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Wrapping Up 2004 and Into 2005!

My friends with kids tell me that once our baby is born, life will begin to blow by at an incredible pace. I guess I'm bracing myself, because it seems to be cooking along just fine right now. Stacey's pregnancy continues to go well--while she has the occasional aches and pains that come with baby building, she's a joy! The hardest part seems to be finding clothes that fit in the morning when getting ready for work . . . seems like she's outgrowing a pair of pants a week. Lucky (that's what we're calling baby until we decide on the official title--get it, "Lucky Pennie"?) went from pretty much no activity to going karate kid on Stace back in mid December. It's very active at times, even to the point where I can feel the little pokes and jabs on the outside--pretty cool. The kicks are moving up, higher on Stacey's tummy now, too. One evening Stace felt it drag an elbow or knee across the inside of her tummy . . . she said it was an amazing sensation. There'll be plenty more of that to come! So we're enjoying the pregnancy as much as we can and looking forward to meeting the newest Pennie!

I kept last month's pictures and added one taken about January 10th to offer a little perspective on the progress . . .


I remember when her tummy used to look like this . . .


This was about two and half months, I think . . .


And into the fourth month there's no doubt that she's building a baby!


1/8/05--Into the fifth month . . . lookin' pretty pregnant.

Stace had an ultrasound on December 22nd and it was pretty stunning stuff. The ultrasound tech went through and measured all of Lucky's arms and legs and head and heart and just about everything. We had both views of the inside of its brain, heart and kidneys, as well as the image below giving us the first glimpse of the baby's face. Kinda neat. Boy or girl? You tell us. They say the grandmothers-to-be can sometimes tell the gender by how the mom is carrying the child. What do you think?


The first pictures of baby Lucky! You can see just over half of the baby's face, its nose, upper lip and maybe even a hand. Lucky was moving around during the ultrasound--it was almost jaw-dropping to see our baby in action.

In early December Stace and I went down to Castle Rock to attend Lyndsey's high school graduation! Way to go Lyn! We had fun celebrating with the new graduate and spending time with Romans and Hillsmans.


Finally, Lindsey! We're proud of you for getting back on the horse and getting it knocked out--way to go!


Brean, with Mary, who's probably having a big sigh of relief after seeing her daughter "walk."


It's just a camera guys! That would be Sandra, Amanda, Rhonda and Al, with various other family members smattered through the background.


Stacey and big brother Al, holding hands and walking on the tracks where they used to play as kids. That's the THE Castle Rock in the background. There's something symbolic here, I'm sure of it.


Radiant pregnant wife, radiant graduate.


You can't quite tell it here, but Ray's trying to stick out his tummy to match his daughter's.


Hillsmen. That would be Peter, Gerry and Brean at Mary's house for Lyn-z's graduation party.


Ah yes, the big game of Cranium. There was some fierce competition that evening, but in the end, the best team--MY TEAM--cleaned house on the rest of the folks. And Lou, we'll be ready for you at Mallard Point this summer--ha!


Checking out Ray's storage unit finds . . . cool nose rings, huh?

If you look back at the last Pennie Life entry, you'll see us dragging our Christmas tree out of the woods. Here it is in our house, getting set up and decorated by Brean, Josh, Carrie, Mary, Lyndsey, Stacey and I. The Castle Rock posse came up for some skiing and relaxing in the high country. I don't think we could have gotten the star on the tree without the towering reach of Josh and Brean--thanks guys!


Me, two-tall Roman and Carrie putting the finishing touches on the tree.


Lyndsey, not sure she's feeling so photogenic. She sure is cute, though, in a "wet cat" sort of way.


The crew, with Lyndsey positive she's not feeling photogenic. Just getting her there involved a quick snatch-and-wrestle move by Brean . . . notice mom has to help hold her down, too.


This is Stace and I with Andy, Bobby, and Sarah.

I've had more Christmasy feeling Christmases . . . Stace and I both ended up working. But we're kind of used to that in the ski resort world. Sarah, Bob and Andy came over to celebrate with us on Christmas Eve and that was fun. Our tree turned out beautiful--probably the best one we've ever had.


Oh tanenbaum . . .

As the winter goes on, Stace and I are getting out as much as we can. Stacey's been snowshoeing and jogging and I've been playing hockey and backcountry skiing.


Snowshoeing along Cement Creek Road in late December.


This would be me "skinning" up Mt. Emmons to ski Red Lady Bowl in early January. It was a great run! Notice how I'm up high enough in this shot that the 12,000' peaks don't look so tall behind me?

Crested Butte recently received a ton of snow . . . probably the biggest storm I've seen since I moved here in 1993. It snowed for over a week straight, leaving us with awesome skiing and a bunch of shoveling. The snowbanks around our house are up above the bottoms of the first story windows and we're pretty much out of room to store more snow if we get it. But it's fantastic seeing this much snow in the high country--the moisture is super everything's gorgeous!


Crested Butte local (and excellent skier and skier model) Jeff Berman doing his comet impression on Flatiron. I've been working hard to get out on my lunches and such to take pictures that I can hopefully sell in the coming months. I wouldn't be surprised if this shot gets used again.


Gentlemen, start your snow scoops! It's hard to convey with pictures just how much snow is sitting around our place. But all the snow piled around our place was moved by hand.


I wouldn't let her do much, but Stace was helping, too.


Do I look tired and soaking wet? I felt it. Thanks, Brean and Joe, for your help on the snow removal!


A little parting shot of town . . . check out the snow banks!

That's about it for this time around--we hope life is full of happiness and good health for you and your families! Drop us an email when you have the chance!

Ha-Ha!