Spring Cleaning

With Instagram taking over as a way to stay connected with family and friends, there seems to be less and less need to update the blog frequently.  So why today?  I guess its because change is in the air.  Spring has finally defeated a stubborn winter here in Maryland and the symbolism of rebirth in our lives is all around.  Change is in the air …


It feels like the beginning of the playoffs.  So far, it’s been a 16-year regular season with our share of wins and losses as parents.  But, we’re still standing and about to enter high school with Madi and a newborn this year.  Our children are our constant source of laughter, tears, pride, gratitude, and hopes.  When I conferred to Caleb the Aaronic priesthood I remembered an impression I felt before he was born when Jess and I learned we were having a boy — that he would bring us joy as he grew.  He has and does.  As do Madi, Lucy, Hannah, and Ammon.  Jess is in her third trimester and we’re eager to discover what special spirit will join our family.

I interviewed Ammon the other day about what he thought about having a new little sister join our family as he and Caleb and I ate a popcorn dinner on the hammock …

On the topic of fatherhood and family life, I liked what President Boyd K. Packer said in the last conference:

Pres. Boyd K. Packer

One eternal truth that I have come to know is that God lives. He is our Father. We are His children. “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost” (Articles of Faith 1:1).

Of all the other titles that He could have used, He chose to be called “Father.” The Savior commanded, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father who art in heaven” (3 Nephi 13:9; see also Matthew 6:9). His use of the name “Father” is a lesson for all as we come to understand what it is that matters most in this life.

Parenthood is a sacred privilege, and depending upon faithfulness, it can be an eternal blessing. The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is that a man and his wife and their children can be happy at home.

After a couple years in Maryland, we have grown to love this area.  We love the seasons, proximity to DC (Osguthorpes) and NYC, semi-country living, downtown Baltimore, and a diverse church fellowship.


Its hard to believe at times, but after 12.5 years at The Ensign Group, I’m now leaving Ensign to join a healthcare real estate investment company called CareTrust REIT.  Greg Stapley is the CEO of this company that is newly formed by Ensign spinning off its real estate.  It will be completely separate and unaffiliated with Ensign and will have the mission to acquire new senior housing and healthcare properties.  I suppose that had Greg not been the one to ask me to join him, I would be opening a new market for Ensign here in the mid-atlantic area.  But, he did.  And that caused us to reflect on the next 10 years and what we hope for.  After losing my dad and dear friend, Jason Hoyt, prematurely, I know how quickly life plans and visions change.  I try to imagine looking back at my life 10 years from now.  What will my regrets be?  What can I do now to avoid those.  That phrase, “No Regrets” has been a central mantra of mine since my mission in Argentina.

As I reflect on the last 12 years at Ensign, I feel deep gratitude for hundreds of people who have been a blessing to work with and for experiences that have taught me so much about myself and about people and about business.  As I look at the next 10 years and the “playoffs” for my kids as they enter and exit their teenage years, I want — more than other things I want — to be physically, emotionally, and spiritually present for them.  Could that be accomplished had I stayed at Ensign?  Yes.  But, because of our desire to stay here in Maryland, I put Ensign in a difficult position and limit the ways I can stay and contribute.  On the other hand, CareTrust will be looking to expand nationally out of the gate.  The company will also be based in south Orange County and I will be based here in Maryland.  It will be advantageous for the company to have a beachhead on the east coast.

I’m finally very excited about this change.  It’s taken several months longer to get it off the ground than initially expected, but it looks like June 1 will be its official start date.

A common scene this winter
Showing off our proud purchase of my friend Tony’s new sunglasses http://instagram.com/MADSONofAMERICA
We LOVE having two very beautiful coasts to call home.
Fancy Nancy parties for both Hannah Banana and Lucy this year.
A common siting this winter. The long, cold winter brought them closer to the house more frequently.
Winter ice storm cost us 1/3 of our favorite corkscrew willow.
Osguthorpes = Guaranteed Fun & Adventure
The good news of working from home now is that my weakness for A’s breakfast burritos is 3,300 miles away. The other good news is that I’ll probably have business in So Cal monthly :)
Chopin concert at the Strathmore.
My son.
MikeD Bionic Man
Pulling for Mike Dalton to have a full recovery http://mikeandbrynne.com/?p=5579
Our friend Howard Davis gave a beautiful talk in church.
He Ammon, how do you feel about another baby in the house?
Late night cravings I can totally support.
Little weekend getaway in Virginia near Jefferson’s Monticello.
Coincidentally ran into Mike and Brynne at Monticello.

IMG_8991 IMG_9008 IMG_3260 IMG_3263 IMG_3554

Happy birthday to our dear friend Roxy
Sore/tight back? How about a little ancient chinese remedy?
The new business will have me visiting Dallas and SLC. Two great places with friends and family.
This is the tease for a later post. This moment deserves a post to itself.
Cleared away some space for a veggie garden this year.
Working from home. A neighbor’s dog sometimes shows up and wants to play fetch. The only kind of pet I’ll approve of – a neighbor’s.
My backpack getting passed down …
Caleb receives the priesthood this day.
Hannah has a couple boys scooting up next to her these days.
Spring officially defeats winter.
Hiking to the San Juan Hills flag. Mom’s first time.
I came. I saw. I …
Sammy Stapley Hatch’s wedding.
It wasn’t THAT long ago
My niece.
That moment when your dad sneaks you your first beer.
Family tradition: breakfast in bed for special days (mother’s day)
Mother’s day
Girl hammock
Boys’ hammock
Caleb’s first trip to do baptisms in the temple.
We had a wedding in our backyard for our friend Veronica.
Hannah and Oliver. Uh oh.


That’s it for now.


Ecclesiastes or, the Preacher

Chapter 3

To every thing there is a season—Whatever God does, it will be forever—God will judge the righteous and the wicked.

1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

3 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning

  1. Thanks for updating your blog to share your beautiful family’s growth and development. What an outstanding family with 2 awesome parents at the helm.

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