Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas - Week in Review

Last week Allison and I were off work all week. It was a great week spending time with family as well as just hanging out at home, just the three of us. The first few days of the week we finished up our Christmas shopping. I had done about half of what I wanted to do, so I finished that up. Allison had some to finish as well and we did some shopping as a family. On Wednesday we had lunch with our niece and her mom. We don't see them very often, so we were excited to see them both. I am amazed at how big Natalie is getting. Christmas Eve we gather with my mom's family as well as Allison's dad's family. We had a good time at both places and Cooper really enjoyed opening presents (his and other people's). Christmas Day we do not usually leave our house. We spend Christmas morning together as a family and in the afternoon Allison's mom's family. That was a lot of fun. There were some of her family there that we had not seen in a long time. There are now many kids running around with one more on the way. I loved watching the kids run around playing! The day after Christmas the three of us got out and did a little shopping. Allison always likes to get out of the house the day after Christmas and other than the traffic at Opry Mills, it was fun to get out. Sunday we took down all Christmas decorations and tried to get ready to go back to work. We had another short week and our friends, the Omohundros, are coming in from Lexington today. We are excited to see them and spend some time with them.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Handgun Safety

Today Allison and I did something that I would never have thought we would do in a million years--we took a handgun safety class together. It was so much fun. Allison was co-counsel the guy who is an instructor at Personal Responsibility, Inc. He told Allison that if she was going to defend police officers then she needed to at least know how to handle a pistol. We left early this morning and made the drive to Nunnely, TN for the class that started at 7:30. After about 4 hours in the "classroom" and a test that allows us to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon, we went to the shooting range for about 4 hours. This was when I thought Allison may get nervous. Each time the instructors would take their pistol out for demonstration in the classroom I could tell her tension level rose a little. When we got to the range, however, it did not appear that she was nervous at all. She did great.

Now I have to admit, I am a total city boy. Most of this know that already. I thought that once we started using live rounds I may get a little nervous. I actually never got nervous and loved every minute of it. I still don't think Allison will let me get a gun, but I think I would really enjoy learning more about handling a pistol and going to the gun range to shoot. We probably shot about 130 rounds each and qualified to get a handgun carry permit. I don't know that either of us will ever get the permit, but it was a ton of fun. Thanks again to John for inviting us out and providing so much for us. And thanks to all of the instructors at PRI, you guys were great.

If anyone is looking for a firearms training I would definitely recommend these guys. They were awesome and provided so much help to Allison and I. Allison had not ever shot a gun before and I had not shot one in many, many years. They offer classes from the basic handgun class we took on up to much more advanced handgun and shoulder fired firearms. If you are interested go to their website,, for more information.

This is a picture of Alli at the range. I never imagined I would see her with a pistol on her side.

Here are our targets. I will let you decide which one belongs to me and to Alli.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hello Mr. Blue, Good to See You Again!

Because our weekend was so busy, my brother met me to pick up a Christmas tree and Allison stayed home while Cooper took a nap. We go the tree up and put the lights on, but decided to wait until Monday night to decorate it. Cooper was so excited. He asked Allison to let him put a few ornaments on while I was at family group. Monday morning, when I woke Cooper up, the first thing he said was, "Can we put the ornaments on?" Then Monday evening when I picked him up that was the first thing he asked me again. When we finished dinner Monday night we decorated the tree. It was so much fun. Cooper was so excited to bring the ornaments in the living room and to start putting them on the tree. The tree is probably about 9 feet tall, so needless to say, Cooper needed a step stool to put most of the ornaments on. We had to ensure that we moved it often because at one time I looked over and he had 4 or 5 ornaments on the same branch.

Also, Ole Mr. Blue Ornament made his way back on the tree this year. For those that have read this blog for more than a year know that Allison has a "red" Christmas tree. I did, however, manage to get a blue ornament on the tree last year and the year before. I think now she just accepts it and doesn't even acknowledge my quest.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What a Fun Weekend

We had a busy, but fun weekend. Friday night was the annual Rudolph Red Nose 5k and Nashville Christmas parade. We were both signed up, but because Cooper had been coughing for a few days and the forecast was for the temperatures to be in the 30s, we thought 30 minutes of cold wind in Cooper's face wasn't the best idea. We decided that I would hang out with Cooper and Allison would run the race. She ran a great race and finished 4th in her age group. We were also excited to get to see our friend, Heather, finish her first 5k. Congratulations Heather!

Saturday morning Allison, Cooper, Heather, Hannah, and I all went to Sesame Street Live. It was much better that I anticipated, and Cooper had a great time. At first I couldn't really tell what he thought, but I think he was just amazed by the show. He and Hannah both were very good during the show and seemed to have a great time.

After that we went to have Cooper's 3 year old pictures taken. Typically our neighbor, Shannon, takes Cooper's pictures. Since she is due to have their newest addition in about 10 days, she wasn't able to take them and we asked another friend and photographer, Alison to do it for us. We had fun taking pictures with him and can't wait to see them.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Never Take a Moment for Granted

Over the past few days I have been reminded why we so often hear, "Don't take anything for granted." On Sunday I learned that the wife of a friend of mine that I played ball with in college had passed away. She was 30 years old and they have 3 children ages 1, 3, and 5. Just a few days prior to learning this news I told Allison "If anything ever happens to you, we will have the worst kid on the block. It will be sleeping in my room and brownies for breakfast everyday." I said this jokingly, but I can't even begin to think about what my friend is going through tonight. When we saw him at the visitation the first thing he said to us was "Guys, go home and hug your wives." At the time Allison was on a plane from Cincinnati to Nashville. You can bet, however, that as soon as she walked through that door she got a big hug from me. It's now been 24 hours since I talked to my friend, but what he said to me is still resonating through my head. Hug your spouse tonight as if you won't get to tomorrow. Unfortunately for my friend, he doesn't have that opportunity.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Move More, Eat Less

I began training for the Music City Half Marathon around the second week of January of this year. That race was in late April, but I continued to run every Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday after that. I would run about 3 miles on Tuesday and Thursday and anywhere from 3 to 6 miles on Saturday. We began training for the Middle Half around the first week of July. My number of runs didn't change, but the mileage per week began to move up and I added a midweek swim or bike ride. That race was about almost 8 weeks ago, which brings us to today. November 25 and 8 pounds heavier.

I know, 8 pounds, who cares, right? I care. About 6 years ago I was 50 pounds heavier than I am right now. I felt bad all of the time and each time I ate I would feel sick to my stomach. I was miserably overweight and didn't do much about it. During the holidays, 5 years ago, someone said to me, "Wow, you've really gained some weight since you moved to Knoxville." I sort of shrugged it off, thinking "Yeah, I gained a little bit, but it's no big deal." A few months later I stepped on the scale and realized that I weighed 60 pounds more than I did my senior year in high school. On that day I decided to make a change. Over the following 2 months I dropped 40 pounds and I have never looked back.

During training for the half marathon I was eating more, but I was burning a lot of calories. Since the race my training has waned, but my calories have not. The last few weeks have been busy; Allison's been busy at work, I've been busy with Cooper, we were busy with celebrating his birthday, so I sort acted as though I didn't care about getting out to run or going to the gym. I didn't go to the gym as much, but I certainly ate as much. The scale told me this morning that I haven't moved as much recently, but I have continued to eat the same amount.

I am still leaner right now than I have been in years. Probably as lean as I was as sophomore in high school. People that have known me that long, but don't often see me have said asked what I did to lose weight. Most of the time use the phrase my good friend Jeff told me once when I asked him what I needed to do. I tell them "Move more and eat less." I think it's time that I started living that out again.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Party Time!

After two years of having family and friends over at once for Cooper's birthday, this year we decided to have a party with just his friends and to celebrate with our families separately. Over the past 10 days we have had 3 birthday celebrations for Cooper. Last Saturday we celebrated with Allison's dad and Terri, her aunt, her cousin, and her grandparents. This past Saturday we had his birthday party with his friends and yesterday we celebrated with my mom and dad, my brother and sister-in-law, and my aunt Neecie and her girls, Emily and Amy. Cooper has had a blast and now he probably thinks that his birthday lasts for two weeks.

Some of the kids playing with the "Band in a Box"

I think Cooper really liked his cake

This was actually the second time he blew out the candles

Even the little guys seemed to have a good time


Isn't that just the sweetest face?

Cupcakes at Mammy's

Cooper having fun with his Cars set from Uncle Jared and Aunt BeBe

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Conversation with Cooper

Sometimes Cooper and I have the best conversations in the car. Many times when it is over I am just cracking up at the things he says or amazed at the way his little mind works. Yesterday while on the way to school/work I got some more insight into how the mind of a three year old works.

Cooper: Turn it to the color song, please.
Me: The color song?
Cooper: Yeah, the color song.
Me: Okay, (turn it to the next song) this one?
Cooper: No.
Me: (turn it to the next song) this one?
Cooper: No.
Me: (turn it to the next song) this one?
Cooper: (waits to hear the opening music, no words yet) Yes, that's it.
Song: Jesus loves the little children, all the little children of the world. Red & yellow, black & white, they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.
Me: (in my head) Of course, the color song!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

At 9:09 Tonight...

...Cooper will technically be 3 years old. I know everyone says this, but it is amazing how quickly they grow. It seems like it was just the other day when I got the phone call, while sitting at lunch at McDougal's, that I will never forget. The one in which Allison said, "You're going to be a daddy today." Typing those words and thinking back on the feeling that I had when she told me she was pregnant as well as when she said he was going to be born that day gives me a lump in my throat and almost brings tears to my eyes.

Recently I heard someone say, "Being a parent is the hardest thing in the world, but it's also the best thing in the world." I would definitely agree with that, especially over the last few months. As I shared in a previous post, Cooper has really started to try our patience. But, as I also shared in another previous post, it is so much fun to be around him and to watch him grow, learn, and experience new things.

Cooper, the past three years have been great. It has been so fun to see the world through your eyes. You are a sweet little boy and I can't imagine our lives without you. I thank God for each moment that we have to spend with you. I look forward to sharing many more years, experiences, adventures, and birthdays with you. Happy birthday buddy, I love you so much.

Three years old

Two years old

One year old

Day one

Monday, November 16, 2009

Guy Time and the First B'day Celebration

On Saturday morning, Allison had to meet with a witness so it was just me and Cooper for the morning through lunch time. After we got up, ate breakfast and she left, Cooper and I went outside to play. The weather was perfect so we stayed outside for over 2 hours. We did several things. First he rode his tractor around the block, which is about 1/3 of a mile. After that he decided he wanted to play with the remote control car. Until now, he has not showed any interest in that car. Saturday, however, we played with it for about 45 minutes. He would run in the driveway as I would chase him with the car. Then he would want to drive so we spent a good amount of time with him driving the car into the grass and me fetching it (he hasn’t mastered the art of turning the wheel while pulling the trigger). After that he wanted to ride his bike, so we went back around the block on the bicycle. That is always a lot of fun because he loves to go fast on his bike. The hill can be a challenge, but he made it up and back down without a crash. After we got back he wanted to play on his Winnie the Pooh “truck.” He loves that thing and played on it in the driveway while I sat there and took pictures of him. After that we left and met our friend Brad for lunch and then we went to the Publix, before going home to hang out with his mommy for a little while.

This year we decided to celebrate Cooper’s birthday with family and friends separately. So, Saturday night we celebrated Cooper’s birthday with my father-in-law, Allison’s aunt, cousin, and grandparents. We ate dinner at the Catfish House and then came back to our house for cake and ice cream. Cooper loved the cake that Terri made for him, his Spiderman “costune,” as he calls it, from Big Daddy and Terri, as well as the tent that Munna and Ninny gave him. He also got a great CD and book from his Aunt Kathy that we have already listened to several times. As you can see in the pictures, he LOVES his tent and costume. He slept in the tent Saturday night and for his nap on Sunday and he wore the Spiderman outfit Saturday night, to my mom’s on Sunday evening, and to bed again Sunday night. It will definitely have to be washed soon.

It was a busy Saturday, but one that was very fun. I love spending time just me and him, but I really enjoy seeing the love he has for everyone. He really had a great time at dinner and hanging out with the family. One celebration down and 3 more to go. Thankfully only one of the three is going to be at our house.

Getting Back to the Basics

I haven't updated my blog in about a month. Part of the reason is because Allison has had to use the computer for work at night, so I didn't have a chance. At least that's what I've been telling myself. The main reason is that I have felt like I didn't have anything worth saying. I felt that because I didn't have a "great blog post" that it wasn't worth posting anything. Over the weekend I remembered what the name of this blog is as well as the web address--Everday's Adventure/ Not "Everyday's Adventure that tons of people will want to read" or "insidemydays that are filled with great meaning."So, with that said, I am getting back to what this blog was started for, to give anyone who is interested a peak into the adventure that I am on everyday. Sometimes that will be what Cooper and I did outside and sometimes it will be what I read that particular day. Who knows, sometimes it may be about what we ate for supper and what I saw on TV. I don't know exactly what it will look like going forward, because hey I don't know what's going to happen inside my days.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What's a Dad to Do?

Yesterday was one of those rare days. A day where Cooper really frustrated me, to the point that I didn't want to talk to him anymore. I knew that if I did talk to him I was probably going to use a tone that he wouldn't understand and therefore I could hurt his feelings badly or damage his heart in a way that would be tough to repair. So I let him talk and I simply didn't respond.

As is the case with most days, I got to Cooper's day care while they were in the rainy day room. This is a large, open room that the kids play in when it is raining or too wet to play outside. As is also the case with most days, when Cooper saw me at the door he started crying because he was having so much fun he didn't want to leave to go home. (I don't really understand because when his mommy is there he doesn't do this) So by coaxing him to leave with pizza and the prospect of picking up mommy, he sort of acted like he wanted to go with me...sort of. Finally I picked him up which began the all-out wailing and crying "mommy." By the time we made it to his classroom to go to the potty and sign out he had stopped crying, but had a REALLY bad attitude. While in the bathroom he was very growly and even decided he was going to raise his voice at me. I told him that he wasn't to use that tone with me again, and if he did, we weren't stopping at the water fountain (another one of his favorite things to do one the way out). He raised his voice again so I picked him up, walked past the water fountain and through the door.

As we made our way through the center he began to really cry, loudly. I put him down to walk and he tried to refuse to hold my hand. Because we were in a parking lot I refused to let go. We made it to the car all the while he's crying and really starting to throw a fit. As I picked him up to get in the car he started yelling. I can't remember what he said, but it was the loudest he had gotten. I told him if he did that again that he would not get any gum when we picked up his mommy (gum is typically his treat for no accidents throughout the day). He yelled again and therefore I told him, "No gum, I am going to tell you mommy that you aren't to get any."

By this time I was very frustrated with him. I can't really understand why he hates it when I pick him up, but when his mommy is there he jumping for joy to go home. I wish he didn't act up in front of people of school. I wish he didn't think raising his voice will get him what he wants. However, this time was different. I don't know if it was just the combination of all events or what, but I was very frustrated. All the way to get Allison he said over and over, "I want gum daddy." However, I chose not to respond in hopes that he would simply quit asking. He finally did, however that gave way to total sobbing.

When Allison got in the car, obviously she didn't know what was going on so I gave her the quick version. She told him that he wasn't getting gum because he was mean to his daddy and that he needed to apologize. He sat in silence for about 5 minutes and then I hear him say to Allison,"I want to say I'm sorry." She told him okay and then he said, in the sweetest little voice, "I'm sorry daddy." I said that's okay and then he asked for gum. Allison again told him "no, that he didn't get gum just because he apologized." He started crying again, saying "but I said I'm sorry." This was definitely when my irritation began to wear off. Soon after that he quit crying, but I could tell he was still upset. I leaned over and put my hand on his leg. He quickly grabbed my hand and I thought he was going to push it away. However, he grabbed it very tightly and looked at his mommy saying, "I just want to hold his hand."

To this I say, what's a dad supposed to do? There's no way a person could stay frustrated at that. He obviously was sorry and obviously was glad that I made the decision to try to console him. His response of grabbing my hand so tightly was one that I will not forget for a long time, maybe never. I love that little boy with all my heart.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Being Intentional

Yesterday I was in Publix and saw a man with his son. The little boy was probably 4, maybe 5 years old. As they were walking in, the boy pointed to the two race car shaped shopping carts that were sitting unused along with all the other carts, and asked to ride in one of them. The dad, with no hesitation, said "No, it has a flat tire, we are going to use this one," grabbed a regular cart and put his son in it.

Let me be the first to say, these things are terrible. They are like pushing around a bus. They are hard to turn and even harder to try to maneuver around the grocery store. However, Cooper loves to ride in them, so if there is one available when I go to Publix and he is with me I let him ride in it. Is it irritating to try to push the big 'ole cart around Publix? Yes. Is it a big deal for me to let Cooper ride in the cart and get over my selfishness? Absolutely not, because who knows, that may be the last time I get the chance to push Cooper in a shopping cart.

Now I am not, by any means, a perfect dad. Most of the time I am learning on the go, as I try to balance fun with discipline with general life lessons to a 2, almost 3 year old little boy. But you see, I am molding Cooper into the man he is going to be, whether I intentionally do it or not. I am also, hopefully, teaching Cooper how he should be a a husband to his wife and a dad to his children. He is going to be that man/husband/father sooner than I want to admit, so I have to act now. I have to be intentional with the things that I do with Cooper. That doesn't mean that everything has to be fun and games, but it does mean that when the opportunity presents itself, I must take full advantage of it. I must be intentional in how I treat Cooper and his mom. I must be intentional in taking advantage of opportunities that I have to mold Cooper, whether that's with fun or with discipline. And I must be intentional about creating opportunities to raise Cooper into the man and dad that God intends us to be.

What are some of the things your mom or dad did with you that have left a lasting impression?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fearless by Max Lucado

Fear is something that, at some point in our lives, we all deal with. Whether it is the fear of losing our job, the fear of what the economy may bring, or the fear of sickness, we all, at some point have it. In Max Lucado’s new book, Fearless, Lucado outlines why there’s hope and what we can rest in instead of our fear.

This is a very easy read and I definitely enjoyed reading it. I especially enjoyed how Mr. Lucado wove in Biblical examples to get his message across. I felt, however, that the message was covered early on in the book and then repeated. I also felt that the book did not challenge my thinking as I had hoped it would. If you are looking for something that is challenging, this may be the book you are looking for. If you are, however, looking for a book that is easy to read, with a very good message, I would definitely recommend it and you can find it here.

I reviewed this book as a part of the Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger program. To see other reviews of this and other books, or if you would like to join this program go to

Monday, August 24, 2009

Debt Free!!!

Well, almost. As of 09/01/09 Allison and I will be completely debt free with the exception of our house. We started paying down the debt that we had 18 months ago with the intention of getting it completely paid off. In February of 2008 we had a car loan, my student loan from college, and Allison's student loans from Law school. Also, our house was on the market with the intention of getting another house that would have increased our home debt.

On night, were sitting in the living room talking and watching the Dave Ramsey show on the Fox Business channel. We were trying to determine how much we could spend on a house and it was almost like a light bulb went off at the same time in both or our heads. Our conversation immediately turned to taking our house off of the market and getting out of debt. We instantly put together a plan that would get us out of debt in 21 months, based on some of the changes we made to our spending and basically putting everything extra we had on our debt. We have essentially followed that plan, and with God's many blessings we are going to have the debt paid off about 3 months earlier that we planned.

Don't get me wrong, we didn't exactly start eating "beans and rice, rice and beans" as Dave Ramsey likes to say, but we did start doing a budget so that we knew exactly how much was going out and how much was coming in. Because of Dave's envelope system and our diligence to stay on the plan along with God's provision, we are almost debt free. I can't wait until that payment clears. I am even thinking about making a phone call to Dave's show on the Friday afterward. That is the day he lets people call in and scream "I'm debt free!!"

Monday, August 17, 2009

Another Great Visit

This past weekend (Thursday through Monday) we went to Baton Rouge to visit our great friends Ashley, Jeff, Caroline, and Charlotte. We typically see them once a year, but this year we have seen them twice. Once at our house in April, and this time at their house. We ate at this great restaurant, Roberto's, Thursday night, swam at their neighborhood pool and visited Mike the Tiger Friday, ran along LSU's lakes Saturday morning, went to Caroline's 4th birthday party late Saturday morning, Jeff and I went out on his kayak Sunday afternoon, and in between we got to hang out, talk, laugh, and just have a great time together.

Our flight landed in New Orleans at about noon on Thursday. We went back to the house and let Cooper take a nap while we hung out and talked to Ashley and played with Caroline. That night we went to Roberto's and ate dinner. It was fantastic! Allison and I shared BBQ shrimp and grits appetizer and grilled catfish topped with crawfish etouffee. Did I mention it was awesome?!

Friday Jeff had to work a half day, so Allison, Ashley, and I took the kids to the pool for a while. It was really fun, especially because there was a diving board. I have loved to swim and dive since I was a kid, so this was a great treat for me. Caroline also loves to jump off the board so I would go to the deep end, catch her when she jumped in, and get her going toward the side. She can swim, so once I got her going she could make it to the side on her own. The best surprise of our visit to the pool was that Cooper jumped off of the diving board. Two or three times! He was a little nervous at first, but got more and more confidence as time went by.

Saturday morning Allison and I got up early and ran around the LSU lakes. We are training for the Middle Half and needed to run 8 miles. Jeff told me where to go and dropped us off. We had a great run and really loved the scenery around the lakes. After we got home and showered, we went to Caroline's birthday party at the Louisiana Arts and Science Museum. The kids had a blast and it was fun watching them. After they got up from their naps we went to the LSU campus. We saw Mike the Tiger and let Cooper and Caroline play on the Indian Mounds. They had a lot of fun and we got several great pictures.

Sunday we took it easy. We went for beignets and coffee at Coffee Call and then we spent time playing with the kids at the house. Caroline took us down "her path" the was behind their house and ran along a creek. After that the kids played in the sprinkler for a while. Later in the day Jeff and I took his kayak out on the LSU lakes. We paddled for a hour or so and then picked up shrimp/crawfish po' boys for dinner.

Overall it was a great trip. The travel was simple and most of all it was great to see our friends. The only bad part was leaving, knowing that we live far apart and probably won't see each other for a while. Thanks so much Ashley and Jeff for being great hosts. We love you guys, miss you already, and can't wait until the next time we get to see y'all.