Monthly Archives: October 2013

Day 133 – All Hallow’s Eve

Day 133.

Halloween. All Hallow’s Eve. A mocking precursor to All Saint’s Day. But all people know about it today is that you dress up and get candy. I’m fine with that. But if you are interested in a quick video (we’re talking under 2 minutes) on the significance of October 31st, I encourage you to watch it HERE.

Of course I must provide you an obligatory “here’s my kid” pic in his costume, so here you go:


Let me just tell you that he hated this experiment of wearing a costume. I have quite a few pictures that demonstrate this hatred, but in an effort to make us not seem like “those” parents, they have remained on the camera for now.

Asher didn’t have the best of days, actually. I think with all the excitement from Uncle Mike and cousin Luke, he’s going through some withdrawals. He’s reverted back to a couple of “orphanage” symptoms just in the past couple of days. It’s disappointing, but we’ll just keep at it, love on him, and continue to work towards attachment and wholeness (whatever that means for Asher!).

He was probably on his best behavior for the day as we went out and did errands.  First stop?  To visit Colby and Sandra (and Joyce). #5 12-ct, large fries, and a bottled water was on the menu.

photo 2Then it was off to Dunkin Donuts to pick up a coffee for mama. Let’s be honest, it was for dadda too. We then deposited some checks at the bank, and hit up Publix for some needed organic dairy products, the eggs of which I promptly dropped on the kitchen floor when I came home.  When you’re paying 50 cents per egg, that’s a heart-breaker.

Liza’s out giving out candy as we speak. Ever since we moved in, we sit out in the driveway with our neighbors and hand out candy and eat chili. Being on Asher-duty, however, means I’m inside after giving the boy a bath and putting him to bed. Now it’s Miami/Cincy on the NFL network and looking forward to eating the leftover candy.

Speaking of…

Day 131 & Day 132 – You, Too, Can Win Chick-fil-A for a Year!

Day 131 & Day 132.

Before I get to the fun time-lapsed pics of Asher enjoying a multi-grain bagel at Chick-fil-A with me on Day 131, let me alert those of you who live in the greater Tampa Bay area (and specifically, West Pasco) to the opportunity of a lifetime – a chance to win your very own Chick-fil-A VIP Black Card!

You heard me right folks. You can join the club.  Well, it may not be exactly like the VIP Black Card, but you will get FREE Chick-fil-A for a year. Here are the details:

everydaywithchickfila3Good luck my friends!

Now, as for Day 131, Asher and I took my brother and his son back to the airport in the morning, and then stopped off for my favorite breakfast menu item – the #7 Multigrain bagel sandwich with provolone cheese (and minus the egg this time). Unfortunately my server didn’t want a pic, so I had to roll with an Asher/Dadda selfie as proof:

everydaywithchickfilaOne of my favorite things to do is listen to this kid eat.  While he’s quieted down for the most part since we first brought him home, he still gets his grunt on for bready foods.  The bagel was a prime target. Let’s watch it frame by fame.

Shot #1 – The Reach

photo 2

Shot #2 – The Stuff.

photo 3

Shot #3 – The Grin of Ecstasy.

photo 4

Love that kid.

As for Day 132, it happened to be at the Gulfview Square Mall, since I had to go out that way to pick up toner at Office Depot anyhow.  I met Kelsey for the first time, and she was impressed (I think???) that this was my 132nd day in a row of eating Chick-fil-A.

photo 1Her question for me? “Do you get sick of it?”  Hmmm…it’s a loaded question. Can you have too much of a good thing? Yes you can. But the Asian Salad I ordered today with extra wontons and almonds is not one of them.

Halloween tomorrow. Don’t forget to dress up for your chance to win FREE Chick-fil-A for a year if you’re in the Pasco County area – good luck my friends!

Day 129 & Day 130 – Good Times w/ My Broham & One Big Step for Mankind

Day 129 & Day 130.

The past two days (well, three, since Chick-fil-A is off on Sundays) have been great. My broham picked the perfect weather weekend to come down, and I’ve realized just how thankful I am to have the job of “blogger” in times like these. True, not as much work gets done, but so much of our lives are spent working, it’s nice to be able to just set work aside without filling out a vacation request to hang with the ones you love.

Saturday was just that – me, my bro, his son Luke, and Ash baby. Here’s Mike and Luke at our community playground:

photo 1Luke has such a sweet disposition, and truthfully, he doesn’t know how to handle Asher. I compare Ash to the Tasmanian Devil – hell on wheels, if you will. The kid just doesn’t stop.  Luke, being the sweet kid he is, has really been taken aback by little man. But, they’ve had a great time. I just love this pic of Asher crawling after Luke. Sums up their relationship nicely:

photo 2Crawling reminds me of something very important but more on that in a bit.

After our action-packed Saturday, we headed to Chick-fil-A where I was pleased for Mike to meet Ryan & Ryan. I think it may be the first time those two have graced an Every Day with Chick-fil-A server pic at the same time . For the record, I ordered an Asian Salad and Mike got a Spicy Chicken meal and a Cookies & Cream shake. Thanks fellas!

photo 3Now, I don’t have video proof to give you of this yet, but crawling made me think about some very big news I have to share – Asher took his first steps on Sunday! Yes!  Not only did he take his first steps, but between yesterday and today, he’s gotten a little cocky if you ask me. I just love this kid’s fearlessness. I know that he needs boundaries and needs to know what’s safe and what’s not, but as a former football player and coach, you love to have guys around you who will throw their bodies at the other team without regard for their own. Asher seems to have a little bit of that recklessness in him, and I love it!

Day 129 allowed us to do the one thing Aunt Deanna promised Luke when he boarded a plane from St. Louis to come to Florida: go to the water. And to the water we went today! (Btw, to hear my cousin say wah-wah about the ‘water’ puts him in competition with the girl on on that AT&T cutest kid competition commercial.)

Here was dad and son (can you tell their from pastiness they’re from the Midwest?) in a very touching beach scene:

photo 4

As for the dadda of this blog, Asher was a pistol as always at the beach, and I love it. Despite what the photo seems to indicate below, he actually enjoyed wearing the hat today because the sun was really bothering him. Nevermind he’s about to rip my lip off:

everydaywithchickfilaThen it was home, dinner, bath-time, night-night, and a late night run to Chick-fil-a for some Cookies & Cream milkshakes. Thanks to Kayleigh and Landon and my guy Evan on the shake machine this evening. You guys rock!

photo5And now if St. Louis can rock its way to a win. 1-1. Top of the 7th. Geez. Come on Wainright. 1st and 2nd, 1 out.

Day 128 – Cool Weather & Time with My Broham

Day 128.

I’m just in a better mood when the weather turns a little cooler. The air seems a little thinner. The moisture seems a little less.  And I’m a little happier. if I could live anywhere in the US, it would be the mountains. Somehow I ended up in a swamp.

But it’s days like today and yesterday that make the summer swamp-living all worth it. 60-something in the morning, high of around 80, sunshine all day – the way God intended it before man screwed everything up.

Between the weather, hanging with my boy, and seeing my little brother and nephew for the first time in almost a year, today was definitely a good day. My broham will be staying for the next couple of days; he’s the third member of my immediate family to make the trip to Florida in the last month, with the exception of my father and my brother’s twin sister.  She’s in Africa serving at a school with her husband, so I don’t think she’ll be coming to Florida any time soon. All good though.

After I picked up Mike and his son Luke, his first question to me was, “So have you eaten at Chick-fil-A yet today?”  Ha!  I had not, so we headed there and were greeted by a lot of the regulars – Justin, Ryan #2, Emily, to name a few. I ordered a #1 with provolone cheese and a cookies and cream shake, and Mike had a large waffle fries and a cookies and cream shake as well, the perfect ending to a day of traveling from The Lou.

photo 2Mike was feeding Luke some waffle fries and milkshake on the way home. Shhhh….don’t tell Mom. 🙂  (Hey, according to Dad, he definitely earned it.)

photo 3I’m throwing this pic in for kicks and giggles. I took Louie to Grandma’s on the way to pick up my brother and he shook like a leaf the whole time. Then as we pulled up to the guard, he leaped out of my arms and into the back seat in between the car seats. Good grief, Lou. He’s a security guard for a 55+ community not Jason Bourne.

everydaywithchickfilaThat’s all she wrote for this evening. I’m sure tomorrow holds lots of excitement in store.


Day 127 – Practicing Being Brief, & An Asher First

Day 127.

Today was the best day of the year. Why? It didn’t go above 80. And let me tell you, that qualifies as being the best day ever. Nevermind that I woke up with a hangover-type headache (not that I would know what a hangover was, but one could imagine), a bit of a sore throat, and was all sorts of tired and all sorts of achy. As soon as I realized my thermostat, set at 78, was positioned at 75, I knew it would be a good day regardless of the cold weather’s affect on my body.

Before I could head to Chick-fil-A for my 12 ct chicken nuggets and a large Coke this evening, I had a productive afternoon on Addicted to Saving and, more importantly, a great morning with my son.

First things first though; thanks to Taylor and the crew at Chick-fil-A this evening for their once-again excellent service:


And since I’m trying to be brief(er) these days, I’m just going to let you know the monumental occurrence that happened this morning at the playground. I’ll let the video do the talking:

Sorry for the giddy daddy sounds – comes with the territory.

Excited to see my broham and his son Luke tomorrow! I’m sure we’ll make a Chick-fil-A run at some point.

Until then…..

Day 124 & Day 125 – Short & Sweet

Day 124 & Day 125.

As you can see, I’m really starting to slow the pace on my Every Day with Chick-fil-A blogs.  I’m still going every day, but man, the blogging part is tough. Now I could just throw up a couple pictures and a line or two about Asher or my guy Colby at Chick-fil-A every time, but that’s not a very good blog.  Of course, it might not be a very good blog if I drone on and on either. Maybe I should just keep it short and sweet?

Well, okay, let’s try it.

Day 124 I purchased a 6-pk of Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies under serious duress. I tried to change a snippet of code on our website and crashed it for two hours. Asher was screaming his head off at the time.  And we lost $1000+ worth of frozen products due to our freezer doing something it shouldn’t have (ie, stop working). Now it looks like this:


If you’re tempted to feel badly for us, don’t.  A $100 bill only hits us for about $30 on average, so we’ll replenish it quickly.  I just hate to see the waste.

To top it off, I apparently deleted my server Jessica’s picture to prove I was there. First time for everything.

Day 125 was much better.  We had to write a post on Pumpkin Spice Liquid Coffee-Mate creamer, which you are free to read here – Enjoying Life With Pumpkin Spice Liquid Coffee-mate #loveyourcup #shop. Thus, much of our day was spent “staging,” ie, cleaning the mess that we know as our house and making it appear comfortable and cozy. It’s fun, really. Here’s Liza and me “taking a break” from our normal blogging duties:


Then I took Asher to Chick-fil-A, ordered a #5 8-ct with a medium waffle fries and bottled water, listened to Colby have the cajones to say “My pleasure, Jeff” after my order over the intercom, and saw Sandy my server:

photo 1

Then it was home for a quick jog, shower, din-din and this blog post.

Yes, short and sweet. That was much better.

Day 122 & Day 123 – Training for the Mudder & My Favorite Chick-fil-A Dish

Day 122 & Day 123.

I can’t believe that I actually forgot to do my Every Day with Chick-fil-A blog post from yesterday. I guess because I went so early to get my #7 Chicken, Egg & Cheese Bagel meal and hash browns that I completely forgot at the end of the day to recount my experience!  I actually picked up a little something for Liza too; very strange to actually have to use my own money at Chick-fil-a. 😉

photo 1

There’s not a lot to recount about yesterday. Sorry to disappoint, but it was a typical Friday. I had Asher most of the day, Liza did her Publix run, and we ended the day with a quiet evening at home. Between running the business and taking care of that active boy of ours, we’re both beat. Plus, I’m still trying to train at least a tiny bit for the Tough Mudder I’m doing in two weeks.

Speaking of the Mudder, this was my view this morning on my way to work out with my fellow Mudders:

photo 2While you may be tempted to be impressed that I’m up before the sun even came out to train, don’t be. Really, I haven’t done much. Granted, I did my triathlon a month and a half ago, and I’m always able to go out and run a few miles, but this is 11+ miles and 24 obstacles of absolute fun and craziness, so it’s a whole other ballgame. But, like most things, I know I’ll get through it. Somehow.

One of the nice things about working out early on Saturdays is that I have to drive right by Chick-fil-A on the way home.  Hello Sandy and Colby, and hello to my favorite Chick-fil-A dish – the #7 Chicken, Egg & Cheese Bagel meal and hash browns.

photo 3Today I scrapped the egg for the first time, and substituted some provolone cheese for the American. It’s just so good. Unfortunately I had to warm it up later at home because Asher duties commenced immediately upon returning, but it was still fantastic. Seriously folks, you gotta try this dish.

Well that’s all I got for now. I think we’re running some errands later on, so I will be in my wife’s ear to stop for a 6-pk of Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies. After all, she’s got an [underutilized] VIP Black Card too!

Day 121 – When Pain Is Necessary

Day 121.

Today was a good day until about 3:00 p.m. I enjoyed a nice morning run with my boy which was the first time since the BOB blew a flat, talked with my good friend Mitch about the future of our Man Up and Go ministry (gotta wear shades for it), and made a nice early lunch run to Chick-fil-A for a #5 12-ct Chicken Nuggets meal with a large waffle fries and Coke.

I broke from my Spicy kick  and went back to an oldie but goodie in the #5 meal, primarily because I was on a business call and knew I wouldn’t be able to eat the meal until I got home – the nuggets are far easier to warm up than the sandwich, and I like my food piping hot.

This phone call also interfered with my ability to take a server picture, and thus, Day 121 lives in infamy, as it’s the first trip to Chick-fil-A without a server photo. Oh, the shame! You’ll just have to take my word that Sandra was working the drive-thru today, and for that of course I’m grateful. She’s certainly one of my faves.

Here is the proof that I did rend myself over to a Chick-fil-A lunch. Delish:

photo 1Now, what happened at 3 p.m. today that made my day turn for the worst? Probably the most gut-wrenching thing a father can witness. I think this picture says it all:

photo 3Ugh. And this was before the crying started. Or should I say screaming bloody murder. Oh it was bad. Absolutely horrible. I broke out into the sweats as I watched my baby cry and cry and scream and scream and look me in the eyes, begging for relief. And yet, there was nothing I could do. But watch. Wait. Pray it would end soon.

The worst part is that they didn’t even get all the blood – only three of the eight vials needed were secured. That’s after trying the other arm and looking for veins in his feet. We just couldn’t put him through any more prodding and called it a day after the second arm. It’s not the tech’s fault either – she has 38 years of experience and clearly knows what she’s doing.

We’ve since learned from other adoptive parents of Ethiopian children that they’ve had a tough time finding veins as well. Of course, it’s probably just a baby problem, not necessarily an ethnic or genetic one. Still, it was really, really hard to be in that room, and knowing that we’ve got to go back for more testing puts a knot in my stomach.

There’s definitely a spiritual parallel here that I would be remiss not to mention. People reject the idea that God exists because they believe a loving God wouldn’t subject His creation to pain. While there are sundry bunny trails to explore on this topic, the idea that God can’t be loving if He allows pain is proven false by the truism that every parent who’s ever lived has subjected, in love, a child to pain. Now it may be said that God is not loving, but it’s not because He allows pain.

I saw that ever so clearly today as my son moaned in pain at the needle poking and prodding his one-year old skin.  Our son is an orphan from a third-world country. We have no medical records to speak of. We don’t have a history of health. It’s imperative, for his future well-being, that we subject him to discomfort now so as to eschew a potentially greater discomfort in the future. We do this because we love him.

How many times must God bring us discomfort now in order to keep us from severe pain later? In that regard, it’s easy to see that God can demonstrate His greatest acts of love in what seem to us presently as unloving, uncaring, or downright mean. I’m sure Asher may have thought that about us today.

At least it’s good to know that he had fun in the sink before we made him cry. Small consolation, but I’ll take it.

photo 2

Day 120 – Trending Spicy & My Home Improvement Recap

Day 120.

120 days is what, approximately 4 months, and is now the number of days I’ve eaten Chick-fil-A in a row. It’s funny how your palate starts to change over time. I was obviously on a huge Asian Salad kick, but I feel the tide turning. I’ve been wanting to spice it up a little, so I grabbed the Spicy Chicken Sandwich meal again today, same as yesterday. Went without cheese today to save on the 70 or so calories that are associated with it.

I know I’m confusing Colby a little bit too because he had no idea I was in the drive-thru until seconds before the infamous photo op – I’m sure glad he made the pic, though, for the record books:


I have a theory regarding the Chick-fil-A sandwiches. I think the spices they use for the Spicy Chicken requires a bigger piece of chicken, so you’re actually getting a bigger bang for your buck if you go Spicy. Purely speculative on my part, but just keep an eye out the next few times you go and see if I’m not right.

I was deleting and moving pics from my iPhone to an external hard drive earlier today and realized that I hadn’t ever shown the finished product from all my projects I undertook while Liza was in Ethiopia.

So, without further ado, I present to you the before and after pics of the bathroom and bedroom. For posterity’s sake, here is what Jake, his dad (Mr. T), and I accomplished in the 3 weeks Liza was gone, on top of running the business full time and going to Chick-fil-A every day. Just sayin’.

  • Pulled up linoleum in guest bath and laid ceramic tile (first time doing this – thank you Mr. T)
  • Patched two holes with sheetrock from the towel rack dismantling in guest bath
  • Painted guest bath
  • Hung new towel rack (not easy)
  • Fixed leaky toilet with new hardware
  • Put a new wax seal on toilet (2nd time was a charm – you should try to get it right the first time)
  • Cleared and painted the baby’s room
  • Put together the crib and bookshelf (Liza’s mom expedited the room)
  • Hung two fans, one in the baby’s room and one on the porch (okay, Jake hung them; but I handed him screwdrivers when he needed them)
  • Laid laminate in the master bedroom complete with quarter round
  • Mounted new TV on wall

I have to say, that’s a pretty impressive list; all the more impressive when you realize the home we grew up in (sorry for ending the sentence in a preposition – just seemed to flow better.) Pops was good a lot of stuff, but teaching us home improvement skills wasn’t exactly a priority. In his defense, he didn’t have YouTube when we were growing up.

So here are a couple of before and after pics to keep in the record books:

(The very beginning of the project – you can just barely see my “GC,” Mr. T.)

(I learned how to put on a new toilet seal. Not as hard as you might think, actually, but if you do it wrong the first time, prepare for a sticky situation. Jokes, jokes.)


(Hard to believe it turned out so nicely. Must’ve been all those late night runs to Chick-fil-A to keep me nourished.)


(These pics don’t even show wall where I cut out sheet rock to patch two big holes from the former towel rack, and the newly hung brushed nickel rack that took more than a few tries to make straight.)

On to the bedroom, where my buddy Jake and I laid the rest of the flooring I had purchased a long time ago when we did the rest of the house.

(This picture doesn’t really do justice to the mess that was my bedroom.)

(We’ve since moved that lonely piece of artwork – don’t you worry.)

(And, humpty dumpty is put back together again. Please note the wall-mounted HD-TV. Yes, there are cords to be seen, but I’ve since moved the dresser over and let me tell you, I’m just happy the thing is still hanging.  You don’t even notice the cords any more anyhow.)