Friday, September 30, 2011

My Favorite Place on Earth!

Here are some photos from our little getaway to Estes Park last weekend. Sit back and enjoy (and wish you lived in Colorado too!)
Sliding down the rainbow slide and riding go-carts at Fun City are absolutely must-dos for us when in EP! The girls also did the bungee-jump-thingy this time but I only have videos of that and no time to upload them. Besides, all the up and down motion would probably make you dizzy. 

Love this pic so much!!!

The weather and the colors were GORGEOUS on Sunday. Most of these pics were taken at Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. I also want to note that all of these pics were taken with my iPhone camera...using the Camera+ app which I adore!!!

Don't be surprised if you see one of those two family pics on our Christmas card this year!

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Quick Catch Up

I'm sitting in a quiet house right now. John took Will and Sarah to school on his way to work and Abbey is still asleep. I have a few minutes before I have to wake her up and since I haven't blogged in over a week I thought a blog post was in order!

--I have a weird backache/chestache going on. It started last night and it hurts! It feels muscle-related so I'm hoping the muscle relaxant kicks in soon.

--I had a cup of coffee last night for the first time since May. My book club met at Village Inn for free pie night (we're suckers for pie)(especially FREE pie) and I ordered a cup of decaf. Wow. It was good. I haven't had any caffeine since mid-May and I feel so much better with it out of my system. I'd drink decaf coffee if I could ever get John to switch but that's NEVER going to happen. He's a fully leaded guy.

--Abbey got brackets on her two front teeth this week. Her orthodontist will put more on next time. I think she looks pretty cute! 

--We went to Estes Park with John's parents last weekend. Estes Park is my favorite place in Colorado. It was beautiful. Last time we were there we saw a bear. And guess what we saw again this time? A BEAR! In a TREE! My pics aren't great but here's proof. I'll share the rest of my pics from EP in another post (hopefully tomorrow). The fall colors were gorgeous!

--Speaking of fall color--I think the trees in my little town have literally been changing overnight. Everywhere I drive (and I'm in the car a lot these days) the leaves are brilliant red and gold and orange. Who doesn't love fall colors? I ooh and ahh over this group of trees when I walk past them on the trail every morning. I went back one afternoon to take this photo...

--I think I might have a part-time job soon. I'm kinda excited about it. 

--I'm getting my hair cut and colored tomorrow. It's been three months. My hair has gotten so long and scraggly. I'm kinda ready to chop a few inches. We'll see.

--My time is up. Must wake my littlest kiddo up and get her to school. And then? THEN I get to spend my entire morning at home. That is such a rare treat these days!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Good stuff!

I only have a minute or two but I have three good things to share this morning...

1. My husband arrives home this afternoon! Hip hip HOORAY! He's left for a conference in Chicago last Wednesday and then flew to Arkansas to spend the weekend with his parents. Their last Sunday at the church his dad has pastored for 25 years was yesterday. I was so thankful he got to be there for their special day (and so sad the rest of us didn't) but I am more than ready for him to come home. I have missed him like crazy! I'm not too fond of single-parenting. Hats off to those of you who do this day in and day out. You have my utmost respect.

2. Yesterday was absolutely GORGEOUS! I went on a great hike with some neighborhood friends. We had originally hoped to hike Pulpit Rock but the main road to the trailhead was closed and we couldn't find any access so we ended up going to Ute Valley Park instead. It was fabulous! We live in a place of stunning beauty.
I can't figure out how to zoom with my iPhone camera but if you look close, you can see the snowy summit of Pikes Peak just over that rocky ridge. BEAUTIFUL!

Local friends: Have you ever hiked Pulpit Rock? Is there another way to access the trailhead besides going north on Nevada?

3. Sarah and I made these pumpkin spiced oatmeal pecan cookies on Saturday and they were SOOOOOO YUMMY! I've been very strict with my sugar consumption since May but I could not resist these cookies. Fall just begs for pumpkiny treats, don't ya think?
*I used walnuts instead of pecans and regular oats instead of quick oats. I also didn't have any pumpkin pie spice but my friend Kellie had just posted directions for mixing up your own. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for directions!

Hope your Monday is off to a great start!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday Morning Post

It's Saturday. Hooray! I was able to sleep a little later than normal, but not nearly as late as I'd hoped I could. I'm just happy the hour hand was on the six this morning. I've had a couple mornings lately where it was on the four and even one morning it was on the THREE! And that's no bueno. 

This week was very good, but very full. I can't seem to find that pace (slow, but purposeful) that I really love and I'm hoping things settle down a bit in the next few weeks. I've always tried to have a couple of days each week that I spend at home and those kind of days have been few and far between lately. I think I might have to start scheduling them on the calendar to keep them free!

>begin rambling<

John walked in the kitchen one evening after work and found me slaving over dinner asked me to close my eyes. When I opened them he was holding a Spiced Pumpkin Yankee Candle. He'd read my last blog post about wanting a new candle for fall and so he picked one up for me. Sweet, eh? He also sent me to the mall with a very liberal shopping allowance to buy some jeans. He always has a generous heart towards me and our children but he outdid himself this week! 

We had two rainy, gloomy days this week that brought record amounts of rain to our area. I was thankful for the moisture, but I really miss the sun when it's overcast for that many days in a row. I'm so spoiled by Colorado's 300 days of sunshine a year. I picked Will up from a post-practice pasta dinner for his cross country team on Thursday evening just as the sky was starting to clear and in addition to a gorgeous rainbow spanning the sky, we noticed that Pikes Peak was wearing a fresh coat of snow! It was really beautiful! I was in the Springs yesterday and saw people everywhere stopping to take pictures. (I took a couple of pics but they're not very good!)

Gloomy fall days make me wish I could sit on the couch with my Slanket (ha!) and watch You've Got Mail. I think it's time for my annual viewing.

Will had a cross country meet yesterday afternoon in Denver. I'm so proud of him because he set a new PR of 23:18. His last run was 27:10 so that's almost FOUR minutes that he shaved off!!! Wow.

John's parents are coming for a visit next week! We're getting excited about that. They'll get to go to one of Will's XC meets and we have some other fun things planned. His parents are retiring and we're hoping more visits like this are in their future! We love where we live but often wish it weren't so far away from our family.

On tap for this weekend: 
Cleaning (since I didn't get much done this week!)
A hike with friends
FOOTBALL!!!! (Not too excited about the Razorbacks non-conference game this week but next week things start to get fun!)(I am excited about NFL and my fantasy team though.)
Bible study homework (we started The Patriarchs this week. I loooooove Old Testament! So excited!)
A meeting
And hopefully that's it.
Happy Saturday, everyone!

>/end rambling<

PS: I thought I was being all cute with my HTML code for rambling but I guess blogger read it as actual code and made it invisible so I inserted the words "begin" and "end". It still read it as (invisible) code so I had to reverse the < symbol to get it to appear as text. Interesting, huh? Looks like I still have much to learn. If you're not an HTML geek then you probably have no idea what I just said. Just nod and smile.

Monday, September 12, 2011


I copied this from my friend, Stephanie. Here are my September currents...

Current Books: Last week I finished reading Bossypants (for book club) and I'm a few chapters into Major Pettigrew's Last Stand (also for bookclub). I have Odd Girl Out beside my bed as well. I'm not in much of a reading groove these days though. 

Current Playlist: Gosh, I've been enjoying silence so much lately that I can't even remember the last time I listened to my iPod. 

Current Color: orange!

Current Drink: Water. And the very occasional
Zevia caffeine-free cola.

Current Food: Red meat. I love it. Can't get enough lately.

Current Favorite Favorite: Micro-fiber cleaning cloths. Yes, I'm the biggest geek on the planet.

Current Wishlist: a fall candle, fall sweaters, warm(er) workout clothes for chilly mornings! It was around 40 degrees every morning last week! Brrrrr.

Current Needs: New jeans!

Current Triumph: I hiked the Manitou Incline with some friends yesterday. It's 1 mile straight up, 40% grade, and a 2000 foot elevation gain. It was exhilarating! I did it last year but I was pretty out of shape after taking most of the summer off to recover from my hip injury. I felt GREAT yesterday.

Current Bane of my Existence: Evening activities and weekend homework. 

Current Indulgence: Pinkberry!

Current Mood: Mostly happy but worried about a couple of friends...

Current #1 Blessing: My husband. We had a great weekend together and I'm beyond grateful for him.

Current Outfit: capris, tee, and flip flops. Gotta milk it while I can since it will be sweater weather before I know it.

Current Excitement: Monday night football, a fun hike with friends tomorrow followed by lunch with another friend, and Bible study begins on Wednesday. It's a good week. 

Current Link: I got nothin'. Except for maybe these Snicker Bar Blondies that I made this afternoon to take to a Younglife BBQ tonight. I'd try of of them if I liked chocolate, but I don't. Hate me if you must...

Friday, September 09, 2011

Random 9

1. I have been crazy-busy lately. If you know me, you know I don't like being busy. Thank goodness our weekends have been slow-paced and relaxing, which makes me appreciate them all the more! The only things on my schedule for tomorrow and Sunday are happy things!

2. Some of those happy things include football! Have I mentioned I love football? I'm so excited about Fantasy Football starting this weekend (even though I guess it technically started last night) and excited for week two of college football. I have a hard time getting into Arkansas' non-conference games though so I have a few more weeks to get geared up for the Hogs' real SEC competition.

3. I experienced my first Grilled Cheese Thursday yesterday. Every other Thursday, our local Younglife makes a gazillion grilled cheese sandwiches for the students at both of our local high schools. The kids come in droves to devour them...and seriously...they can put away some grilled cheese! I think we went though sixty loaves of bread yesterday, which explains why I smelled like grilled cheese for the remainder of the afternoon! I also learned what a fluffernutter sandwich is. I will share that recipe soon.

4. Speaking of recipes...I made this this tequila-citrus grilled chicken last weekend and it was delicious! And I think I could eat this southwestern flank steak every single day.

5. We've had some great fall weather lately and I love it. I should be clear here. I like cool weather. We've had a cold day or two mixed in and I'm NOT ready for cold. I like to experience fall before winter.

6. We have a fun family getaway planned for later this month. I am so excited. More on that later.

7. I'm hosting Bunco tonight! I love my Bunco friends! It's rare that all twelve of us can make it every month (we usually have several subs) but it worked out all of us can come tonight. Should be fun. I am really looking forward to laughing with my peeps!

8. So...that situation I didn't want to talk about in my post last week about people thinking rules didn't apply to them? I was referring to the carpool line at our elementary school. I'm happy to report that the afternoon pick up procedures were tweaked a bit and my blood pressure has been normal all week! Hooray!

9. Anyone know why my phone keeps scrambling text messages to look like this?

John was TRYING to tell me to wear my bear bell on my hike. You got that message loud and clear, right? I've gotten three messages like that this week. Does this happen to you guys too? I'm so confused!

Happy Friday!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Wiser Now

Some things I realized, learned, or remembered this week.

--I learned it's very expensive to have a van window repaired, but it's sorta nice to be able to roll it down and have it go all the way back up again. I must say though, our body shop ROCKS! They found a part they were able to use instead of ordering a brand new one. Total repair cost ended up being $100 less than the price they quoted us just for the part.

--I realized (again)(much to my chagrin) that my body clock has no regard for Saturday and the fact it's the only day I can sleep in. I was up at 5:15 just like almost every day this summer. WHY can't I sleep late even when I want to?

--I learned that lightning, rain, and Friday night lights don't mix.

--I realized that I don't miss caffeine all that much until I drive past Starbucks and think about pumpkin spice lattes. Sigh.

--I remembered that swimming is the most intense cardio workout in the world (for me). I have a new respect for swimmers after swimming laps at the pool this week. Wowza. Swimming makes walking/hiking/theoccasionaljog feel like pseudo-cardio.

--I realized yesterday after a grocery/Costco run that the price of food is climbing. Either that or my family is just eating more these days. It's probably both. Realized too that we should probably re-evaluate our grocery budget since I can't seem to stay within it.

--I remembered that homework is a necessary fact of life and that I'll never be a fan.

--I also learned/realized/remembered that I really like blogging! And that I've missed it.

What about you? Learn anything new or realize something (again) this week? Wanna share your great wisdom? :)

Friday, September 02, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

1. One thing that is completely superfluous, but that I could never give up is Biolage shampoo. I quit buying it a few years ago and went with some much cheaper brands but that didn't last long. I'm addicted to Biolage.

2. Hugs from people I don't know very well or feel very close to make me feel awkward. And then there's the whole issue of front hugs? Sideways hugs? Quick or long hugs? And what to do with my hands? See? Awkward.

3. I can't make it through a single day without making some sort of list.

4. Edamame is my favorite snack. Besides being yummy, it's fun to say! It's also fun to convince your friend that she's pronouncing it incorrectly then listen to her use the made up pronunciation the rest of the evening while everyone plays along.

5. Lately I've been trying to find my new school year groove.

6. If at first you don't succeed take a breath, don't over analyze it, and try again.

7. Fall is such a cozy season. I'm looking forward to crisp mornings, some yummy comfort food, and of course FOOTBALL!

I'm so glad it's Friday AND a long weekend. And glad I could link up at the little things we do today!