The roundups continue! I wrote a similar post about 2014, but apparently we didn't learn anything in 2015 (haha)
1. Moving is hard.
This is not a revelation. But considering how we moved for the FOURTH CONSECUTIVE SUMMER in 2016, we had the opportunity to learn this lesson once again. We are well aware of how ironic it is that we keep moving to places and then kick and scream about moving away from those same places (well, most of them at least), but there you have it.
2. There is a better way than the Cone of Shame.
Last Christmas break (but still in 2015) both Matt and Ellie had knee surgery on the same day (Matt's was planned and was not caused by barbed wire, vice versa for Ellie). Matt had the CryoCuff of Shame which worked out just fine, but Ellie was given one of those terrible awful plastic cones to wear and it was disastrous. She couldn't eat, couldn't walk up the steps, tried to convince me to just leave her out in the middle of the night in the snow and cold because coming in simply wasn't worth the effort. I researched and discovered the Zen Collar, which I ran out and bought immediately and made her wear it without incident in January until her stitches healed. It should be required for dogs undergoing medical care everywhere. File that away in case you or a Dog Person you love needs this life lesson.
3. I like what I like.
Also not a revelation in any way shape or form, just a very strong reminder: as I was looking through some pictures this week I stopped dead in my tracks at this terrible one I took on my phone at Tinkertown, the wonderfully kitschy little place tucked in the Sandias that I visited with Gracie and Bridget last spring. I took the picture because the poster style caught my eye among the 97 billion other things arranged in that wonderful little place, and then I promptly forgot about it. It wasn't until I was looking again two days ago that I realized it's the same artist, Bob Coronato, that designed one of the most popular CFD posters of all time in 2015—one that we immediately purchased and had framed (for us and for Grandpa and Grandma Rodeo) even though it broke our house rule that requires we attend anything we frame with a date on it in our house. We even met him at the annual Art Show during CFD this past summer, and I wanted to cash in our savings and buy everything he was selling. HA!
3a. I may never get caught up on CFD stories.
I wlll try, but it just might not ever happen.
4. Anyone can learn to ride a horse.
I think this particular CFD story has been covered : )
5. There is more dressing up in Cheyenne than in any other town.
In the last six months, there has been: Cowgirl Elizabeth [dressy, business, and casual versions], Late 1880s Elizabeth, Turn of the Century Elizabeth, Disco Elizabeth, Fancy Air Force Ball Elizabeth, Semi-Formal Air Force Occasion Elizabeth... (Dress-up Elizabeth also usually comes with an appropriately dressed Matt doll)
6. Painting 100+ year old attics takes 17 times longer than you think it will take.
I painted and painted and painted and painted some more this summer; for some reason I seriously thought it would take maybe four days tops to paint two small attic rooms and the long hallway, but instead, it took weeks. Multiple months, even. But oh, it's so much lovelier now, even with my "aiming for 80% quality work" standard. One of these days I need to post the after photos!
7. Braces are amazing!
Braces are expensive and hurt-y, but they are also doing their good work to fix jaws (and crazy teeth). This is one year and six days difference. Bridget is on the two phase plan, which means she'll eventually be in braces again for a second round after these come off in another month, but all the awful palate expansion and chains and general unpleasantness has really paid off.
8. Purchasing Denver Nuggets basketball tickets is not unlike the plot from Rumplestiltzken.
Our big family Christmas gift this year: five tickets to see the Cavs play the Denver Nuggets in March (pictured above: Matt's clever golden ticket idea for communicating this news to girls). It was not easy to secure these tickets; Matt was surprised that signing over one's first-born was not actually part of the process. Apparently the purchasing process is legendary (not in a good way) and involves scanning one's driver's license and credit card, blurring out certain pieces of information with the online email receipt printed and then used as the background for the license and credit card scan. Denver, we're not sure what weirdo online shopping deal you made with your shopping cart host, but it might be time to enter the 21st century. 👀
9. Gold friends are worth their weight in... gold.
Maddie has had these good friends for a long time now. They don't all live in Wyoming any more even though she is the only military kid in the bunch—but these families moved mountains when the possibility presented itself to get them ALL together for the first time since 2013. All the moving around has been hard what with all the figuring out how to fit in and make new friends all the time, and it was glorious to hear old friends be old friends, no fitting in required. Both these pictures are in their time capsule, created after four years of friendship in 2013, to be opened in 2020.
10. You just never know.
It's a life lesson best shared over coffee or liquor, but the gist of the story is this: sometimes you can't imagine how life will turn out. We made the decision to switch gyms in November; this picture represents a fresh start we never would have dreamed of in a trillion years. We have long relied on the power of fresh starts in this house. Gambling on them doesn't always pay off, but in this case it did.
Bonus: You are capable of far more than you think.
Not going to lie: we don't know how we manage to keep the 37 ring circus running most days, either. But when you put one foot in front of the other—whether it's knowingly biting off work that represents more than one might reasonably chew, refocusing after a big fall, moving again, quickly establishing a home, serving the Air Force, volunteering in the community, or just getting from Point A to Point B reliably—it's good to know it's possible to do seemingly impossible things when looking back at the the evidence that proves it. We did ___ [fill in the blank]. Hopefully I will be looking back in January 2018 thinking exactly the same thing.