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.

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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

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

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Cuppies and Whoa!

Yes, the title is an ode to our favorite cupcake/coffee shop in all of greater Oklahoma City.

The last two weeks have been surreal in an “I can’t believe this is my life and I’m not watching a movie” kind of way. I was driving to my wedding 14 days ago with my brother and I think my exact words were, “I feel like I stepped outside my body and I’m watching somebody else do this right now.” After a few incidents on our honeymoon Jen might be wishing it was somebody else.

In my mind moons made of honey are meant to be enjoyed as vacations both as a couple and as individuals. To me this means doing the usual couple-y things like going out to dinner, holding hands on the beach, and drinking coconut juice out of hand-picked Hawaiian coconuts with two straws and a heart full of love (check). It also means getting to spend some alone time reading, thinking, and…ahem…watching the most important sporting event in the world which, might I add, only takes place once every four years.

Much to my chagrin (and surprise) this is not in the honeymoon by-laws of what a husband is allowed to do. The “conversation” we had about The Cuppies (as Jen eloquently calls the World Cup) went something like this:

Kyle: [quietly turning TV on at 4:00 AM Hawaii time for Argentina v. Nigeria]

Jen: “OH MY GOSH IS THE SUN IN OUR ROOM?! GET ME MY MASK! (her mask is this weird pink piece of fabric she puts over her eyes to block out light, it reminds me a lot of Cruella de Ville)”

Kyle: [Usain Bolt-ish dash and dive into Jen’s suitcase for said mask which I quickly and accurately placed in her hands]

Later that day…

Jen: “[sing-song voice] Is the Cuppies more important to you than our love Kyle?”

Kyle: “No?”

Jen: “That’s not the answer I was looking for.”

Kyle: “Oh, well it’s over for today.”

Jen: “Heretofore our love ought return for the entirety of this day…”

Kyle: [rolls eyes]

~ End Scene ~

So I learned a very important lesson on our honeymoon: always turn the TV away from where my wife is sleeping when trying to watch a sporting event in the middle of the night.

I also learned and have been learning (and I mean this in all seriousness) that the things I once put on a pedestal in my mind (like World Cup games) are but a shadow in the fullness of our silhouette as a married couple. I don’t know if that’s a function of my own maturity (doubt it) or a sanctification of our relationship (leaning towards this) but to be learning that perspective is good and right.

Even if my wife’s attitude towards the Cup is wrong 🙂

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The Dirty Laundry Episode

Confession: my life isn’t quite as romantic as it seems.

It’s been so fun to get emails and messages from people saying, “I can’t believe this is your life!” Or, “I’ve watched your engagement video 5 times and I’m still crying…” It’s really fun. And yet, as I sit on a half broken chair in our tiny little apartment surrounded by piles of laundry and mail and half emptied boxes, I think somehow the romance has waned. Unless you count my love affair with my new dishes.

And so, as they say, the honeymoon is over. It was an incredible eight days in tropical paradise with nothing to do but enjoy ourselves. We loved it so much that it started to feel like home, but we couldn’t afford the cocktails any longer so we were forced back to the mainland. We went snorkeling, ziplining, hiking, we read books, we ate amazing food and all the shaved ice we could handle. And yet our moon made of honey was not without its less than sweet moments. Kyle was ready to come home after day 2 after what we affectionately call the dirty laundry incident. I opened my suitcase to find my body lotion had spilled on and ruined my 3 favorite dresses. It was a debacle that ended, and I do not say this proudly, with Kyle voicing some long-harbored frustration at how I don’t take care of my things, me sobbing on the bathroom floor (muttering things about how I will someday drop our children), and Kyle wondering why on earth he asked me to be his bride. Alo…HA.

There’s something strange & exciting about being on vacation with a boy, about pretending to know what we’re doing, about pretending to be old enough to be vacationing together in a land to which neither of us has ever been. It’s a fun transition to what is about to ensue: a life that’s just life. It’s going to be full of surprises- ones less planned than our wedding, though hopefully none that require 2am feedings and diapers. There will be disagreements and dinner parties and just plain days. But in each day we’re striving to find a little adventure, to learn something new, and to love one another more deeply.

Here’s to life. Or something that resembles it.

Marriage Statement

We got married last night.

Nobody knew about it. They thought they were coming to an engagement party and a full-blown wedding broke out.

I lied, a few people knew about it, but most didn’t.

That’s how we wanted it.

It’s been our experience that it’s very easy for us (because we’re human) to get caught up in things. Things like showers and gifts and fine china. Things that aren’t 2 people standing before the Lord looking to be sanctified. We were scared of that so we did it different than anyone else we know has done it.

Of course, most people also don’t make a marriage statement like a company would make a mission statement. We’re different though. Or we try to be. Or we just think we try to be. Or maybe we’re just weird. I don’t know

I do know we  hate convoluted and complex. Our marriage statement is only 10 words. You can see it in the header. We handed out cards with that statement on them at our wedding. It entails everything we’re striving to be.

We hope people loved them as much as we loved making them.

Speaking of love, we’re honeymooning in Hawaii right now, and will be for the next 10 days. By the end I’m sure we’ll be ready to get back and post pictures and stories and videos from our wedding. Until then, though, we’ll be talking about what this blog will entail over the next year and spouting stories from our engagement week (which, yes, happened 6 months ago).

See y’all soon,
Kyle + Jen