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Monthly Archives: August 2007

Happy 60th Birthday, Dad

Today, is my father’s 60th birthday. He was born on August 31, 1947 in Salt Lake City. He died February 12, 2005 at the age of 57. But today, I’m celebrating his birthday — his life. And what a wonderful life it was. The son of Richard Alma and Mary Cox Lambert, Kent was the fourth of five children. He grew up in the Olympus Cove neighborhood of Salt Lake City and attended Skyline High School, graduating in 1966. He served an LDS mission to Argentina and Bolivia before returning to Brigham Young University to pursue a BA in Humanities and an MBA. Below is a picture of him taken just before he left on his mission. Isn’t he a good-looking guy? Good genes…

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Kent dedicated three decades of his life working for Northwestern Mutual Life, helping people prepare for the future — a job he considered almost a sacred mission. His greatest accomplishment, however, was his family. He married Vicki Wentz of Orem on December 18, 1970 in the Salt Lake Temple, and together they raised seven beautiful and brilliant children! 🙂

Anyway, for the last three years, I have met my mom at the cemetery on his birthday, and we have placed flowers on the grave and have reminisced about his life. This morning, my older brother Matt joined us at the cemetery and we shared some memories and prayed together.

My wife Robin doesn’t really understand our need to visit the grave on special occasions, since few in her family have passed on and it was never their tradition to go to burial sites. She suggests that for her, the place where he lived, not where he is currently lying dead, would be a more meaningful place to remember him. And she has a point.  However, I still feel the need to go there a few times a year (on his birthday, his death day and over Memorial Day weekend). Why?

When I am in the cemetery, my mind is able to shift from all the distractions of the world and I can focus on my beloved father, whose mortal remains are interred just below me. To some it may seem strange or somewhat macabre to find comfort standing on a plot of land filled with thousands of deceased people, but for me, it’s a great way to focus solely on my dad. As I stand in that quiet, sacred place with soft breeze blowing on my face, I gaze on his headstone, the trees and flowers and the majestic mountains to the east. Since I usually go there in the early morning, I ponder the great joy that will abound in that place on the morning of the first resurrection.

So happy birthday, Dad. Until we meet again on that perfect day…

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2007 in Family, Spirituality

 

Jogging 2,000 Miles

This morning as I was jogging, I began to think about what I could blog about next. (It’s funny how your mindset changes when you have a blog — you start to approach life’s experiences with a new perspective, i.e. what part of this experience would make for an interesting column.) Anyway, as I jogged around the neighborhood, I decided to blog about jogging. Fascinating subject, I know.

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I have been jogging with Buddy nearly every morning now for about three years. If you take into account vacations and occasional laziness or distractions, we still average about 5 days per week and about 2.5 miles per day. Add in slightly longer runs on the weekend, and we average about 13 miles per week. That means that during the course of a year (52 weeks) we jog 676 miles, about the distance from my house in Riverton to Mesquite, Nevada and back again. If you add up all the miles we’ve logged over three years, it’s over 2,000 miles of jogging — almost enough miles for me to jog from Riverton to my brother Nate’s apartment in Tallahassee, Florida. I feel kind of like Forrest Gump (“Run, Forrest, run!”) and have spent just under 400 hours of my life running over the past three years.

Now that I have the numbers out of the way (I was calculating them while jogging this morning), I will briefly describe why I enjoy it.

First, jogging outside is MUCH better than working out in a gym, where you have to deal with smelly socks and rubber- mat odor, along with big burley guys that make you feel like a wimp while you watch them work out. It’s also MUCH better than running on a treadmill where the scenery never changes and the only thing that makes it bearable is watching TV while you do it. Jogging is great because you can enjoy the wind in your hair, see the world around you and explore new areas. And when you’re done, you are are covered with sweat and you feel great!

When is jogging not so great, you may ask? Well, it’s really hard in the dead of winter when I have to wear gloves, a hat and a fleece jacket. It’s also unpleasant in hot weather, like last week when I tried to jog around the hotel in Orlando. It was so hot and humid, I thought I was in a sauna. Not fun! But overall, I really enjoy it. It’s become a habit to me — almost an addiction that I cannot give up. My dog LOVES it and I love it too. I just hope my joints don’t give out on me and reward all my efforts with the need for knee-replacement surgery… 🙂

 P.S. I’ve been on my diet again for five days, and have dropped from 196 to 189 — mostly water weight, but still very encouraging.

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2007 in Uncategorized

 

Yo-Yo Dieting

So today I’m launching on yet another diet. I know, I know — you’re probably wondering if I’m ever actually OFF a diet. Unfortunately, the answer is yes. I’ll start a diet for a while, get all excited about it and lose weight. Then my weight loss slows, I lose my drive and fall back into bad habits.

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Popularly known as “Yo-Yo Dieting” because the weight goes down and then comes back up, I’ve lost significant (though diminishing) amounts of weight three times over the past 12 years. While I’ve had other dieting time periods in which I’ve lost 4-8 pounds and then gained it back, here’s a quick summary of my most significant weight loss:

  • May-August 1996 – Lost 35 pounds (from 201 to 166)
  • Jan-June 2004 – Lost 33 pounds (from 204 to 171)
  • Jan-May 2007 – Lost 20 pounds (from 198 to 178)

I am now back up to 196 after a summer of carelessness and gluttony with lots of travel, bad eating habits, etc. Looking at the numbers above, it’s like my body really wants to weigh about 200 pounds. It doesn’t like it when I tell it that it should weigh 175 pounds. How annoying!

I am happy to report that my exercise is still pretty consistent — 5-6 days per week of jogging with my dog for 30 minutes each morning. We average about 2.4 miles per day, which means that we’re going at a somewhat leisurely pace of about 12.5 minutes per mile. But that doesn’t seem to be helping — at least not with the weight maintenance — even if it is good for my heart, and certainly much better than not exercising at all.

So I’m back into the groove again. This time, as in the past, I was motivated by my growing paunch, which really annoys me. When I am forced to contemplate buying new clothing to accommodate my added girth, I know it’s time to get after it again. My goal this time is to lose 16 pounds in 6 weeks — which is just about 2.6 pounds per week. I know it’s doable, because I’ve done it before!!! I want to greet my new baby boy with a 180 pound body. And then keep it off!

When I was a boy, I watched my dad constantly struggle with his weight. He was always trying a new diet, read every diet book ever written, and had goals he was trying to achieve. I vowed back then that I wouldn’t allow myself to get into that state… Well, here I am, my father’s son. 🙂 I can do it, though. It will just require willpower and “constant vigilance.”

Wish me luck!

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2007 in Uncategorized

 

Honeymoon Revisited

Almost exactly ten years after our memorable honeymoon to Orlando, Florida, I returned there this week. Only this time, I was traveling with two of my co-workers on a business trip — a site visit to help us plan out our upcoming company convention in January. The trip consisted of traveling to lots of potential venues for our welcome reception, including Universal Studios, Harley Davidson and a NASCAR sports grill. Since the people at the places we visited were trying to impress and win our business, they insisted on giving us lots of food and free stuff like T-shirts. Needless to say, I’ve probably put on a couple of pounds over the past couple of days.

As fun as it has been to be in the theme park capital of the world, it was much more fun 10 years ago with my new bride. When Robin and I began to plan our honeymoon, we thought that perhaps we’d go to Jackson Hole or someplace relatively close. However, when we heard about $109 round-trip fares to Orlando, we couldn’t pass it up. During our four day stay in August 1997, we visited the Orlando Temple, Daytona Beach, the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center. The day at the Magic Kingdom was probably our least favorite because it was so hot and humid (kind of like it is now here in Florida.) Our favorite experience was walking along the beach at Daytona at sunset, and then enjoying a delicious (and somewhat expensive) seafood dinner.

Anyway, being here in Florida again, ten years later, has made me ponder the experience of being a newlywed. First, I have realized that a honeymoon can never be re-created — you’re only newly married once. Our honeymoon was a mix of bliss and frustration, intense emotional bonding and some feelings of insecurity. Everything was so new and exciting, and it was thrilling to ponder and plan our future together.

Ten years later, everything has changed. Even if Robin were here with me, things would be different. We’ve gotten used to this “being married” thing. We know each other much better than we did back then. We understand one another. And while we’re still planning our future together and anxiously anticipating the next step, things are different. We’re done with school. Robin’s almost done with birthing babies. Our path is a little more set and we’re a little wiser too.

I have to say that the most significant change has been my love for my sweet wife. I thought I loved her back then. And I did. But that love is deeper and more permanent now. Whereas ten years ago I got butterflies thinking about being with her, now our love is more solid, deep and significant, based on years of shared experiences — trials and joys. I am grateful to be able to return to her tomorrow from the land of our honeymoon. I look forward to continuing our marvelous journey together.

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2007 in Family

 

Busy Summer – 36 Nights Away

Robin and I took the kids of a stroll last night, which ended up at a nearby playground. As we sat at a picnic table near while the kids played, we talked about what a busy summer this has been. We have been on five family trips since April:

  • Miami, Key West, Cozumel (cruise) – 6 nights 
  • Midway, Utah in May – 1 night
  • Oregon Coast in June – 6 nights
  • East Canyon in July – 2 nights
  • Bear Lake in July – 2 nights

Seven of those nights were spent in condos provided by my sweet mom, two were in the Hall Family cabin and one in a hotel on the Oregon/Idaho border.

I’ve also been camping quite a bit this summer with my church calling:

  • Campout with the deacons behind the church in April – 1 night
  • Campout in Lehi for the father’s and son’s outing in May – 1 night
  • Young men’s retreat in a hunting lodge in Altamont, Utah in June – 1 night
  • Summer camp with the deacons at Bear Lake in July – 4 nights
  • Youth conference near Potter’s Ponds (close to Huntington) – 2 nights

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If you add in five nights away for business travel during that time, I’ve spent 31 nights away from home over the past five months — and I’m not done yet! I have another business trip coming up — this time to Florida — from this Sunday to Wednesday (three nights), plus a ward campout next weekend and a family camp with the Lambert clan at the Heber Valley Camp over Labor Day Weekend. That will bring me to 36 nights in five months — 19 nights with family, 9 nights for church, 8 nights for work — an appropriate proportion, I think.

That’s about 20% of my time on the road. Of course, I can’t complain too much. Most of those nights away were for fun. Some of my colleagues at work who do sales are on the road about half of the time, and they’re working most of the time, not playing.

Anyway, even though we’ve had a lot of fun travel, I’m ready to relax and take a brake from it all. September is our month to stay at home (no school, no business trips, no camping, etc.) and prepare for baby #4 (whose name I believe we’ve finally decided on… stay tuned.) 

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2007 in Family

 

Meadowlarks Finally Stop Singing

Tonight was my official last performance as Helaman Harringtonin in Are the Meadowlarks Still Singing? and I approach this with a mixture of sadness and satisfaction. I have loved this show since I first started doing it back in 1991 at the old Hale Theater location in South Salt Lake. In total, I have done the show for seven years — two years before my mission as Paul, three years as Heley after my mission at the theater in Orem, and after a five year break, another two years as Heley at the theater in West Valley. What a blessing it has been for me! My testimony has grown as I’ve shared the message of the restoration with thousands of audience members over the years in well over 100 performances.

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Through the years, many friends and family have come to the show for which I am extremely grateful. Two families from my ward came to my final performance, which meant a lot to me. And, of course, my greatest fan was there — my mom Vicki –who came to the majority of my performances over the past two years. She has always been so supportive, and even though she’s see it so often she practically has the play memorized, she still came often, would laugh in all the right places and would be lavish in her praise of my performance after each show. What a great support and blessing she is! I’m lucky to have her.

Anyway, I am grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to be a part of the show. I can honestly say that I’ve felt the spirit EVERY time I have born testimony as the character Heley. And I want to repeat it again to you. I know the gospel of Jesus Christ as restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith is true. I love it and I feel blessed to have it in my life.

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2007 in Music / Theater, Spirituality

 

Looking Forward to My Mansion

For the past few years, Robin and I have tested our ability to keep the 10th commandment (i.e. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house) during the first two weeks of August. I’m referring, of course, to our annual tradition of attending the Salt Lake Parade of Homes. Each year, the Utah Home Builders Association features 30+ mouth-watering homes scattered in locations throughout the Salt Lake Valley. This year, the homes were concentrated in Riverton, Herriman and Draper, and so it was fairly convenient for us to attend. (What was not convenient was to find people to watch our children, who were not at all interested in traipsing through rich people’s homes.)

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The tickets cost $10 each, and in order to make it worth it, I like to visit at least 20 homes and to invest 6-8 hours of time. Robin and I saw five homes on Thursday, four on Friday and 10 on Saturday — so 19 in all. We still have a week to check out a few more (show ends on Saturday, August 11).

Each year, our experience goes something like this: as we visit the first few homes, we gawk at the sheer opulence and make jokes about how our master bedroom could fit into their closet (more appropriately termed a dressing room). We then start to think to ourselves,”Does anyone really need all this?” and then, “Just think about how many African orphans could have been fed and clothed if these people hadn’t sunk so much money into a 8,000-square-foot house in canyon!” After we’ve gone through that phase, we can finally begin to just appreciate the homes for their elegance and beauty. Most of them really are masterpieces of architectural and interior design. The landscaping and use of water features is really remarkable, a tribute to economically motivated human ingenuity and creativity.

Now these homes aren’t just big. Many of them are on fantastic lots with breathtaking views. In addition, their creators paid attention to every detail. They have the finest wood, tile and rocks, the nicest appliances and the most advanced technology. They also have really nice carpet, doors, windows, etc. I especially like seeing the technology, including state-of-the-art home theater systems and integrated audiovisual systems with security cameras and stereo systems throughout the house. Robin loves to see the creative home décor and furnishings, which really adds personality and class to the homes. We also enjoy checking out landscaping, pools, sports courts and water features of these extravagant homes.

I think that one reason we go religiously each year is to see “how the other half lives.” Another reason is that it’s fun to imagine my family living in one of those palatial homes, even though it is extremely doubtful that it will ever happen. Of course, we live in America, so anything is possible. Who knows? Maybe one day I could make enough money to live in a place like that. 🙂 Yeah, right.

Last night, we did cart our kids to visit one house on Creek Road. It was a 10,000+ square-foot mansion with 7 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms with a selling price of 3.2 million. It was my favorite home of the entire show. Parley was awed by it and said, “Oh, I don’t like visiting this house because it makes me wish I could live here!” The owner, who was sitting nearby, chuckled and said he could visit anytime. Perhaps we’ll take him up on that…

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2007 in Random Thoughts