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).

1_Penny-plays-soccer

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

14_Lucy

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.

1_Church-Bench

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

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Or… maybe just some funny ones.

3_Suave-Peter

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.

4_Sweet-Peter

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.

5_Wildlife

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.

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.

Campus Tour

I love a good college campus — the trees, the old buildings, the statue, the kids walking around with backpacks and lounging with books. It’s all just so idyllic. Sometimes I regret that I ended my academic career after my masters so I didn’t get to spend the rest of my life on a college campus. Luckily I get to live vicariously through my brother-in-law. And when he’s grading three sessions of math tests, I get to remember how awesome it is that I never have to worry about work once I leave the office. On Sunday, Mike and the family took me on a tour of the Colorado School of Mines campus.

The Colorado School of Mines has a lot going for it. Sure the academics are great, but more importantly, it has an awesome name and a pretty cool mascot – Blaster the Burro. Mike has actually seen the real live Blaster walking around campus, but we had to settle for the statue. The kids love Blaster. They like to feed him baby apples from a nearby tree.

The kids could do that for hours. Molly was more interested in sleeping. We finally persuaded them to leave the burro behind to go visit the statue of the chief. But first, we stopped by a beautiful building with the crest of the school on it.

And near the building is, in Peter’s words, “the smoothest rock ever!”

Mike helped the girls give the chief a hug.

Lucy stopped to check in on Molly while Peter walked all the way around the statue.

And then they played on the rocks for a while. Seriously, these kids are getting too easy. They mostly just entertain themselves and play with each other.

While walking around campus, Mike was telling us about the amazing view of Tabletop Mountain in one of the classrooms in which he teaches. We tried to go inside to see it but the doors were locked. Peter ended up finding an open one, though, so we all took the elevator up to the third floor. Yeah, I wouldn’t mind teaching in this room.

Or just hang out in this little area.

We had one more sculpture to visit on our way back to the car.

The engineering sculpture. The kids loved climbing it.

It’s too bad Mines only offers a Humanities minor. I wouldn’t have minded spending lots of time at that campus.

Just for good measure, I’ll close out this post with a few extra photos of Molly.

Lovely Golden

Since my last visit with Amanda and family, they moved across the country to lovely Golden, Colorado. I am thrilled to have them so much closer! And I was so excited about my 90 minute flight on Friday. I forgot that you have to add on waiting at the airport and then delays due to rain and then a really delayed baggage claim (40 minutes!) and it turns out that the Denver International Airport is really far away from Denver, so my short flight ended up being at least 5 hours of travel, but hey, it was still pretty easy. And totally worth it!

Because Mike and Amanda couldn’t move into their rental until the day after I arrived, they had been staying in an Extended Stay. On Saturday, Mike and some movers unloaded the moving van while Amanda and I got to take the kids to the park.

Golden has lots of great parks, but the best part about them is that each one has views like this:

But for me, my favorite part was getting to spend time with these guys.

Kenosha in the Spring (pt. 6)

So what did I do with those two extra days in Kenosha? Well, we visited the Jelly Belly Factory again. You can’t beat getting a free bag of jellybeans after riding around in a train. And we played outside quite a bit.

We also took a ride on the historic streetcar through Kenosha’s downtown.

We tried to visit a historic lighthouse, but it was locked up tight, even though we visited during the hours it was supposed to be open. Oh well.

And we played lots and lots and lots of Star Wars Trouble.

Then I had to say good-bye for a second time and check my bag two or three times to make sure I had my license and boarding pass and head back to the airport in Milwaukee. I can’t help but be glad my stay was accidentally extended. I’ll gladly take any opportunity to hang out with all of these guys.