Sunday, March 31, 2013

rocks and lefse and wedges

There's a first time for everything.  First dates, first bad haircut, first time starting a new class. While these things can be a mixture of exciting and scary, my firsts this weekend were a mixture of emotions that if I were to type out, might possibly put you to sleep. Being a teacher (or use to be teacher) (or use to think I wanted to be a teacher), I like lists so here is my weekend in pretty lil list form.

1. The Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs

When I first moved to Denver, my thirst for adventure and seeing all that my new city and state had to offer was sky high. I would keep track of all the places and things I wanted to see and do, but found myself getting more comfortable with going home after work during the week and laying low on the weekends with friends. 

With the forecast for Saturday being 65 and sunny, Taylor and I road tripped it down south for the day. We walked, talked, laughed, and sang Justin Timberlake because he was stuck in our heads and why stop a good thing, right?

The Garden of the Gods was beautiful and was definitely a nice change of pace from our normal Saturday routine. Blue skies, sun shining, and big red rocks to play on. Winning!

2. Cleaning With the Door Open

Having the door open means fresh air and fresh air makes me happy. End of story. 

3. Easter Away From Home (and family and lefse)

You know that emotional roller coaster that we sometimes tend to get on but can't get off? Well, that was --- and still is --- my day. This was my first Easter that was not spent in Minnesota, being surrounded by my family and enjoying a home cooked meal followed by an afternoon on the couch because a) I ate too much and b) hello sugar crash. 

The church I attend is big on community and bringing people together. With 3 services every Sunday, they decided to have 1 service for Easter to bring the church family together and held it at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Denver. I was a little weary of this, I mean Easter Sunday service in a hotel? But I loved it. I loved being surrounded by hundreds of people, wearing pastels and smiles like they were going out of style by noon. You are welcome J. Crew --- pretty sure your whole store was in that room. 

Leaving the hotel and who do we spot? The Easter Bunny! 

 The weather, again, was PERFECT. 75 degrees, sunny, no wind. HELLO GOD! We walked around downtown for a little bit before grabbing a bite to eat at the Corner Bakery.

While the previously mentioned things were all on the upswing, here comes the downfall...

Being away from my family today was hard. Tears started to form as I watched a video from my niece telling me "Happy Easter" and jealousy took over when I was told that food was being put on the table at home. It's a tough thing to swallow when you know your whole family is together and you are hundreds of miles away. But then friends swoop in and let you know that they are in the same boat and "this too shall pass."

So today, instead of choosing to see all that was empty and missing in my life, I focused on the exciting parts. The parts where we stopped at Starbucks on the way to a swanky hotel to attend church. Taking childish pictures with the Easter Bunny, walking around downtown in wedges (and yes I rolled my ankle and yes a guy asked if I was ok and yes I almost said no, can you kiss it?). Laying in the park, people watching and talking about how it sucks being away from our families but how exciting it is to do something "non-traditional" on this day.

There's a first time for everything and today it was my first time being a 24 year-old woman who went an Easter without candy, without an egg hunt, and without a ham induced coma. It was also my first Easter with girlfriends who get it. They understand that text messages from family saying "we miss you" doesn't help but only makes the sting burn a little more. They understand that traditions are hard to not celebrate so instead we will make our own, like going to Starbucks on the way to a swanky hotel to attend church. 

Monday, March 25, 2013


Another year, another birthday, another grey hair just waiting to be noticed. When you turn 13 you think that you should be able to stay out till the sun comes up, wear the tightest clothes, and listen to music with words that aren’t in the dictionary. Then comes 25. You are either single, in a relationship, married, or don’t really care because you are still finding yourself and growing in to the person you want to become. 

A new candle gets added to our cake each year and we can either cringe and wait for the smoke alarms to go off or we can celebrate. Celebrate that we were given another year to grow and laugh and breathe. We had 365 more days to spend with our families, dip our toes in the sand, get a sunburn on a hot summer day, be in our best friends wedding. 

 Don't forget to laugh and cry in those cherishable moments, soaking each memory in. Embrace another candle, another slice of cake, another year.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

best days of my life

I was in third grade when we drove to the High School for an event. I peered out the bus window, looking at the girls flipping their hair and the boys playing hacky sac like it was going to be an Olympic sport one day. I pictured myself as them; what I was going to wear, how my hair would look, who my friends would be. I couldn’t wait to be at that age where I could go to bed without being told, stay out a little later on the weekends, and drive my own car to the places where I wanted to go. I was eager for those branded “best days of my life.”

I was sure I would have shoulder length hair because that was the style. And scrunchies around my wrist? I'd have three. I would wear my backpack but only have one strap on my shoulder because that was cool and I was going to be cool. I would laugh with my friends as we walked out those school doors, talking about boys and soccer and who was going to be crowned Prom queen. I would drive home with the music turned up too loud and the windows rolled down. I would sneak out and live life on the edge, eating too much ice cream and sleeping in till noon.

The “best days of my life” came and went and so did the scrunchie fad. I stayed out too late most weekends and pierced my belly button without asking my mom. I went to church every Sunday but never paid attention because the only thing on my mind was my crush on the hot senior boy who had no clue I was even walking on this earth. Sure, High School was great and all, but I beg to differ that the rest of my days aren’t going to be the best.

We label things and go along with them because that’s the way we were made. We go with what everyone says instead of forming our own opinion and outlook. Individualism is always a plus yet we always cave in when someone bashes our uniqueness. Our own talents go unnoticed because we are too afraid to use them, scared of putting ourselves out there for others to judge and critique. 

I choose to go against society on this topic. I'm going to celebrate the little things that probably aren't worth celebrating but I'm going to anyways because I’m going to make every day a great day. A solid parallel park, almost perfectly painted nails, a clear blue sky, buying something with the batteries already included, an endorphin-pumping run, a smile from a stranger, picking the perfect nacho off the plate, and my list goes (and will go) on.

Join me. Pick out the smallest of things and throw them a party because I’m convinced that every day is the best day.  

What are you throwing a party for today? 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

sunday funday

When you read that title you probably think my day involved drinking beer or taking shots. Or both. Sadly (or not so sadly) the only things I've drank today are coffee and water. Gettin' crazy up in here!

My day was fun because I did everything I enjoy doing. Aren't those days the best? When you look back and realize you did what you want to do and not what your boss or friends or mom wants you to. In the rush of life we get so caught up with making deadlines that we forget to do the activities that keep us sane. 

I woke up with a sore throat, runny nose, and headache. Great. I had a scheduled 10 mile run and the thought of tying up my laces alone made me want to pass out. In Carrie fashion, I made a cup of coffee and went on with my morning. 

As I sat down in the back row, I noticed that everyone around me was either married or with their significant other. Sweet. The music started playing and my thoughts went from "do you have to be in a relationship to go to this church because I am so single it's not even funny" to "sup God. How you doin?". 

Church was followed by that dreaded 10 miler. I met up with Stephanie (small world: met at my apt. gym and found out she is from ND and went to Concordia) and off we went! The park was full of people as the weather was 65, sunny, and every bit of perfect for a Sunday afternoon. I've been having knee problems so between 7-10 miles I wanted to cry and scream and throw a fit and cut my legs off and yeah, you get the picture. 

 Wash Park means Wash Perk. I indulged in coffee and a little dark chocolate because in my head those two things tell me "good job Carrie for finishing your run when you wanted to quit 203980394 times".

I got home and couldn't sit inside with the guilt of the sunshine beating on my skin. Ok, ok, I suppose I'll go bask in the sun for a while...

How am I going to wrap up this post you ask? By showing you my fab multitasking skills of course!

That's right. I can blog AND ice my knee at the same time!

Leave a comment and let me know how your Sunday was!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

the wheels on the...

I'm doing a mixture of things right now. Writing and people watching and falling every bit in love with my Caribou coffee because you would too if you got 5 hours of sleep. It's noisy, but the kind of noisy where you can't pick out a certain word or sentence, more of a monotoned, humming noise. I see people smiling and laughing while others are hugging and crying. Kids are spilling goldfish on the floor and parents are losing their shit temper. A couple just passed me wearing cowboy hats and leather vests while a girl about my age must have lost the memo about pairing Ugg boots and a jean skirt together.

The airport is a marvelous place if you think about it. People from all over, gathering in one spot only in a set up to go somewhere else. Where are they going? Who are they going to see? Is it for work or pleasure? Can I pick who I sit next to because if so I have dibs on the whole lacrosse team sitting 100 ft. away from me.

This is the part where I tell you that we are like wheels. Yes, those round things that make a continuous circle yet never really know their final destination because, well, they are wheels. And this is the part where I build a bridge for my theory so you don't think I've completely lost it (although the caffeine could kick in any time now!)

We continue through life, most of us living a routine where we wake up, do our thing, go to bed, and do it all over the next day. We have goals and visions and aspirations and we tell ourselves that when we reach all those things, we've made it. Our final destination is our motivation and every day we make a continuous effort to get there.

But what if this is our final destination? What if we've already made it but we are too busy telling ourselves that this can't be it and that we want better? It's a tough cookie to crumble if you ask me. We push ourselves in a circle: make a mistake, learn from it, do better. Set a goal, reach it, set another goal. Fall in love, get hurt, find a more deserving love. Move away, get comfortable and bored, move somewhere else.

We are like the wheels on the bottom of the suitcases that are rolling past me. We are moving, having no control of where we are going or where our final destination may be. The wheels on those suitcases are being moved by a person with higher power and like them, so are we.