Monday, May 10, 2010

First Steps

Brian Turns One!

I can't believe little Brian turned one this past weekend. I'm sorry that I've been so bad about posting pictures and videos. Brian is such a special little guy. He is one of the happiest little guys you will ever meet. He is also our youngest at taking his first steps and I'll try to post some on that as well.

Blogger isn't letting me re-arrange the pictures the way I wanted. Oh well, the first picture is from this morning when Marcus and Brian (sporting his new B-day Jammies) were trying out Brian's new phone he got for his birthday.

Here are a few photos of Brian enjoying his cake. Remembering Tyler's first birthday, we are always relieved when one of our babies enjoys his birthday cake.

Brian Reacting to all the singing of Happy Birthday.

Brian showing off his skills on the new push along fire engine.

Now that he has figured out his balance and can even take a few steps, none of the boys toys are safe anymore.

Friday, April 02, 2010

A Couple Quick Videos

I think maybe it is time to teach Marcus the real alphabet song, what do you think?

And here we have the first footage of baby Brian crawling!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Random Summer pics and Videos

I think these videos and pictures pretty well speak for themselves, and since it takes a while to load and I am trying to multi-task tonight...Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Economy: Rinse and Repeat

Those who know me know that I am a big fan of capitalism. One of the things that can be difficult about a free economy is the boom and bust cycle that takes place when markets must correct themselves. I'm not going to go into a lot of detail on that. I did, however, what to point something out. I keep hearing about how bad the economy is and people wondering if we will ever get back to prosperity. In fact, here are just a few headlines from the past year in Time magazine (including a case for saving GM and a picture of Mr. Change Obama and his "New New Deal"):

The reason I post these is because they remind me of another time. When I was just starting to study journalism in high school in 1992 (a quick shout out to Ms. Beck from Hillcrest High) we were also going through a rough economic time. I remember reading article after article wondering if/when we would ever get out of the tailspin we were in. Interestingly enough, many economists would argue that the '90s were as prosperous a decade as we have ever had. See if any of these 1992 Time covers look at all familiar (including an article about GM and a "Mandate for Change")

I'm not predicting how or when the economy is going to turn around. In fact, given our governments response, I've never been more worried for the state of our nation. However, I do think that a little perspective on how history tends to repeat itself is worth at least a glance.

Monday, February 02, 2009

A Groundhog's Day Worth Repeating (02-02-02)

I have a Groundhog’s day story that I have been meaning to write down for quite some time. This year, I finally made the time.

In January 2002, with the Olympic Games almost upon Salt Lake City, Jamie and my relationship was really humming along. I don’t have time to write the whole story of how we ended up dating (though I do intend to write my version of that story some time as well), suffice it to say that for as hard as it was for Jamie and I to begin dating, it was equally easy for us to become comfortable with one another and fall in love. On January 24, 2002 I was sitting at my parents’ computer working on a church assignment when my inbox flashed that I received an e-mail from Jamie. Always anxious to see what she had to say, I was rather taken aback when all the e-mail said was, “I’m ready.”

“Ready for what?”, I wondered. Did we have a date I had forgotten about? Did she hit send before she finished writing a longer message? Surely this wasn’t her letting me know she was ready to get engaged. Having dated for just three months, I assumed that we were headed to the eventuality of marriage, I just thought it would come several months down the road. Over the next few days I scrambled a little. I made a trip to the temple and prayed about our relationship. I had such a great feeling. Unfortunately, this was not the first time that I had gone to the temple with the intention of getting confirmation from Heavenly Father that this was the right person. However, it was the first time that the peaceful reassurance of the spirit told me I had found the right person.

This set in motion a series of planning. I knew that Jamie would be extremely busy once the Olympics started. She was slated to spend a lot of time at the speed skating Oval as an athletic trainer. I finalized the purchase of an engagement ring that Jamie’s sister Tracy helped me pick out, called and got permission from Jamie’s dad to ask for her hand in marriage and tried to figure out the how of asking Jamie to marry me.

February 2, 2002, or 02-02-02, fell on a Saturday. Figuring that it would make for a memorable engage-iversery date I ordered up a dozen long stem roses and called Jamie and scheduled a date.

It turned out that several of my friends from my single’s ward had planned to all go out to eat at the Garden Restaurant on Temple Square. Unlike in most years, in 2002 the lights around temple square were still up in February (something to do with the Olympics). Early in the day, I drove down to Temple Square with my friend Matt Reading and we picked out an exact spot where I would ask Jamie to marry me. We worked it out that Matt would pick up my roses, store them with someone at the Joseph Smith Building and place them in “the spot” for me as Jamie and I were leaving dinner. That way, Jamie would never see it coming, but I would have a dozen roses that I could magically whip out of thin air.

Later in the day, Jamie called and asked if I would be willing to go on our date a little early and go visit her grandma Fran at the Wasatch Rehabilitation Center. I agreed and we spent a little time with her grandma, who repeatedly told me I was extremely handsome, before heading downtown.

When we got downtown, Matt pulled me aside. None of the Joseph Smith Building employees were going to be on shift long enough to hold the roses for us so he had given the roses to the hostess at the Garden. All this meant, was that somehow Matt would need to get out in front of us without Jamie seeing him get the actual roses from the Hostess. As luck would have it, we were seated right near the front of the restaurant where I could see the roses throughout the whole meal.

The meal was fun. In fact, it was the only time I have ever made Jamie laugh so hard that water came out of her nose. I was totally nervous the whole dinner, but tried to remain relaxed and myself. Finally, after the bill came I decided that I would try to take Jamie out of the restaurant and stall for Matt to get the roses in place.

Seeing as how I am a terrible liar, I told Jamie that I needed to use the restroom, but that I really liked the restroom in the basement of the Joseph Smith Building. She must have known something was up…I still can’t believe I didn’t come up with a better excuse. Fortunately, it was a really busy day and Jamie said that a ton of men came in and out of that restroom. So, she actually started to wonder if it was a special room or something.

Once I was in the restroom, Matt called me to report that he was on his way with the roses and had a good lead. I walked up and told Jamie I thought it would be nice to walk around the Temple once. Jamie, as luck would have it, didn’t want to, “its too cold,” she complained. I literally had to drag her away from the door closest to where we parked and walk her around to the designated “spot.” Even as we walked, I was trying to make it romantic (despite her thinking I just spent like 10 minutes in some special restroom) and Jamie was doing her best to just hurry up and get to the car where we could get warm.

When we did finally reach the bench where the roses were, I pulled Jamie aside and told her I wanted to take her with me to the temple. I started getting down on one knee, but had placed myself too close to the granite bench and I bumped hard into it, so I sorta half-kneeled and half stood and asked her to marry me. (She still ribs me about my less than proper knee-job and in retrospect it certainly wasn’t very slick on my part.) Jamie said yes and I whipped out the roses as a few people around us applauded. We still have those roses, dried, on a shelf above our stairs in our home.

As we drove home, Jamie called her family and was really excited. It was certainly not the smoothest proposal ever, but it certainly was a Groundhog’s day worth repeating.

Now I tease Jamie's sisters that they need to get engaged on repeated dates. Here's looking to 09-09-09!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Brief Pause

I've been a bit of a slacker with this blog, but this is a really cute story and won't take me long to write so I decided to share.

A few weeks ago, our family received an early Christmas present from my parents, a Nintendo Wii. Of course, Tyler has loved playing it (especially the boxing and the fitness assessment that lets him "see how old he is"). Recently, I showed Tyler that if his mom calls him while playing he can pause the game. This is useful so that she doesn't get upset at his lack of response and he doesn't have to lose out on his game. Now that Tyler has figured out how to pause the games, he often pauses them for the smallest little scratch or just to tell me something. Clearly, this new found power to pause is something he really enjoys.

Last night, Tyler was saying his goodnight prayer by the side of his bed. He had said a couple of "thank thee's" and then I heard this, "Uh-oh Dad! Pause the prayer!" I looked up and he was rubbing/scratching an itch on his nose. Then, as soon as he was done, he went right back to his prayer. I had a hard time not busting a gut as he finished up. It was pretty funny, but I do think maybe he needs a little better grasp on when it is appropriate to use the "pause" button.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Marcus Turns Two!

I've seen other blogs where parents have written up a tribute to their children on their birthdays. I think this is such a great idea. I wanted to try it this year on Marcus' birthday, but I am also worried because it is so difficult to express the emotions you feel for a child in writing.

Marcus was born while I was still finishing my MBA and just a little over a month after I had started my new business. Combine this with also having to help care for and play with Tyler and I felt so bad that for the first six months of his life I was not able to spend as much time with him as I had with Tyler. As a result, he was also much more of a Mama's boy. However, from the moment he came to our family Marcus has been such a joy. He has so much energy (for good and bad). He is quick to laugh and already at the age of two he has a well developed sense of humor.

Jamie reports that Marcus was a really easy newborn, but from about 3 months to 18 months he wasn't much of a sleeper and this resulted in his being a bit of a monster. I've always said that Marcus is like "Jack Jack" from the Incredibles. He is so cute and then BAM fireball!

One of the best/worst memories I have of Marcus is the time he spent at the hospital. I think seeing him in such a fragile state really tugged on my heartstrings. He was so sweet and loving those few days. In fact, I really think that his personality underwent a fundamental change that week. I never would have believed that a year and a half year old could learn a lesson of appreciation. However, as soon as Marcus came home he really did seem to have a greater appreciation of his mom and I. Since then his personality has developed at the speed of light.

Of late, Marcus is such a beacon of light. I've nearly cried on a couple of occassions when I get home and he and Tyler lead the charge to the door chanting my name. I'm so blessed to have such wonderful boys.

I love you Marcus and hope we are always able to have so much fun together.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Family Pics on a Budget

First of all, try not to drop dead, but this is......yes, Jamie blogging for the first time ever. I'm surprised Kent's not doing backflips around the house(he's probably waiting to see how long it lasts). What can I say, I like to ease in slow to the IT world. I never used email until after my mission(I'll let you all guess when that was).

So, anyway, a few weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon, my sister obliged us(thanks so much Tracy...we love you) and took some family shots of us over by the ever famous "stage" across from the Timpanogus Temple. As much as I would have loved to spring for a big fancy photographer, well you know...tough economic times means family pics on a budget. Every time we try to take pictures with our kids, I gain a greater level of respect for family/child photographers. You'd think that the main difficulty would be the youngest munchkin, but we seem to have just as much trouble with the 41/2 year old sabotaging our efforts. I thought I'd post some of the results to show everyone how our family has grown.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

California: Where Swords Grow on Trees

As a lot of you know, at the beginning of September Jamie and I braved the drive to California to attend the blessing of my brother's youngest daughter, Ashlyn. I also had a conference the next week in San Deigo so it ended up being a good, week-long adventure.

One of my favorite days on the trip was Labor Day. A lot of the family had already left to go back to Utah. With just the two families left, Carl's gang joined mine for a day at the park. The first park we went to took Jamie back to the mission days as it was an Asian Invasion. There were Chinese women doing their fun dance/exercise routine and men doing Taichi. Unfortunately, there were also no courts that were not being used up. So, after doing some relay races and generally exhausting ourselves, we went to another park where Carl and I were able to play a set of tennis.

I'd love to say that the reason I lost to Carl was because it had been five years since I played. Unfortunately, since he had also not played in about that long I guess I'll just say that I didn't want to beat him in front of his new born baby. Ya, that's it! (We did have a very close match that was a lot of fun though).
While we were playing Tennis, Adam, Annaka and Tyler discovered hanging pods from the trees at the park. They quickly became "swords" in the mind of Adam and Tyler. Once they had finished picking off the low hanging and already fallen pods, they turned to Carl and I to jump or climb for more. It was pretty fun to see how many hits your "sword" could dish out or take in before it would break apart.

At one point, Carl pointed out that California must be a pretty cool place if Swords can grow on trees. Tyler agreed wholeheartedly.

After we got back to Utah, I asked Tyler his favorite part of the trip to California. He told me that his favorite part was Adam. Then he added, "and Ashlyn and Annaka." It really was great getting to spend time with my brother and his family. They were great about dropping everything and letting us invade their lives for a few days. I'm so glad that Tyler has such great family influences.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I apologize for the blogger's cramp over the past few weeks. I have plenty to blog, but am just now getting back into a post-vacation routine where I can put a few pictures up and tell a few stories. I also apologize for blogging out of order...I do want to blog about our California trip, but I am still arranging those pictures.

I know what some of you are thinking...another blog about a race. Well, this is more about Tyler than Jamie and I. It started out as a relay marathon that Jamie, Tracy, Tracy's friend Kyle, our neighbor Veralyn and I were going to run. We each were set to run a fifth of a marathon despite varying illness, injury and lack of training. (Our team was still 19th overall so I'm proud of our group!) I could blog about our team runs and that we all had fun and stuff. But you've heard about that from me before. I'll just leave it at we had a great time and everyone did a great job. (By the way, I tried to checkerboard these photos, it didn't work...oops! Maybe I'll figure it out next time).

When we got the race it was pretty cold and the kids were not exactly enjoying the playground because they were too busy being cold. However, once it started heating up they announced that they were having a kids race. Tyler decided that despite no training, wearing his Crocs and jeans and without having a clue how far the race was that he wanted to run the kid race. I was nervous thinking he would never be able to go the full distance (I think it was a 1k race which would be about .62 of a mile). Fortunately, his mother has more faith in him than I do because she signed him up and he did AWESOME!

He ran the whole way and at the end was so proud of his accomplishment. At one point in the race his best friend Lauren started to slow down and walk. Veralyn (who was running beside them at the time) reports that Tyler slowed to a walk for a few seconds and then said, "This isn't a walking race, this is a running race," and kept on chugging along.

Tyler has seen his mom and I race a fair amount in the past. I think this is one reason why he was so proud of himself that morning. They also gave him a really cool medal that he didn't stop wearing all weekend.
Last, but not least, Marcus has now started standing next to a wall or door and saying "GO" and then running (or quickly waddling as the case may be) across the room. Looks like we have yet another racer in the making.