Wednesday, July 28, 2010

80th Birthday Scrapbook

I have finally finished the digital scrapbook I promised to make for Dave's grandma's 80th birthday! This is my second attempt at a digital scrapbook and although it doesn't look like some of the layouts I see on various scrapbooking sites, I think it is pretty good for my second try and, more importantly, his grandmother will like it and it will serve as a nice memento of her party.Here are just a few of the pages I did for this book:

I think I'm getting a little bit better with each scrapbook I do. I can't wait until this book arrives in the mail and I get to proudly present Grandma Kay with her gift; I know she'll love it!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hot springs and bloody marys

One of Dave's best friends, Mark, has recently graduated with his PhD and accepted a great position at a company in Tennessee. Mark is leaving in just a couple of weeks and wanted to do one last activity with us and mutual friends Mike & Charma before he left. Mark chose for all of us to spend the day at Mount Princeton Hot Springs on Saturday. So, in honor of Mark I bought a new swimsuit, we packed our bags and headed to the hot springs.

Dave's parents were nice enough to watch Gromit for us as the five of us make the trek to Mount Princeton for the day. We had a good time wading in the river and playing in the pool and I really enjoyed dreaming of the day when Dave and I can afford a private pool in the backyard of the home we don't yet own. The best part of the day were the views from the water.

After a full day at the hot springs Dave and I stayed the night at his parents' house. This gave us the opportunity to share a yummy brunch with friends Trisha and Chris on Sunday morning. Of course, brunch with Trisha wouldn't be complete without Bloody Marys. Ahhhhh, what a great way to spend a weekend; friends, fun and fabulous food and drink. Can't beat that!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

More Geocaching adventures

Over the last couple of weeks Dave and I have tried to fit in a few Geocaching hikes. This has turned out to be really fun to do! We are more motivated to get outdoors when there is a purpose and destination and we are discovering some new and beautiful trails right in our own town.

We do have to laugh at ourselves though because we have both downloaded Geocaching apps on our phones and now everywhere we go we are looking to see if there are any caches in the area, just for fun. Also, when we're looking for the physical caches and other people see us they look at us like we're crazy - I guess when we're lifting rocks and moving branches around it could look a little suspicious to people who have no idea what's going on. But, it is also kind of funny to watch their reactions.

Anyway, we've found two caches in the last couple of weeks! The first one took us two tries to find. We set out one morning before work to get a little exercise in and we must have looked for this cache for a good 20 minutes but never found it. We finally gave up and headed home. It bugged me all day that I couldn't find it and I kept thinking of all of the places it could have been hiding. When Dave got home that night I insisted that we go back and look again because I had a couple of new ideas about where to look this time. So off we went back to that area and we searched high and low with no luck; but I had one last idea. With true acrobatic skill I climbed the railing on a bridge, anchored my feet in the rail and looked under the bridge to find the cache! Ha! I did it! Had the canal not been full of water I'm sure this hunt would have been a lot easier. There was nothing in this cache except for the log so we signed it and left a golf tee for the next seekers to find.

On another day we headed further up the same trail as the previous cache to find another one. Many people hiking and running on the trail had stopped and warned us about rattlesnakes they had seen on the trail that day - surely they were concerned for us and our cute little dog who always goes hiking with us. Snakes are my least favorite thing in the world and I don't know what I would do if I actually encountered one. Actually, I'd probably freeze which would make me an easy target for striking. Needless to say I was a little leery of continuing but we went for it. After a very nice and snake-free hike we found the cache which was a film canister, signed the log and headed back down to the car.

A tired Gromit after a long and hot Geocaching trip

That updates you on our Geocaching adventures. Who knows what we'll find next!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Renaissance Festival and a new addition

Sunday was a really exciting day for us. We started off the day by heading to the Colorado Renaissance Festival. Neither Dave nor I had been before so we decided to treat ourselves to a day out as an anniversary gift to each other.

We had a lot of fun walking around and looking at all of the unique items for sale, trying on princess and pirate hats, trying new foods like steak on a stake and drinking green dragon margaritas. We watched a couple of stage shows, learned some pirate drinking songs and watched jousting knights. It was a fun day and definitely something that we would do again - but maybe when it's not 90+ degrees outside!

That evening we had the privilege of meeting miss Gabrielle Gianna born to our friends Ashley and Tony this past Thursday. Isn't she a doll?!?

We were also able to bring dinner to Ashley and Tony and share the meal with them. It was so great to hear about her birth experience and what it is like to be parents for the first time and it got me dreaming of the day when I get to experience it for myself.

Congratulations Ashley and Tony! She is such a beautiful baby girl and we very much look forward to watching her grow up! (But not too quick!)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Locks of Love

I have been considering cutting my hair sorter for a few weeks now. I've thought through how short I wanted it, whether or not I wanted to do layers and bangs, what styles I still wanted to be able to do and so on and so on. I had decided that if I cut about six inches off of the length It would still be long enough to do everything I wanted but be short enough for a new, fun summer look.

Then I had a thought.

If I cut off only four additional inches I could donate my hair to Locks of Love.

I had cut my hair three years ago and donated it and I remember how much I hated having that short of hair. But how could I cut off six inches of hair and not have it go towards something good? I mean, that's a lot of hair.

I thought about it and finally decided that my short time of suffering with really short hair would be worth giving a wig to a child who needed it. I made a call to the salon this morning (before I changed my mind) and went in at noon...

I'm in shock. I know I'll get used to it and I know it will grow out soon... and it is definitely worth knowing a little kid will get a wig from my donation of hair. Here's to the new haircut and a new adventure!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy 3rd Anniversary!

Three years - I can't believe it's already been three years! It seems like we got married only a short time ago. So far we've had good times, not so good times and great times - and I've learned that the great times wouldn't be so great without the not so good times. 

So, Lovey, here's to three years! You are my best friend, my adventure partner, my listening ear, my support and the love of my life. I can't wait for the next 3 x 100 more years together! I love you so much! 
Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Camping, hiking and Geochacing

This past weekend was awesome - so awesome that is has taken me a few days to get this blog post up about it because I've been so busy cleaning up and catching up since we arrived home!

We left on Friday night to a campsite we had never been to before. We have hiked around there several times but have never stayed so we thought we'd give it a try. It was beautiful! A nice wooded area not too affected by the beetle kill and not too close to other sites. Bliss! We recently purchased a new tent, a 3-season 4-man tent that we were anxious to try out. The tent we have been using for the last four years is a 7-man generic tent which has been great for having friends camp with us and for when the weather is warm (it is mostly mesh with a light rainfly), but we were looking for something a little smaller for when just Dave and I went camping by ourselves - and this seems to do the trick.

On Saturday morning we attended a park ranger talk about Geocaching. We kind of knew what it was but were uncertain of the details and we learned a lot in this little class. Basically what you do is visit a website listing all of the Geocaches world-wide and you search for some near you. You enter the coordinates on a GPS device and away you go! The GPS only shows you the direction in which the cache is from where you are located and doesn't guide you along trails so you have to be the one to follow the actual trail until you get close to the cache location. When you get close you search for the cache which can be any sort of air-tight container containing, well, almost anything. The idea is that you find the cache, open it, log your visit in the logbook and then you have the option to take a trinket from the cache but only if you brought along something to put into the cache for someone else to find. I like to think of Geocaching as hiking with a purpose or as a treasure hunt.

That afternoon we went to find our first Geocache. The trail which led to the cache ended up being longer, steeper and harder to do than we anticipated. I hadn't been feeling well the last couple of days and a few miles into the hike I started feeling dizzy, light-headed and nauseated. The sky was also beginning to look like rain so we decided to turn around and head back down the mountain without finding the cache. But before we left I got this fantastic picture of a sun dog (an atmospheric phenomenon that creates bright spots of light in the sky, often on a luminous ring or halo on either side of the sun).

We tried another trail with a cache on it on Sunday and successfully located that cache! Wahoo, our first cache!

We left a new container of "Moose Smooch" lip balm in exchange for a moose postcard, signed the log and headed back down the trail to head home; but after we made Gromit try on the pair of kiddie sunglasses left in the cache.

It was a great weekend of trying new things and I'm sure we'll be Geocaching in the future. It looks like there of plenty of Geocaches along the trails in our town!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wild G!

Dave and I have been letting Gromit stay out of his kennel during the day while we watch him on two web cams (or what we refer to as G-cams; and yes, I know watching our dog on web cams is a little crazy) to see how he is doing. We have had some problems in the past with him chewing on cords and cables, something he never attempts to do while we are at home. I bought some bitter spray to put on the cords, cables and other things we definitely don't want him putting his mouth on and sprayed it all around the apartment. So, we thought we would try again to let him out of his kennel. He has been doing great for a few weeks but yesterday he had a little wild spell and... well... just look at the pictures from the web cam.

Running across the coffee table

Looking for a good book to read

Checking out the firewood by the fireplace

After that little adventure of his I adjusted the location of some things in the apartment and sprayed another round of the bitter spray on everything just in case he was feeling a little extra wild today, but so far, he's been fine. We'll see how the next few weeks go!

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July weekend

It has been an absolutely fantastic 4th of July weekend. I always have high expectations for this weekend each year as it is my absolute favorite holiday of the year - and this year those expectations were met - with a few hiccups along the way.

Saturday morning we decided to take a bike ride to the dog park so we could get some exercise riding and Gromit could get some exercise running around the dog park. Here's a picture of Dave with Gromit in the dog trailer. So funny, but it works!

Gromit isn't thrilled about riding in it yet, but I think as he rides it in more he'll get used to it and stop resisting to get in and enjoy the ride.

At the dog park there is a pond for the dogs to jump in and swim in and Gromit has been resistant to actually swimming and prefers to lay down in the shallow part of the water to cool off. But on Saturday he surprised us and followed some much bigger dogs into the water chasing after a ball. After he got into the deeper part of the water he turned around and swam back. Too cute! We've never seen him do that before but we hope he'll do it again sometime.

On Sunday we got ready to go to the park and host a BBQ for some of our friends and then hang out until the city fireworks started. I was making deviled eggs and a patriotic cake for the BBQ. The deviled eggs turned out so well until the car ride to the park knocked them on top of each other. Good thing I have photographic evidence of how they looked before the accident.

I had my usual failure with baking while trying to make a patriotic cake. My idea was to make a round cake with red and blue cake layers and white icing. Very festive, right? The first cake I baked tasted great but the blue layer fell apart when I took it out of the pan. I swear, it was baked through and I let it cool for a long time before I took it out of the pan, but because I' have a baking handicap, it just fell apart.

So back to the store I went for another box of cake mix. At least with making another cake I had the opportunity to add a white cake layer (because the red layer from the first attempt turned out fine). So after my second try I prevailed and conquered the cake! The only other disappointment was that the icing looked pretty bad, but I was willing to let that slide since I had such difficulty with the actual cake. Oh well!

Our BBQ at the park was cut short when high winds and heavy rain almost took out our canopy - we were having to physically hold it down to keep the wind from blowing it away! Luckily only a few things ripped on our canopy walls and can be easily fixed with some simple sewing. We packed everything up and headed back to our apartment to finish out the BBQ. Dinner was much better when we didn't have to worry about blowing away or getting wet! We thought the city might cancel or postpone the fireworks because the weather was so bad but they said it was still going to happen.So after dinner and dessert we piled back into the car, drove to the park and watched fireworks from the car where we were nice and dry. All in all, it was a great 4th of July!

Today we have spent the day cleaning up, doing laundry, repairing our canopy and getting ready for the upcoming week. I even made a summer time wreath to replace my patriotic welcome sign on the front door. I'm prety proud of the wreath and Dave doesn't think it is half bad either.

I hope you all had a fun and safe 4th of July weekend! We are so lucky to live in a free country and to have brave men and women willing to put their lives on the line to protect that freedom for us. Thank you all!