Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bookworm Beth.

I've mentioned it a few times now how I've really done nothing but read so far in 2013, and wanted to take a few minutes to actually list out what I've been reading!

The Contortionist's Handbook
This read reminded me of A Million Little Pieces with more of an edge.  At first I thought it was going to be a book strictly about substance abuse, but the storyline had so much more depth and complexity to it.  I would consider rereading this book again knowing what the underlying theme is all about, but I loved it the first time through.  I finished this book in California as we were driving to the beach { Yeah, I'm really fun to be with on vacation.  Reading constantly.  Weeehoo. }, and when I read the last page, I screamed in the car "WHAT???...!!!!  NO.  WHAT DID THE LETTER SAY?!"

Little Bee { also known as The Other Hand }
This was a book I'd had on my nightstand for longer than I care to admit.  I had actually forgot it in California when I was there for Thanksgiving, which is really the only reason I actually started reading it.  I will say, I'm glad it was my last resort for a book, because once I started, I just had to finish right away.  I was so annoyed at the description on the book which really said nothing about what the book was about, but now that I've read it, I have a deeper appreciation for the vague description!  This set the stage for a more serious, African refugee theme that the next two books to follow Little Bee would have, too.  

A Thousand Splendid Suns
My cousin Becky, { Hi Beck! } suggested The Kite Runner + A Thousand Splendid Suns to me this past summer.  I finished The Kite Runner right away, but took a break from reading and didn't pick up A Thousand Splendid Suns for a few months.  I thought I was so ahead of the times as far as these books went, but when I told Mary and Hunter that I had ordered them from Amazon, they both said oh so casually "Oh yeah.  I read those a few years ago.  I have them if you want to borrow them."  Yeah.  Not so much up on the book trend, but better late than never?  Anyway, a few weekends ago when we were in Denver { RIP Broncos season }, I had finished Little Bee Saturday night and started reading Splendid Suns on our 3 hour drive to Steamboat on Sunday.  I read every single mile of the way, and was IMMEDIATELY hooked!  Even after we got to Steamboat, I  passed on running errands/getting groceries for dinner { when do I EVER pass on going grocery shopping?!  When I have a good book. That's when. } and squeezed as much reading into the day as I could without being rude and ignoring the conversation at the dinner table.  I know I could have finished this in one day, but I wanted to spare Hunter trying to sleep with the lamp on until 1am, but successfully finished it the next day.  And successfully la-oved it.

After finishing Splendid Suns, I felt a wave of reading depression as I hadn't grabbed any more books from Denver to bring to Snowy/Steamboat. I was already planning a trip to the bookstore in Laramie while I was walking up the stairs at Hunter's parents house and walked next to his mom's beautiful collection of books. I saw Middlesex, instantly dropped to my knees, slowly pulled it off the shelf in awe and barely whispered "Hunterrrrrrrrr...Mary LOVES THIS BOOK."  That really was my only reason for wanting to desperately to read it and he casually just says to me "You can read any of those books, as long as you return them with no late fees."  WAIT.  What?!  I can read ANY OF THESE BOOKS?  I didn't give him time to retract that statement and think about the fact that in a 3 hour drive all conversation is thrown out the window and I say maybe maximum 5 words to him as I'm reading the ennnntire time.  I just now realized that could in fact be why he is letting me read any of his mom's hundreds of books, but I'm ignoring that revelation.  Anyhoodle, Middlesex is a longer, more complex read than the ones above.  Knowing my track record with reading times leading up to Middlesex, Mary would text "ARE YOU DONE WITH MIDDLESEX YET???" an hour after I told her I had started reading it.  It pained and shamed me to say no, I'm not done yet...but a week spent reading this book was a week perfectly spent.  It was a little bit of a slow start to me and I was confused why they were talking about wars, and depression and people who clearly weren't the main plot of what I thought the book was to be about.  However, after a few chapters, I forgot all about that and got so wrapped up in that plot I was a little annoyed when it got to the main storyline.  I don't want to say too much about the book's story, because it's really not something you can explain.  Remember those 3 hours spend in the snow cat with Hunter?  The only thing that could tear my eyes from the pages was that steller sunset.  I had the book heavy on my brain when we sat down for some drinks with friends after grooming the mountain.  They casually asked me what I do in there for 3 hours, and after I told them I throw on a headlamp, grab my book and am good to go, of course they asked "What are you reading?" { mind you these are people I had just met 10 minutes prior to the question. } I tell them Middlesex in a really sincere hope at least ONE of them had heard about it. No such luck, so the next question is "Ahh.  What's it about?" Shit.  "It's about a hermaphrodite."  I had 6 eyes staring at me blankly and judgingly.  Though we moved on quickly, I did notice that no one asked me any more personal questions the entire time we were with them, aaaaaaand I can't say I blame them.

Next up?   

Life of Pi.
Ohhhhh Life of Pi, { Karley, cover your eyes } why have I been dreading you/putting you off for so long?  I seriously have heard every review of this book possible.  I've heard:
I never finished it.
It's Robby's #1 FAVORITE BOOK.
OMG That is one of Ryan and my all time favorite books!!!
Ugh, I've had that on my nightstand and keep picking new books to read before it.
Life of Pi?  I hated that book.

I really am looking forward to reading it, and figuring out my own opinion of it and will keep you updated as I do just that!

::all images via::

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A sunset to remember.

When Hunter and I got back to Snowy on Saturday, it wasn't more than 45 minutes before we got to suit up, and head out on the snow cat for a few hours.  { Three to be exact!....though it really felt more like 45 minutes. }  I had fully planned to grab the big camera on our journey in an attempt to capture the pure magic felt while climbing all over a the mountain in such a powerful vehicle to share with you all.  Right before we were to head out, there was unexpected company that showed up and I got 100% distracted and forgot to grab the camera!  Doh.  It was such an awful shame I forgot it because the sunset that night was one that I will never, ever, everevereverever forget.  { I also have a really big thing for sunsets, but that's a story for later. }  The ability to see it from all different angles; up high above the mountains, lower to ground level, peeking through the hundreds trees truly was spectacular.  Well, a few days later, I was looking at some puppy doggy pix on our roommate/friend/coworker Mark's phone and whatt'day know?!  He also noticed the beauty of it and managed to snap a few on his iPhone.  I'm so thankful he did so you can see a small sneak peak into whereabouts we've been living and also a sliver of the remarkable beauty it holds!  Enjoy!

And my most very favorite..

Amazing, eh?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Good News/Bad News/Better News

Good News: Now the 3 very large bruises I have on my legs from cross country skiing { I warned you I spent a lot of that day fallen down in the snow } won't feel alone seeing as now I have a very inconveniently located, painful and nasty looking bruise on the bed of my ring finger along with a terribly sore index and middle finger.

Bad News: When I was putting some things away in Hunter's brewery last night, I grabbed the wrong part of the garage door to slam closed and ended up squeezing my first 3 fingers IN the garage door.  It hurt so badly, I wanted to pee my pants, throw up and scream at the exact same time.  I in fact did do one of those, but I'll let you guess which one.

Better News:  I can ice my right knee and fingers at the exact same time.  BOOM.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Drive. Read. Ski. Repeat.

Denver Friday-Sunday.  Steamboat Sunday-Monday.  Snowy Monday-Thursday { with day trips to Laramie on each of those days }.  Steamboat Thursday-Saturday.  It's really no wonder I've been reading as many books as I have { I'm on my 3rd in a week! }, but we've been spending a lot of time in the car.  I me and my book worm self don't mind it one bit, however my bum knee is screaming at me to stay still for a bit.  I'll listen...until Tuesday that is when it's back to Denver until Thursday, THEN EAST COAST FOR A WEEK!!!!  Do you hear me, Amie?!  A WEEK!

I was finally able to get into a PT for my knee, and turns out a silly rollerblading accident I had SIX YEARS AGO { so much screaming in this post }, had rattled my hips, tailbone and pelvis, leading them to not heal correctly.  The whole thing came to a head over Thanksgiving when I was doing innocent lunges/jump-roping and the knee was just sick of overcompensating already and gave up on me.  I tried to power through for nearly 2 months, but I just had enough and caved to finally go see someone about it.  A last minute PT appointment lead to a second trip to Steamboat in a week { I'm not complaining! }.  Hunter got to ski the mountain half a day, I had a series of PT appointments, with a side of library time.  Yesterday we had the most relaxing and leisurely morning.  Me drinking coffee, cuddled up reading while icing my knee, him putzing around on the internet with bluegrass music in the background.  We rented some cross country skis, and headed up to the pass for 3 hours of cross country skiing!  I was at a bit of a disadvantage as I couldn't plant my right leg/ski as well as I could my left.  Which possibly lead to a complete meltdown { or 8 } laying in the snow completely and utterly irritated at myself.  Thankfully Hunter has seen that mood before, and knew exactly how to react.  God love his calm and patient soul.  Regardless, it was such a beautiful, calm and relaxing afternoon.  Sadly, I have quite a handful of photos on my phone, but the only ones I'm able to post right now are from my Instagram.  So fellow Instagram followers, forgive the repetition!  Once I get a few minutes in Denver, I'll be sure to post way, way more.  You have my word.  Cheers, friends!

My happy spot in Steamboat!
Listening to random coffee shop advice.
It was the first time we had to use an alarm in about a month and a half, but it was worth it to see the sunrise on the mountains!
Scene: 5pm.  Beth reading.  Hunter relaxing.  Beth to Hunter "Hunter?  I kinda want a martini."  BOOM.  Martini in my face.  And a damn good one at that!

The most fun Friday I've had in ages!  We don't go on the trail.  We?  We make our own trail.

Friday Superduperfunday.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


In the last week, I have watched Hunter:

Clean the windows
Fold our laundry
Wash the dirty dishes too big for the dishwasher
Clean the entire Admin Office { which was a task too daunting for even my OCD cleaning habits }
Bring me coffee in bed
Peel potatoes
Load the dishwasher

All without being asked.  Am I bragging?  Maybe.  But I think he's awfully brag-worthy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I remember my very first day of Graphic Design school, our instructor Yvonne showed us an image of a blank piece of paper with a sharpened pencil laying over it.  She had us look at it for a few minutes before we tried to answer what it was we were looking at.  Being the new design student I was, I so didn't get it.  One of my beautifully talented classmates did, however, and pointed out how it was meant to symbolize an artists nightmare.  Blank piece of paper, theoretically endless opportunities for said artist to create, but for whatever reason it may be, the artists block takes place, and as hard as you try, you can't even coax anything to come out of that pencil to create on the sheet of paper.

Why the long winded opening paragraph?  I've felt this artist's writers block for a few weeks now.  My mind has been on overdrive memorizing this first month of unemployment { a month already!!! } and the first few weeks of our new life up here at Snowy while carefully constructing sentences in my head to translate and record to this blog.  To share with you the things I want to remember forever and ever.  When I go to sit and write all that is swirling around in my head, I go completely blank, and somewhat nervous to try and properly document this all.  I've wanted to sit down and tell you all about my beautiful and sincere going away party.  About my emotionally exhausting yet wonderful last day of work.  I've wanted to tell you more about our drive to Arizona, and the over-the-top magnificent hospitality I received, the new cousins I met, the memories made with my great uncle.  I've wanted to take time and write down every single memory I have from my 2 weeks spent in California with the 3 people I adore the most in this world.  I wanted to tell you all about how this Christmas, I do believe, has been my most favorite Christmas in close to 5 years.  Maybe even 10.  I've wanted to get down on paper my 15 year old-like nerves for bringing a boy home to my parents for the first time ever, and how seamlessly he fit in.  How I would swoon over him taking the time to help my dad with figuring out his phone, { which seems to be a never ending process that doesn't even matter how many years he's had the phone to get used to it ;}.  I wanted to tell you about our carefree day spent at the ocean, and the hundreds...literally hundreds of stories my great uncles and aunts told over those two weeks.  I want to tell you about how it really felt like I left a piece of my heart and soul in California when I had to say goodbye to my family, and how I walked away feeling closer in relationships to every single person I had crossed in that trip.  I so badly want to sit down and tell you about every little smile Chloe shines our way in just one day, how her little tongue she sticks out at us could very well be the cutest little teeny tiny tongue I've seen in my existence.  I want to brag about Charlie's BAD ASS bedhead he has morning after morning, nap after nap and when he looks at you with those big doey eyes and pleas for you to "pay trainsss???" I can't imagine one single other activity in the entire world that is more important in that second than in fact, paying trains.  I want to tell you how I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with something cuter that I've seen in my 27 years of existence cuter than my boyfriend, holding his 3 year old nephew who has a super hero cape attached to his "Superhero in Training Shirt" and "flying" him around the kitchen with his superpowers.  I would tell you about how I unload the dishwasher sometimes up to 3 times a day, but I can't fathom complaining about it because before we had the dishwasher, we'd have 7-9 people's dirty dishes sitting in the sink waiting to be hand washed, and after you have to hand wash 7-9 people's dirty dishes x3 meals for a few weeks, you will never, ever, ever complain about loading and unloading a dishwasher 3 times a day.  I so desperately want to tell you that I have found my new favorite way to read a book; in the dark, with a headlamp on my head, book in lap, beer around a hand knit necklace coozy { how these came to be is an entirely different blog post } roaring up a ski mountain in a snow cat being driven by Hunter.  I want to tell you how fulfilling it is to get to cook dinners for these men up here who work so, so hard, and how thankful I am that they eat my cashew cheese/tofu ricotta experiments with absolutely zero complaints.  I want to sit down and write a completely separate blog post about how Hunter, Bob and I spent the weekend in Denver and my complete whirlwind of emotions going back to the city, seeing my friends in our regular stomping grounds.  How driving through the city I realized the streets I once drove up and down alone and discovered alone, I now had Hunter to drive up and down and discover with.  I would tell you about the oh so quiet and blissful 4 hours I had to my own on Saturday, which was the most I've spent by myself in well over a month, and I enjoyed each and every single second of it, but also was itching for the door to open and Hunter/Bob to walk back in.  I would love to tell you how beautifully blessed I feel to have had the opportunity to stay in a loft in Downtown Denver where you really, truly and honestly feel like you have the entire city of Denver at your fingertips.  I would tell you that it was such a treat to see my favorite coworkers over the weekend, but after hearing about office drama, affairs, and hearing snide comments from people whom I've always struggled to find common ground with, has solidified that that chapter is in fact closed and I've made the right decision being where I am.  I would explain to you the inner struggles I've been having with spending all my time with only Hunter's friends and Hunter's family.  How the only time I have to my own during the day is when I shower.  I would try my hardest to explain how I struggle daily with doing too much, saying too much and of course doing too little and saying too little up here.  But I would be quick to counter that statement saying I knew when we agreed to move up here that that all would be the case, and how I feel like it is a big loud chaotic dysfunctional apartment living, but I can't imagine living anywhere else right now.  I would then thank you for listening as really I think that's all I want is someone to listen to the highs and lows of this new adventure regardless of how miniscule or giant they may seem to be.  I would tell you how I cherish the mornings when I sign on to my email and always, I mean ALWAYS have an email waiting in there from my mom.  How I am so grateful to Gmail Chat and Skye for still being able to talk daily to Mary, Shannon and Amie.  How I would go nutso off the grid lost if I didn't have them to still shoot the shit with.  I would tell you how receiving photos like this, and the gut splitting hilarious story that goes with them can totally change my day around, and makes the sun shine brighter.

I would tell you how I spontaneously booked a week long vacation to go see Amie in the east coast, and it still seems surreal that I get to spend a week with the person who most often knows me better than I know myself.  I would tell you how these first few weeks of 2013 have proved to me how irreplaceable good friends and family are, and that you need to celebrate every single person you have in your life right now with often, crazy and silly celebrations.

Thanks for helping me get through my little writing block.  If I could, I would overshare so much more than I already have above...but for now, that will have to suffice.  Thanks for listening friends.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Home, home on the { Snowy } Range...

...where the foxes and the Charlie'ssss playyyy.

Yeah. That just happened.  And I can't promise it won't happen again.

Life up at Snowy has been pretty much everything we anticipated it to be.  As I'm typing this, Charlie is crawling all over Hunter attempting to take off his boots, but ultimately ending in a giant RAWRRRRR in frustration/distraction and demanding "Hunter.  Chase.  Now!!!", Chloe is sitting across the table singing as loud as her pretty little lungs will allow.  Snowmobiles are zooming past outside, phones are ringing.  Legos are spread from here to timbucktwo.  The radios are going off like crazy with ski lesson requests.  The dog is eating Charlie's leftover cheese snack

It's loud.  It's chaotic.  And it's everything that we signed up for when deciding to move up to Snowy.

The days have been one big haze of coffee brewing, skiing { more Hunter, less me. } snow fall, cooking, late nights at the lodge, beer brewing, { beer drinking }, early mornings and late nights, color book coloring.  Many days I don't meet up with the shower until 10am, and many more days the staff in the admin office see me in my pj's still with bedhead at 8:30am.  Oops.  I can't say how good it feels to finally be up here.  The lasts are all over.  Last day of work.  Last dinner party at the house.  Last day in CA.  All the lasts that ultimately lead to the first week at Snowy.  It's easy to have all the days melt into one big day and I am quite alright with that.  We do have a few quick trips planned; tonight we'll head to Laramie for dinner then a basketball game with friends.  We will head into Denver this weekend for a Broncos playoff game, then a weekday trip to Steamboat next week.  Life is slow, and life is content...and I couldn't find one single thing to complain about if I tried.

I have to sign off for now, because I'm on beautiful baby duty, and it really is difficult to type with one hand and a squirmy baby.  That and the curious 3 year old next to me trying to "fix it!! fix it!"  it being my computer, and fix being the wrenches he's banging together.  For the sake of my computer and it's longevity, I need to put computer away for now.  We have been snapping photos here and there, so I'll be back when I get those on my computer.

Cheers fun friends!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

California Trip - Insta Style! { Part 2 }

The morning, noon and night of crocheting, football and tending to my hurt knee.  { tending to it either by icing it, or trying other pain reliving methods.  ;}




 Celebrating the ball drop at 9pm so we could get to bed to get up bright and early for...

The Rose Bowl Parade!

Enjoying lunch with a view. 

And also enjoying our really, really awesome day!

Freshly picked lemon from my parent's backyard!  Immediately enjoyed alongside some ice and crisp cold water.

Sad, yet oh so brightly dressed heading back to the airport for tearful and dreaded goodbye.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

California Trip - Insta Style! { Part 1 }

My uncle picked me up at 5am square on the dot for our long { long, long, long } road trip south to CA for the holidays.  We've had ourselves many a road trip to North Dakota together, so we really had our routine down.  My dad is sending me the photos he snapped on his camera of the 2 week vacation soon, but until then, enjoy my Christmas trip along with me via Instagram photos!

Beaaaautiful New Mexico.

Beaaaaautiful'er Arizona

Mesa Arizona's city lights that saved my sanity.

Great Uncle John declared 2pm Happy Hour.  Chips/salsa and scotch not pictured. { I love him. }

Sunday morning orange picking before our final leg to California!

My mom's out of this world cuteness leaving Secret Santa gifts for me in the car for our final hour drive from my uncle's house to our house!

Some people dream of a White Christmas.  We were dreaming of a rainy Christmas!

Secret Santa cuteness continues.

Wishing my naughty AND nice friends a very Merry Christmas!

If the wine charm fits...

Old Town San Diego sipping!

{ Knockoff } Sunglasses twinsies!

2013 Mantra

We coud NOT buy these as fast as I was eating them.  #tangerineobsessed

My favorite thing we did the entire trip; pasta making!  It was an all hands on deck kinda deal.

Wine tasting.  What else?!

Bootiful California!

First day I felt like I was back to my old ways!  Green Monster, outside core workout + pho with my momma.  Loved this day.

Was feeling needy and sad about only seeing Hunter 8 days in all of December, so I splashed his face all over my feed to make myself feel better.