Oct 5, 2019

End of Summer Shenanigans

It's a rare Saturday today in the sense that I am home alone, so I am trying to finally get caught up with what I've wanted to blog the last few months!

This summer absolutely FLEW by, sadly.  With the month of June being packed full of graduation parties and getting ready for Rachel's, to July being full with the holiday and our vacation to Colorado.  The beginning of August slowed down a bit which was nice.  I wanted to enjoy our last few weeks with Rachel home...

The weekend before she left we had a little going away party for her.  We had about 25 people come and we grilled burgers and hot dogs and enjoyed some yummy sides.  The weather was perfect and it was such a great day!

Of course being the party planner I am, I had to put together a little table scape for her.  :)

Friday August 23 we were up bright and early and on the road by 5:30 to take Rachel up to Bemidji for college.  Mousey drove with Brad in the truck and Rachel drove her car.  That week was rough for me, just very emotional.  The actul day wasn't bad though.  We had a blast driving up and made the most of it!

Thankfully Rachel's roomie (who is one of her besties) and her parents had come up the night before and were able to get her stuff moved in.  We got there by 7:30 and were able to get Rachel's stuff moved in right away.  By the time all the others were starting to line up, we were done, it was glorious! 

They ended up being on the 7th floor, so we were ecstatic to not have to wait in line for the elevators.

We got all her stuff moved in and she got some of it put away.  We decided to run to Target to grab some things she needed and then met up with her roomie and parents at Applebees for lunch.

After lunch we headed back to the dorms to say goodbye.  I teared up a little, but it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be.

After we got home, we dropped Emma and Alayna off and then headed out to Grove Lake to enjoy our annual friends cabin weekend.  It was great timing to be surrounded by our friends while spontaneously sobbing at random moments, haha!

Rachel came home the next weekend since it was Labor Day and we were doing the usual festivities at the farm (fish fry, bonfire and breakfast the next morning).  

And then it was back to school for these two!  Emma is a junior and Alayna 8th grade.  I swear this year is already flying by.  Pretty soon summer will be back and we'll planning Emma's graduation pics!!!!  #someonepleasemakeitstop

Adjusting to Rachel being gone has been a lot easier than I originally thought.  It helps so much that we can facetime a couple times a week and get to actually see her.  She LOVES Bemidji, and loves her classes.  I am so grateful for that!

So now we are in my favorite season, FALL!  I love everything about it, especially that it leads to......

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And my dad is all like...

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And lastly, I leave you with, DJ Josie Joos.

Colorado 2019

A few years ago we told the girls that the summer they graduate they get to choose our summer vacation.  As crazy as it was to think about, this summer was Rachel's turn to pick.

Now, a few things about Rachel: she's not much of an outdoorsy gal, she's not big on hiking and if she's spending time outside, it's to work on her tan, not enjoy nature.  Despite all of that, Rachel’s choice was Colorado.  We were more than a bit surprised but she was gung ho on going!

We flew out on a Saturday morning and had a little rough go on take off. We were trying to beat some storms that were coming into the area. 

These two were all smiles while Emma and I were freaking out in the seats in front of them. 

Meanwhile this was Emma and I.  Both of us hate flying, so there was lots of sweaty hand holding...

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Rachel tried unsuccessfully to calm us down.
Once we were in the air, all was good!  The flight was short and sweet and we were so excited to see the mountains.  We flew into Denver around 10, which was nice to take the day to sight see on our way to  Estes Park.

Estes Park was beautiful, seeing the mountains was breathtaking!

We stopped at this river on the way to the resort.  A few people were swimming but gosh the water was COLD!!

We loved the Estes Park Resort. It sits in front of a man made lake and had the most gorgeous views.  Brad and I came out each morning with our coffee.

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The first morning we asked the hotel person the best place for breakfast and she recommended a little cafe down the street called the Estes Park Pie Shop.  It was a tiny little hole in the wall restaurant but the breakfast was amazing!

As were these views every morning.  Colorado truly is a magical place to be.

Our first full day we decided to drive the Rocky Mountain National Park. We had read that you needed to get there early to get into some of the hike areas, but apparently early meant 6 am not 10.  So we looked at our options and decided to hike to Cub Lake. 

We stopped so many times before we got to our hike to soak in all the views. The weather was gorgeous, not too hot and just enough of a breeze. 

They say I’m a little over dramatic....

The hike was a 5 mile there and back. It was gorgeous but definitely a good hike!  We were exhausted.   My favorite part was the hike back, we listened to thunder most of the way.  Thankfully we never got rained on, but it was so peaceful listening to the rumbles.

It storms nearly every afternoon in Colorado, which I actually really enjoyed.  Kind of gave you an excuse to chill out and relax.

Day 3 brought more morning views and coffee.

Brad and the girls really wanted to take the gondola ride in Estes Park, but I opted out.  As fun as this looked, I figured it was safer for me to be on solid ground.  I'm terrified of heights, people.

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While they gondola'd, I drove into town to shop.  We had been in town everyday and couldn't believe how busy it was ALL THE TIME!  I actually ended up finding a bench near a river that flows through town and people watched.  It is really a beautiful downtown area.

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After they were done, we sadly packed up all our gear and headed out to our next destination, Keystone.  

Of course we stopped quite a bit on the way and did some sight seeing.  

It's just so beautiful.

We made it to the top of a summit and stopped to have lunch while taking in the views.

We made it to Keystone late afternoon and picked up our keys for the condo we rented for 4 days.  Now, as much as I loved Estes Park, I loved Keystone SO much more!  Our condo was on this lake which had paddles boats and canoes for rent.  The girls took the paddle boats out one afternoon while Brad and I relaxed on one the benches.  They also had shopping, restaurants and a Starbucks.

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The condo we had was awesome!  It had three floors: the girls sleeping area was in the loft, bunk beds, queen bed and a full bathroom and walk in closet.  Our bedroom was on the lower level with our own bathroom, so nice and quiet!  We made a couple meals and then ordered pizza the other days as we found two amazing pizza places.  Most nights we played cards and were in bed early from all the walking!

Every morning Brad and I would get up, make coffee and take a walk around the lake.  One of my favorite things about our resort was the river that ran through.  No better sound than that!

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I researched different hikes in or around Keystone and found one that overlooks Lake Dillon.  It had INCREDIBLE views!

On Thursday we decided to drive in into Vail and that was one of our favorite days!

Vail was absolutely beautiful, kind of made you feel like you were in a different country!  There were so many shops which of course the girls were all over.  Seriously by the third shop that was selling the EXACT SAME THINGS, I was over  it. Haha!  We had supper at a great little burger place and enjoyed a couple drinks.  We absolutely adored Vail and can't wait to come back!

Our last day in Keystone we had booked a horse back ride in the mountains.  Now, it you know anything about me, you would know that A. I hate clowns.  They are not cute, funny or even remotely something that should be allowed in public.  And B. I am TERRIFIED of horses.  Terrified.  I have no reason to be, have never been traumatized by them, it's just that they are too large for a human being to ride on.

So, after Rachel announced where she wanted to go for her trip, she then announced those horrifying words, "I want to go horse back riding in the mountains!"  Uhhhhh.....shit.

I couldn't back out either.  I was a sweaty mess all morning just thinking about it.

Now the funny thing about all this was that their "instructional" time was literally a 30 second, talk about how to steer them and get them to stop.  I'm sorry, what exactly do I do when mine takes off full board??????

So off we went, after I asked about 50 questions (most of them relating to, "are you SURE she won't take off running??").  It was an hour ride up and through the mountains and I can honestly say I was 100% sure this would be my death.  I was so freaking terrified it was unreal.  I think I started to relax when we had about 2 minutes left.  I'm so glad I did it, but will never do it again, haha!

Everyone loved it, especially Alayna!  Our guide was awesome and would ask questions which Alayna would promptly answer.  #teacherspet.

Our last leg of our trip was spent in Colorado Springs.  It felt like the drive from Keystone to Colorado Springs took forever.  We got there after lunch and once we checked into our hotel, we decided to check out Manitou Springs.  I actually really loved Manitou Springs!  Lots of cute, quaint little shops.  My favorite shop there was Anna's Apothecary.  They had all kinds of herbs, tinctures and all natural beauty products.  I literally could have spent days there.  They even had fresh kombucha, soooo good!

Our last day in Colorado we spent at the Garden of the Gods.  It was so freaking hot, and honestly, by this time we were all walked/sight seeing'd out.  It was probably Brad's favorite part of the trip!  It really was so beautiful.

This vacation was absolute perfection.  The weather was amazing, people were amazing, food was amazing and the views....amazing!

Jul 19, 2019

Summer 2019

Summer sweet summer, where have you gone?  I can't even believe it's the middle of July already.  June was spent getting ready for Rachel's grad party and celebrating all of her friends too.  We enjoyed so many fun grad parties and of course all the yummy food.  So sad that I have to actually cook on the weekends, ha!

July 4th is one of our FAVORITE holidays.  On the third we went to my bil/sil's house to grill and enjoy some cocktails.  They were in the process of packing up the house as they bought a different house, but they still managed to host all of us!  We grilled and enjoyed fireworks later on in the evening.  Typically we walk uptown to enjoy all the festivities, but it's gotten SO huge that it's not that much fun anymore.

The 4th we headed uptown for the parade, the weather was a little iffy, but we thought we were in the clear.  Towards the end of the parade it down poured and we were all soaked.  Thankfully I got this pic right away!

It's so fun sitting at the parade because my mom and her husband and Brad's parents are there too.  I love seeing all of us there, such a fun tradition!

After getting soaked at the parade we made it home just in time for the rain to stop and the sun to come out.  Brad's family always comes over to swim and chill and eat.  One of my favorite traditions!

Everyone left around 8, so we cleaned up and chilled.  Rachel was working until 10, so we waited up for her then proceeded to stay up until 2.  Way too late for this mama, but we had such a fun time!

It was so nice to have a 4 day weekend, my company was closed on Friday and we really had no plans which was awesome.  We were completely lazy which was incredible after being non stop busy for months.

The next weekend we headed up to my dads for our Mineer "Christmas" which was a ton of fun!  We celebrated our 21st anniversary too with ice cream cake, my favorite!

It was such a nice time just hanging out and visiting with family.  

My dad and his friend Steve had a concert for us, it's always the highlight of the weekend!

Such a fun weekend, always so nice to get away from the day to day stuff!

So that's a little bit of what we've been up to.  I'm really wishing that summer would slow down, because that means we'll be taking Rach to college and I am NOT ready for that yet...