32-Years of Musings For My Kids


I’m turning 32 today. When you have kids, you tend to reflect on your life with your kids in mind. So here are 32 musings I would like to pass on to them when the time’s right. 

  1. Be picky with what you watch. If nothing’s on, do something else.
  2. Wait tables. But get out fast. The experience will make you humble.
  3. Make friends with the quietest person in the room. They’re the ones who who typically have the most to say.
  4. Read at least one book a month.
  5. Always finish your homework as fast as you can. Then graduate early.
  6. Don’t ask for advice. You’ll get it anyway. Listen to it, but make your own decisions.
  7. Your best friend is not just a friend. He is a brother/she is a sister.
  8. Pursue what you want to do with every fiber of your being. People will tell you it’s impossible. That’s because they’re the ones who gave up.
  9. When you fall in love, fall hard. If it doesn’t work out, your parents will be here to catch you.
  10. But if it does work out, we’ll be here to support you.
  11. However, we won’t always be here. That’s why I’m telling you this now.
  12. Life sucks and the world is brutal. I have nothing to add here except that we’re all in this together.
  13. Sing as much as you can. In public if you’re good.
  14. Find your most favorite food in the world and make up every excuse to eat it.
  15. Don’t do drugs or get drunk. The aftermath isn’t worth it.
  16. Above all, stay away from porn. It’s the biggest thief on the planet.
  17. A thoughtful text goes a lot further than a Hallmark card. And it’s free.
  18. Discover your passion then work hard. Not the other way around.
  19. If you can’t find your passion, search hard by exploring the world.
  20. If you can’t explore the world, listen to the cries of people around you. You’ll probably find your passion there.
  21. If you’e the CEO of a company, or a boss, or a supervisor, take care of your employees first. Make them happy. This will make your job easier and the company better.
  22. If you work under any of those people, challenge them. But be nice about it. They have room to grow and you have ideas to share. If they don’t listen, it’s their loss. Find something better.
  23. Speak up. I have never seen a reason not to. But I’ve regretted every time I didn’t.
  24. You will never get a big break. Don’t ever expect it. That way, if it does come, you’ll be that much more surprised.
  25. Stay in shape so you have energy for your friends and family.
  26. Write/tweet/message every famous person you admire.
  27. Visit the great Northwest. Then Colorado. Then I dare you to chose what’s better. I still can’t decide.
  28. Always leave at least ten minutes early.
  29. Stay out of debt.
  30. Always ask yourself how you can make your life better. Then do it.
  31. To the world you will always be just a number. But to your dad you will always be Number 1.
  32. Try to avoid being cheesy. If you figure out how to do that, then teach me how.

How I’m Saving My Family


When I tell people I’m on a diet, they’re usually like, “Huh? Really? You?”

I may not look like Buddha, and my Wii Fit may tell me I’m not obese, but there’s more to it than that.

For a long time, I’ve been an absolute butt head to my family. I’m working on a couple different books at once, I’m trying to survive in a competitive environment at work with looming changes ahead, trying to keep my two toddlers happy and marginally quiet… so I’ve been overly stressed. And stress breeds anger, and anger breeds an uptight and irritable father and husband.

Stressed Man With Baby Working From Home Using Laptop

I questioned why I had no energy to play with my kids. It couldn’t be work, because I sit at a desk all day. My writing career is about to take a turn for the better, but I looked at my lunch options, and realized I am a compulsive overeater.

On my lunch breaks I would go to get not one burger but two. Spicy chicken wings were a favorite. Shakes were a daily drink. I gained 20 pounds over the summer.

And my family was suffering because I was too stressed and tired to do anything. It was the careless calorie indulging and the major lack of exercise.


Went on vacation recently and discovered, low and behold, my family is really a great group of people. My kids are well-meaning, and my wife is hilarious and a total hero for putting up with me and my moodiness.

Since I started my diet, I’m losing a tad over a pound a day. I’m determined.

I’ve cut my lunches down to half a sandwich and water. I’m running on my days off. And guess what! Everything I’ve heard is true, gosh darnit! I have more energy to play with the kids, to stay up later and talk to my wife, and I’m even gaining a splash more momentum on my book projects.

So that’s why I’m dieting. It’s to save my family. There are enough angry and stressed fathers out there, and I refuse to be one of them.

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My New Year’s Resolution Starts Today

Got back from vacation yesterday. First off, I’d like to apologize to the woman sitting in seat 9A for my daughter kicking your seat and trying out different hair styles for your noggin. I promise, we’re good parents. She’s just a little ball of energy that just has to indulge her creative side.

Anyway, getting back from South Florida we found out that Kentucky is a total culture shock – and not in a good way! I’d like to move one day since really, the most exciting thing to do here is drink Bourbon (I prefer Bloody Mary) and visit the Ohio River (or what I sometimes mistake as WIlly Wonka’s chocolate river).


But no matter where you live it’s depressing coming back from vacation. But even more depressing is what my Wii Fit Plus told me. I haven’t weighed myself in some time, but when my belt ends can’t even connect, I realized it was time to take a look. When I wash my chest and stomach in the shower it’s like doing the hand motions for the river part in “I’ve Got a River of Life.” Here’s the wonderful news my Wii Fit Plus gave to me:


And don’t be fooled by that 19.6-pound increase in weight. After I saw this I went straight to the kitchen and downed half my bottle of Bloody Mary boosting me up to exactly 20.0. Hey, I don’t want it tempting me in the kitchen this week!

So I’m starting my New Year’s resolution early. Because by the time January First rolls around, I’ll be that much closer to being as skinny as I want to be and able to dress more like Owen Grady rather than Andy Dyer.

Sure I’ve got my birthday and Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, but the good thing about starting my diet now is that I’ll get to take breaks for those holidays. Not week-long binges like I’ve been doing, but a turkey sandwich here, a slice of cake there. I’ve got two toddlers and two dogs who will eat anything I leave behind.

So do I have a target weight and a goal? No way! I’m an author, not a scientist. I follow no formula, set no goals. I go at it as though writing a book – I just do it. When it’s done it’s done. But the Wii asked me to set a goal, so I did:


So there you have it. And despite the cold weather we’re about to have, I’m also going to exercise. Anyone want to join me, feel free to post your goals and pictures at #AndrewsAwesomeAutumn and we’ll see who endures the holidays and loses the most weight by January 1st! Ready? Set. (One more drink.) Go!

The Best Remedy For Stress In a Marriage


With Sarabeth being a stay-at-home mom with two incommunicative toddlers and two dogs, and me working on several books and trying to survive a job that isn’t considered my favorite place to work, it was time for a vacation.

The heat was getting high in our house (and not in a good way). I made it a habit to come home and vent about my work or throw open my laptop when my kids needed to see me (or Sarabeth needed help). If our house were Disneyland, we had the Fast Pass to a broken ride.

It was like those scenes in those old movies where the protagonist’s life is spiraling out of control and you see all those heads circling his distraught face and they’re all slandering him and calling him names.

That’s what I felt like.

So it was time for a vacation.

We visited Grandma and Grandpa (the kids’, not ours) in South Florida and one night, they told us they were keeping the kids and insisted we go to a movie.

Best. Night. Ever.

No screaming kids. No worrying about someone wandering off. No having to split our food four ways. No cleaning up a huge mess and singing Baby Beluga just for a potentially brief moment of silence.

It had been two years since we had gone on a date.

And I realized that’s really bad.

Like, really, really bad.

People, we all know you love your kids, but you’re not being Super Parents by not taking a break.

Work a little overtime to scrap up some cash for a sitter and a nice dinner. Especially for couples whose wife works at home all day with the kids.

Seriously men, date your wife! Best advise I’ve been ignoring. My plan is for our date the other night to be the first of many. I can honestly say, after being with Sarabeth my wife, as opposed to Sarabeth our kids’ mom, for a few hours, reminds me who I married and why.

Take her out, and if you do it soon, I recommend seeing The Martian. That movie will show you we can survive anything – even parenthood.

The Smaller Perspective: One Way to Parent Effectively

My wife surpasses me in bounds and leaps when it comes to parenting our kids. Not just because she’s home with them seven days a week all day and night, but she seems to really “get it” where it counts.

For my part, I’m naturally self-centered. Strip me down to my bare essentials and you’re left with a Scrooge anger-inside-outMcDuck/Grinch/Anger hybrid.

I hoard my belongings, I covet solitude, and my temper can flare at any given moment. If my kids could talk, they would tell you this is true.

But where I fail my wife excels. She doesn’t have one self-serving bone in her body. And as I observe her parenting style, I’ve noticed she does it in such a way that is unique and fresh and makes everyone around her happy.

She may not do it intentionally, but she parents with a keen sense that our kids are watching her. It’s as though she sees our kids as mini camcorders, so whenever they’re around, she’s all smiles, no matter how she’s really feeling or what she’s going through.

Whereas with me, if I’m in a bad mood, I have a tendency to make sure everyone around me knows it, including my kids.

I need to be more like my wife in this regard. Though our kids are too young to form memories, they are currently compiling opinions of us and the world in mini snapshots, like a camera on autopilot. Like in Wall-e when Eve shuts down. Everything Wall-e did in front of her was being recorded and stored in Eve’s internal database.

Perhaps some of us need to stop focusing so much on the “big” perspective of job frustrations, relationship issues, and getting bills paid, and start thinking of a much smaller perspective – a small perspective from our kids’ point of view, which leaves the largest impression in their world.

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30 Years Ago Today, the World Met This Little (or Big) Guy

super-mario-bros-pc-game-imagengrande1_yf87Can’t believe it’s been thirty years ago since the world was introduced to possibly one of the most iconic figures in video game history. Not being a “gamer” myself, I still have logged away many hours guiding the little plumber through myriads of obstacle courses and kicking turtle shells into angry mushrooms.

Celebrate your childhood by sharing your favorite Mario game and perhaps let us all in on a few secret tips you might have to beat certain levels. Power up!

Thank You, Katherine


We just watched Wall-e recently and one line stuck out to me. It’s when Captain B. McCre of the Axiom yells, “I don’t want to survive, I want to live!” What a statement.

Personally, I’m naturally more of a survivor than liver. (Or person who lives.)

A good time for me is staying in watching movies or reading a book and getting fat on pizza. Sarabeth is of the same mindset, though she does show more interest in going out and doing things and not overeating.

But thanks to our daughter Katherine, we can’t stay in as much as we used to. She is such a hub of energy and excitement that we would be doing her a disservice by keeping her inside. So we take her out. And that’s a big chore, because we have to constantly find new things to do. You can only go to the same three parks so many times!

Katherine has already taught me so much in the last twenty months. Because of her we go to the aquarium, the zoo, water parks, random drives to Starbucks in the evening, and last week we even visited our state capital and grabbed burgers and milkshakes!

I’m beginning to understand why having kids is a blessing. Hard work, sure, but my daughter Katherine is helping me learn to actually live and not just survive. And for that, I am forever grateful.

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