Wednesday, December 3, 2008

James Taylor - Go Tell it On the Mountain

I know everyone will be shocked with this next one.  This whole album is great, This song however, has the honor of being the Christmas song with the highest play count on my iPod.

James Taylor - Go Tell it on the Mountain

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Tunes - Album or Track of the day begins!

Ok, so I don't promise that it will be everyday, but we'll do our best. My iPod is ridiculously full of Christmas music, and some if it is rather obscure, so I'll either post an album or a song track for you to look at, with the iTunes link if you're interested.

One of my all time favorite non traditional Christmas songs comes from American Idol alum Jon Peter Lewis.  I don't even remember how we stumbled across it, but it certainly feels like a classic to us!

The picture will take you to the iTunes link,  seriously check this one out.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Rivalry Week... Magic? BYU Cougars v Utah Utes

Literally I have goosebumps from watching these videos.  Please comment and give your score predictions!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Proposition 8... Comforting advice

There have been a lot of goings on with this whole issue of proposition 8 in California.  I have to say it has certainly made me think about a lot of things a little more in depth.  I understand a lot of the controversy involved from both sides and have some strong opinions, I think I might think it through a little more before I post my thoughts about all the issues.

What I will say is I lost a lot of sleep last night.  I am a little frustrated that the LDS church is coming off so poorly through all this in the media.  More so I am disappointed, worried and a little sickened by the protests that have escalated to persecution. I understand the protests, and frankly am grateful that we live in a country where we can protest, but it's gotten a little out of hand here.  Like I said I'll post more of my thoughts about it when I'm a little more centered.

In the meantime I remembered this timely and comforting talk from General Conference, and it has reminded me again that we are led by apostles and prophets, and further more good men.  It's important that we stay centered in our beliefs, and more important the love of Christ.  Christ certainly stood up for his beliefs and didn't compromise, but was always loving and understanding of those who disagreed with him, persecuted him, and even crucified him.  This talk reminds us how we ought to handle the recent flood of difficulty and those who believe differently than we do. The church is still true my friends, and we are led by a prophet, if you're struggling with the issue, pray about it.  Love, Joy and Peace = Truth.  Live in the truth, read the truth, and study the truth.

If listening to the talk is easier here's a link to that here.

Christian Courage: The Price of Discipleship

Elder Robert D. Hales
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Answering our accusers in the Savior’s way.

Elder Robert D. HalesWe have gathered together as one, we have taken upon us the name of Jesus Christ, and we are Christians. One of the questions we would ask: why then, if we have that love of the Savior, would someone want to be an antagonist or to attack us?

Recently a group of bright, faithful young Latter-day Saints wrote down some of the most pressing questions on their minds. One sister asked, “Why doesn’t the Church defend itself more actively when accusations are made against it?”

To her inquiry I would say that one of mortality’s great tests comes when our beliefs are questioned or criticized. In such moments, we may want to respond aggressively—to “put up our dukes.” But these are important opportunities to step back, pray, and follow the Savior’s example. Remember that Jesus Himself was despised and rejected by the world. And in Lehi’s dream, those coming to the Savior also endured “mocking and pointing . . . fingers” (1 Nephi 8:27). “The world hath hated [my disciples],” Jesus said, “because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:14). But when we respond to our accusers as the Savior did, we not only become more Christlike, we invite others to feel His love and follow Him as well.

To respond in a Christlike way cannot be scripted or based on a formula. The Savior responded differently in every situation. When He was confronted by wicked King Herod, He remained silent. When He stood before Pilate, He bore a simple and powerful testimony of His divinity and purpose. Facing the moneychangers who were defiling the temple, He exercised His divine responsibility to preserve and protect that which was sacred. Lifted up upon a cross, He uttered the incomparable Christian response: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

Some people mistakenly think responses such as silence, meekness, forgiveness, and bearing humble testimony are passive or weak. But, to “love [our] enemies, bless them that curse [us], do good to them that hate [us], and pray for them which despitefully use [us], and persecute [us]” (Matthew 5:44) takes faith, strength, and, most of all, Christian courage.

The Prophet Joseph Smith demonstrated this courage throughout his life. Though he “suffer[ed] severe persecution at the hands of all classes of men, both religious and irreligious” (Joseph Smith—History 1:27), he did not retaliate or give in to hatred. Like all true disciples of Christ, he stood with the Savior by loving others in a tolerant and compassionate way. That is Christian courage.

When we do not retaliate—when we turn the other cheek and resist feelings of anger—we too stand with the Savior. We show forth His love, which is the only power that can subdue the adversary and answer our accusers without accusing them in return. That is not weakness. That is Christian courage.

Through the years we learn that challenges to our faith are not new, and they aren’t likely to disappear soon. But true disciples of Christ see opportunity in the midst of opposition.

In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Abinadi was bound and brought before the evil King Noah. Although the king vigorously opposed Abinadi and eventually sentenced him to death, Abinadi boldly taught the gospel and bore his testimony anyway. Because Abinadi took advantage of that opportunity, a priest named Alma was converted to the gospel and brought many souls unto Christ. The courage of Abinadi and Alma was Christian courage.

Experience shows that seasons of negative publicity about the Church can help accomplish the Lord’s purposes. In 1983, the First Presidency wrote to Church leaders, “Opposition may be in itself an opportunity. Among the continuing challenges faced by our missionaries is a lack of interest in religious matters and in our message. These criticisms create . . . interest in the Church. . . . This provides an opportunity [for members] to present the truth to those whose attention is thus directed toward us.”1

We can take advantage of such opportunities in many ways: a kind letter to the editor, a conversation with a friend, a comment on a blog, or a reassuring word to one who has made a disparaging comment. We can answer with love those who have been influenced by misinformation and prejudice—who are “kept from the truth because they know not where to find it” (D&C 123:12). I assure you that to answer our accusers in this way is never weakness. It is Christian courage in action.

As we respond to others, each circumstance will be different. Fortunately, the Lord knows the hearts of our accusers and how we can most effectively respond to them. As true disciples seek guidance from the Spirit, they receive inspiration tailored to each encounter. And in every encounter, true disciples respond in ways that invite the Spirit of the Lord. Paul reminded the Corinthians that his preaching was “not with the enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Corinthians 2:4). Because that power resides in the Spirit of the Lord, we must never become contentious when we are discussing our faith. As almost every missionary learns, Bible bashing always drives the Spirit away. The Savior has said, “He that hath the spirit of contention is not of me” (3 Nephi 11:29). More regrettable than the Church being accused of not being Christian is when Church members react to such accusations in an un-Christlike way! May our conversations with others always be marked by the fruits of the Spirit—”love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, [and] temperance” (Galatians 5:22–23). To be meek, as defined in Webster’s Dictionary, is “manifesting patience and longsuffering: enduring injury without resentment.”2 Meekness is not weakness. It is a badge of Christian courage.

This is especially important in our interactions with members of other Christian denominations. Surely our Heavenly Father is saddened—and the devil laughs—when we contentiously debate doctrinal differences with our Christian neighbors.

This is not to suggest that we compromise our principles or dilute our beliefs. We cannot change the doctrines of the restored gospel, even if teaching and obeying them makes us unpopular in the eyes of the world. Yet even as we feel to speak the word of God with boldness, we must pray to be filled with the Holy Ghost (see Acts 4:29, 31). We should never confuse boldness with Satan’s counterfeit: overbearance (see Alma 38:12). True disciples speak with quiet confidence, not boastful pride.

As true disciples, our primary concern must be others’ welfare, not personal vindication. Questions and criticisms give us an opportunity to reach out to others and demonstrate that they matter to our Heavenly Father and to us. Our aim should be to help them understand the truth, not defend our egos or score points in a theological debate. Our heartfelt testimonies are the most powerful answer we can give our accusers. And such testimonies can only be born in love and meekness. We should be like Edward Partridge, of whom the Lord said, “His heart is pure before me, for he is like unto Nathanael of old, in whom there is no guile” (D&C 41:11). To be guileless is to have a childlike innocence, to be slow to take offense and quick to forgive.

These qualities are first learned in the home and family and can be practiced in all our relationships. To be guileless is to look for our own fault first. When accused, we should ask as the Savior’s Apostles did, “Lord, is it I?” (Matthew 26:22). If we listen to the answer given by the Spirit, we can, if needed, make corrections, apologize, seek forgiveness, and do better.

Without guile, true disciples avoid being unduly judgmental of others’ views. Many of us have cultivated strong friendships with those who are not members of our Church—schoolmates, colleagues at work, and friends and neighbors throughout the world. We need them, and they need us. As President Thomas S. Monson has taught, “Let us learn respect for others. . . . None of us lives alone—in our city, our nation, or our world.”3

As the Savior demonstrated with Herod, sometimes true disciples must show Christian courage by saying nothing at all. Once when I was golfing, I barely brushed up against a large cholla cactus, which seems to shoot needles like a porcupine. Thorns from that plant stuck all over my clothing, even though I had barely touched the cactus plant. Some situations are like that plant: they can only injure us. In such instances, we are better off to keep our distance and simply walk away. As we do, some may try to provoke us and engage us in argument. In the Book of Mormon, we read about Lehonti and his men camped upon a mount. The traitorous Amalickiah urged Lehonti to “come down” and meet him in the valley. But when Lehonti left the high ground, he was poisoned “by degrees” until he died, and his army fell into Amalickiah’s hands (see Alma 47). By arguments and accusations, some people bait us to leave the high ground. The high ground is where the light is. It’s where we see the first light of morning and the last light in the evening. It is the safe ground. It is true and where knowledge is. Sometimes others want us to come down off the high ground and join them in a theological scrum in the mud. These few contentious individuals are set on picking religious fights, online or in person. We are always better staying on the higher ground of mutual respect and love.

In doing so, we follow the example of the prophet Nehemiah, who built a wall around Jerusalem. Nehemiah’s enemies entreated him to meet them on the plain, where “they thought to do [him] mischief.” Unlike Lehonti, however, Nehemiah wisely refused their offer with this message: “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:2–3). We too have a great work to do, which will not be accomplished if we allow ourselves to stop and argue and be distracted. Instead we should muster Christian courage and move on. As we read in Psalms, “Fret not thyself because of evildoers” (Psalm 37:1).

Evil will always be with us in this world. Part of mortality’s great test is to be in the world without becoming like the world. In His Intercessory Prayer, the Savior asked His Heavenly Father, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil” (John 17:15). But even as the Savior warned of persecution, He promised peace: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. . . . Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). I testify that with the mantle of His peace upon us, the First Presidency’s promise will be fulfilled: “The opposition which may seem hard to bear will be a blessing to the kingdom of God upon the earth.”4

To my inquiring sister and all who seek to know how we should respond to our accusers, I reply, we love them. Whatever their race, creed, religion, or political persuasion, if we follow Christ and show forth His courage, we must love them. We do not feel we are better than they are. Rather, we desire with our love to show them a better way—the way of Jesus Christ. His way leads to the gate of baptism, the strait and narrow path of righteous living, and the temple of God. He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Only through Him can we and all our brothers and sisters inherit the greatest gift we can receive—eternal life and eternal happiness. To help them, to be an example for them, is not for the weak. It is for the strong. It is for you and me, Latter-day Saints who pay the price of discipleship by answering our accusers with Christian courage.

I conclude by making the testimony of Mormon my own: “Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life” (3 Nephi 5:13). I bear my special witness of Him—that our lives can be everlasting because His love is everlasting. That we may share His eternal, unconditional love with our brothers and sisters everywhere, is my humble prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Shaun Barrowes = Michael Buble with a little soul

Shaun is another local artist I really like. Karie and I first heard him when he opened for Benton Paul at a little concert here in Provo.  Really he is one of the locals that is going places.  He was on American Idol last year and made it to the semi finals, but just missed the cut to perform on Live TV.  It's a shame because I think if America would have had a chance to vote he would have gone pretty far.   This clip is a sampling of his style.  What do you guys think?  If you're looking for a favorite to download my personal favorite is "When I Take Your Hand"  It's one of those songs that sounds like it's been around for years.  Enjoy!

When I Take Your Hand

Montage (Great Quality)

Ain't No Sunshine

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Guess Who

I've decided I'm going to start featuring a few of of my favorite bands and artists young and old.

When I hear "The Guess Who" I am instantly in our family's yellow boat cruising through some beautiful canyon at Lake Powell.  Most of the folks of my generation will know the song "American Woman" through the cover version done by Lenny Kravitz.

Here are some songs that you can now confuse your friends with these songs by using the statement (that sounds more like a question) "Guess Who sings this."

The Guess Who - American Woman

These Eyes (I think Benton Paul should cover this one.  What do you guys think?)

She's Come Undone

The Guess Who - Laughing

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Medicine.....a new favorite

It's been a long long week (and continues to be).  This version of this song has been medicine to our souls this week.  While the Beatles version of this song seems to bring on feelings of summer and seasons changing, this version speaks more to my soul and emotions changing...even healing.  Of course it's James Taylor with famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma singing "Here Comes the Sun."  

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Jose Felicaiano

I have a few more spiritual type things n my mind but for now we'll go back to remembering some great tunes.

Jose Feliciano is one of those artists that I've grown up with.  Honestly I didn't like his music much until my mission, when I was allowed to listen to his Christmas album.  Since then I have grown to seriously love his tunes.  He was born blind, but became one of the genius' of guitar.  He's famous for some of his classic covers.  I hope you enjoy!

California Dreaming

Flight of the Bumblebee

National Anthem

Light My Fire

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Where were you when...

There have been a number of historic events that have been burned into our memories forever. Some good, some bad, but significant enough that we can remember where we were, what we're doing, and great detail about what was going on in our lives when it happened.  In this entry tell us what you remember about the day/time you first heard of these events.  If you weren't born yet simply put that as your answer.  Also if you have any new "Where were you when?" moments add them.

Where were you when?

1. Where were you when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated?

   I hadn't been born yet.  But my dad is obsessed with this part of history, so I've learned about it a billion times.

2. Where were you when Michael Phelps won his 8th gold medal in the 2008 Olympics?

   I was at my wife's parents' house.  We were watching the opening ceremonies on their DVR during the commercials.

3. Where were you when the verdict for the O.J. Simpson murder trial was announced?  The white Bronco chase?

   I was in Ms. Bachelor's yearbook class.  Everything at school stopped, and there was a collective sigh of confusion. As for the chase, we were on a family trip and made a stop in Idaho Falls to visit on of Michelle's friends from Disney World.  We watched it at her house.

4. Where were you when you first saw the music video for Michael Jackson's "Thriller?"

   I actually don't remember, I just remember being scared of all the corpses (before they started dancing)

5. Where were you when Niel Armstrong walked on the moon?

   Wasn't born yet

6. Where were you when you first heard about the September 11th attacks on America?

   I was in the MTC reading in Alma.  They came over the loud speaker and made the announcement.  It was all sort of surreal and I don't think any of us totally realized how significant it was until we got out of the MTC.  I actually didn't see any footage of it until I got home two years later.

7. Where were you when John Stockton hit "the shot" to send the Utah Jazz to the finals? (Mostly for Jazz fans)

   My dad and I were in our main family room, trying to pack for our trip to Hawaii.  When he hit the shot, we threw everything we were packing around, ran around the house, and then outside only to see some of our neighbors running around outside as well.

8. Where were you when you first saw a "Star Wars" movie?

   Probably at home.  I wasn't ever a huge Star Wars guy. My sister Kerry would be better to ask this question

9. Where were you when the Berlin Wall fell?

   I don't remember

10. Where you were when you first heard a Beatles song?

   Probably at Lake Powell.  The song "Michelle" was on the family favorites mix-tape that my dad made for boating trips.

11. Where were you when Hurricane Katrina hit?

   I remember again, I was at my in laws house again preparing for a family dinner.

12. Where were you when Magic Johnson announced his early retirement due to HIV?

   I don't remember the exact moment I heard, but I remember my dad taping every interview that was on        TV. I also remember gathering every Magic Johnson Basketball Card I had to put it in it's own special case.

13. Where were you when you watched your first reality TV show, and what was it?

   It was the second season of "Survivor" after the Super Bowl. I believe it was in Australia.

If you've been tagged:

   Copy this blog as a new post on your blog.

   Answer the questions as interestingly as you possibly can.

   Tag 6 to 8 of your friends at the end

Tagging: Anyone reading this.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hope Through General Conference

Well I've started this post 10 or 15 times, but have been afraid that it would come off a bit whiny, and hopefully I'm centered enough now that it won't but hey we'll see.  I've learned a lot about myself and life through the challenges Karie and I have faced in recent months, some good things, some bad.  Mostly though I've learned how to appreciate the blessings I have been guilty of taking for granted.  

This is the part that might sound whiny, but hopefully it won't by the end of this post.  August began as perhaps the greatest month of my life.  I had never been happier.  For starters I had recently received a diagnosis for the chronic kidney stones that I have been slowed by for the last several years.  After a lengthy struggle with stones, and the almost equally frustrating process of finding a Dr who would, and could treat them adequately I finally saw light at the end of the tunnel.  Next I got a job with a company that not only was a better job with greater opportunity, it was something I can envision becoming a career. Add to this Karie and I went to some great concerts (James Taylor, John Mayer, Jack Johnson) and on a fun trip to the Oregon coast.

The most amazing thing however was I was an expecting father.  This alone was enough to fill my whole body with joy and motivation.  Seriously I never imagined I could be that excited about anything.  Because of that driving thought I felt on top of my game in anything I did.  It was the wind in my sails and I could do anything.

Now I'll try not to sound whiny here and just try to illustrate how things sort of unraveled from there. It started with a trial I'm used to, a kidney stone.  It was a doosy as pain goes, and it took me right out of commission. It quite frankly took all the wind right out of my sails.

The next day I found out on my way to work that my Grandma J had passed away, and was sent to spend a little time with my family. Later that day Karie and I found out that we had miscarried.  This crushed me in a way I can't really elaborate on.  My new company allowed me to go home the next day and take care of my family (they have been amazing through this whole thing.) I had the opportunity to conduct my grandma's funeral and see a lot of family that I don't see to often and that was great.

Since then I have had four kidney stones, pretty much constantly for the last month and a half, and struggled to do much of anything productive.  I have been nearing the end of my rope when it comes to tolerating these kidney stones.  The constant pain, plus the frustrations and trials we've been facing seems unbearable at times. Many of you know that I am also the bishop of our ward, which has been amazing, but constantly challenging.  It would be an understatement to say I've had a hard time fulfilling my responsibilities the way I would like to.   

In a nutshell it has been somewhat of a battle to feel like myself again, it has felt like whenever I come close to getting on top of things, there's a new soul stretching challenge that comes in my path.  It has forced me to improve my relationship with my Heavenly Father, and has again verified to me how important my near perfect wife is to me. 

Before I continue painting the gloomy picture that was September, I have to express how grateful I am for my wife, modern day prophets, general conference, and the power of the Atonement.

I wish I could cover how all those things have impacted me over the last month but that would take forever. I would, however, like to talk a little bout President Dieter F. Uchdorfs talk in General Conference.  Hearing this talk has been one of more important turning points for me. On Saturday afternoon he gave one of the finest discourses I have ever heard on hope. You can listen to it here. While it is filled with many great insights on hope, how to cultivate it, and how it benefits our lives, the lesson that initially stuck me was the contrast of hope and despair.

Of despair he said, "The adversary uses despair to bind hearts and minds in suffocating darkness. Despair drains from us all that is vibrant and joyful and leaves behind the empty remnants of what life was meant to be. Despair kills ambition advances sickness pollutes the soul and deadens the heart. Despair can seem like a staircase that leads only and forever downward."

Hope on the other hand is like the beam of sunlight rising up and above the horizon of our present circumstances. It pierces the darkness with a brilliant dawn it encourages and inspires us to place our trust in the loving care of an eternal Heavenly Father, who has prepared a way for those who seek for eternal truth in a world relative confusion and fear."

This is just one of the many great illustrations in this talk.  I needed to hear this talk in a major way, because I have recently felt myself on that "staircase that leads only and forever downward"  This talk has helped to inspire hope within me again.  Hope that my current trials will someday turn to my benefit.  Hope that Karie and I will soon have the opportunity to have a sweet baby.  Hope that I will soon be through these kidney stones and can live a normal life. Hope that I will be able to live the gospel and be the kind of husband my wife deserves.  Hope that I can be a good bishop, and can be there for those in my ward who need the help of a good bishop.  Hope that I will be able to support my family, and be productive in my job.  Hope that in the words of President Uchdorf I "will never allow despair to overcome my spirit."

President Uchdorf's words ring true.  When I hope for these things, I am filled with a kind of light, or strength.  Ideas come on how I might be made equal to the tasks that lie ahead.  Assurance comes that somehow through these trials, my weaknesses will become strengths.  Mostly I feel like Father in Heaven is aware of me and my personal struggles, fears, pains, doubts, fears. and shortcomings.  This only comes as a byproduct of hope.

When I allow myself to doubt, it inspires despair, exactly as that quote describes.  It brings a suffocating darkness that stunts any possibility of progression.

When I choose to be hopeful, I am assured that my Heavenly Father loves me, and knows all things. He knows "the end from the beginning."

All in all it has reminded me how to hope after a difficult stretch of trials and frustrations.  

I'm not sure why I'm writing this, and it's far more personal than I would usually post.  So I hope you'll forgive me if it's made you uncomfortable, perhaps I'll remove it if that's the case.  I just felt I needed to share some of the things that have been going on with me.  I've been inspired by some of your blogs (thank you Mandy) and felt perhaps someone needed to hear some of this stuff. So if you're still reading, sorry and thanks.

If you didn't get a chance to hear this talk on Saturday, check out the link. 

President Uchtdorf - Sat AM Session (Hope)

I always appreciate comments, so please if you have anything to add i'd love to hear it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My Dad's Blog

I have started a number of blogs, as there is a lot on my mind.  Life has been hectic and I need to write about it somewhere.  

In the meantime many of you know my dad and his talents in photography.  Well for years our whole family has been bugging him to publish his pictures somewhere.  Thanks to my cousin Cathy he has a blog.  It really is something I hope all of you take a look at.  He is extremely talented and has some amazing pictures.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="483" caption="My dad took this shot of us a couple years ago at Lake Powell"]My dad took this shot of us a couple years ago at Lake Powell[/caption]



Here's his blog.

Check it out and leave comments on his pictures.  I'm sure he'd love to hear what you all think of his photographs.

Monday, September 29, 2008

JT's new album is out!!!

Hey this is just a quick note to let everyone out there know the new James Taylor album is out.  On occasion the iTunes new releases come out a couple hours early (for us in UT) I guess they're release on eastern time.  His new album is called "Covers"  and it entirely an album of cover tunes.  I'll post videos up here as they are available but for now just go to JT's website if you want to listen.  There are already a few classics on this album, my favorite for now is his cover of the great temptation song "It's Growing"  Seriously if you want to hear an album that is carefully crafted and entirely thought out.  Check it out!

James on his new album.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A classic, and one of my favorites of all time

Lately the song "Fire and Rain" has been on my mind in a major way.  It's one of those songs that is part of my make up due mostly to the fact that I was raised on it, and have probably heard it as much as any other song out there.  As I've gone through a few of my own personal struggles lately this was one of the first non-MoTab songs that brought me peace.  I've also thought of it as I consider some of the other bishop lessons I've learned lately.

This lyric in particular struck a chord with me:

I’ve been walking my mind to an easy time
My back turned towards the sun
Lord knows when the cold wind blows it’ll turn your head around


It seems like when we are in a comfort zone, or in some cases not feeling the consequences for some of our poor choices our we tend to 'turn our back toward the sun' or forget our Heavenly Father.  But when we face great trials, or life gets hard, we seek comfort.  Anyways,  I don't have anything deep or inspiring to say (you surprised?) but I thought I'd throw this song up here, while it was on my mind.

  So Enjoy!



Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Some new tunes...finally

Hello everyone!  It's been a little while since I've posted any tunes on here.  I'm not really sure if anyone actually looks at this blog and likes any of the music I post so I guss that's part of it, but I've also been feeling a bit like I should write about some of the experiences Karie and I have had, the good and the bad.  So maybe someday I'll put some of those thoughts down, but for now I'll just put a few quick links up to some of my new favorites/discoveries in music.


Jenny and Tyler - American Dream

I just discovered this little duo, I don't know much about them just yet but they caught my ear, and I can tell that I'm going to like them. Here's a link to their website.

Rick Seibold - Mary

Yeah I know all these musicians that don't have music videos yet, but I really like this guys sound,  I think he has potential.  What do you think?

Eric Hutchenson - OK It's Alright With Me

Of this group, I think Eric hs the most potential.  I've enjoyed his whole CD and actually can't pick which track is the stand out track on the album,  There are two or three standout tracks that I llike.


Anyways,  I have quite a few more songs in the backlog that I'm anxiousl to post about.  But my last one is a shout out to my friend Mitch Hansen of the Mitch Hansen Band.  Mitch and I served together on a mission and became great friends,  I can't say I'm surpised He's turning into a great musician, and recording artist in his own right.   If you are a fan of the Twilight books like I know my wife and all her friends are check out, the mitch hansen band  

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Our Sad News

I may write more about my thoughts and feelings on this later, but they are somewhat tender right now so we'll see.

Many of you know Karie and I have been very excited about our news that we were expecting our first baby in March.  Well unfortunately this week on Wednesday, we found out that we have had a miscarriage.  We found this out the same afternoon my Grandma J passed away.  

We are heartbroken about this news but trying to stay positive.  The only reason I'm posting this here is it's much easier to let people know this way, than it is in person. Also thank you to everyone who has offered their support, through emails, flowers, etc.  It means a lot to know you're there.

We will also miss our Grandma J.  I'll try to write a short tribute to her on here soon, but I know she is much more comfortable right now.

A few one line memories of Granny J:

Taffy cookies, Steal the Pile, Coke, Readers digest Jokes, Fiery Red Hair, Christmas Morning, the Charleston, the Lumina (aka IrmaJ) and so many more.



The quote I used at Granny J's funeral

"Though otherwise a “lively” attribute, hope stands quietly with us at funerals. Our tears are just as wet, but not because of despair. Rather, they are tears of heightened appreciation evoked by poignant separation. Those tears of separation change, ere long, becoming tears of glorious anticipation." - Elder Neal A. Maxwell Hope through the Atonement of Jesus Christ

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Looking for a new...old car.

I just copied this over from Karie's blog...she said it so well...


We're cursed! I don't know what it is, but every summer that Mikey & I have been married we have had major car problems. This summer has proven to not disappoint. Our lovely '95 Ford Taurus has been over-heating, so we took it in to see what the damages were. We were expecting a repair of maybe $500 & we figured that was on the high side. Oh no. That was the low side. If we choose to repair our lovely "Darwin" (named after the previous owner), it will cost us over $1000! :( So now we're to the questions of "Is it really worth it? Or should we just put that money into a more reliable car?"

So, we're just putting it out there just in case, but if any of you know someone who is looking to sell a decently-working car, we might be interested! We just need something to get around town. So really, if you know anyone, let me know! Thanks!

(Not that it really matters, but this isn't a picture of our actual Darwin. It's a picture of his cousin I found on Google. Darwin is a "lovely" sky blue.)

Monday, July 14, 2008


Ok, so this is the first time I've posted anything like this but it actually seemed fun. I saw it on my friend Camille's blog. I'm not really sure if anyone reads this blog anyways...but here it is Here are the directions...

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!
2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments.C'mon now, anything funny, strange, cool, embarrassing, or awful you remember about me??

Also Karie has started a blog... it's so check hers out!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Matt Wertz

Been a while since I posted a song, so I'll just drop it here for you. This guy is named Matt Wertz, and he isn't mainstream just yet, but hopefully he's on his way. One of these days I'll take some time but for now I'll just drop you a link to a couple videos.

Matt Wertz - 5:19

5:19 (Acoustic Version)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Difference between Men and Women...

So I've decided I'm going to branch out a little on this whole blogging thing. Now not only will this be a place for me to share great music that I'm currently into, but a place where I share some of my own spiritual and other lessons I'm learning as well. I know Karie is working on starting a blog as well so stay tuned for that. Until I think of something useful to share I thought I'd post one of my old papers I wrote in college I recently found on my computer I really would love to hear any additional insight you may have on the topic... The assignment (in a nut shell) was to offer some perspective on the difference between Men and Women. Keep in mind this was just before I met Karie, and though much of it still generally rings true, it was written from my single and frustrated perspective...


Men and woman have traditionally been thought of as thinking very differently about things. For most of my experience with those of the opposite sex I have been in a state of confusion in my attempts to understand them. It seemed like whenever I tried to guess exactly what they were thinking, I came up short. Girls, as far as I was concerned, were nothing but a headache, a headache I simply couldn’t resist. That is one strange thing about men, we gripe and complain about the women in our lives and our failed attempts to try to understand them, but when it all comes down to it that’s the subject of our one-track mind.

An analogy might help us understand the difference between the sexes. Men could easily be compared to the books many of us read in the first and second grade—the Dick and Jane series. These books are all extremely basic and short. Typically there are about three words on a page. Only those elements required to make a complete sentence are stated. Short three-word sentences such as “See Dick run” or “Dick chases Jane” fill the entire book. Men, much like these books, are generally simple minded and basic in their thinking. Little thought goes into explaining any additional meaning his words might have.

On the contrary, woman could be compared to a Shakespearean play with many plots and subplots. Rarely will you understand the intricacies of the play the first time through. It is likely you will need a study group, an instructor, Cliffs Notes, and perhaps even background knowledge of history to grasp its full meaning. Very little is directly spelled out for you in Shakespeare, but much is left for you to interpret and figure out on your own. However, when the time is taken to understand, your love for it grows, and you are a better person for it.

The trouble is men try to read women as they would the “Dick and Jane” books. They interpret things literally and fail to look for the deeper meaning behind what’s said. They don’t even think of the tone of voice it might be said in, or that she might not be spelling out exactly what she means. This frustrates woman, for to them it is clear that saying something like “This kitchen is a mess” really means, “Will you help me clean the kitchen?” To further complicate things, women often interpret the “Dick and Jane” language of men as they would Shakespeare. Instead of taking the phrase “Dick chases Jane” at face value, women wonder, “How fast is Dick running?” or “Does Jane want to be caught or is she just playing hard to get?” In addition they might further analyze, “Is this a playful chase, or a stalker chase?”

These differences in thinking are the root of all confusion in dating. A simple, yet not so simple, solution is to meet half way. Men can take a little more time to listen and think about what women need, perhaps even listen a little more deeply to what they’re saying. Women could try to minimize the guessing games and interpret actions more literally. If we do, there will be much less confusion and more harmony in our lives.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Heeeeeere's Jamie Lidell

I know I've totally been a slacker in the blog department (which is why Karie will likely be starting a family update blog at some point) but, I decided I'd take a minute today and post a couple new songs. Just to get back in the habit of it.

Check out Jamie Lidell if you're looking to funkify your music collection. His music feels a bit like a throwback to me, a little funk, a little soul, and a little bit of that "I can't hold still while this song is on" type of music.

This was the first song that got me interested in Jamie about a year and a half ago when Karie and I went on our trip to California. Since then he's released some new tunes which are also a lot of fun.

The song that recently helped me rediscover his tunes is called, "Another Day." The video is a bit strange, but all in all is pretty fun.

I'll be curious to see if anyone can name the Michael Jackson music video which seems to have had at least some influence on this video...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Timpanogos "kinda" reunion

No music today, just a quick invitation to all you former Timpanogos students. A bunch of us are getting together this Saturday, at Windsor park on Main Street (just down the street from THS), There isn't anything really official planned, just bring your own picnic if you want, and catch up with old friends. It should be fun to see what everyone is up to. I hope to see everyone there!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Benton Paul

Once in a while you find some good tunes right in your own backyard. A little less than a year ago Karie and I were trying to figure out what to do one fine Friday evening, and happened to see that Utah's favorite idol at the time, Jon Peter Lewis, (that position has now been filled by David Archuleta.) We had stumbled on a Christmas song by JPL that was and still is probably our favorite non-traditional Christmas Song called It's Christmas. Anyway, we enjoyed JPL OK but we were much more impressed with one of the opening acts, Benton Paul.

Since then, we've kind of been keeping tabs on him and his career. We really like his old stuff (that is no longer available on iTunes) but were really excited when he came out with his new CD a few months ago called "Grey"

Benton Paul - Grey

If you like John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Daughtry, or Gavin Degraw I think you'll like him. His album is available on iTunes, and unfortunately there aren't really very many good links on Youtube to his new stuff, but you can click on his album cover above to go to his website and take a listen.

A great....GREAT cover version of Coldplay's "Fix You"

A little snippet of a live performance of "Look For the Light"

Seriously folks this is a guy who will make it big someday, give his stuff a listen and you can be one of the one's who heard of him first. :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Indie Music (Female Singers)

I'm certain that one of the counselors in our bishopric would immediately take away a man card from me for this next post. He gave me a hard time for liking American Idol, so I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be impressed with a post all about Acoustic/Indie-type female singers. We'll go for it anyways though. I'm not sure what it is but there's just something about music that is more about the lyrics and mood, than all the production and dance floor ready stuff. I've never been partial to (though part of me enjoys) the typical female pop star. It all sounds the same, they just plug in a new powerful voice and pretty face and there's your new pop star. These artists don't fall into that category for me. They all have unique and recognizable voices with character. They have the kind of voices that you hear for a couple of second and can say, "Oh (insert name here) sings this!" Let me know who your favorite is.

Katie Herzig

I only recently came across Katie Herzig, and she's grown on me fast. Her music feels like summer, and is bound to relax you.

Priscilla Ahn

I had a buddy introduce me to her, but that was over a year ago. She has a clear voice and her songs are smart. She's releasing an album her in the next month or two so look for her to become popular soon.

Tristan Prettyman

Karie and I saw her about two years ago when we went to see Ben Taylor in Park City. It doesn't translate on her albums but when we saw her live she sounded like Joni Mitchell was singing Jason Mraz type tunes. Her new Album comes out this week, and I think it will be her coming out party. She's great and is primed for pop success.


A bit different, but I love it. Her lyrics are creative and her sound is unique.

Debra Fotheringham

She's a local artist here in Utah, and we discovered her music when we went to see Benton Paul (Who also is amazing) at a house show in Provo. She's very skilled on the guitar, and again is awesome live. She has a song called "You Are Truth" that in my opinion would be a hit if Norah Jones had it on an album. Debra sings it well, the only reason I say that is Norah already has a following so people would pay more attention to it.

Missy Higgins

Watch out for Missy Higgins. Again it's only a matter of time before she pulls a Colbie Caillet and is all over the radio here.

Ingrid Michaelson

She's already made it, but you should check out some of her other tunes, because she's actually pretty good all around.

Regina Spektor

She's had a period of success already. She, like Feist is very unique, and her lyrics are amazing. She's extremely creative you won't be disappointed.

Nellie Mckay

She's another Norah Jones type singer. Only most of her tunes are very sarcastic and dark. You'd never know it unless you listen to the lyrics though. She has a couple good positive songs, but for the most part her songs are cynical.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

lady danville

It's been a little while since I posted anything, it's been a busy week. If anyone is looking for some new chill music, check out lady danville


I stumbled on this group randomly a few months ago, and slowly got addicted to the six songs they have available on the Internet. They're kind of a folksy group, mostly acoustic, and some really interesting harmonies. My favorite song by far is Love to Love. It's another mind-sticker.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Not music but good for a laugh

I just wanted to drop this link on here and take a break from the tunes. I can't speak for all his comedy but if you see his clips from the late night TV shows, Mitch Hedberg will make you laugh. Click on the picture and it will take you to the video.
Mitch Hedberg on Letterman

Next to Brian Regan this guy is/was my favorite comedian.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Everyone knows KT by now...

I know everyone knows KT Tunstall by now, but this is one of the live performances that hooked me on her music. This is her cover of the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" and I have to say it's awesome. She starts with a little percussion on her guitar and by the end it sounds like she's got a whole band behind her....but it's still just her.

After she became popular she recorded an album from her living room called "KT Tunstall's Acoustic Extravaganza." She did this (as I understand it) to stay grounded and return to "REAL" music. The album was recorded in days and to me proves the musicianship of KT. This song is called "Throw Me A Rope" and is pretty good. It's more of a melancholy song that seems to be about someone coping after losing their love. KT's Acoustic Extravaganza

Tell me what you think.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Our Wedding Video

I've posted this on our Facebook account, and a couple other places but there is a story behind the song. The song in the background is a cover version of "Baby I Love Your Way" by Mig Ayesa. He actually collaborated with the original artist Peter Frampton on this version. Karie and I fell in love with this song one day while we were watching the summer reality show Rockstar:INXS Mig was a contestant and he sang this song for the show and we just loved it. It took a while for a real studio version of the song to come out but it was worth the wait. Our video was edited by Karie's brother Russ Lasson, and we have just loved it. Let us know what you think!

This is Our Wedding Video.

This is the Version from Rockstar:INXS

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sandi Thom

Almost two years ago I stumbled across a new artist who I've really liked. She's very popular in the UK, her name is Sandi Thom and in my opinion sounds like a cross between Kelly Clarkson and KT Tunstall. My favorite song of hers is called "I Wish I Was a {unk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair)" It's a very upbeat song, and I promise you it will be stuck in your head for weeks! Feel free to leave comments and tell me what you think.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Funny Song For You

I'll keep this one short.  If you're looking for a laugh and an awkward infatuation song, you've found it.  About a year or so ago, a buddy introduced me to "The Flight of the Conchords". They're a folk-parody band from New Zealand who recently got their own show on HBO.  Now I can't vouch for all of their songs, as I'm pretty sure some of them are a bit off color.  This song however makes me laugh every time and sticks in my head for weeks's very funny. Flight of the Conchords - Them Most Beautiful Girl In The Room.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

"Our song"

Most couples have a song.  A song that either defines their relationship, sparks the memory of their courtship, or activates those familiar butterflies in their stomach.  Karie and I are no different, our song is Come Away With Me by Norah Jones. Nearly every time I hear this song I'm taken back in my mind to the place where it first clicked for Karie and me.  We were driving home from a Jazz game, it was one of our first dates probably our second real date, date.  Our relationship was fresh and just developing but I couldn't get over how comfortable we were together.  We already felt like a couple. No drama, no analyzing every move, it was just instinctual.  I had never had that before. I don't remember if we were listening to a Norah Jones CD or if it was just a mix that happened to have that song on it, but I remember clearly we were in my old Chevy Lumina (that was previously owned by my grandma) holding hands when it came on and we both felt the spark.Us on our wedding day!

Since then Karie and I have Volumes...and no I am not exaggerating of songs that we claim as our own.  When I have time I may write something up about all of them.  The most recent of these however was discovered just yesterday. It's by an artist named TJ McCloud (formerly of the band Stephan Speaks). He has a new album out that is all Love songs called "Long Live Love"

TJ McCloud - Long Live Love

The latest addition to the list of "Our Songs" is a song called "Another Day In Love". You can listen to it here on his website.  It's the second song on his music player and you'll have to hunt for it a little but trust me it's well worth it.  Rarely has a song ever articulated how I view my marriage with Karie like this one did.

I hope you enjoy it! Let me know what you think. Also, feel free to post in the comments what your song with your significant other is. We're always looking to add to our collection!

Bonus song: from TJ's old band Stephan Speaks called, Out of My League

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Today I stumbled on a song that isn't necessarily new but it's definately creative.  I'll keep it simple, the band is Obadiah Parker, and they have done a folk-acoustic cover of Outkast's Hey Ya.  I think it's pretty good. At least listen to it until it gets to the breakdown (shake it like a Polaroid picture)null 

Obadiah Parker - Hey Ya


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My wife's song..

Once in a while a song comes along that will stick with you for one reason or another.  The first song like this for me was James Taylor's version of You've Got A Friend. It was the song that truly could always make me feel better.About two weeks ago Jack Johnson released his new album "Sleep Through the Static" I am a huge Jack Johnson fan, so buying this CD was a no brain-er.  It stays true to the chill vibe that initially hooked me to his music. This time however it's the lyrics to some of the songs that make this album as a winner for me.Jack Johnson - Sleep Through the Static

One Song in particular has had that James Taylor effect on me.  The song "Angel" strikes a chord with me.  Anyone who knows me knows that my wife and I have about a billion songs.  I make a play-list every month or so for her of songs that come close to capturing our relationship in the lyrics.  None however have captured my feelings for her like this one.  It's by far my favorite track on the album.  Give it a listen here!

Friday, February 15, 2008

We'll give this a try...

Well, hello internet!  I am a first time blogger and to be quite honest, I'm a bit nervous about this whole thing.  There's something intimidating about putting your thoughts, and opinions out there for everyone to read. I'm not sure how to start or what to say, but this seems like a good way to brush up on my writing skills, which are a bit rusty.  I figure I ought to have a point to this and try to write about something I know about, but nothing wasn't an option. So I'll go with the next best thing and keep most of my comments geared towards music.

Any one who spends any amount of time with me knows I have an addiction to finding new music.  It started for me in high school, when I would stay up at night with a pen and paper in hand ready to write down any new artist, albums, or bands I liked from VH1's Insomniac music videos. Another favorite source for this was those infomercials usually hosted by Hermins Herbit, Debby Boone, or some other former star of 70's a high schooler like me would have never heard of. This was back in the days of napster, and burning CD's was a very novel idea. (I felt like an old person writing that)  Since then We've seen the invention of iTunes, iPods, Myspace, Youtube, and many other alernative ways of finding music, or discovering it for yourself.  This is perhaps my biggest hobby and if I could make a living out of it I would.  So from time to time when I find music I like or there's a certain song I like I'l write about it here, maybe post a link for you so you can tell me what you think about it.  We'll just have to see what this evolves to.