Dec 31, 2008

Happy Old Year

Resolutions for 2009:
(in the shape of a bell)

Eat Less
Read More
Write More
Exercise More
Make new friends
Read my scriptures
Write 10 short stories
Prepare to become a father
Do "The Artist's Way" with Tracie
Keep my resolutions longer than a week


What resolutions are you planning this year??

Bev Doolittle

Apparently, I am very observer.

Dec 30, 2008

We had a Green Christmas

And not the environmentally friendly. Not that we were particularly mean to the environment either, (no more than usual) in fact, we recycled a lot!

But by Green Christmas, I mean we had our Christmas in Texas, in case this is the first of my blog posts you've read and you didn't notice that I've been writing about going to Texas for a little while now.

Well, we're back! Upon coming home, I learned to make sure there's not a load of wet laundry left in the washing machine when you're going away for a week, don't leave half a cup of cocoa in the microwave to ferment, take out the trash and flush the toilet. Needless to say, we were greeted with many smells upon our arrival home, reminding us that Tracie is pregnant and when I'm left to look after the place, some things get forgotten, until they start to smell.

We're still trying to make the place smell merry, but I'm getting ahead of the story like I usually do.

Last Saturday I had 2 finals, I guess I aced them both, or at least did passably well, as I ended up with a B and a B+ (and somehow an A in my writing class- score!) and I went home, we got all ready for leaving and left. Apparently we were so stressed about making sure we brought everything (which we did, including sunglasses we never used) we forgot little things like the state of potentially stinky things at home. I guess Tracie didn't think of them because she was bringing the stinkiest thing with her, (me) and I forgot because I was preoccupied with my 2 finals and irrationally stressing about getting to the airport on time.

Tracie's parents took us to the airport, we got there in pah-lenty of time, with time to spare for my routine pat down, the security guard was professional and friendly, making me wish my doctor had been an airport security guard at any point of his career.

Our flight was smooth and on time, noteworthy because we sat next to the emergency exit, causing my irrational side (they're ALL irrational sides) to have mini-terror daymares involving the door blowing off and holding on to Tracie for dear life so she wouldn't get sucked into the abyss of dead space, also known as Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and where ever else we flew over. Fortunately, none of that happened.

We arrived in Texas, and were immediately greeted by the humidity, we went to get our luggage and were then greeted by two of my three brothers, Ammon and Andrew.

We rode home in my parents minivan, the humidity and air conditioning in a timeless struggle for control as we reminisced and caught up on each other's lives, while Tracie and Andrew mostly played their Nintendo DSes. DSi. DS plural.

I was so excited to see everyone, but no one more than my niece and nephew, Carly and Wesley, visiting from Singapore. I got to see Wesley that night, but Carly was sleeping, so I didn't get to see her until at church the next day.

Church was good, I got to spot many old friends and families but we were quickly off to downtown Houston to catch the last performance of Handel's "Messiah" by the Houston Symphony, with my mommy in the Choir! We went with her parents, obviously also in Houston at the time, and my brother Andrew. It was a very moving experience, and great to hear the Oratorio in its entirety, instead of just the Hallelujah Chorus and "Unto Us."

The week was mostly uneventful and relaxing, (the way I like my vacations) we mostly visited, watched movies, went out to eat, played games, Tracie and I babysat Carly and Wesley while their parents went shopping, my mom's parents left two days before Christmas and my dad's parents came the day after Christmas, the other main highlights of our trip were a trip to the MFAH, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and, of course, Christmas day! I'll write more about them once I get home, but now it's time to go!

I'm back. So, on Friday Tracie, Andrew and Mee went to the MFAH, I loved it. It's the first time I went through the whole museum (it's a biggie- fifth largest in the country) we saw works from Egypt, Greece, South America, Asia, Africa, and of course countless (not entirely countless, the museum has about 40,000 works on display) European artworks, and I must admit I myself was impressed not only with the amount of beauty and culture we took in, but how quickly (less than 3 hours) we saw it all.

Rewinding a bit, I wanted to announce that I have FINALLY finished reading "The Gunslinger," the first of the Dark Tower Series (Septet?) by Stephen King. Overall reaction: meh.
It was good, but not great. I originally read it because the story that's been practically beating on my brain to write on is a Western/Horror/Fantasy, which is what I understood Dark Tower to be, after reading the first, I couldn't think of two more different books. (Especially since one is still mostly in my head) but it was enjoyable in some parts, really dull in others, but, all in all, I finished reading it, and will probably read the next one before I judge them all.

Now, on to CHRISTMAS!!!

To toot my own horn, I pretty much made the traditional egg dish single handedly and it was delicious (not as good as when my mom makes it, but I got enough compliments and second and third helpings to think I did an ok job) we had the missionaries over like we always do, I gave up some ugly polyester ties from my mission for them, and Tracie and I racked in the booty. I'll let Tracie list what she got, Here's the best of my memory and the best Christmas in 2008!

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (Children's book)
The Belgariad Vol 1-3 (of 5) (Book)
Sandman book 1 (Graphic Novel)
Sandman book 3 (Graphic Novel)
The Hush Sound Like Vines (CD)
The Hush Sound Goodbye Blues(CD)
Animaniacs Volume 2 (TV Season)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (the old 90's cartoon! Sweet!)
She & Him (CD)
A Nintendo Wii (for Tracie AND me, from my parents)
Memoirs of Hugh B. Brown (book)
Lego Star Wars (Video Game)
Inn Fighting (board-esque game)
Money (cashola)
Moolah (bling)

And a very very merry Christmas!

The new year is almost here, I'm already writing my resolutions... I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and will have a happy new year!!!

Dec 18, 2008

One Week Until Christmas

And nine days since I last posted. I have the same lame blogging excuses I usually do, I pretend like I don't have enough time and don't have anything interesting to write about. Well, last night was at least blogworthy enough to blog again, as well as catch a little up on the wonder that is me.

Last week I got to hear my baby's heartbeat for the first time. I've heard about it being one of the coolest parts of pregnancy (for the dad) but was skeptical. It's just a heartbeat, it doesn't even sound like a heart beat, it sounds like a "whooshwhooshwhoosh." Well, at the OB-GYN/Midwife/Women's Clinic we go to, I got to hear the "whooshwhooshwhoosh." And it. was. awesome. I can't remember the last time I smiled so broadly, and literally could not stop smiling. I felt so much love for Tracie and I am so grateful she is in my life, and doing this, putting up with pregnancy sickness and a whiny husband.

Yesterday our car battery died. Those of you who know me know that I have had my fair share of car problems, I have had EVERYBODY'S fair share of car problems, but I didn't take it very well. It upset me. Long dramatic story short, Tracie followed the excellent advice of her sister HayLee, I followed the excellent advice of Tracie, and went to AutoZone to get the battery replaced. I changed my first battery! While I was changing it, I had an interesting encounter, where I was stopped by a sweet old man with a van. "Can you help me, please?" He asked. I said I could try, but I didn't work there, I was just trying to change my car battery. "Do you know anything about interior lights? I can't get this light off!" I walked over to help him, saw that it was one of those lights that you just have to push, I pushed it, he closed the door, and his eyes lit up like I'd just saved his cocker spaniel from drowning. "Oh, marvelous! Thank you!" I considered asking for a tip, but I wished him a merry Christmas and went back to attempting to change the battery in my car. First time I've been a good Samaritan in a while, and all I had to do was click a button!

Classes are winding down, Writing for Mass Media is over, and my American Civilization and Art History 2710 finals are this Saturday, of which I shall study for tonight, as we have a Christmas get together on Friday night with some friends. I'm sure you wanted to know that. Last night we also had a fun get together with friends, playing Nintendo 64 games I haven't played in YEARS.

Though I have finals and a new car battery, what consumes my mind at the moment is in 2 days WE'RE GOING TO TEXAS!!! I'm so excited to see all my family and my brother's family especially, as they'll be joining us from Singapore this holiday season. I find studying, working, thinking, writing, blogging, eating, breathing, etc. all left in the dust as my thoughts of Texas and Christmas preoccupy my mind.

What fun things are YOU doing this Christmas??

Dec 9, 2008

One Smart So and So

Free IQ Test - Free IQ Test

How about you?

Dec 8, 2008

Divine Comedy

Last Friday, at the Joseph Smith Building Auditorium, BYU’s Divine Comedy performed their “best of” for the year.

Tracie and I attended, along with roughly 1,000 BYU students, all younger than we are and more single. I haven’t attended a “college event” in quite awhile, and, despite the Mormon horde, it was very enjoyable.

Divine Comedy specializes in good natured spoof while thrusting as many Utah Valley and Mormon references you can shake a triple combination at. For example, the James Bond parody was called “Nickelcade Royale” and featured things like James Bond chasing the bad guy to the sound of Mario Bros., or fighting the villain with the screen behind them showing their names and life meter like Mortal Kombat. There was also a parody of the Lion King, aptly called “The Cougar King.” About the BYUSA (BYU Student Association) vice president’s journey and growing up. Along the way he gets lost and meets Timon & Pumbaa at UVU. They sang the song “UVU, it’s our problem free, Univer-si-ty! UVU!” (to the tune of “Hakuna Matata”). Though they mocked my school, I didn’t mind, as they mocked their school just as mercilessly. However, as we all know, BYU does have more to mock.

Tracie and I actually weren’t the only married couple there, though we were in the minority. Seated next to us were the Schramers, Brittnee and Matt, who came, just as we did, for the laughter, and the cheap date (only $5). They both thought it was “hilarious” and at times laughed harder than we did.

Divine Comedy started in 1994 when 2 BYU students, Randy Davis and Greg Peterson, got together to make a sketch comedy show that was as clean as it was funny. It now has 10 members, all current BYU students who have to contribute their own ideas and scripts for their shows.

I enjoyed the performance very much and will recommend divine comedy to anyone, BYU student or even married.

328 words.

Dec 5, 2008

Random Update- part. whatever

Did anybody listen to any of the songs I posted on my last post?

I can't get enough of them, but if you can't appreciate my efforts to culture you and expand your musical horizons, that's your problem. I'm not bitter, I'm just sour.

Christmas is coming, Christmas is coming! I am, to borrow an 80's colloquialism, so stoked for Christmas this year! I think you probably know that now, but it's ok to remind everyone from time to time.

I have 2 big papers to write coming up next week, for my Writing for Mass Media class I have to write a real news article with at least 2 sources due on Monday, as of right now, 3 days before, I have no idea what I'm going to write.

I also have to write an essay for Art History about Early Christian Architecture, which, contrary to popular belief, I am not looking forward to, but that's due a week from tomorrow, so I still have a good week to procrastinate it.

In the meantime we've got another baby dr. appointment scheduled for thursday, I'm excited to maybe hear the heartbeat this time, and make sure whether there's one or two babies in there...

Tracie is starting to feel better, by better I mean less nauseous, which is good for me. That sounds selfish, what I mean is her being less nauseous means I can worry a little less. Good save.

We've got almost all our Christmas shopping done, we've realized that we're gonna need a whole suitcase just to bring presents for everyone in Texas (we bought presents for the whole state) but, if my greedy little baby gremlin that grows in my heart gets his wish, we'll be able to fill it back up with presents from us on our return.

As this semester draws to a close, I'm looking forward to the next: I'll be taking photography and Intermediate Writing on Mon. and Wed. evenings and then Human Sexuality on Saturdays, which should be interesting. It's my Behavioral Science requirement, and I didn't want to just take Psych 101. So it was either Human Sexuality, or not Human Sexuality, so I thought I'd give it a try. The class, not the sexuality. Man, I was in trouble a couple words in with that joke, wasn't I?

What joke?

Anyhoo, lunch is almost over and I have to get back to work, but I'm going to give my pregnant princess a hug and a kiss before I go.

Dec 1, 2008

The Hush Sound

My new favorite band I discovered (that's right, ME) is The Hush Sound. I absolutely love them. I heard them at the gym (that's right, I work out) and couldn't get enough of their unique but catchy, almost familiar sound. I hope you enjoy.

Giving Thanks

To celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday, here's a small list of things I am thankful for this year:

1) I am thankful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

2) I am thankful that I am the husband of the most beautiful, intelligent, hilarious woman in the world.

3) I am thankful that we're going to Texas for Christmas to see my family, especially the ones who live in Singapore!

4) I am thankful for a job that I enjoy, I have friends at, and that I don't dread going to.

5) I am thankful to be in school where I am learning to be a better person and prepare for a brighter future.

6) I am thankful for the friends I have

7) I am thankful this year is almost over

8) I am thankful that I have almost all of my Christmas shopping done.

9) I am thankful to be alive, healthy, and happy.

10) Most of all, I am thankful for the blessing we're excited to welcome to the world in June!

Baby is only 3 months along right now, about 1 inch long in that picture, now he or she is about the size of a lime.

We are so excited to be parents, and have a whole new list of things to be thankful for, and stressed about!

Thanks Giving

Happy December, Everyone! We had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving break, I hope you did as well.

Last week at work was CRAZY, I thought that since it was a holiday week that no one would be calling for help on their websites. What I didn't realize is that practically EVERY customer would want help with their site and their stores, since a lot of people apparently do shopping over the Thanksgiving holiday. Has to do with some big deal called "Christmas," apparently. We were some of those wild and crazy shoppers, but please, one thing at a time!

Thursday was McNeil day. We went to Tracie's parents and had a Thanksgiving feast, all the staples done to perfection, right down to Tracie's homemade cranberry sauce.

We played games, sang karaoke (tolerably well) and visited with family. Notably, Tracie's brother Troy and his family surprised everyone and showed up from California to celebrate Thanksgiving with us, giving us something more to be thankful for. It was great seeing Troy and Jen, as well as my world's most adorable nephew Eric and beautiful niece Madeleine (tied of course with Carly, Wesley, Seth, Cade, Leah, Matthew, Tyson, Preston, Mason and Lily). After letting the food digest for awhile and naps all around, we gathered again, this time for pie. Pumpkin, Pecan, Pumpkin Pecan, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Chocolate, Chocolate Silk, Chocolate Brownie, Chocolate Banana, Banana Cream, Cherry, Apple, Lemon pies to be exact. (Am I forgetting any? probably. Just know there were a lot) after the feast, both edible and social, Tracie and I limped/rolled home.

Thursday night I stayed up so I could take part in the madness of Black Friday. At 4 am I joined the throngs of penny pinchers at Kohl's and bought $250 7-piece luggage set for $50, a $40 blanket for $8, a $40 picture collage frame for $10 and other miscellaneous goodies. Though there were more people in Kohl's than there probably ever have been (albeit that location IS pretty new) I was impressed at the organization. Two very long lines filled the aisles and employees told customers jokes and gave us candy if we got Christmas trivia right while we waited. After 10 minutes of shopping and 45 minutes of waiting in line, I came home for Tracie and we made way to Wal-mart. I can sum up our visit to Wal-mart in one word: Chaos. As tragic as it was, I can believe that some people died at Wal-marts across the country (and at least one in Utah) because there were so many many people everywhere you turned. We didn't find anything we wanted for the prices we wanted at Wal-mart, the only redeeming fact was Tracie got a cute hoodie for $8, and we didn't get trampled.

We got home with all our booty, did some shopping on Amazon while their Black Fri. specials were still on, and passed out until about 1, when we went back to Tracie's parents for her dad's Turkey soup and pie leftovers. We again played games and enjoyed time with family.

Saturday we had another Thanksgiving feast, this time at my grandparents. We got to meet a new member of the extended family, my cousin Sara's baby girl Shayla (I hope I'm spelling that right) is 3 months and just beautiful. My Grandpa makes the best turkey on the planet, and this year he didn't disappoint, he even went one step further and let us keep some of the turkey!

Sunday, the last day of our vacation, was highlighted by home teachers and home teaching (last day of the month, after all) going to Uncle Jim's house and Uncle Paul's house (it's Uncle Paul's 81st birthday!) as well as Ammon's birthday, but since he's in Singapore, his birthday was technically the day before, or at least 15 hours later than us. I told him they should have flown to Texas on his birthday, then he wouldn't age, but he said that was stupid.

We greatly enjoyed our Thanksgiving holiday, as you can see, and are already chomping at the proverbial bit (it's really more of a kimberwicke) to celebrate our Christmas holiday in Texas!