Birthday Weekend

My wife and I have a tradition called Birthday Weekend. No matter what day of the week your birthday falls on, you get to celebrate your birthday the subsequent weekend. I’m not sure exactly when this tradition started, but we’ve stuck to it for several years now. Recently it was my wife’s birthday and we pronounced the biannual arrival of birthday weekend in our house. We were both excited to celebrate not just one day, but all weekend. I’ve learned that parties can always go a little longer in my opinion.

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Born and Raised

It’s been an interesting week for me. On Saturday, we dropped my younger brother off at college. I walked on the campus I once called home and was instantly overcome with lingering feelings of days gone by. The memories, joys, pains, victories, and defeats of my college years started knocking on my heart. Nostalgia was everywhere. I can’t believe it was nearly ten years ago when I first set foot on that campus as a freshman. Where did those years go?

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2011 Superlatives

Here is my list of the very best of 2011!

My Favorite Moments of 2011

-San Diego Anniversary trip (January 2011) What can I say? We love The SD.

-Burn’s Winter Camp (Feb 2011). There was snow and awesomeoness.

-Las Vegas trip to see Phantom of the Opera and Lion King (April 2011). My wife has shared with me her love of musicals. I am grateful!

-Surf Camp (June 2011). We had a blast surfing on some of the biggest waves I’ve ever seen at Leo Carrillo. Plus, any camping trip is always a good time with our church.

-UCYC Adventure (July 2011) This has become my favorite camp. Incredible. So many memories.

-Ecuador Trip (August 2011). I had an amazing time in Ecuador. It is a beautiful country and the people are incredible.

-Graduation (December 2011) I was happy to complete my MA. Great program and a wonderful experience

-Christmas with my family (December 2011). We had incredible time hosting our first Christmas and spending it with my family. It was such a good week!

-Our new home (September 2011). We are amazed and excited about our new place. We can’t wait for the good times that are ahead.

-Marissa’s new job. I am so proud of my wife and happy for her. She is an incredible teacher!

The most inspiring and best books I read

-The War of Art. My favorite book of 2011. A must read for any writer, artist or leader.

-Generation IY A great look at this generation. Challenging and thought provoking.

-The Hole in Our Gospel I am so grateful for this book and the conversations it created.

-Forgotten God A great intro look at the Holy Spirit.

-Escaping the Matrix A wonderful look at spiritual warfare and how to create real change in our lives.

-Spiritual Leadership. A classic book on Christian Leadership. Great, applicable points.

The Best Films I saw

-The King’s Speech. Inspirational and beautiful.

-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow’s part 2. No words describe how great this movie is.

-Sherlock Holmes and the Game of Shadows. Brilliant!

-Black Swan. Overly and unnecessarily graphic, but wonderful cinematography and incredible acting.

My Greatest Discoveries

-Evernote. Nuff said, This app has revolutionized the way I take notes and organize my life.

-How I Met Your Mother. My new favorite show.

-Michael Hyatt’s blog. A great read every day!

My Awesome Epic Failure Moments

-Accidentally bouncing a random girl off the trampoline at Sky High Sports

-Discovering our bathroom door didn’t lock in Ecuador (Thanks for that Raul)

-Forgetting to do the XYZ before preaching one night. Yep. There was lots and lots of laughter.

Most Radical Realizations

-You will never please everyone so stop trying

-The Criticism equation: 1,000 positive comments + 1 negative comment= 1 negative comment in our minds. It’s a lie.

-God is redemptive. How amazing it is when we begin to notice the way he redeems our past and current situations for his glory.