Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Misery loves company

We had a Sunday School lesson last month and the teacher asked why does satan want us to make mistakes? My friend and home teacher Any Giles replied something like that it is the basis for this saying. In the last general conference Elder Richard G. Scott said in his address Peace at Home, "Satan’s fate is decided. He knows he has lost, but he wants to take as many with him as he can. He will try to ruin your goodness and abilities by exploiting your weaknesses. Stay on the Lord’s side, and you will win every time." he has lost, let us remember this always, is my constant counsel to myself more than to anyone else.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


"4.especially able, competent, or powerful in a specific field or respect: She's very strong in mathematics. He's weak at bat, but he's a strong fielder.
5.of great moral power, firmness, or courage: strong under temptation."(,July,3013)

I had a conversation with Rich Finlinson, a coworker a few months ago about being strong, I told him that it was strange how it took an accident to make me feel like I was strong.He reassured me that I was strong before it, or so it seemed to him.I was a mess and weak, but my Loving Heavenly Father, who sees end from beginning and everything in between knows how to make me into what I am, only after being broken, to find my strength in Him. Who knew that I would use the same techniques that I learned to run half marathons to relearn how to walk now.
I asked my Physical Therapist Justin Clifford, who competes in strong man competitions what 'strong' means to him.He told me that he has seen a person that had no legs beyond his knees squat over 800 pounds and dead lift some outrageous amount as well. I told him of my friend Brett Borg who has run 17+ marathons and has moved on to triathlons now. I think of other friends that are raising 5 children, my wife who puts up with me and takes care of all of us, while taking on the role of provider. I met a man in the hospital who went bodyboarding with his grandchildren and hit a rock and became paralyzed from the neck down, still has a tracheotomy to help him breath, his wife picks out what he is going to wear and helps him dress himself everyday and he is a motivational speaker. People are strong and they inspire me.
On April 21, 2012 Elder Richard G. Scott said at the BYU graduation commencement,"“Strong character is more important than what you own, what you have learned, or what goals you have accomplished,” he said. “Your consistent exercise of faith builds strong character. In turn, fortified character expands your ability to exercise faith, thereby enhancing your capacity and confidence in conquering the trials of life. This strengthening cycle continues. The more your character is fortified, the more enabled you are to exercise the power of faith.” This is the strong that I am seeking for.

Monday, July 29, 2013

"Return with Honor," Memoirs of my mission#1

Was my mission's theme.I served in Antofagasta, Chile from Aug, 1999 to Aug 2002. I learned many great life lessons during that time.You might say that this is a 'trunkie' mission theme to have.It helped me to stay focused on the end goal, as it does so now, to be worthy to return and live with my Heavenly Father with my family, make your first covert yourself.I want to share some of my mission experiences, Lex says I always brighten up when I talk about my mission, so here's to brightening/self-medicating:
.I went to the MTC in Provo,ut a week after my twin brother Mathew, who went to Frankfurt Germany.I was and am so grateful that he was there and got to take on the older brother role of doing things first and reassuring me that things were alright.He had a week under his belt and was also learning a more complicated German language.I was a mess after my first time with pretend investigators(BYU students who volunteered at the MTC) and was convinced that I would never be a good missionary.Matt was there to reasure me that he felt the same way after his first experience and things got better.Throughout our missions we were both surprised at the way we were both learning the same lessons on other sides of the world.
My first companion was Ryan Muirhead from Orem,Ut, he was fluent in Spanish from being in an immersion program in school.He was ready to serve but had unknown medical problems that kept him at endless Dr. visits and a growing list of medications that all had the side effect of making him drowsy and still in pain.I was sad to leave him at the MTC to go to Chile once my two months to learn Spanish were done. I remember sharing my testimony with him and said that "I knew that Jesus paid for our fish." The Spanish word for sins is 'pecados' and the word for fish is pescados. He did not laugh but smiled and said, "Elder Baugh you are a great missionary." He knew that I was trying my best and encouraged me to continue to do so.He was not able to leave the MTC, so my mission became even more important to me knowing of the great privileged I had to be out in the field.I loved my two months there because of him and the other missionaries in my zone. It had four sister missionaries there that kept us in check and 6 other Elders. they taught me to forget myself and go to work.I remember the sisters helping me unhem my pants and sister Young confiding in me that while they did that back at their doorm room, she tried one pair on to see how skinny I was. Sister missionaries rock, with a maturity and poise that most young men, myself included, lack. I also recall sitting on the floor of the laundry room floor with my zone leader Elder Pew and comforting him as he vented about the pressures of being the perfect missionary.He was going to Arizona and was excited for me to meet his cousin in Antofagasta.Our final class together we all shared our testimonies and sang 'God be with You 'till We Meet Again.'

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Theme of Three

Three years that I might have missed.My accident's three year anniversary is this coming Thursday, August 1, 2013
Lex is giving a lesson in Relief Society today on three being a sure foundation.It was on Bishop Davies' talk in last general conference, Sure Foundation, April 2013, He gives three things that we need to be able to live:"air, water, and food."and then three things we need spiritually, "prayer, Priesthood Ordinances, and scriptures." Lex made a triangle with her power tools, did you know that the triangle is the strongest shape in architecture?  and three different foundations; JELL-O,sand, and the firm table. brilliancy at work, I know.
Three things, all six actually, but I am trying to stick with the three theme, so I can say both sets of three.There brilliancy by osmosis Babe- I hope that it continues- I have come to appreciate more than I ever thought I would -because of the past three years.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


is a term of endearment in my wife's family, so she got me a t-shirt with the word on it. I have found that I am better off if I just accept me being one and move on from there.It is alright, I am what I am. I wore it to therapy and attempted to explain this to my therapists, who just laughed and told me that it wasn't a term of endearment there.Joe Fernandez, a neighbor and friend saw me in it and asked, "isn't it suppose to say that you are with DORK?"Again, my explanation did not suffice. In 'A Touch of Wonder' Arthur Gordon writes, "But if we value leadership, if we prize achievement, if we are concerned with our own painful struggle towards maturity,we have to learn to overcome this fear[the fear of being different] or at least to control it. The rewards of differentness are easy enough to see . . .the fear of  being different, like most fears, tends to diminish when you drag it into the light and take a good look at it. At the bottom of such fear lies an intense preoccupation with self . . .  Recognize this sort of self-consciousness as a form of introverted egotism , and you are not as likely to be victimized by it."A stretch saying being a dork is a good leadership like quality different, I know, but my other neighbor Danielle Hill has a t-shirt that she wears proudly that says something to the effect of, "Be nice to geeks, they are your future bosses."
 In the words of a song in 'Shrek The musical, "Let your freak flag fly," or in my case, I will wear my DORK shirt unashamedly.On final thought from 'A Touch of Wonder about being different, "It takes courage to be different but there is also an art to it. The art of not antagonizing people with your differentness."Just because I am a dork, doesnt mean you have to be one.We are all our own uniquely different and that is what makes you and me special.

Friday, July 26, 2013

into darkness

It has been said that faith is taking one step into it.So, I will keep learning to step
Yes, I cried at this movie too, but so did Lex, although it was only once to my 7 times.
Light dispels darkness in our lives, where it is, darkness cannot exist. One of my favorite songs to hear my wife sing is Micheal Mclean's Hold on.The words are powerful,
"The message of this moment is so clear;
And as certain as the rising of the sun.
If your world is filled with darkness doubt and fear,
Just hold on, Hold on; the light will come.
Ev'ryone who's ever tried and failed
Stands much taller when the victory's won.
And those who've been in darkness for a while
Kneel much longer when the light has come.

It's a lesson ev'ry one of us must learn;
That the answers never come without a fight.
And when it seems you've struggled far too long,
Just hold on, hold on; there will be light.

Hold on. Hold on. The light will come.

When you feel trapped inside a never-ending night.
If you've forgotten how it feels to feel the light,
If you're half crazy thinking you're the only one
Who's afraid the light will never really come

Just hold on. Hold on! The light will come.

The message of this moment is so clear;
And as certain as the rising of the sun.
If your world is filled with darkness doubt and fear.
Just hold on, hold on, the light will come"
Elder Bednar speaks of how the process of revelation is related to the dawn, "The gradual increase of light radiating from the rising sun is like receiving a message from God “line upon line, precept upon precept” (2 Nephi 28:30). Most frequently, revelation comes in small increments over time and is granted according to our desire, worthiness, and preparation. Such communications from Heavenly Father gradually and gently “distil upon [our souls] as the dews from heaven” (D&C 121:45). This pattern of revelation tends to be more common than rare and is evident in the experiences of Nephi as he tried several different approaches before successfully obtaining the plates of brass from Laban (see 1 Nephi 3–4). Ultimately, he was led by the Spirit to Jerusalem, “not knowing beforehand the things which [he] should do” (1 Nephi 4:6). And he did not learn how to build a ship of curious workmanship all at one time; rather, Nephi was shown by the Lord “from time to time after what manner [he] should work the timbers of the ship” (1 Nephi 18:1)." (April 2011, 'The Spirit of Revelation' Elder Bednar) As we follow and even take the leap of  Faith to follow the teachings of our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that there will be light to make it so that we may see the way back to Him. I am forever grateful for this reoccuring lesson being taught to all of us, so that we may not wonder in the dark.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


-Charlet's web.Our potential is such that our Heavenly Father desires us to become like Him. That makes all of us SOMEONE special.In The God Who Weeps  Fiona and Terryl Gives write,"Clearly, to aspire to be God is a sin; to desire to be like God is filial love and devotion." As we seek to reach our potential it is necessary to remember our divine heritage and the fact that our Father in Heaven's greatest desire is to see us come back to Him and enjoy the life that He lives, eternal life. I know that this is true. In teachings of the Presidents of the Church Lorenzo Snow we read, "He testified that God will add His strength to our efforts;"Where the Lord plants us, there we are to stand; when He requires us to exert ourselves for the support of these holy principles, that we are to do; that is all we need to trouble ourselves about; the rest Our Heavenly Father will take care of." When we are doing His work of even raising our family, we are entitled to His help, after all, "the greatest work we can do will be within the walls of our own home." (President Joseph F. Smith)I know this to be true also, as I feel His help here in my home.
I would like to frame this thought of how our potential is limitless with C.S. Lewis' thoughts in Screwtape letters as Screwtape is teaching his younger, inexperienced apprentice devil, wormwood, on the dangers of the virtue of being humble, "The great thing is to make him value the opinion for some quality other than truth, thus introducing an element of dishonesty and make believe into the heart of what otherwise threatens to become a virtue. By this method thousands of humans have been brought to think that humility means pretty women believe they are ugly and clever men trying to believe they are fools."

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What's it like not being a twin?

Matt is the good twin. He loves to tell people that he is 2 mins. younger than me because he kicked me out! He is a blue/white on the psych color personality test and loves peace and getting along with everyone.I love having him as my best friend and am not sure how everyone who is not a twin manages without one. My Grandma Baugh gave me a B-day card with a poem in it that she said my Grandpa loved to sing with one of his brothers, 
"Two little boys had two little toys,
Each had a wooden horse.
Gaily they played, each summer's day
Warriors, both of course.
One little chap had a mishap
Broke of his horses head.
Wept for his toy, then cried with joy
When his brother said:

Did you think I would leave you crying
When there's room on my horse for two?
Climb up here Jack and don't be crying
It can go just as fast with two.
When we grow up we'll both be soldiers
and our horses will not be toys,
And I wonder if we'll remember,
When we were two little boys."

Long years past, the war came at last,
Proudly they marched away
Cannon roared loud in the mad crowd
Wounded and dying Joe lay,
Up goes a shout, a horse dashes out
Out from the ranks of Blue.
Gallops away, to wear Joe lay,
Then came a voice brave and true:

"Did you think I would leave you dying
When there's room on my horse fore two?
Climb up here Joe, we'll soon be flying
To the ranks of the boys in blue.
Did you say Joe I'm all a tremble
Well it may be the battle's noise,
Or it may be that I remember,
When we were two little boys."
Matt has always been there for me and now lives a mile away. From switching classes for April Fools Day in 5th grade to taking a class together up at the U and wondering why we didn't take all our courses together because of our competitive nature we both did really well. We would carpool to work, train for half marathons together, and he still checks on me everyday, and helped me get showered when I could not do it by myself.He, with my two friends Ryan Morris and Bret Borg share the title of hardest workers.I love him and he brings out the best in me. He told me that when I was in the hospital and they did not know if I was going to make it, "I couldn't imagine a world without you, I wouldn't know what to do."Thanks to his and my families faith and prayers, I am still here, I love you all..

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I am. My friend and neighbor Jodi Fountaine says that, "as long as you can say that you are crazy, you aren't, because only crazy people believe that they are not."First off, I am a Psychology degree graduate and studied Psych to figure myself out-it just confused me more. I am currently reading 7 books, I love to clean, laugh at myself when I make life more difficult than it has to be,cry at Hallmark commercials,am currently writing 14 posts, that are in 'draft' form, and cannot decide what I want to be when I grow up-I am convinced growing up is over rated anyway.
One of my therapists gave me a book titled, How to think like Leonardo Da'vinci. I do not remember a lot of it, but what I do and have tried to apply in my life is to take a step back from a project to look things over and come back to it with fresh eyes and energy.
"We writers(preacher and reformers at heart) are forever trying to tell people how to rearrange their personalities, and reorder their lives. We sound very sure of ourselves, very Olympian, very grand.But the truth is, most of the time we are preaching at ourselves."   (A Touch of Wonder,179)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Whose am I?

"Can I conceal myself for evermore?

Pretend I'm not the man I was before?
And must my name until I die
Be no more than an alibi?
Must I lie?
How can I ever face my fellow men?
How can I ever face myself again?
My soul belongs to God, I know
I made that bargain long ago
He gave me hope, when hope was gone
He gave me strength to journey on"(Who Am I, Les Miserables)
Like Jean val'Jean,. I feel that I have been given another chance at life and again find myself falling short of perfection, but committed to do the best I can to reach my potential. Lex taught a lesson in Relief Society and gave the sisters a tomato seed with the quote, "As the literal spirit children of our loving Heavenly Father, we have unlimited, divine potential. But if we are not careful we can become like the wilted tomato plant . . . having removed ourselves from the divine light and living waters of the Savior's eternal love and priesthood. (April 2013" (This is My Work and Glory' Elder Ballard) The potential is there for each one of us.I know that I have to keep reminding myself of this potential and of what C. S. Lewis calls undulization, "Human s are amphibians(-half spirit and half animal.The Enemy's determination to produce such a revolting hybrid was one of the things that determined Our Father Below to withdraw His support from Him As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time. this means that while their spirit can be directed to an eternal object, their bodies, passions and imaginations are subject to continual change, for to be in time means to change.Their nearest approach to consistancy is therefore undulization-the repeated return to a level that they repeatedly fall back." Screwtape Letters, 37)As long as that consistent place is my best. It is enough. Infinity plus any number is still infinite. We play for the winning team when we remember not only who we are but Whose we are.When we enter into covenants with our Savior and keep them, we access this team membership, I love knowing that we will win because of Him.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Creatures of habit

For better or worse we like to have habits.C. S. Lewis writes in Screwtape Letters, "All mortals tend to turn into the thing they are pretending to be" (Screwtape Letters 50)My kids, as much as they love summertime crave structure.So, if we have/crave them let's make them good ones. In the world instead of a habit of self-serving aggrandizement, how would it be to have a habit of service and grattitude, even if it was just a prtended one to begin with?

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Clonus, as I understand it is when my muscle craves input, so it contracts and then relaxes quickly, a involuntary muscle spasm in a person with neurological damage. I find that if I am not actively engaged in something good, I go into clonus, so to speak. Lex always asks me 'why I do things in the most difficult way possible, I am not as smart as you are Babe and now have clonus to boot. Another clonus principle example is my Coleman, if I or anyone gives him a task to do he is determined to do it at all cost, and does it happily. He is our driven one, in trouble or not, he has that drive going for him.Give me something to do. Do something yourself, so not to go into clonus. We are to be "anxiously engaged in a good cause" and not commanded in all things (D&C 58:27).C. S. Lewis writes of the clonus principle, "The great thing is to prevent him doing anything . . . Let the little brute wallow in it. Let him, if he has any bent that way write a book about it; that is often an excellent way to sterilize the seeds which the enemy plants in the human soul. Let him do anything but act." (Screwtape Letters, 66-67)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Still grinning/chortling

I just realized that I should have made my laughing instead of crying into more than one post/chapter. Here we go:
I am a people person, a good thing most of the time, people feel comfortable around me and open up. I get it from my Pa. I used to feel embarrassed when we would go to the supermarket and he would have a 20 minute conversation with the checkout people. I asked him once why it was that he was so cheesy and nice to people everywhere he went. H e replied that he hurt people for a living and wanted to see them smile, my Pa is an orthodontist and gave me my dashing smile too.
Lex was worried that I am getting to buddy buddy with my therapists at Neuroworx and that by so doing would some how sway them to go easy on me. There is no swaying 'these people,' Babe. PTs are the real deal and get results. Jan once told me"I am pretty sure you were hard to figure out, even before the TBI, Curtis" I can remember responding with "Was there a compliment in there somewhere?"

Lex got me a tshirt with the words 'Goin' spleenless' on it which even got a smile out of my stoic and great Neuro Dr. John Speed.

I am finding out that time outs are as much for me as they are for my kids, about a month ago or so, I picked up my Colester with my one good arm to go on a time out. He knew what was happening and on our way over to the time out chair he bit me, right on my good arm! I sat him down and told him that in order for him to be safe from me, he needed to stay put for two minutes, to let me calm down and laugh at our plight.

I got on a muscle relaxant that had the rare side effects combination of urinary urgency  and retention. I lasted a few days before I exercised my patient right of refusal of treatment.

We get to go swimming in the Spring/summer at my Aunt Susan and Uncle Mike's home in Murray. The kids love it and I get to be a fish as I get some playful Physical Therapy in. Abby has warmed up to the water, she used to sit on the first step and just cry, now she races me across the pool, in between organizing her little  mermaid production with all her cousins. Maxwell has started to warm up, racing with me as long as he wins- ahh, the life of an almost 5 year old. It was Coleman's turn to have cold feet at this last swimming adventure, He was super nervous to see me or his "Pampa"(grandpa)go under water. He also came up to me, as I was swimming in the pool, and stood  at the edge of the pool with his hands out, asking me if I was alright. After I told him that I was more than alright and having fun, he got a serious look on his face and shrugged as he told me, "there's no sharks." Come to find out that Uncle Mike, to get the kids to wait for their slow dad cautiously coming down the stairs  told the kids that there were sharks in his pool. That he needed to clean them out and send in an adult first. Apparently my Coleman does care about me and did not want me to be sacrificed to the sharks. It is good to know that you are looking out for me.

When I first got home from the hospital and still on pain meds to be able to sleep, I was having some crazy, funny dreams. I got to the point that I was looking forward to what outrageous adventure I would experience when I would doze off. Here are a few of my favorites: I dreamed that I was an  Aborigine in Australia with my twin brother we ate weird things like our own earwax, that we had to harvest and protect from the notorious,giant,earwax-eatting-insects.
I dreamed that I was the seven brothers and that Lex was all of my seven brides in the musical. That is just a taste, Lex logged them all on our blog.
My Coleman loves to mimic me coming down the stairs and hangs on tightly, even dangles from the handrail, that comes to the top of his head. He will find anything that looks like my hiking pole and walk carefully around the room with it.

Maxwell will cheer for me when I stand or walk.

Abby's life is a musical and I love it until she needs to be asleep.

I have elastic shoelaces that Lex got me, the idea is that you do not have to tie them as long as they are laced up they keep my shoes snug. This means that I have what looks like untied shoes, every time I am around my Pa he inches them up to the point that my foot falls asleep, but he is not the only one who does it, Matt Hansen, another amazing PT at Neuroworx will not let me venture a few faltering steps with such a hazard. It is so nice to have people who care about me and look out for me, I do have a TBI after all.

Abby another one of my PTs at Neuroworx, not mt daughter Abigail, Was working with me and a mirror to help me get the visual feedback that my brain needs to recognize and claim my left side, while doing so, she kept coming over and adjusting the mirror.After about 5 to 6 times adjusting, she laughed and said, "Curtis it is you and not the mirror that is crooked." I laugh and told her that was the best compliment I have received at therapy.

Shanea is my 'person' at Neuroworxs now, she gets my sarcastic attitude and is a fellow Psychology undergrad degree holder. One time as I was resting on the tredmill on a folding chair, she decided to turn the treadmill on which set me flying. I still give her a hard time about that one, it is all good, she knows me well enough to call me out on all my compensation- she calls it 'cheating.'So I get back at her with jokes about her boy that she is dating and how he needs to have his mom drive them places, again, it's all good, I'm almost 32 and look like i'm 20, with three kids.

Lex and I were running around with the kids getting things ready to go to St. George with my family. I did not take my wheelchair and was doing well with my newly adjusted leg brace, Lex stood by my as I got enough courage to try to step up a curb with only my hiking stick and not holding onto her. I made it with her there beside me, reassuring me that she was there and she would catch me if she needed to. I smiled at her when she asked me if I was alright and was quick to add, "life is therapy, after all." She thought that I had said that my wife was therapy. We laughed about that for the rest of the afternoon. You are my best therapy Babe and I want more of you.

Speaking of having my leg brace adjusted, I told my PT Jan Black that I had to have the calf muscle part expanded because she/they at Neuroworx were pushing me to develop it more. She quickly smiled and said, "Your welcome Curtis." Thank you Jan and Neuroworx.

Down in St. George my family and I went to a bounce house for the kids to wear themselves out at and get out of the sun/heat for an hour or so, as I walked up the steps to go in my left foot wrapped itself around the railing, my sister Lace was right beside me to let me know what had happened and mentioned that she, "didn't know a lot, but could tell that was not right." The same day, we went to see 'The Man of Steel,'and were joking that it would have been a brother thing, but Lacey came along with us. As I got out of using the bathroom, I noticed that I was going to have a problem tying my swimsuit trunks and asked her to help me. I told her that was the reason she had come with us, to make sure I wasn't streaking at the movie theaters.Thank you my Lacer for always lookin' out for me. I love you.

Also while in St. George, My younger brother Kevin was being Mr. Mom to his two older boys. One night he could not find one of them and came in asking if anyone had seen him?We found him rolled up right next to his brother.

For Father's day, my Abby gave me a note that said, "I love you more than Uncle Mike's pool!" I love being your father my Abby girl.

An old friend left me a Note in my door, just to say 'Hi'
With everything that Lexy is doing and doing well. I have started saying that her brilliancy just overflows and that I hope that I can get some by osmosis. Today she was fixing our dryer and she yelled up the stairs"Brilliancy strikes again"

My Abby has one great memory, all our kiddos do, hers is just put to more use than the boys super hero/villan & now Harry Potter trivia. She can recite her favorite picture books Zombie in love and I need my monster from memory.

Coleman being a problem solver and stacking stools on top of one another to be able to get what he wants

Lex laughing and crying at the same parts that I do in a movie

Aunt Jen helping me out her garage door with a push, it was much needed to get me off the wall

 "Talk was cheep, before I started talking to professionals"-BNL

Abby reading Harry Potter and teaching Maxwell to read.

Maxwell saying, "Harry Potter" in a British accent

How happy it makes Coleman to vacuum

A -day card from Grandma Morgan

A visitor at church telling me that, "You smile more than anyone here."

Getting my Colester to wear undies by saying, "It is your super bum!" oh, the things you say as a parent.

Lexy picking the first zucchini of the season and offering me her gardening advice.

My lawn looking the best that it ever has! Thanks to my Pa helping with fertilizer and sprinkler adjustments, a nephew and brother in law's care
when I was in the hospital, a coworker stopped by to see me and brought a stuffed germ that we used in our germs workshop. It is MERSA and Maxwell calls it "super poop."

How are you doing Kev? "We'er hanging in there, just not by our necks."

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Conversion,Use it or lose it

It is a sad biological, tangible evidence truth; neuro pathways have to be used to make them work consistently and reliably. I see my kids tackle and play with each other, laughing as blissfully as kids are able and think of their bodies and brains developing as they should. I am grateful that they get this life to do that healthily. In those moments I remind myself that I can do this TBI challenge in life as long as I get to feel my children's happiness with them. It is great to be using my brain to make happiness with them

I am reminded of the "Challenge to Become," a general conference talk by Elder oaks,"A parable illustrates this understanding. A wealthy father knew that if he were to bestow his wealth upon a child who had not yet developed the needed wisdom and stature, the inheritance would probably be wasted. The father said to his child:

“All that I have I desire to give you—not only my wealth, but also my position and standing among men. That which I have I can easily give you, but that which I am you must obtain for yourself. You will qualify for your inheritance by learning what I have learned and by living as I have lived. I will give you the laws and principles by which I have acquired my wisdom and stature. Follow my example, mastering as I have mastered, and you will become as I am, and all that I have will be yours.”

This parable parallels the pattern of heaven. The gospel of Jesus Christ promises the incomparable inheritance of eternal life, the fullness of the Father, and reveals the laws and principles by which it can be obtained.

We qualify for eternal life through a process of conversion. As used here, this word of many meanings signifies not just a convincing but a profound change of nature. . . ..Our needed conversions are often achieved more readily by suffering and adversity than by comfort and tranquility, (October 200, Elder Oaks)"I  Know that we become what we consistently do here and seek to put of the 'natural man(Mosiah 3:19)' to continue to use my testimony to be converted.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"I don't know what I should do,only what I can"

-Captain Kirk, Into Darkness. I remember an EFY talk by Brad Wilcox that he talks about how in life we often receive "yellow lights" in answer to our prayers. We know the "red lights" from memory, but get the "proceed with caution light" with faith and hope that if we need a red light that it will come. We are to act, after all and not to be acted upon  ( 2Nephi 2:27)C.S. Lewis wrote, "there is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a human's mind against the Enemy. He wants men to be concerned with what men do;our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them."(Screwtape Letters, 25)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


"Get struck by lightning, sounds pretty frightening, but the chances are so small"-BNL I have the tendency to expect the worst and am pleasantly surprised the majority of the time .I guess this is better than doing the opposite and being disheartened all the time.I am going with the majority on this one and they are good days, so I am too.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Good Luck . . . coincidences

If you believe in such things. I have found that a loving Father in Heaven is in charge and that far too often in my life, I fail to give Him credit from micro to macro management of things.
A friend in my ward, John Thurston shared his testimony and the coincidence that happened to him of his son praying that he would drive safely to work and how he just happened to be in a Big O parking lot, helping out a friend when he discovered that he had a flat. He was emotional when he said, "Just a small reminder that my Heavenly Father loves me.He is trying to get that through my thick head." I am right there with you my friend.
Our reality is:Compared to God we are nothing, but to God we are everything.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


When I worked for KUED, a PBS station out of the University of Utah, I was the Ready to Learn Coordinator and helped to develop and present workshops on  topics ranging from media literacy,being smart about our media diet, to culture. We basically followed the psychology behind the PBS show Reading Rainbow, and took the given topic, and did VIEW-READ-DO with it, giving educational programming ideas with a children's book give away and pairing them with a hands on activity. It was a fun challenging, and rewarding job that I enjoyed immensely.
In researching for our 'media literacy' workshop, I found out that of 'Ken' and 'Barbie,' 'Ken's' body has changed the most over the years, with a toned 6-pack and rippling muscles. Our kids presented 'reality' through the media is scary at its best and revolting at its worst.
I gave a lesson in Sunday school, a while back about the choice we have when our reality or actions do not match up with our belief; we can choose to rationalize or behavior and continue acting out or we can choose to repent and change our behavior to once again match our belief. Our reality, our choice.
My 'reality' is different now, post accident. I experience time at a different pace, wear my emotions on my sleeve, and am even more spatially challenged.With my 20% vision cut on my left with my left neglect, I have told Lex that we live by her reality and not mine.
Our reality is:Compared to God we are nothing, but to God we are everything.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


I always thought that this was negative no matter what, but I would like to think that as I mature and get 'schooled' by life, that I become a bit wiser. I have found that surrendering my will to that of my Heavenly Father's is an active victory and not a passive shrug of my shoulders, mouthing the word: 'whatever?'

Friday, July 12, 2013

Happily ever after

Only because of our Savor Jesus Christ this is possible.I know this to be true. Lloyd D.Newell writes, "The thing to remember is that our life is not like reading a book that has already been written, we are the writer- not the reader. We get to determine the ending. 'How you react to adversity and temptation,' President Uchtdorf noted, 'is a critical factor in whether or not you arrive at your own 'happily ever after.'

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I will be happy when . . ./My life starts when .. .

I was at Neuroworx when a cute volunteer named Jamie came over to help hold me down while I writhed in discomfort from my therapist Ginger stretching me. Jamie looked at me,smiled warmly and said, "Can't you wait for your life to start when you are normal?"I looked back into her sincerely hopeful eyes and said, My life is happening now, Do not wait for your life to start when . . . you are here now helping me.I am glad that you are here. Thank you" She teared up when she mentioned that she wanted for her knight in shinning armor to come and save her to be able to have her happy ending.
Far too often I fall into the thought that things will be better when . . . President Utchdorf said in the April 2011 Priesthood session of general conference,"Brethren, let’s make sure to set our “do it” switch always to the “now” position!

As you read the scriptures and listen to the words of the prophets with all your heart and mind, the Lord will tell you how to live up to your priesthood privileges. Don’t let a day go by without doing something to act on the promptings of the Spirit."
Life is happening NOW. Lex gave me a decoration for Christmas last year with the quote from President Thomas S. Monson,"The past is behind us, LEARN from it. the future is coming, PREPARE for it. The present is here, LIVE it"

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Clean to dirty

This was one of the many life relateble lessons that I learned from my CNA certification. We were taught to clean another person first starting where they would be the most clean and then move to dirtier parts of the body. I find myself rehearsing this in cleaning my home, so not to drag a mess all over the first floor living space.I also thought of this when I heard Elder Hollands general conference talk, when he explained the man's plea to Jesus of, "help Thou my unbelief,"Observation number one regarding this account is that when facing the challenge of faith, the father asserts his strength first and only then acknowledges his limitation. His initial declaration is affirmative and without hesitation: “Lord, I believe.” I would say to all who wish for more faith, remember this man! In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited. In the growth we all have to experience in mortality, the spiritual equivalent of this boy’s affliction or this parent’s desperation is going to come to all of us. When those moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes(Lord, I Believe, April 2013).

Monday, July 8, 2013

Tender Mercies

My life has been and is a blessed one.My sister in law Emily Burr gave me a decorative quote from Elder Neal  A.Maxwell that says, "We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count."
Here I go;
I look at it and am in awe. from supportive family and friends, to knowing that there is life after death.
My hero Uncle Rick texting me that he is proud of me.
My Aunt Becky holding my hand, hugging me and asking how I am doing
Breaking 'George' instead of my good arm.
My kids crawling into bed with me to say good morning
Abby singing with me Odds Are  and Gonna Walk my new BNL faviorite songs

Sunday, July 7, 2013


I know that there has been some kick back from this label and I am conflicted by it. On the one hand, I have been an 'able' person before the accident and would put myself in a different category now, but I do not wish to define myself or others by what we cannot do. My nerotherapist explained my iTBI injury in this way, There used to be a direct route from LA to New York in your brain, but now there is not, there are only side routes,but there still is a route, your brain just has to work harder to make the right connections I would like to see us define ourselves by our successes and not our mistakes or failures, although, I do believe that we can make our failures our greatest strength by learning from them. The question I ask myself is, 'Curtis, What are you learning from this?
At Neuroworx there is a handicap sign with the statement,'WARNING Jan on duty.'If I were to sum up my relationship with Jan Black, the managing therapist, that statement sums it up.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

"satan don't beat no dead dog"

Was something my friend Dr. Jeff Robinson told me once when I asked him why I was experiencing one of the trials that I have been handed.Do not be afraid to ask "why?" but be prepared for the answer. Elder Maxwell proposed that we ask "What can I learn?"instead of "Why questions, that way we are able to move forward and control the things that we have power over.
If you think that you are alone in experiencing life's  beatings, you are in good company in your loneliness, with the prophets and saints of old and in our day.

Friday, July 5, 2013

growing a garden

There is something therapeutic in nature. I have always loved the breath taking expanse of the sky, the wonder of solitude that can be found in the mountains, the thrill of seeing, hearing and being in the ocean. This love compounded with the love that I have with owning something, be that my self discipline to run and train for a half marathon, or taking a picture and then developing the negative and print by hand, has helped to fuel my love of gardening. I have two friends that I would call master gardeners, Marc Mckay and Ryan Morris.I shared with Marc all that I learned from the master gardener on PBS, Jerry Baker and we marveled together as we tried and had success with his time tested techniques. Ryan confided in me a few weeks ago and told me, 'I know it sounds weird, but there is something relaxing about gardening to me.'
Our stake president shared his testimony recently in our ward and talked about growing a garden, the need for good soil, sunlight and water, he tied that to the scriptures and faith, by reading in Alma. In Sunday School, we had a lesson on the gifts of the Spirit and how to recognize the ones that we have been given and what purpose they serve, much like a single zucchini plant that we cannot only fill our freezers up with the green weed-like squash, but our neighbor's as well, and thanks to my Aunt Susan a yummy desert-chocolate zucchini brownies- if you have not tried them you have not known how worth while a zucchini problem is.
It is fitting to me that the first time that I stood up again in my house was right next to our window looking out to our garden. Now thanks to friends and neighborhood scouts doing their 'good turn.' I will get to garden again in custom made raised planter boxes. I sound old by saying I am super excited to be gardening again.

"To everything there is a season." Even the longest, harshest winter will give way to spring.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Death Therapy

One of my favorite movies is 'What about Bob?' Lex has bought me two copies and I could re-watch this over and over again, still getting sore from laughing so hard every time. About a month ago I was talking to my twin brother Matthew about it and he mentioned how sad it made him that he could relate to Dr. Leo Marvin so much, 'He is a nice Dr. trying to do his best to not allow a patient cross that patient-Dr. relationship boundary, I am not sure that I would do anything different.'
My favorite part is the ending when it reads that 'Bob' wrote a best seller called 'Death therapy' and Leo was suing him for the rights. I do not recommend going through death therapy to anyone, it is too painful for you and your loved ones. Having lived through my own death therapy. I can say that I am better off because of it. 'your death therapy cured me you genius!' I am still a work in process, however.
I have had this post written for a few months, I couldn't resist posting it on my b-day.

Broken Vessel

I toyed with the idea of writing a book called broken, but decided against it, it sounded too negative. I have been reading Elder Holland's book 'For Troubled Times,' it was given to me for my birthday by my twin brother and I am loving it. It is the kind of book that you read a section at a day and attempt to digest the significance of the section. One chapter that stuck out to me is on Psalm 31:12; 'I am like a broken vessel', he writes about how we are all broken.I have always thought that this is a negative thing, I am a recovering perfectionist, so it comes with the territory, but here is how he represents it,'In severed circumstances we truely feel like 'a broken vessel.' we are certain that, as such with Humpty Dumpty, all the king's horses and all the king's men will never put us together again. But someone wrote once that  God apparently loves- and turns to our benefit- broken things.It takes broken clouds to nourish the earth, it takes broken earth to grow grain, it takes broken grain to make bread, it takes broken bread to nourish us, and so are the cycles of life"   As my friend Ryan Castro said in his Sacrament talk 'why would we need something fixed if it is not broken?'
My Lex told me to look up broken in the bible dictionary to get the biblical meaning, she is one smart cookie.Alas it is not there, but while talking with her we thought that 'broken' may not be such a negative and useless conitation here, but more of an opening or allowence for growth, such the optimist too Babe.
I have told my Lexy that I was broken, a few times in my life.earlier it was because of a issue that is part of my sealed past..Now it is from my TBI, Traumatic Brain injury and the left side neglect that has come with it. 'Choose the right' has a profoundly deeper meaning to me now.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Relearning to walk

About a week ago, I went to physical therapy at Neuroworx and Mark my friend from Arizona, who has a spinal cord injury was on the Locomat, a machine that works as an exoskeleton- strapping to your legs and reteaching your brain/body the right syncing of movements, called kinematics   asked me how long it has taken me to learn how to walk again. I smiled and laughed when I told him that I was still a work in progress. He laughed and said that 'we all are.' true and profound my friend

Monday, July 1, 2013

Complaining never got anyone anywhere

Is a philosophy that I have tried to live.It may make you feel better, but it doesn't really help anyone else. My twin brother Matt gave me a quote from Helen Keller that I have committed to memory,"Just because you are in pain, doesn't mean you have to be one."
The founder of Neuroworx, Dale Hull, told my Pa that he allows himself a 5 minute pity part everyday and then he lives on. I am reminded of a Neal A. Maxwell quote, "Meanwhile, the discontented continue to build their own pools of self-pity, some Olympic size.(Content with the things allotted unto us, April 2ooo)" Let's not drownd ourselves. We had a rule in my hospital room:do not hurt Curtis. I am learning that means that I need to not hurt myself by complaining my life away. My antidote is gratitude. looking for the small and simple miracles that are in everyday life; a smile, kids laughter, being able to see and breath.