Sunday, December 21, 2008

The stocking are hung by the chimney with care....

"T'was the night before Christmas, when all through the house...," you know the rest, right?

Will and I laid awake last night trying to recite T'was The Night Before Christmas, thinking of course we knew it. We both fell asleep struggling to remember where the "nose like a cherry" came in and when exactly Saint Nick "whistled and shouted and called them by name." We didn't quite have it right.  

Just hearing a few of the rhymes, though, flood my mind with the old worn illustrations from my childhood book, and in my mind, Christmas is here.

My family always did an incredible job of making Christmas so special. I have memories of Advent, sledding down our big hill on 75th street at midnight, ICC choir concerts dressed in funny polyester uniforms (only to be trumped by even worse garb in high school), Katie and I (post consumption of all those little gold chocolate coins in our stocking) running like mad through ice covered, knee-deep snow drifts and the sound of our moon boots crunching over frozen leaves, knees buckling. Grilled bagels and PJs and reading the from the Bible. Pineapple Mango Lipsmackers, matching dresses from Chocolate Soup, red velvet hair bows, dancing at the Athletic Club with Grandpa Fred and Grandma Rosie, and begging for macaroons. Even after my parents divorced, they made a great effort to keep our family together during Christmas while Kate and I were young. My mind swirls with excitement for a new year.

Now Christmas is in my house, and finding those magical tid-bits to warm up the holiday and keep Christmas true to its meaning for the ones I love feels so important.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Lean on me

Last night, I had the privilege of hosting dinner for a few of my dearest friends. We enjoyed delicious food, a couple glasses of wine, stories, lots of laughs and each other’s company. From discussing the anticipation of a new baby in our group to my oh-so-graceful tumble into a cold tub of water in my party dress just the night before, we found ourselves carried into the wee hours with conversation.

Each time they leave, I find my shoulders just a little lighter-- whatever I had been holding onto all day (that project at work) falls away, and they do it just by being them.

No, we don’t see each other enough. We don’t write enough or text enough or stay involved in the intricate fabric we each weave throughout our days like we should, but we know and we understand and love each other still.

Happily, several of my good friends who have been living far away are back in Indy now, and I’m thrilled to be able to see them more. I don’t know who I’d be without my girlfriends. The gift they have to give is as unique to our relationship as the person within them I have come to privately know.

I received this from one of them this week, which seems so fitting: Kelly Corrigan reading from her piece, “Transcending.” So beautiful and true.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Authentic Travel Experience

Well, I am back on the road today for a quick event in Richmond, VA. I got to fly out of the new Indianapolis Airport for the first of several trips. Mandy got the pleasure before I did a few weeks ago and she was spot on: The place is amazing. The drive in while it is dark out really magnifies how big it is. Lots of skeptics always ask me why Indy needed a new airport. I can't definitively answer that question, but I know that what they have created really brings our city into the 21st century in terms of airport facilities. Wow.

Okay, back to the reason I decided to blog from my Richmond hotel room. Ron (co-worker and fellow Butler Phi Psi) and I got here a little after 1:00 this afternoon and we were starving. We aren't very far away from the campus of VCU and he decided to give me a little tour while we walked to find a restaurant. Well, we got to a corner and needed to make a decision. We settled on an authentic-looking place called the Village Cafe. Walked in, had some booths off of a bar and settled in. Boy, were we in for an "authentic" treat.

Oftentimes, when I travel, I forget to think about the culture of the area where I am heading. In this case, it was the heart of Virginia. Tobacco country with these folks, and it was everywhere. In the booth next to us was an old lady. This woman was worn. She looked like Mother Teresa after getting her butt kicked by the Marlboro man. She sucked down her cigarette with ease (I knew not having teeth had some sort of benefit) and barked out orders to the waiters. You couldn't understand much without the teeth, but you feared her. She looked like a walking raisin drenched in a spitoon. She wanted a meal served with an egg. When asked how she wanted it prepared, she stared off in the distance, glazed over, puffed and then looked back at the guy and said, "I don't care, just cook it some way."

Time to order... I love restaurants with evolving menus. The only problem here is that I think they never remove something from the menu if something else is added. You want a cold sandwich, got it. Want one hot, sure! How about pizza? Pasta? Fried Chicken? Soup? BBQ? Got it covered! Too many choices, so we had to take our time. Fortunately, the drink choices were only a page long (and double spaced!), so we ordered sodas.

Wait, I meant to say


Yep, they serve them in pitchers with a straw. And you wonder why people in this country think we are fattening ourselves uncontrollably.

Well, I got enough carbonation in me to make an terribly awful decision on lunch. Every sandwich seemed like a good choice, but in a smoky, corner diner-style restaurant, what should I get??? You guessed it... Chicken Burrito! With diner refried beans and rice. Actually it wasn't half bad, until about an hour later when I (along with most of the 12th floor at the downtown Doubletree) discovered that the Village Cafe burrito may not be the best idea.

Meanwhile, Mother Marlboro Man and her walker (did I mention the walker?) are joined in the booth behind her by a white-collar worker for a late lunch. What a different patron! Clean clothes and no noticeable tatoos (I think the average in the place was 3.4 per person), he sat down for a bite. Now, I understand the smoking is probably a but higher with both Phillip and Morris looking over the town, but this guy wanted to help stain the wood in the place. Most people light up after a good meal. This dude lit it up after a good item. 'Mmm, what a delicious helping of potatoes, time for a smoke!' 'Oh look, the check is here, where are my cancer sticks?' I understand the little buggers are pricey, so I understand when somebody hustles to finish one. But this guy actually puffed one down fast to light up another one.

All in all, a fun day of witnessing Americana. Got an event tonight and then a flight home tomorrow. My only authentic tourist experience in Richmond was the little corner restaurant. Priceless first impression!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thankful... It's Basketball Season!

Yes, it is freezing out (0 degree wind chill this morning) which means it is officially time to start thinking about hoops.

Last night, my (actually, our, right Mandy?) beloved Butler Bulldogs stayed undefeated with a buzzer-beating win at Cleveland State (the unanimous favorite to win the Horizon League). We watched the broadcast with a ton of friends at a bar in Broad Ripple, and it went CRAZY when this happened:

Note three funny things in the video:

1) Hahn's sliding dive to the floor
2) Coach Brad Steven's never-flinching demeanor when the shot is in the air. He was already walking to the CSU bench to shake hands
3) How quickly Shawn Vanzant (#2) sprints out to congratulate Hahn, the hero. Vanzant wasn't even on the floor playing and is the first person there. Fast!

The high from that shot last night will carry me through the weekend!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thankful... it's December!

Welcome to the home stretch! That period between Thanksgiving and Christmas that seems to fly by in moments and stretch out in others. I remember this stretch in school being the quickest time of the year, because you had the free time to actually take in the holiday ambiance. Now, juggling work and trying to get everything done before the Xmas break can be daunting by itself.
First things first, Mandy and I had another relaxing (and filling) vacation in Alabama with the entire Wingo side of the family. With over 1,500 acres to lose ourselves in, it was hard not to relax. It was so remote and quiet, you could hear a squirrel running 100 yards away, or amaze in the "explosive" whisper of a group of ducks darting overhead. We ate loads of turkey, sweets and bread, and the only fruit I saw came in cobbler form! In addition to our relaxation, it gave Grace a chance to run free, swim and bring out her inner country dog. All in all, a great Thanksgiving. And with thankful sentiments at the front of our mind, I think I can sum them all up in one statement: We are thankful for the opportunity to be thankful. It may sound stupid, but think about it for a minute. The entire weekend was one big thing to be thankful for, and all of the blessings that came with it are a reason why we are even able to appreciate it all. Not to mention a full stadium of people at the Iron Bowl: Alabama vs. Auburn. I LOVE SEC FOOTBALL!
Note the time of the clock... 35 minutes left before kickoff and the place was already near capacity. Great atmosphere and one of the coolest football experiences I've been a part of.

Back at home, it was full speed ahead to the holidays. Mandy and I have actually completed all of our Christmas shopping before the start of December, a goal we always had but never lived up to. So, now we can focus on the decorations and making our own winter wonderland. Here's Grace enjoying the 2008 version of the holiday living room:

The tree itself was an adventure. Our first family tree was a little water logged after the spring flood, so this is Version 2.0. Perfect height, well lit, full figure, nice price, all at WAL-MART. However, the box didn't quite fit in the car. Have you ever seen those pathetic people in a parking lot late on a cold night trying to wedge some big piece of purchase into their undersized vehicle. Yep, that was Mr. & Mrs. Haskett this past Sunday. So we thought to ourselves, "What would those 'losers' do in a situation like this." Rip open the box in the parking lot, pull the pieces out 1-by-1 and take them home that way. Brilliant! Anybody have an extra Christmas Tree box lying around? How about an SUV that can transport it to our place?

Well, we can't wait to watch the next few weeks fly by, get to that joyous time of year and continue to be thankful. Oh, and don't judge us when we photoshop a picture of ourselves into the image above and use it as our Christmas Card!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Something's gotta give...but what?

About a year ago, a book called The Secret made the Law of Attraction a popular concept. The law says that our thoughts (both conscious and unconscious) dictate the reality of our lives, regardless of whether we’re aware of it. Long before this book was published, I have felt that this was true. And I believe that we get what we give in all forms of the concept.

Too many times, a friend has suggested I meet so-and-so, and a week later, I’m unknowingly in line behind so-and-so at (insert random location), and we strike up a conversation, leading to an introduction, and viola!
Or I’ll wonder something aloud (that has been on my mind perhaps for weeks), and arrive home to find a CBS Sunday Morning feature on that very topic recorded on my DVR that same day! I find myself constantly saying, “What a coincidence!” or “What are the odds!?”

Well, the odds are good. And this week is no exception.

In my last post, I wrote a little about sacrifice. And this morning at church, our pastor Derek began talking about just that.

Each Sunday, we typically have doughnuts and coffee in the gathering area outside the sanctuary, but they were removed and replaced with small bags of rice this morning to make a point. Most people in the world live on less than one small bag of rice each day. A sacrifice like this one (for us, an after-breakfast snack) is small, and seemingly insignificant, but helps us realize what we have on this Thanksgiving week. The foundation of the Law of Attraction is gratitude, after all.

As he spoke, I reflected on the sacrifices we make. We sacrifice time at home lounging in front of the tube to be with a friend who needs to talk; we sacrifice time with our family to get the big project completed at work; we sacrifice money so someone else can have a little; we sacrifice that burger to squeeze into our size 6; we sacrifice X so we can have Y and on it goes. But what does it all add up to? How does sacrifice change us for the better? Does it? Still trying to answer those….

Then I think about the sacrifices we make to love God. I have never been persecuted for my faith, but I do feel the rub from time to time. I get teased for being upbeat, happy and cheerful towards my peers. While the love I feel towards them is real and genuine (merely an overflowing of God’s love for me), there are those who would rather poke fun than try to understand. I will gladly sacrifice my comfort to spread God’s love, and the truth I believe.

I suppose sacrifices such as that are the best I can hope for.
What are you sacrificing in your life, and how has it changed you?

Travel safely this week, friends, and have a Happy Thanksgiving, or as Will says, “Save the neck for me Clark” (as Eddie on Christmas Vacation).

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Posting tonight from Wilkes-Barre, PA--pronounced by the vast majority of Pennsylvanians as Wilkes-"Barry" for those of you wondering…and I know you’re out there.

While my creative team treks up to New York yet tonight for another shoot in the wee hours tomorrow morning, I am grateful to be nestled in the hills of PA with a lovely, lamp-lit view of Moosic out my window, and the singular slope of snow, gliding down the distant hill.

The chilly 20-something degree weather + hours spent in airports, grey mini vans, pink upholstered chairs, green rubber steps, a stint on a pew in the Wilkes-Barre Airport meditation room, and other areas of the country's finest optical surgery suites (all within minutes of Scranton of course), leave me hungry for a steaming hot shower, and a long winter's nap. (Yawn)

Miles away, in Illinois, Will is broadcasting his little heart out, and his voice was just starting to sound strained when we spoke minutes ago-- little whispers about our days. Kyle is at our house catching up on the DVR and talking care of our sweet fuzzy Grace, whom he loves almost as much as we do. How incredibly blessed we are to have friends like him....

On my plane from Cincinnati to WB this morning, I sat in front of several soldiers returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq. They conversed over what they'd do when they first saw their wives, kids, and homes. Most of them had completed a 12-18 month tour, and shrieked as the snow on the Poconos peeked at them through thin clouds. None of them have been in cooler than 90 degree temps for more than a year. When the plane landed, and the captain welcomed us to PA, the plane erupted into applause as the men, many badly bruised and pale, stood to deboard our tiny Delta aircraft. I was so moved by their courage and their sacrifice. Many men held toddlers tight at the arrival gates. I couldn’t help but think that these children were just infants when their fathers left home.

I think tonight about the sacrifices we all make for what we love, and I realize that I have barely scratched the surface in such a capacity. I only know on a tiny, insignificant scale what it must feel like to let something go in order to achieve something great. I imagine children will bring this out of me someday.

In the meantime, I’ll tip my cap in humble thanks to those who sacrifice on my behalf. Because they deserve it. They really do.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Man Behind the Microphone

Things were a lot easier three years ago when people would ask, "Hey Will, how's the broadcasting going," and I could simply answer that I was working for all Butler Basketball broadcasts. People understood that and could (sometimes) relate to it. Now, as a freelancer, I am getting more work and different gigs, but they slip past the audience a bit more frequently.

As some of you know, volleyball has sort of become my new niche sport, and this weekend, you can catch a whole load of volleyball action as I call all seven matches (solo btw, sorry vocal chords) of the 2008 NCAA Division III Volleyball Championships. This is my second year in a row doing this (I did the DII tourney in '06) and again it is from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, IL.

You can follow the results and action by clicking on this link: Will & Volleyball?!?!. Under each game header there is a word "streaming." It should be an active link by the start of each match and will take you to the video/audio.

Thursday the 20th - Four matches starting at 1:00 CST
Friday the 21st - Two semifinal matches starting at 4:30 CST
Saturday the 22nd - A champion crowned starting at 7:00 CST

I don't get paid by the web hit, but you never know what my agent my work out next. And by agent, I mean me!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch..."

Ah, the cranky days are upon us. Dark drives home, mumbling in the dark car about Daylight Savings Time and why it sucks, who’s gonna walk the dog in the dark and risk being surprised by an attacker hiding in the brush that you can’t see because it’s…uh…DARK!
Let me just say that I am seriously one of the whitest gals you’ll ever meet. I burn in the sun; no, cook. I get the worst sun poisoning just from the heat of it, and generally stay huddled in a sarong with a large hat in a cabana on vacation. My freckles morph into large slightly darker splotches by July, and I spend August at the dermatologist being routinely scanned for Basel cells.
But wait…. where did it go? I neeeeed it! I want it! Come back Mister Sun!

The reason I know this winter weather is getting to me is that I have begun at least three nasty, nasty blogs this week (so unlike me) only to come to my senses and delete them before I’d post against my better judgment.

So… I’m outing myself. My name is Mandy, and I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been an angry little hermit. Okay, this is not entirely true.

I do miss the sun, yes.
But, we have had a great couple weeks skipping our workouts and snuggling up with hot chocolate and an overloaded DVR. G has missed several workouts because of the rain, but has slept soundly every night—thank you hibernation gene.

With the holidays coming up and all the great fun we’ve had, I do have a harder time keeping “Josi” (My mom and Will named my mean alter-ego) at bay this time of year. Does anyone else feel the burn?

Wishing you warm, winter months without the S.A.D. ☺

Monday, November 10, 2008

Our Baby's Birthday

A very special Happy Birthday to our beautiful baby Grace this past weekend. She turned the big 2 (14 in human years), which is supposedly the gateway to adulthood. We have loved every single minute of her being a puppy and can't believe how big she has gotten. Mandy and I often poke fun at ourselves for being a bit obsessive when it comes to our little furball, but the joy and love she brings our still-growing family is more than I ever imagined. Having never had a dog growing up, I was expecting the usual (poop, fetch, sleep, shed, etc.), but it has been more than that. She continues to amaze me with her intelligence for words, her emotions and happiness. She is the perfect companion.

So, we treated (spoiled) her to a perfect dog day on Sunday. No dog likes to spend their birthday in the kennel, but after a quick trip to Chicago, we saved her Saturday night and promised her a load of attention on Sunday. She got off the traditional food, and enjoyed scrambled eggs and toast with us for breakfast. After a trip to Petsmart for a new batch of toys (more below), we headed to Broad Ripple park for a cold and windy afternoon in the leaves. It was a perfect fall afternoon, if you like it really cold!

Because the park was so empty, we let her romp around in the leaves and chase us under and around trees all afternoon. And that freedom allowed her to do the ultimate Grace outdoor activity, the Super Plow! This is where she scratches her face and gets properly "outdoorsy" by rolling around in everything nature provides. Oh, to have no hygene instinct:

Well, you can imagine how much energy she exhausted from the day, so we came home to warm up and Grace got to properly introduce herself to her new toys. Dino the Dinosaur is the current hit. And, in traditional Grace fashion, she passed out with her favorite new friend. Dino will last about 7-10 days, and then will be consumed. We don't know why she waits, or what the toys do to her to deserve a tragic and chewful end, but it always happens.

Happy Birthday G!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Aftermath

Mandy was quite the internet surfer as the election results poured in on Tuesday night. We certainly were watching history and enjoying the moment, but even more amazingly, we were watching the reaction around the world at the touch of a button. And, unfortunately, some of the reaction is just downright scary. Look, I understand the issues faced with polarizing elections. Obama won the popular vote by an overwhelming margin in terms of recent history. What does that mean? 53%. FIFTY THREE PERCENT! Just three points higher than a majority. That means 47% of voting Americans did not support our next President on Election Day.

That is not a bad thing. That is an American thing. And it is what makes our country so special. I never got sick of watching human-interest pieces about first-time voters who were immigrants to this country. They wept when they voted because they had a voice. I, along with most that I associate with, can NEVER understand that. To mock it shows ignorance and a spoiled attitude. And that leads to my rant...

"World War III" "Barack Bin Laden" "Moving to Canada" were some of the knee-jerk reactions/phrases I heard within minutes of the election being called. Where have we come as a society? No matter who won the election, it was a victory. The past 8 years have been a disaster and national opinion polls, the current economy and our global position prove that. So, the election process itself needs to be celebrated. My joy on Tuesday night (and into Wednesday morning) was not a product of a promised economic agenda or health care plan. My joy was in witnessing the joy of others. And it was in that joy that so much hatred was spewed, in an attempt to ruin America's moment.

The cynical mockery of people crying at pro-Obama rallies is most disturbing of all. I am white. I have never been persecuted. I don't have a family history of oppression. I have never been discriminated against in a hateful way. Because of those things, I can not even begin to understand the magnitude of the emotion within the minority populations of this country. To shun the President Elect as a celebrity or simply a movement of "reverse racism" is ludicrous. Here is what I witnessed through this process thanks to Barack Obama:

- More people voted than ever before
- More young people voted than ever before
- More minorities felt a part of the politicial process than ever before
- More countries publicly celebrated the election of President not of their own than ever before

That last one is big for me. You had the heads of state of many major countries speaking outside of their typical "Congratulations Mr. X" PR releases. They welcomed a new era of American leadership. Through all of this campaign, the fear of Obama internationall was only an issue in one place, here (thanks in special part to some shameless Republican campaigning). Our current President (and party in power) is viewed with more vitriol than almost any other nation internationally.

So, in one election, we changed the viewpoint of millions of people. And some want to call Tuesday night a failure. We are destined to go back and forth on the issues. That is democracy. But no American could watch the results come in on Tuesday night and not feel some sense of happiness in watching America showcase the fundamental characteristic that makes us the best nation in the world: our ability to choose our path and guide our leadership.

People care now. They are engaged in the future of this country. And those who cared chose their leader. Talk about pressure! Obama now has to live up to the largest group expectations in history. And I am excited to watch him do it.

So, as we move forward, I am (hopefully) looking forward to putting the hate and bickering behind us. If the numbers are true, then the situation is simple. Were you happy with the current leadership of this country? If not, a change was made. We will all need to rally around that change and make sure it happens. It should make for an exciting four (hopefully 8 :-)) years.

On a side note (and a smaller rant), it was ironic to see an African-American elected President on the same night almost every other civil right issue was defeated. Gay marriage was banned in Florida. It was also reversed in California and banned (shocking to me). And, in what I label as the most frightening example of fear and ignorance, adoption was banned in Arkansas for any couples who are not married and living together. Why, you ask? Because the state didn't want homosexual couples to adopt children. Brilliant! Let's force everybody to be married just so we can guarantee ourselves that no gay people will adopt. So, if you are Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and you live in Arkansas, hand your babies back to the state. Or, if you are two widowers who choose not to remarry out of respect you can't adopt your own children. Good to see fear is still alive in some parts of the country (sigh).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

We Baracked the Vote!

What an historic day! 
The New York Times reports, "Obama: Racial Barrier Falls as Voters Embrace Call for Change...."

For those of you who know Will, you know he spends most of his time straddling the fence-- but this year has been different. He elected to volunteer for the Obama campaign weeks ago, and spent most of the day today knocking on doors, writing letters, driving folks to the polls and spreading the good word about the change that is gonna come. We are lucky to be sharing tonight with our good friends Kyle and Amanda, and even broke out our New Years noise-makers for the win!

Having been big fans of Obama far before he announced his candidacy, we are proud to be Americans tonight (and each night), and proud of the choice our country has made! 

Fireworks are blasting in our neighborhood now, and I can't help but feel just like they do-- truly bursting with hope for our good country.

Yeaaaaaaahhhhhh Obama!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Hallow's Eve

Until Thanksgiving, I'm beginning all my posts with gratefuls-- join in people!:
1) Music from Adele-- particularly "Hometown Glory" and "Chasing Pavements"-- what a voice
2) Learning what's best for me in the most unexpected places
3) Leggings (oh yes, you read that one right)
4) Friday nights with trick-or-treaters and a little wine before dinner
5) Time to read my very best girlfriends' emails and notes in the early mornings.
6) Will
7) "True Blood," my new HBO fav
8) Gracie's spirit
9) My mom

Tonight, Will is off doing a broadcast and I am loving a quiet night at home with G. I can't believe we got engaged Halloween five years ago. Time certainly flies. We had Will's BU five year reunion this past wknd and had a blast- even ran into our neighbor! The older we get, the smaller this world grows for sure. 

Plans for the ten year HS reunion are in full swing! We are so excited for the upcoming holidays, and can't wait to share them with our great families and friends. 

We are beginning a program soon with our East 91st Street friends (church peeps) from the "Overflow" series in which we move into our communities to offer aid to people in need (like single moms) in our community. Will and I both feel so blessed to be filled and overflowing with God's love, and can't help but steer that overflow toward people with a need. This love naturally flows into our peers, but channeling it elsewhere is so important.... Fixing their problems is not something we can do, but we can ease a heavy burden for an hour or so when we're welcome. Sometimes that hour can make a big difference.

I will never forget watching my mom, (as a single mom) particularly during my late teens and college years and beyond, work so hard for us and protect us. Although it took me until almost my adulthood to fully understand her sacrifice, I know now all that she gave up to make sure that Kate and I were always well taken care of. I give all the help she gave me back to her these days, but if I can lighten the load of someone in the throws of it all, I'd like to.

Let there be thanksgiving in your lives. It has made all the difference in ours.

PS-- if you haven't already, get out there and vote (for Obama) (oops...did I type that out loud?) :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

White Trash Yard Work

So, what Mandy didn't bother to mention is that, after the great party my parents threw for us on Sunday, there was still work to be done around the house. It was a bit chilly out, we'd had a few beers and the Colts game was still on. But, darn it, the yard needed mowing. So, what did I do? I mowed the S.O.B..... wearing the greatest yard mowing outfit ever:

High-school white-gangsta hoodie; athletic shorts; black dress socks with slip-on Rockport shoes circa 2002. The yard didn't know what hit it!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I'm grateful for_____

Will's parents were so kind to throw us a gathering tonight with our families that celebrated our anniversary and the gift of having eachother. We enjoyed the cool 57 degree breeze, a little birdwatching, a couple rounds of cornhole and some delicious food. The best part is that we got to do it together.

This time of year is always my very favorite-- not just because of the changing leaves and the chilly air (which I love), but because it brings a favorite holiday: Thanksgiving.

I, for one, have tons of thanks to be giving and tons more to be grateful for. And although I try each day to have mini celebrations of gratitude for people and for the meaning I find in the mundane, I love that we set aside a whole day to show the world thanks for all we've got, and to renew our vow of being grateful for whatever that is.

When Will and I first got married, I suggested the idea of keeping a gratitude journal. I'm sure I saw it on Oprah which illicited eye rolling from Will, but no less, we began one. I think we made it about a month actually writing things down, and then moved into verbal "gratefuls," which were less cumbersome and could be done with the lights and glasses off. Four years later, we don't remember every night, but most nights one of us does and a couple teeny things emerge that bring lovely images into our minds before we drift off to sleep. Cheese is usually one of my list-toppers, and who wouldn't want to dream about a hunk of gouda!? Seriously. :)

In fact, I'd like to challenge you to write down five things you're grateful for right now. Stick it on your fridge, next to your bathroom mirror or on a sign to wear around your neck. Either way, if you make this a daily affirmation, you'll find deep, profound gratitude for the most mundane things, which I believe will quickly change the eyes through which you see the world.

With the economy, natural disasters and a political hotbed breweing, never has there been a better time to "think small," as my Real Simple magazine often puts it. Remember to be thankful for the biggies (roof over your head, enduring relationships, your health, dog, etc.) but also let yourself be grateful for whatever you are feeling right at that moment.

Sometimes it's cheese.

And the best thing about a list focused on the small things, Real Simple points out, is that it seems like it could just be endless.

Five things I'm grateful for right now:
1) Time with Will and Grace around our fire-pit after sundown (and that great smokey smell it leaves on my clothes)
2) Finding warm/fuzzy/green boots in my winter storage that I forgot I had
3) Family cooking (anything made from a potato, grandma's deviled eggs, dad's steak and pies for days....)
4) Finding time to watch shows I've saved on my DVR
5) God's good work in my life

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Our Wacky World At Home

Mandy and I both spend our fair share of time outdoors with our house, especially since the new backyard fence has given us, and the dog, a lot more freedom to enjoy our yard. However, we've got some creatures and features around our house that make it interesting. We aren't anywhere near a pond or source of standing water, but the mosquitos in our backyard are INTENSE! If it is after 4:00, you can venture into the yard without a gallon of spray, mesh, swatter and the entire Banana Republic clothing line circa 1994.

I guess it has something to do with the fact that our land hasn't been disturbed (constructed on) in over 70 years. Plenty of soil and space for interesting bugs. But that's not the only crazy stuff. We have slugs the size of Buicks, not joking. Well, sort of joking. Mandy's posted pictures of them before on here. They will appear outside, on walls or in the basement and can be 4-6 inches in length, with spots, slime and a goatee.

We've got a groundhog living under our neighbors deck.

And, thanks to the infestation of insects that bite, our spider population has really taken off. Check out this guy:

Pretty intense, huh? I've gotten better about handling spiders, but I couldn't go near this guy. Very intimidating.

We think Grace has started to pick up on her instincts because of our wildlife reserve area too. She is always hunting the groundhog, which has teased her a couple of times. Now that she is almost a full adult dog, she really sniffs her territory. And, just recently, she's developed the habit of kicking after she goes about her "#2" business. We always made fun of other dogs that did it, and now Grace has the urge.

Speaking of urges, one thing we've never understood is her sexual urges, especially for her favorite blanket. She will get that thing and beat it around a room (dominating it) before perfectly wrapping it underneath her, throwing it up on the couch and giving it the good ol' fashion hump session. It is hysterical to watch. I've tried to capture the moment on video, but it is a little dark. We'll try to post a better video in the future:

Monday, October 13, 2008

Can I get a cookie?

Will and I had a great weekend sans any real plans. We walked to B-Ripple Friday night for a little pizza, and then strolled home listening to the crickets, leaves rustling beneath our feet and the PA from BR High School’s football stadium. We love our little neighborhood, and even though it’s...well... Urban, we couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Saturday morning, Will ran in the Butler Phi Psi ACS 5K, and Grace and I strolled the grounds of Holcomb Gardens and the trails along the canal. When we got back to the finish line, Grace was greeted with the other runners, drank two cups of water from red Solo cups, found a shady spot and laid in the grass on her back panting like she hadn’t been outside all summer.
We spent the rest of the lazy day with football and yard work, and headed out to Rick’s Boatyard for some cocktails and appetizers on the water around dinner time, saw a movie and called it a night. Sunday brought church, more football and a trip to the gym....

I have almost finished my new fav book: At The End of the Game It All Goes Back in the Box. It’s not a long one, but somehow, between several other books, magazines and Sudoku games, I managed to stretch its goodness across the entire summer. The last couple chapters have been about playing the game (of life) with grace, and the trophies we collect throughout our lives. I have been praying about this a lot. We all want some recognition for the work we do; we like it when someone says, Great job, here's a cookie! :) Especially in front of people you’d like to impress. But these things don’t really make any difference in the grand scheme of living richly towards God.
When I work hard and with humility, when I serve as I am called to serve, when I show kindness and forgiveness, I have faith that my soul will get the reward I seek. I have been struggling with this so much in my new job. I really respect the great minds there, but would love to hear a little positive encouragement, and not so much, "Huh Uh." For three years, I was the resource for all things related to my client, and (not gonna lie) I learned to really love the thanks I received for my work. I’m reminded by this book, however, that whatever trophies I collect will eventually tarnish and be forgotten.
The real work I’m doing in my life requires no such praise from my peers. True as it may be, it’s not easy to wrap my heart around that idea. Winning and losing and playing the game must all be done with grace, even when you aren't getting the feedback you want or expect.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Weekly update

The windows are wide open this morning and I am loving the amazing fall breeze coming through! This will make me sound so lame, but I have learned to love really productive Friday nights (yep, old), but truly-- being able to pick up the dry cleaning, run to the bank, cook and get all the cleaning done makes Saturday and Sunday feel amazing! We can sleep in, make lattes, cook, walk and read all before Noon! It's the best gift I can give myself after a long week.

This week, I happily helped mom with a couple things for her big show that went off without a hitch, and was welcomed home yesterday to the sweetest surprise. She had loaded our front porch with mums, pumpkins and my favorite little cabbages for fall. What a blessing! I have been meaning to get my butt to our local farmers market to load up on these things and have been envisioning them in our garden and on our stoop for days this week, as I've noticed the leaves changing and drifting down the streets. Somehow she read my mind, and I am so grateful. Here's a quick pic.
Gracie is in the backyard right now hunting our groundhog, Gary, which is hilarious to watch. She has the most adorable playful puppy instincts so the moment that she starts to look serious, something makes her wild with excitement. :) And she completly looses whatever concentration she had. We can't believe she will be two in November! We love her so much, and she brings us such joy. We seriously can't imagine loving a baby more than her, although I'm sure we will someday. :)

Will has been on the road a bit this fall, and I get to take a turn this week. I'm headed to Wilmington to meet a few clients tomorrow and will be back Monday night. It feels odd to be traveling again, as the most travel I've done the past three years has been up to 86th street and back :) 

We got to visit our friends Kristi and Brian in Columbus last weekend and their adorable baby boy, Camden. We loved getting to share a couple days with them, just chatting and strolling and running around. We got to meet their great friends and have dinner together Saturday night. It was such a nice break, and reminded us that a short trip out of town to visit friends you don't get to see very much is so worth the time. Plus, they always let us bring Grace, who plays with their two Westies well, even though she looks like a small horse standing next to them. :)
Here's a shot of our "hunting dog."

Happy hunting to you all! Pumpkin hunting, that is.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Well, for two people as chatty and opionionated as me and my wife, we certainly haven't done our own fair share of blogging recently, have we? Actually, life in September was rather hectic, as you could tell from our occasional updates. Mandy started her new job, we had a bit of drama with Cindy's car accident (the bruises have healed!) and I was back on the road for a good chunk of it. But what road trip wouldn't be the same without some pictures and stories...

For instance, check out my hot rental set of golf clubs here...

That was from my trip to Sacramento to visit our group out there. We played this tiny little course and I didn't want to haul my sticks all the way out there, so I rented. Have you ever hit a stone with a frying pan, attached to a wet noodle? Well, if you have, that's what playing with those bad boys was like. It was a good time though!

After that trip, I had a weekend in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. for some events. The downtown aquarium in Baltimore was really cool. Here was the view from our reception room on the top floor...

Not a bad little view. Having never been there before, I can say that I was pleasantly surprised with the city, for the 3 hours total I spent in it!

And now here we are in October. Thanks to Mandy's new job, she gets to travel a little bit again (not thrilling to her) and I can reinvent the temporary man cave while she's gone. Don't worry, I'm not stupid enough to get the place dirty, but the copious amount of sports viewing would make any woman want to gouge her eyes out.

Speaking of sports viewing, Mandy and I both cringed in agony last night for our two "favorite" sporting events...
1) The Cubs - I think I honestly watched 140 of the 162 regular-season games this year. That is silly, stupid, dedication. And what does it get me? Nothing. The curse lives and it will continue to live.

Side story: Yesterday, I am driving home for lunch listening to the Jim Rome Show (sports talk) and he calls out Cubs fans, saying "I want to hear from you and your Big Ten educated, 3-series driving, golden retriever walking...etc." I almost swerved off the road in my 3-series (on my home to let the golden out) because of the irony that, yes, I am a stereotype.

2) The Presidential race - What, you don't think it's a sport? I do. This campaign has the makings of a marathon race mixed with a little sophisticated football. Let's see which candidate can stand up the longest in the most places while talking mad trash to the other side the entire time. It's become the ultimate reality TV show, and dumb, average Americans eat it up. The VP debate last night proved the point. Biden was ridiculously more knowledgeable and prepared than Palin, but he was too smooth. She threw in common phrases like "doggone it" and "Joe six-pack" to mask her relative ignorance on the issues and endear herself to the millions of people sitting at home who think that personality alone will bring change.

The wild card: One person cried last night during the debate, and it wasn't the mother from Alaska. That was a shock. Mandy and I actually joked that Palin was trying to force a tear during her closing statement, but the emotion might come too late and instead of crying when talking about her kids, she would cry when talking about the deregulation of health care. That would've been funny.

31 days can't pass quickly enough...

And now, as it has become tradition on our blog, a shameless cute picture of our baby, the wannabe lap dog:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Last Post from Lion's Den

Today is my last post from the big red office. It's so difficult to leave something you love and a place you've been so happy. A friend of mine recently put it so well, though. You know it's the right thing when you make the tough decision to leave something you LOVE, because you're not running from anything; not taking the first thing that comes your way because you're desperate to get out. So true, and in my case, much the opposite. I can't believe that almost three years ago, I met my friend Ashley in the lobby (still remember what she was wearing), and met some of the people that would mold and shape the next three years of my life for the first time.
I couldn't be happier or feel more grateful for the opportunity that has come my way. The timing was incredible, and it lets me know that God is working hard on my life, and taking his hand and trusting him blindly brings me incredible peace, amidst my feeling sad.
Here's to a brave new chapter and all that there is in store.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Season of Change

When Mandy and I went on vacation a few weeks ago, we commented about how this was the first fall in a long time where we didn't have a whole lot of change taking place in our lives. In the past it was always something: new job, new house, marriage, etc. One of us was always in a period of flux. This year? Well, we called ourselves boring! Ha!

I guess my wife was sick and tired of a season without change:

I am proud to announce that Mandy is shifting (albeit slightly) in her career and has accepted a new position to work for an agency called Bradley & Montgomery. I am so proud of her and this decision. While locally based, the agency offers a wide variety of national clients for my brilliant wife to stretch her growing advertising ideas.

This is not to say that she isn't a little sad to be leaving her recent home at Publicis. I'm going to miss them too. Great people and a fantastic organization. However, in the competitive world of advertising, job security and client loyalty are never guarantees, and the structure of this new job is perfect for Mandy to really settle down in. I don't think either of us expected a quick change, but it's amazing how quickly the wheels can turn when offers come calling. I am so proud of how quickly Mandy has built her professional resume and credibility here in town and I know this move will be great for everybody.

So, fall is back and we are changing again! Speaking of other fun change, we'll get pictures up on the blog soon of our new backyard, complete with patio furniture!

And, let's not forget the biggest development from this past weekend: I splurged and bought a Wii. Yep, welcome back to my life video games! I'm sure I'll have arm injury stories to report on as I continue to devlop my mad Wii skillz.

Enjoy the crisp air as fall gets closer!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Mini update

After chugging a couple Nyquil, and several teaspoons of some bitter liquid cough syrup (a prescription left over from the winter), I'm finally feeling ready to drift off to sleep this first night of our Labor Day weekend. Hallelujah!

As many of you know, Mom was in a bad car accident this week, and although her little Mini Cooper is completely totaled, we are infinitely grateful for the angels that were by her side Wednesday morning. She is well on her way to recovery with a great attitude, and is healing day by day. Thank you all for the prayers and for all you've done to help support us and her this week. I am humbled and so thankful for the outreach.

In happy news, Mr. Will accepted a great offer picking up a big chunk of play-by-play work for the fall doing IUPUI volleyball, and starts the season this weekend. You can listen to/watch him on He's got some other NCAA championship work coming up this year too, so he'll be busy. Although a couple date nights will have to be sacrificed, I'm busy on a mission to ready our house and garden for the fall. As soon as I kick whatever bug I picked up in the ER, I'll have pictures to share of our progress.

In the meantime, here's a shot of our baby, staying hydrated at the Dog Park.

Happy Labor Day!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Times they are a-changin'

The windows are wide open tonight and the first few breezes of cool air are drifting in (deep breath)...smells like fall is on its way. We have had stifling temperatures the past couple weeks and my poor grass, garden, dog, etc. can't seem to get enough water or shade. As I turned the corner down our little city block tonight, leash in hand, I saw my neighbors had planted some deeply burnt orange mums and hung their fall wreath. It made me smile the rest of the block.

Oh, how I love the fall... I love school supplies, super sharp pencils in particular, the latest Trapper Keepers, a new season of The Hills, Pumpkin everything, hot coffee, apple candles, and cozy clothes. I imagine that in a place where fall is always the season everyone drives Grand Wagoneers with sheep slip covers on their seats, and they all use Nutmeg, have red reading glasses, a big dog and wear clogs. In my mind, this is how I envision myself, of course. :)

The fall always brings great things for me; so many big life changes. When Will and I were on vacation this year, we joked that everything is surprisingly "normal" for this time of season. Alas, I spoke too soon. We returned to find lots of changes are occurring, and I pray this year, like all the others, will turn out great.

My boss shared with me some wise words this week, which I believe to be true: the best skill, he said, that we can each have is the ability to adapt to change. It will always serve us-- in our work, in our marriage, in our families and in our beliefs....

Each year when I watch the red and gold leaves drop from the trees with great excitement, I remember how thrilled I was in the spring to watch them pop from tiny green buds and burst forth onto their branch. It reminds me that this change is good, and so can all change be good.

Grace and I are going to finish the chapter in our book, light a "mulled cider" candle, kick off the AC and pick the coziest blanket we can find to ring in the new season... even if this cool only lasts a couple days.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back from Vacation!

Well, it has been a few weeks since Mandy and I updated the good ol' blog. Why? Because we got something we've never experienced in our young, professional lives: 2 weeks of vacation!! It was an interesting experience to say the least. We were still in Indy for the first week, but felt like we were still working. Then, we got to spend the second week in one little piece of heaven, Watervale, a tiny resort in Northern Michigan. We slept, ate, drank, sunned and generally rediscovered the glory of doing almost nothing. No TV, barely any cell phone and a ton of quiet.

The water was freezing all week in the big lake, but it was perfect weather. Calm and sunny almost every day. I always joke with Mandy that when we first started dating, she wasn't as fond of the "do nothing" vacation because she was on edge to, well, do something. Now, with life hectic at home, there is nothing better. The tan is starting to wear off a little and the sleeping 'til 9:00 is not working very well with our work schedules, but I think it's safe to say that we are relaxed and feeling good about the start of another "new year." This time of year always seems like our own personal new year. We've always experienced some sort of transition, and the body clock still feels like I should be getting geared up for the start of another school year.
So, Happy New Year to everybody out there who feels the same way!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Thanks, Dad!

Being the loyal Cubs fans that we are, my Dad thought it only fitting that Gracie also had the appropriate attire. He sent a Cubs cap made especially for a dog, and she looks pretty darn cute in it. Thanks, Dad!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

And outside.....

In the winter, I wrote a little bit about our garden and my plans for this summer. I snapped some pics this morning of the good progress-- looks like we'll have some serious veggies (especially squash) by fall! We also had a new fence installed along the back of our property and had a gate placed over the driveway for full privacy, and a nice place for Grace to romp her fuzziness around- sans leash. The vegetables have attracted a groundhog, who we have named Gary-- Gary the Groundhog (Will is big about alliteration). Although Will and I know that Grace would love to befriend him if he would take any interest in her red ball, he is completely afraid of her, so we haven’t had major damage to the plants. Fingers crossed.
New fence:


Who know a couple cans of Killz could make me so happy?

I'm back! Long time, no post. Life has been more than hectic lately, but I wanted to post some new pictures of our lives as of late.

After days of scraping, sanding and bleaching, we stripped our post-flood basement floor and walls, and began the big renovation. It only took the two of us a week! And it only took another week for me to stop being sore in places I didn't know I had! We are so happy it's finished, and that everything is at least a foot off the basement floor in case there is a "next time." When you loose half your stuff, you get the perk of re-arranging some things. Now, it's nice and friendly looking-- a major improvement from the grab-your-laundry-and-get-the-hell-up-the-stairs-before-the-boogyman-gets-you previous decor. Here are some before/after shots.



Monday, July 7, 2008

Golfin' Buddies

Thanks to the wonderful understanding of my wife, I've been able to live up to my own personal promise to play a bit more golf this summer than usual. Last summer, I think I played 2-3 times a month. Now, I am getting out 1-2 times per week, which is certainly enough to feed the habit. It's even gotten my competitive juices flowing to the point where I feel I can enter tournaments again.

But, in order to play consistently, I needed to find a league (or two). Since most of my friends who live in Indy don't play a regular amount of golf, I needed something to get me a guaranteed game. And, of course, the leagues had to meet certain criteria:

1) Available - Lots of weekend travel and commitments make most leagues problematic for me
2) Cheap - Play it a lot and golf is really expensive

So, I've found my two outlets: One is My Church League which is a really nice group of guys on Monday afternoons with low-impact competition and all of the personal restraint I can muster to not curse or use the Lord's name in vain!

The other? Let's call it the exact opposite of the church league. It's the Men's Club choose up at South Grove, one of the city's oldest courses. It's not hard, but it's affordable. And, I am the youngest player in the league (minus 1 or 2) by at least 30 years. Almost every player in my league is a retired blue-collar worker. And while I grew up playing public golf courses, let's just say that my time in competitive golf and working at country clubs certainly removed me from this type of course clientele. Here is a snippet of my group a few weeks back:

All 3 of my teammates had solid beer guts. I'm talking about the gut that totally hides the belt (if there is one) and looks like a man pregnant with a medicine ball. The captain of my team wore his Purple Heart hat (bill flat with the gold, raised stitching), accented by his "Worlds Greatest Grandpa" T-shirt. I can't remember what our group produced more of during the day: pars or cigarette butts (I made at least a dozen pars, btw). But, the highlight...

We arrive on a hole back in the woods and one member of my group exclaims, "Good thing we are the first group off today, we'll get first pick." This was an odd thing to say 12 holes into the round. What could we possibly pick? I then watch as all 3 men walk towards the woods and begin eating the berries off the tree. Look, I know they won't kill you, but I never really thought of berry eating as a group activity amongst men on a golf course. There were other detours during the round to visit the woods and munch on some fruit. I felt like a spoiled young man when I pulled out my all-natural fruit and nut granola bar from my golf bag. It was like turning my back on Mother Nature, I guess (smirk)...

I only partially joke because they have been some of the most welcoming people to ever play golf with. They even help to educate me whenever possible. Like this past Saturday, when I was informed that all African-American people (my term, not theirs) are Muslims. News Flash to Me! Yep, no denying it, according to my partner.

I just hit my shot and kept on walking. It's affordable, Will, don't forget.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

You might be a redneck if....

You love your $8 Wal-Mart blow-up baby pool so much, you spend the whole day in it. Oh yeah...
It's been a hot, sticky summer in Indiana, and Grace wishes she could shed the fur coat. Since we can't bear to buzz our pup, we have "invested" in a pool-- it's orange and I blew it up myself. When the temps began hitting 90+ today, we went out with G for a dip after a wild game of fetch, and it turned into swim suits, sun screen, and several hours of lazy conversation. Redneck yacht club, I know.... But it was seriously fun. Basement is coming along great-- walls were painted last night, and I got most of the floor done this morning. The fumes nearly gassed me to death, not to mention a run in with a spider nest (in an old paint can) and large slug that I'm pretty sure rolled over and asked me for a sandwich and a cigarette. Yes, I was dizzy, but he was straight out of Blue Planet; antennae and all.
Stay tuned for picts…. Happy swimming.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sports Rant

Mandy and I had a great time at Beth and Mike's wedding last weekend. It was an epic experience to be sure: Golf, multiple meals, parties, hotel rooms, etc. In fact, there was a period of 36 hours where Mandy and I only saw each other for about 90 minutes. Ah, being the husband of a bridesmaid! We should have pictures and other details up here soon.

We've also embarked on tackling the new look of our basement. Paint is being chipped, re-primed and our new colors and layout should be complete soon after Independence Day. Mandy also has some shots of that.

But, not the reason I am writing today... It's been quite some time since I wrote a blog dedicated to sports, so here it goes: Tonight is one of those nights in sports where I will invest a lot of time leading up and during, for no apparent reason. It's the NBA Draft. What is it about drafts that creates so much excitement? Our entire country is fascinated by potential. It's a word we throw out there all the time. Somebody could be awesome at something (proven), but somebody else could have the "potential" to be much more awesomer (yes, it's a word!) so he/she gets more love. What ever happened to doing something before getting paid or praised.

I mean, who can forget Nikoloz Tskitishvili. Dude never really played a lot of basketball in Europe, but apparently was a phenomenal player when he was guarded by 50-year old men with padding or a folding chair, so he got a lot of money. What did he do with it? Nothing. Got traded a few times, flamed out of the league and is on a beach somewhere living the good life as a millionaire. Someday, I hope to be hitting golf balls on a range, have a great practice session, and the scout for the PGA Tour sees me and says, "Wow, you could win a lot of big tournaments with those shots. Here's $5 million in advance." Sound silly? It is, but our major sports leagues do it more often than investing in proven players.

But that's why we love it. We want our teams to succeed so much that we put all of our hopes on the back of this next potential superstar. I don't even like to watch the NBA very often, outside of a Pacers game or two. But the NBA Draft is awesome. There is so much hype, you think the room will explode. If David Stern walks out and says, "we have a trade to announce," you can hear champagne popping from Lay-Z-Boys around the country. Most times, it's a team trading the rights to an 18-year old Turkish player with two left hands for cash considerations, a 2019 2nd round pick and a bag of lentils. But we love it because it was suddent, unexpected and potentially brilliant.

I also like to watch to see where some of those good college players end up. Where the over-hyped become millionaires, while the acclaimed get nothing. It's an unexact and crazy science. Butler has a chance to have a player drafted tonight for the first time, I think, ever. If Mike Green has his name called, there will be a beer opened in the Haskett household.

And then there's the Pacers: They traded Jermaine O'Neal overnight (well, actually, he can't legally be traded until July 9th - That's weird. What if I got fired from my job and given a new job at another company, but had to stay as an "employee" for another few weeks. Um, awkward.) Seriously though, I've never seen many trades that make so much sense for both sides, so I was thrilled to see it go through. O'Neal wasn't a great leader, but he was a great person. Good in the community, decent with the media and fine player when healthy. He deserved better than the circus in Indy over the past few years. Now, he gets paired with some nice talent in Toronto, and will make a fierce front line.

Meanwhile, the Pacers finally have a roster you can start to build around. They get TJ Ford, who is a nasty point guard on offense (his D could use a bit of work) but can run the show and get people excited about the team. They get Rasho Nesterovic, who is big and (more importantly) has an expiring contract, which means the Pacers will have money to spend in a year. But, most importantly, they get another first-round draft pick! Young players to continue building a new team for the future. So, at #11 and #17 the Pacers are picking! I hope they get somebody with a lot of potential! :-)