tall tales

from the gallagher five.

our Lincoln turns ten. November 10, 2016

Filed under: Lincoln — gallyfam @ 10:16 pm

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in a world running wild with intense emotion, i figured it was time to throw my hat into the ring.  i’m not here to talk politics, i’m just here to spread a little JOY.  at least, that’s the way these black & white photos of my precious middle son make me feel.  i can’t help but smile when i look at them.

our sweet son, Lincoln, recently turned 10 years old — the much-anticipated double-digit status.  Lincoln is in 4th grade, and as I said, is our middle son, sandwiched between his older brother, Silas, and his little brother, Tate.  our three boys share one bedroom, and I am glad we made that decision as parents.  perhaps they bicker and pick on each other more than they might if they had a bit more space to spread out, but i think they are closer for it.  they have had to learn at early ages how to get along, how to resolve conflict, how to share and work together.  my hope as they grow older is that they will look out for each other and take care of each other, without even realizing they’re doing it.  i hope that it’s second nature.  but i digress…  (wait, maybe i AM talking politics!?  ha!)

back to Lincoln and the boys’ room.  on Lincoln’s bed, you will find several soft and snuggly blankets.  Lincoln is king of the snuggle.  he is a lover, so he instinctively invades your personal space in search of [giving & receiving] affection.  he likes cuddles.  he loves to hug and squeeze and hug some more.  he thrives on closeness.  one of his favorite things EVER is blankets.  the softer the better.  he already had two special, soft blankies on his bed, but that didn’t stop him from spending his birthday money to purchase yet another.  we went to target, and my sweet son picked out the absolutely SOFTEST blanket he could find in the entire store (pictured above).  i admit, it is unbelievably, luxuriously soft.  and then his friend gave him yet another crazy-soft Pikachu throw blanket for his birthday, too.  that’s FOUR snuggly blankets — and Lincoln is in heaven.  his soft, warm, cuddly, cozy, full of joy and delight, happy place.  he’s a touchy-feely, affectionate, soft and sensitive boy, and these blankets perfectly depict his personality.

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i love the photos of Lincoln laughing because his giggle is distinctive.  it is full and strong and infectious.  the boy doesn’t hold back.  his laugh is so full of life and JOY — it is most definitely one of my favorite sounds.  Lincoln jumps right in and embraces his emotions.  when he is mad, you know it.  when he’s disappointed, it’s written all over his face.  when he is excited, you see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice.  when he is struck with joy, he giggles.  i’m talking throw-your-head-back, tears-in-his-eyes peals of laughter (see photo below).

one of my favorite things about Lincoln is his compassion and empathy.  all of our boys have it, but today i celebrate these beautiful traits in Lincoln.  the other night, our oldest son, Silas, didn’t feel well.  his stomach was tossing and turning, and yes, eventually it ALL came out.  Silas put on as brave a face as he could, but let’s just say that when the sheer volume forced itself out his nose, he just couldn’t take it, and you didn’t have to be in the room to know that he was both angry and sad.  (in fact, the moment Silas got sick, Phil, Lincoln and Tate promptly left the room!)  while i was helping Si, Phil was helping the younger two boys get ready for bed.  when i came to say “goodnight,” Lincoln was snuggled deeply into his blankets with a look of serious concern on his face and tears in his eyes.  he was worried for his big brother and didn’t want Silas to suffer.  even sadness that is not his own, Lincoln feels vividly.

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my hope and prayer for Lincoln this year is that he would continue to embrace his feelings and grow in awareness of them.  i hope that he will express his thoughts and emotions more and more as he allows himself to feel everything that he feels.  that he would trust his instincts, because he so instinctively cares for others.  that he would advocate for himself.  that the artist in him would continue to blossom and thrive.  that he would explore and value and embrace the wonderfully unique and special young man that he is.

i love you, Lincoln boy.  i’m so very proud of you.  our world would be incomplete without your tender heart and your sweet snuggles.  (and may we all approach each other with tender hearts and arms open wide.  amen)

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one sweet nine-year-old. November 29, 2015

Filed under: Lincoln — gallyfam @ 9:30 pm

so, this blog seems to have become a place where i blog about each of our boys after their birthdays. aaaaand, nothing else in between. let’s just put it out there — if you’ve spoken with us this year, you know we Gallaghers are in the middle of a very FULL year, to say the least. it’s my hope that in the future i’ll be able to return to blogging here on a more frequent & consistent basis. however, for now, i’m going to settle for birthdays and let myself off the hook with a deep sigh of “good enough.” okay. end of disclaimer.

our lincoln-boy turned 9 in october. we’re in that phase of life where you notice little subtleties that reveal the undeniable fact of your children growing older. lincoln is looking, acting and talking more & more like a young man and less & less like the little boy he used to be. his mannerisms, the stories he tells, and even his vocabulary (phil will tell you that lincoln uses the word “technically” ALL the time — some times even correctly) point to a boy who is growing up. he’s now 9 years old. his final year of the single digits.

we were catching up with some old friends the other day and the story came up of lincoln’s ski accident at the end of last winter. because lincoln walked away unscathed, i tend not to think about it much, especially 6 months after the fact. but, re-telling the story to friends who hadn’t heard it, remembering how he had fallen and twisted one of his legs a full 180 degrees so that it was actually completely backwards as he lay there on the ski slope… remembering being on the receiving end of that awful & terrifying phone call and the immediate rush of adrenaline it ignited… remembering how small and fragile lincoln looked in that emergency room bed with an IV in his arm, a brace on his leg, and a look of fear in his eyes… re-living those moments with our friends reminded me of the GIFT that is lincoln and the scare of losing him. how truly and deeply grateful i am that he was unharmed and miraculously walked away from the trauma with only a headache and a sore leg.

 

over this past summer, lincoln became a voracious reader. it might have been the beautiful new library in breckenridge & its summer reading program, our family’s annual “summer challenge” or perhaps lincoln’s innate need for alone time, but he began reading at every turn. he would read and re-read many books — especially the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and the Big Nate series. for his birthday, he received the first two books from the Treasure Hunters series, and he read them both in a short few days. i love his growing love for reading, for stories, for adventure. i love watching him get lost in a good book — another sign of growing up, if you ask me.

for his birthday, lincoln had a slumber party and invited five friends. it was a classic birthday celebration in the Konkler tradition. we tie-dyed t-shirts, played blackout bingo with blank bingo cards to be filled in with facts about lincoln, and we played “night” games. whereas growing up in the Konkler home, we loved to play sardines, it was all “murder in the dark” for lincoln’s party — and the boys ate it up. apparently several of the boys even wrote about it in their 3rd grade class the following week, much to my embarrassment when we found out about it at conferences! “Murder in the Dark? Well, it’s not quite what you think. Slitting throats? Well, yes, BUT, it’s not as bad as it sounds…” oh boy!

 

because of his older brother, lincoln tends to want to be & act older than he is. actually, “murder in the dark” is a game we learned from three 20-something guys, so there’s that, too. but he is always trying to keep up with his 12-year-old brother and his friends. in most ways, he does pretty well, too. thankfully, he’s reached the year at school where he is one of the “older” students — as a 3rd grader, he eats with the 4th & 5th grade students. he gets to participate in choir for the first time. also, he is very excited to try basketball for the first time come january! both activities that he watched his big brother do, and FINALLY, it’s lincoln’s turn to be a big kid! it is FUN to watch him experiences these new privileges.

who is this lincoln boy? he is true to the lincoln we’ve always known him to be. he’s a lover, a feeler, an empathetic, affectionate boy with strong emotions. he laughs hard and cries hard (oh, you should’ve heard him sob when he shattered the screen of the new iPod touch he received for his birthday… ON his birthday!). he likes to hug and snuggle and he still comes to sit or stand by me, just to be close. while he’s begun giving hugs at the car this year at school drop-off (as opposed to on the playground in front of his friends), he still wants that hug and would never step foot towards school without it! lincoln is a good & loyal friend to many, with a sensitivity and compassion for others. he has a precious affinity towards younger children and babies. he’s a smarty-pants in school and good at math, art, reading and writing. he typically makes good choices and readily admits to the poor ones. he continues to play with his dice nearly everyday and enjoys this creative, independent play and downtime. he bites his fingernails and TOEnails religiously, gets bloody noses frequently, and likes to repeat funny stories a time or two too many.

 

who is lincoln? lincoln is our sweet son with a huge heart. we wouldn’t trade him for anyone else. happy birthday, mr. 9!  we love you!!

 

 

our 8-year-old Lincoln. December 10, 2014

Filed under: Lincoln,Uncategorized — gallyfam @ 10:43 pm
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so, i know i said that i would start blogging more often. i had every good intention, especially to use this space as a means of processing some of the big life changes that we are experiencing as individuals, as a couple and as a family right now.  (in a nutshell: we are transitioning out of running “SCY” — a non-profit youth organization — after directing it together as a couple for 13 years.  phil has found employment elsewhere, a couple times over, and i’m still hanging around running our elementary program, while overseeing our new middle & high school director, and picking up a couple part-time jobs on the side…)  however, the thought of trying to process our (my) thoughts and emotions and fears and excitement and sadness in this public space felt a bit daunting and probably downright unhealthy — especially while we are very much in the thick of it — so i’ve stayed away.  it seemed like the better option — to not put words out there and express emotions that can’t be taken back or are too personal to want to reveal here.

nonetheless, i’ve missed writing and i guess i’ve been waiting for a good excuse to get on here and write about anything else.  if you know me, you know that i like to take black and white photos of my boys near their birthdays, on my old school 35 mm, manual camera.  i think i say this every time, but it gets harder and harder to find the film — let alone black and white film — to purchase.  this year, i went to my usual place in downtown breckenridge, prepared to cough up the cash required to acquire the way-overpriced product, but instead was told it was out of stock.  i had to resign myself to buy it online and wait for it to be shipped, and yada yada yada, to make a long story short (too late!), it was already the end of november by the time i even started shooting the pictures of lincoln.  and his birthday was in mid-october.  oy.

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i am learning that i don’t like to have unfinished projects hanging over my head.  well, i think i already knew that, but i’m discovering the vast extents to which this personality trait of mine reaches.  (nearly every area of my life, apparently.)  needless to say, it has been killing me that these pictures have gone unfinished for so long.  one of the hard parts is that i hate to take photos with the flash, and daylight just doesn’t last long at this time of year, and when the sun actually IS out, my lincoln-boy is in school 5 days a week!  well, enough already.  the photos have been taken, and they’ve been developed, and here are some of my favorites.

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the boys and i discovered, while looking through the photos tonight, that the upside-down ones are much more fun to look at right-side-up:

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right?!  anyway…  oh lincoln.  lincoln clement continues to be my lovey-dovey, affectionate little guy.  out of all three boys, he is the most touchy-feely.  he loves to cuddle and sit on my lap and get & give hugs.  he likes to get up in your personal space, in what i personally think is a totally endearing way (phil might disagree), and he doesn’t mind when you get up in his.  he is a lover and a feeler (which can translate into lots of crying and can sometimes drive his parents crazy…), but which could be the reason why he has so many friends.  lincoln is in the 2nd grade at breckenridge elementary and is surrounded by friends and seems to get along well with practically every kid in his class.  he is relational and a people-person.  he loves to play with toddlers, he easily joins in and tags along with silas & his friends and isn’t afraid to talk to adults, too.  mr. social butterfly.

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on the other hand, out of all three boys, lincoln spends the most time by himself.  he continues to seek out time alone on a fairly consistent daily basis.  some routines just stick, and it seems that, for lincoln, it’s the dice.  his dice?  yes, a yellow plastic box that contains over 200 dice.  he pulls it out almost every day without fail, sits on the couch in the guest room and dumps them out on the cushion in front of his crossed legs.  he moves them around and forms different groups of dice and re-arranges them constantly.  even though i’ve tried asking before, no one really knows or has any idea what exactly he is imagining when he plays with his dice.  all we know is that he needs that time, and he enjoys it and it somehow helps him…  much to the chagrin of his older brother, who complains that lincoln always seems to pick the precise moment when silas wants to play, to go play with his dice instead.

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lincoln is that middle brother who has big shoes to fill, but he is doing just fine.  he is a fantastic student.  math comes so naturally to him that it is scary.  he is such an advanced reader that i forget he is only 8 years old.  better yet, he doesn’t stress over school work and homework.  he enjoys learning and has a great relationship with his teacher, in which, according to her, lincoln gets her jokes that most of the other students don’t understand.  this makes for a pretty fun camaraderie between the two of them.  he also sets a wonderful example for his little brother.  this year at school feels pretty crucial.  in several ways, the boys’ school is divided in two halves — K, 1st & 2nd graders in one half and 3rd-5th grade in the other.  this year, lincoln and tate eat lunch at the same time and have recess out on the playground together afterwards, too.  not until lincoln is in the 5th grade will this arrangement occur again.  i’m so glad that tate, as a newbie kindergartner in school, gets to see his big brother each day.  he watches lincoln behave as a good student and as a rule-follower and as a empathetic friend.  he is showing tate the way, without even knowing it.  he is a natural, and i am so very proud of him.

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happy 8th birthday to our precious lincoln-boy.  may you always be 100% you.  we couldn’t love you any more than we do today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

come & gone. October 13, 2014

Filed under: Lincoln,Silas,Tate — gallyfam @ 3:16 pm
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some of these things have come & gone…  i had hoped to blog about them closer to when they actually happened, but then life took over…  here are some photos anyway.  enjoy!  more to come… (i say that every time, don’t i?!)

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silas has already completed his 1st quarter of 6th grade at the middle school. here he was with dad on his first day!

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silas & mom on day #1.

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catching the bus to the middle school on the first day… at 7:03am. yikes!

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here is lincoln and a few friends (typical lincoln — he has LOTS of friends at school!) on his first day of 2nd grade!

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tate’s 1st day of kindergarten… which he absolutely LOVES!

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and yes, fall sports are already officially over… here is a typical sight on the field during one of tate’s early-season games. tate is on the right. got to love 4 & 5 year old soccer! (phil bravely stepped up to coach.)

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and lincoln, the experienced 2nd grade soccer star. he had a great season, improved a lot, and he also got to have dad as his coach!  three cheers for a great fall of soccer & football!

 

re-arranging… September 15, 2014

Filed under: Lincoln,Silas,Tate — gallyfam @ 6:36 am
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i used to LOVE re-arranging (and re-organizing, now that i think of it…) my bedroom when i was younger.  for whatever reason, it gave me such a KICK to make things feel fresh & new.  if you know me, you know that hasn’t changed — hurrah for something that has NOT changed!  ha ha!

anyway, this summer, we made quite a few changes in our home.  lots of the changes were just some re-arranging, with some fresh paint thrown in there.  others were some major projects that i can’t take any credit for, except for the dreaming/scheming of what i wanted the end product to look like.  phil’s dad made my visions come to fruition.

we promised the boys a move to the [slightly] larger bedroom upstairs this summer.  granted, they are all three still sharing a bedroom, and probably will be for quite some time.  BUT, it’s a new and larger space, and we all really like the outcome.  here are some before & afters — their “old” bedroom and their “new” bedroom, in what used to be the guestroom/playroom…

BEFORE: bunkbed in the old green-striped room.

BEFORE: Bunkbed in the old green-striped room.

BEFORE: Silas' bed in the old room.

BEFORE: Silas’ bed in the old room.

BEFORE: Dressers.

BEFORE: Dressers.

AFTER: Chevron accent wall I painted in the old guestroom/soon-to-be boys' bedroom.

AFTER: Chevron accent wall I painted in the old guestroom/soon-to-be boys’ bedroom.

AFTER: Tate's bed in the far corner.

AFTER: Tate’s bed in the far corner.  Silas’ bed is just inside the room, to the right.

AFTER: Silas' bed & door to the room.  Phil's dad made these semi-loft beds for the boys from scratch.

AFTER: Silas’ bed & door to the room. Phil’s dad made these semi-loft beds for the boys from scratch.

AFTER: Lincoln's bed, on the opposite wall from Tate's.  We did away with dressers & opted for these drawers that fit under each of their beds instead.

AFTER: Lincoln’s bed, on the opposite wall from Tate’s. We did away with dressers & opted for these drawers that fit under each of their beds instead.

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AFTER Part 2: New bedding on Silas’ bed and some more re-arranging…

AFTER Part 2:  After Tate fell off his bed and bit through his lip (yeah...), we pushed his & Lincoln's beds together.

AFTER Part 2: After Tate fell off his bed and bit through his lip (yeah…), we pushed his & Lincoln’s beds together.  Lincoln’s new orange bedding, too.

AFTER Part 2: Looking in from the door... Added a chair for a reading corner, where Tate's bed used to be!

AFTER Part 2: Looking in from the door… Added a chair for a reading corner, where Tate’s bed used to be!

 

a new era. August 23, 2014

Filed under: Lincoln,Silas,Tate — gallyfam @ 9:12 am
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this is tate’s first kindergarten assignment that he brought home.  i love his little name that he wrote out at the top.  and, i love his drawing, too — his prediction, of course, is 100% BOY, just like tate.  this piece of paper marks the beginning of a new era for us — all three of our boys are officially in school.  it is a strange sensation to be sure.  one that i haven’t grown accustomed to in the slightest — granted, they’ve only all been in school for two days so far…

i post this photo in an effort to jumpstart my blogging.  i’d really like to post more regularly now that the boys are all in school, while we navigate the first months of this new life stage for us Gallaghers.  so, i hope to be back real soon.  in the meantime, here’s a first-day-of-school photo for you to enjoy!  thanks for reading.  : )

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lincoln (2nd grade), tate (Kindergarten), silas (6th grade)

 

observations, by lincoln. April 23, 2014

Filed under: Lincoln — gallyfam @ 7:04 am
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our 7-year-old, Lincoln, loves to draw and write.  on a recent family vacation in california, he brought his box of special pens and markers and a notepad with him, as usual.  at some point in the week, he decided to fill the notebook with “notes” about california for his 1st grade teacher back home in breckenridge, colorado.  some of them are basic observations, and some of them sound a bit more scientific.  they subtly compare his surroundings in warm, sunny california with our mountain home that was still chilly and covered in snow when we left.  i wanted to share some of them with you — i hope you enjoy them as much as i do!

"California notes when I was in California."

“California notes when I was in California.”

"You're awesome, Miss Grigg. <3 Lincoln"

“You’re awesome, Miss Grigg.

"You're the best teacher in the school. <3 Lincoln"

“You’re the best teacher in the school.

"Surf"

“Surf”

"Miss Grigg, there is no snow here. <3 Lincoln"

“Miss Grigg, there is no snow here.

"And seagulls"

“And seagulls”

"Lots of dogs."

“Lots of dogs.”

"Tsunami waves that flood the place." (There were several tsunami evacuation route signs in the area.)

“Tsunami waves that flood the place.” (There were several tsunami evacuation route signs in the area.)

"Beaches with burning hot sand."

“Beaches with burning hot sand.”

"Sun really bright."

“Sun really bright.”

"Huge bridges."

“Huge bridges.”

"Lots of boats."

“Lots of boats.”

"Lots of sand."

“Lots of sand.”

"Also palm trees."

“Also palm trees.”

"And slugs and slug trails."

“And slugs and slug trails.”

"Spanish people."

“Spanish people.”

"Lots of flowers."

“Lots of flowers.”

"People walk, bike, and drive."

“People walk, bike, and drive.”

"There is Legoland and 98% of it is legos."

“There is Legoland and 98% of it is legos.”

"Stuff you can buy with money like plants, caramel popcorn." (Farmer's Market)

“Stuff you can buy with money like plants, caramel popcorn.” (Farmer’s Market)

"Pay to park in some places."

“Pay to park in some places.”

"Still Christmas lights out."

“Still Christmas lights out.”

"Never snows"

“Never snows”

"Old cars, fancy old cars."

“Old cars, fancy old cars.”

"Harbor's name in a lot of places."  (Lincoln has a friend in school named Harbor.)

“Harbor’s name in a lot of places.” (Lincoln has a friend in school named Harbor.)

"California has sun that stings."

“California has sun that stings.”

"The surfers have 2 layers of skin."

“The surfers have 2 layers of skin.”

"Big cities."

“Big cities.”

"1 hour less in time."

“1 hour less in time.”

"Big parks."

“Big parks.”

"Lots of green grass."

“Lots of green grass.”

"Fast cars."

“Fast cars.”

"Lots of fishers."

“Lots of fishers.”

"Still use reusable bags."

“Still use reusable bags.”