November 14, 2004

Well, a major even has happened since I last updated my news. As stated here, my little girl, Allison Ella Rutherford, was born on October 11, 2004. You may find the details on the above mentioned page. I have plans of putting up more pictures of my little baby girl. It's amazing. She is already a month old. Of course, there were days when I thought she would never sleep through the night. No, she doesn't now, but at least Kari can get more sleep at one time (up to 5 hours in one stretch) and I can usually sleep through the waking and feeding. Must be that I'm so sleep deprived now. Unfortunately, my girl was born during midterms. I don't know how I survived that period. At least now, as the semester heads toward its end, I am getting more sleep and all of us are now in a better routine, even Elijah.

Ah, yes. Elijah. It was difficult for him, at first. Not having a little sister. What was hard for him was not seeing his mother and getting her attention as much. Well, and not being able to play with her the way he wants to, meaning rough. The day she came home, he tried to offer her a crayon and a ball to play with, but found she has little use for either, yet. He was so sweet, trying to integrate her into his life. Little did he know how much things would change. Well, she's here to stay, and he sometimes will tell someone (who's attention he wants) to put her down or give her to someone else, so that he can play with the person. "Papa, give Ally to Mama." He usually knows now that he can't hit her or pat her too hard, and she can't walk around, so he hasn't found much use for her, except hugs and kisses. He does like to say "She's so cute." He is a good boy.

My parents were able to come up for a week. They had an eventful trip up to Utah, stopping off in Panguich (southern Utah) to rest for the night after hitting a couple of deer. Thankfully, the damage was only to the car, but it could have been much worse. The waited until the morning and drove in the light of day (broken headlights) to get to Orem. After speaking with an insurance adjuster, they were able to get their car in a repair shop right away. It only delayed their leaving here by a day, I believe. We were sad at first that they wouldn't get to stay very long, because they were worried about a shortage of the hours they get to apply toward taking care of Michael. Well, though that was a concern, they had to stay until the car was finished. So, Elijah had two grandpas for a while, and I think he was in heaven. He dragged my dad around the neighborhood, and I believe they even went to see the friendly neighborhood sheep (yes, sheep). My parents got to do some shopping while they were up here, but their highlight was being able to hold Ally and Elijah (sometimes at the same time). My parents helping me take in our Honda to get the A/C inspected (long story short, we have had problems with the radiator, the air conditioning and the transmission. Kind of frustrating. We may just get a new car). Sadly, the A/C will cost another $300 on top of the $300 we spent two months ago. Good thing it's cold outside.

Other highlights of my parents' visit include going on walks, getting to go out to eat at Chuckarama, watching Elijah get his first professional haircut, getting professional pictures taken of the family, Elijah and Allison individually. My parents were also there for the baby blessing, which happened on Sunday (the 7th). We had several people in the circle, including Kari's and my dads, Christian, Great-grandpa Olson (Chris' dad), a couple uncles and a cousin of Kari's. I will go through what Kari and my mom transcribed later, but I know I said some amazing things about my girl in that blessing. It was quite a spiritual experience. And during the whole prayer, Ally only farted once and didn't cry at all. That's my girl. Afterwards, Kari and I bore our testimonies (it's a Mormon thing) while Elijah ran around the back of the gym, with Chris and Christian chasing after him. I remember saying something about understanding the love my parents had for me more, now that I have a child. Nothing like time and experience to give you perspective. After that, I finished preparing a lesson for my new calling as Sunday school teacher for the 16-year olds. That's not an age group I have dealt with in a long time, but it went really well. The three kids in class are actually motivated (probably more than I was at that age) and intelligent and actually know something about the gospel. Plus, they like the fact that I actually prepared (not a good sign for the previous teachers, sadly). Afterwards, we had a lunch for Kari's family and mine (those of mine who were in the area, namely my parents). It was a good day and Kari and I took a good nap afterwards.

I must mention that Elijah was a little devil that day in church. It was because he didn't sleep well, woke up early, hardly ever goes to sacrament meeting, had all these family members around him with whom he wanted to play, and his mom and dad went up on the stand up front. Everything was different for him, and he doesn't take to change well. Some day, we will be able to sit through a meeting with him, but not for a while (unless it's nursery, but I'm glad to be out of that calling, because it was time, and he seems to be doing fine without us there). I must also talk about nursery. I am so sad to be out of that calling, in a way, despite what I said a moment ago. I miss the little children and the playing and spending time with Elijah. There are a couple of little girls in the class who loved sitting on my lap and just snuggling, and I miss them. Ah, well. They didn't release us from the calling until Kari was ready to pop with Ally and I ended up going several times by myself because she couldn't reasonably justify going. I guess they had a hard time finding a replacement, but we were getting a little bothered at the end. Hence, it was time to go, but it was still hard. And now, one of the little girls, Haley, has moved out of the ward, so I guess it's OK I'm not in that calling any more. Or something.

School has been as busy as I predicted. I am enjoying my classes and somehow am getting through on lowered sleep levels. Of course, the worst part is coming with finals and projects I have to do soon. I have actually made a couple of pretty good friends and have become a little more social. The odd thing is, it only took a couple of years. Why would that be odd? Well, if you really need an answer . . . um, actually, that's pretty normal for me, but it was pretty depressing being in Orem, because I never met anyone with whom I really felt I could become friends. Well, I just didn't have too many opportunities, working in such a small place (eight regular employees). With no school to provide opportunities and living in an area where most people at church are very different from me, it has just been a very solitary time. On the plus side, I have gotten to spend some good quality time getting to know my wife better. And she's definitely worth it.

My favorite class has been the skills class. I really get along with the professor, it's pretty laid back, I feel like I'm learning a lot (there is something to be said for learning what you want to learn instead of what others want you to learn, as an undergrad), and I get to practice being a counselor on other classmates. That is surprisingly fun. I have been videotaped twice, which was actually a lot less stressful the second time. Next school year, I think we start seeing real people with real problems (students aren't real people). The only big problem is that I have to commute three times a week to Salt Lake (more if anything special comes up). The drive isn't normally too bad (even with a car that is falling apart and construction through half the drive), but it takes a lot of time and makes me plan ahead before I do anything on campus. I think I like Salt Lake, and if I had to live in Utah after school, I wouldn't mind up there as much as down here. I'm not a fan of this valley.

Well, there may be more to write, but I have homework to do, a little baby girl to hold and sleep to experience (I'm an optimist).

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