It’s A Wonderful Life

It’s been a really great day for me, so I thought I would share a bits from this day in my life.

And the award goes to....Luke!

The day started with us taking the boys to school before we headed out for our family trip. The impetus for stopping by school was a surprise for Luke. I’ve known for a few days now that Luke was selected as Student of the Month at Hope Christian Academy. This is a big deal because I know Luke has been working really hard. He didn’t expect it, but I knew the surprise would mean the world to him. When the principal slowly narrowed the winner down…a boy…in second grade…his name is Luke…I could see him about to burst. And, when she asked Luke to come up to the front of the room, he ran up the aisle like a crazy contestant on The Price Is Right. We were pleased that he was good enough to hug her and say thank you. On his way back to our seats, he was passing out high fives to other students. It was the cutest. Luke rode home with the plaque in his lap, telling us where he would like us to mount it to the wall in his room. Sometimes, it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference to people. When we got home Luke told us, “This has been the best way to start a weekend.” I had to agree.

Mike...we salute your plucky determination

We finally got on the road for our trip around 10:30, several hours after I had hoped we would leave. Still, it was vacation so we were going to act that way. Schedules be damned. We’d get to Moab eventually. We cruised west on I-70, stopping briefly to picnic in Eagle before heading to Fruita where Steve had heard of a coffee store we had to visit. (Personal note: No matter where we go, there is always a local coffee shop we have to visit. We’re doing it to protect the American Dream by buying from independent coffee shops as much as we’re doing it to satisfy our caffeine addictions. Or so we tell ourselves.) We get to Aspen Street Coffee and, lo and behold, there in front of the store is a sculpture of Mike the Headless Chicken. How cool is that? Mike, the story goes, was a rooster whose head was severed by a farmer in 1945 and yet he still survived for 18 months after his decapitation. Mike is a legend. There is a festival in his honor each year in Fruita, a town on the western slope of Colorado known for its agriculture, its mountain biking, and one bad-ass headless chicken.

Sunset hike...check.

We did finally get to Utah. As we drove down the scenic byway toward Moab, Joe waxed rhapsodic about how he felt at home here. The kid was seriously ready to pack his bags and move in along the banks of the Colorado River among the towering red rocks. We told him we’d have to think about it. We decided that a sunset hike to Delicate Arch would be an awesome way to cap off our day, so we headed into Arches National Park at 6:45 p.m. It’s a “strenuous” 1.5 mile hike from the parking lot to the arch, so we hauled it to make sure we’d catch the 8:06 sunset. The boys, who are unbelievable hikers, ran ahead as I tried valiantly to keep up, glad I had started taking those antibiotics yesterday. I hadn’t seen Delicate Arch since a trip with an ex-boyfriend in the summer of 1991. That was another lifetime ago when I was a different person. Today, the weather was a perfect 60 degrees, the sky was flawless, and we arrived at the arch at 7:40 to view the sunset. We sat there with a crowd of photographers and watched the sunset light up the arch. It just doesn’t get better than that.

Some days, you’re given the opportunity to remember how wonderful life is. Today was one of those days. I’m the luckiest gal in the world.

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