We’ve Moved!!!

27 03 2011

No no no NOT us!  The blog/website has moved!  Visit the new site…it’s much much rader than this old blog thing!


It’s cleaver isn’t it!


Mustache Movember…I’m joining the movement!

2 11 2010

A few months back I conducted a poll about facial hair (read more about that here).  It was my hope to do something memorable with my face for the birth of my daughter.  It turns out that whole deal was memorable enough without a super rad “dad mustache.”  Who would have known?!?!  Well as fate would have it…I have found another opportunity for a rad mustache.  

The Mo, slang for moustache, and November come together each year for Movember.  Movember challenges men to change their appearance and the face of men’s health by growing a moustache. The rules are simple, start Movember 1st clean-shaven and then grow a moustache for the entire month.  The moustache becomes the ribbon for men’s health, the means by which awareness and funds are raised for cancers that affect men.  Much like the commitment to run or walk for charity, the men of Movember commit to growing a moustache for 30 days.  This year I am going to participate and would love as much support as possible!  So grow your own sweet mustache and fight cancer!

In addition to growing the sweet stache I would invite all of you to do two things.  First, donate a little money.  It doesn’t have to be much more than a couple of dollars.  (All of the money donated will go directly to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the LIVESTRONG foundations to help in the efforts to cure cancer.)  Second, let’s get as many people as involved as possible so spread the word as far and as wide as possible.  So join our team and then email the heck out of the link and get loads of others to join as well.  To donate and to join our team visit our team website and register! (http://us.movember.com/register/158928)

I also think it would be pretty awesome to get everyone who lives in the Salt Lake area together for a moustache contest at the end of the month.  Maybe even hand out a couple of prices for the thickest, thinnest, most unusual, etc. and have a little fun with this.  (Let’s just call it an excuse to get together!  Let me know your thoughts…)

 Happy growing! 

PS I’ve been applying miracle grow for the last two weeks in anticipation of this cause I really want to win thickest!

Eloise’s Blessing

26 10 2010

A beautiful dress for a beautiful girl!

There are some things in life that just matter more than others.  The blessing my beautiful baby girl is one of those things!  As I posted last week I spent the week prior to the blessing in Alaska.  I was surprised at how much I missed that little baby!  However, one of the nice parts about the time away was all the time to think about the important things in her life.  It was very difficult trying to pick the one or two things that matter most for an infant to start her life on earth!  Luckily I’ll have the opportunity to give her a bunch of blessings throughout her life.  So for now Eloise, I want you to know three things.

1. You’re parents love you more than you’ll ever know…especially your mother!

2. You are a Child of God and that Heavenly Father knows you personally and loves you an awful lot as well!

3. You are completely surrounded by people who love you and want to bless your life…take advantage of that!


Here are some fun pictures from that day.  Eloise knew it was going to be a great day where she got to dress us in a beautiful dress and be pampered all day so she started hamming things up the day before!

Eloise loves to do anything that makes her feel like a big girl!  Helping Courtney cook is quickly becoming one of her favorite activities!


What a dress!

Eloise, here’s a shot of some amazing women that love you and can’t wait to give you lots of advice.  How cool is it that this little girl has all four of her great-grandma’s around?!


The Great Alaskan Road Trip

15 10 2010

In August I had the opportunity to take an Alaskan Adventure with Greg, his three boys and Alyssa’s husband Tyler.  This was a serious roadtrip!  1,500 miles (1,000 of which weren’t paved) in 6 days to the Northern most road in North American.  The idea for this trip was born a couple of years ago when Greg read an article about an overlanding route from Prudhoe Bay Alaska to Tierra Del Fuego Argentina.  Bryce had expressed an interest in returning to Alaska before his mission the northern portion of the route was planned.  (As fate would have it…Bryce was called to serve a mission in Argentina…so as we speak the plans for the southern portion of the route are underway!)

We began our journey on Wednesday night August 24th.  We flew from Salt Lake City to Fairbanks and spent the night in a little bed and breakfast.  On Thursday morning we met Heidi’s cousin and her husband who had driven the truck and trailer from Salt Lake.  We spent the morning in Fairbanks buying food and last minute supplies and then we hit the road.  Our goal for Thursday was to drive about half of the 414 miles between Fairbanks and Prudhoe Bay. 

Here’s the traveler’s and our trusty machine!

The main portion of our trip was to drive the Dalton highway.  It is the “haul road” that connects the oil fields up north with all the people and supplies from town.  It was some road!  We spent a little too much time in Fairbanks and as a result we were pretty rushed on Thursday and Friday so we could make our “oil field tour!”   Don’t worry we did take time to notice the beauty around us…how could we not!  This picture doesn’t even look real!

 There was always a contest to find the “perfect” skipping rock.

When we were packing for the trip I made some comment about the cool kitchen set up that the camper and the trailer had.  Just like that I was the designated chef!  It turned out to be a lot of fun trying some new stuff and using all the cool camp cooking stuff.  We had a couple of GREAT meals along the way (it always helps that food tastes better when you are 1. camping and 2. super hungry!)  Our first dinner on the trail ended up being the tastiest meal of the trip! 

Mediterranean Halibut tinfoil dinner

This meal was as good as it looks!

We got a pretty early start on Friday to make sure we made it far enough north.   We wanted to get as far up the road as possible so that we could make our oil field tour and have plenty of time to play on the drive back to Anchorage.  The scenery was a lot different from what I had expected.  Granted, I was pulling on an 18-year-old memory of an entirely different portion of Alaska.  My dad and I drove from Anchorage to Seward on our fishing trip to Alaska.  What was especially crazy was the tree line.  One minute there were trees…

The next minute there weren’t any!

  There was still PLENTY of beauty above the tree line.  It was just a lot different from what I was expecting.  As we pushed farther and farther north I couldn’t help but think about how big this world is!  Just look at how tiny that semi is!

 Oakley ended up being the only man to join the “polar bear club.”  In my defense…turns out there is no t-shirt, certificate or even a cool dock to run and jump off!  You just wade out 100 yards or so until it’s deep enough and then you lay down.  Anti-climatic right?!?!  Or maybe it was that I was almost 30 and wimped out! 

It doesn’t look like I missed out on that much!


It wasn’t until day three before we could finally get our flies wet!  We camped on the bank of this river after our oil field adventure the night before.  You’ll notice there wasn’t much difference between the light at 11:00 PM and 8:00 AM!  We fished for Arctic Grayling and had quite a bit of success.  This is one of the smaller ones that we caught that morning we just so happened to catch the bigger ones while the camera battery was charging in the camper!

We didn’t fish long as Greg was excited about getting back down the road to a place where we could put our canoes in and float the river.  So we packed up and headed out.  We had only been on the road for a couple of hours when we hit a bump, felt a bump and heard something dragging behind us.  We climbed out to discover that the welds on the receiver for the hitch had broken with the tongue weight of the trailer.  We pulled over to look at the damage.  It was a little bleak.  We were a long ways away from help!  After a couple of ideas we decided we needed to get the trailer to a turnout and then Greg would drop us off and race back to the small makeshift town at the halfway point of the highway.  In an effort to prevent further damage, all the kids hoped on the back of the trailer to counter balance the tongue weight then using the emergency chains we slowly limped towards a pipeline maintenance turnoff.  Luckily a semi drove along the side of us and over the cb radio he offered some help.  But for us stranded on the back of the trailer, all we saw was three maintenance turnouts and no stopping!  When we did finally stop we had pulled into a rock crushing pit where a welder just happened to be stationed and also just happened to have nothing to work on!  Without hesitation they hoped under the truck and started working. 

If you read closely you can see the sticker on the back of Jim’s work truck.  You couldn’t have picked a better phrase to describe a man.  His service saved our trip of a long and difficult recovery.  When Greg offered to buy him dinner for our service Jim absolutely refused.  Asking us instead to repay the favor to someone else in the future.  What an incredible afternoon!

Little did we know…there were more stops down the road!

Yeah that’s what I said!  What the heck is a stop sign doing 175 miles from the nearest intersection!

 Luckily we didn’t have to wait long for the green cycle!

One of the highlights of the trip for me was the fishing/canoe ride that we took.  It was purely a sightseeing ride!  In the four hours we were on the water we didn’t have a single bite.  In fact, I didn’t see a single fish come up to the surface at all!  At lease I looked good.

(I promise I didn’t to one bit of editing to this picture!)

(And I fibbed…I did catch something on the ride!  This is a MONSTER Alaskan Grayling!) 

In the end we saw a lot of road and a lot of beautiful scenery!  Driving the Dalton Highway was an  incredible experience.  I love Alaska!  I hope I can get up there in the near future with the Hawks boys and brother-in-laws!

Eloise Alexis Hawks – the most beautiful babygirl ever!

10 07 2010

First of all, I’m sorry that this post has taken so long!  It has been a whirlwind two weeks.  Secondly, newborns require a lot of attention!  By the time we’ve got all of her needs taken care of I’m either too tired to get to this or it’s been so long since I’ve talked to Courtney that I spend my allotted blogging time with her.  The good news is on her two week birthday she’s being published.  I’m not sure how much of the story has been told so I’ll start from the beginning.  (Don’t worry I won’t type that much!  I know all anyone wants to see is pictures!!!)

The last couple of weeks of the pregnancy were a little rough on Courtney. She was uncomfortable and just flat wanted Elosie out!  So we started pestering our Dr. about being induced.  He’s had great success with that and had no problem starting the process as soon as the hospital would admit us.  The first day that they would take Courtney was Thursday June 24th….if there was a room!  That week was the week of a full moon which always floods the delivery rooms!  So the Dr told us to start calling the hospital on Tuesday.  I called and called.  I begged and begged.  I even offered lower bowl Jazz tickets.  But those nurses were not to be coerced or bribed into any early entry!  Our persistence paid off.  At 9:30 PM on Wednesday the 23rd the nurse told us that we had a spot for the following morning at 8:30 AM.  We rushed to Baskin Robin’s to have an ice cream cone and celebrate.  In the morning we were going to check into the hospital and we weren’t coming home without the third member of our family.

In the middle of our ice cream the hospital called me again.  I was really nervous to answer.  If they were calling to say that the rooms were too full and that we couldn’t check in after all I knew that it would crush Courtney.  I answered, and much to my surprise it was our Dr. John Nichols.  After a quick hello he said, “So I’m going to be here all night and there are beds available.  How do you feel about coming tonight.”  I told him I’d ask Courtney and call him back.  We talked about it for a minute and thought what the heck!

If only the next part would have been so quick and easy.  Courtney had a very long an painful labor.  The details are a little fuzzy now because we were in that room for so stinking long.  But I’m pretty sure that they started the Potocyn drip at about 1:00 AM on Thursday morning.  26 hours later at 3:12 AM on Friday June 25th we welcomed the most beautiful little girl into the world.  I’ll have to write an entire post just to express how grateful and in love with Courtney I am!  She is so incredibly strong.  I don’t think I could have endured 24 straight hours of contractions and then be asked to push as hard as I could for as long as I could for two more hours.  She truly is amazing!

Here’s a photo journey of those 28 hours and a few more after the baby was born…

This machine recorded the length and strength of every contraction.  We spent a lot time watching this machine trying to figure what the heck was taking so long!

Here’s the slowest acting drug in the history of the world!

I figured that this would be the last meal before our beautiful baby was born.  Boy was I wrong!

It was so crazy thinking that at some point in the future we would lay our little baby girl in that bed!

We slept while we could but both of us were so nervous and excited that we didn’t get much sleep at all!

This was mid morning on Thursday the 24th.  We both figured it would only be a few more hours until things really started happening.  The Dr had already broken Courtney’s water and she was in “active labor” so everyone figured things would start to speed up.  Not the case!

Finally!  After 28 long hours our perfect little baby was born!  She was worn out from the process as well and she was very mellow when she was born.  Actually, she was a little too mellow.  The nurses had a hard time getting her to really scream and as a result she didn’t clear a lot of the liquid out of her lungs.  There were a few tense minutes in the room while the nurses worked to wake her up a little.

Thankfully there was a lot of family around.  I clung to Courtney’s sister Sabrina while we waited for the nurses to finish.  They were able to get things going well enough in the room to calm everyone down…but her breathing was just a little irregular so they told us that after a minute with Courtney they wanted to take her to the NICU.

June 25th.  6 lbs 13 oz and 19 inches tall.  What a beautiful little girl she is.  Just like her mother.

She was hungry and really ready for her mother.

Watching these two bond so quickly was one of the best moments for me.  It is incredible the bond that these two share.

Getting checked out in the NICU

I gave her a pep talk while the NICU nurses were writing all their notes.  I’m sure that this is why she breezed in and out of the NICU in less than two hours.  Ok…the truth is I promised her that she’d get some food as soon as we broke out!

Even though she had to go to the NICU I was still able to give her her first bath.  That was an awesome experience.


We are blessed to have great families and friends and we had lots of visitors.  Here’s just a few of them.

Checkout Pictures

As we were checking out the girls from Bella Baby Photography came and took some really cute pictures.  We’ll have some of those posted as soon as we get our CD.  However, like any good aspiring photographer would…I sat in her back pocket and took a lot of the same shots she was taking!  Eloise was pretty fussy during the process but we managed a couple of really cute ones.

As you can see the theme here…she was grumpy so we’d sneak a little food in her and she’d fall asleep long enough for one picture!  It took twice as long as it should have but the pictures were completely worth it!

I am beyond lucky to be blessed with the two most beautiful girls in the whole wide world!  Courtney you are amazing.  Thank you so much for your sacrifice in bringing this beautiful little bundle of joy into our lives!  I love you.

I’m toast aren’t I?!?!

Spring Showers bring Summer Weddings… (part 1)

22 06 2010

Last weekend Courtney’s little sister got married.  The weather tried it’s hardest to interfere and make things miserable.  But Tyler and Alyssa were unaffected and the wedding was wonderful and beautiful.

The festivities started for real on Friday night over at Tyler’s parents house.  Their back yard was awesome!  I’m kind of mad at myself for not taking more pictures.  But I was so busy having fun that I really dropped the ball….Most of the pictures I took were during the gift giving/love video watching portion of the evening.  Here are the guests of honor.

Jamie Taylor, Jenny Miller and Heidi Miller did a lot the organization for this part and it was awesome.  There were funny gifts, serious ones and even a couple that made everyone blush!

This was one of those moments that made people blush!  Josh’s gift was an assortment of hats, fake teeth and other “Role Play” accessories.  He’s 16 and the jury is still out on exactly what he meant when he did use the words “Role Play” and “That should be fun for you.”

I think Ty and Alyssa figured that even at 15 he meant just what it sounded like he meant with those comments!

I think it’s safe to say without offending anyone that just like when Courtney and I were married Earl and Sherry’s gift stole the show!

This knife was beautiful!  Especially knowing that when Tyler and Alyssa moved their date up by 45 days that Earl was still able to build this masterpiece!

There were quite a few tears during the lovers video presentation!

It was a great night but the wedding day was even better!  I’ll post those pictures shortly…

Ok fine…one preview

The final storm of the season

5 06 2010

Sorry about the delay in getting this post published.  Memorial Day weekend + the car business = late nights at the dealership and being way too tired to do anything when I get home!

Without further ado here are some of my favorite pictures from the shower that my mom and two sisters threw for Courtney and Eloise.  It was a really fun night and I’m glad I was invited.  We were especially excited for the family members that came from a long ways away to be there!  I can’t begin to thank everyone enough for their love and generosity.  This is going to be one of the most pampered babies around!  Enough talking look at the pictures.


Look at these beautiful women!  I’m sure that the blond on the left is the best looking of the bunch!

One of my favorite parts of the evening was this salad.  There’s one thing my family does well and that’s eat!

Here’s the creator of these lovely cupcakes!  They tasted a whole lot better than they looked.  (I struggled a little with the lighting on this one…)

Eloise’s closest cousins and best friend’s were all at the shower as well.  Some of them had more fun than others!

Just like the other three showers we’ve had for this little princess we were spoiled with some amazing gifts!  I want to thank everyone again for their generosity and their love!

We had a great time at this shower and we hope you all did as well!  We finished the baby’s room this week so I’ll get some pictures of the final product up later this weekend.  With that…have a great Saturday and send anyone you know into the dealership to buy a car today!  It’s a little slow this morning.  🙂

Thanks Serrelle!  We love you too!