Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hiking Mount Evans 8.24.14

My friend, Heather, and I have another 14er to add to our growing list. We climbed Mount Evans on Sunday and it was a great hike. Mount Evans is the 14th highest peak in Colorado and it was my fifth 14er. 

We left at 5AM on Sunday morning and arrived at the trailhead at 7AM. After getting our gear on we hit the trail around 7:15AM. I am NOT a fan of wind but it was blowing pretty steadily with some serious gusts when we got there. Ugh. We set out anyway, thankful that we had lots of layers plus coats, hats, and gloves. The temp when we left the trailead was 34 degrees; I'm guessing the windchill was in the teens/20s.

It was windy for most of the hike but it got much worse as we gained elevation. As we were climbing up, we passed many hikers on their way down. We counted twenty and of that group, only THREE had made it to the summit. The other seventeen turned around because of the wind. 
Gotta be honest--all of the climbers that were heading back down freaked me out. I was even more freaked out by the wind that was moving me around. It was crazy-strong wind--probably 35-40mph sustained winds--and we were on an exposed ridgeline and I was scared. My friend was brave and fiercely determined though, and she hoped that once we got past the "wind tunnel" that it would slow down a bit. I'm so glad she didn't give up and that she didn't let me give up either because once we got past the worst part, the wind shifted and it made a huge difference. The point where people were turning around was really close to the summit, but you can't actually see it so you didn't know. I was so I was grateful we kept going. I would have been so disappointed to later realize we were so close and didn't push for it.
 It was a gorgeous climb! We could see Mount Bierstadt, the 14er we did last summer, and also Grays and Torrey's Peaks. We were also rewarded with a summit marker at the top. I guess John is going to have to order another pin for my collection. 

Stuff I want to remember:
It took us 4 hours round trip. We hit the Summit Lake trail at 7:15AM, summited right before 10AM and were back to the car by 11:15. We took the shorter route down (Northeast Face--super steep but much easier) and I was so glad. We left our neighborhood at 5AM and were back home by 2PM.

Exactly one year ago to the day (8.24.13), Heather and I hiked Pikes Peak together. Hmmmm. Wonder what she's doing on 8.24.15? It's a date, friend!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

SMP 8.23.14

SMP = Seven Minute Post

I just spent way too much time working on a blog post that completely disappeared. UGH. Super duper frustrating.

I took some Tylenol PM last night to help me sleep past 4:45AM which seems to be the time my body thinks I should rise and shine each day. It worked. I slept a bit later, but I didn't turn my phone's ringer off (I just can't do that when one of my children is away from home for the night) so I was awakened by text messages and push notifications. I figure I got an extra hour of sleep though so I'm not complaining.

On tap today?
A little bit of project planning
A few errands--I desperately need non-dairy milk. I had to drink my coffee black this AM. Yuck.

And most importantly, today is my day to R-E-S-T!
Tomorrow begins a week of some fun adventures and I want to start out feeling refreshed. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 22, 2014

It's Friday!

Hooray! It's Friday! I am crazy-happy about that! During the school year, getting to Friday feels like crossing the finish line of a race. And you know what I do at the end of a race? Collapse. I collapse.

We are all tired but it's been a good week. Our kids started school on Wednesday. They each had a great first day and seem to like their schedules this year. Know what I like? Everyone is on the same school schedule this year! My day is a lot less choppy and I like it.
I always try to do something fun for myself on the first day of school so I went on a nice, long hike with a friend. When I got home from hiking, John texted and asked if I wanted to meet him for lunch. We haven't had a lunch date in forever so that was fun!

I think all of us are hoping for some down time this weekend to catch up on rest. I like the routine of the school week but it always takes me a few weeks to find my groove. Here's to a happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

SMP 8.14.14

SMP = Seven Minute Post

I didn't love it a few weeks ago, but my neighbors and I have been gradually bumping the start of our walking time up to get ourselves ready for how early we need to get up to walk when school starts next week. That gradual adjustment hasn't been fun, but it has helped me get back on track with better sleeping patterns and I feel like I'm ready for whatever next week might throw at me. My kids on the other hand are SO not prepared for early mornings. After two months of staying up way past their parents' bedtime and sleeping until noon, I'm pretty sure they're going to be hating life next week.

We are trying to milk the fun out of our few remaining days of summer. We have a few things to cross off of our to-do list and a tiny bit of shopping to knock out but other than that, we hope to stay in "play" mode until the first bell rings. I don't think I'm quite ready for the pace of the school year but ready or not it will be here before I know it.

What about you?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

SMP 8.12.14

SMP = Seven Minute Post

Well, it's official. All of my children completed their school processing day and are officially ready to begin 12th, 11th, and 7th grades next week. I was grateful that all of their processing times fell on the same day. In the past they've all been spread out and it felt like our week was all chopped up. So, hooray! That is finished and we have the rest of the week to play.

I called my hair salon yesterday to get on my stylist's calendar. I usually have to wait 3 weeks or so for an appointment. Imagine my surprise when the receptionist said: Can you come tomorrow? We have an opening. UMMMMM, yeah! So, I'm home from the salon and feeling much less shaggy. Perhaps even a bit sassy. Ha ha.

I finished my cleanse yesterday and was pleasantly surprised by my results. Mostly, I'm just happy to get to eat meat again because of that whole carnivore thing. I love meat. I have my favorite flank steak marinating in the fridge right now. Seriously though, I feel great and my clothes are looser and it was just what I needed to clean my eating up a bit.

Alrighty. My seven minutes are up. Happy Tuesday, folks!

Monday, August 11, 2014

August Currents

Current Read: I am slowly making my way through this book about female friendship and it is SO good. It has given me good context and understanding for some of the things that feel "hard" in my relationships. I actually would like to blog about my takeaways once I finish the book, but like I said I'm making my way through it slowly. 

Current Playlist: I'm kind of late to the party but I just started using iTunes radio and I love it. My favorite station is Chicago because they play things like Air Supply, REO Speedwagon, Elton John, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, and you get the drift.

Current Color(s): Aqua. It's just my summer favorite.

Current Food: I'm finishing up a 3-day cleanse today and trying to figure out what I want to eat tomorrow when I can return to a normal diet. Hmmmmmm....

Current Favorite Favorite: Amazon Prime!

Current Addiction: HGTV. I love Fixer Upper...and Flip or Flop...and Property Brothers. But now it's Shark Week so I'm movin' on to the Discovery Channel. I really am a TV addict.

Current Wish List: Another month of summer. 

Current Need: Oh my gosh, I NEED a haircut. So badly. It's been a two months...and the only way I can stand to wear my hair right now is in a ponytail.

Current Triumph: I didn't open my laptop at all yesterday. I also stayed off of my phone. I did check my email (via phone) twice and had a few texts I responded to but kept them short and sweet. It was a nice break! I'm doing a "Digital Detox" on Sundays in August. Want to join me? I'm telling you, yesterday was nice.

Current Annoyance: All of the paperwork/forms that comes with the beginning of a school year for THREE kids. Ugh. All of my kids have their processing day tomorrow...so guess what I'm working on today?

Current Blessing(s): God's timing is pretty amazing and I've seen some things come together in the past week that were just perfectly orchestrated by Him. I love that so much.

Current Outfit: Jean capris, green top, brown flip flops. Might need a light sweater when I get out later...it's currently 48degrees. 

Current Excitement: Football season starts very soon! And my girls and I are going on a short trip in two weeks!

Current Project(s): I never mentioned what our project was that John and I stayed home to work on while our kids were gone. We got a letter in the mail from an older couple who was moving to the area and were looking to buy a house in our neighborhood. They wanted a rancher and our house fit the bill so they asked if they could talk to us if we had plans to list our house or move in the near future. The funny thing is that we DO want to move in the next year or so. So while our kids were away we got our house in TIP TOP shape and showed it to them. They said very nice things about our house in comparison to the others they looked at (we figured they sent several letters and we were right about that) but it wasn't the best fit for their needs. It was kind of the impetus we needed to get the ball rolling with thinking through all the things we need to do to get our house ready to list. That's not happening in the next month or anything...but we hope sooner rather than later.

Current plans for the day: Work, errands, and paperwork. Sigh.

Peace out, peeps!

Saturday, August 09, 2014

A week in photos #5

We made it to the weekend--hooray! Our summer weekends are dwindling and that makes me sad. Very very very sad.

This might be the most random week of photos yet.

I scheduled another Stitch Fix because I had some referral credit. These are my favorite emails to get!!! Stitch Fix doesn't tell me who I should thank for this, so if it was one of you, thank you! If you've never tried Stitch Fix you can read more about it and see pics in my posts here and here.
One morning this week on our walk, my friends and I came across a group of five deer--all bucks and all HUGE. I rarely have my phone (which is basically the only camera I ever use anymore) so my friend shared this photo. They were beautiful. We saw two more females on the way home. And yesterday I saw three more bucks on my walk. They are beautiful. They're not too afraid of humans either. 
Speaking of walking. I came in one morning and was bummed to discover that I'd worn a hole in the toe of my very favorite walking socks. I have another pair just like them but since I wear them every single day, I'm either going to have to step my laundry game or buy another pair. Ha ha. I'm just a little bit picky about my socks.

The girls and I went to the Springs one day to meet John for lunch and run some errands. We were actually on a quest for yellow pool noodles. Sarah needs them for a group costume she's working on for her group of freshmen at their orientation next week. They're going to be "small fries" (ha ha) and dress up as pack of french fries. She asked me to help her think of ideas one day and we happened to be driving past a McDonalds at the time. Proof that inspriration can strike anywhere at any time. 
I have a LOT of food pics on my phone because I did a What I Ate Wednesday post on my other blog!
If you have HGTV you need to find/watch/record Jen and Brandon Hatmaker's show, "My Big Family Renovation". You guys know I'm a Jen Hatmaker fan! I got together with some of my girls from "7" and some other friends of friends for a watch party on Thursday. It was SO fun.
I tore myself away from some pre-season football on the night of the Hatmakers' show. But that hasn't stopped me from getting my fantasy football strategy on. 

(By the way, check out the temperature in the upper right corner of the above photo--our mornings have been chilly!)

I walked with my friend yesterday in her neighborhood. Can you see Pikes Peak peeking out above those trees? So beautiful. I love where I live.

This cutie pie had an eye exam and picked out a new pair of glasses this week. It just flat out amazes me how a piece of glass can be manipulated to help people see better. I don't understand it but I'm grateful for it. I'm also grateful for optical insurance.

I have a couple of vegan friends who are always raving about tempeh. I'm a pretty adventurous eater so I bought some a couple of weeks ago with the intention of using it in some sushi rolls. I decided yesterday was the day to go for it...

I cute the package open and promptly threw it away. I couldn't get past the smell. I also couldn't get past the way it looked.
I might be able to try it one day if someone else prepares it and I don't know what I'm eating. 
Is it just me or should "soy" and "cake" never used together?

I ended up making "sushi" anyway. I rolled some rice and avocado and carrot and it was very tasty even though it doesn't look perfect. I need a bamboo rolling mat if I'm going to keep this up. Oh, and some crab would have been nice too. :)

Peace out, folks. I hope you have a wonderful weekend

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Yet another week in photos

John and I took a "field trip" last Sunday to some friends' church. John got to know the pastor and his wife (Jason and Kara) while helping Kara with her book this year and since our kids weren't with us, we decided it would be fun to pop in for a Sunday visit. We enjoyed it! And I finally got to meet Kara. I sat several rows behind them and spent a good deal of the service fighting tears as I watched her tenderly mother her children. Other than my eyes burning with tears it was a very good morning!
Jason briefly mentioned chocolate cake in his sermon and that was all it took for John to have chocolate cake on his mind. We went out to dinner that evening and brought dessert home with us. I got cheesecake since I hate chocolate. Yummmmmm. We lived pretty large while the kids were gone. I didn't cook AT ALL! 
4:47AM is not a time I typically wake up in the mornings, but our kids' flight got into Denver at 7AM on Tuesday morning and 4:47AM is the time that John's phone woke me up with texts from kids and grandparents that they had boarded. I'm an early riser, but when that first number is a 4...well...it's not pretty.

I put my makeup on in the car. But there wasn't enough make-up in the world to hide my tired-under-eye circles.

I also had a snack in the car. I was trying to take pics for another What I Ate Wednesday post but I wasn't consistent with my photography that day so maybe next week!

The FlightView app is a momma's best friend when her children are traveling unaccompanied!

My people are all back together!!! We missed these faces so much. But our house stayed super clean and I think I did a whopping two loads of laundry while they were gone. Not gonna lie; that was kind of nice.

I thought they'd crash when they got home since they'd been up since 4AM for their 6AM flight...but no! They wanted to go buy school supplies. So we did. And then momma came home and took a nice, long nap!

Most of our week was rainy and cool which is very unusual for Colorado. I LOVED it though. Days like this are perfect for napping and reading and watching hours upon hours of HGTV while snuggled up with my girlies.

I think I've worn jeans and long-sleeved tops every single day this week. With flip flops, of course.

It was with GREAT reluctance that I flipped my calendar to August yesterday. Groan. This coming week is the last unscheduled week of summer. We start school on the 20th but the week before school begins is filled with all kinds of orientations and registrations and commitments. SO. NOT. READY. FOR. SUMMER. TO. END. (My wall calendar doesn't have one single thing written on it for August. My planner, however, is an entirely different story.)

That no cooking thing? Yeah, it ended pretty abruptly once the kids got back home. I made my bi-monthly grocery shopping trip yesterday. This is what two-weeks-worth of groceries looks like for a family of five. And this doesn't include the Costco trip we made the previous day.

This wasn't the most exciting week ever but it was perfect in my book. I finally feel caught up on my rest and some stuff around the house. Our weekend looks to be relaxing and I am thrilled about that! Happy weekend, folks!