Forty-Four

I love my wife so much. More than Teslas. More than peanut butter with chocolate. More than DIYing. More than solar. More than pizza. More than sex. More than naps. More than anything. Love me some Katrina.

What a year! I’m writing this in September because time slipped away but it’s been a pretty amazing year. Some highlights:

  • Anders decided to go on a mission and has been called to the Copenhagen, Denmark mission
  • We took a family vacation to Alaska on Carnival Cruise Lines and loved it!
  • My sweet grandma moved from Washington to Utah and passed away a few months later in my Mom’s home. She had a pretty wonderful last few months under my Mom’s care.
  • I’ve been serving as the Teacher’s Quorum Advisor and we have some pretty awesome young men
  • The YouTube business has been growing a lot – definitely our biggest year ever and no signs of slowing

There’s a bunch more but that’s a start. On the topic of Anders, he landed a job via my buddy Scott Soward at a company called ConService, where Scott is the VP of Software Engineering. Anders works as a software developer from home full time and makes a killing. He’s been there for about 10 months and really seems to enjoy it, but his resignation is submitted and he’ll work for about another month.

He had been keeping up with meetings with our Bishop, Bishop Aaron Sabey, despite attending a singles ward for the last year or so. He keeps regular contact with his friends that are on missions and he had a pretty powerful spiritual experience where he was told, in no uncertain terms, that he needed to serve a mission and he couldn’t deny it. He didn’t want to go but he knew he needed to. He prepared to submit his papers and did so. My only other post of this year is about me being able to dunk a basketball – something Anders put me up to when he had already decided to go on a mission but didn’t tell us that. This white man still can’t jump but he’s going anyway 🙂

In other Anders news, he met a girl named JJ at Institute and they’ve been an item for a couple of months now. Ironic timing. The relationship appears to have brought out all of the insecurities and drama in Anders as he has grown increasingly frustrated by poor communication between them, largely on her part. I don’t know details but Katrina and I have spent more time as therapists to him in the last month or so than ever before. At this very moment, he, JJ and two other couples are vacationing at a resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Anders arranged everything and they all paid their share (eventually) but the other two couples had already split up-ish and now JJ isn’t really talking to Anders and is mad at him for reasons unbeknownst to us, and maybe to Anders as well. We told him this might not be a good idea but they’re there now and need to make the best of it. More life lessons.

Addie has been lifeguarding her little heart out through the late spring and summer and also started working as a courier for my buddy, Dave Griffin. Dave does (amongst other things) eBay full time so she drives the outgoing shipments to the post office and FedEx every afternoon. She loves working at the Lehi Outdoor Pool, almost exclusively because of the people she works with, despite not making as much money as she would elsewhere. She has recently become a certified LGI (life guard instructor) so that came with a raise and a chance to teach occasionally at a higher rate.

Addie and I share some interests like fantasy fiction, so when The Wheel of Time series came out this year we enjoyed watching that together. I say enjoyed, but it was kind of more like “endured” because I didn’t love the show. Too violent and too… different from the book for my liking. But at least we could watch it together.

She began the MTech program for Medical Billing and Coding this year. She worked hard her junior year to wrap up the classes she needed so now she does MTech for a few hours each school morning and then has either swimming or two classes at school after that. It’s a pretty posh senior year for her. She continues to babysit for families in the neighborhood as well (she’s babysitting the Rich’s right now) so she knows how to work.

Aani is a sophomore this year and she also has been lifeguarding this year. The pools were a bit desperate for new blood so instead of charging $300 to do lifeguard training, they waived the fee and trained whoever would sign up. Aani and her friend, Asara, signed up and both of them have been life guarding all summer and still are. Aani and Addie seem to almost never have the same shift so this has required poor Katrina to drive her to and from the pool a lot. That’s especially rough when it’s a three hour shift, as it often is, but Katrina is a champ about it and does what needs doing.

Aani continues to be our beauty officianada. She curls her hair regularly, works on her makeup and other beauty-related activities, and generally enjoys that side of life. She and Addie get along great but they’re very different in that way. Addie doesn’t much care about hair or makeup. Aani is a great student and both she and Addie had been playing violin and viola respectively but decided to call it quits on that this year. They also both worked for Dave taking pictures of his eBay comics for a while this spring/summer but that kind of dried up.

Ava is twelve now and in young womens – crazy! She’s sprouted in height and is now taller than Aani and appears to be growing still. She eats more than the rest of the kids but is skinny as a rail, like all of them. She spends most of her time with friends and on YouTube. She’s definitely our biggest YouTube watcher by far. She has a group of friends that she loves to FaceTime, hang out with and spend as much time with as possible, but Kendall is her bestie. She’s usually up for a night out with Katrina and I and she just started 7th grade, which means she’s at Lake Mountain Middle School. That means that this our first year in.. I dunno… ten years or so? that we don’t have any kids at Saratoga Shores Elementary School, which is on our street. Luckily Lake Mountain is within walking distance so nobody has to take the bust to get there.

Ava still goes to tumbling each week and she just joined the tennis team at her school, which is kind of fun since my brothers and I all played tennis in high school. I’m excited for her to get to where we can go play together. For now, she’s brand new and is just getting started.

My sweet Katrina is as patient as ever with my myriad hobbies and interests and spending. She is serving as the Relief Society President still (can’t remember if she was on my previous birthday but I think so) and has the same presidency. They continue to keep up on the activities, teaching and visits and I think they do a pretty amazing job. Katrina also brings a lightness to the ward council and is known for being thrilled by the prospect of more stake business and is always sad when the stake business is done (sarcasm here). If you know Katrina, you know she can make you laugh and she’ll get stuff done while you’re laughing. It’s one of her many gifts. She’s a good time and knows how to have fun.

She continues to help me with the business and consults with me on all things. I feel a lot better moving forward with something if I can walk through it with her first. She has common sense and is well grounded – things I lack from time to time. We have been doing pretty good lately at reading our scriptures together every day and praying together. We have even been working out together every day lately. It’s the most I’ve worked out… ever.

Katrina continues to be an amazing cook and she kindly prepares me food on a regular basis – even when she totally doesn’t need to but just does to be sweet. I tend to get carried away with work when I’m “in the zone” and she keeps me fed. She knows that that’s one of my love languages – food. Is that a thing? Food as a love language? I think it is. I think it’s so sweet when she brings me food. It spells love to me. Katrina takes care of everything around the house and is just about always up for a conference with me for the YouTubes. She attends most of my weekly calls with our YouTube group and tries to stay connected to that whole world. She continues to love Acorn TV (British/Australian/Kiwi TV shows) and I still need to take her to England some day soon. After 22 years of marriage, I still find being married to her a delight and, just as importantly, effortless. When I count my many blessings, she’s the one I count first.

I’ve had some fun firsts this year. I decided to go skydiving for my birthday and, while it was delayed due to high winds, it was an amazing experience when we finally go to go. Katrina couldn’t go because of her shoulder and because of heights (not her cup’o tea) so I took Anders instead. We went with Ryan and Carol Kingston too and we all loved it. My… guide? small man on my back? trainer guy? let me pilot the parachute for most of the trip down so we did a 360, practiced braking and I then guided us toward the landing area where he took over. It was super fun. Katrina got step by step updates so she knew we were alive.

We’ve had some huge growth on the channel so we’ve decided to do some different kinds of investing. I did a crypto mining farm in our basement through the winter, which was fun because it was with my friends Dave, Doug and Jacob, but as the weather warmed we didn’t want to invest in a huge cooling setup so we bagged it.

This summer, Dave and I bought a 2006 Lotus Elise to fix up and rent out / sell. We’re each about $20k into it and we’ve had several buyers looking into it just this weekend. We won’t make a huge profit on it but hopefully about $5k between the two of us and, just as importantly, it’s been a lot of fun to have and drive. UPDATE: As I’m typing this, I just found out that the Lotus sold. Sweet.

A week or so ago, I bought a Tesla Model X. It’s a 2016 and it’s pretty awesome. I’m working on a huge project converting our garage into a full-on wood shop since my current shop is just not big enough to do what we want to do with the channel and woodworking. As part of that, we had an additional 67 feet of concrete poured so that our side pad now extends all the way to the back fence in the back yard. We have a shed there that we’re putting all outdoor/recreation stuff in and I’ve set that up as a solar off-grid area. The plan is to build a 50 foot carport on the side of the house for our cars to park and make that completely solar powered as well – enough to charge the Model X off grid. I’m ready to start building the carport now – just need to make the time for it.

As a family, we’ve traveled more this year than ever before. Yosemite, Sequoia National Forest, Disneyland, Alaska.. lots of fun places. Katrina and I went to Cabo for our anniversary in April and to Dallas for a conference in July. We’re headed to Los Angeles for VidSummit this month and I’m off to Florida for Funnel Hacking Live right before that. Then, next month, Anders, Katrina and I are going to Sweden, Denmark and Iceland. That’s early October and then Anders starts his mission on October 24th. Sort of a crazy year for travel. I’ve been keeping our videos going out 1x/week so the travel means we have to get each video ready before traveling to keep up on it.

OK – I think that’s enough for now. Now for some photos.

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