Sunday, August 31, 2008

Balloon Glow

It's labor day weekend, which in Colorado Springs means the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival. We opted not to watch the balloon launch Saturday Morning in favor of watching it Monday morning with family. We may regret that. According to the radio, there has never been a more perfect day for the launch then they experienced Sat morning. Monday's launch will occur as long as weather permits. Apparently that may be in question. Oh well.

We did opt to go to the Balloon Glow festivities Sat evening with our friends the Schroeders. During the Balloon Glow, they anchor all the balloons down to the ground, inflate them and then after sunset, blaze the blower flames in unison to light up all the balloons like giant night lights. Everyone can walk among the balloons and join in all the countdowns,"5...4...3...2...1...GLOW!!!" It really was quite fun, and very beautiful. Hard to get a picture though. Either the camera shows the glowing balloons great and blacks everything else out, or the flash catches people in the foreground and blacks out all the balloons. Couldn't get both in the same shot. Here's the best of what I did get.

We stayed to the very end when they started taking down the balloons. The balloon owners were very friendly and would tell us all about the balloons and even let us touch one of them. Kinda fun watching them stuffing those huge things into their stuff sacks. Quite the process. On the way out we ran into a firetruck where the firemen were allowing the kids to climb in and play with the equipment. Very cool...although M got stage fright as soon as she was in the seat. By the time we got back to our car, there was no festival traffic left to speak of. It was great! And M is more excited than I can tell to see all the balloons again tomorrow morning and watch them all take off into the air this time. Let us just pray for good weather!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Visitors and Kids

So this morning we just said goodbye to my sister and her family who were visiting for a few days. It's always hard when fun times have to end and we must say goodbye to those closest to us. I must admit, I've been moping a bit around the house today (I still haven't cleaned up the breakfast mess yet.) But they're probably still on the road at this moment driving home, so they definitely have it worse. Alex got tricked into consenting to take us to Utah for Thanksgiving to see them again as everyone was saying goodbyes. We'll see if that sticks.

Life got put on hold for a while as we went swimming at the Y, planned and held a birthday party for my sister's youngest who just turned 1 year old, went to the zoo, and played a lot of Rock Band and card/board games with our honored guests and my two brothers' families who live here in the springs. It's always a blast when we can get a whole crowd together, no matter what we end up doing.

My sister's son was born the day before our little M, so it's always interesting watching the two interact. This time was mostly very pleasant and cute to watch them playing together (they haven't always been the best at sharing in the past, and although we had a few hiccups this time, for the most part, they loved being together.) They called each other "My M" and "My E," and would lead each other around hand in hand. M was admittedly a little bossy in what they were playing, but E put up with it very well.

You know I sometimes wonder whether we expect too much of our little almost 3 year old with all the rules and restrictions we place on her, as she seems to never be able to remember what them and I have to harp on her over and over about the same things. But my worries were put to rest as Little M very meticulously and matronly would scold E about all the household rules. "We eat in the kitchen, not on the carpet...Don't hurt the kitties...time to clean up the toys...etc. etc." Apparently it's not a matter of understanding, but just of selective hearing. (Busted!)

I got the hair change bug just this last weekend, and with the help of my sister, measured, cut, and prepared my hair for donation to Locks of Love. It has to be at least 10 inches in length to donate, and I was thrilled to find out I had 12 inches to spare and wouldn't have to wait to change my hairstyle. I've still got a little of the spiral perm left in my now "butched" hair ("You butched your hair", is all my brother J had to say on the subject.) and thanks to the support and help of my sister have a new style I'm already loving! Alex seems to like it too, so I guess that's what matters most. Here's the before and after (the hairstylist) shots. The after pic is not the best but I'm sure there will be more to come to show the new do.

Incidentally, the dreaded, but expected event happened, when Little M found the scissors, picked them up and announced to me that she needed to cut her hair too. Explain that double standard to a 2 year old! Luckily she told me her intentions before doing, so no harm was done, but I can tell I'll have to keep a close eye on all scissors around the house for a while.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Well, I've got to be the worst blogger in history! We had a friend, that I didn't even know was aware of our blog, tell us that we need to post again. Then I got an email from my brother, who started a family blog, that got me curious again; so I happen to visit my sister-in-law's site, and she's posted over 100 entries in the time I've only cranked out 2. (I've now learned how to subscribe to a string, so I can be alerted when new entries are posted on my families' sites.) I had no idea she blogged nearly every day! Anyway, I'm feeling inspired again; after only 1 year; and have decided to try again.

So I'm not even going to try to "catch up" on everything I've missed in the past year. Let's try a bullet list of highlights: (as I browse for pictures to include in this post, I'm realizing I'm almost as bad at taking pictures as I am at blogging.)

Alex started designating Thursdays as Daddy/Daughter days. They've been able to bond having regular one-on-one time and I've been enjoying having 1 day off a week that I can use however I please. Lately, I've actually been able to make some progress on scrapbooking. Now I'm only 2 years behind!

Here's princess M herself on a hike with her daddy.

She's now 2 1/2 going on 16. I never imagined that my sweet little girl could develop a teenage girl attitude so early in life. She really knows exactly how to push my buttons when she's of a mind to it. But then again, she also really knows how to make my face light up and my heart melt when she's of a mind to it. I love her dearly and wouldn't trade a moment of motherhood!

A couple events of note in this picture. Alex's mother came to visit us for a week in July. We loved having her with us and hope for a speedy return. M loved having her dogs to play with, and especially getting to hold the leash and help walk them (although I can't say our kitties shared her sentiment). And Alex got to take a trip with her down to Mexico to help her with some border/car issues.

Also, you may notice the bulging belly in this picture. We discovered on Valentine's Day that after over a year of hoping, we were finally expecting a second child. I'm now 8 months along and eagerly awaiting the arrival of our second little girl sometime near the first week of October. (No, we still have no idea what we're going to name her.) We're using a wonderful, local, (and LDS even) midwife named Dotti Kirkpatrick (check out her website at and I've recently started going to a chiropractor here in town who specializes in prenatal care: Dr. John Davis of Atlas Chiropractic. Between the two of them, we're looking forward to smooth, quick, and successful home birth. (Don't get me started on hospitals vs midwives, unless you want to see me get on a soapbox for a LONG time.)

My vegetable garden hasn't been so hot this year, but my flowers have been growing phenomenally! I've been enjoying fresh bouquets of flowers all summer long. This was one of the nicer ones I put together. I just love gardening! Although, I think I did mess up my back a little by weeding the yard and gardens with a large prego belly (hence the chiropractor). There's just something magical about helping things to grow and thrive that I just can't stay away from.

It's been raining constantly for the past 4 days here (very strange for Colorado weather in August) so I haven't been able to do anything in my yard, and I've really missed it. I was so very happy to see the sun again today! Luckily, we had my sister and her family in town this weekend to help distract. We had a wonderful time, even though we weren't able to make a zoo trip due to the weather as originally planned. Instead there was a lot of Olympic games watching and "Rock Band" playing. (I'm not normally one to play console games, but I must say, I REALLY like this one. What a blast!)

One last event of note, that I can think of was our camping trip a couple weeks ago to Jellystone Park in Estes Park, CO. It was the first time we've gone camping since M was only 6 months old, so we chose a location that was a little more kid oriented for her first memorable experience. We all had a blast! M loved sleeping in a tent and cooking marshmallows on the fire. We saw Yogi bear, played mini golf, made squirrel feeders, face painting, played at the playground, and just had a great time camping and trying out all our 72 hour emergency kits.

Well, I think that's probably enough for now. I'll try to write again before another year goes by.