Seeking something truly different for their family, Lindsay and Casey didn’t want to build a house just anywhere. After living all across the U.S. before starting their family, the couple knew exactly what they wanted. A big town with all the amenities that felt like a small-town and close-knit community—and The Lakes at Centerra was the perfect fit for just that.

Life for the Cooks is always eventful. As parents of two adorable daughters, Aidah, age 5, and Hadley, age 2, the couple also manages full-time careers. When you chat with the couple, you can tell they are true professionals when it comes to the “balancing act” of life. Lindsay has been a teacher for 14 years and currently teaches kindergarten at Coyote Ridge Elementary, and Casey is an IT Systems Architect for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

After living in Fort Collins for five years, they were looking to build a new house. At the top of their wish list they wanted a great school for their girls and a strong community the family could call home for years to come. Family comes first for Lindsay and Casey and they wanted to find a neighborhood where Aidah and Hadley could grow and learn. The Lakes at Centerra has a world-class pre-k through 8th grade innovative school that’s within walking distance of the family’s home. The High Plains School features a unique S.T.E.A.M (science, technology, engineering, art and math) curriculum where students develop critical thinking skills, local and global awareness, as well as character traits such as perseverance, responsibility and citizenship. The school also has a close partnership with High Plains Environmental Center (HPEC), which is located within The Lakes neighborhood. There’s even a trail connecting the school to HPEC and its outdoor classrooms, greenhouses and natural learning environments. Aidah’s class recently visited HPEC to learn about the importance of sustainability and how to take care of the environment.

The Cook family has lived at The Lakes for almost a year, and are settling into their new routine. Casey participates in a neighborhood men’s poker night and plays on the softball team, and the girls can do things like go trick-or-treating in a safe community. To them, neighbors feel more like friends. With so many accessible amenities like a neighborhood pool, a connected trail system, a community clubhouse and more, all within biking distance, it’s easy for the family to connect with other families.

While Lindsay and Casey can build friendships with other parents, Aidah and Hadley have also been able to meet kids their own age. These new relationships have provided great opportunities for the Cook family to get ideas, such as fun local activities or family-friendly vacation spots. One of their neighbors recently went to Hawaii, and from the sounds of it, it’s likely a future destination for this family of four to unwind.

Lindsay and Casey love all of the events and activities available at The Lakes. This past summer, the family attended the second annual Great American Campout. They not only met a lot of other families with kids, but were also able to do one of their favorite things: get outside. The Campout included a barbeque, a nature walk at the High Plains Environmental Center, s’mores, and a camp out behind the clubhouse. After breakfast the next morning, Aidah even won the best PJ contest but when the couple asked her what her favorite part was, she said without hesitation, “the marshmallows!”

Loveland is ideal for this busy family and their kids. They enjoy visiting downtown for events such as the Loveland Fire & Ice Festival, heading to breweries to support local causes, and other kid-friendly events like Halloween Hullabaloo and Kids Days at Centerra. The family also loves the great variety of restaurants within Centerra for a meal on the town. Old Chicago is a favorite for their beer selection and delicious pizza, while Colorado Coffee Company has the best cinnamon rolls for a Saturday morning treat. For more practical matters, a variety of stores both large and small, are nearby and the family can be found at least weekly at Target.

After all the fun out and about, the family loves coming back to their new house. Because they embarked on a new build, Lindsay and Casey were able to choose everything during the design process. Everything from the colors, woodwork, cabinetry, carpeting and flooring, they were able to add their own personal touch. The couple especially likes how their extensive space makes it easy for quiet times. Lindsay and Casey can watch TV while their daughters sleep upstairs without disturbing them. And with all the extra space during the day, the girls can do what kids do best—be kids!

While most Colorado natives are proud Rockies fans, something you may not know about Lindsay and Casey is due to their short adventure in D.C. they are now HUGE Washington Nationals fans. Lindsay is originally from the Northern Colorado area, and Casey grew up in Eastern Oregon. The two met in Greeley and lived outside of Washington D.C. when they were first married. So, it’s not surprising to find some Washington Nationals fan gear around their home.

As Lindsay and Casey watch their daughters grow up, they are also eager to watch Centerra continue to expand, and expand in an environmentally sound way. Centerra is a master-planned community combining a school, shopping, businesses and residential living space all designed to reduce the impact to the environment and the area. It is one of the many reasons the family loves their new neighborhood and they are excited to continue building life within this incredible community.