Tuesday, August 21, 2012


A very small sample of the things that came out of my daughter's mouth tonight:

-why are we not nocturnal?

-how do two babies fit in a mommy's tummy and how do they come out?

-I really want to be able to be a real fairy and to fly

-why do birds have tails?

-I'm thankful for this nice dinner and clean plates after we wash them

-I'm thankful that we all love each other

-I really want to be able to fly

Sunday, August 5, 2012

July? Hello?

Oh my gosh, what happened to July??  The last time I was actively blogging it was about things that happened in mid-June, and now here we are in August!  Oy.  Time sure flies when you're having the time of your life.  And boy have I been.

Let's see.  At the end of June we enjoyed a couple rare, unscheduled, mostly-close-to home weekends.  We blew up Sadie's pool and drank beer in the driveway with our neighbors.

 We (and by we I mean the neighborhood men) put together Sadie's new playhouse.

We celebrated our nephew Elias' baptism and enjoyed a short, but lovely visit with Brian's aunt and uncle who were visiting from California.

We had dinner at my brother and sister-in-law's house and visited with my aunt and uncle who live in town but we don't see nearly as often as I'd like to.

Oh, and we have a new family member!  Brian's beautiful new Brooks Masten Fretless Banjo.  Yay for more handmade, acoustic instruments! Love love love that....

The first weekend in July found us spending some time in Colorado Springs with our dear friends the Noleens.  We also took Sadie to Boulder's Dinner Theater for the first time.  It's an annual tradition for my family, and I've been dreaming of bringing Sadie with us as soon as she was old enough.  Well, this summer's production of Cinderella seemed like the PERFECT opportunity!  Needless to say, my little princess was in heaven.

And then it was time to kiss my family goodbye, give them a few extra squeezes, throw my pack on my back and get on the plane (by myself!) to Paducah, Kentucky.  More on that in the next post....

After making a brief appearance at work upon my return from the aforementioned 10-day trip, and getting hit by a pretty big emotional hammer due to some intensity in my loved one's lives, we were back to living the good life in "festival land".  Rockygrass was utterly divine this year, as it always is.  And coming off said emotional hammering, I absolutely soaked and reveled in all the beauty that was around me.  Moments of particular musical brilliance; watching my daughter hug, kiss, and generally and love on neighbors and friends and strangers; running alone along the St. Vrain River early Saturday morning and keeping my eyes open for a bear who I knew was nearby; drinking mead and visiting with like-minded festival mamas; curling up in my husband's lap while watching this band play this song on stage and letting all the emotion of a very hard and heartbreaking day pour out of me (Love and love and nothing else, is all I need)...these are the moments I treasure at a festival. 

Festivating with an infant was easy.  I wore the baby everywhere I went and during everything I did, including into the port-a-potty and while setting up and taking down camp.  She nursed and I festivated.  Easy.  But the next two years were anything but easy.  Festivating with a new 1-year-old walker and a rambunctious, newly independent (and not very focused on listening) 2-year-old were NOT SO EASY.  And while festivating with a 3-year-old is certainly exhausting, and not anything at all like festivals in our pre-parents days...this (so far) has been by far my favorite festival season yet.  Sadie is so comfortable and understanding of the music and camping scene, that she sleeps well, listens well, and really gets into the whole vibe of the thing.  AND, whereas in past years, we lived and died by her taking a nap and getting to bed by 8 p.m....now she can (finally!) go without a nap without completely losing her mind, and bedtime rules and routines can definitely be flexible while at a festival.

On Friday night of the festival, Brian was exhausted, so he and Sadie both crawled into the tent by about 9 p.m.  The glowsticks came out on Saturday night, and Sadie and her friend Beau ran each other ragged until about 9:30 p.m. in the festival grounds while we parents enjoyed the music and kept an eye on the kiddos.  I could tell that Sadie was getting tired when she sat down in the middle of playtime facing away from the stage.  I invited her to crawl into my lap and she was asleep in moments.  I watched the rest of the set while she slept peacefully on my chest.  She went right back to sleep when we got back to the tent and slept all night.

But my very favorite was the last night of the festival.  All our festival buddies were gone, it was raining, and one of my top-three-favorite-of-all-time musicians, Tim O'Brien, was closing out the festival.  Sadie and I were fresh out of a nice warm shower and in our comfy clothes and raingear.  Brian and I found a nice spot to sit where we could see the stage, we spread a tarp across our laps, Sadie crawled into the "fort" formed between our chairs, and promptly fell asleep.  I cannot put into words the pure bliss I felt as a light Colorado rain fell on my family as we watched and absorbed the beautiful music coming to us from stage.  Sitting there with my loving husband while our beautiful, perfect daughter slept peacefully between us, was one of the happiest moments of my life.  Truly.

Another high point of the festival....Sadie and I sat down in the front row of the sheltered theater on the festival grounds to watch Red Molly's set.  Sadie, again, was completely entranced by the beautiful women in the beautiful dresses and boots.  She wanted to pretend she was singing like they were.  LOVE that she gets so into watching women on stage!

Anyway, this about sums up how I feel in my heart about things right now.  Despite a lot of pain and sadness all around these days, I'm never far from this....

May I suggest
May I suggest to you
May I suggest this is the best part of of your life

May I suggest

this time is blessed for you
this time is blessed and shining almost blinding bright
just turn your head
and you’ll begin to see
the thousand reasons that were just beyond your sight

the reasons why

why I suggest to you
why I suggest this is the best part of your life

there is a world

that’s been addressed to you
addressed to you, intended only for your eyes
a secret world
a treasure chest to you
of private scenes and brilliant dreams that mesmerize

a tender lover’s smile

a tiny baby’s hands
the million stars that fill the turning sky at night

Oh I suggest

Yes I suggest to you
Yes I suggest this is the best part of your life

There is a hope

that’s been expressed in you
the hope of seven generations, maybe more
this is the fate
that they invest in you
it’s that you’ll do one better that was done before

inside you know

inside you understand
inside you know what’s yours to finally set right

and i suggest

and i suggest to you
and i suggest this is the best part of your life

this is a song

comes from the west to you
comes from the west, comes from the slowly setting sun
this is a song
with a request of you
to see how very short the endless days will run
and when they’re gone
and when the dark descends
we’d give anything for one more hour of life

may i suggest

this is best part of your life

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Heart Aches

image credit
 Oh, my heart has been aching so, so deeply this summer.

It started with the horrible fires which impacted so many in my close circle, and so many in their close circles, and on and on....

We were so thankful to be able to host my mother and father-in-law when they were evacuated from their home in the midst of the worst day of the Walden Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  We watched the TV in horror as their part of Colorado Springs went up in flame.  We worried ourselves sick about our dear friends, as we watched their street burn and heard the name of their subdivision over and over again in the media.

Colorado is a place of wildfires.  We are safe from most natural disasters here in our front range location in a landlocked state.  But wildfires are our danger.  It's something my parents have to worry about every summer.  But they live in the mountains.  It's a risk they took when they decided to settle there.  But this one was a little too close to home.  I won't ever forget the images of a cookie-cutter subdivision, just like mine, with a Walgreens and a Starbucks just down the road, burning to the ground.  Terrifying and heartbreaking.  I'm just so thankful that no one I know was hurt or lost in these fires.

Those dear friends of ours are still displaced from their home as major repairs are made to the interior of their house, and while their neighborhood, much of which didn't survive the fire, is a construction zone.  They've lost most of their posessions.  But they're fine.  They're together, and they are resilient.  But still, to nearly lose your home....

And on top of that, this same friend of mine, the bravest woman I know, is fighting another battle.  A big one.  Earlier this year, Marjorie tested positive for a BRCA2 genetic mutation which makes her risk of developing cancer scary-high.  She has subsequently made the heart-wrenching, but educated, informed, important decision to undergo a double mastectomy and hysterectomy.  She has faced her risk head-on.  She followed the advice of several trusted medical professionals who had evaluated her specific situation. Please check out her blog, and support this great organization if you can.  This is something that is not well understood, and if future generations are to have other options than what Marjorie's were...more support is needed. 

And while Marjorie was forefront in my mind while I was out of town (as she danced the night away before her surgeries and prepared mentally and logistically for her surgeries and the subsequent long recovery), I heard more bad news.  A lovely ray of sunshine, my sister-in-law's cousin Wendy, lost her battle with breast cancer at the age of 41.  She leaves behind two beautiful daughters (both under the age of 10) and a loving husband.  Not to mention the many, many people who were touched by her beautiful spirit.  A woman who I admired so so much for the dedicated nurse, loving wife, and absolutely inspiring mother that she was, is gone way too soon.  I am floored by the sadness associated with this loss.  My heart hurts so deeply for her family and close friends. 

On top of this, the horrible, evil news of the shooting in Aurora, a town less than 30 miles from my home.  The news that a young man I know, a lifelong friend of my brother's, has for some reason suffered a stroke.  Meeting a woman who not only is recovering from her own cancer treatment, but is somehow handling the horror of her youngest child, a 2-year-old, recently being diagnosed with cancer.

And what does an innocent bystander do in the midst of all this?  Give lots of hugs.  Tell people I LOVE YOU any chance I can. Smile.  Smile more.  Send loving thoughts and wishes and prayers to those in pain.  Help in any way I can think to.  And hug my own loved ones and close circle a little more tightly.  Appreciate all the good in the world.  Love what is beautiful.