29 Aug
2014
Posted in: uncategorized
By    No Comments

Dreading and Needing School to Begin

Children in silhoutte racing toward a sunset

The start of school leaves me emotionally unraveling every single year.

Boy holding three captured crawfish

I loathe that summer is coming to a close, but I desperately want just a few moments of daylight hours to myself. It’s obvious the kids and I could use a break from each other. They’ve started bickering and picking at each other. I have lost all motivation to accomplish anything productive like getting out of bed and fixing breakfast. I need school to start, so I’m forced into a routine. Our free-flowing summer lifestyle has run its course.

Three brothers hiking on a mountain road

In two weeks though, I’ll want the kids back. I’ll be back accomplishing tasks because I’ll have places to be and obligations to uphold. I will have returned to my more adult self having been able to hold a conversation without any noise in the background, and drink a cup of coffee while it’s still morning. I’ll miss the kids and be jealous of their teachers who get to see them during the day.

Boy swimming in a pond on an innertube

I want every little thing in two different ways.

I want the kids to go back to their teachers and to the experience of school they enjoy, BUT I don’t want to be left out of it all.

I want the kids to start the activities they’ve missed, BUT I don’t want to take anyone anywhere at any specific time.

I don’t want the boys to eat school lunch, BUT I don’t want to deal with them making lunches every day or providing what needs to be stocked in the house for that to happen.

I know getting back to an actual set bedtime will be good for us, BUT that means I actually have to pay attention to the clock enough to get people in bed on time.

Our oldest starts junior high next week. That’s not helping with my emotional stability.

Rainbow and storm clouds as seen from the Casper Mountain overlook

I’ve enjoyed these three months with my crew at home — not every minute, but us together with very few obligations is my ideal lifestyle. I’m more content when I can plan places to visit and activities to do with my four without worries of school or activities. I adore slow mornings where sleepy heads stumble into the kitchen when they’re ready to wake up, not when they have to. I cherish longer conversations with each of the kids to connect in a way that’s impossible when people are going from one thing to another thing and then another.

Indian Paintbrush in a mountain field

We’ve made many memories, shared new experiences, and spent loads of quality time together. I know, for my family, that time is cherished because we know life will now be busier. I sense the need for change, structure and even a little busy is what’s needed to make the next break something to cherish.

 


 
Really, We’re Not City Folk
By     |    Aug 22, 2014
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

Really, We’re Not City Folk

I overheard one of my boys refer to himself as a “city boy” and couldn’t help but giggle. Living in the heart of Wyoming makes it almost impossible to be a legitimate “city boy,” even if you do live in the state’s second largest town. At 50,ooo people, give or take, our town is larger by far than all but the Wyoming capital. We have ample shopping and restaurant options compared to most of our state and even a public... [Read More]

Read more
Harney Peak: Highest Spot East of the Rockies
By     |    Aug 19, 2014
Posted in: travel     |    1 Comment

Harney Peak: Highest Spot East of the Rockies

I’ve talked for years about a specific hike on my bucket list: Harney Peak in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The Hills aren’t far from where we live and a stone’s throw from where my husband grew up. Each summer for almost a decade, we’ve driven roads through the Hills with me proclaiming how someday I’ll hike Harney Peak. Time with just Craig and I has to be planned and thought out. There’s not much “free time” to work... [Read More]

Read more
Close Encounters of the Wildlife Kind
By     |    Aug 14, 2014
Posted in: photography, travel     |    No Comments

Close Encounters of the Wildlife Kind

Last week, we were hiking in Glacier National Park and a grizzly bear trotted across the trail about 50 feet in front of us. My thoughts were convoluted in that 40-second encounter. I wanted to take a photo, but self-preservation took top priority. The six of us were clumped together as we watched the bear trot across the path and wander up a brush-covered hillside. It wasn’t until the bear was out of sight that I realized I was holding... [Read More]

Read more
Take a Trip: Glacier National Park
By     |    Aug 12, 2014
Posted in: travel     |    1 Comment

Take a Trip: Glacier National Park

I felt my cares wash away looking over Logan Pass inside Glacier National Park, located in northwest Montana. The rugged peaks, dotted with what remains of the diminishing glaciers, give way to lush green meadows, vibrant blue lakes and rock-bottom rivers. My everyday worries and to-do items were pushed to the farthest reaches of my thoughts thanks to the natural beauty that surrounded me. National parks are a favorite vacation destination for my family. We’ve viewed some impressive vistas, but... [Read More]

Read more
Preparing to Host a Stranger
By     |    Jul 27, 2014
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

Preparing to Host a Stranger

Today is the cleanest my bathrooms will be all year. Every nook and cranny has been scrubbed and disinfected. The rest of the house will follow suit in the next few hours. We have a house guest to pick up this evening. We’ll welcome a stranger into our home for a week-long visit. It’s the sixth year at least one of our kiddos has participated in a Challenger Sports British soccer camp. The coaches for the program are college-aged people... [Read More]

Read more
Gateway Arch: Overcoming Fears
By     |    Jul 26, 2014
Posted in: travel     |    No Comments

Gateway Arch: Overcoming Fears

I don’t like heights, large crowds or tight spaces. A visit to the Gateway Arch in Saint Louis, Missouri was sure to be pure torture. Our two oldest boys really wanted to see the Gateway Arch, part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, AND take the 630 feet trip to the top for a look over Saint Louis. I started researching the arch and quickly realized I was going to need a lot of prayers and possibly medication to keep me... [Read More]

Read more
Living in the Din of a Family Band
By     |    Jul 17, 2014
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

Living in the Din of a Family Band

I pulled into our garage, shut off the engine and started to climb out of my vehicle. Then I heard it. That sound that’s distinctly MY home. The sound is part saxophone, part recorder, part pan flute, part drum, part guitar mixed with baby stroller wheels rolling on the wood floors combined with periodic whining and the constant sounds of LEGOs being sorted. My house is loud: filled with people, music and life. Our home has always been filled with... [Read More]

Read more
Going to the Beach: Seminoe State Park
By     |    Jul 15, 2014
Posted in: travel     |    No Comments

Going to the Beach: Seminoe State Park

Growing up landlocked in Wyoming with parents who weren’t travelers meant the only thing I knew about beaches came from books and movies. We were mountain people. I traveled to Mexico in high school and realized I couldn’t be pigeonholed into loving one geographical feature. The beach had a magical hold of me. Unfortunately, the hold isn’t so strong that I find myself living anywhere near a coast. A beach with ocean views is at least a 16 hour drive... [Read More]

Read more
Learning Minecraft as a Second Language
By     |    Jul 11, 2014
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

Learning Minecraft as a Second Language

Two days ago I would have said the days my children look forward to without fail are their birthdays and Christmas. Alas, I was wrong (again). I had not lived through the pandemonium surrounding the release of Minecraft Pocket Edition 0.9.0…better known as “the biggest update ever.” I was completely unaware of how life altering a game update could be for young people. Thursday may as well have had a red circle marking the importance of the date. I’ve listened... [Read More]

Read more