Meg's (Ad)Ventures

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 55: Layla Dog

We have the sweetest dog. She is unassuming, kind, protective and gentle. Today, I walked into the living room to find Nico laughing uncontrollably as Layla licked Nico's face up and down. It was absolutely hilarious! After a minute or two, she circled around him and laid down, positioning herself between him and the coffee table making it impossible for Nico to fall backward and hit his head. It was an incredible series of moments to witness. I felt a sense of peace knowing that I had an extra set of caring eyes in the room. I am so thankful to have Layla as part of our family. :)

This photo was taken by Sofia. :)

Day 54: Euchre

One of the things that has bonded the Daniel family for many years are the euchre games and tournaments that take place during get-togethers. Tonight was no exception. After the kids went to sleep, David, Mary, Chris and I sat down to throw down. We had a really great time and Chris and I thoroughly enjoyed talking smack. :) It was a great way to spend out last evening of their visit -- something I am definitely thankful for!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 53: Baking with Granmary & Rock-a-Bye Baby

Granmary arrived on Friday with all the necessary goodies to make the classic, Dirt Pudding (oreos, chocolate pudding, whip cream, and gummy worms) as a little baking project to do with Sofia. While Chris and I were out today, she and Sofia had the chance to bake away and surprise Daddy when we came home. The result was quite impressive and Sofia was more than pleased with herself and her product. I am so thankful that Sofia was able to spend this special time with Mary. There is no doubt she will remember this visit for a long time!

....and this moment was just too precious not to capture. I am so thankful that GPa and his grandson are having the chance to bond.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 52: Story Time

We absolutely LOVE our neighbors in Aspen. From the moment we arrived they have been extremely generous and kind. (I especially appreciate how kind and supportive they have been of Chris during the week while our family is apart!) One of our favorite things about Lisa and Joel is their ability to tell stories. These two have traveled around the world and back again and listening to them recount their adventures makes you feel as if you are right along on the journey with them.

Tonight, Joel came over to catch up and meet Chris's parents. We had a lovely evening as they got to know our French neighbor and I loved watching their expressions as he told his story of how he ended up in the United States.

An evening of wine, friendship and wonderful adventures...for this, I am thankful! :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 51: Sweet Ride

Today I am thankful for having the opportunity to get on my snowboard for the first time in over 2 years. There is something about being on the mountain that fulfills my soul. The weather was GORGEOUS and the conditions were impeccable. Even better, was getting to spend the day with Chris and Mary while GPa spent some QT with the kiddos back home. So fun!

Chris and I haven't skied/boarded together since just after Sofia was born. It was great to spend the day as a couple reconnecting over one of our favorite past times.

Check out our video from the day. :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 50: Easy Peasy

Today I am thankful for the safe destination arrivals. Chris's parents arrived in Aspen this afternoon and enjoyed some special time poking around the town until we could make it up the mountain. And, for the first time in a long time, our drive along I-70 and across multiple passes was without difficulty. Even better was arriving at the "mountain house" at 7:30 pm with it still LIGHT outside! We are SO thankful to have David and Mary visiting with us this week.

Spring is approaching...but first, a powder snowboarding/ski day tomorrow!! :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 49: Yup. It's Worth It.

Two weeks ago, I worked with a 6th grader to teach him how to use Google Drawings. As we worked, he seemed excited to be able to show his thinking in a new way and I felt good that I could help push him in a new direction. We met for about 45 minutes and then I sent him on his way. And that was that. 

Until I opened my email today...

Dear Mrs. Daniel, 
I am extremely sorry we only got to meet one time. I really wanted to visit you a few more times but we had CSAPs and the project was due so soon. I thought maybe you would enjoy seeing my final project. I hope i get you for science next year. now I know why my sister loved you so much. I know my project could of been better if I had time to meet with you. You really helped me though in the short period of time we had together. 

Today, I am thankful that despite having limited contact with students in my position, I still have the opportunity to make a difference in a child's life. It was a great reminder that even the smallest interaction can have a huge impact.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 48: Wednesday

Today, I am thankful for the simple fact that it is Wednesday.  It was a busy day, but not in a bad way. It was the kind of busy day that caused time to fly and forced me to be thankful that I have a job that challenges me in multiple capacities. It was also the kind of day that I was glad was over when I got into my car.

The week before a break can sometimes feel extremely long when one works in a school. Yes, I am most definitely thankful for Wednesday. 

...thankful that it has come and is now almost gone! :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 47: Partners in The Journey

Today I am thankful for the opportunity to have shared a great dinner and conversation with two dear friends. A few years ago, we bonded as co-workers, then last year, we were all pregnant at the same time (all boys!). Now, as our boys near their one year milestones, we regularly meet to share our journeys as working mothers, friends, wives, and anything else life seems to throw our way. It's so nice to have women in my life that I can speak with honestly and laugh until my cheeks ache. Thank you, Andrea and Beth, for being such incredible friends and supporters along this wild ride of motherhood!

Day 46: I Like to Eat Eepples and Baneenees

Sofia has been totally into Raffi lately. We listen to a compilation cd that Chris's uncle made for us a while back on nearly a daily basis. In all honesty, Raffi drives me a bit crazy, but it does bring me back to the days when I was a kid dancing and singing in the kitchen with my sister. These memories always bring a smile to my face.

So, bring it on, Raffi. Looks like we'll be having some serious drive time in the future! To remembering the past with my sister and creating new memories for the future with my daughter; for this I am thankful!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 45: Fever Free

For the first time in 5 days Nico woke up without a fever. A positive turn in his health is something that I am most thankful for today. I am hopeful that this means he will see significant improvements over the next few days and my little man will be back to his usual calm, happy self. :)

Day 44: Open Sesame

It's a simple pleasure, but one that I (well, both Chris and I) am extremely thankful for: automatic doors on our car. On a rainy day, when kids are crying, hands are full, or just because, it is the most wonderful convenience to be able to push a button on my key ring and open the doors and trunk of my van. Kids hop in, groceries easily pop into place, and all the while, my hands stay free to keep everything and everyone safe. Technology is good. And for this, I am thankful.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 43: The Weekend

There are some weeks that the arrival of 5 pm on a Friday feels like I've just won a gold medal. This was one of those weeks. I am so thankful to have this week behind me and a weekend with my family ahead. I'm ready to focus all my energy on getting Nico better and getting some rest for Chris and I. I am ready to read stories, laugh and play with Sofia without a schedule to maintain.

It's going to be a nice weekend. And for this, I am thankful.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 42: Pickles

No. Not the deliciously dill veggie in your fridge. I'm talking about my incredible sister, Kristen...who is more lovingly known as "Pickles".

Today, I am thankful for having the opportunity to catch up with my sis on the phone. Our lives have been so busy lately, our paths have not been able to regularly cross. This is something that I have really missed. Kristen is honest and observant, calm and poised, silly and loving. Those of us in her life are lucky to be around her.

I am really proud of the woman my sister has become. It makes me sad that we can not go grab a cup of coffee or hang out on a regular Thursday evening to make fun of stupid television shows. But, I know that despite our distance, our bond remains as strong as ever through our open and honest conversations. I feel incredibly blessed to have such a special relationship with her.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 41: Referral

Today we received news we have been hoping for for months: a referral for Nico to go to an ENT. After an emergency trip to our doctor today, it was confirmed that he had one of the worst double ear infections to date. Within minutes, we were given the info to begin the process to have Nico evaluated for tubes. After 5 ear infections in 8 months, I am SO thankful for this step forward to improving Nico's health.

Day 40: Good Read

I really enjoy reading. However, it's difficult for me to find the time to sit down and enjoy a good book. This week, while proctoring our state standardized tests, we are not allowed to have our computers in the room. Boo!

...or not.

The bonus about having my office in the library is that I have my pick of nearly any book! I took a few minutes to peruse the isles this morning before testing began and started to giggle as I came across the Harry Potter series. Over the years, I have read all but the last book and today seemed like the perfect time to pick it up.

Sometimes there isn't much better than a good YA book and a forced opportunity to read. And for this, I am thankful!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 39: 45 and Counting

As of today, I have lost 45 pounds since the birth of Nico. The best part is, the last 6 of those pounds is beyond what I weighed pre-pregnancy. A friend of mine gave me a slew of clothing recently -- all of which were just a little too tight. Until today. This morning, I pulled on a pair of pants I have been eying for a month now and they fit like a glove! It was an incredible feeling.

I have been doing Weight Watchers to lose weight. I have done it before, but this time, I really feel as if I was able to embrace the lifestyle change component more so than ever before. My understanding of food and exercise and how my body responds to it has completely changed. For the first time, I feel in control of my health and body.

I was not happy when I turned 30 in September. I didn't feel good about myself physically and I was in the deep throws of PPD. I know, I mean really know, that making a lifestyle change with food and exercise has played a huge role in in repairing my mental well-being.

A healthy body and a healthy mind! For this, I am thankful!

Day 38: Home

Today I am thankful for my house. I feel so fortunate to have a roof over my head and a place that is safe for my children to be. My house has just the right amount of space to keep us cozy and not cramped. It's the kind of place that I love driving to at end of a long day or a weekend away in the mountains. Most of all, I love sharing my house with people we care about in a way that allows us to give back to those who have been so kind to us.

These are things that make my house a home. And for this, I am thankful.
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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day 37: An App For That

Ahhhh! I left my laptop power cord on my desk at work on Thursday. Thus, when my computer ran out of gas last night, I was worried about how I would be able to post today. After a little searching, I found a Blogger app for the droid. Woo hoo! Blogging on the go! I am definitely thankful for that!
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Day 36: My Christina

The day we brought Sofia home from the hospital we met our new neighbor, Christina. We instantly loved her. Sofia instantly loved her. She became an integral part of our lives as a friend, confidant and loved one. About a year and a half ago, Christina moved back to Washington DC for a job with the VA. We were SO sad, but knew it was an incredible opportunity for her. In her absence, however, it has seemed as if she is still next door. We talk all the time on the phone, facebook, and email.

She is a true friend.

This week, she has been in Denver visiting and is now up in Aspen with us for the weekend. I am so thankful for Christina. I love that she has been so faithful in our friendship and so supportive in all our endeavors. I am thankful for this special week we have together in person as we don't get to see each other very often.

Thank you, Christina, for being such a wonderful friend.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 35: No Snooze is Good Snooze

For the second day in a row, I have not hit the snooze button on my alarm clock. For the second day in a row, I have not been rushing around in the morning trying to get a million things done in a short amount of time. Today, I began the day with a nice and easy pace.

And that's just the way I like it. :)

Day 34: Tomorrow

Just about everything that could have gone wrong today did. This is an extremely stressful and busy time of year for teachers in Colorado and sometimes, the only way to make it through is to focus on one day at a time.

Thus, I am thankful for one simple thing tonight: tomorrow is a new day.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Day 33: Jigsaw in Heels

If there's one thing my dad taught me growing up, it was how to make my way around a tool box. We spent a lot of time fixing things up, remodeling, tinkering, and taking things apart just to put them back together. As a result, I don't have a fear of tools or what to do if something breaks.

As mentioned in this post, Chris built me amazing frames for our Hole In The Wall assembly that is coming up on Monday. Today, I took the styrofoam to the library, where my good friends, Linda and Kristen, traced my body in wacky positions. From there, we wheeled the eight 4 x 8 sheets down to the applied tech lab where there is a wood shop.

Taking out my (well, Chris's) jigsaw, I went to town! My co-worker, Mike was astonished that I knew how to handle a saw -- and with either hand, for that matter. It was pretty funny. In the end, we ended up with what is going to be a FANTASTIC game for the teachers to compete in and the kids to laugh at.

I used a saw in heels today. Yup. For this, I am thankful. :)

I'll post pics of the final product soon.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Day 32: Dinner Is Served

This morning I left for work knowing what I was going to make for dinner. I stopped at the store on the way home and popped the lasagna in the oven when I got home. In a situation that normally stresses me out, dinner felt easy tonight. Granted, I bought frozen Stouffer's lasagna, but hey, I knew what I was going to cook!

A stress-free evening. For this, I am thankful.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Day 31: My Husband the Engineer

One of the things I love most about Chris is his perfectionism. He never does anything just to get it done - he gets it done the way it needs to be done right. So, when I asked for his help in building a contraption for one of my upcoming assemblies in a week, I knew it would turn into a "Chris Masterpiece".

...and it did. :)

Thanks to Chris, our Hole in the Wall game during the assembly will be safe, sturdy, and pretty cool-looking all at the same time. For this, I am thankful.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Day 30: Impromptu Eats

One of my favorite things about my neighbors is our impromptu dinners. Rarely does a week go by that we don't settle in at one of our homes for food, wine, laughs, and friendship. Tonight, our neighbors from below us came up for some seriously amazing burgers that Chris made. With our weekly dinners often taking place mid-week, it was nice to have Chris around for the event. It felt complete.

Our meals, though simple, mean so much more to me than a night off from cooking. They offer a unique chance for each of us to connect in a way that we may not find anywhere else on that particular day. It is through these meals that we have been able to develop an incredible support network, as none of us have family in the area.

We are lucky to have such incredible neighbors who have turned into even more incredible friends. For this, I am thankful.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Day 29: Rhyme Time

Today I am thankful for childhood rhyming skills and their uncanny ability to make us laugh. Sofia's class has been working on rhyming all week and today, their class published a little book for parents to see. Each student got to create their own page with two words of their choice that rhymed.

This was Sofia's page:

I literally laughed out loud in the hallway when I saw this. The teacher in me immediately was proud that she was making connections to her real world. The Meghan in me just thought this was beyond hilarious! She is sooooooooo my child!  :)

Day 28: 6 Years, 500 Posts

You read that right! This is my 500th post on Adventures Out West. Craziness!

Today, I am thankful for this blog. Over the past 6 years, I have been able to use this space as a way to capture memories, self-reflect, and create a living document of our lives. Writing on this blog has meant a lot to me over the years. My hope is that as our kids grow, we will have a really unique chronology of our lives as a family. I stink at scrapbooking, but I'm damn good at using my computer. :)

Thanks to all of you who have joined in on our adventures. I have a feeling we have only just begun...

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Day 27: Patience

God blessed me with patience....and today I really, really needed it. Two children, both with very different sicknesses and very needy personalities, camped themselves on my couch all day long.  Between the crying, whining, puking, coughing, fevers, fatigue, medicine distribution, and movie choices, I was stretched just about as far as I have ever been...and then some. I quite possibly took more "deep breaths" in one day than ever before.

Granted, the kids have been sick at the same time before, but never like this. It was a long day.

But, we survived. My sickos and I survived. As I laid each of them down tonight, both were happy and calm. I felt good about that. And for this, I am thankful.

A little glimpse...

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Day 26: Backseat Giggles

Every day, I pick up Sofia and our little neighbor girl, Hayley from school. I love walking into their classroom and having them both run up to give me giant hugs. On a good day, it's like herding cats to get them out the door of the classroom, but we eventually get there. :) They race to their "cubbies" in the hallway to grab their things and then it's off to the car to drive home.

The drive home is typically filled with questions, "Sofia is..", "Hayley is..." and the occasional whine. But more abundant than anything else are giggles. These girls play with words, make goofy sounds, silly voices, talk about their day, and giggle. I love it.

I have long days. On days like today when the ride home is filled with laughter, it all seems that much more bearable.

Four-year-old giggles from the backseat of the car. For this, I am thankful.