Ohhhhhh, We’re Halfway There…

The kids are now six months old. Justin Timberlake had agreed to come down to DC and perform at the kids’ (half) birthday party, but we couldn’t quite get our schedules *NSYNC…

(sorry, folks)

Oh, and we’re not having a (half) birthday party. That would be sad. Plus, we’ll probably celebrate tonight by falling asleep on the couch by 9:30pm.

That sounds like the perfect Friday night to me.

One day and (almost) six months:

6 months  - 5

6 months - 4

Wait. Six months?! Seriously?!

Honestly, I’m not sure how that happened (other than the fact that the Earth spun around on its axis approximately 180 times). Time flies when you’re changing diapers.

Here are a few random thoughts about the kids hitting this (half) milestone:

1. Like an athlete accepting an MVP award or a rapper accepting a Grammy, I’d first like to thank God. Seriously. These babies are miracles. I never want to take that for granted.

2. I am also so thankful that these babies are healthy. They have had a few problems here and there, but nothing too major. However, those little worries have weighed heavily on us. My heart breaks when I read about precious little kids struggling with health problems.

3. Our tiny little babies aren’t so tiny anymore. I’m sure the rest of the world sees them as small, but they look huge to us. STOP GROWING UP SO FAST!

4. Babies get tired. In response, babies fight sleep. Babies are crazy.

6 Months - 2

5. Seriously, did you just wake up for the tenth time tonight?

6. Our kids love to roll over onto their stomachs when they sleep. Within seconds of rolling over, they start to scream. We flip them onto their backs. Two seconds later, they roll back onto their stomachs again. Unsurprisingly, they start to scream. Again, babies are crazy.

7. In the middle of the night, we sometimes find ourselves in a dark place between anger and frustration when the kids wake up wailing. Amanda sets the kids down sometimes and leaves the room. I grab the side of the crib and squeeze the railing. In the morning, we feel terrible about getting mad about those two precious angels.

8. If I could restart this whole parenting thing over again, I would never use a pacifier. Our kids are hooked on them. I imagine them singing Miley’s “We Can’t Stop” when they cry because their pacifiers fell out, but then I remember that might be a reference to drugs.

9. I wouldn’t trade the most frustrating and challenging moment with kids with the best moment of my life without them. I know one day I’ll desperately miss this stage when they were so dependent on us.

10. We will never get to an event on time again.

11. Seeing the kids interact with each other is priceless. However, it usually ends with someone trying to scratch the face of his or her sibling.

6 months - 3

12. We sing the kids three songs at night as part of their bedtime routine. One is “Amazing Grace.” The other are *NSYNC songs.

13. Everyone on the road seems to drive so much faster these days. Oh, and there are a lot more germs everywhere. I also leave a bunch of lights on at night now so no one robs us. In general, these kids have made me paranoid.

14. I’m running out of creative excuses to use when strangers ask to hold our babies.

15. Confession time. I wish I could breastfeed the babies. It is such an incredible way to lose weight. Oh, and there is that whole bonding thing too. Similarly, I’m always tempted to taste some of the milk when feeding bottles to the babies. I have not given into that temptation because that is both creepy and gross.

16. Sleeping for four hours straight is now a huge victory.

17. Making plans can be kind of pointless. The kids run our schedules now. More specifically, the kids’ naps run our schedules now.

18. We’ve taken cheesy birthday pictures each month. We tried to take the six-month pictures last night, but the kids had other plans. I’m really excited about their six-month costumes and the terrible pun(s) I’ll be using. Honestly, I’m probably way too excited.

The Five Month Photo:

5 Months

19. Moms are the best.

20. Toys are a waste of money.

6 Months  - 1

21. I can’t remember a life without kids. I also can’t remember a life where I didn’t have to listen to a white noise maker playing through the baby monitor all night.

22. The poop is getting grosser.

22 seems like a good ending point. Mainly because it’s late at night. Oh, and I like Taylor Swift.

Have a great weekend! Austin is already celebrating:

Goodbye

Saying “goodbye” is one of the hardest things to do in life.

That is why I like to say “goodbye” with awkward dance moves and a little bit of sweat.

Enjoy!

Thanks to David and Jen for hanging out, having some fun, and not laughing at my “dance” moves (too much). It’s pretty funny that we filmed a video for “Bye Bye Bye” and “Gangsta’s Paradise” on the same day. Diversity is the spice of life. Yo.

Goodbye

On a related note, which is the best boy band of all time? Here is your answer.

Poppin’ the Question

Our world is faced with so many challenging questions. I thought I should lend a hand and start answering them.

Which is the best boy band of all time?

Don’t worry, I’ll tell you.

Poppin' the Question

First, what’s the criteria of being a boy band? Good question. Unfortunately, Webster’s dictionary doesn’t define the term. Urban Dictionary does, but its definition is pretty offensive.

So here’s the rules:

(1)  If you play instruments, you’re not a boy band. Thus, the Beatles, BBMak, Jackson 5, and Hanson were not boy bands. They all had too much talent.

(2)  If you don’t do synchronized dance moves, you’re not a boy band. Thus, LFO was not a true boy band, despite the fact that “Summer Girls” was one of the finest works of art of the 20th Century.

(3)  If you are too cool to be labelled as a “boy band,” you are not a boy band. Thus, the Temptations are not a boy band.

So those are the rules. Now it’s time for both of you to find out which boys bands are the greatest of all time:

Here. We. Go.

5.  One Direction: This boy band has been tearing up the charts for the past three years and their poppy beats and spirited vocals . . . OMG, I can’t do this. One Direction is automatically disqualified for having a song named “Best Song Ever.” When I hear kids talk about how One Direction is the greatest boy band ever, honestly, I get defensive. “Are you serious? Have you ever heard of Justin Timberlake? Nick Carter? Nick Lachey?” And then I feel ashamed for arguing with an 11-year-old about boy bands.

Okay, here’s the real list:

5. O-Town:  O-Town represents the high point in the boy band craze, which was probably also the low point in American history. I know two O-Town songs. One is pretty bad. The other is “All or Nothing.” It is probably the greatest song ever recorded (no offense to Britney or Beethoven).

Popping the Question - 1

4.  New Kids on the Block: These guys started the boy band craze. Sure, there were boy bands before NKOTB, but those boy bands didn’t have TV shows, action figures, or a song as righteous as “Hangin’ Tough.” I went to the infamous NKOTBSB concert a few years ago. It was amazing. And sad. Joey McIntyre cried. So did my soul.

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3.  Boyz II Men:  These dudes were so cool with their white suits, soulful voices, and matching overalls. Honestly, I feel kind of bad about labeling them as a “boy band,” but if the matching and synchronized tapping shoe fits, you gotta roll with it. However, these boys/men were not your typical boy band. They were edgy. They spelled “boys” with a Z. Ballerz.

2.  *NSYNC:  I’m a big *NSYNC fan. How can you tell? I put the little star in front of the name. I’m that legit. *NSYNC had so many hits. So many epic videos. So many sweet dance moves. Yet, they find themselves in second place. Why? Because *NSYNC was really just JT and JC and three random dudes who kept showing up in the background. That’s not a band. That’s an American treasure, some other guy who is probably wondering what went wrong after 2001, and three random guys.

Popping the Question - 2

1.  The Backsteet Boys:  I loved high school and pretty much everything about the late 1990s and early 2000s. Life was great. TRL was on TV every day, getting on the internet was a really big deal, 9/11 hadn’t happened yet, and gas was ninety cents a gallon. If there is one song that defined my high school experience, the turn of the millennium, and the boy band and cheesy pop music era, it was “I Want it That Way.” Sure, the lyrics don’t make any sense, but it doesn’t even matter when everything else about this song is fantastic. If you don’t sing along when you hear this song, or at least hum a little, you are probably a terrorist or a Nickelback fan.

Poppin the Question - 3

Bye.

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

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

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.

Ordinary

Martin Luther King Jr.
Albert Einstein
Jane Addams
Mother Teresea
Teddy Roosevelt
Jackie Robinson
Susan B. Anthony
Thomas Jefferson
Anne Frank
Rosa Parks
Justin Timberlake
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Nelson Mandela
Zack Morris

Ordinary

All of these people have four things in common:

(1) They are heroes of mine.

(2) They were ordinary people.  Not superheroes.

(3) They made mistakesBig ones.

(4) They changed the world.

You can too.

Whatever is stopping you, whether it’s insecurity or wasting too much time on Facebook, don’t let it.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Justin Case You Were Wondering…

The news is usually filled with an endless bevy of depressing, frustrating, and tragic stories.

This is not one of them.

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For better or for worse, Justin Timberlake is one of the most influential individuals of my generation.  Music, movies, comedy, fashion, general awesomeness, and marrying Jessica Biel.  He’s got it all covered (except for Janet Jackson).  With so many hits over the years, it is finally time to decide, once and for all, JT’s five greatest songs.  Technically, JT’s top five songs according to a 30-year-old guy who should have outgrown this sort of stuff 15 years ago.JT3

Zach Morris aside:  “Suit & Tie” is terrible. (Sorry, Justin.)  The falsetto in that song is the worst thing I’ve heard since my co-worker told me the Potbelly’s across the street from our office closed.  Tragic.

JT2

If anyone is actually still reading, here are JT’s top five songs:

(1) Mirrors:  Yes, this is an unorthodox choice.  Yes, it is a brand new song.  Yes, it is JT’s best jam.  (Thanks for agreeing.)  The beat is sick, the singing is slick, and the song actually has a deep message.  However, be warned, it is a terrible karaoke song.  I’ve tried.  It’s too new.  And too slow.  And I’m a terrible singer.

JT

(2) What Goes Around…Comes Around  This was my jam during the summer of 2007.  I used to listen to it every weekday morning as I hung out in Farragut Square and ate granola bars.  One morning, a homeless guy with no legs asked me for some food.  I gave him a granola bar.  During our exchange, he tipped out of his wheelchair.  I tried to help him back up.  He got crazy mad and gave me a stank eye so hot that it made the August D.C. air feel like a crisp Alaskan breeze.  As for the song, it’s amazing, but it’s also seven minutes long.  I take naps shorter than that.

(3) Bye, Bye, Bye:   JT has some songs of better “quality,” but this song (and Britney Spears and eating at IHOP) defined my high school years.  Plus, me and some buds formed a fake boy band, memorized all the lyrics and dance moves to this song, and busted them out whenever it was borderline appropriate.  (I just realized this song is 13 years old.  And now I’m the creepy old guy still writing about it.)

byebyebye(4)  I Want You Back (Warning: if you click that link, you’ll painfully realize that the ’90s were a long time ago):  The kids who were born the day this song was released are now 16 years old.  (sigh)  Back in 1997, me and some BFFs would spend every afternoon playing “Goldeneye” on the N64 (usually rocket launchers in the Complex).  One dude’s little sister would listen to this song 8,000 times in a row.  These heart-wrenching and passionate lyrics (not really) are buried deep within my soul (really).  Oddjob was my character of choice and I’m comfortable to admit that, even if all my friends hated me because of it.  (If you don’t get any of these “Goldeneye” references, congratulations on having a life in 1997.)

(5)  Cry Me a RiverYep, “My Love” (What happened to T.I.?), “Senorita,” “Tearing Up My Heart,” and “Love Stoned” are all quality songs, but “Cry Me a River” is the song that made it cool to listen to Justin Timberlake.  No longer did a hypothetical guy have to turn down the JT on his car radio speakers when he came to a stoplight.  After “Cry Me a River” came out, that hypothetial guy was set free.  Plus, this song killed any chance that Justin and Britney would get back together, thus, leaving the door open for a hypothetical guy to swoop in and make a move…IMG_5282