Monday, June 30, 2014

Getting Used To

We've been in Colorado for exactly 2 weeks now. How is that possible already?!  We've been making the best of our time here so far but there's been a couple things we're trying to get used to....

Being Settled:
This is our new home. We're just renting this time around since we'll only be here about 3 years.  All of our things are here but  it still doesn't feel like home yet. I don't know why I'm expecting it to feel home-like so quickly but I think I was just dreaming about finally being home while we were "nomads." We stayed in literally 13 different places in the last 3 months. 13!!  So this just feels like a temporary #14 and it feels weird unpacking and hanging pictures.  We really do love this house though. It has so much more space (3300 sq ft compared to our Omaha house with 1500 sq ft!) and I really feel like this place could feel like home but it's still in that weird phase.  It is so nice not living out of suitcases anymore though, that's for sure!


Being in a different time zone:
It may be weird but I've only ever lived in the central time zone before.  Minnesota---Mississippi---Nebraska----and now Colorado that's in the mountain time zone.  It' s only an hour difference but I kept waking up so early the first couple of days.  I also have to keep reminding myself when I talk to family and friends that we're an hour behind them.  

Not being an easy drive away from home:
We seriously had it made being so close to home while we were in Omaha. No more last minute trips home, now I have to research the best flights, airlines, prices, and times to make a trip home.  Not that we couldn't drive home (14 hours) buuutt I think we're all pretty sick of roadtrips at this point.

Living at a high altitude:
Our home in Omaha was at about 1,090 ft above sea level. Our home here?  7,008 ft above sea level. That is quite a jump!  The main difference we're noticing is getting winded a lot easier (especially moving boxes or carrying children up stairs).  We also have to drink a lot more water to stay hydrated but that's also because Colorado has very low humidity. More about that later.  Also, I now have to follow the high elevation tips when baking and I can't get my chocolate chip cookies to rise for anything!  

Not having a fenced in backyard:
The way they do homes here is a lot different than what I'm used to. Our development has very few lots with fenced backyards and all of the houses are so scrunched together.  So far it hasn't been a huge adjustment but I know Rascal misses just roaming free in the backyard.

They also separate the houses with either rocks or shrubbery, it's different! 

The Weather:
Colorado has some glorious summer weather. The humidity is SO low here. Literally right now the humidity is 16%.  It makes the 91 degrees we're having not feel so bad.  It seems like every day is very similar too. The morning it is sunny, beautiful, very little clouds in the sky. Then after lunchtime the clouds start to roll in, we have rain, sometimes a thunderstorm, and then after dinner it clears up again. It's been like that almost every single day. It's odd!  Another great thing about the weather is that it cools down a bunch in the evening. It'll get to 80/90 during the day and then cool off to the 40's/50's at night so you can leave your windows open and it cools off the house, thus why so many homes here don't have AC (ours does luckily!).

Gas Stove and Oven: 
This is another silly thing but I've only ever had an electric stove and oven before. Brian had to show me how to use a gas stove. And the first time we turned on our oven we got a blast of natural gas odor (we got that taken care of!) so it freaked me out a little bit.  But it's been an easy transition and dare I say I may like gas better?!


Waking up every morning to a beautiful mountain view:
This isn't a hard adjustment at all but waking up to this mountain view every single morning takes my breath away. I feel so blessed to live in such a beautiful place and pray that I never take it for granted.

Overall we love it here and it's really only been 2 weeks so I know before we know it it'll feel like home!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Minnesota in the summer

Minnesota in the summer is pretty magical. The winter, not so much. The summers definitely make up for the frigid, snowy winters.  In the beginning of June weather is absolutely gorgeous (think 70's and 80's with little to no humidity) and the only down side are those little dang mosquitoes.  It was the perfect time for us to visit and we were seriously SO busy while we were there.  Once Brian got into town (that Thursday after we got there) we pretty much hit the ground running!

We took the kids to the Mall of America (my parents literally live 5 minutes from there) and they love the Lego store so we played there for awhile.

And we rode a ton of rides. And when I say we, I clearly mean Brian and the kids.  I'm the professional bag holder/picture taker.  Brady was just tall enough to go on the big roller-coaster too and he seriously had a blast.

We went out on a limb and took the kids to Benihana's.  We really wanted it and thought the kids would like it and luckily they did! Could have been a horrible lunch had they decided to melt down but they loved the entertainment and the food.

They still wear these hats all around too!

One night Brian and I went out for margaritas and Mexican food to celebrate our anniversary early since we knew we'd be busy unpacking when it actually came.  We celebrated with the largest margaritas possible, duh!

We also hit up a super fun water park near my parents house. That's Brady and Brian going down the slide. They could have gone on that at least 20 times.

Layla enjoyed the pool somewhat but snacks and relaxing were what she was all about. Not surprising.


Just relaxing on the lazy river

Yay for waterparks! They look so thrilled, don't they?!

Layla was not impressed with our attempted selfie.

Last picture before we left. A big hug for her brother.

Another night we went to my old work-place, the 50's Grill. Yeah, I used to wear a poodle skirt.  And yes, I still have it! Layla thoroughly enjoyed tasting everything off of everyone's plates.

We went with my parents and my aunt and uncle who just celebrated 60 years together!!  It was so good to see them! They've always been like my grandparents since mine passed away when I was so young and it was so nice to have them spend time with the kids too.

The first Saturday we were there we celebrated our 10 year high school reunion. How can it possibly have been 10 years already?! Brian and I were both officers (he was treasurer, I was secretary) for our class so us along with 2 other officers planned our reunion. We just went with a really casual park picnic with a bar meet-up later.  Let it be known I will not be planning another reunion. For the most part everyone was really great to work with but there was a select few in our class that weren't happy with anything we did and let everyone know it.  Don't worry, more people showed up than this! This was just the "we're here, we did it, we hope people show up" picture.

We had a pretty decent turnout and all in all a good time!

Me with one of my best friends from elementary school that I hadn't seen since my wedding. That's what reunions are all about! Reconnecting with old friends!

And Brian and Spike (Layla's godfather, a good friend) dressed alike.

The kids even came for a little bit. They sure love their uncle Spike!

This was a picture from the bar meet-up. Fun times! And a well deserved very large beer in my hands! :)

While we were in Minnesota we also got to celebrate Brian's dad, Papa's, 50th Birthday. We had some yummy kabobs on the grill.

           

And cake, don't worry, there was cake!

Party!

And presents!


They sure loved seeing their grandparents!



If you're not tired yet from our trip, just 2 more things! The Thursday before we left we had a Minnesota Twins themed rehearsal dinner for the wedding Brian was the best man in.  The kids came too and we had to get a group shot of us in our Twins gear.

Saturday was the wedding and it was gorgeous.

Part of their theme was dogs since they love dogs and have 4 of them! Rascal got to be a table centerpiece! 

Brian giving his best man speech.

Always fun to get out and have some adult time!

My parents were there as well. I've known the groom since kindergarten and lived just down the street from him growing up.

Group shot of Spike, his girlfriend Jenna, and Brian and I.

Had to share this funny picture of my parents, Brian's parents, Brian, Brian's brother Danny (black wig), and I.  

And this gem of Spike and Brian. I still laugh every time I see it. 

So that was our trip!  The morning after the wedding we left to start our new adventure!


Monday, June 23, 2014

WE MADE IT TO COLORADO!!

Why is that title in all caps?  Because after 3 months of essentially being nomads, WE MADE IT!!  See, I had to do it again, it's that exciting.  I have a lot more to recap of our time in Minnesota (family time, birthdays, class reunion, and wedding) but I just had to blog about the most exciting stuff first now that we finally have internet..  We left Omaha last Monday (yeah, another stop in Omaha, that goodbye was at least 3 times over), and drove the 9 hours to Colorado Springs (more about that later).
WE MADE IT! Caps one last time for good measure.

Driving through town admiring the mountains.

We made it to our house Monday evening and having never seen it (we had friends tour it for us) we were really pleased with the house. Especially the view from the windows.  Our house is west facing (mountain views) and we have a beautiful Pike's Peak view from our front door and front bedrooms. 

We may not have had cable, internet, or our things but we had a decently stocked fridge, dang it. Priorities.

On Wednesday our things came. Brady was beyond excited. He woke up at 6:30 that morning screaming "MY CAR IS COMING TODAY!!!"  He had to wait a looong 3 hours until they came but when they did those movers probably felt like royalty with the welcome Brady gave them. They were laughing as they were unloading because Brady acted like it was Christmas with each and every item that came off.

To give the movers some space I took the kids on a walk to the nearby elementary school. There's a nice playground there, not pictured. I was too busy taking pictures of the mountains.

Unpacking is way less fun than I remember. Actually the last time we unpacked I was 35 weeks pregnant with Brady but I think from living in suitcases the last 3 months and packing and unpacking several times the novelty of it wore off. But the kids have had fun with the boxes!

And they think it's like Christmas seeing all of their things again. "OOH Mommy! What's in that box? Open it, open it!!"

Brady's been a pretty awesome helper too moving boxes for me.


We also did our first touristy thing (Garden of the Gods, more on that in a later post) for our 6th anniversary. 


So if you've been wondering what we've been up to:
*We made it to Colorado!!!
*We're pleasantly surprised with our new home, a house we'd never seen until arriving.
*We have way too much stuff and have been unpacking pretty much every free moment.
*We are absolutely in love with Colorado Springs and have so much on our to-see lists for Colorado Springs and Colorado in general.
*We're really excited to have visitors...who's going to be our first?!



 
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