All the places I’ve lived, and a favorite memory from each

coast-guardMy dad was in the Coast Guard, so that meant a lot of moving around. Before I was born, my family had already been up and down the east coast, and spent some time on the west coast, too. My oldest sister was born in Key West, next oldest sister was born in Monterey, CA and then my brother in Virginia. When it was my time, the family was back in Key West. I was there for a short time before we moved out west. Here’s the list!

born: Key west, FL (December 26, 1978)

Hawaii – I was just a little guy here, about a year old, so I have three memories: attending a luau, going into a building, and going under a bridge (or tunnel?) on the way to a beach. I guess the luau is my favorite because I remember looking across and seeing my baby sitter.

Hollywood, FL – Started my academic career here at Sheridan Hills Christian School. Favorite memory: Our family took a lot of boat trips. We went down to the keys, spent nights on the water, I got sea sick for the first time, and still, these trips are easily my favorite memory!

me as 4th grader 2St. Petersburg, FL –  Attended Maximo Elementary School for 2nd and 3rd grade. Favorite memory: At school I met a friend that made me laugh so hard all the time. To this day, I measure everyone else against him. He was so funny. One of my least favorite memories: My funny friend was not at school one day, then not there the next day or the next. A few days later, his mom came in and picked up his things. I never saw him again!

Newport, RI – This is where I attended 4th grade at Underwood Elementary. Favorite memory: touring all the mansions, like these.

the-breakers

The Breakers. 62,000 square feet! 

newport-mansions-43

Rough Point. 39,000 square feet and 105 rooms!

A tie for favorite: all the lamborginis. Not sure why there were so many, but it was somewhat common to see one driving around the city. And Saabs. Lots of Saabs.

2-me-and-whitney-williams.jpg

5th grade at Widewater.

Stafford, VA – I was a 5th grader at Widewater Elementary School then moved to Stafford Middle School for 6th and 7th grade. These are my favorite years from growing up. I made great friends that I still have today. One favorite memory: trick or treating on Halloween one of the years. Somehow a friend and I got separated from our group of friends, but he and I still went around to so many houses. That was a fun night! Also, our house was situated on a golf course so we’d go out there to play football, capture the flag, flashlight tag, and hmmm, maybe hit some golf balls. I also came up with a list of things that happened in middle school that absolutely would not happen in today’s world. Here’s a link to that:

[11 Things You Can’t Do In School Anymore]

Miami, FL – Westminster Christian School for 8th – 10th grade. Favorite memory: being on the JV basketball team. And it was in 10th grade I had my first kiss. I know, I was late to the party! 🙂

New York, NY – Curtis High School for half of 11th grade. Favorite memory: I got to see a taping of David Letterman. It was really fun. We lived on Governors Island, so it was nice to have a place with grass, and trees, unlike most of New York City back then! Also, riding a ferry past the Statue of Liberty every day on the way to school was pretty neat.

Tallahassee, FL – Finished 11th and 12th grade at Leon High School. My dad retired from the Coast Guard in 1996 so we moved back towards family in Florida. Favorite memory: this is getting difficult because with each place, I have more than one favorite! But to name a few, I’d say my aunt’s lemon squares, my grandfather driving 120mph in his Isuzu Trooper to get me to school, pb and j lunches at The Brown Bag Express, basketball with friends, and graduating from the same high school my mom graduated from.

Note: I stayed in Tallahassee for college, as well. I have so many great memories in those 4.5 years. Too many to pick one!

Nashville, TN – This is where I’ve lived since the mid-2000s. Also too many great memories to pick one at the moment. So I’ll go with the lame answer: My favorite memory of Nashville is all of them. 😉

-Out of the Wilderness

Advertisements

Things I Wouldn’t Have Believed A Year Ago

If you told me a year ago that I’d be making more money than New England tight end Aaron Hernandez the last half of 2013.

I’d visit a doctor and a dentist on two consecutive days.

Last summer we saw dolphins jumping in the boat wake and I told my nephew it was a once in a lifetime experience. Then this summer, we saw this. What the heck do I know?

Northwest was no longer just a direction. #poorbaby

Sharknado. Enough said.

That a few weeks ago, I’d toss the signature I got from Alex Rodriguez after chapel at Westminster Christian School in 8th grade, in the trash.

That the Dolphins would now have the lamest logo EVER. C’mon, guys! I’ve been a lifelong fan but I think now it’s reached an expiration date. #GoTitans
o-NEW-DOLPHINS-LOGO-570

That American Idol hasn’t thrown in the towel yet. It’s over, let it go peacefully into the night.

That interns all over the country were born while Bill Clinton was in office. Wasn’t that like a few years ago??

The Needle Test

A few months ago I participated in an activity known as “the needle test.” If you are unfamiliar, ask a female and they’ll tell you it’s about finding out the gender order of children you’ll have. Some swear by this method of revelation, others are more sceptical. Whether it’s reliable or not  I can’t say, but in three separate tests, it gave me the same results. According to the test I will have a boy, then a girl, then another boy; Three children. While I find the results interesting given my current situation (single and barely dating), you may find it interesting that a 31-year old male participated in such an activity. Rest assured that your interest is well-grounded. I sometimes take part in things better suited for baby showers or bachelorette parties. But I’m still all male. I’m not ashamed to say my favorite movie is “Elizabethtown” and in rotation for second place are “500 Days of Summer” and “The Notebook.” I’ve been created with a soft heart, and most of it reserved for family so naturally, I was curious about what results the needle test would give for my future family. I’m also curious why we scream when something hurts, what it means for good people to have bad habits, and how fame and fortune affected Alex Rodriguez. As an 8th-grader at Westminster Christian School, I didn’t see A-Rod often (he was in high school then), but he seemed nice enough, except for one story my brother told me. I wonder if A-Rod has ever done the needle test? Alex if you’re reading this, let me know what results you got. And if anyone else reading this knows why good people have bad habits or why we scream when something hurts, feel free to share.

The results of the needle test are something I’ve thought about since then. If it’s accurate, if I will eventually have two boys and a girl, when is it going to happen? Who is it going to happen with? My parents would have loved for it to happen five years ago. Back then it would have been in Tallahassee, Florida with a girl I’m no longer friends with. She’s a great person from a great family, however not fit for the role of my wife or my children’s mother. Just a passenger on the road for a short while, but not for the long haul. Speaking of roads, a local Nashville pastor once used the illustration that if you’re in Nashville traveling on West on Interstate 40, you will go to Memphis. That’s where you’re going. You can’t travel on Interstate 40 and hope to end up in Ohio. It won’t happen. The pastor then applied it to life, saying if you’re on the wrong road, you’ll end up at the wrong destination. I love that illustration because of it’s simple truth. As I apply it to my own life, I wonder what I want my destination to be. If I want the needle test to be accurate, then the destination is marriage. If the destination is marriage, I need to find out what road takes me there. Once I find the road that takes me there, I need to find out if I’m on it or not. Road signs tell the truth. If I see a road sign labeled “friends with benefits” I’m on the wrong road. If I see a road sign labeled “compromising what I want most” or “settling” I’m on the wrong road. However, if I see “Godly,” “great,” “blessing,” “gift,” “faithfulness,” “challenge,” “don’t give up,” “right,” chances are I’m on the right road.

Chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want now.  ~Zig Ziglar