May 16, 2009

Butterfly Pavilion

For my birthday, Tim planned a trek up to the Butterfly Pavilion.  This is a place we've heard so much about, but had never been.  We were more than a little confused as to what the place was actually like.  We all bundled up, as it was a pretty cool day and made the drive to the northern side of the Denver suburbs.  Both Tim and I were surprised upon our realizations that the place is entirely indoors.  After shedding our unnecessary extra layers (which Tim ran back out to the car, as we could find no place to stash them), we began our explorations.   The first few "rooms" contained large, disgusting bugs that I hope to never see outside of a cage.  The next room had some sea life, including crabs and starfish.  And then finally, we found what we had come for.  BUTTERFLIES!  You step through the doors, and are magically transported to the rain forest.  There are butterflies everywhere.  Okay, not really, but really there were several large, vividly colored butterflies flapping back and forth across the paths.  If you were really lucky, you just might get one to land on you.  And we happened to be there for the 12:30 butterfly release, which actually turned out to be quite the disappointment.  After a couple of trips around the path hunting for butterflies, we headed back into the building.  We finished up with the large, interactive room where the kids got to climb around a bit.  

All said, we did have a good time.  And we will probably not pay to visit the Butterfly Pavilion again any time in the near future!  :)

Noah climbs around in the "honeycombs"

Checking out the really nasty bugs that I hope to never find outside of those cages

The signs may say no touching, but what can ya do if they land on you?

The wonder of a child

And when she learns to break rules, we'll know who to blame


May 10, 2009

Mother's Day, 2009

I am not sure that there is any way to describe the range and disparity of emotions that took place inside of me this morning.  I knew from the beginning that today's church service would be emotional.  It seemed that everyone we knew dedicated a baby of theirs at church today.  It was a like a club that we were not a part of.  As if that weren't bad enough, it was not so hard to remember that it was not that long ago that we thought we would have been part of that club today.  

As the first few babies were prayed for, all I could think about was our baby that we are still waiting to meet.  What would it look like now?  What would it's temperament be?  What would Sophia and Noah think about having a baby in the house?  How much would I love to hold that baby right now?

But then, as we came to the last several babies, my mind turned to the babies I DO have and get to hug and squeeze and hold on to every day.  And who but another mother can understand what that is like?  This is the place where you could insert so many cliches about what it means and feels like to be a mom- and they would be all true.  But those of us who have had this privilege know that there really aren't any words to explain it.

And so, we brought two tired and whiney kids home from church today, and all I could think was, "Thank you, Heavenly Father!!!!"  And I held those two whiney kids, and squeezed all of my love into them, laid them down for their naps and asked God  to help me cherish every moment- even the tired and whiney ones.  

May 3, 2009

A Walk in the Clouds

All spring, we have been itching to get out hiking. After all, that's why we choose to live here in Colorado, right? Unfortunately, Mother Nature is repaying us for our unusually warm winter, and we have had one cool, damp spring. We can't complain too much, but somehow, Mother Nature and the calendar must be in the midst of some kind of feud, as each weekend since mid-March has been either cold, snowy, rainy, or some combination of all three.

This weekend, we finally decided we've had enough! Really, we have Ryan, Katie and Teddy to thank for that. Tim's cousin has been in Colorado for the last couple of months on a job site down in Pueblo. They've been staying in Manitou Springs, which is about an hour and fifteen minutes south of us. We were able to spend Easter with them, and knowing that their days here are numbered, we headed out for a hike in spite of the damp day.

Earlier this spring, we had finally bought a backpack carrier off of everyone's favorite online shopping site- Craig's list. This was our first opportunity to put it to use. Since Sophia weighs more than Noah, she got the "luxury ride" in the new backpack with Tim. Noah is about 10 pounds lighter than Sophia, so he got the "antique ride" in the our old, borrowed backpack. By the time the hike was done, both Noah and I agreed that that would be our last trip with that pack!! It's time to retire and return the antique. Sophia says it's bad because it's just an "old, cheap one". I daresay she has that right! Project number one today: back to Craig's list for another backpack. :)

All said, we were so glad that we made the effort and took the walk in the clouds. The fog and mist definitely changed the view, but we can always imagine! And besides, it was great to be able to spend the time with the Alcotts before they head off on their next adventure.

Katie, Ryan, and Teddy

Over my shoulder

May 1, 2009

Christmas- 4 Months later

Let me go back to the time when I fell off the wagon- the blogging bandwagon, that is. I've been plagued by thoughts of updating this blog ever since Christmas!

Christmas of 2008 found us here in Denver for the third consecutive year. While we miss being with the Nielson side of the family so much, we must say that it is highly convenient to not have to travel thousands of miles with two small children in the thick of blizzard season. And we have yet to know what Christmas without family is like, as the Ulferts side has been willing to make the trek to us for the last few years.

So there you have our Christmas equation: Nielson 4 + Ulferts 8 + Christmas decorations = one full house!! But thankfully we have the space (although many more additions to either family might start to change that fact), and we love hosting anyone that is willing to come visit. We truly look forward to hosting Christmas at our house, and this year was no different.

Unfortunately, this year, we discovered that we had a faulty camera at the onset of prime picture season. I did manage to snag some of my mom's pictures from the holiday season, but don't have as many as I would like. I'll share just a few of what we do have.

Cousins-Titus, Noah, and Sophia

Noah and Eric sporting their new beanies (okay, the one falling over Noah's eyes was really for Tim)

Ashley and Todd helping Noah and Sophia
open some early gifts on Christmas Eve

Sophia and Todd posing

Is Anyone Out There?

I bet you all thought I had abandoned the current trend of blogging! Ah, not so, my friends!! The truth of the matter is that life has been so crazy in our house in the last six months, that there simply hasn't been time. Nearly each week, I put it on my mental "to-do" list, but somehow it always ends up at the very bottom of my priority list. I have several friends and family members that blog regularly, and I always find myself marveling at how they have found time.

Well, I've had an epiphany lately. As many of you know, Tim loves baseball so much that to say he is an "avid" baseball fan is quite simply the understatement of the year. Sometimes I feel very much like a baseball widow. Graciously, Tim is usually more than willing to give me time for my hobbies in return for the time he commits to baseball. But we usually come back to the same thing: what can I do that will not put any kinks into our very strict budget?

I have found the answer! As someone who once fancied herself as somewhat of a writer, I have decided to make an attempt to commit myself to this outlet. So there it is, published out there for all to see. Now I'm accountable. Let's see how I do! I'll keep my fingers crossed and jump right in...
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