Category Archives: Family

Easter in Minnesota 2015




Meet baby Hudson.

Jon and I flew home over Easter weekend to meet my baby brother Sawyer’s new baby and our families first grandchild.  It was great, and yet weird.  Sawyer will forever be seven to me.  Now, instead of being seven, he and his girlfriend Kirsten have an infant.

The weirdness quickly wore off because it turns out our new reality is SUPER cute.

A few of us spent the day watching Hudson so mama could go take a break and get her hair done.  I took a few photos of him, his cute tiny things, and his adorable nursery.


We only pissed him off once, and it was because THESE two couldn’t figure out a swaddle to save their lives.  ;  )

Hudson-19Once we got him all settled in I took advantage of some window light to show off his itty bitty ears, his pretty eyes and his long lean limbs.

A couple days later we all celebrated Easter in Ada.  We dyed eggs all day prior and only ended up with this many.Hudson-25Worth it because they were WORKS OF ART I say.  As were the nests made of sugar.
Hudson-32Hudson-24Hudson-26Yep.  A chick in a floral crown.  WE WIN!Hudson-27Mashup5Hudson-23Hudson-29Hudson-44Hudson-34Hudson-36Hudson-30Mashup7Hudson-37Hudson-38Hudson-39Hudson-47Hudson-45Hudson-48Hudson-46Hudson-51Mashup6Hudson-52Hudson-53Hudson-56Hudson-59Hudson-63Hudson-55Hudson-54Hudson-62As you can see, nothing interesting happened the entire day.  All we did was hold Hudson.


Hudson-61Hudson-60Hudson-87FamilyShot-1FamilyShot-2One big happy family of 10.  :  )

Since Sawyer and Kirsten were all gussied up, we took advantage of some afternoon light and snapped some family photos.  Keep scrolling if you’d like to see them.  Happy Tuesday!



Playing Tourist

Some of my favorite women in the world came to visit a few weeks back.  Two of them have been to Colorado many times before, but for one it was a first.  I put on my tour guide cap and we covered some major ground and popular sights in the four days they were here.

On one of the days (and the only day I got out my camera) we headed to Garden of the Gods for an evening stroll.  It had been nearly 8 years since I’d been, and it was nice to have a reason to go again.

Here are some snapshots of this beautiful, beautiful state I’m lucky to call home.

FettingLadies-6 FettingLadies-7 FettingLadies-40 FettingLadies-53 FettingLadies-9 FettingLadies-11FettingLadies-38 FettingLadies-39 FettingLadies-19 FettingLadies-17 FettingLadies-33 FettingLadies-12 FettingLadies-21FettingLadies-22FettingLadies-18FettingLadies-20FettingLadies-29FettingLadies-36FettingLadies-35FettingLadies-27FettingLadies-28FettingLadies-15FettingLadies-16FettingLadies-25FettingLadies-26FettingLadies-24FettingLadies-42FettingLadies-34FettingLadies-31FettingLadies-32FettingLadies-37FettingLadies-47FettingLadies-46FettingLadies-41FettingLadies-44FettingLadies-45FettingLadies-30FettingLadies-55FettingLadies-48FettingLadies-57FettingLadies-56FettingLadies-54FettingLadies-62FettingLadies-50FettingLadies-51FettingLadies-63FettingLadies-52FettingLadies-58FettingLadies-60FettingLadies-61FettingLadies-59FettingLadies-65FettingLadies-64FettingLadies-66FettingLadies-67

Cañon City, Colorado.

GrandpaPete-4This post is mostly just for my mom.  : )

Her dad, my grandpa, came to Colorado recently for a funeral.  He stayed with us the few days he was here, and while in town we took him to Cañon City to visit his big brother Virgil.  These are just some snapshots from the lovely spring day we spent with the pair of geezers.  : )
GrandpaPete-5GrandpaPete-2GrandpaPete-3GrandpaPete-7 GrandpaPete-6 GrandpaPete-8GrandpaPete-1GrandpaPete-11 GrandpaPete-12 GrandpaPete-13GrandpaPete-19 GrandpaPete-14 GrandpaPete-15GrandpaPete-16 GrandpaPete-17 GrandpaPete-20 GrandpaPete-21 GrandpaPete-23GrandpaPete-22 GrandpaPete-27GrandpaPete-25 GrandpaPete-24 GrandpaPete-18GrandpaPete-26

Kinkade Christmas 2013

KinkadeChristmas-1 We had such a fantastic week back in my hometown over Christmas.  It was one of those trips that I knew was going to be special, and it was, in a way that I fear won’t be duplicated for quite some time.  It helped that it was the first Christmas Jon and I had been in Ada since before we got married, which felt like forever ago!  All of the stars seemed to align and everyone was able to get away from their responsibilities to spend the week together.  Jon and I didn’t feel torn in a bunch of different directions, my brothers were all able to take time off from work to spend time there, and my Grandpa Pete flew home for his first Minnesota Christmas in 13 years!  We made a lot of great memories and it will go down as one of my favorite Christmases ever.

My mom always does such an incredible job decorating her house for the holidays so I thought I’d share some photos of her skills that she decided not to pass down to me.  : )

Mashup4 KinkadeChristmas-8 Her Christmas trees are consistently some of the most beautiful I see every year.  It makes my pathetic tree look like a 5 year old decorated it.  KinkadeChristmas-20Mashup3Mashup1

She’s amassed a pretty cool collection of decor over the years and I always look forward to seeing how she puts it all together.  She doesn’t just decorate the main areas of the house either, she makes sure every bedroom has their own little holiday touches as well.  She turns the house into a warm and inviting place that you never want to leave…and we barely did!  Partly because of the freezing temperatures, but mostly because it’s so enjoyable to be there.

KinkadeChristmas-7 KinkadeChristmas-15 KinkadeChristmas-24KinkadeChristmas-17 KinkadeChristmas-18 KinkadeChristmas-19 When she can’t buy the kind of centerpiece she wants, WORRY NOT!  She’ll craft it out of ice, throw it on a pizza pan and turn it into a glowing work or art.  What the hell.  I am SO not good at this stuff.Masup5 KinkadeChristmas-3 KinkadeChristmas-5 KinkadeChristmas-6KinkadeChristmas-31Mashup6 KinkadeChristmas-29My brother Tyler has turned into a pretty skilled chef and he was kind enough to give my Mom and Dad a bit of a break from feeding everyone all week.  He made us some delicious pasta Christmas Eve while we all waited in angst for Grandpa Pete to arrive in the tundra.
KinkadeChristmas-26KinkadeChristmas-16Just to prove how much more skilled my mother is at creative things, I made that hideous bloody ‘A’ in Grampa (spelled that way on purpose), after which she kindly fired me, and then finished the rest by herself.  KinkadeChristmas-27 KinkadeChristmas-28 Even the pups were quietly and patiently awaiting his arrival.KinkadeChristmas-32 KinkadeChristmas-33 IMG_5384 Livi was texting Jon, Chad and Greyson wondering why they were taking so long to deliver her favorite houseguest.  Before we knew it, the headlights rolled in the driveway and out popped a frozen Grandpa.  Forgive the terrible iPhone photos but I had to act quickly to capture the moment!  IMG_5388 IMG_5391Once he had arrived, everyone was home and all felt right in the world.  KinkadeChristmas-35 KinkadeChristmas-36 Mashup7KinkadeChristmas-37 To me, there is nothing better in the entire world than when the Kinkade house is filled with the commotion of food being prepared, people arriving, and drinks being shared.  It’s the greatest.KinkadeChristmas-38KinkadeChristmas-41 KinkadeChristmas-43 KinkadeChristmas-40 We carried on our tradition of opening one gift on Christmas Eve.  Our entire lives it’s been new pajamas to wear to bed and on Christmas morning, but this year my mom went rogue and got us deliciously comfy blankets instead.

Genius.  KinkadeChristmas-44 KinkadeChristmas-45 Walking around that house the rest of the week you could, at any given moment, find at least one of us curled up somewhere with those blankets.  They were a hit.
KinkadeChristmas-50 KinkadeChristmas-49KinkadeChristmas-46 KinkadeChristmas-47 KinkadeChristmas-48Before too long, everyone shipped off to bed anxiously awaiting what came next…Christmas morning!!KinkadeChristmas-60 KinkadeChristmas-53 KinkadeChristmas-59I have to say, Christmas is always better when there’s a little person involved.  Livi makes it all even more fun.
KinkadeChristmas-51 KinkadeChristmas-54 KinkadeChristmas-55Mashup10 KinkadeChristmas-67 Grandpa Pete has a history of dolling out questionable gifts, but he hit the nail on the head for Jon this year.  ; )  Take a close look at that t-shirt and consider recent laws passed in Colorado.  KinkadeChristmas-66 KinkadeChristmas-71 Mashup8KinkadeChristmas-56 KinkadeChristmas-52 KinkadeChristmas-68Mashups9 Mashup9KinkadeChristmas-70 KinkadeChristmas-74 All the boys in their Vikings gear.  At least they feel the pain of being Vikes fans as a family.  KinkadeChristmas-75 KinkadeChristmas-76 So, I’d like to pause here and point out my Grandpa’s shirt.  When going through these photos I realized that we MAY be a crazy cat family.  They appear everywhere.  I think we can see who’s to blame here…KinkadeChristmas-69KinkadeChristmas-84KinkadeChristmas-78 KinkadeChristmas-79Typical picture taking shenanigans out of those two.  I believe that move is to ward off the infamous ‘double chin photo’.
KinkadeChristmas-80 KinkadeChristmas-83KinkadeChristmas-93 KinkadeChristmas-85 KinkadeChristmas-86 KinkadeChristmas-87 KinkadeChristmas-88 KinkadeChristmas-89 KinkadeChristmas-90 Later in the afternoon, once our extended family arrived, we all gathered to watch Grandpa Pete open his ‘big present’.  It was a series of small hints leading him to a gift certificate which gifted him with his life long dream of driving a steam engine train.  Do you drive a train?  Captain a train?  Direct a train?  I don’t know.  He gets to drive a train.  In Nevada.  We all cried.  Well, all the girls did.  He tried to be stoic and it was a very cool moment.Mashup11 Mashup12 Mashup13KinkadeChristmas-99 KinkadeChristmas-98 KinkadeChristmas-100 This is basically what the week looked like.  Everyone eating.  Constant and relentless eating.  It was blissful.  : )KinkadeChristmas-102 KinkadeChristmas-101 KinkadeChristmas-103 KinkadeChristmas-104KinkadeChristmas-105 Greyson had to leave Christmas night for stupid work, so he wanted to get a few photos with Livi first.  As usual, she didn’t want to smile.  Thank goodness my mom was there for the assist.  KinkadeChristmas-107 KinkadeChristmas-108It worked!
Mashup14 KinkadeChristmas-106 KinkadeChristmas-111 KinkadeChristmas-112 KinkadeChristmas-113We spent many nights in the family room playing any number of games.  Once or twice we decided to brave the elements and head ‘up town’ to the Ada bars for some fun.  Fun it was.  Every minute.IMG_5399 IMG_5408 IMG_5413IMG_5401 IMG_5486 IMG_5455 IMG_5489 IMG_5485 IMG_5430 IMG_5447Sometimes we use things like blogs and social media to try and present our lives more perfect than they really are.  I’m guilty, you’re guilty, we all are.  Who wants to see the nitty gritty reality all the time?  Nobody does.  I have to be honest and say that this trip wasn’t perfect.  But if this post makes it seem like it was, that’s because it was as close as it’s ever gotten.  Looking back at this post makes me smile the whole way through, but at the same time gives me a tightness in my heart because I know how rare weeks like that can be.
IMG_5448I just feel damn lucky that I get to share my life with all these people…cat crazy as they are.  I’m not sure Morely shares my sentiment.  : )  Mashup15 KinkadeChristmas-124 KinkadeChristmas-125 KinkadeChristmas-126

Pine to Palm

It’s my party and I’ll blog when I want to.

Hello everyone.  Is the holiday season crazy or WHAT?!?  I even started early this year!  I don’t know what happens.  Whew.  I think I’m done though.  I mailed Christmas cards and shipped my last bundle of packages today, baked cookies and finished shopping yesterday and have now moved on to cleaning our place before we leave for 8 days.

My mom seems to blame some mythical ‘missing week’ between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.  I feel like it’s the same every year.  There’s always one more gift to get, one more errand to run, one more christmas party to attend…blah blah blah.  Regardless of the mayhem lately, I’m very excited to be going back to Ada for Christmas as we’ve missed the last two.  I know everybody says this about their childhood home, but Christmas is magical at my house.  Especially since we still have a little Livi around.  I credit my parents for having a beautiful snow covered cozy yard, a beautifully decorated cozy house, and deliciously prepared cozy meals.

Also because my family is awesome.  Except for that Livi.  She’s a real jerk.  : )

The biggest downside (maybe the only one) about going back to MN for Christmas is the flipping weather.  More so than ever, Jon and I have realized what huge wimps we are about the cold.  It seems to get worse every year.   I feel that we are in NO WAY prepared for what we’ll be encountering when we arrive in the tundra.  Here is some perspective on why we have such wimpy attitudes.  I was wearing a light long sleeve t-shirt and jeans two days ago and actually rolled down my window for some air because it was so warm out.  It creeped right up on 70 degrees.  Beautiful December day in Denver.  People were wearing skirts!

Do you know how cold it’s been in Ada!!???  Barely creeping up on ZERO degrees. Most days it’s so cold that the thermometers just give up.  Last night the high was 0 degrees and the low was -1.  It’s like make believe of the worst kind.  Today Jon and I played hooky and snuck up to Keystone for our first ski day of the year.  I was bundled head to toe in my usual layered masterpiece and at one point declared I was ‘a bit chilly’.  He should have slapped me because it was around 40 degrees and sunny.  I’m shivering just thinking about getting off the plane in Fargo.

Back to the blogging.

I think that due to all this talk about winter, and the fact that I don’t declare it being winter in Denver until I’m on a ski slope (which happened today) I will welcome in my official first day of winter with my official last post about summer.  Things have gotten very official around Midwest Mountainess lately.

This should warm my thoughts up nicely.

Every year the same question hangs on the lips of the entire world:

“When will Ali and Jon be at the cabin this summer?”

Every year the same answer comes from our mouths.

“We have no idea.”

We end up picking and choosing different dates due to work schedules, deals closing, weddings happening, babies being born, etc.

Somehow those dates almost never fall on Jon’s favorite week of them all…

…Pine to Palm week.  (golf claps)

It comes and it goes and he’s usually in Denver moping that he didn’t get to play AGAIN THIS YEAR!  THE INJUSTICE!

Well…things changed this past summer and we made it happen.  It was a highlight of our entire year and we had such a blast.


Gotta admit, I love a man in golf gear.
2013Lake-65As you can see it’s a fairly relaxed tournament.  : )  Which is also why it’s SO AWESOME!2013Lake-83 2013Lake-61Don’t let anyone holding a styrofoam cup fool you…it’s full of a bloody mary.  Every time.  2013Lake-58 2013Lake-63 2013Lake-76 Part of what made the week so special is that all the ‘cabin boys’ made it up there as well to watch the golfers play.  Even Max made it back from Dubai.   Jon had never gotten to play with his cousin Tyler and they organized it so that the first day they all were in the same flight.2013Lake-80 2013Lake-842013Lake-79 2013Lake-772013Lake-62 2013Lake-72 2013Lake-70 2013Lake-86 2013Lake-742013Lake-73 2013Lake-82Cuties.  2013Lake-68 The golfers may not have won any hardware for the mantle at the cabin, but the rest of us won big time getting to sip on Bloody Mary’s and bask in the Minnesota sunshine with our favorites.2013Lake-75 2013Lake-78All in all and as usual, it was a fabulous week spent with even more fabulous people.  Jon and I always leave weeks at the cabin with such warm fuzzies that we start to contemplate maybe moving back to Minnesota.  That is until it snows in September, hits -50 with windchill in November and remains dark from then on until May.

Happy Holidays!  Hope you’re warm wherever you are.  Paris posts coming soon.  : )

Farewell Summer.

Alright it’s official.

I’m letting go and admitting to myself that summer is over.

I know you Minnesota people think I’m crazy, that summer has been over for a long time, but here in Denver we’ve still been getting sunny and near 70 degree weather (which feels much warmer).

I’ll start looking at homes for sale in Denver for all of you immediately.

Anyway, summer is over.

I’m not happy about it.  But, I figure that once our ski’s get tuned up, a new pair of Uggs are purchased, and I start sleeping in sweats every night that it’s time to accept defeat.

It usually takes me a few weeks to turn the corner and get excited for another beautiful Colorado winter and ski season, but this year it happened much quicker.  I can’t wait!  I made major skill progress last season and am hopeful that I didn’t lose it all over the summer.

Something else that’s aiding in my ‘summer is over sadness’ is that the week of Thanksgiving  Jon and I will be visiting Paris!  He surprised me with the plane tickets when I got back from Erie, and although he only gave us two weeks to plan, we feel ready and are so flipping excited!!

I decided that in ONE last attempt to hang onto those summer rays I would post the photos of our big lake trip in August.  We were lucky again this year to get to Christian’s cabin as well as Jon’s family cabin.  Looking at these photos reminds me once again that MN in the summer is the best place on earth.

2013Lake-3 2013Lake-7 It’s always so fun to see all the boys back together again.2013Lake-2 2013Lake-1 2013Lake-6 2013Lake-4Yes, the watermelon cups were back and Anna loved them!2013Lake-5This guy became a first time papa just weeks after this photo was taken.  Look at him here with his beer and his cluelessness.  : ) 2013Lake-9 2013Lake-10 2013Lake-8 2013Lake-13 2013Lake-11 These two.  : )2013Lake-122013Lake-16 Yeah.  All that and she’s got a rock hard body.  HATE her.  2013Lake-14 2013Lake-17 THESE two announced they were expecting baby number two.  BABIES!  EVERYWHERE!2013Lake-15As predicted, we had a great weekend with friends only to head into an epic week with family.

There was a lot of horsin’ around.

2013Lake-19 2013Lake-21 Even better, the stars aligned and we got to have Max back from Dubai for the week.  I can’t even believe the luck.  It was so great.2013Lake-22 2013Lake-23 2013Lake-25 2013Lake-26 2013Lake-272013Lake-18 My ‘crew’ at the cabin.  I’m a lucky girl.2013Lake-28 2013Lake-29 2013Lake-32 2013Lake-30 2013Lake-342013Lake-37 PelicanLake-4 PelicanLake-6 PelicanLake-9 Miss Remi stole my heart.  Don’t look into her eyes for too long or you’ll be hooked too.PelicanLake-122013Lake-38 2013Lake-39 Because it’s the best lake.  Duh.2013Lake-35 2013Lake-36All the random alcohol bottles hidden in the depths of the cabinets along with their name assignments for finishing.  2013Lake-41 2013Lake-44 2013Lake-46 2013Lake-42 2013Lake-452013Lake-47 2013Lake-562013Lake-49While the rest of us ‘did work’ on the 25 or so random 1/4 full bottles of alcohol stuffed in random cupboards, these two did actual work.  I think those are their thinking caps.
2013Lake-87 2013Lake-89 Ever seen somebody shotgun a lim-a-rita?2013Lake-90 2013Lake-91 Now you have.  And he was never the same.2013Lake-92 Photos like this make my heart so happy.  Love those boys.2013Lake-93PelicanLake-2We even squeezed in an afternoon with the crazy busy Jennie Hendrickson!  It was such a great trip home, one for the record books if you ask me.  Already looking forward to next summer.  Too soon?  : )