Monday, March 28, 2011

7 Years! (by Myers)

I’m a listener and a thinker, not a sharer. It’s a shame I don’t share more because I often think about how lucky I am to have Karen as my wife, how much I love her, how much she makes me laugh and how beautiful she is. These are things I should be verbalizing as much as possible but the thoughts rarely leave my head. I could come up with the next great "That's what she said" style iconic one-liner and Mike & Meredith would still not let me live down telling Karen "I told you you were pretty last month." I was totally joking when I said it but sadly it's not that far from the truth. Sharing my feelings is normally a drain on my life force (much less on a blog), I find other people’s lives and thoughts much more interesting than my own. But 7 years of marriage calls for a little sharing. I apologize in advance for the scatter-brained layout of it all, I have a lot I could cover after 7 years but in an effort to keep this to a reasonable length I'll have to skip around.

At the time, March 2004 was the most life altering month in my 22 years of existence (more on this later). I started my first real job, moved into a new apartment (out of my parents’ house) and got married, in that order. Even though we were happy in our marriage and 100% confident we were doing the right thing, these were trying times. Why, you ask? We both hated our jobs with a passion. It’s funny how 9 hours of misery each day can ruin the joy you would normally find in other activities. There was only about a 24 hour period between Friday after work and Saturday evening where we could enjoy our free time on the weekend. By late Saturday evening we were already dreading the fact that we were on the eve of our last day of freedom. As each minute on Sunday ticked by we faced increasing anxiety over returning to what must be hell on earth the next day. We made it through the first year or 2 of marriage on love alone. Thankfully we both eventually got new jobs that we enjoyed to a certain extent; it was still work after all.

Our life together at this point was fairly normal. We were financially secure, had a house, took some nice vacations and had a great time together. Karen has been my best friend since around 9th grade. We have been hanging out constantly since then. So to say we know each other well and are happy just being by ourselves is a huge understatement. She is the funniest person I know, I just try to keep up and carry my weight to keep her entertained. Have you ever wondered what a reality show inside your house would be like? And would people watch? I have and I think people would watch our show. Not because of me but because of Karen. She can make any activity entertaining … cooking dinner comes to mind. She has a goofy song and dance for everything. Just ridiculous lyrics about whatever she’s doing at the time that always seem to end up with a catchy melody stuck in my head. She is a very prolific song-writer, her songs just happen to be about how much she loves spaghetti, or about cranberry juice, TV shows, chewing food or whatever else is going on. I think she has made me laugh out loud nearly every one of our 2,555+ days of marriage. She is not afraid of using the same jokes over and over until they stop making me laugh. After 6 years of dating and 7 years of marriage she has plenty of material to fall back on.

Karen is also very supportive and caring and I know she would go to the ends of the earth for me if I needed her to. My dad died in May of 2009, it was easily the worst day, week and month of my life. Growing up, he was my Superman who could do no wrong. He did a pretty amazing job of living up to those expectations even as I grew older. Losing him caused pain and sadness that has to be experienced to be understood, words can’t really do it. Unfortunately, every one of us has experienced or will experience this sadness. Karen was the perfect friend, supporter and confidant that I needed and still need today for any number of reasons.

A little earlier, I mentioned March 2004 as the most life-altering month for me; well that was definitely replaced by a single moment in December 2009 with the birth of Owen. He has changed my perspective on everything. I think it’s safe to say nothing has made us happier than he has. He definitely runs our lives without even knowing it. Bill Simmons is a comedy/sports writer for, he refers to his young daughter as “the CEO” and I think this is the perfect description. Everything we do has to fit into Owen’s schedule. The funny thing is we don’t even care; we’d rather do anything for him before we do anything for ourselves or anyone else. I think my family is perfect. Karen is doing an amazing job with Owen; she is a natural with him and shows patience and understanding that is beyond me. All I know is I can’t wait to get home every day to be with them. Seeing them interact, laugh and learn together is better than seeing any number of my other favorite things (i.e. a great soccer game, Cowboys football, The Office, 30 Rock, any # of other TV shows). Hearing her sing “Go To Sleep Little Baby” to Owen when he won’t go to sleep is the sweetest sound on God’s green earth.

In closing, I resolve to do a better job of getting words from my brain to my mouth because the people I love deserve to know how happy I am to have them in my life. And I look forward to making Owen think I’m Superman for as long as possible. Karen knows I’m not and loves me all the same.

My mom has the unbiased opinion that I was the cutest baby ever. I’m a middle child so regrettably there is no photographic evidence but not even I could have been this cute:

Monday, March 21, 2011

San Diego Recap

Wheew. I survived my first trip away from Owen. San Diego was great...I'll just cover the highlights.

First Night - "Someone" (we'll call her Kelly) accidentally booked our flight for a few hours earlier than we had planned. Originally we were supposed to get into San Diego around 8:30 Monday night but instead we were on the flight that landed at 5:30. This turned out to be a really good thing. At DFW, American Airlines made Kelly gate check her bag even though it fit fine in their bag sizer thing. There were at least 6 guys on our flight that were heading straight from the airport in California to Marine Corp boot camp. They were all very excited. I was thinking to myself that they weren't going to be so excited in a few hours when a bunch of dudes were screaming in their faces, but I didn't tell them that. Instead I said a quick prayer for them and wished them well.

Our flight landed right on time. We immediately hopped on the Thrifty shuttle to get our rental car. At this point we were watching the clock but decided we would have plenty of time to grab a late dinner and settle into our hotel in time to watch the finale of The Bachelor. We were greeted by the *very* friendly attendant at Thrifty, Ian, who politely asked Kelly for her credit card and drivers license. Insert audible gasp. Turns out Kelly had left her purse...wait for it....on the plane. So, back on the shuttle, back to the airport, got the purse, back on the shuttle, into our awesome yet tiny rent car and onto the hotel. At this point we were getting very hungry and had lost all hope of getting to see the beginning of The Bachelor but were daydreaming of being able to sit and relax after a long day. At the hotel, we checked in, then had to switch rooms, then went to the hotel restaurant (we were too tired to drive anywhere) which had the slooowwwwest service. We made it into our room at 9:15 California time, watched what was left of the show and then immediately fell asleep for an early morning wake up call the next day.

Conference - The whole point of going to San Diego was for the Children's Pastors Conference. My first class (which was 6 hours long) was not very helpful and I started to get worried that the conference was going to be a waste of time. Thankfully that was the only bad class and every session after the first was fantastic. The general sessions provided music mostly by groups that write and perform for children. That was not my favorite. One band dressed in track suits and bucket hats had one line in the chorus of their song that mentioned something about razzle dazzie. BUT the classes and the keynote speakers were so great and so educational. We left with so many new ideas and concepts to use at HCC. Can't wait!

Other stuff - Even though our days were packed with classes and other sessions, we did manage to find an hour or two over the course of the week to see the sights. Kelly and I ventured out to nearby La Jolla and Coronado, plus dinner in Old Town San Diego. I also got to spend some time with Mike and Rachel and Mike's brother Joe on St. Patrick's Day. Never in my life have I celebrated St. Patty's but the people of San Diego come out in full force. People, music and green everywhere. We went to the roof of the Marriott Hotel downtown and watched the helicopters fly by. Beautiful. It was so much fun to see my friends but it made me sad they live so far away.

View from the top of the Marriott

And another

Me looking very touristy

Friday, March 11, 2011


Next week I will be traveling to San Diego with my co-worker Kelly for the Children's Pastors Conference. I have mixed feelings about the trip. I'm excited to be at the conference, take the classes, get some new ideas and browse all of the new curriculum and materials. I also look forward to visiting with my dear friends Mike and Rachel who live in California. They have graciously offered to pal around with me during my down time and show me the sights of San Diego. I am not excited about being away from Owen for the first time...ever...and for 4 nights.

In preparation for my trip I've done some shopping this week to buy travel hair products, tiny toothpaste, new filp flops...stuff like that. Earlier in the week I made a quick trip to Target. I went in intending to pick up 3 small items and didn't think I would need a cart or a basket. This is never a good idea for me. The same thing always ends up happening: I keep finding more things that I "need" and end up hoisting a giant (and carefully balanced) pile of stuff in my arms walking quickly but carefully to the register before I lose my grip and everything falls to the floor and someone has to call for a clean up on aisle 7. This visit to Target was no different. My 3 things turned into about 15, two of which were a gallon of milk and a half gallon of milk. Owen drinks a lot of milk.

Anyhoo, as I am briskly making my way to the register I end up getting stuck behind a girl who is walking quite slowly down the middle of the thoroughfare. Even though I usually don't get annoyed very easily, hehe ;), I was instantly bothered by this girl (probably about 20 years old) and her too-slow walking right in my way. I peered around my carefully balanced pile, which was getting heavier by the second, and saw a downright fashion emergency.

So you know how girls sometimes wear leggings under a dress? Well she was kind of wearing that except instead of a dress it was a shirt and instead of leggings it was see-through black pantyhose. I can only conclude that when the pair of pantyhose was purchased and all tiny in the package, they appeared to be opaque. I guess she didn't realize that when stretched, they would become transparent. So not only is she wearing see-through pants, her top wasn't even long enough to cover her
bo-hiney. At least she was wearing some giant, plaid, granny panties under the hose. Sheesh. From now on, whenever I get dressed I will make sure to look at the back of myself in addition to the front to make sure I am not breaking any public lewdness laws.

This week I also purchased the world's tiniest blow dryer and the world's tiniest flip flops:

aaaaannnnnnnddd here's an Owen picture just for funsies

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dallas Arboretum

Owen and I went to the Dallas Arboretum today with Jamie and Baby William. I have wanted to check out the Arboretum for some time now but have been too cheap to venture out there. When Jamie invited us to go with her, I thought this would be a good opportunity to go to the gardens and was extra excited when she mentioned that she has a year membership and we would be getting in free. Woo hoo.

We had such a great time! It was a little cloudy and breezy when we first arrived but warmed up a little as the day progressed. Owen was very interested in checking out the various sights to be seen and William was content in the Bjorn with Jamie. The annual "Dallas Blooms" event JUST started a few days ago which meant that there was a plethora of newly planted flowers to enjoy. My favorites were the tulips and the greener-than-green grass.

Along with getting to experience the sights and smells of the Arboretum, I also got to spend some quality time with Jamie and William AND got to practice my novice photography skills. If you are in the Dallas area, I highly recommend making a trip out the the Dallas Arboretum, you won't be disappointed.

I took about 45,000 are a few of the better ones.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Lemon

I just finished 10 days of a pretty strict detox-style diet. Lots of water and fiber and veggies but no dairy or wheat products. I was happy with the results (a slimmer and more energetic Karen) but was desperately craving some "real" food. Sooooo I treated myself to one cheat meal before getting back on the healthy eating horse. For those of you that know me, you know I take my food very seriously. Choosing 1 meal of indulgence was difficult but I ended up selecting one of my favorite Mexican restaurants for some delicious quesadillas.

It was nice to relax and enjoy a dinner out with Myers and Owen. Owen was in good spirits and was entertaining us with his antics. The restaurant gave him a kids menu complete with crayons. We let him draw on the back of the paper but it was really more of a stabbing motion with the crayon rather than the smooth strokes of Picasso. At the wee age of 14 months he still has time to come into his own as an artiste.

Toward the end of the dinner, Owen noticed the lemon on the side of my water glass. He started pointing at it and letting me know with his limited communication skills(mostly hand signals and grunts) that he wanted the lemon. At this point, we as parents had several options.
a. Ignore him
b. Distract him with other food or toys or choreographed dances
c. Calmly explain to him that the acidic content of the lemon would do a real number on his budding tooth enamel
d. Throw the lemon onto another table so that he can no longer see it can do what we did...and let him bite the lemon.

My mother thinks it is cruel to let a baby bite a lemon. You may agree with that. Be it cruel or not, it sure is funny to see the reaction. Owen took a bite and after about 3 Mississippis, his face scrunched up tight and a shock wave went from head to toe. Then, he opened his eyes, smiled, laughed and opened his mouth for another bite.