It’s been about a month since I’ve had a regular life blog post, dang. I had thought it had only been a couple of weeks, that’s how fast time goes by for me these days, but here we are. So…
At the end of September I went to my grandmother’s funeral in Texas. She passed away last Christmas Eve but we waited until her birthday to hold her service. It was very emotional and overwhelming for me but I’m glad we did it. I got to see most of my extended family, which was part of why it was overwhelming, but it was also very lovely. I visited the Dallas Arboretum and Botanic Garden with my dad, Kaitlin, Kevin, and the kids the day prior to the funeral. I had an absolute blast and probably only saw a third of the space (those gardens are huge, reminded me very much of the Missouri Botanic Garden). There was a section with loads and loads of pumpkins and gourds. Small houses and huts were even built out of them! It was so cool and awesome.
We went into the Children’s Garden for most of the visit and that was fantastic and impressive. There are so many interactive stations that we could have easily spent another hour there, but it was hot, we were running out of water, and the kids were getting tired, so we said goodbye to the gardens after a couple of hours.
I drove back home with my parents and along the way got to stop at an extinct volcano in New Mexico. That was awesome and it was beautiful getting to see how shrubs and trees had grown into the cone portion of it (that term may be incorrect).
The following weekend I went to the Rocky Mountain National Park with Shari and Elisabeth (as mentioned in a previous post) and thoroughly enjoyed that day trip. Then, the next Friday, Shari and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary! Can you believe it? The time went so quickly. Shari has been an amazingly patient and kind partner as I navigate trying to figure out who I am and as I continue to move forward from previous experiences. I’m not quite the person I want or need to be but I’m trying more than ever which means the people that love me and are around me all the time get the brunt of my mess ups and apologies.
So, to celebrate our anniversary, we went to Cheesman Park and watched a free concert from the Colorado Philharmonic. We brought a charcuterie picnic and ate dinner and listened to some beautiful music. I enjoyed watching the children around us dancing and sneaking up to the pavilion to try to get a closer look at the stage and musicians. When the concert first started, the wind picked up, and I thought “Mother Nature is joining in on the piece,” it was very sweet.
The next day I headed to Boulder to spend time with my friend, Edward, who was visiting for a couple of days. We ate lunch at a really great place called Half Fast Subs. They have a giant vegetarian selection and easily made my sloppy joe vegan by taking off the cheese. They were really well priced too, especially for the size of sandwich I got. I would definitely eat there again. Edward and I hung out most of the day and it was wonderful catching up with him in person rather than our normal video chats.
Then that Sunday, I ate breakfast at Waffle Brothers to celebrate my friend’s, Aeri’s, birthday. I had never eaten there before so I was excited to give it a try. They had one vegan waffle, which is great, but sadly it had pieces of apple in it and I’m not a big apple fan. (Who wants apple in their waffle? I just want a plain waffle with butter and syrup!) So while I thought the waffle was fine, I wouldn’t go back to this place. The waffles were a bit tiny for the price and the fact that they don’t have a plain vegan waffle (which seems very easy to me) makes me feel disappointed. I’m glad I was able to spend time with my friends, though, so the visit was worth it.
Afterward, Shari and I went to the Denver Botanic Gardens because I wanted to check out the current art exhibits and ideally show Shari around during the autumn. There were still lots of beautiful blooms at the gardens and lots of green leaves on the trees too so our trip was pleasant. The gardens felt a little wild, as many of the plants clearly had a great growing season and were filling all the spaces they could find. I have never seen it that untamed in all the years I’ve visited. It was kind of fun. I enjoyed the two exhibits we saw too.
Then, this Saturday, I had lunch with Kaitlin! We met up at 212 Pizza Co in Castle Rock and got lunch together. It was so wonderful. The two of us don’t do that very often (if at all), so I was so excited that we made the time. The pizza was great (I would go again, they have vegan cheese!) but the pizza could have sucked and I still would have had a fantastic time because I got to spend time with my sister. I got to catch up with her and hear all about her trip to Cookie Con and just fill up on Kaitlin time. It means so much to me that she made time and that Kevin watched the kids so we could connect. I hope the two of us can do these kinds of things more often because life just flies by and I don’t want to turn 40 and realize I haven’t spent one on one time with Kaitlin in years. She’s an amazing, hilarious, brilliant human being and I need to hang out with her frequently!
Sunday, Elisabeth drove me and Shari over to YaYa Farms to try out some apple cider donuts. They weren’t to my liking (too oily), but the other two enjoyed them. I’m glad we gave it a go though because it was a new experience and I’m all about that. We went on a walk afterward at Pella Crossing and saw some gorgeously large trees with some pretty yellow and yellowing leaves. My gosh the day was just beautiful, not a cloud in the sky (all day) and the sun was shining at its full glory and it was like 65 plus degrees outside (maybe hotter). I had just thought to myself not a day before, “The sun in the fall and winter doesn’t shine as bright, it’s a duller shine. I’m gonna miss the vividness of the sun,” and I think the sun may have heard me because it was BRIGHT yesterday. Sorry about that, giant ball of flaming plasma that keeps me alive, I will never say anything negative about you again. 😉
So that’s me and my whirlwind amazing and crazy life. Sometimes I feel like I’m still lost and I have no direction and I have so much more personal growth ahead of me (and I definitely do). And sometimes I feel more grounded and like the person I want and need to be. I’m just putting that out there because, as we all know, I try to focus on the positive, especially on here, but it’s still important to acknowledge that there are crappy moments in my life. That’s what life is!