Monday, June 24, 2013

Dear Mom,

week of June 17 - 23

Our second week in Fort Collins began with a delightful ‘surprise’ on our front doorstep – fresh milk from a local dairy! I had gone with Hummer and Rosebud to one of the farmers markets here and signed up for milkman delivery. It costs a little more than buying it at the grocery store, but less than milk did in AR -- and it just suits that old-fashioned side of me that is always telling me I was born in the wrong century.


We all loved it. Every Monday morning now we look forward to it!



On Tuesday we went again to Spring Canyon park. The playground is just as much fun as the splash pad. (Exacto was at summer band practice).

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We are enjoying the dry climate here. It is almost always breezy, too—perfect for hanging our clothes to dry. (Which works out well since we gave away our dryer before moving and haven’t bought another one yet. I know our neighbors are just so thrilled we have moved here. <ahem>)

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We had our first epic bike ride. After seriously slathering us all down with sunscreen and packing water bottles, snacks and the first aid kit, we set out on a 3 hour ride. (DC ended up having to interrupt his studies to come rescue us because I was exhausted. He rode home with the boys. :)

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We went to a nearby “Prairie Natural Area”, which is GORGEOUS.

Behold. . . .






Are you ready to move here yet? :) PLEASE?

We had a visit from or event with a ward member every single day that week. We feel super welcome! And even a little spoiled. :)

Monday night the missionaries came for dinner and taught our FHE lesson.

Tuesday the Primary president came to bring us yummy chicken curry for dinner and to visit Hummer and Rosebud, and later our bishop and one of his counselors came and visited us.

Wednesday we went to a playgroup at the park and the boys had scouts.

Thursday was a sports playgroup with ward members and a visit from the Relief Society president and one of her counselors and in the evening, book group.

Friday we were invited to a campfire cookout at a ward member’s home.

They had chickens and a tire swing and a gorgeous view. We have decided that if we get to stay here after DC’s schooling is done we want to live right by them!

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I found out later that the boy on the tire swing with them is named Benjamin. I just think that’s pretty awesome. Even about the right age. . . . :)

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After it started to get dark, our hostess asked DC to play some fiddle. He stood near the campfire and spun out Orange Blossom Special and some Bach while the kids danced and jumped around. So fun!

We miss our beloved friends in Arkansas, and I still get a pang whenever I think about Benjamin’s grave so far away, but we have definitely fallen in love with this place.

Can’t wait to see you in a few days for the reunion!

Love always,


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Dear Mom,

week of June 9 - 16

I am sorry it has been several weeks since I wrote. I plan to go back and fill in those missing weeks, but first I want to tell you about our first week here in Fort Collins.

It is SO NICE here!! We really, really love it so far. Lots of perfect weather, lots of bike rides, lots of amazing shopping opportunities, super welcoming ward. We have landed in a great place, I think.

Our first Monday here DC’s sister Ginger and her little boy drove up to visit us. She treated us to Café Rio. (Yes, we have Café Rio! That right there should convince you to move here! :)


She stayed and helped me hang up some pictures and things. She is super good at making things look nice and also at making me laugh, so it was fun. It is so nice to live close to family!


(The boys loved riding in her Camaro with the top down. :)

That night we had our first FHE in the new house. Well, actually we did it outside because it is dry and breezy and gorgeous out there pretty much all the time and inside was mostly boxes and mess. We sat on our back lawn under the honey locust tree, probably in full view of dozens of neighbors (nah, hopefully they were inside watching tv or something :), and sang and prayed and talked and it started to feel like home.

On Tuesday Exacto began summer band here. They meet for an hour a half a day, three days a week, for three more weeks, then there will be a concert and that’s it. He was visibly relieved to have a French horn in his hands again. We went and bought him a mouthpiece after rehearsal and I played the mean mom and made him do all the talking with the store clerk. (I think he managed the transaction with about 5 syllables. grrr).

On Wednesday Exacto and Fluffy got to help with a service project during the day, and I took Hummer and Rosebud with me to one of the many farmer’s markets around town. We bought some lovely tomatoes and spinach and sampled fresh chocolate milk and signed up for milk delivery service!

Later we found a most delightful public park with extensive playgrounds and a water feature, right in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

photo courtesy trekaroo (I know it looks ridiculously beautiful, but it actually is :).

Hummer and Rosebud spent nearly the whole time splashing and playing and frolicking in the water. Exacto studied his books from the library and Fluffy sat and talked with me and watched.


As we left we ran into someone we knew from church, who pointed out three other families there from church! (It is very different from Arkansas here). That evening I took the boys to their activities at the church, and we had a craigslist adventure going to see a tv I almost bought.

Thursday we went to the library. We were desperate for internet access and also I knew there was a storytime scheduled. The storytime was great, and there were about a hundred kids there, with assorted parents! It was amazing. Rosebud won the door prize and was also brave enough to hug the library mascot owl, which she said was “really soft.”

That evening was Relief Society, which I was very late to and nearly didn’t go at all, but I felt a heavenly nudge and so found myself there nervous but soon meeting people and making connections. There were people there who knew the same people as me at BYU and people who knew my cousins in Chandler and it was amazing how many ties I found in that one short evening. I also nearly ruined one of the fleece blankets we were working on for a service project, but as long as the kid doesn’t yank on the corner really hard, all should be well. :)

Friday morning Exacto and Fluffy were up very early to help with the scout fundraiser. They went and raised flags at peoples’ houses for Flag Day, a holiday which we had never before observed, but this certainly seemed an appropriate way to start! Somebody else had to take them all down because we had reserved Exacto for babysitting that night while DC and I went on a DATE.

We shared some Café Rio – I can see now how it’s going to be; I cannot keep myself away from that place! – and did some errands which took a lot less time than we thought because there is so much amazing shopping so stinkin’ close! We went to Hobby Lobby and Target and Burger King (for 50 cent ice cream cones :) and Albertsons and it all took less than an hour. We also went to a park very near our house that has tennis courts and playgrounds and a lovely lake and we sat by the lake and watched storm clouds gather and the drops make circles on the lake and the sun set and it was quite picturesque but I hadn’t brought my camera because I was too tired. I know. sorry. Our Internet got turned on finally. :)

Saturday was Exacto’s birthday! 139

It was his GOLDEN birthday because he turned 15 on the 15th! (He loved the 15 gold dollars you and Grandpa gave him). He was super nice and helpful all day—we had to stop him from helping with the dishes.


A momentous first for which I am very grateful: a birthday celebration in our own home with family members who live nearby. I think the last time that happened was DC’s last birthday at BYU, about 16 years ago!




Ginger and her children and Bob and Daniela and their sweet little boy drove up (they live about an hour away and 1 1/2 hours away, respectively) and we had a dinner together and a heavenly evening. Lots of playing outside and lots of talking together and singing and just enjoying being together. It was so great!


(Daniela’s expecting in August – so happy to be close enough to enjoy that new baby! :)





(Hummer didn’t get the memo that that was supposed to be the nice one. :)



(the faucet is coming out of his head on purpose – he told me to take it like that :)


opening presents. . . .




view from our back porch looking to the left. . .

The very next day was Father’s Day, and the revelry and overeating continued. We brought, or rather, did the traditional trying-to-bring-breakfast-in-bed to DC, but he is such an early riser he has learned to listen for us and jump back in bed and play ‘possum until we start singing. (Admittedly it is very hard to sleep in with our current house which faces a pretty busy street and also the sun rises ridiculously early right now).

We went to church and then came home for blueberry crepes with yogurt and grapes. Lovely quiet afternoon followed with naps and cooking and a rousing game of Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites. (I am so glad that I got to talk to my beloved Dad even though you guys were on your way to Albuquerque. :) The dinner was experimental and didn’t turn out quite as well as one would hope, but then for dessert we went to the house of some new friends in the ward and had a great time.

Present-opening again. . . .




And so that was our first complete week in Fort Collins. When will you come to visit us? Rosebud asked me that very question this morning: “When will Nana and Grandpa come here?” Hopefully soon! You will love it!