Thursday, November 10, 2011

Last, But Certainly Not Least...

The youngest of our kids is Jarom.  As I have talked about some aspect of each of my kids' birth's, it is only proper that I tell you something about Jarom's birthday.  About a month before Lisa was due, I went to one of her appointments with her doctor.  At some point in the meeting, Dr. Davis turned to me and told me he thought I should deliver the baby since I was so experienced having seen the birth of our four other children.  I wasn't so sure about this but agreed after one or two seconds of deliberation. He assured me he would be right there to help and coach me.  The day arrived and I was gowned and gloved.  It went very fast it seems.  Before I knew it, Jarom had been born.  He was perfect in every way and a beautiful baby.

Jarom being the youngest has always seemingly been a plague to him.  He hates being called "the baby".  At some point there seemed to be a natural division that took place between the three oldest boys and Nicole and Jarom.  The nickname for the older three was "The Brothers" while the two youngest became "The Babies".  He hated this.  He always wanted to be part of the brothers and seemed to willingly do anything to be included with "The Brothers".  I don't think that he really ever had to do anything.  As he has grown the nicknames have gone away and his size and accomplishments have allowed him to be his own man.  No longer the baby or "The Babies" he has and is growing into his own person.  Jarom.

As he has grown, he has excelled at baseball, basketball and golf.  Gold is his true love and he is very talented and has excelled at the game.  He is a member of his high school golf team and first varsity lettered as a 9th grader.  He helped his team take third in state this year and played very, very well.  He is an excellent golfer.  His coaches love his swing and form, but most of all they simply love Jarom for who he is.

Jarom is a wonderful young man.  I have been proud to be his father.  As he is maturing and changing, he and I have bumped heads and had our share of difficult times.  Through it all, I have marvelled at his ability to endure.  In less than a year he will graduate from high school and is planning a mission.  I know he will succeed.  He always does.  He's a great guy and his future will be as great as his past which is terrific.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Princess...

After having three boys we decided (hah...!) to have ourselves a little girl.  I actually remember when we found out Lisa was carrying a baby girl.  I couldn't wait to tell everyone!  She was going to be the first granddaughter on both sides and we were so excited for her arrival.  In anticipation Lisa and I had picked out her name years before when we were first married.  The name we felt good about and that we had chosen was Amanda.  After 9 excruciatingly long months, finally the day came that she was born and we were so happy and excited.  The first time I held her in my arms I recall looking at her precious little face and realized that this was not Amanda.  As Lisa and I talked about it we agreed and quickly came to the conclusion that Nicole had arrived at our home.  She was (is...) quite the gift...

 Nicole has always been a very loving and maternal sister, even to her older brothers.  When Jarom was born (13 1/2 months after she was born...) she wasn't quite talking yet.  Everybody in the family would call Jarom their sweet boy.  When Nicole started talking to where we could begin to understand her, she would call Jarom "Boy", thinking that was his name.  Eventually it turned into Boyo which most everybody in the family still calls him.

She is loyal and determined.  When she was turning 18 she decided that she wanted to buy her own car, with her own money and her own credit.  She worked diligently at it and the DAY she turned 18 she signed the paperwork for her first car.  She did it all on her own.  We were so proud of that accomplishment.  Her love for her family knows no bounds.  Her nieces and nephews love her almost as much as she loves them.  I can't wait to see what the future holds for her.  From the type of person she has grown up to be, I know that future is full of promise and love.

I am so grateful for her in my life.  The boys get upset that all she has to do to get my full attention or what she is asking for is to say "Daddy...".  I have to admit, it melts my heart everytime.  I am so proud of the woman she is and is becoming.  Sometimes I get sad that she seems to have grown up so fast, and other times I can't wait to see in what way she will progress and grow next.  A real two edged sword.  Either way she is my princess.  She is a princess and the world is her carriage...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Son Three, aka Trevor...

If you hadn't guessed, I am going to blog something about each of our family members in the order that they entered my life.  Today brings me to Trevor.  Much like his older brothers, there are so many memories and stories of him that it is hard to narrow it down to a thought or two to share.  In looking through the various pix of him I was reminded of a couple of things that are unique to him and how he has affected my life and the life of those around him.

When Trevor was a toddler we found out that he has asthma.  We would give him breathing treatments at home as often as needed but several times it flared up enough for him to have to admitted to the hospital for treatment.  We always worried about him.  I remember that he really didn't cry too much as an infant or when he was sick in the hospital.  He was a pretty calm child overall.  Definitely a favorite of the nurses in pediatrics.  As he grew, in addition to being very smart, he gravitated towards sports of all kinds and he was and is very athletic.  The tallest of our children, he excelled in baseball and basketball.  Girls seemed to gravitate towards him (he claims it is his fantastic good looks...) for no apparent reason.  Once after a comp baseball game, he and Tim were arguing about who the girls in the stands were really there to see. 

The back and forth between them went on and on until I had had enough.  I took them to lunch at a fast food place and lo and behold was cute gal working the register that neither of them knew so I thought she could help settle their argument.  I said, "Miss, would you settle a disagreement these two yahoo's are having please?"  She said sure.  I asked her "Which one of these guys is better looking?"  Without hesitating she pointed to Trevor (Tim's wife would strongly disagree....) and said, "He is and his lunch is free today..." 

Trevor, being the middle child has always been a pleaser.  I'm not sure if he really knows how pleased I am with the man he has become.  He is a tireless worker and obedient in all things. 

He is getting married to his sweetheart next May and will build his own life with her.  I will miss him.  I am so very proud and pleased of who he is and am truly grateful to be his dad and friend.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Red Headed Second Child...

I have spent some time today looking for some pix that I could use here of Tim.  Wow!  I think that every pic I have of him he is smiling or someway mugging it up for the camera!  If I have any memories of Tim when he was little it includes him laughing and generally yucking it up.

I do however remember very vividly the day he was born.  Because of the problems with JR when he was born, I wasn't sure what to expect with our second.  When he was out, he looked awfully red all over and me being inexperienced thought it was just a lot blood.  It wasn't.  He was red.  His skin was red.  His hair was bright red.  He was red.  And beautiful.  After the shock of all the redness, I started looking him over and noticed his toes looked kind of unusual.  Turns out his second and third toes on both feet were fused (webbed) together.  I quickly asked the doctor about it, causing a lot of unnecessary anxiety for Lisa, and he told me that Tim was fine and there was nothing to worry about.  When he was about three we decided to have his toes fixed.  Our thinking was that he had red hair, last name of Hogg and webbed toes.  That just seemed as if it was too much for the little guy to endure.  Little did we know how much fun he would've had with them.

A few years later, Tim was struck by JR riding his bike (another story, another post...) and his leg was badly broken.  Our good friend Dr. Dave Smalley was called in and set his leg.  During the casting while Tim was still pretty heavily sedated, and while Dave thought that Tim was still asleep he gently talked to Tim.  He asked him if we had a wheel barrow at home that his brother could push him around in.  Much to Dave and the nurses surprise, Tim slowly lifted his head up from the bed and answered him saying, "Am I dirt or what?"  Dave and the nurse got a huge kick out of his sense of humor and soon all the nurses at Riverside Community Hospital were coming to see the adorable red headed boy who asked if he was dirt.  Pure Tim.

His sense of humor never ceases to amaze me or to make me laugh.  If you don't smile when you're around him, then perhaps you simply don't know how to have fun. 

Like his older brother, Tim is grown now.  He is married and is a great husband.  I can't wait to see him with his own kids.  I kinda feel sorry for them cuz he will tease them and play tricks on them mercilessly.  He'll be a tremendous dad.  Though he is our second son, he has at many times been the leader amongst his brothers and sister as well as me and his mom.  Despite his humorous personality, I know he feels very deeply and has thoughts and understandings that I feel are beyond his age.  I have often felt that his spirit is older than mine.  He too, has had some trials that he has passed through.  He has borne them well and is the fine man he is today because of them.

Like his older brother, I am so blessed that he is my son and and grateful that he is my good friend.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Son Number One...

After reading what I have written in the last few days, I have decided that I would take the next few days and write about each of my wonderful children.  I hope to be able to embarrass them a little and to share a thing or two that I think and feel about them each.  As the title of this post indicates, I'm starting with Son Number One, or as we have affectionately called him since he was born, JR. 

His birth certificate name is Jefferey Mark Hogg Junior.  Shortly before he was born there was a considerable amount of discussion (ok, arguing...) in me and Lisa's families as to what he, the first grandson on both sides would be named and known as.  Jeff.  Jefferey.  Mark.  Junior.  Jeff Mark.  Jeffy.  J-Dog.  Ok, nobody suggested J-Dog but it helps the read....

Lisa and I came up with JR.  Short for Junior.  Easy, fun, sporty and kinda cool.  It fit him.  Best thing was that everyone liked it.  Peace was restored...  I was so excited to have a son.  I remember the day he was born.  One of the greatest days of my whole life.  I was so proud.  Lisa had a bit of a hard time delivering him so he was a little bruised and his head was conical.  But he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

I remember so many things about him.  So many stories (keys in the power outlet, multiple bike accidents, numerous scars...).  But I think the thing that stands out is his love and loyalty to his brothers and sister and our family.

One time Lisa went to pick the kids at their elementary school only to find JR, Tim and Trevor rolling around on the ground beating up some kid because he had been pushing Tim around.  JR led Trevor in defending Tim.  He is a good brother and a loyal friend.

He's all grown now.  Makes me very proud.  He is a good husband, provider and a wonderful dad.  Much better father than I was at his age.  I respect him and how he has taken difficulty and obstacles that have been placed before him and overcome them with hard work and love. He now goes by the name of Jeff.  No more JR.  A little sad for us, but I respect his desire to be his own man, which he is.  He is respected at his place of employment and overall is truly a fine man.

I am so lucky and blessed to have had him as my Son Number One, and as my good friend.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My hot wife...

Speaking of weight loss....(yesterdays post...)

My much better half, Lisa has also been on a weight loss/fitness journey.  For many years I recall day after day, month after month the poor girl exercising her heart out and eating like a bird to no avail.  She just couldn't seem to lose the weight that she so desperately wanted and needed to.  During this time, she was diagnosed with a thryroid problem that required her thyroid be destroyed chemically.  This situation really didn't help things out.  In fact, it made things even more difficult for her.  I was not in the mode of watching my weight or working out like I am now so I really didn't realize how difficult this was for her. 

Bad Yoff.... 

She hates pictures of her during this period but I am going to post one here anyway.  You'll see why at the end.

I don't think this pic is even at her heaviest, but it will do I think.  She is holding our newest granddaughter Emberlee who is in Kindergarten this year.  Time flies...

In 2009, shortly after our accident (subject for yet another post...) she heard about a new way to diet and though she would try it out.  I thought it was black magic or just simply hocus pocus but lo and behold she began to lose weight.  In addition she began to tone up and started looking really, really good.  She kept going and now she has lost about 80 to 90 pounds so far.  Here is a pic I made her let me take a few nights ago.  I think she still doesn't like having her picture taken but is happier with the results afterward.

I loved her then.  I love her now.  I think anyone can see in her eyes how much happier she is with herself now.  I think she looks better now than (ever?) when we met 29 years ago.  She was and is my inspiration.  I never could have lost my weight if she hadn't set such a great example for me.  I never would have done the races and triathlons I have done if she hadn't been the example of sticking to working out no matter the results.  I am so lucky to have a woman that has beauty on the outside that approaches the beauty she is on the inside.  She is truly a great woman and an incredible wife, mother, grandmother and friend to those who know her. 

Ok, ok, enough with the sappiness. 

She's a hot chick and I'm glad she's with me....

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fear and losing weight...

I know, I know.  I haven't let anyone know about this blog yet.  I have to admit, I'm really nervous about exposing my mind and in particular my heart.  So....  I think I'll start with something I'm pretty at ease talking to others about.  I've lost a lot of weight.  No.  Really...  A whole lot of weight.  About one hundred and fifty pounds so far.  Here is a pic of me with my youngest son Jarom at what I believe is about 20 pounds short of the heaviest I ever was.  We were at "The Roof" (fancy all you can stuff in your face restaurant) in Salt Lake City celebrating his 12th birthday.

I remember this evening pretty well.  I was happy to be there with him and Lisa but not happy.  How could I be?  In the following years after this pic was taken, we went to Lagoon (a local amusement park) and was told I was too fat to go on some of the rides.  Nicole was heartbroken.  She wanted to ride with her Daddy.  The last straw was a trip we took to Knott's Berry Farm in southern California.  Again, I was just too big to ride just about all of the rides!  I decided to make a change.  I won't bore you with the whole process, I'll save that for another post.  I think it suffices to say it was hard and emotional.  But here I am about 150 pounds later (lighter?) at my first triathlon I competed in in May of 2011.

Can you tell the difference?

I haven't been back to Lagoon or to Knott's Berry Farm yet.  I have flown a lot since then and I no longer have to ask for a seat belt extension and don't have to worry about the other passengers looks as they are dreading me sitting next to them.  Pretty good stuff I think.  I continue to lose and hope to be down another 40 pounds or so by February of 2012.  It's been tough, but wholly worth every minute.