Thursday, February 28, 2013

Slow Down! (Pic Dump)

Thursday, February 28, 2013  at 7:00 AM
Oh my word!  Life has been so ridiculously busy recently, and I think I've made it through the toughest part.  For awhile there, it was hard to even take a breath without feeling guilty that I had more things to accomplish and get done.  So here is a list of some of the highlights.

 I finally have gotten motivated to get into some serious training.  The last couple months have been so crazy that I haven't felt the motivation to prioritize triathlon.  That being said, I have been putting in some decent workouts that have left me feeling like I have a really decent base to go off of when my training schedule really ramps up into some serious mileage.  I have found a really nice 7.5 mile loop near my house that is my favorite route right now.  I've also discovered how much harder it is to run while pushing a stroller.
Caffrey usually goes right to sleep.  It was cold that day!!!
Weight Watchers
When Jennifer got pregnant, she said that she wanted to do Weight Watchers after the baby was born.  She had incredible success before, and we both knew that she would have great success after.  I told her that I'd do it with her, so as of now, we've done it for 8 weeks, and I'm down 17 pounds!  Woohoo!  I'm a whole lot like Matty O...we both put on some winter weight and then use it as motivation when the season starts again.  I hear he's dropping a ton of weight too!  Jenn is having great success too, and it's actually really fun to do it together.

New Brooks Stuff
I ordered a bunch of Brooks stuff (THANKS, BROOKS!) so that I can "run happy."  They really hooked me up with the Brooks ID program.  It's awesome!  I got a hat, some tights, some compression shorts, but my favorite is my new jacket.  What do you think?
It's super warm and really comfortable!
I think I'll be placing another order soon.  What an awesome company to be so generous.  Go buy some Brooks stuff!  :)

New Bike
Some of you know that I bought a tri bike.  Why has there not been a special post about it yet?  Well, I'm still trying to figure it out.  I bought a 54cm, and I like it, but I feel a little crammed.  Then, a couple days after I bought it, I saw the same bike, only a year newer, basically brand new and a 56cm for $1000 less.  So, needless to say, I bought that one too!  It'll be arriving shortly, and I'll have to do a comparison.  I'll be selling the one I don't need, so anybody need a TT bike?  I'll do a special post about it, AND
There'll be a NAME CONTEST to follow!
Little Caffrey has been getting so big!  He weighed in at 12 pounds a couple weeks ago when he went to get his shots.  Poor guy...he didn't know what was about to happen.

He's really starting to move around alot.  We even think he might roll over this week.  He almost had it a couple nights ago.
He's been enjoying seeing all of his family including Grandy (Jenn's Step-dad):
and Great-Grandpa & Grandma Smith:

and Grandpa and Grammie (My Parents):

4 Generations of Smiths
and Nana (Jenn's Grandma):

This weekend, Grandy and Mimi (Jenn's mom) will be staying at our house for some Caffrey time.

Special Event Speaker:
I got the opportunity to preach for the Public High School Retreat that our Conference puts on for any Seventh-day Adventist that is in public school.  It was a fun weekend with about 100 kids that showed up.  Here's one of the times that I preached.

I also had the privilege of flying out to Loveland, CO to be the Week of Prayer speaker at Campion Academy.  I preached twice a day and then once on Saturday for church (11 times in 6 days!!!!!).  It was CRAZY but fun at the same time.  Here's what it looked like going down.

The Chaplain of Campion is our good friend Nick Clark and his wife Taryn.  We got to spend a whole week with them, which was awesome!  He's a fantastic pastor/chaplain, and it was fun to see him in action.
It was also the first time they got to see Caffrey.

You may be wondering how the plane rides went with Caff.  They were GREAT!  Jenn fed him going up and coming down, so he did terrific!
The past too days, I have been at Cohutta Springs Youth Camp, which is our church's summer camp.  Jenn, Caffrey and I went there for an Ordination Review.  I had to put a massive portfolio of my ministry this far together for them to check out and interview us.  This morning, they unanimously affirmed my ministry and I will be ordained this summer.  Pretty cool!  Here's what my portfolio looked like.

Well, now you are all caught up on what's been going on in the Smith home.  I hope you enjoyed the pics.  Don't forget to be thinking of bike names (Hint: it's red) and have them ready for the upcoming contest.  I think I've got some pretty cool prizes that you'll like if you're into sports at all.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 04, 2013

Tornado Alley!

Monday, February 04, 2013  at 8:28 PM
Last week, I was working in in my home office while Jennifer was in the living room doing what she seems to constantly be doing...feeding Baby C.  She was watching the weather, and I overheard the weatherman talking about the craziness that was brewing.  He said that there was a possibility of tornados, and they were heading straight for Calhoun, which is the town my parents, grandparents and uncle/aunt live in.  That made my ears perk up, and I quickly went out to see what the weatherman was saying.  He zoomed in the on the map to see the little communities that were in its path, and I knew that was exactly where my parents lived!  I quickly texted them to make sure they knew it was coming, and they did.  They had been watching the weather too.  They had seen it go through Adairsville, a town just to the south, and here's what it looked like as it crossed I-75.

Yikes!  That sucker was huge!!!  I kept watching as the twister went through their community and kept going and then called my mom.  She said that they heard it coming and had already cleared out a spot under their stairs to hide in.  Once it was on them, they both got in there and just prayed.  She said it sounded "just like a freight train," but 30 seconds later, it was gone.  My dad said that he opened the door and could see debris all over everything outside.  The Lord sure protected them as it is obvious that the tornado went right by their house!  The only damage to their actual house was some bumps and bruises to the gutters, a cracked outer pane of a tiny window, a 2x4 that spiked through their roof and let water drip onto the ceiling making a large brown spot, and LOTS of their trees down.  They were totally fine!!

You can see the tornado's path as it ripped through neighborhoods.  This is the neighborhood in front of my parent's.  Their house is right next to that lake.

The middle of the three houses closest to the lake is my parents.  There USED to be a nice thick tree line.

This is the street right before my parent's street.  I can't tell you how often I've walked this street
My dad said that he was going to be doing some chainsaw action on Sunday, so I went up to help him. As I drove in his subdivision, there wasn't much damage until I actually got onto THEIR street.  Then, all of a sudden, there were piles and piles and piles of trees that had ben piled by the curb.  There were people everywhere helping other people.  There were houses missing windows and siding and their roof.  I pulled into my parent's driveway and just lost it!  I just started crying...probably because of a little shock/fear, but also because my parents went right through a tornado and were still with us.  I got out of the car and just hugged and hugged my dad!

Just a few minutes after I got there, a whole crew of church members showed up with chainsaws and man power to clear all the snapped trees.  It was AWESOME!

There USED to be an awesome row of Cyprus trees between the houses.  The poor neighbor obviously had some damage as well as completely losing his detached garage.

We had fun even if it was hard work
Soon after we started work, my sister and brother-in-law showed up to help.  We stacked a little firewood, wouldn't you say?

One of the coolest parts of the day was when four teenagers, sophomores in high school, came over to me and said, "Sir, can we help you?"  They jumped right in and helped us pick up all the trash, shingles, busted siding and large sticks that littered the yard.  It's pretty cool to have complete strangers show kindness.  Cool kids!
Left to Right:  Braxton, Allie, Haley, Brandon
P.S.  Braxton lost half of his house but was over here helping us

It's hard to see how big those piles are, but they are HUGE! 
Some newspaper took this picture which is the house next to my parent's house.

It really is a sobering experience to see the raw power of nature.  But at the same time, it really is a faith-building sight to know that my God is so big and powerful that there is nothing He cannot do.  I praise Him for keeping my parents safe through the storm.

Thanks for reading!