Category Archives: holidays


The summer is starting to close. Kids are heading back to school. The nights are a tiny bit cooler and there are little splashes of color appearing inside the trees. Yesterday, even though it was in the 90s, the sky had that deceptive “fall” color to it–extra bright and clear and crisp. Football is back on and I am officially burning the “fall leaves” candles. And, as I noticed this morning at 5:30 courtesy of Bean’s extra early wakeup call, the sun is staying in bed a little longer. 

All good with me. Fall is my favorite time. What’s not to love? Warm days and cool nights, beautiful color in the foliage, pumpkin EVERYTHING, more fashionable clothes (sorry summer). Lots and lots to do with the family. I don’t know about you but I hate super hot temperatures and it makes going out and enjoying things outside really difficult unless you’re in the pool. Once temps start to come back down it makes going outside so much more enjoyable. Zoo, Botanic Gardens, we can go to the park any time of day we want…plus, can we talk about pumpkin patches?? The time between Halloween and New Year’s is, in my opinion, the best time of the year. 


Fall is a time of transition and that’s sort of where we are right now. Bean is transitioning out of babyhood and into toddlerhood. Which is crazy. Cameron recently left his job at Starbucks and will be starting work as a banker with US Bank after Labor Day. We have had some difficult times the last few weeks and we’re transitioning out of that. Time helps. We think we will take a quick vacation this weekend down to Ouray or Glennwood Springs, leave the Bean with my parents, and get some time to ourselves so we can get back to…somewhere. 


Here’s what else is transitioning around here!

So close!
So close!
Hi there!
Hi there!
Holding her own bottle...sort of.
Holding her own bottle…sort of.

Mother’s Day

How I spent my Mother’s Day…


True to Colorado fashion, the weather turned out to be spectacularly dreary just in time for Mother’s Day. Our friends in Estes got more than a foot of snow, but here it was just a little too warm for much to accumulate, which is probably a good thing because there was a lot of moisture and a few degrees colder and we would have had broken tree limbs. As it is, we need the moisture, so I can’t complain much even if the day was too cold and wet to do anything.

Unfortunately, Cameron had to work most of the day and the baby was a grump, so it wasn’t exactly the magical first Mother’s Day everyone hopes for. I also had to have my mommy privileges revoked after the baby took not one but two tumbles today, one right into the corner of a folded table. Poor thing. I never even got out of my pajamas all day and went back to bed every time the baby napped. Oh well.

Yesterday Cameron and I helped the Bean make this for my mom to thank her for being so supportive and helpful. Without her I am sure I wouldn’t have made it through the last six months. She is the one who really deserves to be celebrated this Mother’s Day.



Mommy’s little CEO

Anyway, in the end, it’s just a day…and tomorrow is another one. Plenty more opportunities for good days.

Merry Christmas

We had an excellent Christmas week with Caroline. On Sunday, we went to my parent’s house to watch football and finish our shopping. Monday, they took us to dinner at HuHot Mongolian Grill for Cameron’s birthday, and then they got us a hotel room to spend a nice baby-free mommy daddy night, also for Cameron’s birthday. (He turned 30 on the 20th!) The hotel was AWESOME and Caroline had a sleepover with MeMe and Papi while we enjoyed nearly 12 hours of continuous sleep. Ahh. We went out to breakfast the next morning (Christmas Eve) and then went back to my parent’s house to help them set up for my mom’s party. That night some of our family and close friends came to visit and spread some holiday cheer. The next day we got up early to open presents, had breakfast, and hung out until Cameron’s family arrived. After a casual dinner with them we headed back up the hill and the next morning had Christmas round 2 with his family. So many fun presents! Caroline made out like a bandit in the toy department. Cam’s family heads off to visit with some other friends and family later this afternoon, so it was a short visit but really fun. Needless to say I am looking forward to just relaxing again…it has been a busy week! Caroline has her 2 month appointment and vaccinations on Monday, and Cameron returns to work on Wednesday, so we have a big week of transition ahead of us. Anyway, in lieu of a blow-by-blow of our Christmas week, enjoy some photos instead. I hope you had a fantastic week and were able to enjoy fun times with your family and friends. 🙂

Meeting her Grandpa Bruce for the first time

My new espresso machine

Why Santa Matters

Hanging with Santa Claus in Berlin, 1990.
Hanging with Santa Claus in Berlin, 1990.

I remember the year I realized that Santa wasn’t real. It was the year we had moved to Colorado Springs from Syracuse and I must have been 7 or 8. It was the first time I’d witnessed a Christmas without snow, so naturally I asked my dad how Santa would land on the roof. Without missing a beat he said Santa put roller skate wheels on the bottom of the sleigh. Later, I found wrapping paper in my parents’ closet that was the exact same paper that had covered the box containing my Pocahontas talking Grandmother Willow bank. When I asked about this, dad said that sometimes Santa got too busy to wrap presents, so he would drop them off and ask the parents to wrap them for him. He tried so hard to keep that one going, but it was pretty much over for me at that point.

The strange thing was, though I realized he wasn’t real, it didn’t mean that I stopped believing in him. The older I got, the more I identified with Santa. Or the spirit of him, I guess. I came from a family of atheists, so Christmas has nothing to do with the birth of any deity figure for me. As a loose follower of the ancient Celtic religion, I celebrate this time of year as Yuletide and the passing of midwinter, one of the origins of modern-day Christmas. But growing up, Christmas was about Santa Claus and celebrating family, friends, good food, and yes, gift-giving. It’s not all about the gifts, and I think it’s important to instill that in our children–in fact, one of my pet-peeves is when people ask what I want for Christmas or worse, tell me what they want for Christmas–in my book, gifts should come from the heart and you should appreciate that the giver took the time to think of you in the giving of it. Christmas is not a time to ask carte blanche for cash. You know all the Whos down in Whoville who loved Christmas just because it brought people together and it was a time to love one another and spread joy? That was my family. Our house was decorated warmly and festively and it was, like the song says, the most wonderful time of the year. Still is.

And that’s why I’m continuing the Santa tradition with Caroline. Since we don’t celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus, I want to give her something to believe in during this season. Lately I’ve read a lot of other bloggers who seem to hate the idea of introducing Santa to our kids. A lot of people seem to think it’s about the worst lie you could possibly peddle to your kids and I think that’s ridiculous. What’s wrong with Santa? What’s wrong with getting our kids to believe in magic and create a sense of wonder in them? So what if it’s not real, so what if some day they’re going to find out. If you’ve done it “right”, it shouldn’t matter, because they will still believe in the magic and the spirit of Christmas.

Let me give you an example of what I mean. You know the story of The Polar Express? The boy who finds himself doubting Santa until he meets him and receives the sleigh bell which will only ring for people who believe in Santa and the magic of Christmas? The adults can’t hear it, but he always does, because he believes. My dad still hears that bell. 58 years old and he can still hear that bell. Which means that I do too. 

And I hope Caroline always will, too.

DSCN2462 (2)

Happy Halloween!

And a blessed Samhain too!

Not a Halloween costume, but close enough! From way back in 2007…

Trick-or-treat happens in about 9 hours and I still haven’t decided exactly what I’m going to dress up as. Whoops! I’m a little mad at myself for that one, too, because there were SO many great things I could have done with the bump. For a while I thought it would be hysterical if Cameron dressed up as Tom Hanks in Castaway and I dressed up as Wilson…but unfortunately I just didn’t sit down in time to figure out how to pull it off. Of course, having pretty limited resources for costume making didn’t help either. I think I’ll end up rustling up some buccaneer garb and going with that. Nothing too special but whatever.

In Estes, trick-or-treat happens downtown at all the businesses on Elkhorn Avenue. This year is particularly special as of course it is one of the first “normal” community gatherings post-flood, and it will be great for everyone to start feeling back to normal. Normally, businesses provide their own candy to hand out, but some amazing people in town found a way to get $9,000 worth of candy donated to the town from candy companies, which is awesome! (It comes out to something like 141,000 pieces of candy, or so I read. Yum!) I’ll be stationed at the Starbucks handing out candy.

Here was last year’s costume:

Zombie chef!
Gosh, look how long my hair was…..
I LOVE gory makeup. Miss when I used to get paid to do it!

As it turned out most kids were TERRIFIED of me…I kind of forgot it was a “kid” event and not a haunted house, which I worked in for a number of years….whoops. But I had fun, so.

The year before last, I went as a Tim Tebow fan….also known as a mindless zombie. I really could not help myself.

Anyway, I suppose I will figure something out for tonight. Probably will be harder to figure out what Cameron will dress up as! I so wish Caroline were here so I could dress her up as something that she wouldn’t complain about…next year I suppose!

Hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween! Eat lots of candy!

5 Months

Holy moly! 5 months! We are HALFWAY THERE!


It’s kind of weird because at once I feel like it took forever to be here and yet it went by really fast. Everyone tells me the next half will go even faster. Eee!

We had our ultrasound on Tuesday and it was awesome. All the pieces and parts are there and baby measured a tiny bit small, at 19 weeks instead of 20, but the OB wasn’t too concerned about that and did not want to change my due date. Our range of due dates is now November 19-25. I am hoping for closer to the 19th as I really want to be sans fetus by Thanksgiving, but of course I will be happy whenever the time comes. (But let’s be real here–I want the fattest thing in the room to be the turkey, not me!)

And we were able to see the gender. I know I said we were going to wait till the shower to tell everyone, but I pretty much spilled the beans the second my mom picked up the phone, so since she was really the only reason we were going to wait, I suppose it was fair game after that. So now I present to you….


We have a girl! We have a girl! I feel some weird sense of accomplishment about this because of how few girls we have in the family. I’m so stoked. It took Cameron a little while to come around to the idea of a girl–a few weeks ago we were walking through Kohls and a girl ran by us and he said, “What happens if we have a girl?” But then last weekend we were on a flight from Atlanta coming back from North Carolina and we were seated next to a sweet little girl. At the end of the flight he turned to me and said, “I think I’d like a girl.” Obviously we both would have been happy either way, but I think he was a little daunted by a girl (and to be honest I am too), but I’m happy that he’s so excited. Her name is going to be Celia. We are still working out her middle name, but we have plenty of time to work on that.

And happily, at 20 weeks pregnant, I am stoked to say that I still feel like I look fabulous. Hey, I might as well embrace that feeling as long as I possibly can. What’s wrong with feeling great and sexy and beautiful while pregnant? Sometimes I get this sense from other pregnant women that we should all feel like whales or that we’re not good enough to look good, but to hell with that. I feel awesome, I look awesome, and I’m gonna ride this wave as long as possible.


And, another small milestone happened this week. We’ve lived in our house a whole year! This might not seem like a big deal considering we’re not military, but we moved 3 times in 14 months since 2011, so it’s really nice to not be unpacking for once.

Anyway, hope you all have a fun and safe 4th of July–please remember your pets tonight when you go out to the fireworks shows.