Archive for the ‘life’ Category

September 11, 2001

Posted: September 11, 2013 in life
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NYFD Hero

I didn’t think I’d spend the morning in tears, but watching families relive the loss of a loved one made me an emotional mess. I saw a grown man sobbing. I saw kids reading their dad’s name, boasting about his heroism. I saw women who were pregnant when their heroic husband perished.

12 years ago today, America changed.

I remember the details of this day more than most normal 17 year old kids should. Freakishly, I’m a details person.

When I woke up that Tuesday, I remember watching the morning show and thinking it was really cool – it was National 911 day, which was honoring local firefighters, first responders and EMTs. Oddly enough, this would become the day when hundreds of people in this field would make the ultimate sacrifice.

Off to school I went, my mind mostly consumed with the upcoming football game with one of my school’s rivals, Kickapoo.

Nearing the end of my first class (Ms. Hanlen’s Stagecraft class but she was out that morning for some reason – I told you I was a details person!), an announcement was made for all teachers to turn on their classroom’s tv.

What we saw next, none of us will ever forget.

All we could see was smoke coming from the first tower. So, as we were all trying to figure out why a burning building 1200 miles away was supposed to be national news, the second plane flew into the second building. By the start of the next class, one of the towers had fallen.

Even for a details guy, the rest of the day was a blur.

September 11, 2001 was the day before my 18th birthday. The news was on TVs the entire day in school and I had this really weird feeling that this is the way our country reacted after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Lines at the gas station, longer lines at the local grocery and an eerie feeling that I’d be drafted by the Army by the end of the week.

I was going to be 18 after all.

As strange as my feelings were, I cannot fathom the thoughts or emotions of the families who lost loved ones.

Nearly 3000 people died that day.

To those who ran into the buildings to save people, to the people who fought back on Flight 93, to those who enlisted in the military to protect our country, to the NYPD, to those who were forced into becoming single parents that day – you are heroes.

All of you.

May God bless all of those effected and may we never forget what happened that day.

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August 13, 2005

Posted: August 13, 2012 in life
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Ozark to Nashville

Seven years ago today, Tara and I moved to Nashville.

437 miles away from everything and everyone we’d ever known. To a city we barely knew. Chasing a dream we didn’t know would ever work out.

And now we’ve lived here a quarter of our lives.

Seriously. Stop it.

Posted: August 3, 2012 in life
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This is a really cool tribute to the one and only Mr. Rogers.

Try not to relive your entire childhood when you see King Friday XIII.

Instant Information

Posted: April 22, 2012 in life
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This is one of those transparent blogs. One that hit me like a ton of bricks.

Nobody likes putting personal obstacles online for everyone to see – it makes you look weak, right? Nobody wants to read a Facebook status that’s just complaining or talking about how bad life sucks. You want to look perfect because you can control what information people get about you. You want to look like you have it all together.

This is the antithesis of that. This me being honest.

I spend more time than you know thinking of Twitter statuses that aren’t funny. I write them, erase them, write different posts, erase those, then settle with something I feel like someone will think is funny. Often times I’m refreshing Twitter and Facebook to see if anyone responded or liked my update.

I’m addicted. And it’s getting old. You know, the kind of “I seriously WANT to stop, but it’s crazy hard.” Kind of like watching Intervention, but clearly it’s not drug or alcohol related. I get it. It’s easy to put down my phone and stop. So why don’t I just do it?

Because I’m afraid I’ll miss something.

But what I’m missing is my life.

I spent yesterday fishing with some friends. It was in the low 50s and misting rain. But that didn’t stop me from throwing the pictures of the fish I caught onto Instagram. Some might say that I probably spent time staring at my phone instead of engaging in conversation – and that’s probably true – but the reality is that I wanted to show off my catches to my dad.

I remember the countless hours he spent teaching me how to fish while I played with the minnows in the bait bucket. All of those hours without a cell phone. All of those father-son hours without him checking Twitter or Facebook or Instagram. All of those hours without him playing Words With Friends or DrawSomething. All of those hours without distraction. All of those hours it was just us. I had his attention and he had mine.

The way it used to be.

You see, we’ve become obsessed with information. My generation in particular. We love it. We crave it. And now, it seems, we need it. We’re addicted.

While I watch sports, I’ll share my opinion on Twitter and constantly hit the refresh button to see if my favorite sports writers or friends have chimed in to the conversation. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh.

Yesterday while we were fishing, a group of high school kids showed up in their fanciest prom digs to take their pictures near a beautiful entrance to a beautiful neighborhood. To the nines, I’m telling you. This was their night. But the one thing that stood out the most to me was that a large number of parents spent the majority of the time not taking pictures of their kids dressed up and looking stellar. Not talking with other parents, not chatting with anyone – they were on their phones the whole time. They were missing the opportunity to share this magnificent moment with their kids because something more important was happening on their phones.

This phenomena is killing story telling too. It’s killing personal, face to face communication. Let me tell you guys about these fish I caught. Wait, I told the story on Facebook, didn’t I?

You saw a movie on Friday? What did you see… wait, I saw on Twitter that you hated that movie. Sucks, man.

How long will this need-information-immediately stage last? Who knows. The only thing we do know for sure is that the next platform is being discovered or built right now. First MySpace, then Facebook, then Twitter, then…

You see where I’m going.

But here’s the thing: Facebook and Twitter are great community resources. Both of these sites have helped me gain great friends. They’ve helped me connect with old friendships. They can be used for a great laugh when reading embarrassing stories that just happened. They can be used to keep up with friends and their children. And most importantly, it helps bridge the nearly 500 mile gap between my daughter and my family. It captures moments that make distances disappear.

They’re definitely not bad outlets. But I have started to make them bad because I can’t let go.

For now I’m going to limit myself because I have to. I can’t risk missing this life I’m living to stay plugged in. I can’t miss my daughter’s first accomplishments because I’m addicted to something that doesn’t matter in the first place. It’s killing me. And it’s going to kill all of us if we’re not careful.

But first, I’m posting this on Twitter.

New Years Resolutions list

I know that most people hate New Years resolutions.

Sometimes they’re hokey. Sometimes they’re unrealistic. Sometimes you’re just sick of the previous year, so living through the next one is your only goal.

I get that.

Sometimes that 12 month long gym membership you signed up for January 2 but only used 10 times last year cost you dearly. All those salads you ate the first 2 weeks of January 2011 burned you out for the rest of the year.

Sometimes life happens.

Obviously we all see the symbolism in the new year and starting fresh. Last year is over, however awesome or crappy it was, and this year you want to be better than last year. Either less crappy or more awesome.

I read something today that really made me think. It’s nothing new and I probably read something similar last year and the year before that. But here goes.

Why don’t we live every day like it’s New Years?

Why don’t we try to start fresh every single day?

Tara and I put together a small list of our resolutions but these are things that we want to change every day for years. We weren’t looking to create a list of resolutions for 2012. We wanted to create a list of new habits

Here they are:
-Attend church at least 40 Sundays (because each time getting out of the house with a baby is an event bigger than anything we’ve ever planned)
-2 date nights a month (even if it’s just grabbing Little Caesars and going to the park so we can afford a babysitter)
-Read a Bible story to Crosbi every day
-Spend at least 15 minutes a day just talking – no TV, radio or other distractions
-Pay off at least 1 debt and then throw a party to celebrate (even if it’s just Taco Bell and the 3 of us)
-Eat better and sometimes use our 15 minutes of talking time walking/running the neighborhood with Cros in tow.
-See if we can hire someone to solely change diapers (I’m quasi kidding, but quasi not kidding)

I’m sure we’ll come up with more as we mold ourselves to fit these. Geez, we may even lose some of these if they suck.

Do you have any resolutions/habits to follow for 2012 or beyond? Let’s hear them.

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our secretary of state a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese government also launched as attack against Malaya.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Wake Island.

And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us…” -President Franklin D. Roosevelt