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.