Monday, September 24, 2012

Happy Fall

When my friend, Sarah, lived here we had a tradition of making chili and pumpkin pie on the first day of fall to celebrate.  She's lives in Germany now, but the first day of fall still sent me scurrying to my cupboard to pull out the pumpkin pie recipe, and set a pot of bison quinoa chili to simmer all day on the stove. The first day of fall gives me permission to finally use the fall fruits that have been cropping up in the stores.  And I suddenly feel the cravings for lasagna, bisques, and pumpkin everything.  

Long's Peak

Sunday we celebrated the memory of my Dad who passed away a year ago.  My brother's family and our crew took our mom to Estes Park for the day to spend our time remembering in one of his favorite places.  I baked up a batch of my Dad's favorite cookie, Jubilee Jumbos, that has become a part of the family lore.  In college, my mom was sitting in class when a plaintative voice came drifting in through the window singing...jubilee jumbos...juubbilleeee juumbooos...

Estes Park
The aspen leaves are turning a gorgeous yellow tinged with fiery red.  It makes me happy.  Chloe and I are getting this homeschool thing figured out.  Some days it's too beautiful to be inside, so we drag the math books outside and find a cozy rock to do our business.  She's loving being home with her momma, and I'm loving having her with me.  Happy fall.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The New Normal

I'm trying to find a new rhythm these days.  My darling husband has been working away on a project in Texas, which means he's been home for 4 days in the last month and counting. That leaves me pulling the single mom wagon, with one child in cello and lacrosse, and the other in tae kwon do and soccer-which I also happen to be coaching.  I'm super thankful for the family and friends who have loved on us in various ways, feeding us dinner, working on my car, making me brownies and chai and stepping in to help ferry children when I'm double booked.  
Some days I do feel like superwoman and I'm doing OK;  other days I'm singing "a few of my favorite things..." through clenched teeth.  (For the record, Julie Andrews, that doesn't really help.)  The other night I was up late digging through the cupboards because I had forgotten that I needed to make a French dessert for Aidan's world languages class and I already had one child asleep.  (No pressure, mom, but I did tell my teacher that you were sure to bring something.)  I found a recipe online that matched the apples, cinnamon, and lemon I had on hand and voila-an apple cloufti.  Today I discovered a squirrel is living in my roof.  I'm not sure what to do about that one, although the thought did cross my mind to hoist Roscoe up there.
coal creek trail
I just started homeschooling Chloe part time this week.  She is going to school for specials, and spending the rest of the day with me.  We felt like she needed a little boost in some areas, and because she is relatively high performing at school, those things she struggles with are never addressed.  She's been waking up every day eagerly asking what we are doing.  She's anticipating something creative and wonderful (and I'm not even sure what we are having for dinner!).  Which is why I'm sitting by this stream while she's in school, giving space for something magical to bubble up and appear in my mind.  I do think that learning is an extension of living, and most times we just need to be present in the moment.  We rode the trail on our bikes to school, and stopped to watch a hawk circling and collect leaves that are losing their green chlorophyll.
Aidan had his first lacrosse game this last Friday.  He loved it.  Hes not concerned with what the score is really, or even who's doing the scoring, he's just completely stoked that he can run around and hit people with his stick.  Last week I wondered if I could get away with switching places because I was thinking it would be just the thing that day to run around and to hit somebody with a stick. 

 I'm off to teach cursive...


Monday, September 3, 2012


Aidan and Chris are downstairs playing Portal 2 with the little sis keeping company.  The last two days have been spent in the glorious expanse of the mountains, and for right now, all is as it should be in my house.

 The last two weeks with Chris gone have been stretching for me.  I got to play mommy, and daddy, soccer coach, fix it man, and everything else.  Some nights things got left behind, like grocery shopping and a regular dinner.  There may have been one night where I handed Aidan a jar of peanut butter and crackers, while Chloe munched on panda puffs.  (The incredulous look on his face was hilarious because that is definitely Not Normal around here) There were several nights where I sat up with my new middle schooler and tried to walk him through those first few days; and feeling so inadequate.  I could only absorb his emotions and give him a safe place to express his sudden insecurities and frustrations.  (while wishing we could have solved this before bedtime)  But I couldn't fix anything.  Then I realized all of a sudden that was okay, and I wasn't supposed to.  Because if I took away all of the mountains my kids have to climb, they will never learn to conquer life.  And that they can conquer life.


 It's not easy to watch them sometimes scramble and slip, but I know that when they make it to the top and look down at what they have accomplished, they will be so proud, and more brave when they encounter their next mountain.


 It would be negligent of me to give them wings, and never allow them to use them.  But it's tough on the mommy, even knowing that love allows hard things.


When they are little, you can swoop in and fix life with a snuggle and a kiss, but when they're older, sometimes you just gotta sit there on the edge of the bed and feel helpless, until suddenly, they find their feet again.  Maybe I'm learning something though too.

And when they stand on top of their mountain, they will feel like they did it on their own, but I will have the gray hairs and sleepless nights that says nobody climbs a mountain best, alone.