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Listen to your mother! The show comes to Colorado

How are you planning to celebrate yourself around Mother’s Day?

Here’s an idea: attend one of the first-ever Colorado shows — in Denver and in Boulder — for the nationwide phenomenon, Listen To Your Mother performance. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll nod your head in solemn knowing or solidarity. You’re bound to recognize yourself in the stories told.

Included in the Denver cast of twelve are Mile High Mama bloggers Gretchen, Aimee, and Lori. Represent!

Listen To Your Mother: Giving Mother’s Day A Microphone

Zakary Watson, local blogger and Denver show director, is pleased to announce that Listen To Your Mother Show, LLC (LTYM) will debut in the Denver and Boulder areas in 2013. This Mother’s Day series of live readings will be held in 24 cities this year. Zakary has blogged at for the past five years and is currently employed as a Producer for BlogHer Publishing Network.

Reading Corner: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety (& Activity)

Many people suffer from worry and anxiety…moms and dads as well as kids. But the question is: what are some of the symptoms or signs of anxiety in your child?

  • worrying constantly about things that might happen
  • restlessness, defiance, tantrums, aggression
  • physical complaints such as stomach-ache, headache and fatigue
  • avoiding or refusing to go places or do things

What can a mom or dad do to help a child who is struggling with anxiety?

Becoming Mothers: Mom via adoption — “I saw my daughter be born”

Cue L&O voice: In 2001, my husband and I were hoping to become parents via open adoption after 6 years of dealing with infertility. This is our story.

I pray that raw eggs won’t harm the baby because Crystal and I have just put a large dent in a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough, which I made in her mother’s kitchen while she endured sporadic contractions. The eating of said dough either causes or coincides with stronger and more frequent contractions. It is now rush hour, and finally time to head for the hospital.

We’d been warned that hospitals can be inhospitable to adoption situations, but we find nothing of the sort. Nurses and doctors are curious about our arrangement with Crystal, the woman who may make me a mom within a few hours, and seem unfazed by the presence of my husband and me. They even give me a hospital bracelet to match Crystal’s.

‘Tis the season to get pampered

And I ain’t talking diapers for the baby.

I’m talking a facial for the mama.

The Ritz-Carlton Spa in Denver is a four-time Forbes Four Star award winning spa (2008 – 2012). And it is currently offering special ways to pamper anyone in your life that may be under a wee bit of stress (you, perhaps?). Or someone who simply deserve an indulgence for being of service during the past year (again, I’m looking at YOU!).

What do you smell like? Ask your kid.

Tessa, then 9,  had been going through a rough spell. Three days in a row she called from school in tears. The problem? “I just miss you, Mommy!” said amid chokes and fits.

At bedtime one night, I tried to get to the root of the issue. Was someone at school teasing her? Did she not feel well physically? Is she jittery about the end of the school year? Did Mother’s Day trigger some feelings about her birth mother? Nothing had changed in our routine, so why was she suddenly feeling lonely for me?

I did not get an answer.

What she DID say, though, was this: “Mommy, I go into my classroom and it just doesn’t smell like you.”

Tessa has always been very attuned to scent.

I naturally asked, “What do I smell like, Sweetheart?”

And then I feared for the answer. Garlic? Coffee? Stale cheese? Wine? The gym? Methane?

Yikes. Did I really want to know?

Her sleepy voice replied, “Mama, you smell like purple chocolate.”

Which, for a dark chocolate-lover whose screen name is Lavender Luz, is utterly, thoroughly perfect.

Images: Graeme Weatherston /, It’s a Little Bit Special

(This post originally appeared on Perfect Moment Monday, which is featured weekly on Write Mind Open Heart. New participants are always welcome.)

What would your child(ren) say that you smell like? That is, if you dared ask them.

<p><a href=”″>Image: Graeme Weatherston /</a></p>

Mother-in-law: love her or hate her?

Mothers are honored and revered on a hallowed day this month. Mothers-in-law are tossed into the celebrations, too, along with grandmothers, step-mothers, god-mothers, aunts, sisters, and other meaningful female elders.

But leave mothers-in-law unto themselves, and the sentiments would more likely be found in the Rodney Dangerfield section of the Hallmark store. Witness these jokes and their intended butts:

I saw six men kicking and punching the mother-in-law. My neighbour said ‘Are you going to help?’ I said ‘No, six should be enough.’ — Les Dawson

Just got back from a pleasure trip: I took my mother-in-law to the airport. — Henny Youngman

My mother-in-law had a pain beneath her left breast. Turned out to be a trick knee. — Phyllis Diller

They say the definition of ambivalence is watching your mother-in-law drive over a cliff in your new Cadillac. — David Mamet


Just like all mothers are not angelic, not all mothers-in-law are demonic. There’s an entire Facebook page devoted to I Love My Mother-in-Law. Some people create video tributes to their mothers-in-law. There are avatars and t-shirts to proclaim one’s love for one’s mother-in-law.

Or take my mother in law, for instance:

  • Lisa always sends me a Mother’s Day card, acknowledgement for my contribution to her son and her grandchildren, as well as her love for me.
  • When she visits, Lisa turns our house into a self-cleaning home. Voila — messes disappear while I’m bathing a child or weeding a garden.
  • Lisa delights in her grandchildren and gives her son and me Date Nights whenever she visits us or we visit her.
  • Lisa raised her son to be curious, hard-working, witty, compassionate and gentlemanly. She taught my husband good manners and thusly he remembers to put the toilet seat down. Most of the time.
  • Lisa adores her son and I do, too. We share that special bond.

But wait. I’ve been using the wrong verb tense.

Three weeks ago after a year-long battle, lung cancer took my mother-in-law’s life. For the first time since my marriage, I am mother-in-law-less. And this is my first Mother’s Day where I am not looking for a card to send to Lisa.

On this day devoted to mothers, I hope Lisa somehow knows how much she blessed my life.

Image: Ambro /

How have you celebrated Mother’s Day, mother-in-law-wise?

Looking for a Mother’s Day hint to drop?

It’s never too early to start dropping hints for Mothers Day. If you’re like me, you collect little ideas in the weeks leading up to mid-May, but then when asked what you want, you draw a blank.

Here’s a luscious idea that has fewer calories that chocolate, smells as good as a bouquet of flowers, and always fits the giftee perfectly.

How about a day of pampering, a few hours with no cares or concerns, a time when you are the center of the universe?

And how about doing all that at the very posh but not outrageously priced Four Seasons Spa in downtown Denver?

I erroneously thought that hotel spas were for hotel guests. Only.

But after doing some, uh, “research,” I recently found out that about half the people who take advantage of The Spa at Four Seasons live in the Denver area and visit the hotel just for The Spa.

Upon arrival I was immediately pleased to find that valet parking ($10) is validated with any spa treatment. Nice touch.

I kept wondering why they called it “spa treatment” when it was really just a massage. Sounded highfalutin to me.

And then I found out it wasn’t just a massage.

When I checked in I was greeted by name (“Ms Lavender Luz,” my blog name, which I rarely hear vocalized) and offered a flute of champagne. I was given a brief tour of the gorgeous facility so I could find my way around and know what amenities were available to enjoy. My concierge left me in the changing room with a luxurious bathrobe that would be mine for the next couple of hours.

The massage itself was divine. Mine was billed as a Rose Quartz Massage and Scalp Treatment ($110 for 60 minutes). The special scent used was particularly appealing to me: rose petals, lavender, jasmine, ylang ylang. The oil is also reportedly infused with “rose quartz crystal energy.”  I was so besotted with the aroma that I bought a bottle to bring home.

Susan was the perfect masseuse — she applied just the right intensity in each of my muscles, and she gave a quiet massage (although she’s so intuitive that if you were the type who wanted a chatty massage, I’m sure she would oblige).

The massage was just a part of the spa treatment. After my massage I was free to take advantage of all that The Spa has to offer.

And take advantage I did.

I meditated in the caldarium (steam room) and then soaked in the whirlpool. Take. Me. Away…

I had arrived without any sundries, now knowing exactly what I was in for. But no worries — towels, toiletries, high-end shampoo and conditioners were provided.

I’d never experienced such a fancy shower. Note the multi-directional water spray — from both sides and the ceiling, in addition to the traditional nozzle:

There was a wide selection of make-up, hair products and sanitized styling tools at my disposal. But have you seen me? Then you know that I had little use for them. But I’m sure the typical Spa visitor would enjoy having such conveniences.

Soon I needed to be back on Mom Duty again, so I donned my clothes and prepared to leave Eden. On the way out, Spa staff continued to treat me like a VIP, inquiring about my experience and making sure I was sent off  by name. I felt, for a few hours, that I got the movie star treatment, without the annoying paparazzi.

If you are interested in enjoying your own Spa Experience, the Four Season’s current special is the Spring Renewal Package, which offers access to the state-of-the-art Fitness Centre featuring TechnoGym equipment, and either a Yoga or CrossFit Training session (60 minutes) paired with an Organic Detoxing Slimming Wrap (75 minutes). It includes a healthy Spa Lunch served on the rooftop pool terrace (weather permitting) or in the Spa’s Relaxation Lounge. $200

For more information or to make a reservation, visit The Spa at Four Seasons Denver or call (303) 389-3025.

I know what hint I’ll be dropping.

How about you — what would make your Mothers Day perfect?

A Warm Weather Guide to Fun in Denver

Warmer weather is here! As the sun lingers in the sky longer before settling behind the mountains, how should we fill the time? What activities are sure to be a hit?

Well, with the help of our readers (yes, that’s you!) Mile High Mamas has compiled a list of fun warm weather activities in the Denver area.  All of these places and activities in one handy list!?  Awesome!

Need an idea for an inside activity? It’s here!
Need a new outside activity to try? It’s here!

See something that isn’t on the list? Let us know, and we’ll add it! Be sure to bookmark this page and check back often! It’s your Warm Weather Guide to Fun in Denver!

So, get out there! Try something new! Explore your own backyard and beyond.

Indoor Activities:

Get in out of the sun (or rain) and have an indoor adventure!

  • American Paintball Coliseum – The coliseum is comprised of indoor and outdoor paintball fields. The indoor fields are split into two arenas, one with giant inflatable obstacles, the other with heaps of corrugated plastic tubing. The paint is water-soluble, and remnants of matches make floors sticky.
  • The Apex Center Treehouse Play Area – The kids love crawling through the tubes and sliding down the slides. This indoor play area is free and provides hours of fun, rain or shine!
  • Baby Boogie at the D-Note – Baby Boogie at the D-Note in Olde Town Arvada runs every Sunday from 3-6 pm. They clear their stage and put up kids’ instruments. The kids rule the restaurant and mom and dad can relax while the kiddos boogie.
  • Boondocks Fun Center – Boondocks Fun Center in Northglenn is an 8-acre indoor-outdoor fun facility. Indoors you’ll find a futuristic laser-tag arena, a dual-seat Max Flight Simulator and a broad sweep of arcade games that run from Dance Dance Revolution (hilarious to watch) to a Panzer tank simulator. From tiny tots to older teens, there’s a game appropriate for every player.

Picture Day Sticker Shock

Back when I was in Elementary School, Picture Day came once a year. It was the one day a year when it really mattered that your hair was combed, and your clothes were clean and straight, and that you didn’t fall down on the playground at recess.

(Here is my 1979-80 Kindergarten Photo, both the class group photo and the single shot of little JoAnn as a Kindergartner.)

Unlike my own daughter, I hated wearing dresses to school, but I had to on Picture Day. My mom made me do it. If I was good, sat still, and smiled like a good little girl, I got to keep the little fine-tooth comb with the Photography Studio’s name imprinted on it.

Something tells me everyone got to keep the little comb, but it did the trick. The Picture Torture Session was over in a flash (pun totally intended), and then we had to wait an eternity to see if our goofy grins had been captured on film.

Even after all these years, that little black comb with the gold writing is the thing I remember most about Picture Day. It almost made wearing that silly dress worth it.

So, when Claire started at a local preschool that was part of our county school district, I wasn’t too shocked that they do School Photos. I was shocked by the price of the packages, but I just chalked it up to inflation. Plus, I was able to justify the cost in my head, because Picture Day happens only once a year…right?


Explore Colorado With Fun Outdoor Events From Planet Explore

With Spring’s glorious temperatures, Colorado is a joy to explore. The North Face has made outdoor participation a priority with Planet Explore a portal to the outdoors for people of all ages to find outdoor events in their area.

In Denver, Planet Explore has teamed up with the Audubon Society of Greater Denver, the Blufflake Nature Center, Trips for Kids Denver/Boulder, Big City Mountaineers and Environmental Learning for Kids to help promote these fantastic events.

1) Bluff Lake Nature Center has planned several events that will help you celebrate Earth Day.

Wednesday, April 21: STARGAZING. The Bluff Lake Nature Center will kick off Earth Day events on April 21 with a members-only event at dusk. An amateur Astronomer will bring his telescopes to Bluff Lake and share the wonders of the universe.

Thursday, April 22: EARTH DAY. On Earth Day, BLNC will partner once again with Stapleton-area business on our Locavore Earth Day event. A number of local businesses will donate a portion of their day’s proceeds to Bluff Lake Nature Center.

Saturday, April 24: RECYCLING. Bring your electronics, baby gear, and more to Bluff Lake for FREE (or low cost) recycling. BLNC will also be showing recycled art from local artists and their educators will work with children to assemble small worm bins. The recycling opportunities that will be available include B-Logistics (books, CDs, DVDs, video games), WeeCycle and Techno+Rescue (electronics). Check for specifics.

Sunday, April 25: WESTERLY CREEK CLEAN-UP. Help BLNC and your Stapleton neighbors as they spend time cleaning-up Westerly Creek. This is an annual neighborhood tradition, and they collect a wide variety of trash – from the common (plastic water bottles) to the extraordinarily large (mattresses).

Saturday, MAY 1: SPRING TREE PLANTING. This is a great opportunity to teach children about nature as they learn to plant trees and shrubs. Register at

2) Big City Mountaineers is partnering with Leave No Trace and AEE (Association for Experiential Education) at the National Get Outdoors Day event June 12. They also have the