pt III: respite

We came to Colorado Springs with heavy hearts, compounded by the anxiety of myriad unknowns.  Quickly though we were wrapped up in love by our family.  Ashley and I are both very fortunate to have an extensive network of parents and siblings that love us and our boys. This was affirmed to us through out our time in the Springs.

 One of the first events that allowed both our families to get together was George's birthday. Ashley's sister Amie and all her kids came, as well as my sister Blythe, her family, and my brother Eli and his family. Not to mention both our parents. It was a cousin, aunt, uncle, grandparent smorgasbord.

 It was great to have so many familiar faces around for George's birthday party. He loved being the center of attention and getting lots of playtime with cousins.

George loves the happy birthday song. Though I'm afraid that he's convinced that his name is a permanent fixture in the song and cannot be used for other people.

George got outfitted by stylist for the stars and all of my children, Aunt Blythe. 

George got some much needed/welcomed help opening his presents from his cousin Jada.

Life settled down a little bit after his birthday party, and we discovered another love of George's, dirt. 

Coal miner - nope, just dirt enthusiast. 

Of course it helps to get some new trucks that play oh-so-well in the aforementioned dirt. 

Any time George came in looking like a depression era field hand I knew he had been in the dirt for at least 13 seconds. It didn't take long for him to work his magic. 

Ed continues to grow, almost exponentially. He seems to be much chubbier than George. He is very happy most of the time (as long as he's being held).

Easter came - and Ed and George really loved getting to spend the day hunting with the cousins in Grandma & Grandpa Potter's backyard. The eggs were abundant and so was the unsupervised consumption of chocolate.

Ashley's sister Amie is a fantastic photographer. She did the bulk of our wedding photos because we got married in a blizzard and our photographer punked out big time. I love this picture of George.

Ed is a happy guy and its really easy to make him smile. George was much more of a "poker face". Which coincidentally was his favorite song when he was born.

Just look at these friggin guys. We are lucky parents.

Easter was a grand success though it was difficult staying one step ahead of George in terms of moderating his candy intake. He is very sneaky - this is a firsthand account from Grandma Potter.

Grandma - George, do you like candy?
George - Yes, I hide it in my room.

We've also started George on his big boy bike. It's a harder transition from his little scootbike because he's just so skilled at it. It's like asking a grand pianist to take up another instrument.

In summation, we have had a great stay in "the Springs." As some of you may know I was offered a job in Chicago and will be moving out there this week to start and find a place for us to live.

Stay tuned for more pictures and adventures of Ed, George, Ashley and David.

pt II: escape

In early January our neighbor Tyler came over to our house with a fiendish look in his eye. I could tell something was up but I wasn't sure which direction his mischief was going. He then asks us, "How would you like to go to Atlantis?"

I was a little, dumbfounded. I wasn't sure if Atlantis was a new seafood restaurant in Bozeman, or if he actually meant the legendary lost city.  Turns out both of my assumptions were wrong, he meant the paradisiacal resort of Atlantis.

My response was... "uhh... is this a joke?" Tyler's wife Chelsy finally intervened and said something to the effect of, "Tyler quit goofing around and tell them what's going on."

Tyler then goes on to explain that because of his incredible sales acumen, he was awarded with not one but TWO, all expenses paid trips (for two) to the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas and they were inviting us to come with them.  We really couldn't grasp what was going on, the enormity/generosity of it all. Prior to this we were kind of down in the dumps and I must say that having this trip on the horizon was a huge blessing.

We had an amazing time with our friends and neighbors, the Barnwells. We basked in the sun, buffets, and gluttony/extravagance of it all. Here are a few of the highlights.  Not pictured are highlights from clubbing, and yacht admiring.

This is at the entryway to the resort. Ashley was totally decked out in resort gear the entire time and looked like she was a well-seasoned resort hopper.  

 Alas, Ashley's cover was blown by her husband who drank about 5 glasses of chocolate milk a morning and four pieces of coffee cake. Violating the first rule of resort living, "act like you've been here before." ;)

 One day we left the island and went to downtown Nassau. The Bahamas are a part of the Commonwealth of the United Kingdom. They had just finished celebrating the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's inauguration. God Save the Queen!

Chelsy and Ashley are serious shoppers, so "it was a mighty duel" to dissuade them from buying these creepy dolls to bring home as souvenirs. 

 We then went to the market and bought mostly a bunch of knick knacks. The best part about these places are the vendors. Their sales pitches are hilarious, "slow day special", "I made these myself", and our favorite, "come here, lean closer, closer, don't tell anyone, how much do you want to spend on this?"  Ashley is a world class barterer and should not be trifled with. 

 Spring break for a lot of Florida University Students. We thought about joining the booze cruise but wanted to be in bed by 7:30 ; ).

 Chelsy and Ashley on the little boat that took us back to the Atlantis resort.

 As Tyler and Chelsy's guests freeloaders, we were treated to free dinner every night. It was amazing. I would guess that that perk alone allowed us to gain approximately 10lbs.

 Ashley got these rad shoes (pictured above) that added approximately 4 inches to her height, bringing her within an inch or so of me. I loved it. She looked so beautiful the whole time and there's just something about a tall, beautiful woman. ; ). Show stopper.

 The resort was basically on par in terms of lavishness with a premier Los Vegas Casino/Hotel. No expense was spared. The aquariums, water rides, beaches and other amenities were top notch and we really felt like we were in a dreamland.

Us and the Barnwells having our last breakfast before we departed. We were truly blessed to have the Barnwells as neighbors, not just because we were their vacation stowaways, but because it was so fun to have friends right next door that we could have bonfires with, parties, dinner, and watch garbage tv together.  We will miss living next to them so much.

This sums up our Bahamanian adventure. Next up will be a post about our live in Colorado Springs.


and we're back. pt I: exodus

Hi friends and family.  We've heard from a few folks who've lamented the drop in posts. I (David) take full credit for the lapse but plan to catch you up to speed on everything that's been going on in the past few months.

Unfortunately, the recap starts with some unfortunate news (don't worry it all ends well).  In early February I lost my job. It was a first for me, and it was devastating.  It sent me into a tailspin of sorts and the only way we pulled out was through the love, generosity and support of our friends and family.

Almost immediately, our friends rallied around us. The unfortunate timing continued in that it was also around George's birthday.  We decided the best thing to do for our family was to leave Bozeman and go to Colorado Springs to be with Ashley's parents while we weathered the storm.  We had a lot of help packing and moving, and threw a bunch of parties.

The parties were bittersweet because in such a short time we had developed relationships with people that are so dear to our hearts.  Bozeman is an amazing place, and me, Ashley, George and Ed were absolutely showered with love.

Here are some pictures from the parties (yes multiple, I think we had like three or four, no joke).

Ashley and her friend Ruth talking about which Rush Limbaugh novel moved them the most.

 Here's Ashley and a fewof her "gal pals" (her words, not mine... ok they are mine)

 George is   j  u  s  t   starting to get into super heroes.  He found this batman mask and we were getting a pretty convincing "Where is she?" out of him ala Christian Bale

 One of the many things we loved about Bozeman was that the people there were so family oriented. It is such a relief to be in a place where people have tons of kids, understand kids, and love them. George and Ed had so many friends - it was a great place to have a family.

 Here's me goofing around with some of my friends. Even though Scott (to my left) looks like he doesn't like me, I'm pretty sure he did. All of my facial hair aspirations where lived out vicariously through Scott.

 Our friends had kids within the same week that we had George. It is so fun to think of people having babies the exact same time as you. These little trouble makers were all born within a couple of days of each other and were getting ready to eat their cake (Neely, George, Abram)

 Here are the kids showing how old they are. Neely and Abram both displaying the different "3" techniques, George not quite mastering it yet. Note to self, practice this with your child before you take pictures of him and can't remember if this was his third or fifth birthday.

 What George lacks in finger dexterity he makes up with hearty candle-blowing out capabilities. He can definitely carry his own weight in any candle situation.

 Ashley looking particularly beautiful with some of her dearest friends. We love these people so much.

By the time this party came around I was pretty tired of "friend pictures" so I got a little goofy.

So even though our heart ached to leave Bozeman and we still have wholes in our heart about the whole matter - life continues to march on.  Before you feel too badly about this episode, I'd like to alert you to the fact that the next installment in this series will be about our free trip to the Bahamas.