August 13, 2012

Lessons Learned...

       I may be losing some "man" points for having a title named after a Carrie Underwood song, but this song  has been going through my head the past couple of days.

As you might know about 2-3 months ago I started a second job with a Bakery in VA Beach. I needed to get a second job to replace the hours I would be losing over the summer from ODU being closed. My mom actually saw their ad in the paper and told me about it. It was a perfect second job, it was exactly what I wanted to do in bakery, the hours didn't interfere with ODU, so it was great!

 I go and apply, nearly a month later I get a call for a interview. Awesome. Interview went well, then two days later I started working. Very Awesome! So my life has been pretty busy with both of these jobs and still trying to maintain a social life. Oh wait, I didn't mention the best part of the job...

I work from 1AM-7AM at the bakery. Yup..and 85% of the time I go straight to ODU and work till whenever..normally about 3-4pm.  Crazy, I know.

       So I started going to bed by 6-7pm getting up going to work and then work again, come home. Say hello to the family, maybe eat something for dinner then crash and do it all over again. I did the first month-month and a half like this, I didn't really go out. The weekends were my days to splurge and do whatever I wanted since I did not work the bakery. While I had no social life throughout the week, it worked. Everything was fine.

Then I started being a little brave, I began stretching myself. I began stretching myself way too thin. Of course I had good intentions as to why I would. I would stay out a little later with friends, take trips, I would do things. I wanted my social life back.

        I don't blame anyone but myself for pushing and stretching myself over limit. I gave myself less and less sleep, but I would manage to get through it. I would commit to doing things, I would go out with friends and co-workers. Continually pulling myself waaay over my limit.

Well, lessons learned...Last Friday night after working about 16-17hrs straight I ran to do a couple of things then went out for the evening to catch up with an old co-worker. Stayed out till about 11pm, started my journey home.

Got about 1/2 mile or so away from my home and fell asleep at the wheel. At the moment I fell asleep my car was entering a curve, but of course rather then turning I continue straight onto the side-walk hitting a street sign that was directly in front of my side of the car. At impact I quickly woke up of course and got control of the car and returned the road and stopped. I was in complete shock. I thought that my windshield was the only thing damaged so I just tried to continue to drive home. I just wanted to be home.

The car doesn't move. I get out and see that both of my front tires are blown out. Great. So I call dad and we get a tow truck out and get the car back to the house.

Lessons learned. I totally believe that God was in control that night. No one else was involved, just me. The sign that I hit came crashing into the windshield directly at the drivers seat. It didn't break through completely and I didn't receive any injuries. Even though it happened, God was in control. And I am so thankful for that.

^^ Here you kinda see where exactly I went onto the sidewalk. There is the some the broken sign pole near the edge of the curb, with the rest of the pole and sign off in the distance.

      Lessons Learned. God really opened my eyes this weekend. I don't like that it had to happen like this, scaring my parents and my family, causing concern. But apparently, this is what it took for me to realize what I was doing. Still a bit shaken up from it, but ultimately thankful to be okay and alive. This also caused me to rethink some other things going on in my life and the changes that are necessary.

The lessons we are taught in life.

May 19, 2012

Remember me - -

Nearly three months ago was my last post on here. Wow, I am really bad at the blogging thing.

       Honestly, I do think about writing on here. I do think of subjects that I want to give my thoughts or my feelings towards something going on in the world. But I never take the time to actually sit down and write ( or type ) it all out.

It may be for the better for my sake, because I tend to write it all out and not proof read it. Proper grammar and punctuation are not being used properly and makes me look like a first grader!

Anywho -

Life in my world has gotten a wee bit crazy, or at least I just get called crazy. I recently picked up a second job at Sugar Plum Bakery. Its a great job and exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to get some mass production under my belt, just the production part. I didn't want to do any of the decorating or stuff like that, just the production and Sugar Plum fits the bill perfectly.

      Every day I make about two batches about 140 pounds of cake batter, from there I divide the batter by weight in to an average of 60-70 cake pans of various sizes. Notice the by weight back there--by hand I am scooping out the batter, filling and weighing each pan. It took me a few days to get into the groove of feeling out the weight when holding the pan, but now I get through the 140 pounds in about 45mins to an hour.

From there I make about 80 pounds of buttercream. Think of it this way; Each batch of buttercream fills 3 - 22qt buckets. Then there is the cookie doughs, fillings for the donuts, and my favorite BREADS.

      I like this job. It is very, very repetitive but that is the nature of working in a bakery. As a business your products sets a standard and you have to meet that standard every day. Some people think it is boring, and I do too sometimes. But overall I really have liked my time there. So thankful for the job.

Oh, I didn't even mention the best part of this job. My hours! I get to the bakery around 1AM and leave somewhere around 6-630AM. Remember a couple paragraphs back I said that I get called crazy? Its been a fun ride cramming this into my schedule, but I think I've done pretty well. I work at the bakery Mon-Fri, so having the weekends is nice, but the weekdays its pretty much a zombie walk.

      I have gotten in to a earlier "bed time" and get around 4-5hours of sleep before leaving for the bakery, oh and here is the other kicker. I am still working at ODU. Most days I leave the bakery and get to ODU by 7AM and work till about 3 or 4. Which leaves enough time to get home, shower, eat something, and say goodnight to the family before doing it all over again the next day.

Haha - This definitely will not be for life or even for more then the summer! I am hoping to find a job to replace ODU, my time there has been great but that work environment just is not somewhere where I want to be. So I've just been thinking and praying about it, really hoping to find something new by the end of summer.

So what else has gone in the last three months?

       We went down to NC to visit the Harrisons a few weeks ago, had fun fishing and playing with the niece and nephew. Then they came up last weekend and spend some time with us. Kal is growing up so fast, and he is super smart. Little Leia looks just like her momma, and loves to talk and smile.

Good things are happening or will be happening at New Beginnings. I really do love this church and I want us to become a beacon of light for those in our SoNo ( South Norfok ) neighborhood. I am so thankful for my friends that I have gained from this church. They really are a great group of supportive people, I am thankful for the times we get to hang out.

As much as I would like to have exactly everything I want for my life right now, I am just really thankful for my life and those in it and around it. Thanks God.

       I think that is all I got for now, but I promise I will be back.

-- One day.

February 23, 2012

Quickie -

So I am going to keep this pretty brief because it is so FLIPPIN beautiful outside today!

       Since I had started, finished, and graduated culinary school I was always asked these question:

"So what is the best thing you an cook?" or "What style of cooking do you do?"

And every time I always answered with the same thing, 'I don't know, whatever.' 

I couldn't pick a certain cuisine that I liked more then the other.  I have always known that I don't want to do the completely upscale and fine dining that most want. 

I like comfort.

       So it has always been my mind-set that if I open up a place that it will just be the simple "American" style foods done with just a touch of class that makes people say, 'BAZINGA!'.

But as of late I have really been thinking that I need a cuisine. I need to submerge myself into a cuisine and learn as much as I can about it. 

      As I have been thinking about it, going through my notes from school, and reading various websites, I feel drawn to the French cuisine. The French have always done things correctly when it comes to their food and wine. 

Clean and Simple. 

Simple? Clean? I love it. They treat the food with the greatest care and cook it in a way that the complexity of the flavors explode in your mouth. (Bazinga!

      And more importantly, classic French Bistros or Brasseries were loved for their casual feel but sophisticated food. Which is perfect, if I am able to open a place of my own, I want it to have that casual feel that makes people comfortable and food that will amaze them.

That is the dream now, and lets mark on the "New Years" list I made a couple post ago. I am going to emerge myself into the french cuisine. Learn the history, the flavors, and the techniques and strive to become a true "French" Chef.
 (Of course I can't really become a French Chef...I'm not FRENCH!) 

       And my Bistro? Why, its going to be one of the greatest French/American fusion bistros in Hampton Roads. :)

January 29, 2012


      Can't believe that it is nearly February already! Feels like just yesterday that I was ringing in the New Year by jumping on my parents bed, blaring Lady Gaga while they tried to sleep.

January has proved to be a good month though.

I was able to spend time with sister and her family.

 My adorable niece and my not-so-little-anymore nephew.

Kal-El can actually say my name now and it makes me a happy uncle. I'm not co-co anymore, and I am happy about that. Little Leia continues to grows into an adorable niece. She loves to smile and talk, so if you've got time to smile at her, she'll talk to you. I love our talks.

       Other parts of my life are well too, I suppose. While I am unhappy with my current job I am still thankful for having a job. I try to look on the brighter side of things when I think of my job, I try to remember that while my job is to cook food, I also need to show God's love to those I come in contact with.

But, I will be in talks with a possible job opportunity some time this week. If things can work out with that opportunity, it could make life a lot cooler! Some prayer would be awesome.

Here's a cool little quick update on some of the goals that I mentioned in my last post. Since that post:

 I have picked up my guitar and worked on getting back into the groove of it.
 I have reduced my soda intake (by a lot!) and I am drinking a ton more water.
 I have kinda formed on my own workout/exercise routine. I have missed a few days, but I blame the sinusy-head-cold thing I had through the week.
 Prayer and I still struggle. Strike that. Reverse it. I still struggle with prayer. I think about it and I talk about it, but I don't it.
While the private is still private, I can say that I proud at how well its going but still needs work.
Finances aren't exactly better, but getting there. (stupid student loans..)

Now for one that I want to add to the list.

I will learn to play my Bodhran.
Whats a Bodhran? This...

This is actually a picture of the one I have. Its a Celtic Drum, ever since I saw this drum being used in the Irish shows at Busch Gardens I wanted to learn. Last year, my family and I went to BG for my birthday and my parents asked if I still wanted to get one of these and after saying yes, Mom asked which one I wanted. I was floored.

I have messed around with it a little bit and have picked up a couple things about it. Youtube has some really great video lessons. But I feel ashamed that I am not to a point were I can play it well. I don't want my parents feeling like there money went to a waste.

So me and my Bodhran are going to get know each other. For real.

Other good things in my church family. My friends. My friends are awesome, each and every one of them. Our church has good things on the horizon and we are working to improve ourselves as a church so that when that time comes we are fully prepared. We welcomed a new brother into our family today! Then had a great time at lunch afterward, always filled with fun and laughter. I am so thankful to call them friends.

I can't help but laugh at my self right now, because when I first started to type this post I had every intent to spend a majority of it filling it with my woes and hopeless romantic ways. Earlier this week I had said that my life was similar to a character from one of Broadways greatest shows, Les Miserables. This young women had such love or affection for one man but he share the feelings toward her. Actually he fell in love with some other chick, leaving the other on her own. In my life that story has been played out multiple times. And here I am. On my own. 

But when I started typing all of these good things in my life and the improvements that I had done or that needs to be done, I forgot about my pathetic rant on my relationship status. I am filled with happiness, with the thoughts of my family, the goals I have for my life, for the new member of the body of Christ we welcomed today.  I am so ridiculous.

So yeah. 

This is me.

January 10, 2012

New Year..New Me.

       Welcome to 2012!

In my family we've never really been the kind to make resolutions, so don't think that this is a post on my resolutions for 2012. Rather than resolutions I am setting goals for me and my life that will go far beyond 2012 and once I've attained these goals they will become part of me and not just a trophy of something that I worked for.

                                           While this may not be a completed list, its a good start.

       Alright, lets get this started--

  1. Pick up my guitar and practice at least three times a week, if not daily. 
  2. Get into a exercise routine.
  3. Read the Bible daily.
  4. Reduce the intake of soda products.
  5. Drink more water.
  6. Grow spiritually and help others grow.
  7. Pray continually. 
  8. Set my finances back on track.
  9. Move out of my parents house and start a life that is my own.
  10. Pay off credit card.
  11. Visit both sets of Grandparents.
  12. See at least two shows on Broadway in NYC.
  13. Go back to Mexico.
  14. Go on a Missions Trip aside from Mexico.
  15. Find a job with a consistent schedule and management.
  16. Private...For now at least.
  17. Go camping. REAL camping.
  18. Love more and mean it. 
  19. Keep contact with friends more often.
  20. Find a way to see my bestest(!!) friends.

      Okay, so thats 20! If more pop into my head I will definitely add them to the list.While some of the goals are fun and personal ones such as, visiting family, going to see a show or camping, some of these goals are going to be hard because it will be a complete 180 from what I have been and I know that the title makes this post a bit cliche, but its the truth. I need to read the bible, I need to talk with God, I've let the things of this world get in the way of my relationship with Him.

Welcome 2012...Welcome New Me.