Tag Archives: Evergreen

Here goes. This is going to be my super big blog post from our time in Colorado. First, if you don’t read anything  but this first paragraph of this entry, let me say we had the best time ever! I love having great conversations, good laughs, beautiful scenery, and being surrounded by family. It doesn’t get any better than that.

It all started last Thursday. Colby and I caught a 4:30pm flight on Southwest Airlines to Denver International Airport. His dad and step mom, here on out referred to as David and Debbie, picked us up in their sweet Ford Fusion Hybrid. I’ve never seen Hybrid technology in person so it was really cool to see how it all worked. Anyway, David and Debbie live in Evergreen, CO. It’s a cute little town in the mountains about an hour and 10 minutes or so outside of Denver. We got home and ate some really great pizza (I don’t remember the name of the place) and relaxed for awhile. It was so comfortable being there again. They’d painted their house in really cozy, warm, homey colors, not to mention they had their Christmas tree up and snow on the ground! I mean come on! The guest bed we slept on was also the most comfortable bed in the world but every night I was there I just couldn’t get to sleep and stay there…. So I caught up on all my lost sleep today and it was glorious….

So we woke up Friday morning and we had some breakfast and sat around the table and talked a bit. Then Debbie and I headed out with Rokko, their dog, to take him to the groomers. We came back, made a lunch plan, and went to Safeway to get some sandwiches. We don’t have Safeway grocery stores up here, just gas stations. I had NO clue that Safeway was sooooo nice! It’s just like Whole Foods. I love Whole Foods. So we got our sandwiches and my goodness, that Safeway has the most beautiful view of any grocery store! EVER! Check out my iPhone photo below.

This is an iPhone photo…. View from Safeway.

Friday night was the night….. The night we got to eat David’s famous tacos for the first time in, like, 8 years? Has it really been that long? It’s been WAY too long! They were soooooooooo good. And there was left overs, which we ate Monday before we caught our flight back home.

Saturday came along and we left to go to Estes Park. We made a stop at Starbucks which also has the most amazing view of any Starbucks ever! See below, also taken on my iPhone via the Pano app. I love that app! Anyway, then we headed off to Estes Park. We made a stop first at a road side shop in the mountains which had all sorts of home decor. That was my first opportunity to take photos. Below are photos from near that little shop. The second and third photo was from a mountain stream on our way to the little shop that we pulled over to take photos of (keep scrolling for the rest of the blog post).

This is an iPhone photo. View from Starbucks.

After our stop we headed the rest of the way to Estes Park. It was such a cute little town. We had lunch at a little Italian joint that had some good bruschetta and spaghetti and meatballs. Afterward we took a walk around all of the little shops and I took David and Debbie to a little park to get some photos of them. You know, the kind of photos that say, “We’ve been married a long time and we’re cute together” kind of photos! I should have prefaced that by saying that David hates having his picture taken and he hates photos of himself and he grudgingly agreed to them! mwahaha! I also took some photos of just him for his book. He works a corporate job but is a writer as well and would ultimately love to become a full time writer. He writes science fiction novels. He has already released his first book, Infiltrator, and is working on a screen play. You can purchase his book here. You can also visit his website by clicking here, though it might be changing soon. Also, as a quick side note I finally got him to agree to sign up for Twitter and get a Facebook Fan Page so follow him on Twitter here and become a fan on Facebook here. Anyway, I’d show the photos but at David’s request I will not be posting those photos online unless he changes his mind ;) Which I think you should if you’re reading this! The good news is he and Debbie loved the photos! Trust me. They’d tell me if they didn’t.

Here are some of the fine art photos I took for my fine art website which will soon be available for purchase!

After Estes Park, we headed back to Evergreen but had to make a couple of stops. I decided Debbie had to teach me how to crochet because she is sooooo good at it and it looks really fun! So we went through Boulder and stopped at Michaels where she helped me pick out some yarn and some crochet hooks. Then we had to stop by Ace Hardware. You know why we had to stop by Ace Hardware? Because somehow I broke their toilet. That’s right. I broke it! I went to the bathroom after I woke up that morning and went to flush and it wouldn’t flush. Go me. I don’t even have to touch something to break it. It seems every time I’m at their house I break or mess something up. Last time I was there I slopped ketchup on their brand new dining chairs. Luckily they decided to re-cover them (probably because of my clutzyness). This time it was the toilet. Who knows? Maybe next time I’ll break their car or burn their house down…. I suck! But I get a good laugh out of it!

After we got home and had David’s famous beef stew for dinner, Colby and I went outside and took pictures of their Christmas lights but while we were out there I couldn’t help but notice the beauty of all of the stars that we could see. So I decided to attempt to get a few pictures of the stars. To my amazement my camera saw so many more stars than I could see with my eyes. It really just makes you stop in awe for a few moments about just how awesome God is and just how beautiful he made the earth and space. Here are the photos of their Christmas lights and the sky.

So Saturday night I had to do the one thing I dreaded the most… I’ve been putting it off since July. I promised Colby for his birthday that we’d go see Terminator…. I can’t stand movies that make me tense up for 2 hours straight. Well guess what…. I had to watch it. To the movie’s defense it was a really good movie for the type of movie it is, but I still don’t like those kind of movies. I prefer feel good movies, chick flicks, and pixar movies! hahaa! After that we stayed up until almost 2:30 in the morning talking. I love to talk. Anyone that knows me knows that. I can talk and talk and talk ALLLLLLL day. I mean ALLLLLLLLL day. Most people are annoyed by it, but hey, it’s worse since I work at home and don’t get regular human interaction! That’s my defense anyway… But either way, I love great conversations so that was really fun for me!

Sunday was our pre-Christmas Christmas. David and Debbie cooked yet another amazing meal! They cooked a crown roast with stuffing, potatoes, gravy, rolls, etc. It was THA BOMB! And many of you know that I’m trying to lose weight. So I was calorie counting the whole time I was there, except for Sunday. That was my cheat meal. And boy did I cheat. Luckily I still managed to lose 1.5 lbs while I was there. After dinner came the present opening! I was sooooo excited for them to open the gift from “Colby and I” when really it was just from me ;) There is a whole big story behind this gift, but I’ll make the story short because I don’t feel like typing that much out. Long story short, David and Debbie came to visit earlier this year. While we were at breakfast one morning David mentioned he had seen this thing called a Therapy Buddy. We all whipped out our iPhones and checked it out and Ohhhhhhhhhh Eeeeemmmmmmmmmm Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. That thing is the creepiest thing ever! We had a long laugh and convo about it so I knew for Christmas I was going to have to buy them one as a gag gift, only this one talks! It is AWESOME! Check out the Therapy Buddy here. I got them the one with the purple shirt. This thing is so freakin’ funny. We’re STILL laughing about it! It talks and says, “Everything is going to be all right.” Not alright. All right. It goes on to command you to “Hear my words” “Believe it” and “Feel the words.” It his hilarious. By far the funniest gag gift EVER! I decided the Therapy Buddy needed a name and we had a really hard time finding a name for her. As we pulled into the airport we decided she was a woman of color and named her Shaquanda Tamika. That’s right! Don’t be hatin’! We had all sorts of great laughs with her but I thought it would be funny to make her ride their iRobot, aka Rita Maid.

Here’s the video. Click on the below to see the video.


Here’s a video of her talking so you can hear her creepy voice.


Ok, enough of Shaquanda… Moving on… So we had our Christmas on Sunday. They got us some REALLY nice gifts that I’d love to dish about here but I can’t because some of Colby’s other siblings are getting similar items so let’s just say they were REALLY nice. I feel bad that we couldn’t do something nicer than Shaquanda and coffee from Gloria Jeans but it’s all good. Some day we’ll be able to.

Then Monday came :( I didn’t like Monday. Monday was the day we flew back home. Luckily we didn’t fly out until 8:10 at night so we had the whole day to spend together. We went out to breakfast at a great little restaurant called LePeep. It was yummy! After that we went home and packed :( I hate packing. Then we helped David and Debbie move some furniture. Then we ate left over tacos, which were even better than the first time we ate them, and then had to leave for the airport. I hate leaving. There’s always a sense of sadness. We decided, wait, more like I decided, to bring Shaquanda along for the ride. Debbie and I just about died laughing in the elevator when she pressed the talk button and Shaquanda started saying, “Everything is going to be all right” in her creepy voice and people started getting on the elevator. I couldn’t stop laughing. I was laughing so hard I was crying. We had a few minutes before we needed to go through security so we sat and had some coke at a little cafe and then had to say our goodbyes. I hate goodbyes. They are the hardest. Colby and I both get sad when we have to say goodbye. As we entered the line for security we saw Shaquanda waving to us in the distance with Debbie and David behind her to support her in her time of grief. We waived our last goodbyes then sadness occurred… I was later told Shaquanda tried to run away from Debbie in the airport bathroom. I like to think she was trying to come with us… hhahahahahahaa!

Anyway, we had such an excellent time! It was so great! I can’t wait until we can come back and visit again. It’s been 5 years since I was there and 3 years since Colby was there. We definitely won’t be waiting that long again. You know how newly wed finances go though… We’re in a better place now! hahha! Anyway, I want to thank David and Debbie SO much for their hospitality, the laughs, the laughing cries, the awesomeness, the amazing food, the sweet Christmas gifts and the wonderful family they are! I love them!

Jen Shannon Photography, Chicago Wedding Photographer

As most of you have probably seen on my twitter or facebook page, my husband and I went to Colorado to visit family this past week. We had SUCH a wonderful time! I’ll be doing a much bigger blog post later but I wanted to get a photo up first and make a couple of announcements. First I will not be doing any Rock On Photographer installations until after the first of the year. I am going to take a little break and regroup because next year is going to be a busy year. Second I was invited to be a vendor at a wedding show for the Metro Club in Willis Tower, previously known as the Sears Tower, on January 23rd from 2pm-6pm so if you’re a bride in Chicago or you know a bride in Chicago please encourage them to come to the show! It’s a very formal cocktail party style show. The address is 233 S. Wacker Drive. Pre-registration is going on now and is $10, it’s $15 at the door and children 12 and under get in free.

Lastly, I was recently selected to be in the running for an amazing award of Photographer of the Year for Photobiz. If selected I would win one year of hosting and a 12,000 photo allotment for my website, plus the recognition of course! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GO VOTE AND TELL YOUR FRIENDS! To vote, visit the below website and vote for me. I was the November photographer of the month. You can only vote once.


I’ll leave you with one of my favorite photos of our trip to Colorado. More to come on that, probably tomorrow.

Jen Shannon Photography, Chicago Wedding Photographer

Finally! I got some time to edit the photos from my visit with Colby’s Dad and step-Mom in Colorado! We had a great time! The day started off early. Now, I don’t know about you, but when I visit somewhere that is absolutely breathe taking, I can’t not take pictures while I drive. No, I’m not actually putting the camera to my eye and trying to take pictures while I drive. I hold the camera in one hand, turn on auto mode, and just start snapping away and hope I get something good, but I don’t take my eyes off of the road. So, my first photo was some amazing clouds with mountain scenery that I took while on my way to visit with David and Debbie. It was a two hour drive from Monica’s house to theirs so I left around 9am to be there at 11. I met Debbie at their house in the mountains of Evergreen, CO. It was so nice to see their house again after 5 years of time between then and my last visit out there. They had painted the house a beautiful red color, but that wasn’t even close to what they had done on the inside. They had painted their second floor this beautiful, warm, inviting color and changed out the fixtures. I wish I would have taken pictures of the really cool acorn fixture they had over the stairs by the front door, it was SOO cool! Debbie gave me the tour and showed me their sweet “Rita Maid” vacuum. You’ve probably seen them, they are called Roombas. They just vacuum away all by themselves! They named her Rita Maid. Colby and I TOTALLY have to get one!

So after chatting for a little while and the tour of the house since last I was there, we were off to downtown Denver where David works to meet him for lunch. I don’t remember for the life of me what the name of the restaurant was that we ate at but it was really good. It was similar to P.F. Changs, which I am in love with. We had lunch and chatted about all sorts of stuff. I know some people are awkward around their significant other’s parents, but I’ve known David and Debbie for almost 9 years and they are second parents to me. I miss getting to eat over for Sunday dinners and having Olive Garden dinners with Debbie :( Oh, and I should say, I REALLY miss David’s tacos. They are, hands down, the best tacos on the planet! Did I mention David and Debbie REALLY know how to cook?? Anyway, so during lunch it was nice to catch up. Unfortunately, David had to go back to work after lunch but my plans changed for later in the day and I ended up getting to hang out with him some more later on.

After lunch Debbie and I decided to go guitar shopping to find her a guitar. She’s been wanting to learn for a long time and what better person than me (I’ve been playing for 14 years) to help her pick one out?? I wish I could be there to help her learn how to play it! So we went to Best Buy but they didn’t really have anything worth buying so we looking through the GPS for other guitar shops. While searching, we started talking about tea and Teavana. I haven’t been to Teavana in so long because the one in Chicago is so far away and there is no parking! So Debbie navigated us to the Cherry Hill (I think that’s what it was called) mall where not only did I get to stop at the M.A.C. counter to buy more bronzer (Debbie also bought me some really nice lip gloss as a birthday present) but we got to go to Teavana where I bought more tea and rock cane sugar! Yummo! That was our detour to Guitar Center. So we got there and found her a nice Yamaha to start with! After that, we drove back to the mountains where David was at home making dinner. We had tuna sandwiches. Anyone who knows me knows I hate fish, for the most part, but they made it soooo good! So good, in fact, that I started buying albacore tuna and making my own tuna fish at home!

Anyway, I was supposed to head back to Denver to hang out with Monica, Heidi and meet Becker from the [b] School but after ALL of the driving I was beat! I wanted to stay the night but Monica and I had early morning plans for the next day (which ended up not being as early as we had planned) so I had a 2 hour drive back to Colorado Springs that night. But, I decided to stay until around 10 or so to hang out and chat. We all relaxed on the couch, Debbie and I drank our tea :), and watched tv. I wished Colby could be there because it’s been 5 years since he was there too, but it was nice getting to visit without him too, but we missed him.

So, here are a few pics. I took some pictures of David and Debbie’s barn. It’s super cute! They had also had, I think, 3 feet of snow just a few days before I came that snapped off a HUGE part of several trees that I took pictures of. Enjoy!







Jen Shannon Photography, Chicago Lifestyle Photographer