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.

 

America’s Year in Review (2013) – The Music Video

Happy New Year!  I hope and pray that you all have a blessed, exciting, and adventurous 2014!  With twins on the way, I think I’m in for an interesting, wonderful, and tiring year!

A lot of important things happened in the United States in 2013.  Thus, I wrote a song about them.  My wife, my Chihuahua, and I then made a music video about some of those memorable moments.

2013 Year in Review - Music Video

Thanks for watching, for sharing, and for being YOU!  Enjoy!

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
Thankful

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.

Thankful5

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.

Thankful3

Thankful7

-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.

steven

-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.

Thankful7

-Razors

razor

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

redpants

-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.

howardandkelly

-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

Halloween Shirt

-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.

amanda gifts

-Being alive

-Powdered donuts

-Game nights

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

lombo

-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.

Don’t Call it a Comeback

My BFF Tom Brady led the Patriots to an incredible victory over Peyton Manning and the Broncos this past Sunday.  It was a thrilling victory, but a game that ends at 1am on a “Sunday” night makes for a rough Monday at work.

Don't Call it a Comeback

I recognize that not everyone likes football and that most people hate Tom Brady and the Patriots.  Thus, I won’t dive into the dramatic details of the game, but will highlight what it taught me about life in general:

(1)  I need to child proof my sports-watching skills in a hurry.  Otherwise, our kids will be getting lots of detentions for yelling, talking smack, and doing celebratory pelvic thrusts in gym class.

(2)  Never quit.  The Patriots were down 24-0 at halftime to the best team in the NFL.  I couldn’t take it anymore and turned off the TV to do work instead.  The weather in New England was terrible, which made any sort of passing-led comeback unlikely.   Plus, Peyton would continue to pour on the points, right?  Wrong.  The Patriots won.

(3)  Even if you do quit, like I did on Sunday night (Sorry, Tom!), there is still a “higher power” fighting for you behind the scenes.  It might be God, your family, or Tom Brady.

(4)  The mistakes, failures, and struggles in life will make the eventual celebration even sweeter.  You can either embrace the hard times and learn from them or let them consume you.

(5)  The Brady v. (P.) Manning debate is silly.  10-4 head-to-head.  5-2 in Super Bowls.  3-1 in rings.  There is no debate.

Happy Thanksgiving.  Yo.

The Groove

Other than the horrifying beatdown*** the Patriots are enduring as I write this on Sunday night, it was a great weekend.

I got to hang out with awesome friends from Capital City Church as we showed a little love to some rad kids who are living in one of DC’s homeless shelters.  There was lots of football, plenty of great food, and endless laughs.

Plus, an epic battle for little league football coaching supremacy.

Me and my boy Eric have known each other since the days when Ricky Martin was “Living la Vida Loca” and the Backstreet Boys were “Want[ing] it That Way.”  We put our 13-year friendship to the test on Saturday as our teams squared off on the gridiron.

Eric and Andrew

We tried to look hard, but you know, we’re from Virginia Beach.

Thug Life

I told my team there were three rules: (1) don’t get into a fight; (2) have fun; and (3) bust out some sick dance moves when you score a touchdown.  They did all three of those things.  One kid did a somersault after an incredible 30-yard touchdown run.  Good job, bro.

My “blue” team eventually toppled their “maroon” counterparts with a dramatic game-winning rushing touchdown as time expired.  I decided to sit out the next game to ensure that I went out on top and because I was way too hyped about a bunch of eight-year-olds playing flag football and I was worried about having a stroke.

The Groove

Our pre-game jumping jacks helped us develop the stamina we needed during our game-winning touchdown drive.

Jumping Jacks

More important than any win or loss, it was such a beautiful experience hanging with these kids. I just tried to be a positive, authentic, and goofy guy when interacting with these little dudes and dudettes.  It was one of those awesome, and rare, moments when I felt like I was doing exactly what I’m on Earth to do.  By the end of the day, the kids were repeatedly screaming my name to show off their juke moves and passing skills.  In addition to coaching them to gridiron glory, I chased them around.  A lot. Today, I can barely move.  However, the aches and pains were definitely worth it.  Especially because some of the kids thought I was the real Tom Brady.

Thanks, dudes.

We also picked up some cool baby gear this weekend.  Cribs, a dresser, chairs, and all that jazz. More importantly, some new threads:

Onesie Tie

“Amanda” insisted that we buy these little onesies…

Cute Onsies

In addition to those football and fashion throwdowns, we also had a food extavaganza on Friday night with some dear friends.  We had a lot of gift cards and treated some friends to a “nice” dinner.  Amanda is obsessed with Olive Garden and wanted to indulge in the culinary offerings of that “authentic” Italian restaurant.  As you can probably tell, I’m not a big fan of the OG, but she was happy and we had so much fun hanging out for hours and laughing way too much (mostly at Amanda and her passion for Olive Garden).

Olive Garden

Saturday night was also a blast. We got to hang out with 20+ friends from college while eating way too much fried turkey and pumpkin pie.  It is such a rewarding experience being able to keep in touch with people we’ve been friends with for the past 12 years.  Life has changed a lot since 2001, but I’m so thankful that we’re still on this journey together.

Last, and certainly least, I also tried a Pumpkin Spice Latte for the first time on Friday.  It tasted like someone squirted fake pumpkin-flavored chemicals out of a bottle and into a cup of coffee.  Oh, right, that’s exactly what happened.  Eww.

PSL

***Okay, the Patriots scored 28 straight points after I turned off the TV to write this post….and…we just won.  Holler.

The Unexpected

One of my favorite songs is U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”  Other than Soulja Boy’s “Crank That,” I can’t think of a song with such meaningful lyrics.  I also like that classic U2 song because it applies to some of the interesting and amazing people who read this blog.

About 50 people a day find this blog through Google searches.  If you are one of those people, welcome.  I swear I’m not this weird in real life.  I hope.

The Unexpected

(nevermind)

Not only is WordPress kind enough to provide a lot of neat statistical information, it also lists the actual search terms people use to find this blog.  A lot of them are pretty normal:

-iceiceandrew
-iceice blog
-iceiceandrew blog

Some are a bit more unique, but make sense in light of my previous posts:

thankful for my job
is chipotle the best burrito
-chubbies shorts
-tom brady gq
-make life less boring
mermaid rap
faith isn’t easy
classic white boy rap songs
dude too old for justin timberlake
glee costumes
rules for flag football

But, whoa, some of them are crazy:

-[[ insert lots of porn searches here ]]
-is play that funky music white boy a love song (obviously)
-losing a best friend due to the thug life
-sometimes my husband sucks (my wife says the same thing)
-how boring is it when two people wear the same shoes (That is the worst!)
-awful dude selfies
has stone cold steve austin ever felt lonely (probably)
-was jackie robinson a thug (no)
-grease: where are they now
-what are some good lady gaga gifts (I want to be your friend.)
-sweaty shirt
-woman crush wednesday is my mom (Hello, Oedipus.)
-should i sing endless love to her when she walks down the aisle (Please invite me to your wedding.)

…and the scariest one my favorite…

“random old man told me god sent him to tell me i don’t need a miracle tonight but i’ll need one tomorrow at 4”

I’m not exactly sure what to say in response to that last one, but here are three random thoughts I do have:

(1)  Everyone is crazy.  Don’t waste time hiding your weirdness.  Own it.

(2)  We often spend so much time and energy searching for something to fulfill us, something we think we need, or something to make us happy.  You usually find those things when you’re not looking.

(3)  You never know what kind of impact you’ll have on the lives of other people.  The “small” actions of others have repeatedly served as incredible catalysts for change in my life.  My now-BFF Lamar did an epic “Men in Black” song and dance routine at Tallwood High School’s freshman orientation in 1997 that got me interested in student government.  I was SCA President a few years later.  Another friend, Joy, shared a link on Facebook in 2009 that introduced me to Capital City Church.  We helped plant a new church site last month.  Amanda made her first sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving in 2007.  I ate the whole dish, felt like I was going to die when I walked upstairs, and finally decided it was time to get in shape.  I lost 70 pounds.

Hopefully this blog has helped someone, whether it was a friend who saw a link I posted on Facebook or a dude looking for porn who found a post about community service instead.

Your words and actions will impact others in great and profound ways.  Even if you don’t know it.  They might be friends, they might be family, or they might be strangers who also like Lady Gaga.  However, if some dude tells you that you’ll need a miracle at 4pm tomorrow, just run away.

Don’t be Mean

Fat.  Stupid.  Crazy.  Ugly.  Annoying.  Weird.

Those are powerful words.  Words that tear people down, words that destroy hope, and words that leave a smoldering trail of painful memories.  Sadly, I imagine all of us have identified with at least one of those words or something similar.

I sure have.

I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life.  I had to buy “husky” clothes.  Kids laughed at me for being overweight.  Pull-up day in gym class was my annual nightmare.  I hated anything involving the beach or swimming pools.  A “funny” remark by a friend in college about my weight still cuts me today.  Ten years later.

Those kinds of memories are not easily forgotten.  Even though I lost a lot of weight five years ago, it is still a constant struggle.  Every single day.

Tragically, despite the condemning power of words like “fat” and “stupid,” we sure do use them a lot.  Whether we’re talking about celebrities, random people on the street, and, sadly, even our friends, hurtful words are way too common in our vocabularies.

We should change that.

Being mean and judging people sucks.  Not only are you ripping through someone else’s emotions, but you are also missing out on all the beautiful things that person has to offer.  If all you see is a “loser,” you won’t notice the gifts, talents, and abilities he or she has been blessed with.  Gifts, talents, and abilities that can bless you if you give that “loser” a chance.

For example, one of the most important heroes of history, Miley Cyrus, is stunningly talented.  She’s accomplished more in a few years than 99.99% of humanity ever will.  Sadly, I don’t think anyone on this planet has received more criticism during the past month than Miley Cyrus.  Not Congress.  Not Assad in Syria.  MILEY RAY CYRUS.  Yep, she shaved her head (kinda). Yep, she wears some skimpy outfits (or no outfits at all). Yep, she got kinda freaky at the VMAs. Yep, her new video is a little strange.

Don't be MeanOh well.  She’s human, and weird, just like the rest of us.  I thank God I’m not judged completely by my craziest and most unflattering moments.  Other than Tom, we all have our flaws.  Even some of history’s greatest legends had some screwups:  Moses killed a dude, Elvis was hooked on drugs, Martin Luther King had an affair, and Britney Spears made a song called “E-Mail My Heart.”  We’d miss out on all sorts of awesomeness if we only judged those heroes by their faults.

So please give Miley a chance, y’all.  A lot of people have called her some terrible things and labelled her an “idiot,” a “slut,” or much worse in recent weeks.  Yep, she has some issues, just like everyone else, but she straight up made the best song of 2013.

“Wrecking Ball”

I listen to this song at least ten times a day and I’m not even ashamed of it.  If you’ve written off Miley because of some of her antics, you’re missing out on a masterpiece that would make Mozart jealous.

So please don’t rob yourself of life’s riches.  Don’t be mean.  At least that’s what Taylor Swift told me.  And Jesus.