Wednesday, March 30, 2011 adventure..

as i sit on the plane to Frankfurt Germany i feel my worries just disappear.

 i am reminded in Matthew 6:25 that i really should never worry but it is something i believe we all deal with. i just finished up a nice meal and am now sitting back to relax and it is especially nice in business elite class. my chair goes all the way back and I have the bose noise canceling headphones thanks to delta. there is just something about traveling on planes. you do not have any control. you can sit back and relax. you trust someone to take the lead. rest... i am constantly reminded of these things and how truly important rest is. actually a was just reading in usa today how people with the recommended amount of rest stay in better shape or are more disciplined at times.

i think about a lot of these things here and rest is really something i continue to look at more. this doesn't have to be more sleep but time away from busyness or constant running around.

 as i was getting ready to go for my trip today i was in a panic or in a state where the worry would not go away. i wanted to make sure i had everything. i had a hard time leaving Susie behind this time because is it so great traveling with her. but soon enough we will get back on plane to head somewhere else interesting.

worry..panic.. why?

now this is something that is hard to get over maybe when you are traveling especially when you are bad like me and wait to the last minute literally to pack.. but I want to think about these things more in our every day life.

worry seems to come maybe by a fear. fear that we are going to fail or not meet certain expectations. possibly forget something or be late for the plane in this case.  worry comes when we feel uneasy about something that we are going to do. i could tell you time and time again about how i have worried about something i had no control over. just like right now, i have no control over this aircraft. all i can do is sit back and relax and really enjoy the flight. i believe there are times where we must take the controls but even more often when we should sit back and ...listen..relax..enjoy the ride.

now when i think about a lot of this i am thinking about my daily walk with Christ. i want to be the best at what i do and continue serve and be more like Christ. there are way too many times that i try to put life's problems in my basket and carry all of the weight myself and steer the plane without any guidance or help. and when i do that ..worry.. i don't put my trust in Christ or ask for help and try to handle it all myself then wear myself out over and over again.

so as i sit back and relax i just continue to talk to Christ how i need to let him guide me more. as i say relax and let him take the wheel, there needs be an effort to call upon him for help and let him push the brakes and really control your life.

so today i am letting God take control while i sit back and listen.


..don't worry...


Sunday, March 20, 2011

..and the award goes to..

so tonight was a night full of taste.

earlier today i said to some guys..

what if we did a taste test of all the best burger joints in cincinnati


that is exactly what we did.

we started off with a place called arthurs located in hyde park. it is known for their burgers so we decided to give them a shot. there were 5 of us and we did not want to indulge ourselves but simply savor the taste. 

at each location we where going to get the original burger with the original toppings 

at arthurs. the burger comes with fries ($7.50) on a toasted bun with a thick juicy burger topped with lettuce.tomato.ketchup.mustard with fries on the side. the burger was definitely a good burger but was not a grand slam to my taste buds. the fries were definitely good and even better with some of the best ranch around. so if it wasnt the best burger they definitely had some serious homemade ranch.

sun-tues they have a special of burgers that will run you $7 for a burger and fries with up to 6 toppings and $4 burgers during happy hour 

the atmosphere is great here. the best place to sit is outside in the patio area. it is a fun reasonable place in hyde park. 

up next is zip's cafe in mt. lookout

zip's is a small hole in the wall burger joint that dates back to 1926.

it is a seat yourself type of place that is most always busy. this place is hyped up to be one of the best burger places in cincinnati. the atmosphere is pretty noisy all the time.with a low light dark saloon feel and a neat train zipping around the walls of the cafe.

once again we ordered the original burger one with cheese($5.25) and one without (4.75).
 the burger comes out with lettuce.tomato.onion.special sauce.ketchup.mustard. you can add fries for another 2.25 but we werent out to rate fries so we just stuck with the burgers 

the burger was a lot thinner than the burger previously at arthur's but boy did it have a taste. the fresh bite of lettuce.tomato.onion with a well seasoned burger with special sauce was delicious. the burger could compare with an in n' out burger, with the special sauce they have going for them. if you are looking for a old fashioned burger then this is the place. it was ideal for original burger that would hit the spot and make savor the test as we went to the next place. 

the next joint on the list is a place called terry's turf club

now terry's is a place you wont forget because of its unique look. it is on a street where not much is happening except this place. when you pull up to to terry's you may think is this vegas or an antique shop?

the wait is usually long for this place because it is a small place that always seems to be full. so we went ahead and called ahead because we were not willing to sacrifice 45 min just for a wait because we had one more place to go. 

we grab two burgers to go and continued our taste test. the burgers are very plump served on a toasted croissant with lettuce.tomato.onion.ketchup.mustard and very juicy with some substantial amount of grease making them a little messy. the burger was definitely a big burger but for a classic burger taste it was nothing spectacular for $8. 

now from what their menu had there are plenty of other crazy burgers to try out along with peanuts while you wait for your meal just like the good ole' days at the steakhouses. prepared to go home full if you get a burger and fries because they do not mess around when it comes to size. terry's is a very good.messy burger but what really makes this place fun is the environment.

last but definitely not least.. Quatman's Cafe

Quatman's is located in norwood right off montgomery road. it was about 9 when we showed up to our last well.known burger joint.

we heard that this place was a bar and was not too big. i believe this place is bigger than most of the burger places we went and if not the same size. we thought this place would be busy but little did we know we went at a perfect time. as we walked in the door we all said that this may be a hidden jewel but we had to eat the burger to find out the truth.

as the waitress .sheila.employee of 18 years. came to our table she asked what we would like tonight. we said that we were doing a burger challenge and she said this was the perfect night because a burger.fries.and.drink. is 6.19! we all said 6.19? we could not believe it and were thinking this may truly be the hidden jewel once again...but we didnt want to speak too soon. we asked for the original burger with the basic toppings lettuce.tomato.onion.ketchup.mustard.

sheila quickly interrupted and said that lettuce and tomato go on a salad not a burger.. at this point im really started to dig this place. 

a few minutes later our orders came out on a paper plate with half of a plate full of fries and a well over quarter lb. burger with ketchup.mustard.onion.pickles. sheila informed us that there is a local meat locker that grinds Quatman's meat for them daily so their beef is always fresh.

as we tasted our last burger of the night we truly felt that we found a hidden jewel. this place is a old style bar/restaurant that used to be half bar. half grocery store that delivered now there is just a bar/restaurant with some quirks of the grocery store left including the meat & cheese counter.

the burger tasted really fresh with a perfect amount of condiments and flavor that left your tastebuds wanting more. the fries reminded me a good ole' fashioned diner and really this entire visit felt like that. with the excellent waitstaff. hometown personable feeling. a small grocery store area and the honor system of paying! they do not bring you a bill so when you go up to the register you tell them what you had and they ring it up for you. and for three years now they have been accepting major credit cards. 


what a night. 

what an experience. 




simply a fun way to find the best burger place in town..

so we had to do an overall rating at the end of the night and .. 

..and the award goes to.. is Zip's Cafe. the special sauce.with pickles.onion.tomato.lettuce.ketchup.mustard. and the well seasoned burger.

coming close in 2nd is Quatman's Cafe with the fresh fresh tasting burger

3rd Terry's Turf Club with the huge juicy.greasy. burger

4th Arthur's plump original burger with lettuce.tomato.pickles.ketchup.mustard

now all of these burgers were delicious and some places may have better speciality burgers but this review is simply on the original burger

..what an experience..

Monday, March 14, 2011


the last day in maui..

we woke up at 4 am to go to see the sunrise at the top of haleakla volcano

6:30 am
6:32 am
6:33 am

this was the most breathtaking sunrise i have ever seen. the sun rose and it blinded you within a matter or minutes before you could not look at it any more.

after a wonderful visit and a 1 1/2 hr drive up the mountain and back down it was time to start packing up to head back home. we went to the beach one last time then headed to the airport after an unforgettable week!

..God is simply amazing..


after a fun long day driving the road to hana and beyond we went out for a fun dinner at freds cafe.

it was a beautiful evening especially seeing the sunset.

on the next day susie soaked up the sun while i snorkeled. was the perfect day with no waves for me to snorkel and a bright sun for susie to tan..

Sunday, March 13, 2011


ahh.. back home from a wonderful vacation. so i took susie to maui,hawaii for our one year anniversary this past week.

it was such a great trip. i did not do a ton of planning because i was not sure what the flights would look like or which destination to really go to. at the last minute (the night before) i booked everything.

we flew out sunday night to los angeles and then on to maui. when we arrived we got our rental car with a sweet sunroof since i did not meet the age requirements for the convertible this year..? anyways we headed to our hotel.

we stayed in kihei, maui right on the beach! i dont think it could have got any more perfect. the flights were great, the car was sweet, and the hotel was right on the beach. 

the first day we were there we settled into our room and then took a walk on the beach. there was really no one on the beach so we had fun taking pictures of the beautiful landscape and of course each other being silly. 

it was around 6 pm when we decided to venture out to find a place to eat. now i am sure that you know when you travel you pick up like twenty brochures when you go to the hotel or people hand them to you along the way. so i opened up a brochure and found a nice easy place to eat called maui tacos. we were not starving at this point so we split a mango chicken taco salad and boy i am glad we split it! it was huge and we still had to take it back to the room to finish later. 

after eating we HAD to go to get hawaiian shaved ice. now this shaved ice is nothing like you have ever had before unless you have been to hawaii. it is literally shaved not crushed and has the most delicious flavor to it. the popular thing to do is get scoops of ice cream on the bottom them the shaved ice with all the flavors like blue vanilla. coconut. pineapple. then a little sweet cream to go on the top. needless to say we had shaved ice everyday we were there.

the next day we were thinking we were going to go up the mountain to haleakala or "house of the rising sun" volcano to see the sun rise. which everyone says is breathtaking 

to be honest. what isnt breathtaking in hawaii?

instead of getting up at 4 am hawaii time which is 9 am est. we slept in a little longer and decided to take the..road to hana..

the road to hana is a 50 mile road that leads to a town called hana. it takes about 3 hours to get there without stopping on the way to see the beautiful sights.

if that doesnt tell you anything about the roads then you can see for yourself. 

the roads are the most curvy. windy. most beautiful roads i have ever been on.

we left at 8 am and arrived back at the hotel by 6 pm that night going around the island on roads past hana...the road the rental companies tell you not to take.... was the best decision we could have made..

we found out that others are rebels like us going on the unpaved roads. and those who traveled on those roads found out the real beauty of maui

maui is full of cliffs.    


black sand beaches.

open fields. canyons. sugar cane.

pictures can only give a glimpse of what maui is really like. the end of the day we were beat..

Thursday, March 3, 2011


wow! it seems just like yesterday...

susie and i first met in fall of 2007. the beginning of our story is very funny..

my sophomore year of college i loved to workout. play basketball. run. play cards.. i was heading back to my dorm room after an awesome pick up game of basketball. when i got a text from some friends asking to play some cards. 

i went to the hilltop coffee shop to play a card game called .peanuts. there were a bunch of us playing a game of cards. now since i was just getting back from playing basketball i was pretty thirsty. 

i went up to the barista at the bar and asked for an ice water. i came back a few minutes later to get a refill when a girl said something to me...

now let me fill you in a little bit.. i was dressed in a cut off sleeve t-shirt with shorts and a sweat band on..

okay now this girl is like. wow! that must be an intense game of cards you are playing.. i laughed and went back to play some cards.

when i got back to play cards i told all of my friends that a girl just hit on me and said that this must be an intense game of cards for me wearing what i was. we all laughed and then.. 

i told them to hurry up and help me finish this water so i could go get a refill. i went in quick and got a refill just to get a reaction. well i did and then she also said... o by the way. i wasnt flirting with you...i did catch her name though.

i went back to play cards that night and had a great time. after playing cards i went back to my dorm room where i got on facebook and checked out susies profile.

...that is where the story only begins!

 a couple weeks later we went to a large bonfire at this new kid in colleges house. my roommate and i hung out practically all the time and we met some cool people who were going to the bonfire.. so we thought we should go.. 

we had blast at the bonfire and a handful of us became really good
tom anderson..matt schlagheck..emily issacs.. we all started to hang out every chance we could get. for several months we would get tons of people to go and hang out with us but it seemed like the same five would always be apart of the large groups. as a few months rolled by i started to really fall for susie.. looks like we had the same feelings for each other..

this sunday we are celebrating our one year anniversary of being married! it has seriously been an amazing year with a pretty sweet journey we have been on. we have been able to travel a lot of fun places. work different jobs that have a lot of benefits from the ministry to cheap clothes and at delta airlines. we have experienced God so much in our first year of marriage. we have been blessed over and over again and continue to thank our families and God for such an awesome year. 

i honestly feel God has given me the perfect match. there is never a dull moment with each other.  we are adventurous. smart. lazy at times. fun. loving. caring. genuine. honest. faithful. & love God with all of our hearts!

..But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well...
                -matthew 6:33

... our love continues ...