Friday, December 31, 2010

Over the hills of snow...

We had such a great time when Chris' family was here for Thanksgiving, so we replicated our Gilstrap tubing day with my family over Christmas. We drove to Winter Park/Frasier Colorado and tubed for a couple hours, then stopped at Beau Jo's Pizza in Idaho Springs for "Mountain Pies." YUM!

We even replicated the mountain-top, helmet photo.

I think this is the only time Alayna had her mittens on! Apparently she didn't feel the need to wear them in the snow...

Aubri looking good in her ski gear.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's Christmas Time in the City!

The Duvall's arrived in Denver on Wednesday evening and the adventures in Colorado began!

Mollie, Aubri, Chris and I went to the King Tut exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. It was so neat to see 3,000 year old artifacts and to get to see such a well-known exhibit.

The little house on Lincoln Street was full on Christmas morning. This is a photo of Aubri with her gift from us, it's a Hallmark book that you read to the little puppy, and the puppy interacts with the story! I was so excited to give it to her, I kept playing with it in the days before she arrived in Denver!

Hallmark gift #2 went to Alayna, a recorded storybook of "The Christmas Story." Chris and I recorded our voices reading the story to her. It was really neat!

Papa receiving lots of grand-daughter love on Christmas morning.

A very full living room...

Our little house decorated up for Christmas!

Monday we toured the Hammond's Candy Factory in Denver. They make candy canes and other holiday treats for Williams Sonoma, and have been picked by Oprah and Martha Stewart as "favorites." It was really neat to see how all the holiday candy is made! And of course, we enjoyed the samples.

This is a blurry photo of ribbon candy cooling...

After the Hammond's tour, we toured the Celestial Seasonings factory in Boulder, Colorado. We weren't allowed to take photos, so I just have a couple quick shots. Celestial Seasonings is the largest producer of packaged teas in the world, and they are best known for their "Sleepytime" tea. Every box of tea has custom illustration/artwork by an international artist. Our favorite part of the tour was the "Mint Room" where they keep mint for flavoring tea. It has to be stored separate otherwise it will flavor the other herbs and seasonings in the factory. Being in the room really clears your sinuses!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Giving Thanks for Family

The Gilstraps came to Denver for Thanksgiving and we had a great time. It was wonderful to be surrounded by family for the holiday, and we were thankful to be able to have everyone with us in our new little home!

After Thanksgiving, we headed up to Winter Park/Frasier Colorado and went tubing! We had a great time and enjoyed the snow!

I'm not sure what Chris is doing in this photo?

We volunteered together at Operation Christmas Child. It was a really neat experience to enjoy together. Chris and I both agreed that it was a worship experience, and while we were there, you could feel a holy presence. All of the volunteers were working together toward one cause, and it was powerful to be a part of such an amazing ministry.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Tribute to Bill Duvall

"I did this because I knew my dad would have done the same thing for me. He did actually, several times he came and helped me work on our house projects. I know that this is what he would have done for me, so I wanted to do it for you" - Bill Duvall

Dad moved into the kitchen of our cozy 700 sq. foot 1 bed/1 bath on June 1 and moved out November 9 (with a couple week long breaks, and one month off in between). He finished on Veterans Day, which is a very special day to him and to our family, and also significant, he finished during the first week of snow in Denver!

He taught us both a lot about casting a vision, planning and building a (little) dream home of our own. More specifically he taught us about framing a house, measuring, measuring again, raising a roof, plumbing, electrical work, installing bathroom fixtures, tiling, insulation, siding, building a deck, and so much more. Even more than teaching about construction, he taught us life lessons about examining our own generosity, kindness, selflessness, attitude and acts of service through modeling it daily to us.

We are so thankful for all he has done for our little home, and for us as newlyweds living our wedded bliss dream in Colorado. We are immeasurably blessed by his selfless generosity and forever grateful for him in our lives. WE LOVE YOU DAD!

FINISHED! Outside/Front Entry






After: (the steps are where the front door was)

Steps from new addition down into old house


Before - bedroom with window in front of house

After - window on that wall is gone (replaced by new addition) 

Before - Our clothes closet 

After - extra storage closet

Before - my Goodwill find 

After - faux Pottery Barn! (wanted: white chairs)

We also replaced all of our old door handles with new, brushed nickel handles! Finishing touches!


Before: Front yard 

After: 400 sq ft of additional living space, including...


Closet pocket door

Bedroom door to front entry way, front door in the distance


Bathroom double vanity with kneehole for sitting stool, pocket door on the right to the bedroom

Linen closet, shower (next spring: seamless shower door)

Jacuzzi tub with white subway tile and wainscoting, gray 13" floor tile