Monday, August 30, 2010

Excited

When I did the Run for Congo Women last September, I was just in awe of the women who had put it all together.  I knew that the organizer was a woman named Jen Parsons, but I didn't know who she was.  Turns out, I met her and didn't know it at the time.  :)  But imagine how thrilled I was when she visited my blog soon afterward!  Since then, we've become good friends, and today she wrote about me on her blog!

I'm a little giddy.  It's not often that someone you admire so tremendously writes about you.  :)  You can read her post here.  :)  (Please do, and pass it on!)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A day at Estes

 
We spent the day at Estes Park.  It is quickly becoming one of my favorite places.  

Can you hear the sweet sigh of relief?  It was so nice to get away from the daily pressures for a little while. 

Riding the tram up the mountain:
 

We love it here!
 
Feeding the chipmunks was the highlight of the day.  :)

 
What a trooper!
 

 

 

 

Our two-year old calls them "chickamunks."  :)

 

 
Nothing like clambering over rocks!

 

 

Is this child growing before my very eyes?  I think she is.  Shame on her. :)

 

 

 

 

 

 
With my five favorite women on earth. :)

 

 
There should always be a little time for drawing in the dirt.  (Here she is drawing arrows for the chipmunks to follow, so they don't lose us.)  :)

 

 

Beauties!
 
Trooper, trooper, trooper.

 
All mine. :)

 
Making you want to pull your hair out one moment...

 
...melting your heart the next.
(Isn't that the definition of "two?")

 
Back down the mountain.

 
And the trip just would not have been complete without a little trip to the Estes Ark.  :)  
(PS - Thanks, Dad, for helping us find it.  It hasn't changed much.) :)

 
Leaving just before the afternoon storms roll in...these late summer afternoon storms have got to be one of my favorite things about living in Colorado. 



I LOVE my family!  Thank you, Loves, for the blissful day.

Good Friends

Good friends are delightful and restful to the soul. :)

Having a good friend with a darling son and a glorious cinnamon roll recipe...even better. :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thankful

The past few months have been so eventful and so full of challenges, blessings, and one-thing-after-another(s), that it's hard to put them into words.

Some moments have looked just like this:

But somehow, together, lots have looked like this, too:

(What a beauty!)

I can't begin to express the love I feel for so many of you, and for all that you have done for me.  The journey I've been on for the past few months has been hard at times, but I have been surprised, again and again lately, at the love and outreach.  So many of you have blogged, spoken up, signed up, and just shown up, for me and for what I care about.

Thank you.

Though this journey isn't over yet, and the biggest part is still ahead of me, I can't tell you enough what it has meant.


My family has carried my heart, day in and day out, ever since it began.  I love them more than I can ever tell them.

They've been so patient with their crazy mom.  :)

I'm so grateful for kids who love being with each other.




Such an angel.

Such soul-searching eyes.  I want to make sure she finds something good in mine.
 
Blessed am I.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

One month out!

Yoga for Congo Women is only a month away!  I am thrilled that it is coming up, because it means that soon, we will be able to help some women who dearly need it. 

Please allow me to share with you, briefly, a few facts about the Democratic Republic of the Congo:
  • It is the deadliest war since WWII, and also the most ignored.
  • 5.4 million dead as of January 2008, with 45,000 more continuing to die each month.  (That's a September 11th every 2.5 days.)
  • Innocent women are used as weapons in this war: warring militias compete to be the most brutal, and thus the most feared. 
  • Thousands of women (ranging from ages 3-80) are gang raped each month.
  • Women are forced to watch as family members are kidnapped and killed.
  • (YES, this is actually happening, right now!)

But the most important bullet point:
  • YOU can do something.  In one hour, you can change the life of a woman who is hurting.
100% of the proceeds will go towards sponsoring Congolese women survivors through Women for Women International.  Women for Women is an established and well-vetted organization that works with women survivors of war world-wide.  They provide:
  • emotional assistance to heal from the trauma they have been through
  • rights and health awareness training
  • literacy training
  • skill-specific training, including business management
  • seed money to start her own small business upon completion of the one-year program
One woman, Honorata, who has been through the WfW training said, "This program has dared me to hope of having a house, of living in peace, of reclaiming my dynamism, my dignity...to be someone of value again."

Yoga for Congo Women will take up one hour of your time.  One morning, if you count traveling to and from.  That's it.  One morning for you...the rest of her life for her. 

Allow me one more bullet point list?  Some quick facts about the YFCW event:
  • You'll feel wonderful.
  • The yoga will be beginner level.
  • Almost all of the other people coming are new to yoga, too.  Some have never done it before.
  • You'll save lives.
  • You'll never be the same again.

And one last one!  There will also be an inexpensive ONLINE broadcast!  Anyone in the world, no matter where they live, can join in the broadcast at any time that is convenient for them.  (http://yogaforcongowomen.org/yoga-for-congo-women-online/)  So if you have friends that might be interested in helping, but who don't live in the Denver area, please forward this email on to them!

Please, please come.  I promise, no one will stare at you, no one will laugh at you.  Come feel the power of standing up and doing something! 

"One woman can change anything, but many women can change everything."  - Christine Karumba

These women are real, and they're hurting, and I'm just not okay with that.  I say we give this "changing everything" thing a try.  Who's with me?

Yoga for Congo Women
September 18, 2010
Golden, CO

Learn more or register at: http://YogaforCongoWomen.org

Love,
Ann
PS - Men are invited, too!  We've already got a few signed up!  Bring your sweetie!  I'm bringing mine! :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Five months


How is it possible for time to move so quickly? 

I love this sweet, sweet child.  I'm afraid my only comfort for her rapidly advancing age is to snuggle her all the more. :) 

It also makes me realize how quickly the others are growing...time to snuggle them all!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A bike rodeo






5 kids usually doesn't feel like a lot to me...until I take them to something like this where one million children are zipping around on bikes.  :)






I'm reasonably sure this type of activity is designed to delight the hearts and minds of young children, while at the same time inducing aneurysms in their mothers.

I suppose the near-aneurysm was worth it. :)

Going the wrong way around...still makes me smile. :)

Off into the sunset. :)