Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mr. and Mrs. King's Wedding Day!

How beautiful is this couple? Their day was gorgeous. They packed in so many things that were meaningful not only to them but really showed how much they care about their families as well. It was beautiful.

Mirror shots were the best...

Lenae's family has the most beautiful house. It's on a very small road, had a gorgeous porch, a beautiful stairway in the main foyer leading up to the second floor. When I got there it was appropriately decorated like their princess was getting married today, white tulle wrapped around the railing of the stairs and flowers too!

This was when Jimmy's bride turned the corner and made her way down the aisle. Gives me goosebumps because it is so sweet.

I had the honor of taking photos in a huge, brand new church.

I should reference this photo by saying that it was the hottest day so far this summer on the day that Lenae and Jimmy got married. The wedding party really did grumble when I explained what we were going to do, but it turned out perfect. I especially love the flower girl in the background eating goldfish and the groomsmen on the end.

I could tell the minute I got to Lenae's house in the morning that this whole day was just going to be so much fun. It really was.

I think the glasses say it all.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I was sent this by a very good friend who I admit I have fallen out of touch with. This email for one reason or another came at a good time for me. I truly appreciated it. As for the friend that sent it, I know that when we do get together I know we will be able to pick up right where we left off. Thanks, Christine!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

How to Calculate Your Real Wealth

by Alexander Green Dear Reader,

"It is one of the blessings of old friends," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "that you can afford to be stupid with them."

This is true. I know because I just survived one of the stupidest weekends of my life. (See photo.)

Twenty-five of my oldest and dearest friends converged on the Villas of Grand Cypress in Orlando for a weekend of eating, drinking, golfing, and, yes, much stupidity.

Old stories were told. Old lies were repeated. Old insults were traded. (Along with a few new ones.) It was heaven.

This particular group was not my work buddies, my college buddies, my neighborhood buddies or my tennis buddies. No, these are the derelicts who have stuck with me my whole life. Some of them were in my kindergarten class.

My friend Rick Pfeifer brought his daughter Courtney, a senior at Florida State, to dinner Friday night. I've known Courtney for more than 20 years, too. I used to pick her up and hold her when she was a baby. (I told Rick I'd like to pick her up and hold her now, but he said "no.")

These are not just old companions. These are the guys who will show up at my funeral even if it's raining. (Assuming I don't outlive these alcoholics.)

It has been said many times, but you really can't put a price on friendship. Our true friends are the ones who have known us the longest, understand us the best, and yet choose to hang out with us anyway.

Friends like these are irreplaceable. They are the wine of life. The classical world understood this well:

"There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship," said Saint Thomas Aquinas. "Without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious."

The Greek philosopher Antisthenes said, "There are only two people who can tell you the truth about yourself - an enemy who has lost his temper and a friend who loves you dearly."

"It is a good thing to be rich, it is a good thing to be strong," observed the tragedian Euripides, "but it is a better thing to be beloved of many friends."

The Roman playwright Plautus said simply, "Your wealth is where your friends are."

Yet we don't always appreciate these riches. We can take our friends for granted. We may get too busy or self-involved to check on them, to see how they're doing. Without meaning to, we lose touch.

A few months ago, out of the blue, I received a phone call from my old college roommate, Brian Darby. He invited me to join him - and a few other old fraternity buddies - for a weekend at his golf club near Tampa.

I had lost touch with Brian more than 25 years ago. He has sons now who are nearly the same age we were when I saw him last.

Yet from the very first slap on the back, it was clear that no time had passed. Nothing had changed. It didn't take 10 seconds to reconnect - or for us to begin retelling those old stories. In short, much stupidity ensued.

It was bliss.

During this past weekend's revelry, our group received the news that political journalist Tim Russert had suddenly collapsed from a heart attack at work and died. He was 58. While none of us knew Russert personally, we were momentarily dumbstruck. Everyone in the room was shaking his head and thinking the same thing: "There but for the grace of God..."

We resolved then and there to stop waiting for a reason and start making plans to get together each year. (We even decided to call it The Annual Tim Russert Invitational in honor of the man whose passing inspired us.) After all, most of us are already on the back nine. Why wait?

We've chosen next year's organizer. And each year we intend to meet at a different locale for more camaraderie. More fellowship. More stupidity.

How about you? Do you have an old friend out there who would be delighted to see you or thrilled - as I recently was - to get an unexpected phone call?

If so, reach out. Call them. Meet them for lunch. Be the organizer who pulls your old group together. (Trust me, you'll get extra accolades for that.) Do it - and you are guaranteed a rewarding experience.

After all, these are not our relatives, our neighbors, or our business colleagues. These are the folks above all others that we choose to spend our time with. That doesn't just make them rare or special.

It makes them priceless.

Carpe Diem,


P.S. In July, I'll be speaking at FreedomFest in Las Vegas.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Anniversary Sweetie!!!

We made it! And boy, was that the fastest year ever!

We spent our anniversary being the big dorks that we are by heading down to Baltimore to the Maryland Science Center. We wanted to see the Bodyworks exhibit, which was by the way awesome, and I wanted to go to the planetarium. Making us both huge losers.

We finished out the evening sitting at the best table at Rusty Scupper watching the rain hit the harbor as we drank our glasses of wine, thankful that a year ago the weather was perfect and so was the whole day.

I love you, sweetie pie!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lenae and Jimmy!

I am very much so looking forward to photographing an awesome wedding this weekend! I wanted to give you all a preview of the lovely couple that I will be spending my day with on Saturday. Lenae, you are going to make a gorgeous bride, and Jimmy, you're gorgeous too! I'm positive it will be absolutely beautiful.

This was moments before Jimmy scared the crap out of her by pretending to throw her in the canal!

Isn't this just the most adorable couple ever???

Wouldn't be me, if we didn't off center and blur out the background.

Jimmy thinks he looks like he is playing a really hot saxophone in this one. This is my fav.

Can't wait to add more to this wonderful collection!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

My little bro graduated!

This is the face you are giving me right now for writing any of this, I just know it.

Let me tell you a little about my brother Daren. He's a nice looking guy who stands a bit over 6 feet probably, short blonde hair and bright blue eyes (then again all of us kids have those pretty blues now don't we?). Despite his height and his macho attitude, Daren is a big softy. Don't worry, Daren, it's a good thing, girls love that.

When Daren was little it took him forever to learn how to talk. Being the spoiled and overly outgoing kid I was at the time, I remember always talking for him and insisting on what I assumed he was saying was always right. He would point into the cabinet at something and I would instinctively just know that he wanted. I liked doing this at the time because I thought I was taking care of you. Only in the last couple years have I come to realize that I was truly hindering your ability to learn how to use that massive brain of yours. Luckily, and much to my dismay, you speak fine now, even though I liked it better when you had to point at things.

When you got older you always cared a lot about your siblings and parents. You still seem to be the one who cares the most, I admit. I remember one time when I was throwing some kind of hissy fit and refused to get out of the car when Mom had parked it in our garage, which was then not connected to the home we were living in, no windows and no lights and the only way in or out was the garage door. Mom and you had left the garage and I remember still sitting in the car turning around watching you scream in horror as Mom began to close the garage door with me still in there. It is still a silly sight to see in my head. Needless to say Mom didn't close the door, at least not all the way, especially with you screaming bloody murder in our small little court. Thanks for looking out.

But now that dorky, chubby little kid I used to despise has grown up to a slightly more mature and really adorable guy who has just graduated from high school. It's hard to believe that this guy even has a girlfriend who acts like she really likes him!!!! GROSS! How could anyone...ugh, I'll stop. I know that I was proud of you, so that means that Mom and everyone else was probably even more proud of you. I really look forward to hearing about all your accomplishments in college, as I hope there are many, and I really hope you are being safe at senior week right now...

I think you're pretty proud of yourself too....