Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Homeless Brother is Creating Space

For those of you that don't know, right now my younger brother Travis is intentionally living homelessly on the streets of Denver, Colorado. He is doing this to show love to those who know no love, seek those who no one wants to find, and be with people that society would rather not experience. Though it's not the safest or most conventional method of ministry or care, I think that awesome things are going to come of this. His most recent post blew me away. I'm really proud of him for doing this, and for the attitude and reasons behind it all. When I was looking at my blog stats today, I realized that for the first time, I am getting more views from around the country than from my home state of Michigan. Not only that, but more views are coming from other countries than ever before. When I thought about what part of my life I would want to share - today - with so many people from all over the world, it wasn't med school applications. It wasn't my random tinkering projects. It wasn't anything going on at home or work. That stuff can wait. I'd rather share what my brother's doing. Check it out!

http://denver1215.wordpress.com/2011/06/29/creating-space/

Just because he's "creating space" on the streets of Denver doesn't mean we can't take that idea to heart and put it into practice in our regular, day-to-day lives wherever we live. The best thing is, it doesn't matter who you are or what your career is. Everyone can do this if they want to, and I bet those that choose to do it and the people they touch will be happier for it at the end of the day.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Millionth PS Draft, Mackinaw Island and Tahquamenon Falls

I got up early this morning and went for a run, paid my bills, deposited birthday checks (which will be going directly to reimburse the general fund for my electric bike project - hooray!), ate a bowl of Raisin Bran Crunch and sat down to kick out some more personal statement revision. Today - FINALLY - I got it down below the 5,300 character limit without compromising on content OR quality. That's right - everything that I originally hoped to include in my application, whether in the personal statement or in the experiences section, I have found a way to include. Not only is it all there, but it's there in a way that gets me excited about having an adcom (admissions committee) read it!

A big struggle for me has been getting away from the desire to say everything. I usually want to write it all out, not letting the reader make connections between things or draw conclusions on their own. I know the adcom members will be intelligent people, more than capable of putting two and two together; I'm just not used to putting so much trust in the reader do that. My instinct with something as important as this is to be too explicit, stating everything clearly, tying everything together as tightly as possible so that nothing is missed. That made for a great first draft because it helped me be sure I hadn't missed anything. Figuring out what could be slimmed down and what extraneous details could be cut out, though - that was like plucking my beard out whisker by multi-colored whisker. (That's right - my beard comes in a peppered array of colors, mostly black but with many hairs of brown, blond, red and believe it or not, white thrown into the mix). The process has been tedious, time-consuming and sometimes so painful it made my eyes burn. But I did it, and now it's just time to polish the edges till it shines.

My wife and I went on vacation with my mom and stepdad this past weekend, and it was awesome. For those of you that don't know, I live in Michigan. We sauntered up to the North, crossing the bridge to dabble in the upper peninsula. We stayed at the Silent Sport Lodge (a B&B in Wolverine, MI) and tooled around Mackinac Island, Tahquamenon "Root Beer" Falls (see the blog's current background if you don't understand) and the Cherry Republic. A great time was had by all and a million pictures (800+, actually) were taken by me, a select few of which will be included after the jump break.

Wednesday morning I have an appointment with my advisor, hopefully during which my application will be stamped with approval for submission. I'm still waiting on three of my five letters of recommendation, but I believe all three writers are making progress, so I'm not feeling worried about them at this point. Right now, I just want to get this primary application submitted and on its way. That's priority number one at the moment, especially since I was originally hoping to have everything submitted by now. I know I'm still on the early side of the application process, but I guess I'm just starting to feel a little more...

Urgent.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Top Accessories for the Nikon D90

I've been getting some questions about what I use for all the photography that I put up here. So, in this post I will outline the equipment and software that I use on a daily basis, along with a few recommendations.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Tips for Writing Your Medical School Personal Statement

First off, this is a post that will most likely only mean something to you if you are writing your personal statement for medical school. If you're family or a friend that just follows along, you'll probably be really bored by this. Feel free to skip it! That's right - today is my birthday, and I'm choosing to spend some of it writing something that I think will help future medical school applicants. Here we go.

Writing the personal statement is hard. I'm going to outline my experience coming up with my own personal statement, as well as some key advice gleaned from hours of reading, as well as discussion with my premed advisor. I didn't know a lot of this stuff before I started, and I wish I had, as it would have made things much simpler for me.

Before writing (or even if you've already started), think about these questions:

- What is the deep down, fundamental reason of why you want to be a doctor? "Because I want to help people" is not a good answer. Some of the people on the admissions committee will not be doctors, yet they most assuredly believe that their job helps people, namely, YOU. Do you have any specific passions about a certain field of medicine? An unreached people group or social demographic within your own country?

- What about you makes you particularly well-suited to a profession in medicine? What could you do to improve the current medical community? Why would a doctor want you as a future colleague?

My advisor had me read a research article written by two medical school admissions deans. It was INCREDIBLY helpful, most notably in the revelation that medical schools focus on four separate questions:

Can you do it? (GPA, MCAT scores, personal aptitudes, etc).
Will you do it? (Dedication and motivation).
Should you do it? (Are you someone that should be a doctor?)
Should you do it here? (Why is that the school for you?)

The can question is answered in your grades and MCAT scores - all pretty straightforward. The will question is really what your personal statement and experiences should answer. The should and should here questions get answered in your interview and secondary applications, respectively.

After thinking about these ideas and answering some of these questions, formulate an overall mission or concept that expresses why you want to become a doctor. Keep this in mind as you begin writing your personal statement. Do your best to tie your experiences to this concept. Think about how you might share your experiences and the lessons you've learned in a way that shows the motivation behind your application. Once you've done this:

1. Read about what medical schools are looking for in a personal statement. Talk to a premed advisor, check our your campus library. There are tons of books that go into great detail about what medical schools are looking for, many of them written by former deans or admissions committee members. There is a lot of guidance out there; you don't have to wing it.

2. READ OTHER PEOPLES' SUCCESSFUL PERSONAL STATEMENTS. This is not so you can copy, but so you can see what keeps you interested, what kind of language is attractive to you, and what types of writing styles do well for this type of work. A lot of the books on personal statements will have sections of great personal statement examples. Be wary of looking online - not everything posted will be helpful. You never know if a personal statement posted online was actually part of a successful application or not.

4. Make a list of all your marketable attributes - those things that you maybe thought about earlier that would make you a great doctor.

5. Make a rough sketch of stories you can share that actively demonstrate the most important of those marketable attributes in an interesting way. Keep in mind what you learned, what your responsibilities and achievements were, and any and all relevance to medicine.

6. WRITE! Make a dump draft - just write everything you might possibly want to include or tell about in your personal statement. Don't think about character limits or anything, just write until you think you've summed yourself up pretty well.

7. EDIT! You're going to have to edit A LOT. Even if you're a great writer, you are going to have to edit way more than you think. Once you think you've got a good third or fourth draft going, have others read it. Professors, friends, family - anyone who can check grammar or punctuation.

And that's the process that, in hindsight, I wish I had known more about before I actually started writing. I'm sure it's not perfect, and different things work for different people, but it's a great start. No guarantees, but hopefully this post will help some people get off to a productive start.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cozy Vomit

This morning was the wettest, dreariest day of the year so far. Nicole was VERY excited. I don't know how many of you have seen her this excited before, but believe me, it's a real sight. Her eyes pop like she's got a thyroid problem and she takes huge breaths while grinning and saying in this oddly guttural voice, "I'm so EXCITED!" The thing is, she says it like the little girl from the movie Despicable Me who says, "It's so FLUFFY!" Yeah, it's like that.

Let me explain.

For days now, Nicole has been hoping for a day to come along that is just full of nasty, sick weather so that she would have a good excuse to get cozy on the couch and relax without feeling bad about not going outside. The problem was, she kept having to go to work whenever such days would arrive. She even hinted at one point that she might rather be sick and stay home, because that would give the same excuse-free relaxation.

So today, she was delighted to look out the window and see the thick, wet, misty drizzle soaking the outside world. I was getting ready to go to a meeting with my pre-health professions advisor and was excited for her sake. While I fed Naiya (who then attacked her food with a vengeance), Nicole talked about going for a run, but I was hearing nothing of it. No way.

I picked her up and set her firmly on the couch. I then covered her with a nice blanket and set up her iPad, cell phone, Wii remote and water bottle all within easy reach. I turned on the TV with Netflix and blocked her in with the coffee table. She seemed so happy, content and cozy, it filled my heart with joy. When I was ready to leave, I walked over to give her a kiss goodbye. As I knelt down beside the couch, I heard a strained, wet, squelching sort of noise coming from my ankle. I looked down just in time to see Naiya vomit half of her breakfast right next to Nicole's cozy couch setup. I barely had time to leap into action before she lost the second half. I tried to aim her into her now-empty food bowl before she let loose, and only missed by about two inches.

Note to self: when I buy a house some day, the kitchen floor will not - NOT - be carpeted. I cleaned up the bulk of the chunks and liquid, but had to leave Nicole cleaning the spots with soapy water. (By the way, Naiya is my dog. She's had health problems in the past (pancreatitis), but this was just a regular dog vomiting in a regular way because she ate too much too quickly). I really hope Nicole went back to her cozy couch afterward, but knowing her she probably ran two marathons, went grocery shopping, fixed the leaky pipe in the basement, did a craft, tracked a deer in the forest before skinning it in record time, took some pictures, donated things, made curtains and verbally pwned the service providers of all the rejected claims that came back because they spelled our name wrong. And all while looking ravishing, of course. That's my wife, after all... Still, I hope she relaxed.

As for my advisor meeting, it went great. I feel really encouraged, and I like the new pre-health professions advisor. She really knows her stuff as far as these med school applications go (she was on the admissions committee at U of M's med school, after all), and I feel confident that mine is going to be awesome when I'm done with all the revision. My new goal is to have it completely done and submitted by the end of June or early in the first week of July. For those that don't know, that's still really early in the process; applications are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis starting June 1 and going through November. Getting in by early July is quick without seeming desperate. =)

I said goodbye to a long-time coworker in the HR department today. He's been awesome to work with and recently accepted a position with Sales, working out of Texas. He'll do great with it. Way to go, Arnoldo! I gave him my blog address to keep up; we'll see if he actually reads it!

On a side note, today was Travis' first full day of being homeless. I have no clue how it went, since he's homeless. Not really easy to give him a call to find out. Please pray for him and give him encouragement on his blog, whenever he finds time to write in it.

This weekend Nicole and I will be going up north with my mom and Doug to see some cool wilderness and touristy Mackinaw goodness. We might also celebrate a birthday along the way... Who knows whose it might be?

Anticipatory.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

MCAT Scores - HOORAY!

I woke up about a million times this morning, even going so far a couple of times as to check my email on my iPad before falling back asleep. I was already awake when my alarm went off at 8am and I wearily got out of bed to go eat some breakfast casserole (thank you, Nicole). I took Naiya out, something that I love doing in the calm and dewy quiet of summer mornings. I tried not to think about the gnawing idea that had kept me from unconsciousness.

I failed.

Checking my AMCAS application regularly while working (don't worry, my boss understood; she even asked me to text her how I was doing if I got my scores after she left), the day seemed to draaaag. I discovered that there are four clocks that I can see without turning my head. FOUR.

I was completely expecting my scores to post after 5pm, but was just feeling so obsessed that I couldn't help but check every 15-20 minutes. I'm glad I did, because surprise surprise, my scores were posted when I checked at 3:10pm!

As I said in my last post, I won't be telling my actual scores. I haven't even told Nicole yet, though I think I'll share with her, since she's my wife and all. What I will say on here is this: I made a goal of what I wanted to get on the MCAT when I started this whole process. What I was going to try for, you know? And I got it! I am happy with my score, and I feel it will play a strong role in helping me end up in whatever school I'm supposed to attend. I am proud of my score, and I will leave it at that.

That being said, one of the things I am (somewhat ashamedly) most relieved about is that I won't have to take the test again. It might sound silly, but I absolutely hated preparing for and taking that MCAT exam. With so much riding on one single, timed exam, I doubt anyone could relish the experience. Yeah, sure it's fun to have risen to the challenge. But doing the actual rising? That's a grueling experience that I'm very glad I won't have to repeat, especially while working and all that...

Now, all that's left is the primary application. And the secondary applications. And the interviews! To be honest though, I'm looking forward to all those much more. I feel more positive, more anticipatory about those parts of the process because there is more that I can actively do in the meantime. That is, until I have submitted everything, gone to any interviews and returned home to sit on my hands and wait for responses... Yikes. At least I will be in class and working during it all, so I won't have so much idle time for my mind to devote to screaming in small anxious circles all day...

Tonight: celebration!

Happy.

Monday, June 20, 2011

MCAT Scores, a Homeless Brother and Impatience

Three interesting topics for this post:


- Tomorrow, I should get my MCAT scores back.

- The day after tomorrow, my younger brother Travis will be homeless.

- Also, I am impatient.


As for tomorrow, there is no guarantee when; my scores could come at any time, or not come at all and arrive the day after. It's a torturous waiting game. For those of you that don't know, the MCAT score is to a med school hopeful what the GRE is to a grad school hopeful, or possibly more so. I can't be sure, as I have never taken the GRE. Regardless, what you get on the MCAT can make or break it for you in getting into certain schools.

Today is my 29th day of waiting, as I took the test on May 21. I will not be sharing my score either way, online or in person. Please don't take this personally, but that is something that I consider to be very private. Nicole understands this, something for which I am very grateful. The other day she told me I don't have to tell her what my score is unless I want to. What a comfort to know she won't be offended if I choose to keep that to myself! There are several reasons why I may choose against divulging:

1. If I end up being proud of my score, I won't want to get a big head or seem cocky by sharing my score.

2. If I am disappointed by it, I would probably be embarrassed by people knowing exactly how poorly I had done.

So, either way, the most I will probably say is that I am happy with my score or not, and perhaps how I think it might impact my chances on getting into medical school. I like the word "perhaps." Mostly because of the "haps," I think, as well as because whatever's being referenced as tentative in nature is essentially said to be "per" the said "haps," whatever it is that they themselves may in fact be...

For now, I bide my time, trying not to mentally fidget and twitch myself into insanity via meanderings like the end of the previous párrafo. Pray for me, but even more so pray for my wife, as she is the one who has to live with me. Imagine THAT, and hey look, your day just got better.

Also, pray for wisdom and guidance for our pastor and church, as we are currently searching for a youth pastor. Congratulations to Pastor Timothy, as he recently accepted a pastoral position with Ventura Baptist church. It is his position that we are seeking to fill, hopefully by the end of the summer. Coincidentally, the result and timeliness of that search may end up having some strong implications about Nicole's and my housing situation. Feel free to ask me if you want to know more than this.

Lastly, pray for my brother Travis, as he is getting ready to begin a ministry project that involves being completely homeless on the streets of Denver for the next two months. He will be updating his blog periodically, but given the nature of this project, they will probably be pretty sporadic. He does a great job explaining the WHY of it all in his first post, so I won't bother paraphrasing it here. You can check it out if you're interested. Actually, you SHOULD check it out because it's really interesting. I think great things could come of this, but it is not without risks, so please keep him in your prayers.

That's all for now. We'll see if I can fall asleep tonight with my mental jumble of thoughts tearing disastrously around in my skull, much like a pride of lions that very recently discovered a catnip farm.

Impatient.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Piano Break

Playing the piano is definitely not something that I would have considered a "break" activity when I was a kid, which is probably why I quit. Apparently, I was shortsighted in more than one way back then, as I would kill to not be trying to learn this as an adult. I hated naps too, which is the basis for my belief that all children are slightly insane.

Anyway, here are a couple of clips of me attempting the beginnings of The Scientist by Coldplay and Exogenesis Symphony Part 3: Redemption by Muse, respectively. Please be nice; I've practiced The Scientist quite a bit, but I just started Exogenesis last night. Also, I took some liberties with The Scientist (ha!) so it's not exactly like the original all the way through what I play. Thanks for reading / listening / watching, enjoy if you can!






Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tonight, Pizza. Tomorrow, Advice.


Today was a normal Thursday for the most part... Except for two things:

1. I got a raise at work! I completely forgot it was a possibility this year, so it came as a very nice surprise.
2. Nicole craved pizza. So, on her way home she picked up some pizza crusts and we made pizza! I just happened to skip dinner today, so it made my night. We sat down to a nice episode of Hoarders with our late-night pizza meal and made a jolly time of it. Naiya was also extra playful tonight, which is always tons of fun.

Tomorrow I will be meeting with the new pre-health professions advisor at Hope College. I've got the rough rough draft of my personal statement done and all the rest of my application finished. However, since I haven't cut anything yet, my personal statement is currently about TWICE the allowed length. Originally, I was hoping to submit my application around the middle of June. That's not going to happen, mostly because my MCAT scores won't even be back until June 21. For some reason, I was thinking you could submit the application and have it be updated later on with the scores, but that's not an option.

Anyway, short post this time around. Things are moving ahead very well with the application, and I think I should be ready to submit it when my MCAT scores come back. I think I've even got the schools picked out to which I'll be applying... The list is not final, though. Also, I'm not sure I'll be posting it on here.

We'll see.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Five Attempts at Green and Frugal Living

I don't really like using the term "Green," because it is SO over-used in today's culture, but I guess I just don't really see a more convenient way to say "environmentally conscientious," so I'll just stick with the slightly obnoxious, "Green." My disclaimer being stated, I can continue with my post.

Most often, it costs more money to live in ways that are better for the environment. Rather, it's often cheaper to live without a care in the world about what happens to our trash after we throw it out. Out of sight, out of mind. While we don't go to the extremes of some people, Nicole and I get a kick out of doing things in a way that minimizes the negative impact on the environment. God gave us this world and everything in it, but that doesn't mean we have a license to make a mess of things, willy-nilly-style. There's some responsiblity that comes with it.

Before I get too far into this, I'd like to mention something else about which we are similarly proud, yet has nothing to do with the environment. We don't subscribe to cable television. Let me make one thing clear: we have no problem with TV. What we DO have a problem with is when companies charge us way too much to sit through 18 minutes of commercials in an hour of programming. That's right; more than 25% of every hour that you spend watching regular television programming is spent watching ads for things that you most likely would never buy if they weren't plopped into an enticing ad with a memorable ditty. So, instead of cable, we have an awesome combination of Netflix ($10/mo) and broadcast television (0$/mo). Netflix serves up an awesome variety of television and movies completely commercial-free, and we even get 1 DVD at a time of unlimited rentals delivered to our door. As for live sports, news and emergency broadcasts, we have regular TV delivered over the airways. That's right - you can get TV with ads for FREE, and thanks to an antenna, a digital converter box and the new wavelengths being used for TV broadcasts, you don't need a subscription to have crystal-clear (most of the time, anyway) TV. That means I don't have to pay a subscribed cent to watch the Lions lose. You'll see the antenna that makes it all possible in the pictures to come... If you don't see them, click the jump break below. You wouldn't believe how many people don't notice that it's there if I don't specifically mention it...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Knife in my Back

Two days ago I awoke with the feeling of a knife in my back. I tried stretching it out, and the knife just twisted around a bit. I thought it would go away with time...

It hasn't.

Weird things set off the worst of the pain. Things like breathing in. Checking my blind spot while driving. Going over bumps. Doing a sit-up. Breathing in is one of the worst, though. It feels like something is sticking between my ribs on the right side of my back near my spine. I don't like it.

It makes me feel very old when Nicole has to pull on my wrists to help me get into a sitting position. I'm 25 years old. That shouldn't happen. I didn't injure it, I didn't twist it funny, all I did was wake up. I don't want to go to the doctor; I've got stuff to be doing, you know? I told Nicole if it wasn't feeling even a little bit better by tomorrow (who knows what TIME tomorrow...) I would make an appointment.

I feel all stiff and creaky. Maybe it's the weather? Oh man, I really am getting old if the weather affects how my bones and joints ache... Please, please let that not be it... Make it a weird funkity bone growth or something... Anything but my body beginning to fail me...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

AMCAS Application, Experiences and the Personal Statement

I spent this morning poring over texts on reserve in Hope's library. I was researching all the little nooks and crannies of what is expected and sought after by medical school application review boards. Before I continue, you need to understand a little about the application for med school. For those of you who know the drill, you can skip the next two paragraphs.

When applying to allopathic (MD degree) medical schools, students complete the AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service) application. It's one application that used to be on paper but is now filled out completely online. After completing the application, you get to put check boxes beside all of the institutions to which you would like to apply. The AMCAS application carries a base fee of $180, plus $30 (I believe) for each additional school to which you apply. Keep in mind, this is just the primary application. Many schools automatically request a secondary application, which includes an additional, variable amount fee that depends on the institution, but which I heard usually varies between $50 and $120. This secondary application also entails additional essays, which I won't go into right now.

The bulk of the AMCAS is not too bad, just tedious. You have to fill in every class you've ever taken on an undergraduate or graduate level with each class' title, subject, course number, number of credits, transcript grade, semester taken and parent institution. That took me about 3-4 hours, I think, so not bad. You are also given fifteen slots to fill with all the various experiences that you want the review board to know about. This includes everything - work experience, research, clinical and non-clinical volunteer experiences, awards, community service, teaching opportunities, you name it. For each of the experiences you choose to give one of the fifteen slots, you include the start and end dates, classification (clinical volunteer, award, research, teaching, paid position, etc.), average hours per week, contact name, title and information, and a 700-word descriptive blurb. You are also able to select no more than three that you consider the most significant.

Hmmm... Most significant. Most significant. That's hard.

You see, many of my experiences have been so incredibly significant, I had a hard enough time just cutting the number down to fifteen. To then choose just three of those as more significant than the others was a deep exercise in very thoughtful soul-searching. I mean it; I thought about it a lot. My heart felt like one of those old-fashioned balancing scales that an ancient moneychanger might use to determine the equivalency by weight between British and French golden crowns. Only this time, it was my mind playing the part of the impartial arbiter, laying warm golden experiences in the tipsy parallel bowls, waiting for them to settle and show which was made of denser stuff. Which contained more lasting significance, compassion both shown and received, wisdom gained, truths revealed, lives touched and changed? While good preparation for the next portion of the application, this balancing was very difficult. I'm still not set on what I've pegged as my most "significant" experiences, and have no doubts - there will be endless tweaking of my experience descriptions.

Back to my original train of thought. I was studying in the library this morning to learn how to write an effective personal statement. The main difficulties experienced by most med school applicants when writing their personal statement is not scrounging up enough worthwhile and interesting topics, but rather fitting the vast plethora of what you'd like to say into the character limit set by the application. You get 5300 characters, including spaces, to effectively describe yourself to the application review board, hopefully convincing them along the way that you are someone they'd like to have a chat with about becoming a doctor. If 5300 characters sound like a lot, then please loan me your sense of approximation, as I'm pretty sure the prospect of cutting things down would feel much more pleasant with a lighter and airier outlook.

After typing out four pages of notes on multiple books, I felt I had a pretty good grasp of what medical schools would be looking for. As difficult as it will be to work through and paraphrase who I am and why I want to become a doctor, I am honestly anticipating the challenge. I get true pleasure from transcribing my thoughts into words that engage others and convey exactly that which I wish. There is a twisted, raw, root-like power and strength that can be brought to bear by using just the right combination of words. When you pause in a breathless way, or select words that jump and buzz to describe the excitement of a specific event or experience or interaction... Describing descriptions demands a dexterity I display decidedly dismally...

Regardless, I look forward to doing my best on my personal statement because of that Final Moment. What moment is that, you ask? The Final Moment is that moment of pride after finishing the final revision and read-through, and it is an awesome thing. To be proud of a work is a delicious experience, like savoring the calm exhaustion after a run, or feeling your mouth surge with juices at the prospect of a particularly plump piece of pumpkin (I actually like apple best, but for the sake of alliteration I'll stick with pumpkin) pie. I look forward to looking back on my finished personal statement with pride, declaring it to be worthy of submission to the knowledgeable group charged with deciding if I am of sufficient mettle to someday become one of their colleagues. Their unspoken question lingers in my mind, asking if I am capable of rising to the challenges and rigors of medical school and, beyond that, a career as ein Arzt. My hope is to answer that question with a resounding, convincing and somewhat colloquial, "And how!"

Monday, June 6, 2011

Nicole's Blog Re-redesigned...

As far as first efforts go, design model 1.0 on Nicole's new blog was all right, but in the end she decided that we'd made it too... simple. So, we started from scratch, serving up a heaping helping of collaborative creativity. Click the image below to check it out...


Quick sprinkler fun

I got a sprinkler and Naiya liked it. The action shown in the below video actually went on for quite some time, and I discovered that her yelps were more like the gleeful squeals of a small child when playing with a sprinkler than the cries of frustration that I thought they were at first. She had a blast.



Saturday, June 4, 2011

Behind the Times, Sufjan Stevens, Newness

I am woefully behind the times. For all that I saw Sufjan Stevens play at a teeny concert at Lemonjello's before he was even really famous, I never really listened to any of his albums. Yesterday, Nicole brought home Greetings from Michigan: The Great Lake State, and it's really good! I've only gone through a few of the songs, but still...


This will be my summer album, however late I may be in getting to it:


P.S. I changed the background, added a search function in case you ever want to look for something old but can't remember the exact time... Let's be honest, this is more for me... I also added a "Most Popular Posts of All Time" section. I think it'll be interesting to see how much or how little the most popular coincide with my favorite posts.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Naiya Gets Muddy - Memorial Day 2011

We went to Elden and Grace's house for a memorial day cookout, and they just happened to have a HUGE mud puddle/pit next to their house from the recent rain & construction combo. Needless to say, Naiya and her new pals Riley and Reese had a blast...



Surging through the water after that elusive stick.
..

Nicole's New Blog

Nicole has a new blog up called Chasing Peonies. I didn't know this, but apparently peonies are a metaphor for happiness! That's my wife - just chasing happiness... Also - my mom drew the peony that we used on her page. It's from our wedding announcements!

Collaboration!

The Tags

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