Saturday, October 26, 2013

I better make it a good one!

Yep, this is my last year in my 20s. There was a while there I thought this day would never come, and it was okay with me. But you know, 28 was a pretty good year, there’s no reason why 29 shouldn’t be as well.

I was lucky to have my birthday on a Saturday this year. That’s always fun. Melody bought plane tickets to come a while ago, and then her plans changed a couple times and that sort of went out the window. Until I brought it up again, and somehow talked a few of my family into coming to Colorado for the weekend! Amber’s birthday is only days after ours so we celebrate together when we can. Melody wanted more time together than that, so she ended up buying herself and Julia plane tickets to come in Thursday night. The kids and I couldn’t wait for their arrival. When KC got home, we all piled in the car and picked up the cute pair. The kids got to stay up extra late catching up with their sweet cousin, and once they were finally snoozing, Melody and I talked late into the night, accidentally wearing matching pajamas, I might add, (twin powers at it again!) and finally went to sleep.

We woke up to a mid-fall winter wonderland, which the kids were beyond thrilled about. I didn’t mind it either, with the kids having a playmate outside, and me having company inside. I’m not quite ready for winter, but these little cold bursts are a fun change when we know it won’t last. They played and played out there. We even had snow gear I bought for later that Julia fit into. 476478485491493506498

We then got ready and took the kids to IKEA, mostly to have a fun place for them to play. Melody and I had a few peaceful moments to ourselves as we shopped around and exchanged decorating ideas. It was great.510

Later we watched The Nightmare Before Christmas, my kids’ latest obsession, while we had a pizza picnic in the playroom. We also did a couple crafty things, like pinecone owls and white chocolate skeletons, and when we needed something else to do, we piled in the car again and hit Sonic happy hour. So much fun in one day, I know! We had to pack it in. 512517522531532

The snow has pretty much melted by the afternoon, and Mom, Dad and Amber were on the road. Melody wasn’t feeling well in the evening (her kids had been sick the week before) and went to bed early  in an effort to feel better for the big day. The next round of visitors made it around 9:00! We fed them a little dinner, and chatted it up, until everyone was beat.

We realized the next morning that we never had picked out our birthday cereal, so Dad and I made a morning run to Wal-Mart and went with some classics. I’ve been staying away from carbs lately, so that cereal tasted goo-ood. I’ve missed it. 534

(Don’t judge. She had already gotten ready for the day, and I hadn’t.)535

It was a gorgeous day, and we wanted to do something fun for the kids (which would also make the day fun for us) so we went to a nearby pumpkin patch. The kids had a blast, even if there was quite a bit of whining from a certain little girl of mine. After that, we packed up a quick picnic and went to Westlands Park. KC mentioned that we was thinking about picking up the loveseat we’ve been wanting. Happy birthday to me! We sent the boys off on that errand as we played with the kiddos. After the park, KC took the kids home, and we hit the mall and Costco. I know, we were constantly on the go. There’s more.  We all went out for some great BBQ, and then had arranged for a babysitter so we could enjoy some adult time at the movies. Captain Phillips was really great, by the way. So, Phew! That was our eventful, busy birthday, and I was so glad to have some of my family there to celebrate with me. We had to pack in as much fun as possible, since they were all driving home the next morning.541543546549552553557559561562566567

The kids had to wave goodbye until they were no longer in sight.576

It was short, but very sweet. It’s always a great birthday when Melody and I get to spend it together. And being a little drive away makes that so much easier! I’m so grateful to her and everyone else for making the trek. I’ve been missing then, so it was a great birthday present. 568

Now, the question is, how will I spend this momentous year?! I think I’ll start it off right with a trip to Hawaii in a couple weeks.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Great Outdoors.

I wondered when it would happen. When our three little kids would be old enough to take camping without all of them trying to run into the fire or wander into the woods at the same time. Well, it happened this summer, and we’ve loved the experiences we’ve had together. After camping at Bear Lake with my family, my eyes were opened to the possibility. We’ve gone a couple more times since then, and I wish it wasn’t already getting cold so we could go again.

We planned a trip with friends in August. When the day arrived, we noticed the clouds were becoming very grey. It became apparent that we were going to be rained out. We rescheduled our site (for a fee), and had those friends over for an impromptu breakfast dinner. I was pretty bummed because of all the work I had done to get ready. The car was packed! But a warm meal, and good friends made up for it. 108111115

Luckily our ward had a campout planned for the following weekend, so I kept everything packed up for the most part. We drove a about an hour into the mountains to Pickle Gulch in beautiful weather and found others setting up. There weren’t that many families, but enough for the kids to have friends to run around with and for us to get to know some people a little better. There is nothing like bonding over a campfire. We set up, were eating our fire roasted sausages, and then we started feeling the rain drops. It soon turned into downpour, and we all retreated to our tents. I wasn’t in the best of moods, but the kids were totally excited. Well, except Alex who had voluntarily climbed into his sleeping bag earlier in the evening. I was in the tent getting Bennett into some warm clothes when I noticed him in his sleeping bag. The poor kid had a little fever. I gave him some meds, and he was out the rest of the night. 221228237238

Soon the rain let up, and we all went back out to enjoy the fire and friends. Like that last time we went camping, the kids actually asked to be put to bed which was awesome. The kids and I slept great, but I think some people were a little cold. That was fixed right up with a hot breakfast thanks to the Elders Quorum, and it was a beautiful day. And Alex woke up good as new. We slowly took everything down, and drove home feeling happy. 241249253264266271275


Our next trip was at Chatfield Reservoir with the Taylors. Our postponed trip had finally arrived, and the weather looked perfect. Phew! The kids and I didn’t have plans that day, so we went to set up the tent at noon when we could check in. Every site was full. Must be a popular place to camp even though it isn’t the most picturesque. Also, tie dye has become the kids favorite camping attire. Alex has definitely embraced the Colorado way.119

We planned on meeting our friends at CafĂ© Rio for dinner since it was on the way. We like keeping things simple with the kiddos.  KC met us there and we enjoyed a Mexican feast. 120121122126

When we got to our campsite, the kids immediately began to enjoy themselves with their cute friend Tula. Of course I forgot matches of all things (which I had plenty of last time we camped), but luckily our neighbors has a lighter they loaned us, and we were in business. The kids were so happy playing with flashlights, and hanging out in the tent. Soon, as usual, they asked us to tuck them in, and we adults stayed up talking late into the night. What is it about those talks around the campfire? They’re just so great. There was also a lot of junk food consumed. Necessary.IMG_0840IMG_0850 (1)IMG_0857 (1)IMG_0864IMG_0870IMG_0889(The above pics are from Whitney. Thanks!)136


It was a great night, except for a little short wind burst in the middle of it. But the sunrise is what it’s all about. That really never does get old. Oh, I love it. We had a great breakfast of giant, amazing muffins, fresh fruit, and juice. The weather was just perfection. We took down the tent, and the kids thoroughly enjoyed running under the tent as KC was shaking it out. Their giggles were so cute. 178182186194197199203204206210

Then we headed over to the reservoir. There were a couple. The first one we went to was mostly for boats, and fishing. We hung out there for a while, basking in the sunshine and gorgeous scenery. I realized there that I am a lake person. You know when people as you if you’re a mountain or a beach person? Well there should be a third category, a lake person. I think that is me. It’s just so tranquil there. definitely wouldn't mind breathing that air in for the rest of my life.046049050053057059062063

Then we headed to the swim beach. We weren’t technically supposed to swim since it was past labor day, but there wasn’t anyone standing guard, so we didn’t stop the kids if they wanted to.  The highlight was a little turtle friend we found. The kids were all anxious to have a turn holding him. I soon let him free far away from us so he wasn’t abused any further. We played and enjoyed ourselves for a good long time until we decided to take our leave. It was such a fun mini-vacation, I really didn’t want it to end. Another successful camping trip. 232240241246259262260

It’s fall now, and too cold to take little ones camping, but I’m sure next summer will be even more fun with the kids being a little older, and so many new places to explore. I’ll enjoy these memories until then.