April Recap: Phoenix, Lantern Fest, & Baseball

I haven’t written in a while, it’s been a little hectic over here in Colorado. April has just seemed to fly by and somewhat in a good way.

About mid-month, Ryan and I packed and headed to Arizona for a lovely wedding. It’s actually been our first wedding that we’ve been to as a couple, other than our own. We kind of like to joke because we have one friend getting married this summer, but other than that we only have a couple close friends in long term relationships. We’re like the old married couple, but without kids because we aren’t wanting those yet.

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The wedding was great! It was for one of my closest cousins, and I’m just so happy he found such an amazing gal. Since Ryan had never been to Arizona, we did some exploring. We had a great time in Downtown Scottsdale. You have to go to Sugar Bowl. Delicious, delicious milkshakes and malts!

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And . . . calling all Baseball fans . . . there is a store called Baseballism. They only have 4 (I think) locations, and let me tell you the CUTEST clothes for baseball fans.

When we got back from Arizona, we had a good time relaxing for these past few weeks. It’s been so hectic lately, I swear we’re going a 100 different directions. But, we did get to attend Lantern Fest that was held in Dacono, Colorado.

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This festival was breathtaking. If you’ve ever seen Tangled, you’ve wished you could be part of the lantern festival, and it was worth it. People were stopping on the freeway to see the lanterns. Click here to see if they’re headed to your city, you won’t want to miss it. Tip: You don’t have to show up early, you could show up an hour and half before dark and still get the feel.

And, now it is May 1st, and I cannot believe we are in the fifth month of this year. These days are literally flying by. I also get to head to Cali this month to see my little brother play some of his last baseball games. It’s probably one of the most bittersweet moments, he is moving on to pursue a career in ministry and be around the one he loves. Yet, it is a closing of the baseball chapter that was such a huge part of his life, as well as our family’s life.

I cannot wait to see him play and hang with my lovely mother on Mother’s day!

– the Helm Household

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Constant State of Chaos

Last night I told myself I was going to sleep in, well I guess that equals 6:30-HOORAY (sarcasm). I haven’t posted lately, and to be honest, that’s because I’ve been a little stressed. And, I’m not even sure that stressed is an accurate word to describe how I’ve been feeling, it’s more just living in a constant state of chaos.

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When Ryan and I moved in October to Colorado, I knew it wasn’t my favorite state in the world. To most, the sunshine and mountains draw them in. To me, I like “my mountain” and rain. It’s difficult for me to find the beauty here because it’s very similar to my home. It’s nearly the same if you remove the land locked of Colorado and gave Washington a little more sunshine.

But, when we moved, we moved for my work, and I could feel the Lord bringing us here. I’ve never felt that before, but I really was praying when we moved. I was trusting. And now, I’m here, thinking . . . why did I move again?

I don’t know if it is the need for the comforts of home or the realization that I knew I didn’t like Colorado. I feel like I uprooted our lives for a good job opportunity knowing that I didn’t actual want to be here. But then, I go back to that feeling I had when moving that there was a reason.

I’ve been reading Proverbs lately, and this is a pretty well-known verse, but it just had a different meaning when you truly are needing to trust in the Lord.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding: in all ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

If you don’t know, I’m a really controlling person. I like all the control in my life, so when I fully trusted the Lord in moving here, it was probably a first for me. Now, I’m in a really challenging place because I’m continually having to rely on the Lord to show me why I’m here and what he has in store for me.

And, I realize that this is how life is supposed to be, but giving up that control and submitting to him can be difficult. I believe everyone’s been at this place, needing the Lord to give them guidance and direction. But if we aren’t willing to submit to him, how can we be open to listening to his guidance?

Personally, I think it’s’ a normal struggle. The feeling that your life is in complete chaos and struggling to fully let go and trust the Lord. Just remember, we weren’t meant to do this life thing alone.

– the Helm Household

Bring on Spring

I’m not sure about where you live, but in sunny Colorado if feels like spring already. We’ve been in the mid-sixties for a couple weeks now, and it’s been feeling good. I’m not so excited for the season after spring, but I am excited for spring.

Spring is flowers blooming, school getting out, and sunshine! Since I’ve newly moved, I’m excited for better weather to be able to explore more. It’s difficult to explore Colorado in winter because let’s face it . . . it’s snowy and cold.

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Things I’m planning on doing this spring:

The Lantern Fest

It’s probably in your city! You have to check it out because who hasn’t seen Tangled and wanted to do something like this? We’re planning to do one here, such a fun date night. Plus, it is a great way to celebrate in the warm weather! (And there are s’mores).

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Image Source, click here.

Taste of (Insert Your Town Name)

My husband and I will be attending the Taste of Fort Collins for the first time! And, I don’t know if you’ve ever searched google for “Taste of (Insert Your Town Name)” or if you’ve been to one, they are awesome. Normally, they don’t cost to much, but they’re so much fun. It is locally sourced everything, and each vendor normally does samples, etc. In Illinois, we saw the “Taste of Illinois” advertised in a grocery store–we’d never heard about it. And, we decided to try it out for a little date, and it’s been one of the best dates we’ve had!

Winter Attractions: Breckenridge 

Think about the biggest winter attraction around you, the place where everyone flies to your state to go in the winter time. Try it out in spring! Trust me, it’s great. There is stuff to do at every time of the year in the town, but going not during the busy season is kind of fun. First, it isn’t as expensive. And second, it isn’t as busy. It’s always been something I’ve loved to do, and this year, I’m hoping to check out Breckenridge when it’s warm not during the ski season.

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Image Source, click here.

Camping, camping, camping!

Fun fact about me, I had never really been camping until last year . . . and I went twice. The thing about Washington, if you didn’t know, it rains a lot there. Plus, my dad hates camping, so I had never been growing up. But my husband loves camping, and I’d say I like it. So, I’m excited to go this spring with friends because Colorado is warmer in the spring than Washington. We will hopefully get to go more and possibly get to stay in a Yurt one time! How cool would that be?

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Camping in Forks, Washington

I’m really excited for the spring! I don’t like the snow (or the hot), so I’m ready for some mild temperatures. I’m  hoping to be outside and a) not freeze to death and b) not burn up.

Which of these sound most fun to do this spring?

– the Helm Household

Why you need to move in your 20s

I remember being 20, I had just graduated from college, and I was moving to Illinois from Washington. See my boyfriend of 8 months, now my husband, lived in Illinois and was still in school. He flew out for my graduation party, and we packed up and were on the road in the next couple of days.

Let’s just say I balled my eyes out the first night in the hotel. Like balled. I’d miss my family, I didn’t know anyone, what was I thinking moving in with a guy I’d only known for 8 months? Side note: 8 months of living in two different places, and only being around each other for maybe a month of it. 

That was in 2012. Now, it’s 2016, and since then, I’ve lived in Illinois for 2 years, Washington for just over a year, and now Colorado for 5 months. And, I haven’t even turned 24 yet.

It’s kind of unbelievable how much we’ve moved, it’s really been an adventure. Honestly, I’d never want to do it with kids, but since we just have us and our dog it’s been pretty easy.

But why is it important to move in your 20s?

  • Maybe where you grew up, really isn’t where you want to live forever

Shocker! I know. But, if you don’t allow for yourself to move away, you won’t know that. My husband is a great example. He grew up in a town of 1,200 people, and he thought he would live there forever. He then met me, and I ruined that, but he currently loves Colorado. If he hadn’t been okay with moving, he wouldn’t know that.

  • To explore! 

Let’s be honest, it doesn’t sound awesome to live in the middle of Illinois. At least it didn’t to me. But, when we lived near Springfield, we were 3 hours from Chicago, 1.5 from St. Louis, 3 hours from Indianapolis, 6 hours from Nashville, and 5 hours from Cincinnati. Sounds a little bit better, right? We were able to see so much of the United States from just being there and being in such a close driving distance from everything.

  • Living on your own and relying on yourself

This can be either with a significant other or if you are moving just by yourself. Colorado is the first place where neither of our parents are. We’re relying on each other to do everything. Who knew boarding your dog cost so much? Or that it sucks when your car gets totaled and you only have one car for an entire week?

Let me tell you, you might hate it at first. But, allowing yourself to embrace it is much easier. I had to learn that the hard way moving to Colorado. I did not want to be here at all. I wasn’t ready to move from Washington and near my parents, we had only been there a year.  And, I was mad. Everything about Colorado made me mad, but then I decided to embrace it.

I realize we aren’t going to live here forever, and my husband loves it. But, we do have this time now to explore, and I’ve been realizing it’s been good for us. You can always move back or settle down when you decide to have kids. But, when you’re in your 20s, it’s your time to explore.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!

 

-the Helm Household

Exploring Colorado: Garden of the Gods & Celestial Seasonings

Since moving to Colorado in October, I haven’t had much time to explore. One of the major reasons is that I traveled for over a month for work and Christmas. But the last couple of weekends, I’ve been able to wander around Colorado.

Garden of the Gods

The Garden of the Gods is about an hour and a half from where we live, and it is south of Denver. I hadn’t been south of Denver, and it is gorgeous there! If I didn’t work closer to Boulder, I definitely would move south of Denver. It reminds me more of Washington than where we currently live.

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We took our little fluff and got to hike around. Originally, we thought there was only the path on the inside where everyone was walking in heels and with strollers. But, you could really take a good three hours and hike on the opposite side of the road and get a decent workout in. It also has great views on this hike.
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We definitely will have to bring family here when they come out in the summer time. It’s gorgeous and worth the drive. I highly recommend bringing a few towels though if you bring your dog, our little guy got more than messy on the trails!

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Kissing Camels

 

Celestial Seasonings

This weekend my parents were supposed to come out, but our family dog was having some issues, so my dad had to stay home. Which means, our plans to go to the Coors Brewery tour would be put on hold.

So, I was looking up things to do in Boulder, and I found Celestial Seasonings. If you’re a tea drinker, this is the tour for you! It’s a great, free tour that is about 45 minutes long. You get free tea, you get to go in the mint room, and you can buy their tea Fast Lane that is only sold there; it has more caffeine than a cup of drip coffee, which is awesome!

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Just an FYI, men if you have any type of facial hair you get to add a beard net to the already awesome hair net.

I’ve had a few great back-to-back exploring weekends in Colorado. And, currently I’m just trying to stay warm from the never-ending snow.

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-the Helm Household

My Colorado Avalanche Bud Light Ultimate Experience

The craziest thing happened to me this last weekend. I tweeted this:

 

Bud Light tweeted me back:

 

They asked if I wanted the Ultimate Experience. I mean seems kind of sketchy, is Bud Light just messing with me?

Well . . . it turns out they weren’t! I DM’d them, and they gave me contact info for a Promotions worker at the game. I had won 2 really good seats to the Avalanche game that night and to be able to go in the Avalanche Penalty Box during warm-ups.

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Since we were already going to the game with friends, my husband and I were able to head up early and take advantage of being in the Penalty Box during warm-ups. And, I was also able to give my cousin the tickets that I had won to the game, and we sat in our original seats.

To top it off, we made it on the big screen using #BeAPartOfIt.

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It was perfect! Such a great experience, that we would definitely never get to do if I hadn’t tweeted.

Moral of the story: When Bud Light asks if you want the Ultimate Experience. It’s not a joke . . . TAKE IT.

Follow me on Twitter @HelmHouseHold.

Cheers Colorado!

– the Helm Household

5 White Elephant Gift Ideas

I love games! When I say love, I mean love. I think I like them so much because I usually win, I’m not joking or being cocky, I’d say whenever I play I win 80% of the time. I’m just good at games.

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I actually got 2nd at this game night (I’m on the left)

So, each year my family does a White Elephant gift exchange. If you’ve never done it, it is a fun way to get everyone involved from grandparents to five year olds. Click here to read about what a White Elephant gift exchange is.

This year, here are my top gift ideas for it:

The Squatty Potty

So funny, but absolutely something I want to try! It runs about 25 bucks, so it depends what your limit is for the White Elephant gift exchange. Either way, I think it definitely would be a hot ticket item.

Anything that says “Thanks, Obama”

If you’ve never seen the video of Jenna Marbles, it is a must watch. It isn’t anything political (let’s not start something like that), it’s just meant to be funny. It’s basically her just blaming Obama for her dog pooping on the floor or her sandwich not being delicious. Obviously, Obama doesn’t really have any say over that.

My husband and I started actually saying “Thanks Colorado” anytime something bad happened since we’ve just moved here. But, we also say “Cheers Colorado” anytime something awesome happens since the first time we had a really great day here was when we went to the Coors Brewery Tour–YAY SAMPLES.

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Coors Brewery Tour

Something from a trip you went on

My husband and I went on a mission trip to Guatemala this past year. Since Guatemala is known for coffee, we bought a ton of it! I have extra, so I think I will use a thing of Guatemalan coffee as one of our gifts. It doesn’t cost me anything extra, nearly everyone drinks coffee, and it would be something someone would want to try.

The Toilet Cup

I actually found this at a garage sale and used it last year in a White Elephant gift exchange. I think the couple that got it, actually uses it. It’s perfect to just have for funny occasions–like giving it to your Grandpa to use to drink his 12th cup of coffee out of. He definitely won’t get his cup mixed up with yours, so that’s a positive.

Something from where you work!

My cousin works at Northface, so she gets 50% off everything in the store. Since our limit was $10 last year, she got a Northface beanie for that much. It was a steal.

 

Like I said, I’m a gamer, so I love white elephant gift exchanges. We normally start with this, then we move into Pinochle and Wizard. I highly recommend Wizard if your family is into card games. It is pretty easy to learn and really fun!

 

I can’t wait until Christmas!

 

-the Helm Household