Sunday, April 06, 2014

How We Weekend

This slow-motion video from another parent is really fun. This is a better view than I had at the game - and puts my phone photos to shame!

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Good Times Adventures

My favorite adventure last month was our dog sled ride. We mushed at Good Times Adventures in Breckenridge. 
We didn't have a blue sky day, but I think the dogs preferred it that way. Those dogs run hot! 
We got to visit with our team before the ride began and quickly discovered that each dog on our team had its own personality.
There was Sleepy.
and Happy.
Usually, a team of 8 dogs pulls a little sled with a rider and a driver. We had a large group of 7. On our 45 minute tour, we each had a few minutes to drive the sleigh and sit as a passenger. I would highly recommend selecting a tour company that lets you drive the sled. The kids really had fun with that. It was cold (its a passive activity), but so pretty riding back through the forest.
The huskies are an interesting breed. They have such thick coats, the dogs live outside even in the coldest days of winter. Whenever the sleigh stopped, the dogs started rolling in the snow. They were certainly happiest when running! After they were harnessed, all of the teams were madly barking until they were given the signal to run. 
I know March usually means "spring". But, we are learning that here in Colorado, we shouldn't expect for another 6-8 weeks. So, here's to finding more snowy adventures that bring a smile to soul.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Sayonora, January

Two blog posts in a week! I'm on a roll. January came in and out in a blur, but a good blur. January was a productive, energetic and happy month. When you live in snow country, that is saying a lot. Of course, January was mild compared to our February weather so maintaining my enthusiasm for winter has been a challenge.

January highlights:

Completing: {well, almost completing} three journaling projects that have been hanging over my head for months

Racing: Pinewood Derby cars (three this year)

Reading: The Interestings (**), Lean In (***), The Goldfinch (**), Where'd You Go Bernadette (****), The Tiger Wife (in process)

Traveling: first work trip of the year under my belt and my second one planned

Recovering: from the shock of the cost of having two kids in braces before the end of the year.

Decluttering: coats, mittens, gloves, socks

Collecting: all the books for Ella's Battle of the Books Challenge

Planning: an exciting overseas adventure in May

Reserving: all the Academy Award nominated movies

Remembering: a fun first ski weekend in Vail

Finding: a library book that has been missing for a month

Celebrating: Nick getting a new job

Wondering: how two of us working from home will shake out

Enjoying: Frozen, the Broncos, Uncle K's ski visit, girl scout cookies.

Moving: a lot. I kicked up my exercise routine. The kids joined me with Cross Fit and Nick has been
working to implement a new workout routine as well.

Growing: through drama/musical after school clubs

Mapping: our summer travel and camp adventures. it's hard to believe it is already that time of year.

Exploring: Denver at our first family outing to the Nuggets game

Wednesday, February 05, 2014


Uncle K came into town to accompany us on our first ski of the season. While the snow was a bit lacking, it was an absolutely beautiful weekend. Cold, but sunny.
I didn't take many photos while skiing. Taking pictures is a surprisingly slow process while skiing and as the slowest skier in the group, I didn't want to fall even farther behind.
It was a great first few days on the mountain. I didn't even need a visit to the bunny slope this year. After a few runs, we were feeling comfortable on skis again. The runs never look as steep from the bottom as they do from the top. But, trust me, I was pretty impressive on the skis this weekend.
I loved that Vail wasn't too crowded (at least on Sunday) and that the runs were nice & wide. The only issue we had was when we were coming down the mountain on Saturday. EVERYONE came down at once & a few snowboarders barreled through the kids practice area and nearly took us out. Other than that, we give the resort two thumbs up - they even found Charlie's lost helmet, gloves & goggles and mailed them to us.
Despite what you read in the national news, Colorado isn't over run with marijuana (and you can't use food stamps to purchase marijuana). 
It hasn't stopped snowing since he left, but the temperatures have dropped significantly. I think he picked a perfect weekend to visit. The kids loved having one-on-one ski time with Nick & Kevin (and especially loved wearing his GoPro camera down the slopes).

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Around Here

I'm trying to harness the New Year energy to wrap up some lingering projects in between work & kid commitments. I just finished my sixth photo-a-day book. Over two thousand family photos and stories recorded and printed
Note that the book looks pixelated on the Internet, but prints nicely.
Click here to view this photo book larger
Shutterfly offers exclusive photobook layouts so you can make your book just the way you want.

I've realized that while I love this project, it is often too much to sit & read at once. The kids really like the monthly yearbooks that I made for the early years when we didn't have as many photos. So, I also created a mini-book for 2013.  My goal (leftover from last year) is to have 2009-2012 monthly yearbooks done before Christmas so we can open them consecutively during the advent celebrations.

Click here to view this photo book larger
Photo Book Tip: Create an adventurous travel photo album at

For 2014, I hope to take more family photos. We took about 7 last year which is great except that 6 of them are casual photos (i.e., no shower camping photos) with the phone. 

I hope to use my real camera more often. I am working on the 2012 monthly album now & did a better job taking quality photos that year.

I hope to keep current with my journaling so that my stories are fresher and more complete. The kids are changing so quickly!

I have a list of outstanding photo projects. Here's to starting to cross-off some of these lingering projects (like the empty frames on Charlie's wall!) 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Fraser Hill Tubing

Hello middle-of-January! I had all these great post ideas for December that just never materialized. With the holidays well behind us, let's move forward. 
Over break, the kids decided to use some of their Christmas money to go tubing.
Our neighbors suggested Fraser Tubing Hill. It is near Winter Park resort.  Fifth graders receive a free ski pass and, after driving by, Nick & Ella are looking forward to returning to the area. Several of our neighbors get ski passes to different resorts than we do. It will be fun for Nick to explore new runs with Ella this year.
A few things we didn't realize before we made the trip. First, it is really far from Denver - probably an hour and a half. We had to force ourselves not to think about how close the tubing hill was from Salt Lake City.  Second, the temperature change from Denver to Fraser was dramatic (over 30 degrees). This was significant because Nick packed a light jacket and Greta forgot her jacket completely.

Our other surprise was that it was super crowded on a Monday. We were told the best times to arrive are right when they open or after 6 at night (it would be too cold for me then). We put our name on the waiting list and headed to lunch.
It worked out well because the clouds lifted while we were at lunch and the blue skies were beautiful.
This was a really fun afternoon activity. We only rented the tubes for an hour because there were so many people waiting (the wait was 2 hours when we got our tubes). Thankfully we found an old coat of my sister's in Nick's bag for Greta. It got chilly when you are shooting down the hill at 30 miles per hour.
If I hadn't been so scared flying down the hill, I would have video taped a ride. You really get moving. After the first run, I was wishing that all the kids were wearing helmets.
We never saw anyone crash though. I think next time I would consider wearing snow pants. My lower back kept getting exposed and it was a little brisk!
The best part about tubing is not having to walk up the steep hill. Given the wait time up the hill, we probably got 8 or so runs in during our hour. 
If we ever spend a week in the mountains, this would be a great way to break up a week of skiing.
So, how is your new year looking? I'm making an unexpected work trip this week and hope to find some time on the flight to visualize 2014. Here's to a great year!

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Obrigado Portugal!

During our week, we had two little beach excursions that were nestled in between other adventures. One of these short beach layovers was in Salema. 
It was a teeny town. We didn't find anything to do in the town, but we had what could have been our best meal at one of the beach restaurants.
After lunch, we spent a few hours relaxing and walking the beach.
The coast was very rocky and eventually impassable. Salema was definitely a sleepy town, but we were happy to have spent a few hours there.

Random beach adventure number two was near Guia. The ladies had a morning excursion while the guys explored the area. They found this beach for our post-lunch reward.
I'm fairly certain this is Praia de Gale.
The beach got busier as the day went on. It seemed like the work crowd came right to the beach. I don't blame them!
One of our favorite beach discoveries was the donut men. They walk the beach yelling "BOHLINAS, BOHLINAS." Nick scoffed and wondered who would want to eat a donut on the beach.  Thankfully, Cecilia continued her tradition of finding great local treats. These donuts were divine. Though, I admit there is something very odd about eating such decadent treats while in a bathing suit.

As I sit here seeing all the snow, I'm happy to be transported back to our summer beach adventures. I can't wait for another trip to Portugal. What a beautiful country.