Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Everyone loves a good vacation. Most people I know live half their lives looking forward to the next place they are going to take off and enjoy. This year I've heard a lot of reference to the Staycation. This is where you take off work and focus on activities near your residence. Well, I've coined a new term: Runcation. What is a runcation? Vacation + Running = Runcation. In other words, it's the maximization of a vacation.

Several years ago when we were a one car family, I was stuck at one point with no ride home from work. Instead of wait for Nellie to pick me up, I instead decided to walk home. At this point I had driven the same route for over a year, but as I walked home I noticed all sorts of things that I had previously zipped by. In a car you really miss a lot of the sights and smells around you, the small simple beauties.

For me, part of traveling is about the adventure of discovering new things for myself, and as I discovered, there is no better way to capture this, than by being on foot. Walking is too slow and inefficient, but if you run for a while, you manage to see quite a bit. In fact, almost everywhere I've gone this year I've been able to get out and do at least one good run. It has been a great way to understand the area I'm in, as well as see the beauty around me. In New York, I darted through traffic on the way to Central Park, where I got to run with all kinds of runners and see all the places you see on movies. In North Carolina I realized that air can be so thick it needs to be swallowed. In Arizona I've been able to run in a desert landscape avoiding cacti. In Utah, I've been up and down the side of mountains and really felt a part of nature.

Runcations can be done really anywhere, but if you are travelling here are a couple of tips:
  • Find a good route to follow. No one wants to get lost, make sure you know where you are going. A good way to find routes created by locals is to visit America's Running Routes at the USATF website. Here you can either create your own route, or look up others routes.
  • Ask for local advice. Once you know where you're running, consult a local if possible to make sure you're not running into the middle of a bad area.
  • Take a cell phone and water. I have a great hydration belt made by Amphipod that allows me to carry both.
  • Take a 10 or 20 dollar bill, or bring your debit/credit card with an ID. If you find a place you want to stop, or need a quick snack, it's great to have it with you.
Take my advice, go out and get some runs in. You don't have to be crazy like my friend Matt Ward, you can run a mile and see more of the place you're in, than driving all around. Let me know how your runcation goes!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Year in Review...Entry #5


This year has also been accompanied by some sad events as well. In February I lost my Grandma, Connie Perkins. In October, Janelle's grandfather Bob George left us 2 weeks prior to his surprise 80th birthday celebration.

Grandma Connie was a major influence in my life, she was the one who taught me to love baseball, One of my fond childhood memories was the 1989 world series between the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants, Grandma and I were huge Jose Canseco fans (at the time) and she made sure I got to her house for every game possible. When I got the news from my dad that she had suffered a major stroke, I rapidly gathered my family and got up to Salt Lake. At the hospital we were told that the woman we loved was gone, and though the machines could keep her alive, she would likely never recover. The next day, my Grandpa, Dad, Uncle, my brother Davin and myself gave her a blessing letting her know it was okay for her to go. One of the sweet moments of my life was watching my Grandpa (who had kept to the edge of the room until this point) approach my Grandma and take her hand. As he approached the monitors surged and I saw her heartrate jump, then a moment later I watched everything go down to zero. Interestingly, the loss of my dear grandma reinforced my testimony of the ressurection. I physically saw the difference when her spirit left her body.

Nellie's Grandpa George was approaching his 80th birthday, as I've mentioned, and our whole family was planning on flying up to be there for his party. I got a phone call at work from Nellie telling me he had passed away. I was surprised, but until she told me, I don't think it had really hit her. Although She and I have only been married for 5 and a half years, I had a deep love for Bob George. He was someone I liked almost immediately, he had a great sense of humor and treated me like a grandson right away. My first trip to Camp George, the fall after our wedding, he gave me my nickname: Trevador, and I always felt like I belonged from that moment on. After a drive through the night, we attended his funeral in Kennewick Washington. I learned a lot about my grandfather-in-law that I didn't know, and it made me sad to know I would have to wait longer to get to know him better. We were just happy to know he got to meet both of our children before he passed.

Loss is an interesting thing, I personally love funerals. I can't remember leaving a funeral without having a profound sense of urgency to accomplish more and to love better. Death is not a scary thing, just a sad thing. Death is a temporary farewell that rarely comes when you are prepared for it. I'm grateful that the grandparents we have lost this year were in a good position in their lives and I'm sure they are happy on the other side of the veil.

Year in Review...Entry #4

BYU is still freakin' awesome! That is what I have to say about that. Of course everyone knows that I'm a huge BYU football/basketball/overall fan. BYU sports have become something more special to me in the last couple of years. When we first adopted J Scott, I took him to every basketball game. When I say every, I mean every. Some of my fond memories of the early days are of carrying my sleeping boy out of another home victory. In fact, in all the time Scott and I have been going to games...he's witnessed 2 losses at home. (One loss in basketball against Loyola Marymount, and one loss in football to the Utes. He must be pretty good luck, but I digress.) Anyway to me BYU sporting events have become chances to hang out with my son. Many times just the two of us. As my friend Cody once remarked, he is my "built in BYU buddy."

This year my father, brother (Ben), Scott and I had season tickets to football. Saturdays were really fun. For home games we baked in the sun and cheered. Scott is a very enthusiastic singer of the cougar fight's pretty cute. Most away games we watched at home with a group of usuals. Un(fortunately really) some of my feelings about Ute fans have been soaked up by my boy. The other day Scott told Nellie "I'm never going to like the Utes." Good for him. Since Scott now owns many things BYU, he told me he's sad they don't make BYU shoes....I've maybe got him in too deep. Anyway, the cougars are important in the Perkins household. Even if Daddy's degree isn't from that awesome institution. At least Mom's is.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Year in Review...Entry #3

Having covered our major trip of the year and our major visitor of the year, I think this review should be about the people who make up my awesome every-day life- my wife and kids. This year has been a good year, but really not many unusual things have happened. I manage to feel like I have a relatively boring life when people ask me what I'm doing. Have you ever found a good way to answer that question? I haven't. In fact, I'm still guilty of asking others this...but I digress.

Eva has experienced many changes in her life this year. As you might expect she's figured out the walking thing, figured out some talking things, and (if you read the lyrics to her song you'll realize) the bossy thing. Probably the most notable thing that has happened to Eva this year that doesn't happen to every baby is her helmet-head days. Eva was born with torticollis which means when she was in the womb, her head was almost always in the same position, which resulted in the neck muscles on one side developing short and squatty while the muscles on the other side were longer. Since her neck was off, she slept in the same position and ended up with a large flat spot. To fix her neck we had to take her to physical therapy for 5 months and Nellie stretched her neck at home several times a day. After her neck was fixed, we got a helmet that Eva had to wear 23 hours a day. The helmet was on from February until the beginning of June. We definately got stared at a lot, which didn't bother us like I might have thought. We'd often hear other children asking their parents about the helmet, and were surprised to hear parents responses. I figure, if you don't know, ask! Eva ended up with a nice round head in the end.

Scott experienced a few changes this year also. In the spring he wrapped up his Kindergarten year at school, which he loved (as do all kindergarteners it seems). One of his major changes was the transition from Jaden to Scott. For those of you who might not know, his full name is Jaden Scott Perkins. His grandpa goes by his middle name of Scott, and he had several friends who went by middle names, so one day he decided he wanted to go by Scott. As parents, it was very difficult to call him by another name. I never realized how many times in the day you say your child's name. I was sluggish in my transition until one day, apparently frustrated he said "you just called me Jaden, that is not my name! My name is Scott!" I think after that day, I got a lot better a lot faster.

Scott has been doing very well in school, and he loves first grade and his teacher Mrs. Glass. He was student of the month in February, and again for September. He seems to really get into the recognition, and he is pretty proud of it. Scott also played soccer for the second year. I don't know that there is a future in soccer for him, but he seems to like it anyway.

As for Nellie and I, I had a very good year at work this year. I seem to get the hang of it slowly but surely. This year I hit my 5-year mark in May, which isn't really a long time, but with the turnover rate at my company I'm only 5 years away from getting a Rolex for my time there (woohoo!) Nellie seems to have really figured out what the mom thing is all about this year, how she juggles everything I will never get. She volunteers for Scott's class, deals with Eva, ends up doing a lot of free photography for people who don't really appreciate what they are getting, keeps the house running efficiently, and manages to hammer out one craft project after another. Her craft room is really getting to be a thing of beauty. She manages to keep it pretty organized, I am always surprised at how many projects could come from her "room of requirements" as she calls it.

Nellie has been an all-star resolution keeper. Instead of having a huge list of new-years resolutions she focused on doing one thing for several weeks to a month and then moved on to perfect the next thing. I've really seen a lot of improvement from her. One of her major accomplishments was taking off the baby weight and more this year. Last year about November she really started to watch what she ate and her caloric intake. By June you could really tell she was losing weight, but from June until now she's really shrunk to where everyone seems to be telling her how great she looks. It really took a lot of work and a lot of will power and I'm proud of her.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Eva's Song

For Christmas I wrote/am writing, songs for Scott and Eva. While Scott's song is currently leaving me with writers block (yes, it's a real problem), Eva's song is finished. At Aunt Laura's suggestion, here it is:

Eva's Song (I'm the Boss)

Morning comes too early in my house,
Brother's tromping is much louder than a mouse.
Bleary eyed, ripped from beauty's dreams,
they're going to hear it in a moment when I scream.
Toss my soggy diaper, get my breakfast make it fast,
Unless I'm wrong (which I'm not), it's not too much to ask.

Cuz I'm the boss I don't worry 'bout the cost.
Since I'm the queen I don't care if I sound mean,
Yes I'm in charge, even though I'm not very large,
You're gonna know it when I scream.

Clock straight up, and Dad walks in the door,
I've been busy throwing my lunch on the floor.
He gets in my face and asks me for a kiss,
Sometimes I wonder who he thinks he is.
Though I'm not tired he puts me into bed,
(doesn't he know that) baby princesses should be given treat instead.


It gets tiring keeping Mom in line all day,
It seems she's always getting in the way.
Like when it's time to reorganize the drawers,
or when I feel like drawing on the floor.
Good thing I know how to stomp my foot just right,
flash my toothy grin and you know I've won the fight...


So this is the song, I really have a lot of fun playing it for Eva, it remains to be seen if she really likes it.

Christmas! Part I and II

Christmas Part I

On Friday night, almost a full week before the real Christmas, we had our Perkins Family Christmas. Since we didn't want to haul presents down to Arizona, we chose to open most of our presents on Friday night. It was fun to watch Scott open his presents, he was really good at acting excited, even when some of the gifts were un-fun, like shirts. He is such a sweet little boy! Eva doesn't get this Christmas thing yet, but she is starting to enjoy ripping apart the wrapping paper, so she did a good job. My favorite presents were the little BYU cheerleader outfit for Eva, and the BYU jersey that we got for Scott. That's going to make a cute family picture. Although Scott felt a little ripped off that he couldn't take his gifts with him, I'm sure he'll be happy to return to them when we're done in Arizona.

Christmas Part II

We've been in Arizona for almost a week now, and it's been fun to spend time with Nellie's family, the Grows. Christmas at the Grows has been jam-packed this year, and it's been tiring to be in the middle of it all, but also very fun. In addition to a house full of Grows, we've seen Katie and her fiancee, Jared and his family, and Grandma Grow is staying here. On Christmas-eve day we hung out and Nellie and I got a good make-up nap. Nellie's Uncle Bob came into town and Eva instantly liked him, it was cute to see her warm up to someone so fast. She tends to be pretty easy-going, but she definitely has her favorites. I guess she doesn't mind his famous zerbits (if that's how you spell it). Scott got to go with Nellie and Papa and some others to visit Uncle Jared at his fire station. Scott loved being able to ride in a fire engine and had a great time. For Christmas Eve dinner we had some mexican food, Sarah made some fantastic however-many-layers dip, and I made smothered burritoes.

After dinner, we had Advent. Advent is something the Grow's have been doing for the better part of two decades, four Sundays before Christmas they start to read scriptures about the coming of the Savior and sing songs. They say it gets them into the spirit of the season, and it was really nice to take some time to think about the Savior, especially reading Luke chapter 2. What really made the night fun was Sarah's friend Whitney who is amazing on the piano. She accompanied all of the singing, and it felt like something out of the movies. I would give the night an A grade.

Later (this is turning into a LONG post...), I attended midnight mass with the Bruce family. Arlene Bruce, or Grandma Arlene as she is better known, is a good family friend who we all love. She has a really fun family also, and I really enjoyed attending mass with them. They are just as sarcastic and funny as I am (okay, I'm giving myself too much credit), but it was great to sing more songs about the savior and to get a different perspective. Attending midnight mass was something that I did on my mission at the urging of my mission president, and I've enjoyed attending with the Bruce's for the last couple of years.

Christmas morning started early for me, and not for the reason you may think. It started early because Eva decided around 4 am that she wasn't going to sleep anymore. After losing the battle to her, I watched the Christmas Story on tv and waited for an appropriate time to let Scott get up. This has been Scott's "Santa Year," as Nellie labels it, and it's been really fun as a parent to see him get all excited about Santa. He is extremely worried about upsetting, or lying to Santa. Just before Christmas break, Scott's class was writing letters to Santa. His teacher had provided them a template that said, Dear Santa, I have been really good this year...I would like..., Scott approached his teacher and expressed concern that sometimes he was naughty. His teacher said that was the first time any kid had even considered their behavior in the process of Santa letters. Funny kid. Anyway, around 7:30 we started the presents, Scott got the requested firetruck from Santa while Eva got a little people amusement park.

After all the present opening was done, we had a great breakfast provided by Mom Grow. She is a fantabulous cook and makes this amazing cinnamon rolls, breakfast was delicious. Later in the day we had another fantastic meal, again prepared by Mom. Grandpa Grow and JoRae visited for dinner at this point and I had a really good time. Spending time with the in-laws is definately a lot better for me, than for everyone else. After dinner Aunt Laura joined us and we had pie and just talked. I think the highlight of Christmas night was hearing Bob, Laura and Dad Grow talk about their mishaps they had as youths, maybe better than the stories was the reaction from Grandma Grow who was hearing many of these stories for the first time.

All in all, Christmas as the Grows was great! I'm sorry for such a long entry, but I'm not really that great at knowing what to leave out.

Utah to Las Vegas....

So everyone, we're moving to Las Vegas.

Alright...that's not true. This is actually a short account of our trip to the Las Vegas bowl on our way to AZ for Christmas. Saturday December 20, about 4 am, we packed our kids into the Xterra and headed south. Because the snow had been falling, we wanted to allow ourselves plenty of time to get down to LV. It wasn't a bad drive overall, though we did have a few times that the use of 4-wheel was necessary. We stopped by the cougar tailgate at an auto dealership in Mesquite where we picked up a couple of footballs for Scott and Eva, and other necessary cougar supplies. When we got to Vegas, we were there several hours before check-in. Our hotel was nice enough to allow us in early. We stayed at the Trump International Tower and Hotel which was amazing. I have never stayed at a hotel that had only valet parking, and felt a little embarassed handing over the keys to our filthy Xterra, but I got over it. Back to the hotel though, it was fantastic! The room we were in was just like the pictures on the website...the bed was ultra-comfortable, and it just felt luxurious. Too bad Eva wouldn't cooperate.

After checking in and cleaning up, we went and did some awesome stuff. There is a place called the Boneyard in Las Vegas where all the old neon signs that have been put out to pasture are stacked on 3 acres of land. They are raising the funds to build a museum that is going to be amazing. It was a lot of fun to go on a tour, Nellie was in paradise. Think rust, broken glass, old stuff...and you get the picture. I wasn't expecting much, but I was very very impressed. I suggest anyone reading this take an opportunity to do the tour next time they are in Vegas. Google the boneyard and you can find out how. After the tour was over, the local CBS affiliate who was there doing a story on the boneyard interviewed me. Eva was in my arms and kep reaching for the reporter's microphone, poor reporter had no idea what he was getting himself into.

That night, Scott and I went to the Las Vegas Bowl which was fun, but very dissapointing. To make matters worse, we ended up getting lost and missed David Hasselhoff singing the national anthem. Scott was all dressed up in his cougar gear, and he was a great fan. He is starting to understand the game better all of the time. I think that was one of the highlights of the year for me, going to all the cougar games with Scott this year. I have to keep him stocked in treats, but it's a special father-son time. BYU lost to Arizona, never really playing like themselves in the process. They managed to miss 3 field goals, and two receivers dropped could-have-been touchdown passes. When they lose by 10, those types of things eat at you.

The next morning, we sauntered out of town on our way to Peoria AZ...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Year in Review...Entry #2

Okay, So I covered our NYC/NC trip, what to talk about next? Oh, how about our 17-year old visitor from Arizona...

In January, My sister-in-law Leslie moved in with us. She needed a change of scenery and we were all to happy to have someone to help out with the babysitting. She lived with us for the second half of the school year and was more than happy to head back to Arizona. It was a really good experience in a lot of ways. For one, it got us really into the habit of morning scripture study and regular family prayers. It gave me some insights into what I was probably like when I was younger, and probably prepared me more for when Scott gets a bit older. It was a little tough (on us and Les), having to fill the parent role occasionally (especially for Nell), I guess I'm better at stern...

Leslie was a great helper and was a nice presence in our home. There were certainly some tough times, but a lot of good times too. All in all, I think the whole thing turned out well, and she seems to be doing fantastic at home in the AZ.

If you ever get to have a teenager live with you, I recommend going to every parent-teacher conference possible. If you want someone to take you seriously, this might not be the place for you. I can't remember ever getting such odd looks, EVER.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Writing about something...

When you have nothing to write about....

I like to follow some of my friends blogs, it's fun to see what they are up to, the adventures that they've had. What I've noticed about their blogs vs. mine? Most of my friends are constantly updating their blogs, while mine waits. So, in lieu of writing about current events...I'm going to write a year in review, prior to Christmas, that is neither chronological, nor necessarily interesting.
(drum roll please.....)

New York City (and don't forget North Carolina) Trip- July

In the fair month of July, our family went to visit some good friends in North Carolina. We were there over the Fourth of July and it was a lot of fun to get to the east coast again. Some highlights: Eva's first plane ride, and oh what fun that was for Nell, a jaunt to Beaufort, NC - former home of Blackbeard the pirate (right next to Morehead City), and some private time for Nellie and I. You see, our friends are awesome and allowed us to leave Scott and Eva with them so we could go to New York City for a few days.

New York was great, if I had it to do again, I wouldn't have gone inside the Guggenheim. Love the building, not really a fan of the exhibit. Nor, would I have gone to the top of the Empire States Building.... can you say line up, line down, line all around? I also would have worn better shoes, I did more walking than expected.
Top 5 New York:
1 Museums (again, minus the Guggenheim): The Met was amazing...I think it could be classified as a whole city of art. I need to go back just to spend more time looking at their exhibits. MOMA was also great, even though "Starry Night" was out on tour.
2 Running in Central Park. Man, that place was like a runners oasis! I have never had so much fun on a run by myself...I was never really alone. Seven miles didn't seem like enough, but for my stupid injured (at-the-time) knee, it was more than enough.
3 Broadway. We only got to see one musical, because we weren't there long enough, but The Little Mermaid was far more entertaining than it should have been for this guy.
4 Circle line boat tour. We took the Circle Line all around the island, it was really a lot of fun to do those incredibly touristy things...
5 Food: Man, there is so much to eat...and it all tastes good (I do exaggerate occasionally).

Our trip was great, we loved getting to spend time with friends and doing some exploring. I think Nellie mostly liked the shopping....I enjoyed the time we got stuck coming back from New York to N.C. and had to shell out a few hundred extra dollars to get back to our kids (who we actually really missed.)

Overall Grade: A

Crossing the bridge to Emerald Isle, N.C.

Stereotypical/artsy picture of Times Square

Nellie and I atop the world's most boring line (The Empire States Building)

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Thanksgiving is such a great time of the year. It means the holiday season is officially upon us, but it gives us time to reflect on what we are grateful for. I think it reminds me of a lot that I take for granted. This year, here are some of the things I am thankful for.
  • My beautiful wife Janelle who spends so much time nourishing our monsters and documenting their every move with her deft photographic skills. She has been amazing and I am often reminded (by myself--not her) of how lucky I was to have found her.
  • My Tutty Tut (Scott) and La Diabla (Eva), it amazes me how much love I can have for such little stinkers. Scott is getting great at reading and can read books like Green Eggs and Ham without help. Eva is just starting to talk, last night we found she can say: Mama, Dada, Scott, Jesus (which is so cute to hear), ball, kiki (that's her blanket), yes, eyes, and some other semi-clear "words"
  • My employment. I remember a time just after my mission when I dreaded going in to work every day, in my five and-a-half at PMI, I've not had that feeling at all. On top of that, I work with great people, and my wife can be a stay at home mom.
  • The gospel of Jesus Christ. Without this one, I don't see how the rest really matters.
  • My heritage. So much of what I'm blessed with is really the result of those who came before me and made the way better.
  • The good ol' U.S.A. Again, what more need I say?
  • My diversions: Being a daddy, BYU Football and Basketball, Utah Jazz, Running, Guitar-ing, could I forget The Office? That's one funny show...
I hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner and gets to spend time with those they love. That's what she said.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Halloween was really pretty tiring/fun this year. I remember in the years before children that Nell and I would sometimes do nothing for Halloween, but it is no longer a non-event. I got up a little earlier than usual to put together the final components for my Dwight Schrute costume. Although it wasn't a costume that wins awards, it was pretty fun. (For those of you who aren't blessed to have The Office in your life....go to and check it out....) Mostly the costume was all about the extras. I went to the Wal Mart and bought a calculator watch, and went to the DI and bought a lime greenish shirt and awful tie. Nellie bought a recorder for me, which I learned to play the theme from The Office on, as well as the Star Wars Theme (you can learn to do so much on YouTube). I also put a stapler in Jello, brought a squash that I put in an apron to act like I was pregnant, and had my D.S. bobblehead. It was fun.

At lunch, we went to Scott's school to see his
parade. I love being a dad for moments like those, Nellie made a broadway-worthy costume for him, he was a bird, and Eva was a bee. How cute are they?

After the par
ade, I went back to work while Nell helped out with Scott's class party. After she shuttled Scott to a neighborhood party while Eva napped.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Where Did All That Time Go?

Well, I guess it's been over two years since my last post. Since this blog doesn't get any readers at the moment, I guess I'm just talking to myself. Life has been pretty good in the last two years. Let's see. Oh Yeah, we had a little baby girl named Eva Jean. She is beautiful and is now almost 16 months old (two months from nursery...YEAH) and she is walking and saying a few words. I think her cutest trick is probably when she says "eye" and points to her own eye. I guess it's cute because more often than not she pokes herself in her eye and can't seem to figure out why it hurts. Scott (as Jaden now goes by his middle name), is still amazing as well. He was recently awarded the Student of the Month award at school, where he is in the first grade. He has really made remarkable progress and is reading pretty well right now. He can read books like The Cat in the Hat with limited help. Nellie and I are doing well. After having the baby, Nellie has worked like a mad person to lose the baby weight and she is now back to pre-wedding weight. I have not fared as well, but I am back to running more often than I was. Right now Nellie is in the basement (something else that has happened in the last two years...we finished it), working on the most elaborate bird costume ever for Scott. She is so meticulous and cute, I am amazed at her skills. That's about it...Hopefully this is the start of something good.