Jan 31, 2020

Tea and Crumpets

1/31/2020 — cori

This is our life in the winter. The kids come home from school to this. We like to call our little snack "crumpets" just because it sounds all British and formal and silly. But really they're just blueberry scones. We don't even know what a crumpet is.

And it's not as easy as just pouring hot water over a tea bag. Everyone here has their own tea preference. We have descended into pure tea snobbery. Our trip to Murchie's in Canada opened our eyes to what truly delicious tea is and now we are forced to order our own 50 bag box of tea (sometimes I'm so desperate I even pay shipping). How pathetic are we?!

This is what my tea cupboard looks like at the moment. I told you we are tea snobs. But what I love the most is that we can all share it together. We actually enjoy sitting around with our "cuppa tea" and visiting about our day while simultaneously getting all warm inside. Mind you, this happens usually twice a day, sometimes 3 on really cold days.

Jan 26, 2020

Birthday Adventures

1/26/2020 — cori

I turned 47 this past Thursday. I am so happy to be alive! I think about that everyday as my maternal grandmother never got to experience this age having died at age 46 from emphysema. Every single day is a gift. The brevity of life touched close to home today after learning of the tragic news that stunned the world of Kobe Bryant's death. It causes you to do some deep reflecting and soul searching; an apt reminder for us all to live each moment to its fullest.

We had a wonderful family celebration on Thursday evening where all my loved ones showered me with the most thoughtful gifts. We even had Gavin with us via FaceTime. Chuck pulled out all the stops, as usual, and gave me the most treasured gift of time together going on adventures. Being us, we like to have a plan, but rarely do we follow it. It's more of a "flexible idea list." Usually, we get to everything on our list and even then some, but we like to keep it open for other fun things that come up that we didn't anticipate. So, no surprise, that's what happened with this beautiful plan too. Sadly, we never made it to the Book Sale. (Side note: the library only has 4 book sales per year and we are there! This is our mecca. We have grown our personal library by leaps and bounds through this book sale. So it's a big deal.)

We decided instead to have a late (for us) breakfast at The Urban Egg and get nice and full to start our hike early. Around here, the sunniest and least windy part of the day is in the morning. The sky is a beautiful, vibrant blue. It's so sunny and happy. We decided to make the most of the beautiful morning. This was our destination - Horsetooth Mountain. It is the iconic Mountain in the Foothills of Fort Collins. This is as close as we made it, however. After almost two hours of hard hiking, we made it about 30 minutes away from actually getting to climb on the rock itself. You can see tiny dots on the right of the mountain, those are people. We are not them, nor did we want to be. We were happy just seeing it this close up. The entire hike was a 1300 foot elevation gain.

I just love this photo. It sums up our hike beautifully. Sunny, uphill, rocky, happy.

What an incredible vista! I can't believe this is my life!

On the way back down, this is the view we were treated to. Can you believe those incredible clouds?! Can you believe we get to hike in January, in the mid-40s?! 

After the hike, we checked into, by far, the loveliest hotel we've ever stayed in. Craftsmanship and fine details were everywhere. We were both very impressed! The rest of the day went by in a blur. We made the New Belgium Brewery Tour. I detest beer, but loved the tour. It was fascinating to learn how they make it and how much science and time goes into the process. We headed to dinner and then the theater where we were yawning our heads off. But being 47, we can do hard things. So we pushed through our sleepiness and even ended with a nightcap of french fries at The Emporium. Chuck always wins at birthday gifts!

Jan 23, 2020

Watering Plants

1/23/2020 — cori

This is my fridge. I love my fridge. These are the only two magnets I have on the front of it. Don't worry, there are also plenty of tacky magnets littered on the side that no-one can see. I'm normal. 

But this story is all about this adorable plant magnet. It is so artful. I just love it. I also love how succulent it looks. It looks and feels very real. 

That's why I couldn't help but giggle when I found Chuck in the kitchen one day with a tiny teaspoon measurement filled with water. He was gently pouring water into the teeny-tiny opening at the top of the magnet. I was laughing so hard I could tell him why. I just love his thoughtfulness!

 When I was finally able to calm down enough to tell him that the plant was fake, he asked me, "Are you sure?" To which, I said, "Ya, I'm pretty sure. But, now you have me second guessing." So we scrutinized the magnet to make sure there was no dirt in it. Turns out, I was right all along and Chuck had to clean up the water that was dripping down the front of the fridge since we don't water magnets.

Jan 17, 2020

Art Appreciation

1/17/2020 — cori
Once Chloe and Bennett went back to school, the rest of us took a field trip to the Denver Art Museum to view the Monet exhibit. It was quite spectacular! I have always loved Impressionistic art and Monet in particular. In college I had a poster of his artwork in my tiny living area. I also painted a duplicate of one of his pieces in art class and gave it to my parents as a gift. I loved one of his many quotes that were painted randomly on the walls throughout the gallery: "Apart from painting and gardening, I'm not good at anything." 

I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Monet's life and appreciating the perspective his paintings take. He loved wide open spaces, sunsets, flowers, water, and landscapes. In that, we are of one heart.

I was surprised to learn how often he moved. This painting was done while he lived in Holland. 

 Isn't this just gorgeous! Oftentimes I found myself equally impressed with the craftsmanship of the frames as I was with the art held inside them.

This one is entitled "Fog". It was done while he lived in London. How do you capture fog? It's so ethereal. 

The museum also had another exhibit entitled: The Treasures of British Art. That is where we viewed the piece above. This painting by Edward Collier is called "Ode to a Dead Soldier" and was done in 1667. The detail in this piece just blew me away. I don't know all the fancy speak that art appreciation people use to describe beautiful art, but if I did, I would use all the words. Incredible! 

Here is yet another impressive piece. This unbelievable architectural painting called "Interior of the Cathedral, Pisa" was done is 1859. How can people be this talented?! 

After being duly impressed at the art museum, we walked through downtown on our way to lunch passing this giant bear peeking into the convention center. We then indulged on the most delicious pizza outside of Minneapolis, Pizza Republica. We were just as excited about our food as we were about the beautiful art we just witnessed. Needless to say, we were all incredibly happy on this day of beauty.


Jan 16, 2020

Chloe's Quote

1/16/2020 — cori

The other day I was just innocently sitting on the sofa reading when Bennett wanders over and decides that is going to try to mess with me the way only a teenage boy can mess with his mom. I looked him directly in the eye and in my best serious voice and death stare said, "Boy, don't play games with me."

And as if on cue, Chloe appropriately adds: "Mom doesn't play a lot of games, but those she does play, she wins!"

Bennett got roasted twice. Chloe won "quote of the day." And I felt vindicated. Win/win all around.

Jan 15, 2020

Wisdom Tooth Tale

1/15/2020 — cori

Bennett got all four of his wisdom teeth out this past Thursday. He was a trooper. When the Doctor called me back after the surgery, he and the nurse couldn't stop smiling. I'm sure the see and hear so many funny antics as the kids come out of their drug induced stupors. When I first saw him he gave me a high five when I asked him how he was doing. Then he gave the Doctor a high five. I imagine he was doing that a lot prior to my entering the room. As I was attempting to video him (while driving) he kept winking at my phone.

Some funny things he said on the way home while his mouth was stuffed with gauze that I had to interpret:
    • "I'm stronger than this"
    • "I want a burrito" 
    • "basketball" (at multiple random intervals)
    • "the office"
    • "they put codeine in the iv" 
    • "i woke up in the car"

Jan 13, 2020


1/13/2020 — cori
 This is what 21 looks like.

You still have to pose with your siblings on high ledges when Mom asks you to.

But it's so worth it because you're outside, up in the mountains on a gorgeous day in January celebrating the gift of being alive with your whole family gathered around you. What could be better?!

We were so thankful to be able to spend Gavin's 21st birthday together before he had to be back at school. We had an awesome 3 whole weeks together playing tons of games, eating tons of food, and watching tons of movies. We won at adulting.

Jan 4, 2020

Let's Go Adventuring

1/04/2020 — cori
A free, sunny, 60 degree Saturday in January has all the makings of an adventure. Sadly, Bennett had to work all day, but luckily, Brooke was available to join us, so we still numbered 5. Gavin had a hankering for Chuy's. Since it's an hour away from us, we decided to see what other fun things we could do around there. Lucky for us there was the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum. This is where we in the above photo.

Who knew how incredible this museum would be?! Honestly, I took way too many photos of rocks. I really, really enjoyed my geology class in college.

 How can one not be impressed with a mini diorama made of silver and gold inside a walnut shell?!

This is Dolomite from Namibia.

This is Cyanotrichite from Idaho.

And this is the most incredible carving of a duck made out of Rhodochrosite.

Colorado School of Mines is located in Golden, Colorado. We accidentally happened upon the quaint little downtown area. Looks like an old west town. But we didn't stop, just passed through on our way to the Lookout Mountain Nature Center.

We had fun walking through the snow covered paths of the Forest Trail Loop.

Dad and Gavin doing their best to keep the shoes clean.

When one finds a tree, one climbs it.

So does the other one.

And the last one. All by herself with no help. 
I just love going adventuring!

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