Friday, August 26, 2011

Further Evidince

Although Cait continues to deny that she is pregnant, when she comes home with a picture like this, what am I to think?

Yesterday: Playing in the morning, early run and naps. Then we played with A. Grass and then went to her birthday party, where we ate homemade Cafe Rio and cupcakes. Charla slept on our couch.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hatin' on the poors

Listen, I've read Atlas Shrugged. I like Atlas Shrugged. There's still no getting around the fact that the super  rich would have done what it takes to get super rich, even if they got taxed 2% more. Capitalism is not malicious, it is just easily abused (as is Communism). Controlling the means to production, controlling distribution of profits is necessary for a certain percentage of the population, but that does not mean that their retaining the vast, vast majority of money in the country is justifiable, fair or beneficial to the country as a whole.  I'm in favor (and Cait is with me) of redistributing wealth. CEO's, investment bankers, housing moguls didn't earn that money, they didn't generate that money, they were just in a position (with the compliance of the US populace) to hold onto an absurdly large amount of the money circulating through the system.

There are people mooching off of the system in the bottom 50%. Heck, we're mooching off of the system. But here's the deal, besides this summer break (the first one where we haven't had someone in school or work much more than full time), we've been working extremely hard. And we'll continue to work hard and contribute for the rest of our lives, easily as much as the CEO's, investment bankers and housing moguls, just like the majority of the rest of the poors. Which ones are the real takers and which ones are the real makers?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Three Doses of Opinion

So, I've posted before about reading Three Cups of Deceit by John Krakauer and I just finished Three Cups of Tea by Mortenson himself. After reading the criticized book, I still stand by what I said before. I don't really feel like either account approaches fair or unbiased. Of course, Mortenson's own account paints him in an overly favorable light, but I still feel like Krakauer is overly negative, especially with regards to people's motivations, as I felt reading Into Thin Air as well as from what I've heard of other books. A lot of Krakauer's criticisms aren't really confirmed. Yes, there have been no real audits of CAI, but Krakauer seems to automatically assume that those audits would return damning evidence of Mortenson's using the funds of the business for his own benefit. Yes, some schools are empty, but he doesn't say anything about the schools that are functioning. Yes, Mortenson lied about Korfe and about being captured by the Taliban (more about that in a bit), but does that mean he is trying to scam all his donors out of their money, like Krakauer seems to believe?

The truth when ardently proclaimed by two firm sides invested in their own belief, as often happens, seems to me to be somewhere in the middle. Here's a great take by Outside magazine (someone invested in both sides) that sums up well what I was thinking. I think a lot of people have jumped on to Krakauer's side because, as my friend Andrew Howell put it, we love to see hero's fall. Everyone was behind Mortenson for a while, but as soon as everyone buys in, it becomes uncool to be a fan of someone successful, and so everyone is willing to assume the worst when the person turns out not to be as perfect as everyone thought. I think he lied about the village because he didn't end up liking the bureaucracy in the first village. I think he lied about being captured by the Taliban because he lied to his wife about it first, in order to excuse his spending too much time in Pakistan, and so had to keep up the lie. I think the CAI seems poorly managed because Mortenson is an awful manager. But without him, none of the schools he built would have been built. Bottom line. He struggled and fought for years and years when no one believed in him. If he was in it just for fame or money, he would have given up when those things seemed impossible. But it seems to me, what he did see as possible, was helping some kids out in a country no one else cares about. I still wont call him a hero until the whole story comes out, but I wont call him a crook either.


Cait worked all day. I cleaned in the morning, run, nap, run, park, Mom comes home. We ate some frozen food and then played around the house til the bedtime run.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Birthday Review

So, here's the story of yesterday. I wanted to get some pictures, but they are few.

The morning started with picking up some early birthday presents for Theo (and thus for me, because him playing on his own is a good thing) from a garage sale we knew would be good. The best purchase, along with some lamps and some paintings from another garage sale, was this small kitchen, which we knew from previous Theo experience, he would love, and he does.

The Picture and the Lamp

Then we went to The Awful Waffle for breakfast. It was good, but the portions were smaller than you would think for $3.50 to $4.00. I mean, they're waffles, you can afford to make them big. But still, good.

Then home for cleaning and naps and waiting for my sister Charity to show up to watch Theo. We drove into Salt Lake, picked up a sweet traveling crib for Theo now and Leroy (my blog name for the new baby) later. Then to REI for my new Vibram Five Finger Speeds, which were a present from my mom. They deserve their own post, but suffice it to say, I don't think I'll be buying any other running shoes for a very long time.

We looked around REI for a while, drove to Costco and bought food and then came home to eat.

I went on a good 8 mile run, the first little bit with Theo. The run lasted until almost 11, and I really felt like I was running into a whole new year of living. Hopefully I'll keep running.

Church in the morning. Disgruntled in the gender unequal marriage class. No nap for Theo in the afternoon. Playing and watching shows. Theo went down early, so we adults had a rare evening together. Nice.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The 5k Without a Name

I ran a 5k on the 13th and it went smashingly. It was for employees of Utah County (Cait) and their families (me and Theo). Cait was much to sick to run, but I put Theo in stroller and took off. It was a little loop course down center street and around the state hospital. I accidentally left the brake on the first mile, but it hardly does anything. I ran in the lead and alone almost the whole race and ended in first in 18:55, which is a little slower than I would have liked (my stroller PR is 18:30), but that's okay. I don't think I have too much speed after marathon training. I won $25 to sports authority (I went to buy shoes but they didn't have any good ones) and it was the first race I've been in where only the top 3 guys get prizes and not the top 3 women. Tough for them.

Here's a picture on the podium with the third place guy:

Also, I like to imagine that Theo just spin on that kid's face, although that didn't happen


We did all sorts of birthday things for me (and many other non-birthday things) which shall be the subject of another post.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Camping trips

Since getting home from our extended camping trip in Seattle/Portland/Idaho, we've camped twice, once with our friends Carl and Ash Mae and once with the ward. The pictures are all from the former, except the last one, which is from the latter.

Ashes are delicious

Bending a stick with muscles

Sure Theo, explore that cave

We ate some delicious tin foil dinners

Carl's family joined us for dinner

All Theo wanted to do was play by the river

Hiking Portrait
While it may look like I'm going to the bathroom, I'm not. I'm just reading Tom Jones.

The one good photo from the ward camping trip, once again, he only has eyes for the river
So basically, we are all camped out. And our tent broke. Twice. So, maybe we will revamp for next year.


Family Seven Peaks trip in the morning. Hanging around the neighborhood in the afternoon. Nursing a sick Cait in the evening. Early bedtime run for the guy.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Eric's Endowment

My brother, Eric, went through the temple for the first time. Read a Mormon approved description here. Non-approved you'll have to figure out for yourself. I rode up with my sister Charity. I wanted to pick up new vibrams on the way up, but ran out of time, both because the guy and I stayed to long at Seven Peaks and because traffic was bad. So we arrived. It all went smashingly and it was nice to be there with my whole family. We went out to dinner afterword and I got home very late and tired, but it was nice. Here are the photos.

Sound of Music

Showing Eric the special back door


Library in the morning while Cait worked. Park in the afternoon while Cait slept. Then we watched Charly (not the Mormon one) and went to bed.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Like Heath Ledger at the Oscars

I hope it doesn't offend anyone, but I had (and still faintly have) a belief that Heath Ledger did not die in early 2008, but that his death was faked to add supreme effect to his role as the Joker.  This idea was first proposed to me by my friend Westin who has a mind for these kind of things. But unlike Heath Ledger at the Oscars (where in my mind he would have shown up to accept the award for best actor) I have blogging. Our abscence was due mainly to Cait getting very sick from her pregnancy and the shifting of most of her household duties to me, although I do them poorly, especially the cooking.

Also, we sold our old computer, because it was getting old. Although it still worked, because it was a Mac, as opposed to our newer PC laptop, which is a goner, because it was a Power PC Mac instead of an Intel based one, most new programs weren't working on it, including a new enough version of Itunes to support our Ipad and Ipod. So we debated for a long time about new versus used, mini versus Imac and ended up with this (sorry for poor photo quality):

We got a new Imac from the BYU bookstore. It was their cheapest model but still cost a nifty 1150. But that did come with a free wireless printer, Adobe photoshop, $100 in the appstore and a free upgrade to the new operating system. Even though it cost a lot, we think its a good investment, both because we use the computer so often and because Macs retain their value so well, that we should be able to resell it for a good price (we only lost $75 on the last one) So even though we got the new computer, I spent what time I had on it figuring out what it could do and surfing the web on its pretty screen. But I'm ready for a return.

So the official topic of this post is our new computer and its set up. We got a free desk from someone in the ward, and lucky for us, it was an adjustable height computer desk.

I've been reading a lot lately about the bad effects of sitting down and wanted to try a standing desk. Also, this puts the computer out of the guys reach and also discourages too much computer time for the adults (in theory). After a little struggle to put it together with my friend Casey (many of the parts are gravity dependent), and some fiddling with the height (trying to get it at a good height between me and Cait (thus the books under mouse and keyboard). So far we are extremely happy with the computer and the set up.

Any other standing-height deskers out there, or anyone that has wanted to try? Leave a comment.


Cait worked all day. I tried to go to Seven Peaks in the morning with the guy, but he fell asleep (his naps have come earlier in the last little bit). So we went again after his nap and after Cait's lunch break. After that, we hurried home, because I wanted to buy my new five fingers in Salt Lake before I went to my brothers first trip through the temple (subject for another post), but the traffic was so bad, that we didn't have time. So temple and dinner with the family and home at midnight, where the guy had finally gone asleep for mom, who had him alone for the first time in a while.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Thoughts on this pregnancy

I must say that this go around I'm feeling a heck of a lot better than last time (maybe it's the breastfeeding?). No puking, way less nausea, and I'm still (mostly) functional. I do have moments where I feel like dying, but that's usually when I push my limits without taking a break, and I try to avoid doing that. Luckily I have some Zofran left over from Theodore in utero, and that has been helping. I just have to convince my midwives to write me a prescription for more ("I mean, I can't keep ANYTHING down, puking for hours..." etc).

I've been a lot more tired than usual, and like the nausea it comes in waves (thank God it's not 24/7 constant like last time). I'm still trucking along though with the summer plans. I didn't want to get pregnant in the summer because I didn't want our perfect few months to be ruined (but a spring baby! how lovely!), so I'm trying to forget I'm tired and nauseated and not able to ride water slides and sleep on the ground. And for the most part, when I'm out, I feel like I can do it. The worst moments are when I get home and remember that I'm pregnant and sick. But... morning sickness is the sign of a healthy pregnancy, right? At least all is well in utero, for now.

I'm thinking this might be the last time I do this.

But at the same time, it feels like a shame to be blessed with such awesome fertility (Tim looks at me, and boom, knocked up!) and not use it to its fullest potential. But I don't think even now that I can handle two (ok, let's be honest, I can barely handle the one), so we'll see what happens when he/she arrives.

More to come on the adventures of convincing your insurance company to cover home birth...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Theo's Montessori Bedroom

I always thought letting my child sleep on a mattress on the floor was lazy parenting...

but, no! I was totally being progressive and Montessori-ish.

Check out: Finnian's Montessori Bedroom.

And moms out there, have a good laugh.

But actually, she is probably having the last laugh because I'm sure her house is still gorgeous and neat. I'm really just jealous because mine is messy and is full of old, rotting DI furniture.

Road Trip Days 10 & 11: Morgan Valley Marathon to Home

Saturday my dad and I got up early to drive up to Morgan City where I was going to run the marathon and he was going to run the 5k. The race started at 5:30. I ate a banana and drank some water before we left and felt pretty good, if a little tight, especially my right knee. The field was small, with only 65 runners total.

I lined up at the front and followed two other young guys, Brian Tucker and Gentry Lawson (learned all these names afterwords) out at the start, following them by around 20 feet for the first few miles.

We were right behind a police car who was guiding the route for us, but it was still dark and the lights were bright enough to be bothersome for sure. I caught up with the two leaders at mile 3 or 4 but let them leave me behind a little later. I got passed by an older guy, Greg Richens, (who beat me at Provo City half marathon at the age of 55) moving fast and watched him move into the lead.

Zach Rich caught up to me and we ran together for a long time. We both got passed by Chad James as we closed in on Mt. Green and made the turn to go back up to Morgan. I felt great the whole time up until this point (except for chafed nipples, which I got band aids for) and left Zach to go after Chad. I was running 7:40 miles steady until mile 14, (13.1 in 1:38 something) But, unbeknown to me (although it makes perfect since in hindsight), the road back up to Morgan was a steady, if slight, climb. My pace slowed. My knees really started bothering me. I still felt pretty good until mile 20 or so, and then started feeling really sluggish. Nothing as bad as my first two marathons, but still pretty bad.

I tried to keep a steady pace and minimize walking breaks, almost all limited to take water at aid stations. Probably should have taken a little more gu to get me through the wall. But mainly I think it was the cold I had a few days before that kept me off the pace I was looking for. Or maybe a shortage in training. Either way, I readjusted my goal to 3:30 instead of 3:15 and just tried to hold steady, as each progressive mile seemed to get longer and longer.

I saw who I thought was Greg Richins up ahead of me around mile 23 or so, so I decided to try to catch up to him. We also started passing half marathon runners, which was a nice boost. I caught of to Greg circling around the high school and knew I was almost home. I just kept imagining collapsing into my dad or Cait's arm at the finish line and how good that would feel and tried to keep my feet moving. I also could tell I was going to be right around 3:30 so I tried to push as much as I could on the road to the fairgrounds, but I just didn't have much left.

Yeah, I wore my brother's old cross country top, because I forgot mine. Also, check out the terrible form

I stumbled into the chute as I saw Cait and my dad waiting for me, thinking "It's over" and "I wish Theo was here". I ended up not collapsing into anyone's arms, crossing in 3:30:04 (even though they didn't have the marathon times showing, but the half instead) but leaned on Cait for a good while and sat down. I was exhausted and got cold really fast (it was not as warm as anyone expected). I got some help and food at the aid tent. Sat under a blanket and had my blisters covered along with two slight abrasions from the 5 Fingers, which otherwise did absolutely great.

I slowly recovered as we waited for the awards to be given. I took fourth overall, so no cash, but I did win my age group which won me a horseshoe. Not a great prize, but oh well, age group prizes are never great and there is almost never a prize for fourth place.

Where I sat waiting for awards

I really liked the race. I would have liked it to be a downhill course started from up near the resevoir, but there is no reason every marathon should be downhill. The aid stations were great and they even had some mobile aid stations driving around. I'm sure the field will grow, so that not so many runners have to run alone as long as I did (miles 14-21). I would really like to make this my "regular" marathon, but we'll have to see.

Future running plans will have to be the subject of another post, as they don't extend beyond revving up my training for a few months before the snows hit. We'll see.


We came home from camping. Tried to clean up. Cait went shopping. Theo didn't nap. We ate shrimp and potatoes for dinner. Theo fell asleep early. I went for a run.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Our Fridge

Instead of posting about our marathon, I decided to post a picture of our fridge. Enjoy:


Seven Peaks in the morning. Naps. Ward Campout at night. Done.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Road Trip Day 8 & 9 Thur & Fri

We woke up after sleeping in a reserved campsite which no one claimed. We were worried that we were going to get in trouble for this, so we were getting ready to take off. Then the camp host came down and was really nice and told us to stay another night. The camp ended up being free, which is awesome for so nice a place, but common for Idaho apparently. So we spent a relaxing morning playing on the dock. I tried to swim for a while, but realized I am still a terrible swimmer, although I did make it all the way to a buoy out in the water. Here are some great photos, and the only ones of the post:

Then it was the drive into Morgan and collapsing that night in exhaustion from way too much driving. The next day (Friday) we played around at my parents house in the morning. Then we left Theo with my parents and went to see Harry Potter 7 which we both liked. We then picked up Theo, went up to Morgan City to pick up my race packet and shirt and then went to my friend Gus's house to see our friends Mario and Wendy and Jake, along with Gus' family. We ate some good pasta and then took off before they started a movie so I could get some sleep.

Marathon report tomorrow!

Woke up from camping. Broke camp and came home (we'll post about this trip fully later). We then stopped at Bahio for food after missing the turn to go to Costa Vida in Spanish Fork (they keep moving that freeway entrance!). The food was terrible and the service worse. What a disappointing restaurant. Cait might blog angrily about that soon. We got home and slept. I went with my friend Westin to a movie, who, although he lives here in Provo, I never see. It was Captain America and it was predictably good. Both that I expected it to be good and also it was predictable, but in a likable way. It had a good retro feel. I still would put Spider Man 2 & 3 and Bale Batman 1 & 2 ahead of it as my favorite Super Hero movies, maybe with some others too. Then we ate whatever we had and went to be early.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Road Trip Day 7 Wed

To start, here are some pictures from our Wednesday night/Thursday morning campsite. They are from Wed. night, but that's fine.

Nothing better than playing in the dirt



We drove for a little and then went on another hike. We all went the first half mile, than reached a parking lot, so I ran back and got the car and drove to the end.

Contemplating Eternity. Or the freeway.

 Our next stop took us to Baker City, where we hit the local park, made some friends who were also road tripping (for them to a music festival in Idaho), the local farmers market for fruits and veggies and the local library, where Theo played in the sweet kid's room.

Theo's latest habit: lining things up in rows.

Then after Theo spent time at another favorite hobby, throwing stuff into local rivers, we got back in the car for a lot of driving. I thought camping in Oregon was too far from our destination, but we had a really hard time finding camping in Idaho. We finally broke down and bought a map that guided us to Lucky Lake state park, where we plopped down our stuff in the first campsite we saw and went right to bed.

This was definitely the most "road trippey" of all our days and it seemed to drag forever, but now we were only four hours from my parents house.

Yesterday: Mostly just stuck around the house to rest a slightly sick Theo while Cait worked. We played around the neighborhood for a while after an afternoon run. Then we made an impromptu decision to go camping with our friends Ash Mae and Carl, because we figured this blog doesn't have enough of us camping. More on that in another post. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Road Trip 2011 Day 6 (Tue): Portland

I woke up early and went on a run, we ate breakfast and then we drove down to Portland to explore, guided by the recommendations of our friend Sofia, in whose apartment (also belonging to her husband Matt, both famous as the band Canoe). We parked in the institute parking lot, because they don't have classes during the summer. Our first stop was a walk down to Powell's books.

Theo didn't know what he was missing (no, not his arms, the bookstore)

One day this section will be named for Cait

Then we walked to a farmers market downtown, of which Portland apparently has many. Also we went to a cool toy store to calm down a fussy Theo. No, we didn't buy anything, here or in the bookstore or at the farmers market. We did by Theo a corn dog and us some falafel at some roadside stands. Next, I grabbed the car, and guided by our new GPS (which Cait hates but I enjoy) I picked up Cait from the local library, and we met Sofia at a local Mexican restaurant (I don't remember the name) and then we drove up Washington Park where we played on the sweet playground, in the big sandpit  and went to the bathroom in the original home of the first elephant to live in Oregon.

Theo's great sand sculpture. No. It's a statue. That boy to the right had to defend his sand castle from Theo's destroying instincts however.

Our new child. Not. This is Sofia's younger boy (who has a very cool name that will not be shared on this public blog).

Once again, we debated about staying another night, but we decided to head out once again. We found a camping spot not to far out of Portland and went on a hike up the hill. And then went to bed.

Very Sleepy

Yesterday: We had an appointment with a new speech therapist in Orem. Still trying to get the guy to speak. It was early and Theo woke up at 4, so we were all tired. After the appointment, which went fine, we drove back, Theo fell asleep and we all took naps. Then cleaning, lunch and playing around the house, before going to the park before dinner. We had delicious curry for dinner and then I went shopping for food and my birthday/marathon finishing present, an ipod nano, which should be great for the long runs. Home for a late run with the guy and to bed.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Road Trip 2011 Days 5 and 6


We all slept in a little and so while the Richins were at Church on time, the Carroll-Browning's barely made it in time for the sacrament. Theo, as usual, had to be chased around the church during sacrament meeting, but loved him some nursery, even in a completely new place. Back from church, Cait and Allison whipped up some good pasta and we all worked to tidy up the house for some of Christopher's family that was coming over. And then it was a gradual drift off to sleep.

Monday was our big day attempting to explore Seattle. We had fairly big plans. We were not prepared for the rain, or the weariness of four children walking around. We did make it to the famous Pike's Place Market

and a children's museum in Bellavue (I think). The museum was a lot more fun for the kids, and for us too I guess.

We didn't take a ton of pictures of either place, but I think the idea of a large market and a children museum is pretty familiar.

We debated during the ride home whether to take off that night, or to stay on. We agreed that we were more of a burden than a help in a house already with enough stresses, so we took off to Portland. It was a long drive and we thought about camping once again, but we drove through and found our friend Sofia's house just in time to get ready for bed and conk out.


Yesterday Cait worked AM and PM in Provo. I cleaned the house in the morning while a sick Theo watched shows, colored and read books. Cait came home and we ate pizza and then I took Theo on our first post-marathon run. He napped til almost dinner, than we ate delicious trout, potatoes and broccoli. Then a late evening family night run. Dinner was still sitting to heavy to go far, but at least I got my first 2-run day in a while.