Thirty-Six

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Go Nilsy, it’s yo’ Birfday! While my blogging has been sporadic at best, I’ve been pretty consistent at posting around my birthday each year lately, so I thought I’d get up early and continue the tradition. My 36th year of life has been pretty great. Here are a few facts, stats and updates that may or may not recall ten years from now.

The Fam:

We made it through another year of school, lots of fun as a family and even a successful road trip with no vans breaking down. The kiddos, now aged 11, 9, 7 and 4, are all healthy little runts and are doing great. They’re entering 6th, 4th and 2nd grades, with Ava doing preschool again this year. Aani’s in Chinese Immersion and loves it. The fact that her Chinese teacher, Mrs. Keaton, moved into our ward just before having a baby has been fun for Aani, too. Unfortunately, Mrs. Keaton isn’t teaching again this year so we’ll have to get used to calling her Sister Keaton. Anders and Addie are in Advanced Learning Labs (ALL) and they love it too. Addie had a rough start to 3rd grade but she finished with straight A’s. She’s doing great. Anders was taught by Mr. Ferre this last year and Anders pretty much idolizes him. We heard about Mr. Ferre daily, which was OK with us because he seems like a great guy and Anders loved school every day. Ava attended preschool with Tina Chandler, who is awesome. She had a great time and we all got to see updated photos of how they were doing so that was a lot of fun.

Katrina is awesome. In every way. I have never felt anything less than uber blessed to have such an awesome wife and this year more than ever. She’s been reading a lot, as always, she continues to do everything for all of us and she makes the yummiest food ever. After 14 years of marriage, I almost can’t believe how good we have it. We go on lots of dates, we love spending time together, we don’t fight much (unless it’s about facial hair) and we head the same direction – together. It’s good. Lately we’ve been going on a lot of walks, which is super good for us. I got a Fitbit for Father’s Day and it’s helped me be more proactive in talking walks and little runs. With a responsible 11 year old at home, it’s nice to be able to go on a walk by ourselves here and there. Anyway, the family is good.

Yesterday during sacrament meeting at church, I looked over at my five family members sitting in the first row in our little Harvest Hills 9th Ward and I thought – those five souls are my whole world. I quite like being able to watch them from a few feet away and trade funny faces with them and winks during Sacrament each week.

Church

I spent my 36th year in the bishopric of our ward. Being a counselor to the bishop is pretty neat in a lot of ways. You get to see how much work it takes to make things happen in the ward and in the community. I have opportunities to participate in things that I wouldn’t otherwise, like Girl’s Camp, Fast and Tithe offerings, Bishopric Training, Leadership Training, youth activities, Deacons Quorum, BYC, Ward Council and visiting with people in their homes. Sometimes this can all be overwhelming but for the most part it’s just humbling. I suspect that my time in the bishopric is limited. Bishop Jared Miller has been a bishop for over six years so I predict that he’ll be released on September 21st. Just a guess, but I do think it’ll happen in the next few months. I want to serve as 2nd counselor in the Sunday School Presidency after this. Or teach primary, with Katrina. I do get pretty worn out sometimes. I don’t know how the Bishop does it. Drew Norwood, the 1st counselor, is an animal as well. I feel like the weak link in the bishopric but I also feel like I pull my weight just fine. I’m happy to be in a position of invisibility since every calling helps make the ward run.

Notable Events and Facts

  • I completed the Spartan Beast race this year. 12.5 miles of muddy obstacle courses, rope climbs, mud pits, grueling steep hills, carrying buckets of rocks and other forms of self inflicted punishment. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done (physically) and I think I might do it again next year.Spartan Beast 2014
  • We attended the RARARA Family Reunion in Colorado this summer where my ENTIRE family was present (all siblings, spouses and their kids), so that was rad.rarara2014shirtFrontArt
  • YouTube continues to be an awesome source of residual income, bringing in between $400 and $500 each month. I’m incredibly grateful for this – it’s totally free money.
  • I bought a quad-copter and a Mobius HD Camera (to mount on said quad-copter) for my birthday, so I can shoot cool aerial videos.
  • I signed up for the St. George Marathon, which I’ll be running with Scott in October. So not ready.
  • No food contests this year 🙁 It’s hard to get the gang together for those these days.
  • We bought a new (to us) minivan and it’s the most expensive vehicle we’ve ever owned but we love it and it doesn’t break down. We were traumatized after putting $10,000 into our 2006 Honda Odyssey in the 8 months we owned it. Bleh.
  • I started up on contract work again, after taking some time off from it. It keeps me in the loop with the latest eCommerce news and I like that I can build sites that help businesses.
  • I weight 185 lbs, which is great with me but I’d prefer to shift some of the distribution of weight a bit 🙂
  • I probably work about 55 hours per week, on average
  • I eat chocolate every day. I love it. I’ll always choose a chocolatey dessert over anything else.
  • I struggle to get up at 6, like I used to. Lately it’s more of a ‘get out of bed around whenever’ situation, though I haven’t been dancing with Mr. Brownstone and ‘whenever’ is almost always by 7.
  • I started taking piano lessons and had my first recital a month or two back. I love learning to read music so it’s been a lot of fun for me. My kids and I are at about the same level.

Well, I think that’s about it for now. It’s the end of the day and I have had a most excellent birthday, which included Kneaders all you can eat French Toast (one of my favorite foods on Earth), Swimming and sun burning at the Lehi Pool, watching Guardians of the Galaxy with Katrina (one of my instant favorite movies ever, with my all-time favorite person ever) and having Tucano’s for Dinner. I couldn’t have asked for more. All in all, I’m a blessed man. No doubt about it. I’ll do my best to write again before my 37th.

– Nils

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