Monday, December 30, 2013

A Visit to Steamboat Springs

Dan and I had a wonderful visit with the McGrundallnesses in Steamboat. We were spoiled with delicious home cooked meals, cuddly little ones, beautiful hikes, fun outings and quality time with Chris and Elly.

Arriving in Chris & Ellen's Neighborhood
Baby Julian has grown and changed so much since I saw him in August - Dan was excited to meet Julian and they were quite the good buddies. Julian even asked to try on Dan's new sock monkey hat!

How cute is he?!?!
 One afternoon Dan and I put on a puppet show starring Horace the Hedgehog, Tucker the Turtle, Marla the Monster, Otis the Owl and Elmo.

Horace is celebrating a birthday!

Uncle Dan with his little buddy
 One afternoon we took an outing to the library and had a nice hike along the Yampa River.

Dan, Ellen and Julian along the Yampa

Ellen reading to Audrey and Julian
 On Friday night we had a feast of mushroom lentil balls, kale waldorf salad and Grandma's pumpkin pie and our friends Tony and Tracey joined the fun. They brought their daschund, Zoey, who was more than happy to clean up Audrey's dinner scraps on the floor!

The gang (please note Julian's adorable elf outfit and Audrey's pretty Christmas dress)
 We took a couple of great hikes. One up to the frozen Fish Creek Falls where Audrey dropped her mitten over the side of the bridge, so Ellen had to climb down and rescue it being careful not to drop in the creek!

Chris, Drey, Dan, Julian and E in front of Fish Creek Fall

Chris and Dan en route to Spring Creek 
  Audrey LOVES her books! One night when I was putting her to bed we read twelve books. One afternoon she kept Dan busy reading books then getting another and another and another . . .

Uncle Dan reading to Audrey
 On our last day in town Chris took Dan and I up to Strawberry Park Hot Springs for an evening soak and we went out for a Greek lunch then Dan and I walked home together and explored downtown a bit.

Audrey in her wooly sweater

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Happy Baby

Turkeys in a Teepee

Having fun with our niece and nephew at the library in Steamboat Springs.

Julian sitting in the teepee

Audrey bursting out of the teepee

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Friends and Family

On Sunday Dan and I drove down to meet up with some of Dan's high-school (and college) buddies in Golden, Colorado. It was fun seeing Alicia (who is 7 months pregnant), Brian and Forbes.

Brian and Dan
Forbes and Alicia at their house in Golden
 Today Angie arranged a Livesay family portrait by a local photographer. After lots of smiling and posing at her home studio we headed back to Sonja's house for lasagna, salad, bread and my Aunt Mary's eclair ring.

Chocolate Eclair Ring for dessert
 Our niece and nephew, Lindsay and Noah, had a ball opening gifts and playing together. They are so great to be around! We love them both so much.
Noah opening a gift

Lindsay enjoying a new present
 Dan got an awesome sock monkey hat from his Mom along with a mitten that has an ice scraper attached to it - brilliant!
Love this guy!
 Sonja is a huge Broncos fan and was very happy to receive a Broncos hoodie from David and Gabrielle.

Mom and David
Present Opening Excitement

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Winter Solstice Greetings from Colorado

Dan, Annie and I arrived yesterday afternoon in Longmont, Colorado. Annie and Cody were fast friends.

Annie and Cody posing in front of the Christmas Tree
Annie and Cody loved running around the house chasing each other and sharing their toys. They were very excited to see the snow start falling and we took them out together for a walk in the snow.

Dan, the dog-wrangler

Dan and Mary in the snow
 We even saw a moose on our walk the next morning!

Christmas Moose

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Snow Day

Yesterday Drury closed campus and issued a snow day. So no work for me and no school for Dan. Unfortunately all this snow and ice also meant that we had to cancel a months in the planning weekend getaway with friends to Kentucky Lake. The only one that seemed happy about that was Annie.

She reveled in the snow and is happy that we're both home with her this weekend to spoil and cuddle her.

Annie in the snow - she had just been sniffing around in piles of snow hence the snow-covered muzzle

Monday, December 2, 2013

Giving Thanks

This year for Thanksgiving we stayed in Springfield. For the second year in a row Elaine and I ran in the Turkey Trot. There were over 9,000 runners (not including the dogs and babies in strollers). The weather was sunny and brisk and we had a fun time running the streets of Springfield.

Elaine and Mary all smiles post-race
After the race we each went home to get cleaned up and do some serious Thanksgiving cooking. Dan and I went over to the Leinaweavers for a feast! We had five fantastic side items in addition to a beautifully done turkey and two delicious pies.

Mary and Elaine ready for the Feast

Justin pulling the piece de resistance out of the oven

After dinner Justin and Elaine introduced us to a card game called Chicago that Justin's family has been playing for years. It was a close game that came down to the last hand.

Elaine and Justin, our Chicago winner and loser, respectively
We left with full bellies and lots of leftovers.

On Friday we took Annie on a road trip to mail off our Christmas cards at the Noel, MO post office. Noel is in the Southwest corner of Missouri and is known for its rivers. Annie enjoyed a small walk along the river banks.

Annie along the banks of the Elk River
On Saturday we pulled out all the Christmas decorations, picked out a fragrant Fraser fir and decorated the Christmas tree. It was a wonderful Thanksgiving; we have so much to be grateful for, most of all our wonderful friends and family.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Meet Me In St Louis

Last weekend Dan and I met up with my parents in St Louis. Mom and Dad booked us a great little apartment for the weekend in a really nice neighborhood. On Saturday morning, bright and early, we went to the Arch. We were in the first elevator to the top and were rewarded with wonderful views of the city of St Louis to the West:
View of The Old Courthouse and Downtown St Louis
 In addition to views of the mighty Mississippi and Illinois to the East. It was a beautiful, clear day so we could see 30 miles in each direction.

Dad and me 630 feet up in the Arch

On Sunday Dan wasn't feeling so well so he stayed home and rested while I went off with my parents to the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

Mom and Dad said these cacti reminded them of Rosarita, where Alex lives
 Founded in 1859, the Missouri Botanical Garden is the nation's oldest botanical garden in continuous operation.
Beautiful Spanish Courtyard

Mom and I posing by a Japanese Maple 
Another Glorious Japanese Maple
Dan and I look forward to going back to St Louis in the spring and visiting the Botanical Garden when the trees are in bloom and the Japanese Gardens are open again. We had a wonderful visit with my parents and the Logans.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Dilemmas

It is Halloween Eve and Annie is trying to decide her costume; she has two options (she loves them both!)

Annie trying on her Piglet Costume

Annie as a Penguin
As you can see from the photos she is equally adorable in each so it will definitely be a difficult decision. Tomorrow we have a busy day. We are competing in Drury's Chili Cook-off - Dan made his signature vegetarian chili and I made 2 1/2 dozen pumpkin sugar cookies.

Dan  helped by icing all the Pumpkin Stems
After work we'll head home and pass out candy to all the ghosts and goblins (hopefully they enjoy our pumpkins as much as we enjoyed carving them). Then after the trick'r'treating is over we'll head over to Ray and Kerry's house to celebrate Ray's birthday - happy birthday Ray!

An owl, raccoon and squirrel
 As I was pulling into the driveway after work on Tuesday night I scared off a little squirrel who was nibbling on the gourd carved in his honor - too funny!

The autumn colors are at peak down here and in full glory in our neighborhood.

Neighborhood Trees

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Yarn Bombing

Last weekend the Sun Target Sculpture at the Springfield Art Museum was Yarn Bombed! We walked Annie down there after work to check it out.

Dan and Annie in front of the Sculpture pre-yarn bombing

Yarn Bombed Sculpture

Keep Calm and Yarn Bomb

Annie approves of the Yarn Bombing