Sunday, December 30, 2012

#92: Star Wars Nativity.

This post is a week late, but I still wanted to share it. My friend Tonya's 5-year old nephew made his own version of the nativity story last year. Clearly it's from the Book of Luke. :)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

#91: The Star Wars Holiday Special.

In 1977, Star Wars was released and has since been heralded as one of the greatest movies of all time.

In 1978, the Star Wars Holiday Special was released and has since been heralded as one of the worst TV shows of all-time.

It is impossible to find an official version of the holiday special today, because, well, there simply isn't one. George Lucas considers the holiday special to be one of his biggest regrets, even supposedly saying, "If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it." In another interview with, he said, "The special from 1978 really didn't have much to do with us, you know. I can't remember what network it was on, but it was a thing that they did. We kind of let them do it. It was done by... I can't even remember who the group was, but they were variety TV guys. We let them use the characters and stuff and that probably wasn't the smartest thing to do, but you learn from those experiences."

Princess Leia sings during the epic conclusion of the Star Wars Holiday Special.
Fortunately, due to some wonderful people who recorded the special on VHS when it originally aired (the one and ONLY time it ever aired), the current generation of Star Wars fans now have the opportunity to watch it for themselves. It may be terrible, and it may not make sense, but just like Jar Jar Binks, it's a historical part of my favorite galaxy far, far away. I have embedded a copy of the holiday special from FilmGeek-TV at below. Merry Christmas and happy "Wookiee Life Day"!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

#90: Our New Adoption Blog.

A few months ago, my favorite blogger, Jocelyn Christensen, invited me to participate in her annual celebration of the Family Proclamation. For my contribution, I decided to share the story of mine and Diane's struggle with infertility. It was scary to share such a personal part of our lives, but I hoped that by sharing our story we might be able to comfort others who may be dealing with infertility as well.

Since that time, Diane and I have felt very strongly that we need to start our family as soon as possible, and that Heavenly Father has a baby ready to send to us. As we opened up our hearts and prayed about what to do next, we KNEW that the next step we needed to take was to start the adoption process. It has been a crazy couple of weeks filling out paperwork, submitting background checks, working on a video, being interviewed, and completing online adoption training courses. Although it has been a lot of work, it has been very exciting to check off each step in the process. The only thing we still needed to do was to start our own adoption blog (No, it's not called AdoptedWookiee) and let the world know about it! So, that's what I'm doing right now. You can check out our new blog at

If you or anyone you know is considering placing their baby for adoption, please consider introducing them to our blog. The greatest desire of our hearts is to be parents, and we need your help to make it happen. Thank you for your love, prayers, and support. We can't wait to make two become three!

Because you know this picture is awesome.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

#89: Church Ball Makes Me Vomit.

I'm not be the world's greatest basketball player. Heck, I'm not even my family's greatest basketball player. But AT LEAST I used to be able to run up and down the court a few times and take some bad jumpers. Well, apparently not anymore.

Tonight I geared up for our big game with the 10th Ward. I slipped into my Lebron James shorts, put on my yoda T-shirt, and laced up my New Balance sneakers. I ate two hearty bowls of Rice Chex. I arrived at the church. I did some sweet leg warm-ups. I got put in the starting line-up (granted, we only had five players at the time). I ran up the court. I got the ball. I shot an airball. I ran back down the court. I got a three-pointer made over my head. I got passed the ball again. I fell down and travelled. I got back up. I started to feel sick. I frantically called for a time-out. I ran to the bathroom. I threw up Rice Chex into the toilet (the only shot I actually made tonight). I went home. I blogged about my pathetic athletic ability.

Two lessons to be learned:

1. Don't eat Rice Chex 5 minutes before playing basketball.
2. Do more than just ride a stationary bike while playing Words With Friends for exercise every night.

The end.
The world's ACTUAL greatest basketball player.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

#88: True Love: Katie Kirkpatrick and Nick Godwin.

Yesterday my friend Tyson posted the following picture on Facebook:

The photo instantly caught my attention. Even though the bride in the picture is clearly ill, she just seemed so beautiful to me, and you could tell how much she and her new husband loved each other. I decided to learn more about the couple, and their story touched my heart more than anything has in a long time. I wanted to share the story of Katie Kirkpatrick and Nick Godwin with you in case you had not seen it before. All black-and-white pictures were found at Katie's Facebook Tribute Page and were originally taken by photographer Romain Blanquart.

Their Story:

During her senior year, Katie was Homecoming Queen at Lapeer East High School in Michigan. She was beautiful, talented, friendly, and full of life. A few months later, she graduated as the valedictorian of her class and began her graduation speech with the following two lines:

“Life is a fragile chain of experiences held together by love. If there could be only one thing in life to learn, it would be to learn to love.”

One year later, on Valentine's Day, 2002, while a freshman at Rochester College in Michigan, Katie was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. The next year she was also diagnosed with an inoperable lung tumor. Her high school sweetheart, Nick Godwin, supported and stayed by Katie's side the entire time. Despite Katie's continually declining condition, Nick proposed and Katie accepted.

A few months later, on January 15, 2005, Katie, age 21 and Nick, age 23 were married at the Church of Christ in Hazel Park, Michigan. Katie died five short days later. After she passed away, Nick said this about the opportunity to marry Katie:

"It was wonderful. It was a dream come true. She was the most beautiful angel ever—just caring and selfless, and such an inspiration to everyone. She was always smiling no matter what happened, no matter what news she got. She was as close to perfect as they come."

Katie and Nick's Wedding Ceremony.
Katie walks past a picture of her as Homecoming Queen a few years earlier.
Nick and his best men serenade Katie in her wheelchair.
Katie puts in her earrings as the finishing touches to her wedding dress.
Katie and Nick share a moment with Katie's parents.
Katie with her dad, Dave Kirkpatrick.
An exhausted Katie takes a break during the wedding dinner.
Katie in pain prior to the wedding.
Nick and Katie during a long day at the hospital.
Nick waits patiently with Katie during a medical
procedure just eight days before the wedding.
Love Endures.
I am so touched by Katie and Nick's story. As I thought about their all too brief marriage, it caused me to pause and think about my own marriage to Diane. It made me so grateful for her. It made me want to try harder to be the best husband I possibly can and cherish every day with her. It also made me grateful for the knowledge that because of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, I have the opportunity to be married to Diane for eternity and not just until "death do us part". There is no greater blessing I can imagine. I pray for the same blessing for Katie and Nick.

Katie and Nick's example is a powerful reminder to me to try to love with all of my heart, because as Katie said in her graduation speech, there really is nothing more important in life than that. God bless you, Katie and Nick!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

#87: Dikembe Mutombo Saves the World!!!

Every now and then, something so awesome comes along that it changes the fate of the world--things like the printing press, the founding of America, or the first electric light bulb (Thank you, Dr. Edison). Well, this week one of those things came along: an Old Spice commercial/online video game starring Dikembe Mutombo, one of my absolute favorite NBA players from the 1990's! How does an Old Spice commercial change the world? I won't spoil it, but go to to find out. Trust me, you WON'T regret it!

Dikembe Mutombo Saves the World!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

#86: Turkey Hands and Crab Legs.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend! Hopefully you were able to eat copious amounts of  food like I was. This Thanksgiving was especially awesome because we were able to piggyback on the Thanksgiving plans of Diane's sister's husband's family (triple apostrophe!) up in Idaho Falls. In total, I think there were about 30 of us, and we had a great time. My favorite part of the night was when my father-in-law Ben taught me how to carve the turkey like Chef Emeril Lagasse (It made me feel very manly). Usually I get grossed-out by the thought of touching slimy dead animals with my bare hands, but this time it was a badge of honor to learn from the best.
Turkey hands.
While we were there, turkey wasn't the only meat we consumed. On Friday night, Diane and her parents also ate some king crab legs (I'm not a seafood lover, so I opted for leftovers instead). King crab is a very rare treat and Diane describes it as an "out-of-body experience". Hey, at least now I know what to get her for Christmas.
Crab legs.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

#85: 2-Year Old Boy Dances to Jailhouse Rock.

Whenever I get the chance to sing karaoke, I always choose "Jailhouse Rock". It's the perfect karaoke song--you get to sing it loud, you get to sing it off-key, and best of all, you get to pretend to be Elvis. Back when I was in the University of Utah 16th Single's Ward, I was selected to compete in the "Mr. 16th Ward" competition, something akin to a beauty pageant for guys (I know, I'm such a stud). For the talent portion, I decided I was going to perform "Jailhouse Rock" (at the time I was inspired by Taylor Hick's recent performance of the song during season 5 of American Idol). I created a whole routine featuring my awesome dance skills while wearing a popped-collar leather jacket.

Well, two weeks later, the Mr. 16th Ward competition was cancelled (OBVIOUSLY the other contestants were overwhelmed at the thought of competing against me....), and all I got out of it was a sweet karaoke routine.

Anyway, yesterday Diane showed me an awesome video of a 2-year old dancing to Jailhouse Rock, and I couldn't resist posting it. It made me realize how much I want a cute kid like this someday. It also made me realize that he would have crushed me in the Mr. 16th Ward competition. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

#84: If I ever made a t-shirt.

My post last week about Star Wars/Disney mash-ups reminded me of a drawing I did a few years ago. If I ever made a custom t-shirt, it would look like this (because combining five nerdy things is waaaaaaaay cooler than combining just two nerdy things!). Now if I could only figure out a way to include Taylor Swift somehow...

Super Mario Jedi Potter Mouse!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

#83: Disney + Star Wars = Awesome!

During a person's life, there are special moments that occur--events like baptisms, graduations, weddings, or the birth of children. These are events that define our lives and give us cherished memories. Well, this week I had one of those special moments. On Tuesday afternoon at 2:07 PM, as I was staring at a 2013 budget spreadsheet, my friend Eric came into my office. Our conversation went something like this:

Eric (while sitting down): Steve, I have something important to tell you.
Me:  Is everything okay?
Eric: Yes. Did you hear the news?
Me: Um, did something happen in the presidential race?
Eric: No, I'm talking about the BIG news.
Me (with a heightened sense of alarm): No, I haven't heard.
Eric: Um. Disney just bought Star Wars for 4 billion dollars.
Me (with a head shake and look of disbelief): Shut up!
Eric: I'm serious. AND they are releasing Episode 7 in 2015!
Me (immediately after searching Google for "Disney buys Star Wars for 4 billion dollars"): Holy cow! You're right. This is amazing!

Then, as I contemplated the sheer awesomeness of the news, I swear that I heard fireworks going off, a marching band start playing the Imperial March in the distance, and an X-Wing soaring past my office window. As both a huge Disney and Star Wars fan, this was one of those special life moments (well, okay....maybe not, but it was still awesome)!

I understand that some may not be as excited by the news as I was (duh.), but I was surprised to see that some people reacted negatively to the news. To anyone who may have doubts or worry about what may happen to their beloved Star Wars franchise, have some faith. Disney wouldn't spend $4 billion to run Star Wars into the ground. Remember, these are the same people that brought us The Avengers just a few short months ago. I am very confident that Disney will help raise Star Wars to even higher heights of awesomeness.

One really cool part of the deal was the announcement today by George Lucas that he would be donating most of the $4 billion to various charities. I am very impressed by Lucas's desire to help others. Clearly the deal was not strictly a financial one for him, and he wants to use his wealth to give back. Fans (including myself) may complain from time to time about George Lucas as a director, but I think he deserves all the praise we can offer for George Lucas as a man. George, thank you for Star Wars! And thank you for your example of charitable giving!

After hearing the news of the Disney purchase, I began to scour the internet ("scour" is a great word) for Star Wars/Disney mashups that I knew other internet users had surely created. Below are my favorites that I have found (original source links are below each picture). Enjoy and may the force be with you!

Boba Lightyear
Crazy Hair Princesses
Darth Mickey
Darth White and the Seven Sandpeople
Droid Story
Finding Yoda
Goofy Dumbwalker vs. Derph Vader
Andy's Han Solo
Admiral Ackbar: It's a tramp!
Lady and the Tauntaun
Lilo and Sith
Yoda King
Hike and Chully
That's not a mouse! That's a space station!
Princess White and the Seven Stormtroopers

Princess and the Beast
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Marvel and Star Wars under the house of mouse  

My personal favorite: Han and Leia in Up!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

#82: Brazil Teresina Mission.

I have written previously about my 6'7 "little" brother, Matthew. Matthew is a great brother, but even more so, he is a great friend. We always have a good time and enjoy being together, even though I refuse to play basketball with him anymore (for obvious reasons).

Well, nothing makes me more proud than to announce that this week Matthew received his mission call to serve in the Brazil Teresina Mission! Despite my personal aversion to Brazilian cheese balls, I could not be happier for Matthew. Brazil is a perfect match for him, particularly because each summer for the last few years, my parents and Matthew have hosted Brazilian foreign exchange students in their home. Matthew has grown to love the Brazilian people (and Brazilian food!), and he feels a special connection to them.

Opening the mission call! Sorry for the "vertical video".

A couple of days ago, Matthew shared the following Facebook message with all of his Brazilian friends:

"I KNOW God sent you guys into my life to help me get prepared for my mission! You guys have been such great friends to me, and you have helped me realize that Brazilians are the best people in the world. I love you, guys! I am so excited that I get to be a part of your country for two years!"

It has been wonderful to read their responses and to realize that they are just as happy to see Matthew as he is to see them. I know that Matthew will do great things in the service of the Lord among the people of Brazil.

Congratulations, bro!
Yes, I realize he got all the good-looking genes in the family.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

#81: Puzzle Them Home.

A few weeks ago, I blogged about Jeremy and Christi Green, two of the most amazing people I have ever met. The Greens' selfless sacrifice of adopting five (and soon to be seven) disabled Chinese children is a constant inspiration to me. They are truly Christlike examples, whose priorities are focused on the things that really matter the most in life.

As you may know, one of the two new children the Greens are adopting is 12-year old Cali, who is expected to join the family from China next month. Although Cali is beautiful in every way, with a bright spirit and wonderful smile, she is also confined to a wheelchair.
Cali Rose Green
Unfortunately, the Greens' current home is not wheelchair accessible, and it will be difficult for Cali to be able to move around once she arrives. In response to this need, last month some of the Greens' good friends started a fundraiser website called Puzzle Them Home in an effort to help the Greens build a new home. Unfortunately, the progress is going slowly and it may still be some time before the Greens can afford to build. In an effort to increase the fundraising efforts, the Greens have made an adorable YouTube video (also shown below), with the hope that it will gain traction through Facebook and Twitter and catch the attention of someone influential who can make a big difference or help spread their story. By myself, I am certainly not influential and cannot make a big difference, but if anyone who reads this post would be willing to share the Greens' story or even make a donation to the family through Puzzle Them Home, it could be the start something amazing.

There is one other thing that I wanted to address. Perhaps you may be asking yourself, "If the Greens can’t afford to take care of these new kids, then why in the world are they adopting them? Don't they know when to quit?"

In her blog post today, Christi addressed these questions and explained why they are adopting Cali and Conner, even if they do not get a new home. I have stolen some of her post below (Christi, hopefully that is okay!), but you should read the whole thing by clicking here:

In our case, each time we have pursued adoption, I have come to know that it is exactly what the Lord wants us to do. I am so extremely grateful for this knowledge. It has been so important as we go through the ups and downs and highs and lows that each new child brings to our family. Knowing, without a shadow of a doubt, that we are to pursue adopting each child is of infinite worth to me. The weight that is so heavy as we prayerfully consider these children is immediately lifted when we receive that “yes” answer and accept it. (And by the way, in case you are wondering, we have received "no" answers concerning adoption as well.)

And so, as we moved forward with Cali’s and Conner’s adoptions, I let go of the things that I had worried about as we sought answers from our Heavenly Father as to whether or not to adopt. 

One of those things was (no surprise here…) having a bigger home. I stopped worrying about how we would accommodate our new additions and how Cali would get along in a wheelchair here because I knew that it was right to adopt her. I felt so much peace as I realized that Cali was infinitely better off here, in a home that isn’t equipped for a wheelchair and where we are a tight fit, than in an orphanage without a family. That realization took a huge weight off my shoulders. Getting a new home was NOT paramount to adopting her. Happy dance!!!!!

Still (sheepish smile), I wanted a new home. (; And we decided that it was a good thing to pray for—one that we felt would be the best thing for our children and bless our family in very life-changing ways.

Let me tell you what I hoped would happen with those prayers. (: I hoped that God would basically just drop down a home out of the sky and have it land on our property. I’m not really kidding here. I wanted it to be that easy. I wanted Jeremy’s side business to take off in a way that we would make like, a million dollars this year and could build our dream home. Yes… that would be very ideal!Heavenly Father decided that He would do things His own way. And HIS way is not at all MY way!!!!! My way is NOT to have a bunch of busy, wonderful mothers who have a thousand other things to do decide to put hours and hours into serving our family. My way is NOT to have PayPal buttons and requests for donations. Seriously—UGH! My way is NOT to have people who have less money than us sacrifice to build us a great big home. My way is NOT to hear of one of Graci’s friends saving up money to buy a puzzle piece (made me cry humble tears). My way is NOT to write facebook and blog posts letting people know that “Hey! Have you heard there is a fundraiser to raise money for ME?!” Hello-- embarrassing! My way is not to set up a twitter account with the sole purpose of tracking down my kids’ favorite celebrities and sheepishly asking them to tweet. My way is NOT to have a tree set up with our pictures on it at community events asking people to learn more about our family. My way is NOT to be public with this whole new house thing.

I have found that being on this “receiving” end is actually very hard. PLEASE don’t think I’m complaining—I am so grateful! But saying, “Thank you—it means so much!” and accepting help is much harder for me than saying, “Thanks, but we’re fine!” And over and over and over in the past few months I have had to do just that--say, “Thank you,” and accept. “Thank you” to those wonderful people on the Puzzle Them Home committee who are selflessly giving of their time and talent. “Thank you” to those who are sharing our story. “Thank you” to those who have so generously donated financially to the cause. Knowing that this is the type of service I can NEVER pay back is just plain hard!

Please consider in your hearts if there is some small (or big) way that you can help the Greens. They can use your prayers, they can use your tweets/re-posts, and they can use your donations. Jeremy and Christi really are the most amazing people I have ever met, and I can think of no greater Christmas present than to see them be able to build a new home.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

#80: Star Wars Calms Crying Baby (Video).

Due to my recent posts about (1) our issues with infertility and (2) the Green family's adoptions, I have been thinking about babies lately (Go figure). With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to search YouTube for any fun videos about Star Wars and babies. And then I stumbled across this little gem.

I sure hope my future kids respond this way too!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

#79: All Dogs Go to Heaven.

When I was a kid, a movie came out titled "All Dogs Go to Heaven". It was a cute cartoon about a dog named Charlie who dies, goes to heaven, gets the chance to come back to earth, and ultimately dies a second time by sacrificing himself to save a little girl from drowning. I don't remember much else about the plot, but the one thing that has always stuck with me since first seeing the movie was its title. As a little boy, I remember asking myself, "Do all dogs REALLY go to heaven?". This week I have had cause to ask myself this question once again when our wonderful family dog, Mickey, had a seizure and passed away after being a part of our family for fourteen years.

The loss of a pet is a hard thing. We adopted Mickey during my Sophomore of high school. We had just gotten back from a family trip to Disneyland, and my little brother Matthew decided to name our new dog "Mickey" (now that I look back on it, I'm surprised he didn't go with "Pluto" instead). Before adopting Mickey, we had had two "outside" dogs, a Siberian Husky named Meesha and a half-wolf/half-elephant/half-I-have-no-idea (three halves do make a right) named Tasha. They were great dogs, but I don't have too many memories with them since we always kept them in the backyard. However, when they passed away and we got Mickey, things were different. Mickey was our first "inside" dog, and he instantly became a member of our family. I have many wonderful memories of Mickey, but perhaps my favorite involves Mickey's love of ice cubes. Even as he got older and had a hard time moving, Mickey would ALWAYS come running when he heard someone using the ice maker. Mickey LOVED ice. A great trick I used to do with Mickey was to put an ice cube in my mouth and then spit it into the air. Mickey would jump up and catch it in his mouth and then run and hide under the kitchen table so no one could take it away from him. Mickey was one great dog.
Mickey with my niece Nichole
Do you have ice?
Nobody "nose" the trouble I've seen
Diesel, Mickey, and Radar
Mickey after the seizure
Mickey with my dad
My mom says goodbye
Dad, Emily, Matthew, Amy, and Mickey
For anyone who has lost a pet, we can all take comfort that dogs really do go to heaven. In regard to animals in heaven, the prophet Joseph Smith once shared the following:

"John saw curious looking beasts in heaven; he saw every creature that was in heaven,—all the beasts, fowls and fish in heaven,—actually there, giving glory to God. How do you prove it? 'And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever' (Revelations 5:13). I suppose John saw beings there of a thousand forms, that had been saved from ten thousand times ten thousand earths like this,—strange beasts of which we have no conception: all might be seen in heaven. The grand secret was to show John what there was in heaven. John learned that God glorified Himself by saving all that His hands had made, whether beasts, fowls, fishes or men; and He will glorify Himself with them...John heard the words of the beasts giving glory to God, and understood them. God who made the beasts could understand every language spoken by them" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 291).

Additionally, in talking about the millennium, the prophet Isaiah revealed that “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox" (Isaiah 11:6-7).

I have faith that we will see Mickey again after this life. And when we do, I sure hope that there are ice makers for our favorite trick.