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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7_Mollykins

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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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Peter got a trophy and then faced off with Penny.

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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

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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.

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

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5_Mollipop

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8_Sweet-Roo

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10_Snowsuit-Molly

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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

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22_Frowny-Liam

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20_Peter-Michael

18_Penny-Lane

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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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3_Peter-playground

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6_Peter-and-Lucy

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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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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.

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.