Well, it has been a while since we wrote a blog, so I figured I would recap what has been going on lately... First we can start with Christmas!
Christmas was fantastic!! I got all sorts of running stuff, travel books for Europe, a Jeep tire cover, a book on Mexicans who run (woo-hoo!). Julie is reading my Mexican running book now, she jumped in before I had a chance to, but I can't wait to dive in and read it. Julie got a GPS unit from her loving husband, all sorts of movies CDs, cook books and cooking utensils! As far as the other stuff, like visiting family and celebrating the holiday, that went pretty good too. We started off Christmas Eve, once Julie got off work, at my mom's house. We had a delicious steak and potato dinner with David's raspberry sheeba for dessert. We decided to start a puzzle at their house, the picture was of a snowy road flanked by fences, and snow covered trees. It was all white. It was terrible! We only got the edges and the road done in a few hours. I think that was an old puzzle that Debbie gave me to work, I'll have to have a talk with her next time I see her.
Then for Christmas day we went to Julie's parents house with Jim, Amanda, Breckin and Reagan. We hung out and ate all sorts of snacks and opened presents together. Watching Reagan open her presents was a highlight, she seemed to get the hang of it, but she was pretty tired.
That was a full day of snacks, a different (and much nicer) puzzle, relaxing and stories. Since ESPN had the good idea to show a NBA quadruple-header, we went to Jim and Amanda's house to watch the Nuggets and the other NBA action. Those were two great days with family!
Julie was looking over my shoulder, and made me mention this. She is really, and I mean really, excited about her new cookbook she got for Christmas, it is called the Pioneer Woman Cooks. It is written by a lady who writes a blog about cooking, photography, and life on a farm. All the recipes seem to call for heavy whipping cream and butter, so we are going to have to start working the fields if we want to keep trying the recipes! You can check out her blog at thepioneerwoman.com. We have made some turkey pot pie (which took a few weeks of running to work off), and some pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting (a few more weeks of running).
Then after Christmas, Julie and I both had the week off, so we cleaned house, packed up the Christmas tree, and went to Denver for a day. We wanted to hit some of the malls, check out the new house her friends Amy and Danny bought, and we figured we should do something cool, so we decided to check out the Botanical Gardens. Unfortunately for the gardens, it was late December after a few snow storms, so all of the plants were covered in 4 inches of snow and it was really cold. However they have an inside garden, sometimes called a greenhouse, which houses many tropical plants, including a coffee plant a cocoa tree. It was about 76 inside, and really humid, so Julie loved it!! It also got us really excited for our upcoming trip to Hawaii!!
New Year's Eve was a few days later, and we spent it with Jim and Amanda and a group of other good friends. It was good night and midnight came surprisingly quick. I think the enticing game of Trivial Pursuit is probably to blame, but we all made it to our New Year's Day race the following morning! It was a good run in Palmer Park, the weather was nice, the trails were still covered in snow, but were very manageable. I ran the 10k with Jim and Chris and Andy. Julie did the 5k. The snacks from the night before hurt a little bit, but gave us some fuel towards the end also!
(Thanks Pam for these pictures from race day!)
Later that evening we received the sad news that Julie's Grandfather had passed away. He was put into hospice a few days previously, so although the end was expected, it was still hard on her. We left for the funeral on Sunday, with Jim as well, which left us looking for the football games on AM radio. Unfortunately we could only find the games on the station from Oklahoma City, so we only caught bits and pieces of the games we wanted to hear. Julie's cruise control also stopped working after our stop for gas in Raton, so we had to drive the whole way pushing the pedal ourselves, what a cruel fate. Once we got to Texas, it was good to see all of her family, and the services for her Grandfather were excellent and honored him and his life very well. The rest of the time was spent helping her Grandma when we could, and taking the chance to visit her family as much as possible. They did their best to try to convert us to Texans and convince us to live down that-a-way, but so far it has been unsuccessful! We love seeing them all just the same, and hope we can visit again soon.
On the way back to Colorado we ran into the ice storm that hit Dallas, so Julie's Uncle Bob was nice enough to let us stay at his house the night before, saving us 2 hours in the car that morning, and kept us up to date on the weather and traffic starting at 5 AM! He definitely helped us interpret the traffic cameras and up to the minute weather updates, thanks!
After the excitement of the holidays, and a trip to Texas for Julie's Grandpa we are glad to be home catching up on sleep and laundry. However, it is not all relaxing and game playing, I have started back to school as of Monday, attending The Colorado State University (online) for a Management degree. If I complete it on time, I will graduate 10 years after getting my first degree, which means I have put it off long enough!
I think that is about all that we can work into this edition. Thanks for reading all of that, and hope you all have a great and prosperous New Year!