Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Fun Night with a Purpose!

Hey Peeps—

This is the first afternoon I’ve had in a month to just cuddle up in bed with some Kettle Corn and relax.  I came home from school with good intentions to study, and before I knew it, I was napping.  Don’t be jealous though.  It wasn’t a great nap... Last time I was in college, about 20 years ago, I would often come back to my dorm room to nap.  Nowadays a  “post class mid-day nap” is rife with guilt, jerky wakefulness, and images of the principal calling me to ask why I’m not at the kids’ school volunteering as I sleep the day away. 

Billy had one of those weird pre-children moments this past weekend too.  We were invited to attend a benefit for a friend of ours who has a family member battling breast cancer.  Our friend is part of a band named The Jagtones, and many of the band members are associated with our kids’ school.  We love The Jagtones, as they do covers of all the classics, and have a darn good time making fun music.  We were excited to go out as a family for a night on the town and show our support for a very worthy cause.

The Jagtones had their event at The Buffalo Rose in downtown Golden.  We arrived early and enjoyed taking the kids up and down main street for a little window shopping.   If you haven’t been to Golden in awhile, you should go!  It’s got a great vibe, fun shops, and a small town feel that makes you want to live there, not snotty at all, like Boulder. Soon it was time to head in the restaurant/bar and get jiggy with it. 

Normally we don’t take our three children to bars, so please don’t report us to Child Protective Services.  We had to walk through a main bar, to get to a room with a small bar, and dance floor where The Jagtones would be playing.  The bartender came through to each table to ask what we wanted to drink.  This took me by surprise, as I had yet to see a menu and wasn’t sure what my options were.  I asked the nice man, “What do you have?”  and his reply, dripping with sarcasm was, “Well, you’re in a bar, sooooo”.  Billy stepped in immediately, as he knew this was unfamiliar territory for me, and told the man, “Give her a margarita.  But go real heavy on the fruit, and real light on the alcohol”.  There may have been some winking between them, but it was dark, so I’m not really sure.

At this point in the night, Jack and his friend went to an upper level to hang out with their school buddies (aka: girls) while Faith and Will stayed with us.  Faith only hung out with us for about five minutes, and then once the music began, she was out on that dance floor with her friend Abby.  The two of them danced literally for hours, and entertained the whole room with their graceful moves and carefree spirits.  Will stayed by Billy and I, as we hung out with good friends and enjoyed the fun atmosphere. 

As we watched our daughter dance and listened to the band, Billy explained to me that it was really weird to be there with his kids.  When we met, back in 1994, he was always playing music in all kinds of bars downtown Seattle, living his dream.  (while also living in his mother’s basement).  When he followed me out to Colorado, he left that life behind, and hasn’t looked back.  But there we were in another bar, with our kids in tow, and he wasn’t up there on stage, but rather down in the crowd with a 7 year old on his lap.  He doesn’t have regrets, mind you, but he needed to reflect on the choice he made to be a husband and dad.   We didn’t sit and ponder the past for long, since the dance floor was five feet away, and when a woman needs to dance, the man must accompany her.  A bunch of us cut loose, footloose, and mostly looked like idiots having a blast.  Which is what we were.  Jack and Will joined us briefly, and Faith stopped for a second to be a part of the family too, until the music called her into her own world once again. 

What a night.  One of the best parts, besides me and my friend Grace “makin’ money, gettin’ paid”, was when several cancer survivors stood up and shared their stories.  These people beat the odds, and are living their lives when doctors said they wouldn’t.  They gave God the glory and thanks, and the whole room stopped to pray for the mother of two that we had all come out to support.  What a great way to spend a night, a privilege to be part of someone’s story, and a gift to be a family.  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cookies, camping, cruising along...

Hey Peeps,
The good news is I can admit I have a problem.  The bad news is I can NEVER EVER EVER make oatmeal butterscotch cookies again.  Last weekend while Billy was away camping with our oldest son, I literally ate 16 palm sized cookies in three days.  I mean, they did have oatmeal in them, so I feel that cancels out some of the bad stuff, but really, I think I must own that 16 seems a little over the top.  Before you go all judgy on me, just remember this:  it’s not my fault I’ve been given the gift of cookie baking Queen.  It remains my only skill worth bragging about in the kitchen.

Did I mention my husband Billy took our son Jack to Leadville to camp last weekend?  I swear, my car has never smelled so bad as it did the day they came home.  They weren’t even in it all that much, but somehow they managed to stink it up real good.  They did have fun, however, so I probably shouldn’t complain too much about the car stench.  Billy said, “The first night was cold.  The second night was bitter cold”.   Apparently that’s common for 10,000 ft.  I wouldn’t know.  I was sleeping comfortably on our pillow top mattress with a nice breeze from my ceiling fan. 

Our son Jack is kind of a city kid, and openly admits to hate camping, which is all the more reason we wanted him to go.  Billy is kind of an outdoorsy guy, when he’s not at home playing the X box and drinking flavored tea.  Two years ago, on Father’s Day, I gave Billy a nice Bear Grylls knife.  It’s real manly and sharp, and he loves to take it camping.  This past weekend the knife came in handy for cutting up kindling, and was the reason Billy’s first stop after coming home to kiss me, was to go to Urgent Care.  Lucky for him, he hasn’t developed any flesh eating bacteria, but he is having a hard time bending his finger. It’s frustrating to watch him try to use the blinker in the car, as each time he turns it on, he also hits the windshield wipers. Just this morning we all got real confused at Faith’s soccer game.  Was he pointing or giving Faith a thumbs up?  I guess I’ll never know. 

Faith, Will, and I had a very nice weekend at home while the boys were away.  Mostly I just studied for a test, but we did have a fun visit from Faith’s 3rd grade teacher.  Mrs. Allison wanted to learn how to make cards, so we spent some time giving her some tips and talking a million miles a minute.  Mrs. Allison is the type of person you want to be around.  She’s what I call “a cup filler” rather than “a cup drainer”.   After a morning with her, you feel happy, and encouraged. We were particularly thankful as she brought us food too.  My kids were so glad to have a real meal that night, instead of just Raisin Bran and string cheese. 

One of the nights Billy was away, I let the kids come into my room and read if they “promised to be very quiet and not talk to me”. It was agreed, and each child brought in a book and hopped into my bed.  Faith had her chapter book, and Will chose Garfield.  I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at him as he read to himself.  He’s got allergies and sounds a little like he’s been a 2 pack a day kind of guy, and let me tell you, hearing him laugh that husky laugh, deep from his belly, just warmed my heart.  A special moment I had with Faith was when she asked me about what day I would be graduating from Nursing School.  I told her the date of my pinning, and she exclaimed, “Mom, oh my gosh!  That’s amazing!  That’s Taylor Swift’s birthday!”  It’s nice being compared to a 20 year old singing sensation.  Faith knows I got it going on, after all. 

Another Monday will be here in less than 12 hours. After some adjusting, we all seem to be getting into a groove this Fall, despite the hectic schedule.  Tomorrow the five of us will head off into a variety of directions, to a full day of expectations.   But the best part is when we all are back together under one roof, relaying the events of the day over a meal.  There’s nothing fancy about our lives, in fact some might think we are boring and simple.  We’re okay with that.   All I need at this point in my life is laughter, my family, and I wouldn’t mind a good night’s sleep.