My Birthday was this week so I celebrated like I wanted to.  I went out to brunch with a friend on Saturday then after dropping off Ivan with my Sister-in-law Nick and I went on a hike. WP_20170318_13_27_03_Pro

With my current food restrictions I decided it wasn’t worth paying to eat out a simple meal, so instead I found delicious recipes and Nick and I spent the evening cooking together.  It was terrific and very tasty.  Here are some picture and links to the recipes.


Iranian Eggplant Dip was both of our favorite!  This was amazing and I will definitely make it again.


Lamb Shawarma was very tasty, but our chunks of meat were a bit too small so they were a bit over cooked. We did roast veggies with this and made the tahini sauce. The mint was an interesting addition to the roasted veggies.

Herb crackers was for me to be able to eat the eggplant dip. Though these are delicious and I will be making them again.


On Sunday we celebrated with our church family and I made a special dessert that I could share with everyone.


On Monday, I made a special breakfast with my hand at homemade hollandaise sauce. Ivan and I met up with Grandma Karen at the library for story time and mask making after I got a walk in with a friend. After Ivan’s nap we went to Caribou Coffee for my free drink then to a playground.  In the evening, Nick watched Ivan so I could go out with friends to InTea as well as Wahoo Fish Tacos. I was so excited to see spring flowers for my birthday. In 11 years of being in CO I don’t think I’ve ever seen early spring flowers.  I have been enjoying all the blooms this year! Nick as super creative and sneaky and bought us tickets to go see Jim Gaffigan.  He presented it in a fun way with the tickets inside his book so we can read that together for now.  Here’s to a great 35!!!!


P1260065While camping this summer, Nicolas made a comment that he wanted to do a backpacking trip while Ivan was still little enough to carry.  We planned it for his birthday weekend. We decided to go on a trail off a 4*4 road that looked pretty secluded on the map we had. We packed up Saturday morning early and got on the trail about 11am.  We were hiking beside a creek and up in elevation.  We knew after a while we would loose our water source, so we had to decide if we were going back down or continue up.  Nicolas was by then carrying Ivan and he felt good, so we kept going.  The view from the top was beautiful and we enjoyed it. We then needed to find water to set up camp, so we went down the other side of the mountain and pretty much hiked the whole 11.5 mile trail before we found water and a place to tent. We set up tent exhausted and hungry.  We slept reasonably well and packed up in the morning and headed back out knowing we had a long hike back to the car.  We had some great time talking together, listening to Ivan chat and thinking quietly as well.

Here’s a fun picture of Kara and Ivan from our first backpacking trip side by side with this trip. IMG_0359

Check out the video of our adventures below:

Ivan turned one year old this November!  He loves to chase the cat, play with friends, wrestle daddy and bear, try different foods, laugh, be around people, and work hard on walking.

Below is a video montage of photos and clips from the past year.

Direct Link to video on Vimeo


Kara’s birthday this year was celebrated by dinner with some family in town for dinner and neighbor friends, cheap movie and a new dinner theater, and sushi on a snowy day!!











Hapa Sushi. . . Yum

So for my birthday this year we decided to throw a big wine and cheese party.  We celebrated on Saturday evening with 35 friends and family from all circles of our world.  It was so much fun, however with our 3 bedroom condo we knew it was going to be a tight fit.  So we spread everyone out by making each room a different region of the world for the wine and place food on almost any open top space we could find, a few chairs and people got the idea and spread out.  It was a blast!!! But alas, we were having so much fun, we did not take any pictures, Oh well.

Sunday, on my actual 29th birthday Nick had to fly out to Vegas or his annual conference.  So he helped me clean up and then we went for coffee and I took him to the airport.  My church had a small celebration with cupcakes for me that evening.  I also got lots of cards in the mail and happy birthday songs via phone.

Friday when Nick came home from Vegas, we celebrated with dinner out for my birthday and celebration of my Spring Break coming and him coming home.  Then on Sunday we had a great 1st spring hike through Deer Creek Canyon Park.  I loved to see the beginning sights of spring.

As usual, we were able to venture into the great outdoors of Colorado for camping.  The season began with our church family camping at Meridian campground for memorial day.  In July, we took our new friends (Dan and Angel Wilcut) camping along an off-road trail near Rampart Range.  We were able to camp twice in August, once for a quick impromptu overnighter on Guenella Pass; then for Nicolas’ birthday with our long-time friends, Blake and Sarah Lehr, near Rocky Mountain National Park (it was free weekend access to RMNP).

If you can, visit this blog posting online because there will be a video for you to watch with all of the pictures!!

We had the opportunity to travel during Kara’s 2010 spring break (and for her birthday).  For this excursion, we journeyed to the French Quarter of New Orleans to indulge in Jazz and Blues music, street artists, and lots of Cajun/creole food.  It was a very good trip, with decent weather, good tasting water, and many things for us to experience and enjoy.

We were able to find a pretty good deal on a one-bedroom condo with a full kitchen that was right in the midst of the main activity of the Quarter. There was enough activity within the Quarter that we never had a need to leave the area (although we did one afternoon to ride a trolley and to visit the Garden District) so we were on foot the entire time.

Some of our highlights include

  • Sampling Pralines at Aunt Sallie’s Praline Shop
  • Lunch amidst the bustle of the French Market
  • French Quarter walking tours
  • Live outdoor music
  • Listening to wonderful jazz/bluegrass music performed by Steamboat Willie at the outdoor Music Legends Park
  • Audubon Park
  • Visiting Frenchman Street
  • Wandering the streets at night
  • Sitting in the sunshine along the Mississippi
  • Kara’s birthday dinner at The Alpine
  • Cajun cooking class
  • Eating beignets at Cafe du Monde at 1 AM and again at 11 AM
  • Eating fresh seafood nearly every day in a wide variety of ways
  • The taxi cab ride to the airport (got great cooking tips from our driver on how to make Gumbo “the correct way”)

As usual, we have put together a video with other pictures from the trip.  It is an 18 minute video, but is very much worth the tim to watch!!