June-stagram

Hi there, blog friends. Long time no chat, huh?

Sorry for the absence; June was straight cray. (Yes, I’m in my thirties and use words like totes and cray. Sorry. It drives my spouse … um, totes cray.)

Anyway, JUNE. Never in my life have I been busy like I was in June. This isn’t one of those I-am-so-busy-but-I-secretly-like-it bragging moments. This is pure shock that I actually survived. Here’s a few of the things that happened:

Insta-June

I tell you what, it was the kind of busy I’d rather not be again. I’m happy I was lucky enough to do so many things (like attend my sister’s nuptials, travel a lot, see Hillary Clinton speak, support my spouse in BBQ, be there for my family during a tough time, and launch a new product at work). But, next time, I hope all of the life events we experienced are spread out over a few months instead of jammed into one.

Anyway, some of the biggest news of the month is … we moved! We sold our house and bought more spacious, updated diggs. I feel so fortunate and am so very happy the moving process is over! We’re still getting things put in their place, but it already feels like home. The only downside is my complete inability to decorate is more obvious than ever before. I’m going to need a team of crafty, stylish gals to get this place into shape. (Volunteers?)

Hopefully, having a moment to write this post signals the return of the blog (how many times I have promised that this year … I’m becoming extremely unreliable). And, hopefully the rest of summer consists of pool-time, play-dates, spritzers, and popsicles (and running … but more on that later).

Have a great day, folks. Missed you tons and look forward to reconnecting here.

How to Turn Thirty-Two

Ten easy steps for celebrating the start of your thirty-second year.

Step 1. Tell everyone you’re 29.

Step 2. Wear something mildly inappropriate for your age, like red pants and cropped blazer.

Step 3. Do a grown-up activity, like go to an art show.

Step 4. Drink too much wine.

Step 5. Sleep in and snuggle with a tiny baby and two dogs.

Step 6. Pluck three grey hairs from head.

Step 7. Do a grown-up task, like design Christmas cards and gifts for family.

Step 8. Repeat step 4.

Step 9. Count the laugh lines around your eyes.

Step 10. Eat a grown-up lunch, like champagne and oysters.

And that’s how you turn thirty-two …. so I hear. I’m only 29.

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Fort Collins Love: Fall Gardens

On Saturday afternoon, I was bored.

No, not bored. I was restless. I had cleaned the house, I ran some errands, I had played with the little guy, and rumbled with the dogs. Besides ironing clothes (lame), I had little to do.

So, I went somewhere I’ve never been before – the Gardens On Spring Creek.

Wait. I’m getting ahead of myself.

First, let me tell you (in case you didn’t know) I LOVE Fort Collins. It’s truly my favorite place in the world and I count my blessings every day for getting to live here. Really, it’s my favorite place. During awkward ice breakers when people ask, “If you could live anywhere…?” My answer: I already live there. (Awwww shucks, Fort Collins.)

Now that we’re on the same page, I love this town and the Gardens On Spring Creek reaffirmed how much I enjoy this small city.

The Gardens on Spring Creek is our community botanic gardens. Their mission: To improve the lives of people and foster environmental stewardship through horticulture. 

Good stuff.

I went on Harvest Day; a little celebration and fundraiser they hosted on the first day of fall. JLFC volunteered to help with the festivities (I had forgotten to sign up because I’m extremely flaky) and, deciding it was better late than never, I went out to see if I could help.

Not surprisingly, they didn’t need me. I took this as good news because I was now free to wander the gardens (guilt-free) and take in a gorgeous fall afternoon.

Each garden had a little theme or purpose. I loved walking through the koi fish ponds in the Children’s Garden and I checked out the Rock Garden which I liked more than I expected.

My absolute favorite spot was the Garden of Eatin’. Yup – a vegetable garden! The best part: all of the produce is donated to the local food bank. Man, I love this town.

It was very relaxing to wander around the quiet gardens. Even my tiny dude enjoyed being pushed in his stroller through the plants and flowers….he was weirdly calm through it all. It definitely settled my restless mind and gave me a nice and fuzzy ‘one with nature’ feeling (or something). It was a good day.

If you find yourself with a free afternoon or morning in FC, I definitely recommend checking out the Gardens on Spring Creek. You’ll love it!

P.S. I hear they have an awesome Christmas display!

Thankful Thursday: Summertime

Happy Thursday!

The unofficial end of summer is here this weekend. I can’t believe it! Although I’m already pinning outfits of boots and scarves, I’m planning to squeeze out some more summer fun in the next couple of weeks and keep donning flip-flops as long as possible.

With the end of summer approaching, I know some may be wondering if we accomplished anything on our Simple Summer List, so here’s a peak at all we’ve been up to this summer – all of which I’m extremely thankful for this Thursday.

We went to the drive-in (#8) and saw Ice Age: Continental Drift. It was adorable.

We spent an afternoon in Estes Park (#2) where we were surprised to find a petting zoo (which the little guy slept through…next time, champ).

And my guy wore this sweet outfit that day.

We went camping (#7), which I will never, ever, ever do with an infant again.

And, even though this isn’t the way I expected it to go down, I finally had a drink with an umbrella (#6).

In addition to that fun, I was sure to squeeze in some girl time this summer, too. I went to a concert (Pat Benatar & Journey) with my besties, saw a ridiculous movie (yes…it totally was Magic Mike), and got pedicures with my BFF’s.

For family fun, summer included multiple BBQ competitions, a 90th birthday, a fishing trip on the Poudre with the spouse and baby, date night (twice!), a super-fun fundraiser (NoCo 20/30 Suitcase Party….for you locals), the Garden Tour, and the spouse’s first Father’s Day.

We still have a few Simple Summer List items to cross off before September 21 (the official end of summer) but as I look back on the last couple of months, I’m pretty happy with what we’ve done and I couldn’t be more thankful.

Happy Thankful Thursday – what summer activity are you most thankful for?

The Simple Summer List

Happy Friday!

I hope you’re all enjoying this fabulous Friday, this lovely July, this wonderful Summer! As per usual, summer is passing by faster than I’d like it to and before we know it, it’ll be fall. (Proof: I was pinning Christmas ideas this morning. I’m sorry I can’t help it…I’m addicted to sugar plums and holly!).

Anyway, every September I look back on the summer that just zipped on by and wish I would have ______. There’s always something. “It was too fast and I didn’t get to go on a bike ride.” “I didn’t eat a popsicle!” “I never went to the pool!” Whatever it may be, not a summer passes where I don’t have just a teensy bit of regret for not doing something. And the kicker, it’s always the simplest things…like the examples above. (BTW – I’ve had, like, a million popsicles this summer. Popsicles will not be on the list.)

So, this summer is the exception! Not only have the spouse and I been enjoying our long summer days with BBQ competitions, gardening, and hosting mini-parties on our deck (and eating popsicles), but I’m committed to doing all the summer activities that I deeply enjoy for the next couple of months.

So, I present to you, The Simple Summer List. If you want to join me for any of the activities below, I’d love the company!  Leave a comment or contact me via Twitter!

Image Source

Happy Summer!

Happy Summer Solstice!

It has been hot, hot, hot in Colorado. But, despite our raging temps, I couldn’t be happier that my favorite season has arrived!

This summer is extra special because I get to share it with my little guy….it’s his first summer ever! That means his first camping trip (hopefully), his first day at the pool, his first 4th of July, his first picnic, his first Labor Day, his first pair of sunglasses, his first time in swim trunks…..

The list goes on and on! I am thrilled to share these special moments with the little dude and am looking forward to a summer full of fun, sunshine, and memories. There are so many things to do in the summer months….I’m thinking a Summer List might be in order!

But, Stacey, shouldn’t you finish your Baby List and 30 Before 30 List first?

Meh.

Okay. You’re right. I do have a few updates on the Baby List that I never shared which I promise to post soon. And I’m working on those Classic books and flat abs I never finished before 30. I think adding a few summer-inspired ‘to do’s’ will be just the thing we need to get this blog in full swing again (oh yeah…sorry for my absence…being a mom is time-consuming).

So, the Summer List is on its way….. In the meantime, bust out your sunnies, unwrap a frozen treat, and enjoy the summer sun!

Mom and Baby Summer via Patterson Maker

It’s Time for Garden Tour!!!

This Saturday is the 30th Annual Terrace and Garden Tour here in Fort Collins! The Junior League of Fort Collins has been working tirelessly on this event and I can’t wait until it gets here!

On Monday, the committee (which includes me) got to do a pre-tour of the gardens. And….WOW! The seven gardens on this year’s tour are GORGEOUS!!! 

Some of the committee…we’re missing our co-chairs!

While at the tour, an unknowing landscaper asked me if I lived at one of the homes….it occurred to me to say yes….what would it hurt? For a millisecond, I had a fantasy of me swirling around in a sundress and floppy hat on my own lakefront property with a dock, giant cottonwood, and stylish landscaping. But honesty got the best of me and my dream world quickly vanished as I said reluctantly said no and kicked the dirt with my Target sandals.

If a garden can invoke that kind of reaction to such a simple question…you know it’s a good one. And it’s not just one…it’s SEVEN! They are all stunning and all filled with gorgeous combinations of bushes, shrubs, flowers, and trees.

But hey, gardening isn’t for everyone. If botany ain’t your thang, don’t fret. You probably enjoy coupons, tax deductions, and delicious drinks….who doesn’t? Well, the Garden Tour ticket book is all of those things wrapped in one. Inside the book you’ll find the recipe for our famous Rhubarb Punch, coupons to local nurseries, and $17 of the $18 it costs to purchase the ticket is tax-deductible. What a deal!

But WAIT, there’s more! Yes, those lovely ladies at the Fort Collins Junior League have decided to accept donations for evacuees of the High Park Fire that’s happening just 15 miles west of us in our beautiful mountains. Bring your donations to the tour and we’ll get them to the American Red Cross to help those in need. Also, all evacuees are welcome to come to the tour for free! Just stop by the Will Call and we’ll get you a ticket.

So, be sure to buy your tickets to get those coupons then come to the tour to check out the gardens and drop off your donation to the High Park Fire evacuees. Thank you for helping us make this year’s Garden Tour a HUGE success!!

Here’s to the Kilted Pig!

Well, it officially feels like summer! We’re at our first BBQ competition of the year!

This competition is especially exciting because if the spouse places high enough, he’ll go to a regional competition in Albuquerque, NM. Wish him luck!

It’s also very special because it’s our little piglet’s first competition. All we’ve done is unload the trailer and he’s already zonked out!

Hope you all have a great weekend! Enjoy the Kentucky Derby on Saturday and Happy Cinco de Mayo, too!

Wish the Kilted Pig good luck!

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Motivated Monday

Happy Monday! Hope you all had a delightful weekend!

Last night, I was kind of dreading Monday….dreading my ever-growing task list and very uninspired at the idea of getting out of bed early to work. But today that’s all changed! Thanks to a green monster and finally not feeling sick anymore, I’m ready to take on the week!

Today’s motivation is stemming from a few other sources as well. The spouse and I are in the middle of some home improvements (to prepare for our baby boy) and it’s inspired me to do a few other things around the house that I’ve been putting off.

Plus, I went to an excellent Junior League of Fort Collins fundraising training over the weekend. There was a strong emphasis on relationship building that got me thinking seriously about ways I can make a greater impact in some activities that I’m involved in.

And to top that off, I read this article today from Huff Post that reminded me how important attitude and attention to detail really is. A shift in attitude has turned my dreaded task list into a welcome list of opportunity.

I’m ready for a busy week both in the office and at home! Hope you’re feeling motivated today, too!

WorkIsNotAJobvia

2012 Balancing Act: The NYR List

Happy New Year!

I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful New Year’s Eve! Whether you celebrated by partying all night or going to bed early, I hope it was a great start to 2012. Our NYE was celebrated over a late dinner with close friends and small champagne toast at midnight. It was perfect!

Since the clock struck twenty-twelve, New Year Resolutions (NYR) have been on my mind. Surprisingly, the more I’ve thought about what I’d like to accomplish or achieve, the more I’ve become grateful for where life has taken me. While there is still a voice inside that is constantly pushing me further, asking for more, and wanting to be better, I’ve also started listening to the voice that reminds me to relax, enjoy life, and find balance.

via One Sydney Road. via WeHeartIt.

Maybe it’s being pregnant or maybe it’s getting older (turned 31 in December….boooo!) but I’m finally starting to feel a sense of balance physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. I was surprised to find I felt this way (and grateful!) but I am also practical. As I prepare to be mother, I am certain that keeping this new-found serenity will be challenging.

So in 2012, my resolutions will have one resounding theme – balance. You won’t find any extreme goals and crazy plans on this list. Instead, the resolutions below will hopefully help me keep a sense of peacefulness while learning how to be a mom. You can all laugh at me when I’m pulling my hair out and crying because I’m overwhelmed by parenting, but let me dream for now.

Physical

1. Lose the ‘baby weight’ by end of year + 6 pounds. I was six pounds heavier than my goal weight when I got knocked up.

2. Run the Bolder Boulder in May. This will be my 9th Boulder Bolder in a row…but it will be only eleven weeks post-delivery. Eep!

3. Run a half-marathon in the fall.  My BFF did it seven months post-delivery and I want to do it, too!

Financial

4. Put 10% of salary into savings. We’re ready for a new house and I need a new ‘mom’ car so saving is crucial!

5. Execute 2012 plan and exceed goals at work. My 2012 plan at work was created with maternity leave in mind, but I want to step it up in the months that I will be present and make sure they don’t forget about me while I’m gone. (I joke….sort of).

6. Explore freelance writing projects. Not sure I have the skill-level or connections to get anywhere on this but I have to try if I ever want to make something of this writing hobby.

Spiritual

7. Spend five minutes a day praying/meditating. Once baby arrives, I imagine quiet moments will become non-existent. I’m hoping to start a meditation practice that I can continue into motherhood to help keep me sane!

8. Continue to volunteer as a lector at church. This 30 Before 30 item ended up being so much more fulfilling than I ever imagined.

9. Limit volunteer commitments to those that truly resonate with my values. I have a tendency to say “Yes! Sign me up!” to everything. It’s time to take a step back and put a greater effort towards a few, meaningful projects rather than half-ass my way through a lot of miscellaneous items.

Emotional

10. Read two books a month. Really enjoyed this resolution in 2011, hoping to keep the habit going.

11. Enter a writing contest (re-resoluted from 2011). Okay, this time I’m gonna do it!

12. Spend more quality time with friends and family. I’m tired of hearing the words, “I’ve been meaning to call but I’ve been so busy,” sheepishly leaving my own lips. The people in my life are the most important thing and it’s time to start acting like it.

Twelve in 2012. I like it.

Do you make resolutions? If so, what are your goals in 2012?