Sunday, December 21, 2008

New Job, New House, New Town, New Ward

Hey everyone - the past many weeks have been busy looking for work and I've not been blogging.  In any event I wanted to say we've moved to Alpine, Wyoming (about thirty minutes from Jackson Hole) and love it.  We're still getting used to the -13F days and snow, snow and more snow.  Our little town (population 550) is growing on us.  We're living less than 1/4 mile from the convergence of the Grey's, Snake and Salt Rivers all of which empties in the Palisades Reservoir (looking forward to fishing this summer).  We are surrounded by beautiful mountains with snow capped peaks and our backyard is only yards away from the national forrest.  We do, however; feel a little out of place.  We are (I'm almost sure of it) the only people in town without at least one four wheeler and snowmobile (snowmachine as they call it up here), but maybe in a year or two we'll have some toys.  So - come one and come all - the door is open and we'd love to have some visitors.  

So - if we don't speak, or see you in person before Christmas - Merry Christmas and have a happy and safe New Year.    

Friday, October 10, 2008

How Quickly Life Changes Directions -

Well just as the title says - life changes directions pretty quickly. This morning I had a meeting with my boss and was told that my job was being eliminated and that my last day would be Oct 31st. As I went back to my cube and sat and read the separation documentation I started to hear about others who were being laid off.

The blessing I feel that has come is that most of these people are being let go effective today, were as I'm still working for another two weeks. At the same time - I feel bad still sitting here knowing that my time is limited here and they are being walked out. I'm not sure just yet how many people have lost their jobs today, but there are about seven of us that I know of. We have an office out in CA, so I'm not sure how many of those folks were let go.

I know fully that as long as I continue putting my best effort forward that I will leave knowing that it was on good terms and that I've not left a mess for anyone to pick up. I'm looking at this as an opportunity to grow stronger from yet another trail in my life over the past two months. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. It's not for me to guess what that reason is, but to look at this as a growing opportunity and to learn from and become a stronger person.

I'm grateful for all the support of my friend and family and continue to be forever indebted to them. I get a quote each day from the Foundation for a Better Life and today's quote seems very fitting given everything that has happened and I leave that with you. Until next time.


“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” —Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), 28th U.S. President

Monday, September 29, 2008

This was no cake walk!

Well some of you may not know, but I enjoy baking. My friends little girl was having a Princess Barbie party, so I told them I'd bake the cake. This cake ended up taking me about six hours to do and I thought I'd have it done in about three. Who was I kidding! My friends little girl just stared at the cake and even though I thought it was horrible, she loved it and that's all that matters really. She's six and I don't think she noticed all the mistakes like the top cake tier is uneven because the cake didn't release from the pan and that on the drive over (these pictures were taken after I got done) some of the towers fell off! It was good cake though I must say, but I don't think I'll be making this cake for a while!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Look Back on 9/11

It is hard to believe that it has been 7 years since that tragic day in history. This day is one day I shall never forget as it is almost minute by minute ingrained in my memory. I was out in Exton, PA working for the week and had been there only two days. Just moments before - a co-worker who had just flown in the night before from NYC was showing me picture of the sun rise between the WTC towers taken from his hotel room. About that time we learned the first plane had hit.

The net was down and a few hours later - all communication (cell and landlines) were dead! I was only three hours away, but close enough they cut off all communication. I could not call home, or check on co-workers who were in NYC working at Goldman Sacs. We rigged a tv a co-worker ran home to get and watched the first tower come down. Stunned we watched for the next several hours not knowing what to say, or how to react.

As odd as it is - I have a connection to every event of that day and as far as I know - I'm the only one. All of this would come together over the next few days. A family from a ward I grew up in was returning from vacation from Portland, Maine and my friend Rick was sitting next to Mohammad Atta until they arrived in Boston where her boarded (Atta that is) the flight he would then pilot into the WTC.

The other plane to strike the WTC had a family on it that had Utah ties. They had just dropped off one of their twin daughters in Nauvoo, IL for a BYU study program and was roommates with one of the families from my mission that I kept in touch with. The mother and grandmother were returning back west from dropping the other twin off at school on the East coast.

My very first ward mission leader was a lawyer in the WTC as well as several of the clients of the company I worked for. All of whom were safe and survived that day.

Also a friend at the time lost her best friends mother who worked in the Pentegon and I ended up driving (because I couldn't fly home) back to CO and drove through Shanksville, PA where the last plane crashed on that day.

Needless to say - it is a day and week I shall never forget. I hope the war we have waged since has been worth the sacrifice of all lives lost. We can only pray that peace will prevail and one day we shall again be able to move freely without fear of someone attacking us. The events of this day seven years ago will always burn and be alive in my memory. I pray that the families of those effected by this day have been able to heal and move on and hang tight to the memories of their loved ones.

Each of us has our own story of this day and this is just a small part of mine. Until next time.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How Much More Do I Have To Suffer?

Wow - I just don't know what more I can take at the moment. When it rains it pours. But damn - how much is one man supposed to endure? The last of June I lost my last living grandparent, just this past weekend I lost my uncle and tonight I received word that I have lost one of my best friends. Someone I admire, who I love and have had the honor of working with professionally twice over the years. She has been pillar of strength for me over the years and it just kills me inside to know she is gone. I just spoke to her later this afternoon about work and then of course about personal stuff. In a million years I would have never thought it would have been good bye. My last words to her were "I'll talk to you later." And of course her standard reply - "K-bye." I thought I hit rock bottom last Wednesday, but this has hit the ball out of the park. This is the lowest I have ever felt in my life and don't think I can get any lower. Because her family had no work numbers, I had to phone our bosses tonight and alert them and that was hard for me. I have cried almost solid for two hours now and I can't stop. It sucks sitting here in a house all by yourself hurting and knowing that not only is your own family hurting for the loss of my uncle, but now my friends family (who I am close to as well) is hurting and there is nothing I can do. I couldn't make it to my grandmothers funeral, or my uncles and I don't know if I can make it to Tammy's and that kills me even more. I know the Lord gives us trails to make us stronger, but the past several weeks I feel more and more like Job - every time you feel like you're getting back up something comes along and knocks the wind out of you. I just hurt. I've got some pictures of adventures Tammy and I had together over the years and I'll try and make a little slide show in tribute. Please to all my family and friends - more than ever I need your prayers for strength, prayers for my family and for Tammy's. This was so unexpected and the last thing I thought could ever happen. Thank you for your continued support - know I love you all. Be sure to tell everyone that is close to you that you love them after reading this because you never know when it may be the last time you do. Until next time.

Cheers & Tears,

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Wet Cold Labor Day Weekend

I must say it is hard to back in the office this week, but I can say I had a pretty good weekend. Saturday I hung out with my brother, sister-in-law and niece and went to Swiss Days up in Midway, Utah. It was typical art/crafts fair with a Swiss twist since they settled Midway. We burned a better part of the day up there, my neck and my legs, but it was fun to break away and be busy.

Sunday was a typical day, but in the evening a fun thunder storm moved in with a cold front. Thunder storms are rare here in Utah, so I shut off all the lights and opened all the windows and just listened to the thunder, watched the lighting and breathed in the clean air. It was very relaxing.

For the past five or six years, my brother Glenn has planned with some of his friends a Memorial Day golf scramble. When I woke up I thought we were doomed, but as we drove up the canyon to the golf course everything was clear (down in the valley it was over cast with some dark clouds north of us). We drew tees and made our teams and set out. For each hole we reached the dark clouds descended on us – making threats with crackling thunder in the distance. We persisted and by the 8th hole it started to sprinkle. Glenn pulled out his rain cover for the golf cart and as everyone huddled under trees, we sat in our dry golf cart. I felt bad and ended up standing outside with everyone else. After a while the rain didn’t let up, we all made a mad dash back to the club house. Everyone started ordering food and relaxing until it cleared then news came – it had been raining for over an hour in the valley and the golf pro told us it would be three hours until it cleared. So – we packed up and headed back down to the valley. I changed into some dry clothes and then headed over to Glenn’s to eat lunch and watch a movie and relax.

All in all – it was a very fun and relaxing Labor Day weekend. I hope you all had safe and fun weekends and until next time.

Cheers, Ian

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Loss of a Cowboy

With everything else going on in my life at the moment - I received word that my Uncle passed away tonight. He has been battling cancer since he was diagnosed back in Jan of this year. He has been a trooper and have hung in there even after doctors gave up hope. He passed surrounded by his family and was a peace. I am not sure at the moment if I will be able to attend the funeral, but if not - I will be there in spirit.

I was three when my family moved from Georgia to Texas. Shortly after moving there we had a family get together at my grandparents. Being the youngest grandchild at the time - all the aunt and uncles were passing me back and forth between them. When I got to my Uncle Henry (as the story goes) I was star struck. He had on a cowboy hat and boots and to a little child look just like a real cowboy. I guess I asked him if he was a real cowboy because he was wearing a cowboy hat and from that moment on - he has and will always be my Uncle Cowboy (my nickname for him).

He is the second of five children my grandparents had and was a kind and gentle man. I remember many times spending the night at his house and playing with my cousin Kim. He worked for many years and even retired with the Texas Department of Transportation. I thought he was something listening to all the stories of him driving all the big heavy equipment.

Even though he put on a hard exterior - he was very gentle and kind. I remember once he was cutting wood for the winter and as he was cutting up a tree he found a squirrel nest and inside a baby squire. He lovingly built a cage and kept "Rocky" for many years in his backyard. He always had a garden of just about every veggie you could think of. He even had a small fruit orchard of peach and fig trees.

I loved my Uncle Cowboy and I will miss him. I know that his pain is no more and that he is in a better place. He is again perfect and reunited with my grandparents who preceded him. Just a week or so ago - he told my mom that he felt he was going to go any day and if there was anything that she wanted him to tell my grandparents. Even at the end of his life - he was always thinking of others.

So - here's to all the memories of Uncle Cowboy. He has left behind his wife Aunt Scooter a daughter Kim and two wonderful grandchildren, 14 nieces and nephews and a whole lot of lives touched. I shall miss you, but will always cherish my memories of you! Until we meet again - I love you!