family

Looking Back on the 10’s

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… and just like that a decade went by. Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, the passing of the decade seemed much more momentous, but it seems like the 2000’s and 2010’s just blew by.

The 2010’s have been a pretty transformative decade, marked by a lot of joy, but not without its share of sorrow.

2010

We were celebrating our first year of marriage, living in Fort Collins. Bethany was in the midst of finishing her Master’s Degree in School Counseling and had to do a year of unpaid internship, making it a financial challenge. However our little family grew by 1 – adopting our kitty, Logan.

Major Milestones:

  • Traveling to Las Vegas (multiple times), Boston, Minneapolis for Joel & Katie’s Wedding.

2011

Bethany started her counseling career at Northridge High School and celebrated my 30th birthday, receiving my first new drum set since I started playing the instrument back in 1996.

I also went overseas for the first time, traveling to Ireland with Bethany’s family. This was well-documented in my blog back then.

Major Milestones:

  • Traveling to Ireland
  • Receiving my Drum Set – the Pearl Masters MCX
  • The Balderrama’s meeting up in Keystone, Colorado for a reunion
  • The birth of our nephew, Liam

2012

If 2011 was a “calm before the storm year”, 2012 represented the storm that set in. It represented many changes, as well as enduring tragedy. In 2012 we decided to sell out town home in Fort Collins and move to Windsor, during the process we learned that Bethany’s brother, Rocky, had unexpectedly passed away. We learned the horrible news just hours before we were about to set on our Baby-moon Cruise to Alaska, setting a long and heavy shadow over the trip. When we returned from the trip we were in between moving out of our old house and had not yet moved into our new home. The house we moved into was not in the state we had expected and we ended up having to deal with a lot of unexpected hardships.

Despite the darkness during the year, we ended it on a positive note, with Bethany coming pregnant with Clara.

Major Milestones:

  • Selling our townhome in Fort Collins
  • Buying our single-family home in Windsor
  • Welcoming our niece, Sonia, into the world
  • Taking our 2 week Baby-Moon to Seattle and on an Alaskan Cruise
  • Mourning the loss of Bethany’s brother, Rocky

2013

The year that changed it all, when God brought Clara into our lives. They weren’t kidding when they talked about how children change lives. We experienced all of it, but were very blessed to have a beautiful, healthy and happy little girl in our lives.

Work-wise, my company went through a split, which really increased my workload leading up to Clara’s birth. Clara’s birth also gave us incentive to invest in a DSLR camera, unlocking new talents. Aside from a quick trip to Kansas for a wedding, we did not travel anywhere for 2013.

Major Milestones:

  • The birth of Clara!
  • Experiencing a tornado in Windsor, causing damage to our house
  • The Broncos having a great season, making it to Super Bowl 48 (then losing to the Seahawks).

2014

As transformational as 2013 was, 2014 continued to be a year of “firsts” for us – Clara would have her first real food, first crawl, first steps and continuing to experience the first holidays.

We started to venture out, making Clara’s first plane trip to Daytona for an SoB (Summer of Balderrama’s) trip, seeing Disneyland. We also road-tripped to Kansas to visit family, Taos to commemorate Rocky’s birthday, as well as a new year’s trip to Durango.

Major Milestones:

  • Clara being a flower girl at Shannon and Andrew’s wedding
  • Clara growing from an infant to a spunky toddler
  • Summer of Balderrama’s trip to Florida
  • Road trips to Taos, Durango and Kansas.

2015

2015 was all about Mariana. We spent the entire year anticipating her arrival, which finally came on October 29. We then got all of the reminders of parenting a newborn, along with the challenges of a full-fledged toddler.

Clara continued to blossom and develop her own personality as a happy-go-lucky little girl. Looking back at this time, the 27-month span was perfect for the girls, as Clara was intrigued about having a little sister, but didn’t really develop the jealousy a new infant would bring.

Music-wise, I also joined Amy and the Peace Pipes and had an awesome year with them. We got selected to play at FoCoMX, released our first EP and played over a dozen shows throughout the year.

Major Milestones:

  • Traveling to Nashville for a long weekend trip
  • Road-tripping to Kansas to visit family
  • Introducing my mom to Durango
  • Welcoming Mariana into the world!
  • Broncos win the Super Bowl (it technically happened 2016, but it was the 2015 season)

2016

In 2016 we watched the girls grow into being sisters, being witnesses to many of Mariana’s firsts, as well as learning how to be our family of four. We also had a very busy summer filled with weddings (and Clara being a flower girl), as well as a trip to New York to go meet our new niece, Elisia.

Major Milestones:

  • Our friends Brett and Joanna getting married
  • My sister Amanda and David getting married
  • Cousins Laura and Herrick getting married
  • Our niece, Elisia, being born
  • Our trip to New York to go see the city and visit our new cousin
  • Clara starting dance class

2017

Now it’s Mariana’s turn to grow into the full-fledged toddler, while Clara grows into a little girl. Clara started preschool in the fall, while also going full-fledged into dance class and soccer. It was such a rewarding experience watching Clara being exposed to these activities, learning more each day.

Mariana also became pretty active as well and incurred our first major injury as a family, falling off the couch and fracturing her leg. It happened a few weeks before we were scheduled to go to Disneyland as well. Fortunately she was able to get her cast removed two days before we were set to head out, and got the full Disney experience.

Major Milestones:

  • Family trip to Disneyland, with Mema, Papa and nephew Liam
  • Clara starting pre-school in the fall, 3 hours each afternoon
  • Clara starting soccer in the fall
  • Clara continuing dance class
  • Mariana’s first cast

2018

One of the coolest things to happen in 2018 was Bethany being recognized as the High School Counselor of the year by the Colorado School Counselors Association, which was so well-deserved and we were very proud of her!

Clara started all-day Kindergarten in the fall of 2018 and we were blown away by just how much she was learning each day. She was transforming into a little reader and writer, excited to read to her sister.

Mariana joined Clara at Just for Kix Dance Classes and was a natural to the stage. We also worked through the adjustment period after Ms. Amanda closed her daycare to finish her school counseling internships.

Oh , and through the generosity of Bethany’s mom and step-dad, we were able to see Hamilton at the Denver Center for Performing Arts!

Major Milestones:

  • Clara finishing pre-school and starting kindergarten
  • Mariana starting dance class
  • Clara continuing dance and soccer
  • Going on a beach vacation in North Carolina
  • Seeing Hamilton!
  • Bethany winning School Counselor of the Year
  • Saying goodbye to Bethany’s grandmother
  • Being an active campaigner fo the new library in our town and ultimately losing that ballot initiative
  • Bethany completing her first sprint triathlon

2019

Clara finished kindergarten and is now in first grade, continuing to amaze us with her growth. We’ve been really lucky to have great teachers working with her at her school, and outs been neat to see her come home excited to tell us about her day.

Mariana is in an incredible daycare and making her own educational strides as well, already working on writing. After going from an in-home to a center, then back to in-home, we’ve found that in-home works much better for Mari.

Work is going well for both Bethany and I. I am blessed to have my school drop off schedule accommodated and have some flexibility to be able to help out from time to time. Bethany is rocking it at her school and headed to Washington DC in early 2020 to be recognized for her counseling award.

We took some awesome road trips over the summer, first to South Dakota with the Miles-Hastings, then to Yellowstone with the Balderrama’s, experiencing a lot of the beauty of our country.

Amy and the Peace Pipes had a great year, capping it off with an opportunity to play Old Town Square in Fort Collins.

Major Milestones:

  • Road trip to Yellowstone
  • Road trip to South Dakota
  • Road trip to Durango
  • Clara starting 1st grade
  • Both girls performing in dance (Clara doing hip-hop)
  • Clara playing soccer (with Bethany coaching both the spring and fall teams)
  • Bethany running her first half-marathon!

Thus closes my forth decade on this earth. It’s definitely been the most transformational of my life, going doubling our family, moving to a new home and planting some roots within our lives. I’m anxious to see where our family will be ten years from now.

Here’s to the next 10! Happy New Year!

Vacation Photos

Over Spring Break we took a trip back to Kansas to visit family and spend some time at the Miles Family Farm.  We had a wonderful trip, especially getting a lot of quality time with Clara and capturing some fun moments. Outside of that, I got to tag along and photograph a pasture burn.  I got a lot of practice and towards the end of the burn I felt like I really got things dialed in.  Despite a thorough cleaning, my camera still smells like smoke – but the pictures were definitely worth it.

Here are a few of my favorite ones:

PastureBurn2

PastureBurn1

PastureBurn3

PastureBurn4

There are a lot more pictures over at Flickr. We also got some really fun pictures of Clara throughout the week as well, which are also on Flickr.

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