Every life is filled with defining moments. Here are some of mine, of which I am most proud (or least ashamed)
January 27, 1974
A moment that pretty much gave me my start in the world. This photo was taken 6 months into my existence. My mom told me I was mathematically precocious. Apparently, by this time, I could already count to zero.
New Braunfels High School Graduation
May 29, 1992
Not much happened between this moment and the previous: a couple of broken bones, concussions, hospital stays, etc. In this photo, I'm on the left. My eventual wife, Shealynn is the fourth visible face from the left. The one with her eyes closed. I believe she is either fantasizing about our future life together, or she isn't
The University of Texas College Graduation
Here I am with my then Fiancée, Shealynn, who also graduated in December from UT with a BS in Nursing. Notice we are not even married yet, and she's on my back!
Our Wedding at Oakwood Baptist Church
January 4, 1997
Young, in love, all the responsibilities of a new marriage, and a new life, and neither one of us had jobs, yet. That didn't matter! We were going to Lake Tahoe!
(we only had to live on love for less than a week after the honeymoon until we were both gainfully employed. She worked for a doctor, I worked for her.)
The First Dollar I Ever Made
I made this in my basement. It looks real, right! Unfortunately, it could never pass as real as I got greedy when creating the back. See where this bill has been since, or see what else you can do with it.
The birth of our first child, a son, Tate Andrew
May 11, 2000
Here is a picture of me and Tate (I'm the bigger one) shortly after he arrived at his new home, where his burnt-orange clothes were waiting. Shealynn would not let me put a picture of us at the hospital: something about her not looking good after a 26 hour labor with no epidural.
The Birth of our Second Child: Jenna Elaine Korpi (a girl)
March 20, 2003
She tipped the scales at 118 ounces and stood a proud 20.5 inches tall (with a little help.) She had so much hair when she was born, we almost made her middle name Fur.
My Torn ACL, Infection, and 3 Knee Surgeries
Growing up I used to think it was funny to say, "I need Mo-ney to fix My-Knee." It's still funny, but now it's more palpable. Thanks to my wife for taking care or THREE kids for over a year during my recovery.
Winning Teacher of the Year for Seniors, Campus, and the District, then the Trinity Prize
After the knee problems, this put the sweet into the bitter year, completing the literary oxymoronic year, one I should ever be so fortunate to halfway experience again. You guess which half.
This act, coaching my first born, my son Tate, symbolized the beginning of my duty in the organized responsibilities of putting my children's schedules ahead of everything else. It also begins the start of my wife's "Mini-Van years."
Tate Getting Burned
07-09-05, 7:03:05 PM
(click on thumbnail for large, textured image)
My parent always told me that things that happened to me (or the pain they inflicted on me) would "hurt them more than it would hurt me." I finally understand exactly what they meant. We had the best treatment, the best doctors, and the best support from family, friends, and friends of friends of friends . . . Thank you Dr. Steven Wolf, Director of BAMC Burn Center.
"Beauty and the Beast"
The chance to do public theater with Tate was a lot of fun. Jumping off a table in the bar scene gave me renewed confidence in my leg (the one without an ACL.) After the play, I began running, losing weight, and feeling much better. By the way, the cleaver is as real as the moustache.
Colorado Backpacking Trip
This is me, Dave, and Trent atop what we called Mount "Triple B" (for Big Bad Bit*%.) We summited at 12700 feet this morning with our full packs on. We battled scree and tallis (boulders and loose gravel.) The footings were slippery, and we had to stop to catch our breath and remind ourselves how crazy we were every 10 steps. Up to this point, I could not think of anything in my life as difficult (or enjoyable) as difficult as this climb was. At the top, we caught some unexpected herds of Elk playing their "Reindeer Games." We watched them through the binoculars until a thunderhead forming above us gave us the impetus to descend, which was MUCH easier. I caught the "bug" this summer, and I have been backpacking every summer since.
Emmy Nomination for "That Geometry Show"
Although I didn't win, I didn't lose either. A presenter sitting next to mean said the Academy emphasized that the Emmy only "goes to" someone, and the person it "goes to" doesn't necessarily win. Well, the Emmy didn't "go to" me. But I did enjoy a nice evening with my beautiful wife in a ravishing dress.
Running the Austin Marathon
Although I didn't win this event either, had the winner ran the course twice, he would NOT have lapped me. Finishing in 4h:27m:44 seconds, I accomplished my goal of finishing in under 4.5 hours and not dying.
My arthroscopic repair of my right meniscus, and subsequent infection
September 24, 2008 to October 31, 2008
With 5 subsequent surgeries after the first to repair the cartilage, I totaled 6 surgeries in 5 weeks and amassed 18 days in the hospital over 3 different stays, the last consisting of 11 days of tossing and turning on the 4 inch plastic mattress. 24-hour IV antibiotics, twice-weekly lab work, thrice-weekly physical therapy, and constant pain and discomfort through 12-14-08, then a long road to recovery after that.
My first trip(s) to Walt Disney World with my wonderful family (summers 2008 to 2011)
2009 2010 2011
It's an addiction and something the whole family can agree upon. We had to break our 4-year consecutive streak because Disney called and said they had too much of our money. Highlight was taking the parents in 2011 and being chosen as Grand Marshals at the Magic Kingdom Parade--Royal Treatment and free Mouse swag.
Summiting my first 13,000 foot peak. Truchas Peak, Pecos Wilderness, New Mexico, with Dave Sudderth
5 nights, 4 tires, 3 bad legs, 1 successful summit. 0 bears eating us. Look out Colorado 2011. 14ers here we come.
After 9 knee surgeries on my right leg, and only one on my left, running the San Antonio Marathon, November 14, 2010. 4:34:58.
A little slower than my last marathon, although I was at a sub-4 hour pace at the halfway 13.1 mile mark. At mile 15, my right calf cramped up. For the next 11.6 miles, it was run 200 yards, stop and stretch the calf. I didn't realize how atrophied my my right calf had become as a result of the 9 surgeries (and that "right-calf-muscle-donation-to-charity" thing).
Summiting the Matterhorn Peak near Lake City, Colorado
At 13,590 feet, it is supposedly the most beautiful view in all of Colorado. From this peak, Uncompahgre, Wetterhorn, and Coxcomb Peaks are seemingly within the reach of one's hand. Best summit trip and view ever. Because of all the late-season snow in the July of 2011, we had to abandon our attempt of Wetterhorn Peak. We'll live to try it again.
My Mom's Passing
November 4, 1947 - January 19, 2013
On October 17, 2012, my mom collapsed while on vacation in Nevada. She was diagnosed with Metastasized Melanoma of the Brain. For three months, she bravely fought this late-stage cancer. Near the end, we were by her side 24-7, celebrating her life by sharing old memories while making the last of our new ones with her. I miss her dearly, and not a day goes by that I don't think of her, our Rose Bud. Read my eulogy to her HERE.