Sunday, June 30, 2013


My Pa gave me a book titled, 'How to Stop worrying and Start Living.' by Dale Carnegie. In it He talks about accepting the worst and then moving forward from there. I have come to grips with life not being fair. I would not change my life except for the mistakes that I have made, so I do that by living each new day as a new life. I have the faith not to be healed. I try my best to mimic 'Thy will, not mine be done.' Because I believe that a loving Heavenly Father knows what I need out of life in order to reach my potential.Not to say that at times that I do not think about  "If I Had a Million Dollars," yes now I am singing the Bare Naked Ladies song in my head, go ahead sing-along with me, you know that you want to. Yesterday I was at Neuroworx talking with family members of other patients that were there about our progress and what had happened to bring us to seeking out Neuroworx. I usually do not ask the other patients there about their injuries because I do not want to define them by it and they are usually preoccupied with therapy when there.I was amazed as I have been in the past, when I learned of Their stories. I believe that there is no one we would not love once we  get to know them and their story. Jesse and Samantha, I love you both and am excited to see your continual efforts and triumph of first accepting, now overcoming adversity.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Murphy's Law

Don't get mad, get even. Someone does have a sense of humor, so it may behoove us to get one as well.Laugh out loud and cry when you need to.Then get ready for the next Murphy's Law moment because there are no shortage of them in life.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Come What May and Love it.

Was a talk given by Elder David B. Haight in October 2008 General Conference. My parents organized a family activity, where my sisters made us all t shirts with this saying on it and we all went for a walk at the parkway near my parent's home. It has become a motto for my life now.
One of my favorite words has become "regardless", I am reading and rereading the Gospel of Second Chances and indeed feel that regardless of feeling like a bent nail through the atonement and the second chance I am currently living, I am able to live this.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


H ungry
A ngry
L onely
T ired
This comes from Jim Lewis and represents times when we are all most vulnerable to not only be attacked by a weakness, but to be exploited by it as well, so, if you find yourself in one of these situations and are under bombardment-stop and counter attack by solving the problem at hand first. We forget how old satan is sometimes and that he knew us before in the pre-mortal existence, he has been at this for a long time and has refined his techniques, as well as expanding his arsenal.
I believe that he has a fungshwae approach to handling us, not only exploiting our weaknesses, but using our own momentum of the strengths that we have been blessed with to get us off track. In the 'Whole Armour of God,' the author reminds us that lucifer was in a position to influence a third of the hosts of heaven to follow him and makes that point to help us realize to not underestimate his charismatic, inciting pull. He is also not all doom and gloom and in his book, sets up ways that we all can use the Gospel truths and ultimately the atonement to guard ourselves from his attacks. One of the most important fact that he tries to make us forget is that we are not alone.

Monday, June 24, 2013

'New Music'

is the title of another song in Ragtime "I thought I knew what love is but these lovers play new music." I have always loved music and thanks to my beautiful wife Lex, I am able to enjoy her talent with it and even feel cultured at times. She told me that they calmed me down up at the hospital by playing my ipod playlist.I love and grew up with the music to The Phantom of the opera and Les Meiserables, Thanks to good friends,and in laws I was exposed to Peter Brienholt and Paul Cardal , Beatles, as well as BNL. My favorite Hymn is 'Be Still My Soul.' I find solace in the fact that the Lord is on my side, as I follow Him.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

TBI lessons

Living with TBI is difficult. Multitasking has become a way of life for many of us, talking on a phone while driving, texting and walking, watching TV, while 'studying.' Now I am able to only do one thing at a time and focus full on that. Life is slower for me in many ways, but I am grateful to be able to experience 'the eternal now'of every moment and the fact that everyday is a new life and opportunity to grow and learn. I can remember having a math teacher in high school that was also the cross-country coach. He told us all many times that he loved Math and running because they were a challenge.I laughed with my high school colleges at how old he sounded when he said that, after all we were all about fun, not challenges, yawn.
I experience time differently now.I live in the eternal now and cannot filter things I cannot comprehend as easily the fact that 'this too shall pass,' as my Pa constantly reassures me.

Friday, June 21, 2013

We'er going to make it

Lex and I have had reoccurring moments in our married life where we have needed the other person to reassure the other that we really are going to make this. I love you Babe and am so glad when I am on the reassuring side instead of the questioning one. Thank you for your belief in me and your tough love.
In Lloyd Newel's book, 'The Gospel of Second Chances, he quotes President Uchtdorf, "Remember:  the Heavens will not be filled with those who did not make mistakes, but with those who recognized that they were off course and corrected their ways to get back into the light of the Gospel truth."

Reverse Psychology

There is a problem when you have already started using reverse psychology on your kid and he is only two. I hope that Lexy has something 'up her sleeve' for him when he gets to his teens because I am running low on ideas. The other day I went outside to put the garbage out and let Coleman outside with me, thinking that he would be happy to stay by me to see what I was up to. After getting the garbage into the bin, I turned around to find him half way down the street. I knew that I was in real trouble when I would get a yard or two away and he would take off before I could get to him. I was grateful that Max's preschool had just been let out so a neighbor, who saw my plight from across the street and must have heard me yelling at Colester my unheeded threats of "going on timeout if he did not stop this instant!" and "if you come here, I will give you a treat." and came and picked him up and brought him to me. I had to laugh out loud that Coleman did not try to run from my friend Matt Allred, it was as if he knew that Matt could get him and his effort to escape him would be futile, unlike him running circles around his own dad. I keep saying that kids train the trainer, us parents, One day my Coleman I will wise up and overcome my fear of walking all the time.I am grateful to have such great neighbors and friends, as well as a patient 2 year old trainer. Maybe when you start tauntingly telling me, "Don't stand up and catch me dad, Don't do it!"
When we were down in St. George with my family my younger brother Kevin commented to me how the only thing that works on his two older boys is the same thing, so he tried to use it on our niece Jaylee and she broke down crying. Good luck with her,Amy. For now Kevin and I will continue to use reverse psychology on ours.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I struggle

This was a common joke between my wife and I even before we were dating. I met my wife in 8th grade. We had speech class together. on one of our early dates I got my foot stuck in a seat belt and fell out of the car while trying to do the gentlemanly thing and walk her to her parent's front door.Later, when we were at Ricks College together, I was in a internship at a juvenile correction facility as part of the internship, I got a psych eval done on myself. The findings were: "you may struggle. . ." and now I got an upgrade from struggling to being a  'challenged.'  athlete and getting a handbike from their foundation. Jan Black at Neuroworx told me that she was trying to figure me out and even having dreams about me.She mentioned once that she was pretty sure that I was hard to figure out even before my TBI, Thanks Jan, I guess I will take that as a compliment from you. I wonder what life will have for my next upgrade, I can hardly wait to find out, the anticipation is the worst part.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

when it rains. . .

You get wet. That is life. I remember going to what was at the time Ricks College, now BYUI, before my mission with my twin brother and then girlfriend Lex. We,Lex and I went rain puddle jumping once and it was a riot. Thank you for taking me out in the rain and finding the fun and adventure in life Babe. You rock!
I was reading again in 'How to Stop Worrying and Start Living Your Life,'  'how for every silver lining we are warned of a thousand rain clouds.' So, your clothes will dry get out and play while you can. Showers do bring June flowers in Utah, it is still winter in May.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"It is good that I should be afflicted;. . ."

that I might learn Thy statutes" is Psalm 119:72. Psalm 119:67 reads, "Before I was afflicted I went astray;but I now have kept they word . . ." Elder Holland comments on these scriptures in his book For Troubled times, "We would lnot like to think that we would have to be afflicted in order to learn the lessons of life, but sometimes we do. We should learn from our mistakes. Certainly we should. . . .perhaps only our affliction brings us back to our senses, bring us back to keeping His word. With that perspective we all should be able to say, even with hard lessons and difficult experiences, 'It is good that I have been afflicted'"

In the book of Mormon, one of my favorite scriptures is in Alma 62:41: "But behold, because of the exceedingly great length of the war between the Nephites and the Laminites many had become hardened, because of the exceedingly great length of the war; and many were sofetened because of their afflictions, insomuch that they did humble themselves before God, even in the depth of humility." There are two ways that we can choose to go in life; harden yourself or humble yourself. We may not choose the situation, but we do get to choose our reaction. We have the ability to respond; the responsibility, come what may.

Monday, June 17, 2013

What works therapy

This is some of the best therapy there is. What works for me, may or may not work for you. We are all so unique, in fact that was my biggest turn off in studying psychology, the 'pigeon hole' method of diagnosis; putting everyone into groups of 'normal' or not. Now, this is not an invitation to do whatever you want regardless of the consequences. It is a acknowledgement that no one meets the 'norm' all the time in everything. So "let your freak flag fly.(Shrek the Musical)"President Uchtdorf said,"One person’s good idea—something that may work for him or her—takes root and becomes an expectation. And gradually, eternal principles can get lost within the labyrinth of “good ideas.(The Love of God Oct.2009)”

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Is Chilean slang for 'awesome.' I served an LDS mission to the driest place on earth in the Atacama desert. I loved it and loved the people even more. My twin brother Matt served in Frankfurt Germany, where it rained everyday.
Being both Chilean and American mortal, that's me. I met and fell in love with the people in Chile, I learned that the most important thing to do here in our life is to love and serve others. Although these people did not have much material wealth, they were the richest people I have known when it comes to loving others and building relationships.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


I came home from the hospital in October 2011 to a hero's welcome, Superman decorations were everywhere with red, blue and yellow balloons.My Maxwell and Abby girl were thrilled to see their dad without a neck brace or breathing tracheotomy.Neighbors and friends had built a ramp in my garage, so that my two story dream home was accessible to me.My family room on the main level doubled as my bedroom.Come to find out in 'The Man of Steel' movie that the 'S' symbol signifies hope, a 'Superman redo that is worth seeing, although Christopher Reeves will forever be the real 'Superman,' to me not only because of his classic portrayal of the super hero,that my mother said she would see us boys watching without the sound on because we had memorized every word in it, but because of his real world, CHAMPION rehabilitation, and now non profit foundation as well.Can I be you when I grow up?
I long for the ultimate homecoming, to reach a Heavenly Home, when my time is over here. I am not afraid to die and am grateful for that peace, It makes my life here even more enjoyable and worthwhile. For now and hopefully for eternity my home is where you are, my Lexy. I love you Babe, thank you for making our house a home. A house is just a place, a home is where love reigns and hope is nourished.

wanting to go home

My last week or so in the hospital, was terribly long. I would have pain, get a horrible headache, followed by violent vomiting. My Doctors could not figure out what the problem was. I had to be cleared to go home by the Neurologist and Gastrointologist. I remember sitting up one night with my Pa and asking him just to take me home.I later was able to look back and see what I really wanted was for everything to go back to the way it was before the accident. My pre-accident life will never come, as in the lyrics to a song in "Ragtime' the musical my wife is currently in, "We can never go back to the way things were before." I have changed and my life choices are now in line with my goal to get back to a Heavenly Home.
I needed this course correction from my Father in Heaven. Much like in 'Wreck it Ralph,' where he hangs Penelope up and wrecks her go-cart, telling her"I am doing this for your own good,"My Heavenly Father loved me enough to answer my prayers and that of my family and friends by humbling this wreck of a person, me, to a physical wreck  I am glad to know that He is in charge and despite difficult times that come to all of us in this life, He has provided the way back to Him by providing a perfect plan with Our Perfect Savior Jesus Christ to save us as we live His gospel truths. Thanks to Them, I am 'Homeward bound Again,' being healed from all of life's wrecks big and small, physical and spiritual.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

'Invictus'- staying alive

"Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid(William Ernest Henley , Wikipedia, June 2013,) "

My twin brother told me that as I lay in the medically induced comma, he recited this from memory to me and I started to mouth the words with him. I love you broski. My 'unconquerable soul' comes at a price paid by my Savior Jesus Christ. I love Him and live because of Him, He gives me hope to stand and walk through this veil of tears.


Suicide is not painless. I know that it is dark, the only way that I know to bring it to light is to not hide it, that is when the darkness suffocates, when it stays pushed into a hidden corner. My younger brother went to one of his friends funeral because of it about a year ago,two of my friends in high school confided in us that they had made plans, my next door neighbor's mother came in and saved him from hanging himself, the sad thing is that I could go on and on.
"How is it that Utah is number 1 in the nation for suicide rates?" my Grandma Baugh asked in disbelief and anguish. My wife responded, "It's because we have such high expectations." I was quick to add that we also have the highest rate of perscribtions for antidepressants -says the man currently on them.
I cry with my Abby as we watch Flint Lockwood in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, as he throws himself away and call himself "junk." I hold her close and tell her that if she ever feels like "junk," she needs to tell me so that I can hug and kiss those feelings away. Why do we loath ourselves so?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


I died at least once, if you ask my Pa, he believes it is several times, regardless I remember being in a room that reminded me of the room that I was married in, a cealing room of the SLC temple with people there that I did not recognize, but they knew me and loved me. They wanted me to stay and come with them into the next room where there were more people and more light and love in, this corresponded to the Celestial room in the temple  I told them that it was not time for me to go, that I needed to go back the way that I came. I cannot put into words the completeness and love that I felt there, There have been and will continue to be times that I remind myself that I had a choice to be here.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Toilet trivia

Life is too short to waste any time, so I have become an addict of trivia books and read them in the bathroom, no worries Lex gifted me a book that has a water-proof cover.Now all I need is to make it antibacterial as well, if they put silver in the cover it would become so, but that would raise the cost of a book that just becomes 'red flagged' for being in the bathroom with me. It is my own version of A.J. Jacob's book 'The Know it All' where he writes of his quest to read the Encyclopedia Britannica and I, like A.J, love finding a time to work in my triva, the roman Goddess of sorcery, crossroads and hounds, in everyday conversations.It keeps life interesting and entertaining.I particularly loved sharing my new found tid bits with my Physical therapist Justin, who shared in my pursuit to know the origins of the mundane and trivial.He shared with me the fact that the expression that I always thought was jimmy-rigg is actually jury-rig and is a nautical term not a law breaking scandal involving 'Twelve Angry men.'
My brain is craving information and growth, maybe I should breakout my university nursing books, I do pride myself on keeping up with things from BBC. As Mr.Mom I will forego working in a potty joke here.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

hate being the bad guy

I love my kids and would love to be their best friend, but they need me to be a parent, which means I get to be the one who helps them understand life and consequences. Not my idea of fun, even knowing the importance of what I attempt to do does not make it easy, it makes it necessary, yes.  I am coming to on having a greater respect for my own parents with all of their imperfections, yet doing what they could with what they had been given to work with. Elder Holland said, "Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we(Lord I Believe, April 2013 )."
I think of my time as a ready to Learn Presenter for KUED and the workshop that I did on 'Parenting Counts,' I would tell the parents that growing up what is now called positive reinforcement was just called bribing,  who knows what our children will call it when they do it to their kids.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Milestones/victories of a CHAMPION

My Pa keeps reminding me we go from 49 to 50, not 0 to 100, step by step, one bite of the elephant at a time, I recently read another image provoking thought, I think it is called a metaphor that helps me in this part of my life therapy,  it is one of an hourglass and how many grains of sand can fit through the narrow neck- only one at a time. I find it very important for me to remember and rejoice in what I am able to do.Some of my milestones since the accident are: Sitting up in bed,standing for five minutes in a height adjusted walker, counting backwards by 7's from 99, it isn't as easy as it sounds,getting up and making it to the bathroom by myself, Lex bought me a pin that has a stick-figure person standing with TP that says,'I pooped today,' going back to work part time, walking, baring my testimony, staying home with the kids by myself for an hour, Showering by myself, changing a diaper, Coleman's, not mine, going anywhere without my yellow beauty, my wheelchair,Doing the dishes, reading a book without pictures, Walking around the block, getting off pain meds,speaking in church,Being Mr. Mom all day, getting my Colester down for a nap, Getting to our ward house on time for meetings, just one street over, taking out the garbage, volunteering in kindergarten  getting on the floor to play Batman with Max and Coleman and being able to get up and off of it, having the torso strength to take the arm rests off my wheelchair, walking a mile on the Locomat at Neroworx, Bring the empty garbage cans in, off the street, not having to nap during the day, staying up past 8:30, getting up before noon, going to a job interview, going anywhere in a car without losing what was in my stomach. Handbiking 0.25 of a mile, To be continued. . . .

Friday, June 7, 2013

Going backwards to be able to go forward

Being in a wheelchair now, while having lived, gratefully not in one for the majority of my life, although I have painted myself into a corner several times  and have needed someone outside looking in to help me to figure my way out. I find myself trapped into some tight spaces occasionally. In order to get going again, I have had to backup and start over, something that I am starting to do without getting completely frustrated at my self for having to do  it again for the "umpteenth time," something about how we learn best by repetition. When will I learn already?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

moving forward

I had a therapist tell me that I needed to stop looking at every slight variance in the road ahead, to look instead to a fixed point in the distance and work to get there. If not, that I would be left going every other direction except forward.I stop hyperventilating now, thanks to much reassurance from those that love me, about the small stuff. Again from my Pa, telling me that he once went to an improving your marriage workshop where the speaker said that he had decided that he would worry about the big things; if they had to drop a nuclear bomb or man a mission to Mars, and that his wife was in charge of the rest.
Lex is working for now and loves to teach her passions and help ignite a love for them in others.She enjoys doing shows at a phenominal nonprofit theater, Hale Center Theater, Max is getting ready for kindergarten and Abby at second grade, I am getting old applying for jobs in the education and nonprofit sectors, while attempting to be Mr Mom, the hardest and most fulfilling job I have ever or will ever have.Coleman is keeping me busy

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

knowing our limitations

I have found myself continually trying to do things that require two hands/arms, part of me wants to continue to do these things, but the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over again expecting different results, Talking with Lex the other day I got the courage to ask her, 'Now they(the doctors) said that I could not get worse, right?' She smiled and told me that the Neurologist said they could diagnose everything from the nose down.'She added, 'Curtis you are going to get older.' So, another part of me knows that my potential is still yet to be determined by what I choose to do.
We live in a world that is made for two hands, from driving to opening something for dinner. I find that life could be one small disappointment after another, if I did not move forward with what has happened with a level of acceptance and assurance "that it will be alright in the end,and if it is not alright, it is not the end."

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

'Why do we fall Bruce?'

I had just seen the new 'Batman' movie when I fell and broke my arm while getting into the car to go to therapy with my Pa., for the next month or so after I replayed this question with the response, 'to learn to get back up.'
This goes nicely with a story that I remember hearing in high school seminary about a runner falling before finishing the race and his/her father telling him/her to get up and take his/her place.
In life it is not important how often we may fall, just as long as we get back up and "keep moving forward" as the Neuroworx theme says.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Falling short of perfection

Big surprise there, Eh? I am a recovering perfectionist. I can remember the first time that I was asked by a therapist if I was a perfectionist? I replied that "I was far from perfect, so how could I be?" I also was told that I had an "all or nothing" mindset, talk about thinking in extremes. Not one of my finer traits, but like anything else in life we are able to make our weaknesses into strengths or at the very least make them work for us instead of against us.
The more that I learn about how weird I am, the more I learn that we all are in varying degrees our own unique, and imperfect weird. If we are honest with ourselves, we will be able to let our gaurd down and be alright with our imperfect selves, which will allow us to be honest with others and accepting their imperfections as well.
I think of a toddler learning to walk and can relate to him/her being afraid to fall.This summer with my wife being off, I plan to not use the yellow beauty of a wheelchair at home.So, unplanned falls will be part of my future. I am learning to assess the damage and to get back on the horse so to speak, hopefully a bit more steady then the last step. Here's to falling forward

Sunday, June 2, 2013

elbow bones

Is a strictly me and my kids form of fist bumps. I love having something that is uniquely, and awkwardly ours.My Pa has his 'Dadisms,' his endless repeating of his favorite sayings.I will be known for my own few; Awesome possum is at the top of the list. My kids also know that if I ever get a hold of them, I will pop their toe knuckles by pulling on them, something my sister says she remembers me doing to her when we were growing up.She claims that when she gets arthritis in her toes, it will be my fault.I responded by wishing her that arthritis in her toes will be her biggest concern in her old age.