Monday, June 26, 2017

Manifestogram


'80s night at the Salt Lake Bees. Bumble rockin' the throwback Trappers uni.

Friday, June 23, 2017

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Movie in the park with my favorite 11-year-old.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017

Manifestogram


Hamilton is to Traci what Punk Rock Bowling is to me.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Manifestogram


If you get 'em muddy, you gotta clean 'em up. #tatersgonnatate

Monday, May 29, 2017

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For Tate, summer has officially begun. #tatersgonnatate

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Manifestogram


Curtis takes the mound for the first time.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Manifestogram


Morning on the field. Midday on the pitch. Afternoon on the court. Evening in the cage. #sportsday

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Manifestogram


Curtis is now a Wolf, with the makeup to prove it.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

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Opening day for my little first baseman. #tatersgonnatate

Manifestogram


Wearing your Hulk Hogan costume can be exhausting.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Friday, April 07, 2017

Manifestogram


In just six years, Tate went from this kid to this kid. Happy birthday, Li'l Red.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

The Wheels on the Bus


Our kids’ school always struggles to get parents to help out with activities. But not on zoo day. For parents, the field trip to Hogle Zoo is pretty much the sweetest volunteer assignment there is – the school bus takes care of the transportation and the animals take care of the entertainment. Plus you get to spend a day outside in the sun with your kid.

And I was lucky enough to land the gig.

But it turns out, it’s a tougher task than I thought. Each parent was given a group of kindergartners to keep an eye on. For me that meant Tate, a boy I’ll call Horatio, and girls who we’ll call Miffy and Biffy. Here’s a quick look at our day together.

Before we got on the bus

Miffy: Biffy, do you want some sparkle chapstick? Here, have mine. 

Biffy: Yay! I love sparkle chapstick!

Miffy: I want it back. [Grab!] My mom says I can’t give away my chapstick.

Biffy: [Wailing] Miffy took my chapstick awaaaaaaay!

On the bus

Miffy: I’ve never been on the bus before.

Me: Pretty cool, huh?

Miffy: No. I’m skeeeered. [Waaaaaaaail.]

Me: You’re not scared. Stop fake-crying.

Biffy: [Bawling] Miffy keeps touching meeeeeee.

Me: Miffy, stop touching Biffy.

Biffy: [Bawling] Miffy’s not touching me.

Five minutes after arriving at the zoo

Miffy: I’m hungry.

Horatio: Me, too.

Biffy: [Bawling] I’m sooooo hungry.

Me: Lucky for you, I’ve got some snacks for you guys.

Five seconds after having our snack


Miffy: [Sees another group from her class eating granola bars] I’m soooo hungry. Can I have a granola bar?

Me: No. You’re not really hungry. You just had a snack.

Five minutes later


Miffy: [Sees another group from her class eating ice cream] Uhhhh. I’m sooooooo hot. It’s so hot out here.

Me: No it’s not. It’s 65 degrees.

Miffy: If only there was something that could cool me down.

Me: I’m not buying you ice cream.

Miffy: But I’m sooooo hot.

Just about every minute after

Me: Horatio, hurry up. Tate, over here. Ladies, come on. Come back. Over here. Let’s go.

Biffy: [Bawling] Miffy’s being mean to meeeeeee.

Miffy: [Bawling] Biffy’s bugging meeeee.

Tate: I’m boooooored.

10 minutes before we have to get back on the bus


Me: Girls, come back. Don’t run.

Biffy: [Trips and goes tumbling down] Whaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!

Me: Are you okay?

Biffy: No! I need a band-aid here. And here. And here and here. [Sob, sob, sob]
Could this day GET ANY WORSE?!

Me: I hear ya, Biffy. I hear ya.

The whole field trip only lasted about three hours but somehow it felt much, much longer. I tip my hat to all of the teachers who deal with 30 of these little rug rats all day, every day.


Nevertheless, it was nice to spend a few extra hours with my favorite redheaded monster.

Manifestogram


Back home after a successful spring break in Las Vegas and St. George.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Manifestogram


No better way to start off a morning.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Manifestogram


Luckily our kids are impervious to cold water. The pool was frigid! Brrrrrr.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

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Photobombed by a redheaded five year old atop Hoover Dam.

Monday, March 27, 2017

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Getting our international Coke on. Curtis didn't love the poison flavor.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

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The wheels on the bus are going round and round. On our way to the zoo.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Hey Mister DJ, Play that Song


"I don't wanna rock, deejay. But you're making me feel so nice." -- Robbie Williams 

It took 36 years but it finally happened. I landed my first gig as a celebrity DJ.

(The gig was a ward party. I was a celebrity because I was invited back to my old ward.)

The assignment was simple enough: Play an hour of songs that will appeal equally to 20-year-olds and 90-year-olds...and everyone in between.

Sure, it was a tough challenge, but the price was right: I was guaranteed a plate of chicken cordon bleu -- and, if I did a good job, a slice of pie at the end.

I was feeling a lot of pressure as I prepped for the big night.

What if no one dances? 

What if the old people hate it? 

What if the young people hate it? 

What if a swear word slips in there and the bishop gets mad? 

What if they take away my chicken cordon bleu? 

I worked and reworked the set list -- pushing Elvis up, moving Glenn Miller back, sticking Alphaville in the middle, ditching Simon and Garfunkel entirely.

And then, before I knew it, was time for action.

The lights dimmed (the neon lights stayed at full strength), the crowd stood and cheered (stayed seated in the metal folding chairs), and waited for the beat to drop (wondered when the Young Women were going to bring out the dessert).

The ghost of Jim Morrison whispered in my ear, "The time to hesitate is through."

I scrolled through my playlist.

Found the perfect song.

And pushed play.

The Village People took care of the rest.

Needless to say, I earned my slice of pie.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Manifestogram


My beautiful date for the school daddy/daughter dance. #latergram

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Manifestogram


These guys are getting ready to do some recording this weekend. #johnnytightlips

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Tate's Rookie Season

Tate just finished his first season of Junior Jazz. When five-year-olds play basketball, it looks a lot like football: One kid takes the ball, tucks it under his arm, and runs across the court until the entire pack of kids swarm around him, at which point some or all of them end up on the floor. Dribbling is recommended but not required.

Much like in soccer, Tate spends most of his time running and smiling. He also plays some killer D, which consists of putting his hands directly in his opponent's face and waving them back and forth. And he even made a bucket or two. (Including one on the 10-foot hoop yesterday. The power went out at the rec center and the baskets couldn't be lowered to their usual eight feet.)

All in all, a pretty good season.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

I'm Not a Businessman, I'm a Business, Man


I just got back from a work trip with the CEO. In five days, we visited offices in four different states — Michigan, Oklahoma, Florida, North Carolina — which required us to take eight different flights.

Spending so much time with the leader of our company made me realize I'm not much of a businessman.



In between flights from Detroit to Grand Rapids, he hands me a Time magazine. "There's a really good article here about communication," he says. "I'm done with it if you want to read it."

"Thank you," I reply, and then slide it into my backpack.



Between the flight from Atlanta and Fort Lauderdale, he hands me Harvard Business Review. "There's a really great article in here about creating trust," he says.

"Thank you," I reply, as I slide the magazine into my backpack, next to the unread Time.


Then I go back to reading the book I brought from home.

And that's why I'd make a lousy CEO.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Overdue Books



One of my greatest accomplishments as a parent is finding the books that my kids check out from the library and then immediately lose.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Manifestogram


Add another point to the hustle board. #tatersgonnatate

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Never Trust a Five Year Old to Plan a New Year's Party


We had a good Christmas break.


We visited Temple Square. 


And took a trip to the Natural History Museum. 


We went sledding. 


And saw a movie at the planetarium. 


But we saved Tate's favorite thing for last.  

A Utah Grizzlies game.

The boy loves hockey. He has his own pocket-sized Grizzlies calendar. Every night he tells me who the Grizz are facing and every morning he wakes up and asks Siri who won. 

When he asked me if we could go to the Grizzlies on New Year's Eve, I happily agreed. In fact, I invited my whole family to come along. 

(He was so excited for the game that we spent the morning watching an NHL alumni game on TV. Yes, we watched old, retired guys play hockey for three full hours. He's that into hockey.)

My sister Jenny and her family accepted the invite and we all loaded in the van and headed to he game. 

Traffic was light on the way to the game. In fact, it was so light that we when pulled into the stadium we noticed something interesting. 

We were the only ones there. 

"Uh, Spencer," my sister said.

She didn't have to finish the sentence. There clearly was no game. 

How did this happen? 

Tate told me they had a game. I even had him ask Siri to double check the start time. 

Stopped in the empty parking lot, we asked Siri again. The British voice (My Siri is a British man, thanks to my kids messing with the settings on my phone) confirmed the Grizzlies did, in fact, have a game on New Year's Eve.

In Allen, Texas. 

I guess I need to teach my five year old the difference between a home game and an away game. 

No hockey for us. 


Fortunately, all was not lost. We relocated the party from the hockey stadium to our house and Jenny brought along Pie Face


For Tate, getting hit in the face with a glob of whipped cream is not as good as a Grizzlies game. But almost.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Manifestogram


Sometimes you get a smile from Curtis. Braces and all. #latergram