Archive | July, 2008

I heart my new commute

31 Jul

It only takes me 10 minutes to get to work from our new house. Woohoo! I won’t even mind going to work now…just kidding! If anything, it’s even harder to go to work now because I’m so excited about the house.

We slept on our new bed last night. We bought the Durango from Denver Mattress. It is lovely. It has the individually pocketed coils so that you can barely feel the other person move around. And it’s a queen so we have a lot more space on it than our old bed. I bought new teal sheets (on sale) from BB&B with a matching bedskirt that I just happened to find on clearance (love it when that happens!) We’re going to put the new duvet cover (that I bought with my mom in MN) on our bed and our old duvet cover on the bed in the guest room (Travis wanted a change).

I got our whole kitchen unpacked last night and went grocery shopping. So at least we can eat real food while we’re moving in. It’ll take a little while to get used to a new setup (as it always does) but it’s SO nice to have a bigger kitchen!! The cabinet arrangement isn’t ideal but we’ll make do. After Travis left for his “guy time,” I started to paint the trim until I realized we didn’t have any painters tape (I forgot it in Boulder). Kind of a necessity. So I decided to prime the guest bedroom instead. I got it all done by about 10:15 and then went to bed. I am such a messy painter–I get paint everywhere, including the carpet at least once or twice–so I have paint all over me today!

Tonight, we are going to paint the guest bedroom, prime and paint the purple wall in the living room, repaint another wall in the living room (they puttied holes in the wall without repainting–but they left the paint), and try to get some of the trim done. Tomorrow night we’ll paint the office and more trim. Then Saturday we move in! Yay!

Excitement kills the work ethic

29 Jul

It’s not Monday but it still feels like it! For the next couple of weeks, it’s going to be really hard to be at work and be productive–I am so excited about our house that I can’t concentrate!! Add to that, we’re going to have so much going on outside of work that I’m pretty sure by the time my brother’s wedding rolls around, we are going to be exhausted (and might not be able to drive back!)

Tonight, we are going to go look at beds again. We have a full-size bed that I’ve had since my sophomore year of college. It’s getting a little old to be in such a small bed. So we’re going to buy a queen. We went looking on Sunday and found a couple that we’re interested in. It’s just so hard to know which one we’ll like! So we’re going to go lay on our 2 contenders again tonight and make a decision. We’re going to have it delivered to our new house and move our full into the guest bedroom. Yay! But that means I have to buy queen sheets sometime in the next couple days…

Then we’re going to buy paint and champagne for our little party tomorrow night. Except Travis is eating dinner with some friends from church so we won’t be having dinner on the floor. Oh well, I’m so excited to paint and be in our new house that I really don’t mind.

We’re also going to pack up the rest of our stuff tonight (like our dishes, computer, DVD player) and bring as much as we can down to the house tomorrow–I want to get as much set up as possible because we have a limited amount of time. Plus, I want to be able to eat actual food for the next week, instead of getting takeout and fast food every day.

Tomorrow, I am going to stop by the house in the morning to put all our perishable food in the fridge. Then, I have to work 😦 but after work, we’re going to pop the cork, toast to our new house, and get the paint brushes out. I am also going to do laundry (way past due) and try to put away all our dishes and pans in the kitchen.

Until Friday, that’s pretty much it but then on Saturday, we’re moving all of our furniture out of our apartment. Sunday, we’re going back to the apartment to clean everything so that we can just be done with Boulder already! (I am SO excited to not make that drive everyday anymore!!) Monday and Tuesday will be unpacking. Wednesday I go get my bridesmaid dress from the alterations place and a mani/pedi. Thursday night, we leave for Minnesota. Friday is the rehearsal and grooms dinner (it starts at 3 in the afternoon!) and then Saturday is the wedding. Sunday we’re planning on just hanging out with family and then Monday we drive back. Whew! It will be a whirlwind of activity but good thing it’s all exciting stuff. Except that part about going back to work on the next Tuesday.

Anyway, I know that I will want to stay up until midnight every night putting stuff away but I cannot let myself–or else, I will not be coherent for the wedding or the drive to MN. I just have to be patient…which I’m not very good at!

Packing up

26 Jul

The fact that we bought a house is becoming a little more believable every day–because every day we get closer to actually moving in. On Wednesday of this week, the house is officially ours (meaning we aren’t landlords anymore, just homeowners and residents!) I want to buy a bottle of champagne and go to the house after work to eat dinner on the floor and toast to our new house. Yay! I think we might also bring some clothes, toiletries, and our sleeping bags to sleep there Wed, Thurs, Fri night (so that we don’t have to drive all the way back up to Boulder every night.)

So today is packing day. Tomorrow might be too, depending on how much we get done today. And there are the things that we can’t really pack up right now, like dishes, clothes, toiletries–stuff we use everyday. But we’ll at least get the majority of our stuff packed up (like winter clothes, books, decorations, etc.)

I am SO pumped! I went to Home Depot yesterday and got paint chips so that I can decide what paint I want and start painting on Wednesday!

The Joy of Marriage

24 Jul

Well, it has taken 14 months but I feel like Travis and I have finally gotten into a marriage groove. We understand each other more (but not completely!), have learned what to do and when (and what NOT to do) for the other person, and have adopted our individual chores–Travis, financial and big-picture stuff (like researching vehicles and mortgages); me, cleaning and menial daily stuff (like making lunches in the morning and going grocery shopping).

But more than all that, I feel like I finally appreciate him. When we were dating, our relationship was too exciting for me to appreciate Travis. I didn’t need to appreciate him. I was so head over heels for him that anything he did was good enough (except waiting so long to propose!) But then we got married and after the newness, excitement, and “I’m a wife; now what?” wore off, his idiosyncrasies and little quirks drove me up the wall and seemed so rampant in daily life that I couldn’t focus on anything else. “Who is this man I married?” I thought. Bitterness and annoyance took root in my heart. There were times I couldn’t stand being by Travis. He would try to hug or kiss me and I would push him away saying that “I was in the middle of something” and that the way my personality is makes me hate stopping something right in the middle. Each time I pushed him away, I knew something wasn’t right with me.

One night about every other month, something would happen–either sexual disappointment, an argument, or my stubborn emotions not being what I thought they should be for my husband–and I would break down into deep, heaving sobs for 10-15 minutes. It was always good to have my loving, tender husband there at those moments of need. Those times grew my appreciation of him.

But to my dismay and helplessness, those times of sorrow over our marriage and my emotions toward Travis didn’t change anything. I continued on, liking a emotionless zombie, desiring for my heart to change but feeling like my hands were tied over what to do about it. I read marriage books and articles. I read Bible passages about marriage and Christ’s love for the church. It’d work for a while. But there were so many things about our marriage that I was unsettled about. Where was the romance? Where was the feeling that I was finally with my soul mate, the man chosen for me by God? I did feel like Travis was my best friend, but a little bit too much like a friend. I wanted a passionate marriage filled with sexual chemistry and intellectual foreplay. Instead, our marriage was butt-slapping and wrestling.

I kept thinking about the people I knew who said that marriage was wonderful. They said that they loved their spouses more that day than they did on their wedding day. I couldn’t help wonder about my own affections. I knew I still loved Travis–I was committed to him for life–but why didn’t I FEEL love for him? Why was I so cold-hearted? Why couldn’t I change?

I would love to say that I was faithful in prayer but I wasn’t. I’d pray about it for a few weeks after one of my sobbing episodes and then life and marriage would go back to normal–not bad but not great. But then one day, something changed. I can’t put my finger on it and I can’t even remember what exact day or month it was. But something in my heart changed. I wanted to cry, it felt so wonderful.

I loved Travis–and felt it.

I knew that God had flipped the switch in my heart and I am still so thankful to Him for it. It is a reminder that in my flesh, I don’t naturally love anyone but myself. Only through the power of the Holy Spirit in me do I love my husband–and my Lord.

Since that day a few months ago, things have only gotten better. I don’t get as angry with Travis during fights, I don’t let his little quirks get to me (I just laugh at them now because they’re his quirks), and I have made a concerted effort to kiss and hug Travis slowly and passionately, like my lover, not my buddy. I have also seen the impact of my relationship with the Lord on my relationship with my husband. I can’t expect Travis to fulfill my every need. Jesus alone can satisfy. I have seen the ways I’ve failed and sinned against Travis and felt like I could finally DO something about it. And you know what? It has fanned the flames of our marriage.

The past few weeks of our marriage have felt like a honeymoon. I love seeing him after work, I love kissing and hugging him, and I love sharing my life with him. This is what marriage is supposed to be like. Now I can say with those other married couples that I love Travis more today than I did on our wedding day. Praise be to our faithful Father in heaven!

Speaking of which, our photographer just sent us all our wedding pictures burned onto a CD (he kept the rights for a year but we did get a wedding album in October 2007). Here are a few of my faves:

A sweet kiss

A sweet kiss

Sophisticated

Sophisticated

My favorite picture--so relaxed

My favorite picture--so relaxed

Our first dance as husband and wife to "Love of a Lifetime"

Our first dance as husband and wife to "Love of a Lifetime"

The head table with the bridesmaid bouquet

The head table with the bridesmaid bouquet

Me and my dad during the Father-Daughter dance

Me and my dad during the Father-Daughter dance

Tearing up the dance floor

Tearing up the dance floor

The happy couple

The happy couple

My birthday sandals

22 Jul

I wore them to work today! I thought they might give me blisters when I first tried them on but I wore them all day long, and did a decent amount of walking to the bathroom, the printer, and across the hall, so I think they’re going to be ok! Still won’t be wearing them to the airport or the mall… but I can wear them to weddings and church!

Here I am with my new shoes:

Me and my golden birthday shoes

Me and my golden birthday shoes

Vacation in Minnesota

19 Jul

*Sigh.* I love summer in Minnesota. Being back here makes both Travis and me wish somewhat that we didn’t live in Colorado. But I keep reminding myself that 7 months out of the year, I am VERY glad that I live in Colorado because of the weather and all the stuff to do. But you can’t beat Minnesota lakes in the summer. Even though there are lots of mosquitoes and humidity, I still love this state in the summer. It just smells a certain way and it reminds of me of growing up.

I did have a great birthday. Very lowkey but it was a lot of fun. We went tubing and skiing on the lake again and went fishing in the evening. We caught about 15 sunfish total and kept about 8. We fried the fish the next morning for breakfast (they were actually really good, even though I’m not a huge fan of fish for breakfast). After eating our burgers, salad, and corn, we started a bonfire right next to the lake. Around 10:30, we went back inside and had cake and ice cream. It was a very good birthday!

On Wednesday morning, Travis and I woke up to a good ole Minnesota thunderstorm. I LOVE thunder and lightning when it’s lightly raining outside. We left for Nevis, MN, around 10 AM after eating breakfast and cleaning the kitchen up from the night before and got up to Nevis, where his parents live, around 1:30. We played baseball in Nevis with his younger brother, nephew, and Mom and then went to see Wall-e, which was really cute. I also opened my presents from Travis and his family–Travis gave me a pair of sandals from Victoria’s Secret that I really wanted 

My birthday sandals

My birthday sandals--I got the gold ones.

 and his family gave me a gift certificate to Target (which I’m going to use for house stuff!!) My parents’ present to me came about 3 months ago in the form of a Coach purse which I am loving.

On Thursday, we went fishing at the crack of down. I caught a 3-4 lb. smallmouth bass, along with a bunch of small panfish. Travis and Matthew (his bro) caught some Northern pike. We didn’t keep anything. After eating breakfast, Travis, Matthew, Drew (his nephew who lives with Trav’s sis in NC but is up here for a month), Beth (his mom), and I all went to the World of Christmas, which is an amusement park. We rode the bumper boats (where I got soaked!) and the go-karts; walked through a maze; had water wars (I got soaked then too!); jumped on a bungee cord thingy; and played mini-golf. It was a lot of fun. Then Travis and I drove an hour and a half to Grand Rapids, where his dad, Al, has taken a new job. Beth and Matthew will move there as well but they’re still working on buying a house. Al gave us a tour around his workplace (a redi-mix plant where he’s a manager) and around the town of Grand Rapids. 

Yesterday, Travis and I slept in to about 8:45 and then ate the continental breakfast at the posh hotel that his dad is staying at. Al’s hotel suite is bigger than our apartment in Boulder! The hotel is brand new too so everything is really nice. We took showers and hung around the hotel for a while and then drove back to Nevis. We went fishing again, Travis, Matthew, and Drew in the fishing boat, and me and Beth in the canoe. We caught a bunch of small sunfish and kept 3 but ended up throwing them back because 3 isn’t enough to fillet and fry. After dinner, Travis and I drove to Park Rapids (about 20 min away) to visit one of his friends from HS, Jesse, and his wife, Emily. We toured their business and new house and caught up. It was fun.

Today, we have been kind of lazy. It was raining all morning so we just hung out inside, took a tour of the state land around their property that is being logged, played Bocce ball, read, took a nap, etc. It’s good to have a lazy day or two on vacation.

But I can’t believe that it’s already Saturday and tomorrow we fly home. It’s bittersweet–bitter because the end of vacation is always sad and we won’t see Trav’s family again maybe until October (if they come to my bro’s wedding in August, we’ll see them then too). Sweet because we’ll see my family again in August but also because in the meantime, we get to move into our new house!! Now that our vacation is almost over and I have the house to look forward to (and we saw Jesse and Emily’s new house last night), I am getting really excited about moving in and decorating. There’s a lot we want to do and our only limitation is money. (Ah…money.) But my mom’s gift and Beth’s gift have definitely helped!!

Ok, I’m done now.

It’s my birthday!

15 Jul

I am officially 25 today so that means I can finally rent a car without any additional fees…I’m really pumped about that. Travis and I are on our vacation in Minnesota right now, which makes this birthday extra special because I get to spend it with my family. I haven’t spent my actual birthday with my family in about 4 years. When I turned 21, I was with friends. When I turned 22 and 23, I was at Summer Beach Project in Myrtle Beach, SC. When I turned 24 last year, I was with Travis’ family. So finally I get to spend it with MY parents (and my husband)!

To celebrate, Travis and I went on a run this morning (exercise is good!) For breakfast, we had smoothies and banana/blueberry pancakes. We are going to go boating and tubing around Pine City (where my parents’ lake cabin is) and then jetskiing later. For dinner, we’re going to have burgers, strawberry salad, corn on the cob, and pineapple cake (all by my request). I thought about going out to dinner but then, we can go out to dinner in Colorado anytime–how often do we get to grill out at the cabin by a lake? Never!

So I think it will be a great birthday. I’m okay with it being chill and relaxed. I’m 25 now–an adult. I have to act my age, right?. Not!!!

Just a side note: yesterday we took the boat out and Travis and I went waterskiing (at different times of course). He’s pretty good at slaloming. I, on the other hand, am not. I can get up on two skis pretty quickly and can even cross the wake without falling down (except right when I got up yesterday for the first time, my dad went around a turn and I went outside the wake against my will and ended up falling on my butt and getting a water enema. OUCH!!! It hurt so badly that I could barely move. But it didn’t stop me from trying to slalom!) I tried to slalom by dropping a ski and then by just starting with one. Neither worked. I did a couple faceplants and my arms got a workout but I didn’t get up. Oh well, tubing is more my thing anyway. 🙂

We’re homeowners!

8 Jul

We just got back to our apartment from our house closing so we are officially homeowners. Everything went without a hitch and my hand didn’t even get sore from signing so many papers.

I was saying to Travis on the way home that it’s weird that all you have to do (pretty much) is sign a bunch of papers and then you own a home. It’s like highschool graduation–somehow the importance of the event is not in proportion to what you do to achieve or celebrate it. But this is a lot more important that highschool graduation. This IS the real world baby!

The best part about the process of buying a house for us was seeing God’s hand in it all. I had prayed for God to let us find the perfect house at the right price in the right timing and we did. Then we had all but postponed buying a house for financial reasons but God provided down payment money for us in the form of my parents.
The sellers accepted our offer, the house appraised, we were approved for our loan, we got all the correct documents, and today was a breeze. If it had not been in the Lord’s will for us to buy a house, it either wouldn’t have happened at all or it wouldn’t have been this easy. When everything falls into place so easily and effortlessly, I know that God is there behind the scenes, flawlessly orchestrating it all according to His sovereign will.

So there you have it. We get the keys to the house at 8:00 AM on July 30th. Until then, it’s Minnesota for 10 days and then lots of packing!!

Our 4th of July Hike

5 Jul

Travis and I went hiking up South Boulder Peak (8,549 ft) on the 4th of July. Man, was it a hard one! The whole hike is about 6.7 miles round trip, which isn’t bad. BUT you gain 3,000 feet in those 3.35 miles. That’s steep.

I felt a little tired/sore when we first started out. About 2 miles in, my legs started to get shaky and really tired. I was pretty hungry but thought I would just wait until we reached the summit. Nope. I had to eat on the way up because I started getting dizzy and feeling sick to my stomach. When we reached the spur up to South Boulder Peak, it was the worst. I knew we were so close to the summit so I pushed myself (within reason) but that last 45 minutes was rough. It took us 2 hour and 45 minutes to get up to the top–about a 40 minute mile! I had to stop every 20-30 feet though because I couldn’t breathe, which was frustrating.

Then when we got up to the peak, the bugs were so thick that I stood up there taking in the view for about 5 minutes before I got too grossed out and went to wait for Travis back at the base of the spur. When he got down, he said, “Yeah, the bugs were bad. You pretty much just had to let them crawl all over you or else you’d be constantly moving.” Um, ew? No thank you.

The way down wasn’t bad. We made it down in about an hour and a half with about 2 stops. The whole hike, rests included, took us 5 hours. It was a very challenging hike, the hardest I’ve ever done in my life. Travis talked about climbing Mt. Bierstadt and Mt. Evans the next day but 1) I didn’t think I’d have enough energy after climbing South Boulder Peak and 2) that climb had me really doubting my hiking abilities. Turns out that climbing Bierstadt is not only shorter but you gain less elevation as well. Travis did the hike on Saturday (by himself) and got to the top in an hour and a half. Granted, he was cruising (which he would NOT do with me!) but I figure that if I can do South Boulder Peak, I can do Bierstadt. The sawtooth between Bierstadt and Evans, on the other hand, could be another story.

I do want to do a 14er later this summer though. I’m going to try to get in some harder hikes in the meantime in preparation!

Funny side note: Travis and I climbed Bear Peak last fall, which is very close to South Boulder Peak. Until hiking South Boulder, that had been our hardest hike to date. The way down was SO steep and never-ending! I guess that part of the Flatirons is just brutal terrain!

Catching up

2 Jul

Today was another long day at work. There’s not a whole lot to do, it’s a 4-day week, we leave for vacation next week, and I’m tired as all get-out. Needless to say, I wasn’t the most productive worker bee today. I even jet out 20 minutes early because I couldn’t take anymore. I’ll just work a little longer tomorrow. It is a blessing to have such a flexible job!

So now to update my blog with everything I’ve been up to. Mark and Sarah Norman were out here to visit us this past week. They got in the night of Tuesday 6/24 and left the morning of Tuesday 7/1. It was SO much fun having them out here! We did a lot of talking and had a lot of late nights and early mornings…but it was so worth it.

Wednesday night, Travis and I had care group and the Normans went up to Rocky Mountain National Park but they came back that night and stayed at our apartment. (It’s very cozy with 4 people in it!!) Thursday night, we grilled out in the park near our apartment and got to see the Happy Thursday parade of drunken people decked out in pink tutus and knee-high, black, patent leather boots. We also went and watched Trav’s hockey game (that started at 10:15!).

Friday, Trav and I got off work around 1:00 and we all headed up to Guenella Pass near Georgetown, where we were going to camp for the weekend. I took a nap on Friday while the boys gathered and chopped up firewood. We ate brats and baked beans and sat by the fire for a while and then went to bed. Saturday, I slept in to about 8 (everyone else got up around 9, which gave me a chance to get in the Word), we ate some pancakes for breakfast, and set off for the trail. We climbed Square Top Mountain, which is almost a 14er at 13,900 ft. We got going a little later than we had planned (not good with the changing weather up there) and the hike was a lot harder than we had planned (see pictures of it here) so we only made it to about 13,500 but the view was still gorgeous (and it was still a crazy good workout!)

After our hike, we drove around and ended up at a country store on another highway, where we bought ice cream. I had a good ole classic ice cream sandwich. Yum! It tasted really good after our hike. We drove back to camp, played some Catch Phrase, ate ravioli and corn on the cob, and sat around the campfire some more. Then we went to bed around 10:00.

Sunday night/morning, I could barely sleep because I was so cold. And I had to pee really bad. So around 5:30 AM, I forced myself out of my sleeping bag to the bathroom (an outhouse at our campground). As I was walking back to our campsite, I noticed that the sun was coming up. Not being that tired and really not wanting to go back to bed to freeze my ars off some more, I decided to stay up and watch the sunrise. I poked Travis and asked if he wanted to come. All he groaned was “I’m so tired…” So I went all by myself. I took the Pathfinder up to the trailhead where I knew I’d have a good view and watched the sun rise as I spent time in the Word. After reading a little longer, I started getting sleepy again and it was only 7:00 AM so I drove back to the campground and got back in my sleeping bag for some not-so-restful barely-asleep sleep.

Finally, around 8:30, it was time to get up. Yay! We drank some coffee, ate some oatmeal, packed up camp, loaded our car, and drove up to the Silver Dollar Lake trailhead. It was a very enjoyable hike, albeit a little more challenging that I had remembered. I guess I was so concerned with all the snow last time that I didn’t realize it was mostly uphill to the lake. This time, we actually climbed past Silver Dollar Lake to one farther up the mountain. On the way back down, we slid down the snow again on our shoes–very fun. Makes the hike totally worth it in and of itself.

Our hike made us all completely famished so we stopped at Beau Jo’s in Idaho Springs on the way back for some Colorado cooking. We gorged ourselves on some heavy-duty nachos and a 3-lb Mountain Pie with Italian sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil pesto sauce. Delish. The rest of Sunday was spent doing laundry and taking it easy.

Monday night, we ate out at Jackson’s Sports Grill in downtown Denver and then went to a Rockies baseball game, which is always fun. Then Tuesday morning, it was time for Mark and Sarah to leave. I got up at 4:00 AM so that I would have time to get ready and wouldn’t be in the bathroom when everyone else wanted to use it. Needless to say, I took a 2-hour nap after work yesterday. And I’m just about to go to bed right now… Yes, it’s 6:40 PM. But I forced myself to work out the minute I got home (even though I was yawning like crazy while lifting weights!) so that I could relax and fall asleep reading later on…like right now. Adios muchacho.