Jen Interviewing Kyle

10 for Kyle

1. If you could choose to either stay indoors or outdoors for the rest of your life, which would you choose? Oklahoma climate. And wind. I choose outdoors, mostly because I’m scared my father-in-law might read this and I like my dignity.

2. When is the last time you cried? When OSU lost to Te….just kidding. Those “My Wish” segments on SportsCenter (not to be confused with SportsMentor) always get me. The problem is I’m usually on the treadmill when I see one so it all ends in a messy, slobbery conveyer belt-related accident.

3. We all know you want to be a writer. If you only had one book to write and publish, what would it be about? Wooow. I struggled with this. One book, for the rest of time. I’d have to say I’d go back in time to the 1992 Olympics and cover the Dream Team behind the scenes. That’s the one book I’ve been wishing had been written so why not write it myself?

4. What’s your favorite website or blog right now? Tie. Today’s Letters and Art of Non-Conformity. What can I say? I’m a sucker for nostalgia and world domination.

5. If you could choose to have a second home anywhere in the world, where would it be? You live there 3-4 months out of the year. With me. If I like it. Georgia, it’s not even close. Me and Georgia are besties.

6. If you could start and run a non-profit, what would it be? I’ve told you and you just laughed at me. So I’ll tell you again. I’d start a TOMS-model baseball glove company for poor kids in the Caribbean and Latin America. I can’t wait until 2025 when we make our inaugural baseball glove drop in the Dominican Republic and you’re sobbing your eyes out because of how cute all the little kids are running around with their new gloves. I’ll start running around the country like a maniac, screaming, “WHO’S LAUGHING NOW?!?!”

7. What are you most looking forward to in the next 45 years of marriage? Kids. Duh. As long as the first one is a boy. No pressure. Seriously though, to be refined and made more like the Lord because of you and your character. And kids. Oh, and I thought I told you I’d give you 60, what happened to the other 15?

8. On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad do you want to own a dog this week? 5, but only because 600 sq. ft. does not = good times with a dog. I’ve already got him named though.

9. If you could be invisible for a week, how would you use your superpower? I just sang “If I Were Invisible” in my head…somewhere my mother and Chelsea O’Teter are rocking out to Clay Aiken’s latest. Thankfully I am not at either of those somewheres. I’d roam the White House for a few days, maybe jump on AF1, see what goes down there, then I’d swing by NYC to watch Seth Godin work for 24 hours, and finally I’d end up in Dallas and romantically watch you exist for two full days. Is that a good answer?

10. What’s your favorite meal that I cook? Pappasi….uh….homemade pizza?

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AONC

Jen used to have a blog called “Unconventional Everything.” It was a quaint little blog, it was fun, a few people read it (I suppose it’s still out there in the blogging stratosphere somewhere), but she abandoned it to write over here at Marriage Project. Not only have I turned her physical world upside down, but also uprooted her digital existence! #FAIL by me.

Her blog though really was great. It was all about the space outside that box we always hear about. Though I must say, to her, things are rarely thought of as “outside the box” because “the box” doesn’t exist in her world.

Which leads us to Chris Guillebeau.

He of the world-famous (literally) blog (that I just discovered) called “The Art of Non-Conformity.”

Seth Godin (who else?) led me to him with a post of his own and I dove in head-first, like a fourth-grader diving for candy at the deep end of the community pool. What? Public schoolers didn’t do that?

So I bought his book.

You need to buy it too. I’m pleading with you. If you buy one business/entrepreneurship/change the world book in 2010, make it this one.

The concepts he writes about are not far-fetched nor are they complex. Rather his writings organize and tie together a lot of the thoughts, ideas, and dreams I would suppose most of us have had at one time or another. And they apply to every facet of business, art, and relationship you can imagine.

I love books and I usually find that I can at least glean a few things from each one I read. There are very few books, though, that resonate with the kind of permeable optimism and passionate proficiency this travel hack turned writer portrays.

The majority of people you know (probably 99%) will never read this book. Don’t be one of them. The life you want to live, one of serving others and supporting your family while participating in an activity you love every single day might not be as far off as you think….

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Leadership and Lists

Found this awesome list in a new magazine we started getting yesterday called Whole Living. Highly recommended so far. Of course we’re only 24 hours in and our emotions are about as stable as the fault lines in San Francisco so that could change. But for now, we’re good.

Anyway, we can’t let a great list like this pass without a little commentary (our numbers match up with theirs):

1. Very true, if you’ve ever fasted for longer than a day you can actually feel this happening.

3. Does anybody actually have good posture? I can feel the scoliosis ravaging my body with each passing day in the office…

5. Probably the hardest one on here for us to abide by. Either that or we just keep too much stuff. Also, I promise we’re not sitting here and talking about how Kyle’s going to do the odds and Jen’s going to do the evens and it’s going to be soo cute. Promise.

6. I’ve found there to be far more to learn out of school than in. Some of Seth Godin’s followers agree.

7. Profound (and Biblical) but easily the most difficult.

10. This sounds fairly intuitive and yet so many people (myself included) rely on their knowledge and experience. And why shouldn’t they? Those are the weapons of leadership that got them to where they are. It’s funny though, how easily personal proficiency in a specific art can lead to hubris faster than you can Google “hubris” to make sure I spelled it correctly (I did). Instead, let the Lord reign in your heart and be led by that. Nothing else.

Saturday Roundup

We got a few requests this week: a good list of blogs we read (started that on the right) and more pictures on the Saturday roundup, check that one off too. Anything else you guys want to see on here, @ us on Twitter or send ¬†an email. We need the accountability, trust me ūüôā

Enjoy your weekend.

Groveling I tell you.....

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

Seth Godin had a great and seemingly insightful post yesterday on being inspired.

A story we heard on NPR. Take 5 minutes and listen to the audio part, it’s so much more powerful than the text.

If you haven’t read this book yet, please do, I’m begging you, I’m groveling. Really I am, Jen’s staring at me, I’m on the floor on my knees typing this out.

Photo Attribution: Glasses | Umbrellas | Book

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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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Artistry

Seth Godin defined art in the 21st century in this interview:

Artist and painter are two different things. You can be a poet, screenwriter, account executive, receptionist, or a school teacher and still be an artist. Art is connecting with people and giving them a gift that causes them to change in a good way.

I would add – you can be an artist as a mother or a grandfather or an uncle or a husband. You can give those around you the gifts you have been laden with. You can help other people change. In a good way.

For me, as a husband, this might mean I forgo getting on Twitter for the 293rd time in a given day to do the dishes for my wife. Or it might mean making her breakfast before I leave in the morning. Or it might mean driving her car for a few weeks so she can drive mine because it’s nicer. Or maybe it means saving up my “blow money” (this is not a cocaine reference) for a few months and buying her something she’s been wanting (like Conde Nast stock so I can resurrect Domino Magazine…she would like that a lot).

I haven’t given this a heap of creative thought so I apologize that most of these are fairly cliche forms of husband artistry…well, except the¬†Lazarus-like comeback of Domino. I’d be a demigod in our household if I ever pulled that off.

You get the point though. I’m learning that being a leader of the home is about more than hooking up direct deposit to my bi-weekly paycheck and getting the oil changed in both cars every 3 months. It’s about weaving a tapestry of creative wonder worthy of my wife’s longing gaze. I didn’t say I was good at it or that I even do it every day. But I’m learning. One day at a time. Thread by thread on my metaphysical loom.

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