Saturday, May 15, 2010

Top Ten Reasons To Get Married: Partnership

Here goes, the number 7 reason to get married:

No.7 - Marriage prevents you from dying alone

Sure, you're on a hot streak right now, dating 20-year-old yoga instructors and bi-curious baristas, but we both know that's not going to last forever. How's being single going to work out for you when you're 60, when you have hair in all of the wrong places and no one can stand to look at you? Marriage is an investment in your future. Sure, you sacrifice some of your sweet single years, but in exchange you get to make a long-term investment in one person, building a deep, abiding love that has the potential to last a lifetime.

I feel like I'm getting a two-for-one on this number. Not only am I "making an investment" into a friendship that's going to last a lifetime, but I'm also getting the 20-year-old yoga instructor (she's 23 and doesn't teach yoga, but close enough :) ). I've never been worried about dying alone because I am surrounded by family that loves me, but to know that I'll now have my best friend, companion, lover and wife next to me through thick and thin brings me great joy.

Check out the intro to this list here.
Check out the number ten reason here.
Check out the number nine reason here.
Check out the number eight reason here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Top Ten Reasons To Get Married: Family

Here goes, the number 8 reason to get married:

No.8 - Marriage gives you a platform to build your bloodline on

OK, so technically you don't need to be married to have a family, but marriage is still the standard method for starting a family. The nuclear family, despite its flaws, remains a sought-after model. That's why having kids is another argument in our top 10 reasons to get married. Being a father is a dimension of manhood that just about every guy wants to experience -- and marriage is the most stable and secure environment in which to start a family.

This is an easy one for Mandi and I. Both of us feel like we were put on this earth to raise a family. Now, as most of you know, we will face some challenges starting one, but we are ready to take that part of our journey head on! There's still some debate as to when that journey shall commence, but I'm guessing it will be sooner rather than later. I mean, I'm darn near an old man! I need to get this party started before it's too late :)

Check out the intro to this list here.
Check out the number ten reason here.
Check out the number nine reason here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Flash Me Friday- Front of My House

So here it is, the first addition of Flash Me Friday. This brainchild of Jen over at The Groettum Family blog is going to be a weekly series in which we have to take a picture of her choosing without any cleaning up whatsoever. This first wee was easy :) I can only assume that it will get harder. If you want in on the action, please visit here for the "rules".

Just wanted to make sure that I point out two things. One, did you notice how nice and trimmed that palm tree looks. Yeah? Well that was me with a hacksaw and a ladder my friend. First time ever attempting to cut any sort of wood in my lifetime. Here's a second first, notice the two pots flanking the sidewalk? Those two flowers, bushes, tress, whatever you call them were the first things I've ever planted in my life on my own!! I'm growing up right before your very eyes :)

Top Ten Reasons To Get Married: Money

Here goes, the number 9 reason to get married:

No.9 - Marriage increases your earning power

You know that big-screen TV you've been saving for? Well, if you were married, you'd probably own it by now. Being married means sharing expenses and splitting the costs of major purchases. You cynics out there gripe about the money women cost you, but the money you'd spend on dinner dates and the occasional gift is dwarfed by the prospect of having an extra income in the household. Marriage means you can afford the things you could never afford on your own; it means a better home, a better car, a better vacation, and cooler stuff.

First life now money? This marriage thing is going to be even better than I thought :) I'm very fortunate to be marrying a woman whose spending habits are much like mine- we try not to buy anything!! We've had almost a permanent cringe on our face while shopping for furniture for our house, but we keep telling ourselves that this stuff will last us the next 20 years. Plus, we've been looking for really big stuff so we have to buy less of it! It has been fun though. We've had our interior designer (aka Mandi's mom) along with us which has come as a big help. Let's just say that Mandi and I don't have quite the eye that Nancy does.

Well, that's enough for now, apparently I need to go and pick out a big-screen TV!

Check out the intro to this list here.
Check out the number ten reason here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Top Ten Reasons To Get Married: Life

Here goes, the number 10 reason to get married:

No.10 - Marriage makes you live longer

One of the ways that getting married improves your life is by making it last longer. Various studies have indicated that happily married men tend to outlast their single counterparts. For example, a 2006 study performed by University of California researchers contended that single people are five times more likely to die of infectious disease, nearly 40% more likely to die of heart disease and twice as likely to die accidentally. Other studies suggest that the rate of mortality is a whopping 250% higher among single men than it is among married men.

Sold!! We all need to add some years to this life and if marrying my best friend is a way to do so then I say sign me up!! It makes sense though and I totally get it. I can completely relate to this statistic in this regard: Mandi gives me the best reason yet to live longer. Not only that, but she makes me want to fight even harder to live. Not only live like taking breaths live, but really live you know? Conquer things that I've never even attempted before. Improve on the things I already do. Be a better and more caring man. Draw from her strength and cover her weakness.

I've never ever wanted NOT to live, but I feel like the first time in my life I now have a reason not to die...Mandi would kill me if I did :)

Check out the intro to this list here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Top Ten Reasons To Get Married: Intro

I thought it would be fun for the next ten days to present the top ten reasons to get married according to and provide some commentary. First though, I'd like to start with their introduction into the list:

Top 10: Reasons To Get Married

Married men take a lot of shots in popular culture. Commercials, movies and sitcoms frequently represent married men as bumbling, ineffective, screwups, suffering under the judgmental eye of their all-knowing wives. Every day, married guys are told that they've given up their freedom or that they've been emasculated. But you know what? Married men don't actually mind all the ribbing. They can take the jokes from the media, and from all of their immature, misogynistic friends. They can handle it all because, in truth, they know they have it way better than the single guys do.

You may think that marriage is for suckers, but we’re here to give your head a shake. In fact, we’ll bet that most of you, if interrogated privately away from your binge-drinking bachelor buddies, wouldn't hesitate to admit that deep down you hope to get married someday. And that's a good thing, because being married is ultimately way better than being single. (

I myself never had to be privately interrogated away from my friends to admit that I wanted to be married. In fact, amongst my friends, it was always just assumed that I would be married first. From a very young age I talked about having a family of my own and living that typical "American dream". Little did we know that it would take 30 years for me to sucker a woman into making that dream a reality. It's funny, I was just talking to Mandi about this subject the other day (sort of) and I'm not so sure it came out right.

It started by us talking about the craziness swirling around all of the wedding plans and the many things we had left to do. I somehow transitioned from that into saying it was crazy that we're getting married and then wondering (out loud mind you), "How did we end up picking each other over everyone else we've ever dated? I mean, I'm still trying to figure out how I came to the point where I said 'That's who I want to marry. Isn't that weird?'" So now that I type it out, I guess I can see why she had that somewhat bewildered look on her face. As I explained away my statement, which she understood what I was trying to say fortunately, I realized that we actually probably had very little to do with it. The ONLY explanation I can come up with is that God picked her out of the millions of eligible women out there to be my wife and for some reason He has entrusted me with that responsibility. To think I would be so lucky still blows my mind. We've both dated in the past, and we agree that we've both dated good people, yet it never turned into this. Something above and beyond our control is at work here and I just thank my lucky stars (God) everyday for giving me this opportunity. It's certainly one I don't deserve.

Monday, May 10, 2010

12 Days and Counting...

I sit here racking my brain for a topic to post on, but unfortunately for you, all that comes to mind is WEDDING. I know it seems like that's all I've been posting about for the last 6 months. And welllllll, that's because it's all that's been on my mind for the last 6 months. So here you have it, all the latest and greatest in wedding news; with a little house mixed in.

We're 12 days out and boy, oh, boy am I excited. I couldn't help but think through ALL of Saturday by completing, "Two weeks from RIGHT now...." Everything from "Two weeks from right now we'll be getting ready," to "Two weeks from right now we'll be sitting eating the salad."

These last 12 days hold a lot of to-dos. We still have place cards to make, programs to print, favors to "construct", final dress fittings, arrangements to arrange, vows to write, and the list goes on. Every to-do I check off the list is with excitement, relief, and a little bit of sadness (as you only get to plan one wedding, so I'm trying to enjoy the last 2 weeks of the chaos). I have yet to turn into a total bridezilla (no comments mom or Ronnie), but my stress levels are starting to rise. I have begun to really feel the anxiousness from trying to mix my expectations of the day with everyone else's. It is beginning to get exhausting. With that said, I'm sure it's mainly pressure I have put on myself to create a day that is not only enjoyable for me and Ronnie, but our family and friends as well.

My mom has been a HUGE help. She's got an eye for detail and a brain that is wired for event planning. I'm pretty sure without her, I'd walk down the isle in a paper bag, carrying a single wilting hydrangea (did you know that without water they shrink/shrivel up within hours?? I didn't!) and eat pizza off of a paper plate. Ronnie has been incredible too. Making it to all of the major appointments, listening to me ramble for hours about details, and most of all, throwing his arm around me when I'm on the verge of a break down to remind me why I'm doing all of this in the first place. For those of you who follow the blog closely, you know that I'm the spaz, and Ronnie's always the one to put me at peace...he's remained that calming force throughout this whole process. AHHH, I just can't wait to make that Steady Eddy my hubby!

Changing gears - The house is coming along. In the 10 days since closing, we've managed to paint the kitchen, dining room, family room, master bedroom, study, living room, guest bedroom and all of the halls. Not to mention that we got some gardening done, all of our furniture moved in, other furniture bought, and the boxes unpacked. Needless to say, our house has really evolved into a home...minus the minor detail of a family living in it; that will change May 22.

So I'm sure you're reading this thinking, "oh my, I wish there was something I could do to help" (you were thinking that, right??)...well you're in luck. I have a request. Leave us some comments on how you made it through the last 2 weeks before your wedding. Were you stressed? Did you find a way to relax? Did you do anything that made the last few weeks FLY by? Do you have any last minute wedding pointers that will make our wedding the bombdigity? (Yes, I did just say bombdigity and yes that is the first word that came to mind). Clue us in!!! We'd love any pointers and words of wisdom you could pass along.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Great Story About a (CF) Nurse

Great story about fellow cyster who living the dream!!

Covenant nurse has cystic fibrosis, but lives a regular life

When babies aren't gaining weight or have pneumonia, their parents don't usually think of a rare genetic disorder.

For one in every 3,500 white infants, though, these symptoms might signal cystic fibrosis, an inherited disorder that makes mucus in the body become thick and sticky.

A Lubbock cystic fibrosis awareness walk is set for 8:30 a.m. May 15 at Lubbock Christian University, 5601 19th St.

Patients with cystic fibrosis have respiratory secretions that are much thicker and dryer that normal, said Adaobi Kanu, an associate professor of pediatrics at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and a specialist in pulmonology.

While rare in children of other races, about 1,000 white children are born with cystic fibrosis each year, according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Boys and girls are equally affected, the foundations reports.

While thicker mucus might sound trivial, it's anything but, local experts said.

The glue-like substance causes sinus infections, pneumonia and infections that cause inflammation and permanent lung damage, Kanu said.

The median life span for those with cystic fibrosis is 37, Kanu said. But new treatments are making it possible for people to live into their 40s and longer, WebMD reports.

According to Kanu, the thick mucus can obstruct the pancreas, preventing enzymes that break down food from entering the intestine and doing their job.

"Many individuals have difficulty gaining weight," she said.

That's how Erin Simpson, a Lubbock nurse, was first diagnosed.

"At 10 months old, I quit gaining weight," Simpson said. "At a year, I started losing a pound a week."

A positive test for cystic fibrosis surprised doctors, since Simpson didn't have respiratory signs.

She didn't have breathing problems until she was 18, she said, which is extremely rare for cystic fibrosis patients.

While Simpson, 24, has a mild form of the disease - she's only had two emergency stays in a hospital compared to dozens for many patients - she spends hours each day managing the symptoms.

There is no cure for cystic fibrosis, Kanu said. Patients are prescribed a combination of mucus-thinning drugs and exercises.

Simpson spends 90 minutes each day doing chest therapy, a technique that allows her to loosen the sticky mucus. She aids the regimen with inhaled medicines, and takes about 20 pills a day to break down her food and control infections, she said.

Simpson has a normal life expectancy, doctors have told her. She completed her bachelor's degree in nursing at West Texas A&M and has worked as a labor and delivery nurse at Covenant Women and Children's Hospital since 2008.

It's an accomplishment not everyone supported, she said.

"I had a professor tell me he didn't think I could do it," she said.

She still faces hurdles - like having healthy children.

In cystic fibrosis, two changes in the gene - one from the mother and one from the father - cause the sticky mucus.

Simpson would like her future spouse to be tested, she said.

"To pass it on to a child, knowing there's a high chance, that would be hard to do," she said. "I might decide to adopt."

But most babies born with cystic fibrosis come from parents who carry the gene, but do not know it. About one in 30 people carry a mutation, according to the Emory University's Department of Genetics.

Kanu said new therapies will help babies born with the disease.

"Some medications in phase 2 and 3 (clinical) studies have been shown to alter the expression of the abnormal protein," she said.

"There is also research with gene therapy, but I believe that's years away from being available."

The awareness walk set for May 15 will raise money toward finding a cure and supporting local families, Kanu said. For more information, call (214) 871-2222 or visit

Original article can be found at