Sunshine on my shoulders

This week marked both Earth Day and National Arbor Day and at least in Wisconsin, the weather was on our side. Mother Nature means the world to me. I was raised to love her and have never let go.

Growing up, my mom was like the queen of road tripping to the American West where I fell in love with mountains, deserts and the music man of nature himself – John Denver.

My mom and I in Rocky Mountain National Park back in 2002

“Love the Earth as you would love yourself,” said Denver.


With 7.8 billion people on Earth, that’s a whole lot of love – and no matter how far apart or different we are – it’s the one thing we all share.

At home, every day is like Earth Day. Our kids are named after trees, recycling rules and we adore the outdoors. But now I’m seeing nature through a new lens — their little eyes.

Whether it be digging dirt, gathering sticks or just their innocent joy in finding a feather, the simple beauty of Mother Nature still astounds me.

So amidst the mess on Earth, I’m forever grateful for Mother Nature, but more my own mom – who passed her love of God’s beautiful creation and John Denver tunes to me. It is safe to say my kids are too.

A photo of my mom Annie in 2000, standing behind Aspen trees in Colorado. Twelve years later, we named our first born daughter Aspen, who is holding the picture.

“Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy ,”

-John Denver

Life hurts, nature heals. Like that sunshine on my gosh darn shoulders, it always makes me happy.

Took the kids on a hike through a local conservancy for National Arbor Day, Friday, April 24, 2020.

Love the Earth as you would love yourself.

-John Denver

For more information about Earth Day visit

For more information about National Arbor Day visit

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