Playing Catch Up

It has been quite a while since I have posted ( bad blogger! ) but I do intend to fill you all in on what has been going on!

So the last time I did a ‘life update’ blog post, Jacob and I had just closed on our new house and started working on some priority projects. Jacob’s parents came by for a visit and since Jake’s dad is a general contractor with 40+ years experience, he started helping us with some of the more daunting projects like painting, moving outlets and removing a terribly awkward built-in entertainment center that was too small for our TV anyway.

See how awkward and unbalanced it made the wall look?

See how awkward and unbalanced it made the wall look?

Check out what an amazing difference it made!

Awkward unbalanced beast be gone!

Awkward unbalanced beast be gone!

Now I just have to reface our gas fireplace to make it look like it actually belongs there and we’ll really be getting somewhere! Another thing we wanted to do asap was remove the fluorescent light in our kitchen. We could have done it on our own, but Jake’s dad was more than happy to go ahead and knock it off the to-do list while he was here. I made a simple tutorial here if you’d like to see how easy it is to replace those horrid lights!

It wasn’t all work during their visit though. We took an evening and went to Cripple Creek, CO and walked around the casinos. Cripple Creek is a teeny little town, but used to be home to tens of thousands of men in the mountains for the gold rush! There is a ton of history in this adorable town (with an incredibly scenic drive through the mountain to get there). I would like to go back to that town during the day and see some of the shops. I loved how small it was and how on a Saturday night in the winter, there were NO crowds at all. Very little people…just how I like it lol

Because it was night-time, I could not take a good picture of the main strip, but I did take a picture of my favorite casino- The Brass Ass!

Because it was night-time, I could not take a good picture of the main strip, but I did take a picture of my favorite casino- The Brass Ass!

We also took a 20 minute drive to show the in-laws Manitou Springs, CO. It is an equally adorable town with a lot of charm and history. It has been converted recently to be more “touristy” but the mom and pop restaurants are still fun and the eclectic shops are still attention-grabbing. We ate at a Polish place and then walked through the shops. I hope his parents come back in the summer so we can explore the outdoor fun in Manitou. Healing mineral springs, lots of hiking, cog railways, artisan communities, etc. Even on a cold and gloomy day, the main strip is still beautiful.

Heading into the main strip. See that white strip on the mountain? That's the Incline covered in snow- an incredible hiking trail gaining 2000ft of elevation in only 3/4 of a mile. In the early 1900s, it was a cable tram to bring people and supplies up the mountain but was too costly to maintain.

Heading into the main strip. See that white strip on the mountain? That’s the Incline covered in snow- an incredible hiking trail gaining 2000ft of elevation in only 3/4 of a mile. In the early 1900s, it was a cable tram to bring people and supplies up the mountain but was too costly to maintain.

maintou2

Manitou is also home of the North Pole and Santa's Workshop- another touristy thing here. In the far left, you can see half of Jacob's dad's face lol

Manitou is also home of the North Pole and Santa’s Workshop- another touristy thing here. In the far left, you can see half of Jacob’s dad’s face lol

Jake’s parents left shortly before Christmas to try and beat the weather that was heading in again. Jacob and I spent Christmas day at a friend’s house- another pot luck style holiday for everyone who didn’t use up their leave to go back home. We cooked a big ham dinner and all bought each other gifts. It felt really nice to have a real Christmas get-together with friends. Jake and I didn’t do much else as far as a personal Christmas together other than spend the morning together. I got him a really nice electric shaver and he got me a Vitamix! I am so incredibly thrilled to finally have one of these machines after months of wanting one and trying to convince myself it was worth the money. Now that I have one, I know 100% it is DEFINITELY worth the money. No more chunks in my green smoothies. I’ve already used it to chop veggies and make ice cream, and I plan to make soup in it this weekend! I’m compiling a list of successful recipes which I will be posting shortly! 🙂

My new Vitamix! Along with a smoothie of spinach, orange, banana, strawberry, pineapple and flax seed.

My new Vitamix! Along with a smoothie of spinach, orange, banana, strawberry, pineapple and flax seed.

New Year’s came and went. No real resolutions for us but I do have a personal goal of learning how to knit (simple, I know but I’ve been putting it off too long). Then Jacob had to leave for pre-deployment training shortly after the new year began and since then I have had too much alone time and when I am alone ALL I do is think. Therefore, the house is getting redecorated! Haha I just can’t be left alone. I have already bought a new couch (we we’re planning on doing that anyway, so that’s not so bad is it?), built custom curtain rods, bought new curtains and have made incredibly detailed plans on how to refinish my dining room table. I also am planning on building new living room tables, make that mason jar project I’ve been meaning to show y’all, get started on my laundry room makeover and about 10 other things. Sounds like a lot to do when I work 40 hour weeks, but I have also made a schedule on when and how to do these tasks and in what order. (Hey at least I’m waiting until Spring to refinish my kitchen cabinets, put crown molding on the first level, make the second floor guest bathroom all spiffy and landscape the backyard…I’m not a crazy lady tackling everything at once after all lol)

All of this while also going back to school! No, I’m not getting my Masters yet 😦 but my job is paying for me to enroll part-time at an online college to get a certificate in GIS (Geographic Information Systems). It’s basically learning a computer program that allows people to work with data pertaining to maps and other spatial data. Sounds super complicated because I guess it kind of is, but GIS can be used for land use planning, environmental management, business marketing, foresty services, law enforcement, wildlife range analysis, topographical map making, etc. The software and concepts are used a lot in my current job because we need to make a lot of maps and analyze data regarding land use and management. BUT I can also use the skills in a lot of other career choices later on, even my future wildlife management career. And it isn’t going to cost me a dime so alone is extremely exciting lol

Well I’m off to go hang my curtain rods. I will likely post a house reveal when I get the living room mostly done as well as a few tutorials on how to make the curtain rods, refinish the table, etc. Thanks for reading!

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