Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Vehicles I've owned

Here, for no apparent reason or request, is a list of vehicles I have owned. I just had this random thought that it would be fun to list them all out. Here we go!

1. 1970 Buick Skylark. Engine head cracked.
2. 1974 Chrysler New Yorker. Tranny went out.
3. 1974 Ford Gran Torino. Sold.
4. Some really small Datsun. It was Lori's when we were married. Abandoned in Logan, as it could not make it up and out of the valley!
5. 1984 Ford Tempo. Engine head cracked. Gave to my brother in law Larry.
6. Ford Probe. Sold to my brother in law Glen, who wrecked it.
7. Ford Escort. Traded in on next car.
8. Ford Taurus. Traded in on next car.
9. Ford Windstar. Traded in on next car.
10. Ford Expedition. Leased vehicle.
11. Ford Windstar. Traded in on next vehicle.
12. 2002 Chevrolet Suburban. Traded in on next vehicle.
13. 2007 Chevrolet Suburban.
14. Pontiac Grand Prix. Traded this for concrete work at our house.
15. 1973 Chevrolet Pickup. Traded this for a PlayStation 2.
16. 1999 Ford Taurus.
17. 2008 Ford Escape.
18. 2009 Honda Civic.
19. 2000 Plymouth Neon.
20. 2010 Ford F150.

So, if I've been driving since I was 16, that'd put my total driving years at 25. Subtract 2 for my mission years, so total driving years would be 23. I'm averaging a changed in automobiles about every 1.3 years. The 1999 Taurus is the record holder for longest stay. I've had it for 11 years now, and it's still just purring along.

Update - Braden totaled my Taurus. It had a good run. Rust in peace my friend.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cory Hunter memories

Recently, I noted my two oldest children spending a lot of time on Facebook. I decided it would be a good idea if I checked it out, so I created me an account and started looking around. Within moments, I was hooked. I found old classmates from Morgan High, former coworkers and former neighbors. It was a lot of fun.

I started wondering, who else might I know on Facebook? I noticed one of my good friends was a member of a group from his lds mission, so I checked and found two groups for me (I served under two different presidents).

Now, I must confess I am horrible with names, and most of the people in the groups did not sound familiar. But I remembered Elder Hunter had married a former sister missionary, and I saw an entry for Becky. I wasn't sure if it was his wife, so I googled her name. What I found was shocking. Elder Hunter had passed away back in 2007.

I went through a range of emotions. Firstly, I was shocked. He was so young, so energetic. How could this happen? I felt ashamed for not keeping in touch with him. He was one of my favorite companions, and I had done nothing to keep in touch. I felt concern, wondering how his family was dealing with this loss.

Now, I mainly want to put down some memories of him. Honestly, I'm not sure why, but it just feels like the thing to do.

Hunter and I became companions when I was 22 months into my mission. He was the perfect, inspired choice for me. I was feeling run down and tired, and his enthusiasm was contagious. I was the zone leader A, but in truth he was A+. He gave me a renewed drive to finish strong which I did not think possible. Most of journal entries reflect this. He truly was an inspiration.

One funny memory I have is of an experience with a lady named Roseanne. We had been teaching her for weeks, and things were going well. In fact, she was close to baptism. We had invited her to an activity at the church one night. I don't recall the activity, but I recall her insisting she needed to talk to Hunter alone. Since we were in the church, we figured this would be ok. They went into the kitchen, and I stood outside the door.

Well, it turns out she wanted to confess her love for him. She chased him around the kitchen, trying to steel a kiss or a hug. When she finally abandoned her plan and left, he was an absolute wreck. It was probably just minutes, but he looked like he had been working out for hours!

I also recall an entry he made in my journal. It was addressed to my future children. He bore a quick testimony and urged them to listen to their father. It was not a long entry, but it shows his thoughtfulness and foresight.

I remember him having such a strong testimony and an ability to relate to others. He had a way of reaching all. He was a great leader, and really took our zone to new heights.

One particular young lady had been investigating the church for months. She had been taught by numerous missionaries. There was nothing we could teach her that would help her make the decision to be baptized. We bore plain and simple testimony to her, and eventually she chose to be baptized. I think it was due to the way Elder Hunter could reach people, the way he knew what to say.

He truly was a great missionary. He turned the last two months of my mission into two of the most productive. There simply was no way you could not be enthused around him. Every day was filled with a desire to work hard and do your best.

I regret not knowing Cory's family, and for not staying in touch with him over the years. He truly was a great young man when I knew him, and I am sure he left behind a lasting legacy.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

2009 St. George half marathon

Some time last year, Braden announced he wanted to run a marathon. This must have been shortly after Wasatch Back, when he was really pumped about running. This caused me a bit of concern. I have sworn off marathons after each one I've done, and my last announcement had been that the only way I'd ever do another one was if one of my children wanted to do one with me. I quickly measured my options in my mind, and concluded that maybe if we did a half marathon together, that might be enough to cure him of this idea.

I signed us up for the Painters half marathon. I had done that one before, and it's kind of fun to have somewhere to run in January. Plus we could roll in a visit to the family down south as well.

The problem turned out to be training. It has been bitter cold up home, and when it hasn't been too cold it has been too wet and too snowy. Apparently, due to the economy or something, Spanish Fork city has vowed to never plow a city street again. Plus with Braden, Jason and Alyssa all playing basketball, and me having been lured into coaching again, there just wasn't enough time to train properly. Braden and I both arrived at the start line unprepared.

Thankfully, the Painters half has grown in popularity. It has been renamed to the St. George Half, and the number of runners continues to grow. I enjoy running with lots of runners, as the odds of my finishing dead last go down as more runners join in.

I knew this would be my slowest half ever. Having accepted that reality from the start helped. I settled into my marathon / survival pace of around 10:30 minutes per mile, and off I went. I ran the first 3 miles to the first aid station, took off my ear muffs and gloves, took some water, then ran to the first hill. I also knew that if I attempted to power up the hills I would never make it, so I power walked up the first big one and took the opportunity to enjoy some yummy energy cubes.

I ran again, this time to the next water station. I was feeling pretty good at this point. I was able to run to the next aid station as well and took 3 more cubes. This was now about 8 miles in. At this point, the race climbs around Bloomington in St. George. It looked to be about a half mile climb, so I walked this one as well. Once it leveled off, I started running again. Even though it was now downhill, I could feel an all too familiar sensation starting to form in my legs. It's as if they start to tell me, hey, we've had enough! I also had to take a few minutes to get out of my long sleeve running shirt at this time. I realize this does not sound too difficult, but keep in mind I have a hat, sunglasses, Ipod, Garmin, gloves, earmuffs and more to keep track of! It probably took me a good 5 minutes to switch shirts.

I shuffled into the last aid station, and this time slammed down two waters and a gatorade. I was now 2.5 miles out from the finish line, looking at a very flat to slightly uphill finish. This was going to hurt. I entered into another form of marathon survival, which consists basically of a walk fast / run slow combination. Once I could see the finish line, I had enough adrenaline going to finish off strong. Plus, the Last of the Mohicans main track popped up on my Ipod, followed immediately by some Hollywood Undead!

Lori and the kids were there, plus Eric, Sally, Jeremy and Emily, plus my sister Charlotte. I said hello, grabbed some water, then started searching for Braden. I eventually started walking back up the trail, and found him coming in about a half mile out. I encouraged him and kept him company, and got him back to where he could finish it off.

I am so proud of him for finishing. The poor guy hadn't ran more than 5 miles in months, so going 13.1 was quite a feat for him.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Traven's latest health adventure

You'll note several things about the picture. First off, Traven is wearing a breathing treatment mask. That's never a good thing. Second, it's dark outside, I am dressed and T is still in his pajamas. That is a bit odd as well. Third, I'm wearing my Seahawks jersey, even though they have been out of the playoff picture for weeks.

As most of you know, at one month of age Traven spent a month in Primary Children's hospital battling whooping cough. He made it through, but the long term consequences were unknown. The plan was to see how things went. He actually had a pretty safe spring, summer and fall, and at least for my part I thought we were free and clear.

Around Christmas, T started showing symptoms of a cold. It kept getting worse, and when we took him on the 2nd of January, we found out he had pneumonia, plus a double ear infection. We love him, but he is by far the crankiest sick person you will ever meet. He can't sleep through the night - the poor guy is so congested and hurting. It has been an adventure in patience and sleep deprivation. I feel blessed to have a flexible job that allows me to work from home sometimes, so I've been able to help take care of him.

For the breathing treatments, he has been amazingly well behaved. We put on a movie for him - either on my laptop or on the tv. He love Little Einstens, and will just sit there the whole time for the treatment.

Hopefully, as he gets older, his body will strengthen and he will be able to stay a bit healthier. Either that or we are moving somewhere much warmer!

Goals for the New Year

This is the time of year when many of us pause for reflection and make goals to better ourselves during the coming year. I like this custom, and also believe in the rule that a goal not written and shared is simply a wish. So here, for all your reading pleasure / boredom, are some of my goals for this year!

1. Switch up my exercise routine. Honestly, my body has learned all it needs to know about my running routine. I need to add in some cross training and other activities to shake things up. Since a goal should be specific, let's make this one be run 3 times a week, strength train 3 times a week, and cross train twice a week. The running will consist of one speed workout, one hills workout and one distance run.

2. Step up my spiritual exercise. Let's make this one simple as well. I'll say 30 minutes of some sort of reading or research each day.

3. Family reading. This is another simple one. The goal will be 10 minutes a day of reading as a family.

4. Nutrition. Man, I love to eat. I love to eat way too much. I hate to get bogged down in details with this one, but I'll set a goal of one serving per meal and no late night snacks. If I can stick to this goal for a year, I will be amazed myself!

I think 4 simple goals shared with the world should be enough for me for 2009!