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NaBloPoMo 2010 Day 27 — Crazy Day

We got a call this morning out of the blue. A real estate agent that Jen met a few weeks ago called because he had a couple that was interested in buying a home in our part of the city. He asked if he could bring them by. As many know, when you’re selling your home, you have to be on alert in case you get such a call from an agent. That also requires that you keep your home in a perpetually clean state.

We were not selling our home. So we were not on alert. And our house was far from clean.
So we spent about 4 hours cleaning the house. Ugh.
Actually, Jen spent 4 hours cleaning the house, and I spent 4 hours cleaning my office and the bathroom in my office. She’d been on me to clean my office for months. The 4 hours made a nice dent, but it still wasn’t really “clean.” It was better. Presentable. But it wasn’t completely clean. But it’s a nice start.
We’ll see what comes of the visit. The realtor said he’d call us tomorrow.
Should something come of this, I think it will be another turning point in this journey of our. A friend asked me tonight where we’d go if we sold the house. I have no idea. I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we have to.

NaBloPoMo 2010 Day 26 — Long Day

Today was a weird one. It started last night. After a long Thanksgiving Day filled with a gluttonous amount of food and drink, we came home a little after 8:00 pm. I probably should’ve gone to bed then. Instead, I fell asleep downstairs for a couple of hours. Then, of course, I couldn’t fall asleep. I watched most of the movie Radio. I’d never seen it. Decent flick.
Eventually, I went to bed in the wee hours of the night/morning.
K-Man was up a little after 7:00 this morning. Jen leaned over and asked if I “wanted” to get up with him. As opposed to what? Sleeping for a few more hours? Sure, I’d love to get up. I knew Jen wasn’t feeling well, so I didn’t mind getting up to give her some more hours of shut-eye.
Kee did a great job “playing quietly” downstairs so he didn’t wake up Mommy. And Jen managed to get several more hours of sleep, but she struggled most of the day with the crud. Similar to the crud I had the other day, but maybe a little more flu-like. We’ll see.
Jen stayed up for a few hours before taking some more Nyquil. The Nyquil required a nap. Keegan always “gets” whatever Jen has, so when she said she needed to nap because she wasn’t feeling well, Kee said he needed to rest too because he had a cold too. Kee laid down, but only lasted about an hour. Jen was out for over three.
When Keegan woke up, we planned a trip to the Thrashers game tonight, but I told him not to tell Mommy — because she was still sleeping, and I didn’t want him to wake her up.
Just as we were about to leave for the game, Jen woke up and came downstairs. The first words out of K-Man’s mouth were: “We’re going to the Thrashers game.”
And after two beats, he added “but I’m not supposed to tell.”
We headed downtown for a little pre-game Chick-Fil-A at CNN Center before the game. Here’s Kee working on his last chicken nugget:
We lasted the usual two (of three) periods because Keegan was ready to leave. We had a little incident in the restroom, so I had to introduce Kee to the freedom of “going commando.” He adjusted well. Better than I thought he would. He can be rather particular about his clothes. I think the fact that he was wearing his fleece-lined jeans made the transition a little easier.

NaBloPoMo 2010 Day 25 — Giving Thanks

It’s been a good day. We celebrated the day at my parents’ house with a truckload of family! K-Man loved running around all day playing with “the cousins.” He and his cousin, Jonathan, ran around playing with their nerf guns until they were sweaty messes. He should sleep incredibly soundly tonight!

When you have a blog, you are almost obligated to write a post today about the things for which you are thankful. Far be it from me to ignore that responsibility. I am thankful for much. Much more than I will capture here today, but this is a good representation.
My wife — who has walked beside me for a long time encouraging me along the way and occasionally kicking me in the behind when I need it.
My son — who reminds me regularly to see the joy in life. To laugh. To be silly.
My family — that has supported and shaped me.
My in-laws — who raised one heckuva daughter and who are incredible grandparents to K-Man.
My friends — (too many to name individually) who have picked me up when I’m down and with whom I have made some great memories over the last four decades!
My church — that challenges me to grow deeper in my relationship with the Lord and seek opportunities to live a life reflective of that relationship
I’m also thankful for a lot of “lesser” things too:
Tivo — stopping live television to use the lavatory is epic
Mike and Ikes — fruity, chewy morsels … if only you were sugar-free!
Plungers — no details necessary. Just thankful.
Smyrna Soccer Club — really enjoyed getting Keegan involved in that this year. Great organization for the community of kids in the area.
Facebook — when used for good, it really can be a great way to keep up and reconnect with friends and family scattered across the globe.
24-hour gyms — it’s great to have the freedom to go to the gym at 2:00 a.m. if I can’t sleep! (Wouldn’t have to go so often if those dastardly Mike and Ikes weren’t so delicious!)
Happy Thanksgiving!!

NaBloPoMo 2010 Day 24 — Thanksgiving Preparations

I’m working on my oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies tonight. The first batch is in the oven as I start this post. So far so good. Here’s what they look like in the bowl:
Here’s what they look like cooling on the cookie rack. (Yes, I have a cookie rack for cooling my cookies. Shut up.)
Based on the required precautionary taste test, I think this batch will be well-accepted tomorrow at my parents’ house.
Jen is a fan of oatmeal raisin cookies, but she hasn’t asked me, until tonight, to set aside a portion of the cookie mix to add some raisins to. Done. We’ll see how they turn out.
I enjoy Thanksgiving a lot. The football games. The food and drink. The time shared with family and friends. I’ll probably have a list of things for which I am thankful tomorrow.
It would be funny (or odd) if Thanksgiving came with a tradition like this one: Slapsgiving!

And Slapsgiving II – The Revenge

Happy Thanksgiving!!

NaBloPoMo 2010 Day 23 — Turning Points

Life is full of turning points. Some we enjoy. Some we don’t.

Some might say that the best turning points are those that lead to productive or positive changes and require the least blood, sweat and tears.
I’m not sure that I fall in that camp.
For me, it takes the adversity for the lessons that come at the turning points to make the appropriate impression on me. I can be thick like that.
Jen and I have been praying for something the last few years and that intensified over the last few weeks. The time spent over that time has been great for us, because it’s put a number of things in perspective. Some we took for granted. Some we just needed to do better.
Today, we learned about another turn in this journey. Not so much a turn as another closed door. We’ve encountered a number of closed doors over this stretch. As noted above, I can be thick, so I kept looking for similar doors to open. So far, all of them have been closed.
Several months ago, Jen and I sensed that we needed to try a completely different door. I’ve been resistant for a number of reasons that don’t need to be fleshed out here. At least not yet. But after today’s news, I can no longer deny the need to stop focusing on the doors I’ve been focusing on and need to consider others. Doors close over and over for a reason. I’m starting to see that now.
I took a step in the new direction today with a simple email. No response yet, but sending the email itself was another turning point.
And we are trusting that the faithful and obedient step of sending a simple email may be enough to overcome the inertia that exists and open the next door for us.
Stay tuned.

NaBloPoMo 2010 Day 22 — I can’t be trusted at the store

It’s Thanksgiving week. That means at some point I have to make my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies to bring to dinner on Thursday. My family might disown me if I failed to bring them.

But to make them, I have to go to the store to buy the ingredients. And I can’t be trusted at the store. Just ask Jen.
I’ll explain.
So I made the list, which included some generic groceries that we just needed around the house. For example, I bought some Lysol spray to disinfect the kitchen garbage can. (Actually it was a store-brand generic that “compares to Lysol.”) But my cookie recipe doesn’t call for Lysol. Or generic Lysol-substitute.
At the store. I bought the essential cookie ingredients: sugar, brown sugar, butter, chocolate chips, oatmeal, and egg beaters (I’m 40 now, so I got to balance out all the good stuff with some egg substitute).
But true to form, I bought some other stuff — none of which are in my cookie recipe.
Mike & Ikes — because I just like those.
Reese’s Pieces — because they were right there next to the Mike & Ikes.
Wine — they say red wine goes really well with chocolate, so that’s kind of a pairing rather than something that is completely off the mark.
A tiny light bulb — that’s actually a safety issue. I needed to replace the bulb for one of the tail- lights on my car, so I should get a pass for that one.
Black tea — because I’m still fighting some crud in my throat and the tea helps with all the coughing I’m doing.
Two bags of marshmallows and rice krispies — those were for Jen to make rice krispie treats for K-Man.
Before I went to the store, I stopped by Sam’s Club. One of the staple, non-cookie items that we needed was bread. Well, rather than buy the bread at the grocery store, I picked some up at Sam’s Club. There, I can get two loaves of bread for a better deal. So I went there to get the bread.
I also walked out with a shirt. (Another item that is not germane to oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.)
See, I can’t be trusted.

NaBloPoMo 2010 Day 21 — UF’s Rudy … sort of

Yesterday was the last regular season home game for the Florida Gators. So it was senior day. All of the fourth- and fifth-year seniors were honored before the game started with a short ceremony as they ran out of the tunnel. This happened at a number of schools this weekend and more will happen next weekend as well. It’s another one of those things that makes college football better than NFL football.

Many of you have seen the movie Rudy — the story of the walk-on and undersized defensive tackle who sold his soul to dress for one football game at Notre Dame. The movie exaggerates the story, but he did actually get in the game and did record of sack. It’s a great scene — even if you hate anything Notre Dame.
During yesterday’s win over Appalachian State, a four-year walk-on defensive tackle — not particularly undersized — but not the most gifted athletically — lived his own scene from Rudy. Gary Beemer is a senior at UF. He’s been a glorified tackling dummy for four years on the football team. But he gives 100% and has become a favorite of UF coach Urban Meyer. That must be the case or what happened yesterday would never have happened.
With UF winning by a healthy margin, Meyer approached Beemer on the sidelines and asked if he’d be interested in running the ball in a goal-line situation if UF was able to get the ball down that close. Stunned, Beemer told the coach that he was ready and willing.
Then late in the fourth quarter, the Gators did actually get the ball close — inside the 10 yard line. And Beemer was told to run out to the huddle for the first down play. Here’s what happened:
If that doesn’t give you chills, you may be reading this from six feet under.
You can hear the fans cheering for Beemer as he runs out, and they yell louder when he actually gets the ball on first down. You can see his teammates — many of them starters — screaming for him and waving towels. That’s a kid who’s left an impression on his team.
But when he doesn’t score on first down, Meyer doesn’t abandon him. He calls the play for him a second time. He gets stopped short of the end zone again. But he gets a third shot, and he buries himself into the line and emerges on the other side of the end line clutching the ball all the way back to the sidelines.
But he’s not just clutching a football. He’s holding tightly to four years of blood, sweat and tears. And pain. And laughs. And shared meals. And a memory that will never leave the front of his mind. Oh, that more of us had opportunities to make moments we would hold so dearly.