Going Back to Where You’re From

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if you are one of those lucky people that lives near your family (and you like them) soak it up! to be honest, i thought i would be back in colorado by now because we moved to portland for me to get my master’s in social work 6 years ago and i figured we’d move back afterwards. turns out we are still loving portland so there we stay.

colorado was strangely beautiful for this trip. it had been raining for weeks on end before i arrived so it looked like a whole different world with all the green hills! typically by this time of year, everything has dried out so what an emerald surprise.

colorado view

not only did i get to visit with my parents, but my sister was in town from arizona and my grandparents from kansas city were also here! they are celebrating their 59th wedding anniversary and decided to retrace their honeymoon stops through colorado! isn’t that the sweetest?

us at dinner

it was extra special that my sister and i were here for father’s day! we probably haven’t been together for father’s day in 6 or 7 years. we celebrated with my stepdad and grandpa by hanging out in downtown denver first:

colorado downtown denver

my sister gets full credit for finding a deal on a glass blowing class, where we took my dad since he’s always wanted to try that!

colorado glass blowing all of us glass blowing colorado 2 glass blowing colorado 3 glass blowing colorado

chelsea avery glass blowing colorado

my in-laws used to be glass-blowers, isn’t that neat? it was much harder than i anticipated (and waaaay hot at 2,150 degrees F in those ovens). the instructor referred to the open one as a ‘glory hole,’ which immediately made my sister and i lock eyes and bust out laughing.

as i mentioned previously about being an angsty teen, it’s always an interesting thing to go back home for me. i do get fairly homesick being away and sometimes it feels like an out-of-body experience to go back and even stranger to look through old photos of how life used to be.

kendal and chelsea fishing

colorado masks

i wish i was blogging or keeping a journal when i was younger so i could better remember what i was thinking and feeling…and where we put those amazing masks.

it’s interesting to see how relationships change and evolve as we become adults. one of my favorite things about becoming an adult is now being able to drink with my parents (though that was admittedly weird at first).


i realize not everyone has a great relationship with their family and i didn’t always either but i’m thankful we do now. that’s the hard but also good thing about relationships, they are always evolving too.

my husband wasn’t with me on this trip so that made me somewhat sad, especially since we had basically been spending 24/7 together on our recent adventures. on the flip side, i do think it’s important to spend time apart from time to time because it’s a good sign that you miss one another.

pretty evening coloradomy heart feels happy that i got to spend quality time with my family while back in colorado, but i still get pretty depressed saying goodbye to my family. the only cure to my depression in this case is long hugs from my husband and planning when i will see them all next.

i have two days at home to basically wash clothes and try to be super productive with a new e-course i’m putting together (yay!) before my husband and i are off to houston for his 10 year high school reunion and then florida to see my in-laws!

oh, i am about to close the survey i put out a few weeks back with the chance to win $25 for your thoughts on the new wifestyle so get in on it! thanks to those that have already participated!

1) how often do you go back to your where you grew up?
2) what’s something surprising about your relationship with your parents now that you’re an adult?
3) have you ever tried glass blowing?



  1. Elyse

    June 24, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Colorado looks absolutely breathtaking!

    I’m so glad you got to be with your family! I live about an hours drive away from my parents which basically means we see them every other weekend.
    Elyse recently posted…Bridechilla or Bridezilla?

    • chelsea

      June 26, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      colorado is an amazing state and this time around was even more incredible with all the green! so glad you get to see your parents pretty often, elyse 🙂

  2. Audrey

    June 24, 2015 at 9:27 am

    I sometimes wonder what it’s like to visit one’s hometown. I left for college but ended up right back where I started. (80% of the time I’m ok with that, but 20% of the time I feel like I should leave.) I’m happy to raise my future kids here, but I sometimes wish I’d have spent the early-adult years elsewhere 🙂

    I’ve never tried glass blowing but it looks so fun! (And I’d have cracked up, too! Hehe!)
    Audrey recently posted…My Guard Dog

    • chelsea

      June 25, 2015 at 2:33 pm

      i went to college only about 1.5 hours away so i went home more in college but it has been fun to get to explore a new city and have it just be me and my husband’s city. still don’t know where we will ultimately end up but i am grateful it’s not too long to get home when i need to! glad you are happy where you are audrey and it’s a good thing you love to travel so that’s a fun way to explore other cities!

      ps. glad we are laughing at the same thing 😉

  3. Sam

    June 24, 2015 at 9:35 am

    So first off, those pictures of you and your sister are ADORABLE!!
    Anyway, it is always fun to go back to my home town (Bakersfield, CA) to see all my cousins and aunts and uncles and eat the food i grew up on and visit the beaches, but I am so fortunate to live in the same zip code as my parents here is Vegas. And I WISH to keep it that way! Now that we have Matthew, i would like to keep his grandparents close and keep that relationship since he loves them. Although someone is trying to convince us to move to Phoenix. Not mentioning any names but *cough*your sister *cough* So we are driving to see them next week and look at housing and whatnot.
    And I have never tried glass blowing! Maybe I’ll take this idea for next fathers day for the special men in my life!!

    • chelsea

      June 25, 2015 at 2:31 pm

      ohhhh good point about eating the food you grew up on, sam! glad that you have your parents close, i imagine that totally helps especially with a super adorable kid like matthew 🙂 ohhhh that’s fun you are going to check out phoenix! i still need to go see them so take lots of pictures 🙂

  4. Amanda

    June 24, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Glass-blowing? That is seriously cool. Isn’t seeing family you don’t see often the best? I love reminiscing with my parents and old friends too. I’m looking forward to going home in about a month for my high school reunion!

    • chelsea

      June 25, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      yes, there is something quite comforting about seeing family 🙂 and yay for you going home soon to see them and for your high school reunion!

  5. Courtney {Alkeks Abroad}

    June 24, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    How adorable are your grandparents?! Glass blowing looks so fun! Now that my parents and sister have all moved back to Houston, I’m the only one left overseas. I didn’t realize how much more homesick that would make me. Have fun at the reunion, I’m a little disappointed to be missing mine this summer.
    Courtney {Alkeks Abroad} recently posted…Great Barrier Reef: Take Two

    • chelsea

      June 25, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      aren’t they the sweetest, courtney?! i just love love them. that would be sooo hard to be that far away from your parents 🙁 i am grateful i can see most of my family in a shorter plane ride. at least you’re having some fun adventures it looks like!

  6. Vivien

    June 24, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    1) I’m still there/here. 🙂
    2) I think what took me a very long time to get used to was the fact at some point my parents didn’t expect me to ask for “permission” to say hang out and have dinner with friends on any given weekend. Rather they just wanted me to tell them so they knew whether or not to expect me home for dinner. Hard to put into words.
    3) No but it looks very cool!
    Vivien recently posted…Reaching Deep, Being Brave

    • chelsea

      June 25, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      lucky lady 🙂 enjoy your time with your parents 🙂 that is strange to no longer have to ask for ‘permission’ isn’t it?? now it’s even funnier because when i go home i’ve finally switched over to wanting to see my family more than i want to see some of my old friends!

  7. Jordann

    June 24, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Seriously, those masks are amazing!!!

    • chelsea

      June 25, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      yay jordann! glad you like them and i’m upset i didn’t run across them while back home!

  8. Samantha O'Neil

    June 25, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    I took the survey – great job Chelsea. I love your blog 🙂

  9. Joanna

    June 27, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    My family lives in another country…every family gathering is super special!

    • chelsea

      June 30, 2015 at 7:05 am

      oh yes that would be a whole other level of toughness/specialness, joanna!