a lovely weekend in "estes ark"

this past weekend, mr. lesley and i were invited up to estes park to celebrate our dear friend ally's birthday.
with the cooler temps, beautiful views, ridiculous games, delicious eats, nap times, and belly laughs, it was the perfect way to start my fall break. 

after we arrived at the cabin and settled in on friday night, it was time for an intense game of bible brainstorm. 
what is bible brainstorm you ask?
well, it's like cranium for kids who grew up in the christian sub-culture. 
it was awesome. 
(special shout out to the owners of the cabin. although i have to ask, where did you find such a game?) 
the best moment of the night was definitely ally trying to pantomime "ride to galilee".
45 minutes later and we sill couldn't get it. 

another highlight? 
gina fasciani (a friend from ORU) was there. 
she just got back from afganistan.
yeah, she's pretty much my hero.
saturday morning started off with a pancake breakfast around the table.
followed many cups of coffee (i wanted to steal that love mug so bad, but i refrained) and relaxed reading time. 
in the afternoon we took a little jaunt to rocky mountain national park to do some hiking per ally's birthday request.
she is quite the outdoors lady.
we tried to do a few different hikes but the parking lots were full (you try to go into nature to "get away from it all" only to realize "it all" followed you...go figure:), so we snagged a spot and started a short hike to bierstadt lake. 
the hike was short and the views were breathtaking.
i was a big fan.
we arrived at the lake...
ally tried to show us some of her acrobatic moves...
we found some tree chairs...
took in the glorious views...
posed for some classic engagement shots...
(notice the strategic hand placement.)
and made some friends in the animal kingdom.
the chipmunk and birds did not mess around when it came to snagging treats. 
(even when it meant taking them off of jake's head.)
we took one group shot and then made our way down the trail. 

and on the way back to the cabin, we couldn't resist stopping at possibly the best named attraction in all of colorado, "estes ark." 
although i never saw the famous "talking teddy" i dud see more stuffed animals than i was comfortable with.
one word: wow.
our day post- hike consisted of...
trying to fix gina's amazing new record player, baking cookies, taking naps, and reading. 
it was perfect.
for dinner that night ally and jake made us spaghetti, and ally even found a heart shaped noodle! 
even pasta feels the love.
after dinner we played the picture pass word game.
i have no idea how to describe the game in any way that would make sense, but it was definitely hilarious.

then it was time to celebrate ally's birthday with some ice cream cake...
and banana grams while the boys watched a ridiculous 80's movie entitled "rad." 
sunday morning our mountain weekend came to a close.
all in all, it was the perfect storm of awesomeness. 

happy birthday ally.
i am so glad you were born! 
thanks for planning such a lovely weekend.


  1. beautiful lake to arrive at-and good thing too-to work off the pancakes and cookies!

  2. can you teach me to be outdoorsy? marshall is into it. me, not so me. my idea of outdoors is laying by a pool/beach.