Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Vacation to Red Feather Lakes, CO

We went back to Red Feather Lakes, CO to where my Aunt and Uncle own a lake front cabin for our summer vacation.

Our first day of vacation, we stayed the day in Denver and went to the Denver Zoo.

While up in the mountains, we enjoyed numerous, long hikes.

We saw signs of wildlife, like these antler rubbings from moose, and came across a few deer and smaller animals.

But the wildest creature we came across was Dexter. He is a true mountain dog at heart!

Rock climbing was a favorite activity of Ethan and my nephew, Austin. (We were excited to bring my 15 year old nephew with us this year. We also had both sets of Grandparents along for a portion of the trip.)

As always, the scenery of breath-taking. We were even blessed to experience a double rainbow over the lake.

We tried our hand at fishing one day.

And horse back ridding another. A first time riding horses for both Ethan and Austin.

We enjoyed spending quality time with family...

Spending lots of time outdoors...

Laughing and having fun...

And...I even managed some relaxation time.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fireworks and Food!

I love the 4th of July. It's a low key holiday that celebrates so many things that I cherish all in one day.

I started out the day with an early morning 6 mile run. It felt great to hit the pavement early and beat the triple digit heat. During my run I spent time reflecting on the incrediable freedom that I have living here in rural Kansas. I can run anywhere in my town with out fear or intimidation and enjoy exploring different neighborhoods and countryside while feeling completely safe.

My pre-run fuel: Toast with cream cheese, blackberries and raspberries.

By the time I finished my run, the temperature was already almost 90 degrees! I quickly showered and cleaned up. It was time to decorate for a very important birthday party. My mom turns 65 today. Happy birthday, Mommy! 


We had my parents over for lunch to celebrate Mom's birthday.

For the main dish, I put bbq pulled pork in the bottom of a mason jar (how appropriate for a Mason birthday?) and cooked a biscuit on top in the oven. It made for a fun presentation and easy serving. On the side we had watermelon and corn on the cob. Simple, Americana food at its' best.

I asked my Mom what type of cake she wanted for her birthday and she quickly replied with "chocolate" before I could even finish asking the question. I ended up picking this Reese's Peanut Butter, Chocolate Cake that I saw on Pintrest.

Following the birthday party, we took naps, played in the sprinklers and just relaxed for a little while before heading out to the farm.

Of course, I had to bring some yummy goodies with me to share.

These patriotic strawberries were so juicy! This has to be one of the easiest treats I've made that provides such a visual impact - a crowd pleaser for sure.

I have had these confetti blondies bookmarked to make for awhile and was excited to finally make them. Yummy! Buttery, rich and festive.

We couldn't forget our baby calves needed treats for 4th of July, too. What better treat then to be bottle fed by a four year old?

Pretty soon it was time for fireworks!

My Dad brought over his camera's memory cards for me to download some pictures. I found these old 4th of July pictures from probably 2008, I'm not sure. But I thought they would be fun to share for my family.

I still love this internal flag cake. I'll have to bust it out again some year.

An Officer and a Lady. :)

My super silly Auntie Pam and her super silly great-nephew.

Happy 4th of July!