Wednesday, July 27, 2011

thirty wonderful things


Thirty. It really feels like one of those milestone birthdays. This last year has been an incredible journey. When I turned 29 I was a new mom, stumbling my way to the next chapter of my life. As the pages keep turning, I find myself humbled by all that has happened and all the people who have lent a hand, some empathy and good company.

Here are 30 wonderful things I am grateful for as I complete my 29th year.

    - My sweet little growing daughter, Amelie, who has turned my world upside down and gave me a new start in life.

    - My funny and loving hubby, Jeremiah. 
    Celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary
    - Our menagerie. Furry, feathered and finned.

    - Yummy cakes made with love.

    -The good fortune to work not only with an incredible group of young people but amazing, talented and caring colleagues.

    - A trip to see the Dalys in Virginia, where everything slows down and the past is present.

    - A hot cup of coffee with just the right amount of cream.

     - Donuts.

     - Having the luxury to witness birds in flight and other masterpieces each day.
    - Our amazing, generous and giant family.

     - Girlfriends.

     - A good book. I’ve read many since Amelie was born: The Help by Kathryn Stockett, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Momma Zen by Karen Maezen Miller, The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett, At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom by Amy Hempel, The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood and so many more.

     - French fries.

     - My daughter gets to grow up with views like this:
    - Amazing works of art created by family and friends.

    - Warm sunlight on my back.

    - Any stretch of sleep that lasts longer than two hours.

    - Our van that goes and goes, is comfy, fits almost anything into it and keeps our daughter safe.

    - The library. My favorite use of tax dollars. 

    - Loud, passionate female musicians. 

    - Soft grass under our feet.

    - My Mama.

    - My Dad.

    - Finding the time and giving myself the space to create, and the opening of my little shop.

    - A trip to Kansas to see Amelie’s great grandparents and great-great grandparents. 

    - Late nights with friends in the front yard.

    - The big, open Colorado skies.

    -  Long walks with fun companions to important destinations like McDonalds breakfast, garage sales and grazing cows. 
    - All the family and friends who have traveled from far away to visit with us. 

    - Discoveries.

      Wednesday, July 20, 2011

      summer rolls on

      Sneaking in just before midnight on hump day to join in with my fave blogger - Nici Holt Cline - and her hump day nuggets tradition (little bits of the season in photos and words about the last week), so here goes.

      The days are growing hotter and longer but somehow Amelie and I are getting out more and more. Daily walks with friends have gone from a light stroll around the neighborhood park to two miles to five miles in a matter of weeks (admittedly, five miles only happens when breakfast is the destination – over two miles away - then of course we have to turn around to get back home). 

      We stop at parks to let the kids play. Amelie is fascinated with wood chips and rocks.


      Amelie’s pool is out and filled up more often than not.


      Recently my mom joined Amelie and me on a trip to the Denver Zoo. 
      My mama and Amelie

      I love the flamingos – its so much fun to see these brightly colored ocean birds in our landlocked state. 

      There is an orangutan baby who is the same age as Amelie. We visit often and each time I feel like I share a bond with the orangutan mama. The last time we were there the baby, Hesty, was dangling from a rope, swinging and jumping on mama, Nais, who was lying on the floor covering her head with a sheet. Makes me laugh just thinking about it! This time Nais came outside with Hesty for a little time in the trees. I snapped this pic of the two.

      Hesty is so tiny, she still looks like an infant. My little primate is getting big. This is our first trip to the zoo since she learned to walk on her own.

      I like the juxtaposition in this photo – the humans gazing at the gorilla, gazing at the humans. 

      The giraffes are so beautiful with long eyelashes and peaceful demeanor. 

      The summer keeps rolling on. No more lightning strikes in our backyard but storms build up and race to the plains daily.
      Sun breaking through the clouds in Boulder

      This hump day is practically over. Hope it was a good one!

      Wednesday, July 13, 2011

      stormy days

      Afternoon thunderstorms have been rolling off the foothills into our backyard for about a week. We've been happy to have the edge taken off the 90-degree days. Just last Friday I set the camera up on a timer and snapped off this picture after a storm had blown through. Amelie and I danced in the sunlight with the last few drops of rain falling around us.

      As I write this, late on Tuesday night, I am anxious and ready for these thunderstorms to be over. Two days ago one came rolling in while I was at a baby shower and my husband was at home with Amelie. It blew in fast, with whipping winds and an immediate downpour, flooding the streets. My husband, Jeremiah, was shutting (metal) storm windows when a bolt of lightning came crashing down in our backyard, directly behind the window he was touching. The electricity surged towards the house, shocking Jeremiah and taking out our power. Fortunately, he wasn't hurt, just stunned and the cracking of thunder was so loud that his ears were ringing. Amelie was in hysterics - she had been napping when the lightning hit.

      There is nothing to do but be grateful that they are both okay, as well as our household full of animals. The surge fried our televisions and furnace, damaged our computers and some other odds and ends around the house, but those can be replaced. Was it bad luck or good luck? I'm thinking good, but I've got my pair of rosy-colored glasses handy.

      Wednesday, July 6, 2011

      subversive art in the park

      I discovered this colorful act of graffiti on an electrical box at a park near my home:

      Not ten feet away stands this effigy, acquired by the city:

      I'm sure the former will soon be covered or sand-blasted to oblivion. This particular graffiti, visually pleasing and thought provoking, comes across as a relevant, though subversive, work of art that expresses some voice of the community. I don't always feel this way about graffiti. The sculpture, with its movement and medium, has its own, more acceptable expression.  What are your opinions on graffiti?

      Saturday, July 2, 2011

      we're freeeeeeeeeee!

      All the 4th of July preparations got me thinking about liberty, freedom.

      Yesterday my dog, Tekka, got loose at the park and chased down a rollerblader. To him, there was something truly ominous about this man who not only glided on wheels but pushed wildly forward with a ski pole in each hand. I ran after him (not even coming close to catching him) and he finally stopped and came back to me. It is only in hindsight that I can imagine the feeling he must have had the moment that, backing out of his collar, he was set free, bursting forward with youthful enthusiasm and power. Liberated. Free.

      Though Amelie is still a good 15 years away from earning a driver’s license, she exerts her independence on two legs, a recent discovery that she can go anywhere she pleases. She pushes me away, wanting to be let down and waddles around on her very own. Happily, she too comes back to me, wants back up in my arms.



      These two make me want to run and jump, enjoy some freedom of movement! 

      Have a happy holiday weekend out there.