Tuesday, September 28, 2010

30 Rocks

Okay, so I've already referenced turning 30 once this month. 

But I've been known to beat a dead horse.  So I will share with you the best part about my 30th birthday.

We could start with the fact that I had about 80 messages from friends on Facebook.  That made me feel really important and loved.  But what really put it over the top happened at school.

You have to understand a couple of things before I begin this story.  One, I had left the house that morning (Tuesday) knowing I would not be returning until really late Friday night/Saturday morning (thank you George Strait/Reba McEntire/LeeAnn Womack).  This was because I happened to be dog and housesitting for my best friend who was at the beach.

Due to the fact I was out of town, I had officially "postponed" my birthday.  I informed my family I didn't want to do a cake just yet.  The previous weekend had been spent on the lake and the upcoming weekend would be spent preparing for the family reunion in Tennessee on Sunday.  Plus, I was going to be gone four days.  I didn't see a point in having a cake just yet.  I told my family I just wanted two things: a cake from a very specific bakery and "30 Rock" season 4 on dvd.  So my birthday was postponed until September 21.
Plus, I had already celebrated it with my friends.

But that still didn't stop me from wistfully wanting a birthday cake on my actual birthday.  It was petty, and childish, I know.  Especially since I could have had one.  But I've been spending a lot of time on this website and sometimes they show some absolutely incredible cakes.  So I spent a few minutes silently wishing I had a cake, and it was a pretty one.  Because I live in the Bluegrass State, and we put on this little horse race every year known as the Derby, I thought it would be so fun to have a cake that looked like a Derby hat.  And resigned myself to know that wouldn't happen.

I forgot we serve a God who surprises us when we least expect it.

Tuesdays are busy days.  Tuesdays are days full of meetings-we have to plan as a team and we have faculty meetings.  During our team meeting, I saw one of my kindergarten students from last year walk us.  I thought nothing of it.  Then she returned.  With this:
And that's when I started to cry.  It turns out her mother had called the school and talked to my assistant from last year to find out when my birthday was.  This lady (who makes cakes as a hobby) wanted to do something nice for my birthday. 
And it was beautiful, looks like a Derby hat, and delicious-vanilla with raspberry filling. 
I felt so loved by not just that family, but by God himself.  He remembered. 
And that is why 30 rocks.

Because the cake was so pretty, here are some more pics of the other angles:


Sunday, September 26, 2010

New Background

If you've noticed, I have a new background! 

It's a hint about something I'm doing in the next week and a half!

Can't hardly wait!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Where Do I Begin?

It's been so long since I've last posted.  Here's what I need to catch you up on:
  • my family reunion
  • the weekend at the lake
  • turning 30
  • the George Strait/Reba McEntire/LeeAnn Womack concert
  • and there's probably more, but I just can't think of it now
Can't wait to catch up with you.  Hope you're doing well.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

In Remembrance

On this day, nine years ago, the unthinkable happened.

We lost our fellow brothers and sisters to people who didn't agree with us ideologically.

I was in college on that September morning.  It was the most beautiful, perfect morning you could imagine.  And in the weeks that followed, we tried to make sense of it. 

On UK's campus, lots of activites were held.  That Friday, my math teacher let us out early so we could attend a service to honor those who lost their lives.  Lots of prayer vigils were held. 

And lots of spiritual discussions took place. 

The Wesley Foundation was a very important part of my life.  A year later, at our Monday night dinner, pastor Bill Hughes made this comment, the one that has remained with me for the last eight years:
"That was the day evil tried to triumph.  This September 11th, let good triumph instead." 

And we discussed ways to make sure evil didn't get the upper hand.  On the first anniversary, some people baked cookies and took them to the local fire house.  Others went to the VA to thank them for their service.  We brainstormed small ways that we could ensure that September 11th would be a day of service, not one where evil would have the upper hand.

And in this way we can live out the Scriptures:
"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It's My Birthday!

There will only be one day when this song will be as meaningful as it could possibly be.  (Except for the line about drinking less beers, because I don't drink.  And hanging out with my wife, because I don't ever aspire to have a wife.   A husband, yes, so maybe we'll just substitute that instead.  Tangent #1 of this post.)  Anyway...

I spent part of this past holiday weekend (I'd seriously like to thank whoever decided to come up with Labor Day, but I understand even the origins of that are disputed.  Tangent #2.)  with my extended family.  We went to Norris Lake in Tennessee and had the best time riding boats and tubing (although in all fairness, when you get dumped-twice-in choppy water doing 40 mph, it does hurt.  And I am feeling it today.  Ouch.  Tangent #3.)

For most of my family (who are awesome, and we are just alike, loud and fun-Tangent #4) it was the first time they'd seen my father since his stroke.  And since it was a family gathering, we told lots of stories. 
I have alluded to the fact that my father likes to tell tales.  And I've been privy to a many of them.  However, I'll share one that I could not remember.  For reasons that will become obvious in moments.

It's no secret I was born with a lot of hair.
Myself as a newborn.  And my father.
Still not convinced? Okay, you asked for it:

Three months old. 
And this is where our post gets funny.  Because my dad loves to see just how much he can get away with, he told my mother, her mother and sister (because they across the road when I was this age) that he had an aunt whose hair was just like mine.  It always stuck up and it would never lay down.  And for a long time he had them going:

Since these last two pics are from May 1981, Dad had three women living in mortal fear for 8 months.  And if that weren't bad enough...

My other grandmother and I at Myrtle Beach in 1981.  10 months later, and still spiky.  30 years later, everyone still recalls I looked like a porcupine.

If I hadn't gone to the lake this weekend, I would have never known about Daddy telling everyone this.  I think it's hysterical.  On a completely different note, to show you how much hospitals have changed:

Yep, that's my dad smoking a cigarette in hospital room after my mother had delivered me.  It's nice to know hospitals have made progress.

Monday, September 6, 2010

1000 Gifts #114-154

  • #114 Hearing a kid come to school and talk about being baptized the previous day
  • #115 Hearing the kid who sits across from that kid asking about being baptized
  • #116 Seeing the name Emily "hidden" in a camo painted truck
  • #117 Not working 15 hours a day
  • #118 Unexpected card from a friend 
  • #119 Cool mornings
  • #120 Good music on the drive home
  • #121 Completing an assignment
  • #122 Watching kids be kind to one another
  • #123 Sitting in the car to hear the end of a great song
  • #124 Hauling a rocker from my classroom to the truck by myself
  • #125 Hooking up my dvd player
  • #126 Unexpected emails
  • #127 Not setting an alarm clock
  • #128 Feeling appreciated
  • #129 Having plans
  • #130 Law enforcement officers showing you their raccoon eyes (long story)
  • #131 Having a game plan
  • #132 Nutella and pretzels
  • #133 Kind text messages
  • #134 Nice notes left in your mailbox
  • #135 Silver plated serving ware with a snowman
  • #136 Phones ringing
  • #137 Dusk
  • #138 Photos taken
  • #139 Dogs hanging their heads outside of cars
  • #140 Labor day trips
  • #141 Cousin get togethers
  • #142 Pontoon boats
  • #143 Speed boats
  • #144 Tubing
  • #145 Barbecues with 30 people and they're all your family
  • #146 Boats suspended 100 feet in the air by a crane
  • #147 Dogs jumping off houseboats and swimming to your boat
  • #148 Sore backs
  • #149 Squeals of delight
  • #150 Trail mix
  • #151 Friendly employees
  • #152 Safe travels
  • #153 Tylenol
  • #154 Knowing a friend is praying for you

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dear Friday

Dear Friday (And I Ain't Talkin' About Joe),
You sure took your sweet time, didn't you?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dear World Equestrian Games

Dear World Equestrian Games,

I would like to take this brief moment to thank you.  Because the Games will begin very shortly, and if I don't do it now, I'm afraid it just won't happen. 

First of all, thanks to you, we're getting a couple of extra days off from work.  I know that you would like for me to come and see the horses compete (and let me tell you, dressage is the most astounding thing I've seen for quite some time).  However, this has been quite a last three months for me.  I'm thinking it's probably best for the Bluegrass (and my nerves) if I keep a low profile and keep away from the massive crowds the Games will draw.  But you do have my most utter and sincere thanks. 

Second, in order to really convey the element of festivity that accompanies these Games, there is a plethora of free entertainment that will be commencing this month.  Some are better than others (because my mother tried to instill in me some values, I will refrain from saying who I think should not be on the bill).  Can I just say how psyched I am that he is playing a FREE concert in Lexington?  Were y'all aware that I WORK in Lexington?  And that I have traveled cumbersome distances (okay, so it was 70 miles one way, but still) to see this man because he's that funny?  Someone seriously needs a pat on the back. 

I guess because I'm a good Kentuckian I should say something about this helping the economy, but I'm staying out of serious topics like that.  Among other reasons.

I know you're incredibly busy.  I seriously appreciate the time and attention you have given my letter.  I am truly honored that the first time these games were held in the United States, Kentucky was chosen.  You couldn't have selected a better location.  Our people will make you proud.  So, in short, thanks again!