Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Easter

It was a snowy and cold Easter.

Saturday night, we went to the Flatirons service.
It was a fantastic service.
Pastor Jim taught about being "unshaken" and fixing our eyes on Jesus.
It was really good!

Sunday morning, I asked Steve to visit a small Evergreen church with me.
I've been struggling with going to a mega church where we don't have friends.
My thought ... let's attend a smaller church where we can build community.
So, we did.  The sanctuary was filled with grey hairs.  While his message was good, the pastor rarely looked up to make eye contact with his audience.
I left there with a renewed desire to stay right where we are.

I really enjoy Pastor Jim and Pastor Scott.
They are funny, bold, focused, unwavering, and committed to truth.
Repeatedly, the hope is that everyone who walks though the doors will "bump into Jesus" and "encounter Him."
I love that they preach with conviction, and against mainstream thinking.

Worship, while it is loud, is led by a stageful of extremely talented musicians.
The songs are powerful.
I'm so thankful that we landed there.

After church on Sunday, the family came up for Easter dinner ... and egg decorating and hunting.
It was a great weekend.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Easter Years Gone By

I thought I'd take a walk down memory lane.
2010 was the first year the kids got matching clothes.
Buying them clothes is one of my favorite parts about Easter.

In 2011, the boys matched, but not the girls.  I didn't get a good photo anyhow.
In 2014, I was in India and took photos when I got home.
Tomorrow ... I will post photos from this year.

April 8, 2007
Kalispell, Montana
March 23, 2008
Kalispell, Montana
April 12, 2009
Whitefish, Montana
April 4, 2010
Seattle, Washington
April 24, 2011
Seattle, Washington
April 8, 2012
Castle Rock, Colorado
March 31, 2013
Castle Rock, Colorado
April 20, 2014
Castle Rock, Colorado
April 5, 2015
Castle Rock, Colorado

Easter Egg Hunt

I must admit, Easter activities don't appeal to me much.
I love Easter, the significance, the church service, and the Easter brunch.
I don't particularly like decorating eggs or egg hunts.
But the kids love it ... so I seek them out.

This year, I found one here in Marshdale.
But with snow in the forecast for today ... after the blizzard that just passed through on Wednesday ... I wasn't looking forward to going outside for an egg hunt.

Then, I saw an email about an egg hunt at Buchanan Pool.
How cool is that?
So, we went last night.
The plastic eggs were floating in the shallow end of the pool.

After gathering them, the eggs were returned in exchange for candy.

Afterward, the kids played in the pool for about an hour.
While playing, Shiloh accidentally hit Sawyer in the face, knocking out his front tooth.
It fell into the pool, never to be found again.
Now, we have 2 toothless cuties!

It was by far the best Easter egg hunt yet!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Coffee Smile

Wayne Smith used to tell me how much he loved my coffee smile.
That big, huge smile that would spread across my face when I had a cup of coffee in hand.
It was a reflection of sheer joy.
Like this one.

And even this one.

It seems that lately, I've lost that smile.
I don't know how to find it.
Seriously, I feel like I rarely laugh or smile anymore.
I try, but it's just not in there.
More often than not, I look like this.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


I hate how much conflict has existed between Steve and myself.
It just seems that we can't agree on much these days.
I don't know how to get over the hurdle.

I view disagreements very differently than he.
The way I see it is that we are different, just plain different.
I see life through a different lens than he does.
When a topic comes up, Steve expresses his thoughts and opinions and I express mine.
Yep, they are different.
I'm ok with it.
He is not.
For Steve, our differences = fighting.
Because he doesn't want to fight, he responds in one of 2 ways.
He either withdraws to avoid a fight, or he simply does the opposite of what I have expressed.
It's super hard for me because he simply disregards my ideas and suggestions.

It's been like this for much of our married life.
Lately, it's been really bothering me.
We've had a lot of conflict in the last 6 months.
Much of it results in great frustration and sadness for me.
I often wonder if we'll ever work through it.
The hardest part for me is the negative impact it's having on the kids.
It's hard enough dealing with my own emotions in this mess, but watching the kids react is doubly hard.

I wish I knew what to do.
It seems that all my efforts fall flat.
The longer we're married, the more distant we seem to become, and the more alone and isolated I feel.  It breaks my heart.
My mom says I've lost my joy.
She's probably right.
Not only do I not have friends, but my closest companion is becoming more distant by the day.
Being alone is miserable.
I don't know who to talk to.
I don't know where to go.

I have no doubt that I contribute to the conflict.
I have no doubt that I bring much frustration to Steve.
I feel like a failure and a disappointment.
It's just a horrible feeling.  I don't know how to fix it.

How do I remain unshaken in this circumstance?
I know my Father loves me.
I know I am perfect in His eyes.
He rejoices over me with singing.

In the spiritual world, I am priceless.
In the material world, I feel disposable.
In the spiritual world, there's nothing I can do that will separate me from my Father's love.
In the material world, there's nothing I can do to earn Steve's love.
In the spiritual world, my Father has sacrificed everything to be in relationship with me.
In the material world, my husband grows tired of being in relationship with me.

The tension between these two worlds is sometimes too much.
I don't know how to live in both worlds and be at peace, while holding onto joy.

Sunday, March 6, 2016


Regarding friends, this year hasn't been easy for me.
It was hard to leave Ridgeline, where I had a good community of friends.  Sadly, none of them have come up to see us.  When we hosted our open house last June, a small group came up.  I find that I just keep hoping that Barb, Coletta, Nancy, and the VanDellens will come up, but they don't.  People truly live with an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality.  It makes me sad.

Making friends in Evergreen hasn't been easy either.
I chose to stay in Parker for CC, so I don't have relationship with the CC moms up here.
Although, I'm getting to know Stacy Bolton.  We both attend Flatirons.  Our kids enjoy each other.  She and I get along quite well.  She's a doll.  I expect that friendship to blossom.

The Awana program hasn't produced many friends for me either.
That's also been tough.  The families are hard to get to know and the leadership is lacking.

We love Flatirons.  So glad we found this church.
However, the mere size makes it difficult to build community.
We signed up to host a home group.  We only had 3 adults last week.  Hopefully more will come tonight.  Although small group may not be the place we form close friendships, it's nice to meet people that go to the same church.

My Parker CC friendships are changing too.
Our first year in Parker, there were 9 families.
The Wilsons and Atkinsons moved out of state.
Erika ended up in a different community this year, so I rarely see her.
Charlene and I are distant friends, at best, and she often misses the community day.
Ashley got pregnant and doesn't come to CC anymore.
Cynthia is planning to direct a community in Aurora, so she's leaving Parker.
Andie and I aren't as close as we once were.  I don't know what's going on there.
Jennifer Polimino and I have formed a closer friendship.  That's been a treat.
Some of the newer families are sweet - Merinda, Marcie, Lisa Kempers and others.

Next year, Parker CC is changing again - with Andie moving up to direct B, Grace McHugh directing F/E, and Sally uncertain about whether or not she will direct A again.
I've had to start considering other options.  Stacy Bolton is going to Green Mountain next year.
We plan to visit that community on the 16th.  Will see if it might be a good fit for us.
They have good sized classes for A and B, but not enough openings for Foundations.

It's been a difficult season, relationally speaking.  But I know that God will provide friends and community ... all in time.  I just pray that He provides it sooner than later!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Snow Mountain Ranch

In November, we bought a season pass to YMCA of the Rockies.
Snow Mountain Ranch is in Frasier.
Then, there's the Estes Park location.
Frasier is awesome as it has tubing, ice skating, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, plus all the indoor activities - basketball, roller skating, rock climbing, pool, ping pong, the craft center.

With spring break this week, we thought we might go to Arizona to see the Stuckys.
After considering the time and distance, we decided not to go.
But we wanted to go somewhere for a couple days ... so we went to Winter Park.
For some reason, Winter Park hasn't proved to work well for us.
Every time we head up there, something goes wrong.
Much like other times we have planned to go out of town, Steve and I had a fight.
I hate that.
Stress sets in, followed by conflict.
Arrrgh.  But we got up there.

The weather was less than ideal, with a blizzard and high winds.
That forced us to stay inside most of the time.
We did get about an hour on the tubing hill, which was fun.

The kids loved the gym - and eating out.
Steve's birthday fell right in the middle of our time away.
We found a BBQ restaurant that was fabulous.

It was good to get away for a couple days ... but 2 days was enough this time.
I was happy to be home again.