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Top 7 = The only thing that would have made Christmas better is... a bacon sweatshirt

blog top 7 Dec 26, 2022

“The only thing that would make it better is if it was a sweatshirt,” Salter said.

He was referring to, of course, his bacon t-shirt— the perfect complement to his bacon socks.

Earlier in the Fall, Beth sent a text message to the kids— to see what they might want / need this season. The predictable answers came in: sweatshirts, new tires for the car, basketballs for the outdoor court.

“Anything bacon,” Salter replied. “I just want bacon stuff.”

Makes sense, coming from a kid who has a “bacon club” (whatever that happens to be) with 30+ members in it.

Here’s the pose— so you can see the socks. 

Although the socks did NOT make the Top 7 for the week leading up to Christmas, I did think they were the perfect lead-in this time around. 

Here’s the rest of the list…



Fitness = Downstairs, Garage-fit gym gets upgrade 

When I first bought the house, I thought, “I’ll park in the garage.” 

That lasted for a FEW weeks only, at which point I decided that I would rather use the garage for a gym. 

For the past 2 years, we’ve had a big TV (it was in the house when we bought it, so we moved it to the garage, attached an Apple TV to it, and use it for BeachBody workouts), pull-up bars, free weights, and a wrestling mat.

Now, we have this… 

… a legit, free-standing, “nautilus” type of workout machine.



Finance = Big push on the Amplify project 

With a bunch of downtime throughout the week— and kids all sleeping in— I spent each morning at the nearby Starbucks and O’Henry’s (rotating back and forth). I finished MOST of the chapters in the Amplify project. 

The goal… 

… is to get EVERYTHING written— all about the processes we use to create books, online content, and more…

After it’s all “out of the head” and “on the paper” I can edit and determine how to publish / share / disseminate the info.



Family  = Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve we had a few kids working until around 6pm. So, before everyone came over, we loaded everyone who was available and headed to a Christmas Eve candlelight service. 

Some of us dressed-up (Christmas Eve, right?), and others of us…

… well, opted for t-shirts and sweatshirts and…

Let’s just say, we made it.

The selfie was more fun, but a nice gal did walk by and offer to snap a pic for us…

After assuring us she would get it “up close” and not provide us with a “bunch of tiny heads in the middle of a pic screen” she proceeded to give us EXACTLY a bunch of small heads in the middle of the screen. 

I get it, I COULD edit this thing… 

But why?

Let’s just call it like it is, place it, and enjoy.

Here are a few of the pics from inside the service. I suppose Levi and Anna are cutting up, laughing during the “solemn” moment the candles get lifted. πŸ˜‚

And, probably a “pose for the pic” look, right here.

Afterwords, we headed back to the house. 

Here’s a shot of Beth and her kids, downstairs. As a side note: when you have blended families it’s easy to just think, “Oh, everyone just gets tossed together.” 

To some extent, they do. 

But we’ve also tried to make sure the “old things” that need to stay in place can and do…

She still makes time for her girls. 

I still take the kids— even *my* older ones— on sneak outs, dinner dates, and more….

So, yes, we’re all together, and there are so many things that are new and changed and different, yet some things can— and should— remain the same. 

Here’s something that’s been consistent for a few years, Chinese food. 

15+ years ago we rode from Athens, Alabama to Birmingham— on Christmas evening. We had celebrated Christmas Eve and Christmas morn with my parents, enjoyed lunch, and then headed home. 

We had been there about a week, so there wasn’t much food in the house. Needing to feed the kids, I decided to find a drive thru. To my surprise— and delight— the only thing open… was China Moon. 

The next year, the kids EXPECTED it.

And the year after that…

So, after all of the “normal” Christmas dinners and lunches and other things, we began eating Chinese. 

Now, we just grab it. 

Here’s Emma with one of Salter’s presents— a last minute playground ball. Purple (his new color). 

And, the entire fam gathered around the living room— post-dinner.



Field = Grants in

This week we received TWO notifications of grant awards at Crosswinds Foundation— one from Presbyterian Foundation and the other from Alabama Power Foundation. 



Faith = A great heritage

Wednesday of Christmas week, my parents hustled down from Huntsville to the house. We ordered lunch from Full Moon, so we could skip the cooking and just hang out. 

They celebrated “two Christmases” with us— one in the morning, with all the younger kids…

… and then another in the evening with the old kids. 

During the afternoon we were able to enjoy some unrushed time. Enjoyed some moments talking… went to the nearby O’Henry’s, and just enjoyed the day.



Friends = JD slides over, makes a call…

Late Thursday I received a text, “You in town?”

My friend JD was in the area— from Atlanta— to see friends. I was finishing some work on the Amplify project, so it was a great break.



Fun = Movie w/ Mini, then Judah

Over the weekend, Mini and I went to see Wakonda Forever (Black Panther, part 2). Then, Judah and I went to see— the following day— Avatar.



Pics of the kids arrived in the mail, as well. 

I’m OFTEN frustrated by what they choose to wear for “school pics.” (I’m sure my parents, upon receiving my pictures, ALWAYS thought the same thing.)

The upside of the sports pics is that they DON’T get to choose what they wear. It’s always the prescribed outfit. 

Fab pics here of Mini and Isaac…

… reveal how much the kids have changed in the past year, how much they’re growing, how much fun this fleeting season is.




That’s the highlight reel for the week.

If you’re just now dropping in, each week I look back at the week behind + preview the week ahead— so I don’t miss anything— and look and highlight at least one thing for which I’m grateful in each of the 7 key areas of life…

πŸ’™ Fitness 


🏠 Family 

πŸ›  Field (work, career)

πŸ™ Faith 

πŸ‘Š Friends 

πŸŽ‰ Fun 

Download your free planner— the tool I use to manage the daily grind and then look back like this— at 

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