Sunday, November 7, 2010

Denver, CO

Since we spent the first two weeks of September on the road, I figured I would just finish up the roadtrip post, throw in a few photos from the end of September and call it good. Getting back to our roadtrip...we left Arches National Park and headed toward the Starr home in Denver.
Madeleine reads while we drive.
Traveling with a child is WAY different than just the two of us roadtrippin'. So, we found some nice rest areas to let Madeleine run around a little bit. Doing this post in December, it seems crazy to me that I was still two months away from delivering Gracen. Here she is, with us on our trip!
We traveled some beautiful country. My favorite were the San Rafael Reefs in Utah- of course, the red rocks is my fav, but Tim prefers the mountains with their greenery.
We stopped at Independence Pass to let Madeleine walk around a little bit. It was cold, but we got some great views.

We picked up a Real Estate guide after falling in love with a lovely little town called Frisco, CO. I"m pretty sure, a long time ago, I had seen it featured in Runner's World and I always wanted to see what it looked like. When we stopped by as a side-trip we were pretty much ready to move there. Too bad the neighboring cities are Vail and Breckenridge. Frisco is just a little bit out of our price range!
Our last rest stop before reaching Denver!
Here is Madeleine in the Starr basement. She liked playing with the toys down there. When we got into Denver, we grabbed some pizza to share with the Starrs and headed to their house.
The Starrs also have some lovely chickens, and we got to see some home-grown eggs. Tim shows Mads the chickens. The Starr kids would pick them up for us to see, and they are very pretty. I like the black and white ones, I can't remember their names right now. One is Pat Benetar right Rose?
We went to a park with the Starrs and I love this perspective shot of Madeleine. Emma is swinging in the background.
Even though the weather was not cold enough (even in Denver, which was hotter than I expected) I indulged in my first soy pumpkin spice latte of the season. My favorite drink from the 'Bucks.
Tim mustered up the courage to wrangle a chicken for Madeleine to touch. You can see Todd Jr. in the background on the coop.
After a visit to Fancy Tiger fabrics (which carry Amy Butler designs) we went to Sweet Action Ice Cream, a delicious boutique ice cream parlor downtown. You can see all the flavors they offer on the fridge to the left of me and Rose. Since it was the Great American Beer Festival in Denver the week we were there, the parlor was offering some crazy yummy flavors that featured beer. They make all sorts of interesting concotions.
Tim and his girls toured the Denver Library. Here Tim snuggles the table at which the UN council met when clinton was president. I can't remember what the guy's name was, but Tim is getting back to his roots by carressing the French Prime Minister's seat.
Checking out the view. Wow, Madeleine looks so young in this pic- she's growing up too fast!
Outside a Denver Art Museum
Even though Madeleine did a fairly good job on our trip, we decided in Hot Springs to fly her and me back home. Tim would then drive the way back to Utah, pick up our boat and head home. This was due to the fact that our daughter was starting to show signs of road wear. She was cranky, not napping well and we didn't really want to sit in the car for another 48 hours trying to get her home. So, we said good-bye to the Starrs for all their hospitality and headed home. My parents picked me and Mads up in San Diego at 9am and we waited for Tim to arrive around 2am that night.
He stopped by Frisco again on the way home =)
Thank you Starrs, for sharing your home and some more of Denver with us. We always enjoy hanging out with you, and hope you can meet little Gracen sooner than later.
Love, Lauren

30 Before 30: # 20 Buy Awesome Maternity Jeans

Knowing that I would be pregnant in November, I wanted to invest in at least one pair of nice fitting maternity jeans for Peanut and future pregnancies. Tim took me to Motherhood Maternity where I quickly (we had Madeleine) browsed for jeans. I also quickly found out that I have no desire to spend over $30 on jeans. I didn't even look at the Pea in the Pod selection they featured. For me, it's all about functionality and price. I ended up buying a pair, but couldn't even stand them for one day. I like the secret belly fit type with the Lycra panel that lifts over your bump, but unfortunately, the jean material is too heavy to stay up without the help of a stronger panel. All day I was trying to pull the jeans up into my hip area and feeling like I was losing a losing battle anyways. So, Tim took me back and I quickly (we had Madeleine) browsed for a new pair. I decided on a black pair of corduroy pants. They were less expensive, and the lightness of the corduroy in combination with the color created a flattering and versatile look. They aren't quite as easy to match as jeans (I find that I can only wear black shoes) but they work. Now I can check #20 "Buy Awesome Maternity Jeans Pants" off my list =)
The jeans I took back (36 weeks):
The pants I kept (39 weeks):
Love, Lauren

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

30 Before 30: # 13 Spend a Night Away with Tim

Tim and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary a month early this year. With our impending birth, we decided to not risk missing out on a night away together because once Peanut is out, it will be quite a while until we can leave her overnight. We left early on a Tuesday in October and headed down to my 38 week appointment in San Marcos. Tim was able to hear Peanut's heartbeat again and we had a chance to discuss and finalize our birthplan with our doctor. Then, it was on to San Diego! We planned NOTHING! Tim did have some possible plans in case we felt up to doing anything, but for all you parents out there, you know what I mean when I say that what we wanted the most was to sleep in and do nothing. Or, maybe we are just boring =) Regardless, Tim took me to this Mexican place famous for its connection to Nacho Libre-esque wrestling called Lucho Libre. The ambiance was very fun and festive, the food was ok. It was a novelty type eatery and we enjoyed pondering how one can sit at the gold-plated "Champions" table. We decided to try and get an early check-in at our hotel: Andaz. Originally, we had booked at the Omni, but we decided to try and save a few bucks and be spontaneous by using Priceline. We chose our desired neighborhood (Gaslamp- we were all over the map the previous weeks checking out everything from Downtown highrise to Coronado condos to La Jolla motels to a resort on Shelter Island) and our desired hotel level (4 star) and we let our price do the picking. We ended up at a Hilton called Andaz. Tim was concerned because he really tries to make everything perfect for me, and the one thing I told him I wanted was quiet and relaxing. So, when we found out that this hotel was very famous for being a club first, then a hotel, he started to worry. He checked out the site and found that the rooftop pool boasts some 800 socialites looking for action on the weekends. So, we were interested to see what it would be like on a Tuesday night. We were able to get an early check-in and were very impressed with the modern decor. This boutique hotel also had two pimped-out Escalades that would taxi you anywhere within a 2 mile radius, we were enjoying the luxurious catering. The concierge, Phil, upgraded our room to a junior suite and it was awesome! But, like most of the reviews told us, this hotel is not kid-friendly! (picture of our room). We got into our room and took a nap! Yup, we napped for about two hours before laying in bed and reading.
We went to dinner at 'de Medici, the restaurant we went to on our 1st date. I had saffron risotto with lobster! Oh my goodness, it was amazing. Tim had ravioli, and it was delectable.

We re-visited the rooftop pool and the huge rock fire pit. We went to bed around 9:30! I know, we are so lame, right!? Then, we slept in until a blissful 9am!! We grabbed a Jamba Juice for breakfast and checked out at 12. We had the Escalade take us to the harbor where we boarded the ferry to Coronado. We enjoyed a stroll on the island and some lunch and by then, it was time to come home. It was wonderful! We thoroughly enjoyed joking, snuggling and just loving the other person with no pressures or agenda or discussions pressing. We grabbed coffee on our 22 block walk back to our car (we kinda missed the ferry to the convention center and had to disembark farther upshore) and chatted on the ride back home about nothing and everything. It was perfect and relaxing, just like we wanted.
Happy Anniversary to the love of my life
Love, Lauren