From the Inside Out

This morning at Timberline, Dary Northrop discussed the ways in which we often run from the truth only to find ourselves in a desert of lost hope. When I was younger, I was so obsessed with how the world saw me that I forgot how much God loved me. Religion 101? Certainly, but I think we all need to hear it as much as we can.

This sent my mind soaring over my past: I look around me and see all that I have been blessed with. Amazing friends and family, a beautiful locale, more breathtaking views than I can count. And a few years ago I was so self-centered that I only saw what I didn’t have.

I just want to take a moment to say that I LOVE my life (flaws and heartache included) and am anxiously excited about what might be in store for the future. Thank you to all of the people around me who have been there for me in the past and will help me sail into the future. I love you.  And thank you to my God who has given me more than I can ask for…

… including views such as this.

31 January 2010. Tags: , , , , . colorado, Spirituality. Leave a comment.

Marshmallows Roasting on an Open Fire

I can’t believe that the year is coming to a close. It seems that this has been one of the quickest moving semesters I have ever experienced. But I have no sadness; with the end of the year comes lots of fun activities with The Girls! Last Week was the 2nd annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party and this Friday was the annual Girls Christmas Party. What an amazing way to end an amazing year.

This year has been an adventure for several of us, to say the least. There were times we laughed so hard we cried… and then other times when we cried so hard we laughed. There were things lost, but plenty of things gained. No matter what, we have been there for one another throughout these past couple of years and I know there is no small event that care tear us apart. So here is to another wonderful year spent with even more wonderful friends. *Chin, chin* Here’s to twenty-ten. I love you girls!

12 December 2009. Tags: , , , , . My Girls. Leave a comment.

Let the Paint Fall Where it May

Ruth and I wandered into the DAM (nope, not a curse, just the acronym for the Denver Art Museum) last week and found fun and fantastical art pieces. And a few photo ops. The DAM may not be my all-time favorite art museum, but it occasionally offers a pleasant break from reality.
View of LoDo from the 3rd floor

Even the views are framed.
Sandy Skoglund's "Fox Games"

Sandy Skoglund’s “Fox Games”: don’t walk through this room if you’re on anything stronger than Robitussin.

Ruth applies the rule of perspective

Cowboys on the open range

Who says dress-up is child’s play?

Van Ruisdael-esque

Even the drive home was Van Ruisdael-esque!

7 November 2009. Tags: , , , , . travel. Leave a comment.

Spientia et Fortidudo

         And welcome to the city that almost killed me. Mariah lost her wallet within the first hour of arriving in Rome, Italy, and it only got more fun from there. After spending a good amount of time in (and looking for the) polizia station, we were on our way to our hostel… except the buses to get there were shut down for the night and it was 30 miles away. We finally managed to get close to the hostel, but when we called to ask for directions from the intersection, the Italian speaking host tried very hard to convince us that it was imperative that we “stay;” he came to get us. Our later couchsurfing host, Christian, told us that the place were stay at was known for it’s high crime rate. We were there at 1:30 am. Oh bug. 

 

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

 

 

         Needless to say, we survived, but Rome had a few more tricks up it’s sleeve. After being silly and running around, pretending to be statues, I carelessly ran across what I thought was a one way street only to find out how wrong. 

 

Biomimicry at it's best.

Biomimicry at it's best.

    I now know that life does not flash in front of these eyes when death comes a knockin’. Okay, it was not life or death, but I did get hit by the car and I am still amazed that there was no real damage (save a tire mark on my leg). Oh well, we pressed on to day two.

 

The skylight of St. Mary's Basilica. It made delicious designs on the timeline laden marble floor.

The skylight of St. Mary's Basilica. It made delicious designs on the timeline laden marble floor.

     There wasn’t a lot of damage done on day two… until I decided to follow Mariah up a stick infested hill as opposed to taking the more sturdy stair route. I think the scar that is engraved on my leg might disappear in a year or so. 

 

Proof that Ancient Rome was better than the 2.0 version.

Proof that Ancient Rome was better than the 2.0 version.

         The sights of old Rome helped to heal the wounds, but I can only dream about what it would have been like to see these places on their own time. 

 

Made for Mariah.

Made for Mariah.

         I wasn’t the only one to cave under Rome’s pressure. The fellow tourists sure got a show as Mariah tripped and tangled her way through the Vatican City Museums. I saw this sign just before we made it to the Sistine chapel… and just as Mariah’s feet decided to take another step without the rest of her in tow. 

 

The Wrath: The Complete Series

The Wrath: The Complete Series

 

Adonis and Evelyn? Either way, they messed up.

Adonis and Evelyn? Either way, they messed up.

 

A favorite.

A favorite.

 

Even the Italian metro systems were covered in art!

Even the Italian metro systems were covered in art!

      The third day in Rome was much better and I almost got out scathe -free. The curb just popped up out of nowhere and attacked my ankle! At least it helped us to decide where to eat: I fell onto a restaurant patio.

 

Pocket-size-Ryan even got to join us on our adventures!

Pocket-size-Ryan even got to join us on our adventures!

 

Keep your panties on, and welcome to the Pantheon!

Keep your panties on, and welcome to the Pantheon!

         We learned some valuable lessons in Rome like ignore those who stare, ignore those who talk at you, ignore those who are rude… Oh, and that the Pantheon was created 5,000 years ago and survived the times because it was a pagan temple before Constantine altered the religious sway.

 

Raphie's resting room.

Raphie's resting room.

         At least I didn’t fall to the same fate as Raphael while in Rome. Rumor has it, the city was only trying to sabotage my stay because it wanted to keep me there (albeit six feet under…).

16 July 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Europe, Hiking/Backpacking. Leave a comment.

Young’s Gulch/River

As in most of my  backpacking experiences, this one did not follow the initial plan. We set out at about 5pm on Friday for a Steven’s Gulch but had to reroute due to an obvious “FOR DAY USE ONLY” sign in the parking lot. So down the Poudre we went until we hit a local bar. (I stopped in… to call our emergency contact and tell him the change in plans). Next stop: Young’s Gulch. I had hiked that same route in mid March and the half frozen stream that you cross MULTIPLE times was small and 80% frozen. No such luck on this trip. The “stream” was more like a small river and the stone crossings were hidden beneath the icy flow. Not wanting to get wet, the we-who-do-not-have-waterproof-hiking-boots kids chose the less obvious, less safe courses. I fell in on the third crossing. We lost a few others to the stream crossing nonsense, but the campfire at the conclusion of the day had us rejuvenated in no time. After too much food, off-key singing, and an abundance of campfire stories, my sleeping bag felt like a plush hotel bed.

The night held a storm of rain and snow and only Lauren refused to succumb to the peaceful sound. A reenactment of the morning hours:

3am  – Lauren: “Guys, what time does the sun come up? I can’t sleep.”

          – Me: “6am. Go back to sleep.”

4am  – Lauren: “What time do you think it is? Is the sun coming up yet?”

          – Laura: “Uh, ya, I think I see some light outside.”

5am  – Lauren: “It is not getting light! What time is it?”

          – Laura and I: *snore*

6am  – Lauren: “Ryan. Ryan! Are you awake?”

          – Ryan: “Mrphlph…”

           (Lauren wanders away from camp to our sleepy eyes’ delight)

9am  – Me: “Lauren, did you ever bring your bag in from the rain?” 

           – Lauren: “Too late now.”

9-9:30am: (We listen to Paul snore in the tent beside us.)

9:30am: Breakfast: the only thing that we desire more than sleep. 

———————————————-

That morning, we hiked back toward the car making a detour up a steep incline to get an awesome view of… whiteness. (See pictures below). Another great backpacking adventure for the CSU kids!

Laura assisting Lauren across the "stream." Paul nervously awaits his own fate.

Laura assisting Lauren across the "stream." Paul nervously awaits his own fate.

 

Not a bad view for a potty break :) Note the yellowish spot in the lower center. Home sweet tent!

Not a bad view for a potty break 🙂 Note the yellowish spot in the lower center. Home sweet tent! Note the white specks throughout the picture: Very unwelcome precipitation.

 

Who knew that Ponderosa pines smell like butterscotch and vanilla. Seriously! Go sniff one!

Who knew that Ponderosa pines smell like butterscotch and vanilla? Seriously! Go sniff one!

 

(Sorry, I can't make it straight) This is a funny one. Laura willingly offered up her potential dryness to try and find a decent crossing for us after we had wandered off trail. Little did we know that the rocks to her right were the trail crossing rocks. Oops.

(Sorry, I can't make it straight) This is a funny one. Laura willingly offered up her potential dryness to try and find a decent crossing for us after we had wandered off trail. Little did we know that the rocks to her right were the trail crossing rocks. Oops.

 

The Clan: Paul, Lauren, Laura, Jarrod, Ryan, and me.

The Clan: Paul, Lauren, Laura, Jarrod, Ryan, and me.

 

Gorgeous scenery even in the midst of mist.

Gorgeous scenery even in the midst of mist.

 

"Wow," says Laura, "What beautiful scenery we have today."

"Wow," says Laura, "What beautiful scenery we have today."

 

As luck would have it, the clouds began to part only moments after we began our descent toward the trail.

As luck would have it, the clouds began to part only moments after we began our descent toward the trail.

 

And the conclusion of another great backpacking adventure...

And the conclusion of another great backpacking adventure...

27 April 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Hiking/Backpacking. Leave a comment.

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