Category Archives: Nuggets/Strips

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 112 & Day 113 – A Tale of Two Days

Day 112 & Day 113.

You know, it’s pretty amazing the difference a day makes. Day 112 was fraught with multiple “issues,” so much so that I nearly had a melt-down.

Issue #1 – My laptop continues to gain and lose its Wi-Fi connection despite replacing the router, replacing the modem, and doing every diagnostic check available on my actual laptop. I’ve already paid money to a “professional” and while my problems were temporarily fixed, they appear to be unfixed.

Issue #2 – AT&T has decided to stop working in my house. Well, either that or my iPhone has decided to stop working. Why is this bad? Well, when you’re on the phone with the doctor office who doesn’t answer the phone when you call them, you don’t want a disconnection. You also don’t want a disconnection when you’re trying to speak with someone about your laptop issues after having been on hold for 30 minutes. Yes, both of these scenarios came true for yours truly.

Issue #3 – For some reason, little buddy was a bear yesterday, and not the friendly Brown Bear Brown Bear, what do you see? kind of bear. I mean, he was like the first week we had him kind of bear – screaming, all day long. I actually don’t mind the screaming personally. But when you put it on top of the fact that all my technological devices were scrambled eggs, it’s tough. There’s nothing worse than having zero idea of why your boy is so unhappy.  We even went to the pool, which, while giving us a slight respite, did not stop him from busting out some serious crocodile tears once we got home.

However, Day 113 was a completely different story. Asher seemed content today. One thing I’ve learned – transitions are very important to him. For instance, when transitioning to one room of the house to the other, I can’t just set him down. Or if we’re coming in from a run, he wants to be held for a while, even though I’m all hot and sweaty.  And always, always, always get down on the ground with him. If you’re standing, forget about it – he’s crawling up your leg and pulling your shorts down before you even know what hit you!

As proof that today was a better day, here is Exhibit A:

photo 3

Nothing says happiness like spending time with Louie inside his crate and pulling his ears.

This evening we headed out to Honeymoon Island, which, if you live on the Gulf Coast of Florida, you’ve either heard of or been to at least once. It’s consistently one of the top beaches in the nation and our friend, Shelya, from Paisley and Pinstripes Photography, had us there to get baby pictures of Asher. Even though he was a Squirmeda the whole time (Sesame Street reference people), we had a great time and we’re hoping and praying we got just ONE good shot! 🙂 I’m just bummed I didn’t take any pics to share with you.

Actually, I did take this pic of a new car we get to drive and blog about – the Mitsubishi Outlander:

photo 4On the way home we popped into Chick-fil-A, and Liza ordered the Spicy Chicken meal while I opted for a #1 Original Sandwich with provolone cheese added. A lot of the regulars were working the drive-thru tonight:

photo 5

I have to give a shout out to Ryan #2 – he’s very good at taking orders and I have to say, I don’t think he’s ever screwed one up. That’s pretty impressive, and I would be remiss if I didn’t at least publicly acknowledge his commitment to excellence over the Chick-fil-A drive-thru speaker.

I had a #5 12 ct Chicken Nuggets on Day 112, and here’s the proof I was there (newcomer Emily was my server that evening):

photo 1Alas, it’s been a long day, but a good day. I’ve got a ton of work things on my plate and will be up early in the a.m. to complete them, so it’s time for a good night’s rest.

A Tale of Two Days – anyone know the reference?  Anyone? Bueller????

Day 104 & Day 105 – My Sister Is in Town & A Very Embarrassing Confession

Day 104 & Day 105.

It’s been very difficult to get in the blogs lately. Even right now, I’m watching the Ohio State game on TV and it’s only 9:00 p.m., but I’m ready to cash in the chips and call it a night. My sister came in town today and we’ve been preparing for her arrival, trying to run the business (well), and then just accomplish the every day tasks of life.  It’s the end of the week. The tank is empty.

I was talking with my buddy about this the other day. Time. Usually we’ll say, “I don’t have enough time” to do [xyz]. But the truth is, we all have plenty of time. Time is all we have. And we all have it equally.  Somehow I need to find a way to be a better manager of it.

I also need to be a better pinch sub church league softball hitter. What I’m about to tell you is very embarrassing.  But I’m exposing my inadequacies precisely because [pride] is apparently an area where the Lord still needs to refine with [embarrassment].

My buddy Holden called me up while I was feeding Asher his dinner and asked me if I wanted to sub in their church softball league game. Friday nights are basically the only nights I have free. I decided to go. Mind you, the last time I swung a bat, much less played a game, was in 2003. And that was only for a couple of games. Before that, it was still the 20th century.

But so what?  Slow pitch softball? It’s like riding a bike, right?  How could this be difficult?  I played every sport known to man as a kid, and was good at them all. I’m not the athletic powerhouse I used to be, don’t get me wrong, but eye-hand coordination type activities come fairly easy to me. What could go wrong?

Turns out, everything.

I struck out. Twice.

If it weren’t for a total pansy move on my part, it would’ve been three (I took a 2-out walk in the middle of a 13 run 4th inning rally).

I was absolutely mortified. I am an athletic dude. I know I’m older now, and I know it’s been a while since I’ve hit a soft ball, but still – that is something that a one-armed monkey should be able to do, even with a 10 year layoff.   I mean, I thought I’d rip a couple of doubles at least. I’m not saying that in jest – I literally thought I’d have 1.000 batting average with three or four scored runs. Man, I’m such an arrogant [bleep]!

I held it together pretty good for the team, but as I came home, I drove in utter silence, shell-shocked. I know that it’s not that big a deal. And I wasn’t even that concerned about what those guys thought of me. (It’s not like they’re going to invite me back; clearly.) But it is merely the fact that I have this idea that I should be good at everything I do, regardless of how much I practice. It shouldn’t matter that I haven’t hit a ball in 10 years.  It’s hitting a ball. It’s like…walking. That’s how easy I considered hitting a slow pitch soft ball.

And there’s where the lesson comes in. You cannot expect to be proficient at that which you do not practice.  How vain, how ambitious, how conceited. It shows just how narcissistic I am as a natural man.

The interesting thing is that I turned on the radio right before turning into my neighborhood and there was this song on, “He’s not finished with me yet.” I didn’t think about it until I asked my wife why she thought God wanted me to be humiliated like that and she answered, “Maybe He’s not finished with you yet.”

Understatement of the year.

Anyhow, I suppose I have much to learn yet. And for the record, I will hit the batting cages for some BP just as soon as I have a minute. There I go again with time management.

A few pics to recap the last couple of days:

photo 1

(Day 104 started with a crustless gluten-free veggie quiche.)

photo 3

(Had a family trip to Publix – Ash-baby loves Publix. Especially since they gave him his first cookie ever.)

photo 2

(My Chick-fil-A run before my game – you guys are looking great! Ordered a 12-ct nuggets to prepare for my softball K’s. At least I didn’t go hungry.)

photo 4

(Colby & Skii waited on me and my sister on Day 105. I met Colby’s two other brothers as well!  Quite a moment for me. Kelly ordered a #5 and I had an Asian Salad the way I like it. I also used the first of my ten FREE entree passes that, as a VIP member, I’m required to give away as part of my VIP status. I was happy to use the first one on my sister and her son, Reid.)

photo 5

(Reid REALLY loved the Cookies & Cream milkshake mama had.)

The end.


Day 101 – Dreaming of Chicken Donuts

Day 101.

photo 2As this is an Every Day with Chick-fil-A blog, you’re probably wondering if they’re now serving donuts, going by my picture. A chicken donut. Hmmmm….with Chick-fil-A sauce?  Product development team, are you listening?

No, the above picture is from my 12:00 appointment earlier today. I was nominated by the boss (aka Liza) to do an All Things Pumpkin Dunkin’ Donuts taste-testing for Addicted to Saving so we can blog about it later. Admittedly, it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

My favorite? Definitely the Pumpkin Pie Donut – in the words of the famed Keith Jackson, “Whoooooaa, Nelly.” It’s the one in the foreground below:

photo 1This appointment was in Tampa, and instead of hanging around there, I made the trek over the Courtney Campbell to sit down at a Panera and get some website work done. Liza then met me at our church so that little buddy could get his pictures taken for the baby dedication service coming up in November.  Unfortunately we were rushed and because I was trying to get him to smile, I don’t have any pics to share!

On the treacherous, wet-roaded, busy, crowded, crash-filled ride home (not us, other vehicles), we popped into Chick-fil-A and grabbed a #5 with GRILLED chicken. And much like the other night, I made a special concoction when I got home with some delicious, toasted, sweet bread dinner rolls from Publix, lathered-on Chick-fil-A sauce, Swiss cheese, and my grilled chicken.  Once again, an act of culinary magnificence played encore in my mouth:

photo 3The only problem with the above? I just made one.

(Side note – you can’t beat the fried chicken. The grilled is nice, but let’s be honest, when you go to Chick-fil-A, it’s for the peanut-oiled bathed delicacy of chicken that is second to none.)

Big thanks to my drive-thru peeps, Taylor and Jessica, and for the MacKenzie photobomb:

photo 4Now, please excuse me while I go dream about the chicken donut I expect for Chick-fil-A to have on the menu next year.

Day 99 – A Family Saturday

Day 99.

When you own your own business and it happens to be an Internet business, Saturdays just don’t have the sex appeal they do for most people. I remember Saturdays as a kid in the fall, mom making pancakes and sausage as we enjoyed a leisurely morning, killing time until we could watch some college football.

Not so much these days.

The blog requires us to work on the weekends too, and we have a number of tasks that need to be done on Saturday morning. And now with Asher the Worm squiggling his way into our lives (and not sitting still for us ever), it means one person watches him while the other does the work that two used to do. Thankfully, we do have a gal who works for us on Saturday afternoons, and it’s been a huge blessing, because it allows us to at least get half a Saturday to relax.

We took full advantage on Day 99 of my Every Day with Chick-fil-A experience and went to Anclote Park, and Asher saw the ocean (well, Gulf of Mexico) for the first time.

everydaywithchickfilaLove this one with mama and Asher’s scrunchy face…need to get that kid some sunglasses:

photo 1This one is pretty priceless. Glad mama took this one of his first steps in the ocean:

everydaywithchickfila1After we had had enough at the park, we made our way to Chick-fil-A as a family.  Since there were two of us with VIP cards, we were able to get a 6-pack of Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies and split a #5 meal with a large waffle fry and a Coke (for those of you not in the know, a #5 is a 12-ct Chicken Nuggets).  Met a new friend at Chick-fil-A in Emily (below).  Austin tried to rabbit ears her pic but he was just a little late (you can see the blurry arm ready to strike):

photo 2

Mama was sitting in the back to make sure little man didn’t fall asleep on the way home, and sure enough, he was begging for a little Chick-fil-A waffle fries.  Can you blame him?

photo 3I decided to make a little concoction when I got home.  We had bought some sweet bread dinner rolls on sale at Publix primarily for Asher to have some bread, so I decided to toast them, slather on some Chick-fil-A sauce and throw a little mozzarella cheese on.

One word: delish.

photo 3And that was our Saturday.  Work, park, Chick-fil-A, bed.

P.S. Amy Hinrichs, if you’re reading this, I haven’t forgot about the shower. 😉

Day 96 – An Almost Wordless Wednesday & Asher’s First Taste of Chick-fil-A

Day 96.

It’s a wordless Wednesday (well, almost wordless).  Thanks to Sandy and the crew for your service today as I ordered a #5 meal with grilled chicken and a large waffle fries. Great pic!

everydaywithchickfilaNow, on to the Asher videos……

Asher eating Chick-fil-A for the first time (waffle fries):

Asher has all of the sudden started being picky about his food, including some of the leftover grilled nuggets. Take a look-see:

Day 89 – Day 2 of My Sickness

Day 89.

Day 89 of eating Chick-fil-A everyday, but it’s Day 2 of my sickness. My counter attack plan: I’ve been taking some homeopathic something-or-other that dissolve under your tongue, but they’re all the way in the kitchen and I’m frankly too lazy to get up and track down a name from you. I’ve been trying to pound the water and Vitamin-C, and I think all of it’s helping. I’m also eating a lot, because I remember hearing somewhere “feed a cold, starve a flu.”  I’m pretty sure it’s a wives’ tale but I would be doing the axiom a disservice if I ignored it now.  That and I just justified eating whatever I want.

I do feel better than yesterday, although in the last 30 minutes or so I just want to run for the bed. It’s crazy how a runny nose and just feeling “off” will totally take you off your A-game.  I feel like Joe Pesci in that Snickers commercial where the guy just isn’t himself because he’s hungry….only for me it’s a minor cold.

Asher came with me to help “feed my cold” at Chick-fil-A today with a #5 12 ct and large waffle fries and Coke. And yes, I did have all 12 pieces of delicious Chick-fil-A nugget in my belly about two miles down the road.   Here’s the crew in the drive-thru. James, the manager, walked away from the pic but Taylor just happened to “point it out” perfectly.  Haha – hilarious.

everydaywithchickfilaRyan #2 and Colby were in the house, so it was good to see them of course.

On the way home it was not so good, however, as I had to stop at the vet to pick up Pacey’s remains. That was Liza’s choice, and I support her decision to have him cremated by himself (and the extra cost that came with it).  Some things are just worth the price tag.  I’m not sure what we’re going to do with him, but I am happy that he’s out of his misery.  Today I asked Louie if he wanted to “eat” and for the first time, he stopped panting and gave me a little head cock, which is exactly what Pacey used to do. Honestly, I’ve never seen Louie ever do that.  Gut-wrenching, I tell ya.

Yesterday I promised an update on our shower from Sunday but it’s going to have to wait again. I will, however, give you an update on Asher’s love of yogurt, as evidenced below.  Good night all.


Day 86 & Day 87 – Prepping for the Big Triathlon

Day 86 & 87.

Well, I had to pull out the two for one post again. I don’t like doing it, but Day 86 had more than its fair share of activities, and with Day 87’s triathlon looming, something had to get the axe.

That’s right, Day 87’s triathlon. Fortunately, I have survived it and lived to tell about it; hence, this blog post. I did one other triathlon a couple of years ago, and it was an utter disaster. I had a total freak-out moment in the water, and did most of it on my back.  My buddies Jason and David and I decided to do the Tarpon Tri about six weeks ago, and I was sweating the swim every chance I had to think about it. With Asher coming home and all the scheduling changes, I haven’t been able to train like I’d like. Even so, God was gracious to me today in a couple of ways.

1) The tide was out. This meant that the entire swim was done in about five foot of water. It’s amazing how well the swim goes when you’re not fearing drowning!  So I’m thankful that God arranged the date of the tri with a low tide, as I was able to gain my confidence in the water again today.

2) My time ended up being 15 minutes faster than the tri I did two years ago. Most of this is because I actually swam the swim on my belly instead of my back. But my run and transitions were also much better. I don’t know the splits, but I’m pleased with the results.  The crazy thing is that I know I can push myself more, but a brother’s gotta train better!

Here’s a pic of Jason (on the left), me and David afterwards. Just look at that view. It was a great day:


So Day 86 included a late night run to Chick-fil-A and Walmart.  Chick-fil-A for a #5 Chickin Nuggets and Waffle fries (how ’bout that for a pre-race meal?), and Walmart for noseplugs.  I was so paranoid about the swim that I decided to buy noseplugs, and for the record, they totally didn’t work. Geez.

Here’s the crew who waited on me on Day 86 – sorry about the devil eyes, Colby!


Day 87’s trip netted the exact same meal – #5 with a large waffle fries, although I went for a Mocha Cookies & Cream shake today.  If I’m being honest, I wish the Mocha shake was a little less soupy. I don’t know if this is a Trinity Chick-fil-A feature or if this is just how they come. So if you’re reading this Trinity Chick-fil-A folks and can help explain this phenomenon, by all means, please do. 🙂

Asher came with on today’s trip, and we were serviced by this fine group of employees:

everydaywithchickfila2When I got home, Liza was making pizza, so I actually used my nuggets as toppings – is this legal?

everydaywithchickfila3After dinner, it was time for Asher’s bath.  We christened him in his new personalized towel, courtesy of our friends Jeff and Brooke.

everydaywithchickfila5Nothing like a clean baby.

And so, a successful tri, Chick-fil-A on pizza, and a clean baby. All in all, a pretty good day.


Day 84 – A Dinner Rendezvous with Friends & a New Asher Video

What are we, day 84 now?

Ah, yes, Day 84.

Day 84 had a lot going on. Kind of like a random Harlem Shake video, it’s hard to know where to focus my attention. I guess, since he is kind of the star of my show lately, I’ll start with the video of me trying to get Asher to make his scrunchy face (his scrunchy face cracks me and Liza up for some reason). This isn’t his best, but there are no retakes in the blogging every day business – you only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime – okay you got that one.

Asher and I did go out on the town today to do three errands:

1) Stop at the bike place to get a tune up. I’ve got a mini-triathlon I’m doing on Saturday so I need my bike to be in good working order. I am scared to death of the piddly 1/4 mile swim, so please pray for God’s peace on me about 7:30 a.m. if you’re up!

2) Pick up our veggies from our Carlita’s Bowl Veggie Co-op.

3) Make a quick stop at Publix for creamer, sugar, and stamps.

How was little buddy? Pretty good. He got a little squirmy in Publix, but it was the last stop and it’s to be expected, I suppose.

This evening I had a meeting with my friend Keith down in Clearwater. Keith, coincidentally, also has a Chick-fil-A VIP Black Card, so we broke chicken together completely on the house. Not only that, but another VIPer happened to be in the building, the one and only Dr. Walp, who was eating dinner with his Calvary cohort Ron Cooney and family.  So of course I took a picture, which is simply priceless.  While smiles all around, look at his son’s face (yellow arrow). Ah, the joys of parenthood. What I also love in this pick is that I was able to capture Keith as well, even though it was totally by accident (red arrow)!

everydaywithchickfila1What did I eat this evening, you ask?  I’ve been liking the 12-nuggets on the Combo #5 lately in addition to my salads, and it was a nugget kind of evening, so that’s what I rolled with. Delish, as also. Thanks to my server, below, whose name I think begins with an F and I feel like a Failure with a capital F for now remembering because she was very kind to me.

everydaywithchickfilaAfter this dinner rendezvous I headed up to Calvary for a missions team meeting and then had an impromptu life group round table discussion in the lobby – good to see Brandee, Holden, Teagan, Chris, Jessie, and Jim in the house tonight.

Oh, and at 9:52 this evening I am still wet from the Noahic-type waters from heaven poured out on Pinellas County this evening. Just in case you wondered.

It’s beddy-bye time for this old man. Catch you on the flip side.