Monday, September 29, 2008

My Brother Should Be Famous

My brother Cameron is 16 years old and a musical genius. Seriously. I remember he would never practice the piano and was thinking about quitting which I was sad about. This was when I was a senior at college. Then I got a phone call from my mom and she mentioned that Cameron was writing a song and he was really proud of it. I thought, "How cute!" I eventually made it home to hear this song and it literally put tears in my eyes. It was not a dinky little song like I thought it would was amazing.

Since that moment Cameron has written dozens of songs and arranged many more. He has what is called perfect pitch which means he knows every tone without comparing it to another. For example, he could tell you that your refrigerator hums a B flat. The music literally moves from his head to his fingers. He doesn't have to think to hard what notes he is playing. His fingers just move. Watching him compose music is really amazing.

Well, Matt and I helped Cameron add a couple of videos to Youtube to help him get famous and share his gift with the world. I think you will be impressed. If you are into the whole youtube thing please subscribe to him, rate his videos, and add comments (I've included the links to youtube). Watch for more to come as well.

This is a Cameron Webb original: Sailing off the Earth

This is a Cameron Webb arrangement: Viva la Vida-Coldplay

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Utah Rocks: Thoughts on the New US Census

I've heard a lot of people complain about how they don't like Utah. My first thought is, of course, "then live somewhere else." I don't understand these people. It seems logical to me. I do, on the other hand, understand that they might not like some things about Utah (the weather, the traffic, the huge Mormon majority), but they should give credit where credit is due and admit that Utah is pretty cool when it comes to many things.

I just read an article in the Deseret News about Utah's rankings in the new census. The first thing they mention is how Utah is number one in family size and has the lowest marriage age. They contribute this to the LDS emphasis on family and, to a smaller extent, immigrants. "No Surprise Here" is the title of the article and that is how I felt as well. I personally don't want a huge family. I was planning on 4 kids. Now that I'm nine months pregnant, I have downgraded my dream family to 3 kids. I think that one's family size is up to them. I don't care if couples decide on zero or twelve kids (as long as they take care of them!) It really is the other statistics that caught my attention.

Utah is ranked 43rd in percent of people below poverty level. That is pretty darn good, if you ask me.

Utah is ranked 45th in percent of households receiving cash public assistance. Not Bad!

Utah is ranked 10th in percent of housing units that are owner occupied. We all know that owning is, like, a kagillion times better than renting.

Utah is ranked 13th for median household income. Not the highest, but still competitive.

Utah has the LOWEST percentage of children under age 6 with all parents in the work force. This is an important factor in understanding the causation of many of these rankings.

Utah is ranked 6th in percent of people age 25 and older who completed high school. Pretty good in a state where funding education always seems to be a problem.

Utah is ranked 18th in percent of people age 25 and older who received a bachelor's degree. This really isn't that high of a ranking, but I thought it notable.

So why is Utah so awesome? I'll be the first to tell you that correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation, but it stands to reason that many of these great ranking are related to Utah's emphasis on family. As a former educator, I clearly saw the impact that involved parents had on their child's education. Kids need a support system to help them succeed. I believe that all the other ranking are, at least in part, a result of an educated population with a strong emphasis on families.

The government spends A LOT of money on welfare (among other things). I have always thought that the best way to decrease the amount of welfare is improve education. There will always be a need to help those who can not provide for themselves, but unfortunately this is not the case for FAR TOO MANY people on welfare. If only they could learn responsibility, marketable skills, work ethic...things that should be taught in the public school system.

I could go on and on and on with commentary on this or that, but I'm just going to force myself to stop here with my conclusion.

Whether or not you are LDS, you would have to be blind not to see the benefit on society of having strong families. Functional families create strong individuals. Strong individuals create an educated, self-sufficient society...that is something we should all be working towards.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New Baby Picture

I know I already made one picture of our baby using pictures of matt and me, but it was too much fun. So, here's another!

It is crazy to think that there is a baby inside of me and that he is going to be born (probably) in the next week! Wow! I'm super excited! I feel like right now I'm just waiting (not so) patiently for that moment to arrive. I can't focus on anything else.

What do you think about my little new baby Baby Budd? - What will your baby look like?

Friday, September 12, 2008

38 weeks

The baby is supposed to be born today. Why you ask? Well, because I am ready. I have everything I need. I've read all the books about childbirth and pregnancy that I can handle. I am done with this pregnancy thing, but apparently the baby hasn't gotten the memo. There are 7 more hours today, so there is still a chance.

So I found a website that will show us what our baby will look like:

What do you think about my little new baby Baby Budd? - What will your baby look like?

Cute, isn't he?

Friday, September 5, 2008

37 weeks!

Today, I am officially 37 weeks pregnant. That is full term, which is a good thing since my doctor said he could come any day now. I think I'm ok with next friday, the 12th. My due date is the 26th, but my doctor says he will probably be early. Her guess was around the 17th, but she did say that it could be tomorrow. Ready or not, he is coming soon!