Washington

Cory and I ended our summer travel with a trip to Washington over Labor Day weekend. This was the first time I had been to the northwest and I really fell in love with it. I mean, it was JUST like Twilight…what’s not to love?
We spent three days crabbing with our family in Sequim, a truly picturesque ocean town. In between crabbing we found some time for other things, like reading, wine tasting and…okay, I’ll be honest. 90% of our time was spent sitting around and eating crab. 

It was an AWESOME vacation that encompassed everything I think a good vacation should: relaxation, new experiences and plenty of quality time with people I love. 
We then spent Labor Day in Seattle, which was cool, but way more 90’s grunge than I expected.

If we’re friends on Facebook, watch for my WA Album – coming this weekend!
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A weekend with Grandma

My Grandma Terrie and I have always had a special bond. We just seem to connect and “get” each other. This past weekend she came to visit us in Fort Collins and we had such a good time.

We took her to The Crown Pub for dinner on Thursday night and went out for breakfast and shopping on Friday morning. Later that day we had delicious salads on the patio at Austin’s before going for mani pedis at She She, ending the night with homemade pasta & going to see the movie, The Family.

On Saturday we breakfasted at Snooze and drove up to Red Feather. We sampled beer at Fortober Fest and shopped for the grandkids. That evening we tasted cheese at The Welsh Rabbit and grabbed tapas at Jay’s Bistro.

More than all of the fun things we did though, it was so nice to spend quality time with someone we love so much.

Sometimes I feel a little lost in the world. Like, who am I? What am I doing here? Does any of it really matter? And then I get to spend a weekend re-connecting with my grandma and am reminded where and who I come from. I tend to make life way more complicated than it needs to be and I realize that some things are just really simple.

I have love and I am loved. And there’s nothing more important than that.

So thanks, Grandma, for reminding me of this simple truth this weekend. Love you!

Friday Favs

Happy Friday Everyone! Here are my favorite five things this week:
1. Yoga
I went back to hot yoga this week for the first time since we moved to CO, and I had completely forgotten how wonderful it makes my body feel. 
2. Being able to spend time with my dad & Terrie when they visited Fort Collins this week. 
3. This Quote. 
Too often we focus on the negatives in life: what we are lacking, our flaws, the mean things people have said. This week I’ve made it a point to let those things go & focus on the positive side: all of the good qualities in myself & others, the way things are going right and appreciating what I have, knowing that I could have it much worse. This has made all the difference!
4. Finding my “hair home” in Fort Collins! 
Third times a charm, apparently, as this was the third stylist I’ve tried before finding a good fit. My friend, Erin, has been going to Europa, an Aveda salon & I finally gave it a try. Needless to say, I am very pleased!
5. Running
That’s right, next week we are back at it again, beginning to prep for our second half marathon in October. I learned my lesson about overtraining last time, and decided to go with a super simple 12 week training program that I stumbled upon in SELF magazine this summer. Bonus – it’s the same one Ellie Goulding used this year & she rocks!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Orlando

We packed a lot into our time in Orlando last week. If you’ve visited you know that there is just so much to do (all at a price, of course). So in order to keep this post to an acceptable length, here is Orlando in Instagram photos.
View from our room at the Animal Kingdom Resort. Giraffes right outside – so cool!

A walk on The Boardwalk (Disney Resort).

Watching Game One of the NBA Finals at the ESPN bar. My uncle & Cory out front.

A full day at Islands of Adventure & Universal. We even got Cory to ride ALL of the roller coasters – WIN!

And we ended the trip with some fruity drinks, a dip in the pool & a soak in the hot tub.

Until next time, Florida!

Ft. Lauderdale & Hollywood

After visiting my MIL in Sarasota, we rented a car (nicknamed The Mazdarati) and drove To Ft. Lauderdale to pick up my sister from the airport. We had a quick lunch at Bubba Gumps and hit the beach before heading to my cousin’s high school graduation party. 
It was really nice to walk into McKenzie’s party & be greeted by the smiling faces of our family. When you’re with the people that have known you since birth, it just feels right, and moving away from Kansas has made me appreciate our family that much more.
My aunt, uncle & cousin moved down to FL a couple of years ago and we were so happy to finally visit the place that they love & call home. We all ended up playing Wii Bowling at their place into the night. 
The next day we woke up & drove to Hollywood, FL to celebrate my other cousin, Desi’s 21st birthday. She is one of the sweetest people I know & it was so fun to celebrate her…and the fact that she can FINALLY go out with us. : )
Silly Sister. 
This pretty much sums up the couple of days…happy…and exhausting. : ) 
We all slept good that night.

Life After Masectomy

For those of you following my mom’s progress, here is the latest update. 
Surgery went well. 
Recovery didn’t go as well as expected, as my mom was more in pain than she had anticiapted, but a masectomy is a pretty big deal. She took two weeks off of work after the surgery & I was able to visit her during that time. She had four tubes in for drainage purposes, and those were a bit uncomfortable, but she was a trooper. 
Occasionally she went a little stir-crazy and got out of the house, but those outings were very brief because they took a lot out of her. 
After two weeks the doctors took two of her tubs out & gave her the okay to head back to work, which proved more exhausting than she expected, as well. Luckily, she works for an awesome couple (and has been working for them most of my life) & they were very supportive of her working half days, every other day, so as not to put too much stress on her.
Two weeks later the doctors were able to take out her last two tubes, which was a relief for her because they were a major source of her pain. The spacers that she has in her chest now are uncomfortable, so she is looking forward to those being replaced by implants this spring.

I personally think she just can’t wait to have new, perky boobs to show off.
(If you know my mom –  you clearly know I am just kidding. Kind of.)

As for further recovery, we were hoping to find out yesterday if she would need radiation or chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the tests came back mixed & we have to wait another two weeks to find out if we’re “in the clear.”

One thing I must mention, before I go, is how strongly my mom has felt God in this whole process. It’s the one thing she has been saying over & over & it has been amazing to see her calmness with her diagnosis & surgery. She has truly been the anchor keeping our familly together.

Thank you all so much for the prayers, food & support that you’ve given my family and please keep her in your prayers for another couple of weeks, while we wait to find out further treatment.

Big Sky Country

We visit Montana about once a year to spend time w/Cory’s family. His grandmother lives there so we all fly in from various parts of the country, currently: Hawaii, Colorado & Florida.
This time was a bit different than usual for us, for a couple of reasons.
1. Living in CO now, we had to hire a pet sitter to stay with our pups while we were away, instead of just dropping them off w/family. We paid $220 for 4 nights & 5 days, which included an overnight stay each night, walks & mid-day potty breaks. So worth it, in my opinion.

2. For the first time, maybe ever, I packed a carry-on bag. + $50 in our pockets!

3. We had to pay for long-term parking at DIA. – $50, so the carry on kind of evened out. I felt very adult driving ourselves to the airport & leaving our car parked in long term. Living no more than 10 minutes away from the Wichita airport my whole life, we had always relied on family to drop us up & pick us up.

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As always, it was a peaceful getaway, with little internet connection or cell service. I was able to read Silver Linings Playbook, which I highly recommend, get 8 hours of sleep every night & spend some QT with my husband & in-laws.

Some highlights of our trip were:

Literally waking up to this, right outside our cabin window.

Reading by the fire. 

More gorgeous views. Montana in the winter is breathtaking. 
Celebrating Grandma’s 81st birthday with the whole family. 
We stayed at Rich Ranch this visit, which I would highly recommend. It’s the perfect place to retreat to for a quiet, long winter weekend, which is just what we had.