Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008

Well, I would have to say that this year has been the most eventful year of my life. The first third of the year was packed full of the "finance core" of classes at BYU which was the most intense semester I had. It was loaded with classes like investments, economics, corporate finance, and corporate accounting. In the middle of all that I was in search of an internship for the summer, which as many of you know, I was able to get the one that I most wanted as a financial analyst for a hospital.

So the middle third of the year was filled with moving to St. George, UT for the summer and doing the analysis of multimillion dollar projects for the hospital. Before moving we sold both of our cars and bought a minivan. During the summer I also took a motorcycle safety course and bought my first motorcycle. By the end of summer I had to sell my motorcycle as I had become a single dad of our two children. I also got rid of the minivan (with great joy), and got a newer Honda Civic. Also, before I finished my internship I accepted an offer to work at the hospital full time after graduation. My first "real" job!

The last four months have been challenging but wonderful. I finished my last semester of school (I was taking 18 credits!) and I have grown a lot as I have been the sole provider for two kids. I finished school on December 17th (with great grades for the semester by the way) and made it up to Coeur d' Alene for a week to enjoy Christmas at "home" and then got back down to Springville and packed everything up and took off two days later to get back down here to St. George.

So here I am at the close of 2008, thankful for all that I have been able to accomplish and thankful for the many challenges I have faced. I know that I have achieved many things and have grown immensely because of the adversity that I have faced. I am also very thankful for how things have turned out. The timing of just about everything this year has been beyond amazing (the timing of how I got accepted for my internship, the timing of my divorce, the timing of having such a great job in such a bad economy, and finding a wonderful place to live that is very inexpensive because of the bad economy).

I look forward to what 2009 will bring but I highly doubt there will be nearly as much happening as what happened this year. I mean, seriously, how can you compare anything to a year of intense semesters, an internship, first motorcycle, divorce, becoming a single parent, graduation, and starting your first job out of college?

My new place!

So here are some pics of my new place down here in St. George. It's a great townhome in an awesome location!





Here is the living room with the stairs off to the right and the closet door right in the middle of the picture
Here is the dining room and going into the kitchen




Here is my awesome large kitchen!

This is right when you get upstairs. A bathroom on the left, Carter's room straight ahead, Alexis's room off to the right, and the master bedroom behind to the left.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Graduated!

It has been a while since I last posted on here. The end of my semester got extremely busy as I had a bunch of big projects and presentations in the last few days of classes. Then I had finals which of course is very time consuming. Needless to say, everything went well and I am now BYU alumni!

I will be adding a ton of pictures and more stuff on here soon. For now I will say that I am in Coeur d' Alene, ID with the kids and hanging out with the Griffitts. It's been very relaxing and fun. It's nice to know that I have no homework, no assignments, and no tests to study for.....ever.

I drove up to Boise, ID on Friday and then made the rest of the trip up to CDA on Saturday. I mostly had good road conditions but it got pretty ugly at times. A few interesting things I found as I made the trip........

1. I passed through a city called "Farr West". I guess it was even further than far, so they had to put an extra "r" on "far". Just then, a tumble weed blew by.

2. I stopped to use the bathroom in a little city called "Snowville". It was established in 1871 and the only thing I saw in the city was the gas station.

3. I was driving on a two lane highway and came across a sign on each side of the road, placed directly across from the other. The one on the left was a sign showing that the left lane was merging into the right lane. The sign on the left showed the right lane was merging into the lane on the left. It turned out that neither lane merged into the other.

4. Throughout Utah and southern Idaho the signs that say "Slower traffic keep right" are all on the far right side of the road. Wouldn't it make sense to put it next to the left lane where the dumb drivers that only drive in the left lane can see it and learn to move over? Once I got to Oregon it was finally next to the left lane, then I saw it that way throughout Washington and North Idaho.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Busy days....

I don't know if any of you have looked at my countdown over there to the right, but I only have two weeks until I graduate!!! That's crazy! So exciting. Along with it comes a jam packed end of the semester. This week has been the most chaotic of the whole semester. I had two huge presentations this week. Today alone I had three 75 minute classes, I also took a test between classes, finished up a big project and got it turned in, gave a presentation, and took a quiz. I didn't even eat anything until dinner time. I rushing all over the place today.

Tomorrow morning I am heading down to St. George with the kids to find a place to live. I have a few places lined up to look at. If everything goes well and the kids aren't too hyper then we might come back tomorrow night, otherwise we will stay at a hotel and come back on Saturday sometime.

Next week I have two big projects that are due and then the next week is finals. Then I am done!!! I will graduate and finally be done!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Dark Knight


Continuing on with a stellar weekend, Saturday night I went and saw the new Batman movie: The Dark Knight. It was my first time and I actually missed the first 20-30 minutes of it but it was amazing! I love that movie! Since it is now in the dollar theater, I can afford to go see it again, and hopefully see the whole thing!

Game #11: BYU 38 Air Force 24

After playing flag football for a couple hours in the morning, a bunch of us got together and watched the BYU game and had pizza. It was one of the better games that I think BYU has played this year. It was really good because Air Force is a quality opponent and not only did BYU win but it wasn't a super close game after they got rolling in the second half. It was a big win for being on the road against a good team and to get ramped up for the huge rivalry game next Saturday against the Utah Utes.

Quantum of Solace

On Friday night I went and saw the new James Bond movie. It was awesome! It was packed full of action and great special effects. It was a great movie to kick off a fantastic weekend!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Game #10: BYU 41 SDSU 12


BYU pulled off a decent win against the terrible San Diego State last week. I imagine it would have been a larger margin if the starters were in during the whole game. It was the last home game of the season and so some of the seniors that normally don't see much playing time got to play. That was also my last home game as a college student. It's sad that it had to be against a terrible team like SDSU but it was still really fun!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hangin with the kids

Tonight I had the privilege of paying back a part of the eternal debt I have to the Zastrows by watching their kids while they went out for a little bit. The kids loved it and it was really easy because they just wanted to watch the Little Mermaid. So here they are being thoroughly entertained!



Friday, November 7, 2008

Car Accident

Monday morning as I just left the house to take the kids to daycare and head to school, I was stopped at a stoplight and some guy rear ended me and pushed me into the car in front of me. The kids were startled and I had some whiplash but we ended up ok. We went to the hospital to be sure that we were ok. And, it turns out that the guy didn't have insurance.

So I get the joy of the whole mess of now having to take the guy to small claims court to get my money back. Luckily, I don't have to pay for everything, just my deductible and the cost of the rental car since I don't have that coverage on my insurance. So if anybody doesn't have car rental coverage, I would suggest getting it because uninsured/underinsured coverage only covers medical.

So I will go after this guy to get my money back and my insurance will go after him to get back everything that they have to pay out. I'm sure that the little bit of money that they guy saved by not paying for insurance was not worth the mess that he has now. When will those without insurance ever learn that it isn't worth the risk?

Game #9: BYU 45 Colorado State 42


A game that should not have been very close came down to the last minute for the second week in a row and BYU pulled off the win. It was pretty exciting but it was disappointing to see how much the team has been falling short. Only three more games of the regular season. Tomorrow is the last home game against San Diego State University. This game should legitimately be a blowout considering they are one of the worst teams in the country and have only won one game this season. If it isn't a huge blowout, the last two games will be very difficult for BYU.

Halloween!

Alright, I know its a week late but I have been really busy over this last week. Anyway, here are the pics. We went trick or treating with the Zastrows and the kids had a blast.










Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Busy Life

Things have been really busy lately. I will probably spend a few minutes tomorrow or on Thursday to update my blog. I have pics of the kids from Halloween and all that good stuff to come.....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Game #8: BYU 42 UNLV 35

So BYU pulled through with another win and improve to 7-1 on the season. It was kind of exciting as it came down to the last minute. All in all, it was sad to see such poor pass coverage by our defensive backs. They gave up something like 350 yards passing. It was sick. So I don't doubt that we will have wins the next two games but then the last two will be very questionable if our defense keeps going the way they are.

Friday, October 24, 2008

#21 BYU vs. UNLV

I don't really have much to say about this game. I think it will really determine how the last part of this season will end up for BYU. If they absolutely destroy UNLV then I think there is hope for them to win the rest of their games. If they just do ok then I think they will probably struggle the rest of their games. I hate to say it but, if they lose, well, then I guess there is always next year. It's hard to have any prediction of what will happen after last week's most embarassing loss.

Luncheon with scholarship donors

On Thursday I was able to attend a luncheon with the donors of one of my scholarships. I wasn't too thrilled about going but afterward I was really glad that I did. The donor is Hyrum W. Smith, the founder of Franklin Covey.

One of the things he stated that I really liked was, "You cannot think deeper than your vocabulary will allow you to." He then followed this up talking about the importance of expanding your vocabulary and continuing to learn in all aspects of life. A very valuable part of this happens from reading.

I really liked this because I have never been much of a reader apart from studying for school. It seems as though the most intelligent and most successful people are those that are always reading. I'll be searching for some good books after I graduate soon....especially because football season will be over.

Ward Halloween Party

This is Cinderella. She has been saying for a month that she wants to be Cinderella for Halloween!
Here is Winnie the Pooh. He was going to be a turtle as per Alexis' request, but I could not find a turtle outfit in his size.


And here is clan: Carter, Coen, Alexis, and Atlas



Here we were at the church eating dinner.



And this is the infamous "Trunk or Treat" where the kids go trick or treating in the church parking lot out of the trunks of cars.

Getting ready for Halloween?

After cleaning up after dinner I found the kids playing in Alexis' room as she was playing dress up


Alexis tried put on several different princess dresses within about 15 minutes!


Don't ask me what Carter was doing here. He really likes this mask though.



Alexis took a great picture of me and Carter


And here is the three of us

Last Saturday

Alexis wanted "the baby" to sit on her lap so she could read to him. ha ha ha!!

We went to the park and they had a blast climbing up everything


And they really like the slides.....


and the swings....


and more of the slides!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I love this pic!

I snagged this yesterday while the kids were outside playing

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Game #7 BYU 7 TCU 32

Let me quickly get this over with because a part of me died tonight as BYU lost. In fact, it wasn't just a loss, it was a very embarrassing slaughter. BYU looked pathetic. I couldn't believe it. TCU played an exceptionally great game and BYU played (in my opinion) the worst game I have seen while I have been in college. I am very disappointed. Goodbye BCS bowl game. Goodbye to Max Hall being a Heisman candidate. I'll just leave it at that for now.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

#9 BYU at TCU

Tomorrow is a big game at 6pm MST on Versus! It will be BYU's toughest game so far this season. TCU has only lost one game which was to the Oklahoma Sooners (who were ranked #2 at the time). TCU has the best defense in the country and BYU has one of the best offenses in the country. So it will be interesting to see what BYU can do against a high caliber defense and to see what BYU's defense can do against a good opponent. TCU definitely has the home field advantage.

I think it will be a hard fought game and will probably be a nail biter down to the end. Hopefully, though, BYU will destroy TCU. I don't think it is likely, but it is definitely possible if BYU plays a complete game like they were a few weeks ago. Max Hall will shine like the Heisman candidate he is, the receivers will have a great game, and the linebackers will tear it up.

My prediction: BYU 31 TCU 21

Game #6 BYU 21 New Mexico 3


My little post analysis of the last game is coming a little late, but hey, better late than never. Right? It was actually kind of a boring game. Again BYU didn't play that great, in my opinion. They should have done a lot better. They just seem to be going through the motions with a lot of things instead of going out and playing ball and having fun. It was a great finish though! As New Mexico was trying to work their way down field to score at the last minute, the last two plays the New Mexico QB was sacked (see the picture above). That's my BYU!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

#9 BYU vs. New Mexico (BYU's Homecoming game)

After letting Utah State score two touchdowns last week I'm sure BYU is fired up and ready to execute at a higher level. New Mexico doesn't have a passing game which is where BYU's weakness is on defense. So defense should do a great job containing New Mexico and keeping the points low or even scoreless. On the other hand, BYU's offense is strongest with the passing game. With today's weather in the 30's and a predicted 4-6 inches about the time of the game, BYU will surely be tested with their rushing strength. Cold weather is pretty tough but then add a bunch of snow to it and it should be a very interesting game.

My prediction: BYU 38 New Mexico 7

Also, just let me throw in here that I am way pumped to be going to the game today in the freezing cold weather, and hopefully it will snow a lot! I've been wanting to go to a game like that for a long time!

The stuffed animal that taunts me!

Ok, so here is the story with this. Danielle and I got this stuffed elephant for Alexis for Christmas a couple years ago (I'm pretty sure it was for her first Christmas). It has a little wind-up music box thing inside of it and not too long after getting it, the music wouldn't play anymore. It was so broke it wouldn't even wind up. The other day, Carter found it buried with a bunch of other stuffed animals and all of a sudden it was playing music as he was holding it. I took it from him and for some reason I was able to wind it up, but it still wouldn't play. As soon as I gave it back to Carter, it started playing again. I did this a few times until I gave up trying to get it to play music while I was holding it. So this morning I tried to get video of the weirdness of this event. Notice at first it will play for me but then it won't.


Especially take note that it completely stops playing music when I have it look at me (and the camera) and then it starts again as soon as Carter is holding it!

video

Middle of the Week

During the week, I had two midterms, both on the same day, in class, one right after the other. All through college I haven't had tests in class, they have always been in the testing center and we have to find our own time to do it. So what are the odds that I have two on the same day in class with practically no time between classes? Well it happened.



And of course, as has happened every other time that I have had tests: the night before when I most need a good night's rest, the kids wake up at least once in the middle of the night. It never fails. They always sleep peacefully throughout the night every single night. But, when I have a test the next day, they just happen to wake up and don't want to go back to sleep. Every time!! So like always, I only got about 5-6 hours of sleep Tuesday night and actually did pretty good on my tests. I wonder if it is just meant to happen because maybe I would do bad on tests if I actually got a good night's rest the night before. I guess I will never find out because it has never happened!



So here are a couple pics of the kids I took in the morning a couple days ago. While I was getting ready in the morning I found the kids helping each other out and I was lucky enough to get a couple pics.

Here is Carter helping Alexis put her shoes on

And then Alexis was helping Carter to get his socks and shoes on

General Conference at Brad and Jessie's

Here are some pics from last Sunday up at Brad and Jessie's apartment.



The kids hanging out on the balcony


Brad looks so enthusiastic


Here is a look down at the Utah Valley from their balcony. Right in the middle is BYU's campus


This was after I left their place, I drove just a little bit higher up and got a picture of the snow on Mt. Timpanogos

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Trip to Logan

I wish I would have had more pictures but the batteries in the camera died. On Friday, Brad, Jessie, and I went up to Logan for the BYU game against Utah State. The kids and I stayed with an old mission companion. Brad and Jessie stayed with his sister, Tawni. It was a quick trip, we went up Friday afternoon and came back Saturday afternoon.


This picture is my old mission comp. Justin Teuscher and his awesome wife Kristali playing with the kids


Alexis doesn't look very happy here but she was having a blast playing guitar hero (even though she couldn't quite coordinate the buttons at the right time). She looks like a natural the way she is holding the guitar!


Another of Alexis playing guitar hero


Brad snagged this picture of me while I was driving on the way back to Provo

Game #5 BYU 34 Utah State 14

So, BYU pulled off another win. At the end of the first quarter the score was 24-0. They seemed to be really content with that and then started to let up on them for a final score of 34-14. So my predictions for this game were off and came up short on all points. It was fun and now BYU is 5-0 on the season and extends the nation's longest winning streak with 15 consecutive wins.

Here is me with the kids at the beginning of the game. Next to me in the black shirt is Justin Teuscher, a mission companion that I served with down in Argentina



Here is the scoreboard at the beginning of the second quarter


Brad and Jessie with the kids


BYU (in white) on defense doing what they do best: destroying the offense

Thursday, October 2, 2008

#8 BYU vs. Utah State tomorrow

So tomorrow, BYU plays against Utah State for game #5. Byu is now ranked #8! Utah State is pretty much one of the worst teams in the country. So it should be a walk in the park for BYU. It should be another shutout with BYU scoring at least 49 points, but it is possible that they might give up one touchdown. I should also add that QB Max Hall is one of the top candidates for the Heisman award. I predict four TD passes and at least 350 passing yards.

Watching the kids tonight

Tonight I got home from school and watched Coen and Atlas for about two hours while Meagan was out and Brent is out of town. The kids had a blast!

Alexis and Coen playing with building blocks

Here's Atlas always with the yellow boots and Alexis' Elmo purse. Classic example of why Brent calls him a diva....ha ha ha



Carter always puts these little toy boxes on his head like a hat. He loves it! So I guess this picture of them watching football makes up for the pic of Atlas above.


And then they both found some books


In the meanwhile, Alexis and Coen were having fun playing in her room.