July 2011: Columbus Trip and Helping Hands Summer Event


School is back in and summer is unofficially over and yet I’m only now getting to post the pictures from Stewart’s TWO WEEK trip to Columbus, GA in July where we joined her for the last week of it.  It was great to hang out in Columbus – Mom and Dad’s place, although about 5-6 hours too far away (still baffled why they remain in Columbus when their 2 kids live within a mile of each other, but stubborn is as stubborn does, I guess…) is a great place to visit and relax.  Cindy, the kids and Grammy and Poppy stayed busy with activities, golf, good food while I worked and shared some meals for most of the days.  Cindy and I got away to Atlanta for an evening with her friends Deirdre, Linda, Corina and Tom from her college days at Wake.  Overall, a great last trip for the summer before schools started in mid-August (check back for these pics in the coming days/weeks).

On the day after returning to Fort Mill from Columbus, Cindy and the Helping Hands group she helps organize stuffed 300+ pounds of school supplies into 60 backpacks for kids in need as they start back to school.  The Fort Mill Care Center was thrilled at the work of this great organization and community.  I couldn’t be prouder of the stuff Cindy does for the Fort Mill Care Center – she’s pretty amazing.

Anyways, pictures are below – enjoy!

Click here for the pictures (and a video or two) at Grammy and Poppy’s house.

Click here for the Helping Hands Pictures.

Click here for all of our pictures a la Flickr.


2011 Resolutions – The Mid-year Update

Well, nearly 8 full months have passed since I publicly set my goals for the New Year.  To borrow a Covey-ism, a “sharpening of the saw” if you will.  I fear that I’m not doing well, but if the saw was already sharp would I need goals in the first place…exactly.  It should also be noted that Cindy still refers to this as the year of “less is more” – although not sure I see that as much as aspire to see it.

So, without further ado, wish me luck.  The full original link can be found here.  Here it goes (updates in blue):




  • Plan 1 date night per month – this used to be about getting the sitter but in 2011 this means planning the events of the date. I think I have planned 3 total dates.  That’s roughly 5 shy.  Two of them were to the same restaurant (Passion8 Bistro). Do I have 9 in me to get to the average by YE?
  • More active listening; less one-way talking.  I’m trying harder hear.  Success is likely in the eyes of the speaking…Cindy?
  • Fall asleep on the couch less.  Go to bed instead. I’M CURED!!!! Basically, I stopped sitting on the couch.  Amazing what a chair can do.
  • Smile at and laugh with Cindy daily. 6 days a week?  I think so.  The reminder to strive for even more was worth including this one…


  • Be at home eating at the table for 2 weekday dinners (must make this a priority). Fail…I’m money with Fridays…must. do. better.
  • Re-establish weekly family activity night – don’t limit to only games but also hikes, bike rides, movies, etc…Friday fun night with the neighbors helped here.  Friday game night is back strong with school being back in.
  • Golf with the kids 1x per month (Mar-Sept). SUCCEED! Will and I are playing 9 holes nearly weekly.
  • 1×1 time with each kid outside of the home monthly – the kids build the plan. Each kid? Fail.  2 of 3?  Winning!
  • More laughter and less lecturing with my kids (2009/2010 repeat – still working on it). WIP – can always do better here…I just have so much to say.  Maybe this one should read “say less”?

Health and Fitness:

  • Yoga 2x per week (get back on the wagon here). Fail – not sure why.  
  • Push-ups 3x per week building up to 5 sets of 30 (currently 2x at 5 sets of 24). I’m at 4 sets of 30.  Getting there.
  • Ab exercises 15 min once a week (“you love it but you hate it”). Strong through May when I strained a abdominal muscle…still not 100% (or it’s a hernia/early appendicitis…).
  • Continue no-meat diet (fish/shrimp are ok). SUCCESS!
  • Run with Purpose – donate $2 (pre-corporate match) per mile every mile run in 2011; target 1300 miles. 1300 Miles may be tough with having to take 6 weeks off in May early June.  
  • Run sub 1:30 half marathon (either standalone or in a full) (targeting a fast 13 in mid-Nov)
  • Run sub-30 hour BRR with 6-man team (run sub-8 min pace for my 6 legs). (3 weeks out)
  • Register for the 2012 Boston Marathon! N/A yet (Sept 19 is my registration date…please, please, please be kind BAA!)

Personal Well-being:

  • Continue to rise everyday at 5 am. SUCCESS!
  • Read 18 books (up from 15 read in 2010) and continue to document via blog. 12 books down, 6 to go.
  • Work: be more confident, less fearful and have more fun. Definitely having more fun in this new role!
  • Pursue “presentness” to help better engage with all people in my life (taking all tips/advice here). hmmm…I’ll get back to you here.
  • Write for fun more (via blog) – target 2 entries per week or roughly 100 per year.  About 60 entries off pace…maybe a touch aggressive? 
  • Visit more museums with the kids – target 6 in 2011. 2 down, 4 to go.  Need a strong finish.
  • Attend 4 concerts – I always love seeing live music and therefore I should do this more. 1 of 4 so far…unbelievably, Britney Spears (without kids…what am I doing?) will get me to 2…Must find my man card…
  • Exceed 2010 charitable giving levels. On track and potentially already exceeded!  Yay!
  • Call my parents at least weekly – I always enjoy hearing from them. Uh-oh…need to do better.

I reserve the right to edit these through mid-January… Happy New Year!

Alright – good to see where I stand.  Some bright spots (reading, diet, work, charity, golf and Cindy) and some definite areas to focus on (family dinners, museums, date night planning, less lecturing to name a few).  Re-focus starts now…

Safety First!!

We live in a different age then when I grew up.  One of the more noticeable differences is how safety conscious kids are today.  I didn’t own a bike helmet as a kid.  If I did, I would have been laughed out of the neighborhood if I wore it.  I remember that when Will was a rider in the bike trailer he used to cry if we accidentally left without putting his bike helmet on.  Their first instinct when riding scooters and bikes is to put their helmet on.

We might be witnessing the act of taking something too far.  One of our kids, who will remain nameless, has decided the 5-point car seat harness in a car that rivals the size of a small tank is not quite safe enough for his liking. Either that or he’s sending us a message about our driving.  The good news is he has taken the matter into his own hands.  It should also be noted that not enabling this latest measure of safety may result in some serious tantrum time.  This may explain why I rarely drive without my own “safety device”:  earplugs.

Clearly it could be worse.  It could also get interesting if this turns out to be anything more than a phase.  Can you imagine the scene 14 years from now as he approaches his driver’s test?  Picks his date up to go to Prom?