That is going to be a cute baby come Sept. 13.


Right now it just looks like an alien.


Right now it just looks like an alien.

World Down Syndrome Awareness Day

Today is 3-21, World Down Syndrome Awareness Day. 3 meaning the number of the 21st chromosome. 

Almost five years ago, Katya was born. 

The whole time my wife was pregnant, we both thought there would be something not right with our child. We didn't know what it was, but we thought it was something. When the doctor told us it was Trisomy 21, my first thought was, "What is that?" But my second thought was, "Phew! At least we finally know!" We feel very blessed to have felt that something was not right. The Lord was looking out for us as it made coming to grips with that news much more bearable. 


The last five years have been nothing but great for us. We do worry about things, but for the most part, Katya is just our daughter, and the fact that she has one extra chromosome just means there is a little bit more of her to love. The first couple weeks when she was in the NICU were difficult, and we didn't know what the future would hold. 


We quickly learned that Katya would bring happiness to us more than anything. 


The above picture is one of my favorites. She is so peaceful sleeping. Just thinking about her brings peace to my heart. She doesn't judge anyone; she just loves everyone. It makes it very easy to fall in love with her every single day. 


By her first birthday, we were very anxious for her to start developing. All she did at this time was sit up; she didn't really roll around, or move, she just sat there all day. It helped us be humble, and celebrate the little milestones when they did come. We were already pregnant with her younger sister, and we were sure that a little competition would be good for her. 


Katya has shown us that although she will have troubles, she will be mostly normal like other kids. She'll make us laugh, make us cry, and she will want to learn. She has loved books for as long as we can remember and now that she is in preschool she is getting better at understanding the idea of reading a book. Each night when we read scriptures, she wants to read them with us, and points to words in the book and says what she thinks they mean. Being in education, I have felt great concern about her education. As I mentioned earlier, I have learned to be patient and allow her to develop at her own pace. I have learned that she will learn things in her own due time. She may be behind other kids, but she still can learn, just like any other kid. 

Katya's happiness infects other people. Whenever we are out in public, people smile almost nonstop as soon as they see her. I joke with my wife that if she ever leaves me a widower, I'll have no trouble finding a wife as long as I take Katya out with me. She is a magnet for all kinds of people. Old women in Costco have asked to kiss her (awkward - the request was more of a notice--I could do nothing to stop it).  


Katya is almost 5. She will start Kindergarten this year. She has spent the last two years learning all kinds of great things in preschool. I am nervous for how other students will treat her. I already notice it happening more and more now than ever before. People will be mean. People will be mean to all my kids. It is sad, but that is life. Katya teaches me that I can let it roll off my back, just like it rolls off her back. 

I haven't thought for a long time what it would be like if she were normal, because to us, she is normal. She is our first kid, and we didn't know any different for a long time. Now that we do, we are amazed at how unique each of our kids are. They have their own personalities. 

Every so often, an adult gets brave and asks what they should tell their kids when they ask why Katya is different. I find it easiest to relate it to themselves. Think of how you have one color hair and someone else has another color hair. Think of how peoples' eye colors are different. Think of how one person is very tall, and another is very short. Think of how some people are very athletic, while others may be very smart, or very whatever. What makes Katya different is what makes her unique, just like every other person in the world.

Right now, most people can't understand what she says. Someday, they will. Right now, she can't jump very well. Someday, she will. I pray that I will still be lucky enough to share those momentous occasions with her. 


Have a Good Life. 

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It is amazing how easy it is...

It is amazing how easy it is to ride my bike when I am not kneeing myself in the gut with every revolution. This picture is my phone's view as I am riding. I use to track my distance, pace, speed, and calories burned. I rode home from the dinosaur museum today after going there with my kids. I thoroughly enjoyed riding again, and it seems like it is has been forever since I have been able to ride. I bought a long-sleeve compressor shirt for $5 at WalMart the other day, and it worked flawlessly. Last year, I only had a sleeveless shirt to wear when riding, so my season ended pretty early as it was too cold to keep going. 

Last summer, my first ride was on March 15th, and I ended on September 13th. I rode 588.4 miles (or 562.54 according to in that time. My goal this year is to ride 1000 miles before I am done. I am pretty sure I can do it. I am going to ride the ULCER this August, which is 100 miles, so that will pad my numbers pretty easily. Last year, I also did a lot of rides with the kids in tow, which caused me to do short, 6-mile rides. I won't be towing them this year as it cost me too much money in wear and tear on my bike. 

I am really excited to see how I do this summer. I am looking forward to spending a lot of time on my bike. I enjoy it so much, it doesn't even seem like exercising (except when I am going uphill, that isn't as much fun).

This morning I was at 217 pounds, which means that the weight is finally starting to come back. I need to keep it off, and this exercising will certainly help that. 


I didn't know I had it in me


For the last few years, probably since my freshman year of college, I haven't believed that I could run, unless I have been playing sports (i.e., running with a purpose). My lack of belief in myself is probably one of the major reasons for my obesity since college. But, recently, as I have shown myself that I can lose all this weight, I have come to realize that I really can do anything I put my mind to. That is truly fascinating to me. I have always believed that my mind is the most powerful thing in me, but for some reason, I have been afraid, or whatever, to actually put that into practice. I have avoided letting my mind be in control. I have made excuses for why I cannot do something.

So, we needed some stuff from the store tonight, and I still needed to workout, so I decided to go on a walk. When I realized the store was only about a mile away, I decided to run to the store instead of walk there.

So, I bought the lactose free milk for the baby and some Fels Naptha for the homemade laundry detergent, and then ran back home with it. It was more downhill on the way home, but I still ran pretty much the whole way. It was still hard, but I did it, and sometimes that is what really matters.

Have a good life.

On Fathers-in-Law and Salesmanship

When it comes to a father-in-law, I really got the cream of the crop. He is such a good man, and I am really lucky to have the opportunity to learn from him. He is extremely patient, doesn't lose his temper, and is always polite and cordial (sometimes he even gets in nice fights, a term I "coined" but luckily UrbanDictionary is the true definitive source). 

Ralph knows how to get people to do what he wants. He is not pushy in the slightest, but he is incredibly wise and you can almost see that wisdom exude whenever he starts to give his experienced opinion. He is such a good salesman because he 

  1. Is not pushy.
  2. Has a wealth of experience.
  3. Sets you up.

When he thinks something should be done a certain way, he tells you. But, he is ever so careful to extremely sincerely say, "Now, I don't want to tell you what to do, but..." From some people, that could come off as "I don't want to tell you what to do, but I am going to anyway, and you better follow it because I am a genius!" That is not how he says it. The way he says it is more like, "You know, my good friend, I'd hate for you think that I see you as anything less than a genius, because I don't. You are so smart, and you probably already know everything I can think of, but I am going to tell you this anyway, mostly to reaffirm for your how intelligent you are..." I am not kidding, that is how he is. The way he introduces his ideas is so humble and stand-offish that the result is truly remarkable: I want to take his advice, at least most of the time. 

His ideas are usually based on a great amount of experience. Therefore, they are typically well thought-out, effective, and simple, so it would be a good idea to take them regardless of how they are presented. He doesn't need to be nice about it; he could just say it, and it would still be good advice. But his delivery is so effective that it doesn't even seem like a suggestion for action coming from him. 

It is inspiring to see how he operates. He would probably be horribly embarrassed if he saw that the title of this post said salesmanship, as he would likely consider my analysis of him a major insult. That I am even associating his communication style with something as connotatively horrible as "Salesmanship" would no doubt make him blush. 

And that is just something else that is good about him. 

Have a Good Life.

I bought some new shirts today


See that tag? That is an "M" …for medium. I haven't worn a medium sized shirt in a long time.

The Chopped Up Cow


The ~220 pounds of pure Utah Beef, filling up our freezer.

BYU Student Section Flash Mob all mixed up.

So, I have wanted to use the precision editor in iMovie ever since it was introduced in '08. The only problem is that I never use 2 cameras to shoot the same thing. Well, finally, I found multiple views of the same event, and so I gave it a shot. Here it is: 



I know I already mentioned this...

But, if you haven't checked it out yet, is pretty awesome. Code for a free month: EDUCBMF30. Glad that I got this trial from

My fortune