Monday, December 5, 2011

Twinkie(s) update

Just moments ago, Amy and I walked out of her 30wk Doctor appointment.  This was one of the most exciting visits we've had through our journey.  Today we saw the kiddos, in ultra-sound form of course and it was nothing short of amazing.  Amy and I saw two little human beings politely fighting for space and yet looked quite charming all the while.  Our girl, Finley, is weighing in at 3lbs 11oz and Tyson at 3lbs 2oz.  Remarkably, both kids' heartbeats are exactly 135 beats/minute.  Each member of Amy's pregnancy team, including her OB, is extremely happy with how the kiddos are growing and how well Amy is doing throughout her term.

As you can probably sense, this is an extremely exciting time for us.  I'm so proud of Amy and the job she's doing and we can't wait for Tyson and Finley to arrive.  A big Thank You to all our family and friends for their incredible support.  This whole experience is an amazing miracle.

In a short blink of an eye, life is about to change - I believe it's for the good.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

One week from today we will celebrate our next major holiday, Thanksgiving.  Unfortunately, in my own mind and without good explanation, this holiday has taken the famous backseat.  Has Thanksgiving become that four day weekend where we spend time with family and don our ever-so-popular elastic waist-banded pants?  
For most, it’s unlikely we walk around the workplace spouting “I can’t wait for Thanksgiving to hurry up and get here!” Understandably, there are no presents to open nor is it a socially acceptable time to watch Clark W. Griswold.  BUT there is something special about Thanksgiving this year...  
I received a random phone call today.  As an office this year, we thought it would be different to send Thanksgiving cards to our customers.  The phone call today was from a customer letting us know how much it meant for her to receive a card this particular holiday.  She went on to describe her family’s Thanksgiving traditions and why she was thankful.  In just a few short minutes, she provided the most compelling reminder of why this holiday should be toward the top of our Favorite(s) list.  
As American’s, we have many reasons to be thankful.  We enjoy a lot of freedoms, don’t we?  As I take stock today, I’m so thankful for family, faith and health.  This week and next, take a few moments to live in the present and enjoy your Thanksgiving Week.    

Happy Thanksgiving!
Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.  ~Theodore Roosevelt

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Thinking of Jess

12 months ago, we lost an angel.  

Jessica was a sister.  The only girl among five boys in our family, she was boss.  Every Sunday afternoon growing up, our families would have lunch and spend time at our grandparents home - playing wiffle ball, swimming in the creek, shooting hoops and playing wrestle-mania.  Jess and I also spent the better part of five years in Springfield together - meeting for coffee, going to church on Sundays and enjoying time with our friends.  
Though she is not with us today, her legacy politely begs the question: how do you spend your time?  
Jessica taught us many lessons.  Arguably, none more important than how she spent her time.  Jess was a giver.  She invested her time in other people.  Stamping an unforgettable footprint, she poured herself into family, friends and clients.  Jessica will forever be remembered as a person of love and encouragement.  May we always be reminded of how she lived that Golden Rule.  
One year ago, while driving to church, Jessica went on to receive her eternal reward.  I hear your giggle every day, Jess and have faith we’ll see each other again soon.  Love and miss you.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

My First Encounter with Amy

Needing to see how McKesson’s software was demonstrated to a prospect, my manager asked me to schedule a trip to see a live product presentation.  I had recently met a remote member of our sales team that week, Amy Fulks, who lived in Orlando but was in Springfield for a quarterly sales meeting.  Amy knows the McKesson product inside and out, so naturally I mustered a little courage to ask if she would mind my tagging along on an upcoming trip.  She politely obliged and while looking at her calendar, she mentioned a scheduled to Portland, Maine.  “You are welcome to be a part of this presentation, Jared, this should be a great opportunity to see the product and this particular group will not mind!”   
Two weeks later, I’m on a plane to Portland.  Not having a lot of business traveling experience under my belt, I decide to pack for my three day trip in my ‘larger’ suitcase.  Not a big deal, right?  Amy and I coordinated our travel plans to connect in Cincinnati, then on to Maine.  We hop aboard our plane, sit beside each other and bring on the small talk.  For two and a half hours we talked and coincidentally share a People magazine (the magazine of choice on our coffee table today).  When we arrive in Portland, Amy grabs her carry-on luggage and we head off.  While navigating our way through the terminal, I mention I need to swing by Baggage to get my suitcase.  Oh Lord, what have I done...
Here’s this beautiful girl, with God knows how many clothes and shoes she might need for a three day business trip in Portland, Maine - in January, nonetheless.  Amy jaunts off the plane with only a carry-on... and now, we’re waiting at Baggage for my suitcase.  Then it happens.  Suddenly, around the carousel, rolls my 49 lbs. suitcase.  Amy looks at my suitcase, then at me, at my suitcase - then back at me.  This moment drags on for what seems like hours!  With a smile on her face, she innocently says “you going somewhere after Portland, Jared?”  Demasculated and wanting jump on the carousel myself, I decide to own up to the fact that I perhaps over-packed.  So off we go down the terminal, my suitcase wheels leaving indentions on the concrete floor and Amy casually packing her carry-on...
Amy and I shared our first meal at DiMillo’s.  DiMillo’s is a floating seafood restaurant in the heart of Portland harbor.  Shutting out the rest of the world, we swapped stories over crab cakes and lobster bisque.  

While chatting away, Amy started blowing smoke about how good she is at the game of pool.  After listening to this for 15 minutes or so, it was time for us to find out whether this pool shark babble was for real.  We asked the waiter where we could locate a place to settle the score and luckily for me, there was a local joint just down the road.  After several games, Amy took a trip to the woodshed and enjoyed a slice of crow pie.  To this day, she claims she had an “off” night.
For the rest of the evening we drove around Portland talking on the Trust Tree.  When wanting to share something confidential, she would ask me, “are we on the Trust Tree?”    
Absolutely.  The next day after her presentation we drove around Portland checking out lighthouses and continued to enjoy each other’s company.  It was refreshing.  
We left Portland that day and connected back through Cincinnati.  I kept thinking how unfortunate it was for Amy to be heading back to Florida and me to Springfield.  As I walked Amy to her gate we witnessed something never to forget.  As Amy and I were saying our goodbyes, a uniformed soldier and his wife were also saying their goodbyes.   In that moment, I prayed for both that lady and myself, that we would see our special people again soon.  
One year ago today, I got to marry my special person.  For years I had heard people say they love their significant other more today than the day they got married...quite frankly, I thought it was a punchline - until today.  
Happy One Year Anniversary, Sweetheart!  I love you.  

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Room with a View

Do you ever feel the periodic need to reflect? Yesterday I was sitting on our back deck reading Dan Brown's latest work, The Lost Symbol and felt a 'moment' coming on. In what I'll call my Chamber of Reflection, I started thinking of how much I enjoy the view from my back deck - especially when sitting next to my wife and black lab.  My best moments of thought and reflection have come while enjoying this view.  Yesterday, however, I started wrestling the urge for a better view.  While it may sound ungrateful for what we already have (180 degrees from how I feel, btw), I had to be honest about my feelings.  For the right or for the wrong, I think perhaps I see the view from the back deck as a reflection of my success.  Which leads to my next series of thoughts...perhaps the only view isn't from the deck.

What does a great view mean to you?  How many times have you paid more money for a hotel room with a better view?  A couple years back, Police star Sting, paid just over $26M for arguably the best view in New York (click here). To some, the best view in the world is sitting in a field at a family reunion - looking at family members of four generations.  There was a great view in Branson this week - our nephew took his first steps in the basement of their home (view video here).  Not a bad basement view, huh?? In March, Amy and I were fortunate to have the view below on our honeymoon (USVI St. John).

My big question: Is the view off your back deck the only measuring stick to your success and happiness?  I hope not.  In your repository of memories, which view(s) bring a smile to your face?  What I felt yesterday was appreciation for my current view, but yet a yearning for something even better.  Don't we all have things that drive us to do and want better?  Better for ourselves and our family?  Alright, Alright - yes, I am guilty of wanting a better view from my deck.  But the beautiful thing about reflection is that now I know why I want the view...to better enjoy my memories from the things that really matter.  Family, faith and my contribution(s) to making this world a better place.

Whatever your room, my hope is that you find your measuring stick for happiness and success - along with the tools to help you achieve. Until next time, room service is on me!

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is to have succeeded." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Moments...Ahh, Special Moments

As most of you know, I enjoy posting periodic thoughts to this blog…especially when inspired. As of late, I’ve found myself busier than normal with the daily grind – getting in the way of all the fun stuff, some would say. However, today, I was inspired. I left the office about two hours early, as my “4:30” was about an hour drive. Driving through this small town I stopped at the county courthouse to check out their public library. I’m glad I did. The library was about 15X30 in size, and crammed top to bottom with books. Astonished, I found several modern books (books published in the last five years). I’ve been in a couple libraries in my day…for the good or for the bad…but, this bibliotheca was the quietest room I’ve ever been in. The only thing I could hear was their 1925 clock, ticking away as if it were on a mission to keep perfect time AND the 75 year old gentleman who volunteers at the library would make a slight whistling noise while taking a cherished breath. Those were the only two sounds. So I found a book I could indulge in and plopped down next to him. “Howdy Sir”, he said with a warm smile. I asked him if he was ‘holding down the fort today’, he smiled and “yep, sit down and have a read young man”…of course I obliged.

I found inspiration today from a passage in the book I picked up, The Fred Factor, the passage was by Winston Churchill. He said, “There comes a special moment in everyone’s life, a moment for which that person was born. That special opportunity, when he seizes it, will fulfill his mission – a mission for which he is uniquely qualified. In that moment, he finds greatness. It is his finest hour.” As I thought about those words, I jogged back to my college golfing days. Through the game of golf I’ve learned so much, so much about life, love (some politics) and other mysteries…haha…but I couldn’t shake one thought…a thought about competition. In a world filled with competition, I’m convinced we mostly compete with one thing and usually one thing only…and that’s our own potential. For when we compete against our best – best days, best moments, best self…we come closer to preparing ourselves for that moment Winston Churchill spoke of…the moment we fulfill our mission for which we are uniquely qualified.

My wish is to continue fighting the good fight – and that’s the fight with my potential. If we’re winners, I’m thinking we’ll one up Mr. Churchill’s statement and have many, not just one special moment. So...for all those with a glass…HERE-HERE….to special moments!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Better than yesterday...

Today was a great day. Not because I did something earth shattering, but because I did a series of things that might possibly lead to something great. Do you ever have those days where you feel like you're in the "flow"? David Allen, author of Getting Things Done coined the phrase - the flow of productivity. As I reflect on my day, I'm reminded of how great it feels to be productive. Productive with the things in life that produce results - the results that ultimately lead to reaching goals. You might ask, what was different about today than yesterday? I made my to-do list, prepared for my appointments and as a result, experienced success. Focusing on my tasks AND keeping the big-picture in mind...what a combination. Can you pursue your purpose AND profit, embrace your fixed values AND necessary change, how about remaining visionary AND executing the details well? That's what I'm striving for Willis. Learning from experiences and building on those experiences day after day. Tiger Woods has a famous saying about Tomorrow, "My goal tomorrow is to be better than I was today...a better golfer, better husband, better father and a better human being." I think it's possible. Will it take work? Absolutely. Will I wake up in the morning and feel like only giving 80 percent? Maybe. Will I find a way to be better tomorrow? Yes.

The task of being better tomorrow might feel daunting. It does to me. I'm strengthened by the feeling I have right now...being productive with the right things, keeping the big-picture in mind AND enjoying every minute of it. My hope is that you have this feeling on a regular basis...as for me, I'm in!!! Until next time, may your today be better than yesterday and your tomorrow better than today...take a moment and share your today with someone you love.