Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Stories from being tagged

So Megan tagged me on her blog. The following is a list of things that people have done in their lives. The idea is that my job is to bold any that I have done. The name of my blog is Jeff’s Thoughts and Stories so it’s important that I share some thoughts or stories. As I was reading through these I realized it was a great opportunity to share a few stories from my past. So, look through the list of things I have done in my life, and then enjoy a few stories about these things at the bottom. I promise they are the most interesting stories from this list, but if there’s something you really want to hear about, let me know in a comment and I may or may not write about it in the future.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii (Everyone in the world goes to Hawaii without me, Robyn and I are going next year.)
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity (I'm not sure exactly what this means but I've certainly given more than is comfortable before. I suppose since I'm alive, technically I was able to afford it.)
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea (Not at sea, but a good one at Lake Powell)
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language (lots of computer languages)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (I'm very happy, but I will still strive for more to provide for the future of my family)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David (Not the original, but there's a full size replica in Sioux Falls, South Dakota)
41. Sung Karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (We made some sweet ones. My personal favorite being the one where I played the bear that was encountered by Lewis and Clarke)

56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason (I get flowers for my wife cause I love her, but there doesn't have to be an occasion so I'm counting it)
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle (I'm sure the speed limit was exceeded at least once)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper (as a small child, but the times I was on the TV news were much more interesting)
85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (just fish)
88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (More importantly, I annoyed someone famous)
92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

#84: Being on the news
The time I was in the Newspaper was somewhat amusing. I was 6 or 7 years old and my sister and I were sitting on the curb in the rain watching cars go by. I have always been exceedingly cute, so a newspaper reporter randomly stopped and took a picture. We were just a little side note on a random page, but we were dang cute.

However, I have been on the TV news multiple times. The first was just a few weeks before my mission. They were opening a Krispy Kreme Donuts shop in Orem. Obviously I needed to be one of the first to partake of those donuts so we laid our pillows and sleeping bags out in front of the door the night before to claim our right to have donuts before everyone else. I'd say we slept out there but that would be untrue. I don't think any sleeping happened so it would be more accurate to say we partied out there. The next morning they opened at 6:00 so around 4:00 was when the news crews showed up as well as massive amounts of people. On one station I was standing behind my friend Stephen while he was being interviewed. I ate a donut on live TV and then we all gave each other a high five. On another station they interviewed me as I was walking out the door. They were surprised by how many donuts I had bought. It was something like 8 dozen. I clearly needed to have enough to share.

The second time I was on the news was about a year ago. My brother in law Dann and I planned a big event where we got sponsors to give out prizes and we invited Jodi Saeland of Fox 13 News. We hosted the whole thing in my backyard and we convinced Jodi to judge the pies. They had periodic coverage throughout the night so we just taped the whole thing and then took out everything that wasn't us. Throughout the night I was mingling with the crowd and giving out prizes. So, on the news, I just appear as a member of the crowd while Dann was the main host that you see.

#91: Annoying someone famous
When I was in high school one time Terry Brooks came to town to do a book signing. He wrote the novel for Star Wars Episode I (and lots of other things) so he was in town promoting that book. A few friends and I were in line to get it signed. We were in line for over an hour so when we started getting close we started saying, "Almost there, almost there, just hold them off for a few more seconds." (Quoting the scene from Star Wars Episode 4) Well, we thought we were almost there when we had like 20 minutes to cover the next 10 feet. This was apparently annoying to Terry Brooks. When we got to the front of the line he said, "Oh.... it's you guys. I really thought about ending the line when you got to the front but I figured you would probably hunt me down in the night." I agreed that we probably would, and he signed our books and we went on our way.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

One Ring to Rule Them All

Today's story is about The Ring of Power. You know the one I'm talking about, my wedding ring. It's a tale of intrigue and of fantasy. The Ring was lost, and then it was later found in a most unexpected place. But maybe I should start at the beginning.

So Robyn and I had gone to a family party up in Layton which is about an hour away from our house. On the way home my windshield was getting pretty dirty and we had run out of washer fluid so we pulled off the freeway and I threw some snow on the windshield while the wipers were running and that helped get it nice and clean. As we pulled away to get back on the freeway I noticed that I was no longer wearing my wedding ring. We returned to the same spot and I thought maybe I had lost it in the snow. We dug all around with our hands but we couldn't find it anywhere. At this point I started speculating if I had possibly taken it off that morning when I got in the shower and not put it back on. I thought it was possible, though unlikely, that I had just not noticed until that moment. We definitely couldn't find it anywhere in the snow so I clung to the hope that I had left it on the bathroom counter that morning. We drove the rest of the way home which was another 40 minutes. When we got home we ran to the bathroom in hopes that we would find it. Unfortunately, it was not there. This is when I got very sad. Certainly we could afford to replace it. It only cost a few hundred dollars in the first place, so I was glad we lost mine and not hers. But it wasn't about the money. Even if we bought the exact same ring and no one ever was able to tell a difference, I would know that I had lost the symbol that my wife gave me on our wedding day. (And after only 2 months.)

Robyn knew that I was a little shook up about it, so, being the great woman of faith that she is, she decided she was going to call down a miracle from heaven. She went outside and prayed for a miracle that somehow we would find my ring. After praying she thought for a moment and realized that while I had been tossing snow on the windshield she heard something hard hit it. She thought it had been ice at the time but decided that it must have been the ring. She figured if it hit the windshield it either fell to the ground (which we searched thoroughly) or somehow slid under the hood. She started poking around under the hood only to discover it had ridden there for 40 minutes on the freeway without falling onto the pavement. It may have been a small miracle, but a miracle nonetheless. I had already given up hope, but my wife's faith ultimately prevailed.

My story of the One Ring may not have been as action packed as another well known ring story that includes something about a dark lord and the end of the world but it was a happy story for me, and I was grateful for Robyn's faith that helped me to recover what I had lost. I was also grateful that there is a God in Heaven who is willing to listen to her plea, and help us with something that may not have been important in the grander scheme, but was very important to me in that moment.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Second Moniversary

Today is my second Moniversary. For those who don't know what a moniversary is, the word was coined in my First Moniversary Post. We've had many adventures this month as well, (None so great as becoming Super heroes like last month)so I thought I'd share a few like I did last month. I've already written about some of the bigger events such as Robyn's birthday and Thanksgiving. But I'll give some of the smaller events some treatment here:

1. The hand to the face This may have been Robyn's revenge for tapping her in the face last month. One night I was asleep and was awoken by Robyn placing her hand on my face, ever so gently. For about 2 seconds I was filled with confusion and just trying to decide what was going on. When I realized Robyn was just resting her hand on my face, I asked, "Is there a reason your hand is on my face?" She promptly took it away and rolled over. She has no memory of this event.

2. The hypnotic mumbling I was awakened one night because I thought I heard Robyn saying something to me. I woke up and asked her to repeat what she said. It's possible she was saying words but my hearing isn't the best and she was mumbling very quietly so what I heard was, "muuummmmnnuummhhh." I then asked if she was awake, "nnnuuummmmuuuunnnnhh" was the reply. Finally, I just said, "you should go to sleep." At which point she rolled over so she was no longer facing me. If she had been awake, she promptly went to sleep. I told her the next morning that it was like she was hypnotized. If she ever does it again I'm gonna test the power of suggestion and see if I can get her to do something interesting such as clucking like a chicken.

3. Forgetting how to kiss This one really had me laughing, because it had me so confused. One night we sat down for dinner. We usually give each other a kiss right after the prayer before we begin eating. For those familiar with how to kiss, it usually involves some gentle suction which causes a satisfying smack. This kiss did not have that. In fact, when our lips touched, she blew onto my mouth. I pulled back, and, with utter confusion, asked, "Did you just blow? Did you forget how to kiss?" The look of confusion on her face was priceless. She was more confused than I was. Apparently she had been thinking about how the food was hot and she needed to blow on it, this caused an involuntary reaction of her blowing during the kiss and left her just as confused as I was.

4. Robyn's amazing cooking Robyn was an incredible cook before we even started dating. But her skills have continued to improve and she has gotten quite amazing. She tries all sorts of experiments but they always turn out great. One of my personal favorites was an experiment she did with some pork. I don't know what she put on it but it was so amazing I couldn't even handle it. I have included a picture of it below for your viewing pleasure.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Birthday Girl

Today is Robyn's birthday. One year ago, we weren't even dating yet. We were pretty good friends and we spent alot of time together but I had not actually asked her on a date yet. (Our first date was in December though. I took her to my work's company Christmas party. This year she gets to go as my wife.) On her birthday last year I didn't even know it was her birthday, but I saw her at FHE. The activity was to learn some different kind of dances, so I went up and asked if she would be my partner. (Not realizing at the time that she would later be my eternal partner.)

This year was alot better than that, even though she was sick, we were able to do some fun things. I gave her her present this morning before I left for work. It was a set of DVDs that had all 7 seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. So she was able to stay home and watch Star Trek all day long. Then this evening she was feeling a little better so I took her out to dinner at her favorite pizza place and then took her to The Forgotten Carols. All in all it was a blast, but the best part was getting to make her happy on her special day. She's truly special to me so I wanted her to feel that today.

I just wanted to say a little about how great she is. Sorry to those of you who don't like my mushy posts. This will be a short but mushy tribute so those who are not a fan may want to look away.

Robyn always puts others before her. She always makes sure that all my needs are taken care of before she thinks of herself. She does the same for all those around her. I'm always impressed by how much she truly cares about the kids she teaches.

Robyn always makes me laugh. She has such a great sense of humor. And, of course, if I don't laugh at something that I was supposed to, she makes sure that I know my role by saying, "I'm funny!"

Robyn has such a powerful spirit. She always wants to do what's right. She's willing to do what needs to be done regardless of what it takes.

I could go on forever. She's just amazing. Robyn, I hope you had a great birthday! I love you!
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