Friday Favorites

Favorite Decor Fantasy: Ralph Lauren, you kill me. Tiers of antlers, lights and chandelier crystals? My life in a light fixture.

antler chandelier

Favorite Workout: This is one of my favorite arm workouts! Ten minutes, and very effective, especially since you can increase the weight when you need.

arm workout

Favorite DIY Inspiration: We bought a Sleep Number bed (I hope it arrives soon! They have to ship it), and I’ve been back and forth about what to do for a headboard. The boss’ wife, Misti, said why don’t you hang your green door on the wall for a headboard? Why not?!?

door

Favorite To-Try: Fall to is a time for pumpkin, cinnamon, and pork chops. Yes, pork chops. Specifically, these pork chops.

pork chops

Favorite Tried-That: I made these sweet potato fries a couple weeks ago, and they were excellent! I’m loving fries right now, and these get major points for being baked, and the sweet potato healthiness part :) (Just don’t forget to turn them over in the oven while they’re baking!) We’re having these tomorrow with the Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Bacon Sliders.

44e5255f5ccf4c484ea5a4b97fa3e072Favorite fashion: I’ve been looking for cute maternity outfits that I’ll be able to re-wear pieces of, and I think this is the ticket: a couple long-sleeve maternity shirts and a couple of pairs of maternity jeans, and slouchy sweaters. Done and done!

maternity clothes

Favorite Festive: This orange berry wreath looks pretty DIY-able don’t you think?? Thanks to my sis-in-law, I already have a wooden “J”.

wreath

Favorite Fuzzy: Fuzzy cattle are my jam, and Scottish Highlanders are the fuzziest :)

highlander

Favorite Words: No day like today!

7 days

Favorite Sparkle: I know thou shalt not covet, so whatever’s a step down from coveting is what I am doing to this necklace. And to all gorgeous sparkly statement necklaces.

necklaceFavorite Sweet Tooth: Don’t these look fabulous?

twix

18 weeks

18 weeksI‘m pretty sure this is the weirdest picture of me ever. Good thing the dogs were there for support!

How far along?  18 weeks
Total weight gain: five poundsish.
Maternity clothes? Yep! Mostly just the pants aspect of things. I might wear maternity jeans forever.
Stretch marks? Nope!
Sleep: Like a rock.
Best moment this week: Working on the ranch! It’s so great to drive ten minutes to work instead of an hour.
Miss Anything? Not yet, but there’s a lot of cute fall clothes coming out, but they don’t fit! Oh well.
Movement: Not yet, but I hope soon!
Food cravings: Mostly the usual suspects (for me): generic-brand Rice Chex (soooo much tastier than the real thing), string cheese, peanut butter, and anything Italian. Oh and slushies. Mostly, though, the I-must-eat-now-or-someone-WILL-get-it has quit. I just make sure I have food all the time.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Still no pasta and peppers, and I’m not so hot on the sweet stuff (which, if you know me, is VERY weird). It leaves a sugary aftertaste in my mouth that KILLS me.
Have you started to show yet: I can see a bump-a-lump, but I’m pretty sure I still just look chubby.
Gender prediction: I think it’s a boy, but Bert thinks it’s a girl. We’ll know NEXT WEEK.
Labor Signs: Ah, no. 
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: I feel great!
Looking forward to: Our appointment next week of course! And hopefully being able to see my brand-new baby niece this weekend.
Exercise? You bet. Updating my iPod now to take the doggies out for a walk!
On another note, look at Early! He’s changed color so much in the past few weeks–he’ll be a bay like his momma and daddy.
dark early

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! I don’t know about y’all, but I cannot wait for fall. That rhymed! Helloooooo country hit.

The mornings are getting crisper, and I am almost overflowing with excitement. Don’t get me wrong, summer’s great, but I thrive in the fall and early winter. I’m not really into sweating or bugs, which are plentiful in rural America in the summertime, and flannel is my jam. Which is decidedly NOT a summertime jam. Call me crazy, but I’ve already started watching a little Hocus Pocus while I make dinner at night. 

Here are some other things that are my jam this Friday:

Favorite Interior:
I am in love with apricot paint–my bedroom at my parents’ house is painted apricot, and that’s what color I’m going with in my office at home, since it’s the only room in the house that Bert isn’t going to spend much time in. I’m all about design liberties, but I just can’t make my husband live in a girly-colored house. I love this color, and this color. Maybe a combination of the two? We’ll know pretty quick, since I’m painting this weekend. 

 

Glidden's Ripe Apricot color warms up your bathroom decor. Orrrr my home office :)

Favorite Fall Food Idea:
I’m not ready to get into pumpkin world just yet, but my craving for crunchiness and fruit is going to be satisfied with these homemade apple chips, I can just tell.

Apple Chips

Favorite New Eat:
I’m also craving Italian, which actually just means sauce, and you can never go wrong with fresh basil. These little guys will surely find their way into a weekend menu sometime soon.

Favorite (Maternity!) Fashion:
Speaking of flannel, which is my jam, maternity is now also my jam. So, here’s a double dose of jam, that I will be patiently waiting for when it goes on sale!

Favorite Fix:
While we’re on the maternity jam bandwagon, these little babies are seriously my jam. They hook on to your pants with a button, and hide the fact that zipping your zipper is no longer an option.

Favorite (Impractical/Novelty/Have to have anyway) Baby Item:
I mean, they call our ranch the Mustache Outfit. My dad has a (lifelong) mustache, Bert’s dad has a (lifelong) mustache, and Bert can grow a fabulous mustache. Even if baby Cletus turns out to be a Diane instead of a Jack, I think this would be a welcome addition to our silly baby collection.

 

Favorite Indulge:
I’m not too into overly sweet things these days (trust me, no one is more shocked than I am), but these S’mores Bars are speaking to me. And, I think they spoke to Bert a little, too, because when he saw the picture, he said “Those look good.” Which, for him, means I ought to try and make some. I might see if it would be at all possible to swamp jumbo marshmallows for the marshmallow creme, though.

S'mores Bars | Cooking Classy

Favorite Fuzzy:
It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for fuzziness in general, and whenever we get another dog (three is our max, so it’ll be awhile, I hope), I would love one of these, or a Newfoundland. 

Favorite DIY:
For me, another part of fall/winter is CANDLES. I love candles. I’m particularly partial to Home Sweet Home, Balsam Fir and Bright Copper Kettles from Yankee Candle Company. But, another thing I love? Mason jars. So these homemade, country-y candles just might end up on my holiday-craft list. Particularly because I still have boxes and boxes of mason jars left over from my wedding. 

masonjarcandle-7

Favorite Words:
This is very true, particularly for me. I’m a major talker, and Bert once told me that my worst habit is interrupting people (disclaimer: I asked him what my worst habit was, and didn’t allow him to count the hormone-induced meltdown I had when I lost one of my favorite earrings a month or two ago. The earring has since been found. And by “has since,” I mean it was found about three minutes after said meltdown, in my bathroom drawer). Thus, after some (uninterrupted, thank you) introspection, I’ve been trying to really listen rather than just pause what I was saying, and to try and find value in what people say. Because he was totally right! I don’t always succeed, but I’m trying.

"There is a difference between truly listening & waiting for your turn to talk." This hard for me to remember, but I need to try and do it!!!!

Favorite Fitness:
Since my workouts this summer have been walks with the dogs and 21-Day Fix during lunch at work with my co-workers, I’m going to have to get creative since I’ll be back working out alone here in a week. I’m not into being drenched in sweat, but I am into squats. Enter: these squat variations.

Favorite Animal:
I love stags, I love elk, I love caribou, and I would love to have this picture in black and white on a canvas in my living room. There’s just something about those animals that is just majestic.

Absolutely magical.  can you imagine being the person who captured this shot?

Favorite Go-To:
This Kung Pao is one of my favorite things to make for dinner. I usually serve it with steamed white rice and snow peas or broccoli. 

The Post That’s Been a Draft for a Month

baby toes

I’m writing this on July 17th, but I’m posting it much later (I’m sure!) because the news isn’t public yet, but I’m going to explode if I don’t get it out somewhere!

Disclaimer: This post is l-o-n-g. That’s what happens when something sits in my draft box for six weeks, apparently. I get an over-inflated sense of self-importance. And an under-inflated sense of restraint. Feel free to read just the next paragraph (or not), and get along with your life. 

We’re expecting an extra-special Valentine’s present this year (which is perfect because we’ve literally never celebrated Valentine’s day!) since Baby J is due February 12th! We’ve kept it under our hats until now because I wanted to wait until the first trimester was over.

But there it is! We’ve had baby calves, baby puppies, baby lambs, and baby horses, and now we’re adding a baby human to the mix! Poor Bert’s going to have a looooong calving season ;). Leave it to us to have a kid a few weeks after the heifers are due.

I didn’t find out until I was about seven weeks because I woke up one morning and BAM! none of my pants fit. Including the pants I was wearing the day before. Now, this might be TMI (Dad, skip to the next paragraph), but I have never bloated in my life. Not one time. So, my first thought? “What did I eat?! I’m leaving early for work so I can stop at the Wal-Marts to buy some Gas-X and Tums.” So I did. But what’s right across the aisle from Gas-X? You got it, pregnancy tests. So, on a “Well, we should probably be sure since we’re going to a wedding in a few weeks and they’ll be having an open bar” whim, I bought a double pack. And, if you know me, you know I can’t wait. So, I took one of those bad boys into the bathroom with me at work on my lunch break, and WHAM! two lines. Immediately. I just stared at it. And then I went to get the other one. And same deal. So then, I went and googled “False positive pregnancy test.” As it turns out, it happens like, never.

So I got on the phone with the doctor, and had to leave a message. I mean, what?!? But no one wants to be That Girl, so I just waited. And didn’t get a call back. I called again two days later and was like “I NEED AN APPOINTMENT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.” They finally handed me to an extremely nice lady that was like “How do you feel?” Ah, nauseous, turned off by meat (WHAT?!?) and Starbucks (WHAT?!?).” And then she said “Have you had any positive tests?” and I said “Yes, two.” She goes, “Oh, then yes, you’re definitely pregnant, we need to get you in to see your doctor!” and I was like “YES!!! WE DO!” That lady just got it, you know? So, we had to wait for over a week until my appointment, and voila! 8 1/2 weeks. BAM.

I told Bert the day I took the tests when I got home from work, and he just looked at me. And grinned a little, and then I was like “Well, are you excited?!?” and he said “Uh, YEAH.” and that was that.

I’m currently battling the all-day morning sickness and being so sleepy I can’t even stand it, I’m excited to feel a little less grumpy and puffy and a little more like myself, which they tell me happens soon. I’m also so excited to tell everyone so they know why I’ve been grumpy and bumming gum off of every single person I see.

I’m taking a page out of my favorite blogger‘s book, and doing a weekly update. Partially because I think it’s awesome, and partially because I want to keep track. So, here we are, just shy of 10 weeks (and below is 15 weeks, since that’s when I’m posting this!)

How far along? 10 weeks
Total weight gain: none yet.
Maternity clothes? no, but I’m already scoping out the Maternity leggings and tees at Gap, and I bought some stuff at the J.Crew outlet over the 4th that will transition pretty well. I think a Bella Band is going to be a good purchase.
Stretch marks? Nope!
Sleep: Good as ever, but I’m starting to wake up every morning at about 2 with a bladder that’s inexplicably full.
Best moment this week: Sleeping in last weekend, and this one time when Bert cut up a whole watermelon :). Oh and Chinese takeout on Saturday. Oh and food.
Miss Anything? So far, I just miss feeling like myself. I’m nauseous and tired, which makes me a little grumpy, and I think about food ALL. THE. TIME. It’s rough because I’m trying to be healthy and keep exercising, but I just want to eat like, a whole loaf of garlic bread.
Movement: Not yet
Food cravings: Watermelon! I’ve also been swearing by saltines and I’ve been chowing down on Rice Chex every morning.
Anything making you queasy or sick: cooked bell peppers in pasta–woof. Coffee. Lunch meat (which is good). Driving, breathing, etc.
Have you started to show yet: No, but I feel like a beached whale.
Gender prediction: I think it’s a boy, but Bert thinks it’s a girl.
Labor Signs: Ah, no. 
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy! I wouldn’t say I’m moody, whenever a wave of what must feel like seasickness hits, it’s hard to be perky, but I’m pretty happy!
Looking forward to: Feeling more like myself, and our 12-week appointment! Bert didn’t come to the last one because I didn’t think he needed to, since I didn’t think they’d do an ultrasound, so he’s really excited for the ultrasound this time around. I also can’t wait to find out if Baby J is a she or a he! 
Exercise? Yes! I’ve been holding strong at taking the dogs out for a walk/run 4 days a week. My lunchtime workouts have been a little more sporadic, since sometimes I feel awful, but otherwise I’m just as active as usual.
 
So, there it is! The News. Feel free to send gifts in the form of watermelon and french fries :) Or a salt block. You can buy them at all ranch and farm stores.
 
me (2)

Not the best picture, but I just needed to get one taken!

 How far along?  16 weeks
Total weight gain: two poundsish.
Maternity clothes? not quite yet–the hairtie trick is working for now, and I have two Bella Bands ready and waiting.
Stretch marks? Nope!
Sleep: Getting a little tougher, but so far it’s okay.
Best moment this week: I’m finally feeling like I’ve turned the 2nd Trimester corner. My morning sickness has abated a ton, and I’m not so tired.
Miss Anything? Not really, but I’m hoping staying up until ten will be an option someday.
Movement: Not yet, but we did hear the heartbeat at our last appointment!
Food cravings: Still chowing down on the rice chex (generic brand is WAY better), and string cheese. Oh, and I bought 20 pounds of peaches at the farm stand. I had filled up a whole bag, and they were like “It’s probably cheaper if you just buy a box, since they’re almost half the price per pound that way.” And I was like “Sign me up!” So, now I have 20 pounds of peaches at my house, and I’m okay with that. Oh, and croissants. Like real ones, from the French bakery by my office.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Still no pasta and peppers, and hamburgers are a major no-go.
Have you started to show yet: A little, but mostly I look like I’ve been eating, well, croissants.
Gender prediction: I think it’s a boy, but Bert thinks it’s a girl.
Labor Signs: Ah, no. 
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Feeling much happier now that I can see the light at the end of the exhausted seasickness tunnel.
Looking forward to: Finding out if Cletus is a boy or a girl!
Exercise? You bet.
 
On another awesome note, the ranch hired me full-time, which means a) no more two hour commute; b) complete justification to paint one of the downstairs bedrooms coral for an “office”; c) NO DAYCARE. Heck yeah! d) back to being part of the ranch, which I’ve missed so much. I start in a couple of weeks, and while I love my job currently, the commute kills me (and my wallet), and I’m so excited to be a work-from-home mom. And, I’m hoping an extra two hours in my day will give me more time to blog!

Ranch Rodeo

 

 

We were in Encampment last weekend for the ranch rodeo. The guys got second in two events, so we’re doing good! Since I don’t like to take pictures during the rodeo (I swear it’s a jinx), I was really excited when we found some on Facebook! 

These ones are from Steamboat–photo credit to Erin Christine Photography

 

 


deckyDecky sorting out their cow for the trailer loading. The announcer yells out a number that thye have to sort out. They rope it by the head, load it into the trailer, shut the gate, load two horses and then all the guys have to run and get in the pickup.

randy and deckyCatching aforementioned sorted-out cow. 


L
trailerLoading her into the trailer.

tuffyDecky’s horse, Tuffy, is NOT a fan of town or of other horses sometimes. 

bert broncBert riding his bronc! The rules are “Ride As Ride Can,” you just have to use a regular ranch saddle (rodeo saddle bronc riders use a special saddle), you can’t tie yourself to your stirrups or do anything cheat-y like that. You get extra points if you do something showy, like take your hat off mid-ride and fan the horse.

bert and decky“First he went up, and then he went down!” “Bert, I think that’s about right. But there was a sort of jump in the middle…”

These are from last weekend in Encampment–don’t their shirts look snazzy? The sorority girl in me just loves these guys being matchy-matchy. Just wait until they’re monogrammed embroidered! Photo credit for these goes to Pam Meyer.

cow milking 2Wild Cow Milking! Decky’s mugging (holding the head), Randy and Bert are on the tail and Todd has her roped around the head. There’s one designated roper (Todd) who catches the cow, and then the guys have to hold her still (hence the mugging and tailing) while the milker (Bert–see the beer bottle?) has to milk her. Then, they have to get the rope off of her and the milker has to run to the judge, who stands in a chalk circle, before time stops. The judge makes sure there’s milk in the bottle to confirm it’s a valid affair. Cow milking is my FAVORITE. 

cow milking 3

cow milkingSomeone always ends up on the ground. Usually more than one someone! Run, Bert, run!

decky 2This is a cool shot of Decky catching a steer during the Stray Gathering. During that event, the boys are in teams of two, and they each have to head and heel a steer/heifer, tie it up, and it has to stay tied for six seconds. They would do this in real life if they have a cow who won’t come back to the right pasture, or who is a little crazy and needs to be put somewhere else–they’ll head and heel her, tie her down and then go and get the trailer to take her where she needs to be. Or, sometimes they tie down cows/bulls if they’re big and need to be doctored outside, or if the bull is particularly ornery. 

Other events include team sorting (their best event), where there’s a herd of 12-15 steers/heifers, each with numbers, and they have to sort out five in a row, in sequence, one at a time, starting with the number the announcer calls out. The whole herd has to stay at one end of the arena, and if one crosses the chalk boundary who isn’t in the right order, the team gets a no-time. There’s also branding, where they have to rope and drag calves out of a herd and “brand” them, and steer doctoring, which is a lot like stray gathering except there’s usually only one steer, and they have to tie it and “doctor” it by putting a paint stick mark on its head (we use paint sticks to show when something has been given a shot so their treatment record is easier to track, and you know if something has been given a shot recently). Each rodeo is usually four events, plus a bronc riding, and so there’s different events at each rodeo.

That’s all for today–the guys have so much fun at these rodeos (me too!) that they’re hoping to do one more, either in Wyoming or Oklahoma, at the beginning of September. The more practice they get, the better they’ll be, and someday maybe they’ll make it to the world finals in Amarillo! That would be so cool :)

 

It Must Be Summer

We’ve been running around the great state of Colorado to ranch rodeos for the past two weeks, so that’s the reason for the AWOL. I have pictures of that coming up! In the meantime, this is what life (in between bulk-size boxes of Otter Pops) looks like.

We tried to put Ninja in with our saddle horses because she was getting lonely, but Miss decided to be a major you-know-what and promptly ran Ninja through a barbed-wire fence. Mares are awesome like that. Her cuts weren’t too bad, and she’s almost all healed up now. We gave her some shots, and cleaned her cuts every day, and put special cream on to help with the proud flesh and to keep flies out. She’s really good now when she’s caught, but she doesn’t like the rope when it isn’t around her neck. What a weirdo! She’s a sweetie, though, and I love to give her grain because she just gets so happy! But then my sweetie yells at me, because I’m making her spoiled. Which is true. And he doesn’t yell, but points out that I’m making her spoiled. Because it’s true.

doctoring ninja

Once she’s all the way healed and Wally gets cut (aka de-testicled) we’ll put them together out in the pasture so that they don’t have to be in the pens anymore, but we don’t want any unwed teenage mother situations, so we keep him and little Ninja separated. We keep them in because it’s been very recent that they have learned to be caught, and it’s a pain to have un-catchable horses out in pasture. And because we didn’t want Ninja running wild with a bunch of cuts on her front, because she has a habit of getting into things.

I also hung new curtains in the house (finally!!!). They’re off-white and long (and not too expensive, thank you Ikea!) because I couldn’t find a fabric that I liked that was less than $17 a yard. I found cool little horseshoe hooks that are meant to hold bridles in a barn, but I thought they looked neat for in the house! The next phase is getting rid of all of our color accessories–I just want cream, white and brown in our front room, thanks to the yellow paint that wasn’t supposed to be yellow :)

curtains

 

The last ranch rodeo Bert was in was Steamboat last Thursday. I’m convinced that every time I take pictures of the events themselves, it’s bad luck because they always do way better when I keep my camera in my purse. Here’s a picture of some of the cowboys lined up before the rodeo, our guys are all the way on the left end. The good news is that Bert rode his bronc, so that makes me happy :) Even if after riding his bronc, he ended up between a gate and the ground. He gave a thumbs-up when he got up, though, and he wears his protective vest, so all’s well that ends well. We got to see some of our friends from Walden, too, which was fabulous! Ah, rodeos.

rodeo

 

Oh, and we got to swing by the outlets in Silverthorne just so I could make out like a bandit at J.Crew. I rarely buy clothes–especially compared to when I was younger!!!–but J.Crew is my favorite store in the world, and that outlet happens to be the best. Juuust in case you were wondering and didn’t know this fact about me. Three words: Pink Linen Shorts. Two more: On Sale. Three More: On Sale TWICE. Sign me up!

And Bert came with me, and if you’ve never seen a cowboy loitering around the men’s section of J. Crew looking at the way-too-short man shorts with a rather appalled look on his face, I’ll vouch for you that it’s pretty priceless. He does, however, make a good point about the shorts. Who wants to see six inches of hairy man thigh?? Literally no one. Who wants their shorts to be identical from their wife/girlfriend’s? Again, literally no one. Some of those shorts were even a length I wouldn’t want to wear. I may be a long inseam girl, but mostly because I’m against PDOBC. Which is Public Display of Butt Cheek. I am baffled by this. Break out your linen starburst-colored shorts any time you want, fellas, but keep your junk covered. Please. Because who wants to see that? Literally no one.

On a more long denim-clad and button-downed note, we went to the ranch rodeo in Colorado Springs on Saturday because the ranch had another team in it and VIP passes for all of us :) I took pictures there since I’m not a jinx unless Bert’s in the rodeo, so I’m hoping to upload them sometime in the next few days and share them, ranch rodeos are so fun!

 

Short Insta-Lately

I haven’t been Instagramming as much lately, I feel like we’ve been way too busy! Here’s a few of the latest and greatest, though.

buckaloMy friend Mike came to visit us from Florida, and I took him on a tour of the ranch. The neighbors have a small herd of buffalo, and it looks like they have a baby or two! See him? Folks, if you’ve never seen a baby buffalo, put it on your bucket list, because they’re so ugly they’re cute, and there’s nothing like them. 

BRANDINGThat same day, we also went to a branding, and here’s Bert on Miss. It never gets old watching him rope!  Mike took a video, but I can’t figure out quite yet how to upload videos. 

 

stormWe have had the craziest storms lately! Since we live in the basin, we haven’t really got much of them–we’ve had a few good rain showers and lots of wind, but the rest of the state has been getting tornadoes and hail and roof-destroying high winds. We caught this shot of the backside of a storm that was currently hailing and winding and tornadoing all over eastern Colorado–isn’t that thing scary?!

earlyThis, of course, is Early! He and his mother (who I call Molly, in honor of my most favorite mare in the world that I fell in love with in Montana) have come to live at the barn at our house, and I’m doing a post soon about all the horses we have around now. He’s growing big and strong, and is learning how to buck and jump and paw things. He thinks he’s a big horse! It’s about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.

best viewWe’ve had to alter our walking route since the pivot that we walk back through is now plowed up and planted and growing things, and since it’s summer and the snakes are out so we stick to the roads. Rattlesnake bites have been known to put a damper on a walk of a morning. I just load the dogs in the pickup and we drive to a different place every time we go, just for something new! This is one of my favorite views–everything you can see is part of the 20,000 acres that Bert’s in charge of.  Not a single soul that direction for miles, just cattle, and grass, and animals. 

jayI‘m trying to get Jay to understand that he can jump in the pickup, too. He’s getting better, but you kind of have to run with him to the truck and act all enthusiastic to show him he needs to get a running start. Otherwise, he just does this and makes you lift him up in there, and usually he’s all wet with pond water and mud, so no thank you, Jay. 

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to my daddy, who took me on lots of adventures and things, and made sure I didn’t walk anywhere for like, five years. He also taught me about building things and wearing really cool sunglasses.

nuggetThis is me and Dad. I am dressed in a white smurf bag. 

sofa

This is back before seatbelts, helmets and ex-naying the lead paint were more suggestions than actual rules. We lived on the edge. Of the sofa.

book

backpack

backpack 2

 See? I lived in a backpack. And looked like a Rhesus monkey.

shoulders 2

shoulders

 

shoulders 3Then, when I graduated from (read: became too hefty for) the backpack, I moved on to shoulder rides. Eventually, though, even shoulder rides become difficult. Some dads would be like “sorry, kid, you’re on your own.” Not my dad!

wagon

 He was like “Here, I’ll pull you in this wagon!”

moving

“And drive you around in this moving van!” 

horse“And put you on this horse! I’m tired of doing the work.”

leaves

 Oh Dad, you’re so silly. I would like everyone to note that this is our FRONT yard, so the likelihood that this was observed by more than my mother and myself is high. But you know, cool dads are cool because they don’t care if people see them jumping in leaves with their kid. Cool dads are like honey badgers, and honey badger don’t care. 

flowergirlThis is one of my first flowergirl experiences, and it’s a good thing my dad was there because I got in a fight with another girl about the flower baskets. He had my back. Stylishly.

flowergilr 2This is a later flowergirl experience. I didn’t beat anyone up at this one, I think that’s actually frowned upon. Shout out to Dad’s mustache.

sunglassesI’m telling you, my dad was awesome. Any doubts? Check out that popped collar. 

swingsetAnd one time, he built me a wooden swingset from scratch. Didn’t even buy the pre-thought-out kits, he just winged (wung?) this sucker! If that’s not awesome, I don’t know what is. I helped him a little, and then painted ladybugs and bumblebees all over it. 

lookout

Also, he would do cool things like this. I think we must be on the lookout for something, since I have what looks like half a binocular and my tee-ball bat. Or we’re protecting that bear and kleenex box. 

We now interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to tune into another episode of “Raising Your Child: Colorado Edition.”

riverHiking with your children and walking near fast-moving mountain streams? Without a doubt.

tongueFour-wheelers? Uh-huh. Windbreaker, America skirt, cowboy boots and beer? You bet! Shout out to Dad’s mustache.

horses

 Christmas in Aspen, with a sleigh? Check.

cowboysHanging out with ranchers and with an actual ranch equine licking his lips in the background? Done and done.

fishingFishing? You bet. 

bikes

 Oh hey, Visit Colorado mountain biking advertisement. But really, though! PS, thanks for teaching me how to ride a two-wheeler in the Eisenhower Park parking lot, Dad. Training wheels would have really killed this vibe.

cross countryCross-country skiing? Yeah! Please check out Dad’s coordinating Patagonia. And how I look vaguely like Elton John.

sailboatThis is us, as Washington Park. We built the remote-controlled sailboat, which I named the Explorer II (there is no Explorer I–I just thought the roman numerals looked fancy). Dad broke his ankle while jogging through the golf course, and got a purple cast because purple is his favorite color, and was before real men wore pink or it was ironic to like “girl” colors. I think that’s awesome.  Also I’m wearing socks with clogs. 

hikingWe love hiking! And hiking boots! And nature! And there is probably a a granola bar on our person(s)!

silver plume
A
nd Exploring! This is above Silver Plume (if you’ve never been, you should go!) and we used to hike up the mountain and look at the old mine shafts, and then go pick up candy from the general store. And, I loved to watch the wooden ducks that were tied to float in the creek. It didn’t hit me until later that they were hunting decoys. Bummer. Shout out to Dad’s mustache.

gradFrom this graduation…

graduationTo this one.

lipstickAnd this fake wedding dress…

wedding…to this real one, thanks, Dad. 

flowersFor being the best, and not caring that your daughter made you do embarrassing things like wear dandelion crowns and get it caught on camera. Love you! 
Shout out to your mustache.

Early

This is Early.

Early

 

He is a baby horse that was born a week ago.

He is so cute I want to die.

His mother is one of Bert’s coworker’s mares, and he suspected she was pregnant (a neighbor has had her for awhile), but didn’t realize she was due to foal, well, last week! So he was a surprise. And, since he’s so small, they decided he was early. His interim name was Pickle, but his official, Christian name is Early.

This best part? This guy doesn’t really want to mess with a baby horse, so Bert’s trading some work with his mom (she’s funny on the ground) for Early! As soon as he’s weaned, of course. Being early, I want to make sure he gets the best start he can.

Early 2