Sunday, October 22, 2017

October - a portrait of inconsistency

On Monday morning, the 2nd of October we were graced with an inch or so of new snow! While it felt a little early in the year for snow, all the same thrill was there and the boys couldn't resist making a snowman.

And as we wrapped up that Monday with the sun shining and the temps somewhere in the high 50s - the snowman still stood, slowly melting in the yard and hanging on to his scarf knowing he didn't have much longer!

Two weeks later, we awoke to another light dusting of snow from the night's passing storm. It wasn't easy to get three bikes loaded on an icy, snow-skiffed car - but we were bound and determined to spend our only unscheduled fall Saturday (football & basketball games usually take precedence) on an adventure of some kind...

And sure enough, our afternoon mountain biking in Fruita proved just the adventure we needed!

But weather has not been the only paradox in our world this month...
Our dearest friend has begun treatment for breast cancer and the diagnosis shocked us all - she is young (not yet 40!), healthy, strong and incredibly positive. She is a beacon of joy to everyone she knows and a giver of knowledge, encouragement and baked goods. For her body to host such a dastardly disease feels like one of life's greatest injustices. But just like building a snowman and watching him fall in the same day, we plan to take this journey with our best friend and know that the sun will shine again soon...

Friday, October 6, 2017


Hamp eased into his first ever tackle football season with an air of confidence that made me proud - he had never put on pads and helmet before but wore them easily and played well in his short but successful season. He learned so much and loved every minute of it - from what I could tell! In the second to last game he even caught an interception that I am sure will be the hook that keeps him playing football in high school. At least he will be with a fantastic team of kids that play well together... 

When we weren't at football games in September, we stayed busy with all kinds of fun fall activities!

There was the annual outdoor classic movie:

An impromptu family hike in Palisade:

 a Sunday morning paddle on the lake:

 a charity golf tournament where this fabulous foursome took first place in the amateur flight:
(ummm.... we may have been the only team in that category!)

and a Homecoming Parade!!!
with Sam on a float for the upcoming musical production of Willy Wonka:

and Hamp on the float for the Junior High Football Team:

and that doesn't even mention the afternoons at the park, volunteering at the Meeker Classic, gymnastics practices in Craig twice a week and time spent with lots of good friends while the weather stays nice!

Sometimes, in the middle of the all the activity, I just have to stop and appreciate the moment:

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Back to school

Top Dogs.

That's what they are this year - 8th grader and 5th grader.
Their last year in middle and elementary schools.

They were pretty psyched to begin this year - perhaps because we all were feeling that it was a long and fulfilling summer (see previous posts!) and we were all craving (either consciously or subconsciously) getting back into a routine.

So off we all went - into the new school year. Each of us again at our own buildings.
And on the very first day (the day of the solar eclipse!) it was almost like no time had passed at all since we were last headed to school in June. Which is good - it was easy.

There are only a few minor differences.... this fall Hamp will play football for the cowboys, instead of Club Soccer in Rifle. Sam has put piano lessons on hold to focus on the Jr. Musical and gymnastics! And to be honest - we are all operating on a new level of independence.

I felt the boys grow this summer. Sure Hamp is taller, and Sam is more mature. But really they are both more aware of themselves as people instead of just my kids. They are learning to navigate life without my guidance, whether it's packing their own lunch, hauling their own gear, working for their own money, or figuring out what to do when they have free time.

Right before the week started, I even let them kayak the river together - just the two of them. Outwardly, I was totally nonchalant about sending them down the river alone... but inwardly I was imagining all the horrors of them drowning or getting eaten by the legendary White River monster. Turns out, they did great and had the very best time. They are truly capable of doing so much on their own and it is equal parts unnerving and satisfying!

I am not sure if I have unintentionally backed off this summer, or if I am trying to foster their independence for all of our sakes (or if I simply haven't had time/energy to micro-manage their lives!!!) but regardless I am enjoying watching them blossom into good people.

The first week of school went great - and was capped off perfectly with a home Varsity football game in ideal end-of-summer weather. Not only was it a win for the Cowboys, but Hamp got to play with the pep band in the grand stands... the fight song never sounded so good!

It is so great to see them grow! It's going to be a good year...

Saturday, August 26, 2017

... and the best way to end the summer!

The Etheridge family came all the way out to Meeker again... rounding out the summer perfectly with a great family visit and plenty of good times on the trail, on the river, or just in the backyard!

And of course everyone spent plenty of time getting to play with sweet baby Jena...

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!