Best of July

Serious question.


I guess it was probably swept up in birthday celebrations, BBQs, cabin adventures, family fun and seriously more dessert than I probably ever need to eat again.  This month has been such a whirlwind of pure summer fun.  It’s my favoritest month of the year for that reason, but really, does it always have to go by so fast?  One minute it’s the 4th of July, the next, it’s the last day of the month.  Wah wah.  I guess the only thing left to do is relive the fun one last time with a little “Best of July” recap!

The month started off with a low key 4th of July — if you can call an all day bike ride “low key” — that once again reaffirmed my belief that the best things in life are free unplanned.  Spur of the moment backyard movie nights need to happen more often!


After all that low key-ness, it was time to celebrate my birthday!  Or so it felt 🙂  Many wonderfully thoughtful gifts, delicious dinners (REMEMBER THAT PIZZA?!), self-pampering and an overall showering of love was almost more than my heart (and stomach) could handle.  Almost.


The first Mother-Daughter Book Club meeting was a smashing success, complete with passionate book talk — um a group of ladies talking literature gives me all the feels — and an outdoor breakfast to go along with it.  Naturally 🙂


Months of excitement and planning culminated in our “First Annual Mountain Trip” to Breckenridge!  We got drenched on our hike, the boys all sucked at starting a fire, the girls couldn’t win a game of Catchphrase to save our lives and we broke the dishwasher.  But it was all PERFECT!


And because July always saves the best for last, the month ended with a birthday celebration for the ages; my mom’s 60th!  My NOLA family made a surprise — well it was a surprise to my mom, at least — visit and for three blissful days we lived it up Colorado-style, with a Pearl Street dinner, Chautauqua picnic, family putt putt competition, hawk sighting at the Denver Botanic Gardens and the general soaking up of family togetherness.  My perfect mother deserved such a perfect birthday weekend 🙂


Seriously though, it has been so hard readjusting to “normal life” this week.  Like wait, I don’t get to see my family every day?  That, coupled with the trade of my favorite Rockies player, has been making me all sorts of sad.  Someone hold me.

Of course, I would be remiss not to mention all the little things — because let’s be real, the little things matter just as much as the big things — that made July feel like eternal summertime.  We saw Wicked, my sister and I finished watching True Detective, Joey and I started half marathon training and I finally got my little hands on our wedding album.


Oh and honorable mention goes to my porch swing which I have decided has an impenetrable force field of tranquility around it.  Sitting in that thing is magical.


Today is sort of bittersweet because I hate seeing July come to an end — the feeling that summer is slipping away gives me serious anxiety! — but I’m also kind of looking forward to August.  August is summer’s last hurrah.  It’s less busy than July, which means there’s plenty of time — and summery weather — to do all the fun things I still want to do.  I’m so excited for that!

Happy Friday!

Weekend Things: My Mom’s “Best Birthday Ever”

Oh my god.  Was this weekend real or was it all a perfect perfect dream?

For the past few months, my family has all been in on my aunt, uncle and cousin making a surprise trip to Colorado for my mom’s 60th birthday and it was seriously so hard to keep something that fun and exciting a secret from the person I tell everything to!  I’ve had to be all nonchalant when I was actually bursting with excitement and I’ve had to manage plans behind the back of someone who likes to make plans and it was all 100% worth it.  Warning: I just uploaded 30-some pictures. 


My mom, sister and I were going to the Shakespeare Festival on Saturday night so I made a plan for the family to do my mom’s birthday dinner that night at The Med in Boulder.  It actually seemed like the natural time to do a birthday dinner so she didn’t suspect a thing.  When she showed up at the restaurant, my Aunt Tricia and Emily were waiting at the table and she literally didn’t even notice them until my aunt turned to her and said “Happy Birthday.”  Her reaction was priceless!



My uncle drove in from New Orleans so he was a few minutes behind everyone else and after we had successfully convinced my mom that he wasn’t coming, he showed up.  It was a shock-and-teary-eyed situation all over again and it was the cutest thing that’s ever happened.  Seeing my little mama sitting at her favorite restaurant, surrounded by all her loved ones was such a precious life moment.




The three of us had to tear ourselves away from the table to make our way to CU for the Shakespeare Festival.  I might have been the only one of us who actually wanted to be there… but that might actually always be the case.  Shakespeare Nerd for life!  It was such a beautiful night for some outdoor theater sitting.  Plus third row tickets (oh hello, awkward amount of eye contact with the cast), hilariously talented performances all around and a run in with Hannah’s mom and sister!  We headed back to Pearl Street afterwards to find that my sister’s boyfriend Wayne, Joey and my Uncle Nick had been hanging out together since dinner.  Ugh family bonding at its best!  ‘Twas a perfect night, for real.


All week my mom’s been sending me birthday plan requests and suggestions and I’ve been all agreeable and saying stuff like “sure, whatever” because I figured things would change once she knew the bigger picture.  It was kind of fun in a sneaky way 🙂  However, MY plan for Saturday was breakfast in Boulder followed by putt putt!  Turns out everyone was on board.  We split into two teams — me, Joey and my parents vs. my sister, aunt, uncle and Emily.




The skies were generously cloudy, Mom and I got hole-in-ones (or is it holes-in-one??), Joey and I found some gold and after the scores came in, the verdict was that our team killed the other team.  Huzzah!  But all friendly competition aside, this little family activity was so fun!  My mom and uncle have been so into mini golf whenever my mom goes to New Orleans so I figured it was only right to do it on our turf this time around.  More please!


My uncle is the dog whisperer.





After a little bit of down time at my parents’ we all headed to Whole Foods to pick up stuff for a little Chautauqua picnic action.  BBQ chicken, potato and pasta salad, chips and guac, roasted veggies and my personal favorite, broccoli crunch salad were all packed up then unloaded at our picnic site so we could dig in.  Also: WINE IN A CAN.  I’ll be real, that’s the only thing I really cared about having at the picnic.  Priorities, people.




An epic game of four-person Frisbee ensued post-dinner (um no, I was not one of the four) and I was like who are these athletic-looking people running and diving all over?  Joey conned me into playing later on and let it be known that yes, it is possible to be bad at Frisbee.  Afterwards, we packed it up and took a walk about the park.  Those four were totally intrigued by a baby bunny when I took that picture.  When we finally got back home at 9:30 PM Joey and I were like “whoa, we literally hung out all day today!”  And also decided it was the best day ever.




My mom’s actual birthday was yesterday so everyone met at my house at 10 AM, then present unwrapping — Bean, Joey and I got her a gift card to the Denver Performing Arts Center and a Le Creuset cast-iron skillet — and family photo-taking ensued.  I’d like to point out that all four of those people are the exact same height.  Okay and maybe I’m that exact same height too…  P.S. Please note my new porch swing which I believe officially got approved by the whole group.  I LOVE IT.







^^^ Um no, I did not know!

We made a very serious attempt at breakfast at Snooze but the wait on a MONDAY was STILL AN HOUR AND A HALF.  Um, no.  Is that place for real?  Since it was already 11 AM, we just did early lunch across the street at Machete.  Taco breakfast is something I can totally get behind.  Also, my mom had a breakfast margarita because it was her birthday and she’ll do what she wants on her birthday!  We spent the rest of the afternoon baking in the sun at the Denver Botanic Gardens.  Sweat mustache aside, I had fun seeing my mom get her plant/flower fix.  Confession: My favorite part may have been the lily pads.



After everyone had departed and it was back to being just the five of us, we walked to dinner then grabbed ice cream at Little Man for one last birthday hurrah.  I totally regret getting Chocolate Pound Cake over Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Cup, even if it did have sprinkles.  We were graced with this cotton candy sunset on our way home and I felt this overwhelming rush of pure happiness over it being the absolute perfect weekend.  My mom told me it was her best birthday ever and that’s really all I wanted 🙂

P.S. Today, my family is gone, I’m back and work and Tulo got traded, so if you need me I’ll just be crying in my office.