August 3, 2002

We got a letter from my mom today. She talked about priorities and putting the Lord first. That reminded me that when school starts I hope I always get up 15 minutes early to make time to pray and read the scriptures. I know if I do that I will be better prepared to face the demands of law school. In fact, setting a goal to read and pray each morning will probably help me as much with school as any school related goal because I know that when I put the Lord first he will bless me with the enlarged abilities I need to succeed in law school. That is my goal, to pray each morning, and to read the scriptures for 15 minutes or so each morning before I do anything else. That will help me succeed as much as anything I could do. I know the Lord will bless me if I seek Him, and I need His blessings as much as ever, and I want to be near him.

July 28, 2002

Yesterday morning a little after 6:00am Faye and I rolled out of Phoenix. Faye drove the Honda and I followed her in the moving truck. The ride went really good. Doug slept much of the time and didn’t fuss much at all. Driving into L.A. was great. It was so neat to be driving into the city we will live in with all our stuff on our backs (so to speak).  I loved driving through downtown on the 101. I can’t wait to go downtown and explore. In the daytime of course. The temperature was perfect. We got off the 101 at Highland and it was just beautiful, I was smiling just feeling lucky that I get to live in such a place.  
We made it to our apartment about 1:15pm and promptly signed our lease and got keys and stuff. Our help from the College ward was supposed to show up at two so we got started unloading and waited for our help. It was quite a trip to our apartment from the truck. We had to go from the street, down into the garage, onto the elevator, up two flights, down a short hallway, turn right, down a long hallway (I’m guessing 30 or 40 yards) that inconveniently had 6 steps in the middle of it, and finally to our door, the farthest possible apartment in the building from the elevator. 
It would not ave been so bad except no one ever showed up to help. What would have been a two or three hour job turned into nine. There comes a point when the body is being pushed to to its physical limits that the brain stops telling you how exhausted you are by essentially shutting down all capacity except what is needed for the task at hand. That happened to me at about 5:00pm. By that point I was completely exhausted and felt like my brain was oatmeal because if I had any more function I probably would have gone crazy because of the absurdity of it all. Where was Doug you ask? On my back in the carrier. So here I am, with a baby tied to my back, pulling furniture off a moving truck and making the trek to the apartment. The best part was the stairs. Dollys and stairs and heavy furniture is simply comedic. Hours would pass and we crawled along. 
We must have seen everybody who lives in this building at one time or another and had plenty of sympathizers but no offers to help. I take that back, one girl, I think her name was Kate, carried the iron for me from the elevator to the apartment. And that was all the help we got. Every last item we own was dragged into our apartment by Faye and I. There were times when my brain decided to function just enough to burst out in exhausted involuntary laughter. 
Just when we had it all about done, just a few odds and ends left in the truck, Faye dropped a dinner tray and smashed her toe.  It hurt her really bad, I didn’t mean to laugh, but that’s all my brain would let me do. 
When we finally got done in the dark of the Hollywood night we of course could not return the truck so we found a fairly inconspicuous spot a little higher up in the hills to park the truck until this morning. The whole time we were unloading the truck was illegally parked, but no one seemed to mind except one lady who the truck didn’t really inconvenience that much. 
Anyway, we collapsed into bed about 11:15pm and didn’t want to move a muscle so I didn’t write in this journal last night. Actually, I didn’t even realize I didn’t write until this morning. But, of course when we wanted nothing more in the world to fall asleep Doug wanted nothing more in the world to crawl all over us. And since we didn’t have his crib set up he got to, until Faye got fed up and put him screaming in his car seat and strapped him in. And that was the last thing I remembered until this morning when I awoke to sore muscles, especially my forearms and back, and a sea of boxes and misplaced stuff. So today we got some well deserved rest and after a late morning nap we got to work setting our place in order. And now we are going to bed again. 
I forgot to mention that I tried calling the guy from the College ward and left a message for him. He finally called back around 10:00pm, but by then we were just about done and I wasn’t in much of a mood and didn’t have the mental capacity to talk. Just as we were falling into bed, there was a knock on the door and it was him. He wanted to come and apologize. Again, I wasn’t in much of a mood, and didn’t have much mental capacity to talk. But I guess in some weird way it was nice that he came over. Also, the first thing this morning we took back the truck, after than was our mid morning nap. I think that’s about it, except for the gay people and prostitutes, but I won’t get into that.

July 26, 2002

Here it is! Our last night in Arizona. There was a beautiful sunset this evening. I’m excited to move. I can’t wait to get settled in.

July 25, 2002

We picked up the moving truck today and I spent a few hours this afternoon loading it up. I got quite a bit done; I took my time and tried to pack it tight. It was very hot as is typical for July around here, it was also fairly humid. I drank a lot of water and sweat a lot. I’m so excited about moving. One more day of the desert then California here we come! I’m so glad. In the future we may look back on this move as the most important we ever made. It is changing the nature of my career, where our family will be raised, and we will be in a city where we don’t have any relatives. This move will change just about everything for us except us. Thankfully, we will be the same.  Or, if it does change us, I’m sure it will change us in good ways.

July 24, 2002

It was 155 years ago that the Saints entered the Salt Lake Valley and Brigham Young declared, “This is the right place.”  Only the hand of God could have guided the Saints on such an exodus and He still guides the Saints today.  How lucky I am to live in such a blessed day and age!

July 23, 2002

We spent the day in Tucson. It’s nice knowing we have lots of reasons to come back to Tucson so I don’t feel too sad about saying goodbye to all the things I like about it. We spent the evening with my family. It was nice to spend some time there just hanging out like usual. Home is a place where just being there is great, without even anything exciting going on. It’s just nice because it’s home and family is there. We said our goodbye’s to everybody then headed out. Faye and I talked on the drive about our feelings about our move to Los Angeles. Of course, we each have our own anxieties about life in a place we’ve never lived but my anxieties are mainly about school and not having as much time with Faye as I want while Faye’s anxieties are about trying to get adjusted into a new big city largely by herself with Doug in tow. It’ll be a big move but I know we’ll do just fine, and before we know it LA will be home.

July 21, 2002

I should already be asleep, it’s pretty late. But I wanted to make sure I wrote. I wrote a letter to Neal today. He’s in Bluewater, Virginia. I asked him all sorts of questions about serving a mission. Hopefully he will answer some of them. He is a wonderful brother. He is one of my favorite people to be around. He is so easy going and fun. I wish I could be a missionary with him. Underneath his over-the-top, crazy sense of humor is someone more serious than you might think at first. I miss him. I know the two years will go by quickly for him. I’m just afraid it will seem like an eternity for me.

July 20, 2002

What does it mean to be a righteous husband? I’ve been thinking about that a little today. What does Faye need? What do I give her? Faye needs love. Do I give her the love she needs? Faye needs me to always treat her with respect and to consider her thoughts and feelings and possible reactions before I say or do things. Sometimes I say things that come out wrong and I upset her. When we talk about it, I realize that the words I used didn’t convey the message I was trying to get across. In simpler terms, sometimes I say stupid things. The worst part is that I don’t even feel the things I say, it is as if sometimes I think I need to say something and without considering my words, something stupid comes out. I need to change. I love Faye so much. She is such a wonderful wife and mother. That I would ever do or say something to offend her sickens me. I need her like I need water. She fills me up as a deep breath of mountain air and is the fire that I feel burning inside me. I pray that I will always be the same to her. I believe that I am, and always will be.

July 13, 2002

Doug is such a beautiful boy. It is so neat to see him grow and learn a little more each day. When I think of the commandment to become as a little child and watch Doug I think of patience and determination. Although his physical abilities are uncoordinated, he is patient with himself as he repeatedly tries to put a cheerio in his mouth, and finally he gets it. Also, when he gets fixed on something he wants he is undeterred in his quest to get it, no matter what he has to crawl over or how far he has to stretch and reach or how many times you take him away from it (it it's something he shouldn't play with). The sweetest part is that it is not a frustrated effort, no matter how hard or how many times he has to try to get what he wants he is never frustrated, he just keeps at it with the same zeal and excitement as the first time. It is beautiful to watch, and sometimes tiring, especially if you are trying to keep him away from something. He is a wonderful boy and the spirit he brings into the home is pure and beautiful. I love him so much and am so thankful that I can be his dad. I am also so thankful for the mother he has, Faye is the mother everyone should aspire to be. But even still, we both have lots of ways to grow into better parents. We were both thinking about making a quick trip out to L.A. tomorrow for a reception for entering students at Griffith but decided against it today. Mostly, we don't want to push our car too hard. Also, that's a heck of a lot of driving for a three hour reception. So we will enjoy the sabbath here in Phoenix, which will be nice since we missed church last Sunday because of travel. I'd hate to miss two weeks in a row. 

July 12, 2002

I'm so excited for the future. I am really looking forward to law school. To get where I want, I feel I just have to out work everybody. That will be tough, but I am comforted knowing that Faye and I are side by side, we both know what I need to do to succeed and we both want me to be successful. I am so thankful for this month Faye and I have to just be together. Her company is the best company. But I will have to sacrifice the company of Faye for the company of books before too long. Thankfully, I will have her supportive smile at the end of every day and her and her warm embrace at night to remind me how lucky I am and why I want to succeed, because she makes me feel like I can do anything. 

July 11, 2002 - The Calm Before the Storm

What a wonderful time to be alive! Faye, Doug and I are staying in my Uncle Dwight's empty house in Phoenix, Arizona awaiting our move to Los Angeles at the end of the month. I start law school at Griffith Law School in the middle of August. One week ago today was the Fourth of July. We woke up that day in a tent with my mom, dad, Joe and Keith in Monterey, California. We drove to Sacramento and began the Braswell family reunion with hamburgers and fireworks. It was great to see everybody at the reunion. The more time passes, the more fortunate I feel for the family and extended family I have.

Except for a few things, the days ahead before we move to L.A. will be very relaxing and very rewarding in that I will spend every moment with Faye. I am so thankful for this month in limbo we have to just be together as a family having moved away from our home in Tucson, but not quite to our new life in Los Angeles.

On TV this morning I caught a replay of last night's ESPY awards from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, about a half mile from where we will be living in about a month. By far the most memorable and touching was the courage award given to Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham, Tom Burnett, and Jeremy Glick, the four members of United Flight 93 who, it is believed, saved the nation from more terror on the horror of September 11 by forcing the plane to crash in the western Pennsylvania countryside, preventing the terrorists from accomplishing their evil mission. I hope the actions and memory of those men will burn into the souls of all Americans, a reminder of the courage we all need to overcome the evil in the world. The night is darkening and the shadows creep in to envelop us. Let's roll.