Tag Archives: hiking

Elk Camp 2014

26 Oct

Life is finally returning to normal after the craziness that was September and the beginning of October. Travis and I are both so ready to be homebodies and not make any plans for a while! (Though as you know, weekends just have a way of getting filled up anyway.) It has been so nice to just chill at home this weekend though and get some stuff done around here.

Elk hunting in Colorado went well again this year, though it looked different than in past years since Travis and I no longer live there. Travis’ parents and nephew left on Wednesday afternoon and Travis had planned to meet them about an hour into the drive, but I had debilitating pregnancy heartburn that day so Travis stayed an extra couple of hours to help me get packed and drive me to Papa Murphy’s for dinner. He met up with them at the hotel that night. They arrived in Denver the next afternoon, went grocery shopping and loaded up Travis’ friend’s truck with gear. They headed up to camp on Friday morning – both to get the spot they wanted (they’re first come, first serve) and because it takes all day to set up camp, chop firewood, etc.

Meanwhile, I had driven down to Rochester to my parents’ house on Thursday after Emma’s 18-month well baby appointment. The drive is 3.5 hours, which is totally doable in one stretch – unless you are 14 weeks pregnant and have a toddler with you. I stopped a little over halfway in Minneapolis and spent a couple hours with a college friend, got coffee and browsed the kid’s section at Barnes & Noble, and then continued on my way. I arrived at my parents’ house around 7 pm. We hung out and ran errands on Friday, and then on Saturday, it was back up to the Cities for me to catch my flight to Denver. I cried as I hugged and kissed Emma goodbye, and I was a mess of emotions for the rest of that day, but after that, I was actually able to enjoy having a break. It helped that Emma did really well with my parents, and I was able to get updates from them every day, even up at camp.

My flight to Denver ended up being delayed a couple hours though (boo) so I didn’t get to Denver as early as I had hoped. My good friend Cathy drove me up the mountain to Silverthorne and my mother-in-law picked me up there. Cathy and I had planned to hang out up there for a couple hours, but she ended up just dropping me off and heading back. It was nice to chat with her anyway. We got up to camp around 7 pm and Beth got to work on dinner. Al was already back from hunting and had a fire going, and one by one, the other hunters (Travis, Drew, Matt and Aidan) trickled back in (shooting light was over by 7 pm each night). Each night followed a similar pattern – the hunters got back by 7:30, we ate dinner, hung around the campfire for a bit and called it a night around 8:30/9. But when you’re getting up at 5:30 in the morning, it doesn’t seem that early!

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20141012_125404 20141014_053956The next day (Sunday), it snowed 4-5 inches so Beth and I stayed hunkered down in the nice warm wall tent, except for a walk up and down the road during a brief respite. And we made a snowman.

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Meanwhile, Travis had shot a bull elk and they had to quarter it and pack it out in the snow. Not ideal, but he was pretty excited about it anyway.

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Monday, Beth and I headed to the tiny mountain town of Hot Sulphur Springs where there’s a resort that has about 20 pools filled with natural hot sulphur water that you can soak in. Since I’m pregnant, I made sure to not get too hot but I was still able to enjoy almost all of the pools (I sat halfway out of the hotter ones). It was nice and sunny, and the pools were outdoors, so it was very enjoyable. Afterward, we ate lunch in Granby, bought a few things from the grocery store and headed back to camp.

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Tuesday was a really nice day weather-wise – so much so that in the afternoon, we read our books outside in the sun and I even got a little sunburned. After lunch, while the guys took their usual after-lunch nap, Beth and I went on a short 2-mile hike on the South Fork Loop. The trail went along the river, so it was pretty flat – exactly what I was looking for because I haven’t been on a real hike in 2 years!

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Wednesday, it was time to pack up camp. None of the other guys in the hunting party saw or shot anything the rest of the week – but that’s pretty typical of elk hunting. We’re always happy to get at least 1 animal. We arrived back in Denver around 3 pm, took showers and headed out to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings – our post-elk hunting tradition of the past 5 or so years. It was only 7 pm when we were done eating and we all just wanted to go to bed! But we forced ourselves to stay up until 9 pm.

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Thursday morning, my flight left at 10 am so Travis brought me to the airport right after breakfast. True to form, I had totally forgotten to check in to my Southwest flight 24 hours in advance (and not sure if I could’ve even, because we were still at camp) so I ended up checking in just 2.5 hours before the flight. Somehow though, I was assigned A16 for boarding – which, if you know that Southwest only assigns boarding order and has open seating, you would also probably know that A16 is the first boarding position after their version of first class. I have no idea how I got the first position for a completely full flight that close to takeoff, but it was totally awesome!

My parents and Emma picked me up at the airport, and her face was absolutely priceless. Her eyes were wide, her mouth gaping, like she was just in shock that I was back. She didn’t smile or cry or anything – just stared at me. We ate lunch at Q. Cumbers and then played at a park for a while so the dogs could get out of the car (my parents watched them that week too). We decided to have dinner with my brother and sister-in-law so we went to Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America for a couple hours. Emma played with the Legos for a while and then we took her on some of the tamer rides. I think she enjoyed them…? I tried taking a picture of her on the carousel with my dad (she rode a rooster) but they turned out super blurry. Bah.

For dinner, we went over to Chris and Meg’s and then walked to Lund’s, where we got food from their deli. I had a craving for sushi (of the cooked kind) so I got aPhiladelphia Roll. For grocery store sushi, it was decent and it satisfied my craving. I didn’t end up leaving Chris and Meg’s place until 8:45, which meant I got home around 11 pm. It was a doozy of a drive home, but we made it!

We’re still cleaning and putting stuff away from the trip (camping is so.much.work.) but we got all of our meat processed with Travis’ parents last Sunday. Between the new meat and what we had left from last year, our freezer is completely full of game meat. And deer hunting is still coming up! We’re set for the apocalypse.

Our Top 15 Colorado Memories, Part 3

22 Mar

If you missed them, check out Part 1 and Part 2.

………………………..

Continuing on with my top 15 Colorado memories (in no particular order)…

11. Climbing Grays and Torreys

These were the only 14ers I climbed in Colorado, and it’s easy to do both in one day because they’re connected by a saddle. We camped out at the base of the mountain with our friends, Michael and Amy Leon. Unfortunately, it rained that night, and the seams on Michael and Amy’s tent were no longer waterproof. We ended up getting out our extra rainfly in the middle of the night to put on their tent.

DSC03402Early the next morning, we hit the trail. My back has never hurt so bad as it did on that hike – and I wasn’t even carrying a pack! I learned time and time again that being in good running shape does not equate to being in good hiking shape – that’s its own beast. But we made it to the top of both peaks and on the top of the 2nd mountain (Torreys?), the clouds cleared enough that we could see the amazing view.

DSC03424 DSC0340412. Camping with the Normans

Mark and Sarah were the first friends of ours from back home to come out and visit us in Colorado. We, of course, took them camping and hiking. There was still a decent amount of snow up where we were hiking, and on the way down the mountain, we slid down the snow on our shoes/butts – if you’ve never tried it, do! It’s really fun. We also gorged ourselves on Beau Jo’s pizza in Idaho Springs – something we did fairly often when coming home from the mountains.

DSC02427 DSC0242313. Christmas with the Brehenys in Estes Park

For Christmas 2012, Travis and I stayed in Denver instead of going to Minnesota. Our friends Paul and Carrie graciously invited us to join them at a condo in Estes Park with their 2 kids. It was so much fun and a nice change from spending the holiday by ourselves.

blendsgiving 021 (Large)14. Camping at Lutheran Valley Ranch

For Memorial Day 2011, our friend Randy let us camp on his property down at LVR near Colorado Springs. We did a couple of really nice hikes while we were there and the dogs unfortunately got quilled by a porcupine. They survived though.

memorial-weekend-2011-033-large1 memorial-weekend-2011-023-large115. Hiking Bear Peak and South Boulder Peak

Bear Peak is really close to Boulder. It got pretty steep near the top but it was so worth it for the view! The worst part of the hike was actually the way back…it was downhill the…whole…way.     Distance: 7.6 miles roundtrip     Elevation Gain: 2,461 feet

We hiked South Boulder Peak (separated from Bear Peak by a saddle) on July 4, 2008. It was a gorgeous day for a hike and a lot of the trail was in the shade. But this was by far one of the hardest hikes I’ve ever done–not the longest or the highest elevation but the most straight up (1,800 ft elevation gain in about 1.1 miles, to be exact). I didn’t think I would make it – I started getting dizzy and nauseated. But I made it to the peak, which I was able to enjoy for about 30 seconds before all the bugs at the top forced to me to leave.      Distance: 7 miles roundtrip    Elevation Gain: 2,949 feet

DSC02107 DSC02462 DSC02114And that’s all 15! Of course, we have many other great memories so this list is by no means exhaustive. Colorado is a great state, and I feel like we did a good job of enjoying what it has to offer. We didn’t get to everything on our ‘bucket list’ but hey, Colorado isn’t going anywhere!

Emma: 3 Weeks

29 Apr

Emma was quite a bit fussier during her third week than she has been up to this point. I think part of the problem is that I have an oversupply of milk, or it lets down really fast, so she has to gulp the milk down to keep up. Sometimes she ends up choking and coughing, which leads to her spitting quite a bit of it up. And she frequently acts frustrated and angry when nursing – something I read in The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding can be caused by an oversupply/fast letdown. On a slightly related note, she also hates a dirty diaper at the end of a feeding. She cries like her world is ending.

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Besides Emma being hard to console at times, and peeing on the changing table when her diaper’s off more times than I can count, perhaps the most challenging thing this week has been all the grunting Emma does at night. After she’s eaten, I get her to sleep and put her in her swing (where she sleeps for the time being). She sleeps peacefully for anywhere from 30-60 minutes, and then starts grunting/moaning. She’s not actually awake though. She’ll make a little noise, then be quiet for 5 minutes. A little more noise, then quiet.

I have been just letting her stay in her swing while she does it, because usually I have only gone to bed about 30-45 minutes beforehand. But it disrupts my sleep because every time she makes noise, I hold my breath, waiting for it to turn into crying. It seems like she starts making the noise when she’s ready to eat again, but not quite alert. Even though I do get up and feed her before she starts crying (which ends up being about 2-3 hours between feedings), I think it might just be best if I got up and fed her right when she started grunting, instead of waiting the 15-45 minutes that I do (but that’s easier said than done at 4 am).

IMG_4539 (Large)In other big news, Emma drank 3 ounces from a bottle this week and kept it down! Based on your guys’ advice, we bought a Dr. Brown’s bottle and that worked like a charm. She’s also started taking a pacifier, though that is something I definitely want to use more for emergencies (like when she wants to nurse when we’re out running errands), rather than on a regular basis. I had been worried about overfeeding Emma but reading The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and doing a little online research has convinced me that overfeeding an breastfed infant would be pretty hard to do. (I also asked our pediatrician about it and she said the same thing.)

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Travis’ family has been out here visiting since last Friday, so we’ve been able to get a little bit of break which has been really nice. Emma’s big outing this week was a short hike at Lair O’ the Bear on Saturday. The trail was a little bumpy but Emma slept through the whole thing. She woke up while we were eating lunch though, so I had to go nurse her in the car.

IMG_4537 (Large) IMG_4528 (Large) IMG_4530 (Large) IMG_4531 (Large) IMG_4532 (Large)All things considered, I feel like I’m getting into more of a groove with the whole motherhood and breastfeeding thing. I can recognize better when Emma is sending cues that she wants to eat soon, and getting up in the middle of the night has been slightly easier.

Oh and the weather here has been BEAUTIFUL lately so we’ve been spending more time outside and that definitely helps my mood.

Well, we’re off to Colorado Springs for the day! Happy Monday!

Weekend Fun

30 Jul

Two weekends ago, my mom was in town and we had a girls’ weekend. It also happened to be our birthdays – hers on Friday and mine on Sunday. Friday night, we took my mom out for dinner at a inconspicuously delicious Italian place called Abrusci’s.

On Saturday, we drove up to Georgetown and rode the Georgetown Loop Railroad.

We got tickets for the parlor car, which included a drink and chips or cookie for free!

The whole trip only took an hour, which was the perfect amount of time to experience the railroad without getting bored.

The day we were up there, the Triple Bypass bike race was going on (so named because they go over three mountain passes). That just looked brutal. But part of me thought it looked kinda fun… I’m not sure I’ll ever be into biking enough to want to do something like that though.

After the train ride, we continued on to Frisco and ate lunch at the Butterhorn Bakery. I’ve officially declared this my mountain spot. Everything is delicious and portion sizes are huge.

After lunch, we continued driving through Glenwood Canyon and then headed down to Aspen. It was a very beautiful drive, although a little south of Glenwood, it started pouring. Cars going both directions were driving through massive puddles and I was a little freaked out. But we survived and made it to Aspen by about 4 pm.

We stayed at the Aspen Meadows Resort (got a good deal through Hotwire) and it was a nice hotel but I wasn’t overly impressed. They did have a free shuttle to downtown so we took advantage of that and did some shopping scoffing. Holy crap things are expensive in Aspen! I kind you not – the cheapest store there was J. Crew. My mom actually found a sweater that cost $1,000. We ate dinner at Jimmy’s Bar & Restaurant. I had quinoa-stuffed zucchini cannelloni. It was good, albeit interesting. My mom ordered meatloaf and it was really good. Best meatloaf I’ve ever had.

The whole experience made me realize how wealth is completely relative. I never feel poor in Denver and yet I go to Aspen and feel completely out of my league.

But Aspen does have the whole beauty of nature thing down and that definitely made this trip worth it. On our way back the next morning, we drove up Independence Pass. So awesome. The road near Aspen is so windy and narrow that you’d think it would freak me out (and it probably would if I wasn’t driving) but I loved it. The views near the top are nice too.

And with that, our short girls’ weekend was over. My mom was in town for a school nutrition conference and it started that afternoon so while she went to that, I took a nap and bummed and then Travis, me and her all went out to eat downtown at The Keg in LoDo. It was a good, l0w-key birthday. My mom stayed until Thursday, so we had lots of time to hang out and chat. It was so fun having her out here!

This past weekend, Travis was helping a friend fix their swamp cooler so I took the pooches for an overly ambitious hike at Chautauqua in Boulder. I was planning to take the Gregory Canyon Trial to Ranger Trail to Saddle Rock Trail, for a total of 3.5 “hard” miles (according to the map). Well, apparently hiking at sea level a month ago doesn’t equate to hiking now at altitude. It didn’t help that I got going late so by the time we got out there at 11, it was 85 degrees and sunny on a shadeless trail. (There were plenty of other crazies out there though.)

About 30 minutes up the trail, I was only about halfway to the end of Gregory Canyon. Both the pooches and I were dying so even though I felt pathetic, I turned around. This was my first real hike in Colorado this year (and it’s almost August!?), so I can’t be too surprised that this was the outcome, especially after doing nothing for a month.

Turning around ended up being a good call because I’m pretty sure Katy overheated. And I did what you’re not supposed to do – give her a bunch of water. She puked at least 4 times. Oops. (She is fully recovered now though.) Charlie refused to drink any water. She’s too smart for me.

Even though my hike was shorter than planned, it was still pretty and I enjoyed getting out there.

That night, Travis and I went out to eat at Bonefish Grill and then played mini golf with some friends from church. We ended the evening in the best way – frozen yogurt. Mmm…

Sunday (yesterday), we went to church and then spent the afternoon watching the Olympics (I also took an hour and a half nap). It is so awesome to have relaxing weekends (definitely worth fighting the urge to be productive). Both Travis and I had very busy springs (him with studying, me with training) and we are both just ready to do nothing for a while. Ahh…

4th Annual Camping Trip

18 Jun

This past weekend was our 4th Annual Care Group Camping Trip (at our church, we call small groups ‘care groups’). Just like last year, we went up to Twin Lakes on Friday night and stayed until mid-morning Sunday. And just like the past 3 years, a good time was had by all. Travis and I are really blessed to have such great friends.

We accidentally brought along our smallest tent so it was a tight squeeze with 2 people + 2 dogs but we made it work. And it actually turned out really well because our tent got really warm at night and I slept great. Usually when we go camping, I sleep horribly because I’m freezing all night and can’t wait until it’s light outside. This time, we slept in until after 7 both mornings!

Rocks and dirt provide an endless source of amusement for boys.

Lots of marshmallows were roasted.

Saturday morning, we drove up Independence Pass and hiked a little at the top (Travis went fly fishing instead).

Gorgeous views.

I love wildflowers (darn that camera strap sneaking in there!).

After lunch back at camp, I read The Autobiography of George Muller for a couple of hours. I would’ve loved a nap but it was too hot in the tent.

Then we hiked the Colorado Trail down to the lake.

Boys love throwing rocks into the water.

Charlie was pooped! Katy was hot.

After dinner, a roasted marshmallow got a little out of control…

Charlie made a new friend, Logan, who also loves to play rough. They played for hours the first night and again some more on Sunday morning (Saturday, Charlie was too tired from our hikes to play.) Doesn’t she look ferocious in this picture?

Sunday morning, we had a little worship time.

Then we took a group shot (even though some of the group left early), packed up and headed home.

Good times!

Week 14 Training: 5/21 – 5/27

29 May

Somehow, after the long holiday weekend of sleeping in and relaxing, my brain is functioning even less well than it did on Friday. I don’t know how that’s possible.

Anyway, I am so glad that this is the peak week of marathon training – because that means tapering starts next week. Don’t get me wrong – I love running. I wouldn’t be training for a marathon if I didn’t. But I’m discovering that I don’t love running this much. I’m definitely more of a half marathon gal.

These past 3 weeks, I’ve had a really hard time feeling motivated to get my runs in. I’ve resorted to giving myself little pep talks, “Don’t give up now. You only have x weeks left until taper. You can do this for x more weeks. You’re almost there.”

And I am almost there. One week left. 3 days. 3 runs. I can do this.

It’s at times like this when I need to read and listen to things that pump me up for running. This Nike ad is one thing that does it for me:

You pretended the snooze button didn’t exist. You dragged your butt out of bed while others slept. While others ate their pancakes you had a feast of protein, glucose and electrolytes. You double-knotted. You left the porch light on and locked the door behind you. You ran 5Ks, 10Ks, 26.2 miles. Some days more, some days less. You rewarded a long run with a short run. And a short run with a long run. Rain tried to slow you. Sun tried to microwave you. Snow made you feel like a warrior. You cramped. You bonked. You paid no mind to comfort. On weekends. On holidays. You made excuses to keep going. Questioned yourself. Played mind games. Put your heart before your knees. Listened to your breathing. Sweat sunscreen into your eyes. Worked on your farmer’s tan. You hit the wall. You went through it. You decided to be man about it. You decided to be woman about it. Finished what you started. Proved what you were made of. Just kept putting mile after mile on your interval odometer. For 25 years, you ran. And we ran with you. How much farther will we go? As far as you will.

A few others:

If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Ok! Now that we’re pumped up to RUN, here was my training last week:

Monday: 4.1 mile easy run, untimed (FELT GREAT!)

Tuesday: 8.61 mile tempo run (1:39:18; 11:31/mile)

HOT run. Ran first 6 miles at or faster than GMP (11:18 average). Last 2.5 miles were easy pace (12:03 average). Walked .5 mile to cool down.

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 5.23 mile run w/4 x 800 easy (56:52; 10:52/mile)

I ran these 800s like fartleks – at a faster pace but not fast enough to require recovery. 800 times were 5:28, 5:44, 5:13, and 4:55. Not too shabby.

Saturday: 9.58 mile Long Run Part 1 (1:53:18; 11:49/mile)

Sunday: 4.59 mile Long Run Part 2 (55:42; 12:08/mile)

Total Running Miles = 32.11

…………………….

Yesterday, I went swimming at the outdoor pool near our house. It was awesome. I love swimming outside! (Never mind it was my first time swimming since…???) Since my run Sunday morning had pretty much sucked, I took yesterday off from running and Travis and I went on a little hike near Roxborough. We were going to go to the state park down there but they don’t allow dogs. Apparently, they’ve had 10 mountain lion sightings in the past week or 2. After hearing that, I’m not sure I ever want to go hiking there. Yikes.

After that, we went to a park and played frisbee and sand volleyball with some friends. It was a good weekend overall!

Here’s my plan this week:

Tuesday: 5 miles (pm)

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 10 miles (am)

Friday: Rest (my parents are coming to visit!)

Saturday: 20 miles

Sunday: walk/cross-train

I got tagged!

28 Oct

Lisa over at Cow Spots and Tales recently tagged me with two awards: The Versatile Blogger and I Dig Your Blog Award. I feel honored! Thanks Lisa!

What follows now is that I tell you 10 fun facts about myself. I may have used them all up for my birthday post, but here goes:

1. My favorite TV show of all time is Bones. If DVD sets of television shows didn’t cost me the arm I use for the TV remote, I would totally own every season. The season premiere this year is November 3rd. Can. not. wait.

2. It never even crossed my mind to move to Colorado until I got engaged to Travis and that was one of the grad schools he looked at. I always thought I’d move somewhere like NYC or Chicago, since that is where a lot of magazines and publishing houses are. Colorado has treated us well!

3. My favorite season is fall. I love being outside on a sunny fall day, the leaves changing and falling into big piles, wearing a thick wool sweater and doing “fall” stuff – like picking out pumpkins, drinking apple cider, sitting on hay, going to football games, etc. I’ve been too busy to any of that this year! (Boo on busyness.)

4. I used to hate dogs. Like “Don’t come near me, you slobbery, disgusting, stinky mess.” Even before we got Katy, I was very picky when it came to dogs. I liked some dogs, but not all dogs. I prayed for a long time that God would recognize my weird phobias and give us the perfect dog. And He did. Katy has been amazing. Charlie has too, although quite a bit more work. Still, I love those two dogs a LOT.

5. I’m not quite sure if I like hiking or not. I like nature and I like beautiful views but getting to the top is not always pleasant. Regardless, I still go on hikes because Travis enjoys it and we can do it together. I just need to learn how to keep a good attitude!

6. I worked at a drug store in high school. On Sundays when I worked 9-6, the pharmacist would give me and another girl a little “quiz” with trivia facts like what temperature does water freeze at. Whoever won got to choose whether they wanted to vacuum or refill the vial bins (which was a lot of work). We were pretty evenly matched. I usually wanted to do vials.

7. My dream vacation is to go to the Mediterranean — Italy, Greece, Spain, France. A coworker just went to Slovenia and Croatia and said it was absolutely beautiful. If I could go nowhere else, I’d choose there. And if I had to choose a country, it would probably be Greece – why? Because I love Greek food and it just looks like it would be awesome to visit!

8. My favorite author is C.S. Lewis. I haven’t read nearly all of his books but I have re-read some of the classics (Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, The Weight of Glory) and they are even better the second or third time around. I can’t wait to meet him in heaven!

9. I dislike strength training and weight lifting. I would much rather do hours of cardio than spend 30 minutes doing lunges, bicep curls, and other various exercises I have heard about but would probably kill myself doing. I wish I liked weight lifting… but I just don’t. So that is the one form of exercise that I have to force myself to do because I know it’s good for me. The rest, I really enjoy doing!

10. I am obsessed with cereal. If I could eat a balanced diet of cereal for 3 meals a day, I totally would. Some people crave ice cream – I crave cereal. When I am eat for emotional reasons, I eat cereal. I just LOVE it. I don’t know why. My favorite kinds are Honey Bunches of Oats (best with peaches), Oatmeal Squares, Frosted Mini Wheats, Honey Nut Cheerios, and Kashi GoLean Crisp.

So there you have 10 “fun” facts about me.

And now, I need to pass the kudos on to 10 blogs that I (truly!) dig (and stalk) and find versatile:

B at B. in the Know

Ana Helena Campbell

Brie at Brie Fit

Kristina at Kristina J.

Jen at She Collects

Katie at True Things

Callie at The Wannabe Athlete

Sarah at Once Upon a (L)ime

SkinnyRunner

Kate at Fitting Into the Windy City & My Clothes

If you don’t want to participate, I won’t consider you a curmudgeon. I’m sure your blogs have been nominated a lot more often than mine has!