Thursday, January 18, 2018

Skiing in St. Louis

Sophia's fifth grade year has been a bit of a downer. Her expectations were very high. She was hoping for a year on top of the world to finish out a great career at Captain. The realities have been less than stellar. However, yesterday included one reality that lived up to all her hopes. 

Every fifth grade group takes a field trip to Hidden Valley, in Eureka, for a day of learning to ski. She has been looking forward to this since she first learned of it a few years ago. Erick and I were both unable to go along, but I think that turned out to be a good thing.

Apparently, she sailed through ski school, and started trekking around the little ski resort in no time. By the time we were able to get there to pick her up, she was hopping off the ski lift like a champ.

Six hours of skiing on her first day to try, and this was still her face at the end of the day. Today is less of this and more tired and grumpy. But I'm glad that it lived up to the hype!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Post Up

It's that time of year again. Basketball has landed in our midst. Sophia prefers soccer, but she is probably a more naturally gifted basketball player. She likes the rough and tumble aspect of being one of the bigger kids on the floor, down by the basket.

Even though these girls are in 5th grade now, it's still so fun to watch them play. Each time they get on the court, they learn something. And they are so lucky to have one another. The team is made up of fantastic and fun girls. They also like to be competitive. The coaches have their hands full during practice with all the secret handshakes and silliness, but they do get serious when it counts.

It's a good way to spend a cold, dreary weekend afternoon.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Disney Whirlwind

The week before Christmas, we headed to Orlando. Disney World is a lovely place - magical and bright.  It was even more fun that it had been the first time! 

Sophia did a great job about not complaining about the heat, even though she was sweating the entire time. 

I had some sinus trouble that got me down in the middle of the days, but a quick trip back to the resort for a nap for me and a swim for those two ended up being just the ticket.

We did all four parks in three days. Hollywood Studios was one that we probably won't do again, except that they're planning a huge Star Wars world there in another year or two. This time around, these guys made the trip worth it.

It was a great vacation! It was just the right mix of activity and togetherness and making great memories. I'm so lucky to get to travel with these two. We never find ourselves unable to have a good time in each other's company!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Beautiful Girl

No reason for posting this picture other than the fact that I haven't posted in such a long time.

Her face is gorgeous. Her spirit is indomitable. I try to learn as much as I teach.

More to come because we head to Disney tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Happy birthday, Sophia!

Dear Sophia,

Your birthday is one of my very favorite days of the year. Reflecting on the person you are and the family we've created is such a gift.

This year has been one that will be a marker in our lives. The hard parts of life are the growing opportunities, and you have grown deeply. This year has brought disappointment, loss, fear and change. You have allowed these to be opportunities for growth and reaching out instead of isolation. I am amazed by you every day.

We have had much to celebrate this year, too, and those lovely days have been all the more sweet and full because you have felt the true range of feelings. Your sweet, outgoing spirit has been a joy for us and for all your friends. This year has brought new depth to your friendships, as well, and I'm so excited to watch that happening.

You are a remarkable girl. I am so grateful to be able to be one of your guides for this part of your life. Each year, from here on out, will be leaps and bounds as you develop and strengthen your spirit. I can't wait to see what this year holds for you and our family.

Love you deeply,


Thursday, August 24, 2017


I love evenings like this. I got to open the windows and let in some fresh air. Imagine my surprise when as soon as I opened the first window, I burst into tears. It was in that moment that I realized I haven't opened the windows since Gabriella, our beautiful and complicated cat, had to be put down.

Gabriella hadn't been eating most of the spring or summer. Just refusing food, then not able to keep down anything I could force or hand feed her. She had still been herself for the most part. Actually, not quite herself. She had been so sweet and snuggly and kind to all of us. That was our first clue. The blood tests came back clear, so the next level of tests were a huge cost with no guarantee of result. Meanwhile, she continued to waste away. Before we could decide for sure about the tests, we left on vacation while Sophia's babysitter checked on her daily.

When I came home from vacation without Erick and Sophia in order to go to Illinois for Grandma's funeral, Gabriella was not well. She yelled for hours that first night. When I got home after the funeral and day at the farm, she was miserable. I won't describe it because it's too sad.

She was such a good cat. I honestly miss her a ton. She was a great friend and her ornery spirit always managed to bring a smile to my face, even when her claws drew blood. Gabriella was a great cat, and she cannot be replaced. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

First Day of Fifth Grade

Sophia headed off to fifth grade this morning. It's her last year in elementary school. Captain makes fifth graders feel special all year, and they do a wonderful job of helping them transition to middle school. She has had a rough few weeks of nervous energy and fears around the beginning of school, but she was off and ready this morning!

Leo and I are adjusting, but maybe a little sad...

It really does promise to be a great year. And the routine of school is going to be a lift for all of us! I'm excited to see what this year brings. For me, it looks like I'm going to still be at home - spending my time volunteering and with a small job. I get to focus on helping Sophia and myself, and Erick when he needs it, through everything that comes next!