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So two of the three years that this blog has existed, I have come to this space around this time of year to make promises and commitments that I have completely failed to stand upon. Like this one. Or this one. In case you aren’t interested in clicking the links, you’ll most likely be unsurprised to find out that the promises that I’ve failed to keep are most specifically about how often I will write here.

Well, nevermore shall this be the case. This year is the year. I’m not going to fall into the same traps and pitfalls that I’ve fallen into in the past. I have learned from past mistakes and I know now how to be more true to myself and my goals. I think that I’ve written here before about how important writing is to me. Throughout my junior year of high school and on through my freshman year of college I meticulously kept a journal. It’s not rare for me to scan back through those entries and writings and enjoy a fresh insight into myself from years past. At this stage in our lives, I truly believe that I owe that to Kendall and my future selves.

So here goes, without further ado, my 2014 New Year’s Resolutions, in a very particular order: (more…)

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Our … Friends

New Year's Eve

Here are some faces that, if you know us, you may not have seen in awhile… or ever. These are our … Friends.

We spent New Year’s Even in Tampa (a fine meeting place if you’re trying to see the Gamecocks play football) with some old friends from Baton Rouge. The above group of people, Gopal, Richard, Elise, Mark, Dickson, Kendall and I (plus a few more) spent more or less every weekend together while we all lived in the same area code. However, we were slowly but surely separated by time and professional obligations; Dickson and Elise moved to Naples, Richard (whom you may remember from earlier in this space) to Detroit, Gopal and Mark to Findlay.

When we saw everyone this last weekend, it was the first time that we had spent time together, as anything resembling the whole group of us, in well over a year. It was very early into the two days together that things were returning entirely to normal as DooDoo played wingman to Gopal, Dickson and Gopal argued about USC/UGA, Elise and Kendall squealed and danced to terrible pop songs (I totally didn’t though), and Mark made jokes about the guys “parashatting” into the stadium.

When I talked to my Dad about the weekend, I started to say, “It was great to see all the ____________ friends again.” Then I came to the realization that I couldn’t fill in the blank. We are at a point in our lives where friends now defy labels. So far, we’ve had our high school friends, our college friends, our Ultimate friends and so on and so forth. It seems that everyone has had a reason to be your friend. Once you escape all of those seemingly predetermined destinations in life, your friends become just that, your friends.

So, while I think that some part of me will still seek to define who these people are to me, I can be sure of one thing: these are my … Friends and just as much as they are undefined so is this stage in life. I sure am glad that they’re around for us to walk through these undefined 20-something time.

Outback Bowl

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Mckinley Frisbee

We were home for the holidays this year and, while I’m not going to take the time now to tell you about it, man did we have some fun. The holidays are only relevant insofar as they lead to a fantastic segué for what I’m hoping to write about for this entry.

We get three Christmases when we start in Atlanta on Christmas morning.

From about 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. we do things the traditional Aguilar way. We open presents one-at-a-time as they are handed out by my father. It takes quite some time but the pace of it can be nice. You get to watch each individual reaction so you don’t miss the small moments (like when Sie Deen doesn’t realize that a playbill to a Broadway play means that she and James are going to see the play… ON BROADWAY).

Then we drive to Lugoff, S.C. and do Christmas the Williamson Sr. way. The entire extended family gathers into the living room of Grandma and Grandpa Williamson and everyone opens presents from the Grandparents and the Grandparents open presents from everyone. It creates this fantastic atmosphere of glee as 20+ people rip open gifts and then those 20+ people enter this chaotic merry-go-round of trying to see just what everyone got in the small space of 30 minutes.

Finally, after gorging on Christmas lunch, we head back to Aiken, where everyone else has already examined their “piles” yet done the favor of leaving them, more or less, where they were found for our viewing pleasure. All that’s left to do after we arrive is to watch Mom and Dad open their presents from the kids. It’s an overwhelming aura of Christmas joy and spirit that, quite frankly, is more and more stunning upon every viewing.

One common thread throughout the entire experience is the character that I’m dubbing Guilty Patriarch.

At each and every familial stop, the relative patriarchs lament many of the gifts they receive as too extravagant, too much, too expensive, too unnecessary. It’s an endearing sight because these men are in every circumstance, monetarily at any rate, the sole reason Christmas stands the way it does in every house. Yet, all four of them (both Fathers and both Grandfathers) feel that they deserve the least of all those present.

It’s hard to understand growing up and even as a young man. That is until you finally receive that gift that you really don’t feel like you deserve or need and the only reason you finally come to terms with accepting it is that your loved ones convince you that it’s the right thing for you. Such was the case this year as I unwrapped a brand new laptop from Kendall.

I was overwhelmed with guilt immediately and began considering just how much that hunk of metal cost and whether or not I really needed or deserved it. What else could we buy with that money? What kind of trip could I take her on? Those questions and more plagued my mind and led to a not-so-desirable reaction of, “You really shouldn’t have!”

Nonetheless, Kendall convinced me that I deserved it and here I am typing this entry on that all-too-expensive hunk of metal. I’ve reconciled that if I’m going to let her spend this much money on me, I’m going to make good use of it. So, while my 6 year old lap top was a little too worn down to handle all the videos and pictures that I would have otherwise wanted to include in blog posts like this one, I’m dedicating myself to not only writing more but making it visually appealing and engaging. If I don’t… Man, will I feel guilty.

This leads to an entirely different side of being a father that I feel, mostly jokingly, that I recently experienced. That is the Proud Father. You know, the guy in Leave it to Beaver who sits in the stands and shouts, “That’s my boy! That’s my son out there!” The father who parades his children’s drawings around as if they are a thousand Van Goghs just waiting for the auctioneer to come take them away. That was me on our back deck this afternoon.

You may or may not know (you certainly didn’t read about it on this blog) that Kendall and I just had a huge life experience in the purchase of our first dog, McKinley. There’s plenty that we can discuss on that general subject at a later time. However, McKinley had a big moment in her life as she played fetch with a frisbee successfully for the first time. Now, to many, this may seem like a natural course of action in a dog’s life and that may actually be the case but when the frisbee is as important to you as it is to this family, it’s a moment worth documenting.

So, without further adieu, I present McKinley’s First Frisbee Fetch!

On a desperately awkward sidenote, it’s become readily apparent to me that I’ve lost the writing touch in my absence from the blogging world. I apologize for the dry state of this piece and I can only hope and pray that, from this moment forward, things will liven up a little bit.

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We’re getting so close!  Here’s a video of the house that we’re in the process of buying!  We close on June 28th!

It’s a long video, so unless you have 8 minutes to spare, just skip to 6 minutes in the video to see the important stuff!  🙂

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Dog Days Are Over

In the interest of continuing this trend of blogging more often, the dog days of summer are over.

In 8 hours I will embark on the next part of the journey. It’s going to be the best day of my life.

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What We’re Up to These Days

So, I just checked and the last post promised that up next would be a recap of a ski trip we took over new years with college friends.  OK…so we struggle a little bit with keeping up with the blog.  I’ve made a new goal to improve on this.  I’m probably not going to back and post on all the important things we missed…so I’ll just start here with giving an update of what we’re up to lately.

JOBS!!!

Since we last posted, Michael finished up with his Master’s Degree at LSU, and promptly got the job offer of his dreams.  He accepted and will start teaching English to freshmen and seniors at Catholic High School in Baton Rouge on Monday.  It is a GREAT private, very well respected school for BOYS ONLY.  Sounds great, huh?  Well, that’s not even the best part.  It is listed in his contract that he will be the “Disc Sports Mediator”…aka Ultimate Frisbee Coach.  And if you ask Michael about the job, he will not hesitate to tell you that Ultimate is what got him the job and maybe rub it in your face a bit if you’ve ever taunted him about his frisbee addiction.  So, he’s been busy the past few weeks with planning and getting himself ready to start school on Monday.  He also has to have a complete wardrobe change for this job with ties and all, so we’ve been working on building up his closet a bit with dress clothes…yep, can you imagine, Michael in a shirt and tie EVERY day?!?!

My job has been great and I’m still really liking it.  In a couple of weeks, I’ll actually be moving to a different area of the refinery.  I’m excited to change things up a bit, get some new experience, and learn about something new.

Half-Marathon!  

My running buddy, Carissa and I have decided to run a half-marathon, coming up in October.  We’ve been training pretty hard for it and have been pretty good about keeping it up…3 short runs during the week and a long run on the weekends.  Right now we’re up to about 7 miles for our long run…over half way to 13.1!!!

For our anniversary, I got Michael a weight bench and weight set.  We have a two bedroom apartment, so I had to give up the idea that we would have a guest bedroom, and now Michael has a weight room instead.  It’s been really nice to have and Michael has been working out very consistently these days…with some great improvement, if you ask me.  He’s also playing on a Club Ultimate team out of Birmingham called Iron Men.  They rock.

This Week’s Sensory Experience

Watch

We’ve become addicted to the TV show Friday Night Lights, thanks to Hace and Sally.  We started watching a few weeks ago, and we’re already close to the end of season 2.  Sometimes we will sit and watch 3-4 episodes in a row.  We are able to stream all the seasons on Netflix, and I would recommend to anyone!  This new habit has also helped significantly cut back on my not so good TV watching…ahem…The Bachelorette…

Read

The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  Oh so good.  I’m about halfway through and never want to quit reading!  Michael has already agreed to take me to see the movie when it comes out on August 10th…which gives me a goal to finish it by, not that it will be difficult.  A couple other books I have read recently worth mentioning are Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo and The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.  Both were awesome.

Listen

My boy Kenny kind of dropped off a bit for me in the past couple years, but seeing this song live at the Bayou Country SuperFest in May brought me right back.  I LOVE this song.

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Resolution

As I said last year, I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions.

After stating that, I made a resolution. If you read this blog on the rare occasion that I/we update it, you will notice that I came nowhere close to keeping that resolution. So, instead of making a New Year’s Resolution this year, I will be making a Life Resolution.

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