On Weekends, We Like to Party!

FullSizeRender (1)

Welcome to Monday, friends! Do weekends seriously scream by, especially in the summer, or is it just me? This weekend was jam packed for us (as is most of our July, actually), but it was a lot of fun. Chris and I split parents’ nights out when he saw a concert at Red Rocks on Friday and I attended the same one Saturday. (Concerts at Red Rocks, by the way, are never bad, even when you have no idea what band you’re seeing, like we didn’t 😉 Luckily the band we saw — The Avett Brothers — turned out to be amazing!)

Saturday we also had a birthday party in Denver for our friends’ 2-year-old, and yesterday a friend flew into town from New York to stay with us for a couple days.

As I said … our weekend was for partying, friends 😉 Hope yours was great, too!

FullSizeRender
^^ This little girl certainly loved the birthday cake part of the birthday party!

FullSizeRender (2)FullSizeRender (3)FullSizeRender (4)FullSizeRender (5)FullSizeRender (7)
^^ I could stare at Red Rocks views all day, every day. We headed over to the area a tad early so we could tailgate before the show started, which is always my recommendation.

FullSizeRender (12)
^^ Love these ladies ❤

FullSizeRender (8)
^^ Not the best photo, and it’s really hard to capture the awesomeness of Red Rocks, but believe me when I say you’ll never look at another music venue the same after attending a concert here.

FullSizeRender (9)
^^ Just making sure our guest Gavin is cool … he is!

FullSizeRender (11)
^^ Chris took Gavin & Lotte into Golden to do the Lariat Loop scenic drive, stop by Buffalo Bill’s grave and grab some beers at the Golden City Brewery. How cute are these two?!

FullSizeRender (10)
^^ Two men and a little lady.

Happy trails, weekend, until we meet again!

Bis bald!

A Week of Firsts

Happy Monday, friends. It’s been a bit crazy over here the past few days. We were so excited to have my sister and stepdad in town visiting, although the reason they were visiting — the one-year anniversary of my mom’s passing — was less than a happy one. Still, we managed to make the most of the day, and it was so good to be together (and to have Lotte as a distraction, obviously).

We even took Lotte on her first trip to the zoo while they were here. Lotte also celebrated her first Easter and we checked out a new walking trail, Van Bibber Park. So like I said, it’s been a full couple of days, and I’m coming down from all our visitors and activities, which always makes me a little sad. We have a visit from my other sister, her husband and two boys at the end of the month, though, so that is definitely something to look forward to.

01CinnaminBuns
^^ At my sister’s suggestion, we made Mom’s traditional Pillsbury cinnamon rolls on the morning of her anniversary. I had forgotten how good they actually are 😉

02CinnamonBuns03Smores
^^ We lit the fire pit in the backyard on the eve of her anniversary as well, and made smores, something else she also loved to do with us.

04AuntStephie05StandleyLake01Zoo
^^ Ready for the zoo! You’ll notice halfway through the zoo pictures that Lotte’s adorable jumper is gone and in its place is a pair of pajamas. I realized once we got to the zoo how she was in the direct sunlight, and I started to freak out about her getting burned, so I changed her into something that would cover her arms and legs as well. Rookie mom mistake!

02Zoo
^^ Kangaroos!

03Zoo04Zoo05Zoo06Zoo07Zoo08Zoo09Zoo
^^ It was super fun checking out the zoo for the first time with my sis and stepdad!

FullSizeRender
^^ In her Easter best! (How she managed to wear these ears for the couple of pics I got is beyond me, because she absolutely hated them!)

FullSizeRender
^^ We walked to Jack’s Coffee shop on Saturday afternoon with this little one for a super early dinner, and she was amazing the entire time. Look at this face.

_DSC7736
^^ Van Bibber park on Sunday was lovely. There is a totally paved path you can follow that is 2.8 miles round-trip, or you can off-road it a bit on some rocky paths, which we did, but nothing is too difficult, and the scenery is really pretty. Plus you come across some really amazing homes, some of which had horses grazing in their backyard. It was just a really nice, easy hike for our Easter Sunday morning.

_DSC7738_DSC7739_DSC7742_DSC7754_DSC7756_DSC7757_DSC7759
^^ If you can’t tell by my 1,000 photos of them, I was kind of obsessed with these creepy-cool trees. Something about them intrigued me …

_DSC7760_DSC7761_DSC7762_DSC7769_DSC7770_DSC7771_DSC7772_DSC7773_DSC7775_DSC7776_DSC7780IMG_9437

Until next time, my friends – bis bald!

New Year’s Eve 2016

fullsizerender^^ 2017 is looking infinitely better than 2016 already 😉

Since my wonderful in-laws were still in town for New Year’s Eve (which just happens to also be the anniversary of when Chris and I met, got engaged and got married … it’s kind of a special day for us!), Chris and I took advantage of their babysitting abilities and had a couple mini dates. We headed back to the Arvada Tavern the night before New Year’s Eve (I blogged about our first date at the Arvada Tavern here) with Chris’s two sisters, who treated us to a delicious dinner and drinks. Then on New Year’s Eve we cashed in on my stepmom’s Christmas present to us from last year and took a sushi-making making at Sur La Table (amazingly fun!) and met up with Kate and Sarah for cocktails at Corridor 44 in Larimer Square in Denver.

Then, after trying to have dinner at the new restaurant — The Butchery — in Arvada and finding out the wait was going to be hours, we ended up at Olive Garden instead! And you know what … we certainly didn’t regret it.

Some photos from our New Year’s Eve Eve and New Year’s Eve itself. Hope you guys had an amazing time, as well!

img_1964
^^ Cocktails and live jazz music in the upstairs section of the Arvada Tavern before dinner.

2arvadatavernimg_1988
^^ Being an amazing husband, Chris got me some anniversary presents and I got him nothing. Sorry dear — I do love you, though!

img_1993img_1997img_1999-1img_2002-1img_2003img_2009img_2014img_2019img_2068^^ Celebrating a new year with this little bundle … and things are certainly looking peachy 😉

Year In Review: So Long 2016

thumb__dsc6597_1024
^^ A very merry, happy, jolly 2017, from our little family to yours.

Well friends, 2016 is over and I have to say … I don’t miss it one bit. Of course Lotte being born was the best thing that’s ever happened to me, but other than that, 2016 was kind of awful in a lot of ways. So we’re moving on over here, embracing 2017 with open arms and hoping that it’s a much kinder year.

We’ve had family in town since before the holiday so I’m way far behind on my WW postings, but for now, here’s a short look back at what we got up to in 2016 …

February
In Feb. we announced that we were expecting our little bundle. I took a trip to New York for my grandmother’s 94th birthday, to attend a professional conference and spend some time in the city with a friend.

March
In March we headed off to Japan for Chris to run his sixth and final marathon in the World Marathon Series (blogged about here, here, here, here, here and here).

April
April was a pretty awful month when we lost my mom on the 12th. It’s a month that will forever be hard for me, now. Before that happened, though, Chris and I headed into the mountains to Crested Butte to celebrate my last birthday before becoming a mother myself.

July/August/September/October
July was a banner month for us when we welcomed our little Lotte into the world. We spent the next three months surrounded by friends and family who all took turns coming out to visit us and help us get settled into parenthood. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – we never could have made it through last year without the friends and family that love us so dearly. We’re very humbled by it. (Some posts from that time here and here.)

 We also spent the last weekend in October (my last weekend of maternity leave!) in Steamboat Springs for Chris’s birthday. It was Lotte’s first car trip and her first trip into the mountains, and she did amazing. (Naturally!)

November
Last month Lotte had her first plane adventure when we packed up and headed over to New York for Thanksgiving. She also made her first trip into New York City, which was a pretty important moment for myself and Chris. (Some posts from that trip here and here), and we celebrated her first snowfall with an impromptu photoshoot in our backyard.

December
Well I haven’t had a chance to blog about the end of December yet, because we’re still livin’ it 😉 Our Aussie family is here for another couple weeks, so instead of spending time at the computer, we’re spending as much time with them as we can! I will say that we had an amazing Christmas — which included lots of family and a trip into the mountains — and we rang in the New Year with our little daughter in our arms and Chris’s parents at our side. So, as I said, we’re optimistic about 2017, and I hope you guys are, too. Until I’m back with more photos from the end of December, check out my final December roundup before our family arrived.

See you soon friends — and happy 2017!

Editor’s Note: My post about our Christmas celebration is now posted here, and one about our final trip of 2016 to Keystone for a couple days is here

Scenic Sunday Drives in Golden

fullsizerender-90

Happy Monday, friends!

Upfront I want to say that this is not an advertisement for Subaru, although we did pick up our new Forester on Friday and take it for a drive around Golden on Sunday, and it was just a little bit of fabulousness!

We decided to take the wheels for an introductory spin up the Lariat Loop National Scenic Byway and stop by Buffalo Bill’s Grave. We also hit up Golden City Brewery on the way back home. (I’ve blogged about these places, as well as a few other Golden hot spots, here, if you’re interested.) If you’re ever in the Denver/Golden area, I would highly recommend checking out these spots, even if only for the amazing views you’ll get …

16img_7267

fullsizerender-92

fullsizerender-93

fullsizerender-94

fullsizerender-96

fullsizerender3

fullsizerender-97

fullsizerender-98

fullsizerender4

fullsizerender-99

fullsizerender-100^^ I let the hubs do the heavy stroller lifting these days 😉

fullsizerender5

fullsizerender7

fullsizerender6

fullsizerender8^^ That’s Denver there in the distance … oh hey, Denvy!

fullsizerender9^^ A pixelated up-close view!

fullsizerender11

img_8308

img_8310

img_8312

img_8328

img_8331

Is it just me, or does having a great Sunday make heading back to work on Monday just a little bit easier?

I hope you guys had a great weekend, too!

Bis bald!

Our First Fourth of July in Arvada

MountainGoat^^^Mr. Mountain Goat says ‘Hi!’

Happy July, friends. I can’t believe that July is here, and even more so I can’t believe that with July comes the fact that my baby is due next month. I can barely even say that without getting my heart racing.

But for now, friends, Baby is safe and sound still where she still belongs, and we had a visitor over the Fourth of July weekend in the form of my stepdad, who tacked on a couple extra days out to Colorado to a business trip in Arizona. We did a lot while he was here — to include a pretty rockin’ backyard revival, which was totally unexpected but awesome — so it was nice having him visit for a couple of days.

One place I knew I had to take him was the Eagle Sanctuary at Standley Lake, because in college my stepdad actually used to raise baby Bald Eagles, so obviously I knew this was something he would enjoy.

And, luckily, he did 😉

1_BaldEagle

2_BaldEagle3_BaldEagle
^^^How completely adorable are these tipis which, by the way, you can rent to camp out in!?

4_BaldEagle5_BaldEagle6_BaldEagle
^^^ It seriously took my stepdad maybe about 7 minutes to spot an eagle. Then another. Then another. Of the four Bald Eagles that live at Standley Lake, we saw three … not too shabby!
7_BaldEagle
^^^ The cattle dog coming down the pathway should have tipped us off to what was ahead, but we were still caught off guard by this heap of goats in the field by the lake. So fun to listen to them chat to each other 😉

8_BaldEagle
^^^ These geese, however … not so much fun! We tried sitting at this picnic bench by the water for a hot second after eagle spotting, but clearly the geese had other ideas. If we didn’t have any food for them, they made it pretty clear that we weren’t welcome!

9_BaldEagle^^^ I love that we also found where you can rent kayaks, paddle boards and the like at the lake … that seems like it would be so much fun!

On Friday night we ventured out into Denver to eat dinner at the Buckhorn Exchange, Denver’s oldest restaurant. While I’m not a meat-eater, I can still appreciate a fun steakhouse when I see one and this, my friends, was about as fun as it gets.

1_BuckhornExchange2_BuckhornExchange3_BuckhornExchange
^^^ Cheers’ing with my iced tea … always a good time!
4_BuckhornExchange5_BuckhornExchange
^^^ Not my meal, obviously (although the salmon I had seriously melted in your mouth, it was that delicious), but the boys really seemed to enjoy their meat which, I guess, is the most important thing at a steakhouse, right?!
6_BuckhornExchange
^^^ Grainy photo, but they had a live singer upstairs who was just about the cutest old man you ever could see.
7_BuckhornExchange
^^^ Again, not the best photo, but how funny is this sign outside the restaurant?

The boys left bright and early Saturday morning to check out Mount Evans, the highest paved road in North America at over 14,000 feet. When we went to the mountains a couple weeks back I found the altitude really affected me during pregnancy, so I decided to beg off on this adventure, but after seeing the photos, I definitely plan on making it out myself at some point.

1_MountEvans2_MountEvans3_MountEvans4_MountEvans5_MountEvans6_MountEvans

Despite all the hubbub, we did also manage to have Robert help us out with our backyard …

1_MannieFlowers^^^ All of these flowers are now officially in our garden!

… and we took a couple pretty nice walks around the lake, to include a sunset one the night before Robert left

1_StandleyLakeFarewell

Robert will be back in August with some other family to meet our little baby girl, but until then, it was great having you, my dear!

Bis bald, my friends – I hope you all had lovely and safe July 4th weekends, as well!

A Final Weekend in June

01StandleyLake

Hi friends,

Long time no write :/ Sorry about that. To be honest, 2016 has been a bit challenging so far, to say the least. Despite some of the biggest “ups” of my life [preparing for our first baby, for example], there have also been some of the lowest of the lows, like losing my mom. I haven’t felt much like writing here over the past three months, really, since that happened, but I’m trying to come out of my funk a bit, and this blog has always meant so much so me, so I figured I’d give writing here a shot and see how it goes … at least for now.

In other big news, Chris and I moved out of our downtown Denver apartment and into our first home in Arvada near Standley Lake, which is about 15-20 minutes from downtown Denver. So far, we’re really liking it out here in the ‘burbs, which is something that has come as quite a surprise to both of us [and our friends and family, too!]. Having the lake so close by certainly helps — Chris runs there multiple nights a week and it’s about all I can manage to drag my pregnant self on about a 10-20 minute walk most days, but whenever I do get out there, it’s simply gorgeous.

Like Saturday morning. We grabbed some coffees [decaf for me, of course ;)] and walked the five minutes to the lake entrance, then walked about 1.5 miles around the lake and back. It was the perfect length for me, and I really needed the change of scenery …

02StandleyLake
^^ This photo is blurry because I zoomed in, but just look at those Flatirons! Gorgeous.

03StandleyLake04StandleyLake05StandleyLake06StandleyLake07StandleyLake08StandleyLake09StandleyLake10StandleyLake

We’ve definitely lived in some cities with some pretty spectacular views before, but I have to say, it doesn’t matter how many times we walk around this lake … it always stuns me with its beauty.

For Christmas my sister got me a membership to the Denver Botanic Gardens, and on Saturday we were finally able to get out there for a visit, which was really quite lovely.

01BotanicGardens02BotanicGardens03BotanicGardens

GardenGoddess04BotanicGardens05BotanicGardens06BotanicGardens^^ Just the three of us, out for a day at the gardens 😉

On Sunday I met up with my cousin at Sassafras back in Denver for brunch, where I had the most delicious beignets and shrimp & grits that I’ve had since New Orleans!

01Sassafras02Sassafras

So friends, those outings — coupled with lots of outdoor porch time — made for a pretty nice weekend. I hope yours was as lovely … or that you’re at least finding some way to stay cool in the heat! My stepdad will be here for a visit starting Wednesday, so we’re really looking forward to that.

Until next time, friends … bis bald 😉