Stillwater…and such

It’s Labor Day. I’ve always found it ironic that we don’t work on Labor Day, no?

In case you missed it last week here’s my college football preview and (not to be outdone) Jen’s. Hers is high comedy, possibly the highest form of comedy I could possibly glean from a blog.

By the way blog isn’t in predicted text for Word in case anyone was wondering. This is 2010 and not 1020, correct?

We’re driving home today after an awesome 4 days with some of our oldest friends and both of our families. We miss Stillwater, Jen is starting to obsess over Dallas and I suppose I’ve lived worse places than one where I’m 20 minutes from watching every Josh Hamilton at-bat my eyes can handle. But we do love Stillwater.

There’s just something so magical about it, as if it continues to progress economically but the spirit of its people is frozen in time. It’s a slow place so not much changes, which is ironic in a town where the populated turnover is at least 50%.

Maybe we’ll retire there someday. I just started my career like 19 months ago and I’m already speaking of retirement, this cannot be good. Or maybe it will just be what it has been to us. Not the place we grew up but, at the same time, the place we grew up.

I could get into a lengthier-than-you-care-to-read post about the ways in which Stillwater and the people I’ve met there have affected me but I’ll spare you. It’s non-working Labor Day, remember? But I will say this, some special moments in my life went down there, things I’ll never forget. It’s one of those places that gets inside you and every time you sit down to really think about the memories you made  something wells up within your being that you can’t explain with words or thoughts. It’s just this overwhelming sense of goodness. Maybe I’m the only one experiences it but I hope not because it makes me feel like I was alive when I was in that place.

What town or city or place or thing makes you feel nostalgic like that?

Photo Attribution

T Free

I love technology. The things you can do with a phone or a computer remain relatively unfathomable to me. I actually probably love technology a little bit too much (when a person can conference call/stare at another person halfway around the world on a device no bigger than a brownie, how can I be blamed?) so Jen has to reel me in sometimes. Of course, she wishes we still lived in the 1920s and churned our own butter…but that’s a different post for a different day.

Anyway, yesterday we went to the lake with a small mixture of old and new friends. We played on the jet skis, went tubing, got sunburned, ate a ton of food, and sat around in hammocks and chatted about our lives. Basically if you could create the ideal day at the lake, this was it. At some point late in the afternoon we headed in from having our bodies flung about the water on a giant raft Chuck Noland would have killed a man for. My friend and I were chatting back and forth and he said “isn’t it like the best thing ever to not have your phone with you and not have anything to do or worry about?” “Yeah,” I exclaimed, “it feels pretty good.” It did too, it was the perfect end to our summer (I know Summer isn’t technically over until the end of September but for me it’s over next Saturday because I measure seasons by sporting events…and college football starts next Saturday…judge me).

I could go on and on about technology and its pitfalls and how it sucks our souls clean of every good thing, but I would just like to encourage you to do this: take a technology-free day, or at least half-day. No phones, no computers, no iPads, Kindles, anything. Just you, some friends, some family, some good food…and just enjoy being alive.

We used to do fast from technology on Sundays (though writing on this blog has temporarily killed that) and we enjoyed it to the point that we looked forward to that day more than any other day of the week. It was refreshing. So stop reading this and go get some sunshine! We encourage you to do something similar. Your iPhone won’t break up with you while you’re gone. Promise.


Photo Attribution

Texas Forever

We walked away from Canton relatively unscathed ($5 for a quilt that may or may not have been made in one of the last two centuries). I have to admit it was a lot of fun and a photo-taking extravaganza. Enjoy.

I’m not going to lie, I was pretty proud of the boots picture…

I wanted every single one of those soda crates. Alas.

Those baseball cleats had my name (and a severely sprained ankle) written all over them…


The Only Time I Love Fleas

I really planned to wait until the end of the week to blog about this, but I can’t stop thinking about it. So here’s what you get: First Mondays Canton, Texas. A once-a-month giant flea market that we’ll be visiting this Saturday. I’d tell you that I’m dragging Kyle along for the sake of his pride, but it honestly didn’t take much coercing.

About 40 miles east of where we now live, there’s a quasi-magical land of old things. 28 miles of walkways wind through buildings and tents filled with possibility. There are new things of course, but I pass them by and brush the dirt off the old things, dreaming of ways to give them a new identity. And my apartment, one piece at a time, will become a home. I took a girls trip to Canton right before we got married, and my gorgeous friend Shari (also our wedding photographer) captured these great shots. As they say, one man’s trash is something Jen will take home with her. Something like that.

Maps > Apps

A 3-part question: Where would you go? How would you get there? What would you do when you got there?

Our answer: Brazil. Fly to cape horn and sail up the South American Coast to Rio de Janeiro (no clue if this is even possible). Eat lots of Brazilian food, visit this, and get on a boat down the Amazon. Terrifying, exhilarating, and exhausting. What a great thing to save our money for! We really do love to travel despite what you might have read. There’s something freeing about intentionally stepping away from your computer or phone, going outside, being somewhere you’ve never been, seeing the world. Maps over apps baby. Maps over apps.

What’s your answer?

Photo Attribution

A Wing and a Prayer

We have these friends (Bryan and Morgan) and they have this trip and they need your support. They don’t need money, well they did, but some of you already supported them in that way.

They’re leaving for Ethiopia tomorrow and they’ll be gone for 10 days. They’ll only have running water and electricity every other day. The problem is they get to come back. The people they’re going to be speaking with and ministering to…well, they have to stay (unless our friends bring one back…and at this point it’s probably 50/50, maybe 60/40). And they (both the Ethiopians & Bryan and Morgan) need your prayers.

I heard this saying once, that you should never tell people you’re going to pray for them because you’ll never remember. You should always pray for them first and then tell them what you prayed for.

So here’s what I want to do…if you guys are willing: pray for one of the following things and then go here and leave a comment telling them what you prayed for. Seriously, take 10 seconds, say a quick prayer, and let them know. I literally did it as I was writing this…

NOTE: I would also link to a blog of the Ethiopians they’re going to visit but they probably have entire villages that don’t have enough disposable income to buy a computer…that’s not really meant to be a joke either.

Anyway, here are the prayer requests:

  1. Safety in their travels – All I know about Ethiopia is that they grow fast marathoners and have wild animals, pray they run into the former and not the latter (you thought I wasn’t going to make an Ethiopia/runners joke?).
  2. Wisdom in their words – Matthew 10:20 – For it is not you who speak, but the spirit of the Father speaking through you.
  3. Understanding in the hearts of the Ethiopians they minister to.

Thank you to everyone who prayed and sent them a message.

Have a blast Bryan & Morgan!

Photo Attribution

Southbound 35

Dallas and I are trying to become friends. One day at a time we’re getting to know each other a little better, but I’m leary of new friends and really attached to old ones. I love almost everything about the south, but here there seems to be a lack of open range and way too many shopping malls.  We forget there are stars for lack of seeing them, and the only dirt roads are the ones being dug up for construction. There are few things that can replace the feeling of being at home, but my old soul finds solace in some very interesting places. Ice cream, the Bible, and hippie little towns. Obviously not in that order.

Intro: Austin.

There’s something very spiritual about living a simple life, about listening to southern rock while wearing vintage clothing and laying barefoot in the grass. That’s what I picture Austin to be: miles apart from Dallas, a sort of Chris Robinson to an Emily Gilmore. And so this weekend, as we travel to this great city, I pay tribute to my new state capital. Some fun things I only wish were happening this weekend in Austin:

Renegade Craft


South by Southwest

Do something hippie this weekend. It’s very patriotic.

Photo Attribution

Will You Maui Me? (Part 2)

These are actually our pictures from Kauai but I couldn’t come up with a witty pun involving “Kauai” so you just get “Will You Maui Me?” Part 2…enjoy!

Full gallery of pictures on Facebook here

Ziplining in the hills of Kauai
Off the coast of Napali
Coco juice
Hawaii fruit tastes better
Dinner at Kauai Pasta

Photo Attribution