Now that we’re all caught up, let’s talk about January. It’s winter – winter is always a bit rough – but this year isn’t so bad. Snow is mild and temperatures have been pretty good, with the exception of a super cold snap early in the winter. January flew by, with E getting laid off and just the busyness of a transition period,

Honestly we didn’t do too much, or I just didn’t take any photos! We’ve been hanging out with Dude, going climbing at an indoor gym whenever possible and kind of taking it easy. My sis is getting married next month, so there’s been travel planning and dress shopping and all that fun stuff. We also did a 21-day nutrition program. We’ve done their programs in the past because I love them and the recipe books are amazing, but this one was a life-changer. We’re now 97% gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free. Every once and a while something sneaks in or we treat ourselves, like on my birthday, but for the most part, eating whole foods is amazing. I feel great, I sleep great, I have more energy and losing a few lbs in the process is just fine too. Here’s what our grocery excursion looked like on day 1.IMG_2134

Well, that’s about it. I know, lame month! I’ll try to remember to take more photos!

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December had some ups and downs. Dude and E had some tender moments…holding paws.

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E was formally inducted as a member of the local fire department and got a fancy helmet.

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My sister and I took a weekend trip to MN just before Christmas. We went bowling. Our family did quite well, though my mom smoked us all.

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My sister was subjected to kids playing with their presents during a card game

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E got some awesome tools for christmas, including a miter saw, circular saw, fancy drill and nail gun

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We got some snow and tested out the new snowshoes and gators.IMG_2119 IMG_2120 IMG_2121 IMG_2123 IMG_2125

And then the sun came out and melted all the snow off the roof. South-facing is the best.

IMG_2126We ended the year ok, but ready for some new adventures in 2015.

November was a fun month. We did lots of house projects, hosted a Housewarming Costume Party and hosted Thanksgiving. My parents even came to visit! Here’s what we did:

Family casino time!

Family casino time!

And weekend project, build a shed for the wood splitter.

Erik got a sweet miter saw on black Friday.

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The finished project.
Thanksgiving meal.

Thanksgiving meal. We were so excited to have space for everyone to sit at a table and a dining room. It’s been a while.

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My favorite little tree on our land.

My favorite little tree on our land.

It snowed!

It snowed!

Dude has officially taken over the couch. He just looks so damn comfy.

Dude has officially taken over the couch. He just looks so damn comfy.

Beautiful.

Beautiful.

Me and my sis.

Me and my sis.

My sis and her fiancé.

My sis and her fiancé.

So, we’re up to October. September was so beautiful and the leaves maintained a bit into October, with some great sunny days too. Of course there were many house projects – painting and what not – but we also had fun. Here is our October in photos:

Erik and I went on a date to see Brett Dennen at the Paramount Theatre in Denver.

Erik and I went on a date to see Brett Dennen at the Paramount Theatre in Denver.

Dude was cute and snuggly as always.

Dude was cute and snuggly as always.

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Relaxing on the deck during a perfect fall day.

Relaxing on the deck during a perfect fall day.

Fall hike with the family - I never stop being amazed at the brilliant blue skies we have.

Fall hike with the family – I never stop being amazed at the brilliant blue skies we have. Up top is Rollins Peak – our destination for the day.

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Rollins peak - our neighborhood high spot.

Rollins peak – our neighborhood high spot.

Seriously gorgeous. And a moderate 40 minute hike is all it takes.

Seriously gorgeous. And a moderate 40 minute hike is all it takes.

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For Halloween at work I was a kitten.

For Halloween at work I was a kitten.

Oh September. Let’s see what happened…

Well, we officially were out of our rental at the end of August which meant moving, cleaning, unpacking and figuring lots of stuff out early in the month. We were so busy that it actually took us weeks (was it really this long?!) to get out and explore the land. Here are some photos of our property:

Notice Erik under that rock?

Notice Erik under that rock?

View from the high side

View from the high side

taking a rest

taking a rest

The view down to the river - our land is a big rectangle with the railroad tracks (next to the river) as the south border.

The view down to the river – our land is a big rectangle with the railroad tracks (next to the river) as the south border.

Our friendly neighborhood train

Our friendly neighborhood train

Dude getting a drink

Dude getting a drink

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We of course did plenty of house projects, including painting pretty much every surface of the main level. Lots of work, but we wanted it done ASAP so we could really feel like we were at home. We have plenty of house photos on Facebook so I won’t bore you with that. Lastly, the colors. Here are some photos from later in the month, when beautiful sunny days and crisp, cool nights made for the most brilliant fall color I’ve seen since we moved here. Bonus: One weekend when Erik was out of town, Dude and I did a big hike up to a lake near the continental divide. It was exhausting, but so lovely, so I’ll throw those photos in here too.

From our deck

From our deck

The drive up to the trailhead

The drive up to the trailhead

It's a long drive up to the trailhead

It’s a long drive up to the trailhead

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The Moffat Tunnel

The Moffat Tunnel

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Mossy trees

Mossy trees

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Approaching Crater Lakes

Approaching Crater Lakes

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As promised, here’s August in a nutshell (and being January, I am missing those warm days and abundant wildflowers).

August was a busy month. In June I started a new job, which changed things. Rather than working from home, going on lunchtime hikes and spending lots of time with E and Dude, I was out and about, and missing those hikes! We also bought a house, I went to MN for a visit with my sis, we moved into our house and time has flown by since then.

Here’s the photo recap:

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Monks hood.

Monks hood.

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Thistles can be pretty

Thistles can be pretty

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Common occurrence, Dude digging. And then sticking his nose down the hole and smelling. And then reemerging with a face full of dirt.

Common occurrence, Dude digging. And then sticking his nose down the hole and smelling. And then reemerging with a face full of dirt.

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Beautiful morning walk to the bus stop.

Beautiful morning walk to the bus stop.

On August 13th, we closed on our house. It was an exciting day, but rather than celebrate, I had to dash to the airport to catch a previously-scheduled flight with my sister. We were going to MN to help my parents with a garage sale and such to prepare to move out of their house. It was hard leaving after closing – strange almost – but MN was good. Plus, we had our rental through the end of the month so had plenty of time to move and settle in. Erik did a ton while I was gone, which was nice. So, here’s what we did in MN:

We went to the VFW salad luncheon.

We went to the VFW salad luncheon.

We ate dessert and drank coffee (lots of both).

We ate dessert and drank coffee (lots of both).

We had a garage sale and saw many familiar faces.

We had a garage sale and saw many familiar faces.

We checked out my parents' new house (not much to see then).

We checked out my parents’ new house (not much to see then).

We went to the county fair.

We went to the county fair.

We saw ponies.

We saw ponies.

We made my parents stick their heads in the corn things (dad wasn't having it initially).

We made my parents stick their heads in the corn things (dad wasn’t having it initially).

We saw these funny ducks.

We saw these funny ducks.

We ate (corndog for me and taco-in-a-bag for mel.)

We ate (corndog for me and taco-in-a-bag for mel.)

We played golf (poorly).

We played golf. Mom chipped-in from that very spot.

We did a family golfing selfie.

We did a family golfing selfie.

We ate ice cream sundaes.

We ate ice cream sundaes.

We caught fish (Mel caught this big guy).

We caught fish (Mel caught this big guy).

We taught Mom the art of the selfie in the boat. This was take 2 as the first one was awful.

We taught Mom the art of the selfie in the boat. This was take 2 as the first one was awful.

We played cards with gram.

We played cards with gram.

We also went to a beer festival in August, right off our bus line in Boulder. It started out as a great, sunny, 80’s or so day and then the storms came in. Since we took the bus, we didn’t bring much by way of rain gear. We should know by now, always have a rain jacket handy in CO. Always. Luckily, we have prepared friends who brought extras. This was a quick and dirty storm, as you can see by the rushing water, but was kind of fun because how often do you stay outdoors during a storm. We probably shouldn’t have huddled under a tree, but hey, we survived and had plenty of laughs about it. And a soggy bus ride home.

Huge raindrops.

Huge raindrops.

This was completely dry when that storm started.

This was completely dry when that storm started.

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Erik doesn't seem phased about this downpour. Good thing we got in some good beer sample before it started!

Erik doesn’t seem phased about this downpour. Good thing we got in some good beer sample before it started!

Friends who wear ponchos together, stay together.

Friends who wear ponchos together, stay together.

Finally, and to end this post. We moved into our house and we love it.IMG_1947 IMG_1948 IMG_1966 IMG_1971

It’s funny how easy it is to ignore something, even when you enjoy it. It’s like life takes over and crowds out some stuff. I think about this blog often, but fail to do anything about it. Not anymore. Now lets get caught back up!

The last post I talked about was June, with a MN visit for a wedding, hiking and wildflowers. We’ll pick up there (and reminisce about summer in the process).

The 4th of July is popular around here, with a parade and everything. This was our first 4th as part of the fire department, so it was quite fun. Erik drove the ambulance in the parade and I walked as part of the Bucket Brigade and handed out candy. Then we did the water fights against neighboring departments and did a big grill-out. It was a great time until the dark clouds rolled in. It’s amazing how quickly you can load out everything. We are learning to never leave home without rain jackets in the summer because it’ll inevitably rain and it approaches very quickly. Because this storm came in so hot, everyone just dispersed or went home. We didn’t have fireworks, so there wasn’t really anything to come back to town for anyway so we headed home and played Scrabble.

Getting ready for water fights

Getting ready for water fights

All lined up

All lined up

Erik driving the ambulance

Erik driving the ambulance

Dude wanted to play Scrabble too

Dude wanted to play Scrabble too

Nice way to end a busy day

Nice way to end a busy day

Of course I can’t resist the puppy photos so here’s a bit of random outings with Dude and some wildflowers for good measure. Based on photos, we must’ve hiked a lot in July!

Dude loving the grass after a brewery visit

Dude loving the grass after a brewery visit

Somebody loves sneaking into the bed for some morning sun

Somebody loves sneaking into the bed for some morning sun

Acts like he owns the place

Acts like he owns the place

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Dude loves hiking.

Dude loves hiking.

Indian paintbrush

Indian paintbrush

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Purple aster

Purple aster

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Finally, the best and worst thing of the summer happened in the same day. It started with a nice mountain bike ride with Mel and Barry, nothing too crazy. I was feeling good and successfully riding some of the more challenging stuff, so perhaps I was getting a bit too confident and attempted a big log. I failed and I fell and my handlebar attacked my thigh. When I first looked, it looked like a scratch or floor burn or something because the rubber of the handlebar dragged along a 3-inch or so section of thigh, rubbing off the top layer of skin with it. No big deal. But then the blood started to surface. I attempted to get back on my bike and ride out, but every peddle was excruciating as the wound stretched, so I hiked out. By the time I got back to the car, it looked like this. Doesn’t look that bad, right?! It wasn’t deep so no stitches or anything were needed, just some time to heal.

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We stopped by the fire station and had an EMT clean and bandage me up, we had big plans that night to get ready for!

That night we were going to the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater for the Soulshine tour. It started with a yoga class with Baron Baptiste, then a short break, then an amazing musical event with Trevor Hall, Brett Dennen, SOJA and Michael Franti. It was so hot that day, and with a sore leg (like it hurt to bed my knee at all), yoga was challenging. Here’s a couple photos of the night.

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Yoga acoustic set with MF

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Trevor Hall opening

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Red Rocks at night is amazing.

Red Rocks at night is amazing.

photo 2

SOJA

photo 3

Us with Seth at yoga.

Us with Seth at yoga.

The night was so much fun and so much dancing, but was an epic 10 or so hour affair. We got home super late and exhausted, but it was so worth it.

I should also add, in mid-July I started a new job doing copywriting for a Boulder-based engineering company – technically we manufacture adventure recreation equipment. That was a big mid-summer change since I have to commute everyday, but it’s a fun change.

Finally, a couple days after the crash, the bruising came in:IMG_1784

It look weeks to fully heal, with lots of strange colors, lots of pain and the thickest scab I have every seen. To this day (6 months later), it’s still a very noticeable scar, but it’s fading so maybe one day it’ll go away. Until then, I have a constant reminder to keep my ego in check.

The last interesting thing about July I should mention is Erik and I, after months of looking at really awful houses, found one we loved and made an offer. We spent the next several weeks sending paperwork, meeting deadlines, and finally, scheduling a closing date…more to come in the August post. Stay tuned!

Well, it started to feel like summer anyway. June was fun and busy and finally was starting to get warm, although it froze at night up until after father’s day.

Work-wise, I worked on a fun article about beer and chocolate pairing. I had just been to a pairing, so it was timely and fun to do it again.

Yummy.

Yummy.

Milk chocolate turtle with Monk's Phunk - oh yeah.

Milk chocolate turtle with Monk’s Phunk – oh yeah.

June included a lot of hiking and biking. The wildflowers were coming out in full force – that’ll be a separate post – and it is fun to see how things change so rapidly. Here are a few scenery photos:

Beautiful fluffy cloud.

Beautiful fluffy cloud.

cloudy, raining day

cloudy, raining day

sweet, sweet dog

sweet, sweet dog

we hiked along the creek out behind the house

we hiked along the creek out behind the house

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family photos can be hard

family photos can be hard

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dude found a leg bone somewhere

dude found a leg bone somewhere

and pranced around with his "prize"

and pranced around with his “prize”

Dude loves irises

Dude loves irises

Oh, bumblebee - GET IT! (He missed thankfully)

Oh, bumblebee – GET IT! (He missed thankfully)

I say cheese, Dude says oh you taste good

I say cheese, Dude says oh you taste good

In mid-month, Erik and I took a super quick trip back to MN for the wedding of a grad school friend of mine, T. We got there late Friday night, crashed at Erik’s coworker’s house, got up Saturday morning and met a friend for breakfast at Uptown Diner, then headed up to Coon Rapids for the wedding. It was warm, and mosquitoey and humid, but beautiful and full of love. We stayed at the hotel in Coon Rapids, then got up at 4 am to get to the airport, drop off the car, get to separate terminals (Erik booked using points and I went cheap) and catch our 6 am flights. We arrived in Denver at 7:30 am, putting us to the car and home (over 1 hour away) by 9 am. Crazy. Dude was so excited to have us home and then we all went back to bed. For Dude, we used a dog sitter for the first time. She does overnights but was already booked, so she just came three times during the day, played with him, took him for walks, fed him, etc. It was great. He got to stay home in the comfort of the space he knows and I’m sure he got lonely, but it was a short trip so it worked out really well. Anyway, here are a couple photos from the wedding.

Erik and I

Erik and I

T and I by the fire

T and I by the fire

Me, T, Jamy and Erik

Me, T, Jamy and Erik

Congrats lovebirds!

And since I’m still catching up – more to come!

 

It’s been a while and for that, I apologize. It’s summertime in the Rockies and that means we all have to rush to get all our favorite summer activities in before it’s winter again. Between working (lame), biking, hiking, playing tennis and watching soccer, things have been busy. I’ll do some catch up for you today. The last post, we had our May snowstorm. Lots has happened since then!

We (me, Erik, Mel and Barry) did a fun ride at Valmont Bike Park. I actually wrote a guest post about it for People For Bikes – see that here. Here are a couple photos from that day:IMG_1604 IMG_1608 IMG_1613 IMG_1616 IMG_1623 IMG_1626 IMG_1638

Then, Erik’s friend from middle school (to today) Seth and his wife Debbie moved out here from MN. They live down by Mel and Barry, but still closer than MN. We were heading down to hang out with them right after they arrived and took a different canyon down than usual. I looked over at the creek and willows and said I’d keep an eye out for moose because it looks like moose territory to me. Sure enough, I spotted one. So we turned around to get a better look and then there were two more up on the hill. Score.IMG_1643 IMG_1644 IMG_1645 IMG_1646 IMG_1647

Then one random day, Dude was concerned about something outside so I peeked out the window and saw this: P.S. notice how high the water is – runoff was intense.IMG_1649

So I walked out to have a better look – Yup, strange dog on top of my car. I shooed him away.

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Then, later in May, we did some biking and hiking with Dude, enjoyed the new warmer weather and started to look forward to summer. Here are just some random scenery/Dude photos from May:

Someone gets scared when it storms. apparently this is a safe place.

Someone gets scared when it storms. apparently this is a safe place.

sleepy guy

sleepy guy

loves going along wherever we go (especially if the dog park is involved)

loves going along wherever we go (especially if the dog park is involved)

our backyard

our backyard

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beautiful storms in the distance

beautiful storms in the distance

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Erik and I at West Mag - snowy peaks in the distance

Erik and I at West Mag – snowy peaks in the distance

the yard is transforming from brown and flooded to green

the yard is transforming from brown and flooded to green

Stay tuned – I’ll update June and the first part of July shortly. Lots of wildflowers!

We are all over the snow – here in CO and back in MN – and the winter has been long. Oh. So. Long.

Just when we were started to get giddy about the rapidly melting snow and can you believe it, the ability to actually walk on a trail rather than snow for the first time since maybe November. It was fun. Hiking is so much easier without snow! There were several days of warmth, Erik and I were eating lunches outside, Dude was starting to begin basking season, where he lays out on the deck all day, with brief bits of moving to shade to cool down. The grass was greening up nicely and with warmer days, we thought we were in the clear. We should know better.

The past week or so has been snowy. At first it was nothing substantial and all melting right away. Then Mother’s Day came around and it looked like winter outside. Felt like it too. Monday still snowing. Tuesday still snowing. Come on! Even today, Thursday, it went from sunny to snowing to raining several times throughout the course of the day. By Sunday, we should be back at 60’s and hopefully that trend will continue. We’re ready.

These first few photos were at the beginning of the month. There was still some snow in shady spots, but lots of puddles and full creeks on our hike. Dude these year decided he doesn’t mind water. Who knew! IMG_1534 IMG_1535 IMG_1538 IMG_1541 IMG_1543Here is a pretty fun video of Dude running through a lowland meadow. It doesn’t look like it, but it’s drenched.

We even had the start of hummingbird season. I love these guys (and gals). Once I started hearing them around, I cleaned the feeder and made them some nectar. They seem to be enjoying it.IMG_1547 IMG_1549 IMG_1550 IMG_1551Then here are some photos of the snowy few days.IMG_1561 IMG_1565 IMG_1567 IMG_1569

poor erik is done with shoveling. and this stuff was wet and heavy.

poor erik is done with shoveling. and this stuff was wet and heavy.

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Two days or so later, the sun was shining and Dude and I took advantage of a lunchtime walk. Erik conveniently had a lunch meeting this day and we couldn’t go after work. The sun is so amazing and warm and I love it so. Especially since the snow was still stuck in the trees, it was one of the most beautiful days I’ve seen lately, although there are so many I can’t say that for certain.IMG_1574 IMG_1576 IMG_1577 IMG_1578 IMG_1581 IMG_1582 IMG_1584

Can you spot the pup?

Can you spot the pup?

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And finally, a little Dude playing in the snow. Again, he never liked snow, but this year he’s taken to it. He lays in it, rolls around and of course, scoops it up when he’s thirsty.

Wednesday morning I had an appointment in Boulder, so I drove down in the morning after a chilly night. The car was creaking and groaning from being wet and frozen. I was in the doctor’s office for 45 minutes. It was 45 degrees. When I came out, I had to laugh because it’s always obvious who lives up in the mountains. The parking lot was dry except for my puddle. At least it wasn’t as muddy this time as the marks we left in front of my sister’s house.

IMG_1592Well that’s it for today. Thanks for reading and I’ll be back with more fun stuff soon 🙂