Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What's on my iPod

Despite all that's going on in my life I still find time to discover a new band or song every now and then. I thought I'd post a few that I'm really enjoying in case one of the few friends that ever reads this wants to check it out. If you have time, post what you've been listening to.

You can classify my musical tastes into two broad categories right now. First is the pretentious indie music stuff that I like but also listen to because I think it makes me cool. Second is my secret guilty pleasure: Mormon Pop music or what I like to refer to as MoPop. Mostly stuff in the EFY vein. This stems from late night sing-a-longs with my sister Mindy in High School to Michael McLean's the Collection. "She was only a dairyman's daughter..."

I have really been enjoying the Juno soundtrack. It's folksy and goofy and one of the song includes my favorite video game cheat code of all time "Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Select Start". Watch out for Loose Lips though since it drops the F bomb.

Band of Horses is great. I have three of their songs currently in rotation and they never get skipped:

1. The Funeral
2. No One's Gonna Love You
3. Is There a Ghost

I also picked up the Arcade Fire album titled "Funeral" which makes me feel really morbid since that was one of the songs above - this is not a commentary on my mental state. The Arcade Fire stuff is all right but I wish I had just purchased the single "Haiti" it's by far my favorite on the album.

Now for the MoPop:

Goofy song called "The Light" by April Meservy from Best of EFY: 2004-2006.

Reaching by Carolyn Arends EFY: 1998.

That's it for now ... gotta hit the sack.

Sad to hear that Mitt lost in Florida tonight. I feel a little silly because I root for Mitt more because he is a Mormon and went to BYU then because of how I feel about his abilities as a potential president.

Monday, January 28, 2008

President Hinckley Passes

I was sad to learn that President Hinckley died last night at the age of 97. He was the Prophet of the Church for all of my adult life. I remember reading his words when I was deciding to go on a mission and as I struggled to deal with the challenges of being a missionary. I can remember going to watch him speak at BYU and listening to his talks at general conferences. Through the wonders of technology, even though President Hinckley was the leader of a church of 13 million I felt like he was my prophet because I have received his counsel and guidance at nearly every important turn in my lifetime. He was a grandfatherly figure that I went to at least twice a year to learn from. He was a constant part of my life and will surely be missed. I marvel not only at his amazing spiritual legacy as Prophet of the Church but also at his example of living a life dedicated to helping others and serving the world.

Just yesterday morning I was reading one of his talks as I prepared for a lesson and felt like he was talking directly to me. Lately I have been feeling a little worn down by the day to day demands of working in Corporate America, finishing assignments for Business School, and serving my family and my Church. President Hinckley counseled:

Virtuous, in this case, I believe, means having strength—the strength to do whatever needs doing. Great virtue comes in doing well and consistently the everyday, often rather tedious tasks of life. Blaise Pascal said that “the strength of a man’s virtue should not be measured by his special exertions, but by his habitual acts” (Pensée [1670]).

Your virtue will be attained through deliberate practice of those things that bring strength and purity to your life—such things as prayer; consistent study of the scriptures; timely payment of your financial obligations, especially an honest tithe; careful adherence to the law of health, which we call the Word of Wisdom; and faithful observance of all the commandments of God. These and other goodly practices performed on a habitual basis will yield great virtue.

I will miss President Hinckley, but he lived an amazing and inspirational life and even in his passing motivates me to stand a little taller.


With President Hinckley's legacy as a great communicator, I feel it is fitting tribute that those whose lives he has touched post their thoughts about President Hinckley throughout the blogosphere. If you do, let me know so I can read your post. Or feel free to post in the comments.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Danny and I joined Anne & Leah on a quick trip to Florida to visit Grandmother & Papa over MLK weekend. Danny had fun with his big cousin Leah on the airplane. And to the joy of all the passengers, he fell asleep once we took off. Aunt Lisa met us during our long layover in Atlanta for some brunch and visiting. Hannah and Ariana had a ton of fun with Danny since they hadn't seen him in almost a year. Ari taught him how to "play" Papa's organ. Danny had fun showing off his singing skills to Aunt Liz on their Karaoke machine. Maybe we have the next American Idol. We spent a day at the Mote Marine Lab & Aquarium. Danny oohed and aahed at the fish and also thought it was fun to splash in the shallow touch pool. Hannah had fun helping him crawl through a fish net. We also spent an afternoon at the beach. I do love the Florida beaches! Thanks for a great visit Grandmother and Papa!!

Ringing in the New Year with a Bang

After a nice morning at church (what a good looking pair Grandma and Danny were) we were playing a thrilling game of hide and seek at Grandma Hong's house (as thrilling as it gets with a 14 month old). A little too excited about finding a good hiding spot, I turned quickly to run down the hallway and BANG! I hit the corner of the wall with my forehead. A quick trip to an urgent care clinic and 4 stitches later I was doing fine. On New Year's Eve it was back to the urgent care clinic for a tetanus shot. Now, almost a month later, I still have a pretty good pirate scar.

Danny also spent a good part of his New Year's Eve BANGING pots and pans while helping Grandma clean out her pan drawer. We were proud when he actually put most of them back in all by himself.

We celebrated New Year's Eve night at Matt's brother's house with lots of family. Danny didn't quite make it until midnight. In fact, by 9:00 PM he was all partied out so went home to G-Pops house to go to bed. The rest of us stayed up late having various couple competitions - disc golf putting, ping pong, phase 10. Lance and Mindy dominated, though we did manage to win Phase 10.

Sadly, New Year's Day meant a long flight back to Texas and reality. We wished we could have vacationed with family longer.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Lots of great snow meant lots of great skiing. We enjoyed an afternoon downhill skiing (thanks for babysitting Grandma!) and a day cross country skiing at the outdoor rec area Lance manages. Danny rode in a backpack while Matt skied. While both enjoyed the adventure, it was also quite exhausting for both of them. Danny looked awfully cute in all his snow gear (Thanks Hollie!), though at one point I had him so bundled up he couldn't walk without tipping. After being out in the snow, Danny was happy to snuggle up with his Grandma Hong in the warming tent.

More Christmas Highlights

We spent Christmas afternoon at Dad & Angie's feasting with all the cousins. Danny had fun playing with all of his cousins. He "played" with the girls new toys, but preferred Luke's new game - Rock Band. I think he left plenty of drool on the microphone and used the drumsticks to hit more than the drums. Fortunately nobody was damaged during his play. One of the highlights of the holidays for Danny was lots of time with his dad. To mom's delight, Danny and his dad spent many mornings playing together. Before leaving for Idaho, Danny was also Dad's #1 assistant cookie chef!


Christmas in Idaho was fantastic. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at Mom Hong's house. Danny had a blast unwrapping presents and oohing and aahing at whatever was inside. He was equally excited about the process of unwrapping and the actual gift. He and Kaya were cute playing together in their matching PJS (thanks Grandma). There was loads and loads of snow. Most of the time we admired the white stuff from the windows instead of going outside. We were grateful for cozy homes to stay in with lots of scrumptious food!