“It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique. It’s not easy, but if you accept your misfortune and handle it right, your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound re-invention.”Conan O’Brien
2011 Dartmouth College Commencement Address
Growing older comes with aching body parts that I didn’t even know I had to slowly but surely realizing my life has been awesome when I had a chance to reflect at the many things that I have done in my personal life and career. So, in an effort to try something that I’ve never done before, I will celebrate my birthday by creating a list of the best things that I remember experiencing. I will keep adding to this list as I remember events and happenings. I hope that you will find some joy in the simple things in life as I have.
- I was born today, on January 21. Thanks to my loving parents, Nelia and Leonardo.
- Getting that huge birthday cake with a massive jack in a box decoration with corndogs on a stick circling the entirety of the cake when I turned 7.
- Trying to make mashed potatoes with my brother, Kersey from sliced potatoes in the stew that my mom made.
- Tasting Dr. Pepper for the first time.
- The first time I successfully rode the bike without training wheels and supervision.
- My mom discretely sending me multiple choice answers with her hands, while sitting with the audience at a school math competition in 3rd grade. I still laugh at this one.
- Every time I played basketball at the driveway with my brother.
- Getting excited and anticipating the birth of my sister, Tanya.
- Wondering why my mom hasn’t come home from work at the hospital, then realizing she went to labor and just gave birth to my youngest sister.
- Making paper boats and placing them on puddles.
- Playing in the rain.
- Attempting to skateboard but couldn’t stay up on the board, so I decided to lay on it like I was Superman and weave around my parents’ house.
- Using the curtain rod and a tennis ball as a makeshift mini basketball set.
- My dad sneakily walks into the house and surprising us. I didn’t see him for 3 years because he was working overseas.
- My dad introducing burritos to my food pyramid.
- Making the school basketball team in 7th grade and receiving my first jersey with my name on it.
- Learning how to play the drums in junior high.
- Making all-county chorus in junior high. Cool and Ewwww at the same time. Hahaha.
- Meeting my lifelong friends in high school. One of them ends up being my wife, Amy.
- Marching with the drumline at the Pride of West Virginia.
- Recording with the WVU Band’s keynote concert
- Making the Graphic Design program at WVU.
- Meeting lifelong friends in the art department. Those guys are crazy, yet awesome.
- Recording the first live CD with my post-college band.
- Getting my first agency job shorty after graduation.
- Marrying my best friend in the world, Amy.
- Moving to Knoxville, Tennessee when it was close to 100 degrees in July.
- Going on my first cruise. Although, I still fear the wide open view of the ocean.
- Going to the Sugar Bowl in Atlanta where WVU won as an underdog to UGA after a fake punt.
- Building, closing and spending the first night at the first house we ever bought.
- Getting my logo designs published as one of the best in the world.
- Meeting my first born daughter, Kaylin
- Meeting my second daughter, Kadence
- Seeing the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas. Twice.
- Going to Vegas for the first time and coming home on the plus side of gambling.
- Being on a reality tv show for TLC.
- Reaching 10 happy years of marriage.
- Waiting 3 years for a video game to be released and it was worth the wait after playing it almost everyday.
- Playing disc golf almost daily with the guys at work.
Growing up watching The Late Show with David Letterman, the Top 10 lists were definitely the highlight for me. So to honor Mr. Letterman’s retirement, here are my Top 10 favorite gifs.