From a $12 test

Yesterday was Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day and I have complicated relationship.

I love Moms. I love my Mom, I love my friends who are Moms, I love the people who have Mothered me along this road of life. This tribe of women has influenced me, held me on high, approached me with truths at times hard to swallow. We are all in one way or another, continually raising each other.

It is a sacred, magical, heartbreaking place.

It is May and in the next couple weeks many of my dear friends Littles will graduate from high school. I love these kids. I love seeing the young adults they have become, the promise, the glow, the future that lies ahead for them…..

Jack would have graduated this year. I vacillate between dreaming of life that was not ours to live and how the hell could it have been 18 years since so many of my friends and I took that ClearBlue Pregnancy test and realized that our lives were going to change forever.

But we really didn’t realize how our lives would change…..did we? We dreamt of cute snuggly onesis, the best breast pumps, the perfect color to paint the nursery, we lived in dreams fueled by expectations, promises held by a plus sign from a $12 pregnancy test.

Along the way, in these 18 years of life, motherhood held us to the very highest test. We would lose Littles, we would lose Mamas, we would make heartbreaking phone calls. We would huddle and hold each other closer.

And as Littles now go off to find their own world, their own space; what is left is you and I, cheering them on from afar, watching the sky to see what direction they take. Watching in joy, at times in fear, and anticipation as they make their way.

We are all in one way or another, continually raising each other.

All this from a $12 pregnancy test.


Happy Rare Disease Day!!!

I’m a tad late to the party but I could not let today pass without wishing you all a Happy Rare Disease Day!

A rare disease is a condition that impacts less than 1 and 2,000 of us.

Did you know that between 3.5-5.9% of us have a confirmed, diagnosed, rare disease? We are 1 in 2,000. Some of us are 1 in 200,000, some of us are 1 in 2 million, or 1 in 200,000 million.

There are 6,000 known rare diseases and 72% of those are caused by a genetic mutation.

Our mutation comes from the POLG1 gene. It is more common among mitochondrial deviations- it is suspected that 2% of us are running around with a POLG1 mutation and many of us don’t even know it.

Being mutated is no cause for alarm! Like all evolving beings, we all carry genetic mutations. W

e are all our own genetic X-Men. It’s when those mutations become disease-causing that things go awry. And because families share the same genetic soup, disease causing mutations can be far reaching, impacting multiple generations with devastating results.

My beautiful, rare Loves:

The crazy thing within our family is that Rare is that it has made us…….Rare.

This blended family huddles when needed. Holds each other close, rally’s, never leaves an event without saying ‘I Love You’, cries openly, and hugs a little longer.

But we will all say, resoundingly, that being rare sucks. We have endured life-changing losses, ugly cried and cursed the heavens for this sucky genetic lottery. If we are the X-Men, I’m waiting for my proverbial Wolverine.

Rare Disease Day is about families like us. Families searching a cure; collaborating, advocating, fighting for a cure. There are 300 Million of us……suddenly rare is not so rare.

To a cure.


Home Again

I once told a coworker I needed to marry a skier.

She told me I was being superficial.

“Marriages are based on more than that.”

We no longer stay in touch. But I did, indeed, marry a skier.

My favorite days with Hubs are on the mountains- it is my happy place, it’s his happy place, and I am so grateful we share this. Mountain vistas and powder are a love language.

We had dreams of bringing little skiers into this world.

We did not bring little skiers into this world.

But we did get nephews……poor little nephews who had absolutely no idea the skier expectations from their aunt and uncle.

And then I realized that teaching kiddos to love skiing is hard. Really hard. It’s filled with early mornings, cold hands, sore feet, hauling gear and thoughts of ‘why are we doing this?’ from both adults and kiddos.

And then they get it, just when everyone is about to give up; the feeling of flying, the magical ‘shoosh’ down the mountain, the cries of ‘whhhhooooopppppeeeee’……and your Auntie heart grows ten times; ten times by ten.

My auntie heart grew ten times this weekend. Our youngest nephew, the one we weren’t quite sure if he would love skiing, fell in love with skiing. Like any love affair, this process was fraught with uncertainty, a little fear and finally, joy.

Some of this may have been my fault.

Youngest Nephew (YN) and I were skiing on Saturday- it was time for lunch and we started making our way back to the house for a sammie. The road back was a blue run aptly named ‘Home Again.’ Another skier told me it was a mellow blue, something we could easily manage.


The first couple of turns were just fine and we slowly made our way Home….Again. We stopped as the road curved and the slope seemed to disappear, meaning it’s a bit steep. Holy Schmoly, not only was it steep but it twisted sharply to the left; over the curve was the ski area boundary and a significant drop-off.

I may have whispered an F-bomb or two.

The nephews call me Hehe, a nickname I love but when YN whispered, “Hehe, I’m kinda scared.”

I may have whispered another F-bomb.

“Buddy, I get it. But I am not going to let anything happen to you and we are going to get down this.” I told myself to pull it together and placed YN between my skis. I made a giant wedge from hell and we slipped down what was supposed to be ‘a road’.

We got down the first pitch.

“I think I need a rest,” said YN. And so we rested for a bit.

Home Again continued, slip, ski, rest, thank my doctor for a great new knee, kiss my gigantor quads. At one point we sang “You are my Sunshine” which was Samantha’s song, which made me cry, so we rested a little more.

It took us an hour to get Home Again. At the end, the road finally mellowed a bit and YN found this tremendous confidence. He was skiing, stopping, singing, and giggling.
We got to a fork in the road and took a rest. “Buddy, I am so stinkin’ proud of you. That was hard and scary, and you did great, bring it in.”

We exchanged a big bear hug. “Yeah, that was hard but kinda fun. I knew I could do it.”

He skied to the house just in time for Hubs, Popsie and his big brother to see his amazing finish. They cheered as he came to a perfect pizza stop. He casually took his skis off and went inside for a turkey sandwich.

I took my skis off and collapsed in a ski bank. Popsie found me later, “You okay, Hehe?”

We did not do Home Again, again, instead we did laps on a wide, very open blue run until the lift closed. When the slope mellowed, YN would tuck and put his arms behind him. “Whatcha doing, buddy?”

“This is how all the fast skiers ski……..Whoooopppppeeeeee.”

There are moments in life you will remember forever. This was a moment; when YN and I made our way down Home Again.


The Greatest Thing, You’ll Ever Learn, is Just to Love, and be Loved, In Return

Ahhhhhhh. Happiest of Valentine’s Day dear tribe!

On this day, I want you to know that I love you.


In the words of great 80’s icon Howard Jones, ‘What is love anyway? Does anybody love anybody anyway?”

I say yes, HoJo. Yes.

Inspired by this song, I looked up love in the dictionary.


  • A strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties
  • Attraction based on sexual desire (easy there Webster)
  • Affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests
  • Warm attachment, enthusiasm or devotion
  • To Cherish
  • To Thrive

My favorite is to thrive……love….love makes us thrive.

I LOVE spending time with you. I LOVE my community….,,you… help me to thrive, to grow, to reach beyond who I am.

Love is a connection.

And what are we without that?

Valentine’s Day promises us chocolates, flowers and fancy bling.

I hope you find more……a hand to hold, a friend to call, a sacred moment to yourself…..a hand written note…..connection.

Happy Valentines Day dear tribe. Much love.


Reflections and Glitter Glue

I love New Years.

I love Vision Boards.

I sit on the floor surrounded by old magazines, a pair of scissors, puffy paints, glitter, glue stick and stickers and create a vision for your next year.

I know. Super Cheese. I spent three hours today Vision-Boarding my next 365 days. And according to my vision board, 2023 is going to be amazing.

I say the above with about 50% jest. I do honestly take this time to think about what worked and what didn’t work last year. And although I might not change, I ask myself what I want to focus on in this next year? What can help me get there?  I pull out quotes, memories, reflect and dream.

It’s a lovely ritual- a needed break from the Christmas frenzy.

I always finish the holidays slightly askew.

My life is strewn about like remnants of ribbon and wrapping paper, munching on a green sugar cookie in the shape of a sock, wondering where things went wrong after Halloween.

This is my time to reflect and regroup.



For me and my tribe.

From a major surgery- to finishing 2022 in my happiest place, knee deep in powder and pain free.

To our community recovering from a fire that tore through our town

For a friend reeling from an unfathomable loss


It takes time to recover. It takes reflection, a focus on healing, an eye on hope. A belief that our worst times will not define us.

Recovery takes our loves raising us on high.

And raising our loves in return.

It took three hours, 8 magazines, and a bottle of glitter glue to pronounce, reveal and reflect on this year and bundle it into some sort of package.


Sometimes recover is peppered with platitudes; ‘bounce back’, ‘stronger than ever’, ‘overcome’.

But what if recover is coupled with time, relax, regroup, meditate, lean in, search, listen, embrace imperfection.

2022 taught me a lot. I lift my head above the garland, tinsel, leftover sparkle and greet the New Year with an extended hand

To the opportunity to recover and the gift of another year.



I do love Thanksgiving.

I love hosting Thanksgiving, gathering around a meal, the challenge of a massive bird, a holiday that has only one objective…. dinner….so you better get it right.

My Thanksgiving is never perfect, there is always one dish that goes awry, the meal is always late. This year cooking a 21-pound turkey turned out to be an experiment in heat conduction and a quick dissection/ biology class. The kitchen is still covered in a thin film of turkey, and I think I see whipped cream on the ceiling.

No matter. Dinner was served.

Around mid-October I dive into my Pinterest account to see how whimsical, and Thanksgiving-y I can possibly be. The night before Thanksgiving I am wondering what mid-October Heather was thinking.

I did manage to create this little gem

Behold the tree of gratitude!

It’s kind of like the Festivus Pole- although there was no airing of grievances.

But there may have been a Feats of Strength! I’m still not sure who won the ‘Old Guys vs. Kids’ football game.

After the last piece of pie was served and the turkey was tucked away, I had a chance to read through the Tree of Gratitude- I love what my amazing Turkey Day Tribe was grateful for:

  • My Cousins
  • Friends and Family
  • Family, cats and bread: seriously….I cook a 21 pound bird and bread???? Alas, second graders.
  • Bread- again. Bread- next year I’m setting out a pack of Hawaiian rolls and letting you all go at it.
  • Bread, not school
  • Heather! Aw……I don’t know who I bribed but the check is in the mail.
  • True Friends- and my daughter
  • Friends, family and health
  • Getting together with everyone
  • My body’s ability to move
  • Being surrounded by love, great food, being in a beautiful home (aw, thanks) and good health

Bread clearly is the winner- but I think the nephews and the cousins hijacked the tree.

During dinner, I stood up to toast, surrounded by family; Hubs, Mom, Dad, Stepmom, Stepdad, Brother, SIL, Besties……

And I had to take a moment and shed a tear.

We are far from perfection or the family you want to emulate….at times people have looked at us with one word…..oof.

But at that table, surrounded by family, love and (of course) bread……the word gratitude is not enough.

Whatever the word may be, may your holiday be filled with it.

Happy Thanksgiving Dear Tribe.


The Heart

Hey Dear Tribe:

This weekend finds me at a Writer’s Retreat. Here’s a little something that has been brewing:

The Heart, the fearless worker.

The committed soldier with one job.

Keep it going. Work the pump

From the first sign of life to the very last beat.

The heart carries on.

Steadfast, determined, unthinking, unemotional, the heart.

Contrary to our love and lore, the heart does not get lovesick.

The heart does not break after a torrid affair.

It is not heartfelt, whatever emotion you seek cannot be found in the bottom of your heart; your heart does not desire.

But buried deep within its chambers, encased by bone and cages of rib, deep within the chest, the heart carries on.

Keeper of the blood, mover of life, the heart has one job.

When the brain is sad and tired, pockmarked with trauma and emotion, the heart beats.

For the broken sad mind, the heart is relentless, unshaken by tears, unencumbered by emotion.  

A world may be shattered but a heart carries on.


Fleeting Joy

I had a ridiculously fun weekend. I danced way too much for my poor new knee. I sang loud and off-tune. I gave my nephews sloppy kisses. And I found myself back in the beautiful mountains so close to my home. It was a joyous weekend.

Ridiculous Joy is a funny, lovely, unsustainable thing. Sunday night I iced my knee and tucked myself into bed. Monday morning found me trying to fit back into a schedule with the sweet scent of the weekend still in my head.

Ah- Joy.

I try hard to find joy.

And I must confess, I think lately we as a society look a little harder for joy.

I was talking to a friend today as we discussed the quest for joy.

“I had my life in 2019 and then Covid came along. And I hunkered down and waited for my life to return. And now we are back. But some of the things in 2019 that worked, no longer work. I ironically find that I must reinvent myself yet again.”

Reinventing is fine but it must be recognized and attention must be paid. Where do we find our joy? How do we find our joy? The Rowdy? The Quiet?

As I left for the weekend, I checked the stove again and turned off the water. I locked the door and armed the alarm and I realized that I’m a little more anxious about leaving home.


Home which had become a safe sanctuary the last couple years. Home- where after 50 years, I found joy in the quiet.

And I left it to embrace the rowdy joy of sloppy kisses and dancing crowds.

Tonight it is quiet other than a very persistent cricket. The sun has set and their is a hint of Fall in the air. The sky is peppered with orange and purple clouds.

Perhaps joy is not fleeting- perhaps it does not have to be rowdy or quiet, it can be both.

Perhaps joy can be found where we take time to recognize it.


Where is my Mind?

This is a great song by the Pixies if you have a chance to listen.

It’s been a while since I have posted.

A new knee and six weeks of rehab since I have posted.

And where is my mind?

It’s better….but I have learned quite a lot about myself along the way.

When you recover from surgery, you spend a lot of time with you. You in a compromised state, you in pain, you not being able to swim, you waking up in the middle of the night, you and your crazy head.

I’ve had surgery. But this surgery has been pretty intense. I told this to my surgeon the other day and he did confess, “well I did take a saw to your leg, didn’t you watch the videos?”

No, no Mr. Surgeon. This would not have happened had I watched the videos.

And six weeks out, I am happy to report that I hiked two miles yesterday. I am healing. I will be back.

Two days before Mr. Surgeon took a saw to my leg, a friend asked my how I was doing.

“Not great,” I said. “I’m nervous about Mr. Surgeon taking a saw to my leg to remove my knee. It’s three days before Samantha’s birthday. I can’t be at the Courage Classic. I had to move this whole thing because I got stupid Covid. The last time I was so vulnerable was when I was put on bedrest because of Jack and we all know how that ended.”

Where is my mind?

Oof! I know you all are thinking…… never, ever ask Heather how she is doing two days before surgery.

And in the process, I have once again had to lean back on you…….and I thank you. The meals, the notes, the flowers, the cookies, the texts on Samantha’s birthday and (ironically) the week later when we lost her………the kidnappings so Hubs got a break, pizza dates with Mrs. PacMan, and an 18 year wedding anniversary with a new knee.

I could not do this on my own.

And I thank you.

This weekend I hiked 2 miles with amazing friends. I may have danced to a Grease sing off……

Summer Lovin’ had me a blast…..

No, I really did NOT have me a blast this summer.

But ya’ll got me through….even if you did not know it.

And for that dear tribe, I am grateful.

thank you.

This may or may not have been before the Grease Sing Off 🙂

Years of Courage

SamsMom 2009

13 years ago my life looked very different- it was the Summer of 2009, Samantha was on day 14 at Children’s Hospital and I was trying, very, very hard to train for the Courage Classic. I would ride from the hospital. I took the elevator from the 8th floor in my helmet, cycling shoes and super-flattering bike shorts, grab my bike from the car and take a cruise around scenic Colfax and 225.

Samantha was sick. Thursday before the ride she was still in the hospital and my chances to ride looked iffy. On Friday evening, we were finally discharged, with the caveat that if anything looked suspect, we would head back down the mountain.

We unpacked that Friday from the hospital and packed again for my ride.

We left Saturday morning at 5:00 to drive to Copper.

I got a migraine an ugly bout of diarrhea on the way up the mountains.

I don’t know why this ride was so important. But it was. Perhaps it was my time to prove I was still alive. I had spent months in the hospital with our girl. I needed to climb a mountain. I needed to find my breath.

I rode the entire tour.

Upon our return, Samantha ended up right back in the hospital.

But I did it.

And I sobbed when we finished.

Since 2009, this team has raised over $1MM for the Mitochondrial Clinic. Yesterday I sat at Panera with our doctors and they stated, quite clearly, “The goals we set ten years ago have become a reality. This money from Summits has made it happen.”

The Summits team will ride on Saturday.

They will ride without me.

This year, I am the patient.

I am a grumpy, self-pitying patient.

It was hard to bow out. It’s hard not to be up in Copper with the people I love.

It’s hard to put my knee ahead of my FOMO.

It’s hard to put my knee ahead of the feeling I get when I climb these mountains, when I find my breath, when I see my girl in the vistas.

This year, I am the patient.

Because this year, I no longer feel strong when I climb. A bike dismount is followed with concern that my knee will support me. A ride is coupled with a struggle to climb the stairs the next day.

Maybe I’m back where I started 13 years ago. Needing to find my breath again, prove my strength, find my moxie.

It takes Courage to know where we are and what we need.

This is what I am telling my grumpy, self-pitying me…..that she is courageous.

I still don’t know if she is buying it.

But next year will be different.

PS- I am still fundraising for our clinic! You can donate here!


Me and My America:

Privileged, empowered, white, upper middle class, 50ish female. This is me.

You could call me a Karen…although I hate that term and feel bad for my friends named Karen.

It could have easily been a Heather meme instead.

“OMG she is such a Heather.” Because I kinda am.

But I know who I am.

I stand on the shoulders of proud generations before me. People who have fought for my freedoms. People who enabled me to devour this life before me. I have grown up lippy, opinionated and loved. Perhaps the last variable is the most controversial…..I am vocal because I feel safe and because I feel loved.

It’s easier to be lippy when you are loved.

So I will.

I struggled this 4th.

Because I don’t understand what it means to be an American anymore. This is not a left or right thing…..this is a who are we thing? Are we really a gun toting, forced birth, climate change denying country?

I recently read an article that said, “America is more about a dream than a place.”

I read that to my husband who said, “what a cop-out- of course we are a place. We are a country with a GDP of $20.95 trillion. This is a place.”

So, if we are not dream. And really a place…..I feel a tad more unsure of where I belong.

Because in this last week we (the collective American We) forced a ten year old rape victim to travel to Indiana because no one in Ohio would perform an abortion.

On a ten year old….who was raped.

I should read the story above about a third world country. I should drink my double espresso with foamy oat milk in the shape of a heart and shake my head but not be surprised….because I’m an American….and this happens in other countries but not here.

Oh wait.

And I like Ohio….really Cleveland is lovely. Don’t make me reconsider my Skyline Chili in Cleveland!

On the 4th, we drove to my mom’s to celebrate this great nation. And we heard about another shooting in Highland Park, Il.

Highland Park….an incredibly affluent suburb. Home to Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller and Risky Business. Highland Park is my personal Columbine, before Uvalde, before Buffalo, before, before.

Ferris, Cameron and Sloan Peterson wondering WTF.

And I’m not an extreme progressive. I am not woke….ask my nieces and they will tell me that I clearly do not know my pronouns.

I am not super liberal.

But this is not my America.

On the flip side…..I am……I am…….super lippy and super loved and soon to have a super knee.

And I make mediocre parade signs. And one thing my generations before have taught me, is that this is still my America, even when it feels as scratchy as a wool sweater lined with sandpaper……

As the great George Washington. once said, “Winning was easy, young man. Governing is harder.”

May we Govern better, listen to the voices.

And may this be our non-partisan pic one day…..filmed in Highland Park, IL.



My article around a local brewer was just published. I’m really not a beer drinker but this was fun to write. Clearer text is below the article.

Lets meet for a beer!

What is Kyle Brewing in Candelas?

Colorado is known for its stunning natural beauty, sunny days, active families, and great craft beer.

Kyle Larkin wants to make sure the residents of Northwest Arvada can embrace the magic and creativity behind great craft beer.

Kyle is the head brewer at Resolute Brewing Company, located at 18148 w. 92nd Lane and we’re pretty happy he’s here. Originally from Pennsylvania, Kyle took a detour to DC before he found Colorado and decided to call it home.

Kyle started homebrewing in college and found a passion for it. After a short stint in the business world after graduation, he decided to become a professional brewer and never looked back. Part artist, part chemist with a little touch of foodie, he finds his inspiration after years of experience, knowing great ingredients and cooking.

“It’s fun to taste flavors in food or cocktails and then try and put that into a beer.”

The love of food pairings is apparent when reading the beer menu; ingredients such orange, passion fruit, coconut and chocolate reveal the complexities to brewing. Beer is barrel aged, temperature and humidity controlled enabling Kyle and his team to create wild and delicious recipes.  

Kyle started brewing at a small brewpub in Pennsylvania. This took him to Troegs Independent Brewing in Hershey, PA. Word travels fast in the brewing industry and soon he had an opportunity brew in Washington DC, working for DC Brau and starting their barrel aging program.

“Living in the nation’s capital was great, but my fiancé’ and I wanted to experience somewhere new. After considering different job offers, I ended up accepting a position with Avery Brewing so we could be in Colorado. From Avery, I worked at 4 Noses Brewing before joining Resolute.”

Resolute doesn’t only brew beer, its hopes are to create a gathering place for the Northwest Arvada community, “It is Resolute’s singular hope that we transform our community into a family, driven to create vibrant relationships around the brewery. We hope that lives are changed based on the friends made in the taproom, and that charity, hospitality, and kindness flow out of our taproom along with our beer.”  

Kyle runs the production side at Resolute but he does so much more than produce beer. The 20 beer lines change depending on the season, new ideas and unique varieties. Master Smash is a recent creation, an IPA brewed with Genie pale malt from Root Shoot Malting in Loveland. This balanced bitter IPA features notes of pineapple, mango and touch of pine, because it is after all, Colorado. And just in time for Summer is the Mexican style Lager, Onda which pairs well with salt, citrus and Colorado Sunshine.

There are a few traditional flavors that are a constant at Resolute. These favorites can be purchased as six packs and shared at your next bbq. Artwork on the cans reflect what is best about Colorado. The Standing Room only beer can depicts a concert at Red Rocks and might inspire a lengthy conversation with a buddy about the best Red Rocks concert (for the record? It was U2, Under a Blood Red Sky but I’m open to a debate).

All the Fuss Lemondrop Sour takes you paddle boarding; the aspen are turning and there is snow on Longs Peak. Grill Sauce portrays a young couple in their backyard with the Flatirons in the distance. The artwork is so beautiful, you might not recycle your can. And even better, the beer inside the can is delicious.  

Resolute focuses on community, craft and culture. “Our Founders come from various walks of life, including finance, engineering, and accounting, but we resonate as one around our passion for community, great beer, and even greater people. Resolute is more than a brewery; it is a community of people and families enthusiastic about being a part of something bigger than themselves. Resolute’s employees and culture imbue hospitality, social responsibility, and a love of the craft.”

This community of people has made Resolute a hub of Northwest Arvada activity hosting yoga, live music, farmer’s markets and tasty food trucks. Trivia is hosted every Wednesday night. Resolute has partnered with the Candelas Running Club. The group meets every Thursday for a run and then relaxes by the fire pit with their favorite ale or lager. July will feature a Cars and Brews Auto Show. Check their events page for updates and a schedule of food trucks.  

The vision of great beer, great community and giving back has been a recipe for success as Resolute continues to grow. “Our current mission is to continue to make Resolute a spot for people to gather and have a good time while delivering the best beer we can. In five years we hope to have a third location open, which would serve as our main production brewery. This would allow us to increase our production volume and get more beer to people around the state and grow our community.”

When asked what advice Kyle would give to a new business owner, he says without hesitation, “Be passionate, follow your plan and listen to your employees.”

And the success behind this business? “Quality above all else.”

We are so excited that Kyle decided early in his career to pursue his passion, provide this community a tasty brew, a place to gather and enjoy.

He and the team at Resolute raises a glass to thank the community and sponsors of Neighbors of Northwest Arvada. “Thank you for all of your support. We hope to share our beers and our space with you all for years.”

And thank you Kyle for sharing your story and the creativity behind your craft. We will see you around the fire pit this summer!


Today was a Good Day-

*Dear Reader- this post is about a good day!

But it is also contains sensitive content around birth and death…..proceed with caution.

Today was a really fun day. Our hockey team won the Cup! You can’t win a cup and not have a parade. So today half a million of my closest Avs fans converged in downtown Denver for yes, a parade.

I was fortunate enough to be ‘behind the scenes’, drive a firetruck (kidding) and hang out with my Avalanche besties who really are young enough to be my children but that’s okay.

And they only know me as a crazy mom-aged stalker….but that’s okay too.

Today was a good day.

I do not take the joy I feel, my laughter and easy smile today for granted.

17 years ago at this exact time, I questioned everything in my life. I questioned my body. I questioned the cruel circumstances of life and death, pregnancy, parenthood, marriage, motherhood, fatherhood. My whole world and everything I knew about it had been tilted on an axis.

17 years ago the beautiful full term baby boy I carried in my belly died.

Before I would have been hesitant to tell you this- perhaps frightened that it would be too much. But since ya’ll are talking about my baby-maker on every corner…..talking about what you might know without ever having gone through what a lot of women are going through…..

I’ll lay my cards out……..

A little bit of me died 17 years ago.

But I was still alive.

Have you ever seen the Walking Dead? I was Zombie angry. I howled at the moon. I despised healthy pregnant women who gave birth to beautiful babies. I was foreign to everyone else who didn’t loose their babies. I was unpredictable, postpartum bleeding, hormonal and amazingly sad.

But today, June 30, 2022 was a good day.

And I honor today’s good day

I honor it in the fact that the long, extensive, heart breaking road was incredibly personal and difficult. But we made it.

I challenged all of my friendships, and somehow they all survived. I challenged my marriage and we survived.

Jack, in his own silent way, paved the road for other unfairness in our lives. I thank him for this and will always be grateful for the lessons this silent, beautiful boy gave us.

Our story is not different because we wanted our boy. Every story about intimacy, relationships, life, birth and death is told behind closed doors. Government has no place here.

I invite you into my story, without my invitation, you have no seat.

I had more rights as a woman 17 years ago. Even at that time, I was asked by doctors what happened…..did I fall? What did I eat? They copied my file in fear of being sued. They were respectfully distant.

I weep for what my Sisters must endure today- for the ugliness and beauty of birth. For where we are as a country and for where I hope we can meet across the table. For my sisters who must make horrible, private decisions. And for those who have to make much more difficult, public decisions.

For the day that I died a bit…..but for new branches that grow.

And for today….this day…..this fun day. I honor it all.


I See You Vid a Voo

Last week I caught the Vid…the Rona….the big ol’ assy virus I have been trying to avoid for 2 1/2 years.

I have to admit, I became a bit judgy in those 2.5 years.

Friends would fall to the Vid and I would politely remind them that Vegas is a super spreader city, or that we shouldn’t be asking……thanks for masking!

Me and my four shots made me as cocky as MC Hammer….

Can’t Touch This.

But ya did.

And Vid crawled up in my nose like the creatures from Alien. Seriously, I snotted this little asshat the other day. Not on my watch booger alien. Not here

Its a strange thing when that test strip strikes positive.

Am I the only one of the ladies that feels like I’m taking the 15 minute pregnancy tests?

Who did I breathe with? Crap, I exchanged air with so many.

In my 51 year old dottage, I marched my positive test down to my husband and said, “What did you do to me????”

Seeeee? Just like a pregnancy test.

And he held up his own positive test and said what did you do to meeeeeeee

Crap! In this new universe, men can carry snot aliens too!!!!

And then I thought about my surgery… carefully planned surgery. The Rusty replacement, only a week out.

I looked at Hubs, “should I call the surgery center?”

Because I gotta tell you, I didn’t want to call the surgery center. I didn’t want to tell them I was carrying an alien booger baby in my nose. Maybe we can just forget the alien baby?

And Hubs sat back, “Well…….it’s a big surgery. And its a pandemic, and it was a top cause of death for 2021….but you do you.”

Fine. Fine. Fine.

So I called my surgery center. And I did feel a bit dirty.

Heeeeyyyyyy yeah, guess what? I have Covid. Wahhhhhhhaaaat? Its a thing? A rescheduling thing? No. Really? F&ck Fine

I didn’t really say F&ck.

But I wanted to. Turns out Covid can cause blood clots during surgery.

Blood clots are bad.

And then I thought about my life.

And the times that schedules were switched for my girl.

About how we planned, thought, rescheduled, planned again, cursed, and at the end it was okay. .

It was okay- sometimes even better.

Perspective is an amazing gift.

And in four weeks (universe willing) I will be VID free with a brand new knee and none the less worse for the wear.

But it took a while to get here!


My Arvada Dad!

I have taken on a super fun side gig! I am writing for Neighbors of Northwest Arvada. June brought Father’s Day and a chance to interview my Pops and fellow (new!) Arvada resident.

Content isn’t available online but you can read the text of my interview below.

Happy June!

Happy Father’s Day Neighbors of Northwest Arvada! Did you know that Father’s Day did not become a nationally recognized holiday until 1972? We see you Dads out there; on the bike trails or tossing a ball around.

Good Dads are the best. In honor of the holiday, I took some time to chat with my own Dad and fellow Arvada resident about Fatherhood.

Hi Dad.

Hello Daughter.

You’ve been doing this dad thing for over 50 years, and we think your pretty good at it. As a dad of adult kids, watching your kids have kids, what advice would you give to someone whose brand new to this?  

Enjoy the time- it goes by so quickly. Play with your kids, be the goofy dad. Jump in the pool and be the shark. Wear the tiara for the tea party. When your kids are young, the days can be long, but you blink, and they are off to college. Enjoy the time when they think you’re still pretty cool.

I still think you’re pretty cool. What has been your proudest moment as a father?

Seeing my children grow up to become decent, respectful, talented world contributing people makes my buttons pop.

Well, that’s a pretty nice thing to say about your kiddos. Thanks! We are going to fire up the grill for Father’s Day, what’s the key to grilling a really great ribeye?

Start with a good quality bone-in ribeye. Season only with salt and pepper and have a good grill that allows searing the meat and then finish at a lower temp. Insist on chewing on the bone, it is Father’s Day after all.

Fine, you can gnaw on the bone, because it is your day. Speaking of your day, what is the appropriate gift? No gushy answers like world peace, go big.

A tie.


No, this is a little gushy, but I really have reached a time in my life where being with my kids and grandkids is always at the top of my wish list. And as my kids have gotten older, they now give us really thoughtful gifts!

That’s it, you’re getting a tie. Dads are known for bad jokes, what’s your best one?

In honor of my grandsons and because we were just talking about grilling, here you go…..Why didn’t Han Solo like his steak? It was Chewie.

That’s terrible. And kind of funny. So, you just moved to Arvada to be closer to family. What’s the best thing about living here?

Well, aside from being closer to all of you, we love that we are so close to the mountains. We can be out hiking and biking in minutes. I have also found a couple pretty good brew pubs and I might just try out goat yoga.

You’re crazy. But I’m glad you’re my dad.

To all our Neighbors of Northwest Arvada dads, granddads and really amazing uncles, we hope you have a fantastic day with family, friends and of course those little munchkins that made you dads. Go play and enjoy the day!


How Should I Feel????

I found myself at Orange Theory yesterday evening.

My best workouts are somewhat anger enriched.

And last night I needed to sweat out some demons out in my head.

I pounced on the bike and started riding to the music. Orange Theory plays really great, sometimes a tad ragey music.

Blue Monday by Orgy started to play…… it’s an angry song- not a super angry song but it fit my mood…..

And I still find it so hard,

To say what I need to say,

But I’m quite sure that you’ll tell me, just how I should feel today.

Orange Theory has these sayings on the wall, “Sweat Today, Smile Tomorrow.” “You’re only competing against yourself,” “If it does not challenge you, it does not change you.”

And I’m thinking, where is the rage wall? Where is the “I’m working out my inner demons? It’s not sweat, it’s anger juice“, or my favorite saying to work out to when I feel a touch ragey…… “%uck this $hit

Please note, the above is my internal cadence- I don’t run around Orange Theory saying %uck this $hit. But say next time you’re on a run and feeling a little angsty, try it, it really does work.

The song continued to play…

How should I feel?

How do I feel?

The song echoed what I have been feeling all day…..How should I feel.….my heart rate hit a high of 176….I was stinky and dripping anger juice. I think I got a little of this worked out.

Once I dug past the anger, I recognized what was at the core; grief.

I grieve. And perhaps because grief is a companion, I know when it’s here. This morning it sits next to me, sipping coffee and helping me write this all down. This morning it is silent and respectful.

Hello Grief.

I grieve for the families in Texas, for the immense, unfathomable loss. For how these parents now have to navigate life.

I grieve for you and I. For a society and decisions we no longer understand- for government and laws we are willing to accept knowing that the consequences are deadly.

The consequences are deadly.

I grieve for a society that on the darkness nights cannot accept anything less than shame, denial and blame.

I grieve that it all seems completely out of my control. I grieve that for many of us, it’s easier just to say silent.

I have never been good at being silent.

We need to acknowledge the broken- not the shame or the blame but the deeply, broken before it is absolutely unfixable. I don’t care who broke the window. Can we just say that the window is broken?

Let’s start there.

Cause I don’t know where else to start.

In the meantime, I’m going to try and work this shit out in my own head. Apologies in advance to whoever is next to me at sweaty Orange Theory.


Trauma, Anger, Sadness, and Oh! Happy Mother’s Day!

Ah…..Happy Mother’s Day dear tribe. If you have followed me through the years, you know that Mother’s Day is somewhat problematic for me.

In fact I kinda hate it.

But I am happy to report that (so far) this Mother’s Day has been with love, laughter and sans tears.

For me.

But I think my whole tribe of Mama’s might be somewhat distraught by the goings-on of this last week. Roe v. Wade is a tinder box of emotions and the implications of what could happen in the next month are far reaching and catastrophic for women.

I do not say that lightly.

I have buried two very wanted, very loved babies. I gave birth to a full term stillborn son. I understand that life is really, truly is a miracle; a lovely, messy complex miracle.

After Samantha’s second Flight for Life trip to Children’s, I got an IUD. The thought of having another baby was absolutely terrifying to me.

“But you would be a great mom,” friends and family said.

Heeeeeellllll yeah! I would rock Motherhood. But if you carry an asshole genetic condition like we do, the chances of having another Little like Jack and Samantha is 25%.

1 in 4.

“Those are good odds in Vegas.”

Seriously, someone said that to me. 1 and 4…..after losing two kids, you should go for another because 1 and 4 odds are good in Vegas. I asked said person if they would get on a plane that had a 1 and 4 chance of crashing.

“Maybe not.”

But it wasn’t just the odds of having another medically complex child. It was me. I was a mess. I was traumatized, I was sad, I was angry, and I knew, I knew, I was not in a good place to have another child, or adopt, or foster, or focus on anything else other than healing my traumatized brain.

Trauma makes us do crazy things.

A couple weeks ago, the world watched Will Smith smack Chris Rock. We analyzed, we cancel cultured, we talked, we saidWill has anger issues.”

I made a note of this when I marched into my therapists office a couple weeks ago. “Was that Anger, or was that Violence? I get angry about things in my life but I don’t hit people.”

My lovely therapist pulled out the Anger doll from the movie Inside Out:

“Look at him!” I said, “Nothing about him says healthy Anger! Anger is a red, enflamed man in a tie. THIS is why we hit people, because a movie about all of our emotions says Anger is really bad, out of control, Anger is chaos.

This clearly is not a healthy representation of Anger.

For fun, she pulled out the Sadness Doll from the movie…..

Hmmmmm……I see gender stereotypes here. Poor Sadness, a young woman in her wooly sweater, round glasses and bob haircut. It is easier to console Sadness than confront Anger.

No wonder we fear getting ANGRY about what is going on. No wonder we choose to be quiet and frowny. A recent movie about our emotions says this is what we should be.

I may have given my therapist a complex about the Inside Out Dolls.

What is my point? Lordy, I am all over the place here. My point (and I do have one), is that it is easier to shame, to quick fix (you lost a baby, get another one), to try and solve, to vilify Anger and to succumb to Sadness.

And Trauma? That crazy outlier, just ignore it until it jumps up on stage and smacks you, shame it and then call it Anger.

We can be Angry my friends. We can tell our daughters, our nieces, our friends, our Granddaughters, that Anger is appropriate, healthy and necessary at this time.

Anger is not a man in tie.

Anger is Woman being told how she will live her life.

Oh and yeah, Happy Mother’s Day. I love you tribe. I love you fiercely.


Connections Beyond Motherhood:

Hello Dear Readers! I now have a fun side gig as the Content Coordinator for a local magazine- here is the latest article around Motherhood. Happy Mother’s Day Lovely Tribe!

Connections Beyond Motherhood: 

Sunday, May 8th marks Mother’s Day, a time when we celebrate the person that has been with us from the very beginning. Flowers, chocolates, brunches, and homemade cards are just some of the ways to honor Mom.  Did you know the first proposal to make Mother’s Day an official national holiday was rejected? In 1908, Congress joked that if there was a national Mother’s Day, we would soon have to celebrate a national Mother’s-in-Law Day, hence the motion never passed. In 1914 however, Woodrow Wilson declared the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day, a national holiday to honor all mother’s. 

Ironically, the woman who started the campaign to make Mother’s Day an official holiday was arrested in 1923 for disturbing the peace at a candy convention. Nine years after its official inception, she felt Mother’s Day had become entirely too commercialized; focused more on profit than sentiment. 

Two thoughts run through my head at the statement above. I would find it extraordinarily difficult to disturb the peace at a candy convention. I would yell and shout and someone would hand me a piece of chocolate and then I would find it very hard to be angry. 

The second is that this lovely holiday established to honor the first person who held us tight and made sure our tushies were dry is sometimes a little difficult. 

For medical reasons, my husband and I do not have children. We grappled for years around how to ignore this holiday for ourselves but still honor our own mom’s who we happen to be quite fond of. 

I have also watched my Mom’s friends manage crowded restaurants with cranky, hungry children during Mother’s Day. “I would like to go away for Mother’s Day,” said a friend, “I would like my husband to take the children and I will spa with my girlfriends. It will be quiet, civilized and lovely, complete with food that I get to eat while it is still warm. Is that wrong?” 

I told her it was not wrong as long as I was one of those girlfriends. 

I have many friends who are Moms. I watch in awe as they raise beautiful, independent, amazing children. I also have friends who sadly have lost Moms. Recently on a girls’ trip, a friend and I passed a See’s Candy stand in the airport. “My mom loved See’s Candy,” she said with a sigh and teary eyes. 

We left 5 minutes later with a box of chocolates. As Mother’s Day approaches, I am reminded to send my friend a box of See’s , not only to remember her mom but that as we get older, good friends step in where our Mom’s might not be with us. defines motherhood as ‘the state of being a mother,’ they also define it as, ‘having an inherent worthiness, justness or goodness that is obvious or inarguable.’ 

When I told this second definition to my friend and mother of three, she laughed, “Today none of my children find me Just or Good. The only thing that is obvious is how unhappy they are with me.”

Raising the next generation of amazing humans takes a village. My best mentors were adults beyond my parents: coaches, teachers, aunts, uncles and family friends. My friends now are those who talk openly about the challenges to raising kiddos and lean on their tribe. I love it when they lean on me and honestly, it’s a great excuse to see Sing 2 or ride the water slides one more time at Water World. Some of my best days are those when I can be the amazing aunt. 

To the Mom’s, Auntie’s, Grandma’s and friends who show up, Happy Mother’s Day. I have had the amazing opportunity to interview many families through Neighbors of Northwest Arvada and the resonating theme has been a sense of family and a community you can lean into. It takes a village; to you and your village.



My nephew is trying out for swim team. Today we practiced our strokes in the pool- I’m not sure who is more excited…..I think I could love being a Swim Aunt.

As we walked towards the locker room, I looked at the signs, Men, Women, Family Dressing Area. “Are you okay to shower and change in the Men’s locker room?”

He rolled his eyes at me, “Hehe, I’m almost ten.”

Sigh….yes, yes you are almost ten.

I did shower and change super-fast so I was out before he was, and I may have stood too close by the Men’s Locker Room door while I waited for him. Hello Crazy Aunt.  

And while ten is shocking and I’m not quite sure how these years past so quickly, I’m okay with ten. I can look at this young person and think, “I can deal with ten. I’m not okay with you going into the locker room alone. But okay, ten.

It’s May and my social media is peppered with beautiful young adults. Adults I knew as babies. Adults who are now going to prom, graduating, getting scholarships, making the world a better place. Your children have grown and I’m not quite sure how that happened.

These photos are so bittersweet.

This clearly was not the path chosen for us. I don’t look at these amazing moments and think that could have been our Littles. But since so many of us were having babies at the same time I do marvel at how 16, 17, 18 years have past before me and how you have created, watered, fed and grown a beautiful (almost) independent person in this time.

Grief is a thief of time. Not just the time that could have been but in the time after. It takes time to just survive, time to rethink, recalibrate a new normal, time to watch that new normal crumble and rebuild again. It takes time to do the work and, in that time, you, my friend, have built a person.

When my grief was young, it needed constant attention. Like a young child, it demanded to be fed, held and coddled. I am happy to report I can now leave my Grief at home for a weekend and it will not destroy the house.

It’s a new time for many of us. I am thrilled to see your amazing kiddos go off into the world. I am grateful that as time has passed, I feel more present in this joy.

This weekend, I watched an interaction with my friend and her 16-year-old daughter: beautiful, sassy, testing the air with her new wings. As she ran off, I turned to my friend and said, “your child is my spirit animal.”

And Nephew, I will watch you and your brothers grow. I might even wait ten feet from the Men’s Locker room door.



A Little Bit of Jackson:

I can count on one hand the times when I have truly have not understood the plan that God has designed for myself or my Loves. That is not to say there are other times when I have been sad, angry or distraught.  But shattered and unable to make sense, that has been few.

This week has been shattering. And anytime something breaks into a million pieces, we are left behind holding the shards, wondering how the hell to piece something back together. We hurt. And knowing that the people we love are experiencing a hurt a 1,000 times ours, there are no words.

There is no fix. And at times it feels there is not enough strength, grace or patience.

But there has been love. Lots of love. An outpouring waterfall of Love.

I did not know Jackson well. But I love his Mama fiercely. And I love that in this shattered time, she has shared Jackson with the world- amazing, caring, beautiful, talented, humble Jackson.

I have thought of him often. And I have thought of how I would like to carry this lovely soul in my space- my world needs a little bit of Jackson……..

  • When I kiss my Mama: which I intend to do more of
  • When I golf with my dad
  • Heck, even when I golf
  • When I wear blue
  • When someone calls me Ma’am- Jackson made Ma’am a compliment
  • Anytime I pass a Texas Roadhouse
  • When the Aggies play ball (I might even become a fan)
  • Dimples- any dimples, any time
  • When I do anything of service
  • Wrestle with my nephews
  • Dr. Pepper
  • Anytime Russell Wilson makes a touchdown!
  • If I ever give birth to an 11-pound baby (I know this one is a stretch but if it happens, I will think of Jackson)
  • Anytime I am with his Mama.

This list is woefully short, but I know that is temporary. I look forward to adding more Jacksonisms in my life.

I will start with a Dr. Pepper.


For the Love of Anger

My sweet tribe is suffering an unimaginable loss.

A loss of such magnitude that stories are shared on the news: graphic images coupled with newscasters speaking in high rapid tones to convey the urgency of this magnitude.

With every story shared about this loss, we shake our heads, shed another tear, mumble another f-bomb and wonder how the hell this could happen.

Because this is an unimaginable loss.

I know loss. I have grappled with the injustice in the universe, cursed at God and wondered why me? But this one leaves me a bit speechless and wondering how my sweet tribe will recover.

This one leaves me angry.

More stories are shared. Stories around a driver, stories around a father, stories around a criminal past. And it is so easy to be angry.

I’m a big fan of anger. While others are talking that someone is in a better place, I take the ‘this is f$cking sh!t balls’ approach.

Have I mentioned I’m trying not to curse so much?

Have I also mentioned I’m not doing a very good job at trying not to curse so much?

Where does anger sit in this process?

In my potty-mouth opinion, anger is a pillar to moving through grief.

It must be addressed and it must be felt. The other day I was looking for my Ouiser to slap because my goodness, I really wanted to slap something

*On a side note, if you have not seen Steel Magnolias, go see it now.

My tribe has handled the unimaginable with amazing grace and love.

But I want them to know that when things get angry, we can offer up a Ouiser, hold their hand, sit in the uncomfortable, and perhaps teach them a new curse word.

We are here when things get angry.


There are not Enough Cookies

I am making cookies tonight for my friend’s dad.

I mix the butter, sugar, flour with a spoon.

In frustration, toss the spoon in the sink and dive in with my fingers. I feel the dough in my hands. Knead, turn, mix, knead, turn, mix

It calms my restless head, my restless heart and my restless hands.

It is messy. I am messy.

My friend sent me a text this morning. An unbelievable, gut-wrenching text. My friend lost her son in a tragic accident.

And therefore my friends dad lost his Grandson. And since my friends dad likes my cookies, I am making cookies.

Because I don’t know what else to do. And it calms my restless head, my restless heart and my restless hands.

It is messy. I am messy.

We never know what to do when we grieve.

Because grief is scary.

Grief is the scariest, most unknown, pitbull of emotions. And while we can surprise our Besties on their 30th birthday with fireball shots and chicken wings, when it comes to Grief, facing our most intimate, primal of emotions, we assume that our Besties want to be alone.

It’s kind of like walking up to that big haunted house with all of your friends and having them say, “I think you got this, right? We’re going to get a pizza.”

We never got this. My dear friend does not got this, nor does her cookie-loving Papa.

As I write this, after making 230 dozen cookies, I can say that today was heartbreaking, devastating, raw, and ridiculously sad.

I got a text from my friend at 6:15 this morning.

And I howled at the moon for the news.

At 6:17 I got a text from another friend.

6:18 another.

And we made a plan.

A plan that no one walks this journey alone no matter how scary that fucking house is or the pitbull of emotions.

I hope we can keep this promise to our friend- that we hold her hand and help her through whatever may pop out.

At the very least, we have cookies.

We love you my friend.


Delights Day 30- Knowing when to say Goodbye

I get attached to my body parts- as flawed and imperfect as they may be, they are mine and mine alone.

The bone on bone knee to your left? You can call him Rusty.

If you spend any time with me, especially doing anything active like……walking? You notice Rusty, you see Rusty’s troubled past.

I’m a tad hobbled, a little limpy…..lets face it, I walk like penguin. Rusty has aged to about 80. But I am not 80.

Rusty has supported me through years of bump skiing, marathons, hiking, biking and poor decisions. I do love Rusty and our contentious, swollen relationship.

But I can no longer rely on this beautiful knee of mine. A couple weeks ago on a backcountry ski, I had to turn around before I summitted the Banana Bowl. Who turns around before the Banana Bowl?????

Last week in the beautiful powdery trees of Steamboat, Rusty complained, protested and finally decided he had enough. Who leaves the beautiful powdery trees of Steamboat?

Today I sat with my surgeon, wondering what else we could do for Rusty. He words were, “Heather, anything we do for your knee, other than replacing it, is like using duct tape on the Titanic.”

Fine. Fine witty surgeon.

And so I rallied the troops. Called the Hubs and made a plan. Rusty and I will spend the summer together. It will be Rusty’s last hurrah. We will swim and bike, take short limpy walks together. And as the leaves fall from the trees, we will say goodbye.

Rusty will be replaced with something new and shiny- something not of flesh and bone but titanium and plastic. It will serve its purpose but it will never be Rusty- nothing could ever be Rusty. But I am now at the point where that might be okay.

Sometimes making a decision is a delight. A terrifying perhaps painful delight but a delight none the less.


Delights Day 29: 14 Days With Mary Marguerite

My Mama and my Uncle are transcribing my Great Grandma Burbank’s journals.

Today they sent 1941 and I am intrigued.

Grandma Burbank is my Granny’s Mama- my Granny who just passed this summer.

We grew up with stories about how very, very poor the Burbank side of the family was; squirrel was a good meal, snapping turtle made a good soup, you always did your business outside and electricity was quite bourgeois.

Today I opened the latest pages. I love the first lines from my eloquent Great Grandma B….

Drop a word of cheer and kindness- just a flash and it’s gone but there’s half a hundred ripples circling on and on.

Here are 14 days with Great Grandma B as she tried to feed and clothe seven children. Days were busy and full and no rabbit was safe. Here are some little notes- My Gran is Emma Mae. Bob is my Great Aunt Mary Bob and the rest…..well we’re figuring it out as we go.

January 1, 1941, Wed

Drop a word of cheer and kindness-just a flash, and it is gone-but there’s half a hundred ripples circling on and on and on.  Harry, Ruby, Gene, Roy and I butchered for Mrs. Burbank.  Rained most of day.  She gave us quite bit of meat and some lard.  Stopped at Mary’s on way home.  Ruby and Harry ate supper at Uncle Henry’s.  Owen Montgomery called hunting Jane for a date.  Ha! Ha!  He got her at Uncle Henry’s.  Joe Fritchie called wanting Bob to work and Walter came after her.  Jim and Bob spent night with us.

January 2, 1941, Thurs

Mended some.  Gene cooked head meat.  Harry’s left about 9:30 a.m. for California. Jane didn’t go.  We sure hated to see them go so far.  Gene and Roy went with Don to Newton. Nola and Lilly called to tell Harrys goodbye. Rained in morn but sun shone beautifully in afternoon. Thelma and Irene Crouch brought my lard cans home. Ollie went to L’ville with Ralph.

January 3, 1941, Fri

Washed. Jane, Roy, Ollie and Mavis went to Buck’s 18th birthday party. Bob came home with them from Fritchie’s after party. Turned so cold at night, spit snow and wind blew part of clothes off line.

January 4, 1941, Sat

Boys and Buck went out at night and Buck spent night. Was cold. Violet called and Jane went home with her. Gene and boys cut wood in morn. Gene and Ollie cut awhile in afternoon. Roy caught an opossum. Girls found living room flue platform on fire when they went to bed. Gene and them put it out. Mended most of day and ironed. Gene and boys rung the old sow as they couldn’t keep her in. Boys killed 2 rabbits.

January 5, 1941, Sun

Violet, Esther, and Buck were here for dinner. Went to Sunday School and Christian Endeavor at East Pinkstaff Church.  Walter, Jean and Margarite Fritchie called in evening and went to Christian Endeavor.  Gene spent evening at John’s. Ralph T. went to Hammond. Children walked home with Violet. Dovey Ann had fever at night. Bob went back to Fritchie’s after Christian Endeavor.  Was 10 degrees above zero in morn.

January 6, 1941, Mon

Gene went to L’ville in afternoon with Tiny. Ordered Bob’s and Mavis’ shoes from C.M.O.  Ollie expected to go along, but Mrs. Diver didn’t come. Mended. Harry and Emma May started back to school after holidays.  Roy spent morn at John’s. He and John fixed flue where it had been a fire. Mavis, Harry and Emma May spent evening at Nina’s.

January 7, 1941, Tues

We washed. Roy cut wood at clearing. Gene helped Millard Miller cut wood. Ollie went to L’ville with Tiny. Uncle Vinis’ spent evening here. Roy killed 2 rabbits and 1 squirrel. Gene got pictures taken while surveying from Harold Cramer. Jake Elders’ baby died at 3 a.m. with pneumonia. Nina and girls called.

January 8, 1941, Wed

Mavis and I ironed. Aunt Pearl ate dinner here.  Rev. Roller and Lilly called.  Roy and Ollie cut wood and Gene helped out and buzz wood at a wood cutting for Carter Crouch at Uncle Henry’s woods.  Bob and Mavis got their shoes, but Mavis’ were too small.  Lige Wesley called.  Dovey Ann had fever at night.  Roy had a bad sore throat.  Sent Katherine and Pearl Bowen a letter.  Heard that Minnie Tiffany had pneumonia.

January 9, 1941, Thurs

Leonard Ferriell came after Mavis for Mrs. Tiffany.  Gene, Roy and Ollie cut wood in morn and Gene and Roy in afternoon, Ollie helped Uncle Vinis haul in fodder in afternoon.  Uncle Vinis called.  Ma got a card from Ruby at Amarillo, TX.  Was cloudy + spit snow.  Jake Elder’s baby was buried.  Fritchie’s bro’t Bob home at night.  Gene and Roy killed 1 rabbit.  John began plowing on Harry with tractor.

January 10, 1941, Fri

Sewed on aprons.  Mrs. Tiffany bro’t Mavis home after dinner.  Harry and Emma May were home excused from exams.  Bob and Emma May spent afternoon at Joe Fritchie’s.  Ralph called in morn saying they were going to move to Octaves’ house next week.  Jo Pinkstaff called in evening wanting to rent Ma’s house.  Ollie waited until 2 p.m. for Mrs. Diver but she didn’t come.  Gene and boys hauled 8 loads of wood with Uncle Henry’s team.

January 11, 1941, Sat

Mended all day.  Bob washed her clothes and she and Mavis ironed.  Gene and boys worked in clearing in morn and they and Uncle Vinis got a big mess of fish at Charlie’s in afternoon.  Violet and Jr. called also Adrian Claycomb wanting to rent Ma’s house.  Ma spent afternoon at Aunt Pearl’s.  Bob was sick with flu. Roy and Ollie went to Flat Rock with Uncle Vinis’ at night.  Car killed guinea and Bob cleaned it before she found out it was Lilly’s.  Took it to her.

January 12, 1941, Sun

Was a lovely warm day.  Roy ate dinner with Buck.  Norma and Arlene called in evening.  Hanford Wesley called in afternoon + he, Gene, Ollie, Herbert and Harry went to clearing.  Geo. Millers’ called. Went to Sunday School and Christian Endeavor and preaching at East Pinkstaff.  Bro. Albert gave some very good thoughts on a Christian putting stones in another’s way.  Sharon Borden came for Bob, but she was unable to go to work for them.  Nola brought up popcorn which they popped.  Lee Mitchell called.


You Never Stop Being Rare

I’ve always enjoyed being a tad unique, marching to the beat of a different drum, channeling my inner Heather.

Today is Rare Disease Day- a globally-coordinated movement focused on rare diseases and the 300 million people impacted globally by these conditions. As much as I’ve liked being my unique person, I wish I didn’t know as much as I know about this day. I wish my genetic makeup, my genomic sequence wasn’t quite so rare.

I wish I didn’t know that 35% of deaths within the first year of life are attributed to a rare disease. I wish I didn’t know the inequality within healthcare, access to care, therapies and social opportunities for those impacted by rare disease.

But I do.

And you can’t change what your life is. We, as a family have become closer by what makes us rare. Our POLG-1 deviation has made us vulnerable, perhaps a tad sweeter to each other, super protective, a village and a tribe.

Would we be different if we were not rare? I don’t know. We can imagine what life would be like without mitochondrial disease but it’s not reality. Reality is our Rare.

And along Rare, you meet the most amazing people. People who fight for your cause just because they love you. People who work tirelessly for a cure. People who wake up everyday with extraordinary hurdles- either those impacted or the caregivers who love them.

Would I trade a Rare Life? Heck yeah. I would love two lippy, stinky teenagers. I would love to have my brother school me on the moguls. Rare is not glamorous. Rare is hard and heartbreaking.

And yet Rare is beautiful and bonding. Rare is raw strength.

Above it all, Rare is who we are. You never stop being Rare. The best we can do is own it, be it, and help other recognize Rare in the world. Happy Rare Disease Day.


Delight Day 28- Two’s

Yesterday was 2-22-2022.

And if you were in second grade, you were in grade 2 on 2-22-2022.

One of my nephews got to celebrate being in grade 2 yesterday. His school did some special activities unique to the day and his grade. One was ‘what will your life be like at 22 years old?’

This was his response-

Hubs, Pops and I took the Phews skiing the day before and I guess the day stuck. I love everything about where Phew 2 will be at 22. I love that he loves to ski. I love that he will have short hair, big feet and long legs.

Hubs and I formed a life around this crazy Winter sport. We both spent our 20’s bumming around ski resorts, sleeping on couches and watching too many Warren Miller flicks. Even before we met, the foundation of us was embedded in this skiing lifestyle.

And Phew’s Dad? My brother is an amazing skier.

I hope this sticks. I hope the Phews fall in love with these ski days…..not just because it’s a great activity but because selfishly, my most magical days have been spent on a mountain; a great powder day, a terrific summit, the sun dancing between flecks of snow, a day on the mountain with family and friends.

This sport took me around the world. It made me independent. It gave me confidence. It made me strong- it took my breath away.

And a good powder day still makes me giddy and giggly, nom, nom, nom.

Everyone needs something in life that makes them feel this way.

So you go my long legged, big footed, short haired nephew. Teaching you to love this sport is a delight.


Day 27- Back to Delights

I’ve been thinking about these delights quite a lot lately.

What qualifies as a delight? There are quick shots of delight- they dance on
your tongue like dark chocolate.

And then there are delights that brew in your head. They are not immediate-
it is not instant. Perhaps a process that sooner or later becomes a delight-
a little more lasting, a little more precious- laced with complexity and life.

My latest delight is around a conversation, albeit born out of intense pain,
it is a quiet, coveted delight. I can delight in this honesty and our ability
as a family to touch something that at times seemed untouchable.

Last week I sat with my dad and my Hubs. We stopped in for lunch after
skiing. Conversations evolved from small talk to tough talk.

My dad has a dear friend that just lost a grandson in a horrible accident.
Our collective heart aches for them.

“How is Mr. B?” I asked

“Well, you know. Not good? Okay? Sad? Hanging in there? It’s heartbreaking
knowing the hard days ahead for him and his family. I want to tell him just to
hang on. It can be really awful for a while and I just don’t know how to say

“I always think of the Sara McLaughlin song…..hold on, hold on to
yourself, cause this
is gonna hurt like hell…”

I grabbed a napkin and held it to my eyes, “it still makes me cry.”

I blew my nose and we all took a long drink of our Mary Jane ale.

And watched the Olympics.

Because you know, when you don’t know what to say……sports…and beer.

And then I broke the silence.

Because ugh……silence.

“But you should tell him something Dad. Seriously. You should tell him that
he is going to be okay. That his family is going to be okay. That sometimes it
feels like you never, ever will. But you need to tell him that you trust, you
know that Mr. B is going to be okay! You telling him that you know he can
survive this…….that trust…… when it seems like the whole world is doubting…..that
trust is everything.”

“I know….I know.”

“Trust is good,” Hubs interjected, “A stiff upper lip can be good too.”

I grabbed Hubs’ hand and squeezed it, “And sometimes you have to tell
yourself that we all grieve in different times, in different spaces and in
different ways. And the only thing you can do is honor everyone’s process,” I
bit Hubs’ finger in thought and angst. “Please tell him you know. You know, he
will be okay.”

We watched the Super G. People missed gates, missed times, racers fell and
for some, the race and the dream they had been planning for a lifetime was

It was nothing compared to the shatter we just discussed.

But somehow, we all get up. Maybe we get up because someone on the side
yells and cheers through the noise and tells us they know we can.

Maybe it’s just our shear will and moxie.

But we do it. We get up. And it hurts like hell.

And years later we sit around a pitcher of Mary Jane Ale and chicken nachos.
We dab teary eyes with rough napkins, knowing that we survived.

Is it delightful?

No, it’s not.

But it is peppered with delight, gratitude, moxie and survival.

I’ll take that spicy blend any day.

And to Mr. B and family. We see you you. We grieve your enormous loss. Trust
in this shitty process. We have nachos and beer when you are ready.



The Delight of You in My Life:

I talk often about how much I love you all. The GIFT I absolutely feel in having amazing people in my life. It is a gift. YOU are a delight.

We are older. The fragility of life and our time on this earth has become more relevant. A month after this photo was taken, one of our loves lost their Mama. The importance of these relationships- knowing that we love and are loved, it is a sacred gift.

Today’s Delight is brought to you by my amazing friend JoBeth: aka Jingo, Chippy, Jo-El, and all around amazing person. She is a talented writer, lover of life and someone I have loved and laughed with for 30 years.

I just celebrated her 50th. Today I got this note in the mail about our time together. I think it speaks to so many of us about our cherished relationships- and it is a delight.

Thank you note from Jingo:

My Dear, Dear Friends:

It’s hard to believe it has now been months since you all descended into the Valley of the Sun like rock stars at the start of a tour. There is a part of me that is ashamed and embarrassed at taking so long to write a thank you note, but there is another part of me that has been in denial that we are all back to the realities of our pandemic, adulting lives. Denial looks like this: It took me a week to break down the fancy dinner table that you guys made look like a 5 star restaurant. It took me two weeks to admit that the flowers in the mason jars were finally droopy and brown enough to let go. It took three weeks to take the Coronas out of the Yeti cooler on the patio (because we forgot about them). It took until Thanksgiving to find the last olive from someone’s bloody mary still intact in the deep end of the pool. And much to Eric’s chagrin, the cards you placed strategically for me to find and open are exactly where you left them- in my cupboard, in my cookbook, the the freezer with the beer glasses, and probably some other places I still haven’t discovered.

A friend’s dad used to say that life is like a roll of toilet paper- and while I’m sure there are a shit ton of reasons one could insert here as to why this is, his particular thought was that because the closer you get to the end, the faster is goes. I certainly don’t feel like 50 is the end, but I do feel, with the exception of house projects, that everything seems to be moving quicker than I feel prepared for. While four days with you probably felt like an eternity to my liver, the rest of me felt those days were more life the first seasons of Ted Lasso, over way too soon. I kinda wanna go back and replay them until our next episode begins. Alas, the spin cycle of adulting waits for no fermented air-fiddle player.

As I have finally conceded to reality and decided to scrape the freezer burn off that last card, to see all your names (and your collective nicknames for me), and to feel all the joy you brought to Arizona, I have been focused on how much that time filled me and how lucky I am, not just for the kick-ass celebration but the friendships that made it so. For a person who has hugged her way through life and who finds the greatest highs in belly laughing and just being in close proximity to my people, the prolonged social austerity of a pandemic may have made me physically plump, but spiritually, I was living on fumes. While the long weekend may have picked my innards, it also nourished and oxygenated them and the world around me.

My goddess/god/ genderless sky monkey, what a GIFT it has been to experience you love, support, HUMOR and HUMOR, and your countless gifts for literally and figuratively the better part of my life. And what a gift is was that you all trained, planed and automobiled to the desert to be in-person reminders of how fanfuckingtastic my 50 years on this earth have been. I can’t and don’t want to imagine where or who I would be without all of you. That our incredibly unique and wholly special connection continues and grows even now give me such a feeling of pride and strength. I truly love each and all of you more than I can say. I love your spirits, your talents, your insights and intelligence, again- your HUMOR, your hearts, your voices, your stories, your families, our stories and our family.

Until next time, my mountains-


Delight Day 25: No You Cannot Go to Orange Theory

I am trying to move more.

Time of Covid, working from home shuffling 20 steps from my bedroom to my study, to sit for hours….

and hours….

Is not healthy. And I know I’m better, I’m clearer, I’m happier when I move. I KNOW that.

Recently the American Heart Association came out with a study around how MUCH time we are sitting in time of COVID….and how bad it is for our heart. Our heart, like any muscle loves some movement. The old saying, ‘let’s get our blood moving?’ Our heart loves that saying.

And you know what? I love my heart.

In the new era of Heather Needs to Move More, I signed up for the Orange Theory Transformation Challenge! 8 weeks! 6 weeks of at least three Orange Theory workouts or more. I’m on TEAM. I have a COACH. It’s everything Moving More Heather needs to get motivated.

This challenge started on Monday and then it snowed like 8 feet in Colorado and became arctic cold. Its the first week of the OTF challenge and I am falling behind already.

Today was my day to get out and redeem myself. But it snowed on the 20. Maybe not really 8 feet but a good 12-15 inches and no one comes to plow the road to our house. This evening I put on my workout gear and started the car only to realize that I’m not going anywhere. Maybe into a ditch….but not anywhere else.

And so I stomped inside only to complain that we live in the boonies and I need to go to Orange Theory because if I don’t, not only will I loose the OTF challenge but my heart will be very sad.

Hubs suggested a walk. I may have flipped him the bird as I put my puffy coat and snowboots on and headed out the door.

I was gone for an hour. I listened to classical music and a couple short podcasts. I returned rosy cheeked and somewhat numb.

And okay yes, fine….I was delighted.


Delights Day 24: My Pal Cal has a Birthday!

Mitochondrial disease is a horrible diagnosis- it is progressive, heartbreaking and all around just awful.

But in the midst of the awfulness, some amazing people come into your life.

One of these amazing Humans is my friend Calvin. I have known Cal for 15 years. Tomorrow this amazing human turns 17.

If you know Calvin, you know his piercing blue eyes. You know how he holds your hand tight and gazes right at you. You know his brilliant smile and the way he engages with you. You never want to leave his side.

Please help me celebrate Cal’s birthday tomorrow- send him a note or post a note here, I’ll make sure he receives it.

Cal is a delight.

Cal, so many wishes for the very best day and the very best year. To your health and that amazing smile. Keep fighting the good fight my friend.


Delights Day 23- An Evening Stroll with Junior

This really isn’t Junior and I.

But maybe it’s our alter egos. Junior out on the prairie, we’re riding along having just rescued a calf separated from his mother……The sun setting between his cute little horsey ears.

Today I volunteered my Therapeutic Riding Center as a horse lead. Junior is my very patient horse. We’ve worked together a couple times and I feel like maybe (?) we’re bonding. No matter. I find Junior a delight.

Tonight it was cold. I kept checking the website thinking class might be cancelled. I sighed as I donned my long underwear….it would be nice to just stay inside.

No Heather! Get out of your fleecy pajama bottoms that no one on Zoom ever sees. Put your jeans on and the Carhartt jacket you had to have for ‘the barn’. And get yourself out in elements.

Covid has made me soft.

So, I wrangled myself up, drove in the snow and with much help, saddled up Junior for our class.

As a horse lead, my job is simple…. lead the horse. But Junior’s student today was a spunky four-year-old whose pink cowboy boots barely fit in the stirrups. Her giggle was infectious.

I felt incredibly responsible for them both.

And then the lights went out.

No seriously. The ice caused a driver to spin out of control into a power line. There was a flicker and a pop. The arena went dark. There we were in the evening light; Junior, our pink booted student and me.

The dusky, snowy, reflection from outside provided enough light to play a couple games before it just got too dark. We walked Junior outside and untacked as the final light disappeared. My pink booted student carried off a saddle twice her size.

Snow continued to fall as we blanketed Junior and tucked him in with a bucket of oats.

“Good night Junior. You’re a good boy. Stay warm.”

Tonight, I am back in my fleecy pjs- warm and toasty. I’ve washed my hands several times, but I still smell just a tad……..horsey.



Delights Day 22- The Story of Grandma B

This is Young Heather with my Hottie Mama, my Gran and my Great Grandma Burbank (aka Grandma B).

Four generations of women who have lead amazingly different lives. I am so proud of these strong women before me who helped pave a path for my own journey. In preserving that sacred journey, I pass Day 22 of Delights onto my Hottie Mama- aka, Mama Judi:

Grandma B’s Journal’s

I spent a very delightful week this month with my brother Rod and ‘Sister’ Jeanine, in Rosharon, Tx.  Rod is transcribing my Grandma B.’s. daily journals.  I went down for a week to help him convert pages of cursive into Word documents.  There are years’ worth of work reflected in the above suitcase.  It is truly a labor of love.  Each month takes 2-4 hours to transcribe.  It was closer to 2 hours with both of us working (Rod reading and me typing.).

Grandma B kept a journal every day of her life until 2 days before she passed in 1983.  We finally have her journals from 1938 to 1983 (except for a few years that burned when their house burned down.)

These are such an incredible, delightful treasure for our family.  Many days show the struggle of farm life in the 1930’s and 1940’s.   No going to the grocery store for most things.  Growing, canning, preserving, hunting or fishing for most of their food.  No electricity, central heating or indoor plumbing. Neighbors and family helping each other and visiting with each other on a regular basis.

For many years, she used a 1-year journal to record 5 years of her life (thus saving paper).  The writing is so tiny that my brother uses an electronic enlarger to read it.  Even then, some days are very difficult to read.

In many instances, she wrote in pencil and the pencil has faded so much that it is almost unreadable but so far Rod has been able to figure it out.

As he finishes each year, he is sharing the Word document with family members so we can all experience the world through my Grandma’s eyes.  She was a pretty amazing person and we learn so much about her life by reading her journals. It is truly a delightful experience and an honor to my Grandma.

Thanks Rod!!!  We love you!!


Delights Day 21: Dim Sum, Brunch Some

Last weekend I had my first Dim Sum in Chinatown, Chicago. I huddled with my nieces over pots of tea, dumplings, and custard filled desserts shaped like pigs.

Dim Sum is officially defined as a meal of small plates, usually in steamer baskets, served with tea.

Dim Sum is delish.

I dove into Dim Sum. And after I decided that my tummy could fit……. One. More. Dumpling, my dear friend Poling explained Dim Sum to me.

Dim Sum is not just a meal, it’s a meaning.

“Dim, is a dot, or a speck. Sum means heart. Dim Sum is a bit of heart,” she said.

Well, that is a lovely definition for a meal.

“That is amazing and so poetic,” I said. “We just call it brunch.”

I met dear friends for brunch yesterday. The items ordered were a tad different than last week. A flight of mimosa’s replaced a pot of tea. Do beignets counts as little piggies filled with custard?

Shrimp and grits? I don’t know how that would translate to a Dim Sum menu.

But the meaning was the same.

Bit of Heart.

I left both Dim Sum and Brunch full in my belly and full in my heart.

Maybe gathering around a meal with Loves is always a bit of heart.

Happy Dim Sum to you all.


Delights Day 20- Study Music

I am still working from home 95% of my days.

And while I still find it odd that for two years now, I can get camera ready in about 15 minutes, find a top that is business-casually enough while still being cozy and yoga pants that provide enough, stretch and give to remind me that this is not a cuddly Saturday…..this is in fact a Wednesday. And attention must be paid.

I have found several hidden delights to working from home.

One of them is music.

Today I found a break in my meetings, served up a cuppa tea and cranked up the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack on Spotify.

I’m a crazy cat.

It’s a lovely soundtrack if you are looking for a moment to unwind, sip a little Earl Grey and pretend you are in the English Countryside instead of your office……. which smells oddly of curry.



Delights Day 19- Always take the Weather with You

Its been cold and snowy here in Colorado.

I love it.

It is Winter. And therefore it should snow. All is right in the world when it’s covered in a blanket of white.

Yesterday it was -1 degrees. Delightful. The cold hit my nose as I inhaled- reminding me I was alive.

Crowded House sings a song, called ‘Always Take the Weather.’ It was released in the 90’s and became a favorite song during my Germany days. Now when the weather gets a tad temperamental, I think of this song…..

Everywhere you go…..always take the weather with you……

But it never really made sense to me…… because weather is something that kind of happens to you. You have no control…..everywhere you go…..

So I looked up the meaning of this song on ‘the Google’. And now I love this song even more…Neil Finn from Crowded House told how this story came about…

We were trying to imagine a time and a place, and the line ‘Walking ’round the room singing Stormy Weather’ helped us get into some atmosphere of somebody troubled who is always on their own in a room. We were trying to find lines that described the scene, like the ‘small boat made of china’, and that feeling of ennui or languishing that permeates the song. Ultimately, the theme of the song is, of course, that you are creating your own weather, you are making your own environment, always.

So tonight is about three delights…..

The Delight of Winter Days

The Delight of a song that brings memories

The Delight that you are making your own environment, always…. everywhere you go.

Walking ’round the room singing Stormy Weather
At Fifty Seven Mount Pleasant Street
Well it’s the same room, but everything’s different
You can fight the sleep, but not the dream

Things ain’t cookin’ in my kitchen
Strange affliction wash over me
Julius Caesar and the Roman Empire
Couldn’t conquer the blue sky

Well, there’s a small boat made of china
It’s going nowhere on the mantelpiece
Well, do I lie like a lounge-room lizard
Or do I sing like a bird released?

Everywhere you go, always take the weather with you
Everywhere you go, always take the weather
Everywhere you go, always take the weather with you
Everywhere you go, always take the weather, the weather with you


Day 18 Delights- Work brought us Together, Life Made us Friends

Tonight this rowdy crew was kind enough to gather for my birthday. But my birthday didn’t matter…..any time I have a chance to gather with this group is a celebration. I would celebrate national Lost Sock Memorial Day just to be with them

For the record, National Lost Sock Memorial Day is May 9th.

I love these people. I love that I met them all at work and despite career changes, life changes, and many other changes, we all are still dear friends.

Work can be hard. Work can challenge your ego. Work can challenge your friendships.

I love that this picture is peppered with love and respect. Love for who we are as friends and respect for the savvy, talented colleagues I have had the privilege to work with.



Delight Day 27- Back to Delights

I’ve been thinking about these delights quite a lot lately.

What qualifies as a delight? There are quick shots of delight- they dance on your tongue like dark chocolate.

And then there are delights that brew in your head. They are not immediate- it is not instant. Perhaps a process that sooner or later it becomes a delight- a little more lasting a little more precious- laced with complexity and life.

My latest delight is around a conversation, albeit born out of intense pain, it is a quiet, coveted delight. I can delight in this honesty and our ability as a family to touch something that at times seemed untouchable.

Last week I sat with my dad and my Hubs. We stopped in for lunch after skiing. Conversations evolved from small talk to tough talk.

My dad has a dear friend that just lost a grandson in a horrible accident. Our collective heart aches for them.

“How is Mr. B?” I asked

“Well, you know. Not good? Okay? Sad? Hanging in there? It’s heartbreaking knowing the hard days ahead for him and his family. I want to tell him just to hang on. It can be really awful for a while and I just don’t know how to say it.”

“I always think of the Sara McLaughan song…..hold on, hold on to yourself, cause this is gonna hurt like hell…”

I grabbed a napkin and held it to my eyes, “it still makes me cry.”

I blew my nose and we all took a long drink of our Mary Jane ale. And watched the Olympics. Because you know, when you don’t know what to say……sports…and beer.

And then I broke the silence.

Because ugh……silence.

“But you should tell him something Dad. Seriously. You should tell him that he is going to be okay. That his family is going to be okay. That sometimes is feels like you never, ever will. But you need to tell him that you trust, you know that Mr. B is going to be okay. You telling him that you know he can survive this, that trust when it seems like the whole world is doubting…..that trust is everything.”

“I know….I know.”

“Trust is good, Hubs interjected, “A stiff upper lip can be good too.”

I grabbed Hubs’ hand and squeezed it, “And sometimes you have to tell yourself that we all grieve in different times, in different spaces and in different ways. And the only thing you can do is honor everyone’s process,” I bit Hubs’ finger in thought and angst. “Please tell him you know. You know, he will be okay.”

We watched the Super G. People missed gates, missed times, racers fell and for some, the race, the dream they had been planning for a lifetime was shattered.

It was nothing compared to the shatter we just discussed.

But somehow, we all get up. Maybe we get up because someone on the side tells us they know we can. Maybe it’s just our shear will and moxie. But we do it. And it hurts like hell.

And years later we sit around a pitcher of Mary Jane Ale and chicken nachos, dab teary eyes with rough napkins, knowing that we survived. Is it delightful? No, it’s not. But it is peppered with delight, gratitude, moxie and survival. I’ll take that spicy blend any day.

And to Mr. B and family. We see you you. We grieve your enormous loss. Trust in this shitty process. We have nachos and beer when you are ready.


Day 17 Delights- Selfies in the Bathroom

My niece has her Physicians Assistant White Coat ceremony this weekend.

It’s not only fun to be proud of her, it’s fun to see her so happy and excited about this next step.

We had our first celebratory meal in a bougie restaurant where we ate truffle fries and drank champagne on Restoration Hardware couches.

And like any meal with truffle fries and champagne, afterwards we found ourselves taking selfie’s in the ladies bathroom. I know- it sounds odd but it was a bonding moment.

Go eat the world beautiful niece.


Day 16 Delights: Socks


Today was chilly.

I needed some good socks.

I invested in good socks this winter. This has been a good investment. I was never a sock person. I am a sock person now.

Good socks are delightful.

I pulled out a stripped pair of socks this morning and delighted in the fact that not only are they stripped and lovely and warm…..but these socks have a fox.

We kinda love Dr. Seuss around here.

I took my amazing socks out of the drawer, and they have been sassy companion to my feet all day. Delightful.

The great thing about delights is that there is no rhyme or reason behind why something brings you joy. A delight is a gift- you just need to notice.

Not only are these awesome socks but they are darn tough…. yes I know, I am a sucker for branding but putting these darn tough socks on my feet, looking at my tootsies and deciding I was also going to be darn tough today and well, that was a delight too.

PS- I am not paid by darn tough socks to put them on my feet but I do find them lovely and delightful. Go be darn tough my fearless friends. You got this- you’re crazy… a fox.


Delights Day 15- Small Things

I meant to post this yesterday in honor of the great Martin Luther King Jr.

I thought about this post all day- and then I laid down on the couch and took a nap.

My napping really kind of leads to this post.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.- my goodness what a man. What a leader. What a poet. What a speaker. What a mover of people. What a feeler of feels……What an extraordinary human.

On social media, there was a call to post a favorite MLK quote. Earlier in the day, I had found this gem and made it my own…..

“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”

In the amazing prose of MLK, this quote is not extraordinary. It does not speak to never losing hope, finding the stars in the darkness or loving my enemy.

But it does speak to what I can do today. And what I can do tomorrow.

I can strive to do small things in a great way. And maybe those small things become great.

Or maybe not.

But its what I can do.

Doing is delightful.

Happy MLK day.


Delights Day 14- Y’all are delightful


You are the best. Honestly the very best. I think you may have broke Facebook because I can’t find all the thoughtful posts from my birthday. If I have not thanked you, I cannot get to the post.

But thank you. Really- tonight I am a giddy, overstimulated, tired, 51 year old swimming in birthday love. Your friendship is a delight.

Today was spent with Hubs doing one of the things we love the most- we skied a bluebird day in Colorado. Friends joined us, toasts were made, skies were clear, snow was great………

On the 51% of a century, I have many thoughts about today, you precious people. and the beauty of this life. But tonight I baste in birthday love like a big ol’ turkey. You all are the best. I delight in you.


Delights Day 13: Birthday Eve.

I spent my birthday eve with this amazing human- the woman who was kind enough to bring me into this world, my Mama.

Driving home this evening, I turned to my husband, “I’m a pretty lucky person,” I said.

And I don’t say that to be flippant, or trite, I know darn well how lucky I am to have this person in my life. This person who insists that at 51, my birthday still be super special.

And it was:

And now I am tired and off to bed. My belly is full of lobster, champagne and cake. My heart and head are full of gratitude and delight.

May we all be loved.


Delights Day 11- Move It

I have a fickle relationship with exercise.

I say that knowing I have a super-tolerant body. It’s not a bikini body by any means but I know my quads are strong. I trust that my heart will pound in protest but still get me up Vail pass. My knees? Well, they were good while they lasted.

I am also not a committed athlete….and I use the word athlete loosely. During marathon training, I found a glazed donut to be the perfect combination of carbs and fat.

Protien shake? Heck no! Jelly donut? Bring it.

I am the non-conforming worker-outer.

But I do know, I am better when I sweat. My head is clear when my heart beats fast.

As I get older, I appreciate this flawed, unperfect body even more.

And I as I get older, I realize, this body is getting older too.

Eight weeks ago I tore my bicep muscle. It was a dumb move. I was reaching for something on a shelf, slipped on a wood floor and grabbed the upper shelf with my right arm.

Holy MAMA. It hurt. And bruised. I could move my arm so knew it was a partial tear but I also knew it needed rest. Swimming was out for a while. It turned purple and ached at night… truth, this scared me a bit….

Because it was so dumb!

I hurt myself on a shelf. And I can’t help but think that 25 years ago, this would not have been an issue.

And today, some movements are still a little angry, but I went back to Orange Theory. I made have wept a bit as I watched my SPLAT points add up, as my heart rate rose and as the angst in my head turned into strokes on a bike.

I kissed my bicep as it moved through exercises with little protest.

Bicep- you’re a good muscle and I find delight in you. I will never take you for granted or reach beyond my means on slippery floors.

You only get one of these bodies. As I get older, I realize mine is just fine.

Pass the jelly donuts.


Delights Day 10- Tuesday with a Horse

This evening was my first session as a horse leader at the Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center. I keep meaning to post of photo with my horsey friends but every time I show up at the Center, my head and hands are busy and the phone stays in my pocket- which might be another delight.

I’ve always loved horses but as I grow older, these beautiful animals are leaving a deeper impression on me; their personalities, the non-verbal communication, the need for me to be aware of my own space as I interact with them.

My gait needs to interact with theirs.

My eyes need to focus on where we want to go.

I need to be cognizant that this beastie next to me has its very own mind and opinion. It’s a delicate partnership.

And it’s all still new for me. Today I was so nervous I relied on help from other very generous volunteers.

But as the sunset over the mountains, I tucked my horse, Junior in for the night. As he ate his dinner, I thanked him for being such a good, patient horse on my first day. His tail swished as he munched.

And I was delighted.


Delights Day 9- Friend Time

A dear friend had major surgery last week.

A holy-crap what did they do to your foot type of surgery

A let’s stick a screw up your foot type of surgery.

None of this is delightful.

But this evening it was quite delightful to drop off a meal and sit with a friend who never sits. In fact, I posted this picture because it’s the only one I could find of her not skiing or biking, or hiking.

My friend never sits still- unless you stick a screw up her foot.

To the delight of our healing bodies, sitting still even when it’s only when you must and to friend time.

Heal fast Love 🙂


Delights Day 8- Nieces

Our Nieces came over last night. We didn’t do anything spectacular. We ordered sushi, drank tea and watched Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (another delight). They decided to spend the night. I rustled up some pj bottoms, toothbrushes. And even though they are now adults, Hubs always does one last check in.

The nieces are in their 20’s and I love that they decided to spend a Saturday evening with us when they could have been anywhere else. I love that they complain about our always-chilly home and in response Hubs rustles up the space heater. I love that we are significant in each others lives.

They keep me honest and try to keep me hip. When pulling up an Instagram photo, I commented that someone got really bad Botox.

“Aunt Heather, that’s a filter.”

“Oh thank God.”

They tell me I can wear combat boots. I try to make them teach me the Men in Black Tik Tok dance.

What is most delightful is that as I grow older, I realize that relationships with the younger people in my life are still as important as they were when they needed to be picked up from dance practice. It is more of a give and take now- I learn a lot from these strong, younger women.

The call is different, but we all need our tribe, even if it includes a few elders 🙂


Settle- Delights day 7


I have never liked this word.

As a really ‘busy’ young child, I was often told to ‘settle down’. It usually meant I was in trouble and I had to sit. Or be quiet. Or both.

As a young women, people who married less than optimal Loves were told they were ‘settling’…..

I always thought settling was bad…..somewhat less than my explosive nature. If I was settling, life was less adventurous, settling was boring. We must be many things…..we cannot be boring!

But tonight, the first Friday of the New Year, my thoughts have settled. I have nothing to wrap, no parties to attend, nothing to bake, the world (thank God) is no longer on fire.

I am settled.

And I take delight in the fact.


Delight Day 6: Slippers and a Tree

It is cold and snowy here in CO! Warm feet are essential.

I bought myself these slippers for Christmas and my toasty, arch supported feet are cute and thrilled.

My tootsies with the shadow of our Christmas tree, still standing on January 6th, is Day 6 delight.

May we all have warm appendages…..and arch support.


Rocks and Hard Places

I’ve been writing for a local publication- this young family was fantastic, so fantastic I thought I would share 🙂

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves,” Sir Edmund Hilary.

It’s not easy to keep up with the Jones’s. In August, Tanner and Tyler Jane Jones will have been married for seven years. “It’s been a busy seven years,” says Tyler Jane. “We are just enjoying where we are right now.”

Tanner and Tyler Jane were high school sweethearts. It was their love of nature and the outdoors that brought them together. They met shooting archery in the Jefferson County 4-H club and have been by each other’s side ever since. Tanner joined the Marine Corps and served our country for four years before being honorably discharged in 2016. Ten days after Tanner left the Marines, he and Tyler Jane were married in Grand Lake.

“My favorite memories always surround us being outside,” says Tanner.

Tanner is a professional rock climber. The love of this sport changed the trajectory of his life and sometimes presented challenges that may have seemed insurmountable. On June 12, 2008, 14-year-old Tanner was climbing in Morrison. It was a hot day, and he was finishing up his last climb when he fell. Tanner suffered a severe fracture to his right leg and was piggybacked down the road. He went on to graduate from Chatfield High School, met Tyler Jane in 4H club and went on to enlist in the United State Marine Corps.

Tanner’s leg never healed properly but he learned to run through the pain when he passed the Marine Corp Physical Fitness test. Some might say the Marines instilled Tanner’s grit and resiliency, I believe it was there all along.

Ongoing surgeries, infections and an intense lack of mobility compelled 27-year-old Tanner to make a life-changing decision. On January 11, 2021, doctors amputated his right leg.

Since that time, Tanner has climbed Cotopaxi, a 19,400-foot volcano in Ecuador with other amputee athletes, and in 2022 he competed in the Para Climbing Nationals and the World Cup for Team USA. Tanner placed 7th in his division, less than a year after he decided to part with his right leg.

It’s a lot of life for a 29-year-old, a life best lead with an amazing partner, Tyler Jane. “In seven years, Tanner was honorably discharged from the Marines, we got married, had two babies, we both lost our moms to cancer, and Tanner went through a life-changing surgery. We’re just enjoying our life as a family right now.”

Life as a family includes two busy young kiddos; Bode (3) and Hadley (8 months). Bode is a busy toddler who climbs on everything, loves playing with his chickens, tractors monster trucks, and trash trucks. Bode has started climbing with his dad. Tanner strategically places gummy bears on handholds to keep Bode motivated. Hadley is a smiley baby who loves her dad and playing in water. We’re pretty sure she’ll join her brother climbing in the next year or two.

The Joneses’ are also raising fur babies. “Cora is our 7-year-old silver lab. She is our first child. We got her one month after we were married. She loves playing fetch, swimming, and eating everything and anything. The kiddos are her walking snack machines. She also enjoys catching a quick snooze in the sun,” says Tanner.

Pancake is the family cat. She is happiest outside chasing squirrels with Bode. The family chickens, Buttercup, Blossom, and Bubbles, complete this family. Buttercup is pretty attached to Bode. In fact, he’s the only one who can hold her. “The rest of us appreciate their eggs.”

Having grown up in Colorado, Tanner and Tyler Jane have many fond memories of this area. In March of 2020, they brought the house that Tyler Jane lived in the first two years of her life. “It’s been fun to bring our babies home to the same nursery that Tyler was brought home to and to make her childhood home our own,” says Tanner.

In December 2021, Tanner graduated with a degree in Recreation Therapy. He now works with the National Sports Center for the Disabled, guiding rock climbing, rafting, and ski programs. He recently started a competition team for individuals with intellectual disabilities in the Front Range.

Tyler Jane works in the health insurance vertical. She recently piloted a project focused on new moms, providing support during their fourth trimester and as they make the transition back to work with a new baby. She is passionate about women’s health and advancing how we as a society support new moms. Before she became a mom herself, Tyler Jane was the 2013-2014 Miss Rodeo Jefferson County. Perhaps that’s why she moves through these changes with ease, this isn’t her first rodeo.

Resiliency, determination, and a deep commitment to each other has grounded Tanner and Tyler Jane through challenging times. Tanner’s surgery has been life-changing. He no longer lives in pain and is able to embrace once again the physical activities that bring him joy. As a gifted rock climber, he is a leader in the para community, helping others find their own passions and push themselves beyond their limits.

“My favorite memories always surround us being outside. One of our most recent memories was rafting with Ty, Bode, and my dad for Father’s Day.”

When not summiting Cotopaxi, competing in the World Cup, or providing support to new moms, the Jones’ can be found throwing the ball for the pup at the park, enjoying the trails at Stanley Lake or catching bugs with Bode; outside, together as a family.

Neighbors of Northwest Arvada extends a sincere thanks to Tanner and Tyler Jane for sharing their story. You are an inspiration to us all; a story of love, hope and a reminder to us all that the climb is part of life; grit, determination and gummy bears lovingly placed on the handhold can make all of the difference.