Meg's (Ad)Ventures

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Little Mountain Air

It's so interesting how a 3-day weekend can feel like you took a month off of work, isn't it? Going back to work Tuesday after such a break was so bizarre. With a week of school left, I felt rejuvenated and energized to finish off the year with a bang.

Chris, Sofia and I went to the mountains this past weekend with our neighbors, Jen and Randal. They have a friend with a HUGE house in Grand Lake, just north of Winter Park and just south of Estes Park. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L! The village, yes village, of Grand Lake only has 447 residents and is nestled in the center of the Frazier Valley. It is a typical old style mountain town - one main street, old west-style store fronts, no stoplights, tons of cottages and trees beyond where the eye can see. With moutain tops surrounding, a crystal lake provides the frosting on the cake for this sweet little spot. It was simply heavenly.

We went up early Saturday morning, taking our time to enjoy the scenery of Berthad Pass and the Continental Divide. Once we arrived at the house, we were surprised to find that it was actually a house! Most mountain homes are small cabins...not this bad boy. It was like 3000 square feet on about 2 acres of land! Needless to say, we had plenty of space. After naps all around, we gathered our stuff and went for an afternoon hike. It was a bit chilly, but we didn't mind. We drove up into Arapahoe National Forest (south end of Rocky Mountain National Park) and parked the car at a trail head. The hike was a pretty easy rolling path and took us over a small river, into a valley and then up, up to where there was snow! So fun! One of the best parts was checking out all the different types of animal prints and poop. hehe Moose poop is the most hilarious of them all! We happened to run into a forest ranger who told us we had to be on the lookout for bears. While we didn't see any bears, we did see a moose on the way back to the cabin. Sofia really enjoyed the hike as well, exploring the sage brush and pointing out one thing after another.

Sunday, while Jen and Randal went for a training ride for their upcoming Ride the Rockies bike race (600 miles over 5 days!) Chris, Sofia and I headed into town for some bumming around. We walked in and out of stores, played on the play structure and enjoyed some of the best beer we have ever had at the local brewery(Barley Wine Beer and a Scoth Before we knew it, we were headed home with a stop in Winter Park for dinner.

All-in-all, it was fantastic weekend. It is amazing what mountain air can do for one's spirit.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Michigan Trip

After some technical difficulties, we are the blog that is. Sofia and I returned to Colorado last Sunday after a short week trip to Michigan to visit family and friends. We arrived in the middle of construction at the GR airport. We grilled out at GrandMary and G-pa's house (my parents Mary and David) for a postponed Mother's Day dinner with Grandma Debbie, Grandpa Brian, Auntie Pickles and her boyfriend Jake. We had grilled pork tenderloin and my special grilled asparagus. Everyone was amazed to see Sofia eat her weight in pork with her new trick, a fork. The concentration she uses is downright hilarious.

Wednesday was filled with a trip to the old mall and then down to Allegan to visit with Papau, Yia Yia and Uncles Quinten and Walker. Even Auntie Pickles came down for dinner. The boys were great with Sofia and they got along like just like family members should. Sofia really liked to stare at Papau with amazement. It was a great visit that no one wanted to end. Once we get pictures from Dean and Rose (hint, hint) we will post some.

Thursday was a vacation day for Daddio . I got to spend some time with my brother-from-another-mother, Penni down at my old college stomping ground, Kalamazoo. It was a long night with lots of laughs and new and old memories mixed in with some local beer I have been craving for years. I wish there were pictures to show, but unfortunately none are conveniently available. Sofia was a doll with the Daniel grandparents. She played well and warmed right up to my folks that she hadn't other than through our web cam since Thanksgiving. She when right to bed and slept all through the night!

Friday was more family time back in GR and then another night out with the Grand Rapids crew. My mom, dad, Sofia and I went out to the Bonefish Grill for an excellent order of Mahi Mahi stuffed with crab and scallops. Lindsey and Jaffer even drove all the way from Ohio for a weekend visit. We had A VIP booth at the BOB and again, no pictures of the night life were available. It was amazing to see most of my friends and catch up with their lives.
Saturday the Daniel crew all went downtown with intentions of catching the "Bob the Builder" exhibit at the Children's Museum, but while driving downtown Sofia cashed out for her daily nap. With some improvisation, we ended up at the Grand Rapids Art Museum and caught the Andy Worhall exhibit. Saturday night was filled with more grilling and traditional card playing at the Daniel Household.

Sunday, I was treated to G-pa's classic biscuits and gravy (just as good as I remembered it to be) and a potluck lunch at Grandma Debbie's. Before I knew it, Sofia and I were on our way back to Denver to see our wife and mama. Here are a few pictures to highlight the trip.
Sofia loved sitting in this rocking chair just her size!
Asleep in the hammock. Remind anyone of a famous scene from the Wizard of Oz?
Sofia's surfboard pose at the park in downtown GR.
Sofia playing at the trucks in the mall.
Reading with G-pa.
Stalling going to bed with Aunt Lindsey.
Run! Here comes Daddio!
Afternoon family bocce ball tourney. Sofia kicked all our butts.
Classic David Daniel. Sanitizing every square inch of touchable space to get ready for Sofia's arrival.
Scramblin' eggs at Woodland Mall in GR.
Story time with GrandMary & Jaffer...again...stalling bedtime!
Peek-a-boo! I see you!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Me and the Crew

Last week, my friend Kate noted that her hubby was going to a conference and leaving the "cool kids" behind. This week, Chris and Sofia did the same (me equalling cool kid). :) It's all good though. Jack, Layla and I know how to have a serious party. In fact, Layla had so much fun on her first day of the house to herself that when I took her to the vet today, she came home looking like this...

(Layla is really okay. She had to get her teeth cleaned and have a small mass removed from her lips, thus the cone.)

Seriously though, my sweet peas are having a FABULOUS time in Michigan visiting family and friends. Sofia was a champ on the flights there not even crying once! She seemed to be enthralled with the passenger safety manual for the bulk of one flight. I think that is great! I mean, she will forever now be prepared to sit in an exit row seat or use the inflatable oxygen mask without hesitation. We train only winners in this household! Chris seems to be handling single-handed parenthood with a breeze as well. I'm totally not surprised. He rocks at being a dad. I'm sure that it is special for all the families to see him in action with our tiny tazmanian devil. :)

This week is especially busy at work for me with the end of the year 8th grade dinner and dance. Honestly folks, this event has been like planning a wedding. No joke. I sent the official count to the caterer (yes, I did say caterer) today: 260. With a 50 foot, 15-string ceiling of white Christmas lights, white covered tables, silve star confetti and white and silver balloons, our Starry, Starry Night will hopefully be a hit. Let's just hope the DJ shows up on time and brings only radio edits of the music.

Well, I'm off. I just got a call from one of my girlfriends to go grab a bite to eat at one of my favorite dives: The Cherry Cricket. Mmmm a beer and a burger on a Wednesday night. Right now, that is about the only thing that beats out American Idol. :)

Love to you all!

P.S. I treated myself to a haircut and color last night at the Aveda Academy downtown. It was so much fun to be pampered! I am really pleased with both the cut and the color (a double miracle!). I will post a picture when Chris returns home with the camera.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Colorado Mama of the Year!

So there was a good chance that I was going to have to work on Mother's Day this year. I am working on an elementary school remodel and we have been asked to install a stinky, smelly tar roof system over the weekend to avoid disturbance with the students and staff during their school musical and one of their end-of-the-year award ceremonies. The original plan involved Saturday and Sunday so our clan celebrated Dia De Madres the Sunday before. Meg had her favorite coffee cake and then we took off to the Rockies Game and then a stroll downtown to the Cinco de Mayo festival. Just so you know, Denver host the largest festival for this celebration in the nation! It was a great day to celebrate our Colorado Mama!
Sporting our home team colors! It must have worked because the Rock's beat the Dodgers 7-2. Meg even saw her first "Pickle" play with her favorite player Matt Holliday falling to a tag out. But it did advance a runner to third...
The jumbo-tron doesn't know what it is missing!
Too much excitement for this little one. We made two stops to two different stores to find this umbrella stroller for the game. So many people commented on Sofia sleeping and how cute she was. Rockie's fans sure aren't lairs!

So I did work today (Saturday), but we got everything done so no work is needed tomorrow. Looks like Mama Meg is getting two Mothers's Days this year. I can't complain because she is such a great mother and takes care of Sofia and I in so many ways. Tomorrow is Egg Benedict and a long bike ride. Thank you again Meg for all that you do, day in and day out. We love you!
I was able to capture the elusive "in bed" picture. (unbelievable huh Cyndi?) Sofia and I joined mom for breakfast in bed. Eggs Benedict is a Daniel favorite for special breakfasts. Now I just need to find a "Special Day" plate like the one we had growing up! Happy Mother's day to all of our mothers and to any mother who comes across this blog today!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandma Katie!

It is only fitting that May 1st is Grandma Katie's birthday. Typically a day known for it's refreshing spirit with spring officially on it's way, Katie rises with the wind as she refreshes the spirits of all she encounters. She is so dear to all of us and such an inspiration as she continues to battle cancer for the 4th time with the voracity of a tiger. In fact, in the face of dreary results just a few months ago, she chose to keep her head held high and fight harder than ever before. Just recently, her doctors were stunned by her amazing cell counts and positive reactions to chemotherapy.

Katie, we love you and are so happy you are with us to celebrate another 29th birthday!

Happy Birthday!!

Holding Sofia on her First Christmas.

Look at this family! What a legacy Katie and Clint have created!