#AtoZChallenge: E is for is he EVER going to catch up?

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It’s never too late to be thankful, right?

I’ve tried to tie my weekly Go Ask Daddy posts to the Friday gratitude attitude going around the blogging world. The combination ranks higher than, say, those KFC-Taco Bell duos you find sometimes out and about.

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down to jot the good stuff in my notebook, though.

I’ve been thankful for, you know, a job that offers benefits and enough dough to get my kids off free lunch. This feels like the American dream to me. But I want to make this list not just about that because I’m almost kind of tired of writing about it.

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#AtoZChallenge: D is for designer, as in graphic, as in #GirlsRock: An interview with Amber Lorine

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I always told Hayden I thought she’d someday own a business.

I still believe in that. She just has that enterprising spirit, that quiet assuredness to get the job done. Today’s #GirlsRock spotlight falls on a woman who started her own business and gave it her name.

Meet Amber Lorine, the graphic designer behind Amber Lorine Design.

She also works for Rezenerate as a graphic designer. Today, D in the #AtoZChallenge is for designer. (I can be clever like that, and it’s a good way to get this interview in. We finished it a couple of months ago!)

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#AtoZChallenge: C is for Courtney Wright, guest blogger

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I’m gasping for air a bit in all this #AtoZChallenge hubbub.

Hypothetically, of course. While the entire universe shares its tales of the letter E, I toil away, seeking bits of time to steal to write my C post. And it’s essentially written for me, thanks to today’s guest poster, Courtney, of Blog Me This.

Thanks for the lift, C.

So Courtney is along for the ride as my C-train ticket. She writes a wonderful blog, but even more crucially, she’s an unshakable blog friend who will shine through for you in your darkest or most blog-less and snack-less moments.

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#AtoZChallenge: B is for Boy without a job

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Note: This is part of an occasional series about my journey to find a job.

This is a story about a boy.

This boy has a story to tell. He hasn’t been allowed to tell it. Then, he thought better of telling it. Because it’s a story about losing a job and feeling lost and helpless. He usually tells stories of enchiladas and bad-ass soccer girls.

But he’s standing here now, wearing a hair net and smelling of bulk scallops, wondering who he is right now.

Only, that thought lasts less time than it takes to bag up a pound of scallops (or wrap a whole salmon without dipping your sleeves in salmon slime.) When an employer tells you you’re unfit to write any more, out of the blue, you can do one of two things:

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Go Ask Daddy about education, aviation, and chocolatization

Stormtrooper Christmas
C’mon. Christmas can last all year. Especially when you take a boatload of Christmas-themed photos for your blog and then don’t write for a month. Happy Holidays, y’all.

I’m grateful for dreams.

GAD GRAPHICNo, not the ones with January Jones and bacon cheeseburgers, although those are also everything. I’m grateful for my kids’ dreams, the ones of becoming a vet tech or playing college soccer or getting a kickass role in the school play.

Hayden has a chance to play at the next level and is fortunate enough to have choices.

We visited Wingate University today and I think there were some love sparks. They invited her to an ID camp this summer. She’d stay on campus for several days and be immersed in college life there.

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Go Ask Daddy about thrills, bling and perils to the family jewels

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You know how some things go really well together?

GAD GRAPHICLike, my mouth and enchiladas, for instance. (Why must it always be about food?) Every Friday, I write the Go Ask Daddy post. It’s five questions, picked at random, from a list of nearly 300 that my girls ask through the course of a day.

Lots of my blog friends write their gratitude posts on Fridays.

I’m grateful, too. Just because I spend the day answering questions about Jimmy Hendrix, finances and firefighters, it doesn’t mean I’m not eternally grateful for lots of stuff. In fact, I’ve started a gratitude journal, and it’s got stuff in it.

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Go Ask Daddy about quarterback uncertainty, poultry designations and what to bury in the ground for posterity

Von Miller and stormtrooper
The Broncos might have missed the playoffs, but Von Miller is still the best. (Plus, we’ll get a good draft pick.)

Jersey numbers mean a lot to me.

GAD GRAPHICI can see a number on a back and think immediately and randomly of favorite players, from teams I’ve loved or coached or both, who wore that number. It’s especially common when the Denver Broncos wear their orange jerseys.

I see 80 and think of Haven Moses, of Joe Dudek when I see 32 and, at seeing 43, remember Steve Foley.

Those who wear a number belong to the team in the moment. There were 33s, 29s, and 5s before them, and after they’re gone, someone else will suit up in that number. While you’re in our colors you’re loved; after you’ve moved on, you’re remembered.

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Go Ask Daddy about tracks, infamy and the colors nature uses for cool stuff

stormtrooper christmas
I have all these stormtrooper pictures I hoped to use around Christmas, but I didn’t blog much then! This one is in Madison’s Christmas village. At the library, presumably to check out a book about shooting straight. Also, note: I’m back, you dirty animals. No more blog droughts, dammit.

The place I usually play disc golf is the place I used to run.

Running has been the struggle I’ve kept returning to grapple with. (That, and sugar cookies.) I’ll download Pandora on my app-strapped phone, jot down the intervals on a piece of paper, and hit the trail at Veterans Park in Mint Hill.

I’ve jogged and huffed and warmed up and cooled down for laps and laps there.

The figure-eight loop I’d run engulfs two soccer pitches. One is the place a middle-school girls team I coached years ago called home, shabby grounds that were mostly dirt and pebbles when we played there. A rival once scoffed at it before a game.

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Here’s to making 20, something (or, happy birthday, Madison)

stormtrooper madison (2)I had to wait a day to get my favorite birthday present. That was 20 years ago.

Camdyn’s two goals Saturday come in a close second. What kid can score on her dad’s birthday? It’s just Camdyn doing Camdyn things. Hayden’s done it, too. It’s kind of Babe Ruthian to go out and deliver on a day and on a dime.

Sunday, Madison turned 20.

She nearly shared my birthday, did you know that? If her mama’s contractions hadn’t stopped around the time M*A*S*H* comes on TV, this would be a different post. That was 20 years ago now. The girls are rolling through all the milestones, 12, 13, 16, 17, 20 …

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