Monthly Archives: May 2012

A Life Update…

With all of the events or ‘goings on’ in our life being documented on Midwest Mountainess the little things making up our day to day tend to fall by the wayside.  Our existence is not only made up of my insecurities, day dream shopping and vacations (I wish).

Making people believe that is not what I wanted this blog to be. Do I think every single move I make every single day of my life deserves your attention, valued time AND internet documentation?  Absolutely not.  I’m amazed that ANYbody reads ANYthing I say.

But I do  think the little things are important, both in blogging and in life.  I don’t believe in sweating the small stuff as they say, but rather I think the little things could offer my readers something of a context on which to better base all the other ‘fun stuff’.  And let’s face it, the day to day life is where all the big stuff really happens anyway.

So I’ve decided to start incorporating a Life Updates post here and there.  Maybe quarterly, or maybe when I feel things are changing and it’s necessary.  I really hope it can offer some insight (for those of you who don’t know us very well) into who we are, what we’re doing out here in the wild west, and the trajectory we hope our life to have.

Let’s do it.


I’m going to start with Marlo because if I’m being honest, she’s the most entertaining of the three of us.

Marlo continues to spend her days sleeping and her nights moonlighting as a dog. Chewing cords and shoelaces, scratching the shit out of anything she can find, running laps around our condo at surprisingly impressive speeds, meowing/howling at the edge of the bed to get our attention, staring out the window just DYING to chase some squirrels, drinking of out toilets, etc.  She TRULY believes she’s a dog.  Ask Ashley or Erin who house/catdog sit for us.  It’s bizarre.

I can’t lie however and have to admit that she has really mellowed.  There was a time I used to fantasize about leaving the window open by accident before I left for work.  Don’t judge me.  It was REALLY that bad.  We’ve been doing test runs with letting her out on our patio (which is 2 stories up) hoping she won’t try to jump.  I don’t think she will and she really loves being outside so I hope we can continue to let her out on supervised adventures.

This was circulating on Facebook awhile back and I think this is exactly what goes on in her mind so I thought I’d share.

The Dog’s Diary:

8:00 am – Dog food! My favorite thing!

9:30 am – A car ride! My favorite thing!

9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favorite thing!

10:30 am – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!

12:00 pm – Milk bones! My favorite thing!

1:00 pm – Played in the yard! My favorite thing!

3:00 pm – Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!

5:00 pm – Dinner! My favorite thing!

7:00 pm – Got to play ball! My favorite thing!

8:00 pm – Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!

11:00 pm – Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!


The Cat’s Diary:

Day 983 of my captivity.

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates my capabilities. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a “good little hunter” I am. Jerks!

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of “allergies.” I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage. Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow, but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released, and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird must be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now.

I WOULD apologize for all that but I do note in the ‘about me’ page that I am currently somewhat of a crazy cat lady.  Girl Ryan if you’re reading, you’re not only welcome for all of that, but also, thank you for understanding me.  : )


Jon is SO busy at work he barely knows which end is up.  For those of you that don’t know, my husband sells commercial real estate for a company called Marcus and Millichap and he is an absolute rock star.  I have loved watching him work hard and succeed at his job and have been lucky to be by his side through the roller-coaster that a 100% commission job can bring.  Things have been on an upslope for the last 6 months and I know he doesn’t like me to brag, but he has been kickin’ ass and takin’ names.  I get to be proud due to the whole married thing.

Another tidbit to know about Jon is he is one of those ‘work out people’.  So annoying right?  He literally can not function as a normal human if he doesn’t work out and begins to turn into a toddler if he doesn’t.  For my 25th birthday (the one where I cried all day) he bought me a road bike in the hopes I would turn into a similar work out freak.  Hahahahahah.  Ha.  Silly man.  What came out of it was that HE wanted a road bike, bought himself a real beauty, and has since been a bit of an road bike savant.

In a little over a month he is a participant in something called “The Triple Bypass”.  No it’s not open heart surgery but as far as I’m concerned it might as flipping well be.  He (in one day) will race over 120 miles on his bike over three mountain passes.  He will incline over 10,000 feet over the entire day.  On. A. Bike.

I’ll let that absolute HELL sink into your brain.

Yes he wants to do it and yes he’s even looking forward to it.  I choose not to think about it for too long or I get sick to my stomach with nerves.  If you’ve never been to the mountains, a mountain pass isn’t scary for the incline, it’s scary for the impending decline at 40+ miles per hour on a skinny little bike with barely any clothes on.  40mph down a mountain highway on a bicycle.  He’s crazy.  He’s also in much better shape physically and mentally than me so maybe I could take a few cues.

So he and I are cutting down on the drinking (except wine) and picking up on the healthy eating (except chocolate) and working out (except on weekdays) over the next month in order to help prepare him as best we can.  Yay.

One of the positives to come out of this bike ride is it presented the perfect opportunity for me to finagle another Minnesota trip this summer!

Yes finagle is a word.  It means ‘to obtain by trickery’ which is exactly what I did.

So.  I reminded him how we “both” have always wanted to ride our bikes around the lake area and being the 4th of July is right before his race wouldn’t it just be the perfect time to go home and the perfect training for him?  Riding his bike at sea level on flat ground rather than at altitude with 10,000 ft of incline sounds like exactly the kind of training he needs to me! : )  Anywho – we’re planning on outfitting my brand new car with a brand new bike rack and taking her on her first road trip to Minnesota.  Obviously…I can’t wait.

My turn?

Deep breath.  Ok.


After today I will officially and legally be a Hendrickson.  I will sit at the DMV to complete the final step of changing my name on my license.  So there’s that.

I got my first ever brand new car about a month ago.  In my mind I still believe it’s just a rental car and that it’s not really mine.  I went from not having air conditioning to having a car that talks to me.  It’s pretty crazy, but I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t thrilled.  Getting a new car means getting rid of my old one which has been irrationally hard on me.  I haven’t done it yet.  Jon nags me every single day so it’s going to happen soon.  I’ll definitely write a post about it next week.

If it happens : )

I worked a shift at my job last night and made less than $30.  I was there for almost 6 hours and I happen to be really good at math so I can break that down to tell you I made $5 an hour.  Even though making that little is rare, it’s just not rare enough and definitely NOT worth a night away from my husband, friends and home.  My point is, I’m ready to move on and I’m in the stages of doing so.  It’s scary…change always kind of is for me.

Moving away from that job means moving towards another and this time it’s the one I’ve always dreamed of.  I really want to give the photography thing ‘a go’.  Saying that out creates a pit in my stomach that I can’t quite figure out (terror maybe) so I keep saying it quietly, and then a little louder, hoping the pit eventually goes away.

I have 4 (paid!) shoots  coming up in the next few weeks and have been doing daily confidence boosting exercises so that I don’t e-mail them all to cancel because I’m a wussy scaredy cat.  I spend a lot of time trying to pinpoint exactly what it is that scares the shit out of me.  I think a lot of it can be contributed to a pretty universal fear…I’m scared they won’t like me.

We’ll see.  I’m excited to just fricken DO IT ALREADY and stop talking about it.

Other than that our free time goes to keeping up and in touch with friends, enjoying the outstanding Denver summers, and just settling into our life.  We’re really really happily married, we’re figuring out all the ‘not fun’ stuff newly married people are supposed to like insurance, taxes, checking accounts etc.  We’ve begun to think about buying a house.  Aren’t quite ready to think about babies.

It’s all becoming pretty grown up around here (except for Marlo) and it’s turning out to be surprisingly awesome.  We love our neighborhood, Denver, and Colorado more and more every day and only become further convinced that this is where we’ll stay.  I’m excited about that.  I’m looking forward to what the future is going to bring us because I can honestly say I have every faith that it’s going to be really good.

There you have it – a Life Update for you.  Here’s to a busy summer full of my insecurities, lots and lots of day dream shopping, and hopefully a decent amount of vacations!


Weekend Recap (the best kind)

Memorial Day weekend at Pelican Lake 2012!

Several weeks ago when Jon and I realized we hadn’t been home in almost six months, we looked for and found some perfect flights for the weekend over Memorial Day.  We don’t typically go home to the lake that early in the year (brrrrr) but he was beginning to see how homesick I was getting and we had high hopes for the weather.

Minnesota, like Colorado, had an incredibly mild winter so we decided we would take the risk.  He told me we would wait and see what the weather did and if it looked nasty we’d cancel our flights and re-use the fares at a later time.  I told him he could enjoy a nice weekend alone in Denver because I was going even if I had to walk.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out who won that battle and last Thursday we packed all of our winter/spring/summer clothes as we prepared to visit Minnesota, no matter the weather.

What I realized about Memorial weekend is that there are many things that need to get done with it being the ‘first’ main weekend at the lakes.  Luckily for us we got there early on Friday and the weather was average so we didn’t feel so bad dedicating our time to getting everything all set up!

One of the main things to be done was to move the boat lifts out further from shore due to the water being so low this spring.  Have to have lifts in order to have boats!  All the boys were thrilled to jump into the lake for some manual labor.

A shot and a beer to numb the pain : )

Slingin’ some boulders before moving the lift.  You know, normal stuff.

Nice job looking on the bright side!

Way to use team work!

Excellent use of the ‘if looks could kill’ face!

Great delegating!

Way to try and look busy!

Nice job looking warm, dry and happy!

They eventually got it moved, grabbed the rest of the Jameson and hit the sauna.

When the weather is sunny and beautiful at the cabin, life is simple.  Boats, beer, sand bar, tubing and skiing.  On. The. Lake.  At all times.

When it’s significantly chillier, cloudy, rainy and windy – it’s time to get creative.  Apparently our version of creativity is competing with one another.

Heidi and I had a ‘who can find the largest stick’ contest.

Livi and I raced everywhere we went.

Chad and Megan whooped our butts and took all our money at a dice game.

There was a shooting contest, dirt bike races, a beer pong contest, and a Zorbaz dance off.

I don’t have photo’s of all of them (lucky you) but here are a few (50).Larson for the win!

And now…onto the MAIN EVENT!

Jon, read us the rules…

“All ages can play, 21 and up can/must drink beer, may the best man win.”

Due to the delicate nature of having minors playing, we had only water in the cups and those of us legal held our own beers separately.  This game was more for sport than it was drinking.  I can’t say the same of the other more ‘late night’ games.

Yes, I realize he doesn’t look legal.  Sadly, that just means we’re old and don’t know what 21 looks like anymore.

Jon and I made it a couple rounds…nothing to sneeze at.

A Brandt, Kinkade and Hendrickson.  Family : )

Ty’s got a lot at stake for at this point he’s on the verge of losing to his 13 year old little brother!

The eventual 2nd place team!The 13 year old “Beer Pong Champ” aka “Juice Box Champ”  Beginners luck some say but I credit it to his wicked victory dance skills — the T-rex.

It was a rainy Saturday, but we made the most of it.  I was so happy ‘my side’ of the family came out.  My parents were actually celebrating their 28th wedding anniversary that day!Please pardon the lovely garage decor.

Two of my brothers had to work : (  Luckily Greyson still made it out!

Along with my family came Miss Livi of course and she LOVES all the action at that lake.  She was certainly a busy girl this weekend.

Let’s play ‘Two Words’ for these upcoming random shots shall we?

Tooth Less

Crystal ClearEvery NightAirplane Ride

Airplane Ride?Sisterly LoveSisterly love?

Tiny Babies
Doing WorkVery ScientificMama BearParty StartersDock ViewGood Boy
No ThanksSpeed DemonGathering PlaceJungle Gym?Manly MenCousin CooporationLake CeilingOnly ColePure HappinessNew BabyPelican Lake

Goof BallSir SamuelLittle RascalBush BudsBest InventionFamily Overload?Lake FoodQuietly ContentThe following are some photo’s I took of Livi in the most beautiful evening light imaginable.

This was Jon and my first trip back to the cabin as ‘married people’.

I guess I hadn’t really thought about it beforehand.

I didn’t really think about it right when we got there either.

But slowly, throughout the weekend, I began to realize that this is my family.  All the people in all the photos above.

I started spending time at the Hendrickson cabin when I was 19.  Afraid to get out of the car and see this boy who I had met and meet his family.  T.J. was around 7 years old.  Livi hadn’t even been born yet.

I’ve been coming to the cabin every year for almost 10 years (yikes!).

Now I’m family.  It does feel different.  It feels really good actually.  Jon and I met and fell in love there and I feel very fortunate that we get to return at least once a year and be reminded of that and of those feelings.  It’s the best part of being there…being there with him.  It’s like a recharge for us and our relationship and now marriage.  I love it there, I always have, and just like every time before it was a weekend and time very very well spent.

V’s Weekend

A few weeks back I packed up for a trip down South to Texas.  My best friend Vanessa and her fiancé are living there while he finishes up his Ph.D. at Texas A&M.  Vanessa wanted to show all her girls where she’s living so we threw her a good old fashioned bachelorette party in San Antonio.

There were six of us, which if you ask me is a perfect number, and we all slept comfortably in a beautiful condo at the even more beautiful resort which was gifted to us for the weekend by some family/family friends.

We started out the first night in true bachelorette party fashion with exorbitant amounts of wine, lingerie and laughter.

Oh yeah, and corn.She was NOT comfortable handling lingerie.  Love you Gina!

Drunk dialing is ALWAYS wise.

While everyone else was treating Vanessa, I decided to give Andrew a little something.  You’re welcome Andrew!!  You to V : )

Well one thing lead to another, and by ‘thing‘ I mean glasses of wine, and we decided we should probably break into the pool.

That’s all I can show you for the sake of modesty.  We eventually tired of the pool, except we couldn’t figure out how to get out of the pool area.  Security came and we thought ourselves quite convincing when we told him we had gotten there when it was still open, stayed there all along, and then whoever closed up locked us in without telling us.  Brilliant.

The next morning we took full advantage of another awesome feature of the resort (legally this time)…a lazy river situated on a beach. We must’ve floated around that sucker 50 times.

It was perfect weather, a great way to get to know each other, and the catalyst for a fun night out for dinner and drinks on the River Walk.

Sorry for the signed profanity.  The guy behind us was a creeper extraordinaire and wouldn’t leave us alone until we allowed him to buy us a shot and take a photo with us.  He proceeded to give V his e-mail so we could ‘send’ him the photo.  Oh yeah, he had a gray scraggly pony tail that went down to his ass sticking out the back of that hat.  Dreamy.

I then got to spend the next couple of days in College Station with Vanessa, Andrew, their two roommates and 3 dogs.  I was prepared for chaos but it was actually wonderful and I am now the proud goddogmother to Riggins, Tebow and Summer.  While there I got to help nanny V’s little miss Belle, walk the dogs, help V try on her wedding dress and be part of a celebration during which someone became a Doctor.  It was jam packed and really fun.

Link Love


I’m doing my weekend ‘link love’ post a day early because our weekend starts today!!!  We fly out of Denver tonight for our first trip home to Minnesota in over 6 months.  Too long if you ask me.  I don’t care what the weather at the lake is like…I don’t even care if it snows.  We’re going to enjoy a 4 day weekend surrounded by people we love to hang out with and beer we love to drink at one of our favorite places in the world.  I’m a little too excited though and it’s going to be a long day for me sitting by the door with my suitcases waiting for Jon to come home.

I’ve got a busy week after we get back but I’m going to try and keep up the posting momentum.  I hope you all have a fantastic Memorial Weekend filled with things you love as well.  To kickstart you off, here are some things I found around the web this week that I loved!

100 Tips for a Healthier Summer

My favorite bag website BAGGU has added some adorable new leather key chains in neons!

While researching good gray paint colors I came across my favorite stylists blog with an interesting perspective…Ryan Gosling.

Really beautiful idea for mementos from childhood.

An honest look at the realities of getting a post college job.

These photo’s cause me serious anxiety.  An arm could be gone at any second.  Fun Fact: this is Melanie Griffith as a child.

Apparently people are ‘getting the busiest’ over Christmas and New Years : )

A really great response to the breast feeding TIME magazine cover scandal.  In case you’ve been living under a rock, here is said magazine cover.

This dude has only been taking photo’s for 2 years and creates images like this.

This is a really cool DIY project for a group of girlfriends.

Camera bag that’s on my wish list!

Oh my god make the cuteness stop!

A really beautiful and well done photo essay by the Denver Post that has won a few awards since being published.  It’s a bit of a downer.

And to end the browsing, I’m reposting this website because it just does NOT stop being funny.


Five Favorites

1.) Neutral Palette of Stripes

Perfect grouping of different weights and fabric for all summer weather.  I’m going to live in these.

-left two from Anthropologie -right three from J.CREW

2.) Josie Maran Argan Oil

This little bottle has saved my skin multiple times.  It works in the dry Denver weather as well as post water time when it feels like the combination of water and sun has sucked your skin dry.

Putting oil on your face is admittedly a little terrifying the first time as it goes against anything you’ve ever been told but totally worth it.  I also use it on my cuticles, hair, feet etc.  It’s organic and lasts forever.

3.) Adorable Travel Tissues

I picked these up at Target yesterday because I simply could not resist the packaging.  I’m such a sucker.  I’ve got them stashed bedside, in my car, and in a few bags.

Are you kidding me with that owl.  So cute.

4.) The Best Chocolate in the World

These little nuggets are made in Boulder, CO and are to die for.  I know you can buy them at Whole Foods here, but I’m not sure if they’re a nation wide item.  Regardless…seek them out because they are ridiculous.

You can tell by the fact that it’s mangled and empty that this one is my favorite.  Dark chocolate and sea salt people.  It’s a no-brainer.

5.) Organized Jewelry Drawer

With the arrival of our new bedroom furniture came days and days of rearranging.  One of my favorite things to happen was the space I created for my jewelry.  The organizers are felt lined and stackable and can be found at the wonderful Container Store.

P.S. You got a little snippety sneak peek at our bedroom redecoration today via the sliver of drawer and duvet cover.  I wrote down my goals for June and finishing our bedroom is numero uno!  Hopefully more photo’s to come soon.

Green House

Spring is in full swing around here and I want to buy every flower/plant I see.  Since that would make me a crazy person, I settled for three (unintentional rhyme).

-from the perfect petal in the highlands-

-tiny terrarium from a french boutique in boulder-

-fake/made with love by crate and barrel-