Tuesday, October 25, 2011

One Year

One year ago today, our lives were changed forever.
One year ago today, we held our little child in our arms, but couldn’t take him home.
One year ago today, we experienced what no parent should ever have to experience.
One year ago today, our lives were changed forever.

One year ago today, Kai Derek Samuel Coulthard was silently born.

He will never feel pain.
He will never be cold.
He will never be sick.
But he will be loved forever.

One year ago today, Kai Derek Samuel Coulthard was silently born.

One year ago today, we left the hospital empty handed.
One year ago today, a family that had suffered a tragedy, came together for support.
One year ago today, we went home in shock.
One year ago today, we were filled with questions.

One year ago today, Kai Derek Samuel Coulthard was silently born.

One year ago today, there was extreme anger.
One year ago today, there was extreme pain.
One year ago today, there was perceived betrayal.
One year ago today, there was loss.

One year ago today, Kai Derek Samuel Coulthard was silently born.

Today I look back on the tragedy of one year ago. A lot has changed, but a lot still remains the same. The feeling of loss, pain, and sadness are constantly at the back of my mind. Constantly reminding me of what could have been. The feelings of anger and betrayal have gone, but not the questions. Why? What did we do wrong? Why do we have to suffer this? Why did God abandon us? Some of these questions will never be answered in this life, in fact a lot of them won’t. Over the past year I have learned to accept that there will be no answers until I am standing facing my Saviour and ask these questions of him. Over the past year I have come to the realization that we are not alone in our suffering. There are hundreds of thousands of couples who have had to endure the same loss. During this past year, we have had family celebrations that will last forever in our hearts. We have had to suffer through the mundane aspects of life. We have had to deal with the constant fear for a loved one serving his country. We have had to deal with the almost loss of Tyler’s grand father. We have met new friends and renewed old acquaintances. So much has happened during this past year that I cannot even begin to go into it all, but during this year, there has always been the question “I wonder what this would be like with Kai here?”

Today, our lives have changed for the better.
Today, we hold our memories of him close to our hearts.
Today, we are slowly moving forward.
Today, our lives are better because he is a part of us.

One year ago today, Kai Derek Samuel Coulthard was silently born.

He will never feel pain.
He will never be cold.
He will never be sick.
And he IS loved forever.

One year ago today, Kai Derek Samuel Coulthard was silently born.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Which one should I get??

So, my birthday is coming up and I thought I would get one of these new tablets that have come out recently. The problem is which one?

The first choice is the iPad2. Yes, I know it's the obvious choice. It's simple to use, has a big screen, and has the most apps available. There is also the fact that a lot of people have it and love it. But that could also be a knock against it.

The there is the new Blackberry Playbook. It is the latest tablet on the market and by all accounts is every bit as good, if not better, than the iPad2. The main knock against it is the screen size, 7 inches vs. 9.7 inches, and the lack of apps. However, the Playbook can also run certain Android apps as long as the developers apply to Blackberry's App World.

So there is my big dilemma. Any help would be appreciated. Please leave a comment letting me know what you think.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Calgary Car Show 2011

Every year, since I was about 12, I have looked forward to this show. There's nothing like walking around with a bunch of your buddies and sitting in cars that you could never afford. As we grew up and started jobs and careers some of these cars became more or less affordable to us. Of course, as we grew up, we drifted apart. There was a time when I would go with my family and son. Then for the past 4 years, I have gone with my lovely wife and sometimes my son. Every year I get excited about going, even though I have no intention of buying a new car. Let me share a few of my impressions of this years show.

The first area that we went to was the Chrysler display. They have billed it as Canada's Newest Showroom. This is because within the past year, every Chrysler/Dodge/Ram product has been updated or completely re-designed. The most noticeable vehicle at the display was the new Fiat 500.

This is a cute little car that will be available for sale later this year. It is very small. It seats 4 people (skinny people). It has a 1.4L engine that outs out 101hp, which for the size of the car isn't too bad. It is more of a premium car than a cheap people mover. It will cost around the $20,000 mark when it arrives.

Next up was the new Dodge Durango.

First off, this is a BIG vehicle. I was a little taken back with how big this truck is. When the Durango first came out, it was a "mid-size" SUV that was between an Explorer and a Tahoe in size. Now it is as big a Tahoe was back then (the Tahoe has grown also). The models that they had were the Citadel trim level (the highest). The layout of the dash is very nice and functional. The materials were of a high quality and looked good. The layout was nice and everything, heater/radio controls, were placed where you would expect them to be. But again, it seemed very big.

I then went over to the new Charger!

It was nice, of course I have a Magnum, so I like these types of cars. This was a big change. The interior was all new as well as the outside. It looked a like it went on a diet as it seemed a little smaller and a little sleeker. The interior was the biggest change. The materials and layout were top-notch. When I first sat down I was quite impressed with how the car seemed to fit me as opposed to my magnum, which feels like sitting on a couch in front of a wide expanse of plastic. The dash seemed to be focused on the driver and all the controls seemed to be intuitive and easy to find. When my Magnum finally needs to be replaced, this car is definitely on the list to replace it.

The next vehicle that struck me was the Mini Countryman.

I actually liked this little car. Even better though, April really liked this car. The car is bigger than the regular mini and was very comfortable to sit in. The dash is typical mini, with the large center speedo and toggles switches to control the windows and such. The main problem with this car is the strange arrangement for the center armrest. The is a rail system that stretches from the from between the front seats to between the rear seats. Of course this arrangement means that there is only seating for 4 people. I'm sure this car drives like the other Minis, which is a plus.

After the Mini display, there wasn't much that caught my eye, until we saw the exotics. There were the usual, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, Lotus, & Aston Martin. The interesting thing is that right next to the Porsche display were the Kia's. All the Kia's were nice, but the 2012 Optima was a stunner!!

This car is beautiful!! It was, unfortunately, up on a stand, so we couldn't sit in it. From there we went to the Audi display. While walking through the cars, I had to make sure that my drool stayed in check. All those cars are gorgeous!! I just about lost it when we got to the R8 Spyder V10!!!

Pure sex on wheels!!!!!!!!!!! What else can I say.

From there the next area that caught my eye was the GM display. They had the new Buick Regal:

The Cadillac SRX:

But the ones that caught my eye were a couple of concepts cars. One that will be produced, and another one that most definitely should be produced.

The one that will be produced (supposedly) is the GMC Granite:

This "car" is about the size of a Honda Fit, but looks way cooler!!

The car that should be produced is the Cadillac Converj:

This sexy little coupe is an upscale version of the Chevrolet Volt (which was also there).

It has a battery pack that powers the car for the first 70kms, then a small engine turns on and acts like a generator and powers the batteries for another 500km. If you plug this in every night you will use very little, if any, gas. And with gas prices on the rise, that seems like a very good idea.

Then I saw the new Chevrolet Orlando:

This is a neat little vehicle. Yes I did say little. It is what people in Europe refer to as an MPV. It will seat 7 people, although the ones in the back row will be small or uncomfortable, and is powered by a small displacement 4cyl. engine. The one that I sat in also had a 6 speed MANUAL transmission. This is very rare. I could really see this replacing the fit if we every have the triplets that April wants. It was very nice to sit in and you could see outside very well. All the controls seem to be placed nicely and everything felt of a good quality. The production version lost some of it's appeal from the concept:

but I still like it a lot.

Then came the Ford display. Now I must admit that in the past few years Ford has been doing a lot of nice things. So much so, that I don't automatically disregard them when looking at cars. First off there was the Taurus SHO:

A very nice car, and quick too. It is powered by a 3.5L V6 Turbo engine that produces 365hp. I have read nothing but praise for this car. It is also on the list to replace the Magnum when needed.

Next up was the Fiesta:

Again, a very small car, but kind of neat looking. Then came the new Focus:

A lot of people have heaped a lot of praise on this car, but I just couldn't see why. It was a nice enough car, but it wasn't anything special. It had a nice interior and was a 5-door hatchback, but it didn't wow me as I thought it would. After being underwhelmed by the Focus, I had few hopes for the new Explorer.

I was wrong. This is a very nice vehicle. It's as big as the Durango, but it feels smaller. The dash is quite interesting in design, but not weird like some others. It had good build quality and the materials were soft to touch and looked of high quality as well.

The one thing that I really noticed this year was how much technology has been added to these cars. Almost everyone had Bluetooth standard or as a option on the lowest of trim levels. A lot of the cars also had Navigation standard or as an option, and there wasn't a manual window to be seen anywhere. The amount of technology that is in these new cars can be a little extreme, but I guess that's what people want these days.

Well that was my impression of this years car show in Calgary. One day I hope to go to the Detroit car show as it is the big daddy of them all. I'll just have to convince April to go to Detroit in January. That shouldn't be too hard now should it??

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


So it' sbeen a while, but here I am. I'm not sure what to write about, but I figure I should write something. I have finished the second chapter in the story that I am attempting so here's the latest part.

The next day, there was a lot of commotion surrounding the events of the previous day. At least there was amongst the slaves. The Egyptians were agitated and began to question everyone whether they knew this Moses or where he had gone. They searched all living spaces as well as any other buildings in the area. After they searched for half the day, they decided that he had fled and died in the great desert. After lunch, it was back to building the great tomb.
The tomb was not much different from the others that had been built before, but it was much larger. The stone needed to be sent up the river from the quarry many miles away. Once it got to the building area, it was unloaded and prepped for installation. Some of the rougher stones were used on areas that would not be seen when it was completed. The nicer ones were saved for the outside of the great building. These were the stones that Efram and his crew were installing. The main part of the tomb had been completed, and now it was the outside walls that needed finishing. That would still take a while, one maybe two growing seasons. The design of the building was very simple. It started out at the ground as a big square, then as each level went up, the square got smaller until eventually it came to a point at the top. They had already put the last stone on the top and were now filling in the ramp from the top to the bottom. This was a little difficult as the ramp was sloped, but the stones needed to be flat. They had solved this issue by cutting a smaller stone at the angle of the ramp and placing it on top of a square stone. As they moved down the ramp they removed these stones and placed square ones on top. It was very tedious work, and a slow process. At sunset, they had only replaced one stone the whole day. The Egyptians were angered by the slow pace of the slaves. There would be no dinner tonight.
When the tomb was completed, Efram was 15, and very strong because of the work that he did. He never heard from or about Moses since that brief encounter 3 years ago. People had started to say that he was not real and that Efram and his buddies had made it all up. Efram and his friends were the laughing stock of the whole slave camp. Except, there was a young girl named Rachel, who believed Efram and his friends. She was one of the daughters of Baal, who was a carpenter slave. Baal did not like Efram and because he didn’t believe him about Moses. He thought Efram was just trying to get everyone excited about maybe leaving this horrible place. The truth was that Baal thought that being a slave wasn’t that bad. They got free food and shelter, not much, but it was free. They were able to try and grow a few crops to sell during the growing season for a bit of money to buy some provisions. He always told his daughter that the only people who didn’t like being slaves were those that caused trouble and were whipped for it, so of course they wouldn’t like it. Rachel didn’t think the same way her father did. She thought that the slaves were destined for greater happiness and prosperity. She liked Efram and wanted to be his wife, but she was still two years from being eligible for marriage. Besides, her father would never agree for her to marry Efram. She had two years to win her father over and marry Efram.
Efram began working on a new tomb for the king’s son. It was not as grand as the king’s, but Efram was sure that would change once the king died and his son started to rule the land. Sure enough, one year later, the king died and his son changed the design to be even grander than his father’s tomb was. He almost doubled the size and wanted a lion to guard the entrance to his tomb. As work started and the stones brought from the quarry, there were rumors of a man asking for the slaves to be freed. This, of course, caused everyone to get excited and work a little slower. This, in turn, outraged the Egyptians, and made everyone work longer and harder than ever before. Efram was elated and began to think about life away from the slave drivers. What would he do? Would he be a farmer? A shepherd? A carpenter or a mason? All of a sudden, there was a terrible stinging in his back, and he was roused from his daydream. The slave driver that whipped him yelled “Stop your dreaming, you’re never going to be free”.
That night, around the fire, there was much discussion about these rumors. Baal got up and spoke. “These are only rumors. Who would have the nerve to go to the king and ask for our release? If anyone had, he surely would have been killed before seeing the king.” This all made sense. No one was allowed to see the king unless he requested a visit. Then Efram spoke without thinking. “What if was Moses from many years ago?” Everyone laughed and told him to be quiet. The Rachel spoke. “How can we be so sure it isn’t?” Everyone around the fire was dumbfounded. Here was a woman questioning the men. Baal was enraged and went to strike his daughter. Efram got to her first and deflected the blow from her father. Baal was shocked! How could this young man defy tradition and defend this girl from her father. Baal lunged again, but was easily bested by Efram. With that, Baal said to Efram. “If you want to protect her that much, she’s yours. I want nothing more to do with her.” Rachel was elated, but Efram was shocked. He did not want to marry yet. He did not know what to do. The group then dispersed and everyone went home. Except for Efram and Rachel. After a few minutes, Efram decided that they should go to his parent’s house and explain what had happened. When they got there, word had already reached his father as to what had happened. While his dad was outraged, his mother was ecstatic and welcomed her in at once. For tonight, she would sleep with Efram’s sisters, then in the morning, they would find a suitable arrangement. Efram did not sleep that night; He kept going over in his mind the events of the night. All he did was try and protect a woman from a beating, and now she was going to be his wife.

I hope that you like it. I'm going to keep writing it and trying to explore my more creative side. Here's a picture of a painting that I just completed.

I hope that you like it as well.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Not much of an update!!!

I haven't had much time to update anything on here. Life has been getting busy.

I've been blessed with being married to the most wonderful woman in the world. I know, all guys say that, but in my case it's true!!

4 years ago, on February 14th, Valentines Day, April said the one word that I wanted to hear. She said yes!! This was the official engagement, but in actuality we had been unofficially engaged for around 2 weeks. Here's that story.

We had tried attending the Temple for 4 weeks in a row, a suggestion from my Bishop. We had missed one week, so we decided to attend 2 sessions in one day. We left for Cardston after April was finished work on Friday and went to Lethbridge and stayed overnight with my cousin, Fergus, and his family. On the way down we were talking and the subject of marriage came up again, as it had over the past few weeks. We both agreed that we would be very happy to spend eternity with each other, but nothing else was said. I still had some reservations about getting married, not to April, but just in general. I had also been praying about whether this was the correct path for me. During the second session on the Saturday, I caught a glimpse of April during the session. All of a sudden I had this incredible "tingling" sensation and this loud voice in my head said "YES"!!!!! That was the exact moment I knew that I was going to marry this woman.

When we had finished and were heading home, things were a little quiet in the truck as April had some school work to do, and I was scared as hell. By the time we got back to Calgary, April had finished her work and we were again chatting. This is the part that gets interesting. As we were waiting in traffic by Chinook Centre, April turned to me and asked "So did we decide to.....you know?" I looked at her and said "I think so!" The next week I went ring shopping and found the most beautiful ring. Now I had to figure out her ring finger size. As it turns out, she fit the ring as is.

On Valentines Day 2007 we went to Red Lobster for dinner and the place was packed. We were both very nervous and ate dinner kind of quietly. When dinner was done I asked April to close her eyes. Instead, her eyes lit up and she had a huge smile on her face. It was at that point that I asked if she wanted me to get on one knee. She turned beet red and said no. At that point, I produced the ring and asked her to be my bride! She said yes immediately and I put the ring on her finger. After a few moments of holding each others hands the waitress came by to ask if we needed anything. She saw the ring box and almost screamed. She quickly took our plates and disappeared. A few moments later, her and a few others came by with a piece of pie as a congratulations.

We finished the pie and headed out of the restaurant. I noticed that everyone, and I mean everyone, was looking at us. As we headed out the door a few people said congratulations and some even shook my hand. Strange!!! We then went to April's house and told her parents and sister. Then over the next few days we told the rest of our families.

Since then, things could not be better. I have an amazing wife, who thinks I am the cat's pajama's. I think that she is as well!

April, I love you with all of my heart. Thank you for being who you are!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Something I'm working on.

So here's a little sample of something that I have been working on. I came up with the idea to write a story about some of the people that followed Moses out of Egypt. Now these weren't prominent people, but the every day normal people that are just trying to get by. I was inspired by the work of Ken Follet and his stories "Worlds Without End" and "Pillars of the Earth".

Here is the beginning. Please feel free to let me know what you think.

As Efram pushed along with 20 others, the block started to roll along the logs laid out on the ground. The hardest part was over. Once the block was moving it was much easier to keep going. As they approached the top of the ramp they began to slow down. They didn’t want the block dropping off the end of the ramp and ruining half a days work. When they got to the turn at the top of the ramp, the slave master told them to stop and gave each man some bread and water. Efram drank the water sparingly so that he could save some for just before going back to work. The sun was relentless today. He enjoyed the rest as he chatted with his fellow slaves. Efram had been with this crew for almost 2 years now. He started with them when he was the age of 10 as a log boy. He would grab a log as the block came off it and run to the front and place it down again. This enabled the block to be moved into the proper position from the pit. He had done this until he was strong enough, then he was promoted to his current position. During the 2 years, he had seen a few friends fall beneath the block and be killed as they tried to place a log. He had learned early on to be quick and stay out of the way. Lunchtime was over when the slave driver returned. Efram quickly drank the last of his water and began to push.

This was the trickiest part. They had to push the block only a little ways then stop it and push it another way up the next ramp. This usually happened with very few problems, but today something was wrong. As he pushed he placed his foot down and stepped on a log. One of the young log boys had not yet removed it. As he slipped, he took a couple of other men down with him. The block started to roll back down the ramp. He desperately tried to regain his footing, but he was only stepping on others feet. The block continued to roll back. It was at that point that the men gave up and jumped out of the way. Efram was alone in front of the block as it slid towards him. He quickly regained his footing and jumped out of the way, but the block caught his sandal and started to drag him towards the edge of the ramp. As he struggled to free himself he felt the other grab his arms and start to pull him back up. The pain was incredible and most of the men let go. As the block tumbled over the edge, his sandal came free. But it was too late he was heading off the edge of the ramp as well. He struggled to grab an edge when some of the men grabbed his arms again and pulled him to safety. As he got to his feet he looked over the edge to see the block had been smashed to many pieces when it fell. But that was not the worst part. It had fallen on one of the Egyptian leaders and killed him instantly. The punishment would most certainly be death for whoever was found to have caused this incident.

Efram quickly turned around to see the chaos behind him. There was his cousin Ezekiel being whipped by the slave driver. His blood boiled with rage and jumped towards where they were standing. He was ready to attack the slave driver when another Egyptian leader told the slave driver to stop what he was doing. The man ignored his superior and continued to whip the young boy. That was when Efram witnessed the most amazing thing. The Egyptian leader drew his sword and killed the slave driver! Everyone stood around in shock and wonderment. The leader seemed to realize what he had done and began to worry about his own life. He started to run down the ramp. Efram caught him and asked him his name. He said it was Moses. Then he pushed Efram aside and ran off into the crowd. Moses. That would be a name he would never forget.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Life To The Fullest: To Kai...

My wife made this wonderful and touching video as a tribute to our son Kai.

I hope you enjoy it.

Life To The Fullest: To Kai...: "It seems only fitting that my first post should be a dedication to my son, Kai.  I never really got to meet him, but his short life has..."

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Weekend After

The week after our loss we had planned a shopping trip to Great Falls. It was supposed to be a shopping trip for baby stuff, but now it was just a chance to get away and for some retail therapy. The trip down was also quite the experience.

So we left Friday about mid-morning. We had decided that we should stop by the Temple and try and get some sort of understanding about what had happened. The trip to Cardston wasn't bad at all. We arrived in Cardston around noon and asked the people at the front desk if we could just go in and sit and think. We were told that we would have to perform some service before. So, grudgingly, we performed some service and went to a special area to reflect on the recent events. Unfortunately, we weren't in the best frame of mind and had a bad experience. After we were there for about an hour, we decided it was time to leave. It was at this point that April told me she had some bleeding and that we should maybe go to an emergency room. So we head to the Cardston Hospital, 2 blocks away. After waiting for about an hour to see a doctor, he decides to run some blood tests. So after another hour he decides to prescribe some medicine and assures us that the 2 pharmacies in town would have it. We go to the first pharmacy and the technician informs us that he has never seen this particular medication and he phoned the other pharmacy and they do not have it either. Great. So we go to the Church bookstore to get a few books that might help. We find a few items and are waiting at the counter with no one bothering to help. There are a few people chatting right beside the counter an we thought that they were other customers. It turns out that one of them is the cashier. After standing there for about 10 minutes she decides to serve us. This puts us in an even worse mood. We finally head out of town and head for the border. We get to the border crossing and are slowly pulling up only to find that they closed about 10 minutes earlier. We can actually watch the US border guards leaving the office and driving away. Great! So we head to Coutts. We get there around 6:30 and are waiting in line. we get up to the window, and we get flagged and told to pull over to the side for a search. GREAT. After about 30 minutes they come back and say we can leave. We get back on the highway and head for Great Falls. After a while I notice that the gas is getting low. I head for the nearest gas station according to the GPS. We get there and they are closed. GREAT. Head for the next one on the list, and they are also closed. GREAT!! At this point the gauge is reading empty and the little gas light comes on. We head for the next gas station on the list and it is about 10 miles away. We coasted down every hill, and tried to preserve as much gas as possible. With a bit of luck, we make it to the next gas station and fill up. We leave the little town and head back on the highway. No sooner than we had gotten on the highway when we saw the lights from Great Falls. GREAT!!! By this point I am ready to check in to the Hotel and crash on the bed.

The rest of the trip went off without a hitch and we had some great retail therapy. It was nice to get away from all the reminders of Kai that were still fresh in our minds at home. The following weekend we had to bury Kai and say our final farewells. It was tough, but with our wonderful families beside us we were able to get through that tough day as well.

Over the past 2 months we have been shown a great amount of love and support from both families and friends. We appreciate all that everyone has done for us during this time.