Dear Son, Don’t Ever Change

Well my boy, we’ve made it another trip around the sun – you’re fifth now. Wow, 5 years old…where has the time gone? I know, it’s not like you’re graduating from high school or anything, and are heading off to college, but I can’t help but look at you, in this moment, and feel a profound sense of emotion.

I know that’s not a big surprise with your dad; I’m all the emotions, all the time. But recently your mother and I have both found ourselves marveling how much you’ve grown; not just physically, but in every other sense of the word…and clearly how much we’ve grown because of you.
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Nobody Likes Flakes

I’ve become somewhat of a stickler in my old age. Long gone are the care free days of waking up at the crack of noon, making open-ended plans with all my friends, knowing the odds were more likely I would end up lounging around on my couch playing video games than following through with any of those plans. You know, life pre marriage/kids.

But now, I’ve done a complete 180. If you make plans with me, you better stick to them! Not only that, if you’re not 15 minutes early; you’re already late.

I know, it probably sounds like I’m in constant Drill Sergeant mode, and I am. Time spent in  the military, then marrying a woman who always says, “I’ll be ready in 5 minutes” in 10 minute increments for 30 minutes, when I’m ready to go, and then having 2 adorable, yet highly annoying (at times) kids, will do that to a person.
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Butter Coffee and Being Almost 40 (Kind Of)

It’s hard to believe that I’m almost 40. When I was a kid, 40 seemed ancient, and now, it’s right around the corner for me. In fact, you can find me most days obsessing about that fact, much to the annoyance of my wife.

She tells me to stop stressing over such trivial things; even going as far as saying crazy stuff like, “Stop worrying so much. 40 is not right around the corner. You have 15 months before you’re 40. Hell, you’re not even 39 yet!”

See what I mean? She clearly doesn’t get it.

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With Liberty and Justice…FOR ALL

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Below is a post I wrote almost 6 years ago for a different blog, so excuse the dated references and crappy grammar. I wrote this upon the announcement of the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. This is my favorite story to tell when people ask what it was like being in the military. I always think about the friends I made, and the close relationship I built during those years…with all of my battle buddies, Black, White, Latino, straight, and gay. I wanted all my friends to know how important they are to me, but this story was meant for one man in particular who was a very dear friend while I served, and still is to this very day. Nothing will ever change the fact that these men and women were, are, and always will be my family. So, on this Veterans Day, I share this story with you.
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Dear Men, We Need to Stop Saying, “Not All Men”

By now, I’m certain you’ve heard the recent offensive and demeaning comments made by Donald Trump. Oh, I’m sorry, I know that was vague, what, with that kind of thing being a daily occurrence now.

Of course, I’m referencing the comments made on audio from an appearance on Access Hollywood in 2005, where Mr. Trump bragged about trying to sleep with a married woman, and went on to admit being a celebrity allows certain privileges; one being sexual assault against women.
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Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

How many times have you found yourself thinking, “Man, if I could only go back and talk to my younger self.” If only I could tell them to make better choices.” We’ve all thought that. It comes with getting older.

Sure, if we could go back we’d warn our younger selves about the downfalls of not doing better in school, choosing different career paths, picking who we spend our time with better, and most certainly, taking better care of our bodies. I know I would. But what do you think your future self would say to you right now? What if the *right now* you needed the talking to? What would it sound like?
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Progress is When We #ClimbOut Together

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On Saturday June 18, 2016, I had the honor of taking part in one of the most amazing events I will probably every witness in my lifetime. From the outside it probably appeared to be a simple gathering of moms, ranging from pregnant to trying to corral a toddler or 2. Probably something you’ve seen every day in malls, parks and playgrounds alike. But, it was so much more.

My wife, who many of you know runs the page MamaChakra, recently became a Warrior Mom Ambassador for Postpartum Progress. With this title came the responsibility of putting together and organizing the yearly #ClimbOut of Darkness event for our area of Alexandria, VA.
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#GuardYourYard From the Invading Forces of Summer – DynaTrap Sponsored Post

No matter where you live in the U.S., certain things are just synonymous with summer – hot days, swimming pools, and grilling every chance you get.

When my wife and I purchased our home 3 years ago, the backyard was less than appealing:
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