Feb 17, 2019

College Visits...Take Two

2/17/2019 — cori
Last year, Bennett and I went on his first college visit. It was at the University of Northern Colorado, only a 30 minute drive from where we live. He was like: meh.  Not the reaction I was expecting from a kid who was excited about the major they offered. But that's why you go visit colleges, because the vibe you get is super important. Can you see yourself living there for 4+ years?

Take two. This weekend we went to visit UCCS - University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. It was love at first sight. This is the view from the parking lot as we were walking to the Visitor's Center.

It already met one of his key criteria - a gorgeous view. He said he has to be able to see the mountains from wherever he lives. It makes him feel happy and thankful to be alive. It feeds his soul. Mountains. Check!

It has to have cool colors and a cool logo. Check. They are the black and gold Mountain Lions. They are part of the larger CU school system. The main campus is located in Boulder which is almost double the size of this campus as well as double the cost. He also prefers to be cost efficient, just like his mother.

They have an incredible Recreation Facility and awesome hoops. But more important than that - they have the major he really wants...Strength and Conditioning. And as the cherry on top, Colorado Springs has 3 basketball training facilities in and around the city. Since his ultimate goal is to be a basketball trainer, this is huge! This means there are 3 potential places where he can intern.

It's close to home. Check. He is our homebody. He loves to hang out with us (and vice versa). The school is only a short 2 hours away from home. Far enough away to feel like he's legitimately living on his own, but close enough to come home as often as he likes. 

There is an expression in Colorado called, "Colorado Cool."  This school has it. It has a really laid-back, chill vibe. It's a relatively new school with modern looking buildings that really appeal to Bennett. During the opening presentation they mentioned that all freshman have access to unlimited food at the dining halls. I don't think he heard a thing after that. That phrase alone is one of his favorite things. They reached his heart. I think they have his vote.

Valentine's Shenanigans

2/17/2019 — cori

Chuck was in Seattle over Valentine's Day this year. It really wasn't a big deal to me. We celebrate our love for each other all the time. This was just another day on the calendar to me. But apparently, it wasn't for Chuck. He had preplanned some behind the scenes shenanigans that completely caught me off guard. When I got home from work, I found my bed looking like this. I know I did not do this to it before I left that morning. This has Chuck's signature all over it. He has done this before. I half wondered if he came home early, but I had just been talking to him on my drive home from work and he was definitely still in Seattle. I was baffled.

Then I head into the kitchen and see this lovely bouquet of flowers sitting at my placemat. How did he do it?! Come to find out, he used his little minions to help him pull off his preplanned love-scheme. He had pre-ordered flowers and had Bennett pick them up before he went to school. Then he had Chloe decorate the bed with cut out hearts he gave her ahead of time. I truly am so lucky and so loved and so in love. 

The kids and I headed out for a special valentine's dinner, but before hand we stopped to get Bennett a much needed hair cut. This is his Vogue pose.

And finally, the moment we had been waiting for...Maza Kabob - the BEST Afghani food around!

Feb 4, 2019

The Dairy Farm

2/04/2019 — cori

For some miraculous reason, we now live where you can get milk delivered to you. Yes...as in the milkman brings bottles of milk to your door every week. I think we just won the lottery! We had used another company for the first year we lived here. But were unsure as to the treatment of the cows, whether it was humane or not. But since then, we've been alerted to a more local company. After trying a sample of their milk, Chuck was hooked (sadly, I don't drink milk due to lactose intolerance). They informed us that they love to give tours of their dairy farm. So we took them up on their offer.

We thought the kids would jump at the chance to go on a family field trip to a dairy farm (said tongue-in-cheek). For some reason they preferred sleeping in to being active participants with their fun-loving parents down on the farm. Anyways...we won. Chuck and I had a blast and kept texting the kids telling them as much. I mean, look at the Dairy-Go-Round! How cool is that?! The whole apparatus actually moves around in a circle. The cows step onto it, a worker attaches the milking mechanism and the cows just ride around. Our tour guide said you can tell the cows are happy because they're chewing their cud and not mooing. She said they only moo when they are in pain, hurt, or giving birth. It was indeed very quiet.  

See that piece of fabric/plastic hanging to the left of the cow's head? Whenever their head touches that, the cow knows to back out of the dairy-go-round. The funny thing is, the tour guide said the cows can either walk back out of the barn or get back in line to go around again. There is a scanner hanging down over the cows' heads that is just outside of this picture. That scanner reads the chip in the cow's ear. So it will know that this cow was already milked and they won't attempt to milk it again. She said that the most they will let the cow ride the dairy-go-round is 4 times. Then a worker has to direct it away. But there were hardly any workers visible. These cows seemingly just know what to do. She said they get milked three times a day. Incredible! Who knew?!

At the same dairy farm lies the National Headquarters for Noosa yoghurt. All their yoghurt is made with this top of the line milk. Morning Fresh Farms actually decided to partner with Noosa over 10 years ago and it is a win/win for both the companies. Each cow produces 40 gallons of milk a day. And there are a lot of cows. The milk travels through very high tech equipment to the homogenization and pasteurization processes. It is usually delivered the same day. All the excess milk is diverted directly to the Noosa factory so there is no waste. The farm also grows all their own crops to feed the cows. It has been a family operation since 1894. I know, right?! We were impressed too.

Nearing the end of the walking tour, we got to pet a baby cow. I was surprised by how dirty (caked with mud) their skin was because they look so soft but obviously have had fun rolling in the dirt. I was also surprised by how much this little guy wanted his neck and chin rubbed. He was pushing so hard against me - it was hilarious. 

Here is our same little calf just basking in the neck massage Chuck is giving him. It may look like Chuck is pushing this little guy's head back, but he's not, the calf is directly him to the exact place he wants to be rubbed. Also, their tongues are very coarse like a cats. That was new to me as well. 

All in all it was a fun excursion on a gorgeous 60 degree day in February. Gotta love it!

Jan 25, 2019

Birthday Blessings

1/25/2019 — cori

I turned 46 this past Wednesday. Wow! I feel so big now. I still don't feel like a legitimate adult though. It was such an awesome day. This was the gorgeous sunrise I was treated to on my way into work that morning. So lovely! And yes, it was another, 'I-HAVE-to-pull-over-to-the-side-of-the-road-to-take-a-picture' kind of sunrise. This just made me so happy.

I didn't get home from work until 1:45. Unbeknownst to me, Chuck took the rest of the day off and had some perfectly "cori-like" activities planned. He immediately whisked me off to lunch at the Star of India in Fort Collins. Yum! Once you have Indian friends and they introduce you to their culture and food, you are hooked, my friend...there's no going back.

From there, we drove up into the foothills to go hiking near Horsetooth Mountain. Yes. We walked along this ridge of rocks and it was as fun as you would think.

It was pretty cold too. Not that I minded in the least. It was a perfect day for hiking. And Chuck even remembered to bring my hiking shoes and socks. Isn't he the sweetest?!

Here's a good view of Horsetooth from where we were.

It was such a beautifully sunny day! Just perfect. The color blue of the sky in Colorado never ceases to impress me. I just love it. I'm so thankful that we live so close to these majestic mountains that we can come here to fill up our souls any time we want. That was the real gift Chuck gave me.

Of course, time together is always one of my favorite gifts.

Shockingly, Bennett's basketball practice was cancelled and neither he nor Chloe had to stay late after school. They both came home normal time so we were able to go straight to The Summit for half-price laser tag night. It was awesome! We played 3 games. I lost every single one of them, but had a blast. I'm a terrible shooter. I can't sneak up on people. I have zero stealth. I laugh every time I get shot. But we were together, playing and having fun. Such a perfect ending to a perfect day. I'm so happy to be here and share life with this awesome group of people.

Jan 18, 2019

Words To Live By

1/18/2019 — cori
I think the best birthday present Gavin got this year was a simple little pdf that Chuck created for him. What a beautiful reminder of all that is true and good and right. We have to intentionally practice these character traits to build up those muscles. Just one more reason he is the best Dad and Husband EVER!

Jan 15, 2019

Wrong Number

1/15/2019 — cori

Let me explain....

One of my former students loves to knit. She also loves to send me items such as shawls and scarves that she's knitted. I recently got another of her sweet gifts in the mail. I thought I'd take a picture and show her how nice it looked on me.

So I texted her, as the picture attests to and received an interesting reply.

For an English as a Second Language student, her English sure looks pretty good to me. 

I didn't even read it correctly at first. I honestly thought her thumbs shifted on her keyboard and she accidentally typed a swear word unknowingly. That happens alot with my students. They don't spell very well and it's not uncommon to see swear words written out because they phonetically sound like something else they were meaning to say. But then I really read it. And realized, this wasn't my student (a 60 something Cambodian matriarch) at all. This was a complete stranger and they knew exactly what they were typing. (Side note: asf had to be explained to me...I was completely clueless).

The whole problem began because I had two numbers listed in my phone for this student...so I texted both of them. Apparently, one of them is no longer her number.

Ooops...my bad.

Now some young kid (could be girl, could be boy, could be suburban, could be hood, could be any ethnicity) thinks I walk around wearing shawls. I really felt the need to explain myself to this random person that I accidentally texted. But I don't speak that language. I don't know the "hip" way to respond to Mr. Wrong Number (for lack of a better name). I just want to say, "I thought you were an immigrant. Sorry." But that still doesn't explain why I'm wearing a shawl.

Now a picture of a white, middle-aged woman wearing a knitted shawl is floating around on the internet and with my luck it will probably go viral. And all I meant to do was thank my student for knitting me something.

We're 15 days into this new year and I'm off to a good start.

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