Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Keeping up with the Jones

This is the platter of cookies my neighbor brought over the other day. I promptly handed her a bag of chocolate raisen clusters I had been so proud of! It's hard to compete with this. The kids absolutely loved them because they were so personalized.

Maybe next year I'll wow everyone with...well, getting my cards mailed before Christmas Day.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


One of the perks of Chris' new job is that we now have access to 3,000 acres of land in the Uinta Mountains about 40 minutes from our doorstep. It has a stream, lots of varied elevations, one building (a yurt) and plenty of wildlife.

Harry has really become interested in "off-roading" and asked if we could go, not even knowing exactly what it was - or realizing that our 22-year old bare-bones Range Rover might not be able to take the beating. A few weeks ago, and about 15" of snow ago, we took the kids up to the land and drove all over the land on the ranch road. The kids squealed and were thrilled to be bouncing around in the back seat.

As we entered the land, outside the fence, I noticed a baby deer. I couldn't help but notice him - look at those ears! In the midwest, we have white-tailed deer, but out here they are mule deer. I now understand the difference. He just sat and stared at me, waiting for his mother just as she told him, I'm sure.

During our "thrilling" and adventurous drive, we counted about 40 mule deer. It became a contest to see who could find another one. As the sun was setting, it became to difficult to discern them in the brush and we talked of returning when the snow fell. We would love to take our snow shoes up here and find the elk herd and the moose that also live on the land.

That is, after they put a bathroom in the yurt.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Where the hell have you been?

So...I received an email today stating that it's been almost two months since I posted. That's a long time. I can't really explain why, or how, the weeks compounded - they just did.

Our lives have been eventful and uneventful at the same time.

My job has proven to be stressful, challenging and somewhat fulfilling all at the same time. This is my 17th year in school counseling. Let's just say I'm in it for the summers off and the free health insurance. I know I am making a positive impact on the adolescents and families I serve, but I truly am so burned out that I may have a nervous breakdown one of these days if I hear too many more tragic stories.

Chris' job is a godsend. He is happy, motivated, and for the first time - content. His somewhat frequent travelling hasn't been too bad. The kids and I have adapted.

Harrison's second grade year is going so smoothly I just want to scream it from the mountain tops. He has yet to have any behavioral problems. He is academically on top of things - still loves to read, passes his spelling tests with ease and completes all his homework with a minimum of a stink. He has a couple of good pals and seems truly happy. His latest love is watching professional and college sports - mainly football and basketball. It's really cute to hear him yell to us scores of games we could really care less about. I'm just happy that he's able to focus on something that long. This is quite a change.

Ella loves Kindergarten, but has grown into this emotional, moody mess of a teenager. I know she's only five, but I really think she has the temperment of a 13 year old. It snuck up on us and we are rapidly trying to contain the behaviors before they suck us dry. She enjoys school, has a billion friends, but fights us on the learning-to-read thing. She'll do it, but only on her terms. I vaguely remember this exact behavior with two young siblings of hers before her, so I don't know why I'm so shocked.

Her big event of the last two months was a trip to the emergency room. She is a clutzy gal. (DO NOT TELL HER I SAID THAT.) My dad always called me a "clutz" and I am truly emotionally scarred, but she is my daughter so I guess I should have expected it. She runs into something, or falls down, every day. One day about three weeks ago, she fell in the lunch room and hit her forehead on the corner of a table. I received the call at five minutes after noon and at 4:55 pm we finally left the emergency room. Her cut was on her eyebrow and they decided to glue it instead of stitches. I really think they did this because the screaming that occurred when they tried to look at was so loud and distressed, they probably could imagine what would happen if they tried to touch it.

The remodeling around the house is making slow, but sure, progress. Chris has taken over all the work. He is a very thorough craftsman, and only one person, so it will still be awhile. The backyard deck/fireplace project is under snow, so at least I don't have to look at how "undone" it is. The downstairs, however, is taking Chris' attention front and center. We may be drywalling the extra bedroom and bath in the next few weeks. Then it's tile, plumbing fixtures, paint, etc. You know, simple stuff.

And that brings us to today. December 4th. The holidays.

The fireplace has been on overdrive for the last two weeks. The Christmas decorations are slowly coming out and the tree will be up this weekend. But my thoughts continuously drift to my holidays in the past. We will not be going back to Minnesota for the first time since we moved to Utah. I was really upset for quite awhile, but have recently decided that this is the best decision for all of us. We are going to start new traditions, continue old ones and savor our family on our terms.

Now if I could just stop reacting to all the angels I keep running across.