New York part 4

We saw a lot of family during the trip, went to a lot of museums, took a lot of subways, and ate a lot of good food.

Visiting Children’s Museum of the Arts with Big Dad
Art LoversFrom Life or SkeletonFavela of PaperDetailSculptingEven the Bathroom was Cool

Eating at 100 Acres, three generations together.
DSC_0132Crab HushpuppiesPudding and CreamBig Dad

And we spent lots of time in and around Brooklyn Bridge Park.
PicnicAunt AmandaIce Cream on the PierSlide MountainUncle Dan and AshleyWalking on the Wall


New York part 3 (New York Hall of Science)

We met up with our “real Sarah” for a morning at The New York Hall of Science, I hadn’t been there since high school, wow the changes they’ve made. Most museums who focus on kids tend to look towards the younger ones but at the Hall of Science Alder was at the young end of understanding all the amazing things you could do. He was the perfect age to try the various experiments and make his own inferences, on some of them he asked for an explanation but for the most part he was happy¬† to just see what would happen. (While there are endless things I could say about the museum I’ll leave that to people who have gone more often).

And this wasn’t even half of the things we did!

New York part 2 (turning 40)

I decided in March that I really wanted to spend my 40th birthday in New York. I wanted to spend the day at a museum with Alder and my parents and then go out for dinner with my cousins. So I guess you could say that I got everything I wanted for my birthday, though the dinner out ended up being the night before. I really wanted to go to the MOMA but the line was an hour and fifteen minutes to get in the front door. Instead we went to an Japanese Noodle House that has been around for fifty years, then we headed to The Center for Book Arts to see their exhibit Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here which was both moving and motivating. The entire time I was there I was wishing that I could sign up for one of their week long intensive bookmaking classes. After the museum Alder and I decided we needed some alone time so we wandered until we came across a glowing cupcake shop and ate cupcakes at a white enamel table with red edging.

The rest of my birthday was another dinner, this one I cooked with the help of my cousin. It was quick and amazing. Fettuccine with steamers, mussels, scallops, and shrimp, with a big salad and asparagus. There were giant cookies for dessert and then Alder and I fell into bed full and happy.

WIndow Dressing
At Ilili
Harald and Amanda at Ilili the night before. Such good food and company. (just thinking about it is making me hungry)

Still more New York to come.

New York part 1

Welcome to New York!

George Washington Bridge View
My River Up Close

They Insisted on lots of Pads in New York
Riverside Park Skate Park, where they insist on all the pads, insurance numbers, parent waivers, and have short hours.

Keeping you from skating
Alder: Why are there those pipes locked to the parts of the skate park?
Skate Park Attendant: To keep people from skating.

[the park is open only 5 days a week 11am to 7 pm, it was around 5 pm when this picture was taken]

On 5th Avenue Even the Dinosuars are Gold Plated
New York is truly a place of excess, they even plate their dinosaurs in gold.

Lego Clone Trooper
Visiting FAO Schwartz as a kid was a thrill, ever since it was sold the soul has gone out of it….at least there was Lego.

I know the world loves Central Park, but I grew up with it as my stomping grounds. I still come across views I’ve forgotten. The moment, the boy, the light, I know that feeling.

girls on a hill
Just right.

You forget that most cities aren’t filled with slabs of granite.

People talk of New York as a city that moves so fast, the thing they never tell you is how much time you spend waiting in New York, and it isn’t just the trains.

My Boy
After a week alone with his grandparents even waiting for a train with me could elitist a smile.

Forward in the Details

Hannah 1916-1917
My grandmother when she was in her 20s in 1916 or 1917

Birthdays and anniversaries always stir me to refocus my life. As it was my 10th anniversary last week and my 40th birthday is tomorrow. I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on how I live. So often these introspective moments bring big goals and crazy changes, and lately those change everything goals have been going forward. But sometimes it can get really easy to get derailed on the details. This year I’ve decided that taking on the those details as a way to move forward.

I have finally gotten around to reading The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron which I have occasionally dipped into but never have sat down and read. It is one of those right book for the right moment. Along with some more personal inspiration from some amazing women who have reminded me that I don’t have to go out and do every project that I come up with.

So I sat down yesterday with no expectations other than sitting with the discomfort of the now, and a journal. What came out was all about how I live the everyday life not big life changes. As I explored how I live my days I could see what parts of me and my world that needed nurturing. I found that there were eight areas that make up most of my life, and then I came up with ways to feed them. I wanted to focus on the daily and weekly rhythms not larger goals or cycles. These aren’t all action points some categories ended up with more ideas than I can possibly do, I am still in the process of seeing how to use these shifts.


~Start stretching every morning again, just 5 or 10 minutes.
~Take two long walks a week.
~Remember to wash my face every night, it seems small but I sleep so much better.

Writiing/ Reading:

~Write 20 minutes a day, other than journaling (I haven’t really wrote since last November)
~Explore new poets and keep a poem in my pocket.
~Blog twice a week.
~Always have a novel to read.


~Pack lunch everyday
~Make four family dinners a week, both for the family time and returning to the habit of cooking for pleasure.
~Eat breakfast everyday.
~Less coffee.


~Spend an hour a day working on “job” things even while I still have a semester left.
~Stay two days a week at the CAD lab to get my work done.
~Make connections.


~Sit everyday for five minutes (I’ve been using a meditation jar for this).
~Think before I speak
T- Is it True?
H- Is it Helpful
I~ Is it Inspiring
N~ Is it Necessary
K~ Is it Kind

~Collect images and words that inspire me and put them somewhere I can see them.
~Do some art three times a week (or go see some).
~Make space in everything I do to be creative.

Family/ Home:

~Be present with Alder for an hour every day, without the internet.
~At least three family activities a week.
~Four family dinners a week.
~Straighten the living room and studio before bed every night.
~Start laundry in the morning when I get up so it can go in the dryer before I leave.
~Organize when I do the rest of my chores (I am so thankful that Kevin has pulled most of the house cleaning weight for a long time but I need to do more.
~Don’t bring anything into the house that won’t add to the beauty of our life.

Friends/ Community:

~Have Sunday mornings as many weeks as possible with our friends.
~Make social plans every other week.
~Find ways to give back once a month as a family.
~Call my Dad once a week just to say hi.
~Write a letter to a friend every other week.

What daily practices sustain you?

In the Dogdays of Summer

Sunned in the Bowl

August does this thing,
it makes us want to leave,
hide from the sun.
We dream solar flares
river edges
and ghosts.
And the clouds
oh the clouds
layers of gray
teasing us with their thunder
we are left gasping
waiting for the rain.


Ten Years Part 1

A little over ten years ago we all came together at the bottom of the lawn, a spot more commonly used for sledding than parties. You will all have to bare with me over the next week all of the photos are on disks and I want them someplace less fragile. So this being part one will be the ceremony. Part 2 will be the reception, those photos will have to wait until Sunday evening when I can use my father’s copy of the disk (ours is corrupted). All photographs, in the post were taken by Robert Tobey.

Getting Ready

Seating Collages

Flower Girl



Down the Hill

A Promise

Ten Years Ago

An August Late Afternoon....2003

The Kiss

Forest Mirror

Wyoming Trip 2013

Camp Site

Screaming for a Kayak

Flowers on the Bridge


Trail View


Naturally Terraced

It isn't so hot





My classes ended last week and I was more than ready to head out of town. So the boy and I packed up the car and headed northwest to Lander Wyoming. I had been there when I was a teenager on a seven week hiking and climbing trip with CTT. What I remembered of the town was vague, though I had spent a night there again on my way to Colorado when I moved here in 1996. But there were a lot of things that made it the perfect place for the two of us. Lots of hikes near town, an amazing free camp site in the town park, and the world’s largest hot springs not too far away.

The drive to Lander is long, and not too exciting. But we pushed through after a late start and ended up pulling in before dark. Settling ourselves into our spot and having dinner we climbed into the tent, one tired Mama and one energetic boy. Still we managed to float off to sleep.

One thing I have learned with Alder is that saving the exciting activity for last only leads to an anxious child who doesn’t enjoy what he’s doing. So we headed up to Thermopolis to the hot springs that morning. When you get there you have three choices of places to enjoy the springs, one is the state park soaking pools which are great, for grownups, the other two are fun pools with slides and other fun amenities. We ended up at Star Plunge we had a little fun on the big slides, but spent most of our time in the outdoor pool where there was a shorter slide and a high dive. We played games and I spent a lot of time reading while Alder spent most of his time on the high dive.

That evening we met our neighbors, a father with his two young children, two and not yet one. Alder took it on himself to teach the girls how to catch water skitters and from then any time we were at camp the three of them were playing in the little stream that flowed through the park. By the end of the trip he had six kids following him around and playing (I wish I had gotten a picture of all of them). It always amazes me how well he does with little kids, especially since he usually prefers the company of grownups more than kids his own age. Who would have thought that I would get to read over 100 pages of my book during the trip.

The next morning we headed up to Worthen Meadow Reservoir for some time in the mountains. There was much chasing of bright blue dragonflies, and gray ones. There was a dock to jump off of, rocks to boulder, trails to hike, and plans to make for next summer (words like backpacking and kayaks come to mind). We explored the edges of the water finding patterns and colors in the world around us. We were especially loving the blues that seemed to explode everywhere through the green of the trees. We stopped to watch the wind in the aspen leaves and hiked until the trail started to head down. We dreamed about backpacking trips to the valley below (not without Papa). On the way down the canyon as Alder slept I paused to look at the scar from a fire that had burned a swath of the north (west?) side off the canyon.

That night after dinner the winds came, 45-55 mile an hour winds. We hid in the tent sure that the limbs of the trees were going to crash down. Later in the evening the wind died down to a respectful bluster and the rains came. Yet some how a tired little boy slept through it all. In the morning you could see the results downed branches everywhere, luckily none of the tents had been hit.

With the next trip starting on Monday we headed out mid-day Friday for the long drive back to Denver. Next up in our lives Alder’s first flight by himself!!!