April 14, 2004

What has happened in the last 3 months or so? Quite a bit. Kari, Elijah and I got very sick. In fact, we've all been sick for at least some of each month this year, so far. But at the end of last year, while sick, our fevers got very high. We think Kari was pregnant for 3 days before losing a very small ball of cells to a fever. We remained tired and sick for some time. New Year's wasn't particularly exciting. I think we tried some non-alcoholic daiquiris or something and no one was impressed. Ended up watching Terminator 3 that night. Partially alone, as Kari went to play Sims with Heather. Ah, well.

Returning to work was blah for me. This year, I've been finding myself bored at work. I know how to do what I'm doing. Oh, I did help my company transition over to using Fed ex instead of UPS, and that transition continued through January. All of us got sick of saying our primary book was still not ready and was being delayed again and again (it eventually came out in late March). January also had slow business and we were short-handed for a while. Seemed things at work were spiraling downward. I think I had a bad case of the January blues. To make it worse, we went on a trip with some friends to Vegas and had a terrible time. It was supposed to be a nice, relaxing weekend. It was spent doing only what our friends wanted to do, while we got to be bored. It wasn't all that bad, but Elijah was not happy the entire trip (he was the oldest of three kids there, and always got in trouble for harassing the others), and that just made our frustration worse. Our friends felt bad about the trip and apologized later. At least we got to leave for a while and see Kari's aunt J.J. while there and check out China Town. That was pretty fun. Ok, shooting was fun, too, but . . . well, blah on that trip. It was that trip that helped me decide I didn't want to live in Vegas.

Yes, during that time, I was preparing my applications for grad school. University of Las Vegas was on potential choice. Lots of stress there, gathering all the materials and filling everything out, although I can say I wrote my best letter of intent ever. I feel really proud of the way it turned out. Yes, it took me a long time, but the end result was worth it. I applied to schools in Colorado, Oregon and Utah (and forwent the application to UNLV). Lots of money went out toward applications, but thankfully , my parents helped us out with paying for it all. Let us just say that I hate having to justify myself, but that's what applying to graduate school seems to be about; proving to schools that you are worth the risk. This was my third year applying, and let us just state for the record now that if I was not accepted, I was fully prepared to look into a different course for my life. Counseling is something I want to do, but I can and am willing to do many other things, if that doesn't work out. One thing that does bug me is that almost all my applications were due on January 15th. They couldn't stagger it out a little, could they? Anyway, January overall wasn't my favorite month ever.

On a good note, in January, Kari ended up pregnant again, and so far, it is sticking. We are expecting in October. And this time, Kari's doctor says we will have ultrasounds until we know the gender. That will be nice. Not like Elijah, who played hard to get during his one ultrasound. Ah, well.

After January 15th, I was able to relax a little, started playing some games and reading (my two major pastimes these days). I played Splinter Cell and reread Tad William's books (if you like Tolkien, you will like Williams). I vegged out for a while. Elijah continued to grow. He got bored being stuck inside, though. We had a decent amount of snow and gloomy days, making outside a bad choice for little boys. He did get to play in the snow a little, but that little guy does not know how to keep his hands inside his gloves. Life was pretty calm in February. Work started to pick up. Kari and I were able to save enough money to buy a king-sized bed. We figured, if we are having another baby, we better make room in the bed for another (yes, on occasion, Elijah sleeps with us, because we are usually too tired to do much more than pick him up and snuggle with him if he wakes up in the middle of the night). Kari and I also purchased some Cutco knives in February. Yes, the famous, ultra-sharp knives. Actually, we only got five. Any more and the price would have been too ridiculously high. Also in February, I had an interview with BYU. Yes, just like last year. The interview went pretty well. It helped that I had put in some time volunteering for research with Dr. Allen during last summer and fall. It also helped I had been through the exact same interview the year before. Well, I felt pretty confident coming out of the interview there, but also didn't care much if I actually went there or not. Turns out it was just as well I didn't care. I got no acceptance from either program at BYU, or in Colorado or in Oregon. But U of Utah did accept me. Yay.

Also in February, Kerstin, Kari's sister, decided to change her wedding date (oh, yeah, she got engaged) to the end of March, instead of the end of April. But the open house is to still be at the end of April. Whatever. Don't go changing dates and expecting everyone to be able to come. Kerstin also became more and more selfish and insensitive. I guess that's just part of getting engaged, or something. La la la, what? Other people exist? No! Yes, she drove everyone here crazy.

Kari's tastes kept changing (and still do). One day, she will like something. The next day, she won't. It is hard to know what to eat any more. She has also been sick and tired (sick, as in nausea, and also illnesses like the flu). Fun. Let us just say I can't wait until I have Kari back. Oh, wait, then comes another baby . . . never mind. I'll just have to enjoy what I have.

March was the crazy month. Here are the things we were facing at the beginning of the month. I finally convinced my parents that they needed to come visit. I've been wanting to see them, and Karyn. They planned to come March 13th. Kari's friend Heather (the Heather in New York) was coming to visit on the 5th. Kari's brother Christian was coming home from his mission in Korea on the 17th. Kerstin was having a wedding shower. Kerstin's actual wedding was scheduled for the 27th. My company was preparing for a convention (to be held in California) while preparing for the release of our primary book (the one we were out of for so long).

The visit with Heather was good and Kari seemed to have a good time with her old friend. Unfortunately, her daughter (still a baby) was sick with something or another, and we all caught whatever it was. Crap! More sickness. I was getting sick of always blowing my nose and coughing. We did have fun going to Heather's parent's house for a party they were having. Elijah enjoyed exploring a new house. After that, Kari and her mom went into a flurry of cleaning for the next couple of events.

My parents drove up on Saturday, the 13th, and arrived late. Because Kari and I had a new bed, we were able to set up our old queen bed up in the exercise room, which actually had enough room for a large bed and all the equipment. That is where my parents slept when they were here. Karyn got what would soon be Christian's room. It was fun seeing them. On Sunday, they went to our ward for church. I invited Karyn to join Kari and me in the nursery, so she wouldn't have to go be with young girls her own age. She being a bit shy obliged me. I think she had fun seeing Elijah run around and act crazy. My mom even came in to nursery for a while. It was pretty fun. Elijah's favorite part of having my family here was having two "papas." He would go to my dad, sit in his lap and tell him that there was another papa and point to Chris. Then he would go to Chris, Kari's dad, and proceed to tell him the exact same thing, this time pointing to my dad. I think my dad enjoyed having a grandson who appreciated him so much. On Monday, Karyn, Mom, Dad, Kari and Elijah and I went to UVSC (local 4 year school where lots of Mormons go) to see what it would be like. Upon inspection, Karyn sounds willing to go there, even interested, but not until Mom and Dad have moved from Arizona (plans for that will happen around next year, apparently. The next couple of days, Kari went with my family house-looking, but I had to go to work. I got to spend time with my family in the evenings. On Wednesday, Christian came home from Korea. I was at work, but it sounds like they had fun picking him up. He was a good addition to the household (not everyone who has lived here has been a good addition). That night, my parents took my little family out to dinner and then left for Cedar City, where they went to look at more houses. They are still undecided as to where they will live, but they have decided (or my dad has) that my father will retire this year and just see what happens. I hope he gets the rest he deserves.

Christian has been home for almost a month now, but has not had his homecoming. Why? Well, there was ward conference, fast Sunday, General Conference and then stake conference. This coming Sunday, the 18th, will be the first time he will have had a chance. Christian being home has been nice. He and I have had some good chats, played some lan games. He is not used to being around Elijah yet (hey, he hasn't had any children living with him ever). He is slow adjusting to being around girls and not having a companion. I know Chris has already used his assistance while working on completing the construction of another bathroom. Heather has been introducing Christian to all the movies he missed while on his mission. Spiderman, Pirates of the Carribbean, Lord of the Rings, School of Rock, etc.

Kari went to Kerstin's bridal shower, and I was supposed to watch Elijah, but that was right when we had just gotten our new book at work and shipping out nearly 2000 preordered copies (not to mention the additional thousand we sold during that week). We were getting to work early and staying late to ship an average of 400 packages a day. Not an easy task, let me tell you. And the phones were ringing off the hook. And there were problems getting the correct shipping supplies (we had to make do with what we had, so we did). We were all exhausted. Thankfully, that Saturday, I didn't have to work, because Kerstin got married that day (I had an excuse not to come in, but most everyone else did work 14 hours on Saturday). Kerstin's wedding was . . . fine. It was a Mormon wedding outside the temple. Mormons don't really do those very well, but it was fine. I ended up holding Elijah in the back of the room so that he wouldn't be too disturbing. Beforehand, my job was to watch Elijah while Kari and everyone else set up everything. Elijah was especially mystified by the elevator and the stairs. We alternated using each on our circuitous route up and downstairs. That was fun, but it didn't tire him out enough. During the speeches after the wedding, I ended up watching Toy Story with Elijah in the kid room (we were the only ones there). The lunch was fine, we were in some pictures, Kari got to spend time with her other friend Heather. Kari's grandmother and two aunts came to visit for the wedding. We got to go out and eat with them. That was really nice.

Well, the wedding wrapped up a very busy month. I just told about the events themselves and skipped the cleaning and other extensive preparation times. I finally was accepted to U of Utah and went last Friday, April 9th, to the campus to meet some people, ask some questions and turn in my acceptance. I didn't even need an interview with them. I must have looked very good on paper. Of course, I had no experience and no research the first time I applied there, in 2002. Oh, well. I'm going there now.

I still hate Daylight Savings time, think it's a waste. Why can't we have extra hours in the winter? Why change it when you can keep it consistent all year? I don't know. My mom and Karyn had their birthdays at the end of last month and Kari and I had a couple of good phone chats with them. I had to do taxes again this year. Kari won't help me at all. She is freaked out about taxes in general (although this year, she was much better and didn't pester me for 2 months like she did last year). We still get a return this year, even though I actually worked the entire year of 2003 and made much more than I did in 2002. But you don't need those exact details.

Now, Kari and I have to figure out how to afford graduate school. I will be a Utah resident after July of this year, so in-state tuition will help. We have to figure out insurance for October, when Kari is due. We have to be thinking about getting another car, a minivan, most likely, to cart our extra kid and the extra stuff. On the plus, we have been paying off debt, which is very nice. Especially since I will be adding to it for grad school. Kari continues to plan for the Rutherford Family Reunion, scheduled for July 17th. It now looks like everyone will be able to come visit, including Liz and her family, except for Doug. We are sad about the last part, but glad everyone else can make it. Turns out the Mortensens and Marteenys will be visiting us longer than the actually family reunion time, which will be fun. The reunion, originally planned for St. George, will now be here in Orem, in the Olson house. This should be fun, actually. I'm hoping my parents and Jon and Karyn can come and stay longer, too. Heck, I wouldn't mind if everyone could stay and visit longer. Oh, I forgot to mention. Jonathan has come home from Georgia, where he went for his mission. He has grown quite a bit (including his chest and stomach, from what I hear, matching his big brother now) spiritually and mentally. It has been good to talk to him by phone. I hope he gets to visit soon, but will understand if he can't because of work (he already has a job).

One other thing I forgot to mention. The same day Jon got home (April 1st), Kari, Elijah, Chris, Marie and I attended the Wiggles concert in Salt Lake. It was actually really fun, despite being oriented for toddlers. These are guys who love what they are doing and have figured out a lucrative way of making money doing what they love. One of the Wiggles, Jeff, was in the audience, gathering roses, and ended up only a few feet away from us. Elijah was unsure what to make of the whole thing, but watched intently the entire time. Near the end, one of his favorite Wiggles songs, Fruit Salad, came on, and he got excited and actually laughed with glee. He decided this was all right (and dang it, he better, considering how much the tickets were). That was a good time.

Well, it has been too long in getting this update published. I have been very busy and tired, and then this weekend, when I tried to update my page, my host was upgrading their servers and I couldn't do anything. Bah! Oh, well. Everything seems to be up and running now. I should do this more often, so I don't have to stretch my memory so much, trying to recall everything that happened over the past few months. Oh, well. Enough for now. Good night.


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