Saturday, December 26, 2009

the wrong decade

Recently I have come to the realization that I was born in the wrong decade. I like afternoon tea, pearls, china & formal events. I own a copy of Emily Post's guide to etiquette and consult it frequently for various social events & other situations that dictate such a reference.
One such example of my love of antiquated social practices was going to afternoon tea at the Brown Palace in Denver with my aunts & cousins the day after Christmas. The 3 sisters and their 3 daughters all went to tea, which was delightful! The Brown Palace is a historic hotel in downtown Denver, and they have a very special afternoon tea during the holidays. We had scones with Devonshire cream, cucumber canapes & other finger sandwiches, and assorted pastries. We picked three teas to drink which included a vanilla rooibos (decaf, because we actually get to have a little addition to our family this coming summer! My cousin is expecting!), jasmine & an Indian chai. All of the tea & accompanying food was excellent & perfect for the day after Christmas. I am so thankful for my family this Christmas season.

The Moms/Sisters

The cousins

An artsy take of the teapots

The incredible chandelier decorated for Christmas and everything!

The sisters/moms and their daughters!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

dear santa

Dear Santa,

I know that tomorrow is Christmas Eve, but I was wondering if I could add something to my list. I would especially love a garage or a man for Christmas so that I don't have to scrape all the ice & snow off my car. I know this is a tall request, but seeing as I continue to get snow dumped onto my car on a regular basis, it is a much needed solution. Although, if you would like to bring me nice weather from now until summer so I have to scrape my car less frequently, I would be ok with that too. Or, I would settle for moving to Hawaii. Thank you for listening to these requests and I look forward to seeing what solution you come up with on Christmas morning. Oh, a sparkly diamond with the man (if that's the option you go for) would be great as well. Thank you!

Mele Kalikimaka,

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Isaiah 9:6

This week has left me reeling & asking lots of questions. I've had a difficult time believing in God's faithfulness & I continue to wonder whether I made the right decision to move here. I've been reminded that so many faithful & dedicated Christians in ages past have still struggled with times of drought & feeling like God is not near. I've been working on memorizing Isaiah 9:6 as it is the verse going out in my Christmas cards. Here's the NASB translation:
"For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders,
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace."

So many thoughts enter my mind with this passage. Not only did Christ come down, but He was given to us. He came as a humble baby, not as a triumphant king riding out of the clouds with a mind to destroy. Christ was given all authority as head of the government. I thought about this a lot and what it means. I thought about how Christ came & totally changed the law & instead put into place mercy & grace for those who believe. Now for His names: Wonderful Counselor - He listens to me & gives sound & wise advice for He knows all. Mighty God - He is powerful & more than able to rescue me from myself - my sins & selfishness. Eternal Father - He is infinite. He loves & disciplines me as a Father. Prince of Peace - this is my favorite & I'm still not sure I can wrap my head around why it's so powerful to me. I think that I envision a ruler who doesn't impose on His subjects war & destruction & poverty. But instead a ruler who provides steadfastness, peace & a stillness to His kingdom.
I also found some great insights into Isaiah 9 when I looked at Matthew Henry's commentary. Here are just a few: "As He was the Lamb slain, so was He the child born." "He is given, freely given, to be all that to us which our case, in our fallen state, calls for." "Note, Christ's being born and given to us is the great foundation of our hopes and fountain of our joys, in times of greatest grief & fear." Something about the last quote is just so moving for me. I think it's the thought of Christ being my rock, my starting point, my unshakable base & foundation for hope and the well-spring of life-giving joy. I hope that I can continue to meditate on this during the Christmas season.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Handel's Messiah & Truffle Making

Wow has it been a long time since I updated this blog - almost a month! My life hasn't been too eventful, just full of work. I was so blessed last weekend to be able to go to my Aunt's in Denver for Thanksgiving & spend 4 days up there with family. I love my Denver family so much!
Last night I attended Handel's Messiah as presented by the Air Force Academy Cadet Chorale. For a novice concert, it was surprisingly good! Nic told me about it, and being the chronic "inviter" that I am, I invited two other people to come with us. Needless to say, one of the people I invited called and asked me what Handel's Messiah is...the poor man needs some culture! We drove up to USAFA only to be nearly blown away by the most frigid wind I have experienced in over 4 years (the last time I was there in the winter time). Seriously gusts strong enough to pick you up off your feet. At the end of the concert, we hung around as long as possible inside the chapel to avoid going back into the cold. I think I might move to Hawaii as the thoughts of the Aloha State were what got me back to my car. Warm beaches!
Next weekend I am hosting a holiday event, and this week will be full of preparations. I started the process toda
y by making truffles. Coffee liquor & Bailey's truffles to be specific. Truffles are surprisingly easy to make. Here are some pictures of the process. Excuse my extremely white hands.

Here is what the saucepan looks like after you've simmered the cream, added the butter & the chocolate. I also added Bailey's Irish Cream to this batch.

After you take the saucepan off the stove, you transfer everything to a bowl & refrigerate the chocolate mixture for at least 2 hours. Then you scoop it kind of like cookie dough and form it into balls.

Here is what one of the truffles looks like. Now I like to add a little extra to the truffle.

So I rolled the Coffee Liquor truffles in a little bit of green sugar & the Bailey's ones in cocoa powder.

Here are some of the finished Coffee Liquor truffles.

And here are the Bailey's truffles.

I can't wait to try them both next weekend! If you'd like to try your hand at truffles, I recommend this recipe from Tasty Kitchen for Simply Rustic Chocolate Truffles. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

busy weekend

The past week of my life has been crazy. I am still trying to catch up on sleep from it all! In the course of this past week, I've made dessert 3 times and then proceeded to inform people that I will not be making dessert again for at least a month. First was coffee cake, literally (thank you PW), then was Julia Child's Chocolate spongecake with chocolate icing, and finally I made "Go Army, Beat Air Force" cake balls courtesy of Em & Bakerella. All were tasty, but very time consuming. Here's a picture of the Julia Child's cake. I forgot to take pictures of the others.

Another part of the weekend was a dinner party to celebrate Eva & Laurel's birthdays. Here's a picture of the lovely birthday girls with their cake! We had such a good time with our small dinner party!

The next morning was tailgating for the Army v. Air Force football game. I might also add that they started doing flyovers at about 7:45AM while I was out running. The tailgate was fun & the half of the game that I stayed for was great! Too bad that Army apparently didn't show up for the last half of the game & lost 35-7. Here are some pictures from the game!

Nicole & me right before the game started. We may have actually missed the kick-off by taking this picture.

Amanda, Nicole & me during one of the many media timeouts we had in the first quarter. We look like we're having so much fun - mostly because Army was actually playing ok at that point!

Tom is doing the double V's with Nicole & me. Guess it worked in Air Force's favor!

Now last, but not least was the military ball that Grace & I went to on Saturday night. This event was probably the most entertaining & interesting of the weekend. Grace & I got ready at her place & the guys came to pick us up there. To avoid this totally feeling like prom, we only took pictures of us beforehand. The evening exposed Grace & I to many of the "traditions" of the Army, to include Artillery punch, toasts, long speeches in circles, awkward people & some inebriated people who were very entertaining and at times antagonistic. We had a great time and now I am completely exhausted. I'm pretty sure that all I want to do next weekend is sleep in!

Grace & me before the guys came to pick us up. We had a hunch that one might be early, so we booked it to be ready a little early.

We look pretty awesome, if I do say so myself! We were ready for whatever was thrown at us!

Grace & Schnells after Grace almost became part of a bar fight due to two guys deciding to argue back & forth standing at our table.

Taylor & me - after all of the events of the evening - hanging out at Jack Quinn's. What an entertaining night!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

kansas city weekend & dress vote

Well, it's been a while since my last update, and much has happened since that post. I did manage to come up with 2 different Halloween costumes for work & a costume party. For work I was forgetful - I taped sticky notes all over me with reminders, put my sunglasses on top of my head & tied yarn around my fingers. Unfortunately I don't have a picture to post. For the costume party I was Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany's - I wore a black shift dress, a tiara, sparkly earrings & necklace, big black sunglasses & long black gloves! Once again, I forgot to take pictures.
However, here's a few pictures from the pumpkin carving party last weekend in Kansas City! I had such a good time at my friend's wedding in Leavenworth and spending some quality time with my dear friends in Olathe. I also had some quality time with my Mom & brother. I miss them so much!

James - my adorable "nephew" in a panda costume!

My pumpkin - Charlie Brown! Thanks for the idea, Mom!

My brother, Kyle, & me with our pumpkins! He always has really goofy faces for pictures.

Amanda & me - it's tradition to take a picture of the 2 of us!

On a different note, I need opinions & suggestions. I am attending a formal ball on Saturday because friends here know someone who needs a date & I'm it. I raided Eva's closet & came up with 2 options. Keep in mind when looking at these pictures that I'll be wearing makeup & my hair will be done & not thrown back & I'll be wearing pantyhose, which will help everything look smoother. In other words, I personally don't look awesome in these pictures, but focus on the dresses. Several people have suggested that I find out what uniform is being worn & base my dress choice on that. Either dress is great, but I'm looking for your thoughts!
Option #1:

Option #2:

Now vote & leave me your recommendations in the comments!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Halloween costume help!

All right friends, it's time to pull out the big ideas. I'm looking for some suggestions for a halloween costume. Preferably something that I could do with items I'm likely to have on hand or be able to find at other peoples houses. I've thought along the lines of children's story book characters...mostly Dr. Seuss, like 1 fish 2 fish, the cat in the hat or little cindy loo whoo. I've also thought about things I could do with boxes, since I'll have a few of them from moving recently. But I'm really open to anything. As I'm still trying to find a niche here, it would be great to not be the nerd who couldn't figure out anything to wear and thus went as myself. Please suggest away in the comments!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fall Baking

I did some fall baking last weekend and wanted to share some recipes and pictures with you all!
First came whole wheat apple bread - yum! It's a recipe that came in one of the Penzey's Spices catalogs. If you don't use Penzey's spices or get the catalog, you should! Their spices are amazing and the catalogs always have great recipes, which you can also get online at their website. Click here fo
r the whole wheat apple bread recipe and to go to Penzey's! Some of my favorite spice blends from Penzey's include sandwich sprinkle (amazing on fish and other meats, not just sandwiches!), chip & dip spice, pasta sprinkle, rogan josh (for yummy curries), taco seasoning and greek seasoning. Check out a Penzey's near you, or order some delicious seasonings online (next on my list to get is Northwoods seasoning!)!

Now that I've shamelessly plugged Penzey's, on to the next recipe. I also made these absolutely amazing and easy pumpkin chocolate chip muffins last weekend. I actually got up early and made them before a group of us went hiking and brought them in the car to eat on the way to the trailhead. Everyone loved them! The family I live with also loved them, and Mindy made mini muffins of the same recipe later in the week. Click here for the pumpkin chocolate chip muffin recipe. Of note, I love pumpkin pie seasoning, so I threw in an extra teaspoon. I'm a rebel, what can I say.

The last bit of baking last weekend was a delectable cheese bread recipe from Keri. I love working with yeast breads, and this was no exception! I apologize for not having a picture, but you have to believe me when I say that it is one of the most delicious and easy breads I have ever made! Click here to go to Keri's recipe for delectable cheese bread!

Last weekend I also made butternut squash & apple soup, which was a hearty and flavorful soup. I made it in my new dutch oven (hooray!), and used a hand blender to smooth it all out after it had been simmering for a while. I love squash, and butternut became a favorite after Eva's parents gave us a whole box of it to eat one winter. We discovered all kinds of uses for butternut squash, but I think that soup is definitely my favorite. Click here for the butternut squash & apple soup recipe!

One last recipe to share, which Eva will be thankful for, is Minestrone soup! I have this recipe thanks to dear, dear friends in Kansas City that I lived with for about a year. I will never ever part with this recipe and plan to make it frequently! Here's the link to the recipe which I have shared online on Tasty Kitchen (if you don't use Tasty Kitchen for recipes, you must! Absolutely amazing recipes are at your fingertips awaiting a try!) - Minestrone Soup recipe! Once again, no picture, but trust me you will put it in your repertoire of hearty soups for chilly days. We had it at the pumpkin carving party last year and I could probably live off of it all winter!

Enjoy some of these tasty bites and let me know what you think! Next weekend I'm making some pumpkin chili and will hopefully have pictures for that one!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

the glorious adventures of nic and nat

Nic and I have become quite the adventurers since I moved here! Our escapades have spanned many different areas, to include cooking, hiking and even exercising. I love that after work yesterday, (which I was supposed to get off at 6 and ended up staying to do paperwork until almost 7) I could call Nic and tell her about my never-ending paperwork and she offered to cook dinner for the both of us. She did admit that this prevented her from eating leftovers, but it was great to simply eat with someone who is in the same life stage.
We have laughed hysterically and cried over various events in our lives. I am so thankful that the Lord has placed her in my life at this point in time. The quote of yesterday evening was, "Together we make one very dysfunctional person!"
Last Sunday I was sleeping on the couch, which is my preferred piece of furniture for naps, when Nic called and asked if I wanted to randomly go hiking at 3:30 in the afternoon. Of course I was game for such an adventure! We managed to navigate to the trailhead for Section 16 and proceeded up the trail, which was awesome. We talked about life and God. What a great reminder of His vastness to be out in His creation and experience how it all attests to His glory and fame. We talked about Isaiah 40:27-30, which reminds us that God is "the Everlasting One, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not grow weary or tired; His understanding is inscrutable." We both shared how this helps to shape our knowledge of who God is.
After a rather trying week, God has helped me to have some closure and peace. He has truly reminded me of His great love through so many different routes and people. Thank you to all of you for the encouragement!
Up next: a cooking post - wow it's been a long time since one of those!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

4 think I would learn

Recently, I was informed by someone of the opposite gender that what had been confusing and vague for me for the past almost year has apparently been over since that time. Amazing how men expect to be able to have this big conversation about "just being friends," and then proceed to want the same kind of connection that they had before this conversation. Does anyone else see how this would be confusing for me?
What is even more frustrating for me is that I could have prevented this all by just saying "no" a year and a half ago. "No" to long distance, "no" to lack of commitment, and simply listened to the advice in He's just not that into you. What compounds this situation is that it is the 4th (that's right, 4th) time this has happened to me. You would think I would learn to avoid men with the same traits and characteristics. That the next time a man says he's deploying or what have you and he's not looking for a romantic relationship, that is my cue to run fast and hard in the opposite direction.
I think what is even harder to stomach is the comment on lack of "electric connection." Really, seriously? Apparently this is a much bigger deal to men than it is to me. I believe that there must be a connection, but I don't foresee it looking like the Atom Bomb mushroom cloud. I am a much more firm believer in choosing to love someone and making that commitment. I know that when I'm as huge as the Titanic because I'm pregnant, my feet are swollen and I'm hormonal the only thing that will save my relationship is not a Big Bang, but someone choosing to love.
Apparently the old adage is true, "Hell hath no fury than a woman scorned." Although I believe that I handled the situation with the man in question very level-headed and appropriately. Now to find some comfort in the Psalms.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

more weekend, please!

I can hardly believe that this weekend is almost over. I have looked forward to sleeping in so much, and have successfully accomplished this task for 2 consecutive mornings. Much has passed in the last day, to include a hike in Garden of the Gods, investigating more potential housing options, making a yummy potato, green onion, zucchini & feta gallette, running, going to church, and gearing up for GroupLink at church tonight.
I've decided to take the plunge and try to get into a small group for the fall, even though it will mean one less weeknight to myself (selfish, selfish, Natasha!). I know that community is truly found in small groups, and I need to just muster my courage and proceed.
On a different note, I've started looking at my debt (yikes! Thank you, grad school.). I'm so close to paying off my car that I can practically taste it! If you have any ideas about how I can earn some extra mon
ey, my goal is to get the car paid off by March and then start chipping away on my student loans. I've started to investigate picking up contract work through some different organizations in town that pretty much will let me pick my hours and the number of patients I pick up, which would be great. I would be doing this work on top of my current full-time job. I'm telling myself to just do it for a year and then go from there. One of the things that people fail to tell you is that if you don't have the money for graduate school, it's probably not a good idea to go and have to pay for it with student loans. Not that I could have done much with my degree otherwise, but hindsight is always 20/20.
For those who didn't get the email or have tim
e to view it, here are some pictures from Pikes Peak Challenge last weekend! We pretty much hiked in cool, threatening weather the entire way. The sun peeked out for a couple minutes around treeline, and then it went back into hiding. As we were getting into the van to leave the top, it started snowing! Enjoy, and hopefully I'll have a more coherent update next week! Oh, and please pray about housing possibilities - this is feeling like a marathon!

On the trail between Barr camp and A-frame/treeline.

The whole group hanging out for a few minutes at A-frame. The sun is shining!

We made it! Isn't our view from the top lovely? Nothing like ending the day in a cloud, literally!

Oh yeah, here's me. Hiking boots, long underwear and about 6 layers of shirts never looked so good, right? Ha!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

I broke down...

And bought a Kitchenaid Mixer off craigslist! Many of you know that I'm doing Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, and don't worry, the money came from somewhere so there's still a zero balance in my budget! I actually came home Thursday night and all of a sudden it dawned on me to look on craigslist for a mixer. I found one in Woodland Park for $125, which I called about Friday morning. My friend, Nicole, & I drove up to get it last night. I bought it from some folks that moved out here from Louisiana. The guy told me they had given up on baking in the altitude, which I found hilarious! I checked it out, made sure it works, and paid for the new kitchen implement! I did not come home & bake, just to let you all know. I thought it might be silly to place another mixer on the counter at the family's house I'm living in right now. Below is a picture of my new mixer! I guess I'll just have to take Keri's advice and someday when I get married register for a more sophisticated one or something! Making Kringle at Christmas will definitely be easier with a mixer, that's for sure. Now if I can just get my hands on one of those heavy duty rolling pins that you could practically kill someone with....

Monday, August 24, 2009

housing woes

I am at the point where I really need to find a place & space of my own. I have loved living with families for the past year and a half, but I'm ready to open my boxes and pull out my pots & pans again and sleep in my own bed. My roommate situation appears to have fallen through for many reasons, so I am back to square 1 for the 200th time (ok, maybe it's not been that many times).
I started halfheartedly looking for apartments in the last 24 hours. I really am getting sick of craigslist and These are great resources if you want sketchy apartments without a washer & drier. Is it really too much to ask to have my own laundry appliances in my apartment? I mean seriously, I work with children all day. I get spit up on, sweat on and have kids stick there hands in their mouths (and who knows where else), and then wipe them on me. I want to be able to throw my scrubs in the washer whenever I feel the desire!
So, if any of you know people in Colorado Springs looking for a roommate or have any suggestions or ideas, I am open to any option that has a washer & drier and is not in Fountain (see previous post about shady towns right off army posts).

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cooking & wishing...

This afternoon I went to see the movie "Julie & Julie," which was rather inspiring! I came out and decided that I was for sure making homemade Red Pepper Risotto (recipe courtesy of the Pioneer Woman). I was saddened though because I don't have a dutch oven and must make risotto in a large skillet. These are my two big kitchen implements that I would love someday:

1. Kitchenaid Mixer (on the list of very bad reasons to get married...more on that later)

2. Le Creuset Dutch Oven
I feel very materialistic saying that these are two pieces of kitchenware that I want to add to what I already have. I can definitely still make delicious breads, cakes, risotto & pasta sauce without these items. I guess they will continue to remain on the list of bad reasons to get married.

As for said list of bad reasons to get married, I will elaborate. Most of my friends from college are married and have been for at least a year and a half. Over the years, I have watched them date, get engaged, and attended all of their weddings. Hard to believe that somehow I'm the one not yet hitched. Based on my observations, these are the really bad reasons that I would get married without conviction of loving the man (not that this would ever happen):

1. The rock (aka the engagement ring). I don't mean any old silver or gold band. I mean a sparkly diamond!

2. The Kitchenaid mixer. It's like a rite of passage. You get married, therefore, you get a kitchenaid mixer. Several people have suggested that I just buy one myself. This idea completely defeats the purpose!

3. Cathy Koehler's jean blanket in a picnic basket. Now, to be fair, Cathy helped me cut out, piece, sew, find a machine quilter & dropped/picked up the quilt and bound a t-shirt quilt with a bunch of my college shirts. But, oh, the jean blanket! I feel like it's a "you know you're engaged when..." slogan in my circle of college friends.

I would never, ever get married just for these reasons, just to clarify this point again. However, it's fun to say that these are my bad reasons to tie the knot!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

way to long

I have officially slacked off and it has been way to long since my last blog post! So I will try to do a concise update.
First, the new job is amazing. The paperwork is a little daunting and I'm still learning a lot, but the environment is so supportive and I still love what I do. I'm learning a ton from my mentor & the other staff members, which has been a huge blessing.
In outdoor news, I'm hiking Pikes Peak on September 12th in support of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) awareness & prevention! The event is called the Pikes Peak Challenge, and I have to raise $150 in order to participate. If you are interested in helping to support me, please click here to donate. Every little bit will help! I really believe in this cause as I have personally worked with survivors of TBIs, and the research is definitely lacking right now. Also, TBI is the hallmark injury of the wars our soldiers are fighting in right now. These victims are often referred to as "the walking wounded" because often they are physically capable, but the brain damage has caused significant deficits. Look for future updates on training for this and pictures from the event!
Housing news consists of looking for a place to live, again. My roommate and I are trying to find a townhome to move into as soon as possible. This has been a frustrating process for me, especially since I thought we already had this figured out. My roommate also has some very specific places she wants to live, which has limited our options. Please pray that we would find something quickly that fits our needs and that the Lord would even provide for some of the "wants" so that we can have a home that serves the purposes He has.
I am continuing to meet new people and establish friends here, which has also been fun and challenging. I like to be genuine, heartfelt and real with people, which not everyone is open to. I am still looking for authentic community and trying to develop that. Thanks for all your prayers and support as I continue to transition to life in a new city.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

first week

This was my first week at the new job, and I just have to say that I am thrilled to be in this environment! The health system I'm working for is wonderful, with great benefits and mission, vision & values that I really want to strive for as a practitioner. The department I work in is amazing and welcoming. I know that I will learn tremendous amounts from clinicians that I work with in every discipline. I am also very thankful to have my caseload gradually built up, instead of walking into a completely full schedule. So many things about this new environment just have me excited and actually looking forward to go to work in the morning.
My summer adventures of recent have included heading to the farmers market in Old Colorado City a couple of times, hiking in North Cheyenne Canyon park & Waldo Canyon and meeting up with friends. Last night I went down to the drive-in movies in Pueblo, which was really fun! We used to go pretty frequently at Spring Canyon to the drive-in that played movies a couple times a month in Buena Vista, so it brought back many memories.
On a different note, I've continued to struggle with finding a "niche" for lack of a better term. I feel like I'm still on the edge of a lot of different groups, trying to make friends. I really want to find a true heart friend that I can be open, genuine with and simply live life together. God's asked me to give up some pretty tough things recently, which have been tremendously difficult. As my friend, Nicole, reminded me, "The problem with a living sacrifice is that it keeps crawling off the alter." I feel like no matter how many times I give these difficult things to the Lord, something reminds me of them and I have to drag myself back onto the altar all over again! Please keep all of this in your prayers. I really need the support of friends right now, and am so thankful for all of you.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

summer adventures

Here are some pictures of my summer adventures in the past week and a half. I completely forgot to take pictures at the 4th of July brunch, so you will just have to envision the general splendor and the mouth-watering aroma of blueberry french toast casserole & quiche.

First up, time spent with my aunt & uncle in Breckenridge. I invited myself to spend some time with them at their timeshare. We ended up doing a hike on the side of Mt. Quandary that leads up to Sapphire Lake Falls, which are in some of the pictures below.

Majestic Mt. Quandary

My aunt Linda & me on the trail

Sapphire Lake Falls!

Right before we left to head back down. Such beautiful falls!

The next adventure was a 14er. For those not Colorado or mountain savvy, a 14er is a mountain that is 14,000 feet or over. There are quite a few in the state of Colorado, and before this one I had done two: Mt. Yale & Mt. Columbia. Eva & I decided to shoot for a third one last Friday: Mt. Belford. We had high hopes of doing Mt. Oxford in the same trip, but we had a late start and didn't summit until early afternoon. Therefore, we just did Mt. Belford. We also stopped in Buena Vista on the way back at Bongo Billy's - what wonderful memories of going down there for a change of scenary from camp!

Eva crossed this standing up. I scooted across on my bum.

Start of killer switchbacks. My body was screaming, "You haven't done this since you were 20. What are you thinking!"

Eva made it to the summit block, took pictures, and then came back down to get me. So I guess she technically summited twice?

After much heavy breathing, pain, nausea and about giving up, I made it! Mt. Oxford is behind me. So close, yet so far away!

Eva & me at the summit. We snapped this shot quickly and then scrambled off the top because it was really windy.

Today's adventure took Nicole & me to North Cheyenne park. We hiked on the Seven Bridges Trail and promptly lost count of how many bridges we passed. We did see some pretty rapids, which managed to not make it into this picture. We also sat on a rock by the stream to eat lunch, which was fun! I'm so glad that Nicole & I can go do things like this during the week! Classic Nicole & Natasha moment: Nicole drove across town to see if I was home to get her cell phone out of my backpack. I was in the shower and had accidentally left the upstairs door unlocked. Nicole proceeds to bang really hard on the door, yell my name, and then come in and here the shower. She then stands outside again for a few minutes and comes back inside stomping around to try not to scare me. Needless to say, the phone was in the backpack and Nicole got it back!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

new job!

I know what you're thinking: "Seriously? Didn't you just start this job in June?" That's right, and now I'm switching jobs! My first work environment ended up not being the best fit for me as a new graduate. I was one of 4 PTs, and 2 of us were new grads. The owner decided to take vacation during our first month, leaving 2 new grads with 1 part-time experienced PT. The for-profit clinic setting was also not one that I particularly loved, as they tried to get a lot of kids through each day. So, long story shortened, the job that I had heard about in February and originally wanted finally opened. The rehab manager emailed me about whether I was still interested, so I applied, interviewed, and loved it! I will be on a staff with about a dozen other PTs, so lots of people to ask questions to, and I'm assigned a mentor and given 1 hour each week to meet with her. The mentoring piece was actually the big kicker for me, and what I was hoping to get in the other job. My previous boss was not very nice to me when I turned in my resignation on Friday, and Monday, at 5:45pm, I was notified that it was my last day. How nice, right? I'm just so glad that I'm moving on to a better environment. I'll be working at a non-profit hospital in Colorado Springs in their outpatient pediatric rehab. I will also get to wear scrubs to work! (They do have to be hunter green, but that's a minor inconvenience!)
Since I don't have to work until July 20th, I took a day and a half to spend time in Breckenridge with my aunt & uncle at their timeshare. It was so fun! Nothing like waking up in the morning & going outside to views of Mt. Quandary! We did some hiking in the area, and I'll post pictures soon, along with whatever adventure Eva and I have tomorrow hiking 14ers. Other big news: I finally have my PT license for the state of Colorado! It only took seemingly forever, but now I'm official & licensed! Time to celebrate!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Well, I passed my board exam! I am done studying for a very, very long time! I am still waiting for final approval from the state of Colorado for my license, but the worst is over by far.
My new job is fun and trying at the same time. The staff and kids are great, with a few children that are definitely tough, but so far so good. The administrative aspect of the job has been the most difficult. Things like who tells me how many visits the insurance company authorizes, how to do billing, how to dictate notes, where my paperwork goes, etc, have been challenging and so much to remember. The other PT that started with me is a new graduate as well and we have become good friends. She shares the same faith background and is just a joy to be around. We've been able to bounce ideas off each other and ask each other if the other remembers different things we've been told. I'm excited to get to know her better and hopefully hang out some outside of work.
I've also found a church to plant myself in for the next year at least. It's called Woodmen Valley Chapel, and I've actually been doing a summer women's Bible study through the church. The Bible study is called "Anointed" and has teaching by Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore & Kay Arthur that has been amazing so far (regardless of the fact that I haven't been able to finish all the homework!). I'm excited to get more connected in the young adult ministry called the Timothy Project, which meets Sunday mornings before church. I'll keep you all posted on more events as the summer goes on. I'm hoping to find a solid group of friends that I will be able to hang out with on a regular basis to do things like ultimate frisbee, hiking the incline and playing games. Moving to a new place definitely has it's challenges, but I know that I'm here for a reason. If nothing else, the beauty of hitting golf balls at the driving range at the Air Force Academy has been totally worth the move!

Sunday, June 07, 2009


I've had a couple of requests for details about what is going on with my job and how I feel about it. I promise to write more on this topic! Right now, I'm just asking for prayer as I frantically try to review the last few areas before my big board exam. I take the exam this coming Thursday at 9am. It's scheduled for 5 hours (250 questions), but I'm pretty sure I'll be done before then. Please pray for me to recall information accurately and for focus during the exam. I've realized in recent days that I will not be able to take the exam, much less pass, without the Lord and His ultimate provision. I want Him to be glorified in this exam and the results! I promise to write more about the job after Thursday!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

eagle's peak

Eva & I decided to do some hiking on Saturday, tossing around a few different ideas. After calling one of the ranger stations & doing some more investigating, we decided 14ers were out. We decided to stay in the area, and opted for Eagle's Peak, which is on the Air Force Academy. We got some directions and hit the trail with Jessie in tow!
The trail was well-defined until we got to the stream, and then it was a little more vague. We actually ended up seeing some people later on who had taken the wrong "trail" and ended up on some other point. The view from the top was 360 degrees of incredible! Here are some pictures to commemorate our hike.

Eva posing by the little stream.

We found this cute little nook by the stream.

Jessie wants to know why I stopped moving. Get with the program, girl!

I used to live way out there in the flatlands, called "Kansas."

Just a peaceful view of Colorado Springs and the Air Force Academy.

P.S. We found spray-painted white arrows on rocks on the way down. That would have been helpful on the way up!