the third weekend in april

Here  in the Everett household, we LOVE weekends!  We get to sleep in a lil’ bit, make special breakfasts, go on adventures, worship at church, and spend more time together than usual.  This weekend was no exception.  In fact, it was downright excellent.

Friday night, after I got home from a couple of days in Greeley to celebrate my mom’s birthday, see a few friends and a new doctor, D and I got all dolled up and went to the annual Volunteer Appreciation Banquet at Compassion.

our home is a beautiful place

Although I haven’t officially started volunteering at Compassion yet, I have been through my interview, background check, and orientation, which means that I am ready to begin!  I’m just waiting for an assignment, and I’ll start volunteering on a weekly basis, which I am so very excited about.  I can tell that the people at Compassion are so kind, as they insisted we come to the banquet, even though I haven’t even given any of my time yet!

We really enjoyed the dinner, and the couples at our table, including one who lives in the same apartment building as us!  Rachel and Phillip also recently moved to the Springs, and Rachel is not working and just beginning to volunteer at Compassion as well.  What a sweet God-gift!  And we were extra blessed with vegetarian entrees, even though we had forgotten to order them.

Saturday morning I woke up early and decided to make a new cinnamon roll recipe.  Three and a half hours later, we had these bad boys.  Delicious, YES.  A bit more labor intensive than I anticipated, also YES.  It is totally my bad for not reading the whole recipe first and understanding the need for them to rise (twice) and then bake for a while, too.

After we ate our delicious and well-earned cinnamon rolls (for lunch), we headed to Cottonwood Creek Park for a long, leisurely walk.

lovely walk at cottonwood

The ‘river bed’ is large, but the actual amount of water running through is very small.  Therefore, we surmised that the level of danger was pretty low, and forded the waters a couple times.

look at that hubs of mine!

We also checked out the pool that’s located in the park that has not only a water slide and a lazy river, but also a wave pool!  What?!  My cousins and I are hoping to make our way here before too long…

On Saturdays, some of Danny’s co-workers and friends get together to play football (there are no photos because that is what moms do  and Danny is not my child and I don’t want to embarrass him too badly), and D tries to make it as often as possible.  Girls are forbidden from playing, so I read Just a Minute and The Organic Food Shopper’s Guide in the car.

Thanks to a gift card I got for Christmas from my parents, and a coupon we had saved for this occasion, we enjoyed an early dinner at Noodles & Company that didn’t cost us a penny!  Japanese Pan Noodles for D, and Garden Pesto Saute (minus the feta) for me.  The Garden Pesto Saute is a new dish for Noodles this spring, and was absolutely delicious.  Unfortunately, I just found out that the pesto sauce on it contains milk and thus is not vegan.  Boo.

yum yum

Although our plan was to play a game or two of Bananagrams before heading to church, D decided that going to a Rockies game (which we did on Sunday) necessitated Rockies gear, so we drove to the nearest Arc Thrift Store.  Alas, no suitable team gear was to be found, BUT we were able to pick up a few polos for Danny to wear to work.  Three ‘new’ shirts for under $7, so that was a cool bonus.

Off to church, where we ran into our new friends Rachel and Phillip, and enjoyed worshiping and learning with fellow believers.  I am really appreciating going to church and seeing people we know…I have a feeling that we are on the verge of developing a neat lil’ community here!

And then…our double date!  Through the Mormon missionaries we’ve been meeting with, we’ve connected with a sweet girl who Danny went to high school with.  Her name is Jessica, and she has been such a good friend to me, so when she asked if D and I wanted to join her and Darren for a double date, I was excited.  You see, Jessica’s moving to Utah in two days to finish her nursing degree at BYU, so I’ve been jumping at any chance to spend time with her before she leaves.  While we were at church, Jessica and Darren went out to dinner, and we met them at Jessica’s house afterwards for a “little activity.”  Little did we know that Jessica is a master date planner!

The theme for the evening was “Throwback to Kindergarten.”  We started the evening off by bundling up and using Jessica’s family’s backyard basketball court (seriously huge) as a comic book canvas.  Using chalk, we creating a story line that involved Batman, a damsel in distress (me) being pushed off a building, Superman, and a few burning buildings.  Once our (my) fingers were numb and we were out of ideas for our story, we moved on to play-dough sculpting indoors.  The theme was animals.  Danny made a turtle, Jessica made the entire cast of “The Emperor’s New Groove,” and Darren made a T-Rex Boy Scout.  I made a snake, which was later eaten by the T-Rex.

sweet jessica

darren's dinosaur

No kindergarten double date would be complete with some finger painting, which is exactly what we did next.  We were on our own – no guidelines – for this one.  I went for a butterfly, Danny for idyllic forest/lake scene, Darren for a kitten in a basket under a rainbow, and Jessica…well…hers was (self-proclaimed) very unique.  I’m pretty sure she had the most fun, though.

finger painting fun

All this time, my camera was threatening suicide, but I was able to convince it into a few pictures.  Unfortunately, it surrendered right as we partook of the most delicious part of the evening…snack time.  Popsicles and Hi-C juice boxes were available, but considering that Jessica had also prepared fondue, we bypassed the themed snack  and feasted on strawberries, graham crackers, and bananas dipped in chocolate-y goodness.  Of course, it was vegan, because Jessica is so thoughtful and conscientious about looking out for us.  A perfect way to wrap up the day.

Sunday brought a lazy-ish morning and cookie baking before a trek north to meet my parents, Mysteridge, and Mysteridge’s friend (Peter) for a Colorado Rockies baseball game.  D and I arrived in Denver early, so we stopped by the Neat Market, which labels itself as “an underground vegan bazaar club thing.”  Neat Market happens once a month in different locations, and features small-scale producers and 100% vegan goods…can’t go wrong with that, I figured!  I had read about it on Facebook, and thought it was worth a visit, even though I had no idea what to expect.  I’ll be honest, it was a little bit weird.  It was clear that we’re not your typical vegans, but we still loved it.  We had some samples and discovered that we like seitan and bought a slice of pizza which was given to us on a glass plate that we had to wash ourselves after using it.  YES!  I love sustainable, smart things like that.  Oh and the pizza was incredible.

love us some vegan pizza

Our curiosity about local-ish vegans satisfied for the day, we met up with my family (+ Peter) along the Platte River in downtown Denver.  Next to our picnic site, there were a few diversions…

showin' off

watch out mysteridge!

My parents generously picked up Subway for all of us, as well as fresh fruit (pineapples from Sprouts these days are incredible!), and I contributed pb & j cookies.


My mom and I enjoyed a long walk along the Platte River en route to Coors Field to meet up with the males after their visit to B’s Ballpark Museum, which they seem to have thoroughly enjoyed.

baseball afficiandos

After all of the snow (like right now!) and chilly weather we’ve had lately, we were blessed with a perfect day for watching baseball.  Not too hot (I only got a minor sunburn), not too cold, and blissfully sunny.

love love love

The game started slow, causing me to turn to the word search in the middle of our program, but got more exciting, and eventually a bit sad as the Rockies lost 5-4.  On the bright side, though, it was bobble head day, so we all left with an Eric Young bobble head, one of which now sits (stands?) proudly on Danny’s desk at work.

bobblehead day success

I’m always grateful for an opportunity to be with my family.  I’ve been able to see them five times in the past four weeks, which has been such a blessing.  They are just splendid people who love me and care about me so well, and being with them is such a joy.

love these two

Seeing how she recently moved to a new apartment, we knew this trip to Denver wouldn’t be complete without a stop by Rachel’s house.  Since she’s not busy with grad school or her internship or working full time or anything like that (FALSE), she made us a delicious dinner and some tasty treats for dessert.  It sure was a treat to see her and Leia (and the new apartment) and catch up a bit.  Thanks for having us, sweet lady!

new family

Whew!  What a weekend!  Busy-ish, but still restful.  Full of family and a few new friends.  Lots of pictures (obviously) and sweet memories.  Thankful for the opportunities we’ve been given and for a husband who loves adventuring with me.