Playing Catch Up

It does NOT feel possible that tomorrow is the first day of November. October went by in a FLASH, and boy was it full! I’ve got lots of content planned, but here’s a little preview/life update in the meantime!

This wasn’t technically in October, but I hosted a sprinkles-themed baby shower for my friend Brianna and her baby girl Mallorie, and it was so perfect!! I’ll share more pictures soon. I can’t wait to meet Mallorie in a few short weeks!

Daniel and I got to take a trip to Las Vegas at the beginning of the month, because I EARNED IT. Still doesn’t feel real to say that, even though I’ve got the pictures and everything to prove it. I met some goals in my MONAT business this year and earned this trip, for free. We stayed at the Planet Hollywood resort, and it did not disappoint!

Fitz continued to be adorable, like always.

Speaking of adorable – I got to welcome the most perfect human into the world last week, and my heart still explodes every time I look at this picture. Say hello to my “nephew”/self-appointed secondary child by proxy, Cole Alan! ♥♥♥

I also got to check something off of my 30 By 30 list – throwing someone a surprise party! And what an EPIC surprise party it was. My friend Sheridan wanted to throw one for her husband, Jeremy, and asked me to help. It was incredibly nerve-wracking keeping the secret and hoping it didn’t get ruined, but we pulled it off! Jeremy was very surprised, and we had a blast celebrating with everyone. And it’ll be really hard to top a Stranger Things theme.

What a lovely month it was! Stay tuned for more detailed posts and lots more photos of our October adventures :) 

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Jen’s “In the Woods” Baby Shower

I don’t know if I can explain how much I loved this baby shower. I know I say this about every party I host, but seriously – this is my favorite shower I’ve ever thrown. And while the theme was *amazing*, it’s my favorite because it was for my cousin’s / best friend’s / essentially second sister’s baby boy. Baby Cole makes his grand entrance THIS MONTH, and I am positively giddy!

When Jennifer told me she was pregnant, I knew I was going to throw her a shower. There wasn’t any question about it. I only had one problem: what theme? I had plenty of my own ideas, but none of them were quite right. Jennifer didn’t have strong feelings about a special theme, but she finally decided on Dr. Seuss, and I started planning. But while Pinterest-ing one night, I came across this:

ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME.

I took one look at that gorgeous mountain shelf and it was love at first sight. I couldn’t bring myself to do a Dr. Seuss shower after finding such a perfect theme for an outdoorsy, mountain-loving couple, and I texted Jennifer just that. I spent the next hour lost on the Internet and found a wealth of adorable ideas. But none as special as that mountain shelf. So I called my brother-in-law, Sam, who immediately agreed to make me one of my own, and it turned out SO great! Just look at it!! ⇓⇓

I can’t wait to use this thing again – thank you so much, Sam!

I also owe HUGE thanks to my mom for all of her help and advice, and to Vicki Branstetter for opening her home and letting me host the shower there. It was the perfect place to celebrate with the Briggs’ families and friends, and I’m so happy with how everything came together!

The apple bar was a personal request of Jennifer’s, and easily my favorite part of the menu! For the dips, we melted chocolate, white chocolate, caramels, and peanut butter chips in mason jars and kept them warm in the crock pot.

*Tip: soak your apples in 7-Up right after slicing to keep them from turning brown!

As far as the decorations, my favorite pieces (besides the mountain shelf) were the “Crown Yourself” chalkboard and the Mama Bear balloons. The woodsy theme was very easy to find decorations for, and a lot of the things I used came out of my own home!

Jennifer isn’t the kind of person who enjoys being the center of attention, so I kept the games very low-key and fun. We played “Who Knows Mom Best” and Baby Shower Bingo as she opened gifts. At any point during the shower, guests could write a message on a diaper for Jennifer to read during late-night diaper changes. I also picked out a baby book for guests to sign as the guest book, and the shower invitations encouraged guests to bring a book instead of a card to help build up the Briggs library!

Guests also wrote their addresses on envelopes to make sending thank-you notes easier for Jennifer, and as they left the party, they took home mini s’mores kits to “fuel their future adventures.”

What an amazing afternoon! The only thing that would have made this party better would be if people had eaten more food so we didn’t have as much to clean up. Haha!

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Grandma’s girls. :)

I’m so thankful that we got to shower my new nephew (and my oldest friend) with so many cute and useful gifts. I can’t wait to meet him, and I can’t wait to watch my best friend become a mom.

jen and stace

Seriously, how perfect are they. ♥

The next time I talk about Baby Cole…….he’ll be in my arms! Eeek!! I hope you’ll join me in praying for a healthy mama, a healthy baby, and a calm daddy.  And if you need help planning a party on a budget, picking a theme, or figuring out a menu or decorating scheme…let me know! I’d love to schedule a consultation (a fancy word for “let’s go get ice cream and hang out”).

Married Monday: Better With Age

In the last few months, I’ve spent a lot of time reminiscing about my relationship with Daniel. For one thing, we celebrated our 5-year anniversary in June, which felt like a big milestone. Second of all, we were invited to a TON of weddings this summer, and weddings always remind me of my own. Third, as of August 2nd, we have known each other for exactly 8 years – WHAT. And finally, I’ve been getting lots of “On this day, __ years ago” reminders on social media, including cute cheesy photos from when we were dating. All of these things have made me hyper-aware of how much has changed since 2009.

I started noticing a pattern to my train of thought a month or two ago. Nearly every time, it went something like this:

(1) See a crazy-in-love couple at a wedding (or young D+L in an old photo)
(2) Sigh sentimentally and remember when we were in that season
(3) Start wishing that we were back in that season; that we were still disgustingly sweet with each other; that Daniel still did silly mushy things like drawing me a message in the sand in Haiti: ⇓⇓

Granted: I fully realize that we are not that old (I barely feel like I’m qualified to be an adult) and we haven’t done decades of life together yet, but we have experienced some significant shifts from the beginning of our friendship to now. Some of those changes were good! Some were not so good. Some were just unexpected. Things are not the same as they were 8 years ago. Probably every married couple who is past the honeymoon period can admit to missing the pureness of that “newly in love” season at least once after the routine of married life sets in, unless they aren’t self-aware or are lying to themselves. But is it possible that we’ve missed something in the midst of our reminiscing?

(Hint: the answer is yes.)

I remember with powerful clarity how it felt to be dating, engaged, and newly married to Daniel. True, it was also hard because of how steep our learning curve was, but good grief were we crazy about each other! Truly, wildly, wonderfully crazy. Sometimes, I find myself wondering where those two people went. No one had to teach us to be so excited about each other back then; we just were. Everything seemed to come naturally. We found so much joy in being together, and it was unmistakable (and probably annoying) to everyone else around us. So…if it all came about so easily before, then what changed? What is it that makes those days seem so far out of reach?

I’m willing to bet that the reason a lot of marriages fall apart within the first few years is because people are chasing that craziness, that *feeling* you have when you’re in a new relationship: fuzzy, romantic, exciting, your heart beating faster and/or skipping a beat, etc. There’s so much to learn, and so much to share! But the longer you spend time with someone, the less mystery (and risk) is involved. You learn each other’s quirks, and not as much surprises you anymore. Of course, no matter how long you’re married, you’ll never know absolutely everything there is to know about the other person. After all, you married someone who will continue growing and changing for the rest of their life and the rest of your marriage. But after years of doing life with somebody, the ‘stones unturned’ are fewer and farther between. For many couples, this is exactly when the seemingly harmless weeds of complacency, comparison, and apathy can begin to sprout. And the longer they are allowed to grow, the deeper the roots.

I wish my husband would…
I remember when my wife used to…
She never ____ anymore.
If only he acted more like…

How many of you have thought something like this before? If you have, it may be comforting to know that you’re not alone. But don’t get too comfortable just yet. Every time you let yourself dwell on a thought like that, it’s like slowly cracking open a tiny window in the very back of the basement of your heart, providing the perfect opportunity for all kinds of filth to crawl inside and build a nest. Ever heard the phrase “Give an inch and they’ll take a mile”? Satan will wiggle through even the tiniest crack in your marriage and immediately start laying traps. Bet on it.

See, the thing about Satan is that he isn’t simply a nuisance. His goal isn’t to try to annoy you like an obnoxious little brother. He wants to destroy you. God created marriage to be THE picture of His love for His people – an unconditional, self-sacrificing love. A healthy marriage is a strong, impenetrable fortress, shining the purifying light of God over a dark, starving world. So, it makes sense, then, that Satan would do everything in his (limited) power to attack marriages and sabotage as many as possible.

I believe one of the biggest ways he accomplishes his sabotage is by convincing us to believe the lie that if things aren’t easy, if things don’t keep coming naturally, if we don’t *feel* the same way we used to…that we made the wrong choice, and things wouldn’t be like this if we had married the “right” person. Let me repeat: THIS. IS. A. LIELiterally nobody is the “right person.” Everyone you meet is radically flawed and eternally hopeless without God, and the salvation and sanctification He offers is our only hope for a good marriage. Those wonderful fuzzy things you feel when you give your heart to someone and receive theirs in return – that is a gift from God, and I’m really thankful we get to enjoy it! But the even better news is that those feelings are just the tip of the iceberg of all that God has to teach us about love. God’s gifts don’t culminate in the moment we get married. We aren’t doomed to a downhill trek off of the mountaintop of our wedding day.

It’s easy to idealize the beginning of a relationship. And yes, it is a really sweet, special season! But when I finally took the time to sit down and think about where I’m at in my marriage, I realized something. I wouldn’t go back. Sure, we were nuts about each other, but we also hadn’t had the chance to prove that we meant what we said in our vows – “in good times and in bad.” In the beginning of a relationship, you’re still trying to impress each other with how awesome you are, and you probably don’t spend much time pointing out each other’s selfishness. Being married for 5 years and together for 8, we’ve gone through some STUFF. And Daniel telling me he loves me means infinitely more now than it did years ago, before we butted heads and hurt each other and experienced real conflict. Now, when he says “I love you,” it carries a much heavier weight. Now, our relationship has a steady foundation of covenant vows. Now, we have a much longer track record of forgiveness and reconciliation, which makes that “I love you” mean more than “I love how you make me feel” or “I love how attracted I am to you” or “I love all these bubbly love feelings blah blah blah.” I have done things that have really hurt him, and the fact that he still says “I love you” and means it, in spite of my bad choices and unkind words…well, nothing can top that.

God has shown both of us the depths of His love for us, which is the only thing that allows us to love each other well. Loving someone because of what they have done to make you happy is shallow and worthless compared to loving someone because of what God has done for you. And even though I will always look back on our past with fondness, I would much rather have this kind of love – deepening, perfecting, maturing, secure – than the giggly, consuming, emotion-driven feelings from years ago. It makes me teary-eyed to think of how I’ll love him in 10, 20, or (God willing) 50 years.

The goodness of marriage has nothing to do with how you feel about your spouse at any given moment. Love is an action verb, a daily choice. Much like anything else really worth having, marriage requires effort! It’s more than just sharing a bed, a refrigerator, and a mailbox. It’s more than changing your name and including another person in your plans for your life. Marriage costs you. It will cost you yourself, absolutely everything you have to give. That shouldn’t really come as any surprise, though, because God sacrificed the most precious thing He had – Jesus – to make us holy. In doing that, He set the example for how we should act in our marriages: willing to sacrifice the things we hold most dear, putting “I” aside for the sake of “we.” Whenever my selfish flesh tries to buck up and fight for its rights, I find comfort in remembering that our God is a good God, and when He created marriage, He called it very good. Meaning that each season of our lives together – the “truly, wildly, wonderfully crazy” part and the “new parents” part and the “mid-life crisis” part and the “retired grandparents” part – every single season is a good gift from a good God, and we can trust that His grace will sustain us through it all.

This post is part of “Married Monday,” a series I started in order to expose myths and lies we’ve been told about married life, celebrate moments of joy and growth, chew on hard truths and sprinkle them with grace, and remind others (and myself!) that marriage doesn’t work without Christ in it. I have lots of ideas, but I’d love your input too! What topics would you like to see covered?

Post-Keto Food I’m Dreaming About

If you haven’t already heard, I’ve been doing Keto since the end of June! My first blog post about it is here, and you can see my first before-and-after shot on my Instagram. My husband and I started Keto because we were in a total rut with our eating habits and needed something intense to snap us out of it. And it absolutely has. Daniel lost 23 pounds before he quit, and I’ve lost about 25! But my last 10 pounds have been the hardest to lose, and I am seriously about to scream. Daniel quit Keto early because he had already hit his weight goal and actually lost more than he meant to. Terrible problem, right?? Excuse me while I go punch something. Annnnnyway, I decided to keep going because I was so close to my goal. At first, it was fine doing Keto alone. Daniel told me not to cook anything different, which was really sweet. The next time I went to the store, I bought him a few snacks that I knew he missed (which he obviously appreciated). But as the weeks have gone by, I have found myself growing more and more impatient with my weight loss plateau. Y’all, I’ll be honest – I’m about done with this. I miss food like WHOA. Over the last week or so, I’ve been working on a list of all the specific things I can’t wait to eat as soon as I’m done with Keto, and OMGlookatallthecarbs:

French fries. (Far and away, the thing I’ve missed most.)
Biscuits.
Pancakes.
Pasta.
Warm, melty chocolate chip cookies.
All versions of popcorn.
Donuts.
Tortillas.
Chips.

And weirdly, that’s pretty much it! If you read my other post about all the foods I gave up in my first month, you’ll notice that list is significantly longer. I’ve been surprised by how many things I thought I would miss more that I haven’t really missed much at all. Even though we had to give up a lot of things, Keto was not that hard of a diet. We’ll definitely return to it in the future we we need a jumpstart again. In the meantime…….I’M SO READY TO BE DONE. Pray that these last 4-5 pounds will finally come off. And pray that I will have self-control not to stuff myself with carbs and gain all that weight back in the first three days.

For my buddies doing Keto – you’re doing so great!! Don’t give up!

What It’s Like to Own a Dog

Oddly enough, having a dog is exactly what I thought it would be and nothing like what I thought it would be, all at the same time. I know it sounds weird and confusing, but it’s just true! I spent almost 26 years of my life wanting a dog, and I felt exactly as excited as I expected to feel when we got Fitz. And yet my expectations for what it would be like to actually own a dog haven’t always been accurate. I’ve been surprised by how many different feelings this furry tornado has made me feel – everything from shock, to disgust, to anger, giddiness, pride, intense worry, and – of course – unbelievably fierce love.

Like I said, I always wanted a dog. I asked for one for my birthday every single year until I went to college. (Sidebar – for my 16th or 17th birthday, I asked for a car, a dog, and a phone. And I got a Hot Wheels Car, a stuffed dog, and a plastic baby phone. Thanks Mom and Dad.) But even after all those years of dreaming, I never thought I would get overly attached to a dog before Fitz came home to live with us. I poked fun at people who called their dog their ‘best friend,’ and don’t even get me started on the people who call them their ‘babies’ or their ‘children.’ But I found out how much Fitz actually mattered to me on the day he pulled the leash out of my hands to chase a stray out of our front yard and I thought I’d lost him for good.

To give you some context: we didn’t get Fitz when he was a brand new puppy. He didn’t come to live with us until he was about 7 months old, so while we TRIED to crate train him and teach him how to take walks like a normal dog without pulling our arms out of our sockets, it was much more difficult than it would have been starting with a younger puppy. He is incredibly strong, and although he has a really nice harness that he can’t pull himself out of, he can pull the leash out of my hands, and there’s not really much I can do about that. Anytime he has gotten loose, he just runs. He’s not a good listener once his mind is set on something across the street, especially if it’s another dog. So I’m not exaggerating when I say that when he jerked the leash out of my hands, I’m pretty sure my heart literally stopped beating. I truly can’t remember another time in my entire life when I felt that panicked about anything. I ran barefoot across our front yard that was covered in stickers without even feeling them. I had to stop zooming down our driveway to make myself breathe normally and keep from hyperventilating, because it was getting dark and I had heard the sound of a car swerving down the street just seconds after he ran off. Worst. hour. of. my. life. Thank God for a tribe of friends who were willing to drop whatever they were doing, hop in their cars, and help me look for him. Thank God that my friend Alesha found him and somehow – seriously, by God’s grace alone – managed to get him in her car.

That hour proved that I really did fall in love with Fitz. I had no clue how much of my heart he had stolen until I thought I would never see him again. I never could have guessed, when we got him almost two years ago, that I would fall totally in love and would continue to love him even though he ripped up all of our outdoor furniture cushions, has shed enough hair to cover about 57 other dogs, and NEVER stops begging for a bite off of our plates (and steals bites when we aren’t looking). I can’t really remember life without him, and even though he’s a pretty terrible roommate, I wouldn’t trade him for all the money in the world.

The Best Alfredo Sauce You’ll Ever Try

GUYSSSSSSSS. I can’t believe it didn’t occur to me to share this recipe with you before now. I’m sorry, honestly. Because you’ve been living your whole life eating sub-par alfredo sauce, when you could have been eating this creamy goodness.

I found this recipe on the “Mmm…Cafe” blog via Pinterest a few years ago, and I haven’t used another recipe since. I’m not an “alfredo sauce out of a jar” kind of girl; it’s soooo much better when it’s homemade. But if you ARE an “out of a jar” kind of person, just know that this recipe is incredibly easy and doesn’t take much time to make. We’ve eaten it on top of all kinds of pasta, and we even ate it just with chicken when we couldn’t have pasta because of the Keto diet! No matter how many times I make it, it always tastes just as good.

HOMEMADE Alfredo Sauce

Literally the best. You won’t find a better recipe than this. 

PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 20-25 MINUTES
YIELD: 2½ cups

INGREDIENTS

½ cup butter
½  tsp. garlic
2 oz. cream cheese
2 cups heavy cream
2 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper
⅔ cup Parmesan cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

In a medium-to-large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for one minute or until fragrant. Add cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Whisk in heavy cream. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and whisk frequently until sauce thickens, approx. 15 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese and reduce heat; remove from heat once cheese is melted and serve immediately over pasta. Garnish however you like – chicken, shrimp, fresh herbs, or (my personal fav) extra Parmesan!

I mean….you’re welcome. ;) Go forth and cook!

DIY Gift for a Mama-to-Be

For those of you who don’t already know – MY COUSIN IS PREGNANT!! And I’m over the moon!!! (Obviously, because of all the exclamation points.) I’m so ready to cuddle Mini Briggs this fall, and I’ve thrown myself into baby shower planning, especially now that we know Mini B is a BOY. :) I’m a big gift giver, though, so I couldn’t stop myself from giving Jennifer a “mama-to-be” present a few weeks after she told me she was pregnant.

In the basket:

Tums Chewables
Baby book
Mom’s favorite snacks
Water bottle
Stretch mark cream
Baby boots (gender neutral)
Prenatal vitamins
Super-soft black leggings

I also got her a 10×10 wood pallet wall hanging (not pictured) and some mini bottles of paint. She loves crafting, and I knew she’d enjoy making something for the nursery!

A DIY gift basket like this doesn’t have to be complicated. If you know the mom really well, pick things that make you think of her, things you know she’ll like. If you DON’T know the mom well enough to pick out her favorite things, that’s okay! Avoid the snacks and stick to the more practical stuff, like comfy PJs, gender-neutral baby items, and pregnancy survival necessities. No matter what you give her, though, make sure you pick out a sweet card. Or better yet, write a note inside the baby book!

Mamas, what was the best pregnancy/baby gift you received?

Colorado Road Trip: Part II

If you missed Part I of this trip, read this post first!

I honestly don’t know how people drive safely in Colorado. Everywhere you look, the view is constantly like this:

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And for those of you who have been to Colorado before, you know this picture doesn’t even do it justice. I mean, seriously – how do drivers keep their eyes on the road??  The closer we got to Pagosa Springs, the more beautiful the view became, and I, for one, couldn’t stop staring.

Like I mentioned in my last post, I completely forgot to take any pictures of our cabin. But I did snap a few of the view from our wraparound porch! This one ⇓ was taken from the front door, facing the driveway…

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…and this one ⇓ was taken from the side. If the photo panned further to the right, you’d be able to see that the trees get even thicker. This was my favorite spot to sit and read – the air was clear, the view was spectacular, and the atmosphere was so calming. It did my heart good.

One of my favorite things we did on the trip was go whitewater rafting! My parents aren’t super outdoorsy, particularly my dad, but they had gone rafting on several trips they took together and knew they wanted to take the rest of us. We rafted the San Juan River with the guys from Pagosa Outside, and it was a BLAST! Our guide was hilarious, and I was really thankful that they put us in full wetsuits – the water in the river was snow less than 12 hours before we were splashing around in it! I have nothing but good things to say about that day.

Another place we visited that was really enjoyable was Chimney Rock! It doesn’t look very big in the picture below that I took from the highway, but trust me. It’s ENORMOUS.

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Funny story (actually not really that funny), we ended up going to Chimney Rock twice! Our original plan was to check out Mesa Verde, but we decided it was a bit too far of a drive from where we were staying, so we looked for something a bit closer. Chimney Rock was only about 20 minutes from our cabin, so we drove up after lunch. We paid for parking and entrance to the area, only to find out after going on a truly dumb self-guided walking tour that we were too late for the actual hike up to Chimney Rock. Which the park volunteers neglected to tell us before taking our money. *facepalm* So basically, we paid to walk around a sidewalk for 30 minutes before going back to the cabin. We were very frustrated, but Dad really wanted us to get to explore the mountain, so we went back again later that week. And it really was incredible! I’m not a big history buff, but I love looking at old structures and imagining the people who lived there, and I’m always a sucker for a good view.

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This is about as close as we were able to get – the trail leading closer to the rock mounds had gotten really scary, and they don’t take guests that way anymore. The pictures don’t even do justice to how huge they were.

Aaaaaaaaaand this is what happens when you try to get Daniel to take a picture of you jumping in the air on top of a mountain.

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We could literally see for miles. One of the most incredible views I’ve ever seen.

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The rest of the week was spent watching movies, eating, and taking turns washing dishes after discovering that the cabin we were staying in didn’t have a dishwasher. Lol. But it was an amazing week, regardless, and I hope we get to go back!

P.S. Oh and also, for the sentimental types: I met Daniel 8 years ago today, on August 2nd, 2009. EIGHT. YEARS. AGO. Time flies! ♥

Literally Just a List of Food I Haven’t Eaten in a Month

Bread, in all its glorious forms.
Pasta.
Rice.
French fries.
Mashed potatoes.
Baked potatoes.
Scalloped potatoes.
Sweet potatoes.
ALL POTATOES OKAY.
Ice cream.
Cake.
Chocolate chip cookies.
All other (less worthy) desserts.
Milk.
Pizza.
Chips.
Tortillas.
Donuts.
Carrots.
All fruit, except berries.
Fried food.
Soda.
Juice.
Lemonade.
Snow cones.
Corn.
Gum, mints, and candy.
Crackers.
Pretzels.
Popcorn.
Granola bars.

We started the Keto diet on June 21, meaning it has been exactly one month since we’ve eaten any of those things. And you know what? I’ve survived. I didn’t think I would, but I have. This is sort of a humble-brag (sorry), but I really just want to be able to come back to this post and remember that I actually did this. I’m not saying I want to do Keto forever, but what a wake-up call it has been! God has been really gracious to me, because I was truly expecting Keto to be the worst, hardest thing ever…and it honestly has not been half as bad as I thought it would be. I’ll be thankful forever that we decided to do this. I am more disciplined about food than I have ever been in my life, even when I was doing the DietBet. I’m praying earnestly that God gives me the ability to maintain this new discipline, especially if and when we allow ourselves to start eating some of those things again. But in the meantime, while we’re still on Keto, I’ll eat all the bacon, cheese, butter, and cream I want and enjoy it with all my heart. ;)

Would anyone be interested in hearing more about our decision to do this or taking look at my recipes and meal plans? Let me know in the comments, and I might do a follow-up post!

Colorado Road Trip: Part I

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Ahhhhh, this trip was such a breath of fresh air – literally! Colorado fully exceeded my expectations and was unbelievably beautiful. Neither Daniel nor I had ever been to Colorado before, and this was also our first time to go on vacation with my family. So many wonderful memories were made!

The first leg of our journey took us through Amarillo to pick up my brother, Corey. He’s a meteorologist for KAMR, and an amazing one at that. We got a tour of his station, stood in front of the green screen and pointed at nothing, and even watched him do the weather live from inside the studio! Proud sister moment. :)

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The next morning, we drove the rest of the way to Colorado and made it to our cabin, which I somehow managed to take ZERO PICTURES OF. *facepalm* Regardless, it was comfy and cute and had a terrific view! I’ll share some picture of the view from the front porch in my next post.

Our week was spent relaxing, watching movies, playing games, and taking in the scenery through several means, including whitewater rafting and hiking. Our first activity was taking the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad train from – you guessed it – Durango to Silverton. We had a front-row seat to mountain views and the rushing river from our open-air car, and it was an amazing experience!

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Silverton, it turns out, is just baaaaarely a town. Definitely touristy, but it was easy to navigate and I was very impressed with the shopping. Almost every store carried genuinely cute, clever things I had never seen before, and the downtown walk through all the little shops really was enjoyable. Especially when all you had to do was glance up and see huge mountains towering above everything else around you. *sigh*

Can you imagine if that were your Main Street??

After we got back to the cabin, Daniel and Corey decided that they wanted to take me and Robyn on a hike to a spot they visited the night before. Little did I know how much further they would take us past the point they hiked to before, and how much I would hate everyone by the time we were done. Lol. The altitude was killing me, and I felt out of breath after going just a few yards. But we made it to the top of a pretty significant peak, and the view from the top was choice.

This is the face of a girl who realized she had to climb all the way back down and already hated everything after scaling a very steep mountain and almost dying.

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But still. That view, right??

Part II coming soon!