I Don’t Know What Happened…

Hi guys. I don’t know what happened…


One day I’m at IKEA and the next thing I know… it’s a week later, my legs are speckled in paint and I have a deep desire to hunt down the previous owners of our house and give them a good talking to about their poor choice of paint colors. (Black trim and brown paint- it took me two solid days to paint over the black.)

I could not, would not stop until this project was finished!

It was an obsession really, but the results paid off. By the time Brent came home from work his man(ish) cave was ready after he put the furniture together himself. He finally had a nice place to sit back and watch his Cardinal’s baseball games. And then during commercials he could admire the Cardinal’s memorabilia he’s been waiting to hang up.

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You can take the boy out of St. Louis but you can’t take the St. Louis out of the boy, I guess.

I owed it to him after all because 1.) Father’s Day was coming up and 2.) He has stayed at home with the kids to let me hang out with my friends a lot lately.

Like that one time I got to go see Wicked!


(I’m really just telling you about Wicked so that I can post this picture of me wearing lipstick.)

It’s a new discovery, lipstick. I never wear it, but Penelope got into my makeup bag and found the obnoxious lipstick I bought a few years back to compensate for my shortcomings as a woman. I never wore it because it was a bit over kill, but on this particular day when I had nowhere to go I decided to give it a whirl. (After I wiped it off of Penelope’s forehead, of course.)


And I liked it… kind of.

Maybe I just needed the color after having chosen not to wear makeup for three days in a row. Having gone for so long without makeup meant that there was no mascara residue left over to indicate that my blonde eyelashes actually existed. One swipe of lipstick and a pair of sunglasses made it look like I had actually taken the time to fix up my face. I was impressed.

So I did what anyone does when they are overcome with vanity. I took a selfie. (And then kind of regretted it because it was so… well, vain.)

I was scheduled to see Wicked the next day but didn’t have anything fancy enough to wear to the event. I decided to overcompensate for this fact by accessorizing with a huge necklace and bright lips. It worked and I ended up having a blast that night!


The day after Wicked was the IKEA day and then all time was lost. Three days and three buckets of paint later I was free to meet Brent in the mountains for the Frisco BBQ Festival.


Brent’s fire department was participating in a cooking competition to raise funds for our friend, Jason, who just found out that he has cancer.


Cancer is common among firefighters due to all of the toxins they encounter in fires, so a Presumptive Cancer Act has been passed to make sure the financial burden does not lie on the fire fighter. Jason, however, has a rare form of cancer that does not respond to chemo or radiation, nor does it fit into the CPFF Presumptive Cancer list. Therefore,  treatments aren’t covered and his family will ultimately have to cover the costs out of pocket.


Jason is the shirtless guy…

(From a far it looks like he’s taking donations to fund his protein shake habit.)

He’s shirtless because a few ladies kindly offered to make a sizeable donation if he took his shirt off. Plus, he looks good without a shirt sooo he’s just doing us all a good favor. Brent is the union president for the fire department and has been racking his brain trying to come up with ways to raise funds for Jason and this cook off is just one of them.


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Plus, Brent’s super competitive and really just wanted to win.


 (They got 2nd place. He doesn’t want to talk about it…)


I jumped on board because this Texas girl will find any reason to head for the mountains. It’s always so beautiful!


Besides, the girls love participating in the festivities.

The next day was Father’s Day and we surprised Brent with photos of the girls for his locker at work…


And then I made him some of his favorite St. Louis style foods…


Gooey Butter Cake, Rich and Charlie’s Salad and Toasted Ravioli

Luckily our air conditioner wasn’t working properly and I was too hot to eat too much of it. However, I did suck down the iced tea with a vengeance. After partaking in BBQ festivities and Gooey Butter Cake I decided to set my alarm on Monday morning to ensure I woke up for an early morning run.  It was time to get back on track!

It was then that I rediscovered why I love  early summer mornings so much…

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Hotair Balloons! (Ugh and black trim paired with brown paint…)

The Path That Leads Me…


Hi… Can we take a moment to be honest?

I’m fat. I write a weight loss blog and I’m fat. What a shame.

There is a lot of talking we could do about the matter OR we could move passed the self-deprecating thought process and simply get down to the business of enjoying life. Because let’s face it, I’m at my healthiest when I’m living life to the fullest, enjoying healthy food, playing outside and taking time to myself.

And what better time to do that than during summer when I’m granted 8 weeks of work free solitude?  (Well… “solitude” may be taking it a bit far.) My first week of summer has commenced, and so far I have embraced every aspect of summer that I love. And I’m loving every minute of it!

 My mornings have started out at 5:30 every… morning… thanks to my little human alarm clock.


I’ve been making the mistake of staying up late at night since I don’t have to wake up to go to work. I always forget that Penelope doesn’t know that I’m on summer vacation, and I end up feeling like I have a hang over every morning. But once I’ve downed my iced coffee I’ll look out my window to see the hot air balloons on their early morning jaunt and I’m secretly grateful for the opportunity to enjoy the sunrise.

At this point I’m ready to go for a sunrise walk or a bike ride. There is just something special about summer mornings. If you just so happen to wake up early enough, you’ll get to see everything when it’s still sprinkled with morning dew. Everything looks like it has been misted with magic when the early morning sun hits it. It’s beautiful.



After that we get all cleaned up for the day and get ready to go do some stuff. After spending the past ten months busting my butt as a teacher I have been bound and determined not to let a day go wasted. I have done my research, I know the dates and times of every free activity that takes place in our area. My calendar is littered with the dates of every outdoor concert, storytime, and festival.

It has only been one week, but so far we have gone to the library…


The pool…


The museum…

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The Chalk Art Festival…

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To our favorite book store where Bridget bought an impromptu poem about music…



… and we indulged in “lattes” in real cups and saucers.

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I’ve had the time to sit on my deck and meal plan while drinking a watermelon mocktails listening to the Beach Boys radio on Pandora…


And I’ve actually had the time to follow through with my meal plans and eat healthy yummy food that makes my body feel good…


Sure I was a bit bummed out at how flabby and pasty my skin had become throughout the school year. But I knew that if I spent time berating myself for it I would not do myself any favors. You can’t really live life to the fullest if you are too busy hating yourself. Therefore, I simply acknowledged it and moved on.

And to my surprise, in my first week of summer I managed to get a tan and shed five pounds.  It’s my goal for the summer to keep living day to day for the day, not taking anything for granted. Because that’s the path that leads me to where I want to go.

Roosky Littlemoney Comes To Town

Whoa… I think I have a summer fun hangover. Last night I dropped my brother-in law and niece off at the airport and now here I am at 5:30 in the morning trying to crank out a blog post before our next guest arrives later this afternoon.


We had a blast while Bryce and Ruby were here and every time I sat down to share it with you all I would hear this cute little voice say… “Um, Auntie Nina? Do you remember when you said you would take me to the park?” or “Auntie Nina? Would you braid my hair?” or “Auntie Nina? Can I sit in your lap?”

Who can say no to that?

Ruby lives in St. Louis and this was her first time coming to Colorado with just her daddy. She’s a sassy little thing who at the age of two insisted on being called Roosky Littlemoney. We have no idea where this name came from.

Before they arrived I planned out meals and stocked up on healthy yet tasty things to eat. Unfortunately, I wasn’t going to win any “Auntie of the Year” awards with Ruby by forcing her to eat healthy stuff while she was out to visit. I made her the healthy banana muffins I had planned during her first morning but she didn’t like them. Then I made her cinnamon toast but she didn’t like that either because it was on whole grain bread. Everyone else got huge grease laden burritos coated in cheese and green chili for breakfast. I had gone for a run and came back to eat eggs and toast. Shortly after that we headed out for Roosky Littlemoney’s Denver adventure.


We started out at the Market for coffee and headed straight over to Rocket Fizz for candy.

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(Don’t worry Carrie, I didn’t buy her any candy cigarettes or Garbage Pail kids cards.) But she did end up with a foot sucker that she spent four days eating and those snapper things that you throw on the ground to make a loud popping noise. She loved those things! Shortly after we headed over to the Tattered Cover so that Auntie Nina could buy Roosky and her sister a few gifts.




We got home just in time for lunch and I was going to grill up some chicken and make grilled chicken wraps with hummus and veggies. That’s when Uncle T asked Ruby if she wanted chicken nuggets instead… I didn’t have chicken nuggets. So I took her to Chick-fil-A before we headed to the pool. (I got a grilled chicken sandwich.)

After we were done swimming I heard a little voice say, “Auntie Nina? Do you remember how you told me we could get ice cream when I came here?” So guess where we went on the way home…


(I got a kid’s size coconut frozen yogurt.)


Later that night Brent decided that the only hospitable thing to do would be to take Bryce and Ruby to his favorite pizza place for dinner. My grilled chicken was going to have to wait. The girls didn’t mind one bit…


…neither did Uncle Brycie.

While I had taken the girls to the pool he had squeezed in a quick run in the foothills. I tried to keep it healthy by requesting a thin crust Margherita pizza and had two slices… and two beers. I could feel my resolve to be healthy waning and it was only the first day.

The next day was father’s day so we headed to our favorite breakfast spot… Toast.IMG_2174

The wait was crazy long since it was Father’s Day. By the time we got seated it was almost lunch time and I was starving. I ordered a veggie omelet… and a side of pancakes.

Later on that day we went for a hike.






It wasn’t long before little Roosky Littlemoney got tired. So we took turns carrying her.


It was the best way to burn off pancakes if I do say so myself.



After the hike we cooled off our toes before heading back to the house to grill some burgers and brats for the daddies. After I had finished cooking dinner Penelope had a melt down so I put her to bed. By the time I got back to the table my burger was cold and the melted cheese looked like something had died on it. So I passed…


However, that didn’t stop me from eating the strawberry shortcake I had made from scratch for dessert.

Every day while Ruby was here I still had to tend to my garden and she was intrigued. She asked me to show her everything that I was growing and she wanted to plant something too. One morning we planted rainbow carrot seeds.





They should be ready to harvest in September so I told her I would send her some carrots in the mail. We took pictures of the process so that she could show her preschool classmates during show and tell.

The rest of Roosky’s Colorado adventure included lots of cuddles…


More ice cream…


Happy meal picnics…


Dance video games…


I’m so fast it doesn’t even look like I have arms.

And braids…


25 to be exact.

We’ll miss that little girl!

But at the moment I need to hurry and clean my house for our next guest! We haven’t seen each other as adults. I’m pretty sure she’s not going to ask me to get her a happy meal so I’m hoping I can eat a bit cleaner and participate in a few more figure friendly activities. I’m also pretty sure she won’t make me stop writing a blog post in order to braid her hair or play Just Dance… but you never know 😉

Let the summer adventures continue!