Friday, September 27, 2013

I have had a lot of mixed emotions since the floods in Colorado. I feel very blessed that we have remained dry, but guilty that we still have everything - including running water. As I have talked with different families this week, I have realized many feel the same way. We are relieved that we are okay but almost unsure how to best help others.

I have had to limit my television viewing of the floods as I find myself getting completely absorbed into what is happening; the devastation puts me on an emotional roller coaster. On Monday night, I finally gave in and watched the newsreels play numerous pictures of the flooding over and over again. The severity of the destruction in Evans and the east end of Greeley was different than the picture of rest of Greeley. That night I could not sleep as I really was at a loss as to what I could do to help.

We have set up money and food collection for the Weld Food Bank at our office. On Wednesday, I took the kids to King Soopers to shop for the food bank. There were so many people at the store; most of them with items in their carts from the “Most Wanted” list. As the children and I headed to the macaroni and cheese aisle first, I was amazed at how empty the shelf was. I saw the same thing as we picked up vegetables, peanut butter, cereal, fruit and tuna. When I left the store I felt very little sadness but more pride toward our community for the support they were giving each other. In the past few days, I have seen food bank barrels at numerous businesses as well as drop sites for the Red Cross.

I know there may be some help from outside people in the coming months, but knowing how our community has stepped up to help their neighbors during this time fills my heart. What has certainly been a tragedy for many in Evans and Greeley has also showed the unity of our community. Just remember to keep watching out for your neighbors and helping whenever you can in the coming months.

I feel blessed to live in such a great community!

Friday, September 6, 2013

When the Baby of the Family Starts School

My baby, Hannah, is in full-day, every day kindergarten this year.   I won’t lie - I have been waiting for this year for a while.  I absolutely love and adore all my children and I love my time with them.  The reality is, however, I also needed more time in the office and I have found myself buried under work.  I knew that to get caught up, I needed to start working full-time and what little child wants to be dragged to the office for 8 hours or more a day, 5 days a week?
Hannah started classes the 21st and I DID cry that first day I left her in the classroom, but the following two days I kept busy at work.  When Monday came around, I could sense the loneliness setting in without my little sidekick.  Monday has always been my “volunteer” and “errand” day.  Hannah would go everywhere with me and never complain.  That Monday, I walked Hannah to the playground and became very reluctant to leave her.  I watched Hannah play by herself on the monkey bars and stayed until I knew she was safely in line to head into class.  I was positive someone was going to trample my little girl.  Later that morning, I was the library helper for Hannah’s class.  I watched her in class and kept thinking “She is just too little for kindergarten! What was I thinking?” 
I walked with the class back to the classroom and helped “herd” them into the lunchroom.  I made the mistake of going into the lunchroom where I saw Hannah fumbling to get her lunch containers open.  So being the great mother I am, I opened up her containers, grabbed a napkin and reminded her to eat her vegetables.  I am actually pretty embarrassed to have done that because I have always taught my children to do things for themselves.  Emma, my 2nd grader, ran up to me in the lunch room while I was helping Hannah and gave me a hug.  She then rolled her eyes and said, “Mom she is just fine.”  It took all my willpower to leave the school and not take Hannah with me.

When Hannah came home that afternoon I told her how much I missed her and that maybe she should just stay home with me.  I know - mistake number two!  Fortunately, Hannah replied, “I really like school, but maybe one day I can stay home with you.  Just tell them I am sick.”  As eager as I have been for my children to return to school, I have missed them greatly this week.  I thought I was ready for Hannah to move up in the world and start full-day school, but have struggled this week with my decision.  By the way, when I left the office on Friday, I was still buried with work that will have to wait for next week!