Monday, January 25, 2010

We got a new keyboard for our laptop

Bailey had a habit of busting it out, then busting out the keys on the keyboard. About 10% of them were un-usable, so we ordered a new one. I was surprised at how easy it was to change out a laptop keyboard.

Anyway, I gave the old one to Bailey, and she finally was able to complete her masterpiece. I'm sure she had this intended all along.

bailey's laptop keyboard

I've been fortunate to be able to spend a bit more time with Bailey with Alene working the Sundance film festival. I love her so much. She is such a joy to be around, even when she gets moody or sassy. Last Friday I met Alene at the Children's Discovery center (at the Gateway, downtown SLC) and I was able to play with Bailey for a while. We had a great time.

Bailey in the fire truck at the Gateway

Bailey in the helicopter at the Gateway

Daddy and Bailey at the Gateway

Daddy and Bailey at the Gateway

She has all kinds of great expressions too, like this:

photo3

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bailey is a climber!

My little 17 month old Bailey is so adventurous. I had the good fortune to spend half the day with her by myself while Alene worked (I work for a bank, so we had MLK day off). I had a lot of fun just playing with her for the day. We were downstairs and I left her in her room to play for a bit while I picked up some things in the family room. When I came back into her room, I found she had crawled into her crib! She was laughing and jumping up and down. She was so happy to be in there. I was blown away that this tiny little girl (she is a little small for her age) somehow figured out a way to get into her crib. She has a book shelf next to her crib, so she must have climbed up that, then on top of it, then into her crib.

It's so amazing to see our children grow up and develop their own personalities and take on traits from us. Bailey's sense of adventure is no doubt a direct trait from her mommy. I'm so excited every day to see Bailey and see the progress she makes as she grows. I love her so much.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Desperation as a parent

Last week I received a phone call on my cell phone that was coming from "Blocked". I answered it and there was a voice I did not recognize on the other end, but I knew who it was. He was the father of a kid I used to coach a few years ago. I didn't recognize his voice because I had never heard him speak before. I had never heard him speak before because he doesn't speak english very well.

He and his family, which consist of a wife, 3 boys and a girl, are immigrants from Croatia. They moved here about 14 years ago to get away from all the war that had ravished their country. When I coached his son (who, by the way was a STUD athlete and a lot of fun to coach), he told me that his father doesn't have a job, or can't keep a job because he doesn't speak english. He seemed kind of upset about his father not working and I too have passed judgement on him, thinking if he's lived here for over 10 years, why hasn't he taken the opportunity to improve himself by learning english so he can get a job? His parents rarely came to games because they didn't have a car. Alene once picked them up and gave them a ride to our championship game, which I'm sure they appreciated.

It's been about 3 years since I'd seen his parents. He started off with small talk of some sort (in broken english) but eventually I realized he was calling me asking for money. At first I had no idea what he was asking because his english was so broken. I remember his son saying that his dad was embarrassed to talk because of how bad his english is. I can't imagine how hard it was for his dad to call me to ask for money. He kept saying, "Tax refund you paying back, tell wife". I eventually realized he was saying he would pay me back with his tax refund and he wanted me to ask my wife if we could loan him money. I told him I'd call him back in a bit and hung up.

I got off the phone and talked with Alene about it. At first I was a bit put off, thinking it was kind of weird, and worrying about if we loaned him money, would he pay us back? The amount wasn't astounding, but it was still be considered "a lot" of money for us. We don't have a ton of liquid savings (anything I really save is either in a retirement account, or Caiden and Bailey's education savings), but we had enough to cover what he was needing.

Alene and I thought about it a bit and the more we thought about it, the more it seemed like a good idea to give it to him. In fact, we eventually came to the conclusion that if he didn't pay us back, we weren't going to worry about it. Eventually I started to think even more about telling him to NOT pay us back. I've been so blessed over the past year with a good job, my families health, my own health, and so many other things that there is no way I shouldn't pass up on an opportunity to show my appreciation for the blessings in my life. During a time when people are losing their jobs and lives are falling apart financially, mine is not and I should be thankful. I was determined to give him the money and tell him to not pay us back. I even pulled out an extra $20 to give to him.

I met him at my work the next day. He walked in and gave me a big hug and had a huge smile on his face. I put the cash in a sealed envelope with his name on it and gave it to him. I told him "don't pay us back" and repeated it in an many ways I could in order to get my point across to him. I told him to take care of his family and tell them hello for me. He smiled and nodded and said thank you. I still don't know if he understood what I was telling him, but I felt good about it and if he tries to pay us back, we won't accept it.

I have no idea what he needed the money for, but I kept thinking about how desperate he must have been. I remember him mentioning something about Christmas when he called me and I can only imagine that he was telling me they didn't have one. I've learned and realized that as a father you may not be a perfect one, but a real father would do anything he can for his family, including stepping out of his comfort zone. I look at it as paying him for teaching me a lesson about taking care of my family no matter how hard it is to step out of my comfort zone.

Thanks honey, for being willing to assist someone in need with me.

Caiden's football collage from 2009

One our team parents, Mindy Tuikolovatu, is a photographer specializing in portraits. The past two years she has done these AMAZING collages of our kids at no charge (she even prints it up on a huge poster-sized photo for each kid). If anyone is looking for a person to do a great portraits, please visit her web site at: http://www.photographybymindyt.com/

(Click HERE for large version)

2009 Caiden Football

(Click HERE for large version)

2009 Kearns Gremlins