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Sunday, January 6, 2013

I am content creative

Today, right now...I feel creative. I feel inspired. I want need to create. In some ways, this is overdue. But it's happening now. In a time of the year when soon to be broken promises are all too rampant, I'm making one of my own. Except this is one that i plan to keep. I will create. Even better, I will become a CONtent creator. Even better-er, I will become a conTENT creator. I will write more. I will song more. I will make...well, more.

To be sure, we were carried throughout twenty twelve. We were moved from Florida to Michigan. We had to get settled into a very different routine in a very different place with very different people. Much has been in flux and been so dynamic and fluid throughout the year. Except my ability to create. There just hasn't been enough time or opportunity. So, I resolve to get back into a creative routine and out of a creative rut.

And I've already begun. With a new blog. About creativity. I'll write about creativity. I'll post articles about creativity. I'll attempt to discover what drives other creatives. What makes us creative? How can we coexist with creativity within the church? More importantly, how can we move from being CONtent consumers to CONtent creators to conTENT creators. There's a difference and I want to find out what it's all about.

I'll still maintain this little blog, but may be even more distracted than before with trying to figure out this creative conundrum. Stay tuned...


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Today, or exactly what I needed

There have been a few times in my life where the simplest thing has changed...well, everything. Perspective shifted. Theology formed. A heart warmed.

I can still vividly remember when my theology about prayer and God's specific care for my every need cemented when a quarter fell out of my wallet.

Or when I discovered that my own little, seemingly insignificant role mattered when two teenagers called to tell me that I had encouraged them and that they were so grateful for me.

Or the moment I encountered the reality that God, as a Father, is perfect in His tenderness toward me as my infant son tightly grasped my left index finger.

For me, God thunders in the softest moment. His love and affection sirens through the quietest room. I know it's not the same for everyone.

Today, it's one of those days. There's no possible way I could have gone quicker from ground level to soaring heights than I did today. That trip took me about 3 seconds. As long as it took to read (and then fully comprehend) the text from my wife. I won't go into details, but today, we got exactly what we needed. We prayed for it yesterday. And today it came. And it came with a simple "we love you". Whoa.

Certainly, I'm not naive enough to believe that everyone's own personal paradigm shifts the same way. We're all very different and unique individuals and are shaped and formed in very different and unique ways. For me, though, it's a very good day. I wanted today. I needed today.

How about you? What "little" big moments have shaped you? What "huge" big moments have done the same? I'd love to hear about it.

Friday, November 30, 2012


Happy...anniversary? Is that correct? That can't be right, can it? Has it been a year already? sure has.

What am I talking about? Maybe this will refresh your memory. Or maybe this will. Simplified, on November 30, 2011, I was wrecked...broken...and perhaps only a few millimeters (check out the 5th paragraph down) away from a very different life.

And a LOT has changed in the past year: my job, my home, my church. Practically, everything...except for the three crazy people (and one crazy dog) with whom I love living this adventure.

So, what do I say? What now? I recently read a quote from Robert Frost:
"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on".
Life, is going on. I didn't even realize that it had been a year since the 'accident that changed everything' until my wife texted me about it a few minutes ago. I started thinking, which, this time at least, led to writing what you're reading now. In the past 365-ish odd days, there is no greater lesson than this: life goes on. There have been a lot of ups and, quite honestly, a few downs. The highs have outweighed the lows, and I'm pretty sure that's a good thing. I have health, my wife, my kids and my dog. I'm also pretty sure my wife and kids and dog are happy to have me around. I can walk and talk and sing and play my guitar. And all are very good things for me.

I still have faith and hope and love. I still have friends both old and new. The understanding of Grace still causes my heart to stir and brings a tear to my eye. Life has happened wicked fast this past year. It happened without my approval. It happened when and where it wanted. And thank God, I'm still here for it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On becoming a "Yes" man

It's funny what comfort and safety bring to your life. It's also devastating, sad, easy and mostly, comfortable.

The family Long has taken some pretty big steps over the past 6 months. Some of those have been forced. Others, the result of just simply saying, "Yes".

And I find myself doing this a lot lately. Wanna move to the Detroit area for a job? Umm, OK. Want to come to a cookout with my family? Absolutely. Spend a little bit more to make sure you get the house? Yes. Go to the concert alone for a band you really had never heard of? Of course. Mountain biking? long as you don't laugh at me.

We've been saying all along that life is an adventure. And marriage, kids, dogs, music, faith...certainly have been an adventure for the past 17 years. Here's the thing, though: I was never very good at just saying yes. There was usually a "but" or "maybe" or "I don't know". I never realized how much I hesitated until these past few months, when I've had to choke back that urge to hem and haw and hesitate.

So, I'm celebrating. And I'm celebrating something that we usually don't want to celebrate...I am a "yes" man. Or, at the very least, I'm no longer a "Hmm...let me think about that" man.

How about you? Is there something you're resisting the urge to say "yes" to because it's just a bit uncomfortable or unorthodox? Is there something you've said "yes" to that's stretched you a bit? Tell me about it!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Michigan and Modern Family

Michigan...and Modern Family. Doesn't really make sense, does it? Let me explain.

While we're waiting for school to be over (and for the rest of the family to move with me), I've been spending three weeks in Michigan working in the office and then one week working from home in Florida. Living in a hotel, renting a car, not very fun. And missing my family. A lot. But, the coolest thing has happened.

My wife and I have started watching the show Modern Family "together".

See, I have been hearing amazing things about the show and just have never had the time to catch up...until now. Having three or four hours to kill in a hotel room each night gives you all kinds of time to do these sorts of things. So, I was able to download the first two seasons of the show and began watching. And then, after telling my wife all about it...we ended up watching them, well, together. Each of us starting the show at the same time on our laptops and then texting, laughing and rehashing things as they happened.

It's been...magical. It seems that life is done differently from 1200 miles away. Car rides to school become the one time during the day when I can goof off with my kids on the phone and talk about what happened the day before and the day coming up. Nights are filled with text laughs while watching the same show at the same time with the same girl. It's a routine and it's probably as close to normal as we can get for the time being.

And it just works. We keep saying that this is the great Long adventure and that we can't wait to begin this new chapter of our life. What I now realize is that we're already doing it. It's different and sometimes difficult and never cheap. But, it's part of the journey that's already happening and modern technology makes it all possible to remain so connected, even while sitting "alone" in a hotel room watching TV episodes on my laptop. Or playing Draw Something with my very dearest friends and family. Or sharing the ride to school together with my boys laughing and being ridiculous and feeling missed and loved and so blessed.

Yep, I'm in Michigan. 1200 miles away from my family and friends. But still so very close to each of you. This is part of being a modern family...and enjoying Modern Family. So we're almost done with season 2 and I'm working on getting season 3 ready to go. After that, well, we should be just about ready to settle for simply watching TV together in the same state in the same city in the same house and on the same couch, no more than two feet from each other. And that sounds like my kind of adventure.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Search terms

OK...I have to admit that I borrowed blatantly stole this idea from someone else's blog. Google is an amazing thing. However, I'm not at all certain how the following search terms could have landed anyone on my little cyber space over the past month.

With all that said, here is the list:

"cheap flowers" (I'm not sure if I should be offended or oddly proud of this one)

"trombone tattoo ideas" (To the best of my knowledge, I haven't ever blogged about those)

"hispanicpastries" (Thank God for that 'r')

"key tattoos on legs" (Again, I'm drawing a blank on how tattoo searches would have led to my inkless blog)

"one of my favorite" (Aww shucks, you're one of my favorites too!)

"st pete vineyard facebook" (Totally legit, since I have been the worship leader there for over two years)

"tattooed legs" (Maybe I should get some tats and begin blogging about them...seems to be in high demand)

So, there you have it. These are the search terms that led some of the 344 visitors to my blog over the past month. I have to admit that this is a pretty cool exercise and I'll plan on updates from time to time.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


"I think I'll visit a Vineyard church today."

One simple a status update and it was done. The groundwork was laid for the Long family to be super-sneaky today.

See, I was supposed to be coming back to Florida on March 30th. Supposedly. What happened instead was that I came home on the 23rd–a full week early. The only people that knew were my immediate family. No friends and certainly not my church family. Sneaky.

So, I've been home since Friday evening, catching up on hugs and kisses from my wife and boys, turning off location services on my iPhone and iPad, hoping that I wouldn't be caught hanging out in Florida a week earlier than had originally been planned.

Today, I got to surprise my church family by showing up unannounced. And it was so much fun. I love the St. Pete Vineyard peeps so dearly and it was a blast to get all the hugs and such all day long. It was great to eat lunch with my friends and it's especially awesome to get an extra week with the family Long.

I'll be hanging out here for the next two weeks, working from home and trying to convince my bosses that it's a great idea for me to work two weeks here and then two weeks in Michigan, as opposed to the initial three weeks in Michigan and one week in Florida plan that we started with. They're from the midwest and are honestly some of the most sincerely nice people I have ever worked with so hopefully, this works out.

More importantly, the life on pause phase is over for the time being and I can do normal things like watch TV on a couch instead of a bed, eat something other than peanut butter sandwiches and fast food, and hug my wife and kids every night and morning and in between. I love FaceTime on my phone, but nothing beats the real face time I'll be getting with family and friends over these next couple of weeks.

I have so missed you all very much.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Here's to many more to come

Week one of the Long Family Adventure is in the books. I made it. I beat the Michigan winter. I am a survivor. Kinda.

I heard on the news this was the 6th warmest winter in Michigan history. For me, this is the coldest week of my life. I've never worn so many layers, worn as heavy a jacket...indoors, or suffered as much from dry sinuses as I have this past week. And this is a mild winter. To be precise, as long as they have been keeping track of weather in Michigan, there have only been five other winters where the temps and snowfall have been less. As Michigan winters go, 2011-2012 is the absolute runt of the litter...the 90-pound weakling.

So, as much as I would like to tout how tough and thoroughly bad ass I am for making it through my first week, I'm probably a weenie. And I will stick by that story as long as I keep wearing gloves in 35 degree temperatures.

On top of channeling my inner Bear Grylls, I'm also trying to buy a new car, looking into finding a furnished apartment for less than $2000 a month, scouting potential landing spots for the Family Long and visiting churches. All of this is sandwiched between working 40 hours a week, learning a new job and doing my best to maintain connection with my wife and kids, and all my friends and family still back in Florida. Whew...I'm tired. But, strangely, I'm energized. This is, after one week, one of the craziest, most thrilling and exhilarating adventure I've attempted. And I love it!

Don't get me wrong...I miss the love of my life. I miss my goof ball sons and I miss all of my friends and family. I miss the familiarity of Florida. I miss not having a stuffy nose. And I even miss flip flops. But, this is gonna be a blast and I can't wait to share even more of it with you. In the meantime, I'll leave you with one of my favorite pics from the weekend:

This is a shot of the downtown of one of the towns we're considering, Northville, MI. Stay tuned, folks...there's (lots) more to come.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Aaaand...we're off!

If you've been keeping tabs on my recent blog posts, you'll no doubt be aware that a new adventure has begun. As of today, I am officially in Michigan, starting a new job and biding my time until June when my family can join me here.

The new job is great and the people here are just so darned nice. Seriously. The one thing I've always loved about the Midwest is how incredibly friendly and neighborly people just seem to be. No one appears agitated. They're quick to offer recommendations on towns to consider moving to and about schools and the like. One of my co-workers is apparently working on a "things to see/do" guide for me to work through on my free time. Just very cool.

Since tonight was my first night of many to come in Michigan, I figured I would start off with one of my favorite past times...visiting the mall. So, my first official day on my new adventure ended with the mall.

The coolest thing was that I think I've identified one of my next purchases:

See? I love TOMS, but they are incredibly impractical for the harsh weather in the great white north. So just slap some faux fur in the lining and call them mine. This is all but a sure thing.

I also discovered what I'm sure will become a shop that I will visit WAY too many times over the next month until I'm back home for a week, Just Baked. Oh, how delightful to see a shop that sells over 50 varieties of freshly baked, gourmet cupcakes. It was staggering.

What was even more staggering was the delectable goodness that came back to the hotel with me. It was good while it lasted, but I shall be back for more, I promise.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The times, they are a-changin'...

If you read my last post, then you would know that A LOT had been going on over the past month or three. Well, I'm finally able to publicly talk about some of the stuff that I wasn't really willing to share then.

I mentioned that companies were calling me even before I knew I would need a new job. What I didn't say was that of the five or six companies that called, only one was local. All the other interest was coming from out of state and all of them were offering substantially more in salary than I had ever made before. Fast forward to yesterday and what that means is that...

...we are moving! From Michigan. Yep, that Michigan. With the ice and snow and seasons and window scraping and running your car in the morning to heat it up. Eek!

The deal is that I'll be in Michigan three weeks a month and in Florida one week a month until the boys are out of school in June. Then, the family Long will begin a brand new adventure in our own wintry wonderland. This all begins on February 27th, 2012.

So, I told 2012 to bring it, and bring it she did. We're excited and nervous and overjoyed and overwhelmed and sad and probably too many things to list in one blog post.

I guess if I were to ask one question, it's this: what advice does anyone have for a big move? More importantly, does this down parka make me look fat?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Well...hello, twenty twelve

The past two months have been...eventful? Interesting? Ridiculous? Incredible? I'm not quite sure what word or phrase would be adequate here. Perhaps I should explain. 


On November 30th of twenty eleven, I decided to take on a police car with my VW Passat. Turns out, that's not a good idea. I have no idea how or why that happened...just that I didn't see him when I pulled out of a parking lot. What that little event got me was six days in the hospital with a collapsed lung and the temporary inability to sleep comfortably on my left side for two months (and counting). 


Then, on December 9th of twenty eleven, I was notified that the job I had started in October was no longer the job for me. I was let go one day short of the 60-day probationary period for this position. Hmm...interesting. 


While in the hospital, I received two or three calls from companies that were looking to talk to me about coming to work for them. Now, keep in mind that I didn't quite know that I was on the hunt for a job yet. This wouldn't happen until I had been out of the hospital for two days and returned to work. So, I already had prospects lined up before I even knew I would need them. OK, this is getting ridiculous. 


On top of everything I mentioned already, I also was told by my chiropractor, after he spent some time studying my X-rays, that the neck injury I sustained in my accident was basically the same injury as Christopher Reeve, except that my spinal cord didn't get caught up like his did. I was literally a few millimeters from being in a similar place and situation as Christopher Reeve. 


**Sidebar**: I love the movie Bruce Almighty. There is so much rich, spiritual depth to it and I don't have the space to get into all the intricacies and nuances that endear me to it so much. But, there's a scene at the end of the movie when Bruce says to God, "Now, you're just showing off." **End of sidebar**


Well, now you're just showing off, God. 


I'll have to admit I was ready to tell twenty eleven to shove it, or to kiss my tookus or something along those lines. But, I love so much of what the year brought me. I failed miserably at keeping up with my blog. I got to take an epic road trip to Atlanta to see my most favorite band, Mumford & Sons. I made some amazing new friendships. I grew more deeply in love with my wife, sons and family. I witnessed the grace and abundant favor of my God as He carried me through unemployment twice, and an accident that very well could have ended my life. There were some fantastic times in twenty eleven, and there were some insanely crappy times. 


Frankly, there were moments where, to my ecstatic joy and utter elation, God inexplicably–with a wide smile drawn across His face–decided to show off. 


Now, twenty twelve has started and I'm not quite sure how or why or where or what I'll be. But, so far, it's been defiant in not revealing all it has in store. To date, this has been a sneaky, hiding something up its' sleeve, not showing the cards kind of year. I'm excited, baffled and a little giddy about all that awaits me in the next weeks and months and am already seeing God puffing His chest out, rolling His cuffs up, and grinning with a if to say, "You ain't seen nothing yet! I'm about to really show off!" 


OK, bring it, twenty twelve. I'm ready for just about anything. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"A little less conversation..."

"...a little more action please"

And with that one simple, snarled-lip sound clip from the king, (I think) I'm back. Hesitantly, almost certainly, maybe positively, invariably missing a day or two, back. If you have read any part of my blog for the past year or so, you know one thing is certain...I'll fall off the blogging wagon sooner or later.

But, I have a couple of things going for me now: I have a new iPhone4S with it's snazzy little 8MP camera (squeeeeee!) as well as MOvember. If you didn't catch this post, go read it to catch up on my sure to be awful mustache growing experiment/fundraising adventure that will begin on November MOvember 1st.

Also, I just saw this blog post today and feel...inspired about iPhoneography once again. The stuff you can do with Apple's magical little device is astounding. And I'm all mostly (back) in. With that, stay tuned and remember all guarantees in this blog are certain to be untrue or at least partially disappointing or I'll refund 100% of the money you paid me to view my blog.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What I'm doing...

Most people may already know that October has been a month for breast cancer/women's health awareness. We've no doubt seen the pink ribbons, the 'Save the Ta Tas' t-shirts and even the pink accents to our favorite pro team's uniforms. We have friends that have participated in 5K runs galore and everything. And it's awesome. I love raising awareness for all kinds of cancer research and, more, importantly doing whatever you can to help support cancer research. This is especially important to me because I lost my mom to cancer a little over 15 years ago. So, it's awesome to see.

That is October. So, what about November? Or, rather should I say, MOvember? That's right, I am participating in MOvember this year. What? You've never heard of it? In that case, allow me to share...

MOvember is a movement dedicated to men's health awareness, mostly related to cancer awareness and research. So, to raise that awareness, you can sign up to be a 'Mo Bro'. As a mo bro, I will be growing a mustache (and ONLY a beard, mutton chops or goatees allowed) beginning on November 1st and will not shave this (certainly ridiculous looking) mustache for the entire month of, MOvember. At the same time, I will be able to raise awareness and funds for men's health issues through my own Mo Bro site (found HERE) as well as from friends, co-workers and family asking me things like, "What is wrong with your face?" or " got something on your lip. Oh, that's just some hair."

My wife, so far, has been supportive. Of course, I've never attempted to grow facial hair, which will probably be a pathetic and laughable endeavor since I have the facial hair growing capabilities of a pre-pubescent girl. I WILL be posting pictures as well as some of the more comical responses I receive from people I encounter on a day to day basis. I'm also sure my wife will be posting random grumblings about her boy-husband attempting to grow a very manly-looking wisp of upper lip hair. Who knows? I may even be able to end up looking like a couple of these dudes:

So, what kind of mustache should I grow? Are any of my readers going to participate or even join up with me? Do you know any MOvember participants?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

In the beginning...

This post is a bit different. My pastor at the St. Pete Vineyard has been telling us to take a look at coming up with brief descriptions for our respective ministries. Thinking this week, this is what I came up with and just wanted to share with all of you. Here goes...

"In the beginning, God created..."

This is the most fundamental idea in all of Scripture. Before there was a beginning, there was a God and His most foundational action--the action mentioned by the writer of Genesis before anything else, was that He created. He created air, water, earth and fire. He created atmosphere, oceans, rivers and streams. He created animals giant and microscopic. And He said it was all good. He created mankind with all of our complexities and intricacies. And in all of this, we were the only ones with a distinction above everything else that was created...we were fashioned in His image. Which means...that we are instilled with that same fundamental and foundational drive to create. And once again, He said it was all good.

We create in so many different ways. Some of us create pictures and visual art. Some of us create with words and poems and stories. Some of us create with instruments and our own voices. Some of us use what we can touch and feel to create while still others use software and virtual bits of data to create. Some of us create in even more subtle ways: we teach others the best way to harness their creativity or we create the spacious, safe and encouraging environment for others to thrive in their creativity. But, at the core of each one of us, whether we are willing to admit it or not, is the desire to use whatever we have at our disposal to make something different, interesting and new. I see it every day in those around me. My wife and kids are creative. My in-laws are creative. My church family is creative. Most of all, my God is creative. Even more importantly, my God inspires creativity in me and in those around me.

That is where we are, to varying degrees, at the Vineyard. We are creating and constantly desiring to be inspired to create. And this, to me, is the root of worship. The description of worship I once heard is that God reveals, we respond, and then He responds to our response by revealing even more. That's deep, right? And I've found it to be so true.

My goal here as the worship leader is to help create that place where we can see God reveal Himself to us and then we can also feel safe to respond however we need to respond and let that circle happen from week to week, day to day and moment to moment. Worship is so much bigger than a set of songs or our weekly gathering on Sunday mornings. It's bigger than a painting or a poem or picture snapped on an iPhone. Worship is simply His act of revealing Himself to us and our response to His revelation...over and over again and in far too many ways to limit just to music or dance or a funny skit. Don't get me wrong. I am, first and foremost, a musician. I love all forms of music and that is my primary outlet in worship. But, let's not get caught up in what we're used to seeing defined as worship in the church. Let's get...well, creative.

With that said, I encourage you to come worship with us. And then go worship without us. Allow everything you do, both important and menial, to become part of your response to an incredibly loving , immeasuarbly gracious and immensely creative God. Be the creative worshipper He always knew you were supposed to be.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Me, David Copperfield and other disappearing acts

I've turned into a bad blogger. Again. The four people that actually care to remain updated with all things Long deserve better. But, it is what it is. Sorry. Again. 

I was just talking about this with the wife. The thing is, I'm going through a non-caring phase right now. Not that I don't love writing or sharing or whatever. I really do. However, my time is totally consumed with other things. Namely, my guitar. I started learning to play in April of this year and have become completely obsessed. I tinker constantly. I'm playing on Sunday mornings when I lead worship. Just today, I played in front of a room of relative strangers. And it wasn't even remotely embarrassing. Seriously, I'm an absolute addict when it comes to my dedication to all things guitar. 

So, blogging and pictures of the day and the such have completely taken a backseat. Actually, they were probably shoved from the car while I was cruising down the interstate at 90 MPH maniacally laughing as I high-tailed it to the nearest Guitar Center to lust after that Breedlove I'm hoping will soon be mine. I'm sorta not kidding. My 40th birthday is coming up and I accept PayPal. 

My guitar obsession will more than likely recede a bit in the next few months years decades.  I'm learning so much and loving it so much that I know it will permanently be part of my DNA. But, I'll find a way to get my groove back. If Stella did it, so can I. Maybe. Maybe? Right? Riiiight. 

I will, however leave you with this. A shot of the beach behind the Tradewinds Beach Resort where Friends of Giants played a show tonight. It was fun, albeit very poorly attended. Oh, least the chick in the band is hot. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

194/365...Worn out

I've owned my guitar for a little over a year and have been seriously playing for about two months. I'm actually quite proud of the progress I've made in the last couple of months. It's amazing what can happen when you actually start applying yourself and paying for lessons. The drawback? You end up blowing through strings much faster than normal.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


The Long family has been lacking lately In the Sunday family outing business. So, when we got the opportunity to head up to Phillipe Park tonight to scout out some locations for my wife's soon to be first wedding shoot, we jumped at the chance. The time of day also allowed me to get in one of my all time favorite pictures—a sunflare shot.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I went to bed last night pretty sure that I hadn't taken a picture yesterday. However, I remembered just before settling in for the night that I snapped a couple of pictures at dinner. One was absolutely terrible and the other one was actually pretty decent...after applying a couple of filters in Camera+.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Today was our oldest son's first week in the church youth group. What that means is that we have about two hours to kill on late Sunday afternoon with our youngest son. There's only so much time you can spend in Target, so we headed to a park just down the street from our church. This isn't the best composed or lit picture I've ever taken, but it definitely caught Jackson in the few moments of playtime we had today.

Today I'm linking up with Sweet Shot Tuesday at Life with My 3 Boybarians. Go check it out.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


A little bit of hyperbole never hurts. Especially not when we're talking about my beloved iPad that has risen from the dead. Or, more accurately, has been kindly replaced by Apple. I am now back in business with my nifty little gadget. Huzzah!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


In case you're wondering, an iPad doesn't do too well after a three-foot fall to a tile floor. I learned this the hard way tonight. Here's hoping I can get Apple to give me a replacement when I hit the store tomorrow.

Monday, July 4, 2011

185/365...Near Sunset

We ended up with a REALLY busy 4th of July this year. First, we spent some time at a friend's house watching the Nathan's hot dog eating contest and then we were off to Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island to spend time at the beach and then to watch the fireworks. All the pictures of the fireworks stunk, but I did catch this shot just before sunset.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Slow day for a picture. We didn't have a family outing and ended up staying in and watching a movie last night. However, this lovely set of tattooed legs was captured at the Redbox by our house. So lovely.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


We had company tonight. The most excellent kind of brother-in-law, Jacob, and his family. No doubt, I've written about my two incredible nieces, Molly and Ruby. The picture today is a collage of what happens when an infant has had enough. Of what, I'm not sure, but she was certainly pissed about something.

Friday, July 1, 2011

182/365...Red, white and blue

I was looking for an inventive way to display the red, white and blue. Crayons sounded about right and this is what I ended up with.

For this week, I'm linking up with the Live Every Moment photo challenge.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


So, my wife is in the process of doing something special for someone special. That would be planning my 40th birthday party. Problem is, she won't let me know/see/feel anything about my party. And to top it all off..she prances around the house singing little songs and dancing little dances about all the cool/fun/awesome things in store for my little party. And it's starting to piss me off a little.

So, I go in search of a picture subject for tonight, right into the den of party planning central. Wife freaks out, thinking all surprises are ruined. What she forgot is that I am an idiot. An unobservant idiot. All I am looking for is something to photograph and I completely missed my shot to soak up all the glory that will be my birthday party. As I said, an idiot. So, what I have is this:

P.S. My party better be awesome.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

180/365...Pickup sticks

Have you ever had this moment? You're minding your own business when a picture subject jumps out at you. How about the moment you realize you never even knew this was in your house? Yeah, that happened today. With a box of pickup sticks. If you don't know what those are, just stop reading right now, buy some and learn to play. Seriously. It's a right of passage no one should be denied. Right up there with stickball in the street and summertime hide and seek after dark. You know, when your mom had yelled for you to come home ten minutes ago, but doing so would give up the best hiding place ever.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

179/365...Game face

We're into day 3 of our "Long, party of three" week. But, we've had to find creative ways to keep the littlest Long boy engaged and from missing his brother too much. We don't often remember just how close our two boys really are. Without Ethan, Jackson just isn't himself. So, last night, we broke out the UNO deck and played a few rounds. I only won once, which I later learned was a concerted effort by the wife and little one to allow me to win. It worked.

This picture was taken just before the first deal.

Monday, June 27, 2011


We're now into day two of "Long, party of three" time. So far, things have been uneventful. Except, poor Jackson has been pretty bored without his best friend in the world around. So, we ended up grabbing a movie from Redbox tonight, cooked microwaved some popcorn and had some mom, dad and littlest Long boy time. And it was pretty awesome. I'll keep you posted on any further adventures this week.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Readers of the Long family blogs probably know by now that we like to make a habit of Sunday afternoon outings. This week, however, we are down one member. Don't get worked up...nothing tragic has happened. Unless you count the passage from kidhood into tweenhood tragic. I'm still on the fence, by the way.

So, Ethan is spending this week in sleep-away camp. For the first time. It's been an adventure. So, we headed to the beach yesterday. And it was a wet, stinky mess. No fun. At all. But, I was able to snag one picture. So, there's that.

Friday, June 24, 2011


So, so much of my time lately has been spent with a pick in my hand. I love learning new things and guitar has definitely been one of my very favorite things to learn.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Our most awesome nieces were at our house the other night. And miss Molly left her shoes. And, like all things Molly, they are just too cute for words. These are the kinds of leftovers that I like to have around.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Since I seem to back on the blog/picture-a-day horse, it makes perfect sense that I would struggle on the third day to find a suitable/creative/interesting subject. So, I present honey.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


This is the second year that both of our boys have had the chance to participate in Pioneer Camp here in St. Pete. Pioneer Camp is basically just an all day outdoor playing in the muck, mire and dirt with no restrictions or limitations kind of thing. Both of our boys LOVE this. What boy wouldn't. These are two of the feet that came home today. Nothing had been washed off when I took this picture. Jackson had just removed his socks and shoes and I snapped the picture. Now, that's one dirty kid, folks.

What I've Been Doing, or Lame Excuses for Not Blogging

**WARNING: Picture-heavy and ramble-heavy post below**

"You're a good for nothin', lazy, bum of a blogger!"

In my mind, that's what you've all been thinking. In reality, it's probably more something like this:

"Who? thekenlong? Did he even have a blog? Seriously...who/what are you talking about?"

Yeah...that's probably more like it. It's been over a month since I've taken a serious stab at taking a picture of the day. Or updated my blog. Or really even wanted to update my blog. Not entirely true, but it's an easy habit to get out of completely if you're not careful. And I haven't been careful at all.

The honest truth is that I have been busy lazy distracted lately and other things have taken priority over updating my blog. At first, it was a fun day trip to Epcot. I even took a picture or two myself:

There has been A LOT of this:

For the un-initiated, those are callouses developing on the ends of my fingers from learning how to play the guitar. I've been taking professional lessons for a little over a month and am actually getting pretty decent from all the practice. Seriously...I haven't been this dedicated to learning something in a VERY long time. I'm sure my wife and kids will vouch for me on this one.

I spend about an hour (sometimes two) each day going over chord charts, practicing scales, picking patterns. It's insane, exhilarating and personally super-satisfying all at the same time.

Mixed in there have been mini road trips...

Oh, the irony (take a moment to see prohibited item #1 in the first picture compared to what was actually found INSIDE the park).

There have been really fun and super-awesome Long family Sunday outings...

We've helped some dear friends move, laughed a lot, loved even more, attended a worship conference and threw in the most epic road trip/concert experience of my life to this point

This is a crap picture, but oh-so-necessary.

I say all of that to simply say this...I'm almost back.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

132/365...Cheap flowers

So, my lovely bride was lamenting about this on her blog last night. This was just one of the cheap flowers she bought in an effort to save a couple of bucks. This flower was separated from its stem for no apparent reason whatsoever. Cheap flowers.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I've been having a hard time coming up with ideas lately for the picture of the day. So, if the picture isn't the greatest today, I can't really blame you for being disappointed.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

130/365...Say what?

So, in making a quick stop at the grocery store, I noticed this sign advertising "Assorted Hispanic Pastries". It makes perfect sense that there were a bunch of chocolate chip muffins there. How very "hispanic" of you, Sweetbay.

Friday, May 6, 2011

126/365...Color scheme

This is the color scheme in our family room. I love these colors. And they were all my wife's idea. She's awesome.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


5/5/95. That's the date 16 years ago when I said the first and last "I do" of my life. And thus began the bliss.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

124/365...The process

So, once again I'm scrambling for a picture of the day when I stumbled upon the wife going through the same process. And here it is. The process.