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Pay It Forward

The other night our doorbell rang. We opened it to see a woman we don't know. She said, "I was asked to give this to you," and handed Katie an envelope and left. We closed the door, opened the envelope, and...

... saw a $500 Walmart gift card.

Our first thought was, this has to be a mistake. This is the time of year when people look to help those in need. We assumed someone, or a group of someones, had collected this money and sent someone to deliver it. It seemed like this person had probably just knocked on the wrong door. But she was gone, and there was nothing on the card to indicate who had sent it. And while I'm sure my kids don't always look super neat and comely, they are generally well cared for.

I called the ward relief society president, who would likely coordinate any large-scale donations of that kind if it were done by church members. She had no idea what the deal was.

So now we are trying to figure out how to use it. I think we'll hold on to it…

Whistle While You Irk

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I'm going to combine a couple different thoughts complaints here into one post about pet peeves.

First is the less egregious complaint, which is that Samuel has been learning how to whistle lately. And it's really getting on my nerves. He's just getting to the point where he can start to hit a few different notes, and it's pretty constant every evening and all weekend long. Sometimes I'm about to lie down to sleep and I hear the whistles drifting up through the vent, and I cringe. I can't say exactly why it's so irritating, but it is. I don't want to discourage him, though, so I'm not going to say anything.

Now on to the much more serious complaint. I don't think of myself as a "pet peeves" person, but I guess this is #1 on my list. It's simply this: saying you'll do something and not doing it. 

There are so many examples of this. I depend on some people at work for a weekly task, and I have told them multiple times that I need…

The Summit

According to the census data I found online regarding male life expectancy in the United States, today is exactly the halfway point of my life. So, as they say, it's all downhill from here!

Teen

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You guys, I have a teenager. That is really weird.

I feel like Samuel is a good kid to ease into the whole parenting teenagers thing. He's responsible and relatively level-headed. He has a desire to be obedient and is fiercely defensive of his family. And he recently switched from taekwondo to krav maga, so that defense is also literal.


He's not fond of being photographed right now, however, so you get to see him with his siblings. Happy birthday, Samuel. I honestly could not hope for a better son.


Kneezy Does It

Okay, I'm running out of knee puns to use as titles for posts.

Last week I had the arthroscopic knee surgery that I had wanted to get for a while. It turns out I'm really close to my out-of-pocket insurance max this year, so the $10k operation should cost no more than $300. So it made sense.

It was interesting. I went to the hospital, they shaved part of my leg (a first for me), and then I was in and out within about an hour. I didn't get to talk to the doctor, so I'll have to wait for the follow-up next week to see what he has to say about how much damage there was.

The recovery has been... well, I have nothing to compare it to. I used crutches off and on for the first two days or so, but I was allowed to put weight on it even right after the surgery. It was just removing some damaged cartilage from the knee cap, rather than repairing a tendon or something major. That being said, it's been really swollen and pretty uncomfortable. Not much pain, though, and I decid…

Seduction Deduction

Sometimes it's fun to see little clues around in your daily life and try to paint a picture with them, Sherlock Holmes style. I had one such experience on Saturday while I was out for a run.

I often see beer cans or liquor bottles on the side of the road, and this day was no exception. There was the usual assortment of evidence of alcoholism. But among the brown weeds and grass, something red caught my eye. As I ran past, I could just make out what appeared to be lacy underwear. So I figured someone had an exciting night.

And I continued on. Then, about 2/3 of a mile further down the road, I saw what was unmistakably a pregnancy test. Ah, the plot thickens. That exciting night has consequences.

That was all for now. But in 9 months I'm going to make sure to run down the same road and see if there are any discarded diapers.

Free from Sugar Free

Well, I made it—30 days with little sugar. Here's a quick review of the experiment parameters.

I had no desserts except for some sugar-free jello and pudding, and I tried a little sugar-free candy and cookies a few times. There was sugar in some of my meals, but I avoided it as much as I could. I didn't do things like pancakes and syrup, and aside from two bowls of Frosted Mini Wheats during the whole month I stayed away from cereal.I tracked the calories in everything I ate, using the myfitnesspal app. I stayed under the 2,140 recommended calories every day, often by at least a couple hundred calories.To increase my base metabolic rate and try building lean muscle I did about a 15-minute bodyweight workout routine each morning. I have been pretty faithful about this since June. I also continued running the usual three days a week, including three half marathons on the weekends.I increased my protein intake to 120 grams a day, with more on the days I did running.
The results:

Th…