Feathered Aspen

Week of January 11


Knocked on my ass.  That’s the motto this week.  From a raging stomach flu to life changing news, this week has definitely been about getting knocked on our asses.

Last week, I wrote that my goal was to have intention driving my routine.  This week was an exercise in reality and humility.  I was reminded, ever so gently, that I am not always in control and that there is always beauty in the unexpected.

Monday was a normal day.  Relatively calm at school.  Later in the evening, we we went out for a family run.  Once home, I felt terrible.  My stomach was rumbling.  Lu was still weak and weary so we called it an early night.  I slept poorly and in the morning was feeling worse yet.  I always err on the side of going to work when I’m not feeling well (why waste a precious day off when I don’t feel well?  I would rather not feel well at work and save a day off for playing!)  Luckily I was on planning first period.  I sat at my desk and slowly deteriorated.  I couldn’t focus and kept having to run to the bathroom.  It was time to go home.

The stomach flu sucks.  There is really now other way to put it.  It sucks all the life out of you and leaves you curled in a ball on your bathroom floor writhing in pain in your own filth.  Its an experience in which you are so powerless.  Your body is at an all out war trying to kill the invaders. It’s animalistic.  Grunt and writhe.  Lose your mental facilities.

Luckily its so short lived.  It comes with such intense fury. Its almost nature’s way of saying, don’t presume you have control of anything.   With one little virus you’re down for the count.  Mercifully, it fades after 4 or 5 hours, but there is nothing left of you.

The girls didn’t quite know what to make of me.  They watched me closely and stayed an arm’s length away.  Sweet loving Lily kept asking if I was okay and seemed a little afraid when the answer was no.

I’m probably overthinking it, but I feel there has to be some cosmic significance that the day after I wrote about plans and intentionality, I’m crippled for the rest of the day by the flu.  Something, someone, somewhere I think was reminding me that best laid plans often go amiss and that more often than not the altered path is just as beautiful and meaningful.

Somewhere in between my last dying breathes of the flu, Ellie excitedly told me that Will and Val were under contract to move within half a mile of us.  While it didn’t really register at the time, when I later came to my senses, I realized what an amazing news this is.  Super pumped to have them and their growing family so close.  The village is growing!

Wednesday, I debated if I should go into work. I sat on the couch for a while and another round of gut wrenching toilet blasting left me thinking that work was a bad idea.  If not for this last surge of the flu, I would not have been home when Ellie got the call.

Last spring Ellie learned about the most amazing charter school in our district that aligns perfectly with are values.  Children are outside everyday of the year for at least two hours.  There are no screens or media in the entire school.  Children learn to play musical instruments, act, farm, wood work and craft with fibers.  Kids can’t wear branded clothing or clothing with characters printed on them.  The focus of the school is building community and teaching compassion and empathy.  Students are allowed to be curious and let their imaginations run free.  Its a dream school.

Unfortunately, we registered late and were 80th or so on the waitlist. There was no hope.  Ellie took the girls there again last week to the orientation for the new year’s lottery application.  There they told her they were estimating 200-300 kids to be on this year’s waitlist.  A dream, but such a slim chance.

Then on Wednesday, Ellie got the call.  Some how. Through some cosmic twist of fate, Lily was selected off the waitlist.  She’s in for the remainder of this year!  With sibling preference, all our kids will get in for the future!  We were floored.  It seemed unreal.  We’d talked about the school so much.  We imagined what it would be like for our kids to go there for so long.  This is life changing news.  Our girls will get the best possible school experience we could imagine for them.  They will now, hopefully, make it through the school system unscathed by bullies and drama.  Their curiosity and  imaginations won’t be beaten to a pulp by a desire to achieve test results.

Had I not been knocked down by the flu, I wouldn’t have been there to share in the news.  While my stomach was a mess, my heart was elated.

After a midday nap, I was feeling a bit better.  I spent the rest of the day snuggling with the girls and talking with Lily about what her new school would be like.  She’s so excited.  My aches and pains from the flu faded.

The rest the week was uneventful.  On Saturday and Sunday we worked on the house more.  We set up Lily and Lu’s new bedroom and finished the new dinning room table.

This post is getting long and I’m getting tired, so I’ll wrap up here and write more next week about our home improvements and updates.

All in all it was an unexpected but extremely joyful week.  The flu was awful, but the news of Lily’s new school and the news of having Will and Val so close far eclipses those temporary pains. I’m left thinking that intentionality and awareness are essential, but so are the unexpected and random twists of the fates.

Well, that’s the news from our little corner of Colorado, where all the women are crafty, all the men run far, and all the children are recovering from the flu.

This week’s miles: 32.9 miles – 6h 14m – 3,750ft

Monday: Family jogger slogger – 6.2mi

Tues, Wed, & Thur: Off – Flu

Friday: Run to work 5.5mi

Saturday: Family jogger slogger – 5.6 mi

Sunday: Icy trail run at Apex – 15.3 mi

This week’s pictures




So excited about getting into school!


Mmmmmm Saturday morning pineapple pancakes


Little gymnasts


Bunk beds!


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.

2 thoughts on “Week of January 11

  1. Ugh. I think teaching while also raising wee ones is a little bit like living in a petri dish. Hope you are feeling better, and congratulations on the good news. It sounds like the girls will love this place!

  2. What a week! So excited about your school news for both the girls–and for you and Ellie too. I hope the bug is well and truly out of your system by now. Couldn’t help but notice you run more miles sick that most healthy people do on an average week. Love the pictures, especially of your kitchen helpers on the counter top!

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