A Breath of Fresh Air


It feels like a dream.This past summer my family and I went to Yosemite for 5 weeks, while my husband worked there! A lot of people asked? Wait, you’re going to be in the mountains? Are the kids going to be at camp? Will you be able to go out? How are you going not make it that long without a break? 

Well let me tell you… we made it! 

Lower Yosemite Falls

Now don’t get me wrong— there were a few tears, some yelling and falling off the floor screaming.  But that is not to take away from the most 

Incredible views and adventures that we experienced while we were there.  Truth be told, the outdoors is good for the soul! Not only for us as adults, but for our kids too.  I found when the meltdowns (for everyone) would happen, we were inside the car or inside the house.  When we were outside, it was seriously a breath of fresh air.

A typical day, we would wake up, pack the car up for the day and drive a nice 45 minutes to Yosemite National Park.  We were fortunate to have a house in the mountains, but were still a distance from the park. As we drove, all you could see were rivers, trees, and the most beautiful mountains. There were a few fruit stands and hotels— oh and some wildlife.  

The kids had activities int he car, but I would mostly find my son dazing out the window asking about the outdoors.  When we arrived at the park, we would find a spot and park–make sure we had all the snacks in the world, sunscreen, wipes and well the basics!

Then the walks and the hiking would begin! And let me tell you, these kids would hike! Laila would be wearing a dress (which I did not want her to wear, but did not want to pick the fight) and Miles would wear his new running shoes (even though I had bought him hiking shoes).  These kids. They would lead the way and enjoy every second. They would find new bugs, walking sticks, learn how to pee on a tree, walk through water and as they like to say, “they have never been so high.”

Most of the time my heart would be beating out of my chest, because these kids have no fear! But gosh, it made me happy! I was so proud of them, and so proud of myself for stepping out of our comfort zone and finding fun things to do OUTSIDE!

I have a lot of favorite memories from this summer– between the dancing in the forest with the townies, eating peanut butter and jelly next to the waterfall, laying around the river and the only thing around us were mountains and showing our kids where mom and dad got engaged!

I am so fortunate to say that we have seen views that people dream of seeing and that everyone should see in their lifetime.

Now that we are back in Dallas, it was somewhat of a culture shock.  We have tried, my husband especially, to be enjoy the outside as much as possible (even though its blistering hot).  We go fishing, take walks, check out fun outdoor “hiking” trails, enjoy the pool and play in the backyard.

I recommend to everyone, go outside and enjoy it.  Take a deep breath of fresh air.  I know we don’t have the mountains to enjoy– but there are beautiful parts of Dallas, and if anything take a walk! We all need that fresh air! And if you get the chance to visit Yosemite National Park– don’t hesitate, just go!!


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Liz is a mom to Miles (April 2014) and Laila (July 2016) and has been married to her husband Daniel for 6 years. She was born and raised in Dallas, leaving for about 8 years to receive her Psychology and Criminal Justice degree from Indiana University, and later her Master's degree from National Louis-Chicago to follow her dreams in becoming a teacher. After meeting (more like bumping into a blast from the past) her middle school crush on an American Airlines flight in 2009, they became engaged shortly after and moved back to Dallas. They now live in the same neighborhood Liz grew up in. She enjoys movie date nights with her hubby, vacationing at Target (sans kids), family fun days, Bachelor night with her girlfriends and just started a hip hop class. Her New Year’s resolution was to drink more red wine—and has been successful. And let's not forget her favorite pastime, overposting her fun-loving kids on social media. You can find those pictures on Instagram at @lizbracken2219.


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