Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Since We Last Met...

...we've moved all furniture in (except a chair at the Teller's and some odds and ends at the Hood's and Bryant's); we built and hung the top cabinets, laid tile in the laundry room; put up our Christmas tree; and moved ourselves in. As you can tell we've been sort of busy. Below are two pictures of what the cabinets looked like this morning before we left for work. Today the counter tops are being installed, so I am sure the kitchen will look a lot different when I update again. We are really nearing the end of the major remodel/renovation. There are a few other things we want/need to do, but nothing to the extent of what we've done already. Hopefully in the near future I will do a series of before and after posts.

All bottom cabinets have been finished and the tops have been primed. We'll begin doors and drawers soon

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Making Good Progress

It's been almost two weeks since my last update about the progress on the house. The last time I posted about the house Derrick and I had almost completed the bottom cabinets and the floor company had just finished the floors. Well we've now painted the entire upstairs except for Cooper's room (which will not be painted); put in new shoe mould; moved about 1/4 of our boxes and all furniture except for our TV, armoire, and what furniture we are using at the Hood's; Derrick and I have moved the bottom cabinets upstairs; and we put a new door in the laundry room. We've done other things here and there, but that's the majority of what we've completed over the last two weeks. There have been several LATE nights, but we've gotten a lot done. Allison went a few days ago and picked out our counter tops and sink. The company is coming on Tuesday to measure for the counter tops and they told her it would be one to two weeks after that when they will come to install them. This weekend we are planning to move the remaining boxes as well as the TV and armoire. I am also hoping to get my dad to help me tile the laundry room floor.

These rooms turned out better than I thought they would

There's still work to be done on them, but the cabinets are up and mounted in the kitchen

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Four Whole Years!

Has it really been four years? Four years since Allison called me that day while at lunch and said "well, your going to be a daddy today." I can't believe Cooper turns four years old today. For those that have older children four years probably doesn't seem like much. But for us, we really can't believe how big he is getting. Coop, we love you so much buddy. You light up our house and we love how much you love others. You are a great little boy who loves to explore and learn new things. You are a lot like your mommy from you looks to the fact that you don't like for things to be out of place. You like whoopy cushions, nut crackers, and Tennessee football (although you told me you were going to play football for Auburn). You are very curious about everything, and don't really like a general answer to any question. We love you buddy, and hope you have a great fourth birthday.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Next Steps

The next steps are under way. Derrick and I got started on the cabinets on Monday night and the floor company sanded and finished the floors on Tuesday and Wednesday. The floors look great and we made a lot of headway on the cabinets.

Let's be clear, Derrick is the one driving the cabinet ship. I like to call myself his apprentice. I am doing what he tells me and am trying to learn and soak in as much as I can. It was very cool to see the corner cabinet as an assembled product and I had a lot of fun helping and learning. As most of you know, I have not ever been accused of being handy, but hopefully through this project I will learn to be a little more handy than before. Now I just need some more tools...

We finished most of the bottom cabinets on my day off yesterday

We set up the cabinets as they will be arranged on the back wall of our kitchen

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Floors are In

Tuesday morning I met the floor installation guys at the house at 8:30. There were 2 of them and they got the kitchen/dining room floor installed. From what I can tell they did a great job. When I met with the guys from the company at the house he said he wasn't sure if they would be able to get it woven into the hallway and den area or not. When we got there to check it out, however, they were able to get both doorways done. This coming Tuesday the finishers will be there to sand the entire upstairs and finish all the floors to look the same. This will take three days, since they are putting three coats of polyurethane down. We are going with a natural finish and are definitely excited to see how it looks when it's finished.

Tomorrow my dad is planning to finish up the drywall. Allison and I are going to measure for trim, baseboards, crown molding, as well as do other odds and ends that we can get done. We have a long list of to-dos, but I think we can make a small dent in it tomorrow. Hopefully the roof will be replaced early next week. He said the timing will depend on if the shingles we picked are in stock or not, but he will let me know when they will be there. Moving right along...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Latest Home Update

Okay, so we're now a few weeks into the home renovation/repair/remodel. Our chimney has been rebuilt, the hardwood is being installed today, and the drywall has been hung in the kitchen. My dad has put one coat of drywall mud on the walls with at least two more to go, I think. Also, Derrick replaced the valve in the garage to allow water into the house last night/this morning. After the guys finish installing the floors today, Derrick and I will start on the tile in the laundry room as well as other projects that need to be done before moving in. As you can see, there are lots of things going at once, hopefully culminating with getting finished and us moving in the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Beginning stages of the chimney repair. Completed pictures coming soon.

Walls up and floors out.

Here's the pile of flooring that's going in the kitchen. Maybe I'll have another picture tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

First Trip to Neyland

This past Saturday Cooper and I went to watch Tennessee play Alabama at Neyland Stadium. This was Cooper's first regular season game. Earlier in the year we didn't think it was worth taking him to a game. But since we took him to the Orange and White game in 2009 and he cried when we left, we thought he may do okay. This time I am pretty sure he was more excited about seeing the cheerleaders than he was about watching the game. We had a lot of fun. He watched movies on the way to Knoxville and fell asleep about 10 minutes before we got to where we were going to park. We stayed through the first half and most of the 3rd quarter. When the game began to get out of hand I asked Cooper if he wanted to go home. He said yes and since it was already getting late and we had a long drive home we left. I usually don't advocate leaving a game early, but this was a special circumstance. He fell asleep about 45 minutes into our drive home and we got back around midnight. Overall it was a really fun trip and I think Cooper enjoyed it also. Hopefully it was just the first of many trips we will get to take to see games.

All dressed up and ready to go!

Not looking at the camera. The cheerleaders were right in front of us.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

One Week In

Okay, so we're a week into the home renovation/remodel. First I have to thank Derrick for all the hard work he's put in. He's labored, thought, and planned this out and Allison and I are so thankful. I also appreciate Cody, Daniel, and Jeff for coming over and helping with a lot of the labor as well. As of today, you can't really tell that the room is a kitchen, but it's all coming together (at least in our minds). Apparently the house has started "talking" to Allison and Derrick and what they have planned is going to look great. Things are moving right along. We have an electrician coming Monday morning; Derrick, my dad, and me are starting to hang the drywall tomorrow afternoon; and the floor company is coming to put down hardwood a week from Tuesday. Unfortunately, the floors have to be in a week before they can sand, but it won't put us too far behind.

This is what the kitchen looked like when we bought the house, without our stuff strewn about of course.

Here's the kitchen from another angle. You may or may not recognize this angle a few pictures below.

Moving right along...

This is what the kitchen currently looks like.

Monday, October 18, 2010

And So It Begins

Well, for those of you that follow this blog (I understand there hasn't been much activity lately) it's about to take on a new theme for a little while. That theme is going to be home renovation! Allison and I closed on our new house Friday and have started on some of the renovation work we want to do. Hopefully I will be able to post pictures along the way, so stay tuned and see what we are able to accomplish in the next month or so.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dungeon Living

Monday morning I got a text from Derrick that said "How was the first night in the dungeon?" Until then, I had not really thought of our space at the Hoods as a "dungeon." It's actually very comfortable, mainly because Derrick has done a great job on the work down there and Allison did a great job setting things up so that it feel like "home." I will tell you one thing for sure though, it is extremely dark down there! On Tuesday morning Cooper woke up about 6am and in a very inquisitive voice he said "Daddy," as if to make sure I was there. When I answered him his next question was "Can I get up?" This probably this stems from the fact that we often tell him he can't get up until the sun comes up. Since there is no windows in in the basement, Cooper has no idea whether or not the sun is up. After feeling our way around the room the first two nights, we decided we needed a night light. Thankfully Heather had one we could use. It made a big difference and at least now we can see to get around when the lights are off downstairs.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

We're Moved

Well, we closed. Last Friday around 1:30pm Allison and I signed the documents selling our first house. This was the first home we owned. This is the first home that Cooper has known. Our neighbors were awesome, the neighborhood is great, and it is close to several members of our family and other friends. But, it was time to move. We have our reasons and we feel that it was the right thing to do, but that didn't make it any easier. I was actually surprised at how tough it was to leave. Especially when my neighbors come over just as I was walking through the house for the last time. The buyer is getting a good house, in a good neighborhood, with great neighbors. I hope he appreciates it as much as Allison and I did, and always will.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Since Allison was in law school I have said I want to do a triathlon. We had a few friends that she was in school with that competed in them and that's what put the idea in my head. When we moved to Nashville and I went to work at FMC, one of the partners there competed in triathlons. By that time I was running quite a bit and the idea became a little stronger. Last year I put it on my goal list for the year, but put it off until it was too late to get one in before it got too cold.

Well, this year I did it. I competed in the Music City Triathlon in July and the Cedars of Lebanon Triathlon this past Saturday. I had two really good experiences, although they were both very different. I believe the main difference was the weather. Both days were sunny, however, the temperature at Music City was probably over 80 degrees before I even got in the water and the temperature at Cedars was probably only about 80 degrees when I finished the race. The other difference is probably the most evident: swimming in the river vs. swimming in a pool. I am glad for the experience that I got swimming in the river, but swimming in the pool was definitely easier and made the transition to the bike a little more palatable.

As it happened with running, I think I have caught the bug. I enjoyed the change of pace that you get with three separate events in one race. While I would love to think that one day I can complete an Iron Man distance, but I am not sure that will ever happen. The amount of time and effort that takes is unfathomable. What I can tell you is that I am already thinking about which triathlons I want to compete in next season. My goal for next year is to complete at least one intermediate or Olympic distance triathlon and based on that I will try to figure out if a longer distance is even worth considering. The next race I will be competing in is the Middle Half. This will be the second year that Allison and I have competed in this race. We also have several friends that will be there. That should make it even more fun. And as that race relates to triathlons, a half-marathon is the third leg of a half Iron Man. Maybe one day...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stress Relief

I started running for two reasons: 1)I was 60 pounds heavier than I was my Senior year in high school and 2)my firm was participating in a 5k as a team and I wanted to participate. Before this I had always thought of running as punishment. Having played baseball since I was six and football in high school, running was issued out for messing up either on or off the field. Because of this I had a very hard time running and definitely didn’t enjoy it.

Fast forward eight years. (Wow, I can’t believe I’ve been running that long.) I have now ran several 5k races, 1 10k, 2 half marathons (now training for my 3rd), and earlier this summer I completed my first triathlon with a second to hopefully be completed on Saturday. If asked, I would definitely consider myself a runner.

Back in the days when I first started, I hated it! A guy I worked with would always talk about how he got stress relief from running. He even said that while studying for the CPA exam he would take a break and go for a run. I used to tell him “No thanks! I feel like I get more stressed out during and after a run. I have definitely come to understand what he was talking about. The longer I run, the more I want to run. During the house selling/buying process I have definitely found myself more stressed out than normal. In the times that I feel the most stressed I also find myself looking for the next opportunity to exercise. Whether it’s a 3 mile run, a 10 mile bike, swimming a few laps, or simply working out in the gym, I have come to use exercise as a stress reliever. Anytime I feel stressed and have a chance to exercise I feel an immediate sense of relief. It may not last too long, but it definitely gets me back on the right track.

I know this isn’t a scientific experiment, but exercising definitely reduces my stress level. What do you do to reduce or relieve stress?

Monday, August 23, 2010

House Hunting

I guess this subject is as good as any to break my 3 month blogging hiatus.

Allison and I put our house on the market back in the middle of June. Exactly 8 weeks later we had a contract on our house, which in this market was definitely a blessing. As people learned that we had sold our house we started hearing things like, "you're in the driver's seat now," and "oh, now comes the fun part," and the one I have heard for months "this is a buyers market." Well let me say, this has not been fun at all for me. And because it hasn't been fun, and actually has been extremely stressful for me, it has caused extra stress on Allison.

Apparently what I consider a buyer's market and what others think is a buyer's market are not the same thing. My thought of a buyer's market is that people do not list their houses for more than they are worth, and if they do, they don't expect to sell them for more than they are worth. This also hasn't been our experience. We have made offers on three houses and have not gotten any of them. The first was listed far less that it was worth and we weren't the best offer. Fair enough. The other two offers we made, however, were fair offers. Apparently these sellers just weren't ready to sell their houses.

Oh well. A place for us to live is out there. It may just be in Heather and Derrick's garage for the time being.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

They Really Are Perceptive

While I understand he gets it honest, Cooper likes to talk. A lot. It is not uncommon for us to drive all the way home from church (30 minutes) with Cooper talking the entire way. No exaggeration. And most of the time we have fun conversations while we are in the car and I really don't mind all of the talking. As I said before, he got it honest. Sometimes, however, I don't fully engage and/or don't fully pay attention to what he saying or talking about. The other day we were waiting in the care for Allison to come down from her office. He was talking to me and I was listening to the radio. As he was talking I was halfway paying attention and responding generally. The conversation went something like this:

Cooper: Daddy, are we in the car?
Me: Yes.
Cooper: Daddy, are we going home.
Me: Yes. (at this time I started to check out because he was asking questions simply to have something to say)
Cooper: some question that I don't remember
Me: Yeah
Cooper: another question I don't remember
Me: Yeah
Cooper: Daddy, you're not really listening to me, you're just saying yeah. You're supposed supposed to say 'Oh, yeah that's right!'

He totally busted me. So many times we think they aren't comprehending or paying attention. They definitely are. I guess I need to pay more attention, huh?

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Tale of Two Disasters

I can't imagine that anyone who is reading this blog is unaware of the events that took place in Nashville and the surrounding areas on May 1-2. If you aren't aware, there was what people are calling a 1000 year flood on that weekend. Hundreds of homes are destroyed and at least 10 people have been confirmed dead in Davidson County alone. I have been trying to process in my mind all that I have seen over the past 9 days or so. Every time I think about it my mind takes me back to Good Friday last year.

Cooper was out of school and I was off work. We had lunch with Allison at her office and when the news started calling for a tornado warning we left to head home. As Cooper and I got home the weather was really bad. We got in a closet and sat for several minutes as I listened to the TV from inside. When I was convinced that we were not in any danger we got out and I started watching the weather. As I watched they were switching back from the radar to a live feed from on top of the courthouse from the square in Downtown Murfreesboro. As I was watching the screen I saw what turned out to be a very large tornado pass by.

The next day I went out with LifePoint Church to help with the cleanup. We spent several hours cleaning trash and debris out of the yard of a friend. After that I spent the next few hours driving a gator around the neighborhood passing out cookies, water, and crackers to volunteers and victims of the tornado. I've never seen anything like that before. I literally stood on the foundation where, not 24 hours before, a house stood. I helped a lady try to salvage a tea set that her mother had brought her from England that was inside a kitchen of a house that only had one wall standing. The devastation was unbelievable.

As we sat in our living room two Saturdays ago, I again saw images that I will never forget. I saw a portable classroom float down I-24. The same stretch of I-24 that I had driven on about 24 hours before. I saw boats moving down that same stretch of interstate rescuing people on live TV. I heard stories of people being stranded on the top of a jeep for an hour before they decided it was safer to try to ride the current to keep from drowning (they were correct and they survived). I also, however, hear stories of a dad that saved one child and went to save the other only to be swept away as well as an elderly couple that were swept away by flood waters on their way to church.

This past Saturday I spent a few hours tearing down dry wall in a house that had about 4 1/2 feet of water inside during the flood. We literally removed everything in the house except the studs. Even 7 days after the flooding occurred, there was still water inside the walls of the home. Up and down the street we were working on there were houses with the same story. All of the insides were being removed due to flood waters. Just a few streets behind an elderly couple were killed during the flood. Just as I did last April, I stood in the middle of devastation. Among that devastation, however, I witnessed something truly encouraging...friends, neighbors, and strangers helping each other in times of need.

I am still not sure I will ever fully grasp or process what I witnessed while trying to help people clean up what was left of their homes. What I do know, however, is that the people of Middle Tennessee are great people. There has been an out pouring of support for the flood victims. Hands on Nashville has had over 8,500 people sign up to volunteer. Churches all over the area have stepped up and spent countless hours trying to help people pick up the pieces. I have, essentially, lived in the Nashville area my entire life. Never before have I witnessed people helping people as I have during these two times of difficulty. Never before have a I been as glad as I am now to call Nashville my home.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Country of My

One of the most telling conversations we had in Africa was with one of our interpreters. He was asking a few of us about how long we had been married, how many kids we had, how old they are, and things like that. At some point in the conversation he told us he "needed" to get married. We asked him why and he didn't really have an answer. I think it was here that he asked Mark what the perfect wife was. I am sure I am not going to get Mark's answer perfectly correct, but I believe this is generally what he told him. (Honestly, Mark's answer isn't the point. The point is how he responded to Mark's answer that told me all I needed to know about how Americans are viewed.) Mark told him that first, she should love God more than anything else, including her husband. Next he generalized husbands and wives and said, "after loving God, we should love our spouses more than ourselves. We should put their needs above our own" Upon hearing this, he sort of had a puzzled look on his face. Then he said, "But America is the country of my. My house, my car, my wife." Basically he was saying, "Americans don't put others first, they only think about themselves." Mark told him that we often think about our self first, however, God would have us put our spouse and their needs above any need that we may have.

This was one of several things in Africa that put a things in perspective for me. So often we get wrapped up in our wants and put other people's wants and needs on the back burner. My prayer is that, because of my new friend from Africa, I will be more mindful of others' needs and not be so focused on me.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Not Just a Suggestion

Before I went, as well as since I've returned, people say things like "I am sure this changed your life," or "I am sure this trip has given you a different outlook on things." Because this was my first mission trip, I don't know what I expected in terms of "life change" or "outlook." I can tell you one thing for certain, my outlook on things is very different and I certainly am looking at things and pondering how I can change the approach that I take to some things.

Last night the six of us that went to Africa had the opportunity to share with the church about our trip. Mark gave a general overview of the trip and the David went through a slide show of pictures that he took while we were there. After that, Mark went through a series of questions that led the discussion. One of the questions was "What made the greatest impact in your life spiritually from this experience?" I felt that this question got at the heart of the statements that various people have made.

We spent a lot of time, while in the village, talking to the person that stood up and became the first follower of Christ during Mark's first visit into the village. He is a teacher and he is very eager to learn more about Christ and what it means to be a Christ follower. Beyond that, he is doing exactly what the stories say Christ followers do...tell people about Jesus. When we got to the village we learned that he was not in the village. We were told he was visiting another village that his mother is from, but he would be back the following day. When he returned we learned that he had been telling the people of this village about Jesus. He asked us if we would be able to go into that village because he wanted the people there to meet us and hear some of the stories that we were telling. We definitely felt that we needed to go to this village. If for no other reason, I felt this would validate what he had been telling the people of this other village. I don't know why, but I was amazed at the fact that the story says followers of Jesus tell others about Jesus, and that's exactly what he did despite the fact that he's only be a follower of Christ for a few months.

I think the reason that I was amazed is because of my own lacking in this area. As we were going through the story he definitely knew what the story was about, but he couldn't tell the story back to us. This struck me because this is the excuse that I tell myself when I think about witnessing to someone. "I know the story, but what if they ask me a question that I don't know." This question plagues me, but not the villager. He just tells those around him about Jesus, just like Jesus told all of His followers. One of the main things I have taken away from this trip is Jesus didn't suggest that we tell others. He commanded us to. And that's what I'm going to work on. Doing what followers of Jesus do...tell others about Jesus.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

To The Ends of the Earth

A few weeks ago I asked you to pray for our group as we prepared for and went on our trip to Africa. I want to thank each of you that prayed for us. We had a great trip in which we were able to witness a worship service in the original village we visited and we saw 5 people accept Christ in a second village we were able to visit. I have just began to process all that I saw, so I am sure there are going to be multiple posts stemming from this trip. One thing I know for sure, I was glad to serve alongside the 5 guys I went with. I was able to get to know them much better than I otherwise would. I also got to see the heart that each one of them have to reach people for Jesus, no matter how far away from home or how long and tough the travel is. I am especially thankful for Mark. He has a great heart for unreached people and was a great leader for the five of us that were going into countries that we had never been to. I look forward to seeing what God is going to do through the people of our church and those partnering with us to help reach these people in West Africa.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Will You Pray for Us?

In just over 2 weeks I will be leaving with a group of 5 other guys to go to Africa. We are going on a trip to engage an unreached people group. Our pastor took a trip to the village we will be visiting back in October and saw 19 people accept Christ. Not too long ago a journey girl was back in the village and returned with great news. She said that they meet together every week to sing, dance, pray, and tell stories together. There is also a possibility that we will attempt to find another village of the same people group during one of the days we are there.

For those of you that know me well know that I don't spend a lot of time camping and that I am not well traveled. This trip will definitely have its fair share of these activities. That being said, Allison and I have both felt for sometime that God was calling us to spend time in Africa. We had no idea when or how, but when Mark told the church about this people group we were both excited about the opportunity to be involved.

So, I am looking for people that will commit to pray for us. Please pray for our group as we travel. Please pray for safe travel, for good health during the trip, and that we will be able to make a great impact on the people we will be engaging. Also, pray for each guy on the trip and the impact that it will have on us. I know for me, this will be unlike any trip I have ever taken.

Will you commit to pray for us?

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

"People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen." The quote from the book, in my opinion, sums up this book. This book takes the you into the author's life and a point in his life when he made a decision to start living his life on purpose.

This was a great book. It was a very easy read, very funny, but at the same time it has a great message. I love that he was able to convey a lesson about making stories with your life while sharing some of the stories he has made in his own life. I write in most non-fiction books that I read. When I started this one I didn't get a highlighter or pen. After about twenty pages, however, I quickly realized that I needed to have something that I could mark pages with. I started this review with the quote that I believe gives the premise of the book. Because of this, it has really made me think about the stories that I am making and the memories that we, as a family, are making.

I definitely recommend this book. Especially if you are looking for something light, funny, but has a great message. To read more about this book you can read more here and you can buy it here.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as a part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to give a positive review of this book and all of the opinions are mine.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Snow Day!

Today it began snowing downtown around 8ish. At 9:30 Allison and I decided to head home. We went and picked up Cooper at daycare (which was closing at 11:00) and headed toward Smyrna. At the time, the roads were much worse in Nashville than in Smyrna. The traffic was terrible, but as the roads got better the farther south we went, the traffic got better as well.

After getting home and eating lunch, I called our neighbor to see if he and his daughter wanted to go sledding. He did and we met at a middle school near our neighborhood with a pretty good hill in front. We spent 2 hours sledding and there were about 10 people there when we got there, but about 20 when we left. Cooper absolutely loved it! He was a little apprehensive at first, but by the end he was sliding down, head first, by himself. We had a lot of fun and will definitely go back tomorrow. Hopefully we can get 2-4 more inches tonight, which will make for a great time.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Yesterday, while getting ready to go for a run I thought about running five miles. After I got started I quickly decided that today was going to be a 3 mile kind of day. I often fall into this trap. As I am getting ready, I think to myself, "I am going to run somewhere between three and five miles today. I will decide when I get out there." Bad idea. Almost inevitably I am going to start getting tired after about a mile and decide, "three miles it is!" Many times, however, I can push myself on through and "practice not quitting."

I don't think yesterday was going to be one of those days. I started off and felt really strong after about one mile. The difference was, I started thinking about all of the things that we needed to do. Take a shower, birthday party, grocery store, Target. Thinking about these things, I quickly decided that I was only running 3 miles. As I finished about 1.5 miles I could see a guy running toward me up ahead. When we crossed paths, he held out his arm, gave me a high five, and said "have a great day." I don't know if I appeared to be struggling, but that's what I needed to get going, a little encouragement. It wasn't anything huge, just a quick high five that, to me, said "keep going, you don't need to stop at 3 miles," so I continued on and finished a 4 mile run.

A little bit of encouragement goes a long way. Whether it's at our job, toward a friend, toward our spouse, or just another runner on the street. As I finished my run I began thinking about some of the ways that I can do a better job of encouraging people. Hopefully I can offer a little to someone.

What are some of the ways that you encourage others or like to be encouraged?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Disaster in Haiti

As all of you know by now there was an earthquake that registered 7.0 that stuck Haiti a few days ago. From what I have read, there are probably tens of thousands of deaths. There is widespread destruction in what is one of the poorest countries on earth. One of the descriptions I read today was "take all of the destruction from the tsunami a few years ago and put that all in an area the size of Dallas/Ft. Worth. Unfortunately, there are many scams going around. I have not heard of any specifically, just that if you are able to give, you should only do so to organizations that you know are legit. One organization that I know is legit is Compassion International.

Compassion sponsors and donors serve more than 65,000 children in Haiti. At least a third of them live in the areas that were hardest hit. You can click here to give to Compassion's Haiti Earthquake Disaster Relief. For more information on how you can help those affected by the Haiti Earthquake you can check out this blog. And for bloggers, there is a lot of information there that you can use to post to your site in order to try to help Compassion raise as much money and awareness as possible for the people of Haiti.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Goals for 2010 - part 2

In my last post, I mentioned that I would be posting my goals for 2010. What I didn't mention was that Allison and I are continuing a tradition that we started doing last year, creating goals for the upcoming year. We have been friends with the Tidwells for a long time. For the past several years at dinner around the first of the year Nick would ask us, "So, what are your goals for this year?" Each year I would say something to the effect of, "I don't know, what are yours?" Well, last year Allison and I decided to come up with some goals of our own. We are doing that again this year, and maybe, by posting them here, I will be more accountable to stay on top of them.

I was planning to post my goals on my blog, but after reading a blog post from Michael Smith, the worship past at our church, and Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson, I am even more convinced that it will help me be motivated to achieve these goals throughout the year. One thing that both of these posts made clear is that it is good to get your goals out there. Whether it's telling those you lead or your peers, or posting them on your blog for all to see, getting your goals out there gives you another layer of accountability.

I have a list of several goals. As I said in my earlier post, some of these were on the list last year but didn't get completed.

So, here they are - my goals for 2010.
  • More meaingful and consistent prayer time
  • More meaingful and consistent quiet time
  • Read through the Bible by 12/31/10
  • Memorize at least one verse every week
  • Consistent posting to my blog (at least 2 times per week)
  • Become a better writer
  • Become more organized
  • Complete a triathlon
  • Finish a 5k in fewer than 24 minutes

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Goals for 2010

I have never really been a resolution guy. I don't know if it was just laziness or realizing that I probably wouldn't stick to some unrealistic thing to do. Well, last year I decided that I would make a list of goals for 2009. I think I listed about 10 goals and actually achieved about half of them. I am doing the same thing for 2010. Part of my issue with not reaching all of my 2009 goals was that I didn't go back to my list often enough. A few of my goals were to be completed throughout the year, and once I got away from them, I got too far behind and couldn't get back on track. This year, however, I am going to keep the list somewhere that I will be able review it often. I have not totally settled on my list, but I know of several that are going on there. Some of the goals that will go on the 2010 list are the unreached goals of 2009, but most of them are new goals. I am breaking my list down into three categories: physical, mental, & spiritual. I think I will have 3-4 goals in each category and hopefully this time next year I will have a blog post that reports that I have completed all goals for 2010.

What about you, do you set goals for each year? Do you have a hard time reaching your goals each year?