Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bath Time and Bed Time

The boys have been doing a lot of swimming lately, and really love how swim goggles open a whole new world of seeing under water. Bath time has become just another opportunity on that front.

Keegan is still working on it.

But Aldy is already a natural.  

Keegan does love to float on his back, though, and can do it for some time.  He also loves holding his breath and putting his head under water just like his brother.  While he looks positively pastoral above, the following two photos tell you more about him, and his attitude, than perhaps any others I have taken.

Kind of gives water pipe a new meaning . . .

'nuf said.

This one also says a lot about Alden's general approach to life, unless, of course, he has been watching Star Wars. Then there is this sudden transformation . . . .

Unlike bath time, bed time is a battle around our house. A real battle. Seriously.  I always win in the end, but not before taking my share of blaster bolts to the face.  Explains a lot, I suppose. . . .

And so it was, that the Master Jedi of the house finally prevailed against the forces of darkness and chaos . . . . not.  I had to put in another full hour of maximum effort just to get them to the read story stage.  Ugh.

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Brief Break in the Grind

Bankruptcy is hard, even when it is just your company. Every relationship that the company ever made is immediately thrown out the window, and you have to work hard to reconstitute as many of them as you can, usually on new and more difficult terms. Everyone you call is mad at you, and wants something you can't give.  Everyone else has written you off and thinks you are done for, so they won't give you the time of day.  This has been my job for the past two months, and there is more to do than can possibly be done in a day.  There have been days where, for every one call I was able to make/return, two more came in.   

There have only been a few breaks in this heavy routine. One was last Sunday afternoon, we slipped out to  Farmington Bay for a chance to see Bald Eagles.  There were only a few of them this year, but there were a lot of American Pelicans, American Kestrals, and Harriers. Geese could be seen all over the place. It was a nice, brief respite from an otherwise difficult stretch.  Here are a few pics.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

San Francisco Revisited

Well, this evening we saw some very dear friends from San Francisco, the Blairs.  They came into town, and we met them in Salt Lake at a family party.  For some reason, we still cannot convince them, in their numerous SLC visits, to travel the extra eight houses up the street to our house.  Funny, the Drews, the Ballards, Marisa and Bernie Hansen, among others, had no problem at all with a visit when they were passing through.  We are beginning to get a bit of a complex -- what did we do?  (OK, OK, so -- after much fasting and prayer, mind you--I drafted Eric to serve time with me and Steve Johnson in the San Rafael II bishopric -- and that could drive anyone to bitterness, I guess, especially since they had to pick up the load for our dear "Brother Slacker,"  but can't we forgive and forget, people?  That anger will gnaw at you, don't you know . .. ) But I digress.  It was nice to see them even if we had to meet on Neutral Turf.  

Seeing the Blairs reminded me that we never did post pictures from our early December trip back to the Bay Area, so here you go.

Even though we went for a conference in San Francisco, we could not resist staying in our beloved Tiburon. We stayed at the Water's Edge, which was ok, but mostly because it was home.

Here is a view of good old Tiburon harbor from our room.

The very first morning we went by to check out the old homestead, of course, and wow, were we in for a surprise. Here is what it looks like now:

Our good friend Barbara Major took us on a tour. Here is what it looks like inside:

This is where our kitchen used to be.

And here is the master bedroom where our living room used to be.

That hurts.  A nice master bath and cool shower attached to the master bedroom.

And a kitchen like that would have been hard to leave.  We almost could have stayed with a house like that (but not with what it cost to make the conversion . . .). 

It was Christmas time in San Francisco during our trip, which made for a fun visit to Union Square.

We also managed to see the new California Acadamy of Sciences Building. We were shocked and appalled at the price ($59 for the two of us--how do you pay for a family?!?!), but it is really a cool place.

The roof is just amazing.  Below is what it looks like close up.

Here is the underside. Very cool curves.

This dome was really cool. It had a mad aquarium, and was filled with tropical birds and butterflies.

The very best part of the whole trip, though, was going to the San Rafael II Ward Christmas Party, and seeing so many, very dear old friends (Even the Blairs!). All in all, it was a great visit.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Quick One

I promise not to inflict you with yet another picture of light sabers for this brief story, but, as  you might imagine from prior posts, we end up playing a lot of pretend Star Wars around our house.  Keegan has been enjoying his part, and knows all the lingo, stances, and motions that go with it.  

Well, tonight I was chasing him (as usual) trying to get him into his pajamas.  I lost him for a moment, and went to look  in Alden's room.   Just as I rounded the corner, Keegan jumped out, landed on half bent knees, light saber in hand, cocked in perfect Jedi pose, and shouted "Drop the Jammies!"  I did, because I was laughing too hard to continue.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day Surprises

Clouds lay thick around us these days, with great stress at work, long days, exhausted nights, and uncertainty swirling, ever-present.  Today started true to form, with snow and gray everywhere, and me knowing I had been too tired this week to make any Valentine's Day plans. Time quickly filled with errands and to dos, and ultimately found both of us running to separate stores at 5:00 P.M. just to get the week's grocery shopping done.  We came back to our jumble of  a house (kids toys scattered everywhere) ready for just another evening of fighting the kids to eat and go to bed. And then a surprise or two peeked in. 

Kath had purchased lobster tails at Smiths. I had picked up flowers at Costco. Someone had bought Valentines cookies from Cutlers for all of us.  She cooked the lobster for us while I cooked Mac & Cheese for the eight and under crowd.  The sunset was spectacular.  We found a candle and lit it, which magically captivated the kids.   I ate lobster and thought of Chinois on Main in our beloved Santa Monica.  Kath thought of Bar Harbor Maine, where we had eaten lobster fresh from the sea one morning in a shack right off the dock. 

Then my sweet Alden, surrounded by his cookie, the candle, and a new Darth Vader Force Action Light Saber, said, "Wow, isn't our family great! We like candles and cookies and Star Wars and Light Sabers! It is so fun!"  Kathleen and I looked at each other, and shared a really great kiss.  And so an unexpected and wonderful light parted the clouds this Valentine's night.