Monday, December 4, 2017

I do not have acrophobia.

In fact, hanging off the edge of cliffs, often with nothing but my fingertips between myself and certain death, is a situation I am quite comfortable with.

That said, it would not be an exaggeration to say that putting Christmas lights on our house was one of the most harrowing experiences I have had with high places.

The deed was done though, and things turned out pretty good. Merry Christmas everyone.

Team Rachel did the lights in the yard. Team Dad did the roof.


Besides hanging lights, we also cut down our tree this week and decorated for the season. Handel, Martin, Crosby, and Buble' have filled the air with their swooning music. Apple cider and peach pie keep us satisfied. It's definitely Christmas at the Hazard home.


This girl is awesome! She's spunky, graceful, and full of personality. Maren had her dance recital this week and she did great!

Enough said.


Evelyn has joined the rhythm group, Stomp. After watching a presentation at her school, she came to us with a plan about how she could get up early and fit the morning practices into our already-busy weekly schedule. She's having fun, and I'm excited to go to her performances.


This show has been on my bucket list for a while. When the 20th anniversary tour announced they were coming to Spokane we got online and immediately got some of the best seats in the house. What a great night out with the one I love.


Have a good week!
Hmmm...somehow, all the kids with awkward smiles turned out blury.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

I grew up in a family of seven people. That has grown over the years as people have gotten married and had kids. We are now at 26, with two more on the way (two of my sisters have due-dates). Every single one of these people is healthy. All of the adults have good jobs that they enjoy. Relationships seem to be wonderful, and the family support that each person receives is enormous. Everyone is able to pursue hobbies and personal interests that they have chosen for themselves. The future looks bright.

There is a lot to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving.


To celebrate the holiday, our family drove down to Utah. While there, we got to spend time with my parents and siblings, Rachel's mom, and some of my extended family as well. It was good to catch up with each of these people. The kids spent time at a trampoline house, ice skating, and climbing the hill next to my brother's house. It was a lot of fun. 

Have a good week!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

If you could be any animal, what would you be?

"A bunny!"
"A dragon!"
"An eagle!"

A silence ensues, giving us each time to imagine ourselves in our transformed states. Suddenly, our reverie is broken up by Lindsey’s high-pitched voice, simply overflowing with enthusiasm.


Oh, the dinner conversations we have at our house.


We got a call from Maren's principal the other day. I don't know whether to be disappointed or proud.

Turns out that someone on the bus was bullying her. She asked him nicely to stop. He wouldn't. She tried to get the driver's attention. He didn't hear her. She asked again. The kid persisted.

And so she tried to rip off his face.

That's what the principal said.

Following the eventful bus ride, both kids were brought into the office. The principal asked Maren what happened. In a calm and collected voice (as recalled by the principal), Maren said very matter-of-factually, "I grabbed his cheeks with both of my hands and pulled as hard as I could."

No lies. No excuses. No apologies.

The whole story came out from there. Nobody ended up getting in trouble, since both kids were at fault. Needless to say, nobody is going to mess with Maren on the bus anymore.

That's my girl! I mean- we don't condone violence in this family. Yeah. Like I said, I have mixed feelings on this one. Either way, I'm proud of her for telling the truth.


Speaking of Maren, we had a little scare last week. She had been feeling a bit yucky lately. Symptoms lasted long enough that Rach decided to take her to the doctor. From my end, here's what the night looked like:

"Hey love, could you pick the kids up from their classes after work? I'm taking Maren into see the pediatrician"

A little later...

"Hey love, would you mind making dinner? The pediatrician told us to go to the ER for a CAT scan. We won't be home for a while."

And later still...

"Hey love, they are admitting Maren as a patient and putting her on IV antibiotics. She has a 'deep throat abscess' and it looks like we'll be here for a couple of days."

All said, Maren was super brave through the whole ordeal. She was in the hospital from Monday afternoon until Wednesday morning. During this time, they poked and prodded her with needles almost continuously. 

I was especially impressed with her when the nurse came in to give her a shot while we were visiting her. Calmly, she looked at her siblings and said "you might not want to watch this next part because it really hurts and I'll probably cry." She then held out her arm before she was even asked, and let the nurse do her thing. She cried a little bit, but then it was over and she was back to her chipper self.

What a champ.


On Friday and Saturday I had my study club. I didn't do any surgeries this time, which made it sort of relaxing. It was still nice to socialize with other doctors in the area though.

We're also looking forward to our trip in a couple of days to Utah for Thanksgiving. It should be fun.

Have a good week!

A few pictures from one-on-one outings that Rach has had lately with some of the kids

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

First snow of the year!

I don't expect that it will stay long, but it's a start. To celebrate, we now have these:

Ski stuff for the whole family- let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Here's a few other pictures:

Here we are in front of the set for "Wait Until Dark." Rachel got us the very best seats in the whole building. Also, before the show, we went out for a really nice dinner. What a fun night!

Rachel with some of the people in the "mom's group" that she organized. Some of these people also came to our house last week for a fun potluck dinner. I love that she makes stuff like this happen.
Have a good week!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Happy Halloween!

My favorite holiday of the year. Here are some pictures:

Addy and Jackson both had to do pumpkin book reports for school. I think they did a great job.

Carving Jack-o-lanterns. Nothing too elaborate this year.

Costumes. Ev was Ginny Weasley from Harry Potter (it was originally Hermione, but then she changed because she realized that her and Ginny both have red hair). Addy was Crookshanks, the cat, from the same series. Jack was a Power Ranger. Maren, a pumpkin. Lindsey, a witch. A few days before Halloween we went to a party/concert/trunk-or-treat thing, and then lots and lots of trick-or-treating on the night of. We have so much candy in our house!

Tomorrow, Rachel and I are going to see this play. If it's even half as good as the old Audrey Hepburn film then it should be a fun night.


Besides Halloween stuff, we've been busy getting all our kids outfitted for skiing. Last week we went to a swap and got skis/boots/and poles for Rachel, Evelyn, and Me. We also got a lot of partial sets for the other kids. Oh...And helmets (for the kids)- which is a pretty novel concept for me. We're going to another swap this weekend and hope to complete the ensemble. I'm also busy building ski racks for the garage for us to hang all the new gear. We're doing season passes at a local resort where a lot of our friends go- passes that we won't actually get until spring, but we hope to be ready by then with all the stuff.

No more cabin fever in winter!


I think I mentioned it last week, but I went to a dental conference over the weekend. It was good- basically just an update on some of the new products and techniques that people are using in the profession. It's crazy to me that probably the majority of the stuff I use/do right now was not even taught when I entered dental school ten years ago. It's definitely a field that requires an ongoing education. I love that!


Have a good week!

Throwback to our pumpkins in past years. We don't have the free-time now that we did then!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Alex- I met him when he was thirteen. That was four years ago, and he was struggling on easy 5.10s. Now he climbs five days a week, routinely sends 5.13, and is much better than I will probably ever be.

Caleb- College student. Supervises youth programs at the Kroc center. Works as a guide on non-technical mountains in the Cascades during the summer months.

Angus- Lives in a van and has made bouldering the primary focus of his life. Probably the best climber I know.

Doug- About my age. Has a graduate degree in philosophy. His strength and technique more than compensate for what he lacks in height. Has a ten-year-old son who is already climbing 5.11.

Colby- a phenomenal sixteen year old climber who comes up with creative solutions to problems- often involving acrobatic moves that I can't even wrap my mind around. Climbs indoors exclusively- doesn't even own a rope, much less a rack.

These are the people I climb with on a regular basis. We each have our own strengths and weaknesses and are able to push each other in different ways. There is a lot of friendly competition, but also genuine encouragement for each climber to get better. I think it's neat to look at the diversity of this group- both in climbing terms as well as in life experience- and to realize how this common interest has brought us together. I'm glad to be a part of this group.

It's also crazy to me that of those in the group, two (Angus and Colby) hardly ever even use a rope since they rarely go higher than 30 feet off the ground. Doug and I are the only ones with significant experience in traditional climbing. Caleb and I are the only ones who have done anything mixed.

Climbing is definitely a different sport than it once was. I remember reading stories in high school about Camp 4 in Yosemite, or the adventures that are published each year in the American Alpine Journal. Who would have thought, back then, that their technical achievements would one day be upstaged by a bunch of teenagers hanging out after school in a gym? And yet, how could these teenagers understand the mental aspect of the game- of going into a place that is totally unknown, with your entire life riding on nothing but your own judgement of risks that might or might not be encountered?

Like other sports, climbing has been divided and then subdivided again, with specialists in each field. And even as its popularity has swelled, the well-rounded climber is falling more and more into obscurity. Unless you are free-soloing a big wall, sport climbing 5.16, or running up Himalayan peaks in a single day, there is no public glory, let alone money to be made. And even then, it is just a small niche group of weirdos who even notice a blip on the scale of world events when these things happen. I like being a part of this niche- even if my place is only on the fringes.


As for this week, I have to admit that we are off balance a little bit right now. Last week I wrote about Rachel's conference and my study club. This weekend Rachel was working most of the time at an event in Spokane, and then I have another dental conference that I'm going to this next weekend. Suffice it to say that work, for both of us, has been demanding more than it's fair share of our attention lately. Things should calm down for a while after that though, so it's all good.

That said, we did get out a little bit:
 Book fair time! The school did a cowboy theme. Good times.
Craft time with Lindsey at the Children's Museum (Maren was there too)

I don't know who that other kid is, but Ev apparently spent a lot of time hanging out with him

Hanging out at the Science Center with Addy, Jackson, and Evelyn
Have a good week!
This is a cool kid

Monday, October 16, 2017

I mentioned in the last post that Fall has officially arrived in Post Falls. Anyone who knows our family knows that I love this season. They also know that we have a annual family tradition of picking apples and baking with them. This year did not disappoint.

What a great time of year!

Other things we have been up to:

-Rachel went to the Tri-Cities area in Washington for a two day interpreting conference. She brought her bike and had a great time, both at the conference, and on the river trail.

- The study club that I am a part of has started up again for the year (it coincides with the school year). This is a place where I meet with a bunch of other doctors to discuss the most recent changes in our profession, as well as to perform live surgeries for each other using these techniques. For my first case of the year I placed three implants on the same patient with very little room for error. Things went perfectly.

- We're busy getting the house, yard, cars, and boat ready for the oncoming winter. I have set up some winter climbing trips with friends to help me look forward to the short, cold days ahead. We are also discussing season passes for the family at one of the local ski resorts, but we need to make sure the kids are on board before we commit ourselves. With all this, I'm actually sort of looking forward to the snow. **Remember this in March**

- Everyone is doing great in school and in their various extracurricular activities. Meanwhile, Rachel and I are enjoying the freedom of having all the kids in school.

Have a good week!

Lindsey's new favorite sleeping place- inside the ottoman!