Category Archives: Wraps & Salads

Day 170 & Day 171: Miscellaneous

Day 170 & Day 171.

Between Saturday and Monday, there isn’t a whole lot to report. On day 170 (Saturday), we went to some friends’ to celebrate their little girl’s 1-yr old birthday; she’s adopted just like Asher, and we semi-formally prearranged their marriage – they’d make beautiful kids, no doubt.

The party was pretty cool, complete with real snow (well, ice rink leftovers) and “snow ladders” which, consequently, fell on my wife’s head. But she’s okay, and it was good to get Asher out with other children. We’re still working on attachment, so going out still makes us a little nervous – he needs to know unequivocally that mamma and dadda are the primary caregivers. Whenever we introduce a lot of other grownups with a propensity to dote on such a stinkin’ cute kid, it runs the risk of setting us back.  He’s definitely close, though, and we feel we’ve made a lot of strides in the last month. A lot of people probably wonder why we don’t put him in nursery or take him out more for play-dates, but the bonding between mother, father and son must “take,” and take solidly at that. We don’t want to have to rewind time because we thrust him into situations that, to his orphanged mind, are confusing. The good news is, we’re almost there.

I really wish I would’ve grabbed a picture of the party, but I’m a guy, and the last thing we usually think about is taking pictures. Of course, having a son and have a blog will change that somewhat, which is why I have a picture of my guys Justin and Evan at Chick-fil-A serving us up some soup and salad for Liza and my old faithful, an Asian Salad with extra crispies. I love these guys:

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Day 171 was a normal Monday – scrambling in the morning to get the Publix ad up, and then coming apart at the seams later in the day from loss of blog-numbing brain cells. Good news is we did get up the Christmas tree finally, this year with all decorations starting halfway up the tree, as I’m sure you can guess why:

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Big thanks to Kim Kinney for our personalized Asher’s First Christmas ornament – so awesome!

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Tonight’s CFA run was all about the soup.  It’s been crisp all day, and the I was really ready for some Chicken Tortilla Soup. HOWEVER, much to my chagrin, when I got home, I discovered Chicken Noodle Soup instead. Sigh. Double sigh.  I think this is only the second wrong order in 171 tries, however, so not bad.  Don’t get me wrong, the chicken noodle soup is good too, and I had some extra tortillas from the other day sitting on the counter just waiting to be consumed.  It’s all good Ryan #2, and the new girl and Alexis who fooled me with the Alyssa name tag; I’m not madatcha:


Today is also a memorable day for this reason – my brother and sister (yes, they’re twins) turn 26, I believe. Mike is in St. Louis with his wife, son, and daughter-to-be, and Kari is in Africa with her husband. Love you both!

Day 171 down – only a few more to go. Hard to believe I’m really on the home stretch.

P.S. Since drafting today’s blog, I have found out that a very good friend of mind is in the hospital with a pretty bad heart. If you’re the praying type, please intercede on his behalf when you read this, as I believe we serve a God who hears and answers prayer, and uses men and women doctors as His instruments.

Day 159 & Day 160 – A Two-Day Asian Salad Detox

Day 159 & Day 160.

So Cyber Monday was yesterday, which means we were up at 5:15 a.m. and worked until about 11:00 at night. Not straight, but enough to make us totally wasted. (Disclosure: No alcohol was consumed in the working of this Cyber Monday.)

The good news is, I had to pick up Boo again from G-ma’s, so of course I stopped by CFA to get my Every Day fix. What did I order?  Went back to Old Faithful – the Asian Salad with extra crispies and a bottled water. Why did I need that? Because I have been living in absolute survival mode, and have pretty much lived exclusively on the following:

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Pizza Hut Pizza

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Homemade cheesecake and Dunkin Donuts

Hence, the need for a detoxing Asian Salad. And for the record, I did it on Day 160 as well.

It’s weird to think I’m on my last month of the VIP card and it will soon be over.  Of course I learn today that CFA is now doing something about the HFCS and dye in the their foods. I suppose the damage is done already on me, right?

They get flack for this, but Truett’s like 150 years old, and I’m pretty sure he’s had a few Original Sandwiches in his life.

At any rate, it’s bittersweet to think about not seeing my friends every day. It’s just bitter to think that I won’t have free Chick-fil-A. However, it is SOOO sweet to think about not having to blog about it every day. That truly has been a test of character for this kid.

Day 161 awaits us.

Thanks to my friends who waited on me the past couple of days!

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Day 158


Day 159 (I love these guys!)

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

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Shot #2 – The Stuff.

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Shot #3 – The Grin of Ecstasy.

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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 116 & Day 117 – Fun with Nana K

Day 116 & Day 117.

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This was one of the projects I completed over the last two days – putting up Asher’s name (and taking down the animal blanket he loved to pull on while avoiding getting his diaper changed). Thank you to the client from Aquaterra who kindly made us this custom name set for Asher!

On Day 116, Asher and Nana K got to know one another at the pool and then Chick-fil-A, and on Day 117, we all got to spend time at Howard Park, a beautiful beach at the end of a causeway in Tarpon Springs, while hitting up Chick-fil-A on the way home. Here are some of the highlights:

photo 4(Nana K and Asher having fun in the beautiful weather)


(Mama and son posing near the sand dunes)

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(Dada and son, looking too cool for school – it was Asher’s first time ever to wear sunglasses)

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(Mama took this one right before we left – I liked it enough to make it my Facebook Wall cover)


(Then it was off to Chick-fil-A on the way home. One free meal for me, one free meal for mama, and one free meal for Nana K. Thank you Chick-fil-A!)

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(Great seeing Ryan #1 on the drive-thru window – you can see the 6-pk of cookies that Nana K paid for since we all had our own free meals. I had an Asian Salad – what a surprise.)

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(For the record, on Day 116, I got a #3 Spicy Sandwich Chicken meal, and took probably the coolest pic ever from my servers, Jessica and Evan. Nice work guys!)

Day 110 – Beating the Routine & the Mundane

Day 110.

There’s really nothing special about today’s events – just another Friday, with routine tasks and to-do’s, not unlike most Fridays. When you think about it, most days of your life are in the “routine and mundane” category. On the one hand it’s kind of depressing; you can really understand why we have ism’s like “Hump Day” and “Thank God It’s Friday.” It’s as though we’ll do anything to keep our minds off the seemingly meaninglessness of the everyday monotonies of life.

On the other hand, if we can look for transcendence even in the small stuff, days like today can be a lot easier, and dare I say, meaningful. Even when you’re on the phone with the insurance company for an hour and a half, or you deal with a lab that doesn’t pick up the phone and only allows you leave messages.  The tyranny of the urgent does not have to rule.

Which is why, admittedly, after getting a little peeved at my to-do list involving calls to doctors and insurance companies, I took time out to do something really important today – build Asher’s birthday present from mama and dada, a Radio Flyer tricycle with parent push and steering capabilities. Asher happily helped:

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I should’ve taken a picture of him riding the final product, but I’ll get that tomorrow.  I’ll tell you what – I’m typically the guy who will wait for weeks to put something like this together or tackle a project around the house. (My wife can vouch.) But it felt awesome to break through today’s mundane and routine activities to spend an hour with my son building something. It was a real Tim the Tool Man kind of moment. Btw, he’s excellent at putting the wrenches and wrapped bubble in his mouth.

After we put this together it was time for our Chick-fil-a run, and since the tummy was a little off today, I went for the Asian Salad with no oranges and a bottled water. Let’s be honest though – even when the tummy’s tip-top, I’m partial to those crispy wontons and savory almonds topped with the Honey Sesame nectar of the gods, drizzled neatly all over my crispy Chick-fil-a chicken.

I saw a lot of the regulars tonight working the drive-thru: both Ryans, Justin, and Sandra were all there. I find this pic to completely Epic.

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Ryan #1 was impressed with my new car, however it’s not actually my new car, just the car we’re test-driving for the week, the Mazda CX-5. Here’s what she looks like:


That reminds me, I think I promised the 8 readers I have a review of the 2014 Kia Sorento SX, which we also got to test drive for a week recently. You can check that out HERE.

Asher and I ate together this evening while mama was shopping at Publix – no offense buddy, but I’ll take my Asian Salad over your peas and mashed potatoes. (And I actually really like peas and potatoes, so that shows you where the Asian Salad sits in the pecking order!)

photo 4Buddy gave us a little resistance at bed time (he emptied his crib within 15 minutes of putting him down).  But alas, a 1 year old doesn’t have much resolve when it comes to fighting sleep – pushovers, those 1 year olds.

Until we meet again.

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:

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

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

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(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.)

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(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.)

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

The end.


Day 98 – An Asherpalooza of Pictures

Day 98.

Day 98 consisted of an early father-son run to Chick-fil-A, but not quite early enough to get breakfast.  What’s the deal with the 10:30 a.m. cutoff anyhow?  Does anyone really want lunch at 11:00? Then again, I am the type of guy that has coffee first thing, coffee second thing, and doesn’t usually eat his first meal until 11:00/11:30 anyhow.  Maybe it’s just me, but I wish Chick-fil-A would serve breakfast until 11:00.  Anyone with me?

Sandra was working early today, so thank you for the service of my [Asian Salad], which, as always, was amazing:

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The rest of the day was a lot of hanging with Asher, and since I could not sleep last night for the first time in a long time (fell asleep some time after 2:00 a.m.), I’m just going to give you an Asherpalooza of pictures from our time at the neighborhood lake/dock.

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(view of our lake on the boardwalk)

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(Asher loves his BOB)

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(I’ve got a monkey on my booty)

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(Asher loves to bear crawl – he’s gonna stand up any day)

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(Asher puts his mouth on everything – like the wood)

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(Asher puts his mouth on my shoe)
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(Asher about to put a stick in his mouth – sorry for the finger photobomb)
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(The stick tastes good, dada)
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(What’s behind me guys?)
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(I’m outta here dudes)

Day 97 – Predictably Uneventful

Day 97.

It was a pretty uneventful day, just like my meal choice this evening – an Asian Salad with extra wontons and almonds (no oranges). I know, Mr. Predictable. The funny thing is, I used to be the king of being unpredictable, but with maturity, I have come to believe it’s far better to be predictable.

Obviously what meal I get at Chick-fil-A has no lasting consequences. (Well, unless you eat there every day, so maybe I just invalidated the point I’m trying to make.)  But the real point is, I would rather people know what to expect from me than to always be a wild card in somebody’s eyes. I’m not talking about playing it safe.  In fact, I would argue that it could be a good thing to be predictably high on life and adventurous.  No, what I’m talking about is a certain volatility that comes with immaturity. That used to be me. I hope it no longer is. Guess you’d have to ask my wife about that one, however. 😉

As for today, it started with something you just love to see:


In case you’re wondering, I get this whether I F8 and start in Safe Mode, Safe Mode Command Prompt, Safe Mode with Networking, and whatever other Safe Modes you can think of. My buddy Jake’s brother is a whiz at computer cleanup, so he’s going to try to help me tomorrow, just in case you were wondering. I have most my files backed up on an external hard drive, but there is one particular file (all my passwords) that would be nice to retrieve, as it’s not completely updated in my last backup. There’s nothing worse than having to figure out a bunch of passwords, am I right?

I took that in stride though, and had a nice morning with Asher, which included a run in the BOB.  And since I know most people look at this blog for pictures of Asher, now would be the appropriate time:

everydaywithchickfila1(Asher has become very proficient in the walker. Note the Cheerio on the floor. ) 


(Asher scrunchy face. Louie photobomb.)

Went to bible study tonight and left a little early so as to grab my Chick-fil-A, only to be greeted with this:

everydaywithchickfila3The line is literally around the building. I’m telling you, I’ve never seen a fast food restaurant as packed as Chick-fil-A, no matter what the time of day is. At the small survey of three tonight at bible study, we agreed that Chick-fil-A is easily the best fast food company; it’s clearly the most popular judging by the length of the drive-thru lines.

Since I couldn’t get my Asian Salad on the way, I got it on the way home. Ryan #2 was on the microphone tonight, so many thanks my friend:

everydaywithchickfila4Now I’m chilling with the Eagles and Chiefs on the NFL Network.

Thank you, Brighthouse. You’ve done something right.

Day 95 – Welcome to Parenthood

Day 95.

My Facebook friends know how this day went. I’ll just paste my response earlier for those of you who aren’t in the know:

everydaywithchickfilaThe day didn’t start out that poorly actually, even if little man did wake us up at 5:45 a.m. I’m usually up that early anyhow, but I’m still struggling to get caught up on sleep since that first [forgettable] week where all he did was cry. We got a 3 mile jog in with the BOB and a Dunkin Donuts run around 9 a.m. Darnit if that kid didn’t try to fall asleep on me with one mile left to go in our trip.  So, what’s a guy to do? I know the way to Asher’s heart, and it’s through his stomach.

Yes, Asher did have his first taste of a Dunkin Donuts Glazed Stick.

The rest of the day was just chaos, as captured in my Facebook post above. But it was awesome to read everyone’s responses, and I know I’m in good company.  Parenting isn’t for the faint of heart.

To add insult to injury, we had to get all cleaned up for pictures at our church for baby dedication day, and as we’re on the way to the church (a 50 minute drive), we get a call saying it’s been cancelled. Ugh.

So we decided to make Chick-fil-A out of chicken poo (old coaching terminology), and made a family trip to the restaurant to which this blog is dedicated.  I grabbed the Asian Salad (of course) and Liza got the Cobb. I have to say, I don’t know if Colby made my salad or not, but it was the bomb! I mean, it’s good every time, but it was special this evening.   I forgot to tell them to give me extra wontons and almonds, but no worries, Colby had my back.  Thanks to him and Sandy for the service today (nice photobomb again, Ryan #2 – I love it!):

everydaywithchickfila1Since Liza’s mom works at the salon right across from Chick-fil-A, we popped in for a surprise visit.

everydaywithchickfila3Then it was home for dinner, bath, and a family walk.  And by family, I am including our precious pooch Louie, who has about zero going-for-a-walk skills. Here he is taking me for a walk!

everydaywithchickfila4All in all, even with the crazy start, it was a good day.


P.S. I didn’t spellcheck or proofread this. Sorry in advance for the errors.

Day 90 & Day 91 – A Baconless Sandwich, Asher’s Antics, & A Power Outage

Day 90.

Hard to believe I’m 10 days away from a C-note. Who eats Chick-fil-A this many times (and lives to tell about it?) Apparently this guy.  Although the living part is still up for grabs.

Update on my sickness – even though I was up early today (5:00ish) to work on a project for Addicted to Saving…


And that’s where Day 90 ended.  Why, you ask?  Well apparently a transformer in the area blew and we were left in the dark, quite literally.  My laptop battery was low so I couldn’t even pull off of my phone’s hotspot. Proof is in the pictures.  Check out my wife trying to stay connected to the world with her 3G in this hologram picture below.  No, seriously, move your screen down and watch her fade into oblivious, leaving just her heat stamp on the screen. It’s like she’s translucent (thanks for pointing it out, Christian):

everydaywithchickfilaSo back to day 90, you should know that I had a #8 with no rabbit food, but we did have a serious problem.  What’s missing from the below sandwich?


Bacon, people. Most things in life are replaceable. Bacon, however, is not one of them. So needless to say, although the sandwich being in the bottom of my belly was never really in question, I would be lying if I said I was distraught over the baconless condition of my Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich.  I can’t believe that Colby or Sandy did it on purpose though. In fact, Sandy repeated the order back to me correctly, so I know she’s not to blame here.

everydaywithchickfila2Now, as for Day 91, it’s been a great day.  Little Asher has been a model citizen today, and I almost had to call up the Pope because we were seconds away from a miracle this afternoon, as I nearly rocked him to sleep without a bottle.  But unfortunately, he saw the bottle from the morning on the floor and it clicked with him, “Wait a second, I’m not buying this routine – where’s my bottle?”

I mean, look at this face – is this the face of a little boy who can be easily denied his life’s true passion?

everydaywithchickfila3I don’t think so.

See, he’s doing this new thing where he empties his crib out one item at a time.  It’s pure baby monitor viewing pleasure to watch this scene unfold.  First it’s the bottle. That’s when we know to start paying attention, because it makes a loud bang against the hard floor.  Next, it’s usually his little blanket.  Then, his big blanket.  The big blanket is a struggle. I don’t know if it’s because he’s still drunk with sleep, or if he just wants to put on a good show because he knows we’re watching, but it takes a good 4 or 5 tries to get it out of the crib and onto the floor, and it’s hilarious. Finally, his stuffed animal goes out, at which point he’s very lonely in the crib and really starts to fuss for mom and dad. I’m sure other parents have watched something similar with their kiddos.

Before this particular nap, there was a huge thunderstorm and Asher was all about being near the screen during the heaviest of rains, so the kid was soaked in this picture below, although you can’t really tell.  I just love the look, like he’s saying, “And I present to you…..the rain.”

everydaywithchickfila4We made another pool visit (which we had to ourselves, SCORE!), and then it was din-din and bed. By the time everything was said and done, it was after 8 o’clock before I got out the house, so it was late Chick-fil-A run for Day 91. I’ve played this song for you before, but it was an Asian Salad with extra crispies. The Trinity Chick-fil-A was PACKED tonight; we’re talking 15 deep, around the building drive-thru packed.  I think the local high school volleyball and JV football games just finished; hence, the madhouse. In light of this, I decided to go in.

When I got in, I realized I forget my wallet, and thus forgot my VIP Black Card – the horror!  Fortunately I’m a regular VIPer, and Niegel, my server, hooked a brotha up after clearing it through James, the manager.  Nice photobomb Ryan #2:

everydaywithchickfila5Colby ended up showing his face and personally prepared my salad.  (Excellent job, Colby; it was a good one.) I was excited to get home, have my salad, and watch a little NFL football.  We don’t have the TV on hardly at all in our house, but I make up for it during football season.

Much to my chagrin, Liza was relaxing with some reality show on TV, so instead of insisting on the Jets/Patriots (I wish both of those teams could lose anyhow), I enjoyed my salad quietly at the bar and typed up this blog post.

Besides, if I can circle back to my sickness update, while I am feeling better, I should go to bed as early as possible. Sleep is germs’ worst enemy, I’m convinced.

Night all.