A Day in the Life

A Photoblog by Joel

Return to Farm Country

September 23, 2023

It’s been a few years since we had a Thanksgiving Point Membership, and with winter coming up it was time to renew. Our favorite places to visit are the Curiosity Museum, Farm Country, and the Butterfly Biosphere. Fun adventures ahead!

Happy Birthday, Mom

September 16, 2023

You’d be 65 today. I know you didn’t want to live to an age where you’re taken care of for most of your routine, but I’d like to think you’d be enjoying 65. Your kids are all doing great, your grandkids are growing up too fast and all becoming wonderful people. The legacy you and dad created is one worthy of emulation. I know there were family traditions you were longing to maintain and be a part of, like Christmas Eve, Spring Break in St. George, Cousin Day at Lagoon, and the ever-popular Sunday Dinner. However, there was a different plan in place for your life here on earth.

It’s been 9 years since cancer took you too soon in life, and yet we’ve all come to learn you were taken right on schedule. In those 9 years we’ve had the blessing and opportunity to learn about life after death, what you’re up to, and most importantly–you’re still Mom. You still care, love, and watch over us. You’re more involved in our day-to-day than you had the opportunity to be here. I’m grateful for the countless times you’ve hugged my Spirit, and lifted my thoughts when I needed help.

I’m grateful for all the little reminders you try and give me about the mundane in life, thoughts that pop in to my mind seemingly from nowhere; don’t forget to leave the house without that thing, maybe grab that item at the grocery store, pack some jackets for the kids it might get cold. You’re still Mom.

I love you forever, and I’m looking forward to that glorious day in the future when I get to see you again.

Always Be Building

September 4, 2023

My boy. He just loves to build and rebuild and innovate. Ever since he was a little boy with his train tracks and eventually moving to LEGO, he’s always been building.

A View of Timp on a Summer day

September 2, 2023

Bear Lake. Kind of.

August 26, 2023

We love camping. Most of our adventures have been in spots where you find yourself a nice piece of land and bookdock – stay without any hookups, use only what you bring and what your trailer can do. Which I really like doing! There’s just something cool about being self-sufficient like that.

However, sometimes it’s nice to have full hookups and make it even more like home, especially when you can run the AC as much as you need to stay cool. This weekend we stayed at a KOA campground at Bear Lake and it was SO GREAT. This particular KOA had a fantastic play area for kids, and several activities throughout the day for us to enjoy. Also, we went with some friends and got campsites that faced each other which gave us a great big lawn between us. It was so much fun. The worst part was leaving, because none of us wanted to.

Oh, why is this called Bear Lake, Kind of? Because we didn’t actually visit the Lake itself, just camped close and enjoyed from a distance. I definitely want to stay here again, though, and on that trip we’ll spend a day or more at the beach.

One of the first things we saw going on was a Golf Cart pulling barrels. The kids ran to ride it immediately.
Our first morning there I got a text message from the camp hosts telling us about ceramic painting. Heck yes!
These are really cool looking, and seem really fun. But they are not fun. Not at all fun. It was $35 to rent for an hour, and we wanted to ride it a mile in to town for Raspberry shakes. It was miserable. And more expensive than it would have been to just take an Uber. Or, you know, walk. Which is what my plan was until I lost to the pleadings of the children. I guess they had fun on it.
Does this look like $20 worth of Ice Cream? Cause it was $20. Yeah, I’m kinda bitter about that too. Between the transportation and the ice cream, this was a very expensive lunch trip.
On Friday afternoon we took a trip to Minnetonka Cave, about 45 minutes away. It was really neat… for the 30% I got to explore before Emily had to go to the bathroom.

Actually, there was one more thing that was the worst worst. We had just gotten off I-15 at Brigham City on our way to Bear Lake on Thursday, and started the climb up and over Logan Canyon when the AC decided to stop working. I spent about an hour in Logan trying to bring it back to life with some simple fixes but had no luck, so we had to finish the drive to Bear Lake with the windows down. That part honestly wasn’t too bad as we were in another canyon and the temp was probably 10º or 15º cooler. Saturday, coming home on I-15 in the afternoon on an 85º day… I don’t really want to ever, every do that again. It was loud. It was warm. It was uncomfortable. It was sweaty. Just, no thanks. 0/10 do not recommend.

It only took 15 years and 160,000 miles to kill the AC, so, I guess it had a good life. It’s been rattly and noisy the whole time I’ve had this car so I’m not surprised at all. Fret not, the replacement AC Compressor is already on the way and will be fixed soon. Cool adventures will resume shortly.

First Day of School

August 16, 2023
Pre-school, 5th Grade, 2nd Grade.

Playtime, together

August 13, 2023

Ya know, it can be trough wrangling 3 kids. Friday night was more of a crash and burn, and then I didn’t sleep so well because I had a Monster that morning. Saturday was mostly good. I spent 4 or 5 hours cleaning and organizing my garage while Emmett helped Alicia move to a newer bigger place to live than she’s been. I had the girls and Elle was pretty rough cause she just wants to play on her iPad, and then she gets grumpy and angry because I have the audacity to tell her to play something else. Emily is usually pretty happy go lucky. Things eventually improved and we all had a good Saturday.

Today got better as the day went on, and tonight it ended pretty great with all of us just building LEGOs in the playroom together, calmly. Nobody was fighting.

I might be speaking too soon… sigh.

Sleeping Queens with Emily

August 8, 2023

This game has been out for quite awhile, and it’s just as good as it ever was. Emily loves to play it.

Pool Day

August 7, 2023


August 1, 2023

Ten years ago everything changed and you were the cause. I was a few days shy of turning 34 when you arrived on the scene and made me a Father. Now I’m a few days shy of turning 44 and I absolutely love being your Dad.

Emmett you are so smart, and kind, and caring. I am so proud of you and just love watching you learn and expand and grow – although I wish you’d grow up slower! The years go by too fast. You are such a good big brother and son.

Happy 10th, kiddo. I sure do love you.

For Emmett’s birthday we rented a bounce house and invited a bunch of his friends over – it was a huge hit. The bounce house barely fit in the front yard but we managed to squeeze it in there. I think kids were slippin’ and slidin’ for 3 hours with a few short breaks for Otter Pops and Hot Dogs. Emmett got some great presents from his friends and then it was done! This was all done yesterday, on the 31st.

Today – his actual birthday – was a normal day until dinner time, where I let Emmett choose where he wanted to go for dinner. Anywhere, I told him, that he wanted. He chose Burger King. They have the best fries. Alrighty then. Off to Burger King we went! We had a good time eating inside.

Ya know what I love? Window light.
I’m glad that Elle gave me a genuine smile for her picture.
For some reason, french-fry-fangs became the thing to do.

After dinner we still had plenty of time, so I offered to take the kids to Macey’s for the best Ice Cream deal in town. Surprise! Everyone said yes to that idea.

I sincerely don’t know if Emmett enjoys the Ice Cream cones or the car-carts more.
Indoors under crappy lighting without that glorious window light made me want to switch over to high ISO Black and White. Because why not?