Dream Job(s)

If you could have any job, what would it be?

Maybe this is one of those husband/wife hypotheticals that gets tossed around like George Clooney in The Perfect Storm but we seem to discuss it at least three to four times a week, and usually more. It’s such a fun question because it can be hypothetical to the point that it couldn’t possibly ever come true (like Kyle playing swingman with Durant and Westbrook on the Thunder’s 2013 NBA title team) but also not so hypothetical that there’s a one-in-a-million-Jim-Carrey-in-Dumb-and-Dumber chance it could actually happen. See the following…

Kyle: When I was growing up I wanted to play professional baseball. I thought it would be cool to wear wristbands every day and hit home runs and throw runners out at the plate. Then after that dream died a fiery death I wanted to either be the general manager for a pro sports team or the athletic director at Oklahoma State. I suppose both of those are still on the backburner but my interest is waning. For the last four or five years I’ve felt the desire to be a writer, or rather, a storyteller. I think there was a month or two period during that time when I considered day trading stocks but then I realized the only stock I would ever buy is Nike and whoever makes Sperry shoes and that inkling passed. Quickly. Back to my keyboard.

There’s something about the art of telling a story though. I keep coming back to it. I remember when I was growing up and I used to devour books like Swiss Family Robinson, Moby Dick, and Black Beauty. I probably didn’t fully understand their meaning or the symbolism in each but I got lost in the story, and for that I revered the authors of such books. There are so many different forms of the written word in the world today: newspapers, blogs, Twitter, short articles, long articles, exposes, books, novels, magazines, etc. etc. So I don’t know in what capacity I thrive or even what is most enjoyable to me (though a daily blog post is hard to beat in the way of functionality and enjoyment) but maybe I’ll just keep writing until I find out. That’s my answer though: I’d be a writer of words, a teller of stories, a weaver of tales, a creator of entertainment and story so fascinating my readers could scarce tear their eyes away from that which I have written. That’s how it goes in my head anyway…

Jen: Thinking about my dream job gets me giggly. It’s really a culmination of what I already love (old things) mixed with what I’d love to do if I had time and money (travel). No, it’s not a door to door vintage umbrella salesman, though I do love umbrellas. My dream is to travel Europe for a few months at a time, buy old furniture, have it shipped back to the states, and then come back here to recover, refinish, and resell it.

Oh, the places I’d go! Because there would be no budgets (key phrase here is “dream” job- clearly no furniture, amazing as it would be, could sustain my wordly adventures) I would combine work with pleasure, visiting country after country in search of the perfect pieces. And when I came home, I would spend a few weeks plotting my approach, buying fabrics and picking out paint colors that would be perfect for each piece. Over the next few months, I would sand and paint and staple and sew until everything looked like it came straight from an issue of Domino magazine. I would have to sell all my goods to maintain the quality of my marriage, though I’d really just want to keep them all. Oh, and of course Kyle would come with me, for what’s a dream job if you have to do it alone?

Today, I live out my second best dream job: staying home and working on thirty different projects while my husband actually works. All while I apply for jobs, of course.

What is your dream job? Comment below.

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Mo Money, Mo Problems?

We claim to be simplistic people. We appreciate the small things, we love our tiny apartment, we drive semi-old cars and really still like them. We think it’s because we’re simple at heart, but isn’t it really just because we don’t have any money?

Last night we were walking around some local neighborhoods, and while our apartment building is small, most of the houses aren’t. We’re talking old money plantation style homes. We passed one that legitimately looked like the White House minus the Obamas. They’re incredible. So naturally we start talking about what we would buy if we won the lottery.

DISCLAIMER: We don’t buy lottery tickets and don’t promote doing so.

But for the sake of this post let’s say we won $120 million. It’s all ours. It’s easy to say we’d give it all away and buy clean water for every country in northern Africa and mosquito nets for all the ones in the south, but would we really? Our kids (all 7 of them) could have their college paid for. We could buy homes for our entire family, go anywhere in the world for as long as we like, and pretty much have every luxury at our fingertips. You name it, we get it. If we were presented with the opportunity to never work again in our lives, support our families, start whatever small business we please, and never have to worry about money again, would we really give it all away? Really?

We hope so, we really do. We hope we would support 39 Compassion International kiddies and buy a modest house and plant a garden and live off the earth. We hope we would create sustainable small businesses that would affect people’s lives in a positive way and we hope we would even adopt a few of those 39 kiddies.

However, when we challenged each other to pick 3 things (6 in all) we would buy if we won that $120 million only 1 had anything to do with giving something away.

So at least we know what we have to work on…

Here’s $120 million. What are you really going to do with it?

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Tourists in Our Own Town

There’s something I’ve always loved about the notion of being a tourist in your own hometown. Right now we don’t have an option: we are tourists. It won’t feel like home for quite some time, so for now, we explore. But it’s easy to become familiar with your surroundings when you immerse yourself in the same environment every day. So today, we challenge you to this: Visit one “new to you” thing every few weeks. Pick one new shop, one new park, one new historic building and check it out. Your town is much cooler than you think it is. Promise.

This weekend, we chose the Bishop Arts District. Here are a few things we found:

Soda Gallery in Oak Cliff

The guy who ran this place was one of the most intriguing people we’ve met in our time here in Dallas. Part salesman, part entrepreneur, part soda lover, he explained to us how he started his business over 4 years ago. He and his partner now sell vintage(y) sodas for $2.50 a pop. Pun intended. He also explained that they sell online and host various parties and events. The wheels in Kyle’s head were spinning faster than he could ask the guy questions. I thought he was going to offer to serve sodas and M&Ms for minimum wage at one point. We promised said business owner that we’d link to his website. Here it is.

Wanting these props for our kitchen...
Cream soda + orange drink = love
Yes, there are things you can't buy at Wal-Mart...

The best part about going to fun places like this can’t be found in the eccentric stuff you can buy or look at it. No, the best parts are the ideas and creativity gleaned from being immersed in such goodness if only but for a short amount of time. We were completely silent on the way home (save an NPR story or two) as both of us got lost in thoughts of business, entrepreneurship, making, creating, giving, selling, and living. Sometimes production comes of those thought sessions, sometimes not, but we always love getting there, to that state of dual solitude. It makes marriage seem mysterious and magnificent even when it sometimes isn’t.

Oh, we'll be back Bishop...we will be back...

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Ocho

So we have a child. Not a real one. But not a fake one either. His name is Max and he lives in Haiti and today is his birthday. He has the same birthday as our country, though Max’s party probably won’t have as many people or fireworks. He probably won’t imbibe all the food we imbibe and I’m guessing he won’t be watching Breakfast at Wimbledon on Sunday morning. Max’s hobbies are walking and helping his mom farm. We live different lives. And yet we are connected.

We support Max (just as many of our friends support kids throughout the world) through a missional program called Compassion International. We send him and his family some money every month and write him letters to make sure he’s doing well. Kyle nicknamed him Ocho Cinco. He couldn’t believe we sent him an extra $10 for Christmas. We felt like cowards for not sending more.

We pray for his feet because they were injured in the earthquake. We don’t really know to what extent, but we know God can heal anything. In his last letter to us, Max asked if we felt the earthquake in America. We didn’t feel it physically, but we feel it in our hearts every time we remember him. Here’s to Max. And to the freedoms we enjoy. Happy 4th.

Max (or 'Ocho' as I like to call him)

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