Monday, June 27, 2011

this beautiful life

Ever have a moment where you realize how precious this life really is? Just a week ago we visited a family friend who is in her last stretch in a long battle with cancer. Her life has been built around her family and her home. We visited her there, as her family gathers around her, forming a strong and warm embrace of support and love. I was awed by her grace, by her husband’s devotion, and her children’s courage. 

Back home, making spaghetti, I realized how precious each moment is, every breath a gift. It is easy to overlook the mundane but in that moment, the red sauce tasted so rich and sweet. Since that evening, when I find myself feeling frustrated or unhappy, I think about how lucky I am to be waking up at 3 AM to my baby, how blessed to take a hot shower much too early in the morning, how grateful I am to watch the sun shine through the rain.

It’s been a few days since my last post. Amelie got her MMR immunization and was miserable with a fever and rash. Thank goodness for my neighbor, Michelle, who brought over some coconut oil to soothe Ammy’s itchy skin (and it worked great!!).

Some ice cream gave a bit of distraction.

We worked on a Father’s Day project for her Dada.

 Happy Father's Day, Jeremiah!
Ammy and her Dada

I added a new girly pink and white hoodie with braids to the shop.

On Sunday, Amelie and I participated in the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia in Denver. We walked to support my sister and her daughter, survivors.
Mindy and her daughter Lily

Walkers on a hot summer morning, in Denver's City Park.

My Dad and Amelie.

Amelie is finally feeling like herself again! My spirited child.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

change and growth

The week started with a failed trip to the top of Trail Ridge Road – an experience that has got me thinking about what we are all capable of, and how much a person can truly change.

Last year my man became a father and was transformed. The love of my life, I always knew Jeremiah would be an amazing dad but there is something more, something magical between him and Amelie that makes my heart swell up in awe and gratitude.

 So, yes, I think people can change. And I think that we are all much more capable than we ever imagine. Someday I’ll make it to the top of Trail Ridge. 

Last week I started my very first garden. I have never been great at keeping plants alive. Lucky for our indoor plants, Jeremiah is very attentive towards them and some we have had for nearly ten years. 

This year, now that I’m at home so much, I really want to learn how to grow things, how to keep things alive that don’t scream, whine, bark, meow or screech. So here are my poor little starter plants - God help them all.

Amelie helped me get them in the ground.

What is that thing???
Her sweet little feet got all muddy.

I’ve also been working on baby-friendly jewelry that I just added to the shop. They are 100% organic, comfy and can be thrown in the wash with the laundry.

Tekka, our goofy mutt, is a changed man this week too. We took him for his first visit to the dog park. It was a great success!

We’ve been spending some time on the back porch in the evenings watching the sun go down.

 Transformations all around us.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

exposure therapy

Last week I announced that I was going to suck it up and make it to the top of Trail Ridge Road. Being a known acrophobic (yep, I am terrified of heights), my husband humored me and nodded his support. I pumped myself up, giving myself speeches all morning. In the shower, over breakfast, in the car.

“It’s just like any other road. You won’t drive off a cliff and plummet to your demise. The speed limit is so slow! If you are in control of the car, you will feel safe.”

About a quarter of the way up, I started to panic. There were moments where the edge of the road just came a little too close to a steep decline. I had to stop and catch my breath. I told my mom “I don’t know if I can do this.” She urged me on, I continued, but I could feel my confidence slipping from my grasp and when we reached Rainbow Curve, at 10,875 feet I pulled off at the scenic overlook. My hands and feet were tingling. I couldn’t catch my breath. I was starting to feel faint. I got out of the van and crouched on my hands and knees, needing to feel the safety of solid ground.

After a few minutes I recovered myself enough to get Amelie and my nephews out of the car to have a look around.

The scene was hazy and there was obvious smoke in the air from the huge fires in Arizona.

A park ranger took a picture of the five of us.

I wish I could say that I went on and made it to the top but I didn’t. I turned that van around with my tail between my legs, thanking god that I was now hugging the mountainside and couldn’t see over the edge. Here’s how deep the snow was on that side of the road, despite the 78 degree day.

The pine beetles have made their way over the divide, spreading the copper brown of dead trees throughout the once-green forests.

We stopped at the Alluvial Fan to give ourselves some time out of the car. The Fan is the aftermath of an incredible flood, caused by the breaking of a natural dam in 1982. 29 million gallons of water came rushing down the Roaring River, sending giant boulders and trees downstream. Here's what it looks like today.

On solid ground, I was so happy to be alive.

Amelie's first hike.

We felt like real tourists as we stopped to photograph elk on our way out of the park.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

ode to my dog

Oh, Tekka I do love you.
Even when I shout
“You’re driving me BANANAS!”
Like Oscar the Grouch
When you pull on the leash
Or bark like a wild man,
Waking the baby from her nap.

When the baby came I may have changed.
Hormones raging, you endured
Many cranky ramblings and
Me, pointing you out the back door.
But your goofy smile still makes me laugh.

I can still make your tail curl
And wag in great pleasure
When I put on my running shoes
And we walk and walk and walk
'Til your tongue falls out of your mouth.
Tekka, I love you, I do.

 We adopted Tekka from Colorado Collie Rescue on New Years Day, 2009. He had traveled to Colorado from Wichita (my own home town) where he had been at the humane society there for some time. When he wasn’t adopted, the Kansas Humane Society could no longer hold him there and called around to find a shelter that had room for him. Colorado Collie Rescue in Longmont agreed to take him and he and a handful of other dogs were transported by a kind-hearted trucker, arriving in Denver in early December of 2008. It was right around that time that our beloved Fiona, a beautiful and sweet 9-year old collie, died suddenly. When we saw pictures of Tekka taken at the shelter (left) at the end of December, we knew we had to go meet him. It was love - and serendipity. He brought joy to a home full of sorrow and longing. Last year, when Amelie was born, Tekka immediately took to her and they have been the best of friends ever since.
Me and Tekka on his homecoming day, New Years 2009.

Amelie and her best buddy, Tekka, January 2011.

Monday, June 6, 2011

spring fun

I promised myself all winter that when Spring came I would get Amelie out of the house as often as possible. It feels so nice to breathe the warm air, feel the hot Colorado sun on my shoulders, and smell the fresh cut grass and the flourishing weeds. We take a new trail each time. My nephew, Jerry, joined us on a walk near Josh’s Pond.

Afterwards Jerry and Ammy played at a nearby park.

My mama took Amelie and me, along with my nephews, Tristan and Jerry, to the zoo. Amelie had a blast! She loved the polar bear who came right up to the glass and the chocolate ice cream. My camera battery went out quick that day, but here are a couple of shots I got.


Amelie is learning to walk and gets better every day. She loves her shoes and these pink sandals are her fave. Here she is about to stomp my newly planted flowers.

This week I made myself some baby-friendly jewelry. I’m thinking of adding a new section to the shop for Mamas.

Ammy took her first trip to the pool this week when our friend and neighbor Michelle invited us to join her at The Bay in Broomfield. Ammy loved the water and, even though it wasn’t the warmest day, waded into the baby pool bravely, holding my hand. 

Ammy loves to see her Dada at the end of the day.

Our feet feel at home in the grass. Here's to many more warm days to come.