Thursday, October 28, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1) So far so good.  My transition to my VFFs have been pretty non eventful thanks to the advice of minimalist running sites.   I feel like I can run much farther but I'm forcing myself to stick with the schedule of only running every other day and by increasing the mileage by 1/8 of a mile so that I don't get injured.  I'm hoping that I still like running in them in a couple months because I'm thinking about running in these shoes for a long time.  I'm interested in how the shoes (and your feet) will hold up after running some longer distances. I have a friend who, in these shoes, ran the Army Ten Miler last weekend and is going to run the Marine Corp Marathon this Saturday.  She hasn't complained about any abnormal pains so that is encouraging.

2) For extra motivation to keep on schedule, I'm going to sign up, after checking with Michelle aka CINCDAF (Commander in Charge of Domestic Affairs) to make sure that we are going to be in town and that nothing crazy is planned), for the Fairfax Four.  My current running schedule will get me to the point where I'm running more than 4 miles in the VFFs so this race will be a test to see how well my feet are doing.  If I need to switch back to the old heavy clogs for the 1/2 marathon I can.

3) Claire and Madalynn have their first race this Saturday.  We will be going to Fort Belvoir for their Track or Treat 100 meter sprint.  I'm pretty sure that Claire will run the whole way but Madalyn might take a leisurely stroll.  Claire even stated that once she is done with her race she will go back and help Madalynn finish hers!  We've been trying to teach her the "Fruits of the Spirit" so this is a great example "love" by showing that you care for others and that you want to help them.  I'm hoping she will do it. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Mash

I have a new mileage goal for the rest of the year.  After doing more research on running in VFFs I’ve altered my running goals to adequately account for me feet and calves adjusting to running without the support of normal running shoes.  It has dropped from 129 miles to 93 miles.  Most of these miles will be short runs with a gradual increase of 1/8 of a mile every other day.  I’m still going to hold off on getting the Forerunner 305 running watch as I will still need to be consistent in running because this plan will still get me to the start of my actual training program in January.  As an additional goal I’m planning on running the Fairfax Four miler on New Year’s Eve…assuming I want to risk being out with the amateur drunks on New Year’s Eve.
Anybody in D.C. want to join me in this race?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Three Things Thursday

  1. Another USAF PT test completed.  This was the first test with the new standards so the unknown was a bit unnerving however, the fact that my waist has not changed since April…even though I’ve lost weight.  Oh well, at least I don’t have to take the test for another 6 months.
  2. Today’s run was the first one in a couple weeks thanks to fighting the crud.  Since I haven’t hacked up a lung yet I will jump back into my running.  My date will Paula is still on my mind so there is plenty of motivation.
  3. I might even start running in my Vibrams now that I’ve got the test out of the way.  I was hesitant to run in them prior to the test because I’ve been told you need to start off real slow to let your body adjust to the new running gait.   

         Does anybody already run in these type of shoes?  If so let me know what you think.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Three Things Thursday

It has been a sad week since the Braves ended their season with the lose to the SF Giants.  Making it extra hard was seeing Bobby Cox retire.  However, the good news is that they didn't even wait 48 hours to hire his replacement, Fredi Gonzalez.  He will be a great fit for my Bravos!

My running has been non existent this week.  Its getting to the point where I feel like I'm falling behind the eight ball and losing valuable base miles.  I have to keep telling myself that continuing to run while your sick will only make matters worse.  I hope to get back into things in the next day or two...we shall see.

The loot has arrived.  My autographed Max Lucado book, Out Live Your Life has finally arrived.  OK so it actually came awhile ago but in trying to get the basement finished I never had a chance to post it.

Now comes the hard part, when can I find time to read it.  First I need to finish the two books I'm currently reading before my next round of classes start on 25 Oct.  So if I don't get a chance to read it between now and then there's no telling when I will find the time.  It might sit in my bookcase to collect dust for a while but at least it will be one of the first books I grab when I can.

I'm also in the market for a good book that dicusses how to effectively manage one's time.  Any recommendations?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Worst Commute Ever!

This mornings commute to the slug lot was not as bad as I've experienced.  I left at 0620 and got to the lot around 0650, it took me thirty minutes to go 6 miles.  It was enough to make me complain...until I saw the video in the link provided below. After watching it I vowed never complain about my commute again (OK I will complain again but at least it will be to a lesser degree). 

I'm so glad that I don't have to suffer through this to get to my job: Worst Commute Ever!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monday Mash (a day late)

This weekend + Monday was absolutely crazy busy.  We accomplished a couple things we had to do in the basement however, fighting the crud kept us from finishing everything.  I decided to heed some words (ah, blah, blah, bronchitis will end running for a long time, blah, blah, rest) and not run.  It really bugs me because I haven't been able to get in the groove on the weekends however, if I don't get over this last bit of sickness I will lose my consistency during the week.  I've got to keep looking forward to my next run rather than looking at the reasons that kept me to running.  This is another reason why I've set parameters in order to get the Forerunner 305 running watch.  I'm on track but I hate to lose miles for no reason.  I figure if I rest till Wednesday I'm as hard as it will be that what I'm going to do.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Do You Recognize The Top 5 Early Signs Of Becoming Numb To Living In An Estrogen Filled House?

1.       Your title of being the “Master of the House” no longer carries its weight as it used to.  Instead your daughter calls you “Daddy Fashion Boy”…and you just shrug it off.
2.       Only days after declaring your new office as a “Man Cave” you come home from work to find a Disney Princess color/sticker book on your desk…you smile and then shrug it off.
3.       While spending precious time in said “Man Cave” you get bombarded by 6 girls under the age of 8.  You declare that this is for guys only and the oldest says, “well you should have locked the door then…but we would use the scissors to unlock it anyways”…you contemplate that profound statement and then shrug it off.
4.       You notice that your hat doesn’t fit right after putting it on when going to work so you make a mental note that it’s time for yet another haircut.  However, when you get to work and check in the mirror you definitely don’t need a hair cut but you do notice a Snow White sticker placed inside your hat…you laugh and then shrug it off
5.       You are capable of putting a girl’s hair into a ponytail without the help of your wife.  Then you realize that you might have to turn in your man card for admitted it…then you shrug it off.
Notice something common about these signs…I keep shrugging things off.  In a later post I plan to submit some reasons why it great to be the only testosterone producing person in the house. 
Any other signs I’m missing?  What else do I have to look forward to?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1.       Skype is awesome.  M and I were able to talk to some of our dear friends from Alabama this week thanks to Skype.  Joining a new church and making new friends is very excited but it is also a bit stressful because you have to allow the "I feel close enough with you to share my concerns and not fully thought out plans with someone I've only known for a short time" aspect of the relationship to work itself out.  That can take time and a lot of awkward discussions both for both parties.  Friends of ours in Ohio told us that when they decided to get out of the military they were able to make friendships with people they've known for a couple years.  They went on to say that the only thing that changed in the "relationship" was that they were no longer "forced" to move.  Apparently even at church there are people who won't take the time to get to know someone all because Uncle Sam will take them away a few years later. 
Therefore, Skype provided a great sense of comfort for us.  Even though we didin't engage in a deep conversation (M and A Housewife in Montgomery spent most of the time talking about the kid's schooling and making hair bows) it felt like we never moved from Alabama in 2006.  So who ever created Skype, thank you.  But most of all thank you for making it free!
2.       So far I've had to juggle the timing of my runs this week.  Instead of running in the mornings before going to work I've ran on the treadmill in the basement.  It's not a bad thing but it pretty much means that I'm going to be later than I want.  Unfortunately because of the transportation complexity here is DC I'm not able to sleep in to make up for the longer night.  After a couple of days it makes it harder to get up in the morning.  I'll be on the treadmill again tonight after all the girls have gone to bed so I'm already not looking forward to tomorrow morning. 

3.       Unfortunately I have honor and privilege of attending a funeral at National Arlington Cemetery.  A son-in-law of a co-worker us was killed while on patrol in Afghanistan in September.  He was only 24 years old and left behind his wife of only 1 year.  Here is more information about him,  Please say a prayer for all families grieving over his death.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday Mash

This past weekend was crazy busy.  Thanks to a lot of help from friends we got all of the furniture moved into the basement.  We spent a couple hours after the move trying to organize the rest of our junk so M could park the swagger wagon in the garage.  All in all we were successful because she just called and said that it was nice to be able to run errands without having to get wet walking from the driveway to the front door.  A happy wife leads to a happy life.  We ended up having our neighbors over for a cook out that night so it was a great way to end the long day.  The bad news is that I was too tired to get my run in.  I knew this would happen so I planned on getting get done on Sunday instead.  However Sunday's perfect storm of events proved to be more than we could handle.

We got up in time to make it to church but when Claire started coughing things went downhill.  We decided that I would take Madalynn to church while M stayed with Claire and Lauren.  Claire eventually said she wanted to go (after taking cough medicine) so we decided to let her stay with us rather than her class.  Between making that decision and trying to get the girls ready we were already running late.  Seeing the handwriting on the wall I declared that the family isn't going to church today.  I went to the basement to start organizing our mess while M fed Lauren.  It wasn't too long before M informed me that they were leaving for church.  Sheepishly I had to acknowledge that she was right and we could still make it to Sunday school (our worship service meets first).  We finally get to church to find that Madalynn had a complete blowout diaper…one that required a total change of clothes, the car seat cover to be washed, and a bath for Madalynn.  Claire and I continued to church late while M, Madalynn and Lauren headed back home in attempts to meet me in Sunday school.  By the time it took for M to fix everything it was too late to make it back.  They picked us up after church so we could go out to lunch…to discover that Lauren had a complete blowout diaper.  True to form, this one needed a total change of clothes as well. 

M needed to run some errands so I had the girls and was determined to make it back to church for AWANA.  Claire knew her memory verse, kids were wearing shoes, Madalynn and Lauren had clean diapers, and they were loaded in the truck on time so I was finally feeling good about the way things were going.  M would be so proud of me.  However, my truck's battery decided it didn't want to start.  By the time it would have taken to get it jumped or for M to come pick us up we would have missed a large part of AWANA so I decided to call it quits for the day.  I was not able to get my run in on Sunday either.

Can I have my weekend back?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Three Things Thursday

"Rain with a chance of thunderstorms. Some thunderstorms may produce gusty winds. Rain may be heavy at times. Highs in the mid 70s. North winds 10 to 15 mph...becoming southwest this afternoon. Chance of rain near 100 percent." Thank you Tropical Storm Nicole. So far this forecast has turned out to be very true. I left the house at 0630 to catch my ride to work...2 hours later I've only driven about 8 miles. I was forced to exercise "Option B" and catch the metro. It is clear that this much rain and D.C. traffic to not go together very well. The real scary part is that I hear the worst of the rain is still coming this way with possible tornado warnings so it should be an interesting day at the office. At least my yard is getting watered for free! I guess I'm going to have to mow the weeds earlier than planned next week.

I think I might be the last person to sign up for DailyMile. I already had a couple friends using it to track their mileage so I'm looking forward to being motivated and keeping them motivated in reaching their goals. Now that I'm trying this new site it really bothers me that coming into work later than expected is causing me to postpone my run till this afternoon. So if I don't have something posted before I leave work feel free to harass me until I do. This also applies to Saturday because I must get my run in before the day begins because we are going to be real busy. If you are using DailyMile look me up (

The basement is finally complete. After 4 inspections, many hours of labor and pushing the limits on our credit card we can now start using the basement as living space. Our original plan of getting it done before Lauren arrived proved to be wishful thinking. We had to re-adjust our goals to getting it done before 17 Oct when Madalynn and Lauren are dedicated at church. Hopefully with the help of neighbors and friends all of the furniture will be moved to the place of M.'s choosing. All in all it's been a good if the rain would go away things would get much better!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Mash

I don’t need to feed my motivation to run, my date with Paula, is providing enough incentive. However, I’m a gadget dork freak and I’ve been eyeing the Forerunner 305 as my latest purchase. Do I need it to run? No. Will it help me run farther or faster? No. But the fact that I can run wherever I want and still know my distance is downright awesome. An additional bonus is that when I’m done with the run it can automatcially update my running log on which also feeds data to my FB page and this blog. It will also help provide the extra kick in the seat of the pants during the winter months before the half marathon. So here’s my plan:

I told M. that I’m not going to rush out and get. I’m going to use it like a carrot on a stick dangling over me for the rest of the year. In order to get it I will have to run 90% of my planned runs between now and the end of the year. That’s 129 miles. In the grand scheme of things 129 miles not a lot considering that an elite marathon runner easily runs over 100 miles a WEEK! So, if I can’t be consistent with my base mileage then I don’t deserve to have a fancy running watch. All in all this shouldn’t be too bad but I know that I’m going to have to be disciplined during the holiday’s periods.

Love gadgets too? What’s your favorite?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. When did kindergarten get so hard? On Tuesday M. and I attended a meet and greet with Claire’s teacher. Boy were our eyes opened. We saw the expected things like learning how to read and write but I was amazed at the pace that they were going. From the moment she gets to her class they are pedal to the metal. They do have P.E. but there is no “nap/rest" time or even snacks!. When she gets home she has at least an hour of 45 minutes of homework depending on the day. But here’s the kicker…did you know a diamond is not longer called a diamond? It’s now officially called a rhombus. When did that change? I don’t my kindergarten experience but I think it a lot different than hers. I guess kindergarten is also a learning experience for the parents. Maybe I’m still not accepting the fact that she has started school. She is growing up so fast that I’m afraid to blink because she might come home with a diamond rhombus ring on her finger.

2. My running has been good this week. I’m trying to pick up the pace to get ready for my upcoming PT test in October so my legs are a bit sore but overall I feel good. Im also looking for a 5K/Kid’s fun run to run around the upcoming holidays but it seems that a lot of races here are on Sunday which is a bummer. I did find a 30 October “Track or Treat” kids only race at Fort Belvoir that I’m probably going to sign the girls up to run. Claire and Madalynn will only have to run 100 meters so I guess it will be more of a sprint, but they will both get a medal a the end. Claire has wanted to run with me so race might be the start of another runner in the family!

3. We have a new basement deadline…17 Oct. It has to be finished by then since Madalynn and Lauren will be dedicated at church both sets of grandparents visiting that weekend. We have our final inspection this Friday and hope to have carpet put down next week so everything is lining up to meet that date.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Meanderings

Half marathon training begins. Today marked the first day of base training for the upcoming ½ marathon. At this point it the complete 13.1 miles almost seems impossible as I’ve haven’t consistently ran in a long time so my endurance is really lacking. In between dry heaving because excessive drainage in my throat and having hard times breathing I ran my mileage allotted for the day. It feels good know that that I was done with my run before 08, now I won’t worry about trying to fit it in between family time and errands.

I must give huge props to M, my wonderful wife, as she let me get much needed rest after leaving work early on Friday.

No more hoarding...I hope. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to finishing our basement…I just hope it’s not an oncoming train being conducted by the building inspector. I hope to have the inspection completed this week so we can stop acting like hoarders actually clean out the garage!

It will be nice to have a “play room” for the girls and a MAN CAVE for me. The majority of my time spend in this man cave will be finishing school but it’s nice to have a place where I can dubbed a “pink free zone”. M and the girls are welcome to the man cave but they must follow the “man rules”. (Note to self: I must get a good list of man rules and have it framed)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I Actually Won Something!

I hardly ever win things, sure every now and then my number is drawn at a raffle but it’s usually something like a fruit basket. So I never expected to receive the “congratulatory” email today. Along with 99 others I was selected by Michael Hyatt to receive an autographed copy of Max Lucado’s new book! This is the by far the coolest thing I’ve won (right next to the camping grill that I promptly returned to Home Depot and got a $45 gift card). Take that Doofenshmirtz!

It looks like I have to wait 1-2 weeks before I can read my personalized copy so until then I'm going ride this good luck train and sign up the free cruise sweepstakes I keep seeing! However, with my known luck I will be happy with the Braves getting back into first. Expect a book review once I read it.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve won?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dr. Doofenshmirtz Strikes Again...

I’m excited by the fact that I’ve committed to the National Half Marathon. Even though I only got about 5 hours of sleep I was ready to get up and start running with a purpose. However, it appears that Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz, yet again, has different plans as I woke up with a horrible headache and cold.

My new plan is to fight Doofenshmirtz’s evil ways with some meds so I can start running real soon. For extra motivation here is the course map for the race in March.

Has anybody run this course before, if so how bad are the hills?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. It’s official. I have to run it or I just wasted the entry. I signed up for the National Half Marathon on 26 Mar 11. It’s time to put my words into action. From now until Christmas I will be working on building my base mileage because on 1 Jan 11 I start the Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training Program.

2. My time management must improve now that I’m running this race. I’m thankful that I have a job where it is encouraged to take time out of your day to exercise. Learning from the last half marathon that I ran (2006) I have to run during the day. My body simply can’t keep up if I’m running at night after the girls have gone to bed. Between family, church, work, my school, Claire’s school sleep is no longer an option it is a necessity.

3. It’s a comforting to know that Michelle enjoyed her first MoPs meeting and that Claire and Madalynn. It feels great knowing that we found the church that God has called us to while we are in D.C.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Claire Starts Her 16 Year Process of Going School

It’s been a while. Who would have thought that the time to actually sit down and write something would be so scarce? We are only adjusting to Laruen being a physical member of the family, Claire starting kindergarten, Madalynn’s terrible two stage, Michelle adjusting to all of this after recovering from a C-section, working on the basement and still trying to make a living. With everything going on I’ve hardly had to time to sit down and reflect on things. However, here is one highlight from our past month:

A couple weeks ago we attended Claire’s 45 minute kindergarten orientation. There was a period were Claire stayed with her class as they started teacher Claire “started” school last week. Overall she was excited but she was also disappointed that she didn’t learn how to read or write. I tried to explain to her that she wasn’t going to learn everything at once. It will take a gradual process spanning across the school year so there is no need to get frustrated. I informed her that she needed to focus on learning what Mrs. Plaster is teaching that day. In time she will learn how to read or write. Feeling confident that I nailed it with my astute parental wisdom I was eager to hear her response. My pride was quickly deflated when she came back saying, “You mean I have to go to school tomorrow too?” She apparently never grasped the idea that her stage of everyday is a vacation is over. She is now a professional student for at least the next 16 years. Oh well, at she is still having fun and still wants to go to school.

Our fun as parents of a kindergartener is just beginning as we have our first PTA meeting on Thursday.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Weekend Photos

Uncle Mike and Aunt Carmen came to visit us this weekend so we took the advantage of the opportunity to take Claire and Madalynn to see the sites and the National Air and Space Museum. Michelle was able to rest better since MeMe stayed at the house to watch (spoil) Lauren. Here are some pictures of the happenings.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I Need Royalty Rights!

Click the link to watch their interpretation of my original idea. OK, so they did a better job but what do you expect? Steve Carrell's Big Decision.

I expect to have royalty checks coming into my off shore banking account any second now.

Oh, my decision was Chipotle...

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Decision

Following last nights egoistical broadcast of Lebron James’ decision to play for Miami, I’ve decided to do the same. Rather than being paid millions of dollars to help make up his mind, my decision will actually end up costing me money. This difference does not by any means make my decision of lesser importance. So here is the big question bearing down upon me:

Where am I going to eat dinner tonight?

Here are the candidates in the running in random order:

1. Five Guys
2. Potomac Hospital Cafeteria
3. Chipotle
4. Subway

Each establishment has its own pros and cons.

Five Guys – How can you go wrong with a cheeseburger and sweet tea. Cheeseburgers are one of my favorite food groups and Five Guys makes a great burger so they are considered a strong favorite. The might cost a little more when compared to the others.

Potomac Mills Hospital Cafeteria – Old faithful due to what they’ve done for me. They have provided great care for Michelle and Lauren during the c-section. Staff has more than polite and accommodating to me and my family. The food selection and potential is by far the lowest of the candidates however, the cost is much less as well. It will be a tough decision. Seeing how it is basically free it is the most economical choice.

Chipotle – Mexican, the other favorite food group of mine. How can you pass up the burrito bowl? This would almost be a dream come true to eat their food. I really feel that I can accomplish great things with the opportunity that Chipotle provides.

Subway – Probably the establishment that is better suited for my physical well being. Food is alright and the cost is decent however if I wanted a sandwich I could make one at the house. I’m interested enough to hear their offer but I’ve got to be honest, I will probably be dreaming about Five Guys or Chipotle.

So let the shameless plugs begin. I’m ready to hear offers, advice, and guidance in making this big decision. I don’t want to make an emotional decision so I will need to take some serious time pondering what to do while Michelle and Lauren sleep.

Monday, June 28, 2010

What is Your Favorite?

This past weekend we took the girls to a water park as a “last outing as a family of 4”. We really enjoyed watching the girls play, slide, and splash in the pool. While eating lunch I asked the girls what their favorite part of the day has been so far. Here are their responses:

Claire: “This is the best water park ever! I really like going down the super fast slides!”

Just how fast was it? It was so fast that Madalynn got stuck and had to walk part of the way down before reaching the end! I bet Walt Disney won’t like her answer since we went to Blizzard Beach in WDW last summer.

Madalynn: “Daddy.”

Of course this just melted my heart so I kept asking her the whole day and the response never changed…until she got Dip-n-Dots. FYI: I no longer like Dip-n-Dots; I believe they are of the devil. Just kidding. I think. In the midst of all the excitement Madalynn most enjoyed her Daddy. She didn’t get caught up in the frills and thrills of the park. She never forgot where I was. Her Daddy remained at the forefront of her mind. I realize that this might be the stretching limits of her rationale thinking but that’s what I would like to think.

So, once again I learned important lessons from my kids. If my heart melted by Madalynn’s response, how much more would God’s melt if we had that same attitude. I got to be honest; when I’m at work most of the time I’m not thinking how great it is to be with God. That is usually reserved for my devotions or time set aside just for that purpose. It’ a shame that we let “super fast” slides or even Dip-N-Dots cloud my view of what is really important.

As a reality check I’ve found myself as “What’s my favorite part of _____?” If it’s not being with God then I need a vector check. Anybody with me?

*Picture is taken less than 5 minutes after getting in the swagger wagon to go home.

Monday, June 21, 2010

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

There are a lot of reasons why I love summer. While the temps are unbearable at times summer is my favorite time of the year because of three words: Major League Baseball. If you want to be specific try Atlanta Braves Baseball.

Some of my best memories are from the trips I would take with my dad to and from Texas. Along the way whenever the Braves were in Atlanta we stopped to catch a game. Now this was during the 80’s when the team was absolutely horrible. We never pre-ordered our tickets as we always knew that there were some available. I grew up watching the old guys like Dale Murphy and Bruce Benedict end their careers while Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Chipper Jones grow into stars.

Baseball is also the only reason why I survived high school and college math. If it weren’t for realizing that all baseball stats can be figured out by basic math functions I would still be in middle school. My dad would make me do push ups for every missed question in math and seeing how I hated math I did a lot of push ups. His mantra was, “If you aren’t going to be smart you better be strong.” Fortunately he showed me how to figure one’s earned run average and batting average. Suddenly math became interesting. This logic even followed through into other course such as statistics, as I figured out statistically speaking when is the best time to call for a hit and run or sacrifice bunt.

Additionally our church youth group had a tradition of taking summer trips to see a Braves game and attend Six Flags the next day. While Six Flags was a lot of fun I would have been perfectly happy to attend another baseball game instead.
Here are some of my favorite memories that I watched. This doesn’t include the unbelievable historic moments such as winning the 1914 and 1957 World Series nor does it have Hank Aaron becoming the true Home Run King but these are the things that will always have me look forward to summer. Click for videos.

1. Sid’s Slide

2. The Catch by Otis Nixon

3. Glavine 1 hits the Indians in Game 6 winning the 1995 World Series

4. June 8, 1998 Braves get 6 runs in the bottom of the 9th to beat the Boston Red Sox. I was at that game, refusing to leave early even though we had the 4 hour drive back home. I can’t find video of the game but it was a blast. I had a chance at getting a foul ball but that would have involved pushing my mother off the ledge and down the tunnel. With only a split second allowed to make the decision I chose to not kill my mother. Let it be known that I made the right choice!

5. McCann’s triple on Chipper’s Birthday

And just for fun a little humor: “Chicks Dig the Long Ball

Pictured is Jason Heyward, Atlanta's rookie sensation. I'm sure he will provide many more reason why I look forward to summer!

Quote from one of the greatest baseball movie of all times, Field of Dreams: ”The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again.”


Friday, June 11, 2010

Guess I'm Not Cool Enough

Earlier this week Michelle asked Madalynn where she wanted to go eat for lunch without skipping a beat she replied “Chuck Cheeses”. Of course this stems from taking her there for her birthday but I had no idea she was that impressed. When we walked away I was a lot more stressed from the screaming kids and the futile attempts to teach Claire the proper way to drive the race car. My coolness rating for Chuck E Cheeses drop a bunch of levels but Claire and Madalynn on the other hand where in a euphoric bliss. Not surprising they were impressed and I wasn’t. Somewhere in my life some things no longer seemed “cool”? So here are my top 5 things that seemed a lot cooler when I was a kid:

1. Chuck E Cheeses – What’s not to like as a kid? Games…good, toys to win…good, Pizza…GOOD! As an adult I feel like I need to take the appropriate actions to rid myself of the possible lice infections and germs from this petri dish every time I go there.

2. Youth lock-ins – It used to be a great chance to feel like you are allowed to do something that parents have previously frowned upon. As I’ve grown up a bit, why in the world would I want to stay up all night long? I almost do that between work and school and it totally blows!

3. Toys in cereal boxes – They seem so awesome in the commercials and eating enough of the box to finally find the toy was half the fun. Thinking back I was never able to get my toys to do the same tricks the commercial kids had fun doing. While the cereal is still a lot of fun to eat the toys that come with it are still a complete waste of my time.

4. Jams shorts – Remember those? What kid wouldn’t want to have Hawaiian printed shorts to strut your stuff. I specifically remember wearing Jams while visiting my grandparents in Texas. I thought I was the coolest thing around. In the midst of cowboy boots, trucks and big belt buckles I was rocking my Jams. What was I thinking?

5. Big League Chew – I used to love this gum when playing little league baseball. It made me feel that I had a connection with the MLB players. Unfortunately the pros were chewing tobacco and not gum. A couple years ago I decided to bring back this flavorful memory just for fun; I learned my lesson on that one!

Note: Pictured is a minivan that I now own...except mine is grey. They used to be one of the things that I used to think was lame but now its down right awesome! I'm now a card carrying member of the Honda Odyssey club.

Is there anything that you’ve discovered failed to pass the “coolness test” now that you are older?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Semper Gumby

Semper Fidelis, the well known motto for the Marines, is Latin for “always faithful”. Taken from the U.S. Marine’s website, this motto “guides Marines to remain faithful to the mission at hand, to each other, to the Corps and to country, no matter what”. This implies that Marines are to whatever it takes to get the mission done, even if the required task was not a part of your original plans. That is something I’ve been learning these past 7 months when it comes to following God. Therefore I’ve adopted another lesser known but equally as important motto for this stage of my life…Semper Gumby “always flexible.”

Since God surprised us with a third child, I've been forced to be flexible with our plans, budgets, timelines and even vehicles. I’ve always been a spontaneous person so changing things like dinner plans never bothers me; I actually enjoy the no notice change in plans. However buying a minivan with little preparation or moving up the timeline on when the basement needs to be finished is a different deal. It also means that our future home church in VA may not have everything we are looking for. We might need to go outside the church to fill the calling in our hearts. Overall I need to remain confident that all of these changes are just parts of God’s ultimate plan.

Have you learned to be flexible in your own plans in order to follow God? How did that turn out?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Everybody Has a Price

McDonald's has a limited time deal where you can get 50 nuggets. 50 nuggets are you kidding me? I’m assuming that its mean to be shared by 2 people but seriously 50 of them? I’m partial to Chick-fil-la nuggets but I’m pretty positive that you couldn’t pay me to eat 50 of them at one sitting. Of course I once got paid $5 in an economics class to have a pie thrown in my face. The lesson presented in the class was that everybody has a price where they are willing to do something. Apparently I valued $5 more than my classmates.

This reminds me of a recent blog post I read last week so I’m going to follow his idea. I’ll list 3 things that I really don’t want to do, but using the economic professor’s theory I’ll tell you how much money it would take for me to actually do them.

1. Be a jock-strap test dummy. On the “Sports Science” a guy volunteered to test out the latest jock-strap and protective cup by having a MLB pitcher throw a fastball into his family jewels. Surprisingly he lived to say that he felt nothing. Even with his survival, I’m not keen on this idea.

My price – $40,755, the cost of a fully loaded 2011 Honda Odyssey

2. Be a mall Santa. Having a gazillion kids, all with nasty colds and running noses putting their peed stained pants sitting you’re your lap does not sound enticing. Adding to that experience, you are forced to smile and try to get the kids to look at the camera for the whole day. This has got to be one of the worst jobs ever.

My price – $ 14,000, that’s about $500 for every day from Thanksgiving till Christmas Eve.

3. Become a vegetarian for one whole year. I love steak, cheeseburger, and chicken way too much to not touch it in a year. Sure I might lose some weight and even learn to like other foods (tomatoes, cucumbers, etc) but I think I would be real cranky during this time. Can I still eat fish?

My price – $ 950, no reason the number just sounds about right.

Curious what you your Top 3?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dr. Evil Doofensmirtz’s Evil Plan for My Day

Everything was going great until 0600…Claire got up early and went downstairs to convince me not to go to work. I finally got her to lie on the couch to watch Disney Channel, knowing she will be fall asleep if she is still. Five minutes past, she is still wide awake and asking for apple juice. I quickly responded to her request and urged her to be still and let Phineas and Ferb entertain you till Momma gets up. I was very tempted to call in sick and watch it with her but alas I have evil of my own to fight at work.

Little did I know Dr. Evil Doofensmirtz’s evil plans for the entire Tri-State Area has spilled over into the National Capital Region. His evil doings were felt immediately and apparently he knows what he is doing since has been quoted in say, "When it comes to havoc, nobody wreaks like me!"

I finally got all my stuff together and headed to the gym. It didn’t take long till I noticed that I left my blackberry on the desk. Due to the mass transit complexity I have no choice to press on. I still haven’t gotten over the feeling that catastrophic events are soon to come since I don’t have it with me. Seriously, what am I going to do without my life-link attached to my side? How will I know if the Carmen, the Christian recording artist, makes an unrequested comeback? How will be told that the BP oil spill is still spilling and those environmentalists are still raging mad? Thank goodness there is internet at work. (Come to think of it why am I so bent out of shape on this, I’m not even allowed to have my phone turned on when I’m in the office). Oh well, it will all be better once I get to the gym and run out my frustration.

I finally endure the always interesting slug experience and make it to the gym. I’m ready to put my new shoes to the test but I’m missing something…I know they are in here…I got them out last night just for this purpose…where are my shorts? Yes, I also forgot my shorts. I’m sure the gym has a rule making clothing mandatory so I had to pack everything back up and head to work. Now that my gym time is being pushed to this evening I started focusing the only thing that can make my day better lunch. But you guessed it my lunch isn’t in my bag where my blackberry and shorts are supposed to be. My run will now have to fit in somewhere between dinner, bath and bed routine, school and actually sitting down and talking with Michelle.

I think Claire had the right idea, lie down on the couch and let Perry the Platypus fight the good fight with Dr. Evil Doofensmirtz. It seems like he has much better luck in doing so.

On to solving the world’s problems, with no blackberry, shorts or lunch.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I believe that grilling, regardless of the weather, is always the first choice of cooking.

I enjoy any type of sports on giant HD plasma screen TV’s.

I think a man purse is still a purse.

My favorite movies include Lord of the Rings and Band of Brothers.

I love the smell of saw dust and gasoline.

I only see 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach is a fruit, not a color. I have no idea what mauve is.

I like to occasionally partake in drinking a Sam Adams and smoking cigars.

I can make fire with sticks and flint.

I can never have enough power tools even if I only use them once.

I take my coffee black.

However, God apparently has a sense of humor and felt that I needed to dial back the testosterone. In a big way. Michelle has scheduled her C-section for 8 July. That means I will be the lone man in the house with 4



Growing up I never imagined myself in this position. To quote the All-American family man Clark Griswold, “If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn’t be more surprised than I am now.”

At any rate, I am beside myself with excitement, anticipation, and joy!

I am Man, but…

My best friend in the whole-wide-world is a girl (Michelle).

I can learn to appreciate dance recitals.

I already know all of the names of the Disney Princesses.

I cried when I watched My Girl for the first time.

I’ve been told that I am a good listener.

My truck will still be manly with pink car seats.

I’m not afraid to have my fingernails painted.

I will have a separate shotgun for each girl when they start the age of 45.

I will attempt to understand why beds need so many pillows.

I know how to make a quick impromptu pony tail.

…and my future man-cave will be bigger than your house. (Hey, I can dream, right?)

One step at a time,


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My Date With Paula

I have a date with another women in March of next year. Before you get all worried, Michelle knows about it and supports me on this one. Heck she will probably cook the pasta dinner for the date!

In 2006 when a good friend and I decided to run the USAF ½ marathon…as fun…I found out I actually enjoy running. I haven’t’ been running as much as would like but I'm getting the itch to do something about it. I originally created a goal to run a half marathon in Wilmington NC at the end of the year however, typical with my current running schedule, that won’t happen. So, I’ve created a new goal: The National Half Marathon. I’m broadcasting this to the world so that you can hold me accountable. I’m not expecting to set any speed records, I just want to finish.

Now onto the date. I have some unfinished business with Paula Radcliffe. My original goal in 2006 was to beat the women’s world record for a full marathon. In other words I wanted to run 13.1 miles faster the 2 hours 15 minutes and 25 seconds it took Paula to run 26.2 miles in 2003. The result of this goal 2:17:24…I’m slow! She beat me by 2 full minutes.

So on 26 Mar 11, I have a date with Paula. I will be the gentleman and pay for our race entrance fee but that's where chivalry stops. I will not let her beat me again. As soon as I’m victorious, I will have to find another victim to embarrass! Maybe Oprah in the full marathon. But being that I don't cheat on my wife I won't cheat on Paula so Oprah will have to wait!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Great Display of Honesty

This is what makes golf a sport unlike no other; you actually call penalties on yourself. If you notice you violate a rule you take action to make it right. It might cost you the a lot of money but that’s what the rules state. (article link) What a thought…being honest with yourself even though no one would have ever known! From a Christian standpoint, if we are going to be honest with God we must be able to be honest with ourselves. I wish Davis would receive more publicity for doing the right thing because I’ve seen firsthand the unfavorable implications of people being honest with themselves and God. Too often we (yes, myself included) look down at these people as if they are outcasts. We put on our facade that pretends that our life is in order ignoring the huge plank obstructing our vision.

These honest people should be praised for having the guts for calling out the sins in their lives. Thank you, Brian Davis for this real world example on honesty. Thank you to all the people who can see sin in their lives, call it sin and then do something about it. It might cost you pride, reputation even friendships but you are being obedient to God.

Photo: Brian Davis, left, of England, talks with PGA Tour Tournament Director Slugger White, right, after he hit a shot out of marsh on the 18th green during the playoff round of the Verizon Heritage golf tournament, Sunday, April 18, 2010, in Hilton Head Island, S.C. Davis called a two stroke penalty on himself and later conceded the win to Jim Furyk. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton)

Now back to focusing on the 2X4 stuck in my head…


Monday, April 19, 2010

Mustache March Finals

April is here, and it brings some sadness to my heart as well as a new found breeze on my lip. While we can all sit around and reminisce about 'staches of the past, we must look forward to what the future holds. A couple of positives:

1) Productivity increases due to less people staring at our faces like pandas at the National Zoo; waiting for our every move

2) Statistically, birth rates spike in the month of Jan (9 months after the end of Mustache March; you decide on the significance)

3) There is only 316 days until Mustache March 2011

I didn't win but I had a good time displaying my testosterone at home. The picture is of all the contestants that were man enough to keep their 'stache for the entire month. The winner is located sandwiched between gentleman in a flight suit and the one with the tie on.

One step at a time,

Thursday, April 15, 2010

How I am like a elite endurance athlete...really I am!

David Goggins is a rare individual. He was named a 2008 Runner’s World “Hero of Running”. Rather than butchering his accomplishments and his bio you can read it for yourself on Runner's World. He is like no other athlete I have ever heard of in that he doesn't like what he does so to speak. You would think that most athlete’s like their sport. They enjoy it and can’t wait to go out and showcase their talents. Not Goggins. In his own words, “I’m nobody special. Let’s be perfectly clear…I don’t like to run. I don’t like to swim. I don’t like to bike.” Yet he still does it because his motivation comes from something greater than himself. “I do this to raise money for the children of soldiers killed in combat.”

I can’t help from making comparisons between his life and mine. I’m sure that you see it too but let me explain that by no means am I an endurance athlete. The most I’ve ran is a half-marathon, 13.1 miles. That was about four years ago. Since then the most I’ve run at one time is five miles. I don’t own a bike. Newsflash: I am no David Goggins. However, I do see resemblance between his thoughts on motivation for his goals and the motivation for my Christian walk. Just as Goggins doesn’t find running, biking or swimming fun. For me pursuing a Godly life is not fun. I don’t like to do it as it goes against my sinful nature. (Romans 3:11, there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.) Please understand what I’m saying and what I’m NOT saying. By no means am I saying that living according to God’s word is not fun. It’s the daily pursuit of God’s will that reveals just how far I really am from what God has called me to be that I don’t find enjoyable. No one likes to be aware of areas in which you are not meeting the standards. However I’m sure that Goggins likes the outcomes of his training just as I like the outcome of the process of pursuing God.

I also agree with Goggins’ view of motivation. If we are focused on doing something for ourselves, we will simply fail. Why didn’t I continue with my running and complete a full marathon? Because training for the distance takes time, brings about sore muscles and I was running for me. But ultimately my motivation is to make sure that I can pass the USAF PT test (only have to run 1.5 miles and the required number of push-ups and sit-ups). Why do I refuse to give up striving to live a Godly life, even though I’m constantly reminded of my sin and short comings? It’s the death of Christ that has saved me from my sin that keeps me going. It’s his sacrifice that is greater than anything I can imagine. Sure it takes time and my spiritual muscles will be sore but His death provides more than ample amount of motivation.
What is your motivation?

One step at a time,

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Book Review: The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley

I recently read a book that helped refine my perspective on living a Christian life. In his book, The Principle of the Path, Andy Stanley uses Proverbs 7:6-27 (as well as other verses in Proverbs) to bring home the fact that the decisions we make everyday will bring about certain outcomes. All too often I feel like the guy in the Far Side cartoon who know the concept but needs to actually apply it! In a nutshell, your attention determines your direction and ultimately your directions. If you notice the word intention is not found anywhere written here. Learning to apply this principle will give us a greater chance of accomplishing the will of God and avoiding a great deal of regret. This book has challenged me to develop a new outlook on how I plan my day, spend my money, what I watch and even what I eat. If you are looking for a thought provoking book that is easy to read pick up this one. You won’t be disappointed.

Here is a link to an interview with Andy Stanley that gives a better description of the book:

One step at a time,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mustache March Update

A few of you know that I'm participating in Mustache March. Here are picture updates:

This is the preferred look from the ladies in the house. Smooth to the touch with no stay whiskers. Claire will actually give an inspection to see if I missed any spots.

Michelle says it's going to be a long month. Claire keeps telling me that I forgot to save under my nose. Madalynn doesn't seem to care.

My attempts to inform the girls that this is what testosterone is like are being ignored. Michelle is happier that I trimmed the stache but still doesn't like it. Claire has made it quite clear that I need to shave. Madalynn curiously touched my upper lip but refused to do so again.

One step at a time,

Monday, March 15, 2010

So How Much Can I Learn in One Day?

This past Sunday Michelle and I took the girls to visit another church in our quest to find a fellowship home. The day turned out to be one that taught me a few things reminded me of a few things that I already knew. To give a bit of background on how the day started my intentions was that we would take the rainy day off and rest. I was recovering from having a cold that Claire gave me. On top of being the third trimester, Michelle is battling the cold that I just gave her. Needless to say, I felt justified as the spiritual leader in the house to raise the white flag even before I got out of bed. That was until Claire climbed in bed and asked if today was “church day” and when were we leaving. Michelle (who was already out of bed) said to me, “That’s the second time she has asked, so what are we going to do”?

In my astute wisdom I said, “Are you serious?” After contemplating the fact that Claire is basically saying, “Stop making excuses, get out of bed and lets go to church Daddy. How am I going to grow up to be a Godly woman if you can’t even summon enough energy to take me to church?” Knowing full well that we would be late, we all hurried and got out the door as quick as we could. I don’t know why, but I was surprised to find ourselves pulling out of the driveway in record time. I was even more surprised that with D.C. traffic we made it to church with plenty of time to spare.

By the time that we made it inside I knew that we were going to have a good visit. Just by looking at the program it is evident that they have a definite focus on children, one of our main concerns in a church. After sitting down Claire noticed a group of kids on stage ready to sing and says, “Daddy, I want to go on stage too!” Now this is coming from the shy girl that in previous performances at school that never sang or did hand motions. At this point nothing surprises anymore.

Michelle left to drop Madalynn off in the nursery after the praise and worship. I was astonished to hear that (remember I’m not surprised anymore) there were ample amount of people to help fill out the necessary paperwork, give Michelle a security tag and start prepping Madalynn for the separation from Mommy. Then I was even more astonished that Madalynn didn’t get shed a single tear. Both Michelle and Madalynn were happy with the nursery experience.

Due to Claire wanting something to drink in the midst of the message, I wasn’t able to hear all of it but what I liked what I heard. It was centered on Romans 3:10-23. Essentially we need to have the right mindset of sin. We are sinners not mistakers. I am a sinner that will find excuses to not obey. Essentially my plan for a lazy Sunday morning was a result of the sin in my life and if I let it would prevent me from finding the church body that God was called my family to join. At the core of my excuse is sin…it’s not a mistake. The pastor used the following statements from Andy Stanley, “If everything I do wrong can be dumbed down to where it's just a mistake, then that makes me a mistaker—which means I don't have sin in my life. If I don't have sin, I'm not a sinner, and if I'm not a sinner, I don't have any need for a Savior. If you're just a mistaker, then all you have to do is do better; if I'm a sinner, then simply trying harder isn't going to get it done”. It isn’t something that I can “do” myself; even at my best I still need a Savior. Claire and I met Michelle after the sermon and quickly decided that we will attend this church again next week.

So here are my lessons learned:
Lesson #1: Although it is my responsibility to be the spiritual leader in the family, I can learn an awful lot from my kids. Obviously Claire has taken in a lot of things that Michelle and I have tried to teach her so she knows that going to church is important. Don’t ruin everything that she already knows by inserting a mindset that church is something that can be skipped.

Lesson #2: At the core, my laziness is a sin. It’s this sin that keeps me from doing the small things that I recently mentioned. It’s this sin would have prevented me from fellowshipping with my family and a new church. It’s this sin that leads me to think that I know what’s best for the family on a rainy Sunday morning. I grateful that Claire reminds me what we are called to do and that I took the spiritual leadership seat behind my 4 year olds direction.

One step at a time,

Friday, March 12, 2010

Your Crucial Choices have Already Been Determined

Since my last post I’ve been thinking just why we keep doing the things that we don’t want to do even though we know we shouldn’t. Sometime this week I was reminded of a quote from one of our former Presidents, Ronald Reagan. The quote is actually taken out of a speech he gave at The Citadel’s 1993 Graduation Ceremony ( Setting all political agendas aside it is a great speech. Here is the quote:

“For you see, the character that takes command in moments of crucial choices has already been determined. It has been determined by a thousand other choices made earlier in seemingly unimportant moments. It has been determined by all the little choices of years past—by all those times when the voice of conscience was at war with the voice of temptation—whispering the lie that it really doesn't matter. It has been determined by all the day-to-day decisions made when life seemed easy and crises seemed far away—the decisions that, piece by piece, bit by bit, developed habits of discipline or of laziness, habits of self-sacrifice or of self-indulgence, habits of duty and honor and integrity—or dishonor and shame. Because when life does get tough, and the crisis is undeniably at hand—when we must, in an instant look inward for strength of character to see us through—we will find nothing inside ourselves that we have not already put there.”
Why do we keep doing the things I don’t want to do? Well we’ve taught ourselves to do them with all of the small choices we’ve made. We’ve developed a life full of laziness and zero self-discipline. When times get hard and the pressure is bearing down, we simply lack the history of making the right choices. In my mind, it absurd to actually think you can go against your nature and make the right choice at the moments of your choosing. I tend to think that these moments are where I am called to glorify God. Yet that goes against what we’ve been commanded to do. 1 Cor 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”. It’s not just the big things such as what should my next job be, what school should the kids attend, what church should we join, etc. We must consider all aspects of our lives as areas to obey and glorify God.

Once we get to the point where we understand that the smaller choices are just as important as the bigger ones we will have set ourselves up for future success. The habit of obeying God in all aspects of our lives will enable us to obey God is the times of true temptation and pressure. It’s honoring God in the small things that builds the habit of maintaining the right focus and self discipline that proves invaluable in honoring God in the big things.

One step at a time,

Monday, March 8, 2010

Delayed obedience is still disobedience

A few years ago I learned that very insightful point about Christianity. Of course the fact that I’m stubborn and slow to learn things myself it has taken quite a long time for it to sink in and to be honest it’s something that I still struggle with everyday. I was reminded of this point when reading Psalm 119:32, “If you will help me, I will run to follow your commands” (NLT). Notice the verse did not say we are to walk, crawl, get around to or when you have the energy follow God. We are to run. One dictionary gives the following definition of running: fast movement: rapid movement on foot, with long strides and both feet momentarily off the ground. So even though know this verse to be true why I can’t bring myself to the point where both feet are off the ground at the same time still haunts me. I know what I should do but I simply don’t do it…see Romans 7:15 for a better explanation. The only way I can make sense of this struggle is to relate it to my running habits. A personal relationship with Christ and running are both areas that must rely on consistency.

Call me insane but running is actually quite calming and invigorating once you get past the point of thinking you will die! If you have ever started running either for the first time or coming back from a hiatus you can relate that those first few outing really seem impossible as the aches and pains in your legs and the shortness of breath lets you know just how out of shape you are. However, once you get to the point where you’ve reached a few milestones you actually realize that you are running with relative ease. Things get easier as the “dreadmill” is no longer something to dread, the miles on your running program are no longer to be feared.

The same can be true with your walk with Christ; it takes courage and faith to start trusting God. If you are a new Christian or one that is trying to come back from your spiritual hiatus it is hard. You might even feel like you are going to die after five days. Once again realizing just how far sin puts you away from Christ brings about an eye opening moments. Facing the honest truth of However, with consistency it will get easier, you will stop dreading the quiet times and the realization of just how out of shape you are with Christ.

So how does this relate to the title of this post? We have been called to obey God, Deuteronomy 13:4 “It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him”. We are not given to option of choosing when to obey. We are not given the option obeying when it doesn’t hurt. We are called to obey, right now. If you need some additional rational thinking, it doesn’t get any easier if you wait to start running. The same with obedience, the longer it takes for you to start the more it hurts and the harder it is to keep going. Want good news? 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”, obedience to God will be rewarded. God is faithful in all he does.

I’m also reminded of friend who was involved in a very intense and rigorous try-out for the Summerall Guards ( While running in this initiation he often found himself praying, “Lord, if you keep picking my feet up off the ground, I will keep bringing them back down”. I need to remember this prayer and that God isn’t going to call me to run a marathon unless, he has trained me for it so go ahead and start running to follow his commands…I have nothing to fear.

One step at a time,