My Best

I’ve experienced a pretty good spike in traffic the last couple of days, likely due to being on TV on Monday, and in the paper today. Since many of you might be checking me out for the first time, I thought I’d put together a list of my best posts. Click on them to get a feel for the type of writing you can expect should you decide to buy my book, Tales from the Trips.

What Happens in the Bathroom details my hapless efforts to bathe three toddlers without Lovie. It was picked up by the site Errant Parent.

Dear Elmo was also featured on Errant Parent. It’s a scathing open letter to that furry, red little Anti-Christ.

One of the Girls is a tongue and cheek reaction to a compliment one of my wife’s friends tried to give me.

The Trail is my most read post ever, and one that’s designed to make you think rather than laugh. I dedicated it to my friend Katie Granju and her entire family.

Thanksgiving, the Jungle, and a Machete is an open letter of spiritual gratitude for everything life has to offer, even that which is difficult.

Posts about my wife, “Lovie,” are always quite popular, likely because they feature her and not me!

The Driving Force details her shitty driving unique ways behind the wheel.

The Language of Lovie is a top five list of my favorite exchanges between the two of us in my book and showcases Lovie’s sparkling wit.

Sammy’s Scared is soft and sweet, a magical moment found in the mundane.

Do you like poking fun at pop culture boobs? So do I.

Top Ten Reasons Tiger and Kate Gosselin Should Get Married

Dear Ben Rothlisberger

Top 10 Reaons Al and Tipper Split

And, finally, a couple of video posts for you:

Where’s Mommy

Whiz Kids

Thanks for stopping by. If you’re in Knoxville, I hope to see you at Carpe Librum for my book signing.

Errant Parent

If you’ve never visited the the site Errant Parent, it’s one that I highly recommend. Lots of funny stuff there. Today, they’re running the second post I ever wrote, a little piece that examines the unique challenges this dad encountered when bathing his three toddlers at once–What Happens in the Bathroom Stays in the Bathroom. It’s one of my favorites, and a great example of some of the episodic humor that’s found in my book, so if you’ve not read it, I hope you’ll check it out by clicking here.

Happy New Year!

I don’t know about you, but after the long holiday season, I’m always pretty fired up for the new year to begin. Sure, I’m a little sad that Christmas has come and gone, but nothing can last forever. Besides, the changing of the year is the cleaning of the slate. On January 1, we start anew, and with that comes an opportunity to make the upcoming year even better than the one before it. When you think about it, that’s part of the reason why we make resolutions.

Only I hate resolutions. Resolving to do something makes that something sound like an arduous and unpleasant task, doesn’t it? It implies that the something can be done, but to do it, it’ll take all that you’ve got. And while many things worth doing take all that you’ve got, I seldom “resolve” to do them.

For example, each year my friend, Chris Chambliss, and I do a section of the Appalachian Trail. In ’09 we did eighty miles in five days. Hiking fifteen plus miles a day for the better part of a week while carrying a forty-pound backpack up and down steep inclines certainly qualifies as something that takes all that you’ve got–both physically and mentally. It takes great resolve. But Chris and I don’t make a yearly resolution to do it. Whenever we plot out our course, neither one of us looks at the other and said “This year, our resolution is to do one hundred miles.”

Instead we say, “This year, our goal is to do one hundred miles.”

And that’s what I do on New Year’s Eve. I make goals. Not resolutions. Striving toward a goal is uplifting. Even if you fall short, it’s okay. Anytime you do your best to meet your goals, you should be happy. If you constantly set worthwhile goals, and if you continually do your best to achieve each and every one of them, odds are you will live a fulfilling and worthwhile life. At least that’s what I believe.

So what are my New Year’s goals? This year, like each of the two prior ones, most of my goals pertain to my family or me. (Funny how adding triplets to the roster alters your glance inward. At least for a while.) I have a goal of becoming a better husband to Lovie, and a better dad to Pookie, A, B, and C. Another goal is to become a better Christian, and a better man. There is much work to do on all of these fronts, and to make progress will take all that I’ve got, but I’m not biting my tongue and resolving to do them with a furrowed brow of masachistic determination.

I’m setting hope-filled goals and promising to do my best to reach them. For my family. And for me.

Oh. I almost forgot. There is actually one goal this year that doesn’t pertain to my family. I’m extremely excited about. You’ll hear about it soon.

Happy New Year, everyone! God bless…

Age-Old Debate

A Country Christmas with Merle Haggard, anyone?

Alright. I got one for you. A topic for debate, if you will. Is it okay to listen to Christmas music right now? One school of thought says its fine through New Year’s Day. Another says that Christmas music should be put away at the conclusion of Christmas. What say you?

We’re helplessly deadlocked over here: one vote in favor of listening to Christmas music through the New Year, one vote against it, and one vote for the write-in candidate of “playing Wii forever.” (Pookie’s ballot, of course.) Three minors (A, B, and C) aren’t yet old enough to vote, and one canine abstained which has left us in a quandry. What are we to do? Please advise.

Banners That Hang on Shapeless Walls

Why is it that many of us become so reflective during the holiday season? What is it about the end of the year that has most of us taking stock of our lives? And why is it that during these evaluations, we only seem to notice what we don’t have? Or what we haven’t done? Or who we haven’t become?

I’ve got a rule. I’m not great at following it, but still, I’ve got a rule–and, no, this rule doesn’t prohibit me from looking back on my life. After all, it’s impossible to drive without taking a peek in the rear-view mirror every now and then. But my rule does pertain to the act of looking back. Whenever I do so, I’m not allowed to critique the journey. I’m only allowed to admire the view.

No lamenting decisions made, paths not taken, or (perceived) opportunities missed. Such reflections fill one with irrational regrets, and such regrets are filled with darkness. And thanks to my rule, darkness is of no use to me. When’s the last time anyone was wowed by a glimpse of the Grand Canyon in the pitch-black night? For me to admire whatever it is I see in my rear-view, I need a lot of light.

Light brings the world to life by casting its revealing presence upon the images, events, and people that define it. Light illuminates so that we may take notes on all that is around us, and in turn convert those notes into memories, the most precious of which hang like banners on the shapeless walls that line our souls. Light touches our essence and allows us to associate images with feelings. Light allows us to admire whatever it is we see in our rear-view.

Below you’ll find what I’m seeing in mine: a little home-made video I made of A, B, and C on Christmas night, 2008. My rule encourages me to watch this video. There are no regrets hidden within–only joy which gives me a genuine admiration of one magical night in my lifelong journey, a journey I’m navigating the best way I know how.

This is one of the precious memories that hangs like a banner on the shapeless walls that line my soul. Memories like this one are what I want to focus on each and every holiday season. How about you? Merry Christmas!


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