Monday, January 21, 2013

To donate to the fund for Roy Withrow and family, in memorial of the passing of his mom, Janet Withrow, just click the donate button.  The donation will go to a paypal account that I manage.  You can use your paypal account but do not need a paypal account to donate (after clicking donate, scroll to the bottom of the page to where it says "don't have a paypal account?", and click continue)  You can use credit if you need to, and if you see me in person I will be glad to pass on a cash donation as well.  Feel free to follow up with me on donations.

Thank You and God Bless!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mushy Stuff!


  I don't want to get all mushy and stuff, but I really love this woman, Kayleigh Saylor.  We are getting married in a few days, and I am so excited to spend the rest of my life with her.  Am I a little nervous? Sure.  Am I a little scared?  Possibly.  Are we all a tad bit stressed?  Absolutely.  Above all these things though, is faith that God will provide us with our needs, as long as we keep him close. 

    I cannot imagine a life without her.  I have been given the blessing of adding her, and her family, into my life, in addition to the family and friends I have already been blessed with.  I'm not trying to ruin anyone's makeup so I'll keep this post short, but sometimes I just sit back and think, "wow.... she appreciates me, and shows it".  I've never really had that in the past.  I can get used to it though :)  She is what I look forward to every day, and I will do my best to take care of her for the rest of my life.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Jackson Truth

     I've heard people say that in your entire life you can only count on one hand how many true close friends you will have.  I'm not sure if that is true, but one thing I do know is that some friends come closer to you than others.  Some will be there no matter what kind of mess you have found yourself in.  I think I have a good set of friends.  One particular set, the Jacksons (Jon, Jess, Terri, Mike, and extended family) are the one's I would like to tell you about for a moment.    

     Several years ago, I was having relationship problems.  I wasn't where I was supposed to be mentally, or spiritually really because of that.  I thought I knew what I was doing; man was I ever wrong.  Surfing the web one day, out of nowhere a guy instant messaged me and we chatted a bit.  It wasn't long before we texted and met up one day at steak n shake.  This was completely out of my character at the time.  I was used to my own little world that I didn't even realize at the time I was miserable in.  I didn't know why I gained a random friend but I knew that not much else at the time could make me laugh other that Josh's quirky jokes at the theater, than hanging with Jon and company.  A little while later events that had crushed me, repeated themselves.  I needed to go.  I needed a change of scenery.  I needed to get rid of all of the negativity and focus on myself.  Who was the first person to reach out?  Jon Jackson.

     4 years ago I moved in with Jon and family, somewhat at his persistence, and somewhat because of the fact that it was good timing and it seemed like a good idea.  At first I had reservations due to the fact that I couldn't pay rent right away, and I felt like I was impeding on someones family time.  Quickly I became less reserved because of the their welcoming nature.  Throughout these 4 years I have personally had ups and downs, made my share of mistakes.  But the one constant thing is that no matter what I did, they were always there to support me.  It didn't take long for me to realize that they were family to me, and I seemed to feel like family to them.  There were so many times in which they were there for me.  They would never tell you these times because that isn't in their nature.  Just little things here and there.  Some not so little.  One Christmas I was having trouble getting money for my girls' Christmas gifts.  Out of nowhere they said "lets go to the store and get some stuff for the girls".  I literally had to fight back tears for most of that evening.  I don't know if it was because I had to swallow my pride a little to do it, or because I didn't feel like I deserved for someone to be that nice to me.  I could mention many stories of this nature. 

     Today I moved out of the Jackson house.  I have been so blessed with things going on lately that I'm still having trouble wrapping my head around it.  But I feel like not much of this would have been possible without the Jacksons' friendship, and my journey learning life lessons and growing into a more passionate christian throughout these last four years.  I have a lot to look forward to, but I freely admit that I'll miss being around, on a daily basis, undoubtably some of the best friends I will ever have.  It was no coincidence that I met Jon during a pivotal time in my life.  Thank you, Jacksons, for allowing me to use you as a significant piece of my lifes puzzle.  You will always be my friends. You will always be my family.  Much love.



Friday, September 9, 2011

Dealbreakers and Reflection

     You ever buy something from someone, make a deal, or trade; pay your end and then have them basically screw you over and not uphold their end?  It's an unsettling feeling.  First human reactions are to lash out, have regret, be angry, find a way to get your property or your money back.  Secondly is the want to find out why.  Why did this happen?  The third reaction is the need/want for the other person to apologize and/or explain themselves, if nothing else.  The order of importance for me is the reverse of those 3 initial reactions.  I'd rather have someone talk to me and explain to me their situation and why they couldn't hold up their end, rather than know everything but never hear from them again.  I guess it goes back to the mindset of the the pre- "I'll sue you for anything/everything" days when a man's good word and a hand shake were all you needed to seal a deal.  I, obviously, found out late tonight that I was a victim of this sort of deal.  To the tune of a loss of a significant amount of cash, and a 52" plasma TV.  My mom taught me when I was in middle school, that if something goes bad, or you do something wrong, you'll get in a lot less trouble as long as you come clean about it.  The same goes for this situation; if this person spoke to me and came clean, I'd be a lot less upset about it.  With every amount of patience and restraint in me I will remain calm and try not to let it get to me too much.  I will pray for this person because I do not know everything they are going through or dealing with (obviously since I haven't heard from them), and I myself have known the perils of big debt and tough times.  I wish them only the best.

     At work today I read our weekly flyer online.  It had stories from different people that work for my employer.  They were about where they were and what they were doing/how they were affected during the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks on the twin towers and elsewhere.  Some of the stories were amazing to read, even a few from people who were working inside the towers when the planes hit.  On woman recalled how when she felt the plane hit her building, she thought it was an earthquake.  She saw many awful things and remembered how at that moment when she didn't know for sure if she would live or die.  She explained that all she could think about were her loved ones and if she had any unfinished quarrels.... meaningless things that come between people and cause a grudge.  She wondered if she told her loved ones that she loved them and if they knew that the petty things that seemed so big at the time were nothing compared to the affection she felt for them.  Why is it that we sometimes only truly appreciate life, when faced with imminent death? (not in the jigsaw sense ha)  Why do we only realize that the physical toys and  things of this world will pass away, are so temporary, and somewhat insignificant, when faced with not having them anymore?  Instead in that moment we forget about our smart phones, computers, cars, clothes, money, power, and focus on the relationships we have with others.

     Why do we do this?..... because the most important things in life aren't what you have, but what you give.  Sometimes I feel negligent in saying that, because I don't feel like I can ever give back anywhere close to what I have been given by others' kindness.  Sure you can make a case for the negative aspects in my past, like before being adopted, and bad relationship luck.... but some of that was probably my own doing and besides, I'm not trying to compare bad/good.  Maybe I will be able to give more as the days pass, or maybe I just need to look harder into it myself.  Either way, I feel blessed to have what I do have, and who I have in my life.  If I ever have one of those moments like in the woman's story inside the world trade center, where I reflect on my life and wonder this or that, I don't think I'll remember or care about the 52" TV.  Hopefully I will remember that I did all that I could to help a person who needed me, cared for my friends and family, and walked a path that, in the end, leads to streets of gold. 

     My thoughts and prayers go out to those closely affected by the 9/11/01 attacks on this 10 year anniversary weekend.  God Bless  :) 


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ideas that emmit from a Gabe

     I've been working a lot of 12 hour days lately.  My job is fairly mundane and monotonous.  I'm not knocking it, I'm glad I have it, in fact.  Many people are out of work right now so I do not take it for granted.  That being said, lets just say I have to keep my brain entertained as much as possible throughout these 8 to 12 hour days, or it may explode on me one day.  Sometimes I use AM radio to keep me going, sometimes Cd's, sometimes Pandora.  The Reds games help at night, especially when they are winning! 

     Lately most of the time I try to burn up listening to podcasts.  I never knew much about them except that they were recordings of radio shows and things of that nature.  There are several advantages to listening to podcasts for me.  One is that there are WAY fewer commercials, especially compared to AM radio.  You can also choose what to listen to, whereas the radio might have a host you like, but a subject that is not interesting, there is no control of that in AM radio.  I am finding out there are plenty of different categories to choose from.  You can also stop, pause, and seek through podcasts just like an mp3, which is very convenient when you're at work and have a schedule to adhere to.  I use an application on my Blackberry Curve called "InTune" radio to find the podcasts I like, which are updated with new shows practically as soon as they are available.  The sound quality is much better as well.  I encourage anyone who has a job similar to mine, to try it out a few times, see if you like it.

     This time has also got me thinking, why can't I start a podcast myself?  I mean with the very basic tools needed in today's technological world where its fairly cheap, if not downright free for the most part, to do these types of things.  I think it would be fun.  There is a little brainstorming to figure out things, like what the name of the podcast would be, what exact subjects to talk about (tech? HD? movies? gadgets? Internet? all of the above?), what day of the week to record, to start on a site of our own or some current one, and all of that mess, etc.  Brian and I will have to wake up a few dormant brain cells to try and figure it out if we go through with it.  I listen to these podcasts that have sponsors, and probably pay decent money to the hosts that have a lot of listeners, and think to myself "These are basically the same conversations I'm having with my friends and family on a regular basis."  So how hard could it be? 

     Honestly I know it will turn out a little more challenging than that, but it will still be fun, and just like this blog, if nothing bigger comes out of it, it will still be like a journal of sorts.  History told by us, to look back on and laugh when we are older and make fun of how the some of the smart phones of 2011 ONLY had dual core processors and 8 mega-pixel 3d hd cameras....

Friday, July 22, 2011

The ups and downs of a 2011 Gabe summer

     Its close to 11:30pm, and I have to be up at 3:15am to leave for Atlanta.  I don't feel physically tired at all, so that's probably not good, but I'll be fine.  I have to drop my two daughters off to their mother, who lives in Florida.  Atlanta is the half way point, but its still an 8 hour drive one way if I never stopped.  But my fiance, Kayleigh, is going with us, so it will be a nice little road trip of sorts.

     We have had lots of fun this summer while they have been here these past 5 weeks.  I am very sad to see them go back, I miss them a ton when they are away.  But I have a lot to be happy about, so I won't dwell on that too long.  I mean if I look at where I am now as opposed to a couple years ago, or even a summer ago, so many positive things have happened for me.  I buried some past issues, I'm engaged, I have a much better car for these trips, I've met so many great people.  I could go on and on about how once I dedicated myself, fully, to being a christian and put everything in God's hands, he just opens doors.  I'll try to keep it focused on my girls here though.

     Jazmyn is growing up, physically, so fast its hard for me to comprehend.  She picked me up (163lbs) off the ground without too much effort.  She is definitely growing into those preteen phases that can be challenging at times for a parent.  Lexi hasn't changed much, still is emotional and reserved compared to Jaz, but I like that they are different.  I love being with them and strangely enough, I like disciplining them and talking to them when I have to.  It may sound weird to some, but when you don't see your kids as often as you wish, you even miss the correctional times.  They get along great with other kids of their own age usually, not so much though with each other.  Most of the time they are fine but I think they have gotten considerably worse over the last few years as far as getting along with each other.  It worries me.  I often think about how I highly doubt it would be as bad as it is if they were with me all the time, or even just a normal amount of time.  I don't have all the answers and I know sometimes that's just how kids are and you can only do so much... but I really believe that it would be better.  That's not a knock on anyone else, its just my opinion.  I guess I shouldn't dwell on that, and just keep trying to do as much as I can with what I have.

     I have had a lot of help this summer from Kayleigh, her parents, Becky, Holly, my parents, and others I'm sure I am leaving out.  I sincerely appreciate every ounce of energy or resources that helped me.  I don't know how I'd do it without the love and kindness of my friends, my family, kayleighs family, and others.  For when I didn't have the girls I am thankful also for Christy and her family for helping there, because there's no way I could pay for a sitter, and continue to pay support and everything else.
     As this summer (with my girls) comes to a close, I will reflect back on the fun times we had together and the memories we will keep forever.  We had a blast!  Keep us in your prayers as we will be on the road for many hours tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My first blog on

Being that this is my first blog on, this is more like a test run, to see how it goes.  Honestly I am assuming that Google Plus will start to open up to the full public spectrum without an invite needed shortly, and since I'm not a fan of facebook's "notes", I figured I'd try this out, since I'll probably end up on G+ way more than facebook.  Especially when they roll out an app for blackberry.  I'm sure in time they'll put a quick button on blogger for us to share easily to our G+ accounts (being that google owns, if not there are always links.

I'll give fair warning, I'm not a great writer, I read a lot, but not books.  I don't have the best grammar, and I am not trying to compete with other bloggers in that regard.  I can't creatively pull adjectives out of my head and strategically place them to tell an awesome story.  What I can give is honesty, real world experience, and opinion.  If nothing else, I can use this as a kind of jounal of sorts.  Stay tuned, comment and follow me if you like.  Thanks for checking it out!