What’s in a name? – Explaining Corban

Last week we were thrilled to welcome Corban Yaroslav Thurman to our family. Here’s an explanation of his names:


Corban comes from The Bible, in Mark 7:11, where it denotes a gift or offering consecrated to God.

It took us a long time to come up with a name that we both liked. Marcia even went through a whole book of baby names, crossing out the ones that didn’t excite her. When she was done, there were 27 left (Corban was not on that list, by the way).

In our family, we read a chapter of scripture every night. We decided years ago that we were going to read all of the scriptures of our church, one at a time, in a random order. That’s 1581 chapters (yes, that’s a long project). Marcia wrote the names of each chapter (“Genesis 1,” “Alma 32,” etc…) on little slips of paper, and put them in a jar. Each night we selected a random one and read that chapter.

On February 28, 2016, we were down to the final chapter of the project: Mark 7. After we read verse 11, Marcia asked “What do you think of the name “Corban?” And thus he was named.

A note on pronunciation: We’re aware that the Sephardi Hebrew pronunciation often used by Christian scholars when reading Hebrew words in The Bible puts the accent on the last syllable: kawrbahn. This is not fully agreed upon, however. Ashkanizi Hebrew favored by some Jewish practices, and common English usage as well, put the accent on the first syllable: kawrbahn. We like the sound of the first syllable accent better, so that’s how we pronounce his name.


Jacob spent about 2 years in Russia as a missionary. He lived and did missionary work in the Russian and Belarussian cities of Khimki, Moscow, Minsk, and finally, Yaroslavl.

Yaroslavl was founded in 1010 by a Russian prince named “Yaroslav the Wise.” Legend has it that Yaroslav killed a bear with a spear on the shore of the Volga river, and founded the city on that site.

Marcia was exploring some of her family history a few months ago, and discovered that the same “Yaroslav the Wise” is one of her ancestors. In fact, he’s TWO of her ancestors. On her mother’s side, Yaroslav the Wise is her 49th great grandfather. On her father’s side, Yaroslav the Wise is her 28th great grandfather (yes, that makes her parents 28th cousins 21 times removed).

Yaroslav was actually chosen as Corban’s middle name a long time before his first name was chosen. We like that it’s a family name for Marcia, and a personal connection for Jacob.


Thurman is an English name derived from an old Norse name composed of “Thor” (Norse God of Thunder) and “Mundr” (Protection). We did not choose this name for Corban, he just got lucky.

Copyright 2016: Who, What, When, Where, How?

So, here is where people can make guesses on Copyright 2016’s birth stats.

Categories are Time, Date, Weight, and Length.  We already know the sex of the baby.  He was cooperative when we went searching.  Though I suppose you are entitled to make a prediction if you think he will surprise us and be a she…

Anyone may make a guess in a comment on this here page (this is better for record keeping than facebook), so that we will know a winner, or as close to a winner as possible.

For some background info that may make this as “informed” of a guess as possible:

Marcia the elder was born July 12th was due on August 12 (but my mom said she knew I would be born in July), born at 4:55 pm, 7 pounds 3 ounces, 19 1/2 inches long, girl.

Jacob was born July 18th was due on July 5th, born at 11:39 am, 7 pounds 5 ounces, 20 inches long, boy.

Mar©ia the younger was born December 3rd was due on December 7th, born at 7:17 am, 6 pounds 7 ounces, 20 inches long, girl.

Hin©kley was born November 20th was due November 22nd, born at 5:56 pm, 8 pounds 4 ounces, 19 3/4 inches long, boy.

Copyright2016 due April 9th.

Oh, and the most recent belly picture.  At 37 weeks then again at 39 weeks:

37weeksbelly big belly

What say you?

(There will be a prize for the person who guesses closest without going over.)

Can You Believe Your Eyes


If you would have asked me 28 weeks ago if I thought we’d see this, I’d likely have laughed at you.  And probably cried a little inside.

Yet, here we are, officially third trimester.  It has not been easy.  At my check-up yesterday, I’d finally gained some weight. I imagine we’ll see more of that happening.

I have been afraid to jinx things, so I have avoided taking pictures and talking much about this pregnancy.  I am trying to keep the anxiety at bay.

Here is the other picture I have taken, at 20 weeks or “half-way” there.


In two weeks we go in for another in-depth ultrasound.  Keep checking on us.

Life is an adventure

I just want to share a few lines of “Boundin'” from Disney’s Pixar Short

Now sometimes you’re up and sometimes you’re down,
When you find that you’re down well just look around:
You still got a body, good legs and fine feet,
Get your head in the right place and hey, you’re complete!

Now in this world of ups and downs…
So nice to know there are jackalopes around.”

We are here. We are still here.

Here we were on Halloween:


Yes that is a third shark.

For more information, watch this video:

Miscarriage Long Story Part 1 – Why?

Why do we feel the need to share about our miscarriage?

There are multiple reasons.

1-I find some kind of relief in writing about my feelings in regards to this.

I have learned some things about myself in this process. I should say learning, because I am still learning from this. One thing I have learned is that I am a private person. I knew this before, but I did not realize just how private I am. This has made me keep pretty extra closed off. Along with that I’ve learned how nice it has been to get my thoughts out of my head and “on paper.” It has helped me to think things through. It has helped me to not only have it in my head, thus making it easier to not only dwell on my thoughts and emotions. I have also learned that I can do/endure hard things, and having the experience written down allows me to go back and read it to find that strength again when I may be feeling less than strong.

2-I hope to be a support or help or whatever the word is for someone else.

I have discovered that reading about other people going through a miscarriage has helped me feel a sense of unity. I may not know exactly what they feel in any given moment, but I can empathize. And there is a comfort in knowing that we are not alone. And if by telling our story, maybe we can help anyone else, that (would not “make it worth the experience”) would mean I have found something positive to come out of the experience.

3-I want there to be a documentation of my experience with this. For my own record keeping. For anyone out there who will search for what to expect. For my daughter to someday read.

Like I said in the first reason, I will be able to read my own words and gain strength when I might need it. And if for some reason I have to go through this again, I may be a support to myself. I want this to be out there for others that will go through it in the future. When we discovered that the pregnancy was in danger, we both searched the internet looking for stories of what to expect. I only found one person’s account of her miscarriage that had any detail. And even that was pretty vague. I wanted to know how painful and what kinds of grossness was I likely to see. I could not find it. I will share it. Don’t worry I will put a warning at the beginning of the section when I get to that point. I guess my son can read it someday too, and he probably will, but not likely until he has a baby on the way and gets curious. Mostly though, I want my daughter to know that miscarriages are real, and they happen, and they are sad and hard, and if she ever has one she will have support and if/when any of her friends have one she will know to be kind and love them along the way.

4-I want to tell our story because I hope that someday someone might read this and feel some compassion. Maybe for me. Maybe for their sister. Maybe for a person they barely know.

I want the world to be a better, kinder, softer, more loving place. And if we can find compassion in our hearts for the suffering of those around us, we can improve the world one person at a time.

5-I hope that in telling our story we might be able to encourage others to share their stories.

I searched and searched for days trying to find any stories that might help me get mentally prepared for what was about to happen physically. I know it is private. I know it makes us feel vulnerable and exposed. I get it. But I still wish I had been able to find more information. Miscarriages are way more common than we think. When I made the last post, I also put it on Facebook. I won’t post the exact number, because some were private messages to me, but there were many replies of women who have been there. I have been pleasantly surprised at the supportive responses. And I just have to ask myself how much more support and love would I have been able to feel if I had let people in throughout the process. Please, if you have been there, share your story too.

6-I want to share right now because we hope to try again.

Obviously we do not know when we might be able to achieve pregnancy again, please don’t ask us. If/when the time is right we will share. With that said, we both felt pretty early on in the miscarriage process that we should write about it. We kept it very private for a couple months. And because we wanted to share it I want to have it out there before I attempt to be pregnant. I don’t want to be ruminating over what was lost while hoping for what might be.

7-The last reason why that I will mention is that I feel so bad for the person who had the misfortune of being the first person to ask me if I was pregnant since we lost the baby.

And maybe, just maybe this will help another person not ask. A good rule of thumb is to wait and let a pregnant lady tell you herself.

Of all the health challenges of the summer, this was the worst

My body was not interested in cooperating.

I became pregnant anyway.

We got our hopes up.

Our baby was due February 4th.

We had our hopes smashed.

Our baby died and we have had a miscarriage.

We were almost 11 weeks along.

It is sad.

We are recovering and surviving.

This is the short story. We will be sharing the long version of the story in multiple parts.

Book Review: The Checklist Manifesto, by Atul Gawande

One of my personal goals for 2014 is to read a new book every couple of weeks. This is the second book I’ve read this year. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, by Atul Gawande.

Why did I read this?

I read this because I first read Atul Gawande’s article The New Yorker, titled simply The Checklist. The article was surprisingly captivating, so when I found out that Gawande had expanded the article into a full book, I had to read it.


The Checklist Manifesto is subtitled “How to get things right,” which is  a good summation of the book all by itself. It examines scenarios that are prone to human error, even when those humans are experts at the top of their fields, and how the simple use of a checklist can greatly reduce the error in those situations.

Drawing on examples from aviation, construction, medicine (the author is a surgeon “in real life”), investment banking, and other fields, Gawande shows how checklists have been used to eliminate error.

He describes being recruited by the World Health Organization (WHO) to come up with a plan to improve surgical outcomes worldwide. They decide to experiment with a checklist, asking surgeons in some hospitals to use a pre-surgery checklist in their operating rooms. After Dr. Gawande tries using the checklist himself in his own practice, he finds it cumbersome, confusing, and impractical. He takes a trip to Seattle, where he visits with Daniel Boorman, a Boeing technical fellow, who is responsible for the creation of checklists used by pilots flying Boeing’s airliners.

(Checklists as a tool for professional discipline were born from aviation, even from Boeing: In 1935, a pilot demonstrating Boeing’s newly designed bomber to the Army Air Corps crashed on takeoff, killing himself and two others. He crashed because he had forgotten to release a lock on the airplane’s elevator and rudder controls. The airplane was dismissed as “too much plane for one man to fly,” and the military nearly ended the project. Test pilots, however, thought the airplane was marvelous, and worked together to solve the “too much plane” problem. Their solution was to create a simple set of checklists: One for before takeoff, one for flight, one for approach, and one for landing. With checklists in hand, the test pilots then flew the airplane more than 1.8 Million miles without a single accident. The army ordered 13,000 airplanes, and dubbed it the B-17, now one of the most celebrated bombers in military aviation history.)

Boorman teaches Gawande some of the important things Boeing has learned about checklists: They should use natural breaks in the workflow. They should be relatively short (5-9 items). They should be printed in black & white in a sans-serif font….And more. Boorman then takes Gawande into a hyper-realistic flight simulator, helps him taxi the airplane to a runway and take off, all using the same checklists that pilots use. Then, as their flight ascends through 20,000 feet, a warning light comes on in the cockpit. Gawande’s airplane has a door that appears to not be latched properly. This situation can be deadly (In 1989, this exact situation led to an “explosive decompression” of a United Airlines 747, killing 9 passengers). Gawande, remembering his few minutes of pre-flight training, grabs an emergency procedures book, turns quickly to the checklist for the DOOR FWD CARGO warning light, and follows it. Their simulation flight is able to land safely.

(As an aside, I’m totally jealous that Gawande got to “fly” a full motion 777 simulator. I would LOVE to do that.)

Gawande takes his newfound understanding back to the WHO, where they redesign their surgical checklists following Boeing’s principles, and run a test in 8 hospitals around the world. The results are astounding. They achieve double-digit percentage reductions in complications, infections, and other scary surgical by-products, including death. By his calculations, during the three-month trial in 8 hospitals, the checklists prevented 27 unnecessary deaths.

In the end, Gawande describes an incident in his own operating room where, by his own description, he tore a patient’s vena cava (the largest vein in your body, which bring blood from most of your lower half to your heart). The bleeding was, in Dr. Gawande’s own words, “terrifying.” In seconds, he had opened the patient’s abdomen and chest completely, and was holding his heart in his hands, pumping blood through it while another doctor put pressure on the torn vein. The patient was losing blood a rate measurable in gallons.

One of the items on the surgeon’s pre-incision checklist is to discuss with the operating room team the possible blood loss in the operation. Then, the head nurse calls and confirms that the hospital’s blood bank has enough blood ready to use to cover the worst case scenario (the blood bank is supposed to do this already, without the nurse having to make the call). Gawande’s team had followed the checklist. When the nurse called the blood bank, it was discovered that the blood for this operation was not ready, so the operation was held up a few minutes while the blood bank prepared.

Now, Gawande has the patient’s heart in his hands, and can feel it emptying out like a deflating balloon, and in seconds, the blood from the blood bank is being transfused into the patient. The blood that wouldn’t have been ready to use if the team hadn’t followed its checklist.

By the time the vein is repaired and the patient’s heart is beating on its  own again, 30 “units” of blood have been transfused (keep this in mind: an adult body holds about 10 units: This patient bled 3 times his own blood volume). The patient lived, and while there were some side effects of the incident, recovered. Dr. Gawande is 100% certain that without the checklist, the patient would have died on the operating table while they waited precious minutes for the blood bank.

What did I think?

It’s hard to imagine a subject duller than checklists. Yet Gawande is a good writer, and fills the book with powerful narratives. Whether recounting incredible medical recoveries, telling what happened in the cockpit of USAir 1493 as it crash-landed in the Hudson river, or describing the qualities of a well-written checklist, his writing is engaging.

As for the book’s subtitle “How to get things right,” we’re given a few insights into how to get things right in our own worlds, like the difference between simple, complicated, and complex tasks, and how checklists can (and can’t) help with each (For example, there will be no checklist for raising a child, but there can be one for making sure a child has good nutrition), but I would have liked a little more of the “how to” material.

Ultimately, I was surprised that I found The Checklist Manifesto hard to put down, and when I turned the last page, I wanted to read more.

Would I recommend it?

Here’s the test: Go read The Checklist. If you enjoy it, you’ll like The Checklist Manifesto. I did.

Book Review: The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg

One of my personal goals for 2014 is to read a new book every couple of weeks. I started the year off with Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit.

The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg

Why did I read this?

I first became interesting in this book after hearing two interviews with the author. The first from NPR, and the second from Ramit Sethi. I think psychology is interesting, even more if I can use an understanding of that psychology to help reach my goals, or help others reach theirs.

What did I think?

The Power of Habit is easy reading. It is largely anecdotal, sharing its message in narrative form. When the book tells of someone who acquired, broke, or changed a habit, it tells their story. When it talks of the psychology/neurology behind the habit, it tells the story of how the science was conducted and the conclusions discovered. When it speaks of powerful organizational and social change that can happen because of habits, it tells stories of companies, churches, and nations who have done exactly that. Some of the stories include:

  • How a woman gave up smoking and drinking in one day
  • How another woman slowly acquired a multi-million dollar gambling addiction over the course of years, encouraged by a casino that understood the psychology of her habits far better than she did
  • How an alcoholic learned about the principles of habit formation and used them to start the largest organization dedicated to positive personal change in the world
  • How Alcoa aluminum multiplied its profits 5x by focusing on an organizational habit that had nothing to do with sales, margins, shareholder value, or even profit
  • How Michael Phelps set a world record in the 200-meter butterfly at the 2008 Olympics despite an “equipment malfunction” which left him blind for most of the race
  • How the habits of individuals and groups contributed to the Montgomery bus boycott, and ultimately the civil rights movement of the 1960s
  • How Target knows what products to advertise to you before you even know you want them
  • …And a lot more

In my opinion, the book started strong, and then lost momentum towards the end. I think, though, that it’s because the ideas of personal habit formation and change strike close to home for me – they are things I can do. I don’t run a large organization or have any major social cause to champion, so the sections on organizational and social habits were a little less interesting (though I did find Alcoa’s story, and Target’s, to be absolutely fascinating). The book concludes with an appendix that teaches an actionable system for habit change, and walks through how the author discovered, diagnosed, analyzed, and changed an afternoon snacking habit that was causing him to gain weight.

Would I recommend it?

If you’re interested in psychology, behavior, and things like that, then YES, I would absolutely recommend it. Also, if you’re a parent, or you run an organization like a business or church, you and your family/organization could gain a lot from you reading this book.


The Power of Habit explores how habits work, how we can change them, and how we can use them to our advantage. If you want to change something about any aspect of your life, you should read it.