General


I normally skim Tim Steven’s blog each day to see what he is thinking. He is a great writer and always has great things to say. His post on January 9, 2009 entitled “Teenage Boys in Tight Girl Pants…Not Cool” and accompanying video is great. Since I do so much work with teenagers, the title immediately caught my attention! What a way to open up a worship service in this way was super creative and sounds like it was very effective. Here is the accompanying video he posted. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Striving for The Best! -mwr

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I’ve tried to live my life in such a way that I am respectful to all people, regardless of if the world sees them a significant or insignificant. My job affords me the opportunity to work with celebrities like Kevin James, Kevin Costner, Trisha Yearwood, and James Caan during our race events as a “celebrity escort.” It sounds more glamorous than it really is; as my primary focus is to see that they (and their entourage) get many to places at the speedway on time, while negotiating crowds of over 250,000 people. It is a logistical nightmare to say the least, but I enjoy being in the mix of putting on the worlds greatest racing show!

 

Several years ago, Nicholas Cage came to the 500 as the Grand Marshal to promote his movie “Ghost Rider.” His agency flew in a private security person from New York to accompany us. I hit it off with the security guy and we talked often throughout the day. (He was a NASCAR novice, but very interested.) After Cage was gone, he told me he was impressed with the job we did with the schedule, transport, planning, logistics and the Daytona 500.  We parted ways, exchanged info and that was it!

 

Fast forward 3 years…..December 2009 – Amanda and I are in NYC, shopping at the Time Warner Center. I walk out of a store to see this very familiar person, but I can not place a name, context or anything….I just know that I know this guy! So after minutes of “pretend shopping,” I figure out who it is and walk up to him. (My wife thinks I am completely nuts at this point.)  Sure enough, it’s the security guy – nameless on purpose. CRAZY!!! I run into him in NYC of all places. After talking for a few minutes, Amanda runs up to me and within earshot of my newly reconnected friend utters “Hey Matt, there is Suri Cruise.” He replies “Well, I’m doing work for Katie lately.” I had kinda figured that out…..but next thing I know, we are walking along the mall with this crew! Amanda proceeds to fall in line right next to Katie Holmes and strike up a conversation – mostly about kids. It was a crazy encounter, but one predicated on the fact I was fortunate to meet, know and remember the guy who is suppose to be seen and not heard.

 

My friend gave us a dinner recommendation and we texted back a forth during the week, always getting good advice on places to see in NYC. The encounter just reminded me that it is important to value everyone. Not that the celebrity meeting was so incredible (although my friends think it was neat), but this world is a very small place! You never know when you will see someone again and it is always nice to reconnect with great people.

 

Striving for The Best! -mwr

2009 is here and things are rolling again in the Rearden house. I took an unannounced sabbatical from this blog to spend some much needed time resting and being with family. (I am sure it cost me some readers, but it was worth it!)  The Christmas and New Year seasons were just what I needed to get recharged for a great year. It is important to take all the time you can to spend with family and friends. At the end of this life, we will look back and have only memories to cherish. Make those memories more about life, love and family than about work, career and things.

 

I pray that this year is successful and prosperous for each of you. Last year was tough – gas was through the roof, the economy was in dire straits and I do not know many people who will remember 2008 as a “fantastic year.” Let’s start out this year with the right outlook, a great attitude and a can do spirit that fuels each one of us. Even if it is bleak right now, start looking forward to great things ahead. I am excited to be with you on this great journey we call life and anticipate great things!

 

I am always anxious to hear from you, so drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts on future posts, blog topics or just life in general.

 

Striving for The Best! –mwr

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.

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.

It has been a crazy few weeks, but I’ve got some good stuff coming for the blog. I refuse to be a blogger who just types a few sentences or quotes and calls it an entry. That is cool for some, but I am striving for a blog with content and some depth. (Even though this post is shaping up to be just that – a few sentence blog.) So, stay tuned for some upcoming posts – some topics I am contemplating include: “Thankful p.t 2.” “88.” “Significance.”

 

Also, just finished reading “the Shack.” Good read, which stole some of my sleep (and blog) time in the last few days. Check it out if you have some time this holiday week to read.

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