Our Italia Vacanza! Venice, Part 1: Canals and Bridges

I realized yesterday that it had been one year – to the day! – of when Mike and I started our incredible Italian vacation.  And then I sadly realized that I still hadn’t done anything with the over 800 pictures (yes, 800!) I took while we were there!  Of course at the time, I had grand intentions that involved photo books and a power point presentation to our interested friends and family but like so many things, it got pushed aside. And left there.  Well it seems like the perfect time to start going back through all those pictures and start sharing some of the best ones and our story.  I am not a professional photographer nor am I very good with photo editing software.  Luckily for me, these pictures didn’t need anything – all I really did was crop them and put a frame on them. It wasn’t me or the camera that was amazing, it was Italy.

As many of your know, Mike travels a lot for his work.  As soon as we found out that he would need to travel to Italy, I started figuring out how I could go with him.  Italy had always been one of my dream vacations and I wasn’t about to let it slip by.  Korea, Hong Kong, Columbia, yeah of course I’d love to go with him to those places if it worked out (which it never has) but ITALY?! I was prepared to pack myself in a suitcase if need be. In the end, although he had to do some work most every day, he was able to spend 8 days with me touring the top three destinations (the Trinity as it is often called) Venice, Florence and Rome.

One of the amazing things about Italy is that it is stunningly beautiful.  Everything is beautiful. Old buildings, bridges, fountains, the street (ha ha – no really, I am sort of serious). And now you know how I took over 800 pictures when I wasn’t even allowed to take pictures inside most of the places we went.

The first thing that struck me in Venice is what I think probably strikes everyone. The canals and bridges!

DSCN0132a

There are no cars in Venice so everybody walks (or bikes) or rides in a boat. One of the reason that Venice is so expensive is because all supplies and groceries have to be brought in by boat.

If you look closely, you can see how the canals have risen and fallen over the centuries and how that has affected the buildings.

IMG_4227b

 

IMG_4250a

IMG_4284a ^ This picture was from out hotel window.

 

Bridge in Venice, Italy Scalzi Bridge, Venice, Italy Walking over a bridge in Venice, Italy Bridge in Venice, Italy

I did take a picture of the famous Rialto Bridge but it didn’t turn out well, kind of like how I felt about it.  I just didn’t get the hype – it was so crowded that it was hard to walk over it and it was hard to see.

The Bridge of Sighs, on the other hand, completely lived up to it’s hype for me.  It was my favorite bridge and one of my favorite of all sights in Venice.

DSCN0101a

The Bridge of Sighs connects the Doge’s palace to the prison and it was given it’s name for the condemned men that would be led over this bridge on the way to prison, take one last look at Venice and sigh. Tragic and beautiful.

Next up: Venice, Part 2: Doge’s Palace

Fans and politicians get creative in showing Denver Bronco support

Are you sick of me talking about the Denver Broncos yet?! Well don’t worry, the Super Bowl is Sunday so you won’t have to endure it too much longer. Unless we win of course. 😉

As you may know, I am very proud Coloradoan. One of the things that I love about our state is it still has a small town feel – especially in the area where we live.

This week, as Bronco mania and Super Bowl excitement continues to rise, more and more people are doing awesome and fun things to show Bronco support.

The town of Telluride, CO – a beautiful, small little ski town in Western Colorado made this AMAZING video.  Even if you aren’t a Bronco fan, it is sure to give you goosebumps.

You can also watch it on YouTube here.

And today, State Governor, Governor Hickenlooper, released a proclamation that temporarily renames all the 14ers in Colorado after the Denver Bronco players. “14ers” are mountain peaks that are at least 14,000 ft in elevation and Colorado has 53!

Colorado Governor Renamed 14ers - Bronco Fever

My favorite part is this statement:

“WHEREAS, Seattle makes some, well, OK beer; and

“WHEREAS, the Seahawks have a 12th man, whatever, while the Denver Broncos have the greatest fans — men, women and children — in pro sports;”

And the following peaks: Longs Peak, Mt. Wilson, Capital Peak and Mt. Sherman.

Below is the entire proclamation released here.

Gov. Hickenlooper renames Colorado’s 14ers to honor the Denver Broncos

DENVER — Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today announced a proclamation that temporarily renames Colorado’s tallest majestic mountain peaks — also known as 14ers — after individual active players on the Denver Broncos football team. The mountains will go by their new names for one day only — on Super Bowl Sunday.

The full text of the proclamation:

WHEREAS, the State of Colorado is confident that the Denver Broncos will beat the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII; and

WHEREAS, the Denver Broncos gave Coloradans a lot to be proud of this season, including becoming the first team in NFL history to score more than 600 points in a single season and winning the AFC Championship; and

WHEREAS, Seattle makes some, well, OK beer; and

WHEREAS, the Seahawks have a 12th man, whatever, while the Denver Broncos have the greatest fans — men, women and children — in pro sports; and

WHEREAS, we are proud of the majestic mountains in Colorado, which is home to 53 14ers – the same number of players on the Denver Broncos’ active roster; and

WHEREAS, Peyton Manning bears a symbolic resemblance to Mount Elbert, the tallest 14er in Colorado, because he stands tall as an extraordinary leader of the Broncos; and

WHEREAS, Matt Prater kicks the football long – an NFL record 64 yards long – and could be compared to Longs Peak; and

WHEREAS, the Broncos offensive line stands together, like our Collegiate Peaks, rooted into the earth and preventing anyone from getting to Peyton Manning; and

WHEREAS, there are many other connections between other 14ers and players as referenced below;

Therefore, I, John W. Hickenlooper, Governor of the State of Colorado, do hereby hurry up and proclaim Sunday, February 2, 2014,

DENVER BRONCOS-MANIA DAY

Here is the full list of mountains (ranked by size) and the active players the peaks are being renamed for:

Mt. Elbert Peyton Manning.
Mt. Massive Terrance Knighton – AKA POT ROAST.
Mt. Harvard Zane Beadles – He, along with others on the offensive line, are as formidable as the line of Collegiate Peaks.
Blanca Peak Mitch Unrein – He blocks and tackles.
La Plata Peak Jacob Tamme – Just as this is an impressive peak among the Collegiate Peaks, this tight end is an impressive addition to the offense.
Uncompahgre Peak Steven Johnson – His defense is straight forward and uncomplicated.
Crestone Peak Steve Vallos – Like this peak, which is surrounded by other looming 14ers, this center is the rock of impressive offensive lines.
Mt. Lincoln Winston Justice – His name itself, and his humanitarian work in Uganda and Haiti, reflect the name of this majestic peak.
Grays Peak Eric Decker – Grays and Torreys are right next to each other, like the dynamic duo of Decker and Thomas.
Mt. Antero Malik Jackson – This defensive end watches everyone’s back.
Torreys Peak Demaryius Thomas
Castle Peak Duke Ihenacho – Because only a duke could vanquish a castle-like offense.
Quandary Peak Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – His coverage proves to be a quandary for opposing quarterbacks.
Mt. Evans Nate Irving – This linebacker forms an imposing backdrop to opponents just like this peak does to Denver.
Longs Peak Matt Prater – He kicks ‘em long (set an NFL record with a 64-yard field goal vs. Tennessee).
Mt. Wilson Shaun Phillips – Leads the Broncos in sacks this year and will be taking down Russell Wilson.
Mt. Shavano Marquice Cole
Mt. Belford Andre Caldwell – Like this peak’s inclusion with other Collegiate Peaks, he joins an imposing offense.
Crestone Needle Brock Osweiler – At 6 feet, 8 inches’, he makes all opponents appear as thin as this 14er.
Mt. Princeton Manny Ramirez.
Mt. Yale Louis Vasquez.
Mt. Bross Jeremy Mincey.
Kit Carson Peak Aaron Brewer – His long snaps find their path just as Kit Carson found paths through the frontier.
Maroon Peak Mike Adams – He maroons opponents due to his tackling prowess (posted a game-high nine tackles and intercepted a pass that led to a Broncos touchdown in Houston).
Tabeguache Peak Chris Kuper.
Mt. Oxford Chris Clark.
Mt. Sneffels Zac Dysert – In the shadow of Manning, the QB may be sniffling for not playing, but is tops nonetheless.
Mt. Democrat Tony Carter – Working on a second degree in political science.
Capitol Peak Champ Bailey – Rated the most difficult peak on 14ers.com.
Pikes Peak  Joel Dressen – A Colorado Mountain for a Colorado State University Ram and only player on the roster to graduate from a Colorado university.
Snowmass Mountain Wesley Woodyard.
Mt. Eolus Sione Fua – An eloquent name, like this peak.
Windom Peak Ronnie Hillman – This runninng back runs like the wind.
Challenger Point Montee Ball – He was a challenger for the Heisman Trophy in 2011.
Mt. Columbia Orlando Franklin.
Missouri Mountain Sylvester Williams – He was born in Missouri.
Humboldt Peak Knowshon Moreno – He “bolts” off the line (Ranked fifth in the NFL in scrimmage yards at 1,586) and tied for fifth with 13 scrimmage touchdowns in 2013. Became the first player in franchise history to record 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in a single season in 2013.
Mt. Bierstadt Robert Ayers – Just like the way that Ayers makes tackling look easy, this peak is one of the easiest peaks to summit.
Sunlight Peak Omar Bolden – He is known for his power of positive thinking and is not blinded by any sunshine in his tackling prowess.
Handies Peak Quentin Jammer – This defensive player is known for giving a hand to his teammates and those in need through his Jammer Family Foundation helping foster teens.
Culebra Peak Michael Huff.
Ellingwood Point Britton Colquitt – He would be able to land a punt on this point.
Mt. Lindsey Paris Lenon.
Little Bear Peak Trindon Holliday – He’s 5 foot, 5 inches, but is as tough as they come.
Mt. Sherman Wes Welker – Let’s see Richard Sherman cover Wes. Right, good luck with that.
Redcloud Peak Virgil Green.
Pyramid Peak Danny Trevathan – Like the Pyramids of Giza, Danny Trevathan’s defense is a wonder of the world. He posted a team high 129 tackles, beating his next closest teammate by 44 and is 11th best in the league.
Wilson Peak Brandon Marshall.
Wetterhorn Peak Vinston Painter.
San Luis Peak Kayvon Webster.
Mt. of the Holy Cross David Bruton – His alma mater is Notre Dame.
Huron Peak C.J. Anderson – Another impressive peak included in the Collegiate Peaks, he is a fine addition to the offense.
Sunshine Peak Julius Thomas – because he always makes himself available to find the sunshine through the defenders and make the catch.

DIY No Sew Bunting

I think I have mentioned it before, but one of the skills I am embarrassed to admit that I can’t do is sew.  I just never learned how to more than a button…  My Mom is a very good seamstress, and my sister definitely hold her own, and I can barely thread a needle. It is on my to-do list {for when I get a little extra time, ha ha, yeah right!} and maybe, hopefully, 2014 will be the year!

Given my incompetence of this domestic skill, I am always looking for ways to make really cool things with out the need for sewing.  And when I found myself wanting bunting for my Denver Bronco Game Day Wreath, I knew I needed to figure out a way to do it that didn’t require me to beg my Mom.

Luckily, I was successful! Yay! And here you go:  DIY No Sew Bunting.

DIY No Sew Bunting Suppllies

Supplies you will need:

  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Measuring Tape
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Iron {not pictured}

To start, decide how large you want the flags of the bunting to be.  For my wreath, I decided that I wanted them to be about 4″ so I cut a 5″ strip of fabric. If you want longer flags, decide on length of the flag you want, then add 1″.

DIY No Sew Bunting flag width

Fold your fabric in half, then in thirds.  If you want taller, thinner flags, fold the in half and then in fourths.

bunting folds

 

Cut fabric from the middle to the outside edges about 3/4″-1″ from the top.

DIY No Sew Bunting cut

Now unfold fabric, lay it flat, and fold over the top edge. It should be about half the width from the top flag indention. If you fold it over and it hangs below the top indention, adjust your fold so it stops a little higher. Iron the fabric on the fold to create a strong crease in the fabric.

DIY No Sew Bunting iron

After you are done, use a very thin line of hot glue to secure the fabric that is folded over. By thin line, I mean THIN LINE! if you add a thick line or big dots of glue, it will be obvious on the front side of fabric and will make it harder for the the bunting to hang smooth.

DIY No Sew Bunting hot glue

photoDIY No Sew Bunting 2

Walla! You’re done! Now go hang that gorgeous bunting on the wall, on a wreath or anywhere that needs a little party!  I am going to be hanging mine all over the house to decorate for the XLVIII Super Bowl!! 😉

{more pictures to be up soon!}

DIY Team Game Day Wreath

It is really easy (and inexpensive) to make a game day wreath in your favorite team colors! Obviously, my favorite team is, the best team ever, the Denver Broncos. 😉  And during last year’s preseason I decided that I must make 2 new things: a game day wreath and a game day blanket {blanket to be up soon!}.

I have actually made 2 Bronco game day wreaths {funny story! You can read it here (coming soon!)}.

DIY Game Day Wreath1 GreenishPink.com DIY Game Day Wreath GreenishPink.com

To make your own game day wreath, you will need the following supplies:

Game Day Wreath Supplies - GreenishPink.com

  • straw wreath (or any type of wreath form, i.e. Styrofoam, pool noodle, etc )
  • 2.5″ wide ribbon for the wreath. This will be the main color of the wreath.
  • 1.5″ wide ribbon for the bow. You can use more than one color and or size.
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks

To start, secure the end of the 2.5″ ribbon on the wreath and then tightly wrap the ribbon around the wreath overlapping the ribbon just slightly. {I didn’t take a picture of this step but you can see it here on In My Pink High Heels}.

To make the bunting, follow these steps then secure it on each side of the wreath with hot glue. You can make the bunting out of more than one fabric to add layers if you like. In the second wreath I made, I made bunting out of Bronco fabric, orange felt and dark blue felt and layered them on the wreath.  I loved the look!

Then make a big bow out of the 1.5″ ribbon – you can make a simple bow or a larger, fancier bow {both look great!} – and then secure it to the wreath.  I used hot glue and a couple straight pins to secure it just to make sure the loops laid then way I wanted.

That’s it! Now put it on your door and start cheering for your favorite team!

Three articles that will make you love, respect and admire Peyton Manning even more

3 articles to make you love Peyton Manning - GreenishPink

Things are pretty exciting and crazy in Colorado right now… In case you didn’t hear, we are going to the Super Bowl!!! Notice I said we? My crazy Bronco fan obsession leads me to believe that I am part of the team. 🙂 It’s been 15 years since we were there last time (1999 for the 1998 season) and we went with John Elway leading the helm.  Since then we’ve had some ups and downs and some crazy Tebowing but we are finally going back. And this time with the Sheriff. Peyton F’n Manning!

Due to his injuries I was a little skeptical and worried (mostly for his safety – I still cringe and get scared if he is tackled) when we first picked him up.  But I put my football trust in John Elway, our Executive VP of Football Operations, who was still considered the King of Football in our part of the world and figured if he was good enough for John Elway, he was good enough for me.  And once again, John Elway knew what he was doing.

Since Sunday, my Facebook friends have filled my feed with a non stop stream of pictures, jokes, stories, and trash talking about the upcoming game.  And also a couple articles that talk about the person, athlete, and honorable man Peyton Manning is.

I am thankful to my friends for sharing these great articles.  They have made me admire, respect and appreciate our QB and team leader even more. And if you have a few minutes, I urge you to read them also. If you aren’t a Manning fan already, you will be after reading these.

From article Regarding My Wife and Peyton Manning via GreenishPink.com

Regarding My Wife and Peyton Manning

———

From article Regarding My Wife and Peyton Manning via GreenishPink

Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning named SI’s Sportsman of the Year

Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/sportsman/news/20131215/peyton-manning-sportsman-2013/#ixzz2rAgSgxEg

———

And if you are a Christain (and even if you are not) you may really enjoy this article also.

From article Peyton Manning's Christain Faith via GreenishPink

PEYTON MANNING’S CHRISTIAN FAITH

 

DIY Photo Letter Art

I am taking a break from posting old Family Movie Nights to show you my latest little project!

DIY Photo Letter Art - GreenishPink.com

I am sure you have seen them all over – the signs that have someone’s name or last name spelled out from different pictures of letters.  After seeing some tutorials like this and this, I got to work finding the perfect letters using this awesome Flickr site.

Continue reading

Two under 1?!?!

We have had some serious surprises in our house lately and we are embarking on a new adventure that neither my husband nor I am sure we are ready for. We just found out that I am four months pregnant. *faint*

Disclaimer: Apparently, you are super fertile after you give birth and it is still possible to get pregnant if you are on the pill, breastfeeding and taking other precautions. O.M.G. I wish some one would have told me this and my other precautions would have included making my husband sleep in a different room!

For those of you keeping track, L-Monster was born November 1st. I am due with this baby October 24th. I was a little worried about having 2 babies under 2 years of age but instead I get to join a VERY elite group: 2 babies under 1 year of age.

After taking a week to process the information, we are trying to only look at the positives.
* they will hopefully be very close – just as much friends as they are siblings
* I only have to loose ALL the weight once. I couldn’t figure out why the last of my belly was lingering on – now I know and only have to lose those “last 10” pounds one time
* We don’t have to store anything away. By the time Lucas out grows it, the next baby will be ready for it.
* It is easier than twins. Only one will be on the boob/bottle at a time. whew!
* We don’t have to re-enter the diaper stage. Once we are done, we are done!

Do you have babies close in age? If so, what are your tips for maintaining your sanity?

Trying to get pregnant?

The Sacred Heart Mission is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the health of pregnant mothers and their babies through charitable giving.

They are giving away 10 pregnancy tests and/or ovulation predictor kits completely free (not even a shipping charge)!! Just pick the combination you would like and they will mail them to you!

Their link is: http://www.freeopks.com/ Happy TTC!

Family Movie Night: Ponyo

I read lots of reviews before we watched this movie because it seemed a little weird. And it was. But it was clean and the kids liked it!

It is supposed to be a adaptation of the Little Mermaid story and got great reviews for the animation by Hayao Miyazaki. I, personally, thought the animation was pretty basic and the story was a little strange – especially how the Mom left the little boy (only 5 years old) at home during a hurricane because she needed to take care of the elderly at her work and how it almost seemed if the little boy and Ponyo were pledging themselves to get married… at 5 years old. There were a lot of good elements as well.

For treats, I started by turning red plastic cups in to “buckets”.

mms_picture

Then, I filled the “buckets” with water (blueberry Jelly Belly jelly beans) and put a fish inside (a chocolate foil fish). I really have to thank our local Enstrom’s Candy store which let me in at 6:10, even though they close at 6:00, to by the blue Jelly Belly jelly beans. They also pointed out the colorful fish chocolates (which were much cooler than the Swedish Fish I was planning on).

ponyo

Breast is Best but most important is Love

Some people take to breast feeding like a duck to water. I didn’t glide or swim quite that easy. At all. I have taken to it more like a cat to water. So has my son.

I think that the breast is best. Absolutely the best thing for Mom and baby. And before I gave birth I never thought there was any other way I would ever do it. When I heard other Moms talk about the bonding experience and the closeness it created I imagined me with my little monster as I gave him the liquid gold that my body just naturally created as I nourished and loved him. And truthfully, when I heard the stories of people that couldn’t breastfeed or didn’t do it for very long I thought they were lazy or just didn’t try hard enough (baring any medical reasons of course).

All these thoughts were only solidified more for me when I read all my pregnancy books and went to the breastfeeding class. I was worried about breastfeeding (and being able to since I have had breast enhancement surgery) so I felt so much better when I learned that babies are naturally drawn to our nipples by sight and smell and they want to drink. And though I think that is a beautiful thing and am amazed by a woman’s body, I wish they would have told me that it isn’t all sunshine and roses.

Nobody told me, “breastfeeding is hard”. Nobody said, “you may not enjoy it”. And nobody said, “Your little one may struggle with it”. But I wish they had.

After struggling with it for the first few weeks, things started to go smoother which made me very happy. And I was really relieved when he started eating quicker and not taking his standard 45-60 minutes. But it was never smooth. I actually looked forward to the times when I knew I would pump and bottle feed. It was so much easier for both of us.

When I took him in for his 2 month check-up (actually at 10 weeks) he had only gained 2 pounds in 8 weeks. Not good news. I explained that I thought he had acid reflux (which he did) and was prescribed some medicine and told not to change anything he would start gaining weight. Well a couple days after the appointment we started refusing my breast. Sometimes he would suck for a few minutes and then stop and cry. Other times he wouldn’t latch on and would cry every time I would try. It was very disheartening and I felt rejected.

I did a lot of reading and asked for a lot of advice but he wouldn’t eat and since he only weighed 8.5 lbs I didn’t feel comfortable with letting him skip meals. So I started pumping and also supplementing with 2 ounces of formula (I just don’t make enough – although I still eat oatmeal every morning and drink milk tea and lots of water). I still offer the breast at every feeding and there are times, like this morning, when he stays on 8-10 minutes. And there are other times he is completely uninterested.

Although I am coming to terms with it, I feel like a failure. Yes, I made it to 3 months *sort of* but I am 9 months short of my goal. I am still pumping but my supply seems to be slowly fading. I only get about 12 ounces out a day.

When opening up about all the issues I faced I have found a lot of other Moms that have similar stories and also had a hard time. Why don’t we share that information before hand? Why don’t we start with, “Breastfeeding is the very best thing for your baby. Although it comes easy to some, it is difficult for many others…”

There are things that I will probably do different with my next baby but really, there wasn’t much I did *wrong* this time. Maybe this was the Lord’s way of humbling me. Now when I hear women say they didn’t breastfeed or only breastfed for a short time I wonder, “what is their story?”.

I have learned that although breast is best, it isn’t always possible. And more important than breast is love- which he gets no shortage of.