Sunday, March 30, 2008


I just want to start off by saying "I have an amazing wife". I always knew this but lately I have been seeing just how blessed I am. I still get that funny feeling in my stomach when she is around.

We have our moments but we have learned how to communicate thru those times instead of yell, scream, punch, spit... just to get our own way. We have figured out how to put "we" ahead of "me".

That was not an easy thing to learn. We had to learn to trust each other and decide that we would work to make things peaceful instead of throwing fuel on a burning fire. When I am frustrated, she is calm (normally). When she is stressed, I pitch in to help (most of the time). This is now the "rule" as opposed to the "exception". We are trying to be less selfish and more selfless.

If we both try to put the other persons feelings and needs ahead of our own, guess what - peace and harmony. If we continually manipulate, cry and beg to get our own way, guess what - chaos and frustration.

I have some people very close to me that are going thru a very tough time as a couple. I can see that the lines of communication have been severed. It is so sad, because I truly believe that the love that they feel is lost, can be revived and grow stronger than ever.

My point: We aren't always successful at avoiding "heated arguments" but we are doing much better. Don't wait until it's too late to appreciate the one you have. Your spouse may not be perfect but if you think you will find someone without any issues at all, you are nuts.

It takes healthy people to make a healthy relationship. If your relationship is not as healthy as you would like - begin looking in the mirror and ask "would I want to be married to me?" - then be brutally honest.

I hate that my friends are having problems. Hearing other people complain about their relationships makes me appreciate mine so much more.

I still get that funny feeling in my stomach when we kiss - it's those bats flying around inside!

Disclaimer: I know this is a sappy post, but she will love it...

Friday, March 28, 2008

train of thought

I love getting out of the office to clear my head and think. Wednesday I traveled and got some good "think time". Today I had a meeting at cup-o-joe and after my meeting, I just sat to think.

Wow, it is amazing how your mind operates when the distractions are limited or at least different. When I am in the office, I am reminded of all the stuff that isn't done. When I am out, I am able to focus on whatever I am working on. I can actually have a train of thought that doesn't get derailed.

My point: we all need to step away and see things thru a different lense. We need to step outside of our normal routine or setting and clear our minds. I find I am refreshed and refocused when I get away for a bit. Then I can go back to the office and be sharper and more productive.

Going to the gym helps too (I just had to let everyone know that I am still going to the gym...)

Monday, March 24, 2008

why not

Here is a picture of Hannah doing her heisman pose after breaking thru the other kids to collect eggs.

Most kids go thru the phase where the continually ask "why?". Not my red-head, she asks "why not?".

When Hannah wants to do something and she is told "no", she questions, "why not?". She obviously heard that somewhere and uses that question even where it doesn't quite fit. She will ask you "what are you doing?" and you could reply "making donuts out of horse hair" and she would ask "why not?"... that got me thinking.

I am glad my kid is growing up with the "why not" attitude. I am sure there will come a time when someone tells her she can't do something and I pray that she would simply ask "why not". I want her to know and believe she can do anything and have no doubt in her mind when she sets out to do it. When others are standing on the sideline making excuses why they can't or won't attempt something, or don't think something is possible, my little stubborn red-head will be the first in line saying "why not".

I am sure she may trip up along the way, she may not achieve everything she attempts but that won't be because she made excuses or didn't try.

My point: "why not?" - what are you afraid to try that you have convinced yourself that you can't do. You are telling yourself "why" it's not possible but I am here to ask "why not". Why is it not possible. Are you just afraid of failure or being embarrassed? Who cares? Stop telling yourself why you can't and start asking yourself why not.

Why not you, why not now!

Hannah could become the first female heisman winner - why not?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Ok, so I gotta admit that this is one of those days that I have no idea why we "celebrate" it. I am sure there is some great historical reason and it is very significant to some but quite honestly I just never got into the day where the color green takes center stage - until 6 years ago...

6 years ago on St. Patrick's day, my life changed for the good. I met this red haired bombshell that took my breath away. She became my best friend then my wife. She is still my best friend and now I get the honor of sharing my life with her. For that reason, I now "celebrate" St. Patrick's day.

My point: everyday can have a special meaning if you let it. Some will definitely be more special than others but be intentional about making memories.

To my wife: Happy 6 years of knowing me. It has been an amazing journey so far and I know it will only get better.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Today was C3's 2nd annual Easter eggstravaganza. We stuffed candy in about 15,000 plastic eggs. It took a lot of people to make this thing work.

The weather didn't help us much this year. Last week we had more snow than we had all year and this week rained like crazy. We had planned to break our field into 6 age groups but because of the standing water on our fields, we were only able to use 3 fields.

We had to make adjustments based on the weather. We had to go to plan "B". We were able to smoothly go to plan "B" because we had a well thought out plan "A". Without a solid plan "A", plan "B" would've been impossible. A great team, made all the necessary, last minute changes without others even noticing.

My point: we need to have a plan for every day. We can make adjustments to our plan if needed but if we wait to plan, most of the time we don't. We need to know where we are going in order to get there. If we have to make a detour, it is easier to do because we are still trying to get to the same place.

That is Raegan's first pic with the bunny. Raegan can proudly say she has a picture with the worlds dumbest bunny. (it was worse in person...)

Friday, March 14, 2008

frosty the snowblob

This has to be one of the most ridiculous snow creations I have ever seen. It is supposed to be a snowman but somehow I think it better resembles a snowblob.

I am sure you can't see the detail that went into creating this but the buttons are made of mulch and the arms are pieces of lumber. There are very fine & specific details that went into the creation of this "blob" of a figure. There are also countless hours of quality time with loved ones that went into this mammoth of a snow mound .

My friend and his kids made this snowblob. They played outside in the snow for hours building a fort and this snow creation. The snow served as another opportunity to spend quality time with his children. They created a lot more than a snowblob and a fort, they created memories.

My point: be intentional about finding opportunities to create things with your loved ones. In the process you will create the most precious thing of all - memories.

I will not disclose the name of the tall, skinny bald man that made this snowblob but his initials are Konan Stephens... "Good job buddy"

Monday, March 10, 2008

microphone etiquette

Here is the official "unofficial" list. Although there are many more that could've made the list, I narrowed it down to 15. Let me know your thoughts.

Top 15

1. “um” – please be prepared. When you are not prepared, every other sound that comes out of your mouth is “um”… it is um, OBNOXIOUS!!!

2. "how is everyone doing?" - this has to be one of the worst. First of all, if I am in a crowd, I am not responding to this question because I can't speak for EVERYONE!!! Secondly, you don't really care how I am doing; you are just trying to get some feedback.

3. "is this thing on?" or "can you hear me" (or any variation of this)- I hate these because if the microphone is not on, I can't hear your question. If I can't hear you, I am not going to respond anyway. If it is not on, the sound person will notice and fix the problem (a half decent one will anyway)

4. "They don't even know I am going to say this but..." or “I didn't ask if I could say this but…”- this one is a recipe for disaster. If you are supposed to be announcing one thing, and then take it upon yourself to change things without clearing it with someone, you are probably going to look stupid and it makes everyone else look unorganized. It usually doesn't turn out the way you think it will.

5. Inside jokes are not funny from the mic/stage - any time you tell a joke or make a comment that is not intended for the entire listening audience, it is probably going to warrant the sound of crickets. It is not going to be funny to anyone, even you, because you will probably end up embarrassed and mess up the rest of what you are supposed to say. It won't turn out as good as you rehearsed it in your head. As a rule, limit your jokes to 2. Anything more than that is a lame attempt to be something you are not - funny

6. “Wow, you guys are dead today” or “no one’s here today” – there is never a need to go negative on the audience. You making negative comments just makes people think you are an idiot and they have officially tuned you out.

7. “Is it ok if I take just a couple more minutes” - when you have the mic, it’s too late to tell you "no". Be prepared enough to know what you are going to say and how long you are supposed to talk. Another couple minutes will not help if you are unprepared. It will simply make you look more unprepared.

8. "They called me last night / this morning and asked me to speak about ..." – That implies the leaders aren't the kind of people who plan things in advance. Maybe they're not, but you don't have to broadcast it just to cover for the debacle that is about to come out of your mouth.

9. "Sorry you have to listen to me" or "I don't know why I'm up here". That kind of insecurity will not command attention. If you are sorry people have to listen to you, so are they. No one wants to listen to you if you have to apologize for talking. Just don’t even bother grabbing the mic.

10. "What's uuuuuuuuup" - it is not funny anymore. Please just remove this from your vocabulary - period!

11. Know the name of the person you are introducing – if you mis-pronounce someone’s name, others will know. You put the other person in an awkward spot to either correct you and make you look like a goof or act like it is the right way to say it and make everyone else think they are stupid.

12. Don’t hold mic @ waist level - There is nothing down there that anyone wants to hear

13. Don’t ask if you can have the mic. If you think you have something that everyone needs to hear, plan it ahead of time. Find a leader and ask if it is appropriate to share with everyone. Let the leader talk to whomever is in charge of the mic

14. When you get the mic don't smell it and say "man whoever used this last has bad breath" – you are probably smelling your own breath backing up in your face.

15. Keep it short and simple – don’t ramble or talk too long. The audience is lost and it doesn’t make for a smooth transition. Keep it short enough that people don’t lose interest and simple enough that they are clear about what you are saying.

Word of caution if you have a goatee: don't rest it on your chin. Because when you pull it away you will find out why. And then the next person who gets it will see your chin hair on it, which can be described as black curlies on it. Not good. (this actually happened)
My point: If you apply these rules of etiquette, you and everyone else, will have a much better experience.

Thanks to everyone who has participated by sending me feedback. To all those who did not participate - thanks for nothing.


You are in for a treat today. My beautiful wife, Deni, has decided to make a special guest appearance (post) on my blog. Enjoy!
A couple months ago, I was on the floor laughing uncontrollably after I saw Hannah "feeding" her baby doll. I couldn't believe my eyes. I saw my 2 year old little girl unzip her jammies and put her baby doll to her chest. WOW! What an eye opener that was.

After I picked myself up off the floor and got my laughter under control I started thinking...I am an example to this precious child. She watches me and learns things from me when I don't even know it. She is a total mimic these days. She watched me nurse her little sister, Raegan and learned that this is the way to feed a baby.

I also see myself in her with little things she does. She started to stand with her hands on her hips. I guess I do that! She will watch me work out and stretch and is right by my side watching and trying to do the same things. She even "helps" me change Rae Rae's diaper! Gotta get that on video!

My point: Who's watching you? The bible says in 1 Corinthians 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. Are you being a good example to your family, friends & co-workers? What are they learning from you?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

level 3 emergency

Here I sit at the kitchen table with a cup of tea, eating cheese crackers in a thermal long sleeve shirt & boxers. Now that you have that image forever burned into your long term memory, I will continue.

Our area is currently under a level 3 snow emergency. That basically means don't drive because the roads are awful.

I got up this morning to go to a men's convention. I drove in this garbage weather for about an hour. I drove home after they cancelled the rest of the sessions due to the weather. I drove all over this crazy city and saw so many losers getting stuck or ending up in a ditch. I do very well in bad weather. At least until I got home.

After driving all morning, navigating the worst conditions this area has seen in years, I get to my house only to get stuck pulling into my driveway!!! I guess if I am going to get stuck that is the place to do it.

I started thinking that my home is the first place that I should take care of. While others are out taking care of other roads and areas, I should be taking care of my home. I can't think of anywhere else I would rather be stuck. I get to spend the entire day with my family. I love it. I picked up some pizza and some junk from the store while I was out and now am settled in for the long haul.

My point: it shouldn't take a level 3 snow emergency to make you spend time with your family. You need to be intentional about spending time with the ones you love. If you don't make it a priority, it may become more of an emergency than you are wanting to deal with.

Go hug the ones you love (don't even ask for anything)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

please SHUT UP!

Yesterday after lunch we went to meet with a guy who has a reputation for doing all the talking and absolutely no listening. He didn't let us down.

This dude talked non-stop for 20 minutes without taking a breathe (or so it seemed). I cannot tell you anything he said. I have no idea if the words that were coming out of his mouth told a story or even made a complete sentence. That is how little I heard.

I am not sure why people feel like they have to do ALL the talking. I know a lot of it comes from insecurity and control issues. The thought is that "if I am doing all the talking, people will think I am really smart" (insecurity) or "if I am the one talking, others can't talk unless I allow them" (control). Please hear me when I say "YOU ARE WRONG".

If you feel the need to dominate the conversation, I don't think you are smart or in control. I actually believe the opposite. You are an idiot if you do all the talking. How do you expect to learn anything if you never listen. How do you expect to get quality people around you if you don't show interest in anyone else. As for the control issue, I believe you are way out of control if you can't shut your pie hole! You have absolutely no control whatsoever if you won't shut up long enough to listen. You are a silly little freak if you do all the talking.

My point: for the love of all that is pure and good - PLEASE SHUT UP! If you want to have any friends in this life, you have to have an interest in them. If you want to have any influence with the people around you, take part in the long lost skill of listening.

If you want people to like being around you, they have to like how they feel when you are around. Make them feel good about themselves by actively listening to them. Affirm them and encourage them. By listening to others, you show them that you value what they are saying. I didn't value this person's words at all...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

"relish" the opportunity

We had a meeting last night to plug people into "serve" opportunities at C3. Typically when people feel disconnected or like they just don't fit, it is because they are not plugged in anywhere or they haven't connected with anyone.

At C3 we don't want people to be able to say that. We understand there will always be those people that simply won't get involved, but it is our responsibility to make sure they can if they do want to.

At our meeting we served light snacks. That pretty much means chips, cookies, granola, drinks and relish. Did I say "relish"? You bet I did. We had the table all set up, with all the munchies and we shoved a big bowl of relish right in the middle. I thought this was absolutely hilarious.

You should've seen people walk up to the table and get some food and then notice a bowl of sweet relish. Most people just passed it by (can you believe that). Some people pulled others into the hall and inquired while some asked others in line. Only one person actually asked me "what is up with the relish?".

I laughed so hard I nearly soiled my drawers. I know I think I am a lot funnier than others do but this one was a good one.

What do you do when you see something way out of line? Do you ask or just walk by and not care. Have you been doing something the same for so long that it no longer seems strange? When people look at how you do things, do they wonder "what were they thinking?"...

It is always funny to create situations to see how people will respond but sometimes it is sad to see that no one will step up and say "why the heck is there relish on this table!!!?"

My point: we need to relish the opportunity to help make things better. If you notice something that can be done better, help make it better. If you feel safe enough to ask questions - do it. Don't be afraid to offer constructive feedback in fear of having to help or being rejected.

relish... I kill me!

Yesterday was my birthday. Please feel free to send money or shower me with *extravagant gifts.
*extravagant: spending much more than is necessary or wise; going beyond what is deserved or justifiable