The Christmas Miracle

Christmas is almost here!

Almost…

Almost Christmas

That means it’s time to spend priceless moments with family, eat way too much food, and pretend to like presents that are actually pretty weird.  For me, it’s also a time to be thankful for the wonderful miracle of Christmas.  It’s a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus and the fact that God took the form of a human (who sometimes wore tuxedo t-shirts) to restore a severed relationship with humanity.  Slightly less important, I was able to overcome a severed relationship with the gym and fit into these Christmas pants:

Bonobos Miracle

(They will be appearing at one of our church’s Christmas services this Sunday.  Hopefully they do not rip on stage.)

I’m also thrilled to announce another Christmas miracle!

I got a new pair of shoes!

The Christmas Miracle

I don’t think I’ve ever loved something so much in my entire life.  (Sorry, Amanda, but I’ve got to keep it real.)  Infinite thanks to my thoughtful, incredible, and talented friend Paul who spotted these fly Sperry kicks at DSW and knew I’d love them.  Although finding something as beautiful as those shoes is a miracle in and of itself, the price Paul paid for those bad boys makes getting those shoes the biggest miracle in DC since the Redskins actually made the playoffs last year:

$1.05!!!

DSW Receipt

In short, thanks to Jesus, Bonobos, my thighs, DSW, Sperry, and Paul for helping me believe in Christmas.

Tie Hard With a Vengeance

The weather is cold, the tree is lit, and the sounds of Christmas carols fill the air,
This holiday season, you’ll spend time with family, watch classic movies, and buy presents to show others you care.

Whether it’s for your baby daddy, your brother, or even dear ole’ dad, I bet you’ll end up getting some dude a tie,
This is what you need to do when buying fly neckwear for that special guy.

Ditch the crowded stores, avoid the long lines, and check out TheTieBar.com,
Trust me on this one, world, because my wife tells me I’m never wrong.

Just like Eminem and the music, you can “Lose Yourself” in The Tie Bar’s endless collection,
Giving a dude a TieBar tie for Christmas is the surest way to win his affection.

So if you’re buying a guy a present, a TieBar tie is what you need to get him,
He’ll look so fly that people will probably mistake him for David Beckham,

Sure, you can pay $50 for a snazzy tie at a department store,
Or you can get an even cooler tie from The Tie Bar for the same price, plus two more.

Yep, these slammin’ ties will only set you back $15 a pop,
I’ve been rocking them for years and just like “Law & Order,” I’m never gonna stop.

The quality is money, the colors are bright, and the patterns are a thrill,
These bad boys are slicker than an oil spill.

So do the guys in your life a favor and follow this fashion advice,
I guarantee that if you give your boyfriend a TieBar tie, y’all will soon be running towards a limo as people throw rice.

My TieBar.com Collection:
Tie Hard With a Vengeance

Thankful

Christmas and Halloween are pretty rad, but Thanksgiving is the Britney Spears of holidays.  

Thanksgiving is the best holiday.  Yo.

There is amazing food, endless football, and it’s not out-of-control crazy like Christmas.  Most importantly, it’s an amazing time of reflection and gratitude.

Our 2013 Thanksgiving Family Photo
Thankful

Things will look a little different next year.

Oh, and I can eat SO much pumpkin pie during Thanksgiving and not even feel that bad about it.

Thankful5

Back to the “important” stuff.  Being thankful and junk.

Here’s what I’m most thankful for in 2013:

-A God who forgives.  I desperately need that.  All the time.

-A wife who is patient and doesn’t reject my pleas to help film “music” videos.

Awkward White Guy Rap - Lose Yourself - Eminem

-The dude(tte) who invented selfies.

Thankful3

Thankful7

-Creative friends.

Bert and Ernie

-A little boy and a little girl.

Sonogram

Sriracha.  I put that stuff on everything.

-Jordans

Jordans

-Baby Jordans.

Baby Jordans

-The new fro-yo place by my office.

-The new fro-yo place by my house.

Justin Timberlake.  “Mirrors” was my jam this year.

-My new brother-in-law.  Now I don’t feel like a third wheel when Amanda and her sister hang out.

steven

-A job where I can be myself

-A church that encourages me to become a better version of myself

-Tom Brady.  Thanks for standing ten feet away from me in January.  It was fun hanging out with you.  (It counts.)

-Sparkling water

-The heroes who come to our Cap City Church small group.  Y’all are nuts, but you are encouraging and entertaining individuals who I don’t want to do life without.

-“Wrecking Ball.”  This was the best song of 2013.  Hopefully I didn’t ruin it.

-The Mexican and Peruvian restaurants by our house.

Thankful7

-Razors

razor

Hannah M., Brian W., Matt C., Jon Acuff, and Taylor Swift.  You all inspired and encouraged me to start writing this blog.  Thanks.  Now, you must apologize to the rest of the world.

-The people who read this blog.  It means the world to me and I am so grateful for you.

-Red pants

redpants

-My Virginia Beach friends.  Yes, our city can be a little cheesy.  Yes, it can be a little trashy.  However, it’s an amazing place to grow up.  Plus, it’s full of spectacular people.

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-All my friends.  Thanks for the encouragement and the laughs.

-My BFFs who decided to marry each other.

howardandkelly

-Beaches in winter

-The people who actually watch my dumb “rap” videos.  They have gotten 40,000 hits on YouTube over the past few months.  That makes me a little scared for humanity.  However, ease up on the mean YouTube comments.  We have feelings too!

-Kelly Kapowski

-Silly friends

Stop Yelling

Chubbies Shorts

-Cheesy baby stuff

Halloween Shirt

-My red Puma coat.  I’m biased, but it’s pretty dope.

Eric and Andrew

-Taco Bell.  I want you everyday.

-Getting every penny back from our trip to Toronto that was cancelled at the last second due to a blizzard.

-Going crazy for Amanda’s 30th birthday by building her a tower of 30 presents.

amanda gifts

-Being alive

-Powdered donuts

-Game nights

twister

-The Washington Nationals.  The 2013 season was disappointing, but we still had fun.

lombo

-Haribo gummy bears

-Haribo everything else

-Our flower beds.  It was fun feeling like an old man each morning I watered the beautiful flowers and plants Paul, Eddie, and Chris planted.

Nando’s Peri Peri.  If you’ve never been, go immediately.  Eat everything.

Bonobos

bonobos

-UVA’s basketball team.  Thanks for helping me heal from a disastrous UVA football season.

-“Cruise” by Florida-Georgia Line and Nelly.  I love this song.  A lot.

-My bicycle

-Not crashing on my bike at all in 2013

-Family

-Sunrises

-Sunsets

-Chips and salsa

-Jack Link’s beef jerky

…and…most importantly…

My dog

photo

Oh, and Zack Morris.  Thanks for the inspiration, bro.

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.

Everyday Heroes – Alex the Real Rockstar

For better or for worse, most of you know about my unyielding love for terrible pop music.  However, it may come as a surprise to you that I also love classic rock.  A lot.  I adore the Rolling Stones, am convinced that AC/DC’s “Shook Me All Night Long” is the greatest song ever written (other than Britney’s “Email My Heart”), and I may or may not pray for a Guns N’ Roses reunion tour.  What I love most about those old rock anthems is that you know from the very first strum of the guitar that it’s time to party.

That’s exactly how I felt when I first met Alex G.

Real Superheroes - Alex. G

(FYI – That’s just a really good Photoshop and not a real photograph.)

Like the opening guitar salvo in “Paradise City,” I instantly knew this dude rocked the second I met him.  His beard was fly, his smile was infectious, and you could immediately tell he was a cool cat.  His confidence was strong, but not in a “Real Housewives” or Kardashian kind of way.  (No offense, Kim. Call me.)

The thing I appreciate the most about Alex is that he’s authentic.  Whether it is non-hoopsters like me who wear Jordans, the carefully-crafted lives we post about on social media, or the scary chemicals we drink each day, our world is full of fakeness.  Not Alex.  This guy oozes authenticity and realness.  It’s amazingly refreshing.

alex, xabi, and adam

I met Alex at Capital City Church a year ago.  I think he started volunteering as a greeter the next Sunday.  Ever since, he’s been leading a group of college rockstars to bigger and better things and helping out wherever there is a need.  He also shares a home state with Tom Brady, so that automatically makes him a cool dude.  Last, but certainly not least, Alex has recently started rocking skinny jeans.

Mission.  Accomplished.

Alex is going to do huge things in this world. I hope he runs for Congress one day.  We need leaders like him.  Desperately.  I’m not the only one who feels that way.  Here’s what a few others had to say about Alex:

Adam – “Alex is a great guy and a strong leader. He’s classy, well-mannered, and respectful.  He’s organized and intentional, always investing himself in things that matter.  He’s always positive.  When he gets overwhelmed, he doesn’t shut down – he laughs and keeps going.  He cares about people and is a good friend.”

Xabi – “I think Alex is a rockstar because of his love for God.  His attitude is contagious (his new look is too). I appreciate just spending time with my brosky because I learn a lot when we have those deep talks.”

Liz H.- “I love Alex because he is so passionately focused on serving God and blessing the people around him.  Also, his sense of humor and willingness to be goofy whenever you need encouragement brightens even the rainiest of days . . . (continues on weird rant about soup).”

Tyler – “Alex is truly a servant.  He genuinely cares about people and is a true leader in the way he serves those around him.  Whether that’s cleaning the kitchen as a roommate or leading the college ministry for church, he always devotes time and effort to those around him.”

In short, Alex, everyone around you respects, admires, and adores you.  It’s time for the rest of the world (i.e. – my mom, wife, and the two other people who read this blog) to meet you.

selfie

Our world is full of depressing news.  I want to start using this blog to highlight the everyday heroes among us, like Alex, who are doing great things and making a difference.  For better or for worse, these posts will pretty much be a surprise to the heroes I’m writing about.  (That’s your warning to take down any embarrassing Facebook photos.)

If you’re not following Alex on Instagram, you should.  @bruingarcia. 

So long, my friend.

Life is full of beauty, mystery, and wonder.  Unfortunately, sometimes it’s also full of pain.

Saying “goodbye” is the worst pain of them all.

So long, my friend

After a “beautiful” four weeks, I finally had to say “goodbye” to my closest friend.

Goodbye, beard.

beard1

I was starting to feel pretty scraggy, my boss called me a lumberjack, all the red hair creeped me out a little, and my beardness also coincided with two of the hardest workweeks of my life.  I needed a fresh start.  I needed a reboot.  I needed my Backstreetness back…

Beard2

…No, that’s not quite right…

Beard 3

…Umm…NASCAR?

Beard 4

Eek.  Try again…

Gangsta

…that’s better.  It sure feels good to be a gangsta.

(I apologize for the dearth of posts over the past two weeks  Work got the best of me.  I hope both of you reading this will forgive me.)

Da Beard

Fashion accessories are fun.  I really love shoes, ties, and pocket squares.  They can add some extra life to an outfit and allow you to bring a little craziness to the business world.  Well, I’m now rocking a new fashion accessory every single day…and night.

Da beard.

Da Beard

It wasn’t planned.  Rather, it was born out of laziness.  I usually pull the plug on beard growth after a week.  It doesn’t really mesh with teal pants and a neon shirt.  Plus, my beard turns red, and no offense to my red-headed friends, but that weirds me out a little.

But I’m not shaving this beard.  I’m not sure if it can be scientifically proven, but I’m pretty sure it is a Gandalf magic beard.  Two weeks ago, my beloved Nationals were dead.  The season was essentially over.  But then I stopped shaving.  Since that fateful evening, the Nationals are 10-1.  Our chances of making the playoffs are still incredibly small, but I’ve got faith!  More importantly, I’ve got a beard.  A magic beard.

picstitch