Underrated 9.11 Moment

No matter what your feelings are about our former President (or our current one for that matter) I encourage you to take a few minutes to watch this video. I think it correctly and appropriately sums up all the feelings and emotions splattered all over the canvas of our nation in the days following the 9/11 tragedy. I’ve watched it through a few times and if you can take everything in and not tear up even a little then, well, you’re a bigger man/woman than I am …or you might want to get your lacrimal glands checked. Oh, and how about Jeets busting the President’s chops a little bit during one of the most relevant moments of either of their lives? Gotta love Jeets.

If you have served or are currently serving in our country’s military in any capacity we would like to take today to say thank you for everything you do.

Go do something American today…like watch a bunch of foreign tennis players play in the United States Open…thanks Andy.

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…


Dream Small

We were sitting on a plane flying on our honeymoon to Hawaii. I was a century of pages deep in a Malcolm Gladwell book when Jen nudged me on the shoulder. I thought she might be changing her guarantee of a Nigeria vs. Chile World Cup final when she pointed to a section of an article she was reading about this group of guys in Maui who grow, raise, and sell taro chips. The quote she was was pointing at went something like this: “We have been very successful with our business and have grown enough to expand our market. However, we are dreaming small, we are keeping our business under control, and providing very quality products to our customers.” Note: I think I wrote that “paraphrase” as if the guy was Asian, not Hawaiian. Go back and read it with an Asian accent in your head and try to not laugh.

Anyway, we aren’t here to dissect native dialects. The point is this: this guy passed up more money and greater glory because he’s always dreamed small. I could barely believe I was reading the words he was saying. It was borderline heretical to everything I’d ever been taught, everything I’d ever believed. Here was this Hawaiian farmer raising cane and spitting a blasphemous theory that flies in the face of the teachings of all the great leaders and wondrous inspirational figures we’ve ever known. The craziest part was that it kind of started making sense to me.

We have these friends who live in Perry, OK, population 5,230 (not including cows). They own and manage a cleverly named coffee shop and just started a church there. I haven’t discussed it with them in-depth but I don’t think they have any aspirations of taking down Starbucks VIA an Oklahoma-based-breakfast-serving-church-gathering coffee shop. And I think if you were to ask them that’s probably not what they want either.

I enjoy pretty simple things. I love to write. I like to throw the baseball. I enjoy books. I’m fascinated by small businesses. I’ve fallen for the state of Georgia. My life is not some grand melodrama played out on a bright stage in front of the whole world. I love my wife. I like to take trips. I want a dog. And I’ve started dreaming small. I’m beginning to understand that life is not meant to be lived boisterously. It’s meant to be lived by doing that one thing you were put on Earth to do, and to do it well.

I want to encourage those of you who have been so faithful in reading this blog. Stop dreaming dreams that would make Rupert Murdoch blush. Dream small and carry those dreams out. Dream well and perform masterfully. Be faithful with the one or two things God has imparted upon you that you do better than anyone else.

At my wedding I had a short conversation with my high school baseball coach about what he was up to, where he was working, how he was doing. Last I had heard he was employed at a corporate tree-trimming company. He stared at me after I asked him what he was doing as if I should already know: “I just took another head coaching job in Houston, Kyle. I was put on Earth to coach baseball so I guess that’s what I have to do.” There was a shade of sarcasm in his voice as if he was laughing on the inside at the very notion that he had even tried to have a different job. He could coach anywhere in the country, at any level. But he chooses high school because he dreams small, lest anyone scoff at the notion that his dreams not be adequate with the cultural norm. Never have I had so great a non-related influence on my life. He taught me the great devotions and the great enthusiasms. Because he dreamed small I learned to know both victory and defeat.

Dream on.

Photo Attribution

Welcome to our Project

NOTE: I promise we’ll get to the engagement story tomorrow, a little housekeeping first though…how this all got started…

We were watching the movie Julie & Julia the other day via Netflix On Demand. We liked it, it was a fun flick, and, more importantly, it sparked something within us.

So we started thinking (well, Kyle did while Jen played with wrapping paper) and we said “what if we did the Julie & Julia thing with our first year of marriage?” We hear the first year is one of the most exciting, frustrating, emotional, trying times of your relationship.  So what better way to exacerbate all the problems we have than by flinging our crap in the public domain document such a thing than publicly, on our very own blog?

Our thinking was this: best-case scenario – people read it and we continue doing it for X number of years and worst-case scenario: we have a not-so-serious, enlightening, transparent, consistent look at the first 365 days of our marriage.

I (Kyle) am all about value (it’s why I love reading about personal finance and playing fantasy games) and this seems like Adrian Peterson in the 3rd round if you know what I’m saying.

Of course all of this could backfire on us the first time we try to translate a real-life scuffle into a digital fight and it turns into a relational brouhaha that ends in Kyle sleeping on the couch or Jen getting her Hobby Lobby frequent buyers card taken away.

That’s a risk we’re willing to take though. As the old saying goes – those who refuse to express themselves over the internet never fully realize their literary dreams. Actually, uh, I don’t know if that’s an “old saying” or just something I made up 17 seconds ago…but let’s go with it.

So here it is.

52 weeks of blog posts.

7 times a week.

1 post a day.

See what happens.

Let the blogging commence.