Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ski Day!

We took the boys skiing yesterday at Monarch. It was the first time for both of them. My parents were awesome and bought them a package for Christmas that included lessons, lift tickets, and gear rental. Of course, I still had to buy $200 worth of clothing earlier in the month to get them ready for this - but I'm glad I did, as temps were in the 20's! Luckily the sun was shining!

Early morning breakfast. We stayed with my brother and his girlfriend outside of Salida, so the suggested arrival time of 8am was doable.

 Both boys were so excited. We were some of the first people there, so there was a lot of time between gearing up and the start of lessons. They couldn't wait to get on their skiis!

The moon was still up!

Benjamin had been asking to learn to ski for a couple months, so he was ready for his lessons. Josiah was very hesitant. He didn't like the idea of us leaving him alone with a bunch of people he didn't know. But when I checked on him at lunchtime, he was having a blast and was fine. We caught a glimpse of him on the "magic carpet" once as we were going up a lift, and he just zoomed right down the bunny slope! When we picked him up, his instructor said he needed to work on turning, because he just wanted to go straight down the hill (just like my brother when he was little!). 


Selfie on top of the Continental Divide.

SO pretty up there!

Ariel had not skied in about 11 years, and for me it was over 20. Thankfully, it all came back to me, and I didn't fall once. I can't say the same for my handsome man, though!

At 2:30 we picked up the boys from their lessons and had time for about three runs with them down the slopes. With them being a little steeper than the bunny slope, Josiah was forced to learn to turn a bit. He certainly didn't like the chairlift the first time, and clung onto it for dear life. All three times he got off, he fell, but only lost a ski the first time.

Selfie on the chairlift with Benjamin.

Everyone had a blast - we'll definitely be going back again soon!

Teen Room Makeover

One of Benjamin's gifts this year was a room makeover. Everything in his room was so mismatched, and I thought it was time for that to change, and for his room to have a bit more personality.

He had purchased this chair at a thrift store a few months ago. It was the ugly mauve color you see still on the seat. I bought a few bottles of dye and spent a day dying it - which involved scrubbing the dye into all the cracks and crevices, which is not easy on a chair like this. I liken it to trying to dye a shar pei puppy!

Another thing I did was paint this bookcase, which had been red and orange for probably a decade, to a royal blue.

This is a "before" of the room - although we were already in the process of painting, so it's a mess.

Here's the "after."

We painted the top portion of his walls gray, with a thin black border underneath.

The chair and bookcase, done.

Christmas 2015

Just a few glimpses into our Christmas. 

Our tree.

 Tess and her boyfriend.

 Christmas dinner at Mom and Dad's.

Our family. Even Tess smiled!

Me and my brother.

 It took three people to wrangle all the dogs 
(some of whom don't like each other too much) for this picture.

 A gorgeous Christmas bouquet from one of my students.

How lucky I feel when I get to see my best friend from high school! She lives in Canada, so it's always a treat when she's here! 

We took the boys to see the Colorado Springs Youth Ballet and Symphony perform the Nutcracker. It was the first time Benjamin had seen the ballet since he was four, and Josiah had never seen it. I learned afterward, that it had been Ariel's first ballet as well!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Some dreams take time.
Decades, perhaps.
Sometimes we wait, hoping the opportunity will present itself.

And then, sometimes, you realize you need to make the opportunity show up.
I learned this over the past year. 
I also learned there is no time like now.
Sometimes now is the time to say, "It's time." Now is the time to start heading toward your dream. Now is the time to make a plan to make it happen. Now is the time to start pulling it toward you.

Like a bucket on the end of a string that you raise from a well.
A well of full.
A bucket of overflowing.

At some point
You have to get to the point
Where the time for saying "someday" is over.
Someday may never come knocking on your door calling, "It's time! I'm here!"
I've learned that Someday doesn't like stopping by without an invitation.
So when you do finally get around to inviting her (or him) over, have her in for tea - a sip of something warm - and some good conversation. Conversation that might go like this:

"I've always wanted to..."
"What have you been waiting for?"
"Well, umm, I've been waiting for you."
"What took you so long to ask me? Let's get started."

And you'll realize, like I did, that it was up to you all along.

And then, as things start to fall into place, you'll wonder if it's always been that easy. And before you know it, you will have no words to describe everything. Because it's almost impossible to describe how it feels when a dream comes true.

Where do you even start?
Do you start with how long you've had the dream? Or why? Or all the things that have led up to it coming true? Or how the last month (while you waited for the final product) passed like molasses?

No. You just smile really big and try not to jump out of your skin.

My dream has been to publish.
And now I have.
I will no longer say, "Someday I will write a book," or "I've always wanted to..."
I AM a writer (FYI, having my own ISBN number is pretty much the ultimate high).
A published author.
Now and forevermore.

If you want a copy, please email me ( They're 14.95 + tax + however much it costs me to ship it to you. Around $20 total.

What's your dream?
Don't wait too long.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Some People Part II

Back in September of 2013 I wrote a post about a couple people in my life that were a bit kray-kray.

But the person I'm going to tell you about today makes them look like lambs. Kitties. Butterflies.

Oddly enough, this person is not someone I know. But she is in my life just the same - in a phantom-y sort of way.

She is my fiancee's ex.

She is one of the ugliest people I don't know. She is full of hate, spite, and an insatiable need to make his life miserable.

*She is threatening (Her 7yo daughter (at the time) lied to her and said I pinched her. She threatened to report me to CPS).
*She is manipulative (saying things to him like "we do not and will not owe each other any monies (zero, zero, and zero)," Not being specific about what those zeros mean (and thinking he is stupid and won't know) hoping to "trick" him into agreeing to give up what the federal government has given him by right (she meant child support, spousal maintenance, and retirement). 
*She is selfish (always taking him to back to court to better her financial situation by benefiting from him. She claims she wants to "move on with life" but she obviously doesn't know how to take care of herself. To top that off, she continues to say he's the one that's money-hungry).
*She is greedy (last week she collected money from him for the daughter's unaccompanied-minor plane ticket, then flew out here and back with her, so basically he paid for her vacation).
*She has taught people close to her to lie and cover up for her (the younger daughter has started to say, "I'm not supposed to share personal information" when she and dad are just exchanging casual conversation, but she's worried about remembering exactly what mom told her was or was not OK to share. The older daughter also lied continuously throughout the week including, but not limited to, driving back from Denver in a snowstorm with the younger girl, thus making Dad worry, when Mom was actually with them; telling him he had to meet her somewhere other than her house because, "I have things to pick up anyway," but then when mom is not back with her car in time, she says, "OK, come to the house. I can't meet you where we'd planned because 'my friend Angie' is borrowing my car." It is quite sad that the trade-off is worth it to her: encouraging lying daughters just so she can go on thinking she's in control.
*She is vindictive (wasting the court's time with shallow accusations. Thankfully judges have often seen through her bullshit).
*She is hypocritical and highly misled about religion (she goes to church and ends her emails with "God bless," but do we need any more than the above examples to prove that it must somehow make her feel better to think she's got God on her side? She is quite mistaken about who God is and what her relationship with Him is supposed to look like).

Well, we may not need any more examples, but I'm going to give you a few more anyway.

 * The first actual proven case he has of her cheating on him was with the babysitter. The female babysitter. Yep, it's on video.
*She took him to get a vasectomy one afternoon, then left him that night.
*She complains to everyone (including the courts) about the "poverty" she is living in, but she's doing anything she can to get as much money from him as possible. This is including, but not limited to, building a new house, enrolling the daughter in a school that costs her $541/month, not finding a job for the past five months, and owning a house that months ago she kicked the main renters out of and is renting one of her smaller units at a loss.

The sad thing about a woman like this is that her ugliness shows. She thinks she is hiding it. She thinks people can't see it. But I, who have never even met her, can see it. I can see it on her face in photos, I can see it in her every action, I can see it in the way she allows herself to respond to him, and I can see her influence in the daughters she's raised/is raising.

The other sad thing (although I'm sure there are many more) is that she thinks she's making him unhappy. I'm sure that in her puny peanut brain she probably spends/wastes much time running scenarios of how miserable we are, and what else she can do to make us so. In reality, she is a blip on our radar. Neither he nor I have ever been so happy. We are so rich (in every sense but the literal one) that we don't have time for these things she places so much importance on. In fact, the most recent thing she did to him to "get him," although it sucked to go through, brought about some Aha moments that I would not trade. All her anger and animosity is self-poison. I do hope she likes drinking it, because there's so much of it she'll never sober up.

While we just get stronger.

Bottoms up, Queen of Crazy. I refuse to drink with you.