Monday, March 24, 2014

M-Cubed for 3.24.2014

M-Cubed (Monday Morning Musings) for March Twenty-Fourth, Two Thousand Fourteen...a random smattering of thoughts that end up here on Monday morning.

- Late to bed, late to wake up this morning. Last night, I took my oldest daughter to downtown Cleveland to closeout her birthday week. We had dinner at the Chocolate Bar where we ended dinner sharing a chocolate and peanut butter ice cream shake. Her comment as we walked through downtown Cleveland on a late Sunday afternoon: "It's kinda like New York City...with less people and quieter." :) After dinner, we walked back to Cleveland State University's Wolstein Center for the FishFest...a concert with 6 artists and sponsored by the local radio station, 95.5 The Fish. The night kicked off with the little known WeAsHuman (glad they were first and done!) then Mandisa and Brandon Heath shared the stage for many songs (absolutely LOVED them and Mandisa is incredible...would love to see just her in concert some day in a small setting), then Third Day hit the stage. Third Day has been around for 21 years now and is an icon in the Christian rock/worship industry. It was a mixture of the new and old and great all around. Seeing that 6 artists had to share the stage, the sets were shorter but still good. As Third Day wrapped up and their equipment dismantled, Peter Furler (formerly of the Newsboys) stood at the end of the stage walkout with only him, a drummer, and guitarist, and played about 4 songs. In the dark behind him, the stage was rebuilt for Skillet...an aggressive Christian/mainstream band who is crazy popular the globe over. Heck, their Facebook page recently passed the 5 million fan mark. I didn't know them until I saw them last summer at the Alive Festival. Since then...I'm a huge fan and even run to their tunes often. Lots of their lyrics have met me right where I am today and as a former Metallica junkie, I love the style. Here is but one photo I grabbed of them from our AWESOME seats! Great night and my baby girl/new teenager slept all the way home from CLE.

- Yes, I know this wasn't published on Monday morning. Hey, I was rockin' Sunday night and slept in! (at least that's my excuse)

- I be shopping! Well, not like you think...or at the local Target, etc. My race calendar is a bit empty past September this year. I'm not seeking a marathon...or a 100 miler. Instead, I've been casting a wide net into the midwest United States and looking for a 50 miler to run in October or November...like a nice bookend on the shelf of 2014. I ran across the JFK 50 Miler which is held the Saturday before Thanksgiving, is about a 4hr drive from home, and is an icon in the eastern United States, having been run for over 50 years now and quite a history...and being very "military" like in its origins and current form. Being a military guy, that's a draw. The downside is that within those 50 miles are 26 miles of towpath, 15 miles of road, and only about 8 miles of actual trail. That's not my kind of recipe. The 2nd downside is the entry fee that is unknown today. Registration opens on April 1st and is expected to be near $200...VERY steep. A polar-opposite run is held the week prior on November 15th...the Stone Mill 50 that is held in Gaithersburg, MD...just northwest of our nation's capital. It's only 30min further to drive and is almost entirely on the trails under fall foliage. It's a very low cost, no frills race where the money goes to paying the park fees and stocking the aid stations. Very little, if any, swag. However, the field can be as large as 300 runners. Low cost is under 50 bucks, by the way. Registration doesn't open until August 1st...but unless I see something magical about the JFK 50 on April 1st, I'm leaning heavily towards this race. There is even a brand new Hampton Inn under 3 miles from the start/finish with an indoor saltwater swimming pool...perfect for the kids while I run all day.

- We recently wrapped up an eleven week marriage study in our home dubbed "Real Marriage." We had four active couples who attended and it ended up being a very good study. Next up, we will be leading Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University for the very first time, starting on April 3rd right here in our hometown at the local Town Hall. Registrations have ticked up in the past 48 hours so I'm really looking forward to it. It'll be our first time facilitating it since putting "Uncle Dave's" principles into practice back on Christmas 2009. On the marriage front, I picked up these (look right) study guides yesterday. Dr. Gary Chapman is the author of the well-known "Five Love Languages" book. Well, we're going to work through this book/study one-on-one with another couple. We're really looking forward to it! It incorporates individual study, couples one-on-one study, then a time where two or more couples share with each other and work through the material. We're going to piggy-back this with getting our kids together to play, probably grill out in the summer, and make it a fun time while also sharpening our marriages along the way. (Thanks to Logos Bookstore in Kent for hooking us up with the books!)

That's it for now, folks. I know I haven't written much lately. Sometimes, I just "vomit" words on the screen and other times, it all stays inside. Lately, it's been the latter but I'm still "awake and alive" (to quote Skillet!) and fine. Looking forward to warmer days and Spring arriving...eventually. Where are those daffodils and blossoming cherry trees?! I know it's soon because my "birthday run" is less than a month away and I always look forward to running by those trees in Kent on my birthday when I run all day.

Have a great week!

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