Thursday, February 28, 2013


One question I have had with my trip, is what to do about a camera? Kenton and I are planning on riding along some really beautiful landscapes. I wanted something that could take nice pictures and video to document the trip. I have a little digital camera, but its not the best. Is it sufficient? Should I get a nice but large, expensive, and heavy camera to bring?

This Christmas my angel mother came up with a great solution when she gave me a GoPro. Its an amazing little camera. It takes great video and photos, its waterproof, small and light, attaches to everything, and very durable. I've had a lot of fun trying it out and seeing what it can do. I took it with me snowboarding with Jamie, sledding with the family, swimming, everything. I haven't been able to take it longboarding yet because every time I decide I should go, it snows again.
You can see the camera attached to
my helmet right there.

This is going to be really useful for the trip. When I'm on the road, every day, even when it rains. It is going to be great to track the events of the trip.

I'm really grateful for the gift and so I took some of the footage I've recorded and made a little video to say thanks to my mom. In doing so I have gained a new respect for people who edit and make movies. It is really hard! I didn't have any program to edit so I just used YouTube's online video editing. It took me a couple of tries (I made Jamie watch one and she said the free music I chose from YouTube sounded like an 80's movie, so I changed it) and for my first attempt I'm happy and satisfied, but still slightly self-conscious about my editing skills.

If anyone knows a good video editing program, or knows anyone who does this kind of thing let me know. I'm looking to make more videos pretty soon and I would like help to make them better. The camera takes great footage, I just don't know exactly what to do with it.

So that was my video. Here is a link to a really good one, just to show you the potential of these little cameras. Check it out here. These really are capable of some really amazing things.

Thanks parents for the awesome gift. I've got the best parents in the world. The fact that they support me in this trip is proof of that, empowering and supporting me in pursuing a dream. You guys are the best!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Bridge Of Love: Doing Good

Jeff and I when we met in Romania.
This past week my friend Jeff and I got to go up to a Bridge of Love planning meeting where we discussed upcoming events and projects. Jeff has some helpful ideas and loves to help them out. He is minoring in non-profit organization, and I got to go report on the Longboard for Love endeavor. We both lived in Romania and so are very happy to be helping out the wonderful land we love.

It was a wonderful thing to see such great people come together and talk about how to help these children. Bridge of Love is hoping to expand to help more children, and hopefully move beyond just the abandoned children and work against the rampant problem human, especially children, trafficking.

Laurie Lundberg shared a story about a conversation she had with a boy in Romania. She asked him, whenever he got sick, did he have someone to comfort him. When he had a fever was anyone there to help him. He said no, nobody ever did that, helping kids in the orphanage is a job. The employees aren't raising their own kids, they are just giving our the bare necessities. It was a sad a touching story when I thought about how lucky I was to have someone, my mom, there to help me when I was sick.

We then talked about the recent developments for Bridge of Love. There is the upcoming golf tournament, the Scramble for Hope. As well as the Home Machine Quilting Show in Salt Lake. This one is exciting. My future mother in law is making a quilt for Jamie and I and we recently helped her pick out the fabric for it. Its been fun to see how cool quilting actually is, and its super hard too! I'm excited for the quilting show. Too bad I'll be in California on the longboard trip or else I would go to the show.

Also there will be another 5k race, Draculas Dash for Hope. I went to the last one in October and it was a lot of fun and a great way to help other people and get some great exercise. Bridge of Love is also preparing for this years summer camp. Where volunteers fly to Romania and host a camp for the kids. I got to visit at the camp a few years ago right before I left Romania. My family flew over with some supplies and we gave them out and played with the kids.

They just revamped their website and Facebook page too. Make sure to take a look and share them, they look awesome.

I'm happy and excited about all the great things going on with Bridge of Love. It is so good to see people doing a great thing. Last thing, don't forget the donation button to the right or you can make a donation through Paypal here. This is how Bridge of Love is able to operate and help. From the kindness and help other people offer. And any bit helps. Thanks so much.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Everyday Miracle Workers

I believe in God, and that He is very involved in our lives. I don't know what you, my reader, believe in. If its one God, a Christian God, a Muslim God, no God, many Gods, a higher power, scientific principles or what. I do believe that there is one absolute truth, I have my thoughts and I think I'm right...but you have yours and you think you're right. I guess we need to walk on faith now and one day we'll know. I do believe that we can all get along, we all deserve freedom to worship how and what we want. We can and should love one another, and that we have a lot to learn from each other.

I want to share an experience I had today. My life is very busy. I have school, work, responsibilities in my local congregation, wedding planning, and this longboard endeavor.  Life is busy, but...I'm not that different from every other college student trying to scratch out a life in this world.

Homework really hit me hard this week. I had a Physics test to take today and I haven't been able to study much. I do enjoy physics but it is challenging. I've been struggling in the tests and recently it has caused me to develop a testing anxiety. This anxiety causes me to do worse.

Earlier I was sitting in a hallway on campus, waiting for my cycling class. My nose was buried in my physics notes as I tried to remember all the rules and equations. I felt fairly prepared. Suddenly, right after this good thought I was hit by fear for the test and I got really nervous. This made me more nervous because I knew being nervous might make me do bad, and so I got more nervous, and it all just spiraled down from there.

I bowed my head down and said a little prayer, asking God that He would take some notice of my little life and take away the anxiety so I could study and test well. A simple prayer for a small request. But I still felt nervous.

Finding a penny is like one little miracle.
Finding a dime is like ten wrapped into one!
A kid next to me noticed my book and asked me if I had taken the test. I said yes and although I wanted to study and not talk, I asked him if he was in the class. He was and had just taken the test. He didn't tell me anything specific about it, just that he felt he did well and it wasn't too bad and I shouldn't worry. We talked a little bit more about our plans for life, he wants to be a physical therapist, I want to be a doctor. Then he left.

It wasn't until after the guy left that I realized he was the answer to my prayer. My anxiety was gone! Completely. I felt prepared for the test. Funny thing, is he will never know  I don't even know his name. He helped my test fears, and talking about our life goals made me feel better about my fears for the future.

The world is full of small moments like this; ones that lift us just when we need it. Like the guy who gave me a ride to school when I was walking in the snow one day. Or the lady who helped me pay for an essay I needed printed but I was two cents short. Or when I was walking into my test and I found a dime!

Call it our innate human kindness, which it may be, but it is too much "coincidence" for some things to line up just right. At the moment I was having stress over my test, I just happened to be in the hallway, and among tens of thousands of students I just happened to be sitting to one in my class, who just happened to have taken the test, and he just happened to look over and notice my book. Just try to tell me there isn't something out there orchestrating our lives. I say orchestrating instead of dictating because just like a orchestra director he leads us and sets up situations. its our choice to decide whether or not to play the music.

God is aware of our lives, and that is a very encouraging thought. The thought that the Grand Master of the Universe knows what is going on in the lives of his children, that He cares enough about my anxiety over a test, to put me in a situation where I can be comforted. If a test is important I know that bigger things have meaning to Him and he is aware. Not only is he aware, but God is very involved in our lives, and He involves himself mostly through the people around us. We are his hands. May we be listening to the cues so we can be ready to play our part, play our music when the time comes.

Oh, and by the way...I only missed one question on my physics test. Boo-yah.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day: Boarding for Love

An evening from High School with us hanging
 out with friends. ThatsJamie in the
 middle in red and me on the top right, in
a headlock I guess. I feel the need
to explain that these cups aren't
for some elaborate drinking game. I don't drink.
I don't think anyone in this picture does.
We're just building pyramids with old plastic cups,
so no worries ok?
Happy Valentines one and all. Congrats those who are lucky enough to be with their special someone, and to those who are not, you know, don't despair, it's only got to work out once.

I wanted to share a story today, about how board sports has brought love to my life. Not longboarding, and not the charitable helping others type of love. The story is about snowboarding, and friendship/romantic love.

I love boarding, and snowboarding is one of my favorites. I actually don't know which one I love best, longboarding, or snowboarding. Back in high school when I was 16 or 17 I got a pass to Park City for Christmas. I would go all the time with my family. I loved it. One Saturday I woke up and really wanted to go boarding, but no one wanted to go with me. My brother was gone and my parents were busy. I decided to call a friend, but who to call?

I looked through my phone and stopped at the name of Jamie Wheeler, the cute girl I met running on the Cross Country team together. We loved to talk at school, but never got together outside of school. I thought to call her, but I was so nervous! I liked her, but being the silly boy I was I didn't want her to know that. What if she thought I was weird?

After staring at my phone for 15 minutes, trying to become brave enough to press the call button....I did it...and then I pushed the end call button and dropped my phone. 15 minutes later I did it again and followed through with the phone call. It heart rang again.....I prayed she wouldn't answer, then I would have to say rang, half a ring, and then..."Hello?" She answered.

High School Graduation
I invited her to go boarding with me and told her that nobody could go with me. I said I had asked my family and called all my friends, Jeff, and Zach, and Bryan, but nobody could go. This was all a lie, but I didn't want her to know she was my first choice, my silly little teenage self thought that this seemed to forward or desperate. So I stupidly made her feel like my last resort (I have since confessed this lie to her). She was nice enough to say yes, or just wanted a free ride to Park City and she came along. This sparked a tradition and we went almost every single week. Our friendship grew from our many drives and days on the slopes. We grew incredibly close and began to hang out all the time.

We even arranged our class schedules to match up. We had American Heritage together. We had English class, where Ms. Riley wouldn't let us sit next to each other (she has no idea the happiness she almost averted!), there was sculpting class and our commercial art class where we were the torment of our teacher, Mr. Feller.

Time passed and, sadly, we grew apart, staying friends but not really hanging out. I dated another girl, I left the country for a few years. While I was in Romania we wrote a couple letters like friends do. When I got back to the States, things didn't work out with the other girl. I went to BYU and met Jamie again. We started hanging out all the time, but I was still to scared to tell her how I felt. Instead I tried to get her to date all my roommates. Everyone saw how we felt except for us. Eventually we wizened up and started dating December 2011.

So happy after an evening together on the slopes
Jamie always wanted to go to Jerusalem and that summer she had the chance to have a study abroad in the Middle East. She left and we took a dating hiatus. I thought she would forget me and I tried to forget her. I don't think I realized how depressed I was that she was gone, until she came back in August. After two months I convinced her to date me again! December 1, 2012 rolled around and I convinced her to marry me.

When I asked Jamie's parents if I could marry their daughter, her mom told me something. She said that Jamie will never admit to it, ever, but she has always liked me since High School. I tease Jamie sometimes and tell people she has always loved me since she knew me. She smiles and rolls her eyes, but....she never denies it....and that makes me happy.

The other day Jamie took me snowboarding at Sundance, she's so nice, and it made me remember the good old High School days when we went every week. We would laugh, snowboard, talk, and just enjoy being with each other. I'm so happy I was brave enough to call her so many years ago, and I'm so grateful she was kind enough to agree to spend the day with me.

Started off snowboarding....
...and here we are. Happy Valentines Day!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Thanks for Finding Us!

This last month has been a great one for the blog popularity. We've been trying really hard to help people be aware of Bridge of Love and the good that it does, along with our project we're doing to help them out. We've got a Facebook page, the Blog, a Twitter account, Google+, and the word of mouth. These help people to find out about us. We've also been writing letters to schools, individuals, churches, and organizations who are on our route, offering to come speak to them.

We've been happy with how things have been progressing and the attention we've gotten. The blog has had thousands of views. Last month, for example, we had 1,015 people visit the blog. I took a screenshot of the stats when we broke the 1,000 mark. Jamie and I celebrated in style, by Taco Bell, my favorite. 

Check it out, and it just goes up from here

We're also able to see where a lot of our viewer traffic comes from. Lots come from Facebook or Google. The other day I saw one that made me really happy. When I clicked on a traffic source I didn't recognize it took me to this page. 

We're Top 10!!! Yeah!

Look down at the bottom of the list and there we are! In the top 10 on a Yahoo search! Its really hard to get this kind of search engine optimization. This is exciting. Number 1 on the list for Longboarding USA are really nice guys I've been in contact with about the logistics of a long trip. You should check out their website too. 

Anyway, I know this is a lot of just statistics and the nitty-gritty workings of the blog. I just wanted to share how excited I am about it, and to say thank you to all of you who give us your attention and help. Thank you to all of you who share this with others. Without all of you it would just be Kenton and I, all alone, on longboards. You make this bigger. Thank you. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Crazy Summer

Well....this post has no purpose except for me to share how awesome my summer is going to be. This weekend my fiancee Jamie and I were up visiting family. There was a lot of snow and my mom and sister wanted us to take picture in the snow. We were good sports and went out in the freezing cold for pictures and they turned out pretty good.

I was looking at them this morning and I thought about my crazy summer coming up. The school semester ends April 24th. Jamie has graduation on April 25th. I leave to longboard 650 miles on April 30th. I finish on May 28th. Fly back to Utah, and on May 31 I get married to this beautiful wonderful woman shown below.  June 3rd we leave for a few months for an internship in California. Crazy crazy summer. Its going to be a lot of fun.

Please, everyone else on the road, don't hit my with your car while I longboard. I want to make it
back safe for my wedding or else this cute girl will not be too happy with me. 

New Website for Bridge of Love!

This is pretty cool news and something I've been waiting for. Bridge of Love has a new updated website. It looks really good. Check out the new website here. It is really well done. Longboard For Love got a shout out and link as well. So take a look at their site, and their Facebook page as well.

Bridge of Love is involved in some other upcoming endeavors as well. They have their Scramble for Hope golf tournament coming up in May. Also they are the official charity for the HMQS Quilting show coming up. Everybody get those sewing machines and quilts ready!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Busy Day, Empty Life

Well I finally read Tuesdays With Morrie. I've been wanting to ever since I read Mitch Albom's book Have A Little Faith. It seems like Mitch Albom is always talking to incredibly wise old men who are close to dying.  In Tuesdays With Morrie Albom has weekly meetings with an old professor and mentor named Morrie. Morrie is dying and before he goes he shares his experiences and wisdom.

This book made me think about a lot of things. One thing in particular stood out to me. In the book Albom shares an experience where he is at Wimbledon and on a high energy day he was knocked down by a rushing group of reporters and photographers as they tried to chase down a celebrity. This made Albom think about something Morrie said: "So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning." 

Albom expounds on his experience in England at the tennis tournament. He noticed the tabloids and headline newspapers. Alboms says, "People scooped up these tabloids, devoured their gossip, and on previous trips to England, I had always done the same. But now, for some reason, I found myself thinking about Morrie whenever I read anything silly or mindless. I kept picturing him there, in the house...counting his breath, squeezing out every moment with his loved ones, while I spent so many hours on things that meant absolutely nothing to me personally  movie stars, supermodels, the latest noise out of Princess Di, or Madonna, or John F Kennedy Jr. In a strange way, I envied the quality of Morrie's time...Why did we bother with all the distractions we did? Back home, the O.J. Simpson trial was in full swing, and there were people who surrendered their entire lunch hours watching it, then taped the rest so they could watch more at night. They didn't know O.J. Simpson. They didn't know anyone involved in the case. Yet they gave up days and weeks of their lives, addicted to someone else's drama.
          "I remember what Morrie said during our visit: 'The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it." 

The ideas that Morrie and Mitch have remind me of book I read recently, A Pilgrim's Regress, by C.S. Lewis. It chronicles the story of a man named John Bunyan as he searches for an Island. He meets many people with many ideas, but one hit me hard, a man named Mr. Halfways. Halfways brings John to his home and sings for him. During the song John has a vision of the Island, and as he is about to reach the Island something always happens that distracts him from reaching it. He never makes it, because some halfway thing keeps him from it.

I think we do this a lot in our lives. We fill it up with halfway things, things that aren't what we really want, but its good enough for now, and we settle. There are examples of this all over our lives, and Albom gives good examples from his experience at Wimbledon. Last semester I was filling my life with these halfways. I was so busy, but not very happy. Doing so many things and running all over, but never having enough time for what's important. I tried to slow down a little bit this semester so I can focus on the essentials. It has made a difference in my life. This is also one reason why I'm doing this trip. The reasons links to what Morrie said about breaking out of these halfways, "The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning." 

I love what Dieter F. Uchtdorf says in this video I posted below. It is good to slow down, to take a moment for the essentials. To find what really matters, and to devote ourselves to helping others. I'm afraid that if we don't, we may have busy days, but empty lives.