Monday, November 21, 2011

Nearly over November...

And I have been super slacking on posting!!! November is not even over yet... hmm... well to begin. We celebrated my baby brother's birthday a couple weeks ago. I talked about him last he is one year older and it makes me feel that much older!!

Me, mom and Baby brother!
November has also brought with it a visitor from Sweden. Sweden? Yes... thanks to Ms. Heather's trip around the world... she managed to meet  and begin a relationship with a guy from Sweden.  He is now here in the US for an extended visit. So... of course we have to show him around beautiful Colorado.... this past weekend we took him to Red Rocks, a Colorado microbrewery - Renegade - Garden of the Gods and a tour of the Cave of the Winds. Whew! A jam packed weekend.
Pontus and Heather

Jay and Pontus

Renegade brews!

Garden of the Gods

Jay and I
 Jay and Pontus got along right away. Pontus has no problem picking up on Jay's humor and putting down some of his own. Pretty impressive from a non-native English speaker. With Thanksgiving right around the corner (2 days!?!?!?!) it should be interesting to see what Pontus thinks of the whole thing. Welcome to Colorado, Pontus!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Feis Gripes and Grins

This past weekend was Fall Feis.  It marked my first full feis (all 7 competition dances) since breaking my foot in May.  I was a bit nervous... especially for the soft shoe portions, but I went out there and did what I could.  I have been working really, really hard so it was really up to the judges, right?
First, the gripes - because really, lets get the complaining out of the way and focus on the good stuff - my first gripe?  At class on Thursday, I started class with a twinge of pain in my left quad. I brushed it off as not being warmed up/stretched enough, but after an hour of class... I was really uncomfortable. By the end of class? I could barely walk. What I thought was just a small muscle pull turned out to be the biggest, most long-lasting, most incredibly painful CRAMPS of my life. Holy cow... I didn't realize I could get a cramp in my quad. But I did. And it hurt. A lot. So that, combined with a fire drill at work on Friday and going down 43 flights of stairs... my leg felt like I had run a marathon. Sunday morning... it was still pretty painful. So that meant I didn't dance 100% like I wanted.
Second gripe? The front half of the stage we were on was wrinkly and unstable. Everytime someone put the slightest of weight on it, the stage bounced and clanged. Awesome when you're trying to be as light on your feet as possible.
Third gripe? Its a common one... the musician. Sigh. While he was not terrible (we've had terrible musicians before) being a fiddle player meant he wasn't really giving downbeats. Awfully hard to start dancing/counting when you have no idea where 5-6-7-8 are.  This was an issue the whole day, softshoe and hardshoe. Because of this... it meant that my timing in my hardshoes was forced or rushed since I kept anticipating where the beat was.
All good stuff to work on... right?

The good parts!! First off, I have been working really, really hard to get all my dances moved to Prizewinner. This feis was no exception! I moved my Reels up, which is awesome... since I always feel that Reels are the hardest to place in.
I see what I need to work on!
I know I need to get higher on my toes and really crank my turnout... but it feels good to finally place my Reels into Prizewinner! My slip jigs weren't bad, but I definitely didn't utilize the whole stage... and in Prizewinner, you have to. Note: work on moving my steps more!
Despite having issues with hard shoe... I felt good with my steps - movement, turnout, cross, etc. Next feis... its on!
The best part of the whole day wasn't even a dance that counted... but I love it anyway. Treble Reel Special!! Its always the last dance of the competition, and by that time all of us are tired and ready to go home. It doesn't stop us from smiling, clapping, laughing and having fun. In the end... beautiful (and red headed!) Stacey and I placed in the 13&over special. Stacey pulled in 3rd place and I got 1st!!!! I honestly didn't think I had placed, so when they called my number I had to do a double check. Congrats Stace!! I am glad we had so much fun (and thanks for taking so many pics!)
1st and 3rd! We rock!!
Having Mary back as a teacher has helped. A LOT. Not just for me, but for everyone else. Still its great when she gets just as excited about my win as I do... Love you Mary!

Mary - soon to be TC? :)
Last, but not least.... I am super duper lucky to have a awesome boyfriend who comes to the dance competitions (yes, boyfriend willingly comes!) and am super happy that Miss Heather is back in town, because she's always my rock at these things. That and she enjoys making fun of all the ugly dresses. :) All in all a good day with dance friends and family and my own little support team!

love you guys!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween continued...

...on Halloween night! Funny how that works! Part of my dance family - Courtnay, Rob and Hannah - plan out a huge Haunted House every year for Halloween. Its not actually inside their house... but in the yard/front porch/garage. This year, Courtnay convinced Jay and I to help out. Sure, why not?!

It was awesome. Seriously. Awesome. Jay and I were in the O.R. The crazy operating room. Jay was the surgeon and I was the patient. It was pretty much blood + Jay yelling and screaming + beer cans everywhere = hilarity for some / pure fear for others.
The rest of the house was cool as well. Zombies, possessed children, escaped mental patients, hanging man, man with chainsaw, creepy clowns on roller skates... and so much more.  I can't wait to do it again next year! Thanks for including us!

creepy clown children

does he stay behind bars?

bloody surgeon!

me as the patient!

mental patient!

The one day a year you get to be someone else...

Halloween!!!! How I love getting dressed up for Halloween.  I count myself lucky that I have a boyfriend who enjoys it as well... and friends that do too!! Its a guarantee that there is always a Halloween party every year... and everyone dresses up for it!  This year, a group of us were planning to do a really awesome group costume... sadly one friend had to go out of town (but next year, its totally ON!)

Every year... I also struggle with the ridiculous-ness of women's costumes. Because obviously... the less clothes the better? I do not adhere to this idea at all. Don't get me wrong, I like to look good... but some of the costumes out there... eh?

This year, Jay and I decided to do a couples costume. I have never done a couples costume before... so just coming up with the ideas for us was a lot of fun. We ran through quite the gambit of ideas.... some of which I will tuck away for another year. This year, the decision was made to go as:
Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf!  Jay was a little bit suave and I was a little bit rocker.  It worked for both of us, and we really enjoyed the costumes!!

Heather was a Ring Master!

My handsome wolf

Bahaha! Angry Birds!!

Rock Paper Scissors :)
 All in all, another great year for Halloween! Can't wait until next year!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


About a week ago... Denver was kissed with its first hint of snow.  Sorry, it would have been more appropriate to say first "storm" of snow. It was 80 degrees on two days before the big storm... so almost as soon as the snow fell it melted.  The snow that stuck took awhile to accumulate, but when it did it brought down trees such all over the area.

Luckily, Jay and I were spared from the tree falling... but it didn't stop me from enjoying the beautiful first snowfall!
the walk to work
beautiful snow in downtown Denver!

the leaves were still turning colors