that time i joined the 21st century

As some of you may know, I got my first smart phone about ten days ago.  And I am a mess.  I am learning, yes, but just ask anyone who has tried to communicate with me recently and you’ll find that the struggle is real.  I mean, this whole not having a physical keyboard anymore is really cramping my style.  And saving pictures that are texted to me?  Impossible.  I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that I’ll never really ‘get’ Snapchat.  It is a possibility that I am an 80-year-old in a 23-year-old’s body.  (Although that is not giving 80-year-olds enough credit, because I know some of them are more in the loop than me.)

However, there are a few things I have sort of figured out, and some things I am actually really liking.  For example, taking pictures.  This phone takes quality photos!  And, uh, Instagram.  Yes.  I have really gotten into it.  I’ve tried to post one photo a day since I got my phone up and running, and it’s been fun to try to find something each day that I want to remember and capture in a photo.  So, here’s a recap of the past ten-ish days…

(And in the interest of full disclosure, I had to Google “how to email an Instagram to yourself” in order to create this post.  And even then I couldn’t figure it out.  So I messed around some more and finally figured it out.  I think.  I guess we’ll see…)

Louie’s pizza at the park on Wednesday night…

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A Thursday afternoon at the pool…

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A Friday evening by the fire pit…

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Saturday morning breakfast on the porch…

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In the book drop at the library later that morning…

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Sunday afternoon bike ride…

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Spent all day Monday working on our upcoming trip…

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Walking to Wes & Ashlea’s for game night on a rainy Tuesday…

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Enjoying flowers Danny gave me on another rainy day…

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Pretty pumped to get this magazine in at the library on Thursday…

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So honored that this lady stopped by to see me on her way home from spending two months in Kansas City…

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And happy August!  Enjoying 1Canoe2‘s calendar (thanks, Whitney!)…

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Dinner on Saturday night…

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And the makings of Sunday’s dinner, compliments of the farmer’s market…

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Happy beginning of the first full week of August!  Next week I’ll be back with more snaps…if my phone and I are still together at that point…

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the glory of june

Believe it or not, July is half over.  June was so fun – we made a trip to Chicago (here, here, and here), my parents and brother came to visit, Danny wrapped up his softball season, we went to the pool, and just enjoyed the warmer weather – our first month in 2014 so far without snow!  I guess you could say it was a pretty glorious month.

On the very first day of the month, we had dinner with our friends Joe and Anya and their kids.  We spent New Year’s with them, and hadn’t seen them since!  Waaay too long, I know.  A few days later, we went to a gender reveal party for some friends of ours who are expecting…a boy!…in October.  I guess we’re starting to move past the stage where we feel like we’re going to weddings all the time and into one that’s filled with babies!

Our dear friend Austin was in town that week as well, and she blessed us with some time with her one evening.  Austin is one of those people who we get to see about once a year, and while we wish she lived down the street, she lives such a super amazing adventurous life that I wouldn’t want her to, because I know she’s exactly where she’s supposed to be.  If you want to see what she’s up to, look here.  In the past week she wove a basket out of coconut tree leaves and encountered a real live octopus…I told you she’s awesome.

Long before I worked at the library and long before I even knew I’d been living in Colorado Springs, this library has been in the works.  And finally, on June 21st, it opened.  A couple of weeks before, though, staff was invited for a sneak peek.  Danny and I had fun exploring the library while it was still quiet and not quite done, as well as seeing lots of people I’ve worked with both as a volunteer and as a staff member at different libraries in the district over the past year or so.  Oh and they had all these “Selfie Stations” sprinkled throughout…so that’s why we’re taking the picture below and why that silly little sign is behind us.  And in the picture below it, if you look hard, you can see me blending in with the carpet.

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DSC08603^^ Can you see me down there? ^^

During the second week of June, Danny and I went to a Sky Sox game together, which was fun, but maybe a little cold and a tiny bit boring, so next time I think we’ll go with friends and blanket.  I posted a picture of that evening here.

We also met my parents, along with Mysteridge and his friend Peter at Adventure Golf & Raceway in the Denver area and unfortunately the weather did not cooperate too well.  We were able to play a round of mini golf and go around the go kart track once before the place shut down, but we didn’t let the weather win and finished the evening out with some frozen yogurt and a visit to my grandparents’ (now sold) house.  We had fun despite the rainy weather, and plan to try again in August, since we didn’t get as much time there as we had hoped.

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We wrapped up the week with a game night with Danny’s parents (we love Buzz Word!) and a BBQ with Mark and Allison at Andrew and Lisa’s.  (Sidenote: Just found out today that Andrew and Lisa are going to be on House Hunters.  Yes, House Hunters as in the show on HGTV.  So excited for them!)  We played Mad Gab together after dinner and found out that Lisa is the best ever at Mad Gab and Allison and I are the worst ever.

And then, for Father’s Day weekend, my parents and Mysteridge came to visit!  We spent Sunday at church, the Sky Sox game, and in our pool, and Monday morning we snuck in some hiking in Palmer Lake before I had to work.  I love having family live close enough to visit for the weekend!

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On the night of Danny’s last softball game, we went out to Hacienda Colorado for a date.  He’d been there twice within the past month and had such a good experience, that he thought we should go together.  He was right.  The food was the best I’ve had north of the U.S. – Mexico border.  Just remembering that food makes me think that maybe we need a date night this week too…

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Aaaaaand in June we said, “See you next year!” to softball.  I know I talked about it last month, but what a fun six weeks it was!  I’m so proud of Danny for all he did to make the season a success.  And apparently his teammates were, too, because he ended up with a  cupcake in his face at the end of the game!

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After we got back from Chicago, the last few days of June were all about the pool work.  We did squeeze in a Sunday afternoon at the pool and a dinner out at Duca’s, though.

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I think it’s fair to say that June was a great month, and July has a lot to live up to. :)

 

can we talk about what fall is?

I have really been in a pickle lately (not literally, of course.  I hate pickles.  Only a figurative pickle.).

Because I have recently reignited my love for Pinterest, I have been led to believe that it is not fall until I make and eat something made of pumpkin (everyday) and decorate my house with garlands of leaves and dried apples.  I fell into the trap and even made a board of my own, entitled “the fall.”  And it has one pin on it.  But I digress.

So, on Saturday I bought a can of pumpkin at Whole Foods.  At $1.25 a can, I figured I could afford to bring fall on.  We were on our way to my cousin’s birthday party, and only needed a box of veggie burgers, but I knew what I had to do, and thus sought out the pumpkin.  I found it, bought it, and answered Danny’s questions about why I was bringing a can of pumpkin to a nine-year-old’s birthday party with, “Pinterest has been pressuring me.”

On Sunday, I made pumpkin doughnuts for breakfast and pumpkin chocolate chip bars for an afternoon snack while Danny watched his third football game of the day (just another thing I’ve been told that means fall is here.  My response: football does not signify anything good and fall is good so football had better not mean fall is here.  Does that make sense?).

All of last week, I did research on pumpkin patches and apple orchards in the Colorado Springs area.  I even tried to buy a LivingSocial deal for one, but unfortunately all of the adult passes were sold out.  D and I discussed the likelihood of us being allowed in on a child’s pass.  Hey, last Friday someone at our new small group told Danny he looked like he could be in 10th or 11th grade, and considering I passed for under 13 at the airport last summer, I didn’t think it was out of the question.  Once I figured out that the child’s pass was more expensive than those for adults, we gave up and resumed the hunt for a quality fall fortress/pumpkin patch.

After eating those pumpkin treats and chasing after elusive bastions of pumpkins, apples, and leaves, I realized something.

It still was not fall.

On Saturday we went for a lengthy (outdoor) swim.  On Sunday we still had to use our fan and open the windows at night in order to sleep comfortably.  For the entire month of September it  has rained and rained and rained (and rained and rained) basically every day and after stating that fact, it seems like a good time to remind y’all that we live in Colorado and not along the Gulf of Mexico.  We do not have hurricane season here, we have FALL.

Do you know what I figured out while driving around today with the windows open?

I will know it is fall when the weather is not pushing 80 everyday.  I will know it is fall when the cover is put on the pool (as sad as that will be).  And I will most certainly know it is fall when I can sleep through the night without drenching my clothes and sheets in sweat because it is HOT.

So there you have it.  To all of those Pinterest boards entitled “FALLING IN LOVE WITH FALL” and “PUMPKINS, PUMPKINS, PUMPKINS” I say this: You are nice.  But you are lying.  Fall is about the weather and not pumpkins (or apples or garlands or leaves or anything I have to buy or make or create).

One last thing.  Those are real Pinterest boards that I have encountered.  So if those boards are yours, thank you.  Sort of.  And start praying that the weather will change.

miramont castle

Our adventures continued after visiting the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, as we stopped at Memorial Park in Manitou Springs for a picnic.

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The park is beautiful, with a nice playground (we know because we played on it) and many trees to provide shade.  On the other side of that fence is a creek/river (it’s kind of in the middle of those two) with a lovely walking path alongside it.  There’s also a neat war relic (Danny called it a tank, but I’m thinking perhaps it’s a cannon).

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After refueling and playing for a bit, we headed on the Miramont Castle.  I purchased a Living Social deal for the castle back in January, and was waiting for a time that we were already going to be in Manitou to use it.

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The castle was built in 1895 and has 40 rooms and over 14,000 square feet.  So it’s pretty old and pretty big.  The rooms are each unique, like a sixteen-sided room, and beautiful, and there’s so much to look at.

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As a person who enjoys history, I loved the Miramont Castle.  I feel like Danny is okay with history, but he wouldn’t name it as one of his interests or loves, and yet I think he still enjoyed it.  Another interesting part was the basement.  There was an exhibit on firefighters and Smokey the Bear, and since there were things to try on, we enjoyed it.

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There were very few other people touring the castle at the same time as us, which meant we could go at our own pace and look around in peace and quiet (and after our visit to the zoo the next day I think I appreciated this fact even more).  As with many historical buildings, there were signs in each room with some facts and information.  Although they were dated, they were interesting and always worth reading, even for Danny.

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Overall, we really enjoyed the Miramont Castle.  I don’t know if we would had gone if we hadn’t had a special deal, though, simply because it is kind of expensive ($8 for adults) and we’re on a budget that just wouldn’t allow for such an adventure right now.  I would  enjoy taking my family or other historically inclined friends if I came across another such deal, but otherwise, I would probably just regale them with stories of our visit.

A post about our day in Manitou wouldn’t be complete with adding that when we got home, we swam in our apartment’s pool, which had opened for the first time for the season the day before.  I need to be fair and say that I didn’t really get in, although I tried to, but the freezing cold water (literally…the heater was – and still is – broken) kept me from getting wet only up to my knees.  Danny is a beast though and dove right in.

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