Snow Bunny.

Friends and lovers, I have an important announcement: I have now, for the first time in my life, been on a pair of skis.  It was so much fun!

It was cross-country skiing – I’ll tackle downhill another time – and I’m already obsessed.  My cool, outdoorsy friend Trent invited me to explore the wilderness outside of Leadville (former home of both the Unsinkable Molly Brown and Doc Holliday), so we loaded up the truck with our gear and his dog, Titan, and ventured forth.

Cross-country skiing

Ready to explore!

An easy sub-two-hour drive later, we bundled up in snow pants, strapped on our skis, and set out.  I had been secretly very nervous about this outing (I tend to fall down, and Trent is an ultra-marathoner), but it was easy to pick up, and I didn’t feel like I was slowing him down.  In fact, we were going at a decent clip, and I only fell twice!  We had back-country skis, so we left the beaten track to forge our own.  It was silent, the air was crisp, and we didn’t see another person all day.

Skiing near Leadville

Wheee!

One unexpected benefit was how happy I felt to finally be “legit” – people decamp for the mountains every winter weekend here, and since I don’t downhill ski or snowboard, I was missing a big part of Colorado culture.  The whole time we were gliding through the forest, I had this big goofy smile on my face.  Something I had wanted very badly to do, but had been intimidated by, turned out to be both doable and as fun as I’d hoped.

Leadville mine

I’ve started browsing craigslist for used skis and poles.  I want to go again, like, tomorrow.  Can’t wait for the next time I get to enjoy the view atop a pair of skis!

Im-Perfection

Friends – it is only Tuesday, but this week has already felt about two weeks long.  I had an amazingly fun weekend – the most recent in a string of fun weekends – but it left me exhausted.  If you’ll forgive the cliche, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends for a few weeks at social outings and my job, which has recently ramped up, and while I’ve loved all these experiences, I’m so tired that I can barely keep a coherent thought in my head.

You know that feeling when you walk into a room and can’t remember why you’re there?  I sort of feel like that all the time right now.  (When I said this to my mom, she dryly replied, “welcome to my world.”)

While this is all fine, and I’ll rest up at Christmas, I don’t do well without time to work out, cook healthy food, and generally decompress.  I get impatient with others and mean to myself, and I’ve been doing that terrible (and terribly female) thing where you berate yourself for every imaginary stupid thing you said while hanging out with your friends, who were likely too busy having fun to micro-analyze anything you said, stupid or otherwise.  I’ve been angry with myself for not having a perfectly clean apartment, perfectly toned biceps, and a perfectly organized handbag.

And then this morning, during breakfast, I read a chapter from one of my all-time favorite books, Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird.  Here’s an excerpt from that very chapter:

Perfectionism is one way our muscles cramp.  In some cases we don’t even know that the wounds and the cramping are there, but both limit us.  They keep us moving and writing in tight, worried ways.  They keep us standing back or backing away from life, keep us from experiencing life in a naked and immediate way…Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend.  What people somehow (inadvertently, I’m sure) forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here…

My apartment may be a little messy right now, it’s my own little haven, filled with little baskets and statues from my travels to Africa and India, artwork made by my friends, and kitchen supplies from my Grandma.  My body may not be perfect, but it’s whole and moves me around this earth – sometimes with strength, and in rare and special moments, with grace.  My purse may be cluttered, but it’s filled with receipts from getting dinner with friends.

So here’s to being kind to ourselves, and to making a beautiful, honest mess out of life.

South Platte River

 

Hello, Trouble.

Hi friends – happy Saturday!  I’ve been a busy bee lately – an update on some recent adventures will show up here shortly, but in the meantime, I’d like to unveil a new category for these posts: Hello, Trouble.

I’m in a rowdy mood for some reason, so I might get a little wild for a bit (within reason, sigh).  Hopefully I’ll be able to fill “Hello, Trouble” with some interesting tales.  A new tattoo is sounding awfully tempting…

Suggestions welcome!

Negatives into Positives.

Friends – it can be awfully difficult to be positive when the temperatures are in the negatives.

Denver freeze

It’s chilly.

Which is why it was so perfect that this article arrived in my inbox today (thanks, friend!).  The gist is: Denver is the best city in the US.

Having spent over six years in a city that considers itself the center of the universe, I tend to recoil from such hubristic claims; however, Denver is AWESOME, yo!  This (condensed) excerpt below proves it.

“Well, where else can you find…

  • 25 days of sun a month (or 300 days of sun a year) (or more sun than San Diego or Miami)
  • Legalized marijuana
  • The skinniest city (in the skinniest state) in the country
  • State recognized civil unions
  • The biggest urban park system in the United States (205 parks, dudes)
  • 650 miles of paved bike trails (Distance between Denver and Vegas? 753 miles)
  • One of the first three states in the US to allow women to vote
  • 200 visible mountain peaks, 32 of which are over 13,000 feet
  • The only city in the US to say, “Thanks, but no thanks” to the Olympics
  • Seven sports teams
  • Average high temperature in February? 49
  • More beer brewed daily (80 varieties) than in any other city in the US + extra thin air to get you drunker –  faster”

Hope that, whatever city you call home, you’ve got plenty to love!

Happy Turkey Day.

Happy Thanksgiving!  It’s a few days late, but the sentiment stands.

Thanksgiving

I hope you all enjoyed the holiday surrounded by family and friends, with a full plate of food in front of you and a cozy nap spot for your turkey coma.  I was able to go home to be with most of my family (my bro and his wife couldn’t make it…booooo), and it was lovely.  We went to our traditional pre-Thanksgiving chili night, cooked a beautiful Thanksgiving meal, ate breakfast at the Hobnob in Brown County, cut down and decorated a Christmas tree, and stopped for Dairy Queen on the way home.

Christmas tree and ice cream

In the spirit of the season, here’s a short list of a few things for which I’m thankful:

  • Pumpkin pie taste tests.
  • Christmas music, especially Perry Como, Kenny and Dolly, Michael Bublé, Bing Crosby, and step-family favorite Jim Reeves.
  • Life-long friends who invite you to drink wine around the kitchen island and talk about, like, real life shit…and also Duck Dynasty.
  • The ability to buy all the ingredients to make cranberry salsa, which is a revelation.
  • An awesome family who always help wash the dishes.
  • Experiences that prove life is what you make it, and seeing the incredible difference a year makes.

And I’m very thankful for all of you!  Happy holidays – whichever ones you celebrate!

Christmas tree