Monthly Archives: November 2008

Oliver’s baptism made for quite a party

Oliver’s baptism was Saturday.


We decided to have it at Trinity Lutheran Church in the Soulard area of St. Louis. Pastor Dave Marth is, well, pretty awesome. Many of you will remember him as the paster who handled the keynote duties at my wedding to Sarah in May 2005. For the baptism, we had a small, private ceremony. Pastor Dave was nice enough to keep the men informed on the Mizzou-Kansas football score (blech!) throughout the time we were there.

Once things got under way, we were called up to the front of the church. The god-parents, my sister Carrie and Sarah’s brother Aaron, stood with us. Oliver was really quiet the whole time. He did try to grab the hymn book several times.


For the actual “baptism” deal, we headed to the back of the church. There, Pastor Dave poured water over Oliver’s head. We all laughed a bit, as he used more water than we expected. Oliver took it all in stride, smiling the entire time.


Afterward, we posed for pictures. Oliver and his godparents stood for one. Speaking of … it was really an excruciating decision to select the godparents. Sarah and I each have two awesome siblings, and picking just one of my sisters and one of her brothers was no easy move. Any of the four would be excellent god-parents for sure! Our picks, Carrie and Aaron, will be great for the boy.


As I wrote above, Oliver was well-behaved the entire time. He got noisy a few times before and after the ceremony, but only because he learned that if he made loud noises, they would echo in the more than 150-year-old church. Oliver got to spend time with many folks, including his cousins Nathan and Kaitlyn.


We also posed for a group picture, which was taken by Pastor Dave. We were excited to have most of our local relatives present, including Oliver’s great-grandmothers Carol, Frieda and Lillian.


Afterward, we drove out to Wildwood (home of grandparents “Grannette” and “Grodney”) for a little party. We had some great food, including a pretty cool cake from Federhofer’s. Speaking of, we had looked at several bakeries for baptism-themed cakes, but most were either really cheesy (wow, cool, a fake stained-glass window on my cake!) or just plain goofy (100 giant icing flowers in the shape of a cross). The party was a lot of fun, hanging out and celebrating the day. Oliver was really tired by the time we left, sleeping for the entire 45-minute ride home.


Happy birthday, beautiful

Today’s my wife’s birthday, so I’m using this space to say some mushy stuff. Feel free to stop reading here if that’s not your thing.

Sarah’s my special lady (cheesy, but true). Though she’s entering her (gulp) mid-30s today, she’s as beautiful as the day I met her. I say that with complete honesty. If anything, seeing her tender side from the sideline as she cares for our son makes her even more beautiful in my eyes. What a ride this past year has been for us. I know that her 34th year will be full of even more joys and excitement. It all starts today. So to Sarah, I say this: “Happy birthday, beautiful!”


Exhausting weekend

It’s almost time for bed on Sunday night, and it’s safe to say that it’s been quite an exhausting weekend. My day job has kept me extremely busy lately, and I’m in the middle of grading papers pretty much nonstop until this semester ends for the classes I’m teaching. I spent several hours on Friday, Saturday and today grading papers. Between that excitement, I did spend a lot of time with Oliver. The little guy is pretty pooped out himself. Below are a few pictures from his part of the weekend (sorry, no pictures of me slouched over a keyboard).

Saturday afternoon, we decided to take Oliver to the grocery store. On the way, we decided to stop by a department store. Next thing we knew, we had hit four stores, the grocery store and Bread Co. for dinner. Oliver was out cold by the time we got home:


Today, we took Oliver for a walk up to the local elementary school where we goofed around on the playground:


After we got home, we gave Oliver a bath:


Then he crashed for the night:


R.I.P. KNSX (93.3 FM)

R.I.P. 93x, also known as KNSX (93.3 FM):

Yes, the best radio station in the area is no more. Back around 1997 or so, I discovered 93x and am forever grateful. At the time, I was into alternative rock, but the scene was being overtaken by “nu metal” or whatever it was called. Thanks to 93x, I was able to avoid the onslaught of rap-rock, Metallica, etc. I did have to change the channel for the occasional Days of the New and Creed songs, but it was a nice trade off to hear all the other great music being played. Oh yeah, and 93x didn’t play commercials. Yes, it was commercial-free radio. Awesome.

So now button No. 1 on my car stereo, which has been tuned to 93.3 for more than a decade through a Dodge and two Hyundais, is up for grabs. I have no clue what station to program there. I may wait until Jan. 1, when 101.1 FM becomes a sports-talk station. Until then, yeesh, I just don’t know. Most of the local radio is pretty bad. I’ve been on an AM kick lately, so I may just stay on that side of the dial for a while longer.

Just say ‘no’ (to your lame, slick-sounding financial adviser)

We’re all friends here, right? So as friends, why do we always turn each other’s phone numbers over to our financial advisers?

The other day, I received a call from probably the seventh financial adviser in the past four years. All were referred to me by friends (some friends, right?). Usually they call several times and never leave a message. I don’t typically answer calls if I don’t recognize the number. However, after seeing the same number on my caller ID five or six times, I get PO’d and pick up. Sure enough, it’s often a slick-sounded financial adviser. The conversation almost always goes something like this:

“Hello. Is this Justin?”


“How are you doing? Pretty nice out today, isn’t it?”

“Ummm … who is this?”

“Oh yeah, hi. This is Annoying Guy. I got your name from your good friend Bunghole.”


“Bunghole told me that you might be interested in talking to me. I’m a financial adviser and I’d like to schedule a time when we can get together to talk …”

“You can stop there. I already have a financial adviser.”

“Oh. Well, it wouldn’t hurt to just look things over. Maybe we could just grab a cup of coffee. What do you say?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Well, may I put you into my database to call you back every six months or so just to check in?”

“No, and please do not call me again.”


So there you have it. As your friend, I am going to give it to you straight here: I have a financial adviser and I do not want to talk to yours. Do not give your adviser my name and phone number. I can already tell you that I won’t be interested, I will hate the guy no matter what because I hate all salesmen (generally speaking) and I will resent you for giving out my personal information.

If your financial guy pressures you to turn over some names and phone numbers, maybe you should be looking for a new person to oversee your finances. Who really wants to entrust their money to somebody who’s less interested in your well-being than he is about making his next sales call? And while you’re at it, tell him the “let’s grab coffee” ploy is extremely lame. At least offer to meet over a few beers.

Oliver and Molly – best of buds

Molly, our crazy goldendoodle, has been front and center the past couple of days. We took her in to get her haircut on Saturday. The next couple of days, she was acting really strange and obsessively scratching herself and biting her fur. Plus, her skin was pink — everywhere. Then, a couple nights ago, she puked several times and had some loose …. well, you know.

We took her to the vet yesterday and they think she had an allergic reaction to something (possibly the shampoo at the hair place). Anyway, she’s on doggy ‘roids now and looking much better.

Anyway, with thinking about Molly, it’s hard to not think about how much Oliver adores her. His face just lights up and he squeals with glee when she’s around. Here’s a video of the two of them interacting:


And here’s a still version:


Finally, this is Molly with her latest short-hair ‘do:


World travelers stop in St. Charles to visit Oliver and Co.

We were visited by some world travelers recently. Well, they had reason to be here: one of them is family. Yes, my little sister and her boyfriend were in town for a few days. Carrie and Eli are both in the medical field, and they work in different cities for a few months at a time. So far, they’ve been in Florida a couple times, Seattle, Kansas City and Chicago. They also recently went to Mexico. For their current gig, they took positions in Carrie’s hometown of Springfield, Mo., so they could be close to family through the holiday season. You can read about their travels on Carrie’s blog, The Nomadic Life of Carrie, though she needs to start posting some new stuff (hint, hint!). All the while I’ve been here in St. Charles. Oh well…

Anyway, we had a good time. Oliver was excited to see his Auntie Carrie. Here are a few pictures from the visit.




Babies don’t catch on regarding Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time ended this weekend. And while many in this country issued a huge “yawn of relief” for that extra hour of sleep, that couldn’t be said of our son.

Oliver, it seems, doesn’t have a concept of what Daylight Saving Time means. When 6 p.m. rolled around yesterday, he was ready for a meal and then bed. His little 8-month-old baby brain couldn’t fathom the fact that it was not 7 p.m.

And this morning? He was up and ready to go at 5 a.m., crying out to us with a noise that could be interpreted as, “Mommy and Daddy, come get me. It’s 6 a.m. Time to start the day!”

Hopefully we can get him back on schedule this week. Otherwise, it’s going to be a long winter.