Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wednesday Date Night: Friendship, Mediterranean food, and seeing Gravity

In which I discuss how I traveled to space and cried...
all on an average Wednesday.
An October Morning 
I took this photo yesterday morning, at 9 a.m., as we pulled away from our house to take Justin to work. Just trying to capture as much fall beauty as I can! Sometimes in Colorado we get to enjoy weeks of it. Other times, a quick strong wind or an early snow blows all the leaves off the trees before we get to fully enjoy them. 

The morning light was so pretty yesterday. 

After dropping off Justin, I met my friend Angela and her two little girls for lunch at Chik-fil-A. Though we mused that we spent more time wrangling our kids and getting them settled than we did actually socializing, it was a much needed lunch date for both of us. Angela is now one of my oldest friends, and we have the type of friendship where we could go months, maybe years, without seeing each other, only to pick up right where we left off. We have this unspoken agreement not to feel bad about being out of touch for long periods of time. That's a great type of friendship to have during this season of life, the season of raising little ones. 

Anyway, while catching up, I was excited to tell Angela that we actually had a DATE NIGHT planned yesterday. {A real friend, especially one with kids, gets really happy for you at such news.} I can't remember the last time we had a date night. We were in need. 
Pinot Grigio
We dropped the kids {all three of them!} off at our Pastor's house. His daughters are the best babysitters, just another way this family is a blessing to us. They were even okay that it was a school night. Eisley & Violet adore them. 

 To save time, we stayed nearby and went to Taziki's Mediterranean Grill. This is a new restaurant to Denver, one of those "half-served" sort of places where you place your order and pay, get a number, take a seat, and they bring you your meal. 

Here's what we have to say about Taziki's:
The food was really very good. Pretty much all their entrees were under $10. Wednesday nights were 1/2 price bottles of wine so we split a bottle of Pinot Grigio and felt like we got a great deal. Based on the food alone, as well as the price points, we'd absolutely go back. That is, despite the service...

We found the service lacking. I can't remember a single employee making eye contact with us. I could go into more detail, but I won't bother. We were unimpressed with their staff, but not to the point where we felt slighted or turned off from the restaurant altogether. I'd go back again just for the food, but maybe hoping that the employees aren't such zombies next time? 
Taziki's
{Does that even look good? I'm never sure about food photos. Sometimes food shows up on Instagram and you're not sure if it's someone's dinner...before--or after--eating it, you know? We can't all have food stylists for our Instagrams, can we?}

Anyway, I had the beef tenderloin with horseradish sauce. Justin chose the herb roasted pork chops and it came with the most delicious tomato chutney aioli. Both entrees came with fresh Greek salads that were entrees in themselves. We were left completely happy with the food; the best part about Mediterranean cuisine is that you never feel gross after eating it, as you would after eating a smothered Mexican meal or a greasy burger. 

After eating, we headed across the street to see the movie Gravity starring Sandra Bullock.  
gravitysandrabullock
Here are my thoughts on Gravity:
  • Sandra Bullock WILL be nominated for this, and I hope she wins. Wow. This movie was basically a solo performance {a refreshing thing right now, amongst all these many productions in which Hollywood tries to cram as many A-listers together as possible, hoping to make more money}, and she carried it. Excellent performance. 
  • This movie is just 90 minutes, which makes it the perfect movie for parents of little ones to see. Whenever we pick a movie over 2 hours, like so many are these days, I worry about asking too much of our babysitters, especially since we usually like to grab a bite to eat too. A fantastic film, only 90 minutes? What more could a mother of a 3-month-old ask for? 
  • If they ever allow space travel for regular people like myself...there is no way you're ever convincing me to go up there. Apparently, from what I've read about this movie, this movie is not so unrealistic. It's a real possibility, becoming detached in space. Terrifying. 
  • Wednesday night is the best time to see a movie. There were about 5 other people in the theatre, and guess what? Not a single one was a popcorn-rustler, a bring-your-own-candy-individually-wrapped-in-cellophane eater, an I-must-say-aloud-what-I'm-thinking-throughout-the-entire-movie lady, OR a gross-loud-coughing-I'm-so-sick-I-should-be-quarantined man! This sort of polite movie experience hasn't happened for me in years, yet it did last night. I am so easily distracted that seeing movies in public can be a real problem for me. The movie Gravity has several long, incredibly quiet scenes too, so this was a big deal. 
  • This is one movie I'm so glad to have seen in a theater, and in 3D. When you get home you can give your 3D glasses to your kids and then even they are happy you got a night out!
  • Here I'd thought being in space would be like swimming. At one point, I wondered why Sandra Bullock's character didn't just doggie-paddle her way over to that space station. It doesn't work like that. How terrifying to be in outer space and not even be able to control which direction you float!
  • This movie was perfectly executed. I read somewhere that it took them years of waiting around for technology to advance to where it needed to be just to make this movie. Cool. 
  • Again, I'm never going into space. I dislike space for the same reason I dislike the ocean. I'm the opposite of a claustrophobic, I'm agoraphobic. Large, open spaces terrify me. 
  • What I knew about this movie beforehand was this: Sandra Bullock is lost in space. Already seems hopeless, doesn't it? The entire movie was a perfect balance of ups and downs. It's so, so very hopeless. I think I developed a stomach ulcer from the stress of just watching this movie. 
  • At the same time, seeing it in 3D especially, it's such a treat to get to see the world from outer space. It's a breathtaking view! It makes you think about God, creation, life. We are so small, and yet so precious. There was a part where you hear a baby cry {trying not to give away spoilers} and it brought me to tears. 
  • There is no need for me to ever. ever. ever. travel into space. BUT, if I did want to, I sort of feel like I already crossed that off the bucket list last night just by seeing Gravity
  • All that to say: it was really good, if you have a chance to see it in the theatres, DO. If you don't have the chance to see it in the theatres, DO anyway.

October 16, 2013
I took this brilliant photo with my cell phone in the parking lot at Chick-fil-A.

Cheers,
Heather

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Georgetown Loop

Choo-choo!
Georgetown Loop
A few months ago, my mom won tickets for the Georgetown Loop Railroad. Apparently, she was watching a Colorado morning show on TV when a contest was announced, she called in and answered a trivia question correctly. Bam! Free tickets for the Georgetown Loop. Well, shoot.
Georgetown Loop
Free tickets? Extras, you say? We agreed to go with them.
Georgetown Loop
So, here's the thing. You think this post is full of photos? There are a HUNDRED photos from our adventure in Georgetown here at my Flickr account. But for the sake of my blog, its readers {hi Mom}, and the loading time, I'll just post a fraction of them. You're welcome. Unless you want to see more, then by all means: click here yo.

Like this photo, here's me and Dad, looking smart. {Thanks for carrying our diaper bag, Dad.}
Georgetown Loop
My Violet Child. My mother and I are very entertaining, that's true worried constantly about Violet falling out the open window of the train. So alike, her and I.
Georgetown Loop
The Georgetown Loop Railroad is a historic railroad loop that served the mining towns, and it still travels from Georgetown to Silver Plume and back again each day. Several times each day, actually. You can ride in open top cars or open air cars. There is also a dining car.

They have different types of engines that change with their schedule. We were on the steam engine, which I'm glad for since apparently the diesel is stinky.
Georgetown Loop
It was, if nothing else, a great day for fall photos. Wow, my mother and I look alike, don't we? Check out our little photo bomber in his bomber hat. I finished crocheting that hat while we were driving up to Georgetown--kid. you. not.
Georgetown Loop
Choo-choo!
Georgetown Loop
The girls adored their train ride. In fact, two weeks later, they are STILL talking about the train with anyone who will listen to them.
Georgetown Loop
The best part? The end of September meant that the aspens were turning in the mountains. This is Colorado. My love, my home. It was cool fresh mountain air with gorgeous views, all the way up, and all the way back down to Georgetown.
Georgetown Loop
If you have little ones, but would like to take a mountain train ride with your family, the Georgetown Loop has to be your best choice. It's a short enough train ride for the kids, but long and beautiful enough to make it worth it.
Georgetown Loop
This guy liked cuddling with his grandma on the way up...
Georgetown Loop
Do dress warmly, if you go any time other than summer.
Georgetown Loop
{Doesn't it look like my mom is about to whack my dad in the face here?}
Georgetown Loop
Paxton & his Papa. Paxton needs to work on his 'stache.
Georgetown Loop
It doesn't get any more Colorado than this, folks. 
Georgetown Loop
Yes, the Georgetown Loops is perfect for little ones. 
Just short enough.
We arrived back in Georgetown just in time to avoid tantrums. 
Georgetown Loop
We explored Georgetown a bit. This is one of my favorite mountain towns. I like that it's not too touristy like Breck and such. It's got tons of character {the old homes here are absolutely incredible}, and it's got such history. It's cradled in a valley between steep mountains, and you can take I-70 or Guanella Pass to access/leave.
Georgetown Loop
I stopped at this "antique store" in Georgetown, bought a fake piece of jadite {they didn't try and fool me, admitted it was from China, which was admirable} and got a history lesson on the brothels of Georgetown during the days when it was a booming mining town. Nice!
Georgetown Loop
Georgetown is unlike other mountain towns, unadulterated in a way. It's not all touristy and fixed up to be something that pleases the masses. Georgetown is still very much a quirky little mountain town, from it's old railroad to it's grocery store:
Georgetown Loop
We asked around and were pointed down the road for dinner. Glad we asked, this pizza joint, the Alpine Restaurant & Bar, was really good. The Broncos game was on, we ordered Mexican pizza and beers, they had crayons, and trains on display for the kids. We were all satisfied.
Georgetown Loop
See? Satisfied people right here. It was a good day.
Georgetown Loop
I'm not kidding... {I might have also brought homemade whoopie pies with me, complete with marshmallow cream filling, to please the masses during our Georgetown excursion. Note to self: always.bring.whoopie.pies! Just look at the love!}
Georgetown Loop
With our train ride complete and our bellies full of pizza & beer {& whoopie pies}; the only thing left to do in Georgetown was to head to their elaborate playground. This little mountain town has the most incredible playground ever. It's modeled after our wild, wild west culture.
Georgetown Loop
Tire swing and all.
{Tire swing, invented by Wild Bill Hickock--did you know?}
Georgetown Loop
Totally pulling your leg about that Wild Bill Hickcock/tire swing thing. Fun fact: my great-grandpa was Wild Bill's deputy. Kid you not.

While the kids played, I wandered up the road to take photos of houses. I'm feeling "the call" again, folks. I mean, the call to paint another painting and I needed a muse.
Georgetown Loop
Georgetown is full of them. Painted ladies, mini-Victorian mansions. There are some famous homes here, all nestled up in the Rockies. I'm proud to call this gorgeous state, with all its secrets to explore--from the sand dunes and cliff dwellings to the prairies and the frosted mountain tops--my home.
Georgetown Loop
Georgetown is just one little piece of Colorado. Definitely worth visiting.
Georgetown Loop
{The only thing that would make this church more perfect would be 
if it were Lutheran, am I right? Eh? Eh?}

Aspens! Don't be jealous. Move to Colorado. Wait...don't. We're full. Ahem...
Georgetown Loop
Just enjoy the view...from here.
Georgetown Loop
Choo-choo!

Cheers,
Heather

P.S. Thanks for being so smart and winning us free tickets, Mom! Love you.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ten on 10: October

Eisley & Violet

Ten Things That Got Done Today: October 10th, 2013

  1. The girls got their hair combed & bowed. It's usually either them or me. Rarely do all three of us leave the house with tidy hair these days. 
  2. I quarrelled with my husband. Our heated topic today? Chicken coops. {No worries, though. All is well.}
  3. We enjoyed an autumnal walk to the Dinosaur Park. Justin met us for lunch at the park. I made us cucumber chicken sandwiches. Girls had PB&Js.  It rained on us a bit during the walk home. 
  4. I vacuumed the house. While three babies slept. For the win!*
  5. I started reading something my sister wrote. Hmm...there is fun news here that is not mine to share, so I won't. What I will say, however, is a brag about my sister {forgive me, I can't help myself}: There are many people in this world who can write a book, and many do it well. Then there are people who are so gifted in writing that nothing describes them as well as to simply say that they are wordsmiths. The best writers say so much while using so few words. This is my sister, not just a writer, a wordsmith. Haha...NOT ME! Look at how long #5 is. {Proud of her.} 
  6. Changed 4 poopy diapers {sorry}. Cleaned up 3 spit ups {making today really light in the spit-up department}. Pumped 7 ounces {for our walk}. I skillfully placed this lame one about me right after talking about how awesome my sister is, and now I'm about to follow this one with...
  7. I made this for dinner in the amazing new technicolor Crock-Pot . It was a total plate-licker, thanks for suggesting it, Lauren! 
  8. Read this blog post today. And I really needed that today. 
  9. Wrote this blog post. It will count for something as soon as I hit "Publish". 
  10. Watched Now You See Me with my husband after the girl pies went to bed. 
Things I didn't get done today...

  1. My hair. I looked like a hot mess at the playground. 
  2. I might have broken the vacuum.* {Justin, can you take a look at it?}
  3. A few business emails.
  4. Homeschooling didn't get done today. That's okay, we'll make up for it tomorrow and do a double. The girls love it anyway. 
Now...I don't have ten photos {What?! Light on the photos for once? Am I ill?} but here are a few from my cell phone that were taken today. {I have been in a funk lately though, if I'm being honest.} Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Bubs An Autumnal Walk Window in Autimn Paxton on a Prayer Rainbow Tree

Cheers,
Heather
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