Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Little About Katie

Katie - Family Letter - Circle of Courage Spotlight - Grade 1

Most people are born when they are babies. Pretty much all people, really. Most babies are born at the hospital. Not all babies, though. Katie was supposed to be born at the hospital, but then she was in such a hurry to be born that her mom didn’t have time to go to the hospital. Instead, they filled up the bathtub with nice warm water and Katie was born in the bathtub at home. Most times babies cry a lot when they are born. Katie didn’t cry at all when she was born. She was so happy in the warm water of the bathtub. It has almost been seven years since that happened and she is still a very happy person even when she is not in the tub.

Katie likes to help other people. She also likes to cook. She really likes it if she can help other people cook, because then she get to do two things that she really likes. It’s like being happy two times. She also likes treats. So if she gets to help other people cook treats, then she is happy three times. Just last night she helped her dad make a delicious Mexican rice drink called horchata. Usually she stands on a stool to make her taller so she can help other people measure all the ingredients or mix things for treats on the stove.

Katie loves to laugh and tell jokes and dance around and be silly. She could make us all laugh even before she could talk and say words because she knew how to make funny faces. She loves to watch shows that are funny, but she hates things that are scary. She especially hates scary movies. Actually, she hates all movies, but if a movie is scary then it is like she hates it two times. It makes it tough to go do a family movie night at the movie theatre, so instead we watch shows at home. There is this one show all about the earth and the different animals and we can all watch that together because it isn’t a movie and it doesn’t have any bad guys or any scary music, and it certainly doesn’t have any bad guys playing scary music. Katie’s favourite part of that show is when they show the baby penguins or the little bear cubs or any of the animal babies because they are super cute.

You may have noticed that Katie loves stuffed animals. She used to have a big doll house that she got for her birthday a few years ago but she hardly played with it. Instead, she sold her doll house to somebody else and spent a bunch of the money to buy new stuffies. Stuffed animals are usually cute like baby penguins and little bear cubs and they are super soft and Katie loves that.

There are lots more things that we could tell you that we love about Katie but I think we have probably run out of time and there are so many things to say that you would have to stay sitting there all night without any breaks for a snack or potty or anything, and even then we probably wouldn’t say everything about her because she is pretty special. Just try to remember the important things: Happy babies, warm bathtubs, helping cook treats, no bad guys playing scary music in movies, stuffies, baby penguins, and little bear cubs. The End.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Journey to the Center of the Universe

Some people are confused where we come from. Some people in Calgary think we are from Ontario. Some people in Ontario think we are from Calgary. Most people in the USA think we are from Canada and leave it at that.

R and I were both raised in Calgary (although she was officially a BYU baby), and we both went away to other places for University, and then we took off on an adventure to Ottawa shortly after we were married. We honestly had the time of our life out there for 5 years, doing everything together. We both served in the youth program at church and we lived really close to my office and I was home early enough each day for us to cook together and we loved all the time we got to spend together. We went on road trips and overseas trips and all sorts of fun stuff.

But we still did lots of trips back west to visit her family in Calgary and my family in Idaho/Utah and we missed being with everyone. I remember one time it was time for us to fly back to Ottawa after a good visit and we were saying to each other, "Why are we leaving? We should just stay here." Well, eventually we did come back. We were starting our family and we came back to Calgary to spend every Sunday over at Grandma and Grandpa's house with all the cousins running around. It was awesome.

But the move to Calgary included a change in my career and that meant long nights studying finance and then long days commuting downtown so there was less of the cooking together and the trips involved a lot more carseats and strollers. Those early years with diapers and toddlers were tougher, but we still had a great time and now suddenly 9 years has gone by since we left Ottawa to come back to Calgary. I still find myself saying that we recently came back, but I suppose a decade doesn't count as recent anymore.

Now it looks like we are heading East again. At work I was offered a really good opportunity right at the epicenter of it all, on the corner of Bay Street and Wellington in Toronto. We had been looking towards the next step in my career, but this took us a bit by surprise. The timing was challenging because the kids had just started a new year at school and R's mom had been in the hospital with some significant health challenges, so it was not an easy decision to make.

But we took it. And now we are determined to really make the most of it.

I just finished up my first trip out to Toronto for the week, working with my new group. I will be back and forth between the Calgary office and the Toronto office for November and December, and then in January I will be there full-time, living in a temporary apartment until we find a place to rent for the whole family to join me in March.

I think everyone has up and down days when they think about this move. I am probably the most excited about it, because I love this sort of thing. Plus, I have a clear vision of what I am getting into. I have already seen my office and I know the people I will be working with. Still, it is tough to think about leaving behind so many people and places that I love. I think it is even tougher for the rest of the family, because they don't know who they will be friends with and they still can't picture the different places and things that we will yet discover together.

Think of this as an adventure. An extended vacation to a place, to really explore it and get to know it. We are not likely to stay in Toronto for the rest of our lives, so we should try to take it all in. Do all the things. See all the places. Eat all the food. Do it together. Get the know the city so well that people will wonder if we really are from Calgary after all.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Little About Scott

Scott is shooting up like crazy. He is now up to R's shoulder. He is thin as a rail, but you can tell when you grab his hand that he is so much thicker than Katie now. He is about 60 pounds or something like that. He is a total fiend for anything to do with sports. He is reading the Harry Potter books and he is onto the 6th one now. Last year he was just getting into chapter books and now he is blasting through 700-page novels. Wild.

I was running Scott's bball practice last night and it was soooo much fun. I had the kids doing this really complicated 5-man, full court passing and shooting drill and they were getting it. Crazy how much they have improved this year. After practice was over, a few of us lingered and did a 3-on-3 game of fast breaks. We had an adult on each team and the kids would tear off down the court after every rebound and we would lob passes to them for breakaway layups. We kept at it for about 30 minutes and Scott was beet red and exhausted at the end. I carried him up to bed. It was so great. Kids are great. So is basketball.