Friday, July 25, 2014

Wish I Was Here

Jason & I are pleased to present the trailer for "our" movie that opened at select theaters this past weekend!

Seriously though, as fans of Zach Braff's work we jumped on the Kickstarter bandwagon last year and gave money to help back his latest movie project... thus the shout out in the preview and the cool tee shirts! Hope you get a chance to check out the film - and the soundtrack!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Into the woods

One element of this summer so far that has been totally excellent has been the frequency of camping trips taken by the boys! 

Just to be clear, I owe all three trips to our dear friends who were willing to bring a couple of tag-a-longs with them on their adventures. I am overwhelmed with gratitude...

It all started with a 2-day, 1-night hike in to Mirror Lake with just two adults and three boys (Sammy didn't make this one!) ~ and for the first trip of the summer it went perfectly! Weather was apparently warm & dry and the fishing was a great success.

Another overnight trip found both boys camping at South Fork with their friends and exploring Spring Cave!

Then last weekend, both boys took off on a 2-night, 3-day back pack trip to Rainbow Lake!

There were two adults and eight boys; Sammy was the youngest and apparently he was quite a trooper!

Of course, I was torn between relief of having a quiet house and time to myself (and having everything stay clean for more than 5 minutes!) and worry of them getting scared at night or getting eaten by a bear.
But I knew better than to be too apprehensive at letting them go ~ there is no better place in my mind for two boys to be in the summer!

summer fun

June came and went and in between it all we have finally managed to settle in nicely to summer ~ we have enjoyed the lack of routine and all the adventures that come with it! The rental house is comfortable, and the boys took no time in exploring the new neighborhood and making themselves at home. Jason is resting & recuperating well with only some minor pitfalls with chemotherapy and doctor appointments. I am a coordinating maniac between upcoming vacation plans, house rebuilding plans, Jason's healthcare and the ever-important happy hour! And Gabe...

... he's just happy to be with his boy!

For me, the best part was having my mom visit after the fire and help me do, well everything! 
When she wasn't cleaning rescued toys and clothes from the house she was entertaining the boys or shuttling them to play dates and the pool. I did manage to steal her away for one evening to have dinner/drinks just the two of us... it was lovely!

Perhaps the boys' favorite Mojo memory is the scavenger hunt of sorts that she sent them on all over town! They checked the mail, got an ice cream sundae at the soda fountain, rented Frozen at the movie store, stopped in the library and the bank ...  all the while following clues to the next stop!

Most days I try to get Gabe a good run at the park and a drink from the river.
Meanwhile, the kids are magnets for play dates and anything that involves water!
The boys and I celebrated a relatively quiet 4th of July around town with a parade, friends and fireworks.
Most significantly though, we continue to treasure every moment with our friends who are so good to us.

coming up next... more summer fun in Meeker!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

a little bit of Sam

While this spring has been occupied with hospital stays & grandparent visits, Little League games and end-of-school activities, house fires and relocations...

...Sam has maintained a sunny disposition through it all - and has stayed busy with either scheduled activities or enterprises of his own creation.

He fell in love with his great-aunt when she was here... and subsequently fell in love with her daughter, Jason's cousin, during her visit! They both helped him create puzzles and marble runs, and encouraged his creativity with coloring and games. 

He also spent June practicing baseball ~ culminating in a double header under windy weather conditions. He played catcher and outfielder and hit the ball a few times. Just the right amount of game time!

And of course, there has been gymnastics. We watched his class last week and applauded when he received his medal of completion. Above all, we were pleased with how hard he worked and how focused he stayed through each demonstration.

When life gives you lemons... Sam will help you make lemonade!

what do you do when the science experiment is over?
Have a sip!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Life is a highway

Every good road trip has an equally excellent accompanying soundtrack. Our recent journey is no exception! Over the two months spent at the hospital and driving back and forth to Grand Junction there were 3 new pop songs that garnered mainstream popularity... and my attention as significant anthems of our experience. 

1) "Can't complain about much these days. I believe we'll be ok."
- Be OK by Oh Honey

Well, Jason did have his first post-treatment MRI this week and while we had the expectation (and hope!) that it would provide a clear and clean picture of Jason's brain... the doctors assured us that it is too early to make any real determinations about the success of the treatment. We realized this week that we are in a process of healing, and focusing on increasing Jason's mental and physical strength is as much a priority as the chemotherapy he will continue to take. So while we weren't really given good news, neither did we really receive bad news. Which leaves me to simply believe that we will be ok. 
Can't complain - even the wild roses are blooming at the house!

2) "And if you were to ask me, after all that we've been through: 'still believe in magic?' Oh yes I do, of course I do."
- Magic by Coldplay

We are working on our new normal as a family - including a new temporary home to move into and continued therapy for Jason. But the one constant is the love we all share and dedication we have to one another - we are quick with a hug, a kiss, always a laugh... and it reassures us that no matter what a brain tumor or house fire take away from us, there is magic between us as a family that is invulnerable. 

3) "We are love. We are one. We are how we treat each other when the day is done. We are peace. We are war. We are how we treat each other and nothing more."
- Nothing More by the Alternate Routes

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Friday the 13th

So.... just as we were settling into some semblance of a summer situation, we up and go burn down the house!

Seriously, the propane tank on our grill exploded Friday late afternoon and the resulting fire left our home in ruins. 

It all happened so fast that it is honestly a miracle that we are all unharmed and ok!

I do feel kind of indebted to Jason's cousin who is visiting - for it was her sage advice to "get off the deck!" which ensured our safety before the deck blew up!

(and just moments before we turned on the grill she had made a comment regarding what a quiet town Meeker was... )

We are overwhelmed and grateful (once again!) to our community and our friends for opening up their homes, feeding us and sometimes even giving us almost literally the shirt off their back!

We are also happy to be redirecting any donations or assistance to Samaritan's Purse via our local ministerial alliance. This non-profit organization helps with disaster and displacement aid for people who are not as lucky as we are!

Oh, and just to keep our humor in check we have absolutely taken every opportunity to laugh about setting our house on fire and even went so far as to consider entries for the accompanying playlist, such as:
- Fire by Bruce Springsteen
- Burning Down the House by The Talking Heads
- We didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel
- Light My Fire by the Doors
(feel free to offer up any ideas of your own!)

Anyway, in case you were wondering how bad it really is....

Our friends went and boarded up the blown out windows and back door to keep out any weather, stray animals (?) or people... and now we wait for insurance to set us up with a plan!

Fortunately, as of Saturday night we have a new place to call home, all the necessities of domesticity, plenty of good food to eat and the relief of being together with family and friends. 

So despite realizing the superstition of it being Friday the 13th (and a full moon?!) I truly am feeling extremely lucky!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Beaver Baseball

Hamp's Little League baseball season came to a close this weekend ~ and I can honestly say I am so impressed with how he and his team played! This season was particularly special because both sets of grandparents (plus some other awesome family & friends who came to visit!) were able to watch Hamp play. Mojo & Dado cheered him on and even served hot dogs to the team at one of the away games! Yaya & Papa braved both freezing rain and burning hot sun while rooting for the Beavers. The team was excellent, the coaching was wonderful, and the cheering section for the Beavers was second-to-none! ☺

Hamp had a particularly good couple of months - no doubt thanks to the great coaching and practice he experienced. But then Hamp always rises to the occasion... and when he's part of a team with such athletic and encouraging kids he's bound to find his groove:

The season ended with a League Tournament = Thurs/Fri/Sat games out of town.
(Meanwhile, Sam was travelling for gymnastics and everyone was trying to wrap up the school year!) Whew...

But by Saturday afternoon, the sun was beating down and the Beavers had won all three games leading up to the Championship! The final game was a nail-biter despite the Beavers maintaining a scoring lead the whole time... and when our catcher grabbed the ball and threw it to our pitcher who tagged the runner out at home for the final out - the boys knew instantly that they had done it!

the perfect view - GO #6!!!!
I can't tell if Hamp realizes how hard he worked to become a better baseball player this year... or if he realizes how well these 10 kids played together as a team... I think he just truly loves the camaraderie and athleticism of the sport.
And now that I have watched him teaching his little brother how to pitch a baseball in the backyard I know that whether he realizes it or not, baseball is teaching him more than he knows! ♥