Category Archives: Friends

Before you call the cops…

Before you call the cops, I just want you to know.

The first thing I did today was push my sleeping son’s foot out of my face.

I was raised in the South in Memphis, TN.

I love the Tennessee Titans, Chicago Cubs and Tennessee Volunteers.

I’m a Christian (Southern Baptist to be precise).

I volunteer in Sunday School at my church.

I coach youth soccer.

I volunteered in my daughter’s kindergarten class room.

My favorite snack is Orange Slices.

I prefer vanilla over chocolate (and peanut butter over both).

I have 2 college degrees; both from MTSU.

I love my kids more than I ever thought I could – and that’s a lot.

I have been happily married for almost 10 years to a woman who loves me with a fiery passion.

If you saw me in my car, I might be jamming to Ludacris…or Hamilton…or the soundtrack to Bring It On.

I like to travel. I’ve only got 10 states to go before I have seen all 50. I’ve never been in a gang.

I hate that people could be threatened of me because of the color of my skin. If I could change that, I would.

I am a black man. I am a proud Black man. I am a dad, a husband, a cousin, a brother, a son and a friend. Does any of this really matter? No.

I just wanted you to get to know me better. Before you call the cops.

To my Allykat….

Wow…sometimes life…just lines up timing wise. I wrote this post in late 2017. A few months before Allison got married to Josh. We have lost touch at times over the years but thanks to the awesomeness of Marco Polo, I get to see her face a few times a week now and share this life together (even though I’m in TN and she’s in IL).


This is all about my girl Friday. Ok, I probably shouldn’t say girl Friday since those two fall in love at the end. Man, is that a great Cary Grant movie though. Anyway.

It’s weird I think sometimes that the only reason we know each other is because he was dating my best friend years and years and years ago. Well, I guess that’s not so weird after over 20 years. We used to be a threesome and now it’s just the 2 of us. Her “ex” is still my BFF.

Allison and her family have been such a blessing in my life: I don’t remember a time in life when they weren’t in my life. Those all important teen years, I had a fun and safe place to go. And 3 awesome “sisters” and a “Mom” and “Dad” to talk to and laugh with. Who else’s doorstep could you just show up at on announced on Thanksgiving or Christmas and be welcomed in? I was the son Mr. Phelps never had.

She was there in my wedding day and I’ll be there for hers in a few months!


TCON week 2017 – better late than never

You probably ALL know this but TCON is the Tennessee State Thespian Conference. It’s now held in Middle Tennessee (at MTSU) after years and years at Germantown High School (doesn’t it make more sense for a state conference to be in the MIDDLE of the state?). Anyway….

I could write this kind of post every week but this one has been extraordinary. Five externally women have helped take care of the kids while Mom (Becky) was away at a conference. So a big thank you again to Jenn Sanders, Patty Twaddle, Andrea Maguire and Arlenda Flannel and Keshia Williams. I wouldn’t have kept my little amount sanity without you.

Note – the week in question was back in January. I had both kids solo for the long MLK weekend and most nights the week before while the wife did rehearsals for both her spring musical AND a performance at said conference.

The Kindness of Strangers…

The world can be a hard, hard place. I think we all know that. This can be made even harder as a parent and compounded by being a person of color.

I’m no saint or even a great person. I don’t actually do much for the world as a whole. I donate blood 2 or 3 times a year – that’s it.  Besides that, I give away my old junk to Goodwill. I try to spoil those I love at holidays or birthdays. I still send birthday cards in the mail – although Kid #2 has gravely disrupted this practice.

I will occasionally donate a Starbucks drink to the person behind me in the drive-thru line but, even then, I kind of want to wait around for the reaction. I hold doors open for everyone but again, if they don’t say “thank you”, I get a little irritated. I’m not the change I want to see in the world. I do believe in the Affordable Care Act as I believe everyone has a right to basic healthcare even if we have to pay a bit more money. I give my kids and my wife all that I have and whatever is left over, I try to split between my family, friends and myself.

I generally stick to myself end try to do things myself without asking for help. If I come to your house and you offer me a drink, I may be as thirsty as a camel in the desert but I might say no just out of habit. It’s just something in me. During a very difficult time for my family recently, a few random people in the world stepped in to make a few moments a lot more manageable.  Thank you to:

  • The BNA  worker who gave E a free cookie and me a free panini
  • The guy at the Detroit airport who carried my suitcase down the escalator as my daughter tried to make a mad dash towards danger and I was carrying the maximum load I could
  • The BNA shuttle driver who helped my stubborn daughter turn her suitcase upright as she had the rolling part upside down.
  • The guy at Del Taco in Michigan who fawned over my kids as I was trying to get them fed and organized by myself and was at my wits end.

These are all small actions but they were not asked for but just given. And even 2 weeks later, they are still embedded in my memory.

Our wonderful friend Jenn Sanders started a meal train for us so dinner would be one less thing to worry about. My co-worker Jonathan James (he of the T-Rex downtown Nashville run) donated a gift card to us as well a meal train started for us so dinner was one less thing we’d have to worry about.  On the first night back, Andrea and the Maguire family welcomed us over for dinner, support and some time to have someone else love on the kids.

I’m not sure what my point here is. I guess just thanks and thanks and thanks. And sometimes…the world isn’t such a bad place.  And the smallest of action can have the biggest of effects.

The Godfather

Becky and I talked about who we wanted to help guide our daughter in her spiritual walk long before she was here. We are really big on the roles people play in our lives (and now our family) and making sure we make as informed a decision as possible.

For the Godfather, we couldn’t have picked anyone other than Tyler Henson. He has been a friend to me since 1999 (really) and has seen so many phases of my life – from the college kid who made ridiculously stupid decisions to a somewhat mature adult to the end of my bachelorhood into marriage and now fatherhood. He’s put up with more than his fair share of my BS and has stuck with me the entire way. We are in each other’s weddings and celebrate almost every major event together. Heck, we even get together every February for a group Hibachi dinner.  He is a true definition of friend.

ty and his goddaughter
I love thinking about him praying for our little girl and our daughters playing together in the future. She’s one lucky girl and we are two lucky parents.