Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Galápagos!

Jenn and I visited the Galápagos islands and hiked some of the volcanoes in mainland Ecuador in early February, and the entire was fantastic! So as not to re-invent the wheel, we're posting about the planning and execution of the trip, along with a portion of my 5,000+ photos and videos over at our travel blog: gates50states.wordpress.com.

Here's a taste:

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas 2016

As usual, we hosted a family Christmas with Jenn's family, visited my parents' place for my mom's family Christmas, and shared a family Christmas with the Hopwoods. New this year, we enjoyed a really good brunch with Jenn's immediate family, my parents, and our neighbor, Mrs. Hillegas. Jenn's house and meal prep was fantastic, as well as her help getting the tree up. Confession: I enjoy decorating for Christmas less and less every year. I love Christmas, I'm not a humbug, but the setup is exhausting and short-lived. Thankfull, Jenn and the kids were able to be helpful this year.

The kids were as excited as any Christmas. Lincoln got a telescope, and he's been taking excellent care of it in addition to checking out stars on clear nights.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Fall Hiking Spree

This year we've again taken part in the Summit Metroparks Fall Hiking Spree. Lincoln and Henry have been particularly motivated to earn their badges. Lydia is more along for the ride.

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2H1A3237Fall Hiking Spree
Fall Hiking Spree

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Apples 2016

After last year's absence of apple picking, we resumed one of our favorite family traditions of both visiting the apple orchard & making homemade apple sauce. This year the kids were able to be most helpful!

Apple Picking
Apple Picking
Apple Picking
Apple Picking

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Lydia's 6th Birthday

We've got a new 6-year-old in the house!

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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Backyard Renovation - Finished!

Our backyard makeover has finished, and our first use and celebration was to host Steve, Ken & Kristian and their wives for a Thank You dinner. We had a great time hanging out and chatting, and they were each interested in seeing what their handiwork looked like at night with the lights on.


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Friday, September 30, 2016

Hiking & National Park Photos

Kendra, my new associate, has been an absolute all star. In every phase, literally every single phase, she's been a great addition and I'm really thankful to have her on board. The peace of mind that I have leaving the clinic in her hands now is hard to describe, and I really enjoy having this luxury when it comes time to Wednesday morning hikes with Jenn. Between Wednesday mornings, and some evenings when the kids have been with the grandparents, we've been able to see some neat things.

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IMG_2368Fireworks at Blossom, as seen over the Beaver Marsh

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Indians Baseball - Lincoln's First Game

Lincoln and I got to go to an Indians game, thanks to a very generous family that thanked me for taking their daughter on as a shadow at the clinic for a couple of years. Lincoln, at his first Major League Baseball game, came home with 3 baseballs, a t-shirt, and a piece of gum that Trevor Bauer shared with him!

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Monday, September 5, 2016

School & 95th Birthday

The first day of school:

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We celebrated Grandma Gates' 95th Birthday!

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Creek Swim

We've been able to enjoy the outdoors a lot as the warm weather has wound down. The kids new favorite spot is a creek off the Oak Hill trail in the Summit Metroparks.

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Backyard Renovation

A photo posted by Ryan Gates (@rggates) on

The Gates home has been full of activity over the last month and a half. A change was made at the Cuyahoga Falls Veterinary Clinic. As of July 8, I became a solo practitioner with two part-time helpers (it pays to have two DVMs in my family!). It was only temporary until my new associate could start on August 29. It was a change that needed to be made, and we're all looking forward to what's in store. All of this has made for a more busy RG, as well as a few extra busy days for Jenn while she's worked some mornings for me. And the kids are ready for school to start. We're all ready for school to start. :)

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This wasn't the final product, but sure was fun in the process!

All of the above happened just as we were ready to pull the trigger on redesigning our back yard. For those of you who had seen our "deck," you know it was a dump of a DIY project taken on by the previous home owners. It was neither well-made, nor well-designed, nor functional. And we'd had enough of it. Jenn and I like to entertain, we like to be outside, and the previous set-up wasn't cutting it. So we decided to make a once-in-a-lifetime change back there.

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We hired Lucas Landscaping, finalized a design, and they're currently in the middle of implementing what we intend to make our prime guest-hosting area, complete with 2 patios and an outdoor kitchen. To say I'm looking forward to using the new Komado Joe is an understatement. Jenn has been an absolute all star in the planning and development of the backyard installation. She's quite possibly been the most helpful and certainly the most informative of any of Lucas' clients.

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In the meantime, we've been having some fun doing other things. For instance, while Jenn was checking out granite options at Mont, the kids and I went for a short hike.

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As an aside, the granite we settled on was found at Architectual Justice, and we're really excited to see it installed.

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Henry's been rocking the swimming lessons lately. He's quite good at this, and it's neat to see him be both excited about something and good at it.

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We took in a car show today.

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And the Akron Zoo a while back.

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