Oct 31, 2019

The Culmination of Childhood

10/31/2019 — cori

The joy of the new is a delicate
Dance with the old
They weave in and out
And  in our memories take hold.
A time long gone
Yet close enough to touch
Those stories flood back
Make us laugh so much.
A never ending smile
Laced with drool
Given freely to all
A gift, a jewel.
Protector of all
Especially the small
The superhero is ready
When his sister calls.
The ball, at home in your palm
Single-minded devotion
Practice and skill leave you calm
Nothing left to chance.
The sound of the swish 
After it leaves your hand
The search and the smile 
The nod from the stands.
All-consuming delight
Life-shattering too
The paradox of what you love
Can also hurt you.
Lessons learned 
Deep in the core
Can harden or humble
But can’t be ignored.
When life offered you less
You chose growth 
Strength and humility,
The dance gave you both.
Your worth and your value
Spring from within
Not from what you do
But who you are in the depths.
Nurture and protect,
 Search and expand.
With this as your goal,
You’ll succeed as a man.

Oct 30, 2019

Solo Traveler #2

10/30/2019 — cori

This go around it was Bennett's turn. He spent a long weekend up in Fargo visiting Gavin and enjoying all that Fargo has to offer. The boys had great weather and a great time together...you can't ask for more than that. Bennett got a tour of the University from Gavin and his friends. They ate at all the hot spots, walked the picturesque downtown area, and watched alot of Marvel movies.

Their interests and personalities are night and day, yet I love that they take the time to show an interest in what is important to the other, as any good friendship does. Not all siblings grow up to be friends, but I'm so thankful these boys are. What a joy it has been to watch them grow from little boys enthralled with superheroes to young men with their unique passions yet still addicted to superheroes - only in the fashionable way these days through MARVEL movies.

No mater how big and smart and strong and independent these two get. This is what I will always see when I look at them.

and this...

and this...

"There is a destiny which makes us brothers; none goes his way alone. All that we send into the lives of others comes back into our own." - Edwin Markham

Oct 27, 2019

Solo Traveler #1

10/27/2019 — cori

What kind of parents are we - letting our little baby fly on a plane all by herself? Sometimes we forget that that "baby" is now a very self-sufficient, adept, independent 15 year old who can "do it by herself." She is fearless.

Chloe's best friend from Minnesota invited her to come hang out over Fall Break. So we just drove her to the airport and left her at the gate that said "Minneapolis" and somehow she made it all the way there all by herself and wasn't even sad or didn't even need us. I guess this is the whole aim of parenting.

Aspen and her dear Mom, Cindy, were at the gate eagerly awaiting the solo traveler's arrival. Cindy took this photo as the girls fell into each other's arms upon arrival. She said the airport security almost came over to intervene because as soon as Chloe walked out of the jetway, Aspen was on her and laughing and crying and hugging. These two have been best friends since 5th grade. It's been such a joy watching them grow up together and remain close through all the challenges of middle school, moving, and maintaining a long distance relationship. Thank God for FaceTime and cell phones!

Apparently, bathroom selfies are all the rage these days. I asked Chloe if they took any pictures together and this is the one she gives me. Even though they spent 5 whole days together doing all kinds of amazing things...this is the one picture I get. 

They went to a Farmington High School Football game where Chloe watched as Aspen performed with the Marching Band during halftime. She played with Aspen's little sister Riley while Aspen was at practice. She walked around the Mall of America with Aspen and their mutual Sydney for 6 hours. They spent a whole afternoon playing squash, ping pong, and card games at Grandma and Grandpa's.  They walked around the neighborhood, watched movies, ate out, reminisced, and had an overall amazing reunion doing all the fun things 15 year olds do these days. 

I'm so thankful that our children value their friends (and vice versa) enough to put in the hard work required to foster those friendships over time and space. It's not easy, but then nothing worthwhile ever is; it takes work, time, effort, sacrifice, and love to nurture relationships - near or far.

Oct 21, 2019


10/21/2019 — cori
We recently had the opportunity to babysit our nephews. It always makes me reminisce about 15 years ago when our boys were the exact same age their boys are right now.

The precious ages of 5 and 3. It seems just like yesterday. The constant energy, movement, and noise of boys. The millions of questions about how life works and why. The giggles. The bickering. The superheroes. The learning to read. The little brother copying everything the big brother does because he adores and idolizes him. The big brother bossing the little brother around because he's thrilled to have his own minion. The constant wrestling. The morning cuddles. The hours of reading books. The long mornings and afternoons at the play ground or pool getting out all our boy energy and acting out what superhero they currently are in their imagination. Saturdays spent at 5 year old soccer games. Finally being able to communicate in words instead of hysterics. 

And we get to live it all over again with these two. I'd say we're pretty lucky. Instead of seeing them through the eyes of parents worried that we might mess them up if we say or do the wrong thing, we get to enjoy them as Uncle and Auntie. We now have the perspective of time, distance, and experience. We see the good and the bad and realize they are both necessary to shape these little humans into the adults they are growing into. Life is beautiful and cyclical, for that I am grateful.

Oct 18, 2019

Progression of a Sunrise

10/18/2019 — cori
I love this time of year! Truth be told, there's something spectacularly gorgeous about each season. But this particular time of the year is when I get to see some of the most incredible sunrises. My leaving for work coincides with the tiny window of space that is the sky opening up to reveal a new day. I am giddy with excitement. It's a moment of awe and anticipation for me. I watch it like I've never seen a sunrise before. And each time I have a huge smile on my face.

Over my years of adoring sunrises (and sunsets) I've come to notice one key feature. They are more impressive when the sky is filled with clouds. It seems to give the sun rays something to dance off of and show-off its array of colors in an even more grand and diverse pallet.

I've meditated on this for quite some time and the conclusion I've drawn is that sunrises, sunsets and life are more beautiful when the clouds are in the way. We think "perfection" comes when we have a "clear sky" - no imperfections to get in the way. But its precisely the "things in the way" that reveal true beauty. 

I am privileged to see things I would never see if the sky was clear. These colors only come about because the clouds are there to reflect and refract them. What a gift those clouds are. What a gift my imperfections are because it is through them, beauty shines all the more. That thought brings me such peace. I don't have to be perfect. I don't have to make excuses for all the "things in the way" that I (or others) may feel shouldn't be there. I can rest in the knowledge that its all working together to create something beautiful and I sit in patient excitement wondering what it will look like.

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” ~ Albert Einstein

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Oct 17, 2019

Trying Something New

10/17/2019 — cori
Bennett had spent last Spring and Summer wrestling with a very hard decision, whether or not to return to basketball in the Fall. It's not because he didn't love the sport anymore, it's because he loved it so much. He ultimately decided to sit out basketball his Senior year. It was an agonizing decision for both him and us. But its his life and we have to respect his choices. The team, the coach, the other players, the demand to his time were all slowly seeping the joy out of the game he has adored since he was in 1st grade. He felt at peace with his decision and we supported him.

This past summer he decided to start practicing with the tennis team in hopes of making it during Fall tryouts. Not only did he make the team, he made Varsity. He was put on the 4 Doubles team with someone else who was also a first time tennis player. They did so good they ended up making All Conference because they didn't lose a match during their season. Incredible!

This is why we spent this past weekend at the Colorado Regional Tennis Tournament in Denver. It was a perfectly crisp, sunny day to play tennis. Actually, the first day there was still a ton of ice on the courts from the snow storm we had the day before, so it got off to a slow start until the ice melted. Sadly, his partner was having an "off day" on the first day of the tournament and they lost a match that they should have won. This put them in the bracket to play for 3rd place instead of 1st or 2nd. We watched them play two fantastic matches. They had fun and ended up taking home 4th place. Only those teams who won 1st or 2nd at Regionals had the chance to go to the State Tournament. 

I'm so incredibly proud of him for trying something new during his senior year none-the-less! He learned alot, gained alot of respect for (and from) his coach, enjoyed being outside practicing and playing games during the best time of the year, and made many new friends. Win/win. 

He is going to end up lettering in Tennis this year. Way to go Bennett...the consummate athlete!

Oct 16, 2019

Screen Saver

10/16/2019 — cori

Found this on Chloe's phone as her screen saver. I think somebody is really going to miss her brother when he leaves for college. 

Oct 14, 2019

Diffy Q for Dummies

10/14/2019 — cori

This is a picture of Gavin we took while we were FaceTiming. He has always loved sharing what he's learning with us, especially math. Even though he knows we won't understand it, he still likes walking us through hard problems just to show us the amount of complexity and thought that is involved. After sitting there watching him work through one problem, we were in awe of the thought process it takes to "solve" these seemingly unsolvable problems.

Math has always fascinated Gavin. In Kindergarten, he was showing me alternative ways of addition. I didn't know there was more than one way. When you see the world in patterns, math makes much more sense. He speaks math very well. He also is very good at explaining math. In 5th grade he told me, "Mom, I think more kids would like math if they saw the real world applications of it." I think he likes the order and logic of it. 

On this particular call, he was walking us through one problem from his Differential Equations class (Diffy Q as all cool kids say). I don't even know what that means. To better understand Chuck's and my level of math comprehension/ability, imagine someone reading a math problem and then drawing a picture of it. That's us. We have to literally draw a picture in order to solve a problem. So when you're dealing with abstract math concepts that only involve letters and no numbers in the equation, you can imagine our utter confusion. There are no pictures to draw. 

Here are some fun videos we took while we were getting schooled in differential equations. Enjoy.

Oct 6, 2019


10/06/2019 — cori

Chuck and I called Gavin this morning to ask him a random question. We didn't want to keep him too long so we asked, "What are you doing today, Honey?"

He replied, "Well, right now I'm just sitting here reading, drinking coffee, and listening to some piano music." 

Of course he is. 

Love this kid!

Oct 5, 2019


10/05/2019 — cori

Apparently, I've been in a very reflective mood recently. This is Bennett's last year living at home. It's been exactly 1 year since Gavin moved to North Dakota. Chloe is only 6 months from getting her driver's license. Time is flying!

This wasn't all that long ago. I can remember it like it was yesterday. I was listening to this awesome podcast, in which the host said this incredible sentence that made me stop and meditate on for a long time. He said, "Time lends things their significance." Isn't that beautiful and deep?!

Time, or more precisely, the impermanence of it, heightens our joy of each moment. Because I know their childhoods are passing like sand through an hour class, I can choose to enjoy each stage or wish longingly for the next one or the one that just passed. To quote the podcast host again, I can have a "nostalgia rooted in abundance or scarcity." That's so powerful. I wish I had thought of it in those words.

As I look back over their childhood, I can honestly say that we lived from a mindset of abundance in life. That means that we knew there would be more precious, different, fun, exciting memories to make in every stage. We didn't mourn the last one...the last bottle she'll ever take, the last parent-teacher meeting before college, the last dinner as the 5 of us. Even though we didn't know what was to come, we knew that if it was as good as the past memories, events, experiences, that whatever "it" was would be good.

Even though I can't claim to have ever said anything so profound, I know thoughts similar to those have passed through my brain over these precious years of my kids' childhoods. Just because we're on the far side of parenting doesn't mean we're done. It means we're parenting in a different way now. Another new adventure to live and learn as we go. How beautiful is that?!

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