now, Sleep Later.”  It’s a recipe for loads of fun and family memories, but sooner or later it catches up with you and you have to stop and take a break!  So this picture is an accurate representation…Read the rest of this entry →

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Proof that Nothing is Ever Lost in Cyberspace…

Proof that Nothing is Ever Lost in Cyberspace…

Last week I had quite the chuckle when I happened to notice a rather random circa 2008 photo of my husband and I floating around on facebook.  Our old gym, Triangle Rock Club, had put it up on their page in a “hey we know those people!” kind of post.  But Triangle Rock club had actually snagged it from another climbing gym’s page – a gym that neither I nor my husband have ever even heard of, let alone set foot in before!  It was used as a prompt for their members to post where they were headed for the…Read the rest of this entry →

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A Pilot Mountain Legend: Lloyd Ramsey…

A Pilot Mountain Legend: Lloyd Ramsey…

This is the second time in under a month that I have had to post about the loss of a North Carolina climber.  It’s definitely not getting easier, and I certainly don’t want to make this a habit.  This one really hits me hard because Lloyd Ramsey is someone whom I knew very well.  In fact, I can probably count on one hand the number of times that I’ve climbed at Pilot Mountain and haven’t ran into him.  Lloyd was a staple figure at the park, and anyone who has climbed in the area with any amount of regularity would recognize him.   Not…Read the rest of this entry →

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In Memory of Eric Metcalf…

In Memory of Eric Metcalf…

This post was intended to be a trip report from our adventures at Moore’s Wall this past Sunday, but in light of the events that transpired after we left, the usual recounting of the routes we climbed hardly seemed relevant.  The North Carolina climbing community suffered a tragic loss Sunday evening.  Eric Metcalf, a 19 year old from Cary, NC, fell over 250 feet to his death in a rappelling accident in the Sentinel Buttress area of Moore’s Wall.  A lot of the details are still unknown, but I felt led to share my perspective.  My husband, son, and a…Read the rest of this entry →

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Sentimental Snapshots: A Rainbow of Obstacles (and a GIVEAWAY from Clif)

Sentimental Snapshots:  A Rainbow of Obstacles (and a GIVEAWAY from Clif)

The other day Cragbaby and I enjoyed a beautiful, sunny morning at Belle Johnston Park.  Though technically in Pineville, not Charlotte, it’s only 15 minutes or so from our house, and is well worth the drive for a morning’s worth of playground fun.  What I like about this park is that it seems to have been designed for multi-generational enjoyment, not just the wee folk.  In addition to the many playgrounds, giant sand pit, swing sets, and riding toys situated within the acreage of open green space, there are porch swings and benches scattered about, perfect for outdoor lovers of…Read the rest of this entry →

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Adventures in Fatherhood

Adventures in Fatherhood

Not that I ever had a heart of stone before I had kids, but ever since Cragbaby came along I’ve noticed that I turn into a sappy ball of mush at the drop of a hat when it comes to reflective songs, movies, or conversations involving the love between parent and child.  For the first 6 months post-partum I blamed it on wild hormones, but at 26 months I hardly have that excuse anymore.  It may have something to do with that old adage that having a child means that you are forever destined to wear your heart on the…Read the rest of this entry →

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Lessons Learned from the Fifth Planeteer – aka Groove is in the Heart

Lessons Learned from the Fifth Planeteer – aka Groove is in the Heart

For those of you readers that are on the other side of 30, you may remember a TV show called Captain Planet.  The heroes of this kid’s series were 5 environmental good guys, known as “planeteers,” each possessing a magic ring that controlled an element of nature (earth, wind, water, fire) that they would use in their valiant battle against pollution.  Then there was the fifth guy – his magic ring supposedly gave him the power of “Heart.”  As kids we always thought this guy was dorky – the other planeteers were all much more suave and cool.  In fact I…Read the rest of this entry →

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Sentimental Snapshots: The Weedman

Sentimental Snapshots:  The Weedman

Our household has been logging a lot of landscaping hours in recent weeks – we’ve been digging holes, planting flowers, pruning branches, and of course, pulling weeds. While Cragbaby is thankfully proving to be a fan of all yardwork, his favorite activity so far seems to be yanking up the weeds. In the interest of out new plants, this probably means that a few plant identification lessons are in order (maybe we’ll make a field guide!) I like this picture because of how happy my little guy looks amidst what most people would think of as a mundane chore at…Read the rest of this entry →

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Moms: Endurance Athletes, Superheroes, and More (plus a GIVEAWAY from CLIF!)

Moms:  Endurance Athletes, Superheroes, and More (plus a GIVEAWAY from CLIF!)

What does it mean to be a mom?  Obviously that’s a question that runs deeper that one little blog entry.  But considering that this coming weekend is Mother’s Day, I thought it would be fun to post up a few light-hearted job titles acquired by moms everywhere.  (Let this also serve as a reminder for the forgetful folks out there to make “Call your Mommy” number 1 on your to do list for Sunday…)  As you read, be thinking of something to add to the list for a chance to win a chocolate-themed prize pack from my good friends at CLIF!  SUPERHERO…Read the rest of this entry →

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A Weekend of Projects – Part 2 (Pilot Mountain)

A Weekend of Projects – Part 2 (Pilot Mountain)

I mentioned in my last post that I’d be separating the weekend out into two posts, since each day was so different from the other.  I thought it would be fun to change things up a bit, so rather than the typical play-by-play trip report, I thought I’d focus on “projects.”  For those non-climbers out there, the term “projecting” is used to describe the process that one goes through to successfully redpoint a route near or at their limit.  A route is considered “sent” (aka redpointed) when the climber is able to lead the route from bottom to top (bringing the rope up with them…Read the rest of this entry →

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Cragbaby’s First Field Guide

Cragbaby’s First Field Guide

When most people think of favorite childhood books, usually classic stories like “A Cricket in Times Square,” “Stuart Little”, and “Charlotte’s Web” come to mind.  Although I of course have fond memories of those books as well, oddly enough the most tattered books in my collection were a little more technical in nature.  As long as I can remember, I have always been a nut about field guides.  Mammals, Birds, Plants and Flowers, Rocks and Minerals, Spiders and Insects – I had a field guide for anything you could imagine almost.  But above all my very favorite one was a little purple pocket guide…Read the rest of this entry →

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Slabster’s Lament 5.12a/b – The Lament is Over…

Slabster’s Lament 5.12a/b – The Lament is Over…

Every now and then a route deserves to be memorialized by a post all to itself. In the case of Heresy (5.11c) out at the Obed, it was because of my first impression of it when I first laid eyes on it, several years before I was strong enough to even think about sending it. With Dave the Dude (5.11d), it was because the line was just that good – not only was it a classic in every sense of the word, but it was a culminating finale to a fantastic trip in the Red River Gorge, and thinking about…Read the rest of this entry →

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Tales of a Broken Talus – 7 Lessons Learned.

Tales of a Broken Talus – 7 Lessons Learned.

So it’s been 75 days since my ankle went snap, crackle, pop on an otherwise delightful winter afternoon at the crag.  Since then I have been on a rather emotional roller coaster ride of thoughts, feelings, and mental processing.  Thankfully for me however (as well as everyone who has to put up with me on a daily basis…), that roller coaster has slowed down substantially in the last few weeks as my life has slowly but surely crept back to “normal.”  Looking back throughout the recovery process, Ive realized that this whole ordeal has been quite a learning experience for me, so I…Read the rest of this entry →

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Cragbaby the Dirty Hippie

Cragbaby the Dirty Hippie

It started out innocent enough – just Cragbaby and the Mommy at Matthews-Sardis Park (which has been a long time family favorite – more on this park here).  It was a beautiful spring morning, and for the first 30 minutes we had the swings, slides, and tunnels all to ourselves as we listened to a chorus of songbirds equally as excited about the fresh air.  After a while though C’s fascination turned from the playground equipment to the tiny sliver of a creek separating the playground from the surrounding woods.    Like most toddlers, C is enamored by water.  Favorite wet and…Read the rest of this entry →

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Just a Touch of Redneck

Just a Touch of Redneck

Dear Trango, “Sorry I haven’t been able to send in any videos yet.  I’ve been too busy catching cutting edge footage of my 2 year old son being hauled by a giant radio-controlled truck.”  This post shows that our family can have fun doing more than just climbing.  Unfortunately it also proves that our family also has a bit of a redneck side, which I hadn’t really been all that aware of until I found myself agreeing that this seemed like not only a great family activity, but also a perfect video opportunity.  But what can I do?  I might…Read the rest of this entry →

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Climbing Rules! …and Regulations

Climbing Rules! …and Regulations

  Recently I was asked about how our family handles Cragbaby’s enthusiastic climbing skills in and around the house – and more specifically, in areas that aren’t safe to practice heel-hooks and fist jams.  In non-climbing families, its probably easiest to implement a few hard and fast rules.  For example – NO CLIMBING.  For obvious reasons that mixed message would cause a lot of confusion in our house.  Though we are definitely learning as we go, here are a few concepts that have proved to be helpful for us – by all means they aren’t gospel, and I am very interested…Read the rest of this entry →

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Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #4

Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #4

For those of you that want the quick version, here’s the skinny – I’m finally out of the boot! Yay! For those that want the nitty gritty, here’s the play by play… Day 31-32:  Feeling strong on the hangboard, as I’m back up to 7-10 seconds again, despite the added weight.  Today I also added weight to my offset hangs on the large  edge.  My plan is to stick with this for another week, then next week toss in another weighted bean bag.  The warm spring weather has me frustrated because I’m afraid by the time I’m back up to par it’ll be…Read the rest of this entry →

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Cragbaby Turns 2!!! (and a GIVEAWAY from Clif Kid!!!)

Cragbaby Turns 2!!! (and a GIVEAWAY from Clif Kid!!!)

I know it probably sounds cliche, but I also know that every parent knows exactly what I’m talking about – it’s so hard to believe he’s already 2!  Where did the time go?  All those days functioning on 2 hours of sleep, the all-night nursing buffets, hours of daily chores performed wearing a snuggly baby wrapped up close to my heart – some of those days seemed to literally crawl by, yet here we are, celebrating C’s 2 year birthday…So many memories, so many firsts (and lasts), it would be easy to get kinda down about my baby growing up, except that…Read the rest of this entry →

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Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #3

Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #3

  I’m hoping that this will be the last update that ends with a boot… Days 18- 20 – After the good news at my doctor’s appointment, I spent the latter part of the week exploring my newfound freedom to attempt some cardio.  Although me boot-legging my way around the neighborhood could hardly be described as heart-pumping, it at least felt good to get out.  It took me 27 minutes to walk the .85 loop, but I had zero pain, and even got stopped by a little old lady who informed me that I was “doing the right thing” by trying…Read the rest of this entry →

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PETZL Helmet Campaign – Round 2!

PETZL Helmet Campaign – Round 2!

Those of you that have been loyal readers for a while now may remember a post I did last October about my stance on helmet usage, as part of a Helmet Campaign from Petzl and their marketing guys over at Pemba Serves.  It certainly got quite the response – 107 comments even!  While I’d like to assume it was my literary prowess and creative wordsmith-ery that compelled such a reaction, in truth I must admit that it probably had more to do with the fact that Petzl was giving away a free helmet to one lucky commenter.  Excerpts of my post were melted into…Read the rest of this entry →

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10 Years: What a Long Strange Trip it’s Been…

10 Years:  What a Long Strange Trip it’s Been…

For the cynical, bitter-hearted among us, lookout – this post is dripping with sappiness! But I figured I’m allowed. Not only did I write a Valentine’s Day post that was anti-cheeseball just a few weeks ago, but today my hubby and I are celebrating 10 years of marriage!!!  I look back and 2002 seems like a lifetime ago.  In some ways it seems like the years have gone by at the speed of light (especially the past 2…), but in other ways it seems like Steve has always been a part of my life.  From playing in the nursery together,…Read the rest of this entry →

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Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #2

Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #2

It’s been an interesting week, less emotional than the first one, and with an end goal in sight that I can live with. Day 10:  Being that it was President’s Day, Steve had the day off.  Being that it was a clear, gorgeous day without a cloud in sight, the big boys all went climbing.  Of course Cragbaby incorrectly assumed that meant him too – he got really excited when he saw all the backpacks and climbing gear come out, and enthusiastically helped his Daddy load the car.  But when everyone said good bye and hopped in the car without…Read the rest of this entry →

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An End to Winter Recreation in our State Parks?

An End to Winter Recreation in our State Parks?

So I usually tend to stay out of politics, but there’s been a recent issue that’s come up that I just can’t ignore.  A lot of you North Carolinians may have seen it already, but there’s been a nasty report going around social media circles recently about NC State Parks, and the government’s latest and not-so-greatest budget-cutting ideas.  The whole report can be found here, while a short synopsis can be found here.  But for the gist of it, and my (fairly strong) opinion, read on.  (And feel free to comment – I’d love to hear everyone else’s thoughts). Basically,…Read the rest of this entry →

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Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #1

Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #1

In light of my latest footwear trend, all trip reports to climbing destinations, exotic or otherwise, will be on hiatus for a quite some time.  However, since injuries are an unfortunate and inconvenient fact of life for everyone at one time or another, I thought it might be worthwhile to document how I’m getting through this without going crazy (more or less).  I’m certainly not the only one that’s been sidelined for a while, and since writing has always been a therapeutic outlet for me, I thought that weekly injury “trip reports” might be a healthy coping mechanism, as well…Read the rest of this entry →

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A Valentine’s Day Rant

A Valentine’s Day Rant

Well, it’s Valentine’s Day everyone – the time of year where society tells men that they should shower their significant others with chocolates, flowers, and other superficial gestures in the hopes that they can build up enough good will to carry them through a year’s worth of doghouse-worthy escapades.  Florists put in 12 hour days, restaurants are booked solid, and Hallmark employees are on the verge of going postal from seeing only red and pink for the past month. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not one of those bitter romance-haters that has given up on love.  In fact, I’m quite…Read the rest of this entry →

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Sentimental Snapshots: My Little Tree Hugger

Sentimental Snapshots:  My Little Tree Hugger

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Sentimental Snapshot photo on here.  It’s just that there have been so many other exciting things going on to write about, I’ve hardly had a spare moment.  But as I was looking through my pictures the other day trying to find something specific for another piece of writing that I’m doing, I stumbled across this shot. This photo was taken this past fall, towards the end of October.  Cragbaby had just learned how to say the word “tree,” and was pretty darn excited about saying it as often as he could.  A…Read the rest of this entry →

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Sentimental Snapshots: The Stink Face

Sentimental Snapshots:  The Stink Face

Sometime in early December my little stand-up comic realized that he could get quite the reaction by furrowing his eyebrows and glaring in a rather “Omen-like” sort of way…Although he doesn’t do it as much anymore (funny how baby trends go in and out of style faster than what’s on the red carpet), C’s “stink-face”, as we christened it, was the source of quite a few dinnertime guffaws. Upon seeing the stink-face out of context, you might mistakenly assume that C is angry, frustrated, mad, or some combination of the three.  But the funny thing is that C only chooses…Read the rest of this entry →

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LEAVES! And Family Lessons.

LEAVES!  And Family Lessons.

With the climbing hiatus in effect throughout most of the holiday season, our weekends were open for more than just baking, Christmas partying, and wrapping presents.  We also took advantage of the opportunity to catch up on household maintenance jobs that get overlooked the majority of the year when our weekends are filled with vertical adventures.  One such job involves tackling large heaps of leaves and dragging them out to the street. While I realize that most folks tend to view raking leaves as a work-in-progress activity to be whittled away at throughout the fall season, our family likes to…Read the rest of this entry →

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2012 Hit List

2012 Hit List

Although a large part of what makes crag days special involves the amazing people I’m with and the spectacular setting we’re in, another big part of it for me is the personal satisfaction that comes from working towards and achieving goals that I’ve set for myself.  Sometimes those goals revolve around specific routes, grades, and/or areas, and other times they are more vague (ie, getting better at _______ technique).  Other times they are things that are personally applicable to me in my current life phase.  For example, during my pregnancy I challenged myself to see how many weeks into my…Read the rest of this entry →

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Cragbaby’s Year in Highlights!

Cragbaby’s Year in Highlights!

With all of the end of year Highlight Week talk that’s been going around our house, Cragbaby wanted in on some of the action as well.  But considering that his verbage is rather limited still (actually its more untranslatable than limited….), I thought it would be easier to share his highlights in the form of pictures and captions… 5.  An Adventure Suit – This spring Mommy got me an Adventure Suit so that I can play all day in the rain and not get wet! 4. Photography Lessons – Manuela let me be her special assistant. This will come in handy…Read the rest of this entry →

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Highlight Week Continues…with the 2011 Highlight Reel!

Highlight Week Continues…with the 2011 Highlight Reel!

Our family is grateful to have had the opportunity to get a lot of time out on the rock this past year.  In fact, we managed 5 trips to the New River Gorge, 2 trips to the Red River Gorge, 2 trips to the Obed River, 2 trips to Grayson Highlands, and of course numerous day trips to various crags across North Carolina. Its no wonder that loads of fun were had by all as 2011 played out.  In keeping with the “Highlight Week” theme, and in honor of our family’s time-honored Highlight Reel tradition, our family decided to wade through…Read the rest of this entry →

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The Hit List for 2011 – The Year in Review

The Hit List for 2011 – The Year in Review

I mentioned before Christmas that the first week in January was going to be celebrated as “Highlight Week” here at Cragmama.  It seemed appropriate to kick things off with the Hit List.  Some of you may remember  my 2011 Hit List that I published last March, where I listed 10 goals (some very specific, some rather general) that I had my sights set on for the year.  I remember at first being a bit hesitant about posting them for the world to see, since I wasn’t entirely sure that some of the objectives were even in my realm of ability.…Read the rest of this entry →

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Greatest Hits and Taking Requests

Greatest Hits and Taking Requests

In the spirit of the new year, I thought it would be a good time to do some reflecting on my site content.  So the point of this post is really two-fold – a chance to look back, as well as the opportunity to move forward… GREATEST HITS: For those of you that are relatively new Cragmama readers (or for those interested in a walk down memory lane), here’s a look back at the most popular posts over the last year.  “Popular” in this case means high traffic and a lot of overall buzz – via hits, comments, shares on…Read the rest of this entry →

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A Nativity Story

A Nativity Story

I have a very fond childhood memory of a Nativity set that belonged to my dad’s Aunt.  Every year we would spend Christmas Eve at her house, and every year I would engross myself in the little white figurines on the hearth, while I waited (sometimes not so patiently) for it to be time to open presents.  The Nativity characters were white and made out of porcelain, and had a magnificent blue velvet lining upon which they were placed.  And although they were extremely breakable and possessed a lot of sentimental value, I don’t recall ever even coming close to…Read the rest of this entry →

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Choosing an Off-season – aka The Importance of Rest

Choosing an Off-season – aka The Importance of Rest

What’s the best part about being a climber in the Southeast?  Climbing is a year round sport!  What’s the worst part about being a climber in the Southeast?  There’s no off-season… I grew up in a family that followed multiple sports – baseball, basketball, volleyball…pretty much everything but football.  (And thankfully my hubby never got into football either – which works out well since football season also brings some of the best weather weekends of the year!)  I remember that my “favorite” sport would always be whatever sport was currently in season at the time.  I remember anxiously awaiting the…Read the rest of this entry →

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Sleep in Heavenly Peace

Sleep in Heavenly Peace

This is not the first time I’ve posted a picture of Cragbaby sleeping, and it probably won’t be the last.  He’s just so darn cute when he’s sleeping!  I love the irony of an energetic toddler that’s been going 100 miles per hour all morning shift directly into sweet post-lunch snuggle session as he drifts off to dreamland.    Go, Run, Explore, Laugh, Love, Live…then, almost without warning – Stop, Relax, Breathe, Rest, Restore, Refresh. This picture was taken just a few days ago when I went in to C’s room to wake him up.  Some might accuse me of…Read the rest of this entry →

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Dave the Dude 5.11d – From a Dudette’s Perspective…

Dave the Dude 5.11d – From a Dudette’s Perspective…

While every climbing trip we take involves fun and uniqeness, not every trip contains a moment like this one.  It’s 5 days later as I write this and my heart still skips a beat when I think about this line.  When I first sat down to write up my trip report from last week’s trip to the Red, I knew Dave the Dude deserved way more love than a brief mention in a weekend recap, so I decided to memorialize it as a Classic Climb. Just like the old adage that says you can’t judge a book by its cover,…Read the rest of this entry →

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Name that Caption: Dirty Bit

Name that Caption: Dirty Bit

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Name that Caption post.  And, if you’re interested, April M. was the winner of the last one: “A Slightly Awkward Picture with a Pumpkin.”  (April, contact me and I’ll hook you up with a Cragmama sticker if you’d like!)  Anyway, today’s photo was actually taken this past May, while Cragbaby was snoozing at the  crag during the New River Rendezvous. I like this picture because I feel like it captures my little guy’s free spirit.  Play hard, sleep hard – you could call it his motto even.  He’s never been one to pay…Read the rest of this entry →

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The Highlight Reel…

The Highlight Reel…

If you’ve ever climbed with our family, then you’ve probably experienced the end of day mental pat on the back otherwise known as The Highlight Reel. It’s a long time tradition that Steve and I established years ago, back when we first started climbing. At first it was just something we talked about with each other on the way home from the crag. We gradually introduced it to our other climbing partners and it just sort of took on a life of its own… Here’s how it works. After a hopefully long and fun-filled day at the crag, each person…Read the rest of this entry →

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5 Reasons for Families to Get Active – and some scary statistics!

5 Reasons for Families to Get Active – and some scary statistics!

It seems as though I’ve been on a family kick recently with my Green Hour posts, both immediate and extended family.  Ironically, however, I have also had a lot of conversations recently with parents of children who would rather stay inside and watch other people play sports than actually get outdoors and do something active themselves.  In addition to being just plain sad, I also found this both disturbing and odd, especially considering how many nature resources and sports programs are available for kids of all ages these days.  It prompted me to research a little further… It seems like…Read the rest of this entry →

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Life Lessons Learned on a Slackline

Life Lessons Learned on a Slackline

A slackline is really an interesting idea.  Very popular amongst the climbing community, and more or less unknown to everyone else.  The concept is quite simple in theory – picture a circus with a tightrope walker high above the spectators, hands out to the sides, balancing her way across the rope to the other side.  Now, take out the “tight” part and picture the same person walking across a piece of webbing about an inch wide, as the webbing sags low underneath their weight and wobbles from side to side.  Welcome to the curious world of slacklining. Invented by a…Read the rest of this entry →

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Helmets – Heck No or Essential Pro? (and a GIVEAWAY!!!)

Helmets – Heck No or Essential Pro? (and a GIVEAWAY!!!)

This is a post about brain buckets, aka helmets.  And guess what – in honor of Petzl’s October Helmet Campaign, I’ve been authorized to sponsor a free giveaway of a Petzl Elia  or Elios (winner’s choice) to one lucky reader, courtesy of the folks over at Pemba Serves.  Interested?  Read on… The majority of climbers have helmets – the real question is does it ever end up on your head, or is it merely dead weight in your backpack?  The subject of helmets can be a controversial one for some climbers – it seems as though there are two extremes,…Read the rest of this entry →

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Name that Caption: A Slightly Awkward Picture with a Pumpkin…

Name that Caption: A Slightly Awkward Picture with a Pumpkin…

***A few of you got a sneak peek at this post earlier in the week, when it accidentally went out to my email subscriber list on Monday.  For those of you that read it before I got a chance to “unpublish” it, you’ve had time to think up a great caption all week, so I’m expecting great things! Many thanks to all who participated in the last “Name that Caption.”  Grace Chu was the popular winner, although in my opinion Nicole H was a close second…  So today’s pic has an interesting back story that technically began long before we…Read the rest of this entry →

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What Corner of the Earth Smiles at YOU?

What Corner of the Earth Smiles at YOU?

“This corner of the earth is like me in many ways I can sit for hours here and watch the emerald feathers play On the face of it I’m blessed when the sunlight comes for free I know this corner of the earth, it smiles at me.” – Jamiroquai Perhaps I’m dating myself a bit by admitting this, but one of my favorite musicians is British acid jazz/funk guru Jamiroquai.  In fact, as I wrote this I imagined everyone reading this post pensively while listening to the song in question in the background, but then I realized that would out…Read the rest of this entry →

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Name that Caption: The Helmet Head Photoshoot

Name that Caption:  The Helmet Head Photoshoot

It’s been a while since I’ve had a Name That Caption post, but although I’m admittedly biased, I do think today’s is pretty darn cute.  This was taken a couple of months ago on a climbing trip to the New River Gorge in West Virginia.  The ever observant Cragbaby has taken an interest in head pieces – climbing helmets, bicycle helmets, sun hats, and of course tupperware containers.  His usual M.O. is to put it over his face first, give a long, echoing shout (a little reminiscent of a dinosaur roar, actually), and then put it on his head, usually…Read the rest of this entry →

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Exposure On and Off the Rock

Cragmama

In looking for relevant posts to use while out of town, I stumbled across this post I did a couple of years ago on exposure.  Even though I ended up not using it while I was in Michigan, I felt like it still applied, so I tweaked it a little, and voila! Exposure is a commonly used term in rock climbing that might not be familiar to those outside of the sport. I found an online dictionary that defined it as “being in a situation in which you are very aware that you are high off the ground.” In other…Read the rest of this entry →

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In Celebration of World Breastfeeding Week

In Celebration of World Breastfeeding Week

In case you weren’t aware, this week is World Breastfeeding Week, which is meaningful for our family since Cragbaby is 16 months old and still nursing away with no signs of stopping.  So to celebrate, I wanted to do a post about breastfeeding – but not about the benefits of toddler breastfeeding, or how to find support in your area (you can find a lot of that information here, however).  My intent is not to judge those that formula feed, nor is it to  sound preachy towards folks that breastfeed for longer or shorter time than we have.  Everyone is free to make their own decisions about what is best…Read the rest of this entry →

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What Can Your Earth-Suit Do (aka Perceptions on Body Image)

What Can Your Earth-Suit Do (aka Perceptions on Body Image)

  I think most of us tend to focus on what our body is and what it isn’t.  That’s how I used to think anyway, especially a few lifetimes ago back when I was a personal trainer at a gym filled with a bunch of testosterone-driven meatheads…For example – my body IS/ISN’T able to fit into those jeans today.  My body IS/ISN’T as pretty as that girl at the gym.  My body IS this, it ISN’T that – put in your own words, I’m sure you have some. One of the first things I noticed when I started climbing was…Read the rest of this entry →

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Sentimental Snapshots: Walk Like a Camel

Sentimental Snapshots: Walk Like a Camel

Today’s Sentimental Snapshot is brought to you from the archives of summer 2005, when Steve and I took a trip to Morocco.  We were blessed with the opportunity to hand-deliver care packages to several American families serving as volunteers all over the country – and of course we couldn’t help but find a little adventure along the way!  We ferried our way from Spain into the port-city of Tangier (breaking every guidebook’s rule about not arriving after dark…), and wandered around the funky cold medinas of Fez and Meknes before working our way south through Ifran to Merzouga, a gateway town to the Sahara Desert. …Read the rest of this entry →

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The Heresy Saga

The Heresy Saga

At some point I think most climbers develop what I like to think of as “Daydream Projects” – routes that for whatever reason, almost seem to call your name.  Maybe its because the route is particularly aesthetic or has a famed notoriety associated with it.  Perhaps the route speaks to you because you know it will  push either your mental or physical abilities (or both!).  Or maybe you keep obsessing over it because you’ve gotten on it so many times and keep falling off at the same dang spot.  You have a connection to the route on a personal level.  You rehearse the crux…Read the rest of this entry →

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Sentimental Snapshots: Hoop Dreams

Sentimental Snapshots: Hoop Dreams

Its “Name that Caption” time again everyone!  First things first – the award for last week’s best caption goes to Nina Arnold, a fellow Firefly Sportess athlete.   Once again I don’t have anything to give as a prize, although I will say that I’m looking into having “Cragmama” logo stickers made…but back to today’s photograph.  This one is a super cute shot of a little guy that I’m especially fond of. This was taken last weekend at C’s grandparent’s house.  A bunch of family had flown in for a wedding shower (congrats to C’s Uncle Dave and Aunt Allyssa!)…Read the rest of this entry →

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Sentimental Snapshots: Happy Campers!

Sentimental Snapshots: Happy Campers!

This week marks the anniversary of Cragbaby’s first camping adventure! He had just turned 10 weeks old, and we spent three days and three nights climbing and camping at the New River Gorge, West Virginia.  (To read about that particular adventure, click here).  In some ways it seems like that experience was forever ago, and in other ways, it seems like its hardly been a month or so ago that C was that small!  Just like most things concerning parenting, there is a learning curve when it comes to babies in the wild, and we certainly made our fair share…Read the rest of this entry →

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Don’t Forget to Look Out!

Don’t Forget to Look Out!

  I’m a little better about it now, but when I first started climbing outdoors, I was notorious for climbing to the top of a route, getting lowered down, and then proceed to hear every person that climbed after me rave about the spectacular view they had when they turned around to take in the gorgeous views of the world around them.  I would tell myself as I was tying in and putting my shoes on, “Make sure you look out this time,” and invariably, it would not come to my mind again until I was back on the ground untying…Read the rest of this entry →

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Sentimental Snapshots: Raising the Roof?

Sentimental Snapshots: Raising the Roof?

Ok friends, its time for another rousing game of “Name that Caption.” Oh and by the way, thanks to all who commented on the last Sentimental Snapshot – but I think the gold medal must go to Kevin Jordan from Take a Hike GPS for absolutely nailing it with his roadrunner/coyote comment!  Maybe I should start a giveaway for the best caption…but for now, I guess all I can do is give him a website plug!  So here’s today’s caption challenge… Name that caption… The background is spectacular, right? This shot was taken at the Mass Production Wall along the…Read the rest of this entry →

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Sentimental Snapshots: Roll Your Own (Boulders)

Sentimental Snapshots: Roll Your Own (Boulders)

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Sentimental Snapshots post, and when I came across this picture, it made me laugh and brought back so many happy memories that I had to use it. It was taken in August of 2008 when Steve and I flew north for the summer to Squamish, British Columbia in an attempt to escape the sweltering heat and humidity of the Southeast. Squamish is a special place for us because its where we first learned to climb outdoors, on a “rest day” from a Whistler ski trip in March of 2006. We spent that first day with…Read the rest of this entry →

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A Perspective on Risk Assessment

A Perspective on Risk Assessment

“Do you take less risks in climbing now that you’re a mom?”  If I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me this since Cragbaby entered on the scene…well let’s face it, I wouldn’t be rich, but I would definitely be able to buy more $4 frappucinnos at Starbucks!  The funny thing is, I never really feel like I have a good answer for this question.  I feel like the “correct” answer is, “Yes, the responsibility of raising a little person has made me less risky of a climber.”  But if I’m being honest, I don’t really think much…Read the rest of this entry →

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Sentimental Snapshots: “Fun-ctional Travel”

Cragmama

In years past we’ve always tried to tack on a longer (think plane flight, not road trip) destination to our climbing plans at least once or twice a year. We are pretty enterprising (or cheap, depending on how you look at it) when it comes to turning pre-set plans into climbing trips – a business trip to Las Vegas can easily become a long weekend in Red Rock Canyon, just like a family vacation to Yellowstone National Park can quickly extend into an extra week of climbing in Utah! For today’s Sentimental Snapshot, I decided to use a video from…Read the rest of this entry →

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Sentimental Snapshots: Unlikely Fun (In Honor of the Rain!)

Sentimental Snapshots: Unlikely Fun (In Honor of the Rain!)

Today’s Sentimental Snapshot required more digging around through the archives than any of the previous ones -even though its recent, it seemed relevant in light of all the wet and wild weather we’ve been having recently! It was taken back in 2005, on a Lineberry family trip to New Zealand.   My brother-in-law, Brent, had been living there for several months after graduating from college, so we all thought a Christmas visit was in order. We traveled all around the South Island – hikes, jetboats, bungee jumps, kayaks, glaciers, penguins, sea lions…It was an amazing trip filled with adventure! Oddly enough, one…Read the rest of this entry →

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In Praise of Cloth

In Praise of Cloth

In my last Cragbaby post, I mentioned that our family uses cloth diapers.  I’ve received a few questions about it and decided there was enough interest to warrant a separate blog post.  It is something that I felt pretty strongly about before C was even born, but now that we’ve survived a full year almost completely disposable-free (except for the first week before the cord fell off and a time or two at the doctor when I forgot an extra…), I feel even more passionate about the merits of cloth.  But why on earth would anyone choose cloth over the “convenience” of…Read the rest of this entry →

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The Hit List for 2011…

The Hit List for 2011…

Now that the weather has been so nice, we’ve been starting to line up some climbing trips for the coming months. Since our move to Charlotte a few weeks ago, we are getting pretty psyched about being so much closer to the rock. I’ve decided to put all of this newfound mental energy to good use and come up with a 2011 Hit List. I hesitate to call it a “Project List” because I don’t want to take it too seriously. I dont want to get caught up in the the overtraining, number-chasing, and ego-driven mentality that so many folks…Read the rest of this entry →

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Sentimental Snapshots: Happy Birthday Cragbaby!

Sentimental Snapshots: Happy Birthday Cragbaby!

So I had another post all written and prepared for this week’s Sentimental Snapshot…but today is Cragbaby’s birthday and it didn’t seem right to have another picture up here on this milestone day!  I can’t thank God enough for the wonderful gift that C has been to us.  It’s hard to wrap my brain around the fact that a year ago at this time Steve and I were heading to the hospital!  For anyone that might be interested in the play by play of that day, you can check out Canaan’s Birth Story here.   This is one of my…Read the rest of this entry →

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Sentimental Snapshots: Put Adventure on Your Calendar!

Sentimental Snapshots: Put Adventure on Your Calendar!

At first glance this picture seems a little cliche – crazy climber parents posing their 3 month old in front of a guidebook! Cute, yes! Inspiring, not so much…But if you look a little deeper, I think this picture can represent something that a lot of adults in our society are missing out on – planned adventure!  Let’s face it – most of us lead very scheduled, busy lives. Sometimes there’s just not any time (or energy!) left for anything adventurous. Or, if you do happen upon some free time, you spend the whole time trying to decide what you’re…Read the rest of this entry →

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Sentimental Snapshots: The Urban Jungle

Sentimental Snapshots: The Urban Jungle

Since I started climbing in 2006, I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to climb in so many spectacular different settings – from the sharp-angled limestone of El Potrero Chico to the steep, intimidating granite on the Chief in British Columbia.  However, one of the more interesting scenery came from an unlikely place – Manchester Bridge in Richmond, Virginia.  This climbing area is right in the middle of downtown Richmond, and is basically a series of abandoned train trestles that have been equipped with bolts and shutts.   I like how this picture shows that you can find a corner…Read the rest of this entry →

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Sentimental Snapshot: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Sentimental Snapshot:  Looking Back and Looking Forward

As I was digging around on my computer the other day trying to find miscellaneous pics for future cragbaby posts, I realized that I literally have thousands upon thousands of photos and video clips from various trips we’ve been on over the years.  I’ve decided to add an experimental category of posts to my blog – Sentimental Snapshots.  Once or twice a week (but don’t hold me to it…), I’ll post either a photo or a video from “back in the day”.  Some might represent a special memory, an important milestone, or maybe just a beautiful outdoor setting –  but all will tell a story…Read the rest of this entry →

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Canaan’s Birth Story

Canaan’s Birth Story

This is the story of how Canaan Ray Lineberry entered the world.  On Friday, March 19th, I finished my last day at Chesterbrook Academy, and was ready to enjoy two full weeks off before my due date.  Folks kept asking me what I was going to do with all that time off, and I jokingly would say that there’s no way the little guy was gonna let me have two weeks all to myself.  Steve predicted that I would go into labor at 4:00 Friday afternoon, right when I got off of work.  I was a little more cynical, and…Read the rest of this entry →

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Exposure = risk realized, but not increased

Exposure = risk realized, but not increased

Exposure is a commonly used term in rock climbing.  I found an online dictionary that defined it as “being in a situation in which you are very aware that you are high off the ground.”  In other words, standing on a large summit that is capped by lots of soil and very tall, thick trees would not be considered as exposed as a summit consisting of a 3 foot wide pinnacle several hundred feet off the deck.  A steep route traversing across a narrow ridge would be more exposed than a route that meanders up a low-angle slab.  Exposure typically intensifies a…Read the rest of this entry →

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Gaping Similarities, not Petty Differences

Gaping Similarities, not Petty Differences

So in my last post, I mentioned that we made some new friends at Pies n Pints during our visit to the New last weekend.  We overheard the couple at the table next to ours talking about their day at the Bridge Buttress, another New River Gorge climbing area, so we decided to see what routes they had gotten on.  We ended up talking to them the rest of the time while we ate – Josh and Erin were their names, and they were from Johnson City, TN.  We compared notes on our activities from the day, discussed our plans…Read the rest of this entry →

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Risks and Consequences.

Risks and Consequences.

It has been a sad week in the world of climbing.  The climbing community suffered a loss of a legend this past weekend.  On Sunday, July 5th, John Bachar fell to his death while free soloing in Mammoth, California.  If you don’t know who he is, you can click on the link to find a quick bio, but this guy was one of the greatest climbers of all time, some might argue THE greatest.  This tragic event combined with my injury a couple of weeks ago in Utah brings to the forefront an issue that most climbers don’t like to…Read the rest of this entry →

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Faith, Rock, and Gear…

Faith, Rock, and Gear…

This morning I was meditating on the idea of God being an “everlasting rock”, and I was again struck with the similarities that that spiritual concept had with my favorite hobby. This is a personal excerpt from my journal, so its a little on the deep side, so bear with me… 🙂 “Putting my trust in an Everlasting God is a little like doing a really hard trad route with bomber gear placements on perfect rock. I know the protection is sound, so I’m not afraid to keep going, even if it gets hard and I think I might fall. Just…Read the rest of this entry →

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