"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life;
to put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived." ~Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Uncle Matt & Orion

When Uncle Mateo comes to town, the party doesn't end until we see his tail lights a few days later.  This past weekend was no exception.  He and Orion (and Hank) came in on Friday afternoon while road-tripping through the Rockies.  We had such a great time!  I was grateful for the timing because it softened the blow of Paul leaving a little bit.  We had our house guests leave gradually, so the house wasn't quiet all at once.  But still, it was a big bummer when they left Monday.  Luckily we will all rendezvous in Texas in about three weeks! 

Lauren and Orion are inseparable when they are together.  Even though Rino is right in between Devin and Garrett's ages, he clicks more with The Chudda. 

Making s'mores before bed.

I sweat Hank's not dead.  Apparently the buzzers feel like a full body massage!  He LOVED getting groomed and bathed by the kids, and the kids loved doing it!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Saying Goodbye- Day 7

The dreaded day came.  We weren't in bed before 3:00 a.m. so 7:00 rolled around very early.  Kevin and Lee were coming by at 8:30 to pick Paul up to leave for Denver.  We were all a little somber that morning, none of us talking too much.  Paul ate a bowl of Lucky Charms for breakfast (how appropriate was that?!) and he put the final touches on packing his stuff.  After breakfast, we gave him a gift bag that we had put a few America items in.  A red white and blue photo album (for pictures of the week that I will be printing off and sending to him), a roll of USA duct tape to fix his cleat that broke (ha ha ha) a red white and blue koozie for drinks, a USA tee shirt, and a flag that each of us had written him notes on.  We had each secretly written on it the night before, and I about cried while writing him my note.  I signed it "Love, Mummy V".  We all got pretty emotional as he looked the flag over.

In the bottom of the bag, was a key to our house.  We wanted him to know that our offer to show up on our doorstep at any time wasn't just something we said, but something we meant. 

And then Kevin and Lee arrived and my heart hurt a little more.  I didn't get to know those two very well, but I hate saying goodbye to people knowing I may never see them again.  Especially two young people who live halfway around the world.  Each of them had a hard time saying goodbye to their host families as well.  I believe that we cross paths with people all the time, fellow travelers on the road of life, and all of them imprint on us in some way.  Some for the better, some for the worse.  That's just the way the human spirit works.  When I was growing up, we seemed to adopt family members over the years.  That was very evident when my brother died and a million people showed up to the funeral and for the "after funeral party", many of them that we hadn't seen in years, but never lost touch with.  The people we meet and know in this life, no matter for how brief a time, never leave us. 
Devin and Coach Lee.

Lee Grocett from England, Paul Ryan from Northern Ireland, Kevin Moran from Scotland.  Great guys.

After some hard goodbyes, they drove away.  And that was that. 

I may or may not have gone down to Ethan's room (where Paul had stayed for the week) and gotten emotional.  I tried to wrap my mind around the thought of this kid, who we had only met seven days prior, and how he felt like my own son, or at least a much younger brother.  Ten days before, Cody and I had been getting things ready around the house to make his stay comfortable.  We got a few projects done that we had been putting off (just minor household things that seemed to get put on the back burner).  Cody made the comment that even if the week with our coach was a bust, at least it gave us the impetus we needed to get a few things checked off our to-do list.  But the week hadn't been a bust.  At all.

I spent the rest of the day editing pictures and blogging.  I decided that I wanted his parents to get to see his adventures with us during those seven days, so I started chronicling it before it left my memory.  His family is seven hours ahead of our time, and they stayed up pretty late to read all of the blogs as I published them.  His sister, Seana, sent me a short video of his mom and dad reading one of the blogs from their house in Belfast.  It gave me a lot of joy knowing that I was helping them see that Paul had been taken care of and loved during his week with us.  And he really was.

Some people come into our lives and make us better people for knowing them.  Paul was that person for us, and we will forever cherish his time in our home and in our family.  Crazy how things went from dread of the week ahead of us, to sadness when it was over.  But hopefully it's not over for good.  Come back to us someday, Paul.  You will always have a place in our family. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday Hike

 We enjoyed a VERY lazy Sunday, which was a first in a very long time.  I had a lot of catching up for school, so I spent the first half of the day working on that.  Then around 4:00 we headed out to take Matthew and Orion on one of our favorite hikes near Centerville.  It was a great afternoon!!

Lauren and Orion are BESTEST friends.
It was stupid of me not to wear my river shoes!