All-Stars

Hi.

Tonight is Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game. Unfortunately, I fell a few million votes short of making one of the teams. Maybe next year.

In the interim, I’ve put together a list of some of the All-Stars in my life. This list isn’t exclusive, but just some of the names I could think up at midnight. I just want to say thanks to these people for being awesome.

Amanda M.: I’m really glad I married this lady. She makes me laugh every single day.

Steve Ellis: I’m guessing none of y’all know Steve. I don’t know Steve. However, Steve founded Chipotle. Thank you, Steve.

Paul M. and Eddie W.: These guys are some of our BFFs. They make us laugh, they are always there to help, and they are incredible cooks.

Paul and I as (unintentionally creepy) Bert and Ernie, Halloween 2013:

All Stars

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Hannah M.Hannah inspired me to start this blog. She also loves the same kind of terrible music that I enjoy.

Tom Brady: He’s won “5” Super Bowls for my beloved New England Patriots. Thank you, Tom. We should hang out again:

My mom and Amanda’s mom: Both of them have stayed with us a bunch over the first few months of our kids’ lives. Their love, support, and help have been priceless. We would not have survived without them.

Joe S.We send a lot of snarky texts. Most of them are about baseball and the horrible grammar we see people use on Facebook. It is healthy to vent somewhere.

Steve F.: More snarky texts. Most are about crazy stuff our kids do, the highs and lows of being a lawyer, and how amazing our wives are at everything. Steve also makes me feel young when we hang out because he’s much older than me.

Josh O.: I look up to this guy more than I do any of my other friends. Josh is 6’6″.

Howard and Kelly A.: Howard has been one of my BFFs for 20+ years. They are the nicest people in the world. Kelly is also really short.

Kelly and Josh:

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Terrence C.This guy drives like a thousand miles to church on Sunday. He’s a wonderful, insightful, and funny guy who I am honored to know. He also likes Mexican food.

Kim and Matt H.These two model the love of Jesus in such incredible ways. Plus, their son is absurdly cute.

Vanilla Ice: Thank you for the inspiration and the greatest work of art ever created.

Dennis and Donna P: They are such incredible pastors, mentors, and inspirations.

Ryan Zimmermann: You’ve followed me from Virginia Beach, to UVA, to DC. Thank you for the support. You are also my favorite baseball player.

Joy and Hunter W.These two are crazy. Crazy because they are willing to do whatever it takes to build an incredible church community.

Andy DunnThis guy is the reason I wear pink, yellow, green, orange, and purple pants. He founded Bonobos.

“Wear the Rainbow.”

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Chris D. and Alissa K.: These two are hilarious. They are getting married in October. I can’t wait to celebrate their lives. However, I’ve been told that I have to stay at least 20 feet away from the microphone.

Charles C.This guy constantly challenges me to be a better man, husband, and father. He is from Texas. I am too.

Brian WilliamsHe is my favorite newscaster. He is also my baseball BFF and such a wise and thoughtful friend.

Chad and Kaci C.: Their lives are crazy, but they live them out with incredible grace, composure, and humor. We want to be parents like them.

Ben I.: This guy came to church one time and was volunteering the next week. He has been such an inspiration to so many people at our church.

Ron M.Amazing man. Amazing life story. Amazing musician. Amazing beard.

John C.Very few of my guy friends love shoes as much as I do. John does. #solidarity

Jen S. and David W.I could not live the thug life without them.

My grandparents: I would not be here without them. Literally. Plus, all four are magnificent human beings.

My kids: They have changed everything. For the better.

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Okay, time to go to bed. Bye.

 

The Christmas Miracle

Christmas is almost here!

Almost…

Almost Christmas

That means it’s time to spend priceless moments with family, eat way too much food, and pretend to like presents that are actually pretty weird.  For me, it’s also a time to be thankful for the wonderful miracle of Christmas.  It’s a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus and the fact that God took the form of a human (who sometimes wore tuxedo t-shirts) to restore a severed relationship with humanity.  Slightly less important, I was able to overcome a severed relationship with the gym and fit into these Christmas pants:

Bonobos Miracle

(They will be appearing at one of our church’s Christmas services this Sunday.  Hopefully they do not rip on stage.)

I’m also thrilled to announce another Christmas miracle!

I got a new pair of shoes!

The Christmas Miracle

I don’t think I’ve ever loved something so much in my entire life.  (Sorry, Amanda, but I’ve got to keep it real.)  Infinite thanks to my thoughtful, incredible, and talented friend Paul who spotted these fly Sperry kicks at DSW and knew I’d love them.  Although finding something as beautiful as those shoes is a miracle in and of itself, the price Paul paid for those bad boys makes getting those shoes the biggest miracle in DC since the Redskins actually made the playoffs last year:

$1.05!!!

DSW Receipt

In short, thanks to Jesus, Bonobos, my thighs, DSW, Sperry, and Paul for helping me believe in Christmas.

Thankful

Christmas and Halloween are pretty rad, but Thanksgiving is the Britney Spears of holidays.  

Thanksgiving is the best holiday.  Yo.

There is amazing food, endless football, and it’s not out-of-control crazy like Christmas.  Most importantly, it’s an amazing time of reflection and gratitude.

Our 2013 Thanksgiving Family Photo
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Things will look a little different next year.

Oh, and I can eat SO much pumpkin pie during Thanksgiving and not even feel that bad about it.

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Back to the “important” stuff.  Being thankful and junk.

Here’s what I’m most thankful for in 2013:

-A God who forgives.  I desperately need that.  All the time.

-A wife who is patient and doesn’t reject my pleas to help film “music” videos.

Awkward White Guy Rap - Lose Yourself - Eminem

-The dude(tte) who invented selfies.

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-Creative friends.

Bert and Ernie

-A little boy and a little girl.

Sonogram

Sriracha.  I put that stuff on everything.

-Jordans

Jordans

-Baby Jordans.

Baby Jordans

-The new fro-yo place by my office.

-The new fro-yo place by my house.

Justin Timberlake.  “Mirrors” was my jam this year.

-My new brother-in-law.  Now I don’t feel like a third wheel when Amanda and her sister hang out.

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-A job where I can be myself

-A church that encourages me to become a better version of myself

-Tom Brady.  Thanks for standing ten feet away from me in January.  It was fun hanging out with you.  (It counts.)

-Sparkling water

-The heroes who come to our Cap City Church small group.  Y’all are nuts, but you are encouraging and entertaining individuals who I don’t want to do life without.

-“Wrecking Ball.”  This was the best song of 2013.  Hopefully I didn’t ruin it.

-The Mexican and Peruvian restaurants by our house.

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-Razors

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Hannah M., Brian W., Matt C., Jon Acuff, and Taylor Swift.  You all inspired and encouraged me to start writing this blog.  Thanks.  Now, you must apologize to the rest of the world.

-The people who read this blog.  It means the world to me and I am so grateful for you.

-Red pants

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-My Virginia Beach friends.  Yes, our city can be a little cheesy.  Yes, it can be a little trashy.  However, it’s an amazing place to grow up.  Plus, it’s full of spectacular people.

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-All my friends.  Thanks for the encouragement and the laughs.

-My BFFs who decided to marry each other.

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-Beaches in winter

-The people who actually watch my dumb “rap” videos.  They have gotten 40,000 hits on YouTube over the past few months.  That makes me a little scared for humanity.  However, ease up on the mean YouTube comments.  We have feelings too!

-Kelly Kapowski

-Silly friends

Stop Yelling

Chubbies Shorts

-Cheesy baby stuff

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-My red Puma coat.  I’m biased, but it’s pretty dope.

Eric and Andrew

-Taco Bell.  I want you everyday.

-Getting every penny back from our trip to Toronto that was cancelled at the last second due to a blizzard.

-Going crazy for Amanda’s 30th birthday by building her a tower of 30 presents.

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-Being alive

-Powdered donuts

-Game nights

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-The Washington Nationals.  The 2013 season was disappointing, but we still had fun.

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-Haribo gummy bears

-Haribo everything else

-Our flower beds.  It was fun feeling like an old man each morning I watered the beautiful flowers and plants Paul, Eddie, and Chris planted.

Nando’s Peri Peri.  If you’ve never been, go immediately.  Eat everything.

Bonobos

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-UVA’s basketball team.  Thanks for helping me heal from a disastrous UVA football season.

-“Cruise” by Florida-Georgia Line and Nelly.  I love this song.  A lot.

-My bicycle

-Not crashing on my bike at all in 2013

-Family

-Sunrises

-Sunsets

-Chips and salsa

-Jack Link’s beef jerky

…and…most importantly…

My dog

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Oh, and Zack Morris.  Thanks for the inspiration, bro.

Thankfully Employed.

There are times when I complain about my job.  I probably shouldn’t.  In the wake of the Great Recession, having a job is kind of a big deal.  Yep, it’s too stressful and I work too much, but having a job is better than the alternative.  However, like so many other things, it’s easy to take the good stuff for granted, to constantly think about the next step, and to daydream about the greener grass across the street.

This past Saturday was my three-year anniversary of being a lawyer.  I celebrated by working for ten hours.  Despite an un-awesome Saturday, I’m so thankful for my job.  It’s a place where I can be myself, I get to do interesting legal work, and I still have a life outside of the office.  Because I dwell on the negatives too much, I wanted to make a list of my ten favorite things about my job to remind me of the positive stuff.

(1)  I scored four points at the Verizon Center during a Partners v. Associates basketball game this year.  That’s more than most of the Wizards scored all season.

Thankfully Employed

(2)  My life is never in danger at work.  Sadly, this isn’t true when walking to and from the Metro.  Don’t waste your money at Barnum & Bailey, DC’s Chinatown is the real circus.

(3)  This was a work event:

Work Sucks. Sometimes.

This too:

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Oh, and this:

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(P.S. – White guys love throwing deuces.)

(4)  I didn’t gain 50 pounds after I started working.  25 pounds?  Yes.  50?  Nope.

(5)  Once a month, we have a fajita buffet at work.  Once a month, I eat three plates of fajitas.  Once a month, I have an “interesting” bike ride home.

(6)  I work with awesome people.  Lindsay Lohan in “Mean Girls” and pre-Federline Britney kind of awesome.

(7)  Whenever I need a laugh, I can look at my cheesy work website pictures.  Don’t let the movies fool you, no lawyer is cool enough for “action” shots.

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(7)  My bike commute is pretty sick.

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8.  Although I don’t earn enough to qualify as a “baller,” we’ve paid off student loans, haven’t missed any bill payments, and can buy two car seats, two high chairs, and one giant stroller.  That’s a blessing I should never take for granted.

9.  My job is challenging.  Sometimes that means I’m up until 2:00am doing work, but I’m never usually not bored.

10.  This was a work outfit.

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Rather than getting fired, our Managing Partner said I needed to charge people money to take pictures with me and donate the proceeds to charity.

Thank you, job (and thank you, Bonobos, for making those pants).

Confusion

I like to confuse people.

I’m a DC lawyer who loves purple pants.

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A white guy who loves rap music.  And boy bands.

A Christian dude who wants to be Lady Gaga.

A married guy who loves Katy Perry.  And Tom Brady.

I love neon shorts and cartoon t-shirts.   I also love suits, ties, and pocket squares.  Sometimes I like to be classy and mix all that ish together.

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So what’s my new weird thing?

Cowboy boots.

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This may come as a huge surprise to you, but I’m about as un-country as it gets.  I don’t fish, I don’t hunt, and I definitely don’t sleep in tents.  The most countryfied I get is Taylor Swift.

And my cowboy boots.

I love mixing my boots with dress pants.  I love the loud clacking as I walk through the dirty and chaotic streets of Chinatown.  I love standing an inch or two taller than normal.  I love pretending that I’m some sort of bad ranch dude herding cattle instead of an attorney who spends his day reading emails.

I love my boots.

And Tom Brady.

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Lessons Learned

I’m not brilliant.  Thus, any time I can learn something new, that’s a good thing.  Bonus points if it’s not some useless pop trivia fact. (Lady Gaga’s real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. And she has a dog named Fozzi.)

Thankfully, I learned a lot of new stuff this weekend.

I learned that it is possible to eat 30 brownies in 48 hours.

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  #grandma’s

I learned that idiot high school guys just grow up to be idiot older guys.  And they play baseball in a thunderstorm.

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No one died.  Thanks, God.

I learned that I-95 is the worst place in the world.  Other than Blacksburg.

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Sat in traffic for six hours.  At least Amanda got a nice nap.

I learned that DC has a lot of problems.  The lack of a Cookout is the worst of them all.

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I crushed a huge burger, fries, hushpuppies, and a milkshake for $6.  SIX DOLLARS.  My salads in DC cost $11.  Fix this, Obama.

I learned that Chubbies shorts are the perfect baseball attire.

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Right? RIGHT?!

I learned that the Wave Church is pretty dope.  Gorgeous building, incredible pastors, ridiculous conference, and music so fly that it makes Superman jealous.  Plus, guys in pink pants and Biggie shirts are welcome there.

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…and Steelers fans too (unfortunately).

Just like the lustful sirens called for Odysseus, I learned that Virginia Beach will always beckon me to return.

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We’ll see.

Finally, I learned that no matter how many years pass by, how many pounds we gain, or how many wives or kids we have, nothing really changes between me and my old high school buds. We always pick up where we left off.  We’re not old friends, just friends. And idiots.

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The survivors of the 17th Annual Kreider-McCormick Classic.  Team McCormick “won” a 5-0 rain-soaked 4-inning throwdown.  Amazingly, no injuries.  Many thanks to the thousands who attended and to Christi H. for all the amazing pictures!

Friday. Holler.

It’s Friday.

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Baseball is back.

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Kristina Akra tweeted me. (Umm, hello!?!)

Amanda is coming home after a week-long absence.  (We missed her. No offense, Kristina.)

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I’m wearing yellow pants.

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Free Fogo de Chao lunch.

Oh, and I’m doing a “One Direction” performance at work today.  (Hopefully I’ll still have a job on Monday.)

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Happy weekend!