Tuesday, October 6, 2015

real life conversation...about brotherhood

the scene:  while sitting at the breakfast bar eating a snack; out of the blue.

graham: life is so disappointing.

me: (chuckling) really? why is life so disappointing?

graham: always having to take care of my older brother.

me: (no longer chuckling)

the bible says "how good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity."

lately i question the balance between the good and the pleasant...

the things that don't feel good nor pleasant...

and the unity that can be found between the two. 

graham truly has been gifted with the unique ability to read a situation and adjust it to meet harrison's needs. this intuitiveness is special and will serve him well his whole life long. 

conversely, graham has become harrison's guide - looking out for, standing up for, speaking on behalf of, leading the way for, a comforting sidekick - starting when he was very little (younger than two). a job he took on himself and one i, admittedly, placed him in a few times too many. 

what does a mother do when her son expresses discouragement that his gift has become a burden?

 schedule counseling appointments then write a blog post, of course. :)
 ponder it; put the question out into the universe and pray for an answer. 
 sit with him in life's disappointment. 
 teach him to think on the positive aspects of his relationship with his brother. 

show him unity isn't a treasure to be found...

it is beauty we must create.

Friday, August 14, 2015

a real life conversation

me: you have rockstar hair, bud.

g: that's what i'm gonna do when i grow up.

me: what? be a hairstylist or a rockstar?

g: no, just be a regular man. no job. no college.  then i'll have my hair like this and walk around.

me: then what will happen?

g: maybe a girl will see me and walk up to me.

me: then what?

g: she might ask to be my girlfriend.

me: what will you say?

g: no. but maybe if she begs me too much i will say yes.

me: but what are you going to do for money?

g: i'm not going to have any money. i'm just gonna play video games.

me: and that's it?

g: yeah.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

new house photos - entry, guest bed & bath, hall, dining room, and a couple more

i cleaned up the dining room today so to celebrate here are a few more unedited pictures of the interior...

view of the formal dining room from the kitchen:

the dining room is round. i'm not sold on keeping this rug in here especially because i think it would be too small once a table is in the room. if anyone would like to donate a round table and chairs to the white family i'll be your best friend forever:

a peak of the kitchen from the dining room:

the staircase is across from the dining room. real life = dirty clothes on the stairs and vacuum cleaner at the ready all the time:

entry. i had to stand outside to get enough light behind the camera in order to get this shot. the house is dark and difficult to photograph because the ceilings are so tall thus the canned lighting is too high to truly illuminate the rooms:

oh hello lamp cord, bare bulb and empty wall (it's a work in progress). that little window with the wrought iron is part of our wine room, which is waaaaay too dark to photograph. but i'll try someday. because i love you:

here is our huge iron door and my homemade "no solicitors" sign. we had three people a day knocking, welcoming us to the neighborhood, then trying to sell us stuff. annoying:

in the hallway, a place to keep all our files:

the guest bathroom:

i set out a few candles and hung paintings the boys made:

the guest bedroom with pillows that will eventually go on the bed:

the room has a large, lovely window:

a view of the hall from the opposite direction. the french doors lead to jer's office with the guest bathroom and bedroom beyond:

a straight-on view of the living room (and backyard) from the hall. hard to photograph but you can see the whole back wall of the house is windows. i'm considering keeping them bare, no curtains. we'll see.  off to the right you can see the eat-in area of the kitchen with chandelier:

y'all are motivating me to continue getting things put away - thank you!!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

new house photos - kitchen, living room, family room

hello all! for those of you who do not know, we moved to texas! i'll have to write the story of that decision and how it came to fruition at some point BUT for those of you who do know (and have been begging for photos), this post is for you.

these first two photos of the kitchen are from the first week we were in the house:

the house came with dark brown stained cabinetry (which i'm not in love with) to coordinate with the dark brown stained hand-scraped hardwood floors (which i am in love with).

we purchased a new cream colored sofa to complete the seating in the living room.

i managed to get some things hung on the walls. his lindsay letters art was special gift from my sweet friend sara.

this is the monstrosity hanging above the fireplace. it came with the house. jeremy and i are "negotiating" about whether this beast should stay or go. lord help me.

last week we had the kitchen cabinets painted so this is what it looks like now. i love it! this area is SO much lighter and brighter now. the grey glass subway tile finally looks pretty instead of out of place.

the family room upstairs is pretty well finished.

the white door behind the sectional leads to a large unfinished yet pre-wired storage room. at some point jeremy would like to add drywall and use that space as a media room (basically an extension of the family room).

the roald dahl books were a gift for the boys from my dear friend leslie.

the boys' bedroom is in the distance; you can see harrison if you look closely. there is also a bathroom and another bedroom (currently being used as a play room) upstairs.

that wraps up the house tour for now. jeremy's office is slowly coming together, as is the boys' bedroom.  the master bedroom is a mishmash of random pieces we are using to get by for now. the guest bedroom is empty. the dining room is empty too unless you count all the art and accessories being stored there. the back patio and garage still need some love (and hard work).

even with all the odd jobs that have yet to be done we love the house and feel very happy here.

Friday, June 12, 2015

a real life conversation about father's day

the scene: sitting in the living room, trying to figure out what to get daddy for father's day.

me: okay, graham, you need to make a father's day gift for daddy.

graham: no i don't.

me: you don't?

graham: no. because do you remember a long time ago when i was born?

me: mmm hmm.

graham: yeah, so when i was born i was a gift. so i don't have to make him a gift because i'm already his gift.

you are everyone's gift, sweet boy.

you're also pretty knowledgable about how to get out of work...and definitely not lacking in self-esteem...i couldn't love you more.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

quotes i love

with regard to exercise, lena dunham said, "it aint about the ass, it's about the brain."

amen, sister.

with regard to being overweight and still wearing a bikini, angela was quoted on the momastery blog saying, “Listen. I’m a little fat. I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about that because I’ve got stuff to do. So to make the world a better place, I wear this bikini to the pool. You know, so other women who DO worry about their weight will feel awesome in comparison. No skin off my nose. That’s my good deed. Done. Check.”

i love that so much.

from the book essentialism by greg mckeown (quote found at hollywoodhousewife.com), "When people believe that their efforts at work don’t matter, they tend to respond in one of two ways. Sometimes they check out and stop trying, like the mathematically challenged child. The other response is less obvious at first. They do the opposite. They become hyperactive. They accept every opportunity presented. They throw themselves into every assignment. They tackle every challenge with gusto. They try to do it all. This behavior does not necessarily look like learned helplessness at first glance. After all, isn’t working hard evidence of one’s belief in one’s importance and value? Yet on closer examination we can see this compulsion to do more is a smokescreen. These people don’t believe they have a choice in what opportunity, assignment, or challenge to take on. They believe they “have to do it all.”

this hits true to home when i think of how hard my hubby works (and why???).

on motherhood, julie beck said, "Mothers who know do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home. Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world’s goods in order to spend more time with their children—more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing, and exemplifying. These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all.


i agree.

have you read any good quotes lately?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

the two year post-therapy mark

my oldest boy and i snuggled together this morning, taking turns sneezing and wiping sleep from our eyes. he watched cartoons, i sipped coffee. he wiggled around, taking his time getting situated and comfortable. he rested his head on my chest then slid down to lay his head on my hip. he rearranged my arms and placed them where he wanted them, where they felt best. he fidgeted with my fingers. he told me to squeeze him harder. i stayed there with him and complied.

cuddles aren't his favorite thing. typically i ask him for a hug or say "do you want to snuggle with me" and let him decide whether to oblige. i can get away with a pat on his back or a kiss on the top of his head but prolonged affection is not a regular occurrence.

but this morning there was no asking.

he simply sat down next to me and leaned in.

he offered himself.

all i had to do was open my arms to accept the gift.


the truth is i've gotten plenty of snuggles from this boy; enough that i don't feel deprived or like a part of our relationship is lacking. but still, i do not ever take them for granted. i'm keenly aware in those moments that cuddling with this kid is a privilege.

it's because he trusts me.

he feels comfortable being himself with me.

i feel honored.


this summer is the two year anniversary of harrison's graduation from STAR center. this is what i wrote about the one year anniversary.

you may have noticed, i've stopped blogging about sensory processing disorder. it's been a purposeful decision. it's one part because there just isn't as much emotion for me to release, one part because there just aren't as many sensory issues to talk about, two parts because my sweet boy is getting older and while i'm still likely to write about him and the things we do together, i want to be more careful about exposing the serious stuff to the world.

it's his story to tell.

if he wants to, when he wants to.


but what i would like to say is this: i am so stinkin thankful i get to be a mom to this boy. i adore who he is. i love every little snippet of his personality. i am in awe at the amazing things he does.

he is just such a great kid! a smart boy, a brave boy, a loving boy, a kind boy, a strong boy, an honest boy, an active boy.

yes, he's a boy who gets motion sickness. he's a boy who hates handwriting. he's a boy who makes the term picky-eater an understatement. he's a boy can rarely catch a football.

but there is not one single sensory issue that hinders who he is as a person. 

he is not an either/or situation. he is not one thing in spite of the others. he is all the things.

my son is a mixture of so many beautiful characteristics which mesh together to create a masterpiece so stunning that sometimes, just by looking at him, it brings tears to my eyes.

Monday, June 8, 2015

life lately

we've slept at the condo twelve nights in a row. that's the longest stretch we've ever stayed here i think. in some ways it's weird to not have a house in the city to go home to. in some ways it's lovely to fully commit to mountain living. mostly i miss our friends and neighbors.

we were blessed to have some sweet friends drive up to see us today. we met them at the park, ate lunch together, went for a hike and even carved out a few minutes to swim. we managed to cram an entire day into a few hours and it was really fun.

jeremy had to work yesterday (sunday) so the boys and i drove over the dam road (dillon reservoir), parked along the side of the road (where the locals do) and walked to a fantastic spot on the shore of the lake. we played there for a couple hours, building rock sculptures, digging out and filling up a moat, skipping rocks, and even following a pair of moose tracks that were left in the wet sand not long before we arrived. i left my phone in the car on purpose so no pictures.

that afternoon while the boys were resting i went out for a solo walk, half way down buffalo mountain and then halfway back up. it was three miles exactly, but more uphill than down because of the route i took. my legs were very happy to reach home.

saturday night the boys thought it would be a good time to set up a tent in the middle of the living room. we had to stack the ottomans onto the couch and push the couch back a couple feet (blocking the entrance to the bathroom which was super convenient) to make it fit.

here's a family bedtime selfie. harrison didn't want to act silly with us so he hid behind his book.

they slept uneventfully through the night and woke up happy! although graham did take a two hour nap sunday afternoon so i'm not sure it was the best quality sleep. of course now they want to keep the tent up forever. lord help me.

in other news, harrison and graham have been at each other's throats. perhaps it's the transition of moving that's been difficult on them? or all the tv watching they'd been doing? or now living in a 700 square foot condo? whatever the case my new policy is to assign chores each and every time they fight. it seems to be working so far but i'll keep you posted.

i have also been doing my best to provide plenty of activities to keep us busy...and some separate play time too. psalm 133:1 how good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity. it truly is so beautiful when they get along!

these two brothers, born on easter sunday, seems live together pretty well...

see their cute little side-by-side tooshies?  these guys live just up the block from our old house in denver.

well, i'm off to cook some dinner. steak and salad with blue cheese dressing (for jeremy because blue cheese is just ew).

later taters.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

our first hike of the season - lily pad trail 2015

saturday morning, june 6th, found us hiking to lily pad pond. 

there is a steep vertical at the trailhead but the view at the top is worth it and once you make that initial ascent the rest of the hike is easy.

at the top of that first climb we were greeted by a patch of snow and walking sticks. we each gladly grabbed a stick and left them behind in the same spot when we were finished.

this is what it's like when we hike...
graham is waaaaaaay up front, usually so much so that i cannot see him...

and jer and harrison bring up the rear. 

i stay mostly tucked in the middle, taking photos of things like these curlicue branches.

we meander quite a bit. i mean, other hikers get up and back before we even get up, know what i'm sayin? we stop to look at birds and build rock sculptures and investigate animal poop (mostly dog, occasionally deer, rarely moose) and take photos and have drink/snack breaks and complain about our feet and beg for piggyback rides. 

our favorite part is BRIDGES!

and signs!

cute boys.

when you get to the end of the trail there is a small pond full of lily pads and a separate, larger lake. the lake is in the background in the jeremy's and my selfie above. jer was squeezing my toosh. that's why he's smiling so big. usually he smiles like this...

i should let him grab my arse more often, huh? 

and those, my friends, were the best moments from our hike to lily pad pond.