Monthly Archives: January 2011

We are NOT Pregnant!

This past Christmas, we chose to tackle Christmas letters for the first time.  Since the bulk of my written correspondence occurs over email and this blog, the act of blowing an entire ink cartridge printing, and then spending hours gathering addresses, stuffing envelopes, etc. seems asinine.  However, I know how much we enjoy getting “real” letters in the mail, and how much more meaningful it is than an email, so, now that it’s done, I can definitely say I’m glad we did it.

In the weeks that followed, Tara and I relished the comments that trickled in: “We got your Christmas letter, thank you!”, “It was so funny!”, “Loved the letter!”, an so forth.  It was not until a few days ago that it was brought to our attention that, due to some joking about my sperm in the letter, some recipients may now be under the impression that we are either: a.)Pregnant, b.)Trying to get pregnant, or c.)Having trouble getting pregnant.  The misunderstanding stems from the opening paragraph:

In an effort to make my first Christmas letter unique, I was brainstorming all the things people do to make these letters more fun. Some write in the perspective of a beloved pet, others in the perspective of the baby. Since we have no pets, and certainly no kids, I wanted to write in the perspective of my sperm, but Tara was having none of that.

And the salutation at the end:

Sincerely Yours,

Andrew, Tara, Andrew’s Sperm

I was taken aback to hear this news.  I had thought the joke had been completely clear, but it seemed people had forgotten about the joke in the opener by the time they got to the closing, and my little “tie-it-all-together” trick had failed, leaving the reader interpreting the closing as an abstract way of suggesting that we are attempting to procreate.

Admittedly, I can see where the misunderstanding comes from, and being directly descended from a man who one year had virtually everyone on his mailing list fearing that he an my mother were getting a divorce due to a small, passing joke, I’m not at all surprised that I made a similar blunder.  Ever since my poetry and literature classes of freshman year of college, searching for metaphors and symbolism in written works and movies has been one of my pastimes.  Therefore, I find it particularly amusing and ironic that I tend to miss some of my own metaphors that I inadvertently create.

Therefore, hoping that most of those that came away from our Christmas Letter with this interpretation have been trolling this blog ever since seeking updates, I’m going to attempt to straighten things out.  We are not pregnant, not trying, and therefore, not having trouble.  If, in a FEW YEARS, we do have that news to share in our Christmas Letter, look for the following code words:

New member of the family
Exciting News
Baby Clothes
Preparing a room in the house
It’s a boy!!
It’s a girl!!

In the mean time, we’ll just be practicing.

Christmas Letter 2010

Even though I sent out hard copies of this, I’ve decided to post it as well for hyperlinking purposes and such.


Dear family and friends,

In an effort to make my first Christmas letter unique, I was brainstorming all the things people do to make these letters more fun. Some write in the perspective of a beloved pet, others in the perspective of the baby. Since we have no pets, and certainly no kids, I wanted to write in the perspective of my sperm, but Tara was having none of that.

This past year has been awesome for us. Here are the highlights in condensed form. More verbose accounts/anecdotes can be found on my blog (


– After a brief period of unemployment, I start my job as Systems Engineer at Procerus Technologies, manufacturer of unmanned air vehicle avionics. Things are still going great.

– Isaac’s family comes to SLC for skiing. Fun times skiing, hot tubbing, and hanging out with Leah and the Zohner Clan.


– We fly back to Omaha for Rachel & Jesse’s wedding.


– Epic powder day at Solitude resort. Tara and I enjoy fresh all day, thanks to all the suckers that have already packed up their gear.

– We take a weekend trip down to Moab with Heidi and friends. We see the Delicate Arch, and can now officially call ourselves Utahns.


– Tara graduates with her master’s in genetic counseling.

– To celebrate, we spend a week at Snowbird Resort, lounging in the rooftop hot tub while the snow falls, relaxing in the steam room, and sipping tea in the solarium.

– Tara’s family visits for the commencement ceremony. We stay up until 2 AM drinking New Belgium and wine (I guess Hal and Cindy were probably drinking Coors)…

– Tara travels back to Yankton for a week while I stay in UT working and mountain biking.

– Tara starts her job at the Neurology Clinic at the University Med Center as a coordinator/genetic counselor.

– We drive to Tahoe and spend Memorial Day with my Uncle Larry and Aunt Sonja in their cabin. No more skiing, but the weather is absolutely amazing for hiking and biking. Sushi consumed by all.


– Attempt 2 climbing 9,026 ft. Mt. Olympus with married friends Josh and Brianna. Strenuous climb, but success this time.

– We spend a weekend backpacking/hitchhiking in Capitol Reef National Park.


– My family visits for 4th of July weekend. We meet up with them in Eden, UT for hiking and bike riding.

– We spend a weekend backpacking in the High Uintas.


– Tara’s family visits again. (kidding) We move Becky into her new SLC apartment and enjoy Park City for a week.

– We spend a weekend in the Ozarks for our annual college friends bash.

– Tara takes her board exams to become a certified genetic counselor.

– We move from our apartment to a rental house that we have been quite pleased with. It is complete with a screened in porch, cute little yard, fireplace, and man cave for me.


– We spend Labor Day weekend camping in Flaming Gorge, in what happens to be the same campground that my family stayed at in 2000 with my Grandma and Grandpa Newcomb.

– We travel back to Yankton for Shannon & Michelle’s wedding, for which Tara is a bridesmaid.


– Tara finds out that she passed her board exam and is officially a certified genetic counselor.

– Back to Omaha for Kevin & Sarah’s wedding.


– We travel to Las Vegas to spend Thanksgiving with my family in a condo. Benjamin drives up from Yuma. We see a couple mid-grade shows, and Ben and I smoke a ceremonial birthday cigar with Garin in honor of his 18th birthday.


– Robert comes to visit. We show him around SLC and take him up to the slopes.

As you can see, 2010 has been packed with blessings for us. We may still be getting used to this whole “Grown-Up” thing, but we’re sure having a blast along the way. Well, Tara and Becky are busy holiday baking as I write this, and it has escalated to loud hammering. I didn’t realize such measures were required for cookie baking, but in any case, my concentration is shot and it’s about time to close anyway. Tara and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and an outstanding year. And never forget: Snow IS a good thing!

Sincerely Yours,

Andrew, Tara, Andrew’s Sperm


Sunset at Flaming Gorge



January and February have always been the doldrums of the year to me.  Due to my passion for snow sports, I find myself barraged with conflicting desires during these months.  Turbulent weather patterns seem to die off with the end of the holiday rush leaving me both desperate for snow and longing for warm weather.  The fact that Vegas is a mere 6 hours away doesn’t help anything either.  It’s not that I want to gamble—Tara and I just want to go enjoy the 70 degree weather.  Worst of all, I planned on using these slower months to makes some major headway on my goal of 100 posts on AbsolutelyAndrew this year, but my muse seems to have flown south as well!  And so, while the slopes get icier and icier, here is a list of things that make these doldrums a little bit brighter.

1.  Sundance Film Festival—We’re seeing 3 films this year: A shorts program and 2 premiers.  Still haven’t seen a major celeb, but that’s OK.  I will also boast that last year we saw Blue Valentine which has several Oscar nominations (I think).

2.  Swing Dancing at BYU for only $3—Thank God for Mormons and their dancing.

3.  Incredible State of the Union Address—Sure, Joe Biden looked kind of like a doofus with that ridiculous grin, but I probably looked the same.

4.  President’s Day—I actually have it off this year!!  We’ll be snowshoeing in Bryce Canyon.

5.  Red Box movies on our new TV.

6.  Hulu on our new TV.

7.  Victoria’s Secret Semi Annual Sale—No details necessary.

8.  Rock Climbing Gyms—thanks to Groupon, we’ll be doing a decent amount of climbing this winter.  We’ve been once so far.  Tara’s practically a natural!

9.  Nightskiing after work—me and another guy at work have night season passes.  This would be way better if it would FRIGGIN SNOW, but it’s still fun.

10.  Home Projects—Always rewarding and so much easier to do when it’s cold outside.  We are currently in the process of setting up a “den” in the basement.  This basically involves procuring a decent-looking carpet remnant for a fair price and moving the TV down there—nothing too major.

Photo of the Whatever

I feel slightly silly posting this picture here after I already posted it in a facebook album, but I’m just so darn pleased with how it turned out.  Tara and I were on our way back from Omaha after the holidays on the Amtrak, and got off in Winter Park, CO to stretch our legs.  It was like 3 degrees out, but it wasn’t so bad in the sun.  I had gotten a polarizing filter for Christmas, so I was eager to try it out.  Now I just need to learn some Photoshop magic so I can remove the rest of the people from the platform!


_DSC315770mm  F5.6  1/500 sec  ISO-100  With Polarizer  


If you haven’t ridden the train, definitely add it to your bucket list.  There is not a more relaxing way to travel, save maybe a water vessel, and the scenery is simply amazing.

DIY Screen Printing!!

Tara and I needed white elephant gifts for my work Christmas party, and I thought what better than a couple of home made nerd shirts?

First, create your design.  I used inkscape.

Then, find a work area:



Next, trace your design onto pantyhose stretched into an embroidery hoop, and paint a viscous glue everywhere you don’t want ink to go.  Make sure it’s real thick.  After the glue dries, you’ve got your own screen!







Now put the screen on the shirt where you want it and start dabbing ink on.



The finished product.  Mine’s a little rough, but Tara’s is about perfect.





Just rinse the screen out with water afterwards.  You can use it as many times as you want!

Blog Dares 2011!!

Evidently National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO) has a forum page in which writers dare other writers to include things in their novels.  I thought this would be a good idea for bloggers as well.  Therefore, to kick off 2011, I have drafted up some dares for everybody on my blogroll.

Gavin’s Stuff:  Do a post entitled “Top 10 Books to have on Your Coffee Table When Having a Girl Over”.  Extra points if you get rid of that boring, overly white theme. 

Jake and Amanda’s Pop Culture Blog:  You guys do too much TV.  I’d like to see some music critiques.

Laura K Peters:  Since launch, we’ve enjoyed macros rich with texture, vibrant colors, and contrast, and beautiful portraits in a wide variety of locales.  Lets see some landscapes and maybe some architecture.  You’ve got that tripod now.  Extra points for an HDR of downtown Lincoln.

Marriage & Food:  Actually post something.  Haha, kidding!  Sort of…  Do a top 10 list of Jesse’s best(worst?) puns of all time.

Single Plus Cat:  Have you ever seen a cat flying through the air?  It is easily one of my favorite images.  Just picturing it now makes me smile.  Have someone throw Benny onto the bed while you snap photos, and then post these.  Be sure not to get the thrower in the picture.  Also, don’t plug me on this post.  The last thing I need is PETA after me…

The Reynolds Tribe:  Write a post in 3rd person narrative style.  Extra points for use of words like “Therefore”, “However”, and “Ubiquitous”.