Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sculpted Pecs

This is Bauer.  A Boston Terrier that is a little big for its breed and who also has a cleft pallet as you can see from the picture.  He's my roommates dog and is a very nice asset to the home.  He likes tug-a-war, running, eating, and long walks on the beach.  With an obedient and mild personality, he's a pretty low maintenance dog.

Tonight, I was working on my computer at my desk and noticed that Bauer was going to go into his room, which isn't uncommon because that is where his food and bed are.  This time, though, he froze at the doorway at started a long, low growl which transformed into some barks.  Now, he very rarely barks, in fact the last time I really heard him bark like that was at his own reflection.  He was stiff as a board with his eyes peeled on whatever was in the room.  I have to admit that I was a little nervous to peek in there because I didn't know what I would see.  Would it be a burglar, a monster, or maybe death itself?  I thought of that Far Side comic where the little wiener dog is watching a terrifying alien/monster come in through the window and the dog thinks to himself, "Whoa!  Maybe I'll just pass on my usual barking frenzy."  Anyway, when I peeked into the room, I saw an Abercrombie bag sitting on my roommates bed with one of those typical Abercrombie models.  You the ones:  sculpted pecs, spiky hair, and a smug look on their face.  I guess Bauer did not appreciate the smug look and he was going to let everyone know.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Lincoln

It's been a lot of fun to have Lincoln and his parents visiting.  He's a cute little boy.  Here he is army crawling along the ground; maybe he's just trying to hold up his head, but he's doing a great job.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Oscar Says

From his kennel to yours, Oscar wishes you best holiday season!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Meal

I don't know if it's the curly hair or what, but this little man is very photogenic.  Now notice I said little man, don't you dare take a glimpse at him and throw a girl's toy in his happy meal.  That is a simple way to an angry little man.  He won't touch his nuggets until the situation is ameliorated.

Seriously though, I'm very pleased how this picture turned out.  You would never guess how cold it was that day when we took these.  The boys took turns enduring the cold long enough for a few pictures before hopping back in the warm car.  It's the type of cold that would make Canadians glad they lived in Canada.  Alright, it wasn't that cold, but it was close.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Barb

A picture that is mostly out of focus.  It draws your eye to that single barb, which probably has never been photographed in it's entire existence.  Everything deserves a day in the sun, I'm glad to give that to it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

In Front of a White Church

We took some pictures in front of this pretty white church in Texas back in October.  Here's one of Erin.  I'm the first to admit that I still have a long ways to go with my photography skills, I still look at all my pictures wondering what I can do better next time.  This one turned out pretty well though.  Like I said in my last post, I haven't had the chance to take many pictures.  The only pictures I've been taking lately are of frog embryos and cancer cells undergoing mitosis.  I hope to get out and take a series of Christmas themed photographs around Salt Lake.  I mention that to make myself accountable, so I'll actually do it.  So stay tuned for some more pictures that aren't 3 months old.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Peacemaker

It's Kim's birthday and I realized I haven't put a picture on my blog in quite a while.  I've been pretty busy and haven't even been able to take a picture.  This is from a few months ago, but it's the most recent picture I have of her.  Even though she's not looking, she's still beautiful.  Kim was always the peacemaker in the family.  She watched over Amber and me and helped us stopped bickering those few times that we did.  I'm grateful for family, I'm grateful for Kimberly.  Happy Birthday!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Asleep

This is a picture from September.  I don't really do a lot of new born pictures, I guess you could say that it's really not my thing.  However, I do like taking pictures of my cute nieces and nephews, and Brielle is no exception.  
My creativity in the baby picture department is very limited.  Luckily Emily was in town and was able to hook me up with some example baby pictures from Pinterist on her phone.  I didn't know a whole lot about Pinterest before she showed me some pictures on there.  I was very impressed, in fact I may just have to sign up. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Snowy, Black Dogs

 Here's a picture of a leaf, and here's some unsolicited photography advice for you.  Your camera has a sensor which determines your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO for every picture you take.  That is why they are called point and shoot cameras, because all you really have to do is point and... you get the idea.  When you are taking a picture of a white snowy scene, the sensor is reading all this white and think that it needs to be toned down a little so your picture will actually be underexposed because normally people aren't taking pictures of snow.  The camera doesn't know that the snow in the picture is actually white, so it will make it a dull grey for you.  On the other hand, when you are taking a picture of a black dog, your camera will make the scene brighter that it should (overexposed) because, yet again, it doesn't know that the black dog is supposed to be black.  Now is all lost when taking pictures of snow or black dogs?  Maybe, but here is one thing you can try.  Every camera that I've seen will have a exposure compensation that you can turn up or down depending on your preference.  All you have to do is turn it down to -1 or -2 for your black dog, and turn it up to +1 or +2 for your snowy scene.  The maple leaf picture above was turned up to +1.5.
This rose wasn't expecting to be snowed on last night.  I kind of feel bad for it, but you know, I'm sure it will be okay.  I over compensated on the exposure a little bit, but I didn't have to too much because the scene just contains a little snow so the sensor does a pretty good job.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Milky Way and Food on Our Tables

A couple of years ago, we had a family reunion down in southern Utah.  Just outside of Zion, we had a nice cabin to stay in.  That night, many of the family members slept out on the deck under the stars.  As I laid there that night, I remember being completely overwhelmed with how many stars I could see.  The Milky Way looked as though it was painted across the sky.  The mosquitos were also a problem which is probably why I was a wake for so long admiring the heavens.  It was truly a majestic moment.  One hundred years ago, it was the norm to see a sky of millions of stars every clear night.  Now, we don't have that luxury.  In fact, since then, I can't remember a night with the stars so bright.

Also, one hundred years ago, our food was a lot closer to us that it is now.  Let me explain.  Today, we go to the grocery store and pick up some milk and bread along with the rest of the items on our list without much thought of how much rain we got recently or what kind of condition the herd is in.  Today, food comes from the grocery store.  A century ago or more, people were well aware of any droughts because their crops grew more slowly without adequate water.  You see, food came from the ground back then and without water, there was no food.  We are a few steps away from our food source today, while our fore bearers had field dirt under their fingernails while they were eating their evening meat and potatoes.

Why does this matter?  I'm not writing this as a plea for organic food or anything like that.  I'm writing this because with our separation from our food sources and obscured view of the majestic heavens, society is becoming more apathetic towards God.  Like my experience above, when someone has the chance to truly see how many stars are up there, they will feel something.  I say "something" because I'm sure it's different for everyone, but one thing for sure is that they will have a different outlook on the life they live everyday.  It's hard to look up there and think that everything is there by chance.  Likewise, many years ago a family might pray for God to bless the land with rain, or protect the crops from insects, or other problems affecting their fields so that they might have enough food for the winter.  When was the last time you heard of a child or community make a plea like that?  To put it a little differently, when people don't know where their food comes from and when they can't see the stars at night they stop believing in God.

Now obviously, I'm not a farmer and I can't see the stars very well at night.  I still have a strong belief in God because I work on it.  Faith isn't something that comes naturally, I've realized, it's something that must be enforced everyday or else it will begin to slip away.  All I'm saying is we have to work a little harder on our faith and belief these days because we don't have those two main reminders:  food source and stars at night.  Also the number of people going to church these days is dramatically less compared to our parents' and grandparents' generations.  Could these events be related?  I think so.  If people are going to church less they are probably not working so hard on their faith.  When they don't depend on the Lord for their food, I can see why He gets put on the back burner.  The same ABC article sited above mentions that 5 to 10 percent of people during our grandparents' generation didn't have a religious affiliation, today, up to 40 percent of the younger generation don't affiliate with a religion.  It's scary because where are people going to be taught moral codes?  Check out this TED talk for more on this.

Lastly, I must mention that I was talking to a dairy farmer's wife in Morgan many months ago, and she was telling me about an article in an agriculture journal (I think it was a journal, maybe another article in some publication) about how the author came to to the same conclusion as I:  People don't believe in God when they don't know where their food comes from and when they can't see the stars at night.  I tried to find it online, but couldn't.  A belief in God will help people love their neighbor a little more and treat people the way they want to be treated.  Christians know this well.  Albert Einstein said:

"All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. It is no mere chance that our older universities developed from clerical schools. Both churches and universities — insofar as they live up to their true function — serve the ennoblement of the individual. They seek to fulfill this great task by spreading moral and cultural understanding, renouncing the use of brute force." -"Moral Decay" (1937); Later published in Out of My Later Years (1950)

If you've read this far, thanks.  I'm really trying to write more and become better at it.  It's a skill that I feel I'm a little behind on.  I've had these thoughts for years, as a few of you probably know as I've talked to you about this.  The picture above is a favorite of a cow.  I love cows!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fall Day

It was a beautiful fall day today.  I wanted to find a pumpkin to take a nice pre-halloween picture but I couldn't find any (I guess I didn't look too hard).  The red leaves will have to fill in.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Nice Fall Day

Canada is lucky to have such a beautiful leaf on its flag.  Whether it's green, red, or yellow it looks good in any color.  I love the fall, which I think I've mentioned before.  I loved the memories of playing in the leaves.  I learned quickly that the neighborhood cats also loved the leaves, but for a different reason.  They would use it for their bathroom.  Nothing was worse than cat poop on your hoodie on a nice fall day.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Blue Eyes

I missed Amber while I was down in Texas because they were in Washington for some important matters.  Not only was it sad not being able to spend time with all three Rowes, but that I didn't get to take any photos of Lincoln.  Luckily, before Amber goes back to Texas, I was able to see them both and take a few pictures.  What a beautiful mother and son.  

Lincoln was peaking out of his furry blanket.  He couldn't help but notice that it was a little colder in Utah.  Amber made us well aware of that fact.  He's a handsome little man with big blue eyes, as you can see from the picture above.

It was an incredibly beautiful weekend up in Morgan.  The trees are changing colors and the air has a little bite to it at nights.  It's a wonderful time of year, perhaps my favorite.  Although, that sometimes changes throughout the year, depending upon my mood I guess.  Babies are incredible.  Looking at their small and delicate bodies, I can't help but feel a reverence for life.  I'm proud of Amber and Dave for being so natural and such good parents with their first child.  It's not an easy thing, they don't come with manuals.  I know it's nothing new, young parents for thousands of years have looked at each other in frustration when trying to figure out how to raise their little baby.  A newly wed couple walking out of the temple yesterday will undoubtedly wonder if they are ready to be parents-- I know I would.  But somehow, someway it all works out.  Whether it's instinct, or the example of someone's parents, or just the values and type of person someone is it transforms into your own distinct and surprisingly good parenting style.  I'm grateful for my parents and siblings who have been such good examples of parents.  I'm always amazed by what they do for their kids.  I'm writing this because of how impressed I was with my younger sister; who, even though is younger than I, is someone I look up to a lot.  If you have just gotten married, or know someone who has, just know that everything will work out- it always does, just have courage and press on.  Lloyd Newell put it well:

It’s remarkable what we can accomplish if we have courage, if we refuse to be afraid. Fear is a toxic feeling that can consume self-confidence, dampen hope, and keep us from doing our best or sometimes even trying at all.
Courage, however, can bring out the best in us. It doesn’t mean we will always win. Courageous people learn how to grow from unsuccessful efforts. They succeed more often and at higher levels because they are willing to try—and then to keep trying. (Source)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Smiling

I can't help from smiling when I see this picture.  If you know Erin, you'll know that she has an incredibly fun and lively little personality.  There really is no dull moment when she is around.  I love this picture, but I'm disappointed in myself for cutting off her hand and foot.  It would be absolutely perfect if I had left the foot and hand.

It was really good to see my family down in Texas.  One good thing about the U is that they have fall break. An entire week off to do whatever you want-- besides science that is.  At BYU, I got accustomed to going to school for an entire semester and have very few (if any) days off.  Spring or fall break?  What's that?!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cartwheel

Erin is pretty good at her cartwheels.  That's something that, after years and years, I still look like a big goof doing them.  She practices a lot, though.  She's always doing cartwheels everywhere she is.  Here is a picture of her doing one at the park.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Trains

 A break from Texas, I hope there are more coming up soon.  These pictures are from a family picture shoot that I took with my cousins the other week.  It was at the train depot in Ogden.  
 If you haven't been there, it actually is quite a fun time.  You can climb all over the train engines and cars and look at everything they have to offer.  You'll enjoy taking pictures there and playing on the trains.
I'm not sure what this is, but it was on a train and looked like an old fashioned bar code.  I wonder if they could scan it in with their old fashioned smart phones and get more information with their old fashioned internet.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Friday Night Lights

Friday Tuesday Night Lights.  I've already mentioned many times how much Texans love their football.  Here is a picture of my nephew Alex's game.  It's quite the big deal even when they are only in middle school.  Allen high is building a new football stadium that will rival the smaller college stadiums around the country.
Here is a picture of my partner while we were watching the game.  We cheered during the good times, and wallowed in sorrow during the bad.  She even came with me to another football field to watch Seth's game.  She was a good date.


Some shoes illuminated by the lights of the football field.  The girls were a little more interested in being models for the camera than watching the game.  The night was beautiful and cool, which is a novelty for Texas--a welcomed change.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Surrounding Pines

I took this picture today while with a group of great friends up at Smith and Morehouse reservoir.  Check out those tall aspens trying not to be over shadowed by the surrounding pines.  I guess it's that time of year again for the leaves to change and the weather to cool down.  It's my favorite time of year.  The fall brings back memories of BYU football, playing in the leaves, playing catch in the back yard when Dad came home from work, and getting excited for the upcoming holiday season.  Now, the feelings of fall are just as sweet and exciting.  College brought a whole new addition to the feelings I have about the season.  The years just roll on as the memories pile up.   It's almost frightening how fast time goes as the semester is half way completed.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Frogs and Dogs

Okay, either I have to find more golden retrievers to take pictures of, or I have to find another animals to photograph.  Right now, I work with a lot frogs, but they aren't that photogenic.  However, I saw a little cat the other day at Kim's and realized that I've never really taken any pictures of cats.  I guess I've never really been around any in recent years, I wish I could though.  It's a shame because they are pretty animals.

I've said it before, but man, these dogs are pretty animals.  I wonder what he's thinking and what goes through dog's minds in general everyday.  They are loving, compassionate animals.  By default, I believe, they are good animals; it takes cruelty and negative reinforcement to turn them into mean animals.  Cats, dogs, cows, horses, and all the domesticated animals of the American west are more than just pets, they are companions and friends.  I'm grateful for the animals around me in my life, even the frogs!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hiking

More wildflowers from our Timp hike.  I wish I could have gotten more while we were up there.  It's interesting that I think that now because back then I was was just trying to hustle through the meadow to get to the top.  It's not the only time in life that I didn't appreciate where I was at during a specific moment.  Hiking can sure teach you a lot about life, like enjoy what you're doing, while you're doing it.  Hiking really isn't about the destination because once you get there, you have just as far to hike back to your car.  Life really isn't about what is coming up next for you, but rather, enjoying where you're at, when you're there.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sleeping Baby

Here is little Brielle!  Last week our family got 2 new babies, Kimberly's little girl and Amber's boy in Texas.  They are so cute when they're sleeping.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Timpanogos As a Backdrop

As there are only a few hours until the BYU - Utah game, I thought I would post a picture that I took a couple years ago on BYU's campus.  That is Mt. Timpanogos in the background and the Talmage and Jesse Knight buildings in the foreground.  Coincidentally, my very first class at BYU was a freshman English class in the JKHB (before it was remodeled).  I still remember walking to the basement trying make my way to class that very first day.

With BYU being independent, Utah in the Pac12, and me going to the University of Utah now, things are a little different this year.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still an avid Cougar, but it will be interesting where this rival goes in the next couple years.  I hope that it is as strong as ever, I think it's healthy and makes both schools better.

Looking at this picture makes me miss my time down at BYU.  The education, my friends, and the beautiful scenery like this picture all are sweet memories.  My favorite times were walking to BYU football games with our All-sports pass group, walking out of the testing center after finals, economics with Dr. Kearl, seeing campus after a fresh snow fall, and many, many others.  My time down there has definitely shaped me as a person.  I'm continuing to get shaped here at the U, but in different ways.  A maturity difference, place in life, and other circumstances tend to give me a different perspective on education and life.  The Talmage building has a plaque when you walk in the south entrance that said, "Mathematics will draw the soul towards truth -- Plato".  I might have misquoted it, but that is the general gist of it.  Math and science are intriguing in their very nature.  The fundamental facts of science are either truth, or will eventually guide us toward truth.  Sure science is changing, but look at the things we learn along the way.

With that caveat, I hope the game is a good one today.  I wish I was down in LeVell Edwards Stadium today watching the game.  I love the atmosphere down there.  I loved the football I watched and my good friends and family that I watched it with.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering

It's hard to believe that ten years have passed since the events of September 11, 2001. It feels like it was yesterday just as it feels like it was much, much longer than it really was. Much like all of you, I remember what I was doing, where I was, and who I was with on that day. Our recollection is incredible when there are significant events to solidify memories. For me, that day ten years ago made me see the world in a different light. People-fathers, mothers, family members, and friends- made a trip to work, just like they always did. They probably ate their usual breakfast, said their usual goodbyes, and probably even caught their usual trains on a very, very unusual day. What was left in the wake of the events that day were thousands of lives lost and a broken country wondering where to turn. As it made me more conscious of the important things around me, that day made millions look at the routines of their lives and think about what really matters to them.

On this memorial day, I can't help but think of the things that have transpired throughout the years since 2001. I have to admit that I have forgotten, among the frivolous duties of my life, the thoughts and especially the feelings that I had so long ago. Although it is an absolute tragedy of what happened that day, I can use it for introspection and hopefully a transformation of my life. It can serve as a reminder of the great people in my life that love and support me which mean so much to me. It can serve as a reminder that the things that I see are important now are probably not as important as I deem them to be. And most importantly, it can help people take their eyes off themselves to be able to look outward and upward. It can help us look with faith towards God while helping us lend a hand to those around us that have had a disproportional load placed on their backs. To all those who have been directly and indirectly affected by the events of September 11th, I will not forget.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wild Flowers

This wildflower was found while hiking up Mt. Timpanogos.  It wasn't the only one, there were thousands of them in a meadow before you hike up to the saddle.  It was my first time hiking it, and I'm very glad that I did it.  I'm extremely blessed to have a body working and able to climb a mountain, and the great friends to hike it with.

The temperature and weather were great, except they didn't provide for a very good condition to take pictures of the flowers.  I had a vision (probably from another picture I've seen here or there) of taking a picture of the wildflowers with Timp in the background along with a bright blue sky.  As you can see in the above picture, the flowers are nice and Timp is there, but the blue sky was a grey one that day.  Don't get me wrong, I'd rather have a nice cloudy day for portraits.  However, it would have been better to have the sun out to put dimension on the mountain and flowers, along with a nice blue sky.  I could always photoshop one in, but I'd rather wait until next year.  Just looking at the picture, it looks like someone tore out the sky and it's just the white void behind it now because the sky is so blown out.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sucker

I have to admit, I'm a sucker for pictures of dogs.  This is my cousin's little dog.  It's truly a half pint, but super cute nonetheless.  Maybe someday I'll expand my wildlife photography to house cats, but until then I'll stick with the canines.  Obviously, I use 'wildlife' sarcastically because if you don't count the occasional frog at the lab, I don't really see many other animals.  Maybe someday. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Brothers

 Here are two pictures from March.  This was taken at my grandma's funeral, and luckily we were able to all get together for a picture.  From a biological perspective, it's amazing what kind of variety brothers from the same parents can have.  Not only that, but identical twins sharing the same DNA have their own distinct personalities.  From a family perspective, I'm grateful for the solid figures that are all over my family tree.  My bothers and uncles are truly amazing.  And, of course my sisters and aunts are great as well!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Opted for My Glove

It's funny that the last post I put a picture of a baseball and the very next night, I caught a foul ball at the Bee's game.  Now if you know me, I've been wanting to catch a foul ball for a long, long, long time!  It was an unreal moment.  The night was beautiful and I wish I had my camera, but I'm glad I opted for my glove and not my camera that night.  Don't worry, the ball is displayed proudly in my room.

By popular demand, here is another dog picture.  I can only stand looking at all the emails rolling in demanding more dog pictures for so long.  I'm totally kidding, I've never received such emails.  I do like this picture, however, and thought I would share.  Consider it a freebie.

Friday, August 12, 2011

For the Love of the Game

The other night our ward played in the stake softball tournament.  We just barely qualified with a record a little above 500.  In fact, we only won one game if you take away the times we won by forfeit.   However, we rolled through the tournament almost doubling our opponents score in each of the three games.  It was incredible.  I was proud to play with such talented players.  Seriously, the guys and girls that play on our team are amazing.  I wish I can say that about myself, but sadly, I just fill a stop and try to not make too many errors-- but I love it.

In celebration of our Stake Championship, I decided to dig out my baseball and snap a few pictures.  It's a beautiful object, don't you think?  Few things are more American than baseball, apple pie, blue jeans, rock and roll, or a golden retriever riding down a country road in the back of an old pick-up truck.  So this picture is for all the greats who played the game they loved--Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial, Ted Williams, Satchel Paige, and of course Babe Ruth along with many others.  Dust off your glove and go play catch.  Get a few tickets to your local minor league team and enjoy a cool evening (assuming you aren't in Texas) watching the game.  So instead of asking in frustration why Baseball Tonight seems to be on non-stop during the summer, celebrate the incredible catches, the long hits, and incredible plays that occur around our nation's ballparks every day.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Some of My Parents

 This picture of my parents was taken up in Logan a few months back.  I thought it is a nice picture so I thought I would share.  I'm grateful for my wonderful parents and the love they have given me throughout my whole life.
This picture was taken a few years ago.  My mom was generous enough to model for me while I played with some lighting.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm Scottish

A frazzled elderly Scottish women was trying to find her way to the University Hospital today, and when I found out that she already had an eventful train ride there along with a fear of riding elevators by herself, I decided to accompany her to the hospital.  She was very much relieved to have me along and to find out that the elevators in Primary Children's hospital had murals of hot air balloons and not as she put it, "lined with stainless steel and padding like in mental hospitals."  When we finally got to the the information desk she thanked me and told me her name--last name Ferguson.  I told her it was my pleasure.  When I mentioned my last name she enthusiastically responded that she just knew I was Scottish.  I guess she figured that since I was nice enough to walk and talk with her that I just had to be Scottish.  I walked away smiling.

This picture is a panoramic shot from downtown Salt Lake at about 6th East.  The middle of the three buildings on your left is the Wells Fargo building at Gallivan Center.  Whenever I'm around there,  I remember the night I had dinner down there with a fish bone in my throat.  I really couldn't think of anything else that night, but now I wish I would have manned up and enjoyed the wonderful evening.  Funny how a lousy train ride, fear of elevators, or fish bone in your throat will distract you from the more important things in life.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Whereabouts of the Feet

 Alright, I need to take some new pictures.  Until then, here is a picture from May.  This blog is mostly a place where I can dump some of the pictures that I take.  It's fun to scroll through and look through all the pictures over the years - almost like a photographic journal.
Little Erin.  We were eating at an ice cream place one night and I asked her what she got.  She exclaimed, "Well, I ordered vanilla.  Chocolate.  And Strawberries!!"  I guess you had to be there, it was cute though.  You know, I've learned (or should have learned) a lot over the years.  Think about all the sciences out there.  I've been watching some TED talks and have been pretty intrigued on some talks on world poverty.  It's very interesting to hear statistics about the world geography.  It's a very intriguing subject.  Anyway, another talk was about the power of a smile and the speaker mentioned that kids on average smile 400 times a day.  Adults, on the other hand, smile substantially less.  Here is a picture of one of Erin's smiles.  From all the subjects I've study, perhaps slowing life down to smile with friends and family is the most important.  I read a study that the New York Times highlighted a while back about where people are when they are happy.  He concluded this:
“If you ask people to imagine winning the lottery,” Dr. Gilbert says, “they typically talk about the things they would do — ‘I’d go to Italy, I’d buy a boat, I’d lay on the beach’ — and they rarely mention the things they would think. But our data suggest that the location of the body is much less important than the location of the mind, and that the former has surprisingly little influence on the latter. The heart goes where the head takes it, and neither cares much about the whereabouts of the feet.”  (Source)
So when you think about all the conditions that need to be in place in order for you to be happy, just focus on your thoughts and attitude.  Don't get me wrong, I love vacations but most of our lives aren't lived on holiday - now are they?  I'm mainly speaking to my myself, by the way.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rain

When was the last time you listened to the same over and over again for about an hour and a half?  Well I've been doing it to Parachute's Something to Believe In.  I just can't get enough of it.  I saw them perform it live a month or so ago and I remember it being pretty catchy.  I guess time and distance has made my heart grow fonder because when I heard it today while going to our ward's softball game, I just loved it.  Check it out, you just might like it.

This picture is of the rain, as if you needed an explanation.  It has pretty shallow depth of field which explains why most of the picture is blurry.  I love summer rains.  

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Little Foot

This is a picture of little Camilla's foot, Shelley's sister's daughter.  It's so small and pretty, and a wonder that mine were ever that small.  She has many, many miles in front of her throughout her life.  She'll feel the cool grass between her toes on a warm summer night, get on her tippy-toes to kiss her prince charming, dance like it's 1999, unfortunately stub her toes a few times, run races-perhaps some marathons, and probably walk along with some little child to keep the little tike from falling with her feet.  She has an awful long way to go on those feet, but an awful lot to live for too.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer

Some of the best things in life are found in the freezer aisle at the store.  I can't remember if I have mentioned this particular brand of ice cream, but it's definitely worth mentioning again if I have.  It's Blue Bell's sentimental value that makes it so good - along with the taste, of course.  If you haven't tried it, don't worry they will ship you 2 gallons of their delicious ice cream anywhere in the country for the low price of $129.
Here is little Oscar deep in though.  Which makes me wonder: what do dogs think about?  I mean, most of their day- like cats- are spent sleeping, but what about those few hours when they are not chasing their tale or eating?  There are a few minutes that I'm sure they set apart in everyday to think.  I just don't know what about.
One final picture taken a few weeks back.  Since Pioneer Day is coming up, I thought I would include one of the Trek I participated in.  This girl was having fun stirring up the hundreds of seagulls that followed us along.  They know where the people are.  And you know what seagulls always say right?  Where there are people, there is food.

Lastly, I'm falling in love with summer.  The American flag, a baseball game, Blue Bell ice cream, barbecues, parks, summer nights, and playing fetch with dogs are just some of the things I love about this time of year.  They are all very American and very awesome at the same time.  I enjoy hearing good things about good people in our country.  For example, I read a little about the Yankee's HOPE week that they are putting on again- this being their second year.  It's a program where the franchise chooses five different organizations to have a few players spend some time with this next week.  I was impressed to learn that every Yankee player is volunteering hours of their time to be with someone who life has given him or her a back break.  I like how the author put his closing remarks in the article:

      Yankee HOPE Week has been such a lovely success that this year, the Minnesota Twins have also instituted a similar program.
Yeah, of course, sports is a business. And the best players make millions, and the worst among them are terrible people. But some of them are really nice guys. And sometimes, as the song from the old musical Damn Yankees has it, "You've gotta have heart."
And yes, many of them, damn Yankees and otherwise, really do.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A couple More Dogs

 I don't know the next time I'll be able to post another Golden Retriever shot on here, so I thought I better put another up before you all forget what they look like.  Just look at those eyes, full of love.
I bet you didn't expect that little bit of self-deprecating humor.  This isn't a picture of another dog, although I would have preferred it, it's a picture of me dressed up in pseudo pioneer garb the other night.  I know, awww isn't that cute.  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Friends

We've all heard that life is not about the things you have, but the relationships we have.  Why do you think that many celebrities and other wealthy people suffer from sever depression and often turn to drugs and alcohol?  I'm grateful for people who are there for me in life.  I have a great family and loved seeing them recently.  I love this picture, nothing shows the value of friendship quite like these two!