Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Granny Sharp!

A couple weekends ago we left Denver on Thursday evening and flew to Orange County, California to surprise Granny Sharp (Brian's grandmother on his mom's side) for her 80th birthday party. As far as Granny knew, Chris (Brian's mom) was coming to visit for the week, and there was nothing too unusual about that. Well, Wednesday night, Jeff and Susie showed up. Then we arrived on Thursday night, along with Brian's dad, Doug. Granny was pretty surprised by this point, but assumed that we were done with surprises. Little did she know....

On Friday, while Chris finalized preparations for the big birthday blowout on Sunday, the kids and Granny toured the area. We went to Laguna Beach (the water was freezing!!!)

We drove down the coast all the way to Dana Point and had some great pizzas for lunch. On our way home we went to Trader Joe's. I was thrilled with this part of the trip. I've heard so many great things about Trader Joe's and it met all my expectations.

Friday evening was spent at Steve and Julie Sharp's(Brian's aunt and uncle) beautiful home in Glendora, California. A few other surprise guests arrived at this point, including Granny's other daughter Karen and her niece Margaret who she hadn't seen in decades! Granny's other son Bruce, his wife Connie, and their kids Jackie and Megan were also there. We pulled it off like this was the big birthday party (note the decorations).
But wait, the surprises weren't over yet! The next morning the grandkids and Steve and Julie worked hard to get the social hall at Granny's church party-ready. The room looked beautiful. There were lots of nice decorations and great food. Meanwhile, Chris and Doug convinced Granny to dress up a bit for a nice lunch out with the grandkids before they went home.

They stopped by the church, and she was greeted by over 100 of her closest friends and family!

People came from all over the country for the party. Some of her oldest friends were there (from grade school and college), her Red Hat friends, exercise buddies, bridge club, etc. We all wore nametags, which helped put everyone in context.

Here's Brian with Steve and Julie's kids: Alison, Kevin, and Katie. It was so much fun to hang out with them for the weekend.

Here's Chris will all her cousins.... And here's Granny with her two brothers, Glen and Tom. After all the party excitement was over for the day...we were famished. And what better way to end a weekend trip to California than In N' Out Burger!!!! I had never tasted these great burgers, and it was quite a treat! We even went back again the next day on our way to airport...

It was a wonderful trip and it was so nice to see the Sharp family and meet some new family members. It's nice to be back in CO where gas isn't quite this expensive though!!!!!!!

Happy 80th Birthday Granny Sharp! I Love You Very Much!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Carter John Noleen

June 22, 2008, 11:30-ish: Kevin, Marjorie, and Camryn Noleen welcomed the newest member of their family, Carter. 8 lbs, 20 inches.

We were so honored to be able to meet the beautiful boy last night. He and mama are both doing well and hopefully getting some rest.

Welcome to the world Carter; we're so happy you're here.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Black Thumb

There are other blogs out there that I read, where about this time of year, these bloggers are posting pictures of their flower gardens, vegetables, and roses. Well, I'm not nearly that cool. So instead, I'll post pictures of my mother's flower and vegetable gardens. I take no credit for any of this, but I think they're really pretty and I wanted to show off my mom's mad gardening skills.

Here's a view of her vegetable garden from above.
Lots of lovely lettuce. Actually, the night I took these pictures, mom made a salad from the garden that was absolutely delicious!

and tomatoes...

So, my family is full of gardeners. My grandfather Irvin started it all. His home was full of gorgeous tropical plants, including orchids and other hard-to-grow stuff. All three of his children inherited this trait and Cathy, Chet, and my mom (as you can see) all have the gift.

Somehow, this trait that I'd like so much to have inherited, has skipped right over me. Here are some of the plants I've tried to grow this year....

Jalepeno peppers...

Strawberries (note the lack of actual strawberries)...

Simple hanging flower basket...

Some sort of no-longer-recognizable herbs...

and what on earth is wrong with the tree in my backyard????

Monday, July 7, 2008

Now We Collapse

We hadn't quite recovered from our Telluride adventure when it was time for one of our favorite weekends of the year. One of my favorite bands (and Brian's very favorite), Widespread Panic, played three shows at Red Rocks, June 27-29, 2008.

In past years we have attended all three shows (Friday and Saturday night and Sunday afternoon), but this year we decided that two shows was about all we could handle. We used Friday night to prepare ourselves mentally and physically so we were ready to RAWK on Saturday night.

Here's the view from the top of the Red Rocks my humble opinion, the most spectacular music amphitheater in the country. Every time we see a show here we're reminded of what lucky kids we are to have this in our community.

On Sunday, cousin Haley joined us for her first concert at Red Rocks!! It was so much fun to have her with us. I think she was thoroughly impressed by the massive gathering of hippies that come out of the woodwork for these concerts.

We also love Panic weekend because it gives us a chance to catch up with old friends that we don't see as often as we'd like to. Derek, who went to college with Brian, joined us for both shows and it was wonderful to spend the weekend with him!

Here's the always gorgeous Lindsay Kelly....

Keith, the best dancer in the crowd....

and the Bresnahans, who brought their 12-year old son Mason to his first Panic show.

And my boss, Brian Glade, and his wife Betsy were there too!!
JB, Todd, Sonny, Schools, JoJo, and Jimmy were on fire, as they always are at Red Rocks. In fact, the band has now played 32 sold-out shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre - more than any other band in the venue's history. Red Rocks officials and our very own Mayor Hickenlooper honored the band with a special award presentation, and a mayoral proclamation calling Friday, June 27 "Widespread Panic Day" in the City and County of Denver!!

And one of the best moments of the weekend was when Panic finally, FINALLY, played the song Tie Your Shoes. Brian has been waiting for them to play this song live when we're at a show for nearly a decade now. And during second set on Sunday, they played it! He was so happy....

Thanks for another great run, boys! We'll see you again next year!