Monday, February 23, 2009

Ruby and Annie at Two

Our girls have been two years old for over a month now. And they sure have grown!

Both are saying a lot of fun things (although Annie is much more verbose and insists on practicing her vocabulary 24/7). They can say their colors, identify furniture, family members, animals, food items, and parts of the body. The other day while in the shower together, Annie pointed to Trish's behind and said "Coot boonie!" She has also a pronounced lisp. She refers to Robin's reading glasses as "Daddy'ths glathethes." On the way home from Ikea tonight, Annie spotted the new Draper Temple all lit up and excitedly and repeatedly said, "Temple, temple, temple!" Trish decided to turn it into a Family Night activity and drove them right to the Temple for a closer look.

They love to "read" books with us and go for walks. They follow Mommy and Daddy around like little ducklings. All of the young women in the ward love them and we never lack for babysitters at Sacrament Meeting.

Their enthusiasm for life is infectious. Catch it!

Ready to Rumble

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Utah Legislature – 2009 Edition

I have been swamped since the 2009 General Session of the Utah Legislature began on January 26. It has been one of the busiest sessions in my career. Here’s why:

  • The Salt Lake Chamber has five major public policy initiatives (transportation, economic stimulus, energy resources, immigration, education), all of which will take a lot of political will and resources to pass

  • I am working on three other projects at the same time for various other clients

  • I am monitoring over 200 pieces of legislation for the Chamber and other clients
    I am trying to land as many new clients as I can while the legislature is convened

  • Life in a family of six children does not simply shut off because I am busy at work.

That being said, the best part of all this is being able to go home each night to two little girls who run into my arms when I first walk in the door, to the dulcet strains of “I’m So Glad When Daddy Comes Home.” My love for my four older children also grows each day. I always look forward to my time with them.

And then there is the love of my life, Trish. Nothing makes me happier or gives me more joy than being with her, learning with her, growing with her. The Lord has indeed blessed me.

The Panic of 2008-09

Since the first hint of “bailout” legislation back in October until the recently passed federal “stimulus” package, we have all heard about the urgency of it all. We were told back in October, for example, that if specific authorization for billions of dollars of bailout money were not immediately approved, we would be on the brink of comprehensive financial ruin as a nation.

Well, none of that happened.

We are still here. Most of us till make house payments on time, most of us have not lost our jobs nor had our pay reduced. Most of us still go out to dinner from time to time and put a little away each month in savings. Except for certain hard-hit industries like housing and construction (which, admittedly, are huge sectors, the depression of which really caused most of the economic trouble we are in collectively), we are, as a people, still doing fairly well.

I have concluded that most of what ails us is the way in which our economic status is communicated to us by the media. Most of what we hear is bad news, even though most of it never touches us personally. If none of us had ever read a newspaper or watched a TV news show, or read about the economy online, we would never have known that there even existed an economic downturn. The bottom line is that most of the negative economic experience we have is almost psychosomatic.

They used to call recessions “panics.” I think that is an apt name for them even today.

President Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States

Back on January 20 our staff at the Salt Lake Chamber gathered in our executive board room to watch and listen to the inaugural speech of our new President, Barack Obama. As a conservative who was not supportive of Obama nor terribly impressed with his policy pronouncements, I was nonetheless impressed with his speech and gratified to see him refer to the many time honored characteristics of our nation, things such as patriotism, hard work, and self-reliance. Since then, nearly every night, Trish and I have prayed for him to be successful - not necessarily in a public policy way, but in a way that will enable him to receive the guidance he needs to lead this nation down the correct path. Our prayers are and will continue to be with him as he strives to lead us through very rough economic waters.