Fort Collins – 6 Months In

It’s official: I get it. 
It seemed like everyone told me to hold strong through the winter, because when the Colorado spring and summer roll around, I would fall in love. And boy, did I. 

On that note, this will also be my last “Big Move” post, because we feel really settled in. We moved here six months ago today and we are a part of the Fort Collins community. We’re even officially considered permanent CO residents (I guess it takes six months).
Happy Six Months to Us!

Fort Collins – Four Months In

As of tomorrow, it has been four months to the day since we moved and I have an apology to make, Fort Collins. I have been a bit grumpy. Apparently I am the only person that didn’t take this whole “seven months of winter” thing seriously. Either that or I thought I could hack it.
And the verdict is still out. Can I endure seven months of winter for five glorious months of a spring/summer/fall combo? Only time will tell. But from here on, I pledge to get over it – as best I can. That means no more complaining when I feel a tad bit too chilly.
Also, I understand that it is not just the weather here, but pretty much everywhere that has been a little cold for an unseasonably long time, so that makes it a bit easier, knowing that the majority of the country is going through the same sort of thing. 
It’s just that I, like most others, am ready to enjoy all of the things that spring brings. And I’ve never quite felt the urge to be outdoors like I do here. There is so many spring time things that I want to begin doing: Hiking, biking, running outside, picnics, all sorts of patio drinking, OPEN TOED SHOES, to name a few.

Until I am enjoying those above mentioned activities, here are some photos from the last couple of months in Fort Collins.

Our April blizzard. No filter.

Downtown Fort Collins.

A movie night outfit.

An art wall in downtown Loveland.

Another April snow scene outside of the gym. 
Here’s hoping we don’t see this again until post-summer!

Fort Collins – Month Three

It has come to my attention that some of my closest friends & family were a bit skeptical about our move to CO. Mainly because of, well, me and my aversion to, well:
Driving in rain, sleet, snow & ice – anything but sunshine, really
Hiking boots
Cold weather in general
Bike riding as a form of serious transportation
Etc.
And I must admit that, well, they were right. Ha! 
We went on our first hike this weekend with the pups & I decided to wear head to toe black Lululemon. The only skin showing was on my face & hands. Did I mention that it was in the 70s? On the mountains. Close to the sun.
Before we left the house I asked Cory why he kept laughing at my “hiking outfit” & he just said that I was a very stylish hiker. 
Lesson learned: About 30 minutes in I was sweating to death. 
But while I’m still not sold on hiking boots (I just CAN’T wrap my mind around them), I really did enjoy hiking. When the sun is shining & I’m up in the mountains w/my husband & our little pups – what’s not to love?
As for driving in bad weather, loving the cold & biking to work? Well, don’t expect to see me doing those things anytime soon. 
Happy Hump Day!

Our Weekend at Copper

I love weekends that do exactly what they are suppose to: provide you with some fun + time to get caught up on life + leave you refreshed. 
We rented a Ski In/Ski Out condo at Copper Mountain with our friends from home, the Jones, their friends from Denver (who we met in January & are our friends now too!) & their parents. It was a great group & a great time. The conditions on the mountain were perfect – powdery on Friday & sunny on Saturday –  we couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.

This weekend just made me really thankful & I’ve listed a couple of the things that were top of mind for me on the mountains:

#1 – I am so blessed to have Cory as my husband. He is patient & kind & amazing. : ) I’m so, so thankful to be able to share our life & adventures together.
#2 – I’m thankful for the relationships I have as a 26 year old – no drama, no unruly expectations or pressure – just the ability to be who we are & share experiences with each other.
#3 – I’m grateful for the lessons learned along the way that helped get me where I am today. (That rhymed – not intentional!)
#4 – I am so thankful to live in Fort Collins, which is a short drive to the mountains where I can practice the sport I began enjoying almost 15 years ago.

I hope you had a great weekend too!

Fort Collins – Two Months In

After living here for two months, Fort Collins is starting to feel like home. 

Things we love about living here:
The youthful, energetic, entrepreniual spirit about the town. 
Being able to snowboard whenever we want. We’re making trip #3 to the mountains on Friday!
The abundance of restaurants, many being local to CO.
The closeness we are to Denver – you know I love the big city. 
The friends that we’ve made!
“Our” church, Mill City.
Being within 15 minutes of work – both of us.
All of the snow. 
More time together. 
A different kind of a microbrew at every turn.
The slower lifestyle that we’ve created.
Being able to take our dogs with us everywhere. 
Staying close to our loved ones back home despite the distance. 
Things we’re still getting used to:
All of the snow.
The price of real estate & rentals.
The high prices of gyms & what they have to offer. Wichita – You have it so good w/the YMCAs.
I really get the sense that we are exactly where we are supposed to be. Have I said that before? Maybe. Probably. But it is a really happy & good feeling. 
Stay safe & warm today, on yet again, another snow day!

Loveland

This week Cory & I went snowboarding for the first time as Colorado residents. 
The first time I hit the slopes was in middle school with my youth group, as a skier. It was so much fun – even though we were terrible. I laughed so hard that I cried…and maybe more. : )
After that initial experience, I switched over to snowboarding, which I found much easier & liked even more.  
When I met Cory in high school, we began going yearly or so with our group of friends & continued that during college. Cory even took a job at Wichita’s only ski shop, The Slope (which was helpful when it came time to gear up & buy own own boards & other equipment). After we got engaged, we traveled to Montana & snowboarded together on a small mountain there, which was so much fun!
However, as many times as I’ve been (which really isn’t much – but enough to build on skills), I was never able to conquer my toe edge. 
But that all changed this week. I, Audra Dinell, FINALLY have a toe edge under my belt. Now it’s not strong, but it’s there. And all thanks to my sweet, patient husband who knew just what to say to coach me. 
So even though the forecast looked a bit blizzardous (that may not be a word, but I think it should be), we loaded up & headed out.  
Neither of us had been boarding in Loveland before and we were pleasantly surprised at how snug & cozy it was.
Although it was FREEZING – we had a blast!
Of course, we warmed up by stopping by the ski bar before we drove home. Spiked warm drinks are my favorite!
This month we plan on hitting up Eldora, our closest mountain. Photos to come! 

Life in Fort Collins – One Month In

Life in Fort Collins is good.

It’s hard to believe that we moved a month ago. It feels like longer & shorter all at once.

At first, we just had each other, our apartment & one income.

So we decorated, took our dogs to the dog park, went grocery shopping (one of our favorite things to do, believe it or not), watched movies, went to the gym, hung out at Barnes & Noble, found “our” church, used our new fire place & occasionally went out for drinks and/or dinner.

It was a nice change of pace from our overly busy life in Kansas.

And it was nice to totally to depend on each other for everything.

Now Cory has a job & we’re slowly getting into a little routine. We’re making some new friends. We’ve fallen in love w/micro brews. We found a “small group” full of very nice people. I discovered a favorite coffee shop. We love going down to Denver. We take our dogs everywhere. We’ve enjoyed having Alex visit & meeting our friends, the Jones’ in Denver for dinner.

Life is just good.

This week we’re going snowboarding for the first time since we moved & I’m really looking forward to that. Then in February we get to spend a long weekend in Montana w/Cory’s family & my dad & step-mom plan to visit the following week.

So I have a feeling that our slow, sweet life might get a bit busier, but we’re really striving to keep it from becoming what it was: non-stop.

Month One has been slow & sweet & I look forward to seeing what next month has in store!