Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I’ve concluded I have a love/hate relationship with pictures. Why are we, me especially, so worried about taking so many pictures? By snapping an image of a time or place are we hoping to never forget the way we felt at that given moment? Or are we altering history? Skewing our perception of the past? Have we just becoming too lazy to put into words the thoughts, the feelings, the smells of a given moment and try to capture it by an unbiased flat image that almost completely removes the perception of us enjoying that moment? I wonder if pictures are ruining our memories. When I look back at my life, I can describe in detail events that I have a picture of. I can tell you what I was wearing, who I was with, what the environment was…. But the older the pictures become the less I can remember anything besides what is in that photo. Most of the time I can’t tell you who even took the picture. If we didn’t have these images created by a camera, would we be better off? Would our own minds, through our perception, create a memory more vivid, more perfect, and more life altering for us? Instead of looking at a setting sun behind a field of wheat on a flat image, would we better remember the smell of that wheat field in August, feel the last rays of sun hit our skin as the air begins to cool, hear the birds playfully chirping in the background and most importantly... grasp the beauty more fully?

Do pictures help us remember or do they give us an excuse to forget?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Top Ten Chicago Moments:

10. The reaction on the guy's face as I was teaching my dad how to call someone on a cellphone.

9. Del said, “Ya know I’m pretty surprised there aren’t more nice cars here in Chicago.” “Dad what are you talking about? There are Range Rovers lined up at every corner.” “Oh are those nice cars?”
8. As we were driving across the country I said, “Ya know I am really shocked at how beautiful this world is, I swear every where I turn there is another beautiful place that I didn’t know about. It really is like every place is beautiful. It's so rare to see an actually ugly place. If you had to say the ugliest place you have ever been where is it?” Del’s response, “Bloomington Hills.”

(where we lived for 6 years)

7. Walking into a regional singles activity and seeing pirate decorations lining the walls and instead of name tags Pirate Hats and eye patches, I said to Will, “Are you sure we are at the right place, or did you trick me into going to your nephew’s birthday party?

6. We lived in the middle of the coolest place ever, within a mile we had every restaurant imaginable, amazing museums, shows, concerts, professional sporting events… what were my parents doing every night? Del was playing solitare and flipping through the channels and Lynette was on the computer. It’s hard to teach Old Dogs new tricks.

5. To insure my dad would stop for a lunch on our trip across Illinios I drank 44oz. of diet coke right before we left…. 3 hours later you could see the tears form when I read, “Next rest stop 68 miles.”

4. Del’s brilliant realization. He says, “Ya know, here in Chicago, I don’t think it’s a very good idea to stare at people.”

3. After spending two weeks in Chicago seeing the sights, experiencing the city for all its grandeur, what made my mom the most excited I saw her in those two weeks. We were headed out to the burbs and she exclaims, “There’s a Wal-Mart!””

2. While at a hotel in Nauvoo Del told me he was boycotting breakfast saying, “I’m not eating this greasy junk food, I’m holding out for McDonalds.”

1. I had a Marilyn Monroe moment when the gust of air from the subway blew my summer dress up exposing my under roos to the homeless men lining the street. I could see the disappointment on their face as they questioned, “What’s with the white shorts?”

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Spirit of Nauvoo

Pictures hold so much more of a description than words can even try to portray. So here are some of the highlights of what I think makes the "Spirit of Nauvoo" in the pictures I took.

First Vision StatueNauvoo CemetaryThe PageantThe Trail of Hope Monument. Carthage JailThe Window from the Second Story of Carthage JailJoseph's Temple
Hyrum supporting his brother.

Oddly enough, my trip to Nauvoo didn't make more appreciative of the sacrifices the Saints made... I didn't mourn for horrible things they went through... it didn't even make me want to do more family history. I never would have guessed the feelings that going to Nauvoo made me feel. It made me long for President Hinckley. In another day, another time Nauvoo was Brother Joseph's town... Brother Joseph's temple. But for me, on this visit to a very sacred place, I remembered the Prophet of most of my life. "How grateful I am, how profoundly grateful for what has happened. Today, facing west, on the high bluff overlooking the city of Nauvoo, thence across the Mississippi, and over the plains of Iowa, there stands Joseph’s temple, a magnificent house of God. Here in the Salt Lake Valley, facing east to that beautiful temple in Nauvoo, stands Brigham’s temple, the Salt Lake Temple. They look toward one another as bookends between which there are volumes that speak of the suffering, the sorrow, the sacrifice, even the deaths of thousands who made the long journey from the Mississippi River to the valley of the Great Salt Lake." - President Hinckley

“We have every reason to be optimistic in this world,” President Hinckley insisted. “Tragedy is around, yes. Problems everywhere, yes. But look at Nauvoo. Look at what they built here in seven years and then left. But what did they do? Did they lie down and die? No! They went to work! They moved halfway across this continent and turned the soil of a desert and made it blossom as the rose. On that foundation this church has grown into a great worldwide organization affecting for good the lives of people in more than 140 nations. You can’t, you don’t, build out of pessimism or cynicism. You look with optimism, work with faith, and things happen.”

"This is the greatest season in the history of the church, and it will only get better."

Sunday, July 11, 2010


There is no question where I get my love for pizza from.... my father. So of course we had to check out this famous Chicago style pizza!

Del's conclusion......."Ya know, I would have much rather had a Factory Deluxe from the Pizza Factory."

Huck Finn

Yesterday I went boating with Will and Clinton on the Fox River. I seriously felt like at any moment I was going to see Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer come jumping out from under a bridge!

The view from above.The view from the river.Clinton the CaptionWill the wakeboarder
And me.... just too happy to contain myself!

Will the Wakeboarder....had a pretty hardcore wipeout.
I was WAY too excited to see the riverboard... it's kinda pathetic when most cultural experiences remind me of Disneyland because that is the only place I have experienced them!
And my dream came true!!!!!!! The trip ended with this picture of Huck and Tom fishin'....

Saturday, July 10, 2010

It's hard to teach Old Dogs new tricks

Here is where we live.... this is what we are surrounded by.... here's the view from our apartment.

and what you might ask are my parents doing every night????

Like I said, it's hard to teach Old Dogs new tricks...

Friday, July 9, 2010


It probably all started in 1990 when I was 7 years old. We bought a VHS copy of NBA Superstar videos. As soon as that F-16 took off, as soon as I heard Berlin start singing “Watching every motion in my foolish lover's game” it was a done deal. My heart has always belonged to one man... Michael Jeffery Jordan. Click here to watch the video if you are wondering what the heck I am talking about.

So you can imagine my disappointment when Wes told me that the United Center is kinda in the ghetto and my pilgrimage to the statue of the greatest basketball player that ever lived maybe shouldn’t happen... unless I want to get shot. I was so depressed! All this distance and no way to pay homage to the man that instilled my love for basketball... The man that gave me such joy each and every time he beat the Jazz… the man that inspired me that even if I fail over and over and over again if I keep trying maybe I can succeed.

So this morning Wes and I went to breakfast which was SO SO SO amazily good. After I begged him to take me out to see Air Jordan, I really didn’t believe him that it was a scary area until the parked cars had bullet holes in them.
But don't worry Wes said he would protect me....

But it was all worth it…

So MJ you might have been a lot shadier than I can imagine, you may have pushed off a little on Bryon Russell in the '98 championship to take the game winning shot, you might have almost blown it by coming out of retirement the second time, but the fact remains you still take my breath away.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


In Greek mythology Narcissus was a hunter from the territory of Thespiae who was renowned for his beauty. He was exceptionally proud, in that he disdained those who loved him. As divine punishment he fell in love with his own reflection in a pool, not realizing it was merely an image, and he wasted away to death, not being able to leave the beauty of his own reflection. I guess the first time it really became noticeable that I was in love with my own reflection was in my living room in my apartment in college. I found that every night I would love to tell stories, do cheers, or just dance around while watching myself in my window reflection. I could not get enough! Everyone soon learned if you wanted me to actually pay attention to anything than else, you’d better get rid of my reflection.

Now I used to be kinda embarrassed about how much I loved my reflection. I would try to be discrete as I watched myself in the mirror at the gym, the store window on my run, or sadly even the huge mirrors as I taught Sunday School every week. I mean who admits they love their own reflection?

But then I moved to Chicago and I came to a brilliant realization. EVERYONE loves watching their own reflection. Why can I assume such things?
Two things: One obvious…. One took a little bit more thinking.

Now if you aren’t very up with Chicago tourist traps…. (like myself) you probably have NO idea what is behind me. No it isn’t a UFO. It’s a piece of “art” A gigantic mirror in the shape on a bean. Now how does this piece of worthlessness prove that people are in love with their reflections is because there were 31 million people that visited this “art” last year alone. What is so cool about this bean? It’s the fact that you can see your own reflection! In many distorted ways, in multiples…. It’s about the picture. Millions of people come to this bean to take multiple pictures of what... Their reflection.

Now I recognize this realization is kinda stretch. It’s highly probable that people go the bean for more reason than just their own reflection, although if they really anaylized their own motives… I think I am right. But now let’s address the more obscure but more obvious reason why I think everyone is amused… so in turn possibly in love with their own refection.

The elevator mirror:
Living on the 47th floor of a residential high rise has been quite the experience, which I have included in the previous post. What is most shocking is how long sometimes you have to wait for the elevator. Now clearly it would take me probably 5 times as long to go to my gym, swimming pool, library, or grocery store in my typical rural town, but with only a elevator ride keeping me from all of these destinations within my building… that elevator sure seems to take forever.

Now I found it very interesting when I figured out how most people spend their time waiting for the elevator. On the wall opposing the elevators the interior designer of this luxurious residential high rise could have chosen to put a beautiful painting, a fresh bouquet of flowers, or even a peaceful water feature but instead they put a huge framed mirror. Although the designers went to extravagant measures to make sure the entryway was exotic marble, the furniture exotic woods, the gym, pool area, and outdoor grill the finest… I figure they thought why waste money on a painting, flowers, or waterfall when people are more amused with some thing so cheap as their own reflection.

By putting a mirror in the waiting area for the elevator, on the wall of the elevator, and even on the ceiling of the elevator the residents of One West Superior are not tapping their fingers impatiently waiting for the elevator because they are so busy being amused by their own reflection.

So now I know... I no longer need to hide in shame thinking that I am some vain Narcissus.... I'm just like everybody else!