Happiness: A sleeping baby

Few things are more stressful and gut wrenching than a crying, screeching, yelling, loud, squealing baby that won’t stop or can’t be soothed, especially throughout the night after a long day. Every mom and dad should be able to relate. Before we had Liam the most common piece of advice we would get was something along the lines of “get some sleep now” (as if we could store up sleep), “nap when he naps”, “say goodbye to sleeping in and throughout the night”, and simply “good luck.”

I bet there have been 1000 plus books written about sleeping babies that thoroughly cover how, when, why, where, how much, what position, what to do before, what to do after, how it is detrimental to let them cry themselves to exhaustion and sleep, how beneficial it is to let them cry themselves to exhaustion and sleep, how good parents do it, how bad parents do it, how to judge other parents according to how good and bad their babies’ sleep, what to feed them them so they sleep, how to sing to them, how to travel with them so they sleep, how to insert earplugs, how to meditate while your ears are pierced by torturous cries, and on and on and on. Luckily Michelle is a reader and I sleep through most loud noises. Anyway, you get the point. Also, I don’t discount some of the advice that these books give, we’ve tried every one of them and believe me the tips work like a charm. Just to prove to you that these books work, refer to the picture above- that is our son sleeping (through the talking and flash of the camera). It had nothing to do with the fact that he was tired, it was the technique and training that got him sleeping.

Michelle pointed out that a sleeping baby is “one of the cutest moments that you never see after a few months.” I say, “a sleeping baby, means well rested  and happy parents.”

So my point is a sleeping baby is happiness and peace and comfort and something for which I am deeply grateful.


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Happiness: Finally finishing a long overdue project


It has only been 2 years since somebody accidentally backed over our mailbox rendering it useless until I bungee corded it to the tree. Despite Michelle’s insistence that the postal service is under no obligation to deliver our mail to such a mailbox, we still have mail delivered almost daily through the kindhearted mercy of the mailman. Personally, I loved the tree set up and honestly I would smile every time I got the mail because our unique mailbox setup, but when the bungee cords started breaking and wearing down- I decided it was time to do my yearly house improvement project.

So, I went to Home Depot, bought a 60-pound bag of cement that almost broke my back and a mailbox that didn’t match the mail post, made a couple more appearances at Home Depot, and finally got home in time to dig a hole, mix and pour cement, assemble the mailbox, check the level 50+ times, watch cement dry with eager anticipation, and take a picture – all before the sun went down.

It is a great feeling to finally be done with that long overdue project, and now we have two mailboxes (one for Michelle and one for me), now I never have to get the mail. Michelle is praying for a lightning storm.

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Easter Tradition

A few years ago, we had a talk in church about Easter and a way to remember Jesus Christ throughout the week. The speaker challenged us to read the account in the Gospels of the last 7 days of Christ’s life on each corresponding day that it happened. He also suggested a fast on Friday to correspond with when Jesus Christ said “I thirst” right before he gave His life. A complete summary can be found In the Bible Dictionary under Gospel Harmony.

We decided that we were going to try and make this reading an Easter tradition. I am posting this for us to reference next year.

Sunday – 1 week before Easter.
*John 12:1-50 ( some of this happened earlier than the Sunday)
Matt 21:1-16
Luke 19:28-48 (*28-34, 41-48)
Mark 11:1-11 & 15-19

*Matt 21:17-46; 22:1-46; 23:1-39; 24:1-51; 25:1-46
Mark 11:12-14, 20-33; 12:1-44; 13:1-37
Luke 20:1-47; 21:1-38 (*21:1-4)

Matt 26:2-16 (*26:2-5)
Mark 14:1-11
*Luke 7:36-50; 22:1-6

Matt 26:17-75
Mark 14:12-72
Luke 22:7-23, 31-65 (*22:31-32 & 35-38)
*John 13:1-38; 14:1-31; 15:1-27; 16:1-33; 17:1-26; 18:1-27

Friday 7th (Death and Burial)
Matt 27:1-56 (*27:3-10)
Mark 15:1-41
*Luke 22:66-71; 23:1-49
John 18:24, 28-38: 19:37 (*19:1-12, 25-27, 31-37)
Matt 27:46-66, 28:1-20 (*27:62-66;
Mark 15:42-47;
Luke 23:50-56;
*John 19:38-42;

Sunday and after–>
*Matt 28:1-20
Mark 16:1-20
*Luke 24:1-53
*John 20:1-31; 21:1-25;

* Short version (get the whole account from single point of view)

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Spontaneous Date- What to do at City Creek?

We found ourselves without plans for date night (as in my previous plan wasn’t cool enough), so we decided to go on a spontaneous trip to downtown Salt Lake City and check out the new City Creek Center across from the temple. We are not shoppers and so here is what we did:

  • Did some good old people watching.
  • Went to the game store by Kneaders (east end). There we played 20 questions (the actual little gadget game) and Pentago which was a lot of fun- like Tic Tac Toe 5 in a row with a twist (literally).


  • Visited the Rolex store and played the price is right- Michelle killed me at this. I guessed that a $10,000 watch was $37,000 and that a $43,000 watch was $27,000. She was only off by a thousand each time, which is amazing because they all looked like normal fancy $100-$300 watches to me. Although seeing the security guard coming in and out a few times helped raise my perceived value of the merchandise.  I-ronically checked my phone for the time, and we were past the closing time (hence the security guard), and so we were escorted out.
  • Visited Tiffany and Co. and played the guess how much this is game again. Once again I had no idea how much things were. Too bad there wasn’t a technology or computer store around because I know how much those things cost.
  • Went to the Cheesecake factory, but the line was too long and it was very crowded, so we went to Harmon’s and got ice cream and ice cream cones.
Our date was really fun, but there wasn’t a lot to do at City Creek for non shoppers like ourselves (yeah, I know it is a “Shopping Center”), and the place seemed to slow/shut down around 9ish. If you’re a shopper though and also really like really little rivers, it is probably one of the coolest shopping centers ever designed.
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Thoughts from crawling around


This morning was perfect, so we decided to go on a crawl. It’s been quite a while since I’ve gone on a leisurely crawl outdoors, but I decided to follow Liam and try and see and experience things from his point of view. I was effectively “led by a little child”. Stopping where he stopped, touching what he touched, looking closely at what he observed, and trying to guess what he was thinking. Luckily he didn’t try to eat anything off the ground this time.

A few things I learned and experienced:
– It hurts the knees to crawl around on cement, but sometimes the pursuit of adventure and discovery outweighs the discomforts and difficulties
– Little things can bring a lot of joy- little ones are extremely good examples of finding joy in the small and simple things
– When we move more slowly we can appreciate and take in and more fully enjoy our experiences
-The closer you are to something (the ground in this case) the more you can notice. When you are inches from the ground, you notice all the little things, the divots in the cement, the tiny grains of sand that are usually super unnoticeable, but very interesting when you are so close. I better understand the intrigue of the feel and texture of the hard ground and the wooden steps and a cold chain fence and the crumbly dirt.
– Liam is a lot more willing to go farther and explore more once I get down and show him I am going to follow him.
– Also, I love being a dad and spending time with Liam and sometimes trying to see and do things as he sees and does them.

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March Month in Review

March was a busy month for work, but I feel worn out. Time for a blog post-what better way to unwind than to worry about what I am going to write and post. One of my silly goals is to post a monthly review of my life- So here we go…

  • Listened to Steve Jobs biography and learned that you don’t have to be a nice person to change the world. I am amazed at what he accomplished.
  • Went to sealing ceremony of a friend
  • Took family pictures- which is (can be) quite an event
  • Went to a pre-screening of  “The Hunger Games” and left with a bit of an empty feeling.
  • Really enjoyed running the Moab Half Marathon (Michelle and I ran it together)

  • Went to Jazz game where they beat the Pistons

  • Left a black pen in my pants and then did the laundry- ruined almost every piece of clothing in that load
  • Liam started standing up which made my month-it is the little things that just can fill a dad with spontaneous bursts of joy. 

  • Inspired to be better after reading the conference Ensign. 
  • Liam learned how to sign “more”- which means any and all of the following- “I want”, “please”, “give me”, “I’m hungry”, “I don’t want to go to bed yet”, “look at me”, “you guys are so slow at taking care of my every need” etc. 

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February Month in Review

Finished De-Junking Project

Finallly finished the de-junking project and took over 200 items to the DI or gave them away. It got easier as I progressed. The first 20 or so items that we went through was very difficult, but after a while of actually trying to figure out if I was going to use something or not, it was a lot easier to put it into the “go” pile. Now that it has been a couple weeks, I will never even remember what I threw away, and I doubt I’ll miss anything.


Liam’s 1st Birthday party

Liam turned one year old this month. Had his first experience eating anything remotely sugar packed, and of course he seemed to enjoy it. It was great to have family come celebrate with us and he got a lot of books and fun things to fill his play box.

Deep Sea Fishing

Had the experience of a lifetime deep Sea Fishing in Florida- I caught the biggest fish of my life. It was huge- I could barely hold it up without dropping it.



Legos hold a special place in my heart. So yes they get their own little space and paragraph on the blog. We bought this whole set, and I justified it because there is this awesome team building exercise you can do to learn communication and organization and such. Of course we haven’t tried doing that yet, but we have spent a lot of time putting things together (Michelle, more than I)- in fact, I come home and she has built a zoo, or the empire state building- it’s awesome.





New York


Had a few business appointments in New York and so we decided to spend an extra day or two there as a family. It was a lot of fun. My favorite part of travelling is watching Liam stare, smile, and wave at anybody and everybody- until they smile back, it is a small but very entertaining thing.



Continued Healthy Lifestyle challenge


Only two more weeks-we’ll be glad this is over. Last night I just downed a handful of leafy greens and a couple carrots. It has been a long time since I have peeled and eaten two raw carrots, but I can see a lot better now.

Other Randomness that I want to remember- I don’t expect that people are still reading

  • Inspired by Joshua Foer’s book Moonwalking with Einstein- I memorized my credit cards
  • Started watching “Pushing Daisies” on the Roku- which show I really really enjoy.
  • Watched the “Man Who Knew Too Little”
  • Watched “Thor”
  • Watched “Man on a Wire”
  • Memorized “The Living Christ” one Saturday Morning- been randomly reciting it since (one of my goals for 2012)
  • Watched “Man on a Ledge”
  • Watched “Moneyball”














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Happiness: Realizing the world is full of good people

Walking the streets of New York and watching people, sometimes meeting their gaze and sometimes just watching them walk tuned into their iPod and out of the world around them, passing hundreds of people and sitting with them in the subway, I am reminded and in awe of how many people there are in the world. There are so many people, I forget that. I get so wrapped up in my little world of me and my family that I don’t think about the hundreds of millions of people that have their own lives and little worlds. I forget that while I am complaining about missing lunch, that there are hundreds of beggars asking for food or digging through the garbage looking for lunch. I think about how I have always known and felt that God was and is watching and aware and keenly interested in me and those around me, and my heart goes out to those that don’t know and feel that- I am sure life is harder without knowing and feeling God close by. I feel tremendously blessed. I know God feels the same for them, he is no respecter of persons, but I can see in many people’s eyes that they don’t know that he knows and infinitely cares for them too.

I am also reminded how caring and good people are. A random guy that could have passed for a drug dealer was the first to give up his subway seat to Michelle and Liam. Seemingly every person noticed and caringly pointed out that Liam was missing a sock or both socks, just moments after he tore them off his feet (a few minutes after we had put them on again). Random strangers offered to help get the stroller in and out of the subway and up and down stairs. Also, with little notice of us being in town an old friend invited us over and prepared a great dinner. It is the small and simple kindnesses that so many people show that leave an impression.

The world is full of people. People are good. The world is full of good people.

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Happiness: Finding joy in the small ordinary things


I thought I would be the one teaching my son the important lessons of life, but every day I think he is the one teaching me some really important things. Today we were on the Staten Island Ferry so we could get a scenic view of the city skyline as well as a closer view of the statue of liberty. Of course, Liam wasn’t too interested in the amazing historic symbol of our nations freedom, instead he laughed and seemed to enjoy the new feeling of wind blowing in his face, he would find another person to stare and smile at until they would finally reciprocate and when people would walk by and not notice him he repeated the only word he knows while waving his hand, “hi, hi, hi”. Also, he is all smiles upon seeing a helium filled balloon, a stuffed animal or a stranger that finally gives him attention.

Happiness is noticing and appreciating and finding joy in the small and simple and ordinary things that everyday life presents to you. In that I will try to be more like my son.

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Happiness: When your crying baby falls asleep


Happiness is when your crying baby finally falls asleep while on an airplane. Few things are more stressful than being on a full flight in the middle of the plane and having your baby crying, screaming and annoying everybody, so when Liam finally fell asleep I snapped this picture because it made me happy and I wanted to remember it.

A while back I read a great article in the time magazine about babies on airplanes, I now understand what this author was saying:

I want airlines to reserve a few rows in the back of coach for people with small children. Because the only thing more stressful than hearing a screaming baby on a plane is being the parent of a screaming baby on a plane. Shove us all in the back, where we can suffer together. Put some old toys in the overheads, sprinkle juice boxes around and cover the seats with plastic. Instead of a selection of bad romantic comedies, the baby section will always show Toy Story. Instead of a drink cart full of alcohol, it will be loaded with even more alcohol and Children’s Benadryl. Instead of Us Weekly magazines, there will be children’s books, which have the same word-to-picture ratio as Us Weekly. The blankets, of course, will be the exact same size as the ones in the rest of the plane. Full article is worth reading.

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