Wednesday, August 9, 2017

PART II - summer on the water

Soooo.... when we weren't playing in the mountains this summer, we were on the water!

Once the boys got home we were anxious to get a lot of time on the lake - Sam got a new kayak that he was excited to use and my good friend's new paddle board company gave us plenty of reason for us to go! The kids would help load up snacks, drinks, boats, boards and of course friends then enjoy all day together in the sunshine!

There were a few times when just I got go up to the lake with my friend for a little quiet time on the board!

By July, the river was low enough that I was comfortable taking the kids and of course friends down for an afternoon paddle or a float trip! Sam loves his kayak and Hamp just likes an adventure...

(and when the property owner/good friend gives the go-ahead, it's always fun to jump off the bridge!)

No doubt we have tried to take full advantage of Colorado summers this year!

Monday, July 31, 2017

PART I - Summer in the mountains

OK.... so part of our summer didn't go as planned.
But that doesn't mean that we didn't live fully all the days that we were home!

In fact, we spent a good part of the last couple months doing exactly what we love most about living in Colorado: playing in the mountains!
Whether touring, biking, camping, hiking or just playing - we certainly have enjoyed the view:

First stop: Red Rocks Amphitheater in June - the boys loved seeing Mike Snow
(although we were there to see Phoenix but it started to rain.... ahhh, the hazards of being exposed!)

Then a bike ride into the Glenwood Canyon along the Colorado River

A camping trip into the FlatTops Wilderness - including an overnight at Wall Lake and a summit of Trapper's Peak!

A day hike at Sunlight Mountain.... with a view of the Elk Mountain Range from the top!

And finally, a quick weekend visit with friends in Winter Park!
(including a bike ride, an alpine slide, an art fair, and trampoline bungee jumping!)

Stay tuned for more summer fun.....

Saturday, July 15, 2017


So... just when I thought I had successfully managed my annual maximum amount of bad travel Karma (see Christmas trip 2016) the Universe decided it was time for another upset...

brief background:
When my dear friend of 20 years started suggesting last fall that it was due time for us to get together (she brought her family to the States for a visit in 2012) I knew it was our turn to pay her & her family a visit in France! So I bit the bullet in January and purchased 3 tickets to Paris. Needless to say, this was a much anticipated family vacation!

current situation:
Apparently, travel restrictions to most European countries follow the Schengen Visa policy in the EU - who knew?! For the country of France, policy states that a US passport must be valid for 90 days beyond the traveler's departure from that country. Well, Hamp's & Sam's passports are due to expire exactly 70 days beyond our scheduled departure from France. 

Therefore - we were not allowed to fly.

Holding back tears and trying desperately to understand the situation, I listened carefully to my very helpful and empathetic Delta gate agent as she tried to assist me. What I gathered as my choices were two-fold:

1) Accept Delta's generous offer to rebook our flights for a mere $900 change fee (they were willing to waive the $9,000 in fare difference!) and try to fly out Tuesday. Meanwhile, stay in Denver for the weekend, and when the regional passport office opened Monday morning try to procure emergency renewals for both passports (at 3x the normal renewal fee) all the while hoping to get the renewals in time to make Tuesday's rebooked flight. 

2) eat the tickets and try again another day - once boys' passports were renewed properly, of course!

As I stood at the counter with weepy and worried kids, the gate agent waited patiently for me to decide on the spot if I was going to throw the next 3 days of our lives into mass chaos and panic.... or walk away. 

Now... know that I LOVE France. I love Paris; I love the cheese, the wine and the croissants; I love the language; I love the culture; I love the architecture and the landscape. But above all, I love my friend and her family. To walk away from seeing them was heartbreaking. And so to Peggy - I am so, so deeply sorry. 

When I told the gate agent through sobs that we would cancel the trip and thanked her for trying to help, we hugged it out and then she said something interesting. She took my hand and said: "You know, this is a crazy world. God works in mysterious ways. Perhaps you were not meant to go on this trip."

So..... I spent the next 4 hours in the car driving home thinking about that idea. If I wasn't meant to go on this trip then there must be something good to come out of it. Perhaps Sam will get his triple back-hand-spring back-tuck because he gets to go to gymnastics this week. Or maybe Hamp will find his phone!?! I am sure they will both play with their friends and make great summer memories that will last a lifetime. In the meantime, I will be on the lookout for good things happening..... heaven knows I could use some good karma my way!!!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Celebrating Sam

It only took 4 months.... but back in May we finally got some of Sam's buddies together for some belated birthday bowling!

It is a pleasure to watch Sam grow everyday - he is creative and thoughtful and curious and comfortable in his own skin. At 10 years old, he continues to amaze me with his tenacity - especially when he gets an idea for a project in his head. This summer so far has seen him take time to:
~ research algorithms to fully solve a rubik's cube
~ make a paper mache piƱata full of candy to share with his friends
~ create and cultivate garden boxes for a starter growing kit
~ design a lego airport and marble run in the living room!


And when he is not creating or designing, he is content to just have fun.
Which is what makes raising Sam so great!

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!!!!