Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ninety Five

I went to bible study tonight and walked out feeling inspired. Inspired to write, inspired to love, inspired to be kind, and inspired to think. It feels good.

I had a cup of coffee tonight. I don't drink coffee, but there is something about that darn french vanilla creamer that makes me want to drink endless cups. Well that coffee has me wide awake at 9:28PM, so I figured I would put that energy to good use and write. My husband is laying in bed, and here I am sitting in our living room, with the dog beside me, a glass of ice water an arms length away and a new harvest candle lit in the background. My environment is good and I feel good. 

I met a woman in the Fall of 2009 that has touched my life. She stands just over 5 feet tall and walks with a slight hunch in her back. She talks with a northern Minnesota accent and has soft wavy gray hair. She wears glasses and two small hearing aids. She is stubborn as ever, yet gentle as can be. She is frail to the touch, but sweet to the core. I'd like you to meet my husband's grandmother - Lena.

Minnesota - September 2012

This dear woman just turned 95 years old. Let me repeat that - ninety five years old

There is something so beautiful about this generation. Something fascinating about the stories they have to tell. Something unique about the years they've experienced. Think about it - they've lived through the Great Depression, they've lived through the second World War, they've lived to see their own children grow up in the era of "sex drugs and rockin roll", they've lived to watch their grand-children grow up in a decade where fashion was influenced by Madonna, and they've lived to watch their great-grandchildren grow up in the 21st century where technology rules the world. The saying stands true, with age and experience comes wisdom.

When I first met her, she couldn't wait for us to get married. Her grandson took his time proposing and we took our time planning the wedding. When the time finally came, she was heartbroken - she wasn't strong enough to make the trip to Colorado. Following the wedding, we decided to make the trip to Minnesota to share our wedding film and photos with her. We wanted to make her feel like she was part our special day. What better time to make the trip, than for her 95th birthday.

We went shopping by morning and partied by night. I joined Carol and Lena for a trip to Hershbergers [her favorite department store]. We wandered through the various sections, laughing at new styles, holding items up in front of the mirror and loading our arms with hangers full of clothes. Shopping is a favorite pastime of theirs and it was so nice sharing the moment with them. 

Carol and Lena at Hershbergers

That evening, Lena's family and friends gathered to celebrate at a local restaurant. Her son joked that we got her a cake with 95 candles and she was concerned the local fire station needed to be waiting out front. In reality, we made the decision that everyone could chose their own dessert after dinner - the birthday girl ordered a slice of apple pie. It was delivered to the table with one glowing candle and as soon as it was set in front of her - Lena blew it out. We chuckled and said, "Wait, we didn't even get to sing Happy Birthday!" So we kindly asked our waitress to light it again. Before we could say another word, the second candle was already blown out. Between the laughter in the room and her struggle to hear, she never heard us say that we wanted to sing. For the third time, we asked the waitress to re-light the candle. Carol kindly touched her mother's arm and asked her to hold her excitement as we finally began to sing Happy Birthday. Just a few words into the song, Lena finally realized why we kept relighting the candle, and began to sing along. She paused afterwards to ask permission and blew her candle out for the third time that night.

Lena on her 95th Birthday [September 15th 2012]
Family and Friends

Walking out of her apartment complex that Sunday morning and instinctively turning back to see her wave goodbye through the sliding glass door, I realized how fortunate Scott and I have been to share milestones with our grandparentsNot everyone has been lucky enough to have their grandparents as long as we have and we should always be reminded to never take them for granted. I passed my husband a tissue to dry his damp cheeks and said softly, "We will be back, she promised us she would be around for awhile.

Happy 95th Birthday, Grandma Lena! We are so happy we could be there to share it with you. You are an extraordinary woman and have a grandson who thinks the world of you. We treasure the moments we've shared with you and look forward to many more.We love you.

Sharing stories with her only grandson
I Adore Lena's Teacup Collection 

To see a glimpse of the weekend we shared with Lena, I welcome you to watch this small video her grandson created:

95th Bash - Take 2
from Scott Bores on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Two Months

Have you ever been in a woven basket and 11,000 feet off the ground? I will raise my hand to that!

Scott was traveling for a work trip several weeks ago and when he came home that night I surprised him with a home cooked dinner. Shocking part - the dinner wasn't the surprise. I had went to the market earlier that day, bought a blue balloon and a small basket. I turned our dining room table into a picnic and placed my home-made creation at his place setting. 
I spy...

Surprise: we were going on a hot air balloon ride for our two month wedding anniversary. We'd been talking about going since we started dating, but I always worried my fear of heights would find me sitting at the bottom of the basket rocking back and forth and crying my eyes out. Even if that happened, I was finally ready to take the risk. 

The adventure started at 5:45AM. I had a nervous stomach. My palms were sweating the whole entire drive there. The morning air was chilly. Upon arrival they had a table of fruit and yogurt - food always helps ease my nerves. Then, when I turned and saw the enormous basket and the unraveling of one giant, colorful balloon - I felt excited. The neat part about this experience is you get to go through the entire process, instead of just showing up and jumping in the basket as it's lifting off the ground. We were able to participate in the unraveling of the balloon, blowing it up, lift-off from the ground, flying over the city, landing in an unknown location, and packing it all back up again. I will let the photos tell the story:

Blowing Up
Propane Burn
Happy 2 Month Anniversary Mr. B
Mountain View from 11,000ft
View from the basket - looking down

As for the anxiety - it never really went away, but it was way better than I imagined. The balloon travels with the wind, so the ride is smooth. I rarely looked down, just looked out instead. When the pilot announced that we were 11,000 feet in the air, I panicked and took a step back. I knew we were high, but hearing that played tricks with my mind. The basket was full of 12 strangers and we were standing a little too close for comfort, but we enjoyed ourselves anyway.

Tearing down

Let me share with you, the landing is a complete crap shoot. Literally, the pilot is on his walkie-talkie communicating with the folks in the "chase car" while trying to find an open piece of land large enough to get us back on the ground safely. Our basket was grazing the tops of trees and we were headed straight towards a baseball field, but instead found ourselves 10 feet from the road and on a dirt path. In the end, we landed safely and that is all that matters. 

Champagne Ending

And although this is a couple of weeks late, I wanted to share some thoughts about month two:

  • I talked with Mr. B and decided I wanted to do something "special" to celebrate every "month" anniversary during our first year of marriage. You spend all of this time and money planning a wedding, so why not celebrate the whole entire year long. He knew better than to disagree. 
  • We have been talking a lot about the next twelve months a lot lately. We'd like to get Monty a brother or sister, but I need a new car first. Two 100lb dogs won't fit in a non-air-conditioned Hyundai Accent. We'd also like to move. Perhaps, to a Colorado town that has a little more to offer than a McDonald's and an overpriced grocery market. Maybe, Ft. Collins? More to come. 
  • Ms. S officially became Mrs. B [Bores] this month. I received my new social security card and license in the mail. If the extra diamonds on my finger didn't make this real, the license did.   
  • I am no longer a blonde, but a brunette now. I needed a change.
  • Monty cut his paw while swimming earlier this month - his vet bills have cost close to $500. Dogs are expensive.
  • This month was full of surprises - I surprised Scott with the hot air balloon ride and he surprised me with a night out in Denver for my birthday. A nice dinner to one of Denver's Top 25 restaurants [Vesta Dipping Grille] followed by a Broadway play in the theatre district. It was thoughtful and romantic - but my favorite part was probably the Happy Birthday "Wife" card. It made up for the card he forgot to get me on our wedding day. 
  • We only went camping once, that is not enough to satisfy Mr. B - he wants to live in the woods. 
  • Scott still hasn't gotten used to his wedding band. He leaves it at work and on his nightstand more than he wears it. 
  • I stopped making his lunches as often as I did in month 1. He noticed.
  • Scott traveled a lot during month two and it made us appreciate the days we had together just a little more. 
  • We went to a Rockies game with friends and realized we need to go out with friends more often - but we need to plan a full day to recover afterwards. We are not 21 anymore. 
  • We hung our Penn State flag on our flagpole and brought out our JoePa cardboard cut-out. Thankfully, the neighbors haven't egged our house yet. 
  • We have been harvesting our garden on a weekly basis and Mr. B informed me that we have to replace the zucchini next year. According to him, it takes up too much room in our too-small garden. Yet, I've learned to make zucchini bread and he hasn't complained about that. 
  • In the words of Mr. B, "All in all, month two has been a success."

We are looking forward to month three, guess where we are going to celebrate? I will give you one guess ---- CAMPING. Camping with the elk in Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Until next time, sign yourself up for something out of the ordinary. A hot air balloon ride, bible study, or flying a kite in the mountains.

Here is a sneak peek of what's it's like in person [video created by Mr. B] -- 

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I am participating in a women's ministry [bible study] this fall. My dear friend, Andrea, is leading the study and happened to mention it in conversation a couple of weeks ago. I like to consider myself holy, but she practices religion much better than I do. So when she started sharing the preparation details with me I felt the urge to join. I wanted to join to support her, I wanted to join out of curiosity, and I wanted to join in hopes of strengthening my relationship with God. 

I was born and raised Catholic. I went to Catholic school all twelve years of grade school and even went to a Catholic college for 2 years after high school. I used to go to church almost twice a week - once during the week (in school) and then again on Sundays. I had religion class 5 days a week for 14 years of my life (yes, even in college). Yet, when Andrea called me last evening, 1 hour before study and said, "Hey, I forgot to tell you to bring a bible tonight, so I am bringing you one in case you didn't have one." I thought to myself, "Wow, do I have a bible? If I do, where is it? How can I call myself Catholic and not have a bible?" I did have one, but it was actually my husbands, given to him as part of a groomsmen gift last year. There is something ironic about that statement - Mr B barely believes in a greater being and here I was, a Catholic girl going to a bible study, with HIS bible. [I am working on him though, don't worry ;)]

The start of class

Upon arrival, I almost felt out of my element - I had no idea what to expect, there was a group of people I had never met before, I was carrying a bible for the first time in a long time, and we were talking about a subject that I have thought about, but barely talked about in years (yes, YEARS!). I replayed Andrea and I's conversation earlier that afternoon in my head.

Kylie: "Will I have to talk tonight or can I just sit and observe? I mean, I am new to this."

Andrea: "You don't have to say a word, but you are a talkative person, so I cant imagine you won't talk. This is casual - there will be cake and coffee, so just come have fun."

She was right - I am talkative. I enjoy trying new things. I like people. I love food. Why was I nervous? I wasn't going to a big classroom. I was going to Andrea's mother-in-laws, whom I love like she was my own. It was in her new, warm and cozy basement. Ladies of all ages were sitting around the room: married, single, new moms, expecting moms, grandmas -- sitting on the floor, on the couches, around the dining table. Candles were lit, photos of love were hung on the walls, and people were talking about their recent summer travels and dream vacations. I took a seat in the back, cast a smile to Cindi, and watched my dear friend begin class. She was right - it was casual and I finally started to feel comfortable. I embraced my surroundings and opened my bible.  

If you let it, trying new things expands your mind and spirit. 

Meet Andrea
[We liked our outfits and needed an Instagram photo - it's just routine with us]

Walking out of class, I didn't feel changed, I just felt more at ease. Next time, I know what to expect. Next time, I won't be nervous. Next time, I can focus more on the meaning of the class and less about superficial stuff. And hopefully every week, my crazy internal compass will start bobbing back to center point again. 

Until next time, I have bible study homework to do.

I pray, "Lord, open my mind so that I might have understanding."

With Faith & Love,

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

black & gold

Steeler Gal in Bronco Country
(They don't tailgate like Pittsburgh - hence the empty lot!)

I am from Pennsylvania and I am a Steelers fan. Scott (aka Mr B) is mostly from Pennsylvania and is also a Steelers fan. He does however, own a "cheese head" and busts that out on several occasions throughout the season to celebrate the Green Bay Packers. Don't tell anyone, but I've worn it too. That does not make me any less of a Pittsburgh fan though - I promise. I wear it because I love cheese.

One of our first big dates together was a weekend to Pittsburgh for our first Steelers game. And ever since, football has always been a part of our relationship. It's a favorite pastime of ours and we try to go to a game every year together. There is just something about Football season that makes us happy. It brings people together, it's an excuse to eat and drink, it's a reason to tailgate and listen to music, it's a reason to sit on the couch every Sunday, it makes people really competitive and it goes hand-in-hand with Fall. 

Since moving to the Rockies, the Steelers have played the Broncos 4 times. The first was a MNF game, the second was a pre-season game, the third was a playoff game and the fourth was a season opener game. My dear cousin, Seany, has flown 1500 miles from "Steeler Nation" to attend the last three games. We've lost every single time. 

Last year it was freezing, this year it was hot. Last year it was Tebow talk, this year it was Manning talk. Last year we had tickets together, this year we were each separated and placed sporadically around the stadium. Although, we've had fun at every game, Seany insists that he is never coming back for a game. In fact, he said he is never going to one again. Superstitious much? 

Other favorites from the day:

Mr & Mrs B Tailgating in the Shade

Cousins supporting the Black & Gold
(even the fire hydrant supports)

Tailgating Group Shot
(Thanks to my Sister-In-Law, Dave will probably be supporting a Manning Jersey the rest of the season)

National Anthem - My Favorite Part

Terrible Towel Challenge
(Why the happy face Mr. B, we lost!)

While taking Seany to the airport last night his exact words, "No sports next time, instead, I want to go camping!" I am sure you know, Mr B thought that was better than a Steeler/Green Bay match-up game. The end.

Come back and visit soon cous - I liked having a country singing duo and Monty misses his dog-walker ;)

In closing, go support your local Starbucks and cheers this rainy day with a warm white chocolate mocha. After introducing my cousin this weekend, I have him hooked.

Starbucks Pit-Stop #1

"Here we go..."
-Mrs B 
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