Happy Holidays 2019!

December 24th, 2019 — 2:56pm

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Playlist – year 37

September 14th, 2019 — 5:44pm

On this, the last day of my 37th year, I’m gathering together a list of all of the albums that I’ve listened to over and over again in the last year. I’ve listened to lots of music over the last year, but this is what has stuck with me and climbed into my heart, marking important lessons, changes, and seasons. Everyone one of these albums is tied to such a feeling of gratitude.

In no particular order, my 37th year playlist:

When We All Fall Asleep – Billie Eilish

The Weatherman – Gregory Alan Isakov

Words I Never Said – Ella Vos

Lemonade – Beyonce

Phase – Jack Garratt

Shake the Spirit – Elle King

Delta – Mumford & Sons

Cuz I Love You – Lizzo

Vide Noir – Lord Huron

Lover – Taylor Swift

Awaken, My Love – Childish Gambino

A Moment Apart – Odesza

Everything is Love – The Carters

Pink Moon – Nick Drake

III – The Lumineers

And I’m never not listening to:

The Head and the Heart

and everything by Jay-Z

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phoenix

April 21st, 2019 — 6:20am

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It’s been raining. Everything is turning green and my lilacs and apple trees are right on the verge of blooming. I’m one cup of coffee into my weekend morning ritual of drinking coffee by the open window, wrapped up in the first quilt I ever made, listening to the birds chirp whenever the rain breaks, focusing on the things for which I am so very grateful.

It’s Easter. The Super Bowl of Christianity. Churches all over have hustled hard to bump up attendance so they can share crackers and grape juice with the lost souls of our communities. Yesterday was Passover and I miss that ritual. The rich history of wine and herbs and unleavened bread broken with loved ones. Why does it seem like modern-day Christianity cheapens everything that was once holy?

I feel such a complicated mixture of emotions when I think of Christianity—the tradition from which I once drew my identity. When I consider this religion, I think of guilt and foreboding, fear so strong that it prompts people to disown their loved ones, friendships where worthiness comes from bible study attendance, a bible that’s used as a weapon, and the Christian Republican Party who elected, and loves, Donald J. Trump. (Are you angry? I’m angry.)

While this all but ensures I’ll never attend church again, I also know church has nothing to do with the Divine. So I try hard to see past this religion that has caused so, so much damage. I think about this: How I’ve had to lose my life to save it. The many times I have I risen from the ashes. If there is a hell that we’re rescued from, it’s the one here on earth that we make for ourselves and each other. And whatever or whoever God is, he is the one who is always, always with us.

Maybe today, for me, is about remembering the resiliency of the human spirit—our ability to rise from the dead again and again. Isn’t that such a miracle? And maybe it should be a celebration of this one wild and beautiful life—this magnificent gift we’ve all been given and the only chance we know we’re guaranteed. So let’s take this one chance and squeeze every last drop out of it.

Happy Easter

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Here’s what you should do

January 21st, 2019 — 6:18am

Here’s what you should do: you should create something. Any time your heart hurts or you’re stretched thin or you need some space, you should make. Because that’s what you were made to do.

As you’re creating, you should use that time to hold what you’re making, and your whole life, loosely.

Into your craft you should pour your hopes and fears and dreams and wishes.

Relax, be calm, trust.

Stitch your stitches or make your music or build your masterpiece. What is in your hands, however imperfect, will turn out beautifully if you just relax your grip on it. (Your life, however imperfect, will turn out beautifully too — if you just relax your grip on it.)

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2018 Year in Review

January 1st, 2019 — 1:20pm

This is my 14th annual year in review. To read past reviews, click here.

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If I were to describe 2018 in a word, I think it would be delightful or maybe Proximity.

While this year has not been without its trials and challenges and many, many lessons learned, I leave it in utter delight. Which is a feeling I have not had for many years. It’s like the lessons of these last five years have finally been brought to a point. Or one might say all those years I couldn’t see the forest for the trees…those trees now make so much sense. Maybe that’s because I am now thirty-seven and I finally have the benefit of a little wisdom. Here’s also what I think may have happened: I think I might be incredibly blessed, incredibly lucky, and the benefactor of a very radical shift in perspective. For all of which I cannot be more grateful. 

There were hard lessons learned this year, for sure, like when I resigned from my Downtown job only to watch all of the hard work I had done for three years be undone, and for no reason other than of convenience with a good dose of manipulation on the side. I learned the very hard life lesson that what is right does not always win. And my once stalwart faith in local government began to match my (lack of) faith in national government. Corrupt people are, unfortunately, everywhere. It was a hard, and unexpected loss, that took me quite a while to work through. 

Though we certainly had our share of hard things this year, for me, there were fewer hard things than usual. Less loss, less heartache, less abandonment, less fear. And maybe all of those things were there, the bitter with the sweet, but the sweetness of this life shone through brighter. My gratitude for it continues to be unyielding.

We’ve experienced so much this year. Building a thriving tech company that Josh co-founded has been challenging, with so many important lessons, and it has been SO fun. We work with a team of 30 remarkable people and are doing work and living a life that I couldn’t have imagined. I have been fortunate to have had many amazing jobs in my life, and getting to be the COO for Proximity is right there at the top of the list, a position I didn’t imagine I would have when I started back in March and one that I now know I was made to do. 

The kids are exactly where you might think they’d be. Eden is driving and thinking about college. Honor is just starting out his high school career, figuring how who he is and who he wants to be. As a family, we experienced some amazing things and places this year, memories that are forever seared into my mind.

This life just continues to feel like such a remarkable gift and I am in awe that I’ve been entrusted with such a gift.

Travel
• We took Eden and a gaggle of girls up to the Mesa to stay in a cabin for her 16th birthday. It was snowing and magical.

• Josh and I didn’t take our usual vacation with just the two of us this year, however, we spent several weekends in Denver, traveling over both for work and fun. We had the privilege of representing Proximity at the Governor’s Mansion when we were nominated as a 2018 Colorado Company to Watch.

• We had great fun traveling with the Prox team to Denver for the Colorado Companies to Watch gala in May.

• Josh traveled to Florida and Portland and Durango for work, enjoying his time with the team. And marveling that the sun really does rise every day. (Inside joke!)

• Eden went to NYC with her choir and got to perform at Carnegie Hall. They toured the city, taking in all the important sites and several Broadway shows.

• I traveled to Portland with Brooke to explore the PNW and attend a mindfulness retreat hosted by my aunt and cousin at my cousin’s flower farm. It was delightful.

• Not long after, Josh, the kids, and I traveled back to the PNW to explore Portland, Seattle, Bainbridge Island, and Vancouver, BC. I fell in love with island-life, marveling at the ferry, the Puget Sound, Gamble Bay and everything in between.

• We camped and rafted and took solace in our mountains and nearby towns when the heat, and smoke, in town became unbearable.

• Brooke and I traveled to Denver in November to see Rob Bell finish up the last leg of his Holy Shift tour. It was a poignant time for both of us and we had a great time.

Me
• A lot of what I did this year centered around work. I’m always happy when I have something huge to throw myself into. When I first talked to our CEO about coming to work for Proximity, my only caveat was that the position needed to be hard enough. I need a challenge. And it’s been a challenge! I’ve had the opportunity to help shape the company. I’ve done the majority of the hiring, helping the team grow from about 12 to 30 since March. I’m proud that we’ve built an entire marketing brand from the ground up, helping this company – a leader in our industry – tell our story and convey our values: that people and connection and community matter most.

• Before I left Downtown, I got to launch a project that I’d been working on for years, free WiFi in DTGJ. And I got to see the Mayor present a check to our local United Way for over $14,000, a direct result of a parking project that I spearheaded.

• Celebrated my 37th birthday on our backyard, surrounded by people who love me.

• Had my fallopian tubes removed.

• Discovered that I’m allergic to wasp stings.

• Went to my first coffee cupping. And judged a latte art throwdown.

• Broke my damn toe, which turned out to be a much bigger deal than one would think!

• Cooked so, so many amazing meals. Creating is always so life-giving for me.

Josh
• Produced and hosted Grand Junction’s first-ever TEDx.

Turned 37.

• Started building his Design department at Prox.

• Worked on several house projects. Built many awesome things.

• Got a drum set and returned to his passion after a several-year hiatus.

• Designed the graphics, posters, and programs for Eden’s holiday choir concert.

• Started to prioritize time for himself and took a little bit of time away.

Eden
Turned 16

• Won first place at the Altrusa Art Fair.

Finished 10th grade and started 11th.

• Performed her own music publicly for the first time, at an #enough rally with her fellow students.

• Got her driver’s license.

• Had her first real relationship.

• Went to prom and homecoming.

• Sang and sang and sang. In 10th grade, she was in 2 choirs. In 11th grade, she’s in 4. She also started recording her music (including a song she wrote for me!).

Honor
• Was student of the month.

• Was accepted into the IB Programme for high school.

• Attended his 8th grade semi-formal.

Finished 8th grade and started 9th.

Turned 15.

• Got his very own cello thanks to a generous friend. (Thanks, Charles!)

• Prepped our entire lavender field for spring. (for .$75/plant)

• Won a poetry contest that the library hosted.

We
Marched in the Women’s March (except for me because I was home sick.)

• Celebrated our 4th anniversary.

• Attended the pride festival.

• Hosted our annual Pumpkin carving party.

• Hosted 4th of July, the Prox Pool Party, all of our birthdays, Pie for Breakfast, Thanksgiving, THE Christmas Party, and Christmas at our house. Our hearts, and home, are always overflowing.

• Went most of the year without our pool. We were finally able to get the pool company to come out and replace our liner and enjoyed the last month of summer. Just in time for several pool parties.

• Had an exceptionally magical fall in western Colorado. The sky was more vibrant than usual and we had stunning weather, amazing colors, fog (!)… it was beautiful.

• Remodeled our laundry room.

• Witnessed as the kids participated in the nationwide school walkout after the Parkland shooting.

• The kids had their annual school’s out All-nighter.

• Celebrated Brian and Bonnie’s wedding on a rainy October evening and it was perfect.

• Got a hot tub! Something that connects us and allows us to unplug and be together. It’s been so awesome.

• Enjoyed a fun and wintry visit from my cousin HaLee and her husband, Dave.

We move into 2019 more rested and more hopeful than we’ve been in past years. We’ll take some downtime in the next couple of months and recharge for the wildness that will come in the spring and summer months. We’ll settle in and do puzzles and play card games and lay by the fire reading books. And we’ll also be working hard, excited for what’s to come with Proximity – I have a feeling it’s going to be something amazing. We don’t have much time left with Eden living at home so we’ll keep trying to squeeze in all of the things we want to do with the kids before she’s gone, mentally checking off the list, hoping we’ll get it all in. Our house will be full; we’ll cook and prep and plan and clean and it will be exhausting and exhilarating and such great fun. And we’ll travel, I’m not sure where yet, maybe to Alaska to visit my aunt and uncle and/or maybe somewhere else. I’m sure we’ll be checking out some colleges. I’m sure we’ll be up to the mountains and down to the ocean too. No matter what, we’ll drink it all in, hearts and eyes wide open, grateful for the gift of this life and all the people that make up the pieces of it. We are so very lucky.

Our year in Instagram.

Our year in Instagram Stories.

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Happy Holidays from us!

December 22nd, 2018 — 1:01pm

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See past videos here.

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COO

November 15th, 2018 — 9:00am

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On Monday I was named Chief Operating Officer of Proximity! I’m so excited that I’m part of a company that values people and relationships above everything. That I am entrusted with the day-to-day operations of Proximity is such an honor and I am ready and excited for the challenge. My gratitude for this team of extraordinary people (29 and counting!) is immeasurable and I am so thankful that each and every one of them is a part of my life.

This life I’m living is such a gift and I never, ever stop being in awe of it. Life is hard and good and beautiful and exhausting and thrilling and everything in between and I am so very, very grateful.

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To my 26 year old self

August 23rd, 2018 — 6:33pm

Ten years from now you won’t recognize yourself or the life you’re living. This thing that’s undone you becomes your superpower.

This world, this life you get to live, you’ll never stop being in awe of it. You are well acquainted with loss, but that just makes the sweetness of your life even sweeter—you know what you have. Life is such a gift.

You’re slightly horrified that you were willing to live under the shadow of a man who needed you to be small. Here’s what you know about that: You’ll never sacrifice the whole of yourself for someone else. And also, you’re so much more able to love with the whole of yourself without losing any of it.

You’ll never believe how wide your wings could spread. You are so capable. So strong. So brave. So alive. You’ll never reach the limit of where you can go, what you can do.

In the beginning, there were days where you could barely manage to just hang on, but you did hang on, you didn’t quit. And slowly, things changed. Slowly you healed. Slowly you became your true self.

So keep hanging on, so tight. Have hope. Do the work. Don’t despair. Because you won’t believe just how good it’s going to be.

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Pacific Northwest

August 2nd, 2018 — 9:10pm

We’ve been vacationing in the Pacific Northwest for over a week now. We drove from Colorado, through Utah, to Idaho, into Oregon—where I saw for the first time in my life a fox, in real life, running across the road (while I was definitely, maybe, probably not following Oregon’s ridiculously slow speed limit)—and then into Washington. Tomorrow we will venture into Canada for a day and night before we head back to Colorado.

The PNW is familiar in ways that I can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe because the tall, tall trees and sea salt air are what my heart always longs for. (Why do I live in the desert?) Oregon is gorgeous with big sandy beaches and massive green trees. Portland feels a little like a place I belong with the most delicious food and shops dedicated specifically to terrariums and bubble tea. Everyone is kind and quirky and just really special.

We spent several days with my dear cousin Halee and her husband exploring farmers markets and ocean towns and wandering the rows and rows of their flower farm. It’s a place so magical that I can’t help but slow down and appreciate the black, fuzzy bumblebees lumbering between flowers, collecting every bit of pollen the can bear to hold. My cousin continued to extoll the virtues of Portland, being sure to hook Eden into going to college there, hoping that she would later bring her parents to Portland as well. All the while we talked about the cheap, cheap farmland in Western Colorado, working hard to convince them that a flower farm is exactly what WestCO needs. I’m pretty sure all of this convincing on both sides is because we really just long to do life together and that’s really hard to do with a couple states between you. I really love my cousin.

When we crossed into Washington Josh said that it felt different somehow from Oregon. And it did, but in ways neither of us could quite put our fingers on. Everywhere I look I see a Wes Anderson vignette, in the best possible ways. And it smells like earth and pine needles and the sea. We’ve driven through canopies and canopies of trees with ferns sprouting up from moss beds beneath. Everything is so green and sometimes the canopy overhead is so dense the road becomes dark and it feels familiar again, a little like there is magic in the air.

We’re staying in a vacation rental that’s literally right on Port Gamble. I look out from the table and see six different kinds of pine trees, each over 100 feet tall, framing the bay where boats are anchored and a sandy beach is revealed across the way, but only when the tide is out. I’m sure I’m going to see a whale at any moment. (The kids feel this dream is ridiculous, but I know it’s possible.) How do places like this exist on earth? Life is such a gift.

We’ve ridden the Bainbridge Ferry back and forth a few times, adventuring in Seattle. The ferry itself is magic and I’m sad that we won’t get to ride it again. I imagine that the commute gets old for people who have to take it every day, but it’s amazing to me that someone’s real life could exist with a boat ride across the Puget Sound at the beginning and end of each day.  The city looks familiar but feels way different than I expected. It’s much more of a city-feeling city than Portland. Seattle is cool, but I think the special part of Washington is in its small coastal towns.

We took kayaks out on the bay tonight floating lazily while we watched crabs scuttling around on the ocean floor, climbing over oysters, through billowing forests of seaweed. It’s been cloudy today and even though it never rained, the air is heavy with moisture. Earlier we turned the kids loose in Bainbridge Island’s downtown, buying ourselves a little one-on-one time, sipping wine and eating clams while we looked out on the harbor.

I’m not sure I’ve taken enough pictures. I’ve been so entranced by this green, lush landscape, the smell of the ocean, and the towering, tall trees. I read once that you remember something better if you see it with your own eyes rather than through the lens of a camera. I’m not sure I trust my memory, but I hope that’s true.

Although life is never, ever easy, I often look around and marvel at where I find myself.  The ocean and all it’s beauty buts just up to the forest with all its wonder. How are these places real? How does this exist? How is this wonder not here but as a gift, just for us?

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Last day of school

May 24th, 2018 — 1:31pm

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Last day of 8th and 10th grades. Last day of driving my kids to school, possibly forever. Eden will have her license soon and next school year she can transport both herself and her brother to school. They’ll be back together, going to the same school again. Once she’s graduated, he will have his license… so that’s that, really.

Parenthood means that we are SO in a life phase and then suddenly we aren’t and we just go speeding right on to the next thing. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

When you’re in the middle of raising teeny tinies it is so frustrating for someone to tell you “cherish every minute because it goes so fast” and you’ve literally looked at the clock thirteen times in the last 30 minutes and the hand hasn’t moved and it must be broken. But then suddenly they really aren’t teeny tinies any more and you’ve traded them in for the next model and you don’t even know when or how that happened. And it really does go fast. In the macro view of it all, it blazes by.

So today I dropped off my kids for the last time and they headed into school and it was just any other morning. And next year, everything will be different. And life will be easier in some ways but we will start to miss all of those trips across the valley and allll of the driving and all of that time we had them, our captive audiences. And then suddenly things will be different again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

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