Thursday, May 27, 2010

Feeling Better and a New Jersey Wedding

After about a week of colitis symptoms the steroids my doctor prescribed have started to take affect and I'm feeling better (and really pepped).  It'll probably be a few more weeks until I'm in the clear and off the steroids, but that should be well before Erin and I leave for Taiwan.

Fortunately I was feeling well enough to head out to New Jersey with Erin over the weekend to take part in my friends' wedding.  I've known Billy since we were in Boy Scouts together and his wife Aly for some time now so it felt really nice to stand up as a groomsmen for their ceremony.

It was a tremendous amount of fun hanging out with all the guys as we went through all of the wedding rituals and festivities.  Erin even got a chance to see her friend Stephanie while I did some of the more mundane tasks (tuxes & photos) with the guys.  Though Erin and I flew in too late to make it to the bachelor/bachelorette parties we had a great time at the reception/welcome dinner on Saturday night.  Held at a nearby hibachi grill, it was a very exciting and delicious meal.  There Billy presented each of us groomsmen with a bobble head made in our likeness.  Hilarious!  The whole night was a lot of fun.

On Sunday we had the wedding with a nice ceremony and cooperative weather.  The whole thing was out at a fancy farm in Andover, NJ and was very well done.  From the food to the service and all the little details, everything was spot on.  We had a great time chatting with everyone, taking photo-booth pictures, and shaking it on the dance floor.  Plus I've come to appreciate going to weddings more now that I've got someone to go with.

The next morning, before we all left to go our separate ways, we had breakfast together one last time.  It will probably be at least a year before I see many of these friends again, but we've gone that long without seeing each other in the past and yet found ways to always get back together again.  I have no doubt that will continue to be the case in the future.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dinner Parties and a Colonoscopy

This month started out with a delicious meal at the Vesta Dipping Grill downtown with the main company I work for, Redmann Mahoney.  Shawna and Mike treated us to a wonderful experience as a late holiday party.  It was very heartening to enjoy their company despite the difficult time they've been through (click here to login and read their blog).  The whole evening was really fun as we got to meet the latest addition to the company, Dan, and talk about such a wide variety of topics while enjoying an equally wide variety of dipping sauces.

The next night we were out again as I joined Erin at a school banquet honoring some of the kids in the Speech & Debate club she coaches with her friend Janice.  The bbq was delicious and it was interesting to see some of the kids performing speeches.  Later, on Friday we joined some of the other Speech & Debate coaches from the region in sharing a drink with Janice as she celebrated her last year of coaching (and subsequently much more weekend free-time next year).

Friday night also turned out to be the night of our monthly supper club.  We had a very delicious and extravagant dinner at Venic√© Ristorant√© with our large group.  It was good to see everyone and talk about all of our exciting plans for the Summer.

Mother's day found us with Erin's parents in celebration.  The day started early as Erin's dad, Mike, had cooked a delicious breakfast for all of us.  Our presentation of a pink lemonade plant to Erin's mom, Susie, started a round of backyard work as we found a nice place to plant it and helped with cutting up part of their deck to be used as planters.  Before long though we were out of the house, first to see a nest of owls near Mike & Susie's house, and then later on a hike in the foothills.  Erin and I had remembered a hike at Mt. Falcon we had been on with some great views and nice gazebos for eating lunch.  Unfortunately we had been thinking of the west side of the park, not the east side of the park where we started.  That side required a long steep climb up a very sunny side to get to the area Erin and I remembered.  After a while it became evident that it was just too much and we headed back to have lunch at the base before getting some drinks at a trading post nearby.  Altogether it was a very fun day.

Unfortunately, all of these good times have been somewhat tempered by a current flare-up with my ulcerative colitis.  By Tuesday it became severe enough to warrant a trip to the doctor who prescribed steroids and scheduled a colonoscopy for Thursday.  While I've had both before, neither is fun (mainly due to their side effects / requirements).  Even for someone who is as fiercely independent as me it was very comforting for me to have Erin there after the procedure to pick me up (though I doubt she liked seeing me hooked up on the table as I was).  And while both the malady and its repercussions are troubling it is not so much as to keep me from living life.

Thus Friday night found Erin and I out again as we traveled through the heavy rain up to Genesee for a wedding of two of her former students.  The weather had certainly thrown a wrench in the new couple's wedding plans, but they still seemed overjoyed to be getting married regardless.  I was just happy to be eating solid foods again!

Unfortunately we couldn't stay late as Erin had to catch an early flight the next morning.  Getting up at 4:20am on Saturday I took her to the airport so she could fly out to Wisconsin.  Erin and her sister were surprising their brother who was graduating and their mom who's birthday was on Sunday and who were all out in Madison to celebrate.  Apparently the whole family was very surprised and the weekend went great.  You can see pictures here.

As for me I stayed in Denver having a delicious dinner with Reynold and Janet on Saturday and working on Sunday.  Erin and I are still up in the air as far as selling the condo goes, but with Erin finishing school next week and plans for travel the following two weekends, that seems to be lower on the list of concerns.  Looking back it's been a busy month with no signs of slowing down until sometime in June.  I hope to have some time to keep everyone updated before then.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Black Hawk and Parents

It's been a busy past two weeks.  After a great weekend of friends and family Erin treated me to a night up at Black Hawk for some gambling and relaxation.  Since she had the day off on Monday we went up on Sunday taking the motorcycle up through Golden.  Though it was a cold ride we were able to warm up once we got to our spacious room at the Ameristar.  After getting cleaned up we had a delicious dinner and then went to do some gambling.  It was fun to play some blackjack and roulette, but after a while we had run through half of what we wanted to spend.  I then went to play some poker while Erin went back to the room.  Again it was fun to play some poker, but I didn't end up winning very much.  I've certainly gotten my fill of gambling for awhile and I have my wonderful wife to thank for that.

The next day we rode back down the mountain.  We stopped just outside of Golden on 6th Avenue for a hike up the hills that we had seen people on the day before.  Erin was convinced that there was a trail that went up and around the mountain.  However, after scrambling up the hillside on a poorly maintained trail we found something a little different.  It was an old aqueduct that people had been using as a trail.  Some parts of it included a cement barrier with a long drop off the side, while other parts just had a few boards over the dry canal.  It was exciting, but a little worrisome in parts.  After our hike we had a delicious lunch in old town Golden and then rode home.

The following weekend my parents arrived as part of their current road trip.  Though they had some trouble getting here in between our crazy weather, the late season snow didn't cause too many difficulties.  It was wonderful to see them and spend time with them.  We had several delicious meals together including one at my aunt and uncle's place and a few that I fixed up.  It also gave my dad and I some time to work on the engineering program that we've been developing over the past couple of months.  It's likely to be the last time we get to see my parents until we come back for a visit next summer.

This past weekend has been relatively quiet with a school party that Erin and I went to on Friday and Erin's book club on Sunday.  During these past two weeks we've been on a roller-coaster ride in regards to selling Erin's condo.  We have gotten offers and backup offers that later fall through and every day seems to bring something different.  We're still hoping something will work out, but will adapt if we need to rent the place while were away.  In the mean time we'll continue to enjoy Colorado, our friends and our family.