Sorry I’ve been so quiet on here lately. It’s been really busy around the Box household! I did just update Brenden’s page with the latest on his development and some cute pics. Jenny has lots of great pics on Facebook. If you’re not on Facebook, you need to join so you can see our cute pics. Anyway, I just came off a 7-day stretch and now have several days off unless I get some more overtime.
As many of you know already, we have an exciting project in the works that’s taking up some of our time and much of our mental energy. Unfortunately we can’t go public yet, but we hope to soon. For now just know that God is putting together the pieces for an exciting new adventure. I had a trainee at work for a couple of days, a really great guy who used to dispatch for Champion Air and Northwest. Brenden is doing great. We await his slightly overdue 6-month checkup on Thursday to see whether his head has rounded out acceptably. Since he normally sleeps on his stomach now (by his choice), I don’t know what else we can do! He’s eating all sorts of stuff now that Jenny fixes up for him. I’ll definitely try to blog more over this coming break, so check back in a bit.
This has been a wild weekend! Here’s a recap of the highlights:
- Friday I shopped for supplies for our CARES Super Bowl Party. Jenny and I watched the end of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. We’d ordered the 1988 version from Blockbuster Online, but they sent the 2005 edition, which is excellent. Then I finished up 3:10 to Yuma, which is an excellent Western that I highly recommend. Two Baylor alums wrote the screenplay along with another guy.
- Saturday we went to Houston for a wedding. In the process of getting there, first I drove off without a milk supply for my parents, who were watching Brenden for the weekend. We drove back, picked up the milk, and dropped off the boy. On the way to the airport, I realized I’d forgotten my backback, which contained our flight passes, my airline ID, confirmation numbers, and my laptop. We picked that up and went straight to the employee parking lot at the airport since we were too late for the Headquarters shuttle.
- Upon arrival at the airport, Jenny was told that our flight had been canceled. Instead of leaving at 1:00pm, we were now on the 2:00pm flight trying to make a 5:00 wedding. Hmm. At the gate we learned that the flight was nearly full due to the spillover from the 1:00 cancelation. I signed up for the cockpit jumpseat and prayed that Jenny would get an open seat. At about 5 minutes until push time, with me sweating and pacing in the jetway waiting for her, Jenny learned that the gate agent had somehow deleted her from our flight listing. Another gate agent fixed it and gave her a boarding pass.
- In Houston we got a car around 3:30 and pulled onto I-45 only to find a huge traffic jam. I kicked myself for not getting that iPhone with the built-in GPS and Google Maps. Jenny and I figured out a detour and finally found the hotel with less than an hour to spare. The checkin line had several folks from Amsterdam. Jenny grabbed our bag and changed into wedding clothes in the ladies’ room while I waited to check in.
- Keys in hand, we ran up to the room. Then I realized the other thing I’d forgotten: a dress shirt. I decided my best option was to do the GQ thing and wear a nice collared shirt with my suit and no tie. It worked surprisingly well. I didn’t have time to shower and forgot to shave. Why hadn’t I done those things in the morning?
- Finally we rushed to the hotel and found it with 10 minutes to spare. Sitting in the pew before the start, I got a text picture from my sister: my son wearing a pink shirt and a big pink bow. At first I thought it was Reagan until Jenny corrected me.
- The wedding was beautiful and uneventful other than the traumatic picture beforehand. The reception was at a fancy club on the 43rd floor of a building in downtown Houston. On the bride’s recommendation, I used valet parking for the first time ever. I’ve always thought of valet parking as more suited to Porsches, Lexii, Ferraris, and the like, not for Dodge Calibers that rent for $22/day. At the reception I got to visit with some old friends from Baylor whom I hadn’t seen in over 7 years. We got to visit with the bride a bit, and she and Jenny got to meet for the first time like I’d hoped. The bride and groom seemed extremely happy and well-suited for each other. I love attending weddings that give me confidence in the marriage instead of feeling like a train wreck is coming. I actually met a dispatcher for Continental Express who happened to be a bridesmaid.
- On Sunday morning we had planned to attend a brunch at the newlyweds’ house, but after our many problems the previous day and a forecast of possibly thunderstorms for Sunday afternoon, we bugged out early to get home for the Super Bowl party. If we couldn’t make it back, hungry and excited residents would show up for our party and find the door locked. I texted the bride with the news. I hope she reads text messages instead of ignoring them like I used to do.
- We hung out with Mom and Dad and Brenden for a while at their house. Work called begging for someone to work a doubletime shift that night, which meant leaving the party early. I hadn’t planned on working but figured they had to be desperate if they were calling me, so I worked out a plan.
- Just before the party we learned that a good friend of ours was in the hospital. Despite some serious issues, he still has his sense of humor.
- The party went fairly well, with lower than expected turnout but a great game and plenty of food. I was halfheartedly pulling for the Cardinals since they’d never won before. They would have done it without that fantastic reception at the end by the Steelers. Great game.
- Once I got to work, I got a call from Jenny saying the power had gone out just at our apartment, just after the A/C unit made some weird noises. Since the apartment is nearly new, I don’t understand why that would happen. I tried to report the outage to Oncor, but their automated reporting system is terrible and wouldn’t let me do it. Somehow one of their reps detected that I was trying to report the problem and called me back. She didn’t have a fix for me, but at least they know. Dad came to drive Jenny and Brenden to their house for the night.
Fortunately it’s now technically Monday, so our weekend adventures have come to an end. I need a nap.
Reaching a new age that ends in a 0 can prompt a wide array of reactions: introspection, celebration, pride, angst, despair, or many others. For me, turning 30 is certainly no cause for alarm. I am thankful that I’ve been allowed to live this long. I am thankful for the wonderful blessings that God has given me over those 30 years: my wonderful wife, my new son, my great extended family, a job I enjoy at a company that treats me well, good friends, a good church, a comfortable place to both live and serve others, good health, and being right with the God of the universe thanks to the blood of Jesus.
Naturally this birthday makes me look inside a bit, at what I’ve done with the 262,800 hours I’ve been here so far. If my life expectancy is 75 years, I am approaching the halfway point of my short time here. I’ve done some good things so far I suppose, but I know I could have done much more, especially from a spiritual perspective. Although I can’t change the past, I can make better choices in the future.
At 30, I am now qualified (by age, at least) to run for the US Senate. In Jewish culture 30 was the age of spiritual responsibility, the age when both John the Baptist and Jesus began their public ministries. I feel the need to accept more responsibility, to be more assertive, to stand taller without baking down in the face of opposition.
My hairline is starting to thin and recede. I have a few gray hairs, even though my shaved head might make them hard to see. I have a few wrinkles near my eyes. But those things don’t really bother me. This is an exciting time. Thank you for joining me on this journey, both through my blog and through your friendship in the real world. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for all of us in the years ahead.
Jenny, Brenden, and I went to the State Fair on Tuesday. I hadn’t been to the fair since high school. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of fairs. Like Canton, they have too many visitors to wade through and too many vendors trying to sell you stuff you don’t need. But Jenny really enjoys the fair, so we spent the afternoon there before our small group gathering. The weather was BEAUTIFUL, not a cloud in the sky, comfortable temp, and a nice breeze. We saw the dog show, tried a few different foods and wines, checked out some cars, and wandered around the exhibits. Brenden enjoyed most of our excursion, getting a little fussy here and there but enjoying the outdoors, especially when Jenny wore him in the sling. In case you’re going, here are my recommendations:
- fried smores (expensive for the amount you get but fabulous!)
- fried cookie dough ice cream
- automotive building (to see the 09 Dodge Viper up close)
- Killdares (Irish rock band that I didn’t get to hear, but my friend Joanne says they are awesome)
- fried banana split (they left off the banana and ice cream and replaced them with honey and peanut butter – huh?)
- keeping your coupons in different places (you’ll forget some of them until you get to the car to drive home – d’oh!)
- weekends/school Fair Days/weekends with major sporting events at the Cotton Bowl such as this coming weekend (it was even crowded on Tuesday, when demand is so low that they let you in for $3 with a can of Dr Pepper)
- Scientology booth near the Centennial building (it’s black and yellow, and the outside says something about a free stress test)
Some of my loyal AndyBox.com readers already know about my long-standing resistance to texting (sending text messages via cell phone). In my (warped?) world, it’s OK to spend $45/month on high-speed Internet access or $25 for a special bottle of wine, but 15 cents to receive some friend’s or sister’s text message was simply unacceptable. So I generally ignored them. I sent my first text at my high school reunion in October on a friend’s phone, and it took over a minute to get all the letters right and figure out how to work it.
I am happy to announce that those days in the Box household have passed. Jenny’s phone wasn’t working well, we were both eligible for discounted phone upgrades, Jenny wanted texting access, and I was tried of being jealous when my friends pulled out their smartphones to look up sports scores and check their email. So Jenny got a cool phone/MP3 player/radio/camera/pedometer with a good texting plan, and I got a Blackjack smartphone with texting and some Internet bandwidth. I’m loading my work schedule, CARES events, and personal stuff. We’re now officially wired. Text us sometime!
We are excited to report that we passed our interview with the apartment manager! We will be serving at The Landings at La Villita, a gorgeous new community in Las Colinas off Riverside Drive. Our manager is extremely nice and helpful and a big supporter of the CARES concept. We chose our apartment, which is a beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bath with a sunroom on the third floor, and toured the property. We plan to move Oct 29, right after we return from Disney World. Fortunately I’m off all that week, so I should be able to get our home in decent shape before I have to return to work. We’ve tentatively planned a few events for November, including a pancake breakfast, pizza party, and Cowboys watching party. Many residents own dogs and like to walk them along the canal after work, so we’ll likely spend lots of time outside with Holly making friends. Thanks to all of you who supported and prayed for us during this process. God seems to have worked it all out in His perfect way.