Monday, August 27, 2007

Child Garden

Merriam Websters provides the etymology for the word 'Kindergarten": German, from Kinder children + Garten garden. Normally, I wouldn't care, but since today was Cassie's first day of school, it's been a pretty amazing morning.

Cassie started today with at Dorsey Elementary School in Rowlett. She was so excited this morning that she got up great at 6:40AM. When we dropped her off, you could tell she was a little nervous, but also very excited. She hung up her school bag and lunch box, put on her ID lanyard, hugged her brother and sister, and sat at a desk. Mom was about to cry, but everyone else handled it very well.

I don't remember my first day of school, but I am finding it very hard to comprehend that my baby is grown up enough to already be attending elementary school. I'm sure it will just be a flash where she's graduating high school and looking for colleges.

Marissa also started Junior High today, and was more nervious that Cassie. Clearly, she has more social pressures that Cassie does - but thankfully she has friends and a big brother to help her acclimate. Next year, the girls will be old pros and Dylan will start high school.

The kids were kind enough to let me take a picture of them - below it is the picture from MY first day of kindergarten with my sister, Michele and my brother, Marc (from 1974).

The kids dress much more hip than we did.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Stress Free

Is it possible to live stress free?

For the last couple of days, Angie and I have been living the life - running around the east end of Long Island like we haven't had a care in the world. We taken leisurely drives, walked around antique stores and junk shops, we've eaten at fine restaurants and greasy spoons, we've taken pictures and caught fish. We've walked the concrete jungle and sailed the open ocean. We've laughed so hard that snot came out of our noses.
We've hugged and kissed and snuggled like we haven't in a long time.

But, we are now back to reality and home.

My question is, "How do we keep it going? How do we live a life that focuses on the important things and doesn't let the worries of life get in the way?"


Monday, August 13, 2007

40 days to 40 years

In forty days, Angie turns 40. The incredible thing is that people often think she is much younger. In fact, we often have a good laugh because people think she is much younger than she is, and that I am much older than I am. I've blogged before that she has these natural good looks. I think she is just awesome and love her more today than I did when we were married. That being said, I don't believe she is having trouble with turning forty. If she is, she's hiding it well. We shall see.

To lighten the blow, I've decided to treat the next 40 days, until she turns 40, as each day being her birthday. You see, I have a history of not making a big enough deal about her birthdays or other holidays. I'm not going to make that mistake for her 40th.

The first day we spent in Manhattan and saw Xanadu on Broadway. (Un)fortunately, we had rented the cheesy movie a couple of nights ago, so we knew the story. The pleasant surprise is that the play was a spoof/homage and was very funny. We had a great time as we watched from our front row seats. Add a dirty water dog from a Sabrett guy in Times Square, and we were good to go.

We finished the evening at one of my favorite restaurants on Long Island, Gasho of Japan. It's a Japanese Hibachi style restaurant and the filet mignon and lobster tail was great. We'll spend the next couple of days on the East End of Long Island in Riverhead, the Hamptons, and Montauk - where ever Angie wants to go.

Should be easy to find opportunities to celebrate her birthday. It will get hard when we get home.

You know what? That's ok, she's worth it.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Poof! We've Disappeared

Because of school, work and particularly the travel that I've done of late, Angie and I have not had a great deal of time to spend together. In fact, it seems as though we've allowed our normal day to day routines to steal some of the time we get to spend together. Add the looming prospects of school starting (for me, the kids, AND Angie), as well as hunting season starting soon, and it becomes apparent that if allowed, our relationship could take second seat...

...not a smart thing to do!

So, to stave off the doldrums, Angie, Cassie and I leave for NY today. However, after spending a couple of days with family (which is always so awesome), Angie and I pick up a rental car and disappear off the face of the earth. Cassie gets to stay with AMA.

Where are we going? I can't tell you! Actually, we have tickets to Xanadu on Broadway for Sunday and then we'll drive east until we get out to the Hamptons on Long Island. We'll hide out there for a couple of days driving through small towns, eating seafood, having a cocktail or two, and checking out the beach. Ultimately, we'll be spending ALONE time together.

I can't think of a better vacation.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I Had Forgotten

I had forgotten how beautiful the mountains were...I forgot how bumpy the approach to the airport was. I forgot how much I enjoyed Utah.

Yesterday, I landed in Salt Lake City to officially kick off training and our vendor relationship. Since February, I have been working on documenting our needs, evaluating and ultimately selecting a vendor, and now coordinating launch. Yesterday we kicked off training and today I had a full day of meetings with the vendor. Tonight I address the engineers.

Then - off to one of my favorite-"ist" restaurants at one of my favorite-"ist" places. The restaurant is the Foundry Grill and it is located at the top of Sundance, Robert Redford's personal mountain here in Utah.

The food is amazing, the views are awesome, even the drive through the valley and up the mountain is fun. I just love it, and I haven't been there in a while. After coming to Utah many times since 1998, I hadn't been here since - frankly, I don't remember how long it's been. A couple of years, I think.

Just add it to the list of things I had forgotten.


Monday, August 06, 2007

Rabbit Season

AMA's not gonna be happy reading this one...

Yesterday, while perusing Bass Pro, I found an excellent entry-level model on sale and, with matching funds to Angie, I bought it. My first rifle. All four-legged creatures in Texas are now shaking in their fur.

I purchased a Savage combo package (comes with scope and lock). It's a model 11fxp3, a .270 caliber bolt action. It's not wood, but has a synthetic stock and is very light. Both the manufacturer and the caliber were recommended to me by Angie's family of avid hunters, so I know I couldn't go wrong.

I'll limit myself to the range for this hunting season until we get down to Goliad in the spring like last year. I'll let the boys go for the turkey (we owe our 12-year old host for last year when he gave Dylan and I the shot). I will go for the wild hog with the new rifle.

Speaking of the range, Dylan and I went to the range yesterday and shot a full box of clays (135 per box). We shot and shot and hardly ever missed. Clearly, we are ready for dove season, which is a primer for duck season.

Or is it rabbit season?!?!


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I Am Yellow

Now that the Simpson's movie is out, the marketing machine is in full swing. They are everywhere, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. I've been a fan of the Simpson's since they were just a short serial on the Tracy Ullman Show. I'm glad to see that Homer and the family have finally made it to the big screen, although I must admit that I'll probably wait until it gets to video.

The interesting thing is how much the Simpson's are a part of our culture. "DOH!" is uttered in my house on a daily basis. "HaHa" pretty often as well.

Because of the movie, they seem to be even more in your face. I "Simpsonized" myself today, and here is what I would look like if I were in the Simpson's. Our church has a message using the Simpson's this weekend (our Sr. Pastor is simpsonized on the website). Burger King commercials with Krusty are very funny and are everywhere. It's one heck of a machine.

By the way, what exactly is a Spiderpig?