Saturday, September 28, 2013


Luke turned 3 (!!) on the 15th! Luke is at such a fun age. Anyone that is around Luke for more than 10 minutes will quickly learn about Luke's enthusiasm for life. His excitement is contagious.  Luke is EXTREMELY into Thomas the Train. His enthusiasm/obsession rubbed off on me for his birthday party and I did a Thomas the Train theme. I decided that 3-years-old is a great age to start birthday parties, Bryan I just didn't want it to get out of control. Since Luke was turning three, the rule was he could invite three friends. The only bummer was that two of the three friends ended up sick! ha! At least, one buddy could still make it!

Luke came into our room and exclaimed, "Mom, there's a bunch of cute balloons out there!"


"Tidmouth Sheds"

We built the trains from diaper wipes' boxes and covered them with tablecloths from the dollar store. I attached wheels to the bottom so the boys could push them around outside and make their deliveries. I Learned a few things in the process: (1) don't secure the wheel with duck tape-it will prevent the wheel from pivoting (2) the cheap wheels from Lowes worked the best (3) have a "fix it" station set up so it looks like you knew that the wheels would malfunction and you were ready to fix it! :)

Thanks to my mom and Bryan for helping me set up "The Island of Sodor" complete with the windmill and masking tape train tracks. I thought the chalk would smear if used for the tracks. The tape worked great. 

They caught onto the idea and were having a blast!

The "fix it" station saw quite a bit of action in the first 10 minutes. Once we figured out the duck tape was causing the issues, it was much smoother sailing.

Once the trains were running smoothly we started on the "errands for the day". This activity was a H*U*G*E hit! We started in the garage (Tidmouth Sheds) and I told them there was an accident on the tracks and one of the "Troublesome Trucks" spilt his coal. The boys raced to clean up the coal and came back.

The next project was to collect wood off of the tracks and make a delivery to the "baby's train" a.k.a. stroller.

"Wait a second..."

The last errand was to pick up a "special delivery" of birthday balloons from Luke's grandma.
After each task was complete the boys would pick out one or two stickers to decorate their train. They liked the sticker part more than I thought they would. I think the boys would have played with these trains for hours! 

Once the errands were complete, it was time for lunch.

After lunch, we painted train ornaments. I scored the little wood trains at Michaels.

While they were painting, one of the trains dropped off a cooler filled with water balloons.

Just when Luke didn't think the day could get any better...

Two cute boys spotted something...

 Birthday Cake!!!!!

Emma got in on the ice cream part of "cake and ice cream".

We opened presents after the party. I'm a big fan of doing this separate from the party. 

New backpack and blanket.

We gave Luke the marble run that I played with at my Grandma's house many years ago. Bryan sanded, painted and made a few modifications to make it look like new. 

It was one of those days that I will remember for a long time. (And not just because I took a gazillion pictures and blogged a ginormous post). I will remember it because my heart was so full of gratitude for Luke and the opportunity to be his mom. Happy Birthday, Luke.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Final Countdown

This morning there was a nip in the air and it felt like fall might be right around the corner. We enjoyed summer so much that it is hard to let go of these days! Our good friends, the McCrackens, invited us to join them on their family property in the mountains to squeeze in a little more summer fun. We had a blast. Lots of dirt, food, 4-wheeler rides and laughs. Our family is blessed with incredible friends.

Kyson was LOVING this popcorn. So funny watching him "sneak up" and grab handfuls.

Lunch wasn't happening fast enough for Emma so she crawled into the closest chair and latched that tray down! "I'm ready!"

Lunch date.

Luke and Max. 
These guys are only 5 days apart!

Smore time. 
A.K.A. Luke's favorite time.

4-wheeler rides.

Casual 4-wheeler ride? Check.
 Both kids in helmets? Check.
Pediatric nurse/Paranoid mom? Double Check.

Labor Day...

Our camera magically deleted the pictures from our outing with the Cramer family over Labor Day weekend. Fantastic. To sum it up---We went to a beautiful mountain town, Evergreen. We ate breakfast at a delicious place that Cramers found a few years ago. We cached in a Groupon for a boat rental around the lake. I had this crazy idea that it might be fun to take a 1-year-old in a canoe on a mountain lake. Like I mentioned, crazy! Emma kept trying to swing her leg over the canoe and hurl herself into the lake. It was actually somewhat comical to watch, once I realized she wasn't tall enough or strong enough to make it happen (and she was wearing a life jacket). Luke loved helping Bryan paddle around the lake. He was definitely captain of the ship. 
After our outing at the lake we enjoyed melt-in-your-mouth donuts from a local bakery. Yum. As we made our way back to the car, our stroller managed to get away from Bryan and rolled right into the lake! My first thought was, "OH NO...MY CELLPHONE CHILD!" Luckily, neither were hurt or damaged in the incident. :) We had a great adventure and loved seeing new areas of Colorado, especially with our good friends.

Unless the pictures magically reappear on my camera, here are the ones from Elizabeth's blog.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Warrior Dash

I ran the Warrior Dash with 11 other friends a few weekends ago in Vail. We had such a great time! We all stayed overnight in a condo the night before the race. We sounded like a giddy bunch of school girls...that stayed up waaaaay past our bedtime. Completely worth it. 

Our carload arrived first and thought we should do some exploring. It just so happened that there were 5 bikes in the condo's garage. It was meant to be. It was a great bike path with gorgeous scenery.

We even played a few rounds of target practice by the river with some rocks. I guess I feel the need to act like a kid when I don't have my kids with me???

When the rest of the crew arrived we headed into Vail. We walked around the stores and enjoyed a delicious dinner. After our tour of downtown Vail we headed back to the condo where we hot-tubbed, met the friendly fox, Chloe, and chatted into the wee hours of the night/morning. 

Oh right, the race. :)

The before.

The after (A.K.A. The dirty dozen).

I had a blast with these gals!