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Handmade for Woman and Home
Posts tagged family
First Day of School 2011

Well, I know this has been true for a few years now, but my babies really aren’t babies anymore. Today was the first day of school and I am officially the mom of two elementary school kids now. Yikes!

In 2nd Grade now, N. has moved over to the big kids building across the schoolyard and G.  is venturing into new territory for all of us with a different Kindergarten teacher than N. had. It’s all so exciting and nerve wracking too. I expected to get a little choked up this morning leaving G. behind, but N. left me little time for that. As we stood outside of G.’s class N. asked what his room number was. Before I could say “13”, he was running across the schoolyard, no kiss, not even a good-bye. It so distracted me from G.’s situation that I quickly handed her over to her teacher and made sure she was taken care of then ran off to say good-bye to N. and get a picture of him at his new desk.

That was it – done. Two kids in school, no more driving north four days a week to the pricey preschool, everyone safe in one spot just a few blocks from home. Happy!

As I fulfilled part of my volunteer duties stuffing envelopes this morning, I spied G.’s class taking a little tour of the school. They looked so small yet grown up all at the same time, walking in a perfect line, hanging on their teacher’s every word. Half of them walked with fingers in their mouths and eyes popping open – it’s all so big!

I know they are both happy to be back with their friends. The summer was great and relaxing for us all, but I know they reached their limit on how long they could stand playing mostly just with each other.  We’re all glad to get back to some sort of routine, a rhythm.

As relieved as I am to have some of my own time back, on this first day I can’t help but spend my time off anticipating the stories I will hear in just a few short hours. Old friends, new friends and a sweet mix of fear and excitement over what they’ve been told to expect from the school year. It reminds me how many memories of my own I have from similar days as a child, all of the many new beginnings, and I can only hope they look back on these days with the same fondness because they are truly special.

familyJenniferfamily, kids, school
Boulder, Utah 2011

So the second and final part of our trip was three nights in Boulder, Utah. Our adventures there were beautiful and peaceful and, of course, filled with nature and ridiculously amazing food. Our need for a bit of wondrous site-seeing was fulfilled with several drives through the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument. This is miles of roads weaving through red rocks and deep canyons, many of which lead you down into the north side of Lake Powell. When it got a little too hot in the car, we would park and walk down to the river running alongside the road, cooling ourselves in the pools and sunning like lizards on the rocks.

We stayed at Boulder Mountain Lodge, which in and of itself is really worth the trip alone. The lodge is family and pet friendly, has a hot tub, comfortable rooms and beautiful grounds. The kid’s favorite part of the day was getting badminton rackets and a birdie from the front office and attempting to hit over the too-high net in the middle of the field. They also managed to talk The Mr. into croquet one evening as well.

But the true highlight of Utah was… well, the food of course. Boulder Mountain Lodge is home to Hell’s Backbone Grill, a restaurant started in 2000 by Blake Spalding and Jennifer Castle. I won’t go into too much detail except to say that if you have a chance, go! And if you don’t, at the very least, check out their cookbook, With a Measure of Grace.  And, if you plan to go and stay at the Lodge, do your self a favor and book two nights (or more) right up front because one just isn’t enough. You need at least two dinners and two breakfasts at Hell’s Backbone to really experience the restaurant. The menu is heavily inspired by the flavors and dishes of the Southwest and the ingredients are all local and organic, many of which are grown personally by the owners.

Needless to say, my food (creamy enchiladas, cornmeal encrusted trout, a vibrant red beet salad, a plate of radishes and rosemary infused local cheddar, pueblo rice, steaming hot posole, butterscotch pudding with homemade pine nut brittle…) all disappeared so quickly that I didn’t even think to take pictures. I suppose I should plan that for next time… there will most definitely be a next time.

In the meantime, I’ll just whip up some new concoction from the cookbook and daydream about next year’s trip!