Durango: Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad


When Jason and I found out that we were moving to Colorado for a few years, one of the first things I told him was that I really wanted to take a trip to Durango. At the time that we found out about the move, we had no idea we would be adding Miss Addison to our family.

When I was about 8, my Dad took our family on a vacation to Colorado. We spent a day or two in Durango and while there, we rode the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Train. I have such great memories of that trip to Colorado with my family. Now that I am older, I understand just how much money it must have cost for us to take this trip when our family did not have the extra money for a vacation. I am so thankful that my parents thought it was important to make memories like this and take trips together. Now that my Dad is no longer with us, all I have are memories like these that I cherish.

When we knew Addison was joining our family, we decided to wait to take this trip until she could enjoy it with us. She will be 2 at the end of this month, and this was absolutely the perfect time for her! She has been really into trains for the past few months and loves to see “choo choos.” She was mesmerized by the train and once she went out to the viewing deck, she did not want to come back inside, despite the fact that it was quite brisk the morning of our journey.

The Durango railroad arrived in Durango in August 1881 and within a year, construction began on a line to connect Durango to Silverton. Once the line was complete, passengers along with freight were moved between the locations. The railroad was always promoted as a scenic route for passengers, but the line was constructed for the purpose of hauling mine ores in gold and silver from the San Juan Mountains. An estimated $300 million in metals have been transported on this line. (Durango Train)

Once we arrived back in Durango, we ate an early dinner at Steamworks Brewing Company. We started our meal with their cheese curds with jalapeños and a green chile dipping sauce – so good! I ordered their curry salmon that was baked in a banana leaf and Jason ordered the delicious fish tacos. We finished out our meal with a caramel apple skillet “Spent Grain” cookie.



Snow Style


Coat and sweater from H&M, J Brand jeans, hat from boutique in Barcelona, scarf from The Gap, Khombu boots. 

Normally, I prefer to enjoy the snow from the comfort of my home, fireside with a warm mug of tea or coffee, snuggled up with my people. The other weekend, however, presented us with a slight predicament; the only way we were going to have a King Cake this year was if we ventured out into the snow to pick it up. We had waited too long to order one and it was the last weekend before all the bakeries stopped baking King Cakes for this Mardi Gras season, so venture out we did.

I never actually wear enough layers, because I can’t stand feeling too constricted and I don’t love the bulk that too many layers add. I learned a little bit about how to stay warm enough, without too much bulk, while living in Europe and enduring quite a lot of cold a good portion of the year. Hats and scarves help so much – which I don’t mind, I love a good accessory or two.

I am actually really happy we got out, because the snow was absolutely gorgeous and by the time we got out, the roads were fine (which is one thing I always stress about). It was wonderful to see the city all white and covered in snow.


Pumpkin Patchin’


One of the things we really wanted to do with Addison this fall was visit a pumpkin patch. We wanted to do it last year, but we just never got around to it. To be honest, I think it turned out perfectly, as she wouldn’t have enjoyed it nearly as much as she did this year.

We went to a local farm that also had a few animals available for petting, which Addy really enjoyed. They also had several games and “rides,” but those were not really age appropriate for her yet, so we enjoyed the animals and the pumpkins. Actually, Addy’s favorite thing seemed to be climbing on all of the hay bales in the “pick your pumpkin” area.

We were happy to spend a gorgeous Colorado fall day together and pick a couple of pumpkins to bring home and carve.


A Day in Vail


Though we have lived here almost a year and a half already, we are just beginning to check some places off of our Colorado To-See list. We spent a day in Vail with my sister and niece recently and we all really enjoyed ourselves.

We took the scenic route from Colorado Springs, which was so nice and relaxing and we were also rewarded with wonderful vistas and views. We arrived in Vail around lunch time, so we started our day there with a meal at Alpenrose Restaurant, a German-Austrian restaurant. Vail is so reminiscent of Germany, so it only made sense to enjoy a German meal there. Everything was delicious, but hands-down, everyone’s favorite thing was the Spätzel! It was cooked the way we like it, with just a bit of crunch. We dined al fresco and enjoyed people-watching and seeing the festive attire worn by skiers and snowboarders – most went all out, as it was the last ski weekend of the season.

After lunch, we spent time shopping in Vail Village and then walked from there to Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, where we were rewarded with stunning views, peaceful streams, and once at the Gardens, the babies were able to enjoy some time on the lawn playing together.

I think our day in Vail was my favorite kind of day: no real plan, no time constraints – just exploring a new place with people I love. The kind of day that fills my soul and that I know I’ll always remember and cherish.


Fall in the Front Range


Can you believe these views? Views like these are one of the main reasons I love living in Colorado. Back in the fall, we took a little drive to check out Cripple Creek. While Cripple Creek was a bit of a disappointment, our drive was not. We got to see some of the most gorgeous views, with the foliage in all its fiery glory. We ventured off the beaten path somewhat (which got a bit sketchy there for a bit), but our reward was being able to enjoy the seclusion and just appreciate the beauty of the Front Range.


Manitou Cliff Dwellings


We are slowly checking things off of our Colorado Adventure List. We made it over to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings this fall on the most gorgeous day! The weather was perfect, plants were in bloom, and I enjoyed so much bringing out my ‘good camera,’ and shooting away.

The Manitou Cliff Dwellings are Anasazi Ruins that are between 800 and 1000 years old and were moved from McElmo Canyon, in Southwest Colorado near Mesa Verde. The ruins were moved in the early 1900s in an effort to preserve and protect them.

We were able to enter into parts of the ruins to explore and learn more about how the Anasazi people lived. We also visited the on-site museum which allows you to learn more about the daily life, see artifacts, and view exhibits on the Anasazi.

Colorado is full of so much history and I love that we will be able to experience it and teach Addison about so many different people, places, and things while living here.


A Sweet Brunch


This year, I celebrated my first Mother’s Day. Addison was about two weeks old at the time and I was definitely running on next to no sleep, so I am so thankful for the photographs that provide visual documentation of the day. Jason prepared such a thoughtful and sweet brunch, that was absolutely delicious too! On the menu were lavender biscuits, cranberry scones, a fruit spread, lemon curd, fig jam (my absolute favorite!!), wild blueberry preserves from our favorite French jam and jelly company, and Mont Blanc tea brought back from Angelina in Paris.

The brunch spread was sweet, but being able to spend the day with my husband and the little girl who made me a Mama was definitely the sweetest thing of all.


A Day in Manitou Springs



Jason and I have been living in Colorado for almost a year already! We absolutely love living here and have so many adventures planned! Manitou Springs was one of the first places we visited in our area and it remains one of our favorite places to visit with friends and family who visit us. When we visited this particular time, I was about halfway through my pregnancy with our sweet Addison, who is now almost 5 months old! It is hard to believe, really.

We love visiting Manitou for many reasons; a few of them being the overall charm of the town, the fun shops, the easy-going feel, and views. One of the things I love so much about Colorado is all the history found here and Manitou Springs does not disappoint in that arena. Manitou Springs was founded in the 1870s with the intent that the town would become a scenic health resort because of the healing mineral waters found there. The mineral springs are still functioning today, and visitors can have a drink of the water that “built the town.”




Two years ago, I rung in 2014 in London with Jason, my sister, and one of our closest friends. We found ourselves at a little bar called “Grace,” on the eve of the New Year. We needed a little snack prior to seeing Les Miserables on the West End.

The real point is, though, is that we stumbled into a place called “grace.” We stumbled into grace. Mirriam Webster lists one definition for grace as: a way of moving that is smooth and attractive and that is not stiff or awkward.

I could not have known or anticipated then the struggle that 2015 would be. 2014 was largely wonderful, Jason and I enjoyed the rest of our time in Germany, prior to moving back to the states in September of 2014.

We rung in 2015 at our new home in California. California was always a place I dreamed of living most of my life, so at first, it seemed like a dream come true. What it actually became though, was one of the most difficult and lonely years of my life. I did not walk through 2015 gracefully, no, I stumbled and crawled my way through. I just needed to make it through in any way possible. I battled the most intense depression that I have ever experienced. I became a shell of the person I had worked so hard to become.

But here’s the thing about grace. Sometimes it finds you. Unexpectedly. Grace is undeserved, but God gives it anyway. Another definition for grace is: favor. Mercy.

2015 taught me that some years are not graceful. Some years we just do whatever we can do survive; hold on to the hope that things will get better. And, they do.

Here I sit, the first week of 2016 in our new home in Colorado, while our sweet baby kicks, the snow falls outside and the fire keeps me warm inside. This morning it hit me, that after all of the mess of 2015, I am finally happy again. Content. Inspired. I am finally looking forward and not backward. But, I am also grateful, because I know that without all the difficult things we experience, we would not always recognize or appreciate the good things.

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” -Victor Hugo, Les Miserables