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We Need Your Votes!

Click HERE to VOTE!!

**Update: we just discovered you can vote for ALL our pictures. So, vote away! Links by the photos below**

It’s time to rally the troops! You could either call my family and me super cool or super nerdy. Probably super nerdy. Steamboat Resort posted a photo contest this winter calling for “Then and Now” photos. We have a treasure trove of “Then” photos from the last 30 years of skiing at Steamboat, so over this winter (including while I was home in February) we recreated some of our favorites. And, drumroll….we were finalists in 3 of the months. Which meant we won these sweet swag packs:

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This also means we we’re all finalists for the grand prize – a 15 day ski pass – wahoo!! This is where the nerdy part comes in – our family makes up 3 of the 10 finalists. Here’s where you guys come in – this is a popularity contest, so we need you’re votes!! The trick here is not to pull a Ralph Nader and split the votes. We’re rallying all our peeps behind a single picture. I’ve made you a handy dandy map to help you vote. We’ve chosen this photo of my cousin John and me skiing the trees when we were little.  You can vote once per day until May 15th. **VOTE EARLY AND VOTE OFTEN!!** And feel free to encourage your friends too 🙂 I know, I know. It’s not like you have anything else to do…don’t worry, I’ll remind you.

Click HERE to VOTE!!

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Here are all the photos we submitted with their stories:

This was my submission. This is my sister and I giving some ‘tude at the top of Buddy’s Run after lunch. Notice the pink ski suit and pink goggles. My friend Carol and I recreated this in February. Vote here (after you voted for the primary one) for this photo.

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This is THE future winner, we know it. My mom submitted this classic photo of my cousin John and I taking a break in Shadows, a tree run through an aspen glade for which Steamboat is famous. We were six or seven years old in this picture. I also got chicken pox on this ski trip. #justsoyouknow Carol and I also recreated this in February. See the pink suit and goggles on me this time??

Click HERE to VOTE!!

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This is my stepdad, Larry’s submission and is him and my sister on a chairlift. It seems my sister had a thing for sticking her tongue out. We ALWAYS ski with M&Ms. It’s the only time we had candy in the house. But, we didn’t always put the M&Ms in our nose. Not sure what that’s about, but it’s a funny pic. Pink ski suit and goggles are back on my sister. #thriftyfamily Also, is that a prehistoric selfie?? Support M&Ms in noses here.

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And, this is the picture my sister submitted that we were SURE was going to win the grand prize. And then, it didn’t even get chosen as a finalist. What the heck Steamboat?! It’s my mom teaching me to ski when I was 3 or 4 and 30 years later, teaching my nephew, Benjamin to ski. IN THE SAME SKI SUIT.  

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Ok guys. Go do your civic duty and VOTE!!! 



{Friday Favorites} Wins For Everyone!

Is it just me or did this week fly by? And, I have a feeling this weekend will go just as fast, but it should be filled lots of fun, or absurdity at the least. Tonight our program is hosting an Earth Day Happy Hour at our college’s farm, tomorrow we’ll be cheering on my cousin (against my school) at his lacrosse game – I’m super excited to see my aunt and family, and Sunday, oh Sunday. Somehow I got roped into going to a Beiber dance-exercise class followed by bunch in NYC. I seriously don’t know a single Beiber song. That should be a bonafide disaster. 

I Won, I Won!

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I have been skiing at Steamboat since I was three years old and always knew I was lucky to get to spend my weekends, spring breaks (although I definitely did whine about not ever going to to the beach), and summers in Steamboat. I was never more grateful than when I got to college in Montana and could hang on the slopes with the kids who grew up skiing at Jackson Hole and Targhee and in the Chugach. Steamboat’s been running a #thenandnow competition where you recreate old photos on the mountain. When I was home in February, it was so fun to look through all our old skiing photos and see just how much time our family spent on the mountain. Isn’t it funny how you look at pictures of times where you totally remember feeling like you were basically an adult and realize you were younger than your stepson is now?? I submitted this pic and then received this sweet prize pack! Our pic was the March finalist…wahoo! As mentioned, I LOVE swag!

SteamboatMy sister submitted this pic of my mom teaching me to ski and 30 years later wearing the same ski suit teaching my nephew to ski. We have our fingers crossed that this will be the grand prize winner!

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Thistle Farm Candles

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Our conference in Nashville last week chose Thistle Farms as the local charity to support while in town. Thistle Farms provides housing, on-the-job education, and employment for women who are survivors of prostitution, trafficking, and drug addiction. They began as a home and because many women were unemployable due to their arrest records, recognized the need for job skills and employment, so they opened a number of social enterprises including a coffee shop and bath and body line. We heard the story of one surviror and it moved the room to tears. I was happy to pick up a candle as a small gesture of support: the survivor said during her speech, “Buy a candle and every time you light it, say a prayer that another woman finds her way off the streets and finds freedom and love.” We have burned our candle daily since I’ve been home and not only does it support a good cause, it smells amazing. Learn more about Thistle Farm here. You can buy their products nationally at Whole Foods or online.

Let’s Play Ball!

We kicked off baseball season in these parts in this week and this was the first year the kiddo played on the middle school team. Holy crow! He’s not in Little League anymore. Seeing him with his teammates really made it hit home that he’s about to start high school. #timeflies They’re no longer big kids playing ball, but young men. And, they won their first game big time! 

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BEHR features Isn’t That Grand?

There’s been a bit of radio silence around these parts the last few weeks and I couldn’t figure out the source of all this extra blog traffic. And then, the analytics finally cleared up and I saw that BEHR had featured our kitchen makeover on Pinterest! How fun is that!? Thanks BEHR!

 BEHRPin

Ikea Bench Love

I was checking out Cassie’s super cute bonus room makeover yesterday and came across these benches. I love how she used them as a coffee table. We are currently using a kids play table for our coffee table and I love this idea. And the best part? They’re super affordable! The worst part? I have to drive to New Jersey to get them. Admission: I’ve never been to an Ikea store. These benches might make me finally go…stay tuned!

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That’s all folks. Check back Monday to see how this Beiber disaster unfolds.



{Travel Log} A Birthday Weekend in Steamboat Springs

🎤 🎤🎤 Duh duh dah dah da da dah … they say it’s your birthday.🎤 🎤🎤 That’s what I heard this morning when I woke up … in my head. I believe that stems from years spent at birthday parties held at the long-extinct party spot, Fort Ram. My Ft. Collins peeps know what I’m talking about. Today, I’m celebrating my birthday by sitting at a table at a graduate school fair, in Syracuse. I know. It’s not fair of me to make you so jealous. 

Anyway, I had an awesome trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado a few weeks ago and wanted to give you the report. Steamboat is a town I grew up in – we had a condo there and spent most weekends there in the winter, and many in the summer. So, this report is less about exploring a new city and more about skiing and shenanigans.

I started with trip off with a quick detour to Colorado Springs to see my dad and Maria. They recently (and by recently I mean sometime since I was there three years ago…don’t judge, I got married and that took all my vacation that summer, and last summer we were buying a house, so there were no extra trips…hmm, feeling bad??) replaced their windows and installed this amazing picture window in the guest bedroom which gives a spectacular view of Pikes Peak. How awesome is that?! I hung with my dad for a night and then headed up to Steamboat. I was cheap (and by cheap, I mean not willing to pay $500 for 4 days) and rented a regular car (not an SUV) and there’s a new law in Colorado requiring snow tires or 4 wheel drive in the mountains, but the rules are kind of unclear so I was crossing my fingers the whole drive I wouldn’t get busted. I didn’t get busted, but I did hold up a line of 40 cars as I inched my way down Rabbit Ears Pass in my inadequate vehicle.

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A group of family and friends planned to meet in Steamboat for my sister’s 30th birthday: my mom and sister, Lindsay (of El Paso fame) and her mom (Sue), and Carol. My mom, sister, and I arrived first and ran out to dinner at Mambo Italiano (a tricky choice when you’re paleo)  and had a great meal. We made Carolyn wear this button from the dollar store. They forgot to put a space between “to” and “me” so it ready tome and everyone was trying to figure out what it said…but we didn’t get any free drinks or birthday brownies out of the deal :(. As we left the restaurant, it was dumping snow and we knew there was a powder day ahead! 

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Lindsay and Sue showed up and we celebrated Lindsay’s engagement and Carolyn blew out the candles on the cake she bought herself. 

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The next day we hit slopes and had the powder day I’d been hoping for since I booked the ticket. It. Was. Awesome.

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TimTheFarmer and Nate surprised me with new goggles as an early present – love them! And, to make it super awesome, Carolyn taped the birthday crown to her helmet. People said Happy Birthday to her all day – it was the coolest thing. The cutest was when little kids would shout Happy Birthday. My faith in humanity was totally restored. 

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We ended the day with a birthday beverage at T Bar – an awesome dive bar our friends own and then headed to the Truffle Pig. They had bacon wrapped dates, so I was happy. They have totally redone the base of Steamboat mountain and I couldn’t believe I was having drinks in a fancy hotel restaurant where I used to get dropped off for ski school #weirdandsad. 

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Carol met up with us and as we headed back to the condo, we ran into this guy at the bus stop. We’d seen him skiing all and had an active debate about whether his snowsuit was a sweet throwback snowsuit or a recreation. We attacked  stopped him and found out it’s from a website called Tipsy Elves. The best part was that he and his buddy ended up behind me in line to board my Southwest Airlines flight in Denver the following Monday (not in the snowsuit…and he *shockingly* barely remembered taking this picture).

We celebrated Carolyn’s birthday (again) with a yummy dinner at home followed by a craft project by Jan Jan. We were tasked with decorating paper bags and then filling them with things that represented Carolyn #onceateacheralwaysateacher I can’t show you the bags here, because things had gone a bit downhill by that point in the night. But, I can assure you that they were hilarious.

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The next day was a bluebird powder day in the ‘Boat and my mom, Carol, and I headed out while the others went cross-country skiing. We entertained ourselves by taking pics and videos of ourselves skiing the steeps, powder, and bumps, and of ourselves in my mom’s goggles #nerdalert. 

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 Oh, and the Broncos jerseys were out in force. This guys was smoking (something) and there were giant puffs of smoke coming out of his horse hat. I overheard the little ski school kids say, “Look, the Bronco is on fire.” Way to keep it classy, buddy.

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We never miss the opportunity to make someone dress up, so I wasn’t surprised at all when we met up with the rest of the crew at the base for a concert and found Carolyn in the bar line rocking the Wonder Woman-birthday cape (and crown). 

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There was a fun band at the base and this guy danced his way through the crowd. He was very liberal with his stilt kicks. It’s good most people wear ski helmets these days.

On the way to a bus, this happened. How cute is that?!

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We ate a quick dinner and bundled up to watch the Winter Carnival Night Extravaganza, where they give local skiers—ranging in age from 5-old—flares and send them skiing/snowboarding in the dark, down the mountain in a “snake,” off ski jumps, through flaming hoops, and with fireworks coming off of sleds they pull behind them. It’s wild and hard to believe a city can get away with it in these litigious times. It really speaks to how embedded this tradition is in the culture of Steamboat. 

The next day, everyone left early to get back to the Front Range before the Super Bowl. I hit the mountain for a few more hours of skiing and then drove down and arrived just as the game was starting and got big hugs from these two. It was such a fun weekend celebrating a big birthday with family and friends. I LOVE Steamboat!IMG_4664