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Apr. 14th, 2011

2012

Truffleman 2011 Spring Collection on Sale

I don't spend too much time on LJ anymore, but I do know I have several friends over here that aren't on Facebook and may not know about my company, Truffleman Chocolate and Candy Company. I do it on the weekends for fun and hope that someday I can make it a full time gig. We have just opened up orders for the 2011 Spring Collection, and just wanted to send it out to my LJ friends that may not have seen it.

Mar. 28th, 2011

2012

Updating January through March

Boy am I behind on posting! I thought I could do it monthly, but gosh, things have been so crazy!

First off, Katherine has been having a super time in school. She's learning at a crazy pace and we love seeing her artwork and her vocabulary increase. The downside to daycare has been illness. Katherine gets sick and then we all seem to get sick. I was sick for half of January and all of February. Katherine has had a constant ear infection since late January and has been on antibiotics almost since then. Every two weeks we've been visiting the doctor to try something else. Her fevers have made her not too happy, as evidenced by this photo...

She'll be getting tubes put in her ears soon. The ENT doctor is really hard to get in to see, unfortunately.

In January we went to the RV show in Denver which was fun. We eventually want to get a pop up trailer for camping, so we just went to look. Plus it was cheap. In 2011, we are trying to do one fun thing every month, so this was our little outting.

In Feburary we headed to the dentist. I have now survived 39 years with no cavities! Go me!

Victoria and I ran the Parker Love Em or Leave Em 5k. It was Victoria's first 5k, so that's awesome! We've planned a couple more through the year as now she also wants to see if she can beat her time.

Truffleman had a huge Valentine outing this year. We sold out of all our boxes pretty quickly, which allows us to get new boxes and we revamped the website. Due to high volume, Truffleman was able to purchase its first equipment, a chocolate tempering machine. This will make our spring collection much easier to produce and probably bring us back to full production! It's an exciting time at Truffleman!

The kitties got a clear bill of health and then we headed to the Denver Art Museum with the Paul family. It was a lot of fun, and Katherine loved all the little kid areas along the way. Here's a great shot of her playing there...

At the end of the month, I did my 2nd year of doing the American Lung Association's Stair Climb and raised over $400!! Again, I climbed for my Uncle John, who passed away in 2010. After the climb, we met the Johnsons at Johnny Rockets for a little lunch.

March proved interesting when our 18 year old water softener system developed a crack in the metering unit. This meant water was going everywhere in the basement and we had to shut off the softener. We ended up with a brand new state of the art system that doesn't use any electricity and only uses salt based on usage. That's great! But it's also where our tax refund went. Bummer.

I've gotten excited about running. If you recall, last year I ended up with a stress fracture in my right knee from trying to start running too far, too quickly. This year I had planned to get started training in January, but I was sick until March. So, I am using the Couch to 5k program that's very popular these days. It takes 9 weeks and slowly ramps me up to running 30 minutes at a time. Not bad! Currently I am on week 3 and I am doing just fine. Victoria and I are doing a 5k in two weeks, then I am doing the same Cinco de Mayo 5k I did last year. We also plan to do the Parker So Long to Summer 5k, and the Highlands Ranch Oktoberfest 5k. I might add some more in, and am looking forward to the Couch to 5k training completion, then I might move on to the Bridge to 10k program if I do well enough!

Victoria and Katherine will be going to California the first week of May to visit her family, which will be a lot of fun for them all. I'll be staying behind and taking the week off as well. We have some tile issues in the shower in our bathroom, so I'll be taking everything down and retiling that week, along with a bunch of other home projects that are much easier with no one around.

I think that covers everything. We are just being a happy little family lately!

Jan. 10th, 2011

2012

Fresh Starts

Today signals a big day in the Thalimer household. Victoria has decided to return to the workforce and Katherine begins her first day at school (daycare).

Now that Katherine is walking and somewhat talking, Victoria felt the urge to get back amongst the adult world and we didn't feel like it was going to be too bad for Katherine to get even more socialized than she has been by attending daycare. They call daycare school these days because there is actual curriculum. They learn art, and social studies, and science. Oh yes, there is plenty of playtime too.

It's a hard thing to leave your child with someone else, but we did our due diligence and visited several schools, even letting Katherine sit in on part of the day, to see which one we liked best and what she fit in well with. We are excited that she can grow some more, though it was pretty tough to drop her off this morning for the first time.

Victoria also has a big day, as she reintegrates back to the same company she left 14 months ago. She'll likely be missing Katherine very much as she's spent nearly every day with her since she was born!

Jan. 3rd, 2011

2012

Wrapping Up 2010

Boy am I behind on blogging! I even had uploaded pictures months ago and just never got around to posting, so here is my mega post!

On Halloween Katherine had a great time from last year when she was barely able to lift her head! We went to downtown Parker for Trick or Treating on Mainstreet with her buddy Allison.

Mainstreet Parker was insane with kids!

Later that night, we toured Allisons neighborhood and went to a few houses...

Katherine did pretty well, and promptly sorted her candy. We did not teach her this. She just likes to put things in groups, which we find so funny.

We did have to carry her from house to house on Halloween since she was not walking yet. Until a few days later, that is. She had been teasing us for well over a month with only taking one or two steps. We knew she could do it, she just would not show us. On our 3 year anniversary, November 3, Victoria was watching her, and saw her suddenly stand up and just start walking! That was quickly followed by running (and falling) everywhere.

For Victorias birthday, a few days later, I took her to the Brown Palace for high tea. It is one of the favorite things we do, and one she had requested awhile ago. Her birthday is also the only day of the year she wears her tiara.

I also surprised her with a very special cake from our favorite bakery, Childs Bakery. Once again, they knocked it out of the ballpark!

We had a fabulous Thanksgiving, hosting my parents. We do a bit of a non-traditional Thanksgiving, and had many little items throughout the day. Katherine got to pose with her grandma and grandpa for a fun little photo session.

December flew by as Katherine went crazy running everywhere. Luckily we do have some shoes that do fit okay, since socks do not work as well as they used to. Katherine was in awe about our Christmas tree (and decorations) going up. Last year she loved the tree too since it had lights and she noticed them, but she fell asleep opening presents on Christmas morning since she was still so small.

This year she liked to point out the "balls" on the Christmas tree. She got to go to the Parker Library and visit with Santa for the first time. She did not cry, but she was very tired. We did manage to get one okay picture with Santa...

As usual, family and friends totally spoiled her with presents. Our living room is overflowing with toys these days! She loves and plays with everything she has though, so we are hesitant to put anything away. She made it though Christmas morning this year without falling asleep! We went to my parents in the afternoon and had a wonderful turkey dinner.

On New Years Eve, we completed our traditional early dinner. I cannot even remember when we started this tradition. It was probably close to 10 years ago now. We always have to eat at a new place every year, which is always a fun challenge and interesting experience. This year we chose to eat at Dad and Dudes Breweria in the Cornerstar Center at Arapahoe and Parker. It opened not too long ago, so they were still working out some bugs, but it was really great food!

We say a good farewell to 2010 as many bad things happened this year, but there were also many great things too. We look forward to a prosperous 2011, and some big news on the way in a few days!

Nov. 2nd, 2010

2012

Our California Roadtrip 2010

I took two weeks off work and we headed to California, the main reason being Victoria was having her 20th high school reunion. Since flying is such a bear with Katherine and we also wanted to visit Southern California, we decided it would be easiest to drive. We took three days each direction so it was not too rough on any of us.

Our first night stop was in Salt Lake City. Being as I am super into chocolate, we stopped by Hatch Family Chocolates. If you are unfamilar with them, TLC has a show called The Little Chocolatiers that features Steve and Katie, who are little people running a family chocolate business. Both Steve and Katie were there, and chatted with us for a few minutes. It is very clear they are very nice people and they run a very busy business, and were very gracious to give us a few minutes of their time. We promptly bought $25 worth of chocolate which we enjoyed over the course of the rest of our trip.

The next night we stopped in Reno and had a quiet evening before making the short drive into Lafayette, CA the next morning. We celebrated a bunch of birthdays while there (mine, Victorias dad, and our nephew Durward) at one of our favorite restaurants, El Charro.

The main reason for our trip was to go to Victorias 20th high school reunion in San Fransisco. We got all dressed up and drove with high school buddy Rika.

We enjoyed all our time there with family. Victorias dad really loves hanging out with his granddaughter.

After a few days in Lafayette, we headed down to San Jose to see my sister and her family. We all headed over to Henrys World Famous Hi-Life for some yummy BBQ lunch, then on to a zoo/amusement park for kids called Happy Hollow. Katherine was not too sure about everything, but had a pretty good time regardless.

The next day we headed down to Southern California to stay with my aunt for a few days. Victoria cooked us tacos one night, and we had my grandpa over. Then we went and hung out at his house the next day and he loved playing with Katherine.

We took him out to dinner at a new restaurant that opened, and it was super tasty! On the way back, Grandpa and Victoria decided to let Katherine hold their hands and have her walk as far as she could. All in all, she walked about a tenth of a mile!

While at Aunt Cheryls house, Victoria leaned to crochet, and we had a Wii Bowling Tournament with my cousin Kim, her guy Ryan, and Aunt Cheryl. Apparently Aunt Cheryl plays a lot of Wii Bowling, since no one could seem to beat her.

On our way home, we stopped for the night in Las Vegas. Katherine had a super time at my favorite buffet, Carnival World Buffet at the Rio. I am so picky about buffet and this is the only one I feel is decent. Katherine loved the gellato, especially the little spoons that come with it.

The next night we stopped in Grand Junction, Colorado, and then left for home early the next morning. It was a wonderful trip! We'll probably try to do it every year.

Oct. 5th, 2010

2012

A Wonderful Birthday

Oh, my, I am now 39 years old! And it was a great one!

Victoria really hooked it up for me this year. We started off with dropping Katherine off with some good friends for the night. Yep, a child-free night! After that, we headed downtown and ate at Limelight at the Denver Performing Arts Center.

We followed that up by attending my favorite music artist, Ben Folds, who happened to be playing with the Colorado Symphony! Oh my gosh, it was so uber spectacular, I cannot even tell you.

After that, we headed home for a nice night of rest. Victoria went to pick up Katherine the following morning, while I headed off to my massage. We met up with my parents at Mt Fuji for some yummy tempanyaki! We headed home and had cake and ice cream!

Oh, and I almost forgot...we traded in our 7 year old Saturn Vue for a brand new 2011 Ford Edge Limited. Holy cow! We were due to head out this morning for a 2 week road trip, and the Saturn, which we had intended to take on the trip was having some issues, and we wanted to be safe, and well, it was time...so we are riding in style on our two week road trip to California for Victorias High School Reunion, to see her family and mine. It will be a blast!

Sep. 10th, 2010

2012

Katherine Turns One!

Wow, it has been awhile since I have updated the blog. Quite a bit has happened.

Victoria and Katherine were in California taking care of the last of some family business. While there, the Noonen family got to celebrate Katherines first birthday with some cupcakes and singing. Victoria and Katherine arrived back from California just in time for Katherines first birthday. Her birthday happened to fall on the same day as our annual Star Party, so we decided to couple the two events.

All of Katherines best friends (and some of ours) were there to help celebrate her first birthday, and wow was she showered in gifts!

A few years ago, we took my parents old 8mm films and got them converted onto DVD. One of the films showed MY first birthday, and my parents also ended up saving the table topper, and some napkins. We thought it would be cool if we could duplicate the theme (in all of its 1970s glory) right here in 2010. I had a custom cake designed from one of the napkins, and here is what the fabulous designer made:

My parents were very surprised to see the hippo make its return some 37 years later! Katherine also got her very own smash cake to do with what she liked:

And did she do justice to a one year old with cake? You be the judge:

After getting cleaned up, it was time for the star party. We will not have Katherines birthday and the star party on the same day again. It was just too much work for us with a baby.

The clouds stayed away for some of the night and we got to see some nebulas, but the stars (pun intended) of the party were definitely the planets out that night. Saturn seemed to be everyones favorite, as it is mine as well, and what got me hooked on telescopes. We also got to see The Moon, Mars, and Jupiter along with the four Galilean moons.

And for those that have not seen Katherines first year video that I created, here you go, along with original music that I wrote for the event. Katherines First Birthday 
 

Jul. 23rd, 2010

2012

A Difficult July

Wow, July has been a rough one around here.

My parents were on their way back to Colorado for an important doctor appointment for my mom, and their RV broke down in Gillette, Wyoming. If you are familiar with Wyoming, there is not a lot of space between towns, so it is pretty sparse. Victoria and I decided we needed to go get my mom since the RV would not be repaired for a few days, so we could get her to her doctor appointment. We made the seven hour drive, arriving on Wednesday night about 11:30pm. It was nice to see my parents again since we had not seen them since they left Colorado a few months prior, right after my dads last cancer surgery. We visited for a few minutes, but it was late, and after the long drive we were tired, and went to bed.

Shortly thereafter, my phone lit up (I had the ringer off) and noticed it was Victorias parents phone number. They rarely call my phone, much less at midnight. Victorias phone was turned off because we had forgotten her charger. A voicemail came through and I could hardly believe it, and I replayed it for Victoria. It was one of our worst fears.

Victorias mom had passed away that night. She had been complaining of chest pains all day, and spent a good deal of time in bed. Her brother kept checking in to see if she was okay, and she thought it was just some bad Chinese food. They even encouraged her to go to the hospital, but she refused. It was a tough time for all. We were not near home and Victoria needed to get to California as soon as possible.

We drove back home the next day and Victoria made arrangements to get to California the next day. Luckily we had found a halfway decent fare at the last moment. I also got my mom to her appointment, so that all worked out okay.

I do want to take a few moments and talk about Victorias mom. I know a lot of people complain about their mother in law, but Victorias mom was never mean to me. We always got along. From the moment I met her, she told me I could call her mom, and being a school teacher for many years, did not allow a lot of people to call her anything by Mrs. Noonen. She loved to tell stories, and often forgot if she had told me certain ones before. I let her retell them though because it is what she liked to do. I am thankful she got to meet, hold, and love her granddaughter last year. I know it was a big thing for her to have a granddaughter in addition to her grandson, Durward. She was always very accomodating to me. May she rest in peace.

I really wished I could be there for Victoria, but I could not take that much time off work, and we had to find someone to care for the animals, and my parents also needed my aid since my dad was coming up on his second cancer surgery. She was initially staying for two weeks, but because her dad is not able to care for himself, it is taking awhile to get some plans in place for that, and she has had to extend her trip out until August 11th. It is very hard being away from her and Katherine for so long. Luckily we have phones and she sends me pictures and videos of them, so that helps a lot.

I was able to make some plane reservations to go see them next weekend, which is wonderful and will make me (and her) feel a lot better!

I have been trying to make the most of my alone time and have been getting a tremendous amount of work done at home on our to do list. I have managed to: complete electrical and drywall in the dining room and kitchen, finish the windowsills, tear out the music room carpet, clean the basement, remove two huge juniper trees, rented a 30 yard dumpster and filled it all up. This weekend I will be resealing our asphalt driveway, and I hope to also get the music room painted. The work has kept me focused from not having Victoria and Katherine around, except at night, it is hard to sleep.

My dads second cancer surgery did go well, so that has been a relief. They will be staying in town through October or so. And Katherine has a 1 year birthday coming next month and also we have our big star party. So, wow! It has surely been a crazy July!

Jun. 29th, 2010

2012

Dates and Fires

I realize the updates have been very child specific as of late, but it is hard when you have a little one not to talk about them all the time! Victoria and I have managed to get some adult stuff into our schedule lately though.

We are trading off with the Britzmans and doing date nights once a month. Victoria planned our first date night and it was spectacular! We picked up our dinner during lunchtime at this little French bakery we found in Parker. We each got a drink, sandwich and pastry, then stashed it at home for later. We went and got back to back massages with my regular massage therapist that had moved to her new home recently. While Victoria got her massage, I watched Katherine and was entertained by my therapists son.

We went back home and got ready for our date, then dropped off Katherine. We headed downtown and parked and headed to Confluence Parker. I had never been there in all the years I have lived in Colorado. We unpacked our dinner and watched all the kids playing at the confluence of Cherry Creek and the Platte Rivers.

Victoria had reserved a candlelit gondola ride through Venice on the Creek. We had been trying to do this for several years and because of multiple reasons, our reservation had to be cancelled. Not this time! It was a beautiful night, and we had an awesome time.

It was a really fun night. On the way back to pick up Katherine we came down Santa Fe and there was a huge fireworks display. Victoria says she planned that for our date night, haha.

We have also been digging in hard into our to-do list for the summer so we can get our house appraised and pay a lower monthly payment. Quite some time ago we started a big renovation project on our main living area, which consisted of moving the front door, putting in a new window, swapping a passthrough, adding wood floors and remodeling the fireplace. We did very well on the renovation and then Katherine came along, and it has been hard to get time to wrap up all the little items that are left.

This last weekend we got the baseboards painted and installed and the last parts of the fireplace also completed. All we have left are the windowsills. (We also will be doing our music room floors in wood as well, but that is a little later this summer.) I am really happy with how nice the fireplace (and everything) looks so I want to show a before and after picture of the fireplace...

Before it was so boring and ugly:

After, elegant and contemporary:

Next weekend we will be spending the three day weekend tearing apart and cleaning our garage. What fun! And then the weekend after that I think we are taking our some unwieldy juniper trees and cleaning the basement. We plan on renting a dumpster near the middle of the summer to get rid of all the trash that has accumulated in our lower barn and from all the cleaning we are doing. Fun times at the Thalimer household!

Jun. 15th, 2010

2012

Summer 2010 Begins

The Summer of 2010 has begun around the Thalimer household! The weather has changed for the better, and there's lots to do! We are working on a huge to do list so we can get our house refinanced. So far we've moved a ton of rock to our rose garden, replaced the disintegrating upper barn ramp, moved bricks from the side of the house, and done a lot of weed clean up. Indoors we've finished the staining of our fireplace surround and mantel and gotten them attached properly to the fireplace, gotten and cut baseboards. Victoria's also been doing a super job at making sure we're all fed and keeping the house really clean now that Katherine doesn't have to be watched every second. It's strange seeing our remodeling project coming to an end as it's something we started and worked hard on until Katherine arrived.

We also have quite the list that is keeping us busy through September, including: adding the wood floors to our music room and second set of stairs, removing two juniper trees that we don't want, removing all the trash off our property, blackening our driveway, cleaning the garage, and tons of other little items. Most of the big work will be done before our big star party (and Katherine's birthday) in mid-August. It will be our 3rd annual star party. Last year's party was postponed on account of Katherine's arrival.

Katherine has been doing outstanding lately! Mommy takes her to the Parker pool three times a week, and storytime at the Parker Library twice a week. She LOVES books. The library has been outstanding for her as she gets a new selection of books every two weeks. She adores us reading to her. She's standing incredibly well, and even gets a second or two of balancing out on her own without holding on to anything. That means walking isn't too far off. She's gotten two more teeth, for a total of six. She is becoming more distinct with her language, and we're pretty sure dad is her first word that she knows what it means. She's also started pointing, especially at me when I come home, and saying, "daddddy".

She's been really great at sharing toys at the various playdates she's been on. She also sees her friend Allison quite often. We attended Evyn's first birthday over the weekend. We are trading babysitting and datenights with the Britzman's as well, so she's getting plenty of socialization.

She is really into the fingerfoods lately too. Peas are a big favorite of hers, as are Cheerios.

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