Friday, December 26, 2008
This is the first Christmas I've spent away from my family besides the two I spent on my mission. I adapt pretty well to my surroundings, and I'm not homesick too often. On my mission, I was surprised at myself at how OK I was with being in Mexico. I missed family at Christmas, but it wasn't too bad. In college once, I even moved to a new apartment building once without telling my family. But what really made me miss my family for Christmas was this. My dad really describes the family traditions well, and it made me wish I was there to eat cheese soup in breadbowls, watch the kids open their Christmas PJs and the ensuing fashion show, reading the bible account of Jesus's birth, and the little pageant that the kids act out. I missed you guys!!!
But what I did love was being with Hayley for Christmas. I feel so great that I got to be included in the Gray Family traditions of reading "T'was the Night Before Christmas" and "The Polar Express" and Luke chapter 2. I feel so much a part of Hayley's family. They really have made a great Christmas for me! Hayley and I will probably be at all sorts of different locations through the years, but we'll be there together. And I can't wait for that.
So I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, too!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Hope you all have a merry Christmas.
P.S. See you soon, Hayley!! Miss you!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
The sentence that we'll base this post on is as follows: Do you think that the universe is infinite or expanding exponentially? Immediately, I thought of a Time magazine article that I read in high school on this very subject. I even did a little google search to see if I could find the article, and more specifically, the graphic that I remember that illustrates a few theories on the matter. (Jared, I'm now no longer obligated to continue... I've surpassed 5 sentences... but I'll finish. But if this goes on for another 50 paragraphs, it's all your fault...)
Well, I didn't find the graphic I was looking for (I don't even think the article I linked to above is the right one), but here's a very similar graphic.
This graphic doesn't illustrate all theories, but essentially, there are two basic ideas about the universe and it's growth or aging process. Either the universe is expanding and continues to grow forever, or it will grow for a time, then begin to shrink, and a big bang-like event will take place, ending the universe or stating the cycle over. In the ever expanding universe group, some think our universe continues to expand at a steady rate, an exponential rate, or a quick rate while the universe is young, then a steady, less drastic rate as the universe is older.
What I believe isn't much based on science, I guess. If you keep reading, I'll get to why that doesn't matter. First, I'll tell you what I believe. I believe that the universe is expanding. I also believe it expands at an exponential rate. As I said, I haven't studied much to be an expert on the matter. So next, I'll tell you why I believe it.
I'm basing my conclusion on the Time magazine article I read years ago, the 30-120 seconds of internet research I just performed, and my understanding of God's plan for the universe and those that live in it. I think God is an all-powerful, all-knowing God. I believe His creations are endless. I believe that endless means He's still creating. Therefore, the universe is expanding. Further, I believe that in his plan, he's allowed for the advancement and progression of his creations, especially his children. That's us. I think he wants us to be like him. I think someday (or some time... or some eternity...) we will be. So that means the universe would not only expand, but do so exponentially AND infinitely.
Important note: I don't know much about what happens in the eternities. The most important thing is that right now, we strive to understand and follow the gospel of Jesus Christ, and try our best to be like him. Me having faith that Jesus was born of Mary, was the Son of God, died for the sins of the whole world, and rose from the grave is much more important than what I might think about the universe. So that's what I'll focus on. God's got the universe covered. I'll try not to cuss so much. And the world--nay, the universe--will be a better place.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
At least not money-wise. I lost 76 pounds. And lost by .2%. that's point two percent. Suck ass.
Well, I know all the good things. I did it right. I lost weight the right way. I don't want to dwell on it and want to move on, so that's all I'll say. Thanks everyone for rootin' for me! I'm gonna keep up the workin' out and eating right to make it all worth it. I just wish my wallet wasn't so thin right now...
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
1. DID YOU DATE SOMEONE FROM YOUR SCHOOL? No way. I went on plenty of dates, including every single dance since I turned 16m but never seriously dated anyone. That's a waste of time in high school
2. WHAT KIND OF CAR DID YOU DRIVE? A '85 Chevy Cavalier. All my older brothers and sisters drove it before me. We affectionately called it "the lawn mower" because it sounded like one.
3. DID YOU PASS YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE TEST YOUR FIRST TRY? Heck YES I did!!
4. WHERE YOU A PARTY ANIMAL? Sorta... I kinda crossed lots of click boundaries, but didn't get too crazy. I was still a band geek, after all.
5. WERE YOU CONSIDERED A FLIRT? Nope. I came across as more of the funny, friendly guy.
6. WERE YOU IN BAND, ORCHESTRA, OR CHOIR? Totally a band geek. I even learned to play bari sax my senior year so I could play in the Jazz Band. I was in Wind Symphony, Marching Band, and the Pep Band, too. And I loved every minute of it.
7. WERE YOU A NERD? Sorta. I was more an overly confident, outgoing spaz than a nerd.
8. WERE YOU ON ANY VARSITY TEAMS? No way man. Unless you count Marching Band as a varsity sport. And you should. (I've got facebook flair to prove it.)
9. DID YOU EVER GET SUSPENDED/EXPELLED? Nah.
10. CAN YOU STILL SING THE FIGHT SONG? Hells yeah!!! "Fight, fight, fight, for West Jordan High and Vic-tor-y!...."
11. WHO WERE YOUR FAVORITE TEACHERS? ....hmmmmmm... Mrs. Leyva, the band teacher for sure. Other great influences included Mrs. Glightly my English teacher my junior year and Mr.
12. WHERE DID YOU SIT FOR LUNCH? All over the place. I moved around a lot. Most the time it was with people in band, though... sometimes even in the band room.
13. WHAT IS YOUR SCHOOL'S FULL NAME? West Jordan High School
14. WHAT IS YOUR SCHOOL'S MASCOT AND COLORS? Jaguars. Black, blue, and White. (lets go, lets fight.)
15. DID YOU GO TO HOMECOMING AND WITH WHO? Like I said, I went to every dance... I don't remember who I went to Homecoming with... I'd have to check Mom's scrap books for the dance pictures.
16. IF YOU COULD GO BACK AND DO IT AGAIN WOULD YOU? That depends. Would I go back and do it again as the person I am now, no... If I did it again as the teenager I was, sure. I didn't hate high school, I'm just past it now.
17. WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER MOST ABOUT GRADUATION? Being checked to make sure I had clothes on underneath and didn't have a knife. I also remember the speaches were kinda boring. And my hair was a matted mess after.
18. WHERE DID YOU GO SENIOR SKIP DAY? I don't remember... But what I do remember is one time a bunch of us ditched an assembly to go play Golden Eye at my house, then my dad came home early and I told him there was an optional assembly and they let us leave early for it... I'm pretty sure he didn't buy it but he was cool about it, especially because we said we were going back to school right then. I'd like to say we did go right back to school because we felt horrible for getting caught, but really, we went to another guy's house and kept playing... I guess that's my confession. Sorry, Dad!
19. WERE YOU IN ANY CLUBS? Besides band? No. Who has time for more clubs after band?
20. HAVE YOU GAINED SOME WEIGHT SINCE THEN? Definately. But I'm trying to lose it
22. ARE YOU PLANNING ON GOING TO YOUR 10 YEAR REUNION? Yep. It's next year, actually.
23. DID YOU HAVE A JOB IN HIGH SCHOOL? Oh yeah. Like most Ward children, I worked at Shopko. I was a Customer Service Specialist in Housewares.
And that's it!!! I tag anyone who reads this. I'm usually very nice about not tagging anyone, but if you make it this far, then you're tagged. Take THAT!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I've changed my blog roll on my side bar. It's back to normal links. This makes that list on the side about half as long. But now I get to see when everyone has updated in google reader.
I'm thinking of doing some other updates to my side bar. Maybe some photos or something... I also want to change my banner image. Any suggestions?
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
The end of the story he told was about the Boston Tea Party. The Bostonians were smuggling in tea from somewhere else that was more expensive than the tea coming from England. But the point wasn't the cost of the tea, it was the taxation without representation, and that was the message they sent when they tossed all that tea overboard. They would rather pay the more expensive price for the smuggled tea than not have a voice in their taxes and how they were governed. Then he said only about half of U.S. citizens voted in the last election. That's half of us that let other people decide our fate and gave up our right to representation. And that was what Lucifer's plan was. To take away our right to choose and let him decide for us...
That gave me some perspective. I did some last minute research, and while I may not have been the most informed voter, I still voted. See?
Hope you voted, too!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
So on the way to work last Friday, I was listening to 101.9 The End after hanging up on the phone with Hayley, and the were taking calls of listeners who were telling their creepy ghost stories. Some of them were really disturbing, some funny, and others just spooky. I was totally hooked. On top of that, Hayley had pointed out the sunrise and it was very fitting for All Hallows Eve, with lots of whispy clouds in the sky, and the rising sun turned them red, orange, then pinkish, but kept enough cover that it was still dark outside. The scene was perfect, so when I got to work early, I decided to stay in the car and continue to listen to the ghost stories. I was freaking myself out a little, and even watched our un-finished third floor for any suspicious movement.
By the time the next commercial came on, I hadn't seen any apparitions, and resigned to my fate of working the rest of the day. I left my car even with the joking thought that I shouldn't be so intrigued by scary stories or some spook would follow me around! Well, once I got to my desk, I was again creeped out. My mouse was off the desk just hanging by the cord, my tissue box was shoved behind the two monitors on my desk (it is usually on the shelf above), some books and binders I usually keep propped up and on the right side of the shelf were scattered or lying on the left side of the shelf, and some papers I haven't touched in months were out of order and on top of the books. My desk was in a mild state of disaray. I'm farely certain it wasn't the cleaning crew. They never touch my stuff, and have even left cash on my desk untouched before. I have seen them more than a few times lately on the nights I've worked late, and I sorta trust 'em. It was definately freaky.
So what do you think? Did I actually get haunted by a ghost that left the radio, but didn't really have enough time to cause total rucous? Or were some people at work messing with my stuff? Whatever the truth is, I think it was quite fitting for it to happen on Halloween, right after listening to 30 minutes of ghost stories. :)
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I've lost 49.2 pounds.
That's right. And this week was a great week. This week alone I lost 7.4 pounds. Some of you might know from my facebook status that I've added P90X to my repertoire. Between that and Weight Watchers, I think I've got a great shot at winning my biggest loser contest!
So that's the update. Keep rootin' for me!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Things have been so stressful, I've even resorted to listening to Classic 89.1 on the drive home to calm down about it.
But today when I got to Hayley's, all that bull got swept away when she kissed me. I'll tell ya, that stinkin' sales rep and his manager don't even know how lucky they are. If Hayley wasn't there to calm me down, I might just kill them. With my bare hands.
Ok, I know all the crap I have to do tomorrow hasn't magically disappeared, and I'll still have to get it all done by Friday, it's still nice to come home (...while it's not my house just yet, it's still home) to someone who helps me calm the freak down and feel ready to take on the next day.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Everyone, I'd like to show you the wedding announcements we'd use if Jared was in charge.
Oh, and for the record, our cars are silver, not gold. Sheesh, get it right.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
But that said, I don't mind making fun of the song either. And SNL has done it. Check out this video, which includes, "The Less Provocative Songs of Katy Perry."
I think my favorite is "I Have a Pen."
Friday, October 3, 2008
I'm pretty excited about it. The city has inspected and it's no longer condemned. Sweet, huh? I had my final walk through today. There were a couple of things that need to be fixed, but they'll get that done. They apparently broke one of the lights on the fan in my living room, so they're going to replace that. That means I've got new paint all over, new carpet all over, new fire detectors, and now a new light fixture in the living room. Pretty sweet.
They also have to fix a light in the master bedroom and do some touch up painting. The contractors should be out of my hair entirely by Tuesday or Wednesday next week. My money is on Wednesday, with how long everything has taken, but that's still ok. I'm going to move back in to my place this weekend!!! I'm pretty excited about it. Hopefully the curse of conference weekend bad weather won't be severe enough that I can't get my stuff back in. I'll post pictures and stuff of the new paint and carpet later.
Oh, and thanks Jared and Liz for letting me crash at your place for so long! I'm sure you'll be happy to be rid of me. :-)
Thursday, September 25, 2008
These first three are with my phone.
Here's some with a real camera.
These ones are kinda artsy... Sometimes I wish I could take good photos, but I think I am more than lacking in skill, knowledge, and general ability. Oh well. Doesn't keep me from trying! I should maybe take a class or something.
Oh, and there were a couple movies.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Phantom texter: Hey amanda told me to text you!
First, I'd like you to notice the lack of punctuation. I realize it's texting (thus my lack of capitalization), but no punctuation makes your message so much harder to read. Second, after finishing up the conversation, I realized I totally missed out on a good opportunity to mess with the minds of strangers. Those sort of occasions are so rare, it's really a shame!!! I should have pretended to be who this phantom texter thought I was, maybe even set up a date or something... Oh well. At least I've learned my lesson. Next person to text me that's got the wrong number is in for it.
P.S. If you're feeling especially sly, the number is still in my text inbox. If you ask me in person, I'll give it to you. And now you've got some general information to use and totally mess with poor Kelsie...
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Today was pretty much that way, but on my way out to my car to go to choir, I went to open the car door for Hayley even though she wasn't there. It totally made me miss her, and I had barely walked out the door. Luckily, choir only lasts an hour.
Friday, September 5, 2008
So here's my side of the story. I haven't even read Hayley's blog, just so I can keep my point of view clear. I have, however, read the comments (more than 40!!!) and all the well-wishing posts in response and I want to thank you all for your comments! Hayley and I love all of you, too, and we are so excited to start our lives together.
Without further ado…
Last Thursday, I finally went ring shopping. (That's right, I'm starting a week ago. Get ready for the long haul. This may be longer than my 20 years ago post. I'm a writer, folks. And a damn good story teller if I do say so myself. I don't like to leave out details that may have something to do with the rest of the story.) I looked around a couple of places, but it came down to the first ring I looked at. It just looked so nice and fit exactly the pointers Hayley had given me. When I came back the next day to actually purchase the thing, I was so excited!! I looked at the ring, the stone, and the woman helping me said some words and handed me a slip with date on it and said something about ID. I apologized and asked her to tell me that again, I was a little struck by what I was doing and needed her to repeat her instructions. Apparently the little slip had next Thursday's date on it. I would need to present this paper and a photo ID to pick up the ring once it had been fitted with the Diamond in it. I was beyond excited.
Since then, I tried to think of different things I could do to surprise Hayley with the ring and a proposal. I thought about hikes, going to the movies, going on a walk, to dinner, but nothing seemed to fit. I didn't want to ask in front of a lot of people and I didn't want to be too obvious by doing something we wouldn't normally do. In spite of her normal preferences, Hayley had asked me to surprise her. She HATES surprises. Especially if she knows one is coming. She kept asking questions like if I had called her dad, if I had gone ring shopping, if I knew when, exactly, I would do it, and I stuck to my guns and tried to be vague as possible. Mostly because I wanted to keep the surprise, but partly because I was still having trouble coming up with something!
I started talking to Jared and Liz about it. Liz came up with the great idea to include Dr Pepper somehow. I thought of putting the ring IN Dr Pepper, but that didn't seem like a good idea. That couldn't really be good for the ring, and what if she swallowed it?? That'd suck... Liz suggested a picnic in their yard (since their home is my home currently) and I thought that would be great. We didn't elaborate much more, but I figured I'd tie the ring to a bottle of the Dr and say something like, "Look, yours has a prize."
Well, I thought we might do this little picnic the next Friday night, but totally forgot that we had plans to go to dinner with one of Hayley's friends. I figured we'd just do it for lunch on Saturday. Then, Tuesday night, Liz asked me if I'd like tickets to Big: The Musical playing at Hale Centre Theatre. She got them for free from a friend of hers and Jared's because Liz was watching their kids. Jared and Liz couldn't go, so they offered me the tickets. I said heck yes, and we were off the next night to the play.
In the car, Hayley asked about the tickets and I said they usually cost like 30 bucks or so. She knew that I was trying to save some money and asked why I spent so much. I explained how I got them for free, and she said we should do something to pay back Jared and Liz. Liz had asked previously if we would watch Madeline one night so they could go see the Batman movie, so Hayley said we should babysit the next night. I was all over that idea, and instantly thought I'd ask Hayley to marry me that night. I called Jared and they were ok with letting us babysit, so we went to the play. I was so excited! But I'm pretty sure Hayley wasn't sure why yet.
That night, I talked to Liz after the play. She asked when I was going to pop the question, and I said maybe at dinner. I'd remember the Dr Peppers at the last minute, bring them out and ask her there. (I tell you, for some reason, I was worthless at figuring out plans here. A little ironic that my job title is Proposal Writer and I was having a hard time figuring out the details of my own and most important proposal...) Liz helped me perfect the plan into putting something together in the back yard, waiting until Madeline was asleep, and bringing Hayley in the back. I figured out I'd tell her Jared had finished the walls on the playhouse he is building for Madeline, and ask her if she wanted to see. I decided I'd get roses, the bottles of Dr Pepper, and even Christmas lights. I was pretty excited.
I went to work that morning and was actually pretty productive. I even had a few meetings that kept me on task and working. It was about 11 that I was getting a little crazy and needed to get out of there. Every person I would see I would interrupt whatever conversation we were having and tell them I was getting engaged THAT DAY. For example, one guy asked me, "So how are those RFPs coming these days?" and I would respond, "Good. I'm getting engaged today!!!! But don't tell anyone!!" I told like 5 people at work, and always ended with "but don't tell anyone!" I guess I was worried that somehow Hayley would find out. Right. Like she constantly talks to salesmen peddling law enforcement software…
That afternoon, I left work for the ring shop ("on the corner of State Street and 72 hundred south, open Monday through Friday until 8, Saturday until 5, closed Sunday.") to pick up the ring, and two coworkers came with me. I don't usually share pictures where I look like a total dufus, but this is me.
Apparently, I was grinning like an idiot (which I often do when thinking about Hayley), and my coworkers thought it was endearing. Anyway...
After getting the ring, I called Hayley's parents. I have just their home number, and as soon as Hayley's mom answered the phone, I completely forgot her name. Mid sentence. I started talking and said, "Hi is this......" then I remembered her first name, but she doesn't go by her first name... but that's all I could think of! So I continued, "...I'm so sorry, I'm completely drawing a blank... Marleen Jones?" I hoped that was right. Luckily it was.
We chatted for a bit, I told Hayley's mom (my mother-in-law to be... isn't that cool??!?!!) I was planning to ask Hayley that very day. She told me that Michael was home at 5 (4 Utah time) and to be sure to call then. I said I would then went off to the store to buy some Dr Pepper and maybe rope to help hang Christmas lights, then roses, etc. On my way to the store, I got a call from Hayley's mom. She said that her husband (Hayley's dad. My father-in-law to be...) was probably going to be working late, which never happens. She gave me his number at work and suggested I call there, or maybe I could try at 5 and he might be home, but because of the late meeting he had, he might not be home then. I asked what she thought I should do, because I could tell she wanted to be on the phone when I called, but Marleen said to just call right then. I pulled over at a church parking lot (one of ten zillion in West Jordan) and gave the man a call.
I wasn't sure exactly how the conversation would go. I mean, I've never asked for a girl's hand in marriage before. Hayley's dad asked me a few questions (made sure I had a temple recommend, good job, place to live [well, that's a sorta yes right now...], and loved his daughter), and we chatted a bit. It was nice. I am looking forward to getting to know her parents and the whole family better.
So I went to the store for a few supplies, then after talking to Liz, she said not to get rope, we'd do something with the picnic table umbrella instead of hanging lights. I really liked that idea. We later went to Costco to get roses (and not get shelves for Jared, much to his dismay... different story...) and a then back to set things up. I put down the blanket, set up some lights, and we smacked some PVC pipe into the ground to hold the umbrella. While Jared and I were doing that, Liz trimmed the roses and put them in the vases.
At one point, Liz came running out of the house and said "Hayley's here!!!" I cussed a little and said to anyone listening, "WHY AM I HOME??!!? I NEED AN EXCUSE!!!" See, it was about 4:45 and I had been texting Hayley, pretending to be at work and wanting to leave at 5. I ran to the door and wondered what the hell I would say and Liz started taking flowers outside to hide them. I opened the door and it was Liz's friend Jamie. WHEW!!! I yelled at Jamie, told her to come in and told her she scare the hell out of me. She was all confused at why we were taking forever to open the door, and asked what was going on. I told her I was going to ask Hayley to marry me and we thought she was Hayley. Jamie stayed and helped tie ribbons on little baggies filled with Dr Pepper jelly bellies. It was really nice of her. Even after I cussed at her.
Anyway, everything got set up, the lights were set, ribbons around the vases and the umbrella, lights all around, little candles, Dr Pepper in regular and jelly bean form, and I was ready to go. I told Hayley via text that I was home and changed and she could come over any time. I took down the umbrella so Hayley wouldn't see it when she came over. Madeline was so excited, and we kept telling her she couldn't tell Hayley about her surprise. She was so excited, she kept putting together all sorts of her own surprises for Hayley. It was pretty cute, but made me just a tad nervous.
When Hayley showed up, the first thing Madeline said to her was, "Hayley! I can show you my surprises, but I can't tell you about grownup ones." I was certain my cover was blown, but apparently, she didn't suspect at all. We told Hayley that Madeline was so excited to see her that she kept putting together surprises for her. Madeline mentioned secrets and surprises a couple more times before Jared and Liz left, and I again thought the cat was out of the bag. Jared even talked to Madeline again, and she felt so bad about giving away the secret. I feel bad that she was upset. Especially now that I know Hayley didn't suspect a thing. Maa, you're the best.
Jared and Liz left and set up the umbrella, and we we played with Madeline. When she started talking about secrets or surprises, I would change the subject. "How high can you jump?" "Can you count to 20?" "Are these your cars?" Madeline even told Hayley about Jamie coming over, and I totally played it down, like Liz was surprised by the impromptu visit more than the fact that we thought she might be Hayley.
By bed time, I was getting pretty anxious. Madeline has a normal bedtime routine, and when she was in jammies and ready for bed, we would read her a story then she would go to sleep. She picked a book and Hayley started reading. I wanted to stay and just watch Hayley with Madeline, it was so cute. But I told Hayley I needed to use the bathroom, left the room, went to the bathroom, then went outside with the garbage. I tossed the trash, plugged in the lights, light the candles, then came running back in to find Hayley on the couch. I was a little surprised and asked if Madeline was in bed. She said she was and asked what the matter was. I told her nothing, I was just taking out the trash and didn't think she'd go to bed so fast. I grabbed a garbage bag and replaced the one I took out, and joined her on the couch.
I heard Madeline kick the wall (as she sometimes does to keep herself awake), so I said, "I think that was Madeline. We should probably wait a little while." Hayley looked at me with an odd expression and said, "Wait for what?" My quick response: "To make out... I don't want her to come out here and catch us or something..." Yeah, classy, I know... but it seemed to have worked. :-)
Hayley talked on the phone with her friend, Tib, for a bit, then we talked and I started to get nervous about the candles sitting there on the blanket. The TV was on and John McCain was talking. I said something like, "This is boring... hey, Jared put the walls up on the playhouse. Wanna see?" She totally bought it and we went outside. She noticed that the base wasn't in the spot Jared said he was going to build the house, and I told her they decided to move it to the side, closer to the house. We turned the corner and there we were. here are some pictures.
She was so surprised, I was shocked. She said she hadn't suspected at all, and I told her about all the little things Madeline had said, and I was sure she would have figured it out. We laughed and kissed, I told her how much I loved her. That I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I didn't know that being this in love was possible, and that I was so happy when I was with her. I couldn't imagine being without her. Then I got on my knee and asked her to marry me. She said yes, I gave her the ring (which had been in my pocket ALL NIGHT. I just couldn't risk leaving it anywhere.), and we sat down to enjoy the surroundings.
After a little chatting, we started calling our families. Everyone was so excited and so happy for us. (Thanks, guys.) It was pretty awesome. I am so excited! I love her so much and can't wait to start our life together. I get all smiley when I think about introducing her as my wife. Today at work even, I started a story with "My girlfriend... no wait, my FIANCE... wow, that's so cool!" and I couldn't finish the story. The new story was about how excited I am to marry this girl. Call me a sap if you want, but I can't help it. I love her and want to spend the rest of my life with her.
So after we sat for a while chatting and talking and calling family (and I eventually replaced the camp chairs with the luv sac), we took all the goods to Hayley's place. 8 dozen roses are sitting on her table. It's cute. She started to blog last night(50 comments and counting...), I updated my facebook status, and we've gotten lots and lots of well wishes. Our families have even posted blogs congratulating us. It's great to feel the love from all around.
So that's basically it! I asked the girl I love to marry me and we're gonna get married in January. Thanks again to everyone for your kind words! You're all awesome. Love you, Hayley.
Isn't she cute?!?!!
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Today when I woke up, I had to scrape frost off of my windows to get to work. Granted, I got up early today to get to Goodyear to get my tire fixed or replaced and had to also get to work after that, but nonetheless, there was frost.
I'm kind of excited. I love the fall. I don't love that winter is sneakin' up on us, but I love the cool weather, the changing leaves, makin' salsa (which is happening today. After I'm done with this post, I'm taking Maa and Hayley to papa's garden to pick tomatoes!!!) pumpkin pie, and the holidays! So in spite of the frost and the prospect of scraping my windows in the morning, I'm really excited for fall!
Sunday, August 31, 2008
After Radio City Music Hall, we wanted to get to Times Square. After some prodding and negotiation with the rickshaw driver (thanks for letting me know what those are called, Christy), we decided to actually take it. It was pretty dang funny to see all four of us on the back there! I was certain we were going to kill the guy, but he managed pretty well. Here's some pics.
The rickshaw driver was nice enough to take our photo a bunch of times on the way, too.
Oh, also along the way, we got a taste of some authentic and colorful New York City exchanges between pedestrians/bikers and car drivers. While we were riding and laughing like idiots, a car behind us got a little sick of waiting for the driver to get out of the way of traffic, honked at us, and sped off angrily to the side. Because it is New York, there was a light ahead, and the guy had to stop anyway. A guy on his own bike (not a rickshaw, just a normal, New Yorker on a bike) saw what happened and got pissed at the driver on behalf of us. The exchange went something like this.
*Note: I've edited this exchange for my less surly readers. If you don't want to read about the F word being used, you may want to skip this part.
Man on bike: Watch where the eff you're going!!!
Man in car: Eff you!!!
Bike: Get out of the effing car you dumb eff!!!!! You're gonna effing kill someone!
Car: They were in the effing way! Get out of the effing road!
Bike: Get the eff out of the car!!!!
Car: Eff you! I've got kids in here (yeah, all this with his kids about 10 years old in the back seat...)
Bike: Then you should effing know better!!
Car: *drives off*
Bike: Stupid effer.... *bikes away*
Our rickshaw driver tried to calm the guy in the car down, but I think the dude on the bike was a tad more upset. It was sort of a kill-joy moment, but we still had fun.
We went on to time square, took pictures, tried to see if there was another Broadway musical we wanted to go to, and generally made our way through the sea of people there. It really felt like New York there! Here's a few more pics.
When we had finally had enough of Times Square, we started looking at Katey's book on where to go next. Tiff took this picture.
I think this is pretty typical of our entire trip. Katey's got her nose in the book, figuring out where to go for our next destination, Elissa was always updating her facebook status and adding pictures to her profile from her phone, Tiff was taking pictures, and I was looking on to make sure no one wanted to rob us, but still having a good time.
Ok, I've got just one more event to finish off day one. We met Luilly (pronounced like Luigi) on the subway, and he directed us to this Mexican restaurant. But I'll tell you all about that in the next NYC post.
Friday, August 29, 2008
20 years ago....
1. I was seven years old and getting excited about being baptized. If I recall correctly, it actually happened on October 29th, on week after my birthday. And also if I recall correctly, it was Robbie McCurdy's birthday that day. He was one of my best friends at the time. I don't even know where he is now. I'm pretty sure he got married and had a kid or two...
2. Mrs. Greenhal was my second grade teacher. I called her Mrs. Greenface behind her back like most the kids. She was also the first teacher I outsmarted and made me realize if I was more cleaver than the teacher I would have less work to do. She had this job wall full of activities each kid was supposed to do each week. The bad kids got "contracts" and if they finished like 5 of 30 of those jobs, they'd get candy and be done before the rest of the class. I started being a bad kid. Not bad enough to get a call to my parents, but bad enough to get my own contract. I never "improved" with my contract on the wall, so I never got more than like 10 of those stupid jobs. Take THAT, Mrs. Greenface.
3. The movie, "Big" came out that year. I wondered if something like that could actually happen, and was sort of scared of those fortune teller machines. I also wanted a giant piano to play "Heart and Soul" on.
4. I'm pretty sure I was taking piano and singing lessons from Barbara Bennett. MAN was she a loud singer!!!! (My church singing is a whisper in comparison...) Highlights of singing lessons that may or may not have occurred that year include the following: 1) singing for what could be called the half time show for West Jordan Jr. Miss pageant at the Jordon Ell during the time when the judges meet and tally scores, and 2) trying out for some singing contest, or to sing for radio commercials or something. I can't remember exactly what it was for, but I sang "Cocamo" by The Beach Boys for my audition.
5. Ok, I'm going to cheat a little here. I couldn't think of anything else that happened when I was 7-8, so I looked at Wikipedia. Apparently, Super Mario Brother's 3 was relased in Japan in 1988, but not in North America until 1990, following the movie, The Wizard. I LOVED that movie, and LOVED that game. I remember finding the magic flute solely because my friends and I kept looking for the spot in the game that looked like where the kid in the movie found it. We were so awesome. My favorite power up was that bear that could fly like the racoon leaf power up, but could also turn to stone to elude kupas. Mario 3 still remains the best of the series.
10 years ago....
1. I was getting ready to start my first year of college. I moved in with two guys I knew from marching band and one guy who was the drum major my freshman year of high school. That was a defining year to figure out if I believed the church was true, if I would stand up for my beliefs, and if I would go on a mission. I made some lasting friendships, including Mary and Katey. I also had nearly every stereotypical roomate you can think of in that year alone. THey included jock, band geek, sex adict, frat boy, pot head, suicidal, closet porn adict, and closet gay guy. Yes, I went to church by myself.
2. In that freshman year of college, I decided I didn't want to be a music major. I was pretty good, but didn't practice enough (or want to practice enough) to be a performance major and had ABSOLUTELY NO DESIRE to be a band teacher. Chelle Leyva was the most influential teacher I had in high school and I look up to her so much, but she may be the most underpaid, underappreciated teacher I have ever known. And while I know there are hundreds of kids she touched forever, I have no desire to do what she did and recieve as little aclaim.
3. With the help of my older brother, I bought the first car I ever owned myself. It cost me $500 and lasted until I came home from my mission and went to college again. It had one of those white oval stickers on the back with the initials BIH. I have no idea to this day what that stands for, but my good friend Mary K. (who, as I mentioned ealier, is one of the friends I met that year) said it meant "Born In Holland," and so that became the name of my car. It was a brown Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera and I bought it from my roommate's sister.
4. I stood up to the big jock I lived with, who had 3 times the muscle mass as I did and worked at Gold's Gym. He was smoking weed in our appartment, we asked him to stop, he didn't so we went to the managers to see if we could kick him out. (By the way, he was not the one I would classify as the pot head... that was Brad. That kid was so quiet and calm until he was high or drunk. Then you couldn't shut him up! But I digress...) The managers were cautious and wouldn't help unless he was actually smoking at the time, but they said they'd talk to him about it. He came home all mad after they talked to him and wanted to know who told the managers on him. My gutless roommate that went to the managers with me didn't say anything, so I told him it was me, that I had asked him to nock it off once before, and I wasn't going to ask again. We got into an argument about it, I thought he might punch me, but I was so ready to kick his ass. I don't think that was the start of my ability to voice my opinion and stand up to people, but it sorta made me realize that big dumb jocks weren't a real threat to me.
5. Jared and Liz lived in Cedar City and were going to school at SUU, too. Or at least Jared was... I think Liz was still going... Anyway, Liz got me this awesome job as a janitor at the Centrum cleaning bathrooms and classrooms at 5 am. Awesome. One of the classrooms I cleaned was the ceramics room. It took mopping up twice to get all the dirt and clay off the floor, and I did that EVERY DAY. Jared started making this bust of himself that year, so I got to see it come to life, and felt like jared was watching me mop up his messes and snicker. He included his glasses in the bust, and a couple of times it had his sunglasses clip-ons on. That was pretty weird. Like this ceramic bust was just chillin' like a villin' on the counter, watching me mop. Sweet.
5 years ago....
1. I was home from my mission and going to school at Utah State. I had decided on a major thanks to a neighbor girl who had recently graduated. She was a grant writer for this company that wrote grants for departments of education, and that sounded fun. (I know, I'm kind of a dork.) More importantly, it sounded like something I could actually make a living on and support a family doing, and still major in English. I met some of my best friends in that program as well, namely Melinda White (currently persuing her doctorate in creative writing and new media [or something like that] in Virginia) and Hollie Doyle (currently my boss).
2. I think it was that year that I met and started dating Tammy. We dated a year before breaking up. She was my first real girlfriend, but it was best that we broke up. It took me a year to realize that it really wasn't going anywhere. And now I've met someone I'm crazy about. So life works out.
3. I started working at Discovery Research Group. I called up people who didn't want to talk to me to ask them to do surveys. We even had a survey that was about frozen pizza that was 30 minutes long. Yeah. That one was a real treat to get stuck with... I later became an editor there and then a trainer, and used it as 6 credits for an internship. In retrospect, it probably would have been a better idea to actually get an intership somewhere else, but my life has worked out so far.
4. I think at this time I was driving my grandpa's old work van. It didn't do well in the cold and had a hard time staying started. Needless to say it didn't do well in Logan. It stalled because of the cold once outside this house, and I scared the woman living there to death when I came to her door to tell her it was my van and it'd be gone in the afternoon when I could get it started again. I later wrote a short story about that van in USU's creative writing club (which I also helped create) that I kinda liked. We affectionately referred to that van as "The Beast."
5. I took a class called "Modern Rhetorical Theory" and it was the best class I have ever taken. I was actually challenged more in this class to think than any other class before or since. And it was a 3000 level class. Dr. Grant-Davie was a superb teacher and wouldn't let the usual English student bull sh*t pass. My research paper was called "Benoit's Image Repair Tactics as Used by Bill Gates During the Microsoft Anti-Trust Trials" and it was the hardest research paper I had ever had to write. Also the one I'm the most proud of.
3 years ago....
1. I graduated from college, and searched for a job. I tried to stay in Logan because I LOVE that place, but it was to no avail. I moved home and got a job as an Employment Counselor for the Department of Workforce Services. Not in my major at all, but there were a few other jobs within the department that I thought I could use my degree in and would be a little more exciting.
2. I moved in with a guy in my singles ward and it was pretty bad. I don't mind the kid now, but living there was a bit horrible. He had all sorts of rules that came up AFTER I started living there, like no girls over after midnight. I didn't go to BYU and I don't like their honor code. It's a little silly, and if you're going to be bad or good, stupid rules like that aren't going to stop you either way. I understand wanting to be a good person and all, but if I was going to fool around with a girl, it would have happened WAY before I was 25. This guy was a bit fanatical in my opinion... and because I wasn't one to keep my mouth shut and take it, we sorta clashed.
3. I made friends with a few people I will probably keep in touch with forever. Matt Lively (who ironically has an older brother that dated my older sister in high school) was later my roommate and Roy Hoffman, who lived in Utah because he served a mission here and wanted an upgrade from his trailer life in Florida. They're both good men and I hope I'll stay friends with them.
4. Gas prices went over $3.00 per gallon. It made me sick. When I started driving it was less than $1 per gallon, and I was baffled at why cars didn't get better gas mileage. I bought into conspiracy theories that gasonline companies were buying out technology or eliminating people who came up with alternatives to combustion engines.
5. I figured out that since graduating from high school, I have lived a total of about 14 months with my parents. I love them to death, but I'm also pretty independent and like to live on my own.
1 year ago....
1. I completed a year at my current job. My boss also had a kid and I was the lone proposal writer for a few months. They were some of the busiest months we had experience. I almost quit twice, but toughed it out and I'm still there. They have a great bennefits package! And I think proposal writing is the most intersting technical writing out there.
2. I bought my condo! After looking for about 4 months, I finally found a place I liked. And I didn't get it. Then I found a place I could sort of live with. And I didn't get it, either. The 5th offer and I finally got my place. I didn't think I would feel such a loss when I didn't get the homes I put offers on. I still remember one of them and I still wish I had it sometimes. It doesn't help that I see it on my drive to work every day.
3. I think I had 1 hair cut in 2007... maybe 2.
4. I started this blog!!!
5. I came up with the award winning costume I had for Halloween last year. I was Wario from the Mario Kart series. I love Halloween, but this may have been my most favorite costume ever. I even dyed some white overalls a dashing shade of purple just for the costume. The Wario character also had a couple spinoff video games, but they didn't do so well. It worked out great because he's chubbier than Mario and so am I. :-)
So far this year.....
1. I lost one roommate to marriage. Congratulations Matt and Christy!
2. I made sushi for the first time. And it was delicious.
3. I helped shingle a roof for the first time. I was kind of a wimp about the heights part of it, but I was still sorta helpful... I think... Jared, Mike, and Tiff can tell you if I was actually any help.
4. I began my carreer as a triathlon pit crew member. I don't think I'll ever want to do a triathlon, but I fully support those who do. The road trip is fun anyway.
5. I actually asked this girl out who I thought was out of my league, and it turns out she actually likes me, too. We have been dating for a while and it is unlike anything I've ever experienced. Hayley, you're the best. Love you. (Ahhh! Did I just say the "L" word on the internet for all to see??! Guess so :-). )
1. I came to Hayley's house and we made ham and cheese sandwiches for dinner. Ok, Hayley made them and I cleaned the table.
2. I went with Hayley to meet the Lambournes. They are an elderly couple in her ward that she is really fond of and they love her to death. She thought it would be nice to bring some pudding over for desert. Then she spilled it on their floor. For no good reason. It was kinda funny and they were real good sports about it. They even had some Resolve carpet cleaner so we cleaned up the mess.
3. I went to lunch with some coworkers to say good bye to one of them who is quitting. His last day was today, actually.
4. I went to the Dodo restaurant to get my phone because I left it there the night before.
5. I went to Hayley's house to get my wallet because I left it there the night before. Yeah, I'm a freakin' scatterbrain, ok?
1. I got up and went to work. Hayley texted me at like 10 and I started to miss her.
2. At work, everyone had gone to this charity golf tournament. It was pretty boring in the office. Even the developer nerds went. I think I might need to take up golfing...
3. I got some groceries at Sams Club with Hayley. We have decided to eat out WAY less these days to lose weight. Oh, and I somehow accidentally got 80 bucks in cash back. The lady handed me my receipt and started counting, "Ok, here's 20, 40, 60..." to which I responded, "Oh, hell! Am I supposed to get that?" The lady told me I had selected 80 dollars cash back and I felt stupid. Hayley laughed at me.
4. Planned a little get-together with Katey and Mary. We're gonna have tin foil dinners and play some Wii tomorrow. Good times!
5. Took FOREVER writing all this crap for a blog entry. Seriously. Did everyone else take hours and hours to fill this out???
The year to come....
1. Maybe move back into my condo? Here's hopin'.
2. Have that sushi party I was supposed to have at Jared and Liz's place while they were in PA. It never happened because everything became routine while I started living there shortly after they left.
3. Lose 70 pounds.
4. Get at least 1 more haircut.
5. Try to be a little more creative with dating Hayley. I mean, I LOVE that I get to see her every day, but that creative side of me needs to come out more. She's not really reaping the benefits of how awesome I am at that sort of thing. But it's still fun to just watch a movie or go for a walk.
Holy crap, that took forever. I tag no one, because I don't want to be responsible for taking hours of your time. But if you wanna do it, let me know so I can read your post. :-)
When I bought my condo, I was given the option to purchase renter's insurance. I didn't understand the full coverage offered by renter's insurance. I figured that nothing I had was really a huge loss if it was taken. I don't buy lots of stuff. If my TV or DVDs were stolen, I don't really care. I didn't realize that if you have a fire and are kept out of your home, renter's insurance would cover the cost of a hotel or other rent while you're not in your home. So that's my own dang fault.
In other news, my place is getting close to inhabitable, but it will probably not be until mid to late September until I'm back in my house. But to hurry the process along, I need to get to Home Depot to pick paint color and carpet for the one room. They are going to test clean the rest of the carpet and let me know if they are going to need to replace it. My guess is they won't, though.
So that's it. If you've got other questions, let me know. I hate that I don't get to get in my house. And don't worry, I've called everyone, yelled at everyone, asked the HOA why they aren't pushing the contractor harder, yelled at the contractor, and now I feel like it's time to play nice. So ask me any questions, but I think there's not much else to do but wait now.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
So here's the work update. It's been REALLY busy lately. I've had a proposal due every week for the last three weeks. I'm definitely feeling it. I have been taking work home and working 60 hours a week or so. It has caused a little burn out and made me miss little things in my writing, like the typing mistake of putting "abou tit" in a proposal instead of "about it." Yeah. THAT could have been a costly mistake...
So my boss has been working about the same hours--only she has a small child, so her extra hours are from about 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.--and it's been a little rough for both of us. She had a little heart to heart about it all with the V.P. of Sales, and they finally decided to let her hire a new proposal writer. We had been trying all sorts of "contingency plans" and they weren't really working. We had a writer from the marketing department, but she really wasn't working out. We'd have to take just as much time to go over her writing, correct it, and even re-format it as we would to just do it ourselves. Most other options were equally as ineffective, so now we're hiring a new person. It's pretty awesome.
The end is on the horizon, but in the mean time we're still really busy. I'll probably still be working some extra hours for a while, but knowing that we can start the hiring process now makes me feel so much better than trying new contingencies until January. Well, this week my boss told me to leave early on Friday, so I only did about 38 hours this week. It was a much needed little break, I tell you what. But back to the grind Monday! I've got a proposal due on Wednesday and we got like three new RFPs in on Friday...
Anyway, that's the work update. I'll get to the house update soon, I swear.
But all of this is still just setting you up to explain why Hayley is a genius. And I have to keep you in suspense just a little longer. So I was quite sweaty and hot after playing tag. This is even worse for me than normal people, as I am a human heater anyway. I'll fog cars up in April, it's so bad. So we get back to Hayley's house, I drink a couple glasses of ice water and while it was very refreshing, I was still a little hot. Not sweating, but still hot. Then as I'm siting trying to cool off, she hands me one of those giant ice packs and told me to put it on my belly. Oh. My. Gosh. NOTHING has ever been so effective.
So that's it. That's the end of my 45 minute cool downs. Ice pack on the belly and done. It's pure genius.
If you send a text to 466453 (which spells google on a 10-key pad), you can get all sorts of information. You can ask how many people live in china (that's 1,321,851,888, by the way) find addresses and phone numbers to local businesses, what movies are playing, definitions of words, etc. Alls ya gotta do is send the name of the business and the zip code or city and state of the business you want. I use it all the time to find out movie times. It's pretty sweet. Today I used it to find the number to the Best Buy in Jordan Landing. When the text comes back, it's got the address and number, then all you have to do is push send, then the number for the business will come up. And it doesn't cost anything more than just a regular text message.
So that's that. Apparently this sort of information is what blogs are for, according to Holly. And just for good measure, if you don't pay for a text message plan, here's the 800 number for free information as well. 1-800-373-3411.
Guess I can call that my service for the week. Oh, and I fixed Hayley's toilet yesterday. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
I've been going for about a month and half (maybe 2 months now?) and I'm doing ok. As of last week I had lost 25 pounds and I was losing weight every week. As of this week, I've lost 23.5 pounds. I went up a pound and a half this week. This can never happen again. I need to do better.
So here's my re-commitment to tracking all my food and exercising more. I REALLY need to work on the exercising more. I think I have had my dramatic loss with just diet, and now I've got to take it up a notch. I need to show a little more restraint at restaurants and need to stop eating out at work. Check up on me, ok?
So all you folks that said you'd support me... any ideas? What can I do for exercise now that I'm kicked out of my house (update coming soon) and don't have a gym membership? I know my ward does sports night every Thursday night, but with work being as crazy as it has been (update coming soon), I don't like to stay up that late. Or I like to stay up late doing other things...
So that's my update. I'm not feeling uber motivated, so I'd appreciate some ideas and words of encouragement. Even from you lurkers that don't comment often.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
And here it is about 5 minutes later.
Work is crazy. In fact, after I get done writing this post, I'll be working on a writing a proposal... yes, it is Saturday.
My house is still burned down. Ok, not really burned down, but still unlivable according to the great city of Taylorsville. They've been having trouble with the stuff for the roof, then it was going to be done last week but they had more trouble ordering trusses or some bull crap, then the roof was supposed to be done the middle of this week but there were crazy rainstorms in Taylorsville that even flooded some other condominiums. And I become increasingly annoyed when calling the guy in charge of getting me back into my house.
I'm spending nearly every day with Hayley. She's pretty great. All the crap that is going on is easier to deal with when there is someone that makes me so happy every day. I even find a little time to see her when she has back to school night and is staying at a work friend's house because she's being nice enough to let Brooke's family stay at her place for the weekend. Oh, and I may or may not have heard her fart. I may or may not have farted first... At least she was in the other room trying to hide it, but it was a loud one!
Matt and Christy got married. I was even going to post a little ditty congratulating them and sharing the song I wasn't able to sing to them at their wedding due to limitations with the sound system. But due to cruddy connections, attaching a song to my blog is nigh impossible. But congrats you crazy kids.
Brooke and Chris got married. And man was it HOT! Both the weather and the newly wed couple. Brooke and Chris started laughing at the end of the ceremony. You know, like that laughing you get in church when someone saying the prayer says "Our dear, kind, Heavenly Father" so fast that you think they said "Our dark and hairy father" and you know it's totally inappropriate to think that sort of thing is funny, which makes it even harder to stop laughing? Well, that's what they were doing. But it was an awesome ceremony and I know they're going to be happy.
And that's about it. I'm sure there were other things, and I vaguely remember having thought a few times this last week, "I should blog about that..." but nothing comes to mind right now. I'll try to update a little more often, but that first thing on the list might be taking a LOT of my time for the next few weeks... and the third thing.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
After taking a picture of the portrait, I took one of the two of them standing with it.
After I took the video, Sarah and Carter both wanted a picture of them with pictures they drew of themselves. Who am I to not oblige?
And Carter was so excited to be on camera!
After the pictures, the kids went out to the back yard to swing. They got freaked out by a couple wasps, then found out there was a wasp nest in the top of the swing set. So naturally, we had to set fire to it. Darren got some WD-40 and a lighter and took care of it.
Pretty sweet, huh? Sarah wanted me to take another video of her after Darren had burned up the nest, so here are the kids in the window, watching the whole thing go down.
Because we had pretty much pissed off all the wasps, we decided that the front yard would be a better place to play. The kids again wanted me to take videos of them. Here is Sarah's turn jump. It's pretty Awesome.
And here are Carter and Shelby. After Sarah and Carter jumped, Shelby wanted to get in on the action. She jumped down and pretended to totally eat it on the landing. It was pretty funny.
While I don't have pictures or video of the rest, we kept playing in the front yard. I had a different trick for each kid that mostly consisted of throwing them around in the air. Sarah made sure we showed the whole family each trick. Once they had showed off how they can fly in the air with the help of their uncle, playing with the nieces and nephew ended the only way it can. They dog piled the crap out of me. My nieces and nephew are pretty awesome.