Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A day off

I took the day off today and spent it just enjoying being with my family. I took the kids to the park to get them out of Haily's hair for a bit and we had a really good time. The kids ran around and made new friends, while I just sat back and watched them have fun.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Give me something to sing . . .er write about.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've found myself listening to more music. Growing up, I never really listened to much music, although I did buy the occasional tape or CD.

I've been uploading most of my music to itunes, and realized that I have a TON of movie soundtracks. My shuffle is mostly instrumentals, peppered with the occasional song. The sad thing is I find myself skipping many of the tracks, but I've rediscovered some favorites, such as Finding Neverland and The Fifth Element. Surprisingly, most of the tracks I skip are from the Star Wars films.

The only trouble I've had is that now that I'm using itunes, I'm finding a lot of stuff I want to buy, and the price point isn't that bad. It's a good thing I don't have any money to spend on it!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Graveside Remarks

Yesterday, Haily and I held a graveside service for our stillborn son, Eric Collin Warren. I thought I would share the talk I gave.

Over the past two weeks, I have been overwhelmed by the love and support our friends and family have shown us. From the simple heartfelt act of letting us know how sorry they are for us, to those who have offered a shoulder to cry upon, to the Relief Society sisters in our home ward who watched McKenna and Adrian and provided meals, to the selfless acts of service from ones who offered without hesitation. I know that despite being so far away, we have felt your love and we thank you for sacrificing your time and warm homes to be with us this morning.

I told Haily the other day that, while I did not have the bonding experience with our son that she did through her pregnancy, my love for little Eric came full force once I say his little body. I instantly felt both an instant love and the deepest sorrow I've ever known in that one moment. I've since found comfort in the words of the scriptures and the prophets.

The Psalmist tells us the Lord knows us before our birth. "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them." (Psalms 139:14-16)

In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Alma tells us "The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame" (Alma 40:23)

And in the Doctrine and Covenants, our Savior said "For all old things shall pass away, and all things shall become new, even the heaven and the earth, and all the fulness thereof, both men and beasts, the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea; And not one hair, neither mote, shall be lost, for it is the workmanship of mine hand." (D&C 29:24-25).

President Joseph Fielding Smith gave it as his opinion that these little ones would receive a resurrection and belong to us. Brigham Young taught that a baby's movements are those of the spirit's entering the body, preparatory to the immortal existence. With modern technology, we know that a beating heart, which is movement, begins in the first month of live. If their opinions were correct, then the tiniest of babies would be eligible for the resurrection. (I found this beautiful thought on this blog, which discusses a mother's loss following the stillbirth of her child.)

Never before have the principles of the resurrection and the atonement mattered as much to me as they do now. I know that we will be reunited as a family again. Until that time, he rests here with his Great-Grandfather, and works with both Jay and his Great-Grandpa Bratton in the next life. We will know him and see him there.

A favorite song comes to mind, with some revisions.

"Well it's hard to say goodbye, and let go, and it's hard to see it end
When the few memories we have made, can never happen again.
But it's harder for time to ever erase the together time we shared
And though we're apart, we'll remember all the love we've shared together
And for all that love, we'll thank the Lord above who showed us the way
That we could be together, forever someday.
We can be together, forever someday.
We will be together, forever someday.

(Together, Forever, Michael McLean, alterations by Eric Warren)

Our Heavenly Father has promised that we will be together, forever. I know that we will embrace our son and he will welcome us in his arms. Until then, we will remember him in our hearts and continue to love him.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Trying to be strong

I know and I realize I need to be next to my wife, supporting her every step of the way, and I am happy to do that. Unfortunately, I don't know where the line is to say "I love you and want to help you, but I need some time to myself." I feel selfish if I say something like that, and worry that I'm not giving my wife the help that she desperately needs. I suggested last night that I wanted to spend some "guy" time to just leave the house and do something for myself for a little bit. I'm sure this is just a part of my grieving process, but I can't help but feel guilty.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Rest in Peace - Eric Collin Warren

As many of our friends and family know, Haily and I learned in May that we were to be parents again in January. Although Haily was determined that our new baby was to be a girl (and had several names picked out), we learned on August 10 that our she was going to be a he (and a new list was quickly put together).

Haily and I thought about several names, ranging from Alexander to McRea, but nothing seemed right to me. We eagerly anticipated his arrival. I started moving some furniture last month to prepare for him. Even this past Monday night we were looking at a discounted stroller/car seat combo that we found on sale at Costco.

Haily had an appointment set up on Thursday for a routine ultra-sound and exam. Both the tech and the doctor spent about 20 minutes, but were unable to find a heart beat. Haily called me at work at about 1:30, to tell me the bad news. We spent the rest of the day in shock as the weight of what happened settled on us.

My mom was already in Arizona, and Haily's mom drove from Las Vegas to be with us. Before leaving home for the surgery, we decided upon his name, Eric Collin from my name and from his Grandpa Bratton's middle name. We've been in touch with funeral homes and cemeteries and believe we have that aspect lined up. Haily went into surgery a little after 8 and Eric Collin was stillborn at 9:21 last night. He weighed one pound and measured in at 11 inches.

Adrian and McKenna are doing well. Adrian is young enough to realize Mommy is not at home, but has been happy having Grandma to play with. McKenna know's Mommy and Daddy are very sad, and that Mommy is at the hospital with the baby. We've told her that her new brother will be living with Heavenly Father and Jesus.

Haily is recovering in the hospital tonight. She has had some time with our baby. Haily's doctor and the nursing staff have been nothing but helpful through all of this, and have gone out of their way to help us with our grief. Although we are devastated by this turn of events, we are grateful to our friends and family who have sent us their thoughts, kinds words, and prayers.

Little Eric was too precious and pure for this world, and it is in our Heavenly Father's wisdom and mercy that we were selected to be his parents for this short time. We know that he is a part of our eternal family, and that we will be with him in the next life. We know that he will be resurrected at the second coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Our Heavenly Father has a plan for us to return to his presence and we will be together as a family in the eternities.

Sad news

Most everyone already knows on Facebook, but I figured I would also update my blog. Haily and I have suffered a tragedy these past 48 hours. Both McKenna and Adrian are fine. We really want to thank everyone who has reached out to us with their kinds words, thoughts, prayers, and support. We know Heavenly Father gives us trials to overcome, and though this may be the most difficult one we've faced together, it helps to know there are others out there who have opened their hearts to us. Thank you.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Just a post.

I'm feeling bad because I haven't posted anything lately to my blog for a while. Maybe I'll think of something interesting to write about this weekend.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Never Forget.

I can't believe it has been twenty years since my scout jamboree trip. I got to relieve some of it last summer when my wife and I flew to Washington D.C., spending the day with an old friend as we walked up and down the National Mall and visited the Air and Space Museum, the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial.

The second day of our trip found us in New York City. We spent the morning riding the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. I started to climb up to the crown, but chickened out midway - good thing I did because I nearly missed the ferry back to Manhattan. We toured the United Nations building, rode the Subway to Shea for a Mets game, took our tour bus through Queens (where I could see the statuary from the 1964 World's Fair), back for a tour of Manhattan (Times Square, Broadway, Empire State building, St. Patrick's cathedral) before stopping for dinner at a very unprepared Burger King. After getting my order, I followed the other scouts across the street and sat in a plaza eating my hamburger (ketchup and mustard only, please), and pondered what we were about to do next.

The final tour of our day was to travel to the top of one of the World Trade Center Towers. I remember feeling nervous. I had certainly never been so high in a building and I was a little scared of how I would deal with the heights. The elevator ride seemed to be shorter than I thought it should be. As I stepped out and looked around the observation deck, I was amazed at the thousands of lights dotting the horizon (it was dusk). I leaned my head against the glass and looked down towards the dark ground, vertigo quickly forcing me to lean back. Before returning to the elevator, I looked around one more time and caught sight of our first adventure that day, the Statue of Liberty in the harbor.

Quiet Night.

I'm all alone with my thoughts tonight. I was last night too.

Grandma and Grandpa B have been asking to spend some time with McKenna. After Haily's day care kids went home, she packed up McKenna and Adrian and flew up to Vegas for the night. Haily and Adrian came back this afternoon, but Haily had to rush right back out for her Enrichment activity. Adrian's been fed and put to bed and now it's just me, all alone, with no idea of what I should write about.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

And one from me . . .

Playing with Photoshop. Original picture and more can be found at Print a Penguin.

This one's for Uncle Adrian

Colored by McKenna. If you like these, check out ToonBaboon's Print a Penguin blog!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Short Disneyland Trip

I know a few of my relatives and in-laws get tired of how often we go to Disneyland. Actually, we haven't been since May, due to money issues and problems with my herniated disc. At almost the last moment, we decided to go, and I'm glad we went. Not only did we get a really good discount on a car rental, but we also had a wonderful time together as a family.

McKenna got three new experiences on this trip. On Saturday, before we left home, we measured her height - she was pretty darn close to 40 inches tall with her shoes on. Once we had an opportunity to check at the park, she came in right at 40 and she got to ride Big Thunder Mountain and Star Tours with me. And even though she has seen Fantasmic a few times on You Tube, there's nothing better than seeing it in person.

In all, we had a great time. We usually spend a lot of time together, rarely do Haily or I do anything without involving the kids, but it's sure a neat feeling to find yourself flying in an elephant, or sailing over Neverland with your child beside you.

One of our "must do" activities is to watch the "Billy Hill and the Hillbillies" show at the Golden Horseshoe Saloon. These four brothers, each named Billy Hill, put on a bluegrass show that touches almost every muscial genre from Elvis, to the Beatles, to Country and Disco (They call that style Crisco) and Country meets Rap (no name for that style yet). They always put on a good show, and I've yet to be disappointed.

Special thanks go out to Karen and Charles for hosting us for the night, and extra thanks also go out to Bryan and Jamie who helped us out with an issue after we got home.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Blowin' In The Wind

Living in Arizona, we're constantly aware of any changes to the dry heat of the summer. One of the most dangerous changes comes with the monsoon, a seasonal weather pattern that brings moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. The storms often appear unexpectedly, and bring a high amount of rain, preceeded by high winds and dust. Many of the local television stations broadcast a special about the dangers of the monsoon.

On Thursday night, we got caught up in one of the storms. We were driving after dark and fought the wind for a good distance. We could see the dust getting kicked up, and watched as heavy raindrops splattered on the car, muddying up the windshield with a thick paste. Our field of view diminished to the point where we could see only a few feet ahead of us. We pulled over, turned off our headlights, and turned on the hazards. A signpost that was only ten feet ahead of us disappeared in the gloom. We sat for several minutes, in silence, watching as cars slowly passed us, and others, following our example, pulled off the road. At one point, McKenna said she was scared and wanted to go home. In all, we waited for about fifteen minutes for the storm to pass us over.

As the wind slowed and visibility increased, we could see that the car was covered in dirt. I'm glad we had the sense of mind to pull over and let the storm pass over us.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Dr. Seuss invades the Warren home

Watch as Haily reads a book,

Check out Kenna's hair - new look!

Eric ignoring the world again,

And Adrian with a cheesy grin!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

It's September

And I was just getting used to it being August. I only just realized that Labor Day is next week.

Growing up in Idaho, the first week of September was always exciting. It signaled the opening of the Eastern Idaho State Fair, probably the biggest thing to hit the area. For a few dollars, we could see arts, crafts, livestock, and a selection of the best food to choose from. Over the years, different things would appeal to us, but we always had to get a tiger ear and go on the carnival rides. There were even years which found different members of our family behind the booths, serving up the ubiquitous tiger ears, and I later manned the booth for the TV station I worked for.

Different music acts, mostly country, would perform, and it was at the fair that I went to my first concert. What I consider to be my first real date was at the fair. And I'll always remember the night I came across my two best friends before and after they attacked a certain ride. The after was definitely worse than the before.

The pictures used for today's blog came from

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Egad - No post yesterday!

I completely forgot to post a message to my blog yesterday. I set a goal for myself to post at least something every day. For those of you who may be reading my blog through Facebook, you may say, "Yeah, but he posted all of those crazy pictures yesterday." Technically, that's true, however, I didn't actually post anything to my blog at

Now if this isn't a crazy way to drive traffic to my blog, I don't know what is. :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

15 Movies

Rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen movies you've seen that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag fifteen friends, including me because I'm interested in seeing what movies my friends choose. (To do this, go to your Notes tab on your profile page, paste rules in a new note, cast your fifteen picks, and tag people in the note -- upper right hand side.) I hope you participate, even if you didn't get tagged! No judging! Okay, fine, judge .

Star Wars: A New Hope
The Last Starfighter
To Kill a Mockingbird
Beauty and the Beast
The Goonies
The Iron Giant
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Raiders of the Lost Ark
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
The Fifth Element
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Moulin Rouge
The Other Side of Heaven

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Project Vulcania - Revealed

"...there is hope for the future. When the world is ready for a new and better life, all this will someday come to pass, in God's good time." Captain Nemo

I put the finishing touches on Project: Vulcania this afternoon and can now officially reveal it!

Based upon Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, I give you Captain Nemo's Submarine - The Nautilus! The film, of course, is based upon Jules Verne's novel. My project's title, Vulcania, came from Nemo's secret island base.

The build took an estimated 10 hours spread across four days and involved seven printed sheets. To build the model I used scissors, an x-acto knife, Elmer's glue, a scoring tool and ruler. During the build I discovered that two sections were not glued correctly and ended up replacing them. One final error remains, but at this point I'm not going to worry too much about it. I also utilized a themed stand designed specifically for the Nautilus.

The template, instructions and stand all came from, which in addition to several other papercraft projects, also offers several free desktop backgrounds, user images, icons, fonts, and projects - all with a Disney theme.

I've built some other papercrafts from this site, but they, as well as most of my papercrafts, are at work. I'll try to remember to bring a camera to work and post pictures of those as well.

Threes of Me

You've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with the 3's of YOU. At the end, choose people to be tagged. You have to tag me. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you - but not in a creepy stalker kind of way.

(To do this, go to "notes" under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 3's, tag 26 people (in the right hand corner of the app), then click publish.

Three names I go by:

3--Junior (thanks Channel 3)

Three Jobs I have had in my life:

1--Hydrotubular Transportation Specialist (pipe mover)
2--Local TV news photographer
3--Lead agent for US Airways group department

Three Places I have lived:

1--Pingree, ID
2--Grant's Pass, OR
3--Chandler, AZ

Three Favorite drinks:

1--Chocolate Milk
2--Orange Julius
3--Black Cherry Kool-Aid

Three TV shows that I watch:

2--Hell's Kitchen
3--America's Got Talent

Three Places I Have Been:

1--New York

People that text/e-mail/facebook/tweet me regularly:

3--My mom

Three of my favorite restaurants:

2--Cracker Barrel
3--Good 'N' Plenty

Three friends I think will respond:


Three things I'm looking forward to:

1--Next trip to Disneyland
2--Birth of our new son in January
3--Next papercraft project

Project: Vulcania - Nearing Completion

After taking Monday off of model building to regroup and decide how I wanted to correct an error I made early in the build process, I nearly finished Project:Vulcania last night. I still have one step left to complete before I'm ready to finish it. It's been a lot of fun to work on, but in the meantime, I've promised McKenna I would make a special papercraft project just for her. Pictures of both will be forthcoming. I may also take my camera to work, where I have my other papercrafts, and get pictures of those as well for posting.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Everything but . . .actually, yeah.

I wish I had a camera. On my drive home, traffic slowed down extremely quickly on a stretch of the road that normally doesn't have any traffic problems. It was enough to get out of the fast moving left hand lane into the suddenly much quicker right hand lane. I soon learned what the cause of this backup was - it seemed Jed and all his kin had packed up the homestead headed to Beverly. Apparently, a family was moving all of their possessions by pickup and makeshift trailer, with several items which appeared to be lashed on. I couldn't help but think that they had everything but the kitchen sink . . . until I was close enough to realize that, yes, the kitchen sink was lashed onto the back of the trailer as well. Again, I wish I had a camera.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Project: Vulcania - day 3

Here's a few more pictures of Project: Vulcania. I'm not quite halfway through with this build, but it looks to be turning out to be one of the best I've done so far.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Secret Project

. . . I've only just begun.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I started a new project.

And I'm really excited to see this one take shape. Pictures to come!

Scientific Study of Me

A friend of mine posted this on her blog and I figured I'd co-opt her idea. I really have nothing better to do for the next ten minutes.



1. What is your salad dressing of choice?
Ranch, except when I feel like Catalina.

2. What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
Probably Cracker Barrel, but I don't get to eat out like that very often.

3. What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of?

4. What are your pizza toppings of choice?
Pepperoni and Canadian Bacon with pineapple

5. What do you like to put on your toast?
Butter and raspberry jam.


1. How many televisions are in your house?
Three, however, one does not work. Should I count my portable DVD player as one more?

2. What color cell phone do you have?

3. How many computers are in your house?
2. One works. One takes up space.

4. Have any idea how many Megahertz your computer has?
Nope. There used to be a time when I cared about such things. Now I only worry about it not turning on.


1. Are you right-handed or left-handed?

2. Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
Teeth and a portion of my colon (that's a lovely story involving a near death experience).

3. What is the last heavy item you lifted?
My kids.

4. Have you ever been knocked unconscious?


1. If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
I could see the benefit, but I would rather not.

2. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
Rockerfeller, but only for the inheritance that would come with the name.

3. Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?


1. How many pairs of flip flops do you own?
One, but I haven't worn them for a couple of years.

2. Last time you had a run-in with the cops?
1999. I ran a red light.

3. Last person you talked to?

4. Last person you hugged?


1. Season?
Spring. The days are nice and everything is green (I live in the desert, what do you expect?)

2. Holiday?
Christmas, followed closely by Halloween

3. Day of the week?

4. Month?
April. Spring and birthday, and 3rd favorite holiday, Easter.


1. Missing someone?
I miss being close to my family, fortunately my brother lives a little less than an hour away.

2. Mood?
Generally calm

3. What are you listening to?
Haily sleeping.

4. Watching?
Nada. Just the computer screen


1. First place you went this morning?
The ubiquitous water closet.

2. What's the last movie you saw?
Made of Honor

3. Do you smile often?
Every chance I get.


1. Do you always answer your phone?

2. It's four in the morning and you get a text message, who is it?
No one texts me that early in the morning.

3. If you could change your eye color what would it be?
Blue, it's very close to that already.

4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic?
I prefer an Orange Creme Slush.

5. Do you own a digital camera?
Yes, when Haily lets me use it.

6. Have you ever had a pet fish?
Yep. Despite the loss of our platys, we've still got a plecostomus.

7. Favorite Christmas song?
Mary Did You Know.

8. What's on your wish list for your birthday?
HD TV, PS3, Home Theater sound system. I know I won't get them, but I can wish.

9. Can you do push ups?
Yes, but I don't do them as often as I should.

10. Can you do a chin up?
I doubt it.

11. Does the future make you more nervous or excited?
I try to keep an open mind about it.

12. Do you have any saved texts?
Only the last several I've received.

13. Ever been in a car wreck?

14. Do you have an accent?
Midwestern American.

15. What is the last song to make you cry?
I don't remember.

16. Plans tonight?
Hopefully my Mom will make it here from Dominica.

17. Have you ever felt like you hit rock bottom?
There were a few days like that in college.

18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday?
Chicken strips, potato wedges, a soda.

19. Have you ever been given roses?
No. I've given them.

20. Current worry?

21. Current hate right now?
People who excuse their own bad behavior and errors..

22. Met someone who changed your life?
Most definitely.

23. How will you bring in the New Year?
Probably by having fallen asleep at 10 on New Year's Eve.

24. What song represents you?
Moving Right Along.

25. Name three people who might complete this?
Surprise me.

26. Would you go back in time if you were given the chance?
As long as it is not to the destruction of Pompeii, why not?

27. Have you ever dated someone longer than a year?

28. Does anyone love you?
Yes. My wife and kids show me every day.

29. Ever had someone sing to you?
My daughter.

30. When did you last cry?
Yesterday on my way to work. I missed my family.

31. Do you like to cuddle?

32. Have you held hands with anyone lately?
Haily, McKenna, and Adrian.

33. Are most of the friends in your life new or old?
Most of my friends are old.

34. Do you like pulpy orange juice?

35. Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Enjoying my family and life. Probably while on a visit to Disneyland.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Up and atom

Another day ahead of me. Uh oh, I hear Adrian awake in his crib. Ever since we moved the computer out of the unused bedroom, it's harder for me to accidentally wake him up, as the two bedrooms are right next to each other. The master bedroom, where the computer is now, has a lot more space between us and the kids.

We weren't planning on having any daycare kids today, as their mom is off for the day, so I think we're going to hit the ground running this morning and start looking for some more kids that Haily can watch. She talked with one of her friends about what's been going on, and knows some of the ladies in our ward who are also doing daycare. One of the people she spoke with mentioned that there have been times she's only watched a child for a week or less, and indicated the mother may have just wanted to get the kids out of her hair for a little while. We're hoping some of the daycare moms in our ward might be able to send some kids our way if they're already full.

I think it's been good for Haily to have this experience, and I hope we can make this work. It hasn't stopped Haily from looking for work, but it would work out better for us if we can provide daycare.

Uh oh, I think McKenna heard me typing. I think she's hiding in the hallway just out of my sight.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

So much for that . . .

Just found out that the kids we've started having for daycare won't be with us. The mom had some difficulties between her schedule and having someone pick up her kids at school - the district doesn't bus within our community and we don't have a large enough outfit to carry our kids and hers.

Back to square one, but now we've had a taste of what to expect and have done the research to be ready for the next kids. Keep us in your prayers.

Moved it all around

Well, we're making some changes around our home. Haily has begun a day care service. Unfortunately, any job offers that have come along wouldn't pay enough for us to put our kids in daycare ourselves, so we figured this might be a better option.

We've spruced up our little used front room and moved several toys out there. We took the computer out of the unused bedroom and moved it into the master bedroom, then moved a bookcase from the front room to the unused bedroom. I'm not sure how long that bedroom will remain unused, because McKenna will need her own room soon, while Adrian and the baby will be in the other.

We're currently watching three children every afternoon. They are all brothers and sisters. The youngest is three and he and Adrian have been tearing up and down the house. He's had fun with someone other than McKenna around. The other two children are in Kindergarten and first grade, and they will usually arrive around 3 in the afternoon. Their mom works until eight. McKenna's having fun with them as well, and is adjusting pretty well to having three other kids around. I have to wonder how my Mom dealt with all of this noise. Then again, we could be sent to the basement or outside for hours.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I have no idea

I want to blog more. It's as simple as that. I want to improve my writing skills, and learn to make my writing interesting, and I know that blogging can help that. It doesn't matter to me that people may not care that I'm writing (okay, maybe I care a little bit). When I first began this blog, it was with the intention to provide assistance to flyers, ie. travel tips, best airport to fly into where there's a choice, etc. Then it suddenly veered into my impressions of comic books, then on to my family, and then, well, I just started writing about whatever I felt like writing about.

Don't get me wrong, I want to write, but I just am not sure what to write about. Do I write about my son waking up at 6:30 this morning? After my wife got him out of his crib, she brought him into our bedroom, where I was busy working on a Sunday School lesson. She set him on the bed, and he ended up laying on my pillow with a very relaxed look on his face.

Do I write about how excited my kids are to see me when I come home from work? Should I write about my family's trips to California, Utah, Idaho, Washington DC, etc? The possibilities are wide and varied, and maybe I just feel a little overwhelmed when I sit down to type. Regardless of what I decide to do, I think the important thing is just to write.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Getting ready

My morning usually starts around 5:30. After a hop in the shower, I'm dressed and checking my email by 6. I try not to wake up the kids, but Adrian can hear me every so often. I try to check out my favorite websites for updates - I usually visit sites about upcoming movies and current events, as well as facebook and twitter. I also look to see if any of my brothers and sisters have updated their blogs as well. Then I'm out the door by 6:45 at the latest, on my way to work.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Project Playlist

If you haven't already heard it or seen it everywhere else, over on the right hand side of my blog at is a playlist. The website, accesses music files and lets you put together up to 2oo songs on a single playlist. I've already built five playlists and it's a good replacement for an mp3 player, at least as long as I'm nearby a computer. The site has agreements with record labels to provide the music. Check it out. You can post your personalized playlist to your blog or myspace page (still trying to figure out how to post it on facebook).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Short update.

Had a fun Family Home Evening tonight with McKenna. She made sure we got out our scriptures and read for a little bit. She even "helped" Haily read every few verses.

It's amazing to watch her as she grows. She's developed her own little personality, and it's hard to believe that she'll be going to school next year.

Speaking of growing, little Adrian has been sprouting up himself. He's figured out a few words, like Mamma (boy does he have that one down!) Daddy, shoes, and book are his favorites.

We're also expecting a third child right around new year's. We just found out today that it's a boy. I think Haily may be a little disappointed, she was expecting a girl. But we'll love him just the same.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Past Jobs

I got to thinking about my past jobs in years gone by, and thought I might write about what I liked and disliked about them.

1. Mowing my grandparent's lawn. When I was about 9 or 10 I started mowing the lawn for my grandparents who lived next door. It was fun because they had a riding lawnmower, but a BIG yard, and grandpa was a stickler for having it done right. The most difficult part was mowing around the apple trees at the northern end of the yard, although dealing with the lilac bushes and the well were also trouble spots.

2. Pipe moving. For two years my brothers and I moved water pipe for a local farmer. Dad would always brag about how he moved a line in about ten minutes, we were lucky if we got it done in a half hour. It was hard work, which had to be done twice a day - we were up extremely early, and worked in the late afternoon. Don't really know if there was anything I really enjoyed about it.

3. Potato Harvest. Hard to grow up where I did and not be involved in it. I was interested in all the machinery used from the field to the cellar. My dad used to be a farmer and we would often go with him the the main shop or out to the farms. Years later, potato harvest meant hard work, long days (pre-sun up to long after sundown), and dust and dirt everywhere.

4. McDonald's. About the only thing I enjoyed was that I worked with my best friend. The work was repetetive, my hours were cut down to about three a week (what was up with that), and management didn't care if anyone got hurt. The worst of it was the manager would give a pass to their favorite workers (who were often dating their family members). Welcome to the big time.

5. At call cafeteria crew. My first college job was so infrequent, it would hardly qualify. I worked as replacement staff if employees did not show up or called in sick. Most of the time I would help in the dishwashing area, but there were a couple of nights where I worked from 9 to midnight cleaning the kitchen, which was downright tiring. Thank goodness I only got called a handful of times.

6. Spring Planting. In order to raise some money for my mission, I spent two months working for a local farmer. Unlike my previous experience with farm work, I really enjoyed being outside. It wasn't the same thing everyday, one day, yeah, I had to move pipe, but another day I'd be out preparing irrigation equipment or any number of different things. Looking back, the only thing I disliked about it was that I missed out on TV, which wasn't so bad, all things considered.

7. After returning from my mission, during my second year of college, I was an administrative assistant for my choir instructor. Five hours a week, but I got to see a lot of behind the scenes work of a teacher, and partly inspired my desire to become a teacher myself. I also met a well known LDS author and often think back to that year being one of my best in college.

8. Kirby Salesman. The summer of 97 was spent in the pursuit of selling overpriced vaccum cleaners. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have one, but sheesh, the things are expensive. I'm surprised I even managed to see any. I worked with a fun bunch of guys, and we spent a good deal of time working away from our base of operations in Pocatello - like Soda Springs and Logan. I was able to earn enough money to buy my first computer. Unfortunately, I also missed our summer party due to my other summer job

9. Demonstrator. You know, the folks at Walmart and Sam's Club who give out samples. What are you supposed to say to someone whose kid takes half of the product you prepared? Long, tedious, and boring. Then I learned that not only did the company set me up to do demos, I was also hired out to help grocery stores restock after they remodeled. I pulled a few all-nighters, and was not happy to learn that along with restocking, we were also to cut and wrap cheese and other deli items. I thought that was the responsiblity of the store's employees.

10. Suncoast Video. Great job for me, bad job for my wallet. What can I say, I'm a movie freak, and this provided a great opportunity to buy every Disney cartoon - not to mention close to a hundred and fifty video tapes. Then, when I least expected it, I fell deep into DVDs when they first came out. Good times working there, and I felt like a valued member of the staff - despite working on the day after Thanksgiving in a mall, and getting frozen out of my car. Eventually had to quit due to school obligations.

11. Hollywood Video. All right, no longer do I have to pay for the movies, just rent them for free! I worked in three separate stores, eventually getting up to shift supervisor. Lot of fun, but very little money. Prior to getting married, I worked at a Hollywood video in Las Vegas.

12. Matrixx/Convergys. Telemarketing. My first stab at it was in Provo. Part time, calling people during dinner to sell long distance phone service. It lasted three months. I went back to the company in 2001 and worked on a sattelite TV service, inbound calls this time.

13. Party Palace. Part time. Low pay. Lots of fun. I was primarily hired to work in the costume shop getting ready for Halloween, but ended up doing just about everything but arranging flowers. One of my favorite moments was being Santa Clause for a nursing home.

14. Television news photographer. Don't even ask how I fell into this one, I still have no idea. Worked for a local TV station for over a year and a half. Highlights included watching the Olympic torch as it was carried through Pocatello, and being left in charge of the Pocatello Bureau on Saturdays. Late nights though. Least fun was driving to schools for basketball games in the dead of winter, and live shots from Pocatello for the 10 o'clock news - had to drive from Pockey to Idaho Falls then back to Blackfoot.

15. Disney Store. I only worked there a month prior to getting married. Got a day's worth of Disney training, and spent a lot of my time in the stock room. Fun interview (What Disney character are you most like?) Hated having to leave that job when I moved to AZ.

16. Airline - I started out in Reservations, moved to Group Sales and am now in the Customer Relations department. I'll reserve comment (for now).

17. Animation company. I've been trying my hand at a number of responsibilities, and have enjoyed what I've done so far.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

119 Questions

ReplyAre you really ready for 119 questions?
Ready for anything !

Where's number 1?

2) Do you regret your last relationship?
No. I learned from it and while I wasn't in a relationship for a long time after, I am grateful to have learned and moved on.

3) Do you believe in God?

4) Who did you last say "I love you" to?

5) Do you regret it?

6) Have you ever been depressed?
When I was still going to BYU, I lost all desire to do anything. School, work, etc.

8) Are you a boy or girl?

9) What is your relationship status?

10) How do you want to die?
In my sleep, old and surrounded by family.

14) When was your last non-physical fight?
It seems I'm in a fight everyday at work - I'm in customer relations.

15) Do you have an attitude?
When I get my hackles raised, yeah.

16) Ever been in love?

20) Do you hate anyone at the moment?
Idiots who think the world is their oyster.

21) Do you miss someone?
Yes. I miss my family in Idaho, Utah, and Florida.

22) Right or left handed?

23) Do you tan a lot?
Not intentionally, but it's hard not to get a tan in Arizona when you wear shorts.

24) Have any pets?
A fish.

25) How exactly are you feeling?
I'm tired, from putting in mondo-overtime at work.

27) Ever made out in a bathroom?

28) Would you take any of your exes back?

29) Are you scared of spiders?

31) Do you regret anything in your past?
Yeah, I think I was too rude towards my brothers and sisters.

32) What are your plans for this weekend?
Relax and go to church.

33) How many kids do you want?
We've got two, and I'd like more.

34) Ever kissed somebody that name starts with an D?
No, but my nephew calls my wife "Aunt Dee Dee" Does that count?

35) Do you type fast?

36) Do you have piercings and what are they?
No, though I've stepped on nails. Does that count?

39) Do you miss anyone from your past?
Yeah. I miss several of my roommates and missionary companions.

40) What are you craving right now?

41) Ever been to a bonfire party?
Yeah. We had them during homecoming week in High School. When I was at Ricks we went out to the St. Anthony Sand Dunes a few times and had big bonfires as well.

43) Have you ever been on a monkey?

44) Kissed someone in a lifted truck?

45) Have you ever broken someone’s heart?
Mine has.

47) Have you made a boyfriend/girlfriend cry?

49) Would you live with someone without marrying them?

50) What should you be doing?
Finishing up the X-Sheets for my other job.

52) Ever liked someone so much it hurt?
Yeah. It hurt worse when she to me she wasn't interested in me.

53) Is somebody in love with you?

54) What is your favorite color?
I vary between green and blue

55) Have you ever changed clothes in a vehicle?

59) Have you ever shaved in the kitchen sink?

63) Who was the last person you cried in front of?

64) Who’s the last person you hugged?

65) Is it easier to forgive or forget?
What was the question again?

67) What was your childhood nickname?
I didn't have one. Bryan always chanted "Chickaboo" around me. At one of my jobs, I was nicknamed "Junior"

68) Are you a good person?
Yeah, until I get mad enough to throw tater tots.

69) What was your favorite thing about the past year?
Getting to visit Washington D.C.

70) Do you believe everything happens for a reason?
I think we need to find reason, and learn from what happens to us.

71) What is the last thing you did before you went to bed last night?
Watched TV.

73) What is bothering you?
McKenna talking back to her mother.

74) Have you ever been out of state?
Yeah. I was just out of state last weekend.

76) Are you listening to music right now?
Yeah, Haily's online playlist.

77) Do you like Chinese food?
As long as it's sweet and sour, teriyaki, or orange chicken.

79) Are you afraid of the dark?
Only after vivid nightmares.

80) Is cheating ever okay?

81) Are you mean?
No, but then again, there was the tater tot incident . . .

82) Can you keep white shoes clean?
I once got really anal about a pair of my tennis shoes . . .

84) Do you believe in true love?

88) Do you like the outside?
Yeah, except for Arizona summers when it's only a few degrees cooler than the surface of the sun.

89) Are you currently bored?

90) Do you wanna get married?
Already am.

91) Do you like when a boy calls you babe or baby?
Can't say as I do.

92) Are you hungry?
A little, but I'm trying to control it.

94) Who makes you happy?
My family - here in Arizona and in Idaho

95) Would you change your name?
No. I toyed with calling myself Ric or using my middle name, but it didn't seem right.

99) What’s your zodiac sign?

100) Do you like Subway?

101) Last person that made you smile?
Adrian, when he looked up from his toys and gave me a great big smile.

102) Your best friend of the opposite sex loves you, what do you do?
That's my wife you're talking about, buddy.

103) What song are you listening to?
Dancing Queen. Again, it's on Haily's playlist.

104) Whats your fave show?

105) Have you ever seen someone you knew & purposely avoided them?

106) Do you have a friend of the opposite sex who you can act your complete
self around?

107) Who is the last guy you talked to?
Someone at work.

108) Does it matter if your boyfriend/girlfriend smokes?

109) Do you smoke?

110) What’s going on between you and your best friend?
Trying to raise kids and stay sane at the same time!

111) Who’s the last person you had a deep conversation with?

113) Do you enjoy piercings & tattoos?

14) What do you wear more: jeans,sweats,or shorts?

115)You are a sharpie marker what color do you prefer to be?
Forest green

116) What are your conversations mostly about right now?

117) Do you prefer to shower at night or in the morning?
In the morning.

118) Have you ever said you’d never love again?

119) Do you want to make everyone happy?
My job is to make people happy.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


I don't know why, but I've been feeling very nostalgic about high school the last couple of days. I've gone so far as to create a group page on Facebook for my high school class.

Despite the fact that high school was a living . . . well, to quote Joss Whedon, "my high school years were not all terrible. There was that one Thursday . . ." I think as teenagers we become so wrapped up in the world we create for ourselves that, naturally, we do think the world revolves around us. Because someone else might not fit our idealized world-view, we exclude them from our group. When something doesn't go according to plan, it's always someone else's fault.

Then again, I know quite a few adults who still have that perspective.

Despite all of the drama, overall, high school was a good experience. It's good to look back and see how far we've all come.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

25 Things

On Facebook, several of my friends have posted 25 things about themselves. I decided to follow their example, and have now posted mine.

1. If I could have one superpower, it would be to fly.
2. While I usually tell people my favorite movie is either Star Wars or Beauty and the Beast, it's really To Kill A Mockingbird.
3. I have every studio album by "Weird Al" Yankovic.
4. After learning auditions would be held in a nearby town, I tried to get a part as an extra in "Masters of the Universe." Unfortunately, they didn't need any, and decided to film in a different state.
5. I worked as a photographer for a year and a half for a local TV station.
6. I know that my best friend is always looking out for me.
7. For a sixth grade project, I made a short movie based on an Encyclopedia Brown story. I've wanted to be involved with film ever since.
8. I miss my family. It's been great having my brother and his wife nearby for these last few months.
9. My favorite thing to do at Disneyland is to sit near the hub and people watch.
10. I love to sing, but haven't done it on a consistent basis since high school.
11. I get too wrapped up emotionally in RPG video games.
12. I still can't believe I found someone who loves me as much as I love her, even after (almost) six years of marriage.
13. I graduated with a degree in education and hope to use it someday.
14. I enjoy playing Guitar Hero - that was the last game I thought I would like.
15. Nothing beats the smell of a field of spearmint after a summer rain.
16. I am impressed by the lives my brothers and sisters have led.
17. My 100 pound sister-in-law is the strongest person I know.
18. The last good book I read was "Night Watch" by Terry Pratchett.
19. I've never really been into sports, but will support my hometown team when they go to the Super Bowl (go Cards!)
20. My current favorite music artist is the late Israel Kamakawiwo'ole.
21. Joss Whedon is my master now.
22. After buying my first DVD player in 1998, I hid it from my family, worried they would give me a lecture about using my money wisely.
23. I miss the camaraderie of my Ricks and BYU singles wards and the ward activities we had.
24. I don't feel I should be as old as I am.
25. I almost died 4 years ago, and know that it was only through the power of prayer and faith that I am here today.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Organ Stop Pizza

My Dad flew down on Friday to surprise my brother for his birthday. As part of the festivities we went to a pizza place called "Organ Stop Pizza" in Mesa. The owners purchased an old movie theater Wurlitzer Organ, and after a short run in Phoenix proper, built a pizza place around it. Along with the requisite pipes, the organ was hooked up to several different instruments, including drums, a piano, and an accordion. The organist played several songs, ranging from Red River Valley to the Indiana Jones theme to the Phantom of the Opera. McKenna was able to get right up close to some of the wooden pipes and felt the air blasting out of them.

We had a good time, and the pizza wasn't half bad. It's definitely an experience like none other.

A happy boy!

Someone finally cut his most recent tooth!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I'll readily admit that I fall along conservative lines. While President Obama was not my choice, I am happy to celebrate his inauguration today and recognize the strides that have been made for this day to happen. As a citizen of the United States, President Obama has my support as president, and I'll reserve my right to criticize his policies when I feel it is necessary.

I hope I never descend into the immaturity of those who sang "Na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye" and boo-ed as President Bush took the dias this morning. I hope I won't be someone who is unhappy that my choice was not elected. I hope I won't feel bitter.

We may have reached a new milestone today, but I fear we've still got a lot of growing up to do.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

All Safe

Just a quick note to everyone who knows I work for an airline. A US Airways jet collided with a flock of geese, losing both engines and had an emergency water landing in the Hudson River to the west of Manhattan. While we like to get away, and New York is on our "must visit" list, we were not traveling today and were not involved with that flight in any way. We're all safe and sound in Arizona.

My congrats to the crew for successfully making a truly difficult landing, and for ensuring the safety of all passengers on-board. Reports currently indicate no fatalities and all passengers made it safely off the aircraft.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Disneyland Dream

This video was recently announced as an addition to the Library of Congress as part of the National Film Registry. It's a home video of a family who won a trip to visit Disneyland in 1956, shortly after the opening of the park. It's a great window to a world that I'm too young to have known. The video follows the family from submitting their entries to the contest, their TWA flight to California, and video of Knott's Berry Farm, Hollywood, Universal Studios, Catalina, and of course, Disneyland.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Weekend's Here!

Finally! It's the weekend! So what if I took a day off on Wednesday, it's finally the weekend! We really don't have much planned, but I'm probably going to putter around in the yard (I guess I'm getting to be a bit more like Grandpa Jones). Anyone aside from Mom and Jamie have big plans this weekend?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

My Disneyland substitute

Check out this video: Disneyland: Its Alright

Talk Time

I met Haily and the kids in town today after work. While Haily and Adrian went to Fry's, McKenna and I went home and started taking down our outside Christmas lights. We have/had several strings along the rafters of the house, then down in the yard we had two strings on a couple of bushes and some more running through some river rock that winds through the front yard. We also had these three foot tall multi-colored candy canes along the driveway and the front walk. I got everything put up, except for the lights running along the roof.

I was starting to wrap up my job, when Haily pulled in and started getting Adrian out of her car. Just then, my phone rang. The caller ID came up as "Bishop." I figured I was probably going to be asked to come in for a calling. To my surprise, the Bishop mentions that he needs some help for Sacrament Meeting and asks if we could talk. I told him I needed to get permission first, and ask Haily if she would like to give a talk as a couple, before the Bishop interjects to say he only needs one of us to talk. Guess who got nominated?

So, I get to talk on "Blessings that come from heeding the prophet's voice." Time to crack open the last conference issue of the Ensign, eh?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


It's been a fun couple of months. My brother and his wife recently moved to Arizona, and we've been able to spend time together. For the last few years, my wife and I have pretty much been cut off from spending much time with family, just due to the fact that we're so far away from everyone else. Sure, we get to visit, but if I get home more than twice a year, that's a lot. It's been good to have someone to hang out with and catch up with.