Stewart Turns 8 (and Grandpa turns 8+62)!


Sounds more timely and exciting than it really is.  See normally, at minimum, you can count on this blog being, if nothing else, a chronological review of life in Sutton-ville.  Not so fast!  Timeline trickery!  See, Stewart’s birthday was in March…BEFORE The Masters post, yet I am only now posting about it…AFTER the Masters post. Sneaky, I know.  I could have really messed with the minds of the 15 readers of this blog and put our Spring Break stuff up before Stewart’s birthday and after The Masters but, alas, I won’t get crazy…

She’s 8.  All of it.  My daughter is 8.  She’s amazing.  Goofy.  Funny.  Sometimes a bit too full of attitude.  Most of the time she’s brimming with awesome.  This year she had a camp out celebration with the Adventure Guides on Copperhead Island, a small sleepover with Krispy Kreme donuts a week later and then a trip to see Taylor Swift in the arena in Charlotte.  Pretty big 3 week extravaganza, I’d say.  On a slight aside, Stewart and I (and her buddy Kylie) enjoyed Taylor Swift (me more than I thought I would) but really thought Ed Sheeran stole a bit of the show with his loop pedals (look it up).  Taylor Swift does really knows her audience and impressed me with her ability to show the young kids a good example who seemed very appreciative of their support.  Even if it is all an act and comes falling down in a pit of Lindsay Lohan/Brittany Spears failure, she did a good job of doing no harm and inserting very little in the way of questionable-ness into her show.  I, the father of an 8 year old who took her to said show, am very thankful for that.  As a 40 year old, my ear drums will never recover from the high-pitched squealing of said target audience.  In addition to the fun of her birthday and the birthday season, we have also successfully completed the birthday cake detox after what seemed like 2-3 months of non-stop cake product intake.

Not much else going on here.  About 8 more weeks of school and then we head to HHI for vacation.  Oh yeah, I got a new job at the bank.  After 27 months, it seemed like a good time for a change.  I’m pretty lucky and grateful to have the choice of career movement.

Click here for a slideshow of the 8 year old birthday extravaganza.

Click here for a slideshow of the 8 year old at the Taylor Swift concert.

Click here for a slideshow of the 8 year old camping at Copperhead Island.


April 2013 – The Masters!


First off, thanks Dad for getting the tickets.  One of the few examples I have heard of the ANGC lottery system actually producing tickets…and Wednesday Practice Round tickets to boot!  While I am thanking people, thanks to mother nature for the perfect spring day we enjoyed in Augusta.  This was a unique trip as it is one of the first times in many, many years I can remember doing anything with just my Mom, Dad and brother Tim.  A special occasion for us all I think.  The four of us met in Augusta yesterday mid-morning and wandered the course, mostly the back 9, eating pimiento cheese sandwiches (still a $1.50), egg salad sandwiches (still a $1.50) and drinking sweet tea, water and pink lemonade.  We even saw some golfers playing golf, skipping balls at 16, and chipping/putting to tees where pins will be over the next four days.  In addition to a typical practice round, we spend a good amount of time watching the annual par 3 contest.  This is a relaxed event where the golfers and some of their families walk a separate and small par 3 course amongst crowds as big as you will see on tournament days.  Also unique.

In Augusta-speak, we had a “pleasant spring day amongst the tall pines and southern breezes.”  I hope to be able to see Augusta as well as share many more days like this one with my family in the years to come.  Now, back to the grindstone.  Pictures/slideshow can be found below.

Click here for a slideshow of our day at The Masters

Click here to see all of our pictures via Flickr

Lordy, Lordy…


…CINDY’S (finally) 40!  If you don’t know my family very well then you probably don’t realize that we spend almost as much time eating cake during the months of February and March as we do sleeping.  In the year 2013 we not only ate cake, but we officially said goodbye to Cindy’s uphill climb in life and welcome in her downhill slide.  Too morose?  Ok, we officially welcome the start of her 3rd score…that’s right her 5th decade.  The big 4-0.  What ever you want to call it, at very minimum, she’s once again as old as I am.  This old starts with a 4 and ends with a 0.  🙂

Like most things, Cindy’s approach to 40 was built on strength and determination.  Strength and determination in the form of 60 days of Insanity.  As in the video workout craze.  Best I can tell this is a series of videos where the instructor makes you do things that are quite hard for the average human.  Once you have the hang of it he makes you do them faster and faster for longer and longer.  Like one of those music videos that speeds up as it goes along, this guy proceeds to make a mockery out of fairly in-shape humans.  I’ll give this guy credit as he is one of the first exercise puppeteers who shows people on his video who can’t do everything.  Meaning these people are gasping and choking and taking breaks like I’d be doing if I were doing it.  Here’s the amazing thing:  Cindy blows through 60 days of this video without so much as a squawk.  I join her for one day and can’t stop talking about how coordinated you have to be to do this and how some of the exercises aren’t possible for the average human.  Not only did Cindy knock out the first 60 days prior to turning 40, but she’s decided to repeat the 60 days again.  Crazy with a capital ‘C’.  So why’d she do this you ask?  Because someone mentioned to her that the body you enter your 40s with is the body you go to the grave with.  If so, she’s going to be leaving this earth (hopefully way down the road BTW) with the body of a very in shape 25 year old.

For Cindy’s birthday I got a wild hair to set up a series of surprises.  Dangerous given the regular advice I have been provided by the birthday subject herself to never, ever partake in the ritual of surprising said subject for her birthday.  I took this advice and didn’t surprise her one time.  I surprised her twice.  I think she was, as Charlie would say, a ‘yiddal’ surprised.  Surprise #1:  Dinner with a few friends at Enso’s in Uptown Charlotte.  Cindy and I were staying one night at the Ritz (this was not part of the surprise) on the remarkable BAC rate (a pleasant surprise, but not one of THE surprises) and I suggested we get Sushi at Enso’s.  We arrive and 4 long-time, great friends were awaiting us at the table.  Surprise #1.  Check.  From there, after a great dinner/dessert I suggested we use a ‘gift card I had received as a reward at work’ at the Wooden Vine.  Upon walking in you see Cindy piecing it together.  There’s someone I know.  There’s someone else I know.  Wow, coincidence that they are both here…BOOM!  A right hook to my shoulder and me quickly suppressing my flight response tears later and…surprise #2.  Check.  20-25 of her friends from the ‘hood awaiting her arrival.  Likely another 40 years before I pull a stunt like this, and potentially Physical Therapy rehab for my right shoulder, but well worth it.  Good times.

In addition to the birthday surprises we celebrated Cindy’s Mom’s birthday and Stewart’s reconciliation on this same February weekend.  See slideshow pictures below of both events.

Click here for a slideshow of Cindy’s 40th

Click here for a slideshow of Stewart’s Reconciliation