Posted by: thecoloradan | May 30, 2012

on the field

So last night I went to the Rockies/Astros game for Memorial Day. It was really fun! I got the “rock pile” (aka cheap) tickets and spent half the time in the bar. No, I wasn’t drinking but it was less crowded and had a slightly better view. But the BEST part of the game was afterward. They had a fireworks show for the holiday and lucky for me, the rock pile seats were in the debris zone. Why lucky you ask? Because that meant we HAD to go down onto the field to watch the fireworks. That’s right- I spent part of my evening on a professional baseball field. Pretty awesome. The Rockies won in the 10th inning, the fireworks show was AWESOME, and I crossed a “first” off the list. Not that it was ever on the list but who cares? IT ROCKED!

Posted by: thecoloradan | May 23, 2012

where’s the okra?!

There are quite a few differences between Oklahoma and Colorado. Obviously. I mean, I have a huge metro about 15 miles south of my apartment and a gorgeous mountain view outside my kitchen window. But there are some other things I’ve started to notice, and they aren’t all good! (But most are)

First of all, we went to eat bar-b-que the other night, and while it was delicious, there was no fried okra! I mean seriously. They didn’t have white gravy for the mashed potatoes either. A travesty really. But I must say, Famous Daves is super delicious anyway, so if you happen to be in Colorado, feel free to take me to dinner. They’re mac-n-cheese (also different, it had corn in it) was some of the best I’ve ever had and I could go for another batch of those chili cheese fries!

And you know what else? When you go to a Mexican food restaurant, you have to PAY for queso. And sopapillas. It broke my heart, because we all know those are two of the best things at a Mexican restaurant. I realized later that it was that way when I lived in Texas too, but I don’t care. Now I want Pablano Grill’s sopapillas.

Another difference: liquor stores. For starters, I went to one on a Sunday. I had to get some wine as a gift. Not only was I there on a Sunday, but the wine was in the refrigerated section. That’s right- you can get cold booze on a Sunday. Shocking!

I’m sure I will find many more little differences in my new home state and I will be sure to keep you updated. Maybe we can find something together!?

Posted by: thecoloradan | May 20, 2012

the first month

My first full month in Colorado was not exactly what I expected. I imagined myself making all these new friends at work, finding a local church to attend (where, of course, I would make even more friends) and exploring the newness. Instead, I was treated terribly at my job, made no friends, and became something of a recluse. Here’s how it really went…

Work: I walked into my new branch with high hopes of friendship like that of all the previous places I’ve worked. Some of my most wonderful friendships started at work. But this was not the case. I was treated with more disrespect than I have ever experienced before. I’ve never encountered a situation where I was totally ignored- we’re talking people stood in front of me and had a conversation without including me. I’ve never been treated as if I was so stupid- anytime I asked a question because it was different than how we did things at my branch in Oklahoma, I was spoken to like an idiot and given dirty looks. There were times when I had to squat down behind the counter and force myself not to cry. I took that for about 3 days before I called in and quit. Then I talked to the district manager who tried to convince me to stay. It worked- I decided I would try it for a bit more. I gave my two weeks the next day. If you know me at all, you know that I am not normally this irrational. Especially when it comes to something like money, but it was so bad I decided I would quit without another job in place. Luckily, within the next couple days I lined up another job (with less hours and way less pay but hey, it had to be better!) I now work at Starbucks (again) and I was right, it is much better. The people are friendly and outgoing and fun to work with. But I still haven’t really made any friends there. Hopefully with time, a few of them will become the type of friends that you actually hang out with outside of work.

Church: This is something I am still struggling with. I asked my former youth pastor for suggestions on churches up here that might be similar in theology to ours. He made a few and I decided to try out one in downtown Denver called “Fellowship Denver”. First of all, it is nothing like the church I grew up in. This place has hipster written all over it. The first week I was there the pastor asked how many people were between the ages of 20 and 29. About 99% of the congregation raised their hands. Looking around I didn’t see any families or older couples. It was all people in their mid 20s wearing jeans and t-shirts. Now I’m not judging- it was just so different! I also noticed that if I wanted to meet people, I would have to do all the work. And I’m not there yet. I go by myself everyday and really haven’t met anyone yet. I went to a newcomer’s lunch, but even then all the newcomers were couples or knew a person that already attended. I was all alone. And I’ll admit, I haven’t helped myself any. I haven’t stayed after church gets out and tried to meet people. The environment is totally different- they have Sunday worship and then fellowship groups (different groups that meet one night a week at people’s houses). No Wednesday night church, no agape feasts, not youth trips. I can’t decide if I should keep attending the church (the teachings are really good so far and they are just now starting a brand new book to study so I could actually see a whole series through) or if I should try a church in the suburb of Denver that I live. See if it’s a little more “my type”. Any thoughts?

Colorado: There isn’t much I can tell you yet about what there is to do here. Because I haven’t done much yet. Daddy bought me some hiking boots, but I haven’t gone hiking yet- the idea of going out in the mountains alone scares me. I’ve made a commitment to myself to get out of this apartment more and try new things. Starting soon there will be all kinds of festivals going on- art, music, wine, food, beer. I think I am going to buy a cheap-o bike and start riding. Moving here was so much more difficult than I thought. I in no way regret my decision but I was a lot sadder than I thought I would be. I missed my family. I missed my friends. I missed knowing that if I got bored, I could text Katelyn and we would go to Outback, order our usual and talk. Now I had no one to go with and no one to talk to.

I am determined to see all this city has to offer. I’m determined to find a church home. I am determined to make friends. Because even though it has been so much harder than I thought it would be, I don’t regret my decision or think I made the wrong choice. I have still accomplished my goal to move to Colorado. And now I have a new one- make a life in Colorado.

Posted by: thecoloradan | May 13, 2012

happy mama’s day


Everyone says they have “the best mom ever” but in reality, the only two people who can truthfully claim that are Nate and I. Our mom IS the best. I miss her so very much. I’m not positive, but I think this is the first year that I haven’t been there to celebrate with her. To hug her and thank her for being so wonderful. Sending a gift through the mail just isn’t the same. I got a text yesterday with a picture of her opening her gift (Patrick and mom celebrate together since his birthday is always so close to mother’s day). It made me tear up because I wasn’t there. Let’s just say being apart from my family is the number 1 con of living in Colorado.

I hope she knows how amazing I think she is. How much I love our “tv dates”. How great it is that I can call anytime and vent about my day. That she always listens and encourages me. That she tells me the truth, even if it isn’t always what I want to hear. That she loves me no matter what.

I can’t wait to see her. I love you mama.

Posted by: thecoloradan | May 8, 2012


Friday is my stepdad’s birthday. And I want to share something about him that people who know him may not realize. He is one of the most patient and kind people I’ve ever met. He’d have to be to wait, oh, I’d say about 10 years for me to stop being such a brat and holding everything against him. To wait for me to realize that he was not the reason my “life sucked” (which by the way, it didn’t. But that’s what teenage girls think).  Let me explain.

My parents divorced when I was three years old. I was so young, I can’t even remember a time when they weren’t apart. I was also really young whenever Patrick entered the picture. To be honest, I don’t remember much from that time- who really does? I remember things from pictures. I have a picture of Patrick teaching me how to ride my pink bike. I have random memories- not being able to pronounce his name, him “flying” me down our long hallway. But not much else. When I was almost 8, mama and Patrick got married. I remember that. I was so excited- I was the flower girl. I still have the basket.  I remember being happy about it.

Anyway, I don’t know when it was exactly, but at some point, I decided I just wasn’t having this whole “step dad” thing. I think it was around the time we moved from Texas to Oklahoma. Yep, that had to be it. It was all his fault. I blamed him for “ruining my life!” because HE moved me from all my friends (none of whom I kept in touch with so that obviously wasn’t as big a deal as I thought it would be). HE moved me to this stupid town where there was nothing to do. HE did it! But of course, when things started to look up, when I secretly started liking the place, I didn’t give him any credit. I didn’t care that we were so much better off financially in Oklahoma. That mom seemed happy and was making friends. I was just so very angry at him. It’s funny what you do remember- the things that stick with you. We’d had a fight. I was probably 15 or 16. And he looked so sad and asked me “Dani, why do you hate me so much?” I just stood there and stared at him for a minute, and then quickly said “I don’t hate you” and stormed to my room. I’m sure I slammed my door, I always did that. And it wasn’t until much later that I realized, that I finally put it together and it still haunts me: I treated him like I hated him. I was so horrible to him, he literally thought I hated him. But he loved me anyway.  He took care of me anyway.

I slowly started to see what my mother saw. What everyone saw. He takes care of us. He loves my mom so much- sometimes they literally gross me out with their mushiness.

He waited for me to get out of my bratty phase (I say bratty but we all know I mean another B word), for me to grow up. Eventually I did. I wrote him a letter apologizing for the way I treated him. And thanking him for moving us to Oklahoma because there are so many things I would not have without that move. I wouldn’t have fallen in love with Jesus. I wouldn’t have met the girl that I consider my best friend and practically my sister. I wouldn’t have experience true love and heartbreak. I thanked him for treating my mother so well. And for loving Nate and I like his own. I hope he knows now how much he means to me and how much I love him. And now you all know how patient and kind he is.


Posted by: thecoloradan | May 2, 2012

the prologue

The story of how I came to live in Colorado is a LONG, somewhat painful, and deeply personal story. So I’m going to skip ahead to the summer of 2010. At this point in my life, I was separated from my then husband (that’s the painful and personal story I might share later) and starting my life completely over. I had never before had to make my own way. I had to pay my own bills and budget my time and money. I had to choose groceries over restaurants and electricity over new clothes. I realize that everyone eventually goes through this, and 22 isn’t necessarily all that late in the game. A lot of people stay at home through school or get married at a young age, so I know this isn’t anything new and profound. But it was difficult!!  It still is. (Just today I had to look into new car insurance and man, that stuff is expensive!) Anyway, while all of this is happening, I started my last semester of college. By this time, I had realized that while I loved my major, it wasn’t exactly going to be taking me places. Humanities is fun and interesting and not all that surprisingly, practically useless. Well, if you know me at all, you know I was FREAKING OUT about what to do with my life. I decided to look into grad schools for history or education. I mean, I had always wanted to be a teacher, so why not? Plus, I was good at school, and staying there meant delaying any other major decisions. While searching, I discovered the University of Colorado at Boulder and decided to take a trip in October. And what should happen?

I FELL IN LOVE. With the campus. With the state. With the beauty of God’s creation that I swear is only magnified here. I was smitten.  And then I saw how much out of state tuition would be. I was heartbroken.  It costs more in one semester of grad school at CU than I paid for my entire bachelor’s degree. I knew I could never pay that kind of money to go to school. I 100% believe that education is worth the cost. I truly do.  But I personally couldn’t allow myself to take on that much debt. I grew up in a home surrounded by debt. My mother took care of two kids on her own for a long time and we struggled. And I saw what it did to her- and I couldn’t do that for something that I saw as… frivolous. My mother did what she HAD to do to take care of us and I am so grateful and proud that she did. But I didn’t HAVE to go to school there. Who am I to take on thousands of dollars of debt and possibly bring that into a future family for something that I wasn’t sure of? For something I decided to do on a whim. For something that was unnecessary. No matter how I could have justified it, it wasn’t something that I felt comfortable with and I know now it wouldn’t have been the right thing to do. And truth be told-I was more in love with Colorado than with the program or the school anyway. I didn’t need to go to school there to LIVE there!

So it was decided then and there that I would just move to Colorado. So simple. Only not!  It took me over a year of saving, planning, searching, and praying to get here. I had no idea what I was going to do when I got here. I didn’t know how I was going to afford to live in a place with such a higher cost of living. But I was determined. Finally, about 6 months ago, I was informed that I had to be out of the house I was renting by January. I had to move out and I took that as a sign. If I had to find a new place to live anyway, why not just find a place to live in Colorado instead. Again, not as simple as it sounds. First, I had to find a job there and so far that had proved…impossible. But to my surprise, a position opened up within the company I worked for in the exact area I wanted to be. I applied and interviewed. I beat out 5 other internal applicants and was offered the job. I accepted without hesitation, knowing it was the right decision. I had been praying for so long and everything was lining up. I even had to opportunity to live rent free for a few months, saving up all the money I needed for a u-haul and gas. My friend Shannon’s roommate needed to move out and within one week of accepting the job, I had a place to live. And if was cheaper than anywhere I had seen so far online!  It was all settled within two weeks of applying for that job.

Surprisingly enough, I had no reservations about the move. I was calm and confident. I finished my last day of work on a Wednesday and moved into my apartment in Colorado on Friday. I had finally done it. I had a dream, I made it a goal, and I accomplished it. Friday March 30th– the day my dreams came true.

Posted by: thecoloradan | April 30, 2012

hello friends

Well, I’ve officially jumped on the bandwagon. A few friends suggested that I should do a blog about the goings-on of my new life in Colorado. And I thought, hey that sounds like fun! So that is what I am going to do.

This blog will probably be pretty random- as my life tends to be. I’ll post about what I discover here in Colorado, what I miss from Oklahoma and everything in between. I am the farthest from technologically savvy that you can get, so don’t expect anything fancy. Or well articulated. I tend to just type and press enter (or in this case: post)

I spent much of my day hanging pictures and doing laundry. I’ll do a blog sometime about how I decorated the apartment. Next time, I’ll tell you why I decided to move to Colorado.

Until then…

…the view from Rocky Mountain National Park, where I spent my day yesterday.

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