Thursday, November 28, 2013


We spent Thanksgiving with Bob, Elaine, and Jaime & Adrian and their crew.  It was the first Thanksgiving in a long, long, long time that we were with family and not Air Force family. It was a bittersweet reminder of how much we miss that military life, but also how wonderful it is to be living near family again.  It was also the first time in over 15 years that I didn't have to make the turkey!  I was only responsible for desserts.  The meal was fantastic and my kids had an amazing time getting to spend hours with their cousins.  Sarah was smitten with the newest addition, Joshua, and I suspect he appreciated the "nap buddy" too.
    Bob is Rob's Dad, Elaine is his wife and Jaime is her daughter.

Monday, November 25, 2013

a piano for Noah

when our time in Germany was nearing its end and we knew we were heading stateside, before Rob was sick, one of the things we were most excited about was being able to buy a real piano for our musicians.  After Rob got sick everything went fuzzy because all plans were upside down for a long, long time.  Time went by, and I still had it in my mind to find a piano.  I was halfheartedly shopping and keeping my ears open, but everything was out of our price range or not worth owning.  It kind of set on the back burner.....
...... and then through an amazing set of circumstances this beautiful 1927 Chickering Grand Piano found us.  Though it's worth more, the owner sold it to us for exactly what I had budgeted.  
  It was delivered today and is waiting, patiently, for Noah to get home from school.  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

UM-La Crosse Turkey Trot 2013

The boys and I ran in the 19th annual race today!  It was COLD out there, baby - a chilly 12degrees and windy.  Noah was feeling a little off the night before and when we came home from the race we discovered he was running a fever, but he still pressed on and ran the whole way.  Micah had to walk a few times to breath through some side aches, and his legs were getting a little sore toward the end, but he made it the whole way and finished strong. Sarah didn't run the race, so instead she acted as our chauffeur.  She ended up parking on a side street along the campus, unbeknown to her, that the racer were going to use - so when the runner's started filtering by she took a short video and caught and took a screen cap of a shot with all four of us in the frame - ain't technology great?
   We'll do it again next year - but plan to train a little more so Micah can run the whole way and MAYBE get Sarah out on the trail?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

the weight of paper

Today Rob's Dad and I spent the better part of the morning sorting through piles and piles of papers.It was a job I'd been putting off, yet there was no particular reason that we had to do it now, it just worked out in our schedules to be able to do it together.   I also didn't want wait too much longer because knowing the task was waiting for me was building it up to be almost worse than it was.  almost.  it was several gut wrenching hours of painstakingly going through things, sorting out what to keep, what needed to be shredded, and what could just be thrown away.  Bob did most of the work, I was so thankful for him today, and sorted it into piles for me to go through.  We came across papers from his original enlistment into the Air Force, orders to his assignments in Missouri, Kuwait, Korea, and Germany.  There were also certificates from classes he completed or awards he had won.  Ham radio licenses, manuals, and gadgets.  We'd come across notebooks full of his handwriting or things he had saved that were sentimental to him.  The task is far from over, there are some things that I'm just not ready to face yet and many things that we set aside that I'm not willing to let go.  But there is a big pile of things to get rid of and 2 bags full of shredded documents - and make no mistake - come Friday, trash day, it will still be nearly impossible to carry those out to the curb.  But I have this picture, and it serves as proof. Records of a life (albeit too short by my standards) lived, testament of a man who meticulously cared and provided for his family and enjoyed the things on this earth that God gave him talents in.  Evidence of a life well-lived.

Monday, November 11, 2013

chasing rabbits

“Who are you?” said the Caterpillar.

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation.
Alice replied, rather shyly, “I — I hardly know, sir, just at present — at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”

”What do you mean by that?” said the Caterpillar sternly. “Explain yourself!”
'I can't explain myself, I'm afraid, sir” said Alice, “because I'm not myself, you see.'”
“I don't see,” said the Caterpillar. 

"I'm afraid I can't put it more clearly,” Alice replied very politely, “for I can't understand it myself to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.”
 - Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)

I don’t cry everyday.                  
I am sure I could.
I did.  
But most days are spent just pushing on.  Getting through.  Figuring out the next thing. 

But then there are those darn rabbit holes.

   That phrase to me has always meant to follow a trail down impossible-to-navigate tunnels and soon become lost in the chaos and confusion, not remembering how a turn of events led you there.  In reality, it is certain injury for a trail runner like me. 
Both of those are true.
   A week ago I was searching for an email I KNOW I have somewhere in the 5,000+ emails that currently sit in my inbox I became distracted by correspondence between Rob and me in 2009. 2010, 2011….etc.  Emails like a request to pick up a kid from dance, having to stay late at work, something funny that the dog did, what bases were on the EQUAL listing as possible next assignments – and I clicked until I was immersed in those mundane, everyday emails while my heart was breaking. 
   Watching the news feed on Facebook today as the thanks to veteran’s and pictures appear I am down another rabbit hole of grief.  This came after I got an email from one of Micah’s teacher’s letting me know that he was quite sad at the Veteran’s Day student assembly this morning, which he chose not to participate in (with my blessing).  The teacher wrote that she asked Micah if he was sure he would not like to get up there to honor his Dad, and Micah replied that we honor dad everyday by how we act and the things we say – I think about how strong my kids have been, but I am reminded of what that “rest-of-their-life” without their Dad looks like . 
    I am sure there are rabbit holes waiting for me everyday, but God is gracious and most of the time I make it through the day without tripping.  Today is not one of those, though.