Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Reasons why...

Today's Topic: Reasons Why I Am Loving My New Job

1. I enjoy the projects, am doing a good job on them (I think) and I can TALK about my work now!

2. These are small projects, so I get them done and feel a great sense of accomplishment.

3. I work in a brand new mirrored glass building and it is awesome. (Except I can't get in sometimes since I don't have a key yet.)

4. The breakfast burrito man comes Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I have never had one, I just think it's cool.

5. We had an ice cream social hosted by the building on my THIRD DAY at work.

6. People are starting to get to know me and talk or at least smile a little more and I am getting more comfortable with them as well.

7. There is a lady that offers "chair massages" (for a price) at least once a month to the employees of the tenants in the building.

8. The drive takes a little longer, but I get to see the mountains almost every morning and evening during this time so I don't mind. (Some days, there is too much haze or pollution to see mountains.)

9. My boss called me Linda today and things started to feel like "work" again. (Long story)

Reasons I Don't Like My New Job

1. I still really miss those WAMers I used to work with.

On another note:

I am really sorry we haven't gotten any of our wedding pictures printed yet. We have a mere 750 pictures on a CD to sort through and print and I just haven't had the time to get to them yet. I guess that's one of the bad things about having a photographer who gives us the right to every photo he took.

I will make it my mission to get the good ones printed by the time any family comes to visit. Bill and Barbara, this may be a stretch for you guys, but we will certainly do our best! :) In the mean time, here is one of my favorites.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Blogger didn't want to upload the few pictures I took of our gathering this weekend, so I'm going to write a short post. Everything went so well and it was fun to have everyone together and show off our house. Matt cooked some wonderful "burly man" chicken burgers and homemade spicy cole slaw. We're still eating them for leftovers. All I had to do was cut some vegetables and make a couple pasta salads. Oh, and go shopping at Wal-Mart with the entire rest of the population of Denver. It was CRAZY! I had a whole cart full of stuff and couldn't navigate around the store at all!

My dad came over for dinner on Sunday evening which was really nice but didn't seem long enough. I totally took it for granted how close and easy it was to see my family before. But it was still fun to have him over and our furnace got a passing grade. (He always checks to make sure everything is in good condition, which makes me feel much better.) In our last house, our basement heater didn't have a return duct which made it really dangerous so we never used it. I hope my dad is proud of me for remembering that bit of information.

And now to discuss altitude, which is the title of my post. I have taken up my old running regime after taking about a month off. Now I realize I am probably just a bit out of shape because of this and also from eating out so much during our move. But my first run yesterday was BRUTAL. I made the mistake of taking Pongo with me. He was still tired from staying up late on Saturday night and it was hot so he refused to run after about 5 minutes. And then when he finally decided he was ready to run, I was absolutely exhausted. I only got in a 20 minute run/walk which was pretty disappointing. The alitude also gave me a headache that lasted through this afternoon when I finally gave in and took some Advil. I don't like to take meds unless I absolutely can't stand it anymore. My run today went a lot smoother even though I was still sore from yesterday. I went a lot farther and ran most of the way since I didn't take the dog.

We finally rewarded Pongo with a trip to Cherry Creek State Park today, which is not far from our house and boasts a dog park with plenty of walking trails. I was disappointed that there weren't more dogs there but Pongo was still able to get in some good running and socialization. He even got a couple dogs to chase him for a short time. (That's his favorite game.)

Okay, well this post ended up not being so short. I can't wait until Friday and some camping in Rocky Mountain National Park!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Matt's First go around

Let me first say that Laura has done a great job, but I thought it might be nice to throw in some of what I think and what is going on with me.

First of all, I started work on Tuesday. I will eventually be an evening pharmacist (2-1030pm) working in two different areas at the Children's Hospital in Denver (even though it's actually in Aurora). The first area will be general medicine as well as hematology and oncology. I must say I am very excited about this. The second area that I will be working in is surgery. I am excited about this too, but not as much. I am also excited because I thought I was going to be working every 3 weekends, but I found out that it is every 4!

Tuesday was the hospital wide orientation day that was extremely boring. I was glad that I got paid well for it cause it was painful. Then Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I started training and learning the processes and systems that they have. I must say that I am impressed with some of the systems that they have. The pharmacy is pretty efficient and I really like it when everyone is willing to work hard.

It is a little different working now because I am not actually licensed in Colorado. I took my law test last Saturday the 19th and am waiting the results. I really hope I pass and I think I did ok on the exam, but I am never sure when it comes to law.

So far I like most of the people that I work with and I have had very few headaches. There are some things at the hospital that I do not agree with, but I am sure that that would be the case no matter where I went. I have found that there are a lot of people at the hospital from the Kansas area. There is a pharmacist, a manager who both graduated from KU and that makes me feel good. There is also going to be one of my old classmates at the hospital who will be starting on Tuesday. Also, there are a few guys in the pharmacy that I have gotten along with very well so far. One guy just graduated from school at Drake and will be working evenings with me. He likes sports so I think we will get along really well.

The house is coming together piece by piece and we have started hanging stuff on the walls. Maybe when we get everything all cleaned up we will post more photos for everyone to see.

We are very excited for people to come and visit us. Lor's Dad is coming Sunday, my dad and Barbara are coming in August, Jake just made plans to come out right around August 16th, and My mom is coming out in the first part of September. We also have some other people that are likely coming out sometime but dont have dates set. We tried to get people to come out soon by inviting our kansas friends to the party that is happening tonight. We got people more interested, so that was good.

The funniest part was when I talked with Marcos. I called him last night to tell him and he told me he would call me back. So he called me back this morning around 9 and I told him that we were having a party and I wanted to see if he wanted to come. Normally, this is not that funny at all since he had no advance notice of the matter, but since it was Marcos it was.

I have tried to call Marcos for last minute things before and he always tells me that he needs advance notice. Always. This has happened like 6 times before. Even just small stuff like grabbing dinner or something. Anyway, that was one of the reasons that I called him, because I knew he would get flustered about it.

So I think I put up a pretty good post and I hope that everyone enjoys it. I will post more in the future so dont worry. Have a great rest of the weekend and I will talk to everyone soon!


House Warming

Tonight we are having people over for our official "house warming." I put it in quotes because it's a rented house so it's not one of those parties where people bring wine and gifts and things like that. We haven't had anyone over to the house yet because it has been a mess with all of the unpacking and boxes. Today we are finishing up with the unpacking and getting things organized. My last major project will be my desk, which I have not had time to do.
To my knowledge, we didn't lose any boxes or furniture in the move, which is amazing since the truck was packed full with at least four different households' things. They had to re-arrange some of our stuff to get the last load to fit so I was nervous. We did even end up with a Dish reciever of someone else's, which we are not sure what to do with. When I get a moment, I will probably try to call the moving company, but since we spent most of my cell phone minutes last month arguing with them, I'm not super excited to get on the phone with them AGAIN. Matt said it right. They are one of the most difficult companies to deal with. It will probably take me an hour to figure out what to do with this one little box.
Oh how easily I get off track...
I am very excited to have people over tonight, but I also found myself calling our Kansas friends to invite them, just for old times' sake. I know that sounds funny, but it just seems like they should be here. We're going to do our usual, grilling some burgers and hot dogs. I'm excited to try a new recipe I found for chicken burgers. A lot of stores actually sell ground chicken which looks a lot like normal ground beef, just a different color. And that's what you use in this recipe. We're also going to make some spicy cole slaw to go along. Yummy! Or as Rachel Ray would say, Yummo! (We found the recipe in one of her cookbooks.)
So anyway, i will post again on how everything goes. Also, my dad is coming tomorrow! This is going to be a great weekend.

Friday, July 25, 2008

My Wish

So I know it's been a couple days since I updated this, for which I apologize. Not a whole lot new is happening with us. I've tried to get Matt to write about his thoughts on his new job, but I don't really think blogging is his thing. I'm sure many of the Millards have already heard much about his job by phone. I honestly don't really know much about what he thinks so far, but I think that's because he's just training for a couple weeks. So far, the general comments have been positive though.
The one thing I do want to comment on is how I wished for thunderstorms on Facebook and the past three afternoons have been dark and rainy, just as I like! However, the downsides are:
1. They don't last very long.
2. I can't see them from my windowless cube.
3. They are always overhead when I leave work so I get good and soaked on my small trek to my car.

Oh well. I'm still glad to have them, regardless so I shouldn't complain. Luckily, they have dumped some water on our lawn, which has released us from the pressures of watering for the past couple days.

We don't have any major plans for the weekend. Since we went rafting last Sunday and had to paddle quite a bit, Matt's back is now bothering him on the other side so we will be taking it easy for a while I'm sure. :( I have encouraged him to see a doctor about his back since it's been so long now that it has bothered him, but I don't want to overdo it.

I made a new friend at work and it's actually the ONE other girl that works at Woolpert (who is my age.) She is from Pennsylvania and doesn't know many people out here and is eager to make new friends. I'm excited and hope we can hang out outside of work soon.

That's all for now. Everyone have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Must Be Getting Old

Matt and I headed out tonight for what seemed like a normal twilight walk with Pongo. Our neighborhood is quiet and it's really nice and cool in the evenings. We encountered our first obstacle near the beginning of our walk. Sprinklers! They lined the sidewalks and we got drenched running through them! Our other option was to walk in the street which is pretty busy and people here drive crazy! It was fun and even a little romantic to run through the sprinklers.
But when we turned off of the busy street to a quieter one, things got really interesting. Some high school kids who were "cruising" the neighborhood must have taken an interest in us. Something wet spattered out onto the street. It scared me, but we just kept walking. I thought maybe they accidentally dropped their drink out the window. WRONG!
On their next pass, they proceeded to hit my feet with a water balloon. This really made me mad. I yelled. Luckily, I had on rubber Croc-like shoes because they dry fast. I hate wet feet. Moreover, I hated the fact that it could have hit Pongo, who doesn't pop water balloons like the sidewalk does. This is where I started thinking that I must be getting old, to get angry at some kids having fun. But really, when I started out on my walk, I didn't think I'd be getting bombarded by water balloons on a Tuesday night. That must be the thing for teenagers to do here. I certainly don't remember ever stooping to that kind of mischief when I was a teen, but please remind me if I did! Then I'll wear a rain coat and welcome the water balloons because it's what I deserve if I was that stupid!
Well anyway, the car passed another time with no incident. Then Matt and I decided to turn off that street and go down another. They passed us again. Nothing. I started to get nervous that they were just following us after that, but we turned again and didn't see them again. Never a dull moment in Denver!
A more helpful lady we met on our walk told us about a dog park not far from where we live. It's at Cherry Creek State Park, which is close but not walking distance like Roeland Park. I really want Pongo to keep meeting and playing with other dogs. He sleeps a lot now and I don't want him to get moody and agressive toward other people and dogs. So far though, he's his same old self, at least when he's awake.
The only other exciting thing for me lately is that I moved to my own cube at work since my computer arrived. It's definitely a change. I'm glad to have my own space, but I am now sitting near the younger crowd who don't talk much. At least when I had to steal my supervisor's computer, I could talk to Bob, a 57 year old man experiencing the joys of internet dating. Hey, at least it was something! Today, the silence was deafening. And I finished another airport and they weren't ready with the next one, so I had to "read my employee manual" for three hours. At least I brought a Rachel Ray cookbook to work and planned a nice First-Day-Of-Work dinner for Matt. (BTW, I'm THRILLED that he won't be on nights for two weeks while he trains!)
We are also adding to our list of visitors. Jake will be here around the 16th of August and Matt's mom and Ron will be here Labor Day weekend. Yay! More Kansas fixes. We might have to compile a wish list of Kansas items (BBQ sauce, Boulevard, etc.) for those who are driving. *wink wink*
Alright, time to get my old self to bed!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Our Baby

I couldn't resist posting these. Pongo was being so photogenic tonight and I'm sure some of you would like to see him in all his cuteness.

You can see here who controls what's on TV in our house. We did not stage this picture! I promise.

Pongo is showing off his new bed. For some reason, he has been spending a lot of time in his other bed, so we bought him one for the living room and put the other one in our bedroom like he's used to. This one matches our living room furniture and Pongo has taken to it as well as his other bed. Maybe he feels safe or maybe he knows we'll leave him alone and let him sleep in there because he knows we love it when he lays in his beds.

Tag Time

My cousin Jaime tagged me in this survey...I think. I'm doing it anyway. Check out her answers too! (And all the CUTE pictures of her daughter)

1. Where is your cell phone? on the phone table on vibrate. (Sorry if you call and I don't hear!).
2. Your significant other? Cooking us dinner on his last night of not working. He's so good to me.
4. Your mother? Probably cheering on my brother at the Riley County fair.
5. Your father? Business travel in Ft. Worth, TX
6. Your favorite thing? Thunderstorms
7. Your dream last night? I don't remember, but I've been having really bad dreams lately, so maybe I don't want to remember.
8 Your favorite drink? Dannon Light and Fit Peach Yogurt Smoothies (a good breakfast on the way to work)
9. Your dream/goal? Lose weight, pay off car/student loans, become successful in my career.
10. The room you’re in? Living room #1
11.Your hobby? I guess my new one is blogging!
12. Your fear? Snakes, spiders and my worst dreams coming true
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Here in Denver with a house and a young family.
14. What you’re not? Always sure of myself and my abilities
15. Muffins? Bagels!
16. One of your wish list items? A little Perdy for Pongo to play with and a bigger bed. I know...that's two.
17. Where you grew up? K-State country
18. The last thing you did? Re-arranged the sprinklers in the back yard.
19. What are you wearing? Comfy clothes
20. Favorite gadget? My Garmin nuvi. I couldn't get around Denver without it!
21. Your pets? Pongo the beagle
22. Your computer? Vaio
23. Your mood? Glad Monday's over with and happy to be home with my husband.
24. Missing someone? More like some place and a lot of someones.
25. Your car? Honda Civic
26. Something you’re not wearing? Shoes
27. Favorite store? Bed Bath and Beyond
28. Like someone? Of course or I wouldn't have any friends!
29. Your favorite color? Sage green
30. When is the last time you laughed? Right now because my dog is humping my husband!
31. Last time you cried? The last time I remember was when I said goodbye to my co-workers in Kansas City

Sunday, July 20, 2008


We just got back from our second rafting trip. This time we went through the Royal Gorge part of the Arkansas River where the rapids are much bigger. We had such a good time! I wish we would have bought some of the pictures because I wanted to post one, but for ONE, it was $27.95. We were not going to give in to that kind of extortion. Besides, there was only one good picture since we went through that particular rapid backwards.
Well I do have some interesting stories to tell about this trip. First of all, I want to make it known that I did NOT fall in the river. Apparently, I only do that in the tame sections. On this trip, we opted to paddle, so we had to learn some commands to get through the rapids. The group of people we rafted with were not the best. The three in front were drunk (I know this because I could smell alcohol the entire time on their breath), the guy behind me was chewing tobacco and the guy behind Matt was French and didn't really know what was going on. We went through a rapid called Sunshine Falls, where you drop straight down about four feet into more rapids. Well, the guy in front of me started falling out of the boat. He was a big guy too, but as he fell, he started reaching out to grab whatever he could hold on to, which was me. Luckily, I had my feet firmly in the boat so I was able to pull him in a little, but I was not happy that he decided to try to pull me in the river with him.
Anyway, this guy was supposed to be our paddle leader so we could all row at the same time. He had no idea what any of the guide's commands were even though we practiced many times before we got to the rapids. So by the time he realized what we were supposed to be doing, he was way late and everyone else had already finished the stroke.
About halfway down the river, a bottle of brown liquid floated into my foot space. Soon i realized it was from the guy behind me who was chewing. Since I hate that particular habit quite a bit, I was not thrilled to look at his leftovers. I handed the bottle back to him and his girlfriend said "Oh, don't drink that!"
But overall, the trip was great fun despite the other rafters. Our guide was really good and very nice and the rapids were amazing! We even saw a big horn sheep right at the river edge drinking water! They don't look like I imagined, but are amazing just the same. There were also lots of people jumping in the river off of bridges and rope swings. This was all in the tame water as we were floating back into Canon City and was entertaining to watch.
Speaking of entertaining, we went to trivia night at the Pearl Street Grill on Wednesday night with Dave and Mary, some of our friends from KU. I learned this: the "E" in Chuck E. Cheese stands for Entertainment. Weird. And the funny thing is, we guessed it right!
Yesterday, the most eventful things that happened were that Matt took his Colorado pharmacy law test and we had a late lunch with my cousin Andrew and his girlfriend Sarah. We also met Sarah's twin sister and her fiancee. We had a fun time talking and the food was good. The place we ate at was called Great Britain Fish'n Chips.
I can't believe the weekend is almost over! We did quite a bit considering we were in Colorado Springs on Friday evening as well. I'm looking forward to seeing how Matt likes his job and not looking forward to when he finishes his training and starts working nights. It'll be strange not having him home in the evenings, but I'm sure we'll adjust. We're going to try to join the local gym when we start getting paychecks again. I certainly need to start on a workout routine soon. I'm scared to see how hard running is here (with the altitude), but it's my favorite workout to do.
And lastly, Matt speaks of posting on here tomorrow morning, so be sure to check back to see if he does!

Friday, July 18, 2008

One Week Down

After a week of working, I can't complain. I also can't definitely say anymore how "adjusted" I am to living out here yet. Some days it seems better than others. When you live in one state for your entire life, moving 600 miles can't be expected to be easy. It seems like the "vacation" should be over about now and we should be going home. But this is home now. It just doesn't always feel that way yet.
I was never the kid that got really homesick at camp when I was little, but I think I'm regressing. What I need is a "Kansas fix" (yes already, after 2 weeks!). It's a good thing my dad is coming out to Denver for a conference next week because that should do just the trick. In fact, we have a lot of visitors coming in the next couple months. Matt's dad and his wife are coming out around the first of August, our friend Jake is coming sometime in August and I'm sure we'll have others. If you haven't officially planned to come out yet and want to, please let us know! We're settled in, at least enough to have people stay. The only downside is that we'll both be working, which really puts a damper on how much time we will be able to spend with our guests.
Also the last two weekends of September, we will be back in Kansas for back-to-back weddings. I am really looking forward to this. I wonder if I will see things from a different perspective now or if things will be the same as ever. I know this though: the drivers in Kansas are way more courteous than they are here, but I'll save that rant for another day.

New topic: Today was awesome! I finished my first airport and got a good "first-week-review." After work, Matt picked me up so we could go to Colorado Springs to get some notes from one of his pharmacy school buddies which should help him on the big law test tomorrow. We had a little time to kill so we went to Manitou Springs, which is a place my family used to vacation right near the bottom of Pike's Peak. Oh how I wish I had my camera with me. It was fun looking through all the little shops and we sampled some fudge in a candy store. (We later went back and bought some.) AND it rained, (it never rains here) and the clouds and moutains were beautiful! We even saw a rainbow.
We also went to the open air arcade and played skee-ball and some other older arcade games. It was a really fun afternoon topped off by my favorite: MEXICAN FOOD! I am so full right now, I think I might fall into a food coma.
We have some plans for the weekend which I will most likely post on later. But for a hint, they will most likely involve bigger rapids than the ones we navigated before!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Don't worry, I'm not going to write another long post about all the things I miss about Kansas. I do miss a lot of things, but if I think about it, it makes me sad. No, what this post is about is the fact that Matt starts his job on Tuesday and there are so many things that are going to change again.
Since he'll be working from 2 pm to 10:30, we won't really see each other during the week. He'll get home as I'm going to bed and I'll get up before he does (most likely). It's going to be hard not being together for dinner and normal things like walking the dog and watching movies. It just seems like when things get semi-normal again, everything is thrown out of balance by another change.
Well, on a better note, I think things at work are getting better. I was overwhelmed by how fast I was expected to know how to do this first project but my supervisor says I'm doing fine and I'm almost done with my first airport with not too many misses. (Ha! Misses again...good title!) I only left out a couple trees that broke the obstruction surface by a couple feet. Not bad!
I really wish I had some more pictures to post. Hopefully we'll get some good ones this weekend, whatever we end up doing.
Oh, and Matt takes his Colorado pharmacy law test the weekend so if you talk to him, please wish him good luck!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Those of you who know me even a little know that I am big on recycling. At my old job, I would dig aluminum and plastic out of the little trash cans and either take them home or put them in an appropriate bin at work. I would constantly remind my co-workers not to throw away their cans. I brought a box to work so we could all recycle newspaper.
I'm not as big of a recycling guru as my mom (she recycles EVERYTHING! Every scrap of paper, plastic or metal) but if she lived here in Denver, her life would be a lot easier. Recycling is HUGE here. All you have to do is have a designated bin and if something has a recycling symbol on it, you put it in the bin and they take it away and recycle it. You don't even have to SORT anything. I remember spending hours doing that in my youthful days.
At my new job, there are recycling bins for everything. Batteries, cardboard, paper, you name it. I AM IN HEAVEN! I never knew before what to do with #3, 4 and 5 plastics. Not many places take them. Or the little plastic wrappers that new appliances, dishes, etc. come in. I always just threw them away before. Now it's as easy as throwing it all in a bin and being done with it.
One of my KU professors once dumped out a trash can in the middle of the classroom and sorted out everything in it that was trash and recyclables. Almost everything except for food waste went into the recycle pile. And food waste can be composted. So what if every town and every city had a recycling program like Denver's? Our problems with overfilled landfills would go away and we'd stop using up so much of the earth's natural resources. I love living somewhere where everyone is so aware of these problems and eager to do something about it. In fact, the first thing our back yard neighbor told me was "recycle day is Monday!"
Okay, obviously I'm impressed by the "green-ness" of the city and I've said enough. I'll try to get Matt to post something here so that it's not always my rambling thoughts. I know you all want to hear from him too.

P.S. Thanks for all the encouragement with this blog. I really enjoy keeping everyone posted on what's going on and my likes/dislikes about things here. It really is a different lifestyle and a wonderful experience for us. I do find myself really missing Kansas and everyone there. Change is hard!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Great Indoors

Today was the first day in a while that I spent mostly indoors. I started a new job and I will begin to post some pictures of our house, hence the title of this post. First of all, I want to thank everyone for all the good wishes for my first day. It went as well as expected, though I still am really missing the people I left at Western Air Maps. I do ultimately think this is a good move for me professionally. I have my own cubicle and was given a whole tray of new office supplies, a book shelf and a filing cabinet for my own personal use. The downside of this is that my computer was just ordered on Friday and it won't be here until Thursday at the earliest. I am thrilled to be having a new computer ordered just for me, I just wish it was here so that I could get my cube in order and not have to be in the way of my supervisor at his desk.

The company I work for is called Woolpert, Inc. I am acutally working at a branch of Woolpert; their main headquarters are in Dayton, Ohio. Therefore, we have to constantly keep in mind that all business correspondence must be done by 3 pm moutain time to be answered by 5 pm eastern time. I was able to start on a project on my first day, which is pretty cool. Training can be long and tedious for both the trainer and the trainee. I am NOT doing secret work at the moment, therefore I can talk a little about what I am doing. Basically, I am mapping small airports and all possible obstructions that fall within FAA guidelines for landings, take-offs and misses. It is pretty cool, but I have to be much more detailed and can't draw anything more than 6 inches above or below the actual height of the object. I am definitely not used to being so detailed!

Right now, it seems that at Woolpert, the employees leave home at home and work at work. There doesn't seem to be any Friday happy hour traditions or gatherings outside of work. I can't be sure if this since it's only my first day, but the "family" atmosphere of Western Air Maps just isn't there. I miss that a lot. People here stay in their cubes and don't interact much. Also, I'll have to get used to working later into the day. Right now, they don't want me at work until at least 8:30 until my computer comes and I'm used to being at work at 5:45. I really tried my hardest not to go in today until 9:00 am as instructed, but I just didn't know what to do with myself and got there at 8:30. In Kansas time, that's 9:30 and I would have already been working for 4 hours!

I think that's probably enough about work for now. I have had many requests for pictures of the house and I think it's put together enough so I took some pictures and will post them now.

The front outside view of the house. It has a two car garage and a covered walk to the front door.

Double-wide front doors. This made the movers' job easy! I love this house because of all the open space and overhead natural lighting everywhere. It has a total of four sky lights, one right over this entry way.

The main living room. It is a lot bigger than this picture gives credit, and where I am standing, one side of a double sided fire place opens up to the living room.

The other side of the fireplace. We have it set up as a second living room facing the fireplace to cozy up during the winter.

The guest room where I hope many of you will be staying in the near future!

Our huge closet with cedar flooring. It opens up off of the master bathroom.

Part of the kitchen with some of our new red kitchen stuff out. It was so fun to finally get to open and use our wedding gifts!
Finished basement. We don't have enough furniture to put anything down there!

Office with both Matt and my desks in it. Technically, it's a third bedroom, but we don't have that many beds so we made it an office.

Pongo has a fenced back yard and has already made friends with the Jack Russell terrier behind the fence. Here, he is "talking" (or howling) to his new buddy.

Matt and Pongo chilling on the bed in the master bedroom. We are having to get used to sleeping with lots of light because there are two skylights right overhead!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Great Outdoors

We just returned from another outdoor adventure. This one was a little more tame (as opposed to our rafting trip) as we went camping with one of my former roommates (Carlene) and her boyfriend Nick. While it was really hard to leave our friends and family in Kansas City, it is great to be able to spend time with friends here. I love going up in the mountains. We've done it twice now since we've moved here and I can't get over the smell of fresh pines and clean air. It's also fun to get away from the ringing of cell phones and the distraction of internet and video games. mention the cell phone thing because I posted an ad on Craig's List for free moving boxes and got so many calls in a few hours that I had to take the ad off. However, it was very convenient to have someone come to our house, flaten the boxes and take them away. We didn't have to do any work!

Sorry...back to camping. We took our dog Pongo along for the trip. He seems to be adjusting great to the moutains despite being a little sleepy from the altitude. (Sometimes I think this is a blessing since he can be really hyper otherwise.) He didn't whine too much when we had to tie him up at a tree while we set up camp and he's getting used to campfires. Last night he laid in my lap curled up in a blanket while we talked and played cards.

I'm starting to feel like I actually live here now. Before, it has just felt like vacation because that has usually been the reason for coming here. I have never really paid attention much around here besides the mountains. Now I am able to recognize street names and highways even though I still don't know where many things are. One of the hardest things is figuring out how to water the lawn. I know that sounds weird, but it doesn't rain as much here and our HOA requires us to keep the lawn alive and green. Most houses have automatic sprinklers but ours doesn't. So we have to position the three we have throughout the front and back yards and hope we're getting things watered enough. It's kind of a pain. Note to self:when we buy a house, get one with automatic sprinklers. I will leave you with some camping pictures.

Here is Nick starting the campfire. The guys built it early and couldn't wait to start it.

Carlene and I in the "wilderness."

Matt hanging out with Pongo in the shade. We were worried about him with his black coat and the hot sun, so we hung out with him in the shade.

Friday, July 11, 2008

New Chapter

I thought that since we are starting a new adventure in our lives, I would start blogging so that everyone can keep up with us now that we have moved to Denver. I apologize for the corny name of this blog. It came to me today while we were out rafting and it just kind of stuck. Anyway, I am getting a little ahead of myself. This whole moving process has been a big headache. About a month ago, Matt and I came out to Denver to find a house and for me to interview for the job I wanted. I got the job, and we thought we found the perfect house to rent (so we have more time to look for a house we want to buy). After about three weeks of trying to get the owner of the house to give us an official move-in date so we could sign a lease, the realtor we went through informed us that the owners no longer wished to rent the house. And since we had already booked our move with a moving company, we had no choice but to try to scramble and find something to rent online. To make this story short, no one would rent houses to us sight unseen and the ones we wanted got rented before we could get applications in.
And so began the grand adventure...moving to Colorado without an address. While our stuff was packed and riding around on a moving truck, we said our goodbyes in Kansas City and drove to Manhattan to pick up my brother and his friend, who wanted to come along for fun. We drove out late Sunday night (the 6th) and stayed in a dingy Super 8 motel because we knew they took pets. The Manhattan Super 8 is immaculate compared to the one we stayed at. But since we we made it to Denver Sunday night, we were able to put in an application on an awesome house, purchase some camping supplies and head up to Golden Gate Canyon State Park on Monday. The boys had a fun time hiking after we all set up camp, but Matt and I were too tired to hike so we took naps. It was so nice to be in the cool crisp, fresh moutain air. We managed to start a fire and cook some hot dogs and make it a nice evening.
Tuesday we were able to move into the house, and we figured it would be boring for the boys to just hang around all day while we took care of stuff, so we dropped them off in downtown Denver and they rode the light rail around all day. In the mean time, Matt and I set up bills and fought with the moving company all day over the phone since they charged us an extra $1200 over our estimate and threatened not to deliver our stuff unless we paid in full. (By the way, DON'T use Nationwide if you are moving, it's a scam.) Then my car battery died in the parking lot of a coffee shop where we were using the wireless internet so we had to walk a mile in the rain to get Matt's car to jump mine. By this time, I was thinking nothing would go right, and what was I doing here when things were perfectly fine in Kansas City.
We managed to get to the house in time to sign the lease with all of the money we needed for rent, deposits and the moving delivery. Our stuff was delivered that evening and then things got better. We spent most of Wednesday moving stuff in and unpacking. We took Brennan and Seth to the airport for their trip to Manhattan. This is funny: Brennan used an expired beach pass as his I.D. to get on the plane since he doesn't have a license yet. The airline attendants were really laughing at this because he was flying to Kansas using a beach pass. Matt and I had a good laugh as well.
Thursday was more unpacking. We also got groceries and cooked our first meal here. It was so nice not to eat take out food. We took Pongo for a long walk and checked out some houses for sale. (All were way over our price range, but it's fun to look.)
Today was the best day yet. We decided to rafting so that we could do something fun before I start work Monday. The only trip available was a supposedly calmer ride down the Arkansas River that stops just short of the Royal Gorge. (The big rapids are actually in the Gorge.) HOWEVER, I managed to fall out of the raft TWICE in these "calmer" rapids. Matt pulled me in both times. The second time was scarier because our guide couldn't get the boat to shore so she asked me to get out and anchor the raft when we got close. Well, we didn't get close enough and I was hanging on to the back of the boat for a good 30-40 seconds before Matt could pull me in. I was so scared we would go over a rock and I would be knocked away from the raft or squashed between it and the rock. It's funny because when I went on the more expert trip through the Gorge a couple years ago, I didn't fall out once. I think I'll request to sit in the front of the boat in future trips since I think that has a lot to do it it. I didn't have anything to hold on to in the back.
Well, I think that's about all for now. I better save some things for future posts. I'll try to take and post some pictures of the house soon!