Saturday, January 31, 2009

Caiden's getting good grades

12.6.08 Temple Square

His mid-term report card had 4 A's and 1 B. He's doing really well in school and we're very proud of him.

Vehicles I've owned

In my 16+ years of driving, with an additional 3-4 pre-driving age, I have amassed a large amount of vehicles over the years. Maybe not large, but larger than I would have thought. Also, I think amassed means you own currently, so maybe that's the wrong word.

My mom first taught me how to drive when I was 9 years old. From there she would allow me to drive the car home down our 200 yard long dirt road driveway to our house. By the time I was 13-14 and had a job, I would drive my car to work, which was in town and I could escape the cops knowing by taking back streets.

Soon enough I started getting risky and driving home on main roads. One day I was pulling out of work at Dusk without my headlights on. As I passed a sheriff I noticed they were off, so I turned them on. He immediately did a 180 and pulled me over. I was SCARED to death. I thought I would go to jail or something like that. Keep in mind that this was just after my getting arrested for something my friends and I got in trouble for a few months earlier (had to do with stolen property).

So, the sheriff was actually really cool. He first asked for my license and registration (I looked old enough to be 16). I told him I didn't have a license and that I was 14 (maybe 15?). He kind of got that "oh no" look. I explained that I was only driving from work to home and my parents were aware of it. He arranged to call my dad and had my dad come pick me up. He kind of gave my dad the "you know you shouldn't do that" routine and my dad said said he understood.

But the next day at work I drove to work again. On the back streets of course.

That's enough about my driving though. I started this post to list all the vehicles I've owned over the years.

My vehicle ownership all started with my interest in cars in general. My parents owned a used car dealership while I was younger and my dad & mom have always had a fondness for classic cars. I worked from around age 9-12 and earned enough money to "buy in" partially on a "classic" car. My dad found a used 1956 Chevy Station wagon. Now, when you hear the word "station wagon" you think some large family vehicle. However, I was really into classic cars and loved the idea of lowering my cars. My dad said we could take this wagon and have it lowered and it would look pretty cool. I was on board, but over time we realized that it was going to be really expensive to try to fix this car up, so we sold it and bought a truck.

Here is a picture of what my wagon looked like. We had had it painted like this, but the interior still needed to be completely re-done.
1956 Chevy 210

My next vehicle (this was when I was around 13) was a 1984 Chevy s10 pickup. It was a stick-shift and this is the truck I drove a lot to and from work (and the one I was pulled over in). This is not an original picture of my truck, but mine looked like this
1984 s10

Just before I turned 16 and got my license, my parents helped me get a more economical car in this 1983 Toyota Celica. Mine looked just like this, but it was red. I got 3 tickets in this car in the first year of having my license. I drove it until it started having over-heating problems and sold it for next to nothing because it wasn't running (probably cracked the head from driving it so hot).
1983 Celica

My parents and I then bought a 1977 Chevy Camero for really cheap (like $600). It was an impounded vehicle and nobody claimed it after 30 days, so we bought it from the towing yard. I loved this car because it was a V-8 (pretty good power) and it was built the year I was born. I took it on a road trip before my Sr year to San Diego with my friend Brian. We were gone a whole week and it was a blast (even though it ate up gas so much, but gas was cheap then). I can't remember why we got rid of the car. I think someone offered my dad a good amount of money for it, so he took it. (this is an original picture of my Camero)
1977 Camero

We then bought a nice 1986 Chevy El Camino. I know everyone laughs at these cars, but I actually really like them. I don't know if they're classified as trucks or not, but they are basically like a small truck. Mine was gold with silver-spoked rims. The cool thing about these was that there was a ton of storage behind the back seat. My friends and I would go to the drive-in and hide people behind the seats, only paying for the two of us.

I remember when we were going the first time and Roman didn't want to look gay, with two men driving up to a drive-in movie, so he asked the cashier if we had seen a couple of girls in a green toyota and that one of them had nappy hair. The cashier said no, then Roman made it a point to say, "well, we're supposed to meet them here" just so he could clear up the fact with the cashier that we weren't gay. I was laughing so hard inside and the people behind the seat were doing everything they could to contain their own laughter.

Russ took this car over when I bought my next car. (this is not an original picture)
1986 El Camino

When I was 18, just after graduating HS my dad and I stopped by a used car lot of a friend of his. My dad was out of the used car business, but had lots of friends still in it. We found this perfect 1986 Honda Accord for around $3500. I was stoked. I had a full time job then (doing landscaping for my dad) so I could afford the payment. I had a 3 year loan at $150 a month.

This car was really nice and ran so well, despite me buying it with close to 200k miles on it. I drove it for 3+ years until I moved to Utah in 1998. I decided I wanted a 4x4, so I sold this car. It had over 300k miles on it and still ran great. I think I got around $1500 for it. (this is not an actual photo of mine, but mine looked just like this one, same color, same rims, etc.)
1986 Accord

I then bought my first 4x4 in a 1993 Jeep Cherokee. I really liked this vehicle, but over time it started to have a few problems here and there. I never did any major suspension work on it, but it was fun to have when you could use the 4 wheel drive. I ended up selling it to my brother Jeff when he got off his mission. (this is an actual picture of it)
1993 Cherokee

While I owned the Jeep, I also owned a 1995 Plymouth Neon. I needed a good car that was good on gas. This car did pretty good. Over time it began to wear down though. I remember one time me and 5 dudes drove it to the BYU vs. Cal Berkley game in CA. On our way there we stopped and met up with my best friend Roman in Sacramento. From there I rode with Roman in his truck while my friends drove the car. About 30 minutes outside Sacramento we noticed they started exiting and we were not able to exit. We took the next exit, looped around and drove back to their exit. We found the car had blown a head gasket and did something to where one of the cylinders wouldn't work. I remember how horrible it was because it was the only mode of transportation in getting back to Utah. However we were extremely lucky with the time of day and the fact that Roman had a truck.

It was 4pm on a Friday afternoon. All garages, for the most part, close for the weekend. We towed the car with Roman's truck into town and found a garage. The guys were just getting ready to close up shop. We begged them to get it fixed for us on Saturday. I offered to pay them cash and bought them a case of Budweiser as an additional incentive. They agreed. We then piled all our stuff and my 4 friends in the back of Roman's truck and drove to Oakland for our hotel.

The next day Roman and I drove back to Davis (about 1.5 hrs) to pay the guy and get the keys. The only issue was that they only fixed the head gasket problem; the car could only run on 3 cylinders (it would have taken longer and an extra $1500 to fix that cylinder problem). They said I could make it back to Utah, as long as I was really careful. So, Roman and I drove the truck back to the game, watched BYU destroy Cal, then went back to the car to attempt to drive it home. We drove ALL THE WAY home with 5 guys and 3 cylinders. We ate up a TON of gas doing it too. I still can't believe I didn't have a nervous break-down over this.

I ended up having the clutch go out on it, so I sold it to my mail carriers husband for $500. (this is an original picture)
1995 Neon

I then bought my friend Tim's 1997 Nissan Pickup. This was a good truck and I loved driving it, but there wasn't much room in it when Alene, Caiden, and I wanted to go camping. I had it about a year before I sold it and bought my 2002 Dodge Dakota. (this is an original picture)
1997 Nissan

When I married Alene, I guess I "inherited" her Ford Focus, or from then on the cars were "ours". This was good car too, despite the side mirrors constantly falling off due to either Alene, or me hitting them on something. We took it on a road trip to Zion and to Montana and glacier NP. We sold it when we bought our Subaru. (this is an original picture)
2000 Focus

We bought this 2002 Dodge Dakota and still own it. We've been trying to sell it, but I honestly have not been very good about marketing it. With the gas prices acting the way they are, and lending being hard to find, it's really hurt our chances of selling this for what we would like to get for it. It's a very good truck. I like how roomy it is, but it still has room for a truck bed. The back seats have the same amount of space you would find in any SUV. (this is an original photo)
2002 Dakota

We bought the Outback about a year after buying the truck. This is a 2002 Subaru Outback. It's nice because it has all-wheel drive, so it is pretty good in snowy and wet weather. Alene drove it a lot back and forth to Park City when she was working up there. We also took it on a drive down to the Robbers Roost area to go to Horseshoe Canyon. It's still a very good car for us, but the only down side is with having a baby, getting the car seat in and out of it. The head room is so short and makes it really hard. (this is an original photo)
2002 Outback

Last May I wanted a bigger truck, something with more room in the bed and something a bit more powerful than the dodge. While the dodge is a V-8, it just doesn't quite have the power that a Chevy V-8 has. This is a 1997 Chevy 1500. I love this truck. The only thing I don't like is the rear seats are more cramped and it's only a 3-door, as opposed to the 4-door that the Dodge is. I'm pretty sure I'll have this truck for a long time. (this is an original photo)
1997 Chevy 1500

I also bought this 1978 Honda 400 street bike a couple of years ago for $800. It's fun to ride around, but it's not quite powerful as I'd like to feel safe on the freeway (although I do take it on the freeway from time to time). It's still fun to have on a summer night and going for a ride with Alene. (this is an original photo)
1978 Honda

I really like cars. I have to watch myself when I start thinking about them, because then I begin to covet. I think if I were a millionaire, I'd own a nice truck, a Jeep Wrangler, a Harley Davidson Sportster, probably a BMW (I've test driven many and I LOVE them), a 1969 Chevy Camero SS, and probably some sort of family SUV.

Anyway, since I won't be a millionaire, the cars I have will suffice and I will stop coveting.

Friday, January 30, 2009

When Bailey has hair........

.....she is going to be sooooo pretty :-).


Obviously this is not to say that she's not pretty already :-).

So, I'm starting a new job

It's all happened pretty quickly too....kind of.

Last year during the spring when it was getting close to Alene quitting her job and us having a baby, I had started to kind of think about how we were going to live financially without Alene's income. On paper, we were able to pay the mortgage and the bills, but there was nothing left over for stuff like food, gas, and living expenses. When we sold our old home we paid off ALL our credit cards and both loans we had on our cars. The only debt payments we had left over was our Student loans and our mortgage, so that felt somewhat good. Still, it wasn't going to work.

Luckily we put some money in savings to keep us afloat for at least 4 months or so, but come January our savings pretty much dwindled down to $1000, which had us scared.

Alene knew all along, or at least we were pretty sure that her old job wanted her to come back and work part time, so we knew that was an option. She makes pretty good money there, so it was better than me working a menial pt job at $10 an hour somewhere.

So, back to last I'm pondering what I'm going to do, I am referred to this job with one of the largest banks in America, that pretty much fits the description of what I do, but with more responsibility. I was stoked for it. I applied and received a phone call to interview in person, with the supervisor of this area. The job consists of basically managing 60+ properties for this bank throughout the state of Utah. My boss is located in another state, so it's a self-managed position (for the most part). The interview went really well and after that I had phone interviews with her boss and with a person from HR. They told me I was a final candidate and I was feeling pretty good......then....nothing.

I waited a month and finally e-mailed her. She said they were still waiting. I continued to email once a month to inquire about it and she continued to tell me they were still deciding. Finally November came (6 months) and I asked how things were going and whether I was still a candidate or not. She told me that I had a great interview and I was definitely qualified, but they decided to "go in a different direction". I was fine with it and moved on.

December came, money was getting slim, so I started looking around a lot for part time jobs. Alene wasn't quite sure what her company was going to do. We thought there was a slim chance they wouldn't want her so we wanted to be prepared for me to work a second job. Luckily they still wanted her and we arranged so that she would work a couple of nights a week, which would require us to leave bailey with a sitter for just a couple of hours a week as well until I could pick her up after work.

So a few weeks ago I get a phone call from a gentleman from this same company I had interviewed with stating that he understood I had applied for the job and asked if I was still interested. I said I was but explained to him that I was already turned down for the job. He said they have decided they do need to fill the position and he wanted to interview me. He flew out here and I learned he has just taken over the region and would be my boss. The interview lasted 2.5 hrs and I thought it went really well. In the mean time, I told my boss about my intentions of interviewing and she was really supportive, which was really nice. Within a couple of days of interviewing I get a phone call to do an interview with another person in the same position as my future boss. That phone interview went really well also (as I was told by the lady I interviewed with).

A couple of hours later I get a phone call from my future boss with a great offer (over 20% more than I make right now and in the interview I had asked for something in the range of 10%-15% more than what I was making so they maxed out what I wanted). I told him I needed the weekend to think it over, then I would call him back.

Everything happened so quickly and I wanted to be sure this was what I wanted to do. I didn't want to do this "just for the money" as much as we needed it. The job itself seemed like a no-brainer to take because it truly was the "next step" in my career field. At my current job, I'm VERY self-managed with a flexible schedule enough to allow me to take time off during the day (if needed) for school, or a family event. My boss doesn't micro-manage and during the fall, she allows me to leave work a little earlier so I can coach HS football. It's all great, but I've been doing it for 10+ years and there is no chance of me being able to get promoted.

With this current job I will still have a lot of that kind of flexibility, but I get the feeling I will be more closely managed, which isn't a bad thing. I won't be able to coach HS football (which I really had to think strongly about over the weekend), but I know I can still coach Caiden's teams, which is probably most important anyway. I spent the entire weekend pondering it. I could not get it off my mind. As the weekend grew to an end, I felt better and better about this job. It's a job that is a step up in responsibility and experience. It's something I need to advance my career. I know it's right for me, even if I have to give up some perks from my old job.

The only other downside to this is the vacation time, which is still OK by me. I'll be getting 3 weeks paid instead of 4, but I get 6 paid sick days on top of that, so it pretty much evens out (as long as I get sick of course). Lastly, since I'm starting off new, they pro-rate the vacation time, which only leaves me with 8 days for the full year after I start. That sucks, but in the long run it will be worth it.

I'm feeling better and better about this as it gets nearer. I'll miss my old job, but I look forward to the responsibility and experience I'll get from my new job. I am a person that doesn't like to jump from one job to the next. I like consistency and I really hope to put in some good years with this company. They are a very stable company that is doing good compared to most banks. My loyalty at my job has always lied first with those I work closely with and I anticipate it will be this way with my new company.

Mostly, I'm happy that I know that if Alene wanted to quit her job, she could and we would live just fine off my paycheck. Right now we have decided for her to keep her job so we can put a lot of money toward our student loans. When she is ready to have another baby (we don't know when, but we know we'll want another one) she will quit her job and we on her not have to worry about working again. Her job consists of a few nights a week, and a Saturday every once in a while. So long as either of us can be with the kids, or that they have to have little time with a sitter, we feel good about it. We are getting out of that student loan debt and saving money at the same time.

I feel very blessed. Some may say I'm lucky, but I honestly feel blessed. I have a good wife, two wonderful kids, and the future looks bright for my career. I don't have much I should complain about, and if anyone hears me doing it, tell me to shut up.

Monday, January 26, 2009

"I'm out of here"

Bailey is starting to try to crawl now and after giving her a bath the other night, she tried to escape from Alene in the buff while getting lotioned up.

learning to crawl

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mix CD's

I found a Mix CD I made around 2003-2004. I was glad the thing still worked. I've found some CD's I've burned in the past that only play some of the songs.

Anyway, I find it interesting that I still enjoyed, for the most part, most of the songs on the CD. In fact, I still listen to a lot of those songs today.

I like to consider myself an open-minded person to new music, but I've always kind of complained about music today and how nothing good is coming out. Sure, there are some "hits" that I enjoy, but nothing earth-shattering with sound. Either it's just bands that are going for the "retro" sounds of the 70's or 80's, or it's just plain whiny garbage.

Who makes mix-CD's nowadays anyway???

Friday, January 23, 2009

My poor little girl...

Learning to Crawl2

....and kind of "poor little us" (me and Alene). This is my darling baby girl. After weeks, which have lead to months, of trying to teach Bailey to sleep, we are at a loss. We (mostly Alene) have been so diligent in doing exactly as we have been told by friends, family, books, Dr's and nothing seems to have worked.

We have a "routine" for bed. She get's a bath at the same time, the lights are dimmed, and she get's the same lotion. Alene then sings her a song and reads her a book. We've done this without waivering for 6 weeks or so, but nothing has changed.

We tried to let Bailey cry, but after an hour and a half and sometimes two hours, sometimes she would finally fall asleep, but sometimes it was just too much. For whatever reason, you can hear her scream in our house no matter how far you get away from her. We don't sleep, and neither does she. It never really worked. We were very good about not picking her up and just letting her cry, but after weeks and weeks, it never changed.

We asked our pediatrician and the best responses we got were "she shouldn't be crying for more than an hour" and "just keep trying".

Now, like clock-work, Bailey goes to bed at 8-8:30pm and wakes up between 11pm and midnight. We are so beat that we've gotten back to the routine of just picking her up and rocking her back to sleep. She then wakes up about 3 hours later and is finally up for the day about 6-7am.

When we first started trying this, it was because she was "only" sleeping in 4 hour blocks, but now it's 3.

Everyone in the world has given us advice (and we truly are grateful for it), but nothing is working. This is very depressing and we just kind of don't care to get advice anymore, even though we appreciate it.

What's more, I'm just worried that once Bailey finally does learn to sleep (maybe when she's 1?) Alene and I will both likely be "conditioned" to wake up every 3 hours and it will be hard to sleep through the night ourselves.

We love our baby so much and we want for her to be happy and healthy. It's so hard to hear her cries and screams and frustrations at night and not know what to do, other than what we've been told NOT to do (rock her back to sleep).

Through all of this, I still cherish the times of being able to hold her little body, all wrapped up in her blanket in a dark room and just bounce and rock her. I'm always reminded that while it's very hard being a parent, I wouldn't trade it for the life of a non-parent. Sure, there are times I wish I could just go anywhere or do anything I wanted without thought to my children being affected, but there is something almost magical about being a parent that I cannot describe.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Miracle in the Andes

Alene has always talked to me about this book and I knew I would read it, I just wasn't sure when. We borrowed it from her sister April and I read it pretty quickly. The movie Alive was not based off this book (it was based off another book taken from stories of all 17 survivors) but this book is told from Nando's perspective.

The book is the account of one of the two rugby players that hiked out of the Andes to find help for him and his teammates. They spent 72 days in the Andes with nothing to eat and little to drink. One would think that being surrounded by snow would be a blessing, but after eating snow for a day or so, it has so many damaging things to your lips, mouth, and throat (blisters for one) and it keeps your body temp very cool, which is not a good thing. Melting it was also hard because it was always cold and they did not have anything to burn to make a fire.

I could not control my tears in so many parts. Nando Parrado has a way with words that really tug at your hearts and make you feel what he was feeling, or make you think that you would feel the same way in the situation he and the others were faced with.

Some of my favorite parts had to do with the discussion of religion and God. Most of the guys on the plane continued to talk about how they were spared their lives because of the grace of God, while Nando was the only one (at least most of the time) that actually lost family members (his mother and sister) in the crash, so he was very bitter and had a hard time believing in God at all. He also had many discussions with a teammate who was confined to a hammock because of broken legs. This teammate was a known Socialist and was against any sort of organized religion, but he was also very spiritual and talked constantly about God and how close he feels to God in that situation.

There are so many great examples in this story that would help with building a stronger family, or encouraging those around you to work together.

The only part that rubbed me the wrong way was Nando's post-crash life and how he kind of became a playboy because of all the attention he received. He seemed like a guy that was pretty much given everything he wanted in life (a life of privlige in private schooling, college, without having to work much), to this horrible crash (something I could never fathom myself making it through), then living life for a while as if he was "owed" it to have fun. He talks about this time in a negative manner though, so I guess it's easy for me to judge without being in his shoes. Like I said, it just rubbed me the wrong way. Nando is still someone I would consider a "hero" and I don't have a lot of those.

I highly recommend this book to anyone. It's a quick read and has so many great learning points about our life, how precious it is and about what's most important to us. It also talked about how close we all are to death and if we could just realize that, we would love our lives so much more.

As I was doing some additional research, I found this video done by ESPN's "Outside the lines'. It's long (about 10 minutes), but the end had me choked up.

Alene and I just bought the movie (Alive) and we will be watching it soon. I've seen it once before, but don't remember much from it at all. I'm excited to see it now.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Obama's inauguration to cost close to $150 million

HOW IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE? Read the article:

Obama Inauguration to cost $150 million

Yes, I'm aware that $43 million of it was privately raised, but that is still a LOT of dough. The quote that gets me more peeved was stated by the president of his inauguration committee when asked if the general public will view the costs as excessive:

"That is probably not the way the country is going to be looking at it," said committee spokeswoman Linda Douglass. "It is not a celebration of an election. It is a celebration of our common values."

Common values? What? Like spending beyond our means? Over-spending??? I really don't understand that quote one bit.

Look, I'm one that firmly believes that once we elect a president, whether I voted for him or not, I have to support him and hope he leads our country in the right direction, but this grand entrance really pisses me off as an American Citizen and a tax payer. What pisses me off even more is that they're treating Obama like he's a friggin' rock star when he hasn't done squat yet. He has some big decisions to make soon. I really hope he makes the right ones.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Coaching with integrity

On occasion I follow my local hometown newspaper, the sacramento bee, to see how some of the local HS sports teams are doing. Over the past few years Sacramento HS, which is considered an "inner city" school has had a coach named Derek Swafford, whom I've read articles on over the past few years. He took this school from shambles and made them into state contenders every year.

He started with setting ground rules and following them to a "T". There was one season where they were deep in the state playoffs and he benched their star player for missing a class. They lost a close game in which if their star player was playing, he could have been the X-factor in winning. The coach didn't waver in his decision and basically stated that they have other players on the team that could have and should have stepped up.

Well, he's at it again. I read this article in the bee and here is the short summary of what he did. Now, it's only early in the season for their team, so it's not the same as a playoff game, but it's so refreshing to see a coach actually stick to his rules.

Sac High suspends 10 players.

Sacramento High School boys basketball coach Derek Swafford confirmed that 10 players were suspended for Thursday's nonleague game at Fairfield for violating team and school rules.

"They did something stupid over the (Christmas) break that I didn't approve of," Swafford said. "It's a one-game deal. We've dealt with it and moved on."

Swafford brought three players up from the junior varsity to join the five remaining varsity players for the Fairfield game, which the No. 3 Dragons lost 74-53 to fall to 9-5. He said the suspended players will be reinstated for tonight's Metro Conference opener at Grant and will play against Skyline of Oakland in Saturday's Father Kelly Tribute at Jesuit.

Neither Swafford nor Sac High athletic director Justin Gatling would say what rules the players violated. But Gatling said those involved also were suspended from school Tuesday.

Gatling said the 10 players also were suspended for last Saturday's game at Reno High School, but that inclement weather also factored into the decision to forfeit the noon contest.

Some people have criticized him for being too harsh on these kids. They say his rules are way over the top compared to most other schools. I beg to differ. In this generation of "me-first", it's about time someone step up say that you will be rewarded for how hard you work and for the effort you put in and not rewarded for being an idiot.

I would like to hope that as a Head Coach of a program, I would act with the same integrity of this guy. I've always read nothing but good things about him. He's a great educator and from what I hear, a great coach.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Training a baby to learn to sleep

Lately I've felt like Bailey, who we are "training" to get used to knowing when it's time to sleep......for a long time. It's not easy and Alene has honestly done most of the work. Alene is so good because she's so consistent and believes in staying focused on the task at hand, no matter how hard it is on her own sleep. She sacrifices so much for Bailey. I think most people would give in here and there and just bring their baby into bed with them, but Alene knows that it would mess up all the work we've been putting into getting Bailey used to sleeping.

Bailey still wakes up a few times every night and what we're trying is to just let her cry until she falls back asleep. It's very hard because that crying keeps us up too. If Bailey cries for over an hour, Alene will then go in and get her up, but she usually cries for 45 minutes to an hour, then falls back asleep. I'm so happy that Alene is so strict in this endavor and doesn't waver. She's a great mother.

So, getting to my point about feeling like Bailey. I haven't done any house "projects" for a good 3-4 weeks now. I've done some small stuff here and there (hanging a shelf, dinging around in the garage trying to pretend like I'm doing something), but it's been weird.

For most of the 10 years I lived in my old house, I was constantly working on some sort of "project". I'd take small breaks here and there and it wasn't always "constant", but there was always something to do. Then after I got married and it became even worse (not Alene's fault, it was my own because we had more money coming in I guess).
Just before getting married I tackled a kitchen/bath remodel (the largest "job" I've done for someone to date) for my ex in-laws. This took a lot out of me at that time.
I started off by putting laminate wood flooring in our front room.
Then, I built a playhouse for Caiden.
Then I did a tub/shower tile job.
Then we re-modeled our kitchen/dining area.
Then I built and tiled a shower for my parents.
Then we re-roofed the house.
Then I tiled the bathroom and back laundry room.
Then I painted our bedroom, Caiden's room, and our office area.
Then I moved all our extra stuff out of our house and into storage so it would look more sellable.
Then we sold the house and moved everything else.
Then we bought another house on our way out of town to Canyonlands.
Then we came back and I had this genius idea of expanding our own bedroom to make more room.
Then we went on a trip to Joes Valley just before Bailey was due and we came home to a flooded basement.
Then I spent the rest of summer/fall re-doing our basement AND adding a bookshelf unit.

Not to mention, over the course of completing all the projects I also coached FB during the fall, went on some great camping trips to Arches, Zion, Glacier, and Canyonlands National Parks. We also camped at Escalante, the San Rafael Swell, Robbers Roost, and the Uintas. We tried to fit in hikes here and there as best we could too.

Now it's done and I'm still busy, but I have this itch to work on something else. It drives my mind mad sometimes like I need to be doing a project, but then I have to just talk myself away from that ledge. It's really funny to think of, but sometimes it actually hurts. Like it's a drug. Like I have to "train" myself to not do a project, even though I look at the house and see stuff that could be done to make it nicer. I know it doesn't have to be done and I'm trying my best to just be patient.

Over the course of this time though, this work has taken a toll on my body. My back is constantly sore, more sore than it's ever been. I'm extremely tired all the time. But I'll live. I know I will. There are still things that we want to finish on the house that kind of eat at me. We bought paint for our front room and hallway, but I have yet to do that....but I'm being patient. I recently bought some material to build a lattice wall around our hot tub, so that will be another little project. For the most part though, it's nice to not feel somewhat burdened by it. My only problem is now wasting the free time I have and making it feel like I'm busy. However, this "free" time couldn't have come at a better time because I'm attempting to get back into school this week AND Alene has started her new job, so I'm pretty busy on Monday/Tuesday afternoons/evenings while she's at work.

The thing is, I wish I was strong enough to simplify my life. I wish I could easily choose one thing over the other. My biggest "vice" I would say in my life is my love of being around the game of football. When I'm not, it eats at me constantly. I first started coaching right out of high school and I found what I thought was my calling. I had dreams/aspirations to coach on the college level someday, but now that I decided to take the route of not teaching, I think it's a little more impossible than it ever was. Still, I have an extreme love of the sport.

My biggest thing I'm torn over is the fact that football is during some of the best times to be doing my "other" love, which is being outside camping and hiking (during the fall). Every year around this time I go through the same little feeling of "why am I doing this". I get this urge to just stop and drop football for good, but here is where it gets complicated: Caiden is now playing and loves it.

So, with Caiden playing, all his games are on Saturdays, which takes out every weekend. So even if I wasn't coaching, he would have games that he is obligated to be at. When it comes to sports, I've always tried to live by the "creed" if you will, that you always finish something you start. I would hate to go against that by telling him he wasn't going to be able to play in a game because "I" wanted to go camping. I think that would be selfish and even if I gave him an option to stay or go, I think it would make it hard on him.

Anyway, I'm currently mulling the fact of at least stopping coaching at the HS level. It takes so much time and energy. I think maybe it would be best if I just focused on coaching Caiden's team and leave it at that. If he keeps playing at the HS level, maybe I could help out there too. I just don't know.

Sorry this post may be so depressing. I know I sound like a whiny idiot to most of you, who are probably saying, "buck up and do what you know you're supposed to do". Well, that is the problem...still can't figure it out.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I hate the BCS

and I'm not a fan of the Utah utes (being they're my favorite schools rival), but I respect the hell out of them. They are getting the shaft with not having a chance to officially be crowned "national champions".

If you hate the BCS, like I do, check out this article by former Sports Illustrated and current ESPN magazine columnist Rick Reilly:

Utah's dominating win really made a great argument for either the end of the BCS system, or allowing the Mountain West Conference to join. We deserve to be a part of the chance to earn more money based on our performance and for a chance to truly play for a national championship.

Read the article (not too long).

Monday, January 05, 2009

Winter time drink carrier

Red Bull Cooler

I bought a Red Bull at the store the other night, cracked it open to take a sip before I got in the car, then set it on the roof to load the groceries. I forgot about it, and realized it was there after I stopped by McDonalds to pick up a Redbox, so I decided to let it ride home and it did just fine and much cooler than it was before.

I highly suggest this for anyone that likes their drinks cold during the winter.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Snow Sledding

01.03.09 Sledding

Alene had a great idea to get us out of the house: Go sledding. We had a big dump of snow last night, so it seemed like a perfect time to go. A couple of miles away from our house is a park with a huge hill. I figured it would be crowded with people, and it was, but it wasn't as bad as I thought.

This was Bailey's first time sledding and at a snow activity, besides the stuff we've done with her in our own yard. She wasn't too sure what to make of it, mostly gave us a blank stare until she fell asleep.

Here are a few pictures and videos from the day:

Alene and Bailey rocking the sled (she only went about 20' up)
01.03.09 Sledding

Alene and Caiden racing
01.03.09 Sledding

Bailey not sure what to make of the white stuff, cold nose and cheeks
01.03.09 Sledding

Alene and Caiden's race

Where is Caiden? Believe it or not, Caiden is mid-air behind the tube.
01.03.09 Sledding

Here is the video of his jump

Me in mid-air
01.03.09 Sledding

Here is the video of my jump

Bailey finally fell asleep
01.03.09 Sledding

I tried my snowboard a couple of times, but it was not worth it (as expected), but I was able to catch about 12" of major air anyway.
01.03.09 Sledding

01.03.09 Sledding

Caiden and I raced and I got a HUGE pile of cold snow in my face going off the lip

When Bailey woke up, she was happy
01.03.09 Sledding

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Years Eve 2008

New Years Eve 2008

We said goodbye to 2008 with a Rock Band party. My brothers and sisters showed up dressed as 80's people, so I had to quickly improvise and join them.

We played Rock band for the first few hours, then headed outside for the "Snow Challenge" which consisted of laying in the snow as long as you could before you had to get in the hot tub. Alana won, but we think her swimsuit helped. All in all, it was a lot of fun.

Here is our Rock Band Video:

Here are some pictures from the night. You can see them all right here: New Years Eve Pictures

Rock Band

Jeff arrives
New Years Eve 2008

Amanda, Bailey, and I
New Years Eve 2008

Alana strikes a Rockers Pose
New Years Eve 2008

Jeff & Amanda
New Years Eve 2008

Krystal focuses on the task at hand
New Years Eve 2008

Taking a bow
New Years Eve 2008

Brock and Mandi
New Years Eve 2008

The all-80's team
New Years Eve 2008

Jeff & Mandi
New Years Eve 2008

Nate with his Terminator eye
New Years Eve 2008

Drumming takes a lot of concentration
New Years Eve 2008

Beastie Billy
New Years Eve 2008

Jeff "Robert Plant" Root
New Years Eve 2008

Snow Challenge

Here is the video:

We all laid down in the snow
New Years Eve 2008

New Years Eve 2008

Jeff beat me. I thought for sure the fattest guy could lay in the snow the longest, but I was wrong.
New Years Eve 2008

Nate was the first one in, followed by Billy, then me. Here I am just getting in.
New Years Eve 2008

Thumbs down to all the weak men we were that night
New Years Eve 2008

Krystal was next, then Alana soon followed and won. We'll have to do this again sometime.