Sunday, March 11, 2018

Winter - inside

We did find plenty of ways to stay busy indoors this winter, too!
Whether cheering on the Meeker Cowboys High School basketball teams or watching the Winter Olympics - we found most indoor activities are better with friends!

The other winter sport that had me in the gym on Saturdays was Middle School wrestling. As a 110 pound 8th grader, Hamp saw a huge improvement from last years season and won more matches than he lost - resulting in a 6th place finish at one tournament (with at least a dozen schools) and a 4th place finish at his last tournament!

Then there was Sam's 5th grade "Pirate Musical" that his class had been preparing for all school year! It was very entertaining and needless to say, Sam had a great time!

And in case you thought all we did was play throughout the winter, here is excellent proof that these boys still have some focus on academics during the school year!
Hamp was part of a team that took their documentary video Jackie Robinson: Breaking Barriers to the Regional National History Day competition at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. Their presentation earned them entry to the State competition in May!

Needless to say, I am very proud of these boys for all they do and how hard they work - and play!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Winter - outside

It's almost unbelievable that March has arrived!
I hardly feel like winter has started.... mostly because, despite the photos you see below, we have not had much snow.... let alone almost ended!
But worry not - we have a gift of finding what little snow there is and making the most of being in it.

The first trip snowshoeing to the Yurt was really just more of a hike... but was great none-the-less!
(Gabe LOVED it - his favorite adventure all year long...)

Then we finally got some ski days in!
We went in January with Kris....

... and went again in January for Hamp's birthday!
He skied with a friend all day and I hiked up the mountain and snowboarded down...

By February we were ready for more time in the snow - so we took the boys this time for another hike up to the Yurt...

And we managed a couple more ski days with friends!!!

We are hoping for one more day on the ski hill before spring break.... but we have certainly enjoyed the few times we've been out this winter so far!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

14 years, 11 years, 3 years

January 18th

Hamp turned 14 in good form - he is in between sports so he has more free time now to roll his eyes at me, play the Xbox, watch YouTube videos, and hang out with friends! I am buoyed by the occasional moment that he wants to hug me, or holds the door open for someone, or shares a story or plays nicely with his brother. For his birthday he asked for ONE thing: to be excused from school and go skiing! So I indulged (which his father may not have appreciated!) and we played hooky for the mountain and had doughnuts for breakfast!

In 14 years I have learned to appreciate the balance of sweet moments with trying times and to appreciate the difference between what I want Hamp to be and who he is.

January 24th

Sam is now 11 and is as intense and thoughtful as ever. His childhood leanings toward creativity and curiosity have developed into a passion for building and subsequently a very messy desk! (we got a hot glue gun for Christmas and it has been put to good use lately!) He continues to practice gymnastics 5 hours a week, and spent his birthday evening at the gym where his sweet teammates sang to him and presented him with a gift! He enjoyed sharing cupcakes with them and didn't even mind waiting until 9pm that night to open his gifts.

In 11 years I have learned that parenting is different for each child, for they each need different things from me and that one of the most important things to do as a parent is just stop and listen and pay attention to their world.

January 25th

It has been 3 years since Jason passed and while time heals wounds, living without him is still difficult on a daily basis. The hole he left is still gaping and he is constantly on my mind. I wonder every day whether I mention him enough or too much; whether the boys remember him well or think of him often. I fear the day his absence will manifest in some way a character flaw in either of them - and constantly try to prevent that from happening. I find myself still imagining him with us - his reaction to new songs or his pride at his sons' endeavors or his excitement for all the adventures we go on.

In 3 years I have learned that gratitude is not always an easy choice and that single parenting, whatever the circumstances, is difficult and that family (both biological and chosen) is what matters most. 

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!