Thursday, June 29, 2006

Random Photo of Breathtaking Beauty #5

This photograph was taken by me at sunset from the deck of the vacation home we rented in Estes Park, Colorado, during our May 2006 vacation. I call it "The Storm Approaches."

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

This IS a Best Day Ever

My little bird flew back home today, safe and sound. He and his buddy had a wonderful adventure, managed to keep out of trouble, and only got lost once. Having him home safely definitely makes this a "best day ever."

Oh, and for those of you waiting for the "Sprocket in the big blue monster pool" pictures, it will be a while yet. It's finally hot enough to do it, but with all the fireworks going off all day (and night) around here, Sprock's not too keen on being outside right now. I'm aiming for late next week....

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Best Day Ever?!?

Yesterday was a really great day for me. I won't bore you with details, suffice it to say it was a REALLY good day with some really wonderful things happening with the "Addicted To The Movie CANDY" project I'm involved with. But at the end of the day, as I lay in bed thinking about things, I came to the realization that as good as the day had been, it didn't hold a candle to all my other "best days ever."

All the "best days ever" in my life, I realized, came about from small, wonderful (and wonder-filled) moments like finding my engagement ring in the bouquet of carnations (well, only after much prodding from my intended - I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer sometimes), sharing my very first trip to Disneyworld with my husband on our belated honeymoon, feeling my baby kick for the first time (whoa...felt like an alien was inside!), every "first" I ever experienced with my child - first smile (yeah, it was probably gas, but still), first word ("dah-do" for dog), first steps (oh why was I so anxious for him to be mobile?!), first day of school (and every subsequent first-day-of-the-new-school-year), watching him play sports (all those years as a soccermom watching my goalkeeper, now watching my football player), drives in the country with my family, long phone conversations with my dad when I would catch him at home but mom would be out (oh how I miss those...), visits to my mom's, quiet moments watching mountain sunsets with my husband, taking walks with Sprocket and learning how to really experience the world around me, falling asleep beside my soul mate. Yep, all of that makes for an infinite number of "best days ever."

And to think, there's so many more to come!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Let Him Fly....

Well, today's the day I must practice what I preach. My one-and-only child headed off this morning with his best buddy to Lincoln, clear the h*ll across the state, for a short visit with friends. It's his first big solo road trip. Waving goodbye as his car pulled out of the driveway this morning was d*mned hard, but I did it.

Find your bliss, get outside your box, fly little ones ...all themes I have addressed here before and fully believe in. And now I find myself swallowing my apprehension and letting him fly ...kudos for me, don'tcha think?!

He's growin' up, my little one is ...and so am I....

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Go Get 'em, Sprocket!

Sprocket-the-wonder-dog is a never-ending source of entertainment around here. We have been watching World Cup matches every day, and every danged time a whistle blows (which, if you watch any World Cup matches, you know happens often), he starts barking and runs for the back door. Um, Sprock, do you think the whistle is in the backyard? And if it is, what in the world will you do when you find it?!

As much fun as it is to see him go off, it doesn't come close to the unabandoned laughter he invokes in us when he reacts to another dog or cat on TV - the barking or meowing drives him totally over the edge, and his reactions take us right over that edge with him.

Sprocket d@mn entertainment for the dollar, I'd say. ;)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day!

In honor of Father's Day, here's Random Photo of Breathtaking Beauty #4, taken up the Southfork outside of Cody, Wyoming, this past March...I call it "Sentinels."

Friday, June 16, 2006

The World Stops....

You've seen those great commercials for the World Cup, where they say "...the world stops for 30 days" when they talk about the World Cup. Well, I guess here in the US that's probably not as true as it is everywhere else in the world, but we've always been a bit slow in the uptake over here, so what can you expect?

This home is a true soccer home - Austin played for 11 years before circumstances and geographical limits caused him to quit (though he still plays for the sheer fun of it whenever he can) - and we have been supporters of collegiate soccer and professional soccer for years. Right now, this household is truly in World Cup mode - rearranging schedules to catch the games on TV - watching every single game we can, regardless of team, for the pure enjoyment of seeing world-level players in action.

Passionate supporters of certain teams, members of this household have been seen shouting like maniacs at the TV - both in excited support and angry disagreement - throwing pretzels at the TV in frustration, and showing our true colors by wearing jerseys of favorite players/teams.

The world stops, indeed, and takes time to witnesses joyous sport and athletic perfection.... And for those of you who don't "get it," you just don't know what you're missing. Soccer/Futbol ROCKS!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Ever-So-Brave Sprocket

Oh, to have had a video camera today! Austin brought home a blue kids swimming/wading pool today - got it from a friend that is moving to Las Vegas (I think the friend is gonna be sorry he gave it away). He put it on the deck and didn't give it a second thought ...until we let Sprocket outside this afternoon.

I glanced out as I shut the deck door and saw Sprocket moving v e r y slowly across the deck, watching that silly blue pool with rapt attention and barking his little head off. He slunk across the deck, down the stairs into the yard, stood about 20 feet away from where the pool was on the deck... and barked like a banshee. Over the course of the next 5 minutes, he worked up the courage to venture closer to the deck where the pool was sitting, sniffing through the railing of the deck and barking, of course.

Our oh-so-brave little Schipperke finally worked up the nerve to climb back up the deck stairs and venture closer to the actual object of his terror. He circled the pool, giving it a VERY wide berth ...and eventually he tossed caution to the wind the sniffed it, standing as far away from it as possible and l e a n i n g toward it (I had no idea a Schipperke could stretch like that!). Of course, after that exploratory sniff, he ran away from the pool, off the deck, and into the yard barking his head off again. It took about 10 more minutes before he worked up the nerve to come back up on the deck and into the house... all the while watching that horrible blue monster out the corner if his eye....

I can't wait until tomorrow ...we're gonna fill the pool and put him in it. I've got to at least get my camera out for that!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Important Parenting Tip #2: Pick Your Fights

Sometimes we argue (OK, fight) with our kids over the damnedest things. Sally wants to wear a short skirt and/or crop top (like we never wore short skirts or crop tops, or worse, back in the day?! Good god, remember hot pants?!?!), Sammy wants to cut his hair in a mohawk (he'll look silly, but it WILL grow out, ya know), Suzie wants to dye her hair pink and green (OK, she'll look like a dang watermelon, but it will grow out, just like Sammy's mohawk), Susan wears too much makeup (oh yeah, right, you never did that, did you?!?!), Shawn's choice in music is horrible and he plays it too loud (and your parents loved your music choices?! and you never played your music loud, did you?!).

The thing is, you need to learn to pick your fights. Is it really necessary to fight with and/or punish your kids over things that are not permanent? things that may be stupid ideas/choices, but not life-altering? Hair grows out, clothes are just clothes (granted, you don't want 'em running about nearly nekkid, but as long as the important parts are covered, it's all good), makeup washes off eventually, and music choices have been known to mature over time....

The time to fight, to be loud (or quiet, whatever works for you), to stand your ground is when the choice being considered has much more far-reaching effects - like going to a party you feel is not on the up-and-up, spending time with a "friend" that you know/feel is a very bad influence, or doing something permanent to his/her body, like getting a tattoo or body piercing before they are legally old enough to do so in your state. OK, with that last one, even if they ARE legally old enough, it might be worth fighting about....

Anyway, learn now to pick your fights, little ones - it'll save you time and stress down the line, I promise.