Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring... STAY away!

Life on the mountain is starting to show signs of Spring, however Winter just doesn't want to give in and leave us. I woke up this morning with four inches of fresh snow, and I am almost certain I am living in one of the only places that welcomes this with a huge smile. That's what living in a ski town is all about, snow. As long as that mountain is open, we want snow and as much as possible. We will welcome Spring after April 10th well actually the 11th (employee ski day is held the day after the mountain is closed to the public). Granted the groomers are nice to tear up on a blue bird day but nothing beats shedding fresh pow. So we will take whatever white stuff we can get as well as enjoy the blue bird days where you can see all the way to Canada and beyond. For putting those K2's away is something that can hold off for another day, so please Spring stay away, well at least in Montana... esp on Big Mountain.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Birthday Shout out

Just a quick shout out to my friend Sarah Holzer, Happy Birthday friend!!! Glad you have joined the club with me of being 30. Which reminds me of a song, my next 30 years, by none other that Tim McGraw -proud sponsor of... :) Hope your next 30 years are even better then the ones you just lived. Here's to YOU. Here's to LIFE and living it RIGHT. Love from Montana.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Welcome Nolan Robert Weisbrod

Born March 22, 2011 to the proud parents Shannon and Tim. I am proud to say welcome to the world Nolan Robert Weisbrod!!!! I look forward to meeting the little prince this spring-summer and of course blinding him with my flash. And I can say with 100 percent certainty that he will be raised by two parents that will make his childhood heaps of fun. full of love. filled with happiness. and will provide this little man with support - encouragement - guidence and faith. You are one blessing being to call these two great people Mom and Dad. I count the days til I get meet you, to hold you, cuddle with you, spoil you and love you. Til then keep growing stronger! And I will continue to say prayers for you, so you can go home and be with your family, soon.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Birthday Shout Out

I am a few days late BUT not forgotten. Happy 30th Birthday Casey Niezwaag (March 22nd). I hope you enjoyed this milestone with Bee. Celebrating with an aged whiskey and cigar in hand while laying in the sand with an ocean view and of course with the sun shining down on you.

Monday, March 14, 2011

12 years... We Remember

Every year this date rolls around March 14. On this day I reflect on a life- on a man that changed well everyone's life that he knew. A teacher. A coach. A son. A friend. An uncle. A husband. A father. He was a man that spoke and stood for his word. He was a fighter and achiever. He saw the best in people esp in times they didn't show it. He never gave up, esp on his students and athletes. To him you could do it, you just had to set your mind to it, believe and above all put in the work that it takes to reach it. He was always there to cheer you on, voice support & guidence and encourage. He saw the world a bit differently, thru eyes that always seemed to sparkle. A smile always found across his face even in his darkest hours. He left this world all too soon yet something about him made it seem he was too good for this world.

Looking back gosh this day was hard, and with time the jagged sharp edges of the hole that was made in his absence's has somewhat began to smooth, yet the hole will always remain. We are left holding onto the memories of what he said, what he did and what he stood for in all of the lives he touched. Though I know he would have rather been remembered for the man that he was, which was human & well imperfect but always did what he thought was best, in our minds - of those who called him: Coach Swegarden, Mr. Swegarden and even Dad and Jay have somewhat turned his life into a legend. A man larger than life, a man too good for this world. A man who had some big shoes to walk in yet always found a way to walk in them. A man who had the odds of survival stacked against him yet fought like he could and would win, a never give up attitude. A man who taught us so much in his classroom, on the field and mat, but perhaps his greatest lesson he gave his students and athletes was one he never spoke but how he lived and composed himself. Especially towards the end of his journey. He always made the time when he was needed by a student and/or athlete. Always more concerned about someone else than himself. He truly did live the life of a legend, of a hero, of a great man, of a person far too good for this world.

There are days I wonder what would be if he was still here, and how him still being here would impact the lives he knew, loved and touched - what would be, who would we be, who he would be today... For I know many changed for the good and better by his story, his journey, his battle & fight with cancer, his death- would this still have had happen, if it didn't come at the cost of his death? Its hard to think of such a life based on if only's... Because the truth is the if only's will never be, all we have is this life now. And if I remember correctly he would be torked if he heard me thinking in such a way. I know he would look at me and say stop thinking about what could have been and focus on what will be. That was Mr. Swegarden thou eyes always set towards the future never lingering in the past. My only regret when thinking of him is that I never spoke the words of how much he meant to my life, my story, my journey. I was just some punk of a kid in high school - who never quite saw or believed in the person he saw me as and sometimes still don't, but I know in my own way I showed him how much I admired him - well at least I hope in enough ways to let him know I was thankful. What I have learned over the years is to not wait to voice those words until its too late and I hold onto hope that one day I will be able to voice those very words I was never able to speak to the man that changed and touched my life.

We remember you, Mr. Jay Swegarden. We are thankful and blessed our lives were touched by you. And we are humbled and honored by the lessons you taught us that came at your expense -thru your pain, your battle, your fight, your journey and your death.

I remember you lastly in this quoted from Shakespeare a story that you read to us and brought to life in your classroom freshmen year... "When he shall die, take him and cut him out in stars. And he will make the face of heaven so fine, that all the world will be in love with night. And pay no worship to the garish sun." -William Shakespeare: Scene 2 Romeo and Juliet

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A reason. A plan

"What does it mean when history repeats it self? It means we failed to learn the lesson." I am a firm believe in everything happens for a reason. There is a plan and a reason behind every single moment of your life. All with the common goal of teaching, learning and growing about life. Whether we see that reason, whether we understand that plan right away - a week later - six months later - ten years later or maybe not until the very very end. Within every event, every change, every loss, every challenge, every struggle, every failure, every success lies a lesson and in that lesson a reason. Not only in those things a plan also lies in every place you go in this life and every single person that crosses your path through out your journey. These people come into your life whether it is to help weather the storm of life, share in its happiness & sorrow, bring meaning, guidence and knowledge, or to challenge - change and provide hard lessons in order for you to grow. They are there for a reason. And I am positive you wouldn't be you even if just one was removed. Whether they play a huge role in your life or a minor one, they are each there for a reason, a plan to shape not only your journey through this life but most importantly how you are as a person. I prefer to look at each and every person in this life as a teacher - someone to provide me with a lesson, someone who will help me learn - grow and become more. When you look at people more like this and less as just another person in your life I firmly believe you will gain the most out of life and all it has to offer. You just never know the things people will teach just & what those lessons and growth will bring to your life. Be open. Embrace. And remember there is a reason. a plan. for everything and everyone.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Welcome McKenna Ann Essler

I am proud to announce the arrival of McKenna Ann Essler 9lbs 12oz & 23in born 3.10.11 to the proud parents Jared & Kinsey and big brother Carter. I can't wait to meet you little girl and of course blind you with my flash. Til then I know you will be loved and spoiled by not just you parents and brother but by all of the Essler - Coles gang. You are one blessed little baby to have such amazing people in your life to call your family. Look forward to meeting and seeing you soon.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I am back and refreshed after two days off, I woke up to 7inches of snow and now realize that I have a view of a snowbank only in front of my windows - how crazy is that?? And yet the snow keeps falling. As I took some turns in knee deep powder in the Hellroaring Basin, I paused and just took a seat in the snow. Surround by nature in complete and utter silence. And wow the state of peace that brings. Breathing in fresh crisp air with simple beautiful views that can only be found outdoors in nature. Life is just different, life seems so simple when you are outdoors and surround by mother nature. You find nature speaking to you, providing you with some sort of calmness in the storm of life. You take a breath in and release in a steady and slow rhythm, what was once so heavy on your mind has some how just escaped you and you are left feeling in a state of ease. That's why I love nature so much, what else can refresh you, who else can you have the best talk with and yet no speak a single word, where else can you go and find peace just by enjoying your surrounds. You are never judged, your problems never seem to mindless or senseless. Most of all you are able to JUST BE. And most of the time that's just what you need and truly all you need.

Monday, March 7, 2011


"LIVING WITH INTEGRITY MEANS: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your turth, even though it might create tension or conflict. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe and not what others believe." Its a hard and difficult character trait to fully live... Integrity. It means being honest with one's self and following one's honest thoughts. To walk the road of truth and to know that that truth make cause hurt and pain. Are you willing to do what is right or just what is easy. Are you willing to put in the work to reach the gain. Are you willing to speak up or just stay silent. Are you willing to go after your wants needs and dreams at all cost. Are you just going to get by or are you going to achieve. Are you willing to be someone who stands by their morals and values. Are you willing to make choices even if those choices find you standing alone. Integrity anybody can say the word. Integrity everybody knows what it means. But few can actually fully live a life in such a way. Integrity do you have it?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Embrace Change

Change happens so slowly, that you don't know if your life is getting better or worse until one day you happen to notice that it is in fact better. Somewhere between wondering when will this change get better and struggling through that change the tide changed. Without you even realizing it, thats one of life's great mysteries. How things can change without us really knowing when it happened or how it happened. It just well happened.

Time has away of taking things away from us, some in ways we wish it would just hurray up already and in other ways we wish we were never robbed of such moments, feelings and memories. And that's the thing about life if we want to ditch the bad then we can't expect to hold onto the good. You have to take life as it comes, you can't just embrace and live for the days where the sun is shinning down upon you, you also have to live for the days where you are casted amongst the rocks. Life is a two sided coin - you take one within the other.

So you might as well learn the lessons, experience the growth and become in those moments you wish you could escape. For each moment has something to offer us - even if you don't believe it or see it. It offers you a chance to learn. to grow and to become. Life is about constant change - no use in fighthing against this - its a battle you will never win. Instead embrace the change. Sit with the pain and hurt. Explore this moment instead of running from it. Besides running away will never make you free, and sooner or later you will have to deal with what your running away from. You always have a choice in the matter and that choice is your attitude and your outlook on life. You have a choice to learn grow and become or to stay the same. Why stay the same when you are meant to be more. In order to be more you have to learn grow and become. And yes, that mainly comes from things like change, struggle, hurt, loss, challenges, and pain. So embrace it, and let it become apart of you, let your weaknesses one day before a strength.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Gramps is 92

I am a day late, but it was not forgotten. March 2nd was Gramps 92nd Birthday. So I gave him a ring last night to say happy birthday and to make sure he got my card in the mail. He sounded so simply happy. 92 and still loving life. A true example on how to live this life and how to treat others. He is the kind of man I hope I am able to find and live this life with someday. A man that defines honesty, kind, caring, and loving. My Gramps is the kind of guy that always does the right and decent thing even if its taking the long road or the high road when it would be easier to do the other. He goes above and beyond for his family and those he cares about. My Gramps is the guy always with a smile on his face and a hug to give. But what is the best thing about him is this, its the smallest gestures of kindness that mean the world to him, a call to say hello - a quick visit to see how he is or just being able to see your face will light up his entire day. I always feel loved and cared about around him, he always makes me feel like I mean the entire world to him. He has blessed our lives in so many ways with his gentle kind and loving ways. We have learned so much from a man that never spoke about how to live he just lived and let his actions do the talking.

Happy Birthday Gramps, I hope you know how much you are loved and cared about. I hope you know the gift you are to your friends and esp your family. We LOVE YOU!!!