August 25, 2016

Colorado Post #2

Thursday, 8-18-16

We fell in love with our apartment when we checked in!! This rental has only been available for about two months now...it is a new venture for Jeff, the owner. Everything was so clean and new and it was so nicely decorated!

From the parking lot, we walked up onto the deck to this cute arrangement!
A little table with an umbrella -- complete with a little red owl!
Upon entering the apartment, there was a long hallway.
On each side was a bedroom, and at the end of the hallway was this really
nice living room! It was cozy -- the couch was so comfy!!
The kitchen had everything we could need! Dishes and a microwave...
and they even stocked the fridge with eggs, butter and bread!
There was a little table with four chairs too!
There were two bedrooms -- one had a full size bed, and the other one had a
twin bed with a twin trundle! We decided to give Kiki and Blaise the full bed, and
took this cute bedroom. It was decorated very cute and there was a nice closet
and some storage bins. And, surprisingingly, the beds were very comfy and we
slept great all week long! Each room had it's own air condition unit, and
we were able to make it very chilly for sleeping!
The other bedroom was cute too!
After we got settled in, we drove to downtown Colorado Springs to the
Food Truck fest where the race packet pick up was occurring. It was a bit rainy,
and there were only a few food trucks...so once they boys picked up the packets and
we scoped things out, we decided to move on back to Manitou Springs to have some dinner.
We decided to eat at Creekside, and it was pretty tasty there! I had some
pepperoni pizza, and Chris had a burger and fries. We had a few drinks and
enjoyed our evening with Kiki and Blaise. They are a lot of fun, and so easy to be with.
That is very desirable in travel companions!
Next to the restaurant was a fun arcade area, and I discovered this adorable
donkey ride! Couldn't pass that up now could I?
Blaise captured this candid shot of me and Chris walking through the arcade!
After dinner, we decided to stop at The Keg, a little bar in town across from our apartment.
We enjoyed a few drinks and good conversation there before turning in!
The Fab Four!

More to come!!

August 24, 2016

Colorado Trip -- Post #1!

We had the most wonderful trip to Colorado!! It is so beautiful there...every direction we turned, there was a gorgeous scene to witness. The pictures don't do it justice...but still, so much to share!

Wednesday, 8-17-16
After work on Wednesday, we packed up the car and got on the road! We made our way about 6 hours to Clayton, New Mexico where we had reservations at the Best Western Kokopelli Hotel...we arrived around midnight, got checked in, and went to sleep!

Thursday, 8-18-16
Thursday morning, we woke up and had a nice, hot breakfast at the hotel...then we got back on the road for about three more hours.

A look at the New Mexico landscape...we weren't in flat Texas any longer!
Once we passed the border into Colorado, we pulled over at a scenic point
and took a few photos...it was already so gorgeous! So green and hilly and beautiful!
Once we arrived in Colorado Springs, we drove about 6 more miles to
Manitou Springs...Manitou Avenue was our stop, and we spent our trip in
this area. Manitou Springs is a very cute little town!
It was very cool to see that one of the very first things we saw upon arrival
was this banner welcoming all of the runners! They have two events every year, on
the same weekend. On Saturday, they do the Ascent race, which is just a race up the mountain. Then on Sunday, they do the full marathon, which is running up and down the mountain.
Manitou Springs reminded us a lot of our favorite town, Fredericksburg...a quaint
little town with a main street full of shops and restaurants. Only this was even much
better because of the outstanding backdrop of mountains!
Our first stop was to our apartment -- Chris found this gem on Air B&B, and we
were so excited to see it! Check in wasn't until 2:00, and we were a bit early...so we pulled
in and parked, and then set off to do a little exploring. This is the view from the street...upstairs, there are four apartments, one of which is the B&B we stayed in. The other three had full time residents. The owner of these apartments also owns the Mona Lisa Fondu restaurant downstairs...we pulled up the little alley to the left of the restaurant, went up a very
steep hill, and parked in the tiny lot.
This is the view of the B&B entrance...it was so cozy and cute! Up a few stairs,
to a cute deck with table, chairs, and umbrella...
My guy and a few of the locals, getting acquainted :)
Our first stop was lunch! And of course, we were excited to find a brewery :)
Manitou Brewing Co. was quite delicious! We thoroughly enjoyed it...Chris had some
good beer, and the food was so yummy. I had some truffle fries and some beer
soup, and Chris had some tacos and mac and cheese. Mmmm!
The decor of the brewery was very cute!

We enjoyed our lunch together and then we were able to check in. We met Jeff the owner, and got acquainted with our new home away from home...and then we drove downtown to get Chris' race packet and meet up with our travel companions -- Kiki and Blaise!!

August 23, 2016

We're Home!

Hello Blog World!!

We are safely back at home after an INCREDIBLE trip to Colorado!!! We absolutely loved it there! I can't wait to share all the details with you -- about where we stayed, what we did, and of course, the Pikes Peak Marathon!! Chris and Kiki had an amazing run, and they are doing well afterwards -- just having a bit of trouble walking :) They are super sore.

Over the next several days, I'll be sharing our trip with you -- the stories and the photos! I took over 700 pics, so it will take a bit of work to weed through them!

Today, we are back to the norm -- we still had this final day off work, so it was laundry and grocery shopping and relaxing...and rebonding with our two pups!! We missed those two so much!!

It's back to work tomorrow -- getting back to the grindstone again...the good news is that we have causal days :) That will be nice!

Stay tuned for Colorado Recaps!!

August 16, 2016

Signing off

Today...

...I had a fairly stressful day at work, as I needed to cover for one of our team members and her system is, shall we say, just a little confusing. I muddled through.

...I gave out two mid-year reviews and had good conversations with them...tomorrow will be two more.

...I went back to the oil change place and had them fix what they failed to do. It didn't take long thankfully, and hopefully all is good for our trip now.

...I was finally crick-free in my neck. Hopefully it stays away!!!

...I am excited to watch the final gymnastic event -- floor -- and be done with that. Gymnastics is the one Olympic event I feel I must see! So the rest can come and go as needed. Since we will be traveling and away from normal activity, it will be difficult to see some of the remaining stuff.

...made taco pizza for dinner and it was yum! It was no fun, however, cooking and doing dishes :(

...will begin serious packing for our trip! I have things set aside, so it is time to finalize and start getting things into the suitcase. I'll roll up my clothes tomorrow after work, right before we leave.

...I must read a chapter for our management book study in the morning...

...I turned my Etsy shop onto Vacation Mode -- because I won't be here to ship things within one day, if something happens to sell. It will open back up once we return!!

...I will go to bed happy, knowing that when I wake up, it is just one day left of work and then we are on the road to CO!!

I hope that you all have a great few days coming up! If you follow me on instagram, be sure to check us out over there until next Wednesday...I'll still be posting there!! For the blog, I'm signing off for a few days...until then!

August 15, 2016

Oil Change Snafu

:: More Olympics! When are they over? I'm not sure what we do on a normal evening without them!

:: Tonight I made beef stroganoff, my fave...but I didn't let it simmer long enough and it was a bit weak. Booo. I was rushed because we got home late.

:: We got home late because I had my oil changed today to get ready for our trip, and they failed to secure everything properly. So the metal flap was hitting the ground whenever enough wind got into it. So I had to drive about 20 MPH all the way home. That sucked.

:: And now I must use ANOTHER lunch hour to go back over there and have them fix it. This kind of thing drives me crazy!!!! I won't be going back there after this. Chris had to rig it up so that it is okay for me to even drive back over there. So frustrating. What would have happened if I had done this the day before leaving for our trip?? We would have been screwed.

:: I've had a crick in my neck for a few days...it comes and goes in intensity. I've been using my China Gel and that helps. It seems to be worse in the evenings and at night. Hopefully I'll feel better sleeping tonight.

:: COME ON WEDNESDAY 5:00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

:: Tonight, I think I need a vodka tonic and some reading to go along with my Olympics. Adios...

August 14, 2016

weekend recap

:: Our weekend was pretty relaxing...we ate at Heff's Friday night and then headed home to watch Olympics. Saturday, Chris ran a time trial 5k, and then worked outside while I did some computer work. We ordered some Black Box pizza and had it delivered for lunch...and then we had TaMolley's mexican for dinner. Picked up a few things from Lowes and then headed home. Sunday, after church, it was time for regular chores...and Chris did a two hour bike ride!

:: Very much in vacay mode!! Only three days of work ahead and then we are off!!!

:: I've started some packing...unfortunately, a lot of my clothing is not currently fitting. That's a whole other topic. So...my packing options are limited and shouldn't take too long to figure it out. I'm ready to get it all in the suitcase and load up in the car!

:: During our trip, I won't be blogging...but I'll have lots of stories and photos to share when we return!

:: Not too much going on for the three days we will be in town...needing to get the oil changed in our car, and get the dry cleaning done. Otherwise, a normal few days.

:: I finished up more revisions on my Meal Prep eBook over the weekend! I need to take a photo for the cover, and then Chris is going to go through it and give me his thoughts. Getting close!!

:: We did some swimming on Saturday, though the water was a bit chilly. And we tried again on Sunday, but the water was way too chilly that day. We've had a bit of a reprieve with our hot temps, and the water is just not being warmed as much during the day.

:: We've been enjoying so much of the Olympics! The gymnastics has been fun, and watching Michael Phelps swim his last races was incredible!

:: Time to finish up the laundry and empty the dishwasher...my work is never done :)

August 11, 2016

Prepping for CO!


So...my mind is switching over to VACATION PREP mode!!! It is coming up swiftly. It seemed so far off, and then we blinked and we're leaving after work next Wednesday!! Whoop!

Doesn't that photo look so refreshing???!!! After the intense, suffocating heat of this long Texas summer, I must say that I am enthralled with the idea of being chilly for a few days!

That does mean I need to start thinking about packing -- what clothes to take?? Layers will probably be the best option, plus a heavy jacket. It will also be an adjustment switching from flip flops to closed shoes!

I've been reading through our visitor guide, seeing what fun things we might want to do while we are there. Colorado Springs / Manitou Springs are both such neat areas! There are endless things for visitors to do, and we have only a few days...so we need to have some kind of plan! We'll also have a very long drive to discuss it and figure it all out -- thankfully!

We are staying at a very cute Air B and B in downtown Manitou Springs! Check out their site -- once you click on the link, click on the big photo at the top and it will give you a lot of other photos to look through! It is a little two bedroom apartment, and it is right at the starting line for the Pikes Peak Marathon! My husband really is quite amazing with his planning skills! This will make the day of the marathon soooo much easier for everyone involved! Our friends Steven (Kiki) and Blaise will be staying in the apartment with us, since Steven is running the marathon as well...it should be a lot of fun!

We aren't sure what the day of the marathon will be like for us spectators...Chris is thinking it will take at least six hours to complete the marathon -- it is up and then down Pikes Peak! We aren't sure if us girls will be able to get to the top of the mountain to see them up there, or if we'll just need to wait at the bottom for them to return. So we'll figure that out. We can maybe do some shopping and lunching and girlie things while they are doing crazy man things like running up a mountain in the altitude!!!

I'm just ready to GO!!!!! Looking very forward to getting away, feeling refreshed, and enjoying those cool temps, my hubby, and the company of friends!

** Have you been to Colorado Springs?? What are some things you recommend doing while we are there??? I used to live there many, many moons ago...I remember a few things like Garden of the Gods...but, what else???

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August 10, 2016

Mid Week

:: I've been working this week on getting some mid-year reviews done for some of my team. They were due at the end of July but for some reason they were not sent to me...so now I am playing some catch up. It's taking me a bit to get my thoughts together on it...I need to set aside some time to focus tomorrow.

:: In other work related news, I am also about to embark on the large process of making a verbiage change to our applications in every state. That will be a "plug away" process. Something like that can be a bit overwhelming, so I have to start it off with an Excel spreadsheet and then mark things off one step at a time.

:: I have been somewhat clumsy today and I am not sure why. That is not normally the case.

:: I was excited to hear that we have casual days the next two days!!! Life is better when it's casual!

:: Here in Texas, we are supposed to get a "cold front" this weekend...meaning it will be in about the 80s. We will take it!! We've also been looking at the temperatures for Colorado Springs and that is going to be so refreshing!!! Down to the 50s at night! And at the top of Pikes Peak, we'll need some layers too. Ahhhh!

:: Beach volleyball is pretty fun to watch...these girls are crazy good!

:: Today I'll have a break from "late night" gymnastics...thankfully!!! To bed on time!!

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August 09, 2016

Current Life

:: Another day, more Olympics! Tell me...why NBC?? Why do you insist on showing just a bit of the gymnastics and then showing swimming alllll night, and then going back to gymnastics around 10:00?? That is too late for this old lady!!! To top it all off, the NBC Olympic instagram account is showing results before it even airs here in the U.S.! So I can't even look at my feed. Seems like they could wait??

:: After my workout this evening, while Chris was doing his 75 minute run, I worked more on my eBook and the progress is really moving along now! I've got my first round of edits made, and I designed the cover tonight. Getting close!

:: We are getting close to our Colorado Springs trip!! We are looking forward to the short vacation, and also to the big Pikes Peak Marathon!! It is going to be an experience for sure. We leave next Wednesday after work. Whoop whoop whoop!!!

:: I received a big batch of Project Life layouts today for my album! They look sooo good. Love the printing company they use for the app. I am current on this project, up to this very week. That is key to me in doing this type of project. LOVE it.

:: I also received the two life jackets that I got for our pups from Amazon! We especially want one for Ocho, whose legs don't move as quickly in the water. Poppy doesn't necessarily need it but we think it might make her feel more secure. We'll give them a try!

:: For now, this is goodbye!

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August 08, 2016

The Week Begins

:: We are enjoying the Olympics here...gymnastics is my favorite, though I don't really feel like this team of girls is that electric. Not yet anyway. I am hoping to feel some goosebumps soon! It was fun last night to watch Phelps swim in the relay...I hope he has great success in all of his races and I am excited to watch. As for the rest...if I catch it, I catch it. I wasn't too fond of staying up until 11:00 last night with the gymnastics...this old lady needs her beauty sleep!!!

:: Slowly working to get my eating back under control...last week I cut out sugary junk (except when we were in Fredericksburg!) and this week I am cutting out corn products. I know that corn is my trigger, and I am hopeful that after this week I will feel much better overall. Gotta get down a bit in the weight because only about 1/4 of my closet fits currently.

:: I'm still making my way through Gilmore Girls season one...it's kind of cheesy but kind of cute too. I'm enjoying it!

:: I finished the book Midair...it was okay. Not fantastic, and the story itself was a bit off to me. Not one that I recommend.

:: But, I started our new book club book! Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death -- it's a mystery set in England! I'm excited to see how this one goes!!

:: I've been working on the technical side of my Etsy shop -- having to get the name registered with the county clerk and also have to apply for a sales tax permit. I need to get both in place before I put my eBook into the shop.

Off to enjoy some time with the hubby and the Olympics!

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August 07, 2016

Weekend Update

Whew...it's been sort of a whirlwind the past few days!!!

:: Thursday was our 9th anniversary! Crazy stuff! Chris had a gorgeous bouquet of pink and green flowers delivered to me at work, and they smell so good!!! We enjoyed a very nice dinner together at The Beehive, and then we stopped at The Mill for a few drinks and some delicious chocolate truffles! In leiu of gifts this year, we decided to make our upcoming trip to Colorado Springs for the marathon our gift. We'll be there a few extra days enjoying the sights, etc...so that is definitely gift enough!!

:: Friday evening, since it was the Opening Ceremony for the Olympics, we decided to head home and eat leftovers while watching! It was a very relaxing evening, and the Opening Ceremony was decent...

:: Saturday morning, Chris got up early for his run, and then we headed to Fredericksburg for the day! We really enjoyed our time there! We got into town right before lunchtime...we stopped at a few shops and then had lunch at The Brewery. Mmm! Then we invited Beth to join us for a glass of wine at Hilmy -- Beth is the woman who owns the donkey B&B we stayed at a few months ago, and I have been keeping in touch with here now and then. She agreed to meet us and we enjoyed chatting with her. Then we went to our favorite place -- Grape Creek!! We enjoyed some time there on the member patio, drinking some wine and listening to Jeff Wood live. Chris got a little pizza there, and I had a very yummy cheese plate! From there, we decided to stop out at Luckenbach for a bit. It's always good to just see what's going on out there! And then...dinner at Burger Burger, a new place in town. Neither of us was very hungry, so we ate light and shared a salted caramel shake! We debated finding a room to stay...but in the end, decided to go on and drive home. We left Fredericksburg around 8:45 and got home around 11:30.

:: Sunday, it was chores and meal prep! We may end it off with a little time in the pool...and some Olympic gymnastics!

:: The week ahead looks to be fairly normal and straight forward! We shall see how it pans out!

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August 03, 2016

Wednesday Catch Up

:: Today during our management meeting, we talked about the 2017 Sabbaticals that are coming up! If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you might remember that back in 2010 the company we work for awarded us each with a 30 day Sabbatical from work...paid. It was a wonderful experience! In the bible, Sabbaticals occurred every seven years...which bring us to next year -- 2017. We're all supposed to be figuring out what we might want to do with our 30 days...the deadline to turn in the applications is mid-October. What to do, what to do...

:: For dinner tonight, I made chicken spaghetti and that made the family happy happy happy...I myself thought it turned out a little dry, so next time I think I will only cook it for 30 minutes instead of the suggested 40.

:: My new Netflix show, Gilmore Girls, is going good! I'm on episode 4...

:: Tomorrow is my 9th anniversary with Chris!! Where have the years gone?? We've seen a lot of good in those years, and some bad...but through it all, I am blessed to call him my husband. God gave me the best!! We are going to have a nice dinner out tomorrow and then head to Fredericksburg for the day on Saturday.

:: I'm plugging away at my Meal Prep eBook! I've gone through and marked up the revisions I want to make, and I also asked my pals on Facebook what else I might want to add. They gave me some good ideas, and I will be adding those things as well. I'm really excited about this project!

:: Today I did a fun "day in the life" project! I took a photo every hour to capture my day in a nutshell. I found it to be a fun exercise, except it was difficult to get creative all those hours sitting at my desk! I'm going to do a scrapbook layout that shows all of the photos with captions about my day. And I plan to do this every so often to include in my scrapbook albums.

:: The Air Force base has randomly changed their flight pattern for the B-1 routes, and they are now going right over our house. The first time it happened, I was 100% positive something was landing on our house! It was soooo loud!!! Wow.

:: Chris got up at 5:00 am this morning to do an intense treadmill workout at the office...then got ready there. He is dedicated to this plan!! Tomorrow he is getting up early to do a bike ride before work, so that he doesn't have to do it in the evening -- because we've got anniversary dinner :)

:: The new allergy/asthma medication my doctor is trying me out on -- Singulair -- is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! I have been sleeping GREAT, have no snot, no sneezes, and my wheezing is getting better. Put me on a lifetime supply of this stuff please!

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August 02, 2016

Pretty Hair

:: Today was "Get My Hair Done" day...and it seemed to take a little longer than usual! Got home later, and Chris and Mimi had dinner ready and waiting! Whoop! Thank you to them. That made the evening go a little bit faster for sure!

:: And now it is nearly 9:00, and I need some down time. It was one of those days. The brain needs a little nothingness. Bye for today...

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August 01, 2016

Monday Again

Those weekends...they just fly by too quickly. Sadly.

:: Today, in the mail, I received the 2016 Vacation Guide for Colorado Springs :) I forgot that I ordered this awhile back off the internet. They have a digital version, but I just really wanted the paper version. Old school!

:: I decided on my next Netflix binge! I am going to watch The Gilmore Girls! I've heard from multiple people that they love it. So, off I go! I'm into the second episode and it is quirky. I'm going to enjoy it I think!

:: I made a lot of progress over the weekend on an eBook of Meal Prep that I'm going to put into my Etsy shop! I printed it out today and am now going to go through it and proof it and get it finalized. I'm excited about it!

:: This evening, Chris' boss flew into town and he picked him up after his run. They are now at dinner talking business :) So, I picked up some Mr. Burger for me and Mimi! Yum!

:: Tomorrow I am making shredded pork for some tacos...it will be ready by the time I get home from my hair appointment.

:: Today I started my quest to reign things in. This week: no sugar. It's going to be difficult for a few days.

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July 31, 2016

Scrapbook Retreat

Fun fun weekend for me! It was the July Scrapbook Retreat at our house! It's always a fun time. It starts on Saturday at 10:00 am and ends on Sunday at 6:00 pm. Attendees are responsible for all of their own food for the two days, and they leave all their scrapbook stuff set up Saturday night and come back the next morning for more! We had four on Saturday and 3 on Sunday...a small group both days. Summers are just so busy, it is hard for people to fit it in. I worked on a lot of digital things, mostly!

-- Sized photos for printing
-- Filed electronic photos
-- Updated my Reading Journal album
-- Created a meal prep e-Book
-- Paired titles with photos
-- Fine tuned my etsy shop

I'm excited about my meal prep e-Book!! I am working on four weekly menus that include recipes and tips, that I will put into my Etsy shop for sale! I have some fine tuning to do but I made a whole lot of progress so far!

We also put our feet in the pool Saturday evening and that was a refreshing break!!

After it ends, I'll be heading to the grocery store...no meal prep for me this weekend but I only need to cook twice this coming week. The other evenings, I am getting my hair done and we will celebrate our 9th anniversary with a dinner out!! It will feel a bit weird to cook after work again.

I enjoyed a lot of JUNK this weekend...and Monday I am going to start the process of tightening up. No more "out of control". Week one will be removing sugary junk. Ba bye!

It's hard to believe that this will be my 9th anniversary with Chris...we've been through so many good times and bad times together, and our marriage has been such a blessing. God is good!!!