Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Colorado, In Pathetically Few Pictures

Evan and I got to pop out to Colorado for a long weekend to meet our new niece (and see her parents, of course!)  My in-laws had two tickets that had to be used by mid-September, so we helped them out by using the tickets, and letting them watch our crazy kids!  :-)  It was wonderful to be with Evan, without trying to keep track of the kids and adjudicate "disagreements".  Of course, by the end, we were desperate to see them again.

Unfortunately, though, in the glow of walking through airports unencumbered and sleeping in until we wanted to, I kind of forgot to take any pictures.  Well, I took a few, but considering I used to pop off five rolls of film for a weekend get-together, 30ish digital pictures is kind of sparse.

 We got there Thursday night, so Friday we all set off to see the mountains.  This little creek was lovely in the sunlight.  Plus, it was a perfect excuse to get my carsick self out of the van for a few minutes.

 It was nice of the fly fisherman to add his picturesque self to my scene.

 Evan and Lisa were more energetic than I.

I haven't been on roads this twisty since Lindsey and I traversed most of Utah one interminable night.  Mighty pretty around here, though!

These photos are on Loveland Pass ("Way up on the Great Divide, Trucking on dooooowwwwwwn, the other side!")

See?  I was there.  I had to steal this picture from Evan's phone, since I didn't have the brains to take a picture of the sign with my camera.  I think I was a little loopy from altitude sickness.  We'll blame it on that. 

By the way, the only other time that I remember being photographed by a continental divide sign was when I was 12 years old, and I went to Montana with my Gammy to visit my cousin, Sheri.  And I was wearing my favorite purple and maroon tie-dyed shirt, and I was about as grown-up as a girl can be, and it was my favorite picture ever until water overflowed from Mom's ivy pot and ruined the picture.  The Sad End.

 Fall colors starting a little!

 The three White siblings!

Evan, of course, has to look like an unsmiling dork in all the pictures.  Good thing he's so ruggedly handsome I forgive him.

 The new Daddy and Mommy with their precious bundle!

 Aspens ablaze.

 Sun flare on a pine/fir/spruce tree.  I did not follow in my siblings' footsteps and take dendrology.

 I apparently feel compelled to be like Bethaney, though, so I took a picture of flowers.

 We took a free (Evan couldn't resist that word, the Yankee) gondola ride up one of the ski slopes.  Tyler kept Ava safe.

 Until Julie did.

 Evan smiling at me in a very unnerving way.  I am pretty impressed with myself that I was smiling, because remember that altitude sickness/carsickness complaint?  Yeah, apparently it gets about a thousand times worse in an airless, swaying gondola.  Thankfully for all involved, all I did was look green and feel miserable.

 The plexiglass windows don't do much for the photography options, but it was mighty purty.

Especially that little stream.  Where a person could be walking in the FRESH AIR, instead of swaying back and forth and back and forth and back and forth...

This beautiful view was later, some lovely lake in some lovely ski town that I completely forget the name of.

 But it was enchanting in September, and I'm sure it would be breathtaking in winter.

 The trees were getting serious about fall.

Then, Friday night, we went to a most glorious get-together with several of the friends in Denver.  I completely neglected to take even one blurry, pointless picture.  I did have an absolutely wonderful time, though, meeting new people and enjoying the loveliness of being in an area with enough people for a get-together.  Of course, we did run into people we knew-- doesn't that always happen?  A married couple we knew from Alaska (although they weren't a couple when we knew them!) were there, and it was fun to catch up on some AK news!

Saturday morning, Evan and Tyler went to get bested at hockey by some Canadian ex-pats, while Lisa, Julie and I sat around admiring Ava, going through some hand-me-downs I had brought, and chatting.

Then, after lunch, we visited the Red Rocks amphitheater!  And I took a picture because I admire the contributions the CCC workers made to our society, not because the muscled young man pictured is shirtless.  Of course not.

What an incredibly awesome place.  The purpose of this amphitheater is for concerts, of course, but lots of folks use those stairs for exercising.  I thought it was a lovely place to SIT for an extended period of time.  (I don't know if I would fit in well with Colorado's exercise ethos.)

Being near Denver, it was a beautiful day, of course.  The temperature was lovely, and you could look at the view in all directions.  This was the city view.

And this was in the other direction, whichever direction that was.  I don't generally carry a compass.

And down to the stage.

 Walking down the stairs.

 Lisa running up the stairs full tilt!  Well, full tilt until the width of the risers changed, but it still took her an impressively short amount of time to climb all (80?  I already forget) steps.  This picture is a weird color, but I kind of like it.

 Lisa in front of the Red Rocks!

Sunday was gospel meeting, and another Alaska reunion-- our elder's wife in Alaska was wheeled into meeting as we were coming in, along with her daughter and her husband, who we went to Wednesday night with, and who have visited us in NY!  Leila's granddaughter is in that field this year, so I guess it wasn't that odd that she would be there visiting, it was just so unexpected (and wonderful!)  Then out to eat with some folks who lived in Maine when the White kids were teens!

And Monday was for shopping!  Tyler had to go to work, so Evan, under great duress (and the fact that he was the only one authorized to drive our rental van) drove us around while we shopped!

Things I Learned About Shopping in Colorado
  • Whole Foods ain't that exciting when you already have a Wegman's.  Although it was still fun to putter around, and if I was a millionaire, I would totally always buy my cultured butter from pastured cows there.
  • New York REALLY needs a Great Harvest Bread Company.  We didn't know in Alaska how lucky we were, but our stop there in Colorado reminded us.  Even those of us who are trying a wheat-free diet.  Maybe ESPECIALLY those of us trying a wheat-free diet.
  • I never spend a lot of time in one store.  Except for Ikea.  I had a lot of fun shopping, albeit it within the constraints of our budget and suitcase diameter.
  • Malls give me hives, although the one in Colorado was certainly spiffier than the mall where the kids take their piano lessons here in CNY. 
Then back to Tyler and Julie's for supper and some hurried games of PR!  Evan was totes excited about helping me scheme how to fit our Ikea purchases in.  (Answer: take the big box of Huggies diapers that Ava had been given as a gift, put the diapers in Ava's closet and voila!  Another suitcase to check!)  I could be profligate with my luggage because we were flying Southwest for the first time, where they actually still let you check two bags!  Oh, the sheer indulgence of it.

Things I didn't get any pictures of while I was there:  Tyler and Julie's house, their dog, their spiffy guest room suite in the basement, our luxury rental van (the doors and rear hatch are automatic!  Be still my heart!)...

The most heartbreaking part of my idiocy re: picture taking is that I didn't get any real pictures of Ava.  Evan took some on his phone, but I just didn't remember/think to.  I did take this one video of her on my iPod Touch so I could send it to the kids.  So here is Ava, a movie star that bypassed the still pictures stage.

"Why is my weird aunt shoving that shiny thing toward me?"

And that, my friends, is our trip, in few pictures and WAY too many words.

A Titillating Tidbit

Anyone know who these cute little farm girls are?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Wrapping up June

Today is the last day of summer, so maybe I should actually post these pictures I took in June and uploaded in August.  I'm on-the-verge-of-hysterics tired, but that's pretty normal these evenings, so why wait?

This was a picture I took to show the new furniture configuration in the boys' room.  I wanted to take more pictures of the other rooms, but I never got around to it.  This crib was replaced with a toddler bed soon after this picture.  My kids are all so big!

It's crazy to me how much bigger Lincoln is than he was in this picture three months ago.  The excitement on his face was because he was holding his new birthday book from auntie!  Lisa has made the kids lots of little albums over the years, they're always a hit!

Rilla with her exciting gift.

A new pair of Bitty Twins from American Girl Company!  I felt bad for her, always having to sneak the other kids' dolls when they weren't around.  She was given some money for a gift, and this seemed like the perfect time in a little girl's life to have two babies!

Horror because Lincoln might touch them!

Their names are Gosha and Ordin (or Cooper, depending on the day).  Lincoln didn't understand why he couldn't hold one, so he had to hold Elliott's Gilbert White to console him.

Cheesy grins!

Quite the loving little mama!

Lincoln with his birthday wheelbarrow.  He didn't want to play with it at Grandma and Grandpa's, since there were ANIMALS around to frighten him, but he sure loved it when he got home.

Cheyenne's "Aunt Bet Braid", with a flag ribbon in honor of Flag Day.  This ended up being the day Elsie was born, so it was good we had momentous hair!

Cute kids hugging the flag pole.

Cheyenne had a starring role in the second grade musical, "To Bee or Not to Bee".  Believe you me, the puns didn't end at the title.

Cheyenne was the Queen Bee (note the tiara!).

Cheyenne's buddy Alex.

And her friend Tess.

Singing the first song, which will forever be engraved on my psyche.  "When you wake up early on a sunny morn..."

And the first line: "Wanda!  Wanda!  Where IS that child?"

Later in the play, Cheyenne and Tess got to stand beside each other.

The Rock Star, Johnny Bee.

"Wanda" or Avery.

This little girl had a gorgeous voice...

Despite the inherent limitations in her apple tree costume.

Hector the Nectar Inspector.  Yeah, this play was great.

Cheyenne and Tess kept cracking up together.

This picture will be worth lots when this little girl is on American Idol someday.

Snacks in the cafeteria after the play!

Complete with neon punch!

They had spray painted Cheyenne's class year on the ground for a picture.  I'm sure it will be here before we know it!

Cheyenne and Tess.

Elliott, looking rather lost in a sea of taller kids.

Officially graduated!  I am SO glad we kept Elliott back for that extra year-- Kindergarten, Take Two went so well for him.  So far, first grade is going just fine, too!

Cheyenne's buddy Lydia stopped in for the day, enroute to her grandma's up north.

There was sprinkler fun, popsicles, and general giggles...

And Rebekah and I didn't stress ourselves out too much, either!  :-)

I've grown wiser (and busier) in the last couple of months, so I won't be posting extravagant promises about when the next time I'll post on here will be!  I am hoping that things will settle down here a bit, though so far this is one busy school year!  At least we're home this weekend, we'll see what happens!