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A New Zoo

Today we had a follow up doctors appointment to check on Karoline's ear drum that ruptured last Thursday. These are the moments that are not in the parent hand book. I had no knowledge of ear aches (praise the Lord neither of the girls had ever ha one, until now) or even that ear drums could rupture! Now I do. 

To make the most of the day we decided to try a new (to the girls) zoo! We grabbed Uncle Scottie and headed to the Pueblo Zoo. While it was smaller than the Denver Zoo, I really enjoyed the intimate (read, not crowded) atmosphere. We were able to walk at our leisure and weren't in anyones way, because we were the only ones there!
So thankful to see this smile again. Seeing your kids sick has to be the worst.
Little chickens!
We needed a picture with the lion who watched us go around the entire exhibit!

We had the entire play structure all to ourselves. I still need to blog about our move home, it's been harder than I expected. But days like today go on the positives list: time with family, less crowds and I love the Southern Colorado warm weather!

Christmas in October

There are some days that I hope I don't forget. Yesterday when I took the girls to the "North Pole" is  one of them.
I'm not sure if it was the magic of Santa, the beautiful 75 degree weather or the company that made this day magical. I have a sneaky suspicion it was a combination of all three.
Our first "real" ride (other than the Denver Zoo carousel and train)! Both girls were a little timid but warmed up quickly.
I discovered that neither of the girls have a fear of heights.
Sweet friends are such a blessing!
This girl chose the motorcycle, just like dad.

If you haven't made your way to the North Pole make sure to add it to your Colorado bucket list. As an added bonus, October is Military appreciation month and the discount is significant (as it should be)! 

Independence Day

Our move back to Canon City is getting closer and closer. My struggle has been figuring out what I need to do to prep for our move while still providing the girls a fun summer. My organizational, A-type self is really having to focus in on what needs to happen and when. "One day at a time," has become my mantra. It seems like the fun summer activities have been easier to accomplish than getting motivated to do anything around the house. I hope this doesn't bite me in the bottom...

In keeping with fun summer activities I knew we had to take advantage of my favorite holiday, the Fourth of July! I'm a summer girl. Any holiday that encompasses all that is summer is a pretty awesome in my book.

This is the first year in a while that we have gotten to celebrate as a family. To add to that we even had some sweet friends join us! A BBQ, pool time and fire works made for a great night. 

Finding family friends who mirror us in so many ways has been a tremendous blessing. Knowing that our Denver trips will include time with them makes me look forward to our future getaway weekends.

Letting the girls stay up to see fire works was on my summer bucket list! I almost backed out for fear of the girls' behavior the following day. Thankful our friends were all for it and that we were able to tag along!

Going Home

After months of searching, hundreds of houses viewed (we thought the Denver market was crazy then), we bought our home on June 21, 2013. 
When we moved in there were overgrown rose bushes under the front window, yellowing grass, a dying aspen and TONS of rocks in the flower garden area. And an old, worn down, garage door. 

We have come to love and cherish our neighbors and the area we live in. This has been our home for four years. We've watched Karoline grow up here. We brought Alexandra home here. We have truly loved our life in our little home.

But when God pulls you in a different direction, and the signs are obvious, then it's time to make a change. It is with a heavy (but hopeful) heart that we say goodbye to our first home ...and Denver. We are moving back to Canon City, where Tim and I grew up. There have been many, many factors that have played into our decision to move home. The biggest is, Lord willing, we are going to have more time together as a family. 

When we finalized our plans to move I decided I wanted to make an "Our First Home" album for the girls. I quickly realized this album has been more for me. Taking the pictures was therapeutic. I enjoyed taking them and I am glad to have them to look at later on.
We have always wanted a red door. Nothing like moving to get you to FINALLY do some projects (insert eye roll ... lesson learned, from now on we make our house the way we want it when we first get into it)!
I pictured taking first day of school pictures in front of this door for many years. Thank goodness God gave me my husband to teach me how to be flexible. I may not take pictures in front of THIS door, but I can take them in front of whatever door we are calling home.
This grass park next to our home allowed us to feel like we were in a small town and secluded. Open space and green grass is something both Tim and I long for wherever our next home may be.
This back yard. Boy did my husband put some work into it. The back 12 feet or so was all junk. Rocks, bark, more rocks and bark. He separated it all, sifted out the dirt, leveled it and planted grass. We nourished the trees back to health and have loved watching them double in size in our time here.
For Karoline's second birthday we built her the sandbox below the house overhang. Lots of fun memories here. 
When we bought the house it was painted a dark color. The west wall was huge and overwhelming. The windows on the front were gridded, old and didn't open.
Last year Tim cut a huge hole in our house and gave us this amazing view. You can see the mountains year round. When the leaves are gone you can really see the Flatirons and Longs Peak.
This shelf! We looked at it unfinished (see picture below) for a year ... again, nothing like moving to force you into getting projects done. Tim made his own shiplap to cover it (my man can create some amazing things with a table saw). I love it, thank you #fixerupper.
In the morning this view is quiet and serene. In the evening we sit and watch the sunsets. I will miss this window. A lot.
We eat almost every meal together at this table. Family meals are important to me, thankful for such a nice space to have gathered as a family.
Little fluffy girl made her way into this one.
Little did we know when we bought these bunk beds two months ago that we would be taking them apart so quickly after assembling them.
When we first moved in this large closet was Karoline's play room! We spent so many days sitting and playing in this closet.

We recently moved our bed in our room to under this window. I've loved it set up like this.
The upstairs bathroom was the first room in our house that I redid. It's small but we made it work!

Lots of family movie nights in the TV room of the house.
Our guest room. I am still contemplating painting this furniture white. That's going to have to wait for a while now.

Our house was put on the insane Denver market tonight. I have mixed emotions about this. I know this is the right step for us. But there was something so final and legitimate about seeing it listed on our realtors website. 

To our friends and family who have made our lives in Denver feel less lonely, "I'm going to miss you," doesn't begin to encompass how I feel about leaving you. Thanks for being there and sharing in this motherhood journey with me. We frequent Denver often and I hope you come see us so I can show you the majestic (and not crowded) Southern Colorado mountains.

To our family and friends we are coming home to, I look forward to getting to be close to you again after all these years away.

To my father-in-law, thank you for letting us bombard your home as we search for our first housing project.

To my parents, I am so excited that the girls are going to have the opportunity to see you whenever they would like and for you to see them. I am looking forward to seeing what parenting looks like with grandparents around.

We are beyond blessed by this opportunity to make a change for our family. However, this is still rather emotional for me. I'm keeping a strong and positive face for the girls. Thank goodness they are young enough that they do not appearing to be effected by this change. A blessing in itself.

"How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." -Whinnie the Pooh



Happy 5th birthday, Karoline

 
Sweet Karoline, up until now every birthday you've had has been exciting for me. I was thrilled when you turned one. Dazed when you were two (I had just had your sister). Three, you were precious as could be. Four was a blessing, you were such a big helper. Here we are sitting at five. I can't hardly take it and today I'm having a hard time. Because, you see, five is a whole hand. Five is a legitimate kid. I have a five year old kid. Now more than ever I'm wishing I could turn back the time and experience your first few years again. I know that all the years to come will only increase that feeling. I love you so much my sweet Karoline Christelle. Knowing that I'm a better mom now than when you were born eases this pain. Now I know to soak up these years to come. "They go fast," is an understatement. 

The last year has brought so much change for you. I could brag on you all day to anyone who would listen. You, my darling, are exceptional. I have no doubt that you could run our house and keep everything in order all the while infusing your own flair and fun into the mix. 

Most notably this year you went to school, pre-K. I cried when I dropped you off the first four times. I thought seriously about not making you go when you cried. We made it through and my did you grow. You learned more than I could have imagined, you enjoyed a variety of snacks you hadn't had before and you made friends. My favorite review from your end of the year conference was that you are a good friend to all. Oh sweet girl, how I love that about you.
First day of school and last day of school, eight months apart.

Your Pre-K graduation

This year you and you sister played, really played. There were moments that I uttered that you both didn't need me. The bond the two of you share is one of my favorite things to watch. 
We took countless trips to the butterfly pavilion this year.

Your fifth birthday party was at the park, you didn't want to leave!

My prayer for you, in this fifth year, is that you may continue to learn, grow and share your gentle spirit with all you encounter. 

I love you more with each passing day.

Love, 
Mama

  

Shopping

Today I took the girls shopping. This is super rare for us. Even more uncommon is a trip just for the girls, and hardly ever for "frivolous" shopping. 

They had saved their money for a few months and decided they wanted little purses. The little purses will allow for them to take their money for the church offering. This way they don't have to have pockets or try to hold onto it for an hour. 

Watching them shop was downright fun for me. Having girls I looked forward to these days and today did not disappoint. They knew we were there just for purses and were ok to look, touch (after asking) and put things back other things. 

Imagine their surprise when they found out they could pick another two things (darn buy 3, get 3 free). 
  
      Karoline told me thank you for taking them shopping and that she really loved me. Alexandra followed her example. I won't be caught buying their love, but today was a good day.