One of our favorite places… Ouray

Our little town in nestled in a valley near so many great places.  One of our favorites {and one of mine from my childhood as well} is Ouray, Colorado.

We often take little day trips up to Ouray.  I rarely post about them because Ouray is such a normal part of our life that it seems silly.

However, we love it so much it seemed like it was time to notate it on the blog.

ouray colorado

Here are some of my favorite things to do and see in Ouray.  {Anyone thinking of traveling through Colorado MUST make sure to try to hit Ouray…for real}

The Ouray Hot Springs!  Oh how we love to go to the Ouray Hot Springs!  It is lovely winter and summer, spring and fall.  They have a great slide for the kids, different areas for temperature seekers, and a cold pool too!


Ouray Hot Springs

Mouse’s Chocolates.  We never take a trip to the Hot Springs without a stop at Mouse’s afterwards.  They have all sorts of chocolates that are handmade there every day.  My favorite are the scrap cookies that they make from all the “scrap chocolate” into yummy cookies that are always surprising to eat.

Chocolate sign


Mouses chocolates ouray colorado

Mouse's chocolates

Beaumont Hotel.  Paul brought me to the Beaumont Hotel a couple years ago {I thought I blogged about it but I guess I didn’t} for my birthday.  We stayed for the weekend, hit the Hot Springs, had massages, and wonderful meals.  It is an old restored hotel and has great history behind it.  If anyone is thinking of traveling to Ouray you must check out the Beaumont {even if it is just for a tour or for a meal}.  It is a stunning hotel.  You can find info on it HERE.

Beaumont Hotel

The Blue Pear.  This tiny little store is a jewel in this little town.  It is so fun.  It is barely larger than a closet and is jam packed with little fun trinkets and fun to look at and buy.  It is one of my favorite shops in the world.

Blue Pear

Ouray Shopping

blue pear shop


Cascade Falls.  When I was a teenager I would often drive up to Ouray with friends or even sometimes on my own to hike up to Cascade Falls and sit, or read or just be near it.  It is a short hike so we usually hit it up whenever we are in town.  It is very pretty and if you hit it right  you can feel the spray all the way down to the bridge.  {Back in the day there was not a bridge or even a sign just a little tiny path that you had to hunt for.  It is a little bittersweet that it isn’t a well kept secret spot, but still pretty.}

Cascade  Falls



cascade falls

As you can see, I usaully am wearing the WRONG hiking shoes and I still manage.  It is not a lengthy hike.

hiking shoes

Box Canyon.  I blogged about Box Canyon HERE.   We love it there.  You do have to pay to get in, but it is very impressive to view.


Baby Bathtubs trail.  There is a small hike that we enjoy with the kids that takes minimal time {so we can fit everything else into our day also}.  You can branch off into other trails from there, but we usually just have our little picnic and head back to town.  It only takes about an hour to go up and back which is convenient.  Here is a pic from last summer of us hiking.

ouray hiking

I am surprised with all the years of loving Ouray and taking our almost monthly trips there as a quick way to get out of town and get a change of scenery, that I have never blogged about it.  It really is one of the most beautiful little mountain towns I have ever been to.  Here is a lovely picture of Ouray from above, coming off of Red Mountain Pass.



I am so glad that my boys will grow up with wonderful memories of day tripping to this fun little town.


Lucas is FIVE

Last week, my baby, my littlest man, turned FIVE!

I love this little man so much. He is so full of fun and spunk.

roller coaster boy

I wanted to take this post today to notate things I just adore about Lucas at this age.

He is very willing to learn.  At any opportunity I can ask him what a word starts with or if he wants to try to spell it and he will jump right in to give it a shot!  He gobbles up information and watches everything everyone is doing around him so that he can do the same.

He is full of joy.  Most of the time he is a happy guy.  He laughs with his entire body.  It is so nice that he has reached an age where the whiny voice of a toddler has subsided and he generally has a happy and cheerful disposition.

He wants to be active.  He loves to run, jump, dance, kick and throw.  He gets so excited when he can take on a new activity {like soccer this spring}.  He is over the moon excited to begin swimming lessons again this week.  I love in this day of TV and video games that he has the desire to move his body most of the time rather than sit.

He is gentle and kind.  He loves to snuggle and loves to show his love to those close to him.  I often find myself smothered in hugs and kisses if I have to go somewhere without him.  I love that he has learned to embrace displaying affection.  I feel wonderful that we are raising a boy who is comfortable being kind and loving.

He has a great sense of humor.  We often find ourselves laughing at something he added to the conversation.  He seems to have inherited his father’s skill for comedic timing and his wit.  Thank goodness he inherited it from  him and not me!  We enjoy his quirky and funny lines so much!

I will share soon some pics of our little birthday celebration {even though we truly celebrated on our Glenwood Springs Trip}


New Fairy Garden Location and Lilacs

You may remember our little fairy garden in a bird bath. {From last spring}

We decided that the fairy garden needed to be moved to a new location {the birdbath was plastic and it needed to go}.  We moved a wooden barrel over to the fairy garden spot.  I love the way it looks.

  lilac with fairy garden

In the barrel was a day lily that will bloom soon.  We placed our fairy items in it to help attract them back to the garden now that it is spring.

 fairy garden

fairy garden

I love that we have it nestled in with the lilac bushes.  We got a shorter season to enjoy them this year due to a super late frost that hit right after they started to bloom.  However, we did get to enjoy them a bit.  Oh the smell!

lilac row


I want to savor them while they are here!



Weekend Trip to Glenwood Springs

Over the Memorial Day weekend we took a birthday trip for our Lucas to Glenwood Springs.  He requested to go to the Glenwood Adventure Park {we had gone for Ezra’s birthday a couple years ago}.  Check thier site out here for more info.

We decided to bring the camper and camp this time as well which was some bonus fun.

We were yet again impressed with the Glenwood Adventure Park.  Since our last trip they have improved the park, added new rides and attractions and rearranged things a bit.  We had so much the first time we visited and we have a lot of fun this time as well.  {remember this article I wrote for San Juan Parent about that first trip?}


gondola ride

Once you get in the park there is a plethora of rides.   {I am proud to report we rode every single one at least twice!}

As you can see, the park is wild west themed.



wild west

I wanted to share this image of the canyon from the top of the ferris wheel.  It was beautiful.

glenwood canyon

Our favorite is the Alpine coaster, which is the first Alpine Slide built in North America.  It is completly gravity fed.

They also offer rock climbing, which the boys had to do about ten times that day.

rock climbing

rock climbers


We took one of the cave tours during this trip and it was very educational and interesting.  The light was pretty low down there, but here are a couple of the best attempts.

glenwood caverns


One of the craziest rides is the Giant Swing that swings you waaaaay out over the canyon.  The boys and I were not brave enough to try it, but Paul did.  Here are a couple of pictures of this crazy ride.  {Paul said it may be the scariest ride he has ever been on}.

giant swing

glenwood giant swing

It was a lovely day and we came back to the campsite to the sun setting over the mountains.

colorado mountains


Garden Before and After

I gave a quick tour of our new home when we moved in to the new house a year ago.  As of May 17th we have lived her an entire year!  Can you believe how time flies?

One area that excited us most about this house was the yard and property.  At the back of the property, as most of you now know was a large blank canvas that runs the width of the property.  It was begging to be useful!

I am so proud of all the hard work we have put in over the last year on our garden area.  Between building fences, killing weeds, planting fruit trees, building rasied beds, putting down plastic and garden paths, filling beds with soil, running irrigation from box, and installing valves for each garden bed we have been putting in countless hours into this area.

I love this great before and after.

Garden before and after

As you can see in the before, this area was just the beautiful lilac bushes and weeds.

I love the after.  Nice gravel walkways, garden beds, fruit trees!

If you are interested in any of the individual posts regarding this area, you can check them out below.

Fruit trees

Raised Beds



Garden Fence

I love it so much!  It is my favorite area in the yard right now.  I love to just go look at it!

Chicken Fence

There was a last minute addition to our garden.

Once we put compost in our garden beds, we quickly realized that the chickens wouldn’t leave the beds alone.  I was a little concerned about planting baby plants and seeds.  I didn’t want our hard work to be gobbled down by the chickens right after we planted them.

chicken garden

Most years in Colorado, Mother’s Day is the day that one would be able to plant in gardens due to fear of frost and weather.  NOT THIS YEAR!  There were warnings of freezing temps for four days after Mother’s Day.

This gave us a few more days to erect our chicken fence.





We set out with fence posts, hole diggers and wire to put our fence up.  I am so thankful for my husband who kept at it even though it was very cold and drizzly.  It was muddy and mucky as you can see.


I am so happy that the chickens will be able to be kept seperate from our garden.





More to come on the garden progress!

Garden Bed Water

Last fall {before Paul injured his ankle} we set to work digging new irrigation lines to each of the garden beds.  I really think a flooded garden grows well.  My parents garden {remember it here} and some of our friends all are flood gardens.

I didn’t want to deal with all of the weeds though.  I have so much to do around here between schooling, sports, activities and keeping the house that I knew I didn’t need another thing overtaking my life.

I saw this video on youtube and did a little research and decided we wanted to irrigate right to the plant beds.

We did most of the work in the fall, but left the final touches until we were ready to get the garden started.  Once Spring was upon us we hit the ground running with adding the rock pathways to the area, to help keep down weeds.  As you can see in this picture, the lines were run under our garden walkways but we didn’t run them across the beds with valves until Spring came along.

raised bed and trails in garden

Paul finished up our irrigation last week and I am so pleased with how it turned out!


I love that we can run each box independently or if we chose we can run them all together.  They are all on the same irrigation zone, but each box has its own diverter valve in case there is ever a need to not run one.

 One bed is going to be for peppers alone, which we have had a hard time growing in the past because they prefer a dryer soil.  With our diverters we can water them only when we want to since we can shut the water off to their bed very easily!  Very exciting!

 Here is one of the beds in action!

irrigation water

And another.

mittleider irrigation garden

Please Mother Nature, please stop snowing on us so we can plant our garden.


Adding Braces

The Colorado Spring winds took a toll on our pergola.  It began to lean a bit.  We were not really worried about it tipping over as it was staked with long metal supports that go a couple of feet in the ground.  We were, however, worried that with enough leaning the force of the winds could possibly break the poles in half.

We decided to add some cross supports.  At first, I was worried that I wouldn’t like the look of the pergola with more wood attached to it.  I liked the clean lines when we built it.


I am so happy with the way it turned out.  Paul cut eight supports and attached them with heavy wood screws to the existing posts.


I think it definately adds a little something and looks a bit more finished.  Funny how you don’t know what extra little thing would make something pop, until you add it.



Kid’s Herb Garden: Earth Day Project

I am a little backed up on projects and such.  I am SOOO bad about forgetting to take pictures of projects.

Here is something from a couple weeks ago {Earth Day actually}.  The boys wanted to overtake an ugly rock bed that lived right next to the patio and make an herb garden.  Since we often plant something as a tradition for Earth Day, we decided to do it to celebrate Earth Day this year.

We went to the nursery and the boys picked out the herbs they wanted to grow.  They picked Thyme, Parsley, Basil, Rosemary, Chocolate Mint and Dill.


We laid down some leftover plastic from our garden walkways {remember that}, and then some mulch on top for decor.




Also that day we planted some Catmint by the pergola.   I had attempted to transplant some rose bushes that were on the edge of the patio there {because kiddos kept getting poked by them since it is a prime playing area} and it left some open real estate for plantings.  I mentioned in THIS POST that I was interested in planting some Catmint because it grows well in our zone, attracts polinators and is pretty.




We have a lot more Spring clean up to do in the back yard.  I cannot wait for the Spring winds to stop.  Did I mention that it snowed yesterday???  Spring in Colorado is always an adventure!