Thursday, December 27, 2007

It's a Boy!

This morning Rachel woke me up and said, "Time to go to the hospital." She had been up pretty much all night from painful contractions. We got to Orem Hospital and they confirmed that she was actually in labor.

By noon she was 5 cm and 100% effaced and they started an epidural. We then spent the afternoon waiting for dilation and the baby to descend. The amazing thing is that Rachel never needed pitocin! Her body was able to induce the labor without any help. After 25 minutes of pushing our boy was here.

He was born at 9:58 PM (27 Dec 2007). He weighs 8 lb 9 oz (which was a surprise to all of us, including the midwife who guessed he'd be 7 lb) and is 20.5 inches. There were no complications during labor. He is healthy and so is mom! After his first bath, dad put him in a Christmas stocking and brought him back to mom.

We'll get some pictures up soon.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas


We had a great Christmas this year! Rachel did not have the baby yet so we were able to go to Christmas parties with both of our families.

Here are our Christmas photos: http://albums.phanfare.com/3836152/2243467

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Baby Update

No baby yet! The official due date is December 28 so we're a few days away still. However, last Wednesday we went to the doctor and they were impressed with how well Rachel is progressing, especially since this is her first pregnancy (I won't go into the details here). So, could be any day now - anything from a Christmas Baby to a New Year Baby.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rowell, not Powell

My whole life I have never had anyone mistake my last name for Powell. People have always pronounced it wrong, though. Usually something like "Role" or "Roe-well."

Rachel, however, says she's been called Powell at least 100 times in the last few years and they always write Powell at work, too. Strange.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pregnancy Photos


We thought it would be a good idea to get a few photos of Rachel up on our site while she was pregnant. Here is a link to four photos that we took in our back yard with Rachel at 36 weeks: http://albums.phanfare.com/3836152/2243463

The baby may be born as early as next week!

Christmas Season

We conveniently had all of our Christmas parties really early this year. This is great news considering we're going to have a baby right around Christmas and it will be very difficult (or impossible) to attend any parties.

Our church already had its Christmas music program, my mom and dad already did their annual Shepherds party (dress up for nativity and "Jerusalem" food), we had a Christmas cookie party at the Bartletts, we've got almost all of our Christmas shopping done, and we went to see the Christmas Carol play at the Hale Theatre (which was incredible!).

I feel like we've had so many Christmas activites already that if we do have to miss Christmas day it will be fine.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I'm Thankful for a Ball

Thanksgiving is always a fun time of the year. My parents are going to be out of town on Thanksgiving visiting a brother in Wisconsin so we had Thanksgiving on Sunday. We played pictionary to draw things for which we are thankful.

I learned a good lesson from my 3 year old nephew during the game. The adults were all drawing complex things like houses, college, family, etc. When it was his turn he just drew a small circle. It was his ball. We should be thankful for even the smallest, simplest things! (even a ball).

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat



We ran out of candy really fast this year even though we bought a huge bag from Costco. The younger kids starting coming at about 5:30 and then by about 7:00 we had to turn off the lights for the night.

Last year we had less candy and we had so much leftover that we ended up eating it all. Very unhealthy :(

I found it hilarious that the tween girls trick or treat while talking on their cell phones! How rude.

The cutest costume award goes to our neighbors two doors down. Their family was dressed up like the Incredibles! Each family member matched perfectly with the characters from the movie.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Picking the right line

The lines at Wal-Mart seem to get longer every month. Picking the right line can be really hard sometimes. I've found that it's not always the shortest line that will get you through the quickest.

You also have to gauge the checker. Sometimes the short lines have checkers that are slow, slow, slow! It's like they are so depressed to be there (and who can blame them) and they are just lazily scanning each item and taking their sweet time putting it into the bag. The only reason their line is short is because of the high abandonment rate.

It's sort of like driving in traffic. When you come up to a light and are trying to choose the best lane, whatever you do, don't get behind a Buick! Even if it's the only car. Anybody driving a Buick is over 80 and guaranteed to be driving 10 under (assuming they even noticed the light turned green). Unless, of course, it's an old Buick. Then it's a high school kid and you'll have no problem.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Cravings of a Pregnant Woman

I've always been told that women get crazy cravings when they are pregnant. It's true.

Rachel prefers pickles. One time we were at Harmon's and I was holding two jumbo jars of pickles. It was too embarrassing to buy just two jars of pickles and nothing else with a pregnant wife next to me so we grabbed a few other things for cover. :) Generally pickles and ice cream are her cravings.

Yesterday, I found myself on a grocery run to Harmon's again. Rather than pickles this time, I was sent to get rice pudding and Funyuns!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Shopping for Baby

How does a couple like Rachel and I spend our free time? Shopping for baby, of course. It's been a while since we've done anything else. It's surprisingly harder than it sounds. You go to a store like Babies R Us thinking that you'll run in and quickly grab a stroller and a car seat. An hour later you're more confused than when you went in by the two isles completely full of different options.

Good news, though. We did find some furniture at USA Baby in SLC. I orderd it on Saturday so it should be here in a few weeks.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Breno and Ruth moved out

Breno and Ruth were married in May and stayed with us in our basement until the week after Labor Day. So they moved out last Friday night into their new apartment down by BYU.

The house suddenly feels really big for two people. I'd grown use to having four people here. I can't wait for the baby to join us in December! :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Birthday and 4 Year Anniversary

On my birthday I went golfing in the morning with my dad and my brother, Jared. We had a 2 for 1 at the Cedar Hills Golf Course so we played the front-nine and had a great game. Rachel and I went to Kneaders for some french toast for breakfast. It was so good. I highly recommend it.
For dinner we went to Tucanos for some nice Brazilian for our 4 year anniversary. That place is one of my favorites.
We also had a dinner at the Bartletts, at my parent's house, and a campfire that weekend.
A few days later we had tickets for Josh Groban in Salt Lake City. It was an amazing show!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

It's a Boy!

We had an ultrasound this morning with Rachel's pregnancy at 21 weeks. Here is a great picture of the little guy.


As you can see from this picture it's a little boy. We are thrilled!

The neonatologist said that the baby is healthy. The size is correct for its age and all of the fluids are okay. His arms, legs, spine, brain, etc. are all developing fine. We were so relieved to hear the good news.

San Francisco

I spent the last two days in San Francisco for some management and planning meetings. It was a last second thing, which is always fun since there is no time to dread. My friends, Stuart and Jason, from Los Angeles were both there, too, so we were able to go out to dinner at this awesome Japanese restaurant. We stayed at an excellent hotel called the Hyatt in Union Square.

The picture is of the Transamerica building, taken from the plaza below. Our office is right next door to it.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Provo River Falls

We went camping last weekend with my family at this great national park that is very close to our house. I've lived in Provo since 1999 and I had no idea that this place existed!

It's called Wasatch-Cache National Park. The Provo River has some amazing water falls up there before it goes through Jordanelle Damn and Deercreak Damn. You go up Provo Canyon, turn left in Heber, then turn right before Jordanelle and go to a small town called Kamas. Then you turn right and head into the park. If you drive to the end you'll hit Mirror Lake.

I took a bunch of great pictures of the family going for hikes and enjoying the view: http://albums.phanfare.com/3836152/2243421

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Yellowstone

We just got back from a week vacation in Yellowstone. We have both been wanting to go there for quite some time. We have vague memories of the park from family vacations when we were children, so it was nice to go see the same places as adults.

The park was beautiful. The trees are growing back nicely after the forest fires in the early 90s.

We took tons of pictures. You can see them here: http://albums.phanfare.com/3836152/2243349

We got to see a black bear and its cub really close. They were walking right along the side of the road. On Tuesday we were at Old Faithful and it was sprinkling lightly, so we decided it was safe to go along the hiking path to all of the smaller geysers in the area. All of the sudden we were caught in a very bad thunderstorm and even got hit by hail! We had to make a run for it back to the lodge, but got completely soaked.

Overall, I was very impressed with the park. There are a lot of things there I don't remember ever seeing.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Rodeo

Rachel went to her first rodeo ever today. We went to the Spanish Fork 65th Annual Fiesta Days Rodeo. We didn't buy our tickets until we got there but actually ended up with really good seats right next to the middle of the arena. Unfortunately, the cowboys weren't very good. They all performed pretty bad and on a few of the events only one person even qualified.

It was still fun, though. Afterwards, we went to a cafe and got shakes while waiting for the traffic to die down.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Traffic School is Fun

I had to go to traffic school last night because I rolled through a stop sign. I guess they mean it when they say you must have a complete cessation of movement.

Officer Dan Holdaway pulled me over for rolling through the stop sign on 1200 N and Main Street in Orem on the way to wedding pictures for Michael and Suzette! That made us about 10 minutes late, so we were all worried. It turns out that we were one of the first groups there, however. With a family this large it is very hard to get everyone to an event on time.

I must say that traffic school isn't much of a punishment. It was very informative and actually quite entertaining.

Friday, July 06, 2007

7/7/7

Today is July 7, 2007 - or 7/7/7. Pretty cool. It's supposedly one of the luckiest days ever. The news reports that there are tons of weddings today with couples trying to cast good fortune onto their vows. I don't believe that it's lucky or anything, but you have to admit that it's something special when the date is 7/7/7.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

4th of July

At 7:30 a.m. my church had a pancake breakfast at someone's mansion a few blocks away. Their pool was bigger than the footprint of my house. Quite the backyard.

Then we went to a movie and had a BBQ with Rachel's family in Provo Canyon. We got to our picnic site right after another family had left, so the briquettes were still hot. I pulled my ginormous steak out of the cooler and put it on. It was super hot outside, over 100 degrees, but we still couldn't resist playing a nice game of soccer.

We tried to watch the fireworks from Rachel's dad's roof like we did last year. But somehow, this massive tree grew up and was blocking the view. So we went next door to her grandparents house and watched from their patio.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Santa Monica - Emergency Trip

When you're on an airplane, why does everyone always get ginger ale and tomato juice? Whenever I'm on the plane, I hear tons of people getting both of these drinks. They are so good at high elevation. But down on the ground, I have no desire for them.

I was in Santa Monica (Los Angeles) from Wednesday night until Friday night for a very last second trip. The picture above is the line for the iPhone that came out Friday evening. These people had been sitting there all day waiting for a chance to get their hands on one.

On Wednesday Jason was sitting at lunch feeling overwhelmed with a current project and constant pressure from management, so he sent me a text asking me to come to LA. Within a few minutes I replied that it would be fine and had bought a ticket within an hour. It was kind of funny how quickly the whole thing developed. He rented out an apartment for me in his complex which was pretty, dang nice. We were so busy working, though, that I didn't really have any time to enjoy the amenities.

Jason took me to some great restaurants so I enjoyed everything from Chinese to deli to Korean BBQ to pizza. We got a lot done so I think the trip was worth it and it was good to see all of my friends in person, again.

On Saturday, after I got back, Rachel and I rented a seadoo and went out on Deer Creek Lake for an hour. Afterwards, we went out to Cafe Rio and saw Ratatouille.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

First Fish Confidence

When you go fishing it is very important that you catch at least ONE fish. It's quite humiliating when everyone around you is catching them and you can't even get one. Then, once you've got your first fish, you look at the rest of the experience with amazing confidence. I like to called it "First Fish Confidence." For some reason, once you've caught one you have fishing intuition since you have rid yourself of the jitters.

The picture above is my dad with my niece, Lauren. Even Lauren and her little cousin, Brayden, caught one!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Always get the small drink

I went to Subway with Van today. We bought drinks with our food and the lady asked what size we wanted. I looked over at the self-service drink machine and thought, "why would anyone who is dining in ever get anything other than the small?" You can refill it as many times as you want and even switch to a different type of drink. Why would you order the larger size?

It feels like she was pretty much saying, "How much do you want to pay us? A little, a lot, or a ton?" (small, medium, or large)

A.F.C.

We went and had a campfire on Friday again in American Fork Canyon. I'm really starting to love that place. We went up there with most of Rachel's family. We made these massive tin foil dinners loaded with beef, potatoes, carrots, onions, and zucchini.

Yesterday we met up with my family to take pictures since EVERYONE is in town (which is a rarity!). My sister's family is here from Idaho, my brother's family is here from Wisconsin, and another sister's family is here from France. We had 26 people in the photo - big family! Rachel's sister, Sharon, took the photos.

Friday, June 22, 2007

We've had this since we were married

Yesterday I was playing Super Paper Mario (fun, fun, fun) and overheard Breno talking to Ruth in the kitchen. He was going through stuff and wanted to get rid of something.

He said, "We've had this since we were married!"

To which she replied, "One month?"

How funny! That is something that Rachel and I end up saying all of the time. But in our case we are talking about approximately four years. I loved hearing it from a newly-wed! I can't stop laughing about it.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Baby Rowell

Rachel is pregnant! We are so happy! She told the family yesterday at our Father's Day party. Here is a picture of the ultrasound. The baby is 12 weeks old here.

The due date is December 28.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Provo Tow To Go

I know I've written about this before, but it happened again. Rachel's car got towed from the Macey's parking lot. She had to park there for work since the hospital's parking lot is under construction. The tow signs are required to have the name, phone number, and location of the towing company. None of the signs have the location because the tow companies don't want people breaking in to get their car.

The guy wouldn't give my car back so I told him that I was going to call the police. Officer Barker came and told me that Provo City Council even approved the tow signs. However, he also admitted that the signs aren't legal according to the Provo City Code. I guess the police just turn a blind eye to the fact that all tow signs in Provo aren't even legal.

So he made the guy open the gate and we got our car back for free, which saved us a cool $100.

FYI - here is my previous post about the last time this happened: http://www.jamesrowell.com/2005/11/i-got-my-towed-car-back-for-free.html

Monday, June 11, 2007

Twin's Birthday Party

We went up into American Fork Canyon for the twins' birthday party. Rachel is on the left and Ruth is on the right. We got a nice campfire going and cooked up some hamburgers and polish dogs (it's just a fancy hot dog). The kids had a great time running around on the trails.

I caught a fish and within one minute we had it frying on the fire. Man, they taste so good when they are fresh, fresh, fresh! I kind of felt bad for him. One minute he was swimming around and within 5 minutes he was caught, cooked, and consumed.

For their birthdays, Rachel got an iPod FM transmitter that let's her listen to the iPod on her car radio and Ruth got a bike.

Just Keep Hitting 0

You know how when you call big companies they have those automated phone systems and it takes like 5 minutes to go through them? Very annoying. It's especially frustrating when the system has you type in your account # and then the first thing they ask you when a real person picks up is, of course, what is your account #?

You tell them you just entered your account # and they say that it didn't come through. Then the natural question follows, "Well then why do you have me enter it if you never even get it?"

Also, what do you do when they give you a few choices and you need to choose one in order to talk to a representative, but then none of them even apply to you?

I've found that generally all of this can be avoided by just hitting 0 (zero) over and over until a person picks up. It skips all of the menu options and just goes right to an operator. They can usually help you with everything anyway or forward you to the right department quickly if it's an issue that needs escalation. Down with automated phone systems!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Basement Complete


Our basement is done! Wow, I'm tired after working on it for so long (since February). We still haven't furnished it or anything, but it's essentially ready for use. Our future plans include an exercise room, movie theatre, pool room, two bedrooms (or one bedroom and one office), and tons of storage.
What am I going to do with all of my free time now? The construction pictures and a few "finished" pictures are at http://albums.phanfare.com/3836152/2243314

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Party 3 Times Harder

Jared built a great fire for our party in the canyon.

Everyone is setting up the gear and getting the fire going while the kids run around like crazy animals in the woods.

My dad and two nephews (Brandon and Dayton) all have birthdays this week on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. We went up to American Fork Canyon at a camp site called Mutual Dell to have a 3-parties-at-once BBQ.

Here's Rachel waiting for the coals so she can get a hot dog going.



Friday, May 11, 2007

Breno and Ruth Wedding

Rachel's identical twin just got married yesterday to Breno Rodrigues. Breno is from Santa Catarina, Brazil. The two of them met at BYU and were coaxed into going out by a mutual friend. You can read more about them, if you want, at their website: http://www.therodris.com/

The weather for everything was PERFECT. Warm and sunny with a light breeze.

On Wednesday night we had a wedding dinner for them in Provo Canyon at Timponogos Park. We fired up the grill and everyone brought all kinds of good side dishes. After eating we played croquet and badminton.

On Thursday morning we all met at the Timpanogos Temple for the wedding ceremony and then took pictures afterwards on the temple grounds. A bunch of us stayed and ate at the restaurant there.

That evening we met at the reception center (at the Baird's). I was amazed at how many people came. We were constantly refilling the food trays the entire evening. Breno and Ruth took off to stay at Hine's Mansion for a night and then drove down to Moab for the honeymoon at Arches.

All of my photos from the wedding can be seen at: http://albums.phanfare.com/3836152/2243304

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

City of Jazz

Did you know that Salt Lake City is the city of jazz? Well, the Utah Jazz anyway. I've had a really fun time watching the Jazz in the playoffs this year! On Monday they played the Golden State Warriors, who knocked off the top team in the first round.

I got tickets right on mid-court, row 17. Great seats! The Warriors turned it into a very high paced game. But the Jazz kept up with them and won 116-112.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Mike and Suzette Wedding

Rachel's brother, Mike, was married last Friday to Suzette. The day started off at the Salt Lake City Temple. The ceremony was quite good. We had the room packed with quite large families on both sides.

We took a few photos outside of the temple and then all rushed off to a banquet room at UVSC for the luncheon. We all had a great meal and each person got to stand up and say something interesting or funny about the bride or groom.

By the time the lunch got over it was already time for the reception. We all went over to the Roney's residence. He has a really fancy backyard (as you can see in the picture above) so it was the perfect place for the reception. They had a chocolate fountain and all kinds of great treats.

All of my pictures from their wedding can be seen at:
http://albums.phanfare.com/3836152/2243295

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Rachel + Voyager = One Happy Rachel

Here's a picture of Rachel watching Star Trek Voyager. A few months ago she'd never even heard of it. She only knew about the original, TNG, and DSN. Then Spike started playing it twice a day and that's all she ever wants to see now.

I think it's a shame they aren't producing a new one today.

What in the possible world?

This is a picture of a funny Halloween prank someone played on Jason. He had about 20 pumpkins in his office when he came to work! We took all of the pumpkins out and put them on top of the perps car.

For some reason today I keep remembering funny things from our old office on 1200 South. There was one time when Jason, Stuart, and I were in the hallway outside my office talking for about 15 minutes and the most bazaar thing happened.

There is a vacant office between Stuart's desk and my office. We were standing just outside that vacant office's door chatting. We all agree it was about 15 minutes, but AT LEAST 5-10 minutes. Anyway, the point is that we were there for more than just a few seconds. After about 15 minutes, Dan suddenly comes walking out of the vacant office door! He'd been in there the whole time?!?!? Nobody saw him go in. Jason was so shocked and flustered that he put his hands out and was speechless for a moment. Then he blurted out, "What in the possible world?"

To this day we all still say "what in the possible world" when strange this are afoot. Dan claims he was talking on his phone but we definitely would have heard him. It's a mystery what he was doing in there.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Basement Update

The drywall is being finished today! They are sanding everything down and then putting texture on the ceiling. The finish-carpentry materials has been ordered from BMC West (base, case, doors, shelves) and will be here on Tuesday. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all of myself when this project is over!

Once the finish-carpentry is done all we have left is paint and carpet. By doing this project ourselves it looks like we're on target to save about $15k.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Trip to Idaho

Last weekend Rachel and I went to Nampa, Idaho (next to Boise) with my parents, my nephew (Ashton), and my sister Lisa and her children (Brandon, Kate, and Dayton). We went to Idaho because my niece Amanda Miller was getting baptized. This view from the backseat of my dad's van was what I was looking at for about 12 hours :) We had fun watching movies on the way up and back. On Saturday we had her baptism at the Stake Center and then went to the park to have a BBQ.

Friday, March 09, 2007

American Idol Racist?

I heard on a popular talk show that they were claiming American Idol is racist against the black contestants. Have they ever heard of "Ruben Studdard" or "Fantasia"? Two of the five winners have been black!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Ana Bartlett's Wedding

Ana Bartlett (Rachel's sister) was married on Saturday to Cody Kimbrough. The ceremony and reception were held in a conference room at the Orem La Quinta. The vows were especially touching. Cody gave his vows to Ana and promised her daughter that he'd be a good father to her for the rest of her life.

More pictures can be seen at http://albums.phanfare.com/3836152/2243286

Friday, March 02, 2007

Basement Under Construction

This last week I've been spending my evenings working on finishing my basement with my dad and brother. Right now we're working on the framing of the exterior walls. We hope to be able to finish framing tomorrow morning so we can move on to hvac and electrical next week.

You can see all of my basement photos here: http://albums.phanfare.com/3836152/2243314

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Let it snow!

This morning the snow was really coming down. I snapped a picture out of my office window. The snow flakes were the size of quarters! For the past several mornings it's been snowing like crazy and then by the end of the day it's completely melted.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Welcome, Ava!

My friends from college, Larry and Krista Furr, had a baby a while ago. Her name is Ava. Here is a great picture of her in her blessing dress. They have regular updates and pictures at their blog - http://www.furrever.com/

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

New House

We moved into our house on 6 Aug 2005. Here is a picture of it.

We've loved living in this ward. For the first year Rachel and I worked in the Nursery taking care of the little children during sunday school. It sure made church entertaining! Now I'm the Ward Clerk and Rachel runs the sports programs for the Young Women. Right now they are doing basketball.

That bay window on the right side is actually my office, too! After eRentPayment was acquired by San Francisco based RentPayment a few years ago we opened up a really nice office by the University Mall. At one point we had 30 employees there. They decided to move operations back to San Francisco so our office here dwindled. Then Jason and Stuart moved to the Los Angeles office and it left only a few of us behind - too few to justify paying rent for a big office. So now everyone that is left in Utah works from home.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Pictures from Trip to Israel

In 2000 I went to Israel on my Christmas vacation while my dad was teaching at the Jerusalem Center for BYU. I recently posted all of these pictures at http://albums.phanfare.com/3836152/2243756 so you can check them out.

I was only able to see the sites in Israel (Bethlehem, Dead Sea, Galilee, Jerusalem, Mediterranean Coast, Mount of Olives, West Bank, Sinai, Southern Israel, and West Judean Hill) but my dad also gave me pictures from Egypt, England, and Jordan.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Hattie Bartlett's 1st Birthday

Today we went to Hattie's first birthday party. You should have seen the pile of presents she got. We went to Rock Canyon Park beforehand with all of the kids and had a great time. The picture here is, from left to right, Alex (cousin), Hattie (Birthday girl), and Sophie (sister).

All of the pictures can be seen at http://albums.phanfare.com/3836152/2243283

Friday, January 05, 2007

Catalog pictures in my house


These pictures were taken by my sister-in-law at my house. It's cool to see something that is going to be in a catalog this next Christmas that is my house!