Thursday, July 29, 2010

I Believe She's Amazing Flash Mob - Toronto Eaton Centre

This is so cool.  And there's a beautiful story behind it as well.  I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff.  But I know a LOT of amazing women, so yeah, this is way cool.  I wish I was there!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nine, Part Deux

Nine years ago today there were hydrangeas, and best friends, and amazing family, and cake, and a whole lotta wine, and dancing, and rings, and a whole lotta babies ('cause for some reason like all of my friends had a baby that year), and laughter, and toasts, and tears (happy tears), and a whole lotta love, and kissing, and some really badly done professional make-up that was quickly washed off and reapplied as soon as I got home, and fabulous hair, and a handsome groom, and a not too shabby bride if I do say so myself, and great music, and a touch of rain, and dahlias, and good food that the groom didn't get to eat, and a last dance to Sade, and us in my Tercel driving ourselves home from our own wedding 'cause we didn't set aside budget for a fancy hired car to take us to a fancy hotel but that was ok because home was where we wanted to be and we ate cake in our wedding finery in our own little living room and besides we left the next day for a week at Lake Tahoe that was a gift to us (and what an awesome gift), and at the end of it all there was us, The Stephens', married.  And that's exactly where we wanted to be, too.

Happy Anniversary my love.  

Sunday, July 25, 2010


When my sweet mother in law offered Shawn and I a night at the Broadmoor Hotel as a 9th anniversary gift - complete with her watching the boys - we didn't hesitate to say heck ya!  We've known about the trip for about a month now and we've been giddy with anticipation.  The beautiful hotel did NOT disappoint!  It is stunning.  Our room was darling, complete with our own little private patio and chilled champagne!  We had a light lunch and adult beverages by the picture-perfect pool.  We soaked in the secluded hot tub at the spa, whilst sipping crisp chardonnay.  We tried out 3 different restaurants for noshies and cocktails, and were served a dessert that had "happy anniversary!" written in white chocolate on the plate at two different restaurants!  We sipped champagne on our patio and went for long walks by the lake.  Everything was picture perfect and decadent.

Oh yeah, and we actually talked.  Long conversations.  No interruptions!  And we held hands like we were teenagers. And we just enjoyed being in each other's company again.  We forget that, sometimes, in our every day crazy lives.  That was the best reward of the entire day.

The clock was striking noon as I walked briskly to meet Nana for the drop off of the boys. I felt like cinderella by the end of the 12th ring.  But we happily embraced  the boys, giving them each a miniature chocolate cowboy boot from this morning's buffet.  Nana told us that the boys behaved perfectly (I think there might have been a child swap before she took over), and that everyone slept and ate and played great!  And of course arguing and whining began between the boys as soon as the car was loaded with all their goodies from Nana's house.  But it wouldn't be reality without that, now would it??

Happy (almost) 9th Anniversary my love.  It was wonderful to tune into each other for 24 hours straight, no interruptions.  I love you as my husband, my best friend,  and as the Daddy to our (usually!) sweet boys.  xoxoxo

sitting on our patio - love self timers!
champagne on the patio 
a deer jumping the hedgeBroadmoor Swanbrunch viewview from our patio
my husband's mad photog skillsoverlooking the pool view from the topNorad behind ushappy slumberers!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The River Walk

A few weeks ago when Mom was here, we stopped in Pueblo for a short visit.  We had us a couple of hours to spare so we found the Pueblo River Walk, bought tickets, and gave the boys a 15 minute total, absolute thrill! They loved being on the water. (oh sweet Jackson, if you only could remember how much we went to the water on the Puget Sound when you were a wee little baby...).  Afterwards we ate pizza at a cute little place on the river.  Lovely.

Monday, July 19, 2010


We are balancing our Summer of the Springs with a trip into Denver.  Yesterday we hit up the DAM (Denver Art Museum), 'cause we had free tickets thanks to Jackson winning his art award last spring.  Then we hit up Bonnie Brae Ice-cream, which is a Denver ice-cream institution!  Kid's cones were .24c for one day only.  And we got seating inside (hello, its July!).  And we got curbside parking.  Score!  We thought we should have picked up a lottery ticket on the way home, with how our luck was going.  But we didn't.  We settled for picking up steaks instead.  Priorities.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Summer of The Springs

We've lived in Castle Rock for over 5 years now.  Small town living at its finest.  And when we start hankering for a little city life we head to Denver.  We don't get a hankering very often.  Occasionally we go for a meal, a trip to the Zoo, a special outing to visit a boutique shop or a cool exhibit.  But otherwise we're happy in our little world, a good 20 minutes south of big D.  But alas, just 30 minutes South of us is another fair city - Colorado Springs.  We never go there.  Like, ever.

We don't have anything specifically against the Springs.  We just don't know it very well (ok, Shawn did live there briefly out of college when he worked for Current, and, as he tells me every time we drive through the Springs, he had a killer view of Pike's Peak).  We drive through the Springs on the way to my mother in law's house in Canon City.  Or on my once a year trip to Texas.  But on the norm, we see Colorado Springs about once a year.  That is, until this summer.  I've officially renamed this summer "The Summer of The Springs," 'cause for some reason we have been there more often in the last few weeks than our entire time in the state of Colorado.

A few weeks ago we took the kids to see the Cave of the Winds.  Cool (literally, and figuratively).  We had breakfast at an old cafe in old town that has possibly been there since the gold rush.  Enormous pancakes.  I drove through Colorado Springs four times last week when I made a couple of round trips to Walsenburg Colorado to pick up and drop off my mama, who rode into Colorado with a friend who vacations in Walsenburg.  More information than was needed, huh?  I stopped for snacks for the boys in Colorado Springs both ways on one of those trips.  Last weekend we hit up The Cog Railway, which took us to the top of Pike's Peak, our first visit there since we've lived here.  Again, another diner breakfast, another enormous pancake.

In addition to those  few trips, Shawn and I will be spending our anniversary at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs in a few weeks.   The Broadmoor is one of the loveliest hotels in Colorado, if not the entire United States.  It is a gift from my mother in law and we can hardly wait.  We'll dine in style, relax in their infinity pool, order cocktails at one of their fancy bars, and most importantly - SLEEP IN!  And a few weeks after that I'll be shooting a family reunion photography session for an awesome family that I'm sort of kind of related to.  Another chance to visit the fair city!

So while there are things about Colorado Springs that I don't love -- the traffic sucks big time, and in certain areas it is not the most scenic of places, let's be clear -- there's a lot that it offers, and obviously this summer we're going to explore as much of it as possible.  We'll see you next summer Denver, Colorado Springs has us on reservation for Summer 2010...

Thursday, July 08, 2010

July 4th, a recap

The beauty of a small town is exemplified by its July 4th celebration....

Friday, July 02, 2010

July 4th, 2010

Wishing you a very happy and festive July 4th from tales from the crib!   We'll be bringing a little of my July 4th memories to this holiday - I got sparklers and snaps for the boys.  When I was a kid my Dad would take us 3 girls and probably our cousins, Ryan and Jordan, and a friend or two as well, out to our family liquor store (have I mention our family owned a liquor store in a dry county before??), which was just outside the city limits.  Dad would buy a boat-load of fireworks and then set them off for us kids to ohhh and awww over.  For several years I hid in the car as he was setting them off - I was sure we were gonna blow up or something.  But I didn't mind sitting in the car, drinking my coca-cola and eating a moon pie, watching the sky explode into color.  It was magical.  The sparklers and pops I got for the boys this year aren't even close to what Dad used to shoot off for us, but its a start.  Our town will have a big light show and we're sure to be able to see it from our house as we have in years past.  I hope the boys will find it as magical as I once did... or rather, still do.

My father was an immigrant to this country, and I could not be prouder to be a first generation American on his side. The American dream is alive and well, and I feel like I'm living it every day of my life. Blessing to you and yours!