Sunday, November 01, 2015

Gratitude Challenge 1: Home

Now that the pumpkins have been carved and before the Christmas cookies are baked, I like to take time out of November and reflect on gratitude.

Oh sure, each year, I start out strong, and before I know it, I have fallen behind, playing catch up.   Last year, I tried using a template and I found that really helped me stay on task and look beyond the usual gratitudes.   So, again, will challenge myself and a few friends to practice 30 days of gratitude.

If nothing else, at least the blog will get a little more TLC and I can infuse some of the thoughts that have been roaming around in my head these past few months.

*Photo courtesy of Hubby 
Soon after we were married,  Hubby and I were given the opportunity to move out here to Colorado.   At the time, it was not home for either of us, and in fact we knew little about the state other than "there are mountains and we could ski, oh and John Denver wrote some great songs about the state".  

Location between our two families and affordability were other determining factors in our moving out here.    

The natives may never accept us....but 19 years later, we do indeed consider Colorado home.  True,  we never ski and affordability is not the first word that comes to mind when you mention metro area's cost of living.   Rocky Mountain High is now easier to achieve than back when John Denver penned his famous song.    

 I am most grateful we found such a family friendly, beautiful place to raise our family.   It isn't perfect but it is indeed a great place to call HOME.  

Monday, September 07, 2015

Summer Wrap Up

Labor Day?   How'd that happen?

This year, our school schedule shifted, and we found ourselves starting classes about 4 days earlier than normal.   Toss in a late Labor Day, and already it is feeling like summer has ended long ago.

So before the memories of summer fade, I want to jot down a few random thoughts

Thing 2
Thing 2 and the guys...
Last summer, Thing 2 was itching to be grown up.   Problem was, he wasn't necessarily hanging with the right kind of kids.   This past year, he's re-aligned himself with some great kids.   Oh sure, they look a little scruffy in full summer-shirtless mode, but these boys are some good kids.   Smart, hard working and genuinely nice.    I can't begin to describe how much easier it is to parent the teen when you like the kids he's hanging out with.

In fact, a couple of his friends (not the ones pictured), all had jobs at the local pool.   Thing 2 would often stop by at closing time and offer to help them clean up.   One thing led to another, and he gets hired to be a late-season pool boy.  Not quite a full fledged life guard, but he still gets to dress the part.

 Equal billing for Thing 1
In July, I made an appointment for senior pictures.  There are lots of senior milestone events that I just know he won't have any interest in participating in,   I get that, but for senior pictures, I was holding firm that he'd do this for his mom.

Problem is, that much as he'd like to please me (most days),  posing for the camera has never been something that comes naturally for him.   Oh sure, we've managed to snap some wonderfully candid pictures through the years.   But the last time we did true portrait style pics?   Oh somewhere back around 2003 is my guess.

 It was a family affair getting ready for the photo shoot...
Yes indeed, he gets by with a little help from his brother!

And the proof is in the final product:   There's our boy...looking sharp (and at the camera)
If you are looking for a  photographer in the local area, you can't go wrong with the fabulously talented Steph Steinmark Photography!

Family Time
We seem to have finally recovered from our 3+ weeks of constant togetherness and were ready to head out for an afternoon of theatre.
Yep, even hubby tagged along for this not-so family appropriate but oh so funny musical.
Yeah, it was heart breaking to think the last time we'd been at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House together was to watch Veggie Tales Live...

And what about me?
I'm thinking it is the "7 year itch"...problem is this is only my 6th year as a school nurse. 

Hoping as we move into a new season, my patience returns for these little darlings....
Until next time....take time to enjoy the little things that make you smile!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Milestones and memories....

Growing up, birthdays were a big deal in our house.  
Not necessarily lavish parties, but it always involved a cake made by mom, and almost always had some sort of decorative figurine on the cake. 

 Friends and relatives were often invited for food and celebrating.
  When the boys were young, I continued the traditions of celebrating the birthdays in style, 

Yet, through the years, we've sort of grown out of the habit of celebrating birthdays in point:  
Thing 1 turned 18 earlier this cake, just chicken, lots and lots of chicken...with the only candle around, the baptismal candle.

Oh don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for every birthday we get to enjoy as a family.     We just don't necessarily pull out all the stops to celebrate.   Why that is....I'm not real sure.   

However, this year, is a milestone year, we would indeed celebrate.
  As a family, we took a big trip to Europe...where every over-budget meal was attributed to it being my birthday.   Never have I enjoyed so many birthday dinners.   
  with a birthday toast with most every meal....

As the real day started to approach, I was back in the mode of thinking no big deal.   But, along comes my friend MB.  
She offered to host a party in my honor.  I admit, that sounded like fun....and took her up on her offer to plan a ladies night in, in honor of my 50th birthday.  That's MB and her "little guys"...

 Thursday,   I casually mentioned that it was another friend's 50th in about 10 days, and within less than a day, fabulous hostess that MB is, had managed to let everyone know it would be a double party and even made sure that some of SR's favorites were invited.
  Now that's my kind of hostess...MB, if you read this, thank-you, thank
-you, thank-you...

So Saturday night we gathered for a celebration.   Perhaps it was a bit of dementia, but I found myself if it were my 21st (if you get my boozy drift).

   Note to others:   the fruit in Sangria?   Packs a powerful punch that is likely to induce a serious case of Sangria Flu the next day.  
Side Bar:  Uh oh...looks like I have had this problem for most of my life?  

Ah, but it was a good time.   We laughed, and giggled, and even reflected on the true gifts in our lives....and then we recalled how just 10 short years ago, several of us had gathered for a 40th birthday.  
Where did the years go?  
  •  Ten years ago, we were giddy at being out without the kids under foot.   A slumber party at The Embassy Suites.   Girlfriends, junk food and!
    Ten years later,  now we often find ourselves home alone, waiting anxiously while the kids drive off or ride off with their friends as the driver.  Sleepless nights have a different meaning.  Now insomnia is likely related to the worries of parenting teens or drops in estrogen level (and often a combination of both)
  •   Ten years ago college talk involved reminiscing of the good old days of our own college years, not thinking it would soon be time for our kids to start applying to colleges.  Suddenly those "road trip stories " to Ft. Collins that I thought were a blast?   Yeah, they mean something different through the parent lens.   
     CH and MM...10 years ago...
  • 10 years ago, we knew that with the good friends by our side, we could face many of challenges.   10 years later, we have discovered first hand how much truth was in such a statement.    
 For we have held the hands of our friends as they have lost a sibling,
a parent, and even one of our own...
  • We've reassured one another through times of unemployment and return to the work force.  
    We've supported one through weight losses and gains.  
  • 10 years ago, we searched for the perfect chick flick (we watched Thelma and Louise then) and realize that...Hollywood has yet to create the perfect milestone birthday movie...(Hollywood, can you work on fixing that by my 60th?  Thanks!)  
  • 10 years ago, we hoped that  we'd be together for the long run....and while we know that life offers no such promises and guarantees I do know that what my parents taught me so many years ago...
and that ."There is always room for more" ...
  Remain as true as ever...
And that what they say about 50? 

Yep, so far it's rocking!