Here’s to Siblings!

I’m SO happy it’s Friday!!!

My family starts arriving today and I can’t wait to see them! I realized that this will be the first time that my all of my siblings will be together in over a year! Actually, it’s been a year and a half because last time it happened I was turning 30. (Ugh…I.am.so.old.)

Of course, we didn’t manage to take a picture together then (at least not a decent one) so I had to dig to find a couple good ones of all four of us. Mom makes an appearance in the pics, too!

I can’t wait to spend time with my siblings (and take an updated photo) and I really, really can’t wait until my little dude gets to meet his cousin!

Bah! I’m so excited!

I hope you all have a terrific weekend. Give a sibling a hug whydontchya?

Cheers!

To My Dotz

Today is a sad day in my family. Today we held a funeral mass for my grandfather who passed away last week. It is with a heavy heart that I write this post and wish more than anything that I could be on the east coast with my family during this difficult time.

When I was a little one, my parents tried to teach me to say Grandad, Grandpa, Grandpop, or some iteration of Grandfather. But I could not be trained. When I looked at my father’s father, I lovingly yelled out, “Dotz!” And it stuck.

Dotz was one of the greatest men I’ve ever known. He served during World War II, went to college, had a very strong faith, married my wonderful Nany, raised four children, had a successful career and retirement, and was always ready to entertain his grandchildren.

My memories of Dotz are full of happiness and much love. I remember visiting him in up-state New York when we were kids; I always looked forward to staying with them. And I remember how excited I was when he and Nany moved to Wyoming. I believe they moved to the great state of WY to be close to us, but he always told me it was because the taxes were cheaper. ;)

Of course, as any grandfather would, my Dotz was there for my graduations, confirmation, birthdays, wedding, and pretty much all life events. He always greeted me with a big kiss and hug and every time I told him I loved him he said, “You better!” He never really acknowledged our pug as an actual dog, but I know he loved Barley in his own way (he called him an overgrown gerbil).

Dotz always made me giggle and always made me feel special. He was excited for my pregnancy and couldn’t wait to meet my little boy. It brings tears to my eyes to know that my baby won’t get to know the man that Dotz was but I am comforted in knowing that Dotz is always watching over him.

I am so very thankful to have known my Dotz. I ache for my Nany, my Dad, and my aunts and uncle who mourn him today but know in my heart he’s with his Lord and watching over all of us.

I love you, Dotz and I’ll miss you so very much.

Thankful Thursday: A Baby Shower

It’s our last Thankful Thursday in 2011….can you believe it?? To make this Thankful Thursday an extra special day, I wanted to share with you the amazing baby shower that my family threw in anticipation of our baby boy’s arrival.

I am so very lucky to have a huge family full of loving, funny, creative, and talented people. In addition to flying me out for a girls’ weekend on the east coast, my adorable kin hosted an incredibly thoughtful (and super fun) vintage baby shower for me and the little bump. To top it off, my lovely sister, Maggie, and dear friend, Jesse, joined me for the trip! It was an incredible weekend!

The amazing “Bun in the Oven” theme was cooked up by my mom and sister, Kate. Personalized invitations were hand-drawn by my talented friend, Keryn, and my awesome cousin, Richard (plus they framed the original artwork for me to take home!).

Guests were invited to share wishes for our little man while they sat at tables adorned with vintage table clothes and old-school toys – thanks to the imagination of my Aunt Roni and cousin, Janel.

The food (oh the food!) was AMAZING! My Aunt Edna, Aunt Roni, Grandma, Mom, Sister, Cousin Lori, Cousin Janel, and Cousin Jared poured their hearts into a deliciously classic feast with homemade turkey pot pies, a delectable fennel salad, buttered brussel sprouts, and hearty sandwiches.

And dessert! They had every kind of pie you could imagine as well as cake pops that tasted just as amazing as they looked…compliments of the adorable Brittany. We also enjoyed egg nog, hot apple cider, and a yummy fizzy punch (with champagne on the side).

These creative ladies didn’t stop there. The chalkboard details, blue checkered napkins, and rustic buckets gave an extra bit of vintage to the eclectic decor, but to top it off, the hosts of the shower wore hand-made aprons (made by my Aunt Roni and my cousin, Richard)! Aren’t they adorable?!

And wait….there’s more!!! While I couldn’t resist snapping my own photos to share with you and capture the memory of such a special day, my dear friend Jesse documented the day professionally. Please check out her photos over at freckle photography. Mine don’t do the shower justice!

I’m so thankful for the many friends and family gathered to help us celebrate our little bundle of joy (due on March 9th). I am still overwhelmed with gratitude for the delightful shower, the gifts upon gifts received, and the time spent with such wonderful people.

On this Thankful Thursday, I couldn’t be anymore appreciative of the fantastic women (and men) who put together such a special day. I’ll keep the memories of that weekend with me always and can’t wait until our little guy is here and can meet his amazing family.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!!

Back Home

Happy Wednesday!

Hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Labor Day weekend! We had the most incredible weekend spending time on the east coast for our vacation. The weather was perfect, we had incredible food, and I got to spend a lot of time with my family.

We literally did everything I had on my list of vacation “to do’s”: we explored NYC, spent an afternoon soaking up the sun on the Jersey Shore, and finally met my nephew, Paxton! He is such a sweet little baby!

We’re back home in Colorado now getting caught up from our days off.  I plan to tell you all about our travels over a couple of posts (there’s too much to share in just one) but I couldn’t resist sharing a few photos. I look forward to sharing more soon.

Have a terrific day!

Seaside Heights
The Brooklyn Bridge
My nephew on his baptism day with his mom & dad! :)

Here’s to Dad!

Happy Friday & Happy Father’s Day Weekend!

For all you fathers, step-fathers, grandfathers, god-fathers, and anyone who has taken the role of a Father in someone’s life, I wish you all a wonderful weekend and a very happy Father’s day!

‘Dad’ via Pinterest

I thought I’d use today’s toast to celebrate Dad’s everywhere by telling you a bit about my own father. Like most little girls, I grew up looking up to my Dad and thankfully have started to find a lot of the traits that I most admired about him in myself as an adult.

My dad spent most of my youth working as the leader of a sales team, striving to provide for me and my three siblings, no matter the hours or cost to him. Once I entered college, he left the sales world to pursue baking and eventually enrolled back in school full-time. Today he is a student and his dedication to schoolwork and his degree are truly inspiring.

As a kid, I remember growing up always looking forward to the camping trips my mom and dad planned. I credit my own love for camping to his excitement and dedication to getting off the beaten path to camp in quiet, private locations. Dad was always the parent that you asked first if you could stay out past curfew, the one who took us to McDonald’s (when we rarely ate their otherwise), and who let us have soda with dinner – score!

He made Sunday’s a day for family and put absolutely all his energy from early fall to December 25th into making Christmas the most special day of the year. It’s thanks to my dad’s passion for Christmas that I now start celebrating the day on November 1 (Publicly. I really start celebrating and eagerly anticipating Christmas some time in July).

My dad has battled difficult times and has seen ups and downs but with hard work and determination he’s still kickin’ and goin’ strong. I know his next chapter of life (finishing his degree and becoming a grandpa!) will be as exciting and even more full of joy than the past 50+ years have been.

Dad & Me

To my Dad, thank you. I’m so thankful for you, for the lessons you’ve taught me, and for the love you’ve given me. I hope you have the most wonderful Father’s Day! 

Cheers!

Family

Once again the weekend came and went and I slacked on my 30 Day Challenge. Yesterday’s challenge was to post a picture of something that means a lot to you and today’s is to post a picture of you and a family member. Thankfully, family means a lot to me (as they surely do to everyone else) and so I’m crossing off two days with one post. Sorry, I’m kinda cheating.

Well, I am just about the luckiest gal on the planet. Raised out west in a family with four kids (me being the oldest), my two sisters and brother are my some of my very best friends. I was also lucky enough to grow up as one of thirteen cousins and even though they all live on the east coast, they somehow feel a little more like siblings.

On New Year’s Eve, I received a text from my oldest cousin. Like I’ve mentioned above, we have always been close – my whole life is scattered with memories of looking up to him, summertime adventures on the Jersey Shore or at Cheyenne Frontier Days, and always, always, always giggling over something ridiculous. We were pen pals as kids, co-cross-country adventurers and drinkin’ buddies in college (we’d drive back and forth between WY and NJ for ski trips and holidays) and are still good friends today.

His text on NYE was the standard, “Happy New Year,” but included the adorable pic from our youth, below. Of course, it made my night! I have no idea how old we are in the picture but I think you can tell we’ve been friends for a long, long time. Thanks, Cousin!!

Spirits Lifted!

Doesn’t this just make you smile?

Day 90: I'm like a swanVia Doodle Everyday

So, I’ve discovered a little remedy for waking up on the wrong side of the bed. I tested my get-happy-fast theory twice over the last week and on both days…it worked like a charm.

I think the best way to make yourself happy is to make someone else happy. To do this, I like to send a little morning joke via text to a friend. I’m not entirely sure why it works because obviously you already know the punchline, but getting the “Hahahaha” response at 8am will lift your spirits faster than any cup of coffee. And you have the added benefit of knowing that you helped someone else kick off their day with a smile.

All right, now that we’re all feeling all warm and fuzzy, let’s move on to the 30 Day Blog Challenge.

Today, we are supposed to post a picture of the people (or person) who have gotten you through the most. I’m going to keep this short and sweet (insert happy blog readers). The people who have helped me over the years in the most significant ways are my siblings, spouse, and mom. Thanks, family!

Giving Thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving!

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, naturally I’ve been reflecting on what I’m thankful for and how lucky of a girl I really I am. And since you all know how much I LOVE to make lists…I thought I’d make a list of the top 10 things I’m grateful for. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

1. Family – I hear so many people complain of “having” to spend the holidays with family. Driving or flying from this place to that and eating more than one Thanksgiving turkey (the outrage!) but I look forward to these busy (sometimes hectic) days. To see my siblings, parents, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents is a special experience that I treasure deeply. I live pretty far away from my East Coast fam and don’t get to see my Wyoming kin too often either so whether I’m looking over the Rocky Mountains with my dad, sis and brother or toasting wine with my cousins in Jersey, every time I get to spend with my family is truly, truly special. Also, I couldn’t ask for a better person to share my life, adventures and future with than the spouse :)

2. My Friends – My friends are the most hilarious, entertaining, talented and caring people I’ve ever met! I am so very lucky to be surrounded by a group of people that I’ve known since high school, befriended in college and met in recent years.

3. Pugs – Specifically, Barley. Need I say more than show you this photo? How could you not be thankful for this sweet animal (er…plant)!??

4. Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers – I absolutely adore RCPM (especially Jim….guitar players…get me every time). Catching every concert possible on the Front Range, I attempt to meet the band every time and surprisingly they’ve started to remember me! (Uh, oh….here comes that crazy girl Steve Larson* warned us about). I LOVE them and if you don’t know them, GO HERE to give a listen. You’re Welcome.*stevelarson is their ex-guitarist


5. The FC – Rated as Money magazine’s 6th Best Town to Live in, helping earn the Front Range the “Napa Valley of Beers” status, a ten minute drive to the Rocky Mountains, and a plethora of local restaurants…..it just doesn’t get better than Fort Collins. I’m so grateful to live in this town. In what other town could you take your dog for a run….to a microbrewery!? (The FC is also rated in the Top 10 Active Towns to live in, has been high-ranked on the Most Pet-Friendly cities in recent years AND….AND we’re the home of Odell & New Belgium Breweries).

6. Christmas – From November 1 to December 25th, I’ll be the jolliest a**hole this side of the nuthouse :)

7. My Health – Recently, I’ve become much more appreciative of my health, something I’ve taken for granted in the past. As 30 quickly approaches and I start to snap, crackle and pop with every limb movement, I’m reminded to be thankful for a body that allows me to push myself to pretty extreme physical limits, learn to golf with my spouse and lets me dance, dance, dance to Ke$ha (alone, when no one is watching).

8. My Job – In these tough economic times, everyone should be thankful if they are employed! I can say I’m truly thankful for my job!! They send me awesome places like Vegas, Boston and other great locations and I get to meet and work with a lot of great people! Also, without my job I couldn’t have the home I live in, enjoy all the great food I am lucky enough to get to eat (and pad myself with) and all the other things I enjoy and am so very, very thankful for.

9. Food, Coffee & Red Wine – I LOVE to eat! Who doesn’t right? Between the Food Network, my spouse’s culinary wizardry, the Kilted Pig, my own kitchen adventures and all of the amazing restaurants I get to go to….my world is literally controlled by what, when and where I get to eat. Add a cup of joe in the morning and good glass of red wine in the evening and that pretty much sums up what I think about all day (good thing I’ve got #7 to work it all off).

10. YOU!!! Blog readers – I appreciate you visiting my page, reading my sometimes incoherent ramblings and supporting me with your comments and continued visits.


Thank you & Happy Thanksgiving!!!