Category Archives: family


SheYesterday, Labor Day 2011, was a pretty great day.  I was surrounded by people and things that I love. Of the many many wonderful moments, one stood out that I wanted to share.

As I was shopping at Meijer for a BBQ later that day, I was wandering down the milk aisle and I noticed an old lady standing with a cart off to the side.  We’re talking very old, oxygen tank old.  In the cart was a baby in a car seat.  For no real reason, I made eye contact and gave the woman a big grin, just because I was feeling so good. (I whistled a Guster song that was stuck in my head through the entire store, I was feeling that good.)  And you know what, she gave me a genuine smile back.

And it made my day.

My Christmas Letter

December 2010

Dear Friends and Family-
Yeah, I know! Christmas cards from Brady! Who would have thought?

2010 and I had a good time. I spent most of it in Michigan, making brief escapes elsewhere from time to time.

As you probably know, I continue working for Ford Motor Company, as a Financial Analyst in the Product Development group. I can’t tell you exactly what I work on, but you’ll probably start seeing it in a few years, if things go as planned. Ford continues to do well, and I continue to remind you that if you are considering a new new car, be sure to let me know. I can get you a discount! (Unless you live in Puerto Rico, as it turns out…)

I made my first visits to Chicago (Finally!), Puerto Rico, and the Bruce Peninsula of “Southern” Ontario this year. They were all wonderful visits. I also took a summer road trip with my kid sister Nicole across Ohio to New York. We just barely missed being rained out of the Cedar Point amusement park and were nearly rained out of the Hill Cumorah Pageant.

I set my grill on fire during a Labor Day party at my apartment and hosted a fantastic group of friends for Thanksgiving. I watched the last episodes of LOST and Heroes with friends. I made it to three different cider mills. I was the piñata swinger at a Fiesta Mexicana.

All in all, I’d say it was a great year. Thank you for the part you played in it!

Here’s hoping you have a happy Christmas and a wonderful year in 2011.

Brady Emmett

You can keep up with me in any number of ways!
Twitter: @brady32

Christmas Ideas

This post is mostly meant for my family.  It’s a way for me to effectively communicate what I would like for Christmas.  Generally, I am listing these in higher priority first order.  These are ideas and don’t really construe a wish list as such.  Nor is it comprehensive.  Some of my favorite gifts have been the things that I least expect, that I didn’t know that I wanted… like my cast iron skillet or 30 pounds of potatoes.

(Intangible) Things I want and need:

– A deeper relationship with my siblings, particularly my brothers.
– An occasional phone call from one of the above
– Someone to pick me a dentist and schedule me an appointment
– Encouragement (and help) planning and shopping for meals in advance
– Decluttering help and encouragement
– Some time to think  and encouragement to ask and answer the hard questions
– Insight into and practice to become a better friend

(Tangible) Things that I want and need:

– An Ultrasonic Humidifier
– Manly Thank You Notes  (Too many are feminine or wedding TY notes. Not what I need!)
– A Knife Sharpener
– Good Steak knives, and maybe an extra paring knife or two
– A storage solution for my Dominion collection
– Oneida Community Twin Star Serving Pieces (Esp. the Pie Server and Pierced Serving Spoon)
– A Green Tie
– Pocket Squares with Yellow, Orange, Red, or Green accents

Things that I want but probably don’t need:

– Argyle Socks
– Argyle Sweaters
– German Style Games that I don’t already own (ask if you want to know) (I’ve had my eye on Small World and Incan Gold)
– David Allen’s books: Getting Things Done and Making It All Work
– Gretchen Rubin’s book: The Happiness Project
– A Cast Iron Dutch Oven (Kitchen Style, not Campfire style)
– An Immersion Blender
– A Rice Cooker Cookbook, like The Pot and How to Use It
– Dr. Who trinkets


What do you want for Christmas?

Dealing with Death

I am learning to deal with death for really the first time in my life. Somehow, I’ve made it for 30 years without really having lost anyone close to me. When I was really young, maybe 5 or 6, my great-grandmother died. I know I was there for the funeral, but I don’t really have any memories of her before then. Other than that, I’ve only had to deal with pets and farm animals dying. (Of note, I did not react particularly well to the time they took the sheep to the butcher.)

Now my grandmother is dying. Her time is short for this world, and I love her with all of my heart. We lived in the same town when I was growing up, and she was a very important part of my life. For possibly the first time, I will consciously and actively miss someone from my life. This has been particularly hard for me, especially since I know that I probably won’t be able to get to Utah where she is being cared for before she goes.

I find myself tearing up in the oddest places: during the opening prayer of a ward FHE activity, driving to work, reading on an airplane. I don’t cry well, and so far have only made it to sobs once (about 15 minutes ago). I’ve worried that I’d have to call off dates and races, and I’m constantly making contingency plans. I’m distracted easily at work (more so than usual). I’ve visited the temple and prayed continually for her pain to be eased and for the Lord’s will to be done. I’ve had trouble blogging and writing in other forms too, because apparently when I write, I actually have to acknowledge my feelings. It’s been hard.

I have been keeping it kind of quiet, but I’ve been a little muted from my normal self over the last few weeks. Those of you with frequent contact with me might have noticed. That’s just me, trying to deal. Some days are better than others. I think my grandma would want me to be out and about. (I do know that she has commented in the past few weeks about how much she would love it if I (and the rest of my unmarried male cousins) would get married, so that’s incentive enough to do the social things.)

If you read my blog and know her and haven’t yet, you can visit her CaringBridge page and sign her guestbook. My aunt and uncle are printing off the messages people leave for her and reading them to her.

For the rest of you who have lost loved ones, how did you learn to deal with death?

Why I love geocaching

Tonight for Family Home Evening in my ward, we had several spotlights featuring the hobbies and talents of several people in the ward. I was asked to talk about geocaching, one of my unhealthy obsessions.  I made a quick video slide show of some of my favorite geocaching moments.   I figured it would make good blog fodder, but then I realized it was 7 minutes long and silent, so it probably wouldn’t go over well.  So I shortened it and added music,  which makes it infinitely cooler, right?

Here’s some of what I had to say:

When I was a kid, I loved exploring my great-grandfather’s farm. I was convinced that somewhere on the farm was a buried treasure. I hunted all over the place for a clue that would lead me to another clue that would eventually lead me to the place where all the gold was buried. It was great fun, but it wasn’t until years later that I realized that farmers rarely had enough gold to bother burying it and that pirates rarely stopped in Wyoming.

When I first heard of geocaching, I was immediately intrigued. I remembered back to my treasure hunting days on the farm. Here was a real sport where people hid treasures (ok, boxes with treasure (ok, McDonalds toys) inside) all over the world, and then gave you the GPS coordinates to them and sent you off to find them. How cool was that? Grownup high-tech treasure hunting! Awesome.

I couldn’t afford a GPS when I first heard about it, but I tucked it away in the “I’ll do that later” file. By the time I graduated from grad school, I had had my first taste of geocaching with a friend’s GPS and now could afford one. I was still looking for a job, and had quite a bit of spare time on my hands. So I got my GPS and enjoyed finding and hiding caches all over Salt Lake City. 

When I moved to Michigan, geocaching helped me get to know the area and the people. It took me places I probably wouldn’t have gone to by myself. I would have never found Hines Drive or the Metroparks or Belle Isle without geocaching. I would have missed some of the most beautiful places in Michigan.

For me, it’s really about the places and the people that you encounter while geocaching.

I have geocached in three countries, seven US states, and about 1/3 of Michigan’s counties. Other places I’ve cached:

  • The Huron River from a kayak
  • The Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan Mexico
  • The tops of the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming
  • Sleeping Bear Dunes 
  • Cache County Utah
  • Downtown Toronto
  • Maybury State Park (a Michigan state park that used to be a Tuberculosis Sanatorium)
  • Multiple Pioneer Cemeteries
  • Henry Ford’s house
  • The campuses of the University of Wyoming, the University of Utah, the University of Michigan, and Eastern Michigan University.
Geocaching is a lot of fun for many types of people.  One of the things that surprised me was the number of retirees that participate.  There is really something for everyone.  If you’re interested in a long hike to a beautiful waterfall, you’ve got that.  If you want to try out scuba diving, there are caches set for you.  If you want to solve a puzzle, if you’re just bored and want to explore your neighborhood, if you’re out running errands and you need to kill a few minutes, there’s a cache for you.
I’ve cached with many different people.  Among the highlights:
  • My two and four year old nephews
  • Both of my grandfathers
  • Many of the people on my blog-roll
  • A hilarious nurse from Chelsea Michigan
  • Several dates, one of which I showed off for by falling (gracefully) into the Huron River in late March.
One of the rules of geocaching is that when you find the cache, you have to sign the logbook.  Imagine how surprised I’ve been to be caching in Utah on visits to see my family, and to open a cache and see that it has been signed just before me by someone I know from Michigan. It’s happened twice!  
Another rule is that if you want to take something from the cache, you should leave something else for the next finder.  I love to trade out signature items, little cards and trinkets that identify the person.  Many times its just a laminated business card or something like that but I once found a Smiley face stamp from someone called “S5280ft.”  Geocachers are pretty clever.

I once heard a statistic that made me sad: the average American spends only 6 minutes outside per day and that is usually spent walking to or from a car.  I have no idea if that is true or not, but Geocaching is one way to get past that 6 minute barrier.  I found a sport that has lots of variety, that takes me places I’ve never been with great people.  I highly recommend it.

Here’s that video that I was telling you about:

It’s a wonderful Wii.

I thought I should jump on the bandwagon of posts about grandmothers. Actually, I just wanted to post a picture that I took today of my grandma playing the Wii. I brought my Wii home for Christmas, because I knew my family would enjoy playing it. I just had no idea how much.

Here’s Grandma playing the Wii. I think they got her to try Beach Vollyball and Bowling. She was doing pretty good with Bowling, but was having some problems getting the controls to cooperate. A pretty good sport, I thought.

My parents have been enjoying Boom Blox and some of the Wii Sports. My mother managed to beat us all at Golf on her first go.

And then there’s my nephews. I spent a few days visiting them, and they really had fun with playing the Wii too. I wasn’t sure if they were sad because I was leaving or because I was taking my Wii with me. I think probably both.

I think that it is pretty awesome that my Wii has now been played by four generations of my family. I’d say this birthday present to myself was well worth it!