Monday, August 9, 2010

That being said...

Okay, so every now and then I get on this blog and post a few things that I have had on my mind. I have written about the deep thoughts of change, about how cool my wife is, and other things.

I haven't written on this blog for a while, and although I think Tenille has done a great job at keeping people updated generally on what's going on in our little corner of the world, I thought it would be nice to toss a few thoughts on what's been on my mind lately.

Baby Holyoak's name

Our baby boy was originally going to be named Ammon James Holyoak. Ammon is one of my favorite scriptural heroes, and I just plain old like the name. The middle name James comes from my closest cousin, James Cook. I admire him, the way he carries himself, his work ethic, and kind demeanor towards others, especially to children. I have always wanted to establish that link from him to my kids.

One day, however, Tenille and I were talking about other names that sounded good. I brought up the name Connor, and how it had a nice ring to it. Nevertheless, it wasn't long before I circled back to Ammon and suggested that we just leave the name Connor off the table, but Tenille was stuck on the name. So at that point, we were at odds between Ammon James vs. Connor James (the middle name wasn't up for changing).

One morning, I woke up thinking about our baby boy. About how Connor truly did seem like a good fit, but "Connor James" just didn't sound right. I started to think about the middle name, James. James. Who is James? James Alan Cook, my cousin, I answered my own question. James Alan, I thought. Hmm… Alan. Connor Alan? Connor.. Connor Alan! James gets his middle name from Grandpa Holyoak, Alan Holyoak. My stepbrother Casey's middle name is also Alan (Casey Alan Bair). One of my closest friends is Allen Witt. Alan seems pretty fitting, I thought. I said it out loud and I liked it even more.

Later that morning, I asked Tenille to consider the middle name change, and she liked it. A lot. I think initially she was more excited that I had put away the name Ammon, but regardless, I was so overjoyed to have realized what our boy's name would be: Connor Alan Holyoak.

Saratoga Chase HOA

A few months ago, the neighborhood got together to determine who would serve on the board of the HOA. I personally was getting frustrated with the lack of information we had, and how seemingly nothing was getting done at the time. I volunteered to serve on the board, and without much further conversation, I wound up serving as the HOA president (It sounds more powerful than you think; it's really just a formality).

I have had to learn pretty quickly what it means to serve on an HOA board. I work jointly with good people who are smart, honest, and forthright. The responsibilities of running an HOA are a lot more complex than I ever thought, and sometimes politics does wiggle its way into it all, which is frustrating, yet interesting at the same time. It's been quite a learning experience for me, and one of the main things I have learned is to be not so quick to judge, but rather to get as much information and options in front of you as possible, and then methodically make your way to the best decision.

Immigration and Gay Marriage

Speaking of not being so quick to judge, here's one for you. Most of you out there in the cyber-world have at least read or heard about Arizona's law, prop 8, etc. I personally have been pretty decided on these issues:

1. From a principled standpoint, I believe that if you are to come to the United States of America, you should do so through honest channels. The primary reason America offers such a grand opportunity is because of the freedom we have secured for ourselves. We bow to no one, because of the blood of our forefathers. Freedom comes with a cost, and a free ride to liberty is not only unfair, it cheats one’s soul of what true and honest freedom really feels like. Those among us (some estimate the tally to around 11 million) who are undocumented immigrants do not feel truly free, and are therefore stuck in a cycle of self-deception, that collectively cheats the nation’s spirit as a whole.


The solution to illegal immigration is not going to be a black and white, this-or-that resolution. Deporting 11 million people because they don’t have their papers is by all accounts an improbable, exponentially expensive, and simply an impractical solution. Nevertheless, at the same time, I believe that those people who use lies and deceit to cross our borders, and then continue to do so once they are here, should be dealt with according to the laws of justice, and if necessary, sent swiftly back to where they came from. We have been taught to be merciful; however, mercy cannot rob justice. Also, I believe that the Arizona law is a good one – but for reasons others may not agree with. I believe the state law is a subtle and clever way to force the Federal hand, whose responsibility it truly is to resolve the issue. After all, a national border is defined by a nation, not just one state. Stay strong AZ!

2. I believe that gay marriage is wrong; that it is a mockery of the original institution. I believe marriage is intended to be one man and one woman, who love each other as equal partners, who can reproduce and raise children in a loving home. I understand that some homosexual couples have been able to adopt children, but I believe that the best opportunity for young children tends to lie with a mother and father presiding in the home, as nature intended.


I believe that this country guarantees certain human and civil rights to all people. That includes the right to follow one's own conscious, even if it is considered “unnatural” or if others detest your actions as heinous. I am starting to believe that even though gay marriage is against nearly everything I hold dear, I can still raise my family just as well in this world, regardless. The only inconvenience for my family will be that it's one more issue on which to guide and teach our children about. This is one of the reasons we are parents. Part of being a parent involves navigating your children through untested, untraveled waters. This subject will be one all parents will have to tackle in the years ahead.

Just as our parents had to deal with things they had never before encountered, so too shall we - the parents of the rising generation - have to deal with things as parents that we didn't experience as kids. Our parents, for example, did not have to deal with texting while driving, or the internet. Who knows what we will have to have to instruct our children on in the coming years? The sacred institution of traditional marriage is likely to be one of them.