Tuesday, September 27, 2011


there's something to be said for coming home. the normalcy, the structure, the familiarity, even the routine which i'm not always gung ho about.... the simple things that make home, home. after a good deal of travel last month, and an added little bit this month (our only travel the whole dang summer), both with the man & little girl and without, i have great appreciation for coming home. sort of ironic, actually... i am usually the first who wants to get up and go, to see a new place, do a new thing, and take off for a while. but i can't remember ever not wanting to go home when it was time. as good as it always seems to get away, and as adventurous as it can be to see new places, it just feels good to be home.

i love home. i love my home.

Monday, September 26, 2011

get ready.... because here it comes

today is going to be full of thought-puking. i'm just warning you now... there is a good chance this post is going to be random, with thoughts scattered from heck to breakfast, just spewing out through the keyboard. so feel free to bail out now if you're not up for it. also, i don't have any pictures ready to post, so it will be purely text. i know, boring. but it's all i got right now.

this morning was less than spectacular to say the least. kind of a rough morning. neither hank nor i slept well at all, beth woke up with the start of a cough that i am really hoping to suppress through a variety of supplements and nutrients that i'm going to force into her body, i couldn't find the keys to the car, and in the middle of it all, i knocked over an entire pitcher of orange juice on the top tier of my fridge which then trickled down to each shelf below and into a large puddle at the bottom. it was perfect timing since we were already running 15 minutes late. ultra fabuloso of a morning.

on a better note, we went to grand junction this weekend to see my sister in law sing at a festival. she's a professional bluegrass singer, and her band is awesome. it felt good to just relax, and sit in the shade of some big trees in a park in some tiny town that manages to throw this big festival every year. a lot of my family were there and beth got lots of attention and kisses from her cousins. i love to watch them play together. and i love that beth is entertained by people other than me. i'm pretty sure that she appreciates that also. the weather was genius, and it felt good to just get away for the weekend.

also, two (maybe three) hilarious things that were said this weekend that i have to share:

i was talking baby names with my cousin, and his wife and 4 year old daughter payton. in the middle of it, payton chimed in and said,

"if i have another baby sister i'm going to name her ho". it was classic.

my 5 year old nephew was with me and beth and he pointed to my baby filled stomach and said,

"here's a imaginary baby and (pointing to beth) here's a real baby!" and minutes later said to me,

"when is beth going to turn into a real little girl?" cracked me up.

the other one was really funny too, but will take too long to set up. so forget that one. sorry.

the leaves are just barely, barely starting to change in fort collins, but up in the mountains they were changing like crazy. it was beautiful, but i'm not sure i'm ready to fully embrace the fall yet. even though i had a slice of pumpkin bread at starbucks the other day, i still haven't fully accepted that the sun goes down by 7 these days. summer was so crazy and so fast this year, that i'm wanting a second chance at it. fall is coming too soon for me.

i've been wanting to say "oober" for everything lately. as in... "oober awesome" or "she's oober messy". who says that? don't ask me why the heck this word comes in my head. and don't worry, i haven't said it out loud to anyone yet. and it's really kind of annoying to me. where does oober even come from anyway? what does it even mean?

most days, i feel really good, and i love this part of being pregnant because people no longer wonder if i've just let myself go, they can tell i'm with child. and i LOVE to feel him move around and play tag with him. but lately, there are days where i swear i'm going to have a 20 pound baby. and still 4 months to go... i can do it.

and lastly. beth was a HUGE stinker the last couple of weeks. granted, she had some IBS for a few days, and all four eye teeth were coming in. so i don't blame her entirely. nevertheless, who likes a tantruming, screaming baby?! but her teeth have all cut through, she traveled great in the car this weekend, and despite wanting to be carried everywhere instead of walk around on her own two feet at the festival, we made out pretty good this weekend. she was a really good sport. especially for not getting great naps. she is awesome because most of the time (emphasis on most) she is champ when we really need her to be. ie: when we're out and about and traveling. for this, i am extraordinarily grateful. she is such a good girl.

and there you have it. i feel much better now. for those of you still here and reading, i applaud you. there was kind of a lot of junk in this post. thank you for sticking it out with me. better posts to come soon. no, seriously.

ps: jen, i miss you. i think you should come home for thanksgiving.

pps: kent. you never even thanked me for your birthday gift. didn't you like it? and you didn't reply to my oober long email (see what i mean?) before that. are you okay out there???

Friday, September 16, 2011

parts i and ii

part i: the zoo

so labor day weekend we went to the denver zoo. me, hank, beth, and the larson clan. very entertaining, generally speaking. beth loved it because everything was either a "puppy!" or a "birdie!", and very occasionally a "fishie!". she wasn't sure what to call the monkeys. they were a bit confusing for her, but it was still fun to watch her get so intrigued by the different animals.

she also insisted on demonstrating her independence most of the day (as published below) by refusing to ride in the wagon, and would only allow progress if she could pull it instead. literally, would scream if you walked away without letting her hold on to it and lead the way as well. todd, thank you so much for your patience. i owe you, huge. it made our journey around the zoo twice as long, but hey, at least it omitted screaming child in tow.

part ii: i think i'm getting old

by the end of the day the girl was exhausted, and so was i. it's hard for her to nap in places like that where there's so much commotion going on... a million kids running and squealing as they move from one exhibit to another, her familiar daycare family laughing and hollering and skipping about all around her, and lots of new sights and smells and sounds to take in. but she starts to get more and more cranky as she gets more and more tired, and it begins to take its toll on everyone. so when she finally zonked for an hour in the stroller (the last hour of our zoo expedition), i was stoked.

best of all though, (this is where the "getting old" part comes in) when we got home, hank went off to work on cars, and it was just me and beth at home, and i have to tell you - i was LOVING IT. and not because beth and i got some quality time together, oh no. that was maybe 10% of it. i was loving every second of the peace, quiet, and stillness that i had. and i kept thinking to myself, what am i, like 78 or something? i'm just barely entering into the chaotic life of millions of kids around me all the time! and i admit that i'm excited for that and enjoy the high energy and free spirits of kids. and i think it's even more fulfilling to now see that in my own as we discover the world together through various activities. BUT...

and i don't really remember needing those silent hours so much before. but i confess, i really like my quiet time. for a lot of reasons. call me geriatric. call me lame. tell me i'm prematurely over the hill. go ahead. but there is just something about having some time during everyday when i can settle into my own thoughts, recoup from the day's events, and give my soul some r&r. in moments like these - as well as many busy and full ones - i find bliss. sometimes it's just me on my own, sometimes it's me and hank hanging out on the deck together, sometimes it's me and a delicious bowl of lucky charms, and in this case, after the zoo, it was just me and beth, playing together on the floor of my family room. just me and her. it was lovely.

i've just learned that for me, in my current state (whatever that means), it's healthy. does it mean i'm old? i don't know... probably. i guess i don't really care. i just know it's good for me.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

the warrior dash

so this is the warrior dash. a 5k race on copper mountain that is basically not really a race, but a 5k obstacle course that you happen to get timed on. he and a couple good friends of ours did it together, climbing over walls with ropes and jumping off the other side, belly crawling through a mud pit, plowing their way through a jungle of hanging/swinging tires, jumping over fire and balancing their way across narrow boards. sounds intense, i know. hank said it wasn't as hard core as it sounds - there were tons of people doing it in costumes for crying out loud (see picture below). but he did say it was one of the funnest things he's done all summer. the mud and fire pits were the only parts of the race i could see, but as those are coolest parts of the race it worked out okay.

approaching the mud pit...

and whamo!

(don't mind sport photo guy...)

it was pretty awesome. they had a huge stage in this big grassy area with different bands that played all day long, food vendors to anyone's liking, and of course, showers for anyone that completed the race so that you could hang out for a bit and make a day of it without looking like a statue. so we stayed and listened to some cover bands, ate pizza despite the terrible service, and had ourselves a really good summer afternoon. and i'm definitely in for the race next year...

i should also give honorable mention to the parking lot guy who after we pulled up with zero cash, not knowing that parking was going to cost us ten bucks, with no argument gave us a pass, told us we had what we needed and sent us on our way. thank you, parking lot guy. you rule. we will certainly pay it forward. this slayer's for you...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

my little girl

usually when i go away without my daughter for a couple days (which isn't often), i come home and she demonstrates her revenge of my absence with a couple days of snottiness. so after being gone for nearly four days recently at a work convention just an hour down the road, i was very much anticipating the bratty side of her to come out upon my return. especially given the extraordinarily un-fun tantrum stage we seem to be in the middle of.

but can i just tell you... since coming home, this little rascal has been a total gem, and i have been in heaven. (i realize i am probably ultra-jinxing myself by typing this, but it's okay. i am willing to take the risk.) i have loved spending every second with her upon my arrival home. we have played and laughed and snuggled and just loved on each other like crazy and it has made my heart sing.

it's hard to explain what it is about her that makes me so happy, because it really is the simplest things that no one else would probably ever even notice. but truly, i have never loved anyone like i do my little girl. she is becoming so smart and receptive, it's amazing. if i tell her it's time to go upstairs and take a nap, she stands up, grabs her milk, and heads for the stairs. her facial expressions are priceless, and it is awesome to actually be able to talk to her and know that she gets what i'm saying.

her latest is saying "where'd it go?" with her palms facing up as she opens her eyes really wide and starts looking around for... whatever, anything. she says it after a bird in flight leaves her view, after she drops a piece of food on the floor, or if she sees a fly buzzing around the house (in which case she'll say it all afternoon). sometimes she'll even just say it because the dog is laying in the other room, and she just wants to know where she is. it's awesome. her first full, comprehensible phrase.

i have to say though, that my absolute favorite was as we were driving to the post office yesterday, i turned on the radio and she immediately started rocking out and dancing in her car seat to depeche mode and old school green day (it was throw back hour - don't judge me.) so i turned it up a bit and started rocking out too and the whole way to the post office and the whole way home, we both danced, moving our heads from side to side, throwing our fists around in the air, and sharing big smiles with each other in the rear view mirror. best trip to the post office ever.

it's been amazing to watch her grow up and take in the world, figure it out, and find her little place in it. at times the changes are so subtle, but at the same time it's going so fast that it all seems to happen overnight and i find myself bewildered that she is already a little girl and not a baby anymore. it's a total trip. and small as she is, and new to this world as she is (relatively), it's crazy to look back and realize how much i've learned and grown with her around.

man, kids are awesome. i can't wait for nubmer two...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

3 1/2 x 12

august was a busy, busy month for us. while june and july were generally uneventful, our activity scale got kicked up a few notches last month. and it was awesome. so nice to have a couple free weekends to actually get out and do stuff. but i must say, the highlight of our month was defnitely jackson hole. and i knew the second we took this picture, it would be the one i would use for this post. this is us, on top of the world. and i love that i can mean that both literally and figuratively.

with hank needing to work so many weekends most of this summer, we really haven't had the chance to get away and do so many of the things we said we'd do this year. but JH totally made my summer. getting away from home/work/regular life for a few days and being fairly disconnected from it was a total breath of fresh air. one we all needed. we had the best time and i came back so rejeuvinated. man, i needed that.

a couple weeks later we took a weekend and stayed near estes park with another couple, and he and the man-half of that couple climbed longs peak (really hard 14er, for those unfamiliar) while the girls hung out at the cabin, occasionally making it out during the day to explore the woods around it. another great breath of fresh air for my soul. the next weekend, hank ran the warrior dash (post coming very soon), i attended a big work convention for 4 days in denver, and we found out for sure that we are indeed going to be having a little man joining our family. i also started to feel him move this month which is absolutely my favorite part about being pregnant. still too early to be consistent, or for hank to feel him yet, but since hank got to do those other really cool things without me this month, i'm laying claim to this really cool thing for the month. we'll share more stuff next month. :)

and then there's beth. and after starting to write a few things (which turned into a lot of things) i decided i would give her her own post. so that will come in the next few days as well. but let me say this: despite wanting to gauge my eyeballs out with toothpicks when she tantrums (which the last couple weeks has only been 5% of the time... hey, that's progress), i am madly in love with this girl. perfect? no way. and i don't want to even pretend that. but just so fascinating to me, because i am getting to watch her discover the world and learn and grow minute by minute, and it is just so rad. maybe i love it because i feel like she wants me there every step of the way (but not too close mom... i'm a big girl and can do things myself), but she loves having me close by and i try to eat that up as much as i can, knowing it won't always be that way. but for now, it is. and it's killer.

so september, no pressure, but you've got some big shoes to fill. i doubt you'll be able to do it, but i've got high hopes. so far, so good. hank only had to work 2 hours this weekend. can't say the same for next weekend, but with another good weekend getaway planned later this month, i feel like you've got a fighting chance. don't let me down now...

ps: oh yeah, AND? i discovered expedition impossible on hulu last month. and it is totally worth mentioning, because for me, it was that good. it's like amazing race (my favorite) to the extreme max. i'm telling you, if you haven't seen it, you need to. there's only one season so far, and it's awesome. you want inspiration? it's there. no limits. that's all i'm saying. definitely my new fave. by far.