Saturday, November 10, 2012

Cooke City 10th Anniversary

10 years ago our dear friends, Mark and Malinda DeBry invited us up to his family cabin up in Cooke City, Montana near the NE entrance of Yellowstone.  Since then, every summer we make our annual trip up to "The Cabin".  I think this is the one of the most consistent family traditions we have.  We always look forward to it and it is probably the highlight of our summer.  It is especially important since our families now live in different states and this is our chance to reconnect and spend time together.  Feels like family.

We were supposed to drive up on Ken's birthday, but he had some work things come up.  He worked about 30 hours almost straight.  We finally got on the road about 5:00 in the afternoon.  Now it is an 8 or 9 hour drive up to the cabin, so we weren't totally sure if we would stop somewhere or drive most of the night.  We ended up driving through (after a birthday dinner stop in Casper at the Poor Boys Steakhouse) and got in at 4:30 am.  Long night.  Pretty lousy birthday for Ken.  But on the bright side, we didn't hit any cows this time but there was plenty of deer, a coyote, and even a bear that crossed right in front of us.  It was nice to sleep in that next morning.

This year we went horseback riding, shot bb guns and slingshots, the kids played in the creek, played games, late night converstions, and the adults did our traditional lunch out to the Beartooth Cafe.  The boys had a big project this summer.  They built a very nice railing for a new staircase that goes up to the loft playroom.  We were so inspired that we spend one of the evenings cleaning out and rearranging the upstairs family room.  Usually it was so cluttered with toys that there wasn't much room, but we took a lot of the toys up to the new playroom and made new conversation areas.  It was also exciting for the room to be opened up more with a bunch of floor space.  The kids tested it out by playing a rousing game of duck duck goose. :)

Oh how we LOVE the cabin!

I love this picture of Robert reading to the little boys!


Our group is a ton bigger than 10 years ago. :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The day after.

Yeah, I'm totally bummed.  Still numb from the shock that Mitt was not elected president last night.

For the last year and a half I have been living and breathing presidential politics.  Reading hours of articles and blogs almost everyday.  Watching hours of news and opinion shows.  And then in the last several months, volunteering, going door to door, and going to rallies.  I've had countless discussions with Ken and my friends.

And now?  I'm tired.  I'm disappointed.  Ready to detox myself from the constant input of news.  That and I can't bear to listen to all the armchair quarterbacking when my heart feels like it has been squashed.

I still believe that Mitt is a man made for this moment.  He has spent his entire life working hard and trying to make things successful.  He knows finance, budgets, and business like few other men understand it.  If there was anyone to go through our federal budget line by line and make the tough choices that would keep us from becoming Greece, it was Mitt.  I fear, by the voice of our people, we, and our children and grandchildren, will be crushed by our debt.  I believe our freedoms will be eventually be reduced because of the trillions we owe to others and a government becoming bigger and more intrusive.  I know Mitt could have gone a long way in turning some of our big problems around.  He has the skills.  He has the experience.  And we passed on the next Reagan.

All I know is that it will be a while before I am ready to take my Romney bumper sticker off my van.

I don't want to forget how many friends reached out to see how I was doing.  My friend Ashley delivered a starbucks carmel apple cider first thing that morning.  She said she thought I needed one.  She is so sweet.  I had friends from all over the country call and text to let me know they were thinking of me.  I even had nice conversations with some of my democrat friends that said they were worried about me.  Everyone was so kind and gentle with my crushed spirit.   Thank you friends!!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Before and After


Almost 9 years!  We have lived in this house almost 9 years and it was time for a makeover.  I never really knew what to do with my big wall between the siding glass door and large window in the family room.  Ken was out of town and I made up my mind to do something about it.  I took a trip to Hobby Lobby and Michaels and got things that I thought would work out.  I spent several hours mixing it all up, trying different frames, and finally finding something that I was happy with.  I got it up on the wall and did a little jump for joy!  I never feel like I am very good at this decorating thing, but I was really pleased with how it turned out.  It helps finish the room.  I love it!



On top of the world

Whenever Ken's parents come to town we try to do a fun Colorado activity.  This summer we decided to head down to Colorado Springs for the day.  We met in the amazing Garden of the Gods.  I am embarrassed to say that even though we have lived in Colorado for a decade, we had never been there.  It was a stunningly beautiful day.  Clear azure skies and bright sunshine greeted us as we got on the path to hike around.  I loved taking pictures and was thoroughly enjoying the beauty all around us.  We for sure want to go back and enjoy the gorgeous scenery.

After walking around Garden of the Gods, we grabbed a quick lunch at Chick-fil-a.  We were nervous when we pulled up to the restaurant because apparently it was "cow appreciation day" and there were a gazillion people there.  We decided to try it anyway and were really impressed how they had prepared for the day.  They had a ton of people working and were able to order and get our food quickly.  Great service even though the place was PACKED!  Well done Chick-fil-a!

We took off toward the famous cog railroad that goes up to the top of Pikes Peak.  We all enjoyed the train ride and the views were impressive.  At the top we walked around and enjoyed the view.  Absolutely incredible views -- truly felt like we were on top of the world.  I was glad to be able to see the view from a fourteener without actually having to climb it.  We were all a little light headed up at that altitude, especially Ken's folks from Arizona.  I think my favorite thing was seeing the plaque with the words from America the Beautiful on it.  It was these "purple mountain majesties" that, in part, inspired the words to that beautiful hymn. 

Great Colorado adventure!!!