the fam comes to visit

A couple of weekends ago, my parents and Mysteridge came to visit Danny and me in Colorado Springs!  It was the first time they’d come since we got married in January, aside from the time my parents brought a carload of boxes I’d left at their house one day (also in January).

Danny and I met my parents for a picnic and a hike at Castlewood Canyon State Park, which is about 35 minutes from our house.  My family had been there before, but it was about ten years ago.

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 I love how the trail winds along the creek, and how peaceful it is.  There are bunches of big rocks all around the creek, which are good for climbing and jumping and, of course, taking pictures.  We’d love to come back when it’s a bit warmer and wade in the water – at least where it’s shallow!

DSC06180^^Look at my cute parents!  And matching too!  ^^

We were on a trail to “the falls,” which we struggled to find as it was a little bit hidden…and maybe a little bit small too.

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The Castlewood Canyon Dam, which burst in 1933, is located along the trail, and is really something.  My pictures don’t do it justice, but looking at it up close and imagining building it with only manual labor makes it even more amazing.  When it burst, it sent a 15-foot wave all the way to downtown Denver.  Can you believe that?!

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Some of my favorite family memories involve camping and hiking together.  I despised being outdoors during some of my teen years, but now I long to relive some of those moments and hope that just because I’m married those trips are not a thing of years past.

DSC06192  After our time at Castlewood Canyon, we drove to our apartment.  Shortly afterwards, Mysteridge arrived from his baseball game (he’s a coach for his old high school team now.  Pretty cool, huh?), just in time to help us make dinner ;)  (Just kidding.  My mom and I took care of that.)

We enjoyed a walk on the path beside our house that Danny and I just adore.  I can hardly believe that just steps from our apartment is a peaceful, quiet, and undisturbed area, full of ponds, trees, and marshland.  We even saw a beaver there once!  I couldn’t wait to introduce the area to my family, since we (already) have so many fond memories (and pictures taken) of it.

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We wrapped up the evening with a couple of games of Awkward Family Photos.  I honestly didn’t think it would be a hit with my family, since it’s kind of a strange game.  However, I was so wrong.  These were the best (and most comical) rounds of the game I’ve ever played!  Seriously, these people are funny!  Now I know where I get it  ;)

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Sunday morning I made 18 of our favorite (vegan) doughnuts while Danny and Mysteridge made oars for the afternoon rafting adventure they had planned.

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We made it to church on time, shockingly (my parents are a very good influence), and endured a rather strange Mother’s Day sermon…that’s enough on that for now.  A nice lunch at Red Robin followed (by the way, if you haven’t tried their Gardenburger, you should.  D and I both had it, and it’s excellent.  I should add that I am not 100% sure it is vegan, though).

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My parents left shortly after lunch to meet my grandparents’ for some Mother’s Day ice cream on their way home.  Mysteridge stayed, though, much to our delight.  First on the agenda after my parents left: raft trip.  For their maiden voyage, Danny and Mysteridge chose the pond closest to our house on the nature path.

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DSC06222 ^ See that carnation on the front of the raft?  My mom received it at church in honor of Mother’s Day, and we (and by we I mean Mysteridge and Danny) taped it on the front and christened the ship the SS Nancy (my mom’s name) in commemoration of the day. ^

 That evening we ate leftovers, played a couple of games of Bananagrams, and watched “The Blind Side.”

Monday morning I had normal life to attend to (volunteering at Compassion and a massage appointment – rough life, right?).  Mysteridge and I met D for lunch on the beautiful (no joke) patio at his place of employment before we took off for the zoo.  The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, that is.  I have been to a lot of zoos (probably 25+), thanks to my awesome parents, but y’all, this zoo is at the top of my list.  It rocks.  And guess who gave me a MEMBERSHIP TO THE ZOO for my birthday?!  That’s right.  My in-laws.  Keith and Susie, you know me so very well.  Talk about a gift that keeps on giving.

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  ^ Yep.  You totally get to feed the giraffes at this zoo (If you cough up $2 for three crackers).^

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^ Look at that elephant!  They just got a whole new enclosure (inside and out) and they even do ‘demos,’ according to some signs.  Umm…what?  My personal thoughts are that this could include elephant rides and/or jumping through hoops.  Emily + Hendon, get ready for some sweet times at the zoo.

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^ Coolest bro at the zoo.  Especially since he didn’t act embarrassed that I was wearing bright purple pants. ^

DSC06259 ^ Aren’t the views stellar?!  We couldn’t find anyone without a stroller full of kids to take a photo of us, so we resorted to the outstretched arm method.  Good thing Mysteridge has the arm span of a wandering albatross. ^

Other highlights from the zoo that I do not have quality photos of: the bear brawl, the mountain lion feeding, the moose encounter, the rhino demo, and the one-handed monkeys.

Mysteridge and I picked up sauce and salad for dinner (to add to the noodles I already had, just so you don’t think I fed Mysteridge and Danny spaghetti sauce on a bed of spinach).  It was lazy, but good.

If you’ve already seen the nature path, you can’t leave our house without a visit to Fox Run Regional Park.  So naturally that’s where we went next.  There was some sort of massive bash going on at the park so we meandered through the forest and along the ponds to the sounds of Carly Rae Jepsen, One Direction, and other popular pop acts.

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^ See, I told you I was wearing purple pants.  ^

Tuesday morning I left to surprise my sweet friend Amanda, who had just jetted in the night before from spending the semester in London, while Mysteridge mentally prepared for his impending doom.

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 ^ Yep, Mysteridge had surgery.  His fifth in two years, in fact.  This is when he was still ‘with it’ and looking lively.  I’m reserving the rest for ammo in the future.  (JK.)  ^

Despite the fact that our adventures ended with some time under the knife, we had a stellar time with my family.  I am so thankful that they came to visit and got to experience a bit our life.  They were able to see our church, meet some of our friends, walk through the library where I volunteer, and look at our hot tub (we would’ve soaked in it, but thanks to some rowdy folks holding a small bash in it, we thought it in our best interest to stay away and go to sleep instead).   So, Mom, Dad, and Mysteridge, I charge you: please come visit again soon!  You are fun and cool and my favorite people ever (along with Danny, of course).

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