Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Cousin's Wedding in Omaha

We drove out to Omaha this past weekend for my cousin, Lisa's wedding. We weren't sure what to expect as the kids have never been on a road trip longer than the few hours it takes to drive to a campsite in the mountains, and this was 10 hours each way. Yes, some can do it in less time, but they don't have little ones with diaper changes and bathroom breaks and dinner stops that last an hour. We left on Friday afternoon and got to Kearney, NE for the night, stopping at 11:30 pm. It was very tempting to keep going once both kids were asleep, but we were glad we stopped when we did as Ethan was up at 6 the next morning.

We drove the last three hours on Saturday morning with plenty of time to check-in to our nice hotel and rest before changing for the wedding. It was held at the Embassy Suites in downtown Omaha and was very nice! They had a romantic carriage ride through the city after the ceremony and dinner was also wonderful. The dance was fun too, although you sure don't get much dancing in with your husband when you have two little ones! I did watch Ashleigh dance for the first time with a boy and it makes me think about how quickly she's growing up.

The best part of all though is seeing my extended family and catching up with all the family news. It was a quick trip, but we were glad we made it safely and even the trip back to Denver on Sunday was not bad either. I'm just glad I packed plenty of toys, coloring books, library books, and the Leap Pad to keep them entertained for hours, otherwise, it would have been a VERY long trip! We hardly ever travel and stay in hotels and the kids loved it. Ashleigh is still talking about it and pretending with her stuffed animals they're staying at the hotel.

Ethan riding in the car

Ashleigh riding in the car

Ethan, me, Rob, and Ashleigh at the wedding

My cousin, Lisa and Justin during the ceremony

Ashleigh watching the fish with her 2nd cousins, Garrison & Christian

Me, my Aunt Pat (and mother of the bride), and cousin Helen

My cousin with her son and ring-bearer Damien

My cousin Jay, on my right, and his kids, Cassie, Aaron, and wife Rosalyn

Ashleigh's first dance with a boy ever!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Camping at Eleven-mile Reservoir, day at Lakeside, and Dairy Tour

Wow, we've been busy this past week! Rob, Ashleigh, Ethan, my sister, my brother-in-law and I went camping at Eleven-mile Reservoir last weekend. Overall, we had really good weather considering it was a torrential downpour here in Aurora on Friday and we just had sprinkles Friday night with steady rain from dinner until we went to bed on Saturday night. The days were great and we got a hike in with the kids on Saturday morning with a nice afternoon around the campsite playing games and reading during the afternoon. I think the camping trip was a little rough on Rob though as he had just gotten home from one business trip late Thursday night, thankfully had Friday off, but then flew out again for Michigan on Sunday afternoon for the week and gets back this evening. I sure miss him when he's gone, but am able to keep myself busy hanging out with friends while he is gone, so definitely not lonely! Ashleigh loved climbing the rocks around the campsite and now I know how my mom felt when I took risks climbing trees and going to high places. As a mom, you want to keep them under your wing and not let them do anything dangerous, but they also need to learn about the world through exploring on their own and as my dad advised, it's good to let them make mistakes sometimes, even when you know what the outcome will be, so they can learn from them.

Ashleigh climbing up high on the rocks

Ethan trying hard to keep up with his sister

Hummingbird stuck inside of our tent

The Fam in front of Eleven-mile on our hike

Beautiful purple butterfly on our hike

Hiking by the lake and Ethan catching a snooze

Our last morning at camp - a very cold morning!

Ethan bundled up waiting for breakfast

I also went to Lakeside on Tuesday with my friend, Amy, and our free passes from the summer reading program at the library, which was like a trip down memory lane for me since my mom took us to Lakeside when we were kids once a year with the summer reading coupons too. I have to say though that almost all the rides were identical to when I was a kid... I'll just leave it at that!

Yesterday, we went to a dairy for a tour with my moms' group from church and the kids and moms got to take a tour, see a movie, taste samples, witness the cows being milked, pet and feed the calves and goats, and learn how a dairy is run. You sure look at a cow being milked much differently after you've nursed and pumped for your own children! We also brought sack lunches and ate together after the tour and bought some homemade ice cream cones for dessert. It was a great day and fun getting to know some of the moms and their kids better. We definitely had great weather compared to today which is foggy, drizzly, and about 50F outside!

Can't wait to see Rob in just a few hours and to celebrate his birthday together after we pick him up. I know his trip has been long with 12-hour work days, plus dinner with his co-workers after they finish up work. I have probably talked with him a total of an hour this week (minus the camping trip), so it'll be nice having him home again for a long stretch!

Guess I should also mention that I'm pregnant now and almost half-way through my pregnancy. We will find out what we're having in just two short weeks and can't wait! It seems by your third pregnancy, you manage to tell most people the news, but I'm sure there are some readers out there who don't know yet and are noticing I'm putting on some weight in the pictures so I'll come right out and clear up that rumor! We are excited and also a little nervous about the age difference of Ethan and the new baby, but God's plans are perfect and we know what a gift children are from the Lord.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Our Evil HOA

Normally I keep these pretty positive, but I have to vent about our evil homeowner's association. As I mentioned in the last post, we've had record-breaking consecutive days of 90+ degree heat. We're up to 24 days now with hardly any rain, but it is cooling off, thankfully. Reason I talk about the weather is our evil HOA just sent a second hate letter regarding our browning lawn giving us 10 days to fix it. I should also mention that our water company, ECCV, restricts our watering to three days/week and only 15 minutes/day, which we are doing. So we have a dilemma here to either be fined by ECCV for over-watering, or be fined by our lovely HOA for a brown lawn. I called ECCV this morning, hoping to get a little wisdom on who has the legal authority here, but they said they're working on it and that if I water more than the allocated time, I could be fined. ECCV also said I couldn't seed or re-sod until after Sept 15th as the letter from the HOA said we had to do within 10 days.

Well, I sent an email off to our HOA with the prior information and asked for an extension through fall, but am not very hopeful to hear a response as they failed to respond to my email two years ago regarding the siding direction on our shed not matching the direction of the siding on the house (which we also had 10 days to fix at the end of December, so Rob spent his Christmas vacation residing the shed in the cold). I seriously doubt our slightly brown lawn is hurting housing prices in the neighborhood and think it's probably more the nationwide falling housing market that's bringing down the home prices. I'll keep you posted on this one! It's frustrating, to say the least.

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Last Month

I have to admit, it's been nearly a month since my last post, so it's time for the catch-up blog. I have good intentions, but never the time! Plus, it's been extremely hot in the office lately (23 days in a row of 90+ degree days will do that!) So unless I blog very late at night or early morning (which is what time it is now) it just doesn't happen. We put A/C in our house two summers ago, when I started staying home, but the A/C just isn't as effective upstairs as it is downstairs, so it's still 80+ degrees in the office, even though it's 75 downstairs.

We've been going to the reservoirs quite a bit with friends and had a family day there too. We also went hiking at Golden Gate Canyon State Park with the kids and am proud to say Ashleigh hiked 1.8 miles on her own while we carried Ethan. It's special going back there as Rob and I got married up Golden Gate Canyon near a friend's parents' house in the mountains. Ashleigh had two weeks in a row of swim lessons (Mon-Thurs) at the outdoor pool up the street, then last week, she had Vacation Bible School at a friends' church. We've also been swimming some at my mom's neighborhood pool and have been keeping cool by going to the spray parks near our house.

Rob and I got in a great date day at the Mile High Music Festival a few weeks ago and got to see various bands who were playing on five different stages at the same time, so it was fun walking around there getting a taste for different artists. My favorites were One Republic, Rodrigo y Gabriella, and of course, Dave Matthews Band who played for three hours up until about midnight. We didn't get much sleep that night as Rob worked Monday and I needed to pick up the kids before Rob's mom left for work, but definitely worth the lack of sleep and we had a great day and lunch of Chinese food at PF Changs after church before the concert. You really miss the uninterrupted conversations once you have kids and it was nice having time again to reconnect. We also had a date night Friday at Chili's while Ashleigh was in VBS, but Ethan was with us, so it wasn't quite the same even if he doesn't talk our ears off during dinner like Ashleigh does!

Here are some picts from the last month. Enjoy!

Ashleigh and Hanna playing in the kiddie pool on our deck

Janice, Ethan, and Ashleigh at Aurora Reservoir

Ethan playing in the sand at Aurora Reservoir

Jill, Stephanie, and Janice at the reservoir (with Ashleigh behind us)

Ashleigh at her swim lesson

Ethan playing in the baby pool during Ashleigh's lesson

Ashleigh on top of a rock at Panorama Point in Golden Gate Canyon State Park

Ethan having lunch before our hike

Hiking with Ethan in the backpack and Ashleigh with her walking stick

Ethan and Ashleigh in their pjs

Ashleigh and Hanna at the spray park

Ashleigh and Hanna keeping cool