It’s official: LONDON here we come!

It is with great, great pleasure that I can finally confirm that this upcoming September, Danny and I are going to London and Paris!!!  I’ve been giving this trip lots of time and attention as I’ve been reading guidebooks, looking for flights, and plotting about how I’ll meet Kate, and now it’s really real, thanks to (accidentally) finding flights for $600 less than I was hoping/planning to pay.

Four years ago…

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153 days!!

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What I Learned in March

It’s (past) that time again.  March was a nice month but I am so thankful to welcome spring now.  Here’s a couple of things I learned in March, plus some pictures I found hanging out on my camera…

  • I figured out where the Maldives are (Thank you Will and Kate for going on a holiday that attracted a lot of attention -including mine – and led me to expand my knowledge of world geography.)
  • I can’t do green milk.  On St. Patrick’s Day we added green food coloring to Danny’s cereal. He wanted me to try it (even though I had the same cereal, sans food coloring), and call me picky, but I just couldn’t.

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  • I am not as good at computer things as I once thought.  This whole ‘using-a-Mac-as-my-primary-computer’ thing is really throwing me off.  I haven’t figured out how to put pictures from my camera to the computer, but I can put them straight from the camera to the blog, so that’s something.  And because I know y’all have been wondering, I still can’t scroll up and down very well.  I would say that one out of ten tries is successful.
  • The Air Force Academy Chapel is so beautiful.  I mean, I can see it from every window of our apartment, but still.  Every time I go inside I just want to drop to my knees.

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  • After a couple of very busy weeks and weekends in a row, we took a Sunday off to stay home and do very little beyond reading and resting.  I have since figured out that this is my idea of a really fantastic day.
  • Having your mom come visit is the best ever.  It’s one thing to go visit your parents, but it’s another to have them come and be a part of your life.  It’s just really special and I love it a lot.  Especially when giraffes are involved.

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  • I need to back up my stuff.  My computer stuff.  All the time.  And I will never, ever regret doing so because it will be worth it…because as I learned for the second time in nine months, computers fail.
  • Shark shorts make people do silly things.  Enough said.

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  • Taxes aren’t as bad as they sound.  Especially if you don’t have to do them yourself (thanks, Danny!), and you don’t owe the government any money.
  • Danny is a Bananagrams champ.  I mean, look at those words!  He always acts like he doesn’t like Bananagrams, says he never wins when he does play, blah blah blah.  But seriously, quintuplet?  Adroit?  Since when is that even a word?

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  • My trip was half in February, half in March, so I can still say it: Mexico isn’t as scary as some people like to make it seem.  Remember that quick weekend jaunt to Chihuahua I took with my co-worker?  I never felt unsafe and I really enjoyed seeing a new place.  Which leads me to…
  • If I’m given an opportunity to travel, I’m going to take it.  Not always will you be able to go somewhere for three days for under $10 (which is how my trip to Mexico turned out), but nonetheless, I don’t think I’ve ever regretted traveling, whether to another country for a couple of months (hello, China) or to a town 25 minutes down the highway from us (that’s you, Castle Rock).

Thanks, March, for the good times.  Hello there, April, with your pretty weather mixed with random snow storms.  You can stay as long as you like.

weird situations i have encountered lately

I started writing yesterday and just couldn’t figure out where to start.  I mean, it’s been like two weeks since I’ve been around these parts.

But then last night happened.  And now I at least know where to start.

A couple weeks ago we got together with some friends of Danny’s from high school.  Just a casual meet up at a casual restaurant.  I even knew one of the girls because – small world – we had a few classes together in college.

It went well and the powers that be decided that we should get together again – for a game night I believe? – but somehow it turned into a sit down restaurant, which would be followed by hanging out a coffee shop in a nearby mountain town.

Danny and I skipped out on dinner but went to the sit down restaurant’s parking lot to carpool to the coffee shop.  The friends were nowhere to be found…turns out Danny and I’s lack of Facebook-capable-phones meant we missed out on the latest memo: meet at Leah’s house -it was apparently too cold to leave town.

(And in case you haven’t guessed, Leah isn’t a real name.  I mean, it is, but it’s not the name of anyone involved in this story.  I care about privacy which is why I made up the name Leah.)

I wasn’t thrilled with this development, as Leah wasn’t a part of the first meet up (the casual one at the casual restaurant) and I felt weird going to the home of someone I had never met.  And as we drove I realized that unless Leah was incredibly wealthy for 23-year-old, we were going to her parents’ house.  Even more weird.

Anyways, we drove a short distance to get to Leah’s parents’ house.  The first thing I noticed was that we should have driven our sports car.  Our Camry just didn’t quite fit in with everything else that was parked on the street.

We knocked on the door that was at least twice my height and two girls from the first meet up answered the door.  The look in their eyes gave me a hint of what was to come.

We turned the corner out of the entryway into a haze.  It seemed we had unknowingly walked into some sort of hookah bar disguised as a home.  In my mind I pictured myself turning around, realizing we were at the wrong house, walking out, and having a good laugh.  But no.

For the next hour, we pretended like nothing weird was going on even though inside I was screaming, “WHAT IS GOING ON?!  THIS IS NOT WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR.”

At one point Leah’s mother walked in the front door.  I saw what was coming next: “WHAT IS GOING ON?  WHAT IS THAT (the whole hookah set up and everything else that was going on)?  WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?”

Unfortunately that did not happen.  She just asked us to move so she could make herself dinner.  We (haze included) moved downstairs.

I honestly don’t know what else to say except that it was really awkward.  And, for my mother and grandmother and co-workers who may be reading, no I did not take part in the activities that were going on.  Danny and I, along with the two girls who were at the first meet up, stuck out like sore thumbs.  For more reasons than one.

In summary, it was really something.

Speaking of weird things we’ve done lately, let’s talk about vegan prom.

Apparently it’s an annual event that a vegan market in Denver puts on at the Mercury Cafe.  I found out about it a couple of days before it was held, and thought it sounded fun.  So, Danny and I made arrangements to attend and started getting excited.  I mean, it’s not very often that we get to go dancing together and eat tons of free vegan food!  Or at least that’s what the pictures told me would happen…

It didn’t take long for me to realize that I was lacking gauges in my ears and/or an unusual hair color (pink, purple, blue, you name it) and/or an alternative lifestyle…and thus didn’t quite fit in with the average vegan prom attendee.

(Although now that I think about it, being vegan is sort of an alternative lifestyle, but whatever.  For the purposes of this event it was not alternative.)

The food was waaaaay lamer than the pictures had led us to believe, and we didn’t really fit in (we are just so clean-cut and mainstream, at least on the outside), and the music was a live band that played mostly 80’s music I didn’t know/care existed, but we ended up having fun anyways.

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I mean, I had a hot date with SWEET dance moves and even wore heels the whole night…does it get any better?

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I’d venture to say no.

I’ll be back soon with What I Learned in March, which I can assure you doesn’t involve anything weird.

Unless you count looking forward to the Royal Tour with the same excitement as counting down to your wedding day.  In that case…it may be weird.

how did you get here?

After figuring out a couple of weeks ago that at least one person has ended up on this blog because they were searching for an answer to a specific question or they wanted to learn something about a certain topic, I took a closer look.  Turns out this is a widespread issue.  Take a look at some of the search terms people have used to (unintentionally, I think) get to this blog…

The People That Probably Felt Really Deceived Once They Started Reading:

  • “I want to break my foot”
  • “Something cool”
  • “Pretty wife”
  • “Reception ladies”
  • “We had a praise night”

The People That Definitely Didn’t Find What They Were Looking for:

  • “Pinterest fall adult birthday party”
  • “Do panda bears play in freezing cold water?” …I wish I knew the answer to this.
  • “Groupon Glenwood Springs”
  • “Colorado cemetery waterfall”
  • “Brownies with Rolos in the middle”
  • “Wedding cakes at King Soopers”
  • “Vegan pumice stone”

And The People I Will Never Be Able to Help:

  • “A friend said no to being a bridesmaid”
  • “Where can I watch the long weekend beginning”
  • “Can skunk marijuana smell up the entire neighborhood?” …my personal favorite. Now I have to Google skunk marijuana, because what?!
  • “Used bucking chutes” …I’m sorry, what are these again?

So there you go.  If you are one of the people that ended up here and didn’t find what you were looking for, I hope you at least find solace in knowing that you’re not the only one.  You are clearly in good company.  And I am going to take this opportunity to highly recommend Wikipedia to you as well.

this week

What is going on around here?  I got so good at posting there for, like, two weeks, and then, bam!  Life happens and I don’t think I have anything cool to write about, and so I don’t.

But really, I write this so I can remember our everyday life, both the big, exciting, crazy things and the little, funny, not-so-important-in-the-long-run things.

Like how I knew our building was about to get painted.

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(We live on the third floor.)

As I was taking this picture, I was thinking two things: one, what if he turns my way and sees me taking this picture.  That will be so weird.  And now he knows where I live!  And two, that is a long ways off the ground, and he is acting like it’s no big deal.  I hope I do not scare him and he falls to his death.  Thankfully, neither of those things happened, at least as far as I know.

This happened on Tuesday and then yesterday it snowed and the painting operations came to a halt.  They probably figured their ladders couldn’t get a good grip in the inch of snow we got.  Seeing how the snow is basically all gone by now, I think they may resume today.

Also on Tuesday, I texted Danny and asked how his trip to Goodwill was.  (I had just checked our Wells Fargo account and saw that $9.67 had just been given to Goodwill.)  He said, “Good!  I got 2 pairs of shoes for under $10!)  I replied, “Will they last for more than 2 days?”  Seemed like a valid question.

Turns out the shoes are actually pretty nice, although one is covered in massive stain.  Based on how huge it is, though, it almost seems like part of the shoe.

Speaking of Danny, he cut his hair on Sunday.  After we watched the One Direction movie, he said, “I want to cut my hair like One Direction.”  And not as in, “I want to go get my hair cut like One Direction, but “I am going to cut my own hair.”

So he did.

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At first it seemed like it was going to be a disaster, but things really worked out for him.  He cut his own hair and it looks great.  He has gotten way more compliments on it than when I cut his hair.

And now it’s almost the weekend.  We’re excited to have dinner with some new friends from church tonight and maybe even go to Breckenridge on Sunday…which means it looks like it will be a great weekend.  Hope yours is too!

days of thanks: 13 – 19

13. Libraries have been a part of my life from a young age.  And I’m so thankful for that.  I’m not a big book buyer, but I am a big book reader.  I’m grateful for a place where we can borrow books (and CDs and DVDs, among other things), and after a couple of days or weeks or months, bring them back- and all for free, too!

14. Something I really take for granted is our washer and dryer.  What a gift it is to be able to put a heap of dirty clothes (or towels or sheets) in the washer, from the convenience of our apartment, and twenty minutes later, have clean clothes.  And until the day when we can get a clothes line/space for air drying clothes, I’m grateful for our dryer and the warm, dry clothes it gives us.

15. I am thankful for documentaries.  I love learning, and reading books is my main avenue of doing so, however, sometimes it’s nice to put the book(s) down and watch a movie.  Some of our favorites: Forks over Knives, Food Matters, Bag It, and Food Inc.

16. My camera isn’t fancy or top of the line, but I love it.  It does what I need it to, which is capture memories, whether it’s the food we ate for dinner last night or our trip to the zoo.  I’m so thankful to have it and be able to enjoy the past through the pictures it has taken.

17. We’ve had a really, really hard time finding a church in Colorado Springs.  However, sometimes when I take a step back, I realize that this, in a weird way, is something to be grateful for.  We live in a country where there is an abundance of churches, and a variety of beliefs, styles, and preferences to choose from.  There are literally hundreds of churches within the town we live in, and we get to pick which one we are (or are not) a part of – that is that not a luxury that most people around the world do not have.

18. Although I haven’t been to many, I’m thankful for vegan restaurants.  Danny and I ate at our first vegan restaurant yesterday, and had so much fun looking and the menu and thinking, “We can order whatever we want!  It’s all vegan!”  We’re thankful for like-minded people who run and patronize such establishments, and look forward to trying out and supporting more in the future.

19. I’m thankful for the Mormon missionaries who knocked on our door this past March, and ever since then, have become good friends of ours.  We may have very different beliefs, but we do enjoy laughing, homemade food, and more importantly, Kate Middleton.

days of thanks: 7-12

I love looking for the bright spots in life, the little things and the big things, the insignificant and the unmistakable.

Here’s days 7 through 12 of my days of thanks this month…

7. I am so thankful for our juicer.  If I had someone to clean it for me, I would use it every single day.  I love the taste of fresh juice, and also the idea of drinking things (carrots, broccoli, celery, etc.) that I wouldn’t normally eat for breakfast.  And a shout out to apples, because they are undoubtedly my favorite thing to juice, plus they cover over a multitude of questionable flavors (including the aforementioned veggies).

8. About a month ago, I ran out of floss.  I didn’t get a chance to go to Target for a whole month, and so for a month, I didn’t floss.  I didn’t really think it was a big deal at the time, but once I restocked and got back in the habit, I found out that my gums were furious. For a week, my gums bled every night during and after flossing, and flossing became a painful, unpleasant experience.   Now, if for no other reason, I floss because it will hurt if I stop and then start again.  I am so thankful that I not only have (a three months’ supply of) floss, but also easy access to it.

9. I am grateful that we only live two hours away from ‘home.’  Home being my parents’ house.  I am so thankful we can go back for a weekend or in an unusual case, a day.  I am so thankful my parents are so welcoming and hospitable.  I am thankful for how my mom works so hard to find and use delicious vegan recipes even though they are definitely not vegan, and that my dad gladly eats them.  My parents’ house is a place of peace and rest and joy for me, and I love how accessible it is.

10. For the first nine-ish months of our marriage, I didn’t sleep through the night.  I don’t know if it was a mental thing (I’d never shared a bed – or really a bedroom for that matter -before) or the smell of male or being in a new place or what, but it was a real struggle and I was so frustrated by it.  For the past two-ish months, however, I have slept incredibly well…and through the night too.  After battling with sleep every night for months, I (hope I) will always be grateful for a solid, uninterrupted night of rest.

11. I am thankful for warm days in November.  Yesterday was a delight.  I walked outside without a coat of any kind and even kept the windows rolled down halfway as I drove home from work.  Of course, once the sun started setting, the temperature dropped quickly, but until then, I thoroughly enjoyed the warm sun.  Sometimes it’s the little things.

12.  Over the past week, I’ve realized that I have generous friends.  I’ve been given listening ears, open arms, welcoming homes, and available schedules.  Not to mention an unexpected Sprouts gift card in the mail and a few days later, an Olive Garden date night tucked into my purse!  These people, while not nearly as close (in proximity) as I would like, bless me deeply and encourage me greatly.