Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Family in Meeker

We were lucky enough to have my brother and his family take a week (and a half!) off to trek up to Colorado and spend their Etheridge family vacation in Meeker!

I dare saw we had plenty of entertainment;

~ if not for the endless trails to hike and bike and the river to raft and the lake to swim and waterfalls and caves to explore

~ and if not for the Legos, trucks, backyard games, campfire with S'mores, and bubble baths at Mojo & Dado's house

~ and if not for the trip to the soda fountain for a scoop of ice cream and the concert on the courthouse lawn and the Color Run and the Community Appreciation Day (that would warrant it's own blog post had we taken any photos! It was awesome.)

... well then we always had entertainment enough in just being together!
It was so fun just to watch these 4 cousins play together...


What a great visit - I'm already excited for the next time we can all be together.
Oh, and how wonderful that there will be a new Etheridge baby joining us next year, as well!!!
Congratulations Alec & Jei!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Family in Tennessee

We had a great family vacation in Tennessee last week...
kicking off with an afternoon baseball game in Denver!

Best. Game. Ever!!!!
Not only did we go with some of our best friends, but we got to see Gonzalez hit a grand slam and then cheered the Rockies on to a win with a walk-off home run by Story! Pretty Epic...

Then a quick & easy flight into Knoxville was met with a wonderful surprise announcement:
We are getting a new member of the Hightower family!!!
The 6th Hightower grandchild, Miss Charlotte Rose, will be joining our family in early December!

She will have lots of silly cousin love to share in:

Papa & Yaya treated us to an absolutely fantastic day at Dollywood's Splash Country waterpark.
We had beautiful weather, we rode ALL the rides, we enjoyed the luxury of a cabana for rest time and meals, and the grandkids were all tall/old/brave enough to take on even the most challenging waterslides...

2011 vs 2016

The rest of the week was spent sharing quality time together at the house. There was much laughter, lots of good food and family visits, minimal tears/time-outs/scuffles, plenty of foosball tournaments and playing in the neighborhood pool, a trip to the movies and of course a night of s'mores and fun around the fire pit!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Get Out! (or... a good start to summer!)

We started off our summer with a day in Fruita with friends - mountain biking, hiking, some requisite Hot Tomato pizza on the back deck, and more biking and playing in the desert. Even came out with the first official knee scrape of the season - which I took as a good sign - and a good excuse for getting dessert that night!
3 families - 9 boys.
9 dirty, sweaty, stinky, sweet & funny boys!

The tone was set for many June days outside...
the weather simply has been too nice not to enjoy and there are just so many reasons to go take a hike on the trails in town, take a little dip in the ditch to cool off, take a hike out of town, or spend Father's Day showing Mojo & Dado the South Fork trail and cave!

This past week, Hamp went with his buddies to a soccer camp in Glenwood Springs - it was beautiful, hot and apparently a great chance to better his soccer skills! Oh, and he had fun with his friends and I got to see my mountain in the background......

We are off to Tennessee to visit the Hightower fam - I am sure there will be plenty of time spent outside then, too!
So far, summer has been good to us.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Gator baseball

Another season of Little League Baseball has gone down in the books. 

Unfortunately, the books show a 4-15 record. 

While it was not exactly a winning season, it was still fun (as always!) to watch Hamp play ball... and I appreciate the challenges of parenting him through all the demands of the season:

~ uniform maintenance
~ attitude adjustments (sometimes in between innings)
~ coping with poor performance
~ being a good teammate in times of success and failure
~ and especially staying focused on the reason we play ball: because it is fun.

I hope he will continue to play baseball - he loves it, he learns so much about focus and perseverance and teamwork, and I love all the kids that he plays with (and so does he!)

photos courtesy of Michelle Cox Photography

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Home meet

Last fall, when Sam joined the competitive gymnastics team, I knew that there would not really be an ends to the means - that he was working out with the team because he enjoyed it (and so we could carpool!) but that he would not be able to compete in the meets as they don't have male events...

So when our gym hosted a meet last weekend, I was overwhelmed at how they went out of their way to allow Sam to participate in all the events that he had been working on with the team!

It truly made all the practices and drives to Rifle worth it just to see Sam be a part of the team, participating with his friends at all the events and even getting judged! (he did quite well) And when it came time for the places to be announced and the medals awarded, the gym again went out of their way to acknowledge Sam and his efforts on the team. My heart was bursting for him - and despite the fact that he says he doesn't necessarily feel the need to compete, I know it meant a lot to him to be included. He loves his team and his sport - I can't wait to see what he will do next!

Friday, May 20, 2016


I have been remiss in posting updates this season... and I would say primarily it's just because we have been busy!!! I don't have too much by way of photos to show for it - but I assure you we came back to town from spring break and hit the ground running at top speed. Free time (when we found it!) was dedicated to play and slowing down long enough to relax before the next event.

For the record, here was my view from work (Meeker High School) the week after spring break:

Of course, all that spring snow led to plenty of spring mud once it started to melt!
Well Hamp & his gang saw that as a perfect opportunity to go hiking...

Then there was that one time I got to ride a donkey in the High School gym and play basketball:
(there simply is no segue for this event or picture - and by way of explanation, all I can say is that it was a fundraiser in April for one of our school clubs.... and it was hilariously profitable indeed!)

With the spring season comes the last stretch of the school year - which inevitably means major projects and field trips!
The 6th graders have had many fun projects (and a school dance somewhere in that mix...) including the quintessential Volcano model:

The 3rd graders' major research project to wrap up the year was a country report - and Sam chose to learn all about Myanmar (naturally?!)

Sam's class also took a neat field trip to the Glenwood Springs Caverns where they deepened their learning of local earth geology... 
or at least that was what the permission slip said they would be doing!

But spring for us just wouldn't be complete without Little League Baseball - and it has been a heck of a season so far. The Gators are together again and battling through a losing streak like crazy... all pretty great little ball players on their own, just can't get the team groove on. It doesn't help that they play 2-3 games a week and it has been almost consistently cold, windy and sometimes lightning and raining and wet. But none-the-less I love to watch Hamp play... 

... and especially love to watch him and all his teammates burst into celebration at winning their first two games of the season at a double header under the lights in Grand Junction! 

While I can not, out of respect for my entire family's collegiate associations, cheer for the Gators... I do love this team (and their coaches, and the parents!!!) and I love watching baseball, even in the cold wind and rain and under the threat of being struck by lightning.

There are still 2 weeks to go of school, baseball, and Sam's gymnastics (which I haven't even mentioned yet... that'll be for another post!) and then we will officially be in summer mode. Until then - I will love all that Spring has to offer.