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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Don't Worry...

Hello loyal readers! I'm sorry for the long hiatus from blog posts. Unlike before, I have taken this break from blogging on purpose. I should have given you all a little warning, but don't fear. I have several blog posts in the works which span events from the past two months.
It's hard to believe that we are only a couple of days from 2010! I just want you to know that I will be resuming my normal blogging tendencies with the start of the new year. With my first class and the holidays behind me, things are getting back to normal for the most part, which is what I desperately need. Thanks for being patient with me and please stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mundane

I admit that I haven't had much to blog about lately. Life has been routine and mundane. But before I get going too much, I have to warn you all that the "r" key on my keyboard is being funny, so if a word is missing an "r," please bear with me and don't think I'm bad at spelling! Although I probably do plenty of that with any particular blog.
One thing on my mind lately is how long it's been since we've been back to Kansas. The last time we were back was the 4th of July! And yet time has FLOWN by since then and we've had so many of our friends and family come out that it doesn't seem like that long of time has passed. Anyhow, I am getting super excited for Christmas when we will have 5 whole days in Kansas! That is pretty impressive, considering the combination of Matt and my work schedules. :) I can't wait to see everyone.
I've been really busy with school, but I am really really enjoying it and I'm soaking up everything I can because I can use it at work too. I just finished a project on map projections, which was pretty basic stuff, but at the same time, just remembering all of it as a "refresher" really helps me put things into perspective at work. We also have weekly quizzes and chapter readings that really make me dust off my brain and think critically about things. My biggest irk is that I think our professor likes to try and trick us with the wording, but it could just be all the dust speaking. It is so nice to have one of my co-workers in the class too. Our discussions are very helpful to my success (so far) on everything.
And I can't sign off without talking about Matt and the dogs. Matt gets back tonight from one of his bi-monthly trips to Madison, WI. I have to say that I will be glad when these are over. The only realy benefit I get from him being gone is a couple evenings of distraction free time to focus on school. :) But when he is gone, it reminds me of the past year when he was on evenings and we rarely saw each other. Anyway, I'll stop my complaining now because he only has one trip left, at least this year.
Perdi is learning lots of things from her brother, Pongo, and not all of these are good habits. But by far one of the cutest is that she is learning to howl. Until a few days ago, she mostly just yipped and yapped. But one day, she was out on the deck and Pongo and I were howling together as we usually do. (I know, it sounds weird, but it's how he tells me he's mad at me for cooping him up all day.) Well Perdi started howling out on the deck when she heard us. And now she howls with Pongo and I when I get home in the afternoon. It cracks me up! I am such a sucker for the beagle howl. (Unless it is 11 pm and Pongo thinks he hears something we should know about.) Perdi can't howl very long before she starts coughing, which makes it that much cuter. I have to say that Perdi is smarter than I give her credit for, since she has been picking things up from Pongo lately. She just prefers to use her wisdom the destruction of things rather than to do tricks and other fun things. :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Scaredy Dogs

Our dogs are scared of cats. It's a fact of life. Pongo spotted a cat in our yard after we got home from a family walk last night. He howled and howled, but wouldn't go near it! I believe the reason for this is that he and Perdi were both exposed to our cats Zenda and Cali (who live in Manhattan) at young ages. Zenda promptly swatted them in the head when the curious puppies got too close to her. They have been scarred for life and scared of all felines ever since. Even metal ones.


video


They were getting braver by the time we took this video. I wish we had grabbed the camera sooner. It was so funny watching them run and howl at a metal cat decoration!

By the way, if you can't see it, there is a tennis ball underneath the cat that they are trying to work up the courage to snatch. I think we say something about it in the video, but it makes more sense if you know what they are trying to do.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Answer: Winter

The question I posed as the title of my last blog entry has been answered. It's winter! I'm sitting at my house this morning with a good cup of coffee and plenty of time for a good blog, which is somewhat rare these days (the time for blogging, not the coffee). It has been snowing constantly since about 7 pm tuesday night and continues to do so as I write. Needless to say, 14 inches of snow is nothing I want to drive in, 4WD or no.


The snow on our deck yesterday afternoon.


I took this picture when I got home from work yesterday. The roads actually weren't very bad yet (just wet) and I'm glad I got in a full day of work while I could!


This is the same exact bush this morning. I am usually pretty brave when it comes to the snow and getting to work since I live closer to the office than many of my co-workers. This was definitely enough snow to keep me home.


I know there are not 14 inches on top of the fence, but I don't think that much snow could even balance up there. Our fence is a 6 ft privacy fence, and granted the snow has drifted quite a bit up against it. But this is just crazy for the first "snow event" of the winter!


Our little grill is almost buried! We should probably take pity on it and move it into the garage.


Matt dug a path off the deck for the dogs. Our poor pups can barely see over the top of the snow when they get out in the yard! Pongo has it all figured out though. He knows where the ground slopes upward, so he heads that way and the snow only comes up to his chest there.


To illustrate what the road condidtions are like this morning, i took this picture of our street.


Sorry that this is a little out of order...I took this last night and thought it was a pretty cool picture with the snow falling.

This is a video of Perdi running around in the snow yesterday. She does love snow, but it makes her really hyper.

video

Perdi is stir crazy today. Luckily Matt took them to the dog park tuesday afternoon. I knew they wouldn't be able to get out and run for a couple days anyway. We took them for a walk/jog up to the Albertsons yesterday evening, but it's hard to really get anywhere by foot or car today, so we're trying to keep her subdued with bones, toys and playing fetch indoors. She has already gotten into many things, including one of Matt's ski gloves. :( She didn't do too much damage before I caught her though.

Well I do have to venture out today in a little while. I am scheduled to have my permanent crown put on and I don't want to delay that any longer. I want to be done with that dentist! Plus my temporary one is broken. Thank goodness the dentist is just down the street, I have 4WD, and the Denver road crews are working their magic clearing the streets as best as they can. I sure wish I could get one of them to come dig the car out of the garage though!

UPDATE: Matt had the day off already since he worked last weekend. He shoveled half the driveway so I could get out and go to the dentist. I made it there and back just fine, but my permanent crown didn't fit right so I have to go back AGAIN after they have it modified. It's days like this that made me so glad we own an SUV. The Highlander does very well in the snow but it is not infallable, as I learned a few weeks ago when I had trouble stopping on a downhill slope before the roads had been treated.

It is so nice to have some time to spend holed up with my husband and my dogs. I am also glad to have some extra time to work on a project that is due for my class on Tuesday. This snow is definitely a mixed blessing!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall or Winter?

We have had a pretty uneventful weekend here, which allowed me to get caught up on many of the things I have been meaning to do for weeks now. It was great to pick up Matt from the airport on Friday after his technologically challenged week. I wasn't sure how I was going to know when to leave the 45 minute parking area to pick him up, (we cheat and do our pick-ups at the departures place because arrivals is always a zoo) but I figured the worst thing that could happen was that I would circle the airport a few times until he showed up at our designated spot.
Our plan ended up being that Matt would call me from a pay phone, with the instructions for me not to answer so that he got his money back. :) I know, we are cheaters of the system, but it worked without a hitch! We had a nice evening in, since we were both exhausted from the week. I mustered up enough energy to make a steak dinner though, and then ended up having to clean up too because I was in trouble for watching the season premier of Grey's Anatomy without Matt. I couldn't help it...it was just taunting me to watch it on the DVR! So while Matt watched, I cleaned up and made brownies as a peace offering. :)
Saturday wasn't as relaxing as I would have hoped. Matt had to work and I am babysitting some image transfers at work, so I ended up going in for a while too. But before that I went running and took the dogs to the dog park so that they would be good for me at work (I usually bring them with me when I go in on the weekends.) It turns out that the dog park wasn't really necessary. While Pongo mildly enjoyed it as he usually does, Perdi was tired and lagging behind the whole time. She was so tired that she could barely make the jump back up into the Highlander when we were done. She slept the whole time we were at work too, which was when I knew something is definitely off with her. Usually, the dog park wakes her up and makes her hyper.
Question: Can dogs get colds? Can they get H1N1? Perdi has continued to sleep the ENTIRE weekend and she has major drainage from her nose. She also won't eat. This time, I am not making the mistake of going to the emergency vet. (It's not an emergency if she's just sweet and snuggly, right?) I figure we will just ride this one out and call the vet tomorrow if it's really necessary. I swear, our dogs see their doctor more than Matt and I do!
I have spent a good chunk of last night and tonight catching up on school work. I am really enjoying Penn State's program. It's paced much better and the materials are certainly way more relevant to my job. I can't fathom what kind of state of mind I would be in right now if I had continued with my Aeronautical Engineering class at Purdue.
Now, I will explain why I titled this post the way I did. This afternoon, I spent a delightful two hours raking up leaves in our front yard. It was a great afternoon to do it...the leaves were slightly damp but not soaked. (They were heavy enough that they were easy to grab without them flying all over the place.)
The funny thing was that it was pretty cold out and it was snowing off and on the entire time, which made me wonder if it is really fall or if we have moved straight into winter? We have already had a couple decent snows over the past two weeks. It just seems like it went from being in the 70's and 80's straight into the 40's and 50's. It's like we skipped a major interval in there!
Well anyway, the small-ish tree in our front yard somehow manages to produce an exorbinant amount of leaves and I filled 10 of those huge paper lawn and refuse bags, as well as one large rubbermaid trash barrell. At the end, I was starting to wonder if 10 bags were going to be enough or if I would have to run back to Home Depot for more. As soon as I was done raking, I went inside and took a shower to warm back up. I don't think I was in there for more than 20 minutes, but when I got out, i happened to notice that our skylight was covered in a layer of snow and it hadn't been before. (None of the previous snow sessions had really stuck.) Sure enough, I looked out the window and everything had been transformed into a winter wonderland in 30 minutes! I finished raking just in time, apparently. I took the opportunity to take a little nap on the couch under a pile of blankets with my sick little puppy.
All in all, I'd call it a productive weekend! I can't believe tomorrow is Monday already...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What did we do before cell phones?

If you are trying to get ahold of Matt and can't seem to reach him lately, please keep reading to find out why! If not, keep reading anyway! This is a pretty good story, at least in my mind.
It seems Matt and I can't do anything the simple way sometimes. As some of you may know, he is in Madison, WI for a few days of training for his new job. This week has turned out to be one of the longest weeks I can remember in a while. I'll tell you why:
As it starts out, Matt decided to charge his cell phone in the car during the drive to DIA. He left Tuesday evening, so I was able to drive him up there and drop him off. We were lucky when we got to the airport, as it wasn't very crowded at all in departures. I ran in to the terminal to use the restroom real quick as I knew I would hit bad traffic on the way home. When I got back, I said goodbye to Matt and headed home. As I was sitting in stop and go traffic on I-225, I heard a vibrating sound coming from the console. I looked down and saw Matt's phone, still on the charger. He was calling it from a pay phone. My heart immediately sank. I was already 20 minutes out from the airport and with a little over 40 minutes until his flight was sheduled to take off, I knew there was no way I could get turned around and back up to the airport and park with enough time to make sure he got his phone before the plane left. And even if I did, how would we get it through security?
I figured if I could find a post office before 6 pm, I could overnight the phone to him. But it was 5:45 and traffic wasn't moving at all. I knew I wouldn't make it to the post office by our house in time, so I got off the highway and drove around for a while looking for another one. I passed TWO PetCo's and three Wal-Marts, but not one post office. All in all, it was a frustrating and un-productive evening. I gave up and went home.
Soon, I started getting texts from Matt somehow. It turns out, he had downloaded a texting application on his i-Pod. Well that was a start...we are used to communicating through texts after the past year. At least he could text me when he landed and got to the hotel so I could call him there.
The solution couldn't possibly be as simple as an iPod texting app. Sure enough, yesterday Matt's iPod goofed up and won't work again until it hooks up to his own home computer. He could try to hook it up to the laptop he is borrowing from the hospital, but since he didn't login to it while it was on the hospital's network, it doesn't recognize his username and passwork. He can't even use the laptop! He is locked out of it. Are you all laughing by now? :)
Poor Matt. He has no way to entertain himself in the evening, except the TV in his room and the computer in the hotel lobby. I know he has also been out walking/running around the hotel. He walked to Target last night and said he was ALMOST tempted to buy a Netbook. It's probably best that he didn't though...with his luck with technology this week, we wouldn't want to ruin a brand new laptop somehow!
Not being able to talk or at least text him has made this week drag. I hate knowing that I can't get ahold of him if I really need him and I miss getting a quick text every now and again from him, telling me what he is up to.
SO, if you can't get ahold of Matt, this should explain why. Don't worry, he is doing fine and enjoying his training. But all of this has really made me ponder how we even functioned before cell phones!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In A Blink

Well I blinked and half of October passed by. How is it possible for time to pass so quickly sometimes? My best guess is it's because we've had so many awesome visitors in the past couple weeks. So guess what? Another huge picture purge is awaiting you later in this post.
I must say, with my lack of posts lately, I feel like I have been getting away from keeping you all updated with the events going on. I put up pictures way late, after I have forgotten many of the things I meant to say. I am hoping that after Matt and I get in to more of a routine with our new schedule, I'll be able to update with more regularity and more detail. Right now, I am trying desperately to cling to the things that are high on my priority list (primarily school and daily running) and adding things like cooking dinner and making sure that the dogs get plenty of excersize since they are cooped up a lot more now. I find that by the time all is said and done, it is so easy to put off a quick blog post in exchange for a relaxing hour of TV time or even just falling into a dead sleep in the comfort of my bed. :)

So, without further ado about my shortcomings as a blogger, here are some pictures as of late.

Two weekends ago, Amanda came out for a weekend in Denver. Apparently, we only documented her trip on Liz's camera...I only had four pictures on Matt's that were post-worthy. But I definitely love this one. I love that we are all still friends after all these years.


We spent an evening at Dave and Buster's, which is basically an arcade for adults. Matt and Liz's friend Tristan (pictured here) enjoyed this virtual game of some sort. Matt won 430 tickets playing Deal or No Deal. And it turns out that if he had kept going, he would have won 800 tickets! I only wish I had that kind of luck!

The next day, we took a drive up in the mountains because it had been cloudy and cold and I was determined for Amanda to see the mountains. Well even up in them, you couldn't see much. It was so cold, as you can tell. But Amanda and I still dipped our toes in the water.


It was actually really cool to see a layer of frost (not snow!) all over the trees. It was kind of an eerie sort of pretty. Matt and I had never seen anything like it yet out here, but we don't usually take that drive any other time of the year but summer.
We also spent quite a bit of time downtown eating, talking, and getting pedicures at the most random hole-in-the wall nail place that possibly exists in Denver. But my toes STILL look pretty, which is awesome. Other highlights include going to a movie and watching the KU football game on TV while wrapped up in blankets. Poor Amanda...she really didn't get to see much "nice" weather the whole weekend.
I know this is a pathetic write-up of her visit. Like I said, the detailed posts are something I really need to work on. I write it all in my head as I experience things, and then it all escapes because I don't blog fast enough! Oh well, we had a fantastic weekend all in all.
We had another visitor last weekend. Anne, my roommate from college, came out primarily for the KU-CU football game in Boulder. Just call us Hotel Millard!
Apparently, we didn't take any pictures at our tailgate either. But it was because we were too busy having fun. Carlene, Nick, Becky (our 4th roommate my junior year), Becky's friend Christy, Dave, Mary, Todd and others all showed up to show their KU spirit. Unfortunately, KU lost a heartbreaking game. That definitely put a damper on the evening.

Sunday before Anne left, we went up to the mountains, again on our favorite drive into Golden, along Clear Creek. The weather was much more cooperative at 70 degrees! The river was beautiful and sparkly.


...except Anne had an unfurtunate encounter with the creek when a rock she was standing on tilted as she stepped off of it. :(


After lunch at Woody's in Golden, we drove up to Lookout Mountain above Golden. We got some great pictures and saw some fantastic views. I love this one of Matt. He looks like he's the king of the world!


Me, above Golden.


We tried on some funny hats in the gift shop at Buffalo Bill's grave. I laughed so hard I cried when Anne put on this one.


Anne "Annie Oakley" is shooting at me, "Buffalo Bill" here. I was supposed to be looking scared, but's more of a mean face.

Matt let me be Annie in this one. I think my head looks abnormally large though. :)
I am so fortunate to have so many friends come out and visit lately. It's wonderful to see familiar faces...we haven't been home to Kansas since July! Poor Matt though...I think he is ready for some male company after having so many girls around. :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Strange and Good

Matt has been home at night for almost a week now and I thought I would share some of my thoughts on how we've been doing so far. Needless to say, I am so happy that our schedules match up better, allowing us to spend more time together. It will take some time for this to feel "normal" to me though. My mind keeps thinking this is just short term. We have made the best of our evenings, with a trip to the dog park and lots of catching up on past seasons of shows we used to watch together. (I can't believe I missed a whole season of Grey's Anatomy! It's SOOO good!)
Other than that, not a lot has changed on my end. I have continued to run and do a lot of my normal evening routines (like messing around on Facebook). We have been cooking dinner and eating in together every night so far, which i absolutely love. I have not had much motivation to cook evening meals for the past year. It seemed silly to cook for myself, even though Matt enjoys leftovers. I can tell I am going to run out of dinner ideas quickly, so I better start browsing all of my cookbooks and recipes from the wedding/showers for some new ideas.
The dogs are not as happy with the new arrangement. They have to spend a lot more time in their kennels, although we are going to spoil them and let them socialize at doggy day care once a week. That's where they are today because Matt and I have a softball league game tonight and we didn't want to confine them all day and evening. They seem to be fine as long as they get out the park when we get home. Pongo has seemed a bit depressed ever since Matt and I started business traveling in August. He worries me...he's such a smart and emotional dog.
I am wondering if we will even will end up having our softball game tonight...it's cloudy, misty and forecasted to snow today and tonight! I love Denver...three weeks ago it was sunny and mid 80's! Now it's practically winter. I can't wait to ski!
I guess if you want to hear more about our new lives/schedules, you will have to pester Matt to write a post of his own here. I know he likes his job so far, and I am really hoping it continues to be that way. The best way to describe things right now is strange and good.
I may be posting again this evening...I have an appointment with my horrible dentist this afternoon to hopefully finish my crown. Hopefully it goes better this time and I come home with no stories to blog about. (I.e., her accidentally drilling my tongue instead of my tooth, like last time.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Festivals and Races

Here is a quick post of some highlights from the past couple weekends.


On Sept. 26, we had fun attending the Great American Beer Festival. Uncle John sent us some tickets to the Members' Only afternoon session and we had a blast. We hung out at the Boulevard booth a lot, but we also sampled many other good brews and some not so good ones as well! There was just about every type of beer, and every flavor to try. For example, Matt had a peanut butter beer...I wasn't brave enough to try it!

This past Sunday, we participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. First off, I really want to thank Bill, Barbara and Arlene for donating to this excellent cause. You all gave us extra motivation to get up out of our warm bed at 5 am on Sunday morning and head downtown to run the 5K.
It was REALLY cold before the sun came up, which was right about the time the race started at 7 am. We wore our sweats and coats for as long as possible, but eventually we had to depart with them. Thank goodness one of Matt's co-workers knew one of the vendors, so we could leave our stuff safely in a tent.
Here is our group of 5K runners after the run. The capes are kind of a funny story. We went to a booth before the run and the people told us to do something goofy and they would give us the capes. So Matt did a cartwheel in the middle of Auraria Parkway (it was blocked off from traffic). So the 5 of us ran in our pink capes.

There were 62, 000 participants in the run, walk and family walk, which all took place at different times, thank goodness. The run alone was hard because we didn't even start running for the first few minutes due to the course being so crowded! They shut down an entire section of downtown Denver for this event. At one point, we were even running on an on/off ramp for I-25! That sure is something that doesn't happen every day!


We took the light rail so that we didn't have to mess with parking. There were many other riders dressed in pink as well. They had extra trains lined up to accomodate all of the people!

I had so much fun at the race. I am definitely going to participate in it again next year!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October Welcome

I am having a hard time believing that it is already October! This whole year has passed so quickly! The weather seems to have changed in sync with the month...the high today is 51 here and I broke out my first sweater of the season to wear to work! The wind started picking up last night as Liz and I left the Rockies game and continued through the night. In fact, the wind gave us quite a scare this morning.
After my shower, I got the dogs up to take them out to potty. As I walked down the stairs, I sensed that something wasn't quite right. It was cold and drafty and I could hear the wind very clearly. When I got to the entryway, I saw that both of our front doors were standing wide open! I got really freaked out and thought someone had broken in, and that there was someone in the house so I ran back upstairs and woke up Matt.
Well it turns out that everything was fine, and the wind blew the doors open. Matt deadbolted them back in place and went back to bed. I am very thankful that we live in such a safe neighborhood. But I was still shaking even as I drove to work a half hour later. Who knows how long those doors were standing wide open!
What a crazy morning...I'm looking forward to a breezy walk in the dog park this afternoon followed by a quiet, cozy evening at home.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Final Countdown

This week marks the final week of Matt and I working opposite shifts! We have been planning all of the things we are going to do together once we finally have our evenings back. Among these include making dinner together, watching Thursday night TV, working out/running, (I am hoping Matt will inspire me to lift weights because I am doing pretty well by myself in the running department) and GOING TO BED BEFORE 11 PM! The going to bed earlier part is what I am particularly looking forward to, besides just getting to spend more time with Matt in general.
The dogs are going to be unhappy for a while. It's going to be an adjustment for them to be in their kennels during the day. In preparation of this, we bought Pongo a bigger kennel. He still has had some issues with his kennel, so we thought a bigger one might help. I really just wish we could leave them out around the house. I still think that day will come eventually. As for now, it seems I can't even leave them alone in the yard for 30 minutes!
When i got back from my run tonight, I found our neighbors' son desperately trying to grab on to Pongo while Perdi tried to dig herself out from under the gate. Apprently, a cord of wood and a large blue trash can stacked up against the gate can't even keep our dogs in the yard! They dug under the gate, moved the trash can and ran all the way around the block to our backyard neighbors' house. And this is the second time in a week it has happened. There is no containing those beagles.
Matt and I signed up to do the Race for the Cure on Sunday. We will be getting up early to run a 5k and support a good cause. I hope that all my 5k training pays off, but it will be fun to get up and join in the fun. Really, I just want get a better time than Matt. :) The thing I am most excited for this run is that the race takes places downtown at the Pepsi Center, so the trail is bound to be nice and FLAT!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Nashville!

A little over a week ago, I got back from a fabulous weekend in Nashville! I went out to visit Amanda, one of my very best friends from high school (and that still stands today, of course!) and her sister, Megan. They had all kinds of plans for my weekend visit. I collected lots of pictures to share since it was my first time to ever visit Nashville.

Friday, we did some sight seeing. This is one of the signature buildings in the skyline. It's nicknamed the "batman" building. I thought it was awesome and I have several pictures of it.
Another view of batman's towers. :)



This is more of downtown Nashville, where a lot of the "honky tonks" are. The Stage is a pretty famous one. I must say that all of the groups I heard playing could have fooled me for big-time country acts. Even a girl singing in a karaoke bar sounded like a pro!



Did you know that they moved the Parthenon to Nashville? Just kidding...but it's an exact replica!

These next couple pictures are of strange/interesting random things I spotted around town.

Huh? I've surely never seen a speed limit of 24 before!

A gas pump had a boulevard sticker on it!



I came home with some genuine cowboy boots. But before I got them home, I HAD to wear them out to the bars!

Singin along to some country tunes...so much fun! It's fun to go out and hear some country music once in a while, but they played other stuff too!


Me and Manda...I miss her!

Megan and her boyfriend Jim were so much fun! Jim was a great sport and drove us girls around town and Megan invited all of her buddies go out with us on Friday night so that we had a big fun group! It was awesome and all of her friends are very nice...and super smart! (They are all in the doctoral program at Vanderbilt.)
Saturday, we attended a wine festival on the river. It was a gorgeous day in general...



...with the exception of some intermittent showers. Good thing we had the ponchos!

The view was incredible...the river below us and the skyline around us! And the wine was fantastic too. :)


Other highlights of the weekend were touring the Grand Ole Opry at Opryland, having breakfast with Becky, a friend/roommate from college, sampling sushi and watching line dancers and live music at the Wild Horse Saloon downtown. I honestly can't figure out how people know how to line dance. I am lucky I figured out how to do the Electric Slide! I was very impressed.


Amanda is coming out for a Denver visit in two weeks, so the pressure is on to top the fun weekend I had in Nashville when she comes out here! I am so excited for her visit. It is awesome that we get to spend a weekend together two months in a row! Thanks for a fantastic weekend, Manda and Megan!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Cute One

By popular request, I am going to post a photo from two weekends ago. Actually, I asked Matt to post these since they are on his camera/computer, but he didn't get to it before he left. In his defense, he did have to work and take care of the dogs since I was away in Nashville this past weekend. I am working on a post from my trip, but in the mean time, enjoy these photos!




Let's play a game: In the above picture, which of these "people" do not belong?


If you guessed this one, you are correct! It was the funniest thing. Pongo decided he wanted some French toast too, so the second Matt got up to clear his plate, Pongo hopped up in his chair! But he just sat there and waited, like someone was going to serve him a plate. He was very patient and polite. If he could talk, I bet he would have even said "please." I think that dog thinks he is TOO human sometimes. It's our fault...we spoil our dogs. But we do not let them sit at the table, or even eat human food for that matter, so this was pretty entertaining.



Perdi thinks she is a human as well. She curled up in the freshly made guest bed and even laid her head on the pillow. What are we going to do with these guys?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Visitors and a Legacy

It was fun to have Arlene and Ron out here for a couple days last weekend! Of course I didn't take enough pictures, but we just relaxed most of the time. They got here Friday a little before noon. It was a gorgeous sunny day, only around 72 degrees out. I couldn't stand to sit at work and since I already had quite a bit of overtime, I took off around 1 pm. We ended up taking a walk through the dog park to enjoy the weather. Perdi made us all laugh with her yelping as she chased Pongo around. She's quite loud when she gets going, but it's cute.

I made one of our favorite chicken/pasta dinners Friday night after we went to do a little wine tasting. We also had fresh bread from the bread machine, which I enjoy making but don't do enough of it!

I was ready for bed at 9:45 pm, which is pretty early for me. But after the wine and the food, my body was craving sleep! Saturday, we drove Ron and Arlene around Denver to show them where we work. We also had lunch at Pat's, our favorite cheesesteak restaurant. We watched some football in the afternoon and then went downtown on the light rail for dinner at the Chop House. It was SOOO good. Very fancy too.

They left Sunday before noon, after a breakfast of French toast. We sent them off with a bag of snacks for the road. :) It was a bit of a role-reversal, as Matt and I are usually the ones who get the breakfast and bag of food before we drive back to Denver.

Sunday afternoon, I went for a run and noticed that the tall mountains were capped with snow. It is becoming one of my favorite things to see the first snow in the mountains from town. I was very excited...ski season will be upon us soon!

The other excitement of the weekend is that I won in BOTH of my fantasy football leagues. It was pretty close in one of them...but it is pretty uncommon that I win so much right off the bat. I hope this keeps up!
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I have been captivated lately by the death of Senator Ted Kennedy, so I thought I would write a bit about my thoughts on this tonight. I know his death occurred a couple weeks ago, but the health care debate has been raging on since then and he was such a huge proponent of health care reform.

I have never before been really captivated by the whole Kennedy family, at least not to the degree that our parents' generation was. I am mostly claiming ignorance here...I just have never done much research on the Kennedy's. Most of their tragedies occurred before I was born. In fact, I didn't even know that Ted was the youngest of the Kennedy brothers! How sad is that.

I have been learning much about Ted and the Kennedy family lately, after reading an article in People Magazine about senator Kennedy's life. He is also a pretty common topic in some of the podcasts I am listening to, which I am a couple weeks behind in. Of particular interest to me is the fact that Ted Kennedy had been a senator for 46 years. This is incomprehensible to me. The man had been in office for 20 years already when I was BORN!

I know he had many downfalls, including the whole incident at Chappaquiddick and lots of drinking problems. But I was touched to hear about his compassion for the sick and uninsured people of the U.S., and that he really got involved in health care reform when his son Ted, Jr. was sick with cancer. He met many people who couldn't afford their health care, and felt so grateful that he could afford health care for Ted Jr's cancer treatment, that he devoted the rest of his senatorial career to fixing health care in America. In addition, Ted Kennedy also helped some people pay for their medical treatments from his own pocket.

I am really glad that I have taken a few hours lately to research and learn about the Kennedys. I think I understand more about the fascination previous generations had with the family. I have definitely been swept up in it as of late. I can't help but feel that with Ted Kennedy's death (and Eunice Kennedy Shriver's death a few weeks ago), the end of a major political legacy has come. However, I do hope that our leaders continue to dilligently work on the issues with our health care system in the near future with the same passion as Senator Kennedy has done for the past 46 years.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Yale Alum

I hope you all enjoyed Alissa's guest blog. I certainly did, and I hope she comes back soon (to visit and to blog)!

Matt and I got back safely on Monday after a wonderful 3 day camping trip to the Collegiate Peaks. If any of you fellow Coloradans (or anyone for that matter) out there have not experienced this area, let me tell you that it is absolutely one of the most beautiful areas of Colorado that there is to see.

Saturday, we got to our campsite around noon and got everything set up. We had a whole afternoon ahead of us, so we decided to go for a 6.5 mile hike with the dogs. I am kicking myself for forgetting the name of the trail. It was a beautiful hike, and not overly strenuous. Here are a few pictures. Most of them are of me because Matt takes much better pictures than I do with his camera. :)




Perdi basically pulled me along the entire way. She has so much energy. But more on that in a little bit...


There was a beautiful lake at the top, but we didn't stay long because of the impending storm clouds. Even I won't tempt mother nature on top of a mountain.

Saturday night, we went to bed pretty early because we had a big hike ahead of us Sunday: Mt. Yale, elevation 14, 202 ft!



I wasn't sure if we would finish the hike because of the dogs. I didn't know if they could make it up a 14,000 ft peak. This is the top of Yale, before we got above tree line.


They have had the Lepto vaccination, so we let them drink from the stream.



As soon as we broke through the tree line, the views were INCREDIBLE. It was like we were literally on top of the world. You could see forever.

The summit of Mt. Yale, covered in clouds.

Still hanging in there after, a couple hours in.

We were literally scrambling up rocks and dirt to get to the top. It took us 4 hours, but we finally got close to the top. We still had some bouldering to do after we got to this point. The dogs were doing pretty good at climbing over the rocks, but when we got about 25 feet from the very very top, I started getting really freaked out. I was clinging to these rocks and all I could see around me was sky and mountains in the distance.
I don't usually get scared of heights, but I guess I learned that when there is nothing around to catch me if I fall, I freeze up. I know I was also worried about Pongo and Perdi falling off the mountain, so that didn't help at all.


Mt. Harvard was covered in storms. This is exactly what you DON'T want to get stuck in. Mt. Princeton looked about the same. We were lucky....Yale was clear when we got to the top. But we didn't stay too long because the storms were moving fast.
We did manage to eat a quick lunch and rest our legs for a few minutes. I knew I couldn't make it back down without some nourishment and some rest. It was an intense hike, to say the least.
Here we are at the top...beagles and all! I was so proud of them for making it to the top. I could see that Pongo was getting tired. He would sit or lay down whenever we stopped for a break. Perdi, on the other hand, pulled us to the top. Which ever one of us was holding her leash would get way ahead of the other. When we tried to stop and catch our breath, she was tugging at her leash to keep on going! I could not believe how much energy she had. This was one time I was happy to have her instead of Pongo (who is ususally better on the leash).

View looking down from the top of Yale.

Anybody know what this little guy is?


On the way down, we had to let Perdi off her leash. She was tugging so hard that she was making Matt lose his balance. She was excited for the freedom and discovered a marmont on some rocks! It was "chirping" (that's the best description I can come up with) at her. She didn't quite know what to think about this weird creature that kept taunting her. I did not want her going near it (I don't know how aggressive they are), so we finally got her back on the leash. It was still cool to get to see a marmont so close up.
In all, the hike to the top and back down took us 6.5 hours including breaks. We were so tired when we got back and immediately hopped in the tent for a nap.
I guess it takes a 1/2 day hike to the top of a 14,000 ft tall mountain to really wear Perdi out. But she was TIRED.
I am still incredibly sore from the hike 3 days later. I went for a run yesterday thinking that it would help. I didn't feel much pain during the run, but the moment I got home, the pain returned. I haven't been this sore since the first time we skiied last November. Hopefully skiing won't hurt so much now.
It was sad to leave the campsite. I couldn't help but think that it is probably our last campout of the summer. I love camping in the mountains so much. Especially in the Collegiate Peaks at 10,000 feet.
This week, Matt and I are preparing for a visit from Arlene and Ron. They will get here Friday and stay for the weekend. We can't wait to show them our (hopefully clean) house and our favorite places around Denver! Speaking of which...I better get back to the house. This is a great opportunity for de-cluttering and getting out the fall decoractions!