Today's musings

What I learned from the Gospel of Matthew this morning:

- There is something more important than a temple (12:5)
- Anytime is a good time to heal, pray and be with someone (12:11)
- We have to decide whether we will have a good tree with good fruit or a bad tree with bad fruit (12:33)
- My words will acquit or condemn me (12:37)
- Beware of the dangers of spiritual emptiness!! (12:43-45)
- Have good soil. Digest, understand, cultivate and my production will be multiplied! (13:1-23)
- Peter let the littlest thing rattle him while on the water. Jesus never wavered. Just stay focuesed on Him and you wont' either. (14:22-33)
- Jesus tells us things hidden from the world in his parables. The question is: Are we listening? (13:35)

Sometimes you just gotta read the Bible. The place to go for answers. The book to read for entertainment. The document to buff up your history knowledge. The source of life!

Until next time, live today full of joy, love and courage. You have a partner in crime!


2011 Year in Review

It's that time again, folks! Time to fill in the blanks from 2011 that went unblogged and time to recap some events that you may have already read about. Either away, join me on the 2011 year in review journey! Ready? GO!

January - kicked off the year in style with Molly and Will, had visitors Jamie and Chris (Black Butte, Neskowin, whirlwind-heck-of-a-good-time)and went to watch my mighty Ducks play not so mighty in the National Championship game. Worst day of my life.
February - and so begins my travels to DC for the "Dealer Academy" and the death of our favorite Portland restaurant, Belly. Son of a!
March - 2 major events: our 1st anniversary, which we celebrated on Maui! And Jamie's 21er, which was celebrated in the South, as it should be.
April - Alex to DC again, fun outings to the Tulip Festival, wine tasting, and being jealous of my Dad, who spent a week in Augusta for the Masters.
May - I was featured in the Statesman Journal "Young Professionals" section, and spent a wild weekend with college friends in Palm Springs for a bachelor party. Wild being golf, dinners out, and laying by the pool. Pretty crazy, huh?
June - DC, again, after another Bachelor party, this time in San Diego. June also saw the beginning of 5 weeks with Jamie, which took us to Seattle (Mariners and oysters!), Black Butte (hiking!) and lots of Portland! We polished it off with a Mary Poppins show with Mom...all in all, one of the better months of the year!
July - 4th of July in Neskowin, the happiest place on earth, and let's be honest - the real highlight of the year - the VICTORY at the Oregon Best Ball!!!
August - DC, for the 4th time, but this time was able to pair that trip with a trip to Georgia for a week. We got to go to Chris's lake house, the PGA championship, and spend much needed quality time in the humidity. Upon returning, I was in one of my best friend's wedding, which turned out to be an incredibly great weekend spent with great friends!
September - the return of the Oregon Football Season, a quick trip to Salishan for Ashley and I, and the start of Ashley's teaching career in Salem!
October - busiest month of the year! DC for me, planning and executing our 1st Annual Wine to Water fundraiser, a trip to Ruby Springs, and the grand opening of our brand new Toyota store. And the major highlight was the arrival of our new puppy, RUBY!!!
November - really highlighted by a trip to Oxford and Thanksgiving in Georgia. I wore shorts. You don't do that in Oregon at Thanksgiving.
December - sprinting to the end of the year, we had the final trip to DC, which Ashley and family were able to attend. Couple that with the 2nd Annual Ornament Exchange and many other parties, we find ourselves a bit exhausted but hopeful for a great 2012.

Lessons learned: love a lot, live a lot, travel often, and appreciate home!

Until next time, happy new year and blessings to you for the upcoming year!


Meet Bob

I have a new friend and his name is Bob. I always admired him from a distance through stories I'd heard about him and from things he has written. But then I got to meet him. It took flying all the way to the East Coast (Washington DC) but by chance we met. He has a wild story, but in the end all he cares about is loving people like crazy. Bob inspires me to love better, to love more freely, and to do strange things for love. Here is what he has to say about it:

"I understand more about my faith when I think about my plane that leaks oil. We were made to leak as well; we were made to leak Jesus. We’re the ones who are supposed to love each other extravagantly, spontaneously, not just on Wednesday nights or Sunday mornings. And when we do, people might look at us a little funny, like there’s something wrong with us. But there isn’t. It’s what we were made to do. When we love each other extravagantly, our love gets on everybody and everything.

I know when I’m fearful, stressed out, distracted or hedging too. In those times, it feels like I’ve run out of love and what I notice always happens first, is that I stop leaking. My love isn’t as messy or spontaneous anymore. It doesn’t get on anything. It comes across as painfully polite, merely pleasant, barely tolerant, it’s somewhere in the mid-range rather that an explosion from a big engine and lots of blue smoke. When I stop leaking, I’m reminded that I’m not living the way I was designed to from the factory."

I love that statement that at times our love can come across as "painfully polite, mearly pleasant, barely tolerant". As Bob puts it, we are made to surprise people, do extravagant things, and go out of our way for love. That kind of makes life a little more exciting doesn't it? We get to think of ways to love people, whether they like it or not!

What can you do today to love someone like you've never loved them before? Until next time, meet Bob here and get creative in love!


Business Blog

I was accepted a while ago to be published as a blogger for Oregon Business Magazine...here is my latest entry!

Culture: What yours is and how it affects your business

I recently listened a podcast by Andy Stanley on the topic of culture, and it hit home in a lot of ways.
Not only did it prompt me to write this article, but it has prompted my business to make some positive
changes recently and going forward. His podcast was titled “The 5 Inescapable Truths About Culture”
and he is right on in regards to all five truths. These truths are can be found in every business or
organization, and they are undeniable and inescapable.

Culture says simply “this is how we do things here”. It is infectious but incredibly hard to measure. And
leaders love things that we can measure! We like numbers, reports and charts. We love reporting to
the boss how much of an improvement we had in the last quarter. However, leaders have a hard time
working on the culture of their organization. It feels like we are moving backwards when we address the
culture of our organization, doesn’t it? We wonder, Why can’t employees show up on time? Why don’t
people just do the right thing? Here is what Stanley has to say about all of this.

The first inescapable truth is that leaders shape the organizational culture whether they intend to or
not. No one has more impact on the culture of a business than the leader. The buy in comes from the
top down. We, as leaders, often forget that. Mostly we think about the stuff we can count or measure.
However, we have much more influence than we think we do. And a major temptation that we can fall
in to is that once we are in a space for a long time, we either adapt to the culture around us or continue
to shape it. If we look around our business and say “this is not something I like”, then we need to look
in the mirror. However, if we look around and like what we see, then we need to discover what Stanley
refers to as the “driving force” behind those good things. Then we need to protect them, nurture them
and don’t let anything get in the way of them being changed.

It is an enormous temptation for leaders to sit back and say, Wow things are great and I’m not changing
anything! But we need to discover why things are great and not just accept the fact that they are great.
We need to discover how to further cultivate a healthy culture and not be comfortable with it. If you
don’t know what these good things are, then it is possible that you might make changes that could
disrupt something that is inherently good and potentially destroy a good thing. So you can see the
importance of finding out the really healthy things you have going on in your business culture and act on

The second truth in all business cultures is that “time in erodes awareness of”. It is pretty simple: the
fresher we are in an organization the more we see. The longer we are in a place the less aware we
become of the small things, the culture, the people, and of what’s going on around us. We need to
build in to the rhythm of our business ways to discover things that are unhealthy, and ways to discover
the driving force of things that are healthy. Does that mean interviewing every new hire after 90 days?
Does that mean randomly polling employees on the way things are at work? I don’t know what it means
for your business, but I know we all need to do something to have safeguards in place that uproot
unhealthy practices or make healthy cultures come to the surface and stick.

The third truth that Stanley talks about is the fact that healthy cultures attract and keep healthy
people. Healthy people have a very low tolerance for unhealthy people; likewise unhealthy people are

attracted to unhealthy environments. This is psychology 101. Unhealthy people aren’t happy in healthy
organizations because nobody puts up with their gossip, drama, bad attitudes or their poor work ethic.
At the same time healthy people will leave a company if they are always walking around on eggshells,
avoiding the elephant in the room, etc. They simply won’t put up with it. A healthy culture attracts and
maintains great people. There won’t be “sideways energy”, where a lot of activity is going on with no
real productivity.

Speaking of productivity, the fourth inescapable truth is that the culture of an organization impacts
long term productivity. They are joined at the hip. Culture is tied to accessibility of information,
transparency, unfiltered debate and communication. Lack of those things are a “bottleneck for
productivity”, says Stanley. If you are not afraid to communicate, be transparent and are not scared of
unfiltered debate then you probably have a good foundation for a healthy culture. Employees become
less territorial and less focused on themselves, which will ultimately lead to better productivity. They
will collaborate more and bosses will no longer have to be worried about what’s going on “underneath”
them. Suspicion is now replaced with trust and productivity will increase exponentially.

The fifth truth about culture is that unhealthy cultures are slow to adapt to change. We all know this.
Unhealthy cultures are usually so focused on what’s happening inside the walls that their backs end up
against it. They are more concerned about what’s happening in the cube next to them, what the boss
said to that person and such that they lose focus of the marketplace. We can’t afford this. We can’t
afford to have a culture that resists change. We’ll be out of business before long! This makes it all the
more difficult for a company to transform from an unhealthy culture to a healthy one. The change is
worth it though. It impacts who you get, who you keep, and what kind of productivity they bring, which
in the long run directly affects the bottom line.

Your culture: what is it? What is it harvesting? What good things is it producing? Do you need to take a
look at making some serious changes? From someone who’s business is making a change, trust me.



So I dressed as up a my Dad today for Halloween. Not sure how I felt about it. First off, my step mom hit on me because she thought I was him (totally kidding, but that was funny though huh??). But seriously, it was kind of weird. Was it a flash forward? I'm not sure...I'm not sure I dig the cowboy boots and buckle at work really. Me, I'm more of a suit guy. Actually I'm a sweater vest guy, but those can only come out in the winter months.

Ok enough rambling. Did you hear that we moved? And bought a dog? And are going to be aunt and uncle again? And are both working in Salem? And we don't live in an apartment anymore? Yep. A LOT has changed recently! Where shall I start?

The move. It's been a while coming. We have talked about moving somewhere for a while now. The apartment walls were closing in and we wanted more space! But what we didn't expect was a little blessing in disguise. A house in our ideal neighborhood in Salem came available to rent and we have to jump on it. So we did. It is a great house! And it feels way too big for us right now, but that is waht 800 square feet will do to a couple. But after having been in for 1 day and not even close to being unpacked, we love it so far.

Ruby. Our new puppy. She's a shih tzu and a damn cute one. We drove all the way to Puyallup, WA to get her and boy was it worth it! Ruby has quite the personality so far...she a little bit of a leash biter...but I guess that's better than a poop eater! She loves to cuddle late at night and it potty trained already! Stay tuned for more stories...

Rhodes. She will have a sibling! Due in late Spring and gender unknown, there will be another Casebeer. And we all can't wait!

Ducks. 7-1. 1st in the Pac 12. National Title Contenders...you know, the usual stuff. Not much else to report other than we are really good again...fun time to be a Duck fan!!

Ashley. She's still the best! Working for the school district, mommying a dog, and getting to be the lead designer of our new house! Love her. . .

That's enough updating for now. My only wisdom for you? Live a little. Buy a dog. Move towns. Do things for people, both that you love and don't love. Do things in general. Until next time, keep it fun and adventurous - you won't regret it!


AJ and Travis

"We're road dogs man, road dogs. Once you start living the life, you can't stop. It's addicting man." So I picked up 2 hitchhikers on my way to work this morning and ended up riding with them for about 25 miles, ending with a drop off at the Greyhound Station in Salem. It was interesting, to say the least.

You see, AJ and Travis are trying to get to Humbolt, CA. They are going there to "trim", which I found out means to get weed. Hopefully, they say, they will get enough to sustain a trip back to Portland, or in AJ's case, back to Missouri to the hippie commune that he lives in. Yes, hippie commune. I asked him about life on the commune, and he said they get $150 a month, but can eat, drink and do anything that the land produces for them. The commune provides shelter and food and a way of life, I suppose. But not much more than that.

Travis is recently divorced (for the 3rd time, as I found out) and is actually making a stop in Eugene to "get my Subaru back from the ex...hopefully she filled it up with gas" (wouldn't count on it!) Travis claims to have 3 degrees and to have a job offer from the City of Portland for $34/hr, plus benefits. Tough for him to take, he says, due to being addicted to being a "road dog". Needless to say, I encouraged him to take the job.

But what struck me most about this brief encounter actually started last night. Ashley and I were lucky to have been invited to a great dinner event on Sauvie Island. We talked at length about fellowship, being Jesus to people, mission, community, and a lot about "the least of these" from Matthew 25:40. I thought, as I picked these guys up, about the least of these and what that meant. Did it mean being poor? Does least mean being homeless or a road dog? Does the least of these mean not having a family? I decided that in this case, AJ and Travis epitomized the least of these, to me. They needed love, acceptance, and mostly, Jesus.

I did my best to love these guys. I asked them questions about whatever I could think of. I gave them all the water they could drink and whatever food I had in my car. Mostly, I thought about "the least of these" and hopefully that they saw something unique in our encounter. I didn't want to preach to them (maybe I should have, who knows) or affirm either that weed is the way of life. I just wanted them to feel cared for, even if for a minute or two.

Who are "the least of these" in your life? Is it a co-worker? An orphanage? A non-profit you are involved in? I know for me, today, the least of these was AJ and Travis.

Until next time, "The King will reply, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me"." Matthew 25:40.


You should run.

Seriously, you should run! Maybe you already do. But are you a part of a running group? I'm a huge advocate of this. There is a running group in Salem that meets out of Gallagher Fitness (http://www.activesalem.com/). They accommodate all types of running levels - beginners, sprinters, marathoners, etc. so no one is left out. I went on a run this morning with 6 people and we ran about 8 miles. On my own there is about zero chance of running 8 miles, but when you can chat and laugh and take some walk breaks with other people it isn't that difficult. I don't even have to mention the health benefit this either - I burned 1200 calories all before 8AM!

What got me thinking about this was when we ran by a gentleman who was probably in his late 60's or early 70's. He was cruising right along at a good clip and smiling all the way. That got me thinking - I want to be running fast when I'm 70. But I want to be doing it with friends.

Have you looked into a running club in your town? It is a great networking tool, a friend-making atmosphere, and a get-your-butt-in-shape thing. Check into it, you will not regret it. Until next time, go buy some Nike's and get running!


It was a good month...

Ok make that a GREAT month! This update has been long overdue, but here I am. From June 8 to July 6 Ashley and I were graced with the presence of Jamie O'Dea. And let me tell you, folks, she is one of a kind! Funny, friendly, adventurous and excitable are a few adjectives to describe her. But to really get to know Jamie you need to spend some good quality time with her. Like a month. Here's what we did!

- We attacked the PNW (Pacific North West). One weekend we went to Seattle and caught a Mariners baseball game, some fresh oysters and a naked bike parade. Always a good time! Another weekend we ventured to Black Butte and pushed Ashley up a hill. Well worth the trip, though. It was actually sunny and warm, and we had a great time cooking out and relaxing. And then it was off to Las Vegas...which was anything BUT relaxing. You know the drill. Try to get some sun in the AM, then try not to lose all your money. (Sidenote: one word for me...WINNING!)

- In another adventure, we rented a house in Neskowin for the 4th...and had a GREAT weekend! It was sunny again (rare at the coast), we had great guests (shout outs to the Halls, Marras and Weckerts!), and loved the celebrating that goes on in Neskowin. The parade was a hit as always, the Gin Fizz with Judge Barber tasted great, and Uncle Chris' Bloody Mary's were spicy as heck! But we sang out hearts out by the flag pole and fell in love with America all over again.

- I have to say, however, that some of my favorite times last month were coming home from work and seeing what the girls had done that day. One day my apartment was totally rearranged (always refreshing!). Another day they had a tennis game planned, followed by discovering a Portland treasure - the Rose Garden. Most nights were great home-cooked meals and some good ol' down time with the girls. Sometimes the less you do the more fun you have!

- As you can tell, it was a great month. A month I know I will cherish for a long time. There may not be many more times that we'll get to spend for that length of time, uninterrupted and free. So maybe that's a good lesson for all of us to relearn...love the ones you're with, as much as you can, for as long as you can.


The girl can SING!

The other night we were fortunate to go see the Sara Bareillis show at the Schnitz in Portland. Ultimately, the only reason we went in the first place was to reunite with my friend who is her bass player (he and I played in the same jazz band in college for 3 years. Too bad he got famous and I still suck at drums!) Well I sure am glad we went, because it was amazing. That. Girl. Can. Sing. Who knew that big of a voice could come out of such a small person? And that she could play the piano as well as she does? Needless to say, we were all truly impressed and extremely entertained! As a bonus, it was great to see old friends on stage (I knew the guitar player for the opener, Josh Radin, too!) and to party with the rockstars!

In other news, I have had 2 haircuts in the last week. Why, you may ask? Well I was tired of getting butchered at Bishops, so I called an Aveda Salon. What I didn't realize was that it was an Aveda SCHOOL and that I was going to get my haircut by a student of just 6 months. You can probably tell how that turned out! 1.5 hours later, she hadn't cut any hair off my head and then announced that she was done, and how did I like it? Blankly I stared at her, thinking thoughts that I could not say out loud, and said "It looks great!".

2 Days later I had a rescue haircut at Rudy's in the Pearl...and now I look like a superstar. Lesson learned!

One last update...we got to babysit RHODES! And man did we have fun. Our time was filled with soccer, lunch, a nice walk in the rain and lots of videos and laughing! More to come hopefully...

I do realize I am due to write about our month with Jamie...and I will. But until next time, pick up a copy of Sara's album and enjoy!


Advice from Dad

"If you sleep with dogs, you are going to get fleas". Translation: life is all about who you associate yourself with. Point taken!

"Pigs get fat, hogs get butchered". Translation: It is ok to enjoy life's good offerings, but certainly don't take advantage of anyone or anything.

"Don't let me find out from anyone other than you". Translation: Don't hide anything or else you'll get your butt whooped. Got it!

"I'm here for a good time, not a long time!" Translation: Don't take life too seriously...have FUN!

"Don't be a hero, take a cab." Translation: Don't drink and drive. Thanks, Dad. I think that's a law, too.....

"Execution equals Impact". Translation: Whatever you do, do it well. Do it right. And have fun doing it.

And lastly, "Love you". Translation: He's a good (actually, great) Dad.

I'm lucky to be able to spend this Father's day with my Dad. A lot of people aren't as fortunate as me (my wife, for starters). I won't take it for granted. I am lucky to have a Dad as great as mine. For those of you who don't have a father who is alive or a part of your life, know that God loves you and is your great Father. I'm just lucky to have two.

Until next time, go golfing, fishing, hiking, whatevering with your Dad. You won't regret it.

I love you, Daddio!


The Thing Behind The Thing

Makes a lot of sense, right? #nope. Do you get what I mean when I say that? #thethingbehindthething. That's exactly what it is, according to my brilliant wife. When I was trying to explain Twitter to her a few weeks ago, she asked about the #. The hash mark. It is kind of hard to explain, really. Do you do the # thing to make a point? To say something funny? #ihavenoidea. It's very ambiguous. Mysterious, really. #letsmoveon

What has "The Trio" been up to this week? #lotsofthings. So far, Jamie has taken over the role as "Interior Decorator". It seems like every day I come home from work and something has been done to the apartment. It's like a game...they stand there, looking at me, wondering if I'll figure out what moved. #kitchentableANDhalltable. Or why am I suddenly staring at myself when I walk in the door? #theyboughtahugemirror. So far, I love the changes. This is something I recommend to all. Change things up every once in a while, it will surprise you how much energy is inserted into an already lived-in space.

We have also been fairly active. We did another Portland Hill Walk (NW neighborhoods, Forest Park, lovely). Ashley and Jamie have been walking all over the city every day. We also roamed the West Hills #hugehouses #wanttolivethere. Last weekend we even went down and watched the Portland Rose Parade, and today we were lucky enough to go to Cirque du Soleil! #thankscarrie

All in all, it has been a great #start to the month. Wait...did I mess that up#? The thing behind the thing? #dangit! # Crap!

Until next time, enjoy your company. #won'tbehereforever


Our duo is now a trio!

Nope, we are not preggers. Settle down! But we do have some exciting news to report...we have a visitor! Ashley's sister Jamie decided to spend a month with us in Portland and she came in yesterday!

This is exciting for a number of reasons. For starters, it is nice to have more family around us. We love family. We love spending time with family members, so this is perfect! Second, we love mixing things up. I am a firm believer that shaking your world up for a little bit keeps it exciting. Ashley and I have never had a roommate before. We have hardly had anyone stay with us! So this will definitely change up "the routine" and I'm looking forward to it. And lastly, Jamie is a huge breath of fresh air. She is funny, exciting, sporadic and above all she just loves life.

Surely we will have some stories to tell. Hopefully we'll have great adventures. But I do know one thing: we're glad she's here. Welcome to Oregon, Jam Jam! Until next time, shake things up. It will be fun!



If you haven't been to a Portland Timbers game yet, simply put - you need to go. Find a way to get tickets. Beg your friend who belongs to the Mac Club. Hound a scalper. Do what it takes! But you need to go. Here's why.

- Because there are about 5,000 fans called the "Timbers Army" who are planted behind the North goal. They are lead by 2 different conductors. They are dressed to the 9's in Timbers garb. And they. Don't. Stop. Chanting. And. Singing. All. GAME. LONG! It is really impressive! They are jumping, dancing, banging drums, IN UNISON! It creates quite the environment.

- Because there is no announcer or lame electronic media going on. It is pure fan-dome. Pure energy. Pure Portland!

- Because there are actual fans who actually care about the game!

- And because those same fans show up rain, sleet, hail, or sun! We went and it was raining sideways for the first half of the game and guess what? It was just as fun!

- Because you should always try new things. This can apply to just about every area of your life...

- Because you should support the local economy! Not going to get all political on you, but I do believe in this...

- Because I said so!

In all honesty, I have never been a fan of soccer, let alone pay money to go to a game. But this was well worth it. We had so much fun and can't wait to go back! Until next time, gooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllllll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


God and Country

Woah! Struck a nerve, didn't I? Well so did the podcast that I have been listening to lately by Andy Stanley. He's the pastor of North Point Community Church in Georgia - the church Ashley and I attended when we lived in Alpharetta. And to say it is an amazing church is an understatement! Anyway, let me share with you what I've been learning and convicted of.

God and Country. God and Politics. God and schools? God and...God and...that is the essence of what Andy has been talking about. God is being left out of so many areas of our lives, but not just our own lives. You see, America has what he calls a "national conscience". Not only do we have a conscience, but our country does too. The question is: What informs our conscience? You and I (and the USA)- we know it's wrong for a man to marry a 14 year old girl. In other countries? Might not be wrong. THAT is a "national" conscience. Agree?

Ok, so what informs that? Where do we get that "ought to" and "ought not to" feeling in our gut? Andy's argument is that as a Christian it comes from the Holy Spirit. It's God nudging us in a certain direction. But what about the country? We might have to look a little further back to figure this out.

How about 1776 and the Declaration of Independence? Phrases like "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" and "And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence" support the fact that we founded this country reliance on God - as creator, protector and 'influencer'.

Do you know when the last printed prayer was by a sitting US President? 1944. "D-Day". Our President literally stopped the nation. Cars, businesses, everything paused for 5 minutes and was asked by the President to pray for our troops. And every newspaper printed the prayer from the President in the afternoon press. I thought that was interesting. So long ago!

How about a little more current? Do you know what our National Motto is? "In God We Trust". That is the USA's National Motto! Could you imagine if every school started the day by declaring their own country's national motto? Why is it that that makes people squirm? It shouldn't! The Congress is who came up with it! In 1956. Our elected officials were the ones who thought that we need to put our trust in God.

How about even a little more current? Like at the end of every State of the Union Address, when the sitting President asks that "God Bless America". And yet there are law suits and fusses about taking the phrase "One Nation, Under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance.

It is interesting how far we have strayed, as a nation, from God. Our nation started with God, founded on principles laid out by Him. What if we were a nation that was dependent on God? What if we gave Him credit and were accountable to Him? I think we have gotten a little too reliant on "self" and that our country and ourselves are taking credit for all the blessings that we do have. In reality, lack of humility leads to less dependence on God.

I know I' rambling...and I'm really not trying to be political or anything! I just thought it was interesting what Andy was saying about the state of our country and how we have strayed from a basic foundation. I agree with him that we need leaders in this country that look to Jesus and who are influenced by Him. We need leaders in our own communities that do the same. After all, He created this place. We need to be accountable to Him and look to Him for guidance and leadership.

I don't often blog about Jesus or politics, or the two together. So forgive me if this strikes a nerve. I just felt the urge to write something! Until next time, look to God whenever you can. He's in control anyway!

Have a great weekend!


Maui, Masters, and more!

Well hello again friends! I left you last time wondering where we would go on our 1st anniversary. Well we ended up in wonderful, beautiful Maui, Hawaii! This was Ashley's first trip and boy was it a good one. Our main objectives were to a) relax, b) see some sights and c) relax some more. We accomplished all three!

Some highlights included:
- Twin Falls hike. We wandered around a rain forest near the small ocean town of Paia and managed to find 3 great waterfalls (one of which I jumped off of!), get really muddy, and find an incredible lunch spot (Cafe Mambo). A great day!
- Finding (reconnecting?) friends by a pool at the Ritz Carlton hotel. Got to catch up with Seth and Julie and realize that we need to be friends again!
- Dinner at David Paul's Island Grill. One of the best on the Island!
- Whale watching!!! Never done this before and it was AWESOME. Got to see 50 foot humpback whales in action...and by action I mean...you know...action.
- We relaxed. A lot. On the beach, by the pool, on our porch, it was GREAT!

If you want to go to Maui on the cheap, let me know...because we managed to keep it in the budget and also have a great time!

Other things going on in our lives is extreme jealousy. Well just me, really. Let me explain. You see I am a golf nut. The 2nd weekend in April every year means is Masters time. I'm not there. My dad is. That means I'm really jealous. Upset, really. Not at him, just that I'm not there!! I was blessed have been once, and it was incredible. I took Ashley's dad and we had the best day. Hopefully one day I'll go back!!

In other news, there are rumors that Ashley's sister Jamie will be living in Portland, OR for one month this summer. More on that later.

Well I guess I should stop hiding in my office where no one can find me and get out to the Sales desk. The live online feed of the Masters is just too good to pass up! Until next time, relax this weekend. Trust me, it's nice!


Whirlwind weekend, a studio appearance, and more!

Hi friends, welcome back! Since I've last blogged, a lot has happened! Nothing of major importance to speak of, but life got busy for us. Last weekend we managed to accomplish the following:

- Housewarming party for a friend, followed by meeting more friends after for a night cap. Great to catch up with the Hanna's, for sure!
- Golf on Saturday morning (beat Wade by 1 shot, come on!)
- Wedding Saturday night in Salem. GREAT to see lots of old friends and even make some new ones!
- MAGOOS. Still a classy joint.
- Church to hear Sco speak, that was a nice little bonus to the weekend.
- 84th birthday party for Grandma - boy was that a wild time!
- Dinner with friends from San Diego back in Portland (Toro Bravo, SO good)
- BED!
- Stuido recording session (for me) in Salem. Got to record keys on a worship album coming out soon!

Needless to say it was quite the weekend. But in all that busyness we managed to reflect on how good it is to see old friends. The first set we got to reconnect with (in a way) was the Scofields. Eric was the officiant of our wedding and also the leader (with his wife Marni) of our marriage counseling. Living in San Diego we don't get to see them all that often. But it is amazing what an hour of conversation and a glass of wine does to rekindle a friendship. We laughed, got serious, talked about future and just loved being together.

The next set of friends we reconnected with was the Pitkins, who we didn't even know would be at the wedding! Talk about a great surprise. We were able to be with them thru the whole wedding, then to Magoo's for shuffleboard, and then for a nice quiet dinner on Sunday. What a treat to have them in town and be able to steal some time from them.

Just writing this makes me want to get back in touch with some people. What about you? Who can you call this week to reconnect with? Encourage? Say hi? I think when we lose track of people we can lose a special part of our lives. Don't let life move too quickly that you forget about friends. I know I'm guilty of this.

Well as nice as this weather has been for the past 4 months, Ashley and I are going to be leaving tomorrow. I'm not saying where - you'll have to check back to find out. But I know one thing: we are ready to get out of here!!

Until next time, enjoy your friends, old and new.


1st Anniversary and other adventures

Well it has been a great year! Two nights ago Ashley and I celebrated our 1st Anniversary, and we did it in style. We spent the day writing a 5 page paper for her Grad school (yes!), watching golf (yes!), and going to church (getting better). But the good times really hit around 5:30 when we toasted to a great year with a glass of champagne, followed by an amazing meal at Urban Farmer. We capped the night with chat and a pillow fight! I was once told by a very wise man to have a pillow fight once a year because "it keeps you young!". Good advice!

A funny thing happened at dinner, however. Ashley excused herself to go to the bathroom about halfway through our meal and came back smelling her hands. She said, "Man, this place is great! They have this really nice oil that you can use on your hands after you wash them! My hands feel so soft!". So naturally I wanted to investigate this claim. I excused myself and headed to the men's room in search for this oil. After washing my hands and looking around, I came up empty. I told her that I couldn't find the oil in my bathroom. She said, "Well did you see a little blue bottle?" "Yeah, it had three of those smelly sticks sticking out of it".


"Crap" she says. "I doused my hands in the smelly stick oil and it is so strong!! My blue bottle didn't have the sticks poking out so I thought it was hand oil!!"

My wife, ladies and gentlemen! She keeps me guessing and smiling. And that's why I love her.

2 days later her hands still smell!

Other than that, Ashley obviously made it home safe and sound from the beaches of South Carolina and is now depressed with the weather. But she's a champ and realizing that Summer is right around the corner! And a great Summer it will be. Aren't we all looking forward to getting rid of this Winter?? On to bigger and better things!

I hope you have a great week, and remember - watch out for those things that sneak up on you, like oil. . .Until next time, wash your hands and pray for sun!



Well its been only 4 days since Ashley left for the East Coast, and I'm bored!! She went to celebrate her sister Jamie's 21st birthday (a worthy excuse, I suppose) and they are enjoying the beaches of Hilton Head, SC. Paparazzi stay away!!! Anyway, that leaves me here in the rain, working away. So far I have done about nothing. Here are some highlights:

- Worked out on Sunday morning while everyone else ran the Shamrock Run. (I have a fractured foot or else I would have!)
- Went to church on Saturday night with a group of friends, then went and had a beer with a group of friends.
- Went to church again with best friend on Sunday night, following a nap while watching golf. Riveting, right?
- Worked all day Monday, Kettlebell (aka KILLMEBELL) class in the evening.
- Woke up not being able to move
- Worked again. Boring! Ok, I did go to Spin Class.
- Farted while doing a sit up in front of my trainer (at least Ashley didn't hear it!)
- Finished the set sits ups with no more farts or sharts.
- Bought some iTunes music (Matt Wertz - get it, The Civil Wars, Amos Lee)
- Went to Molly and Will's to watch Emily win the Bachelor, then announce the break up. What a waste!
- Now I'm blogging.

I mean, come on! Life just isn't that fun without my wife around! She's laying on the beach, drinking some Mick Ultra, eating Danny's killer food, and laughing the night away! I'm in the apartment eating quinoa, brussel sprouts and fish. Boooorrrring!

Ashley, if you can hear me - come home quick and save me from myself!!

In other news, I am leading Em in our year long game of cribbage (and will be adding to my lead on Friday), am very excited about our upcoming 1st anniversary, and am loving the longer days! See, some things aren't all that bad. Until next time, count your blessings. And come visit me.


Life with the Casebeers

Its a fun life, really. We laugh a lot. We cry rarely. We try to have as much fun as we can. All in all, we like life being the Casebeers. End of post.

You weren't going to let me off that easily, were you? Life has been to good to us so far together, but it isn't all peaches and cream. For instance, lately I have been punching Ashley in the face while sleeping. Unknowingly of course. You could set off a blowhorn under my pillow and I wouldn't wake up. And apparently I have been sleeping as if there were a blowhorn under my pillow and swinging my arms around. But she treats me pretty fairly after these instances...I'm grateful for that!

Life has also seen me start my year of travel (for work). I'll be spending 6 weeks in Washington DC this year for the NADA Academy (Nat'l Auto Dealers Association). My brother and I will be learning intensely what it takes to run an auto group and how to be more effective leaders. It is a huge task but we will be so much better off after this year!

Ashley on the other hand is busy with Grad school full-time while I'm gone (and while I'm here). Her 3rd term ends next week (how time flies!) and will moving on to term #4 and a thesis. "Yuck" she says as I write this. I agree.

It has been a great start to 2011 - our first Valentines Day together (a smashing success!), a trip to the National Championship game (don't wanna talk about it), and our first anniversary, which is in 2 weeks from today. We are so grateful for what we have and are looking forward to this next phase in our lives! Any suggestions?

Keep checking back. I'm going to try to do more posting this year. In the meantime, enjoy what you have and look for ways to enhance it!