Don’t Call it a Comeback

My BFF Tom Brady led the Patriots to an incredible victory over Peyton Manning and the Broncos this past Sunday.  It was a thrilling victory, but a game that ends at 1am on a “Sunday” night makes for a rough Monday at work.

Don't Call it a Comeback

I recognize that not everyone likes football and that most people hate Tom Brady and the Patriots.  Thus, I won’t dive into the dramatic details of the game, but will highlight what it taught me about life in general:

(1)  I need to child proof my sports-watching skills in a hurry.  Otherwise, our kids will be getting lots of detentions for yelling, talking smack, and doing celebratory pelvic thrusts in gym class.

(2)  Never quit.  The Patriots were down 24-0 at halftime to the best team in the NFL.  I couldn’t take it anymore and turned off the TV to do work instead.  The weather in New England was terrible, which made any sort of passing-led comeback unlikely.   Plus, Peyton would continue to pour on the points, right?  Wrong.  The Patriots won.

(3)  Even if you do quit, like I did on Sunday night (Sorry, Tom!), there is still a “higher power” fighting for you behind the scenes.  It might be God, your family, or Tom Brady.

(4)  The mistakes, failures, and struggles in life will make the eventual celebration even sweeter.  You can either embrace the hard times and learn from them or let them consume you.

(5)  The Brady v. (P.) Manning debate is silly.  10-4 head-to-head.  5-2 in Super Bowls.  3-1 in rings.  There is no debate.

Happy Thanksgiving.  Yo.

The Groove

Other than the horrifying beatdown*** the Patriots are enduring as I write this on Sunday night, it was a great weekend.

I got to hang out with awesome friends from Capital City Church as we showed a little love to some rad kids who are living in one of DC’s homeless shelters.  There was lots of football, plenty of great food, and endless laughs.

Plus, an epic battle for little league football coaching supremacy.

Me and my boy Eric have known each other since the days when Ricky Martin was “Living la Vida Loca” and the Backstreet Boys were “Want[ing] it That Way.”  We put our 13-year friendship to the test on Saturday as our teams squared off on the gridiron.

Eric and Andrew

We tried to look hard, but you know, we’re from Virginia Beach.

Thug Life

I told my team there were three rules: (1) don’t get into a fight; (2) have fun; and (3) bust out some sick dance moves when you score a touchdown.  They did all three of those things.  One kid did a somersault after an incredible 30-yard touchdown run.  Good job, bro.

My “blue” team eventually toppled their “maroon” counterparts with a dramatic game-winning rushing touchdown as time expired.  I decided to sit out the next game to ensure that I went out on top and because I was way too hyped about a bunch of eight-year-olds playing flag football and I was worried about having a stroke.

The Groove

Our pre-game jumping jacks helped us develop the stamina we needed during our game-winning touchdown drive.

Jumping Jacks

More important than any win or loss, it was such a beautiful experience hanging with these kids. I just tried to be a positive, authentic, and goofy guy when interacting with these little dudes and dudettes.  It was one of those awesome, and rare, moments when I felt like I was doing exactly what I’m on Earth to do.  By the end of the day, the kids were repeatedly screaming my name to show off their juke moves and passing skills.  In addition to coaching them to gridiron glory, I chased them around.  A lot. Today, I can barely move.  However, the aches and pains were definitely worth it.  Especially because some of the kids thought I was the real Tom Brady.

Thanks, dudes.

We also picked up some cool baby gear this weekend.  Cribs, a dresser, chairs, and all that jazz. More importantly, some new threads:

Onesie Tie

“Amanda” insisted that we buy these little onesies…

Cute Onsies

In addition to those football and fashion throwdowns, we also had a food extavaganza on Friday night with some dear friends.  We had a lot of gift cards and treated some friends to a “nice” dinner.  Amanda is obsessed with Olive Garden and wanted to indulge in the culinary offerings of that “authentic” Italian restaurant.  As you can probably tell, I’m not a big fan of the OG, but she was happy and we had so much fun hanging out for hours and laughing way too much (mostly at Amanda and her passion for Olive Garden).

Olive Garden

Saturday night was also a blast. We got to hang out with 20+ friends from college while eating way too much fried turkey and pumpkin pie.  It is such a rewarding experience being able to keep in touch with people we’ve been friends with for the past 12 years.  Life has changed a lot since 2001, but I’m so thankful that we’re still on this journey together.

Last, and certainly least, I also tried a Pumpkin Spice Latte for the first time on Friday.  It tasted like someone squirted fake pumpkin-flavored chemicals out of a bottle and into a cup of coffee.  Oh, right, that’s exactly what happened.  Eww.

PSL

***Okay, the Patriots scored 28 straight points after I turned off the TV to write this post….and…we just won.  Holler.

The Unexpected

One of my favorite songs is U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”  Other than Soulja Boy’s “Crank That,” I can’t think of a song with such meaningful lyrics.  I also like that classic U2 song because it applies to some of the interesting and amazing people who read this blog.

About 50 people a day find this blog through Google searches.  If you are one of those people, welcome.  I swear I’m not this weird in real life.  I hope.

The Unexpected

(nevermind)

Not only is WordPress kind enough to provide a lot of neat statistical information, it also lists the actual search terms people use to find this blog.  A lot of them are pretty normal:

-iceiceandrew
-iceice blog
-iceiceandrew blog

Some are a bit more unique, but make sense in light of my previous posts:

thankful for my job
is chipotle the best burrito
-chubbies shorts
-tom brady gq
-make life less boring
mermaid rap
faith isn’t easy
classic white boy rap songs
dude too old for justin timberlake
glee costumes
rules for flag football

But, whoa, some of them are crazy:

-[[ insert lots of porn searches here ]]
-is play that funky music white boy a love song (obviously)
-losing a best friend due to the thug life
-sometimes my husband sucks (my wife says the same thing)
-how boring is it when two people wear the same shoes (That is the worst!)
-awful dude selfies
has stone cold steve austin ever felt lonely (probably)
-was jackie robinson a thug (no)
-grease: where are they now
-what are some good lady gaga gifts (I want to be your friend.)
-sweaty shirt
-woman crush wednesday is my mom (Hello, Oedipus.)
-should i sing endless love to her when she walks down the aisle (Please invite me to your wedding.)

…and the scariest one my favorite…

“random old man told me god sent him to tell me i don’t need a miracle tonight but i’ll need one tomorrow at 4”

I’m not exactly sure what to say in response to that last one, but here are three random thoughts I do have:

(1)  Everyone is crazy.  Don’t waste time hiding your weirdness.  Own it.

(2)  We often spend so much time and energy searching for something to fulfill us, something we think we need, or something to make us happy.  You usually find those things when you’re not looking.

(3)  You never know what kind of impact you’ll have on the lives of other people.  The “small” actions of others have repeatedly served as incredible catalysts for change in my life.  My now-BFF Lamar did an epic “Men in Black” song and dance routine at Tallwood High School’s freshman orientation in 1997 that got me interested in student government.  I was SCA President a few years later.  Another friend, Joy, shared a link on Facebook in 2009 that introduced me to Capital City Church.  We helped plant a new church site last month.  Amanda made her first sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving in 2007.  I ate the whole dish, felt like I was going to die when I walked upstairs, and finally decided it was time to get in shape.  I lost 70 pounds.

Hopefully this blog has helped someone, whether it was a friend who saw a link I posted on Facebook or a dude looking for porn who found a post about community service instead.

Your words and actions will impact others in great and profound ways.  Even if you don’t know it.  They might be friends, they might be family, or they might be strangers who also like Lady Gaga.  However, if some dude tells you that you’ll need a miracle at 4pm tomorrow, just run away.

B-U-S-T-E-D

I love all the old “throwback” pictures posted on Thursdays.  Although it’s not as exciting as awkward high school photos, I’m going to start bringing back old blog posts I wrote on some Thursdays.  In other words, I didn’t have time to write a new blog post last night.  The below was a post named “B-U-S-T-E-D” that I wrote in December 2009.  A lot has changed since then, so please don’t judge me.

Here we go...

Throwback -  B-U-S-T-E-D

“I suppose it had to happen eventually.  I’m usually a pretty conservative guy, but have grown increasingly liberal since making the move to Arlington.  Nope, I’m not talking politics.  I’m talking about dancing in my apartment.

It’s probably no surprise that I’ve always been a big fan of the bedroom dance floor.  I will never forget one bitterly painful 9th grade morning when I could barely move my right arm because I had air guitared myself silly while listening to It’s All About the Benjamins” (the rock remix, duh) twenty times straight the night before.  (I had an accomplice, but I’ll keep his name secret. For now.)

Amanda and I still have the occasional dance party when an old school rap song comes across the iTunes playlist.  Or, in her case, when the newest Miley hit starts playing. Okay, who am I kidding?  I obviously have no qualms about getting down to a Miley or Britney tune, as well as all the cheesy boy band songs that clutter our playlists. Although these mini-parties used to go down in a room with closed blinds, our view from Pentagon City is too beautiful for closed shades.  But no one is actually going to be creepily looking into our 8th floor apartment, right?

Wrong.

While getting dressed before going out to dinner last Friday, I had the music blaring in our apartment.  And then it happened: the annoyingly catchy song, “I’ve Got a Feeling,” started playing.  Look, I’m no Black Eyed Peas fan, but it’s impossible not to dance to that song.  At a minimum, you have to bob your head a little.  And so, as I put away some freshly-cleaned clothes, I started to dance around our bedroom.

While breaking it down in true white dude style, I looked out the window and saw a guy staring right at me.  Heart.  Attack.  Sort of like when you get caught looking at someone and you suspiciously jerk your eyes away all too quickly, when our eyes met, I hit the floor.  In retrospect, I wish I could have made it look like I was just aggressively stretching to help play it off.  Nope.  I would have loved to know what he thought as he saw a grown man dancing around his apartment.  Alone.

Whatever he thought, he must have really enjoyed it, because he kept staring.  I snuck into the living room, hid behind a lamp, and looked out the window.  His eyes were still lurking in my direction.  I turned off the lights and went back to the bedroom to get a better view.  He was still staring.  It felt like two snipers dueling it out, as they repeatedly shot, moved, and sought new cover.  Or at least I did.  He just kept creepily staring into our apartment.  I was REALLY hoping he wasn’t counting floors and apartments to figure out where I lived.  I figured I should just play it cool and so I sat at the computer and pretended to do some work as I scoped him out with my peripheral vision.  He ducked out of view every few minutes, but he kept coming back.  And he kept staring.

And then I closed our blinds.  For the next five days.”

‘Sup, Girl?!

I’m stoked to be having a little dudette in a few months (and a dude too)!  I recently made a list of instructions telling my son how to be a man.  Well, even though I’m not speaking from experience, here is what I’ll tell my daughter about being a woman:

(1) You will always be daddy’s little princess.

(2) You will be an awesome cook.

(3) You should always act like a lady.

I think that just about covers it.  Class dismissed.

Wait, hold up yo?!

None of that is true!

Here’s what I’ll actually tell Ms. Britney Spears M——– (name changed to protect the employed):

1. Always be yourself.  Don’t let anyone, not even your parents, force you to be someone you’re not.  If you want to be a pink-loving princess, awesome.  We’ll have epic tea parties that will blow your mind.  However, I’m not-so-secretly hoping you’ll be a no-holds-barred scientist and want a microscope for Christmas.  I would say Governor, Senator, or President, but that usually involves being a lawyer.  You shouldn’t do that.  However, it’s up to you.

2. Respect everyone else.  That includes your brother, our dog(s), and, most importantly, our white couch.

3. You don’t have to watch, like, or play sports.  However, you will love the Washington Nationals.

'Sup, Girl

The end.

See you in March, dudette.

Three Simple Rules

I hate it when things are unnecessarily complicated. “LOST” was a brilliant show until it fell victim to complex spiritual motifs and complicated story lines. I also disliked the confusing moments in relationships when I was quasi-dating someone.

“Hey, John. Good to see you, dude. This is my, uhhhh, my, uhhhh, girlfriend Amanda.”

That’s awkward.

Most of all, Christianity has become way too complicated. Although the Bible is crazy long, there are really only three simple rules:

(1) Love God
(2) Love everyone else
(3) Love football

If you agree with any of those “rules” and live in the DC area, we should kick it on Saturday.

And pass it.  And run it.  And bounce it.

Capital City Church is organizing a huge program to help serve some of the people in our nation’s capital who have no place to live.  We’ll be serving food and organizing all sorts of games and activities for the kids who live at DC’s homeless shelters.  There’s even a flag football tournament, which will be won by the team I’m coaching.  However, we could use some more stellar volunteers to coach the other teams, ref the games, and do all sorts of other awesome stuff.  We’ll be rocking out from 10am until 5pm.  Even if you only have a free hour, come on down to the Rosedale Recreation Center (1701 Gales St. NE) on Saturday and show a little love to the community.

Nope, we’re not going to cure homelessness with one day of service.  However, we hope that hanging with these kids will remind them that someone cares.

Oh, and there will be a moon bounce.

If you’d like to volunteer, you can let me know or shoot an email to Steve, one of my BFFs (even though he denies knowing me in public), at steve@bethelovecampaign.org.

We hope to see you there!

Here are a few pictures from another epic Capital City Church service day:

Three Simple Rules

Three Simple Rules (2)

Three Simple Rules (3)

photo

…and hopefully Saturday’s event goes better than this…

Awkward Homeless

Baby Daddy x 2 — Vol. 2

Sharks are scary.  Spiders are scary.  Having to bend down in a pair of slim-fit pants after a month of unhealthy eating is scary.

Having twins is scarier.

I have no idea how this whole parenting thing will work. I’m already struggling to fit work, church, friends, family, a dog, blogging, Oreos, “rapping,” sleeping, and exercise into my schedule.  I’m not sure how we’re going to make it with two babies added into the mix.  I’m also clueless about this parenting thing, which my wife pointed out when I suggested that we could take babies Luke and Leia on a backpacking trip to Europe this summer.

Oh, and I’ve never changed a diaper.

In short, I don’t know much about parenting, but I do know this:

1.  I have a little bit of a clothes and shoes addiction.  My desire for our kids to be supa’ fly isn’t helping.  You should buy stock in Nike and Converse because I’m going to make those companies a lot richer over the next few years.

Baby Daddy x2 - Vol. 2

Baby Jordans

Oh, and Adidas too.  THEY MAKE TRACK SUITS FOR BABIES!

Adidas - Track Suit

2.  I sometimes think that it’s crazy to believe in God.  Some mornings I read the Bible and it doesn’t make sense.  I sometimes dream about sleeping in on Sundays instead of waking up early to go to church.  But when I hear the sounds of those babies’ heartbeats, feel them kick my hand, and see their tiny little hearts pumping on a sonogram screen, my faith is unshakeable.

3.  A number of people have sent me a video of two twin babies hugging each other.  Those will NOT be our babies.  First, the music in that video is terrible.  Second, our babies are not doing much hugging.  The dude likes to chill and suck his thumb.  The girl likes to dance around and punch her brother in the head.  Napoleon will protect you in a few months, Baby Luke!

It turns out that Luke loves bling and Leia rocks Chucks.

Sonogram

4.  No, we’re not naming our kids Luke and Leia (although it was briefly discussed).  We’re 90% sure about the names, but can still be swayed with large stacks of cash and/or Oreos.  Britney and Justin are currently our top choices.  Erin and Aaron are close behind.

5.  No, that’s not true either.

Halloween Shirt

6.  Having a baby is really humbling.  I am unworthy of such a blessing.  I’m thankful that God’s grace and blessings don’t work that way.

7.  I’m sick of all the pink and blue stuff.  The people who make baby gear should be a lot more creative and not lazily fall into gender stereotypes.

8.  I love design, colors, and painting.  I’m stoked to craft a ridiculous nursery.  In the world of kiddy v. classy, we’re opting for the latter.  Thus, the Star Wars Legos will be staying in the living room.

9.  Amanda shot down my idea of painting the nursery walls hot pink and/or purple and then decorating them with neon graffiti.  Although that would not have been “classy,” it would have been awesome.

10.  This whole baby thing has been a powerful reminder about the miracle of life.  When we first heard the news, the little babies were the size of poppy seeds (although we thought it was just one poppy seed back then).  Now they are so much bigger and have hearts, faces, brains, fingers, toes, and emotions.  Those same organs will hopefully be rocking out for the next 100 years.  Not only could we see their little hearts beating at our last doctor appointment, but we could see the valves inside their hearts pumping and the blood flowing through their ever-growing bodies.  Like the Backstreet Boys’ “Millenium” album, it was incredible.  Their complex genetic makeup, personalities, and destinies all started with two tiny poppy seeds.  All of it makes me desperately wish I was a scientist.

11.  The weekly “your baby is the size of XYZ fruit/vegetable” update creeps me out.

12.  When I first heard that we were having twins, I was shocked.  Then I laughed.  Then I was terrified.  Now, I can’t imagine it going down any other way.  Unsurprisingly, that’s how life often works.  Yo.