Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A Little Magic

Sometimes you just need a little magic.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Without Words

Monday, June 18, 2018

Independence Rock

We knew that a storm was coming for Father’s Day, so the family decided to do some outdoor celebrating before the rain came. We went to Independence Rock, a very large and fascinating rock in the middle of Wyoming.
We walked on and around the rock, looking at inscriptions carved by homesteaders of long ago.

My dad pretending to be a troll under the bridge.

My parents are great!

Elise and my mom.

Eric and Elise.

Being a dad!


Piggy backs.

Married for seventeen years!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sunday Quote: Father

To her, the name of father was another name for love.
-Fanny Fern

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Six Thousand Two Hundred and Five Days

Today marks seventeen years of marriage! This has been a hard year, full of tremendous loss and change, but through it all Eric and I have had the gift of a strong marriage. Our relationship has been the rock solid foundation of our adult life, of the girls’ childhood, and as we weather the storms that life has thrown our direction.

When Eric and I first started dating my mother gave me great advice. She told me that it is important for a relationship to not be a couple against the world, but rather a couple facing the world together. That is something that we have woven into the very fabric of our marriage. We are moving together in the same direction, supporting and encouraging each other as we move ahead. 

Happy anniversary to the love of my life, my very best friend. Seventeen years of growing together! 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Phone Photo Friday (Double Edition):6.8.18-6.15.18

So I skipped phone Photo Friday last week, but fear not, today will be the day of reckoning. Brace yourself for a phone photo storm.

Stopped at the children’s garden in Cheyenne on the first part of our road trip to NM.

We spent our first night in Pueblo, CO. Took a little walk around our hotel to a restaurant that served vegan options and checked out street art en route.

Chowing down.

Day two we arrived in Santa Fe to spend a couple of days with our dear friends.

It was surprisingly cool, the only cool day of our trip.

We spent an awesome afternoon at Meow Wolf.

It was pretty epic. 

The next day we made it to see Eric’s mother in southern NM.

We finally got to see Dave’s plot at the newly opened cemetery. We went to his memorial service after he passed, but he was not interred until the opening of the new veteran’s cemetery outside of Ruidoso. 

A Cordelia selfie. Thirty minutes later she was stricken with a fever and a nasty sore throat. She shared those germs with me and the two of us spent the next few days hacking.


A stop at another cemetery in Boles Acres, NM to visit Eric’s grandparents. This is not their plot, but is a typical old NM burial site. When I moved to NM as a teenager I was shocked by their cemeteries. They seemed so very different than the northern cemeteries I knew. Now I find their weathered decay poetic.

Crafting with her grandma.

Flowers. I always take photos of flowers.

Our beloved Copelands. 


The cemetery at Taos Pueblo. I know it seems like we were cemetery obsessed, but it wasn’t really all that prominent a point in our trip.

Taos Pueblo and a gorgeous New Mexican sky.

With my girls.

Last night in a hotel. I fiiiiinally got Cordelia’s bangs out of her face!

Waiting to watch a puppet show on the way home.

Travel break.

And reunited back in Wyoming.

A hike on a beautiful Wyoming day.



Two girls, their grandpa and a wheelbarrow.

Evening walk.


My mom and Cordelia on a walk last night.

Our tiny leader.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Living the Dream

I put my purchase on the counter of the thrift store in front of the checkout lady. She smiled and asked,”How are you today?” I responded that I was doing well and asked how her day was going.

“Living the dream,” she responded in such a way that it was clear she was not, in fact, living the dream.

I had make a great effort to not whip my head toward Eric who was standing next to me. This is what we had just been discussing, the “living the dream” response. We have noticed several people recently saying that they were “living the dream.” While neither of us have  said these exact words, the issue is something we have noted in ourselves as well. 

Really it is two issues: 
1) Sarcasm
I definitely have a sarcastic streak. I am not really proud of it, even when it is kinda funny. I feel like sarcasm is a way that I deflect attention from issues or even use it as a shield between myself and a deeper connection. The “living the dream” response sort of encapsulates that point. I can’t recall having used that exact phrase, but I have definitely used a similar approach. The idea is that by making a joke you are sharing that you are miserable, but not allowing any room for a meaningful connection.  There is no room for a response. It’s weird and puts up a wall around your misery. I don’t want to be that person. Not that I want to share misery with all, but if I am going to talk about it I want to be honest.

2) Focus on the negative
The deeper issue though is the idea that through the conveyance of “living the dream” a person is sharing that basically their life is the exact opposite. I mean, not to focus on this unnamed cashier, but she isn’t living a nightmare. She has a job, clothes, food, shelter, etc. It just seems that the focus was only on the negative and it seemed absurd. Of course I don’t know what is going on in her personal life, but I could tell that there were several good things in her life just from talking to her for a moment.

It got me thinking about something that happened a few days ago. We were at a restaurant for breakfast. We witnessed a waitress receive a phone call telling her that her son had died. I saw her wail, a scream of true suffering. It was heart wrenching. There was nothing to be done on our end as her co-workers collected the collapsed woman and led her out, but her suffering lingered and it has left an impression. Her sadness was so potent that since then any complaints I have mustered feel stupid and ungrateful.

Yesterday I was listening to a guided meditation and the speaker touched on this thought that has been bouncing around in my mind. He, and I am sorry I don’t know his name, was talking about how to feel true gratitude in life. He essentially said that you woke up this morning, most likely your loved ones also woke up, and that is enough to be thankful for. Of course death is not something to live in fear of, but the gift of being alive is reason enough for deep gratitude.
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