Friday, August 30, 2013

No Fear

Took me a while to get this picture saved.  Had to do a screen shot of the video because my photographer didn't start the stills until we were spinning.  I wish I had something profound to say about my experience jumping out of a plane.  I wasn't really nervous or scared except standing at the door of the plane.  Once it was real, I had about half a second to think OMG! and then we were gone.  

The free fall felt like floating, not falling.  Well, floating while being underwater, because I did find it hard to breathe, despite following explicit instructions to keep my head up and breathe through my nose.  But the pictures show that I was smiling at least half the time.  The canopied descent down after the parachute opened was an awesome way to see the Front Range.  Long's Peak was staring me in the face, and fields stretched out below.  Landing was a piece of cake.

My favorite part has been listening to everyone else's reactions.  It didn't seem like that big of a deal to me.  Honestly, my motorcycle and kayaking classes were far more scary for me.  This was just something I've been wanting to do, so I did it.  I'm grateful for the pictures and the video because the details are a wee bit fuzzy.  And I'm glad to look back and say that I did it.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Only Time You'll Hear Me Curse the Outdoors

Top 18 Things I Hate About Yardwork:

  1. Allergies
  2. Russian Olive Trees
  3. Stumps of Russian Olive Trees that spout new Russian Olive Trees
  4. Thorns on Russian Olive branches
  5. Weeds that spray seeds when you pull them
  6. Spiders
  7. Feeling like spiders are crawling on you
  8. Sweating
  9. Getting dirt caked on the sweat
  10. Did I mention Russian Olives?
  11. Feeling like I will never have the yard I want
  12. Everything always grows back except the stuff you want to
  13. Did I mention spiders?
  14. Getting yard envy at everyone else's house
  15. The time of year that the work is most daunting is the time of year I want to spend outside doing anything but yardwork
  16. The longer I ignore it, the harder it is when I finally tackle it
  17. Trying to decide what to do myself and what to hire out

Sunday, August 4, 2013

F'n Crushing It

Had a blast on Friday enjoying several elements of what makes up a lovely Denver evening- sunshine, cold beer, pizza, patio, friends, great music, meeting fun new people, and oh yeah-- getting exactly what my 13-year-old self always wanted!

While the Meet and Greet was much faster than I wanted (I didn't even get a chance to mention that I almost brought a bag of red jelly beans for Taylor because that was all the rage when we were 14), and I got a very noncommittal answer when I asked when Mmmhops would be available, and Laura didn't get to join us for the photo-op, it was still a very cool experience.  Plus, nothing beats a free outdoor concert, even if we couldn't see very well and the crowd was more judgmental than joining in.  The blog title comes from a guy who said it best: "VIP passes and pizza, are you guys f'n crushing it?" We met a new friend, Sally, a tattooed mother who is probably fast approaching 50 if not already there.  She was hysterical.  "My sister lives in Tulsa and texts me...Baby Hanson at the grocery store!!!"  "I saw you singing every word to the new album and I thought these are my new friends."

All that excitement for like 3 seconds of interaction
Signed VIP passes
They played all the songs I wanted them to: Penny and Me, Give a Little, Get the Girl Back, Been There Before, Thinking 'Bout Something.  My camera zoom was good enough to capture some decent shots.  Our mid-concert move took us right next to their exit path which meant that Laura got some high-fives and smiles instead of the Meet and Greet.  And we were home by 8 o'clock.  I'm hoping for many more Friday nights like this when I change jobs.
Pretty much the only shot of Zac I could get.

This is why I'm not a photographer.  My timing is atrocious.
And try #2.  Wasn't sure how good of a shot I'd get as he got closer.
Turns out they got really close.  My camera took too long to reset and this is Laura getting mad that I missed Tay looking right at her.

Don't worry, third brother's a charm.
Just another lousy night in Denver

Musings from Mass

I've been struggling on my work weekends to find a Mass to go to that doesn't leave me feeling bitter.  I know that's a horrible way to start a blog and an even worse way to view Mass, but there it is.  Either the music is terrible, or the homily is way too long and I'm torn between fuming or leaving after communion, or nobody participates, or there is no sense of community, or all of the above.  I decided to try Mass at MPB (Most Precious Blood for those of you not in the know, although both people who read my blog are in the know) this morning.  I was a little put off when I walked in to a circular set-up with no sign of the tabernacle and more chairs than pews, but it got better.  It was a little reminiscent of St. Vincent de Paul in Omaha, where I hated the architecture but loved the priest and the music and the sense of family.

Granted, the music had the flavor of a 90's charismatic church, and Fr. Pat (who I probably hadn't seen since 1999 and therefore was reinforcing the theme) gave a super long homily.  But you know what?  The choir and musicians were enthusiastic, the congregation participated, Fr. Pat compensated for the homily by working quickly through everything else so we still finished on time, the homily was relevant and funny, the people around me were warm and welcoming.  There were certainly elements that wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, but on the whole, I consider it a success.  We need more Masses where people leave feeling like they would come back and repeat the experience if given the choice.  So on that note, here's a quick excerpt from Fr. Pat's homily (not one of the relevant parts, but one of the funny ones):

"I haven't really slept since the 70's.  A couple years ago, I saw a doctor about it and I told him that I can't really ever manage to go to bed until 10 or 10:30, and then it usually takes me 4 or 5 hours to fall asleep.  He said 'That's not normal.'  One of the hazards of celibacy- how am I supposed to know that's not normal?  So I did a study and they found that when I was supposed to be sleeping, there was a part of my brain that wasn't turning on.  I said 'Let's stop this study before they find out how much of my brain doesn't turn on."

He also talked about how we need to be less concerned about what the world gives us and more concerned with how much we give and who we become in the process.  How we try to give our kids (or get for ourselves) some kind of head start and all we really do is rob them (or ourselves) the opportunity for an adversity that might build character.  He said that we need to stop assuming that we are doing things right when life is easy.  Christ wasn't on the cross thinking, "boy, I really screwed that up."  Maybe when we struggle, it's because we are living life as it should be lived, and the experience is molding us into a person who is closer to who God would have us be.  So, I'm going to try to focus on that this week.  I hope.
I reserve the right to make this blog as worthless to read as I feel like, and also to write as infrequently as I deem necessary. Just thought I'd let you know since I finally decided to share my blog.