John and I decided that we needed to do something to make our front garden area a little bit more manageable. We spent countless weekends trying to debride the garden without much success. We decided that we needed professional help. We first hired a hillbilly (I really wished I had a picture of him to share with you) to rearrange the randomly placed rocks into a retaining wall. After he took out almost every sprinkler head that we had, as well as a few of our neighbors, we decided we were done with him. We are really happy with the end result. Hopefully it makes the house a bit more appealing and we can get a few bites in the real estate market! Hopefully you will be able to tell which photos are the "before" and which ones are the "after".
I just did my first triathalon and it was great. It was all because my sister did one about one month ago in Texas. She got me all fired up to give it a try. So...after 3 weeks of training I did it and I survived to tell about it. It was a 3 mile run, 10 mile bike, 300 m swim. I am not a big swimmer, so that was the hard part. Hopefully I will have a little more time to train before my next one. Thanks Krystle for lighting the fire!
So...I thought you all might like to see what my mom looks like on Halloween. Ever since we were little kids, my mom has had a great love for Halloween. I think this is partially due to the fact that it is also Krystle's birthday. My mom loves dressing up and usually starts planning her costume a year in advance. I wonder what she will be next year!
So..."Q" has officially turned into an alley cat. I am not a big animal person, but John loves cats. I never actually thought that I would be a cat owner, until the day John told me he saw a mouse in the garage. Maybe this was John's clever way to make me give in to getting a cat. We went straight to the Humane Society to adopt our little kitty. I was starting to get a little worried that "Q" was not going to be tough enough to be a killer. When we first got him, he was scared of us and wouldn't venture any further than the main floor of our house. Little did he know that right outside the door was "cat paradise". I am happy to say that "Q" is finally starting to earn his keep around here. His killing tally includes 1 tarantula and 2 mice. He makes us so proud!!!
Here are a few updated pics of the house in Nicaragua. It is going to be awesome. It was really fun to see it in person. You can't appreciate the amazing views and the magnitude of the house in the pictures. Anyone want to come on vacation?
So as most of you know John and I along with a few other people are in the process of building a beach house in Nicaragua. It is suppose to be finished either late spring or early summer 2009. So we decided to make the trip out here to see what it is all about. We arrived in Managua on Saturday, spent the night there and had a driver take us to Rancho Santna where we rented a house just down the street from where we are building. We are certainly happy that we had a driver, as the trip was quite the adventure, especially the last 30K that was on a dirt road. I think we ended up driving through 6 rivers and tried to avoid some of the biggest pot holes that I have ever seen. John and the rest of the crew went surfing yesterday. We arrived at one of several surf beaches to find we had it all to ourselves with the exception of all the crabs. It was beautiful. Apparently the surf has not been that great according to those who have been here before. Hopefully we will have some pictures of the house on the next post.
Last weekend John and I made the "long" journey to Mesquite, NV for what we like to refer to as our family reunion. I was surprised that I was able to talk John into going since his plane was still in the shop...so our only alternative was to make the drive. This was John's first time going since last year we were on our honeymoon. John was in heaven as he was able to play two rounds of golf per day. The 2nd day they didn't quite make it through all 36 holes as it turned into quite the downpour. John also learned how to play Paigow Poker. Luckily we had some family members who were able to help us out. We even left there "big" winners, mostly because we didn't lose anything. It was super hot down there topping out at 111 degrees.
So John and I decided to "Go Green" this summer by riding scooters rather than driving our cars. Of course there are times when a scooter just doesn't cut it such as going to the golf course and making the weekly trip to Costco. John gave me my scooter for my birthday, and then I guess we just figured that my buddy needed a buddy. I will let you decide who has the pink one and who has the red one!
So...I am officially a pediatric nurse practitioner. I graduated in May from the University of Utah and took my boards today and passed. Hip Hip Hooray! It feels really good to finally be done. Now I am on to bigger and better things.
It is hard to believe that we have completed our first year of marriage. We have been through a lot together during our first year, but it has only made us stronger. I am so lucky to be married to my best friend!
John and I just got home from a week in Europe. We spent the first few days of our trip in a small town in Germany called Karlsrule. John did some surgery while we were there and we were also able to see a few small towns along the way. We drove on the Autobahn, something I have always wanted to do, it was good that I wasn't doing the driving. I think our top speed was 200 kilometers/hour. The second half of our trip was spent in Paris where we got to be tourists. We had a great time seeing all of the sites and grabbing a bite to eat on a sidewalk cafe. The people watching was great. After climbing all 680 stairs to get to the second floor of the Eiffel tower we ran into a group of American teenage girls who suggested the above pose for our picture in front of the tower.
This picture was taken on a quick visit to Heidelberg, Germany. It was super cold while we were there. I definitely wasn't prepared for the cold weather, but I did end up getting a cute new sweater out of the deal.
Let us introduce you to our new arrival....the baby "Q" the cat. We picked him up from the Humane Society yesterday. He is a 10 week old tabby male (well.....formally male...) He is making the adjustment to his new home. We are hoping that he will become a killer....as we seem to have lots of critters around the house and recently, a mouse sighting in the garage. However, so far, he is afraid to go outside at all!
John and I just got back from spending the 4th of July weekend in Alta, Wyoming with Dick and Jean. We had a great time. We golfed all three days that we were there. We spend the 4th of July at a party hosted by the Dunns. They clearly know how to throw a great party. The party consisted of good food, great company, and a spectacular firework show. It was great to be able to escape the heat of the city and enjoy a little country life.
So...John and I just got back from playing golf. We played at a new course in Driggs, ID called Teton Reserve. It was a beautiful course and we actually played pretty well for once. We found something that every golf enthusiast needs! John came right home to see how he could get one. For a mere $5K, you can take one home today. Check out the picture. It actually is a really great invention.
Every , year, for the last 17 in a row, we have a celebration of the graduation of our Residents at the Country Club. Even before that, in 1986, I celebrated my own graduation from the University of Utah Orthopedic Residency Program. This is the night that culminates many years of study and challenges and gives you an admission ticket to the "real world" .
This year, the setting was especially special because it was the same setting where Melissa and I got married. Another beautiful evening with all of the ambience and warmth that Utah has to offer. The soft air of a setting sun with our spectacular mountains in the background. Jacques D'Astous took the picture as a near one year anniversary of that event. While much has happened during the last year (and most of you know about it....) I think that we make a pretty special couple!!!
Following our trip to the christening of the Stockdale in Maine, I have read some of the philosphical books of the Adrimal, a true American Philosopher and Hero and have developed an appreciation of his complete understanding of the Classics, and his study of the ancient (79 AD) philosopher Epictetus. He states, " no one can harm you without your permission". This philosophy carried him through a personal hell of torture and imprisonment in the Vietnam war and beyond. I think it applies to all aspects of our lives, past and present.
So, many of you may know that we are involved in building a house in Nicaguara. It is like Costa Rica about 20 years ago, where land prices are still reasonable and building costs work. These are some pictures of the house in progress and the views from the lot. There are three great surfing breaks inside the community (gated) alone, and many more to be discovered. This house will be our secret getaway. Four other guys are involved and we are looking for a 5th partner. Adios!!!
So...I am convinced that I have snake vision. I have a severe phobia of snakes, so needless to say, I don't think we live in the best location. I always make John go in front of me while mountain biking or trail running. He obviously doesn't have snake vision because he never seems to see them. This is a picture of what we found in the road right in front of our house. I guess it could have been worse and I could have come face to face with it while gardening.
With the assistance of modern aviation technology, Melissa and I were able to fly up to our favorite airport (KDIJ) and spend an evening with MamaJean and Dick for fathers day. It was a beautiful day and the sites from the airplane were spectacular, like this view of Bear Lake. The view of the Grand Teton was amazing! We made a perfect landing in windy conditions.
The cabin is an incredibly peaceful place. It is quiet, with spectacular views, and a profound sense of quiet. Every sunset is amazing. We had a wonderful dinner of steaks, potatoes, and some special Kistler wines. Melissa and Jean worked on yet another puzzle! Sunday morning we has the special RTS omlet (reproduced nowhere else in the known culinary world!) and then proceeded to play 9 holes of local golf. Then, after a great lunch at the warbirds cafe, we hopped in the plane and made it back for the Smart family fathers day celebration.
It was a great to spend fathers day with both of our fathers (and mothers)...We are all blessed that we have these opportunities.
John and I have been super busy battling the weeds. I think we are finally starting to take control. We should have taken some before pictures so that you could truly appreciate all of the hard work that we have put in to have a nice yard. But at the end of the day...you still need to put up your feet and enjoy the view!
Welcome to John and Melissa's blog. This is a first for us, but we thought it would be a good way to share pictures from events in our life.
We recently made a trip to Bath, Maine for the christening of the DDG 106 Stockdale. This is an Ageis class destroyer named after Admiral James B. Stockdale, a personal friend and Congressional Medal of Honor reciepient for his undaunted courage during the Vietnam War. The Admiral was an inspiration to everyone who knew him and all of those who served under him. He was one of the longest POW's in the Vietnam War. He was also a modern day philosopher who published several books regarding the philosphical principle of stocisim. He was Ross Perot's running mate for the vice presidency of the United States.
The event was of course, a Colorado College Reunion....somewhat like the "Big Chill" without the sex or death....lots of fun had by all. Here are a few pictures from the event:
Melissa got to meet some more of my college friends and despite that, she still loves me! A great time was had by all attending the after party at the home of Betsy Hunt. Although the methods of consumption have changed over the years, they were still plentiful! One picture is a mild re-enactment of the famous "Moonrise over Baja"....updated for mature audiences.... Thanks to Betsy for a great party!