Monday, September 29, 2008

Overheard In The Car Tonight:

Addy: Mommy?

Jen: Yes sweetheart.

Addy: Can you learn me how to play some basketball?

Jen: Sure (giggling).

Clearly we still have some residual Kentucky influence to work out of our daughter.

Friday, September 26, 2008

2 Letters Make A Huge Difference

Most of the time our kids are PRECIOUS.

Tonight they were PRECOCIOUS.

Makes this alternative seem rather appealing.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Perspective Check

Need to be reminded how good your life is?

Need to get in touch with the resiliency of the human spirit?

Need to leak a few tears?

Meet Jessica Stone.

Catch a slice of her story HERE.

(You may have to push play if the video doesn't launch right away.)

P.S. Jessica did end up receiving a cochlear implant and is a few weeks away from activation.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Day At The Park

"Raleigh is a great place to live if you have kids and enjoy the outdoors."

Numerous folks told us this when we moved here. Our first 9 months as Triangle residents have given us plenty of chances to confirm it for ourselves. Yesterday we spent a couple of hours at Pullen Park, an older, established park near NC State's campus. New rec areas may have the best and most advanced play equipment, but Pullen has a few things that no other park in town is likely to match.

For example, there are beautiful, mature trees and shrubs. It is easy to imagine multiple generations of families looking at the same landscaping. Also, the paths in the park are made from pavers. My mother-in-law noted that today this many pavers would cost a million bucks. No wonder they put down mulch paths in the new parks.

Then there are the amenities: a refurbished carousel built in 1911, a gas-powered train that circles the entire park, kiddie boats (like at the fair), and paddle boats. The first three cost $1 per ride for everyone over a year old. Paddle boats rent by the hour.

Yes- those are ostriches the kids and Jen are riding. The carousel also has cats, bunnies, pigs, lions, tigers and horses.

We stayed for a couple of hours and everyone (inlcuding the adults) had a lot of fun. Safe to say we'll be back at Pullen again.

If you live in the Raleigh area, what's your favorite park/outdoor activity?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

So What Do You Do For Fun???

Last week I dropped some things off at a friend's office and we had a chance to catch up. She was checking in on me, asking me how various parts of my life (work, family, etc.) were going. Then she blindsided me with this one, "

So what are you doing for fun these days?"
Wow, I didn't see that coming.

My answer? "Nothing."

Don't get me wrong. I'm fairly busy and incredibly happy. My job is rewarding. I LOVE spending time with my family. I've got some good friends and dig my church community. I enjoy a lot of things that I do. But I don't do anything simply because I enjoy it. That's not a complaint. Just the truth.

Case in point: I went bowling Saturday night. Had a blast. Hung with some really cool guys from our church. Even bowled a 145. But I didn't go just because I wanted to. It was a work thing. And a church thing. And a friend thing.

Here's another: I'm back in the gym. Nothing major. Just a little weight lifting and cardio. Am I going because I enjoy it? Heck no. I want to lose weight. Be healthy. Feel better about myself. Catch my wife's eye when I walk around naked. (OK- you probably didn't need that last image.) Bottom line, I don't mind working out. But I certainly don't do it for fun.

The crazy thing is that my friend's question came at the perfect time. A couple of days later our teaching conversation at church focused on the idea that God trusts each of us with life and time. We talked about our need to appreciate God's gift of the present (pun intended) by using our time wisely. I suggested that this meant more than being super productive. Appreciating our time means experiencing the entire rhythm of life with God: work, rest, relationships- and FUN. I know the right things to say, even if I don't do them all the time.

So now I've got to figure out what I would do simply because I enjoy it.

While I wrack my brain I'd love to hear from you: What are you doing for fun these days?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Worth the Wait

Ever since I've joined the "portable office" crowd, I've been schlepping my laptop and other sundry work items around in a 12 year old messenger bag.

I've looked for a replacement on and off but decided to wait both as a form of self-discipline and frugality. Until the other night.

Jen and I were in Marshall's buying workout shorts, and there in the exercise area was a Timbuk2 Blogger Bag for $15. It retails new for $100, but was last year's model and was missing the strap.

I snatched it up, added a strap from home, and I'm in business!

And once again, cheapness pays off.

How about you? Are you a bargain hunter? Where/how do you save? What's your latest good deal?

Friday, September 12, 2008


When I saw the date roll up on the calendar it hit me that it has been 7 years since the attacks that defined this date in American culture.

I didn't watch any of the news coverage yesterday and only had a couple of brief conversations about the day/attacks so I thought I'd see what you're thinking. (You did so well on the pop-tart post after all!)

Q: Does it feel like it has been 7 years since this event?

Q: Did you watch any of the coverage or memorials on 9/11 yesterday? Why? Why not?

Q: Do you remember where you were on that day when you heard about the attacks? What was your initial reaction?

Q: Do you ever think or worry about the possibility of another terrorist event on U.S. soil?

Q: Did 9/11/01 change you? If so, how?

Monday, September 8, 2008

An Important Debate

The next few months will find Americans have important, passionate conversations as we head towards choosing a president in November. Today Jen and I revived an ongoing discussion about a topic that impacts many Americans: Pop-Tarts.

It's been forever since we've had them in the house, but Jen picked up a box the last time she was at the store. "Did you get the frosted kind?", I asked. No, she replied, "Those are gross." "Gross?", I retorted, "Without the frosting they're barely worth eating!"

You see, like McCain and Obama, there are clear differences of opinion that differentiate my wife and me. I believe in frosted pop-tarts. She puts her faith in the naked variety.

Maybe you all can help us settle this:

Are you a frosted or un-frosted kind of person?

Which flavor of Pop-Tarts are your favorite?

Use the comments feature and bring peace to our household.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Girl's First Lunchbox

As a kid the best part of getting ready to go back to school was the trip to buy a new lunchbox. I can't remember ever caring what I wore to school before the 5th grade- but I sure did care about the fashion statement my lunchbox made. I remember rocking "Hong Kong Phoey", "The Incredible Hulk" and "Star Wars" themes just to name a few.

Apparently the genetic trend has been passed down the family tree. Here's Addy's first:

Kind of fitting since she'd in the "Fabulous Frogs" class huh?

How about you? Do you remember any of your childhood lunchboxes? Were you a metal or plastic person?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Addy's First Day of Preschool (Sniff)...

Since she's just a year away from Kindergarten we thought Addy might need to get used to the classroom setting. So we set her up to do preschool twice a week.

Today was her first day.

She was excited.

Mom was a little teary- which is ENTIRELY understandable. This is the first time we've dropped her off with someone other than family or very close friends and then left for hours at a time.

Addy is in the "Fabulous Frogs" class- which given her love for all things green- fits her like a glove.

I'm sure we'll have more updates and stories from preschool in the future.

It's true, they grow up too fast.