Thursday, April 8, 2010

My 30th Birthday

My birthday reflection:

I've got a wonderful wife who loves me, two beautiful, smart, well behaved little girls and a boy on the way, an amazing new house that we are closing on, a fun, powerful, feature-rich new car, several great new toys, a well-paying job with coworkers who respect me (and I work with Olga, too). I live in beautiful Sacramento, where we enjoy great weather without the crazy expense of a San Diego.

I've got a great church that inspires me to always be better and try to emulate Jesus Christ, and I'm surrounded by amazing fellow church members who love and support me and who show examples of Christlike lives.

I've been given lots of wonderful talents, which have helped me, and still do help me to make the most out of life, and hopefully to lift others up along the way and leave the world just a little bit better than I found it.

I have two supportive and loving parents who strove and fought to raise me right in a sea of wrong, and who still stand ready to support me in any way. I've been blessed with three brothers who are married to amazing women, and who are wonderful, upstanding people that others look to and respect, and who are, in their own term, raising upstanding families.

I've got extended family members who have always been like good friends to me and who have helped me out whenever they could and who have enriched my life.

I'm lucky that not only do I not hate my in-laws, but I'm blessed that my wife comes from a terrific, smart, supportive family willing to drop everything and help out when needed, whether it be time, effort, or money.

I'm particularly grateful for facebook, which has allowed me to stay in touch with so many wonderful people that I have met in my life who, through my laziness, I would never have stayed in contact with. What a tremendous blessing that has been!

Yeah, you can always move a rung or two up the ladder, and I probably complain more than i should about what is going on in my life, but really, the view from hearer is pretty amazing, and as I look back on my first 29 years and move into the scary 30s, i can't think of too much that I would change (except maybe I'd buy a house next door for Andie and Anna so we could hang out more).

So don't return your birthday gifts just yet - i still want that paisley tie and fancy cheese grater (and that Garbage Plate - I'm looking at you, Brian) - but really, as i blow out my birthday candles this year, there isn't too much for me to wish for.

I always dreamed that I would be further along in life by the time I was 30, but I never imagined that I would be so blessed.

And that is the best gift i could get.

(cross-posted from my facebook profile)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Our House

So we submitted an offer on a beautiful home in this area on October 12th. We FINALLY got our approval this past week! We actually were starting to look at foreclosures and active sales as of a couple of weeks ago, because we were starting to get really worried that maybe there was a reason why our approval was taking so long, but thank goodness it finally came through. I still have no idea what took so long--even our agent said it was taking forever--and I don't think we'll ever know why it was delayed so many times. The only thing I can ascribe it to is that it's the Lord's timing that our move is many weeks later than we had hoped. Who knows why things happen the way they do, but the important thing is that we are closing on a gorgeous home of our own. I never thought I'd be 32 before I owned my own home, but, quite honestly, we just weren't in a place (physically, mentally or financially) to buy a home before this. I'm thrilled that we were able to move down here to a place that we love, that we have been able to make a lot of friends, and now that we are able to give our family the stability that we have never had. We've moved around a LOT since we were married, and while it scares me a little to put down roots since I'm so nomadic, I think it's time for our family to do so, especially for the sake of our kids. Plus, moving gets so much harder every time we do it, because we keep accumulating stuff. I'm excited about this move, but I'm also pretty stressed out. We had hoped to close on our home quickly, but the sellers' circumstances are such that we'll probably be closing about 2 1/2 weeks later than we had wanted. And, really, we do want to be sensitive to their needs, so we will just have to swallow our disappointment. It's funny, I had joked that I'd be 8 months pregnant before we moved...and it looks like I will be about a week away from being just that! It's nervousing because I really won't be able to do much to help move, and I typically do most of the prepwork for moving, so I will have to rely heavily on others for help---something that is really hard for me to do. I just have to have faith that everything will work out! :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

A bit of a rant...

Okay, so I would just like to state for the record that I think the "AVERAGE" pregnancy weight gain stuff that they pull on you at the doctor's office is a load of crap. If you gain only 25-30 lbs per pregnancy, than that's awesome for you, and I applaud you for it...I do wish I could say the same. Maybe my body just needs to gain more weight because I'm naturally pretty thin--I really don't know. What I do know is that I can't find anything I want to eat during pregnancy that is healthy for me!! Add to that the almost inability to exercise and you have weight gain. Can you tell it's a sore spot with me? Anyway, it seems to me that from talking to many other women who have had babies, the average weight gain seems to be higher than 30 lbs and in some cases, much more than that. I'm really just doing the best I can with a body that is not my own right now. Sorry about the rant; like I said, it's a sore spot, and I try to do my best. I'm trying to eat healthier, but eating healthy is something that I struggle with even when I'm not pregnant. I am trying to walk more and get myself and the girls out for some much needed fresh air and exercise, so hopefully that will help.

Thursday, December 31, 2009


Yes, I know....I haven't posted in a long time. A LOT has gone on since last I posted. The big news is that we're expecting again. If you scroll down almost to the bottom of the page, there is a baby countdown widget that gives details and such. I'm 18 weeks along today, and the tentative due date is June 3rd. We have our big ultrasound scheduled for a week from today...yeah, I'll only be 19 weeks along, but that was when our schedule allowed it, and they should be able to tell the gender, unless he/she is excessively modest. However, I believe I had my big ultrasound with Katie at 19 weeks also, and that's when we found out she was a girl. No fears about modesty there!

I'm enjoying a raucous, fun-filled New Years Eve with the girls in bed, Braden at work and just good old me typing on the computer. WOOHOO, WORLD!!!! :) Haha, New Years Eve was never really that big of a deal to me, and I find that now with kids, it's even less so. Add to that Braden working, and I'm just chillaxing, about to settle down with a nice ebook of The Stand. Now you may ask yourself, is Stephen King the smartest choice of reading material when you're by yourself? Probably not. But I haven't got to the super scary parts I should be able to fall asleep...I hope... :)

Conversations with Jenna

I had to write this down for posterity.
Earlier tonight, in the midst of changing Jenna's diaper, she burst forth with the following gems: "I'm pregnant! And then I go to the temple. (suddenly very serious) But I don't wanna poop in the temple. In my diaper." Me (laughing): "Yes, that would be unadvisable. But there are bathrooms in the temple." Jenna: "Oh, I could go poop in there? And wash my hands? And you could go pee pee, in ANOTHER bathroom?" Me: "...Yes." You know, Jenna's in the middle of her independent stage, and it's rough sometimes with the battle of wills, but then she comes out with this stuff that just makes me laugh and laugh. If she's still wearing a diaper when she's getting married, I think I will have failed as a mother! Not to mention that hopefully the pregnancy comes AFTER the wedding... :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


"Sometime in the eternities to come, we will see that our trials were calculated to cause us to turn to our Heavenly Father for strength and support. Any affliction or suffering we are called upon to bear may be directed to give us experience, refinement, and perfection."
--Delbert L. Stapley, "The Blessings of Righteous Obedience", Ensign, Nov. 1977

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


"The things we hope in sustain us during our daily walk. They uphold us through trials, temptations, and sorrow. Everyone has experienced discouragement and difficulty. Indeed, there are times when the darkness may seem unbearable. It is in these times that the divine principles of the restored gospel we hope in can uphold us and carry us until, once again, we walk in the light."
--Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "The Infinite Power of Hope", Ensign, Nov 2008, 21–24

Monday, June 29, 2009

Khao Soy

We had the following at a Thai restaurant recently, and the recipe looks pretty easy:

"Khao Soy" (Chiang Mai Noodles)

This is the fettuccine Alfredo of Thailand!
It consists of a creamy curry sauce that is served over egg noodles. This particular dish is named after the Northern Thai city from which it was created: Chiang Mai.

4 ounces fresh egg noodle
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1/2 cup of coconut milk
4 ounces of ground pork
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 pinch of turmeric powder
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
1 teaspoon lime juice

The egg noodles should be fresh. If you cannot find fresh egg noodles, you may substitute almost any other noodle you desire. However if you intend to use dried noodles, remember to soak them first for 20 minutes.

Here is the two step plan. You should be doing these simultaneously.

Step 1
Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil.
Cook the noodles for roughly 20 seconds.
Strain the noodles, and put them on your plate

Step 2
In a medium sized saucepan, heat the coconut milk on low heat, and slowly stir in the curry paste. When it begins to simmer, add in the remaining items, except for the pork. Wait about 1 minute, then add in the pork, and cook until the pork is done (not pink in the middle)
Pour the sauce over the noodles, and voila!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Love it

It's late, and I'm tired. I just wanted to say that I love it here. The weather is hot, but it's great, and the evenings are even better. I was just out at 11pm, and it was still very warm out. LOVES IT!! We are lounging by the pool every couple of days, and it's gorgeous. We are all--except for Katie--getting nice tans. Jenna loves going to the pool...only there is really nothing to do with poor Katie, so she sits in the stroller. I do feel badly about that; the water is usually so cold that I'm nervous to take her in the water.

The parks are almost brand new, and Jenna also loves to go play on the swings and the play equipment. We met a young mom with a 2-year-old yesterday, and he (the 2-year-old, of course) was so enamored of Jenna! He wanted to do everything she was doing. It was way cute.

Katie is officially crawling and sitting as of a couple weeks ago. She would have been sitting earlier, I think, if we had given her more practice. She loves oatmeal and has tried green beans and sweet potatoes. She turned 8 months on Tuesday...I can't believe it! She loves to be wherever she determines the action is. If I'm in the kitchen, I have to put her in the exersaucer, or here she comes to see me! Yesterday, I came out of our bedroom after getting dressed, and both Katie and Jenna were crying for me right at the baby gate. Screaming in stereo; nice.

Anyway, church is tomorrow (thank goodness it's not at 9am), and I need to get some sleep. I keep meaning to write about our drive down here, but never get around to it. I'll keep trying!

Katie at the pool, eating her foot (probably out of boredom)

Jenna got her first haircut and now has bangs instead of a hairy mess!


"To fully understand this gift of agency and its inestimable worth, it is imperative that we understand that God's chief way of acting is by persuasion and patience and long-suffering, not by coercion and stark confrontation. He acts by gentle solicitation and by sweet enticement. He always acts with unfailing respect for the freedom and independence that we possess. He wants to help us and pleads for the chance to assist us, but he will not do so in violation of our agency. He loves us too much to do that, and doing so would run counter to his divine character."
--Howard W. Hunter, "The Golden Thread of Choice", Ensign, Nov. 1989, 17