Tuesday, December 16, 2014

And This Is What We've Been Up To.....

It's been a while, a long while.  As I find myself going through transitions I've found it hard to blog, unsure of what to post, not feeling fully free to write about everything or everyone and thus, choosing to not write at all.  Back to catch up and break the silence I guess.

So, here's what's been keeping us busy.....

Pumpkin recliners at the corn maze.

Painting pumpkins...opted to keep the knives in the drawer this year.

No more cute Halloween costumes.  Both of their costumes entailed fake blood this year.

Minecraft with cousins.  Love getting this crew together.  They're all about 9 months apart in age with my cousin's twins in the middle.

Hot tubs with cousins.

And hockey games with cousins....cheering on, well, a cousin!

Chilly fall fishing.

And hunting with Grandpa.

Frozen yogurt for dinner.  Because you just have to sometimes.

Family yoga with mom.

Selfies with mom.

And rare close up photos of a child determined to dodge the camera.

Drum circles with friends.

College football games!

A child excited to clean the wet snow off of my windows.  It was nice while it lasted....this chore has unfortunately already gotten old.

Dogs who just looooove their winter attire.  

Dogs who are REALLY sassy!!!! 

An unexpected rainbow on a rough morning.

Shenanigans with girlfriends. 

And making gingerbread villages.

That's it.  
That's all there is.  
For now.  

And now that I've caught up, and found my voice, I think I can manage to keep this going.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ten Years

Most of the time it seems like just yesterday that I was a scared "new mom."  Other days it seems like this gig is going to send me to the nuthouse.  Either way, the passing of Greyson's 10th birthday, marked my 10th year as a mother....crazy!  It seems like a milestone for some reason, yet really no time at all.

Greyson continues to have an inquisitive, intelligent, strong personality - the child who will change the world because the world won't change him.  He's wise beyond his years and I absolutely adore hanging out with him, running errands with him, or even just our simple conversations in the car.

As per tradition, a birthday means the dinner choice is all yours.  We landed at Joe Rouer's for hamburgers and cheese curds.  

Greyson asked for a hunting cake which I had grand plans for.  However, since we were just coming back from Mom & Son camp I took someone's suggestion and improvised.  

Huge success - he loved it!

Opening gifts from Umpa and Nana.

Made me smile that he actually read the message I wrote in his card.

A new hunting jacket.  And a younger brother who is enthralled with the photo bomb.

Happy birthday Greyson!  My world wouldn't be complete without you!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Before I Die.....

At some point during the summer a local youth group in our neighborhood modified two sides of their building into a chalkboard template.  It was an interesting concept.  Two large chalk boards with lines and the words "Before I Die I Want To" pre-printed on them and a large basket of chalk.  Every week or so they'd erase what had been written and the boards would fill right back up.

As is human nature, some of the things were rude, crude, or simply written to make fun of the boards.  Other things showed the writer's soul, shed light on how they'd been hurt or wronged in their lives or the things that they truly felt in their hearts.  

I found myself looking at some of the things that were written and trying to picture the person who wrote them.  For instance, one person wrote, "Before I die I want to move to Chicago."  Really?  That's it?  I wondered if that's how far that person could dream, 4 hours from our city, if they were so trapped here and that was their real quest in this lifetime.  Or was I just looking at this on a deeper level, over thinking once again?  I wasn't looking at what they wrote in a judgmental way, it simply made me reflect on the other people who passed by and felt compelled to participate in this project.  We all have our stories and our paths and we all have what's important to us at any given time.  Right now, Chicago is important to that person.  It made me think about the book The Prophet and how each and every time I read it different parts speak to me, how what's happening in my life dictates what words float off the pages.

I thought a lot about those boards this summer for some reason.  They've taken them down now, but before they did the boys and I walked over one evening before dinner.  I wanted to see what my sons would write, see what was important to them at that moment.  

Taking a few minutes to read what others wrote.

Greyson went first.  I love that he was so careful not to mess up anyone else's work.

Greyson - Before I die I want to Play in the NFL.

Owen was up next and the very last available line was on the top.  A balancing act to lift him and not touch the board, while holding a dog on a leash.

Owen - Before I die I want to set a record.

There weren't any lines left but the boys insisted I write something.  So I got down on the ground while holding two leashes and wrote something I'd been thinking about lately.  I struggle with self worth, with feeling like I deserve all of the amazing things I have in my life, with feeling like I'm truly special.  So I wrote, "Before I die I want to know they knew how special they are."  (Tell the grammar police to cut me some slack my hands were full.)  They asked right away who the "they" referred to.  I told them that the "they's" in my life already know.  We started to walk away and Greyson said that was the best one on there and Owen reached for my hand.  Smiles from mom.  I don't want the people I love to struggle with the feelings I do.  When I die I want to know that I did everything I could so that "they" feel like the gifts they are.

Friday, October 3, 2014

That Time We Went to Mom & Son Camp And Were Evacuated

It's pretty funny to me that last year when we went to Mom & Son Camp Owen woke the first morning and declared, "Well, at least we're still alive!"  It was an uneventful evening.  This year though....not so much, yet he just rolled with it.

We knew when we left town for the weekend that there was a lot of rain in the forecast, and maybe some storms.  We were prepared.  What we didn't expect was 30 mph winds and the threat of hail, or being evacuated from our tents at 3 am and brought into a shelter.  The good news, every single thing stayed warm and dry and we had a fantastic time!  The boys are already talking about the event for next year.

I had to work until 5 on the Friday the camp started so we left town after the rest of our group.  That also meant we were putting our tent up with the help of a few flashlights.  We were anxious about doing things right in the dark, and having it secure for the predicted rain.  I'm so impressed with how calm both boys stayed and how they both used their strengths to get the job done.  While Greyson helped me with the tent poles Owen went to borrow a hammer to get the tent stakes in more securely.  While Greyson helped me drape the rain cover Owen made sure we had light.  Amen for team work on that one!

All smiles post evacuation evening.

The camp was set up with 5 large sites with 30-40 tents at each site.  We just called it shanty town and left it as that.

Loads of salamanders contending with curious boys that morning too!

Both boys had football games back in town this weekend.  Owen opted to stay with me at camp, but Greyson really didn't want to miss his game.  My dad was gracious enough to drive to get him from camp, bring him to his game, then bring him back to camp.  Turns out it was the right decision for him too, he had an absolutely amazing game...Two sacks, caused a fumble, recovered an onside kick, scored a TD, and made the extra point!  

Putting our mark on the 2014 Fall Mom & Son flag.

"Enjoying" the ambulance tour.

Pedaling to turn light bulbs on.

The Commando Bridge

Making a garden stone. 

Selfies with mom...never get old.

After Greyson's return to camp, the boys each made a rope out of twine.

And waited in line for over an hour for face painting.  Worth it!  Absolutely hysterical when Greyson kept wiggling his eyebrows and Owen was winking at us.

The second day of camp ends with a large campfire for everyone and then a candlelit walk through the woods to share with your sons.  They have signs walking you through the years of scouting and quotes about mother son relationships, play music to induce tears, that sort of thing.  We love it. 


The next morning we packed up in the rain, made one last trip to the trading post, and drove off in search of a hot shower and dry clothes.  My pants were literally wet to my knees when we hopped in the car.  :-)

Someone else wanted a selfie with mom too.  
Perfect way to end the trip.  I love being a mom to boys!