Sunday, April 27, 2008

Rainy, "Green" Sunday!

Today was an interesting day. I was able to play Toqua Golf Club, a Tellico Village course I have always wanted to play but haven’t because it is private. Well, today I got to play it – in the rain. The weatherjerks got it wrong again and it was a steady rain when I arrived at the clubhouse to meet the good folks nice enough to sponsor my round – my buddy, Scott Saidak and his dad. After a hearty Southern breakfast with a bunch of old, retired Yankees, we decided to brave the weather. I was personally rewarded with a terrible front nine and soaked clothes. The sun came out on the back nine, as did my game . I still scored poorly, but there were some shining moments. On a 322-yard Par 4, I drove the green, yet managed to three-putt for par. However, and I am not just saying this, all three putts were tough on the challenging greens they have out there.

Suni spent this evening going to Knoxville to gather up all the goodies about which she has been reading in her Gorgeously Green book. Should be interesting. Waylon and I went down and visited my parents. All in all, a pretty good day. I am on the road a lot this week, so hopefully Suni keeps me posted with the blog entries.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Great Reads

I've read a couple of great books lately and thought I'd share. Most recently I finished Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I enjoyed it and found it very interesting, although I can see how some might not like it. I noticed on Kelly's blog she said she was the only one of her group of friends who did like it. Kelly, you were the first person I thought of when I heard about the book....I knew you'd like it!

A couple of months ago I read The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck. It's an old book, but definitely a life changing one for me. I knew I was messed up, but this pointed out more than I really wanted to admit. :) I cannot imagine a single person who would not benefit from reading this book. It was a lot to take in and I'll be reading it again in the near future.

The Glass Castle is another great book I finished last month. It's a remarkable memoir by Jeannette Walls that's so unbelievable and witty that I had trouble putting it down.
Finally, I have just started reading Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano. I'm not so concerned with the "Gorgeously" aspect of the book, but it is a great guide to living a "green" life.

I'm not big on hanging on to my books, so if anyone is interested in reading these (other than The Road Less Traveled, which is on loan to me by Cole's Papaw) let me know and I'll mail it to you.
Good lord! Can you tell I have just recently learned how to get pictures off of the internet. Who knew it was so easy?! Haa! I think I went a little overboard in this post.

Ailin' Waylon

Waylon's sick once again. Probably his worst illness to date. Daycare called on Wednesday (my first day of work for the week) and said he had a temp of 102.5. Nothing too alarming, but since he'd been coughing at night for a week I decided to take him to the pediatrician, who informed me he has one nasty virus and a sinus infection to boot. Also, one of his tubes we had put in last month is already out and an ear infection may be setting in. Great!! Just when I was starting to get used to "Well Waylon" this happens. So, my hopes of having a "normal" work week are out the door and W and I have been doing a lot of cuddling at home. He's absolutely miserable. There's nothing worse than a sick child, especially when nothing you do seems to help. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Scenes from the Stinson Household

So much has been happening, as Cole just filled you all in on. A trip to the Dominican, a visit from Grandma JSM, Waylon's first b-day, Jonnie's 50-something b-day, Cole turned 30 (hip-hip-hooray!), and we celebrated our 3rd anniversary.
In true Stinson style, we have taken very few pictures to remember these momentous occasions. We recently purchased a new camera hoping this would change things, but no, we still suck at taking pictures. I have accepted this, but am working on channeling my inner "Japanese tourist" and hope to be a picture-taking fool someday soon.

Waylon received a Radio Flyer wagon from Grandma JSM for his birthday, which he absolutely adores. Whether is riding in it or pushing it around himself, he loves his wagon. Thanks, Grandma!!

Waylon has always been ridiculously flexible...I swear he's part monkey. At dinner, if he doesn't have his tray in front of him, he likes to rest his feet on the table while he eats. What a nut!! Here are some pics of his first spaghetti dinner.

We hope you are all doing well and love catching up by reading some of your blogs. Oh, I forgot to mention...Waylon has only had one ear infection since having his tubes put in!! It has been such a drastic and welcomed change for us all!

Hello Again!

Suni hasn’t updated the blog in a while… so, inspired by Tim Whitehead’s hilarious first post at his family’s new blog, I figured I would post an update.

We had a wonderful birthday dinner last night at Foothills Milling Company. My brother, Aaron, and his wife, Julie, as well as my sister, B.J., were in attendance, as was my work buddy, Phil Gombar. Suni planned the whole thing and truly did surprise me. She had bought wine, pre-ordered appetizers, the whole nine yards. When we walked in the door, I was expecting it to just be Suni and me and was truly surprised to see my family. I have a very thoughtful wife. My actual birthday was last Wednesday, but I was in a conference in Nashville, so there was little celebration… at least on account of my birthday. The delay was worth it. It is hard to believe that I am no longer “in my twenties.”

The conference in Nashville was actually of note in that we (my boss and a couple of colleagues) met Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. I had an actual conversation with Faith Hill, who couldn’t have been any nicer and more genuine. All of this took place at Valentino’s, the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy. When I called my brother to tell him who I’d just met, he said he’d just seen them on TV. Apparently, the CMA Award Show was that night.

There is too much to catch up on, but I’ll try.

Dominican Republic

In mid-March, Suni and I left Waylon with my parents and went to the Dominican Republic on an all-expense paid trip. That was part of an incentive program that my firm provides. If I bill a certain number of hours and/or have a certain amount of fees received in a given year, I qualify for the trip. The Dominican, particularly the resort where we stayed – the Excellence Punta Cana – was awesome! The place was truly as great as the pictures make it out to be. We had a lot of fun, but missed Waylon, of course!

The last day on the island was stressful. I hate flying, so I was already popping Xanax by the time we left the resort for the harrowing one-hour bus ride to the airport. Three hours later we had finally made it through every manner of line you could imagine – the drug check line, the “security line,” the ticket line. We rushed to the gate because our flight was due to take off at any moment. We had scarcely arrived at the gate when we heard the PA system crackle. In broken English: “The flight to Atlanta is delayed because of mechanical problems.” Great! Just as reached for the Xanax again and began bitching about the mechanical issue, I realized that Suni’s seat was about thirty rows away from mine. Splendid! The only thing I looked more forward to than dying in a fiery plane crash, was doing so alone or next to the most slovenly, repulsive human being imaginable, by whom I was certain to be seated.

I hadn’t even finished bitching about either of these things when the PA system came to life again. I didn’t understand what was said, but the gist of the message was apparent when everyone in our group started making their way to the gate. Great, the mechanical problem had been magically “fixed” and we were boarding the aircraft. Naturally, I pictured some shade tree mechanic named Jose rifling through his gallon jug of old bolts until he found one that “would work.” We walked through the gate and out into the Caribbean sunshine. (There are no jetways at the Punta Cana airport; you board by walking up a ladder). Just as I was within spitting distance of said ladder, I heard a splat and felt the boarding pass in my hand jolt slightly. When I looked down at the boarding pass, I saw bird crap splattered all over it and the book it was sticking out of. One final insult before I boarded the vessel of death known as Delta Flight whatever-it-was. The last sight I saw before I boarded was Suni hyperventilating from laughter at what she had just witnessed. Obviously, the plane didn’t crash… a fact that actually surprised me.

Waylon Turns One!
Our little boy turned one on March 28. His Grandma Jonnie was in from Iowa to celebrate. Shortly before his first birthday, he had started walking three or four steps. By the big day, he was walking 10-12. Now, he walks from one end of our house to the other, although he constantly trips on his pants, because they are all too long. Even though his doctor said he is “perfectly proportioned,” he is little. The doctor assures me that this is not indicative of what size he will be at adolescence or beyond. This is a relief to me.

For months Waylon has been obsessed with light. He points out every single light he sees to anyone, everyone, regardless of where he is, and says very plainly “Light!” This was his first word, and it remains his favorite. When we voiced some concern about Waylon’s preoccupation with light at his one-year check-up last week, Dr. Booer asked “What do you mean?” When we just stared blankly, the doctor continued... “Are you concerned about autiusm?" he asked with a puzzled look.

I threw Suni directly under the bus. “She is,” I said, pointing to my wife. (This was true, but not appreciated by my better half).

Dr. Buher looked at us like we were the two dumbest people in the world and said, “This kid is not autistic.” Then he asked us to wait while he typed a medical note himself that said, among other things, “Waylon is not autistic.” I found this pretty amusing. Suni really didn’t.

There are a million other things to say, and maybe Suni will say some of them. The bottom line is that we couldn’t be happier. We just celebrated our third anniversary, we have a healthy, happy kid that we both adore, our jobs are stable, flexible, and pay the bills, and we have an extended family around that we love (and even like, most times). This is a blessing, as we went throgh a quite dark period in late winter, coming to the painful decision not to move back to New Mexico to be part of the Holt Babington Mynatt family. We struggled with this decision more than we have anything else in our young marriage. It felt at times that making the decision would take years off our lives, but, in the end, we felt compelled to stay in Tennessee. The decision brought optimistic happiness as well as profound sorrow. If only there was a way to be in Iowa, New Mexico, and Tennessee at the same time, we would literally have the perfect life!

We are also going to Destin, Florida, with my cousin Brad and his family May 11-18. We are looking forward to that! Waylon's first trip to the beach!