Nazis, News, & Tragedies

We watched Boy in the Striped Pajamas a few nights ago. Are you kidding me? That is one of the saddest movies I have ever seen. Seriously. It is really good but really terribly sad. Taylor fell asleep like 30 minutes before it ended and I woke him up so that I could tell him what happened. I won’t ruin it, but

I either read or heard about an article a few years ago about how our generation has witnessed the most tragedies in the U.S. during our lifetime. I don’t necessarily know if that’s true, but the article talked about how we’ve grown up with media and news constantly broadcasting things going on around us and we are growing numb to the tragedies. Some of the major historic things it mentioned were the Oklahoma City bombing, Columbine and other school shootings, 9/11, etc. We grew up hearing about these different events so now we somewhat expect something bad to happen. Especially with how plugged in our generation is to the internet, we hardly ever watch the news or know about what’s going on. That’s the price you pay when you are constantly bombarded with information…that same information starts to become irrelevant and ignored. That’s the problem marketers are facing, but now it’s our generation and the news we read or hear. The messages aren’t going through, or at least not to the extent that older generations are receiving messages. Interesting, huh?

Speaking of, a tragedy hit close to home yesterday. A girl in Memphis was murdered by her husband on Thursday night. I only met her and her husband on a college retreat Mari-Kate and I went on so I didn’t know her barely at all. MK’s sister and brother-in-law knew them well though and it was such a shock that this would happen to their friends from the college group at church. It’s unbelievably sad for Micah and her family. It reminds me how blessed I am to have the God, the husband, and the family I do. I don’t know how I could do life without them. On the other hand, it makes me sympathetic for people who have it rough. If the closest I get to tragedy like this is a girl I met one time on a retreatbeing murdered, my life is good. I am not at all saying I want my life to be bad or worse or that I want things like this to happen…but I am saying that our world is broken and people face murders, addictions, and abuse every day. This is second nature to them. Take Memphis for example – it currently is the second most violent city behind Detroit (and Memphis only lost by 2 violent crimes per 100,000 people a year). A friend of mine who worked in the ER in Memphis talked about how there were so many stabbings and violent crimes a day in that only a small fraction were reported. What a terrible life many people live. As I sit at my computer and think that Micah’s story was “close to home”, it makes me realize how un-close it really is. It puts life into perspective for me and gives me a sadness and a pain for those hurting right now whose life is like this every day. I pray that I will always hurt for the broken.

School, Siggies, & Shoes

I’m sitting in my accounting class right now. My very last accounting class. Ever. Suuuuuch a relief. I love my professor …. and by that I mean that I think he’s a nice man. I superly hate his class though. He’s one of those that gets a hold of a joke and just holds on for dear life. When we start packing up before class is actually over (he’s also one of those that keeps you right up until the EXACT moment class is supposed to be over) he’ll say “Ok church, don’t get your songbooks out, I’m still preaching” or something like that. Maybe funny the first time but definitely not the next 25 times. He’s also one of those that gets to telling a story that may have one tiny aspect relative to our class so he spends about 20 minutes telling an analogy but by the end you have no idea what that has to do with accounting. Oh well…this is my very last class and my second to last day of undergraduate classes EVER.

Last night we had our senior thing. I thought I might maybe cry but I sure did just bawl when we started singing our “secret song”. (this song is so secret that while pledging our VP said “THIS IS A SECRET – NEVER TELL ANYONE” as her man-friend sat in the room listening with us) The seniors on the first 3 rows were sniffling substantially until our sponsor came by as if she were putting on a persformance and grabbed all of our pinkies. She walked the outside of the aisles and grabbed all Siggies pinkies really dramatically – a silent way to say “with Siggie love”. It was hilarious and not remotely special. Either way, I can’t wait to come back for Bid Night, Homecoming, and Sing Song. I’m already planning a road trip. It’s exciting to move on and leave club to these girls but I’m also excited to be “that Siggie” that comes back for events.

I have a beef with the kid that sat in front of me in Crisp’s class and with this kid that sits near me now. Every single day in my class last semester, this boy would turn around in his seat (pretending to stretch) and would stare at my shoes and then work his way up to making eye contact and then would turn around really quickly. He did that every @#$# day in class and it made me want to punch him because a) I don’t like feet so quit looking at mine and b) why do you insist on looking at my shoes every day. Creeper. This kid today has done it three times already….does someone have something to tell me about my feet and/or my shoe choices? Weird.

Tonight is the Christmas party at the McCaleb’s (we missed it a while back…so now it’s Christmas in April). Wish me luck. I’m so close to being done…..

Air Conditioners, Planes, & Signage

Taylor has been suffering in his truck for a while now. The AC went out and he didn’t want to get it fixed because it would cost too much money. He has been sweating profusely every day for the past several weeks (maybe even months) because he wouldn’t get it fixed. We still drive his truck just as much though, so today I got in with my Ferrero Rocher in hand on our way to eat. I dropped the stupid ball of chocolate so we had to pull over and dig around in the floorboard so the chocolate wouldn’t met. While we were digging around he found some wires hanging down from below the dash. You probably see where this is going. Long story short, he plugged this thing in and his AC is working like a charm. That’s embarrassing. We would have taken it to someone who would have charged $300 to “fix” what really just needed to be plugged back in.

So about 2 years ago on a flight back from Ghana I met a man named Rob. He was a nice, young guy that struck up a conversation about where I was headed, etc. I told him I was coming back from Africa and that I was going to be a junior at ACU. He thought it was really cool that I had been there all summer so I showed him my pictures and talked about the experience. He asked what I wanted to do and I told him “Ohhh I don’t know. Maybe work for someone like World Vision or somebody that deals with Africa but is based in the states.” He then spouts out “Well my wife works for them so let me give you her contact information.” Fast forward 2 years, I’m graduating in 10 days, am unemployed with no real prospects, and am definitely moving to Fort Worth. So this lady comes to talk to our Marketing classes and introduces us to this dumbwad “LinkedIn” thing. She says its like Facebook for businesses so I get an account. I hate every second of it, but I somehow come across a guy named Rob that lives in Fort Worth and works for a consulting firm. I dig through my old stuff and find the contact information he gave me. I match his name and decide what-the-heck I’ll send him an e-mail. I tell him we met, I never contacted his wife, I’m moving to FW, blah blah blah. He sends me an e-mail back today saying that he would forward on my message to his wife (who is still with World Vision) and she will contact me. WAHOO! I don’t even know if anything will happen but the chain of events that led to today’s e-mail was incredible to me. Even if nothing happens, I was smiling all morning thinking to myself, “Eat that suckers!” (literally I was thinking that) because of all the people who have discouraged me from waiting for a time when I felt at peace. I promise you…my method is proven. So back off, ACU surveys. Even though I don’t have a job and I’m graduating in a week and a half, I’m going to be ok.

We were driving back from Abuelo’s and saw a sign that said “Far wood fer sale”. Awesome, Abilene. We saw another that gave the location for a certain business on “Industrail Blvd”. I guess they meant Industrial. Oops. I could make a killing off being a spellchecker for local businesses. (and most Chinese restaurants)

I’m speaking a small bit at club tonight in the senior farewell thing. I don’t know what to say. I would like to think that our senior class has made an impact, which they have, but in reality….club will go on. Surprise! ACU will go on too without us. I think most people assume we’re leaving school and club in a huge mess because we’re all graduating. News flash: life moves on without us. It’s going to be so great to say goodbye but I’m excited for the underclassmen to have a time to shine and to lead like we did. It’s time to move on…

Wildcat Preview Days & Faith

Today was my last…very last Wildcat Preview Day. It would have been kind of sad had I not been exhausted from staying up late last night to finish a take-home test. Either way, it was a good day and I met some cool kids. I just want to shake sense into everyone and say “Come to ACU, stupid!!!” And by stupid I mean bright young adults that will surely excel here. I hate leaving work feeling like I haven’t given it everything though, and that’s how I left today. I had about 110% fake energy which bothered me, but what can you do. I also get tired of making suggestions or offering advice that falls on deaf ears. We can’t see our office improve if we aren’t willing to address problems as they arise. Making generic comments in meetings or sending out vague e-mails doesn’t necessarily fix personal problems. I don’t think I always have the answer by any means, I just wish I could be content with how things are. I guess that’s how God made me different but still…mediocrity makes me cringe.

I talked to George Pendergrass today for a little while and he asked what I was doing after college. I told him I didn’t know and I described a little about what I would like to do. I told him – yet another adult – that the money didn’t matter as much as my passion for what I was doing. He understood maybe a little more than others did but it wasn’t until my conversation with him that it dawned on me why I seem so different in that regard than all my peers. The answer: my parents. I think today I fully realized what an incredible gift I was given with my parents. I knew all along that they were way better than most parents and that I could tell them most anything (by the way I’m on drugs, Mom) but today I realized one incredible lesson I learned and that is Faith. Sunday school teachers talk about it, entire volumes are devoted to the subject but no one can really explain it. It’s just something you have to witness for yourself. My parents were the kind of people that would take jobs without knowing the salary but rather by listening to God and His plan. Talk about faith…phew. Now I know why I sound like an idiot when I tell people the same thing. I learned it from my faith-walking parents and now I’m walking the same way. Even when I wait on decision and don’t feel at “peace”…whether I acknowledge it or not I am walking by faith. Man, what a gift. Thanks Sparks family. I guarantee I’m in the minority of children who learned such a valuable lesson by witnessing it first hand.

Enough sappies for the day. Taylor and I almost died on a run tonight (not really but I think my body would rather be chunky than forced into exercising) and we took Mack with us. We stopped to talk to Lindsay and Kat and Mack figured out that he could back up far enough to wear his fatso neck skin would slide out of his collar. We looked like idiots chasing our dog but luckily (thanks to Papa) we taught him to come back. We got his collar and leash back on and Taylor just kept saying “BAD DOG BAD DOG” over and over again. Finally I was like, Taylor…you gotta hand it to him – that was smart. He’s quite the sneaky catdog.

In case anyone is wondering…I’m graduating from a university in 12 days. I just hope I make it through this week.

Steaks, Puppies, & Kylie

That last word was thrown in for funzies since I was just g-chatting with Kylie about my newfound blog.

Taylor and I went to FW this weekend to hang out with some friends and it was a grand ole time. We ate steaks at Drew’s house with his family, Estebaan & Whitney, Jerrod, and their Latvian student Laura. I’m excited to be in a big city with traffic (at least I will be for the first day), places to shop, and restaurants to choose from. We ate at Chipotle, which was delicious, and we didn’t know anyone…I loved it.

I’m ready to move somewhere and start new. What I mean by that is I’m ready to walk into Wal-Mart and not have to stop every other aisle to carry on conversations with people I really only know because I met them one time freshman year and have waived to ever since. Know those people? It drives me nuts. It’s like that Seinfeld episode where Elaine keeps waiving to the guy in her building and he just ignores her one day. I want to ignore people sometimes. Not in a mean way, but in a I-just-woke-up-and-I’m-just-trying-to-buy-cinnamon-rolls-so-leave-me-alone-at-the-grocery-store kind of way. I knew this guy once that I met one time 4 years ago and for the first 2 to 2 1/2 years we did the awkward “hey ____” as we passed by. It slowly evolved into a head nod which slowly evolved into a small smile which slowly evolved into nothing. Soon, though, the lack of awknowledgement turned into an awkward encounter because we would just try to avoid all eye contact with each other. Now, I basically jump in the bushes anytime I pass him because it has become that awkward. How does that happen? Oh well…at least I don’t have to fake a smile when really I can’t even remember how I met him or what his name was. The ones that scare me are those “Hey Sarah!!!!!!” when – let’s face it – I’ve never seen the person in my life. Apparently I have, and we had a great time, but yikes – I can’t remember now. I know I’ll miss the frequency of these encounters in FW…

We looked at puppies today. Oops! They are collie/lab/retriever mixes and cuuuuuute cute. I told Taylor we shouldn’t go because we just would go home with one. Sure enough here we are on the back porch of Estebaan’s grandma’s house holding these little fur balls that can’t even really walk yet. Watching newborn puppies attempt to walk is almost as painful as working with middle school kids. The awkward meter is just off the charts. These puppies were spread-eagle on the concrete trying to move one leg at a time. Painful. They were still cute though. I think Taylor was so in love with this one little boy that if Whit and Estebaan don’t take it, we’ll end up with another dog. That will equal 1 1/2 dogs. Maybe Mack will learn to act more like a canine over time.

It’s pass the key time. I woooonder who it is!! We sure do marry them off.

Catdog & Sexies

Title in reference to that stupid show on Nickelodeon: So I heard this rustling around the other day while Mack was finding a place to lay (he’s 70 pounds so it’s quite the process). I turn around to look and sure enough my dog has found a nice place on the back of the couch. Unbelievable. We’re borderline obsessed with our dog so much so that Taylor and I were eating breakfast and he was thinking about dropping our kids off at college and becoming empty-nesters, (maybe a little ahead of himself..) so I told him, naturally, that was a weird thought and how we’re empty-nesters right no. His response? “No we aren’t” as we both look over at our dog sitting as stoic as possible next to the table where he knows we’ll feed him 1/2 of our plate at most every meal if he just works his charm. Behold our catdog:

So last night I went to the 2nd of 6 lingerie showers I’m going to in the next week. Majority of these showers are for THWAD members (the pod in Barrett Hall) and it is weird to me that everyone is getting hitched. I’m excited for them but it’s overwhelming the amount of money and time that will be devoted to showers & weddings this summer. Phew. It was so good, though, to hang out with those girls. Hard to believe our 4 years at ACU are almost up. I can’t wait to come back though….I want to be “that person” that can afford to pay for kid’s to go to ACU. Maybe we’ll be kazillionaires and be able to do that. I feel sure that I’ve given enough to the school already though to have some sort of a monument or maybe a building in my name. That’s not too much to ask, right?

I love meeting new people. If I see a weirdo person on campus, my immediate thought is “I want to talk to them”. I don’t know why. There’s a guy named Duran on campus that always wears silly sweatpants and an Indiana Jones hat & settler boots. I just love the guy. He’s really smart and so nice if you just talk to him. If it weren’t for that obscure obsession with meeting new and different people, I wouldn’t have most of the multicultural friends I have. We white folk stick to our kind pretty good. Well I guess everyone does. Like I told LYNAY in my senior speech though, if you don’t like people that are different – culturally and ethnically – you’re going to be in a heap of hurt in heaven. So much can be learned from other cultures and I want to learn it all. I mean we had a small Korean man sing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” at our rehearsal dinner, for goodness sake. What would our lives be like without Steve-Chan and the way he pronounced words. Ribrlaly? Oh…he means library. He seriously is one of my favorite people ever and I just wouldn’t have met him had it not been for ACU and its multiculturality (college dollars well spent on that word…thanks mom).

Wings & Money

I almost became a vegetarian tonight. It was very close to being final. I looked up a recipe for wings tonight because we bought some delicious chicken at Wal-Mart. I go to the store and buy the wing sauce, get home and open the chicken. Hooooly crap! There are actual full-length flying wings in our fridge. Maybe this is normal for most people, but I’m new to this homemaking stuff so I google “how to cut chicken wings” and it gets very straightforward instructions. Luckily, someone gave us some killer knives and I got the largest meat cleaver I could find. As I gag, I try to pull apart the wing and I realize that I can almost see this chicken’s beady little eyes telling me how I should be eating vegetables and fruit for dinner instead. I realized you actually have to saw through the bone – which is absolutely repulsive – so I just slammed that thing down as hard as I could to make a good clean break. Taylor said it was his favorite meal…and the chicken was pretty good in the end…but I think if I have more encounters with butchering almost-live animals, I might decide that meat is overrated. At least while I’m cooking.

I have a love-hate relationship with International Business. I love what we talk about but I hate it because I always leave feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Today we talked about how Denmarkers (you heard it) are the most happy people in the world. They had some big elaborate reason why, but really we just ended up talking about America again and how we are greedy and in it for the money and material stuff. In this video, the Danish guy said, “Americans just need to not worry about money, but rather doing something they love.” HEELLLLOOO that’s what I tell all these people who try to help me find a job. I just don’t care about the paycheck. If I did, I wouldn’t have worked in ACU Campus Visits at $5.15/hr. Thank goodness they raised minimum wage but still I would work there as long as it covered my bills. Now that I’m getting out into “the real world”, I keep telling these career experts that I guess I want to go non-profit, because I have to care about what I’m doing. Chances are, I’m not going to be passionate about being the top Cutco knife salesman in the United States. However, put me in a place where people matter and social justice is at the forefront and I will thrive. I guarantee I can sell…I just need to be passionate about what I’m selling or where I’m working. People think I’m nuts – even the “career experts” – and it’s about to drive me crazy.

I’ve narrowed it down to a list of the jobs I think I might love (None are very likely but who cares):
1. Travelling professionally and taking others with me to broaden worldviews & help others experience what I have
2. Opening a Wayside Waif in Texas…possibly a dog spa also. Don’t judge.
3. Running a business with Taylor that helped the poor find sustainability
4. Cooking tours around the world (I mean it would be fun, right?!)
5. Starting my own marketing/management/people-centric consulting firm for churches & non-profits
6. Managing partner at Ernst & Young (sike…that’s just in there for Taylor)
7. Being a professional youth volunteer that goes on all trips and acts as the “fun” one

That’s it for right now. I’m sure I’ll think of others. It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.

Roses, Lancaster, & Africa

Our rose bush is dying. How can we plant something 1 month ago and it already keel over? Everything else seems to be ok but my goodness. It’s really quite embarrassing.

So these girls came today to visit from Lancaster, TX. I now remember why I love my job. First off, they were really funny. One girl brought her mom, 2 aunts, and a friend. They loved ACU so much that they cried, jumped up and down, and told me they fell in love with me. It’s times like today that I remember what a crazy incredible place this is, and why I love my job – all 60 hours a week of it. (slight exaggeration, but really..)

I had a dad about a month ago come up to me at the desk and say, “so I heard you talking about downtown Abilene. Where are some good 18 and up places for us to go tonight?” Oh…excuse me, sir? Is that a joke? Did you forget what university you were currently touring? So to answer his question (I was only talking about the thriving metropolis on the south side – like the mall) I was trying to say vague restaurants like Chili’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, etc. that had a bar but weren’t too awkward to say outloud. He of course proceeded to ask which bars were only in Abilene. He kept pressing me so my options either were to quietly talk to him or send him to the public computers where the rest of the guests were. Long story short, I end up on the Guitars website (classy) when over walks the Director of Admissions. That’s embarrassing. Did I mention, also, that this same dad took a smoke break during the Jacob’s Dream part of the tour with Dani? Hilarious.

I talked to a lady on the phone yesterday about jobs in Fort Worth and she had been to the Village of Hope. We talked for a while about what she was doing and about my internship and it made my heart hurt. I want so badly to go back and to take Taylor, mom, & Jared. It’s such an incredible place and I think I never fully brought my whole heart back to the U.S. when I left.

Speaking of, in Winegeart’s class the other day, we were talking about America like we normally do. It’s international business so of course we bring up the country we live in right along with the others. Basically what was said is that America was built on Christian principles and we have become so far removed from that. Everyone knows this, but we listened to a lecture by a guy who used to be a laywer in the Bush Senior administration. He presented quote after quote after quote from the founding fathers and other old-timers about the original intentions for our country. Interestingly enough, in 1859 Darwin introduced his book about evolution. In 1869, a new president took over Harvard and brought evolution theory into law. Harvard originally had a mission that said something like “we will educate and teach the truth and bring all students to know Jesus Christ”. Sometime over the past 150 years, their motto has been shortened to “truth”. So in 1902-ish, a supreme court dude brought evolution to the government and the idea that law is an ever-evolving concept, separate from religion. In 1906, ACU was founded. The point? Before 1906, there was no need for Christian colleges because every university was a Christian one. We then started talking about Christianity and how we’re all compromising our values and becoming unsure of the definition of “absolute truth”. Basically, it was very thought provoking and I came home and asked Taylor what we were going to do with our lives to bring heaven to earth. Any ideas? How can a country come so far…and how can a people come so far….and how do we get back?

I don’t know, but I’m eating some delicious sandwiches with Belinda and Taylor tonight so I invite you to come discuss it over dinner.

Sims, Ideas, & COBA

Oops. We bought the Sims and I can’t stop playing. It’s the dumbest game and I think “oh I’ll just play until they reach gold aspiration” (don’t know what I’m talking about? Good.) but I end up playing forever. Taylor has his baseball game so we make the lamest couple just playing our stupid games. I think I just love the fact that I am not having to think and I get to decorate virtual houses. And shop. It’s kind of a racy game though that should never be promoted for children. I’ll keep that in mind when the little blueberries (anyone??) come along.

Do you ever have a really good idea and someone else just takes it and runs with it all the while pretending it was theirs? Man that makes me frustrated. I think God constantly surrounds me with testing people to change my attitude. I think he puts people in my life that push all of my buttons just so I will learn to love even when it is hard. Of my top ten list of most obnoxious traits (whistling, singing American-Idol-style out loud, constant tapping, making mouth smacking noises, and saying “aaaaaawwwwkwaaarrrddd” when things really aren’t, just to name a few…) God puts people in my life that hit up all 10 at the same time. Quite the humbling experience when you finally realize you were being a turd all along. I just wish sometimes God would write me a nice note to teach me a lesson or maybe just let me think I’m right for once. Just kidding but really…maybe the more obnoxious I act towards others, the more obnoxious of a situation or a lesson I will be taught.

I’m T – 2 weeks away from graduation and I hope I can make it. I know that I’m so close to ending this madhouse we call school. This is my second semester in a row to take 18 hours and I am about to croak. What’s the worst about taking that many hours is the classes that are so pointelss you want to scream. It’s my senior year…how do I still have joke classes? What I’ve been so impressed with is the fact that even though I’ve had boring professors in COBA, I’ve never taken one class in which I didn’t learn a thing. I sure did take several in other buildings that were you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me types. I’m about to the limit of absences before I get dropped in almost all of my classes. The worst part is that I don’t care at all. Yikes.

In my Intro to Business class first semester Junior year, I knew I was really going to like this thing we call the College of Business Administration. At the same time, I also started learning about how to make a profit. Shortly thereafter I realized that I just don’t care about making a lot of money. Maybe I’m in the wrong field…sorry parents! Either way, I’ve absolutely loved my time there and I’m sad I’ve only had 2 years there instead of a normal 4. I get nervous that I should have been paying closer attention in various classes and that once someone hires me as a marketer I’ll realize I don’t really know what I’m doing. Will someone find me a job where I can just consult on what I know, work when I want, and travel the world…all while taking my husband? Great. Thanks.

Taylor made

Anyone hear the song “Tailor Made”? I like to think she meant Taylor….like my Taylor. This post is dedicated to why I love my husband and why everyone should appreciate him like I do. Let’s start by saying he doesn’t have a mohawk anymore…

I always wondered why God put us together on the VERY first day at ACU. Really? Is that a joke? I had a super-great plan about finding the man of my dreams somewhere along the way but not dating seriously until my senior year at the earliest. Lo-and-behold I met him through his ex-girlfriend through our parents through Harding University’s social clubs. (It’s a long story) When I met him I thought he surely had to be a jerk because he was too good-looking to be a nice guy. Even on our first hang-out I thought “well he sure is dreamy so I’ll go out with him because he’s attractive but that will be it”. As it turned out…I was wrong. Thank goodness.

Approximately 3 years, 8 months, and 4 days later…I’m married to the most wonderful man. He treats me unbelievably well and he will forever be loyal and faithful. One of his main priorities is being the best provider he can. Not many people can say that their spouse puts others’ needs before theirs, but I can. Although on occasion I just want to splurge and buy a shirt…he works so hard to provide the best for us. His job is making memory foam pillows. Why? Because it’s an income and he’s not too cool or above certain positions. When he heard that ACU needed a “transportation specialist” and he knew it would be extra money, he jumped at the chance. He’s now a pillow-making golf cart boy and I love him for that. Not many people can say either that their spouse is humble or not above certain titles or positions.

These types of jobs are typically reserved for high school dropouts, addicts and the like. At least that’s what we imagine. Taylor will graduate college in 4 years with a bachelor’s and master’s of accounting. He has rougly a 3.8 GPA, got offers to intern with 3 of the big 4 accounting firms, and is working for E&Y in Ft. Worth in October. He’s good at just about anything he does – which, if I weren’t so stinkin’ proud of him, would make me want to barf. He is incredibly talented and yet he cares nothing about appearances or materialistic crap.

He loves our dog. May sound stupid, but if he cares that much about a mutt dog with a half-black tongue and scary hair, I know he’ll be an awesome father. Just like his dad, Taylor has strong convictions that are unwavering. He cares for people others don’t, he has patience to deal with extremely testing individuals, and he constantly looks for the good in others…even when I try my best to complain about situations or friends. He challenges me to be nonjudgmental, loving, and patient.

He eats ice cream like a little boy, plays MLB baseball video games for hours on end, puts cans and other trash in the sink instead of the trash can, leaves the toilet seat up, has a nerdy obsession with computers and how they work, is the most loyal and dedicated friend you could have, makes excel spreadsheets for any occasion, gets talkative at night when I’m trying to sleep, tickles me until I want to punch him, can’t go out to eat without ordering appetizers and enough food for the city of Abilene, talks relentlessly in his sleep, wears the same pair of jeans for weeks on end, loves to read and do crosswords, laughs so hard he almost cries, and I couldn’t be more in love with him.