Summer Rewind: The Fire

We run lots and lots of call that never get written about on here, but there is good reason for this one. No, we didn’t make any miraculous saves, we didn’t jump in front of a runaway truck, we didn’t do CPR, and it didn’t even make the newspaper. This one story gets told, because the fire was on our street. There are many, many reasons that I love working in the city where we live, but there is one huge drawback: the fear that I will run on either someone that we know really well, or even worse – on our own family. So, when the call came in, the heart skipped a few beats.

The tones dropped at the station for a ‘confirmed working residential structure fire’ and we did like we always do…we ran to the truck, got our stuff on, and hit the street. In our system, the dispatcher airs any pertinent information over the radio for all responding units to hear, so when she started to tell us that information, my heart sank. “The caller is on XXXXX Court, and can see flames and smoke from a house on WWWWW Way (street names intentionally left weird). We are getting multiple calls on this.” Since you don’t know the area, I will tell you that based on the location of those streets, the fire was in one of five houses….and one of those five houses was mine….with Ahna and Ezra at home on summer break.

I immediately looked over at my driver, and told him to drive very, very fast. We could see a column of smoke raising from the neighborhood as we came down the hill from our station. I told him again (and probably did five more times during the response) to make the truck go faster….thankfully, he is more seasoned than to listen to the requests of a moderately emotion filled officer, and he stayed the course of a fast-but-safe response. The first arriving Chief got on the scene, and gave a corrected address – which was not our house – and told us that it was a deck fire spreading to the house. Just prior to our arrival, another engine got on the scene, stretched a line, and knocked the bulk of the fire out. We got there and did a search, checked for extension, and assisted in the rather extensive overhaul of a trex deck. It was super strange to round the corner in the truck and to see Ahna and Ezra, along with the rest of the neighbors, greeting our arrival on the sidewalks.

Thankfully nobody was hurt, and due to the quick work of the crews, the damage was mostly limited to the outside of the house. Responding to a fire on your street is all of the emotional/stressful mess that you think it would be. Thankfully, I have a great crew that stayed under control themselves, and whom were able to wrangle me back to reality prior to getting on the scene. And to anyone else that lives on a street with a firefighter that works in that same city….don’t set your house on fire.

Ezra’s Fourth Slideshow

Change the video quality if your connection allows (it’s the star looking button on the bottom right of the video, and you can change it all of the way up to 720).

An Ezra Update: Photos And Videos

Soon more updates on Ezra will be coming you way (potty training, school, bull-headedness, etc)….but here are some fun photos and videos from the past couple of weeks.

Necessary sentence to space out the two videos because WordPress wants to compress them together for some reason.

Video From NYC Stair Climb

A video was produced about the climb that we did while in New York City.

[ed note: I have also added it to the original post about the trip, so you don’t need to watch it twice if your now just catching up on the blog.] [PS – if that’s the case….where have you been?]

Happy Birthday, Liam!

Strange times we live in. Hard days we happen upon. It’s been a year, already, since Liam was born…and it sucks that we weren’t busily planning a birthday party.

Liam came into our lives in person on December 19, 2010 at 0042, weighing in at 8 pounds and 10 ounces. He measured 21.25″ long and arrived in a flurry. That night began a time together that was entirely too short.

We did our part in celebrating his birthday as best we thought. The whole week surrounding the actual day was harder and more surreal than either of us had planned for. We brought Liam flowers and a holiday decoration or two, and enjoyed a nice slice of cake quietly in the evening. We were surrounded by lots of love, and tried to stay on the upbeat side of the equation, although that didn’t always happen. In the morning, we took the opportunity to go up to Children’s Hospital and visit the NICU. Only one of his primaries was on at that moment, although we did see several other folks that we remembered. We brought them a bunch of goodies, as an edible way of letting them know how much we appreciate them and how thankful we are for all of them. There was comfort had in having a purpose to bake, and a direction to say thanks.

There is no combination of words that could ever begin to describe how much we miss Liam, or how much we love him. But we do.

Thank you for all of your love and support over this past year. It has meant a lot to us to know that we are hugged – both in person and electronically – and it has helped us in times that we needed it.

Below is a slideshow of photos of Liam (it’s okay to have some tears if you watch it, we do….but a smile or two of remembrance later is nice too).

Ezra’s Year 3 Video

A little (and by little, I mean 4 months) overdue, but here is Ezra’s thrid year in 3 minute video awesomeness.

Wristband Update

Wow…it’s almost been a week since the last post. There’s a blog detox of sort happening right now – or we’ve actually just been really busy and haven’t found the time to be able to share any of it with you till today.

The ‘biggest’ event of the past few days is the beginning of potty training for Ezra. It’s big enough that I think I’m going to write a special post all for itself.

While Ahna was neck deep in the potty training, I spent the later part of last week in Indianapolis at FDIC (a conference for firefighters) helping to run a stair climb. A group of five of us went out there and organized and ran the first 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at the conference. It’s very similar to the one that I help with here, except for the two obvious differences: 1) it wasn’t on 9/11 and 2) it wasn’t in a building (it was instead held inside of Lucas Oil Stadium). It was very successful, and we have settled on doing another one at a conference in Baltimore at the end of July. These climbs will go a long way in helping us towards the goal of having 100 climbs happening on 9/11 for the 10th anniversary this year.

New topic: through a friend, we learned of an organization called The Rowan Tree Foundation. It’s a group that helps parents that have suffered through and with the loss of a child. Truth be told, it completely sucks to have to learn about organizations like this one….but here we are anyway. The Rowan Tree Foundation helps people across the country, but it’s actually headquartered here in Parker. We have been in touch with them and are only now beginning to find out about some of the resources that they bring to the table – which I think will be great to know about. Anyhow, the folks there had read the blog and offered up a wristband that they have for the foundation. It’s a perfect something to wear while we are searching for the perfect something to wear (ps – thanks for all of the suggestions…I think that we’re close to getting something).

Ezra Goes Skiing

It had to happen sooner or later, and sooner was definitely the preferred of the two options. So, last night we took Ezra and rented him skis and boots, and this morning we hit the slopes at Arapahoe Basin. When he first put on the boots last night, he wasn’t so sure about keeping them on for an extended period of time, but he did think that they were pretty cool – and that carried through to this morning.

We packed everything up and hit the road for the 1.5 hour drive. We arrived at A-Basin just after 9am and it was already sunny and warming up quickly – a perfect spring skiing, Colorado bluebird kinda day. If you’ve never been to A-Basin, well your simply missing out on one of the great things in the world. It’s not a pretentious, stuck-up, expensive ski resort that charges $10 to park a mile away (Breck, Vail, etc, etc, etc). So, we were able to secure a spot that was literally 20 feet away from the ski run, and no more than 100 feet from the chairlift for the beginner area. After a long walk of nearly 10 seconds, we were ready to go.

Ezra had his boots on and clipped into his skis with no issue at all…it just took him most of the time that we were there to understand how to balance and stand on the skis (and he’s still not there just yet) – especially when they were moving. We started off on the Magic Carpet lift, which turns out to be the steepest one of those in North America; and off we went. After the first run, Ezra smiled and asked: Again! So I obliged and we did it several more times. After those trips, I decided to take him up the chairlift and go for a little longer of runs. I would hold him between my legs, and we would sometimes go fast, sometimes make turns, and sometimes forget to stop where we were supposed to.

After a little more than an hour, Ezra asked to stop and to take off the boots. We did, and the skiing for the day was over. I don’t know that any of us could have asked for a better experience. Ezra talked this afternoon about going skiing and going fast down the hill, and when asked about going again soon, it’s a simple smile and a ‘yyyeeessss!’

PS – Ahna was the assigned sports photographer for the day, and I think that she did an amazing job.

Ezra Dancing

A video of Ezra dancing to the song ‘Sigh No More’ by Mumford and Sons. This has been a favorite of his for a few months, and almost every time he comes to the hospital he breaks out the public performance of his interpretative dance. The video is super cute (although he has done a better job of singing other times) and runs the 3min 30sec legnth of the song…don’t worry, nobody gets offended if you don’t make it all of the way…that said – the song is worth your time, as it was featured in the Best of 2010 Playlist posted here a few weeks ago.

Without further ado:


And Finally The Magic Happened

Ezra came to visit this morning and after three previous trips, including two professional photo sessions, we finally got him in a great mood and he spent a lot of time with Liam. I am too excited by it all to write a long post, so I will give everyone the best moments of the visit now, and more pictures later. The video is 45 seconds that will be well worth your time….Ezra sings the ABCs to Liam (as with before, make sure to watch the video in 480p). The photo? Well, that’s pretty self explanatory.


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