Sunday, November 16, 2008

40th Birthday!!

Happy Birthday!!  It is finally here, ready or not, the time when you are just hitting your stride, the big 40.  This is a day of celebration, not mourning, a day in which we acknowledge how far you have come and how far you have yet to go. 

Randel, this is your day and I hope you feel loved and encouraged.  I hope you realize today, in a more rich and realistic way, how much you are loved and appreciated, not only by us but by everyone around you.  I hope you see very clearly how much still awaits you in life, that you are able to see the cup as half full and still rising.  Today is a momentous occasion worthy of fireworks and fanfare, not a celebration of the end of something, but instead a celebration of the continuation of a life well lived.

So today, as you think about your life, remember the last 40 days and the memories we have looked at, all the people who have written and told you how much they loved you, all the fun memories we have created and realize your life is one of great importance.  You are special Randel and I am fortunate to be the one who gets to enjoy your life with you!!  Have a happy birthday and remember..."You are just hitting your stride!!"

I love you, 


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Day 39

39 years 364 days old...can you believe your day is almost here?  As we sit on the eve of this momentous event Randel I think the clearest word you have received is from Linda who said, "You are just hitting your stride."  I hope you can embrace this because it is true.  

You are less than one day from the rest of your life, the second chapter of a life that is only going to get better.  Seriously Randel you are vintage!!  So prepare for this, make up your mind to engage the words of Andy Dufresne, "The way I see it you only have two choices.  Either get busy living or get busy dying."  Randel you have chosen life therefore get busy living.  This is not the end.  It is just the beginning.  

I love you ,


Friday, November 14, 2008

Day 38

Okay, so this cake is not for you or even about you.  This cake is for me!!  Today is my 35th birthday, just two days before yours, and it has been a great one.  It has been great because of you.  Thank you for preferring me today, making me an incredible birthday video, making me a birthday cake and just loving me.  

I remember growing up and wondering why my parents didn't get as excited as I did when their birthdays came around.  I mean MY birthday was the most important day on the calendar for me why wasn't it theirs?  Birthdays were the day the entire world as I knew it revolved around me.  I could do almost anything I wanted and I was good at abusing my one day a year freedom.

But now that I am older, birthdays seem a little bit more like the ones my parents experienced.  Being one more year older doesn't exactly create the same level of excitement as it once did.  Yet, because of your investment, this was a special day.  It was a day where I felt appreciated, loved and encouraged, a day where I did feel special and felt a little bit of the old flame of birthdays.  Thanks for celebrating me today.  

I love you, 


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Day 37

Today as we flew home from Waco I read an article in the USA Today about Paul Simon and the powerful poetry of his lyrics.  One of his greatest hits, taken from the album to the left, was the very familiar song "Homeward Bound."  He wrote this song while on tour in England as a catharsis of his deep homesickness... 

Every day's an endless stream
Of cigarettes and magazines
And each town looks the same to me
The movies and the factories
And every stranger's face I see
Reminds me that I long to be
Homeward bound.

Well today we are homeward bound.  We are bound for two little girls who make our house a home, who have desperately missed us while were gone, who in there own words have called us the "bestest mommy and daddy in the whole world!!"  Today we are leaving to go home and reconnect with the greatest calling that will help define the next 40 years of our life.  With three days to go until the new chapter begins take some time to celebrate these gifts. Sit back and think about your girls and just how much influence you have and will have in their lives.  Take some time and pray for them that God would give you wisdom on how to mother them in an even more life giving way.  For the reality is this...our girls will always view our house as their home and in the next 40 years our greatest hope is that when our girls think of us, no matter where they are in life, this song will pop into their brain because they know that we love them and will forever be home for them.  

You are a great mother Randel.  Your girls love you and they always will!!



Day 35 and 36

In these 40 days of blogging for your birthday celebratioI fell behind a couple of times and this is one of those moments.  So the picture here says what I am feeling and the actual picture itself, well, its just supposed to make you laugh because it is pretty cheesy.

But if we are honest, me falling behind, not staying on time with something is pretty much true to who I am .  I am not proud of it, nor would I choose to be this way but, unfortunately for you, it is an accurate portrayal of my personality.  But you love me anyway. 

Now in my defense we were gone all day to our conference and my computer would not work well, if at all, at our hotel and my fingers were really tired all week;-), but I know I should have made a way and, let me say it here for all to see..."I am sorry and it will not happen again in the next 4 days!!  Will it happen again in our marriage, me falling behind, not doing something in a timely manner, getting tired fingers again that keep me from working or typing...most assuredly yes...and for that let me go ahead, for all to see, say in advance..."Sorry."  You are a patient woman Randel...most of the time...and I am lucky to have you as my wife!!



Monday, November 10, 2008

Day 34

Does this movie remind you of our trip yesterday?  A crazy adventure that is best summed up in the words of the Grateful Dead, "What a long strange trip its been."  But the beauty of it is I didn't mind as we were able to experience it together.  Now I know I should have listened to you, I should have asked the lady at the counter what was taking so long with the flight, but I didn't.  And out of it came a story.  A story that we will never forget.  A memory that no one can ever take away from us.  How cool is that?

Honestly, I love the idea of creating stories that we can tell.  I love the idea of things that we do together that somewhere later on in life we look back and laugh.  Was yesterday perfect?  It depends on how you look at it.  Did we miss our flight and have to spend a lot of money on a one way rental car and then drive an extra 2 hours and have to wake up early to return our car and wait at the airport until the car rental place opened all before the sun came up meaning we couldn't sleep in  and then run late to our first session of the conference and not eat breakfast.  Maybe.  But did that last sentence make you smile because of how funny it looks because we have just created a funny moment we can talk about and laugh.  Maybe.  For the me the story was worth it.  In fact I might call it priceless and I love priceless moments.  

So heres to our long strange trip...hoorah!!



Sunday, November 9, 2008

Day 33

Now, our life is not like a prison, but sometimes itmight feel like it.  We feel stuck in a routine not able to be spontaneous and all we want to do is get out and do SOMETHING!!!  Welcome to a 5 day, purpose filled, time away from routine.  

We are going to a conference but lets be is a getaway, and I am excited to be with you.  I am excited about eating out without having to cut up chicken and say "sit down" 100 times.  I am excited about having a conversation without being interrupted.  I am excited about being "intimate" without worrying about who is going to knock on the door and ask for a drink of water and then ask us why the door is locked.  I am excited about being with you!!

So, with 7 days to go before the next chapter of your life begins, welcome to your time away.  It is not Costa Rica but we are together and it will be good.  



Day 32

A couple of my favorite memories we have shared over the past 7 years involve college football as well as one of my least favorite.  The beautiful thing about that statement is the fact that one of my passions is also something that you really enjoy...SEC football.  As you remember, one of our first "dates" was a bitterly cold Georgia vs. Georgia Tech football gameback in 2000.  It was cold, wet and basically miserable, but there you were, snuggled up next to me enjoying the game or at least the company.  You never complained, never gave a "face". Instead you sat there and truly engaged and enjoyed the game.  

The second memory is going to the Alabama vs. Georgia game, in Tuscaloosa, and enjoying the the experience of your old stomping grounds.  I remember going to the Phi Mu house and eating lunch and listening to stories of the old days.  The game itself was electric as Georgia squeeked one out on a last minute field goal.  

The last one was not one of my favorite memories but I know it is one of yours.  The Alabama vs. Georgia game this year in Athens.  Everything was perfect about the day except Georgia got trounced.  Now, that is what made it bad for me, but it is the thing that was great for you.  Honestly, as hard as that loss was for me, I did appreciate the fact that your team won and that you were able to enjoy it, especially after you just had your team spirit  lifted by a week with your Alabama girlfriends. 

Randel, I love that you love SEC football.  I love that you understand that Saturdays are a day, in the fall, where you will have the girls to least for a few hours.  Randel, I am glad you enjoy college football and that we have that in common.  

So, here is to our love for SEC football.  Roll tide!!  Win the National Championship...and you know how hard that is for me to say.



Friday, November 7, 2008

Day 30

One of the things I enjoy in this whole process is the knowledge of the things to come.  In short I love being in the drivers seat knowing there are surprises to come.  

Now the funny about you is that you are not a huge fan of surprises.  Sometimes you like them, but for the most part you like to know what is coming in advance.  So let me give you a heads up...yes there are surprises coming and that should put your mind at ease.  Hope you are having fun!!



Day 31

One of the conversations we have had again and again, and one we have had several times in the past couple of weeks is the unbelievable difference a father and mother play in the life of a home.  We have laughed at the ways in which we respond to our girls and how they both prefer us in different situations.  They want me to play with them but they want you to console them.  They think you are the boss of the house and aren't sure it is okay to do what I tell them it is okay to do because it hasn't come from you.  In short we feel pretty confidant that each of our girls desperately needs both of us. 

So in times like these, when you are away from home a little more than usual, the effect of your absence is felt in a very tangible way.  Randel, your girls think you hung the moon, and when you come home they run to see you as fast as they can.  When they walk in the door the first thing they do is as where you are and are sad your not here.  

Randel, you are a great mom.  In fact you are a super mom and our girls need you.  



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Day 29

One thing that is very clear about you and me is that we are very different as it relates to our gifts.  I have the gift of laid backness, or according to you, the gift of laziness.  You on the other hand have the gift busyness.  It is the time when you flourish and enjoy life the most.

As you have prepared for the show this weekend it is interesting to see part of you come alive that is not always alive.  You flourish when your back is against the wall and you have a lot to do.  It is when you are the happiest and it has been fun to watch.

Today as you set up your space I really did enjoy being with you even though I had to give up an exhilarating bowling experience to help.  Honestly it was worth it.  You are really good at all that you do Randel and it is fun to watch as you get in the groove of your gifts and passions.  


Your Two Monkeys and Me slave

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Day 28

In seasons like we are in I feel like we live life with a million question marks running around in our brains.  What are we forgetting, what do we need to do first, what needs to be done better, what is falling through the cracks, etc.  Unfortunately one of the things that happens is many times we take our focus off of the important things like families and relationships and focus on things that are temporal.  What I want you to know is I appreciate you when I am the one who is spinning because you are always gracious.  

In this season that you are in, trying to do all that you do, I know you feel like you have slipped a little bit in the multi-tasking arena.  But with all the huge question marks rolling around that are connected to being a mom, wife, business woman, church planter and friend, you have a lot to consider and more people to think about than you ever had before.  So don't sweat the small stuff and let me know if I can help you in any way. 



Day 27

 Do you remember this movie?  We watched it together because you are all about girl movies.  I on the other hand never seem to win out on movie choices.  I always end up losing and have to watch some horrible move like "Serendipity" or "Must Love Dogs" and after the movie I always have to pretend like I like the movie even though I believe cheesy love stories like this are only a detriment to our cultures understanding of love...there is no such thing as happily ever after!!  But I digress.

Randel this is your two week notice...really 1 week and 6 day notice...that the second chapter of your life's book is going to start being written.  I want to reiterate that this second chapter will be the better of the two chapters.  Today is a day, in the midst of all the other "stuff" going on, for you to think about what you can do to make this second chapter one that when you look back on you will not have left anything undone.  This is your two weeks notice to come up with a plan that will empower you to do the things that will make your life most fulfilled.  

I am excited about this second chapter and can't wait to share it with you.



Sunday, November 2, 2008


So this is a week where you will be very busy.  I have experienced weeks like this before with you as you spend a lot of time in preparation for the "big event."  You will be taking your Two Monkeys business and set up for a few days, hopefully making enough to help pay for the Christmas holidays.

But in this time I know Mr. Mom will have to to step and play a bigger role in the family and I want to let you know I am up for the task.  I want you to know that just as you support me in all that I do, I will support you in all you have going on this week.  What can I do for you?  I am yours this week...just ask!!