Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fall Foliage Taos Weekend


The kids had a three day weekend so we took the scenic route down to Taos. Our friend Suzy joined us with her two children. We had a lovely weekend with an amazing hike on the Italianos trail, Norteno margaritas and frito pies at the Stray Dog in the ski valley, shopping and twirl downtown, the arts festival, two trips to Ktao, a trip to the gorge, amores by the fire, family movie night of Stardust, and many battles of ping pong. I love Taos so much and I am so lucky that we live close enough for a long weekend now.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Making Friends


I put it out into the universe and all of a sudden things started to happen. Isn't it marvelous when that works out?
I hoped to make some friends and then all of sudden I had opportunities to do just that!
We had an impromptu happy hour on Wednesday. A neighbor from the other side of the green belt came over and he and Michael played pingpong and geeked out together. Suzy and Jason came over with the kids and we sat around the table and ate and sipped and had a marvelous time.
Friday evening, we drove over to the park and had happy hour with Suzy and Jason and then moved the party over to Suzy's friend Christin's house and met a friend of theirs and we all made merry and the kids destroyed their playroom with happy abandon and Michael and guys all hung out in the living room and it was so fun!
This morning Samuel had an all day playdate with a friend. Suzy and I went to Alamo Drafthouse for a movie. Michael and Davis are out on a mountain bike ride with Davis's friend Isaac and his dad. A friend from school called Davis and invited him to his birthday party.
The neighborhood ladies are making a plan to get together in a few weeks and Suzy is arranging a girl's night for me to meet all her friends.

I feel good. I feel hopeful. This friend thing is fun.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Scots Fest


During my sophomore year of college, I found a book called "Outlander", by Diana Gabaldon. This became my favorite book and then series of all time. When my parents suggested we might go to Europe that summer, I argued for a two week trip through Scotland and they agreed. I loved every moment of that trip. One of my favorite moments was attending the Highland Games near Inverness.
A few weeks ago, I saw that there was going to be a Highland Games and Scottish Festival in Estes Park. We have been wanting to drive up to Estes Park to check it out and this looked like a perfect opportunity. Michael and I love festivals and this looked like it would check all the boxes.
I bought tickets online and then went to book some cheap place to stay. Only there wasn't a cheap place to stay. Everything was completely sold out. I called bed and breakfasts and begged. I looked at more and more obscure options. And finally, finally, I found one. Jellystone Park had ONE "comfort" cabin left available. I snagged it immediately and we were set.
On Friday, I packed up our sleeping bags and clothes and food and cooler. I threw in pokemon cards and fake swords for the kids and extra wine for me and Michael. I picked Michael up from the airport (he was in Florida all week), and then while he was changing, I put everything in the car. We picked up the kids from school and were off!
The weather was in our favor. When we stopped in Boulder for dinner and a potty break, a cool breeze was blowing in.
When we arrived in Estes Park after a lovely drive, (we are listening to "Peter and the Starcatcher" on audible), it was downright chilly! We put on our coats and ate our sandwiches in front of our cabin. The boys were thrilled with Jellystone and quickly ran off to play miniature golf. We had a camping kind of evening, but were thrilled to curl up inside our warm cabin overnight as it got down into the 30's!
The next morning we put on our plaids and kilts and fake swords and drove off to the festival. We were highly amused to see the Loch Ness monster floating in the lake by the festival.
We LOVED the festival. The children loved the festival. I loved the festival. Michael loved the festival. There was a living history renaissance section where Michael and the kids watched a blacksmith, learned to load a pistol, and held a real 200 year old claymore. There was a section with dogs of the british isles. We watched dogs do agility, dogs catch frisbees and dogs herd sheep. There was a section with an international jousting competition. There was scotch tasting and folk music and irish and scottish dancing. There were pipe bands aplenty and a clan gathering and a fly over and shops and amazing scottish food. We ate and played and explored. We watched the strong men throw bales of hay and long logs. The kids climbed a giant rock and played on the playground and fought mock battles with other children wielding foam and wooden swords. The sky turned blue and the sun came out and we sipped Belhaven Scottish lager and listened to Scottish Bag Pipe rock. It was FUN.
That evening we went back to Jellystone and the kids took off into the woods for a game of laser tag. Michael and I walked hand in hand around the park admiring the Halloween decorations each campsite had put up for the Jellystone Halloween themed weekend. Then we drove through Estes Park to the Rocky Mountain Inn Tavern where we ate a delicious dinner, but mostly enjoyed because we got to drive to the entrance of the National Park.
The next morning we woke up early and packed the car and went back to the festival to do it all again. We spent another four hours at the festival. My favorite moment was at noon when the clans gathered and four huge pipe bands came onto the field and played Amazing Grace and Scotland Forever. I was moved.
We drove home to laundry and laundry and laundry. The kids joyously embraced their friends as if they had been away from the neighborhood for months rather than days. It was a great weekend.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Empty

My weekends are full of fun and joy and adventure. My weekdays are not. Most weeks, Michael is gone and when he is home, he is closeted in the basement for ten to twelve hours a day working. From 8-2:45 I am on my own. I clean and I cook. I exercise and walk the dogs. I grocery shop.
I am grateful I don't have a job. I need this time. I need this time to figure things out and think and take care of myself. I am so happy I have this time.
But sometimes the hours are empty. I get homesick. I miss my mom. I miss my dad. I miss the camaraderie of friends and church.
I don't want a billion friends and commitments. There is no way that I am ready for that. But I would like a friend to occasionally have lunch with. I'd like once a week to meet a girlfriend out for coffee or at the gym and just talk.
Making friends in a new town is hard.
I talk to my mama every day and that is very good. We stay close and our friendship deepens. I am so lucky.
I have a friend who is a neighbor. We do things and she is really fun, but I don't want to count on her for all my social interaction. She has a job and a family and full life. I have several nice neighbors in fact and I enjoy visiting with them on the occasion we cross paths on the street. I have a friend from college and we are making plans to reconnect. I'm not that pathetic.
This isn't really a complaint. I'm just...noting it. I am writing it down for posterity in the year of change.
Some of my hours are empty and sometimes I am homesick.
I am currently accepting applications for a casual friend in the Littleton area who likes quick lunches and occasional chats while exercising.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Labor Day Weekend with My Mama!


My mama spent the long Labor Day weekend with us and it was absolutely wonderful. Having her with us makes me so happy. Every moment that we spend together is good.
We enjoy the little things, walking the dogs, sipping coffee in the morning, researching travel, shopping. Having her around doing all those things makes it so fun.
We also did a lot of special activities.
On Friday, we tried to go hiking, but rain came so we gave up that plan. Instead, we went to the Museum of Art and looked at art. We truly enjoyed the dance exhibit. We walked outside the museum and previewed the Taste of Colorado and got henna tattoos. We watched a movie that night and snacked on popcorn in the lower living room.
The next day we watched the boys play tennis and then took the light rail back downtown and spent the day at Taste of Colorado, eating, sipping and listening to music. The boys had a great time racing around in giant hamster wheels and making crafts.
On Sunday we drove up to Boulder and checked out a classic car show, perused the booths at the Hometown festival and wandered up and down Pearl Street shopping and watching the street performers. We drove back into Denver in time to be at Root Down when it opened and snag a booth for an amazing meal.
Monday Michael had to fly out, but mom and I took the boys hiking at Deer Creek canyon and then drove over to Red Rocks. We climbed up the stairs and checked out the view and acoustics and then had lunch at a bistro in Morrison. It was lovely.
That afternoon, the kids played in the neighborhood, riding scooters and trading pokemon cards and mom and I spent all afternoon researching travel. I had the best time.
On our last morning together we went on a long walk, shopped a bit at the South Glenn Mall and had pho for lunch.
My mama is my very best friend. I love her so much. I am so lucky to have her. It was a great weekend.