Who does this?—?freezing cold, alone on a country road, no sleep, wild animals all around ? I’m talking about running with a team two-hundred miles across Tennessee, or as it is more well known, the Ragnar Relay. This is my story…
Here it is, my obligatory year in review. With as bad as my memory is, I require myself to at least once per year document the cool things I can remember that happened over the course of the year… and this was definitely a year of ups and downs. It’s always hard to believe as I try to remember all the things I do in a year how blessed me and my family are, and how lucky we are to have so many great friends and experiences. Thank you 2012, here we come 2013!
- Remembering my grandmother, who died in early 2012 from cancer. So happy to have been able to see her for the months leading up to her passing.
- Mourning the loss of our 10 year old golden retriever, Cason. He was the only constant in our family, sad to see him go.
- The happiness of 11 years of marriage. Every August I cant help but think of how lucky I am to have met someone so perfect for me at such a young age.
- The pure joy of learning of our first child. Coming in March, our little boy has been hands down the most exciting thing we have ever planned for.
- A trip to Memphis with friends, Dave & Sherry. We probably would not have made it there without your prodding.
- A trip to Mexico with family. A week, unplugged, with loved ones. Always worth it.
- Spending time on the mountain (Monteagle). It’s awesome to learn who your greatest friends are, and to be able to do cool things with them.
- Brewing beer with Rob, Matt and Jeff. We’re not the best, but we make amazingly drinkable beer.
- Finding companies to start to mentor, and to continue to mentor.
- Backing cool projects on Kickstarter that range from underwear, to gadgets, to food and a book. More great companies.
- Another amazing year at the Jumpstart Foundry. The 2012 companies truly amazed me.
- Being part of the wedding of my good friends Matt & Rachel.
- The tremendous execution of Checkd.in. We built so many cool campaigns, its hard to mention them all: Taylor Swift, Pink, Kenny Chesney, Dunkin Donuts, Less Conf, Pitbull and so many more. The team is just crushing it.
- The explosive growth of Change Healthcare. The stats are still unpublished, but before this year is over – peoples minds will be blown.
- The launching of Curious
- Fangtastic 5k with John Wyckoff and family
- The warrior dash complete, and highly recommended. Drink beer, costumes, live music and giant turkey legs.
- Ran the 200 mile Ragnar with team CHC. It’s amazing what you learn about people and their desires to succeed when you spend that much time in a van with them. This was a great experience, hope I can do it again one day.
- Bought my new Cervelo R3. Decided if I was going to commit, I needed to commit.
- Trained 700 miles (small, but moving). My hopes is to do so much more in 2013
I’m sure I have left out soo many moments, but this is what my memory (and facebook, and flickr) remind me to write about. I can only hope that 2013 is more impressive than 2012 in every category. To those I know, much love – lets go get it!
From October 2001 to October 2012, Cason lived a good life. At 11 years old and more than 120 pounds, he was the only thing that stayed constant in Amy and my life from the day we got him. While we moved from city to city and coast to coast, charging through new adventures and startups, Cason followed along happily at our side. I’m glad he died at home, without pain, and with family. The photos tell a lot of stories, but if you spent any time with him, you know all you need to already :)
Some of my favorite Cason moments:
- He used to spill your beer just so he could help you clean it up
- He has eaten: a pound of reeces cups, a pound of chocolate chip cookies, a stick of batter, fiberglass insulation and the orange netting bag that your oranges come in – just to name a few
- He has chewed holes through both drywall and a mattress, just to see what was on the other side
- He loved being covered in towels – a towel was actually his favorite toy
- Cason is “kill me dog” (just google it)
- and so much more.
11 years is 1/3 of my life and as long as I have been married to my wife. It will be hard to get over, but his memories will of course be with us forever. He was loyal, loving and part of our family. But most of all, he was a great friend.
For those who do not know me well, allow me to start with this: I have a list. This list is full of all the goals, large and small, that I want to achieve. Some are things like learning martial arts, or playing blues harp, or riding my motorcycle on a long road trip. Some are things like raise chickens, live off my own garden and make the world a better place – you just never know what’s going to be on the list. The idea is this: when something gets to the top of the list, you do it (or you put significant effort into figuring it out). Today we can mark “raise chickens” off the list.
Last month, on July 4th, we brought home our four little ladies (ages 10-16 weeks). Their names (from left to right): Cluck Norris (a cinnamon queen), Chicken Tetrazzini (a Salmon Faverolle), Nugget (a Welsummer) and Hen-rietta (an Americauna). Having had them a month, I can officially say they are growing to be a big part of our family. They are very low maintenance and will start producing eggs in about 8 weeks.
A few details for those of you who are interested (this is the significant effort part):
- We got the ladies from an awesome bird lady at Poultry Hollow
- We built the chicken coop from scratch (pictures)
- We bought the necessities from Tractor Supply Store
- We feed them DuMor Layer Pellets
- Read the Nashville chicken ordinance/rules
- Get your Nashville chicken permit ($25)
Above: Our chicken coop at about 90% complete.
Amy and I are proud to be among the few city dwellers in Nashville to have our permit and be raising chickens near downtown. Soon we will be getting upwards of 4 eggs per day to go along with the fresh veggies from the garden. It’s been fun to have friends and family over to teach them about our chickens, and raising chickens in general. Im sure this is just the first part of our chicken story, but… another list item, completed!
It is bittersweet, but after 10 years of running our screen-printing company, we’ve decided that we can no longer devote the appropriate time to it. It was Amy and my very first small business startup and since, we’ve started more than 10 additional companies!
We have had a great time working with you to create shirts for events and adventures in all of your lives and we are grateful for the business and friendships that grew because of it. I wish I could recommend someone else to do the work for your in our absence, but honestly, no one does what we do anymore for the price.
Above is a photo from 2004 from a Jimmy Buffet party where we brought t-shirts for everyone there. It was a fun ride, but time to clear some space for the next big thing.