Tuesday morning I woke up, ready to celebrate a special day. Yes indeed, it is National Goof Off Day, and really, the name says it all. It’s a day to not take things all that seriously and to endeavor to laugh, be light hearted, encourage silliness and have fun.

It is also my birthday.

It is not like a landmark birthday year for me. Launching into year 47, I’m now in the hearty center of my mid forties. I’m not quite as hung up on the years accumulating as I used to be, but every year there’s a bit of, “I’ll be damned…I’m what now?”

But certainly having young kids has kept me as relatively young as heart as one could hope for, and the adorable Mickey Mouse birthday card they gave me was a wonderful start to my day. I had some really nice cards and gifts from Erin and the kids, including this rather fancy bottle of rye with sipping glasses.

After a nice little hang out in the hotel room, we ventured out to have some brunch at a cute little place around the corner. While waiting for the table, I had some time for nice morning stroll, taking in the fresh air and scenery.

Then over to brunch, where a deliciously spicy Bloody Mary and a lovely veggie scramble awaited.

After brunch, we got the dogs and took a nice walk around town. One of the things I love about being in the mountains is that the weather changes so drastically, so quickly, it’s like you experience several completely different days all in the same day. At one point it was sunny and lovely, then it would snow and you’d feel like you were in a blizzard, and a little while later it was sunny and pleasant again. This day was, on balance, really lovely. The kids had fun playing at the little park in the town center.

In the afternoon, we did some snowshoeing on a gorgeous trail near the gondola. It was such a fun family adventure.

It was a nicely challenging path, and Henry did have a moment of rebellion.


But he came around we finished strong. Afterward he couldn’t stop talking about how much loved snow shoeing.

We had a bit of a break at the hotel after that, and then went off to dinner at a little place I found in nearby Frisco. It was a great birthday dinner and I had a very decadent brownie and ice cream thing for dessert.

After dinner, we were all in a food coma and back at the hotel. While Erin and I were getting ready to settle in for the night, both of the kids decided to do some light hotel reading. Henry tore into the Book of Mormon.

He told me he finished it. No signs of conversion yet, but we’ll keep an eye out. And I wrapped up the night with a nice little glass of that delicious rye Erin got me.

Honestly, it was by all normal accounts a really perfect birthday. I got to spend it with my favorite people in beautiful surroundings, and with so many kind wishes from friends and family everywhere. I am supremely thankful.

Still, I can’t ignore the awful news that came in late in the day: the horrific shooting in Boulder. Pointless mass shootings are always disturbing. I can’t deny that the fact that this one happened in nearby Boulder…where I take my kids along with me grocery shopping almost every week…means this one hits particularly close to home.

My thoughts on this are for another post, but like so much in life, it is impossible to extricate the light from the dark. My 47th birthday was, for me, a wonderful day. But it stands also true that that March 22, 2021 is a day that will be a marker of horror and tragedy for this state. I can both be thankful for my blessings and appreciative of the day I had, and simultaneously in shock, horror and anger at the violence that happened here.

It is disheartening that as we start to possibly emerge from the shadow of COVID, mass shootings appear ready and waiting to reclaim our anxieties and nightmares. 

More on that another time, but for now my thoughts are with all those who lost someone and who were so close to this. I remain very hopeful for the year ahead, but this is a reminder that there is still a lot of work to do.