Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Zoo

Last Saturday we took our two adorable kids to the zoo. We try to go the zoo every couple of months because it's free and fun. Okay, we have a pass, but it still feels free since you don't have to pay every time. As zoo days go, this was one of the best. The weather was fantastic, not too cold, but also not too hot--just really pleasant. There were enough people there that it didn't feel desolate, but not enough to make me feel crazy. The animals were active and about...the elephants were cruising around, the cougars and bears were both up and about. Even the giraffes were exciting! Scott and Eva both seemed interested in the animals which is an improvement. J. Scott generally wants to go right to the playground, while Eva hasn't previously seemed interested in the animals all that much.

In the end though, the train ride and the playground were still the highlight. Scott figured out how to hang on the the monkey rings by himself, and Eva conquered her fear of the slide. All in all, it was a really great day at the zoo. That's what we did last week...exciting huh?

Possible topic of next post? Change is constant....

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Reptile Night!

Monday night we took our kids to the Bean Museum at BYU for family home evening. They were having a reptile show, and I thought it would be fun for us to go and find out more about our reptile friends. Nellie, who isn't really a fan of snakes told me she wouldn't sit within twenty-five feet of a snake, but she reluctantly agreed to go (At the museum they have an art show going on right now, and a couple of people we like a lot had had pieces in it, so that tipped the scales in my favor).

We got there just a few minutes before the show and got a padded bench on the front row which was nice because immediately after another 40-50 people showed up and many of them didn't get to sit down. The show was a lot of fun, our host was like the crocodile hunter, in fact I would label him Croc Hunter jr. He was really good at keeping the kids attention, and I actually learned quite a bit. First he brought out a tortoise and told us about the differences between turtles and tortoises. Next he brought out a large monitor lizard and reminded us that most animals are intimidated by humans. J Scott's favorite part was probably when Croc Hunter jr. told us that if a monitor was threatened enough he would rip you up and defecate in your wounds. Of course he didn't laugh until he asked me what the word meant and, being an honest dad, I told him. Eva was really cute and fascinated by the animals, but her highlight came when she wriggled from Nellie's lap and proceeded to back herself up into the lap of the girl sitting on the ground by us. It was really cute, it was also funny when a moment later she hypocritically shushed the girl with her little finger over her lips.

J. Scott got to help hold a huge snake skin, and after that Nellie had to take Eva for a walk for some reason. We got to see a couple of snakes and I learned that many of the fears we hold about snakes are based on myths. Croc Hunter jr. tried to demonstrate a snake chasing him, but snakes don't chase people. He also told us that in areas of America where they have rattlesnake roundups and kill a bunch of snakes are areas that have the highest incidences of hantavirus. Apparently it messes up an ecosystem if you take away animals that eat disease-spreading mice.

After the presentation was over, both Eva and J. Scott got to pet the snakes and the monitor lizard. J. Scott was fascinated by the feel of the snake and kept going back to touch it. Nellie was close enough to snap some shots. Eva's favorite was the monitor, because the monitor kept spitting out it's forked tongue and touching her hand with it. She giggled and didn't seemed the least bit frightened.

On the way home, we talked about animals and the blessings they are to us. We talked about how they gave us food, materials for clothing, and I forgot to talk about the fertilizer they provide us with! It was a lot of fun, I think we'll do the rest of the museum soon.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Normalcy=Boring? Maybe Not

I love my life. If you've read this blog for very long I think that's clear. I have a great life and have been blessed to have a wonderful wife and two kids who amaze me! Despite that, sometimes I feel like I have a boring life. Not that I am bored by it, but that it's not exciting to talk to people about.

You know the situation: you run into an old buddy or relative and they ask "what have you been up to?" My answer usually consists of "oh, I'm married and have two kids and I work and...(nothing too out of the ordinary goes here)." At times I feel like my life has been too predictable and vanilla. But guess what? I love vanilla! My life is awesome because it's free from a lot of drama. I know a lot of people who thrive on drama. It seems that if no one is upset with them, or if they aren't furious with someone that life isn't worth living.

For example...what did I do this week? I worked...a lot, went to the Draper Temple open house, and ChuckaRama, I installed a ceiling fan and helped my wife just a little bit. I made my first ever calzone and figured out that my vacuum has been broken for a while and I didn't realize it soon enough. Now, that could all add up to boring. For me? I love it. I love life.

It comes back to a principle that first started to make sense to me when I was on my mission. I began to realize that a life isn't made up of dramatic big moments, life is an accumulation of little things. So when I wrestle with Scott for fifteen minutes, that is a small deposit made in the bank of being the dad I want to be. When I take the time to do the dishes, or turn off a basketball game to talk to my wife, that is a deposit in the bank of being the husband I want to be. All around me there are opportunities to put deposits into the bank of being who I want to be. It is rare that there are huge deposits put into any bank...but over time, being consistent...that is where the growth takes place.

Understanding that my life doesn't have to be one dramatic step after another reassures me that I really am living the life that I want. I hope when all is said and done, that those around me that I love can see the big picture of my life. It often isn't until you stand on top of the mountain that you really understand how far each little step after another has brought you.

Does my life seem pretty normal? I'll admit it does. Is my life boring? Absolutely not.