2016 here we come!

annieA new puppy is an interesting thing.  I liken it to when you have a newborn baby  with one exception–you know, babies are human, dogs are canines.  It’s been no different with puppy tending!

When our kids were babies, Matt did the night shift.  I’m not very good at consistently having my night sleep interrupted.  Let’s just say I channel Wizard of Oz and relate best to the wicked witch of the west.

I do, however, find mornings to be a great time to let the night duty charge sleep a bit as well as I get caught up on work while letting a little 6 lb. girl chew, eat, poop and pee to her heart’s content.  (Why hasn’t someone invented a 24 hour puppy potty training program?)

These early mornings are COLD and dark.  School and work begin this week–we head back into the world of routine and order.

As our kids get older, I am less anxious for them to leave and head out of the house.  Don’t get me wrong–a 3 week Christmas break is starting to seem like a long “parent entertain the kids” sort of experience.  However, when school starts, our slow paced, sleep in, lounge around schedule is replaced by appointments, sport practices, to do lists and work.  Adding a new puppy, with regular urgent bathroom needs is making my blood pressure rise just a little.

What I do know is this–I cannot let the future impede the present.   If I live in the future, I don’t focus on the present.   I have a pretty great present–kids who, for the most part, get along with each other.  A husband who works really hard and is a partner, pitching in and always helping.

2016 just came this year–the calendar simply turned from 2015 to 2016 without any fanfare! I haven’t created any specific resolutions or plans. I haven’t chosen a word for the year.  For the first time in a long while, I’m okay with life being this way.  I can over plan and over analyze finding myself into deep conflict because I cannot possibly perform to my expectations.

sunsetThank you Annie for showing me, just as newborns do, that life is about the moment on hand.  Thank you Hawaii, for giving our family 9 days of just family. Thank you 2015 for being so kind with your lesson teaching.

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Welcome to our family Annie!

Seventeen years ago, Matt and I headed out to a farm in the middle of nowhere, Florida.  Driving into the farmyard, we saw kennels lined with barking dogs.

monberg-2004-090That day we met our Cody–the most energetic puppy of the lot.  He never stopped jumping and yipping and barking.  We fell in love with him and the rest, as they say, is history.

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February 11, 2014, after giving us almost 17 years of amazing companionship,  our little bundle of energy had enough. We said good bye.  I still find myself sad and missing him.  Cody was our first baby.  He was there for all three of our children’s homecomings.  He licked away hundreds of years, spun himself in thousands of circles and ate enough chipped ice to fill a semi truck.

We’ve been mourning his passing almost a year now.  It’s been a mixture of relief for him–the last two years were hard to watch his decline and sadness.

20151216_093842Today Matt and I along with Desta, Tobin and Caroline loaded up in the car and headed to another farm.  Our size grown to 5 and our hearts a whole lot bigger and ready for a new addition.

IMG_9183As we walked through a few feet of snow, we once again saw jumping barking dogs in kennels.  We met Lucy, a new mom,  just like we met Ruby, Cody’s mom.  We walked in the warmer and fell in love.

IMG_9185Our little Annie immediately fell asleep in our arms. She loves to cuddle and burrow.  She’s the polar opposite of Cody–from her sweet pink nose to her mellow disposition.

20151216_093426I find myself in this weird world of bittersweet.  I’m so excited to bring home another family member–our little Annie is perfect for our big family.  But I mourn that I snapped my fingers and 16 1/2 years went by so fast.  I mourn that our little Annie will never meet Cody.

annie collageI realize once again, how powerful love is.  Whether it’s love for a child or love for a dear dear pet, it’s strong and penetrates EVERY PART OF YOUR LIFE.

annie twoToday I am rejoicing in our newest little family member. Welcome to this crazy world called the Colorado Monbergs, Annie!  We promise we’ll love big, give out excessive amounts of treats, not yell too much if you decide the carpet is a better bathroom than the deck and give you warm cozy hugs all day long.  We’ve learned a lot about life and death this past year.  We’ll make sure to do our very best to take care of you!

 

A snowy day

20151113_155223We are fast moving towards 2016.

20151117_134126When our kids were little, I often wondered if life would ever speed up.  The long days were filled with tedious routine.  Each day brought the same errands, tasks and activities.

Tobin and MelodyI long for those days now.

20151117_11382220151117_132235When we lived in Florida, the days blurred–one to another–no change in season to break up the monotony of life.

20151117_132007One of my favorite parts of Colorado is the movement of life lived through seasons.

20151117_132204Yesterday’s snow day put a halt to our busy lives. We all took a break–made cinnamon rolls, cleaned out cluttered closets, went sledding.

20151117_074754For a brief moment, the slow pace of those early years returned.

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Here’s to the middle years!

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When I was little, I remember thinking 40 sounded so old. I pictured gray hair, wide hips, granny dresses and being out of touch with the world. All the people I knew who were 40 seemed so dated.

20151101_133905Today I turned 40. I look in the mirror and still see the 20 year old in my reflection.  The gray is there–hidden quite well thanks to Veda Salon.  Running has kept the wide hips at bay for now.  Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post and NPR keep the world in reasonable integration with my life.

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For many people, 40 is a significant birthday.  I think it has the appearance of marking the “second half” of life.  I’ve started calling this new decade “the middle years.”

As we were driving down to Coquette’s for a family birthday lunch, we talked about this next decade.  In the next ten years, I’ll have two children reach adulthood. We’ll have one 16 year old in the house. As Caroline reminded us, she could be married AND have a child before I hit 50.

20151101_140434It’s fun to think about the next decade. What do I want to achieve?  I have small goals–40 miles/week for the year.  I’ve thought about throwing out the idea of doing a 40 miler this year.  I’ve wondered if this is the year I actually start writing more–intentionally speaking the words that roll around my brain each night.

turning-40-inspirational-quotes-4I don’t want to discount the 40 years that brought me to this point.  Today my older sister, Shelly and my husband, Matthew, each wrote 40 things about me.  It was startling to see how many things they had written in common (they live hundreds of miles apart).  It was good to see my life written from their angles–that my intentions have turned into habits.

These past 40 years have been filled with so much living.  I’ve been born, grew up, got married, had three babies, lived in countless countries and states, begun jobs, ended jobs and restarted new jobs.  I’ve grown into myself.  I am self confident and secure–I know my place and I like my place.  I ask a lot more questions and speak a whole lot less.  I’ve learned the value of reading the lives of those who’ve walked before me.

So 40, I’m ready for you. I’m ready to tackle these middle years with the same vengeance I took on my 30s.

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A few of my favorite fall things…

It’s fall in Colorado.

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It’s amazing when it’s fall in Colorado.

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It’s the busiest month for our family. Birthday 1

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This one is turning 14 soon.  How?

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I’ve had a renewed zest to feed my family real food.

fritters

These fritters.  I’m telling you.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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This veggie lasagna.  This blog ALWAYS wins. ALWAYS.

These slippers.  LLBean is the bomb.  Quite literally my favorite winter slippers EVER.  Under $40.  Go get them.  I promise you, your feet will thank you all winter long!

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There’s been a lot of hiking this fall.  Especially with this pretty amazing almost 14 year old.

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Canning.  Applesauce, Peach sauce, salsa, tomatoes.  Jars and jars of fresh, local produce.

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Running.  I’ve been out on the trail.  My summer began with taking a selfie with each run I did outside.  I’m telling you people, it’s motivating to see how your pictures add up–and the beauty of this state.  I can’t get enough of our mountains!

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Soccer.

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Basketball.

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Life is good.  It’s hard. It’s full and it’s rich.  I’m blessed!

I leave you with this quote. I have a big birthday in just a few days. Entering my “Middle Years” I’m calling them.

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