To Revisit a Picture

I posted this very recently, but I would like to talk about this image, which in my mind is the best image of me that has ever been taken:

What you see here is me with almost ten years less and certainly several pounds less. For that alone, I could love this picture.

But there’s so much more to this.

The small human you see on my shoulder is our first child. You can see the sleep deprivation on my face and the joy that lies behind my eyes. I see strength in myself as a new father and someone ready for the next great adventure, but also the frailty of that “OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL DO WE THINK WE’RE DOING” just beneath the surface.

There are things about it that aren’t ideal; my lip is a mess from my anxiety, the exhaustion is clear on my face, and the light is harsh. But I love the subtle set of my jaw and the feeling of my being on guard for this little person.

So many things have changed since this was taken. Joshua is an older brother to three siblings and one yet to come. I have been through no less than three career sharp turns, with what was once a situation of despondence and worry turning into the greatest opportunity of my life to help change the world. There have been immeasurable joys and unimaginable sorrows.

I have learned that life is an amazing adventure and I do not know where it will take me even still.

What would I say to the man in this picture? I’m not sure I even know. But I know that he couldn’t have imagined the wild ride that was in front of him.

Times My Wife Cried During the 2011 MLB All-Star Game

It happened a few times so I figured I would keep track. 🙂

  • During the Brad Pitt-narrated video montage intro.
  • When they announced the families of the shooting who were there for the game and the presentation of the lineup card. (I think this was everybody crying.)
  • During the singing of the national anthem. (This was more out of sorrow for how it was sung.)
  • During the Chevy commercial about bringing babies home.
  • During the Pepsi Max “Field of Dreams” styled commercial.
  • When Joe Buck introduced Tim McCarver. (Just kidding. This was me crying.)
  • When Heath Bell handed the kid by the dugout a backpack with a signed baseball – “I can’t sign during the game but I can sign before.”
  • When the camera panned across the people in the stands with the Stand Up to Cancer signs. (She thought it was about Stan Musial – you know, “Stand for Stan.”)
  • When Rollie Fingers gave his mustache to the Pepsi Max delivery guy in that commercial.

She was scared enough that she would cry if the NL blew the game in the ninth inning that she gave up and went to sleep.

I love my wife and I love that my wife loves baseball.

Fiction gives us a second chance that li…

Fiction gives us a second chance that life denies us.

–Paul Theroux

The Markel Family Game Cabinet – April 2009 (Annotated)

Some of you have had conversations with me—especially via Twitter—regarding games of all kinds, so I thought it’d been a while since I’d shared a picture of the game cabinet. I like to do this every once in a while.

You can click on the picture to go to the Flickr page for the photo, which has notes for everything in the cabinet to detail them for you.


It’s an Endurance Test: How Long Can I Go Without Sleep?

It was bound to happen sooner or later. For the first real time in the history of this household, a round of sickness is washing throughout the entire family. Joshua started the madness last week Wednesday, and it seems as though he tried to close the circle last night with another round.

The youngest two have so far been unaffected, but the delay in appearance from the first child getting sick to the second (three full days) has the entire house just waiting to see what happens. Amanda finally got hit with it all day yesterday, and I called off today because I was certain it was headed in my direction next.

Thankfully, I haven’t been hit by it so far, and I seem to feel all right, even though I’m almost certain it’s just a matter of time before I’m in the same boat. In any case, Amanda certainly needed my help cleaning up after the “event” and tending to the children in their respective cases—which usually means forcing them to sit still and take it easy while they recuperate from being sick.

None of them actually want to remain still and just be sick.