Tag Archives: Denver

Missin’ my girl.

All I did was dig through a few boxes for my new blog feature “Throwback Thursdays” which will start tomorrow…found some pictures of Livi and then all this happened.

I remember very clearly the morning I left.

Eyes exhausted, mind racing, throat sore from swallowing down my nerves, fears and sadness.

I scooped Livi up out of her crib and laid her on the floor to change her diaper.  I was trying to avoid looking her in the eyes but they eventually met and with that the crocodile tears that I had pointlessly tried to keep swallowed down silently and heavily rolled down my face.

I forced smiles at her as I picked her back up and held her tight to walk down the stairs to the kitchen for breakfast.

There was a quiet and nervous energy in the house that day.

My car was sitting outside in the driveway with a tankful of gas.  It was packed to the brim with all that I didn’t send in the moving truck, ready and waiting to transport me to a new city, new home, and new life.

We all shuffled around the kitchen, the entryway, the driveway until there I was standing with the drivers door open doing everything I could think of to avoid getting in.

Why did this feel so much different from when I left for college?  Why did it feel so much worse?

Because I went to college 45 minutes away from home and saw my mom and family multiple times a week.

Because when I went to college I didn’t have a little sister.

People have always said about Livi that she is an ‘old soul’.  Born three months early and at two pounds she started her life with a pain that most people don’t have to deal with until they’re much older.

She’s always been wise.

She’s always been knowing.

She’s always been able to look right through people in an incredible way.

It’s always been a little bit surprising and that morning was no different.

I’ll never forget the way she looked at me, barely two years old, knowing that something was happening but not quite sure what.  So observant.  So aware.  She was somber, and quiet, which only made me all the more sad.

Standing in the driveway, I picked her little pajama clad body up and wrapped myself around her.  She just laid her head on my shoulder, let me cry, and waited what felt like a very long time until I was ready to let her go.

I didn’t know what to do, I had to just set her down.  My parents came next with hugs, tears, ‘i love you’ and ‘we’re proud of you’ and before I knew it I was sobbing my way down highway 9 towards my favorite boy and my favorite city.

Very dramatic I realize.  But it stands out as one of the most vivid and memorable days of my entire life.  I thought that my heart was going to shatter in two that morning.

Once on the road and nearing Denver, when I realized I was still living and breathing, I became very excited for my new life.  But facing my family that morning and really truly leaving was astoundingly difficult.  It remained so for the next…oh…six years.

I’ve been missing Miss Livi lately.

Since day one it’s been difficult for me to be away from her, but as time goes on, it really does get easier.  But for some reason it was harder than it has been to leave her this time.  I’m sure it’s due to the wonderful Memorial Day weekend we spent with her and my family in MN.

I used to truly believe that she could forget me.  That she would forget me.

One of my second most vivid memories was after a particularly long time apart at the beginning of my life in Denver.

Jon and I were back at the lake and I had been experiencing INSANE amounts of anxiety that she would have no idea who I was.

Not even that.  I was worried she would know exactly who I was, but that she would be nervous, shy, and uncomfortable around me.

I wouldn’t blame her.

But it would kill me.

I got the phone call that they were on their way.

I remember pacing the cabin.

I got the phone call that they were there which I knew because I had been nervously staring out the window for six hours.

It plays in slow motion every time I re-imagine it happening.

I opened the back door of the cabin and saw the tail end of my moms van sticking out.  I watched her come around the edge of the drivers side, a quick wave, heading toward the back to let Livi out.

I was already nervous and on the verge of tears.

Livi rounded the corner and hesitantly started walking down the hill towards the lake.

I held my breath and powered forward, acting like I didn’t care, managing my expectations with every bit of self control I had.

She’s going to walk right past me.  She’s going to cling to my Mom and not look at me.  She’s going to cry when I try and talk to her.

Instead she broke into a run.  She started running down the hill.

Oh my God it’s happening.  She’s going to run past me.  She hate’s me.  Act like you don’t care, focus on your Mom, she’s just a two year old…who cares.

Instead, she looked straight at me, continued running down the hill with a grin on her face and LITERALLY leapt right into my arms.

It was right out of a damn movie.

I completely choked up, remained as still as possible while I just held her, like the day I left home, and let wave upon wave of gratitude wash all over me.

It was easily one of the best moments of my entire life.  That little girl had NO IDEA how much I unfairly had wrapped up in her that day.

Anyways.  I’ve been missing Livi.

Luckily for me I’ll be scooping her 6 year old self up in less than a month when we go back to Minnesota for the 4th of July.  I’m pretty lucky to be her big sister.  She’s an amazingly sweet and kind little girl and it’s been such a blast to watch her grow up.

As if things weren’t dramatic enough already, I’ve been wanting to post this video for awhile now.  It’s a stunning music video for the band Gotye and their song (my favorite on the album) Bronte.  It reminds me very much of Livi, it reminds me of how bittersweet it felt to leave that morning for Denver, but most of all it reminds me of our ‘Neverland’ back yard where my siblings and I grew up.  Grab your tissues Mom.

Beware the Ninja

Fair warning.

I am going to use the word period in this post and I do NOT mean the kind at the end of a sentence.

Did all the boys leave the room screaming?  Alright then let’s begin.

Jon and I have very different thoughts on parenthood.

He thinks about it like all of a sudden we will have a well mannered blonde haired blue eyed athletic four year old boy living with us and his three identical brothers.

I think about it like all of a sudden our lives will be irreversibly changed in every single way imaginable.

You see the differences.

For him I think it’s still an abstract thought that he gets to sort of day dream about and convince himself that it’s going to be all awesome all the time.

For me it’s a very real part of our future that excites and yet still scares the crap out of me.


Because I don’t live in a flipping fantasy land!!!

Remember in this post when I said we weren’t really thinking about babies yet?

Well it turns out that’s not entirely true because I spent an entire day thinking about absolutely nothing else.  It was last Monday.  Memorial day.  And boy was it memorable.

At some point that morning, I absolutely convinced myself that I was pregnant.

One hundred percent convinced.

It might have had something to do with the fact that earlier in the weekend my Mom dropped a ninja (like this) in my brain.  She expressed to me that the thought had crossed her mind that maybe the reason Jon and I came home for such a quick unusually timed weekend was to announce we were having a baby.  I laughed at her, took a big gulp of my beer, and walked away.

Well like a true ninja comment, it surprised attacked me two mornings later.  We were sitting at Zorbaz having lunch and while everyone else is discussing how delicious yet similar the entire menu at Zorbaz is, my mind was doing this:

Holy shit I’m totally pregnant.

I’m sorry what?

I’ve read that your boobs get swollen and oh my GOD MINE ARE I’M PREGNANT!

Calm down.  Could you possibly be getting your period?

Are you insane?  NO!  What kind of question is that?  I’m also really fatigued so what am I going to do I’M PREGNANT!!!!

I’m not sure you’ve thought this through.

Awwww Crap!  I really like making out with my husband and now I’ll never be able to again BECAUSE I’M PREGNANT!

I think people still do that after they have a baby.

Really?  Are you sure they’re not just kissing the father of their child from then on out?

I think that’s the same thing.

Oh My God.  I just told like 100 people last week that I was in NO WAY ready to have kids.


Does it matter how many?!!!?!??  I said I wasn’t ready and I’m not and now I’m pregnant WHAT AM I GOING TO TELL EVERYONE!!!!?????

Nothing because you have no idea what you’re talking about.

My mom told me that her legs hurt when she was pregnant and mine sort of itch right now!

Ali, relax.  It’s because you have a mosquito bite on your leg.



I’ve also read that you have a heightened sense of smell and everything smells like a bonfire right now!!!!!!

That’s because you’re wearing the jeans you wore at the fire last night.  Take a deep breath.


This went on until I stood up, meal hardly touched, and disappeared into the bathroom to examine myself in the stall for signs that I was pregnant.

There were several.  At least in my mind.

I slapped on my best calm face (I’m pretty sure they all just thought I was being a bitch) and tried to form normal sentences for the rest of lunch.  Although in retrospect  I’m not sure I spoke to anyone for the next 12 hours.

Following our lovely lunch I THEN had to get in a car with Jon and both my inlaws for a 4 hour drive back to Minneapolis.


I tried watching a movie.

I tried playing angry birds.

I tried sleeping (yeah right).

I did pretty much everything I could to avoid grabbing my phone and googling “side effects of beer pong on an unborn child”.

I know it seems like I’m making light of this, but I was honestly freaking out.  All I could think of was getting to a Walgreens to buy 1 single pregnancy test because that would be all I would need because I am FOR SURE pregnant.

Well.  Following the car ride I was greeted with a 2 hour flight back to Denver and a little time to calm down and gain some perspective.  I’m 27.  It’s not the end of the world.  I’m married.  He loves me.  We want kids.  It’s fine.

Once in bed I finally told Jon what was on my mind for fear my head would explode otherwise.  I said “Honey, one of two things is going to happen tomorrow.  I’m either going to get my period or I’m going to plan a funeral for our amazing and wonderfully selfish current way of life.”

He responded with “Honey, whichever happens it’s going to be fine”.

Ignorant fool.

The next morning I had my alarm set for 7:00 a.m. with a reminder attached saying “Walgreens for pregnancy test”.  I’m not lying.  As if I might POSSIBLY forget.

Well I never made it to Walgreens because I got my period that morning.


Told you.

Shut up.

The point of this story isn’t to paint myself as a baby nazi.  I want kids.  I understand that life changes when that happens, but mostly for the better.  I think we’ll be great parents once I get some meds for my CLEAR case of anxiety.

My point is, when I got my period I was relieved, but I was also the tiniest bit disappointed.  I had sort of started to wrap my head around it.

So I guess I can’t say I’m not thinking about it at all.  I most definitely have to stop slapping people in the face when they ask if we’ve thought about having kids.  Or maybe keep slapping them but stop instantly responding with ‘oh my god no are you crazy no way in hell not for five years at least no way’.

I’m certainly not thinking about it all the time, but it’s there…being ‘ready’ for a baby.  Safely in the back of my mind – sort of like a ninja – just waiting to surprise me at ANY moment.

Link Love

What’s everybody got planned for the weekend?

This week sailed by for me, but I’m so excited to have the entire weekend off with some great things to look forward to.  Jon and I are meeting some friends to see a comedy show tonight.  We love anything live and, as I’m sure you can tell from my incredible wit, we love funny things.  : ) So we decided we needed to hit up Denver’s Comedy Works more often!

Tomorrow some friends of mine/ours from the summer Jon and I met are in town!  Courtney and Ian are two of our favorite Californians/Minnesotans at heart.  Ian plays for a rugby team and they are playing in the championships this weekend in town.  I had barely even heard of rugby before I knew Ian and now that I’ve watched a few games I feel confident in recommending taking one in.  It’s a fascinating and intense sport.  We always look forward to seeing them.

Sunday signals the beginning of Denver’s Jazz in the Park and we’ve recruited a significantly large group to go hang out.  We’ll set up picnic blankets in the park, open up some bottle’s of wine, snack on yummy food and enjoy the beautiful evening full of great jazz music.  I’m very excited for that one.

Since I did so much posting this week and preparing of posts for next week, my Link Love is a little week so I apologize.  I didn’t have time to scour the internet as thoroughly as I normally do.

Hope you all have an event filled and wonderful weekend!

I love and have always loved to shop on this website.  They make the most beautiful, whimsical handcrafted gifts in Austin, TX.

Which one would you dare to try?  I think I’d choose the green one.


I wasted an entire afternoon on this list.  My personal faves are 1 – 6 -7 & 9

The olympics are coming the olympics are coming!

Speaking of olympics, here’s a gorgeous interpretation of them.

It doesn’t matter the language, you can always understand.  Gets me every time.  Take a look at this beautiful wedding.  That DRESS!  My goodness.

Another video…CAN’T WAIT TO SEE THIS!!!

See you next week!  Thank you so so so so so much for reading : )

Weekend Recap Part 2

So this is awkward.

It’s the weekend and I’m doing a recap of last weekend.  So not my fault.  I blame WordPress for deleting my hours of hard work on Part 1.  In retrospect, WordPress MAY have been looking out for my best interest considering the post ended with me pee’ing in a portable ‘bathroom’.  I’ve never been good at seeing the signs.

Anyway, Jon was gone last weekend so I had a nice and relaxing selfish weekend at home.  I did work quite a bit, but also got to catch up on time with good friends.  It was a good time because it was time NOT spent at a concert or bar where yelling is required to communicate.

Erin and I met up for a long overdue solo brunch at Lucille’s.  Neither of us had ever been there before so it was fun to try it out!  The bloody mary’s were delicious, the weather was beautiful and the food was of the brunch variety so it should go without saying that we devoured it.

WHY is brunch so delicious and so bad for you?  Another question – why does brunch always involve about 6 different beverages per person?  We had a coffee, waters, two bloody mary’s, and a latte all on our tiny little table combined with beignet’s, two giant plates of food, miscellaneous sauces, brown sugar, creamer etc.  It takes a lot of ingredients to make up a successful brunch I guess.

This weekend I also had the pleasure of hanging out with Miss Finley so her mom and dad could go enjoy a concert and night out.  Excuse me did I say Miss Finely?  I’m so sorry.  What I meant to say was Princess Finley.

Finley is very unique and didn’t wan’t to follow trends by making just any old Valentines day cards for her parents.  I took her to Target and let her choose an art project to make for them and she chose sea life window decals that she got to color herself : )

After Finley went to bed, Ashley came over to visit and watch the Grammy’s!  Not much to report there except for how gorgeous Adele looked…

…and how much I hate Gwyneth Paltrow for looking this amazing…

…not fair.

I’m going to change the subject and stop boring you with my weekend and instead bore you with my Valentines Day!  Yay!

Jon and I celebrated as married for the first time and it was really nice.  We had a great dinner at Ocean Prime at Larimer Square.  I always love going to Larimer because it’s so beautiful and festive 365 days a year.

I gave Jon a round of golf at the Princeville course in Kauai and he got me a beautiful bracelet from my favorite jewelry designer.

I ALSO received a single rose from the restaurant before we left and I decided to be incredibly generous and re-gift it…

…Happy Valentines day Marlo!

She went absolutely bonkers over it for about five minutes until she eventually turned it into a chew toy.   Because she’s a cat/dog.

In honor of Valentines Day and of Love, here is a video for you all to watch.  My best friend Vanessa is getting married this summer and these are her engagement photo’s!  I did not take the photo’s for I did not yet have my camera nor do I live in Texas (where she lives).  She did send me the raw files and I did my best at editing them on my ancient programs on my ancient laptop.  I think they’re fantastic because THEY are fantastic.  Enjoy!


Hello All.

And by all I mean mom.  Hi mom.

Sorry for the short break in the action but we had some major things happening around here this past weekend.  Denver had it’s version of a ‘blizzard’ which essentially means that it snows, everybody freaks out, schools and businesses shut down, and everyone from Minnesota laughs.  Out loud.  While pointing.

Denver wouldn’t know what a blizzard looked like if one black iced its ass into a ditch.

So an entire metropolitan city shut down starting Thursday night and didn’t really re-open until Monday.  They cancelled schools and closed offices Thursday afternoon before a single drop of snow fell because of predictions (apocalypse).

Yes it snowed, and yes it snowed more than an inch.  However, the problem in Denver isn’t the amount of snow, it’s that THEY DON’T PLOW.  Ever.  Not at all.  I’ll give the Minnesota readers a moment for that to sink in.

It’s Tuesday afternoon and they STILL haven’t plowed any side streets which are now like driving through a sugar beet field.

So when Jon and I awoke Friday morning expecting six feet of powdery goodness forcing us to stay inside, we were instead greeted with sunshine and about 7 inches of rapidly melting wet fluffy snow.  Damnit.

Thanks to Jon and his hatred of all things lazy, we took full advantage of a day off  and ran errands.  Ran errands where we could because random businesses were just simply closed.  Because it snowed a little.  ANYWAYS – onward to my point here.   One of these errands included FINALLY buying a new mattress!!!  This is where my complaining of not being permitted to be lazy will end.

I can’t even begin to explain how happy I am about this.  We have been agonizing over this decision since before we got married.  The only thing we could decide on was the size…KING (duh).  People have warned that king size beds are a marriage ruiner.  You know what else is a marriage ruiner?  Sleeping like a plank on the edge of a sunken queen while glaring at your husband who is comatose and impersonating a starfish.  The promise of a king has been the only thing keeping me from stuffing a dirty sock in his wide open sound asleep mouth.


It was delivered Sunday and we’ve BOTH had two nights of blissful comatose starfish impersonating sleep.

I will say that I’m not sure yet if it’s because of the Temper-Pedic.  We could have bought a water bed and it would have been an improvement over the catastrophe we’d been sleeping on.  In fact, our entire room was sad and pathetic and un-relaxing.  I’m sure like the cooking post I will regret this, but with embarrassment…here it is:

Hahahaha.  Oh my god it’s so much more horrible here.  To answer your certain to be asked questions, yes we sleep near our bikes (Jon doesn’t want his stolen), yes we do sometimes become depressed when standing in there, and the mattress bottom is all torn up because our cat/dog prefers to torture during sleeping hours.

The shame I now feel is only motivating me to complete our re-decoration more.

Sunday morning I went crazy and emptied EVERYTHING out of there to prepare for our new arrival.  It is currently sitting on a pristinely vacuumed floor because much like the mattress choice, choosing a bed frame has been agonizing.  I kicked all the other crap out of the room because it didn’t deserve to be in the presence of such magnificence.  I hastily piled on the new/unopened king size sheets, blankets, and duvet that have been sitting in my closet for months waiting and collecting dust.  The change is indescribable.

Jon asked me this morning after he had gone to work if I was already excited to go to sleep again.  My answer was yes and I hadn’t even peeled myself out of the bed yet.  The next step will be the bed frame, followed little by little with more changes such a less depressing paint color, some new bedside tables, a home for our bikes and some pretty pillows.  Until then I plan to continue sleeping like the dead and perpetuate Jon’s fear of all things lazy.

Stay tuned…

Memory Lane

I think I used to be a better writer.

I spent the better portion of my day yesterday going through an old blog and all its posts.  I did this with great trepidation, expecting to be a little embarrassed, but mostly because I was truly nervous to revisit those days and the painful feelings that filled them up.

I was surprised to find how many posts I actually wrote and how many of them were quite positive.  I was surprised at how much time has passed since then (2008 to early 2010) and how many things have both changed and stayed the same.  But what really surprised me is how much I enjoyed reading what I wrote.  I’m not sure if it’s because I was reading things that I had experienced and it was an interesting experiment to go back, or because the writing was actually pretty good.  It’s probably both.

I think what made it compelling for me was how raw and honest and real everything I said was.  I wasn’t putting up any airs.  I wasn’t trying to be anything I wasn’t.  I wrote about the bad AND the good with equal emotion.  It seemed like I was feeling more.  Or at least I wasn’t afraid to tell everyone what I was feeling, no matter what it was.

It was cathartic to go back.  I cried a lot reading the thoughts of my formerly scared and sad self.

I was fresh out of college and had just finished four years of professionally writing papers (or so it felt) so my writing skills were a bit more honed.  I’m going to try and be better at that in this new blog.

I think the biggest thing I took away from re-reading those posts was how not real I have been in this new blog so far.  I’ve been honest, sure.  I just haven’t really posted anything with any passion yet.  I’ve been intentionally very self restrained.  I quit writing that blog because I thought it represented a part in my life I wasn’t proud of.  I had just moved to Denver, I was immeasurably sad and felt very very alone.  I moved on from those feelings and left them behind me along with the writing of the blog.

I wanted this new blog to be a fresh start, maybe a gateway to a photography business, and definitely less of a diary.  What I didn’t want it to be was a bunch of fluff.  I am bounds happier now so clearly that will be reflected in the snippets of my life I put on here, but I have posted a fair amount of fluff.  I realize it’s early on, and I do want this blog to fit more in the ‘lifestyle’ genre, but I’m going to try and be less self-conscious about what I write from now on.  Lucky you : )

I’m also going to include some posts from that old blog, here and there.  You have to look back sometimes to see how far you’ve come in certain areas and stayed stuck in others.  But don’t worry, there will still be plenty of good old fashioned guilty pleasure fluff.