Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Our son Silas was born a week ago. We were really happy to finally meet the little guy who was wiggling around in Karren for so long, and we really love him. He's a sweetie.

Unfortunately, he's been in the NICU since 2 hours after birth with various problems, and he's having a hard time today. They transferred him to Lucile Packard at Stanford on Saturday, and we're really happy that he's there. He seems to be relatively stable and so far they haven't found any long-term problems, but he's really struggling to stabilize himself.

The ups and downs are hard, so we'd appreciate it if you'd keep him (and us) in your prayers.

If you want more details/updates/pictures, you can follow along at

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Annual blog post

Here are a few things that happened in the last year.

Easter egg hunt at Grandma and Grandpa's with the nephews in April.

The Boy Scout troop I help out with visited Moffett Field and saw some Air National Guard helicopters and airplanes in May.

Wedding of our friends Samantha and Eric in June in Sacramento.

Niece Audrey was also born in June.

Bridal shower for our friend Sarah in June.

Scout day camp in July.

Surprise hot air balloon ride from Karren for my birthday in July!

I got Legos for my birthday from Karren's parents (thanks!).

Karren's brother Stu married Barb in July.

Sarah and Jed got married in the Salt Lake Temple in August. (woo hoo!)

My parents rented a cabin and we stayed at the base of the Tetons in Idaho for a week in August.

We went to Yellowstone while we were there.

In September, just Karren and I went to Crater Lake. We had a wonderful time!

Scout campout in September.

We celebrated our first anniversary in October (still happily married!) by throwing a party for a few friends.

We got a little Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving. Karren decorated it beautifully.

We sent out a few Christmas cards. (This is about 1/4 of them.)

We painted our wooden shoes. Karren's sister Alli did all of the designs on mine (the blue ones).
(We use wooden shoes instead of Christmas stockings—a tradition we inherited from Karren's family.)

We went to Portland for a week for Christmas. Hats seemed to be a popular gift.

I surprised Karren with 115 balloons (40 of them helium) for her birthday in February.

I visited my friends Jaeden and Hyrum and their families in Austin. It was really fun to meet their kids. I went at the end of February while Karren went on a weekend cruise with some high school friends.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Semiannual blog post

Dear internet,

I'm not dead, and to prove it, here's a quick update on what I've been up to for the last few months.


My sister Kristy got back from her mission to Texas in December (after being away for a year and a half), and we flew her down to visit us. We spent a day in San Francisco, including a few rides on the trolley. We (Karren and I) also decided to never go to Fisherman's Wharf again. It's just a noisy tourist trap.

We've been trying to eat better, and one facet of that has been making (and happily eating!) honey wheat bread. The bread maker doesn't handle it well, so we do it the old fashioned way: kneading it by hand.

Karren's friends Erin and Ty came to San Francisco on vacation, and we met up with them at Ghirardelli Square for some yummy ice cream and chocolate. I've heard a lot about them, so it was fun to meet them (On our way there, Karren and I wore the smittens that my sister-in-law Amanda made for us for Christmas. They're mittens: one for each person, and then one big one with two openings so that you hand hold hands. :)

I gave Karren Zubbles (colored bubbles) for Christmas, so we had fun playing with them one afternoon.

Karren chopped off the end of her finger. She called me at work one day asking when I was coming home. I said "in about 30 minutes", and she said, "Do you think you can come right now? I chopped off the end of my finger. Don't worry; I think it's still attached." I came home, and we ended up going to urgent care because it wouldn't quit bleeding. The culprit: butternut squash. (And, for the record, the end of her finger was not still attached, as you can see in the picture below.) She got mostly skin, and her finger healed up four weeks to the day after the cut.

We went on a bike ride along the coast in Monterey for Karren's birthday, and then went people watching in Carmel-by-the-Sea. The Pebble Beach golf tournament was in full swing, so there were lots of rich people hanging around. (Also, lots of Ferraris: we saw three of these on the same street.)

We went hiking in Sunol Wilderness area (by Pleasanton, in the East Bay) a couple Saturdays ago. It was really pretty, and we saw cows, squirrels, lots of turtles, and some poppies.

While we were there, Karren had her first up-close bovine experience:

This past weekend we flew to Utah and drove to Idaho to visit my grandparents, whom Karren hadn't yet met. On the way (ok, out of the way) we picked up Kristy. We also visited some aunts and uncles while we were there. We drove back down to Salt Lake City yesterday and had lunch with my aunts and uncles and David and Shanna. It was fun to see everyone, but we were really glad to be home to sleep in our own bed last night.

Karren and I are settling into married life, and it's been wonderful so far. We're looking forward to many more adventures together.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Spice shelves

Our kitchen is really small, so Karren and I made some shelves for our spices to add a little more storage space. And some color. :)

The problem

Six coats of paint: 2 primer, 3 red, 1 clear finish

How to dry paint when you don't have a garage

The solution

We had to stealthily drill holes in the wall during quiet time at our apartments. Well, somewhat stealthily.


Karren helped. It was a team project. I'm just in the pictures to get the credit.

Oooooh! Shiny!
Just in case you want to get some cool shelves like ours, here's a handy guide to how to make and mount shelves:
  1. Buy oak boards, angle brackets, and screws at Lowe's in California.
  2. Fly them to Portland so you can use your dad's table saw, drill press, and random orbit sander.
  3. Fly them back to California.
  4. Figure out how to covertly paint and dry them without arousing the suspicions of the landlord or turning your carpet red.
  5. Paint them with primer. Let them dry in your living room.
  6. Sand.
  7. Paint them with primer. Let them dry in your living room.
  8. Sand.
  9. Paint them with red paint. Let them dry in your outside storage unit.
  10. Sand.
  11. Paint them with red paint. Let them dry in the shower.
  12. Sand.
  13. Paint them with red paint. (back to the living room)
  14. DON'T SAND! It will ruin the shinys!
  15. Paint them with water-based satin polyurethane (to prevent spices from sticking to the tacky oil-based paint).
  16. Attach the mounting hardware to the shelves.
  17. Drill holes in your wall.
  18. Buy drywall anchors and install them in the holes.
  19. Notice that the wall in your kitchen is not straight.
  20. Buy washers to fill the gap between the angle brackets and the wall (see previous item).
  21. Screw the shelves into the wall.
  22. Beautifully arrange your spice collection on the shelves, taking into account size, color, container type, spice family, and lexicographic order.
  23. Run around like it's Christmas, high-fiving everyone in the apartment (i.e. your wife).