For the faith and agony ahead, I’m actually grateful

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My soccer boys must face a team next week that we angered greatly last week.

We did nothing wrong. Outside of beating them. After the match, they sat on the turf in various stages of disbelief. An older, more experienced team tested and topped by a band of upstarts. It’s a sweet feeling to pull out a win like this.

And now, we must go to their place.

Moments that shape us aren’t limited to wins. Moments of discomfort and fatigue and dismay contribute to that ever-changing DNA of self. No matter what happens next week, the team we will convene as the next day will in part become a result of this match.

Continue reading “For the faith and agony ahead, I’m actually grateful”

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Behind The Scenes Of My Big Beautiful Eclipse Day

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My schedule eclipsed my ability to write about the eclipse.

The experience though. It began in line before 6 a.m. in a Shoney’s parking lot. It ended with lots of thoughts and yet no time to write about them. It took equal parts cunning and patience to even get my hands on eclipse glasses for the family to share.

And I don’t know about you parents out there. I felt like we were tons more enthused about this whole event than the younger generation.

And that’s fine. I couldn’t wait for eclipse day when I was a kid. I was a dinosaur/space/NFL nerd then. (And now.) It felt like that pressure our parents put on us as kids when the Peanuts holiday specials came on because we MUST watch this!

Because of course.

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No More Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

IMG_20170709_170402I’ve been hiding a long time.

I had to go with that opening line, because I’d promised someone I would. I’m glad, though, because this friend suggested it as we talked about how things are going for me now, and it perfectly tells the story.

No, I’m not coming out of the closet.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. You might have noticed more of a mindful bent on Mondays around here. I can’t help it. Between meditation on Wednesday, yoga on Friday (something old and new), and prayers for world peace on Sundays …

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Go Ask Daddy About Head Injuries, Soccer Stars, and the Storm That Canceled Everything in Charlotte

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It’s not good when a first-round draft pick in the NFL is known for getting more concussions than championship rings.

GAD GRAPHICThat was quarterback David Carr’s reality. The Houston Texans chose Carr, a star at Fresno State, first overall in the 2002 draft. In five brutal seasons behind a makeshift expansion team offensive line, Carr was sacked 249 times. He signed with the Carolina Panthers in 2007.

I had a chance to talk to him about his concussions when I worked for the Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record and Associated Press.

Carr suffered at least three concussions with Houston, and at least one with Carolina. I asked him about the injuries once, and he categorized each hit as distinct from the others. Once, in Tennessee, he said, I took a hit, and sat up and looked around the stadium.

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Sometimes You’re El Maestro, Sometimes You’re Most Definitely Not

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I’m going to tell the team to call me maestro next season, I mentioned to Hayden.

It was in jest, of course. I’d been listening to Mitch Albom’s The Mighty Strings of Frankie Presto. In it, the main character calls his teacher, of course, maestro. Hayden gave me the look. No, she protested.

We could go with guru instead, I offered. They both mean teacher. (I had momentum.)

If you do, I’ll tell the school that you did something awful that you didn’t really do, Hayden threatened. And they’ll have to fire you. This, incidentally, ended the conversation. No maestro. No guru. Just coach, and I’m grateful to have that!

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Why Settling (Always) for an Omelet is a Lousy Way to be a Father

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Hey … guess what five words anger my kids. Like, instantly.

  1. Your game has been canceled
  2. Your sister’s wearing your pants
  3. We’re all out of cheese

Actually, all of those could be considered true statements.

(If she finds out her game’s been cancelled while her sister’s wearing her pants and we’re out of cheese? Well, ever kicked a hornet’s nest?) No, the five-word string I mutter at times that nearly 100% sets them through the roof like bull sharks after tourists is:

I’ll just have an omelet.

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3+ Uncommonly Good Gifts for a Happy Father’s Day

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Stormtrooper in a pickle at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, S.C.

I just wanted them to pretend.

Kids are busy, though. There are church camps and chicken fajitas with friends in restaurants way past the dinner rush. There’s a whole day spent with a friend from school, laying out at the pool and baking chocolate chip cookies.

Kids my kids’ age don’t have time to pretend anymore.

So I will. My friends at Uncommon Goods have the coolest stuff you could possibly get your dad (outside of one of those sweet Rockies jerseys.) Uncommon Goods has some uncommon traits going for them as a company, too, in an effort for sustainability.

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Blissful Ways to Conquer Clutter and Embrace Chaos

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photo credit: DocChewbacca Ueno Park via photopin (license)

Our couch has endured sleeping, chocolate, pizza sauce, snow, mud, cats, kids, and more.

It’s more than one couch. Our couches have more incarnations than The Doctor. They endure everything short of locusts, by all accounts. The damn thing will stay until it collapses on itself like that house at the end of Poltergeist.

But, that’s how we do things.

We wear clothes until they fall off our shoulders. We squeeze every molecule of Polynesian dressing out of the tubs we procure from Chick-fil-A (they’re so friendly there, they don’t stop my girls from asking for 17 packets of sauce for a six-pack of nuggets.)

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Dad in the Kitchen: Brown & White Sugar Waffles (For People of All Colors)

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I love me some symbolism.

Like, red in the Colorado flag, to symbolize the state’s red soil. Or the Mandala, to stand for eternal harmony. Or even a blue star on the side of a silver helmet. This stands for a team allergic to playoff victories.

Symbolism isn’t lost on me in the kitchen, either.

Here’s the recipe for my Brown and White Sugar Waffles. They’re representative of my children, actually, part brown like dad, half white, like mom. In perfect harmony, ironed to light and crispy perfection, with a hint of vanilla.

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