Friday, August 31, 2007
BYU law school does a very good job of bringing you into the circle and giving you a big hug. The Founder's Day Dinner, in a way, is about remembering the old timers; the ones who started the school; the fathers. And rather than having us forget about them, they retell stories that make you somehow feel a part of something bigger. BYU in general tries to make their students feel at home by offering devotionals, etc. But BYU law school, with its smaller classes, can do a little better job at it. And last night was no different. Elder Bruce C. Hafen spoke on his memories of the founding of BYU's law school and why the church board okayed such an endeavor. Elder Hafen was only 31 when he and Rex Lee (then 37) tried influencing prominant LDS attorneys and law faculty to take a chance on teaching at BYU's newly formed and not-yet accredited law school. His stories were endearing and personal. I'll share one with you here. He and Rex Lee were on the high council together in a BYU student ward, and during one of the meetings, President Lee had fallen asleep. Elder Hafen leaned over to Lee and said, "They just announced you're supposed to give the closing prayer." President Lee opened one eye and softly said to Elder Hafen, "The first amendment to the Constitution says we have the freedom to choose religion. You worship your way, and I'll worship mine." After being dean of the law school, President Lee went on to be solicitor general to the United States and argued cases before the Supreme Court. After that, he returned to BYU as president of the university.
I didn't get into BYU the way most students do. My acceptance letter was kind of a backwards acceptance letter. It said, "Come to summer school, and we'll let you in for the fall." So I went to summer school. At the bottom of my acceptance letter was President Rex Lee's signature. I have always felt that it was him who personally allowed me come to BYU. Elder Hafen said Rex had a huge fondness for BYU. And in his last welcoming devotional in 1995 before he died, Elder Hafen said he still saw tears form in Rex's eyes when they sang the school song. That's how both Kulani and I feel about BYU.
The following are some pictures of the Founder's Day Dinner. We brought our friends Amy and Ben with us. Ben went to the Universty of Chicago Law School (the same law school Rex Lee and Dallin Oaks attended), and when Ben was there at Chicago Law, he wrote to Elder Oaks to ask if they could use his name in forming an LDS law school society. Elder Oaks gave him the okay. I think their society was called the Dallin H. Oaks Law Society. (BYU's is called the J. Reuben Clark Law Society.) Anyhow, he was able to talk with Elder Oaks last night about the letter, and Elder Oaks said he remembered getting it. I snapped the photo so Ben could send it to his fellow society members (it's dark and blurry because I still haven't figured out how to fix my camera, so sorry about that Ben). The other picture is of me and Kulani with cheesy smiles because we love this dinner so much. My sister Amy was supposed to be there last night, but I never saw her. So Amy, if you were there, sorry we missed seeing you.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
- Went to Hawaii for a week.
- Lilia played on her first T-ball team: the Bears (not so much bad news)
- Kulani competed in the Hawaii Half Ironman, Provo Olympic tri, Echo Reservoir tri, Spudman tri, and Jordanelle Olympic tri.
- Cindy did Hawaii Half and Spudman.
- Lilia ran in the Provo Freedom Days fun run, with me, Lissy, and Nohea chasing after her in the stroller. We couldn't keep up. She got 2nd in her age group.
- Kulani ran close to Steve Young in the Freedom Days 10K. Oh, if we could only bottle his sweat!
- Went camping with our new tent a total of five times. We took nephew Hekili with us one time so he could get his Webelos badge.
- Attended the awesome McEuen family reunion.
- We put our American Fork Fitness Center membership to good use by going swimming often (see video)
But now we are bushed. We enjoyed spending the summer with those of you we did. In general, we didn't have as many visitors to our house. Perhaps we haven't been hospitable enough. Please forgive. We are anxiously awaiting the coming of BYU football season. We can smell it in the air already. We got family season tickets thanks to Kulani's "faculty" status. Our seats are near Uncle Fred's and Amy&Nate's. Soon, our family will dominate the whole south end zone. For now, it's time for a nap.
Friday, August 17, 2007
It's an interesting study, and one that is easy to determine between Kulani and me, since we look very different. The following are pictures of my three girls just days after they were born. You be the judge. Do they look more like me or Kulani? To refresh the memory, here's a picture of Kulani and me:
Baby 1 (AKA Lilia):
Baby 3 (AKA Nohea):
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I'll remember President Faust for a few things: 1) He gave a great talk at BYU Law School's Founder's Day dinner about serving others. He was a lawyer before he became an apostle, and he spoke about some of the pro bono cases he took while a lawyer. (2) His last General Conference talk on forgiveness. I'll never forget how he broke down in sobs as he told of the admiration he had for the Amish people's capacity to forgive. And (3) he grew up in the same family tree as my grandmother. I feel as though I have a window into the type of family he must have grown up in, and the type of family he most likely also raised. From stories of my mother and grandmother, my grandmother's family were good cooks. They lived a real farming lifestyle near Delta, Utah. The men would have a big breakfast before heading out to the fields, then they would come in for a big lunch complete with homemade bread, and then they would have family dinners at night together, complete with fresh vegetables from the garden. It sounds idealic.
Monday, August 13, 2007
I've always been very connected to family. I'm grateful to have a little family of my own, too. And being a parent is probably the most joyful thing I've ever done. It's especially great sharing the responsibilities with Kulani.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Our first concert together was Morrissey on Halloween at Saltair outside of Salt Lake City. We took Greg Riche along with us. (Greg Riche is the Godfather of Kulani's biking world. He was going through a messy divorce at the time, and we thought a little concert might help get his mind off of weightier matters.) It was amazing, as I thought I would never see Morrissey in concert in my lifetime. It was a pretty sandwiched show, as we were very near the stage and people from all over were pushing to get closer; to possibly feel his sweat land upon them as he sang, "You've got to hold onto your friends." We've seen Morrissey two other times since then. Once in Nampa, Idaho. Yep, Nampa. Needless to say, the show did not sell out. We took my little sisters Mary and Hetty to that one. And then earlier this year we saw him again at the E Center in West Valley. He still really makes me smile, even more so now that he's greying (like the British spelling?) and getting ponchier.
Another early concert I remember is a tour (I can't remember the name now--was it Horde?) that had Barenaked Ladies as the lead group (oh, and Ben Harper and the Criminals, but we didn't stay for that--what were we thinking?). I remember Kulani's friends from Blanding being there: Casey, Jeremy, Dave, etc. But maybe they weren't and my memory is failing. If you haven't seen a Barenaked Ladies concert, they're pretty dang good and they like to inject a lot of humor. A couple years later I managed to procure some BNL tickets to the show they played at the Olympics Medals plaza in 2002. I got four tickets; one for me, one for Kulani, one for our best concert going sibling AKA Lani, and one more. Who should I give it to? Let's see. How about little sister Hetty? She's in town. I'll call her up. Hetty, would you like to go to the BNL concert with us tonight? Biggest scream I've ever heard in my life coming from the other end of the phone line. I guess that's a yes. That concert was worth it just to make Hetty's day. She'd been trying feverishly to win some tickets to the show by calling 107.5 every 1/2 hour or whenever they played a BNL song for weeks.
Kulani and I have both seen Depeche Mode seperately, Kulani seeing them the most because of his brother Lani, but we saw them together at the Delta Center a few years back. After the show we ran into cousin Meredith. Sister Mary came with us, as she was unmarried and a student at the time (I think we were students too). Sister Mary is also a very good concert-going mate.
Last year was a bit of a banner year, since I think in total we saw four concerts. We saw Tori Amos last fall and took niece Leilani, a newish BYU student with a penchant for feminist rockers. We saw Deathcab for Cutie in October at the McKay Events Center in Orem, me being well with child. Kulani nearly got into a fight when someone pushed me from behind and almost knocked me over. We also saw Pet Shop Boys with Lani and Patrick, a treat for Lani's birthday. And then Morrissey to cap it off.
Other groups we have seen: 1964 (a Beatles tribute band), the Cure (Kulani only), 10,000 Maniacs (sans Natalie Merchant), that guy in Chicago when we visited Ben and Amy (can't remember his name, but he played at the House of Blues--that was pretty cool), Kulani went solo to Cake two times (well, not solo, but without me--he really loves their shows), the Diddy Bops (an opener for Cake, but Kulani bought their CD and I really like their stuff too), and Creedance Clearwater Revisited on the grass of Springville High School (two of the original CCR band members reuniting to crowds of hundreds--Kulani and I still argue whether CCR is from the South or from Southern California--quick Google search says "Though hailing from the Bay Area of California, the group was influenced by the swamp blues genre that came out of south Louisiana in the late 1950s and early to mid-1960s."). Oh, and the MoTab. I'd better include them for me brother-in-law Nathan's sake.
And the only big regret is the following conversation only two months after we were married:
Kulani comes home with neon wrist band. "I have a chance to get tickets very close to the stage for INXS."
Cindy: "We don't have money to go to INXS."
Kulani (defalted): "But this might be the last time they come on tour."
Cindy: "There'll be other tours."
Kulani rips off neon wrist band.
A month after INXS comes to Utah, we're driving around listening to 107.5, when the DJ announces the death of INXS frontman Michael Hutchence.
Kulani: "Other tours, eh?"
Cindy: "Good thing we believe in that whole life-after-death thing."
Sunday, August 5, 2007
This is our "No-No." She is the newest member of our family. She is also lovingly known as "the Duck." Fish likes to give all his girls a nickname of an animal, and she is a duck. She is off-the-charts on both weight and height. More of her to love. She turned 6 months old today. She gives big smiles first thing in the morning. So far, she may be our only dark-haired one.
This picture best exemplifies our middle child Lissy. If she doesn't want her picture taken, she'll hide behind things like the curtain. You can't make Lissy do anything she doesn't want to do. Potty training has been extremely unsuccessful up to this point. Lissy's personality varies from headstrong to humorous. You never know what your gonna get from day to day. Ask her what her name is and she'll say, "Lissy the toad." She is the toad.
Lili is our oldest. She is affectionately known as "the Bear" because she knew how to growl long before she knew how to talk. She is a people pleaser and easy-going girl. She started swimming lessons this year, and loved it. She has also tried T-ball and ballet, but she hasn't liked those as much. She attends preschool at Deerfield Elementary. She gets frustrated when Mom and Dad don't understand what she's saying, but we're getting better at understanding and she's getting better at talking. She loves to talk.
This is a picture of the whole family taken outside a little restaurant in Waimea, Hawaii (Big Island). We took the trip in June for two reasons: To immerse the whole family in their Hawaiian heritage (Kulani's side), and for Mom and Dad to compete in the Hawaii Half-Ironman. On the way home from our trip, the flight attendants served us Pineapple-Guava drink. My oldest said, "This tastes like Hawaii." Kulani's heart melted into pieces. It may become our yearly vacation spot. Next time we'd like to visit the places Kulani's dad grew up.
So that's us. You'll be hearing more from us. We're noisy neighbors.