Rogue Won

It's funny how attached we become to worldly possessions. That's the case with my car.

This is a 2001 Pontiac Sunfire. Katie bought it when we had just started dating, in December 2003. She drove it for a few years until we got something bigger for her to take the kids around in, and this has been my commuter car for the last 10 years. So yeah, I've become attached to it. It's not much to look at, but it's been surprisingly reliable over the years. It's also got relatively low mileage for an 18-year-old vehicle (164,000).

But all things must come to an end, and so it's time to bid farewell to this relic of our courtship. And like our courtship, I went through a while "shopping around" and then once I found the right vehicle it clicked immediately.

I ended up getting a 2015 Nissan Rogue. It's significant to me because every car I had ever owned was a GM vehicle (2985 Chevrolet Celebrity, 1994 Chevrolet Corsica, 1999 Chevrolet Lumina, the Sunfir…

Time Flies

I rarely have a moment when I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing. And as a creature of routine, I am generally pretty comfortable in my rut. I am also always aware of what time it is, so it's not surprising that my life is more or less scheduled out to the minute. Here's my daily routine, Monday through Friday.

5:45 Wake up
5:45-6:00 Shower
6:00-6:20 Read scriptures
6:20-6-40 Exercise
6:40-6:50 Get dressed, get things ready for work
6:50 Wake up kids for school
7:25 Get the kids out the door for the bus
7:30 Leave for work
8:00-Noon Work stuff
Noon-1:00 Walk (Mon/Wed/Fri) or run (Tues/Thurs), eat lunch
1:00-5:00 Work stuff
5:00 Leave work
5:30 Get home
6:00-8:30 Make dinner, get kids to do homework
8:30 Have kids brush teeth
9:00 Get Clara and Allison in bed
10:00ish Prepare whatever I need to for the next day and get ready for bed
11:00ish Collapse from exhaustion

I try to encourage Katie to get out for a bit in the evenings for a break, and she goes to the gym …

Kindergarten Clara

Clara started kindergarten this year. There's always something unique about sending your child off to school for the first time. There's a little relief, and a little sadness. And since Clara has always been our wild card, we weren't totally sure what to expect.

She was really excited, though, and counting down the days. I don't really remember her expressing any fear about it, which seemed a little unusual.

It's still the first week, but she's been goo about getting up early. As a side note, I swear our elementary school's 8:00 starting time is earlier than others. I think mine started at 9. And Clara has usually slept until past 9. So getting her up before 7 is a huge change. We'll see how it works out in the freezing winter months. Oddly, we requested afternoon kindergarten but didn't get it; in the past it's been no problem because more parents seem to want the morning schedule.

Last week we had back to school night and met her teacher. Appa…

Do You Like Scary Movies?

This is one of those subjects I usually avoid because it seems like so many other people talk about it, but here we go. I enjoy a good horror movie. I think it's like vigorous physical exercise—tough while it's happening, but there's a rush of endorphins when it's over and you survived.

I often discuss with people the concept of "scary" horror movies vs. movies that are just gross or trying to shock people. And a friend and I were considering whether PG-13 horrors might actually be more frightening because they have to rely more on atmosphere and implied violence rather than blood and gore. So we started making a list of "scary" PG-13 movies vs. R-rated movies. And that led to us listing movies that are great and fun, but not necessarily really scary. Anyway, this is far from an exhaustive list, but it's what we were thinking.

The Ring—Still probably the scariest movie to me at the time I saw it. The original Japanese version didn't real…

Marathon Post

About a week and a half ago was the Idaho Falls Marathon. I was pretty excited for my first one in four years, and the culmination of the most intense training I've done. As the race approached, I looked more at the information I would need for that day, like the details for getting my bib and more specifics on the course. 
I was generally familiar with the course, but there were a couple strange things about it. Most marathons (okay, the two I've done before) are big loops that are pretty simple to follow. This one started way up in the hills east of town and came into the city, as one would expect. But there were a few strange twists and turns once we got there. Here's one such area.
I knew this was a fairly small race, so I thought it might be good to familiarize myself with the course in detail so I knew where to turn if there weren't a lot of supporters. For the last few days beforehand I spent time on Google Maps going over the city portion of the course in stree…

A Little Summer Ketchup

I've started a few posts lately but haven't felt strongly about publishing any of them. So here are a few random updates.

James turned three a couple weeks ago, and my parents came for a visit along with my sister and her family. It was nice. The kid's stinkin' cute.

Sam's been struggling a little bit with teenager-hood. We finally took him to a counselor, and they diagnosed with with some anxiety and OCD tendencies. So we're working to find the best way to treat it so school isn't so overwhelming for him. I think a lot of it has to do with his troubles sleeping, but we'll see how things go.

We're going to visit Utah in a couple weeks. My sister recently moved back from DC with her husband and little girl. They're staying with my parents while they look for a place, so we'll go down and spend some time doing family-type things. Last time we took Cinder, but he was just a kitten. Now he's kind of a giant cat, and still growing, so they ma…

A Vacation... from My Problems

Okay, that's a reference to What about Bob? Which is a movie that probably downplays the seriousness of mental illness, but nevertheless is a very fun watch.
Anyway, last week Samuel went to a young men's camp for three days. He's never been away from us more than just overnight before, and even then only a couple other times. So while he was gone, Allison was the oldest child, at 9 years old. It was interesting to sort of go back in time a few years so the problems you're dealing with as parents are different. Samuel deals with teenager issues now, so things that seem much more serious, particularly given his responsible personality. Allison, on the other hand, is still at the stage where it's about sharing her toys and eating dinner before dessert. So it was nice to have a bit of a break from the all-consuming existential crises of a teenager.
That being said, we were happy to have him back.