Sunday, October 26, 2008

RMNP and Trashy Costumes

We decided to take a trip up North to enjoy Rocky Mountain National Park this weekend. On the way up, the kids got a little restless, so we decided to take advantage of the amazing weather and go to a park for a bit. We let them burn off some steam and have fun for a bit. They enjoyed the swings, slides and toys for a while, but quickly discovered the leaves and were hooked after that.
Tucker and Aubrey loved playing in these leaves next to a pond. We captured some great photos of them.

We initially wanted to go camping, but it was going to be so cold at nights, and tent camping with little kids in the cold is not fun. I can't wait until we have a trailer/5th wheel to go camping in. We ended up staying in a hotel in Loveland that had a pool. The kids were so excited to go swimming and loved every minute of it.

The next morning we got up and headed into RMNP. It is a beautiful national park. I caught this picture for all you dental nerds out there. They have an entire valley dedicated to root canals. How cool is that- endovalley!
Here are a few glimpses of the majestic mountains found in the park.

At the end of the tour through the park, we went to the town of Estes Park for some lunch and window shopping. It is a really cool mountain town, that like all other mountain towns is overpriced. We had a fun day up there as a family.
We left a little early to be back in time for our ward Halloween party. We dressed the kids up in great costumes- Tucker was a tiger and Aubrey was red riding hood.

Lisa and I decided to take advantage of her massive, pregnant belly and go as trailer trash. Too bad you can't see her fuzzy, pink slippers in this picture. Not our best costumes to date, but pretty funny still.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lisa Got Tagged

Lisa doesn't do tags, and neither do I for that matter. Not because we hate them, but because there are so many, and it seems like a vicious cycle of friends tagging each other. Just when you think you're in the clear, WHAMO! You get tagged again. Well, here I sit at the office in between patients and I had a brilliant idea. Lisa was recently tagged by some family, so I thought I would fulfill Lisa's tag obligation for her. I'm such a thoughtful, sweet husband (you can thank me later babe). Here goes, Lisa's list:
8 favorite TV shows:
The Office
Gossip Girls (so trashy, she loves it)
Army Wives
That 70's show
Sports Center

8 things she did yesterday:
Slept in as her husband left for work
Dressed her kids up in snow clothes to play outside
Researched Treadmills
Put the kids down for a nap
Helped her husband make enchiladas for dinner
Scolded the kids for fighting
Watched a stupid movie, Speed Racer
Got uncomfortable sleeping in bed because of massive belly, went to sleep on couch

8 things she looks forward to:
Having the Fosters over for Thanksgiving
Going to Utah for Christmas
Getting a new fridge
Giving birth to new baby boy
Being able to sleep on stomach again
Hanging out with her amazing husband
Having a yard someday
Going snow skiing this winter (ok, so that one is definitely mine)

8 Favorite Restaurants:
Olive Garden
Cafe Rio
Lemongrass Thai Restaurant
PF Changs
McCormick and Schmicks
Rock Creek Pizza :)

8 Things on her wish list:
New Couches that you can't see the foam insides
New entertainment center that doesn't smile at you
New dresser where the drawers actually roll out w/o the bottom falling off
Road Bike
Trip To Mexico
New Truck (for her hubby so he'll shut up about it)
House with a yard

Husband Tag: (this will be done in first person, Lisa's perspective)
1. Where did you meet your husband? Singles ward in Chicago, Illinois
2. How long did you date before you got married? 10 months
3. How long have you been married? 5.5 years
4. What does he do that surprises you? What doesn't he do that surprises me?
5. What is your favorite feature of his? His wavy locks of hair and bulging muscles
6. What is his best quality? See #5
7. Does he have a nickname for you? Sugar lips
8. What is his favorite food? Steak
9. What is his favorite sport? Football, wrestling, wrastling, and anything outdoors
10. When and where did you first kiss? July 2002 in Naperville, Illinois on the banks of the DuPage River, wow he was/is so romantic!
11. What is your favorite thing to do as a couple? Travel and be outdoors
12. Do you have any children? Two, Tucker and Aubrey, and one on the way
13. Does he have any hidden talents? wow, where do I start?
14. How old is he? 3o next month
15. What is his favorite music? Punk, Classic Rock, Alternative (anything not Celine Dion)
16. What do you admire most about him? How unbelievably talented he is. He always beats his brother at Boggle. He never ceases to amaze me with his skills, wisdom, and knowledge. Such an amazing guy.
17. What is his favorite color? Red
18. Will he read this? Probably not, he usually just skims over blogs.

Treadmill Advice

Alright all you treadmill owners. I am in the market and need some advice. What kind do you have? Do you like it? Did you purchase it originally or is it from Craigslist? If it's from Craigslist, are you glad you purchased it? Do you use it mainly for walking or jogging/running?
I've been debating for awhile now on my exercise plans for the future. I ran a half marathon last March and know that I can run throughout the winter months outside, but with baby #3 coming, no friend motivation to get me out before Cody works in the morning, and my awesome double stroller being just that - a double, I'm not sure how I'm supposed to run with 3 kids. So, I think I'm going to buy myself a treadmill. Hopefully to just use during the colder months and at my own leisure.
If this is your first time to my blog, a regular looker who never comments or a regular commenter and you have a treadmill or have owned one in the past, please tell me what you like and why. Thank you!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Halloween and Snow

Last night for scouts we carved pumpkins to display at the ward fall fest this Saturday. I carved a picture of myself on the pumpkin. It looks a little goofy, but so do I so I figure it's a good rendition of me. I messed the nose up, but again, my nose is quite jacked up in real life, so oh well.

Last night a cold front moved over the Rockies and we woke up this morning to about an inch of snow. Woo hoo! That means ski season is around the corner (even though two resorts have already opened here in Colorado). Some people here hate that it has snowed already, but I love it. The fall colors have been so beautiful, and now to add snow to the mix is just awesome.

Monday, October 20, 2008


After 10 months of waiting, the day finally arrived and I went to my Celine Dion concert. It was AMAZING! She is a fabulous singer and I couldn't believe how great she was song after song. I invited one of my best friends from dental school, Katie Leale to come to the concert with me. She flew in from Spokane Saturday morning and we were able to spend the day together and then go to the concert. Luckily her brother lives just up the street from the Tacomadome because traffic was insane trying to get there. We ended up parking for free at her brother's house and he dropped us off as close as we could get. Parking lots close to the dome were $40 to park your car. Crazy! Our seats were in the upper level, but you could see the stage and the sound was great. It wasn't too loud and we were still able to see everything. I'm just kicking myself that I left our telephoto lens in Colorado, it would have been awesome to get some better shots. Celine sang 22 songs, and I knew all but 1. Of course I wrote them all down and am now listening to my concert playlist. I loved every minute of it, am so grateful that Cody gave me such a great gift, that I have an awesome friend that came with me to it and am glad we were able to spend the weekend with family as well.

If you are wondering why Cody would buy me tickets to a concert in Tacoma, it's because until this past April, we always thought we were moving to Spokane, WA. Obviously plans changed, but there was no way I was going to miss the concert and sell my tickets. We had free plane tickets and money to use through Southwest before November, so we decided to make it a fun family weekend.


We spent a great 3 days in Seattle over the weekend. We flew in Thursday night and out Sunday afternoon. Cody's brother's family lives south of Seattle and were great to let us crash at their beautiful house all weekend. Friday, we all went to breakfast at the Black Diamond Bakery and then we went to Flaming Geyser State Park for a short hike. The weather was absolutely amazing! We picked a great weekend to go. Little rain and sunny skies! It made me think that I could live in the Pacific Northwest, despite the rain. Caeden and Aubrey had fun on this log.
Beckham told me he wanted to pose and get his picture taken.
Typical kids throwing rocks in the river.

Hiking up to the bubbling geyser.
Not quite spectacular, but Tucker and Beckham thought the fire in the ground was pretty cool. (Click on the picture to enlarge if you can't see the flame. Apparently it's been known to be a 6 foot tall flame.)
The view from Carson and Marisa's deck.
Having fun in their backyard. Hopefully someday we really will have a backyard. Sigh.
The only picture I have of us adults.
Trevor was at school on Friday when we went around town, thus no pictures of him. That night we hired a babysitter for the kids and we went to Bellevue for dinner at McCormick & Schmicks.
Saturday, Cody and I met up with my friend Katie Leale and we went to Pike Place Market and had lunch. We hungout at Carson and Marisa's for the afternoon and then Katie and I headed to Tacoma for the Celine Dion concert.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stat updates

I was finally able to get Tucker and Aubrey into the doctor this morning for their 3 year and 18 month checkups. I absolutely LOVE their doctor's office. They have a fish tank, tons of toys and each room has a theme and corresponding toys to play with. I'm so glad I don't ever have to go back to our old Owings Mills Dr. office.

Tucker weighed in at 29.5lbs fully clothed. (25%)
His height is 36.75inches (30%)

Aubrey weighed 22lbs. 150z. (30%)
Her height is 32inches (70%)

My kids are a lot smaller than I thought they were, but still proportionate for their sizes. Aubrey weighed 22lbs 4oz at her 1 year checkup, so she really hasn't gained any weight and she's only grown an inch. I guess it's alright by me though, I'm glad I don't have to lug around 2 heavy children with my ever growing belly. : )

I do have to take both kids to a pediatric allergist in the next few weeks. We know for sure about Tucker's peanut allergy and we are going to get Aubrey checked out as well. They both have prescriptions for Epi Pens.

Well, that's about it for us. We fly to Seattle tomorrow night to visit Cody's brother's family and so I can finally use my Christmas present from last year and see Celine Dion in concert. I can't wait!

Oh, and there is finally an update on Pieces By Lisa for those of you that like crafty things!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Weekend with the Lintons!

We were lucky enough to spend the weekend hanging out with our good dental friends Justin and Erin Linton and their boys Brayden and Camden. They flew into town for Erin's 10-year reunion. Erin grew up on the Air Force Academy and Justin just south of it, so they took us on a tour of the Academy after they arrived. I'd never even been on the base, so it was really fun to see. Our first stop was to take pictures with the airplanes.
The dentists. : )
The dentists' wives.
Family picture with the chapel on the academy.
Linton Family.
Inside the chapel. Isn't it awesome?! Of course, that's only where you get to attend church if you are Protestant or Catholic.

Erin's brother, Shawn, is a Cadet at the Academy and we were able to spend the weekend with him and his girlfriend too. We played tons of games and had a great time talking about the past, present and future. Erin's festivities were on Saturday and we conned Shawn and Whitney into babysitting all the kids. Erin and Justin went to her reunion and Cody and I went and saw Eagle Eye at the theater.
Classic bath picture - minus Camden, although he was in there with them.
We had a great roast after church and stayed up late (again) playing games and talking. We had so much fun and are so glad we were able to see our friends. You never know when you'll see some of your friends after you part ways and move to different parts of the country (Lintons live in Oregon).

Unfortunately for the Lintons, at the moment they are waiting out the day at the Denver airport. They are flying standby and weren't able to get on their flight this morning. Cross your fingers that they'll get on tonight! (Update: they made their evening flight home!)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Prophetic Counsel

With all of the financial troubles and the crisis that our nation and world faces, I was reminded of a very moving talk from President Hinckley (I highly recommend clicking on that link and reading his talk, particularly the second half). I was on my mission when he gave this talk and I remember it very vividly today because his statement was so clear and sobering. I was in Ciudad Obregon at the time. It resonated through me, and to this day I can still hear him saying, "there is a portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed."

Many in the world (sadly even within the church) felt the need to completely disregard his prophetic advice and continued on in their posh and luxurious lifestyles. I look at my generation with sadness that we don't measure up to our grandparents generation. Bryce Carter showed me a book, I believe by Tom Brokaw, where Brokaw called our grandparents generation the "greatest generation". After seeing how people behave today, I couldn't agree more. Today we have such a "me first" generation that focuses on instant gratification, temporal pursuits, and ignoring all accountability. I hear way too often, "it's not my fault". Thanks to my less than stellar generation, savings accounts have been just a neat thought, and people racked up the debt beyond what they could control. Many people purchased homes beyond their capability to pay for. Families went into insane credit card debt, felt they had to have the really fancy cars, all the designer clothes, the big house in the trendy, coveted neighborhoods. The past ten years truly have defined the phrase, "keeping up with the Jones".

Well, that entire decade of frivolous spending and lack of savings has caught up with the world. That bubble has finally burst, and we face some challenging times because of it. Had people only listened to President Hinckley, we would not be in this mess we are in today.

My biggest complaint about this whole situation, is that nobody is taking any responsibility or accountability. The government wants to bail out all those greedy homeowners that overextended their finances, and by so doing are bankrupting the entire nation. Rather than let the market correct itself and allow those who made these mistakes suffer the consequences, our entire nation, and world for that matter, is now going to pay the price, both financially and emotionally. Granted there are some exceptions to this, but by and large, the VAST MAJORITY of people who have foreclosed should never have purchased the home to begin with. Just because the banks were handing out loans like candy does not justify their actions. These people should have seen what they truly could have afforded, bought accordingly, and not have gambled on their interest-only loans. So, my frustration is that society wants to blame everyone and anyone but those truly responsible- the greedy consumer and greedy banks.

I don't understand why the family of four needs the 3500 sq. ft. house, or the $40K SUV's, or why the wife has to wear the $150 jeans, or the husband needs the 60" plasma tv. The list goes on and on. My dad's parents raised 10 kids in a two bedroom house that was probably 1000 square feet (anyone in my family know for sure what size it was). They did just fine with that situation. How have we as a generation gone so far astray? In regards to these people that have lost their homes, the general attitude toward them is that this is the end of the world for them, and we have to do whatever it takes to help them stay in their home. Hogwash! They can go rent an apartment and still be fine. I have rented an apartment for the last 11 years of my life, and I am happy with life. Yes I do hope to one day own my own house, but unlike them I will not bankrupt my future to get into one. Lisa and I are hoping to buy one next summer AFTER we have saved enough for a down payment.

In short summary, I am so grateful for our Prophet today and the inspired leadership that he provides. The prophet and apostles truly do speak for the Lord. If we could follow President Hinckley's advice from 1998, we would be so much happier and more secure as a society and people. And for those of you who refuse to believe that even the Mormon community is guilty of what I complain of, go check the numbers, the studies and the facts. Salt Lake City was ranked by Forbes magazine as the most vain city in the U.S.A, and Utah (up until very recently) led the nation in bankruptcies per capita. I will be interested to see if our generation can rise to this challenge we face and if we shape up. I hope we can live up to the legacy left by our grandparents and get out of this awful mess we are in. In the mean time, Lisa and I will be cutting back on the unnecessary stuff and trying to build our savings account.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Colorado Gold

Yesterday afternoon Lisa and I decided to go for a drive to take some family pictures with all the yellow aspen leaves. We went up to Cripple Creek and found some amazing photo op locations. Cripple Creek is the site of one of the top 4 richest gold mines in the history of the world. We found a different type of gold, Colorado gold. (warning, lots of photos, because it's soooo amazingly beautiful)
Aubrey enjoyed the leaves.

Tucker kept saying, "See those trees?"

As you might remember, Tucker was potty trained several weeks ago, and has been doing awesome. I caught this embarassing shot of him pulling his underwear back up after going pee pee outside.

Today, we decided to go explore a new location for potential camping and hunting sights. We went a couple of hours south to the Spanish Peaks, by way of the Legends Highway. We stopped for lunch in the town of Cuchara and had a picnic. The kids loved it.

After the picnic, we continued onward to more "golden" pastures. We found a great group campsite and let the kids get out and play. Like true kids, they went straight for the dirt and got filthy.

The views were spectacular!

This is probably my favorite photo of the day.

Here is the West Spanish Peak (13,626 ft.)

Here is the lower of the two peaks, the East Spanish Peak (12,683 ft) in the distance.

Sadly, on the way out we got a flat tire :(

After changing the tire, we filled up for gas in Pueblo and ate dinner at Olive Garden because it was getting late. Lisa was very excited for the flat tire because if it wouldn't have gone flat we wouldn't have stopped to eat at Olive Garden, one of her favorite restaurants. It was a very fun day with the family in the mountains.