Father’s Day Celebrations and Camp Chief Ouray: Colorado’s best overnight camp for kids!

I can’t say enough how blessed I feel to have a wonderful father, father-in-law and be married to an amazing man who is a fun-loving, hard-working father to my children.

Father-son matching pumpkin-colored ties

Our Father’s Day was a whirlwind. The Primary kids performed a Father’s Day medley of songs in Sacrament Meeting and yours truly was the accompanist. This would have been fine and dandy if I was able to play one of the songs but ended up faking my way through and fortunately nobody noticed.  Turns out they were too enamored with all the cute kiddos, which is a very, very good thing.

In our Ward, we have the best tradition ever: a social after church where everyone brings pies and proceed to stuff our faces with them. Well, not literally. Though a pie-throwing contest would be a pretty fun tradition, too.

We then raced home and drove 1.5 hours to drop the kiddos off at Camp Chief Ouray at YMCA of the Rockies near Granby, Colo. I’ll have much more to come on that but I’m having very mixed feelings. On the one hand, I’m thrilled they are spending six days at the glorious camp, which is the longest-running and one of the most reputable in Colorado that is heaped in traditions and fun.

Bode’s counselors Andres and Kevin; Hadley was too cool for hugs and posing for pictures

On the other hand, I’m missing them terribly. Though Jamie and I have been on couple’s vacations, this is the first time we’ve been alone together at our house in 10 years. Fat Kitty is feeling it, too. He woke us up at 3 a.m.with “the meow of death” and acted like he was dying. When we saw nothing was externally wrong, we ascertained he’s lost without those two cherubs of his. As you can see, he quickly got over his angst-driven, sleepless night.

We all mourn in different ways.

That includes Jamie. As we were walking away after dropping off the kids, we followed the steady procession of parents walking to their cars.

Jamie: “Have you noticed something we all have in common?”

Me: “What?”

Jamie: “All the parents now have smiles on their faces.”

And believe me, so did the kids about spending the week in such a magical place.

Spring has sprung in Denver (and so has my suffering)

As school winds down, life is at a frenetic pace and the last four weeks have kicked my butt. If I haven’t been sick, I’ve been down-and-out with allergies. Is anyone else having the worst pollen-infested spring ever?

Regardless, life must go on and we have been busy, busy, busy.

We rarely/never get visitors and I just don’t understand. Is Colorado not one of the coolest places on earth? So, I was thrilled when my sister-in-law’s little sister Esther pinged me that she and her husband were coming to town for a wedding. Jane comes from a family of 9? 10? kids and I haven’t seen Esther since she was Hadley’s age when my brother got married. I was thrilled to take her and her wonderful hubby who just graduated from medical school to some of my favorite haunts that included Evergreen Lake.

And, of course, the best breakfast in Colorado: Country Road Cafe (just check-out all that food and the pancake!) I have to give Esther credit. She ordered something I never would have tried in a gazillion years and it was out of this world: The Wildwood’s potato pancakes topped with roasted pork, eggs, cheddar, hollandaise, crispy onions and jalapeno jam.

If you come visit me, I’ll take you and let you buy it for me because I’m nice like that.

My friend Tina’s kids Nolan and Rowan are our long-time friends who were born almost exactly a year apart. For their birthday, Tina goes ALL OUT and this year, it was a Despicable Me party on an outdoor movie screen.


As always, I was  happy to mooch off a friend for a super fun evening.

We also played hard on Nolan’s birthday.

Except for Bode. He looks a bit worried. And who can blame him?

We later went for Mongolian BBQ and it would appear Rowan is doing something shocking like eating her vegetables.

One fine spring morning, we popped over to Hadley’s Waldorf school for a lovely May Faire. Admittedly, there are some cultural idiosyncrasies that endlessly frustrate me i.e. there is a zero waste policy so, though they served fresh-squeezed lemonade, unless you brought your own non-disposable cup you were out of luck. And yes, we forgot because we generally don’t transport our own beverage containers.

On the plus side, we had a great time watching the kids do the Maypole dance, a ceremonial folk dance performed around a tall pole garlanded with greenery or flowers and often hung with ribbons that are woven into complex patterns. Hadley and I made flower wreaths for our hair and didn’t they turn out beautiful?
Revealing sidenote: My wreath lasted five minutes before I had an allergic reaction to the flowers. I have more issues than even I could have imagined.

Despite my love hate-hate relationship with allergies, it’s tough to complain too much with views like these. During a bike ride, I was blown away by one of our favorite summer swimming holes.

Friday bootcamp at Rocks Rocks=not ugly

White Ranch Park Open Space

On top of the world at White Ranch

One evening, we were thrilled to attend Elitch Gardens’ VIP Preview night of their new ride, the Brain Drain. I couldn’t convince Jamie or the kids to go with me so latched onto some of my awesome blogging friends and besides hanging upside down midair. And going backwards. And huge loops at warp speed. It was a blast!

The kids had plenty of fun, too. Despite the fact the park was still closed for the season, Elitch opened up a bunch of rides, which we proceeded to ride over and over again. There was also a never-ending supply of food. Upon being approached by a waiter who offered him an unlimited supply of corn dogs at no cost, Bode sighed and pronounced, “This is what it’s like to be a king!”

Sorry, dude. In my world it would’ve been steak and an allergy-free spring.