Monday, June 24, 2013


Out here everything makes me feel small.

Reminds me that I am not the one in charge.

The things I have control of are actually very small, and mostly that is myself.

My small self.

It hadn't rained since May. The air is dry and especially during mid-day, hot. Our plans have never had to be postponed or cancelled because of the weather. We plan to do something and we do it. With a little more or a little less wind. With a little more or a little less clouds. But the sun is always there.
On Saturday we planned an intense adventure. I was going to run pushing Bubs and Sis who now weigh at least 60 lbs. together in the stroller 3.5 miles back out the the ranch. And then run home again.  I have not run with both kids in the stroller in over a year. Once it was not a necessity anymore I stopped doing it, because its not really what I would consider fun. I have run TWICE with just Bubs. It was horrible as well. But I've been training for this half marathon and so I thought I could do it, and I needed a good workout as I wasn't going to have the time for a long run by myself.

I psyched myself up.
I got the Bubs and Sis ready.
I got myself ready.

We walked out the door. The sky was black. And it was roaring. The wind was blowing. And I got excited. It was going to storm!!! We waited outside watching the clouds move and swirl. Listening for the thunder and watching for the lightening until we felt the first drops of rain. We ran inside and within 10 seconds it was pouring. Storming. The house was dark, cool, calm, and quiet as things are during a storm. We stood at the front door and watched. Amazed at this thing so much bigger and so much stronger than us.

Eventually we turned on Finding Nemo to wait out the rain. And then we played in the swimming pool sized puddles the rain left. (which were gone by 5) Splashing, kicking, stomping, walking, and yes, trying to drink it. GROSS. But whereever there is something liquid Bubba will try to get it in his mouth. Even if he has to get down on his belly to do so.

Later that afternoon we made it out to the ranch. It took us 52 min. to go 3.5 miles. The wind was strong. And we were headed right into it. It was so strong, that not only could I NOT run, but I could barely walk. It was pushing me backwards. I think a lot of it had to do with the stroller. We were walking into the sun and the kids wanted the sun visor down, but it caught the wind. So I turned the stroller around and pulled it as I ploughed my way through the wind.

Once there we walked into the corral to meet Sissy. Sissy is Sis's favorite horse. She is white and 'beautiful and a girl!'. We walked slowly and quietly up to her.  And she walked slowly to us, to meet us in the middle. She smelled our friend and Sis first, her mouth and nose on Sis's arm and then her face. It made her giggle. And then Sissy turned her head and offered her shoulder. It was acceptance. 'I know you are here to pet me, and I have checked you out and you can pet me now'. Then it was Bubba's turn to be smelled and then me. And with all of us it was the same. She smelled us so close and then accepted us.

I've never had a lot to do with horses. I didn't grow up around them. But they are such strong regal sensitive creatures. And to have this huge animal come that close to me and then accept me felt magical somehow. So different from dogs who mostly love you no matter who you are.
It felt like we had really communicated something.

Lately Sis has been getting VERY upset when Bubs is singing a song she doesn't like, or saying something she doesn't like or doing ANYTHING she doesn't like. Or when we ask Bubs to do something she feels like she needs to be the enforcer. And most of the time there is no other reason for this except she wants to be in charge. (i.e. It's not hurting her. Or he is in the other room, etc.)

We've been telling her 'Sis, you need to just worry about you. You are only in charge of you. It doesn't matter what Bubba is or is not doing. You take care of yourself'

And as I reflect on the smallness that I feel before the mountains, and the smallness I feel in the face of a storm, and the smallness I feel in the face of a large, strong animal I realize this is true of myself as well.

I am not in charge of anyone or anything else except myself.
I'm so over being in a two bedroom. Everyone says the kids will get used to sharing. MINE DO NOT! They are becoming worse and WORSE sleepers (they were FAB sleepers when they had their own rooms). But I cannot control this.
I can only control me, and my reaction to my 'so-over-it' feelings.
So again today I will choose to be grateful for this place and for its backyard, and its proximity to town and to a park, and that we have an HE washer and dryer! And that it causes us to reexamine our lives almost daily. We only have 800 sq feet. It doesn't take much to feel cramped. What else do we really not need? What could we do with out so we have a little more breathing room?

I recognize this is a daily thing. Everyday I can wake up and choose to grumble about it or choose to accept it and be grateful for it.

At least for today, I let go of the frustrations and hold onto the blessings.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


I've been absentee blogger for the past two weeks for good reasons.

1. Brad and I got to go on an out of town overnight date! A friend of ours offered to watch our kids for us so we could drive to Jackson Hole (3 hours) and have dinner and see Ryan Bingham perform. You should probably look him up, Crazy Heart is my favorite and the song (slash movie) that introduced us to his amazing vocals.

It was so fun. We stopped at the place, Antelope Flatts, where Brad first told me he loved me. We hadn't been to that place since. And we had dinner and we walked and window shopped, because we absolutely do not make the kind of money that is required to purchase anything in Jackson. But we did hit up the thrift store...where we found a few good deals.
And then we went to the show. SO.GOOD. We were totally entertained. And have been listening to Ryan B. quite a bit since we got home...but it's just not quite as good as it was live.

2. In-laws came to visit!
They were here for a week and totally spoiled us. AWESOME. We found some old barn wood at a consignment store in town that we plan to make some sort of shelves out of. We found a mirror with hooks that Brad liked and I said 'As long as we paint it' and it then turned into the DIY project of the week with everyone helping out in some way to get the mirror from drab to fab (ha!) it is now teal and distressed instead of blonde wood not-distressed. Love it. They brought us pallets and took us to Sprouts, a nursery in town, and loaded us up with strawberries, peppers, basil, cilantro, oregano, flowers, etc in a super cute Pintrest-inspired pallet garden. Sis loves it. Bubs apparently loves it as well as he was found sneaking a bite out of a not-quite ripe strawberry while watering this morning.
They 'took us' (but we drove our car) up to see the Tetons, have lunch, walk around, enjoy being in such a beautiful place, and have dinner at the Lava Mountain Lodge on the way home. It's a little lodge that is in a perfect place because there is literally NOTHING around for miles.
The kids got a lot of great new toys and clothes, a different 'prise! everyday.
It was a lot of fun. But very busy. They left on Friday morning and I think we are just now starting to recover :)

The new dress Grandma made for Sis

Planting the pallet garden

DIY mirror. I don't know how to take a picture of a mirror without getting myself in it. ugh.

Grandma reupholstered HER rocking chair and gave it to Sis last year. This year Bubs got his own!

3. Bubs and Sis got fevers and strange bumps and a visit to the doctor. Hand foot and mouth disease. Gross and also not pleasant for everyone. We are still recovering.

4. Father's day!!!
We dont' do 'days' around here. We do weekends. It was Father's day weekend. Steak, a fire pit, movie, hike up to the Popo Agie waterfall (This is NOT pronounced how it looks). It was full and fun.
And now Brad is working days and I feel such a sense of relief to be on the same schedule!!

5. Sis has stopped taking naps. We are trying to figure this out, what does 'rest time' look like at our house.

Things are starting to settle back down from all the excitement. Maybe now I'll have time to write that review of 'Last Child in the Woods' .....

PS Dad,
I couldn't have had a better one than you. You have loved me, encouraged and supported me well.
I miss you!

Monday, June 3, 2013

This week I am grateful for...

my daughter.

There is a famous social experiment involving 4 year olds and marshmallows. They leave the kids in a room with a marshmallow on the table. If they can wait 15 minutes for the researcher to get back they can have two marshmallows instead of just the one. They found that the kids who could wait (usually by distracting themselves: looking around the room, singing a song, etc.) were somehow 'more successful' in their adult lives.

I'm not really sure what their criteria for 'more successful' were, but I do know that every time I have read about this study I have wondered what kind of kid I would have been. Sometimes I'm SURE I could have waited and most of the time I feel like that would have been an impossible task.

Today I was so pleasantly surprised to see my daughter 'wait for the second marshmallow'. I didn't even know it was happening at first. And then I realized it, and I was shocked. And so proud of her.

We were at the park. With her friends. They had been running and climbing and swinging and sliding. It was getting close to 11 and the kids started asking for snacks. We aren't big snackers because my kids don't eat good meals when they snack, but I've been trying to bring snacks to the park because our friends always do and we end up eating all their I brought apples. Sis was half way through her apple when our friends broke out the fruit snacks and said there was enough.for.everyone! Immediately she started asking for some and I told her that she needed to finish her apple first. I was pretty sure she would get tired of the apple before she finished it and rejoin her friends (who had inhaled their fruit snacks). But she sat down right in front of me and slowly but surely finished her whole apple. She didn't say a word, or move a muscle (other than her arm and her jaw) while she was eating it. And as soon as she was done she turned around so calmly and said 'Momma, I have my fruit snack now?'

This girl is INTENSE. She knows what she wants. She FEELS things. Everything. Deeply. She is creative and competitive. She loves to see beauty. She is sensitive to her sleep and how full (or empty) her stomach is. Most of the time we have no idea what we are doing with her (how to mold such intensity to grow in a positive direction?!), and the rest of the time we are exhausted by the force of her 2 year old emotions.

But today. As she sat down with determination to eat her apple, I realized. YES! This girl DOES know what she wants (in the case it was fruit snacks) and she is willing to do the work that it takes to get it.

I'm proud of her for waiting, patiently. I'm proud of her for listening to my instruction. I'm proud of her for working hard for something she wanted without throwing a fit. She should me so much growth and maturity in those five minutes it took her to eat her apple!

And it is so fun to see her learning about life day after day.