Rocky Mountain National Park

Favorite Things – September

I only care one day a year.

You know! Caring about which team to root for.

Growing up in Northern Colorado I really ought to be a CSU fan. Then I went to the University of Colorado and my ‘house of origin’ became a house divided.  You’ve seen the stickers. You know what I’m talking about.

Then I married a Buffalo and my new ‘house’ was united under waves of black and gold. We even brought Dad over to the dark side. He would proudly wear his CU Hat – sweat stains and all. I wish he was here to come over and watch the big Rocky Mountain Showdown  rivalry from the comfort of our living room.

My  favorite things this month?

  1. CU Gear – May I suggest these fine options?

University of Colorado CU Buffaloes Alumni Nation Stripes Flag

NCAA University of Colorado Buffaloes Custom Athletic Crew Socks

Sing the fight song loudly! I’ll be cheering on my Colorado Buffaloes. Who wants to place a bet on the game?

2. Stumptown Coffee

Yes. Again. Coffee. We went on a lovely trip to Portland and I dragged my family around to local coffee shops. I wanted to include these guys on my best vanilla latte in the world contest I’ve got running in my head. Stumptown was delicious, approachable and trendy. They didn’t cringe when I asked for syrup. Very important. I am thrilled to have added this roaster to my list. While they can’t ship me a vanilla latte, I can get some beans. The internet is a magical thing.

3. This Osprey Daypack

My father-in-law took us on an eight mile hike to an old mining town that didn’t really exist. Well I’m sure it did at some point, but when we got there, the only remnants were a post with a sign, and a nice river bed. Try to find the photo on my Instagram.  I was thankful to have this great daypack for hiking. Well, grateful my husband was carrying this great daypack for hiking. Dylan carried the water – I sipped out of the long straw much like a baby cow follows its mother for milk.

4. Lauren Graham’s Book

If you were (still are…?) obsessed with Gilmore Girls in the early 2000’s I highly recommend this book. Think half memoir, half story of the show, this book made me laugh, cry, and feel nostalgic. Amazing to think how much t.v. shows weave their narratives into our lives. Gosh I love Lorelei. Lauren’s perspective is pretty great too.

5. This video.

 

I think this is the kind of thing Olive thinks about all day. Perhaps she even confesses to Cerdito. This video and that puppy may be my new obsession. Much like my Marcel the Shell phase. Who am I kidding? I still love Marcel.

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Crunchy Snow Steps

The days are long, but the weeks are short. That’s how the saying goes, right? The months are short too. Someone requested a coffee date recently, and as I looked at my calendar, I realized I would need to schedule out into February. FEBRUARY! January is flying by.

I have a January birthday, and I think it is one of the most sustaining things that helps me survive this month. Once that birthday passes though, I desire to whiz right by and move into late March. Please bring me those 55 degree days with blue skies and t-shirts. I tried to eat my lunch outside earlier this afternoon, and I froze. The sun may be out, but yes, it is still January. I am thankful that I am not drowning in snow right now like those on the East coast.

Oh wait, for those living in Colorado, we DID get one of those 55 degree days on Saturday. It was delightful. I wore patterned pants and a black t-shirt to my favorite brewery in Northern Colorado. I invited friends from many stages of life to come together and share a brew, laugh and soak up the rays as I celebrated another trip around the sun. This mismatched group of people who came to celebrate with me bring so much beauty to my life.

On Friday I got to eat at a new restaurant with my family- the foodie in me was delighted by the charming presentation that The Farmhouse at Jessup Farms delivers. This restaurant literally has a nook under the stairs that you are encouraged to sit at while you wait for your table. Cozy throw blankets and pillows are paired with wooden benches and beautifully lit brick walls that made me feel as if I was eating out of an extravagantly comfortable living room. Well done to the team that has created such an inviting and inspirational place to eat and experience community. I loved reminiscing about my year that just passed. This restaurant truly is a beautiful place.

Hard to believe last Monday was a holiday as well. I had the day off from work, and invited my mom to join me on an adventure up to the mountains. She had never been snowshoeing, and I am discovering this is one of my new favorite pass times. As we entered into Rocky Mountain National Park I started to doubt our excursion. Wind! So much wind was blowing snow across the winding roads. When I parked the car at the trailhead I was worried we may blow away – strong gusts threatened to trap me as my car door slammed shut with force. I may be a Colorado native, but I have a propensity to chicken out when weather sucks, or in this case blows. I bow out with the excuse of, “Hey, I can always go next weekend.” The chances of the weather improving in the next seven days are high.

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We got out of the car, and I shared a knowing glance with my mom from behind the trunk of my SUV. We weren’t going to give up after making the trek out there, not this time. We strapped on our snow shoes, buttoned up our coats, and started stomping our way through the beautifully crunchy snow.  I forget how absolutely refreshing it can be to be outdoors. These monstrous mountains are literally in my backyard, and I take them for granted as they blend into the scenery of my life.

We took step after step, sometimes losing our balance, other times laughing as we slid down small drifts, and made our way across the frozen mountain lake. I stood five steps ahead of my mom,  threw my face to the sky, and whispered a breath of thanks to the giver in the universe. Thanks that I get to live here, that I have the means to walk, thanks that I can spend time with my mom, to celebrate, and to most of all, keep taking steps.

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I’ve been mentally challenged this month, to give myself grace, compassion, patience, and love as I take steps while acclimating to my new job. For those of you who have been following along in January, you know I’ve been writing about my fears of isolation, and loss of previous relationship, and the great “what if this doesn’t bring fulfillment” question I give so much anxious energy to. I’m learning in these spaces of mountain air and festivity, that I need to work on me first and to allow all of these emotions to move through. Give myself the space and grace to keep taking steps. Even when you are crunching along, there are processes and people and air, beautiful mountain air, to support you.