Monday, July 22, 2013

New Blog

Well, friends, it's pretty obvious that this blog thing isn't working anymore. I think it's a combination of Blogger's clunkiness and my own lack of time/motivation, but this blog is dead.

There, I said it.

Don't get me wrong, I've loved my time here. It's been great to have a record of all the crazy things we've done in this haze of nearly five years. And I'm not ready to stop writing about our lives. I'm just very ready to stop writing about it here.

So, please follow me to our new blog: The Life and Times of Matt and Kel. It's a little simpler, much easier and faster to post, and it's pretty - it even has balloons!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Music is Awesome

If you've ever read my blog before, you know I love music. All music. Matt and I try to get out pretty regularly see some live bands, whether they're popular artists or lesser-known groups. We're also pretty lucky to have some amazingly talented friends and family who entertain us regularly. Over the last few weeks and months, we've definitely had a few opportunities to listen to some jams!

The big concert of 2013 (so far!!) was the much-anticipated Ben Folds Five reunion tour! I've loved this band since the 90s, and while it took a little convincing for Matt, he now loves them, too. We've seen Ben Folds solo a couple of times, but it was amazing to see the whole band back together. They played some numbers that Ben never would have been able to pull off on his own. And we got to go with a couple of fun friends, which made the event a little more fun.

Before the trio could come out, we were able to see Nataly Dawn, who was super cute and lots of fun. We've now added her to our Starred List on Spotify, and I love her songs.

Then it was time! The main event was everything I had hoped for. So awesome.


It was an awesome show!

You may remember the next band, Instant Empire, from their CD release party we went to last year. The lead singer is a friend of Matt's, but I would like this band even if we didn't know them. They know how to put on a great show, and it's been really cool watching them on their rise to stardom.

Matt's had all sorts of connections with musicians this month. Another of our live-music nights was when we went to see Matt's friend Jonathan Fleig. Matt actually knows Jonathan from way back (middle school, I think), and it'd been about 12 years since they'd seen each other. I think it was cool for them to get to catch up, and it was fun to hear him play at the Walnut Room in Denver. The bar didn't have the greatest set up for live music (they could have at least turned on the stage lights...), but we really enjoyed Jonathan's sound.

Playing above the bar at the Walnut Room.

And finally, the first musician I ever knew (my dad) was playing in the Highlands a few weeks ago. He's got a new project with some friends that he's really excited about. It's a blues trio, but they play a variety of rock, jazz, and pop with a bluesy twist.

The Dirty Shoes Band at Meade Street Station

We've had quite the run of fun musical experiences lately. And with some big upcoming shows this summer (Avett Brothers and DMB!!) and our friends and family continuing to entertain people along the front range, we've got some more fun with music in our future.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Weekend Ski Trip

At this point, it should be no surprise to you that my husband is completely obsessed with skiing. And while I love it too, it's a little easier for me to start getting bored doing the same thing over and over. Every weekend we drive for way too long, ski places we're pretty familiar with, and get stuck in traffic on the long drive home. Don't get me wrong, I still get excited to do it. It's just that, every now and then, I need a little change.

Early in the new year, we turned our weekend skiing into a little more of a vacation. And I like vacations. We went up to Steamboat Springs for two days with our friend, Dave. Really, it was the perfect plan for us. Matt got two days of skiing new (to us) terrain with his buddy, and I got a hotel stay and some vacation-y small town exploration. Awesome.

After our long, but beautiful sunrise drive on Saturday morning, we went straight to the resort. The temperature in town was a little terrifying (-20 degrees Fahrenheit), but thanks to the lovely inversion effect, it actually wasn't too bad at the top of the mountain.

Skiing! My favorite run was Frying Pan, just because of the name.

Matt and Dave

After a lovely day of skiing (and a little sitting and resting for me while the guys went crazy), we attempted hanging out in downtown Steamboat. We had tapas and drinks at Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill before enjoying dinner at the famous Rio. (It's actually a small Colorado chain called Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, but it's generally referred to as The Rio. It's pretty famous across the metro area for delicious, but strong margaritas.) While our two stops were enjoyable, that was about all we saw of the town. It was just way too cold to wander the streets or pop in and out of shops. We gave up early, hit the pool and hot tub at the hotel, and retired for the night. After all, we had to be well-rested for day 2 of skiing!

Pretty morning.

The second day was pretty good for me. I felt like I was going a little faster than usual, and I didn't even crap out early.

After a quick pizza stop, we had to head back to Denver. But it was certainly nice to get out of town for a couple of days. It's amazing how easy it is to head up in the mountains and forget about your worries back in town. It's like a short vacation. And I like vacations.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Christmas Again

I can't believe Christmas has come and gone again. It may make me sound old, but it seems like it comes faster each year.

Christmas was a little bittersweet this year. Not only did it occur mere days after my Grandfather's funeral, but everything was so hectic and frazzled that I didn't feel like I could really enjoy the holiday. But time with friends and family should always be cherished.

My family did our traditional Christmas Eve gift exchange at our house this year. I made oyster stew in honor of Grandpa (though I didn't eat any of it - YUCK) and potato soup (which I ate lots of). We had lots of delicious other snacks, too. And of course, there were lots of presents.

Pretty tree and pretty presents.


Daddy told the Nativity story before we opened presents.

Present time! Salem slapped some duct tape on her present, just like Grandpa used to.

Go Broncos!

On Christmas Day we had a big dinner at my parents' house, with meat, potatoes, and all the trimmings. Plus some delicious desserts. Then some of us went to see Les Miserables, which was pretty awesome. Anne Hathaway = awesome. Really.

A few very short days after Christmas we were on our way back to Kansas to have Christmas with Matt's family. First, we stopped in El Dorado to see Grandma. Like so many times before, we watched football together, visited about life and family, and ate a delicious meal cooked by my grandmother. But this was the first such occasion without Grandpa, which made the experience bittersweet. It was tough to leave and make our way down to Matt's folks' house, but we were also excited to enjoy time with his family. 

After our family's little gift exchange, we made our plans to wake early in the morning to head down to Oklahoma City for our Christmas celebration with extended family. Sadly, Matt's uncle got ridiculously sick, resulting in the entire event being cancelled. We tried to salvage the day by meeting a cousin at Olive Garden, but the rest of the time was spent watching football and relaxing.

Our last day of our little Christmas trip, was supposed to include a fun gathering of our friends and their beautiful children, but we had some cancellations on that day, too. At least we were still able to see our buddies Dac and Alisha and their new baby, Reid. Baby and friend time was fun! And I was able to give little Reid his Christmas present.

It was a little monster I made! I made one for Ruby (John and Anna's kiddo), too, and I was told she liked it when she opened it at home.

And then, on the first day of the new year, we finally headed home and tried to settle down into normalcy. But, while I can't deny that this holiday season was funky, sad, and stressful, it was also great to see family and friends. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Goodbyes are Hard

We had to say goodbye to my Grandpa a couple of weeks ago. He had been struggling to recover from complications with a surgery in July, and he finally left us on December 17. While his failing health over the last few months has allowed us to be somewhat prepared for his passing, it's still been difficult for my family, especially since he was healthy prior to the surgery. But I'm so thankful that we were all able to spend some time with him in his last months, and that we all have so many wonderful memories.

When I was growing up, my sister and I would spend months every summer at my grandparents' house or in their RV on some trip. When I went to college right down the road from them, I spent even more time at their house. I grew very close to both of my grandparents during these times, and I have so many fond memories of time spent with Grandpa. While I could never share or even remember all of our times together, I put some of my thoughts into the following paragraph, which was read at Grandpa's service. I'm not sure that all my funny memories were understood by the large crowd, but Grandpa would have gotten it, so that's all that mattered.

Going away to college was a little difficult for me. The thought of being eight hours away from my parents was slightly terrifying, but I was comforted by the fact that Grandma and Grandpa would only be a short drive down the road. I don’t think I realized how often I would take advantage of their proximity, but it didn’t take long for me to start relying on them for many things. Grandpa was always there when I called. Whether he was offering a little gas money, being my fan at a concert or play, bringing me a bed and carrying it up three flights of stairs, and afterwards suffering through the mediocre Mexican food that I swore was “amazing.” Of course, this didn’t all start in college; Grandpa had always been there from me. He was at the helm of the RV, keeping us safe and happy on many summer adventures. He was able to fix things I broke, even that one time when the toilet started acting weird and I didn’t know what to do. And he was with me at my wedding, offering his blessing and hope for my marriage. And you know, it’s not over for me and Grandpa. He’ll still be with me. In his stories and advice that I’ll carry with me always.

My grandfather was a kind, caring, and compassionate. He was always willing to help anyone he could, and he loved his family very much. I'll miss him.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Ok, New Plan!

Because the act of getting caught up on my blog will take a very, very long time, I really have had no desire to try. I'm just too behind, and I fall further behind each day. So, new plan:

I'm just going to start this year fresh, with new blog posts about what's happening right now. It'll be more interesting for anyone who may still be reading, and I won't be as frustrated every time I get on and realize how behind I am. I hope to fill in the gaps as time goes on, while simultaneously keeping up on our current adventures.

We'll see how this goes...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ireland! (Part One)

Finally! This is the post I've been waiting for. Unfortunately, it would take multiple posts and A LOT of time to really tell all the stories I want to share from this trip. Maybe when I get caught up on this blog, I can do a detailed day-by-day account. But for now, I'm going to limit myself to a couple posts and not too many pictures. To look through more pictures from our awesome trip, go here.

Day 1/2 - Traveling and Dublin

After an exhausting day of long flights, insane lines, and crazy traffic, we made it to the Davenport Hotel in Dublin. All we wanted to do was sleep, but we fought our jet lag and set off to explore. We strolled down Grafton Street, at lunch at a cute café, and then went straight back to our hotel to nap. We forced ourselves to venture back out to see St. Stephen's Green, and to grab some food. However, I'm embarrassed to say that we were still so exhausted from our travels that we ended up at Pizza Dog, an American-styled pizza and hot dog place. But good food is good food, and it allowed us to get back to bed at an early hour!

Day 3 - Dublin

We finally felt like normal humans again, so we were ready for a full day of checking out Dublin. It was overcast and chilly, basically exactly what I'd always imagined Ireland to be. We started with a stroll through

Anyway, we had an amazing time on our trip.