Author Archives: rich

Slow Down

Conrad is really into food. When we ask him what he wants for his birthday or for Christmas, the answer is often “food.” (I promise, we do feed him the rest of the year as well.) He eats every meal like it’s the first one he’s had in years. He eats quickly and doesn’t waste a crumb. Once, during dinner, I asked him to slow down as I often do. I then started talking with the other kids. A few minutes later, I noticed that Conrad appeared to be frozen in the background, his spoon held in midair. I watched him closely and noticed that he WAS moving…barely. He hadn’t had another bite but was working on it. He had simply slowed down.

Stephen Curry

We are big Trail Blazer fans. We also love watching Stephen Curry play. We were excited to go to a Warriors/Blazers game, and we were getting ready to walk out the door. Harper showed Claire a drawing that she did, and explained that she wanted to give it to Stephen Curry.

Everywhere we go, Harper makes about three new friends. She just assumed that, since we were going to a game, and that Stephen Curry was going to be there, then she would be her normal gregarious self and become friends with the most famous, most popular basketball player in the world.

I wish I could say that Harper willed it into being, but the closest we got was getting caught in a stampede of half-naked BlazerDancers.

Pleasant

conraddleConrad and I went for an evening bike ride to pick up some Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (pretty much my favorite treat). On our way back, we took the long path through the park. We were the only people on the trail, and there was a nice breeze. As I was riding over the bridge, I looked at the water below and thought about how good it felt to be alive, cruising through the park with my son. Conrad must have appreciated it too because, a second later, I hear him yell, “THIS IS PLEASANT!”

Morning Commute

One of my favorite things recently is driving Julia and her friends to school in the morning.

One morning, Julia’s friend, Grace, asked me why the gas gauge was on “E.” I answered very matter-of-factly, “Oh, that’s because there isn’t any gas in the car.” I was expecting a chuckle from Julia at least, but I got nothing. A few moments later, it was clear that Grace was still wrestling with the question and asked, “Is this an electric car?” I answered very matter-of-factly, “Oh, no, there definitely should be gas in the car.”

This morning, Grace asked me if we were driving to school the Google way. It took me a second, but I remembered that we used Google to see which route it thought was fastest.  I told Grace that we were going the “Google” way and asked if she would rather I go a different way. She answered, “No, you keep going with your bad self.”

Box Trolls!

thin-waist

Julia drew this independently of the movie, but it seemed appropriate. Box Trolls is great. I think it’s better than Paranorman, and possibly better than Coraline. Keep your expectations in check, but go see it.

Ocean Size

w-on-cape-lookout
Yesterday, we went to Cape Lookout for a Saturday hike. We were expecting it to rain, but the weather was incredible. We were walking along the edge and looking at the ocean a bazillion feet below. The kids were asking about its size relative to Bear Lake, and Claire said, “This particular ocean is the largest ocean,” and I chimed in and said, “this specific ocean…”

If you say it quickly, it sounds like “this Pacific Ocean”…get it? It is one of my better old-man jokes. Thanks for setting it up, honey.

Crazy

Today, a friend told me that I was the most straight-laced crazy person he knows.

How does one take this?

Let it go

Harper: I’m never let going.
Rich: OK, now say that correctly.
Harper: Sometimes, I let go.

Whale!

We had been on the boat for about 10 minutes, but I had already lost hope of seeing any whales. I really like whales. Whales and octopuses (or “octopi” if you prefer) tie for first place on my list of coolest living creatures. (Have you seen this video? Or this one?)

So, in order to avoid disappointment, I was comforting myself with the fact that the boat ride was already a lot of fun. We were all standing at the front of the boat, enjoying the wind and the waves. Everyone was looking off to the right, where the most recent sighting had been.

Maybe I was wallowing a bit (I really wanted to see some whales), but I was staring down at the water in front of the boat. Suddenly, the water became slightly grey, and the grey was expanding, replacing the blue that was there before. There was a little monologue happening in my brain:

Hey, what’s that?
I think that might be a whale!
A whale!
That’s a whale!!

Although my brain was screaming, I wasn’t saying a word — and no one else was either.

Suddenly, I just started yelling, “WHAAAAAAAAAALE! WHAAAALE! WHAAAALE! WHAAAAAALE!”

Noise erupted as everyone noticed the whale emerging from the water. It was so close, the boat had to slam on the brakes and quickly switch to reverse to avoid an accident.

On second thought, maybe the octopus is a close second.

Win-Wins!

Sometimes it is entertaining to read old journal entries. This is what I wrote one day in 2008:

…Claire said if I can’t find a good job in Portland, living in Utah is still a really great option. She described it as a win-win situation. Here are some other win-wins from yesterday:

1) Conrad threw up a few times, but the rug needed cleaning anyway.

2) I lost my silver iPod, but who needs four iPods anyway.

3) I broke my toe, but this particular toe is sort of useless anyway.