Our 2019 Adventures in Review

1. Nevada Excursion

We explored Las Vegas and Nevada in the spring

2. Winfred Reimer Memorial

The passing of Kara’s grandfather in the spring, along with his memorial

3. San Francisco

We took an extended weekend trip to San Francisco.

4. Summertime

Summers in Colorado are always great

5. Nick and Kara’s 13th Anniversary

We went to Cortez, Colorado + Mesa Verde National Park – extended away without Ivan for the first time!

6. Vacation to Tennessee

Our trip began in Memphis, then Gatlinburg + Great Smoky Mountains NP, and ended in Nashville.

7. Ivan’s 5th turns 5

He’s growing so fast!



We headed to Phoenix, AZ for the week before Thanksgiving this year.  Nick had some work to do there and we could see my parents for a quick day before they left.  We celebrated with them for Ivan’s birthday as well as a carnival at Alexa’s school. Alan, Nick’s dad came in town from TX and took us all to a football game. It was my first and I have to say I enjoyed it. It helped that we were almost surrounded by other Raiders fans and the Raiders won the game.

We then hung out for the week, fought sickness and spent Thanksgiving day together. We headed home Friday after Thanksgiving just in time for some Black Friday shopping.


2 Years ago we did a great family photo shoot and we decided to go again this year.  Ironically the photographer we used 2 years ago, Jo Ramsey, has a younger brother, Nate Duncan, who is now doing photography so it was a great shoot at Roxborough State park.

Here’s a comparison from 2 years ago.


Here’s a video of the whole shoot.

It worked out perfectly to combine a work conference for Nick in Seattle with family weekends in Bellingham. So we flew into Seattle and headed up for a day with Kara’s Grandparents who are in their 90’s. We did church and lunch which was enough adventure for one day.  While Nick was at his conference, Ivan and I explored Seattle. We have a museum pass that let us into some in Seattle. So we enjoyed the Children’s Museum of Bellevue, Science Center of Seattle, Museum of Flight. Ivan’s favorite was the Children’s Museum where he got to play with race cars, a big rig, climbing ropes, trains and water tables. After the week of Seattle we headed back up to Bellingham for one more day and thankfully it was a wonderful sunny day. We took Kara’s grandparents on a drive and out to lunch with a view of the water near the Canadian boarder. It was a lovely trip to see family and friends, but we were glad to be back home, despite the early snow in CO!

Check out a video of photos.


Bean, our long-time household companion, had deteriorating health over the past 6 months and was put down recently. This blog is our memoir of her.

I (Nicolas) got Bean during a period of life in which I was “lonely” and wanted a friend.  Having grown up loving cats on the farm, a cat was an easy choice. They mostly care for themselves, can be left at home for multiple days, and are not so needy. [Read: I’m not a fan of dogs]. All this was before Kara, so she inherited Bean with our marriage.  😉

As a kitten, Bean would sleep curled up in my arms under the covers and then lay on top of me in the morning, rubbing her whiskers in my face which I swear was to wake me up for food. But even once Kara came along, Bean still continued sleeping at our feet on the bed and then on top of me in the wee hours of the morning. Bean loved her “breakfast” each day – with much excitement for fresh food, she would do a little “dance” in which her tail squiggled and shook while her hind legs danced in place. This type of excitement also existed for the potential to the lick the bowl of any kind of dairy – milk, yogurt, eggnog – or get a piece of cheese. By the way, she could sniff these out from any other room in the house and then come prancing in to beg for some dairy.

Although Bean would sleep about anywhere or on anything the house (especially in boxes), she was also very much a lap cat even with visiting friends and family. And it didn’t matter if we were doing other things like working on a computer or reading or eating or napping…when she wanted lap time, it was her time. Especially when she wanted attention and her “belly rubs”. To get those, she’d lay on her side on our lap, spreading her legs like a hussy, and then use her feet to push against us while we gently stroked her underside. Up until the point that she was done with that and would give us a “playful” bite on the hand to end the belly rub session.

We also enjoyed antagonizing Bean.  Albeit from visits from the dogs (Kona, Maddy, Gretchen, etc.) or young kids or holding her tight or putting her into awkward positions against “her will” just for a funny photo.  But she would quickly recover after a nap, more lap time, and maybe even a treat like catnip.  And many times she was very playful with string, fingers under doors, dart around the house spastically for no apparent reason, and chasing her tail and/or bugs.

If you so choose, enjoy this video filled with some of our favorite photos and video clips of our life with Bean.  It’s lengthy at 17 minutes, but is mostly for our own memories down the road.

Thank you Bean for the 14 years of companionship, laughs, and times of comfort.


My parents had a celebration of 40 years of ministry that they asked my brother and I and our families to be a part of in Pennsylvania.  So we booked a flight to Harrisburg and arrived and headed to the party. We had a busy weekend of being together in a very eclectic house in Mt Gretna as well as spending time where my parents are parked with great family friends who have known me all my life.  The boys were in the pool as much as the rain held off and didn’t seem to mind the chilly water.  We hit up a few tourist stops before parting ways.

Nick and I then took a day to visit Baltimore, MD and hang out around the Inner Harbor area. We walked around and explored some local places and the free Baltimore Art Museum. We thoroughly enjoyed some great seafood while there then headed back to drop Nick off at the airport.

Ivan and I stayed a week longer so that I could visit with my dear friends from elementary school and a college friend in the area.  It was fun to reconnect and have play dates with kidos.  Ivan as always was excited to meet new friends and play as much as possible yet did really well when he was the only one as well.  He is such a great traveler.

We rounded off the trip by a visit to Roots Farmers Market and dinner with special family friends. It was great, but we were tired and ready to be home and see Nick again.


Click here for a video of photos.

This spring was full of house adventures and Ivan learning new things like allen wrench and how to find studs.  We continued to work hard on the house and got so much more motivated once we scheduled our deck to be torn down and rebuilt. We had fun swimming in the indoor pools at the rec centers here where we live now and playing outside with friends. My parents passed through here in April shortly after the MCC sale and our spring ended with a boys camping trip and a girls weekend with my good friend from Kansas City. The summer has been full of house projects to get ready for our open house.  Ivan has enjoyed VBS, swimming, house projects of his own, and playing with friends. We’ve also been out of town visiting family in BV and spending time in the mountains to get away. It is hard to believe it is the middle of July already and it feels like the summer is already gone when it barely came…..oh well we have had fun.






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