I am sitting on the shore of the Merced River in Yosemite as I write this, surrounded only by the noise of the birds and enveloped by the warmth of the sun. Yosemite is my happy place. I've traveled the world, and yet I still find this place to be the most beautiful of all. I spent my family vacations here growing up, coming at least once a year, and I still try to make it here annually. The last time I was sitting down by this river was in August. Your dad and I had just finished backpacking 66 miles from Mammoth (your dad did all 211 miles of the John Muir Trail and I joined him for the end of it upon returning from a ten day work trip to Mexico). Our backpacking trip was quite the adventure, as we got caught in several hailstorms along the way, one as we were going over a mountain pass. On that trip, you were just a wish that I sent up the heavens, something I hoped so deeply for, a prayer that I was unsure of when would be granted. And then in September, I got pregnant. Here I sit, 30 weeks pregnant with you, along the river, while your dad is off on some beautiful and crazy hike without me. I have to admit, I am jealous, because hiking is my favorite. It's been hard, becoming unable to be as active and do the things I've always loved to do, but I wouldn't have it any other way, as I sit here listening to the gentle flow of the river, with a full belly and a full heart. I can't wait to bring you here to my favorite place and hopefully you too will experience the magic of Yosemite.
(This week's photos taken at the Merced River at sunset and lower Yosemite Falls in Yosemite.)