Monday, June 17, 2013

Back to Reality & Where I've Been...

For those of you who don't follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you may have wondered what I've been doing the past few weeks. I have been absent from blogging for quite a while. I attempted to schedule a month worth of blog posts during Jenni's blog every day in May challenge, but I plum ran out of time before leaving for Colorado. I did my best, but I fell a couple weeks short. I wanted to enjoy every minute with family/friends while I was gone from home, so I put blogging on the back burner for quite a few days. I'm back now, and I'm glad to be here. Sorry this catch-up post is so long. Thanks for hanging with me through it.

{ beautiful Red Feather Lakes in Colorado }

Here's the condensed version of my trip:

Over the past few weeks, I flew off to Colorado and spent time with a good friend in Boulder. Then I stayed with my aunt and cousin until my mom flew in from Michigan. All of us, plus one of my aunt's friends, flew off to Santa Barbara, California. We stayed in a cute little town called Carpinteria, and we got to see my aunt graduate with her masters degree! I am so proud of her accomplishments. After that time in California, we flew back to Denver where I met up with my husband who was visiting friends in Colorado for a few days. That evening my husband and I stayed in downtown Denver at the same hotel we stayed at on our wedding night. We had a nice evening and enjoyed watching the sunset over the Rocky Mountains. The next morning we drove off to eastern Colorado to my husband's hometown. We spent time with his family and enjoyed country life. (If you follow me on Twitter & Instagram you probably saw some evidence of this already.) After a few days in eastern Colorado, we spent a couple nights at a cabin in the mountains with my husband's family. We really enjoyed getting away from it all. Then we met up with more of my husband's family for a delicious barbecue dinner at one of our favorite restaurants to visit while we're in Colorado! Yum. We stayed at a hotel near the airport before flying back to Florida bright and early the next day. Whew!

{ somewhere over the middle of America }

- -- - -- - -- - -- - -- - -- -

It was so nice spending time with family and friends. Although sometimes it's the weirdest thing moving away. You start feeling like a big of a foreigner in your own hometown. Your old stomping grounds begin to feel different as well. I noticed so many things that had changed in Denver. Some of my favorite places no longer existed, and that was a little sad to see. At the same time, I've changed too. Change is inevitable, and life just keeps on trucking at a breakneck pace. Funny how that happens even when you'd like it to slow down a bit. Going back home to the small town where you grew up is a nice change of pace though. Small towns don't change so quickly. I guess that comfort always exists. The familiar is comforting, but boy is the unknown exciting too.

ever evolving Denver

I had so much fun exploring a the Clyfford Still Museum and downtown Denver with my friend Laura. Sometimes I feel that I need city life to get my blood really pumping again. It's amazing how refreshing it can be to experience the energy of a lively city. Denver is no NYC, but it sure can hold its own on many fronts. Denver will always hold a soft spot in my heart. I've worked, played, and was engaged in that city. It's so special to me, and it's always great to get back there.

red room at the Clyfford Still Museum

Experiencing a new part of California was great too! It was amazing being able to travel all the way across the country to see my aunt graduate with her masters. We got to stay a few days and see a whole new part of the country to many of us. I also got to spend some time with my mom. No matter how old I get, I'll always love being with my mom. I even came home with a dress my mom bought me while shopping the neat surf stores in Carpinteria!

the beautiful beach and waves in Carpinteria

Flying back to Colorado was filled with excitement for me, because it meant being reunited with my husband after 10 days. That's the longest we'd been apart since he went off to training with his current airline a couple years ago. Wow! Time flies. I hate being apart for that long at a time. It made for a nice evening of catching up at one of our favorite spots in Denver though. We watched the sun go down over the mountains from the Peaks Lounge in the Hyatt Regency in downtown Denver.

check out Peaks Lounge for great views at sunset and dusk

Off to eastern Colorado we went the next morning. We spent time both sets of my husband's grandparents. What a blessing that they're all still around and able to visit! Don't take that for granted. None of my biological grandparents are alive, so it was amazing for me to see them all still here and mostly in great health. Wow.

visited grandparents in Nebraska

We also had some play time at my father in law's house. I learned to load and shoot a shotgun, and we even shot some clay pigeons. That was something I had been wanting to do for a while, and I'm proud to say that I hit one on my second try. Would be criminal's beware. I always thought I was a good shot, but my sharp shooting that weekend confirmed my thoughts. Just call me Ashley Oakley.

If you made it this far, you rock! This post was really a brain dump and a huge overview of what's been going on in my life these past few weeks. I have still yet to figure out the best way to keep up with blogging while away from home. I've just never gotten into the guest posting thing. Maybe next time.

I have so much more to share with you, and I have eleventy million pictures to share with you from my trip. I'll do my best to break it all up and share with you over the next few weeks. We are talking major pictures of food, restaurants, mountains, ocean, etc... etc.


  1. Glad you had such a wonderful visit! Isn't it amazing how much is being built up by Union Station?! Its crazy!

  2. Glad you're back!! Missed your posts!!

  3. It is so true, not taking grandparents for granted. I have all 4 of mine. Well, 3 but my biological grandfather on my dad's side died of a heart disease he picked up in Japan when my dad was 16. My grandpa Colin's been in his life since well before I came into this world. Anyway, all 4 of them still live in Midland and 3 of them in the same, tiny little assisted living home. It's a blessing to be able to visit with them and see them all. It sounds like your trip was well deserved and super awesome. You sure were traveling, weren't you?

  4. I'm happy to hear you had such a great time but, I have to say, I missed your posts, too!! Looks/sounds like an amazing and much-needed trip. I totally know what you mean about eeling like a foreigner in your own hometown. I always feel that way when I go back to San Antonio. We always end up doing a lot of things only visitors would do because I want Eric to really experience the area but so much has changed since I lived there that a lot of the times I feel like I'm the one who's a tourist.

  5. Get it, girlfriend!! You look like a natural with that shotgun in your hands.
    Now you're all set and prepped to come to Texas and shoot with me ;)

    What a fun trip. So glad you and Nate got to spend some time with his grandparents. I just love old people ha!
    Glad you're back!!

  6. What a fun trip!!! I would LOVE to visit Colorado and pretty much any place out west. Its on my bucket list!! Love your photos!