This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. When anyone inquired where we were headed for spring break this year, I answered northern Arizona, which translated as Grand Canyon to everyone who asked. While Grand Canyon was on our list of stops over break, it was just one of several. The Flagstaff area is home... [Read More]Read more
Mothering has been a series of surreal moments lately.
Last week, I traveled with our oldest and a large group of his 7th grade classmates two hours from our hometown to the University of Wyoming, my alma mater. UW is the only four-year institute in Wyoming. Both Craig and I graduated from there. Much has changed in the decades since we called Laramie and the university home.
I was giddy leading up to this field trip. We’ve taken our kids to countless athletic events at UW over the years, and they’ve all spent time wandering around campus to some degree. There was something different about taking our oldest child to our alma mater on a trip to view the university as a place he may want to call home in the future. He toured classrooms and labs. This was a much different view of UW than he’d been exposed to before.
As we toured campus, it hit me that my 13-year-old was closer to college than his baby years. I walked behind him as he strolled through campus looking like he belonged there. This boy, who is truly more man than boy, will be graduating from college in a heartbeat. It goes that ridiculously fast. I watched that boy, hands stuffed in pockets with shoulders hunched against the falling snow, and was taken back to the day we brought that sweet child home from the hospital. I remember that afternoon more clearly than what I had for breakfast this morning. Surreal.
This morning I stood behind my 6-year-old daughter, like every morning, to fix her hair for the day. Today I wasn’t quite tall enough to see the top of her head to braid her hair. She needed to sit or I had to stand on a stool to adequately see. My littlest one isn’t so little it seems. Surreal.
My third grader is continually spouting facts on World War II. It’s his subject of choice currently, and he has delved wholeheartedly into learning as much as possible. We pry books from his hands at bedtime while he squeezes in one final, “Did you know…,” statement before the bedroom door shuts for the night. His favorite book used to be “Hop on Pop.” He would cuddle on my lap before nap time to listen to it being read. He hasn’t comfortably fit in my lap for some time. Surreal.
Our second child has 27 days left in his elementary school career. In two weeks, he’ll take an overnight field trip with his classmates, many he’s known since kindergarten, to celebrate the end of 5th grade. Next month, I’ll sit through his 5th grade graduation as we celebrate the move to middle school. This child was known to hide behind my legs when he met new people. Now he begs to walk home from school without a parental escort. Surreal.
Those baby and toddler years when I was exhausted from the physical nature of mothering little ones, at times, seem to have happened during a different life. That mama has changed and grown with each step of raising those babies. I almost look at those early years of motherhood with a lens of nostalgia. Almost. I’m not at the point of wanting to relive it, yet. I enjoy this phase of parenting and look forward to the next chapter. One day I’ll walk on a university campus, a short five years from now, and last week will seem surreal.
This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. We spent years talking about visiting Grand Canyon National Park. We couldn’t ever peg down a good time of year to visit. There were other national parks ranked higher on our wish list. Excuses piled for why we never chose the iconic American spot. This year was the... [Read More]Read more
Dance class has brought our daughter much joy over the last couple of years. It’s the thing that brings the most joy to her six-year-old heart. This year we put more time into her sport and added one son to the dance floor. Sports in our family are typically played with a ball on a field or court. There are referees not adjudicators. Scoreboards clearly tell you where you stand. Dance has been a learning curve. I’ve heard people snicker... [Read More]Read more
I sat in our vehicle on our way home from a week-long spring break vacation believing I was rejuvenated. Spending time with my family, traveling and enjoying the outdoors free of distractions speaks to most of my love languages. I felt waves of anxiety flow away and tense muscles relax over the course of those eight days. There are eight weeks of school left, and I was prepared to bring my A-game to the final quarter of the school year.... [Read More]Read more
Rule #1 for family vacations is to expect the unexpected. We’ve notched thousands of miles in road trips and spent hours planning each vacation, but not one trip has gone as planned. Some unexpected occurrences are good. We’ve discovered places by listening to locals or veering from our plans because of a roadside sign. We always have an idea of what we want to do or see on vacation, but are known to be easily sidetracked. Some of our best... [Read More]Read more
This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. My husband and I spent 44 hours this weekend without children enjoying the tail-end of winter in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. The start of 2016 has been rough, and we needed to regroup. Snowshoeing in the park was the most peaceful I’ve felt in months.... [Read More]Read more
This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. Devils Tower National Monument, the first designated national monument in the United States, is located in northeast Wyoming. It’s a geological beacon sprouting from the prairie of the Cowboy state. There are nothing but rolling hills on all sides of the 867-foot tower which overlooks the Bell Fourche... [Read More]Read more
My personality falls strongly under the Type A category. I’m prone to anxiety, organized, sensitive, tend to over-commit, and time-conscious. I’m not a fan of surprises and like to plan for things. These traits, while sometimes helpful as a parent, most of the time leave me exasperated. Raising four children with their own personality quirks seriously messes with my desire for organization and timeliness. Throw into the mix that I can’t read their minds or know what’s happening in their... [Read More]Read more
This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. Across the United States there are over 400 National Park Service entities. That’s a lot of places deemed worthy to be protected for historical reasons or the natural beauty of an area. I let go of any dream of visiting all of the entities a few years... [Read More]Read more
At times, I feel I missed my calling as an actress. I’m playing the part of an educated, well-spoken, involved mother of four. In reality I’m an overwhelmed, potty-mouthed, tired person masquerading as an adult. I honestly have no clue how all of this adultness manifested itself. One day I was sitting in a college statistics class and now I’m in meetings discussing community-wide issues and education policies and referring to stakeholders and best practices. One choice led to another... [Read More]Read more
This year I’ve implemented a new-to-us idea for our kids leading up to Valentine’s Day. You’ve probably seen the idea of love notes floating around social media. The idea is to write a note with a different thing you love about your child every day from Feb. 1-14. I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day. I’d much rather be surprised by chocolate on a random Wednesday “just because” than on Feb. 14. My husband surprised me with coffee when he arrived... [Read More]Read more