The Black Crowes, Sweaty T-shirt and Bowling...aka The Night I Met My Wife

April 16, 1991. I met and declared THAT NIGHT that Wendy would be mine.

That should give you an idea of juuuuuuust how arrogant I was at 20 years old. So arrogant! The following is my way of documenting the 3rd best day of my life. The first being when I decide to follow Jesus and 2nd when the Detroit Tigers won the World Series in ‘84. Wait, I mean, my wedding day! I definitely meant to say my wedding day is the 2nd best day of my life. Moving on…

My buddy Steve Miller and I had just finished up a late afternoon tennis match. Not your preppy county club tennis. Neighborhood courts with a crappy net, type of tennis. I wish I remember who won that day. It was probably Steve. Anywho…Steve and I lived at an apartment complex the we affectionately called “The Dorms”. The real name is Ferguson Townhouses. It was two rows of buildings with a courtyard in the middle.

Thanks goodness for Google Maps! We met in the building on the left. I lived across the courtyard in the other building. (I know, this it too much information.)

Thanks goodness for Google Maps! We met in the building on the left. I lived across the courtyard in the other building. (I know, this it too much information.)

The Dorms were AWESOME! There were about 10 of us that were all relatively the same age..iish. All single dudes that loved sports, beer and the the idea that women might actually talk to us. There were endless volleyball matches out on the courtyard. It was the perfect size! God I loved that place! This particular night, it was warmer than normal and most of us had our doors open. My best friend Jay Floyd (who we found out at some point that we were actually cousins. It’s South Carolina. That happens. A lot.) had his door open and he was blaring the Black Crowes’ Hard To Handle. (classic) I walked in, sweating all over the place and “playing” the guitar on my tennis racket.

And there she was…Wendy Sawyer…My Future Wife

Granted, NONE OF MY SO CALLED FRIENDS INTRODUCED US!!! So, I just stared. Stared at every bit of her 5 foot 12 inches (she swears to this day she’s not 6 feet tall) with hair down to her really good looking…well, she had really long hair. And, really long tan legs. Whoa! For once, this arrogant and irrationally confident with the ladies guy, was speechless. I had nothing! I just sat on Jay’s couch in what seemed like total silence while he and his girlfriend got ready to go to his weekly bowling league night (again, it’s South Carolina, so…bowling). His girlfriend was best friends with this drop dead gorgeous woman. And since there’s not a lot going on in Florence, SC on a Monday night, they were all going to the bowling alley together. As they were walking out the door, I finally mustered up the classic sarcastic pick up line, “Nice to meet you.”, as Wendy walked past me and shot me the appropriate “what a loser” look that my sarcasm had earned.

 
 

Once they left, I think I punched the other 3 “friends” of mine for not introducing me to this goddess. What a blown opportunity. After calming down a bit, we all started throwing out ideas of what our activity would be for the night. (Isn’t it weird, when you’re 20, that EVERY night is a Friday night?) The ONLY acceptable idea for me was All Star Lanes! “We’re going bowling!”, I screamed to my group of knucklehead friends. And as I walked across the courtyard to my apartment, I announced with my hands in the air that, “Wendy is mine!”. (look up irrational confidence in the dictionary and my picture is next to it.)

The actual print out of my best game of bowling EVER…oh and I got her number. That’s HER handwriting by the way. Also, I had Robert and Donnie sign it as proof of my 210 since my name didn’t print out.

The actual print out of my best game of bowling EVER…oh and I got her number. That’s HER handwriting by the way. Also, I had Robert and Donnie sign it as proof of my 210 since my name didn’t print out.

But, how irrational WAS my confidence. In the picture above, you can clearly see that I could brag, loooong before Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting, “I got her numba!” Needless to say, I cleaned up quite a bit from my sweaty tennis outfit of Umbro shorts and a cut off tee. I was rockin the finest Tommy Hilfiger had to offer that night. Yellow t-shirt with a matching argyle sweater vest with the khaki pin stripe shorts, “puffy” athletic socks and white high top K-Swiss. Oh, and of course, just the right amount of Eternity cologne.

After what seemed like hours of begging and not so ironically bowling THE BEST GAME OF MY LIFE, Wendy finally gave in and gave me her number. We’ve kept the printout with her number on it all these years. I vividly remember calling her for the first time. The last 4 digits as you dialed made a diamond shape. And, yes, I made that connection as I was dialing. “Wendy will be mine!”

It took months of more begging before she agreed to go out with me. I found out later, I was her “rebound guy”. I didn’t care. I did everything I could to impress her enough to stick around. 28 years later, I still try to impress her every day. If I’m being honest, throwing all that irrational confidence out the window, I have no idea how she ended up with me.

There’s probably a longer post in me that explains why we should’ve probably never gotten married and how God redeems stupidity in a marriage. For now though, I just want to savor the amazing memory of meeting the woman that I get to grow old with. All sarcasm aside, it was VERY nice to meet her.


 

There’s more content on the site…like this, the most shared post:

And I find no instance in The Gospels of where Jesus stopped loving on someone for not repenting fast enough. He never gave up on someone that kept sinning. (Thankfully as my heart is so FULL of it) So many “Christians” of today often tend to be in more of a hurry to get to the part of the Bible that lets them kick someone out of the Church than they are to leave the 99 and pursue the one lost sheep. To bring that one sheep back into the fold where it can continue to be loved on and cared for, no matter how many times it wanders off.
— from this sites most popular post - http://www.vanbaird.com/faith/tablesbridges

Honoring Daughters

My Oldest Turned 21 Today

Even as I wrote that heading, it seemed a little weird. My oldest is out on her own. Working. Paying bills. Dating. Paying Taxes. And as of today, she can order an alcoholic beverage!! I mean, my wife was younger than 21 when we got married. Sheesh...I'm old.

Okay, that's not true. 46 isn't old. Although, I have logged some years as a parent and a Daddy. (Even though both my daughters call me Dad now...unless they want something). It's a special title, Father. It doesn't come with any instructions. And as a Father to girls, it doesn't come with any built in background to fall back on. So, in order to mark this milestone of having an adult daughter, I thought I would jot down a few thoughts about raising up daughters. 

My Girls and Me

My Girls and Me

Share More of Your Failures

I hear a lot of Dad's say that, especially once they're teenagers, they don't know what to talk about with their daughters. If you get comfortable relating stories of how you failed at something and how you learned from that failure and grew from it, it allows your daughter to see you in a better light. You don't have to turn into a Debbie Downer here, just don't look to project that you're ALWAYS this tough guy with ALL the answers in life. It's just not a true representation of the male species.

The Birthday Girl - aka My Adult Daughter

The Birthday Girl - aka My Adult Daughter

Lean On Other Dads

I very wise man once wrote that there is nothing new under the sun. Why do you think you have to figure out this whole Dad thing on your own? Find another guy that's raising or has raised a daughter and ask them to meet once a month. Pick their brain. We're GUYS! Guys love to tell you how to do things. It's n easy way to get great insight from someone that has gone before you.

The actress

The actress

You Set The Bar

Hopefully, one day, your daughter will grow up and meet the man of her dreams. Until then, you are the guy that is modeling for her how she should be treated. How she should be spoken to. You're setting the expectations that she has for herself on how she looks, her sense of humor, and for how a man should be responsible enough to give her heart to. 

Thank God they got their Mom's looks!

Thank God they got their Mom's looks!

Don't Be A Clipboard Dad

Clay Scroggins gives an example in his talk about How to Lead When You're Not In Charge that says in order to be good leader you need to learn how to carry a towel rather than a clipboard. His point was that Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. He didn't walk around with a check list of things they had to do before he accepted them or loved them. 

How often do we as Dads, walk into the door after work and start taking inventory of all the things that did or didn't get accomplished that day by your children? Probably more than our prideful selves want to admit. Learning how to serve your daughters opens up their hearts to be able to trust you enough with what's in there.

Chuck & Sash

Chuck & Sash

Who Are You Listening To?

Where are you getting your parenting advice?

Who's brain are you picking?

What book are you reading?

What's your BEST parenting advice?

What's the coolest way you've found to be an awesome Dad to your girls?

Leave a comment below and let's learn together.

An Open Letter of Tweets to Husbands

I was wondering about what to post next in the Family section and being a Husband to me is a pretty important title, having been one for over 23 years.

Huge responsibility!

My Bride and me

Holding the heart of a woman delicately enough to not damage it while at the same time strong enough to offer the security that allows her to love without fear.

I had the thought that I had tweeted about being a husband a few times. So I did a Twitter search for some inspiration. Over the years I've posted about being a husband or being married over 20 times. So for your encouragement, as a husband, I've posted some of them below.

Let me know your thoughts on on loving your Bride well. It's a constant learning curve and is worth sharpening each other in order to love our wives the way Christ loved the Church.

Tweets to Husbands