"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - John F. Kennedy

Giving Thanks

So many things to be thankful for today on Thanksgiving, and every day...
  • I am grateful for my family. For my loving parents, for two strong and amazing grandmothers, two uncles, two aunts, two cousins, and for the memory of each of my grandfathers.
  • I am grateful for my friends, scattered from west to east, and north to south. However rare I may see them, I feel their support daily.
  • I am grateful for a job that keeps me learning & challenged, and covers my expenses. I am also grateful to have holidays off from work.
  • I am grateful for my local family-- Ken, Carol, Brett & the alpacas.
  • I am grateful for a boyfriend who loves me.
  • I am grateful for Aloha Camp. For my 12 summers spent learning both skills & about myself as a person, and for the influence that has impacted how I approach each day. I am grateful for the hundreds of people that Aloha has brought into my life, and particularly for those who remain a close part of my life. Today I am grateful for my Aloha family in Colorado, and for our annual Thanksgiving celebration.
  • I am grateful for my health & wellness.
  • I am grateful for the ability to choose where I live and what food I put in my body.
  • I am grateful for the music and activities that fill my time.
  • I am grateful for the bold blue skies of Colorado, the clouds of Vermont, for the snow and the rain and the fog. I am thankful for the mountains which I choose to keep near.
  • I am grateful for the life I live.
  • I am grateful for each one of you.


"Over the last year I have imagined my life as a game in which I am juggling four balls in the air – Work, Family, Health and Friends; and I am trying to keep all these in the air. Quickly, I have learned that work is the rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But other three balls, “Family, Health and Friends” are made of glass. If I drop one of them, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, damaged or even shattered and they will never be the same. Today, I finally understand this and now strive for balance in my life." – Chris, VP Finance of Annie's Naturals
Such a lovely Sunday.
  • Oregon Chai. The cartons were buy-1-get-1-free. What a treat. The slightly sweet variety is delightfully filled with spices and the perfect hint of sweetness.
  • Glee. It is cheesy, enjoyable & fun. I'm still catching up on past episodes since discovering it.
  • Brett made it safely driving to Indiana, and is having all sorts of fun surprising each member of his family.
  • Breakfast Tacos. Refried beans, scrambled eggs, cheese & a dab of salsa in corn tortillas.
  • Yoga. A challenging, muscle-firing & balance-practicing class. Full of variations on tree pose, warrior & chair pose.
  • Family dinner with Nick & John. Garlic bread, salad, homemade sauce, twirly pasta & vino. Two wonderful gentlemen I've known for three years- now living as neighbors (for 2 weeks, at least). Fun reminiscing about our Vista Verde experience & friends, laughing over photos from last winter's dance parties and getting excited for our new tradition of Sunday Family Dinner.


Lots to be thankful for this week...
  • Bold blue skies every day this week
  • Friends coming back into town with the change of seasons
  • A new boss, beginning December 1. Just the man we had hoped the committee would select. He will be both visionary and fun to work with. I think he'll take the Foundation in some new exciting directions, and I expect to learn a great deal from him.
  • Gas fireplaces. So easy, so warm.
  • Pancakes.
  • Friends crawling out of the woodwork. Recent facebook & blog posts have triggered responses from dear ones. I love it.
  • Old photos, scanned by myself or my Mom.
  • A real ski pass.
  • Thick wool socks.
  • An interesting lunch with my Grants Committee Chair/ Board Vice Chair. He's off to New Zealand for 3 weeks and took me out to lunch yesterday to hear about my experience there. While my time in the wilderness & water & youth hostels will be very different from his time gallavanting around, we enjoyed sharing stories and places.
  • Dinner at Ken & Carol's. Enjoying soup and laughter and good company near a roaring fire. My time with them will always be at the top of my list for my life in Steamboat.
  • NPR.
  • Having connections with the higher-ups at the ski area.

Things that I am less thankful for include being so far from New England during a time & season when being near family means the most. I'm looking forward to Christmas in Vermont- my first holiday (Thanksgiving or Christmas) with my family since 2005.


to the lovely cayla.
have a beautiful day!

(wow, check out those goggles....we are hot. and happy.)

(lots of hair!)

(love you lots.)


Oh, Hi.

My dear friends,

I've left you high&dry. And for those who have been anxiously awaiting my post, I realize it's been a while. Particularly LEX, who admitted that she has my blog saved as a favorite and has made it part of her daily routine.

So. It's been a while, hasn't it? Let's see. It was probably sunny and 55 the last time I wrote, and currently it is 16 and a bit windy. Winter appeared with a vengeance on Friday, bringing almost a foot of snow by Saturday. It was negative 2 when I got up on Monday, and a balmy 3 when I got up this morning. I am not in the least bit prepared for this frigid winter business. But I do have a real live season's ski pass this year for the first time and so dreams of bright sunny powder days keep me happy.

This month I've had two of the best weekends I've had in a long time. I'll work backwards. This past weekend I was out at the farm with Brett. Ken and Carol were gone so we fed the 'pacas on Friday night. It was a bit on the late side by the time we got out there (and by late I probably mean about 7. ha. ) and very very snowy and I absolutely dreaded changing in my my carhartt get-up and going down to feed. But as always, once I was down there greeting the alpacas and scooping their grain I was happy. The little ones are getting big and they are adorable in the snow. I'm so thankful to have those 40 little friends who appreciate me each time I see them.

Saturday I stayed inside all day long, except to go for a soak in the hot tub. I lounged, I watched tv, I perused the internet. I was as lazy as I could possibly be, and it felt marvelous. The snow sparkled outside the window and I stayed warm inside. It was just what I needed. Sunday we came into town, feasted on brunch at the Egg & I, and then headed up to Rabbit Ear's Pass for a snowshoe. It was about 13 degrees and blustery, but the snow was fluffy and our quest for adventure kept us out there for almost 2 hours. We came back down into Steamboat and picked up some delicious cheeses, bread, grapes & apples to enjoy next to the [gas] fireplace at my apartment. After a soak in the downtown hot springs, Brett watched football while I dozed. Delightful!

To backtrack one more week.....
I'll start with a bit of history. In preschool in Vermont, I became friends with two lovely little ladies. Dark-haired twins named Kate and Lexie Waite. Throughout my school years, we shared classes, soccer teams, notebooks full of notes back and forth, awesome mix tapes, endless laughter and all sorts of adventure. Upon graduating from college, I came out to Colorado with two of our other great friends (V & Alaya) for our dude ranch experience, and later that summer Kate and Lex moved to Boulder. Over the past few years I've enjoyed many a visit with them in Boulder, including several months spent living in Lex's room (while she was absent) playing with Kate. In summer 08, Lex moved out to California for grad school...and Kate moved in with her boyfriend in Broomfield. SO time with these two has been reduced. Because they are so spread out now, they've decided that the dates of holidays are arbitrary and they should create reason to celebrate on their own schedule. So, November 7th magically became "Thanksgiving" in their world, and Lex flew in from Cali and their mom Laurie & her partner Pierre from Vermont. I was honored to be invited down to join in the giving of thanks & turkey... so I jaunted down for the night on Saturday. I can hardly begin to describe how fantastic it was. Not only was the feast delicious-- but the comfort and simplicity of being with two people who I have known for over 20 years was absolutely marvelous. We snuggled, we laughed, we slept, we ate, we facebook-stalked many of our former classmates, we played guitar hero (a first for two of us!)... It was just so easy. I've been dealing a lot this fall with the expectations that I set for people- and often feeling disappointed when people don't seem to match up with the basic expectations I hold for them. Not necessarily expectations that I vocalize, but just concepts or standards that I hold my friends accountable for. What I appreciated most about my time with Kate and Lex was that my expectations matched reality. Perhaps that is just how it is when you know someone(s) that well-- I know that Kate and Lex will stay up late and then sleep in late. And so it is fine that we don't have a full morning of activity (and sometimes I do better with a late snooze than I anticipate!). I know, too, that being with Kate and Lex will mean a lot of laughing and strong feeling of comfort. I appreciate all of these things about them.

Kate and Lex are also camp counselors, which says a lot about why we get along so well. In high school, we were given monthly portfolio problems in our pre-calculus class. Sometimes this turned into a group study session. One such occasion occurred at my house, during our senior year of high school. Somehow this math party erupted into a sing-a-long in the way only camp counselors can manage. Please enjoy this photo of myself, Lex, Kate & Cayla rocking out to "Children of the Lord/Rise & Shine"....

The weekend was a much needed break from Steamboat. Now that the snow has come, I know that I will hibernate here. I'll pretty much settle in to "island" life for the next 5 months. If I'm lucky, the ferry from the mainland will bring a few of my friends here to ski.

It's time to snuggle in for sleep. In the meantime, I love you all!


After a busy and anxiety ridden workday yesterday (5 Executive Director Interviews, lots to do for ski season, discovering grants that were never completed last winter, and on and on...), I relaxed last night by listening to the "Aloha Live" songs. It's a recording of delightful Aloha songs sung ridiculously high by small campers in the 90s. I lay in my bed listening to some of my favorite traditional tunes, thinking of happy moments and faces from my camp experiences.

It worked.

"A happy life is just a string of happy moments. But most people don't allow the happy moment, because they're so busy trying to get a happy life." - Abraham-Hicks


happiness, in this moment, is a down comforter, sleepytime tea & a new music artist singing in my ear.

today i am thankful for a beautiful full moon, crisp blue skies, a sweaty spin class, a honeycrisp apple, an adorable thank you note from nyc & ridiculous laughter over the little things.

thanks for stopping by to visit my day.


"go for long walks, indulge in hot baths, question your assumptions, be kind to yourself, live for the moment, loosen up, scream, curse the world, count your blessings, just let go. just be." -carole shields

“that was a memorable day for me, for it made great changes in me. but, it is the same way with any life. imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. pause, you who read this, and think a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns and flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.” -charles dickens

“to know with whom you can feel there is understanding in spite of distances or thoughts unexpressed...that can make this life a garden” -goethe


Today on facebook my status is:
"Proudly celebrating two years at the Community Foundation by submitting my first grant proposal and representing the Foundation on the City Community Support Steering Committee. Whoa."

As I wrote it, I thought? Am I boasting too much? Why am I saying this on facebook? And it truth, it is because I want to share what feels like a significant accomplishment with those I love. And because my social world here in Steamboat is so small, I felt that I needed to shout it a little louder. Each time someone chooses to "like" my status, I like a friend is proud of me and celebrating with me. Heck, each time someone "likes" any of my statuses, I feel warm and fuzzy!

So, I'm sitting here having mailed off the grant proposal to El Pomar (elpomar.org) for a grant for Capacity Building Support for Routt & Moffat County nonprofits (we'll find out in December if we've received it). I spent the afternoon at the Steering Committee meeting deciding how to allocate $334,975 dollars of City taxpayer money between three Coalitions for Health & Human Services, Environment and Arts & Culture. And I'm thinking, "Who am I to be making such huge decisions?!"

And now I'm faced with my "annual" self-evaluation, which feels somewhat daunting because:
1. My last self-evaluation was completed on 6/11/2008
2. I was still the Office Manager at that time
3. No specific "goals" were ever set by me or by my former boss when i entered the role of Program Manager.
4. Due to a lack of "boss," my self-evaluation has to be submitted to the Exec Committee, which means 8 people giving feedback instead of one.

It's hard to believe that it was two years ago that Brett and I were driving a van full of stuff to open a storage unit, when I got a voicemail from Betsey offering me the position. On Saturday, Brett and I moved OUT of our storage unit (and are getting rid of SO much stuff- hooray!) and today I am still at work at the Community Foundation, in a very different role than when I started, thinking through my evaluation. I've come full circle, I'd say.


Oh Sunday Mornings, how I love you. I've enjoyed an extra-long morning due to the time change... slept in late (but then switched the clock back an hour!), lounged in bed, started laundry, and made myself this delightful cinnamon bread french toast & bacon & coffee brunch. Sundays are such a delightful day to be entirely lazy, productive & selfish, all at once. It's another gorgeous fall (not winter! hooray!) day here and I'm trying to decide how to best appreciate it.