Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Arizona Biltmore...

Last weekend Ken and I had a little getaway to Scottsdale, AZ for a weekend at the Arizona Biltmore.  It was a little pre-anniversary celebration complete with sunshine, wine, and pina coladas.  It was absolutely perfect and just what we needed!

We had an early morning flight on Saturday morning and arrived to the hotel around 8:30 am.  We quickly changed and made our way to the pool for cocktails and sunshine!

It was a beautiful, blue sky day!

Ken is ready for the pool!  If you look behind Ken, there is a falconer and one of his hawks.  We talked to him for a bit and apparently the Biltmore hires him on the weekends to walk around with his hawk known as The Hitman, to scare off the birds.  The best part about this whole scenario is that after watching him all day, I told Ken that the hawk was the most well behaved creature I have ever seen and that I was shocked that he did not try to escape.  Ken looked at me and laughed and told me that the bird was, indeed, on a leash.  Yeah, I did not realize that.  We laughed about it for the rest of the day!  Innocence!

Pina coladas are one of my favorite parts about staying at the Biltmore.


Enjoying the sunshine together

Our friend Barb met us for lunch at the pool.  It has been a year and a half since we have gotten to see her, so it was amazing to catch up with her.  After lunch, we continued to get some sunshine and swim around in the pool.

Strawberry daiquiri anyone?


Ken is the only person that comes to the desert and forgets his sunglasses.  


Our afternoon at the pool was extremely relaxing.


After our pool time, we went into the Ocatilla lounge for wine and appetizers.  We had plans to get dinner, but we were full from all of the delicious snacks in the lounge.  We walked around the property before going back to our room for a little TV and an early bed time.

We woke up on Sunday and went for a long walk on the trail that runs along the canals outside of the resort.  I ran a little and then we had breakfast in the Ocatilla lounge.  During this time we learned that Ken's parents were still in old town Scottsdale so we agreed to meet up with them for lunch a little later.  We spent the remainder of the morning walking around enjoying the beautiful grounds of the resort.

The beautiful Biltmore grounds


Every US President since Hebert Hoover has stayed at the Biltmore.  Ronald and Nancy Reagan spent their honeymoon at this resort.  It is easy to see why.


More of the beautiful grounds

Bill and Linda picked us up and we went to Postino for lunch.  We had delicious wine and the most amazing bruschetta ever.


Mother's Day lunch at Postino


After lunch, Ken and I went to the pool.  We went to the Ocatilla pool for little quieter afternoon.  

Double fisting pina coladas after the bartender over made.  

After the pool, we grabbed wine and appetizers in the Ocatilla lounge and relaxed around the grounds.

Enjoying wine in the shade at the Biltmore

This turned out to be Ken's favorite picture of the entire trip.  Figures!

We decided to play mini golf on the course that is on the grounds.  Have I mentioned how much I despise golf of any type?

Ken beating me one handed.


A tall Keri shadow


Ken pretending he is on the PGA tour


My happy golfer


The next morning was more running, walking, and relaxing before we took an Uber to In-n-Out before making our way to the airport.

Better than any meal you can get at a resort!


We had such an amazing little getaway together.  Thank you Ken for spoiling me so much!



Monday, May 7, 2018

April...

Not a lot has transpired around these parts this last month.  I had a horrible patient death at the beginning of April that was really rough.  I can be tough as nails but certain things can really rock your world when you have them for six shifts and then pass away. 

Anyways, on to happier moments!

We enjoyed Easter brunch at one of our favorite local restaurants.  Mimosas definitely make me smile!

Easter tradition is for Ken and me to split one of these amazing cinnamon rolls.  A fist fight almost broke out over who could have the most frosting.  I know Ken did not used to enjoy sweets, but it seems like my sweet tooth has started to rub off on him!


We took a lot of naps when time permitted


We also "killed" a lot of mice and were pretty proud of ourselves.


Kya spent as much time outside as possible and even created her own shade under her favorite tree.  Paws crossed because she is a lady and has manners.


This is me and my favorite surgery resident, Jamal.  I mean, there is just a slight height difference!


I volunteered at March for Babies for the 11 year and had Kyle and Katelyn join me for the fun!


This might be one of my favorite pictures so far this year.  Theo creeping in the background is classic!  By the way, he got to come outside and wanted nothing to do with it.  Apparently creeping at the back door is his specialty!


We have some exciting moments coming up over the next few weeks, including lots of time off of work for vacation!  I am, of course, still training for the Leadville 100 that is coming up in August!



Monday, April 2, 2018

March...

It has been a rough winter around these parts.  We have had many frigid days along with strong winds.  That is not super conducive to do a lot outside.  Alas, we survived March.  Here are a few moments from the month.


Late night snuggles with my girl after a long shift at the hospital.  It has been a very tough flu season this year with a lot of extra hours worked.


A Monday morning with these two and Theo looks less than pleased.


Some serious isolation gear in play.  We are the smallest and tallest nurses on my unit, respectively.  Jake is my go to for getting things off of the top shelf in the supply room.  Every short girl needs a tall friend.


Kya got to run a lot of errands with mom and ride shot gun like a big girl.  I swear, she really things she is something when she rides in the front seat.


Ken and I volunteered at the 100 mile race I ran last year, the Prairie Spirit Trail 100 miler.  We volunteered over night at the Richmond aid station.  We had an absolute blast helping the runners get back onto the trail.  It was a cold and windy night for the race, but we stayed warm and toasty in our tent.  We played music and really enjoyed almost everyone that came into the tent.  We even had a few groups that started dancing to some of our Nelly and Luda.  

Smiling aid station worker at the Richmond aid station.



Chilling at Somerset Ridge with her parents and looking oh so beautiful.


We got to enjoy some intermittent sunshine, despite the horrible wind we had on Saturday.



That is a look back at March!  We have a little more excitement planned for April and May and then we are off on an adventure in June!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Leadville...

Almost a year ago, I ran my first race that was over 26.2 miles, a 100 miler.  Yes, I know, most people would have started off with a 50K or maybe a 50 miler, but I jumped to the big daddy of ultra distances.  I remember how bad my body hurt during the race and how badly I wanted to quit at 2:00 am.  I also remember how it felt to cross the finish line.  I must say, the feeling of the finish line far out weighs all of the other painful stuff.

So, when the sign up for the Leadville 100 lottery was taking place in December, I threw my name in to see if I could possible be picked.  Well, much to my surprise, I was.  I found out in January that I was selected and I get to fun the Leadville 100! 

This is the race that I have wanted to do ever since I thought of running beyond 26.2 miles.  I know it is going to be tough, but I plan on beating myself up over the next several months to be able to deal with the altitude that us flatlanders cannot train in everyday. 

My training will consist of back to back long runs, long walks straight up hill on the treadmill, hiking a 14er, and a lot of hiking on vacation.  I am so excited about this, but also a little terrified!

Super exciting!!!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

2017...

I know 2017 has been over for two months now, but it was such a wonderful year that I cannot help but look back at some of the wonderful memories!

January

I passed the NCLEX and started my job as a registered nurse in the ICU!  We went on a lot of hikes with Miss Kya to celebrate!

New Years' Day hike

NCLEX celebration hike complete with champagne



February

We celebrated Ken entering a new decade of life!

The birthday boy and his baby


March

I ran 100 miles which turned out to be the hardest thing I have ever done.  It was also the first time I had ever run beyond a marathon.

Receiving the best hug in the entire world


April


We enjoyed a lot of family time including playing frisbee golf around outside our house.  Theodore also visited the vet in his husky sized kennel.


Family frisbee golf game


Poor baby Theodore


May


I got to spend a weekend in Denver with Jennie and Lindsay.  These pretty ladies are getting married this fall and I am so excited for them!


The kitties took advantage of all of the sunshine they could get.


June

June was filled with us going on an amazing vacation to Italy and Switzerland.  We had the best weather possible complete with only 10 minutes of rain while sitting under an awning eating dinner.  We will never get that lucky again with the weather.  It was so amazing.


Lake Como, Italy


Camogli, Italy


Gimmelwald, Switzerland


Hiking to First


Hotel Obersteinberg

Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland


July


We went to St. Louis and I finally got to go to Crown Candy and have an ice cream sundae!


August


Ken completed the MR340 on the Missouri River


So proud of this guy!


September

We took our annual trip to Colorado for hiking and Kya hiked her second 14er!

Grays Peak with Miss Kya

A beautiful hike complete with aspens and rainbows

Jennie, Lindsay, and Harper joined us as well!


October

Katie and I jetted off to Portland for a girls weekend, which included me running the Portland marathon.

Cannon Beach

Marathon #12

Wine tasting

Hiking near Mt. Hood


November

We spent our Thanksgiving weekend hiking in Arkansas with Kya.

Arkansas hiking


My two cuties


December

In December we took a trip to Germany and Austria to visit the Christmas markets.  It was an amazing trip!

Innsbruck, Austria


Salzburg, Austria

Munich, Germany


Krampus

It was such an amazing trip with many wonderful memories made.  Once we got home, I darted off to Chicago with the girls for a quick weekend getaway.

Shenanigans, lots of shenanigans

The remainder of the month was spent celebrating Christmas, including taking Angel to look at Christmas lights, a Jackson family favorite!

Christmas lights for days

Christmas morning with the hooligans


2017 was one of those amazing years that surely will leave a lasting impact in our lives.  I am excited to see what 2018 has in store for us!