Friends

Baby-Man’s Baby Showers

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Do you ever have those moments when you realize that there are some really amazing, good-hearted, and special people in your life?

What about a moment when you look around you and realize that you are truly lucky, and — dare I say it — blessed?

I have been so fortunate to have not one, but TWO baby showers thrown for me in the past few weeks. After each one, as soon as I returned home, I had a little happy-cry in my bedroom because of the beautiful people that made me feel so special and loved. (Maybe hormones and feeling semi-overwhelmed played a part too…) I’m so lucky to have such an amazing family and group of friends who support me, Brice, and our little Wiggle-munch.

 

The first shower was at school — Aunties Karen, Amanda, Joanne, and Jolene came together to show Baby-Man some love…

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Auntie Joanne’s sweet little boy helped design the cake…

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My mother and sister, Cara, were also there for the shower — and they had a little bit of fun on my whiteboard after it was all over…

I’m so bummed that I can’t upload videos to this site — Auntie Jolene made the most beautiful owl quilt for Baby-Man. I definitely cried while opening it (just as Auntie Amanda  predicted I would). Auto Karen did an amazing job decorating her room and putting little owl trinkets out for us to decorate Baby-Man’s space. After everything was in the car, I couldn’t quite make it home before the tears started flowing. Many, many thanks to the beautiful women at school for their support and love.

 

Two weeks later, my cousin, Lauren, a new mama herself, threw me another shower. This time, my mother and Cara were there along with Brice’s mother, Karen, and his Aunt Cyndi, along with many other family members and friends! I had a hard time keeping the tears back when I looked out at everyone, and only kept it together when I started to think about how my mascara would run ALL over my face.

There are more pictures to come, but here’s a few…

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Can’t wait for those little feet to play that equally little piano from Maureen!
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Jordan’s socks — from 14-year-old Kyle, who definitely knows his former math teacher and is looking to make sure Baby-Man’s swag is on point.
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This bag was a huge hit — I loved the onesies inside!
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Because yes.
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Auntie Erin really knows what her brother-in-law will love.
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Gorgeous Lauren and I, with a gift from another gorgeous Lauren in my life.
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Sweetest sun-hat ever. Aunt Irene and Cousin Corinne know that Baby-Man doesn’t stand a chance in the sun… 😉
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Cyndi (left), me, and Karen (right)

 

Brice and I feel like we’ve surrounded ourselves with some of the most amazing people in the world. We love y’all.

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Day 6 of #30thankfuldays

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Day 6: I am thankful for the amazing friendships I have in my life. Brice and I don’t have a huge group of friends, but the ones we have are thoughtful and loyal and have gone to great lengths to support us. Brice’s friends in Texas jumped onto a plane and flew to Denver for our wedding, and many of them offered to do the same when his father passed away. Many of my friends have been in my life since middle school (some even earlier than that!) and while our relationships have ebbed and flowed, we always seem to be able to pick up right were we left off. There are others that have only recently come into our lives, but that we love and have some of our best days and nights with. Thank you to all of you — you know who you are!

The High School Gang at our friend Kelly's wedding.
The High School Gang at our friend Kelly’s wedding.
Two of my favorite people in the world, Brice and Neil.
Two of my favorite people in the world, Brice and Neil.
Rachel & Nay, two friends I've known since we were 10.
Rachel & Nay, two friends I’ve known since we were 10.
Brice and another great friend, Chris.
Brice and another great friend, Chris.

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Time: It Heals All Wounds and Makes Us Thankful

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In April, when Brice and I lost our Fiona, we knew we could never replace her. She was part of our family and we miss her every day.

Look at that face.
Look at that face.

As luck would have it, in September, I attended a baby shower for my dear friend, Jill. Jill’s mother is a foster parent for the Denver Dumb Friends League and was fostering a litter of kittens. As a joke, one of Jill’s friends and I sent texts to our husbands with pictures of the kittens that said “Look at the party favors!” …I expected a response along the lines of “Absolutely not.” …I never thought Brice would actually be okay with it! Fast forward 2 weeks, and Brice and I welcomed little Hugo into our lives. He is fearless, sweet, and an awesome little man.

Brice and I have had so much fun with Baby Hugo, and while we still miss our Fiona, we both seem to feel a little better and talk about her a little more easily these days.

Last week, Brice celebrated his 30th birthday. I decided that since he’s anti-celebrating himself, I’d throw a little get-together to have a little fun. (I did nothing, by the way — while I was at work, Brice and his family took care of 95% of the details. I really can’t take any of the credit for hosting the event. Win…?) Our families and many of our friends came to our house for the evening to show Brice some love, and the evening went off without a hitch. At the end of the evening, when the dishes were done and the last guests had left, Brice was so pleased and appreciative. I could tell that he was so grateful to those that came over, and we are so thankful to have such wonderful people in our lives.

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Catching Up

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Austin Skyline from the middle of Zilker Park, Austin.

There is always so much happening around us. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that you need to take just a moment to absorb the events and appreciate your experiences.

In mid-October, Brice and I were lucky enough to go to the Austin City Limits Festival, located in the heart of Austin. We were  so fortunate to hear amazing bands: Weezer, Father John Misty, Michael Kiwanuka, First Aid Kit, Esperanza Spalding, Trampled by Turtles, The Roots, Teagan and Sara, Alabama Shakes, and The Shins. The weather the first day of the festival was miserably hot, and the second day was miserably rainy, but the experience of the festival was really fun.

Brice, keeping it classy with his glass of wine before his grilled cheese sandwich, and his friend, Neil.

ACL Fest was awesome, but I always have the best time seeing family and friends that live in Austin. After the second day of the festival, Brice and I went to a bar we frequent when we’re in town, Donn’s Depot (“the place where magic happens,” according to Brice). We ordered some drinks, and soon, friends of ours met us to enjoy the smell of old popcorn, dim lighting, and lots of laughs. We eventually made our way over to a local 24-hour diner, where we enjoyed some more laughs and a meal before heading back home.

The following week, I took Brice to meet my aunt and uncle and their family in Conifer, Colorado. I hadn’t seen my Aunt Irene, Uncle Ed, and cousins in a really long time. It was so nice to see that no one has changed, and that family always feels like family, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve seen them, or how much your life has changed since the last time you were able to spend time together.

Not long after that, I called my mother to check in. She and my father and sister live 15 minutes from Brice and I, but like it does for everything else, life makes it hard to get over to my parents’ house as often as I’d like to. My mom and I talked for about an hour about everything: how my brother and sisters are doing in Boulder and Greeley, what it was like to see my aunt again, how I’m doing, how my other sister, who is still in high school, is handling the events in her life, and how my mother and father are juggling their extremely busy schedules. I love talking to her, and to my dad, who stopped by later that same week to drop off a birthday gift for Brice.

A couple of weeks later, I got together with two of my fabulous girlfriends, Rachel and Nay. Rachel made dinner, I made dessert, Nay brought the drinks, and we all had a great time. We had so much fun catching up (it’d been a month or so since we’d all gotten together) on our jobs, on the latest events in our lives, talking politics, and talking about all of the other things that girls talk about when they get together.

I’m sure that we all have people in our lives that are our touchstones. They keep us sane, grounded, safe, laughing, and we can’t imagine our lives without them (in my case, I can imagine it, but my imagination shows me slowly rocking back and forth in a straight jacket). It’s the people in your life that make any experience one that’s worth remembering. Lucky for me, I’ve got plenty of people to catch up with.

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Santa Fe

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Brice and I LOVE Santa Fe. We went once in March, during my Spring Break, and fell in love with the place. It’s so relaxed. And, when you’re a little ball of stress (or, in Brice’s case, a taller ball of stress), a place like Santa Fe is a great place to mellow out.

We left on Friday morning around 9, and actually hit the road around 9:30 or so. It’s an easy drive — just a straight shot down I-25 until you see the signs for Santa Fe, and it only takes 5-6 hours! We use Jetsetter to find great deals on hotels, and we have been fortunate enough to stay at the Hotel St. Francis each time we’ve gone to the city. (It’s a cool, gothic-looking place with a warm feeling, clean rooms, and a welcoming staff.) This hotel is perfect for us — it’s about a block from the Santa Fe Plaza and surrounded by tons of cool restaurants (including my new favorite, Cafe Pasqual’s), museums, art galleries, and there’s no shortage of little shops to peek into or street vendors to haggle with (if you’re into haggling — I stink at it and would rather just pay the price on the little handwritten tags). Fortunately enough, it was also a few blocks from the Inn and Spa at Loretto, where my good friend Josh married his love, Daniele, last night (which, of course, was the reason for our trip).

Christmas tamales. Holy yumness, Batman.

After we checked in to our hotel on Friday, Brice and I went to the downstairs bar for our first margarita of the weekend, and ended up spending the entire evening wandering from one restaurant to another, walking and talking, and eating and drinking well (in moderation, obviously). Our friend Dan joined us later that night, and we spent some time just catching up and enjoying each other’s company. The next morning, Brice and I went to breakfast at Cafe Pasqual’s before meeting up with Dan, another good friend, Jillian, and her husband, Laith, to wander around the Plaza, eat more good food, and find Dan a cowboy hat. (Did you know that a good one can cost $1000? Holy smokes. I had no idea!)

Before too long, it was time to head over to the wedding. Jill, Laith, Dan, and Brice and I went our separate ways to get ready, and we all met up again at the Loretto Chapel for Josh and Dani’s wedding. This was the first wedding Brice and I have been to since our own, and it was really, really nice. We were able to sit and enjoy someone else get married, and I really loved that I wasn’t thinking, “Oh, I love this idea… stealing it” or “I don’t think I’ll do that one…” for a change. It was so fun to hear Josh and Dani’s vows, and it made me think of my own to Brice, and how happy I was to exchange them with him. I had forgotten what it was like to simply observe a wedding; to simply sit and watch two people make a commitment to one another that will change their lives forever… I really appreciated the chance to do so. And, after having the opportunity to work on a ceremony and vows, I loved hearing the vows that Josh and Dani chose for themselves — very traditional, very simple, very elegant.

My favorite part of the whole wedding was getting to see some friends that I hadn’t seen in years. I was able to catch up with Grant, who I haven’t seen since he joined the Navy and was deployed to a ship that traveled all over the world; and introduce Brice to Sam, a friend who lived in the same neighborhood as Josh and I (around the corner, in fact), and who I hadn’t seen in at least 10 years. We talked and it felt like we were picking up right where we left off, and it made me so grateful to have such old friendships that could just continue from the last time we’d seen each other, and that were still so much fun and not the least bit awkward.

This trip to Santa Fe was even more fun than the last time we went, because I was there to celebrate a wonderful couple and spend time with great friends. Here’s to a fabulous city and weekend, and I can’t wait for another one in Santa Fe.

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