Thursday, December 25, 2008


I would love to post some pictures with this post, but alas, our transfer cable has been packed away. And Cody and I would love to be playing games right now, but those too are packed away. We had a fun little Christmas with our family. A first for us to not be with extended family. I'm sure it wasn't the norm that other people do when by themselves. We spent the afternoon packing more boxes and trying not to lose pieces of the kids new toys.

Tucker and Aubrey actually let us sleep in until 8:15 this morning. That was a great present! We grabbed our camera when they woke up (we also would have loved to have video, but the video camera broke 2 days ago), and headed downstairs to see what Santa brought. Well, I guess you could say Santa came this year, but not officially. We have no stockings and we didn't pick one specific present to be from Santa for the kids. They were all wrapped and said from Mom and Dad. If you ask Tucker though, he received a Hippo. He loves those things. We bought him Hungry Hungry Hippo (hippos are hard to come by at the store) and Aubrey's favorite present was probably her new pink backpack and My Little Pony (although she refers to it as a "horsie"). Next year Santa will visit for real since we "hopefully" won't be moving 2 days later!

We had a nice dinner and now Cody and I are enjoying our last free moments on the computer before tomorrow's craziness comes. My sister, Heather and her husband, Dan, are driving through here on their way home from Texas tomorrow to help us load up the moving truck on Saturday and then haul me and the kids to Utah on Sunday. Unfortunately for Cody, he'll be stuck in an empty house for 2/1/2 days because he has to work Monday and Tuesday. Then he'll start his drive out and either get to Utah Tuesday night or Wednesday morning depending on what time he gets on the road.

If any of you need to get a hold of us, you'll have to try Cody's cell. Our phone and internet will be disconnected tomorrow and we won't get our new info until next Friday or so. We hope you all had a Merry Christmas and enjoy the New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

We had a great Christmas Eve today. Our friends the Buckwalters invited us over for a breakfast with 5 other couples in our ward whom we are also friends with. (4 of us happen to be in the primary presidency together.)

We had a sing-a-long after eating and one of the guys (David McConkie) played his saxophone to the tunes.
They had sugar cookie decorating for the kids and man, my kids LOVE frosting!
I realized today that we don't have any pictures with people we know from Colorado except our friends the Christensens. So, we took a few group photos for us to remember them by. (Rachel, Debra, me, Ruth, Elijah, Emily, Lara, and Ramona.) It's too bad that we are leaving now that we are finally getting to be better friends with these families.
Tonight we were invited over to dinner at our friends house the McConkies. After eating we reenacted the nativity. I played Mary for the first half and then relinquished my role after baby Jesus was born. Tucker is Nephi - from the 1st Nephi 11 scripture.
The McConkies are an extremely talented musical family and we sang songs around the piano and listened to fabulous performances. After that, we brought the kids home and put them in their new pajamas. Tucker wanted to start unwrapping presents right away.
The milk and cookies have been set out and the kids are in bed. Now if Santa can only find his way through all the packing boxes...
Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuckers Full Name

When we asked Tucker on Sunday what his full name was, he replied by saying, "Tucker Charles Colorado". We laughed and asked him, "are you sure it isn't Tucker Charles Calderwood?" To this he replied rather sternly, "No, it's Colorado!" I guess we need to work on that one some more with him.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

3 Things

#1 I finally completed baby boy's blanket today. I bought the fabric back in July and was so excited when we found out we were actually having a boy. Who was I going to make it for if we didn't? I have been working on it back and forth on our drives to and from Utah. Now the little guy can come! (Of course, he still needs to wait a few more weeks so that we can move and get settled!)
#2 I guess with the more kids you have, you don't care as much or don't take the time to do the belly shots. Here I am today at almost 34 weeks. This afternoon I had my last doctor's appointment in Colorado and was pleasantly surprised at my total weight gain for this pregnancy. Hopefully it will help with taking it off afterward. I'm flying to Maryland 6 weeks after baby is born to dance with my studio in their annual big show. I don't really want to be the fat dancer on stage. : )
#3 Lastly, we signed the lease for the house we are going to rent today! We are thrilled with the way things have worked out for us these past couple months. From obtaining the totally unexpected and buying the perfect practice for us in Utah of all places, to renting this house for an incredible deal and we'll have the option to buy it later on. Our countdown is 10 days now!

Those are the big 3 things of the day, but I thought I'd leave you with 3 more fun pictures of where we get to live. We aren't living in Park City - we have chosen to live in the Heber Valley where housing is a LOT more affordable. Midway to be exact for you Utahans that know the area.
Tucker will love being close to the Heber Creeper.

This is the view Cody will have from his dental practice. It doesn't get much better than that!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Temple Square

We took our last quick trip to Utah over the weekend. Cody had papers to sign and we needed to find a place to rent. Both events turned out well and hopefully in the next week I'll be posting a picture of the house we could potentially live in forever! Saturday night we went with some of my family down to Temple Square to check out the lights. It was snowy and cold, but beautiful. Tucker can't get enough of licking and eating snow and was found licking everything. I try to tell him not to eat the snow and ice, especially off the car and ground, but that boy just doesn't listen! At least we haven't had any incidents where his tongue gets stuck to a pole yet!
Cody had fun playing around with our camera and took some great shots.

For those of you that haven't been to Salt Lake, this is the temple that Cody and I were married in.
Tucker was doing a combination of trying to catch snowflakes and pretending to be a giraffe.

We had a lot of fun and were glad we made it down to see the lights. It's probably been 5 years since Cody and I have done that.
As I'm sure you can imagine, things are a little crazy in our house at the moment. Cody has tons of dental stuff to do on his end, so I've been managing the house with my massive to do list. Luckily it is slowly dwindling away. Once we can secure our living arrangements that will be a big relief. I found a hospital and doctor to deliver my baby, have 95% of our Christmas cards out, and am trying to make this time of year fun for the kids. I'm glad they are still young enough that the fact we are moving 2 days after Christmas won't affect them much.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Our Mountain Home

As the LDS Hymn sings:
"Our mountain home so dear,Where crystal waters clear flow ever free, Flow ever free, While thru the valleys wide, The flow’rs on ev’ry side, Blooming in stately pride, Are fair to see."

For those that don't know yet, Lisa and I are purchasing a dental practice in Park City, Utah and are returning to our mountain home so dear!

Lisa and I started feeling promptings back in early October to look for a practice for me to buy. We started to look mainly in Colorado, but kept our eyes on Seattle for the chance to be near my brother and we also eyeballed Utah for the slim possibility that a practice would pop up there (Utah is oversaturated with dentists, and the few opportunities that do come along are usually crap, I know because I have been watching for several years). While looking in Colorado I found a few practices that I liked and considered purchasing in the Denver and Fort Collins areas, but none that I absolutely loved. Then this one became available in Park City.

We were presented with an unbelievable offer we couldn't ignore. It is a fee-for-service practice that has 1500 active patients (last 18 months) and is in a very central and accessible location in Park City. The doctor is retiring for health reasons and has a beautiful office with very knowledgeable and friendly staff. He doesn't currently do any external marketing, so there is definitely potential for growth if I decide to pursue it. The doctor is also throwing in his 1 year old cerec milling unit and glazing oven for no additional cost (it's a $100,000 machine). It is a 3 operatory practice with room for a 4th if need be. It has very modern dental equipment including up to date Schick digital x-rays, Zoom one hour whitening, soft tissue laser, diagnodent, and intraoral cameras. It is basically the ideal practice that I want, regardless of location. The fact that it is in Park City just happens to be an additional great perk.

We will be moving out there at the end of this month-yeah, a lot sooner than we thought, but things have progressed so quickly that we shouldn't delay the start date later than necessary. We are sad that Lisa won't deliver our next baby here in Colorado, but oh well. We just thought that it would have been cool to have him in Colorado Springs. Right now we are running a hundred miles an hour trying to square everything away that we need to. I am busy trying to balance my current job and trying to get incorporated, get my business license and finalize the purchase of the practice. Lisa is busy with the kids and trying to find new housing for us, organize the move and find a new OB/GYN in Utah. Are there any OB/GYN's in Utah? Just kidding.

We are so excited for this job opportunity for me. For those of you that want to make the trip up to Park City and want to come see me for your dental work, this is what your uvula will see:

We are so excited to live close to our families and friends and be so close to the ski resorts. For those of you that haven't been there, Park City is such a beautiful city with so much recreation in both the summer and winter.

We won't have to live in Salt Lake Valley and deal with the traffic or smog, which makes me very excited.

Do I even need to mention anything about the world class skiing that will be at our door step?

Also, we will be living 15 minutes from 3 different water ski lakes.

In all, we are so very grateful for this opportunity. I feel bad for my current patients that I will be leaving behind, but I hope they understand. While we are really going to miss Colorado and the friends we have made here, we are anxious to start this next phase of life. Ever since I knew I wanted to be a dentist I never thought we would find a practice in Utah that was a good fit for us, but here we are moving back after we had planned to set up roots in Colorado. I am so excited and anxious to get started in the new practice, and I am very optimistic about the future of my career. We have been approved for the financing, so now we are just waiting for all the paper work to be submitted and finalized. Word Up! Utah, here we come.

Monday, December 1, 2008

30th Birthday

Yesterday was my 30th birthday. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable day. It's funny though to hear all the hype about turning 30. To me it was just another day, and no big deal to be 30. I don't feel any different than I did at 23, 27 or 29. I guess it helps that I just keep getting smarter and better looking the older I get! It really is all about the state of mind.

This morning while I was getting ready for work the Tim McGraw song "My Next 30 Years" began playing on itunes. I thought it quite coincidental that it played today, but it got me thinking about my first 30 years. They have been awesome and I wouldn't change them at all. It is interesting to note though that the majority of my first 30 years were occupied as a student. While I wish I could have gone skiing more, done more rock climbing, mountain biking, hunting and fishing, backpacking and wakeboarding, I realize that the sacrifice of school was to facilitate my playing in the future. Now that I have a great career that I love and gives me time off, I can afford to go play outdoors with my family. So, all the headaches and nightmares associated with the academic world were well worth the past 7 months and the many years that are still to come.

Thank you to my wife for making it a great day, and to Tucker and Aubrey for being so cute. Also, thanks to my parents and siblings for their birthday calls that they gave me. It's nice to feel loved.
In honor of my birthday, I borrowed the lyrics from Tim McGraw to write my own version of "My Next 30 Years". If you're familiar with the song, the changes should be quite obvious.

I think I’ll take a moment, celebrate my age
The ending of an era and the turning of a page
Now it’s time to focus in on where I go from here
Lord have mercy on my next thirty years

Hey my next thirty years I’m gonna have some fun
Try to forget about all the studying that I’ve done
Maybe now I’ve conquered all my academic fears
And I’ll do it better in my next thirty years

My next thirty years I’m gonna forget about test scores
Cry a little less, laugh a little more
Find a world of happiness away from books and tests
Figure out just what I really love the best
In my next thirty years

Oh my next thirty years, I’m gonna try and gain some weight
Eat a few more spare ribs and grill the perfect steak
Instead of cramming books I’ll kill a few more deer
Maybe I’ll remember my next thirty years

My next thirty years will be the best years of my life
Raise a red-neck family and hang out with my wife
Spend precious moments with the ones that I hold dear
Make up for lost time here ,In my next thirty years

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Great Sand Dunes

Lisa and I decided to head south to the Great Sand Dunes National Park today. We have really been wanting to see the dunes, but haven't gotten around to doing it. After all of Lisa's family left today, we packed up the kids and took a little road trip. The above picture is what it looks like in the summer. As we approached the Park on the highway, we were treated with a white delight that was quite different from what we expected.

The sand dunes were all covered with a couple inches of snow from the storms that had passed through the last couple of days. They looked amazing in white with the big mountains in the back drop.

This one is the tallest sand dune in North America. It is 750' tall. You can hike to the top of it, but we knew the kids would never make it.

Instead of hiking to the top, we went to the visitors center and let them run around and play with all the interactive stuff.

They were in heaven.

After the visitors center, we went out to the dunes and let them run around and throw snow balls.
Again, they were in heaven playing out there.

Once the kids had their full, we decided to leave. On the way out we kept running across different groups of deer. After forgetting my telephoto lens the other day in Garden of the Gods, I made sure to tote it along this time. I'm so glad I did too because we saw several large bucks (though none as large as the one I saw at Garden of the Gods).

This nice buck was milling around in some distant trees, so I left Lisa and the kids in the car and ran off after him. After sneaking up fairly closely, I got this picture of him.

He refused to turn broadside for the photo, so I whistled to get him to stop. He did stop, but the camera wouldn't focus on him, and I ended up taking a few terrible, blurred photos. So I didn't get any good broadsides of him. After attempting to get the camera in focus, he took off like a bolt of lightning and I got this cool action photo of him in mid-leap.

Feeling bad for not getting any good side views in focus, I thought I was going to go home bummed again. But my fortune was turning for the better. After driving further down the highway, I spotted another nice buck laying down in some trees. Again I left Lisa and the kids in the car to go stalk this bad boy down.

Here is the shot I took through the trees.

As I got closer, the does that were with him spooked and he got up and started to walk away. At this time I got a decent broadside view of him.

I was really happy with the photos I took of him, and didn't think the day could get any better. I called my dad to tell him of the bucks I was seeing, and as I was on the phone with him, we came across another group of about 4 bucks. I told him I would call him back, and I went off to stalk them for some more photos.

This is a straight shot of a 3 point that was eyeballing me the whole time.

Lucky for me his big 4 point buddy didn't mind me being there and allowed me to take this winner of a shot. Pretty dang cool.

I love my camera, and I love my stalking skills. Too bad I couldn't hunt these guys. Oh well, maybe some time in the future.

In all it was a beautiful day. The Sangre de Cristo mountains and the Spanish Peaks were so scenic it made the drive down very pleasant. We really enjoyed the dunes and recommend it to anyone who lives in Colorado.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cornucopia of Fun

The Foster family came out to Colorado Springs for this Thanksgiving week. We really enjoyed playing host for them and showing them the sights and activities of Colorado. It has been a really enjoyable week with them in town. Fun was definitely had by all.

We took the family up to the top of Pikes Peak. We really got our moneys worth when we bought our annual pass last June. We have taken so many family and friends up to the top. The view is fantastic from 14,110 feet. When Dan and Heather passed through the Springs after their trip to Ohio, the peak was enshrouded in clouds, so they didn't get to see it. Not this trip though-everyone got to enjoy fantastic weather and views from the summit.

We took a trip to Helen Hunt Falls. It has a strenuous hike to see them (all of about 20 feet). They were beautiful in the cold. As you can see from these next two shots the falls were half frozen and beautiful.

On Wednesday afternoon we took them all on a drive through Garden of the Gods and enjoyed the spectacular views there. Tucker loved the "Giant Rocks" as he kept calling them. Unfortunately I did not bring our telephoto lens or I would have gotten some phenomenal shots of some huge mule deer hanging out in the park. There were two separate bucks that are quite possibly the largest I have ever seen, but they were just out of range for our 18-55mm lens. Too bad too because they were ginormous. One easily had a 30" spread, great mass and great height. He was a typical 5 point that would have scored well over 200. Arggggg, I need to remember to carry that telephoto with me more often.
On Thanksgiving day we made a feast fit for kings. Even Tucker pitched in with the cooking duties.

Here are a couple of images of our table and the delicious dishes that we had available. We even busted out the fine china for the occasion.

Needless to say, we had more than we could eat. Everybody came away from that table with full bellies, some more than others (like Lisa and her 7 month pregnant bulge).

In our house we have a rule that everybody contributes. There is no room for free loaders. So, after we were done eating, the two who lounged on the couch while the rest cooked and prepared the food were assigned dish duty. Archive this one in your folders Foster family. That's right, your eyes are not mistaken, we got Ken and Spencer to do the dishes, and they did a fantastic job. Our goblets and china even had to be done by hand. Thanks guys!

The rest of the time was spent lounging around, watching football and great holiday movies, and of course playing lots of board games (again, we got Ken to play too!).

We are very grateful for the sacrifices that her family made to come and spend the weekend with us. It will be a Thanksgiving that we and our kids will remember for a long time to come.