Archive for the ‘Flashbacks’ Category

Happy Easter 2020

Sunday, April 12th, 2020

Due to the quarantine, we weren’t able to go anywhere for Easter.  But I still made the kids get dressed for our annual picture!

Christmas Morning 2019

Tuesday, December 25th, 2018

Merry Christmas everyone!  This year, we woke the kids up on Christmas morning. They enjoyed opening gifts and then heading to Waffle House for our traditional Christmas brunch. Nobody enjoyed Christmas this year more than Rilianne.

Rilianne was in this morning’s newspaper as part of the children’s Christmas tree. All three of my kids have now been featured in the tree.  (I was in it as well in the early 80s.)

Santa Saturday 2018

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

Today, we were able to visit with a couple of Santas. First, we took Rilianne to see the Bass Pro Shops Santa.  It is free and it is right across the street from where Mackenzie plays indoor soccer.

Later in the afternoon, we dined at The Swanson, where I knew a familiar Santa would be.  This Santa was my sunday school teacher when I was in middle school. The kids are always impressed when Santa calls me by name.  I tell them that he knows all of the bad kids!

Hanson String Theory Tour with ASO

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

From middle school until I was about 17, I listened exclusively to country music.  I went to several concerts, including two Reba McEntire concerts. I was even in her fan club at one point.

In 11th grade, I sat in honors chemistry next to this girl named Travero. We would talk about all sorts of stuff, including our cultural differences. She was a very smart black female and I was just an average white male. At some point, she encouraged me to branch out and give other types of music a try. Of course, I didn’t know which genre to listen to so on the way home, I tuned in to the local pop station.  After listening to that for a few months, I began to watch a little MTV and became hooked on Total Request Live.

Sometime during my senior year, I was exposed to this band of little kids, called Hanson. I was intriqued that these kids, all of who were younger than me, were such talented musicians.  The song MMMBop was a little cheezy — of course, it was the late 90s when everything was cheezy — but when Weird came out, I knew it was my anthem. I bought the CD “Middle of Nowhere”. They quickly became my favorite band.

Unfortunately, they were classified as a “boy band”. All of the other boy bands were a manufactured group of while males who could sing and dance. They had no real musical talent or instrumental abilities. There was 98 degrees, Backstreet Boys, NSync, LFO, and others during that time.  Hanson on the other hand, were a set of brothers who wrote and played their own music. Grouping them with the “boy bands” has caused them to be terminally underrated.  I believe that their Christmas album “Snowed In” (now 20 years old) is the best holiday album of all time.

I attended my first Hanson concert on July 5, 1998 at Lakewood Ampitheatre in Atlanta. Two years later, I followed them from Atlanta to Charlotte to Myrtle Beach. In the years since, I’ve seen them several more times in Atlanta. I have all of their CDs and know all of their songs.  I’ve met them twice. Over the years, their music has consistently matured. Today, their art is so far from MMMBop that when the average person hears their more recent stuff, they are in disbelief when I tell them it is Hanson.

When I was on my 2nd or 3rd date with Kimberlie, I was looking through her CD collection and stumbled across a Hanson album. I knew then that she was the one for me.

It hasn’t been easy being a fan of Hanson.  Their typical fan in the beginning was 12-15 year old white females who had one or more of them as crushes. And then, there was me. I was just there for the music.  I’ve been laughed at, ridicules, called gay, etc. for being a fan.  I’ve made many Hanson friends along the way and I’ll be a fan forever.

Last night, I attended ther Atlanta show on their String Theory tour. They are touring and performing with symphone orchestras around the world.  Last night, they performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Since Mackenzie plays percussion in the middle school band, I took her along. For her, seeing the instruments at work was amazing. For me, hearing my favorite band accompanied by a 75 piece grammy winning orchestra was simply amazing.

Mackenzie and I in front of the tour bus:

Mackenzie playing a random piano outside of the arts center:


Over those 20+ years of attending concerts I’ve noticed that Hanson fans have changed considerably. They are no longer the cute little teenage girls. Now, they are typically 35+, overweight (this is not meant to be derogatory — I am in this boat as well). They also need a glass of wine before the show. They mostly all wear glasses (as do I sometime) and have tattoos. Oddly enough, a good bit of them smoke.  Those are just my observations.

Farewell Snickers

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

Last night, I said one of the hardest goodbyes. My 14 year old cat Snickers crossed over the rainbow bridge.

Shortly after Kimberlie and I were married, we wanted to get a cat. But, Kimberlie heard horror stories about how a cat might try to get milk from a sleeping baby’s mouth and suffocate them in the process. So, we decided to wait until Tristan was at least six months old.  In August, 2004, we decided to look for a kitten. I found a listing for free kittens and called the lady and we headed over to her house.  There was a litter of several kittens who had been born on July 4. Kimberlie bonded with one in particular and we took him home and named him Smickers.

Kimberlie may have picked him out, but he instantly became my cat. He never left my side.  For 14 years, he has watched me shower and then batted at (or chewed) my shoestrings every morning as I put on my shoes.  We haven’t been able to leave food on the counter because he considered it free game. Whenever I would cook bacon, I would have to hide the plate of bacon on top of the refrigerator.  Every evening when I watched the news, he would lay on my chest. Every night, he would sleep by my side.

One of his favorite things to do was go outside on the screened porch or even roam around the backyard as we swam.  He would eat up the weeds and then puke them out all over the floor.

Back in March, I had one of the scariest moments of my life. We were scrambling to get Mackenzie to a soccer game in Savannah. We were gone for about 15 hours and when we got home, I wasn’t welcomed by the cat who always welcomed me. I became concerned and we tore the house apart looking for him. It became apparent that he had gotten outside that morning as we were loading the car. I was heartbroken. While the rest of the family went outside to search, I jumped on Facebook and posted a help message to the neighborhood facebook. Someone responded quickly that they saw some boys tormenting an orange cat at the corner a few hours earlier and he ran into the rose bushes. I ran down to the corner, even through it was pitch dark and found him scared to death under those roses.  I was so happy to have him home.

A couple of months ago, we noticed he wasn’t grooming as well as he normally did. He usually took great pride in his appearance. Later, he started to lose weight. After we noticed a little foaming at the mouth, we took him to the vet and they thought it might be an auto-immune disease causing sores in his mouth. They gave him some shots and we hoped things would be fine.  Two weeks ago, when things had not improved, we returned to the vet. He had lost about 2/3 of his weight. They sedated him and looked into his mouth and realized there was a large tumor growing on the back of his tongue. There was nothing they could do but put him on pallative care to keep him comfortable. we fed him liquid food but even that was a challenge for him. Over the weekend he stopped eating and drinking and I spent as much time with him as possible, knowing each cuddle could be my last.  Yesterday, when I got home from work, it was apparent that the end was near. I was able to hold him one more time. About 30 minutes after being home, he crossed over the rainbow bridge with Kimberlie and I by his side.

I know things will get easier, but there is a huge void in my both my heart and my life.  Snickers was the most loyal friend I ever had.  He’s been with me longer than both of my daughters. I love that stupid cat.

Kimberlie, Snickers, and Tristan 12 years apart.

He was part of every birthday:

Rilianne especially loved him since they were almost the same size.

Elementary School Hiatus

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

It is official — I am now the parent of TWO middle schoolers. Mackenzie finished off elementary school this morning with an awards day.

Here are photos of her first day of elementary school and her last day of elementary school:

Since we live in a military community and many family members are in other states or overseas, the entire awards ceremony was broadcast live on Facebook.

Mackenzie received awards for academic bowl, student council, honor roll, physical fitness, and the normal promotion certificate.

Mackenzie with her teacher Ms. Crow:

Mackenzie with her teacher Ms. Jackson:

And Mackenzie with her elementary school principal, Mrs. Godman:

I guess that’s it for elementary school for a few years — and then we start all over.

10 Years of Easter Pictures

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

15 Years

Friday, February 24th, 2017

15 years ago on a Sunday evening (February 24, 2002) I had a date lined up with this girl I had talked to on the phone but never met. I had never been on a blind date before. I was 23 and while driving through her unfamiliar neighborhood I think I almost chickened out about 10 times. I found the courage, kept going, picked her up and met her family.  We had plans to just go eat at Applebee’s — I didn’t want to commit to anything else in case I didn’t like her. Well, I ended up really liking her so I took her to the movies. I think that ended up being the only date with her where I didn’t bring flowers. She must have liked me too because she’s still around.

Valentine’s Day Traditions

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

It seems that more often than not, a Valentine’s date takes a back seat to our hectic lives. But, rather than waiting an hour or more for a table on a school night, we usually end up at Waffle House.

Here is Mackenzie and Kimberlie on Valentine’s Day in 2012:

And here is Kimberlie and the kids last year:

And this year we continued the tradition:

We already do Waffle House every Christmas and now it looks like we’ll be doing it on Valentine’s Day as well!

2017 Lake Joy Elementary Father/Daughter Dance

Friday, February 10th, 2017

This evening, I went to the last father/daughter dance with Mackenzie. This was our fourth one.

Here are the posts from 2016 (4th grade), 2015 (3rd grade) and 2014 (2nd grade).

In elementary school, the daughters dance with their dads (and each other). In middle school, they stand by the wall with their friends. And, in high school, they finally dance with boys. I’m not looking forward that those days.

Mackenzie’s favorite part is eating. So we did that twice.

We also made a mask in the craft room.

Then, it was finally time to dance!