As much as I enjoy this time of year, I am as glad to see it go for another 11 months too. With the 12 inches of snow the metro area received yesterday, driving to everyone's house made me realize I need to have Christmas at my place next year.
Caleb won the award for most obsessed over a single present this year. I bought him the Thomas and Friends Cranky playset. Cranky is a character on the show that loads the trains in the shipyard. Caleb had built his own version of Cranky from his blocks for the last several weeks, and so I knew buying this for him would be the answer. He played with it for several hours yesterday, clinging to it tightly as we left the McNeill's and headed over to Papa's house. Separating him from this toy was like taking a baby gorilla from his mother. All I can say is, I'm glad he enjoyed it so much. But I think I've created a monster.
Allie and Geoff likely spent their last Christmas's as single folk, as the future's for both with their respective love interests looks very promising. It reminded me of when Heather and I started dating, which was during the holiday season. I spent the entire Christmas Eve evening at Nana and Papa's house thinking about Heather.
I surprised Heather more this year than I had at any other gift giving time in our relationship's history. To make matters even better, I have the documented proof. Other than the night I proposed to Heather with ring in hand, I can't think of another time she was more excited. I got my hands on an iPod Nano for really cheap from a friend I work with. She was absolutely ecstatic! I haven't received a kiss like that since before she found out she was pregnant. It was one of those moments where all the hassle of the holidays was worth the reaction she gave.
I got some presents too. Since I didn't really ask for anything other than a laptop, and since I knew that wasn't going to happen, I had no idea what to expect. But I was happy with everyone's thoughtfulness. Heather got me a golf bag for my clubs that I got last year, as well as a sport coat. For the most part, everything I got was practical. I also scored in the movie department. The biggest was The Simpsons Movie. I look forward to watching that again. I also received The Karate Kid, Miracle on 34th Street, and Superman Returns. Plenty of movie watching ahead.
We opened presents at Heather's parents, and via webcam had Joce and Scott in attendance as we opened our presents to each other. It was pretty cool. It made the distance that they were apart not seem so far away.
All in all, I enjoyed our holiday. With the insanity of the day, it made me long to come back to work after a 4 day hiatus. At least there I could relax a little.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
The car battery nearly died on us on the way home. The further we traveled, the dimmer the lights got, and the lower the power on the car. I turned off the headlights as we pulled into our complex to get over the speed bumps. It was amusing. I took the car into Checker and they confirmed it was the batter and not the alternator (thank goodness). $70 later, the card was running lickety split.
Heather and I spent a couple of hours after I replaced the battery on the car finishing the tree. We started over a week ago, and had a challenge finding a string of lights that worked. Now it's up in all its glory. Caleb was actually saying 'cheese' when I took that picture if you couldn't tell. it turned out well, don't you think?
Christmas is only 17 days away. We're about ready to leave for our Ward Christmas party. See you later!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Reason 2,468 why I distrust the majority of the national media in the USA. Things are much better in Iraq according to this BBC video about thousands of refugees returning home from neighboring nations. Another article about this is here. As many as a thousand refugees return to Iraq per day as the war-torn nation settles down after years of conflict.
The thing that obviously infuriates me is were it not for a European news service, information like this would not have even been mentioned by the likes of CNN, Fox News, or anyone else.
Whether or not you agree with the methods or decisions of the Bush administration the last 7 years, the truth is things are much better in Iraq than they have been in 50 years. Free democratic elections are a reality, security on the streets have increased tremendously. Fewer American and British forces are having to police the streets of Iraq as citizens have taken over operations and helped Iraqi police snuff out insurgents from their neighborhoods. Families that have stayed during the war have reported areas they live as being "100%" safer than even 6 months ago. What are we seeing here? We're seeing a nation establish independence and stability in a fraction of the time that even our great nation took to maintain. There are still hurdles to overcome, but when all you heard about today in the news is about erased CIA interrogation tapes, it's nice to hear some good news.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
This guy has become a favorite of mine and my family whom I showed his impression videos to back in the summer. Piotr has released another video, this time of cartoon voices. Some of these are spot on. Enjoy!
Monday, November 26, 2007
Here is one of the absolute best quotes I have heard about success. Enjoy!
"I am your constant companion. I am either your greatest helper or your heaviest burden.
I will either push you upward or I will drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command. Half the things you do, you would be just as well turning them over to me. I will do them quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed. You must either be firm, show me exactly what you want and how you want something done, and I will take after it. And after a few lessons, I will do it automatically, I am the servant of all great people.
Alas, I am the defeatist of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures. I am not a machine although I work at the precision of a machine, plus the intelligence of a man. You may either run me for profit, or run me for ruin.
Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet. Be easy with me and I will destroy you. Who am I?
I am your habits."
Friday, November 23, 2007
So it's Friday and not Thanksgiving anymore, but I think this whole weekend is a time to celebrate. Didn't the Pilgrims and Native Americans eat and celebrate for 3 days anyway? Isn't it astounding how a holiday that is in place to celebrate the right to worship how, where, and what we choose, has become synonymous with eating lots of food, watching football, and priming for Black Friday Christmas shopping deals?
Excuse me while I get on my soapbox for a moment. I took time yesterday and this past week to think about what I'm grateful for. Particularly, I am grateful for my challenges and adversities over the last 18 months. Through my faith and my family and just learning to believe in myself, I have overcome many things and feel like I've grown up in leaps and bounds. We've received many blessings as well and we are anxiously looking forward to a great 2008.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
It's not very often I go to sporting events, let alone twice in a week's time. My brother Dylan called me yesterday afternoon to invite me to the Broncos vs. Titans on Monday Night Football. It was my first regular season Broncos game and only the second game I have ever attended. We had pretty good seats. We were behind the north goal post about 30 rows from the field.
The crowd was a raucous one compared to the Nuggets game I went to on Wednesday. I realized very quickly why. Nearly everyone is drunk BEFORE the game! I was walking from the light rail station to Invesco Field and saw tons of tailgaiters and several people swigging down brews before they got into the stadium, because they weren't allowed to bring them in.
Despite the obvious atrocities of drunk driving and the poor decision making that accompanies alcohol consumption, you have to like that everyone is your friend. Every time Denver scored, you would hi-five the 15 people sitting around you, and they were your best friends. These were season tickets, and Dylan's friend Jeff goes to every game. So did the 15 people around us. As a result, it was a family reunion every time they got together. You don't get that at other games like you do with the Broncos.
The Broncos won 34-20. Jay Cutler and Vince Young, two of the 3 top quarterbacks of the 2006 NFL draft squared off. Jay Cutler didn't throw for as many yards, but he had the better game of the two players. I had a good time, my throat is a little sore, but it was worth it.
Let's see if I can get another free ticket to another sporting event. Two in a week, I'm on a roll.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Caleb climbed into bed with me around 2 am this morning. After 4 times of waking up because he was nearly throwing up, he finally did around 6 am. Heather fell asleep on the couch so it was me that was with him last night. Heather stayed home from church while he topped the fever meter at over 101 degrees. Hopefully it's not contagious, and hopefully he will recover soon.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
As the game starts, I notice there is virtually no one in the upper deck of the arena. I know we are playing Portland tonight, but holy crap, this arena would sell out every time AI came to town as a Sixer! People don't realize how good we have it in Denver. Anyway, two drunk early-twenty somethings are sitting in front of me in the first half, and they were completely obnoxious. Every other word an F-word, they smelled funny (like stale beer, or perhaps fresh beer I can't tell the difference), and were downright stupid. Then there was the guy in row 17 yelling "Blake sucks!" every time former Nugget Steve Blake touched the ball. I would understand completely if that was Nick Van Exel. But picking on Steve Blake is like trying to publicly humiliate your Grandpa. You look stupid trying to do it. Alcohol has an interesting effect on people.
Anyway we had a good time, the Nuggets played well, and they won 110-93. That makes me 4-1 the last few years of going to Nuggets games. Here's a picture of Allen Iverson and Brandon Roy that I took during the 3rd quarter.
The ride home was a chilly one, and we had to stand on a crowded light rail train. I hope to get back a couple more times this year.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
This is the first of hopefully many blogs about DeShazer family in Aurora! Today was a busy day for the family. Heather and I had talks in our ward today. Heather's parents attended and kept Caleb occupied while we spoke. Heather and I were a little stressed as we prepared up until late this morning, making us a little late to church.
Heather and I are going to the Nuggets game on Wednesday night against the Portland Trailblazers. I won the tickets by being the lucky caller to a radio promotion as I was listening to the Nuggets season opener. I will post pictures and all the details on Wednesday!