Tuesday, September 6, 2011

for all of my fellow gator fans...

I know I am back tracking in my posts here, but check out who Gavin and Mark visited a few weeks ago...

We have always been huge Tebow fans. Just check out Gavin's first Halloween costume...

...So when we heard on the news one Saturday morning that the Broncos were having a free scrimmage game Gavin and Mark jumped in the truck and headed down to Denver.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

top things i love about small town mountain living...

As our last full week winds down here in Summit County I am becoming... sad.

Here are my top things I love about living in our mountain town-

1. The first has to be the scenery. How can you ever get sick of driving around and seeing this...

2. Your choice of outdoor activities. Of course skiing is awesome in the winter, but we LOVE the summer-- hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding, heading to the park, picnicking, really just anything outdoors!

3. The festivals. If enjoying life in nature isn't enough there are a TON of festivals throughout the summer months. BBQ, beer, concerts, art, Oktoberfest, I could go on and on!

4. The farmers markets are big and like a great street party.

5. The summer produce. Rockyford cantaloupe, Palisade peaches and Olathe sweet corn. Yum!

6. Our post office. We don't have home delivery here. I know, that is right, no mail delivery to your curb! But I actually love the old fashioned life of going to the post office to pick up our mail. We know the people behind the counter and it is a great place to see friends and neighbors.

7. The wildlife. We spend a lot of time looking out our windows to spot chipmunks, fox, deer, moose and bear. Still have never seen a bear, but we had one in our neighbors trash can when we were living in Frisco and had one at our house this year in the bird feeder! We saw the tracks!

(this is in our backyard!)

8. No air conditioning! To a native Floridian this is awesome! The summer is everything you would think it would be, cool, fresh and crisp. I love having the windows open with fresh air blowing in. No hearing the air kick on and off. We just won't mention the heat in the winters!

9. Dog friendly. Dogs truly rule here. It is a dog world and they love it! We can take our dogs on a hike or down by the lake and the are able to frolic off leash. I notice when we are out with the kids the dogs get more attention than the babies!

10. The slower pace of life. I notice we slow down and enjoy life here. Less TV, less stress, less of the grind. We play outside, build fires, watch the stars.

11. And speaking of the stars... they are SPECTACULAR. The sky just seems to drip with them and they reach all the way down to the horizon line.

12. Mark wants me to include the beer. Colorado can boast as the state with the most microbreweries. Our VERY small county has at least 4, maybe 6.

13. The people. People seem truly happy here. They are joyous and kind, from strangers to friends. One example: we were at an outdoor concert last Friday night picnicking with some friends. The weather drastically changed, rained and turned very cold. I think someone said it was like 45 degrees. We were all trying to stay warm with what little layers we had brought. Poor Baby Teagan was still cold even wrapped up in my fleece in my arms.


 A complete stranger came up behind my, wrapped her big jacket around Teagan and fastened it in back. She said she had been watching us and wanted me to have it. When I had a chance, return it to the local school. How nice is that? The friends I have met here are so opened and welcoming. I will miss them very much this winter.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

great friends = great times...

Do you have people in your life that you have history with, that whenever you are together you  feel like you are whole again and tear up when they leave? I am talking about really good friends and family. We have been very lucky to see a few of the people we love most this summer. This past weekend we were blessed with another visit, this time from Meredith and Andrew. Here is how we spent our time...

We watched the US Pro Cycling Tour...

 Gavin cheered faster, faster!

 This was AWESOME! The second to the last stage of the race ended right in Breckenridge. The total race consisted of 5 stages where the bikers crossed the state of Colorado. The stage we saw began in Steamboat, 105 miles away from Breckenridge through tough mountain terrain.

The next day we headed to Vail for their farmers market, the largest in the sate. I highly recommend checking this out if you are up this way in the summer. There is actually very little produce. We always make sure we go for lunch because the food booths are amazing.

Unfortunately it rained the day we were there. Luckily the storm passed quickly and Mark helped Teagan stay warm.

 After Vail we headed to Breckenridge and rode the gondola the mountain. The gondola is completely free in the summers, something else I recommend to do!

 The boys rode the chairlifts up...
 ...and rode the alpine slide down...

We are looking forward to one more visit with special friends this weekend. Hope you have a great Labor Day weekend planned! Its our last weekend in Colorado.

Friday, August 26, 2011

back in business/zesty black bean soup...

Yay!! Internet is up and running again!

I thought I would post a great, quick recipe today to make while keeping up with you business.

I made this soup a few weeks ago when my friend Megann and her adorable son, Bradley were visiting.


poor teagan... we tried.

Megann asked for the recipe so I thought I would share it with all of you here. It is super easy, kid friendly and good for vegetarians (mom). The cinnamon gives a really good, unique flavor.

Zesty Black Bean Soup
(A Whole Foods Recipe)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil*
1/2 pound baby carrots, sliced
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed*
1 cup frozen corn, thawed*
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
1 quart vegetable broth
Hot sauce to taste*
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish


Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrots, bay leaf and salt and cook until carrots are just tender, about 7 minutes. Add onions and garlic and cook 5 minutes more. Add cumin, cinnamon, beans, corn, tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes Stir in hot sauce and chopped cilantro. Ladle hot soup into bowls and garnish with more cilantro.
(I prepared this soup ahead of time. I stopped at the step of bringing everything to a boil, kept it in the refrigerator overnight and then cooked it before we were ready to heat. I also admitted the hot sauce due to the kiddos who were eating with us.)

Hope you enjoy!