25 Dec 2015 @ 8:24 AM 

Hey  y’all. Here is the latest on what we’ve been doing the last year.

We had a new addition to the family arrive in February. Jason was worried he was going to have to share his birthday, but Cody Wyatt Cotting was considerate enough to arrive two days later. He is now 10 months old and is a happy healthy little boy. He is a really good crawler who is doing his best to become a walker. Cody is currently cruising. He enjoys following around his big sister and playing with her.

Mia turned two back in January. She keeps getting bigger and bigger. Mia is a good big sister to her new little brother. She plays with Cody and helps Mom and Dad take care of him. Mia enjoys helping Wendy in the kitchen. Minnie Mouse has replaced Bear as top friend. Mia enjoyed playing outside at the parks this summer and learning to ride her balance bike. She still enjoys reading which is a wish for Wendy that has come true. We’ll have to see if that continues once she actually learns how to interpret all those little black lines on the page. We are holding off on preschool until next school year.

Vacations were scarce this year. We did an overnight car camping trip during the summer in American Fork Canyon. It was over the July 4th weekend which meant it was full of people. It wasn’t an easy camping trip, but we enjoyed it. It was Cody’s first time to go camping. We also went to Frankenmuth, MI for a family reunion that Wendy’s father had planned. It was nice to get out of town for a few days, but Jason and Wendy were exhausted by the time we got back. The kids made travel tough. We discovered that Detroit’s airport is not stroller friendly in case you were wondering.

Wendy took 12 weeks off for maternity leave. We all enjoyed having her around the house for a long time. She is still enjoying her job with Kidscare. Since most of her shifts are in the evening, she gets to spend a lot of time with the family during the day which she enjoys. She was able to plant another successful garden and is enjoying being a mom.

Jason has continued his stay at home dad responsibilities. He has been unsuccessful in getting hired with the many fire departments he has applied for this year. His firefighter certifications expire next month with no way to renew them. We feel that God has closed a door which has been difficult to understand. Jason has not given up on looking for work as a paramedic though. He has been to a few conferences this year to keep up his continuing education hours. Jason was able to do some bike riding this summer but nothing big. He also was able to finish building Cotting Creek in the backyard.

Day to day Jason and Wendy spend most of their time taking care of Mia and Cody. They would both like to get back to backpacking some day, but that is going to take a few years. In the mean time, they hope to do more car camping next year since Cody will be a little older. This coming summer, Jason has plans to build a new workshop in the backyard, and Wendy wants to do more hiking.

Things are good at Chez Cotting. We hope you all have a great Christmas and New Year

Jason, Wendy, Mia, and Cody

Cottings Christmas 2015

Cottings Christmas 2015

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Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 25 Dec 2015 @ 08 24 AM

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 05 Jan 2015 @ 5:18 PM 

Well the 2014 Christmas season has come to an official close here at the Cotting home. Wendy took down the indoor decorations and I finished getting all the outdoor decorations and lights I could get to until the snow melts.

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Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 05 Jan 2015 @ 05 18 PM

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 24 Dec 2014 @ 9:30 PM 

The Cottings have been blessed for the year of 2014.

Mia has changed from cute little baby to a happy little girl. We’ve been very blessed at how healthy and happy she has been. Wendy took her to city parks most days during the summer. She’s shy in new places, but after she gets warmed up to it, she goes up and down the slides all by herself. She has come to enjoy being outside. Guess that shouldn’t be a surprise seeing as her parents met as backpacking guides.

Mia has a favorite stuffed animal black bear who she obviously named, Bear. She talks fairly well and has a surprising understanding of what we tell her. Mia enjoys having her grandparents (Jason’ parents) over most nights while Wendy is at work to help Jason. We are grateful that she gets to spend time with them.

Earlier this year, we learned that we will be having #2. His name will be Cody Wyatt. He is due sometime in mid-February of 2015. We are excited to be having a boy, and Jason is glad to see the gender ratio tip back towards the middle.

Wendy has been doing well with her pregnancy. Other than the annoyances that come with being pregnant, she and Cody have been healthy so far. For that we are very thankful. Wendy is still working for KidsCare as an after hours urgent care pediatrician. She is grateful that her job allows her to spend all day with Mia, and then go to work in the evening. She has been active with a Mom’s Bible Study group that meets every two weeks at our church and meet ups with her friends during the week.

Jason, despite his obtaining the necessary Firefighter and Paramedic certifications, has continued to strike out at fire department hirings. He will continue to apply as departments open up hiring again in the future, but frustration with the hiring process is mounting. In the mean time, Jason has decided to embrace being a stay at home Dad and the blessings that come with it. He gets to spend time with Mia and Wendy every day, something many husbands don’t get the opportunity to do. He sees his role as being the job God wants him in for now, and if God wants him in a firefighting position, it will happen.

Jason spent most of the summer building a raised playhouse for Mia. It has been a dream of his to build something like this for his kids. He has also been finding other projects to do around the house. The latest project is building an ~ 80 ft long stream in the backyard with a waterfall. We couldn’t afford to buy a house in the mountains next to a stream, so he’s bring a stream to the back yard. The biggest part of construction on it has been finished with more work to come once the weather warms up next spring. It makes for a nice soothing noise for sitting on the back porch that Jason helped build on the back of our house this summer. The old deck was rotting. The new deck is now covered and has built in benches. Jason’s backyard transformation project really hit its stride this year.

Our family got to go on a couple of short vacations this year. Mia got to experience camping for the first time when we went to the Capitol Reef National Park in southern Utah. She enjoyed playing in the dirt in the campsite the most. We also did some short hikes with Mia riding in the backpack. We also went to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming later in the year. These two backpackers have had to transition from their hardcore backpacking beliefs to a more cushioned and more gear intensive car camping experience. Our campsite has begun to look like an REI catalog, but it was a worthy expenditure of our REI dividends.

We hope this finds you and your family doing well and wish you a Merry Christmas!

Jason, Wendy, & Mia

Cotting Christmas 2014

 

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Last Edit: 24 Dec 2014 @ 09 30 PM

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 01 Dec 2014 @ 11:59 AM 

This is Mia’s second Christmas, and we bought her a stocking this year. We have two fireplaces in our home. The one upstairs, where our Christmas tree is, does not have a mantel to hang our Christmas stockings on. Wendy found a photo on Pinterest of an idea someone had made for hanging their stockings. I told her I could build something like that, so we went off to the local home improvement store to get the supplies I needed for this. Supplies list:

  • Fence boards
  • 1×4
  • screws
  • stain
  • hooks

It was pretty simple to build. The stain we chose didn’t turn out exactly like I had wanted. When I applied the stain, I intentionally applied it very poorly as the goal was to have a distressed look. The color looked more green than I had expected, so I took some brown and white spray paint and lightly applied it to break up the color. Below is the finished product:

Christmas stocking display

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Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 20 Dec 2014 @ 03 31 PM

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 25 Dec 2012 @ 8:53 AM 

Hello everyone! Hope you are doing great. Time for the annual update. Wendy and I have had some changes go on with more in store for next year.

Around Christmas time of last year, Wendy found out that she had been overpaid by her company for the previous two years. I already wrote an in depth description about it so I won’t go into details. We are now paying it back, and it has had a big effect on our lifestyle, but we are grateful that we still have everything we need.

I swore off an old oath that I would never go back to school again and took two classes at the local institutions for higher learning. Human Physiology and Medical terminology. I needed those classes so I can go to paramedic school. I was also quoted as saying I would never become a paramedic. Sensing a pattern? I will be going to the University of Utah for paramedic school starting this January. The program is sponsored by the Salt Lake City Fire Department. I hope that I will be able to make a good impression on someone during my clinicals there so I have a better chance at getting hired.

I also just finished a fire academy where I earned my Utah firefighting certifications. This will allow me to apply for more fire departments as most of them require that before you can apply with them. We are hoping that once I finish paramedic school this time next year, I will be a more desirable candidate so I can have a better chance of getting hired by a fire department.

During the summer I did a lot of bicycling. I did a fair amount of riding with my neighbor Dean. He helped me to ride farther than I normally do and which helped me to improve my endurance. He talked me into going down to southern Utah with him and some friends to do a century ride. It is called the Deparado Duo. He did the full 200 miles. I was quite content to just do 100 miles. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, but I’m glad to have gotten my first century ride down. Maybe I can do more in the future.

At the end of last year I decided to not drink soda for a year. I am just about to my one year mark with that. Honestly, I don’t really miss it. Unfortunately, when company comes over we don’t have much to offer them other than tea, milk, and water. It was originally a weight control decision, but the more I’ve learned about soda the more I realize it’s really just a good health decision. If you drink more than a few sodas a month, I’d encourage you to try going a year without it just to see what its like.

My parents have put their house up for sale in MS. They haven’t had much luck with getting anyone to buy it, but hopefully someone will come along soon and buy it. Once they sell it, they will be moving out here to UT to be closer to us.

Wendy found out on Mother’s day that she is pregnant. It is going to be a girl, and her name will be Mia June Cotting. June is Wendy’s grandmother’s name. Mia’s expected due date is Jan 20th, about a week after my paramedic school starts. Although I’ve been told that new babies mostly just sleep, I just wish this was going to be easier. We are excited about starting the new phase of our life in parenthood. Wendy and Mia have been doing well and the doctors say everything is how it should be. We feel very blessed with how well things have gone for us.

Wendy still really loves her job doing urgent care for kids. She’s had a pretty busy year, and the winter virus season has now started here in UT. She has a great schedule where she works in the evenings. It is going to work out great once we have Mia here as I will be at school during the day, and then I can be home while she works in the evenings.

We didn’t go on vacations or backpacking trips this year like we have in previous years. This year we just had staycations. We did drive out to CA to visit with my brother and his wife. We took the dogs with us, and it was a nice little get away.

The dogs are doing great. Daisy has taken up catching the frisbee. She’s gotten really good at it and can jump pretty high. Madie just follows her around with a tennis ball in her mouth watching Daisy catch the frisbee.

This Christmas we are enjoying a quiet day at home. I don’t imagine there will be many more quiet Christmases once we have a kido running around the house.

We hope you all have a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

L-R Daisy, Wendy, Maddie, Jason

L-R Daisy, Wendy, Maddie, Jason

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Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 25 Dec 2012 @ 09 10 AM

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 25 Dec 2010 @ 12:40 PM 

Merry Christmas everyone.

Wendy and I have been very blessed this year. I know for me it has been the happiest year I’ve had so far. We are still enjoying our home here in Utah. No kids yet as we are still just enjoying being a couple. The dog and cat are like characters from the Will Ferrell movie Step Brothers when they first met each other. Madie, our German Shepherd, knows she can’t hurt the cat, and Jamin, the cat, knows it so he chases Madie around the house. Never thought I’d see the day when a German Shepherd would run from a cat.

We’ve done a few improvements to our house. Changed out some light fixtures and updated some of the outlets with the help of my father in law Tim and my dad. We’ve also added new french doors to replace the sliding glass door that leads into our back yard. We are hoping to replace some of our single pane windows next year as you can feel the cold air rushing in the house as you walk by them. I’ve been put in charge of taking care of the outside of the house. The yard and what not.

Wendy and I have been enjoying our church we go to. There are a lot of great people there that we’ve enjoyed getting to know over the year. We found a small group Bible study class we really enjoy, and our pastors do a great job of delivering sermons. We both look forward to our Sunday mornings each week. (no, we haven’t converted to the local LDS culture).

Wendy and I have gotten to go on some fun trips this year. Our first trip was to Heber City about an hour from here. We went there for my birthday and valentine’s day. The motel we got was dog friendly so Madie went along with us. While we were up there we did some snow tubing and some snow mobiling. I never knew I could get so sore from riding on a snow mobile, but it was a lot of fun. Wendy and I plan to go rent another snow mobile again this winter.

As a chance to escape our winter and for me to see my beloved Cubbies play baseball, we flew to Mesa, AZ for Spring Training. I have dreamed of getting to go to spring training for a long time and I finally got to go. It was nice to be able to wear shorts and sit in the sunshine after a cold winter here in Utah. We are planning to go back again this Spring.

My brother Chris and his wife Lisa both finished their graduate studies at Virginia Tech this spring. My parents drove up for the ceremony, and Wendy and I flew out. It was a fun trip getting to be with my family. After visiting with them, Wendy and I rented a car to drive up to Washington DC. We were only there for about 24 hours, but we were able to see a lot of sights while we were there. Didn’t get much sleep, and it was a whirlwind visit, but we were excited to get to see some of the American icons that we’ve heard about our whole lives.

We flew to Seattle, WA this summer so I could get to see my Cubs play baseball during the regular season. I have always heard how nice of a ball park Safeco field is in Seattle, and I’ve never been to Seattle, so Wendy and I made a trip of it. We got to watch 3 games and the Cubs lost 2 of 3. It was a rough year, yet again, to be a Cubs fan. Seattle was a nice town. We were able to save some money by not renting a car and were able to get to see a lot still. The weather was perfect, and it only rained one day.

I spent most of my summer riding my bicycle. We live near the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon where Alta and Snowbird ski resorts are located. I rode my bike up that canyon several times a week. I never made it to the top, but I kept making progress. Wendy also got a bike this summer, and I am trying to get her to ride it more for next year. We went on a couple of rides together. We are both currently attending a weekly spin class. Our instructor does a great job of teaching the fundamentals of maintaining good positioning while on a bike.

Both Wendy’s parents and my parents came out to visit us this year. We enjoyed having them visit us and a chance to show off our home to visitors. My parents enjoyed it so much that they have decided they want to move out here. It will be nice to have my parents near by as it is difficult to get back to MS to visit.

Wendy and I continued our backpacking roots with a few trips this year. We planned a trip in September for Glacier National Park. In the mean time, we did a couple of shorter trips nearby to help us get ready for it. We went to the Uintas Wilderness for a 3 day trip. We took Madie with us, and I have never seen that dog so happy ever. She makes for a great backpacking dog. We had a great time too. We then took another 3 day trip to American Fork Canyon. Madie accompanied us on that trip as well. We wore her out hiking, but she loved it. We bought her some saddle bags to carry her food and water.

Our trip to Glacier was wonderful. We had planned to spend 6 days backpacking, but had to come out a day early because of an early snow storm that covered an exposed trail we were to cross. It was a very pretty park. Wendy and I were both glad to get back to the simple life of backpacking. We met some nice folks on the trail while we were there. Surprisingly, Glacier gets a lot of visitors from Washington State. My blog has a more detailed account of our trip.

For our first anniversary, we headed back to CO in September. We rented a cabin near Estes Park and enjoyed touring around Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a great time to visit as a lot of the leaves on the aspen trees were peaking. We had a great time there.

Wendy is still loving her job. She’s a pediatrician for an urgent care network in town. She works evenings and one day a weekend which leaves her with plenty of time to do things with me. We decided that me getting a job wasn’t as important for us as getting to spend time together. It’s been a fun year.

I eventually obtained my UT EMT Basic. It didn’t transfer from CO and I wound up having to retake my EMT Basic class again. Thankfully it wasn’t a hard class, but it was just frustrating having to go through the process again. There’s only one private ambulance company around here, and I may go work for them at some point in the future. I really do miss getting to work in EMS. I’ve also been applying to the local fire departments. My best luck so far has been with the Salt Lake City Fire Dept. I ranked #13 on their list. They hired 12 in November which leaves me #1 on their list for now. Their hiring list is good for another 1 1/2 years. I’m really really hoping they hire more firefighters as this will get me in. With the economy still recovering, local government hiring isn’t as promising as it once was. In the mean time I’ve been ramping up my exercise routines to make sure I’m in shape for any fire academy I get hired for.

Wendy and I are staying home for Christmas this year. We are enjoying having a nice quiet Christmas with just us and the animals. We’ve had a great year and look forward to many more to come.

We hope this finds you and your family in good health and joy.

Jason Cotting

My blog:
http://jasonblog.cotting.us/

Pictures:
http://anvilgear.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=10855

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Last Edit: 13 Jan 2011 @ 12 33 AM

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 25 Dec 2009 @ 9:16 AM 

Merry Christmas!

Wow, what a year. Last year left off with Wendy and I going to visit each other’s families for Christmas. Now we are married! Lots of good changes have happened.

I proposed to Wendy in May of 2009. We got married Sept 27, 2009 in Evergreen, CO. The wedding was perfect. It was an outdoor wedding with great weather and we had lots of family and friends come to celebrate our day with us. Afterwards we went to Hawaii for 10 days for our honeymoon. We had a great time. The highlight for me was the helicopter tour. For my bachelor’s party, my brother Chris, and a good friend from college, Ramsey, came out to CO with me to do a backpacking trip. The weather didn’t cooperate, so we had to alter our plans, but we had a great time.

I had to resign from my EMT job at the ambulance company, Pridemark, when I moved. It has been an adjustment for me not having a job. I’m in the process of trying to get my EMT certification here in UT so I an get another job. So far, not going so well, but I’ll keep trying at it. I still am pursuing my dream of being a firefighter.

I had the privilege to work with some more great partners this last year at Pridemark. There are some great people who are in the business of EMS and Fire. I rotated through three full time paramedic partners this year, two of them who had just finished paramedic school. Bryan and I had started working together last year, and he found a job with another agency earlier this year. He too was a Boy Scout and a computer geek. We had a good time talking about common interests. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a lot of good calls together. My second partner was just out of paramedic school, but had been a long time EMT at Pridemark. Pierre was a black cloud of death (we call people who attract lots of calls black clouds and those who don’t attract them white clouds). I got to see a lot of great stuff working with him. It was also nice to have some one who had an almost identical mindset on work, politics, etc. Deb was my third partner, and we unfortunately didn’t get to work very long but she was also a great partner. She had a very sweet personality and was also a very smart medic. She made some schedule changes for me so that I could have a good partner to finish off my time at Pridemark. Unfortunately, she got really sick my last week at work and had to go into the hospital. She’s better now, but she had us all scared there for a while. The most impressive thing about it was watching how the Pridemark family stepped up to help out during this time. I can only hope that I will ever be able to work with a group of people like that again. Definitely good people. It was actually a good way to go out as it helped reinforce to me how great the people were that I had been working with the last few years.

It was sad to leave behind friends and everything that I loved about CO, but I believe it was well worth it to finally be married and living in the same town with Wendy (we had known each other for 12 years). I will be returning to Denver for a few days in late January for the Children’s Hospital EMS conference. It will be good to get to see friends then.

Wendy is still working for Kidscare as an urgent care pediatrician. She really loves her job and the people she works with.

We bought a house in Sandy, UT which is a suburb of Salt Lake City. We really like the house. It has a great backyard, and lots of space inside too. I’m excited about have a home to take care of. The neighbors seem friendly, and the street is very quiet. One of the neighbors told me he can be at the ski resort in 13 minutes from his house. Wow, guess I better learn how to ski. I didn’t get much biking in before the weather got cold. I guess its part of getting old that I don’t like to bike when it gets below 40F. There seems to be good places to bike. About a mile from our house, one of the canyons starts winding its way up into the mountains. I’m excited about exploring new rides around here. There seems to be a lot of people who bike here in the warmer weather too.

This week, I got to check another thing off my list. As many of you know, I’ve been wanting another dog since I left MS. Monday, we drove up to Idaho to an animal shelter and adopted Maddie. Maddie is a 4 year old black and tan German Shepherd dog. We were lucky to find a full blooded GSD in a shelter. The family who owned her said she was chasing the neighbor’s cows and was afraid she would get shot. She is a fantastic dog. Really smart and sweet. Wendy and I are really happy to add her to our family. Benjamin, the cat, isn’t quite as excited about it as we are, but we are working on it.

This year, Wendy and I decided to stay at home or the holidays. Between her work schedule and us getting settled into our new home as newlyweds, we thought it would just be best to stay here for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have to admit, I don’t miss the hustle and bustle of the airport around this time. We decorated the house and are planning to cook a big dinner tonight. We are excited to be celebrating the holidays in our new home and starting our own family traditions.

As always, our home is open to visitors who want to make their way to the land of Utah.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Jason and Wendy Cotting

Photos:
http://anvilgear.com/gallery/

The 2009 Cotting Family Portrait

The 2009 Cotting Family Portrait

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Last Edit: 09 Jan 2010 @ 07 04 AM

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 07 Jan 2009 @ 6:27 PM 

This is kinda late getting written, but I have a great excuse. On the day I left Denver, half of the keyboard on my laptop began to only work intermittently. I discovered that banging harder on the keys don’t make them respond any better.

So I left Denver on Sunday 12/21. Of course, the day after the crash at DIA. I was afraid I wasn’t going to make it on time. I planned to go to the Park and Ride that RTD offers, but the lot was full. I was bummed because my roommate had given me free tickets to ride the bus. It was going to be sweet. Free parking, but it didn’t work out. So I proceeded to the economy lot. Upon arrival there, I discovered that it was full, and I had to go to the overflow lot. By this time, I had exceeded the cushion I had built in to my leaving from the house time. I rushed my way to the overflow and took the shuttle to DIA. Let’s see $5 a day for 10 days, great, I’ve gone from free parking for Christmas to $50 parking for Christmas. Now that’s a deal!

I got to the kiosk right about the edge of the check in time for having checked baggage. I had already done the online check in,and I just had to check my baggage. Now, off to fight the security gates and try to make it to the gate in time. Security wasn’t too bad and I made it in time to the gate…. to find out that the flight was delayed. I spent 2 hours in DIA delayed, meanwhile I had a connection flight in Houston, TX to get to my destination in San Antonio, TX. Most of the country was delayed that day because of some bad weather. So the reason they gave me that we were delayed leaving DIA is because of bad weather in Houston. I checked the weather radar (because I discovered that DIA has free Internet, its slow and not very good, but its free). Low and behold, there wasn’t a single cloud over Houston. I don’t know what this mysterious weather was that was over Houston, but apparently we couldn’t leave.

Thank goodness I had exit row seats though. When we finally boarded the plane, they wanted volunteers to give up their exit row seats. Maybe I’m just a cold hearted jerk, but I am not giving up my exit row seats. I have long legs, and what ever reason someone else has can’t be much worse than mine. Some nice person gave up their seats and a lady with her leg and arm in cast came back to take his seat next to me. I asked her “Let me guess, skiing accident?” She said some snow boarder on the slopes had run into her without even stopping to see if she was OK. The guy with her chased him down. Then the flight attendants realized they couldn’t allow this woman in the exit row as it was against regulations to have someone disabled to sit there. Seeing as how they crashed one of their planes yesterday, they needed to make sure they played by the rules.

When I got to Houston, I got off the plane about 10 minutes before my connecting flight left. I ran down to find the gate only to find, that once again, my flight was delayed. I was a bit thankful for this as I doubt I would have made it. So, I went off to get a bite to eat. I got a salad at Wendy’s which according to the person working there was the last one. Lucky me, but no free Internet at Busch International Airport.

I got to Houston a little later than had planned. Wendy, came to pick me up and bring me to her parent’s house. Her mom was up waiting for us. It was around midnight when we got there, so we all went to bed. I had a great time visiting with Wendy’s parents. They fed us well and kept us entertained. We went to a swanky restaurant called Tower of the Americas. The food was good. It was like the space needle in Seattle. It rotated and we were able to see a full view of San Antonio. Pretty cool, and my steak was great. We then went down to the Riverwalk and did a boat tour. The lights were pretty and it was fun. We also went to Nixon, TX where Wendy’s dad is from. I got to meet several of Wendy’s Aunt’s, Uncles, cousins, and her grandmother. Its a tradition for them to have a big family party on Christmas Eve at her grandmother’s house. I had a great time meeting her family.

On Christmas day, we opened presents. Wendy gave me an iPod Touch. I couldn’t believe it. That was something I had been really wanting, and its expensive. I had no idea she would spend that much on me. I guess she’s serious about this 😉 Well, it was a wonderful gift and I have been enjoying it very much, especially at work. Wendy’s dad smoked a turkey that we ate for lunch. It was a really tasty turkey. Late that afternoon, Wendy and I flew to Jackson, MS where my family is.

My mom, brother, and his wife came to pick us up at the airport. We got in late so we got home and all went to bed. My dad was working, but he was going to have the next few days off. This was the first time Wendy had met my family. On Dec 26th, we did our 2nd Christmas, this time with my family. We sprung my grandmother out of her retirement home so she could be with us. The neighbors fried us a turkey for Christmas dinner #2. It was pretty good too. Mom cooked way too much food as usual. My aunt, uncle, and two cousins came up from Louisiana to vist late that afternoon. I hadn’t seen all of them at one time in a long time. It was great seeing them. The next day Wendy and I went to go visit my friend Ramsey from college. He told me he didn’t believe Wendy existed so I had to prove it to him. We also went by and visited a couple of my other friends from school. I had been wanting to introduce her to my friends. She’s a great catch and I want to show her off. One night we at at Cock of the Walk in Ridgeland. They serve southern fried catfish. A home meal I always look forward to. It was really tasty.

Of course we were rushed to try to see everyone and do everything. There’s never enough time to spend at home as you would like to have, but I was glad to get to spend the time that I did have. And I was really glad that Wendy and I got to spend time with each other’s family.

Next year, who knows what is going to happen.

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Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 09 Jan 2010 @ 07 07 AM

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 23 Dec 2008 @ 7:57 AM 

For those that may have never seen it, Google changes their logo once a day during the Christmas week. It is kinda cool. See it here. They do it every year for Christmas and also at different holidays throughout the year.

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Last Edit: 12 Jan 2010 @ 11 21 AM

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 22 Dec 2008 @ 12:54 AM 

This is a copy of the Christmas email I sent to the people I know who’s email addresses I have

I hope this finds you all doing well.

The last two years have been a big growing experience for me. During this time I have discovered that for most of my life, I have been taking things way too seriously. I’ve been way too concerned with what people think about me. Some may argue that that makes me more compassionate, but I see it as making me too hesitant. I think it’s a fine line. So I am learning to be more relaxed in how I approach things.

I was unable to keep my firefighter job because I had a problem with anxiety. I have since cured my anxiety problem. Anxiety was something that reached into several areas of my life, unbeknownst to me. Life is much more enjoyable without that monkey on my back.

I’m still, unfortunately, working on an ambulance as an EMT Basic. I’m sure most people won’t be able to believe this, but I am incredibly bored with my job. Last year I had a wonderful Paramedic that taught me how to become a great EMT. She and I have since parted ways to work with other people, but I am indebted to her for all I learned. That by no way means that I am done learning. This is a job that you never know everything. If I were really interested in medicine, I’d go on to get my paramedic, but that is way more responsibility than I want.

In the mean time I am still trying to get hired with a fire department. I haven’t found anyone yet that seems to think that they can’t function without me, but I’m working on it. The only department I have anything going with is West Metro, here in the Lakewood area where I live. I’m #75 on their list. The list is good for 2 years, but with the economy in the tank, I can’t see there being too much hiring going on. I can only hope that there will be a bunch of people retiring from there in the near future.

Wendy and I are still dating. Don’t ask how long we’ve been dating, because I doubt either one of us could tell you when we started. She has been done with her residency for about a year and a half now. She is a pediatrician at an urgent care clinic in Salt Lake City, UT and really loves her job. I’m really glad that she is happy with what she is doing.

We see each other once a month. Our schedules tend to work better with me flying out there. People sometimes tell me I should just move out to Salt Lake. It’s not that easy for either of us. The distance is what is limiting us now. One of these days, someone will move somewhere. We’ll have to see what happens.

We have had some cool adventures during the past year. Earlier this year we went toGrand County, CO where we went to a hot spring, did some snowshoeing, and also went on a snow mobile tour. It was a lot of fun and it was nice to get up in the mountains for a few days. This summer we went toMoab, UT where we did some white water rafting and some sight seeing. Our favorite trip this year was when we went toGrand Teton National Park. We spent 6 days and 5 nights backpacking in the park. On our last day there, I had to chase a bear out of camp. It was a really beautiful place. Pointing the camera in any direction gave you pretty pictures. It was great to get away for a while. I often forget how great the simple life is. Since Wendy and I first met at a backpacking camp, we were both in our element out there. We’ve already decided that next year we are going to Glacier National Park.

If you want to see pictures from our adventures this year, you can go to this link:

http://anvilgear.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=2204

This Christmas is going to be cool. I am flying to San Antonio, TX to spend the first half of the week with Wendy and her family. On Christmas day, we are flying to Jackson, MS to spend the rest of the week with my family. It will be nice to be around family for a change.

I’m still living at the Phat Pad with PJ and Bill “Italian Stallion” Sassani. They are friends of mine that I’ve known since I started working at Philmont. It’s hard to believe its been 5 years since I worked there.

I’m sorry for not being much of a communicator the last couple of years. I plan to be better at it this year. New Year’s resolution maybe?

I’ve become a fan of usingFacebook. If you’ve never used it, it’s a social networking site that lets you keep up with people you know. It’s great for seeing what the people you know are up to. I’ve also decided to start writing ablog. Now everyone can keep up with my uneventful life. Yeah!!

Well, thanks for listening to me. May you all have a Merry Christmas and afantasticNew Year!

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Categories: Family
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 09 Jan 2010 @ 07 08 AM

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