The boys have been studying really hard this semester, so it was a nice surprise when we got photos of them skiing over the weekend. I am so glad that they were able to sneak away from studying life to have a little bit of fun. Peter’s friend Julian drove them all to Park City to go skiing. Even though it was still February, the weather was quite warm which was nice but also meant that the snow was just ok. All in all, the boys still had a great time on the slopes together.
It's always the fear of every mother getting that phone call from a child saying that they were in an accident. On Friday I saw that Peter was calling and I picked up the phone only to faintly hear him say: bike...fell...ouch. He could hardly speak and as I was asking him questions, I could hear an adult in the background doing what I couldn't do. I was immediately grateful and comforted. We hung up the phone and I went to work asking around to lots of dentist friends about possible contacts in SLC. After an ER visit, escorted by his two good friends, Peter was cleared of any fractures, but his mouth is still a mess. I was fortunate enough to find him a dentist (with the help of a dear friend) only 7 min from his dorm and they were able to squeeze him in on Monday. Lots of people have stepped in to help him by picking up his bike, taking him to the ER, bringing him soft foods he can eat, giving him rides, and praying for him. I am so grateful for good people who step in to help when I can't.
Driving the boys to college at the University of Utah was exciting, surreal, and a little bit sad. We moved Peter into the dorms first. We made it to SLC right in time for him to check in and get his ID and COVID test done. Then it was off to the dorms where it was pouring rain. Luckily the U dorms do it right. The kids check out a cart and take their stuff to their rooms that way. That is genius! The dorm rooms are so spacious. We unpacked everything in record time. It helped to have 4 people helping. There are so many cool things about being a student at the University of Utah. One of those perks is that every student gets all the Adobe products for free since the founder of Adobe is a U of U alum.
The next morning, we got up and moved Andrew into his studio apartment at Avia in downtown SLC. Luckily, he is right on the TRAX line so he can hop on for free with his student card and ride up to campus. It is only a 10-minute commute for him! It was fun helping him get set up in his apartment. His apartment complex has some nice perks like free rides on the green scooters and bikes downtown, discounts at some restaurants, a movie room and lounge area with kitchen plus weight room and super cool patio areas with lots of grilling opportunities. I hope he has fun living it up in such a cool place while the GI Bill helps to pay for it!
Later that night, we all went out to dinner at the Copper Onion and had the most delicious beef stroganoff. It was only a short walk from Andrew's apartment. It was a nice way to celebrate two successful days of unpacking the boys for college. The next day we toured campus with the boys and then said our goodbyes. We said goodbye to Peter first who left to participate in freshman orientation for the engineering students. Then Andrew took us around the rest of campus and showed us the buildings he would be having class in plus Peter's engineering building. We ended up running back into Peter after we finished up at the bookstore and then said goodbye to both boys. It was bitter sweet to say goodbye.
MOVING DAY FOR PETER - KAHLERT VILLAGE
MOVING DAY FOR ANDREW - AVIA APARTMENTS
touring campus and saying our goodbyes
New Orleans can be done in 2 days, but one last thing that must occur when you are in the deep South is a trip into the Bayou. So, we got up, had breakfast, and headed east, just shy of the Mississippi border. We had a small boat tour of the East Pearl River and associated sloughs and bayou. It did not disappoint. It’s amazing how much life there is tucked into the grasses, bald cypress, water, and mud. From crawfish, to honeybees, to ducks, to pigs, racoons, alligators, and fish, there is a lot to see. It is a much different way of life than we are used to in super dry Colorado. Houses flood routinely, hurricanes threaten occasionally, and the humidity and heat never relent. It seems a distant world from the filth of New Orleans. It was fun to be in a different form of nature than we are used to in the mountains. There were lots more bugs and tons more water. The thought of our family living in a little cabin on the bayou makes me laugh. We wouldn’t last long.
After the tour, we headed back to the city. On our way, we grabbed some po’ boys and our culinary trip to the south was complete. We went back over bridges and water to the city and our hotel. Thank goodness for nice hotels. Driving into the entryway is like arriving through the gates of the castle. It is a refuge from the world just outside in the streets. We rested a bit, then headed back to the airport for our evening flight. Then it was back to Colorado, reality, and the life we know.
Written by Mike
Sunday arrived with a trip to church. The Brady family, who clearly was a big piece of this ward, decided to move to California and this was their farewell Sunday. It was an entertaining sacrament meeting and very much more diverse than anything we have attended in Colorado. After church, it was back to the WWII museum for the Pacific campaign and the planes. It was interesting to see the boys talk about their knowledge of Japan, the pacific, and relate it to the events of WWII. I think that they could really feel the misery of jungle warfare, the tenacity of the Japanese, and the unforgiving nature of Naval Warfare from their experiences living in Japan and being a part of 7th fleet.
After the museum, it was time for a New Orleans Sunday brunch. So, it was back to the French Quarter and off to Broussard’s where the boys had oysters for the first time, chicken and waffles, and I had Josephine Benedict. The service was stellar and the food good. The boys really enjoyed their chicken and waffles.
Sufficiently stuffed, the boys headed back to the hotel for a nap and refuge from the heat. I wandered around the shopping areas of New Orleans for a little bit, then headed back to the hotel. New Orleans and the WWII museum are a fitting mix. The WWII Museum shows the very best of mankind right beside the very worst of mankind. The depravity, vile disregard for life, lust for money and power that ushered the world into the misery of WWII brought out the heroism, charity, selfless sacrifice, and courage of so many. It is both a tribute to and a rebuke of humanity. A reminder that we must strive for the best, extoll the good, and prevent the evil. New Orleans is much the same. There is no place on earth that exhibits the depravity and worst of humanity than Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. If sin has a smell, then it is the fetid odor that stifles the air of Bourbon Street. It is truly horrific. The sights, sounds, and smells remind you that humans will resort to their bassist most animalistic natures for what they perceive is a good time. But in the end, they are only trading their birthright for a mess of pottage. It is sobering to witness. The musical, culinary, and architectural delights are almost no match for the sewage which swills around it. It endures, but only if people chose the good and not the bad.
On the other side, there is the Garden District and Commander’s Palace. It may seem a bit much to take an eighteen and a twenty-year-old to such an establishment, but it embodies Haute Cuisine and fine service. You would think eating at 8:45 pm was late, but the restaurant was packed with people. The immediate thing that you notice is the service. The service is impeccable. Everything about it is refined, thoughtful, and done in a way that dignifies the gust and does not demean them. The second thing you notice are the happy faces of people enjoying wonderful food. No one is sitting around miserable, waiting, wondering, or wishing. Everyone is enjoying themselves. And what’s not to enjoy? The food is exemplary. Peter had turtle soup and Andrew and I had the gumbo. For main courses we all had quail (you get a quail, you get a quail, you get a quail!). Peter said it was the best thing he had ever eaten. It was quite good. For dessert, Peter the bread pudding souffle, which is divine. I had the peaches and cream, and Andrew had the cookies n’ cream. Good food brings out good conversation and the evening was awesome. I am grateful that we could be together and enjoy an evening of laughs, tasty food, and excellent service. You can’t help but feel great after such an evening.
Written by Mike
Getting up early to fly somewhere is always so painful, but when you have a limited schedule, sometimes, it’s all you can do. Before the boys went off to college, I decided to do a quick trip somewhere. But where to go? The boys are really into WW2 history and have lived in and studied both the major enemy countries. They are really into Jazz, Peter playing trumpet and Andrew playing trombone. They are really into good food. So, we decided on New Orleans, home of Jazz, the WWII museum, and tasty southern cuisine.
Of course, we headed off on Frontier airlines, which was a little painful and certainly a little eye opening. It was the people’s flight. Lots and lots of unique, loud, and voluminous people. Once off the plane, we got our bag and then got on the rental car bus, which takes you on a 30-minute tour around the airport, to the old airport parking garage. It was not very glorious or efficient. The rental car folks still had printers from 1987, so that was interesting too. It’s like they took the entire airport and made it new and nice, except for the car rental people. They left them to perish by themselves. As if one day they are just going to open a new rental car place by the new airport and not tell anybody at the old place.
Once in our California Camry, we headed directly to the WWII museum, parked, and then left for our first taste of goodness. The Cochon Butcher. Just a couple blocks from the museum, the meats are delicious, the mac and cheese divine, and the Bavarian pretzels other worldly. A tasty way to start the day since we didn’t have breakfast in Denver. After lunch, we headed back to the museum and indulged ourselves in history. The WWII Museum is so well done, it’s just amazing. It’s probably one of the best museums in the world in my opinion. There is so much information, so many interactive displays that you could spend hours pouring through all of it. It really is worth the journey. As a parent, taking kids to museums, they just kind of look around at some stuff and then ask when they can have ice-cream. Now, the boys were content to watch every video, read every placard, explore every nook and exhibit in the museum. It was a lot of fun. What was even more fun were the discussions that we had at dinner that night and later in the day as they drew comparisons to the lessons of WWII and current events. Fascinating.
After the museum, we hustled over to the hotel, dropped off our stuff, and then headed to Preservation Hall where we were entreated to Shannon Hall and the Preservation Hall All-Star band. Trumpet, Trombone, Drums, Bass, and Piano. So close. So good. So inspiring. To see musicians who have mastered the craft up close was a gift to the senses. The pianist’s forearm muscles were like the strings of a bass bounding and pulsating in a way that made his fingers resurrect music from the worn ivory keys of the upright. The trombonist smooth and powerful while the trumpet led everyone higher and higher with unapologetic grandeur. The drums and bass provided direction and confidence to the endeavor and for an hour we were reminded that somethings in life are best enjoyed in the moment.
After the performance, we grabbed some Beignets at Café Du Monde and headed back to our hotel for dinner and more jazz. The boys had gumbo, truffle oil fries, Crawfish Fet toast, and shrimp and grits. Dessert was peach bread pudding and a smore’s board. After that, the only thing one could do is go to bed.
Written by Mike
This was definitely an interesting swim season for Peter this year. With the addition of a new coach, things were just not the same as in previous years. Peter found himself as team captain appointed by his teammates. Those boys really needed Peter's optimism and counsel while they navigated a difficult coach who was a little rough around the edges. Peter spent most of his season swimming in the long-distance events such as the 200 and 500 freestyle and rotated between the 200-freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay. He also swam the 100 fly a few times and did quite well. Peter was such a hard worker in practice and for the first month of swim he was loving being back in the water with his teammates. The very first meet his goggles popped right off during his 500-freestyle due to a tight cap and more hair under that cap than in previous years. After the race his coach didn’t have anything nice to say and it was then that I knew that this coach would be a problem during the rest of the season. I was not impressed with the coach and the way he handled talking to his athletes, but Peter quickly learned that he needed to be respectful anyways. Peter PR’d in every event this season except for the 500 free. He was only a second away from getting his best time in that event. He dropped almost 10 seconds in the 100 fly and 5 seconds in the 200 free from his last high school season during his sophomore year. Peter wasn’t able to finish out his season since he started his new full-time job the day after graduation but at least he was able to get in 5 meets.
1:04.90 3rd out of 4 at Coronado
1:04.50 5th out of 6 at Lewis-Palmer
1:04.98 4th out of 6 vs DCC
2:09.20 4th out of 6 at Rampart
200 Individual Medley
2:26.64 5th out of 6 vs Cheyenne Mtn
5:47.22 4th out of 5 at Rampart
5:59.58 2nd out of 3 at Coronado
5:48.26 5th out of 6 at Lewis-Palmer
5:44.97 4th out of 6 vs Cheyenne Mtn
6:03.31 4th out of 5 vs DCC
200 Medley Relay
Fly split time 27.86 at Lewis-Palmer
200 Freestyle Relay
26.65 split time at Rampart
27.03 split time at Lewis-Palmer
26.48 split time vs Cheyenne Mtn
27.15 split time vs DCC
400 Freestyle Relay
27.61 split time at Rampart
27.70 split time at Rampart
29.02 split time at Coronado
30.26 split time at Coronado
28.81 split time vs DCC
30.94 split time vs DCC
written by Mike
CHEYENNE MTN STAMPEDE
NORRIS PENROSE EVENT CENTER
5K - 19:33
The first meet was the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede at Norris Penrose Event Center. The weather was kind of crazy that day, with a 30 minute delay for the varsity race due to some lightening and thunder. By the time the varsity race started, it was drizzling only a little bit with some cloud cover. Unfortunately, the sun did come out and the humidity set in. Peter ran well during that race considering the nasty weather, coming in at number 5 for the varsity team. Sean, the number 2 runner, was out this meet due to illness. Peter was on top of the world with his place even though he wasn't all that thrilled with his time. He was hoping to have run faster. He ran that race in 19:33 which was already close to his PR from the last season. That's not too bad for the first race of the season.
5K - 18:10.00
The second meet was the Widefield Invitational at Widefield HS. After some hard work during training, Peter was determined to finally break 19 min. That is just what he did at this race. He started out his race like he normally did, hanging with Hayden until about halfway through the race. Then after the halfway point he started to pick things up a bit. With some hills in the mix, he was able to keep pushing a little harder until the end was in sight. He was moving at speed. I was floored when I saw him round the track at the finish. His time...18:10. He was so shocked when he looked at his watch at the finish that he accidentally slowed down enough that the guy next to him beat him by a hair. It wasn't a huge deal but a lesson learned to not look at the clock but run hard right through the finish. Needless to say, Peter was extremely happy with himself at this race. He came in 6th for his team and 25th overall. The boys team also finished in first place for the meet.
LIBERTY BELL INVITATIONAL
5K - 17:28.70
After last week's amazing race we were hoping that Peter would have another great race on one of the fastest courses of the season. We went out earlier that week to buy him some racing spikes but the store was all out of blanks, which he would need for this course as it was mostly pavement. Unfortunately we weren't able to find any before the race so he just wore his regular running shoes. That clearly didn't stop him from doing really well on this course. He started out similar to all his other races and kept picking up the pace the second half of the race. When I saw him come down the last 200 m stretch of the race I looked at the clock and I couldn't believe it. He was going to break 18 min. He didn't just break it by a little, he destroyed it. His time for the course was 17:28.70 which was now his all time personal best. I was so glad that everyone supported Peter at this race. The entire family came up to join him. Even Andrew was able to see him run before heading off to college.
MONUMENT VALLEY PARK
5K - 18:25.66
The varsity boys and girls took the week before this meet and rested from racing in the Rock Canyon Invitational. It was a great break for these kids who had been training so hard. Coming into this race Peter was a little nervous since this isn't his favorite course. It's hilly and the trail is usually exposed to the sun. This race always feels pretty hot. Still, he ran a great race and wore his racing spikes for the first time. His previous time on this course was 19:10 from last year. This time he destroyed that time and came in 4th for the varsity boys and ran it in 18:25.66. Wow...what an improvement from last year. The advice his coaches gave him for next meet on this course was to push it at the top of the hill the second time around and pick off people the last flat and downhill part of the course. Great advice!
CASA GRANDE, AZ
5K - 16:46.17
The most coveted race of the season is the Desert Twilight XC Festival down in Casa Grande, AZ. Only the top 7 runners for boys and girls who had been consistent up until this point were asked to join this trip. Peter was so excited to be able to go and run in AZ at lower elevation. Mike and I left the girls with friends and flew down to support Peter in this race. Our team ran in the Sweepstakes race, which was the most competitive race of the night. They boys ran at 9:30pm which made for an extremely fun and exciting race to watch. Before the race Mike told Peter about the time he ran cross-country in high school and went out with a fast first mile of 5:10 (what he didn't tell him was that it was by pure accident...he crashed the rest of the race). I don't know what it was about what Mike said but Peter took that as a challenge, and he ran his first mile in 5:09. The course ran straight out on grass and some dirt paths and then wound back, zig zagging back to the finish like switchbacks on a mountain. This made it so much fun for the spectators who got to see them a dozen times throughout the race. Once they passed us on one straightway, we just ran across to the next straightway until eventually we were down to the last two and ran as fast as we could to see the finish. Peter looked strong the entire race and was extremely close to Josh who he normally is 20-40 sec behind. As I was watching the finish, I saw Josh and thought I had more time before Peter came in. Then in a split second I glanced across and saw Peter on the other side from where I was, only a few seconds behind Josh. I couldn't believe it. He ran such a great race and had an incredible time of 16:46.17 and was 4th on his team!!! At the beginning of the season Sean and Jackson told him that he would be able to break 17 min. Sure enough, they were right.
5A METRO LEAGUE FINALS
FOUNTAIN FORT CARSON HS
5K - 18:58.03
After an amazing experience at Desert Twilight, Peter knew that coming back to elevation would be tough. The varsity kids had another week of no meet so that was nice coming off a really fast race in AZ. Unfortunately, two of the varsity boys were not doing so well. Caleb, their number one runner, was already out for the season with a stress fracture. Jackson and Taylor both had small injuries and Jackson didn't end up running in this meet. The weather was kind of nutty on race day. It was extremely warm and very humid for Colorado and the wind was pretty strong. The race was moved a day earlier due to the predicted snow storm. No one had a particularly great race during this meet. Peter said this was the hardest race of the season so far for him. He came in 3rd for his team and ran the course in 18:58.03. This definitely wasn't his best time of the season but a personal best for this course.
5A REGION 5 CHAMPIONSHIPS
MONUMENT VALLEY PARK
5K - 17:45.00
Today was the final meet of the season and Peter was determined to run this faster than last week and the last time he ran this course a few weeks prior. With the advice in his mind from the last time he ran this course, he was determined to end his season well. He looked good the entire race. I decided to cheer him on at different points of the race. I made it a point to be at the top of the hill so I could remind him to push it at the top just like the coach had told him. I could tell Peter was in the zone because I'm not sure he even saw me or heard me cheering him on. After the last push up the last hill I booked it to the finish. He did what he set out to do and finished his cross-country season with another great time. He ran this course in 17:45.00, beating his time a few weeks ago by almost 40 sec, placing 3rd on his team. He was extremely happy with his time and his performance but a little bummed that some of his fellow teammates didn't have great races, landing their team in 7th place overall and not making the cut to go to State this year. With all their teammates healthy and uninjured they were between 3rd and 4th for the region. Only the top 4 teams are eligible to run at the State race. At least there is always next year for Peter to make it to State.
4th Of July
First Day Of School
Garden Of The Gods
Mountain View ES
Pine Creek HS
School Honor Society
Slices Of Life
University Of Utah