Sleep Cycles and Illness

The clock in your brain doesn’t just take cues from light, but from the hormone melatonin as well. Every night, about two to three hours before you conk out, your brain starts to secrete melatonin in response to darkness. Taking a melatonin supplement in the evening will advance your internal clock and make it possible to fall asleep earlier; taking it in the morning will do the opposite. (You might assume this would make you even more tired during the day but it won’t; you could think of it as tricking your brain into believing you slept longer.)

Yes, Your Sleep Schedule Is Making You Sick by Richard A. Friedman



She spins and she sways to whatever song plays
Without a care in the world
And I’m sitting here wearing the weight of the world on my shoulders
It’s been a long day and there’s still work to do…

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh I will dance with Cinderella
I don’t want to miss even one song
‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone

Happy 5th birthday, sweet Emmaline.



I’ve these dreams I’m
Walking home
Home when it used to be
And everything is
As it was
Frozen in front of me

Here I stand
6 feet small
romanticizing years ago
it’s a bitter sweet feeling hearing “Wrapped Around Your Finger” on the radio

and these days
I wish I was 6 again

– John Mayer, 83




Henry turns three today, and how fast have those three years gone:

Stop this train
I want to get off and go home again
I can’t take the speed it’s moving in
I know I can’t
But, honestly, won’t someone stop this train?

-John Mayer


EmIt only took me one look to understand [Emmaline],
sometime I don’t know what she’s saying.
Sometimes I do,
Sometimes I don’t,
know what she’s saying.
But I know,
I know,
I know what she wants to believe.



There once was a girl
Who lived in a red house
And grew up too fast.

Happy Birthday, Abby.

Happy Birthday, Henry

Henry Andrew MaddoxA year ago today, Kari and I welcomed Henry Andrew Maddox to the world.

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

It’s hard for me to believe that our little boy is turning one today. Those five hundred thousand plus minutes have gone by so quickly.

In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?

I can’t begin to count the late nights, the early mornings, and the need for more cups of coffee. But those aren’t the things I’ll remember the most. I’ll remember the curiosity, the babbles, the tenacity. I’ll remember him fearlessly crawling through the grass, pushing his sisters for a place next to the TV, and making sure that he wasn’t neglected at the dinner table.

How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love.

Are babies’ first years hard? Absolutely. But I won’t remember those parts. I’ll remember holding him late at night after he fell fast asleep on my shoulder. I’ll remember loving him and watching him grow up.

It’s time now, to sing out
Though the story never ends
Let’s celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends

So today we celebrate young Henry and his remarkable first trip around the sun. Cheers, Henry; here’s to a great first year and many more just like it.

Basketball Dichotomies

After a difficult loss in 2013, the San Antonio Spurs regrouped and throttled the Miami Heat in a five game series, winning the final game by nearly twenty points.

The series was a microcosm of what we see the NBA — organizations like the Heat, Knicks, Nets and Lakers pay top dollar for elite talent pitted against  teams like San Antonio — organizations built on solid players who form an even better team As we’ve seen over the past four years, talented players win games and regularly make it to the finals. But on the other end of the spectrum, good players in a system can form great teams.

For other small market teams like the Timberwolves and Cavaliers, this series should serve as a reminder that the best talent and highest budget don’t necessarily equate to championships. Players who gel as teams, regardless of individual talent, are just as likely to win. Davids still beat Goliaths.

Email Marketing Pivot to Mobile

Below is an image with three marketing emails I received from Banana Republic this year. The emails are from April, July and August.


This series of emails illustrates evolving thought on email viewership:

  • The first features a complicated header with all of their navigation and social media links.
  • The second has a much simplified header with a four-link navigation. The social media icons are now lower on the page.
  • The third has been further simplified — three large navigation buttons and a very tall image. The social media links are also absent.

It appears that they have pivoted on email marketing from desktop-first to mobile-first. The large, simple nav and portrait-sized image speak to this. And although it’s not a responsive design, it is one that will work across all platforms.

For those of us without a large marketing research department, Banana Republic’s changing email design indicates where users are going: mobile.

Arrivals, Departures

Sometimes I stand amazed that so much has happened in so little time. Many arrivals, many departures.

Stop this train
I wanna get off and go home again
I can’t take the speed it’s moving in
I know I can’t, but honestly
Won’t someone stop this train?

In three short years, I finished Grad School, Kari paused her teaching career, we left Houston for Waco, we moved twice, I started a new job, we bought a house, and we welcomed three babies into the world. Many arrivals, many departures.

This summer also marked the final departure of my grandparents. Some 13 years after Papa Curt passed away, his bride, Mama Donna, died in June at the age of 87. As a result, I am no longer a grandkid; my three kids alone possess that title. Many arrivals, many departures.

Don’t know how else to say it
Don’t wanna see my parents go
One generation’s length away
From fighting life out on my own

The titles have progressed one generation. Now a parent, I welcome wee ones into the world, hoping and praying for their future. The train keeps chugging along unaffected by the ebb and flow of life. Many departures, many arrivals.

henryThis summer, Kari and I met our third child, Henry. Our first boy, his fiery and sweet demeanor was evident from moment one. One of his first acts was knocking the doctor’s aspirator to the ground as if he were an accomplished pugilist. His general displeasure was soon replaced with a sweet calm as he cozily nestled on mommy. Many departures, many arrivals.

Don’t for a minute change the place you’re in
And don’t think I couldn’t ever understand
I tried my hand
John, honestly, we’ll never stop this train

Much of my grandparent’s generation has already departed after paving the way for us. That role continues with my parents and their generation, and more so than ever, to me, my wife, and our peers. Abby, Emmy and Henry know us simply as mommy and daddy. It is up to us.

girlsAlthough I can hardly believe that my little Abby is three, I wouldn’t change it for the world. And Emmy, our newly christened middle-child, is perfect as her curious and mischievous self. As for Henry, the baby of the family, he will be subject to much torment at the hands of his sisters, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Life is not about arriving but is composed of departures and arrivals. Those who lit the way depart, leaving the world to us. Situations in life necessarily change, causing us to depart from what we once knew. But with each departure comes a new arrival, a new experience to enjoy and learn. We may leave a city for another. We may lose a role but gain another. From only child to big sister. From little sister, to both big sister and little sister. And from grandchild to just child.

The train doesn’t stop, so I plan to enjoy it’s departures and arrivals. I can’t imagine anything better.

With regards to Stop This Train by John Mayer