Thursday, October 27, 2016

WA WA What!

 Welcome to WaWa!
A gem of the Northeast.
Maybe only fat PA women think that way.
Like me.

I knew Wawa's were moving south and one popped up in Orlando earlier this year. My mom kept her local WaWa a secret. What a sweet, sweet Surprise. I probably ate more here than my entire trip to Florida.


All these signs made me feel right at home. Memories of my childhood of growing up in Phoenixville, PA.

You can say that again. 

I knew they were waiting for me. 

I wonder around getting stares as I snap photos like a tourist. Grabbing as much as my hands can carry.


This is all you need! Great tea and some amazing chips. Sometimes if I'm lucky you can find Herr's chips at the store here, but in smaller specialty flavors. I'd stop in WaWa all the time if I had one here. Instead I have a Kum & Go. Sad face. But they have fake whip cream. Happy face. 


There are self service touch screens to order sandwiches. Of course I ordered a cheesesteak made the P-A way. No onions or peppers of course. I also got fruit and a cheese filled pretzel. Which was absolutely delicious. You can even buy pretzel rolls. 


Obviously I'm not the only one drooling over a pretzel. My husband gets one and a guy (who looks as excited as me) asks where the pretzel came from. 

Of course our sandwiches were both wrong. We had to have them remade. Either way, they were yummy. I'd post a picture but I ate it so fast! 

WaWa has seats outside, in PA it is probably nice, but in Florida that's almost punishment. 

We stopped on our way to the Beach. Obviously a storm was coming, since it was out last day. Sad face. 


Not only can you get a cheesesteak, great ice tea and amazing pretzels (rolls too), you can get any TastyKake you dream of. Obviously my Mom dreams of their pies. Recently the cupcakes have become available in Colorado. However, they are just not the same. The Krimpet icing is not even good anymore. (Who agrees with me?) Yet I'll eat almost any other kind.


Of course I had to pose with this guy. Especially since I ❤ WaWa!

I thought you needed a wide view so you can see all their amazing doughnuts. 

A little piece of Pennsylvania in Florida.

Now please come out West!

Or better yet, take me to PA or FL! 



Thursday, October 6, 2016

"Mom had a Rock in Her Neck"

Warning: Medical conditions aren't fun.


Last summer I had a large stone removed from my neck. I want to say it "was like" but "wasn't" a salivary gland stone. Because my submandibular gland was removed 8 years ago. Which means this stone must of been growing in my scar tissue all these years. What a nightmare. This will probably be the longest Blog I ever write because it was such a long nightmare.

Let's back up to 2006. Over Mother's Day my husband's Grandmother was visiting from Germany. We were all outside enjoying the warmth, we grilled out, and as I ate, my neck started to swell up and made my whole right side of my face and under my chin, swell up too. It looked like I had the mumps. It stretched my skin so tight. A few hours after eating the swelling would go down. At this point, I'm so confused. Day after day, I'd eat and swell up on the right side of my face and neck. It is always sore and starts hurting immensely with every meal. I start not wanting to eat because the swelling and pain takes me to tears. 

In 2006 there was barely any information on the web about salivary stones.
I search the internet but spun in circles. Nothing fully fit what was going on inside my body. I am living in misery. After days of searching the internet, I stumble across an article on salivary gland stones. Finally my symptoms come together and I think I figured out what's going on. 

I decide it's time to see a doctor. I called one and immediately got an appointment that day. The doctor thought it looked like I had the mumps, but since the swelling comes and goes with eating, she was stumped. I suggested salivary stones to the doctor, who  quickly left the room to google these stones. 

Back then we didn't have tablets or smartphones. Agreeing with my self diagnosis the doctor referred me to an otolaryngologist. Which is an ENT, Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor. I was scheduled to see him in 3 days. All the doctor could do was suggest I suck on sour candy to keep the gland draining. This did nothing more than make my tongue raw or back up a clogged duct even more. 


After a year the doctor said we should remove the gland. He said it would take a week to heal so we scheduled it right before spring break. After surgery I woke up miserable. I had a drainage tube and stitches in my neck. The doctor said my submandibular gland was swollen and enlarged to the size of his fist.

Three days later began the beginning of a small nightmare. The ENT "milked" my gland and was able to pop out a few stones. Instant relief would come because the gland would drain and the infection built up inside would also drain. Your salivary gland are located in many areas around your neck & face. Even behind your ears. My infection was in my Submandibular gland. This gland is located under your jaw, in your neck, the duct runs along your entire tongue and delivers saliva out under your tounge. 


Now go look in a mirror. Those two "gleeking" wholes, under your tongue, are where the gland drains. One for each side of neck. Imagine trying to squeeze a rock, with sharp jagged points on all sides, the size of a sunflower seed, out of this tiny whole. At one point the ENT had to cut the gland opening under my tongue to help the stones to "pop" out. I should of saved the stones in a little vial. Not really. Yes, Really, I'd shake them and listen to them jingle. They are calcium build up stones just like kidney stones.


For a year we maintained the constant pattern of gland back up - swelling - gland/ duct stone appearance - infection - stone removal - pain - antibiotics - which were constantly given to treat the infected gland. I think to a point I was immune to them.  After the surgery I never felt better, just worse, and by the fifth day I was told I could shower. By this time a massive infection set in and when I patted my neck dry (stop reading if you get grossed out, skip to next paragraph) puss leaked out of the incision site. Obviously it was building up since the surgery and oddly it gave me instant relief. I knew, however, it was not a good sign.


The doctor of course acted like he could not understand why an infection happened and gave me a stronger antibiotic. (Maybe incompetence or to many patients?) With in 4 weeks my infection still would not go away. I was scheduled for a second surgery.  I was depressed, panicked and giving up hope. The doctor gave me a second surgery to clean out my wound. He also removed multiple small stones. Not sure how he left them in there, Maybe the gland leaked during removal? He cut open my mouth to remove stones stuck in the duck. I could not eat for 4 days and had stitches in my mouth this time. I now "gleek" in a different direction. The gland and duct have changed shape from the surgery. 


This still didn't heal the wound. I spent the next two months going to the doctor weekly and having the wound packed with gauze. I would have to pull some out each day and cut a piece off. Or my husband would do it. It was still painful misery. And kind of gross. 


Here I am 3 months later finally pulling the last bandage off - the week before my wedding!!! I had the worst scar, it was butchered open twice and packed like crazy. What was supposed to be "a week of healing " and "you'll be just fine" turned into 3 of the worst months of my life.


Now let's fast forward to July 2015. I went to the park with our church and was in the sun all day one Saturday. I did not drink enough water at all. The next day, Sunday, we went rafting. I did not drink enough water still and decided to drink one beer. Big mistake, beer dehydrates you. I remember feeling so dehydrated but having to focus on rapids before I got a break to unstrap the cooler for water. 

As I battled through the rapids I considered drinking river water, I was that desperate. I finally got into the cooler and drank a bottle of water. However, my gland was swollen along my tongue. I knew something was wrong. It has acted up over the years, by swelling and being sore, so I took it as a warning to step up my water intake. I thought if I could drink enough water it would feel better. 

I spent a whole week drinking water to the extreme. Living in denial because I was having flashbacks to the months leading up to my wedding. What most woman spent soaking up the joy, I barely finished my semester. Failing my one and only class ever than, it was pick 3 and focus or fail all. I made it the whole week. I kept drinking water but nothing got better. I was in denial that something could be wrong again. 


By the following Saturday it was infected, swollen and puss was coming out of my duct. I knew it was clogged and there was no way I could do a thing to make it heal. There's no turning back. It was time to go to the Emergency Room. My husband and daughter went with me Saturday night to the E.R. Thankfull it was empty and we were taken right to our own room. I brought a bag of toys so my daughter would stay busy. She was more interested in them drawing my blood and how Mom is not afraid of needles. A bag of fluid and a bit of morphine started making this Momma feel better. This is the result:




I know my body and history, so it was easy to tell the E.R. doctor exactly what was going on. He sent me for a C.T. Scan.


See the lima bean looking white spot under my teeth? That is a giant salivary stone which formed and/or grew in my scar tissue. The doctor told my husband it was the size of the tip of his finger. He even told me " you sure know my body", because you were exactly right"! Now if every doctor would listen to those of us who listen to our bodies. We could save millions in healthcare expenses. I'm the queen of medical bills. That's a whole other post. (Longer than this one!) 

I had my 2 surgeries in 2007 at Memorial Hospital. I wonder if it was a snip happy doctor or a dirty operating room. This time my hopes are up because I will be seeing the ENT for St. Francis Medical Center. Then I see the name on the paper, it's the same ENT from before. Ugh, he switched hospitals and is the only surgical ENT on board. I start praying. 

I got to call the hospitals ENT office first thing in the morning on Monday. They say I can't be seen till Tuesday even though the E.R. referred me. By now I'm in so much pain, swollen and ready to drive myself to the E.R. My beautiful friend Laura says she will meet me there. I pull in the lot and this Amazing woman tells me we are going to the ENT's office first. She's a mom of 7 and if I can remember correctly, the grandmother of 15. She is not going to take No as an answer. We go sit in the ENT's office until I am seen. She goes to the desk many times to push me in. It works. 

I am seen by the doctor. Who is met with a "remember me" ( your worst nightmare) half cry, half smile. He scheduled me for surgery the following morning. He is shocked again that it was growing all this time and says a slight movement could of caused all these problems.
 Yet my mind keeps thinking how he caused all these problems. 

Luckily I wake up from surgery with out a tube in my neck. I praise the Lord. I don't know if mentally if i could of handled that again. My recovery may need to be at Cedar Springs if that was the case. My mouth however is swollen and sore. The ENT was able to push the stone out of an incision in my mouth under my tongue. He cut along the duct and lifted it up to dig out the stone. I was told I could not eat for 9 days. 

DID YOU HEAR ME? 9 long hungry days! Did he not realize he told a metformin taking fat girl not to eat. I learned for the first time talking burns calories and energy. There were moments I would sit in silence because it took to much energy to talk. I drank broth and milkshakes. I have not drank one shake all summer or maybe ever because it reminds me off this week and tastes gross now. So many times I thought I'd pass out from low blood sugar. Did he not read my chart? I take metformin and had blood sugar crashes constantly. Fat girls can't not eat? I did lose ten pounds but gained 15 back because it was lost from starving myself. 9 days later I as given the clear.

I think my healing was different for two reasons. I had a daughter to get better for. I felt guilty everyday of recovery, especially when I could not let her bang or play music. I felt guilty it was summer and we could not go play. I felt guilty I did not have someone to watch her some for me so she wasn't stuck inside with me. Best of all, I know God was not letting me go through this alone. I knew I woke up in recovery with Jesus holding my hand. None of these things were with me through the past surgeries. I now know a little faith has taken me a long way. 

Imagine the collection of stone pictures I would have if I could access my medical results online. I had at least 4 CT scans and an x-ray the first go around. The scan above is a photo I took with my cell phone. We pay for these services, we deserve unlimited access to our results. I'd like to compare them. I wonder if I had another CT done today, could another stone be lurking in the dark (scar tissue)?

Till next CT scan......


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Passports & Photographs

We did it. 
We applied for passports. 
We are going back to Germany. 
Did you read that? 
We are going back to Germany!!

The place I called home, met my husband, and first visited at 4 years old. My parents lived in Germany following their wedding, it was my Dad's first duty station. It is a place they hold dear to their hearts just as I do mine. My mother in law was born and raised in Germany as well as my husband. It lies deep in all our hearts. 

We got a great deal on a flight and would like our daughter to meet her extended family. It is time for her to begin the love for Deutschland, just as her Mother and Father do. She already knows it is a special place.
(The place her Mom & Dad fell in love.)

To go anywhere outside the United States you should have a passport. When you apply for a passport you have to get your photograph taken. You can do this at most post offices that process passports or your local drug store that develops film. We needed two photographs each. I'm not sure why you need 2? They only ask for one and they cost $6.50 each. Which is pricey for a tiny head shot.

Here I am at 4 years old happily posing in my passport photograph. My daughter looks much prettier, she is 4 as well. 

The upside:
We have the cutest passport photos to compare since I was able to keep the spare as a keepsake.

The downside:
I'm reminded that it has been a long time since we got had ANY family photographs together. 

So long that my daughter was half the age she is now. I promised I would not miss a year and I did. Then my brain remembers, all over again, how I'm the only married woman with no wedding pictures. Moms, sisters, best friends, cousins, and ANY wedding guest, please, I beg you, make sure the Bride has a photographer! 

I will always regret not having a photographer. Pass on the limo and get the photographer. The photographs I have are horrible. Everyone is looking at another camera. The "friend" who stepped up with his fancy camera and said he would shoot all our photographs. However, he
NEVER SENT THEM TO ME!!

Not even one.
Big mistake.
Don't depend on a "friend" who lives out of state to take the  pictures of the happiest day of your life. Just don't depend on a friend at all. Hire a photographer. Take it from the girl with NO wedding albums. You can't get a do-over. No matter how hard I wish for it. It's never going to happen.

This really got me thinking. I MUST do family portraits. Passport photos should not be passed out to family. Missing a year took away my "Mom of the Year" award. I really want to earn it back. I decided I'd look for a professional photographer and strolled across an amazing, very talented one in Corpus Christi, Texas. These photographs on this site blow my mind. LJ Photography has some of the most beautiful photographs I ever seen. Absolutely stunning.

I can only imagine what she could capture here in Colorado. If only she was nearby. I would have booked an appointment immediately. Maybe my next trip should be to Corpus Christi? I think a trip a month would be an excellent plan.







Thursday, September 1, 2016

Social SECURITY?

I wish someone warned me.
Who knew I was about to go through metal detectors? 

I have put off replacing our missing security card for years now. They are hidden in the folds of a book somewhere, laughing at me.

First off, to get a child's Social Security Card replaced you will need proof of identity and a birth certificate. Since they don't have a driver's license or student i.d. yet this can be challenging. To solve this you can easily get an identity form from your doctor. Good thing my doctor is helpful, smart, and has a great staff. They easily added her photograph to a biography sheet which the doctor stamped & signed. Perfecto.

If you are like me you want your ducks in a row. You do not want to leave any chance of making a repeat trip. Maybe a toddler Mom puts extra effort in to this because lugging a toddler around is a bit challenging at times. Glad my gal is patient and sits nicely in her stroller. 

Not all cities have a social security office. They are probably the lucky ones. About 10 US states can apply & replace online. Of course Colorado is not on the list. 

Upon arrival, I pull into a empty parking lot. However the office has been open 30 minutes and the line is around the front of the building. 

(See the fun look on my face)

I feel like I'm at the DMV. If any of you have lived in Colorado Springs for at least ten years you should remember when we had one DMV. Back then you came at 7 am and the line wrapped the building. This was just the line to get in. The seats would be filled and the line would be long.

At the Social Security office the line was caused by the classic incompetent "Rent-A-Cop" complex man, who has been given authority at the metal detector. The seats are empty yet we are standing in line like prisoners. I'm really glad to see my tax dollars hard at work.

I wait 45 minutes to finally make it through the tiny lobby into the building. I have my child in a stroller. One with cup holders. I have her milk in one and my coffee in another.


 I felt like I was taking an international flight. My bags were searched. My silver bracelet and fit bit were asked to be removed. (Which I honestly said I WANT THEM BACK) My coffee was inspected. Since my cup was a POP TOP not a SCREW ON, it was not allowed. Everything was based on what cup I picked this morning, obviously the wrong choice. There is a trashcan right outside. We can both see it through the window. I ask if I can pour it out and was told I can not bring in an empty cup!? Are you kidding me?

First off I have a medical condition which leaves me carrying a drink and snacks at all times. (Except that one time my blood sugar was crashing and I dug through my daughter's diaper bag and chowed down on two lollipops so I didn't pass out. Mental Note: Do not to eat blue candy before attending grown up events.)

Secondly, this cup is a Tervis Tumbler. They are the nicest and priciest cups on the market. You are not taking my Tervis. He never checked my daughter's cups. So I can bring in two milk cups but not an empty cup? However based on his explanation you can bring a cup of acid with a screw top and a bottle of vodka. But he was so fixated on my coffee.

I'm very angry at this point, and my mouth loses its filter. That southern girl inside decided to surface. I called him an idiot and I'll take my cup to my car before I'll let his grubby hands touch it. I don't recall much between my car and waiting back in line. Except the part I told my daughter how sorry I am for the country she will be left with. That we are a backwards nation which takes care of the wrong people, and this is the kind of crap our tax dollars are paying for. If this is an example of our government then I give up all hope. As I wait back in line I can't understand anything because I have two Russians yelling to each next to me. All's I can think of is Svetlana from Shameless. At least that gives me a bit of a giggle.

Here we go again. One more time. Again, he never checks my daughter's 2 cups. One is in my bag. Next time disguise your cup with Stickers or just let your kid hold your coffee. (Of course not burning hot people) Because you can bring any liquid in a kids cup. Paint, pee, anything. Awe. Is this a flaw? Did the want-to-be He-man d.b. Rent-A-Cop miss something? What about terrorists using thier kids now? You're so big and bad but you're nothing but a security guard and careless. My daughter's stroller is never checked, nor is it pushed through the metal detector. Didn't you just make a big deal over my coffee? Yet you now are so careless you missed so much. Next time I'll strap my coffee to her waiste or under my stroller. If you're not checking my stroller, couldn't someone sneak a gun in on one of thiers? No longer does thier metal detectors have a purpose if they don't even use a wand on a stroller.

Wait, coffee is the objective here. Not personal security.  It just goes to show that his cares were to rid me of my coffee and not fully check my items. Good thing you are not part of our REAL homeland security because you sir are an epic failure at security checking. Do not pick and choose. Check everything.  You take five minutes a person and let a stroller go unchecked? Priorities for safety are not a Rent-A-Cops priority, coffee is.

 How many Rent-A-Cops does it take to work a medal detector? 2. One to look through your stuff (plus be a jerk) and one to lean on the wall, arms crossed, doing nothing.

I am SO glad I did this now so my daughter will NEVER have to go through this process in the future. What's next, full body scanners, cavity searches?

However, Equestrian girls came in handy and kept my daughter busy.

 I waited less time, from start to finish replacing my card, than I did in the metal detector line. Pretty pathetic. Good ol' Government Agency. 

I suggest bringing a pen. They have no pens. Because we all want to go there to steal pens. So I was happy to loan out two pens to be helpful. It was the least I could do for the process we endured entering the building. 

Next step, passports! At least the post office doesn't use metal detectors (yet).

All opinions are my own. I will never return to a social security office again. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Luau Birthday Summer Party Theme


Aloha!
Upon entry to my daughter's birthday you were supposed to "Get Your Luau On". However, it happen to be the hottest day of the year and no window unit in the world would beat the sun that day. Unfortunately, NO one wore a lei, since it just made thier necks sweat more. So only about 3 of us dressed up and were good sports. Hot or Not, this Mom stayed dressed up!


My sister in law made me a coconut tree. She's very artistic.


Photo Spots!
Here is a Selfie with my sister in law.


Here's my Mom's famous cake and her delicious icing. I think she needs to make me a cake. I think I'll text her. 


I made these with both fruit shaped candy and real fruit. They were a huge hit! I wish I had a side by side shot! We started eating the fruit ones before I could get a photo! The menu also consisted of beef and shrimp kabobs.


Here's the happy birthday girl! All the kids got spill proof pineapple cups. I previous washed and dried them. They were able to take them home as part of thier goodie bag. 


I took apart a few Dollars store lei's and hot glued them on a cardboard number 2 I cut out. Afterwards I hung the number in her room as a keepsake. Here's her dessert table.

 

A luau party is fun and simple to do. 


Glenwood Hot Springs Pool and Lodge

Welcome to the heart of the Rockies! I always imagine being a pioneer and taking a wagon across this crazy terrain. I would of just settled in the plains. Actually, I would of settled in the exact town I live in now. They were very brave and a bit nuts. I am nervous just driving I-70 westbound, some parts are pretty tight and semi trucks are everywhere. I think a semi truck driver is brave as well. I would never take a semi or a wagon through the Rocky Mountains. No thank you.
I say this every time I cross the Colorado Rockies.

Isn't it just breathtaking? One reason I live here.

Our journey began at 4:30 am, due to a rock slide on I-70. They were down to two lanes, on one side, and closing Glenwood Canyon at 9 am. We needed to make it through before 9 am. It has been a good 8 years, since I have been so far west. It was lightly snowing through a few parts of I-70 but otherwise the weather was great for a road trip.

When I first met my husband in Germany, downtown Heidelberg, there is a tunnel. We had a little thing where we would hold our breaths the entire time we drove through for luck or to make a wish. So for every tunnel we talked about this memory and if we could hold our breaths. We laughed that the tunnels are so long we would pass out, there was one small tunnel we were able to hold our breaths through. It was a great start to our first date together. By first date, I mean our first night alone with out our daughter since she was born! She is almost 4.
I did good. I tried to focus on my husband and our time together.


Tunnels creep me out. They really do. I do not like the ones that go under water like on the east coast. I also do not like giant bridge like the one over the Mississippi River. I also do not like sitting on any bridge in town when stuck in traffic. Especial over a creek or the highway. I know I am weird.


We made it through Glenwood Canyon just in time. They were closing down both sides of the highway. The West bound lane of  I-70 was closed due to a massive rock slide. More like a boulder slide, why don't we just call it as it is? A semi truck was demolished from a picture I saw on line. Of course that had me a bit nervous. I will worry about anything and everything. 

As we drove I saw where the West bound lane had the guard rail missing. I assume that was the spot the slide happened. Even in my town we have rock slides. But never like this. Once we got through the pass and cell reception was back, I contacted our hotel to confirm we had made it through the pass. We made good timing with almost an hour to spare. 


Once we arrived in Glenwood Springs we decided to go eat breakfast and get some coffee. We decided we would go skiing and then check into the hotel. So we headed out to Sunlight Mountain Ski Resort. This would of been our first time skiing. Ever. We are mostly into summer activities. (Except my husband will fly-fish year round!) The weather was just so warm and beautiful, we checked it out, but decided to head to our hotel. It was going to be 58 degrees that day. Not the kind of weather for first time skiers. (I gifted the tickets to my cousin, who loves snowboarding) 

The Glenwood Springs Hot Springs Hotel will let you check in early, when available. We were really hoping to check in early & hit the hot springs pool. Jackpot, just around 11 am we checked in. Score! 

The rooms were small but perfect for a night or two. Four adults would be crowded but a family with 2 kids would fit great. They had a microwave, coffee maker, and mini fridge. We also had a small balcony, it was nice to sit outside and relax. We at the very end of the hallway and I would love the exact room again. I did not hear entry way doors slamming all night or morning. 

We mostly drove over to the pool, instead of walking. It was cold and we did not want to walk back wet.  To enter your have to walk all the way to the front and enter near the gift shop. This is on the far right side of the building. However, you can exit in the back off the pool and cross the street to the hotel. You have to check in through the front, give your room number, and you will receive towels. There are lockers if you need them as well.

To go into town you had to cross the Colorado River on a temporary bridge due to construction. It was pieced together and very creepy. I already mentioned my fear of bridges. I started to panic and told my husband I have to get off of here and left him behind as I did a power walk like a mad woman to get off ASAP! I thought maybe I should just cross the river to get back. That would be less scary in my mind.

The way the highway squeezes through this teeny town. Glenwood Springs just blows my mind how this town is squeezed in this little valley opening. Wyatt Earp lived and died here. There is a bar that marks the spot. It has a very little down town. 

 However if you head off to the west, there is a small polish place called Polanka Polish Restuarant. It was closed or we would of eaten there. They had a sign for home made Haluski. I am part Hungarian. I actually make this dish at home. Well, my husband does. Ha! We think we saw Polanka walking across the bridge. That gave us a lot of laughs. 


We walked around downtown and eventually found a great little steakhouse called Juicy Lucy's with a view of our hotel. It had Amazing service and an amazing lobster enchilada!Did I say Amazing service!!! I give our waiter 10 stars! He was what made the meal. However it was a bit pricey. When looking at this photo you would never know just to the left is a giant crane. or managed to shoot the photo and avoid getting the crane in the photo or the workers. 

Sitting at the table was this beautiful flower.


And this handsome man.

I'm a lucky, lucky lady!

Back to the hotel we go. We can't get back into the pool any faster! 

I imagine this is what Heaven is like. Heaven has to be filled with hot springs. It was 58 degrees the first day we swam in the pool. It was so nice and sunny. We both got sun burned a little on one side. So remember to wear sun screen. Cold out or not. If the suns out you will burn. High elevation sun is nothing to joke about. I am trying to avoid the sun at all costs. 

That night the temperature went down to 38 degrees. The steam that comes off the hit springs at night is like being in a sauna. Especially in the hot pool. 


This Hot Spring Pool is at an amazing 98.9 year round. It truly had healing properties. I had a swollen finger that I could not bend for a few days on and off. After a day in the pool my finger and joint were no longer swollen. 

There was a very hot pool at 104 degrees. It felt so good. However, you should not stay in for more than ten minutes. The amount of steam rising because of the cold temperature also made it almost sauna like. There were weird metal chairs in the hot pool, where you could pay with quarters to turn on bubbles. Every so often the maintenance guy would come by and turn every chair on. Its like being in a HOT hot tub. 

I never wanted to stay in a pool for so long, it was very hard to get out to go home. I wanted to stay another night, maybe even forever. My husband agreed with me. It felt amazing. It was amazing! 

Glenwood Hot Springs is the longest Hot Springs Pool in the world. It was like swimming a football field. It was majestic. There are lap lanes and even a diving board. 
The slides were not open, but I got an email today that they have opened for the 2016 season.

The following day was not as nice. The clouds had moved back in. This makes no difference at Glenwood Hot Springs. That morning while we swam, it snowed on us. Just flurry's. I felt as if I accomplished a bucket list item by swimming in snow.

This trip was amazing. Enjoying the Hot Springs was a perfect way to spend a date night with my husband. Did I mention it was our first night away from our daughter. We missed her like crazy but the time together was long overdue.

The source was fenced in but they had a small pool at the original temperature to keep the curious crazy ones out. This was were you would gag, as you walked by. If the win blew the steam at you, your stomach will turn. Sulfur is horrid like rotten eggs, for those who never smelled it.

My husband put his had it. It was filled with rocks and only meant to dip toes in to. I was okay with what I already smelled, so I stayed back and upwind. The source was 122° 

The main source is dangerous and completely closed off. They probably created the small tiny 122° pool so people would stay out of here. 

Check out time was noon. If you like you can spend that entire day at the pool, even after checkout. Sadly, We left the pool around 11:30 am to take quick showers and then check out. It was very hard to leave the hot springs pool. I did not want to get out. I was thinking of all kind of ways to stay another night. Knowing we never would.
We constantly talk about returning AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

 We had easy in-room check out and hurried out to hit the road. We had a long drive ahead. My husband napped while I drove since he got up early to fish the Frying Pan. I had to drive through tunnels. Eeek!
I was excited to see my daughter and 2 crazy dogs waiting for us at home.

I give the whole trip 5 stars!

I definitely will return. Glenwood Hot Springs Pool and Hotel tops my list of places in Colorado you must visit! 

A little piece of me never wanted to leave.





Wednesday, May 25, 2016

PicturesOnGold.com - Make This Summer Birthday Special - Sterling Silver Heart Locket


I received this amazing opportunity to review a BEAUTIFUL Sterling Silver 2-Picture Heart Locket from Pictures On Gold! I was so excited to create this locket using their “Build Your Own Locket” technology! This is such a unique process. It is done in real time, and can be created on any Mobile Device or Desktop. It was extremely simple. I designed and ordered my heart locket right on my smartphone! My phone has all my pictures, so it made it really convenient to upload current photographs.


The very first step I took when creating my locket was to add clip art. There were so many choices. I could sit here for hours thinking of a million different ways I can design the front. I started looking in the "Mother's Day" section because I wanted something that perfectly depicts my daughter and I. This was too perfect!



Next you can upload any photo you like, starting with the left side. You have the ability to zoom in or out and make the photo larger or smaller. This process was very easy from my smart phone. I added 2 photos. One of my daughter and one of my daughter with her father. I will eventually pass the locket down to my daughter so I wanted to include her Daddy into the keepsake of this beautiful piece of jewelry. 



I decided I would put the words I sang when I was pregnant, as I patted my belly, so my daughter would know my voice. "Sadie Momma's Baby Girl" was engraved on to the back. I was able to space it out an it appeared on the locket in real time. This whole process was amazing. In 15 minutes I  designed a beautiful locket, that I just love! It will be a nice heirloom to pass down to my daughter. 

Finally, I chose the 16 inch Sterling Silver Box chain with a Lobster Claw.
I hit preview, to make sure my locket looked perfect, and submitted my order.
The locket ended up prettier than I could of ever imagine. 


The step-by-step process is so easy I am sure my Mom could design one. That is saying a lot since I am lucky she knows how to answer her smart phone.  It is so easy and fun, you should order one for yourself, your Mom, Wife, Sister, Cousin, Grandma, Friend, or Me. (Just Saying) This would make a great surprise anytime, but especially on my Birthday! 

I know A WHOLE LOT OF YOU have Birthdays in the next few months! Maybe you should email, tweet, or share this on Facebook with your husbands. Wink, Wink. 

Visit Pictures On Gold today and get started building your own sterling silver heart locket NOW! 

I received this locket free of charge in return for my honest review.