The Soul of a State

One of my favorite seasonal magazines is Bella Grace. It is a beautiful, quarterly magazine published on quality paper that makes it feel like a book to be treasured. I only have four past issues that I get out, one at a time, during the correct season. I so enjoy sitting down with it & reading. It includes beautiful photography, interesting articles about slowing down & enjoying life, & prompts to write your own thoughts & lists. Reading it feels like enjoying dessert. 

While reading the Summer 2019 issue again this summer, I came across an article titled The Soul of a State that described how each state has its own personality, its own feeling. I completely agree. Several years ago I wrote about the two states I’ve lived in & thought I’d share that here. 


Nebraska was home for twenty-three years. My growing up years and college years, and now vacations there to see grandpa and grandma and visit Lake McConaughy. The slower pace of Nebraska is refreshing and so appealing. The endless cornfields and cattle grazing in pastures. The sandhills, the flat interstate stretching across the state. So many memories, family, and love. 

Colorado is home now and will be for some time. Where I built a career, met my husband, and had a family. The beautiful Rocky Mountains and glorious Pike’s Peak to see every day. Bright, bluebird days, aspen trees, and pine trees. The hustle-bustle of the city and the escape to the mountains. So many memories, family, and love. 


May Madness, Part 2

Mother’s Day 2024

Our school does a wonderful job of sending off the 6th graders to Junior High. First, the students had their “Last Recess Ever” on the playground which lasted two hours. No recess in Junior High so this is a fun tradition. Then, parents were invited to join in a celebration together. Two teachers & the principal shared some thoughts about this class of students – the class of 2030! We also watched a slideshow of fun memories over the past seven years & then all enjoyed cake together. 

James with his buddies at the Track Banquet.

The last day of school was anticlimactic for James as he finished his last final for the week & just came home. We went out to dinner that evening to celebrate the kids, & I think James was fine with the lack of hoopla. We’re so proud of his efforts this freshman year! 

Anna, on the other hand, had LOTS of hoopla on her last day of school. The moving-up assembly was first where all the grades moved up to their new grade. The 6th graders sang a farewell song & then exited the gym. Next was the 6th grade run through the halls. All of the other grades & parents line the halls & high-five the 6th graders. Then each 6th grade class had some time together in the classroom sharing favorite memories from their elementary years. Parents were invited in at the end of the day to take class pictures. Anna, we’re so proud of your efforts this past school year, finishing 6th grade & elementary school!

Anna & her teacher, Mrs. Woodward

And after all of that, one 6th-grade mom treated a group of 6th-grade girls to ride around in a limousine for a while to celebrate! The girls had SO much fun. 

Our biggest news for May was James making center snare (lead snare) for drumline this fall in marching band! He has wanted to play on drumline since he started marching band, & has been working hard practicing for many months. He nailed his audition & we’re so proud of him! After school was out, he had four days of band camp where the students received music to start working on over the summer. We love listening to this guy play drums of any kind & are looking forward to football games even more this fall!

Anna’s dance season ended about the same time school did & she was ready for a few weeks break before summer intensives began. 

After school was out, both kids enjoyed having friends over to hang out. Anna & Emmy baked cookies, made lemonade & a sign, & set up a lemonade stand at the end of our street. Then they promptly wanted to go to Scheels to spend their earnings together. 

May Madness, Part 1

May was a crazy month finishing school, but we so enjoyed all of the hustle & bustle. Attending James & Anna’s performances & activities is one of our favorite things to do!

We started the month off with a couple of band concerts. James performed in concert band & jazz band and played a variety of instruments. In the video below he is playing the drumset. While you can’t see him, you can hear him! 

James playing in a percussion ensemble for Solo & Ensemble Festival.

Anna performed in another show in early May, this time with a contemporary dance. So fun to watch her enjoy another genre of dance. She’s getting to be an expert with her contacts & stage makeup now & enjoys making a time-lapse video while she gets ready. 

James & Anna playing piano together. Makes my heart happy!

Track season continued into May. James prefers to run sprints & relays but sometimes Coach enters him in long-distance races too. After one 400-meter race, James wasn’t feeling too great, hence the pictures of him lying on the field with his feet in the air. 


Anna singing Allelu with the 6th-grade girls in assembly in May. 

Spanish Day in 6th grade included students presenting their PowerPoint presentations on their Latin America country project. Anna studied, wrote about & presented on Costa Rica. The day also included fun with a pinata, ordering in Spanish from a taco truck & enjoying other foods from the countries the students studied. Anna brought in fried plantains to share with the class. The Spanish 3 & 4 students from the high school came to run some of the activities which was fun. They spoke to the kids in Spanish & definitely tested their skills. This was our last curriculum day together which was kind of bittersweet. 

Anna & Emmy hanging out together, painting rocks. The rock on the front porch says ‘Besties = A+E’. 

Girl’s Night, hanging out at Scheels & riding the Ferris wheel!