Family Time in the Backyard

This weekend my family came to visit! It was such a blast to show them our city and newly finished backyard. And by newly, I mean we finished it the night before they came 🙂 I will have more detailed how-to posts soon, but for now enjoy these sneak peek photos of my family enjoying the space and allowing me to practice using my camera on them!

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DSC_0151We also tried to squeeze in a little park time before the rain (and some more camera practice!)

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DSC_0180We spent the day Saturday hiking Cheeseman Canyon which is one of my favorite hikes, as you can see here and here. If you’re looking for a beautiful and non-strenuous hike fairly close to Denver (about 1.5 hours drive) I definitely recommend this one!

cheeseman canyon collageWhat did everyone else do on the 3-day weekend? Happy Memorial Day and thank you to all of the service men & women!

Thanksgiving!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! It was my first time hosting and I have to say I had a blast. Fortunately, I had work off Wednesday so I was able to prepare most of the meal in advance which made for a stress-free Turkey day. I so enjoyed time with family. We spent the day watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade & of course football, eating lots of food, and playing games.

It was the first time our little house had that many people in it at once and the first time we had overnight guests. It was definitely cozy but still comfortable. It makes me exciting for hosting future events!

One the menu was lots and lots of sides, and perhaps sacreligiously, rotisserie chicken instead of Turkey. Maybe next time I’ll try it, but I didn’t want to have the bird cooking all day when I needed my oven to finish the sides (which are the best part in my opinion 🙂 )

I made corn pudding, roasted green beans, rolls, sweet potato casserole, cranberry relish, a salad, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie, and I bought apple pie. My sister made rainbow jello, my other sister made deviled eggs, and a friend who joined us brought mashed potatoes. Not that you wanted to our exact menu, but it was quite the feast and I’m thankful for leftovers. 😉

 

Friday we got to go skiing and it was a seriously gorgeous day. One of the perks of Colorado living!

Now onto Christmas season 🙂

4 Years

Four years is a long time, but sometimes I feel like it was just a moment ago. Four years ago my family lost our mom to cancer. I can’t believe it has been that long! I miss her everyday and wish she was still here to talk to and get advice from. I especially wish we could encourage one another in our faiths since I wasn’t following Christ too closely while she was around, while she was a spiritual warrior, and so I didn’t get to experience sharing that with her.

Even though I miss her so much, I know she is up in Heaven with Christ and I know I will see her there when my time comes. God has a perfect plan, and while I don’t believe he WANTS bad things to happen in this world, they do as a result of our fallen world. But I do believe that he can use all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28) and he has proven Himself faithful in the past four years. My relationship with my Dad became closer than ever and our family pulled together. Most importantly, it also sparked my desire to have my own relationship with Christ instead of riding on my mom’s coat tails, since I couldn’t do that anymore. Also, my now husband, then boyfriend, and I were going through a rough time and we were able to re-evaluate our priorities. It took me a while to really grieve too, because for a while I was kind of in shock, it felt really surreal, like in a few months she would be back with us. Most days are good now, but some days, not even necessarily significant days like her birthday or this anniversary or mother’s day, are really emotional. I don’t think those types of days will ever stop happening, and I’m okay with that. Sometimes a good cry is necessary.

My life has changed quite a bit since my Mom was here. I graduated college, married my best friend (I’m thankful we were high school sweethearts because my husband was able to meet my mom!), and moved to Colorado away from my family in Kansas. It blows my mind how fast time flies. My dad is dating a wonderful woman now, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to get to know her now and that she keeps my dad from being lonely 🙂

Loss has a way of making you more grateful. Don’t take life or your loved ones for granted! And allow hard trials to strengthen you instead of break you. Lean on God, He is always faithful. This post is a tribute to my mom and the impact she had on my life. People say I look like her, and that couldn’t be a better compliment. She was a beautiful woman inside and out! So thankful for the time I had with her and the impact she had on our family. Miss you mom!

Snapping Turtles, Gardens, and a Graduation

This weekend the hubster and I made the 9 hour trek back to Kansas City to join in on the graduation festivities for my sister in law, Romy. It was well worth the drive! We had a blast just relaxing and spending time with lots of family we don’t get to see very often. I got to meet Calder’s grandma for the first time even! And we saw his brother that moved to Oregon almost a year ago that we haven’t seen since last summer. It was beautiful weather and we spent a lot of time outside enjoying his parents’ gardens, eating really good food, and playing card games. I hope you all had as enjoyable a weekend as we did!

This monster kept us entertained for quite some time…

You should have seen him snap!

Romy requested an air horn so Calder is putting it to use!

My in-laws have the most gorgeous gardens!

Love this…Calder playing with his little cousin Peanut!

Climbing trees with Sofia!

Love those cuties!

Love those touches of whimsy in the gardens! Was anyone else celebrating graduations this weekend?! What a fun and busy time of year! We have this weekend off but soon we will be on the road again traveling to a couple of weddings! Lots of events to start new phases of life!

Back to the Little Apple!

This weekend we had the chance to go back to Manhattan, place of our alma mater and hometown of many of our friends! The occasion was my sister Sammy’s graduation from K-State! My whole family came up and we had a lunch cook out before her grad ceremony. It’s always so much fun to spend time with family, especially when it involves a backyard barbecue in beautiful weather. We also got to see a lot of friends from Calder’s fraternity and from the church we were involved in while we were there.

It was kinda weird being back. It made me feel like we still lived there! That town will always hold a special place in my heart. But Denver’s place in my heart is growing every day! Here are some pictures from the weekend!

We had fun at Sammy’s boyfriend’s house cooking out, making smores, and playing water pong! How gorgeous are my sisters?! Especially little miss graduate!

The rest of the fam is pretty good looking too 😉 Love them all!

Look at one of the newest alum of KSU!

Love this candid shot of my bro, Tommy! Such a cutie. We’re posing in front of Sammy’s sorority house..so pretty!

 My sis and her closest friends from Tri Delt all in coordinating outfits…not sure if it was on purpose or not!

Beautiful pic of my grandma and sister!

Overall a great time with family and friends…with lots of good food 🙂 What did everyone else do this weekend??