Wednesday, November 26, 2014

hey thanks

It's Thanksgiving time once again! From outta nowhere, the holidays are bearing down on our faces, because for some reason, Christmas is in December this year. Doesn't it feel like 2014 just barely got started? I'm not sure I'm finished with 2013 yet, and all of sudden, I have to deal with 2014 going away forever.

So here's something I've never done and thought it might be fun to do... give thanks. I've given thanks before here and there, but I figured I'd go big or go home... 100 thanks in a single post. Let's go!

First, let's get the big ones out of the way... my Savior, Jesus Christ (1), for whom it's all for. I hope my words encourage in a way that pleases Him. The Lovely Steph Leann (2), the best helpmate I could ever ask for, because she gave us Campbell Isaiah (3), who is a pretty special kid--he turns 3 in a week! What!

My job is secure (4) and that's a big deal. And it's not hard work either (5), which means when I go home, work stays at work (6) which makes for very low stress. And of course, there is my other job, being a Disney Travel Planner, and I am so excited to put more time into doing it! (7). Cause I'm good at it.

Here's a few things/people to be thankful for this year...
I mean, there is so much to be thankful for, so many blessings all poured into my own life. Things are looking up (8) more than ever... Campbell is making great strides in his development (9). No, he's not talking yet, but he's in a solid Mother's Day Out program at CASA (10) and in a great therapy program at Mitchell's Place (11). Insurance is covering much of the cost (12), so that's a huge answered prayer for us. He's signing more (13), and he is much more directional than he used to be (14), like when he leads me to the recliner, then pushes me to sit down, just so he can sit in my lap. That's worthy of a thanks (15).
We paid our car off this year (16) so that helps our budget tremendously, and it's one piece that's helping us form our plan for me to go full time with Disney Travel Planning (17). But I'll get into that later.

Got a new phone this fall (18), bumped up to an iPhone 5, which is nice. I love voice texting (19) though autocorrect is a bit of a hassle sometimes.

The San Antonio Spurs won the NBA title (20) for the fifth time, and the Baltimore Orioles made it into the baseball postseason (21). Can't say I have much thanks for the Florida Gators OR the Troy Trojans for the way they have played this year, but both Florida (22) and Troy (23) are looking at new coaches next season, so it's time for a re-start. Overall, though, the college football season has been incredible (24) and anyone who thought this four-team playoff would ruin the regular season is crazy, because it's done nothing but heighten the importance of dozens of games (25) that by now, wouldn't mean much except for bowl positions. And, of course, even though I didn't make the playoffs of The DFC, the football pick'em that I've run for now its 15th season, its still be a great season (26). Congrats to Big Eddy McBroom and Steven Ray for making DeuceBowl XV, set for this weekend.
I can also give thanks for the movies (27) and most notably, The Deucecast Movie Show--we are on a digital network now, Shotglass Digital (28) which is like being picked up for syndication. Pretty exciting... new episode dropped today (Tuesday) and is all about our own movie thanks. We owe a big thanks to the hosts of the TechnoRetro Dads podcast, especially one of the hosts who calls himself Shaz (29), and I am very thankful for my own co-hosts Mikey (30) and Pinky (31) and the rest of the Deucecast team, like Tommy Mac, Shawn and our endless rotating guests (32).

The blog is going strong (33), by the way, for which I'm thankful for. I successfully made it through the entire month of October, blogging every day (and some extra) and made it like, 32 days straight (34)... which, if you've followed this blog long, you'll know I've tried similar challenges and have failed miserably. My friend Corie Clark (35) really pushed me on this, along with a few others, so thanks for that. Corie, by the way, wrote a fabulous book about making life simple, called "The Simplicity Project". Full disclosure, I have't read all of it yet. But I've followed along on the challenges online, and will have it read and impletmented by years end.

If I get on the subject of friends, I could be here forever... but I'll tell ya, there are a few people who have really made me a better version of d$. Remodeling Clay host Clay Shaver (36) is a solid guy, as is Writer Chris Holmes (37) (who has his own book, mind you). A fellow named David Mike (38) is an extremely good encourager in all that I, and others, do, and his story is pretty incredible.

Thanks to Rachel Mayo (39) for being awesome--and extremely photogenic. No kidding, that chick can look great in an Instagram picture. May Bohon (40) likes to check in on me, which I appreciate, and Angie Buchanan (41) has also been pretty gracious to me and the family this year as well. And Amy Campbell (42), master of LinkedIn and owner of a resume company called the Red Checker, has also been pretty great to me this year.

I always have thanks for My Best Mate Wookiee (43)... I have been able to chat again with my friend Nikki (44) and my friend Laura (45)... and funnily enough, doing Disney Travel has helped me reconnect with my long lost friend Rebecca (46). I get a kick out of reading my friend Missi's (47) posts (she's one of my favorite people on social media.  and gorgeous)... I'm thankful for the new friends in our lives, like the Kilgores (48) and the Rileys (49) that we haven't gotten to know... for the returning friends, like the Tucks (50) who returned to our lives... long time friends like DeNick & DeLisa (51) who are always helpful and generous... and the friends who have been here all the time, like the Rays (52), and Hurricane Rhett and Amarilys by Morning (up from San Antone) (53) and all the other families that we love (and love us) at Valleydale Church (an sbc fellowship) (54). 

Also, I've planned trips for three different women that I dated in college (and their families). I wasn't saying "hey thanks" for that, I just thought it was worth a mention.

So thankful for Taylor Swift's new CD "1989" (55) and of course, "Shake It Off" which is my Song of the Year thusfar. Then again, it comes out just ahead of Pitbull's "Fireball" (56), which I blast everytime it comes on. But lest we forget Colbie Caillet's new CD (57), which is marvelous in it's own right. And Garth Brooks is back (58) and better than ever. Thanks Garth. You are the man.

My friend Teri Mo (59) made one of the best comments (60) I've ever had bestowed upon me, saying (paraphrasing), "I think d$ is great at getting his political points across, he's never disrespectful, he tries to stick to facts and I appreciate that." Fabulous comment.

We discovered a new place to eat this year, Urban Cookhouse (61), which is awesome. It's up at the Summit, and we frequent it about once per month. And to top it off, we are pretty fond of Steel City Pops popsicles (62), which The Lovely Steph Leann and I have probably had about 300 each so far this year. Addiction is a bad thing, kiddies.

You know what else I'm thankful for? Whataburger Patty Melts (63) without the onions. It's so, so good.

I'm still very thankful for Walt Disney World (64) and all the dreams and opportunities it holds. Campbell rode his very first roller coaster there, The Barnstormer (65) and it was truly magical, as he laughed and giggled and squealed the whole time. We went a few weeks back with The Lovely Steph Leann's parents, Big Daddy Ron and Mama Ruthless (66), and had a pretty great time. I'm thankful our room wasn't that expensive and was pretty large in size, and it was comfortable... I had stayed in Art of Animation (67) before, but everyone else was enjoying it for the first time.

The food is always great, as the Epcot Food & Wine Festival was going on, but the best part was the Captain's Grille (68) at the Yacht Club, likely my favorite meal of them all.

I'm thankful for my friend Aimee Sale (69), a fellow travel agent, who has been willing to help answer questions on the fly when needed, as well as my own agency owner, Frances (70), who has been an amazing travel agency lead.

My friend McQ (71) got married (72) this fall! It was a long time coming, I think, for her and her boo Jason, and it's so great to see them so happy... and I was honored they asked me to help announce (73) and I was thankful to be a part of the festivities.

The Republicans won the Senate in a landslide election (74). I'll say that I'm thankful for that, but I'll hold off on any further apprecation until I see what they will do... or won't do. You know what, they make me nervous (-74). I'll say I'm thankful that we live in a country where we can elect our leaders (74).
Survivor (75) is good this season. And The Lovely Steph Leann has got me watching HGTV, and I'm kinda hooked on "Flip or Flop" (76).

I'll always be thankful for my iPod (77) which helps me get through the day. From Adam Carolla (78) to Alison Rosen (79) to Rush Limbaugh (80) to the bevy of Disney World Podcasts (81) I listen to, I'm thankful I have it here. (82) also is owed a thanks. I've been a customer for years, and this year have been able to pick up gems like the memoir of one of my favorite, Judy Greer (83), and listen to Stephen King's "Mr. Mercedes" (84), which is excellent. The Harry Potter audiobooks (85) will always be some of my favorites because of the masterful performance by Jim Dale (sadly, not on Audible--I had to get them from the library).

I'm thankful that my home is less than one and a half miles from my office (86)

I'm thankful that I was able to give up three months of no sodas, called the #NoSoda30 (87). I drink some Coke now, but I've curbed my consumption.

I'm thankful my mama still loves me (88).

I'm thankful for my extended family, both with Randy & Angie, my bro/sis-in-law, and kids (89) and my other bro/sis in law, Tyler & Brynn (90).

I'm thankful that yesterday I spilled a little grease from an Arby's cheese stick on my pants and got juice from some squash on my shirt... and that was the extent of my Monday worries (91)

I'm thankful I can still afford to splurge a little and frequent Kingdom Comics (92)

I'm thankful that I got to spend a weekend at the Alabama Phoenix Festival (93) downtown, a nerd convention that I actually sat on discussion panels for.

I'm thankful for Sharpies (94). They rule.

I'm thankful for the WWE Network (95), allowing me to watch every Pay Per View without the expensive price--and the fact that Sting (96) showed up at Sunday's Survivor Series.

I'm thankful for Doug Benson's Doug Loves Movie podcast (97), perhaps my favorite podcast. Oh and for Serial (98), which is an amazing podcast experience. 

I'm thankful that another year is almost over--not for the time has gone by, but that life is good (99).

And I'm thankful for you (100), for reading this blog as much as you do.  You don't have to, yet you keep coming back, and I appreciate it more than you know.  You fulfill the "writer" part of my "writer/blogger/podcaster/travel specialist" bio.

Finally... if you read this, and you wonder "Where am I?" (like my friend Katie (101), who is likely to text me and say "Where am I?"), then consider this number-- 102 -- that you are in.  Thank you. 

And Happy Thanksgiving.

Update... I completely forgot to mention this, and realized it a day after I posted this column... thank you to the men & women in the armed forces who are protecting us right now... thank you to the police, emergency and fire department workers who are keeping us safe as well... and thank you to those behind the retail counters, either being forced to work because of a crap schedule or because you need the money badly... thanks for doing it.

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