Hi there.
This is me...a happy wife, mom to three awesome boys, teacher to two of the aforementioned boys (we homeschool), chauffeur to karate, archery and all sorts of other activities, former scrapbooker and founder of the 
Good Grief Blog.
Life is good.



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Last two weeks

Oops. Went missing for a bit there. :) Here's some of what's been going on here beyond our regular stuff:

January 29: Nathan and I attended the Fort Collins "State of the City" event. It was at the Lyric theater, which we love. We got there a bit early and grabbed some dinner then settled into our seats in the main theater to watch the presentation film and then listen to the mayor and city manager answer questions. 

This was the first time we'd been to this event (and the first time they held it at The Lyric, apparently), but we left happy with our choice to live here. Continually impressed with Fort Collins.

January 31: Asher went to his first job fair. He's pursuing an apprenticeship through the Colorado CareerWise program. It's still early in the process, but we're hopeful, as the program offers some amazing opportunities. 

February 1: Micah helped his friend Sarah at her Black Belt promotion. (Both Asher & Micah have partnered with Black Belt candidates before to help them through the months-long process.) Here's a picture from her second day of testing a week earlier:

I'm kicking myself for neglecting to take a photo during the actual promotion. :) Many congrats to Sarah!

February 2: Asher & Nathan volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. It was Asher's first time and the weather cooperated and was fabulous (mid-50s and beautiful). They both had a great time helping to frame in the upstairs of one of the duplexes at their site. 

While there, Nathan popped in to the duplex he and I had helped on last year...

We built that wall in the background. Today, it looks like this:

So cool to see the progress and how these volunteer hours become homes!

February 3: Noah (whose CSU classes started back up on January 22) joined us to watch the most boring Super Bowl any of us can remember, lol. But. We got a small catering order from Matador to enjoy during the game and were entertained by the commercials, so it was still a nice day. :)

February 4: Micah and I spent much of the day dealing with medical stuff. Micah's been having issues with his knee and foot off and on for the past month or so. It had gotten worse in the last week or so to the point where I finally called and scheduled him a doctor's appointment. (He was missing activities and hates to miss either karate or rock climbing.) The doctor ordered blood work and x-rays. (Micah's never had blood drawn before and HATES needles but managed to survive...and now understands that having blood go "out" is less painful than having shots go "in." He's also never had x-rays before (other than dental) and was apparently unimpressed.)

In any case, everything came back "normal." The next step is an appointment down at Children's Hospital in Denver...with the Rheumatology department, as the best guess at the moment is some form of juvenile rheumatoid/idiopathic arthritis. We couldn't get him in until the start of March, so we'll keep you posted. In the meantime, we're just taking it day by day...as some days he's fine, but some days he has trouble walking. 

February 6: Asher had his first test for his MAT 121 class (college algebra). He got 100%!

February 7: A couple weeks ago, I was selected to be a member of the city's Climate Action Plan Community Advisory Committee. (They received almost 30 applications for a few openings.) It's a volunteer group that helps advise city staff and meets quarterly. The first meeting, for me, was February 7. Having done my homework ahead of time, I was happy to meet the terrific citizens and representatives present and work with them to brainstorm ideas to help guide the city's plan...and continue to be impressed by the forethought and organization of the city of Fort Collins. 

February 8: Nathan finally succeeded in taking the bus from Fort Collins to Boulder. :) It was his third attempt, lol. The first time, he missed the bus. The second time, he ended up in Longmont instead and had to Uber to Boulder. So. Making it all the way to work in Boulder was great. :) Since he's been driving down to Boulder two or three times a week, taking the bus to and from saves us a good bit in gas and maintenance and parking...plus, he gains back those couple of hours to read and do other stuff while riding the bus. All good things! Course, he's not crazy about the early departure time... ;)  

And that's what's been going on around here. Oh, and I continue to purge and reorganize things around the house...making great progress and took a load of things to Goodwill today actually. Whew.


Ten on Tuesday

1. Noah started spring semester (finally) today. We took him back up to campus on Sunday...then saw him again yesterday when we took him a number of things he'd forgotten at home, lol. It's a good thing we took him his coat, because I'm guessing he needed it today.

2. As promised, I got Nathan to go through all of his clothes/closet...and, yes, he did have more stuff to part with than I did. :) (I had three grocery bags...he had three garbage bags.) While he was sorting his clothes, I emptied out much of the rest of the closet and sorted that (it was mostly, for whatever reason, empty boxes along with some tubs of sentimental clothes and costume stuff). We also got a new dresser to put where the pile of things on the floor used to be (had Noah assemble it for us before he left, lol). So. The closet's not totally done but feels so much better!

3. Speaking of sentimental clothes, I also gathered the collections of those I had around the house in various closets. I currently have piles in my family room. I'm living with them a bit as I decide what to save. I'm pretty sure I can winnow it down to just a box or two and am good with that. I had a number of baby things where I couldn't remember which boy they went with. I pulled out each boy's scrapbooks to look and realized that 1) if I don't remember in the first place, it's obviously not that sentimental and 2) I have a record of sentimental clothes already through all the pictures. So. I'll be letting go of stuff. :) 

4. My boys should thank me. I told them this as I've been going through the house sorting and purging. Honestly, I'm saving them so much work. Imagine if I didn't sort and purge and then this was all still here when I die, lol.

5. Along with my closet, I've also gone through my bathroom, nightstand, shoes, and jewelry. And I have a list of other things I'll be getting to in the next week or two. I'm realizing that the timing of this whole tidying up wave (thanks, Marie Kondo and Netflix) was pretty spot on for me. Normally, I spend January and February planning and obsessing about what changes need to happen in our homeschooling and what curricula I'll use for the coming school year. Knowing that both boys will be in high school full time next fall, I don't have that this year. This is filling the void, lol.

6. I also went through all our important document things and reorganized and made an emergency binder and such. It's overkill, but I feel better. :) (I won't bore you with the level of detail I got into, but it's pretty impressive...if I do say so myself, lol.)

7. In going through the important documents, I also found heaps of old negatives. They're very organized (in sleeves with dates and descriptions) because apparently I had a lot of time on my hands at some point, lol. I'm trying to figure out what to do with them now, though. Scanning them individually is so time consuming (we're talking a stack about 6" high of standard protector sheets (which each holds 7-8 strips of negatives)) and I don't really have adequate equipment to do that at home. But having them scanned professionally is so expensive! Yikes. Any ideas?

8. Does anyone have any experience with printing a blog? I'm realistically realizing that I'm unlikely to go back and scrapbook everything (haven't really scrapbooked since 2010) but have recorded my stories here and would like to print them out in a book or books. I'm wondering if anyone has done this and has tips.

9. Amid my tidying, life continues just fine here. :) Micah's rock climbing classes are going again (after a break for the holidays), Asher's getting in the groove at school and is still happily going to parkour, both boys stay busy with karate and demo team, Micah's still been helping a friend with her black belt training and has started back up with some occasional First Lego League team sessions, homeschooling continues, boot camp still challenges me, I've got most of our tax stuff ready (just waiting on some forms but have our appointment already scheduled with our accountant), and Nathan's busy at work. Good stuff. 

10. Yes, I know these aren't the most exciting posts. I'd apologize, but mostly I'm just trying to record stuff so I can remember later. ;) 


Ten on Tuesday (random stuff)

A little catching up...

1. Asher started back to classes on the 3rd...just a couple classes at CEC this semester and then also homeschooling with me. Mostly, that's all going fine. Here's my question, though. What the heck is up with the Texas Instruments graphing calculators?! One, they're specifically required...so far both Noah and Asher have been required to have this specific brand and model, as it makes it easier for the teacher to instruct. (And, of course, Noah still needs his so we can't just pass one down, lol.) Two, they have been for decades! (Nathan and I remember having to have them in our own high school classes.) Three, they still cost practically as much as they did decades ago but have changed very little. What's up with that?!

2. I've officially finished the multitude of steps required for Micah's CEC enrollment to start as a full time 9th grader this coming fall. It's a little crazy that it's January, folks. (But, also, whew. Having been through this twice before, this time wasn't as daunting.)

3. Yay, us! We took advantage of the lovely weather to actually get all our Christmas decorations down the first weekend of January. Some years, they've stayed up for weeks and weeks, so it's nice to have that done and put away.

4. My mom celebrated her birthday last week with the stomach flu that's been going around. Boo! But, she says it brightened her celebration to open the gift I made her:

I painted a slat for each of us kids and our distance from mom's house. :) Please remind me not to try to paint the CSU logo again...at least not on that scale, lol. 

5. Nathan made a quick trip to New York for work last week. Feeling grateful that his travel went smoothly and that, so far, he's stayed healthy (knock on wood). 

6. Micah had his last official appointment with the orthodontist last week also...woohoo! Feels lovely to be done with all that and so appreciative of the fabulous care we experienced throughout both Asher and Micah getting braces on and off. 

7. I don't think I've mentioned it, but one of the gifts Asher got for Christmas was a new comforter. (Exciting, right? lol) It's actually one of those weighted blankets (this one) with a cover, and he's loving it. (We weren't sure how well it was going to work, but Asher's always been our most active sleeper and had been using an old sleeping bag as a comforter so we figured we'd give it a try. Hooray!)

8. Is it just me? January's only half way through and I've already been adding all sorts of appointments and meetings and events to our calendar...which is good (to get things scheduled) but also, whew.

9. We've been to the theater a couple times so far this month. The boys and I watched that animated "Spider-man: Into the Spider Verse" show, which was surprisingly fun. And then yesterday we all went to watch "On the Basis of Sex" about Ruth Bader Ginsberg...which was very well done.

10. Okay, I'll admit it. I'm one of the many who have watched the new Netflix series with Marie Kondo, "Tidying Up." :) Honestly, our home is already pretty organized and tidy, and I purge things fairly regularly. I'd already been planning another round for this first part of the year, and watching this show has just added inspiration. I'm not in a huge hurry, but I did actually make the big pile of clothes on my bed yesterday. It wasn't too bad (or big), and I got rid of three bags of things. Yay, me! Nathan has agreed to go through is part of the closet next weekend. I guarantee he'll have more bags of things to part with. ;) 

And now back to enjoying 2019...hope yours is going well!


One Little Word

So. I've been picking a word of the year each year for the past while. Past words have included:


And now...2019's word is Hone.

One. I've found that verbs work better for me. :)

Two. In my head, I'm visualizing the process of writing a story. The first part...the gathering of information and building of the foundation and putting everything down in one place...is mostly done. Next comes my favorite part...the editing and reorganizing and sharpening and HONING. 

My life right now is pretty darn sweet. I'm so incredibly blessed; I know it and appreciate it. Given that, my focus for this coming year is on simply taking that darn sweet life and honing it...getting it ready for whatever comes next. With Noah already at CSU and both Asher and Micah starting full time at CEC in the fall, I know change is coming. I'm not sure what it will look like yet, and I'm okay with that. I want to enjoy the process of getting there. 

So. Three. Here's to honing the boys' homeschooling in the coming semester to prepare them for the fall. Here's to continuing to help ready the three of them to further become the men they're meant to be. (I feel last year's intentional pushing *beyond* comfort zones continues to guide me and will work to weave that into our lives even more.) Here's to honing the relationships that matter to me...taking more time and putting in the effort to nurture those relationships. And here's to learning more about myself...trying new things in my search for what might come after homeschooling...and to taking care of myself and my home so that I can truly savor the coming years. 

Here's to 2019!


22 years

Just a quick shoutout...Monday was our 22nd anniversary. Woohoo! Given that we rarely choose to celebrate actually on New Year's Eve (and given that we were enjoying our final full day with Nathan's parents here), Nathan and I went out last night to The Melting Pot to quietly celebrate... 

In case you're not local, please know that it was about 0 degrees outside when this picture was taken (but there was no place inside with sufficient light). We were freezing! ;) After that, we bundled back up and walked a very short time in Old Town to appreciate the beautiful lights...

...and then we went home. Because we're exciting like that, lol. 

Yep, not a big celebration or anything this year...just thrilled to be together and know ourselves to be incredibly blessed. Seriously. So very fortunate and happy. :) 

And...John & Nancy flew home yesterday. We had a terrific visit but didn't end up taking any pictures other than at the Ice Castles--sorry! Lots of time just hanging out together, playing games and spending some individual time (each boy spent an afternoon with grandparents doing his own choice of things). And now we're working on getting things back to "normal" around here, with Asher starting back to school tomorrow. Whew.