Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Letter

For those of you waiting impatiently (which, let's be honest, makes the crowd waiting for the final Harry Potter look like nothing)for the Chris, Jack, and Lucy letter of 2010 I regret to inform you that this is it. There will be no hard copy letter printed on acid-free paper for you to archive and keep forever. Actually, this beats my last year letter, which was a Facebook posting telling everyone to review my posts for the year for the annual update. So, consider yourselves blessed to get a little something on this Christmas Eve.

Let's start with Lucy. Those of you who know her, understand that she is 7 going on 17, with all the sass and spirit that entails. She started that only in Austin tradition of kickball this year, with a successful season on the Lightning Strikes!

Another big activity for Lucy has been dance, following in her Mom's tap shoes. She's a big fan of modern dance, and cannot hear a song she likes on the radio without bustin' a move.

Quote of the year from Lucy, 'I want to work as an entertainer in an adult restaurant'. Needless to say, didn't have to have a stress test this year, if I survived that statement, my heart is fine...

Jack had a huge year, with a lot of great opportunities. His singing career took off, with school and church choir. He also got to sing during the Bobby Bones morning show on the radio (starts about 4:25 in the video) so when he's a big star, you can say you knew him when. He's the first soloist, pretty awesome!!

His other big activity was football, yes, Jack played football! He was noseguard for the mighty Murchison Matadors. He really enjoyed it and was pretty good, that's him getting double teamed by the boys in green!

He also made the Theater Production class, which won the UIL competition in the fall. I think he's following in cousin Katy's footsteps, and I've already decided that I'm sending him to New York so she can mentor him in making it in the performing world!

As for me, its been a solid year. Started with Crossfit, ended with shoulder surgery, with some fun in between! The biggest thing for me was coaching the Team in Training Big Bend Hike Team. From June through October I spent Wednesdays and Saturdays with my team whipping them into shape for a 15 mile hike across the South Rim of the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend.

I also did a triathlon, competing against my outlaw Sara Conlee. Needless to say, she crushed me, but it was still pretty cool. Soon after I swore I was done with silly triathlons, but you never know...

So, that's our year in review, hope you enjoyed it! Obviously, this is just a snapshot, but given the shortened attention spans of people today I figured this is the most anyone would read. 2011 promises to be another great year. My family is so blessed to have all of you as part of it! Merry Christmas to all of you, and may 2011 find your family happy, healthy, and joyful!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

In Defense of Scouting

I just spent 4 days at Webelos Extreme camp, which was created 5 years ago as an opportunity to introduce Webelos (10 and 11 yr olds) to Boy Scouts and the cool things they'll get to do when they get there. Over 200 boys from across Central Texas participated in cooking, shooting sports, rock climbing, canoeing, and a ton of other activities. Its a really great experience, and I saw a lot of very tired, but very happy boys this afternoon when we had our closing ceremony.

Now, I know that Scouting organization has had its challenges, the adults that have created problems, and so on. I get that, and I also know the lengths that Scouting has gone to in response. I also know that a lot of people thing that Scouts is full of weird kids that don't fit in elsewhere. Here's what I say in response, yeah, there are some kids like that, and I think that is one of the greatest strengths of Scouting. The kids that cannot throw a football may discover through Scouting that he's a great cook, or that he can design and build a 40 foot tower with tree branches and rope, or he can start a fire with battery and steel wool. Or, he may discover that he can organize and lead a group of boys through a weekend of activities. Scouts offers kids an exposure to any number of opportunities they would not have elsewhere. My son Jack is headed to Washington, DC this weekend for the National Jamboree, he'll spend a couple days sightseeing, then 10 days with 40,000 other Scouts at the Jamboree. In a couple of years, I hope he'll go to Philmont for an 11 day wilderness experience. If he chooses, he can sail tall ships in the Bahamas, scuba in the Keys, canoe the Boundary Waters of Minnesota. My brother served as an honor guard and stood on the podium with George HW Bush at his inauguration, I opened doors for people at an inaugural ball. The potential is endless and its not available elsewhere. Scouting is a place available for everyone, you don't have to be an athlete, exceptionally smart, good looking, or anything, you just have to want to participate.

Like any big organization, Scouting is not perfect. However, I don't think there is another organization that provides as much opportunity for the boys who participate in it. No place else will they be able to do so many different things, meet so many different kinds of people and do so many cool things.

I haven't even talked about the fundamental purpose of Scouting which is character development. Young men in scouting learn and hopefully adhere to the Scout Oath and Law to become well rounded men who have led and understand the responsibility of leadership. This is the key thing that sets Scouting apart because no place else will they be surrounded by so many people focused on the same goals, with the same purpose, working together to become men of character.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gearing up for Scout Camp

I'm totally excited for the coming weekend. Jack and I will be out at Lost Pines State Park for Webeloes Extreme Summer Camp. This is a 3 day camp where Webeloes are exposed to life in Boy Scouts. I'll be leading the cooking station, where the boys will get the opportunity to prepare a variety of foods like what they'd cook in Boy Scouts. Its going to be fun, but hot!

It works out that this week is also the week off from Crossfit, so I'm not going to miss any workouts, which is nice. This doesn't mean its a full rest week, there's still working out going on. I've kept on swimming at lunch, which is really the best way to spend a lunch hour. Deep Eddy is freakin' awesome, cold water, minimal chlorine, the perfect activity. I've been getting in a 1/2 mile swim, getting ready for the triathlon. Its going to be fun!

Anyway, that's what's going on...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Still Crazy Busy!!

Well, things haven't slowed down a bit! I kind of miss the slow life I had just a few months ago, but not too much. I like having a lot on my plate, its forcing me to learn organization, focus on detail, all those things I'm not too good at. Never a bad thing to push yourself in new directions and challenge your comfort zone.

I've been trying to get my swimming in, preparing for the triathlon. Its nice working so close to Deep Eddy, I can get there, get my swim in, and be back in the office in an hour so I go on my lunch break. The fact that its not super chlorinated, and the fact that I have a buzz cut, means I can get away with just drying off and going back to the office. It can be tough to go back to work after the break, but what are you gonna do?

Looking forward to a great hike tomorrow with the TNT group at Pedernales Falls State Park. Should be fun!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Quick Update

Alright, I need to either keep this blog regularly or dump it. Gonna try the quick hit method...

Totally slept through my alarm this morning, missed the lunge circus at Crossfit, totally peeved about it. Now I get to do it in the heat of the afternoon (as soon as I'm done here actually). Oh well, it happens, as long as I'm getting the workout in right?

On another workout note, going to be at Deep Eddy for laps around 11:30 the rest of this week, open invitation to all. Come on down for a midday cool off and swimathon.

Finally, in the great news column, the Hays County Commissioners Court adopted the Strategic Plan we've been working on for a little over a year now. Yeah, nothing should take that long, but sometimes that's how it goes. Its done, they're happy and I can do other things.

Life is still a whirlwind, got a lot happening, all of it good, which is nice. As I mentioned before its funny how quickly life changes. I'll try and keep this up to date a little better...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer of Change?

Things are starting to happen, opportunities are knocking on the door, and I'm thinking I'm ready for it! To update the goods:

Team in Training - I LOVE COACHING!! I may be the WORST. COACH. EVER. but I think
I'm getting the hang of it. Second hike went well, didn't lose anybody! The boot camp
style workouts we're doing on Wednesdays are really cool. I love seeing people who've never worked out like this really get in to it! Yeah, they're moaning and groaning but they're having fun and appreciating the fact that they're being pushed out of their comfort zone. I think its building a good team relationship through shared suffering as well. I think Crossfit Certification is definitely in my future. I'm really looking forward to seeing this group develop over the next several months.

On the day job front, finally wrapping up the Hays County Plan, a project that's been out there over a year. Its been a great project, lots of learning on my part which is always a good thing. Facing a big challenge on a plan we're starting up in a community facing some major issues that I don't even know where to start to address. Love that though because it keeps the work fun.

Had a great lunch with my friend Kristen Carney, co-founder of Cubit Planning. Kristen is such a great inspiration about doing what you're passionate about and also knows the questions to ask about making a vision into something viable. She is very cool, and I appreciate her insight.

Finally, there is a new professional opportunity arising that may be a way for me to have more flexibility to follow the things I'm really passionate about while still paying the bills.

I set some goals at the beginning of the year for the I am Crossfit Challenge, some I met, some I'm still working on, but I know now I'm moving in the right direction. God doesn't always give you an easy answer or clear path, but he always provides a way if you have faith and are willing to work.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Summer Challenge

Alright, most of y'all probably know about this, but we have ourselves an old fashioned throw down happening this summer. Its a straight up battle of the cults between Triatheletes and Crossfitters! That's right, its almost like the whole Vampire vs Werewolf thing, but totally not cause that's just weird.

My former Sister-in-law has poked fun at me for being in the cult of Crossfit, talking funny, eating differently, working out at odd hours, etc. Well, she's now drunk the Kool Aid of Triathlons and has become somewhat obsessed herself. Given this reality, I offered the challenge in her own chosen sport of Triathlon. I spoke out of bravado and unrealistic confidence. On Labor Day, she and I will face off at the Avia Triathalon to see whose fitness routine will reign supreme!!

So, now I'm pretty sure I've bitten off more than I can chew. At least I now have a goal to work for all summer. I'll be spending some time in the pool on top of the Crossfit and Boot Camp and will need to find time to ride some as well. If nothing else, its going to force me to work my ass off this summer.

So, there it is, will a Crossfit-centric workout be enough? Stay tuned and see how this challenge turns out!