Andrew Home Life Kids' Activities Lucia Mari Outdoor Rob Rose Sports Susan Travel

Colorado Trip

My uncle Tom, who lives in Colorado Springs, has not been doing well. His mental and physical health have been declining and I had the opportunity to go visit with him for a few days at the end of last week. Susan stayed home on kid duty and I spent my days visiting with Tom, making time for a hike each day.

Susan playing at the creek with the kids.
Lucia chasing after Elliot.
I camped in Colorado. It felt like our RV trip to pull into the campground after dark and have to find my spot.
The view from my office. I worked on Eastern Time, so I had a couple of hours each day to get some work done before heading in to visit with Tom. I was fortunate that the weather was still warm.
My first good view of the mountains.
Uncle Tom, resting
Tom liked to hold hands and one of my primary responsibilities when I was there was to make sure I was available for that.
Meanwhile, life went on at home and Susan had to get all of the kids to their activities. here, Andrew is running in a XC meet , maybe at Southeast Polk.
My first hike in Colorado Springs was to Garden of the Gods. I tried to stay pretty close to town.
Susan also had to get up early with Oreo, who insists on waking us just a little earlier than we would like.
During this time, Mari also submitted her application to work at Coldstone Creamery. With soccer and XC winding down she will have more free time, and she is saving up for a new phone.
Soccer fans.
Red Rock Open Space in the foreground, with Garden of the Gods in the background.
Susan and the kids enjoying a fire.
Cincinnati covid-19 Travel

Cincinnati Fun

We haven’t been to Cincinnati in a year and we have been working hard this summer to find a time to go. A good window presented itself and we made the trip, staying just a few days in Cincinnati. We mostly hung out with my family, except for visiting with the Herrels.

Cincinnati Travel

Driving to Cincinnati

After a slight delay, we are headed to Cincinnati! We delayed our trip one day because Elliot started developing a rash. We weren’t sure what it was, but after a few hours we could determine that it was poison ivy.

The big kids like to rotate who sits in the back and are committed to making sure they switch at the right time. Here they are, doing the rotation.


Gulf Shores Vacation

Back in the Spring, just before the pandemic started, we booked a vacation to Gulf Shores, AL, with the Reagens. A few months later, it didn’t feel quite as comfortable, but we decided to make the trip anyways. The Reagens were not able to come because they wanted to be closer to Nate’s dad, who has not been doing well since the end of June. Vacation was definitely not the same without the Reagens, but we did our best to have a good time.

Checking out the beach upon arrival.
hot tub
Day 2, building a beach hot tub
Ocean-side balcony
Andrew skim-boarding. He hurt his back the first day and was out of commission for about 12 hours, but was back at it the second day.
Day 3, Susan and Rose relaxing under the umbrella
We buried Lucia. I think she fell asleep.
Hanging out
Shell collecting
A vacation tradition.
Our favorite dinner spot. This balcony overlooked a lagoon, on the back side of the condo.
Family picture
The girls
Day 4 modeling
Beach footballing
Special Dessert. Susan and her family used to go to TCBY often in Des Moines. It is not here anymore, so Susan was glad to find one.
Day 5 sand castling
Still working
The finished product
Elliot Walking
Beach walk

Overnight in Memphis

Today we started our drive to Gulf Shores and spent the night in Memphis. I was in Memphis a few years ago for a conference and looked forward to spending the night in the city again. We arrived in Memphis at around 7, stopped at our hotel, and then headed to the Lorraine Motel, the site of Martin Luther King, Jr’s assassination and current National Civil Rights Museum. We picked up some BBQ nearby and took in the experience, which felt more significant due to the current upheaval that is affecting the world. After that we headed to the Beale St. area, just to drive around.

Outdoor The Reagens Travel

Lake Viking

Over the past few days we headed to Lake Viking to celebrate Gary’s 80th birthday. Good times were had by all.

Holiday Travel


For the second year in a row, we went to the Connors’ for Thanksgiving, in Kansas City. Fun was had.

Rose, Colin, and Lucia
Thanksgiving Dinner
Rose, Mary, and Lucia




We failed to get any pictures of our dinner out with Susan’s friend, Megan, and her family. It was a nice dinner and Lucia and Rose had fun playing with some other kids.

National Park Travel

Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park