Summer Fun Part V

A Day Out with Thomas

So it happened…my son has become obsessed with trains. And cars. And construction equipment. And pretty much anything that has wheels. 

So it was a no-brainer when Ryan and I found out that an actual train replica of Thomas the Train was coming to the Colorado Railroad Museum. We bought our tickets and were off for what I can only describe as a convention of little boys 4 and under.

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It’s Thomas! 

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Leo couldn’t believe this luck, it was magical :).

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I have to admit, trains have never been my thing, but this museum was really neat. It had a HUGE model train city both inside and outside. 

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It was just wonderful 🙂 The weather was perfect, and Leo only had one tiny episode (to be fair, it was right when we got there and he saw Thomas. We had to wait in line before we got to ride him and Leo was NOT pleased with the waiting). 

Our little guy is more obsessed with trains than ever before, and i love it. It’s so much fun watching him shout “choo choooo!” around the house chasing his little trains. Love little boys 🙂 

Summer Fun Part…I forget

Sorry, folks! I keep forgetting about this blogging thing. And the unfortunate part is I have absolutely no excuse. The weather is chilly, rainy, and PERFECT for writing. But instead most of Leo’s nap times are filled with reading OTHER people’s blogs and scratching my head “why can’t I be more consistent at writing in that thing?” HA. Oh well. On to the summer updates! 🙂 

Visit to Omaha

We were fortunate enough to visit Ryan’s family in Omaha during Labor Day weekend. This visit was especially significant because most of Ryan’s mom’s side were able to make it into town for a little mini-Family Reunion. It was wonderful. Most of the family Leo and I had never met before, so it was fun getting to know a little bit more about my Ryan :). 

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Leo got to go to the zoo! Look at how excited he is 🙂 

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This is, unfortunately, the only picture I took of Leo and his grandparents during our visit. Ugh, I know, I stink. I am so terrible about snapping shots with my camera. But it was a fun time nonetheless.

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Leo looking at monkeys…or as he calls them “GEORGE! LOTS N LOTS OF GEORGE!!” *Curious George for those of you who don’t speak toddler.

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I cannot believe Leo wore his hat as long as he did. About six weeks ago, wearing hats was akin to kidney removal with no pain killers for this child. But we’ve discovered if you convince him that DADDY DOES THE SAME THING Leo will do it. I couldn’t get him to change into another pair of shoes until I said “they’ll make you JUST LIKE DADDA.” Now it’s all he wears :).

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Leo got to ride the train around the Omaha zoo, which was really fun except it was an actual steam engine and therefore INCREDIBLY LOUD. By the first little stop Leo was ready to peace out.

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Here’s a picture of (almost) the entire crew from the weekend, minus a few golfing guys (including Ryan and Grandpa). What a blessing it was to be with such a sweet family!

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Ok, I just had to put this in the post. It’s from the first Broncos game of the season and Leo was so so so incredibly excited. 🙂 And again, proof that he LOVES imitating his daddy.

That’s about it, folks 🙂 More exciting Miles updates to come this weekend!

Summer Fun Part III

Our Garden BLOOMS

So, I have a garden now. It’s not simply a small raised bed with some strawberries and zucchini. No, I mean about half of my back yard is a big, giant garden.

When we bought the house back in April, it was clear the yard was going to be something spectacular. The problem, of course, was seeing the vision of “what could be” back then. After suffering from years of neglect (the previous owner was an older woman) and a very late winter (we had six inches of snow on May 2!!!), the backyard had certainly seen better days.

It’s design was beautiful, with an open Pergola covered with grapevines and a sprinkler system for almost every section.

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The problem, of course, was in order to revive and maintain its beauty, i would have to work…a LOT. I mean, really, what mom to a toddler has the time or ability to put EVERY SINGLE WEED that pops up. And I’ve tried making it a game for Leo…he thought that was as much fun as nap time and poopy diapers.

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So I had an idea: KILL IT ALL. Yep, just throw down some grass and weed killer, put mulch over the sites and just keep it simple. Maybe down the line we’d plant some bushes or use our vegetable garden, but for now I just needed to clean and debris and KILL. Simple, easy, fast.

When I told my husband my brilliant idea, he looked like he had just been punched in the gut. My sweet husband grew up with the most incredible garden, cared for by his mom. Every detail is beautiful, and constantly providing the family with fruits, vegetables, and just simple eye candy. So I could understand his hesitation, but I was determined. “I’m not your mom,” I would say. “I just don’t have the patience for it.”

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But Ryan is persistent, and incredibly convincing. He told me just to give it one summer. “Let’s see what pops up and blooms, then we’ll know what we want to keep or not keep for next spring.” Fair enough. Leo likes being outside, and even though I knew some of the work would be a bit back-breaking (I HATE MULCH), it wouldn’t hurt to at least see what popped up from our new mystery back yard.

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my three years of marriage: my husband is incredibly wise. I am SO grateful we went with his suggestion instead of mine. At certain parts of the summer, our yard was a colorful wonderland. It seemed every week something new would pop up. Plants I dismissed as dead or simple weeds would blossom into absolutely gorgeous flowers. Purples, pinks, yellows, the surprises never ended.

I’ve been thinking about my garden a lot the past couple of weeks as I have attempted to enter more deeply into my spiritual life again. In the midst of summer craziness, moving, travel, etc, somehow it’s my relationship with the Lord that always gets put to the side. As I attempted to re-engage, slowly offer up some wounds of my past, God decided to get serious. But my efforts were kind of like how i approached my garden. “What quick, easy solution could I make to ensure these wounds never pop up again?” Apparently, it’s just not that simple.

There’s good reason scripture and Tradition makes comparisons with the spiritual life and the abundance of life provided by nature.  Each part of our souls has been carefully crafted and thought-out, but we humans tend to mess with the beauty of it all. I realized quite quickly that in order to experience the beauty of ‘what was meant to be,’ I must simply sit and allow God to do the necessary work (I, of course, am participating in this work too). It is a long, tedious and sometimes painful process, but–like my garden–I am already witnessing its potential beauty.

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And so to my final point: TRUST. How hard it is for us to TRUST that, in spite of how difficult or challenging a task may be, that it is beauty awaiting us on the other side? And to my delight, as the summer went on, I found beauty unfolding through my garden in ways I didn’t anticipate. There is nothing more wonderful than watching the joy my son has in helping to pick beans from mommy’s garden, or watching the delight on my husband’s face when he sees not one by FIVE pumpkins spring forth unexpectedly (I have such a great Fall menu planned!)

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God is a God of wonder, amazement and surprises. He showed this to me with my garden. I can’t wait to see what He does with my heart.

Blessings dear friends, Jules 🙂

Summer Fun Part II

Probably one of the most wonderful parts to our summer was spending some time back in the great state of Virginia. Not only did we get two weeks with my parents, but we also got to meet my handsome new nephew for the first time. 

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I mean really, how cute are these boys?? Little Holden is a miniature Papa Dom, with the cutest, chunkiest thighs I’ve ever seen. And James and Leo adored each other, they got along so well it was wonderful. Both my sister-in-law and I commented on how nice it was to not have to worry about them arguing or anything like that, they both were just so sweet to each other it was great.

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And here’s proof of how well Leo and James did…BFFs in the making.

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Leo of course couldn’t go two weeks without playing with Mom-mom’s phone. 

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And besides the fun cousin fun, Mom-mom and Papa Dom took us to another baseball game! It was just wonderful, Leo was so good and just thrilled.

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These were the only pictures I had that weren’t on my phone…and unfortunately I had to get a new phone after a certain toddler dropped mine and cracked the screen. Ryan and I are working on transferring the pictures 🙂

Speaking of my Ryan, today’s our three year anniversary 🙂 

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I’m so blessed to be married to the best man in the whole world. He’s an amazing father, loving husband, and the best best friend a girl could ask for. I love you my sweet Ryan! 🙂 

 

Summer updates Part I

Welp, it’s been an entire summer with absolutely no updates…whoops! I could give all of the reasons why I chose laziness this summer over consistency, but that doesn’t seem necessary. Instead, everyday for the next week or so I will post something that we did this summer to show you just how off the hook I am for not writing a thing 🙂

 

Let’s start with right after our last post, late June.

…..My mom came to visit!!!!!!!!!!

 

It was wonderful having mom with me for a couple of days. Originally, Ryan wasn’t supposed to be in town, but with some work changes he also got to visit with my mom which was wonderful.

 

Unfortunately, if there’s one thing you’re discover about this past summer, it’s that i was TERRIBLE at taking pictures. These two of mom and Leo are the only ones I took, and they were with my phone so I’m not convinced about their quality (even though it is a new phone, which by the way I still don’t really understand how to use).

 

So here you go! Summer part one! 🙂 

What a Happy Father’s Day!

We had such an incredibly wonderful weekend…I keep smiling whenever I think about it. Our sweet husband/daddy Ryan not only celebrated Father’s Day, but this was also his birthday weekend celebrating the big 2-9! To mark the occasion, we had a party Saturday night with friends of Ryan’s throughout the years, including co-workers, college friends, and families in our Catholic community. It was such a fun and joyful night that I completely forgot to snap any pictures marking the occasion! Mea culpa…

What I DID get pictures of, however, was my birthday/Father’s Day present to Ryan:

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Yep, that’s a Rockies Game! 🙂

Ryan had been begging me to take the family to a game this season, but I kept feeling uneasy about it. The thought of our very very movable toddler sitting still in the sun for 3+ hours didn’t sound appealing to me. Not to mention, this technically wasn’t Leo’s first Rockies game. Many of you remember that I lost the “due date” bet when Leo was first born, which meant at the ripe ol’ age of three weeks we took our sweet boy to what ended up being a terrible Rockies loss and a day of anxiety and panic over every little thing that could go wrong (ok, so the anxiety was on my end). 

But after some talking it over, and some unfortunate cancellations on our Omaha summer trip (which would have included a game to the College World Series), I surprised Ryan with tickets for a Father’s Day Rockies game, and IT WAS PERFECT.

First, Leo got to ride on his first train:

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When we got on the train, it was slightly raining, but soon the clouds cleared and we were blessed to be in the shade for most of the game:

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Daddy was so excited to be at the game with his family!

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(by the way, his shirt says “This is what a cool dad looks like!” Thanks uncle Eric!)

And by the way, Leo was AMAZING. My mom called it…right before the game I was telling her about my nerves, and she said “Julianne, Leo might be a mover, but he’s also an OBSERVER.” 

And she was right. For 5 straight innings he just sat in my lap or Ryan’s and DIDN’T MOVE. It was incredible. Every now and then he would clap or cheer, but he was so fascinated he just sat and took it all in. It was incredible! When we went to get food, he watched some of the game from the Club vending area and FINALLY started to cheer and get excited, (we think he finally caught on to what was happening). What a beautiful day it was.

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Such a blessed weekend for such an amazing man! We love you Ryan! 🙂 

Happy Faces Friday/Saturday/I keep forgetting!

It’s been a long hiatus from the blog, at least concerning pictures. I am so sorry, in the midst of the moving craziness and some other things going on in our lives, I have neglected keeping my friends and family up to date with our daily happenings. Mea culpa…hopefully this will be the start of more frequent and consistent blogging efforts…but as it stands right now I am pooped, so some pictures of our little guy will have to do. Enjoy! 🙂 

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just having a happy evening 🙂

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Leo watching the NCAA DII track and field finals with his daddy, so fun, and daddy’s friend got second! 🙂

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Leo couldn’t decide if he wanted the Kindle or the IPAD…this is probably on our list of parenting fails…

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Leo focusing very hard on trying to eat cereal with a spoon…it’s amazing what we take for granted 🙂

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Leo trying to smile!! He was helping me garden 🙂

I will post more pictures this week from Ryan’s cousin’s wedding, but I am exhausted and very much looking forward to bed!

Blessings to you all! 

PS: Don’t forget to join Pope Francis tomorrow to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament…11 am est (9 am for you mountain folks).