Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Five

1. What do you do when you get really bad customer service? I'm tempted to vent here about my local big box office supply store that has overcharged me around $20 in the last two weeks and then insufficiently credited those funds back to me AND told me I was in the wrong to point out the shortage. Ugh. Instead of telling you the long, drawn-out version, I'm just going to tell you that I intend to never again set foot in a store that rhymes with 'maples'.

2. Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch? Which Wich offers free sandwiches for summiting a Colorado 14er. My friend and I cashed our Bierstadt pic in for a free lunch yesterday! Fun!

3. I posted this picture on Facebook yesterday--it's what I was reading in the carpool line.
I'm in a girls-only fantasy football league with friends so I'm doing some 'research' for our live draft next week. My cousins also invited me to be in their league and I'm super stoked about that. It's going to be a fun season.

4.  John told me this morning that he is craving chili. I don't know about you guys but I can barely think about that kind of heavy food when the temps are still in the 80s. Ugh. I need to make a meal plan/grocery list today and I think here for another month or so we will be eating 'summer meals'. Does your menu change seasonally? I love soups and roast and comfort foods in the fall and winter but in the summer and spring I want fresh, light meals. I may throw some tailgate/football food into my menu plan since ya know, football season is here. See? I love football so much that I can bring most any conversation around to that topic! I need help.

5. It's FRIDAY!!!!! It's a long weekend!!!!! I am so happy!!!!!

Thursday, August 29, 2013


You know I'm a fan of lists. I made these short ones while sitting in a room at our county courthouse yesterday waiting to see if I would be called as a potential juror. I wasn't. They released me around 11:30am, just in time to meet my husband for lunch! I wouldn't mind serving as a juror someday, but if I could choose I'd prefer that experience to fall at a time when I don't have children at home and a dozen things going on on a daily basis.

On to the lists...

Extra-Excited about:
1. Football! High school, college, NFL, fantasy--you name it, I'm ready for it, and this is the weekend.
2. The One Direction movie. It opens this weekend and all the females in my house are excited and already have tickets.
3. The long weekend coming up. Boy, I need it.
4. The upcoming season of Parenthood. Do y'all watch this show? It is our very favorite.

Favorite Finds:
1. These new Kind granola bars. Really, really tasty.
2. Who Do You Think You Are? I recently discovered this show on TLC and it's fascinating. I've been working my way through the episodes I missed this summer.
3. Fall candles from Bath and Body Works. Fall scents are my favorite!
4. Like-minded people.

Sanity Savers:
As much as I don't like to be busy, the reality is that I am. Especially during the school year when I spend a LOT of my time in the car. These few things help me stay on top of my game.
1. Meal planning.
2. Two loads of laundry per day. This doesn't always happen but it sure helps me stay caught up. If I miss a day, I feel like I am buried in laundry and have to play catch-up. I don't do it alone anymore. My entire family helps out and that's another sanity saver.
3. Exercise.
4. My planner. I rely on this more than I want to admit!

My Everyday Essentials:
1. Moisturizer. It is soooooooo dry in Colorado.
2. Lip balm/lipstick. This is my favorite kind.
3. Mascara. I bought an expensive tube of mascara at the beginning of the summer just to see if there really was a difference between that and the $4 tube I normally buy. Guess what? I prefer the cheapie tube by a long shot.
4. Earrings. I rarely leave the house without them.

I've decided I like posts with photos in them so I'm leaving you with this one. :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Summer Snapshot #5

We saw three shows while we were in Branson--Joseph, The Dixie Stampede, and took a riverboat dinner cruise on The Showboat Branson Belle. They were each so different, but so good! I couldn't pick a favorite. These are just a few random photos from my iPhone.

 This photo cracks me up...John made me pose like that...we both think it's hilarious. We are easily amused.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Pikes Peak II

You might remember that I hiked Pikes Peak with some friends about five years ago. Evidently, I didn't remember how hard it was because I planned a return trip to the summit of Pikes Peak with some friends again for this summer. We set out for the summit on Saturday and it was a fun, yet grueling experience! We took Barr Trail to the summit--a 13 mile hike with a 7000+ vertical gain. Here is my photo documentation of my second trip up 'America's mountain'.

We left at 4am to drive to the trailhead and started hiking by 4:45AM. In pitch blackness. The day before our hike, a friend told us that her friend had encountered a mountain lion on the trail right before dawn. I was determined to be brave--it's so rare to see mountain lions--but I wore my bear bell just in case!
 Headlamps make such a fashion statement, don't ya think?
 Colorado Springs from Barr Trail at sunrise. Gorgeous.
This was our first glimpse of Pikes Peak. I was super thankful to see NO snow up there. When we hiked Pikes Peak five years ago, there was a lot of snow which we didn't see until this point.
 Looks so far away still!

Barr Camp is the halfway point up Barr Trail. Most folks stop and take a break or use the bathrooms (only ones on the trail!) but you can pay to camp overnight.

It took us a couple of hours after leaving Barr Camp to get to treeline (about 12,000ft). From treeline it's about three miles to the summit.

That sign says the summit is two miles away...but after hiking 11 miles to get to that point, it still feels like a million more to go in that thin air.

Below is a cool picture of the cog train leaving the summit.
And in the picture below if you look really closely at the skyline you can see some bighorn sheep. I was putting on my hoodie and looked up to see them RUNNING across the moutain. Not up, not down, but across it. There were probably twenty of them racing across and it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen!!! We also came across a lone sheep but he's so camouflaged in my pics you can barely see him. We saw some marmots too...and definitely heard them whistling! Cool.

The sign above says '16 Golden Stairs'. So misleading. There are no stairs and there are certainly many more than 16 steps. The picture below is the altitude at that point in our hike. There is less than 400 feet  to the top but it's a grueling climb! I was so tired at that point. The altimeter app was a great tool for guaging distance to the summit. 
It was at this point in our hike that I looked up and saw John at the top of those rocks. He'd driven up to meet us and drive us all down. I lost it when I saw him. I was so tired and so emotional and I just couldn't keep it together. He's super tiny in the photo below (he's at the far end of the break between clouds right along the skyline) but he's there, cheering us on and I will forever love him for that.
Oh here, I zoomed in! 

That's me below in the purple...just a few steps away from the top!
 We made it!!!!
 I finished with my very good friend, Heather. Our friend Carrie wasn't too far behind us.
 View from the top. That's a neat view of Colorado Springs below.
 Carrie struggled with altitude and an inner ear issue. She is a champ for pressing on to the summit!

Got to see some more bighorn sheep on the way down Pikes Peak highway.

Things I want to remember about this hike:
1. This hike is HARD. It's probably the most physically challenging thing I've ever done in my life...and I've done it twice. Which makes me very proud. And makes me never want to do it again! LOL.
2. We left at 4:45AM and summited at 1:30PM with many, many stops along the way.
3. Most 14er trailheads are around 11,000ft. By the time we got to that point, we had already been hiking for nine miles. I think that's what makes Pike Peak so challenging. By the time you get to treeline you're exhausted and have the hardest three miles to go.
4. This is really random but the dates of my Pikes Peak summits are 9/13/08 and 8/24/13--both of those dates are one day after each of my siblings' birthdays. I realized that while hiking up this last time and it's pretty strange it worked out that way.

I bought this magnet in Telluride this summer and it makes me so happy when I see it on my fridge! I have one more 14er to tackle this fall before I decide which ones to add to my list for next summer. 14ers are my new addiction!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Summer Snapshot #4

Part of our recent trip to Arkansas involved a side trip to Branson, Missouri. I haven't been to Branson in years and years and years but it was VERY fun. One morning we went to the Hollywood Wax Museum and laughed ourselves silly. Such cheesy, touristy fun!

There's an inside story here...
One time I wore a fleece-lined satin robe to a pajama-themed Bunco night and my friends nicknamed me Hugh Hefner because of that robe. So of course I had to capture this pic.

We loooooooooooooooove Nacho Libre...and Jack Black!
And we loooooooooooved the Hollywood Wax Museum.