Thursday, October 30, 2014


One decade (10 years) ago I was an 18 year kid about to see my life and world change forever.  It was the most beautiful fall day; not too cold and not too warm.  The sun was shining bright and the ground was covered in yellow, orange, and red leaves.  You couldn't of asked for a more perfect day to be wedded on.  I was nervous but completely excited.  Today was the day I marry the most perfect woman. 

I couldn't stop smiling.  By mid-morning my cheeks began to hurt because I was smiling so big, so much.  As I got dressed in the restroom my mind couldn't believe I was actually getting married.  I had never wanted to wait until I was older to get married.  Ever since I was a little kid I had wanted to get married.  I would joke that I wanted to get married as soon as I turned 18.  Who knew that it would come true just a few months after my 18th birthday. 

As the ceremony got underway the nervousness increased.  This is actually happening.  It's no longer a wishful thought.  Soon you will see your bride walk towards you ready to make her vows to you.  This is real.  I hear the music begin.  Here comes my bride.  She's wearing the most beautiful wedding dress.  Que biggest smile ever!  You see, we didn't have any money.  I had only just started my job one week before the wedding.  My wife told me she was just going to wear a nice sundress for our wedding.  So when she came walking down in that gorgeous wedding gown I was shocked and floored. 

We began to exchange our vows and the thoughts of this is actually happening once again came.  As we stood there pledging our love to each other we hear this.  Sweet Home Alabama.  Someones ringtone.  I can't help but laugh.  Some people might be horrified by having their wedding interrupted by an obnoxious ringtone but to this day every time I hear that song I'm taken back to one of the best days of my life.  The moment I hear one of the most recognized guitar intros in all of music I'm flooded with happy memories of that day.

We finish our vows.  You may now kiss your bride.  Here's some advice to all those guys about to get married: don't eat pizza for breakfast on the day of your wedding LOL.  As we kiss that garlicy kiss, it's official.  Daniel and Joy are husband and wife!  Sorry about the pizza hun...

Looking back it's so hard to believe that was 10 years ago.  That was a DECADE ago!!  It doesn't feel like it has been that long at all.  We now have five children.  We're still not rich ;) but we make it work.  We still argue and get annoyed with each other yet still want no one else lying next to us at night.  We aren't marriage experts but have learned more than we could've imagined.  Looking back, I've truly hit the jackpot when it comes to wives.  A wife who is an incredible mother, teacher, and business owner.  A wife who can look past my times of "being a guy" i.e. moron.  A wife who supports my dreams with as much passion as if they were hers.  A wife who is a bigger stargate nerd than I am!  Here's to the next 10 years; the next 20; the next 50.  I love you so much!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

No Weakness Allowed

Seek.  Search.  Look.  Ask.  Question.  Just don't do any of these things while you're at church.  Unfortunately that's how a lot of Christians view it.  They look down on the people who are still trying to figure things out.  It's as if they expect an imperfect person to suddenly and instantly become perfect the moment they make a decision to follow Jesus Christ.  And if they start showing signs of weakness and/or doubt, ATTACK!  JUDGE!  WRITE IN ALL CAPS WITH LOTS OF EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But seriously, "Christians are the only army that kill their wounded..." I hate that quote... and not just because it's one of those silly sermon quotes that will be passed around on twitter under the hashtag #convicting or #truth or #boom (or some other hashtag Christian's seem to overuse).  No, I hate that quote because it seems to be very true.  Christians come across as a people who despise their weak.  Instead of picking up someone who is depressed and doubting, a lot of Christians hop on the gossip wagon.  They start to defame.  They start to slander.  They start to destroy.  And they justify all this by ending said gossip with the statement, "Well, be praying for them now..."  Come on...  You know you're not praying for them.  I know this because in the past I myself have done it.  And unfortunately I've had it done to me far too many times.

It should be safe to ask.  It should be safe to search.  It should be safe to be weak.  It should be but it's not.  At least not in my experience.  Instead of accepting "the one who is weak in faith" (Romans 14:1), too many Christians jump right to 1 Corinthians 5:5 instead of trying 1 Thessalonians 5:14.  We live in a world where we can get nearly everything in an instant and unfortunately many want the same results when dealing with people.  But the reality of this life in regards to following Christ is that almost no one gets "it" overnight.  Until we learn not only patience for the weak but learn also how to meet them where they're at, we'll more than likely continue to see a revolving door of strangers come in and out of the walls of some building dubbed "the church".  They come hurting with questions.  They leave hurting worse with even more questions.  There is hope but people need to wake up.  You have the reputation you have because you've earned it.  So lets try to earn something else...

P.S. If you are going to read this blog you're going to see some things that you may not like including weakness.  If you can't handle that... well there's a back button for a reason.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Nonsense

We're near the end of October and unless you live under a rock you know what that means:  We've all gotten a little fatter due to pumpkin spice EVERYTHING!  Pumpkin spice latte.  Pumpkin spice muffins.  Pumpkins spice apple pie?!  With all the crazy pumpkin spice fan-girls posting daily about their love and lust for all things pumpkin flavored, it's easy to see why so many different companies make a pumpkin spice something.  But some of these items have become a pumpkin spice life-sucking monstrosity that never should have been created let alone sold to consumers.  Here's a small list of the pumpkin spice things I've seen that I think are just..... too much!

Pumpkin Spice Oreo's

Like... really?  Come on Oreo's...  Not you too.  These just don't at all look appetizing.  They look like orange diarrhea in between two cookies.  No thank you!

Pumpkin Spice Gum

Now you want your breath to permanently smell of pumpkins?  Hmmm... I have pumpkin coffee breath from that pumpkin spice latte I had earlier.  I know what will cure it!  More pumpkin flavor!!!!!!

Pumpkin Spice Milk

Do pumpkins and coconuts go together?  Well they do now!  One, an island native.  The other, a native of North America.  Together you can enjoy this forbidding marriage poured over your daily bowl of grapenuts.  Eww.

Pumpkin Spice Salsa

When I first saw this at Aldi, I took a double take.  In what world am I eating a delicious plate of nacho's, slathered in cheese, thinking, "You know what this is missing?  Pumpkins!"  Yeah... no.

Pumpkin Spice Pasta Sauce

Oh my goodness NO!  Never in a million meals would I ever want to try spaghetti and pumpkin sauce.  This sounds like something that Buddy the Elf would make.  Just no.

Pumpkin Spice.... WHAT?!?!??!

Please be fake.  Please be fake.  Please be fake.  Please be fake.  Please be fake.  Please be fake.  Please be fake.  Please be fake.  Please be fake.  Please be fake.  Please be fake.  Please be fake.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Life Is Short... So Laugh It Up

In life we can get worked up over a LOT of things.  Someone made decaf coffee at work?!  Those morons!  I missed that green light because of this slow driver in front of me?!  What a jerk!  No chicken nuggets at McDonald's?!!??!??!  Well.....

You get the point.  Some things that happen to us are absolutely infuriating.  But a lot of what upsets us is kind of ridiculous if you think about it (i.e. chicken nugget rampage).  I mean, I've seen friendships END over Facebook updates.  I've seen family turn on family as they war with their vague posts that everyone KNOWS who they're talking about.  All over what?  A disagreement?!  A different opinion?! 

There are a lot of reasons why all this happens but perhaps the two biggest reasons are:

1.  We equate disagreement with hate.  I get this a TON.  People thinking I must "hate/dislike/look down on" them all because I disagree with their viewpoint.  You have to realize that this is an absolutely preposterous way of thinking.  I understand that it can sometimes hurt, even deeply, when someone disagrees with a personal way of life.  But it IS completely possible to LOVE someone with a deep passionate love AND still not agree with every single view they have (even if some of them are extreme).  How many of us have a close friend, sibling, or even a parent that we of course love but also don't agree with some of their views?  We don't just write them off do we?  We don't hate them because they do something we think is wrong or the other way around do we?  So why do we always see differences as bad/terrible/bigotry/hate?  If every color in the universe was purple, it would make for a very uninteresting painting.

2.  We make mountains out of molehills.  These days it seems like we are kings of blowing things out of proportion.  Think about the whole decaf coffee thing...  We are SO quick to get angry at every little thing that goes wrong.  And I mean EVERY.  LITTLE.  THING.  Just think how many Facebook statuses you've "corrected" because that person is COMPLETELY WRONG.  We get so worked up over this stuff that....... (are you ready for this)........  DOES NOT MATTER!  So someone posts a story that's incorrect.  Who cares?  Someone says something you think is wrong.  Who cares?  Someone comments something rude.  Delete the comment because who cares?  (Most of the people who are rude to us online we barely know so... Really... Who cares?). 

I know, I know.  It's easier said than done.  But honestly life is way too short to worry about such silly things and be so serious all the time.  There are some many moments we'll encounter which will require our super intense seriousness...  so why sweat the little things?  How do we accomplish this?  If you were waiting to read some super, stupendously spiritual, mind blowing, life altering wisdom I don't think I have that for you.  I'm still trying to figure this stuff out too.  What I do have is simple but it works (at least for me).

First:  I recommend three little words:  LET IT GO (no I will not be linking some overrated Disney song).  How much stress could we save ourselves from if we just did these three little words?  The answer is a lot.  Why commit hours of your day fighting with that person in your head?  Why comment back and forth?  Why waste such energy on a fight when you could waste energy on this?  Just let it go. 

NOTE: Sometimes letting it go means you have to literally let a person go.  You might be thinking, "But isn't that the opposite of the goal here?  I thought we wanted relationships to continue healthily..."  Our goal is indeed to keep relationships intact BUT sometimes people are committed to being complete and utter joy-suckers.  No matter what you do they TRY and bring you down.  To those people I say unfriend, block, let it go, and move on with your life.  Again, life is short.

Second:  I recommend that you laugh!  Take as many breaks away from the seriousness of the world and laugh it up.  Read something funnyWatch something cute!  Stop and laugh! No, you're not fooling yourself and saying the hard things of life don't exist.  You're just taking a short break from them.  Our house is in desperate need of repair.  It has so many leaks when it rains.  Example: One of these rainy days I was quite ticked off about it leaking once more but my kids wanted to go outside and play in the rain.  So we went outside, ran around in the rain, splashed in puddles, and laughed.  Sometimes you just need to go play in the rain instead of focusing on your leaky roof.

Third:  Do charity.  Yes I mean that.  There is a "high" you get when you're able to help someone in need.  There's really nothing I can think of to compare it to.  It just feels good when someone says to you, "Hey, this thing you're doing means something to me!"  You may not feel like helping anyone but trust me it has a reward.

Remember: Life is too short to be so serious all the time.  So live it and laugh while you're at it.

Friday, October 17, 2014

A True Husband

Today I would like to write about husbands.  Husbands... first of all every little girl dreams of their wedding day.  As you slowly make your angelic decent from the heavens down the aisle, you see the man of your dreams with the biggest smile on his face bravely holding back tears of joy.

You know you've made the greatest decision of your life.  You found the perfect man.  You found your soulmate.  You found the ONE. 

You now have a husband!  A husband who gently wakes you up with a soft kiss and a, "Good morning my beautiful bride..."  He's made breakfast because he knows how difficult your day is if you don't start it off properly.  "Don't worry about the mess I made in the kitchen. I'll clean it up before you get home," he assures you.  You can feel the very adoration emanating from his sweet touch.  

You now have a husband!  A husband who skipped his lunchbreak just so he could call you at work and see how your day is going.  It's been an extremely difficult day at work but you don't want your coworkers to hear you complain so you tell him you're fine.  But you have a husband.  A husband who knows his bride.  He's expertly read between the lines of your vague Facebook post and knows what he should do.  He leaves work early so he can get home before you.  When you get home from work he greets you at the door, "You don't need to say a thing," he says as he hands you a glass of wine.  "There's a hot bath waiting for you and I'm making your favorite dinner.  Now go relax!  You deserve this after what you've dealt with today."   With the most tender kiss he sends you to the master bath.  As you slowly slip into the tub that is filled with bubbles and surrounded by your absolute favorite scented candles it hits you: you now have a husband!

Hello?  Are you still there?  It looked like you were daydreaming... Anyway, husbands... First of all every little girl dreams of their wedding day.  As you slowly make your way down the aisle you see the man of your dreams with the biggest smile on his face bravely holding back tears from his splitting headache.  He's a bit hungover you see.  

You know you've made the greatest decision of your life.  Well a big one at least.  You found a man.  You found a mate.  You found the ONE.  Well the first ONE at least.  If he ends up being a jerk you're gone!

You now have a husband!  A husband who wakes you up with a loud fart and a, "Gah!  Do you smell this?!"  He didn't make breakfast.  Doesn't he know how difficult your day is if you don't start it off properly?!  "The kitchen's a mess.  You gonna clean this today?" he asks you.   You can sort of feel adoration emanating from his hand squeezing your left boob.  

You now have a husband!  A husband who skipped his lunchbreak just so he could finish that level on his video game.  It's been an extremely difficult day at work but he hasn't called so you could complain to someone.  Jerk!  You have a husband.  A husband who knows who he should start on his fantasy football team this weekend.  He hit "like" on your vague Facebook post.  He leaves work early so he can get home before you.  When you get home from work he greets you with a firm slap on the butt, "Sup babe," he says as he opens another beer.  "The kitchen is still a mess.  What are you making dinner?  And babe you're kinda funky.  You should probably shower!"   With another hard slap on your butt he sends you to the bathroom.  As you slip into the shower you're surrounded by the absolute worst poop smell.  It smells like something died!  Like how could that smell come out of a living person?!  It's then that it hits you: you now have a husband!