Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Outside my window... It is cloudy, cool, and a gentle rain is falling. {Ahhhh. Happiness}

I am thinking... about my sister. She is having a c-section later this afternoon and will get to meet her sweet little baby boy! We are so thrilled for her! I'll share more when I have some info!

I am thankful for... John, Will, Sarah, and Abbey. I love those guys so much.

From the kitchen... I have a roast in the crockpot and it smells soooooooo good. John peeled some potatoes for me a little while ago {I'm allergic to something in the peeling and will have a full-blown asthma attack if I peel a potato--weird} and I'm going to make mashed potatoes, gravy, and roasted brussel sprouts to go with the roast. Yummmmmmm.

I am wearing... shorts and a t-shirt. And flip-flops.

I am creating... a new two-week menu plan and fun theme for Bunco. I'm thinking football!

I am going... to pick kids up from school in a little while. And drop some stuff by Goodwill. I've been de-cluttering and it feels great!

I am reading... The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan

I am hoping... that I'm not getting a cold. I have a scratchy sore throat and a very runny nose. Ugh.

I am hearing... rain falling and my husband working in the other room. {I love it when he works from home!}

One of my favorite things... is when everyone arrives home from their school day!

A few plans for the rest of the week: A couple of hikes with friends, a meeting, a Camp Rock 2 pajama/pizza party, and a double date {concert} with some friends we love!

-----From The Simple Woman's Daybook-----

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Merci Beaucoup!

Thanks so much for all the answers you chimed in with yesterday! Elizabeth thanks you as well, and we're both thrilled to have some new recipes and a cookbook or two to try. As for the teenage social scheduling thing, you guys had some good thoughts there too. The biggest thing I struggle with is not knowing the parents of the kids who invite my kids. I think it's just plain weird to have zero communication with them and then entrust my child to them for an afternoon or evening. My kids usually end up disappointed. Parenting is a tough job sometimes.

Today is super busy for me. I'll be going pretty much non-stop from the time school starts until bedtime (just keep swimming, just keep swimming) but I just wanted to pop in before things get crazy and let you know how much I appreciated your answers to the questions from yesterday. Merci beaucoup! Have a wonderful day!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Got Answers?

I'm soliciting answers/advice to these three questions today:

1. Does anyone know of a brick and mortar store that sells open stock Fiestaware? I only want to buy dinner plates and bowls, but every store I've been to only sells the place settings. I don't want or need more cups/saucers. I know I can buy open stock online, but I'm looking for an actual store!

2. Mothers of teenagers: do your kids handle all of their own social scheduling? Am I being old-fashioned, unhip, and/or unreasonable by insisting that I hear from a parent when my kids are invited somewhere? I almost always talk to a parent (by phone, text, email) when my kids invite a friend to do something, but my kids are being invited places by text and I'm often so far out of the info loop that it's not funny. Am I alone? Am I wrong to expect a little more parent-to-parent communication? John thinks this is just how kids do things these days. I need insight from experienced moms!

3. Does anyone have a recipe for a meal that freezes really well? My friend, Elizabeth, is expecting her fourth baby soon and she's trying to stock her freezer with meals she can thaw, cook, and serve. I do lots of meat prep and freezing, but when she asked me for meal ideas I realized that I don't really have any meals that I make and freeze. Suggestions? Links? Recipes? Please share!

Thanks, you guys. You all are really my best resource!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Platter Project

Remember that tiered serving platter idea I shared last week?

Well, I made one!
It was super duper easy to make and I think it turned out GREAT!

I was at Kohl's one afternoon and found the cute melamine plates on clearance. They were C-H-E-A-P! I even had some Kohl's cash to spend so I guess technically they were free!
I ran in our downtown thrift shop the next day and found the candle holders. I only needed one but I bought two because they were on the red-dot/half-off shelf so I got them for .50 each. SCORE!

The most expensive part of the project was the epoxy. I bought it at Home Depot, but later discovered that my Walmart carries it for almost a dollar less. It think it was around $4. I bought this kind (for plastic) because I was using melamine plates.
It literally took my family more time to eat these yummy scones (thanks, Chef John) than it did for me to assemble the platter! I'm thinking of making another one using fall-themed plates for Bunco next month.

If you're interested in making one of your own, click here for detailed instructions! And be sure to show me photos of your completed project!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Loves of late

Things I'm loving of late...

Basil plants sprouting up. I finally got tired of buying fresh basil and bought some seeds so I could grow my own. I use lots of fresh basil when I cook. Love it.

Emeril's Kicked-Up Tuna Melts. Oh my. We love these. The recipe is from Everyday Food magazine and I've never made a single recipe from that magazine that wasn't wonderful.

I love this quote from Annie Proulx:
"I read omnivorously, I always have, my entire life. I would rather be dead than not read. So, there's always time for that. I read while I eat, and our whole family did. We all had very bad manners at the table. All of our books are stained with spaghetti sauce, and that sort of thing."
I love even more that my husband sent that quote to me with a note that said: This reminds me of our family.

I love the rhythm that our weekends have developed over the last year--they feel almost sacred to us.

Our dairy delivery service. After taking a break for a year or so, we started it back up again this summer. It seems so quaint to open our front door and retrieve milk and eggs and bread and lots of other things from our dairy box. The only thing I don't love is that the eggs come in styrofoam cartons. I haven't found any place that recycles styrofoam.

I love that it's almost football season. Specifically I love that it's almost SEC football season. Twelve more days, and yes, I'm counting. I've been excited about college football since all the pre-season SEC chatter started in July! I love that the Hogs are ranked #17 right now. And love that I get to go to a Razorback game this year! Go Hogs Go!!!

I also love that my sister's due date is almost here. We can't wait to meet her little guy! She's due in less than two weeks.

Trader Joe's Joe. It's my very favorite. Thanks to my friends, Julie and Lane, I have enough to last me for awhile!

Mondays. I really have grown to love the fresh start to my week! Hope your Monday is a really great one.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Things have been sorta quiet on the blog this week. Sometimes I get tired of listening to myself.

Things have also been really quiet around my house with the kids in school all day long. Everyone is off to a good start and comes home happy each afternoon.

Part of the reason I've been quiet is because I'm trying to find my school-day groove. Adjusting to new carpool schedules. Trying to get back in an exercise groove. Figuring out what commitments I want on my plate. Trying to establish an evening rhythm. Trying to be intentional with my time and with my family. The only thing I seem to have down pat right now is my social schedule and it's been really fun catching up with friends this week!

Part of the reason I've been quiet is because I've been in a funk. Struggling with some hurt and disappointment. It usually takes a lot to hurt my feelings, but a few things have happened lately that have really hurt and it's thrown me for a loop and left me with few words. I've needed some mental space.

Quiet is good. Very good. Quiet feels restful and spacious and full and I'm pretty sure I need much more of it in my life. I'll be back when I need to hear some noise again. (Smile.)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Saturday Evening Post

I have a lot of links to share in this post, and I think I can break everything down into four categories:

Awesomeness | Food | Movies | Crafts

Starting in alphabetical order...

I used a gift card I had and ordered a set of these chalkboard Wallies. They're awesome. You just peel and stick them to any surface and it becomes a chalkboard. I put mine on my back door and have been leaving messages for the kids. I'm trying to find a frame to put around them to dress it up a little. I'll show you the finished project when I get to that point!

I won a HUGE giveaway this week--a Silhouette machine. GET OUT!!! Seriously, I could NOT EVEN BELIEVE IT when I found out I was the winner. In a completely ironic and random twist, I won this from Beckie the same day I linked to her paper bead earring tutorial. What an awesome prize! I am so excited and can't wait for it to get here so I can play with it.
I'm afraid I'm going to have to play at my friend's house for awhile because I realized the other night that the software isn't Mac compatible. They're working on a Mac version but it's not available just yet. Argh.

One project I'd like to use my awesome, new, and did I mention FREE Silhouette machine for is this ultrasound frame. Adorable!

I think this wipe-off menu board would be a fun, easy project.

I love this tiered serving platter idea that I saw on Robin's blog. Isn't it CUTE? So many fun possibilities.

We made this carmelized onion gorgonzola pizza the other night and it was delicious. The only change I made was baking it on a pre-made whole wheat crust I picked up at the natural foods store. YUM. It's a keeper.

Remember my mission to eradicate HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) from our diet? I was pleasantly surprised to find this at the grocery store last week. Made with real sugar! My children love me for buying it, but they don't love that I limit their consumption.

I saw another blogger mention these crystallized lemon granules a couple of weeks ago and they are amazing! I don't love water. I have to force myself drink it, but one of these packets transforms my water into a delicious treat. I highly recommend them, and no one is paying me to say that! You can click here for a $1 off coupon. (Note: I signed up a couple weeks ago and still haven't received my coupon. I will definitely use it to buy my next box though!)

I love movies. Love, love, love them. My favorite movie of the summer was Ramona and Beezus. It was sweet, and funny, and just absolute perfection. I even liked it better than Toy Story 3! If you've seen it, you've loved it too, right? It's one that I'm definitely going to buy the minute it comes out on dvd.

Yesterday I went to see Eat Pray Love all by myself while the kids were in school! I tried to read the book last year but just wasn't able to finish it because I really struggle to read non-fiction. I thought the movie was kinda slow and really long, but overall I liked it. It probably helped that I hadn't read the book because the movie is rarely as good. I realize there is some controversy about this film. The author and I don't share the same view of Truth, but there are still some good takeaways and I'm glad I saw it. Plus, I really like Julia Roberts!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I'm loving that ours has been a mix of productive and restful so far.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Meredith vs the Computer

I consider myself a tech-savvy girl. I understand how things work. I know some html code. I can figure most things out pretty quickly. And my husband asks me for advice and help with techy stuff fairly often.

Despite my confidence in my techy abilities I found myself in a heated battle with my cell phone and my computer last weekend.

I took some pics with my phone while we were at the Penny Arcade in Manitou Springs that I wanted to retrieve.

I plugged the USB cord into my phone and computer but my computer wouldn't recognize my phone. Hmmmmmm. That's interesting.

Come to find out, my phone (Samsung) isn't compatible with my MacBook's operating system.
Are you KIDDING me?

That is so unbelievable to me.

Obviously, I didn't do my homework when I upgraded my phone. I really only use my phone for calling, texting, and taking pics so I don't need to sync my contacts/email stuff, but because my computer wouldn't recognize my phone and because we don't own non-Apple computers, it was looking more and more like I couldn't retrieve those pics.


I'm not one to give in easily.

I kept googling and googling and googling and an hour (or three) later I found a solution. I transferred the pics on my phone to my micro SD card and was able to move them--one at a time--to my computer. It was a painfully slow process but it worked.


And because I went to all that trouble I feel compelled to share these pics from the penny arcade and an evening ice cream run this week!
We had a FUN time at this arcade and we spent a grand total of $10. John and I battled each other at Centipede, and my kids discovered the wonderful world of Pacman/Ms Pacman. In fact, Will's new ringtone is Pacman and it cracks me up every time I hear it!

I don't love my Samsung phone (probably because I'm enamored with Apple and that incompatibility issue is just beyond ridiculous) but I've decided it takes decent pictures and now that I know how to retrieve them, I can live with my stupid (but free) Samsung phone until it's time to upgrade. In two years. Sigh.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A big day

Today was a big day.

It was the first day of 8th grade for this guy.
He claims the hat helps his hair dry faster with less poof. I just smile and nod. 

It was this girl's first day of 7th grade.
She bought a new backpack and lunch box with her own money.

And it was this girl's first day of third grade at her new school.
Will and Sarah start school about an hour and a half before Abbey does. Abbey was still asleep when they left this morning, but Sarah left her this sweet note:
Since they start so much earlier, they get home a lot earlier too. So Abbey left a reply message for Sarah to find:
I've smiled every time I've walked past that easel today. I'm thankful for kids who are sweet to each other!

I can't wait for them to get home and tell me all about their days. I expect at least two of them to be pretty talkative. The other one? Not so much. I'll probably have to ask lots of questions.

I'm hoping that today was wonderful and that it was the beginning of yet another fantastic school year for these kiddos of ours! 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Paper Bead Earrings

Last fall, I found a tutorial for making paper beads on one of the craft blogs that I stalk. Beckie is seriously creative and I'm convinced she can make or re-purpose just about ANYTHING.

She made beads out of PAPER and then made the paper beads into earrings. I've been on a search for Mod Podge Dimensional Magic since I read her post. I've searched every craft and scrapbook store in Colorado Springs without luck so I finally ordered some online and finally made my own beads out of some of my scrapbooking paper.
I picked up some headpins and some doo-dads (I'm sure they have a proper name) and some earring wires and transformed my beads into earrings. I think they turned out pretty cute!
(Now I finally have some earrings to wear with my gray cardigan this fall and winter, and let's face it, I'll be wearing that sweater next spring too.)
This was a fun, easy, and a fairly inexpensive craft. I spent about $15 (happened to find everything during a 40% off sale) and ended up with enough stuff to make about 12 pair of earrings.

The possibilities are really as endless as your creativity and/or your paper collection.
You might want to avoid doing what Sarah and I did with our first batch of beads. We put the Dimensional Magic on the ends of the beads and inadvertently "glued" them to the toothpick. If you make some beads, only cover the OUTSIDE of the bead, not inside of the rolled ends! You need to be able to slide the bead off of the toothpick once it dries.

I didn't take pictures of the process, so you'll have to check out the Beckie's tutorial if you want to make some. I think these Christmas tree ones are cute. As are these cha-cha-cha ones. There's also a site called Paper Beads that has a ton of ideas.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

10 on the 10th!

10 things that make me say "Wow. Just wow."

1. Wastefulness. Got a huge packet of forms in the mail last week for my middle schoolers to fill out and bring to check-in. I tossed more than half of the papers from each packet because they weren't relevant to me. Each packet cost $1.73 to mail. Wonder how much money our funds-challenged district could have saved by making those same forms available online? Wonder why they had even MORE copies of those forms available at check-in. What a waste. Wow. Just wow.

2. TMI. Too much information. Sometimes I wish for the ability to censor people. Wow. Just wow.

3. Overt kindness. I've been on the receiving end of what seems to be a lot of that lately and it is a beautiful thing. Wow. Just wow.

4. Blatant rudeness. I've been on the receiving end of some of this lately as well and wow. Just wow. One thing I'm trying to force myself to do when I'm tempted to react is to cut the other person some slack. Maybe they're having a bad day. Maybe their dad is dying of cancer. Maybe their marriage is failing. Maybe they're stressed out about money. Maybe they're dealing with a troubled child. Maybe they don't know better. Maybe they didn't mean to be rude. Maybe they just need one person to repay their not-so-nice deed with a kind one. 

5. Lightning and rainbows. We've had afternoon thunderstorms every afternoon for over a week. The other night we had an impressive lightning show. We also saw multiple rainbows following our weekend rainstorms. The beauty and strength of nature awes me and often leaves me saying wow. Just wow.

6. Tim Tebow's hair. Have you seen it? Wow. Just wow. I heard he finally got permission to completely shave his head. I bet that prayin' boy was offering up some prayers of thanksgiving because that Friar Tuck look really wasn't working for him.

7. Teen magazines. We went to the library yesterday and when we got home Abbey was reading a teen-ish magazine she checked out. I'm usually pretty careful about what they read but this one slipped by me. She showed me a picture of a tweeny couple and I sat down beside her and flipped through the rest of the magazine and was APALLED. It was way too much for an eight year old and way more than I want my twelve and thirteen year old taking in too. Lots (and lots and lots) of revealing necklines (more like breastlines) and bikini-clad teen celebrities and images that don't enforce positive body image. Lots of discussion about image and relationships and diet and "fashion"--all of which I'd rather them not learn from the pages of a teeny bopper magazine. It was a good heads-up lesson for this mama. Because wow. Just wow.

8. The amount of food my kids eat these days and my subsequent grocery bill. Wow. Just wow. 

9. The amount of money it costs to send kids back to school. Big Wow. Just wow.

10. Grace. That slack that I've been trying to give others up there in #4? Yeah. God offers me a LOT of it. Leaves me saying wow. Just wow. 

If you have a list of ten things--and it can be any kind of list--leave a link to your blog below!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Marking time...

It's been a year since my dad died. The actual "day" is tomorrow, the ninth, but it happened on a Sunday morning.

Some days I am fine.

Other days, not so much. My heart just hurts.

I was reminded of this photo a few weeks ago.
My friend, Amber, was visiting Whidbey Island with her family and sent me a message saying she passed the spot where a group of friends prayed for me last summer just days before my dad left this earth. I had hoped to be there with them on Whidbey but for a myriad of (providential) reasons I wasn't able to make the trip.

I sat and cried when they sent me this photo last year. I sat and cried again when I realized I had saved it to my computer. These friends are so dear to me.

I've received many emails and texts and letters this week from people telling me they're thinking of me and praying for me, and I'm grateful for each and every one of those notes and the kindness that prompted them. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

A Saturday Morning List

1. I am thrilled that I was able to sleep late this morning! I don't know that I'll have the opportunity again for awhile and I usually wake up early so I was pleasantly surprised that I made it until almost 8am!

2. Woke up in time to see John and Sarah before they left for her horse-riding lesson. Sarah is excited to begin, but I think her daddy might be even more excited. That man really needs a horse of his very own. 

3. After indulging in sugary foods all summer, I decided it was time for another sugar fast. Yesterday was Day 5. I feel so much better when I don't have it in my system. When I do this, I cut out all forms of sugar--white sugar, raw sugar, honey, agave, high fructose corn syrup, etc, etc. I also try to omit things made with white flour like pasta and bread and stick to whole grain versions, but I'm not a total nazi about it. I do eat fruit (natural sugar) but only a serving or two a day. I slipped up last night at a party and I definitely felt the effects of it when I got home--bloating, headache, and a huge crash from the sugar high. Back to square one today.

4. I watched Food, Inc. this week. It's been in my Blockbuster.com queue forEVER but I just kept bumping other movies ahead of it because I knew it wouldn't be pleasant viewing. It wasn't. I've been pretty lenient lately about the kind of food I've been buying/serving to my family, but that all changed after watching that film this week. I made a huge grocery run yesterday and I'm back to buying high quality meat (my wallet is feeling it) and I'm on a mission to eradicate high fructose corn syrup from my family's diet. Thanks to a friend, I'm also looking into a local CSA (community supported agriculture) co-op for my veggies. This isn't new to me so I know it's possible. I'm taking it a few steps at a time.

I could write an entire post about this film and the things that have prompted me to change the way I choose to shop. And I probably will write a post about it one of these days.

5. Have I mentioned that school starts in four days? The next four days are beginning to feel very full too. Ugh. Do you hear me moaning and groaning? I'd really like another week or two of summer, please.

6. Will had an eye appointment this week. Several years ago he was diagnosed with amblyopia. His left eye didn't fully develop in utero and his vision in that eye is basically limited to shapes and colors. When I took him for a physical last spring he couldn't even read the giant letter at the bottom of the vision chart with that eye. He's learned to compensate over the years with his good eye and even though he has a prescription for glasses and has done vision therapy, there has been little to no improvement. Sigh. We were hoping he could get a contact for his left eye so he could play sports with a little more confidence but the doc told us that his condition isn't correctable. It's sad for me as a parent to know that there's nothing I can do to make this better for him. Sad to know that all the money for vision therapy made little difference too. Just sad in lots of ways. The fact that his eye didn't develop properly in utero stirs up all kinds of mommy guilt too.

7. My girls' room is a disaster. When Sarah gets home from riding lessons, she and Abbey are going to have to tackle it. I've threatened all week but it is happening today because I'm so tired of the mess, and I'm so tired of doing it for them. Do you clean your kids' rooms? I really think that a 12 and 8 year old should be able to do this without my help.

8. If they DO get their room picked up we're going to make a trip to Co Springs to drop off our recycling and walk around Manitou Springs. John suggested dinner at one of our favorite places and I'm certainly not one to turn down a dinner I don't have to cook! We also thought it would be fun to take them to the penny arcade that I've heard so much about.

I seem to have a knack for ending my lists with eight things lately. Not to worry. 10-on-the-10th is just around the corner.

Peace out, peeps. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Wednesday Happies

1. My kids make me happy. Yesterday Sarah and I went shopping. She had some gift cards from her birthday that she wanted to spend and we had a fun afternoon together. We were at the mall (I've given up on my resolve to stay away. Been more times than I care to count.) and she spied the toys that her brother and sister were on a quest to find last weekend. She used her OWN money to buy one for each of them and surprised Will and Abbey with them after dinner. She had more fun doing that for them than she did buying stuff for herself. She was giddy with joy. It is a beautiful thing when your kids love each other and show it in tangible ways.

2. I also found a new comforter set that I am in love with! It was on sale for $19.99--for a queen set--that's my kind of bargain! I've been wanting to re-decorate our bedroom for awhile but I'm not one to spend a lot of money on that kind of stuff. Finding the perfect comforter set on sale is a happy thing!

3. I bought these flowers and this vase early in the summer and they still make me happy every day!

4. John has been working from home a lot this summer. I didn't like it at first which really surprised me, but I've grown to love it. Just knowing he's around and can join us for lunch or I can find him and give him a smack on the lips makes me happy!

5. Reading makes me happy too. Not long ago, a friend recommended The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and I'm almost finished with the book. It's fascinating. And challenging. Anyone read it?

6. Laughing makes me happy. Or does being happy make me laugh? I think it works both ways.

7. The mountains make me happy! So does living in Colorado in the summer. I ran to the store last night and the temp sign when I was driving home at 7pm said 71 degrees. I know you guys in the South (everywhere, really) are SWELTERING. And I'm sorry. Come visit!

8. Lists of ten things make me happy but I'm going to have to end on a discordant note because I'm out of time!

Hope your Wednesday is a crazy-happy one.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


I like to think of myself as a fun mom--a mom who enjoys doing things with and for my kids. Doing things that delight them. Honestly? I absolutely love it.

Why do I love it? Well, I'm so glad you asked.

Actually, the question has come up a few times lately. Here's my answer.

--I only get one shot at this thing called parenting. I'm not out to be my kids' best friend. I say no a lot, but it's WAY more fun to say yes. I want to live with no regrets!

--I want my kids to look back on their childhood and on our home and remember that we had FUN together. That we played games, and acted silly, and made up crazy names for each other, and that dinnertime always always ended with jokes about bodily noises, and that we slept on the trampoline, and played freeze tag in the backyard, and watched movies outside and made s'mores even when we weren't camping. And that we laughed. A lot.

--I L-O-V-E summer. I love making it feel fun and different and celebratory for my family. I love celebrating ordinary days in special ways. It's a big part of who I am.

I'm not a perfect mom.

I'm not always fun.

I lose my patience. And my temper.
I get frustrated.
I react. And over-react. 
I yell.
I complain.
I feel sorry for myself.

But when my head hits my pillow at night, I am completely overwhelmed with love and gratitude for my family. They are a gift that I've been given and I desire to do everything I can to celebrate these people and the gift that they are to me. And that is why I do what I do.

Monday, August 02, 2010

End of Summer Splurge

Our family took a fun trip to Denver over the weekend. It ended up being a total splurge weekend since our hopes of a mini-vacation to the mountains never panned out. We had a super fun time. Splurging is always fun though, isn't it?

(Heads up: this is a long, photo-filled post!)

We headed north Friday morning and stopped at Park Meadows mall. The kids have been saving their allowance money all summer and they each had a place in mind that they wanted to shop.

Abbey spent her money at the American Girl store. We've been several times this summer and I love watching the little girls in that place trying to take it all in! Plus, I just love AG stuff and love that my girls still love playing with their dolls. Money well spent! Abbey bought some purple accessories that'll pop up in some pics later!

After shopping for awhile, we stopped for lunch. John's parents took the kids to the Grand Lux Cafe when they were staying with our kids in May and the kids have been raving about it ever since. Of course that was where they all wanted to go when John asked them where we should have lunch! It sounds like the name of a casino to me, but it was yummy, and they get ten thumbs up for having Bendaroos for kids to play with while waiting!

We did a little more shopping before heading downtown and checking into our hotel which was just two  blocks from Denver's 16th Street mall and the Colorado Convention Center. Here's a view from our hotel room.

See that big blue bear looking into the windows of the convention center? VERY fun. Downtown Denver has lots and lots of (very cool) public art. The bear sculpture is called "I See What You Mean" and if you're interested you can read more about it here.

I did my research and found out that a pinkberry had opened just two blocks from our hotel. Pinkberry is a fro-yo chain and it is every bit as delicious as all my California friends rave. Even our resident yogurt hater loved it. Even Justin Beiber agrees. (My kids found that little tidbit fascinating!)

We knocked around 16th Street Mall for awhile before heading to the Rockies v. Cubs game.

I love baseball. We had so much fun at this game!!!

We were thankful the rain missed us. It was very windy and cool as the storm blew over but it cleared and turned out to be a perfect evening to play ball!

We almost chose to go to the Saturday night game with some friends, but were SO glad we picked this game instead. The Rockies ROCKED the Cubs. They scored TWELVE runs in the bottom of the 8th. It was AMAZING. They were on a huge roll and the crowd was going NUTS. My kids know I'm a crazy football fan, but they were surprised that I got so worked up about baseball. We all sorta did. All the Cubs fans around us were so disgusted they left. The Rockies won 17-2.

We were walking back to our hotel after the game when John surprised us with a horse-drawn carriage ride! Huge splurge. So fun!!! The kids loved it.
Thanks to hotel black-out curtains we all slept late Saturday morning which was wonderful after a late night at the game.

One of the things on our list of hotel criteria was an outdoor pool. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a hotel in downtown Denver with an outdoor pool? We never found one. And we vetoed several hotels that didn't even have an indoor one. We had the pool to ourselves that morning. The hot tub too.

After swimming, we got dressed, checked out of our hotel and walked down to Lo-Do (lower downtown) for brunch at Snooze. John had breakfast there with his editorial team back in December and has been wanting to take us ever since.
The wait was L-O-N-G but it was so worth it! I kinda regret not trying the sweet potato pancakes so I guess that just means we'll have to go back. Did I mention that we were by far the oldest people there? We were. It's a pretty hip joint!

We walked around Lo-Do and the 16th Street mall for most of the afternoon.

John hardly ever buys stuff for himself, but he found a shirt he liked at one of his favorite places in Denver--Rockmount.
We stopped by pinkberry AGAIN. Oh my. I think I have a new addiction. Too bad (for me) that the closest one is an hour away.
Original with blackberries and strawberries is my favorite, but I liked the pomegranate too. Here's a pic of the chocolate one just in case you chocolate lovers are feeling left out. Smile.
We stopped by the mall again on the way home because we have one child who likes to explore all her options before spending her money. And we ran in Old Navy so the kids could use the gift cards that a friend sent to them. (Thank you again, NTH!)

We were only gone a day and a half but we had such a fun time. It was the perfect overnight getaway and a fabulous way to wrap up our fun summer! Did I just say that? I'm in a bit of denial that it's actually August. Didn't you heard me groan when I flipped my calendar over this morning. I'm going to put on some black clothes and sit in a pile of ashes. I'm soooooooooooooo sad that this amazing summer is almost over. Sigh.