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.