Dec 24, 2011

The Best Gift!

Normally two of my favorte smells are a crackling fire and freshly brewed coffee. However, presently, if you come within 10 yards of me with a cup of coffee in your hand I will likely grab said coffee from your hand and fling it out the nearest window...mug and all. And if I even so much as drive past your house and a waft of woodstove smoke manages to seep into my car I shall no doubt curse your name.

NO, I'm not losing it. I'm carrying the best gift of all this Christmas, a new little baby due to arrive in July!!!! It has been a long two year wait, along with three rounds of clomid which literally made me feel INSANE and whos crazy hormone elevating effects have made for a horribly sick momma this first trimester...but it is beyond worth it to be able to announce this news and we are over the moon!

Some of those two years I was patient, content, trusting and at peace. But I'll be honest, other times I was bitter, upset, sad and depressed. It was much the same rollercoaster of life and faith that we faced in our almost three year wait to get pregnant with our beautiful little Ella. No matter which phase I was in at the moment I would constantly repeat that God was in contorl, His will and His timing were perfect, and whatever would be was what was supposed to be. Sometime I believed myself when I said it and sometimes I didn't. But here I stand, growing a new little life inside of me (that honestly at times feels like it's sucking the life out of me :) and I am beyond thankful for every second of it.

I'm coming right up on 12 weeks. We truly, truly, truly covet your prayers for a full term pregnancy and a happy, healthy little love in the new year!

Rejoicing and praising God for this and so many other answered prayers this year. May you and yours have a blessed Christmas!!!

Dec 22, 2011

What A Difference A Year Makes!

This morning Ella went from dead sleep to wide awake yelling, "MOM! I CAN SWIM ALL BY MYSELF JUST LIKE EMMA!!!" She then proceeded to run downstairs to our room and show me by hurling herself headlong onto my bed and kicking and paddling with all her might. She insisted that I had a video on my iPhone of her swimming with Emma and then going to sleep. I tried to explains dreams to no avail. The child is still searching for the video as I write.

Good thing it's time to sign up for our 3 months at the Y and take our winter swim class! We downed some breakfast, dug out our suits and hit the road for some free swim. This girl was OVER the MOON excited! And in the pool she swam (with her bubble), twirled, did blast offs and blew bubbles ALL BY HERSELF. There was much laughter and giggles and NO uncontrollable screaming. Oh what a difference a year makes! You can read about what I mean in this post entitled Voluntary Torture if you missed this joy of a post last year.

I also purchased her a swimming floatie belt thing where you can remove one foam peice at time as she gets better and better until she needs no help at all. And somewhere between the Y and home my daughter has combined the two terms bubble and floatie and now calls her colorful swim aid a "boobie". This term elicited such raucus laughter from me when it first came out of her mouth that I fear I shall never convince her to call it anything else.
Well, we're all signed up and ready to rock the Parent and Pike class in the new year...boobie and all!

Dec 15, 2011

Long Time No Post

I know it's been FOREVER and a day since I've posted. So naturally I'll start out with pictures of Ella and the happenings over the last few months. I'll also throw in some Ella quotes as well, because they're just so dang cute!
Upon returning from her 3 year well child check up and talking about her new doctor, "Dad! He didn't shoot me!"
"I built a tower but it wasn't very impressive so I knocked it down."
"That is the end of discussion. Okay mom?" (after any sentence really. Apparantly I say this to her a lot...because she's an expert staller and negotiator!) We took a trip to see Auntie Jen and Uncle Greg and Ella took her first rides! We celebrated her third Birthday with both sides of the family. While she loves the presents and cake, she is very much not a fan of being the center of attention and generally hides under the table when being sung to or asked to blow out the candles :) Auntie Jen got this helmet for her and she wore it around the whole time. Good thing she likes it because I'm teaching her how to ski this winter! We bought her boots and grandma bought her skis! She's quite into decorating the house and tree for Christmas and she loves listening to Christmas music! Don't be alarmed if in the middle of belting out Jingle Bells she adds in that Jesus died for you and me. She's putting it all together and it's a joy to see/hear. Here she is supervising daddy cutting down our fat fatty Christmas tree this year (funny stories to go along with that...but maybe another day. She also took her toy saw and "cut down the tree" herself....along with every thing else in the house. I believe she cut down the chair, table, stairway, nightstand, bed etc. etc. Such a cutie!

Nov 12, 2011

Nature's Confetti

There was clearly cause to celebrate in the universe today

The wind was whipping wildly

leaves were breaking free

sunlight glinted metallic off their wet whirling twirling bodies

and they floated through the air

like natures confetti

what a sight to see

Nov 2, 2011

Fun Fall Crafts

Oh my, haven't we been having fun crafting! Ella asks everyday, "Can I have a craft mommy?" "Let's do a craft!" and then during her playtime she plays that she's making crafts. Between learning time, library story times and our other mornings, we do a craft pretty much every day. I'm so glad that we have these times together and I'm so glad that she loves being creative.
If you don't craft with your children, I beg of you, please do! There are SO many fun and inexpensive crafts to do all year long. It gets rid of boredom, opens up creativity, builds their mind and motor skills and creates lasting memories!
Here's what we've been up to!

The Thankful Tree! We tromped through the woods and found branches to make our thankful tree. Ella adores the tree and the whole process more than I had every imagined. At dinner time we each say something we're thankful for. Then I write them down on construction paper leaves and we hang them from the tree with green yarn. We do it at lunch with her little friend that I watch two days a week as well. It's such a great way to cultivate an attitude of gratitude and it's so festive looking too! Just imagine how beautiful it will look at the end of November!? "Beds," leave it to our littles to remind us to be thankful for the things we often take for granted. "Walks in the woods to see the deer tracks."Oh how delighted she was to find fresh deer prints, deer lays and deer poop in the snow in the trail just behind our house. By five she'll be an expert tracker!Window Leaves! Cut leaf shapes out of cardstock. Tape to window with painters tape. Dip sponges in tempura paint and stamp away. Who ever would have thought I'd let my kiddo paint my windows. But it is so fun and so festive! She loves peeking out the leaf holes!

Leaf Garland! On our little tromp through the woods we also picked up any leaves we liked the looks of. We brought them and and dried and pressed them between paper towels. Then I laminated them with contact paper and punched a hole in each. I grabbed my crochet hook and whipped out a chain made of green yarn and strung up this garland!Ella had a slightly different idea...look at this "mobile for baby" she came up with all on her own! It now rests over baby's crib!
Happy crafting to you!

Nov 1, 2011

Life Lesson: Always check your church bulletin before chucking it.

The great thing about following Dave Ramsey's plan is that we're getting out of debt. The great thing about setting a budget, taking cash out each paycheck and ONLY paying in cash is that you really CAN'T go over budget!

The bad things about only paying in cash is that if you accidently happen to throw your "gas money"envelope containing $110 into the're pretty much out of luck.

Yes, this may sound like a classic Jason move...but I have to was me. I've learned some valuable lessons here. ALWAYS check inside your church bulletin before chucking it. AND always recycle, because if you throw the church bulletin (also containing the gas money enevelope because the envelope was in my purse and my church bulletin was in my purse and apparantly the two got tangled together whilst jostling about in my purse) into the trash with nasty chicken trimmings in it and then your hubby takes the trash end up rummaging through really cold, really rancid trash to find your money.


Cutest Monkey Ever

Back in September when our pumpkins were turning orange and we started to talk about carving them on Halloween, my little one announced that she wanted to be Curious George. She's pretty in love with curious george episodes on TV and I love them for her as well. The pictures aren't great because my iPhone doesn't have a flash, but here's the cutest little monkey I've ever seen! Last year we went to trunk or treat at our church. But with 3,000-4,000 people streaming through in a two hour window (yes you read that's a huge event!) it was just too much for Ella. She was tense and afraid and crying. So we changed it up this year. We went over to our friend's house. And it just so happens that our friend's daughter is the same age as Ella and one of Ella's best friends. We pulled the two of them in a wagon around the small loop road and Ella absolutelyADORED it! She usually sings or babbles herself to sleep at night. Last night all we heard on the monitor until she drifted off was, "Trick or treat! Thank-you. Trick or treat! Thank-you...." Then she woke up this morning saying, "I want to go trick or treating with baby." "I want to go to Halloween again!"

A Fall Crock Pot Party in the Snow!

Our friends Megan and Dave threw a fall crock pot party this past Saturday. (I really wish I had pictures, but we were just having to much fun to snap any!) The idea is genius! Everyone brings a warm, toasty crockpot dish. The held it in their barn, strung lights, decked it out with fall decor and threw a few heaters in there in case it was a little chilly....

Well case you don't remember...Saturday, Oct. 29th, is when we got 10 inches of snow! But let me tell you, that made it even better! After filling our bellies, we threw on snow gear, caught fat flakes on our tongues, made snowmen and snow angels, played on the swingset, took a walk in the white wood at night and the bonfire looked brilliant against the crisply fallen background. I cannot use any other word to describe the night. It was magical!

We lost power that night and Sunday morning Jason went up and got Ella. She camp plodding down the stairs, heavy footed as usual, saying "Mommy! Mommy! The power is not in. A tree fell on the power so we can't turn the lights on and we can't flush the toilet!" Oh how I love her!

There's nothing like a good old fashioned power outage to reset a right perspective in my heart. I was so thankful for our woodstove, for cell phones, for a coleman stove by which to heat water for toasty beverages. As I washed up with a bowl full of warm water I thought about how many people in this world don't have running water...ever. We are SO blessed! If you live in America...even if you are are wealthier than much of the world and have so many luxuries...yes luxuries that others do not! Oh what a great way to start of this season of thanksgiving!

First service at church was canceled so we spent a lazy morning by the woodstove (so THANKFUL for that!) drinking hot cocoa and eating oatmeal, and of course...playing in the snow! We headed to church and right when we walked back in the door home, the power came back on!Once again, blessed. Here are some photos of my little snow angel and snowman!

The Kolvoord Petting Zoo

A few weekends ago Ella and made the trip up to my sister's. Ella was a huge fan. Jen and Greg have three chickens, two goats, and a quarterhorse at their house. I'm pretty sure Ella thought it was her very own personal petting zoo. She loved seeing all the animals and pretty much wanted to feed them constantly.

Saturday morning we took a trip with Uncle Greg up to the Maine Jump. Crazy on a Saturday, but really fun and Ella did really well considering how loud it was and how many children were there.

Then after a much needed nap, Ella got to go riding! Over the years she has been pretty afraid of horses. She loves them in theory but when she gets next to one of any size she kind of freaks. But that all turned around this year! First she warmed up with a ride on Janie with Auntie Jen. Jen got Janie when she was 12 maybe? Janie is in her 30's I believe, and totally bombproof. She also does tricks...says please, gives kisses and shakes. She's only 14.3, but to Ella that's pretty big and she did awesome. Then we headed over to a barn where Jen keeps another one of her horses. This also happens to be the farm where I grew up going to summer riding camp, so it was very sweet to have my daughter take her very first solo ride here. Jen tacked up Frosty, and away she went. Seriously, to anyone who knows anything about English riding, just look at her form! Perfect :) She's a natural.
Waving to the camera!And if you're wondering if the trip made a lasting impression....well lets just say, at Ella's instance, I've been building, "Jamies" and "Srosties" out of legos for a week. Notice baby riding Janie in the background.
"Jamie needs a blankie because she wears one when she's cold". True."Jamie and Srosty."

Oct 29, 2011

Marketbasket Mayhem!

We were running quite low on groceries...but payday wasn't until Friday and we'd already spent all of our grocery I decided to go shopping today...Saturday...bad idea. REALLY bad idea.

I expected Saturday to be pretty busy but, for those of you that don't live in this neck of the woods, we're predicted to get 6-10 inches of snow tonight! (Yes you read that right.) Apparantly today was SOOOOOOOO not the day to pick to go shopping.

When there were no carts in the return carosels in the parking lot and upon entering Marketbasket there were no carts inside either and I had to wait in a 6 person deep line just to get a cart....I should have just gone home. (And that was the situation even though they had 6 guys 100% devoted to trolling the parking lot and bringing in empty carts as soon as you picked your last grocery bag up out of it. I swear, they were like hungry grocery cart vultures!) Seriously people? We live in MAINE/NH. We're getting 6-10 inches of snow followed by days of 50 degree weather. I think we'll be okay. think you'll be able to get out of your house. I think the world will continue to spin on it's axos. You'd think it was the freaking Apocolypse or something!

But, gosh darn it, we have a family fall crockpot party to go to tonight and if I was going to brave that mess for spinach artichoke dip fixin's, I may as well just get my whole list's worth. I put on my BEST, most cheerful, most patient attitude and braved the mayhem with a sense of humor.

It was PURE insanity. It was a maze of carts that had to be maneuvered through at a snails pace. And the check-out lines? They looked a lot like this...but WORSE. (I swear if I'd remembered that my new iPhone can take photose, I would have totally taken and actual picture for you! THAT is how un-techy I am.) They had EVERY single line open and double baggers at EVERY single register. And each line at each register was still AT LEAST 6 people deep! I have NEVER seen anything like it.

And to my husband, who claims that Marketbasket is "ghetto", I have this to say. They were fully staffed, no super staffed, no uber staffed. They were staffed right out the wazoo. And EVERY employee was upbeat, kind and helpful. While looking for baguettes in a well picked over bakery section, the baker saw my woe and came out and told me he had fresh ones baking and he'd set two aside for me. A helpful deli person came right out from behind the deli and led me to the aisle with artichoke hearts. And the cashier was simply delightful even though she'd been there since 7am. AND you can still get one gazillion groceries for like $1.50. (I'm not even kidding. For all of my friends that don't have a Marketbasket close by and are stuck with shopnsave, shaws, and walmart...I pity you. I really do. If you had a Marketbasket near you, I swear you'd save 1 million dollars a year and eat like kings.) So if that's ghetto, then I, for one, LOVE ghetto.

Oct 25, 2011


Do you have spots in your home that just drive you nuts? They're little so you put them off and put them off, until one day you just can't take it anymore!? Well I do. They're mostly closets and drawers.

But this one is our kitchen counter. I hung a basket up for mail, but papers just seemed to abound on the counter anyway. My measly attempt to contain phones, cameras, charger, keys and sunglasses, was a basket that ended up looking more like a rats nest and causing reeking more havoc than doing good. Here's what it looked like...and this is kind of neat compared to what it usually looks like. Oh man, that tangled basket of wires would keep me up at night!
Yesterday I just couldn't take it anmore. So I did something about it...for free. I used fabric that I had and left over dowels from my puppet theater project. I just need a fabric pen to lab the slots with, but THIS was my inspiration and this is what it ended up looking like. THIS is also a cool idea, which I may end up using for office or junk drawer things, but it would cost me money and again, it would be on the counter. I'm IN LOVE with wide open, clear, clean counter. It's like heaven to me!

Also, THIS is one of my new fave organizing websites. Yes, I think the woman has unlimited funds, but such great inspiration!

Frugal Me

I swear when the cold sets in I just start getting the crafting bug. Money is always tight around here. It's a sacrifice that we stive to embrace. It's the byproduct of us chosing for me to stay at home and of us chosing to aggressively get out of debt. (And I might add that, other than our house, we've not purchased anything by credit since we cut up our card back in 2007!) It's worth it!

But the Holidays are upon us and it's an expensive time of year. We never buy more than one gift for each person, and just a handful for Ella, because we don't want Christmas to be all about presents. But even so, I'm all about way to be frugal! So I'm finding lots of neat stuff to make for super cheap. I just made this doorway puppet theater for Ella. I spent $10 and change on ALL the materials! (I've seen handmade ones just like it going for $65 on Etsy.) I just picked up some felt and I'm going to make her puppets out of those! Very fun to fulfill my creative side and very frugal to save our budget!

Oct 22, 2011

Both Are Going Home

"Dear God, tank-you for aunt Karen and baby Jude. Please heal their boo-boos off. In Jesus name. Amen." This is the prayer that Ella has prayed literally every single night since we first found out about baby Jude and my Aunt Karen. She has never before taken such an interest. She asks to see pictures and videos of them each day. Until now, her prayers have been just her repeating after us and maybe telling God a few things she did that day. But she has prayed that prayer every night, on her own, unprompted by us. In fact, she sometimes reminds us.

She would ask me to play the videos of baby Jude over and over. She would say, "Mama, pray for him. No touch him. Touch all his boo-boos and pray for him." And so there we would sit. My laying my hands on each of baby Jude's visible boo-boos, then his heart, as we lifted those things, and the other needs up in prayer. It has been heart wrenching to see Brandon and Mandy go through this. The strength and faith they have had through this all, is a witness, inspiration and encouragement. The way I have watched my daughters faith grow in these last few months is beyond words.

I'm still not sure how I'm going to tell her that baby Jude is in Heaven now. No that's exactly what I'll tell her. That his boo-boos are all better now. That he is healthy and well. No more pain, no more tears. He is in the loving arms and presence of God. He is home.

Please, please, please do not let your prayers stop here. Continue to pray for this precious family and the road they are on. Honor them and read this post that so magnificently captures the beauty of faith, trust, and hope even in the worst possible times.

And please keep praying for my Aunt Karen. She is a walking miracle. She is astounding doctors and physical therapists and occupation therapists left and right. Though her left side is still not moving with the speed and dexterity she'd like and that often frustrates her, she is eating, talking, laughing, writing, walking, climbing stairs, working so incredibly hard...and she is going home! Only two months after we weren't even sure if she was going to make it, she is going home.

I am praising God in both these situations. That may seem hard to understand, but I am thanking God in both because I trust that His is will is best, even though it may not be what I'm asking for all the time. I know that God holds them both in his tight grip and I know that God knew how they'd both be going home.

Oct 21, 2011

I'm in love.

Have you noticed the recent flurry of posts after a long dry spell? I guess I have to be inspired. And it's interesting what inspires me....dead cat stories, baby mullets, and now the iPhone. I'm not sure what this says about me, but whatever!

We recently switched cell phone carriers and got a free iPhone. Jason can't have a phone with a camera at his work...(ya know, so he can't take pictures of our Navy's sub fleet and sell them to the spys) guess who gets my trackphone and guess who gets primary custody of the new iPhone!?

We're really not techy people. And I pretty much despise it when people text and play games on their mobile devices instead of hold actual conversations with the people that are sitting next to them. So I'm going to try REALLY hard not to become one of those people. But I TOTALLY see the temptation!

We're not going to be on the internet all the time on this phone. And we're not going to use it to text up a storm. In fact, we really only continue to use cellphones for emergencies and when we're on the road.

What we ARE going to use this bad boy for is a GPS on the road, a handheld game to keep us occupied on long drives, an ipod to listen to our tunes, and what I believe to be the most important function.....a child occupier.

We've already downloaded some pretty cute and free learning apps for her (including Curious George ABC's, a few fisher price animal apps, and a counting app). And we ponied up $10 bucks for a season of Curious George that I'm quite sure will save my sanity a our 3 hour drive north today with a toddler that no longer naps in the car. Not to mention it will come in quite handy on big grocery store trips and waiting for food in restaurants!

It's been one day with this gadget and Ella is already in love with it as well. Don't worry, we're not going to let her become and iPhone junkie by any means. It will be for certain ocasions and perhaps as a reward at times. And I do think there's a lot of value in the learning apps and in helping to develop a (responsibly) tech savvy child this day in age.

Oct 19, 2011

The Mullet Cure

It's true. My child will be three in a few months and she's seriously challenged in the hair growth department. I'm beginning to wonder if she'll ever have any real hair to speak of. Seriously. It's part of my nightly prayers ("Please let Ella grow hair.") I swear I keep it to myself. Don't worry, she won't have a complex. But she really does have a rather unfortunate "baby mullet". See. Well, let me tell you how tickled I was to learn this past weekend, that she LIKES headbands. And will wear them! I boy did I run with it. I learned how to make these adorable fabric flowers that night and prettied up four simple headbands in two seconds flat! See. And now, when wearing the headbands, it actually looks like she has some cute little bangs with some longer hair tucked behind the headband. See! Okay, okay, it's not really a mullet cure. More like a cover-up, and not even the best one at that. Pigtails are really the best cover up, but she won't keep the in for more than two minutes...except this one time at the Winslow's where she actually had them in long enough for Angie to snap this picture. See. Even cuter from the front, I swear. Oh boy, I love this little girl. Mullet and all!

Oct 17, 2011

Did I tell you the one about the cat tin?

I've been in organizing/purging mode lately. The urge hits me often, but even more so just prior to the present onslaught of birthays and Christmas.

So I was taking some clothes to consign at a local shop. While I was filling out the paper, Ella was admiring all the shiney things in the counter display cabinet. "What is that mommy? What is that cat thing in there?" she asked.

I peered in and saw a small tin with a picture of a cat on it. I explained what a tin was and told her that the things in that case were for sale. "I want that mom. Can I have that?" (Don't even get me started on her "I want that phase" because it's a whole other story!). I calmly replied that we did not come to buy things today.

That's when the well-intentioned (and clearly soft) woman behind the counter said, "Oh, that's not even in there to sell. It's mine and I just put it in there for decoration. She can have it." I politely refused and explained she did not need to give it to my daughter. She insisted. I wanted to avoid carrying this on so I accepted and told her how nice that was and had Ella thank her numerous times.

The woman slid it from the display case and placed it in Ella's hands. "This is heavy mom!" she exclaimed, "What's in here?" The kind (and perhaps crazy/demented) lady behind the counter responded that she couldn't even remember what was in it. We attempted to open it, but it was glued shut. It was indeed heavy and felt like it was filled with sand. It had been filled and glued shut to be used as a paper weight, I reasoned.

Well, we got that cat tin home and Ella kept asking me to try to open it to see what was inside. It only took a slight little prying with a butter knife to free the lid from it's base and that's when I saw it. Yes, the contents were similar to sand, but just a bit more...ahem...finely ground.....or perhaps incinerated. That's right folks. It was a small plastic bag of ashes, a.k.a. A DEAD FRICKIN" CAT.

Ella can read my face and she knew something was up. "What mom!? What is it mom? What's in there mom!? What is it? Can I see it!?"

"Nothing sweetie," I replied, "Just some dirt." Then I chucked the dead cat ashes, sanitized the crap out of that tin and handed it right back to Ella. She loves that tin.

Oct 4, 2011


I could be wrong, but I think Maine is the only state that has Marden's. At let me just say, that all you folks who don't have a marden's 15 minutes down the road from you are SOOOO missing out! Listening to the annoying commercials is totally worth the bargains you find there. (Also, check out my friend's blog about ugly crap you can find there too. Hilarious!) From candy, to books, clothes to home decor, hardware to fabric...they've got it all. And fabric is what I was in search of the other day.

I've been wanting to slipcover pillows in my living room FORVER! And by forever I mean like a few years. I finally used some of the house budget for pretty instead of practical and had at it! I did the bench pillows, the couch and chair pillows, and because the fabric was so flippin' cheap I reupholstered the benches too! I even had 2 1/2 yards that I decided to make into a doorway puppet theater for one of Ella's Christmas presents!

Anyhoo, Here's what the benches and pillows looked like before:And here's what they look like after! BAM!!!

I took pictures to do a tutorial because I made rockin' covers that you can change out, and there are no zippers involved. Perhaps I'll post the tutorial sometime.

Sep 30, 2011

This Thing Called Love

Don't get me wrong. I have my super share of days where I'm a wife like THIS. (PU-LEASE go read the blog on that link. It's hilarious. And if you say you can't relate, I don't believe you for a second!)

But then there are days like yesterday, where I just TOTALLY hit the nail it on the head. (Notice I choose to go into depth about this kind of day, whilst my friend Amy choosed to go into depth about her "crap on your head" kind of days. I think it's clear to see who has the higher self esteem ;) I'm talking, tidy house, dishes done AND put away, 4 loads of laundry, hot mulled cider on the stove with an accompanying mug bearing a sweet written message. Complete with relaxing music playing in the background when Jason walked in the door after a long day at work. He is one LUCKY man! Ya once every 6 months or something :)

I do love this man. And I do wish I provided him with that kind of environment to come home to every day. Maybe I was feeling so inspired because we just had a fabulous weekend away in North Conway. Our new fave spots since moving down here. We decided to forgoe birthday and anniversary presents and combine them all for this weekend where we went EXTREME ZIPLINING with Alpine Adventures! So worth it! There are three levels of zipline tours here. We went for the most extreme SUPER SKYRIDER. There was only one ther couple so we got to hike back up and do more ziplines as well as go on even more extra ziplines from other courses.

We got to the top of the course by off-roading in this six wheeled army vechicle (Like, helmets required off-roading!).
All totalled I think we went on over 10 ziplines, a few zaplines, and countless sky bridges. One zipline was 1,800 feet long. Some were pendulums with some free fall time and we reaches speeds of 65 miles per hour! The views were amazing too!

Ready to zip!

We were already up really high in one tree... And then we climbed up that 30 ft. ladder even higher! See, there's the people below us on the wimpy tour :) None of our tree platforms even had railings around them. Slightly unnerving even for this adrenaline junky...especially when the tree starts swaying in the breeze, or is jerked about by a zipper jumping off! It's hard to get pictures that really show what it was like. We were SO high. And the zips weres SO long. And we went SO fast! The views were SO amazing. The videos might do it better justice! Suffice it to say, it was amazing.