2022: my word of the year

Instead of a new year’s resolution, I’ve been choosing to find a word or phrase to focus on in the coming year.

The past two years has led to me, as well as many of us, to lead a very small life. Few people, fewer places, fewer experiences. This hasn’t been a bad thing. It has led me to distill out a lot that was either unhealthy or unnecessary causing me refocus and recenter.

However, I’ve recently felt a shift to where I’m feeling ready to be more. That is why I’ve chosen the word EXPAND to inspire me on this year’s journey and guide me in my intentions.

Expand – 1 · to open out : spread ; 2 · to increase in extent, number, volume, or scope ; 3 · to speak or write fully or in detail ; 4 · to feel generous or optimistic.


A few weeks after my last post, a global pandemic happened. . . and is still happening. Words cannot really explain what has been going on for the past 22 months and I do not have the emotional bandwidth to try to do so.

I’ll be sharing some photos from that time here, but I will not be saying much about them. I want to try to use this blog to refocus and recenter myself as I move forward. I hope that you will join me.

Welcome Back

It has been almost 9 months since I posted here. There are many reasons why I stepped away from this space, but I’d rather leave those reasons back in 2019 and start fresh for 2020. I just published two “catch up” posts, just to record some highlight photos from Joseph and most of my knitting projects from last year. I also updated my 1001 Things in Pages which includes some changes to how I’ve participated this in the past.

I’m looking forward to being back in this space and sharing the upcoming year with you.

Meet Debbie

debbieI made the decision this year to be more mindful with my crafting. This ranges from being more deliberate in planning what projects I take on and organizing my yarn stash and art supplies so that I know exactly what I have and will use to being more aware of wear my “craft dollars” are being spent. I’ll be going more in depth in lots of these areas, but for now, I wanted to share something I’m really excited about.

I’ve become a virtual shepherd or shepherdess (VS)  by supporting the “Follow My Fleece” project  on Patreon for Prado De Lana Sheep Farm. Each VS subscriber receives monthly updates through videos, live chats, personalized emails, and snail mail about your chosen sheep.  Contributions help Prado de Lana run their small farm, keep their flock healthy, and continue to educate about wool and rare breeds. Also as a VS, I’ll be sent yarn from my sheep  once she has been fleeced and the wool is spun into yarn.

The idea that if I forgo one or two lattes A MONTH I could support a small family-run farm that believes in sustainable agriculture practices, know where my yarn is sources, and get lots of sheepy-goodness in the bargain was a no brainer. So without further ado, meet Debbie!


Locks of Love 2018

Thursday I cut off ten inches of hair to donate to Locks of Love. The last time I donated was over six years ago, two days before I went to the hospital to have Joe. I’m so glad to cut off all that hair!

2018: Our life on the Spectrum

April is Autism Awareness Month. I wanted provide a small glimpse into our life and how it is affected by Joseph being diagnosed to bring awareness and understanding. You can read more about our journey here.

This has been an amazing year of growth for Joey. He is currently enrolled in a general education Kindergarten class and seems to be thriving there. He loves everything about school and takes great pride that he is “almost a first grader”. Joe receives speech and occupational therapy at school, in addition to private music therapy/lessons, and has some additional assistance from the resource room aide, his beloved Mrs. G, in his main classroom.

His teacher, Mrs. L, is wonderfully patient, yet firm enough to handle Joey’s considerable charm. She understands that his ASD gives him some extra challenges, but doesn’t allow that as an excuse or crutch. He is his champion when working with the rest of the staff to help them understand how his ASD “works” and does everything she can to make sure he is getting every opportunity. (I have volunteered in the classroom and have seen this for all her students. She is a true gem and I’m so thankful for her.)

Mrs. G is Joey’s cheerleader and possibly his biggest fan. Their relationship is so sweet and loving, I know that she would do anything for him.  It helps me knowing that he has someone there to give him that sense of security and comfort.

I have to say that the entire staff, have been nothing but warm, positive, and supportive to Joey. I love walking him into the school and seeing him say hello to the librarian, telling his gym teacher he’ll see him on Tuesday, or giving the principal a fist bump. His classmates have been amazing as well. His teacher explained that Joey has ASD and sometimes does things differently and they all take it in stride. After walking Joey into class after being absent for being sick, they all welcomed him back to school with hugs and smiles. It brought tears to my eyes.

This isn’t to say that we haven’t had some challenges this year. Joe’s impulsivity and stubbornness can lead to not wanting to follow directions or complying with non-prefered tasks. He also can find it difficult to follow spoken directions or adjust to things outside of his routine. However, overall, he seems to being doing quite well and continues to show improvement in these areas and I’m hopeful that, with the continued support, he’ll continue to thrive at school.

In addition to Joey’s current school situation, I wanted to share a little more about where he fits on the Spectrum. Although it is not an official diagnosis, Joe is considered High Functioning Autism (HFA).  Joey has been described as “scattered” when tested for ASD symptoms, meaning that some typical characteristics such as stimming and severe verbal limitations are not present while others, such as poor eye contact and sensory dysfunction.

Joey is bright, verbal, socially aware, and can show affection. He has age-appropriate academic skills. At first glance, most people do not realize that he has ASD. This creates a set of challenges that can be different than those who place elsewhere on the spectrum.  By being “high functioning” Joey is asked to navigate a world in a neurotypical way even though he has these extra set of challenges. This can lead to unobtainable expectations at school, judgmental attitudes in public, and sometimes even misunderstanding with family members. I highly recommend reading this article to understand why HFA is so challenging and that no matter where someone falls on the spectrum, “it is important to remember that autism is autism.”

April is Autism Awareness month. Please consider participating in some way. Perhaps by supporting a cause,  joining a walk,  donating supplies to your local school’s Special Education department.


A Silver Anniversary and celebrating a Golden Age


I’ve been mulling over the events of last Saturday in an effort to find words that can convey the joy that filled my heart that day. It was a  day of time travel, tears of laughter, the warmest of hugs, and analog video.

So, some back ground information its needed to fully comprehend the significance of this day. First, our class never has had an official high-school reunion. This, along with a myriad of reasons, caused many of us to lose touch. Thankfully, Facebook was borne into this world and I was able to re-connect (however odd that social media connection might be) to many of the class of ’93. Second, one particular group of friends were wonderfully  creative  and made movies on what is now looked on as archaic video equipment that Hipsters of today would chop off their man-buns to get their hands on. Yes, in 1993 we were the geeky group making videos, but I prefer to believe that we were just ahead of our time. (cough, cough)

Fast forward 25 years and it was decided to celebrate this wonderful cinematic silver anniversary and have a viewing party. All original players were invited, a viewing would take place, and there would be much rejoicing.

I’m not going to lie, I was a nervous wreck heading there. Driving from Grand Rapids, I had three hours to obsess over seeing people I haven’t seen in literally a quarter of a century. Insecurities ticked away with the miles . . . reminding me that I no longer look like my 18 self. But when that door opened and I walked to that room, all of that completely left me. There was no room in my brain. All I could take in was the warm comforting love from so many people that, although I have not been with in many years, my heart remembered and cherished. We were reunited, and it felt so good. There were a few people present that I knew for all of my childhood. One going back as far as second grade. It is a blessing to be able to see them, hear their laughs, reminisce and remember. I am truly grateful for that day, and hope that we keep our promises the we will not wait until our Golden Anniversary to see each other again.



Parting shot

Well, 2016 decided to give me a farewell gift of influenza (now morphing into bronchitis per my doctor.) How thoughtful . . . and in character. New Year’s Eve was curled in the fetal position on my mom’s couch or in the guest bedroom. Instead of libations and toasts, I celebrated with fever and ague. How very Laura Ingalls of me. 

Super Hero Shawn has been taking care of all the things, even packing up Christmas. There are not enough emojis to do that man justice. 

Thanks to modern technology I was able to enjoy my SEVEN HOUR wait to see someone at urgent care at home. They send a text when your 20 minutes out for a wait. If I was more coherent, I would wax poetic about how amazing this is. 

Now I’m patiently waiting for the pharmacist to fulfill my drug cocktail so I can properly toast to New Year. 2017, I’m so glad you’re here. 

Peace Out 2016

Like the vast majority of us, I feel that 2016 was . . . . a bitch of a year. I don’t really want to rehash all the stress and duress that filled up the calendar, but let’s just say Team Colley is very much looking forward to 2017.

This has been a pretty quiet place for 2016, something I hope to rectify in the new year. I miss this space and hope to make it more of a priority. I’ve been writing here since 2007 and I think that this year it was, by far, the least amount of posts.

I finished up my third round of “101 Things in 1001 Days” back in November and decided to hold off for the latest re-boot to coincide with New Year’s. I’ve updated the page with my new list, if your so inclined.

Wishing all of  you only peace & love in 2017.