Sunday, December 30, 2012

#92: Star Wars Nativity.

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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.

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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 StaticMultimedia.com, 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 dailymotion.com below. Merry Christmas and happy "Wookiee Life Day"!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

#90: Our New Adoption Blog.

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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 togethersbetter.blogspot.com.

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.

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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.

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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!