From the Kalai Concert

This is Benton Paul performing At the Bottom.

This entry has nothing to do with me or Kristin or the baby. But in reality, it has everything to do with all of us. This morning, the House voted down the proposed $700 billion bailout to help rescue our embattled financial system. This is going to be a bad thing for all of us. The main reason why we study history is to learn from it. If you recall back high school U.S. History, there was a big chunk of time spent on the Great Depression. Everything that has been happening on Wall Street over the past couple of weeks is eerily similar to what happened on Wall Street back in 1929. I thought that we had learned a lot about the decisios that led to the Great Depression and had inacted measures to keep it from repeating. But, nearly eight years ago, when George W. Bush took office, he and Congress immediately set about deregulating Wall Street. We have been building up to this melt-down ever since then. George W. Bush and several key leaders from Congress had a plan in place that, while difficult to swollow, would have kept us from slipping into a worldwide depression. But the House of Representatives voted it down by 12 votes this morning, sending the Dow into a dive. As of writing this, the Dow is down 505.53 points.
I don't mean to sound all doom and gloom, but I just want to stress how serious this is for all of us. If this goes un-fixed, many people will lose their jobs, prices of necessities will go way up, and lots of people close to us will probably lose their homes because banks won't be able to take late payments or the inability to pay because of job loss or whatever. So, I am imploring (good word, eh?) Congress to reconsider their decision and pass this bill that will give us some breathing room. We don't have time to delay this.
Each of you have the power to prevent this from happening to future generations, and even the power to turn this around. Vote! Now I know that Kristin is going to roll her eyes at this post, but I just feel so passionately that every citizen of this country get out and vote for who you believe in, and who shares your values. If everyone does this, the shared values of Americans will be represented, and not the values of corporate greed and corruption.

The Kalai/Benton Paul Concert

What a fun evening! We all met up for dinner (Kevin and his date, Jenny Hansen, Kevin's roommate, McKay and his date, Amy, Richard, Kristin and I—Kristine wasn't able to come, unfortunately), which consisted of pizza and drinks, yum! After dinner we piled back into the cars and drove up to the Waterfall Amphitheater at Thanksgiving Point. It's an absolutely beautiful place to have a concert. Benton put on a great show, and his voice sounded great. He's going places, mark my words. Kevin always jokes that he'll always be able to say that Benton Paul opened for him, which is true. Nice little claim to fame to have.
Kalai later took the stage, and didn't waste any time. He started out withOn My Mind, probably his most well known song. He played a really energetic set, complete with the usual bluesy jam sessions that are always great to listen to. He kept us entertained with his humor, telling jokes in between any song.
To make things even better, they hadfree unlimited hot cocoa! Richard and I kept trekking up to the top of the amphitheater to fill our cups. It was great fun and we left the concert full and warm.
Kristine then met up with us and we watched Stranger Than Fiction at our condo across the freeway. All in all, it was a really good night.

I Believe Congratulations are in Order!

On Saturday, my best friend in the whole-wide world(apart from my beautiful, sweet, wonderful wife), Richard Low, called and I could tell that he was happy. I was pretty sure I knew what he was so happy about, but I let him share it without interrupting. He told me that he had just gotten engaged to his awesome girlfriend, Kristine Kirkeiner. I don't know the date yet. Hopefully I can get Richard to add a comment and tell me when they're tying the knot.

Kristin and I have had a great time hanging out with Richard and Kristine since they came down to BYU. Richard and I are childhood friends, and though we haven't lived near each other very much since about 1996 (I think), we've remained close. Richard was out at BYU after I returned from serving a two-year mission in California, and we had a great time catching up and going on more double dates than I can count. After he returned home to Indiana to prepare for his own two-year missionary experience, he started dating Kristine. She was in between semesters at BYU-Idaho, and continued to go to school there during Richard's mission. Just before he got home, Kristine put in a request to transfer to BYU in Provo, and it ended up working out! Kristin and I couldn't be happier for them. Congratulations, you two!

Come Enjoy a Great Concert

Next Friday (September 26th) at Thanksgiving Point, Kalai is playing with the very talented Benton Paul; a local musician who Kristin and I became acquainted with at a show he performed at Tahitian Noni. Our friends Mikey and Karie Peterson invited us to go, and we sure were glad we did. Benton's music is very original and can go from poppy to soulful. He puts a lot of emotion into his music, and you can tell he loves to perform. If you want an evening of good, mellow music; if you want to just lie next to your special someone and sip some hot cocoa; if you want to discover some great musicians that you may not be familiar with, then this is the concert for you. Kristin and I are going with my brother Kevin and a date; as well as my best buddy Richard Low and his girlfriend, Kristine Kirkeiner. We're planning on having a blast! We hope to be able to share this experience with more of you! To get the best price, go get your tickets at the Thanksgiving Point box office!

Feeling Truly Blessed

A couple days ago, the "Maintenance Required" light came on in our car and stayed on. This didn't worry me too much because the car felt like it was running fine, but I wanted to go in and get the car checked out soon to prevent any bigger problems. Money has been on my mind a lot more recently because we have a baby on the way, and from what I've heard, they aren't cheap! That's why I took the car to AAMCO because they offer a free computer diagnostic. Well, they were quickly able to tell me that it was a simple service reminder, but while they were at it, they checked the transmission fluid, which was filthy, and gunk was building up on the transmission magnet which helps keep the transmission clean. So I agreed to have the transmission fluid flushed and replaced. I walked out of there only 20 minutes later, feeling relieved and blessed. It wasn't very expensive, and if I keep on top of the transmission, having it serviced every year, this car will last us a long time. The car is paid for, so keeping it running well will provide us with a lot of value, which will mean that we can provide even more for our little one on the way. Life is good.

Remembering 9/11

It was weird to look up at my last blog post and see that the date was September 11, and realize that up to that point yesterday, I had not really even thought about the tragic events that occurred seven years ago. I think that everyone will vividly remember where they were and what they were doing when the towers were hit. I was sitting in the living room of my apartment in Ephraim, UT (home of Snow College) watching the Wonder Years, when my mom called and told me to turn to the news. I did and was at first confused about what I was seeing, and then suddenly shocked and numb when the footage of the second tower being hit was shown. I didn't go to school at all that day, but remained in my apartment watching the historic events unfold. My dad was in Philadelphia, PA on business that week, and I remember wanting to get a hold of him so desperately to know if he was okay, even though I knew he was out of harms way. It took until late that night before he was finally able to contact me. As I get ready to become a father, I have been thinking of how much my dad must have wanted to have me on the phone to let me know he was okay; how much he must have wished he could give me a big hug and tell me everything would be okay. Had I been in his shoes, 2,000 miles away from my family, that is exactly what I would have desired. Whereas at the time, in my selfish 18 year old state, I may have wanted to make sure he was okay, but I wasn't aching to be with my family as I know I would if it were to happen all over again. I'm very grateful to have Kristin, and have this little one on the way. Kristin commented this morning that she thought her tummy is feeling harder. She's "developing her shell" as she puts it. It's so exciting to experience each change, and having sat last night to reflect upon the terrible events that took place on September 11, 2001, it makes what is happening now in our lives seem so much sweeter.


You may or may not have heard of the LDS Church's User Experience Group, northtemple, but I have decided that it is my destiny to work for them. Something that Kristin loves about the idea is it will keep our family in Utah. Some of the things I love about the idea of working for them are as follows:
  • northtemple only hires LDS members, so I would be working with people that share my values.
  • northtemple designers go to the temple together once a week. Where else can you do that with your co-workers?!
  • Improving the layout, function and usability of any software/website would be rewarding, but being able to do so for my Church would be really cool.

I just contacted northtemple today, and was really surprised to get a response back within twenty minutes. John from northtemple told me the following:

We often discuss interaction design as containing 3 major components: 1) Business Analysis, the ability to understand, organize, and work within business processes and constraints. 2) Graphic/Interface Design, the designer needs to understand visual design principles, typography, layout, color, aesthetics, etc. 3) Programming, the designer needs to know how to put all of these together using the tools of the trade (HTML/CSS/Javscript).

The area of emphasis that I've been studying has probably had more to do with the business analysis portion of interaction design, but I am laying a foundation of all the things he mentioned as I trek through my classes. It is great to learn that I am basically on track to being a viable candidate for working for the Church at northtemple. It will keep my family planted in Utah, close to family and in a community where we would be happy to raise our children.

Don't worry, more baby news will follow!

My very first blog post!

Last night there was a girls night out with my mom's side of the family (grandma, aunts, sisters, my mom, and a cousin!). Anyway we went and saw Mamma Mia the sing-along version. The movie isn't that great, but the sing-along was fun! Haha! After the movie we went and got shakes. My sis Andrea helped me become the center of attention, which I hated. That was when I told everyone there that I'm pregnant! It was like a wave of Woohoos. It was pretty funny. This morning Chris decided we should tell everyone else. So here we are. I am feeling pretty good most of the time. I have good days and bad days though. It's a packaged deal though, and it's worth it for the end result. I'm 9 1/2 weeks along. I'm due on April 11th. Thank you all for your congratulations and support! We'll definitely keep you posted!

The Intake Appointment

Today was Kristin's first appointment with the OBGYN. It basically consisted of collecting medical histories, answering questions and doing some blood work. Kristin hasn't had the best experiences with needles, so she was understandably nervous. But she handled it like a pro! We'll find out soon how much we owe (I had no idea how expensive it is!) and what Kristin's blood type is. Luckily, I'm O-, so regardless of what her blood type is, she won't have to get shots. The reason that I waited to post this is it took us a couple days to decide we wanted to announce Kristin's pregnancy. But this is it! We are officially announcing that we are expecting a baby!