In a normal summer, we enjoy getting outdoors and camping one to two times every month.  But this year, with Ivan still being so young, we had limited trips.  Even still, we did get to escape twice in August.  Once with Ivan and his cousin Silas (Kara’s nephew), and one more for Nicolas to get away with his brother, Alex.

Camping with Silas was at Meridian campground, a local favorite of ours as it is easy to access and rarely full.

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Backpack camping with Alex at White Ranch (Jeffco) Park.  The neat thing about this park is that the county provides the backcountry camp sites with picnic tables and firewood.  And there are many miles of hiking trails to explore throughout the park.  It also has a scenic overlook through the canyon of the front range, which was great for seeing the city lights from up on high.

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This summer, Nicolas has the opportunity to photograph two weddings, conveniently who are both co-workers of his.  Some of his favorite photos are below as well as the video highlights for each couple.

This year we decided to take an impromptu family vacation to Durango and Pagosa Springs that tagged along with 4th of July weekend we planned to spend in Buena Vista. Some of the highlights from the trip include seeing family in Buena Vista, the the Durango-Silverton train ride, various hikes, and swimming in the mineral pool.

On our way to Pagosa, we stopped for a guided tour of Chimney Rock National Monument where we enjoyed some hiking to waterfalls and scenic drives. In Pagosa, we stayed at the bakery, which was a great place to eat especially after smelling the delicious baked goods all night. On Friday we spent a couple hours at a hot springs pool, and Ivan loved the water.

The Coates family walked in the Buena Vista parade.

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Nick and Ivan on the train.



There are two videos to watch of the pictures.

BV-Durango-Pagosa Part 1:

BV-Durango-Pagosa Part 2:

We had a quick opportunity to visit Kara’s family on an extended weekend in Seattle area.  We flew in town Saturday and after picking up the rental car went to pick up my parents and drive north to Bellingham, WA.  We visited my grandparents who are both in their 90’s and still live on their own.  They are doing very well despite many adversities. It was great to see them again and they enjoyed meeting Ivan.

We also spent some time with some other adopted grandparents the Karber family.  Grandma is in a home as she has Alzheimer’s, but it was fun to watch her light up when she saw Ivan.  After a fun weekend we headed back to Seattle on Monday to spend time with some more extended family.  Nick had a training to attend at Microsoft Tuesday and Wednesday so I got to explore Seattle with my parents and my Aunt. It was a bit fast and furious, but fun.

Mother’s Day weekend was, as usual snowy here in Denver. The gardening rule in Denver is you cannot plant anything with a frost danger until after Mother’s day weekend.  I have tried in the past and often times the snow wins.  This year was no exception.  At our house we got maybe 8 inches of snow that morning, and of course it was completely gone by evening.  Nick made it a special Mother’s day by letting me sleep in, letting me pick dinner and movie, cutting some delicious smelling irises and giving me very special new earrings made of Ivan’s birthstone.  Here’s a few pictures of the day!

Memorial Day Weekend is usually a weekend we spend camping, often with our church.  With the rain, cooler weather, and Ivan I was not sure if I wanted to have our first camping experience with him be cold and wet. So instead we stayed around Denver and enjoyed some family time.  We went on a hike at South Valley Open Space park, and grilled a delicious lunch. The other momentous thing we did was to dress Ivan up in some clothes that Nick wore as a baby and do a photo shoot.  I think he had fun!  We also had a crazy storm that evening, but it resulted in a beautiful rainbow.

Over a month ago Nick’s sister, Leia and her family came to Denver to visit. They live in Italy and it has been about 18 months since their last visit.  It was so good to see them again.  The kids have grown up so much and they enjoyed meeting and playing with Ivan. We had fun visiting and playing around the house as well as going various places around Denver.  We went to jump street, Chatfield Botanic Gardens, and the Museum of Nature and Science. The Coates came in to town as well to help celebrate Sophie’s birthday!  The cousins all had a blast playing together.

11026029_10153016216181195_6140784545811151763_nOn May 16th, Ivan turned 6 months old already.  Since then he’s gained 5 1/2 lbs. and 5″ in length.  The video below highlights some of his moments since his birth.


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