Posts filed under ‘Family’

No More Limits!

Reagan at the BroadmoorWe are so fortunate as to have so much beauty right here in our backyard. Our recent 4-day weekend in Colorado Springs wouldn’t have been complete without a visit to 5-star hotel, The Broadmoor, home of the 2011 Women’s U.S. Open. We’re not golfers, but we could still enjoy the impeccably manicured grounds and glorious views that come with them! One day, we hope to actually be able to stay at this grand hotel.

It was a great way to appease Reagan after sitting in the car for half an hour at the base of Seven Falls, waiting for the rain to stop so we could ascend the mountain side as we had promised, to see the great waterfall. Fortunately, there was a family of deer eating dinner on the side of the road to keep her entertained while we sat in the car. The deer didn’t seem to mind the rain, and Reagan did her best to try to convince us she should be able to join them. We knew the rain would stop in about 15 minutes – it always does – so if we could just hold out a little longer…

Like every summer afternoon in Colorado, the rain did stop shortly after the downpour started and was followed by the most beautiful, blue skies. But what wasn’t expected was that they had closed the park! NO! We could deal with a little flooding and rock slides better than we could the flood of tears that ensued when we told Reagan there would be no waterfall. Some quick thinking on Danny’s part, and we were off to see another body of water – the man-made lake at the Broadmoor. Reagan seemed pleased. And that was all that mattered.

We didn’t give up on Seven Falls, making our return the next day – well worth the wait. Reagan wasted no time scurrying up the 244 steps to the top, while Danny and I huffed and puffed all the way up behind her.

Seven Falls staircase

We made sure to take a few breaths at each of the viewing platforms along the way, and take in the amazing view:

Seven Falls

Once at the top, we decided to take one of the hiking trails around to what we thought, would take us to the staircase on the other side. Would’ve even been nice to take the Mountain Elevator down, but it happened to be broken that day:

Elevator at Seven Falls

Okay, so we admit we aren’t the best at reading maps, because the trail and this staircase would never meet. Our trail actually led to Inspiration Point, and was Seven Fall’s longest trail. About the halfway point, little Reagan finally succumbed to her fatigue after going all day without her usual two-hour nap. She wanted Mommy to carry her. We made it back to the staircase, where after having had the luxury of being carried like Queen Cleopatra for the past half-an-hour, Reagan reluctantly made her way back down again on her own two feet.

By the time we were nearing the bottom of the stairs, I thought we would all be ready for a two-hour nap, but, Reagan suddenly found her second wind when she saw that an Indian dance show was about to begin on the stage below. She about climbed over every last person on those stairs to get to the few remaining seats in front of the stage. And when they asked for volunteers to come up on stage and dance, there was no stopping her:

Indian dance

As unprepared as we were, I was very glad we all made it out of the canyon that day without the need for a helicopter rescue. And especially glad that we were all able to make the journey together. It wasn’t that long ago that all our adventures in this new home state of ours’ were limited to the view from the windows of our car. Hiking was out of the question. It felt so good to be able to get out in the middle of nature with my family, and to know that we will be having many more days like this, without limits. However, next time we may decide to take the elevator.

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August 20, 2010 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Family Day!

Family Day 302nd AirwingWhat would summer be without a family picnic? For us, family in Colorado means friends, and especially those friends in the 302nd Airlift Wing at Petersen Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. After serving 15 years with the 302nd, flying missions in and out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa and various other parts of the world, they are Danny’s brothers and sisters. They came through for us on numerous occasions while Danny battled cancer – from visits in the hospital or our home, home-cooked meals, helping with chores and even financial donations to just daily support and encouragement. They are our family. So, we were excited to attend the Annual 302nd Family Day picnic this month, which also marks Danny’s official return to his squadron after two and a half years!

There was BBQ, beer, Culver’s Frozen Custard (thank you, Culver’s!), snocones, bouncy castles, balloons, music and games for an entire afternoon, and it seemed Reagan was ready to stay until the last bouncy castle was deflated. The poor balloon guy must have inflated hundreds of balloons that day, several over and over again for the same children like mine. Reagan was so proud as she skipped off with her red balloon, only to watch it float off into the clouds a few minutes later. She pleaded with me to go after it, pointing to the sky as her eyes filled with tears. My solution? Get another one! Ten minutes later, tears again. I could see this was not going to work. On her third visit, I think the balloon guy figured the same, and gave my daughter a balloon animal instead. When the balloon animal died, we had snocones. And all was right with the world again.

mule rideIt’s hard to say which activity was Reagan’s favorite, but she sure did love getting the princess treatment from our friend, Moose, who brought his mules for hayrides around the park. Reagan got to sit up front, hold onto the reigns and bark orders at the mules (something she’s good at).

Kandahar

Danny at Kanadahar Airport, Afghanistan, 2005

That evening we joined several others for a gathering at one of Danny’s friends’ houses. More food, more beer and more good times. The best part, was how many other kids Reagan’s age there were for her to play with, all between the ages of three and four years old. Deployment babies– conceived either before, during (on R&R) or after the 302nd’s deployment to Qatar in 2005-2006. We pondered on whether the Iraq/Afghanistan war could be bringing us our next baby boom generation and how big would it be? And now these families were preparing for another deployment to Qatar in a few weeks. I can’t say I wasn’t secretly happy that Danny wouldn’t be going this time. His medical status doesn’t allow him to fly for the Air Force for another three years, and until then, he has no chance of being deployed. After two deployments in the first five years we were married, the first immediately following our honeymoon, the second during my pregnancy, I’m selfishly happy to have him home with us now, and proud of his service when our country needed him.

We’ll be praying for our friends – our family – as they enter their next deployment to the Middle East again. May God Bless you all and keep you safe!

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August 17, 2010 at 3:21 pm 2 comments


A half-hatched role-reversal takes flight on a wing and a prayer.

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