Wednesday, September 30, 2009

365: Week 39

Day 268

September 24: Driving to Pack Meeting. Realized I still needed to take a picture. Stuck camera out of the sunroof and clicked the shutter. This is happening with some regularity these days...

Day 269

September 25: I TOOK A PICTURE TODAY!!!!! I SWEAR I DID!!!!!!

It was this weird little bug that landed on my front windshield as I was leaving work. I decided to see how long he would stay there -- he made it to 72mph.

The picture was on my camera this afternoon (three of them actually), and now they aren't there. I'm baffled and a little irate. (Is it possible to be a little irate?)

Day 270

September 26: In AYSO, the players take a knee whenever someone is injured on the field. To be honest, I don't really know why they do this (and neither do they), but it seemed like a good photo op.

Day 271

September 27: This is one of those 11:00 pm shots. I was practicing my magazine advertisement shots.

I'm not much of a cologne guy, but I don't mind wearing Obsession on occasion, which is a good thing because it's the only fragrance that's allowed in our house. My wife would bathe in the stuff, if we could afford it.

Day 272

September 28: Emma, my little Jack-O-Lantern.

Have you ever really thought about how creepy it is that all these little first graders are wandering around with their teeth falling out?

Day 273
September 29: I heard the sirens for a good five minutes before I decided to poke my head outside and see what was going on.

The newly constructed warehouse, down the block, was on fire.

Important safety tip: It turns out, a tar roof and a welding torch don't mix.

Day 274

September 30: The view from the front yard this afternoon.

I'm not ready for winter -- BELIEVE ME -- but the light dusting of snow from today's storm made for beautiful scenery.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Photostory Friday: Redemption

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Sports Mama

I've been standing on my back porch every evening for the last week, watching the patchwork of crimson and goldenrod begin to spread across the mountains above my home.

I feel like I'm breathing again.

For me, Autumn is contemplation. It's reflection and introspection. The beauty of the early Fall is so overpowering to the senses, that each year it seems like a new phenomenon. I was born in the Autumn, and I feel reborn each year. I suppose it's strange to feel renewal in a season of decay and oldness, but I wouldn't have to look far to find someone who would acknowledge that I'm a little strange.

Watching the landscape go out in a blaze of glory, ignites my creative impulses. I write more in the Fall. I take better pictures in the Fall. I play the piano more. In the Autumn, I feel more like the person that I'm supposed to be.

Autumn redeems me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

365: Week 38

Day 261

September 17: Is this normal?

I got into a fight with an empty cardboard box. Guess who won?

Day 262

September 18: If you live in northern Utah, and you need spaying or neutering (well, not you specifically, but any dogs, cats, rabbits or teenagers you'd like to remove from the gene pool), the Heartsong Spay and Neuter Clinic -- owned by my father-in-law -- will be opening any day now.

At least that's the rumor.

Day 263

September 19: If you're willing to take your very expensive camera out into the dark and stormy night, you just might catch something spectacular.

Day 264

September 20: That's a pretty flippin' cool picture!

(I'm sorry, it just came out before I could stop myself)

This is pretty much how Emma goes through life.

Day 265

September 21: These are the hands I love. They're fixing the blanket that they crocheted for me -- it sort of self destructed.

Day 266

September 22: Michelle, my crafty friend from San Diego, has almost convinced me to shoot a weekly weed picture. Fortunately, between work, and the vacant field encroaching over my backyard fence, I have an endless supply.

Sunflowers are weeds, right?

Day 267

September 23: When all else fails, go shoot the roses in the front yard. Be sure to shoot the pink ones, because the white ones look like they've been through the war.

I don't know what I'm going to do when I no longer have flowers in the front yard to fall back on.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Photostory Friday: In With Both Feet

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Izzy 'N Emmy

I was not this child.

I was meek, unassuming, and timid. I was not an adrenaline junkie. I was not a thrill seeker. I was perfectly happy to watch life from the sidelines.

Which is not to say that I did.

My best friend, Aaron, was the perfect compliment to me growing up. He brought the adventure, I brought the sanity. He was the reason we had fun, I was the reason we survived to tell about it. Yin and Yang.

I'm different as an adult. To say I live on the edge would be...well...a lie, but I don't shy away from thrilling experiences anymore.

When my first two kids came along, they were -- and still are -- just like I was as a child. Timid, cautious, careful.

But this one:

You say you'd like to make our country energy independent? Just hook the cables up to Emma, light up North America, and sell the excess energy to some other poor country.

Emma is perpetual motion. I don't think she's quite old enough to understand this yet, but adrenaline lights her up like a roman candle. She thrills to the thrills of life.

Emma has gone on more big amusement park rides at a far earlier age than the other kids -- or her father at that age, for that matter. In fact, when Emma decides to tackle a new ride, sometimes she'll ask "Where is the scariest place to sit on this ride?"

And then she sits there.

When I stopped and thought about it, I realized what a great way that is to live your life. If you face your biggest fear first, nothing else that comes afterward is as hard to deal with.

Why is this any different for a six year old than it is for a thirty-six year old?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

365: Week 37

Day 254

September 10: Has your twelve year old daughter ever forgotten to tell you that she has eight warts on her foot that are so blistered and painful that she can't walk? Eight warts that need to be scooped out with a mini-ice cream scoop by the doctor? That's what happened at our house Thursday.

Now that I look at the picture, I see that Jordan is missing her pinky toe. I should really pay closer attention to what my kids are doing.

Day 255

September 11: Cheap Friday night date.

This is the remote for our iMac. It allows access to several multi media programs on the computer, including upcoming movie previews. And that's what we did for two hours friday night: Sherlock, Toy Story 3, The Wolfman and Where the Wild things Are, look great.

Oh, and my wife is definitely looking forward to New Moon -- she's a Jacob fan (which is putting it mildly).

Day 256

September 12: This is what "washing Dad's car" looks like. Evidently Dad's car wears a #13 yellow soccer jersey. And glasses.

Notice the look of satisfaction on Emma's face?

Day 257

September 13: It was getting late, and I was indecisive.

Day 258

September 14: Another day at work, another day of shooting the weeds.

Day 259

September 15: Apparently some of the local trees are getting a head start on the dropping their leaves thing. Actually, I was trying to take a picture of a very green tree, against a very dark storm cloud, but it didn't turn out. I shot this tree accidentally.

Some days I'm just glad I remember to take a picture.

Day 260

September 16: Matthew dreams of making the highlight reel. And if they had a highlight reel for spectacular catches made on the trampoline, he would.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Out of the Darkness

I tried to think of a clever opening line here.

I tried to compose a sentence to grab your attention and hold it -- to keep you here long enough to read what I have to talk about tonight. But I can't think of anything but the straight forward truth to write about a very difficult subject: suicide.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention states that every sixteen minutes in the United States, someone dies by suicide, and every seventeen minutes someone is left to make sense of it.

And therein lies the Hell of it -- there is no sense. There is no acceptable explanation.

We all know someone, or know of someone, who has chosen to end their own life. I can't, and won't, speculate on the fate of the souls of these individuals, that's not my purpose. But I do know the fate of the loved ones they leave behind:




Unfathomable grief.


This last spring, Emily, one of my oldest and dearest friends, lost her brother Jed to suicide. I knew Jed, but not well. However, I know his little sister and his parents very well. I know of their love for Jed and I know of the void in their lives. I saw the pain in their eyes, I feel it in talking to Emily now. Jed's death is like an overhanging shroud in their lives. His passing influences nearly every thought.

In memory of her brother, Emily has registered a team to walk in the Out of the Darkness Community Walk for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

I'll let Emily tell you more:

"As you know I lost my brother, Jed, this past March. My family and I have been forever changed by this tragic event. In his memory I have registered a team to walk in the Out of the Darkness Community Walk for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The Salt Lake City walk is on September 26th, at 10am, at Wheeler Farm. It is a 3-5 mile scenic walk and proceeds from this event will fund research, education, survivor, and awareness programs - both to prevent suicide and to assist those affected by suicide.

My hope is that through education and awareness, those suffering from mental illness will be prompted to seek help so that other families don't have to suffer through this same nightmare.

The link is
and my team name is "Remembering Jed". You can register to walk, create your own team, or donate from that link.

Let me know if you have any questions and if you are willing to help me spread the word.

Thanks so much!

I'm going to keep this link up here on my blog through September 26. I hope it will be a benefit to some of you.

The human spirit is quite a thing, isn't it? We long to make things better. We want to cope. We want to tell our story.

We fight the helplessness by helping others.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Photostory Friday & Give Me Your Best Shot: Words fail me

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

How do I tell you about my daughter Jordan, who turned twelve this week?

I've been sitting here for nearly an hour, staring at a blank page. Starting, thinking and starting over. Words fail me.

How do I tell you that Jordan is my favorite subject to photograph?

How do I tell you that Jordan is grace and elegance, like her mother?

How do I tell you that Jordan radiates beauty from her core?

How can I help you to see that aging doesn't really bother me (I've come to terms -- mostly -- with what I am, and what I am not), but watching Jordan grow up -- more than my other children -- is emotionally conflicting for me?

How can I explain the odd, but powerful combination of quiet pride, and melancholy I feel as I watch her step -- sometimes with caution, sometimes with certainty -- into womanhood?

How do I describe the fear of knowing that I have to let go of her hand, and the confidence I have that she can make good decisions?

How can I tell you that sometimes the stunning young woman standing before me seems light years from the beautiful little blonde girl, with the big blue eyes, I once carried in my arms, but when I see those eyes through my lens, I'm as hypnotized as I ever was?

How can I long for her to stay as she is, when I know she wants to be more?

How do I let her fly without letting her go?

How do I let Jordan know that I'm okay with her growing up?

Because I am.

Except that I'm not.