Monday, December 31, 2012

Auld Lang Syne

As my month-o-nog comes to a close
and 2013 draws near,
I think back to the paths we chose
over the last (accident-free) year...

Cayenne opted for Mountain Middle
for the next three years of school -
the wisdom of this is still a riddle,
although she finds it way cool.

Our gymnast Acacia has found her sport,
cartwheeling all over the place...
but flips in the house she had to abort
after kicking her Mom in the face.

After years of telling us how smart he is,
our Nick had a chance to prove it.
Turns out he's a chemistry whiz,
but now he has to move it...

... to Denver? to Phoenix? He's yet to decide;
in the balance our future hangs.
Either way it's an eight-hour drive,
while Nick learns all about fangs.

The fluffy white guy who wasn't meant to see four
celebrated the big one-two.
In human terms that's a full eighty-four
and he's still a-slobbering that goo.

As for me, my days are full:
home, work and the occasional blog.
With two pre-teens, I have no pull...
thus the month of eggnog.

Very, strong, eggnog.


Amid cliffs from which I'd like to toss Congress -
along with a few guns too,
a healthy new year, without much stress
is my sincere wish for you.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Cherry Mistmas!!


That's what I was left with once I'd searched for clues that started under the tree, and continued all over the house. Now I just need to unscramble the letters...

I was stumped for quite a while, partly because Acacia initially gave me some wrong letters... 

(Each photo had a clue stapled to it, like: This makes Dad happy but Mom cry. That meant the next clue was under the onions in the pantry. And each clue also had a few letters, so I needed to find all the clues to get all the letters. Fun!)

'Twas the night before Christmas...

The gift that brought tears to Nick's eyes... 

...the two-year Satcho calendar from Michel.

Relaxing Christmas Day...

Nick and Cayenne are preparing a special meal and the house smells divine!
(Potatoes from our garden.)

Guests at the Cofman Kennel. 

The Aftermath...

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Oh, and here are the letters uncoded. WooHoo!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I have a confession to make: For the past year the news I wasn't sharing was far more interesting than the news I was. And no, I'm not pregnant! It's almost as life-changing though.

When Nick and his plane collided with the earth, his teeth smashed together with such a force, he nearly severed his tongue. That saved his front teeth, but his molars fared worse and (once his broken jaw had healed) he spent a whole lot of time with his mouth open wide, looking up (dentist) Courtney's nose. Most people count the minutes until they can escape from their dentist's chair, but Nick isn't most people, and his thought was, "This is what I want to be when I grow up."

Just four months post-crash he was enrolled at Durango's Fort Lewis College - and that was when I first heard about all this. Yes: post-enrollment. (See anniversary post - 11/24/12.)

His first degree from Trinity was in Political Science and didn't include the advanced chemistry and biology courses needed to apply for dental school. So he spent the last year completing 10 courses and 9 labs - a very full load even for those students without a family and job. He performed brilliantly.

It's been a busy, exciting and sometimes tough year, with Nick flying and studying, me starting up in real estate - and both of us trying to keep the girls' lives as undisrupted as possible... And we just found out it's paid off.

Both Phoenix schools he applied to and interviewed with accepted him this week. They each received 3,500 applications for 75 spots, and Nick was chosen in the first round (the schools' top picks). What smart schools.

So starting at the end of next summer Dad is going to be 8 hours away. Not much different from when he flies, but dental school lasts four years!

I'm extremely proud of the dedication he's shown and his success so far...
but I miss him already.

One day at a time...

Here the pomegranate seeds soak in Grand Marnier before being slipped into our champagne the evening we shared the news with Michel and Ilona.

Here's to you, Nicolas!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Giving Thanks the Easy Way

It just wouldn't be a trip to Arizona if we didn't spend at least some of it pulling fine cactus spines out of Acacia's butt and legs and arms... She's drawn to them like Icarus to the sun.

Camelback Mountain on the busiest day of the year is not the walk you'd expect a group of Cofmans to choose on Thanksgiving. But it's beautiful, hot - and there was something fun about sharing that day with half the population of Phoenix.

I looked down at my vibrant four-year-old nephew hiking beside me, yakking non-stop, his strong tiny hand gripping mine.

"So when we get back to the hotel can you help me with something?" he asked.

"Sure. With what?"

His big brown eyes caught mine for a second, then looked back at the trail.

"Oh I don't know. When we get back I'll think of something."

Bless him. He was planning the next fun thing in his day, and although he didn't know what it was going to be, he was ensuring there'd be someone to share it with. He didn't need to worry though; with all 10 of us together again, there was always a friend around.

Ilona and Michel treated the family to a Thanksgiving getaway in Phoenix, where it was warm enough to enjoy the water slides, floating rivers, (pina coladas by the) swimming pools, and evening fire-pits (s'mores!). So basically, it didn't suck:

Cayenne has always had a hard time unwinding...

This photo cracks me up. 

Sam leading the way up Camelback Mtn.

 Almost a family photo... Alan was the photographer.

 Foosball! (That's me beating Nick at ping-pong in the background.)

 Way too much, really good food...

.. but not so much that Nick and I didn't fight over the last licks of decadent chocolate sauce.

This was the Untalent Show (their title, not mine!)

Good times!