Sunday, March 24, 2013

Empty Bowls 2013

Empty Bowls 2013 - Longmont, CO

It's a fundraiser. Buy a ticket. Select a handmade bowl by a local artist. Choose two soups to taste. Enjoy your meal. 

It's that simple. All proceeds go to feeding the hungry in your community and you get to keep the bowl as a reminder of those who face hunger every single day. The ticket price is $20 and that donation will feed 10 people a hot, nutritious meal at your local food bank. 

History of Empty Bowls, borrowed from Our Center

In 1990 a high school art teacher in Michigan helped his students solve a problem. They were searching for a way to raise funds to support a food drive. What evolved was a class project to make ceramic bowls for a fundraising meal. Guests were served a simple meal of soup and bread, and were invited to keep the bowl as a reminder of hunger in the world. 
By the following year the originators had developed this concept in Empty Bowls, a project to provide support for food banks, soup kitchens, and other organizations that fight hunger. Since then Empty Bowls events have been held throughout the world, and millions of dollars have been raised to combat hunger.
Did you know that 870 MILLION people in the world do not have enough to eat? That is a lot of people and if you are reading this, there is a good chance, you aren't one of them. 

Make a difference, even if it's small. Go find and Empty Bowls event in your area. 

Building a collection of bowls that serves as a reminder of both hunger and blessings, is a story I want to share with our children someday. Empty Bowls will become a tradition in the Bores House and I hope in yours too. 

A special thanks to my cousin, Stacy, for introducing us. xoxo.

a day and the life of bores.

If we were to meet for a coffee date right now, I would have a lot to share.

The Bores House is exhausted right now. Too much travel, too much stress, and too much work. There is laundry to be done. Toilets that need cleaned. Furniture that needs dusted. And carpets that need vacuumed.

Spring has sprung, yet we woke to a foot of snow on Saturday. Monty loves it, I don't.

The B's are getting chubby. Pants are getting tight and dog walks are far and few between.

I am obsessed with the song Wagonwheel, by Darius Rucker. Isn't it funny how songs become the soundtrack to our memories? Hearing Wagonwheel will always take me back to a weekend with special friends, in a dueling piano bar, and having the time of my life in Savannah. A blog about that adventure - coming soon.

My mom is counting down the days until I visit next month. Soon she will be counting the minutes. I am happy she has something to look forward too. I can't wait to see you, Mama Bear.

My sister is in love with a man named Scott. She always wished she could clone my Scott, but since she couldn't she found one of her own. He takes her to church, he makes her books, he writes love notes on her walls, and is head over heels in love with my nieces. That's the kind of man she's always wanted and the kind of man she's always deserved.

My brother, well he turned 23 two weeks ago and I have yet to send his birthday gift. I am slacking as a sister.

My in-laws were planning to take a two week camping trip -- through New Mexico and all the way down to the coast of Texas. Unfortunately, their truck broke down 4 hours into the trip, but that didn't stop them. They are enjoying their new camper, while their truck sits in the auto body shop.

Everyone is pregnant. I swear every time I open Facebook or Instagram, someone else is making the announcement. Are we entering a baby-boom?

Easter is quickly approaching, and all I can think about is coloring eggs. I swear, I'll never grow up.

By now, I think we'd be close to finishing our coffee, asking for refills, and picking a sticky glazed donut to continue our chat.

Your turn, tell me about you.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Reunion in Raleigh

Preface: We ate. We drank. We ate some more. We laughed. And we farted.

I have a group of friends from my hometown that will remain life long friends of mine no matter where I am on the map. You know those people that you've shared some of your most memorable and most traumatic life experiences with, yet no matter the situation, each of those experiences brought you just a little closer? Well I'd like you to meet those people: Couple One [The Gibney's: Tom and Elsie] drove from Pennsylvania. Couple Two [The Brence's: Thomas and Lauren + Spencer the Dog] were nice enough to host and let us crash their beds. And Couple Three [The Bores: Mr. and Mrs. B] flew in from the West. 

Collectively, we don't get to see each other as often as we'd like, so to fix that we planned a weekend reunion in Raleigh, North Carolina. It rained close to 96% of the weekend, but we didn't let that ruin our fun. 

Our first of many stops was Chapel Hill where we ate lunch at a local brewery called Top of the Hill. The beer was mediocre, but the food was good. To make up for the beer, we walked 30 steps from the restaurant to the most delicious sweet shop called Sugarland. Cupcakes of all kinds lined the glass cases, while rows of vintage soda bottles chilled below. Their claim to fame: over-sized homemade oatmeal pies. Really, the size and taste put Little Debbie to shame. Leave it to my husband to skip the pies and go straight for the alcohol - frozen “dessert” martinis.

Meet the Brence's
Meet the Gibney's
Guess who?
Meet Spencer

Feeling high on sugar, we parted ways. The ladies window shopped while the men warmed bar stools. In the short time we were separated, the boys were introduced to the Untappd App– translated as facebook for alcoholics. When we finally knocked them off their stools, we played tourist at the UNC football field and watched Tom run the field with a Go-Pro strapped to his chest. He ran faster than an ostrich being chased by a cheetah, then somersaulted into the end zone. He claims it's tradition, but I am convinced he wanted an excuse to leave with blue field-chalk all over his pants. #alwaysakid

UNC Football Field Sprint
NC Tourists

By late afternoon, the ladies were shopping again - playing with baby toys, taking photos with fake cows, trying on hats, wearing masks, and finding the world’s largest mustache (magnet), while the boys were wandering around the city, probably looking for more booze. 

Our dinner, Spanish Tappas, was the main event of the day. We ordered fish for the holy ones, meat for the sinners, wine for the ladies, beer for the men, and bone marrow for all (YUCK!).  I think at one point we had 15 plates of food on our table and there wasn't a crumb left when we were done. Even our waitress was impressed. The food was nothing short of amazing, but the experience of watching men eat real bone marrow was enough to make us skip dessert. This is unusual, since we act like "fat-kids" 99% of the time when we are together. I lied, Thomas and I act like fat-kids. And we are proud of it.  

Food sometimes makes you feel silly.

On Saturday, we woke to the sound of rain (again), but we didn't let that slow us down. We grabbed umbrellas and headed to Beasley’s - my favorite part of the trip. Have you ever had a biscuit topped with a piece of fried chicken, a green tomato and drizzled in honey? Seriously, Colonel Sanders should be ashamed of himself. I basically licked my plate and then wanted more honey. 

So Lauren decided to be nice (for once) and take Elsie and I to the NC State Farmer’s Market to meet the honey-man, himself. Little did I know I would be walking into THEE best farmers market I have ever been too. Man, it’s days like that, when I wish I would have convinced Mr. B to move South instead of West. I had visions of riding my bicycle and overflowing my basket with a colorful selection of fruits, veggies and spring flowers.  It was awesome and so was the honey-man - freckles and all.

North Carolina State Farmers Market

After leaving the market with jars of honey, fresh greens, and home-made soaps we met the gentlemen at the natural science museum for a walk through history. We were given boarding passes (of real passengers) and stepped aboard the Titanic (exhibit). We explored re-creations of the ship's interior, looked at artifacts recovered from the ship wreck, and even touched a life size iceberg. At the end of the exhibit, we were able to look up our "passenger" name to see who survived and who didn't. Two of us did, the rest did not. #sorryaboutyourluck #iwasMollyBrown

"I am flying Jack, I'm flying"

Our adventurous afternoon worked up an appetite [again], so we ended up at the Flying Saucer -- home of the most amazing soft pretzels and cheese. Seriously, the first two orders weren't enough, we had to order another. And really, I should have ordered another to go. Instead, we ran into a man named Tubo. Yes that rhymed. He went to high school with Mr. B, but now lives in the Raleigh area. Thankfully, social media informed him that we were in town and he showed up to say hello and catch up on years past. What a small world.

The B's and soon to be Tubo's

And since the pretzels only lasted so long, the NC-wanna-be-natives convinced us that we couldn't leave the "South" without having some good ole southern bbq. Next stop was The Pit. Just like the previous night, the table was full of food -- corn on the cob, baked beans, cheese burgers, ribs, brisket and sweet potato fries. The entire weekend, to this point, literally put us in a food coma.

But we refused to skip dessert two nights in a row. So off to the Cupcake Shop we went. While some of us were discussing "flavors of the day", others were clearing out the bathroom stalls. Too much info? Not for this group. We grabbed our cupcakes to go, and snagged this photo before anyone noticed. If you are going to a bear, be a grizzly, right?

Farewell Photo

I Imagine the drive home for the men was longer than the women, but we ended up back at the Brence's stuffing our faces with those said cupcakes and a rather competitive game of Scategories. Lauren yelled more than a few times, Elsie acted innocent throughout the game, Thomas called the shots, Gibney tried to convince us that "Itchy a$$hole cream" should count, I may or may not have cleared the table, and Mr. B will NEVER live down the fact that he thought a Kit-Kat was a Kick-Kack. We laughed into the early hours of the morning and went to bed feeling blessed about our weekend with such an amazing group of people.

Although a tearful goodbye followed the next morning, we agreed this will become an annual tradition. We just need Mr. Gibney to commit, without coming up with an excuse. And no, the baby doesn't count. 

The time with them was worth every pound gained. From our scales to yours, drink more juice. Never mind, we don't own a scale, so eat more cupcakes! Lots of love from the West. xoxo.

Extra: It was a new city, which meant the Terrible Towels, came along. We had visions of getting our photo with a great big Oak Tree, since Raleigh is the city of Oaks, but we may or may not have forgotten our towels as we toured around. So we made the Brence's stop in route to the airport just so we could capture our Challenge Photo with the RDU sign. Yes, we got dirty looks from drivers passing by, but that's okay -- add it to the book!

Towel-waver Challenge Photo

Monday, March 11, 2013

Month Eight

Bear Lake - RMNP

I own snow pants, snow boots, and several snow hats. What has my husband done to me? If you would have told me 10 years ago that I would be living in Colorado, married to my college sweetheart, mothering a 105lb labradoodle, spending my summers camping in the woods, and my winters skiing/snowshoeing in the mountains. I would have laughed in your face.

I've changed in those ten years. And I blame Mr. B for that. By blame, I mean that in a good way. He took me on my first camping trip. He introduced me to snowshoes. He exposed me to the West. He let me fall in love with a state I knew he already loved. He took me skiing in the Rocky Mountains. He shared his love of wildlife with me. He took me ice skating on a real mountain lake. He bought me my first pair of hiking boots. And he wants to buy me skis. 

I digress - I have no idea what this has to do with our eight month anniversary. But after I chose this photo, I realized, I didn't own ANY of those "winter" clothes before I met Mr. B and I never dreamed of becoming an outdoors woman. Not only did my wardrobe expand when I fell in love, but so has my perspective on playing outside.

Anyway, back to the extremes of this month. When we weren't hosting guests or visiting friends on the east coast, we were spending all of our downtime sitting on the couch, being lazy and catching up on all our missed shows. So thankful for DVR's.

As for the actual day - March 5th - we spent it apart, for the first time since being wed. I was attending a work conference in New Orleans, while Mr. B was at home snuggling with Monty. Although we spent it apart, we plan to make up for it and celebrate this month in Savannah for St. Patrick's Day weekend. This year, on the day of the Irish, it will have been six years to the day since we met at the local pub and started our love story. It will always be a day to celebrate in our book.

Here is a recap of month eight as Mr. and Mrs. Bores:
  • We are healthy. An improvement from last month. 
  • I started my second bible study this month. I'm learning more about each of the women in the group and falling more in love with them each week. 
  • We hit the slopes again this month. I wasn't any better than I was last month.
  • In place of Valentine's Day cards, I finally received my Christmas cards. They made me cry, even if they were 2 months late.  
  • Mr. B surprised me with a "Cooking Class" date night in April. While teaching you how to cook, they serve wine. I hope he doesn't have high expectations.
  • My best friend of 23 years and her husband visited us this month. I wish we lived closer. 
  • I took a bath this month, first time in years. Literally years. I need to experience the warm water, tub pillow and soapy bubbles more often. #makingitaroutine #iusuallyshower
  • Mr. B purchased his first pair of prescription sunglasses this month. It's about time he protects his eyes from the bright sun. We are still deciding on the "everyday" glasses though, and he still doesn't want to take a chance on the stylish plastic frames.  
  • Our garage door broke this month. Thankfully, my handyman husband installed a new one. It took an entire day, but I no longer have to store my beater car in the driveway. #noshame
  • We jumped on a plane and had a lovely reunion with great friends in Raleigh this month. We ate, we drank, we laughed. We must repeat. Every. Single. Year.
  • Mr. B had one request before we left for Raleigh - "Don't forget the Southwest drink coupons!" Guess what? I forgot them. He still got drunk.
  • Monty had his annual vet appointment this month. We both went, as if it were a Saturday morning date. I hope it's the same when we have little Bores babies.  
  • Mr. B found a new addiction this month - Untappd. An app that encourages you to drink beer, rate those said beers, and follow your friends. In other words, defined as Facebook for alcoholics.     
  • The weather has mirrored our schedules. One day it's 60 and sunny. The next, it's wintry and full of snow. We are dreaming of Spring. 
  • We've spent a lot of money on groceries this month. Either I have no self control when putting items in the cart or the prices are going up.
  • We are still making bread in this house-hold. In fact, we borrowed a fancy bread maker from my in-laws this month. Scott took the recipe book into the market to pick up a few ingredients and then left the book at the counter. #fail #westillmadebread
  • Concerts have always been a favorite pastime of ours. This year, Imagine Dragons and Bruno Mars are on the playlist. Not just at any venue, but both are at Red Rocks Amphitheatre - the only naturally-occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheatre in the world. Yes, world. Read the website. 
  • Flights are booked. We will be celebrating the marriage of a dear friend in July, while tapping glasses of good wine with good company, to celebrate our own anniversary. Cheers to love. 
As for the typical monthly comment from the husband, all he had to say about month eight was, "This month was fast!"  I agree. Month eight went fast and I expect month nine to sneak by just as quickly. It's hard to believe that we are now only 4 months away from celebrating the year of paper. Do people still purchase those traditional gifts for anniversaries? I have my work cut out for me if that's the case. Literally, what else can you do with paper besides cut it? I have got to get my creative juices flowing.

We sprung forward yesterday. The sun is flirting with the horizon a little while longer and we're looking for ways to welcome the warmth of spring. Mr. B is off to a good start - he welcomed me home from New Orleans with the scent and colors of the upcoming season. What a good man!

Spring's Promise
Thanks, Mr. B

Looking forward to green beer, southern food, and the luck of the Irish later this week. xo.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

a weekend of love.

Meeting someone when you've just been potty trained, I imagine is a pretty fun experience. You're probably running around the park dressed in a frilly skirt and lifting it every chance you get to show off your big girl underwear. You're probably dragging your baby doll through the mud, giving her baths, and feeding her all the vegetables you don't want to eat. You're probably swimming with floaties and getting braver about jumping from the edge of the pool into your dad's arms. Your moms are probably talking in the background about soon-to-be brothers or sisters and the upcoming fears of sending their toddlers to preschool.

That was most likely the case with me and the girl above, Jenna. Her grandma lived across the street from my house. She was familiar with my parents and knew they had a little girl similar in age to her first grand-daughter. One day, she walked over and introduced us. I can imagine, Jenna was shy, but my energetic personality (even at the age of 3), probably made her feel comfortable within the first five minutes. Twenty-three years later, things are still the same, she is still the soft spoken one and I am the loud mouth, yet we've remained the best of friends. Although, 1500 miles separates us, we find ways to see each other a couple times a year.

This year, she and her husband, Steve made the trip to Colorado to celebrate the weekend of love with us - and a weekend of fun was to be had. 

A Romantic Valentines Dinner: We had visions of making a big spaghetti dinner and opening a nice bottle of wine. Change of plans! By the time we got back from the airport, we were more interested in catching up than cooking. We ordered a couple of large pizza's, the boys cracked a few beers, and Jenna and I opened a cheap bottle of white zin - a classy group. Sitting down around the coffee table, we picked teams - guys against girls - and laughed into the wee hours of the morning battling in a competitive game of Cranium.

The men are smarter than the women
"Move Your Partner's Arm's"

Brewery Hopping: A tour of New Belgium is a MUST in the Bores Visitor Guide. Our tour was scheduled for Friday afternoon and along the way we saw Jack Sparrow scaling the rock climbing wall, we tasted a brand new beer [Rampant] fresh off the line, we slid down slides, and we learned that Steve may become a Brewmaster within the next 5 years.

Brewery Partner
New Belgium Brewery Tour

Denver Nightlife: Upon arrival to Denver we stopped at the Great Divide - home to one of Steve's favorite beverages - Titan. While the boys discussed IPA's, Jenna and I discussed our future baby names. We then headed to the hotel where Jenna and I spent too much time jamming to Lady Gaga and putting on red lipstick. On our way to the hotel bar, Jenna noticed Hula Hoops hanging in the lobby. We quickly learned if you hoop for ten seconds they give you a $10 gift card to the bar. She earned $20 bucks, while I struggled to keep the hoop off the floor.  

Red Lips and Serious Faces

From there we began our traveling dinner: Drinks at the hotel bar; Rocky Mountain Oysters for Appetizers; and Tappas for Dinner. We had big plans for dessert, but that involved a taxi ride, so we opted for pedicab's and dancing instead. 

Appetizers and Moscow Mules
Tappas [The 9th Door]
We spent the next morning, slowly crawling out of bed, waiting an hour for room service, discussing how we'd spent too much money the night before, and eating croissants like we'd never eaten before in our life. 

Our weekend didn't end there. 

Rocky Mountain National Park: We crammed in the truck once again and hit the road for the 60 minutes drive west. We grabbed our cameras and made stops throughout the park for photo opportunities. We also packed snowshoes, but left them in the bed of the truck and went hiking without them. It's the thought that counts, right?

Morain Park - RMNP
Bear Lake - RMNP
A Moose - RMNP
My legs hurt 15 minutes into the trek through the woods, so I sat in the snow. Some young hiker, coming from the other direction, stopped and said, "If you keep walking, there's a moose not to far ahead." That was enough encouragement to get me running the rest of the way. Each of us were looking, far beyond the area he told us. We thought for sure he lied to us. Then suddenly we looked ahead and saw a girl crouched down in the snow looking into the trees -- there he was. A sweet moose eating an afternoon snack. He watched us through the branches and continued on his way. That was enough excitement for one day, so we headed home and made that big spaghetti dinner we planned for on the first night.

Sadly, our weekend was nearing an end. Mr. B went back to work on Monday, Steve worked from our couch, and Jenna and I soaked up every last minute together by eating and shopping. We talked about our college memories, we talked about our weekend, and we talked about how different our lives would be if we lived close to one another. The distance makes us sad, but it's weekends like these that make up for all the other days of the year that we spend apart.

Angry Faces
Come back soon, Shaffer's - we miss and love you always.
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