Beginning of the Fun

Today is Halloween, the first of my three favorite holidays! Its a chance to explore the scary or macabre, to enjoy our darker sides, and of course, eat candy. You get to dress up and be, just for a day (or weekend), anyone you want to be. Plus, with this day, I know that Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. So much festiveness and celebration!

Last year, Thanksgiving was rather rough. That holiday, more then any other, is one that has always been about family to me... and last year we were alone. This year, Trav was on top of it though, and we are now looking forward to a visit from his parents to help us celebrate! I'm so excited to have family here, so excited for a little extra joy and celebration during such a family focused time. So excited for a giant turkey too.

Of course there are still moments here. But I'm anticipating the holidays here this year in a way that I wasn't last year. Festive and fun, I can't wait for all the next few months bring!


Family Photo Shoot

We had the pleasure the other week of working with one of my doula friends, who is also a photographer, to take some family photos. I'm so excited with how they turned out!

I've driven by this place hundreds of times - its between our apartment and my yoga studio - and it was just so quaint! I was dying to take pictures there.

I'm holding back the picture we decided to use for our Christmas cards, but these are some of our favorites from the rest. 


Semi-Wordless Wednesday {This and That}

Some random pictures to share:

My 70lb lap dog! She crawled up here while we watched Gwen play at a local playground.

I may have killed my container garden... but that doesn't mean I'm not making big plans for when we eventually have a yard!!

My girlfriend has a screen and projector setup in her backyard for movie nights! We headed over there for The Good Dinosaur a few weekends ago. Its so much fun!

What outdoor movie night is complete without glow necklaces?!

Walking home from an evening event at Gwen's school one night... under some gorgeous skies!

My silly girl!

I had to get a new case, as my almost daily dropping had finally done my old case in.
I love the new one!

Hello Friend.

The mountains are officially snow capped! Welcome to Autumn in Colorado!

Sweet snuggle bugs!

She really is a Saint. Love my Bubba!


The One Where I Laugh At Myself

Let's just call this the one where I laugh at myself, because seriously, did I really think that October was going to be slower?! Hahaha, oh, no. As you read this, Trav and I are on a much needed vacay from life celebrating our anniversary, so this week, I will finally get that slowing down that I had hoped for, and I am going to enjoy the heck out of it. The rest of the month, not so much.

Woman for scale... she was a few inches taller then me!
These horses were HUGE!
The very first weekend, we quickly went from not much happening, to Trav working one day, and me subbing two classes the following day.  ::hello husband, goodbye husband (we blow kisses as we pass like ships in the night)::  There were exhausting times: a week when Trav worked events 3 nights in a row; nights on call for me. Halfway through the month there was a stressful event that felt like a huge hump I was happy to get over. Still trying to find that balance between finding the help I need sometimes with not really wanting to have to ask for help, or overburden someone else by asking for help.

Apple cider donuts!
We had to drive up past Boulder to get them, but totally worth it!

Even with only one child and my relatively laid back schedule, there were definitely times this month that I wished there were two of me to get everything done (or maybe three of me, with one being a permanent fixture on the couch, alternating between all the books I wish I were reading and all the Netflix I want to watch!). I don't know how parents with multiple kids (and multiple after school activities) do it. 

That's not to say it was bad, not at all! I've subbed a handful (and a half) of classes this month, found my new car, did CPR training, got family pictures done, went to yoga, talked with a doula training class, met with friends. We also hit up an Orchard for some Apple Cider Donuts (where all the pictures in this post are from). So much good stuff!

The subbing in particular... I called Babs after leaving a class one day when I had a "I can't believe this is really my life now!" moment. Its surreal to stand at the front of the class and lead a group through a flow together.

So, while the month might not have been as slow as I hoped, it was full and fun, and had all the other beautiful hallmarks of Autumn.

Hay ride!

November is looking pretty low-key so far. Maybe I'll get that slower month I was looking for? Don't worry, I'm not holding my breath!


A Car is Just A Car, But...

Mid-September, on a random weekend when Trav was working, Gwen and I decided to drive down to the Farmer's Market and do a little browsing. Everything was going great. Until it wasn't.


Don't worry. We're fine. But my sweet Angie, not so much. Totaled. 

I know that its just a car... but I've had this car for 11 years and she was my baby! Its the car that drove us to Cape Cod and back countless times, the car that brought home Daisy for the first time, and cocooned Gwen as a baby. It drove us cross-country 3 times, and on countless road trips. She's quirky, but I know her quirks!

I miss my parade of dancing cows...

She was the perfect size, comfortably broken in, and happily paid off!
In the end, it is just a car. But I loved that car, and I miss her.

Farewell, Angie.  :-(

That said, this girl is shaping up to be the silver-lining in this whole mess: 

Meet Rhonwen!

I will say that the 4WD and the extra space for travel essentials is pretty nice. There's never a good time or place for something like this to happen, but I'm just happy that its all over with and I can start getting to know my new girl.


Short Words and Full Hugs: Musings on Being the Parent I Want to Be

None of us can be our best all the time. By definition, it wouldn't be our best then. Plus there is this amazing thing called life that happens all around us and in us and through us at all hours, and you find yourself tired, cranky, or overwhelmed. Our children are little people, so very human, and they learn rather quickly how to read us and push us to our edges. It's reassuring to them that the love is still there, even after that.

Excerpts from Gwen's Yellowstone/Grand Tetons travel journal.

It's less reassuring to us who often look back at our reactions and see all the ways that we could have done it better. But after all, we are only human as well, and try as some of us might, perfection isn't actually an attainable human goal. 

Maybe it's even harder to look at those moments when you do it so well. I can clearly see the laughter, the hugs, the love; it's very easy to see how short I've fallen when I know how much better I can do.

But the focus should be this: there is so damn much love. So many hugs. So much laughter and fun and happiness. Amazing memories, learning opportunities, and just plain simple happy times.
A reminder of the memories we are making together...

Lately I have frequently fallen short of my hopes and expectations for myself - both personally and as a parent. I think of fights and too short replies. There aren't enough hours in the day for all I want to accomplish, and the impatience gets taken out on those we love whether they have any control over that or not. 

I'd written a few weeks back about how I'm struggling, and even just writing that allowed me time and space to acknowledge where these responses are really emerging from, what they really mean. It doesn't mean I've been able to change them overnight, but at least I can be more self aware.

And how much we like each other, even when we get on each others nerves.

The smart Bunmi Laditan wrote something recently, a whole lovely post about not cutting your child on your own jagged edges. The whole thing was just so perfectly stated (seriously, give it a read), but one thing in particular: our anger is normally a flimsy cover for some deeper, scarier emotions. So I've been trying to dig deeper when that emotion rises up and over me in those hard moments, and see what its really all about.

Often its about failure, and my fear of it. About failing as a parent, about failing Gwen in some way, of not preparing her for the sometimes hard world that she's a part of. And when I identify it that way, I can take the step back I need. I can remind myself that I'm not a failure, that Gwen is an extraordinary girl worth being proud of, and that we have a long time together to continue to prepare her.

We can only do our best to learn from ourselves. To look at where we struggled and try harder the next time we are in that situation. This time there might have been short words, but next time maybe we can respond with some long hugs instead.


Long Days, and a Short 16 Years

The Days are long, but the Years are short.

The days are full of routine and rush; work, school, homework, lessons, yoga, chores, errands and sometimes births. But the years... well they go by faster and faster, a condensed look at travels and growth, big changes, and little victories.

Yesterday Trav and I celebrated 16 of those years together, and a decade of marriage! Oh how damn fast those years have gone, though how different we are since we first met as babies all those long days ago.

I was just 18 years old when we first started dating. And still a baby at 24 when we got married.

It might not always have been/be easy, but I'm so proud of the life we've built together.

A beautiful family. A life with so much love, laughter, and adventure!

Happy Anniversary, Trav! I love you!!


Semi-Wordless Wednesday {Celtic Harvest Festival}

A few weekends ago we hit up the same Celtic Festival that we attended last year. 

Its a fun weekend, and we were happy to get to attend again.

You know we're always happy for a chance to throw on our kilts and celebrate our heritage! 


The Trouble of Record Keeping

The trouble with the way a blog works is that you have to strike the proper balance between certain forces. Not too long, not to short, is it about an event, or about a feeling, am I telling a story, recording some facts, or offering advice. I've been rereading some of our travel posts and the problem with them is that travel is when I feel most in the moment. When we travel, I am there. 100%. Then we get back, and the millions of firings in my brain, all the sensory input and feels and doings, it's too much to record.

How do I explain the weight of the struggle I feel in telling Gwen enough, but not too much (she is only 6, by God!), about the history of what the different places means? How as people we are good and evil and inherently flawed -- we attempt good by putting these beautiful sites aside, but we made them into pristine nature by kicking out vast groups of people who called these lands home, and they're much better stewards of them then we are. In those moments I feel the weight of their history as real as the incredible beauty in front of me.

Alien landscapes of geysers, towering red rocks, and deep canyons.
Blood shed, tears, hope, and misunderstanding.

How do I explain the love I feel watching my daughter hike the trails, and the frustration I feel when she complains about wanting to stay at the campsite all day and play with action figures? The cool chill of the air at night, which is the reason I love autumn/spring camping so much better then mid-summer camping? The smell of the campfire and the sound of its crackle, which makes me feel as safe and comforted as almost anything in this world?

I sit down and write 3000 words with 20 pictures, and its already so long. I hit publish because I want to have it recorded, but I know that its missing so much.

Travel is just the most obvious example of this, but its a problem with plenty of writing. How do I make the story as complete as possible while still respecting the privacy of those around me? How do I say what I want to pour out onto page while still recognizing the sanctity of certain moments?

This, my friends, is the trouble with online record keeping.

I have no answers. Just the drive to keep trying to get a little closer.


Yoga "Teaching"

Way back in June I found myself making the trek to a great little women's collective about 40 minutes NE of us. They were a brand new place, just starting to grab teachers, artists, and instructors to add to their space. I hit it off with the sweet owner, and that's how I found myself with two yoga classes to call my own in mid-August.

The space was new (and beautiful!), and all of its classes were new, meaning we were starting from zero. Its hard starting something up, but rather nice when you can help shape and mold things into what you dream of. At the beginning, it was not so much classes as hanging out in the studio space during class times! I did get extra work done, and reading, and class writing.

They say that it takes about 6 weeks to really establish a new class, and even longer with a new place. That definitely seemed to be true. Things were building behind the scenes, but in person it was still minimal to nothing. 

Late September I got the news that the whole operation was going to be ending soon. The owner and her family were being led back to Florida, so all classes were being canceled, and they would only be holding a few events for their remaining time in the studio space. Obviously this was not the experience I was expecting, but it was a learning experience nonetheless.

Since then, I have been working to gain some private clients, subbing for the city rec centers (I subbed 4 times in 2 days recently, so they are keeping me busy), and decide what kind of classes I'd like to pursue elsewhere. I can't wait to see where my yoga teaching goes next.