Made it a full year without posting!

And you all said I couldn’t do it! Ha, well I showed you.

While I’ve never prided myself on my updating consistency here, I’ll admit that a year is a little excessive. Really, this year was a needed and welcome respite from blogging, at least in the “traditional” sense. Why, you ask? Well…

First, it was busy. It involved things like living in San Francisco, getting involved in a great church in the Bay Area, meeting and marrying the woman of my dreams, going on a 3-week trip mission trip to Africa, moving back to Boise from San Francisco, buying a house, living in Hawai’i for 2 months, and all the rest of the busyness of life. Overall, I have seen God’s goodness in the past year more abundantly than ever before – I have been so ridiculously blessed. He is amazing.

Second, Facebook. Facebook is really pretty great. A huge waste of time, yes, oftentimes, but also a great way to connect with people. So many are using it and it’s incredibly easy to send updates on what’s going on at work, in life, or on the Web in general. There is something efficient about a single community to see what’s going on with others and to let others know what’s going on with me.

Third, Facebook. Yes, again, but for a different reason. While I didn’t used to care about this, Facebook has the huge benefit of tightly-controlled privacy settings. I can limit exactly who I want to see what’s going on with me. It could be argued that this is a false sense of privacy, but really, I’m not going to spend my time paranoid about the person who would go to extreme lengths. For all intents and purposes, if I don’t want you to see what’s up with me on Facebook, you probably aren’t going to. And that differs from this site.

So that leaves a bit of a hanging question, I suppose. Will this blog continue?

And really, I don’t know. Perhaps it has served its purpose (a holdover until Facebook?); perhaps it has a bright future ahead; perhaps it’s a good place for a portfolio; perhaps it will soon be something else entirely. Since you are reading this, what are your thoughts on what it could/should be?

Pictures of my Beautiful Niece!

I finally get to see pictures of her, which makes me even more desirous of seeing her in person! Thanks to Tony for sending these to me!

Here she is in all her cuteness:

sleepy baby niece

Sleepy!

the perfect little family

One Beautiful Family

baby with great grandparents

Great Grandparents

hungry baby niece

Foods!

Man, God is so good.

I'm an Uncle Again!

My beautiful niece (I have yet to see her, but I just have a hunch), Reece Lee, was born less than an hour ago (at 1:17 pm MST)! She’s a healthy 8 pounds, 1 ounce, and (middle) named after her mother and her father’s grandmother. Labor was just over 4 hours, and my sis is doing well!

I really wish I could be there with everyone, but am so thankful that God blessed Reece with good health and an uncomplicated birth.

Reece, I love you already and am so excited to meet/hold/kiss you!

What's the Best Way to Learn Guitar in 3 Months?

I have a mission trip coming up in mid-September and there’s a need for someone to lead singing/worship, preferably with a guitar. I’ve been wanting to learn guitar for a long time, but just haven’t been disciplined in sticking with it, and this would obviously be a good time.

So, particularly for you guitar players out there, how realistic is it that I could pick up just the basics in time, and what’s the best method to do so? Lessons? Watch YouTube guitarists? Forget the guitar and buy a ghetto blaster? Help me out!

Thanks in advance!

A Gift to my Mother on Mother's Day - written September 8, 2007

Legacy. It’s a word I never fully comprehended until today. Sure, I’ve known the definition, at least loosely. I’ve used the word to compliment people, particularly older folks who have admirable character qualities, like my grandparents. And at introspective times, I’ve even considered what sort of legacy I’ll leave behind.

But I never really “got it” until today at my grandma’s memorial service.

As I sat and listened to testimonials, I noticed something odd. These people were not describing my grandmother, they were describing my mother. From her faith, uncanny hospitality, graciousness, birthday dinners of our chosen favorites, care for others, and inclusion of her children-in-law as her own, to her generosity, incredible friendship, notes of encouragement, emphasis on family, unconditional love for people, and even right down to her special birthday lamb cakes, they were eulogizing my own very-much-alive mother.

Sitting there at my grandma’s funeral, several things hit me for the first time. First, and most obviously, I was surprised at the striking similarities between the two women. There are so many parallels, it’s almost uncanny. Second, I became deeply appreciative to my grandma for her influence on my mom. While I’ve long loved so many things central to my mother’s character, I had never really realized the root of those things. And that root is in my grandma. I don’t think I have ever appreciated her as much or in the way I do today. Third, I realized anew the influence we may have on others, particularly in our intimate relationships. It can be amazingly beneficial, as it was in this case, or a lost opportunity. It’s a sobering realization and one that I hope affects me with conviction in the future. And fourth, I realized the true essence of a legacy.

Legacy is not the stamp you leave on the world. It’s not the investments you made, the inheritance you leave behind, or how acutely you’re remembered. It’s not even characterized by good things like new inventions, novel ways of interpreting the world, or charitable donations. It’s not trophies, or accomplishments, or medals.

Your legacy is how you’ve affected others’ lives.

So grandma, thank you. Your full character has greatly affected me, not only in how you’ve influenced my mom, but also in how you’ve impacted me, instilling virtues of faith, family, love, friendship, charity, and compassion. You left a beautiful legacy.

10 Things San Francisco has Taught or Reinforced

  1. San Francisco has A LOT of amazing food options and vegan/vegetarian/organic-only eaters.
  2. I still despise uncooked onions, laundry, ironing, cooking for myself alone, and cold rain.
  3. Chips and salsa can indeed comprise a fulfilling dinner.
  4. There’s nothing to make me appreciate what I have more poignantly than to not have it.
  5. Being “fashionable” is a lost cause for me – especially here.
  6. There are some amazing people who I would have previously written off because they are “fashionable”.
  7. I desperately need love, people (you), and Jesus.
  8. Public transportation and recycling are gratifying, frustrating, and anomalous.
  9. The quickest thing to bring a tear to my eye (still) is seeing a picture of my nephew and realizing that I’m missing watching him grow up. He’s crawling now.
  10. I’m thankful for the new experience and its valuable lessons. For real.