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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Anthology

In March, I submitted a story to an anthology and was accepted. I’m happy to announce that the anthology will be published on August 1. You can read a little more about what I have to say on my writing blog, here.

This is the book trailer for the book.

Mt. Evans

I believe it was a few years ago the family went up to Mt. Evans. This past Friday husband and I went for a drive there. We didn’t realize how busy it would be. It was still very breathtaking (literally, for me it was hard to breathe).

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Graduation

Over the weekend I graduated with my Master’s degree. I never thought I’d ever get here so I’m pretty thrilled. I started my program in the fall of 2009 and then took a hiatus in the summer of 2010. I had wanted to return but family life was more of a priority at the time. Last summer, the university called me to tell me that if I wasn’t planning on continuing my degree, they would purge my file and I would have to reapply if I wanted to continue later. This would mean I would need to retake some classes. I had put so much time and effort into getting into the university that I didn’t know if I could do that again so I told them I’d continue now. The other thing was that I had wanted to continue a few years back but when I had looked at my program, I thought it had been discontinued. I told them my concern and they said it wasn’t discontinued. It was just under a different name.

At graduation, I learned that I was graduating with honors. I was surprised. I thought I had a B in one of my earlier classes in 2009, but it turns out, I didn’t. I had one A- but the rest were A’s. I know, this is such a small thing but it feels great for me because it was my goal to ace all my classes. In my undergraduate degree, I had so much going on that as hard as I tried to bring my grades up, it just wasn’t possible. So, I am very proud of myself that given the time and opportunity, I’m able to do exactly what I set out to accomplish.

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Below, I tried to mimic a photo taken in May 2009 when my husband graduated with his Doctorate. The little girl (who’s not so little anymore, but still is) is my youngest.

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