Saturday, January 13, 2018

Ringing in the new year

As lovely as Christmas in Meeker was.... we were anxious to get to California to visit sweet family and celebrate together!

Oh man - Hamp & Sam just love their cousins so well (both sides in fact! How lucky we are...) I found no greater holiday joy than watching Hamp dote on his baby cousin Jenavieve or seeing all four boys wrestle and shout and play and laugh together! I enjoyed long visits with my sis-in-law over coffee, dodge ball & paddle ball with my brother, sweet cuddles with my niece and funny conversations with my nephews. We took advantage of the Southern Cali sunshine and spent hours at the park or in the backyard playing... and when we HAD to go inside, it was always a celebration: either at Medieval Times for Jack's 4th birthday or at home for New Year's Eve with a piƱata full of candy! We even got new Georgia tee-shirts in anticipation of the Rose Bowl - Go DAWGS!

For Christmas, I got the boys tickets to see a show in Las Vegas on January 1st!
We had such a great night - we got into town just in time to celebrate Georgia winning the Rose Bowl (and wore our new tees proudly out & about on the strip that night!) then were amazed and thoroughly entertained by Mat Franco and his magic! We ended the evening with specialty cupcakes and the Bellagio Fountains and then made the long drive home the next day.
We are ready for the new year... and full of joy from being together.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas in Meeker

There is always much celebrating to be done in mid-December in Meeker.... and this year was no exception! Once the tree was up we were in full celebration mode at school, home and in the community. Several dear friends hosted us at dinner parties; our Meeker family got together for brunch; there was a staff party and a scholarship fundraiser party with much merriment and mingling; the community came out for the Parade of Lights and the Tour of Homes and the Community Choir Concert; and of course there was the school band & choir concert (where Hamp stole the show with his stellar cymbal playing and a little off-script dancing!) and Sam dressed himself as an elf for school. We even had our elf-on-the-shelf come visit us this again this year and he was particularly excited about the candy houses the boys made!

Once finals were done and school was out we relaxed just a little.... well, maybe a little too much! Not even 3 hours into the first morning of our winter break I was already irritated at Hamp for picking on his brother and at Sam for whining about it. I was a little worried about how the three of us would get along over the next 2 weeks together.... and even contemplated taking back a few (all?) of their top-notch gifts under the tree.
If I may digress a moment - these boys are not naughty. And I do like them.... but I have come to realize that they are not the best housemates. I nag all the time for them to pick up their dirty socks/shoes/wet towel/dirty dishes/backpacks/toys/etc. and whenever the slightest request is set upon them Hamp acts as if it's the end of the world. So I struggle with enjoying them... and don't always feel very successful in my attempts to show them patience and kindness. Trying to be all things to both boys is exhausting, so I am always grateful there are friends and family to back me up. I am also grateful that I can leave them for a while (with their sassy attitudes and dirty floors) and take Gabe on the trail to clear my head!

Back to Christmas:
We all managed to keep our hearts light and attitudes in check for the holiday and opened gifts with gratitude and excitement. There were Legos and gadgets and new socks and books. We awoke to just a little bit of fresh snow and spent the morning enjoying Christmas carols and, miraculously each other! 
coolest gift: new head scarves from The Bucket List Family - check them out! They're amazing.
most exciting gift: seriously... I can hardly breathe when I even think about it!!!
best gift: peace, sunshine, dog, family, friends on Christmas Day!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Basketball season felt waaayyyy too short - it was 8 weeks of practice and games, but I could have done a few weeks more!
(although my rear end may have protested any additional time in the bleachers.)

The Meeker Cowboys 8th grade team played quite well - and as always I enjoyed watching Hamp... and this year I felt like watching the team as a whole was as much fun as focusing just on my own kid!

I may be a basketball fan after all...

Thursday, November 30, 2017

3 stages of a Christmas tree

One of our favorite tradition of the year is the annual tree hunt!
(check out last year, and the year before that, and the year before that...!!!)

This year was a little dryer than usual - instead of snow pants and knit caps we wore tee shirts and jeans! And instead of sledding the boys played in the creek! But the warm weather and sunshine was great and the extra family that came with us this year made it even better. We enjoyed hiking all over the side of the mountain in search of the perfect tree, and eventually it was Sammy who spotted it and we couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out!

Saturday, November 25, 2017


I feel like I say this every year:
I have so much to be thankful for!

Perhaps I am more acutely aware of living in gratitude since losing Jason... he set such a beautiful example that I try to live by everyday.

That is not a difficult task when you are surrounded by family and sunshine in the National Forest on Thanksgiving weekend; and when your children can spend quality time laughing and listening to and playing with all four of their grandparents; and when you realize that all four grandparents love and support your children completely.

Jason's parents have spent the past 2 weeks cherishing family & friends and beautiful Colorado days - and we all enjoyed a fulfilling (emotionally and physically!) holiday and long weekend together.

I couldn't be more grateful.

Here's what I am thankful for everyday - all wrapped up in one picture:

Friday, November 24, 2017

Willy Wonka!

Sam was excited this year to participate in the fall Junior Musical... the show was Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory which provided so many opportunities for the 8-13 year old performers to shine brightly. Sam was cast as Mike Teavee - the bratty, television obsessed gamer kid whose know-it-all attitude eventually gets him shrunk into a Wonka television. He nailed his lines and had 3 excellent performances where he sang beautifully and was so fun to watch on stage! I was certainly bursting with pride...
the Teavees and the Gloops singing about their winning golden tickets!
Mrs. Bucket, the Salts, Grandpa Joe, and the Teavees in front of the gates to Wonka's Chocolate Factory 
Willy Wonka introduces everyone to the factory!
things are strange in the factory - Wonka takes the crew on a creepy boat ride!

Mike Teavee gets tempted in the Wonka-vision room...
... and turns out he gets shrunk!!!! Don't worry - the oompa-loompas will take good care of him.
post-production photo of Violet Beauregard, Charlie Bucket, Mike Teavee, Willy Wonka and Veruca Salt
some very happy oompa-loompas and friends!

How lucky this kid was to have all four grandparents come to see his show!
What a treat for everyone - great music, great performances and one very happy thespian.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

What happens in Vegas....

.... sometimes gets put on the blog!!!

Especially when the weekend is as great as this:

We decided to run our trail race in Las Vegas this year (a change up from Moab!) and more importantly, decided to make it an adults-only trip!  What a great idea..... not only was it nice for the 9 of us to spend four days together uninterrupted (between all of us we left 9 boys ages 4-18 back at home!!!) but it was so fun to really relax and enjoy the poolside bar, the strip, the desert, the race, and even a nice night out for dinner & a show!
all 9 of us - poolside lunch on the first day!

The race was particularly meaningful because we all felt especially supportive of our friend Kris and her journey with breast cancer and chemotherapy.... she was signed up to run the half-marathon and used the race as a goal for her to stay active and strong! Her perseverance in training for the race (and still teaching full-time!) helped us all feel motivated to run a little farther and feel grateful for the time we had together. Between the nine of us, we ran 125 miles through the Red Rock Canyon/Cottonwood Valley area just SW of Las Vegas. But it was evidently not about the race for there was little talk about speed or distance. It was clearly more about the experience as talk centered around views and trail conditions and people met along the way!  It was a gorgeous day for running, laughing, and celebrating - and we made sure to arrive & depart the finish line in real Vegas style:
stretch limo for 9!!!!

The weekend in Vegas was a great reminder of just how good life is:
the chance to go somewhere, to run a trail and to drink mimosas by the pool in the sunshine with my favorite people!