Category Archives: Wraps & Salads

Day 88 – I’m Sick

Day 88.

I’m sick. It rarely happens, and I’m blaming the little man. Or my wife. One of them gave me these foreign germs. It seems as though we share just about everything these days, so there’s no telling. Shoot, it could’ve been the dog for all I know.  The dog is a whole other story. Poor Louie. I think he’s lonely now that Pacey’s gone, and any time I’m on the floor with Asher he wants to be in the mix. He also does not discriminate with toys, whether they’re Asher’s or his. Hence, the germs. Plus I’ve just been running on empty lately – up early, up late, trying to at least train somewhat for the tri. Now that it’s over, maybe I can get some sleep?

Today was a fun Chick-fil-A run as it was a family affair.  The below pic, while not flattering for dad, is a great one of Asher (not that I’m biased or anything). Just look at that sweet little face. Happy family.

everydaywithchickfilaDad ordered his typical Asian Salad, and for the first time, Ryan #2 (who’s been on the intercom a lot lately), finished my order for me when I was at the “no oranges” part of the order.  Love it.   Mama indulged in a Spicy Sandwich and I ate all her fries on the way home.  Big thanks to Ryan, Evan, and a couple of newbies as our servers this evening:

everydaywithchickfila1And since I’m not feeling well, I’ve got to cut this short and hit the hay. We had a very busy day yesterday which I will try and highlight more tomorrow, but essentially we had a shower for Asher and all of us are needing a little replenishing.

One more photo of Asher though before we leave. He was helping dada blog today. Some precious memories we’re making these days, even though I look kind of like an alien in this picture:



Day 83 – A Record-Setting Picture

Day 83.

Crazy tired right now so this will be short.

It was a record-setting night of sorts, as there were six Chick-fil-A employees in tonight’s photo.  My actual server was Kayleigh, but everyone got in on the action tonight, which was cool. Never before have we had six in a pic, so day 83 has the record…..for now.

everydaywithchickfilaIt was the Asian Salad again for me tonight, with, you guessed it, no oranges and extra wontons and almonds. With Colby working this evening, I really didn’t have to ask, as he’s got my order down pat. I’d like to be spontaneous and switch things up, but there are many cliches I could use to demonstrate the fact that when something’s not broke, you don’t try to fix it. Sorry, it’s late, cliches are easier than thinking.

Had a fun morning with Asher out on the patio. With the new fan my buddy Jake installed while Liza was in Africa, the mornings are actually bearable out there. I think this might be a daily routine! Of course, I brought some of Asher’s expensive toys out but he opted for the outlet cover. Honestly, I’m getting this kid a box in wrapping paper for Christmas, that’s it.

everydaywithchickfila1And many thanks to my Aunt Elizabeth, who provided Asher with “beary” fun gift, all the way from Wichita, Kansas.  Asher loved putting it in his mouth.

everydaywithchickfila2Am I wearing the same Ohio State shirt from yesterday’s blog post? Maaaybeee. Listen, I’m a blogger. I work from home. Don’t judge me.

That’s all for tonight. Signing off boys and girls. See you tomorrow.

Day 75 – Trekking Out in the Florida Rain

Day 75.

This was father and son yesterday right before our Day 75 Chick-fil-A trip.

everydaywithchickfilaLook at those deviant eyes! I’m telling you, this kid will give you everything he’s got at then some. I’ve realized pretty quickly that he’ll take every inch you give him, so you gotta lay down the law on certain things.

So far our non-negotiable “no’s” are: cords, blinds, the dog water bowl, and the TV stand.  Allowables at this point are: shoes (in mouth) and dog bones/toys (in mouth – and that’s a dad allowable, not a mom one).

Favorite foods? Squash and Cheerios:

everydaywithchickfila2But that’s only because he can’t really chew, well, anything, but in particular, an Asian Salad from Chick-fil-A. I know I’m a one-hit wonder right now with the salads, but there must be something addictive in them, because I can’t get enough. We even trekked out in the rain today to get our free Chick-fil-A, and we weren’t the only ones:

everydaywithchickfila1Who was there to greet us but our buddy Colby sporting a new do up top?! Looking good my man. And McKenzie was there to welcome us as well:

everydaywithchickfila4Someone is definitely photobombing this one (upper right eyes please), but I can’t really tell who it is.  I didn’t get a picture of my Asian Salad (no oranges, extra Wontons and Almonds), but Colby did mention that he thought it was me when I ordered. There’s nothing quite like being a “regular.”

And in an attempt to quell the demand for more pictures of Asher, here’s one, though blurry (thanks iPhone) of Asher making one of his thousands of facial expressions I’m coming to know. Raised eyebrows is always a tricky one – you never know if crying or happy happy happy is coming afterward.

asher7See you tomorrow.

Day 73 & 74 – A Week in Review in Pictures

Day 73 & 74.

Can I just say, welcome to fatherhood?  Yup, the last two days have been that for us. But you know what?  Beyond not exercising, sleeping, or having any semblance of routine that I once knew, it hasn’t been that bad! Asher is actually a pretty fussy kid, but one of the things he does like is that ride to Chick-fil-A, which he has been on the past couple days.

Since I haven’t even touched on Asher’s homecoming party on Monday night, well at least at any length, I thought I’d let a picture be a thousands words.  Seeing as how I have like 50 pictures, this could be a really long blog post. Good thing for you the words are in your imagination and you don’t have to read a thousand words per picture.

So, as a “week in review” via photo, here you go (including my last two days at Chick-fil-A, where I ordered the Asian Salad and a #5 Chick-fil-A Nuggets with large waffle fries and Sprite.

(photos are courtesy of Paisley & Pinstripes Photography and our friend Janna)


our friends’ kiddos greet us with signs


Asher gets his first taste of American life in the Tampa International Airport


some of our best friends met us to support us and celebrate with us


mama and Asher hanging at home


Asher getting home from his first ever Chick-fil-A trip


McKenzie and Ryan serve me my Asian Salad with extra, well, everything


Asher was just being naughty – don’t let his cuteness fool you


Asher’s second trip – John was our server and mama wanted some waffle fries


looks like Asher wants something to eat too; either that or he’s just teething…

Day 67 – A Terrific, Happy, Not Bad, Very Good Day

Day 67.

Day 67 was a special one; it’s going down in the annals with an asterisk denoting special. I stayed up late last night (well, late for me) so that I could be awake and praying precisely at the time when our finder was supposed to testify at the US Embassy. The “finder” is the man who found our son. We had been anxious to know if he would actually show, but sure enough, he did!

2013-08-15_0643(I just love this pic of Asher. Maybe he’s not excited to leave Ethiopia, but mama sure is.)

I put the phone right by my head so I’d hear my wife’s Facetime call, but honestly, the Grambling State Marching Band could play When the Saints Go Marching In while bounding through my bedroom and I’m telling you, I don’t think I’d wake up. That’s not even hyperbole. That’s for real. So needless to say, I didn’t hear the calls, being in the second cycle of REM sleep when she did.

So how did I find out? On Facebook. It’s actually consistent of our relationship. Since we work side by side at home, I’ll often learn something about her from something she posts on Facebook.  Honestly, I’m right here honey!  But that’s just how we roll.

Needless to say, I’m ecstatic, and there was no way I was going back to sleep. Phone calls, emails, Facebook posts, the travel agent, the Sheraton Addis, Chase bank – you name it, I was doing it. Plus I was running the business and putting the crib together.  It was a great day.

Tonight the Bears were featured on ESPN, so while I was ready to head out to Chick-fil-A at 8, I decided to put myself through what could’ve been a torturous preseason viewing of my beloved Bears. I am happy to report that at the time I left, they were up 17-0.

I’m also happy to report that I saw my guy Colby tonight at Chick-fil-A!


everydaywithchickfilaI think it’s been a good 7-10 visits since I’ve seen him. We had a good chat, and are thinking about hitting the links one of these days. I guess James, the manager, he also plays, so I’m looking to break into their foursome. We gotta play a better course than Magnolia Valley though. No offense. I also learned they have a fantasy football draft this weekend, and I’m thinking I might just have to try to break into that as well. (Yeah right. Even if they let me in, it would be league #4 this year and I’m pretty sure mama would put the nix on that.)

Since Liza’s been gone there’s been a lot to do, and I’d be lying if I said was eating all the fruits and veggies I need (where’ my Carlita’s Veggie Co-op when you need it???). So I find the salads at least give me some greens and fiber, and that’s gotta count for something, right?

Therefore it was the Asian Salad with no oranges and the Sesame Honey Dressing (or is it Honey Sesame?) for me again this evening. If I sound like a broken record, just know that it’s my favorite record, so I don’t mind hearing it over and over and over again.

everydaywithchickfila1I actually decided to go for a run this evening – just a 3 miler – because I haven’t exercised since Tuesday morning and really felt getting some endorphins firing, a clean shower, and Chick-fil-a before bed would make for some nice REM sleep.

Man, ever since I watched Dr. Oz with my mother-in-law on Tuesday while we ate a late lunch/early dinner, I can’t stop thinking about my sleep patterns!

At any rate, today was a great day.  Prayers were answered, tasks were accomplished on the home front, the Bears offense looked like it might potentially not embarrass me every drive this year, I got to see Colby, I exercised, showered, and had free Chick-fil-A. Andy Griffith’s got nothing on this American dream I’m living.

Day 56 – LT, Highly Paid Fat Dudes, & the Asian Salad Trifecta

Day 56.

Let’s see, Day 56. What is significant about the number 56?  Lawrence Taylor’s jersey number, the great Linebacker from the New York Giants when I was growing up.  Really revolutionized the the defensive end position.  The reason you young kids see studs like Clay Matthews and Jared Allen in the NFL today is because every defensive coordinator with half a brain realized a fast, athletic, hybrid DE/OLB was an utter nightmare for even the most gifted Offensive Tackle, and we have LT to thank for that. It’s also why you can be an Offensive Tackle and make a crap-load of money these days, protecting the QB from the ferociousness of these mutant defensive ends with crazy speed.  Making serious coin wasn’t possible for the fatties in the trenches back in the 70’s and 80’s.  (Listen, I played football for 10 years including 4 in college as a running back – I’m allowed to call my lineman fatties…they were my best friends…it’s a term of endearment.)

It’s interesting where these Every Day with Chick-fil-A blog posts go, isn’t it? I never know when I sit down how it’s going to play out, except for one thing: server picture.  Tonight’s server pic is brought to you by Skii (on the left; this is the first time I’ve had her as a server); and the girl on the right who I cannot for the life of me remember her name. Sorry!  But I know she picked off my oranges by hand both last night and tonight, so thank you very much! (Sorry about the fuzziness – it’s the iPhone’s fault.)

everydaywithchickfilaIt’s been a super long week, both physically and emotionally.  With Liza out of the house and taking zero part in running the business, I have had to carry the load by myself.  I’m not looking for sympathy [lie], but truly, there’s a lot riding on your shoulder when everything depends on you! Fortunately we do have some great workers who have stepped up and are helping, so I’m praising God for that, for sure.

In some ways, it’s harder to write these Chick-fil-A posts because it’s kind of “one more thing” to do in the day.  On the flip side, free Chick-fil-A, even 56 days in, is still an endeavor that even a log could get excited about.   The eating free Chick-fil-A is a piece of cake – it’s the blogging that doesn’t allow me to have my cake and eat it too. (Side note, my mom and I always argued about that while I was growing up. I always thought you could have your cake AND eat it too.  Just because you didn’t have the WHOLE cake didn’t mean you couldn’t still have both.  She had to put up with quite a bit. Thanks Ma.)

As promised yesterday, I decided to go for the trifecta, three days in a row with the Asian Salad, which has quickly become a crowd favorite:

everydaywithchickfila1Something about the way the crunchies and the dressing align in my mouth that really make this combo a winner. Plus the greens are good for the digestive system. I’m all about proper colon care.

On that note…, we will see you tomorrow boys and girls.  Hopefully I’ll have another update on momma and son soon.

Day 55 – Momma & Son Together Forever While Dad Enjoys the Comforts of Home

everydaywithchickfilaDay 55.

So this is my son in his Ethiopian crib. Now what’s crazy about this picture, which is the latest update, is what he’s wearing. No, I’m not talking about the green and blue striped socks.  I’m talking about the animal printed on his shirt.  His name is “Terefe” in Amharic, the main language of Ethiopia, and my wife has called him Baby T in all her blog posts.  I, however, have called him T-Rex.  Look what is on his freaking shirt!  A T-Rex!  And look at his smile – he loves it.  I just think that’s the coolest ever. But I am easily amused.  Baby T-Rex. Love that kid.

This is just the beginning though. If you watched my vlog yesterday, you realize that my wife has left me to travel 7000 miles away to be with this cute round of Ethiopian mound. Seriously, the dude is a chunker. He’s not hurting for any girth, that’s for sure. Well today I finally heard from her, and while she is completely exhausted, she has been reunited with our son.  Only this time, it’s forever.

They talk about a “gotcha day” in the adoption world; you can figure it out.  It’s the day you “gotcha” son or daughter. So while she can’t bring him home just yet, today was kind of like Liza’s gotcha day with our son.   I was so happy when she emailed me this pic this morning:

everydaywithchickfila1Haha.  Just looking at those chubby cheeks makes me chuckle.  I love that he’s got his dad’s haircut too. Makes me feel included in the family even though I’m not there. They had to shave it last time because of who knows what may’ve been growing in his or one of the other 50 kids at his foster home.   No matter.  He’s with momma now, even though 14, 15, 16 years from now, if he’s anything like his old man, he’ll hate our guts and scream and yell and wonder why we ever took him from Ethiopia in the first place.  And then we’ll make our trip back to show him why.

Actually, I hope we go before he’s a teenager.  In fact, I wish every child in America would visit a third world country before they graduate high school.  When you visit a place like Ethiopia, it’s easy to see that losing your iPhone is a very first world problem indeed. And yet the people there are warm and friendly, gracious and kind.  In many ways, it’s easier to live there.

Until you do.  And then you long for home.  And for things like, you guessed it….Chick-fil-A.

How’s that for a transition?

I got the Asian Salad again tonight, and might go for the trifecta tomorrow.  I’m really digging that honey sesame dressing!


And my trip to the fil-A was fun too. Check out Megan and the photobombers…probably one of the best server pics yet!


So today was a really good day. I’m sad knowing that there’s nothing that I can do for my family. When things get hard I can’t just immediately console my wife, or take my son from her for a while, or let her go for a jog to clear her head, or anything like that.  But I’m really, really happy knowing that my son has his forever momma at his beck and call, and she will never, ever, ever fail to answer.  That brings me great joy.

Day 54 – An Admittedly Emotional Video Blog; Hey, I Miss My Wife Already, So Sue Me

Day 54 is a video blog because quite frankly, it was much easier than typing a blog post (ie, “thinking.”)

Big thanks to Sydney, my server, who has a come a long way in a short amount of time in terms of camera shyness.  My boy Ryan was there too – and he wasn’t even working!  That guy must live at Chick-fil-A!


Anyhow, here’s the vlog…I’m a little emotional at the thought of my wife and son being 7000 miles away from me, but really, can you blame me?  What loving husband would want to be separated for any length of time from his greatest earthly loves?  Yeah, I almost cried.  Almost.

Day 39 – In Royal Palm Beach with the Family

Day 39.

Here’s how you can tell a man really loves Chick-fil-A. He has a VIP card that is only good in counties directly touching the Tampa area, and yet when visiting his brother-in-law and wife in Royal Palm Beach, he still goes to Chick-fil-A and pays full price!

Admittedly, it drove my wife a little nuts, but I felt it was my duty to pay the Cathy family back just slightly for all they’ve done for us.  So after a leisurely morning together with banana bread and percolated coffee, we headed over with James and Genesis and broke a different kind of bread together.  Here they are:


Since I’ve been going through the Chick-fil-A breakfast menu item by item recently, I took yesterday and today as brief respites while visiting family down here in Royal Palm Beach. As such, I went with one of my personal favorites, the Chick-fil-A® Cobb Salad.


It’s always fun to meet a server or Chick-fil-A employee for the first time as they hear about Every Day with Chick-fil-A. Lots of interest, lots of questions, and as far as I can tell, it’s genuine. At least I felt my server today, Krystelle, was.  Here she is:


What’s funny is that my brother-in-law was giving me a hard time for knowing my way around a Chick-fil-A. (And I do. Proudly.)  But I find it ironic that he’s giving me a hard time when he’s got Peking ducks he’s named Fluffernutter and Marshmallow and daily feeds them from the palm of his hands on his back porch patio.


I realize this post has been pretty disjointed but I hope you can pardon my incoherence.  I’m with family, got a full belly of On the Border enchiladas and empanadas clouding my judgment, and I’m right in the middle of this movie People Like Us. Weird.  But engaging.

So I’m going to go watch that. See you Monday.

Day 31 – Working My Way thru the Menu: Chick-fil-A Grilled Market Salad

Day 31.

Day 31 of my Every Day with Chick-fil-A journey happens to fall on July 4th, the 237th birthday of this great nation.  It light of that, I thought I’d make a video today to express my gratitude for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which generally leads me straight to a Chick-fil-A drive-thru.

With that being said, let’s jump right to today’s Chick-fil-A stats.


My server today was Andrew, and this is the first time he’s had an Every Day with Chick-fil-A shout out. The best was his answer when I told him I needed a pic for the blog, and I quote, “I’m not sure I have a face that’s blog-worthy.” Hilarious. You do now, Andrew, you do now. Nothing like a little humility coming from today’s youth. I didn’t even notice homeboy in the back until I got home, who was clearly loving the limelight more than Andrew was. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen him before but I don’t know that he’s waited on me. I do like the photobomb, though, dude. Well played.

Okay, today’s meal was the Chick-fil-A® Grilled Market Salad, which according to Chick-fil-A’s website, is described as: Grilled and sliced chicken breast served on a fresh bed of chopped Romaine lettuce and baby greens, topped with shredded red cabbage and carrots, crumbled blue cheese and a mix of red and green apples, strawberries and blueberries. Made fresh daily. Served with Harvest Nut Granola, Roasted Nut Blend and Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette (or guest’s choice of dressing).

Total Due: $7.67 (no drink)

Nutritional Content of the Grilled Market Salad:
180 Calories
4g Fat
2g Saturated Fat
0g Trans Fat
70mg Cholesterol
680mg Sodium
13g Carbohydrates
4g Fiber
8g Sugar
25g Protein

Now here’s the interesting thing about the Grilled Market Salad. I would have NEVER purchased this salad if it weren’t for Every Day with Chick-fil-A. Never. There’s nothing about Apple Cider Vinaigrette or strawberries and blueberries that jumps out to a dude like me. 180 calories? I bet I burn more calories than that just driving to Chick-fil-A. But that’s the fun part about going through the entire menu at least once. To be honest, the salad was pretty good. I ate every last piece of grilled chicken and was really digging the Roasted Nut Blend, which is a sweet (literally) concoction of walnuts, almonds, and pecans that actually mixed well with the Apple Cider Vinaigrette.   Since I was having a huge 4th of July carnivore-fest later on, the lightness of the salad couldn’t have come on a more perfect afternoon.

Final Every Day Rating: 8 out of 10. Women might rate this 10 out of 10, what with 180 calories in the whole stinking meal. I’m pretty sure whatever’s in my son’s bottle has more than that. As such, I’d prefer a little more umph to the meal, personally.  Also, Chick-fil-A execs – blue cheese, while very tasty, is not the cheese I would’ve used. I would have gone with something less powerful and more diverse, like a nice feta. Word to the wise. Maybe in Grilled Market Salad 2.0 we can see a change.