December 2008


I don’t post specific personal stories much (though maybe I should more often), but I just finished a very cool trip and wanted to share! Amanda and I went on a mini jaunt, sans the kids. We had the chance to see Carrie Underwood the other night and the concert was fantastic. We have seen her several times now and she is an incredible performer! What a journey that woman has taken from the Checotah, Oklahoma (I’ve been through there) to the 2005 American Idol stage to worldwide entertainer in 2008. Her star seems brighter than ever and from my perspective she is truly remarkable. The journey she has taken should inspire all of us that anything is possible!

From the 34th Floor of the Marquis

From the 34th Floor of the Marquis

 

The next morning we headed for NYC.  One of our favorite places to visit, it’s amazing. People watching is off the charts and the sheer size is almost overwhelming. We did all kinds of great things – saw GREASE on Broadway, shopped till we dropped, ate great food (Bagels, Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity3, Pizza, Italian cuisine), played in the snow, and really just enjoyed being together. One day it was 70 and the next it was snowing in the City! We are so blessed to have celebrated 6 years of marriage in this fashion.

Me and my girl!

Me and my girl!

In a society where marriages are constantly under attack, it is critical to strengthen your marital bond by spending quality time with your spouse. Date nights with just you two on a regular basis and get away trips are the perfect way to do that! NYC was great – I can’t wait until next year!

 

 

My next post will reflect on a chance NYC encounter with a very famous celeb and my interesting connection to Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise.

 

Striving for The Best! -mwr

Six years ago today, I was blessed with the greatest gift a man could ever receive – an incredible wife. Meant just for me and me for her, our relationship is my most valuable earthly asset. I joke that after six years of marriage all I have to show for it is two kids and a mini van, but that could not be farther from the truth!While the list could expand indefinitely, here are six things that I appreciate and love about my wife (in no particular order):

 

Selfless – Putting others first and perceiving their needs and hurts over her own. She goes out of her way to help others, sometimes to her own detriment. Our family receives the royal treatment from this selfless woman.

Beauty – Both inside and out, my wife is incredibly gorgeous. To know my wife’s heart is to find her true radiance. She is the most beautiful person I know.

Love – She loves me unconditionally, even when I do not deserve it. I’m not the easiest person to deal with at times, but somehow her love for me tears down walls otherwise impenetrable. Her love shines through in every action and word.

Care – Always caring for our family is something that I take for granted. Looking out for the best interests of our girls and me is at the forefront of her mind on a daily basis.

Spiritual – Her dedication to God is an inspiration to me, our girls and others. She desires to be more like Jesus each day and spends time daily studying, reading praying and living a life worthy of duplication. I pray my girls know the Lord the way my wife does.

Strength – The majority of successful men have a strong and supportive wife. Amanda’s quiet and resolute strength is critical to our success. While it is not often vocal (at least with others), she stands beside me in every situation and  

 

Amanda – My world would not be complete without you. Thank you for loving me unconditionally and making me the person I am today. You are my greatest treasure and I value you above all others. I love you with all I have.

 

Striving for the Best! -mwr

 

Guys – even if it isn’t your anniversary today, take some time to tell your wives how special they are and what they mean to you.

NASCAR Banquet week is here and the Waldorf Astoria NYC will be buzzing with the best and brightest NASCAR has to offer. While everyone will be rightfully celebrating Jimmy Johnson’s 3-peat, one of the sports brightest stars embarked on an image / career move that may have an impact on our sport of decades. While he is commonly known by just 2 letters – JR – his 2008 change literally re-painted the NASACAR landscape.

 

From 2000 to 2008, the grandstands were a sea of Red. Now, there are hues of green and blue. Legions of fans pledged allegiance to a Fibonacci number. Now, they rally behind it times 11, albeit slanted left now instead of right. The game to get there was a nice disctrction during the latter part of 2007, as the Hendricks organization filed applications with the USPTO for numbers such as 38 and 81, before finally announcing the #88 was the chosen one.

 

What Michael Jordan – 23 to 45 to 23, Kobe Bryant – 8 to 24, more recently Manny Rameriez – Red Sox #24 to Dodger Blue #99 (eventually) and others did with mild success, Dale Earnhart Jr. has pulled off masterfully! In addition to almost single handedly revolutionizing (some insiders also think hurting)  NASCAR team sponsorships, Dale and his sister / manager Kelly Earnhardt Elledge started printing money with this seemingly simple shift.

 

They didn’t stray too far from the familiar 8 to make die-hards mad, but did pick up brands that every person (including those under 21) can wear proudly.  Merchandising is such a huge aspect of every Cup driver’s income stream that changing numbers and sponsorship can be, and in this case was, a windfall of revenue.

 

As we close the history books on the 2008 NASCAR Season, the 8 is a part of a merger with another struggling team (Gnassi-DEI Merger), while the 88 seems to be getting its house in order. Though this season started out strong for the 88, the latter half of the year was a struggle. My money is on the very real possibility that Jr. seems poised for a breakout year in 2009, which makes the February running of the Daytona 500 too far away for me.

 

Striving for the Best! –mwr

With Thanksgiving now past and the turkey, stuffing, gravy, corn, mac & cheese, broccoli, cheese & rice casserole, sweet potato, pumpkin pie, peanut butter pie, and on and on and on… induced coma subsiding, it seemed appropriate to pick up this blog again by listing a few things for which I am thankful. The last few days have been spent with family and a lot less of the internet, computer, Blackberry and even cell phone. The virtual “radio silence” is always a welcome time for me. It gives me a chance to clear my head and re-focus my life objectives towards the things that really matter. With that said, some of the things I am most thankful for are:

1) Wife – An awesome woman who stands beside me no matter what. I clearly “married up” and appreciate her more than I could ever express!
2) Children – I thought life was great until heaven greeted us with 2 bundles of joy. Now 3 and 1, my girls are the love of my life and always remind me that this world is full of endless possibilities!
3) Family – Having the support of 2 families is an invaluable asset to my wife and I. They are always there for love, support, encouragement, advice and when needed, a swift kick to the rear!
4) Health – A most valuable possession.
5) Faith – My ultimate source of strength and guidance. My life would not be what it is today absent the hand of God protecting, preparing and guiding.
6) Friends – Life would be an unbearable journey if unable to share it with people who truly care and love you. I cherish the relationships established and future connections to be made.
7) Country – I’ve always been proud to be an American. The greatest country on Earth. The best place to be – land of the Free and home of the Brave.
8) Provision – Not the things we like, but the things we need – food, shelter and love. If all we had were these three, we could still make it just fine.

The list could continue for pages and pages until it got down to the things that I merely like and want, but I will stop with my thankfulness for the things I truly need. Hope your Thanksgiving was a good as mine.

Striving for the Best! -mwr

Note: My attempt to post this on Friday failed, but I was literally in a place with no WiFi. My Sprint air card would not even work… on Thanksgiving morning, I had to make a run to the closest Starbucks (20 mi.) to use their WiFi and pull a contract for review (yes, in-house lawyers even work on holidays). At least the “WiFi run” allowed me to sip a Venti Carmel Macchiato while plugging away on the laptop. At 10am, we were only the 4th car through the drive-thru.