That Time of Year Again

66% of the household is unbearable this morning. 33% is faking enthusiasm & took a selfie in her new birthday necklace. #daylightsavingtime

The First Hike Back

OH MY GOSH, YOU GUYS!! Almost a month ago, I was struck down with Influenza, (sorry to be dramatic; there’s just no other way to describe it!) and I haven’t been able to do my daily hike UNTIL TODAY. It was the first time around the lake in almost a MONTH, and I feel great! I haven’t even needed my inhaler (a wonderful side effect of the virus). TODAY IS THE BEST DAY EVER! (Once I start the drama, I can’t stop it.) *wistful sigh* 

The Red Bucket

Five years ago, an artist living in Barbados contacted me. She had come across a photo here and wanted to know if I’d give permission for her to paint it in oil paints. Her own daughter was well past “the red bucket stage,” and our photo spoke to her. She said she’d give credit to me on her website when it was done. I granted her permission to do so.

It was a photo that we had printed and have hanging in our hallway, because we love it so much. How cool that someone in Barbados noticed it, too! (Behold the power of the Internet!)

Every once in a while, I’d think of that random artist and wonder how she was doing. They were just fleeting thoughts, not enough to warrant any research. She’d pop into my head, and I’d go about my day.

At the beginning of February, I got another email from her. It’s done! It’s beautiful. It’s our little Claire, exploring the beach in California, red bucket in hand.

Click photo to enlarge.

Groundhog Day 2018

The threat of “6 more weeks of winter” has never made sense in a place like Colorado.

Ice Castles in Dillon, Colorado

This is NOT a sponsored post. I reserved (and paid for) our tickets online, and then we went with my sister and her husband on New Year’s Day. WE HAD A BLAST. If you’re in the area, you should GO.

HELPFUL HINT: If you’re using GPS to find the location, search for “Dillon Town Park.” If you try to search for Ice Castles, it will take you to where it was last year in Silverthorne.

The Ice Castles in Dillon, Colorado are absolutely amazing. My husband was taking my brother-in-law skiing on New Year’s Day, so the ladies and I dropped them off at the resort and then headed into “town” to do some shopping. (“Town” being Dillon, Silverthorne, etc.) That afternoon, we picked them up at the resort when they were done, and we headed to dinner. After that, we headed to the Ice Castles. We’d reserved tickets for the 8pm time-slot at the Ice Castles, and seeing it at night was MESMERIZING. The lights inside the massive icicles are constantly changing colors.

It was cold but bearable. It was harder to walk around than what we thought. We anticipated it being slick (I mean, it’s made of ice!!), but we had thought it would be like walking on a hard-packed surface. It wasn’t! It was like trying to walk in icy, snowy, sand. This wasn’t a deal-breaker, but just something that would have been nice to know before hand. (And we have some fun pictures of my sister and I helping Claire get all the snow out of her boots at one point! They lose a lot in translation, so I haven’t posted them here.) 😀

All in all, we had a fantastic time!!

Claire and her uncle raced down an Ice Slide. (There was a longer slide, too, but the line was just as long, so we passed on that.)

The icicles were just amazing. The constantly changing lights and colors really added to the experience!

They look like bubbles!

…and feel like marbles!

Here we are posing with some massive icicles.

Don’t forget to look up!

A picture of the picture-taker, and the pictures I took while looking straight up:

In a few sections, the pathway was a bit of a tight squeeze! (Don’t worry. You don’t HAVE to go that way. I went that way ONCE, and that was enough for me. These two goofballs went through more than once.)

And there were tunnels you could take to other rooms!

I mean, come on. If you’re in an Ice Castle, you HAVE to take a selfie.

Is this water, ice, or lava? …or all three?

If you want to see this fountain in action, click on these two links:

Click here to see a video I posted on Instagram of the fountain.

Click here for another video I posted of the same fountain, and the different colors make it magical!

The *almost* full moon was hiding behind the clouds and just added to the ambiance!

So, if you haven’t done so already, get tickets for the Ice Castles! It’s an awesome experience! (Even those of us who aren’t too fond of the cold had an amazing time!) 😉

The Yoda Approach to the New Year

Happy New Year, 2018!!

I’ve always taken the Yoda approach to “New Year Resolutions,” in that I don’t make them. I either do something, or I don’t. (“Do or do not; there is no try.”) I don’t make a list of ways to improve, and I certainly don’t just think about it on the 1st of the calendar year.

I love my life. I’m content, and despite what the salespeople of the world are telling you, that is great! That is okay! THAT IS ENOUGH. Contentment doesn’t equate to laziness. (I have a To Do List, not a To Be List, and there’s a major difference!)

I have all I need, right here.
I am all I need, right here.
I am enough. I have enough.

I’m thankful every day for the life we’ve built. It took hard work, planning, and premeditation to get here, and I plan on being happy every day. THAT is the “happily ever after” we’re seeking. It DOES exist. (The key is that “happily” is an adverb, the WAY to live, not that everything is perfect. It means you can live happily every single day, and I truly believe that. I’ve done it, so I know it’s possible.)

That said, I wouldn’t turn down a duffel bag of unmarked bills, but that’s another story. 😀

The Key to Having the Hiking Trails to Yourself

…is to go when it’s *just* below freezing! 🙂

I did a 6-mile hike today after Drop Off. It was chilly, but my long red puffy coat kept me toasty warm! I found some interesting things along the way.


A field of funky dead stuff.*

Lake view

My shadow is taking a picture of the reflections of the mountains in the lake.

All bundled up!

*Edited to add: A friend just told me that it’s called “Teasel”! Way back when, it was used to card wool! I dunno…I think “funky dead stuff” has a nice ring to it, too… 😀

A Year with My Fitbit

December 15th marks one year with my Fitbit! I made a promise to myself that I’d reach 10,000 steps every day, even if I went over the day before. I DID IT!! I didn’t miss a single day. I walked almost 3000 miles! I averaged almost 17,000 steps a day, which is almost 8 miles a day. I’m pretty proud of myself, if I do say so myself. 😉

I feel better. My clothes fit better. I have more energy. I can do long hikes now without being winded.

This has been a great decision, and I’m so glad I stuck with it.

Here’s to the next 3000 miles! 😀

Outdoor Lab

During the week of October 23rd, Claire had the opportunity to go to Outdoor Lab. (I wrote about that here.) I’ve finally had a chance to sort through all the pictures that were shared with me, and I’m amazed at what was captured!

She told me that the rappelling was her favorite part. (!?) She said, “The first time I did it, I was so scared my legs were shaking! The second time, I was still scared, but my legs weren’t shaking, and the third time I did it, it was just a lot of fun!”

Yes, she did something that terrified her THREE times…because of course she did.

We’re capable of doing hard things, and the sooner she learns this, the better. It was such a great experience for her!

So, without further ado, here are some super-cool pictures of Claire on the High Ropes Course and Rappelling. (As always, click the photos to enlarge. I did alter some of the shadowing on the photos so as to see more detail in some of them.)

Enjoy! (Or not, if you’re afraid of heights!)

High Ropes Course:

She had to stretch to reach this first rope.

…then she had to reach even farther, which involved letting go!


At one point, her harness got tangled, and she had to figure out what to do.

…but she figured it out!

See the moon?

Ending in a ride on the Zipline!



Click to enlarge photo.

On Thanksgiving Day, we stuffed ourselves at Fogo de Chão in Denver and then went on a hike in the mountains. It was amazing all around. Above, you’ll see my two hikers. I’m so thankful.