Feathered Aspen

Week of January 4

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[This week’s publication was a bit delayed due to work and going down with the flu.]

This week marked going back to work.  I always start the New Year on a high being home, which usually gets deflated, not so much by going back to work, but with falling back into routine.  This year, I tried to remain as mindful and present as I could.  Overall, I think I did a pretty good job.

I set out the new week knowing that routine is inevitable.  I will go to work.  I will come home.  I will spend time with the girls.  I will eat.  I will run.  I will sleep. I will do laundry and pick up the house. Etc…  Its this routine that often causes me to tune out.  I tend to just let these things happen to me.  In the spirit of mindfulness though, I began this week trying to establish a routine with intention.  Instead of just “doing” these things, I would plan when and how I would do them.  I set my running and workout plans for the week.  I established when I would accomplish what work I need to do for school.  And, Ellie and I talked about how and when I would work on our new updates on the house this weekend (more on that later). I also thought about what we should do as a family at night and on the weekend.  While my plans didn’t always come to fruition exactly as I thought they would, I felt as though I went through this week much more aware of how I spent my time, knowing why I was doing what I was doing, and remaining aware of how I felt throughout it all.  For whatever reason, I’ve spent most of my life on the side of spontaneity, but I think deep inside, I prefer to have plans laid out and adjust as need be.  It felt good this week to break the usual routine, and think and envision how it would unfold before it happened.  As a result, I was much more present and aware this week.  I dealt with the challenges of the week more easily.

Starting a new semester is always a lot of work.  I have to wrap up grading and then launch into new planning.  On top of the usual work, my administrators have decided this year to change our grading policies at the last minute, so I spent most of the first two days of the week just finishing and posting grades from the first semester.  I was a bit frustrated and felt like I was scrambling for the rest of the week to get started with teaching.  On top of it all, my administrators also decided to add more students to my classes.  My total teaching load for the new semesters is now at a lofty 171 students.  Yikes!  The good news is I have quite a bit of help from my wonderful apprentice teacher.  I’m hopeful that this semester will prove to be less time intensive than the last. In planning my week, I’m trying to be conscious of taking work home with me only at specific times of the week and minimizing its impact on the other facets of my life.

After two days of grading and planning, students returned on Wednesday.  In general, I have pretty good classes this term.  By the end of the week though I as feeling pretty haggard.  Part of my new routine is waking up at 5:00A everyday to either run or plan for work. (I’m trying to maximize my time and not take away from time with the family.)  By the end of the week, I hadn’t slept as much as I’d hoped.   Additionally, we have a virus floating around our house that I think my immune system has been trying to fight off.  All in all, by Friday afternoon, I was pretty pooped.

Lily seemed a bit frustrated with me this week too.  I think it was a combination of me going back to work and not being around as much as well as being tired and not as energetic at night.  As a result, we didn’t connect well.  I’m hoping this week will be better now that she’s used to me back at work and that I’m acclimating to my new sleep schedule.

Lu as always is a fun little sweet heart.  Although, as soon as she gets hungry and tired she wants nothing to do with me.  She’s entirely a momma’s girl these days.

On Friday we had dinner with Will and Val.  Unfortunately, Lu got sick and vomited just as we were finishing eating.  Apparently, she picked up some bug and has been down for the count ever since.  The poor little lady wants nothing else than to cuddle with her momma.  Ellie loves the cuddles, but it also means she’s been thrown up on multiple times this weekend.

Saturday morning I woke up at 4:00A to sneak in a long trail run with my friend John.  We headed to Mt. Falcon which was covered in about six inches of powder.  The run was slow going but outstandingly beautiful.  Back at home, I spent the remainder of the day working on our new dinning room table.  We’ve decided that since we are committed to living in a tiny home, we need some updates to get the tiny home efficiency.  To this end we’re building a new dinning area with a built in bench and slide in table.  In the living room, we’re going to build in an L-couch with pull out storage underneath. Hopefully these updates will maximize our space and make it more livable.

While I worked on the table, Ellie took the girls to ikea. In addition to living room changes, we’re going to make the move into our own bedroom soon.  Ellie and I are going to move to the front room and the girls are going to rock a bunk bed in the back room, which will also become their play room.  Ellie’s mission was to secure a bunk bed for the girls and a captain’s bed for us.  Unfortunately, after almost an hour at the mega store, Lu vomited all over Ellie.  At this point, Ellie aborted the trip and came home for a shower and some clean clothes.

Sunday we treated ourselves to biscuits at Rise and Shine and then went down to the Art Museum.  There we met our friends Chris and Melissa and their son.  Sadly, they moved out of Colorado last year and we haven’t seen them since.  It was good to spend a few hours with them exploring the museum and catching up.  Hopefully we’ll be able to reconnect again this summer when we head to the Canyon lands for our summer vacation.

In addition to seeing our friends, we got to see Foxy & Schmoxy at the art museum. Foxy & Schmoxy are fox art detectives performed by two improve artists.  They set up in a gallery some where, which you have to follow clues to find, and then act out and explain some of the art in the gallery to the kids. For the past two months they’ve been trying to find a giant yellow blob of paint that has been sneaking around the museum.  Every other week they gather new clues as to where and what it might be.  I think I enjoy them as much as Lily does.  They’re pretty funny.  Lily has a little Foxy Schmoxy dance she does when she knows we’re going to see them.

The remainder of Sunday was fairly low key.  We grocery shopped, hung out at home, cleaned a bit, and I put in a few hours of work.  Besides Lu getting sick, this was pretty good week.  Hoping now that the rest of us don’t catch her like bug.

This weeks miles:  45.6 mi – 9h 3m – 4,633ft

Monday – Run home with a few fartleks – 5.5mi

– Morning strength training (squats, lunges, etc…)

Tuesday – Easy run to work – 5.5 mi

Wednesday – Temp work out (6x 3′ SPZ4) – 6.4 mi

Thursday – Easy run home – 5.5 mi

Friday – Snowy run to work – 5.5 mi

Saturday – Snowy Mt. Falcon Lollipop and 2nd climb to the Castle – 16.4 mi

Sunday – off

Pictures from the week


My classroom is so cold, I bought gloves and cut off the fingers so I can wear them while teaching and keep my hands warm.


“Daddy! Daddy! She’s getting into it!”

“What’s it?”

“The vaseline!  She’s smearing it in her!  But its, okay, I’ll brush it out.”


Walked into the playroom to find these two feminists




Saturday run with my friend John.


New table I’m building!  Will hopefully have more completed pictures next week


Blessed to catch up and play with Melissa, Chris and their son today at the art museum.



No dice on running the Leadville 100 this year.  I’m convinced its not actually a lottery.  The only way I’m getting in is if I get sponsored or join Lifetime.

Author: Joshua

I am a husband and father. I am an outdoor enthusiast, adventurer and ultrarunner. I like to cook and eat. I love to travel and explore. Most of all, I like to do the things I love with the people whom I love.

One thought on “Week of January 4

  1. Great to read this, Joshua. I really appreciate this blog. Stay well (or getting better, depending on where you are at right now:)).

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