Kyle Interviewing Jen

10 for Jen

1. Who’s your favorite person in the world right now? Hi. You know it’s you. I’m not asking you this question because I know it will be some famous athlete and my feelings will be hurt.

2. What was the last crafting project you worked on? I tried to make a stuffed animal. It was supposed to be a giraffe, but his legs ended up on his sides instead of under him. Like he was a baby giraffe just learning to walk. I think I’ll make him into a pin cushion.

3. What has been the most rewarding part of writing on Marriage Project every day? I know we say this all the time, but it really does force you to be creative. It stretches me to think and create and write. And it’s a lot less scary to be vulnerable and share my heart when I’m doing it with someone else.

4. What one thing do I do that you didn’t expect? We had a friend recently ask what we were most surprised by since we’ve been married. Everyone always made jokes about how different it is to live with a boy… hardy har, tee hee, etc. At least I thought they were jokes. The thing is, Kyle was so clean and organized before we got married. It only makes sense that it would carry over, right? Hi- he has a wife to clean up after him all day, what’s the point of being clean? We have discussions quite often that start like this: “Cakes are these your shoes in the middle of the floor? They’re going to cause a fight…”

5. Who is your fictional character hero of 2010? I wish it was someone from a book since that would make me sound more intelligent, but it’s probably Tami Taylor

6. If you could play any sport professionally what would it be? Tennis. Minus the tennis elbow.

7. If you could have one tool to make this blog better, what is it? A graphic designer.

8. You can be transported to one country NOW, where are you? Possibly Israel. New obsession.

9. What is your lasting memory from our wedding? This is a hard question because I feel like I mostly remember all the little things that went wrong, even though nobody noticed. I know I’m not supposed to focus on those things, but it’s hard not to when you put so much time and effort into it. But my favorite memory is probably seeing all our friends and family after the video. That, or driving to Oklahoma City with you after the wedding.

10. What book are you dying to read? They’re not really reading books, but I have three on my Amazon wish list right now; all sewing books. Handmade Beginnings, The Bag-Making Bible, and Twinkle Sews. Gah, I’m an eighty year old woman.

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Long Lost Linkage

[Starting clockwise from the top…you can click on the pictures OR the links below]

Malcolm Gladwell’s newest article about the historical impact of social media. Stick with it, the end is phenomenal. If Gladwell’s writing it, there’s a good chance we’re reading it.

Interesting Washington Post article about our future. We don’t necessarily subscribe to all of the conclusions, the premise, though, is intriguing.

A guy we’ve been following for quite a while just started a new blog about how to build your own blog. It’s worth your time.

Photo Attribution: Riots | Future

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Pitching Wedges and Straw Grasping

A moment of full disclosure: I’ve been staring at my computer for a good 30 minutes. A few minutes ago I got up, walked in the kitchen, ate a brownie, furrowed my brow, and came back. I stared some more. Then I got up, grabbed my pitching wedge, and walked around the block. I like to think when I walk or run and usually at least relatively decent ideas come to me. Nothing. Just blank. Then I started thinking bigger.

I have no idea what this blog will look like a year from now, five years from now. Heck, half the time I don’t know what this blog is going to look like tomorrow. I do know this though: moments of exasperation make you start asking questions. Instead of grasping for random post ideas like a child grasps at a bucket of straws, I started a conversation in my head, “why do we even write this blog?” “does it even matter?” “should we go in a different direction?” and on and on.

It’s funny to me that some of our most elegant ideas and liberating redefinition are born out of exasperation. We have nothing, thus we must change everything to make something better.

The same is true of marriage.

My dad used to tell me “Kyle, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” He was either talking about my dating life or my baseball career, I don’t remember which, but that quote stuck with me.

When Jen and I fight about the same things over and over again, out of sheer desperation we must change the way we interact, the way we treat each other. When we’re “going good” nothing shifts. If it ain’t broke…

Therefore those moments of tension are not ones we necessarily look forward to, but they are catalysts for change, predecessors of a better future together, and for that I am thankful. So even as we despise it, we must lean into our arguments and rather than letting them define us, we must use them to become more like Christ.

Now if only I could figure out this blogging thing…..

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Link Love

[Starting clockwise from the top…you can click on the pictures OR the links below]

A great new e-book from somebody creating art. Who doesn’t love a blog called ‘messy canvas’? Isn’t that kind of the point of this whole thing? Have at it…

Some of our best friends have a blog (yes, they’re awesome, thanks for asking). If you haven’t checked it out, this was one of my favorite posts of September.

A pretty intense story about an entrepreneur who thinks he’s a cross between Zuckerburg and Jobs. He’s trying to take over the world (maybe literally) and he’s really bizarre.

We’re headed to see Big Tex today. Major fist pumpage going on in the Porter household. Fried margaritas for everyone! You guys have a good weekend.

Photo Attribution: Canvas | NYT

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Pride & Blogging & Humility

Blogging is a funny thing. It seems innocent enough: gather some thoughts, sort them out, post to the web, a few people comment, go to sleep, repeat. I suppose that’s how it should be.

When we started on this journey a mere 74-ish days ago we promised 365 days of writing our thoughts, ideas, hopes, fears, and dreams. So far a lot of that writing has been our fears and thoughts…maybe we’ll get to the ideas and dreams later on? We promised we would faithfully write no matter how many people read or what they said about what we wrote. And it seemed simple enough at the time, I mean, it’s just a silly little blog, who cares?! Surely we won’t get caught up in trivial blogging matters like readership, subscriptions, and pageviews, not us, we’re so wise.

Hah. Then people started reading and we started becoming far more worried about which posts brought the most visitors and where the most pageviews were generated. Honestly, it’s like crack (or what I imagine crack to be like)….watching the pageviews climb (see below), thinking “I am such a good writer, the internets love me! I have Jon Acuff and Carlos Whittaker in my sights, we will soon have the coolest Christian blog in the world!!”

Then I see the other side of that mountain and start thinking “I can’t believe the keys on the keyboard still move when I punch them, I am that atrocious. This blog will never be worthwhile, I’ve seen better writing on AOL instant message chats between middle school girls. Girls who have the same knowledge of apostrophe usage as I have of nuclear fission.”

So needless to say, I need to get my emotions under control. It’s good though, because this blog is teaching me that consistency is key. The mountains and valleys, they will come and they will pass but to remain even-keeled and level-headed, those are lessons that I can use, in real life, in being a husband.

CS Lewis once said: “It is through pride that the devil became the devil, pride leads to every other vice…”

I’d like to see what ‘ol Clive would have done with a blog. Probably never looked at his pageviews…

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Running Away

There’s an apparently famous woman named Twyla Tharp (I think she looks like what would happen if Abraham Piper and David Duchovny had a kid)  who once said “art is the only way to run away without leaving home.”

We’ve talked a little bit on here about the reasons we don’t have TV. Honestly, most of those reasons can be consolidated to these two:

  1. We want to be dually countercultural and anti-TV (which inevitably leads to a pride/repentance/pride/repentance cycle the likes of which would make Samson blush…we’ll address this later)
  2. We fully believe that famous woman’s quote

Our home is great. It’s small, but we love it. Sometimes though it’s nice to leave, if only in our minds. The easiest way to do that (since we don’t have a “Cessna learjet” fund in our Dave Ramsey plan) is to create an adventure…to become an artist.

Art can come in any form. This blog is art. At times it could be misconstrued for a 3-year old’s finger painting, but it’s still art. Jen’s craftiness? Art. My sports blog? Art. We tell stories and make things and write words…and we do it because it feels blissfully satisfying to make something, step back, refine it, look at it, tweak it, send it off, and say “I did that.” Then we get emails that read: “you misspelled 7 words and I think your underlying theme is about as interesting as PBS at 3 AM” and we say “I did that, but I wish I hadn’t.”

We haven’t really gotten emails like that. Yet.

I write and Jen crafts because we each enjoy our respective work to the point that we get lost for hours on end in our own strokes and white-outs and strokes to cover up the white-outs. And even if nobody ever said, “hey, this isn’t boring, I actually like this” we would still come back and create some more. Or go away and create some more…whichever you prefer.

What is your favorite form of art?

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Blogging

We’ve been talking about this blog a lot lately. That sounds a lot more arrogant when I lead with it than it did when I was writing this post in my head. I should clarify, we’ve been experiencing some emotional breakdowns weight on account of our 365 day promise. Blogging is difficult. I think it’s a lot harder than writing. Brevity was never a strong characteristic of mine.

We have, in a strange sense, been challenged by the very existence of our own blog in the last few weeks. When we sit down to read blogs we like to experience something special or something creative or something insightful. In turn we want to provide that on our own blog. We want to live that so we can blog about it. It keeps us on our toes. It forces us to create more and think more and do more in real life because nobody wants to read 25 straight posts about us watching TV shows or sitting on the couch. We don’t want that to be our story either. When you blog about your life every day you start paying closer attention to what you do with your time and the wasteful moments become far more abhorrent.

[uhhh hold on…my wife just brought me one of these guys…I gotta take a quick break]

The hard part has been going out and creating a legitimate story rather than just doing random intriguing stuff because we need something to blog about. This blog has been a catalyst of a lot of the events taking place in our lives over the last few months. Let me explain: we don’t go see cool movies so we can tell you what we saw and we don’t buy new books so we can show you what we read. However, we have been choosing non-traditional methods of living, finding better hobbies, creating more thoughtful ideas, and asking harder questions about why we do what we do. We’ve been asking a lot of questions.

Without the blog, does any of that happen? I don’t know.

There’s a quote above the Oklahoma State training room in Gallagher-Iba Arena that goes like this, “if something isn’t difficult and you don’t have to work hard then you won’t care whether you win or lose.” I don’t really know what our “win” is on this blog but I know that if you’re inspired to become more like the Lord because of any single word we’ve typed on here then all the hours we’ve pumped into it are completely worth it. And if our story becomes better because of it…well, all the better.

Why are we writing this post? Mostly for ourselves. Do we think each of you should start a blog? Maybe. More than that we think you should find something that forces you to live a more thoughtful, creative story.

What is that thing for you? What forces you to live rather than to just exist?

Oh, and my tipping point for writing all this? See below:

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3 Dilemmas and Two Babies

All parts of our weekend. Enjoy.

1. Drive-in movie. Biggest dilemma: to buy food and drink there or to sneak it in. We debated for a long time and decided to purchase on site. Not because the bible says to obey the law, but because we always tout phrases like, “Support your local businesses.” We don’t picket or anything, but we say it. At least to each other. Inception= good. Salt= better. I was cheering for Angelina when I thought she was a Russian spy, which made me feel less than patriotic and made me care a little less about the welfare of our local mom and pop drive-in. We still bought a Sprite.

2. We posted pics of the flea market trip, but what we didn’t share was the delicious glory we encountered on the south end. Fruit. Lots of it, and really cheap. You know those cartons of strawberries you buy from the store that cost about $2.50 right now? Well we found those for $1 each. And blueberries. And blackberries. Except that they weren’t local, and we’re not sure how they got them so cheap, but pretty sure they might have knocked over a fruit truck on their way to set up shop. We didn’t ask many questions, and we probably have blood fruit on our hands. But they’re oh so tasty. Not like blood at all.

3. If you could somehow find a way to scam a game show and take home hundreds of thousands of dollars, would you? Is it cheating? Check out this story about Michael Larson and imagine the debate we had after listening. Click here, stream episode, and start about 38 minutes in.

Also, Molly Piper had her twins yesterday. We don’t know her and never will, but we love her blog and her babies.

Happy Monday.

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