Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Little Cynical

The other day one of my students and I were talking about very serious and complex issues (as I often do with my students, they are teenagers after all).  One of the items we were talking about was how to more easily chart and classify people (after all, isn’t that what life is about).  You see, back in my high school days, I carried a graph around with me wherever I went (I still have it by the way).  It gave certain people certain ratings and was very helpful in determining what could be expected of certain types of people. 

As we were talking, I decided that, similar to my high school days, it might be beneficial to come up with a very simple code to classify people.  After all, who really wants to take the time to describe a person in several paragraphs when one phrase or word might do the trick just as easily?

Let me explain.  Our chart is based upon how you react to people when they approach you.  For example, pretend I’m talking to the Mrs. and somebody approaches to talk to me.  How I react is oftentimes based on what type of person is approaching (sometimes my reaction is based upon how mad the Mrs. is at me in that moment, but that’s a story for another day).  Anyway, likes I was saying, when the person approaches, how I act says a lot about my perception of that person.   Do I get excited?  Do I start to look for the closest exit?  What do I do?  So, if I could describe my reaction in one phrase, I could then use that same phrase to describe the person to someone else.  Right?  I’m pretty sure it’s infallible.

Editor’s Note: Of course, if I were a better person, this list wouldn’t exist and everybody would be a Blue 
Bridge.  But I’m not, so it does.   

Anyway here is the chart.  The word in quotations marks is the descriptive word.

1. A “Shoelace”:  When this type of person approaches, you’ll tend to get really nervous.  In order to calm your nerves, you take a second to tie your shoe in order to gain your composure.  This could be a someone of the opposite gender (or same gender depending) whom you find attractive (only if you’re single of course) or maybe somebody who’s really famous.

2. A “Smile and Nod”: When this type of person approaches, you just keep your eyes glued to the floor because you’re so intimidated.  You just keep your head down and nod occasionally whenever anything is said.   Basically any adult (but especially my bosses) fits this description for me.

3. A “Blue Bridge”: There was some debate about which name to choose for this one, so I just chose both.  This is somebody who you’re just pleased as punch to talk to.  When they come, they have your full attention.  This is what one prefers to be classified as (well, this or a “Shoelace”)

4: A “Sunday School Lesson”: This person is just below a “Blue Bridge”.  What they say is interesting some of the time, but for some reason sometimes you just don’t seem to connect.  By all accounts what they’re saying is interesting, but sometimes, for some reason, it’s not.     

5. A “History Lesson”: In a conversation, this person only holds your attention in spurts.  If anything even semi-interesting passes by, your attention is usually gone.  Most of my students would classify me as a “History Lesson”.  You don’t mind them talking to you, you just hope they don’t expect you to really care.

6. A “Politician”: Right below a “History Lesson” and right above a “Cell Phone”, the whole time this person is talking, your attention is focused somewhere else; the lights on the ceiling, the book in front of you, the TV.  You’re not quite ready to take out the cell phone, but you really have no idea what the person’s last sentence was.

7. A “Cell Phone”: When this type of person approaches, you have your cell phone ready.  By the time they start talking, your texting away furiously (or at least, you’re pretending to).  Your desire is that this person gets the hint and doesn’t stay around too long, but you don’t want to make them feel bad by actually telling them this.

8. A “Neighbor”: This is the older version of the cellphone, but still a fairly useful term.  When this type of person approaches, you listen for a second or two, but at the soonest possible opportunity (without being too rude of course), you turn your attention to the person next to you.  Your hope is that if you don’t acknowledge them, eventually they’ll move on to another area in the room.

9. An “Appointment”:  This person is a step past a “Cell Phone”.  You try to be polite by saying you have an appointment, but you just can’t take the risk of them not getting the cell phone or neighbor hint, you just have to get out of there.

10.  A “Walk Away”: For this type of person, you’re not even worried anymore about being polite.  You just have to get out of there as soon as possible.      

After reading this, I’m really fairly certain these are essentially the only adjectives you’ll ever use again in describing a person.  You’re welcome.  Once people understand my classification system, it will make personal descriptions so much more simple and quick. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

That One Day

Just so you know, it was on this day thirteen years ago that I entered the Empty Sea, beginning my preparation to eventually serve an LDS mission in the Switzerland (and Germany for a little bit).  I will never forget that day.  It remains one of the most pivotal points in my life (if not the pivotal point in my life).  After eleven years of reflecting on the mission, I’ve determined there really is no adequate way of articulating the experience.  It’s an event that, for many reasons, defies description.  There is simply no way to explain what it’s like to be a full-time missionary.  

That said, an anniversary of such an event demands listification, even if that list may not be totally understandable or appreciateable by some.  Here is the list:

Some Things I learned from the Mission:

1. I learned how to talk to people, kind of.  Before the mission I couldn’t talk to people at all.  After the mission, I could talk to people in German about church stuff.  So that’s a little bit of progress.

2. Walking in church shoes for more than 30 minutes is actually quite uncomfortable.  Walking in church shoes for two years, well that’s even more uncomfortable.

3. Expect to see the hand of God in your life every day.   There are daily miracles all around if we look hard enough.   

4. The greatest food in the world is a Doener Kebab from Germany.  Serious.  Ask anyone that’s had one and I promise they’ll agree.

5. The smell of marijuana smoke gives me a headache.

6. All day is a long time to be around anyone, even the nicest companion.

7. The strongest testimony in the world doesn’t help a missionary too much, unless he/she is willing to share it.

8. I learned that if it’s been a hard day and nobody will talk to you, find an African, they’re usually pretty nice and talkative (which makes me wonder what missionaries in Africa do when they’ve had a long day and nobody will talk to them).

9. I learned that most missionaries are pretty average (and actually a surprising amount are pretty below average), but the Gospel and the Spirit are amazing.

10. Switzerland is a breathtakingly beautiful country. 

11. Italians are crazy drivers, but actually very clever (which differentiates them from most Californian drivers)

12. I learned that I wasn’t nearly as smart as I thought I was (I am now though).

13.  If you work as hard as you possibly can, God usually has a way of rewarding you.

14. There’s absolutely nothing like a good nap on Preparation Day.

15. In personality and temperament, I’m more like a Swiss person than an American person.  Somehow I was born on the wrong continent, which is a little frustrating actually.

16. I learned that if I had to live with an adult male for the rest of my life, I would probably have to be put in an insane asylum.  I really have no idea how wives can handle having husbands. 

17. I learned that two people, named Neil Hahl and John Holbrook respectively, are great, great men.

18. Generally speaking, you get out what you put in. 

19. I’m a huge fan of dependable, punctual public transportation.

20. And finally, I learned that the end of the mission isn’t really the end at all. 

A Note about the Mrs.

Ten Reasons I Don’t Hate the Mrs.

1. She does my laundry, and Holden’s laundry, and Gemma’s laundry (and her laundry as well).

2. She can give me helpful advice when the girls I coach are acting in ways that defy rational explanation (which, of course, is fairly often).

3. She once drove to Tooele (pronounced “two-will-uh” for those who are ignorant) just to watch me coach a soccer game.

4. Although she’s had several prime opportunities, she has yet to make me sleep in the garage (we do have a garage by the way, and if I had to sleep there I think I would cry).

5. She knows who Tim Duncan is and what team he plays for.

6. She keeps me updated on such important things as the Bachelorette and the latest Taylor Swift news.

7. In eight years of searching, she was the only one who could consistently put up with my complete lack of mental awareness.

8. She supports (and even encourages) my cardigan obsession.  (Side note: The other day I wore a cardigan to school and one of my students tweeted “I’m pretty sure Mr.Wright is wearing a girls sweater”.  I still haven’t recovered.  It's not a girl's and it’s not a sweater.)

9. She has survived three years in the Goshe (which, for a Salemite, is no small task).

10. She gave birth to the cutest girl on the planet (in my humble opinion).

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Gemma's Contract

Yesterday the Mrs. and I chaperoned our fourth consecutive Homecoming Dance.  This was, however, the first year our chaperoning experience included the presence of Gemma Grace.  Having a daughter puts high school dances into a whole different perspective.

As I was sitting there making sure some yahoo didn’t come and spike the water or poison the brownies, I came up with some  rules which Gemma will follow (you notice these are not suggestions) regarding her interactions with the opposite sex.

As soon as Gemma can read (maybe before actually), I’m going to make her sign the following contract:


I, the undersigned, do hereby, upon penalty of death, promise and contract to abide by the following stipulations, requirements, and conditions until I reach the age of twenty and one years old.

I will never talk to a boy for more than 3.58 consecutive minutes.  Once that time period has elapsed, I will repair to a separate location and refuse to associate with said male until the next day.

I grant my father the right, if he so chooses, to chaperone and chauffeur any event to which my presence is desired or required.

I will try, under all circumstances and situations, to avoid all baseball, football, and basketball players, as well as any male whose automobile resides in the parking lot commonly referred to as “back”.

I confer upon my father the right, at any time, to examine any phone, email, or digital messages which might be addressed to the undersigned.

I do also confer upon my father the power and privilege to banish, at any time he feels so inclined, any male from our private residence, with or without due cause.

If my presence is requested at any formal dance by a potential male suitor, I will decline, unless said male suitor has been subjected to a polygraph test and an interview with my father.

If I attend said dance, I agree to only wear a dress which fits, in all aspects, the following photographic description:

Whenever associating with any male, I will insist on keeping, at all times, a minimum distance of thirty-six inches between myself and aforementioned male.  This distance may be reduced to twenty-four inches in certain socially permissible situations. 

I will never, under any circumstance, grant the privilege of my company to any person who has the following (or similar) hairstyles: fauxhawk, mullet, rat tail, etc.

______________________________________________    ___________________
             (Signature)                                                                    (Date)

Sunday, September 1, 2013


These are twenty reasons why I consider myself to be a pretty lucky person:
1.       I didn’t watch the BYU football game yesterday.
2.       Gemma is not a teenager.
3.       I got to spend two years in the Switzerland handing out little blue books.
4.       I’m a coach.
5.       I didn’t attend the University of Utah.
6.       The Mrs. and Holden haven’t kicked me out yet.
7.       I still have some hair.
8.       The fasting part of Fast Sunday is almost over (Easily the worst day of the month.)
9.       I get to be mentored by Jeremy Chapman and Stewart Wright.
10.   I had a Son of Baconator combo yesterday.
11.   I’m Daunis and Chad’s boy.
12.   I once watched the movies Amazing Grace and Shadowlands.  (Not at the same time of course.)
13.   I took some Hungarian dance classes at the B.Y.
14.   I have the best job in the world.
15.   I haven’t had to go camping in more than a year.
16.   I was once roommates with Stephen E. Frandsen.
17.   I don’t live in California, Arizona, or St. George.
18.   I know how to read.
19.   The Mrs. has better fashion sense than I do.
20.   Mr. Bart Peery was once my boss.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer Vacation

Last week, the Mrs. and I went with her family to the San Diego for a little family vacation.  Here are the highlights:

- Not getting in any wrecks. (I don’t care what anybody says, I’ll take Utah drivers over California crazies any day).

- Getting to play a little sand volleyball with the Quesenberry clan.  All my years of attending young single adult institute sure did pay off.

- Playing a little pick-up basketball with the local San Diegans.  Their language was about as intolerable as my shooting.

- Going to my second major league baseball game.  It just happened to be the night Tim Lincecum threw a no-hitter.  It was awesome, definitely my favorite sporting moment of all time (passing up UCLA vs. Missouri in the 1995 NCAA tournament which I didn’t think would ever get passed up).  Course, it would have been even better if we’d stayed the whole game, but apparently some in the group were bored so we left after the seventh (I know, but what can you do.)

- Going with the Mrs. to the San Diego temple to complete some initiatories.  I realize the Lord prefers His temple filled, but it sure was nice not having to wait an hour before getting in.

- Visiting the Mormon Battalion visitor’s center.  It was pretty rad.  I couldn’t handle being a sister missionary there and talking to the wall all day, but it was still worth the price of admission.

- Convincing Gemma Grace that she doesn’t have to scream at me every time I hold her.  In fact, by the end of the trip, I think she might have even smiled at me once or twice.

- Roasting marshmallows on the beach (well, we didn’t actually roast them on the beach because that would be kind of disgusting).

- Eating real German Spaetzle at Oma and Opa’s.  It was real good.  With the exception of McDonalds, American food just doesn’t match up to European.

- Watching Rise of the Guardians in the van as the Mrs. battled rush hour LA traffic.  The movie was actually surprisingly good.  I cried.

- Going with the Terror, Leigh, and the Mrs. to eat a Doener Kebab in downtown San Diego.  It was so good (minus the cucumbers).  Just like the good ole days.  I could almost picture myself in a shirt and tie, listening to techno music, and trying to figure out how many people had ignored me that day.

- Jogging around Mission Bay.  Personally I think whoever lives in California must have rocks in their head.  But I wouldn’t mind a jog like that every morning.

And that will do for now.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Today marks the four year mark.  In remembrance, I’ve decided to listify someof the most important things I learned from him (I'm sure I missed some though so forgive me).

They are:

- Be patient

- Don’t hold grudges, even when you know you’re right.

- Don’t ever spare the horses.  After all, James really does need to gethome.

- Spend time with your kids.

- Teaching is a great profession.

- Tar is slow, but not as slow as you.

- Mother is to be honored and revered.  And don’t talk back to her ever.

- Save ten percent of what you earn.

- It’s okay to like nice things, just don’t expect to everhave any.

- Everybody has worth and deserves to be respected, even ifthey do hang out in the North parking lot.

- Christmas is coming.

- It’s fun to play/watch sports, but it’s even more fun towork on the yard.

- The scriptures are magic. 

- Nothing compares to British food and humor.

- Learn to appreciate good books and good music.

- Go on a mission, graduate from college, and get married inthe temple or else.

- All you need to stay alive is bread and milk.

- Most people have good backs.

- Greatness is in the everyday

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Rules

I like rules.  I have certain rules that govern my life.  I’ve decided to list those rules here. 

Here they are:

Editor’s Note: Some I'm better at following than others. 

Rule #1—Set expectations low.  You avoid a lot disappointment that way.

Rule #2—Try to talk to people as little as possible.  Socially handicapped people (like me) should have an allotment of approximately 3.4 sentences per day.  Don't exceed that.

Rule #3—Be nice.

Rule #4—Whenever somebody tells you a story about something that happened to them, there’s probably a little bit of truth to it, but only a little bit.

Rule #5—Most people really are good people. 

Rule #6—Always root for the underdog or, if we’re talking about a relationship, the less smooth person.  (For example, in Gilmore Girls, Marty was always my favorite).  

Rule #7—Keep the outside door shut.  If it’s open, bugs will get in.

Rule #8—Eat whatever food you like because who knows what diet specialist is right.

Rule #9—If the Mrs. ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy.  So keep the Mrs. happy.

Rule #10—Don’t swear.  When you’re mad, you can throw things and break things and punch things, just don’t swear.

Rule #11—18-30 no more than two kids.  (No longer applies, but it served me well).

Rule #12—When you are listening to an opinionated person, just smile and nod.  After all, they don’t really want to know what you think, they just want you to know what they think.

Rule #13—Don’t eat onions (and if, when referring to a particular dish that has onions someone says, “don’t worry, you can’t taste them,” don’t believe them).

Rule #14—If and whenever possible, avoid talking to people on the phone.

Rule #15—Whatever Dumbledore, Yoda, and/or DCS Foyle say is gospel truth.

Rule #16—Generally speaking, most people think they work hard and use their time wisely.  Keep this in mind when you talk to lazy people.

Rule #17—No excuses.

Rule #18—If you have no social skills and you want people to like you, give them stuff.

Rule #19—Niemand kann mich ausnutzen, solange ich geben will.

Rule #20—Don’t worry about what stupid people think or say.     

Thursday, June 6, 2013


The following necessitate comment:

-          I went to high school graduation a couple of weeks ago.  I cried.  I always cry at those things.  I’m a sucker for nostalgia.

-          I have a cell phone.

-          About 85.43 percent of the time I hold Gemma Grace, she cries.

-          My friend Stephen E. Frandsen and his wife are going to have a baby.  I cried when I found out.  How dare they corrupt the earth with their progeny.       

-          I don’t care if the government knows my personal information.  Just so long as they don’t make fun of my middle name, I’m fine.

-          I do not like the Miami Heat.  I’m not a very good Christian when I watch them play.  I get real mad. 

-          I’m reading this book called Divergent.  I don’t hate it. 

-          I also just read this book called The Mysterious Benedict Society.  I didn’t hate it either.  In fact, I might have cried at some point while reading it.

-          The Mrs. and I watched this movie (edited) called Dear John.  Not bad.  Then a week or two later we watched Safe Haven (also edited).  Not bad either (in fact, I might have been teary-eyed in both).  Then a couple weeks later we watched The Notebook.  Boring.   


Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Prom

Last week was the Promination at my place of employ, the Payson High School. Because of this, last week I started writing about said Promification. Regretably, as I started writing, I was surprised by just how much I dislike this dance. After writing several paragraphs, the dislike was so intense, I had to step back from the computer and calm myself (I’ve been known to throw things when I get too agitated and the Mrs. appreciates a functioning computer monitor).

Anyway, after taking a week to calm myself, I return to the computer (I’m at my Mom’s now so the Mrs. doesn’t have to worry) with a clear mind.

However, after much mental deliberation, I’ve decided that I still don’t like the Prom. In fact, since I now have a daughter to think about, I hope by the time Gemma Grace is of dating age, the Prom will no longer exist. If, however, it does exist, I can see the following conversation occurring:

Me: Gemma, I know Frank asked you to Prom and I know he’s a nice boy, but I’ll give you $500 and a free trip to Disneyland if you tell him “no” and don’t go.

Gemma: But Andrew (because that’s what she’ll call me), he’s such a good guy. He goes to church every Sunday, he’s got straight As, and he’s really cute.

Me: Okay, how about $1,000 and a free trip to Switzerland.

Now because I know some of you out there do not understand this, I feel such an approach could use some justification. Thus, I’ve decided to here list the cons and the pros of Promifying. Hopefully, by the time Gemma reaches high school, I’ll have these listed in a nice PowerPoint Presentation I can give her on her 16th birthday.


1 - When you go to these types of things, you have to talk to people (if she’s anything like me, I’ll probably be able to end my presentation with this one, but if not . . .)

2 - At these types of things it’s not socially acceptable to eat at McDonalds.

3 - On such a night, temptation increases a quite a lot. I mean, you might be tempted to give your date a hug at the door step, or even worse, hold his hand.

4 - Dresses these days are, shall we say, a little short on fabric (I mean, I was at the Prom last week, and I think I saw about three dresses I would let Gemma wear). [At this point in the presentation I might offer a compromise if she’ll consent to wear my great, great grandma’s dress]

5 - I’ve taught about 50,000 high school boys. With the exception of about 3.7 boys, how can you possibly put up with them and find them interesting for more than 34 minutes? Don’t you know Prom goes all day? (The Mrs. is convinced things don't change much even for males who have passed the teenage years).


Monday, April 29, 2013

The Child

A couple of weeks ago, Gemma Grace Wright decided to be born.

In retro diary form (an idea I am blatantly stealing from a columnist named Bill Simmons), here’s how it happened

Editor’s Note: The times and quotations might not be completely accurate, but they’re pretty close.

Editor’s Note II: Also, forgive me if I can’t keep the verb tense right.  This is harder than it might look.
Anyway, without further ado . . .

November 23, 2013
Lauren decides that she’s going to have the baby in a birthing center with midwives, rather than in a hospital with doctors.

April 9, 2013 (the actual due date)
The Mrs. is convinced the baby is coming today or tomorrow.  Because I keep expectations low, I’m convinced it’s not coming.  First time I’ve been right in two and a half years.

April 10, 2013
I get a substitute because the Mrs. is convinced the baby is coming.  The baby doesn’t come, but I sure do get a lot done around the house.  The only explanation I have for delay is that the baby is scared of living in the Goshe.  Can’t blame her to be honest.

April 11, 2013
10:34 a.m.—Lauren has had enough of the waiting.  She calls the birthing center where she plans to have the baby and says, “Listen midwife people, we’ve got to get this show on the road.  I’ve got a baby in my stomach that no longer fits.”  Their response is to meet them at 7:00 p.m. at their place.  We agree.

7:23 p.m.—We arrive at the birthing center (little did we know how we were going to leave a couple hours later).

8:00 p.m.—The midwives work their trickery and the contractions begin. 

Editor’s Note III: For those of you who don’t actually know what a contraction is, don’t feel bad, I didn’t either until about three months ago.

9:00 p.m.—The contractions start to increase in intensity.  It’s definitely go time. 

9:14 p.m.—Lauren’s mom and sister, Leigh, show up to be part of the support team.

9:34 p.m.—Somewhere between contractions Lauren yells, “This [having a natural birth] birth is the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.  Why did I do this?”  But that’s all she can get out before the pain comes back.  Honestly, I didn’t really have a good answer anyway.

10:13 p.m.—I try to say something to Lauren like, “You’re so amazing” but she yells at me for about the fourth time with something like, “You’re not helping.  Keep your big mouth shut.”  I decide it’s best not to say anything from here on out.    

10:56 p.m.—Lots of contractions.  Lots of pain.  Lots of soothing words from the midwife Esther.  For some reason Esther could say anything she wanted without Lauren snapping at her.  It must have been the foreign accent.  I’ll have to work on my Russian accent before the next birth (if there is a “next”).

11:15 p.m.—After much pain, Gemma Grace is born.  She weighs 11 lbs. 8 oz. and is 24 inches long.  All the midwives and other onlookers are telling me that she is a big baby; she looks pretty small to me.

11:15.34 p.m.—Lauren tells me her name will be “Gemma Grace”.  I love it.

11:16 p.m.—Everybody thinks that the hard work is over with and it’s all downhill from here.  Boy were they wrong.  For the next 30 minutes, lots of things happened which probably shouldn’t be described in too much detail.  But basically Lauren was in lots of pain, lost lots of blood, and the midwives didn’t really have a clue as to how to help her.  Me, I sat and watched it all while holding Gemma Grace for most of it.

11:45 p.m—The midwives finally realize they don’t have a clue and call 911. 

11:50 p.m.—The emergency medical technicians arrive.  Lauren is pretty out of it, but is awake enough to realize that one of the EMTs is actually very good looking (at least that’s what she told me later).  I’m not really sure how good looking he was, but I will tell you this, he was definitely miles more prepared than the midwife people.  He took charge on the scene and we (meaning the Mrs. and I) made our way to Timpanogas Hospital by way of ambulance.

April 12, 2013
12:17 a.m.—We arrive at the ER at Timpanogas Hospital.  Much less chaotic than the birthing center, thank goodness for that.    Unfortunately the midwives followed and are still lurking.  I kind of want to give them a piece of my mind, but I don’t.  I just sit by the bed and watch the nurses and doctor work.  They seem to be pretty competent.

12:54 a.m.—Competent but apparently not in a rush.  Still no anesthesiologist or ob/gyn.  Lots of blood though.  And because the Mrs. lost so much blood, no pain killers either.  So lots of blood and lots of pain.

1:12 a.m.—The ob/gyn Dr. Rees arrives.  I like him.  If he runs for political office, I’ll vote for him.  He puts the midwives in their place (finally) and tells Lauren and I that everything will be fine (most likely).  Just one problem, still no anesthesiologist.  We continue our wait.

1:20 a.m.—All the nurses have left so I get up and stand by Lauren’s bed.  She gets mad at me one more time just for old time’s sake.  I probably deserve it.

1:32 a.m—Finally, the anesthesiologist, who is the grumpiest old man I have ever met, arrives.  I would not vote for him, nor would I want him to be my grandpa. 

1:40 a.m.—Lauren goes in to surgery to have the problems fixed.  I go and sit with Leigh (who is still there bless her heart) and Ted, Lauren’s brother (I don’t bless his heart because he’s just there so he can have an excuse to miss school the next day).  Not one good magazine to read if you can believe it.  All nonsense magazines.

Editor’s Note IV: In case you were wondering, Gemma Grace is under the watchful care of Lauren’s mother this whole time. 

2:10 a.m.—Dr. Rees comes out and tells me the surgery was a success, but the Mrs. needs to stay awhile in the hospital.  He also says something to the effect of, “If you ever have another baby, don’t be stupid.  Go to a hospital where people have a clue.”

2:15 a.m.—I get Gemma Grace from Grandma (Grandma and Leigh stay at the hospital with Lauren) and drive to my mother’s house

3:00 a.m.—Gemma Grace and I arrive at the Wright Homestead in Salem, UT.  Since most of the doors are locked, I have to go through the back door which is usually jammed.  I finally get it open but break the curtain rod entering.  No big deal though, at least I am now at a real house with a real bed. 

3:30 a.m.—Gemma Grace and I go to bed downstairs at Grandma Dee’s and Gemma spends her first night on earth sleeping in her car seat next to her rather tired father.

The End

Epilogue—Later that same day we went to pick up Lauren from the hospital.  She was feeling much better so we gathered her up and went out to the Goshe to begin our lives with our new addition.

Post Script—On a more serious note, some few people asked me afterwards if I wasn’t traumatized by the whole event.  I wasn’t and here’s why.  When I saw my dad die, one of the things I learned was that our lives are in God’s hands and that in many, if not most, situations, there is not much we can do.  In such situations, we can pray and we can trust.  As a sat in the birthing center and later in the hospital.  I knew this was one of those situations and there was nothing I personally could do (although the doctors and nurses could, and did, do a lot).  Either God was going to take Lauren or He was going to help those doctors figure out a way to let her stay.  All I could do was pray and trust.  So that’s what I did.  And personally, I’m glad He let her stay.  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Pictures

The Change

The Reason

Sunday, March 31, 2013

My sister Mary

I am lucky enough to have six brothers and two sisters.  They’re awesome.  But today I’m just going to write about one of them, my sister Mary.  Recently I’ve been reminded about how especially amazing she is.

Here are eight of the reasons why she tops this week of amazingnessosity:

- Her middle name is Sylvia.

- She’s the only one of my older siblings who never beat up on me (and you can’t say, “that’s because she’s a girl”, because my younger sister beat up on me plenty and as far as I know, she’s a girl too).

- When we were growing up, she used to make chicken enchiladas for our whole family every Sunday (and they even tasted good). 

- She went on a mission before it was trendy for girls to go on a mission.

- She’s possibly the most patient person I’ve ever met.

- Some people say she’s similar to me. 

- She never got too mad at me when I used to leave the milk or cheese out on the kitchen counter (and it happened a lot, believe me).

- But the most amazing thing is that I saw her today and she was still smiling.  Incredible.    

My sister Mary, she’s awesome.  I’m proud to be her brother.

Sunday, March 24, 2013



Back in my youngerness, I used to avoid depressing movies at all costs.  I hated them.  I would think to myself, "Why watch a depressing movie when life is already depressing?"

However, now I’m older, I’ve changed.  Somewhere in the sadness of some movies, there is peace.        

These are some of those movies.  Watch them if you want. 
  • Shadowlands
  • Becoming Jane
  • Hereafter
  • Finding Neverland
  • Driving Miss Daisy
  • Steel Magnolias

Sunday, March 10, 2013

My Boycotts

According to my students, the Harlem Shake seems pretty popular these days.  Because it’s popular, I refuse to participate in or watch any such “shakeifications”.  I’m difficult like this sometimes.    I don’t know what it is, but when lots of people like or participate in something, I go on strike.  (My mother says it’s my way of rebelling.  The Mrs. just shakes her head and sighs.)

For example, when I was a freshman at the B.Y., all my fellow freshmanites would pray over their food when we were in the Cannon Center.  Because the praying was so prevalent, I, and my roommate Stephen E. Frandsen, refused (and sometimes stole the food of those who were praying).  We refused, not because we didn’t like praying (it’s not a bad practice overall), but rather because we didn’t want to be like everyone else.  Some people want to fit in. some don’t.

Anyway, in addition to my boycott of the Shake, here are some other events/items in my life where I felt it necessary to take a principled stand.  Some I eventually gave up on.  Hopefully that won’t be the case with the Shake.

- Walmart.  It is the Great and Spacious building.  Please do not go there anymore.

- The Titanic.  For 15 years I refused to watch that movie (although I love the soundtrack, especially “My Heart Will Go On” and I love Leo).  But last year the Mrs. forced me at kitchen knife point to watch it with her.  I did.  I regret every second of it.    

- The Utah Jazz in the 1990s.  Everybody loved John and Karl.  I didn’t.  Saved me a lot of heartbreak in ‘97 and ‘98. 

- Voting for Mitt in 2012.  Obviously there were a lot who didn’t vote for him outside of Utah, but there were very few, who along with yours truly and Big Stew, held out here in the cross roads of the West (Editor’s Note:  I should confess however, that I did vote for him in 2008, but that was before he was popular so I feel okay about it).

- The New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the University of Utah.  I will never give in.

- The Harry Potter book series.  I refused to read the books until 2007 (the first was published in 1997).  However, after watching the fifth movie, I gave in to the pressure.  After watching the movie, I had to know what was going to happen the rest of the way. (I know, I know, it doesn’t make sense that I refused to read the books, but still watched the movies).  Since then I’ve read every book at least twice.

- My finding out the gender of the expected child.  I do not know and I do not want to know until its birth day.    

- The Snow Cone craze which hits Payson High School somewhere around the middle of May.  I refuse to give in.  I will not eat a snow cone no matter how many people tell me how good they are (Editor’s Note II: However, when I played little league baseball, I did occasionally accept the proffered free snow cone at the end of a well-played game). 

- Ever After.  When it came out in 1998, I steadfastly refused to watch it.  No way, no how.  However, when I got home from the mission somehow I caved.  I don’t regret it.  I think I cried the first time through.      

And that’s all for now.