Friday Favorites

Welcome to another edition of Friday Favorites with Allen, where I will take a look at some of the things that I think are awesome!

Yeti Rambler Tumbler

I finally picked up a Yeti last weekend, and I have to say I’m super impressed so far. I took it to work one day this week and my ice did not melt the entire day. It looks great, too. I can definitely see what all the buzz was about.

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Brooks Heritage Shoes

I saw these shoes on Carlee’s Instagram a few weeks ago and I knew I had to have a pair. I like the classic look and multiple color options. I have worn them probably 5-10 times already and I love how they look and feel. I will be ordering another pair soon.

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Fuller House

I grew up watching Full House. It was a good, clean TV show that my parents were ok with us watching. I was stoked to hear several months ago they were releasing a sequel series on Netflix, with several characters returning. Rachel and I are looking forward to watching this over the weekend.

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Pro Compression Socks (#thegibblers)

As I’ve mentioned several times on this blog, I love Pro Compression socks! They look and feel great during running and are awesome for recovery purposes post-run. My favorite pair are the multicolor striped socks, aka #thegibbers, named after Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber) from Full House. I had the opportunity to meet Andrea in September at one of the #WeRunSocial meetups, and she is awesome. I love that “Kimmy Gibbler” is a runner!

Since today is the launch of the Fuller House show, a lot of runners are showing their support of the show (and Andrea) by rocking their socks on social media with the hashtag #NationalWearTheGibblersDay. I wore mine this morning during my 7 mile run.

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Slow Down and Enjoy Life

My life has been quite busy recently. So much so that the blog has taken a backseat. Between finishing up the youth basketball league that I run and planning for the summer (we host over 23 different camps in our gym/building), I have had a lot of my mind.

Sometimes when life gets so busy, I tend to forget to slow down and enjoy life. But slowing down and enjoying life is what’s most important! Every day is a new opportunity to make a difference in the world. I want to be more present where I am. Does work need to get done? Of course! But it doesn’t mean that I can’t be the best Allen I can be.

Sometimes I need this reminder. Otherwise I get so caught up and distracted that I miss the little (and big) opportunities to truly impact the world around me. May we not get so busy that we forget this truth.

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Friday Favorites

I have to give props to Carlee for this blog post idea! Here are a few things that are awesome in the world of Allen right now.

Better Call Saul

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Better Call Saul started back last Monday night with a solid first episode of their sophomore season. I was a huge fan of Breaking Bad and loved the first season of this spinoff prequel. Very much looking forward to this new season!

MuteMath – Light Up

MuteMath is one of those bands that has been around for the past 10 years and consistently puts out solid music, but I honestly don’t think about near enough. I recently added like 4 of their songs to my running playlist and have been really enjoying it. Light Up is one of the songs off their new album that I heard a few weeks ago on SiriusXM ALT Nation and I’m really digging it.

Nike Zoom Pegasus 32

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I just broke in a new pair of Nike Pegasus 32’s during my run this morning and they are sweet. There is nothing better than the first run in a new pair of running shoes.

Any favorite things you’ve been enjoying lately?!

 

Duke vs. UNC

I’ve been a Duke Basketball fan since 1987. Growing up in Alabama where football is king, I was looking for a college basketball team to cheer for. My older brother started watching Duke in 1985, and I had a good friend in middle school who moved from Durham, NC and was a huge fan of Duke. So I started watching them play and was hooked! Over the almost 30 years I have been a fan of Duke, they have had amazing success, with 12 final fours, 5 national titles and 13 ACC championships.

Of course, this can all be attributed to their legendary coach, Mike Krzyzewski (or Coach K). I have been to multiple games at Cameron Indoor Stadium, in additional to multiple away games in Atlanta and Tallahassee. I love the Duke Blue Devils!

Which means, of course…I am not a fan of their biggest rival, the University of North Carolina. The Tar Heels are the enemy. For the past 30 years, I’ve watched UNC have major success as well, with several final fours and national titles. Every year Duke has a “home and home” against UNC. Tonight is the first of at least 2 meetings in 2016 (they could meet in the ACC tourney and/or the NCAA tourney).

Duke has had amazing success against UNC the past few years. They are 10-3 over the last 13 meetings, including a season sweep last year. However, I fear this year might go the other way. UNC is a top team with depth, experience and talent. Duke, while very talented, is young and very thin. Plus, tonight’s game is in Chapel Hill. But it’s Duke/UNC. You never know what can happen in this game.

However, no matter the outcome, I am looking forward to this great basketball rivalry. It is, in my opinion, the best in college basketball and one of the best in sports. Let’s go Duke!

Youth Basketball League

One of the cool parts of my job as Director of Activities at St. James UMC is running a youth basketball league during the winter months. Our gym is one of 11 different gyms that have teams participate in the overall league. This season, there are 12 different teams participating from our church. The age range is from 7-14 years old. The teams are broken down by age brackets of 7/8, 9/10, 11/12 and 13/14.

Back in October, we began to recruit coaches/assistant coaches as well as opened online registration. Typically the last Saturday in October, we host tryouts and draft the teams. By the second week in November, practices have begun in our gym. Games begin the first Saturday of January and run for 8 straight Saturdays.

Between scheduling the courts, hiring and training scorekeepers, hiring refs, ordering jerseys, communicating with coaches and parents about game times and practice times, maintaining the basketball goals, courts and balls…there is quite a bit to do. But watching the kids play and have fun, plus the connections we are building in the surrounding community of Brookhaven/Buckhead, makes it all worthwhile.

We are 2 weeks away from playoff Saturday and after 5 months, the season will be wrapping up. It’s been a rewarding season for us at St. James UMC and our gym/activities building.

Lent

The Lenten season, which lasts from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday, is intended to be a time of spiritual self-examination, repentance and renewal.

Today marks Ash Wednesday. My church will be holding the traditional Ash Wednesday Service tonight for the imposition of ashes. The ashes used to mark a cross on a person’s forehead symbolize the belief that God created man from ashes and that man returns to ashes after death. The ritual is usually marked by a minister or priest saying, “Remember, man is dust, and unto dust you shall return.” The ashes are also seen as a mark of sorrow and grief for personal sins and as a symbol of repentance.

Before my current job, I worked as a Youth Minister for almost 18 years. I spent a lot of time working with teenagers who would talk about what they were going to “give up” during the 40 days of Lent (although technically it’s 46 days, but who’s counting?). I always wanted to make sure they understood the reasoning behind the practice of giving up something they normally can’t do without. I wanted them to remember this idea was more about repenting of their sin and dedicating their lives to God. It was not a time of boasting of one’s sacrifice or trying to earn God’s favor or love.

Instead of thinking about what I’m going to give up this season of Lent, I want to adopt some new habits. Here are a few goals I have set for myself:

  • I want to be more present in the here and now. I am going to be very intentional about staying off of my computer/phone/iPad early in the mornings and later in the evenings. I have a tendency to spend way too much time on them.
  • I want to have more meaningful conversations with family members and friends.
  • I am going to try to reach out to someone I haven’t talked to in a while at least every few days, for no other reason than just to catch up.
  • I want to spend more time giving back to others. I spend way too much time focused on myself.
  • Finally, I want to spend less time watching TV and more time reading, playing guitar, and spending quality time with Rachel.