Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy Birthday to two special people

Today is the birthday of two very special people in my life. Nana--who I was lucky enough to know and spend time with for 25 years, and our family's most recent addition, Miss Emily Ruth.

Last year, Nana was so thrilled that beautiful little Emily Ruth arrived on her birthday. Emily is Nana's 10th great-grandchild!

Today I remember Nana on her birthday and all the wonderful memories we had together. I also celebrate the fact that I have such a cute little cousin, Miss Emmy, to begin to make memories with. In fact, she's going to be a little flower girl on May 18!

Happy Birthday to Maryruth and Emily Ruth!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Stuffed pumpkins

If you know me, you know I love fall and all that comes with it. My favorite holiday has always been Halloween, too. So, even though we had a pretty low key Halloween last Monday, I still had to do something festive.

I decided to bake up some Spinach Stuffed Pumpkins. They are delicious and so simple to make. It made a great little Halloween appetizer for Mike and me as we cleaned up from our weekend Halloween party and answered the door for trick-or-treaters.

Mini pumpkins should still be in the grocery stores through Thanksgiving if you want to try out the recipe!

First, scoop out four mini pumpkins--make sure you don't take out too much of the pumpkin. Once it bakes, it's delicious! Next, bake the pumpkins at 350 for 30 minutes. While you're doing that take an entire package of creamed spinach and half a package of cream cheese and melt together on the stove. Once the pumpkins have baked for 30 minutes fill them with this mixture, top with your favorite shredded cheese, and bake for another five minutes. Then enjoy this warm, gooey Autumn treat!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Remembering Nana

Last Wednesday I had to say goodbye to a very special person in my life--Nana. She has shaped who I am today and this past week I've thought of her and our memories together often. I helped my mother gather and write these thoughts and memories about Nana for the funeral. Miss you Nana!

Nana was beautiful. She never went anywhere without her “face on,” red lipstick, and a spritz of Chanel No. 5. As a little girl I would stare at her from the backseat of the Cadillac in her glamorous sunglasses, or colored glasses as she called them, and her long dark hair pulled up in her signature bun. I thought she looked like a movie star. Nana was just as gorgeous on the inside—so kind-hearted and always ready to help a friend in need. I always loved this line of her ethical will:

“Be kind—I have always most enjoyed people who are funny, smart and kind. It occurs to me that kindness is the only one of these traits you can easily develop. Anyone can act with kindness and too few people do.”

Many of us were lucky enough to travel with Nana, and oh, it was always an adventure. She took her daughters and granddaughters on travels to Mexico, Europe, the Caribbean, New Mexico and Kenton, Oklahoma, and of course, countless trips to the place she loved most—Cuchara, Colorado. I fondly remember piling into the Cadillac with Nana, Grangran and the poodle for a “windshield tour” of the countryside as they liked to call it. We’d drive off into the horizon listening and laughing loudly to Garrison Keillor tapes.

Nana loved to travel with the love of her life and best friend, Wade Depp, by her side. The adventures they had are evidenced in the watercolors she’s painted and stories she’s wrote from her trips. We are all so very thankful to Nana and Grangran starting the tradition of going to the cabin in Cuchara each summer. We all know how special Cuchara was to Nana.

Another quote of Nana’s that I've always loved is “Surround yourself with people who absolutely love you.” And, she sure did just that. Nana’s fridge was always covered with the photos of her daughters and their families. How she kept up with the lives of all six of us granddaughters, a grandson, and 10 great-grandchildren, I don’t know! But, she was always so proud of the law school graduations, new great-grandchildren, the dance recitals, ball games, and always so excited to help pick out the prom dresses and wedding dresses.

Nana also taught us so much about love. She fell in love with her high school sweetheart—Wade Depp—who picked up her green oxford in the halls of Hugoton High school. This August they celebrated 65 years together. I think we can all agree the love, the friendship and the life they created for themselves has had an impact on all of us and is a constant source of inspiration.

In the end of her ethical will, Nana wrote, “Thank you all for your love, which has made my life so special.” But it was Nana who really made each of our lives so very special.

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's Friday! Have a beer!

My dad just sent me this picture today from my parents'recent trip to Germany and France. This is him drinking a beer in Bacharach at 3 a.m. Central time. I think it's such as great photo. It really captures him-- and his zest for life.

He is interested in everything--wine, technology, traveling, meeting new people and trying new things. He is a daily reminder for me to be open, to never stop learning and most importantly to enjoy!

So, it's Friday, take a lesson from this photo. It's never too early for a beer!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Last day at the lake

Yesterday we took the Bayliner out for one last hurrah on the lake before it has to be winterized. It's so funny how fast the seasons can change. Even though it was 90 degrees it felt like "fall" not summer anymore.

This morning I packed away the majority of my flip flops and swimsuits rather reluctantly. I absolutely love the colors, smells, weather and activities of fall but after that and the first snow hits--Blah!

It was a great summer--packed with lots of great memories with friends and family. Lots of great trips, adventures and the biggest one of them all, moving. Goodbye summer, and hello fall!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hanging out at the Dog Bar

It's been tough getting back into the routine this week. Mike and I spent a long weekend in Cuchara for Labor Day. In fact, both of realized that besides our Christmas break it was the longest we'd taken off from work. Time still flew by and we weren't ready to go on Tuesday morning. Cuchara is like that. It's such a special place to me--and anyone else who is lucky enough to spend time there. Next summer Mike and I are shooting for two trips. Crossing my fingers already.

We met our friends Heather and Andrew in Walsenburg, Co, Thursday afternoon to load up on some groceries and drinking supplies for the weekend. *Note* Buy your liquor in KS, people. We paid almost top shelf price for some random vodka called Taaka. (It made for laughs all weekend.) The lady informed us that's "all they had."

Our first night we took Heather and Andrew for their first Dog Bar experience and I don't think they were disappointed. The pizza was delicious ( I want some now!), the Fat Tire beer was refreshing, and the band was rocking. Our waitress even remembered us from last year, and I noticed she was engaged! I showed her my ring, too.

We devoured the Lady pizza--my favorite--out on the deck that night. It's an array of chicken, pesto, artichoke, mozzerella cheese and some green chiles. It's a fabulous combination. And you can be sure I'll be craving it all winter long.

The Dog Bar is truly one-of-a-kind. I love people watching, sitting on the patio in my hoodie in the crisp mountain air, and truly escaping from the real world. Some people picture themselves on a beach or by the pool on a stressful day, but when I close my eyes and get away it's the Dog Bar. Mmm, I can smell the pizza now...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Last Wednesday Night (T.G.I.W)

Last Wednesday night some of my closest girlfriends and I donned our blue wigs, sparkly eye shadow and brightly colored clothes for the Katy Perry concert. The show was a visual delight with sparkles, how'd-she-do-that costume changes, glow-in-the-dark cotton candy and plenty of dancing.

And, Katy truly brought down the house. I have always loved her, but was pleasantly surprised that she could sing so well live. It's always nice when one of your favorite performers actually sounds like they do on the radio! (I think we all have nightmare flashbacks to the Black Eyed Peas Super Bowl performance last year, right?)

We had fun singing and dancing through the entire show, and then made it out to Power and Light for a couple of fun stops, too. It was great to hang out with my all my KC girlfriends for a night!

I'm passing my blue wig on to a friend who is going to her concert in Omaha in September. I hope she has just as much fun wearing it as I did!

In the words of Mrs. Brand herself-- "To find a love that is true, you must wear a wig that is blue!"