28 December 2007

christmas '07

Not sure how it happened (since I just cleaned, and it feels like I was in this same spot last week), but my house is a disaster, my son is screaming (hold on… okay, I’m back), and another year has already come and gone. It’s the third week of December, and I am just now sitting down to write and to reflect. As always, there is so much to say and SO little time and space. In short, this was a year of truth, transition and tantrums for the Tschetters. We’re a little older, a little wiser, and we are definitely not the same family we were last December (hallelujah!).

Our curly-topped kiddos are becoming intriguing individuals.

They are energetic, ever-present and exceptional all at once. They giggle and scream like no others, and they share an uncanny ability to unload the contents of an entire room onto the floor in 90 seconds flat! Together, they embody the most monumental of blessings, yet they stretch and humble us beyond words.

Maya, our frenetic, nearly-four-year old, rises before the sun and often emerges from her room in a pink leotard and tutu. Apparently, she feels most comfortable in a tiara. She literally springs about the house speaking imaginary Spanish then randomly breaks out into high-pitched song. She loves to cook, and she is an artist, a student and a sponge to the core. She likes things how she likes them, and she has mastered the ancient art form of whining when things don’t go her way.

Nevertheless, her heart is tender and her spirit: charming and sweet.

On any given day, you will find Cole, now two-and-a-half, with a finger up his nose or a bead in his sticky little hand, donning a backpack, a baseball cap and a wide-eyed grin. He loves to launch trains, trucks and just about anything from elevated surfaces.

Recently, he discovered how to launch himself from his crib to the floor. Once a little man of few words, Cole is now talking (loudly), and constantly attempting new words and sounds (Did I mention how loud he is?!). He sings to himself, he dances in the presence of all music, he loves preschool, sports and his bear, and he rarely sits down (an interesting challenge for potty training, as you can imagine). Cole throws award-winning tantrums, yet he greets family, friends and strangers alike with a wave, a hug and a smile.

Paul and I have become bona fide grownups (huh?!).

We are now in our thirties. We own businesses and have responsibilities; we multitask, we prioritize, and we must be intentional (yikes!). There have been MANY wonderful moments for each of this year: we celebrated our sixth anniversary, Paul just put his first commercial real estate deal into contract, he and the kids have spent priceless time together each Tuesday this fall, and he even found time to golf. I worked with 10 families to bring their babies into the world, I completed my first semester of grad school, and I finally released my death grip on the cookie jar and shed a few pounds in the process. Nevertheless, it’s been tough at times to keep up with the relentless messes, demands and sobering truths of real life. Nearly every step we have taken this year has been refining and arduous. This has been our toughest year of marriage, in that the innocence, spontaneity and novelty of the past have made way for schedules, clients and the daunting task of raising kind, compassionate, and generous human beings in spite of our shortcomings. In addition to the joy, peace, desire and elation Paul and I have shared, we have each experienced true feelings of disconnectedness, disappointment, frustration, sadness and exhaustion this year. More than ever before, the power and import of growing beyond the feeling of love to the choice of it has become clear. Slowly, we are learning to delight in the simple pleasures of silence, a smile, good health, good conversation, a good workout, a good attitude, a crisp apple, a well-written sentence, a free moment, a clean kitchen, a 10-minute car wash, a new golf club, a new day, clean air, life, liberty, love… (I could go on).

This year has revealed that we are each works in progress with plenty of room for improvement. We have seen that real life can be funny, messy, awkward, and it rarely fits into a pretty little package. The road of unity, commitment and sacrifice ahead may be tumultuous - definitely that one “less traveled.” And yet, as we reflect on the past and look ahead to the future, we rejoice in the reality that we are inept and that He is sufficient. Nearly every day, we are reminded of the privilege of knowing the One who sent His son; we are blessed, indeed. May you enjoy the blessings, the messes and the simple pleasures of real life this Christmas and New Year. Take care, and please stay in touch.

~Maya, Abi, Paul and Cole

those faces

thanksgiving '07

Yes, Thanksgiving (I'm a little behind!)

My friend from school, Stacey, spent the evening with us.

This was my first attempt at a healthy, whole, sugar and enriched white flour-free menu (you can imagine how excited every one must have been).

Actually dinner was delicious and the evening turned out really lovely (except for that whole pink turkey thing! Apparently, I've been sticking the meat thermometer in the wrong end for years. Go figure!) After an extra hour and a half of roasting, and an EXTRA-long first course, we were good to go.

Fresh Fruit and Veggies with Hummus

Harvest Salad

Rosemary Roast Turkey (emphasis on "rose")

Thyme Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Apple and Wild Rice Stuffing

Mandarin Cranberry Sauce (I make cranberry sauce!)

The evening ended over wassail and Pumpkin Custard with Maple Whipped Cream (my first attempt at a refined white sugar free dessert... yeah, good luck with that!) I forgot to take a picture, but it was quite beautiful and delicious. Even Paul (aka Prince Pumpkin Pie) gave it five stars and said it was as good as the real thing (yes!)

Friday morning, Maya and I stayed home, baked granola bars, watched a princess movie and gave each other pedicures, while Paul took Cole to his first football game: CU v. Nebraska.

It was cold, COLD, but they lasted through the half and had a great time.

Maya and my date came Saturday night. We went out for sushi, then went to the Boulder Philharmonic production of The Nutcracker.

Maya was enthralled, captivated and inspired. She saw princesses, fairies and ballerinas. Beside me, she just kept saying, "Beautiful. Beautiful." It was. It was one of the most wonderful evenings I have spent with my little girl... with anyone for that matter.

I spent Sunday night, most of Monday into Tuesday with a client who gave birth naturally to her baby girl (after 80+ hours of labor) just after 11 on Tuesday morning. It was an incredible, exhausting and exceptional end to an exceptional weekend.

papa d

And for one crisp November afternoon...

... my kiddos were in paradise.

09 November 2007

sunny and 72

... a BEAUTIFUL day at the Denver Zoo
(hey... that rhymes!)

giraffe and a tree


a porcupine


momma and baby

mckenna and maya


SUCH a good day!

07 November 2007


This high chair has been in our home as long as we have - nearly 3.5 years.
As much as an eyesore as this bad boy is, he has served my family well. He's been chewed on, spit up on, pounded on, knocked over, climbed over, and he's provided hours of entertainment to my little "imaginators."

No idea why, but I've been holding out and holding on. No longer.

Today was Cole's first full day in a big
boy seat at the table. He did great. Maya too. The kiddos looked so sweet sitting side by side at the table today. During lunch, they kept feeding each other soybeans.... ohhhhhh.

Another day gone. Another milestone. Yet another reminder that my babies aren't babies anymore. Yeah.