February 2, 2002

I know everyone is disappointed that I didn't write a Christmas or New Year's piece and post it on my site. Well, the truth is, I didn't really want to do so. I'm not a slave to tradition. I had nothing new to say. Oh, and I was in a different state. Kari, Elijah and I went to Oregon to see my oldest two sisters (Christina and Liz) and their two families there. Elijah got to play with his cousins for the first time. That was a treat. We were disappointed that my mom, dad and sister Karyn were not able to come, even though they were the original reason we were going in the first place. Well, I mean, we would have gone some time, but wanted to coordinate it so we could see as many people in my family as possible.

We left Utah on Christmas day and flew for the first time since 9/11. Security is better than it used to be. They had me take off my shoes, because they set off the metal detector alarm. Hmm, didn't know I had metal in my shoes, but I guess the detectors are more sensitive now (shoe bombs and the like). Eric picked us up from the airport. We stayed at the Mortensens the whole time, because they have extra room in their house. I think it rained almost every day there, but we enjoyed it for all of that. We went to to coast (Newport) and checked out the sites and Eric and I got to see The Two Towers. What a cool movie. The only downside to the entire trip was Eliljah. He was sick and didn't sleep well, kept waking two or three times in the night, screaming and inconsolable, every night. At least in the plane to and from Oregon, we could calm him down, give him something to eat, and even put him to sleep (the flight there only) when the air pressure changed and hurt his little ear drums. Right before we left, Elijah learned how to crawl and got resentful as we travelled because we wouldn't let him down to play and crawl and explore. Not the best idea on a plane, but he didn't know that. Oh, and resteraunts were also fun during that period. Still are. We think he was teething, going through a growth spurt and sick, all at the same time. He was miserable company.

The visit to Oregon was otherwise pleasant. We stayed a week, shopped, looked around, absorbed the Oregonian ambiance. Oregon does not have a sales tax, which is nice for outsiders who want to shop there, but they cannot seem to figure out why their school districts don't have enough funding and get shut down. Hmmm. Plus, the state is very liberal, politically. Nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. Actually, I used to think it would be nice to live there. The reality changed my mind, but the state really is a beautiful place to play tourist.

Thanksgiving was fun. Kari and I were visited by the Tegans, good friends of ours from Tucson who wanted to come up to visit. We also had a Korean girl that Kari's brother met on his mission come eat with us. The Tegans had their son Aaron the day after Elijah was born. We met them taking a baby prep class, but they actually went to church at the same time we did. Aaron is a short, broad boy and Elijah is long and skinny, but they got along great. The month before Christmas went fast, but we were not completely happy because Kari had to work at Hickory Farms. Nice as it is to have baby-sitters living here, both Kari and I would rather Kari be the one to raise him, with me helping when I get home after work. Christmas was fun. We spoiled ourselves this recent Christmas, because I had a job that pays well and we had few expenses. Plus, I may not have much money next Christmas. So, we went all out. Everything we needed, clothes, baby toys, whatever, we just saved for Christmas. The only downside to Christmas was the traveling halfway through the day, but it worked out.

We spent a week in Oregon, then settled down into the new year into a routine. Suddenly, the month of January ended. Who says January is the slowest month? Kari and I made calanders with pictures of family members on it for my family for Christmas, a good project that kept her busy. Well, now she wants a new project, so she's already working on next Christmas. That's my girl.

My grandmother just died last night. My mother and her sisters were there by her side. My mom seems to be holding up well. She was in California but the funeral will be in Salt Lake City, so Kari has been arranging for places for all my family to stay while here for the funeral. While I am sad that my grandmother is gone, I am actually happy that she is at rest, because she was sick for so long. And I am happy at the chance to spend time with my family again. The selfish side of me wishes they could all stay longer than this coming weekend to visit.

I have finished applying to grad school, specifically at BYU. Many who know me would laugh and recall I have said more than once that I would never go to Brigham Young University. Well, life has a funny way of making you eat your words sometimes. We'll see if I'm accepted. If not, then I will apply next year to several places at the same time, but it felt right to try for one school, multiple programs.

Elijah is crawling so fast now, he can go up stairs or cross a room in no time flat. We have been working hard to finish the construction so Elijah doesn't fall through a hole in the wall and fall into the basement. Then we will try to finish the bathroom, so we have another one to use when people are here visiting. Doubt we'll finish that, though. Elijah talks in babble form, with a few words, such as "baba," "mama" and "dada." He can also say "Hezhur" (Heather), "Papa" (Grandpa) and more. He also knows how to shake his head "no" and wave to every stranger he sees. He continues to be a joy in our lives.

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