2012 Resolutions – Something Old, Something New, Nothing Blue #SuttonScoop2012

Happy New Year!  Yup – 17 days late.  In 2012, this kind of tardiness will no longer be acceptable, however if it does happen I won’t worry about it.  I will just breathe deeper.  Be presenter,uh more present.  I’ll write more.  Smile more.  Lecture less and go more places.  I won’t shower any more than I did in 2012 but somehow I’ll look better.  And younger.  I’ll solve world hunger without even trying.  I’ll cure all cancers.  Ok…maybe I’m getting carried away with the last few starting with looking better.  Make that look older and the list immediately will be more accurate.  I’ll be at half-life when it is all said and done and won’t worry a second about it (insert age cliches here).  Without further ado, I resolve…



  • More active listening and engaging.  Inquire.  Prompt.  Probe.  Hi-jack the conversation to turn towards me less.
  • Smile at and laugh with Cindy daily. Nothing feels better than laughing with Cindy.
  • At least 2 kid-free trips in 2012 – keeping pace with 2011.


  • Be at home eating at the table for 2 weekday dinners – put this in the “beat my head against the wall” category but I’m going to give it a go again in 2012.  Might require a job location change to my living room at this point.  Even that might not be enough – work from the dinner table??
  • Find fewer teachable moments and enjoy more non-teaching moments.
  • Continue weekly family activity night.
  • Golf with the kids 1x per month (Apr-Aug).
  • 1×1 time with each kid outside of the home monthly – the kids build the plan.
  • Listen more – especially to Will.  It scares me that he has fewer years left in the house than he has already had here.

Health and Fitness:

  • Yoga 2x per week – love yoga and it seems to be good for my running.
  • Push-ups 3x per week building up to 5 sets of 35 (currently 3x at 4 sets of 32).
  • Ab exercises 15 min TWICE  a week (“you love it but you hate it” – 100% increase from 2011).
  • Run with Purpose – donate $2 (pre-corporate match) per mile every mile run in 2011; target 1300 miles.
  • Run a 50k
  • Run at least 3 trail races
  • Run my age in marathons – means run at least 2 marathons to get my total to equal my age.

Personal Well-being:

  • Smile more; breathe more deeply; look for the positives
  • Praise the good in others; Cheer their victories loudly
  • Continue to rise everyday at 5 am.
  • Read 16 books (up from 14 read in 2011) and continue to document via blog.
  • Work: Work less and work smarter, be more confident and have more fun.
  • Pursue “presentness” to help better engage with all people in my life (taking all tips/advice here).
  • Share more via my blog; capture my “running” thoughts – I do some of my best thinking while running (and showering oddly)
  • Travel with our entire family more – a potty trained Charlie is going to return us to life on the go, go, go!
  • Attend 4 concerts  Already 2 on the books for 2012 with purchased tickets for Radiohead in Atlanta and The Black Keys/Artic Monkeys here in Charlotte.
  • Share the good work the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte is doing with more of my friends, co-workers and family.
  • One late add:  establish and maintain a zero-inbox email philosophy (GTD-style) – that’s right.  2 days in action and I’m loving it!  Inspired by this article.

For those die-hard “SuttonScoopers” who like the art of comparing and contrasting you can see my end of year wrap-up from 2011 here.  If you are really daring you can see 2010 here.  Hmmm, these two sentences make me wonder whether my need to chronicle might be getting a bit out of hand.  Maybe a 2013 resolution??  Happy New Year!


Resolutions, First a Look Back at 2011

Not so fast…by now you know my drill here.  First, take a look at last year’s resolutions.  THEN, build the resolutions for this upcoming year.  So how did I do?  I’d give myself a B-.  Good work on some.  Others still need work.  Sometimes a lot of work.  Some were ridiculous and simply need to be removed.  Put them in the “it sounded good at the time” category but not tremendously realistic.  Here’s my year end look (in blue) at what I had resolved to do in 2011.  For the truly mundane view of my life you can look back to midyear 2011 resolutions update and compare.  Then a post on what I’ll do better in 2012.



  • 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. 3 at the mid point of 2011 and finished with 3 at the year end mark.  Lame.  This one gets removed next year – the reality is I don’t like calling babysitters.  They don’t know me.  I don’t know them.  
  • More active listening; less one-way talking.  Good days and bad days on this one.  Sleep plays a role.  Less sleep = less listening.   
  • Fall asleep on the couch less.  Go to bed instead. I’M CURED!!  Couple lapses here and there but getting up earlier forces me to go to bed earlier which helps keep me from sleeping on the couch.  Success!
  • Smile at and laugh with Cindy daily. This is a keeper.  I think I was successful.  Busier or travel days required a laugh through texting or even an email. Look for this again in 2012.  The reminder helped.


  • 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. Need some help here.  Suggestions?
  • Re-establish weekly family activity night – don’t limit to only games but also hikes, bike rides, movies, etc…Success!  Regular game nights.  Summer Friday’s at friends. 
  • Golf with the kids 1x per month (Mar-Sept). Success!  More like Mid-April – August but good fun.  Stewart even joined in a few times.  Need to keep this up next year.
  • 1×1 time with each kid outside of the home monthly – the kids build the plan.  Not so much.  Golf helped but never got to be truly 1×1 time monthly.  
  • More laughter and less lecturing with my kids (2009/2010 repeat – still working on it). How do you decide when to teach and when to let things go?  I don’t have this one down.  My tendency is to lecture.  Some of this is fear on my side.  Fear of not getting them all the info.  Fear of how they act when we aren’t around.  I need to let go more – we have good kids.  Really good kids. 

Health and Fitness:

  • Yoga 2x per week (get back on the wagon here). Late year success.  100% since October.  Started with P90X version and moved to 5:15am Wed/Fri classes at the Y.  Love it!
  • Push-ups 3x per week building up to 5 sets of 30 (currently 2x at 5 sets of 24). 4 sets of 32 right now.  5 sets never seems to happen – 4 sets fit nicely in the shower/shave morning routine.
  • Ab exercises 15 min once a week (“you love it but you hate it”). Strong Jan-May.  Weak May – August.  Strong September – December.  Calling it a win.  2x weekly in 2012? 
  • 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. 900 mile year due to 2 calf issues in May and Oct.  Exceeded the goal in giving but didn’t get to the mileage goal.
  • Run sub 1:30 half marathon (either standalone or in a full) (targeting a fast 13 in mid-Nov) Didn’t run any halfs for time in 2011.  2012?
  • Run sub-30 hour BRR with 6-man team (run sub-8 min pace for my 6 legs). Success!  29 hours and 45 minutes.  Back again in 2012?  Hard to think we won’t…
  • Register for the 2012 Boston Marathon! N/A yet   Nope.  They wouldn’t have me.  Cutoff was 3:13.40.  I ran 3:14.20 when qualifying was published at 3:15.59.  I’m over it but it took several months.  Not sure I’m terribly interested in it given you never really know what time you need to run to qualify.  This year 3:13.40, next year it could be lower or higher depending on how many fast qualifiers they have that year.  Too complicated to care.  I qualified under the rules I knew and feel great about that.  I don’t feel so great about the Boston Athletic Association needless to say.

Personal Well-being:

  • Continue to rise everyday at 5 am. SUCCESS! Everyday – 4:45 except for yoga days and Saturday runs where it is 4:30. I love my morning time.
  • Read 18 books (up from 15 read in 2010) and continue to document via blog. Fail.  14 read.  Bill Bryson’s “A Short History of Nearly Everything” sank me. 
  • Work: be more confident, less fearful and have more fun. Definitely having more fun in this new role!  Confidence is an object I may forever chase.
  • Pursue “presentness” to help better engage with all people in my life (taking all tips/advice here). Work in progress – I don’t think I can do this enough.
  • Write for fun more (via blog) – target 2 entries per week or roughly 100 per year.  Fail – nowhere near it.  More like 20 entries/year.  But I still aspire to write/share more.
  • Visit more museums with the kids – target 6 in 2011. 2 down, 4 to go.  I’m calling this a success.  We hit 2 more before YE but visited Discovery Place multiple times for multiple different exhibits (e.g. Mummies, etc.).  This is an easy win in 2012 given our plans to visit DC.
  • Attend 4 concerts – I always love seeing live music and therefore I should do this more. 2 of 4 on the year.  If you count school events this one was a success?  If not, fail.  Metallica and Britney Spears?  Wow.  Already 2 on the books for 2012 with purchased tickets for Radiohead in Atlanta and The Black Keys/Artic Monkeys here in Charlotte.
  • Exceed 2010 charitable giving levels. We blew this one out of the water.  Yay us.  2012 will be all about more time on top of financial support.
  • Call my parents at least weekly – I always enjoy hearing from them. Uh-oh…the most basic of things…3 thoughts: 1) we need to do better – maybe key off of fun events in our lives to share with them?  2)  Mom/Dad – if you are reading this you need to have a resolution here too.  We love it when you call us too.  3) Maybe forgo the phone and walk down the street to visit them?  With 4 of their 4 grandkids in the same town how can they not move closer?  We will never understand – take the plunge.  I’ll put aside my “I never help people of 25 years of age move” rule and help you guys.  If Fort Mill/Charlotte is too much try out Greenville for a bit.  As a smart one at Nike once said:  Just do it.

Well – that’s the year in review as far as my resolutions are concerned.  Overall a great year.  Points of pride:  Charity, early rising, exercise, diet/nutrition, sleeping in my bed vs. on the couch, game night and golf with the kids.  Points needing work:  Presentness.  Dinners with the family.  Patience.

2012 Resolutions are in the works.  Could even go up today.  Keep an eye out – or don’t.  I won’t blame you.  🙂

Christmas 2011



This was easily the longest holiday break I have taken off from work in several years.  With the exception of a few peeks into email I spent 1 week and 4 days completely away from work.  In addition, I did little work on my personal self beyond basic running maintenance, in fact, after shaving for Christmas Eve Mass I even took a full week and 2 days from shaving.  I dare say I almost have what is the early stage of a beard.  Albeit one with more gray than I last remembered.  Much of the time was spent with the kids, family and friends.  It was dreamy.  There were a few logistical challenges with the holidays, but nothing worth words here.  Some highlights:

  • Holiday Baking – Stewart and I baked, and baked and baked.  We had enough sweets to last from 12/23 through nearly New Years and we gave a bunch away to boot!  We baked the peanut butter cookies with the kisses, pretzels with kisses/M&Ms, white chocolate pretzel rods, peppermint bark, gingerbread snowmen cookies (she was intrigued that these cookies had pepper as one of the ingredients!), pecan pie and some other items I can’t quite remember.  Some of my most nostalgic memories of the holidays involve baking with my mom and now with my kids.
  • Santa!  Seeing the kids on Christmas morning and honestly moreso with their excitement on Christmas Eve is priceless.  At times a bit tiring, but priceless.  There’s nothing like it.
  • Our 2nd Annual Baxter Christmas Pot Luck – we were at capacity with friends and their kids this year.  Fun times – next year we need even more desserts as this year they went fast!  Better yet – next year I just need to start with desserts first.
  • Baxter New Year’s Day 12k Trail Run – over 7 miles of trails to run on within Baxter – and challenging terrain at that!  Looking forward to the 3rd annual next year!
  • We didn’t leave the Baxter Bubble except for a date night or two, a trip to Discovery Place and some light pre-Christmas shopping.  I love not driving places.  Thanks to all of our family who drove to us – with a 2 year old it REALLY makes a difference!
  • Charlie moved into a big boy bed.  One of our parenting “lowlights” from 2011 was dismantling his crib in front of his eyes right before bedtime.  He said he was ready (and had taken several naps and slept several nights in his new big boy bed) and we acted…maybe a bit too swiftly for him (and potentially even his mom who even shed a tear or two).  It’s funny to see him in it (there’s a picture of it below) and even funnier to watch him the first night as he was apparently not ready to commit to turning over in it.  If there’s one thing we know about Charlie it is change is not his favorite thing.  It might even be his least favorite thing.  Oh yeah, we have a 9 year old, well-broken-in crib for sale if you know anyone interested.
  • Fred the Elf – oddly I miss the 6am rush downstairs to find out where Fred landed after his trip back to the North Pole each night.  We miss that guy.
  • Cindy’s Christmas Village – I’d be ok with this thing being up all year but I’m told it would lose its luster…still very cool.
  • Golf – Will, Dad and I walked 9 holes at Fort Mill Country Club on the day after Christmas in near perfect weather.  Good multi-generational bonding time.
  • “The” Puzzle – this year’s was a doozy.  Charlie picked it out (see picture) and his is now banned from doing so in the future.  1500 pieces as 500 too many.  We BARELY finished it before the New Year deadline.  8:37pm on New Year’s Eve and several of the border pieces did not get placed until the last day of completion!

As always the New Year’s Resolution edition of the blog is forthcoming.  Per usual a recap of 2011 performance and then the 2012 goals.  Geekfest, I know.

Enjoy the pics – and my apologies in advance for the quantity.

Click here for a slideshow of the pics and videos from our 2011 Christmas Holiday

Click here for all of our pics a la Flickr