Friday, July 24, 2015

Happy 10th Birthday, Barrett!

Dear Barrett,
Double digits, man!  The big 1-0!  Happy birthday.  You have been blessing our lives for 10 whole years with your funny laugh, your giving heart and your out-of-the-blue sweet hugs. 

Honestly, this year was hard emotionally.  We had some walls to break down and it wasn’t easy, but you are worth it. A million times worth it.  We would walk through glass for you. It has been a maturing year for you.  You are in this place where you are growing up and growing up is hard work…walking the line between playing tag and playing it cool, between having the carefree life of a kid and the responsibility of having more freedom. You are growing wiser, making tougher choices and dealing with big emotions.  But you are also still a kid who has a lot to learn and there will be plenty of mistakes to learn from.  I wish you understood that we don’t expect you to already know everything or do things right on the first try.  It’s okay to ask for help. We are proud of you, even when you make mistakes, and especially when you learn from them.   I’m going to quote the Pretenders here because they said it so well:
“When…you don't know what to do
Nothing you confess
Could make me love you less
I'll stand by you”

We see you working and learning everyday.  I wish you could truly see the wonderful human being you are!  I believe in you and the wonderful man you’re becoming. You are an amazing person with so much to give.  You are so kind and loving and generous.  You are a good friend, the kind who gives his own money to the kid who forgot his lunch money.  You are a great brother, the kind who gives his prize toys from the arcade to his brother and sister just to see them smile.  You are the kind of brother who worries about the safety of his siblings, and lets his scared younger siblings sleep in his room during a storm.  You are the kind of son who surprises me with warm, sweet hugs ‘just because’ and loves to have conversations about the interesting things you are learning and the crazy things people do.  I love talking to you and listening to you.  You are full of meaningful ideas and have so many important things to say.

You have empathy for others and feel their joys and pains. I think that is a great quality to have and it will guide you to do the right thing.  You also stand up for what you believe…another trait that will take you far in life.  

I love to watch you play baseball and basketball.  You make me smile and I’m so glad you’re in my life. I’m so lucky to be your mommy. I love you more than words can express.



Monday, July 20, 2015

Colorado Trip

We have had an awesome travel-filled summer!  After we got back from Florida, we started packing up for Colorado.  We stayed in a cute 70's A frame chalet complete with awesome wallpaper, a Radarange (pre-microwave), and a tent bunk room.

Left picture is of the "far-out" wallpaper in one of the bathrooms in our beloved 70's chalet.

We all acquired new nicknames on this trip.  Barrett is Thunder Bear, Kyle is Rocky Nacho Libre, and Annabelle is Toot 'n' Tote 'em...Or Thunder, Rocky and Toot for short.
Cody is Boots McGee, and I am TeaPee.

Thunder, Toot and Rocky standing on the very spot where I want to build a little vacation home...(sigh) a girl can dream.

Everyone's favorite part of the trip was our day in Crested Butte.  We got off to a slow start with construction closing the road down to one lane in multiple spots, but we soon forgot all about that when we drove into this cute town!  We rode the chair lift to the top of the mountain, played mini golf, panned for gold and jewels, bungee bounced, and had an awesome dinner on a patio overlooking the Butte with a live concert playing on the other side of the railing.  It was a magical day and the kids even let me take a few pictures.

We also rafted on the Arkansas River and the kids explored, looking for gold between the rocks.  We also enjoyed a day of dipping in the hot springs on Mount Princeton.

On our last day, we not-so-fearlessly drove to the top of Pike's Peak.  The wind was shaking the car which was overheating due to the incline and I was freaking out just a little bit...okay, a lot a bit...I made Cody turn around when we were probably one switchback short of the peak.  Then we went to Garden of the Gods which is nicely planted firmly on the ground with views of Pike's Peak.

We picked up 3 coon skin hats on the way to Crested Butte for Toot, Rocky, and Thunder

Kyle on the bungee jump thing and the deer we saw from the ski lift

 "It's a Butte, Clark, it's a Butte!"

 Garden of the Gods

 Searching for gold, pretty rocks, and other surprises and Annabelle playing with a chipmunk on the way up Pike's Peak

 In front of Pike's Peak

View from the *almost* top of Pike's Peak

These next photos were taken with a film underwater camera while white water rafting and at the hot springs...I am SO grateful for digital photos!

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