Tag Archives: Family

Luke with Joel's favorite alligator toy

Month Three

The third month came to a close while we were in Nashville. Things got more interesting with our trips to Breckenridge and Nashville, and hopefully the fun outings will continue.

Also in the third month, my mom came back to visit, as did Matt, Erin, Evie, & Amelia. We had lots of fun with all of them and look forward to the next time they can visit. The boys started smiling too, so that makes everything better.

Noah and Luke with the cute dogs from my Mom's store
Noah and Luke with the cute dogs from my Mom’s store
Luke with Joel's favorite alligator toy
Luke with Joel’s favorite alligator toy
Noah with Joel's favorite alligator toy
Noah getting eaten by the alligator
Mom with Noah, Luke
Mom with Noah, Luke
Joel with Luke
Joel with Luke
Evie with Luke
Evie meeting cousin Noah
Amelia and Matt with Luke
Amelia and Matt meeting Luke
Amelia with Noah
Amelia with Noah (unfortunately her little cousins will have nowhere near that kind of hair at age 2 1/2!)
Erin & I at the botanic gardens
Erin & me at the botanic gardens
Evie at the botanic gardens
Evie at the botanic gardens
Bundled up!
Bundled up!



Nashville Trip – First Flight

In mid-October, we journeyed to Nashville for our first flight with babies. We survived. Flight one: I sat by a self-proclaimed “baby whisperer” who put both of them to sleep for me. Flight two: They let us bring a car seat on, so we let Noah sleep in his seat and tag-teamed with Luke. Success! (Fun fact: You can’t have 2 lap babies on the same row because there are only 4 masks that drop down in case of emergency. We couldn’t sit on the same row on the first flight, but we were able to on the second flight when there was an extra seat for our carseat. If you have one or two babies, always ask if there is room for you to bring your carseat onboard if you didn’t buy a ticket for your baby.)

The reason for our trip was that Joel had a conference in Philadelphia, so we thought it would be nice for me to go to Nashville while he was gone. So we flew to Nashville, Joel stayed for a day and then headed to Philly. We met up in the airport on the way home. We had a great trip – the boys got to meet Grandmommy, Uncle Adam, Brittney, lots more friends and family, and they got to spend some time with the grandparents and cousins too! We pushed them way past their limit on Sunday afternoon with a big family gathering, but they did really well the rest of the trip.

Grandmommy w/ Noah
Grandmommy w/ Noah
Uncle Adam w/ Luke
Uncle Adam w/ Luke


Brittney with Luke & Noah
Brittney with Luke & Noah
The boys with Granna, Granddad, cousins Evie and Amelia. Picture with new cousin Eleanor will come at Christmas!
The boys with Granna, Granddad, cousins Evie and Amelia. Picture with new cousin Eleanor will come at Christmas!
w/ Luke
Daddy gets to hold the boys after being gone for a couple of days
Joel gets to hold the boys after being gone for a couple of days (top Luke)
Luke is a fatty in this picture! He's really the skinny one.
Luke (right) is a fatty in this picture! He’s really the skinny one.


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.


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.


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.

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!

DSC02654 DSC02655 DSC02659 DSC02668 DSC02675 DSC02677 DSC02680

Texas Time

Last month, we made the trek to the Dallas area to visit Matt, Erin, Evie, and their new baby Amelia! The drive wasn’t bad, and we had a great time visiting.

Joel and Evie playing in the sand
Amelia made us all laugh when she seemed content sleeping with her forehead on my arm!

Yay for family visits

A few weeks ago, Matt, Erin, and Evie came to visit. We had a great time hanging out and showing them around town. Next time they come, Matt will be outnumbered 3 to 1! :)

We visited Boulder and the wonderful farmers’ market there.

We picked tomatoes at our house.

And we visited Rocky Mountain National Park, despite the yucky weather at Bear Lake.

Final Pickings

This fall has been crazy in Denver. Our average first frost date is September 10-20 (depending on where you look), but we didn’t get a real frost until this week…over month later than expected! We have of course enjoyed these late veggies, and here is the evidence.

Joel’s brother, wife, and their daughter visited us last weekend, so here are pictures of our niece chowing down on some of the quart of cherry tomatoes we picked.

Since I knew the frost was hitting this week, I spent some time on Monday picking the last tasty treats despite the cold, gusting wind.  The cherry tomatoes are ripening nicely, but I don’t have high hopes for the peppers and tomatoes that weren’t remotely beginning to ripen.

Otherwise, I’m just hoping to keep a few of the herbs going as long as possible.

Nashville fun

We had a wonderful trip to Nashville around Labor Day. The weather was shockingly not hot which was such a blessing. We were hit with the humidity when we exited the airport, but it didn’t bother us again. During the trip, we were quite busy, but we had a great time visiting with family and friends. The highlights were Mandy’s wedding, seeing Joseph and Courtney’s new baby, having meals with my family, meeting up with Joel’s parents in Huntsville, going to Waverly to see Grandmommy, and visiting with the Fykes, Baxters, Huffards, Otts, Allyson, Dave, Brittney, and Joel’s old coworkers.

Joseph and Courtney with baby Noland:

Us with Noland:

Mom with Noland:

The Huffards:

Joel holding sleeping Noland in the sheep they received as a gift…I think it was called something like a Pillow Pal, and apparently they’re fancy?

Us in Huntsville at Monte Sano State Park with Joel’s parents (there wasn’t anyone to take a group shot):

Hiking with my parents at Radnor Lake:

We can’t wait for another visit!

Outer Banks

A couple of weeks ago, we met up with Joel’s family at the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It was Matt & Erin’s 10th anniversary, and they wanted their families to hit the beach together. Besides the shock of humidity, we had a great time. Here are some pictures from the trip.

Early celebration of Evie’s 2nd birthday:

Joel and I set up some indoor portraits of the families because it was raining outside.

Due to the rain, we headed to the Hatteras Lighthouse and down to Ocracoke Island:

We rented a tandem bike for the week, and it was super fun! We’d ridden one once before, and this time it was great for getting to the beach (we were across the highway on the sound side of the island).

Evie and I on the porch after dinner one night:

The lovely house we stayed in:

Dark picture of us on the sound near the house:

We went sea kayaking our last day, but we didn’t get any pictures since we were in kayaks. Also, our little camera wasn’t working (surprise), so we didn’t get any beach pictures. Oh well. :)

Mom & Dad’s Visit

A few weekends ago, my parents came to visit! We had a lovely time. We went to Boulder on Friday, hiking a bit at Chautauqua and taking the tour at Celestial Seasonings tea factory. The next day when Joel was off work, we rode our bikes down the Platte River trail. We LOVE the Platte River trail. It’s easy to get on from our house, and the section near us is very peaceful, running right alongside the river. Here’s a picture of us at the Confluence Park area in front of REI. (thank you Lewis and Vanessa for lending us bikes!)

That night, we took Dad (and Mom) to a Rockies game since it was Father’s Day weekend.

On Sunday, we headed to church, and then we drove up Mt Evans in the afternoon. Unfortunately the weather was not so great, so it was MUCH colder than we expected up there (quite different from a Tennessee summer!). We braved the cold just the same and enjoyed our time. It did keep us from hiking as we had planned, but that’s ok. I think we had at least a decent break for them from the heat wave and humidity Nashville was experiencing.

On Monday, we got up early and drove to Rocky Mountain National Park. We drove up Trail Ridge Road to visit Jamin at the gift shop where he’s working. We then went down to the Wild Basin area and took a nice hike up to Ouzel Falls, passing other falls along the way.

Overall, we had a really nice long weekend. We wish they could come more often!