Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks:Meghan

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Dear Meghan,
            Do you ever find yourself sitting at work and think to yourself, “I miss parking”? Me too. The more I think about it, the more that I’m amazed about that job. What a perfect job for a college student. You sit in a box and study, listen to music or watch movies. All the while making money hand over fist. Plus, the longer we worked there, the more we got paid to do less.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks:April (First Girlfriend)

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Dear April,
            You were the first person to take a chance and date me. We had just graduated high school and I had neither a job nor a driver’s license. I wasn’t accepted into the sole University that I had applied. I was preparing to go to a community college while staying at home with my parents. Who know why things didn’t work out with us as a long distance couple as you went to the University of Nebraska?

Monday, November 28, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: A Response

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Adam,
            So, one day I was talking on the phone to Corey while he was on his way to work. I asked him the usual “what did you do today” questions and he said “I got a letter from Adam today. When you get home, you should read it.” I was curious. So when I got home, I found your letter and explanation as to what it was about. I asked Corey if he was going to respond, to which he said “maybe”. Well, this is me, taking the liberty to write a response. Or thank you, for the letter you sent. By the way…he has no idea I wrote this.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks:Marie (Foreign Exchange Student)

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Dear Marie,
            It has been more than ten years since we imported you. I would love to know what was going through your mind as you got your typical tour of Des Moines on the way to our house. Here is some corn. This is the state capital building. This is where people would live if Des Moines was a bigger city. You were either too polite or not strong enough with your English yet to say anything disparaging. Thanks for that.
            It wasn’t until half way through the school year that you showed me a picture of your house. Or chateau, or whatever you want to call it. You told me that you didn’t have a room, but a floor. At the time, my room was a converted hallway with a clothes bureau blocking an open doorway. If you ever complained about being placed in a household that had eight people living in a house that was really a two bedroom house, I never heard it. It seems as if you approached it as an adventure.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: Janet

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Dear Janet,
            For as long as I can remember, you have always been the fun aunt. I’m not sure if that is because of your rabid fandom of teeny bopper music, your general knowledge of pop culture, or because you’ve never talked to me as a kid. Not to say that you were never kidding. In a way, you are like my mom with a sense of humor. And not obsessively crazy.

Friday, November 25, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: Dave (Step Dad)

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Dear Dave,
            Of anybody on my list, our past is the most checkered. I was just beginning my life as a teen when you and mom got married. I remember getting ready, putting on our tuxedos together. I also remember trying to enjoy the botanical center, only to keep getting bumped by the photographer.
            I know that things were strained between you and your sons due to distance and the normal strains of divorce. But I must tell you that I never blamed you or though that you were taking away my mom or replacing my dad or really any of those things that you see happening in after-school specials.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: Evan

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Dear Evan,
           
            You were the first person that I ever considered to be my best friend. As I’ve been writing these letters, I’ve realized that I don’t often remember meeting people for the first time. I don’t know how or when you came into my life. When somebody is a year ahead of you in school, as you were ahead of me, it is really difficult for young kids to socialize. But it seems like that didn’t matter as long as we lived close to each other. Thanks for always willing to play made-up games with me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: Sabrina

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Dear Sabrina,
            Do you realize that for about five years, I spent as much time with you at Blockbuster Video as I did with my wife at home. Or, I suppose, she was my girlfriend/fiancĂ©e for most of that time. It seems to me that most of that time was spent laughing and having fun more than working. But that was something that you did a really good job of as a Store Manager; being productive while having a good time. I tried to do the same thing for the years that I was in charge, too.
            Thanks for promoting me to your second in command. I remember the day that you had asked me (no interview needed). I had thrown a cover box to a movie across the store and broke the plastic display of a movie poster. I always thought that was funny that those two things happened on the same day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: Emery (Daughter)

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Dear Emery,
            When your mommy got pregnant, one thing that worried me the most was how healthy you and your brother would be when you were born. I had always heard people say that they didn’t care if they were having a boy or a girl, as long as they were healthy. I never believed this until I became an expecting father. I really worried about you having messed up feet because of me. The thing that I was the most curious about was how you would look. To this day, I am baffled about how I could have a daughter that is, without dispute, a beautiful little girl. With blue eyes and blond hair, unlike both of your parents.

Monday, November 21, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: Ella (Step Mom)

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Dear Ella,

            It isn’t very common for a person to have known their stepmom their entire life. Its not like Dad was rich and you were the nanny. When I tell people that you were my next door neighbor growing up, they jump to conclusions. Don’t worry; we know that it isn’t true.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: Jeremy

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Dear Jeremy,

            When we were in middle school, you moved in across the street from me. I remember when you guys set up a basketball hoop, thinking that I needed to get to know you. At that point, my parents had recently gotten a divorce and I was still fairly new to the neighborhood. Although there were lots of kids around, I was never quite able to incorporate myself into their groups. I remember sitting outside one day when you and your dad were playing basketball. I crept from the porch to the lawn to the curb, to your yard and eventually to playing with you. Thanks for that. And the friendship took off from there.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: John (Father In-Law)

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Dear John,

            You are exactly the type of man that I try to be. You are fit, active and would do anything for your family. From day one, I have felt that you and Lori have accepted me as part of the family.
            You do so much for Leigha and me. Thank you for that. You are always looking out for our best interests, whether it is watching the kids while Leigha and I can go out on a date, or getting us football tickets. Or even swiping our cards at the casino so that we can receive prizes. I can never really tell you enough, so thank you.
    As a person that has never really done much vacationing until I was an adult, I think that it is great going with you once a year. So far, we’ve been to Myrtle Beach, Tennessee/Mississippi, Florida, Pennsylvania, not to mention a Caribbean cruise. I’m fairly certain that I’ve traveled more with you than my own parents. Thanks for always inviting us along to make some fun and inexpensive vacations.

Friday, November 18, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: Corina (Foreign Exchange Student)

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Dear Corina,

            When you came to stay with my family, I was a freshman in college. I was going to a community college that I didn’t want to go to while my friends were going to Universities that they had gotten accepted into because they had applied themselves. You and I would sit around in your room (with the door open) and talk about missing our friends.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks:Brett

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Dear Brett,

            The jig is up, buddy; I found you. Ten years ago, we met at work and starting hanging out all the time. Eight years ago, we became roommates. Six years ago, you were one of my groomsmen. Five years ago, you disappeared, without contact. Your telephone number was recycled (I assume) to “Rainbow Productions”, which I can only assume is a gay porno production studio. Three and a half years ago, you popped up at my work and we met for breakfast. I haven’t seen you since then.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: Vincent (Foreign Exchange Student)

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Dear Vincent,

            You were my first legally sponsored alien. I was in 8th grade when you ducked through the doorway of my life. I remember thinking that “they make ‘em big in Germany” when I first say you. Over the next school year, you became a brother.           

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: Tyree (Cousin)

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Dear Tyree,
           
            They say that people shouldn’t have a favorite child or sibling, but there is no such saying for cousins. You are and always have been my favorite cousin. My first memory with you is when we were at Aunt Linda’s for some get-together and we were taking turns pushing the other down the stairs. I remember thinking that it was a lot of fun at the time. But it is one of those moments that you look back on and are equally confused about the fun and the absolute and total lack of parental control.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks:Arrick

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Dear Arrick,
           
            When we first met, we were freshmen and I was coming to visit Josh during my Spring Break. As it was midterms week for you guys, it wasn’t the most eventful week. The good thing was that Josh didn’t go to too many classes in those days. I remember going to your room, ordering pizza, playing some video games and spraying a fire extinguisher out of the dorm room window.

30 Days Of Thanks: Ragan

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Dear Ragan,

            You are the closest thing that I’ve ever had to a little brother. The first time that I met you was on the infamous trip to Rolla. That weekend, you turned 19. We all took turns playing drinking games and intentionally losing when we were your partner. I don’t see it as hazing, because we weren’t forcing you. There are a few things that I feel like I should tell you. Firstly, at that point in time, you were definitely more experienced than I in the drinking department. I was just bigger and more convincing. Secondly, you know how we drove in two cars? Arrick drove (and crashed) Josh’s car and I Josh drove…my car? Ever wonder the reason? I just got my license the day before and I still wasn’t the most comfortable driving on the highway. That also explains why I didn’t know that the car leaked oil and gas. Thus all of our clothes in the trunk smelling like gas. Then later running out of gas. I didn’t know that my low gas light actually said “check gauges”, so I didn’t know that we were low. Sorry about that.
           

Saturday, November 12, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: Lori (Mother In-Law)

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Dear Lori,
            There are plenty of things in life that people feel thanks for, but don’t actually give their thanks. Thanks for being such a good parent. Leigha and I have been together for nearly nine years. You’ve treated me like a son from the beginning and thanks for that.
            One thing that I’ve always been impressed with you is how you’ve built a loving and meaningful conversation with your daughters. I’ve never been as close to my parents as Leigha and Nicole are with you. You still get calls from the two of them nearly every day, which still amazes me. I hope that when my children are adults, that we can have that level of closeness.

Friday, November 11, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: Mom

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Dear Mom,

            It has been nearly 32 years since the most deformed of your children was born. Thank you for not giving up on me or giving me up. I don’t often think about my club foot and even less about my jaundiced birth. While the second isn’t that uncommon or that big of a deal to fix, the foot was quite an ordeal. Thank you for making the weekly trips to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics to help me get to the point where I don’t HAVE to think about my foot.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: Corey

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Dear Corey,

            Did you know that you were the first friend to come and visit us in the hospital when Tate was born? You would probably say, with genuine modesty, that you were already by there (the hospital) for work. But I can tell you that it meant a lot to me.
                       You know how sometimes when you meet a person and you start talking and you find out that you had met before? It seems like we met each other for the first time four or five times over. I don’t remember where or when we first met or who introduced us. I assume that it was Brett and we were at Parking. It doesn’t really matter, it seems as if we just starting hanging out one day.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: Nicole (Sister In-Law)

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Dear Nicole,
            When I first met you, you were sixteen years old and playing a basketball game. I though that it was great every time that they said your name. Nicooooooole Knooooooll. To be honest with you, it has been weird to watch you grow up. My little sister, Heather and I are close enough in age that I never noticed or even paid attention to her getting older. I never felt compelled to offer advice or assistance. When I got a new little sister with you, I got to see you not only grow up, but mature.
    I was proud of you when you graduated college in four year; something that I never even tried to attempt. I remember one day, jokingly, telling you that we could go travel through Europe, as I had done it only a year or two previously. I am glad that while I didn’t go, you still traveled the world on your own. England, Japan, Korea. You’ll never regret that you did it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: Arik (Brother)

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Dear Arik,

            Did you know that I didn’t eat chicken for years because of you? Or that I had an early penchant for Asian girls because of you? We all know that you picked out my name and I thank God that you weren’t a fan of a comic book hero like Plastic Man. I might have ended up with a name like Trojan, or something. I had never really thought about it too much, but a level of idolization is inevitable when you are seven years older than me.

Monday, November 7, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: Heather (Sister)

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Dear Heather,

            For as long as I can remember, we have fought like brother and sister. Sometimes I forget that you are my younger sister because your friends were always older than me. You learned how to tie your shoes and got a driver’s license before me.
            I don’t know if it is our mere two year age gap that had us butting heads for so long. Maybe it is because my teasing and testing nature doesn’t mesh with your “no B.S.” persona. You have never been reserved and always been more than happy to tell me when I’m wrong. Maybe that is just the way it is supposed to be with siblings. I’m sorry for the countless fights that I’ve started with you over the years. How were you supposed to know that you were grinding your teeth in your sleep? I was out of line for hitting you then. I just want to let you know that even as I was punching you on your back, I still scaled back on my abuse. I.e. a few days before Christmas when you punched me in the mouth. Remember all of those awesome pictures that looked like a I had a cold sore? Thanks for that.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: Josh

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Dear Josh,
            If there was ever anybody that would qualify as an adopted sibling, it would be you. I remember a time when I hoped that you would marry my little sister so we could officially be brothers. But then I realized that marriage doesn’t make anybody closer than an existing relationship of brotherhood. Plus, Heather always thought that you were gay.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: Dad

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Dear Dad,

            You have always inspired me to use my imagination and I thank you for that. I have talked to you many times before about people wanting their kids to have a better life than their own. I am not passing any judgments on Grandma Williams, but thank you for moving up and out of the chicken shack. I believe that my kids don’t have to worry about mice eating their cereal or people breaking into our house. So progress is in motion.

Friday, November 4, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: Cree

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Dear Cree,
            One thing that has always bothered me is when people insist that their kids call their friends “aunt” or “uncle”. To be honest with you, it wouldn’t bother me if the kids did start calling you Uncle Cree. I remember when Leigha first went back to work and you would come over every week and help me watch Tate. More often than not, we would watch movies or play video games as he slept. It has now been nearly five years, and both kids get excited every time that you come over to visit.
       I am both happy for you that your business is going well, but it is unfortunate that it means that we don’t really get to hang out anymore. I miss the days that you were available during the daytime or whenever my random schedule was free.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: Amber (Sister)

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Dear Amber,
           
            There hasn’t been anybody more supportive and helpful to my blog than you. I really can’t thank you enough for reading through my first draft of everything that I write. It is amazing every time that I open up an envelope from my per diem editor. There are times that I feel a little guilty sending writing that is so roughly written and not completely thought out. Then I get it back and you feel as if little needs to be changed. Then there are times that I think that what I’ve just sent you is the best thing that I’ve ever written only to realize that it needs to be reorganized and polished. I am not sure if you do, but I really appreciate your Masters in Teaching. By the way, if you send this back edited, I won’t post it.
                         For as long as I can remember, I have thought of us siblings as two pairings. I think that Arik and Heather have similar sensibilities whereas the two of us are equally similar. One thing that I have always admired about you is that you don’t sit around and dream about what could be, you make a plan to make it happen.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: Grandma Wilson

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Dear Grandma,
           
            I have heard that youth is wasted on the young. As I think about when I was younger, I realize how much I underappreciated you. Maybe I was too young to capture your wit and humor. All that I could see was a little old lady. With awesome earlobes. Now I realize that through all those years, you didn’t really get upset with me when I would twiddle your earlobes, you were merely playing along.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 Days Of Thanks: Leigha (Wife)

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Dear Leigha,

            For the blog, I’ve decided to hand-write a letter to thirty people that have been important and influential in my life. So I’m starting at the top. There are two things that people can’t hear enough. “Thank you” and “I love you”. When we first started dating, you worried that I was telling you that I loved you too much as if it was diminished each time that I said it. I think that you’ve lost that fear and know that I mean it each and every time that I tell you that I love you.
     
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