Finally Friday.

Joy

It’s Friday – finally! This week has been such a mix of ups and downs here in Denver. Between alternating fabulous weather with crappy weather AND the win, then loss of the Nuggets to Golden State. Le Sigh.

On a brighter note, I started my May Challenge of hugs, though I failed miserably in remembering to hug my Mom and sister last night. Two people that should most definitely be high on the hug list. I’ll do better next time, I know it! This weekend has lots of good stuff packed in: tonight we’re having dinner (ribs!) with Christian’s parents, tomorrow we’re heading to our nieces birthday party and then on Sunday we’ve got Love In Action with our church (our entire church body goes out into the community to volunteer and clean things up). I’m also hoping to get our kitchen cabinet bases primed and painted since we’re living in total chaos… still. Here’s to hoping for warmer temperatures that actually stick around!

Here’ are my finds from around the web:

I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m not a huge breakfast person — unless breakfast burritos or biscuits and gravy are on the menu. However, I’m married to a pancake/breakfast lover. Usually I can sneak past the whole breakfast thing by offering him a smoothie or distracting him with the to do list for the day, however, these coconut tres leches pancakes (and cake!) look so good, I’d willingly make them. Oh and they’re gluten and dairy free. Bonus!

There’s that country song about always looking to the next part of life rather than enjoying the stage you’re currently inhabiting… with the theme ending on how time goes by too fast. Well, turns out that it does. This post on learning to settle into life instead of pushing through it was so perfect. I especially loved the part where she talked about moments in life not looking like she thought they would, and how to embrace that.

You may think you know what it looks like to wring out a wash cloth in space, but I can assure you that you don’t (unless you’ve already seen the video). I couldn’t stop staring… space is weird.

Have you ever checked out Penelope Trunk’s blog? My old boss/friend Bethany turned me on to it with a warning that she gets a little, shall we say, inappropriate at times. But, to me, the blatant honesty is part of what makes it all work. Anyways, her post on how you deal with mistakes, and how your actions relate to success totally sucked me in. Plus, I’m SUPER interested in where food comes from and the back story on humanely raising pigs had me from the first sentence.

This week was the start of Stratejoy’s Willpower Council, and as such I’m working on building a better routine in the mornings. This article on getting up/setting yourself up for success in the mornings and five elements that help you get going was just what I needed to affirm I was on the right track. Are you a night owl (I AM!) or a morning person?

With Mother’s Day just over a week away it’s crunch time! I already purchased something for my Mom and my MIL (it’s been so hard to keep it a secret for the past few weeks), but I thought these Mother-Daughter journals were really cute (and a great idea!).

Winter at the lake.

This past weekend my family took a little trip to Grand Lake, CO. I found the deal on one of those daily deal sites and in my head Grand Lake was a suburb (or something like that) outside of Winter Park. It was a great deal and I figured we could kill two birds with one stone – family vacay and skiing/boarding.

Well, turns out, I was wrong. Grand Lake is about 45 minutes away, and not so much in the mountains as in the foothills. Christian claims I “misrepresented the trip”, I claim that I’m an idiot and generally have no idea what I’m doing. You say to-may-toes, I say to-ma-toes. We reached the “lake house” which sounds way fancier that what it really was. Honestly, I don’t know how to describe it… looked like a woodsy motel from the outside, but felt like a cabin on the inside. Make of that what you will. It had a fireplace which was the only real pre-requisite that I had. Oh, Christian had a good time. See that smile? That equals happy and fun.

Christian and Megan - Winter 2013

Now, this was the first vacation I’d been on with my sister in over 3.5 years. The last one was this trip to San Fran in which we made fun of my mom and I called her “scrump” for several days. She later pointed out to me that the definition of scrump on urban dictionary is not a flattering one, I say – again – I have no idea what I’m doing (or saying for that matter). We spent the evenings trying to figure out where those “weird” smells were coming from. She brought her two dogs, she’s pregnant, I have stomach issues and both our husbands/our mom tend to be more discreet on the subject… all this to say it was often hard to tell. Here’s the ladies.

Stout/Smaha Ladies!

Turns out, though, that it was Winter Carnival in Grand Lake. This is like a toned down, lamer, snowmobile filled version of the Corn Carnival in Gladbrook, IA from my youth. Only with a lot more people dressed in creepy costumes and snow sculptures. See said sculptures below.

The Cheshire Cat.

We also went “shooting” — if you can claim standing on the side of a road, shooting at a hill and pretending to be doing nothing of the sort when cars drive by is “shooting”. Also it was a small gun. Please tell me, of the two pretty ladies below, who is the most threatening. In my mind, it’s a toss-up. Between my mom with her little purse and my pregnant sister wearing a cow hat, they are both equally frightening in their own right.

My Mom - with a gun! Honey Boo Boo in 15 years.

Is it just me or could my sister be the future of Honey Boo Boo? I also shot the gun, but only once because it hurt my hand. In other new, I’m a wuss. Overall the weekend was a good one. Lots of laughs, discussions on babies (re: baby fever) and time with my family. I sure do love them. Each and every one. Also, it was cold and there were fireworks.

Grand Lake Fireworks

The growing pile.

Reading is one of my one true loves in life. I love it so much that a book can envelop my entire consciousness for days and wind its way into my inner workings. I’ve got shelves crammed full of books I’ve read and don’t have the heart to get rid of, books that I can’t wait to crack open and devour and even more books that others hope I’ll want to read. I’ve spent hours in book stores and even more time at the library book sale each fall scouring the titles for something that speaks to me – meaning it could be anything from the Poisonwood Bible to something about vampires (cough, Twilight Series, cough).

I’m not one of those people that wants to sit down to a book only to find myself falling into a twisted story (while beautifully written) that in the end will only leave me wishing I hadn’t opened the book to begin with. I read to enjoy the words, to learn something or to find solace in something I can’t find outside of books. Books are like coming home – an escape from reality and a chance to live through something you otherwise would have missed.

Now that I’ve quit my job I’ve had a bit more time to read with less of an imposed bed time — meaning I’ve flown through 6 books in just about a month. What was it I was reading with such fervor?

See, a little of everything. With days like yesterday with the snow flakes spitting from the sky, nothing sounds better than curling up with a cup of hot apple cider and a book. Not sure what book is next on the list, any suggestions?

Elevated snow.

From the seat I saw

As a little kid I’d grab my seat in the plane and plaster my face against the window pausing only occasionally to order a soda or accept the peanuts my parents handed me. Looking out, over the miles and miles of earth I never could grasp how they got all those tiny little squares and the perfect circles of green to show up.

Years later, each time I land in  a window seat I find myself doing the same thing. Watching. Only now it’s not so much about the squares and the circles, it’s about where the small car is going, what the family that lives in that tiny white house is having for breakfast, what it’s like to be surrounded by nothing but open space. I’m curious about the people, the life, the rituals.

On a trip to Indiana a few weeks ago – shortly after 90% of the country had been pounded with an absurd amount of snow, I got the pleasure of seeing it from above, seeing the squares and circles coated in the pristine… hoping that the inhabitants were all at home, cozied in front of the fire sipping cocoa and snuggled in.

A flight avober the snow. covered in fluff

 

There’s a hint of winter in the air.

Fall is my very favorite season. There is something so warm and lovely about it. I think it also seems to be the shortest of the seasons here in Colorado… Spring starts in mid-April and last through the end of may, Summer ranges from June to mid september and fall gets the short span of mid-September to mid-October before the crazy Colorado weather gods dump snow all over the state with blizzards starting in October and lasting for what seems like forever.

This fall, though, has been longer. We’ve had 75 degree temperatures up until a few days ago. I was actually starting to long for sweaters, boots and snowy days. Those days have arrived. There was a touch of snow on Tuesday, but we got “official” snow today. It coated the ground and the streets. Winter is actually here.

I forgot to take pictures, assuming that the snow would linger long enough for me to grab a few shots after work — it’s just like Colorado to snow all morning and have it melted by the time I drive home (dry roads and all). To celebrate the welcoming of winter, Christian and I are headed to the Nuggets game when they are going to break the Lakers winning streak (a girl can dream can’t she?). I gave him tickets for our anniversary and it just so happens to coincide with the first snow!

I’m off to dinner and to cheer on the Nuggs!