“BEING DEEPLY LOVED BY SOMEONE GIVES YOU STRENGTH, WHILE LOVING SOMEONE DEEPLY GIVES YOU COURAGE.” – Lao Tzu
Father & Husband
I am passionate about my family, there is nothing more important to me than my wife, my kids, and my dogs. Everything I have done in life, every risk, every challenge faced, every pursuit of self-improvement/education, and every hour of work has been with their welfare and success as my sole foci. To put it simply, they are my world and I belong to them.
My wife is not only my love but more importantly my best friend. She has been by my side literally through thick and thin, rich and poor, and in sickness and health; and I have done the same for her. The story of how our marriage came to be is a long one, and that of our little family even longer, so I have dedicated pages specific to those chapters of my life:
I grew up with zero pets because my dad is allergic to dogs, and well, so am I. So I never in my wildest dreams thought I would own a dog, let alone be a dog person. But after years of my youngest, animal-loving daughter creating PowerPoint presentations to persuade me, I finally gave in. Well, I didn’t really give in as much as I was talked into going with my wife and kids to a dog show to see some dogs my wife and kids had fallen in love with, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs or Swissies. They were trying their best to get me to instantly fall in love with that breed of dog so that they could get one, but one thing they never counted on was me running into a breed of dog that really impressed me; the American Akita.
We ran into a stunning example of the Akita as we went back to the kennels to meet the Swissies. In one of the kennels was a strong, silent, powerful dog that caught my eye. The handler brought the dog out so we could meet him and I was so impressed that as they walked away for their next competition, I turned to my wife and said, “Now that is a dog I could own.” Little did I know my wife was going to jump at the opportunity. She quickly found a reputable breeder of American Akitas in Idaho and put money down on a puppy. As soon as she was certain there was no turning back, she let me in on her surreptitious plan by telling me we were going to take an eight-hour drive to Murtaugh, Idaho to pick up a special present. Oh, she tried to keep it a secret (that lasted about 2.5 minutes) but secrets aren’t her forte; especially when it comes to gifts, so she had to tell me we were going to pick up our Akita.
Kioshi is now a very loved member of our family, and as expected, not long after, my daughter had us convinced that he needed a sister. Suddenly Bree was surprising myself and the kids again, and Akari was flying in from a breeder in Missouri. We now have two large-breed indoor dogs.
My wife, kids, and I love the outdoors, and we love to be active. One of our favorite locations in Utah to go hiking and backpacking is the Uintah Mountain Range. It is a high altitude mountain range that peaks at 13,528 feet above sea level full of frosty glaciers, vitreous glacier lakes, lush forests of evergreen trees, and picturesque alpine meadows bursting with wildflowers.
When we feel like going camping though, we like to head up to Strawberry Reservoir. Strawberry is an immense reservoir and one of the most popular fishing spots in Utah, but what is even more impressive is that the reservoir is surrounded by groves of lofty quaking aspen. We like to pack up our 35-foot camping trailer and head out to our favorite spot, way out off the grid and secluded from the world. This is absolute unimproved camping – no camping spots, no power, no hookups, nothing, just unadulterated wilderness camping and it always feels so good.
Strawberry Reservoir is also a great place in Utah to do a little crayfish fishing; which is always a ton of fun not only just for kids, but adults as well. Every year we make sure we head up to the reservoir at the end of August when the fishing is perfect – the water has cooled and the crayfish come a little closer to shore. There is a perfect spot, our secret spot, where a small stream empties into the reservoir. We like to take up some frozen tilapia fillets that we stake to the bottom of the small stream. As the water flows over the fillets the odor drifts down into the lake and lake weed in which the crayfish hide. After about 15 minutes, the crayfish cannot withstand the temptation of a tasty treat and they begin marching up the lake and into the stream. As they move along the stream bed, they become easy targets for anyone to grab; especially small children you don’t want playing in the actual reservoir. After we have filled a cooler or two and we are done for the day, we either head back to camp or home for an delicious crayfish and shrimp boil. Yes I know, it sounds like something people do in the south, not in Utah, but we’ve found that most of life’s pleasures aren’t limited by geographic locations – but rather by our imaginations.