The Space You Should Be Filling

Even though it has been 11 years, it still hurts. I still have moments where I think to myself I should pick up the phone to call my big sister Laurie and tell her this or that. I still have the last email she sent me with encouragement and ideas for my first classroom and first teaching job. But then, the reality sits in again that she isn’t here.

The thing that hurts the most is that Laurie and Emma never met. I keep Laurie’s memory alive by telling Emma about her. I’m beginning to think that Emma loves Beary Bear more than me- the stuffed bear Laurie gave me for my 6th birthday. I think this quote by Tyler Knott Gregson puts into words exactly how I feel still so many years later- “Do you know how often I speak to you when you are not here? How often I mouth words and phrases to the space you should be filling?”

We also try to plan something around the anniversary of her passing, so we can get out and enjoy life as Laurie would want it. We started our Saturday with breakfast at the Buff in Boulder since they have Emma approved dairy free pancakes. They are actually quite delicious! From there, we headed up to Nederland and rode the Carousel of Happiness. It seemed appropriate because I know Laurie wouldn’t want us to mope around and be sad especially on a beautiful day like today. As we were turning off Peak to Peak and headed to Caribou Ranch, AJ noticed a bunch of cars on the side of the road looking at something. He made a quick u-turn and we got there just in time to see a mama moose and her baby. We used to call Laurie “moose mouth” because she liked to talk A LOT! I think it was a sign that she was with us looking down! DSC00941

Mama moose and baby headed back in the brush, so we got back into the car and went to the trailhead. AJ and Emma hiked while I got in an hour long run. As I got close to the Homestead, an elk went bounding through the meadow. Down the hill and upon the homestead a few minutes later, another elk went through the fields. In the background, I heard a voice I recognized. I turned to see Gary Shapiro from 9 News with his wife and friends enjoying a hike.


He was nice enough to snap a photo with me. I told them to make sure and head back there in late September for the amazing leaves.

Heading back to the car to catch back up with AJ and Emma, I began collecting things for a couple fall projects from the trail- mountain berries, some fallen yellow Aspen leaves and a few wildflowers.DSC01015You can see all the stuff in my hand as I caught back up to them on the trail. I love when I catch up to Emma on a run as I always get the biggest hugs and smiles! They had quite the adventure on the trail Emma was telling me. She climbed some trees, scrambled up and down some rocks and collected some sticks and pinecones for our fall projects. She even helped AJ out by reading the Jr. Ranger map. Where there is adventure to be had, Emma will find it!

We are getting into our new routine with school and fall classes. Emma is loving her new found independence where I drop her off and come back and get her after school or classes end. I had a phone interview with the CEO and President of MDLIVE Randy Parker for an article on virtual doctor appointments for the October issue of Colorado Parent. My article on Women for Tri ambassador Jessica Baxter is live on now too.

Two recent articles I really enjoyed are:

How one Father Uses Hiking to Inspire His Kids to Love the Outdoors” featured on We have always tried to instill a love for the outdoors in Emma from basically the get go. She even was at a bike related photo shoot at two weeks old and the U.S. Pro Challenge at a month old. We took for walks right away and runs in the BOB as soon as I was cleared to run. Maybe that explains why she is so happy go lucky and even keeled (well most of the time)!

Tommy Caldwell is a world famous climber. I love his perspective in this article for titled “A National Geographic Adventurer of the Year on Raising Adventurous Kids“.

Gratitude Postings:

I am thankful we live close to Emma’s school. I’ve really enjoyed singing and talking about the day with Emma as we ride to and from her school.

I am thankful for the quiet moments in the morning before AJ and Emma stir. I like to sit with a cup of coffee on the back porch and read a magazine or get some writing done. It’s a great way to start the day on a calm note.


Adventure On,




The Adventures of a Day Hiker

My stories and photos from the National Parks (and more)

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