Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Tree Hunting and A Holiday Photo Contest with Easy Canvas Prints

I can't believe that it's been nearly THREE months since I've spent any time on this blog of mine. I've been going through some personal challenges and haven't had the motivation. But, I'm ready to get back to it and what better way than to document our second year of Christmas tree hunting in our new state of Colorado and to mention a great upcoming contest from Easy Canvas Prints. Last holiday season we had just moved to Colorado and were living at the end of a dirt road in the unincorporated town of Pine. We cut down a little six-footer, which appeared quite tiny sitting below 20-foot ceilings. But, there was something so rewarding about having cut it down ourselves that we didn't mind. This year we wanted something a bit bigger, and without the luxury of cutting something down right out our front door with Hudson napping away in his room, we headed out in the old family car with a sled, a saw and plenty of hot cocoa and cider. Our first stop was the adorably festive Country Ace Hardware in Granby, where we picked up our $10 cutting permit. After some wrong turns on tiny country roads we found ourselves ready to begin our trek into the woods. And by trek I mean a short half mile walk on a road closed to traffic followed by another hundred yard dash into the forest to collect our perfect 9' Blue Spruce. We attempted to teach Hudson the art of the snow angel, but he wasn't too jazzed about any of it. The hot cocoa was more his thing. I snapped a few pictures to capture this new family tradition before we wrestled our tree out of the forest and onto our car for a nail biting hour and a half ride home. I'm happy to report that the tree made it back in one piece with no damage done to the car. The tree was decorated that evening, but sat skirt-less until I whipped one up last night, pictures will follow in a later post. So now I can finally get some presents wrapped since there is a finished tree for them to reside under. I'll be turning one of the pictures from this new annual tradition into a canvas as a Christmas gift for my hubby. And you can too with this great holiday contest by Easy Canvas Prints. All you have to do is upload a photo that you'd want to create on canvas and give as a gift, include a description and then spread the word via email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. so that your friends and family can vote for you! The winner will receive a $300 Easy Canvas Prints credit! And second and third place will win $100 credits. Check out their Facebook page page or blog for more details. Good luck, and happy holidays! 

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Last weekend we ventured up to Mt. Evans and Echo Lake. My mom and step-dad, Chad were in town visiting from California and we wanted to check out some of the amazing wilderness that Colorado has to offer, especially the turning of the aspen leaves. My mom has been to visit a couple of times, but Chad hadn't been here since the 70s. He's a fly fisherman and so we wanted to make sure that we got a little fishing in, which was no easy task with all the recent flooding. 

We drove up above the 10,400 feet where Echo Lake sits, and enjoyed some incredible views. The road has some very steep drop offs and is not for the faint of heart. If you have a fear of heights, this is not the drive for you. I thought my mom was going to have a heart attack. Thankfully we made it back down in one piece and got to feast our eyes on all this beauty for the remainder of the morning. Hudson "fished" for the first time, which mostly involved him dragging his pole around in the dirt.

We ended the afternoon with a little lunch in the adorable town of Idaho Springs before heading back home. I'm thankful that we got to see some beautiful foliage and enjoy the wonderful fall weather. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013


I loved reading Sydney's lovely list and was inspired to make my own. 

Making: more time for crafting, music, and creative play with hudson
Cooking: not nearly as often as i'd like, but my plans for the fall include some hot boozy drinks, various cinnamon rolls and sweet buns, root vegetables, leafy greens and some slow cooked meats
Drinking: too much coca cola! i need to stop this, but so hard when there is a soda fountain at work
Reading: Sunset and Real Simple magazines, and too many blogs
Wanting: to carve pumpkins and decorate the house for fall
Looking: ahead and planning for the rest of 2013 including the holidays (halloween being my favorite), a wedding, a trip to see my little Indy, lots of good stuff to come!
Playing: lots of new used records
Wasting: too much time in front of the TV, need to change that habit. the record player is helping
Sewing: not, but hoping to get going on some stitched christmas gifts
Wishing: the Coloradans in flooded areas a speedy and safe recovery
Enjoying: a visit from my mom and stepdad
Waiting: for my hair to grow
Liking: these wonderful little videos 
Wondering: how all these moms have time for the creativity i keep seeing all over Pinterest
Loving: all the new plants and succulents i've recently filled my house with.
Hoping: to see the aspens changing during our drive up mount evans
Marveling: at all the new things hudson is learning, like how to jump
Needing: to finish my craft area organization
Smelling: apple cinnamon tea, hello autumn!
Wearing: boots for the first time in many months
Following: too many blogs to keep up with
Noticing: that my tan is fading
Knowing: that life is moving in the direction that it is meant to
Thinking: about having a little brother or sister for hudson, hopefully sooner rather than later 
Feeling: excited for upcoming trips to san francisco and oklahoma
Bookmarking: christmas gift ideas
Opening: the blinds every morning so all my new plants can get some sunshine
Giggling: at this new fake laugh hudson has developed, which he thinks is hilarious and has me in stitches
Feeling: overwhelmed at times, but happy and loved

Monday, September 9, 2013


Since Hudson was born, I have been feeling a bit more sentimental and invested in cultivating family traditions. I wasn't close with my grandparents growing up and I wouldn't say that our family was rich with traditions that had been passed down through the generations. But there are a few that stand out. And waking up every year on my birthday to a dining room decked out with streamers, balloons, cards, gifts and a birthday sign is one of them. My mom did it all through my childhood and my sister and I  kept it going as adults after moving out of the house. I do it for Jeremy, although come to think of it, he doesn't do it for me, (hello husband, please make a note to self!) and I will now begin to do it for Hudson. It always felt like the perfect place in the house to focus birthday celebrations since it's where we start the day with cards and gifts and end the day with cake, candles and wishes. 

This coming January Hudson will turn two. I feel like this is the first year that he will understand (to some degree) the pleasure of celebrating the day he was born; the attention, the presents, the cake, the hats, the realization that this day is important and different than the others. And I want to start his big day off the way my mom and dad always did for me. But I'll probably add in some crafty homemade elements because I like that sort of thing. And thanks to BuildaSign I will also be incorporating a "Happy Birthday Hudson" sign that will be making a yearly appearance for as long as he is living under my roof. I am excited to add a new and personalized element to this long standing Gibbons and now Hulse family tradition. And I feel like this sign will last 18+ years. It's great quality and while we didn't opt for the grommets, we can certainly add our own at some point with an inexpensive grommet tool. For now I used furniture tacks to hang the sign (just to check it out since it isn't yet January) and I think they add a nice little blingy pop. 

What are your favorite family traditions? 

Disclaimer:BuildaSign did provide me with a 3'x6' vinyl banner, but the opinions I've expressed here are mine.
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