Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Brian!

If you know my husband....

You know that this was pretty much the coolest thing that could have happened to him for his birthday.

What an awesome time we had during our own personal tour of the Ome Banjo Factory in Boulder, CO. Brian's Celtic Ome is one of his (and our) most prized possessions and it was so cool to meet the people who lovingly craft these gorgeous instruments. Our 45 minute planned tour turned into a nearly 3 hour visit and discussion of ALL THINGS BANJO! YEAH!

The rest of the birthday weekend was equally lovely with a special lunch out for the two of us in Boulder; dinner with my family at one of our favorite restaurants in Denver, Undici; golf for the boys and post-golf camping with a big group of friends; and a special birthday dinner out in Castle Rock at Siena and this yummy banana cake!

Happy birthday my love. You're the best man I know and I'm supremely happy that I get to hang out with you forever and ever.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Snake Update

Has it really only been a little over two months since I wrote this post? Time for a progress report...I feel like there's been A LOT of progress. I'll start with these images.
Here's my friend Herbert sitting on my lap during a session with my therapist. And I took him out of the bag and put him there! Willingly! If you'll recall....Herbert has been in my possession for almost a year, and until the day this picture was taken, I HAD NEVER TOUCHED HIM! The first time my therapist removed him from the bag a year ago I actually cried I was so afraid.

I'm not going to say that taking that first step was easy, but I did it! And then got used to him sitting there.

After his triumphant and long-awaited release from his double-bagged home, I decided to let him be free forever. The bags were recycled, and Herbert now resides on the dashboard of my work truck. Which means we spend a lot of time together. I commute and am also in and out of my truck all day for work. So, needless to say, I've gotten pretty used to having this guy around. (by the way, if you haven't read my previous post...Herbert is a fake rubber snake :)


On the last day of my vacation in May, Brian and I decided to take Sadie to the zoo. And that morning I declared to Brian and Sadie that I would be joining them in viewing the snakes in the Tropical Discovery exhibit. I'd thought about it for days and had mentally prepared myself for this step. I explained to Brian that he might need to be patient with me since my reaction wasn't assured. And I tapped. A lot. All the way to the zoo, in fact. I also reminded myself of what my therapist had been insisting upon...that I start to see more than the "scary" and "sneaky" characteristics of snakes (as I see them). What can I appreciate about them? Their color? The symmetry of their patterned skin? Brian decided that it would be a good idea to start with the snakes to get it out of the way.

So I took some deep breaths, and I walked right up to a big, bright green mamba. And I looked at it very closely. I craned my neck to see if I could spot its head. I read the interesting scientific facts about it. I talked to Brian and Sadie about it. I tapped. And of course I was sweating, shaking, and feeling nauseous. But I kept looking at that snake until I felt o.k. about it. And then I moved on to the next one. And I looked at every single snake in that exhibit...which is a lot! We probably spent over an hour in there. I watched a prairie rattlesnake (which is what we have in my part of Colorado) open and close its jaw repeatedly and talked myself into being amazed at how wide that snake can open its mouth. I spent a lot of time with a skinny pair of 6 foot long African snakes who are known to be very active and mobile and really worked at appreciating how amazing it is how they move their bodies in such a unique way.

And when we left the snake exhibit, Sadie and I sat down in the sunshine. I held my hand to my forehead, neck, heart and stomach (in that order), and as I paused on each of those points, I said these words out loud: "I feel o.k. about those snakes". And then we continued on to have a lovely picnic lunch and enjoy the rest of the zoo.

Brian was very patient with me. He did have to remind me a couple times to watch my language since we were at the zoo with our daughter and surrounded by lots of other children (I tend to curse a lot when I'm scared...). He explained the situation to a couple people who were looking at me strangely. He listened intently to me as I talked through my feelings and processed what I had been through. I know it is very hard for him to understand this phobia, but I am very grateful that he has always respected me enough to never make fun of me for it and has never insisted that I "just get over it".

Next step...watch my therapist handle an actual snake (a small one) in my presence. Oy.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Here I Go...

I've made a big decision and a big commitment. Check out my other blog to see what I'm up to...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pagosa Folk 'N Bluegrass

A random list of my very favorite things about my new very favorite festival:
  • Best restaurant in Del Norte: the Peace of Art Cafe. We'll always always make it work to stop here on our way to and from this part of the state. Delicious and healthy food made from local and organic ingredients, a zebra friend for Sadie, an interesting and artistic building and atmosphere, but must mostly just one of those places you feel nourishes your soul. You walk out feeling a bit more connected somehow. Lovely.
  • The drive to Pagosa Springs is just perfect. Long enough to make you feel like you're really getting away, but not too long that travelers young and old start losing their patience and their minds. And Wolf Creek Pass is one of the most gorgeous places on earth in my opinion.
  • It was our first camping trip of the season and it felt SO GOOD to be sleeping, eating, and peeing outdoors! Yeah! Sadie did so well...she slept soundly every night bundled up in her sleeping bag and really embraced the concept of "camping and hiking and hot springs".
  • The camping situation at this festival could not be more different from what we're used to at the festivals we attend every year. We had a very private campsite, with other festival goers far enough away that you really couldn't hear them at all. We were in a big meadow with plenty of room for Sadie to run around. We were a short walk from the main festival grounds, but not too far that it was hard to walk back and forth to camp a few times a day (and the hill to the festival, and my ever-present 25-lb (2 year old) load helped burn off the calories from those festival beers!). And we could have a campfire! Yeah! Nothing better than that after a long day. Oh, and none of this schlepping your massive amounts of festival gear 50 yards or more from your car to your campsite and then parking miles away. You camp with your car which makes unpacking and repacking a breeze!
  • Hot springs! Every morning! Need I say more??
  • Camping with new friends and other kids! What fun it was for Sadie to have a new friend to go berserk with, and what a treat for us to get to know some new friends better. And parenting alongside another couple dealing with similar joys and challenges inherent in taking young children to a festival was comforting and inspiring at times.
  • The weather could not have been more perfect. Can't count on that every year, I know, (and I've heard this festival property turns into a somewhat miserable muddy pit during rainy years), but I think the pros will outweigh that issue in the future.
  • Sadie finally figuring out that dirt is fun and that getting dirty is what being a kid is all about.
  • The music! Of course! Favorites included Finnders and Youngberg, Crooked Still, Grant Farm, and Town Mountain.
  • Spending the weekend with my wonderful husband and lovely daughter doing what I love to do more than mostly anything else in the world. Doesn't get any better.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Sadie completed her first session of swim lessons at our community rec center. This was so much for for all of us! Brian and I learned a lot about getting Sadie comfortable in the water, and she had a lot of fun.