Monthly Archives: September 2012

Throwback Thursday

Nostalgia was dangerously thick at my house yesterday.

This is because I spent the better part of two hours going through old photo albums, my Facebook timeline, and shoeboxes filled with mementos and photographs.

I scoured through almost 28 years of memories.


I still have one more day before it’s official.


Tomorrow is my 28th Birthday.  My golden birthday.  28 on the 28th.

I guess I was feeling fairly indifferent about it.  It’s not like it’s a major birthday.  It’s not like I’m turning 30 (!!!!) or anything.

I didn’t even go into the closet looking for anything.  I hadn’t intended to spend all that time spiraling down memory lane, examining how perfect my pores used to look, realizing how much I took my 22 year old body for granted, or cringing at the several photo’s in which I’m holding a cigarette.  I was simply trying to put away the very sweet birthday card that my Grandpa sent me in my ‘favorite cards’ box.  Which is stored next to several other boxes crammed with old letters, memorabilia, and tons of photographs (from way back in the day when we actually used to print photo’s).

I was surprised when, in looking through all of those images, I was able to find photo’s from each birthday since I turned 18, and a few from childhood.  Then my brain suddenly stopped working and I somehow came to the conclusion that I needed to visually chronicle my aging process thus far.   I thought I could probably wait until the big 3-0 and tell the story up to that milestone, but by then who knows if I’ll still have a blog to publicly humiliate myself with.

I didn’t want to take that chance.

So we’ll start at the beginning.

This isn’t exactly a birthday I guess except that IT TOTALLY IS.  It literally is my birth day.  Those are my adorable cousins Marissa and Chandra ready to welcome my chubby bald self back from the hospital.

Fast forward a couple of years to the age at which I refused to wear anything but pink.  Here you can see I was finally beginning to believe my Dad, who told me every night before bed that I was a ‘pretty princess’.

Yep.  Still rocking the tiara.  It’s comforting to know that my inability to commit to a particular style has always been a problem for me.

This was the year that ALL I WANTED IN MY ENTIRE LIFE EVER was a keyboard and I begged and begged for one.  A tiny little wrapped box sat on the living room shelf all day in an effort to taunt me.  My mom repeatedly told me throughout the day when she caught me glaring at it that it was my only present.  Well a keyboard doesn’t fit in a box that small so I decided to pout all day.  When I opened it that night, it was a cord of some sort.  My disappointment and I were then led upstairs to the hall closet where the keyboard belonging to the cord awaited. I squealed.  It was awesome.

Ah.  This one’s fun.  THIS, I believe, was my first birthday that took place while I was being home schooled.  5th grade.  My birthday fell on homecoming weekend for the Ada-Borup Cougars (of which I was no longer) so we decided to have a bonfire at my house and then I would go with ‘all of my friends’ to the football game.  Oh yeah, I had friends there, they were just busy while this picture was being taken… know, over there, away from the weird home schooled girl.

It was horrible and I was shy and sad and got made fun of at the game.  I remember being there and just wanting to go home so badly.  I think I blocked out the next several birthdays because I have no evidence they happened.  I was probably too traumatized from this one.

Skip ahead a few years and eventually I went back to school and was once again an Ada-Borup Cougar.  It wasn’t all it was cracked up to be in the end, but by the time I turned 18 I was once again friends with all of the girls in the photo above.

I was also 90 pounds, 5 of which could be attributed to all the metal in my mouth.

This was a great birthday.  I was a lead in the play Annie and the cast, along with other friends, all came out to a local restaurant for food and games.

I didn’t realize it then, but in looking back, this was probably the one day in my turbulent high school career where I felt I most accepted and that I finally belonged.  It was a good day.  We went to a gas station (out of Ada as not to be seen) and bought a pack of cigarette’s.  What else do you do at 18?!

Here I am, 19 years old and FINALLY coming into my own.  I had been out of Ada and in college for a little over a month and my life had completely changed.  Everything suddenly made sense.

You bet I rocked braces the first half of my freshman year of college.  It was all part of the plan.  I was still a timid small town girl in the beginning and needed the braces to keep scary people away from me until I got adjusted and became my now awesome self. : )

My 20th birthday brought my high school and college friends together for a dinner at my house in Ada.  It was pretty cool.

The other cool thing is that by this point, I had become pretty good at weeding out the real friends from the fake ones and I’m still close to almost every single person in this photo.

THE BIG 21!!!  This is what my celebration with my family looked like.  A very nice and very expensive (sorry dad) dinner at my place of employment at the time, the HoDo restaurant in Fargo, ND.  Livi was just over a month old at this point and was still in the hospital nearby.  We all went to see her and celebrate that night where ‘she’ gave me the necklace I’m wearing in the photo.

This is what 21 with my friends looked like.  Well actually it was much worse than this, but this is the only photo I’ll be allowing my parents to see.  Apparently lingerie as a shirt worked for me at the time.

My last birthday as a college student was my 22nd.  We rented a big party bus and just went nuts.  From what I remember anyway.

If I recall we ended up a strip club.  I told you there would be cringe worthy moments.

For my 23rd I decided to class it up a little.

And all of a sudden, Jon appears, and everything changes again.  I’m living in Denver, having dinner at a very nice and expensive (sorry Jon) restaurant in Vail with the man of my dreams.  He’ll never not be beside me for my birthday ever again.   Weird.  

That was number 24 and we celebrated the weekend in Taos, New Mexico.  I’ll take that face and body back any time now thank you very much.

I have no photo’s from the day of my 25th birthday because I spent it holed up on the couch feeling sorry for myself and how old I was getting.  I should have been slapped.  These photo’s were taken a few days later at a Jason Mraz at Red Rocks concert.  My friend Lindsay and I have birthdays three days apart and we celebrated that year with her coming to Denver to visit.

Yep!  Jon was there too : )

26 was awesome as well.  I was newly engaged and apparently injected with some sort of happiness glow because I think this was the best I’ve ever looked.  I could have stayed in those happy weeks forever.

What was so great about this birthday was that it was celebrated with what have become life long people for me.  Grown up friendships that are so much better than the 5th grade ones.

They just start to kind of whiz by don’t they?

There I was just a short year ago, newly married and turning 27 years old.  Happiest I’ve ever been.  Most confident in my life, choices, and friendships than I’ve ever been.

Fast forward to today.  Here I am yet another year later.

Twenty. Eight. Years.

Gone in a blip.

But that’s never quite true is it?  It wasn’t a blip.  It was a long, long time.

I was reminded of that when I went through those albums and boxes.  A lot of memories, adventures, laughter, tears, and joy in those 28 years.

A lot more to come.

Many of the photo’s I found tugged pretty hard at my heart.  The one’s of Livi as a baby, the one’s of me carefree in college, the one’s of my friend Adam who passed away.

Places, people, memories I’d almost forgotten.  It was surprising.

Tears sprang up a time or two, but for the most part I spent two hours with a reminiscent smile on my face, wishing I could go back and do it all over again.  I was astounded at how much I’ve lived and how little I would change.

We’re heading out tomorrow, back to Minnesota for the weekend, to celebrate golden 28.  Jon hasn’t let me in on much of the plan, but I know it involves a hotel stay and hopefully some family and friend time.  If I realized anything in reliving past birthdays, it’s how sickeningly lucky I’ve been to be surrounded by wonderful people, friends and family, no matter the age.  My birthday wish this year will be one wishing that never changes.

Bring it on 28!


Weekend Recap

And just like that…it’s fall in Colorado.

And I LOVE IT!!!

Because do you know what comes next?


And skiing.  And Thanksgiving.  And more skiing.  And boots and scarves and freshly baked Beaver Creek chocolate chip cookies.

But let’s get back to fall because I’m so happy that it’s here.

Fall brings us several things around here:

…ski pass purchases (ouch).

…my birthday (it’s Friday, double ouch).

…and over the last few years…my in-laws (I know you think i’m going to say triple ouch, but I like them, so HA you’re wrong).

This fall was no different.  Jay and Heidi arrived last Thursday for a weekend of good food, delicious wine and the always breathtaking Colorado views.

Last year we all went to Aspen, but this time we decided to stay a little bit closer to home and headed up to the Echo Lake area instead.


It’s wonderful here in the summer, spectacularly fun in the winter, but as far as showcasing Colorado’s natural beauty goes…fall takes the cake.

After our exhausting viewing of the landscape we decided that visiting a Colorado winery was our only option.

The wine was good, the food was good, but the entertainment was great…

…unless you’re Jon in which case you hate all things adorable.

The rest of the weekend was action packed with a concert in Boulder on Friday, some shopping and sightseeing, a baseball game and a relaxing Sunday brunch at Lola.

Who doesn’t start breakfast with an order of donuts?

Who doesn’t follow donuts with lobster filled deviled eggs?

There was also a fly over and several minutes educating Jay on Asian rap artists.

It was a lovely weekend jam packed with things I’d like to do every weekend if I could.  It’s always nice to have visitors here, especially when it’s family.  Jon and I both love sharing what we find so irresistible about Colorado with people.

I wish fall could last forever, but just this morning it was dumping snow in the mountains.  It’s only a matter of time before it makes it’s way to the foothills and eventually Denver.  So cheers to your fall, wherever you are, soak it up because it always goes way too fast.

Giving Thanks


Thank you all so much for your incredibly awesome comments about the Obama photo’s!

I started wondering if I should watermark them on the blog so people can’t steal them.  Would that be distracting to people viewing them?  Maybe I wouldn’t do that to every photo I put on the blog, just the real ‘money makers’?  What do you think?


While I’m busy being a ME MONSTER, I’d like to share with you that after my post about cheese and love, THIS HAPPENED:




Yup.  That happened.  I double checked.

Shortly thereafter, this and this happened:



…and it was awesome.


It seems small.  I know that.

But when I sit alone, every day, staring at my computer trying to create something from nothing that I hope people will enjoy, it helps to get positive feedback from a completely random human that isn’t my mom.

It’s REALLY nice when that person happens to run your favorite restaurant, which is owned and operated by the same people who own and operate the top ranked restaurant in Colorado.

It’s EVEN NICER when they found the post all on their own, without knowing me or my blog, and without anybody telling them to look.

Thank you Chris for your kind words.  You(‘ve always) now have a life long patron of Pizzeria Locale.

Mr. President

Last week I had the incredible fortune to attend a rally in Golden, CO for Barack Obama.  Not only did I get to attend, but I got to go with my friend Erin and together we got to skip the line filled with thousands of people and walk right up front into the third row of the VIP section.

It was flipping awesome.

Before the main attraction made his debut, we enjoyed several speakers who got the crowd all riled up.  The highlight for me was seeing Ken Salazar (even though he turned out to be a tragically bad public speaker).  Regardless of his speaking skills, he’s a fifth generation Coloradan and an important part of the President’s Cabinet so it was fun to see him up close and personal.

Ken was followed by a few lucky locals who got a chance to speak, pray, and ask for our votes.If you’re wondering at this point how close we were?  We were really really close.  We could not have been any closer unless we were sitting on the stage next to the podium.  I had my zoom lens with me but barely had to use it.  It was pretty epic.  

The openers wrapped up, the crowd basked in the beautiful Colorado sunshine for a few more minutes, and then just like that…there he was.

It was electric.
Our President, standing 15 feet in front of us, with the beautiful Colorado mountains behind him.  It kind of knocked my socks off for a minute.

It’s easy to think of him as just a candidate running for office, asking for your vote, campaigning away just like Romney…

…but reality hits you, and you realize that he’s not just a candidate.  He is the President of the United states and you’re getting a chance to stand in front of him and listen to him speak.

Pretty cool.

THEN, as if things weren’t amazing already, he looks directly at me and I snag maybe my favorite photo of my whole life (even though he looks kinda pissed at me).I was like a squealing girl at a rock show exclaiming to Erin “he just looked right at me, he just looked RIGHT at me!”

He covered a lot of the same topics he spoke about at the DNC, but as usual, he was effortlessly inspiring and uplifting.  I’ve told Jon several times that it’s almost unfair how much better he is at public speaking than any opponent ever could be.

Once he was done speaking, he walked the length of the front gate and spoke to the crowd, gave hugs, shook hands and was overall the most charming man of all time.At this point he was so close that I could have punched him in the face (in case any government spies are reading this…I would never punch him anywhere).  It was really fun to watch him interact with the crowd, and even more fun to see people’s reactions to him. Cheering, fist bumping, high fiving, hugging, crying etc.  That boy got a high five right after this, but someone got in my way and I missed it!  You should have seen the grin on his face afterwards.Leaving us all with an enthusiastic wave and that incredible smile the event was over and the President was gone.  It took awhile for the rush to go away, so while we waited, Erin and I posed for some patriotic photo’s of our own.It felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m really glad we went…thanks Erin!

I walked away from that day even more confident in which way I’ll be voting this November.  I’m not going to get too political on this blog, but I will say that policies, money, successes and failures aside, I just simply trust Barack Obama more than Mitt Romney.  I truly believe that deep down Obama is a good man and that he wants to do what is best for this country.  I hope he gets the chance.

New York New York!

It went (sort of) like this…

Jon: So…I don’t really know how this works, or if I’m supposed to just surprise you or something…but should I be planning something for our 1 year anniversary?

Me: I don’t know how any of this works either, but it would be fun to do something memorable don’t you think?

Jon: I’ll go look at a map.

Me: (internal squealing)

Jon: How about New York City?

Me: I was hoping for a nice dinner but I guess I’ll get my luggage!

Jon: Don’t be expecting this every year.

Me: I will won’t.  

And just like that the plans and all my future expectations were set.  We were going to NYC to celebrate our first year of marriage!

Considering that my favorite things to do are eat, drink wine, take photos, shop, and wander around cities…I was pumped that we were going to the PERFECT place for all those things. The last time we visited was our first time so we had knocked a lot of the obvious touristy things off the list.  This trip I decided I wasn’t going to be a tourist but instead a traveler.  I was looking forward to enjoying the city in a different way.

While I did take quite a few photo’s, I went about it in a slightly newer way this trip.  Often times I can get carried away taking so many pictures that I constantly have the camera at my face rather than experiencing what’s surrounding me.  This time I chose one main day that I allowed myself to go camera crazy with and most of the other time I left my camera in the hotel or my bag and just used my iPhone.  It worked wonderfully.  I still got to scratch my creative itch but didn’t miss out on participating in the fun.

Our first night in NYC we scratched Jon’s itch of wanting to pretend to be Don Draper for a night.  Yes, we’re Mad Men nerds.  He did a little research, we got gussied up, and we went out for a night on the town Draper style.

Our first stop was the Grand Central Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station.  *please excuse crappy iPhone photo’s but I was trying to enjoy my night, not stage dramatically beautiful photo’s for you people : )

I agree.


In my wise old age I’ve become a pretty adventurous eater, and adventurously eat those oysters I did, but I did not enjoy one single second of it.  I hate oysters.  I guess my dreams of being a snooty fancy pants has to go down the drain.

Luckily we rebounded with one of my favorite meals I’ve ever eaten in my life.

In keeping with the Mad Men theme, we made our way down the beautiful Midtown West neighborhood to Barbetta, where Don Draper has dinner with a lovely lady on the show.   What made us want to go there was the beautiful NYC patio they’re seen dining at and the fact that it’s New York’s oldest restaurant at 106 and the only restaurant in America that’s been named a Historic Establishment.

I walked away from the meal being able to confidently say I will probably never eat better mozzarella cheese or gnocchi in my life.  It was absurd how good this food was.

We had a lovely experience with lovely conversation and I still have dreams about the gnocchi melting in my mouth.

The next morning began the day I chose to go nuts with the camera.

The first place that I chose to go camera crazy at?  Where else…

Central Park is one of those places that’s just unexplainably magical for some reason.  You just have to experience it to both realize how enormous it is and also to feel what it’s like to wander so far in that all of a sudden you look around you and there’s nothing but tree’s and sky.  Not a building in sight.  Even no people sometimes which is a complete anomaly in New York City.

I told Jon that Central Park seems to be one of the most necessary places I’ve ever been to.  Necessary in the sense that I think New Yorkers would go absolutely bonkers without it.  It couldn’t ‘not exist’.  We weren’t even in the city for 24 hours before we walked into the park, but even we felt a sense of relief to step out of the concrete jungle and into a place that forces you to slow down and exhale.

Our walk through Central Park came after having brunch at Sarabeth’s on 5th ave and Central Park South (yum) with this guy…

…and was the route we took to get to the American Museum of Natural History.

It’s really strange, but it actually takes you a minute to think “wait…are these real?” and realize that yes…they are.  They are not statues, they are not a likeness.  They are real god damn dinosaurs that were dug out of the real god damn earth.  It’s NUTS and a little bit scary.  The dinosaurs aren’t scary.  The fact that people think they didn’t exist is scary. 

You bet I did!

Jon: Eww that’s so gross, do you know how many people have touched that thing?

Me: Are you insane!?  We’ve been riding the subway!  How many people do you think touch the screens to buy the tickets, the railing walking up, the seats etc.  I am NOT going to miss touching a 140 million year old dinosaur bone you bone head.  

It was worth it and to the best of my knowledge I didn’t contract anything deadly.

Just awesomeness.

The thing that’s so cool about this museum is that it’s science and true history.  It’s all right there, right in front of you, and it’s so educational.  All facts.

If they don’t know the exact answer to something, they tell you right there.  They speculate as to what they think the answer is based on scientific reasoning, but they tell you they don’t know when they don’t.  More things should be that way.

On every trip we go on I inevitably get a little sad that I can’t scoop up everyone I love and bring them with so that they can see all the same things.  Being at the American Natural History Museum was particularly tough because of Livi.  She would have gone NUTS over seeing every animal, fish and insect that’s ever lived.  Screw Disney World.  Every kid should see a real dinosaur skeleton once in their childhood.

Incredible.  Gargantuan.  Enormous.  Makes you realize how teeny tiny us human beings are in size and importance.

Not blaming anyone for anything…just stating the cold hard facts.

I love whoever is in charge of that place and am so happy that really really smart people exist to give the rest of us a place like that to go and learn.

That concludes our Sunday afternoon in the big city.  Now onto Sunday evening where we brave the Subway yet again and then huff it over the Brooklyn Bridge for the best night ever.  

This is the partially completed 1 World Trade Center which is going up near the September 11th Memorial site.  The last time we visited, we went to the 9/11 site and it was still just an enormous pile of rubble and nothing, it’s pretty darn cool to see it completely transformed and triumphantly moving on.

We stumbled onto an incredible gem located near the base of the bridge on the Brooklyn side called The River Cafe.  It was such a beautiful little spot where we sat and admired the sweeping skyline views, reminisced on the last year, and called my mom to tell her thank you again for all the work she did a year prior for our wedding.  It was an unplanned several hour stop, but ended up being one of my favorite parts of the trip.

Feeling refreshed after resting our feet for an hour or two we decided to spend a little more time in Brooklyn and took a cab to Franny’s, a pizza joint that was ranked a favorite place to eat in the world by top chef’s of the United States.  

Seeing a trend here?  Eat, drink, eat more, drink more, walk it all off.

A taxi ride back to the hotel and just like that my photo crazy day was over.

Our anniversary was the next day and we spent it shopping in the morning and then in the second row center at a taping of David Letterman!  Afterwards we gussied up one more time for the most romantic dinner of my life at One if by Land Two if by Sea and had another favorite meal of all time.  The scallops….ohhhh dear lord the scallops.

It was so nice to get away, just Jon and I, and get lost in such an incredible place.  We reminisced a lot on the past year, speculated about our future, and constantly thanked the stars for how lucky we are in our present.

Thank you Jon for whisking me away on such a memorable trip.  My life has changed in ways I never thought were possible since the day you entered it.  You have made more of my dreams come true that I ever dared hoped for and we’re only one year of marriage in.

I can’t wait to see what’s up next : )

Weekend Recap (x3)

Now that the dust has finally begun to settle on our crazy busy and fun filled summer I’ve got some weekend recap catching up to do.

The last three weekends put me in Minnesota at the lake for a family reunion, at a beautiful park for Labor Day Monday, and just this past weekend at my favorite restaurant in Boulder with friends.

I live a pretty charmed life with some pretty great people.

Some refreshing Marg’s at Zorbaz after our exhausting horse riding expedition.  

…and with that, my Minnesota lake season ended.  Couldn’t have gone out on a higher note.

Next up…Labor Day!  We took it easy and picnicked in the park.  It was great.  And the beautiful pregnant woman in the photo’s experienced her own day of labor just four days later!  Welcome to the world Lola : ) You are crushingly beautiful already/We find ways to gamble no matter where we are : )Ahhh successful relaxing day at the park.  Good times.

Moving on!

This last weekend I spent the day and evening in Boulder with my girlfriends Katie and Ashley.  We don’t get together very often, so this needed to be special.  We decided on lunch at Pizzeria Locale.Now, let me just say, I turn into a little bit of a freak when I’m at Pizzeria Locale.

That’s because it is not simply a pizza joint.


It does something to me and I’m almost convinced they put some sort of additive in their foods.

Actually they do.

It’s called cheese.  And love.  They drizzle their pizza with cheese and their cheese with pure love.

I’m actually pretty annoying about how much I love this food.

We sat on the patio and I exclaimed to every passerby “(sigh)…i’m just so happy”.

It’s that good.  It’s the number one restaurant I recommend to people when they come to Colorado.  This is coming from a girl that doesn’t even like pizza that much.

But this isn’t pizza.  It’s so much more that that.We must’ve said “LOOK at these EFFING tomatoes” at least a hundred times.Yes.  That’s a salad with cucumbers, cantaloupe AND GOAT CHEESE!

I don’t even have a picture of the fried cheese balls we started with because I finished mine before the waiter even set down the plate.

End of summer days don’t get much better than that.  Fantastic food, gorgeous weather in a gorgeous mountain city, and incredible company.

Sigh…I’m just so happy.