Thursday, August 30, 2012

Clearing my head...

I'm should be working right now. I carved a chunk of time out of this morning to get some things accomplished but I'm having trouble concentrating on work. Maybe it's because it's so nice outside and I'd rather be out there soaking up the sun. Maybe it's because I'm really into the book I'm reading right now and I just want to finish it already. Or Maybe it's because I'm not feeling super great today--just slow and sluggish. Whatever the reason, I'm hoping that by typing some stuff here I can clear my head and get in my groove and get my work stuff wrapped up for this week, because hello? We've got a three-day weekend coming up!

I feel like I'm in a really good place in life right now. I remember telling a friend last winter that I just feel happy. I do, and it's good. There was a period in my life where depression stalked and threatened to overtake me but I feel like those days are in my far distant past. I feel healthy and I feel content, and I am so incredibly grateful I can say that. BUT...I have several friends right now who are in dark places. My heart hurts for them. I'd give anything to be able to fix things for them but I'm pretty helpless to do much more than pray, listen, or pass the Kleenex when the tears spill forth. It feels like there is so much suffering around me at the feels so heavy...and I hate it.

On a much lighter note, I had the sweetest conversation with Abbey this morning before school. One of my friends offered to pick Subway up for lunch and take it to Abbey at school since she was doing that for her kids too. She's a great friend and always doing nice things like that for me and my kids (though I'm 99.9% certain Abbey proposed this idea). The fact is that I love that Abb is comfortable enough around my friend to ask "hey, if you're bringing your kids some lunch, could you bring me some too?" I also cringe a little a lot, but mostly I love that she's comfortable. When I informed Abbey of her lunch treat today I told her to be sure to thank my friend profusely and tell her that she earned about ten-thousand cool-mom points. She looked at me, smiled, tilted her head and said, "Mom, I actually think of Mrs. Heather as one of my second moms." I asked her if she had a lot of second moms and she shook her head and said, "Not really. Just Aunt M, Aunt T, and Sarah. (pause) Mom, if something ever happened to you, Sarah could take good care of me. She knows how to do my hair really good." It just made my heart smile to know she has a bunch of second mamas who love her. And she never has to worry about her hair. :)

I should get back to work...
Happy Thursday!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Currently ::: August edition

Can't believe August is almost over!

Current book: The Kitchen House. I started this book last week and so far it is very, very good.

Current playlist: Coldplay, Zac Brown, Lady Antebellum, Chris Tomlin. Basically I'm all over the place.

Current color: Purple

Current drink: In July I got sucked back into drinking diet coke on a much-too-regular basis. I blame it on the proximity of Sonic to the pool and the fact that it was always happy hour at Sonic when we were headed home and I was always hot and in need of a cold drink. Now I'm trying to detox from caffeine again because I think it is why I've been sleeping so poorly the last few weeks.

Current food addiction: I'm trying to enjoy as much summer produce as I can before it's gone. I was sad the other day when Costco had downsized from 4lb to 2lb containers of strawberries. That means the end of summer is near. Sigh.

Current favorite favorite: I bought this magnet in Crested Butte. It makes me happy.
Current wishlist: Fall, candy corn, pumpkin spice lattes (I think they make their seasonal debut on Saturday), the start of football, and for my sister to have her baby when I'm in Arkansas in a few weeks.

Current need: Some motivation in the kitchen. I am having the hardest time with meals lately. I'm still cooking but I'm just not enjoying it. I think I'm ready for soups and stews and a fall-ish menu.

Current triumph: In September we will have one of our two credit cards completely paid off. We've been debt free at two different times in our twenty-two years of marriage and it's a wonderful feeling. We're not currently debt-free, but we are moving that direction and we have operated on a cash-only basis for the last five-ish years. I never cease to be amazed at God's provision for us.

Current annoyance: The transition lenses on my glasses. I got that feature because it was completely covered under insurance but I despise how dark my glasses get when I'm in the sun and how long it takes them to go back to normal. Vain, much?

Current indulgence: Going to bed super early. Ahhhh...such a luxury for me.

Current blessing: A fulfilling marriage. It's a blessing I don't take for granted.

Current outfit: This rarely changes--capris, flip flops, short sleeved top. Lately though I've been able to wear some lightweight cardigans and jeans. I'm ready for more of that.

Current excitement: The Arkansas/Alabama game in Fayetteville in a few weeks. Go HOGS!

Current planning project: A menu for Bunco!

Current goof-up: I got completely ready and made an appetizer for a party on Saturday night that was actually on SUNDAY night. I'm so glad we called ahead of time to ask a silly question because the hostess corrected my error and saved us from actually driving to the party and showing up on the wrong night. What a goof up. John and I ended up going on a little impromptu date that night since we were dressed. The actual party last night was great. It was sad to say good-bye to sweet friends but we got to catch up with so many people we hadn't seen in a long time. It was a nice way to end the weekend.

Hope all you peeps have a great week.

PS: My kids totally make fun of me for saying peeps. Evidently it's not a cool word. Whatev.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Just Because...

This picture makes me smile every time I see it on my phone so I'm sharing it here just because I can.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Six on Saturday

1. It's been a long week. I don't know when I've ever been so glad to see a weekend roll around. Our kids started school on Tuesday and they all had a terrific week but we are all tired!
 Will--first day of 10th grade
 Sarah--first day of 9th grade
Abbey--first day of 5th grade

2. Does anyone else find the first week of school exhausting? It pretty much kicked my tail. Between all the driving (three different schools) and the mental task of keeping up with everyone's schedule, I've been completely spent each evening by dinnertime. One night this week I went to bed before 8pm. It was awesome.

3. Last weekend John and I went to Crested Butte for the first time. Oh my word, it was
F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S! I'm pretty sure it now trumps Estes Park as my favorite place in Colorado. The natural beauty was stunning and the drive, the lodging, the food, the hiking, the shopping were all AMAZING. We were pretty wowed by it, and are trying to figure out when we can go back! Maybe even to ski? We bought a steal-of-a-deal for this hotel through LivingSocial (it was GREAT!) and we ate some pretty amazing meals at Maxwells, Le Bosquet, Teocalli Tamale, The Secret Stash, and of course coffee from Camp 4 Coffee. (I linked to those simply so I could remember for future reference!) That getaway to Crested Butte probably deserves it's own post but for the sake of time I'm lumping it all into this one.

 Terrible photo but amazing french food!

 Crested Butte is known for it's wildflowers but we were there at the tail end of that season. Those that we saw were gorgeous though--I can only imagine how beautiful it would be in July. I think this would be a fabulous place for fall aspen viewing, but it's a bit of a drive from Co Springs (4+ hours). Some of the aspens were already starting to turn while we were there! 

 Starting to feel like fall in Colorado! I love it!
I had a cup of decaf each morning--best coffee EVER. I'm not exaggerating.
A couple of friends told us to make sure we visited The Secret Stash for pizza (so we did) and we ordered The Notorious Fig. Never would've thought of putting fig on pizza but oh my gosh, it was amazing. This week I stumbled upon a fig pizza recipe in my Pioneer Woman cookbook (the newest one) and I think I could make my foodie husband very happy by attempting her recipe. 

4. John's parents came out for a visit and stayed here with our kids while we were gone. While we were playing in Crested Butte, they went to a fancy-schmancy wedding in Denver for one of John's mom's cousins and had a great time too! Mimi and Papa were here for a week but they gave us some space for the first two days of school and escaped to Ouray, CO for their anniversary. We are always so grateful when they get to spend time with us--one of the perks of their retirement!

5. After having the summer off from my part-time YL job, I started back to work this week. I feel overwhelmed already. It's not so much the work-load as it is saying good-bye to the freedom (and sloth) of summer. I'm in the process of trying to work my schedule so that I can still have time to hike and volunteer and do all the other things that help my family function smoothly. Honestly, it feels hard to find balance.

6. This weekend is a good mix of rest, productivity, and activity. Will has a cross-country meet this morning and later today we have a good-bye send off for some friends moving to North Carolina. We're going to try to get back in our church groove tomorrow and sometime this weekend I need to take my high-schoolers shopping for the supplies they found out they need this week. I'm hoping to squeeze a nap and a hike in there somewhere too. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Color Run:::Colorado Springs 2012

I first heard of The Color Run in early spring when two friends in Atlanta posted pics from their 5K on Facebook. Oh my gosh, it looked like SO much fun! A few weeks later, Angie and her family did The Color Run in Southern California and I knew right then and there that I had to sign up for this race! Unfortunately, the Denver Color Run was sold out by then and there wasn't one scheduled for Colorado Springs. After being very patient and checking the website obsessively frequently, the "happiest 5K on the planet" announced plans to come to my area and I quickly formed a team and got us signed up. 

Last Saturday was the big day.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with The Color Run, here's the 411:
It's a 5K run...but you can walk if you want...but it's not a timed run because it's designed to be FUN!
Runners are encouraged to wear white.
At each kilometer marker there is a color station where volunteers throw powdered color on you as you run past. Each runner is given a packet of colored powder to save for the finish where there is a color explosion every few minutes and everyone throws their color packet up in the air--dousing the runners with even MORE color. It is crazy fun, crazy messy, and crazy awesome. I HIGHLY recommend you find one in your area (drive if you have to) and register. Go here to read more and find out if there's one close to you.

Okay...some pics.

Here is part of my team at the starting line. We ordered matching tank tops with our team name on the back. 
Self-portrait. Awesome facial expression, eh? And yes, I wear earrings to 5Ks. I wear them when I hike too. I get a lot of flack for that, but I can deal with it.

Seriously y'all--this was SO MUCH STINKIN' FUN!

Just in case you're wondering, all of the color washed out of my hair and off of me after a shower, though I did have to do some scrubbing. I did miss cleaning one spot (my belly button) and realized it the next day when I had a nice orange ring on my t-shirt after a workout. Awesome.

I sprayed my tank top with vinegar before I left the race and ironed it when I got home to try to preserve as much color as I could and it worked! It's not quite as bright as it was post-race but it's a happy souvenir. :)

BIG thanks to my friends' husbands who came and took pics for us! And then shared them with me so I could share them with you.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday afternoon randomness

My house feels normal again now that Will is back from his cross-country camp. I never feel settled when one of my peeps is gone. We're all glad he's home and I think he is too. He told us that he had to get up and run every morning at 6am while there and hike every afternoon--oh the injustice. 

I've had to get creative and find new places to hike this summer because of all the trail/forest closures related to the Waldo Canyon fire. This morning my friend and I hiked the middle and upper Columbine Trail in North Cheyenne Canyon and it was SO beautiful! I've actually found several amazing hikes this summer that I probably never would have if I hadn't had to look for new terrain. It's good to shake things up every so often, right?

Isn't that so beautiful? The two deer in the picture below were SO close to the trail and they weren't the least bit afraid of us. I hate my picture turned out so blurry.

When we were in Santa Fe last week we made a trip to Trader Joe's and I stocked up on some of our favorite TJs products. I also found a few new things to try including blue corn tortillas. YUM. I used them in my very favorite enchilada recipe last night and they were quite possibly the best enchiladas I've ever made. Corn tortillas usually fall apart when I roll enchiladas but these were PERFECT. I don't know if it was the blue corn tortillas or if it was because I finally found a good method for flash-frying them. Regardless, they were perfect and delicious.

I think one of the things I despise about the end of summer is the MOUNDS of paperwork. The high school(s) send a link with all of the student forms that need to be printed and completed before student processing (which is next week--blech) and each grade level packet is 40+ pages. Thankfully, I don't have to print every single page, but I have to print a whole lot of them and then fill them out. YUCKO. I despise paperwork. Despise it. I also dread the onslaught of paperwork that accompanies the first weeks of school. It's slightly overwhelming to keep up with all of that for three kids and three different schools. 

We're going to try to squeeze in another pool day and maybe some hiking next week--in between XC practices, some back-to-school shopping (we're not buying much until fall actually arrives), student processing, company arriving, and one last summer getaway. Summer is winding down and I'm very very sad, but I'm thankful that we still have some fun days left to enjoy to the fullest. Peace out, peeps. Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012


Right now my house is way too quiet. Will is away at camp, John is at work, and the girls are still sleeping. Our plans for the day (the pool with friends) fell apart at the last minute due to the weather so I'm enjoying a very leisurely post-walk breakfast. I'm savoring it. I see many not-so-leisurely days in the very near future!

I've got a little chatty list going...

1. I had a free Redbox rental code yesterday and decided about 7pm that the girls and I should rent The Help. I went to my nearest Redbox, got the dvd, came home, put on my pjs, got all comfy on the love seat, and then the stupid dvd wouldn't play--and I tried my laptop too with the same results. John told us we could order the movie from our on-demand cable but it wasn't available. I was so disappointed. I chatted online with a Redbox representative and got two free rental codes as compensation, but I was really in the mood to watch that movie last night. Oh well.

2. I bought some new athletic shoes on Saturday. I'm particularly fond of Brooks Cascadia. I've worn Brooks for as long as I can remember because they fit my narrow feet so well and this particular style is perfect for the kind of terrain I tackle daily. I was NOT very fond of the only color option available. I texted John this pic on Saturday after I bought them.
They are an obnoxious blue and turquoise. Obnoxious. But I bought them because I'm brand loyal and they're tried and true. I'm hoping the trail dust will tone down the turquoise. 

3. I am getting really excited about football. Razorback football. NFL football. High school football. Fantasy football. You name it, I'm ready for it. 

4. I'm reading The Weird Sisters right now and I really like it. My friend, Kelly, recently asked me how I choose books. Honestly? I have no real method. I rarely buy books, but when I'm at the library I generally look for a title or cover to grab me. If one of those two appeal to me, I'll usually read the front flap and add it to my check-out pile or reject it immediately. I end up rejecting way more than I choose. Sometimes I'll read a book based on recommendations. A friend mentioned The Weird Sisters one evening while we were out walking and a few days later I saw it mentioned in a magazine at my hair salon. I stumbled upon it (quite by accident) on my last library trip and was intrigued by the title so I checked it out. How do YOU choose books? Read any good ones lately?

5. I started this post over an hour ago (in between loads of laundry, a text conversation, and bites of breakfast) and now one of my girlies is up and my morning isn't so quiet. She's telling me (in gory detail) about a show on Animal Planet called Infested. She just told me she doesn't think she can ever watch that show again. I think I'm about to lose my breakfast. Adios, friends. :)

Monday, August 06, 2012

Monday musings

I need summer to slow down. We still have two complete weeks before school begins but they're going to fly by. Especially next week. I'm starting to feel sad. I wish summer lasted longer. Sigh.

We sent Will off to cross-country camp in Winter Park today. I'm afraid that kid is in for a rude awakening. We've been trying to get him to run all summer and he's protested wildly, just like you'd expect a 15-year-old boy to do. He's hit the trail half a dozen times in the last three weeks but they're going to be running 60 minutes a day (at a much higher altitude) this week. I'm pretty sure he's going to wish he'd listened to his mother. But I'm also sure he'd never admit that.

After we dropped him off for camp, the girls and I went to buy school supplies. I'm happy to report that we got everything on our list at ONE store. That might be a back-to-school miracle. My two high-schoolers don't get a supply list until the first day of school so we bought some things they anticipate needing + some things that are always hard to find once school has begun. Keep your fingers crossed that we got everything covered.

Last week we went to Santa Fe for a few days. John had to go for work and agreed to let us tag along. We LOVE Santa Fe. It's one of our favorite places to visit and the food isn't so shabby either. Green chilies, anyone? I asked John to try to find a hotel close to the plaza with an outdoor pool and a free breakfast and man, did he deliver! It was perfect. And relaxing.

 Our fabuloso hotel!
Waiting for dinner at The Shed. We hit most of our favorite dining spots and even added a new one that will join our favorites list!

(CanNOT wait for TJ's to open in Colorado!)

Two of my more observant friends have noticed that I'm no longer on Facebook and have emailed me about it. The night we returned home from Santa Fe, I deactivated my account. It's not permanent and I'll be back but I just needed a break from some of the noise in my life. I want to be intentional about enjoying these last weeks of summer without distractions, and if I'm honest, Facebook is a huge distraction. I often joke that it creates ADD-like characteristics in me but joking aside, it's true. I already feel more focused and definitely more free (not to mention productive)!

Alrighty. Gotta get a few things crossed off of today's list so we can play tomorrow! Y'all have a great week. 

OH, if you want to cheer for our local friend in the Olympics, today is her qualifying round for the Women's 1500M on Friday. I don't know if it's televised this afternoon or tonight (or even at all) but watch for Jenny Simpson. Today is the qualifying round, Wednesday is the semi-final, and Friday is the final. GO JENNY, GO!