Sugar Loaf

We woke up last Saturday with the intent to catch a peek of the golden Colorado Aspens but SNOW showed up in the foothills and cold rain filled in the cracks (oh my).  I was not even remotely deterred because I had a new $6.50 scarf from Forever21 to show off and thus declared to Hubs that the plan for autumy fall pictures was still a go.

We armed ourselves with hot beverages,

and made the treacherous hike to the top of Sugar Loaf mountain.  When I say treacherous, I really mean it was a gentle hike that last less than 10 minutes.  Be impressed anyway because, wow, it was hauntingly quiet and beautiful up there.  Also, flippin’ cold.

Much to my delight, we were still able to catch a few glimpses of gold.

It was after my hands froze into clenched stumps that Hubs decided a sketchy Mexican joint for some spicy salsa just might be the best medicine for our icy souls.  He was right.

From this, I realized two things:

1. We *really* need to find that box with all of our hats/mittens and winter gear.  How could one lose a large box in an 800 square ft apartment?

2.  I don’t know what a sugar loaf is exactly, but I’ve been craving one (or three) for breakfast ever since.

Family Matters

As promised, I threw together a recap of MamaP’s weekend getaway here in Colorado.  It goes a little something like this.

The day she got to town, I had to skip off to a cross country meet.  So, while I was making a positive influence on our youth, MamaP and Hubs were on the underside of a different kind of influence.

What I mean is, they went straight to a brewery:

I imagine they had a nice time because I found this on my camera later that evening:

The next day was reserved for just us ladies.  We shopped and talked and walked.

Oh, and we got cupcakes.

(it’s ok if a little drool slipped out over that maple-bacon-chocolate delight)

It’s funny.  I see so much of myself in her and yet, we are so different.  It’s a good different.

As you already know, we started our third day with a sunrise hike (I use the term loosely) in the mountains…

With intermittent rock climbing:

After warming our tummies with hot coffee, she had a total cow over doing outdoor yoga:

Although we packed a lot into the little time we had together, we still managed to stop and smell the roses…

Enjoy the ordinary moments…

And spend some good old fashioned quality time together.

Unfortunately, the weekend dissolved and, as it goes, all good things come to an end.  It was time to go.

Goodbyes are hard, especially when it comes to family that matters.  Hope to see her again soon.

Mountain Sun

As you well know, MamaP trucked it out West to Boulder to visit me, securing the (very prestigious) title of First Visitor.  For the most part, we’ve been behaving ourselves and I’ll share our adventures soon.  But…a sneak peek never hurts, right?

On Sunday morning, we roused before the sun and hiked up Chautauqua in the beautiful quiet.  The sun joined us soon after and we watched, enamored, as she braved a new day and cast her amber hope on the face of the Flatirons.

The early morning light was absolutely perfect for pictures:

It was so perfect, in fact, that I asked MamaP to snap a few of me.  I didn’t get up at 5.45am to don lipstick and chandelier earrings for the deer, you know.

I told her she did a great job.  Then, we went home and got hot coffee.

Free S(peach)

Hubs heard about a Peach Festival that was going on in Lafayette and casually mentioned it to me (because I am completely unaware of life outside my bubble).  Maybe it’s the gluten free carb yearning that is weakening my spirit, but I started to conjure up visions of peach cobbler, peachy smoothies, peach pies, deep fat fried cinnamon sugar peaches, peach muffins, the juicy fruit themselves, or least ones in a can that were put there by a man in a factory downtown.  Needless to say, I was ALL ABOUT IT.  I mean, Colorado is known for their peaches, right?!

Excitedly, I dug out the only peach colored top I own and we skipped on over to the festivities.

We did what you’d expect at any respectable Peach Festival and enjoyed some jambalaya:

Jambalaya?  Yeah.

As well as (gluten and just regular) free cotton candy, courtesy of some churchy folks:

In addition to those delicacies and opposite of what my title implies, the peaches did in fact cost money-

…a lot of money and if I’m being honest, they were as hard as gallstones.

If that weren’t disappointing enough, there were way more homemade jewelry stands than peachy fun.  Does that make sense to anyone??

A random side note:  The Clompy McClomperton Crew moved into the apartment above us.  They are athletes from China and there seems to be a lot of them, although we can’t keep track since they are always coming and going.  We assume they are here to squeeze in some serious altitude training.  While I appreciate their svelte bodies and gutsy drive and determination, the reverberating sound of their of indoor calisthenics and stair clomping is starting to royally tick me off.  Can someone important, like Obama or JWOW, send for our old neighbors from Chicago?  We need them back, stat.

I take my coffee

free, with some sun and a packet of uncertainty.

You see, a few months ago, I would toss some change into a crabby vending machine and if I was lucky, a paper cup would fill with creamy caffeinated chemicals and I would gulp it down at my desk listening to scratchy teleconferences.

But lately, Hubs and I have been shuffling over to the leasing office of our apartment for a mid morning coffee break, poolside.

Admittedly, the coffee is not stellar but the sunny weather usually makes up for it.  I’m trying to soak up these new moments, because they are wildly different from my life before.  These coffee breaks remind me that Hubs and I have come a long way from our Minnesota daydreams but that I also still have a bag of frets regarding the future.

Then, I just focus on the moment, as it is.

I take another sip, close my eyes and let the coffee warm my belly.

Guess what?

I got me a job.

See, even though I *want* to sit by the pool of our apartment and count floaters (no, not those kind) day in and day out, it’s just not practical.  Someone has to pull down a job to pay for the fact that I am eating my body weight in Panang curry each day.  Turns out, that person might as well be me.

Surprisingly enough, it didn’t take me long to land one.

(you were surprised, weren’t you?)

Behold, my new boss:

Now, I am employed doing very important work on the Internets for Hub’s startup.  I’ve requested to be named Chief Internet Warrior Princess, but you know how slowly things get done when they have to go through an imaginary HR department.  Conversely, in the news of progress, I’ve been working going on three weeks now and so far haven’t been canned.

I begin each day by sauntering 15 paces from the bedroom to my “office” in the living room.  It’s pretty low key, although I’m brainstorming office drama to stir up.  Throw ideas at me if you have them.

Getting Cozy in CO

We’ve been living in Colorado (whoa, that was a weird realization) for a little over two weeks now.  We work during the weekdays from home but are taking advantage of the weekends to get acquainted with this very sexy state.  Wanna know more?  Kinda on the fence?  It’s alright, I get that.

1. We biked to the Saturday morning Farmers Market.  Its backdrop is a gorgeous pathway along a feisty creek and abuts *insert junior high joke here* an ornate Japanese tea house.  The location alone is charming, not to mention all of the produce, homemade goods, music and food stands which made my eyes bulge (and conversely, Hubs wallet shrink.).  We picked up some mixed greens, colorful carrots, avocado-jalapeno-hummus, and some nummy nuts as a gift for our brother back home.

We also noticed the Farmers Market is a zero waste market.  All of the food vendors serve on recyclable or compostable wares, everyone brings their reusable bags, and there are these stations all around to help keep everything eco-riffic.  My heart smiled, I’m not going to lie.

2.  We hiked a local spot close to home called Mount Sanitas.  It took about an hour to reach the summit and we had perfectly sunny weather for the climb (ie: pasty Candace smothered herself in sunscreen).  We saw lots of folks on the mountain, including our neighbors from our apartment complex (how random is that?), people with babies in packs and their dogs – off their leashes, just scaling the rocky paths with no problem!

Unfortunately, we did bump into one mountain lion, but she had a friendly way about her.

3.  We’ve been biking often to the main drag, Pearl Street, which is flanked with lovely (ahem, expensive) boutiques and fabulous restaurants.  I’ve included a picture that has absolutely nothing to do with Pearl Street, but if I may, I’d like to mention I scored those skinny jeans from Target for $4.98.  Applause is unnecessary but nobody in their right mind would turn it down, now would they?

4.  We drove to the outskirts of a tiny mountain town called Nederland to hike a beautiful trail up to an incredibly scenic lake, nestled all cozy in the arms of the mountains.  It’s gorgeous…at least that’s what we hear, because we never did make it up to that apparently amazing/breath taking/life changing trail to Blue Lake.  Dark clouds, cold rain, bellowing thunder, swamped out trails and snowy impasses bullied us until we got half way up and decided to call it quits.  Surely, my outfit choice of a tank top and shorts in the SNOW CAPPED mountains didn’t help motivate us to forge forth.  It was, my friends, a Blue Lake Hiking Fail. Fear not, we will try again!  Probably.

5.  Lastly, we’ve spent a few sunny afternoons at our apartment’s pool but you don’t need to see pictures of me in a terribly lumpy swimsuit and Hub’s bare startup shoulders.  It just wouldn’t be right.

To Bouldly Go

I was *really* hoping to boast of our fantastically entertaining road trip to Boulder, Colorado with clever anecdotes and hilarious pictures but turns out, so little excitement happened on our way to the mountains that it has taken all of my brain power to muster up this post.

Bare with me while I recap my (multi) state of mind in bullet form.

Minnesota:

  • there were slobbery goodbyes and ugly cries.
  • the government was away on holiday.
  • the weather was oppressively hot and so was my singing (take that for whatever you want it to mean).
  • Hubs was nursing a cold and cleared his throat a billion times, which I responded to with sympathy and get well wishes.

Iowa:

  • we named our rad GPS, a gift from MamaP and my twin, Miss Dez after she got overly agitated by our detour to find gas near Des Moines.
  • I neglected to make any corny jokes about the corn fields (until now).
  • we may have encountered a minor setback when it was suggested (no, not by me, don’t be silly) that a gas station will surely be at the end of this road when all that was actually at the end was A DEAD END that we couldn’t back out of without unhooking the trailer and car combo and cussing at the sun.
  • Hubs purchased and downed one bottle of 5 hour energy and I counted windmills.
  • Hubs, nursing that lingering cold, cleared his throat a billion more times, which I politely ignored.

Nebraska:

  • we stayed in a seedy hotel that served us “cinnamon rolls” and egg jello molds for breakfast. (Damn right I stole the soap and hair net).
  • we got gas, which could be up for interpretation but you’d be right either way.
  • we listened to The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and holy hell that took a long time to get through.
  • our butts and legs went numb and even I ran out of things to say.
  • Hubs, surprisingly still sick, cleared his throat excessively, prompting me to scowl and shoot imaginary angry birds at his face.

Colorado:

  • we *finally* made it to our destination and extended tired high fives and weak yelps of yaaaay.
  • we hired movers to help us unload our mountain (fitting, no?) of crap while I staggered around our tiny apartment looking for fresh underwear and face wash.
  • we walked to an adorable little Thai place and enjoyed some killer curry for dinner.
  • Hubs was *still* nursing that frickin’ cold and kept on with the throat clearing but I cured my annoyance with three glasses of wine and went to bed.

(stupid picture, I know)

It’s been been a little over a week since that lengthy road trip transplanted us in higher altitude.  Think it’s about time I tell you what we’ve been up to now that we made it here?  Soon, my pretties, very soon.

We are Packers Fans.

Don’t get your Minnesotan long johns in a bunch.  You see, we spent weeks packing up all of our belongings until the garage resembled an impenetrable cardboard thicket of our very cherished crap.  Then, before we had a chance to catch our breath, Moving Day showed up.

Hubs secured a big butted truck,

God selected a tortuously muggy evening and I purchased classy refreshments,

and we rallied up a crew of fine muggles to work their Tetris magic (see, they have magic after all!) on our ridiculous amount of heavy furniture and my shamefully expansive collection of craft paper and stickers.

You know what?  It was a hard, yucky, and dreadful task.  But, our friends did us right that night and that’s why Hubs and I are huge, huge, HUGE, Packers fans.

My dear Packers, thank you sincerely for your generosity and very hard work.  I am overwhelmed by your kindness and care and feel honored to call you my friends.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!!

P.S.  This picture was too cute to keep all to myself.

Did your heart just melt?  I know, mine too.

Miss Independent (day)

Hello bloggy lads and ladies!  I wanted to wish you a very celebratory Independence Day!  There is a lot of heartache out in the world and I know I am a lucky soul.  Thank you to our soldiers whom are present and gone, their families, and their sacrifices.  I do not take their gift of freedom for granted.

This is where I was last year – folded precariously in a friend’s SUV, on the way to a gorgeous Minnesota lake cabin.  Although it looks otherwise, I am in fact wearing clothes.

Today, we are road tripping to the nearest Coloradan Target to buy a shower curtain.  Oh, the sweet glamor!

Don’t fret, I’ll bother you with stories of our cross country move soon.  But, until then, I’ll probably try to avoid the fireworks (they give me old lady headaches) and instead hunt for those very elusive kitchen towels…