Colorado and IRI 2014

Hallo! I've had a busy past week for a few reasons, and these are why....
1.) I've decided to be social and actually invite people over.
2.) I've gone out various places with one of my best friends, Raven
3.) It was my birthday yesterday! Yes, my sweet sixteenth birthday. I got several Disney movies including Cars and Wreck-It Ralph, X by Ed Sheeran, and various other things.
Along the topic of my birthday, I want to do something special with my friends because your sixteenth only comes once, but now my birthday has past, and I don't know what to do. I thought of having a bonfire, but I'm not too thrilled with the idea because that could be awkward. Or a group of my friends and I could meet at a nice-ish restaurant and eat food together. Can you guys think of anything else? Help!

As you should know, I went to Colorado at the beginning of July with my family! We've been there before and it was one of my favorite trips, so I was ecstatic to go again, BUT I was slightly disappointed this time around :(
Here's why. The first night we spent there, I could tell that the altitude was affecting me because I felt nauseous and had pressure in my head. That's not a fun feeling, but I pushed through because I didn't want to miss the fun. The next day, I pretty much felt totally fine which was awesome. Sadly, after that day, things got bad again and I had to go to a little clinic thing because I was just miserable and not up to doing anything. Woo. Fun times, right? The saddest part was that I didn't get to do the cattle drive that I'd been saving up for all year :'(

But it wasn't all horrible.... Here are some highlights.
1.) We went on several beautiful hikes in the mountains


2.) My dad and I spotted a mountain goat, and we tried to get closer for a picture, but as I was posing, he started coming towards us (which was a little bit intimidating because he had spikes on his head!!). He ended up less than five feet away from me and I even could have touched him if I wanted. I named him Goatee :)

This isn't the closest I got. Here you are seeing a moment when I was climbing back down to rejoin my parents and Goatee was stalking me :) Photocreds to my dad (I think)
Here's another cool shot from that hike. I thought the ice on the lake looked cool, not to mention the mountains in the background! Photocreds!

3.) We rode the free gondola up part of the mountain and then took a 15 minute (one way) scenic chairlift ride even higher up. There was a ton of snow (they had just had another snow storm a week before) for snowball fights and even sledding if we'd had sleds.


4.) What I am about to tell you next is the highlight of my vacation. My brother and I decided to climb further up the mountain to see how far we could go up before it got too steep, which was super hard, by the way, because I wasn't used to the thin air just yet. We were so far and high that even my camera (that my parents were holding for me) couldn't see us on full zoom. However, it was probably the prettiest view I've ever seen because from 3/4 the way up the peak, you could see EVERYTHING including the next town that was a 20 minute drive away.
And it was sweet because when we got as high as we could, my brother told me that there was only one thing he wanted to do, and that was to play the song "On Top of the World" by Imagine Dragons which says "I've climbed the highest mountain" and then obviously in the chorus says "I'm on top of the world." It was awesome, but pictures don't do it justice! Guess you just had to be there ;)

This was a snapchat my brother took because he still had cell service where ever we went on our trip!

5.) I ate a lot of good food including cookies, crepes, and caramel apples.

6.) I went shopping downtown and bought a sweatshirt and an adorable purse that you will be able to see on this blog in a few weeks.

7.) I met the real, actual Budweiser Clydsdales that tour around the United States :D I love horses, so I wouldn't miss out on this opportunity in a million years even if I wasn't feeling great at that time :(

Photocreds to my mommmmm

8.) My dad and I went downtown for the fireworks over the mountains on the 4th of July, and they were awesome. I took pictures there too, but they're on another SD card and I don't wanna get up to find it haha.

9.) My brother and I tried those human hamster ball things that float on the water. They are WAY harder than they look. It takes insane balence to be able to run in those things. Otherwise, you're on the bottom of the ball a lot (like me).

Photocreds to my mommmmmmm again

I took a ton more pictures, but I don't want to ramble on too long about my vacation, so that's what you get!
That sounds pretty fun, you say? Well, those parts were very enjoyable, but I know it could have been wayyyyy better if I was feeling more like myself.


And now for the IRI 2014 results! (For those of you who don't know, IRI is short for Indiana Robotics Invitational, and you have to apply and be accepted to get in. Only the best of the best do, and since we performed significantly this year, we were invited to join!)

We left on a Thursday night, anticipation in the air as we waited for the next morning to come and the competition to start. Finally it began with the opening ceremonies. Three countries were represented (Mexico, Canada, and the USA) so we had to listen to three different national anthems before the game could be on it's way. Finally, we were up. Drumroll please!!! *dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum*
We choked. Completely and utterly fell apart. We didn't perform as well as expected to, and didn't even advance to elims. So, basically it was a pretty discouraging couple of days as we sat and watched ourselves die.

HOWEVER! There was a bright patch in this for our team, especially for myself, a girl named Emily, and our head mentor. There is an award for Mentor of the Year at IRI, and Emily and I entered our mentor for it. All we had to do was write an essay about why he deserved the title and drop it in a little box on the first day of competition. When Saturday morning rolled around, Em and I were very curious to see who won, and when they started announcing it, we automatically knew it was him, before they even said his name. We were both very proud that our writing (which we were told was judged by college English majors in the area) was good enough to earn the award. Our mentor has been a part of FIRST robotics for 20 years, and he's never won anything like this before, so he definitely deserved it :)
PLUS our team signed up for an all girls event in November... I am sooo excited.
Ok, I'll stop rambling on about robotics now.

Next week, I am helping at my church's VBS, so that'll be fun. And I'm also leaving for a baby shower in Illinois, woohoo! #roadtrip

That is all I have for you right now, I hope you enjoyed the pictures and stories :)
Please give me ideas on how to have a late celebration for my birthday.... I need your help!
Much love, July


  1. Looks like your trip was awesome!

    Ideas: go for a picnic in the park, go to the river, have a nerf or water balloon or water gun battle.

    Sorry the tournament didn't go well. Wish you luck in your tournament in November!


    1. Hmm good ideas! I'll consider those, thanks.
      I hope it will, especially because I will be directly involved (as in be the driver, button monkey, or human player, don't know yet). Thanks again Ky! Can I call you Ky?

    2. Yes yes you may! It is definitely better than some of my family nicknames for me, which include skunky and caillou.

    3. Haha, I don't even want to know how you got those nicknames! xD

  2. WELL HEY HAPPY SIXTEENTH! That's exciting! If I were you, I'd go for the restaurant idea, because restaurants are fun and you can dress up fancy and pretend to be A-list celebrities (or maybe that's just my weird friends and me ...)

    Your holiday looks great, sorry that you weren't feeling well :( I'm loving Goatee! XD

    1. THANK YOU EM! That seems like the easiest option so far, so I'm leaning that way. And you are definitely not the only one.... I do that too :)

  3. I agree with you doing something for your bday! C'mon July, pretty please?!

  4. First of all, congrats on getting into IRI in the first place. It is an invitational thing so it's kind of a big deal that you got in, no matter how you did in the actual competition. That said, it's too bad that you didn't kill it.
    I love your pictures from Colorado! Sounds like it was awesome.
    I hope you find something to do with all of your friends! I'm sorry, that was probably no help at all but I'm kind of brain-dead at the moment. I'll let you know if I think of anything.

    Happy Birthday!

    ~D. Skye <3

    1. Thank you Destiny :)
      Yeah, I wish it had gone better, but hey! There's always other chances (well, hopefully).

  5. Happy Birthday Dear July,

    I was wondering what date on July since your name is July hehe :) Thank you for visiting my blog and your comment just made my day. I'm sorry for not visiting you often since I get a job so I must scheduled it all. and You are such a sweet girl.
    Sorry for that you didnt enjoy at first days of trip but I'm glad you had another day with family and Colorado looks like pretty place. Thank for sharing the pictures too.
    and you entire summer sounds so fun. :)
    I have no idea about birthday..I love having great time with friends with picnic outdoor.
    I love your bag :)

    1. Aww thank you Delvalina! I totally understand about the scheduled posts thing. I do that a lot too actually :)
      Thanks also for the birthday suggestion! I appreciate it a lot!


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