A Golden Weekend

Oh hey there! It’s been a while, huh? I’m sorry… I’ve been so busy. My mom had knee replacement surgery a few weeks ago, so I’ve been spending most of my evenings visiting her at the care facility while she recovered (she’s been doing awesome!). On the weekends, I took trips to Golden, CO to visit my sis and the little cuckoos and then I took a solo Memorial Day adventure down to Southern Utah. Tomorrow, I’m headed up to Montana for a week to reconnect with one of my favorite places, Whitefish. So yeah… whirlwind! I’m even way behind on my tv watching (don’t say anything about Mad Men or Game of Thrones), and I try to keep on top of that. Anyway, I’d love to share with you some of my weekend in Golden. (My sister blogged about it in more detail, too.)

I finally got to see Penny Lane and Peter in action for their soccer games. Penny played on Friday (right after I got in town).

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2_Playing-big-dogs

As you can see, she keeps up with all the big kids.

On Saturday, Amanda took me to the Denver Art Museum. She just got an annual membership, so I’m looking forward to visiting more often. At first, Peter was not excited about going to the museum, but then he discovered how much fun it is.

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11_Amanda-and-kids

7_Mollykins

8_Peter-coloring

9_Penny-coloring

10_Molly

We couldn’t stay forever at the museum, though, because we had to get back to Golden for Peter’s final soccer game. I really liked going to the kids’ games. The weather was perfect, and while Peter took his turn on the bench, the rest of us could just relax and play together.

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12_Lucy

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15_Amanda-and-Molly

Peter got a trophy and then faced off with Penny.

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17_Peter-and-Penny

18_Soccer-standoff

After church on Sunday, we took a drive up Lookout Mountain so I could finally see Buffalo Bill’s grave. There’s an awesome view from there, especially if you use the spy glasses.

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20_Kids-at-Lookout

21_Peter-and-Penny

22_Penny-Lane

23_Bill-Cody-and-Annie-Oakley

The weekends in Colorado always go much too fast. Luckily I get to hang with these guys in Montana.

Hopefully I’ll get back in the swing of blogging pretty soon. I have lots to catch up on!

Sunday Best

I always try to take advantage of the kids wearing their Sunday best for some cute photos when I go to visit. Of course, the clothes they’re wearing is the easy part. Getting them all to look at me at the same time is much more difficult.

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It’s much easier to get a good photo one-on-one.

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Or… maybe just some funny ones.

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Peter really wanted to wear the green shirt to church since it was the only green one that he had. I had to convince him that the plaid button-down I put on him had green in it (it didn’t really), but he changed back into his green one as soon as he got home.

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Lucy’s big, bright brown eyes just make me melt every time.

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Of course I love visiting and will jump at any opportunity, but I was really motivated to visit by seeing how big Molly had grown while we were skyping a month ago. I wanted to make sure I got some photos of her around 7 months (which is really one of the best ages, right?). She’s just so happy and sweet.

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The blue-eyed girls.

The blue-eyed girls.

p.s. It’s so fun to see Molly now wearing clothes that Penny once wore. I still remember this rainy day in New Orleans.

Driving Up Lookout Mountain

I went to Golden this past weekend for a quick trip because it had been far too long since I had seen my little munchkin nieces and nephew. I got in late on Friday night and Peter woke me up bright and early on Saturday morning. I wish I could say it’s because he was so excited to see me, but the first thing he asked was if I brought my phone. This was early enough that we could watch the sunrise as we ate cereal in the dining room.

1_Sunrise-in-Golden

And yes, that photo was taken just outside their front door. They have a pretty amazing view. Mike and Peter had other plans that morning, but Amanda took me and the girls for a drive up Lookout Mountain.

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We stopped part way up for views of Golden, including the Coors Brewery.

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And even further up, we stopped at a scenic overlook.

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3_Scenic-Overlook

3_Curving-Mountain-Road

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4_Glimpse-of-Denver

Do you see a little glimpse of Denver just behind that mountain?

As we crested the mountain, we saw a deer on the side of the road.

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It was a short drive, but a beautiful one. I had hoped for better weather on my trip. Unfortunately, it was kind of grey and cold and windy the whole time. Good thing I had such cheery company.

Family Time

Happy New Year! I know, I know… I’m almost a week late. I didn’t intend to keep away from the blog for so long, but I’ve been pretty busy with family and then I spent the last four days confined to my bed (except for an ill-fated day at work because I hate giving up PTO time to sickness). I finally have some strength for something other than being cuddled up in bed with a book, so I thought I’d just share some favorite photos from the past week or so with my family.

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2_Funny-Faces

6_Lucy-Running

5_Mollipop

7_siblings

8_Sweet-Roo

9_Claire-Archery

10_Snowsuit-Molly

11_tea-party

Amanda really wanted me to take some family photos for her while they were in town, so we ventured out on a very cold New Year’s morning.

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Of course, we couldn’t take a family photo with coats on, but as soon as we took them off, the kids were not happy.

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But they were troopers and we were able to get at least a few photos before we bundled them back up again.

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We spent the rest of the day at Matt and Izzy’s.

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16_Playing-Kitchen

17_ukelele

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22_Frowny-Liam

23_Matt-and-Liam

20_Peter-Michael

18_Penny-Lane

19_Lucy-Hero

I love to be surrounded by my loved ones at the end of the year and the beginning of a new one. It gets things started off right. Now let’s just hope that the rest of the year is much healthier.

A Quick Trip to Golden

I love that my sister now lives just a short hour-and-a half-flight away. It makes it so easy to pop over the mountains whenever I can find a good deal on airfare. Even if it’s just for a short weekend. We didn’t do anything too special. Just played with some legos and spent the afternoon at the park. Did I mention it was the first of December and we were in short sleeves? It was the best.

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2_Concentrating-on-legos

3_Peter-playground

4_Lucy-tangled-up

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6_Peter-and-Lucy

5_Amanda-and-Molly

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11_Make-a-wish

We also had a picnic on campus and enjoyed some pizza from Golden landmark, Woody’s, courtesy of Mike winning the best beard at the School of Mines. This gave the kids the perfect opportunity to draw on a huge chalkboard.

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10_Peter-writes-his-name

Later that night, we bundled up to take a stroll through the lights in downtown Golden.

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17_Santa-and-the-Golden-sign

I had to leave Sunday evening, so after church on Sunday we just relaxed and watched Dumbo. I was curious to know how a child viewed the crazy pink elephant scene. In Peter’s words, “This is weird!” The kids took advantage of my phone and spent time playing Star Wars Angry Birds and Bad Piggies. I love how they look all huddled together.

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Aww… I just love those kiddos. It’s always hard to leave.

a little family time

I hope you don’t mind if I take a break from posting about Europe for a minute to post some pictures of adorable kids. My sister came to visit from Colorado last week. It was the first time they made the drive, and it was very exciting to have them come for just a weekend. For the past several years, we’ve had to make do with bi-annual visits at Christmas and in the summer. Now that they’re so close, we’re hoping for lots more of these long weekends.

We decided to spend our Saturday up in Cache Valley visiting with some of our cousins. My mom and I drove up with Amanda (and these kids bundled in the back seat of the van)…

while Mikey followed us on his bullet bike. We didn’t envy him driving through the canyon in the cold, but otherwise it was a beautiful drive up. It was great to catch up with my aunt and uncle and cousins. Meanwhile, the kids were out playing with their … what would it be … second cousins? I guess cousins are cousins. I loved seeing them all getting along and playing on the same swingset I used to play on with my own cousins.

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They came over again on Monday for a big family dinner. Liam tried on Mikey’s Finn (from AdventureTime) costume.

It was a little hard for Liam to share all the toys he’s used to having to himself.

I was excited to spend a little more time with Molly. She’s grown since I last saw her and her cheeks are getting fuller.

Penny Lane helped me keep her entertained.

And Izzy and Matt finally got to meet Molly for the first time.

It was a quick trip, but I’m so glad they made the drive.

(Back to Europe pictures tomorrow.)

red light, green light

On Labor Day, I got into a pretty competitive game of Red Light, Green Light with the kids. It started off with just Peter and Lucy.

That Peter… he’s so speedy. Let’s try another round. This time, Penny Lane joined us.

He won again. Later that afternoon, we all went out for some ice cream. I think Penny and Lucy got more on their face than in their mouths.

Aww… I already miss these kids. I’m so happy they moved back west because I can’t wait to see them again. After Europe.