Saturday, March 27, 2010


Scoring a Churro at BJ's is now a tradition. Yum.

Shopping for Shoes

He's wearing mens 12's at age 10. He's a beast.

Lunch at the Chinese Buffet

Caden with a mound of ice cream!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Update

(Pic: The boys got new basketballs for the outdoor hoop yesterday. They were pumped!)

Here’s an update on each of the Bryant’s:

Stacie is still going strong in homeschooling the boys this year.  She has started planting a few things outside of our home and is looking forward to getting more done with landscaping and planting around it.  She’s ready for her next cruise (date TBD) and has been reading a lot of books lately.  She’s pretty awesome.

Gabe is now 5’ 9” and will turn 11 in a couple of months.  He is enjoying his new glasses (they look cool – Nike brand) and continues to do all things Legos, especially Star Wars Legos.  He crossed over from Cub Scouts and started Boy Scouts about a month ago and is having a great time with it.

Ethan still has an amazing imagination and continues to relish the role of middle brother.  He loves the new Wii we got for Christmas and shoots hoops on the outdoor goal a lot.  He has his front right tooth busted in half by his big brother a few weeks ago, but the dentist fixed it. He is still digging Cub Scouts.

Caden is… well, Caden.  That kid is wide open!  He loves to sing and is pretty good at it.  He is eat up with basketball and shoots all the time, talking about it almost non-stop.  He still wants to do everything his big brothers do, often to his own peril.  He is mighty.

Well, you know what I’ve been doing from the first post.  I’ve been enjoying my smoking pipes a lot lately.  And I really want to go fishing.

Off to play with the dogs before it gets too dark…

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Well, We're Back!

Welcome to the Grand Re-Opening of Joe Jon’s Web Log (Est. 2003)!

There’s been a lot of changes in the life of the Bryant family since I took the blog down a few months ago. Mainly with yours truly. After getting promoted to a larger hospital 40-miles down the road life went from cruising at 55 MPH to just over 110 MPH. Being one who likes a slower pace in life whenever possible I quickly found that to be a negative thing, overall.

In the great big world of “Work-Life” balance I discovered that the scales tipped heavily toward “Work,” leaving “Life” way up in the air. What’s odd is that I really enjoyed the work portion of it all. It was a new place with a receptive group of people working there who were appreciative of the changes and improvements our team was making. Sure, there were bumps in the road, but putting the new program in place was a fun challenge and seeing the victories and improvements along the way was highly rewarding.

But the “Life” side of things quickly suffered.

Long hours meant little time for the family life I was accustomed to. Many nights I would get home after 7:00 PM and even as late as 9:00 PM. I couldn’t coach the boys in their basketball league. I opted out of leading their den in Cub Scouts. I grew way out of touch with what was going on in the homeschool. We weren’t getting to church like we should have been. Our family devotion time essentially stopped. I kept calling my wife “Tracy” instead of “Stacie.” (Just kidding on that one. I call her that for fun, anyway.) In short, there was a huge disconnect.

So, on top of all of that, my hobbies suffered. Scouts and coaching weren’t the only things to be put off. We traveled less. (I had 6-days of unused vacation that I lost at the end of ‘09.) My cameras sat idle. I read very few books. I smoked my pipes far less. I didn’t fish as much as I wanted to in the fall. I stopped exercising and dieting, gaining back 15 lbs. And I shut the blog down.

In all of the enjoyment I was gaining from my new promotion I had actually lost focus on what mattered to me the most. God, family, friends, and hobbies.

So I prayed for a change, and God answered. The guy who took my place at my previous position resigned, and I was given the opportunity to ask for my old job back. My boss was perfectly fine with the idea and even embraced it. (He is a huge proponent of the “Work-Life Balance” having seen many managers burn out in his years.) My current client was disappointed, but very understanding. And the client I was returning to graciously took me back with open arms. Amazing how things lined up.

Going back to the old place doesn’t mean the “Work” side is any easier. It is quite the challenge, and one I enjoy. I will remain fully engaged in my work there and have actually learned a great deal the last 7-months that will help me become even more successful than the award winning year I had there in FY 2009 (President’s Council). Plus, I know I am going back to a wonderful situation at a place full of caring, committed folks to work with. So, please don’t take it that I am looking to make my actual work days any easier. If anything, they are a bit tougher in a smaller hospital. I wear many more hats there than I do now in the bigger place.

But, being 35-miles closer to home has its advantages. The flexibility is critical. The opportunity to reconnect is invaluable. The promise of living a simple life and living it deliberately has me eager to get started. I hope to be back by the second week in April.

So, with that, I have committed to getting back into stride with life and the things I cherish and enjoy the most. Part of that is the re-opening of the blog you are now reading. My plans are for it to be nothing like it was from 2003 – 2009. It will be less about me. Less about my opinions on culture, politics, etc. I plan to focus it on our family with a slant towards the adventures we get into as we do the things we love. I hope to have a picture with most every entry. A photojournalistic approach to all things the Bryant family. Some of you may really enjoy that. Some of you may be a bit more ho-hum. But I am gearing the blog toward building memories that might last a generation or two. As I go through my old blog (it is archived elsewhere) I plan to offer some “flashbacks” from those years, pulling out some favorites to share. There were some gems in there.

In the mean time I'll be taking a little while to fix the place back up, make it look all fancy and interesting, and what not.  I added my Twitter badge to the upper left for those short bursts of info and miscellany.  I'll be working on a new fangled header, too.

So, with all of that nonsensical rambling out of the way I give you the blog. See you soon.  Be well.