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Day 43 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

In 2015 my firstborn started middle school. We’ve loved that both schools our kids have attended while we’ve lived here have been walking distance from home. We also loved that at Bill Reed, Luthien started playing cello and enjoyed attending orchestra as part of her classroom schedule every day.

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She also joined yearbook club and played volleyball this year.

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The 7:25 am start time was not a favorite, nor was the predictable middle school social drama; and we felt her sadness both years when she tried out and didn’t get into the spring play – but we still loved going to all the plays because they were so well done. All in all, these have been good sixth and seventh grade years for my girl and I’m thankful she got to attend this school.

Day 42 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

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Tonight was our family’s last service with our church here in Colorado, Mustard Seed House Churches. We joined this community as it was forming in 2013, the year we moved here. It’s an ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) congregation with a unique model. Each time we meet, we gather around a table and share a meal. The larger church is made up of smaller house churches based in different areas around northern Colorado. Each week one house church meets in someone’s house, and once a month all of these churches meet together in Fort Collins at the USC Lutheran Campus Ministries’ chapel for a bigger dinner and worship service together.

Tonight our pastor Andy utilized a selfie stick to get everyone in this group photo, and we said some tearful goodbyes as our community gathered around and prayed a blessing over us.

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Day 41 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

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Another of my favorite running routes takes me through River’s Edge Natural Area. In this photo the water isn’t showing, but there are several large ponds ringed by gravel trails through prairie grasses, and I suppose part of why I love coming here is because it reminds me of Minnesota. Except with mountains as a backdrop.

I took the above photo this morning when my dog stopped to sniff/pee on some grass and I noticed the blue flowers in the foreground.

Here are some photos I took when I ran through here in February:

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Day 40 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

Today Nathan and I took a motorcycle ride out west of town into the foothills past Carter Lake and up to where the public road ends at Pinewood Reservoir. The hairpin turns up (and back down!) the mountain make for a slightly too-exhilarating ride for my taste, but it’s worth it for this view.

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And yes, that’s snow! There isn’t any left in Loveland from last week’s storm, but it’s still hanging around at slightly higher elevations.

Day 39 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

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This guy feeds the squirrels peanuts, patiently, generously, sweetly. “Want a peanut? Come here, come here, want a peanut?” you can hear him calling as you walk past. I see him at least every week. Sometimes he plays a ukelele and sings, maybe to the squirrels, maybe for the preoccupied humans walking by with their little screens.

Sorry you can’t really see any squirrels in this photo. I took it hurriedly and candidly, more interested in the man than the squirrels. But the squirrels do gather, wherever he and his peanuts are!

P.S. I am leaving Loveland temporarily tomorrow, heading to Minnesota for an extended weekend to see if we can find a house. My blog posts will be on hold until next week when we return.

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Day 38 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

Got to take my mom out for coffee this morning, extending Mother’s Day another day. We had to make up for lost time – this is the first time we’ve been together for Mother’s Day since I moved here in 2013.

Dallabetta’s Muse is a coffee shop located on the premises of a sculptor’s studio. The sculptor is Jane DeDecker, and her husband Kyle Dallabetta runs the coffee shop. Coffee and goodies are great, and so is the atmosphere. Sculptures and art are everywhere, including functional exit signs, railings, fixtures and parking signs.

Should’ve gotten photos of the inside, but you’ll just have to check it out yourself if you haven’t yet and are in the area! Note the hours are quite limited (open till about 3 on weekdays – don’t trust the Yelp page linked to above for hours!).

 

Day 38 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

This is my favorite thing about Loveland today.

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My parents are here! Just got in this evening for a three-day visit. Our house is one happy place tonight 🙂