Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Making Memories

This weekend was full of beautiful weather and living in the now.

I had a lovely crisp, cold evening where we built our first fire in the fireplace and all read our individual books, together, in the living room.

Our Saturday dawned with amazing sunshine and cool breezes and we drove down to Castle Rock to the REI Soiree and the kids rode mountain bikes on the trails and I sat on a blanket and sipped a local beer and listened to the free concert.
That evening I cried and tried to get through an Alamo screening of Pete's Dragon, which the kids loved, but which made me indescribably homesick for my dad.
I got sippy and morose on my friend Suzy's couch while tiki torches glowed outside the open door on a perfect night and the kids huddled in their shed watching Ant Man and the men sipped beer.
I sang in the choir on Sunday and then shucked off my church clothes into light cotton in order to survive the intense sunny day.

The kids wrestled in the yards of the neighborhood and played with their friends.

I snuck out to see Bad Mom's with Suzy and relaxed on the reclining leather movie seats. This movie suited me so much more and made me laugh. I needed to laugh.

I baked cookies the size of my face while my house was full of laughing children. Michael and I walked the dogs through the evening air to the park with the green grass and the mountain views and we played red rover with the neighborhood children and felt the cool breezes on our faces.
I cuddled with my husband under the feather duvet with the windows open to let in the cold night air.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

How am I doing?

I'm doing okay. Some days are good and some days are hard. I try not to dwell on the hard things.
I think of my dad some times. I can think of moments or stories with him it. I can see flashes of him in me and the kids and appreciate them. I can remember him with pride. But I can NOT contemplate that he is gone. Whenever I have those thoughts I resolutely refuse to follow my thoughts down that path. I just refuse to think about it. It's like looking over the precipice into a big dark bottomless grief pit and so I step back. I get busy. I do not engage. So that is all I will say on that.
I do know that I am very glad this summer is coming to a close. It has truly been a summer of transition. And it has been hard. Sometimes I think back to the last year and I remember thinking that I didn't want to make too big a fuss or use up too much sympathy. I felt like I should cover up and stay positive and enjoy the moment. So I did. I complained about how people who are losing someone slowly to dementia are not allowed a time and place to grieve. And that is true.
but now. Now I don't think that I can see clearly through the time when it hurts the most. I can't stop in that moment and go "Hey! This is it! This is when I really need help, when it really is time to grieve". When that moment comes I do everything I can to change the subject, even if in my own mind.
We got the autopsy results back and I kind of lost my footing for a bit. I got it back, but I lost it for a bit and I'm sorry about that.
I am sorry I wasn't able to have the support of my friends and my church here for me this summer because I moved my family away. I am sorry I left my mom and sister right after dad died because I moved my family. I'm sorry the timing sucked. It did really. The timing of the move was good in one way and terrible, horrible in another. If I had been in my right mind, maybe I would have postponed the move till the end of the summer. But I didn't. I'm sorry.
I am sorry that my husband was gone three weeks out of four in the months of June and July and I was in this town with my kids who were recently uprooted. I am so sorry that I spent so many afternoons lost and lonely. I am sorry I don't get to see my mom every day and go to family ranch happy hour. I am sorry that this year has been the year that I have lost my dad and my grandfather and I am sorry that this year is only half over. I'm done with 2016. I am sorry that I wasn't there to greet our very best friends home from Spain. I am sorry that I drink too much wine at night and that I don't answer my friends phone calls and emails promptly. I'm sorry I spend too much money or that I'm too lenient with the kids. I'm sorry for so many things.
But I am not going to acknowledge those things anymore because they don't do any good at all. Things are what they are and they are what I make of them. I am doing okay.
I am lucky. So many of my friends have already visited me this summer. Stacey and Chris, Sarah and Skip, BG and Jamaal, my mama, Martha and Clark. I am loved and I am grateful.
I really love Colorado. I love my new home and I love the neighborhood. I love my children and my dogs and my husband and my mama. My sister and I are closer than ever. I love the way the aspens shiver and shake and make noise as the wind blows through them. I love the apples off the tree in my backyard. I love evening monsoons and spectacular sunsets and parks every where I look and healthy food at the grocery stores. I love being outside at all times of day. I love sipping coffee on my porch in the morning wrapped up in a sweater against the chill.
I'm ready for fall. I'm ready for my summer to be over. I made it through and I made good memories and I had beautiful times. I built a new space and made new plans. I hiked and ran and carried boxes and stayed busy, busy, busy. It's all a fog. I don't remember the last few months clearly or in a linear order. I'm okay with that.
I'm ready for crisp fall weather and new routines. I'm ready for Survivor and Modern Family to come back on. I'm ready for the comforting routine of lessons and school pickup.
I know I need to face my losses. I know I will. But I'm doing the best I can with what I've got. I am a very lucky, very blessed woman. I am.
I joined the choir. I sang again for the first time since Davis was born. I have no breath support and I can't hit the notes I used to hit anymore. I'm not GOOD anymore and that is a hard blow. I've lost my voice. But I am going to get it back. I will sing every day. I will sing because I love it and because it is part of me and because my dad would have LOVED that I kept singing.
Cheris says this is my year to be a transition smoother. I don't know that I am smoothing, but I am riding the transition and not drowning and even finding some beauty and fun and enjoyment out of the ride.
So there you go. I'm doing okay.

Family Fun

It has been so amazing having Michael home for two weeks in a row. We felt like a family. We felt like a family that actually lives here. He is gone again this week, but it was lovely when he was here.
Last weekend we took the kids to Brickiest, stopped at a car show (I sat in soft grass and read), had lunch out twice, went to church went to a church picnic, repainted our front door, played ping pong, hosted the neighborhood children for movie night and generally enjoyed each other and our new home and our temperate climate. Sunday I went out with my neighbor Suzy and met up with my real estate agent/new friend and her partner and we went out to dinner and then out to Red Rocks to see my favorite singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile. She was fabulous and it was a fabulous venue to see her in. I was exhausted the next day, but it was worth it.
We have finished our first week of school here and it is going okay. Adjustment to middle school and all that entails is on going, but Davis remains positive throughout.
The weather here is winning. We can play outside all day every day and none of us take that for granted.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Martha and Clark Visit

Martha and Clark came and stayed with us for a week. It was so nice to have them come see our new home and share our new space. They got to tour the kids' school, visit our church, shop in our grocery store and watch the kids play tennis.
We also had many wonderful adventures together. Having them as visitors enabled us to behave like tourists in our new town.
We took the light rail to the Museum of Nature and Science. It's a great museum. We had lunch there, saw an imax on National Parks, explored the space and gems and dinosaur galleries. Michael met us there at the end of his work day and we took the bus to the 16th street Mall, where we wandered and played and then had dinner at Euclid Hall.

The next day we drove about 45 minutes into the mountains the picture book adorable town of Georgetown. We took the steam train through the pass and did an amazing mine tour and panned for gold. We walked up and down the tiny adorable main street and then came home. This was probably my favorite day. I LOVED the train. Michael and I had a date night that evening. We went to the Alamo Drafthouse and saw the new Star Trek movie. We really needed a date with just the two of us and it was good.

Sunday we all went to church and then worked on the garage. We got a new ping pong table! It's our housewarming gift from Martha and Clark. Michael and Clark rented a UHaul truck and went and picked it up from a craigslist seller. It is gorgeous and fun. That evening we watched the Olympics with our friends. That day was exceptionally hard for me as church had got me thinking about dad. Some days are almost impossible to get through, but I stay busy and I always get through them.

Monday was our last day of summer vacation and Martha and Clark treated us to a day at the Family Fun Center. This really is family fun. There was almost no one there and it was fantastic. We played many games of laser tag, did bumper cars, climbed a rock wall, ate a nice lunch, played wii games and did an epic inflatable obstacle course. I loved that place and enjoyed getting exercise and acting like a kid.
That afternoon the kids had their first tennis lesson. They need an after school activity that gets them moving as Davis has no recess or PE in middle school. I'm hoping this works for them.
Martha and Clark had to leave Tuesday morning, but we had a very good week. I miss them and so do the kids. We are lucky to have such a loving family.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Sunday- UU love and Arapahoe County Fair

Yesterday we attended a local UU Church. I really like them! I think I need a spiritual home desperately right now. And they do musical theater AND have a fabulous choir. Michael liked it too. We are going to try to go again on Sunday.
After church we had a sushi lunch and then introduced the kids to the joys of shopping at Trader Joe's.
That afternoon we drove with our friend Suzy and her kids to the Arapahoe County Fair. The afternoon monsoon hit right when we arrived, but we braved it and it turned out to be a really nice afternoon.
The entrance fee included all carnival rides and that was a bonus. We enjoyed a tractor mud race and a sheep riding competition and I had a local beer and an Indian Taco. It was a good day.

Last Days in Taos

We had cooking camp final day and I took another amazing hike on Bull in the Woods. We had a surprise visit with Michael's Aunt Patti, Aunt Dianne and Uncle Jim. We had a fabulous dinner with drinks at KTAOS with our friends Valerie and Chris while the kids watched a movie inside. We took the scenic route home and it was incredibly scenic. We loved our drive home. Our dogs and kids are such good travelers. I love that we can drive easily to Taos and that we have such a wonderful home away from home.