Monday, January 25, 2016

a new year - finding joy

I simply can not comprehend the passage of time lately - it has been one full year since Jason died and I still feel him and hear him like he was just here... yet some of the memories of us together are already fading like they were from another era.

I am not naive or selfish enough to think that I am the only person for whom this day, this wretched anniversary, is depressing or emotionally difficult. However, I can only share how I grieve and hope that in sharing it will soothe the ache of others who miss Jason.

I struggle with riding the chair lift on my own this winter... 
I have spent the past 12 months in a state of constant flux - moving back into our house, keeping the boys entertained and active, learning a new job, traveling to see family and staying home to be with friends - yet all the while walking a blurred line of emotion; trying to choose happiness, but sometimes simply being overwhelmed by sadness.

I am constantly sad that he is gone. That is what I feel when I first wake up and what I feel as I drift off to sleep. It stays with me throughout the day as well, sometimes obscured by moments of happiness here and there... but the feeling of sadness is so deeply lodged in my consciousness that it has become my default emotion.

More than sadness really, what I feel is a lack of joy. I have realized that my grieving has evolved into a strange inability to experience joy on a regular basis... and I know that it is because Jason was my joy. He made everything in my life more joyful; he truly made me happy. I find that where I previously enjoyed so many things I now find emptiness: books, movies, game night, skiing, camping, sleeping, eating, drinking. Nearly every activity used to bring me great pleasure when shared with Jason and now I go through the motions for the sake of normalcy, and for the sake of our boys.

But something that was shared with me has made an impact in my way of thinking and in my grieving... these are the words of Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook:

When I first lost Dave, I felt overwhelmed with just getting through each day. My friend [@AdamGrant] suggested that every night before bed I write down three things I did well that day. I tried to do this, although some days I had such a hard time thinking of anything I did well that I’d end up listing ‘Made a cup of tea.’ But over time, focusing on things I’d done well helped me rebuild my confidence.” 
In 2016, Sandberg wrote that she plans to “write down three joyful moments each day.”“I want to choose life and meaning over death and tragedy and live Option B as best I can,” Sandberg wrote in a Facebook post in which she pledged to do the best without Option A, her late husband Dave Goldberg.
“So I will try to focus on finding joy in the mundane and the profound—joy in the small things that make my children smile, joy in the moments of friendship that might otherwise pass by unnoticed, joy in the ability to appreciate the gift of life in a way I never did before.

I am inspired by her resolution to choose happiness and joy and I hope that in 2016 I too can find joy more often in everything we do. (and believe me, with all the adventures that these boys have we are bound to find more joy than we can handle!)

Sunday, January 24, 2016

birthday boys

I will save you the long epistle about how Hamp and Sam have grown into such neat boys at age 12 and 9.... and just say that we celebrated our 'birthday week' in good fashion, once again! Each boy had a few buddies out for an adventure, a cake and several excellent gifts from friends and family. And certainly, each boy felt how special it was to have a birthday!

Hamp & co. at the sledding hill in Steamboat Springs:

a fun cake & presents celebration at the house:

and of course, a round of our new favorite game Pie In The Face:





Sam & co. at The Hotel Glenwood Springs for a sleepover and lots of swimming:


more fun (and colorful!) cake & presents in the hotel, which even had a game room;
and of course some time for our favorite game!!!



Saturday, January 2, 2016

Christmas in the Smokies

Christmas vacation was awesome... Yaya & Papa took the kids to Wilderness Lodge in the Smokies which kept us all thoroughly entertained! Not only did we enjoy the Lodge's adventure parks and arcade, but a day trip into the Smokey Mountains, a Star Wars viewing and a day shopping at the outlets brought a little something for everyone to enjoy! And then actually spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at their home was very special and comfortable - made it easy for Santa to come and spoil those boys! 
Thanks Yaya & Papa














Saturday, December 19, 2015

December

On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

12 bright red roses:


11 acres of forest (give or take!)

10 perfect trees to choose from!

9 cups of hot cocoa!


8 feet of pine tree:

7 bright bulbs glowing:

6 broken ornaments:

5 inches of fresh snow!

4 hours of snowboarding!

3 happy hearts (I know Jason was smiling down on us!)

2 holiday programs: 


and 1 big, happy group of friends and family!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Fall

Our life over the past 2 months has been split between Hamp playing soccer, Sam doing gymnastics, and Sam rehearsing for the 3rd - 8th grade musical. With a little "training" to run a 5K trail race in Moab, UT thrown in the mix, I have stayed sufficiently occupied... to say the least!

soccer
The decision to participate in a competitive soccer league did not come too easily - we traveled 45 miles one way twice a week for practices... and once even as far as 150 miles one way for a single game! But I couldn't help but feel a little proud of Hamp for choosing something he really was passionate about and for joining a team of complete strangers... only to end up as new friends!

And I'd be lying if I said I wan't excited to spend my Saturday mornings at the park, in the sunshine, with beautiful scenery everywhere we went, watching Hamp play!

The Rifle Under 12 boys team - with a 6-1-3 record

gymnastics

Sam continued with twice-a-week practices at a gym out of town and truly loved the acrobatics of it all and the progress he was making. This quick video shows just a highlight of what we were invited to see at the expo in October... super smiley face included!

Moab
In the midst of it all, we signed up to join our gang for an adventure trail race in the beautiful red rock desert of Utah... and while our more athletic and endurance-prone friends committed to running either a half or a full marathon, the boys and I enjoyed a mere 5K (3 miles) on a gorgeous, cold but sunny desert morning.


the Little Mermaid
A week later Sam made his theatrical debut as Flotsam, the electric eel and evil minion to the sea witch, Ursula... he rehearsed tirelessly for 2 months and had a fantastic 3-show run in which he sang, acted and puppeteered his way to stardom! (a little dramatic, yes... but it was a great show.)



Once the house lights went up after that last show I realized that our fall activities were officially at an end! It was bittersweet indeed - I LOVED watching Hamp play soccer and I grew to enjoy my time in the car driving back and forth to practice and gymnastics and Utah! But we are all a little worn out and ready to switch gears....

The next phase will be so exciting: we will help as much as we can getting Mojo & Dado settled into their new home in Meeker!


... and we look forward to Thanksgiving in California with family, Christmas in Knoxville with family, and of course.... ski season!!!