Category Archives: Joel and Lauren’s Fat Posts

The House, part 2

Here are some pictures of our house as it is today (sans baby items that are starting to take over everywhere). These make me realize how we never got around to painting anything differently than the way it started, except the nursery!

Living room from inside the front door
Living room from inside the front door
Eating area into the kitchen
Eating area into the kitchen
Kitchen
Kitchen
Downstairs bathroom (it's a jack-and-jill with another toilet/sink on the other side of the shower)
Downstairs bathroom (it’s a jack-and-jill with another toilet/sink on the other side of the shower)
Guest room
Guest room

 

Our room
Our room
Nursery
Nursery – curtains, bedskirts and pillow sewn by my mom and tree decals painstakingly put up by Joel
Nursery
Nursery

 

 

 

 

 

The House

*I wrote this 6 months ago but never posted it for some reason? Post with completion pictures to follow…

We began looking for a house in September 2010 but weren’t having luck. In May 2011, I found a post on Craigslist about a house being renovated down the street. It sounded promising, so we checked it out. Although it was gutted, it seemed like it had more potential than anything else we had seen, so we went under contract. As the months passed, nothing happened. Our closing date (originally July 2011) got pushed back a few times as nothing and nothing and nothing happened. We were buying it from a lady who was flipping it, and everything basically fell apart for her. We felt very sad for her in the process, but a lot of the problems were because she hired a less-than-honest and non-licensed contractor to do the job (we didn’t know this until after). It got to the point that she couldn’t complete the project, so we bought it from her as-is. We didn’t get a steal because of her loan situation, but it still seemed like a good option. We  finally closed in November 2011.

We then hired our own contractors to begin/complete the project, and we were we glad we did! They said the work the previous guy had done was the worst work they had ever seen, and it all had to be ripped down. Overall, the project turned into a bit of a nightmare for most everyone involved, mainly because of an improper bid and some misunderstandings. Regardless of all of that, we moved in March 2012, 10 months after going under contract. What a year! The house has some issues of course, but overall we are happy to be here and have had a great first year.

Here are some pictures of the renovation, starting with what it looked like when we went under contract.

When we went under contract
When we went under contract – she’s a beaut!
Upstairs room add-on by the fake contractor
Upstairs room add-on by the fake contractor
Inside the house: future eating area and kitchen.
Inside the house: future eating area and kitchen.
The back, once our contractors got started. They tore off the other guy's work and had to rebuild the back room on the bottom because it wasn't up to fire codes.
The back, once our contractors got started. They tore off the other guy’s work and had to rebuild the back room on the bottom because it wasn’t up to fire codes. And yes, snow got in the house! To the right are trusses ordered by the fake contractor that don’t even fit the house.

 

Work inside - new hole cut to move the cellar stairs.
Work inside – new hole cut to move the cellar stairs.
Work inside - building the stairs
Work inside – building the stairs (extreme math project for someone)
Work inside - Joel standing by the frame of the back bedroom window
Work inside – Joel standing by the frame of the back bedroom window

 

Work inside - hardwood on the stairs
Work inside – hardwood on the stairs (more math)
Work inside - hardwood in the kitchen
Work inside – hardwood in the kitchen

 

Work inside - tiling the upstairs bathroom
Work inside – tiling the upstairs bathroom

 

The brick is scraped, the old porch is ripped off, and the new porch is framed
The brick is scraped, the old porch is ripped off, and the new porch covering is framed
Planting our new tree in April!
Planting our new tree in April! (before we fixed the grass behind us)

 

 

My Father-in-Law Steve Temple

Some people don’t have the opportunity to have one good father on this earth. For the past eight plus years, I’ve been blessed to have two. Sadly, on Monday evening, June 24, 2013 Steve Temple lost his life to melanoma.

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A rare moment captured. Steve slinging pancakes while camping.

I can’t really remember the first time I met Steve (Mr. Temple at the time). It would have been in the summer of 2002 when Lauren and I started dating. Thankfully he wasn’t the type of guy who sat around and cleaned his guns when I came over. Even though he wasn’t intimidating in that way, his character demanded respect.

Steve was nice to me from the beginning, but I think I earned a place in his heart with my  IT consulting at the Temple house. Lauren and I had been dating around three months before she went to Europe to study in the Fall of 2002. Even while she was gone, Steve and Mary Ruth would have me over for dinner, and they were so nice to me. The second thing that really made us click was finding out the we both changed the oil in our cars at home. Lauren’s car care quickly became part of my duty as the boyfriend.

Steve had many amazing qualities, but if I had to choose one word to describe him, it would be selflessness. He always put others before himself, especially Lauren and me on many occasions:

  • Completely overhauling the landscaping at our first house with Mary Ruth
  • Doing my taxes before we got married
  • Helping put a new floor in our kitchen, finding out that the subfloor was rotten in one place and completely replacing it
  • Working on countless other projects at 4903 Maywood and 2929 Gilpin
  • Helping work on my car many times
  • Paying for our beautiful wedding

We had a lot of great times together. One of the best (and most uncomfortable) was asking permission to marry Lauren. We met up at Baja Burrito for lunch, and I barely touched my food (very unusual if you know me). He graciously said yes. Another awesome memory from 2009 was getting to climb Mt. Bierstadt, one of Colorado’s Fourteeners (14,000 ft mountain). At the time, Steve was in better shape than me, and I had trouble keeping up! It was awesome getting to enjoy that view with him, especially since Lauren and Mary Ruth had to head down a little earlier.

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Steve & I on top of Mt. Bierstadt in July 2009.

Steve, I love you. You were a great second father to me, and you would have been an awesome grandfather. Thanks for loving your family so much and pointing us to Christ. We’ll miss you, but we know you aren’t suffering now. Your legacy will live on.

Little Bear / Blanca Traverse + Ellingwood Point

Lauren commonly calls me “Mr. Mountain Energy”. I suppose it’s a fairly accurate nickname (just look at the majority of my blog entries). I guess my zeal has slowed a bit in the past year; maybe it’s the fact we have twins on the way, my current knee injury, or one particular day in the mountains last fall.

In late October, Kyle & I (mostly I) decided it would be a good idea to climb three fourteeners in a day. Depending on the three fourteeners, it wouldn’t necessarily be too insane…

It’s commonly debated (depending on conditions) if Little Bear has the most difficult standard route on any fourteeners. The crux of the route is a section called the “Hour Glass”, that commonly features loose rock, water, & ice. We decided to completely bypass the “Hour Glass”, by taking the north west face. While the NW face probably has more sustained exposure/difficulty, we didn’t have to worry about people kicking rocks on us, etc. The NW face ended up being pretty fun, and was fairly easy to stay “on route”.

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Kyle making his way up the NW face of Little Bear.

The traverse between Little Bear and Blanca is one of Colorado’s four great fourteener traverses. Some say it is the most difficult of the four. – Summitpost.org

Once on top of Little Bear, we looked across the ridge we would painstakingly traverse for the next five hours (people definitely do it faster). It was to be the most terrifying traverse I have done. If you don’t have experience with considerable exposure (Capitol Peak was easy comparatively), I would recommend getting some first.

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Kyle on a less dicey section of the ridge.

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Most of the connecting ridge between Little Bear & Blanca.

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Little Bear & the ridge in the background. Taken from Ellingwood Pt.

Once on top of Blanca, we could head down or continue on to Ellingwood Pt. Bad decision #2…we kept going. The traverse over to Ellingwood Pt. was much more docile, but we both had massive headaches from being at 13,000 ft. for so many hours.

 

 

Thanks to Kyle for the nice video!

17 hours later, we finally made it back down Lake Como Road (supposedly the most difficult 4×4 trail in Colorado) to our car.

It’s one of my few days in the mountains where I am unsure of my accomplishment, and really if it was enjoyable. Here are a couple tips if you go for it:

  • Consider spending at least one night at Lake Como (unfortunately that means carrying your stuff up a crappy road with a lot of elevation gain)
  • The traverse takes a long time. Try to enjoy it as much as possible. I think I spent too much time focusing on how long it was taking.

 

Babies Update

We haven’t been doing too much lately that is picture worthy (at least me sitting on the couch doesn’t seem too exciting), so I thought I’d post an update on the kiddies, size-wise at least. And I’m sitting down because my feet are tired, and I’ve apparently run out of other things to do on the internet.

Baby A – 1lb, 13oz

Baby B – 1lb, 8oz

That’s as of our appointment on Thursday. Everything is looking good so far, so we feel very blessed (I’m hitting 25 weeks this weekend). We’ve been working on nursery stuff as well as our back yard, so I’ll have pictures of those at some point. Also, we do have some ultrasound pictures, but I can’t tell what 90% of them are supposed to show (oh, there’s his hand in front of his face! oh really? I can’t see that at all. All I can see is more blurry stuff!).

Isla Mujeres

Back in the fall, we decided to take a trip to celebrate my upcoming 30th birthday. As you may know, we are also having twins! (boys!) When we found out, we decided it should be a “babiesmoon” too. For the first time in the history of Joel and Lauren, we selected a warm, relaxing location…it did sound fun, but of course our typical adventure/sightseeing trips weren’t going to fit the bill for me this time anyway.

We decided we didn’t want to do a resort, so we ended up in Isla Mujeres, Mexico (island off the coast of Cancun) using extra frequent flyer miles from what we saved for our South America trip. We had a wonderful time relaxing on the beach and exploring the island. There was a number of people with kids there, so who knows? Maybe we’ll be back one day.

Our trip began at Nautibeach on the north end of the island, which boasts the downtown and popular Playa Norte beach. We rented a golf cart mid-trip and explored the rest of the island, transitioning to stay at Lolo Lorena’s, an eclectic bed and breakfast. Lolo is a a chef and made the most fabulous breakfasts! We were the only guests there, and she was very attentive and thoughtful to my pregnancy. We explored the southern tip of the island’s rocky coast and went snorkeling one day. The trip was filled with lovely food experiences, beautiful weather, and lots of sunscreen and umbrella time (our biggest goal was to not get burned!).

And…our twins are apparently growing like crazy because I am getting huge!

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Mankins Visit

In January, our dear friends the Mankins came to visit us! We had a lovely time snow tubing, eating, and just having general fun. See the picture below that Joseph made: the boys got to check out the driving on ice at Georgetown Lake. A couple of people even took them for a spin!

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Christmas 2012

Is it March? Better late than never.

In December, we made the big drive south for Christmas. We had fun spending time with Matt & Erin & the girls in Dickson, my family in Nashville, and Joel’s parents in Birmingham, along with some friends sprinkled in there. We also got to see my extended family, but not surprisingly, I have no pictures. Our friends, the Mortons, were in Kansas, so we had a fun, short stay with them on the way back. We were unfortunately caught in a snowstorm the next day and had to stop an extra night, but we finally made it home!

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Other 2012 Highlights

Since there’s no way I’m going to make posts about all of these things, here are some other highlights from 2012. We did move in 2012, but I’ll actually make a post about that!

Skiing a few times, despite the bad snow year
Skiing a few times, despite the bad snow year
We went to Memphis for Rebecca's wonderful wedding
We went to Memphis for Rebecca’s wonderful wedding

 

Joel turned 30, and we had a big fiesta
Joel turned 30, and we had a big fiesta
Mom and Dad came out and conquered a difficult hike with us
Mom and Dad came out and conquered a difficult hike with us
Joel and 4 of us ladies went on a fun snow climb to the Citadel
Joel and 4 of us ladies went on a challenging snow climb to the Citadel
Matt, Erin, Evie, and Amelia came for a fun weekend
Matt, Erin, Evie, and Amelia came for a great weekend
We did round 2 of the snow climb up Kelso Ridge on Torrey's Peak with Sarah & Patrick
We did round 2 of the snow climb up Kelso Ridge on Torrey’s Peak with Sarah & Patrick
Some of our community group took a fun trip to Annie's family cabin in South Dakota over Memorial Day weekend
Some of our community group took a lovely trip to Annie’s family cabin in South Dakota over Memorial Day weekend
Fun on our block!
Fun on our block!
Although a little rusty, we brought out the old climbing gear a few times
Although a little rusty, we brought out the old climbing gear a few times
Joel's mentee, Kuatid, graduated from high school
Joel’s mentee, Kuatid, graduated from high school
We had a fun couple of days with Brittney and Dupree in the mountains
We had a fun couple of days with Brittney and Dupree in the mountains
Our 2012 garden
Our 2012 garden

 

We climbed the West Ridge of Quandary Peak...our 3rd way to climb it
We climbed the West Ridge of Quandary Peak…our 3rd way to climb it
Joel's parents visited and provided invaluable help as we and our neighbor sodded our front yards
Joel’s parents visited and provided invaluable help as we and our neighbor sodded our front yards

 

Guanella Pass provided one last chilly camping trip of the year with Sarah, Annie, and Patrick
Guanella Pass provided one last chilly camping trip of the year with Sarah, Annie, and Patrick

Heart Lake

Back in July, we took a short backpacking trip to Heart Lake. It was really the perfect length…just when I started to get tired, we arrived! After enjoying the beautiful wildflowers, we camped near Rogers Lake. We then climbed Rogers Pass to get a view of Heart Lake the next morning. From the top of the pass, you can see over to Winter Park as well as the backs of some peaks, like Mt. Bancroft.

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At Rogers Lake

Heart Lake

Rogers Pass

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