Monday, September 23, 2013

It Totally Happened Again!

Once again, had a day off work and nothing went to plan.  About two months ago I started working a flex schedule where I get one day every two weeks off.  Every fifth week or so I have Sunday duty, but when I do that, I get Monday off.  So in theory, I should be able to get lots of stuff done on those free days, but it rarely actually happens.  But, as my dear wife said to me today, "You got a lot done, just nothing that you had planned on."

The Plan

Right after seminary I planned on walking my younger kids to school, and then I was going to get started on this translation project and knock out the hardest part of it, maybe finish folding the clean laundry, get my haircut, write an amazingly witty blog entry, and try to get a decent workout in there somewhere, too.  I was going to do all this before the kids got home from school, because they wanted to play a little tennis for family night, and I was cool with that.

What Actually Happened
  • Got home from seminary, fell asleep in the easy chair in our living room.  The kids overslept a smidge and therefore had to be driven to school by their mother, because, as already noted, I was asleep in the easy chair in the living room.
  • Eventually woke up and gathered my materials for the translation project to the dining room table, and realized how annoying it is that my laptop defaults to a Lao font that I really do not like.  Spent at least three hours today trying different things, including exploring system settings with regedit, to get the darn thing to default to my preferred font.  I have nothing to show for those efforts.
  • I did get to spend a couple of hours with my wife, and the consumption of hamburgers was part of that experience.  Elevation Burger is pretty good--they have milkshakes--but Five Guys is still my favorite.
  • About that haircut--yeah, I got it.  I had something in my hair.  First time I've paid for a haircut in over two years.  First time I've paid for haircut in America in over five years.  I'm still trying to decide if it will be another five years before I pay for another one.  Mali sincerely hopes not.
  • Connected the BluRay player in the basement to our cable modem so that the kids can stream Netflix in HD in the basement.  No, seriously, it's for the kids...
  • Speaking of TVs, I finally mounted the TV upstairs on the wall so that Mali has full, unfettered use of the top her buffet.  And we discovered that you can adjust the TV so you can see it while at the kitchen sink and stove.  I'm not sure much good will come of this.
  • I finally fixed that pesky towel bar in the basement bathroom that kept falling off.
  • We did go hit some tennis balls tonight.  It felt good to run around a little bit, it's something I've been really missing (getting old and rehabbing injuries sucks--DON'T GET OLD!).
  • As for that blog post, well...
Now if I can just figure out how to get that darn Lao font to default to my preference.  Oh, and figure out why blogspot won't let me made comments TO MY OWN BLOG POSTS!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Channeling Dorothy Gale

Multnomah Falls, Oregon
This summer we loaded the family up and went on an epic roadtrip.  We drove from the verdant forests of Virginia to the cornfields of Illinois and the Midwest, through the arid high plains of Wyoming to the majestic mountains of Utah (including a dip in the Great Salt Lake!), across the dry moonscape of eastern Oregon to the lush beauty of the Pacific Northwest.  Then, after about a month, we drove back through it all to get home.

Wherever we go, Mali and I have these conversations about how we could live there.  We have friends and family scattered all over, and there are wonderful things about every one of the places we’ve gone to visit, chief among those being our friends and family who mean so much to us.  When we say, “We would love to live here!” we genuinely mean it.

Great Salt Lake, Utah
In the almost eighteen years Mali and I have been married, we’ve lived in four states, criss-crossed the United States multiple times, and even gone overseas for a spell, and we have had been blessed and our lives have been immensely enriched by the experiences we’ve had and the people we’ve associated with.  I honestly believe that we could live anywhere and be happy, as long as we have each other.  And indoor plumbing.  As long as we have each other and indoor plumbing, we're good.

That said, the old adage, “Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home” rings true for us every time we return from one of our adventures.  It was fantastic to spend a month away, going back to Utah and Washington and spending so much time with our families—and we musn’t forget how much we enjoyed being with our friends in Illinois as well.  Without detracting at all from the great times we had on vacation, there’s just something about coming home to my own abode, sleeping again in my own bed, returning to the regular rhythm of everyday life that is soothing to my soul.  May it ever be so, I earnestly hope and pray.
Wherever we go, we are a happy family 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Don't You Hate Days Like That

You know the kind of day I'm talking about, the kind of day when you have grand plans to get lots of stuff done because the kids are in school and you have the day off.  And then nothing you planned on doing gets done because other things came up.

Things like enjoying a nice lunch with your wife at a restaurant you've never tried before.

Things like taking a nap because early morning seminary has wiped you out (and it's only the second day...I am in so much trouble).

Things like taking the family out to play tennis, then enjoying ice cream cones at a place that might well be the best kept secret in Fairfax.

In the end I did get around to some of the other things I'd planned on, but the fact that I got to spend the bulk of a beautiful late summer day with my wife, just relaxing, was priceless.  No better way to spend the day, actually.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Happy Birthday, Jared!

Because Facebook doesn't allow you to post animated .gif files, I had to put the amazing work done by my oldest daughter for our good family friend here.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 7, 2013

2013: A Year in Preview

I looked at my pathetic blog postings for the past year and realized that a recap of 2012 would probably be equally pathetic, so instead I thought it would be more fun to channel my inner Mayan and give dire predictions for what will happen in the coming year.  So, without further ado...

January: In defiance of my desire to have at least one winter where I can take my children sledding, there will again be no snow this month.  In fact, the temperatures will continue to gradually warm up so that on my 40th birthday I can actually take my wife to dinner, at night, comfortably wearing shorts and sandals.

February: A rainy Valentine's Day will be followed by a sudden cold snap, causing all of northern Virginia to be covered in a sheet of ice, cancelling school and forcing me to spend an entire weekday at home with my kids.  This will be the perfect opportunity to introduce them to the cinematic genius of the Indiana Jones trilogy.  And no, that horrifying last installment will not be included in our screenings.  Ever.

March: Mother Nature will delight the entire greater Washington DC metropolitan area with her delicious sense of irony by dumping over 18 inches of snow the night before the Rock n' Roll Marathon.  We will run it anyway, because the day after the snow, it will be 55 degrees.

April: The night before my team and I participate in the Tough Mudder, it will be inexplicably dry and warm.  In fact, the two weeks preceding the event will be unseasonably warm, leading all to expect amazing conditions for the Mudder.  Nobody will see the sleet storm coming the day of the event.  Needless to say, fun will be had by all.

May: Quiet month.  I will probably yell at my seminary class, just to break the monotony.

June: Starts off big as I complete my first ultramarathon, The North Face Endurance Challenge 50K, on June 1.  Only slightly less impressive will be the subsequent ultramarathon of consumption at Five Guys that same day.  The rest of the month sucks in comparison.

July: A long family vacation tests the limits of my sanity while simultaneously strengthening the undying love that I have for my wife.  My kids, on the other hand, survive the trip only by the grace of their mother.

August: Can school start early this year?  Please?

September: With all five kids in school, my dear wife will complain of boredom for one solid week until she realizes that this means she has the entire day to herself.  One day I will come home to find every other room has been painted a new color.

October: I will get food poisoning from taking my wife someplace nice for her birthday and spend three days only moving between the bed and the bathroom.  Next year I'll remember to let her choose the restaurant.

November: In a move that should not surprise me but somehow will come as a complete shock, my office will decide that I absolutely must spend the entire month in Southeast Asia.  Because the only thing that can possibly beat the fact that I missed two of my kids' birthdays in 2012 because I was overseas would be for me to miss both my anniversary and Thanksgiving this year.

December: After having spent all of November sweating my brains out, I will return to find northern Virginia under two feet of snow.  I could complain, but it means that I'll finally get to take my kids sledding, and have a fantastic excuse to cuddle with my wife.

I can't wait for 2014!