A Day in the Life

A Photoblog by Joel

Standing the edge of the World

November 24, 2023

Emmett and I headed to Moab this weekend with some friends for some off-roading fun only to be sidelined by a lot of rain. So we called an audible and went up to see the incredible view from Dead Horse Point… only there wasn’t much of a view. It was fantastically foggy up top which made for a very unique experience. Occasionally the fog would have a gap and we’d catch a misty view of the scenery below.

Learning Together

November 19, 2023

Tonight I asked Emmett and Elle to help Emily learn a letter that she missed when she was unable to go to Pre-school one day – the letter V. It made my heart happy to see them jump right in and be good teachers.

Happy Halloween 2023!

October 31, 2023

Alicia did an amazing job on the costumes for Elle and Emily, including the face jewels. They looked adorable and loved wearing their costumes. Emmett’s costume fell on me to figure out, and after struggling to find a LEGO option that wasn’t lame or too expensive, I opted to 3-D print it. I purchased this 3D file, $17 of yellow PLA, and spent two solid days printing out the head and hands as big as I could and it fit – barely! It’s pretty awesome. All-in, the kids looked fantastic this year.

Happy Eighth Ladybug

October 9, 2023

You’re such a happy, happy girl… until you have you do what you don’t want to do. Like go to bed. Or go to Karate sometimes. Or go on a drive with me in the mountains. But when you do what you want to do, you’re just a delight. Your laugh and giggle is contagious. Your smile is adorable.

You’re a fantastic friend to so many, everyone in your class loves you. Everyone loves Elle. Your bed is overwhelmed with stuffed animals and you absolutely love it – and you know all of them by name!

This afternoon we had your birthday party. We’re pretty sure you ultimately ended up inviting the whole neighborhood and your whole class. So many friends came! We played Pin the Tail on Bandit, had a dance party, smashed a piñata, had cake and ice cream, played yard games… it was perfect.

You’re a delight in my life, Ladybug.

Alicia always knocks the cakes out of the park.
Emily was scared of the horde that went after the candy, and it made her sad that everyone else was getting some.

Fall Panoramas

October 4, 2023
DJI Mini Drone, Vertical Stitched Panorama

Summer was late in arrival, and kind of early on departure. However, Fall is the best season. Once again, Utah is showing off in colorful fashion. I’ve been eyeing the mountains from the valley for a while now, wondering if I’d find the time and energy to make a trek up there. Thankfully, I did. I love having a drone to capture the angles you just can’t hike to. If I tried just a little bit harder I could probably get the color edits to match between the drone and my Fuji. Alas, I did not try just a little bit harder.

Fuji X100V, Horizontal Stitched Panorama

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.