Thursday, August 21, 2014

Stuff and Things

Today I'm linking up with Kristin from Kristin's kNook for another installment of Stuff and Things.

1. The weather here is crazy. I've never lived in a place with such weird weather. It can go from blue skies in the morning to crazy, crazy thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. It's so hard to choose an outfit or plan outdoor activities for the evening  because I swear it changes 3x a day.

2. Our neighborhood is awesome. Yesterday was our neighborhood's last Wednesday weekly concerts. It's been so much fun to walk a block to the gathering area and here live music every Wednesday with our neighbors. The last band was Pegasus, an Air Force band which obviously, Brady dug.

3. I signed up for another 10k. It's on my 30 before 30 list and I knew I just had to commit or I would never keep running. A friend and I are doing the Rock n Roll Denver Marathon Series (we're just doing the 10k) in October. I have exactly 9 weeks to train for it which I think is a pretty decent time!

This was my first run on Tuesday. 5 min walk, 20 min steady run, 5 min walk. It was brutal. I think mainly because I had to keep starting and stopping while Brady was riding his bike and I was pushing Layla in the stroller. Today's run was a lot better. I think I'm finally getting used to the altitude although the first mile I'm usually huffing and puffing still. 

4. We get so very few pools days here so when we have one you better believe we're at the pool enjoying it. I know it'll be winter before I know it...wahhh!!

5. I love that Layla's hair is long enough for a ponytail now. Even though she resists all attempts for me to do her hair I put it up whenever I can!

6. A little Throwback Thursday

What a difference 2 years makes!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Our Weekend And What We Learned From It

We had a pretty jam packed, all around pretty great weekend. Although, we did learn a thing or 2 from it.

Friday night was really low key. We thought Brian was supposed to fly the next day so we didn't do much of anything!

Last minute, Brian didn't need to go into work so we decided to make the most of our day.  We hopped in the car and headed to our first location of the day.

1. Helen Hunt Falls in Cheyenne Canon Park
You step out of your car walk up a little path, and here are the falls. We were expecting a giant hike to the falls, but they were just right there. 

We did find a trail though and we just had to explore it.

Whoa that's a far ways down to fall, mom!

Snack break!

Beautiful views at the top

That's another waterfall although it's hard to see.

And look, I brought my real camera with!

Brady took this picture of us! I was pretty impressed! Although he took about 200 pictures of this exact same pose. Those were fun to delete.

WHAT WE LEARNED: Read the signs. Hard to tell, but it says moderate to difficult hike. People were amazed our kids were making it to the top. One lady even said, "If that little girl can do it, so can I, dang it!"  It was pretty steep and a hard hike for Layla who is 2.  Which resulted in a ton of whining and "I do it myself" only to have her fall. Oh the joys of toddlers.

 2. The Broadmoor
We were really close so we decided to drive the grounds. One word: beautiful!

WHAT WE LEARNED: We must absolutely stay here at least one night sans kids before we leave Colorado Springs.

 3. Bristol Brewery and The Principal's Office
We had heard about this brewery/restaurant that's in an old school. We were really close to it, so hey why not check it out?

It may have only been 12:20 but hey we just survived a hike with Layla, we live in the craft beer capital, and it's the weekend. And it was delicious.

Brian looking so Colorado-ian. That's probably a word. Probably.

The kids enjoyed the silverware and the people watching. 

WHAT WE LEARNED: It's ok to bring your kids to a brewery for lunch. The food here was delish, the beer was great, and it was a really neat place to see. Win.

We went home for some much needed naps and then it was on to our next location.

 4. Iron Bird Brewery
Brian's co-worker (who's in the Reserves) opened up a brewery so the majority of the squadron was going to support him.  It was a super last minute decision to go. They handed out cotton candy so the kids were happy.

And Brady got to play with my phone which he always enjoys. Not shown are the 100 pictures he took of people in the crowd. Yeah, those got deleted.

It was a fun time and another delish brewery.

WHAT WE LEARNED: Ehhh 2 breweries in 1 day, not one of our finest parenting decisions. Although the first one we ate at and the the second one we spent maybe 45 minutes there?  And it was to support Brian's co-workers. But still, probably won't do that again.

Sunday we went to church! Hooray! Hallelujah! Brian has been taking Brady lately but we really wanted to try going with miss "I speak when I want, I say what I want, as loud as I want and I don't care who hears it" Layla. I'm proud to say we sat in the NORMAL section of church for about 95% of the time! We were in the cry room at the very end when Layla got the hiccups and kept saying loudly, "I HAVE THE HICCUPS! CAN WE GO HOME NOW?" No pictures were taken because, well, I just did not have the time. One day I will look back and laugh.

5. Waldo Canyon Burn Scar
You must think I have an obsession with forest fires. I really don't but I'd been meaning to drive up here to see what it looked like up close. You can tell even from our house that it looks so different than it used to but up close it's a whole different game. I didn't get many pictures since we were driving but seeing the devastation even 2 years later is just heartbreaking.

WHAT WE LEARNED: We are so, so lucky. And we just pray there are no more fires here. 

6. Air Force Academy Commissary
While kids were napping, I attempted the commissary (for those not military, it's just basically a grocery store on base). I'm not usually a commissary shopper but they really do have good prices and sometimes it's just worth the headache, especially when I'm making a huge shopping trip.

WHAT I LEARNED: Sunday afternoons, not a good time to go.  I had gone on a Sunday evening last time and it was virtually dead. Not so just a few hours before that.  

7. My kitchen
To close out the day I decided to try a new Pioneer Woman recipe: Baked Ziti. Oh my gosh yum.

WHAT I LEARNED: I think Pioneer Woman can do no wrong. I have not tried a recipe of hers that I haven't loved. Seriously, try it!

After our busy, busy weekend with full bellies we retreated to the family room for Rio 2.

WHAT WE LEARNED: Well my brain basically turned to mush watching this movie but a weekend together, nothing beats that!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Ramblings

The weeks are seriously flying by. Since I can't believe it's already Friday and the middle of August, I'm going to post the most random of Friday posts.  With bullet points.

  • We will have lived in Colorado for 2 months tomorrow. Which is crazy!  The summer has seriously FLOWN by!  I feel like we've done a good number of things here but there is SO much more I want to do before winter settles in.
  • Next weekend Brian's grandparents are visiting us from Tucson and the following weekend my parents are coming! SO excited to see them both! We really love having visitors!
  • The fire damage here in the Springs from both the Waldo Canyon (2012) and Black Forest Fires (2013) are tremendous. It's crazy to me that you can look at the mountains and see the burn scar from the Waldo Canyon Fire. I recently took the kids to the Black Forest Regional Park to play on the playground. We hiked a little and you can see the areas the fire raged across. It's so eye-opening and devastating all at the same time. I am so glad it's been such a wet summer this year and that there haven't been any major fires in Colorado Springs.

Hiking through Black Forest

  • Seeing everyone from Omaha's posts about school starting made me realize, OH MY GOODNESS Brady will be starting kindergarten in a year! It makes me so sad but at the same time it's forcing me to make the best of this last year I have him at home with me majority of the time. Brady starts preschool September 9th (so late, right?!) and he's so, so excited. And I am too but it makes me sad that my little guy is growing up!
  • Brian and I went on our first date night since moving to Colorado (SO overdue).  I found a great sitter that the kids loved and we got some much needed adult time in. WIN/WIN! 

Date night!

  • I've really, really been slacking on using my nice camera. It's just so big and I'm scared it's going to break when we're out.  I'm going to challenge myself to take lots of pictures this weekend with it. We'll see if that actually happens! Have a great weekend everyone!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Another Weekend in the Woods

Brian's new squadron here...they're awesome. This weekend one of the reservists who has a huge property of land in the mountains invited the entire squadron to come camping.  We hesitated because he said the property was a little hard to get to (he recommended 4 wheel drive which we don't have) and it's a very primitive site ie. no toliets and running water.  But putting all that aside, we decided hey why not and packed up and headed towards the mountains.

Horrible lit selfie in the car but hey, you get the idea. The car is PACKED to the brim and we're only going for a night or two.

My pictures don't do it justice but the drive there was amazing.  And a little scary. Like driving up the side of the mountain, huge rocks, and non paved road scary. But we made it.

Setting up camp. It got reallly cold realllly fast too.

By far my favorite picture of the trip. So pleased with herself for pooping in the middle of the woods on her princess potty. Layla decided this weekend she wanted to hard core potty train. Yipee.


Let it be known that we were at 10,500 ft. Like really high up.  So high up that your tolerance for alcohol goes wayyy down. 

So this S'mores vodka I found...maybe not the best idea ever.

We had a HUGE fire. It was so, so hot which made the freezing temps much more manageable.

The guys with their pups

Brian's commander roasted marshmallows for me at least 5 times. And that fire was HOT! What a guy!

A beautiful shot of the two of us. I swear the fire was burning me. And it was really dark with a really bright flash.

After very little sleep (because I think it may be impossible for me to get a good night's sleep in a tent) the morning came verrry early.  My guess was I got a good hour of sleep in between staying up until almost 2, kids waking up on and off through the night, and being so cold I couldn't fall asleep, and waking up at 6:30. Oy.

But it was a beautiful day and besides feeling quite zombie-like we wanted to enjoy it as much as possible. We first sat around the fire and had breakfast.

Brady rode the zipline at least 10 times. 

We also went for a hike, tried to relax, and the guys shot guns for awhile. The kids were not liking the guns so much (they were far, far away from them but they were still crazy loud) and they didn't nap after only getting about 6 hours of sleep. Sooo you can do the math on that one. Around 4:00 we decided it was probably best for us to head out so we packed up all of our gear, threw  put the kids in the car, and headed back to Colorado Springs.

It was a beautiful drive on the way home too (my phone just doesn't do it justice). There were cows walking all along the road as we drove away. So cool! 

We got home that night, crashed at about 8:00, slept in the next morning, and took it really easy on Sunday. It was a fun, exhausting weekend and I'm so glad we get to give our kids these types of experiences!  Let's just hope I learn to sleep while camping!

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