John Talk – Ode to Age(ing)

When a man turns 40,Mr Cool
Or shortly before,
He might want to feel excited,
And not such a bore.
40 is old,
Or so they say.
So what does one do?
Get away.
The wife planned a trip,
And without either boy.
The spot had to be fun,
So as to bring great joy.

Us Dinner
I wanted a place,
That I’d never been to.
But I also wanted to go,
Where the fun runs true.
We picked New Orleans!
‘Cause the place is a blast.
We flew in on a Friday,
For three days at last!
We landed in rain,
And made it to our room.
By dinner we were ready,
To hit the town, Boom!
Dinner was a butcher shop,
The sandwiches were neat.Butcher Dinner
Then back toward the hotel,
Just a block off Bourbon Street.
We hit the street late,
Walking up and walking down.
With a drink in hand,
How could there have been a frown.

John Bourbon
Saturday morning found us walkingCemetary
Through local cemeteries galore.
Then we hit Commander’s Palace,
For food and much more.

Palace
Thanks to Court and Matt,
We ate very well.
A trolley car ride later,
And a ring of the bell.

Street Car
Back to the hotel,
And the rooftop pool.
We hadn’t had sun,
Winter was long and too cool.

Pool
I fell asleep by the water,
Felling oh so great.
Lots of Vitamin D,
To rejuvenate my state.
But too much sun,
Can sometimes be rough.
I pinked myself good,
And I wasn’t that tough.
I HATE being burned,
Even if just a bit.
I whined to the wife,
And she gave me s###!
But I got it together,
For dinner would be grand.
Reservations at GW Fins,
With my wife in hand.

Dessert
The food was tasty,
And the wine was quite sweet.
We had a celebratory dinner,
Then back to Bourbon Street.

Bourbon Night
One last go,
To some local’s prime spot.
A little music and whiskey.
A little?  Maybe a lot.

Drinks
We woke Sunday morning,
To make one big mistake.
Never walk down Bourbon Street,
For it stinks and is dirty for goodness sake.

Bourbon Day
And breakfast on Sunday,
How could I forget?
Café du Monde for beignets,
And Chicory coffee I had to get.

Cathedral
Then we made it back to DC,
What a glorious trip.
40 won’t be so bad.
‘Cause 50 will be here in just a zip.
I actually turned 40,
While heading to work.
Monday, March 31st,
For the pre-April Fool’s jerk.

Family

Happy 40th, John!!! Here is to 40 more!

Today, my husband turns the Big 4-0! I figured I should give him a shout out for the milestone! We celebrated John’s birthday this weekend in style by heading off to New Orleans with no kids. It was a great time and I believe John will be writing about it later this week. Thanks to Mamaw and Papaw as well as Aunt Courtney and Uncle Matt for babysitting for the weekend!

Today, we have to go about our normal day to day routine but we will celebrate as a family at home with some good food, a few decorations and of course some sweets!

For those of you that know me, I don’t dole out compliments or praise easily but I should tell John more what a great husband and father he is…..so today, I am going to tell him why I am thankful for having him in our lives!
1. You gave me two beautiful boys that I can’t imagine life without.
2. You listen to me, you listen to our boys, you listen to family and friends, you really listen and
remember what everyone tells you. You are a good shoulder to lean on.
3. You put us first…always. You are the only partner in a law firm that I know that comes home everyday
at 5 to make dinner, hang out, play and connect as a family.
4. When life gets tough, you don’t cut and run. You admit your faults, mistakes and try to grow from
them all.
5. And lastly, you handle me with more patience and understanding than any other person in my life has
over the years. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!

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Ok, that is enough of the mushy stuff from me. Not really my cup of tea but I will say one last time…

Happy 40th John!  We love you!

The Mini Mid-life crisis

In any father’s life, a man faces an inevitable event that can push him over the edge of logic and reason.  As a father of 2 boys that are about to embark on the facets of youth requiring one boy to head one way for a soccer practice and another boy to head another way for a baseball game on a Saturday morning, I and my (wife) recently realized that my action packed 1999 Acura Integra is just not equipped for transporting one, let alone both of the boys.   See?

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Cool (in 2001), but small.  Especially when you are already toting an empty paint can, some unopened Christmas decorations, and other useless needed junk stuff.

I mean it will be hard to give all this up.

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But sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

So my lovely wife gave me almost complete full range to get just about any car I want.  Now she knows me well enough to know that although we could theoretically get a third mortgage on our home to get my dream car of an Aston Martin Vanquish,

280px-SC06_Aston_Martin_Vanquish_green

I’d never do that.

And living in the city of DC, as in the noted pics above for the Integra, little accidents happen all the time.  So I wanted something nice, but not too nice.  I love the Honda/Acura brands.  Aside for one vehicle, I’ve only owned them my whole life.  Even forced my wife into one.  But we already have a Pilot and apparently it is a (insert air quotes here) faux pas to own two of the same make/model vehicle (unless it’s a BMW, then its ok).  So getting a 2nd Pilot is out.  And Honda has no other SUV bigger than the Pilot.  The only option would be a minivan, and well, it’s a minivan.

So I’d try the Toyota Sequoia.  The $60K+ Toyota Sequoia.  Sure bigger, very bog.  But honestly, the bells and whistles on the inside were few and far between.  So I purchase a car, a big car, that will get beat up in the city without the amenities I want for $60K?  Really?

Then I tried the GMC line.  I looked at the Buick something, but from my childhood, Buick is just old, so I had to pass.  I tried the GMC Yukon with the Denali trim.  It was quite nice.  And I would hope so for $65K+.  It had the bells, the whistles, the trumpets, the French horns, the bassoons, the flutes, and all of the other wind instruments that I can’t think of right now.  It even had the ability to warm or cool your seats.  Sweet action to say the least.  But two problems on this one.  1) My father-in-law drives a GMC Yukon.  2) Its still $65K+.

So that leaves me with little to no options.  So I test drive the Honda Odyssey.  And, a week later after letting the wife and boys check it out, I became a minivan driver.  A 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite

DSC_0007Getting In 3DSC_0009Inside 2

And do I feel less of a man, nope.  And why?  Because a real man knows that a vehicle that allows you to get into a car, without having to put your kids in (they can do it by themselves), is a blessing for day-to-day life.  And we saved over $20K!

Plus, when 50 rolls around for me, that Aston Martin Vanquish still will look just as fine.

John Talk – First Post

So I have a number of postings in mind, from the relatively mundane (but excitement laden to me) to universal topics of interests that all likely won’t agree with (Greatest Movie = Die Hard; Greatest Song = Def Leppard’s Photograph) that I want (hope) to eventually get to over time, but I suppose I should start with me.

I am Candace’s husband of over 8 years though we have known each other for over 14 years now.  The best way to describe me is relatively simple.  I am complex in my mind, simple in my day-to-day actions, mindful of my shortcomings (in which I have lots), and, most importantly, content with who I am most of the time. 

What’s the basics? I am an attorney.  Yeah, living in DC and you’re an attorney?  Original.  But at least I am a technical attorney and not your run of the mill one.  I received a BS from Clemson University in Electrical Engineering and soon realized that a cubicle was not for me.  Patent law was the answer and thus that is what I do today.  I work hard but also am glad to know that I work to live and not live to work.  I love my job, like the people I work with, but prefer family and the time at home with them.

I am also almost 40!  Though I act like it in some respects, I really don’t in most.  At least I’ll get to celebrate turning 40 in style when Candace and I head to New Orleans to walk the street, hit the jazz clubs, eat to our heart’s content, and, oh yeah, drink just a little.  The drink of choice, the Old Fashioned (post to follow).

So what else would one say?  Maybe those things that let you really know someone.  I can sing, no, I can belt out Whitney Houston or Shania Twain in full confidence; I can make myself laugh in my head; and I have an extremely healthy infatuation with James Bond.  I am not him, I know that I will never be him, but I love the character.

So please read my posts for the urban guy’s how-tos at times, thoughts on topics that should be discussed with friends (the aforementioned best movies, best songs, best back-to-back songs for a wedding reception, etc.), and  how to be 40 with two kids, a full time job, a wife with never ending energy (or ideas), and free time that tends to last at least 30 minutes a day (not counting sleeping).  I’ll be short, sweet, and to the point and hopefully funny at times.

And so, in the words at the ends of every James Bond film:

John Fleming will return.

Ever Need An Outlet?

I decided maybe I should explain why I decided to start this blog or at least go into a bit more detail since I have had quite a few people ask me. What’s up with all the book reviews and book info? Why are you blogging? Well, there is a simple answer. I need an outlet.

For anyone that knows me well, they know I do better with a ton on my plate and I am not a happy camper when I am not busy. Giving birth to two rowdy little boys has been a huge challenge and it kept me pretty darn busy for the last couple of years. But as any mom can tell you, sometimes raising your kids doesn’t quite hit the spot, so to speak. Now, please don’t read into this too much. I love my kids. I love being their mom. But somewhere in the midst of all the late nights, bottles, potty training, kid activities, I felt myself disappear a bit. I think this is totally normal and I know from talking to my friends, everyone feels this way. It is hard not to lose yourself in the course of raising children. We are tasked with the challenge of turning these small people into good human beings. It is a huge responsibility and sometimes the weight of it can crush us.

So….to give me a place to go and just take a bit of time for myself, I decided to blog. I have always enjoyed reading and writing and this seemed to be a natural fit for me. I spend a good deal of time on the internet looking at and reading blogs that cover everything from DIY, parenting, reading, and cooking. I love stumbling across a post that helps me in my everyday life whether with a recipe, a home improvement tip, an activity with my kids and of course, I can always use another good book to read. I can read book blogs all day long.

As I start my adventure on this blog, I am going to post whatever hits me at the moment. I am going to share a little of myself and send it out into the cyber universe. Yes, you will see a ton of posts on books because let’s be honest, I read like a mad woman. But you will also see a little bit of our life in DC. I hope you enjoy it because I sure know I will because each post I write on this blog means I took a little time to reflect on my life and what brings me happiness and pleasure! So here goes nothing…

Happy New Year!

Sometimes it is hard to focus during the holiday season on the things that matter most.  We get carried away with all the present buying, decorating and party going.  I would like to say that I don’t get caught up in it all but that would be a giant lie.  I always vow every year to try to slow down and enjoy it more.  Every year, it is an epic fail.
I do always strive to put my family and friends first and foremost.  This Holiday season was a crazy one but it also was full of fun memories.  The boys were an absolute blast this Christmas and although at times I felt like strangling them after many meltdowns and too much candy and treats, it was all worth it.  
As a New Year approaches, I once again am going to try to slow down and just enjoy all the moments….or at least try to catch a few good ones!  Happy New Year to all my friends and family!

Another great way to document our journey as a family….it begins!

So I finally decided to write a blog….the main reason…my own sanity!  I love reading other blogs especially all the DIY, photography, design, cooking, writing and parenting.  I surf pinterest all the time, trying out ideas from there or from my favorite blogs.  So, I finally decided I would love a space to tell my story and my family’s story from deep down in our trenches!   My posts will probably be all over the place as far as topics but I think you might enjoy a true tell of a girl…trying to do it all or at least a little of everything.  Sometimes, I fail miserably and the rest of the time I am mentally doing a happy dance when one of my crazy idea comes to fruition.  I can say with all honestly that being a working mom, wife, and mother have tried my patience and pushed me farther as a person than I ever imagined.  So I hope you tag along and check back ever so often!