Dinner was at 3:00 at my cousin Carla's. I took this picture real quick and then the rest is a blur. Food, laughs, more food, laughs, laughs and laughs, topped off with more food.
It was great
Slept in until 9:30 Shuddered when I thought of the rest of the world (except for my friend Liz) (she's smart. like me) out shopping, including my oldest who headed out with his aunt Sherry. That he even considered it must come from a Pennala gene. NOT from my genes. *shudder* His Laakso/Eskola/Ryynanen genes kicked in by the time he was done and he said, "never again" I'm so proud. I stayed in my jammies until after 11 then slowly sauntered up to the shower Found a friend for Wendy Then at 2:00 I took photos in front of the above barn and visited until after 5 got pizza headed back to my mom's and listened to the hockey game on the radio went to bed
Saturday Morning (Saturday was busier and thus must be divided into segments):
9:00 - Did a photo shoot of some cute kids in front of this gem
10:30 ish: Went to the bazaar at the Rozsa Center. Didn't buy anything but enjoyed people watching and visiting
11:30: My aunt (on the left) and my mom (on the right) We had picked up my aunt on the way down to the sale, and it's a good thing we did as she's the only one that bought something. or two.
Went back to grandma's Ate lunch Then my mom napped and hubby and I took the kids to McLains to burn off some energy
Wendy says (that's Wendy) Mom - the boys are doing something really boring. Curious - I went to check...
Boring meant they were experimenting with balance. So science and math and stuff. I thought it was pretty cool.
Boring over, it suddenly dawned on me that I had all four kids in one spot. That doesn't happen as much as you might think - so I lined them up.
And that's pretty much how that went.
I decided to take pictures of wildlife instead
Contemplated just sending wildlife pictures for Christmas, or just individual shots. Again.
I actually had a brainstorm late last night, so now a new thing on my list this week is to see if I can make it happen. And yes, I procrastinate on my photo card. Every year. It's a tradition. I thrive on pressure.
After a couple hours, we old folks were ready to wrap it up - but the kids needed some convincing. And carrying.
We dropped the kids off at my moms gave them strict orders to behave and headed out to a little jamboree
I'm always hearing about these musical get togethers, but haven't attended one since my Uncle Bill (on the way left) used to play in the living room when I was a little girl. I enjoyed every second, I could have sat there all day.
Began packing the van No pictures, but we went over to my husband's sister's house for awhile Then his sister and I went out to coffee called it a day
Sunday: Traveled all day
And with that - the kids are telling me that they are staaaaaarving and it's time for me to get something else done around here
Traveling for Thanksgiving hadn't been in the plan when I bought that ticket to Denver Monday and Tuesday last week were l.o.n.g. days in preparation - 3 hours of sleep each night I slept well at my mom's house
My husband doesn't usually come with us when we go to grandma's in the summer, as we usually go when he's pretty tied up with work and we extend our stay. He does however, get up there - I'm thinking at least once a year, when we travel in the fall time. But when our 4 year old realized he was coming, he was all - REALLY? DAD is coming to GRANDma's? Jumping up and down excited. Dad's coming!!!!
It was funny
We left here about 7am on Wednesday. It's a ten hour drive. Brian - the 4 year old - hurled his guts out at the first rest area. I made a judgement call and decided it was car sickness and we continued on. I'm pretty sure I was right. He did manage to get most of it out the door, which we are grateful for.
North of the bridge (that would be the Mackinaw Bridge) our 9 year old (GIRL) started having bladder issues. Which doesn't work well north of the bridge. (peeing options are few and far between) Her dad refused to bring her into a bar to pee, (which is honorable. I suppose. But it was hard for me to appreciate at that time) and I had to teach my husband and oldest son that a girl can't pee on the side of the road like a boy can. We finally found a little hidden dip in the road and I taught my daughter (via verbal instruction) the fine art of peeing in the bush. As a girl.
She was peeing every 50 miles for a bit there, but managed to hold it after that. It was a fluke thing.
Trips are awesome. My aunt asked, was your trip uneventful? and I said, uneventful? what's that?
My husband and I usually split the driving 60/40 ish. I'm used to driving that trek by myself so often that it's hard for me to be the passenger. (but I'm the 40ish) I can't read in the car like I used to, and if I take Dramamine so that I can, I get groggy. I don't like sleeping as the passenger.
I believe it's the passenger's duty to keep the driver awake. Unless the driver is me.
I think maybe I'll consider learning to knit just so I have something to do as a passenger. Not having something to do resulted in me eating too much, and making long lists - such as that one shown above. There are actually three pages of those lists. A Christmas to do list/what to shop for on Cyber Monday list, the kids wish lists, and just general thoughts and inspiration. I love to write. Usually not with a red pen tho, but it was all I could find. The list in the picture is my 'do this week' list. which I've already added to and scratched things off since we got home.
We got home at 4. The drive was gray and rainy yesterday - with more and more traffic the closer we got to home.
I unpacked, then ran out and got milk. and bread. and eggs.
It was weird being gone for Thanksgiving this year - missing the Festival of Lights parade, but I'm glad we went -- it was a good time, but short.
When trying to access that wireless connection on my husband's computer, whatever page the person was on actually asked for the router number rather than the password. (The person has since been given a lesson in wifi connecting)
They put that router number into my husbands computer and now his computer works gloriously.
My mom's computer, however, will no longer connect.
We're awesome guests.
Any clue how to fix it? Because we're not having much luck
I'm trying to get ready for the holiday and in order to do so, I need winter jackets for both of the little boys. We only have one. While it will fit either one of them, it won't fit both of them at the same time.
So I had to squeeze and unplanned shopping run into my day, which is absolutely cringe worthy if you know how much I hate shopping to begin with. I started at Salvation Army - didn't have any luck - and then made my way to Kohls. I simply don't have time to compare prices anywhere else. (I do, however, have time to blog. Don't judge me)
So all their jackets are half off but niggling in the back of my mind is the fact that I didn't do this for their last 15% off coupon sale, and I wasn't going to be able to but it at the upcoming sale, and man - did I drop the ball on this one this past garage saling season. How did I not realize I was a jacket short?
So I was pacing the racks, going back and forth between the $25 jackets which were super puffy (and I was trying to imagine buckling it into a carseat) to the $40 jackets that I knew I could find cheaper elsewhere. And mumbling. Rapidly.
And my cell phone rang. My cell phone rarely rarely rings. Very Rarely. My kids don't call me when I'm out (knock on wood) and only a handful of people actually have that number. In fact, if I didn't have kids in school I wouldn't have a cell phone at all. But it rang. And I answered it. And it was my cousin Carla who got the number from my babysitter.
Now, Carla and I were practically raised together, with our moms being sisters, and we love a good visit when we get the chance - but I don't know that I've ever talked to her on the phone so it was a bit of a surprise to hear her on the other end, but then - not overly so because we're having our Thanksgiving dinner at her house in two days. Anyway. She says "hi!" and the first thing I said was - Hey - you wouldn't happen to have an outgrown winter jacket that would fit my boys, would you?
And she responded, wellhey - actually I do, complete with snow pants - wanna trade?
I said, trade for what? I couldn't even begin to imagine.
Pictures! Which was why she was calling in the first place.
Okay - time for the photo heavy Denver post. I've been busy with back at home things, but I'm also anxious to share before the busy holiday weekend.....so then...
I flew into Denver Thursday night, arriving just before 9pm Denver time, which was 11pm my time. I was pretty tuckered out and I don't think everything, if anything, I said that night made a whole lot of sense.
On Friday, my friend and hostess Tina had to work, so I made plans to walk a few blocks into town and meet up with some scrapbookers who I've known in the online sense for well over five years already - some even more, some less. When you work and play in the same network and online community as others for so long, you get a good sense of their humor, their interests, and there's already a shared bond in hobby. It's a cool and fun thing to put those personalities and names to real live faces.
From left to right - Houston, Mary Kay, Heather, Emily, myself and Arleigh. We ate at the Egg Shell and it was awesome. I misbehaved though and ordered this delicious egg and potato dish and then suffered some serious guilt when Emily ordered yogurt, granola and fruit. I enjoyed my meal tho and my scale still likes me. Phew
I really have to thank Emily for bringing everyone together. It was a fun morning. I love meeting people.
I really like this picture I caught of Arleigh - she had taken her hat off and I couldn't resist. Brian says, PINK!
After breakfast we walked a couple of blocks over and passed some time in Penzey's sniffing and purchasing spices. I walked out with a nice little bag full. I bought Greg some Black and Red after the lady reassured me that it would satisfy his need to kick everything up a notch. For myself I bought some Cardamom, just in time for holiday baking. I picked up a few others as well.
After that we hit a couple other stores - a chocolate shop, a German bakery - where I'm tickled to say that I behaved. The raisins in the carrot cake saved me. I was so close to buying a piece until I learned there were raisins. Blech. I'm not a fan of raisins in my carrot cake.
The scrapbookers all drifted apart and I headed back to Tina's with my spices and new sunglasses - and snuggled up in the lazyboy with a book - nodding off every so often - until she got home.
Friday night we headed to downtown Denver. It was a little chilly with my fleece, but not too bad.
The view was wonderful. I could have easily spent more time here. Next time, right? I was wishing I had a zoom lens - there were some interesting characters.
These two tho - I really enjoyed my evening with them. That's Tina on the left, and my husband's cousin Janet on the right. We stayed up and giggled until Tina's roommate shushed us and we had to call it a night. hmph. Apparently we even tried to include my cousin Julianna in on the action as she informed me that Tina's phone called her twice and while nobody was there, she was witness to our good time.
Cell phones are risky.
On Saturday morning, Tina and I started our day at Udi's for breakfast, where we both ordered this salmon and egg breakfast thing that I'm not having any luck finding online to link - but it was incredibly delicious. We were just both surprised that the salmon was actually raw and came on top of our bread. But boy, was it good.
We ran a few errands then, got some Advil for my tiny headache and then headed up to the mountains. It was gorgeous.
I'm not sure what the names of the areas we went to were - I wasn't paying much attention, just absorbing the beauty and the ride. There were a lot of snowboarders about and this guy - he looked about to launch himself and was setting up his video camera. Had it not been so cold and windy up on the top like that, we would have stuck around and watched, but our fingers and cheeks were quickly freezing up, so we headed back to the truck for warmth.
Well, after I made Tina pose for 20 minutes so I could get this shot.......
This was the shot that sealed the deal - I definitely need that wide angle lens. I can't remember the name of this town, but it was one of several where Tina had lived. She was an excellent tour guide stuck with a poor receptor. (does that make sense?)
Actually, I had left my journal/notebook back at the apartment when I really should have had it with me on this tour so I could write down those things.
I love this color combination. mmmmmmm.
Speaking of which.....
Remember those glasses I had to buy because they have *Sun!* in Denver? Well. yeah. So we're driving along and all of a sudden I tell Tina - pull over pull over!! I just love that contrast and color combination! So she pulls over (she gets me) (well, mostly) and I hop out to take a few pictures. The first thing I did was take off my sunglasses and it was this majorly serious letdown. Until then, the browns had been such a gorgeous yellow hue - and when that hue met up with the red barn it was jaw dropping. I was crushed when I realized it wasn't real.
So I tried to capture it this way, but the mood is lost somehow.
It was still worth the stop anyway.
A little further along, Tina suddenly tells me to get my camera ready and to take a picture of the town's sign. She assured me that one of my blog readers is really going to appreciate this one. I'm just taking her word for it.
Our journey then took us through a bit of canyon, we saw some trains - but I wasn't prepared camera wise - and ate lunch in Grand Lake. We bought some stuff for sandwiches at the local grocer's and ate near the dock - but it was cold. By the time I finished my sandwich my lettuce had ice chunks on it. At least, it felt like it did.
After our lunch, we headed up into Rocky Mountain National Park with the hope that we'd see some moose. We didn't see any moose, but we did see all those elk in the distance and I was not very prepared lens wise. But it was fun. Only the first ten miles of the park were open this time of the year, so we got to the barrier and then started heading back towards home.
And I had her pull over just one more time before the sun went down. Man, I love that 10mm. wow.
We wound down our day looking through photos, enjoying a yummy dinner, cheesecake for dessert and more visiting.
On Sunday - I didn't take any pictures but for two of the cat that didn't turn out. He decided he didn't like me once I pulled my lens on him.
We spent a few hours at an antique mall before lunch time and heading to the airport.
It went quick - but I felt like I did a lot and really enjoyed seeing what I did of Colorado. Like Tina said - there's still so much to see, I'll just have to go back someday and next time take the family. One of these days.
And with that - that coffee that I had after dinner is just about wore off and I can be thankful that the kids don't have school tomorrow as I crawl into bed at 1:30 am. I'm still on Colorado time.
Really - I begin my week with no milk in the fridge? I'm hooooome
Like, really - LOTS to do
Beginning with laundry
I *will* share pictures. I *will*
I'll be chatting tonight - 9 pm EST - at Get it Scrapped! Join me!! We'll be talking about stamping, holidays, craftiness and I'll probably mention Denver as well
Profound statement of the week: My husband on the way home from the airport: "Wow, Brian and Mark really really fight. A lot." I said, uh. yeah. They are pretty much the reason I ran away from home.
Everyone should run away from home now and then. I love being able to have that time to breathe and look at my life more from the outside in. Gives me a chance to refocus
I caught air with my shopping cart at Meijers this morning
Aldi's is not open before 9am.
The kids all love their 'from Colorado' gifts
Boy - I have a lot to get done today
I just called my husband and told him I'm sorry, but he's going to have to be in charge of tire rotation
Pot Pasty for dinner
The kids are home this week from school - which might work out to my benefit. They help a lot with the little boys
Pa running the house is going to have to be its own post. Remind me.
Sun flare is so cool.
I told my brother he better come get his lens tonight before I accidentally on purpose keep it.
Dear Santa: I want this lens (my brother has this lens, but I'm willing to be gooder for those extra f-stops)
I was afraid to step on the scale this morning after that breakfast at the Egg Shell, and that breakfast at Udi's, and that cheesecake, and and and...... but I was tickled to see that I stayed well within my window. Sweet!