Wednesday, January 23, 2013

MLK Weekend in the Mountains

So it's been soooo long since I've blogged that I haven't known where to begin. I have tried...numerous times and even with my "meanderings" posts I still couldn't catch up and was at a loss for words.  So while a lot has happened the past month (and many great things that I should take the time to blog about!) I havrn't had the words or time to write.

In an attempt to get back at it...our pics from our super fun long weekend in the mountains.  Have I said how much I love that Jason and I both know how and enjoy skiing/boarding?  I especially love skiing when it's warm like this past weekend!

About to begin Day One! (me especially loving the weather!) 
At Breckenridge

Incredible views! (Breck)

Day 1 Apres-ski at Beaver Run where my family used to stay growing up.  It was so fun bringing all the memories back at Breckenridge. Wow has the mountain changed 
since I last skied there!  Such good memories!

Cooper loves apres-ski too :)

Day Two - Vail 
We both started out with achy muscles and were tired!  Lesson 
learned that we don't hit all blacks on day one and then skip the hot tub in the evening! 

Exhausted but still loving the slopes - Vail is HUGE!

This is how I felt Day Two...DONE.

Apres-ski Day two with Cooper

We met up with Jason's friend who also has a goldendoodle.  A friend and snow?!  
Cooper couldn't be happier!

Day Three - Keystone again. Muscles weren't hurting and the conditions were great! I chipped my front tooth earlier in the week and another friend of Jason's is a dentist in Keystone and said he could fit me in on Monday.  So we decided to ski Keystone that day.  How often do you get to go skiing and then go directly to the dentist with hat head and ski pants on?  Did I mention how amazing the views were from the dentist chair? It almost made the dentist bearable! 

Awesome weekend filled with lots of snow, skiing, warm spring-like temps and love in our relationship/marriage.  So thankful for the opportunity to go skiing whenever we want and for the opportunity to live in Colorado. It dawned on me when we were invited last minute to go on a tubing trip with some friends from our church group and we had to say no.  I mean when in my life have I ever had to say no to a fun-filled weekend tubing in the mountains because I was instead going skiing in the mountains!?  (And this is just a normal "long weekend"?!)  So much fun!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy 2nd Birthday Cooper

Our favorite puppy, Cooper turned 2 the day after Christmas.  Bad me for posting this so late but we celebrated with him on his birthday.  He also got to spend his birthday with his best friend Sophie (my parents dog.) I cannot express how much I love this dog, he has brought so much joy to our family that I didn't know was possible. I didn't grow up with a dog so have never really liked dogs but wow, this one has won my heart! I take about 10 pictures a day of Cooper (and you/ wonder why I needed a new camera and iPhone?) so I'm just posting a few from the past couple weeks.

Cooper loves all kids! We've been to many street fests, concerts in the parks and farmer's markets where kids have pulled on Coopers beard, jumped on him and even hit him but he just takes it.  He loves kids, especially Kaylee!

Cooper and his best friend, Sophie.  I took tons of pics of them together last week but this is the only one that isn't blurry.  They were constantly moving otherwise, chasing each other, wrestling or play biting.  It amazing me that they get along as well as they do...Sophie being a year older and really not being raised together, but they are truly best friends.

Cooper loved staying at Grandma's house!  Even if Grandma does call him Reggie. (her last dog who she says Cooper reminds her of) 

Cooper loves snow.  Loves it.  There was about a foot of snow in Iowa when we got to Jason's brother and sister-in-laws house and all he wanted to do was be outside and play.  This pic was on our way back to CO at a gas station and I let him out to pee...and all he wanted to do was roll around in the snow.  
Happy birthday Coop-a-doop!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy 2013

Where do I even begin as I try to review the past year? As I've been looking though my blog and been thinking about the past year I now understand why everything who reads this blog or my Facebook has said, "It sure looks like yore loving life in Colorado." While I have been enjoying this new life in Colorado I have been so lonely and having a hard time adjusting to suburban living out west that I've not really understood why so many people thought we were having so much fun! But now that I'm reviewing this, oh my gosh, you're all so right! Yes, it's been a year of adjustments and some trials but what we have had an amazing first year in Colorado!! I'm sure I'm forgetting many details but here is a recap of the highlights of 2012:

  • The condo sold so we were officially able to plan our move to CO
  • Planned a very last minute trip to CO to take my teaching test and passed
  • Began student teaching in CPS
  • Turned 33
  • Had many going-away parties and said so many goodbyes
  • Finished my teaching portfolio and passed!
  • Finished student teaching
  • Had many "lasts" in Chicago
  • Took two IL teaching exams and passed
  • Packed (again)
  • Loaded up both cars, a huge moving truck and 2 animals and headed west to CO
  • Began many 1sts in a new city and state, including many trips into the mountains and lots of hiking
  • Started volunteering with therapeutic horse back riding and decided to begin the process of certification
  • Started my new blog for this new chapter of life
  • Attended "Women of Faith" conference (by myself)
  • Got our new couch
  • Began interviewing for TA and a couple teaching jobs
  • Saw lots and lots of nature and beautiful new sites throughout CO
  • First Rockies game
  • Mom visits
  • Started working at Bath and Body Works
  • Still lots of interviewing for job
  • Vegas for Judy's 60th birthday
  • Lost 10 lbs since we moved (Weight Watchers)
  • My 2nd niece, Kaitlyn, was born
  • First trip back to Illinois
  • Graduated from grad school
  • Completed first part of certification of being a therapeutic horse back riding instructor 
  • Still interviewing for job
  • Got a job!
  • Finished Financial Peace University, transforming how we'll live financial forever
  • Lauran and Josh visit
  • First white water rafting experience
  • Phil and Laura visit 
  • Saw Kenny and Tim's "Brothers of the Sun" tour 
  • Participated in Denver ShareFest
  • Mark and Judy visit
  • Started my job
  • Participated in our church's Community Impact project
  • Ran the Boulder 10k
  • Saw Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the local theater
  • Spent our anniversary weekend in Breckenridge at Octoberfest
  • Saw a friend from middle school that I haven't seen in almost 20 years
  • Jolene visits
  • Got my Colorado Teaching License (which I thought was supposed to take a really long time!)
  • Went back to IL for Kaitlyn's baptism
  • God spoke to me about being a lesson on being thankful
  • Kicked off the ski season in the mountains
  • Spent Thanksgiving with Jason's family in Iowa
  • First Broncos game
  • Accepted (another) new job
  • Spent Christmas in Illinois with my family
  • Spent a few days in Chicago
  • got an iPad
  • Cooper turns 2
2013 has so much in store for us as we continue to journey through this new state meeting new friends and starting new traditions.  

As God spoke to me back in November, I am going to begin and finish this year in thankfulness.  My verse of 2013:

Psalm 106:1
Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!  His faithful love endures forever.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Home for the Holidays!

Jason and I have had a tradition of switching holidays every other year, so one year we'll do Thanksgiving with his family so Christmas with mine. Then the next year we'll do Thanksgiving with mine and Christmas with his. This year we stuck with the tradition and did Thanksgiving with his and then Christmas with mine. We decided to go back to IL this year. After my trip back in June which was super fun but so exhausting seeing different friends and family every single meal and added in coffee dates and everything else, I decided that this trip needed to be different. I made an effort to enjoy time with my immediate family and spend a couple (much-needed) days in the city. But we lucked out and plenty of friends and family came to us so we got to spend time with them too!

While we did see Jason's family for Thanksgiving, Jason's brother and sister-in-law couldn't make the trip so on our way to IL we stopped in to see them and their beautiful new house. We had an awesome time celebrating Christmas with them and even FaceTimed with Jason's mom and step-dad while we opened their presents. (Isn't technology wonderful?)

In Illinois we spent a lot of time with my parents and even got to spend a couple days in the city. I've been beyond homesick for city life with all the hustle and bustle of life so I really enjoyed some quality time there. Huge thank you to my friend, Nikki, who opened their gorgeous townhouse to us so we had somewhere to stay.

On our way back we stopped back at Jason's brothers and sister-in-laws for a couple nights where we'll be bringing in the new year! (Jasons mom and step dad even dropped in for breakfast with us!) Driving back tomorrow and I cannot wait to be back home to my own bed where I get to snuggle my favorite kitty!

Highlights of our trip include: (but are NOT limited to)

  • Willow Creek Christmas service (where we met friends and their not-so-newborn 5 month old baby!)
  • Portillos (three times, that seems like the perfect amount for 8 days)
  • A couple days with my precious nieces
  • A sleep over at my grandmas, of course...complete with wine AND a visit from Aunt Shelby and even Uncle Joe this time!
  • Mom's delicious homecooked Christmas dinner complete with ham - yummmm
  • A trip to my favorite grocery store, Mariano's
  • H&M (twice) 
  • Christmas Eve night at Grandmas with my aunts, uncles, cousins, brother, sister-in-law, mom and lots of  kids
  • Manis/Pedis with my mom
  • Extra time with my cousin's kids
  • Lunch with some college/high school friends
  • Yolk for breakfast
  • Michigan Ave. acting as tourists. Except now I guess we are...
  • Shopping day with my mom
  • Christmas Eve day with my mom and brother's family (my poor dad was sick and had to sleep through ALL of the Christmas festivities this year)
  • Lunch with my friend who is pregnant and I've been dying to hug since I've learned the news
  • Cooper got to see his BFF, Sophie, and played and played and played, and played and played and played...
  • Christmas walk with the dogs at Fermilab
  • Uncle Julio's with my uncle and aunt, eating way, way, way too much chips and salsa but didn't feel even slightly guilty for that
  • Burger Bar (Thanks Brooke for meeting us!)
  • Giordanos
  • Willow Creek Church service...may have shed many tears there
  • Christmas at my parents (dad started feeling a little better by the afternoon!)
  • BYOB Sushi date with Jason's newly engaged friend and fiancĂ©
This past week was amazing with family and friends. Thanks to everyone who met up with us and thanks to those who understood that we weren't able to see everyone! Thankful for family, friends and being able to be home for the holidays!