Thursday, June 28, 2012

Today is day 18 of Lindsey and the boys being away from me. They took off shortly after we arrived in Fargo for a family reunion in Utah. The reunion has ended but they have been staying at Lindsey’s parent’s home waiting for me to fly out to Vegas, so we can all go to my family reunion in southern Oregon. Needless to say, we have been away from each other for way to long and I really miss my family. I missed Jude waking up in the morning and telling me he got lots of good sleep. I miss Jack’s obsession with cereal. I missed Ezra’s happy smile and determination to be in everything. I miss Jack’s references to garbage and Jude’s feisty attitude. I missed sitting down with Lindsey at the end of the day to talk about the good and the bad and how we are going to tackle the next day.
So, what does a guy do without his family? Initially I spent my time reading, packing so we can move into our home that is being built, cleaning, and working long hours. This left me burnt out and feeling sick. The fact that Lindsey wasn’t feeding me healthy food probably added to my weakening condition. At one point, I actually went to sleep in the corner of a bathroom at work for 15 minutes, because I thought I was going to pass out in a meeting. (Hopefully my boss doesn’t read this! Don’t worry though—I’m not hourly.) As I stepped back and realized how poorly I was taking care of myself, I started to slow down so as not to self-destruct. The rest of my time was filled with some extremely lazy moments of playing on my iPhone, as well as some moments were I actually took advantage of opportunities that I wouldn’t have had with my family home.
Unique things I did:
1.       The first night I slept from 5:45pm to 4:30am
2.       Traveled to and attended the Bismarck temple
3.       Saw the largest sandhill crane in the world and possibly the universe!
4.       Attended different churches on Sunday (Lutheran, Presbeterian, Catholic, and Baptist)
5.       Called old friends
6.       Took up running
7.       Repeated #1 above
Okay. My list isn’t that long. Maybe I could have taken better advantage of being a bachelor and done more cool things.
 Who would have thought the world's largest sandhill crane would be located in Steele, ND. I spotted this guy driving back from the temple and had to stop. Who wouldn't?  I think this bird feels the void I was feeling as a result of no longer living close to Barstow, CA which is home to the largest thermometer in the world (not pictured).

I had to take this picture because it represents the one true meal I cooked since my family left. (I mostly stuck to sandwhiches.) It was supposed to be a pot pie, but I didn't have enough canned potato soup. So, I substituted a can of clam chowder for the potato soup and called it good. It didn't turn out to be the most amazing meal I've ever had but it did the trick. Can you still call it pot pie when it has seafood inside? I think this might be a new Thanksgiving tradition!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day Dad

Now that I'm a father I've started to appreciate what my Dad did and continues to do for me. When I step back and think about the responsibility parenting brings I often think, "Crap! This is really hard. Where did these three kids come from." Then I think of my Dad and am amazed by all he has accomplished in his life given the five children he had to support and raise.

My fondest memories of my dad are mostly associated with all the fun places he has taken our family. He loves the water and fishing which resulted in us spending many hours on Lake Mead and the Colorado River. I'm not sure if the story is true but I heard he bought a boat before he furnished his house. He is Lake Powell as far as I'm concerned and I don't have much interest in going there unless he comes along. My dad is also a pilot at heart and has had his license to fly as long as I can remember. He's had enough hours in the sky that I even trusted him to take Jack and I up in the air. I guess you could say he is also a mountain man of sorts as long as he has skiis on his feet or a gun in his hand. By that I mean he was always taking us to a ski resort where every one of us eventually took off on snowboards. He also got all of his boys into hunting which served to bring us closer together.

Aside from the play, I am grateful for my Dad for his dedication to provide for his family. Having recently completed a graduate degree, I appreciate more the work my Dad must have put into graduating from dental school. But even more amazing are all the years he spent working as a dentist only to come home and ice his back because of the nature of his work. He continued to do this until he couldn't practice dentistry anymore because his back bacame "worn out".

I also can't thank my Dad enough for living a righteous life. He served a mission which inspired me to then serve a mission. He attends the temple regularly and is always doing genealogy work. Other than a few toys, he has been modest in the way he spends his money, never giving into the temptation to buy the luxury items he could afford. He has opened his house up to many people who others would turn away. This meant that we had--as I saw it--strange people living in our home or visiting for up to months at a time. This he did because he is a loving man who desires to give people a chance. Most important to me is probably the fact that he has never given up on this children. We have all needed his love and support and he has been there for us.

I'm afraid this post fell short of really describing how great my Dad is so just trust me when I say He is a remarkable person. I don't have any recent picks of him on my computer but I've got some oldies!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

We had family pictures taken before we left Minneapolis. We figured it was an important time in our lives, so we chose one of Minneapolis's most respected and creative photographers. Check out Jaci Udy's site here:


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I’m not sure where to start with this post. It has been a while since I last wrote and a lot has happened. Our world has been turned upside down recently with our move to Fargo. It was an emotional move for Lindsey and I. It started by watching many of our friends move away before us. Many people from my graduating class lived in our student housing complex, and they took off to different parts of the U.S. There were others as well who graduated and moved on—non-MHAers—which made COMO feel very empty. Then it was time for us to pack up which caused me to really think about those who had left and those I’d leave behind.
It has definitely been the trend the last 6 years for our family to pick up and move but this move was extremely hard. There is something to be said about being transplanted hundreds of miles from everything you’re comfortable with and finding yourself in an environment where you have to make friends that you will rely on because you want to and need to. That is exactly what we did in Minnesota. We made friends who we absolutely trusted and loved. We have a lot of great memories camping, hanging out by the local lakes, cooking big dinners on the holidays, celebrating birthdays, having people over for scones, etc., but we probably had most of our fun hanging out at the COMO playgrounds or cooped up inside together during the winter.
In thinking about how I usually deal with these situations, I realized that I tend to cope with leaving people I’ve become close with by not making much of an effort to keep in contact with them. I did this when I said goodbye to the people I served on my mission. (I basically said goodbye and then stopped all contact with them.) I’ve done the same as we’ve moved around while in school. I know that sounds horrible but I get really attached to people so to think about them but be removed from them makes me depressed. Just writing this post and reflecting on life in MN makes me sad. We’ve been in ND now for 12 days and my coping mechanism has been to stay really busy. Now, I’ve got time to think about what I’ve left and want to stop writing this so I can fill my mind with other things. But I’ve decided that would be a horrible thing to do because there are just too many great memories that are not worth loosing, and there are too many great people who I can’t afford to lose contact with.
I have to give a special shout out to the Nelson family for being awesome friends and for helping us move (Am I even spelling your last name correctly?). Erik was always willing to fix my junker car, paint bikes, and joke about things we shouldn’t have joked about. Jenny became our permanent sitter there towards the end, introduced us to the most amazing burritos, and was quick to shout a "turtleman call" from across the parking lotl. Darla was Jack’s first girlfriend! Bennett was amazing because of his passion to wear certain types of clothes, not wear shoes, and do things his way. And Tate is the "miracle" boy.

 We were basically able to retire Jude's blanket before leaving. We cut it down to its current state which is a little square. Jude will hold it up now and look at it as if it has lost all value.

 Jack and Jude finished up their swimming classes at the YMCA. They both graduated!
Jack and Darla at COMOs spring celebration. 
 These pictures are of our last get together at Ann Lake. The women stayed behind with the babies and left the men to wrangle all these kids. We were close to a lake and caught a lot of sunfish. Jude was in charge of the worms and deferred having his picture taken.

 This is what our couch tends to look like when friends come to build "forts".
 I love getting Ezra up from naps. He has four teeth now and is already standing his ground when he doesn't like the way things are going. Mostly just a smiling, happy kid.

I'm not a huge sports fan (that may be an understatement) but I thought it was cool that the company I now work for sent my family tickets to the Twins game. Had to leave before it ended because the kids weren't to into it. They probably thought they were on another planet since I've never had them watch sports.
 We took one last trip to the Natural History museum. This museum was great because their was a large room dedicated to hands on learning.
Ezra skinned this raccoon all by himself? Maybe this is why he came home sick. Are you supposed to let your baby play with animal skins?
Jack was a little upset he didn't find any boogers.
Jude and Tate.

 This is how Jack dresses when he wants to impress his friends!
 I finally graduated. This is me walking out after the graduation ceremony ended. I'm yelling up at Jude who was too busy playing my iPhone to pay any attention to my grand accomplishment. I don't blame him.
 And here are my truck driving buddies. We took off for Fargo in the U-Haul but started off by making a major mistake which was to give Jack and Jude lemonade from Wendy's. Jude drank and drank and it wasn't five minutes into the trip that I had to pull off the side of the road to let him relieve himself. We then got back on the road only to have him request another stop. I couldn't pull off fast enough in our large truck so he ended up having an accident. I eventually got him out of the truck after which he went pee three times before I eventually got him all cleaned up. I guess we will be cutting back on the beverages next road trip. You can google how long it takes to drive from Minneapolis to Fargo and then tack on 3 hours for all the stops we had to make.
Yeah! We made it to Fargo. I'll post more of what we've been up to shortly.