Monday, March 19, 2018

Welcoming Each Season

Last night, we got quite a lot of snow- probably about 6 or 7 inches.  This morning we woke up to this:
Sunrise after snowfall.
Tomorrow is the first official day of Spring, aka Spring Equinox.  Even though I realize Spring is suppose to be a great time of year, for so many years (maybe ALL of them!) I haven't fully enjoyed the season because I have such dread of what soon follows. In Dallas, as soon as it starts to warm up, it happens fast and humidity comes with it, as do mosquitoes.  Yuck.

But now, HALLELUJAH, we're in Colorado and I no longer dread Summer's heat, humidity or mosquitoes. While I'm loving the occasional snow fall so much, I'm also looking forward to Spring wholeheartedly.  And then Summer!  And then Winter again! HOORAY TO ALL FOUR SEASONS!

I've been told that Colorado gets the most of it's snow in March, and if that happens this year, I'm all for it.  I'm no longer wishing any seasons or time away.  I am so happy to be here now.

Below are some snaps from my walks today.  There's snow on the ground on in the trees, but the roads are totally cleared off now.  Just perfect...

Oh, and PS: Fermin did his first ever shoveling off our walkway today and did a great job!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Moving on Up

As of March 1, we moved from the University Hills area of Denver to the mountains in Golden.  As I was driving towards the mountains the day we relocated, I was feeling happier and happier by the second.  THIS is what I envisioned when I hoped we would one day live in Colorado. 

I love going on my daily walks this neighborhood, let alone all the nearby hiking.  The area is aptly named Lookout Mountain. From our window, we have the perfect lookout to the city below.  It's especially gorgeous to me at night with all the twinkling lights. And the sunrise in the morning is worth waking up early for. And so bright it's unavoidable...
a full moon over Golden, Colorado
sunrise from our bedroom window
And the street names are things like "Paradise" and "Panarama" and "Grandview".  No kidding. The street names don't lie.
Panorama Dr.
The house we're staying in is small in square footage, but plenty of room for our small family of 4.  There's a nice kitchen with a small living area on the lower level, and upstairs is our bedroom (with a king sized bed- yay!) and a great bathroom with a jacuzzi tub and a separate shower that has so many shower heads it actually makes me a little nervous. We are in renting a family's guest house, and we live above the garage, so we have a balcony on each level.
the guest house is the taller building above the garage
my boys ❤️
We have our own little courtyard and completely separate entrances so we never cross paths with the family that owns the home.  But we hear the garage beneath us and are aware of their comings and goings.  It's really the perfect set up and for now, I love it.  I know soon enough, Fermin will be traveling for work, and having them right there gives me some reassurance. (Even though I've got my 2 ferocious beasts, Lucy and Ricky, with me at all times.)

We've moved on up.  To the west side. To a deluxe guest house in the sky. And we LOVE it.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Music Monday: Mat Kearney "Nothing Left to Lose"

This isn't a new song, and I'm not even sure what made me think to play it was I was driving (moving!) from University Hills (Denver) to Lookout Mountain in Golden, but something did.  During that 30 minutes or so, I was enamored by this song, so much so that I played it over and over and over for the entire drive.

And since that, I've been on a big Mat Kearney kick.  Before getting rid of my entire CD collection, I had a lot of Mat's CDs- probably just about all of them besides the most recent.  Now, thanks to Apple Music, I have them ALL.  So the past several days, it's Mat Kearney all the time.

This song is still my very favorite of his... enjoy your music Monday.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


For many years, I've identified as an introvert.  Just to be clear, I've never thought of myself as shy.  Introversion and shyness aren't the same at all, but often times, people wrongly lump the two together.

I'm an introvert in that I "recharge" by spending time alone.  I prefer one-on-one interaction far more than larger groups.  Most of the things I like to do in my free time are solo endeavors.  That's just a few of the things about introversion I know play a part in defining me.

But, I can go to a party and seem as outgoing as the next person- maybe even more so.  But I feel drained from it afterwards, and always look forward to returning home.

Since being in a brand new city, we've been staying in a lot.  Which I LOVE.  It's my preference.  BUT, I know if I don't eventually force myself to interact socially, I may never feel up to it again.  And I most definitely gain from being around other people, and I find great value in friendships.

So, last week I got online to find a Meetup group-(or two, or ten!) that looked interesting.  Mainly I was looking at book clubs, or hiking groups, or something creativity related.  I've been getting emails about different events, and I finally found one I decided I was going to make myself go to.  It was a "creative women's group" of some sort. I wanted to go, but I also knew I'd probably find an excuse to back out of it and stay home once the night arrived.  So I told Fermin, unless I came down with the flu, to push me out the door and make me go.

I wasn't actually nervous while driving there.  But I wasn't excited either.  I was just sort of curious.  And glad I had actually taken the first step in getting there. I figured I'd just check it out and if I didn't like it, I never had to go back and certainly never had to cross paths with the people there again.

I purposefully showed up about 10 minutes late, because it seemed like the right and safest thing to do to avoid the initial awkward chit chat.  Once I walked through the door I felt so shy.  And awkward.  I was in someone's house and I didn't know a single person there. Everyone else seemed to at least know someone, if not everyone in the room.  I have no idea, maybe they were just faking it far better than me.

I said hello to the host, hung my coat up but then realized everyone there was engaged in conversations.  I was the odd man out unless I just busted into a group that was already talking.  And nope.  I wasn't wanting to engage, other than for the fact that I looked awkward just standing there. 
Just as I was eyeing a dunce chair off in the corner to sit down on, the host said, "Ok ladies- Are we ready to move into the other room and get started?"

All the ladies there seemed nice, and welcoming.  They seemed open-hearted, and I was so admiring anything they shared, but I just could not bring myself to contribute at all.  I wanted to leave the whole time.  It had nothing to do with them, and everything to do with me- and how stupid I was feeling.

Even tho I was the very first one to get out the door to leave, I did stay until the close of the meeting, two hours after it began.  As soon as I was walking out to my car, I looked at my phone, and saw that Lucy had left me a Marco Polo video message.  (Fermin obviously helped her, and morphed his voice to "helium", to sound something like how we think she would sound if she could talk.)  I wish I could play the audio here so I would always have it, but I don't think there's a way to do that.  Lucy (Fermin) said something like this:
"Mom, I'm so proud of you for going to the Meet Up group and getting outside of your box.  I know it's scary, because I feel nervous whenever I have to do new things too.  But just be yourself and have fun.  The more you do it, the easier it will get. I love you and I'll see you when you get home."

It was the sweetest, sweetest thing.  And it reminded me of how therapists sometimes have kids talk with puppets about awkward or difficult things. Fermin hadn't said any of those words to me, but through sweet Lucy, he did.

I had some negative self-talk going on after I left the Meet Up.  Why couldn't I have been more friendly?  Why didn't I have enough confidence to contribute something, anything, the way all the other ladies did?  Why couldn't I have been like the girl who taught us a little Zumba dance?  Or the woman that sang us a new song she had just written?  Or the girl that told us a sweet story about letting her 8 year old daughter do her make-up and hair and pick out her outfit for the evening? Or the lady who shared a silly joke she had recently heard?  Or the woman that tried to beat box for the first time ever in public?

Now I understand that phrase "painfully shy."  It actually felt painful. OUCH. Make it stop. I wanted to be more like those girls and less like me. But I guess (almost) everyone feels shy sometimes. And that night just happened to be my night.

BUT.  I did it.  I showed up.  I walked into a home of someone I had never met, full of other people I had never met.  And I had no idea what this group was going to be like.  Like Lucy said, it will get easier.  I'm just out of practice.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Weekend and SLEEP!

Just a quick retelling of the fun weekend we just had-

these hand crafted nachos are a work of art
Friday our friend Lindsey was in town for a business trip, so we got to hang out with her most of the day.  But I guess it was so much fun, I forgot to get any photos.  We basically just ate lunch at The Pioneer, which as I had discovered the previous week has the best nachos ever. And this is coming from a nacho connoisseur!  I'm from Texas, so I know my nachos. They're delicious AND beautiful, so I actually took a photo of them from our first visit there. 

We showed Lindsey a couple of the areas we think are really pretty- mainly Roxborough on the southwestern area of Littleton.  Breathtaking views, and it's still my top pick of where I think we might want to live.  Here is a photo Lindsey snapped, which I stole off her Insta page, hence the blue filter...
the inspiring views of Roxborough
She stayed at some swanky hotel, and wanted to soak all that in, so we didn't see her the rest of the weekend.

But fortunately, the fun didn't end there! Saturday, we went to the Arapahoe Acres home tour, which I found out about through my friend, J (who owns a mid-century modern furniture store called 20th Century Interiors that recently opened here in Denver).  All of the homes in Arapahoe Acres are mid-century moderns so it's a very unique and cool neighborhood.
The houses were pretty tiny- I think the smallest was around 1000 sq ft, or maybe less.  I loved seeing the minimalism required to live in a house this size.  Very impressive.  I strive all the time for more "less" in my life, and this was inspiring.  But I know living in a super tiny home is not my goal at all.  I want space, just without any clutter!
My friend, J, provided furnishings for this home, as it's under renovation.
We met J afterwards for the "after party" and a couple drinks at a cool little spot called The Englewood Grand.  We happened to drive by Swallow Hill on our way there, and saw that Dar Williams had a concert there Sunday night, SO...

We bought tickets and went.  J had told me about Swallow Hill, saying it was similar to Uncle Calvin's in Dallas.  So I had been wanting to go, and I really like Dar.  J and his partner David, met us for the concert the following night.  It was great!
Dar Williams at Swallow Hill
And the biggest news of all...
I slept BOTH NIGHTS, pretty much straight through.  I had at least 7 hours straight.  That is a miracle.  And it happened two nights in a row.  The Colorado air may be balancing me out or something.  I'm hoping my insomnia- which has been going on for many months- is beginning to fade off into the sunset for good.