Once again, Ace Young has rocked my world.

I heard a few weeks ago that Ace was starring as Kenike in Grease on Broadway... and guess who wanted to go and see it? None other than the woman who practically raised him, Kathleen Lewis. I don't have to remind you people what I've been up against, right? The lawsuit, the moving, the ward party, Halloween costume sewing (rather art directing, as technically it was Amy who did the actual sewing), and planning a VERY belated b-day party for Calder. I've been running around Westchester county (and even ventured to NJ for a torturous day at Ikea) like crazy, while Nana has been babysitting. The least I could do was accompany her into the city on a Thursday evening to watch [what should have been] her 5th child on Broadway.

Everyone who knows me well will tell you: I'm not the biggest fan of NYC. I like it for an hour or two, but the hassle of getting in and out and dealing with all the people and traffic is often too much for my delicate psyche. I put off buying the tickets, secretly hoping she would forget about it and let me off the hook. I just wanted to stay home and rest. But finally on Wednesday morning, she put her foot down and the tickets were purchased (along with an attempted bribe for new black boots if I went with her. She didn't go for it... since she's buying the tickets.) We didn't have enough time to contact Ace's dad for the promised "tour of the theater" after, since they were bought just 1 day before. This was okay with me; I had already decided at best I'd get to bed by 1 that night. A tour of the theater sounded like it could push back this time by at least an hour. No thank you.

We decided at the last minute to drive instead of taking the train. A 6.30 departure time had been discussed, but during dinner Nana got distracted while telling every minute detail of Ace's life to Travis, and our time got pushed back to 6.45. We barely made it to the show on time.

But what a show it was! I was skeptical at first... but Ace was phenomenal. For reals, people. He can sing! He can dance! Wow, can he dance. He was by far the best one on the stage; the only one I wanted to watch. I'd get bored during the all girl numbers. He was super fabulous during the Greased Lightning number. I wanted to place a call to Simon Cowell to tell him he'd been wrong about Ace. I seriously think he was born to be a star.

I would have been satisfied to call it a night and head home after the show, but ooooooh no. As we were walking out one of the stage hands told another group that if they waited outside of the doors, all the stars would come out eventually, "even Ace." So guess who got to stand in the FREEZING COLD waiting for Ace to show up? 

I struck up a conversation with the groupies standing next to us to pass the time... and Nana started bragging to them about how she "taught Ace everything he knew" and how she'd "known him her whole life." Vaguely embarrassing, but then the guy guarding the stage door came out and our new best friends called him over, proclaiming that mom was basically his long lost mentor. The security guy gave her a bit of a hard time, and finally said he would take her name back to Ace. The name she sent back? "Sister Lewis!" He crossed himself and asked if she was a nun. Then he left, only to return a few minutes later saying Ace didn't know her. Ah, that part was uncomfortable. I think the people standing next to us thought she was a crazy person, but then the gleam in the guard's eye revealed something else. He was giving her a hard time, and had just forgotten her name so came back to get it. Again, "Sister Lewis. Sister Kathleen Lewis!"

Almost immediately the man returned and pointed at her, yelling, "YOU'RE IN!" It was not unlike the Price is Right; everyone around us cheered and Mom and I sprinted around the crowd to the opening in the gates. Then the man stopped, held up his hand at me, and said, "Just her!" Oops. I slunk away but Nana yelled, "SHE'S MY DAUGHTER!" (I really wish she had yelled, "Not without my daughter!!!" but I was still stoked she didn't throw me to the wolves. I was freezing.) So he caved and let me in... it must've been clear we were related because we were basically wearing the same grey coat from H&M. The only difference being I opted to not wear mine with Ugg boots and black exercise pants (which Nana claims looks exactly like silk). 

Ace was excited (or is as good an actor as he is a singer) to see Mom. He gave her a big hug, and then bequeathed one on me, pretending to remember me. He was super nice and friendly and joking around with us, and I even got this great shot of them standing on the stage with the seats behind:

I'm not exactly sure why her eyes are closed. It's not like my iPhone has a flash or anything... but still. At least Ace looks hot.

At this point, I was getting a tad uncomfortable and suggested we move our party outside, since there were tons of other people out there freezing to death in hopes of getting a glimpse of Ace up close. I lead them outside, Mom still talking a mile a minute. As we walked out the door, I went first, then Nana, who proclaimed loudly with a grand gesture, "HERE HE IS!" It was hilarious... one of those moments that plays over and over again in your head and starts you laughing. She really was the one who gave him his first break, allowing him a dancing role alongside Carrie in the ward roadshow.

I must include this part to stroke Carrie's ego. While we were talking to him, Mom jokingly referred to how she taught him everything he knows while training him for the roadshow. And Ace said, "And Carrie was the one who taught me how to get beat by a girl in basketball!" Do you love it Carrie? Are you glowing right now as you read this?

In summary, a great time was had by all. We laughed, we cried (I'm pretty sure Mom teared up at several moments during the evening...); it was better than Cats. Way, way better than Cats. And I only swore one time on the drive in, despite horrendous traffic both ways. Truly a success.

FOILED (literally) - halloween phase 2

I had everything all planned out. There are 18 Chipotles in the Denver area, but I decided trying to hit all 18 was a bit crazy for a few reasons:

1. I have a baby
2. Gas isn't free (although, prices are going down...)
3. What would we even do with that many free burritos?
4. I have a baby

So I narrowed my scope and decided to focus on 4 Chipotles. Each is with-in a mile of my house, and if I took the right route - I estimated we could hit them all in 35 minutes or so. With Brig and I both in costume I figured we could score 2 burritos per location. 8 burritos would surly be enough.

I know that the line gets longer as the day progresses (last year I waited in line for 30 minutes for my free burrito). So my goal was to hit all locations by 11:30. Chipotle opens at 11:00am, and right on schedule, I pulled into my first parking lot at 10:50am.

I walked in at 10:55am and triumphantly noticed I was the only customer. YES! I was right on track to beat the crowds!!! (I actually was a bit nervous when I left my house - what if people got there at 10:20am to wait outside and there was already a really long line? But luckily there wasn't another soul in sight. Apparently I'm the only one who waits for this event all year.)

I walked in and declared, "We've come for our free burritos!" The manager looked at me with a sad smile and said, "We don't start giving out free food until 6pm."




I looked down at Brig with a broken heart, and then slowly held him up so she could see him, "but...but...I dressed up my baby..."

She noted my crest fallen face, looked at Brig, and said, "Well...I'll give you one free burrito. Just don't tell anyone."

I sheepishly went through the line and got my pity burrito. I was so flustered I forgot to get my tortilla on the side or hot sauce. I swiftly walked to the car feeling totally ridiculous.

I was about to admit defeat and head home when it donned on me. If this super nice manager took pity on me and gave me a free burrito - wouldn't the others? I know, I know. HAVE I NO SHAME? But I really had my heart set on working my route. So I rallied my spirits, took a deep breath, and quickly sped off to location #2.

I cruised into the 2nd location feeling confident. Who can say no to burrito Brig? I hesitated for a second at the front door. Unlike the last Chipotle where I was the only customer for miles, this one already had a few eating - and a line waiting to order. At this Chipotle there might be a bit of a scene. My instincts told me to run...but...I was already there...

Just stick with your story I told myself. Just pretend you don't know about the 6pm rule.

I walked in and said, "We are here for our free burritos!"

Let me note I should have immediately noticed a difference between this chipotle staff an the last. The first group of workers were all decked out in costumes, jovially talked and laughed with one another, and gave me a big smile when I walked through the door. This new group was quite different. They were not in costume. They were not talking to each other. They were not smiling. They did not look happy.

Without even looking at me the girl pointed to a sign and said, "No free food until 6pm."

I raised up Brig and said, "...but look! ha ha. I dressed up my baby! ha ha ha." (I'm the worst actor.)

I held him up for about 10 seconds before she unwillingly looked at Brig. I kid you not, she didn't crack even a small smile. I might as well have been holding up an empty car seat. How do you not smile at a 3 month old dressed as a burrito?

She sighed and said, "Not till 6pm."

At this point it was like I stepped out of myself and was watching a scene take place in a movie. I know I should have left. Any fool would have left. But you know how once you start something ridiculous its seems impossible not to keep plugging along like an idiot?

"But, look! Look at the baby!"

She looked at the cashier as if to say Is this girl for real? And then said "Sorry. A manager would have to approve it."

At this point at least 4 other customers were watching the scene unfold. They probably thought I was homeless, or really really poor.

In a quiet, mousy, voice I actually said..."Well, can you get the manager?"

She paused for a second, and then went into the back room.

In the back I could hear chatter.
It sounded like heated chatter.
I wish I could decipher the details for you - but it was all in Spanish.

Next thing I know a MASSIVE and MEAN looking lady comes out. Is this the manager or the bouncer? She looked at me, looked at my baby and said, "trick or treaters come in the afternoon. That is why we do free food in the afternoon."

At this point I had come to my senses and wanted to run. I started to back away slowly. In an attempt to salvage a scrap of pride due to the small audience around me I said, "Ok...sorry...fair enough...it's just we have plans after 6pm...so I can't come later...but that is ok...I understand..."

I was almost to the door when she said, "What do you want?"

I paused, and then quickly placed an order. When I asked for guacamole she looked at me cryptically as if to say "you are really pushing your luck lady."

I got my free burrito and ran. I don't think a new car would be worth that humiliation...let alone a crappy six dollar burrito.

My only comfort comes in knowing Brig is too little to understand what I just put him through. When we got home he happily played with his new best friend as if it was just another ordinary day...


Today I straightened my hair.

I know. You're thrilled, right? You're thinking, "Maybe that hiatus from blogging wasn't such a bad thing. Maybe Sara's lost her touch."

But no. The reason I tell you this is because it's an integral part of my Halloween costume... I know you're all dying to see what I'm dressing up as this year. Our whole family came up with a costume idea, and then in the eleventh hour, Scout changed her mind. So now she's the only one who isn't going with the theme, and there goes my idea for a clever New Year's card (which usually is sent out sometime in March... because that's how I roll.)

Anyway, the other reason I tell you about my hair is because I think I'm going to have to blow it dry every day from now until summer. This is the reason why:
Our new house came equipped with a boiler attached to an in-demand water heater. You've heard of them, right? They're great for the environment! They only heat the water you NEED... and, as it turns out, it's also good for the earth because you take the shortest showers imaginable because your water is anything but hot. The only way I can figure out to warm up after my shower is to blow out my hair... a process so demanding and physical I always end up sweating by the time it's finally dry.

A couple days ago I confronted the situation head on: "Travis, we have to talk about the hot water situation. If I have to take one more lukewarm shower I'm going to die." We had been dancing around the subject for almost 2 weeks. Things like, "Maybe we can turn up the heat level?" "Maybe it's broken?" "Maybe someone needs to come and service the boiler?" I think we've finally come to the conclusion that we're going to have to buy a traditional water heater and redo the plumbing to the upstairs. Travis and I are simply not people who can tolerate chilly showers.

I'm not going to lie to you: It's a bit of a bummer. But at least we don't have termites.*

*We do have crickets, but I'll save that for another post. I'll try to not make it part of the Halloween post, but believe me, these crickets are SCARY.


Eye Candy

I thought I put this picture of Trav in the other post, but it didn't show up. He is always the one taking the photos of every event, and never gets to be in them. So I snapped this one of him when we got home. I love his profile... the jaw. The chin. His nose. He is the hotness, for sure.

It's been a while...

I'd like to begin by apologizing to all my fans for the long, very long, absence from posting. There was some noise over on Facebook regarding my lack of posts, and a threat to change the name of the blog to "lewisgirl"... as well as some instruction from Carrie that "two 1 line posts about Dora the Explorer do NOT count." 

I'm sorry! What can I say? Life has been crazy. We closed on our house about 3 weeks ago, and the next two weeks I supervised the floor guys and 2 painting crews, running back and forth from Palmers' house all day long. We moved in on 10.16, and then I had about a week to throw together the ward Chili-Cookie Cook Off, all while trying to find our toothbrushes and coats in a mess of boxes.

Thankfully, Saturday came and went and the party was a success (translation: no one died, there was enough food, and I didn't have a nervous breakdown). None of it would have been possible if not for Nana, who came into town 3 days early to watch Oz while I ran around town doing errands. Nana, once again you saved the day!

Here are some photos from the party... with amusing commentary for your reading enjoyment.

This is the world famous Gabby Blair, AKA Design Mom. She was my partner in crime for the big event... and without her, it wouldn't have looked as cool or been as fun. She has the best calming influence as well... every time I started to stress, she would talk me off the ledge I was standing on.

This is a shot of the party. I wish I had one of the room before the peeps arrived... we had black table cloths with candy and spiders in the middle... it looked pretty good, and was a whole lot simpler than the centerpieces of orange jello with spiders floating in it I had originally cooked up. (Thank you, LeeAnne, for not letting me go through with that!!)

Food shot. We ran out of black table cloths and had to have two orange ones. Let me tell you, you should NEVER go to Party City on the Saturday before Halloween in New York. It was a nightmare and a half.

The aprons the winners got, all tied up with black and orange bows. 

The condiments for the chili that I nearly forgot. We were halfway to the church and had to turn back for the cheese and sour cream.

The cookie table. It was Gabby's idea to put all the food out on strips of orange paper... it looked amazing.

Poor Nana had to miss the whole event. I realized the last person who could be at the party was Oz, who would be pulling things off the tables, running around like crazy, and causing mayhem... so Nana had to stay home with him. She had already picked out her outfit (something involving a sheepskin vest?) and was quite disappointed. She's only mentioned it every three seconds ever since.

I'm happy to report though that I brought her back some chili, as well as made sure she had a fridge stocked with goodies before we left. I can learn from my sister's mistakes! No Nana abuse here.


Halloween - phase 1

For our first Halloween celebration Dave and I decided to be Todd and Sarah Palin.

And here is our pet penguin, Brig.

What's that you say?
Where is baby Brig?

I'll tell you where he isn't. He isn't in his penguin costume. He has never hated anything more than that costume. He cried all 15 minutes we made him wear it. When we finally released him from penguin prison - he immediately quieted, and drooled in a content stupor for the rest of the evening. I can't blame him. He was dripping with sweat when we pulled him out.

My favorite comment of the night was, "Is that what you wear to work?"
ha ha ha.


Here comes halloween...

Brig has been hounding me to take him to a pumpkin patch. So this weekend we headed to Chatfield and went to the patch associated with the Denver botanic gardens. I'll post pics of the pumpkins once Brig gets around to carving them. He is really good with a knife.

This is your official reminder that on Halloween Chipotle gives out free food. You just have to show up dressed as a burrito - get your tinfoil ready.


According to Jim

Does anyone else hate this show as much as I do?

Actually - you probably haven't heard of this show. You have real TV, with real cable, and real shows. You aren't stuck with network TV.

Well, let me tell you a little bit about "According to Jim." It is a comedy. It is not funny. Not in the slightest. You get the picture.

Why am I bringing this up you ask? Because Dave is driving me crazy. Dave knows all too well how much I hate this show. So what does he do? The following:

Carrie gets the remote control, sits down on the couch, turns on the TV, and begins breast feeding Brig. Once I start this ritual, I'm trapped for the next 15 minutes or so.
Dave enters the room, sits next to Carrie, and engages in small talk for 30 seconds or so.
On the sly Dave grabs the remote and starts non-chalantly flipping through our 5 channels. What to watch, what to watch?
Dave turns the TV to a station playing commercials. I'm not paying attention, after all I'm focused on keeping our son ALIVE. I assume Dave has returned to the station I initially selected.
Dave yawns, stretches, and then leaves the room.
Then what you ask?
Do you see where this is going?
Then..."According to Jim" comes on.
I start to look for the remote control.
My eyes roam desperately for the remote control.
Then I realize what has happened. Dave has yet again intentionally turned on "According to Jim," snuck out of the room, house, and my life, WITH the remote control.

I'm trapped, with Jim.


Dave does this to me at least twice a week. He thinks it is the funniest thing in the world.

Retaliation is a must. Suggestions?


Back in the saddle again?

I was supposed to return to work on Friday, 10/10. Did I? No. Do you encourage ripping this sweet child from my loving arms?

I didn't think so.

Here is how things went down:

10/2 - I get a voice message from my boss. She sounds somber and wants to talk about my job. I'm sure she is going to lay me off. I strategize with Dave - what approach should I take? How might I extend my end date and maximize my severance package?

10/3 - I call my boss back and decide to go with the direct route. I ask "Is there still a job for me?" She shocks me by saying, "Definitely. In fact, I'm taking a new job. So we want you to do not only your old job, but my job too!" I explain I had hoped I could come back part time. It is clear that is not an option. After a few long pauses I make a decision. I agree to return on the 10th, and to pick up both jobs.

10/4 - I have a panic attack. I can't go back to work yet! What about little Brig!!!

10/5 - I email my boss and tell her I need to take my 4 weeks unpaid, my legal "newborn bonding time." Then I will return to work. Then I will take her job.

10/6 morning - I get a voicemail and email from my boss letting me know that won't work. If I don't come back on the 10th, neither job will be waiting for me. I will get laid off.

10/6 night - I have lots of intense, stressful, conversations with Dave. What to do?

10/7 morning - I call my boss and let her know this is a risk I'm willing to take. I really feel like I need 4 more weeks of dedicated Brig time. Maybe getting laid off wouldn't be such a bad thing. It would make a tough decision for me.

10/7 day - no word

10/7 night - no word

10/8 morning - my old boss calls me. "Do you realize if you don't come back on the 10th you will get laid off?" I say "That's what was implied..." She says "OK, I just wanted you to realize the implication of this choice." Ugh. What did I do? What was I thinking? I want my job back!

10/8 afternoon - I get a call from my current boss. They changed their minds. They have decided to keep both jobs open for me - as long as I promise to come back on November 7th. Does anyone else feel like this is a high stakes game of poker?

10/9 - the market drops yet another seven percent. There goes our savings. I'm feeling really lucky to have not one, but two jobs waiting for me.

10/13 - the market begins to rebound. Two jobs? Really? One isn't good enough?

Welcome to the roller coaster that is my life.


I'm moving...

The question is - should I move to Wyoming or Massachusetts?

I can't handle living in a swing state anymore. I've had it. Last week Denver received the 2nd highest number of political ads in the COUNTRY!

I absolutely hate watching TV. And not for the normal reasons I hate watching TV which include:

1. The fact that we are too cheap for cable, our bunny ears don't work, and so every 30 seconds or so the sound on our 5 stations phases out, and the picture goes to black and white.
2. Our new flat screen TV spontaneously turns off every 6 minutes. We have no idea why. And no, we don't have a warranty.

Those are small annoyances compared to the political ads that run EVERY FIVE SECONDS, ON EVERY CHANNEL, ALL HOURS OF THE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

These smear campaigns do nothing more than confirm my fear that both candidates are totally lame. Why don't they spend their time and money educating us on who they are and what they believe instead of vilifying their opponent?

Poor Marilyn Musgrave. If you live in Colorado - I don't need to say any more. I mean really...if half the stuff they say is true, shouldn't we just go ahead and ship her off to Guantanamo?

And when did Boulder become not only an adjective, but also a bad word? "BOULDER Mark Udall did this, and BOULDER Mark Udall did that." Should I be ashamed of my hometown?

To prove things are out of control around here, I have exhibit A:

Apparently the pre-made signs which adorn our neighbors windows, front door, and cars just aren't cutting it anymore. Our next door neighbors actually busted out the construction paper and sharpies to create THEIR OWN political campaign.

(NOTE: dear neighbors if you are reading this...we do love you. But your homemade sign cracks me up. Thanks again for the grapes - they are delicious!)

We made the cardinal mistake of having a Bush sign in our yard during one of the last elections. Being the only Republicans in a 10 mile radius, the whole community has decided to direct their campaign effort at us. SEVERAL people dropped by minutes before Barack's speech during the democratic national convention to make sure "we had the TV tuned to the right station."

And when did smear ads become 30 second horror movies? Between the dark voices, scary music, and low lighting - sometimes it takes me a second to realize it is a political ad and not a preview for a Halloween movie. I'm just waiting for someone to introduce a guy in a mask, with a chain saw, and some blood. Now THAT would get my vote.

And the last reason I've had it with this election: everyone thinks my baby's name is Trig. Thanks a lot Sarah Palin.


Walk...scratch that...RUN to your nearest LIME restaurant.

Look at how happy we are:

We are in a state of tortilla chip induced ecstasy. I'm not kidding people. The tortilla chips are out of this world. Actually, it feels like a crime to even refer to them as tortilla chips because they are SO much better than that. And the real beauty of it all? The chips and salsa are FREE! What is to stop Brig and I from going to lime, grabbing a table, and eating the free chips ALL DAY LONG EVERY DAY?

I ate there Wednesday.
I've waited a full day.
That's long enough.
I'm going there for lunch tomorrow.