Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving

It is always nice to have a long weekend to rest, play and be with family.

This year we stayed close to home and enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with Mojo & Dado.
We watched plenty of football, several movies, played with friends and even did a few chores.

The only regret is that we didn't get to personally wish Grammy in Knoxville a Happy 92nd Birthday, or wish cousin Graham in Mississippi a Happy 12th Birthday,  or be with Yaya & Papa in Mississippi or be with Alec & Jei in California.

But we were grateful to have great friends and family here in town to be with and grateful for good weather to enjoy being outside.

I am thankful that I was able to hike the town trails...
 
 I am thankful for waking up to new snow...


I am thankful for wild turkeys...

I am thankful that we were able to hike Hanging Lake with friends...

I am thankful that Hamp didn't choke Sam and throw him in the lake...

I am thankful that I caught Sam in one of his contemplating the universe moments...
(and obviously I am thankful for sun flares in my photos!)
 

and I am so thankful for a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in Meeker as the #1 ranked Meeker Cowboys hosted the Strasburg Indians in the 1A State Championship Football Game...
Cowboys 14 - Indians 34
Such a good game and an amazing season!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

connection

Remember this?
Well it has been easier said written than done!

At some point this summer, a friend caught up on my adventures and their first question was "Have you found more joy?" and I was saddened to say that I had been overlooking much of it.

So I sunk deeper into my head and my heart and tried to figure out how to make better choices.

Fast forward to today. I am still high off a weekend trip to the city to visit a very dear, old friend. Initially I was just excited to get away for a couple of days - away from the responsibilities of life and parenting and work and home, etc. - but what I left excited about was being able to realize that joy was surrounding me at every turn.

As I sat on a park bench in the sunshine waiting to meet up with my friend, I had time to finally listen to the questions that my head and my heart had been asking all year:

My head needed to know that I was capable and worthy of being connected to the ones I love.

My head asked for permission to stop worrying about whether I was doing it right, or giving enough and to just be.

My head wondered if it was ok to begin searching for my own passions.

My heart needed to know whether it could be full again... Jason's death left a hole that I thought might be irreparable.

My heart asked for reassurance that loving life now was not a disservice or a disloyalty to the love that I will forever have for Jason.

My heart wondered if it was ok to feel light and love even in the shadow of loss. 

I received a resounding yes to all of those questions - I just needed to accept that answer. I fed off the energy of millions of passers-by as I wrapped up my existential moment on that city park bench. I realized that joy was in me, trying to resurface if only I would get out of my own way and appreciate the legacy that Jason left: Choose Happiness.

Then this morning I saw this interview with one of my best friends... she talks about how she chooses (or in her perfect terms, chases!) her happiness and how it fuels her life. She talks about many great things actually, because she is great! - but she also mentions "the why". I love the idea of how knowing why creates a deeper connection to everything around you.

I hope to avidly spend the next months feeling connected to the love and joy around me. Since getting home, I have already started by taking a hike with a friend (and Gabe, of course!) and listening to some of my favorite music from my youth (The Smiths... ahhhhh) and committing to the local Christmas Choir and laughing at with my boys. It shouldn't be too difficult to find the joy around me during a time of year when it is abundant... heck, I even ordered Christmas cards to send this year!? Seemed like a nice we to stay connected...

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Moab

We went last year.... because our friends said it was fun!
And they were right - we were hooked. 
So we came back to Moab this November for the Adventure Trail race and the boys & I signed up to run the 5K.

We don't go because we love to run, that's for certain! But when you are surrounded by your favorite people cheering you on, and running through some of the prettiest & coolest landscape around - it makes for a really fun morning jog! (And the boys are fully motivated by the free cookies & soda at the end of the race!!!)

Pre-race photos of friends, silly boys and a funky little band that kept everyone upbeat as the races started....





My trail partners at the starting line:
 

My trail partners ahead of me in the line to climb up the trail at mile 2:
 

Some scenic shots on the trail:




 

We were done in an hour, which afforded us the opportunity to cheer on the real runners! Meanwhile, the boys all kept busy playing in the sand:
 

Marathons completed: 5
Half-marathons completed: 5
5Ks completed: 4
1Ks completed: 3
Best group EVER!!!!!
 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Happy Halloween

From Hamp the Horse....
 

... and Sam, the Constellation. (I believe he is Aquarius)
 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Hiking partners


We have taken every opportunity this month to get out and explore... even if it's just in our back yard. Fortunately, our back yard is quite picturesque!

~ MEEKER ~ 


Hamp & Sam aren't always initially the most willing hiking partners.
In fact, they usually protest and whine from the first mention of a hike until about 10-15 minutes in.

But then.... ahhhh, then.
The sweet transition into having fun without them even realizing it!

And the ultimate gratitude comes eventually when Hamp inevitably finds a way to actually THANK me for taking him on a hike! That, and a great view is always worth the effort.

For the record, Gabe is always a willing hiker... as is Mojo!
 
 

~ ASPEN ~

Between soccer games in Aspen we got to stop by one of the most photographed spots in the state. 


The Maroon Bells are beautiful mountain peaks surrounded by excellent hiking and camping areas. 

Or, if you're Hamp & Sam - excellent "throw rocks in the water and make funny faces and get slightly sunburned and run around barefoot and get wet" areas!
 
 

~ RIFLE ~


Then another beautiful Sunday we decided to finally climb all the way up to Rifle Arch


The boys and I had been before but fell short of the actual arch due to me being a pansy. But I hiked up (pun intended) my big-girl pants and scaled the last 100 vertical feet or so of boulders to accompany the boys - and Gabe! - to the shadow of the Arch. 

Mojo & Dado waited patiently at the trail terminus below us and we all enjoyed a nice, fun hike.

 
 
 

~ MEEKER ~
Even when it's not a full-family trip, I still love to squeeze in a quick jog around our backyard trails - and usually with my very best trail buddy, Gabe. He wanders & sniffs and I am afforded a few moments of quiet time and views like this:
 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

sunshine

I can't get enough of the Colorado sunshine (please don't tell my dermatologist!)


As fall sets in I swear it brings the bluest skies and the warmest rays.
So we don't miss a chance to go play - including a Labor Day hike up the Marvine Trail.
While the boys were initially annoyed at having to go, I think they secretly enjoyed it all the same!


Then there is the onset of soccer season...
which means evening practices at the field in Rifle and games every Saturday.
practice
Montrose, CO:   0-7
Delta, CO:  2-3
Rifle, CO:  0-1
Meanwhile - Sam still enjoys practicing his latest gymnastics moves whenever and wherever he can!

Avon, CO music festival

Friday, August 26, 2016

end of summer... beginning of fall!

The last weeks of summer found us on the water a lot...

There were lakes and ponds and rivers to explore - but more importantly there were always friends to explore with! Whether on kayaks, paddle boards, canoes or row boats the boys loved to hop in and stay cool in the late summer sun... and I thought it was the best idea for keeping them busy and relatively clean! (who needs a shower when the river water will do?!)

But as the first day of school approached, we decided it was best to take at least a day in Glenwood for school supplies and more importantly, putt-putt golf! And while the boys blew through 36 holes of mini-golf... I realized they just use it as a means to an end for Skee-Ball! It's the best $1.50 I could spend though: they earn enough tickets to get a few plastic army men to keep them fully occupied staging an epic battle in the car on the ride home!

So the first week of school did finally roll around and if a picture is worth a thousand words, then the expressions on the boys' faces should tell the story of how they truly felt about going back to school:

Despite the look of complete disdain, Hamp actually had a fantastic first week in 7th grade. He claims it is "the best grade yet" and has already been inspired by his science class to demonstrate a few experiments at home! (nothing chemical, just physics as work!)

And Sammy's expression says it all: he loves 4th grade. He loves writing and reading and learning in general and has a wonderful class and teacher. All good things to report.

The high school is in good form too, and I thoroughly enjoy my work there. Looking forward to another good school year for us all!

The best part is the feeling of autumn that is already in the air. Although it is only August, the mornings are a brisk 50 degrees and evenings on the deck involve a sweatshirt for sure. Won't be long before leaves turn and fall and thoughts of summer days on the water will be mere memories. Glad we enjoyed them while we could...