Tag Archives: winter

A Still Winter Morning

5 Feb

IMG_5993This past weekend, I went to a Women’s Retreat at a place called Camp Lebanon. There were about 100-150 other women there, 20 from my church. I had an amazing time. The speaker was engaging and taught straight from the Bible, the worship music was powerful, and the weather was fantastic so I got to spend a lot of time outside.

Saturday morning, I went on a walk outside before breakfast. It was a quiet, still winter morning. The only sounds were a gentle breeze lightly touching the tips of evergreens, the crunch-crunch of my winter boots on the snow-covered roads, and an occasional sparrow singing its morning song of glory.

I was new to the camp, so I just set off adventuring, seeing what there was to see. I found the zipline (closed in the winter), the snow-tubing hill, a quintessential outhouse in the woods (complete with half moon on the front door), and a slope heading down to the lake.IMG_5995 I walked down to the edge of the frozen water, but didn’t dare venture further onto the lake without anyone else around. Fortunately, I discovered a trail that followed the shoreline. The snow on the trail was packed down enough that I didn’t need snowshoes.IMG_5994I amused myself by trying to guess which animal had left which footprints. I saw (I think) evidence of a rabbit, a turkey, and a deer. 

I stopped every now and then to look out at the lake and the changing colors of the sky.

The refrain from Frozen 2 was stuck in my head–“Show yourself”–and I realized that God was doing just that. Showing His glory, His power, His majesty.

My heart was so full on that walk. I rejoiced in the play of shadows and light on the trees from the sun just peeking over the horizon.IMG_6001 I stopped and gazed at a tree trunk with bark in a wavy pattern.IMG_5996 I took pictures, trying to capture the feeling I had so I could look back one day and remember. Remember how He met me out there.IMG_6005Later I read Psalm 96:11-13 and my soul said, “Yes! That is what I felt on that winter morning walk.”

“Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
    let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12     let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
13     before the Lord, for he comes,
    for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness,
    and the peoples in his faithfulness.”

This practice of gratitude, this sleuthing for God’s glory (as Ann Voskamp would say), it transforms a life!

You’ve got to be kidding me.

8 Mar

Remember how my last baby shower almost got snowed out?

Well, here’s the forecast for my baby shower tomorrow in Denver:



What are the freaking odds?

It has only snowed (for real) in Denver once all ‘winter’. And it was on the day we were flying back from Florida. And now this.


Camping Indoors

27 Oct

So you may have heard that Denver and northern Colorado got a bunch of snow dumped on us yesterday. At our house, we got about six inches. Which usually isn’t that big of a deal. But six inches of heavy, wet snow – not gonna lie, it’s kind of a big deal. There are tree branches down everywhere. It looks like a huge wind storm came through here.

Since everyone else in Denver has been squealing in delight over the dramatic difference from Tuesday to Wednesday, let me join in the fun. Here is a picture I took Monday evening of the gorgeous fall colors in Denver this year:

I don’t know what it is about this year – perhaps the lack of wind, the perfect fall temperatures, or the late frost – but the fall colors here this year have been AMAZING. Since moving out here, I’ve said every year that the fall colors are better in Minnesota or the east coast because they get reds and oranges, while we only get yellow from the Aspens and green from the evergreens. Well, this year has proved me wrong. Driving to work, I’ve been awed at the range of colors – lots of reds, oranges, vibrant yellows. Where did all these come from? I wonder. And how did I never notice this before? I talked to a girl I work with and she said the same thing – the fall colors have been unusually beautiful this year. Yay for Denver!

Tuesday, it started raining. I had planning on doing 2 miles of speedwork and since the dogs go crazy when they don’t get a walk, I decided to brave the cold rain. I’m glad I did because it was actually a really enjoyable run – I jogged .5 mile, ran fartleks for a mile, then jogged the last .5 mile. The dogs got very wet but I think they enjoyed being out.

Wednesday morning, we woke up to this:

(Those pictures are at my office.)

I was loving it. I love snow. Every time I look outside and see whiteness, I feel warm and cozy. That is, until our power goes out and we have no heat and it’s 15 degrees outside. Then I feel cold.

Actually, it wasn’t that bad (yes, our power did go out and we were without heat all night). We ate McDonald’s for dinner and put all our perishables from the refrigerator and freezer into coolers and set them out on the back porch. We had care group so we were in someone else’s warm house until it was time to go to bed. Then we piled another comforter on our bed and dressed like we were camping (for me, that mean long underwear, fleece pants, wool socks, long sleeve t-shirt, and warmest-ever sweatshirt).  Amazingly, we both got too warm during the night. And if you know me, that happens like once every 10 years. Amazingly, it has happened twice in the past 2 weeks. ::Mind reeling::

I think situations like this are actually kind of fun. They’re an adventure. It’s also funny to see how ingrained some habits are. Like anytime I’d walk into a room, even though I knew the power was out and the light wouldn’t go on, I’d flip the light switch before I knew what I was doing. And I was actually sort of surprised that the light didn’t come on until I remembered that the power was out. I also found myself thinking about making a cup of tea because the coffee pot wouldn’t work, and then realizing the stove wouldn’t work either because it’s also electric. Same with the microwave. And the toaster. Cereal for breakfast, it is.

On the bright side, I got to have a Pumpkin Latte this morning! This whole no-power thing isn’t half bad…

Although I did blow off time in the Word and writing my book (reading in the dark and being cold did not sound appealing) as well as a morning workout that was to replace my normal routine. I’m going to a Silpada jewelry party tonight and then my brother’s band, Peter Wolf Crier, is playing at the Hi-Dive (if you’re in Denver, you should come!!) so no workout today. Getting back into the routine of things is presenting a challenge.

Our power is supposed to be restored by noon today. So I’ll be praying that happens! Or else we’ll be camping indoors again.

Has your power ever gone out for an extended period of time?

In a nutshell… Boots!

24 Oct

This is a strange feeling – being rested on a Monday.

How did that happen? By following my plan of relaxing Friday night, doing (7 loads of) laundry Saturday and cleaning Sunday. It worked beautifully.

The weekend in a nutshell:


“Cooked” a frozen pizza for dinner.

Researched boots online for 2 hours.

Gave up finding cute, warm boots.

Watched Parenthood.



Had coffee with Cathy.

Scored cute winter boots (detailed below).

Started laundry (insert between each of the following).

Returned overdue books.

Bought groceries.




Walked the dogs.

Enjoyed girls’ night (we watched a Bollywood movie – love it!).



Went to church.

Cleaned and tidied house.

Vacuum-sealed the last of the elk meat.



Spend time with God in prayer.

Went to the church potluck and meeting.

Watched Desperate Housewives.


There were other things I was tempted to do – clean this, put away that, weed out this drawer, organize that closet. But I didn’t. Instead, I intentionally stuck to my plan and while laundry was being laundered, I laid on the couch and read my book (right now, it’s We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates). And I am so glad that I gave myself that permission. I feel refreshed and rejuvenated today – but probably also because of my great time with God yesterday and today. I’ll blog about that later this week.

First things first – I am way more exciting about my new winter boots than I am about the details of elk hunting so I’m pushing hunting pics out until tomorrow.

So the story behind these boots is that the only pair of real winter boots I own are too small for me (and I won’t wear them in public). I got them a LONG time ago (high school?). The boots I have been wearing for the past 7 years are a pair of fashion boots that I bought while working at a department store in college. They don’t have any insulation and they are only kinda-sorta waterproof. So while I have worn them for snowshoeing, tromping around in the snow, and they have been very loyal to me, I’m not going to lie – my feet get pretty cold wearing them. As in, very cold. No insulation = no warmth.

Travis’ cousin emailed us to say that he could get a great discount on new Columbia gear through the store he works at, but only through the end of the month. So I started looking at Columbia boots, and quickly discovered all of the cute ones only had 200 g of Thinsulate! (Travis said that 400 g would be a bare minimum.) Don’t these people know that a lot of women want to be warm and cute? (And actually, Columbia only carries one boot with more than 200 g of Thinsulate that I could see). As I looked at other brands, those too were only 200 g. The only warm boots I could find looked so… booty. Do cute, warm boots exist anywhere? 

I didn’t want to spend $150, or even $100, or heck even $50 on boots I wouldn’t want to wear in public. I mean, how often do I go elk hunting or snowshoeing – twice a year, combined? I needed boots I could wear casually around town and not look like a goober. Anyway, after 2 hours of unfruitful searching (although I did really love these, but they didn’t have my size – single tear), I decided to just go to Dick’s Sporting Goods to try on boots in person.

And wouldn’t you know, on the 75% off clearance table, like a beacon of light, I saw these gems:

So comfy. So cute. So warm. So CHEAP.

Originally $149. I got them for $40.76. 

Since they were on clearance, I couldn’t find out how much insulation they had. I tried to look it up on Travis’ phone while we were in the store but to no avail, since they are no longer being made by Sorel (why, I don’t know because I have read nothing but rave reviews of them online). I tried on a bunch of other boots and felt “eh” about them. Plus, these were so cheap. And Sorel has a reputation for making a very high-quality, long-lasting boot. (In fact, that’s what brand my old-boots-that-I-won’t-wear are.)

We decided it was too sweet of a deal to pass up. Plus, their clearance items are returnable so I figured I could do a little more research on them and if I found a bunch of bad reviews, I could just return them. But the reviews are all good so I think they’re keepers.

I heart finding clearance deals, especially for things I would have paid full price for.

So if you have any questions about winter boots, I am now your expert.

What do you wear on your feet during the winter?

Winter in Colorado. Grrr…

15 Dec

Today, when we left for work, the temperature was actually 0 degrees. It  has gotten cold here over the weekend. But I LOVE it!! Finally, it feels like winter. And the snow that fell over the weekend is actually sticking to the ground.

Speaking of that darned snow, you’d think that the snowplows would be out scraping the white stuff off the roads and highways since the sun is not really doing its usual job of melting it all before noon. But oh no. They are not. They are still on vacation. We have seen a grand total of TWO snowplows out since Saturday. The roads are like one big skating rink and the city of Denver and its suburbs are doing NOTHING.


That’s why I am typing this at 5:19 PM, sitting at work, waiting for my dear, sweet husband to come pick me up. He was supposed to be 40 minutes ago. He was supposed to be at a doctor’s appointment (for his cat allergy) 10 minutes ago.

Doesn’t look good.

Living in Minnesota for 24 years of my life, I grew accustomed to the wonderful service of snowplowing. Sure, sometimes it was frustrating to have to move your car to a different side of the street so it didn’t get towed. Or to have to shovel the giant pile of snow at the end of your driveway that the snowplow oh-so-conveniently created. Or to get plowed in to your garage if it happened to be on an alleyway.

What I wouldn’t do for those snowplows now. Or at least some salt! They use this environmentally friendly liquid stuff. News flash gooper scoopers: It doesn’t hurt the environment AND it doesn’t hurt the snow! It doesn’t have ANY effect on the snow.

Ok, rant over.