Tuesday, December 24, 2013

magic

Bores Christmas Card 2013


We've been up since 5:45 this morning. We're grown adults, yet still get so excited about Christmas Eve. Monty has already been snooping under the tree this morning, while Mr. B is snuggled next to the fireplace watching a "feel-good" Christmas movie on the Hallmark channel.   

There is a magic and warmth that comes with this day each year. 

I was wrapping a few presents the other night when Mr. B looked at me and said, "I am excited for kids one day and the magic that comes with Christmas Eve." I agreed, yet didn't realize that growing up Santa visited the Bores house on Christmas Eve(ning) while they were at church. Scott and his dad would sit in the car and wait for mom to "finish doing her hair" before they were off to hold candle sticks and sing Silent Night. They'd return home to an empty glass of milk, a few cookie crumbles and presents lying under the tree. He said it was magical.

***

While holding your lit candle sticks this evening, may we all imagine the real reason we celebrate this season. 

"Silent night, Holy night. All is calm, all is bright. Round yon virgin , mother and child. Holy infant so, tender and mild. Sleep in heavenly peace. Sleep in heavenly peace. Silent night, Holy night. Shepherds quake, at the sight. Glories stream from heaven afar. Heavenly, hosts sing Hallelujah. Christ the Savior is born." 

When I moved to Colorado 4 years ago, I realized I didn't have a nativity set. I searched high and low for a manger that had a "removable" baby Jesus. There is just a sense of excitement I get on Christmas morning when I finally get to put the little porcelain baby in the manger and whisper, "Happy birthday Baby Jesus." 


From our house to yours, we wish you the most magical Christmas. Although missing my family this year, we will be celebrating our Annual Bores Christmas sleepover at my in-laws. There will be spilled wine, crab legs, dart game competitions, and loads of laughs. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Meet Forest

Some days I wonder if I was a Mrs. Claus in a past life.

Every single year on November 1st, I scroll through my iTunes playlists to find my Christmas Favorites. It's something I have been doing for years - I completely remove myself from societies hit songs on the radio and opt for Christmas tunes instead. With the smell of a holiday air freshener hanging around my review mirror and the sound of Amy Grant coming out of the speakers - it's like I am in a snow globe or department store every time I travel down the interstate. On the flip side, November 1st is a little early for most, including the man I married. He threatens to throw my Christmas CDs out the window every time he gets in my car and may actually divorce me if I purchase another Christmas album. How many versions of Silent Night can there really be?

He's the Grinch in our house, while I am all Cindy Lou Who over here, trying to get his heart to grow just a little each day. I exaggerate. Just a tad. He really does love Christmas, he just doesn't agree with listening to Christmas music two months in advance and doesn't actually join in the spirit until one week before. Not twelve days, or ten days, or even eight days, but literally seven days before. In fact, I tried to convince him to watch "A Miracle on 34th Street" Sunday night and he said, "It's not the week before Christmas." I replied, "Yes it is." He corrected me, "On Tuesday it will be." I grimaced, "Fine! I guess I can wait 2 more days."

However, he and my brother did string one strand of Christmas lights outside, which is great, but I'd love a Clark Gris Boreswold around here. Ya know, our tree in the front yard would really look great with some twinkly lights too, along with the porch railing and maybe some wreaths in the front windows? Definitely not one of those blow up enormous Santa's though. Gosh, I want to pop every single one in the neighborhood. Maybe the Grinch I live with is rubbing off on me? Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas lights - but a tasteful amount. I can guarantee NO ONE wants to see 15 Santa's, Winnie the Pooh's, Mickey Mouse's, Snowmen and Charlie Brown's blown up in a yard the size of my bedroom. You can stroll the aisles at Walmart and Lowes if you want to show your kids that madness.

I may retract that statement when I have Bores babies. Just maybe.



**

Anyway, I would like to introduce Forest Bores. Find it odd that I name my tree? Don't judge. It's just a little something I like to do. I grew up with an artificial tree and never had a real one until I moved to Colorado. Our Christmas Tree Hunt is now one of my favorite days of the year. It's a holiday in my book, hence why I capitalized the letters. The last 4 years we have found our trees at the local nursery or off a milk truck hauling trees in from Wisconsin. True story.

This year Mr. B convinced me to hike into the National Forest and cut down our very own Charlie Brown tree. I finally gave in - not because I wanted a Charlie Brown tree, but because I knew the experience would be totally worth it.

We headed towards the mountains the Saturday after Thanksgiving, hauling two car loads of people - my family, my brothers girlfriend, a great friend from Oregon (also, another Grinch!) and Monty of course. We parked the cars and realized we didn't need the snowshoes we packed or the layers of clothes we brought with us. It was the most beautiful winter day and we were off to find the perfect spruce.


My Mama and her Kiddos
Grinch #2

We gathered around a few different trees discussing the limbs, the height, and sparse-ness. Then finally settled on the second one we had picked. It was definitely sparse, but it was tall and slim. Exactly what we had in mind.

My brother had been talking about cutting down a tree for weeks at this point. He came prepared and even dressed the part. He had done research in advance on the proper way to cut down a tree. So there we were, with our knees in the snow, cutting a V-shaped notch. I am far from a lumberjack, and learned pretty quickly that you should not cut straight across and then yell TIMBER. That's only in cartoons. The whole cutting down process took about 4 minutes, before Forest was lying sideways in the snow. We picked it up, snapped a few photos and then threw it in the bed of the truck.

Notchin'
The Gang


Haulin'
Pretending they Snow-Shoed

We hauled the tree home, brought it in the house, trimmed a foot off the bottom, debated having a star or not, and then got to trimming the following day.

Little did I know, this would be my favorite Bores tree yet.

Forest Bores, 2013
Elvis - it represents the love my dad had for the King
Camp Bores Ornaments - hand made by Mrs. B
Tutorial Here
Stockings hung by the fire with care...

There is a little glimpse of what is going on in the Bores House this Christmas.

May your heart grow three times it's size this week. I know I will be soaking up each and every minute, starting today. It's exactly one week before Christmas, so maybe Mr. B will actually stop threatening to toss my Christmas CD's out the window and be willing to snuggle and watch dear little Susan Walker become a believer.

In the mean time, you can watch my terrible attempt at lighting Forest [at the 0:25 mark]. I had no idea which end of the strand you start with and obviously chose the wrong one. That responsibility will go back to Mr. B next year.



Trimming the Tree

from Scott Bores on Vimeo.

Meet Nordman, our 2012 Christmas Tree. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

memory

My moms dad - Pappy Ferry - was one of the greatest story tellers of all time. I am not just saying that because he was my grandfather, but because his stories were always engaging, mostly honest, usually funny, sometimes sad, and often exaggerated. Yet they made you want to retell the them to everyone you knew. It didn't matter what topic you brought up to him, he had an experience or story to tell about his life that related. He could remember dates of events as if it happened the day before and people's names that he may have only met once. Every detail of his life made an permanent imprint on his memory - it was incredible.

The problem - my memory isn't nearly as sharp. In fact, I often think my brain is on the verge of Alzheimer's.

So with that, I really need to start writing down the memories I have of loved ones lost. At the rate I am going, I will forget all of the details of my life by the time my future children and grandchildren are around asking me what I wore to prom, stories about my first job, and where Mr. B and I went on our first date. It was Chili's right? And then a movie? One with Adam Sandler. What was the name? Reign On Me? Err...Reign Over Me? Yeah, it was awful, that's all I remember. So bad, it was the only movie we ever walked out on. Ever. Anyway, I digress. The point is, I want Mr. B to have something to read to me when my mind is old and I really do have Alzheimer's. Ya know, Notebook style.

***

My brother text me recently and said, "Ever eat an orange and think of California? I just did." My brother and I rarely share lengthy dialogue over the phone and our text history is full of random thoughts. This particular text wasn't any more random than the others he has sent, but the timing couldn't have been better. I had just purchased a bag of orange cuties on Sunday and everyday this week Mr. B has asked me to peel two for his lunch. He claims he doesn't know how to peel them, but I blame his ignorance on laziness. Being the nice wife that I am, I do it - but it's mostly because oranges make me think of more than California. They make me think of my Pappy Steinbugl. My dads dad, not the story teller I mentioned above.

We spent the Christmas of my fifth grade year in California. My dad's second cousin lives in a gorgeous house just north of San Diego, where we stayed for two weeks. We hugged Goofy in Disneyland, waved to the pandas at the San Diego Zoo, rode the old-school elevator at Hotel Del Coronado and dipped our toes in the freezing cold Pacific. Despite all of those happy places, one simple memory from that trip stands out from the others - picking oranges with my grandfather. The row of orange trees was only a short walk from the house and we visited that row a few times over that two week stay. We'd take a bag with us and fill it with blood oranges - an orange variety with a crimson flesh. He would peel one for us to eat on our walk back and then reward us with another when we made it back to the house.

Grandparents go hand-in-hand. I can't think of one without the other. So while I have been thinking a lot of my grandfather this week, I've also been thinking about my grandma as well. She was a short Italian woman - 4'11" to be exact - who loved the color purple and kept a hanky tucked in her watch band. She drank cherry 7-UP with a straw and always had raisin cookies in her cookie jar. She had a gentle heart, yet wasn't afraid to discipline us when we were misbehaving. In her words, "I will give you a baccalà if you don't shape up."

In my mind, baccalà meant giving us a spank on the butt with the wooden spoon she kept next to the stove.

Well 27 years later, I decided to google it and learned something she never shared with us. Baccalà is Italian for dried salt cod, known in English as clipfish. In the old days, in Italian households, this dried out flattened fish was often used as a paddle for spankings.

A fish!! What! Grammy never told us the paddle she threatened to spank us with was going to be a cold, hard fish.

I am wishing all of my grandparents were here today - one to share stories with, one to eat oranges with and one to share the meanings behind all of the other Italian words she used.

Instead, all I have are memories of them. Memories I am fortunate to have and happy to share. Isn't it funny the things your brain chooses to remember?

Grammy and Pappy Steinbugl
2007

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Look for Love

I'm sad. I woke up crying today and will probably go to bed sobbing into my pillow or in Mr. B's armpit. My family left today after visiting for the last ten days. It has been 4 years and 167 days since I moved to Colorado, but it never seems to get easier saying goodbye. I try to tell myself and convince my mother that it does, but who am I kidding. I sob every.single.time. For days. Thank God I have a husband who is patient and gentle when I am sad.

While I sit here surrounded in tissues and crinkled up toilet paper on my desk, I decided I would attempt to type between my blurred vision and reminisce on a few memories from the last week.

Mr. B and I love hosting visitors and always try to show them new places when they come to town. So a week before my mom and brother arrived we decided to book a hotel room at Glenwood Springs. The hot springs were steaming from the 104 degree water, while the temperature outside was just above freezing. We walked around town, played pool at Doc Holidays bar, got a tour of the Molly Brown suite at Hotel Colorado, dove off a spring board, tolerated the boys after multiple Old Fashion cocktails, and splashed our faces while sitting in vapor caves that were 120 degrees. It may be a good detox for your body, but it's terrible for your skin.

To be honest, there are so many "had-to-be-there" moments with my mom this trip. It would take me days to type them all out and frankly they would never be as funny as the real moment. But lets just say, don't ever take her in a dark room where men are meditating, unless you want her scream to wake the dead, or argue with her about a painting of Missy Franklin, she will call you stupid if you do.


The View from the Bell Tower off of Molly Brown's room - Hotel Colorado
Hot Spring

We made a mess in the kitchen 157463 times a day. My brother loves to cook, but hates cleaning the dishes. Don't we all? Not moms! I swear my mom had a dish rag in her hand every time she was in the kitchen, and never complained once. It took us hours to roll out and bake dozens upon dozens of sugar cookies. Yet only took us ten minutes to icing them. Let's just say we will never be professional bakers. I also learned a new family recipe that I made my brother teach me before he left - chicken salad. While he may be good in the kitchen, he learned first hand, that his sister is not. In fact, he no longer trusts me with a hand mixer or the garbage disposal.

Trashing the Kitchen

Thanksgiving was full of everything it is supposed to be - watching the parade with a mimosa in hand, black friday ads strewed all over the living room floor, the smell of pumpkin pie coming from the kitchen, football on the TV all afternoon, a deep fryer sizzling a 20lb turkey and a table full of food, stories and laughter. The laughs started the second I offered to say Grace. I bowed my head and said "Bless me Father for I have sinned...." By the time my brain connected with what was coming out of my mouth, the rest of the table had already burst into laughter. Maybe that is a sign I should be visiting a confessional sometime soon. All I know is, next year someone else will be saying Grace.

Safety First
"Bless me Father for I have sinned..."

There is so much more to share, including the story of Forest - our 10 foot Charlie Brown tree, hand cut from the middle of the National Forest. But I am going to clean up my tissues and go snuggle with the other sad one in the house - Monty. He's been depressed since the moment they started packing their suitcases.

Real quick, I had a sick feeling in my stomach all morning, knowing that they had to leave and we'd be left with a quiet house tonight. However, just before heading to the airport my brother looked at me and said, "I can't wait to look for love when we get there." He watched the movie Love Actually for the first time on Sunday, which is where his comment stemmed from. It's a favorite in the Bores house and his comment was a good reminder that despite the distance the separates me from my family, love always makes you feel better, even when your heart is feeling sad. Believe it or not, love actually is all around - with family, friends, and strangers. Look for it.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

american.

Social media plays a big part in all of our lives. It takes a little longer to scroll through your Facebook news feed on days like today.  Friends, family, acquaintances, strangers - often post in remembrance. Each and every post makes you reflect. Reflect on where you were, the way it changed you, and the way it changed our country. It's the one day we can all relate to one another. 

Two specific posts hit home to me today:

1. This photo.



A famous John Lennon song, asking us to imagine a place where the things that divide people didn't exist. Yet in this context, on this photo, it made me think of all of the nearly 3,000 innocent lives lost and where they are today. Living life in peace, away from all the suffering still going on in our world, away from all the sadness, and enjoying what we have yet to discover. That's pretty powerful.

2.  This quote: "Be an American on all days, not just the ones where bad things happen." - from a friend who served in the United States Army, post September 11th.

I am proud and thankful to be an American every single day that I wake up. I might not express it aloud, or in prayer, or on social media outlets, but I am. I think we could all try harder at consciously expressing our appreciation. It could be a simple "pay it forward" action, or thanking the man in the military uniform standing beside you at baggage claim, or waving an American flag in front of your house, or voicing your opinion for something you believe in. There is always going to be tragedy, loss, suffering, pain and heartache - even in America - but it shouldn't have taken an act of terrorism, for our generation to understand and appreciate our country and where we came from. It's something we should do daily.

In reply to the "Where were you" posts:

I was a sophomore at Bishop Guilfoyle High School, sitting in second period Religion class, when the principal came on the loud speaker announcing that two airplanes had crashed into the World Trade Center. America was under attack. By the third period, every single television in the school was on. The halls were silent, except for the shuffle of penny loafers on the tile and the occasional slam of a locker door. Some students left early. Some had family members that worked at the WTC. Some parents simply wanted to have their children at home. We were 302 miles from the first attack, 179 miles from the Pentagon, 60 miles from the crash in Shanksville, PA and yet, the images repeated on every news station made it feel like it was just outside our window. In fact, it still feels that way twelve years later, when you watch the footage.

Terrorism. I had barely heard the word. I am not sure I had ever used it in my vocabulary. I thought war was only in my history books. And certainly not in America. I was young, naive and sheltered. I specifically remember all of my emotions. Panic that something bigger was going to happen. Fear of the unknown. And sadness for all the men, women and children directly affected by the tragedies that day. When I got home from school I called the smartest man I knew - my grandfather. He fought in World War II and if anyone was going to give me some kind of clarity about this act of terror, he was my trusted source. Typically when you called my grandparents house, my grandfather would hand the phone to my grandma, before he even knew which grandchild was one the other end. That day was different. We talked for almost 30 minutes. He didn't know much more than me. No one did. But his experience and wisdom, calmed my fears. Often times we don't have all the answers and we don't know what tomorrow will bring, but my grandfather helped me understand the meaning behind terrorism and what it meant to be an American that day. Sometimes understanding is all we need.

As the days, weeks and months passed, we slowly began to rebuild. The feelings of panic and fear were replaced with strength and hope. The images of the plane crashes were replaced with stories of heroism and survival. However, the sadness of that day has never been forgotten.

United we stand. I am proud to be an American - yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

new.

New name. New look. New job. New season. New Age. New girl.

A lot of new is going on in my world. Mostly good new.

We shall start with the first one, New Name. Welcome to "Camp Bores" - seems fitting since most of my blog entries are about our adventures in our home-away-from-home. Our 19 foot box. Our house on wheels. Our camper. Believe it or not, I had never camped growing up. Unless you count the birthday party where my parents put up a tent in the front yard for me and my 8 girlfriends. We were so excited - snuggled up in sleeping bags, holding flash lights and telling ghost stories. We didn't make it to midnight before we were running inside - afraid of the dark - and falling asleep on the living room floor. With that said, Mr. B took me on my very first camping trip in 2007 and he's still proud. It's like a badge of honor in their family. Yet, I still couldn't start a fire to save my life. On the flip side, I do have my very own toilet in the middle of the woods. Never been camping? Like to camp? Prefer a tent? Like to sing songs around the campfire? Or none of the above? Save www.campbores.com to your favorites and travel along with us. The content won't always be about camping, I promise. Believe me, I can only take my house on wheels for one weekend at a time before I'm begging to go home. My girlfriends know :)

The second, New Look. With a new name, must come a new look. Who doesn't want a gooey s'more after seeing that big ole fat marshmallow? If you don't, you're crazy. You don't even need a campfire, you can opt for making one in your microwave. Of course that's never allowed in our house, because Mr. B is always looking for an excuse to make a fire. He eats, sleeps, and drinks camping. I am just along for the ride, the scenery, and toasted marshmallows. [A special shout out to Andrea for all the help in making my creative vision come true. Photo shop is not my forte.]

The third, New Job. I am saying goodbye to my existing company and looking ahead to a new opportunity. I weighed my options, slept on it, contemplated with my husband, got advice from friends and decided this was a good fit. I will be doing essentially the same thing I have been doing - Inside Sales, but with a smaller company and creating the model from the ground up. The bonus, one of my dearest friends is coming with me. We met 4 years ago and have been working together ever since. Not only will starting a new job with a familiar face help ease the nerves, but who can say they get to work with one of their greatest friends? Me. And I love that.

The fourth, New Season. Riding boots, cable knit sweaters, chunky socks, football, Halloween, cozy blankets, chili, changing leaves, apple cider, chilly weather, Thanksgiving, bomber jackets and of course all things pumpkin - pies, candles, patches, lattes, decor, and M&M's [they are new and they are amazing, get them!].  I am officially over this Colorado heat wave. Countdown to Fall: 17 days. My Fall decor box is coming out this weekend and the Bores house is going to be fall-i-fied. Oh wait, we're camping this weekend. I suppose it will have to wait until I get back. Dang it.

The fifth, New Age. Goodbye 26, welcome 27. Err, scratch that. Forever 21? This week has been full of so much love. Love from friends - the girls took me out, gave me a birthday hat, chugged beers, bought me a yolky cheeseburger, let the lady at the nail salon tickle my feet, and toasted latte's at starbucks. They really know how to make a girl feel special. Love from family and friends afar - cards, packages, and good wishes. You're the best. And hopefully, love from my husband - he told me he needs an hour and lots of wrapping paper when he gets home from work. He is a giver of all-things-practical. In years passed, he has given me a GPS, a camping back-pack (surprise, surprise), a horse back ride, a tea kettle, a food mill, and a pair of boots. Who knows what he has up his sleeve this year. A bigger camper? Is that why he needs so much wrapping paper? Regardless, I am a lucky lady.

Last is New Girl. If you don't watch the sitcom, you should. Mr. B and I started watching it about two weeks ago and have since wasted two days of our lives and several evenings, watching the 50 episodes that make up season one and two. I now want chunky bangs and three male roommates. The "Sally Jesse Raphael" glasses and weird characteristics, I already have down pat. In fact, we (my girlfriends and I) are so obsessed with Zooey Deschanel's character (Jess) that we recently started speaking in "Jess-ism's" and reference her hilarious one liners in our day to day conversations. Is it September 17th yet? Season premiere, kids! Go turn on your "wiffy" (AKA wifi) and netflix it now. You won't regret it.

Report back soon, y'all.

-Mrs.B


PS. I am sitting in Barnes and Noble, drinking a spiced pumpkin latte, and people-watching the retired, afternoon crowd surrounding me. A dear old gentleman is walking around, greeting all the ladies, and telling the each of them the same joke: What do you call a cow that is out in the cold and shivering? Milkshake.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Month Twelve

This is it. The final post of our monthly marriage recap. I can hardly believe it. The first year of marriage behind us and the start of a fresh new year ahead of us. I am scheming and trying to come up with something creative to document year two - stay tuned.

Wedding Day: Go in for the kiss VS. Year One: Go in for the cake

The thoughts: 

To be honest, our anniversary week was full of a lot of joy and a lot of sadness. My great Aunt Helen passed away on Monday (July 1) after battling an infection for several weeks. She married my grandfathers uncle and resided not far from us in Ft. Collins, Colorado. As I reflected on all the ways my heart has grown for Mr. B this year, my heart also ached for my uncle and the love he lost. How do you go on after the one you've loved for 50 years has moved on and left you behind? Love is powerful. It can give you so much and in an instant take everything away.

Mr. B and I are still giving, taking and learning.  Isn't that all part of the commitment? They say year one is always the hardest, but I think there are a few things that lead to our success this year. Some we learned, some we read, and some we were told by others. Our advice to newlyweds: Have an open mind. Be adventurous. Celebrate one another. Communicate often. Be honest. Eat dinner together (and not always in front of the tv). Try new things. You're allowed to be angry, but be forgiving. Don't assume, ask questions. Encourage girl time. Encourage man time. Be romantic. Be passionate. Be silly. And say thank you. Don't get me wrong we still had some challenging moments, but the good definitely out weighed the bad.

Mr. B, you've been the greatest companion during the last 365 days. You've let me sleep in the middle of the bed, without waking me. You've shown me parts of the country that I never would have visited on my own. You've worked on house projects that you never wanted to start. You've pushed to me to the end of hikes even when I complained 90% of the way. You've made me savory dinners all year long and because of it we've both gained weight. You've walked the dog late at night, so I could stay snuggled on the couch. You've been compassionate and gentle on all the days I've missed my family. You've driven my car just so I can have the comfort of air conditioning in your truck. You've taken care of all the flowers, because you know I don't have a green thumb.  You've taught me to love camping, even though I was never an outdoors woman. You've turned me into a red wine drinker, when all I used to drink was white zin. And you've let me be me, despite all of my quirks. I really couldn't have asked for a better man.

As part of Mr. B's anniversary gift, I gave him a microphone for his camera. His hobby of putting together short films of our adventures has really grown into a passion during this last year and I decided our anniversary was a good reason to add to his collection of camera equipment. After receiving it, he was begging for an excuse to use it. So a few days later, I had an idea. I asked, "What do you think about creating an 'interview' film? We can ask each other questions about our first year of marriage and capture it on film." He laughed at me, but I told him to think about it. I would say it didn't take much convincing, because that night he turned our living room into a studio and this is what came of it.


Year One
from Scott Bores on Vimeo.

The anniversary celebration:

We had beer flights at The Mayor of Fort Collins and ate dinner at 415. Dessert is always a big deal to me, and when the dessert menu at 415 wasn't making my mouth water, we decided to make our date a little more meaningful. We went to Mary's Mountain Cookies - the same bakery where we ordered the desserts for our wedding. After biting into the enormous, delicious, and sweet cookies, we realized we really should have taken a few minutes to eat dessert at our wedding. #lessonlearned

We also opened the letters we wrote to one another before the wedding. The letters were sealed, locked in a box, and not meant to be opened until our one year anniversary. Let's just say, they will be going in our keepsake box to cherish for years to come. Mine was sentimental and serious. Mr. B's was hilarious and barely finished.

Paper. It's the traditional gift for one year anniversaries. I purchased the Mr. a framed art print. One to add to our collection of cities we've visited together. This one was San Francisco, since visiting the Golden Gate was on our list of things to do this month. He purchased the Mrs. a book. This isn't the first time he has surprised me with such a meaningful item to add to our bookshelf. This book shares all of the blogs I wrote during the first year I moved to Colorado. It's full of photos, adventure stories and thoughts of a girl and boy living together for the first time. It was the perfect reminder of how much our relationship has grown in the 4 years we've lived together and gives me hope for all the years we have to look ahead. But that's not all. After he gave me the book, he came walking in from the garage with a jewelry box. If you know anything about Mr. B it's that he NEVER buys jewelry. This time he did. He bought me the most beautiful strand of pearls, so I don't have to "borrow" my mother in law's any more. I wore hers for my wedding and didn't give them back until just a couple of months ago and that's only because she asked to "borrow" them back. Now I have a pair of my very own. Thank you Mr. B for always being so thoughtful and expressing it in ways that surprise me again and again. I am so lucky to have you and I can't wait to see what year two has in store for us. Probably, more camping, more hikes, and less rest and relaxation.

Year One: Paper Goods
Year One: Anniversary Cake, Almond Poppyseed with Bavarian Cream
[We didn't save it from our wedding day, we just purchased a fresh replica]
Anniversary Month, 2013

For those of you who've never seen our wedding film - you'll be blown away by the creative story telling.

scott // kylie - berthoud, co

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Month Eleven

For the second month in a row, this post is late. Oops.

Afternoon Hike

Our one year anniversary is four days past. I should be sitting here writing that post, instead I have that one and the month before to write. Ugh, why did I get behind? I did so well keeping a "journal" of our travels through Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park, but really fell behind on our monthly marriage recap. #fail

Summer is in full swing - cool mornings, hot days, warm evenings. I am loving it. In fact, I am sitting on my bed, enjoying the smell of clean sheets, cool breeze blowing through the window and the soft buzzing sounds of our ceiling fan above. Is there anything better?

I digress.

Month Eleven was essentially May 5th to June 5th. Gosh that seems forever ago. I think I actually need to go back to my calendar to remind myself of all the things we did. If it wasn't for Google Calendar, we would be late for everything, show up to nothing, and never plan ahead. Here are the main events I gathered from our calendar:

  • Monty healed from his attack the month before. In fact, we say he ended up with a little plastic surgery - a leg lift. 
  • Mr. B traveled to Cochities Burn Area, NM and Alturas, CA for work. He drove the first and flew the second. I got nothing accomplished while he was away, I never do. 
  • We made the decision to hire a company to paint the exterior of our house for two reasons. One, who has the time for a project of that magnitude? Two, there is no way you are getting me on a 30 foot ladder to hang off the side with a paintbrush in hand. We've scheduled our color consult for mid-July. I want gray, Mr. B wants green. 
  • Our friends Tom and Lauren visited all the way from Raleigh, North Carolina. We had a blast visiting Coors Brewery, spinning the wheel at D'Deli, watching crazy acts on Pearl Street, hiking Kruger Rock and picnicking at the top, touring Hammond's Candy, biking downtown Denver and eating non-stop! That's what we do best when we are together. Please come back soon.  
  • We rented Denver B-Cycle's for the first time with our said friends above. Eight bucks for a bike with a basket that can be used to tour the city. That's the only way to see a city, right? It has been decided, we will be taking all of our future guests.
  • On May 15th it was three years since my dad passed. As I've done the last two years, I bought balloons from the market, wrote all of the things he's missed this past year and released them into the sky for heaven to catch. To end the day, we met our good friends and toasted with a cold Coors Light. 
  • On May 30th it was three years since my grandfather passed. Every year a grandchild is asked to write a poem in his memory to be published in the local news paper. This year, my brother and I collaborated and wrote all the ways we are reminded of the impact he had on us. 
  • I traveled to Atlanta for a conference and finally met the famous Coca-Cola mascot, the Polar Bear. I also stayed and extra night to spend some quality time with our adventure friends, Scott and Stephy. We laid by the pool, we played "keep it up" with free beach balls, we toasted to good friends with tasty beer, we laughed until we peed (almost) at the Comedy Club, and ate thee best pecan pie at Dante's Down the Hatch. Too bad Mr. B wasn't there to share in all the fun!
  • On May 20th an F5 tornado wrecked havoc through Moore, Oklahoma. Destroying over 5,000 structures and homes. There are not enough prayers to replace what they lost.
  • My Aunt Barb retired this month after many long years at Conrail/Norfolk Southern. In honor of her, my cousin Bree put together a book of creative photos from the entire family - congratulating her and my uncle on the many wonderful years they have moving forward. 
  • We spent Memorial Day weekend camping at one of our favorite nearby campgrounds, called Hermit Park. Of course, since it was a holiday weekend, there were too many kids. And people who say they camp, but don't really, had their generators running non-stop. Note to self, next year we will go somewhere more remote. 
  • Monty went on his first canoe ride this month. I think Mr. B had more anxiety about the trip that the dog did. Thankfully we didn't tip, but we sure need more practice.
  • Mr. B's brother graduated college this month. We forgot how long graduation ceremonies were, but we cheered loud when they announced his name. Then celebrated with lots of alcohol and German Chocolate cake afterwards. Maybe now, he will have a little more time on his hands. 
  • Mr. B sent his truck to the auto-body shop the in preparation for our big Yellowstone camping trip. He anticipated it would be at least one thousand dollars. He called me from work and said, guess what, it's only $182. I drove him to pick it up after work and within 5 minutes, we the truck was back in the shop. This time, the bill was over seven hundred dollars. I suppose his first assumption was right, dangit.
  • Mother's Day was this month. Too bad we didn't spend the day with either of our mama's. We will have to make up for that next year. 
  • Since Mr. B spent half of the month on the road, I was in charge of planting most of the flowers this year. Now he complains that I don't take care of them. My excuse, "Yeah, but I planted them." 
  • In addition to the colorful blooms, Mr. B planted his garden full of tomatoes, onions, green peppers, yellow peppers, habanero peppers, and jalapenos. I am already looking forward to our harvest days later this summer. 
  • We also planted an herb garden. Traditional herbs for jazzing up our spaghetti sauce and then mint for homemade mojitos. Now we need to learn how to make them.
  • I received a random calendar request from my romantic husband this month. It was titled "Surprise Weekend Getaway" and set for the middle of August. As much as I love surprises, the suspense is killing me. I still have no clue where we might be going. All I said in reply was, "This doesn't involve the camper, does it?"
  • The first weekend of Johnstown we were awoken at 4:30AM by the fire department, strolling our town, shouting in their megaphones "Pancakes, come get your pancakes!" This is one perk to living in a small town. Every year, our town celebrates "Johnstown Days" - it starts with a breakfast at the firehouse at 5:00AM, a parade down main street by mid-morning, a bbq at the park during the afternoon and fireworks at dusk. Of course, we went to breakfast, I never pass up an opportunity to see firemen :) 

I asked Mr. B to summarize Month Eleven in his own words. He said, "I don't think I was home that month." I replied, "You weren't but do you have anything to say about us or our relationship? Maybe that when you are gone so much, you appreciate the days when you are home?" He said, "Umm... I love you?"

That wasn't really what I was going for. Oh well. I love him too, even on the nights he isn't feeling overly romantic.

On to our last month of the year. Goodness, time sure does fly when you're in love.

Memorial Day Camping Trip - an old homestead
Retirement Photo for my Aunt Barb
Picnic in the mountains with the Brence's
Herb Garden
Johnstown Days - Breakfast at the Firehouse
Graduation Day for Dave
Monty's First Canoe Ride
For my Dad
For my Pap

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Grand Teton, Day 8

It’s our last day before we depart for the ten hour drive home.

For the first time all week, we finally made breakfast. I was tired of eating granola bars and was craving a tasty start to my day.  Mr. B made coffee for himself and tea for me, while I made biscuits in the oven and warmed sausage gravy on the stove-top. Today was already going better than the day before.

We made the decision to hike Hidden Falls and kayak on Jenny Lake. We needed to get to the lake before the afternoon storms set in, but when we arrived the cool air blowing off the lake had all of the employees dressed in winter hats and gloves. I looked at Mr. B and thought to myself, I am not sure I packed appropriately for today’s adventure. We decided, we better hike first to get our blood pumping and if it got a little warmer we would venture out on the water with paddles in tow.

We paid a small fee and took the Jenny Lake Shuttle Boat across the lake to the trail head of Hidden Falls. It was a scenic hike, but not a private one. I am fairly certain every obnoxious teenager from the state of Wyoming was there on a field trip. It didn't take long for the both of us to get annoyed and realize maybe we don’t want kids after all.

Again this was one of those hikes where I didn't have any expectation and I’m learning, those usually turn out to be my favorite trips. The waterfall was probably one of my favorites of the week. It was tall and hidden back in the crevasse of the mountain. You can hear the rushing water for most of the hike, so as we were nearing I knew it had to be something pretty spectacular. It’s not something you can see from the trail. You actually have to turn down a narrow path and around a few corners before you look up in awe. By then, it’s straight ahead and misting you with its beauty.

After the waterfall we continued on to Inspiration Point. I felt less than inspired, instead, just out of breath. I don't recommend it.

We decided to hike the 2.5 miles back to the dock, instead of taking the shuttle boat. It was nice, but steep. Along the way I dropped my credit card and ID, next to the shore, without evening knowing it. Thankfully a dear Asian woman found it and ran ahead to catch us on the trail. God Bless her.

It was nearing late morning by the time we made it back. The sun was shining bright and the breeze was slow and steady. When trying to decide if we should venture on the kayak, Mr. B looked at me and said, “When in Rome, right?” Not only was he dying to get his Go-Pro wet, but it would probably be one of the last times we'd be staying in the park. So in the kayak we went.

I can't say it was the most enjoyable kayak experience of my life, but the view definitely made up for it. If you are anything like me, you probably don’t know much about Grand Teton and the surrounding mountains. The park is named after the tallest peak in the Teton Range and what makes them famous is their lack of foothills. They're essentially 13,000 foot mountains, that rise 7,000ft from the base of a lake. It’s breathtaking and here we were in a kayak, starring right up at the tall mountainous beauty. 


Kayak at Jenny Lake

I spent the first portion relaxing and letting my husband paddle us around. I spent the second portion waiting…again. He was mounting his Go-Pro to a pole and then to his paddle and then to the kayak itself. In fact, at one point, he had us “docked” next to a rock about 50 feet from shore. The water was shallow, but high enough to cover our shoes if we would have stepped into the water. So Mr. B was sitting on an unstable rock attempting to mount his camera, while I was inside the Kayak doing my best to dig my paddle into the bottom of the lake. All the while, we were getting slammed by waves created from the shuttle boat. We really should have tipped, but thankfully, that unstable rock, kept us afloat.

All I have to say, is that video you captured, better be worth it, Mr. B.

To celebrate our successful kayaking trip, we decided head to Jackson Hole and have a beer at Snake River Brewery. It was the first time in 7 days that we had really amazing cell phone service. So Mr. B spent most of his time on Untappd and I spent my time catching up on social media. After a few good beers and a quick drive around the mountainous town, we headed back to camp to enjoy our last evening of vacation by the campfire. The flies were buzzing again and rather than  listen to me complain, Mr. B suggested we eat ice cream from the carton and watch Forrest Gump [inside].

It was the perfect ending to a long, entertaining, fun, exhausting week.

To my husband: Who knew I could survive a week in a camper? You did, I sure didn’t. If it wasn’t for you, I would probably miss out on half the amazing things our country has to offer. Thank you for always taking me to new places and encouraging me to be open minded. Despite the drive, the shitty hammock and the swarm of flies, this trip definitely goes down as one of my favorites together. I love you, Mr. B.


AHEM, one last thing. My husband never put down his camera. Prove it, you ask? He took 1,138 photos, 4,492 time lapse frames, and 59 minutes of video on this trip. Total media equaled 43.15 GB. And you wondered why I got tired of waiting. However, it was totally worth it when I watched this awesome video he put together. 
I think you will agree. Enjoy.



Yellowstone

from Scott Bores
on Vimeo.


Hidden Fall

Hidden Fall



Grand Teton, Day 7

Mr. B said to me the other day, “Are you ever going to finish your blog posts about our trip? People probably think we got stranded out there!”

I don’t think any of you are worried, but I do apologize for the delay.

On Day 7, we loaded up the camper and hit the road for our two hour drive to Grand Teton National Park. 


Welcome

We arrived by mid morning and pulled into Lizard Creek Campground. It’s next to the water and had a lot of sites to choose from. Mr. B was attempting to back into the perfect site, when a strange old woman slid open the window in her modern day VW bus and yelled, “That site is a tough one to get in.” I told him to ignore her and try again. Guess what? The crazy old woman was right. If we made it in, we were never getting out.


So we moved on to a larger site and set up camp. It wasn’t long before Mr. B pointed out the swarm of flies above our camper. They may have been 20 feet in the air, but there were thousands of them. I couldn’t control my anxiety; I thought they were going to attack me. Maybe I should be on meds? Or maybe I am not meant to play in the outdoors this long? Mr. B laughed at me for awhile and then he soon got annoyed.  He told me I was being a baby and that if I came out of the camper and sat next to the fire, they would leave me alone. He was right, but I could still hear the buzzing noise. It made me feel like I was being tortured in a nuthouse.

To keep my mind off the flies, we decided to roast hotdogs on the fire. Is roast the right word to use? Either way, that was the first time we had hotdogs in a long time. My in-laws bought us a “hot dog roaster” that looks and acts like a fishing rod. As you reel, the dogs turn and rotate. It’s the perfect creation and it kept Mr. B occupied for a good 5 minutes.

Following lunch, I was still cranky. So we decided it was probably best to take a drive and leave the flies for a little while. The drive didn’t last that long though. All I wanted was a candy bar and Mr. B wasn’t really in the mood to drive. I mean, we had been driving all week. 

As we looked out the window trying to find somewhere exciting to stop, we saw a sign marked scenic road that led to a lookout point. Of course, Mr. B NEVER passes up the opportunity to drive down a scenic road, so we drove to the top and had a great view of Grand Teton and fields upon fields of wild flowers.

From there, we continued on to Jenny Lake to inquire about kayaks and make plans for the following day.  While we were there, a few storm clouds were passing over the mountains and Mr. B wanted to set up a time lapse. For once, I didn’t mind. I was away from the flies and finally had a candy bar in my hand. I grabbed by picnic blanket and laid down in the median of the parking lot. While he was adjusting his camera and playing with the settings, I finally finished the seventh book of the Harry Potter series. I know, I am way behind the times and even days later, I am still mad about Dobby!

Our mid-afternoon break ended and we were back to the flies sooner than I would have liked. It didn't take long for me to end up in the camper protected from the swarm and breaking into the liquor cabinet. We drank margaritas, played UNO (Mr. B won) and drank more margaritas.  

I think Mr. B had hoped I would get drunk enough to forget the flies, actually sit outside. But I didn't, so we went to bed.

Perhaps this is why I waited so long to post this blog – it was the least exciting day of our trip. I suppose they can’t all be as thrilling as grizzly bears, Frenchman and broken hammocks.

Night fans.


Hot Dog Roaster and #CampBores
Look Out Point
Wildflower
Grand Teton
Does this need a caption?


PS. I forgot to mention in my last post from Yellowstone that I convinced Mr. B to drive past the Great Fountain Geyser again. I am so glad I did, because it was actually erupting.  It was more like 40 feet instead of the 120ft that the sign suggested, but at least we can say we saw it. #success


Great Fountain Geyser

Friday, June 14, 2013

Yellowstone, Day 6

Our alarm went off at 4:45AM. That’s early, but neither of us complained. We were ready to see a bear.
We didn’t.
Regardless, it was still worth missing a few hours of sleep. The park looks like an entirely different place that early in the morning. The roads are clear of tourists, the buffalo are roaming the meadows looking for an early morning drink, and the hot springs are steaming more than any other time of the day. So much that it was almost eerie, but pretty.
After our unsuccessful bear hunt we ended at the trailhead for Lone Star Geyser. We had been looking forward to this trail all week. Why? Because we didn’t have to hike, we could bike! By this time it was close to 8AM and had felt like we’d been up for days. We powered through and jumped on our bicycles. We would peddle ten feet and then Mr. B would have to stop and readjust his go-pro camera. He had it attached to his wheel, attached to his handlebar, attached to a stick, so on and so on. You get the idea. Unfortunately I couldn’t peddle ahead because I didn’t want a bear to jump out on in front of me with my husband a mile behind. My point is, this video he plans to make at the end of this trip better be worth it.
The trail was only 2.5 miles until we reached the geyser. A little steam was rising from it and we learned from the only other couple there, that it has just erupted the hour before. That meant we would have to wait another two hours before it would erupt again. We had waited all week for this, we weren’t turning around now. So we huddled next to a tree and sat through a rainstorm.
The wait worth every minute – at 9:45AM the minor eruption went off and by 10:15 the major eruption was shooting 70 feet in the air. Unlike Old Faithful, it was like a private show just for us and the 8 others who had also joined. It was awesome. In fact, it may have made up for the non-bear sighting early that morning. Nah, I lie, I still really wanted to see a bear.
By the time we rode back to the truck, we were exhausted. We made it back to camp, just before a thunderstorm rolled overhead and napped for over 2 hours. It was the perfect afternoon, the sound of rain drops hitting the camper, while we were snuggled in bed.
Our Yellowstone journey was nearing an end, so we decided to celebrate and have dinner at the Old Faithful Inn. Dinner was mediocre, but dessert was one of the best I’ve ever had – Huckleberry Shortcake. Have you ever had a huckleberry? If not, you should. They are famous in this part of the country and are my new favorite berry.  I will be ordering huckleberry ice cream and having it shipped specially to Colorado, even if it costs half my paycheck.
Day 6 was one of our favorites yet and was a great way to end our stay in Yellowstone.
I can’t believe I am saying this, but I can’t wait to come back.
Probably with three Bores kids in tow and only to see a Grizzly Bear, of course.
Tomorrow, we wake up early again to start the second half of our vacation in Grand Teton National Park.

Yellowstone at Sunrise
Lonestar Geyser [Mid-Eruption]
Lone Star Geyser and Mr. B [End of Eruption]

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Yellowstone, Day 5

Today started out great. We were off to Mammoth Springs and along the way we were hunting for bears. We sang our jingle for good luck and all of a sudden Mr. B came to a screeching halt. “What did you see, I asked?” He didn’t even reply, just jumped out of the truck with his binoculars. I followed him about 100 yards into a marshy meadow. We looked around and saw nothing, but a stream of water surrounded by trees. False alarm.
We start walking back towards the truck and all of a sudden I spotted tracks, fresh ones. They were Grizzly tracks! How could we tell? They were bigger than our heads. I looked at Mr. B and said, “What should we do? Please make some noise.” He looked at me, but didn’t say a word. Cue the Lady Gaga Bad Romance again. Why is this the only song that comes to my head in moments of fear?
We ran/walked fast to where we could see the truck again and realized maybe we should go back and take a photo. If we don’t actually get to see a grizzly on this trip, at least we can say we saw his tracks, right? So we went back, like any normal human being wanting to put themselves in life threatening danger. We snapped a few photos and ran like hell. Once we were in a safe place (the truck), we stayed and looked around everywhere, hoping to spot him. He was nearby, had to be, but we never saw him. Well, I take that back, Mr. B claims that’s what he saw when he initially stopped. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t?
I can tell you we laughed all day thinking of the scenarios and stories we could be telling if we actually came face to face with “Big Foot.”
After our near bear-run-in, we continued on to Mammoth Springs. Mammoth Springs is essentially a small town inside the park. It is home to Fort Yellowstone and the Upper and Lower Terrace, where we found some pretty unique hot springs and a few elk sipping from its ever flowing water stream.
From there, we decided to drive the 5 miles to Montana and see the Roosevelt Arch. Across the top it read, “For the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” Too be honest, I have no idea what the history is behind it and Mr. B just told me to google it. Yeah sure, considering I am sitting inside the camper and have all the access in the world to internet. Not! His assumption is that President Roosevelt was the one who named this land a National Park and in his honor they created the arch as the North Entrance to Yellowstone. I shall google the real history when I get home, but for now that sounds good to me.
The arch is cool, but the town of Gardiner, Montana is even cooler. We found a bar that had every wild game animal on the wall that you could imagine. We decided to take the bartenders suggestion and had lunch on the Yellowstone River. Mr. B ate Elk Tacos and I had an Elk Burger.
Our afternoon was a lot less exciting that our morning. We drove and drove and drove some more. We drove the Dunraven Pass, but really should have passed it up. It was pretty, but very boring.  As quickly as we could we headed back to the campground, but just before we arrived, we saw about 15 cars pulled off on the side of the road. That is always a sign of wildlife nearby. We looked and sure enough there was a White Mountain Goat climbing the side of the cliff. How people spot things that can truly only be seen with binoculars is mind boggling to me. I suppose that is why I don’t hunt. If I did, I would always come home empty handed.
No exciting stories to report from Camp Bores this evening.
It is our fifth night in the camper and we are off to bed before the moon is out. The alarm is set for 4:45AM. Yes, that sweet bartender I mentioned earlier convinced us to wake early to see sunrise. She promised it would be worth it and was pretty confident we would see a bear if we were up at that time of morning. She better be right. Then again, I am not sure I will be able to remember the lyrics to Lady Gaga that early in the morning.
I will report back tomorrow. It will be our last day in Yellowstone before we head off to the Grand Tetons National Park.
Hopefully we see more than tracks tomorrow.
Adios kids.
Grizzly Track
Montana Bar
Elk at Mammoth Springs
Roosevelt Arch, Montana
So close to Santa.

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