Sunday, July 31, 2011

we are almost home...

Hey friends!
Quick update... we returned to our temporary home from the beach on Saturday... the plan was to pick up our moving truck, load it, and then move to our new town on Sunday (and unload the truck, unpack, etc, etc...). Soooo, we show up at the truck rental place, but they have no truck for us. We had the dern thing rented a month ago, and had a lovely confirmation email, etc, etc, but they just did. not. have. a. truck. Sorry, nothing we can do to help you.

So we didn't have any way to execute our plan. Annoying. But, it's almost nice to know that there is absolutely nothing you can do to change the situation. No rental truck company, anywhere on the planet, had a truck for us this weekend. I did have flashbacks to living in Romania for a summer (what, you rent de truck? you pay for de truck? you expect de truck? no, no truck for you!). Ah, the memories.

Annnyway, good things come to those who wait, or at least those who don't burn down truck dealerships when they want to. Tonight we got the call the a truck was FINALLY available, so our move will happen, just a couple days later. Bring on the sore arms...

My next post will be brought to you from our new home. Exciting and hard to believe that this time has finally arrived!!! I can't wait to get settled and start the actual school part of this journey. I'm a little worried about the finances, but my bff who lives just down the road has a big pantry, so we'll never starve... we're the lucky ones...

In the meantime, enjoy these pics... we had a photo shoot for the ONE campaign as a follow-up to my parents' work with the organization. Speaking of ONE, please go HERE to give generously towards feeding programs happening RIGHT NOW to address the famine in East Africa. People... mothers, kids, fathers... just like you and me, are desperate for food. Read more about the crisis at Don't ignore this... let's treat our neighbors as we would want to be treated... we CAN make a difference!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


We got to give another baby shower! You may recall that we were able to give my sister-in-law Lorin a baby shower at the beginning of this month... well, I was super sad to not be able to throw a big shower for my other sis-in-law, Ginna, because she and my brother live in Alaska. Then I remembered that they would be at the beach with us this year, so I couldn't resist! We came together and pulled off a very fun surprise shower for sweet Ginna... and had a blast celebrating her baby girl... yes, ANOTHER niece for me to spoil!!!

Love her surprised face :)

the girls! we're ALL together for the first time in a year... me, my three sisters, two sisters-in-law, their growing baby girls, MY baby girl, and my mom!
Sammy was pumped about some cake...
opening gifts...

The cute parents-to-be (that's my baby brother :)...
When you have a huge family, it's TOTALLY possible to pull off a big shower without inviting any extra friends :). Congrats Tyler and Ginna! We're so thrilled for you!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


The past few days have been cloudy, rainy, overcast.... today, the sun broke out. But yesterday looked like this...
a few clouds don't keep us away from the beach... ever!
well, sometimes the pouring rain hurt a little, but.... it's the beach!

In the midst of the rain, the fishin' was GOOD... check out what's in the bucket! That was our dinner... yummmm.... fish tacos!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

elevation: 0

a week at the beach before we officially start our new lives as "students"... with "student loans"...
the weather is here, wish you were beautiful!
(sorry. that's zach's favorite saying. 100% cheese :).

rocky mountain high to beach relaxation... we're soaking it in while we can. my family (including my brother and sis-in-law from alaska!) is together for the first time since last July. Savoring this blessing!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Colorado Springs part 3

And so the journey ended... our tour of Colorado came to an end. I was so happy to end the trip with a walk down memory lane... showing my kids and husband my old house and school was really fun. I even remembered the exact spot on the playground that I peed my pants! I was laughing hysterically hard with my friend Beth. Totally peed my pants (I was 5 or 6, I think), and then told my teacher I fell in a puddle. The problem was that Colorado was really dusty and dry at the time, and there were NO puddles in sight...
Anyway, here's a little peek at my childhood. A wonderful one it was!

My elementary school...
the sight of the pee pants scene... right by that tree behind the bench...
i walked to school every day, and this is the bridge i crossed along the path. We played in that ditch all the time... SO fun with bikes! NOT fun when we had flash flood warnings... all the moms went nutso...
my old house! so sorry to the people who currently live there... if they saw my husband taking photos with the big nikon and tons of kids running around their street... probably freaked them out just a little... anyway, those trees were teeny when i was there! And there was no fence, and no trees in the back yard... now they have trees that obscure the view of Pikes Peak. I think that's stupid.
One more for kicks... here's the field between the school and my old street. See the deer? See Pikes Peak?

well, sigh. I miss Colorado already. I really love it. Leaving in a few short hours for our other favorite place in the world... stay tuned!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Colorado Springs part 2

The next day we headed out to the United States Air Force Academy, where my dad worked on base for 4 years. I've been back before, but my kids have never seen the amazing school and it's architecture. They were enthralled! I was enthralled with this sign, and I'm going to blow this up and frame it for my new house:
We Will Not Lie, Steal, or Cheat, Nor Tolerate Among Us Anyone Who Does. {added by becca for emphasis: "BOOYAH."}
The Air Force Chapel. Incredible.

The drive from USAFA to Garden of the Gods. My dad drove this every day, so I took a picture for him. Pikes Peak :).

Pete was done with the heat and brightness of the day. But he got over it after this picture, and decided the huge red rocks were pretty cool.

climbing skillz!
We had a blast! I hated the heat (it was HOT), but appreciated the lack of humidity and lovely breeze. Very helpful Colorado... thank you. A tour of my old neighborhood... coming up tomorrow :).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Colorado Springs part 1

Hey there!
We're back in Denver after a few days in Co Springs! I lived there for 4 years during my elementary school years, and it was a FUN place to be a kid! first, we got to stay with our dear friends Joe and Anne, and we took the cog railroad up to the tippy top of Pike's Peak.

This was our drive from Breckenridge to Co. Springs. I could drive forever with views like this...

Then we arrived at Joe and Anne's, and our kids had a BLAST with their three kids.... especially with the blow up mattress... always a hit! Our kids have technically known each other their whole lives, but Joe and Anne have moved around a lot so it was great to have quality time catching up with them!
Zach did his typical, ceremonial "accidental breakage of someone else's property," and this time the victim was a fold-up chair that came crashing down while Zach was sitting there, sipping beer, mid-sentence... he cut his elbow but saved the beer.
The next morning we climbed aboard the cog RR which climbed from about 9500 ft at the base to a bit over 14,000 ft at the top of Pikes Peak! You can see the incline here:
Close to the top, past the timber line...

We made it! I think Sammy felt a little "off" but he adjusted pretty quickly. The rest of us felt fine (usually you have some high-altitude symptoms... and those would have set in if we'd stayed up there for more than about 30-40 minutes. Oxygen is not readily available up there!).
Now we can say we've climbed a 14-er! (I won't tell anyone we climbed by train :).
pictures don't do it justice, of course... spectacular!
High altitude donuts! yummmm... (check out the front of the train- that's a sharp drop-off...)
Sam was thrilled to stand beside the train :).

We had a great time in my old hometown... more blogging to come!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Oh Breckenridge... you steal my heart again

We've been in Breck for a few days... something we've wanted to do with the kids for a looong time. We LOVE it here. We've skied here a lot and I came here as a kid in the summer... and based on those memories, I definitely wanted to fit Breck into this trip. I'm SO glad we did... it's been amazing and relaxing and fun! We rented a great condo near main street and walked or drove short distances to amazing hikes and activities. Today we went to Dillon and hiked the LilyPad Lake Trail... about 3 miles round trip, and easier on the muscles and lungs as it wasn't quiet as steep as our other hikes have been.

gorgeous thick forest...
lots of little rivers/snow melt streams...
random field of huge rocks...
lovely meadows with wildflowers...
Sam's checking out the Lilypads!

Here's the lower lake and our final destination.... gorgeous peak in the background...

after our hike, we were able to go to my aunt's condo to swim... here's the view from her porch. Yes, that's pretty much perfect.
Before I joined the swim, I took a solo walk up a few ski slopes to take pics of what we did yesterday, which was the Fun Park complete with pony rides, gem panning, alpine slide, coaster, etc... it rocked, but also depleted my life savings. Oh well. (don't you love the little stream of snow melt? so pretty)...
there's the alpine slide... see the cement tracks in the ground? you ride these sled things down the track. it is SO FUN! Pete especially went so crazy fast.

After our fun time swimming (yes please, hot tubs), we spent time on Main Street and soaked in the views.

And got candy, of course. Sam really enjoyed his...

Who wouldn't want to end their day looking at this???
Breck definitely needs a dentist someday. And a social worker, most likely. And a retired family doctor and his wife (hint, hint, dad. and no comments about snow. i LOVE snow!)