October 19, 2009

Baby Doll

It has been a wild Monday morning and that might be putting it lightly.

I woke up this morning to get ready for work and as I was getting dressed I asked Amy if she had gotten enough rest. She said she had but in the middle of the night she got up to go to the bathroom to go number 1 and she felt wetness between her legs then as she was on the toilet she was going but didn't feel like she had control over her bladder. So she finished and went to bed and was fine. She told me this and was doing fine in bed so I finished getting dressed, made my lunch, and headed out the door to work.

At 7:20am, Amy called me in tears saying she thought she needed to go to see the doctor because she was having strong contractions. I asked if she called the doctor yet and if she wanted to call our friend Amy to take her since I was 40 min away at work. Our friend Amy came to get Amy and I would be called if I needed to go the hospital, as it was a lot closer to my location than our home.

I got a call from our friend Amy saying I needed to get to the hospital right away that the baby might be coming. The baby might be coming today? The due date is November 28th and this is over a month early!
I grabbed my stuff and got to the hospital as soon as traffic would allow me, I get up to the 2nd floor, find room 223, reach for the door handle, and the door opens and a nurse says "you're right on time" as she turns and another nurse turns with our baby girl in her arms. Did this just happen? That just happened.

From Amy's perspective...They get to the hospital and they check her into an examination room to make sure she does not have a kidney or urinary infection that might be triggering the contractions. They tell her to get up and get a urine sample and Amy stands up and says "I think the baby is coming." They lay her on the bed in the room, take off her bottoms, and the nurses start moving forward because they can see the top of the baby's head! They get started fast and by the time Amy has her next 4 contractions the baby is out and I am walking into the room. It happened crazy fast...for the both of us!

Isabella Sage Llanes was 34 weeks and 2 days. Over a month early from her original due date. Weighed in at 4 pounds and 8 ounces. Measured at about 17 inches long.
Miraculously enough she is fully developed and they did not need to hook her up to any machines to help her do anything full term babies should do on their own. She was breathing fine, she was holding her temperature fine, and she was keeping her pink color.

All glory to God for Amy and Isabella to be doing so well.
This is purely a miracle.

September 24, 2009


It has been a long time since I have posted anything. Those of you close to me know why I have not posted and the rest of you are about to find out why this is...

My last entry may have given you a clue that we were starting a rough time of uncertainty. And indeed it has been. On August 3rd, it was a Monday and the first day of the month, I went into work ready to start off the new month when my grand-boss asked me to come see her. I still remember every detail of that morning as I was told my position with the company had been cut. I had been laid-off and was a new number to the unemployment percentage.

I was told it had nothing to do with my performance...but it was still hard to not think of myself as a failure. And that feeling still lingers around me to this day fading in and out...and mainly because I want to be able to provide for my wife and my very soon to be daughter.
I started right away updating my resume and starting to try to network. Right off the bat I had meetings with recruiters and in 2 days I already had an interview lined up. Things were looking good. Until they called me to tell me that they went with someone else. Then came another interview but it only had the same result. Then a 3rd interview, a really good 3rd interview, that followed up by them requesting a 2nd interview with me.
In the mean time Amy was still planning on going to Texas to visit family and attend the baby showers that our parents had already planned. I was planning on waiting to hear about this job and probably not going to go to Texas with her. Until I got the phone call that, again, they went with someone else.

Because of all of this I was so angry at God for not preparing me for this and for letting this happen to me. I sounded like a Pharisee of the NT going over my list of things that I have done evidencing that I did not deserve this. It wasn't long until my anger and hurt turned to brokenness and I had nothing left to give. But now I had the opportunity to go to Texas with Amy and focus on our baby. Our baby daughter has been completely overshadowed by this situation. We had not been able to be joyful and enjoy our time of preparation at all. So I made a vow to make this road trip to Texas a good one and focus on the positives and our Isabella.

Our time in Texas was exactly what I needed. It was a time to re-focus, a time to spend with family, and a time to get to know the Lord on a level I had not reached up to that point. I was able to come back home with a new mindset and refreshed ready to hit the ground running. It was only a matter of 3 days and I had two interviews lined up, one which went really well and I felt really good about. By the end of that week I had found out that they had not selected me for either of those jobs. It was very discouraging and I was headed back to the emotional state I was in before we left for Texas.

While we were in Texas we listened to the sermon on the mount from the book of Matthew and it had really encouraged me. So I had to remind myself that the birds and the flowers are taken care and that God would take care of us too. I then soon started to realize that God had been blessing us in ways I was not seeing. We started counting our blessings and realizing that we were not worthy. For the last few weeks I have been seeing the smallness that I am compared to who God is. Sure, I have had to be broken and humbled, but if through all of this I am being made into a better Christian, a better husband, a better friend, a better son, and a better father...then it has all been worth it.

Is this time of uncertainty over and the reason I write now? No.
I needed to write all of this out to share what we have experienced. We have experienced so much in these past 2 months that it has felt like a life time. As I mentioned that in my anger I was like a pharisee going over my list of things that I have done for God...now I look back and think of how much pride was in my heart. Pride that I did not know was there until I heard, read, and meditated on scripture that my righteous acts are but but filthy rags onto God. They mean nothing, because there's nothing that we can do to earn anything from God. So it has been a very humbling time for me, all the while, scripture and God's promises are all that we have to hold on too. I've seen now that certain scriptures means so much more when it's all you have to hold on to when nothing else is certain in this world. My faith has been tested in ways I never thought it would be.

On Monday two weeks ago I woke up with nothing lined up, no job leads, no interviews, and only some hope to hang on too. I got up and read some scripture and meditated upon it and as I was getting ready to pray I was reminded of God saying in scripture to ask for what you need in prayer and it will be given, knock and the door will be opened. So I fervently prayed for something to happen that morning...whether it be a phone call for an interview or some job lead. Little did I know that Amy was praying this exact thing on her commute into work that morning. At 12:30 that afternoon I received a phone call from an agency to come in and fill out some background check papers and asked me to get there ASAP. I was there within an hour and by 2PM I was asked if I wanted to go work a temp job tomorrow, that Tuesday! It was incredible how we prayed for something that morning and God delivered in a way that we still cannot fathom. It is not my ideal job and it doesn't pay near as much as what we need long term...but it was an answer to prayer and gave us some more hope to hold on to...and this what we needed and prayed for.

God has given us so much already and even though we know He will take care of us and our baby girl...this time of uncertainty is still very scary for the both of us. Through all this we have seen in so many ways how we are loved by God, our family, and our friends. What I have learned from God, myself, and my wife in this period is something that will stick with me for the rest of my life. I will never forget this season in my life.

(I'll try to keep everyone updated on everything a little better from here on out)

August 05, 2009

I and Trust and You

It's easy when I am in control. I don't have an issue with flying or taking public transportation as some people do because they hate not being in control of the vehicles. But I do have an issue when I don't have control over my day to day normal business of life.

The fear of the unknown. What's going to happen next.
It is completely out of my hands at this point.

And all I can, all we can, say are three words that mean so much in a time of uncertainty.
I and TRUST and YOU.

July 28, 2009

On Parenting

I saw this video on a show and thought it was hilarious. It is strictly to be funny. But since we are dog owners we could relate to most of the video. The end is just crazy and ridiculous...but what on the interwebs doesn't end all crazy like, right?

Baby HD from summer of tears on Vimeo.

July 24, 2009

The working mind-set

I listened to another Matt Chandler sermon yesterday as I was mowing the yard and he mentioned something that reminded me of how some people see/perceive Christianity to be. How it is viewed or how it is to act as a Christian.

He mentioned how in the "Bible Belt" the custom or basis for Christianity is to live by omission. That means having the listings of what , as Christians, we should not do. This life by omission is what draws me away from Fundamentalism and how it has warped into this list of things we should not do. It's no wonder young people say "Christianity is no fun" because with a list that makes it legalistic and bounding how can it be fun?!?

I'm not saying I don't consider myself a fundamentalist, but that stance has taken a huge hit by how it has been warped. I'm sure most of you who read this will also consider yourself a fundamentalist given the five points of it, which include:
Those are pretty much the foundations for the Christian faith. When did the smoking, having long hair, dancing, enjoying an alcoholic drink, and proper baptism technique (dunking/sprinkling) get thrown into that list?
They are irrelevant to the Gospel as a whole if you ask me.

Being a Christian gives you freedom not limits to what you can do. But that freedom comes from Christ. Not freedom to go get drunk and fornicate freely, don't get me wrong here.
Ephesians 2:10 says it this way:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
We have a life of commission that He has laid out for us! Lets freely work out the plans that He has for us without the fear of failing. I'd rather try working it out at the risk of failing anyway, than not try at all.
He doesn't call us to a list of things we should not do but calls us to a higher standard to know the difference in what He wants us to do for Him. Lets drop the life by omission and live a life by comission.

After listening to Chandler and reading I got worked up about this so I had to blog...I'll get off my soapbox now.

Also...check our my friend's blog about their work while out on the road on tour. I commend them for doing the work God has called on them (also a reason I posted today). http://loveautomatic.blogspot.com/

July 17, 2009

Hello Blogosphere!

Lets do some catching up:

-Amy has been pregnant for over 20 weeks now and is juuuuust barely getting over her sickness. It has been a long time coming for the both of us. She is felling much better and it has made my life a little easier. Now I can take a breather until the baby is here...and it's coming quickly!

-Amy's Mom and Grandparents were here over the 4th of July weekend. Amy's Mom and Grandmother cleaned practically our whole house for us...like the deep cleaning...the stuff you forget about. And it was very very much appreciated!!! We had beat them to the ceiling fans though before they got here...and those things collect dust like magnets! We went shopping for baby furniture and it looks like Amy has a set picked out for the baby's room. We also hit up Arrington Vineyards again and had a great time outside eating fruit, cheese, and crackers while sipping on some wine (Amy didn't drink, no worries). That is by far one of our favorite places to go relax.

-Fireworks freak dogs out! We did not go anywhere to watch a fireworks show but there were people with some in our neighborhood so we stepped outside to observe them. Well while we were in the house anytime there was a pop the dogs would start barking and growling. So when we went outside we made them go out there with us and they freaked out! Rupert got so scared he peed his pants! So they sat by the door the whole time waiting for someone to just crack it open so that could muscle their way into the house. Who's barking now?

-Pete Yorn / Wilco / Derek Webb
All had new albums drop recently and I am digging all of them. Pete Yorn goes back to his roots of this debut album and makes an instant killer album. I am a die-hard Wilco fan and any music they make I will enjoy, but if you are a Wilco fan this album will not disappoint. And then there's my boy Derek Webb (who's album is only on pre-sale but when you buy it you get a instant digital download)...he really ruffled the feathers with this album, not that he is a stranger to being brutally honest with his lyrics, but he had to go and drop the 's' word in a song. Of course INO did not want to release the album with that song but they finally reached an agreement to release 'clean' and an 'explicit' versions of the album. The album is totally different to his past recordings but I have really enjoyed the album as a whole. And I don't mind the 's' word he drops because I think it is a good lyric to a good song. Lyrically he is picking up where 'Mockingbird' left off.

-UAW members do not like me. Amy went to see a movie with some girls last Saturday so I ventured out to do some geocaching by myself in the area. I found 4 and then decided to head over by the GM plant in town because there is a park next to it with 3 caches located there. I had to take the road that enters the GM plant and so I was nervous because I had never been back here but I found the park without having to go through security. I parked and looked at the description of the cache and then as I was getting out of the car a guy was parked a few yards away and he said to me "This facility is for UAW members only. We paid to have this built and maintained. Since you drive a Japanese car you are not welcome here. People like you buying Japanese cars are the ones who have put me and others out of jobs." I was speechless. We were out in the parking lot alone. I did not want to say something I would regret on his turf. So I said "Sorry" and started walking toward the first geocache. After I got out of viewing distance from the car I realized I had forgot to lock the doors so in fear of him doing something to the car I decided to just leave.
So I am glad I did not aggravate the bitterness already within him but I wish I could have said something other than "sorry." Either way...makes for an interesting story. I'll go back to find those geocaches but I'll drive the Pontiac and not the Toyota next time.

-I got a new handheld GPS it is a Garmin GPSMaps 60. I got a killer price on eBay and got it in the mail on Thursday. Trying to figure it out with geocaching.com and GSAK (waypoint manager software) is a little overwhelming. I have been geocaching with my iPhone but I could only geocache in the urban areas and once I got out in the countryside I would lose signal on it. So this will get me the right signals for being out in the wilderness...I am pumped. Josh is coming into town today and tomorrow morning is dedicated to geocaching out in the woods. My new favorite quote "My hobby is using multi-million dollar space equipment to find Tupperware in the woods." That's me.

-Finally news you're interest about.
We are having a baby GIRL!!!
It is the year of the girl...I was pulling for a boy but I am of course still super excited! I was telling Amy that now I have to make sure I get my act together because I've read and heard that a girls father is the main influence they have on men, the ultimate first impression. So I'll be doing a lot of growing up with my little girl.

June 19, 2009

Spit It Out

one meme i decided to do...

1. Put your iPod, iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.

Handshake Drugs - Wilco

Thief In The Night - Leeland

Gimme A Sign - Ryan Adams

Biased Bigotry - MxPx
(ahemmmmmm...not really.....ever)

I Repent - Derek Webb
(i love it)

Kid A - Radiohead

Prepare Ye The Way - Caedmon's Call
(i hope i don't have a big head)

Rescued - Jack's Mannequin

Mood Rings - Relient K

Simple - The Beta Band

The Heights - David Crowder Band
(this one worked out awesome!)

Nice and Blue - mewithoutYou

Stuck Inside Of Mobile With he Memphis Blues Again - Bob Dylan

A Glass Can Only Spill What It Contains - mewithoutYou

The Lovers Are Losing - Keane
(good thing we are already married and we are not losing)

Prophecy - Remy Zero
(...and it's not a spiritual gift of mine)

Something In The Way - Nirvana
(another almost perfect fit)

Born Again - Jeremy Casella
(i mean...i am baptist, right....right)

First Breath After Coma - Explosions In The Sky

Lazy Gun - JET
(hmmmmmm...maybe i spend too much time with my iPod)

Mutha'uckas - Flight Of The Conchords
(i will direct that to the dogs and not Amy)

Spit It Out - Brendan Benson

I won't tag anyone for this meme because i would not want to be tagged in any either. But if you decide to post this, let me know so that i can go read yours.

June 17, 2009

The Lawn Service

I tune in to a particular radio show in the mornings on my commute into work and today they did a segment on things that people do at work that no one should know about. So the radio personalities were asking listeners to email or call in and share their stories of what they do or have done at work that they should not do.

One of the last stories I heard before I got out of my car was a guy who worked for a lawn maintenance service. He shared that if they had a lot of work orders for the day and they started to run late, they would not service some of the last lawns for the days work. After one of the radio hosts claimed that the lawns would not be trimmed so the customer would know whether or not the service was performed. The caller explained that they do not cut or mow lawns but that they only spray for weeds and fertilizer. The way they would disguise their work was buy placing the flags in the ground, throwing some fertilizer on the driveway (to make the product visible), and placing the bill on the door.

I realized, after I heard this, that I have been one of these customers!

There has been at least one time (maybe more) where we got the bill on the front door, had the flags placed in the yard, and seen the fertilizer on the driveway...but in a few days some weeds were still around and new ones had sprouted! Of course, I would call the company and they would come out with another service call to spray again at no charge, but still. geez

What's funny is now that I make the connection, that usually when the yard is serviced there is little to no fertilizer seen on our driveway or sidewalks. I know now that if I see a good amount of product on the pavement to call right away for another treatment.
(also...I think going to email this company about this issue)

I can't believe this guy would share that because the company who treats our yard is a BIG company.
I took it kind of personal when I heard this because it has happened to us.

Be weary of these people servicing your yards!

June 12, 2009

Out at the ballpark

Cheering on the Nashville Sounds

To Know or NOT To Know...

that is the question.

At first I was very determined to find out the gender of our baby when we could find out.  Then after talking to a few friends who did not find out their baby's gender...we figured we would wait too and be surprised.  Now I think we are swinging the other direction again and wanting to find out the gender.

I don't know which would be better...?

Some people argue that knowing is better because you get to plan so much more than not knowing. And if you know me well, I am a planner and like to be organized.  But at the same time this maybe the last surprise we could ever have to wait for.  

Yes, in a way, we will have waited 5 or so  months before we can find out and it can be a surprise...but it is not the norm to go the full 9 months without finding out.  Again, if you know me well, you know I like to be different than the rest at times.  

Needless to say we are still debating whether to find out or not...we have about a month (I think) before we can find out.  And just trying to decide what to decide is taking a toll.

So do I want to plan it all out knowing the gender and be the norm, or do I want to go against the norm and not have as much prepared as we could if we did know?
(as I typed that out and read it a few time over, I think I might have made up my mind)

I just don't want every decision that involves this child to be this tough but I also realize that they all won't be cake walk decisions.
I want a cake walk kid.
And if the baby smelled like cake that would be good too.

oh Wishful Thinking, I can tell that we are gonna be friends.

June 04, 2009

Fire Drills

I work in a decent sized office building which is occupied by multiple business tenants.  Not sure exactly how many companies hold business within our building.  As a building we have an annual fire drill to make sure all the bells and lights are in proper working condition.    After each company meets in their designated location to account for everyone the building staff begins to let everyone back into the building.  But at the front doors there is always a traffic jam and a huge bottle neck formation and not just because of there only being two doors to get into the front but because they provide ice cream for everyone!

Today was my 3rd fire drill here...and these fire drills still remind me of grade school.  As I look at my choices of an ice cream sandwich or a drumstick/nutty buddy (which ever name you called those as a kiddo) I still think of being a kid.  

How can eating one of those not make you feel like a kid again?!?!!!   

So I had my 3rd grade moment a few minutes ago...and it was as good as I remember.

May 26, 2009

We're still around...

This blog has been getting no love, I said NO LOVE!

Well it’s mainly because I have been busy being house husband. Amy is still dealing with nausea all day long! She was given medication and it usually works but then she tries to not take it until we actually leave the house so that she does not waste the pills. Her prescription was only 10 pills and they are not the cheapest. boooo hissss
So I when I get home I am super busy doing most everything alone now…cooking, cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming, laundry, folding laundry, kicking the dogs, and then trying to find time for me to relax and do something for myself. *I don’t really kick the dogs even though sometimes it is really tempting*

Amy saying how she is ready to feel better now…and I am too.
I am soooo ready (and yes I probably am being a big baby about it).

What is probably not going to help Amy out is that this week is super busy for us. She is going back to work after having a week off and we have something planned every night but Thursday. We did rest yesterday on Memorial Day but then we had a cookout with friends outside where it was hot and muggy…so she was not the most comfortable.
On Friday we head out for the weekend as we are going to Murray, Kentucky to attend her cousin Magan’s wedding (I’m gonna try to get some geocaching in while we are there). It will be good to see Dad and Devonna but I know it will take a toll on Amy.

I am glad that I have not had any sympathy sickness as some people claim some men do have. I cannot, however, stand her loosing her cookies in front of me. Happened this morning in the kitchen as we were preparing our meals for the day and I about lost it myself. It was a close call.

I’ll try to be better about posting as well as I was at the beginning of the year.

May 14, 2009

The Bump

Every morning when I get to work I check email, work and personal, and I read the new stuff on my Google Reader while I sip on my cup of joe.  Well today I came across this post and was surprised to see that pregnant women actually decorate their big bellies with paint. 

The painted bellies range in style from a cool pumpkins to a basketball.  
Then there are the extremist.  
For real?!?
I'm guessing these guys saw CATS quite a few times before it closed on Broadway.  

If Amy really does want to paint her belly, I just might suggest this...just to take it to the extreme. But maybe we'll do a dog theme since we are dog people after all AND Bugsy and Rupert could also be in the picture!    

OK, it probably will not happen.  Unless! We get approached for a company sponsorship and someone pays us to have their company logo painted on Amy's belly for some time.  Yes!  So if any companies out there want to paint their logo on my wife's belly...CALL ME.  

Or if you know us personally and just want to pay to have your name or something like that painted on her belly...we can work something out.  *wink wink*

I am also willing to do something like this just for giggles...

That one is funny...because it is so true.

April 28, 2009


The time has come...the time is upon us...
Amy and I have a little bun in the oven!

We have known for a little over a month now and we have been dying to tell everyone on the inter webs!

We had our first OB visit yesterday and it made it official. Especially after seeing that little heart beating so fast did it finally sink in for me. It was surreal.

It is time for parenthood for us. We are so excited and nervous about what will be in store for us in the future. I have all ready buckled my seat belt tight because it is going to be a ride!

Amy is about nine weeks along now and the projected due date is November 28th. What a holiday treat huh? While Amy is kicking it 9 months too big I'll be kicking back with some pecan and pumpkin pies! Geez it feels like Nov 2008 was just yesterday and to think that by next Christmas we'll have a third Llanes in the clan is beyond my comprehension right now.

Amy is battling a respiratory infection right now that is making her cough non-stop. We had to take her to a walk-in clinic on Saturday because she had no sleep on Friday night because she was up coughing. We got her some drugs that would not hurt the baby and then yesterday at our appt. the Doc gave us some antibiotics for her chest. After to days of rest she seems to be on the up and up. However, now my throat is starting to hurt. yikes!
(Sam, we know now what you guys go through! of course your case involves kiddos)

OK, well I took some NyQuil a few minutes ago and it is starting to kick in.
If you guys have questions or want to contact Amy her email is:
amyllanes AT gmail DOT com

Soon this blog will be all about the baby that is being made inside of Amy. What a miracle it is!

April 20, 2009

Murder In The City

I'm sure you avid readers saw my micro blogging from our trip on Saturday to Chattanooga, TN.  And the main reason we were there was to see The Avett Brothers in concert.  

I have been a fan of The Avett Brothers for almost a year now and when I had purchased their Emotionalism album and first listened to it I really thought I had made a bad decision.  Seth Avett's voice is just not easy on the first listeners ears and of course such was the case for me Not only is his voice different but their music is unique mixing a blend of folk, bluegrass, rock, and even some punk. Definitely a new genre.  

Luckily I don't give up on music after my initial listening and the more I listened the more I really enjoyed their songs, the music, and especially the lyrics.  Now I find myself always enjoying their tunes and even playing some of them on the guitar.  Even Amy jumps in and sings along with me when I play some Avett Brothers songs.  

Well the concert was amazing, nonetheless.  The Tivoli Theatre was a beautiful old theatre that had such character and added so much to our experience.  Most everyone in attendance had seen  these guys live and the house blew up once they took the stage and it didn't calm down until the show was unfortunately over.  But the best part was that The Avett Brothers band directed the energy the whole night.  As they played their setlist they jumped around, danced around, yelled, and just poured all kinds of energy on stage and onto the audience.  And they did it all for the fans and for the love of music.  

This was probably one of the best shows I have seen and it comes close to topping Wilco's Ryman show from '06 and for sure takes over Bob Schneider's show I saw in '05.  Hands down a great show and I recommend going to see them live.  I know I will try to catch them live every time I can.

I'm embedding a video of their song I heard for the first time on Saturday night called Murder In The City.  This was one of their slower songs they performed but it is still amazing.  

My favorite line is the last of the last verse...
Always remember, there is nothing worth sharing
Like the love that let us share our name

April 18, 2009

Chattanooga 5

It's almost show time !

Chattanooga 4

Great pedestrian brigde over the river. There was a prom on the big
river boat. And the park under nearhbus was full of people enjoying
the beautiful day.

Chattanooga 3

We're in...

Chattanooga 2

Local artist market by the riverfront park. Awesome stuff here.

Chattanooga 1

We are at Clumpies Ice Cream in Chattanooga. Enjoying a snack before
the Avett Brothers concert tonight at the historic Tivoli Theatre.

April 17, 2009


I am more than sure that most of you have heard the name Susan Boyle by now.  Susan Boyle the YouTube sensation from Britain's Got Talent that has been all over the news.

I just wanted to share her video because it is genuine and amazing.  Check out her video here.
(They have disabled the ability for me to embed the video here so you'll have to go to YouTube to see it.)

This video reminded me of Paul Potts from an earlier season of Britain's Got Talent.  He was a mobile salesman who wanted to sing opera professionally but never was given the oppurtunity.  And even watching Simon's face you could tell no one thought he could be serious.  But then he sings a song that is amazing, beautiful, and just blows everyone away.   I still watch this and get goosebumps.  

In the movie Philidelphia I always love the scene where Tom Hank's character is in his flat with Denzel Washington's character and he explains the meaning of a certain opera song to him as it plays.  Actually I found it...here it is...it is a beautiful scene.

Everytime I see this video it makes me appreciate the arts so much more because it shows that it brings out a side of someone that you would not see otherwise.  Susan Boyle, Paul Potts, and in the movie scene...the arts mean something to them personally.  In Philadelphia it was something to distract him from the AIDS he was dying from and the struggle of the lifestyle he had.  When he listened to opera it helped to forget about what was ugly for him and see, even if it's for 3 minutes, what can be beautiful.

Susan Boyle and Paul Potts are not beautiful people by Hollywood's standard...but close you eyes and listen to their songs.  They sound like that can take on the world during those perfomances because nothing else matters.  

I hope there is something you do that gives you complete and ultimate joy.  

April 09, 2009


Friday night we are going to go see these fellas put on a show. They are The Flight Of The Conchords! we are going with four other friends and we all paid a bit more money than we would have liked for these tickets.

But alas, it is the Conchords playing at the mother church of country music, The Ryman.

I've mentioned before how I love seeing shows at the Ryman and it is hands down my most favorite place to see a show of any kind. This week alone the Ryman hosted Ben Folds on Tuesday night, Bella Fleck last night, and The Conchords on Friday night. It has been a busy week there at the Ryman but a busy week of good music and comedy.

If any of you do not know who Bret and Jemaine are or have not heard any of their songs or seen their show...do yourself a solid by checking them out. They are just a comedy troupe who sing really funny songs and HBO gave them a show featured around their songs. I even got my mom laughing to one of their songs and it was a song about sex! For all you married folks out there...check out their song"Business Time," you'll have a laugh too because it will be familiar to you to some extent.

This live version is different than the CD but when they do stuff live they like to change it up and throw some other funny stuff in there.

April 02, 2009

here come the storms...

Take a look at this...

Make sure you read those captions there on the bottom. Isn't it awesome how TN is almost all RED for severe thunder storms. Looks like Alamaba is too...but we don't live there.

Looks like Tennessee is about to go through hail (or hell).
I hope Bugsy doesn't poop himself from the thunder tonight.

March 31, 2009

Q1 2009

Yowza, I know it's been a loong time since I have posted anything on this blog. Since our trip from the 2nd week of March! And today is the end of the first quarter of 2009!
where did the time go?

For those of you who have not seen our photos, I have uploaded them in Flickr and you can view them here.
We had a great overall time at Lake Tahoe. We did some skiiing, a lot of geocaching, and of course gambling in the casinos. OK, we didn't really gamble, well I didn't. Amy's Mom and step dad Lynn showed up a few days after we had been there and that is when we went into some casinos. Amy went to a 25 cent slot machine and after playing one dollars worth she won $27.50! She then immediately quit while she was ahead...and when she told me about it I was glad she did quit so that she wouldn't develop a gambling habit. ha.

We got home and everything was right back to normal. Work was not hard to jump back into and life continued. It was a little easier since our trip was not too exhausting but more relaxing.

-Well spring is about to be in full swing and we had to get into our flower beds to clean them up and trim stuff back. We did this 2 weekends ago now and we ended up moving 3 shrubs and replacing them in the beds. It was a lot of work and my hamstrings were sore the following 3 days, which was really really miserable.

-I have finally figured out my injuries with running have to do with the shoes I bought back in late January. I am totally off track to try and run the half marathon now because it was hurting my feet to run for long distances. But I ran about 3 miles yesterday and I'll try to feel out how I will do the rest of this week. The half marathon is at the end of this month, the last Saturday, and if I don't step it up quick I probably won't be able do it. But we'll see how it goes.

-If you did not know we have a ping pong table that we haven't used too often since it has been cold. That being because we keep the table folded up in the garage and the winter months make it too cold to play in there. I saw this video and it completely depicts what I do everytime I score a point on Amy. check it.

March 12, 2009


Tuesday afternoon Amy and I were out geocaching around South Lake Tahoe. Because we are not used to the high elevation we are having to drink a lot of water and we have been drinking a crazy amount of water. So much water that we have to use the restroom pretty darn often and it's really annoying.

Since we were out on the road we stopped at a 7-Eleven so that I could use their restroom, Amy stayed in the car, as I felt bad just using them as a restroom...I grabbed a snickers bar for us to share. As I was walking up to the front of the store a scruffy guy comes in and yells at the people behind the counter "I'm sick of this sh**!" Then he proceeds to pull and knock down a rack full of chips, peanut, beef jerky, and the likes right in from of the counter. Then yells "Call the cops, I'll go to jail, I don't care anymore." All the employees were shocked and didn't know what to do. They all apparently knew this guy and didn't know if they should go after him, clean up the mess, tender to their customers (me and 2 other dudes). One of the employees was about to run outside to do something to this guy but as he got to the door, he turned around and said "Screw that I'm already on probation." I thought "awesome."

I stood there not knowing whether to throw the candy bar back on the shelf and just move along or what. Well I hung around and helped one of the guys bring that whole rack upright but all the bags of food were scattered all over the floor. They checked me out and I went outside to tell Amy what happened...she was totally clueless as to what just happened in the store. The scruffy guy was just standing outside by the corner of the building waiting for the cops to get there. As soon as he saw the cops we put his arms up in the air and started waving them down. This guy apparently had a jail wish or something and he had to explain it all to the cops as they got there. We finally just went on our way and let them all be...but it was a crazy few minutes.

I thought I would only see that kind of stuff on TV on the Spike channel but it all happened within a few minutes in front of me in a 7-Eleven in South Lake Tahoe.

We live in a crazy, messed up world. May we all be kept safe from the crazies.

March 09, 2009

The view

The view from our rental living room during our time here at lake tahoe.

March 07, 2009

Start of our Vaca!

We are at the airport awaiting our flight to Reno.

We came to sit down at our gate after eating and there is this lady
sitting right across from us talking very loudly about personal family
issues. Why do some people do this?

I guess I am more of a private person because I would not talk about
how I have been fighting and bickering with a family member in the
airport where there are dozens if bodies within ear shot. Some people
have no shame.

We are on our way to South Lake Tahoe to go skiing and hit up all the
casinos! Ok not really the casinos. But we have talked about going to
one just to say we have played on some slot machines. Our friends, the
Hollands, told us we should just to check it out and we could hit it
big on the nickel slots. We'll see if we do it I'd not.
I have told myself that wanted to be more of a risk take this year and
trying not to get too chickened out when I start going fast. We'll
also see how that goes.

I also have been geocaching and I got together with a g fellow from
our fellowship to get some trackables to place in CA and NV. I have 6
to place in some geocahes, I am really excited. I think we will do
most I our geocaching tomorrow and hit the slopes on Monday.

Oh man! We are starting to board I'll try to micro/mobile blog as much
as I can on our trip.

February 26, 2009

MxPx - Life In General

This is the first music edition of the blog.

So even though some people may think I am a complete music snob...I did not get into music until later in life. By late I mean high school. Maybe that is not 'later in life' for a lot of people but I know of friends who grew up listening to old rock and roll albums their entire lives with their parents; therefore being influenced early on in life my music. Even though my first love of music that was not completely influenced by my parents was The Beatles (thanks to my good buddy Rene Cano). Anyway...enough back story for now...on with the show...

This album by MxPx was probably the first full length album that I absolutely loved to listen to in it's entirety. And that is a big deal for me because there are not a lot of album where I like the entire album from beginning to finish as a whole.

This was when punk music was introduced to me. Thanks to my friend Beth's little brother Andy did I start listening to them. He let me borrow the CD and at first I was a little weary of the fast tempos, the consistent snare hits on just about every song, and the non-stop energy of the music. But it grew on me fast and it was a roller coaster ride since.

A specific memory I have is I spent about 2 weeks building a puzzle and this was the album I listened to non-stop when I was working on this puzzle in my room. I don't know if you remember the old 3D puzzles they came out with, but I had gotten the 3D puzzle of the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Since it was pretty much a small replica of the church in 3D it took me awhile but I finally did complete it...all to the soundtrack of Life In General played a countless number of times.

One of the most popular songs was on this album was "Chick Magnet." Everyone would also learn the intro bass line to this song and play it everywhere. It's a great song.
In high school in our government class, our teacher Mr. McDaniel would give the opportunity for someone in class to sing a song or a diddy before a quiz for 10 extra bonus points. If you got picked you had to sing so it really wasn't an opportunity...because if you didn't sing everyone would be losing 10 extra point on the quiz! So not a position where one would decline to sing. When I was chosen, I sang Chick Magnet with the finger snaps and all. Needless to say...it was a hit. So much of a hit that Mr. McDaniel told my English teacher and she of course "had to hear it."

So I found myself pressured to sing it a few weeks later in front of my stinkin' English class and for NO bonus points! Well anyway...every one got a good kick out of it and got a few classmates to take a listen to MxPx.
They should share some royalties with me since I probably helped them sell a few extra albums.

February 24, 2009

My iTunes Library

inspired by Will Leitch's post, who was inspired by this post.

Number of Songs: 5114
Number of Albums: 526
Most Recently Played Song: "My Old Man Had A Pistol" - The New Amsterdams
Most Played Song: "Either Way" - Wilco
Most Recently Added Album: Come On Feel the Illinoise , Sufjan Stevens

First Song Alphabetically: "A-OK" - Motion City Soundtrack
Last Song Alphabetically: "Zooropa" - U2
Smallest Song Numerically: "#2" - Pat Green
Largest song Numerically: "10,000 x 10,000" - The Myriad
Shortest Song: "One Last 'Woo-hoo!' For the Pullman" - Sufjan Stevens
Longest Song: "Goodbye Sky Harbor" - Jimmy Eat World

First Album Alphabetically: A.M. - Wilco
Last Album Alphabetically: Zooropa - U2
First Band Alphabetically: The Afters
Last Band Alphabetically: Young MC

First Ten Songs That Pop Up on Shuffle:
"The Only Living Boy In New York" - Simon & Garfunkel
"Build A Bridge" - The Redwalls
"Carve Your Heart" - Dashboard Confessional
"Bittersweet Symphony" - The Verve
"Burn" - Ray LaMontagne
"Worry All The Time" - Denison Witmer
"I Will Remain" - Old 97's
"I Might Be Wrong" - Radiohead
"I Am Trying To Break Your Heart" - Wilco
"So Alive" - Ryan Adams

February 20, 2009

This is a Call

I believe that my voice pretty manlike. Manly. Not feminine.

Yet why am I always called "ma'am" when speaking to clients on the phone at work? I don't get it?

I have told some friends here that I get that a lot and then I kindly have to correct the person on the phone. Actually it's always ladies that mistake me for a lady. They always say sorry and carry on the conversation yet still slip in the occasional "ma'am" in there.

dang it! why!??!!!

Well today was the worst case phone scenario! Here's the conversation and I am NOT making this up!

Me: This is Isaac, how can I help you?
Lady: Hi, my supervisor wanted to know how our taxes are calculated.
Me: OK, let me look up your account and...
Lady: What was your name again?
Me: Isaac
Lady: Oh OK, My supervisor told me to call Isaac so I assumed it would be a man I was calling.
Me: I am...
Lady: ...Excuse me?
Me: I am a man.
Lady: (pause)...Oh dear...oh!...well I sure did walk myself into that hole...huh...i'm sorry.

And then my masculinity gave me a wedgie and ran off into the shadows.

And...Don't try calling me to listen to my voice!

February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day

Amy and I did not do something big for Valentine's Day yesterday and we did not get each other anything either. We planned on taking it easy. Since it fell on a Saturday this year we decided to go out for lunch somewhere then go catch a flick.

But I did surprise her yesterday morning with a little classic gift. A gift all of us guys did back in school when we liked a girl. I made her a mixtape.

I labeled it "Amy's V-day MixTape." Of course we are not using actual tapes any more...since that time has been long gone for a few years now. So all week in my free time I would think of songs that reminded me of Amy, silly songs we would like, or songs simply about love. I would take note of them then get on my iTunes and add it to the playlist. Yesterday before we headed out for the day I grabbed her iPod and loaded the list onto it and we listened to it all day until we got home.

She loved it! Mainly b/c I had not made her a list since we were dating back in college and she liked it then too. So it was nostalgic for both of us. And we got to sing along and enjoy the tunes together.

Here is the 'Mixtape'
Track One: I Believe In A Thing Called Love by The Darkness
"...just listen to the rhythm of my heart." This song is such a jam...I always love listening to it and singing out loud. And we did just that yesterday in the car. This was one of the silly song choices and it had to be the first track. lyrics. video.

Track Two: Will You Return by The Avett Brothers.
"A pretty little girl with pretty little curls. leans to the side, leans on my mind." Those curls is a trademark look on Amy...something that made me notice her when we were at school. My other favorite lyric to this song is the bridge that says, "I wish you'd see yourself as beautiful as I see you. Why can't you see yourself as beautiful as I see you?" Every lady needs the reassurance that they are beautiful and I hope I always tell her that she is beautiful to me. lyrics. video.

Track Three: God Only Knows by The Beach Boys.
"...what good would living do me." A classic song which speaks volumes for my dependence on Amy. I could not imagine my life without her...so God only knows what it would be like. I don't know that I would ever like to know. lyrics. video.

Track Four: Valentine by Derek Webb & Sandra McCracken.
I picked this song b/c of the title, the music is great, and we love Derek and Sandra. I believe this might have been written for their kid...maybe? But we both really like it and I thought I'd add it to the list. lyrics. listen.

Track Five: Love Never Fails by Brandon Heath.
Just a song about love as quoted from Corinthians 13:8. It is a great song and we could always use the reminder of God's love for us and the love we should all share with each other. B/c it never does fail and it will survive long after any of us. lyrics. listen.

Track Six: Please, Before I Go by Derek Webb.
"like an addict to his fix, so am I to your sweet lips. the wife of my youth, my drug of choice." Those words speak so much about Amy to me and they ring ever so true. We do everything together. I know some people can't spend all the time with your spouse before they kill each other, but we do a lot together, we always have fun, and she love each other's company. Also doesn't hurt that I love the music to this song...especially the way it starts off with the horns that remind me of Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire. lyrics. listen.

Track Seven: The One I Love by David Gray.
This is a song that we both enjoy by David Gray. The lyrics are a little out there like "tell the repo man...that you're the one I love" but we really like the music and the lyrics are just there to help us along the way. lyrics. video.

Track Eight: Daring Daylight Escape by Caedmon's Call.
Another track written by Derek Webb which we both really like. If any of your know the story of Amy and I while we were dating, you know she made me jump through a lot of hoops. And I like how in the lyrics to this song he says he's going to have to leave town if she won't say yes to being with him. And I could totally see where those lyrics came from...but fortunately for me...Amy finally came around and we've been on this adventure since 2001. lyrics.

Track Nine: I'm Yours by Jason Mraz.
A newer, current track that I'm pretty sure anyone who has turned on the radio has heard. We are big fans of Jason Mraz ever since his debut album. When this new album came out we got it and enjoyed it right off the bat. Amy listens to lyrics first as where I listen to music first with new music...she said that this song should be ours b/c of one little lyric in the middle of the song that says..."Scooch on over closer, dear. And I will nibble your ear." That is a quirk of mine. I always play with her ears and if we are close enough, I nibble on it too. May be a little too much info for some of you...but it's like "our thing." hee. lyrics. video.

Track Ten: Question by Old 97's.
A simple love song about a guy asking his girl THE question. This is a classic Old 97's song that will always be a favorite for both of us. Our engagement was not a huge extravagant event and this song is one that tells us they don't all have to be. Because as long as the outcome is a 'yes' ...it's still the same question without throwing down a bunch of money (on the event, that is. The ring however, is what you will throw down a bunch of money for). lyrics. listen (you'll have launch the audio player and to skip to the song).

There you have it folks...I hope you can listen to the songs if you want to. My first blogged playlist and I hope to follow up with qite a few more. If you know me, you know I am a huge Beatles fan and I realize that there are no Beatles songs chosen...but I wanted to choose outside of the Beatles since so many of their songs are love songs and ballads.

I hope you enjoyed your Valentine's Day b/c we did and we enjoyed listening to this list a few times through. Until next time...

February 07, 2009

The 1st week of February

...has been out of control crazy busy!

-Started last Sat. when it was my birthday, or as I like to call it "Birfday", and I bought new running shoes with the money I received from family. I bought them around 12:30 then at 2:30 I was running. I ran 4.5 miles. 2 hours after my run, I could not put any weight on my right foot. It hurt really bad. I was limping hard going to my birthday dinner and it was not a pretty sight. My good friend Jason Martin checked me out and said the shoes I got are good for my stabilization since I pronate a lot...but they made the outsides of my feet work like they never have. Which lead to soreness and irritation. So sure enough as the days went by this past week the soreness has lessened. Today I managed 1 mile before my foot started hurting today so I walked so that I wouldn't limp around for the next 3 days.

-Work is where the really busy stuff came onto my plate as we are closing the month of January and doing preliminary work for the auditors which get here this upcoming week. So I have a busy time at work everyday and it looks like this next week is holding more of the same for me. Being busy makes the time go by faster but then you also don't feel like you don't have enough time to finish the work! It's like a catch 22.

-I started geocaching as of my birthday weekend. My friend Jason Davis has been geocaching for awhile and he told me there was now a geocaching application for the iPhone. So I checked it out and Sunday afternoon Josh and I were out in the woods trying to find one. We attempted 3 that day and only found 1 of them...it is a lot tough than I thought it would be. But I have been wanting to go out everyday and find some out...it's kind of addicting.

-I have been really enjoying good company lately. I feel really blessed to have some really good friends come into my life lately. After Greg and Josh left town I was really sad b/c those guys I met with weekly to talk and hang out. But I knew I would find new company, and I have, but I have also spent more time with friends I have had and it has been great times. I hope I am seen and accepted as a good friend to those I feel are great friends to me.

-I have been listening to some new music so i will have to post about it soon. I also thought I would make up some playlists on here for different moods or occasions just so that you all can get some ideas or even discover some artists that you haven't heard about before. I also thought of the idea of picking out some songs that always bring back certain memories when I listen to them. We all have those songs...so i'll be posting about that soon.

I started this post on Sat. night but before I could finish my great friend Justin wanted to hang out so I left it unosted until today. Hanging out with a guy like Justin is way rewarding. And yes...work is crazy busy...still.

January 30, 2009

The Work Place

I figured most of you do not know what I do for work or who I work for. If I am your friend on Facebook you know that I am an accountant at a place called Passport Health Communications. And some of you know that it is in the health care industry, which next to entertainment, is the biggest industry in Nashville.

Well consider this an informative post about Passport Health. Here is the text from an "Elevator Speak" poster around work that explains what we do overall.

Passport sells products and services to help hospitals and other health
care providers get paid for their services more quickly and easily. We provide
important information about patients, such as insurance coverage and current
address and even collect payments from patients.

Specific points:
• Passport uses the Internet to transfer information between providers and insurance companies.
• For example, when you go to the hospital or a doctor, they might be
using Passport’s software to verify your current insurance coverage, determine
how much you owe and even to run your credit card for that amount.
• By increasing the speed and ease at which hospitals and other health care providers get information about their patients, we help them run their businesses more
• We work with more than 5,300 health care providers across the
U.S. – in all 50 states, in fact. Passport is one of the largest, most
successful companies in our field.

And within the health care aspect our company is more on the technological side of the health care industry. I am one of a many that is on our administration side of operations and help with accounting duties. And my actual job responsibilities are pretty broad from helping on month end close procedures to gathering information for sales people and clients.

I don't want to bore you with the mundane details of my pencil pushing job, but I did want to inform you all of who I work for. With the economy the way it is, Passport is set to have some success because of our market and our products that aim at making health provider's jobs easier in their overall process.

Well I love my job and the people I work with...so I consider myself very fortunate to be in the position I am in.

January 28, 2009

Whenever I type out a blog I tend to do it at a fast pace. I am sure you regular readers catch my typos all of the time. Trust me, I go back and read through them too and catch my mistakes and slap myself.
I tell myself every time I start an entry...'OK go back and read over the post before you hit Publish Post.' But yet every time I am done typing away at a furious rate I hit Publish Post and it's gone. It goes to the feeds right away. Sometimes I go right back in and edit a mistake or two I catch right off the bat. I need to utilize this dang spell checker more frequently...but alas it is also some to try and remember to go.
Just trying to make a point to inform people that I am educated and can type proper tenses and spell/type correctly. Even with some posts that could argue against that last statement of mine.

January 26, 2009

Beyond The Pale

"I do love the vegetarians, I always get a kick out of it when they try and
impress ya...'I haven't had meat in 5 years.'

I haven't had a banana in a month, you see me braggin' about it."

-Jim Gaffigan

I thought think that bit funny and relevent to the fact that I will now brag...
about me not having a coke/dr.pepper/coke zero/diet coke/diet dr. pepper in a week as of today! w00t!

However, I believe the lack of caffeine has been a result of my headaches most of last week. I did have a cranberry sweet tea from Sonic on Thursday and I am sipping on one right now. And I did have a sprite on Friday and Saturday. That was my confessional.

My good friend Michael called me yesterday to wish me an early birthday since he will be on vacation and out of touch for the next fews days and asked about running. Running? Yes...he remembered my goal from April of last year about me pledging to run at least the half-marathon on Nashville for the Country Music Marathon. During the months of Nov. and Dec. I ran about zero miles and now it is really cold outside to consider running. And I don't want to spend money on a gym/club membership. But I get out and ran this past Saturday, I think I did about 3.5 miles, and I also ran 2 weekends before this past Saturday. So I am still going to do that Half Marathon in April even if it kills me.

So Michael didn't open a can or worms for me...since I had already run some...but it was a good reminder too.

I think Amy is going to do it too...so we'll have to bite the bullet and get out in the near freezing weather to get out miles in.

I gonna go eat a banana now.

January 23, 2009

New Slang

So I am turning a page and making this blog more 'mine' than 'ours.'  And what I mean is that Amy has posted on the blog...about...once...ever.  ha!  I have tried to get her to post about her thoughts, musings, and things that I do which drive her crazy.  And no luck.  I taught her how to write up a post on her iPhone and email it to the blog and it would post.  No such luck.  (it's also why she does not have a facebook account or twitter...or any kind of web-based tool that a lot of people use today)  She's just not that into it. 
And in a sense I wish I could be more like ther.  I think the interwebs are a crutch for me...
oh well!
It is not like I won't ever mention Amy.  If I ever do stop mentioning Amy...make sure to check up on me b/c something will not be right with my world.  Yes, Amy and I do everything together and even if I forget to mention her from an event...she was more than likely there with me anyway.
So...I have a new design.  I wanted to go simple, plain, and to the point.  As of right now it is stripped to the bone but I have a few ideas of what I might want to include soon. 
We'll see how long that takes me. Does anybody else have trouble with paragraph breaks in Blogger in Draft? It is driving me crazy! Where is regular blogger? can I go back?

January 14, 2009


This Friday will be the network premiere of Friday Night Lights Season 3 on NBC.   Amy and I are DirecTv customers so we have actually seen all of Season 3 with the exception of the Season Finale which comes on tonight.

I'm pretty sure we have told of our love for this show but it is by far one of the best shows on TV...next to LOST.

Like I mentioned last week, I am a terrible writer and especially when it comes to reviews. I just tell you all whether we like something or not. There are 2 fellow bloggers who are better at explaining why the show is great and I completely agree with both of them. This is my favorite quote from David Kern's blog post...

Indeed, more than football, Friday Night Lights is a show about relationships, about being let down, letting others down, and surviving the accompanying disappointments; it’s about learning what it means to be a friend, a team mate, a spouse, a parent or a child. Its about dreaming and surviving and loving. Its about being passionate - its about being alive.

Just by reading that...who doesn't want to watch this show!!??!

Here are the links to these blogs that tell more in details why FNL is one of the best shows out there.
David Kern's post about FNL.
      --David's older post on a review of FNL after Season 1
Brett McCracken's thoughts on FNL.
     --Brett's older post also a review after Season 1 with reviews and acclaims

And like thoses guys, even though we have seen Season 3 of FNL on DirecTv already...we will still tune in to watch it from the beginning starting this Friday. Trust me, this season is just as good or even better than Season 1 (if you watch the show).

"Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose!"