Good Taste

There are many fun things about planning a wedding. Things like getting the dress, getting pictures made, picking out the decorations, flowers, venue, and deciding an the wedding party. But by far, one of the most things about planning a wedding…the tastings! Oh. My. Gosh. I didn’t know such delicious things could even exist.

So far there has been the wedding cake tasting, the bar tasting (where they mix up whatever drinks you may want), and the catering menu tasting. And they have been delicious and fun. Next will be the cupcake tasting. And this girl loves a good cup cake.

While there is still a ton to do before the date, things are slowing being checked off the list, and both of us are getting more and more excited.

And that is the thing about life, that you should be present, truly present and engaged if you want to get the most out of every moment. We forget that sometimes, as we constantly check our phones and watch Tik Tok videos. We forget that there is a whole other life out there, waiting for us to step into it. Enjoy it. LIVE it.

I remember when I was taking care of one of my nephews, and I made him put his phone away and stop playing video games for a day. You would love thought I shot his puppy. But at the end of the day, he understood. Because during that afternoon, he looked up and laughed, stepped out of his comfort zone, had new experiences, met some new people and even learned a few things.

Technology is great. But sometimes no screen time is the best time. Pu the phone down. Turn the video game off. Walk away from the computer…and LIVE. Actually talk to people, ask questions, laugh. Make memories that aren’t Instagram ready. After all, some of the best things in life are not only free, but non online.

The age old question of if a tree in the forest falls and no one is there to see it, does it really exist? The answer is yes, And if you need any proof, just look at everything that happened and everything mankind was able to accomplish before all the social media. Indeed, people still fell in love, had families, ran businesses, took vacations, they still lived life, even when there was no internet, Facebook, MySpace, (OR SpaceBook as I call them) Instagram, SnapChat, Telegram, Twitter, WhatsApp, Pinterest, Tik Tok, Reddit, YouTube, etc.

Life is short. Put down your phone and taste the cake.

Six Years and a Day

Hi Daddy,

It’s been six years (and a day) since you left. When it happened, I knew I would miss you forever. But I also knew you were so happy tp be with Mom again, because that is all you wanted. How life has changed since then. I think you would be proud of the life that I have now, that I have made for myself. I think you would be proud of the move to Texas, proud of my business, proud of the partner whom I have chosen, and who has chosen me.

But then I realized a harsh fact: I would not have this life if you and Mom were still here. Meaning I would have no reason to leave Georgia and every reason to stay. I would have stayed there to make sure you and Mom were well looked after and taken care of. And unless I could have gotten you guys to agree to move to Texas with me – highly unlikely – I would have stayed to look after you.

So while I love you and will always miss you every day, always miss your laugh, your smile…You, I am happy in this life. You and Mom passing was the springboard upon which I launched this part of my life. What the two of you taught me is the firm foundation on which I build. And your love is the fertile ground in which my my life and love for everything in it grows. Just as God’s love flowed through you, so does both your love and God’s love flow through me. Even though you and Mom aren’t physically here with me, I know that you are here every step of the way. Because you gave me the tools I needed to be wonderfully, beautifully, blissfully happy, even in your absence.

There are so many things happening in my life that I wish you could see, about which I could tell you. So many things that make me wish you were here. I will settle for when you visit me in my dreams, and smile, and hug me, and tell me funny things.

I carry you in my heart, always, Daddy. Thank you for everything. Most of all, thank you for being the best father in the entire world.


Your PJS

Those Texans

One of the best things about living in Houston is the annual rodeo, and the rodeo cookoff. Everyone is familiar with the rodeo, but the cookoff is a another thing completely. All I can say is, if you love Bar B que, it is the place to be!

Rodeo cookoff is comprised of over 250 teams that come together is the spirit of good food to complete for the prize of best bar B que in Texas. Being on a cook team is an honor, there is a waiting list for teams to join. The teams pull out all the stops, bringing in tons of meat, drinks and fun. Huge tents are set up that have full bars, air conditioning (a must even in February/march). And most of the tests bring in bands to play to entertain the crowd. While many bands are local, still more are brought in from all over the country. They range from well known and like locals, to up and coming artists, to even a few headliners.

Outside the line of tents and cook teams, the heavy smell of delicious bar b que is in the air. And as it gets later in the day, more people show up until it’s shoulder to shoulder. Just outside of the tent area is a full carnival, larger than most fairs that make tours around the country.

Getting into a private tent is also an honor, and if you aren’t part of a team, you have to know someone. Fortunately my fiancé did and we were allowed in. The atmosphere was festive and everyone was having a good time. A band was playing and after having a quick drink, it was time to quench my curiosity and taste the Bar B Que. It was fall off the bone tender and so delicious I had to try not to make a big mess of myself. Our group was laughing, talking, eating, and most importantly having a great time.

After a few hours of eating, drinking and listening to the bands, y man and I set out to walk around the tents and eventually the carnival. As a rodeo newbie, this was such a fun experience, from all the wonderful smells, to the delicious food, to the people watching to the fact that all proceeds to go charity.

Life is short. Eat good food, make good friends, and enjoy life. And especially get out and enjoy what life has to offer in your own city. While I love to travel, there is a wonderful quality to knowing what your community has to offer.