I have so many thoughts swirling in my head right now. How do I even get them all down?
The last couple weeks have been great for lots of reasons. First, we finally took care of our downstairs toilet issue that has been driving us crazy off and on ever since we’ve lived here. (And by “took care of,” I mean that after Patrick and I both messed with it and then a friend looked at it as well, we finally decided to buy a NEW toilet and have it installed. Hallelujah!) Then, two Saturdays ago, our whole family (yes, that includes Patrick who is often MIA for vacations) flew to Denver, Colorado. We stayed there until the following Saturday, so we had a FULL week for my girls to soak up the Colorado life.
The last time we were in Denver was Christmas 2004 when I was pregnant with Berkeley. That means it had almost been FIVE years. It was a long overdue trip.
We have a TON of family in Colorado now. My parents have lived there since my family moved there in 1992 (my senior year of high school). Then, a couple years ago, one of my older sisters moved out there and bought a house just about 15 minutes from my parents’ house and one of my younger sisters and her husband and two kids bought a house just 10 minutes from my parents. In addition, a few months ago, my little brother and his wife moved to Colorado to start their careers after they both graduated from BYU. They are living in my parents’ basement while they look for a house. So that is a total of NINE people from my side of the family to hang out with.
On one of the days we were there, we went to the Butterfly Pavilion with some family and some old friends from Boston who now live in CO.
If you ever doubted how tough we are, check out all of us taking a turn holding Rosie the tarantula.
Then we went to the main attraction of the venue—the big room where TONS of butterflies are flying around all over the place. For some reason, the butterflies just flocked to Berkeley! They just kept landing on her without her even trying!
Thankfully, Kendall figured out how to get some as well, or we would definitely have had some tears.
And this was our attempt at getting all of my kids and my sister’s kids to pose in front of the giant praying mantis (and it looks like there’s a stray girl hanging in the back as well).
I’m not sure why I didn’t get any pictures of this, but it snowed for an ENTIRE day while we were there! (That’s a risk you run when you visit Colorado in October!) The rest of the days were pretty great, with weather in the 60’s or 70’s.
So why did we pull the kids out of school for a week to go to Colorado in the more unpredictable October weather when we could have gone in the beautiful summer and not missed any school? Well, the reason we planned this trip that particular week was because there was a big conference for registered dietitians that I wanted to attend. This is an annual conference but I’m not able to go every year. It is always in a different location, so when I realized a couple years ago that it would be in Denver for 2009, I made a promise to myself that I would find a way to go. Thankfully, the stars aligned and Patrick was able to come too, but I was initially expecting to just bring the girls, and my sisters would babysit while I attended the conference.
I got to attend some fabulous educational sessions where I learned a lot and was inspired to make more of a difference in my field. I got to listen to big name speakers like Suze Orman, Soledad O’Brien, and Dr. Roizen (BFF of Dr. Oz) and some other speakers who I’m sure aren’t well-known to most people, but are big names in the nutrition world. Also, as part of the conference, there is the ENORMOUS expo hall, where hundreds of vendors come and try to woo us with samples of their new food items and SWAG galore. Here’s one of my favorite pieces of SWAG—a t-shirt from a company called KIND Healthy Snacks. The back says “I’M A KIND RD.” (I also got more healthy granola/nut bars than I can count and about 40 reusable shopping bags with various company logos. No excuses for ever forgetting my reusable bags—I’ve got enough that even if I leave some at home, I’ll always have some in the car!)
So, three and a half days of conferencing and three and a half days of frolicking with family and friends—this post is already too long and I’ve only posted one of the activities we did with my family. To be continued. . .
(And you better believe I’ve got oodles of things to share for Friday Foods!)