October 28, 2010

Photo of the Week (10/29/2010)

Life has been crazy lately, and it doesn't look as if things will ease up before Christmas. There has been lots to blog about lately, but I've been too pooped. I also haven't done much with the camera except for a couple of weekends ago when I took some family photos of the cousins. I thought I'd share my favorite photo. Kristen will probably share some of the others on her blog or in their Christmas letter.

Here are the reasons I love this photo.

  1. Audrey is a perfect little model, and that smile captures her personality.
  2. The texture of the three leaves in the background is cool.
  3. The complimentary colors, red and green, really pop.
  4. Her hair is so golden.
  5. I burned the edges of the photo in Photoshop. I feel this brings you into the photo.

If I ever make it so as to become a "real" photographer, I'm going to put this one in my portfolio.

October 16, 2010

Homecoming Week 2010, Part Three—Livin' It Up in the Loge

Homecoming week was long and busy. But, it sure ended with a bang which made it all worthwhile. The Student Alumni Executive Board was invited to sit in the President's Loge for the football game. As far as I know, this was a first and quite an honor. Since I'm the Student Alumni advisor, I thought I should accompany them, right? And, we had one extra spot for Katie. Even Katie, who pretty much loathes football, didn't want to pass up an opportunity like this. We'd always wondered what it was like for those who sat way up high behind the tinted glass.

Dressed in our matching Student Alumni polos, we checked in, received our official passes, and rode the elevator up to the loge. As we entered the president's box, we were all quite starstruck, and I'm sure we were a funny sight. We weren't quite sure how to act. However, we saw a few familiar faces who led us to an amazing Mexican buffet, and we soon felt at ease.

In addition to the university president and his council, we saw several leaders of the LDS Church, including five apostles: President Uchtdorf, Elder Perry, Elder Oaks, Elder Nelson, and Elder Christofferson. For those of you who read this blog and aren't LDS, this is for us like meeting several of the highest ranking Catholic cardinals. We also met LaVell Edwards and some people who are probably big donors to the university.

BYU hasn't been having the best season so far, but thankfully the team won the game. I'm sure this helped with the atmosphere in the loge. It's certainly not like sitting outside in the crowd—a bit more subdued, I'd say. I'm sure it would be as quiet as funeral if BYU had played badly. However, I did see Elder Perry jump out of his seat a couple times to cheer. And, an apostle's wife who was seated behind us seems to be a huge football fan. Just after BYU's final touchdown, she jumped up and softly yelled, "Put that nail in your coffin!" We loved sitting near her. After the initial shock wore off and we began to relax a bit, the students and I cheered away and sang the fight song with gusto. I'm sure the students livened up the place a bit.

What a fun, wonderful, and hopefully not a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.


We had a nice view. Katie said she would go to every game
if we had seats like that.

Here we are with Elder Oaks. I was nervous to ask if we 
could take a photo, but he was more than happy to oblige.

Here we are with Elder Perry. He was so sweet and kind to
the students. As we were leaving, he said he wished we could
be there every time. I wanted to tell him, "We'd be most
happy to, and you can probably make it happen." But, I
chickened out.

There were several times Katie and I weren't watching the game
because we were distracted by the scenery. The little point and 
shoot camera I brought with me did not capture the beautiful 
colors as the setting sun shone on the mountains. The tinted
glass may have contributed to the odd color of the sky.

October 13, 2010

Homecoming Week 2010, Part Two—The Parade

Saturday morning was the Homecoming Parade. The weather was absolutely perfect. This parade is one of my favorites because it's not too long, there are no politicians, they serve free blue pancakes, and crowd is excited (even when our football team isn't doing so great this year). The kids love it because most of the parade entries throw candy and free stuff.

Chloe and I marched along with the Student Alumni and Alumni floats. Chloe likes pretending she's a college student. She's actually more mature than many students, but it always unnerves me a bit when some college guy asks her what year in school she's in, and she answers, "Junior." I have to remind her to finish that phrase. "...in high school."

Members of the Student Alumni (Chloe's in the back).
Cougars today! Cougars forever!

The Alumni Association Executive Board went through bag after bag of taffy. I estimate they threw about 100 lbs. However, the Student Alumni did not contribute to tooth decay and handed out bumper stickers instead. During the parade, I didn't mind scoring some banana flavored Laffy Taffy though. Mmm... Artificial banana flavor. I love it.

Here you can see a couple of the celebrities we saw along the parade route.

Liam Thing 1 and Tanner Thing 2!
If you're not familiar with them, click here.

Chloe was starstruck and just had to have
her picture taken with them.

Tomas gathering up candy—almost 
as good as Halloween.

October 12, 2010

Homecoming Week 2010, Part One—Hiking and Lighting the Y

Two words: Crazy fun.

Last week was Homecoming, and since I work for Alumni Relations, it was busy—to say the least. I figure I put in 60 to 70 hours last week involved with Homecoming stuff. However, everything went marvelously well. I owe it all to working with great students and colleagues. And...a little divine intervention with the weather.

One of the really fun events I'm involved with is Hiking and Lighting the Y. Students, alumni, and friends make the mile hike up to the Y on the mountain. My guess is there were at least 500 people on the Y. The first 100 or so to make it up got to screw in a light bulb to light the Y.

All week, the weather forecasters predicted showers. The day before it seemed like a hurricane had hit. However, the day of the event looked threatening until just before when the heavens parted and a ray sunshine shone down on Y Mountain. There were storms to the north and to the south, but the weather was perfect for the entire hike. I told the students who helped plan the event they must be livin' right.

This year, Katie and the boys joined me. Even though I was recovering from strep, I wanted to make it up to the Y. I had a difficult time keeping up, but after several stops and towel downs, I eventually made it.

You can tell the skies were gray, but it was sunny over the Y.

Cosmo joined the hike.

I think this is the only picture I got of Katie
and the kids where I was in front of them.
I was usually bringing up the rear huffing,
puffing, and sweating like a pig.

Here is a photo of Katie and Tomas looking out over the valley
during one of our stops (on my account). Liam went on ahead
to make sure he was one of the first ones to the Y, so he could
turn on one of the lights.

Here is Tomas waiting for the lighting to commence. I have a 
feeling this photo doesn't sit well with a certain grandmother.

This is one of those mistake photos that I still think is kind of
cool. The family may be blurry, but I love the lights and the sky.

After practically running up the mountain,
Liam was indeed one of the first to make it
to the Y and got to turn on one of the lights. 

We had a fantastic time and look forward to next year.

Here's a photo of the Y all lit up taken from the valley. The 
arrow shows the Liam's light.

October 07, 2010

Fall 2010

Yes, I haven't posted in a while. I've had strep. It wasn't pleasant. It involved puking in a church parking lot and strange hallucinations.

Sunday afternoon, I began feeling better. I was sick, figuratively not literally, of being stuck inside. We decided to take a drive up the canyon to look at the leaves. It would probably be our last chance before all the leaves fell, and I wanted to take some family photos. We ended up stumbling upon a nice little park we had never been to.

We chose a trail and began to hike. After only two minutes, I realized I wasn't 100% back to normal. In fact, I was flat out pooped. While I rested, the family went on up the mountain without me. I told them to yell back if they came across something amazing, and I would try to make it up. Well, it wasn't long before they had reached the summit, and yelled down the mountain I needed to join them. So, I slowly made my way up and eventually saw what they had discovered, and it was worth it—a wonderful secluded little valley. The colors and view were beautiful.

Here's a slide show of some of the photos. Enjoy!

We had a great time. One thing I love about our family is that we can have the best time doing the silliest little things—playing the "no smiling" game during dinner, playing kick ball in the park, watching "Trejo Tursday," and even sometimes, doing dishes. This was one of those times. Here are some of our outtakes showing our goofier side.