Sunday, September 20, 2009

It's Official.

Yes, it's true I finally turned 16! I'm officially able to date and drive. Two weeks ago during Sacrament meeting my mom got up in front of the whole congregation and told everyone that I was about to go on my first date. Although it was probably the most embarrassing moment of my life, I'm thankful for all the "Dads" in my Ward who came up to me afterwards and said "If your dad needs any help taking the guy down, I'll be there." or "Who is this boy, I need to meet him." My sisters (mostly Sydney) have been pestering me to put pics up of Homecoming, so here are a few. I did actually have a really great time and I'm glad I got to go.

And now for my driving story.. Most of you may not know but it took me three times to pass the driving test. I obviously inherited my driving skills from dad and Chelsea. We always pay attention while were driving and we truly have a talent. But in my defense, the first two times I took the test i got the same lady. If her looks alone weren't scary enough she had a great personality to go along with that. You can even ask Dad and he will tell you she was a "Trogolodyte." The first time I went to Ellensburg I got a 77 (3 points away from passing). And the second time I got the Trogolodyte again and I didnt even get to finish the test! She said I didn't stop twice at the stop sign and that it was illegal. So the third time I decided I had to take it in Yakima because I couldn't have the Trogolodyte. The lady in Yakima loved me and I passed with a 92. So friends and family I am officially legal to drive.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Many years ago, I briefly practiced Judo at the Buddist Church in downtown SLC. The first thing I learned was a shoulder roll. This was particularly helpful for me because in Judo class I spent most of my time airborne. A shoulder roll is an amazingly effective way to avoid injury when you are being thrown to the mat. As wrestling coaches, we teach this to our wrestlers to help them avoid injury. The shoulder roll that I learned almost 40 years ago has come in handy on many occasions. There have been many moments in my life (while being hurled to the ground like a human projectile) where I have thought: "If I can just rotate my body enough to get my shoulder to the ground, I will survive this fall." My faithful crossover readers from Darrell's Yakimania might well ask, "To what moments could you possibly be referring?" or "Are you sure you are not being just a little dramatic here?" Let me assure you, I am not exaggerating in the least. If nothing else, I have always reported my life experiences modestly and accurately. These airborne experiences have occurred while participating in various and sundry physical activities. Oftentimes, they involved a dare, a bet or somehow involved someone calling someone else a "chicken." (There's a lot of things I can tolerate, but being called a chicken is not one of them, and I have fake teeth to prove it.) To be certain, however, most of these harrowing experiences have been while losing control of my mountain bike.
At any rate, after taking up mountain biking a number of years ago, I learned the term "Endo." "Endo" describes going over the top of your handlebars head first. I still proudly exhibit vestiges of my first Endo on a mountain bike that occurred over a decade ago. Some of my Endos have been rather benign, others more impressive and memorable. This past summer I had 3 significant "Endos".
One of my life heros, Rangi Smart introduced me to the Disneyland of downhill mountain biking--Deer Valley Utah. I had never ridden trails with stunts prior to this introduction. Half way down the first run, I was hooked! I returned the following week with a most excellent son-in-law, Nick Jordan to ride Deer Valley. I took a hard Endo while riding with Nick (my third Endo for the season) and for a moment thought I broke my neck. After regaining my wits, I am happy to report that all I broke was my seat post and my helmet. While I am still nursing a sore left thumb (the same thumb that was surgically repaired several years ago), my neck feels pretty good.

Above are some pics of Nick negotiating some really cool trails.
Below is Nick hitting the turf pretty hard!

Nick was an amazingly quick study and kept pace on some fairly challenging trails. We had a great time. Below are some pics of our little adventure.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mom knows best...

...and I should have listened. In preparation for Sarah's wedding, Meliss and I attempted to dye our hair a few days before we left for San Francisco. It was one of those late night ideas that seemed like a good one at the time. Mom hates it when we dye our hair and I was reminded of her wise council when I rinsed my hair and the dark chocolaty brown looked blue. That's right as in navy blue—like its so dark it has blue hues. Or plum—depending on the lighting. I look like one of those UT girls that dyes their black in order to be really edgy. Or like someone who is planning a trip to a country south of the border and wants to fit in. Or like I got little carried away with a Sharpie. Or like I am trying out for Wicked. I could continue if you don’t have an accurate picture of what it looks like yet. So the next morning I thought maybe I a wash would lighten it up a little. After five washes—it looked the same. I pulled my hair back in a bun, put on a headband and hoped that wearing navy would offset the ebony color on top of my head. As soon as I arrived at work, in order not to burst into random fits of hysteria, I called my hair salon and as luck would have it they were closed. I called 4 different places and finally got an appointment for that evening at a random place. When the girl showed up to "fix" my hair, she had the same exact blueish black color of hair. In an attempt to not offend her I tried to explain that my new hair hue wouldn't match the bridesmaid dress I would have to wear the following weekend. She gave me two options: bleach or warm toned wash. I figured I go with the least drastic option. I guess Sarah really loves me because she let me be part of her wedding even with navy blue hair.

On a happier note, we had a great "SMIKAH" wedding weekend in Oakland and San Fran. Sarah and Mike looked great and everything turned out perfect.

Mike spent so much time at our house, I feel like we went from 5 roommates down to 3. We can't find anyone as great as Sarah so Meliss and I are turning the "spare" bedroom into our study. Maybe it will help us get into grad school.

We had fun exploring San Fran and we squeezed a lot into our long weekend, including a drive across the Golden Gate, Pier 39, crab chowder, Ghiradelli Square, Lombard St (twice!), Alcatraz, and Berkely. (Visiting Berkely made me grateful for my singles ward in DC!)

We're happy the Johnsons finally made it "offish" and even more happy they are only 2 blocks away. Our west coast adventure was the my 5th trip to the opposite coast this year and while I am sick of the 7 hour flight I love the west coast!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

SheWolf's Birthday


Everybody knows we have the best mom there ever was. Sheila Hague Smart aka Shelly, Shewolf, Mom and most importantly Grandma is more than your average woman. Here is a small list of her most amazing talents/gifts (We simply cannot list them all)
1. Beauty. It is obvious that the Smart children can thank their sweet and sexy mama for all those good genes, thick hair, and high cheekbones. (Don't worry Dad, we thank you for alot of "other" things in our gene pool)

2. Brains. Mom always knows the right answer. If you call and need advice, she's always willing to give it and 10 times out of 10, she's 100% right. You may try to deny it if you're in college trying to make dinner by yourself, but in the end the best a phone call home.

3. Culinary skills. This is an understatement. Mom could whale on those silly Iron Chef contestants and she hasn't even gone to cooking school. Her natural talents and inventive efforts in the kitchen keep us all happy and well-fed. Is there anything this woman can't do in the kitchen? I don't think so.

4. Patience. Mom raised us. Need I say more?

5. Dance moves. This playing field nearly always involves our Puff Daddy as well. Pour Peaches and Herb into the mix and you've got yourself an explosive carbonated beverage...(shaken not stirred of course)

6. Interior Decorating/Fashion sense. We've all watched Stacy and Clinton try to teach losers on What Not to Wear how to clothe themselves. If there is one thing we've learned from Mom it's You've Got It...OR You Don't. Mom taught us all how to dress to impress and I think we can all say that our Mom is the hottest Mom at every PTA function/Graduation/Wedding/Event in our lives. But her keen taste does not stop with the clothes she wears. Shelly takes it one step forward and continues to reign in the realm of home decor. Is there any other woman who could make a marble pear look so expensive? Again I say, "No." There simply is no other woman up for the job.

7. The Essence of Superwoman. I do not say this sentence lightly. Very few women in the world actually possess the essence of Superwoman. But I'm sure we can all say that Mom does. She is constantly running around fulfilling her calling, taking care of people, spoiling her kids and grandkids, and being a devoted wife to our Puff Daddy.

Mom we love you! Happy 29 Birthday!