Saturday, January 14, 2017

Cole's football game and Aubrey dancing

Since I treated Tucker and Gunner to a BYU football game, I decided it was Cole's turn to go with me. My dad, mom and I all went together to the BYU vs Mississippi State game. Cole was in heaven getting all of that personal attention.

As I do with all the kids, I got him a cougar tail. He loved it. It ended up being a wonderful game for him to attend. The weather was quite warm for an October game and BYU pulled off the upset victory in double overtime.

Aubrey has been performing at various locations with her dancing class. She is so cute.

She loves to dance and is so good at it. Lisa is surely smiling down from heaven.

BYU vs Michigan State

Back in May I was talking with a few of my buddies from dental school. We were mentioning how we would love to go to a BYU football game on the road. They mentioned that since Lisa had passed away their wives were feeling sympathetic to me and that we should capitalize on that sympathy and plan a guys only road trip. We looked at our calendars and decided that the BYU vs. Michigan State game would be the best for all of us.
We all flew in on a Friday evening and went to our hotel. That night we went to Buddy's Pizza to get some Detroit style pizza. It was so good. On Saturday we decided to hit up some local touristy things in Detroit before heading up to East Lansing for the game. Our first stop was the Ford Museum. It was really cool. I had to take this picture for my son Tucker.

Here's the first photo of all of us together. Me, Jarom John, Rob Leale, and Brandon Jergensen. Jarom flew in from Fort Collins, Colorado. Rob from Spokane, Washington, and Brandon from San Diego, California. It was so good to get together with them again.

After the museum we went into Detroit and got a view of Ford Field where the Lions play and Comerica Park where the Tigers play. Such a cool looking ball park.

While we were dowtown in Detroit we had lunch at Coney National Hot Dogs. Another famous Detroit eatery that didn't disappoint. From there we headed on up to East Lansing. Their stadium is beautiful and huge, seating over 70,000 people.

 Before this game BYU was a heavy underdog. They didn't really have much of a shot of beating Michigan State in East Lansing. The first half started out slow for both teams, but BYU really started to pull away in the second half.

The fourth quarter was really fun as a BYU fan. We beat MSU on the road despite the odds. It was so exciting to experience that with my friends.

While there I ran into one of my friends from Cougarboard, Jared Kohl. This was the third game we've watched together. We have watched two together out in Washington DC when I've been out there.

One of the highlights from the trip was the conversation we had one evening while going to sleep in our hotel room. The four of us friends had some great spiritual conversations. Some very uplifting and motivational discussions. At one point Brandon Jergensen and I were chatting about how life has ended up harder than we thought it would be. He was discussing some of the challenges he's had raising a son with Down Syndrome. I mentioned that I could empathize because of how difficult life had been watching Lisa pass away from cancer and becoming a single dad. There was a moment of silence and then Jarom said, "well, I have 5 daughters." All of us burst out laughing. It was pretty funny. You win Jarom!

Enjoying the fall weather

Kamille and I took all of the kids up Snake Creek Canyon back in late September to enjoy the fall colors. We took the RZR on the trail all the way to the top. I love the views from up there.

You can see this type of green rock up there. It means there is copper in the rocks. 

Midway in the fall is pretty spectacular. The colors are quite vibrant.

Monday, January 2, 2017

BYU football game and conference Sunday

I took Tucker and Gunner with me and my dad to attend the BYU vs Toledo football game this year. It was Gunner's first time attending a BYU game. We went early to experience all the pre-game festivities like the cougar walk and the marching band. It was really fun.

We bought our dinner there at the stadium, but I did happen to sneak in some drinks to the stadium for the three of us.

I've always enjoyed the games I've been able to attend with my dad, and I'm enjoying taking my kids with me too.

No BYU football game would be complete for kids without a cougar tail- an 18" maple bar.

That Sunday was General Conference, so we loaded up the kids in the Suburban and went for a drive up the Mirror Lake Highway. It was a beautiful drive. We stopped off at the Upper Provo River Falls for a photo.

Friday, December 16, 2016

My dad's elk hunt

After many years of applying, my dad finally drew out on his limited entry elk hunt this year. We were all so excited for it to be his turn. We did quite a bit of scouting throughout the summer and set up our game plan for the September hunt.
I drove up on Friday morning to help set up camp and do some last minute scouting. I had been growing my beard out for about a month in preparation for the hunt.

When I got up there I was so happy to see how bright and brilliant the fall colors were.

I brought my RZR along for the hunt.

My cousin Jaron and his dad Rees (my mom's twin brother) came on the hunt too. Here's a view of our awesome elk camp.

This year was a very, very hard hunt. The weather was about 20 degrees warmer than normal and there was a bright full moon each night with no clouds. Normally on this hunt the bulls are bugling and fighting and in the full rut, which makes for a much easier and a much more enjoyable hunt. This year however was a different story. The rut hadn't started and the bulls were hunkering down in the deep pines. We couldn't get them to respond to cow calls or bugles with anything more than a half hearted belly grunt while they were lying down. They would leave the trees. Because of the full moon they were up all night feeding and bedded down all day. They would stop moving before 8:00 am and wouldn't get back up and about until after 6:00 pm. It made for a very challenging hunt for us.

Saturday night was the BYU vs UCLA home opener. My dad and I headed down from the elk camp to go to the game with my mom and Tucker. It was Tucker's 11th birthday so we had him come along.

The views from where we hunt are so amazing.

There is one area that we take the four wheelers over a creek. This year some beavers dammed up the creek right by the crossing and caused it to be flooded under about 3 feet of water. We had to tear the dam down to drain the water enough for us to cross. Each time we did this, the next day the beavers had repaired the dam. It helped illustrate the saying, "busy as a beaver".

I had to head back home Monday to help the kids out and I left my dad and Jaron up there. That night Jaron got my dad in on a great bull and they downed him before sunset. I drove right back up Tuesday morning and helped them pack the elk out.

It wasn't too long of a hike, but it was straight up hill. Jaron and I had a great time getting it out.

My dad had a bad knee and was pretty exhausted so Jaron and I did the heavy lifting. When we got to the top we had my dad put the pack on for a photo op. Looking good dad!

I was glad that my dad was able to harvest his elk and that we had an enjoyable hunt.

I shaved my beard off in stages. First was the trucker look.

Then the handlebar mustache.

Then the creepy mustache.

Then the angry nazi mustache.

Clean shaven and handsome!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Headstone and a blast from the past

Lisa's headstone is finally done. It turned out so well too. It's exactly the way she wanted it. After we put Lisa on home hospice care, she and I took a trip to the funeral home so that she could pick out her casket and headstone and plan out her entire funeral. This is what she picked out. It's still weird for me to see my own name on a headstone.

On a crazy side note, one of Kamille's friends was browsing Lisa's facebook page and came across this photo from the Big Cottonwood marathon back in 2013. Her friend noticed that the guy in the red shirt in the background is Kamille's late husband Clint. Clint was battling his bone cancer at that time and it was the motivation for Kamille to run a marathon. Lisa had finished up her year long chemo and radiation treatments a few months earlier and was using this race as motivation to keep pushing herself. I love that this photo captured two amazing cancer warriors in the middle of their trials and battles.
Upon discovering this photo of Lisa and Clint in the same shot, some other friends did some digging and found some more photos that showed how our paths had crossed three years ago. We found out that Kamille and Lisa not only ran the same race, but finished at the same time. The official race times show that they finished 3 seconds apart.

You can see Kamille's son Gunner in this photo running along side Lisa and Aubrey.

And this photo shows that Gunner was out there supporting Kamille. Had the camera panned out we would have captured both Lisa and Kamille easily in the same photo.

You can see Lisa's mom and dad in the background of this photo of Kamille, Neiska and Wyatt.

It's funny how the world is so much smaller than we realize. I'm convinced that the Lord is much more intimately involved in our lives than we even realize.