Monday, December 14, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

When I arrived at the Madsen recital hall for my stake music fireside, I noticed Lawanna sitting alone at the end of the row. I didn't know her then, but she will always be hard to forget.

Halfway through the musical fireside, Lawanna was asked to bear her testimony. This is a summary of the experience she told.

Lawanna joined the church a couple years ago thinking that her life trials would end on her baptism day. Of course they didn't and in some ways even increased in intensity. Bitterness crept into her heart as she began to push away the very people that could help her. In one of her dark moments, she offered up the sincere feelings of her heart in prayer. She needed help with her trials and she needed them immediately.

Lawanna was diagnosed with cancer and began undergoing chemo therapy. Somehow, her roommate convinced her to go to the BYU vs. U of U football game a couple weeks ago even though she didn't really want to. When she got to the game, she discovered that her seats were in the "old folks" section which apparently have just as much "Max Hall team spirit" as the young and spry college students.

At the game she began talking to the couple sitting next to her. Their conversation turned to the church (they were all members) and soon she discovered the the woman sitting next to her was diagnosed with the exact same cancer as she was. Awhile into the conversation the man pulled out of his pocket a business card showing her that he was the vice president of the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the U of U. He explained to her that if she would stick with the church, he would take care of her treatments. With financial and insurance concerns, this was a welcome deal. She now has the greatest support she could ever wish for and her prayer was answered.

This Christmastime, some of the greatest gifts we will be receiving and giving will not be found under the tree.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Last 5 Months in Prepositions

*Disclaimer: Please don't show this to my English teacher.

Since my MTC career ended...

(Quitting the MTC)

Above the stratosphere...

(Hiking Timpanogos)

On top of my innocent car...

(Practical joke by a friend)

Among 14 year old hormones...

(Teaching at Springville Junior High)

Behind a good Halloween idea...

(Dressing up as facebook for Halloween)

Against the law...

(Group date started here, we ended up getting kicked out)

With good friends...

(My good friend, Tyler Cima, got married in November)

At the breaking point...

(PRAXIS test, getting ready for students teaching, growing pains, etc.)

After a 5-4 shootout...

(We won a tournament game in a shootout!)

...Nothing but net!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How's Your Week?

When your week feels kind of like this...

What do you do? All you can do is hope that the dips aren't too deep, the corners aren't too sharp, and no one's following too closely behind.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What I've Done, But Haven't Told You About

My blog in the past few months has been....struggling. At first I blamed it on my largely bathetic lifestyle even though that never really stopped me before. I mean, who else could dedicate an entire blog post on a Norwegian troll? (Where is it, by the way?)

So, in effort to reconnect with my faithful and starving blogging audience, here is my penance to you. Below are a couple anecdotes from the last five months of my life, complete with rusty wit, unpracticed sarcasm, and a little taste of Tadd.

Did anyone tell you about...? - For me, moving apartments is about as fun, exciting and rewarding as watching three weeks worth of Michael Jackson on CNN. For those of you who are Michael Jackson fans, just think about how you would feel if John Denver got the same amount of media coverage for his untimely death. Get it? Well, after a fair amount of searching, we signed contracts at the Le Grande apartments (better known as the “La Grunge” apartments for obvious reasons). Eric, the previous tenant, was very nice and diplomatically took it upon himself to break us in to the new complex. “Did anyone ever tell you about the boy problem?” Luckily, the apartment manager did inform us of the reality that there were actually three boys for every girl in the ward, a near impossibility at BYU. A few minutes later, Eric said again, “Did anyone ever tell you about the dishwasher problem?” This one caught us unaware. On the door of the dishwasher was a handmade sign that said something to the effect, “Do not open or you will die.” Apparently anthrax and its closest relatives had invited itself to cultivate the inside of our dishwasher. Lastly, Eric asked, “Did anyone ever tell you about the bird problem?” At this point I either wanted to shove Eric out the door and suffer an ignorant fate or cancel my contract with the apartment manager on the way to getting detoxified from exposure to rare and threatening spores.

As it turned out the “bird problem” was really just a code for naturally occurring 4 am alarm clock complete with “window dressings” that conveniently reminded us that the birds were still in business.

Man vs. Wild, Provo Edition - Right after I moved into my new third story apartment, my roommates and I put in a homely garden complete with nine small tomato plants. After only a few days, we noticed that instead of getting bigger, our plants were actually getting smaller, by the chunk. We blamed everyone but ourselves for the reason behind this new discovery including the girls in our ward who were growing a rival garden. One glance out the bedroom window, however, told us exactly who the perpetrators were. Our friendly birds had carefully hung our tomato plant out of their rain gutter nest so it was in plain view from our window as if to say, “we killed your tomato plants and want you to know it!” Their snooty arrogance was quickly met with vengeance and a large broomstick.

We had a little remorse.

There was no more “bird problem.”

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Today I am officially the only male in my family under 30 years old! That means today Jimmy officially turns 30! Happy birthday Jimmy!

Although I’m pretty sure he destroyed some of my favorite Hot Wheel cars with his BB gun, I still love him. He has been a wonderful example and a good friend to me. Jimmy lives so closely to the ideals and values he cherishes. He epitomizes gospel living.

The night before Brad’s farewell, the boy cousins and I had a little fun with Jimmy. Naturally, all of the Farmer kids were kicked out of our rooms to make room for the aunts and uncles to sleep. The boy cousins and I were placed in the same room with Jimmy to sleep the night away. While Jimmy was sleeping, we had a competition to see how many snack food items we could fit in Jimmy’s mouth, ears, and nose before he woke up. To this day, I don’t know if it was the pretzel in the ear or the peanut in the nose that roused him awake.

Fast forward about ten years to another farewell time, this time it was mine. I remember being in the car with Jimmy a few days before I left on my mission. He asked me several questions about how I was feeling and he shared some simple experiences from his mission that really calmed my fears. I really felt greater excitement and less uncertainty from my conversation with him. That’s the kind of brother Jimmy has always been.

Happy birthday Jim! I love you!

P.S. (Can you “P.S.” on a blog?) I don’t have any embarrassing pics of Jimmy. I thought about just posting a pic of me since we look so much alike but I decided against it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Girl!

Fifteen years ago I was hoping for a dog. Instead I got a sister.

What I didn’t know back then I can’t imagine life without now. Today is Marissa’s 14th birthday and it truly is a celebration of a great life! She has grown up into quite the young lady!

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be around her. I never had the “I’m too cool for my younger sister” feeling probably because she’s always been more of a friend to me than anything else.

I remember losing her when I was 12 or 13 years old. I was put in charge of watching her for a few minutes but soon she had disappeared from my sight and I had no idea where she had gone. After frantically searching for her, I finally found her playing peacefully in the sandbox. The rush of relief I felt when I saw her overtook me! When I think of fear, worry, and panic, I think of the moment I lost my little sister. I could not at that time, nor at any time since that day, imagine my life in the absence of Marissa.

With me in college, we’ve still found a way to keep close. When I’m able to go home for the weekend, we like to stay up and watch movies on the couch downstairs. Rarely does the movie finish without us first falling asleep. Several months ago, she came down and spent a good part of the weekend with me in Provo. We had a good time plays nertz and making gagging gestures at the main character of the Aida play we watched. It was a great weekend!

Her life has never been easy but she’s been a champ through it all. By her actions, she has set a great example for her little nieces and nephews and older siblings to follow. She is beginning to realize more and more the wonderful gifts and talents that she has been blessed with. What has been invisible to her for so long has been crystal clear to all her know her best. She has and will do wonderful things in her life!

Happy birthday to a wonderful aunt, daughter, sister, and friend! I love you!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Phew! It's Just St. Patrick's Day!

It took me awhile to realize what day it was today...

I rushed out of the McKay Building at the conclusion of my 7 am class on my way to work. It was still early and my class was fairly unsuccessful at waking me up so I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to decipher what I was about to see. As I was walking down the stairs with my clonky Doc Martins, I watched as Peter Pan swiftly flew up the stairs next to me. I wondered what he was doing here and how he was able to manage wearing green tights on such warm morning. I then began to fear that BYU was being infested with “look-at-me-emo’s” but then I realized...

Phew! It’s just St. Patrick’s Day!

Later on in the day I was on my great campus again when I spotted I sight I didn’t anticipate seeing for at least another month and a half. There was a girl wearing a bright-green polo perched on a curb as if to direct pedestrian traffic. EFY! Ahhh! Before I was able to divert my path in another direction, my eyes began to focus and I realized that she didn’t have the signature name badge that has come to characterize our beloved EFY counselors. I realized that her choice of wardrobe color wasn’t a result of overprotective parents who worried about their child’s spiritual well-being. I thought to myself...

Phew! It’s just St. Patrick’s Day!

Later, I settled myself down in my apartment to enjoy a good bowl of Frosted Flakes for dinner. As I poured the milk over my appetizing dinner, I noticed a faint greenish tint to my milk. I looked at the date on the carton: 25 February 2009. As I took my first big bite of cereal, I said to myself...

Phew! It’s just St. Patrick’s Day!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Elise!

Elise is a very important part of our family. She is so fun to be around! One of my favorite things to do is to try to make her happy after a long, sleepy car ride to grandma and grandpas's house. What a personality! She was born just a couple weeks after I got back from my mission and I'm so glad that I've had the chance to watch her grow up into a pretty little girl. She will make a great older sister! I love you Elise!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cayden - One Year Older and Wiser Too!

Even though I’m a day late on this blog, I still think it’s important for me to wish my oldest nephew, Cayden, a happy birthday!

Cayden’s 10th birthday was yesterday which is hard to imagine! He has grown up very quickly and I've enjoyed watching him grow over the years. He has become a handsome boy and a wonderful older brother to four adventerous younger brothers. He’s also a very loyal friend.

One of my first memories of Cayden was when he lived with us when he was a baby. We were in Sacrament one Sunday and he was sitting on my lap (facing me) eating crackers. The spirit in the meeting must have been pretty tingly because slowly Cayden started to brace himself for a sneeze. Before I could react, Cayden sneezed and blew just about every piece of cracker he had swallowed onto my slightly wrinkled church clothes!

All my memories with Cayden have been good memories. He's probably the most sensative little guy you will ever meet and always knows when something is wrong.

Happy birthday Cayden! I love you!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year’s Not-So-Resolutions

Note: The main purpose of this blog was to get rid of the disgusting nature of my last post that proudly sat atop my blog. A thousand apologies your way...

There are more broken resolutions in January than in Brittany Spears’ entire drug rehab history. People go from singing “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” to “Oops, I Did It Again” faster than it takes most Americans to say “I’m lovin’ it” at a McDonald’s drive-thru. And there’s a lot of love at the McDonald’s drive-thru!

All of these failed resolutions have helped me realize two of my biggest fears in life: failing at my goals and witnessing a successful presidential campaign by Mike Huckabee. Truth is, failure isn’t always a bad thing. But for me, failure to achieve my New Year’s resolutions is a scary proposition. Trying to change is hard. For that purpose I have decided to try something different this year. I’m going to take what I’ve learned in 2008 and compile a list of things that I WON’T resolve to do. So, like it or not, here it is. Tadd’s New Year’s Not-So-Resolutions of 2009.

1. I WON’T RESOLVE to go to bed late. I know it’s the popular thing to do in college, but I’m the kind of fish that likes to swim upstream.

2. I WON’T RESOLVE to spend my money like the United States government. And I’ll keep driving my Toyota.  

3. I WON’T RESOLVE to be excited when Carlos Boozer petitions the U.S. government for a portion of the bailout money to support his family. I want to see his business plan!

4. I WON’T RESOLVE to eat Pasta Roni for three meals a day. They are always so luring at the grocery store, tempting me with their forever falling prices. I’ll put my foot down on aisle 14!

5. I WON’T RESOLVE to date facebook on Friday nights. I’m sure there are plenty of other somewhat-on-the-creepy-side people who will be gracious enough to do that for me.

6. I WON’T RESOLVE to have flabby arms and jell-o legs. (Insert Utah/jell-o joke here:______________________)

7. I WON’T RESOLVE to be a lying, backbiting, inactive, insensitive dirtbag. I’m treading new waters here.

And last but not least...

8. I WON’T RESOLVE to hold up the wall at church dances, cheer from the sidelines, and gamble away some of the best opportunities life has ever given me. Life is not a spectator sport!

There you go, my blogging friends. I hope that in some way this list has helped you find the inspiration you need to not commit to failing resolutions. Welcome to 2009!