Tuesday, March 31, 2009

his 'n hers

So apparently Brooke and Chris did this little thinger and tagged me and Hayley. I get to fill out a bunch o' questions about her, and she gets to answer them about me. We can't cheat. So here goes. Hayley's answers about me are on her bloggy blog.

1. Sitting in front of the TV, what's on the screen?
30 rock, Private Practice, or Gray's Anatomy

2. You're out to eat; what kind of dressing does she get on her salad?

3. What's one food she doesn't like?

4. You go out to a restaurant, what does she get to drink?
water, dr. pepper, or root beers

5. Where did she go to high school?
....east... chicago... high school??? (i suck, i don't know the name of her high school)

6. What is one phrase she says all the time?
your MOM ....

7. If she was to collect anything, what would it be?
shoes. or purses.

8. What is her favorite type of sandwich?
grilled ham and cheese? (again, i don't know her favorite... i know she likes grilled ham and cheese, deli sliced ham or beef, and peanut butter jelly sandwiches... but i don't know which is the favorite!)

9. What would she eat everyday if she could?
oreos and milk. or cafe rio salad

10. What is her favorite cereal?
BAH!! fruit loops?

11. What would she never wear?
high tops

12. What is her favorite sports team?
easy. Chicago Bears. (whew! back to some i know!)

13. Who will she vote for?
she'll take a long, hard look at the candidates, understand their stance on things like education, taxes, etc., then make the best educated decision possible. the party won't matter.

14. Who is her best friend?
me! or Kim or Craig.

15. How many states has she lived in?
4. chicago, idaho, hawaii, utah. I think texas is in there, but i'm not sure.

16. Does she have any nervous habits?
not really... she won't stop messing with thumb nails if they have been broken pretty low, though.

17. What could she spend hours doing?
reading, playing rock band, watching movies.

18. She is:
caring, dedicated, family-oriented, loving, beautiful, determined, strong.

There ya have it. Stuff I know and don't know about my wife. Love you, Hayley. (and let me know which ones I got right!)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Converting to Alchemy?

So I just finished reading The Alchemist again. Maybe not "just finished," but it was within the last couple weeks. This book may be my favorite book. (It's hard for me to pick a favorite of most things, but especially music, movies, and books...)

I like the idea he presents that everything in the world is connected, and the world will help you along the path to your personal legend--but you have to keep on that path, or the signs and omens that lead you along the way will become quieter until you can't hear them. I like the allusion to all kinds of religions. I like the references to the bible. I think Mr. Coelho has a great head on his shoulders. I especially like his reference to how important love is in each person's life journey. Admittedly, I probably wouldn't have appreciated it as much a year or so ago, but I certainly do now. (Jared, if this next part is too much for you, feel free to stop reading.)

I want to share a couple paragraphs from the book that illustrate this idea. This is the moment when the main character of the book meets the girl he loves.

At that moment, it seemed to him that time stood still and the Soul of the World surged within him. When he looked into her dark eyes, and saw that her lips were poised between a laugh and silence, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke--the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. Something that exerted the same force whenever two pairs of eyes met, as had theirs here at the well. She smiled, and that was certainly an omen--the omen he had been awaiting, without even knowing he was, for all his life. The omen he had sought to find with his sheep and in his books, in the crystals and in the silence of the desert.

It was the pure Language of the World. It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. He was more certain of it than of anything in the world. He had been told by his parents and grandparents that he must fall in love and really know a person before becoming committed. but maybe people who felt that way had never learned the universal language. Because, when you know that language, it's easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it's in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one's dreams would have no meaning.

Maktub, thought the boy.

Maktub, according to the book, is an Arabic word that means "it is writen." A kind of word to mean something is fated or destined.

It's really a good book. If you haven't, you should read it. Really, it's only about 170 pages, so it shouldn't take longer than a week to get through. If you do read it, let me know what you think!

Saturday, March 21, 2009


This slight correction needs to be made. My newest nephew's name is Bradley Arlo Ward. And he's cute.

These were taken with my phone the day he was born.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Photo tag

Emity tagged me. I was really excited for this one! The rules are, go to your fourth folder, and fourth picture, and blog about that. I decided to even check the personal photos I have on my work computer. Turns out, both of the photos have made previous appearances on my blog.

First, my work computer had this one:

As you may recall, there was a fire in the building where I lived. My condo got some water damage and smoke damage. It wasn't too bad, but I had to live at Jared and Liz's place for a few months! This picture was taken with my phone. It's actually not the worst picture of the bunch, but you can sorta see in that last window on the top that the entire roof was gone and needed to be replaced. Fires are scary!

The forth and forth on my lappy at home was this:

This is me, posing with the ring I bought for Hayley. This was also taken with a phone. Some co-workers of mine went with me to pick up the ring because they really wanted to see it. When I held it, apparently I made quite a happy face, and they thought it was endearing or something. This is my attempt at making the face again. Obviously staged, but oh well. The evening ended well. :)

This was pretty fun! I don't usually tag people, but I'm going to this time. I tag Katey, Haley, Mary K., and Carona. And anyone else that wants to do it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Congratulations Jared and Liz!

So I shouldn't be blogging at work... but today Jared, Liz, and Madeline welcomed the newest member to their family. As Madeline would say, I'll tell you his name, but you have to keep it a secret! (Don't worry, it's not a secret any more.)

So without further ado, here is Bradley Alexander Ward.

Baby Alex. Isn't he cute?

Congratulations Liz and Jared!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Untitled Statements. The Transformers Edition

It's been a long time since my last post! So here's something.

First, how do you like my new banner?? I'm not supposed to say who made it... But I've been saying for a while that I don't like my blog layout and now we messed with it and I've got a new banner and I really like it. I mean, who gets an awesome orange Optimus Prime to oversee his blog? No one but me!

In other news, Hayley and I have gone on a super secret vacation to St. George. It's been a blast to hang out with the O'Keefe clan. The kiddies are great. And Will seems to have taken quite a liking to me. He's the most chill baby ever. Sure, he's got his moments (even though they are few), but he's fun.

We've been enjoying great company, great food, and having a great time. Going back to work on Tuesday is going to be killer.

Well, that's it. Just wanted to give a quick update. And let me know what you think of the new layout!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Happy Birthday, Hayley!!!

It's my wonderful wife's 30th birthday today!!! You should go here and wish her a happy birthday. Or I'll kill you.

Hayley, I sure hope you have the happiest birthday ever! You make me so happy. I love how much fun we have together, no matter what it is we're doing. We could be at dinner, the movies, or just sitting around at home, and we’ll always find something to laugh at. It's SU-per awesome. :)

You make me smile every time I see you. I feel so loved by you and love you so much in return! I could never have imagined loving someone as much as I love you. I miss you as soon as I leave in the morning, and can’t wait to see you as soon as I get back home. I love how sassy you are, I love your strong convictions, I love how much you love kids--especially nieces and nephews. I love how great a teacher you are, and how devoted you are to family. I only feel like I’ve accomplished something for the day if I’ve made you smile.

I feel so lucky and so blessed to have found you! Have a very happy birthday. Here’s to many more years together.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Love you, Grandpa

Last week, my grandpa passed away at the ripe old age of 86. He was quite an amazing man. As long as I can remember, he's always been a big, strong guy. As a kid, we would go camping and he was always the expert. At everything. He could cook in a dutch oven, fish, snowmobile, build a fire, sharpen a knife, and pitch a tent. One of my favorite things he would do for the grand kids when we were camping was helping us ride the pine trees. For those of you that have read other blog posts referencing this, basically, my grandpa would grab the top of a small tree, put a kid in the branches, and let go and let us fly. It was pretty dang fun. Here's a couple of pictures.

The pictures are kinda dark, but you get the idea.

My favorite memories, though, are of Grandpa and Grandma at the condo in Island Park Village. I remember being pulled behind the snowmobiles in tubes, and watching grandpa get pulled on skis sometimes. I'm sure others tried it, but Grandpa is the only one I remember to ever do that.

I'm pretty sure that's me and McKay sitting on the back of the snowmobile.

Every time I think of the condo, I actually think of Grandpa and Grandma. They were such a huge part of those trips, that most camping, especially Yellowstone, makes me think of them.

I thought Grandma was especially brave to go snowmobiling with Grandpa, because he was so crazy on a snowmobile sometimes!

This may be my favorite picture of my grandpa and grandma.

I don't think he ever did anything that really scared her, though. He loved her so much and always told us how lucky he felt that she had said yes to such a shy guy as himself.

They also had this camper that they took on almost every camping trip I can remember. You had to hand crank it so the top would come up. I helped a few times and it was always enough to tire me pretty quick. I'd have to switch hands and take breaks. But Grandpa would get a kick out of putting us grandkids on the top of it before he started cranking, and up we would go. A few times, I remember jumping off before it got too high for me to even attempt it.

As Grandpa and Grandma got older, we didn't go camping quite as often, but still had a great time with them. He really loved having such a great legacy in his children and grandchildren, and wanted to make sure they understood how important family was. On several occasions, I was asked when I would bless Grandma and Grandpa with more great-grandchildren. Only after asking that did they then bug me about getting married. I always got a kick out of that.

Grandpa would tell us stories about growing up poor in Idaho--going huckleberry picking, catching a flying squirrel, kicking a badger in the butt as it chased a rabbit, riding horses, and taking care of cows--and even told stories about being in Germany in World War II. I remember him telling us about a camera he found once while in the Army. He said he liberated it from the Germans, so kept it and took a few pictures. He sent a few of those back home to Grandma.

I was lucky enough to get to read his war stories and even put them all together in a book for one of my senior projects in college. If you click that link, you'll really get a feel for what my grandpa was like. You'll also find out that he was one of the only survivors in his battalion in the Battle of the Bulge.

Grandpa kept giving us new stories as the years went on. It was usually at some family gathering, especially at Christmas. Our Christmas presents from Grandpa and Grandma for the last few years were stories that he had written down and copied for all of us.

I know this isn't my best blog post ever. I may not have been eloquent in what I've said, but I don't care. Mostly I miss my grandpa and I just wanted to share a few of my own stories and memories of him. I know where he is and I know they haven't had a hard worker like him in a while. I know I'll see him again. But I do miss him. I'll miss his smiling face and his great stories. Love you, Grandpa.

If you want to read my grandpa's obituary, you can click here. From that link, you can check out photos of my grandpa, and even view the video that played at his viewing. You can also read the guest book from the obituary posted in the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News at those links. If you knew him, feel free to leave a little message.