Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Right Now

One of my favorite activities with my kids. In the grass with a blanket, a snack, and a stack of books. Oscar & Nina are joining in today.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Organized Christmas

Yup, I'm bringing up Christmas in August. Just under 4 months to the big day, and the stores are already displaying the goods. Remember last year I did a 6 week program Christmas Countdown to get ready for the holidays? It worked really well for me, and I felt like I had a more relaxed, meaningful season. I had little stress and got to the parts of the holidays that I enjoy.

Well, this year I've decided to do the longer version Houseworks Holiday Plan. Each week has a focus (this week is "paper and planning") and a holiday prep assignment. The plan started this week so isn't too late to join.

My major projects for the week are to clean my office, inventory the gift closet, and set up a holiday planning center in the basement. Going to try to blog about my progress to help keep myself accountable.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Daybook 8.29.11

Outside my window... a fresh, cool morning after a good soaking rain last night.

I am thinking... that I took my first solo run this morning since my bear encounter last week and despite being in a park that rarely sees bears, I couldn't help but be on high alert!

I am thankful for... my husband.

From the kitchen... pancakes this morning for breakfast. Want to make some cookies for an after school snack. Haven't even thought about dinner yet!

I am wearing... tennis skirt with my Run Like a Mother tee. I like mixing my sports.

I am creating... some Christmas presents. So I can't blog about it.

I am going... to clean out my office this week. No ifs, ands or buts!

I am reading... not much reading got done this week. I started The Heretic's Daughter instead of Little Bee (which was downstairs when I wanted to read... I was too lazy to go get it!)

I am hoping... to get back to my tennis league practices this week.

I am hearing... chirpy birds.

Around the house... already mentioned cleaning the office. Handyman back this week to rewire for my new light fixtures. Also finally getting the shelving in my sewing room.

One of my favorite things... my labeler.

A few plans for the rest of the week: running club for the kids, yoga class (first one in months!), my parents' visit

Here is a picture I am sharing: Jack taking photos of the Tour of Colorado this weekend

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fishing at Chalk Lake

This was a busy day... hot springs, St. Elmo, hiking and then fishing. In the rain!

We had promised the kids we would go fishing on this getaway, and we weren't going to let a little rain stop us. Right across from the trailhead was a little lake stocked with trout. Perfect for family fishing.

I had planned to just watch and work on a quilt, but then my sewing scissors were taken by the fishermen and I'm too much of a sportswoman at heart. Guess who caught the first fish?

Mountain Lake
First fish by Mom
Bait and sewing scissors
More fish
(I think we caught 4 in all)
After fishing, we headed to Salida for dinner. We contemplated spending the night there but decided that we really wanted to be home in our own beds. Sometimes I can hardly believe that we are just a short drive away from an amazing vacation.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Agnes Vaille Falls

After St. Elmo and a quick stop for lunch at bait, we did the Agnes Vaille Falls hike. It was a rather easy hike, but pretty with a big waterfall at the end. It always cracks me up that my kids can walk a half mile to school without stopping, but when we hike, they think they need to stop every quarter mile for a break and a snack! Fortunately this hike had lots to explore. I bet the running back and forth, the kids hiked twice as far as we did.
Matt & the kids
Butterfly the kids found
Kate under the falls
Jack & Mom under the falls
Coming down wasn't so easy...
There were also some guys who free climbed to the top of the falls but were having difficulty getting down. They kept sending big, loose rocks over the falls, so we high tailed it out of there. I didn't want to get hit by a rock or see them fall.

Friday, August 26, 2011

St. Elmo

After a morning of soaking in the river, we drove up to the "most intact ghost town in the West" St. Elmo. Having done absolutely no research for this little trip, we had no idea what to expect in St. Elmo. We didn't explore much because the kids were so enthralled with the chipmunk feeding grounds, and we were all getting hungry. The town did have some really cool, old buildings, but all I have are photos of chunky chipmunks!
Even Mom gets in on the action...
Getting the chipmunks to eat off your belly was the big excitement.
I have at least 10,000 more photos of chipmunks thanks to Jack my budding photographer. Let me know if you want to see them!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mt Princeton Hot Springs

After our river rafting adventure, we stayed at the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort. That evening we played at the slide pool (no photos), and I visited the "adult" pools after everyone else went to bed. The next morning we soaked in the river pools, and everyone loved it! The hot, spring water seeped up through the sand in different spots and would mix with the cold river water. Occasionally the springs would shift, and you would find yourself jumping up because your backside suddenly got scalded! It was deliciously cool up in the mountains which made for great soaking. We can't wait to go back.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

River Rafting

Matt had vacation the first week of August. We decided to keep our travels low key and to explore some of Colorado that we haven't seen yet. One of our adventures was a river raft trip in Buena Vista. Matt wanted to take the kids on the "real" white water rafting trip, but I vetoed that idea and opted for the "family float trip" instead. Ideal for our first time on the river.

At the launch site
Jack and Mom in the front
Floating in the river
(It was CHILLY!)
Maybe next summer we'll be ready for the rapids. Maybe.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Addendum For Today

I almost got eaten by a bear on my run today!!

I was having a GREAT run in my new shoes, coming down a big hill in Bear Creek Park. Just as I got the the bottom of the other side of the hill, out steps a big mama bear and a small cub about 20-30 feet ahead of me. It took me a moment to recognize what they were (I initially thought they were 2 chocolate labs off-leash). Everything felt like it was going in slow motion, but it must have only taken another moment to hear the mama bear's growl as I came to a quick halt, turn around and sprint away. I ran back up that hill faster than I've ever run! I paused about half way up to make sure mama wasn't following me (she wasn't!), got the the top and... puked! Guess the adrenaline plus the world record pace and a cocoa PowerBar wasn't a good combo.

I attempted to finish my run on the other side of the park, but I just couldn't get me legs and my brain to function anymore. The only thought I remember having while it was all happening? I was wishing I had my phone so that I could take a photo to prove it to everyone!

Daybook 8.22.11

Outside my window... a squirrel is trying to sneak into our garage to get at the birdseed. He just can't quite reach the doorknob!

I am thinking... about throwing away almost everything I own and starting over!

I am thankful for... all the little critters living with us that make me smile.

From the kitchen... I've been cooking again! Potato/chard cakes with marinara last night and salmon cakes tonight.

I am wearing... running shorts that feel a bit short this morning and a running/to be converted to a tennis after running top

I am creating... a non-quilting sewing project started yesterday. Need to pick up a few things today to finish up.

I am going... running at Bear Creek park then to play tennis then to the grocery store and then to Hobby Lobby for above supplies

I am reading... finished Stumbling on Happiness and really liked it. I keep quoting it to anyone who will listen. It was less about what makes someone happy and more about how our brains work. Thought I'd finish The Hedgehog's Dilemma last night, but I got too tired while reading. Will start Little Bee this week. I need a good book to draw me in. Hoping this will be it.

I am hoping... for a few extra hours in every day this week.

I am hearing... neighbors talking outside.

Around the house... handyman is scheduled to come this week for those few projects. I got some office clean out done last week, but mostly I feel like I'm just keeping up right now.

One of my favorite things... cool evenings!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Miss D is coming over for dinner tonight, dentist appointment for the kids, apple picking, hopefully Kate's dresser delivery, and my girls' goal setting group retreat (yea!)

Here is picture I am sharing: taken back in June when we were in Texas. I love this one.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tree Climbing

Have to share this quick video from earlier tonight. Embedding the video cuts off some of the edges, so for a better view, go to my youtube site.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bishop's Castle

Miss D took us on a day trip a couple weeks ago to a spot where she used to take her grandchildren. Bishop's Castle is this crazy, random place in the middle of a national forest where you can explore a castle that a single man has been building for 30+ years. You can't quite grasp the steep stairways and the height and the lack of safety in the photos. My adrenaline was definitely pumping.

From the road
Up the steep steps
We all chickened out going up the highest turret.
Came down on our behinds.
Kate then stayed down with Miss D
while I followed Jack up to the big sphere
and the bridge to nowhere
Jack & Mom up top
Full castle view
With Miss D on safe ground

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Right Now

Dinner and an evening swim at the pool. Matt has to work late & I didn't feel like messing up my clean kitchen. And, yes, that is a duck in the pool!

And a few seconds later

Swimming counts as a bath for the kids, right?

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Tri Report

I'm going to work backwards over the next couple weeks to document some of our summer events. This last weekend was my second sprint triathlon. My overall thoughts...
  • Happy that I finished
  • A little disappointed in my time - 3 minutes slower than last year! But I sorta expected that.
  • Because of some foot pain, I ran very little the weeks leading up to the event. I knew I'd walk/run because of it.
  • Was hoping to place in the top 100 in the swim, but I got kicked in the side/chest about a minute into the swim. It didn't really hurt, but it caused a mini panic attack from which I never really recovered. It was a crazy feeling - suddenly my wetsuit was too restricting and I thought I'd have to drop out of the race!
  • I dropped my water bottle in the first mile of the bike ride. So much for hydrating while riding...
  • It was great to have the family there cheering me on!
  • It was fun to do the race with my friend Kerri.
  • Next year I have to have "40" written on my leg...
Matt asked me what I would do different about the race.
I'd fix my hair so I don't have bedhead in all the photos!
Waiting for our heats.
Coming out of the water.
Was so happy the swim was over,
yet so disappointed with my performance.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

First Day of School

Just dropped them off!

Kate's first day of 2nd grade. As sassy as ever, and very preoccupied with clothes. She's already figured out her outfits for the week. I'm excited that she has an exchange teacher from England for the first semester.
Jack's first day of 1st grade. Poor guy can not figure out how to smile for a photo. He is excited to be one of the big kids at school and was talking this morning about "all the little kids in kindergarten."
Now what to do with myself...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Daybook 8.15.11

Outside my window... lovely evening with the sun setting over the mountains. If I had written this morning, I would have said that I was seeing a full moon set over Pike's Peak. Wish I had snapped a photo.

I am thinking... about school starting back this week. I've also been doing a lot of pondering on life lately.

I am thankful for... my foot not bothering me during my triathlon. And it doesn't hurt today either.

From the kitchen... just sent Matt out with the kids to eat dinner. I needed a quick little break.

I am wearing... my tennis dress from my lesson this morning. I need a shower in a big, bad way.

I am creating... I've been on a quilting roll. Have one in the dryer right now. Another just needs the binding hand stitched and yet another that is currently being quilted on my machine. Need to blog about all my quilts because this is really the only record I'm planning on keeping of my projects.

I am going... to figure out my workout/training/tennis schedule for fall in the next couple days. Looking forward to a few changes.

I am reading... still have a bit more of The Hedgehog's Dilemma, still haven't actually started Little Bee. But I did start Stumbling on Happiness.

I am hoping... that my foot not hurting today means that my almost 3 weeks of resting worked and that the pain was a little overuse injury and not a stress fracture. I'll probably try running on it again this week.

I am hearing... boys playing basketball next door, the dryer spinning and me breathing.

Around the house...
have the handyman coming in the next week or so to do a few projects that we can't/won't do ourselves because of the old plaster walls. Looking forward to school starting so I can keep up with the cleaning out.

One of my favorite things... sleep!

A few plans for the rest of the week: finish up school supply shopping, first day of school, tennis luncheon, FRMQG sew-in, a nap.

Here is picture I am sharing: Coming out of the water.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Daybook 1.8.11

Outside my window... another beautiful, clear Colorado morning. I think the hammock is calling me to come relax this afternoon.

I am thinking... about all the unread and unanswered emails in my inbox. Ugh. And voicemail. Ugh, ugh.

I am thankful for... get-it-done days. We've had several this last week.

From the kitchen... I MUST make zucchini bread soon.

I am wearing... my robe over a shortie nightgown and my faithful slippers

I am creating... Not only have I been quite the quilter lately, but I've also been busy recreating my sewing space.

I am going... to buy Kate a dresser today. I've been looking and looking for something used or not-so-expensive, but we have been in this house for almost 3 years and her room is desperate for some storage (have I ever mentioned how small the closets are in 100 year old houses?!?). Nothing at IKEA will work - it is all either too small, too big, or too plastic. Pottery Barn Kids, here we come!

I am reading... Have done exactly ZERO reading this week, unless you count reading sewing patterns or old magazines. Still in the middle of The Hedgehog's Dilemma and never did start Little Bee.

I am hoping... that our transition to a school sleeping schedule goes smoothly. This was day #1 of waking up early. It wasn't so pleasant, and tonight is going to be less pleasant when I have 2 overtired children.

I am hearing... highway traffic. For some odd reason it is really loud this morning.

Around the house...
We got so much done last week! I have had a bee in my bonnet to get this home spruced up! I have paint samples up on the walls trying to decide on colors for the dining room walls and our master ceiling. I ordered a few prints for the walls and a few new light fixtures for the ceilings. I have big plans to change my family picture wall as well. I even cleaned out a lot of the basement! Trying to decide what is worth keeping for a garage sale next spring and what should just go to Goodwill.

One of my favorite things... the TrailManor Sport Deck. Very excited that the dealer got one last week so that we could see it IRL. We've been looking at various campers for a long time, and this is the first one that could make us actually pull the trigger. I told Matt that he and the kids could stay in the house and I could live in the driveway...

A few plans for the rest of the week: get everyone back on a school schedule (early to bed, early to rise), day trip with Miss D, pony camp, haircut, interclub tennis luncheon, and my triathlon

Here is picture I am sharing: I have posted so few photos from our summer trips! Maybe I'll get to it when the kids start back to school. At Mt. Princeton hot springs last week.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Right Now

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2011 Resolutions - Update

Wanted to do a quarterly update at the beginning of July but never got around to it. Better late than never!

- Run 5K in goal time (unaccomplished the last 2 years...) - just need to run a 5K race, and I think I'll have this goal accomplished. I am going to Minnesota in September to run a 5K with my friend Michelle. When I was in Minnesota in March, I told her that if she did a C25K program, I'd come back to run with her. She has done an awesome job, and I can't wait to see her cross the finish line. I just don't know if she wants me to actually run with her or if I can try to hit my goal.
- Visit one state I haven't been to (I'd like to hit 2, but I'm not sure that is realistic. States left on the list are Michigan, Oregon, South Carolina, Rhode Island, and Delaware) - I don't think this is going to happen this year. Matt is on vacation this week, and we talked about a trip to Oregon, Michigan or SC. Instead we decided to take it easy and hang around Colorado, because we have some big trip plans in the works for the next year or so.
- Visit 2 new national parks (I'm being conservative... I think we might visit 4 new ones this year!) - visited Mesa Verde in March, and we'll get to another this year. Just not sure which one yet. Oh, and plans changed, so we aren't going to visit 4...
- Build one carpentry project (a new skill I'd like to add to myrepertoire) - I did help with the hen house, but I want to build something else. Maybe after school starts.
- Make quilts for Kate and Jack - going to do this, working on some ideas
- Play an official tennis match - I've played 2 singles matches and 2 doubles matches. Lost all of them, but it was close. I'm getting better and a win is just a matter of time.
- Complete a second triathlon race - only a few weeks away!
- Run half marathon race - I actually did a spur of the moment half marathon a couple weeks ago. It wasn't pretty, but I got through it. Registered for another in December, and I might even do the Denver half in October. We'll see.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Daybook 8.1.11

Outside my window... mountain wildflowers with glimpses of the stream beyond

I am thinking... about school starting and getting back in our routine.

I am thankful for... vacations.

From the kitchen... I'm away from the kitchen for the next few days.

I am wearing... jeans and my new Patagonia tee shirt

I am creating... I'm hand stitching the binding on 2 quilts this week.

I am going... to take a river float trip with the family today.

I am reading... finishing up the The Hedgehog's Dilemma and about to start Little Bee

I am hoping... not much right now. Feeling pretty satisfied.

I am hearing... the mountain stream flowing by and the giggles of my kids and friends playing Go Fish!

Around the house...
Matt is off work this week so we are going to get some big cleaning out done (aren't I always saying that?!?). Want to get the shelves hung in my sewing room so I can finish up the rearranging.

One of my favorite things... chai tea in the morning. Especially after a bit too much red wine the evening before.

A few plans for the rest of the week: river float trip, hot springs, IKEA, good family time

Here is picture I am sharing: on my laptop with no current photos. Here is one from August 2005.