Sunday, August 31, 2008


Friends and Funnel Clouds

We were SUPPOSED to have a nice, outdoor staff picnic last Sunday, but NOOOOO. The heavens opened up after a mere 45 minutes outside, rain POURED down, forcing us to hang out in a stuffy, non-air-conditioned school. We thought we could just wait out the weather (welcome to Colorado), but then the sirens started to sound, and we had to move to the gym (you know, that safe, shelter area in a school!). Thank goodness I had inhaled a hot dog while still outside, as the food disappeared as soon as the rain made its appearance. Here is one of the many amazing pictures of the week. Three tornadoes actually touched down in and around Castle Rock. So much for our outdoor picnic!

Happy Family

What a wonderful week, what a wonderful family. GO OBAMA!

Stride Trainer 300

That's right, I am now the proud owner of a Gold's Gym Stride Trainer 300. Grandma Dot gave me some $$ for graduation, and this is how I wanted to make it sustainable! I swear, once I get an idea in my head, it's only a matter of hours until I figure how how to bring it to life! shopped around for a day, narrowed down the list of things I want, and bought myself an Elliptical. I don't like to run (even though I really REALLY tried last year to be a 'runner'), so a treadmill wasn't very helpful. I'm sure nobody is surprised that I like to MOVE, SWING - be ACTIVE when working out. The elliptical has met the test of time (Brenda time - I bore easily), and is now a part of my home!

Unfortunately, the poor guys that lugged it into the trunk of my car chose not to come home with me (slackers), so I unpacked the huge and heavy box, sitting inside my car! Took all the garbage to the dumpster, and piled all the smaller parts into a laundry basket to lug up the 3 flights of stairs. The heaviest part had to wait until I grabbed a neighbor (former student), who owed me for being so dang loud in the hallways the night before. :)

In a mere 160 minutes, I tightened, pounded, and twisted that baby together, and it now happily sits in my living room. Correction - it IS my living room... Okay, it's not THAT big, but it certainly takes up a bit'o'room. Happy Brenda, though - no more beating the other renters to the apartment gym, and no more monthly fees. Now, I can happily jump on my new friend during commercials (that sounds much worse than intended), and swing away the calories.

Speaking of...gotta go swing!

Monday, August 11, 2008


That about sums up the last week! While I could write a blog and a half about the process itself, the best part is this: I HAVE MY MASTER'S DEGREE. Past that, it's all details! Ma and Pa came from WI for the big event, as shown in a couple of the pictures below. The day itself (Thursday, August 7th) was great: the presentation went smoothly, the feedback was overwhelming, and the celebration yummy!

The first day my parents were in town (after I had literally missed 2 exits on the highway trying to get ourselves to a simple restaurant), gave me a GPS system (a Garmin Nüvi) for graduating. Perfect timing!
We visited a ton of spots south of Castle Rock throughout the week: Royal Gorge Bridge, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Garden of the Gods. Thankfully, My Nüvi really helped us figure out where to go!

Here's an awesome picture from between the wooden planks of the Royal Gorge Bridge! Sweet!
I really love zoos, but I had no idea how MUCH I loved Zoos until I visited this mountain zoo! And giraffes - did I mention giraffes!? I could have stayed there all week!
After my big ole Master's presentation (my CAP), we went to Buca di Beppo, an awesome Italian restaurant with a celebratory ambiance! There were pictures of Sinatra everywhere (the focus of my CAP), so it was a perfect end to an amazing journey!