Tuesday, June 20, 2017

the best way to start summer...


... is with FAMILY!!!!!

While I stayed in Meeker to finish wrapping up the school year, Hamp & Sam hopped a flight to Mississippi to spend a week with their Papa, Yaya, Aunt & Uncle and cousins! I dare say they had a most excellent time and stayed plenty entertained - jumping in the lake, fishing, holding baby Charlotte, going to the movies, jumping at the trampoline park, and least of all just playing with each other!

And as if Mississippi didn't have enough to offer - Papa splurged and took the whole crew to the Gulf Coast for a few days of beach, pool, and boat fun!

It was a win-win for everyone:
the boys got to see their grandparents and cousins
the grandparents got some good one-on-one time with the boys
I got my house clean.... and it stayed that way for a whole week!

I did enjoy some peace and quiet during their absence, and I certainly was able to focus on getting lots of good work done. But I found after 10 days that my heart ached to have them back... and while I was never nervous or worried for them - as I knew they were in the best hands they could ever be in - I was certainly anxious to see those two little figures walking down the jetway in the Denver airport!

Besides.... clean houses are overrated!!!!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Commencement speech

There is a sign in my office that many of you have seen. It was given to be by a very good friend and it says “Adulting is Hard”. (I have to take a moment to say that I love the fact that the word adult has become a verb - something you do!) And it is true - being an adult is very challenging. However, that phrase on that sign in my office is incomplete. The sign was cut short. It should read, “Adulting is Hard. But it Can Be Amazing”

Notice that while that phrase says Adulting IS hard, and I would bet that there isn’t anyone here that would argue differently, it also says that it CAN BE amazing… not that it automatically IS amazing. The amazing part is up to you. It is up to how you choose to live your life and how you choose to view the world. Whether or not adulting is amazing, depends on the choices you make.

Take these few examples from my personal experience as an adult:

Some of you plan to further your education at University or Trade School. Well it will be hard. There will be difficult subject matter, challenging teachers, greater distractions and not as many familiar faces surrounding you and constantly cheering you on. It will be very hard.

But when you choose to make connections with professors that spark your intellect or choose the courses that inspires you to read more and study harder, or when you can tell your future employer that you have what it takes (the training, the degree) for the job - you will feel so elated and accomplished… and it will be amazing.

And then there is that job - whether you go straight to work after high school or later. Work is hard. (that’s why it’s called work) You can’t “ditch” work and your mom can’t call and excuse you. You can’t just not do your work because you don’t like the co-worker or the client or even the boss! And often when you first start a job you have to pay your dues, which means fetching coffee or digging holes or running menial errands - tasks that are uninspiring and disheartening.

But when you choose to persevere and get that promotion or raise because you have worked hard and exceeded expectations, or when you truly realize that what you do for a living is not as important as the fact that you are helping others in some way - you will feel such pride and satisfaction… and it will be amazing.

Here’s one of the greatest parts of being an adult - I hope that one day every one of you will fall in love. Despite what the movies show, it will actually be one of the hardest things you have ever done. You will go crazy and you will question everything you have ever known and if you’re like me, you might even throw caution to the wind and quit your corporate job in the big city and move to some unheard of small town in western Colorado! You will become a family and you will compromise and you will struggle. You will have to balance your own happiness with that of someone else’s - and some days it will be nearly impossible.

But when choose happiness and gratitude and you find that balance, it will be amazing.

And those are just a few examples - there are millions of ways that “Adulting Is Hard”. Paying bills. Raising kids. Buying insurance. Losing loved ones. Coaching Little League. Voting. Taking care of yourself.

But it can all be amazing - you just have to be willing to choose wisely and see those amazing  moments. They are not as pronounced as the challenges. The joys of adulting are discrete and fleeting and even hidden sometimes behind all the noise of the world. Adulting is Hard, but as adults, you will be able to choose how you see the world - and my hope for you is that you choose happiness. And that you choose hard work. And that you choose gratitude. And It will be amazing.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Finish Strong!

The last week of school is upon us and there is a definitive feeling of accomplishment in the air!

We have seen several of the boys' programs come to conclusion in the past couple of months, including:

~~ Hamp's first (possibly last?!) school track season ~~

I loved that he had practice everyday after school for a month which kept him busy... and that he participated in running, throwing and jumping events at all 4 meets he attended! And while he was never a stand out star in track & field, he certainly made me proud with his effort.

~~ Sam's Spring piano recital ~~

He definitely has a knack for music and if he actually takes the time to practice, he can play quite well! I am pleased with his teacher, and am just so happy that he enjoys lessons and is still dedicated to learning more and playing better.

~~ Hamp's band concert ~~

Now this is a turn-around story!
He was not too happy with being in band the whole fall semester of 7th grade... but something happened (social shift? teacher inspiration? who knows!) and he has loved it ever since January! One thing he talked about was getting to play the baritone sax - and he did play quite well in the concert! I was wonderfully proud of his perseverance and enthusiasm.

~~ Little League Baseball ~~

Ahhhh.... baseball in Colorado in the spring!
We were all prepared for Saturdays in April & May either huddled together in sweatshirts, blankets, with hot coffee facing a bone-chilling wind OR sprawled out in flip flops and tank tops slathered in sunscreen with cold drinks under a blazing sun - and either scenario could define any weekend within the 2 month baseball season. In fact, our game scheduled for May 18th had to be cancelled because of too much snow. Yep. Snow.

But I digress. This is about Hamp playing baseball! 
It is still one of his favorite sports all year long - and I was thrilled with the team he was on this year. 7th and 8th grade boys who were good sportsmen, good teammates, and good friends. I only wish they could have had more success.... their record this season was something like 4-14 (which looks a lot like most of the scores of their games!) and I am hopeful that Hamp did not get discouraged from baseball because of it. 

So with most of their activities over and school almost done - we look forward to summer vacation!
While it will be nice to slow down from all the scheduling, Sam will still take piano lessons and practice gymnastics once a week and Hamp will be trying to earn money for an 8th grade trip to Washington DC next year. I will try to stay out of their way and keep them fed & clothed while enjoying as much time either in the mountains with Gabe or on the lake with friends as I can!
We are ready!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Spring fever

My struggle this month: staying in the moment
I realized I was having a hard time with being present when I found myself dependent on my calendar-style planner. The first thing I did every morning the last couple of weeks was make coffee and open the planner so I could review the day's (week's? month's?) schedule. It was as if my mind had to constantly tic off our activities and events like tasks on a to-do list..... which is fine until you realize there is no prize at the end for accomplishing all the tasks. The prize is being present at each event! Whether it was a baseball game, practice for ______ (piano, baseball, gymnastics, track....) or school meeting I knew that scheduling was important - but enjoying the event as it was happening was even more important!

So I worked a little harder to put away the calendar and not focus so much on planning out our lives but more on enjoying it. I helped Sam make home made ice cream and I asked Hamp to help me make dinner. And when I drove car pool for gymnastics I actually stopped and sat still for 10 minutes (could've been less?!) and watched the deer cross the street as the sun set. Last Sunday, Sam picked up pine cones and washed the car; Hamp mowed the yard; I put up the hammock and then promptly took a nap in it!!!!

It is said that you can't appreciate the yin without the yang, the heat without the cold, the happy without the sad. Perhaps it goes too for appreciating the down time. Moments might not seem so precious if we didn't fill up so many of them with activity! I am glad to have both busy and quiet moments in our lives lately.

Baseball games & bubbles:

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Easter weekend

Spring weather has arrived in Meeker - aka cold winds, sun, rain, hail, snow? all in an afternoon! - and spring sports are in full swing. Hamp is participating in Middle School track and trying to balance that with Little League baseball. Sam is either at gymnastics, piano lesson, or art class and loving every minute of it! That leaves me running between all of the above... but I'm not sure I would have it any other way. As long as I can squeeze in a good hike with Gabe every other day or so I am pretty happy.

Last weekend was packed with all the fun - after Sam's art class we all (even Gabe!) went to the park for Hamp's baseball game under the lights! Then the weekend found us enjoying an opener track meet at home and baseball games in Grand Junction - both days under blue skies and requiring both sunscreen and a sweatshirt!?


It wasn't until Sunday morning that we finally were able to relax and celebrate Spring for real! The Easter bunny actually paid our house a visit and hid our little plastic eggs, filling them with treats. I felt such a relief that even Hamp, at 13 was still a willing and excited participant in the egg hunt. Whether he was doing it for his brother's sake or mine, or just happy to get chocolate for breakfast, it made for such a fun and sweet morning. We even dyed eggs and staying in pajamas all morning... 


... and when we later got dressed for dinner, we tried (well, I tried) to take a nice, family holiday photo. 
I swear these two really did look very handsome!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Spring break

Another amazing week in Mexico... all sand, sun, shore, sea, shells, shrimp and sunsets. (no sunburns!)


I could get used to these sunsets....

... and being with these people all the time!

Such a great, relaxing week - I wasn't quite ready to leave.
Until next time!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

my favorite season

As long as there is snow we are trying to play in it!

2 of our favorite ways are:

1) snowshoeing up the Marvine trail (road!) with friends to the winter yurt

And while gloriously clear sunny days are the best to hike in, this year we finally got to go on a night hike during February's full moon! SO cool....

2) ski days at Sunlight Mountain!!!

And while gloriously clear sunny days are the best to ski in, we had a few days this month where Sunlight did not live up to its name.

Of course, the very best part of ski Sundays is skiing with friends!