Monday, November 24, 2008


I try to not be a person who only reflects on what they have to be thankful for during Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for that I often wonder how I became so lucky.

I remember a church lesson many years ago where we were asked to spend a few minutes writing down all the things we were thankful for. I wrote down things like "family", "friends", "basketball", and "Hostess".

This list was written before I was married. I didn't understand about giving everything you've got in a marriage, and about everything you get in return. I didn't have kids so I had no comprehension about how you could love someone more than words with every cell of your body. I didn't fully grasp how many people make tremendous sacrifices so I can live in the kind of country, community, and neighborhood I live in. I didn't understand the difference between shallow high school friendships and friends who will be there through thick or thin, let you borrow their rock sifter, or help out with watching the kids when something unforeseen comes up. I was certainly thankful for Hostess, but at the time I hadn't experienced how wonderful, scrumptious, and glorious are pumpkin pies from Costco.

My thankfulness was not as developed for things like in-laws, parents, siblings, a good job, semi-reliable transportation, a nice house, cable so I can watch Jazz games, challenges, health, an ability to play the piano, a decent jump shot as long as nobody is guarding me, or a functioning air conditioner.

I'm thankful to be a husband and dad. Even though it's messy, I love having Snow White and Dora underwear all over the house, dirty fingerprints on doors, and spills on tables because I know they won't last forever and one day I'll miss all that stuff. I'm thankful for little kids who come out of their rooms at night when they're not supposed to and say "Daddy, can I have one more hug and kiss?"

I am without a doubt the most lucky, blessed, and fortunate guy I know. With all my blessings, I couldn't ask for more. Although I wouldn't complain about an unlimited supply of pumpkin pie.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Elementary School Rolls

I spent the afternoon at the elementary school. First up was lunch with the second graders. Jackson was thrilled that I was able to come for their Thanksgiving Dinner. All the food was decent, except for the roll which was, um, heavenly. For as long as I can remember elementary schools have owned the market on good rolls. I don't know what their secret 13 herbs and spices are, but they know how to make a good roll.

I sat next to a boy with a dripping nose, large elbows that often rubbed my ribs, and the happiest grin you'd ever want to see from a second grader. I was the Jerry Seinfeld of the lunchroom by calling the girls boy names, and the boys girl names, and referring to myself as Corrina. They were rolling in the benches. "Thanks kids - I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip the waitress. Try the veal!"

Following lunch, I got to go help in Danica's kindergarten class. Ms. Creel had those energetic kids mesmerized and in the palm of her hand as she read them a book. I felt privileged to be a fly on the wall in her classroom.

It was a great afternoon. I'd be happy to help kids learn how to read colors, wipe snotty noses, help tie 27 shoes an hour, and have my ribs jabbed every day of the week. I'd be pretty excited about being able to eat more rolls too.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How To Be A Therapist

I'm a licensed clinical social worker, I do medical social work, and I do therapy in my private practice. Counselors and social workers have a reputation for being an odd bunch. I'm sure I help perpetuate that reputation. Because of my profession, I thoroughly enjoyed these short commercials. I believe I shed tears of laughter when I first saw them.

How does that make you feel?

Monday, November 17, 2008

People Are Funny

The following is a list of people who are funny:
  • People who wear a Bluetooth to feel important
  • People who clip their fingernails in church
  • Dwight Schrute
  • John Candy
  • 4 & 5 year old girls that hear a song on television, then sing the line "Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me" over and over again (with said 4 & 5 year old girls being my children)
  • People who show extreme dedication to their bowling league
  • People who enjoy Star Trek
  • People who collect their fingernails and scabs (Mel worked with a lady who really did this. I even got to see the collection once!)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jordan High School Track

I own three sweatshirts. When the others are dirty, I choose my Jordan Track sweatshirt. I realized as I was wearing it a few days ago that this article of clothing has been in my closet for fifteen years. FIFTEEN YEARS!

I ran track when I was a Sophomore in high school. I ran distance and was in stiff competition to be the worst track athlete in Jordan High history.

The funny thing is that I didn't really like to run. I hated going to practice at 6:00am. I didn't enjoy pulling up the rear during a track meet. I made these sacrifices because there was a hot babe who ran track and I thought maybe if I did track too, I might get to hang out with her. I hoped my enthusiastic chicken legs hauling down the track would make her fall madly in love.

I'm not sure how or why, but the hot babe with pretty hair, mouse ears, and a beautiful smile showed an interest in me and even laughed at my jokes. She was hot.

Years later, that hot babe married me. Now, whenever I wear my Jordan sweatshirt, I remember the days when Mel and I ran track together.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pearl Award Ceremony

My parents, Mel, and I had a great time at the Faith-Centered Music Association’s Pearl Awards on Wednesday night. I’m excited to announce that my CD "You Will Soar" which was nominated for Contemporary Instrumental Album….won!

Well, okay. Not exactly. “You Will Soar” and its creative, intellectually stimulating, well-groomed creator didn’t win. So, you ask, why have I posted a picture of myself jubilantly holding an award?

We happened to be in the back of the room before the ceremony started and we saw an award sitting unsupervised on a table. I have to credit my step-dad for coming up with the idea: “Hey – go grab the trophy and I’ll take a picture of you with it!” Brilliant.

Fortunately for attendees, there weren’t long, drawn-out acceptance speeches. But…had there been long, drawn-out acceptance speeches, and….had I won, I’m thinking my speech would have been something like this:

Wow. I’m humbled and flattered to be given this honor. I feel sorry for all you non-winners who drove from as far as southern Utah and are returning home with nothing more than heartburn.
I’d like to thank my wife and family for your support, love, and patience as I stay up really late at night to work on music.
I’d like to thank Hostess for your scrumptious Cup Cakes, Twinkies, and Snowballs. If I could choose any product to trigger Type 2 Diabetes, I’d choose yours.
I’d like to thank Hall & Oats for your song “Man Eater” which inspired me as a small child to be a musician.
I must thank radio talk show host Glenn Beck for making me laugh everyday on the way to work.
You like me. You really like me!
Thanks also to the Cowden family, whose cat jumps over our wall to eat our dog food when the dogs aren’t watching. I couldn’t have done it without you.

(Just for clarification purposes, that part about Hall & Oats is a complete and utter lie. Hostess part – not a lie.)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Trip To Zion

I went to Zion National Park last Saturday with Jackson and a few friends. The fall colors were absolutely amazing. They were by far the most vivid colors I've seen in Zion. Here are a few pictures from the day.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Big Mistake

I had an experience yesterday that ranks in the Top 3 Most Embarrasing Moments Of Cory Reese.

I got to (okay, had to) go to the dentist AGAIN thanks to a A N O T H E R crown that cracked. Kelsey is a dental technitian there who I've spent so much time with that she almost feels like a sister. When I got there, she came up excitedly and started talking. She said that she didn't know I was "the Cory Reese that plays the piano", and went on to tell me how much she enjoys my music, and how she heard her favorite Cory Reese song on the radio Sunday, and how she would love to get some of my sheet music even though she probably couldn't play it because it sounds too hard. She was very kind.

God knew that so many compliments at once would not be good for me. He wanted to keep me humble and make sure my head didn't get fat.

I realized after sitting there for an hour and 20 minutes that my zipper had been down the whole time. Thanks for keeping my ego in check God.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Political $.02

I'm one of those geeks that likes to listen to talk radio, especially related to politics. I'm not a fan of Rush, but I get a pretty steady diet of Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, etc.

I also wasn't much a fan of last night's election results. Not much a fan of Obama or McCain. I saw an interview with Rudy Giuliani that I respected. The interviewer asked him what his thoughts will be if/when Obama is elected. He said something like "You know, in the morning we're going to wake up and we're all going to be Americans. I will support Obama, because if our president fails, we fail." If only we could rewind and have him on the ticket. Or Mitt. Or my politically intelligent brother-in-law. Or a poodle.

Despite my political disagreements with Obama, I was very proud, encouraged, and happy to see that an African-American could be elected president considering the history our country has. Amazing. And despite the fact that I think Palin is incredibly annoying (did you see her "dancing" on Saturday Night Live???), I was also very proud, encouraged, and happy to see that a woman could be a vice presidential nominee. I'm sick of old Caucasian males doing really dumb things in Washington and spending my tax dollars foolishly.

So there you have it. I've officially written about the two things my wife hates the most: baseball and politics. Could she be anti-American?

Monday, November 3, 2008

The REAL Way To Trick-Or-Treat

We took the kids to the church Friday night for the neighborhood "trunk-or-treat". My brother-in-law Matt and I continued my favorite tradition of Halloween: we have a little flashlight that makes noises. With the older kids, Matt would tell them “Say something into the microphone.” They were so distracted with that dumb little flashlight that I could reach my hand into their bag and retrieve a huge handful of candy and they wouldn’t even know it. I'm not exaggerating. An entire pile of sugar could be removed from their bag as they stared blankly at the flashlight.

I took a pillow case just for the candy we collected, and I got more in my bag than my kids got in theirs. We were mindful to make sure we were only taking candy from older kids who shouldn't have been trick-or-treating in the first place.

A word to the wise 16 year olds for future Halloweens: You will leave my house with less candy than when you got there.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pearl Awards

I found out a few days ago that my CD You Will Soar has been nominated as a finalist in the 2008 category "Inspirational or Contemporary Instrumental Album" for the upcoming Pearl Awards. The Pearl Awards are basically like the Grammys organized by the Faith-Centered Music Association.

Another nominee in this category is Paul Cardall's album "Songs Of Praise". Not only do I consider Paul a good friend, but I also think he is one of the most amazing piano players and composers around. I was humbled to even be in the same ball park as him.

I think my family and I will plan to make the trip to the awards on November 12th to listen to performances from others in the faith-centered music group. It should be fun!