The 12 Diffs of Christmas

It’s the Wednesday before Christmas and you, my friend, are NOT ready. You are the opposite of ready. You are an antonym of the word ready.


That’s you. That’s your name. Unready F. Christmas.

The F stands for “For.”

It doesn’t feel good, does it, Unready? You haven’t bought your presents. You haven’t mailed your cards. You haven’t gifted those Christmasy treats that you found on Pinterest to your neighbors.

You. Are. Not. Ready.

Wait! It’s ok! It’s… OK. Take a breath. A nice deep one. Take another. If you’re standing, bend down and put your hands on your knees. Breathe in. Breathe out. You’re ok. It’s going to be… ok.


What should you do about this?

Get to work? No. Absolutely not. That’s the worst thing you could do.

Freak out? Maybe. But not yet.

Spend the next 20 minutes trying to spot the 12 differences between these two photos?


Merry Christmas

Happy New Year

Note! The Merry Christmas/Happy New Year text difference doesn’t count. It’s NOT one of the 12 differences. What’s that? Why doesn’t it count? Because. Just Because.

Wait. Why are you reading this? Did you give up already? You’re down here looking for the answers?

Unready, I’m disappointed.

Ok, fine. Here you go. I’m making the text small though.

1. An extra dot appears on Gwen’s sleeve.
2. One of Gwen’s pigtail bands changes color.
3. On Gwen’s shirt, one of the dots in the bottom row disappears.
4. The bow in Clara’s hair switches sides.
5. The gingerbread house on Clara’s shirt looses heart.
6. Clara sprouts a sixth toe.
7. Olive gains a shoulder bow.
8. The snowman on Olive’s shirt grows a third eye.
9. …and loses a mouth dot.
10. Inez’s glasses change color.
11. One of the bands on the arm of Inez’s sweater changes color.
12. Inez loses her pinky.


Now freak out.

Printable Poster PDF

It happened like this.

First, I produced a poster. Then, I posted that posterThen, people posted that they liked the poster I had posted. THEN, people posted pleas for me to post a purchasable PDF of the poster I had posted. THEN, I produced a printable PDF of the poster I had posted—the one that people posted pleas to purchase. THEN, I posted a push-button that, when pushed, purchases (per PayPal) that printable PDF of the posted pled-for poster.

UPDATE! You can now purchase the printable PDF at my online print shop, YXCO.

Click here to see the poster in the YXCO shop.

Push please.

P.S. Poster preview? Provided:


Insanely Gone

Stay hungry. Stay Foolish.
Thanks, Steve.

Focus on the Quote Poster

Update: You can now purchase a printable PDF of this poster here: Printable Poster PDF.

Remember October? Not this October. Not the one that’ll be here in two weeks. I don’t mean that one. I mean last October. The 2010 one. Remember that one?

Ok. So, during that October’s General Conference, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf  shared a message called “Of Things That Matter Most.” You might remember it as the “It’s Easy to Be Busy” talk. Or the “Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication” talk. Yeah. It was a good one. Chock-full of quotes.

Of all the great quotes from that talk, this one was (and still is) my favorite:

“My dear brothers and sisters, we would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most.”

I remember thinking, back when I originally heard that sentence, that it would make a great quote poster.

You know what I mean by quote poster, right? They’re kind of a thing these days.

For some reason, that talk popped into my mind one day last week when I sat down at the computer.

Illustrator was open. The talk was on my mind. One thing led to another. Before I knew it, this had happened:

Focus on the Significant
Lots of Baskerville. Maybe too much Tagettes. It’s good though, right?

Ok, I’ll say it. I love it.

LOVE it.

It’s been a week and I still love it. This is significant because, normally, I hate everything I finish within a couple of days.

Now I just need to get it printed—letterpressed—before the love wears off.

That is all.

P.S. Isn’t Baskerville’s italic ampersand awesome? It’s the Cadillac of ampersands.

P.P.S. Occasionally, Holly calls President Uchtdorf, “The Silver Fox.” Is that allowed?

My Name is Olive

I have added prunes to my diet.


The tickets are now diamonds!

No offense to Holly and her Google commercial, but THIS is the best commercial I’ve seen in a long, long time.

A story about Holly, on her birthday

Today is Holly’s birthday and to celebrate the day, I’m going to share one of my earliest memories of her. But first, let me warn you that this is a cheesy post. It’s a super cheesy post. If you are cheese intolerant, then you need to stop reading this now.

Ok. It was 1999ish and Holly and I attended the same BYU student ward. I had seen her around here and there, but we hadn’t formally met. One fast and testimony meeting, she got up and bore her testimony. I was in the congregation. I remember she was dressed in black. She got up and just… completely blew me away.

The way she looked, the way she talked, her strength, her emotion (this one, like all of Holly’s testimonies, included a few tears), her presence. She was stunning. I was hooked.

How do you not love this woman?

How do you not love this woman?

I can’t recall the specifics of her testimony (thanks a lot, faulty brain), but I do remember sitting there, with wide eyes and a slightly open mouth, thinking, “Wow.”

Ten years, three kids, and a hundred thousand joy-filled moments later, she still wows me every day.

I love you, Holly. Happy birthday.

What’s your earliest/favorite/best/etc. memory of Holly? Cheese-intolerants, you can come back now.

Come on. Rise up.

“You can’t get to wonderful without passing through alright.”
~ Bill Withers …obviously referring to Holly (wonderful) and me (alright).

“Great music does not just make us feel good. It means something. It makes us understand. It makes us happy.”
~ Lukas Foss …obviously referring to this song.

“Hold on a little longer. You can do this! You are part of a special generation. You were prepared and preserved to live at this important time in the existence of our beautiful planet earth. You have a celestial pedigree and therefore have all the necessary talents to make your life an eternal success story.”
~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf …obviously referring to all of us. We CAN do this.

Come on. Rise up.

Dedicate and Arise

Earlier this afternoon, after returning from church, Holly and I took a few minutes together and read Elder Scott’s October 2009 General Conference talk, “To Acquire Spiritual Guidance.”

Let me stop right there and answer your question. The answer is yes. We are super righteous.

Anyway, the message is amazing (of course) and it’s full of inspiring goodness, but one passage really stood out to me as I read it. It’s this quote that Elder Scott used from John Taylor:

We are SO righteous.

“Joseph Smith, upwards of forty years ago, said to me: ‘Brother Taylor, you have received the Holy Ghost. Now follow the influence of that Spirit, and it will lead you into all truth, until by and by, it will become in you a principle of revelation.’ Then he told me never to arise in the morning without bowing before the Lord, and dedicating myself to him during that day.

Every morning. First, bow and dedicate. Then, arise.

This makes so much sense to me right now. I seem to get so easily lost in the bustle of the day. Every day. I keep forgetting what I’m here for. Some days, it’s like I suffer from short-term memory loss.

“Ok, who am I and what am I doing with this life again?”

You know that adage about how airplanes are off course 99 percent of the time?  Apparently, flights aren’t straight shots. The pilot has to make course corrections repeatedly throughout the flight in order to keep the plane flying toward its destination.

That’s us too, right? We are those planes, those pilots. We’re off course 99% of the time.

I know I am. And that’s what the quote is about. Life is so full of distractions that if you want to get anywhere, you just have to rededicate yourself every day. And that’s what prayer is, right? That’s what personal revelation is. They’re our way of making those necessary course corrections. Every day. Every morning.

So. If you are having one of those days (years?), and feeling just hopelessly lost, I say:

Calm down.

Of course you’re off course. Nobody expected otherwise.

Just wake up, bow, dedicate yourself, and arise.

course 99 percent of the time. Every flight from one place
to another requires a continual series of course corrections to keep the plane flying toward its destination.

And then do it again tomorrow.

It’s a girl!

Olive Ann Lesue was born this morning at 12:28 a.m. She weighs seven pounds, two ounces and she is 20 inches long. Or is it tall?

Both Olive and Holly are doing very well. Thankfully, the only complication so far has been fitting little Olive’s out-sized feet onto the ink pad.

Not enough über cute newborn baby photos for you? Okay, fine. Here’s the gallery.