Wednesday, December 30, 2009

MIA

It has been a busy few months! We have enjoyed all of the time that we were able to spend with family and friends. What a great time of year to reflect upon the blessings that we enjoy, and then the opportunity to remember Christ's birth as well as His life. I feel that Christ is the reason for so many of my blessings. Again, what a wonderful time of year for reflection. I hope the past few months have been enjoyable for you. The following posts are more light-hearted and the usual day to day, but for whatever reason, it was just a thought I wanted to share...

1st comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the...

NEW HOUSE! Is that how it goes?? Hopefully, we will have a nursery in the house one day for the baby in the baby carriage, but not currently. :)

That's right, we have bought a home here in Colorado. It is being built in Castle Rock. After much looking around, and then driving down to Castle Rock one day to "check out the scenery" we had signed papers not more than a few weeks later. We are really excited and manage to only wake up every now and then in a complete panic. Here is a pic of the new digs.

Our closing date is March 15th, we're hopeful that it will be done by then. Time will tell...

Christmas!

This year we tried something new for our Christmas tree. We decided to have a mini travel tree in addition to the "real" tree. The real tree didn't happen this year, so we were glad that we at least managed to get a small one up! We started to collect ornaments from various places we have been together. I think after decorating the tree, we realized that maybe we would need to travel a little more and add to our tree. :)

Here it is, in all its glory (and 6 ornaments).




Before going to Idaho for Christmas to visit Bryan's family we decided to have our own Christmas here. When I came home from work, Bryan was slaving away on the grill and had the dinner table set for the gourmet meal he prepared.

I definitely married well.



A few surprises from Santa arrived a little early...






I guess Santa overlooked some things throughout the year. :)

The BIG 3-0!

For Bryan's 30th birthday I made plans to have a surprise 30th birthday bash while we were in Salt Lake City. However, Bryan managed to pull off a surprise of his own, and let me know that he would not be able to make it Salt Lake City due to work. Hmm...that made things a little more tricky. We decided to celebrate his birthday once I came back from Utah.

We caught dinner at 3 (you must say tres and not three) Margaritas. It was just as yummy as the "locals" had promised. We also saw the new movie Avatar, and thoroughly enjoyed looking at each other in the 3-D glasses. There's just something funny about those glasses, maybe it's more the person attempting to "sport" them. Much more likely the case.




However, Bryan tends to think that it makes him even more attractive.
Even at 30, he's still got "it". :)

Trips to Utah

In mid December, our good friends Stan and Lindsay were married in the Salt Lake Temple. We were able to make it back and enjoyed visiting with many other good friends while there. We do miss our friends in Utah. However, we are slowly recruiting to Colorado. After getting married, Lindsay has since moved out to Denver where Stan is living. Yea!
I haven't been the best at taking pictures lately, this is only picture I took while at their wedding...hmm...almost caught the bride and groom.



Our friend Jared with his daughter Johana. She was a little tuckered out from the excitement of all the festivities of the day. She is such a cute, well-behaved gal.


The next weekend I was able to go to the Draper Temple with another couple of good friends, Darcy and Joey. At least at Stan and Lindsay's I managed to snap one picture, no such luck with this go around. It was a tender ceremony, and a good reminder of what is truly important.

During our visits, we were also able to spend some time with my family. I have tried to increase my domestic skills, one new skill per month. :) This month was baking bread. I simply love the bread that my mom makes. So after a one-on-one teaching session from my mom, I came home to Colorado to do a little experimenting, and to hopefully succeed.

One of my favorite parts is the kneading, or beating of the bread dough. Bryan was a little excited with all the commotion and snapped this picture in attempts to capture the brutality that was being given.
(Side note...see the basil plant, the farthest to the right? Actually, it's a little difficult to pick it out since the only thing remaining are two black/brown stems. Sadness, time to let go.)




Here is the final product...ta-dah!


I was pleasantly surprised.

Family Visit

Back in November, Bryan's parents came out for a few days. We were able to spend some time with them as well as Mike, Melissa and their kids. It was fun, but too short! Here are few pictures from their visit. The pictures are actually from Bryan's parents, thanks for letting us use them. :)




We visited the zoo in Colorado Springs, oddly enough, it is named "Cheyenne Mountain Zoo." It is built into the side of the mountain, providing quite the impressive views as you see animals in a well, somewhat more natural setting. It was a great time.








We also stopped for a quick visit to the Garden of the Gods. It was a little chilly by that time in the day, so Bryan and his dad were the only ones to get out of the car. The rest of us enjoyed the view from the windows of our heated cars. We're looking forward to visiting again in a little bit warmer weather.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Livin' Off the Land

The little basil plant that I bought a few weeks ago at a local's farmer's market is thriving in our house. I decided to take advantage of it while I could and made some pesto sauce, following a recipe that Jess gave me. I always get a little nervous cooking a new recipe, never quite sure if I'll be able to make it turn out. I think this one was fail-proof! It was delicious, thanks Jess!





Bryan has been contributing in the kitchen as well with ingredients that are about as "organic" as they can come. Bryan went hunting with a few guys last weekend. They had some success, so Bryan was the lucky one to bring the pheasants home! Bryan cleaned and prepared the pheasants, I was relieved.

This was my first dinner of pheasant jubilee that Bryan made for me...the pheasant actually tasted just fine. I think I simply have a mental block that I need to get over, it's just a bird, right? Maybe a recipe with fresh basil and pheasant...Jess, what do you have? :)

Fall Festivities

Brandon, Lindsay and Stan came over last week to carve pumpkins and make caramel apples with us. Bryan and I had a hard time handing over the carving knife...maybe we'll need to set a time limit for each other next year. :) As you might be able to tell from the pictures below, there were some serious, and not so serious pumpkin-carvers. This is a fall festivity that Bryan and I enjoy doing each year, along with the "homemade" caramel apples. The caramel sauce is going to see some serious improvements now that I have a thermometer, here's hoping! I'm also hoping that some of Grandma Munns' caramel making skills are passed on to me. We will definitely miss her caramels in Colorado this coming holiday season!


The happy, engaged couple practicing their wedding cake carving pose on the pumpkin. Lookin' good..




Brandon helping out by adding the necessary touches...




Stan looking thrilled to be part of the festivities




Our final products!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

This weekend Bryan went to Idaho in attempts to provide meat for our family for the long winter. :) While he was gone my mom was able to come out for a visit. I had so much fun with her here and the two of us were able to play, play, play!

We went to the Farmer's Market in Boulder, about 20 minutes away from our house. It was fun to see all of the produce and watch my mom's excitement with seeing several unusual or really large vegetables. We also enjoyed the display after display of gorgeous flowers. It felt like the perfect Autumn setting. We found a basil and sage plant for $5 total, too good of a deal for us to pass over. Jess gave me some tips on keeping them alive, so hopefully I'll be able to make some of her yummy recipes with a few fresh ingredients.



Following the Farmer's Market we went to a pumpkin patch. I realize that there are certain venues that I should probably rent some kids to take with me, a pumpkin patch would qualify as one such venue. However, my mom and I still had a great time, we were two little kids ourselves. Thanks for the recommendation, Melissa! They had HUGE pumpkin fields, there were 3 or 4 more fields just like this one. I couldn't believe how many pumpkins we saw! My mom spotted the largest pumpkin in the field and asked me to try to help her pick it up, we were going to get our money's worth. We had a good laugh trying to pick up a monstrous pumpkin, but that was about it--no luck. When we were little kids, the rule was that we could have any pumpkin, as long as we could carry the pumpkin. This rule still applied, and I found one within my muscles' capabilities--much, much smaller.




It was a tad windy that day--or our wagon ride was more extreme than most...

This really is not the most flattering picture, but it just makes me laugh!


Saturday night we went to the show, Wicked. It was great! We were seated in the very tip-top of the theater, but we were in the building! It was such a good time to have my mom along, she is always up for fun, and makes it easy to have fun when she is around.


Thanks for coming out to visit, I loved it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

HGTV--a good thing?

Recently, I have become addicted to HGTV. I love watching pretty much any show on that channel. I was impressed with some furniture painting/refinishing they demonstrated on their shows. Of course, they make it look so simple and it only takes a couple of hours! The wheels in my brain started turning thinking about some old bunk beds we have. Another gal in my ward, Natalie, told me about her successful experience with what I was trying to do and that was enough of a push to get me going!


The "original" bunk bed---Bryan had actually already painted over these once, but then I had my great home improvement idea!



The priming stages



After a few coats of the base paint



The next step was the one that I was most nervous about, applying the glaze. The friendly man at the paint store kindly reassured me that glazes were originally invented to hide the mistakes made while painting. Perfect, something that already looks like you've made a mistake-how can I mess that up?!? :)




The finished product. This is not the best picture to show the bed, but close enough. It took me well over a few hours to complete, but I think I would try it out again. The glaze is actually the fun part! Good thing we're renting right now, or I would be planning the next paint color for the walls. I can't imagine why Bryan isn't thrilled with the thought of moving into a new place!

The Lees

Last weekend we felt lucky to have our friends Jared, Mandi, and Johana come out to visit us! They made the long drive from Salt Lake City and their 4 1/2 month old baby, Johana, didn't cry once! We like to think that she was just super excited to come out for the visit, but I really think she is just the best little baby!
While they were here we visited the Butterfly Pavilion, Estes Park, played a round of Frisbee Golf (Jared tried to give me some tips, but I think I might be a lost cause), and the gals did a little shopping with a pedicure. We had such a good time visiting with them into the late hours of the night--sleeping just wasn't as much fun. It was a great weekend. We're hoping it's not too long before we can find an excuse and see them again soon!



The gang at the Butterfly Pavilion~the marketing for this might have been targeting a slightly different population, but who could pass this up?




The gals keeping an eye out for all of the butterflies, and trying to keep Johana out of the sun!



At the Pavilion they also had a few fish tanks. Johana has some impressive skills that she demonstrated below...

Look at her perfect grip on that fish! That fish is lucky there was glass between her and those shiny blue scales!




Jared, Mandi, and Johana at Estes Park.



We stumbled across just a "few" elk while visiting Estes Park. It was pretty neat to hear all of them bugling. Mandi and I really enjoyed watching Bryan and Jared's excitement with seeing so many elk and hearing the bugling. Bryan and Jared have their own elk bugles that were pretty good-lucky for these elk below, no tags or guns within Bryan and Jared's possessions.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO

We have officially hit the 1-year marker! Within this last year we have moved to a new state, began new jobs, started a new business, traveled to new places...there have been many new experiences this last year. Through all of the changes and adventures I continue to feel like the luckiest gal to have Bryan by my side.
For our 1-year anniversary Bryan and I went to San Francisco. We spent just a few days there, but packed as much as we could into those couple of days. We didn't rent a car while we stayed there, so we walked, biked, "trolley-ed" and taxi-ed to see the sights.

Below are some favorite memories of our trip.

We visited the Pier and Fisherman's Wharf. I can't believe how many Sea Lions just lounge around on those docks. I wasn't sure if I was more surprised with the laziness of these creatures or more jealous with their ability to lounge around all day in the sun...tough life it seems.




Another part of SF that I loved was Ghiradelli square. We decided that with all of our climbing up and down the hills of SF that our visits to this chocolate heaven was justified. Bryan and I visited not once, but twice. It was delicious!




We went to Alcatraz on Saturday. While we were out on the island, the "Air Show" for Fleet Week began and we had primo seating! Bryan was loving it, and I was entertained as well. This picture doesn't do it justice, but since I had the camera-it is the best we have.





Bryan helped me fulfill my two dreams of visiting San Francisco. The first one, riding on a trolley. The second dream, biking across the Golden Gate Bridge.
I loved my trolley ride and was the last one off-dream number one is officially checked off the list.



Dream number two was slightly more comical. We rented a tandem bicycle to go across the Golden Gate Bridge, there is just something goofy and funny about riding a bicycle built for two. I will willingly admit that Bryan muscled us up the hills. Seated behind him, I might not have been pedaling quite as vigorously (or at all) a time or two.


Bryan kindly informing me, "You know I can tell when you are and when you are not pedaling, right?"



My view at the time...

My quick response, "Oh, right"-my legs find the pedals and begin pedaling at an incredible rate.




We made it across and back without incident, just a bunch of smiles from strangers that seemed to be saying they knew whose idea this was for us to be on the tandem, the person on the back taking pictures.





Happy One Year!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

MOAB

If you would have asked me several years ago if I thought riding on a bike for 4+ hours was my idea of a good time...probably not. However, love does crazy things. Bryan introduced me to road biking while we were dating. I wasn't totally convinced about biking, but I knew I did like Bryan, so I went on a few bike rides with him. The first time I rode down Emigration Canyon in Salt Lake City I was hooked. I have the need, the need for speed. :)
Last year, Bryan and I went on an organized bike ride down in Moab with some friends and family. We had such a great time that we decided to go back this year. Bryan stepped up his game and chose to go on the route entitled "The Big Nasty." The title alone was enough for me to chose a different route. A couple of friends, Sarah and Heidi, were able to come and we opted to take the "Rolling Hills" route, much more inviting. I had such a great time biking with these gals---


My good buddies, Heidi and Sarah, on our ride that was around 75 miles. It look us about 4 hours and 40 minutes to complete.




Here I am displaying an infamous part of road biking...the spandex. Gotta love it! After just a few minutes on that seat, I promise that the shorts with the padding are worth it.




"The Big Nasty" lived up to it's title. Those that chose this route, climbed over 3,000 feet in just 6 or 7 miles! Bryan did great and informed me that, "No one passed me, I wouldn't let them." That's my man!




Congratulating Bryan on completing his monster hill climb.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Little (or big) Piece of Heaven

Many years ago I was introduced to the pazookie (cookie and ice cream) on a trip to California with some friends. I have made the pazookies a couple of times since then, but lacked the proper baking goods--skillets. I was simply too cheap to buy the skillets. The other day I was shopping at Ross and I struck gold! I found the little skillets! They even had the little hot pads to go over the handles, genius. We have always enjoyed a good pazookie, but now we have the real deal. We LOVE these things---24 hour fitness is going to see a significant improvement with my attendance.


1 "little" skillet + 1 "little" hot pad = 2 not so little waist lines :)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Backpacking Trip

This weekend we-Bryan, Sarah, and I-went backpacking to the Blue Lakes. It was gorgeous! It was about a 5-6 hour car ride and then roughly a 4 mile hike into the lakes. The 4 miles makes it sound a little deceiving, as in not too difficult. Bryan had very good timing on when he decided to tell Sarah and me that the rating of the hike was strenuous-at the end. The hike was well worth it, as well as all the other adventures we had along the way.



Friday we headed out on the trail for Blue Lakes. Bryan managed to take our tent, food, and fishing gear all in his backpack. I was responsible for my own gear and making it to the end of the hike, what a kind man. This might explain the difference of our facial expressions that you will notice from the picture of him above to the one of me below.


I'm having a great time-this is beautiful! (You're sure I can't carry something???) heh...heh...



Sarah demonstrating her flexibility to maneuver a fallen log while carrying her 40 lb pack.






After several hours on the trail, with over 3,000 feet of elevation gained...we arrived at Blue Lakes! It was worth it!





Our camp site at the base of the mountains and next to the lake.



During the night, we had a few visitors to our campsite. I must have left a little bit of the cheese on the bowl that provided the perfect midnight snack for the rodent. Dirty.




The official camp "sitting rock." Sarah and I would have our important discussions here while Bryan was out fishing or exploring.




On Saturday we made our way to Blue Lake Pass. From our campsite it was about 4 or 5 miles, and much easier without packs on. This was the second of three Blue Lakes. The Lakes are such an incredible bluish hue because of the sediments/minerals from the glaciers.




In a valley before making another ascent up the mountain to our Blue Lake Pass.





Bryan and I decided once we were at the pass, that we were really close to Mt. Sneffels and should attempt to summit. The summit of Mt. Sneffels is 14,156 feet. It is a ways up there. The hike up was the ultimate stair-stepper, boulder after boulder...after boulder.




The summit--We made it!


The hike back down from the summit was a little daunting. At one point, I really just wanted to tuck and roll, but the boulders convinced me otherwise. We made it back to camp without any events and hiked back to our car the next morning. On our way home, we made a few detours to see a little more of Colorado.




This is the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Bryan and I both wore black in honor of the Canyon. :)


Since Europe is not in the travel plans for this year, this is as close as we'll get!



We really liked Ouray and Silverton.



Sunday night we were really looking forward to not sleeping on the ground. As we pulled into a city we were on the lookout for a good deal on Motels. That is when we found this little gem...

Our first clue should have been the empty parking lot. Our second clue should have been when the lady told me that if we took an upstairs room it was $10 cheaper, because "a lot of people don't want to walk upstairs, and prefer ground level." Hmmm....


Warning-disturbing picture below...




This is what I found cuddled/burrowed up next to me in the middle of the night. BED BUGS!!! Our special price for walking up a few steps, came with a few more room occupants. SICK! That "cute" saying of "Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite" is never going to be repeated to my kids after that night. Click on the link above if you want an even more up close and personal view.




This is the time that we checked into a new motel (AM)--this is also the time I found the Oreo bag. A few Oreos always make me feel better, no matter what time. (The owners of the previous motel should be very grateful we had a bag on hand.)


After a few more good hours of sleep, minus the bed bugs, we made our way back home. It was a great, memorable trip!