background img

The Fourth Trimester: A Denver Surrogate Shares Her Post-delivery Journey

Have you ever wondered about becoming a surrogate? For the past few months, we have followed Denver surrogate Kristi’s journey with ConceiveAbilities, a Denver egg donor and surrogacy agency that has helped thousands of families for nearly 25 years.

In Part 1, Kristi shares why she became a surrogate and how much money a Denver surrogate at Conceiveabilities makes.

In Part 2, Kristy explains the matching process with her intended family, pregnancy and delivery.Denver surrogate mother

Here in Part 3 of our series, Kristi talks about her recovery during the “Fourth Trimester” if she is still in contact with the baby’s family and her biggest life lesson after becoming a surrogate mother in Denver.

Did you feel support and encouragement after delivery?

My intended parents were very supportive after delivery, messaging me and checking in on my recovery. My daughter was incredibly helpful as well as friends and family who all checked in on me too. 

What was recovery like for you? Emotionally? Physically?

I have never had a c-section before, so it took me a little time to recover afterward. Emotionally, you still go through the same hormone drop after having a baby. But the upside of being a surrogate is that after delivery you really get to focus on yourself postpartum.

What was the biggest life lesson from your surrogacy journey? 

This experience reminded me how grateful I am for my daughter and how grateful I am for my own fertility. I think too many of us take having children for granted. Surrogacy was a humbling experience. 

How is your relationship with the intended family and surro baby? 

I wanted a close relationship with my surrogate family. We keep in contact through phone calls, FaceTime and in-person visits. I understand not all surrogates and intended parents want a close relationship, and that is okay. Some prefer just the yearly Christmas card or maybe an email update. Not me, we are a team — Team Peanut (my surrogate belly buddy’s nickname is Peanut)!

What would you tell another woman who is considering becoming a surrogate? 

Surrogacy is not a quick payday. While compensation is helpful, money comes and goes. Surrogacy needs to come from the heart. You really need to be in it to help others! This is a physical and emotional process. It is a commitment! 

Watch Kristi’s surrogacy journey on Colorado’s Best.

Why Women Become Surrogates

ConceiveAbilities: Looking Out For Its Colorado Surrogates

If you are thinking about becoming a surrogate in Colorado, ConceiveAbilities Surrogacy Agency in Denver delivers a comprehensive plan to ensure a successful fourth-trimester recovery, from the start of pregnancy and based on the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists standard of care. 

As a surrogate with ConceiveAbilities, you will have a personalized consultation covering the facts behind, and options for:

  • Doula care and birth preparation
  • Physical therapy 
  • Nutrition
  • Fitness / movement
  • Monthly Q&A sessions with rotating experts throughout pregnancy

ConceiveAbilities is proud to offer the first-of-its-kind All-In Surrogate Care and Compensation Program. The surrogate pay package is the highest of any surrogacy agency. As a surrogate in Denver with ConceiveAbilities, your estimated base surrogate pay is $52,000 plus an additional $5,000 for a limited time. After you have qualified, a surrogate engagement team member will provide you with a personalized compensation package including your personal Match Manager, legal and insurance support and monthly care packages.

Learn more about becoming a surrogate with ConceiveAbilities in Denver or take this survey to begin your Colorado surrogacy journey.

 In partnership with Mile High Mamas.

Elitch Gardens to host Luminova Holidays

Elitch isn’t just for summer (spring and fall) fun anymore! Elitch Gardens announced today they will be hosting the brightest and most spectacular spot this holiday season. Starting Friday, November 26, 2021 through Sunday, January 2, 2022, the Park will transform into Luminova Holidays and deliver the most fascinating and dazzling winter-wonderland experience Denver has ever seen with larger-than-life holiday displays and more.

To best enjoy this awe-inspiring display of glittering lights, fun rides, heartwarming memory-making moments and visits with St. Nick, reservations are required. The event will run evenings from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

“We truly are proud and excited to introduce the first-ever holiday event at the Park,” says David Dorman, Elitch Gardens General Manager. “Luminova Holidays promises to be a must-see sensational and sophisticated spectacle and a must-do for Coloradoans of all ages to make lifelong memories at Elitch Gardens.”Elitch Gardens Luminova Holidays
 
Luminova Holidays featured at Elitch Gardens Includes:

  • Over 3 million dazzling lights
  • 65 ft. Christmas tree
  • 25 ft. snowman that never melts
  • 200 ft. candy cane tunnel
  • Ornaments and presents scaling over 16 ft. tall
  • 300 ft. x 70 ft wall of lights
  • Rides on limited Elitch Gardens attractions
  • Train rides for the kids (and the kids at heart)
  • Interactive activities including light-up hopscotch
  • Strolling holiday entertainers
  • Jolly ol’ Saint Nick and his elves
  • Photo ops galore with immersive light displays
  • And more to come

“This year more than ever we want families and friends to create memories that will last well beyond the holiday season,” says Dixie Baker, co-producer of Luminova Holidays. “We are extremely excited to be making our Colorado debut and to share with Denver the joy and holiday cheer that thousands have experienced when coming to see Luminova!  We are thrilled to be partnering with Elitch Gardens and look forward to brightening up your holidays for years to come.”       
 
President and CEO of VISIT DENVER Richard Scharf further adds, “We are thrilled that Luminova Holidays has chosen Denver and Elitch Gardens for their newest attraction. The holiday season in The Mile High City is always an exciting time with shopping, festive attractions, performances and displays, and we look forward to adding another unique tradition for families to enjoy downtown.”

The holiday bliss starts now! Early bird tickets are on sale for a limited time only for $19.99 each. Kids 2 and under are free. Elitch Gardens is partnering with Luminova for this special event and thus all guests are required to purchase a ticket and make a reservation. Special discount tickets have been arranged for our valued season pass holders. Guests should head to ElitchGardens.com/Luminova to reserve their visit and purchase tickets. Make Luminova Holidays featured at Elitch Gardens your plan for holiday get-togethers this year. It’s where the most wonderful time of the year is safely fun for all ages.

For B-Roll and hi-res photos, click here. For any additional information, please email [email protected].

15 Fall Festivals in Denver 2021

Don’t miss our guide to Denver’s best fall festivals 2021. From the Denver BBQ Festival to the Denver Arts Festival to Harvest Festivals. 

See also:

Colorado’s Best Pumpkin Patches & Corn Mazes

Colorado’s Best Fall Colors: Best drives, hikes, ghost towns and farms

National Hispanic Heritage Month

WHEN: Sept. 15–Oct. 15, 2021
WHERE: Various venues throughout town
Each year, Denverites observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. It’s a month-long celebration of the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Casual Fest 2021

WHEN: Sept. 17 and 22, 2021
WHERE: Boulder Bandshell, Boulder
Casual Fest takes over the Boulder Bandshell for a day of local artists, authors, and speakers. The goal is to create a free public art and music event to connect the community. 

The Denver BBQ Festival

WHEN: Sept. 17–19, 2021
WHERE: Empower Field at Mile High
BBQ is back! Don’t miss this chance to grab an ice-cold brew and sample pure smoked bliss from award-winning pitmasters from across the country. Admission is free with BBQ, drinks and more available to purchase, or get an all-you-can-eat-drink Q Pit Pass.

Denver Arts Festival

WHEN: Sept. 18–19, 2021
WHERE: Central Park’s Conservatory Green Neighborhood

This free fine art and fine crafts festival supports Colorado artists while showcasing a select group of national artists.

Jackalope Arts Indie Artisan Fair

WHEN: Sept. 18–19, 2021
WHERE: Olde Town Arvada

Enjoy a weekend of shopping featuring more than 100 hand-selected artisans in the heart of Olde Town Arvada to find trendsetting indie goods, including original fashion and jewelry, paper goods, innovative home decor and housewares, art, photography, food, plus much more. Admission is free!

Colorado Mountain Fest

WHEN: Sept. 25–26, 2021
WHERE: Parfet Park, Golden
Colorado’s premier mountain festival features a fun-filled, family-friendly weekend of multi-sport adventuring, educational programming and celebration of all things Mountain! The free festival will feature a variety of clinics, competitions, gear demos, swag, entertainment and local food and libations.

Cedaredge Applefest

WHEN: October 1-3

WHERE: Cedaredge, Colorado

Cedaredge Applefest has been celebrating area fruit growers annually since 1977 on the first full weekend in October. Festivities include live music, art, craft & food vendors, a 5K run, and tons more! Bringing together their local businesses, apple orchards, artists, musicians, 160+ vendors, and over 20,000 event attendees, you definitely don’t want to miss this amazing community event with distinct Cedaredge flair and flavor.

Autumn Bazaar at Belleview Station

WHEN: Oct. 2, 2021
WHERE: Belleview Station

Denver BAZAAR’s signature makers marketplace returns just in time for fall shopping and sipping. Spanning three blocks, the free Autumn BAZAAR at Belleview Station brings a shopping party to the streets to support local small businesses! 

Cheeseman Park Art Festival

WHEN: Oct. 2–3, 2021
WHERE: Cheesman Park

More than 130 artists and craftsmen from across the country will showcase their work at the 2021 Cheesman Park Art Fest. This is a juried event, and the festival organizers take pride in the curated selection of hand-made, American-made work sold directly by the artists.

Elk Festival

WHEN: October 2-3, 2021
WHEN: Estes Park

Celebrate Estes Park’s resident elk at this family-friendly festival in Bond Park (170 MacGregor Ave). Enjoy vendors, live music, food, bugling contests, performances and more at this year’s Elk Fest! 

Cider Days

WHEN: October 2-3

WHERE: Heritage Lakewood, 801 S. Yarrow St., Lakewood, CO

Celebrating Lakewood’s agricultural heritage with an entertaining mix of live performances, activities and tasty harvest treats, the annual Cider Days festival offers fun and excitement for the entire family! This event includes tractor pulls and vintage power displays, wagon and barrel train rides along with other children’s activities, historic demonstrations and a unique variety of exhibitors and vendors. 

Golden’s Autumn Fest

WHEN: October 3, 2021
WHERE: Golden History Museum

 Autumn Fest celebrates all of the things that make Golden a bright and shining community. The fun includes incredible chalk art, hourly puppet shows, silent movie viewing, costumed Civil War interpretation, pony rides and more. 

Harvest Festival

WHEN: October 9

WHERE: Littleton Museum

The annual Harvest Festival will be held on the living history farms of the Littleton Museum. Buy your Halloween pumpkins and enjoy wagon rides, carnival games, and other fun activities.

Pumpkin Festival

WHEN: October 8-10

WHERE: Chatfield Farms

Celebrate fall at Pumpkin Festival at Chatfield Farms, a treasured October tradition for the entire family. The fun includes family and children’s activities, local craft and artisan booths and entertainment and live music.

Pumpkin Nights

WHEN: October 17-November 3

WHERE: Adams County Fairgrounds

At PUMPKIN NIGHTS, you will venture along a half-mile walking path, where you’ll discover the Forbidden City, a Pirate’s Cove, and more fantastical lands built using over 5,000 hand-carved real and artificial pumpkins. The celebration continues with entertainment and games in The Village, our festival area.

Denver Arts Week

WHEN: Nov. 5–13, 2021
WHERE: Throughout Denver

Denver Arts Week is a celebration of all things art in The Mile High City, featuring events at a wide variety of art galleries, museums, theaters and concert halls.

Also, don’t miss these Oktoberfest celebrations in Colorado and see our event calendar for even more events. 

12 Fun Ways to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Denver

What is Hispanic Heritage Month?

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The celebration begins each year on Sept. 15, the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize also observe their independence days during this period.

Visit Denver shares how you can celebrate this rich tradition, history and culture in Denver. (Versión en español aquí). Be sure to scroll to the bottom to learn where to learn bachata or salsa dancing in Denver

Biennial of the Americas (Sept. 3–25, 2021)
The Biennial of the Americas and Museo de las Americas  present the Americas COVID-19 Memorial, an artist-driven exhibit acknowledging the grave impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the Americas. Featuring artwork from 21 artists across the Western Hemisphere that address the disproportionate impact, this exhibition aims to serve as a space for shared reflection, collective grieving, and healing through art. 

The Gonzalo Teppa Quintet  (Sept. 3, 10, 17 & 24, 2021)
Venezuelan bassist Gonzalo Teppa presents his quintet at Nocturne every Friday in September, performing a collection of his compositions that draw from the musical wells of contemporary jazz, Latin American music (Venezuelan, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban), blues, free jazz and more. Reservations required. 

Fervor: Ana María Hernando  (Sept. 11, 2021–Jan. 2, 2022)
Interdisciplinary artist Ana María Hernando harnesses the power of painting, poetry and installation to honor and alter traditional feminine craft and community in this exhibition at Denver Botanic Gardens. Her love of plants, flowers and the spirit of nature permeates her work. Fervor features her installation Écoutons | Escuchemos | Let’s Listen, created in response to bird sounds submitted from more than 200 people across the globe.

Knockout de Risas  (Sept. 19, 2021)
Don’t miss this opportunity to spend an evening with the most recognized comedians in Mexico. With more than 15 years of experience, Edson Zúñiga (known as El Norteño), Javier Carranza (El Costeño), and Gustavo Munguía (Paúl Yester) put on a two-hour comedy event at the Paramount Theater that’s fun for the whole family.

Latin Fashion Week Colorado (Sept. 24–30, 2021)
Created to honor the rich diversity in the Latino creative community, Latin Fashion Week Colorado aims to create tomorrow’s new wave of talented fashion designers and artists with recognition on a national and international level. 

Preludes  (Sept. 24–Nov. 6, 2021)
The William Havu Gallery is honored to present the first solo exhibition by Cuban-born artist Carlos Estévez in Colorado, which will include more than 20 paintings. Estévez uses his work to reveal the invisible realm to the spirit that lies hidden beneath the visible world, a process that he refers to as an alchemical, metaphysical transformation of mystery into knowledge.

‘Guadalupe in the Guest Room’  (Sept. 30–Oct. 24, 2021)
Guadalupe is living in the guest room of her son-in-law, Steve, while she translates the children’s books her deceased daughter has written from English to Spanish. Overcome with grief and separated by a language barrier, the unlikely housemates struggle to communicate, but as Guadalupe and Steve begin watching a telenovela together, they bond in unexpected ways, leading them to learn that understanding doesn’t always require speaking the same language. See it at Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College

Alebrije: Xólotl  (Oct. 2–Nov. 7, 2021)
In partnership with the Mexican Cultural CenterDenver Botanic Gardens hosts a monumental sculpture by contemporary Mexican artist Óscar Becerra Mora. Standing nearly 15 feet tall, the sculpture depicts an alebrije — a fantastical hybrid creature from Mexican folklore.

SMOKING MIRRORS: A Reflection on Identity in Mexico and the USA, 1821-2021 (Oct. 14, 2021–Feb. 26, 2022)
This visual arts exhibit curated by the Chicano/a Murals of Colorado Project honors the Colorado Chicano/a mural tradition of using public art in service to the people and communities that are historically dehumanized and oppressed in US society. See it at Museo de las Americas .

Opportunities exist all year long to learn Latin dances and try out the moves! 
Colorado New Style Dance specializes in Latin dance and offers a wide variety of classes for adults and kids. Various levels of salsa, bachata, capoeira and other classes are available.

Salsa Central Denver has a handy list of where to learn salsa and bachata every week and enjoy dancing to Latin beats, including its own Wednesday Salsa and Bachata Lessons and Dance where you can meet new people and practice all night long! There is an admission fee that includes a beginning salsa lesson. There is an extra fee for bachata and intermediate salsa. Lessons begin at 7:15 p.m. followed by open dancing from 8:30 p.m. to close. 

Also on the list are bachata dancing with lessons on Wednesdays and Salsa Fridays at Blue Ice Lounge, which also has Rotating Latin Night on Thursdays and Latin Top 40 on Saturdays. More salsa and bachata lessons take place at La Rumba every night of the week.

Oktobestfest celebrations in Colorado, fall fun and other Denver deals

One year, in celebration of Oktoberfest, I tried to make my own pretzels. The recipe made it seem like it would be simple. But even though it might have been simple for the recipe writer, they did not turn out for me. But this time of year, I do crave a beer and pretzel (with a name like Gretchen there is no wonder I feel a certain pull to celebrate Oktoberfest). I am excited about the Oktobefest celebrations to return and to satisfy my annual cravings.

 Fall Fun in Denver. Don’t miss our guide to Colorado’s top pumpkin patches and corn mazes this fall. Also, where to find Colorado’s Best Fall Colors: Best drives, hikes, ghost towns and farms.Denver Deals Ski Season. Looking for great deals for the upcoming ski season? Get your season passes sooner rather than later! Most of the passes will continue to go up in price through their final sell date – which is usually right around Thanksgiving but you can usually save up to $50 by getting it earlier in the sales cycle. Plus now is the time to get the Vail Resorts the Epic School Kids Pass. This allows kids K-5th grade four days at EACH of their Colorado Resorts (Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte). Plus, a beginner ski lesson and rental equipment on that day! Details can be found here or the Colorado Ski Country’s Passport which allows 4th, 5th and 6th graders to get 4 days of skiing at each of the 21 member ski areas for just $59. Details can be found here.

Oktoberfest Celebrations. Yes, I know that Oktoberfest seems like it should happen in October – but the traditional German celebration actually happens in September. And Coloradoans, we love our beers.

·         Dairy Block. Enjoy the fresh fall air while shopping, drinking & dining at the Oktoberfest Fall Market curated by American Field held in the Dairy Block Alley this September & October. There will be awesome merchants, entertainment as well as deals on food and drinks. The Oktoberfest Fall Market at Dairy Block will be held from 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Friday & Saturday and noon – 5 p.m. on Sunday over four weekends: Sept 17 – 19; Sept 24 – 26; Oct 1 – 3; & Oct 8 – 10

·         Oktoberfest in Castle Rock. Castle Rock will celebrate Oktoberfest on September 18 form 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Wilcox square in downtown Castle Rock. The festival will feature German dancers, food, drink and fun for the whole family.

·         Denver Oktoberfest. Denver’s festival of German fun will be back for two weekends: September 18-19 and September 25-26. German specialties will abound in the Ballpark Neighborhood.

·         Parker Oktoberfest. September 17-19 O’Brien Park will feature Parker’s version of Oktoberfest!

·         Highlands Ranch. Grab your fill of German food, Paulaner beer, entertainment, kids games and Dachshund races (plus human races too) on September 18.

·         Golden’s Schuhplattlers Denver Kickers. Golden will host the three day Oktoberfest fun September 17-19 featuring Denver Kickers (and of course a bit of Bavarian beer and food).

·         Vail Oktoberfest. Vail’s celebration goes through September 19 with beer, Bavarian music, dancing, yodeling, brat eating contest, keg bowling and stein lifting! Plus free concerts, family zone, crafts, entertainers and a kids 1K fun run.

·         Breckenridge Oktoberfest. One of my favorites in the state! September 24-26 the Main Street in Breckenridge is closed to make room for all things Oktoberfest – beer, food, music, keg tapping, and kids fun.

 Broncos Deals. I cheer for the Broncos like any well-bred Coloradoan does – but it is even better when you can get a deal with it! The day after a win you can get a free donut at King Soopers, the day after any game (regular season) you can get a free 12 oz coffee at Conoco, the day after a game where the Broncos score at least one touchdown you can get a buy one get one free Arby’s Classic Sandwich or a Classic Beef n’ Cheddar.

Panera Free Coffee and Customized Mug. During the month of September, Panera has partnered with Shutterfly to give you three months of free MyPanera+ Coffee and a FREE customizable mug. For details or to sign up visit here.

Littleton’s Summerset Festival. Saying goodbye to summer feels a little less difficult when you get to send warm, long days off via a festival! On Saturday, September 18 at Clement Park Littleton will bid adieu to summer with the return of Summerset festival complete with vintage/custom car show, Kidz Korner activities (jump houses, face painting, coloring contests), Music, craft brew tasting, food trucks and more.

 Free Night. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science will host a free night on September 20.  See our list of Denver free days in 2021.

Consignment Sales. The fall season of consignment sales has already begun. We have a full list. The next great sale will be the Just Between Friends of Douglas County sale at the Douglas County Fairgrounds on September 16-19. Mark your calendars now!  

Check out a sewing machine, Colorado State Park pass, Go-Pro and more from the Denver Public Library

We recently shared that Denver’s only toy library–where you can check out a whole array of items including educational toys, games, puzzles and costume–has reopened.

But did you know you can check out so much more from the Denver Public Library, including Chrome Books, a sewing machine, a Colorado State Park Pass, Go-Pro and more.

Bicycle Repair Kits
Bike Repair Kits provide the tools you need to fix a flat or make an adjustment to your bike. Checkout period: 2 hours. On-site at the library only.

Check Out State Parks: Colorado Library Pass
Enjoy the natural beauty of Colorado at one of our 42 State Parks. Pass admits one carload of people. Checkout period: 1 week.
For National Parks, see the Every Kid Outdoors program to learn about FREE park passes for fourth-grade (or home-school equivalent) students.

Denver Tool Library Pass 
Check out everything from ladders and power tools to lawnmowers and post-hole diggers. This one-week membership permits up to 10 tools with up to 3 power tools. Requires a signed safety waiver and a photo ID and credit card or your Denver Public Library card. Customers under the age of 18 will need to be accompanied by an adult to sign the waiver. Checkout period: 14 days (allows time for one full one week at the tool library).

Museum and Cultural Passes
The Denver Public Library has partnered with nearby cultural institutions to offer museum admission and theatre tickets for DPL cardholders.

GoPro Camera
Record your adventures with a GoPro Hero 3 digital camera. Includes accessories and carrying case. Checkout period: 1 week.

Sewing Machines
Mend and repair or sew something new! Includes pre-wound bobbins and spare needles. Checkout period: 4 weeks. Currently only available at Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch.

For other non-traditional and interesting things that the Denver Public Library checks out https://www.denverlibrary.org/library-things.
 

My Daughter Will Get Kicked Off Campus if She Tests Positive

It’s come to my attention that I get more stressed than my kids do when it comes to back-to-school. There’s always a couple of weeks before I take that first day of school picture when my anxiety is a little heightened and I’m feeling sad that time is passing so quickly.

The last couple of years have been even worse with all the uncertainty of Covid and wondering what we should do to protect our children.

This gets even more complicated as we send our kids off to college. In years past, we’ve hoped they make good decisions because that can impact their futures. Now, we’re hoping they make good decisions because it could impact their lives and the lives of others.

But what if it’s the university that’s making dangerous decisions?

I have a student attending Belmont University in Nashville, TN this year as a junior. Like most parents who have had kids starting college these last couple of years, there have been a lot of ups and downs. She started out strong in the fall of 2019, came home for spring break in March of 2020…and then didn’t go back until January 2021.

There have been a lot of tears. A lot of unmet expectations. A lot of adjustments.

When Belmont University allowed students to go back in the fall of 2020, they handled the health crises beautifully.

  • A dorm was set aside for students who had tested positive.
  • Masks were required both indoors and out on campus.
  • Students were not allowed to go into each other’s dorm rooms.
  • When my daughter was sick and had to have a Covid test (which, thankfully, came back negative), the school brought food to her dorm room so she could quarantine until she got the results.
  • She was able to get vaccinated even before I was because the school offered it.

So, imagine my surprise this year when I received their latest Covid policies:

  • If you are vaccinated and experience a breakthrough infection, a plan for an off-campus isolation space for a minimum of 10 days. If you have experienced a close contact, as long as you have uploaded proof of your vaccination to Belmont’s Health Services portal, you will not need to quarantine but will be asked to monitor for symptoms.  
  • If you are NOT vaccinated and test positive for COVID-19, a plan for an off-campus isolation space for a minimum of 10 days. If you are NOT vaccinated OR have not uploaded your vaccination record to Health Services and experience a close contact, you will need to have a plan for an off-campus quarantine space for a minimum of 10 days.  

On her second night in her dorm room, my daughter attended a dorm meeting. She was texting me because they had to put in writing what their “Covid plan” was going to be.

We live in Colorado. We have no family or friends in the area. Our choice will be either a hotel or an AirBnB.

Not only that, but it was announced at the meeting that if they test positive the university will take their dorm key away so they cannot come back until the quarantine period is finished.

Here are the issues with this policy:

  • Belmont University has an out-of-state student population of 70% (Source). This means that possibly thousands of students could be unleashed in the Nashville area over the course of this year because they have no place else to go.
  • I’m sure many students would hesitate to disclose a positive Covid test knowing they will basically be homeless for 10 days.
  • If my daughter tests positive, that means her roommates have already been exposed. Instead of all staying together and quarantining, now three kids might possibly have to find outside accommodations.
  • If a kid DOES have family or friends in the area, now they’re exposing another group to the virus.
  • If the solution is to go to a hotel, now even more people have been exposed.
  • If the student is from out of state and the parent has to fly in to take care of them, this could lead to more exposure because the parent has to go BACK at some point.

I have talked to many other friends who have college-age students around the country. In most cases, the school is offering “quarantine housing” or the student is able to quarantine in their dorm room. So far, I have yet to find another school that has the same “you get kicked off campus” policy.

And the part that I need to own as a parent is knowing that this was going to happen before I sent my daughter to school. I’ll be honest – I read the policy, but there was a big part of me that didn’t believe it. It wasn’t until my daughter told me that the school would take their key that I began to panic.

The message there to all of us parents is read the fine print and question it.

Our kids’ lives (and the lives of others) could depend on it.

Catherine Tidd is the owner of Social Seed Marketing and the bestselling author of Confessions of a Mediocre Widow . Based in Denver, Colorado, she loves to golf to escape her three teenagers and can often be found in her garden (when it’s not snowing) with her beloved dog, Max.

Comcast/Xfinity Technology Powers Back to School Connections

Whether your child will be going back to school in person this Fall, continuing distance learning or a “hybrid” learning model that combines a bit of both, one of the most important predictors of a student’s success is a high-speed Internet connection at home. The pandemic put a spotlight on the troubling academic achievement gap, and the best way to lessen it is by closing the digital divide. With this in mind, Comcast is providing a range of valuable services to support kids, families, schools and libraries for the upcoming school year.

  • High-Speed Internet Access At Home — Comcast is proud to provide Internet Essentials, the largest Internet adoption program in the nation, which offers eligible families high-speed Internet service at home – along with the option to by a low-cost laptop and access to free training. When the pandemic started, Comcast began offering Internet Essentials free for the first 60 days, and after that it’s just $9.95 per month. This offer continues and you can learn more at www.internetessentials.com.
  • Help with Your Internet Bill at Home — The Federal government’s Emergency Broadband Benefitis a welcome addition for those in need, enabling them to readily access the power of the Internet to work from home, learn virtually, stay informed, be entertained and much more. New and existing customers who are interested in participating can receive up to a $50/month credit on their Internet bill from Comcast — up to a $75 credit in Tribal areas. To learn more, visit xfinity.com/EBB to see what options are available, determine if you qualify and register.Comcast Lift Zones
  • Safe Spaces with Wi-Fi Access — Comcast has partnered with numerous community organizations, non-profits and city partners to launch Wi-Fi connected “Lift Zones.” These locations provide a safe, clean space to help students and adults get online, participate in distance learning, workforce development trainings and access critical resources. Nearly 50 Lift Zones throughout Colorado are already connected. Lift Zones help folks connect to the Internet so they can fully participate in educational opportunities and the digital economy. Many locations offer after-school programs, digital literacy training and other opportunities. These locations are especially valuable for those who may not have access to the Internet at home. For more information on Lift Zones near you, visit colorado.comcast.com/liftzone

As parents – we know first hand that “It takes a village…” Please help others in your child’s school and in our community know there are resources, technology hardware, and skills training available to help more people to what matters most.  To learn more about Comcast’s digital equity initiatives, or to refer organizations or people who might benefit from these services, please visit https://corporate.comcast.com/impact/digital-equity.

In partnership with Mile High Mamas.

Energy Day Colorado: What to Expect at the FREE Family Festival

There is so much going on in the world, as a parent it can be dizzying. What is certain is that our children will be the next to solve issues dealing with health, space, agriculture, weather and oceans. The one thing that touches all of them – energy. One thing is for certain, they will all require a foundation in STEM education. So, are you ready to spark your child’s interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at Energy Day Colorado. 

Energy Day is a free family festival on Saturday, September 25th that consists of interactive demonstrations that familiarize young students with all sorts of energy to get them excited about STEM education and possibly a future career path. The exhibits feature everything from hands-on demonstrations where students and families can see how energy processes work, to small experiments and even large-scale installations.

Events such as Energy Day “really drive the point (of the importance of STEM) home and support young people” says an attendee of Energy Day Colorado 2019. Another attendee notes “It is amazing to see a child’s face light up as a windmill powers enough energy to turn a light bulb on, or pedaling a bicycle fast enough to mix a slushy”. Volunteers and attendees alike see the value of educating children at an early age and throughout all education levels. With so many jobs hinging on early childhood development and STEM education it is important to get kids exposed early at events like this to help create or even sustain that interest throughout their later academic careers.Energy Day Festival Colorado

The mission of Energy Day stems from the decrease in employment of STEM-related workers as technology continues to advance each day. While the gap is decreasing, there is a disconnect between what STEM is and the actual adoption of these skills to build upon careers. STEM is the pathway to the future, and once we get kids to understand this concept they become unstoppable.

Attendees of the event range from K-12 students and teachers to top energy industry leaders in the surrounding Colorado area. Energy Day also incorporates the Energy Day Colorado Academic Program, which is a year-round initiative that engages students’ interests in energy and STEM education. The Energy Day Academic Program amplifies current and existing academic competitions, encouraging students to take their work to the next level and rewarding them for their accomplishments. Often, these awards help the next generation of students. To date, the Colorado Academic Program has awarded over $145,000 in monetary prizes to students and educators in the Colorado area. Will your child be the recipient of the next EDAP Award?  

Consumer Energy Education Foundation in conjunction with Consumer Energy Alliance hope that with the support of the surrounding schools and the Colorado energy industry, that families and students who attend Energy Day Colorado will learn something new and develop a deep interest in STEM education. Join us on Saturday, September 25th from 11 am to 4 pm at Denver East High School. Watch your child have a lightbulb moment in front of your very eyes as they discover the opportunities that STEM has to offer.

Great deals include a Golden Sidewalk Sale, Broncos Deals, Fall Festival and more

If you like the Hallmark movies at Christmastime, you will love that they are still cranking out new movies each weekend this fall! I’m looking forward to their “Fall Harvest” slate of movies. Settle in for cozy Saturdays with a hygge blanket, a bowl of popcorn and maybe a bottle of Hallmark wine.

Fall Fun in Denver. Don’t miss our guide to Colorado’s top pumpkin patches and corn mazes this fall. Also, where to find Colorado’s Best Fall Colors: Best drives, hikes, ghost towns and farms.

 Broncos Deals. I cheer for the Broncos like any well-bred Coloradoan does – but it is even better when you can get a deal with it! The day after a win you can get a free donut at King Soopers, the day after any game (regular season) you can get a free 12 oz coffee at Conoco, the day after a game where the Broncos score at least one touchdown you can get a buy one get one free Arby’s Classic Sandwich or a Classic Beef n’ Cheddar.

 Golden Sidewalk Sale. Not only is the cute little town of Golden a fun place to be on most weekends with awesome restaurants and great unique stores, but now you can score some great deals when they have their Sidewalk Sale on September 11. Plus, there will be family fun with the mobile bubble tower, face painting and crafts for kids at the Visitors Center.

 Dog Days of Summer. I’m not sure of that saying I think it is when summer is coming to an end – but WaterWorld is celebrating the dogs with Bow Wow Beach Doggie Day, for just $9.99 pass (their humans are free) the dogs can have best day of their summer on September 11 splashing in the pools Cowabunga Beach and Thunder Bay.

Krimson Klover. One of my most favorite Colorado brands is having a sale! If you’ve not tried the stylish Krimson Klover, now is the time to do it! Tops, bottoms, swimwear and more on sale now.

 Winter Park Fall Fest. Mark your calendar for the 20th Annual Kids Fall Festival in Winter Park on September 11. The family fun will include live music, a silent auction, bobbing for donuts, bouncy castles, carnival games, and more. There is even a Harmonica Workshop! The event is free to attend and will take place at the Rendezvous Event Center in Downton Winter Park.

Pumpkin Harvest Festival.  Get $5 off VIP tickets for the annual Pumpkin Harvest Festival at Four Mile Historic Park Oct 1-3.  Four Mile Historic Park will have a pumpkin patch, food trucks, face painting, treats from the Inventing Room, kids games and crafts (like life-sized scarecrow making!), and more. Use the discount code MileHighMama2021 at checkout for $5 off their Gold VIP tickets.

 Ski Season. Labor Day weekend is the traditional start of the ski season pass sales. Now is the time to look for great deals for the upcoming ski season. Vail Resorts is bringing back the Epic School Kids Pass. This allows kids K-5th grade four days at EACH of their Colorado Resorts (Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte). Plus, a beginner ski lesson and rental equipment on that day! Details can be found here.

 Free Night. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science will host a free night on September 20. See our list of Denver free days in 2021. 

Consignment Sales. The fall season of consignment sales has already begun. We have a full list. The next great sale will be September 16-19. Mark your calendars now!