Sunday, August 31, 2008

And So it Begins...

Yes it is football seasons for everyone...including our children. Colin is playing defense for the Vienna Warhawks. To check out more of the action head over to my facebook album.

Who is your favorite team? Are you a college or pro football enthusiast? No matter what type of football action you gotta love the kids going strong. I am just grateful that it is 10 minute quarters with a running clock (so I know there is a finite timeline).

Today was the first full scrimmage against Springfield. The result was not what we were hoping for 0-6 but they played well and had fun.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Just QUIT!

I had to read a book that has a cover stating, “A LITTLE BOOK THAT TEACHES YOU HOW TO QUIT”.

The Dip by Seth Godin is a succinct 80 pages, presents glaringly obvious but understated facts. Not to be a cliché but this MUST read. Is it right to take an 80 page book and summarize it in one sentence? Know what will make you quit, why your quitting, and use quitting as a strategy…in other words, quit when you know you're on a dead end path. Godin states that most people fail because they either quit too fast and too often or they fail to quit pouring the resources into activities that they know will not pay off in the long run.

I am just as guilty as the next person; whether it be sports, academics, business, or relationships…it is hard for me to quit things and we all can get emotionally wrapped up in things and lose perspective. On the other hand I know people who never get passionate about anything and quit before it gets to hard.

Godin defines life-paths as curves. Of these there are two primary curves: The Dip and the Cul-de-Sac. The Cul-de-Sac curve is a dead end; you keep putting time, money, and effort into it and you just get nowhere. The Dip on the other hand looks something like this:

When you first start down a path, you are really excited about it so the reward is high. Additionally, other people are very happy for you and praise you - again, the reward is high. Then, in between the beginning of a task and its mastery, there is a potentially long period in which the reward vs. effort drops off. What the book guides the reader through questions and situations towards identifying whether your current struggle is a "dip" or a "cul-de-sac", and emphasizes that the moment you recognize that your situation is a dead end, that it is not only OK to quit, but it is, in fact, essential to success.

VERY FAST READ…I read slow and finished it in less than one afternoon.

One of the most interesting points I took away is that the world is becoming both smaller and bigger at the same time. While Thomas Friedman in The World is Flat shows us how the Internet has leveled the playing field…there is still room for small businesses if they put forward all their efforts to accomplish being #1 in their ‘niche’ market which can be defined by the product, the service, or the geography. In other words the world is infinitely small because of “The Best Pancake House in the World is in Conneat on the Lake”. How is this possible? It’s because Johnson’s Pancake House choose to be #1 in Pancakes serving Lake Erie. So are they really the best in the world? I don’t know but we all have made a similar statement about a product or service because someone choose to be #1 in their niche.

If you want to make sure your business strategy is on target, your marketing efforts aren’t in vain, have any doubts about what direction you are heading, whether all the exercise is worth it, then ask yourself 3 questions and see if you’re in the “DIP”.

Page 27 – The next time you're tempted to vilify a particularly obnoxious customer or agency or search engine, realize that this failed interaction is the best thing that's happened to you all day long. Without it, you'd be easily replaceable. The Dip is your very best friend.

Page 29 – ... the real success goes to those who obsess. The focus that leads you through the Dip to the other side is rewarded by a marketplace in search of the best in the world. A woodpecker can tap twenty times on a thousand trees and get nowhere, but stay busy. Or he can tap twenty-thousand times on one tree and get dinner.

Page 31 – It's human nature to quit when it hurts. But it's that reflex that creates scarcity. The challenge is simple: Quitting when you hit the Dip is a bad idea. If the journey you started was worth doing, then quitting when you hit the Dip just wastes the time you've already invested. Quit in the Dip often enough and you'll find yourself becoming a serial quitter, starting many things but accomplishing little. Simple: If you can't make it through the Dip, don't start.

Page 63 – Quitting is not the same as failing. Strategic quitting is a conscious decision you make based on the choices that are available to you. [and] Coping is a lousy alternative to quitting.

Page 66 – Sunk costs are not a good excuse to not quitting. Seth then goes on to challenge each of us to ask 3 questions which will help us determine where we are and if it is time to quit or stick it out…

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A quick laugh

I am sure if you are anything like me, you have been enjoying the Olympics on one level or another. Occasionally, you just need to laugh so I thought you would all enjoy the following demonstration on the uneven bars... VIDEO FEED

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Playing Uno and Reading Hardy Boys

Yep, that's what I did with my boys today. We played Uno and Read chapters 4&5 of The Tower Treasure. Sometimes I just love to sit with them and do stuff that they totally enjoy for a couple of hours. Actually, I do that every day but sometimes, I set aside hours to spend specifically with no Little Sister around. (usually she is with David or has already gone to bed)

Tonight was a no Little Sister around night and it was a lot of fun. I am Blessed and Highly favored- I love my kids!
They make me so proud - both who they are becoming and the decisions that they make.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New Plates!

I got new plates...and I'm not talking dishes! Yes, vanity plates for the car. I hate that term 'vanity' plate because there is nothing prideful or arrogant about this. They are not really that expensive and I think I drive nicer because of the reminder.
It was Sharon's idea to get plates...we had several ideas but this is what we both agreed on and decided to get. It is a constant reminder of how blessed we are and how we have gotten to where we are in life.
Thus far the Lord has helped us.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Wild Goose Chase Blog Tour

I was selected to participate in the Wild Goose Chase Pre-Release Blog Tour. I received a copy of the book in advance to review (release date: Aug 19). Exciting!!

The short review is: AWESOME STUFF!

For those more accustomed to a actual book review, here goes:

With great anticipation I read Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson. Following his phenomenal writing for In a Pit with a Lion, my expectations were high. Mark did not disappoint. Wild Goose Chase which challenges readers to embrace passion in pursuing their relationship with God delivers its message on-point and in a reader-friendly way, never is there an air of preachiness or condescension. This is just a guy who lives the adventure in a human way sharing the journey with others. Mark’s ability to tell a story captivates readers. He uses many examples and people (names kept the same in order to reveal their identities) to show successes in living a life of pursuing God by the lead of the Holy Spirit or the ‘Wild Goose.’ Reading this book gives insight to the things and emotions that can hold us back. Mark is not ashamed to talk about fear, guilt, being too comfortable, grace, and forgiveness. Each person who dares to read this book will find a place to be challenged for growth in their relationship with Christ. I hear the message about “Loving people when they least deserve it or expect it” ringing in my head. And I am glad to say that I acted on it today. Mark’s priority comes through loud and clear and that is: not to have readers know “more” but to inspire readers to live their adventure by choosing action courageously.

Read this Book then share it with a friend!

On that note, I have a FREE copy to give away. The first person to leave a comment on this post gets it. Good Luck!
**If you would like to purchase the book now, try here.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dog Pile!

I have been so lax with blogging in the last 3 or 4 weeks. We have been so busy!!
So, I will be posting several things to catch up. :)
This first post is just a cute picture of my "dog pile" crew.

This picture was taken during our vacation at Myrtle Beach but it is a "typical" Saturday occurance. I love watching the kids rough house with Dad.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Can I just say, "I hate email". Why can't we do all our work and communication through facebook? Am I crazy? I have spent the last three weeks since I came back from Myrtle Beach trying to get out from underneath all the email and today at 8:52am it happened!
There was no email in my Inbox for a whole 2 minutes!

My dream is to be able to communicate with everyone via one medium. You want to make a million dollars? Figure out how people can blog, email, and communicate about business, life, and family all in one spot. Obviously there are some security hurdles there but man it would be great to completely get rid of email! Someone would ask me, "What's your email?" and I would reply, "Don't have'll have to catch me on the super duper million dollar idea sight."

You would think with all the technology out there: facebook, twitter, ovvoo, digg, etc.

Ok Ok Ok

Maybe a little far fetched and silly...but I can dream can't I?


Friday, August 8, 2008


Enjoyed the opportunity to see a friend get promoted to LCDR. JR and his wife Jessica have become good friends and wonderful neighbors. I decided to head into Downtown DC to the Navy Memorial and watch an Army Officer promote a Naval Officer (you don't see that happen very often).
He has two beautiful young daughters (Belle and Noelle) who where there too. Great family, wonderful people. Looking forward to the promotion party tomorrow at their home.
The Navy Memorial was a perfect location to have the ceremony. I have seen a lot of promotions but this was a class act. If you have never gone through the Navy Memorial it is a really cool place to visit while in DC.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Don't Miss Out!


I think Seth Godin is one of the most forward thinking leaders out there today and he challenges people to look at where they are, where they are going, and why. I really appreciate how he challenges business leaders. He has the most popular blog on the Internet and it is one of my life goals to personally meet the man.

Through a friend of Seth's I got the inside scoop on his next big launch!

The TRIBE is like the Fight Club -- for ideas!

The Tribe will be an exclusive membership but it is open to friends for a short time. If you are willing to pre-order the book then you can get in on the ground floor of the Tribe.

The details are on Seth's blog.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Extreme Makeover - CIA Style

For all my friends in the technology and or intel community...there is a really good article from CIO Magazine on how the CIO of the CIA is doing business today as compared to the 'good old days'.

I found his choice of reading material interesting: The Big Switch, The New CIO Leader, and Enterprise Architecture As Strategy. The whole article gives as good a glimpse as one could hope for at an unclassified level as to the 'extreme makeover' that has been going on.

This is Part 1 of a 4 part series they are featuring. A friend of mine in the community, Lewis Shepherd the CTO for Microsoft's Government Division, has done a nice job of providing a quick overview and his thoughts on the whole series.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Colin signed up for football this year. He went to football camp last week and practices officially started last night. They started with helmets only, but by Wednesday or Thursday they will be in full gear. Practice is 5 days a week from 6-8:15pm; they will cut back to 3 days a week once school starts in September.

It was neat to watch the practice, they did lots of drills and sprints. The coaches will do evaluations this week in order to split the kids up into teams. Vienna will probably have 6 teams in Colin's weight class. Colin did a great job. He was exhausted by the end of practice.

I spent much of my youth in Texas so football is in my blood. Football is a cornerstone of daily life in Texas--some kids start as young as 5-years-old. But, watching Colin last night was strange. Strange, in that I realized how old he is---he is a young man now, a pre-teen. I hope we are ready for this! (the man part, not the football injuries that he may get---actually, guess I better be ready for that too. You know moms have to be calm and cool, they can't flip out if their son gets hurt.)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Packing for the Move

For anyone who hasn't heard yet, we have completed the home inspection for the townhouse that we are buying. We are planning to complete the closing process around Sept 17, 2008. We will plan to try to have the house and carpets cleaned as well as paint 2 of the rooms in the first few days. Then, we will MOVE. We can't wait!
The House is in Fairfax. It's a beautiful and charming historic downtown area. We are 2 blocks away from Main Street and look forward to strolling through downtown.

I have started packing. 14 boxes down and MANY more to go. :) 90 maybe??
Many things I won't be able to pack until we get closer to the move but I figure anything that can be packed now (ie: anything we won't use in the next 6 weeks) should be out of the way.
**The pictures above we taken about a year ago. The tenants graciously passed them on to us.