Sunday, June 29, 2008

One small step for man; one giant leap for mischief

Erin watched him take 2 steps last Saturday, and today he wanted to prove to the world that last week wasn't just a fluke.


(further efforts)

Friday, June 27, 2008

I brought him back

I realized that for the past several days the top post on this site read, “I miss my baby!” and it probably seemed like I kidnapped the baby and had kept him away for much longer than one evening. Even though my then-future mother-in-law may have once suggested that I was a lot like the husband in “Not Without My Daughter!” I just wanted to let everyone know that mother and child have been reunited and that both are readjusting well to life together.

In my defense, I took the baby away for a noble cause. A few years ago, a childhood friend of mine passed away from liver cancer, and his parents have made it their life’s mission to find a cure for this type of cancer. They've organized an annual golf tournament in his honor to raise money for research, and, so far, their efforts have raised over a quarter of a million dollars that have gone directly toward finding a cure.

Joseph enjoyed playing with (and being fed by) all of his cousins on my side of the family while I was at the tournament. Also, I did take a work-related call on the 12th tee, so it wasn’t all fun and games ;) The tournament was extremely well-organized, and I ran into some friends from high school that I hadn’t seen since graduation, which made for an enjoyable day. That evening I spoke with my friend’s mother, and I’m hoping to help with planning next year’s event.

While in La Canada, I was also able to visit with Brigham and Christine—my best friend and his wife—who were in town for a family wedding. My wife and Brigham are the two most intelligent people I know (as demonstrated by, among other things, their choice in spouses), and it was a fantastic experience to visit with Brigham again and catch up on all the great experiences he’s been having. We’re both dads now, and we don’t see each other very often, but our bond still feels as strong as when we were neighbors during childhood or roommates in college. I don’t think I quite appreciate anyone else’s humor as much as I do Brigham’s (Alright, sometimes I think my wife might be kind of funny too), and it was fun to laugh and visit for a couple of hours.

Brigham and Christine deserve a lot of credit for my marriage. Right before Erin and I started dating, she spent a few days with Brigham and Christine's apartment in Budapest. I firmly believe that because of the quality of my friends, Erin figured I had to be much more impressive than I appeared and was consequently able to overlook many of my shortcomings and agree to date and marry me.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Brigham and Christine will move themselves and their cute kids to San Diego after they wrap up grad school back east in a couple of years. By that time, hopefully, Joseph will have learned that hitting girls in the face is not the best way to make a first impression, and their little Lucy will warm up to him.

OK, “hit” is a strong word, but “pat” wouldn’t be accurate either, so let’s just say that when Joseph gets excited, he has a tendency to “pit” people on the face to show how much he likes them.

We’re hoping he grows out of this habit.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I Miss My Baby!

Todd and Joseph spent yesterday and today in La Canada. I'm really glad that Joseph got to play with his grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins, and he had a great time. But I miss him so much! Counting down the minutes till I get to see him.

I miss Todd too, of course :-)

"[I]f you ever wonder what you've done in your life, and everyone does wonder sooner or later, you have been God's grace to me, a miracle, something more than a miracle to me."

-From Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Why I Heart San Diego

Last weekend, I spent some quality bonding time with my dad. Thanks to a couple of very understanding wives, my dad and I were able to attend the U.S. Open on Saturday and witness Tiger Woods on his way to what I think will come to be seen as one of the greatest achievements in sports history.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a more delightful day with my dad. I was worried that he’d get bored or want to head out a little early, but there came a point where I realized he was enjoying the day as much as I was, so we were able to make the most of our day there.

--Me & mi Padre--

[note: I started writing this post earlier in the week, but didn't finish. Somehow my lengthy/excessive description of our day at the tournament didn't survive.]

The US Open carried over into a Monday playoff, which in turn went into sudden death. You couldn't ask for a much more exciting tournament. I put a halfhearted effort into getting a ticket to the Monday playoff, but eventually missed out on seeing the playoff in person.

On Tuesday morning, any feelings of regret were quickly forgotten when I received an email announcing that Torrey Pines would open for public play the next day and that San Diego residents could start making reservations an hour later.

During my freshman year at the BYU, I had to register for classes through an automated phone menu, well going to college finally paid off: After madly redialing on 2 phones simultaneously for almost 15 minutes, I finally got through and was able to get a tee time for the next morning.

I don't know if I can adequately explain to a non-golf fan, let alone to a non-sports fan, what an incredible experience it is to play a course within hours of a major championship. I had played the course a couple weeks before it closed for the US Open, and during that round I played with a retired sports photographer. He analogized playing our round to a baseball fan taking batting practice at Yankee Stadium right before the World Series.

Playing right after the tournament was an even better experience.

Now, I know that a lot of people who visit this website couldn't care less about golf. Feel free to come up with your own metaphors, but I told Erin that playing a major championship venue under these conditions is better than an afternoon with J.K. Rowling and Betty Friedan.

The round was brutal. I didn't play as well as I wanted, but I played from the tips, tackled the multiple cuts of rough, and putted across the fastest greens I've ever played on. It's an experience I won't forget.
--Teeing off in thick fog--

--Perfect Conditions--

--#13, the 616-yard edition--

--My perspective as I limped up #18--

Despite the empty grandstands, the media still believed the public playing the course was newsworthy enough to interview several players, including me. After I rambled incoherently for several minutes, a local news reporter thanked me and went off with his film crew in search of someone who could put together more than a series of grunts without any pained facial expressions.

Apparently, they couldn't find anyone else, because that afternoon NBC news plastered my mug across the screen as I began (what can only be described as) bearing my testimony of Tiger Woods.

--Yeah, it hurt--

I couldn't find the video on the network's website--I guess they needed to make room for those videos from the ugliest dog contest--but, if you're ever in town, we'd love to have you sit down and watch it because we've got it recorded for posterity.

In addition to the obvious looks of discomfort and confusion on my face, I'll also be happy to point out the subtleties that come across during a slow-motion frame-by-frame review, like the look in my eyes at the exact moment when I've realized that I sound like a complete fool.

--I'm the good-looking one on the far right--

In fact, if we're not in town, you can also stop by the house of one of the kids in our church primary class. His parents told me that he happened to see it live and TiVo'd it so that their whole family could watch later.

I recognize that most people only check this site to see pictures of Joseph, so here's my attempt to appease the masses:

--New Hat from Grandpa--

Monday, June 16, 2008

Family Vacation

We just returned from an official White Family Vacation -- the first in who knows how many years. My parents rented a beach house in Baja Mexico, a bit south of Ensenada, and we all headed down. It was really beautiful, we had miles and miles of beach all to ourselves, and it was great to spend time together. Joseph liked getting to know his aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins better, and he really liked the water. He'd plow right through the sand and as far out in the water as we would possibly let him.

View from the beach house:

Joseph's beach gear:

Grandma taking Joseph for a splash:

Playing in the sand:

Plowing through the sand to get to water:

More journeying to the water:


The entire White family, minus Todd, who bailed out a few days early to attend the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines:

To My Vast Readership: A Plea for Help

Every week we plan our grocery shopping list, and every week I pull out my hair trying to figure out what to have for dinner each night. I like to cook and I like to eat, but I don't like to decide what to have. I have a few tried-and-true things that we always have. I've ventured a few times recently just looking at cookbooks and made some things that took way too long, required way too many ingredients, and were way too not good. So I am making a MASTER LIST of meals that are pretty quick, pretty good, and pretty healthy. Then when we have to plan meals for the week, we can just scan the list and make choices instead of coming up with things from thin air.

Suggestions? What are some of your staple recipes and foods?

Also, I'm especially keen on ideas for food for the baby. Right now he eats a lot of: cheese, black beans, bananas, strawberries, mangos, peas, corn, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, grapes, graham crackers, cheerios, tortellini. He's not fond of carrots or cucumber. I've never put much thought into nutrition until now and I want to give him a healthy, varied diet. What are some other good soft foods for babies?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I Am Legend

We watched this movie last night. HOW COME NO ONE TOLD ME IT WAS ABOUT ZOMBIES. I just thought it was about some guy, last man on earth, trying to survive. I did not know it was scary.

It was sort of like the time that I didn't know "Life Is Beautiful" was about the holocaust, and sort of like the time I thought "Rabbit Proof Fence" was a comedy. BIG SHOCKERS. I guess that makes it more interesting, though.


So last week, sometime between Wednesday night and Friday morning, we were burgled. I know "burgled" sounds dorky, but in law school I learned that "robbery" is only when someone actually takes something off your person. When someone breaks into a home, it's burglary. Since then, I've felt compelled to use the words appropriately, even though it pains me to do so. Anyway, yep, someone broke into our LOCKED GARAGE and stole various items out of it and our car. So, if someone tries to sell you various pairs of sunglasses, an I-pod, a GPS, some tupperware, or some quarters, S/HE MIGHT BE THE BURGLAR so please notify the police. We of course filed a police report mostly just to put it on record. As they informed us, there were no witnesses, no suspects, and no evidence. So, we are plumb out of luck.

But this is what we think the burglar probably looks like.

Our landlady is installing a deadbolt tomorrow, so hopefully Todd can start sleeping peacefully again. The garage is not attached to the house so we don't feel too violated, but it's still icky to know that someone was rifling through our belongings in our garage. And from now on, we are locking our car even when it is in a locked garage (which we didn't do before). Be ye therefore warned.

Birthday, continued.

This last weekend we celebrated Joseph's birthday in La Canada. He got lots of fun attention from cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, and it was very nice. Here are some pictures.

Joseph being really excited about a picture with all the Goodsell cousins and grandpa.

Joseph being really excited about playing on the slip-n-slide. Seriously, I was not going to put him on it. But he was watching his cousins and REALLY wanted to play on it. Todd was out for the moment, and I thought, "Todd would let him play on it, so I will." So I stripped him down and put him on it, and he was not into it. Todd walks out, sees our unhappy little guy, and is like "WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MY BABY?" So, my attempt to do-what-Todd-would-do failed. This picture is actually when we took him off, and he was happier just to watch.

Joseph being really excited (for real this time) about opening loads of presents from the Goodsell side of the family.

Aside from celebrations in La Canada, Joseph is doing great and learning lots of new tricks.


Riding his popper car (which I didn't think he'd be able to do yet).