Wednesday, October 20, 2010

If you're a music fan, and can admire true creativity, go check this out.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Melting Pot

Life's been a mixture of insanity, joy, frustration, exhaustion, and a host of other emotions I don't care to divulge. Danielle's now at 21 weeks preggo, and I'm getting a husband's taste of the emotions that come along with the whole pregnancy gig. I'm learning to appreciate my father-friends much more these days, and the sage advice that comes with their friendship.

We began a couple home-remodeling projects late last week (both starting the same day I left on a trip to Nashville to visit Dad/Austin). First being the landscaping project. I possess a black thumb (the thumb of death), and while Danielle likes to think she's in possession of a green thumb, she doesn't have the time to employ it. Thus our large front flower bed has been reminiscient of the Amazon this spring/summer/fall. Enough is enough. My good friend Danny the landscaper brought in the heavy machinery and the subcontractors and did some positive damage to the yard. The attrition? A blue spruce tree, a dead maple tree, several cratemyrtles (sp?), Danielle's "wildflowers" (aka weeds), the persistently infuriating holly bush, the 8 ft. tall weed Danielle thought was a wildflower, and most of the shrubbery I found it frustrating to mow around every 3 weeks. The additions? Two Japanese maples, a whole lot of river rock, some small slow-growing bushes, and definitely NOT any wildflowers.

The second project being the deck. We've had this decrepit, pathetic-looking little balcony off our master bedroom that gets no use and acts solely as an eyesore. In order to facilitate more fiestas at Casa Barron, we decided that a full-fledged, fully-functional deck needed to take its place. Hopefully it will be done before the weather goes fully sub-60's. Dimensions: 16x30 ft.

A bit of trivia: the deck alone is officially larger than the duplex Danielle lived in during her last couple years at JBU.

Once these are done, it's a master bathroom remodel. And quite a remodel it will be. Costly, but should add value galore. Let's hope so. We don't want to be in our house forever.

Work is frustrating, as usual, but until the craziness surrounding our little boy's arrival subsides, I'm going to stay in the current job to avoid any additional uncertainty.

Oh, and yes, it's a boy. Jonathan Daniel Barron (J.D.) should arrive on/around 3/3/2011.

Much more. I'll likely be blogging more in the near future. Lord knows I need the therapy.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The long, exciting, scary journey commences...

For the two of you that (perhaps) read this, I found out last week I'm going to be a dad.

The poor child.

The last 7 days have been a time of deep thought, considerations for the future, acclimation to incoming changes, and fear.

Pray for me. Lord knows I don't need to screw this up!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bad coffee and worse weather

I tend to gripe a lot in my blog posts. I suppose it's because this is my "outlet". It makes for uninteresting reading, I know, so I will try to keep it to a minimum. Who wants to sit and listen to someone else complain?

The bone spur/knee sprain hasn't quite gone away yet, which has really put a cramp in the workout regimen. Danielle and I go walk as much as we can, but if I go to long the knee starts popping and aching. I'm hoping that my trip to the doctor next week doesn't yield more bad news, as his plan is to send me to a specialist if the pain/problem doesn't abate soon. I've always associated knee surgery with future problems (Danielle's grandfather's health went downhill quickly after a knee surgery gone bad), so I'm a bit leery of the idea of any kind of arthroscopy or surgery of any type. Hopefully it can be cured with simple R&R. Please pray.

The softball team has dropped to 1-7. I have a very difficult time with this. Baseball/softball have always been my best sports, and I'm ultra-competitive when playing them. Being in a church league definitely doesn't do much to tamp down my competitive (and temperamental) nature, and I have a hard time keeping myself from lashing out at some of the younger players who don't take the games seriously. I pay money and spend my own time to play the game, so I have resources invested. Thus, when I show up, I play to win. Unfortunately, it's just "something fun to do" for a lot of the 18 & under folks, so we tend to lose...a lot. Our only win: 18-17. The score was 18-10 in the bottom of the 7th with us in the field, and the other team managed 7 runs before we finally got lucky with an infield fly. There's been several games where we were winning, but lost it due to fielding errors (our most common, painful problem). C'est la vie...just need to make sure to keep that temper in check with the churchies :)

Alright, time to keep chugging the bad coffee, waiting for the rain, and wishing for 3 PM (i'm leaving early dangit!) to get here. Happy weekend!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

And the times, they are a'changin'

During one of our softball team's rare wins (we're 1-6 so far), I was rounding 3rd base heading for home, and as I hit the bag I heard (and felt) a nasty pop in my right knee. I made it home no problem, but the pop merited a trip to the doctor.

The good news: I stepped on the scale and weighed in at 251 lbs. A nice change from 6 months ago, when I was topping the scale at 283. And a BP of 110/70, which I have to say I'm quite proud of.

The bad news: A bone spur on the back of my right knee (which, apparently, I've had for quite some time) and an acute sprain of the right knee. A knee that, until the last couple weeks, I've never had a problem with.

I did something to aggravate the right knee during the P90X Plyometrics workout a couple weeks ago. So, I stopped doing the lower body workouts and walked instead on those days. Then the softball incident.

It made me realize that I'm sure not getting any younger. All I did was step on a plastic, cushioned, bag while running and my knee about gives up on me. It's quite depressing to be honest. I remember when I was 25 years old, 215 lbs, and in the best shape of my life...I was practically invincible. Never would have had this problem at that point.

But it's nothing compared to what my mom's facing right now. She goes under the knife tomorrow for a biopsy of the right breast. Apparently the doctor found a small growth there and is testing to see if there is any cancer in the region. My mom's convinced that it is benign and, being a smart person, have chosen not to argue with her about this. I'm just glad that she caught it early. But if those who read this would keep her in your prayers, I would greatly appreciate it. We're going up to Siloam Springs tomorrow afternoon to be with her and let her know we love her.

And we're making the trip in my new truck! We decided that, after 40k miles of faithfulness (for a total of just over 100k miles on the odometer) from the 2003 Ford Escape XLS, it was time to upgrade. Plus, we'd just paid off the last of our credit card debt...HUZZAH!...and had decided quite some time ago that we would upgrade when the CC debt was gone. So, last Friday, we closed on the sale of a new 2010 Ford F-150 FX4 SuperCrew 4X4 in Electric Flame Blue. I'm loving it. Though I know that I won't love it so much when I go to the gas station to fill up the 36 gallon gas tank. It is nice, though, in that the backseat has gobs of room (3 fully-grown men with plenty of legroom, with both front seats all the way back, could very comfortably fit in back) and it has a lot of fun bells & whistles. My favorite: being able to make and receive calls with voice commands via my stereo system's cell phone interaction feature.

The downside: the $2,200 or so I'll have to pay in sales tax at the end of the month. Thank God for commission checks.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Who I am vs. What I am

I've been struggling with this a lot recently. I work doing a job I really don't enjoy, for a company I don't enjoy working for, with no idea what exactly I could realistically do if I wasn't doing what I'm doing now. I'd love to play music, live in the mountains or tropics with my lovely wife, travel the world. But what I am so often gets in the way of who I want to be.

I could go on about this for hours, but I'll simply say that it's becoming increasingly difficult for me to rationalize to myself (I do a lot of inner arguing) why I have not been more proactive in trying to be who I want to be. I spend a lot more time mundanely focusing on what I am.

I'm becoming convinced that the only way to flip the equation is to give the internal argument up. We Christians always say "I'm going to give this or that to God". It's a cliche anymore, a promise that most of us don't have the willpower to carry out. If I truly feel that God wants me to be who I am (defined by me as someone who seeks out God's plan for our lives, which happens to fall in line with the true desires of our hearts), then I need to give over the worry that I will always be what I am to God.

I don't know how to go about doing this. Is it a simple statement, a prayer, to God? Is it a magical combination of human willpower and heavenly assistance? Or is it just an inner decision to put our who/what in our hands, extend them to God, and let him take that part of ourselves? Because if so, that's kinda scary for me. I'm not that trusting. Which is sad. I call myself a Christian and yet don't trust God enough to hand him my hopes and dreams in exchange for something light years better.

I'm probably going in circles with this internal dilemma. But I've come to the realization recently that I can't just continually refer to myself as a terrible Christian. That solves nothing. I've also realized that part of the reason I'm a terrible Christian is because I do not trust God with all of my life, only portions. The solution is obvious, but the method is not.

Ah, the pain of being human.

Happy Easter folks :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Needing a vacation after my "vacation"

Mexico was great. I was amazed to see a group of 200+ orphans/castouts/dropoffs looking so healthy, happy, and hard-working. As for our own activities, we gutted the childrens home's sewing facility and performed several upgrades. Ripped out the bathroom and set up new walls, installed new, pre-built (courtesy of my cabinet expert father-in-law and his crew) cabinets and open sewing/working areas, secured the looms to the ceiling with wire bracketing rather than multiple 2x4's, repaired sheetrock, mudded/taped, primed, painted, cleaned, and got the heck out.

For me the biggest frustration of the trip was the ride down and the ride back. I realized how impatient and easily-annoyed a person I can be. There's a couple guys who go to our church, father and son, that I rode down to Matamoros with. Now the father is a very compassionate guy, easy to get along with and great company to keep. But his son is a nightmare. I'm convinced he has some sort of social disorder. He walks, talks and acts like a bratty 13-yr old, only he's 30 years old. He is divorced, with a little girl who lives with her mom and her husband (apparently his former best friend). He is semi-employed, and lives with his father in a trailer on a friend's property.

Now I tried very hard to get along with him. But good grief, I can only take so much absolutely awful behavior in a single day. After about 1/2 hour on the road, I wanted to strangle him to silence his bitter, biting, hateful comments. One of those Christians who believes the Republican party exists to represent Jesus' legal interests on earth, that Obama is the devil incarnate, and that anything made by a company other than Chrysler/Plymouth/Dodge is a piece of garbage. Worse, he's very vocal about all of the above.

I learned a very valuable lesson last week. Ignorance, while bliss, does not endear you to the illuminated. It also can get you a fat lip if you're in the right (well, I guess wrong) company.

In other news...I turn 31 in 3 weeks. Ugh.