Party Trick

22 Feb

Here’s Brynleigh’s new trick! We don’t know how she figured out she could do it, but we’re sure glad she did. Happy Friday!


Interview with a Four-Year-Old

8 Feb

Brynleigh had her fourth birthday last week. We let her choose where we’d have dinner, and despite Mommy and Daddy’s many, many, many alternative suggestions, she picked Chick-fil-A – mostly, we suspect, for the play area.

While she was climbing and sliding, a balloon artist made her a princess crown and magic wand/scepter thing. She LOVED it!!

Wielding her power!

Wielding her power!

Afterward, we came home and had birthday cake – just the three of us. You may remember that last year, while we sang “Happy Birthday,” she hid her face and refused to blow out the candles. Since it was just Mommy and Daddy in the audience this year, she was slightly less hesitant. And she did actually blow out the candles herself!

At least this year we got to see her eyes!

At least this year we got to see her eyes!

While we ate at the restaurant, I pulled up last year’s interview and went through the same questions with her. Here are our little lady’s responses:

How old are you?

What’s your favorite color?
Pink and purple.

What’s your favorite animal?

Who is your best friend?

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A fairy, and a football player, and a basketball player!

What is your favorite movie?

What is your favorite book?
Picture Hunt.

What makes you happy?
Hugs and kisses.

What makes you sad?
When someone hits me.

What is your favorite food?

What is your favorite song?
“Great I Am”

What games do you like to play?
Those real big things (while making binoculars with her hands).
Mommy: Binoculars?
Brynleigh: Binoculars!


21 Sep

Me: What should we do after your rest?
Brynleigh: Play.
Me: We probably need to go somewhere. Like maybe Target or something.
Brynleigh: Or the Wild West!


1 Sep

Brynleigh: Mom? When I grow up, can I be a doctor?
Me: Sure! Is that what you want to be?
Brynleigh: Yeah. Or maybe a fairy!

Have you seen Dave?

16 Aug

David Ritchie

This is Dave. In June 2001, Ben took a sales position at a precious metals company in Durango, Colorado. He was so good at his job selling newsletter subscriptions that about three months later, in September, he was promoted to an assistant broker position. Dave was the broker that Ben worked under. Dave is not only one of the sweetest men we’ve ever known; he was also a kind and generous boss, both with his money and his time. He was more than fair in terms of Ben’s commissions, and he always had his customers’ best interests at heart. It’s a tricky thing, putting someone in charge of your money, but I’d have trusted Dave with every penny of ours.

Dave encouraged Ben to put his wife first, to make his marriage more important than his job. In the beginning years of our marriage, I called Dave a few times to ask if it would be okay for me to take Ben out of the office for the day or for the afternoon – to surprise him with a date or whatever. Dave never let me finish my sentence. He always, ALWAYS interrupted me with, “Go! Tell him to get out of here!”

Oh, and Dave also took all of our wedding pictures. We got back from our honeymoon to find all of them – ALL of them – printed for us – 5×7, double prints at that – plus all the negatives. He refused to let us pay him. Wouldn’t take a dime. Called it his wedding gift to us. To this day, I have no idea how much wedding photographers cost, but I suspect it’s a whole lot more than free.

You guys, Dave is missing. About two weeks ago, he and his wife were on their way to the hospital. Dave had been experiencing some terrible psychological side effects of a new medication. When they stopped at a friend’s house on the way into town, Dave got out of the car and ran into the woods. Even though authorities and volunteers – our friends – have combed the area, there is no sign of Dave. He has no wallet, no ID, no cell phone. He could be anywhere.

Ben and I are heartbroken for Dave and for his family. I know that my circle of influence isn’t large, and I know that this post might not get anywhere, but I’m also not above begging: if you read this, would you be kind enough to pass it on in some way? Would you tweet it to your followers or share it on your Facebook page (you can use the links at the bottom of this post), or email it to a couple of people? Hitchhiking is common in that area; it is possible Dave doubled back and caught a ride with someone. Someone might know something. All we can do is ask.

Would you please help me ask?

Have you seen Dave?

David Bruce Ritchie is 59 years old, 5’7″ tall, and weighs 175 lbs. He has gray hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing khaki shorts, a green long-sleeved t-shirt that was torn in the front, tennis shoes, and a green baseball hat. He disappeared along Hwy 160 near the Archuleta-La Plata County line, one quarter mile east of Beaver Meadows Road.

If you have any information, you have several options for passing it on:

  1. Call (970) 884-5280.
  2. You can also text a tip to Archuleta County Crimestoppers by texting ACCST plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES).
  3. Or, submit a tip online by clicking here.

You can find more information on Facebook.


4 Jul

We spent the evening on a boat, floating on the Hudson River, waiting for New York City’s legendary fireworks show. It didn’t disappoint. Honestly, it will go down as one of the highlights of my life.

Immediately following the finale, all the boats – and there were SO many – blew their horns in appreciation. As amazing as the fireworks were, that was probably the most moving part of the whole thing.

Here’s some video I shot of the finale.

What did you do for Independence Day?

Grandfatherly Advice

3 Jul

My grandfather was an Air Force pilot. Later in life, he built – and flew! – his own plane. I’ve been taking to the sky for as long as I can remember, and lots of those miles were logged with him at the controls.

When I was 18, I took my first trip overseas, and I’ll never forget the advice he gave me as I prepared for that trip:

When the plane starts down the runway, start counting off the seconds. If you get to 30 and you haven’t felt the front wheel lift off…you better start saying your prayers, ’cause that bird’s not going to fly.

Can I get an “OMG” from someone in the audience?!

It took me years before I could get in a plane and not grip the armrests in terror.

Granddaddy passed away in 2006. I’m sitting in the Cleveland airport after a particularly hairy landing, and I can’t help but wonder what he’d say if he were still here.

On second thought, given his track record with aviation advice, I think I’d rather not know. 🙂

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