sm-7162Actually, probably better to say “We’re back.”

Took a four-day trip to the Coast – well to the Portland area, which is very close to the coast when thought of relative to where we are when home.  The purpose of this trip was to attend a karate seminar and tournament for J.

The seminar was with George Kataka, a two-time world champion at sparring in the karate school of martial arts.  He was amazing working with the kids, and super fun to watch.


It was a great trip:  visited with a nephew who goes to college in the area; visited with a college friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in over a decade; and visited with a college friend of Andy’s we hadn’t seen in about 8 years.  The weather was beautiful, no rain.  And the meals were really good!  All went very well!

Except of course for the concussion that J picked up at the end of the tournament.  Now, over a week later, he’s just about back to normal, and hasn’t complained about a headache all day.  We learned a lot about concussion and how to manage life while recovering from one.  Some surprises in that, but generally, just don’t do anything – no physical or cognitive activity.  Makes for some long boring days!bw-sm-7225

Now we are doing all the catch up at school and looking forward to clearance from the doctor for J to get back to physical activity, including karate.

Because, you see, prior to getting concussed, J qualified for the national tournament in July, and he has work to do to prepare!


Categories: Family Fun, J, Learning, Photography, Travel, Vacation | 1 Comment


Had to learn to spell this word to make it my word of the year.  (Learning something goes along with the family word, so I’m okay with that).sm-8234

My first word for a year was Proactive, and it was such a success that I thought I’d revisit a portion of the concept this year with Initiate.

I envision this word reminding me not to just think and dream, but to do.  Start the things I want to do.  I find that I’ll think of an idea and then freeze.  Maybe I wonder around the house, look at the items needed to implement the job, and not do anything.  Sometimes I do that so long I forget the idea and nothing ever happens.sm-8236

This happens with my interactions with people too.  I get shy and don’t mention, invite or comment, and the conversation never happens. I need to initiate the contact, conversation, interaction rather than wish I had.

The dictionary says that initiate means “to cause  or facilitate the beginning of” – yep, that is what I want to do.  I can’t necessarily control the out come, but I can get it started.sm-2798

This year I want to initiate the ideas.  Who knows, maybe the implementation will take a different direction that I originally thought, but it will go somewhere.

My first act of initiating?  Well, these photos sprinkled throughout this post.sm-2800

See the first two I took way back when we had the cold snap here at the beginning of December.  They are photos of ice dams that formed on the Gallatin River and some of the results.  I heard about the issue on the news and drove over there one morning on my way into town just to check it out.  What was significant was that these photos are all of the property of my brother’s former boss – and I would say his friend.  The building was where my brother worked many days (before the shop got moved to a new location).  Anyway, my thought at the time was “I should post these on the blog because I’m sure Daniel would be interested to know what was happening to Russ and Lorie’s property.  But I never did anything.sm-2801

Today Andy and I were back over that way for a little walk and I took the rest of the photos in this post.  I was shocked to see that the ice dams have not cleared, that part of the river is still clogged, and the water is flowing on Russ and Lorie’s property as well as on many of their neighbor’s properties.   While there is a beauty to the river, and it looks like Russ and Lorie’s actual house is still livable, the damage to property is stunning, and still in progress.  (Daniel helped to do a major remodel on that house and if it flooded it would be ruining some of his handiwork as well as really harming our friends and their family).sm-2821

So, Daniel, these shots are for you, and I am initiating (better late than never) showing them to you by posting them here on my blog.  An idea delayed, but not forgotten!   I haven’t spoken to Russ or Lorie, but it appears their house itself stayed dry and is being lived in through this mess.sm-2822

That is what I’m hoping for with this word.

Categories: Daily life, Extended Family, Gallatin River, initiate, Learning, One Little Word, Outdoors, Photography, proactive, River, snow, Winter | 2 Comments

DECEMBER 29, 2013 – One Little Word for the Family


Usually about this time I would do a post full of photos from throughout the year.  This year, well, I’m just not that organized.  Too many great photos unedited still.  So instead I’m going to show you more photos from my experimentation in lightroom 5 and my outing from Friday with my J.


As a family we picked a “one little word” for 2014.  J and I are also doing personal words for the upcoming year, but we all just thought it would be fun to have a word for our family.


The process for picking the word was even peaceful.  We each made a couple of suggestions and explained why we liked that word.  We wrote them all down on little scraps of paper and threw them in a bowl.  Then J blindly drew one out.  The process was really helpful in seeing the vision each of us has for our family and where we have commonality in that – and where we each approach things a little bit different. 

We were blessed that I think for the most part we were all on the same page about what we want for our family.


So, I bet you want to know what word we got, don’t you. 

J drew one of his own words:  LEARNING. 

He was very specific, this is not the learning of going to school – just so you know, he would not consider that to be a type of learning he wanted our family to incorporate more of.  It is the learning of new skills like momma learn to ski or snowboard so she can be on the mountain with him taking photos of him snowboarding.  It is the learning of lessons from life. 

It is learning to spend more time together and use our time wisely so we can enjoy life as a threesome. 

And it is the learning of J sitting at the table and learning the rules of solitaire as he was quick to point out as I slaved away cleaning the fridge and he dealt cards.  He was very proud to point out that he was already putting our word to good use.

We will try to check in on our word once or twice a month so we can get the most out of it.

I will be back on Tuesday with my personal word for 2014, and probably tomorrow with a recap of this year’s word and the year in general.  (I know, sounds like a boring post already, but I’ll throw in some more photos – J and I are going for another walk this afternoon.

Categories: berries, Daily life, Family Fun, J, Learning, lightroom, One Little Word, Outdoors, Photography, snow, Winter | 1 Comment

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