Orchid Blooms

All the orchids are blooming at the same time. It’s like they are whispering to each other, “Hey, she takes care of us. She loves us. Let’s show her we love her too.”

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Last Nationals

My oldest daughter went to the high school nationals a week ago in Florida. She was excited and had a good time but she was ready to be done. She enjoyed the competitions and the rigorousness of the training but there were things she didn’t enjoy, and thus, after two years of POM, she’s moving on.  It’s bitter sweet as always with anything one puts their heart and soul into. Going forward, she might return to studio dance. Her heart is still in lyrical.

These photos were taken by a pro.

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Tidying Up

I read “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo in 2015 and attempted her tidying method for awhile. It worked for a little bit. I was able to clear out all the makeup I’ve collected throughout the years and I’ve been able to keep my makeup stash to a minimum to this day. I also tried to clean out my drawers and fold my clothes using her method but that didn’t last very long. I’m not sure why but I’m going to give it another try. I want to clear out clutter. I want to only keep the things I use often, and I want to keep my spending on materialistic things low.

Marie recommends starting with clothes but I’ve decided to start with the study where all crafting stuff are. Every time I walk into the study I get so overwhelmed that my mind can’t focus. I’ve tried cleaning sections of the room but all I’ve done is move one mess into another space creating another mess. I know that in order to really clear out a room, I have to remove everything (almost everything) and then put back only the things I use often or on a daily basis. I never did it because I didn’t know where to put everything I took out. This week, I decided that I’d put everything in the living room and then from there, go through all the “junk” and decide what brings me joy and what doesn’t.

This is the study before:

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This is after:

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My desk before:

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My desk after:

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This is where all the stuff was put (in the living room). My goal is to get rid of at least 80% of this stuff.

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Winter Snow

Yesterday, we were hit with a sort of blizzard. But, like most winters here, they never last. School was delayed for the kids this morning due to the icy roads. Just before noon, most the snow and ice had melted.

Teddy gets excited when she sees snow. She only comes inside after she’s had her fun. Oh, and also because she knows there’s a treat waiting for her.

 

Girl Portrait In Watercolor

A watercolor from a reference sketch.

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This was the watercolor set I used. The Shmincke Academie was a holiday set from a year ago. I ordered it through Ebay but then realized the same set was also sold on Etsy by the same person (Etsy is my preferred place to buy internationally…I just maneuver the site a lot smoother). I would love the new 125th anniversary Schmincke Horadam set but I’m not anywhere near professional, so maybe some day. I added the few paints I purchased by Daniel Smith and Windsor & Newton’s Cotman to the set. The Daniel Smith is pricey but I love how smooth it goes on paper and how well it blends. Not pictured but I also used a Micron fine liner in .05 to darken her eyebrows, eyes, and nose, and a white pen for the light in her eyes.

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Winter Park, Colorado

Happy New Year!

It’s been 11 years since I first started blogging with WordPress. I can’t believe it’s been over a decade. I remember when I first found WordPress and wasn’t sure if this would be a good platform to move my blog to. Initially, I was paying another hosting site for a website and blog but I didn’t need the website anymore. I just wanted to blog. I’ve been happy with WordPress all these years.

Last Saturday, the family took the train to a town in the mountains called Winter Park. The train we took only goes to Winter Park in January, February, and March. Winter Park is known for their skiing and snowboarding. We didn’t ski or snowboard because the only person who really knows how to ski and snowboard is my husband. I’ve tried skiing and snowboarding when I was younger but just never got into it. We didn’t want to do any strenous activities because our oldest daughter has national competitions next week and can’t do anything that could cause an injury. We thought we’d walk around, check out some shops, try a couple of restaurants, and then return home.

Things changed when our oldest daughter saw the tubing slides when we took the lift to the side where the tubing was. The lift went over the slides and we could see people coming down. It looked really fun. I was nervous for her because I was afraid she’d injure herself and then we’d be in big trouble for nationals. But, all went well. The slides were monitored very well. There were four lanes and they went from fastest to slowest. We spent an hour tubing, then went to have lunch in the town of Winter Park (the skiing/snowboard, tubing, ice skating, etc. were in the Resort). We wanted to go to Fraser which is the town just north but mistakenly got off early. It was all good though. We had a good lunch. It started to snow and looked beautiful.

Here are some photos from the trip.

We got up at 4:30am to give us enough time to get everything together. The train station is downtown in the heart of the city so we wanted to make sure we got a parking space and also we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss the train, which left the station at exactly 7am.

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The girls fell asleep most the way and missed the sunrise (above). The train was a two hour ride and went through about 30 mountains. I tried to count the tunnels but lost track. The final mountain took 10 minutes to get through.

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Here’s a view of the cars behind us. We sat on the second level of car number three. There were seven cars total, not including the engine.

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Arriving in Winter Park Resort. It was very cold.

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We ate breakfast and watched people go down the hills. There were lots of people skiing and snowboarding.

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We took the lift to the other side where the tubing was. We wanted to see if there were other activites to do besides tubing on the tubing side.

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On the right, you could see two of the tubing lanes and someone coming down the first lane.

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Skiiers and snowboarders from the parking area making their way to the lift to take them to the side we came from. But, check out that mountainside with the low hanging clouds.

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Me with our two girls waiting in line to go down the fastest lane.

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Our youngest pulling the tube up the conveyor belt. That tube is heavy! We eventually switched to single ones when she felt confident enough to go without me. She was scared at first so we went on the second slowest lane, then made our way to the fastest lane.

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Here she is getting ready to go alone and in the fastest lane too!

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It was so much fun tubing. We enjoyed our short day in Winter Park and hope to do it again next year.

A Quick Hike at Castlewood Canyon State Park

Last Friday, husband’s planned hike to a 14-er didn’t work out, so instead, he and I went to Castlewood Canyon to do a simple hike, something I could handle. It was beautiful with the changing colors of the leaves. Where I’m looking toward in the photo was once a damn built in 1890. The dam broke in 1933 causing a disastrous flood. Now it’s land for homes and pasture for cows. Last time we visited we saw the broken dam, but this time we took a different route, a more scenic route, to appreciate the beauty and peacefulness of the land.

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