Looking Ahead to 2013

New Years

Happy New Year’s Eve! Lindsey and I had a tremendous 2012 by all measures, filled with family adventures, travel, and progress on the Double Dogleg.

A few of the highlights were our baby-reveal brunch where everyone already knew what was happening, but played along gracefully. And later, the gender reveal party shortly after Thanksgiving. We are fortunate to have family that are present, engaged, and unbelievably supportive. They set a wonderful example for us through each day of our lives, and I hope that we are able to return the love and pass it on as well.

Most exciting of all is the life we have ahead of us – the arrival of our son this coming April – the first grandchild for the family – the first nephew to his Aunts. When I think about my resolutions for the New Year, what comes to mind is that priorities will change – by choice – to putting our son first, focusing on being an awesome dad, and doing all that I can to support Lindsey as a mother.

With that I resolve to say, “I love you,” everyday to Lindsey and baby boy – although I do already. And to hug them each morning and night. To make the Double Dogleg a safe and adventurous home. To work more efficiently, so that I can support them and be with them.

Here’s to 2013 and beyond. May the rest of our lives be filled with more love, inspiration, and hard work than ever before.

OneWord: Sure

Sure: I was so sure, that I set the cup down. And I walked to her and said,”Hello, beautiful. Can I have this dance.” She looked at me with her blazing brown eyes and nodded. Just a little. And so I took her hand and walked with her to the edge of the hardwood that was the dancers’ floor. Like the boxers’ ring. And I had made it that far. And I was holding her hand. And my heart was racing. Pounding from my chest trying to reach hers to see if it, too, wanted the same kind of freedom. And all I could do was take that next step. The leather of my shoe skidding to a start on the dusty wood. I reached my arm around her thin little waist and pulled her warm body to mine so that I could lead her away to the rest of her life. For there was no turning back on this little leap of love. She was my wallflower. Me, her punch-bowl-mixer. And together we were everything at once. The disco ball above stopped to watch as we spun faster and slower around everyone who didn’t matter in that moment. And then I stopped us. The music stopped. And I dipped her ’til her hair was in the dust of that worn out floor. And I looked at those brown eyes of hers and I said, “Goodnight, Beautiful. I’m sure we’ll meet again.”

Christmas 2012

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas with our families. On the 24th, we met at Sorellina for dinner, and then drove around to see the Christmas lights before attending the 9pm church service. No dropped candles or broken pews this year, although Christy did have a bit of a laugh-attach early in the service.

Christmas morning had us up early shoveling a little snow, so that we could safely descend the driveway en route to Mom and Dad J’s house for early morning Christmas. It was fun to give Dan his golf club rack, which Lindsey and I built together. Then we were off to the farm to celebrate with Lindsey’s extended family. After enjoying some coffee cake, we opened presents, visited, and then returned to Old Mission Peninsula for Christmas turkey and gift opening with Mom and Dad R and Katy. Continuing with the home crafted gifts, we gave Mom and Dad R a footstool/table made from saplings felled on our property. I am anxious to see if it stands the test of time and the bites and bumps of Izzy and Calla.

It was a wonderful day of celebration and relaxation, and we’re very thankful to have so much loving family close to home. Now its time to start thinking of my New Years’ resolutions!


Lemony Snicket, The Lump of Coal

It is a miracle if you can find true friends, and it is a miracle if you have enough food to eat, and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings doing whatever it is you like to do, and the holiday season—like all the other seasons—is a good time not only to tell stories of miracles, but to think about the miracles in your own life, and to be grateful for them.

via A CUP OF JO: Miracles

How Santa Makes His Rounds

To all those who have trouble believing in Santa Claus, I ask you to read the following with a bit of humor in mind and a leniency for the truth. Many things that are mentioned have indeed happened, and the rest…well they could just as easily be true. All you have to do is indulge your imagination and follow my lead.

Santa Claus is real, and so are all of the trimmings that we associate with him. I have seen him in the mall many times, and having been fortunate enough to chat briefly with him upon a couple of occasions, I consider myself very knowledgeable about his ways. Many people have tried to tell me otherwise, but I know the truth. The truth is that there are elves at the North Pole slaving away to make children happy come Christmas morning. There are flying reindeer that pull not only Santa and his sleigh, but also his sack of gifts, which must be enormous in proportions. Thousands of kids wait patiently, all year long watching what they say and how they act, in hopes that they will receive their chosen gifts. (This includes me.) I fall into the category of believers who also believe in the Easter Bunny, angels, and miracles. Hence, in the midst of the Christmas season that is racing around us, my focus is on proving to you that Saint Nick does in fact exist.
Continue reading How Santa Makes His Rounds

Ira Glass on Storytelling


Two main building blocks

  1. Sequence of actions – anecdote – that creates suspense and raises questions along the way (and readers expect those questions to be answered)
  2. Moment(s) of reflection on the suspense and questions raised

Can have great facts, but boring execution of above; can have boring facts and excellent execution of above.

Difficult to find a real story. What about for fiction? Looking within? Is there a tipping point of personal memories that create a story?

Every story isn’t going to be great or usable. Need to learn to abandon crap. Don’t want to be making mediocre stuff. Like golf – looking for that one great shot that keeps you going until the next time.

When starting a creative career, your taste may be killer, but your ability is below what you like. You know that your work is crappy – need to get past this phase!

Common pitfalls

  • Trying to imitate something you’ve seen. Just talk like a normal human being – this could go for writing, too. Go with your own flow.
  • Not showing your personality interacting with other human beings. Can’t have too much “you” or too much of the other characters.