Monday, November 18, 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fall means Football!

Early September...

My brother's first visit to the Big House mid-October before the downpour.

Monday, November 11, 2013

I'm not in a grade

When people ask Turo what grade he is in, he responds with "I'm not in a grade.  I'm in Kindergarten."

Sunday, June 30, 2013

a good reminder

Last month we visited my family in Colorado.  A great time was had doing stuff like watching water rescue drills in Golden, throwing rocks, playing with chalk and swinging in the hammock with Uncle Nick.  Sometimes the simple things really are the best!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Four years of motherhood

1st month

49 months later...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

When I was her

A few months ago a current student from my former university called to request a donation to the scholarship fund.  We had a short conversation about majors and favorite classes at the small residential program in which we both participated.  I made a donation and then went back to making dinner. 

She was so enthusiastic.  She reminded me of myself at 20.  The world full of possibilities.  Spending time thinking and learning and making meaning of these experiences.  The excitement of what was to come with adulthood.  I had big plans for myself.  They were rather undefined plans but somehow I was going to save the world, make a difference, do big things.

But from the moment I saw my son being lifted out of that white Range Rover in Ethiopia, my world shrank.  For the past three and a half years, my family has been my world.  It has been enough.  And probably one of the biggest reasons the re-entry into teaching was a major fail in the fall. 

Teaching at-risk, urban kids in a start-up school 45 minutes from home requires a huge commitment.  Time and energy that I had once given fully for nine to ten hours a day.  Given happily.  I love(d) being a teacher.  This fall I just couldn’t make it all work.  Realizing I was not mothering or teaching well was disheartening.  Going into my principal’s office to give my notice was tough.  Several months after leaving I was still having dreams about the school.  Processing it.  Most of my self-pep talks fall back on the much used phrase “I had to do what was best for my family.”  As much as I want to believe I’m a rockstar teacher, I was replaceable.  But our family was struggling and no matter how we tried to work it out in our minds, there wasn’t a way to make it all happen in a reasonable way.  For us.  At that particular moment in time.  (And I know that we are lucky that we can make decisions like this at all.)

Now, we’re re-evaluating how we want to balance work and family (with all the factors related to Jose’s work, childcare, the start of kindergarten, etc.). This means letting go of what happened in the fall and not comparing myself to other mothers who seem to balance family with awesome careers. This means being okay with not living up to my 20 year old self’s expectations and not holding tightly to my identity as a teacher.  This means new things might be around the corner if I can just be open to them.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Personal Trainer

Part of our gym routine lately, as requested by Turo, has been heading up to the track.  We run.  He makes up exercises  for us to do.  Sometimes he holds my hand as we jog along.  The other day he told me if I practiced more that maybe I could beat him in a race.  

Friday, February 8, 2013

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Grandma's playroom

Turo loves going to Grandma's.  She's pretty great!

Monday, January 28, 2013

My helper

 The other day he grabbed the broom to clean his playroom (he just pushed stuff around with it, but it was a sweet idea).  

His favorite job is to bring the trash back to the garage.  I'll have to remind him of this when he's 15 and doesn't think this task is so fun anymore.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Super Turo

Turo was invited to a Super Hero birthday party.  After soliciting advice on Facebook, I used a cape we already had and some duct tape to fashion his costume, which he left on for all of 2 minutes once we got to the party.  It's hard to jump in all those bounce houses in your super hero garb.  

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Birthday Boy

Back when we first became a family I often found myself with a lump of emotion in my throat.  I was on the brink of tears a lot those first months.  Brought on by joy. By sadness for what had been lost, for who had been lost.  Every moment seemed so profound.  Dancing in the kitchen.  Meeting friends & family for the first time.  Nightly snuggles in the rocking chair.  Bare toes in the summer grass.  Christmas morning.  Then those firsts turned into life.  Sweet, lovely life as a family and the emotions became less intense.  

But today we had a small party for Turo's birthday and as his friends sang to him, I could feel the tears welling up.  On the 15th, it'll have been four years since we learned we had a son.  I have so much gratitude for this child and what he has brought to my life. He is such a gift.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

He's 5!

My sweet boy turned five last week.  Five!  

Monday, January 7, 2013

So much fun

My sister was in Ethiopia for three weeks this summer and had this outfit made for Turo.  

Katie teaches us how to make bread from scratch.  She even brought the starter all the way from Vienna.

Breakfast with my sister & brother.  

Everyone has fun at the museum.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Thursday, January 3, 2013


I love watching Turo when he doesn't know I'm there.  I had been doing dishes and wondered why it was so quiet in the other room.  When I peeked around the corner, I found him in the chair, arms behind his head just watching the snow fall.  

Venturing out into the snow