Quick Trip to Denver

Two weeks ago I saw super cheap flights from Seattle to Denver and I suggested to Brent we go for a weekend. I was actually pretty surprised when he agreed, so I bought them immediately before he changed his mind.

We love Denver, and it was really the only other city we thought seriously about moving to six years ago. We been many times, but it had been nearly three years since our last visit, and we’ve never gone with kids. I was really looking forward to checking it out as a parent.

We made our way to the airport this past Friday morning, and both kids were great on the flight. Side note – We’ve done enough travel as a family that we’ve figured out the strategies that work best for us. Obviously some new “toys” (usually stickers and small things from the dollar spot at Target), a variety of snacks, AND we split up. It often confuses the ticket agent when we check in, but I take Teddy, Brent goes with Cormac, and we do not sit next to each other. Having the undivided attention of one parent seems to work better for our kids than Brent and I both trying to entertain both kids.

Anyway, so both boys had easy flights. I entertained Teddy with raisins and a slinky.

20160926125751.jpg

Unfortunately after we landed, we got stuck on the runway for an hour because there was no available gate, and then there were a couple mix ups with our car rental, so we didn’t get to our Airbnb until 3.5 hours after we landed. Luckily the kids were in great spirits, so we just grabbed some sandwiches (Snarf’s is seriously the best) for dinner and the kids went to bed about an hour later. Brent’s brother Jon, lives in Denver and came over to drink beer and hang out with us after bedtime.

Saturday we went to breakfast at Snooze (another one of my favorites!), and decided to go do some hiking at Garden of the Gods.

20160926125753.jpg

It was a beautiful way to spend the morning, and it was a lot of fun taking the boys back to places Brent and I visited and loved before they were born.

Photo dump incoming.

20160926125755.jpg

20160926125758.jpg

20160926125800.jpg (We are so bad at the family selfie. I need to just buy a selfie stick already.)

20160926125802.jpg

20160926011207.jpg

20160926011209.jpg

20160926011212.jpg

Teddy fell asleep about 2 minutes after that picture was taken, and slept through a majority of the hike.

20160926011215.jpg

Really stunning. We’ve  obviously got no red rocks in Washington, so it was cool to spend some time somewhere that’s completely different from back home. I love taking the boys hiking and I am pretty sure I’m going to love it even more when Teddy is able to do a couple miles on his own two feet! But really, it feels really special to me to be able to share stuff like this with Cormac and Teddy, especially now that Cormac has started really enjoying it too!

In keeping with our nearly decade long post-hike tradition, we hit up a brewery for lunch. There were a couple we’ve visited and loved in Colorado Springs on previous trips (Trinity, Phantom Canyon and Laughing Lab were the ones we could remember), but we decided to go with Phantom Canyon this time. We had his and hers beers. Grapefruit hefe – delicious!

20160926011217.jpg

And the kids’ meals came with mini sundaes! This might have been the first time we let Teddy tackle some ice cream head on and he was in heaven. Guess being lugged around in an ergo really builds an appetite.

20160926020440.jpg

Later than afternoon, we met up with Uncle JonJon at Lowry Beer Garden, which was new to us but perfect for kids. The boys literally just played with rocks and stickers while we hung out.

20160926020614.jpg

20160926020616.jpg

Teddy has gotten so active. The kid just figured out walking a couple weeks ago and now he’s basically trying to run while throwing everything in sight.

20160926020618.jpg

And sporting a yogurt beard, obviously.

Saturday night, Uncle Jon did us a solid and babysat while Brent and I went out to dinner at Old Major. What a great uncle, right? Dinner was amazing. Pre-dinner cocktails are always a good idea in my book. I had something with lemon and lavender and prosecco, and loved every sip, and Brent went with his usual martini. He’s pretty predictable.

20160926020620.jpg

We debated for quite a bit about what to order. The whole menu looked delicious, but we finally decided to order the 21 day aged ribeye for two. We started with some grilled peppers with fried halloumi and black garlic vinaigrette. Really, really good, guys.

20160926020623.jpg

And then the main course. This was really fantastic. The steak had the best crust on it and was served at room temp. I don’t think I’ve ever had something like it.

20160926020625.jpg

And the tomato salad with blue cheese was such a great accompaniment. Really, great date night. Huge thanks to Jon. It’s always fun to have an evening with good food and minimal talk about kids and housekeeping junk.

Aaaaaaand Sunday we just kept things low key and hung out at some parks and did a lot of walking around Cherry Creek where we were staying, and had lunch at another longtime favorite, Freshcraft.

20160926021537.jpg

Man, the sun is so bright there. I’m just really not used to it.

20160926021538.jpg

We got take out for dinner and hung out with Jon after the boys went to bed. Nothing too crazy because we had an early wake up call for our flight back to Seattle this morning.

I was pretty jealous Brent got to nap with the easy kid on the plane while I had to entertain a slightly crabby Teddy.

20160926021540.jpg

But seriously, the boys are such easy, adaptable travelers. They sleep pretty much wherever, are good at eating out, and adjust to time zone changes probably better than Brent and I. It was a fun, semi-spontaneous trip and I hope I can talk Brent into plenty more of them in the future!

Whole Wheat Morning Glory Muffins

AKA, muffins full of stuff.

Guys, I was pretty sure in order to raise good, adventurous eaters, all you had to do was feed your kids a huge variety and expose them to lots of fruits and veggies. Add that to the long list of things I might’ve been wrong about. Cormac isn’t a horrible eater by any means. But he has definitely reduced his number of acceptable food items over the past 6 months. Right now it’s fried eggs, grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly, and all fruit. That’s 99% of what he eats. Not exactly junk food, but it wouldn’t hurt the kid to eat some vegetables.

In my quest to increase the amount of veg he’s currently eating from none to some, I decided to stick them in some muffins. He really loves when  I make banana bread, so I hoped this would be close enough.

And look! Vegetables!

20160913022216.jpg

These are pretty standard morning glory muffins, and there are plenty of variations on the internet, but I added zucchini and took out nuts, since I’m planning on sending these to school with Cormac for snacks. Because I made these specifically as a healthy snack to send with him in the afternoons, I used all whole wheat flour and tried not to use too much sugar.

20160913022249.jpg

I used about 3 cups worth of shredded veggies total, so with 12 muffins, that’s 1/4 cup of vegetables. I’ll take whatever I can get.

20160913022251.jpg

I was a little worried Cormac would see the flecks of orange and green and refuse to eat them. He’s in a serious all food must be separated phase, and picks toppings off pizza, and doesn’t like sauce on his meatballs, etc.

20160913022316.jpg

I packed one muffin (along with some grapes from a friend’s garden) for his school snack and hoped for the best. He came back with only half a muffin left, (and he ate the other half on a walk later), so I’d call it a win. Teddy demolished a muffin for lunch as well. Obviously.

So here’s the recipe.

20160913012042.jpg

Whole Wheat Morning Glory Muffins

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (I used 3 large carrots)
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (I used one medium zucchini) Note: After shredding, I put the zucchini in a kitchen towel or paper towel and squeeze out as much excess water as possible)
  • 3/4 cup shredded apple (I used one medium Honeycrisp)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used unsweetened, but sweetened would work too)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl (I used my stand mixer), combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk.
  2. Add carrots, zucchini, apple, coconut and raisins to the flour mixture and mix until combined.
  3. In a small bowl whisk eggs and oil until smooth.
  4. Slowly mix in the egg mixture into the flour mixture just until all the flour is wet.
  5. Grease muffin tin, or use paper muffin cups, and divide the batter equally between 12 muffin cups.
  6. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.