Monthly Archive for October, 2011

15 years ago, this happened.

I can’t believe it’s been 15 years!  Four years ago, I wrote about what happened, and rather than recreate the wheel, you can read that post by clicking here.

I never saw it coming.  The lady who ran the stop sign and smashed into me changed the course of my life forever.

As with the Halloweens of my past, I’ll spend most of the day thinking back to that fateful day and marveling at how much has changed over the years.

15 years…I still can’t believe it.

The Fire Fairy

Friday was Claire’s Fall Festival at school.  All the kiddos dressed in their Halloween Best and toured the school.  Even the parents were invited to the little parade and shin-dig, and we had a blast!

Claire decided that for Halloween this year, she was going to be a Fire Fairy.

What’s a Fire Fairy, you ask?

Well, here it is:

Here is a Fire Fairy next to a skeleton! She's not scared; she has her wand.

One of the games they played in the classroom was being wrapped like mummies. Luckily, the toilet paper didn't go up in flames.

Fire Fairies laugh. A lot.

A huge thanks to my friend Anne (the mom of the skeleton in the above photo), who took “real” pictures of Claire and the other kiddos today!

I took photos of Claire with Eva, and I could just pretend that I was using a fancy filter when I took this one, but the truth is, it’s hard to catch a crisp glimpse of a Fire Fairy on the move, especially in the close quarters of a school hallway…


Blurry or not, this is one of my faves:

Fire Fairy on the move

Embracing the Snow

When given a choice between frolicking on the beach or lobbing snowballs at each other, which do you think I’d choose?  The beach.  Hands down.

But, when Reality presents you with the option to totally enjoy the moment, I’m quick to choose that, too.

Plus, there isn’t a beach in sight, and we’ll get our chance to frolic in less than a month.

The weather people have been predicting a Snowmaggedon of sorts for us today.  Yes, it was 80 degrees on Monday!  But, this is Colorado, the epitome of the Wild West.  Who knew they were referring to the weather when they said that?

Sure enough, it snowed.  It snowed enough that everyone got all flustered, but my new car was made for this weather, and we didn’t slip or slide once.  The trickiest part about this storm was the fact that the Fall Colors have yet to actually FALL, so the wet snow has wreaked havoc on the large, mature, leaf-laden trees.  On my route to school, I noticed some downed limbs.  Oddly enough, on my way back home along the same route, I saw MORE downed limbs!  I’m just glad they waited for me to pass before crashing to earth.

So, what’s a beach lover to do when faced with snow?  Embrace it.  Play in it.  Take cool pictures of it as the light played with it on the trees.

Yay! Snow!

Hard at play

I played outside with Claire for a while. Then, Daddy took a turn. They built a snow ET!

Crisp and Clean

Copper and Snow Lines

Of course, the fact that it will be near 60-degrees by the weekend makes it pretty easy to enjoy now.

Shredding Again

Sheeeeeeee’s baaaaaack.  Who?  Jillian Michaels is back, and she’s in my Entertainment Room at 6am every morning.  Longtime readers may remember when I did The 30 Day Shred and blogged every day of it.  Click here for a refresher.

Well, I kept it up for a couple years, slowing down here and there, and taking breaks when I got hurt.  Remember my knee? Yeah, I stopped the Shred then.  I picked it back up, but stopped again when my foot started giving me trouble.  I even used my thumb as an excuse!  What?  That was totally legit.  Pele didn’t want me doing The Shred. Who am I to argue?  Then, my foot started aching again, and despite no answers via the MRI (besides the “well, we don’t have to amputate” verdict), and I let the excuses take over.  The Shred is hard.  I’m lazy.  We hiked around all summer on our Letterboxing Adventures, isn’t that enough?

I knew it wasn’t, but I wasn’t motivated enough to do anything about it.  Wanna know what’s motivating?  The beach.  In Mexico.

Well, guess what!  We’ll be frolicking on the beach in Cozumel in one month, so now is the perfect time to hit the Shred and hit it hard.

I’ve completed Day 3, and my goal for today is to go up and down the stairs without making a spectacle of myself.  Yesterday, I wasn’t so successful at that.  “Are you okay, Momma?” Claire would ask. “I’ll be okay,” I’d say, willing it to be true.

I’m an old lady.

The challenging news is that this time around, my schedule is all different.  I can’t lounge in bed until getting up at an incredibly indecent hour and then do the Shred.  I have to get up before the sun.  I’ve been getting up at 6am on school days, giving myself plenty of time to “wake up” before getting Claire up.  Now, my waking up process involves being tortured by Jillian Michaels.  It’s okay.  I may or may not pretend to punch her in the face during the routine, so I think we’re even.  (What?  We all find our motivation in different places.)

The good news?  It works.  I know it works.  I’m already seeing a difference, and it’s just Day 3. I WILL see this through to the end.

Bring it on, Jillian.
Bring it on.

Sneak Peek Show & Tell: HUGE Leaf

Think this leaf we found in Steamboat is big enough?

Claire is taking this for Show & Tell tomorrow!

Yes, that’s an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper!

Steamboat Springs: Our Fall Break Getaway

Claire’s Fall Break from school was October 14th through the 17th. Daddy also had some vacation time to burn, so we opted to get outta town!

Where did we go?

We checked out Steamboat Springs, CO! It’s a relatively short drive from home, and a change of scenery. Perfect!

Daddy has been to Steamboat a few times in the past to ski, but he’s never checked out the hot springs there. We’re big fans of hot springs, so we couldn’t wait.

The good news? They aren’t stinky like in Pagosa Springs!
The bad news? There is no incentive to actually leave them until you become shriveled prunes.

Needless to say, the verdict? They were fantastic!

We had such a great, relaxing time. Here are some pictures of our stay:

The view from our private balcony at the motel was magical.

Where did we stay?

We stayed at The Rabbit Ears Motel, which was right across the street from the Old Town Hot Springs. The motel was basic, clean, and comfortable, and calling directly to make reservations scored us a great deal on a river-side room! (They also had discounted tickets available for the hot springs across the street, AND they provided towels!)

The neon sign is on the Colorado Historical Record. It was erected in 1952!

Happy Hour! …again, from our private balcony.

In addition to soaking and playing in the hot springs, we did a lot of hiking and exploring and relaxing.  (The above photo was taken at dusk.)  The fall colors were past their peak, but still GORGEOUS. What a beautiful area!

The weather was PERFECT…upper 60s, lower 70s during the day, crisp and cool at night. Monday’s weather was a bit shocking but more back to normal:

We felt like we were driving through a Holiday Card as we traveled along Highway 40, just outside of Steamboat.

I highly recommend visiting Steamboat Springs in the fall. It was the perfect mini-vacation for us. We can’t wait to go back!

Check out the leaf Claire found! It’s as big as a piece of printer paper!

Duran Duran!

I love love Duran Duran.

But, it’s time time for a confession confession.

I wasn’t really into them when they originally came on the scene. I think it was purely logistical. I was basically my daughter’s age now…and she likes bands, but they won’t speak to her until she’s in a more formative state. And, that’s okay. I was in elementary school when they started touring (or so I’ve discovered by doing the math in my head), so I didn’t follow their music careers or have a crush on any of the band members.

I didn’t really appreciate them until college and beyond.

Imagine my insane delight to be invited to their show! My friend Julie had an extra free ticket, and she asked me if I’d like to go.

Yes, yes! Please, please!

(Please, please tell me now!)

A couple other friends were going too, so we met for dinner and then rode to the venue together. It was being held at the Broomfield Event Center (or whatever it’s called now), and we parked in the super-secret local lot across the pedestrian bridge.

The following is an impromptu shot of Denise, Julie and me, taken by Gretchen. We all realized she wasn’t walking with us anymore, and we turned to see what she was up to.

LOVE this shot!

Our seats were INCREDIBLE. They were so close, I felt like I could reach out and touch them.

Another friend, Aimee, took an AMAZING set of photos. (See them here.) Watching her take the pictures was so exciting. She had the best seats in the house, for sure.

This concert was a great mix of old, new, fast, slow. I was on my feet dancing and singing the entire time. It really was a fantastic show.



The weather here varies wildly. This is the wild west, after all. It’s barely in the 50s when we get up and head to school, but near 80 by the time the day is said and done.  Sometimes cool, sometimes hot, almost always sunny.



Claire is such a good sleeper that waking up can be a challenge. Just turning on her light won’t even make her eyes flutter. Don’t mess with her blankets; that makes her really mad. Tickling her head, on the other hand, makes her wake up giggling.



I’ve often joked that parenting is 92% trying not to laugh. At least half of the other 8% is trying to figure out if we’re really arguing about the seemingly obvious, or if there is an underlying reason. There is almost always an underlying reason. Finding out what that is fixes so many things on so many different levels.



Claire is at the age where she craves attention and direction and boundaries and positive reinforcement and independence and the chance to fail so that she can figure out how to problem solve, move on, adapt, and grow.