Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Harvey's Eviction Notice

At our last doctor visit, we received Harvey's eviction notice. Looks like the little guy will be here on Thursday, May 14, 2009. If you're keeping score, that is two days before the Billy Joel and Elton John concert that we have tickets for. It's three days before my dad's birthday. And, four days after our one-year anniversary.

Interesting timing, of course.



Sunday, March 29, 2009

Storms in Nashville

We had some bad weather yesterday in Nashville. Not just rain and thunder, but visible funnel clouds. Fortunately, we missed those. And it sounds like none of them actually touched down. There was some damage, but it was minimal.

When you live on the second (and top) level of an apartment building and your wife is pregnant, paying attention to such matters takes on a whole new meaning.

And I was simultaneously reminded of just how small we really are.

A funnel cloud could easily have swept through our entire area, and decimated all in its path.

It didn't. But it was too close for comfort. The tornado sirens were going off. I've lived in Nashville for over 7 years and that was the first time I heard them.

I'm reminded of (and listening to) one of my all-time favorite songs, Rich Mullins' "Calling Out Your Name," his masterpiece detailing the beauty, wonder and mystery of God's creation. Rich sings...

I feel the thunder in the sky 
I see the sky about to rain 
And with the prairies 
I am calling out your name

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Baby John

My precious grandma Louise put together a scrapbook for Harvey. Its point is to one day show him that mom and dad were also once babies.

I don't care if it is me - I love this picture. And it certainly makes me think of my little Harvey.



Sunday, March 22, 2009

32-week photo shoot

We went to Cheekwood Botanical Gardens today. We'll let the pictures speak.







Saturday, March 21, 2009

All-Stars in St. Louie

Sarah and I were talking last night about our grand plans (from last summer) to somehow attend this season's MLB All-Star game, which will be played in the city (I wish we called home) of St. Louis. As we watched the 2008 Home Run Derby on TV, we were plotting all kinds of ways we could make this happen. Go further into debt. Pull every possible favor we could think of. Etc, etc.

In my mind (at least), it was made up that we would find a way.

Just to put the dollar amount of this in perspective, I just googled tickets for the 2009 All-Star game. I clicked the first link that came up. $304, per ticket, for standing-room-only tickets. And you have to buy at least 2.

This is still four months before the game.

Anyway, Harvey came along and sealed the deal on this trip; we will not be going.

Just as we will (likely) not be attending the Billy Joel and Elton John concert, on May 16, in Nashville (I'm looking at the tickets on the desk in front of me).

I am selfish. My first-born is already teaching me much-needed lessons.

In the meantime, I'll just look at this picture and dream, while my beautiful, pregnant wife sleeps on the bed behind me.



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Why Harvey?

Our little boy is due to arrive sometime in the middle of May. His name is Harvey.

Some have wondered why the name. Some haven't really liked it. And most absolutely love it.

One of our main reasons is simply because it's different. Really. My name is John. My wife is Sarah. I don't have actual statistics to back this up, but these are likely two of the most common names in the history of the spoken-word.

Sarah's maiden name is Mitchell. One time when she was taking her dog to the vet, there was another Sarah Mitchell in the computer system, with a dog named Lucy.

And I've nearly given up on responding to John, and prefer to be called by (my very unique) last name, Clore.

So giving our first-born a unique name was a priority. It seems to be working so far.

But more important than any of this, Harve (no y; pronounced Harv) was my great-grandpa. Great-grandpa Harve Clore. A man I never knew, but would give nearly anything to have had the privilege.

It does seem, however, that 9 out of 10 people in Southern Illinois (where I'm from) did (somehow) know him. And, being a Clore, I believe that. We like to talk to a lot of people.

New Harvey is named after his great-great-grandfather. Since my baby boy will never know this very important man in his family's history, Sarah and I sought to connect them in a special way. (Side-note: there are many, many, many important people on both sides of our families; and in our genealogy. This is not to exclude any of those loved ones, but this Harvey name is a very special one for deeper reasons than appropriate for this very-public blog).

Anyway, I recently asked my dad to share some of his memories of his grandpa Harve; a man that was extremely important in his life, and always will be. Actually, a man better known to him, as Pa Pa.

My dad shares, "On many Fridays I would go to Catechism, and after that, I would stay with Pa Pa. He lived in nice rented-rooms in people's homes. When he moved to the high rise across from Mackie's Pizza (Harrisburg, IL), we would get up on Saturday mornings and he would fix me two eggs sunny side up, a nice piece of ham, two pieces of white toast and a big glass of milk. He was a very neat and clean person. He wanted my breakfast to look like the picture of breakfast at Kresges (dime store) on the square, in Harrisburg.

On Friday nights we would listen to Cardinal baseball games on the radio - he was known as a big time Cardinal fan. (Harvey's room's theme is St. Louis Cardinals)

After breakfast, we would walk up to the square in Harrisburg and he would find someone who would drive his truck for him that day to go cow trading. He would say, 'I will buy you a hot plate lunch if you will drive for me today,' and would always find someone to agree.

He never learned how to drive, but always had a pickup truck with cattle racks. We would drive down into the country - usually in the Pope County area. Most of the roads were gravel and produced a whole lot of dust. With the windows down (no A/C), the dust would be rolling, the cigarette smoke (usually from both the driver and Harve) going, it was hard to breathe any fresh air. It seemed that Pa Pa knew everyone and everyone knew him.

We would go to some farmers house. We all would get out of the truck and go with the farmer to look at his cows. Pa Pa and the farmer would talk, for what seemed like an eternity, and finally settle on a price. We would then try and catch the cow, put a noose around its neck, and lead it to the truck."

Absolutely precious stories, at least to me.

Intentionality is very important to me. Harvey's name is intentional, as is the love that Sarah and I already possess for the little guy.

Jars of Clay - The Long Fall Back To Earth

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New Third Day Documentary

Here's the trailer for the upcoming (4/7) Third Day DVD/CD Live Revelations: Onstage, Offstage, Backstage. It includes a fantastic 75+ minute documentary of the band.

Friday, March 13, 2009

There Are Right Ways To Fight

I believe Jesus had the most compassionate heart this world will ever know.

I also believe he was one tough dude.

I don't believe you have to be one and not the other. There's a delicate balance somewhere in there. The problem is, our world is imperfect, and the male gender is taught a lot of messed-up stuff when it comes to how to behave in his environment.

In a couple of months, I will have my first true opportunity to teach a little man how to be a man in his world.

I'm very thankful for my parents; I believe they did a tremendous job of teaching me what was right, wrong and what simply didn't matter. For this conversation, especially my dad. He taught me compassion coupled with a physical and mental toughness. He taught me how to love those around me, though not perfect, and how to stick with the hard things.

Being a "man" in our world isn't real easy. I do some things that I feel are just me being compassionate, or caring, and sometimes encounter ridicule. That's fine. And I know it's not going to stop. I know that I can also be a complete jerk.

My heart's challenge is to convey my (hopefully somewhat correct) view of the world to little Harvey. I know he will be watching my each and every move. And I realize it starts way earlier than I think.

I want to teach him to love the Lord.

I want to teach him to love his mother.

I want to teach him to love his family, and everyone he encounters.

I want to teach him that he is better than no one. Not ever.

I want to teach him to be respectful to all; especially his elders, and to children, and to animals.

I want to teach him balance.

I want to teach him to stick with it. No matter what. 

I want to teach him about good music, and how to have a good time.

I want to teach him how to fight, how to live and (sincerely on all accounts) how to love.

There's a song on the upcoming Jars of Clay album called "Boys (Lesson One)." The first time I heard it, I immediately started thinking about all of these things I'm writing. 

The first couple of phrases of the song say:

Lesson one, do not hide
Lesson two, there are right ways to fight
And if you have questions, we can talk through the night

And the song really gets me at the end, when Dan sings:

There will be liars, and thieves who take from you
Not to undermine the consequence, but you are not what you do
And when you need it most, I have a hundred reasons why, I love you

I love Harvey, and I want Harvey to be a man truly after the heart of Jesus. One full of compassion, and one not afraid to knock the tables over when things aren't right. One that treats every living thing with tremendous respect, and one that loves the creation he is a part of. One that loves the only one that truly matters.

And I can't do any of this without the sweet, tender and unmistakable influence of his mother, my bride, Sarah.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Speeding Through Colorado

My brother told me he likes to hear my stories about when I screw up. 

For his personal entertainment. (I think)

Anyway, last summer I was driving down I-25, in the middle of Colorado. It was a Saturday afternoon. Beautiful, clear day. The Rocky Mountains were out to my right. My level of MPH was of small concern.

It did seem that all of I-25, from Fort Collins south, was under construction. So I had kind of given up on paying attention to when I was, and wasn't, in a construction zone.

I got caught. Going real fast. And in a construction zone. 

Did I mention one of my music artists was in the car with me? We were on our way for him to perform at a father/son retreat in the Rocky Mountains.

I really didn't care about actually getting the speeding ticket; I was more concerned with having to call Sarah. I was pretty sure it wasn't in our budget.

Let's just say my speeding ticket was more than a few hundred dollars, and I barely got out of having to go back to Castle Rock, Colorado, to appear in court.

To whoever that cop was, thanks for letting the out-of-towner off easy.

Jerk.

Pujols IS the Man

Albert Pujols is a ridiculous baseball player. I'm thankful he's an integral part of the sports team I care most about.

He's on the cover of the March 16, 2009 issue of Sports Illustrated, and here's a quote from the story:

"You know how I want people to remember me?" the reigning MVP says in the seven-page article. "I don't want to be remembered as the best baseball player ever. I want to be remembered as a great guy who loved the Lord, loved to serve the community and who gave back."



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Let's Hear It For My Baby's Daddy!

Alright "guest blogger" time.  Really, I'm supposed to be writing on here more often to help chronicle the pregnancy, but I can't seem to put my thoughts together very well these days.  Seeing as I'm doing well most days to make it out the door and remember where it is I'm going, blogging seems to have taken a back seat.  But it just so happens that I have one important pregnancy update that I really have to share.

I just want to take a minute to brag on my wonderful husband.  Living with a (banshee) pregnant woman for the last 7 months has been no walk in the park for him, I'm sure.  I started out in the first trimester completely panicked by everything, cried over absolutely anything (including the time my cat ate my peanut butter sandwich--classic story), and just mostly absent from everyday life.  John was such a trooper during that time.  He stayed with me, even when I was no fun to be around.  He spoke truth to me when I needed to hear it most.  And he just helped calm my everyday fears by reassuring me that no matter what, none of this was in my control.

I like to think the second trimester was a bit better.  John may have a different opinion on the matter, but I think of those as our "glory days" of pregnancy.  At the very least, I was just my usual sassy self.

And here we are, coming to the end---and I have gone insane.  The last few weeks I haven't been exceptionally emotional or sassy, I'm just down right grumpy and mean.   At one point this weekend, I actually asked John to stop trying to make me happy and just let me be mad.  And then Monday night was such a great example of how loving and patient he has been through all this.  I was sick and had a terrible day at work, so naturally I was a disaster by the time I came home.  I informed John I was not cooking dinner (very nice, I know), and naturally he said he would.  He asked what I wanted, and I said I didn't care.  Then the first 3 things he offered to make, I turned down immediately.  Riiiiight, I obviously didn't care.  So since he wasn't going to read my mind, I told him what I wanted him to make.  Then as he was starting dinner, he asked if I wanted: a Diet Coke--no; some ice cream--no; some chocolate--ohh yes!!  Well, we don't usually have chocolate in the house, so he was going to go get me some while dinner was cooking.  Very nice!  Then all he asked was what kind of chocolate I wanted.  I firmly told him I don't care, just figure it out.  At that point, he lovingly informed me he was trying really hard to be nice, and if I could do just a little to be nice in return, that would be great.  At that point, we both started to laugh at how ridiculous I was being!  I mean really, who acts like that?!

I am truly blessed.  John has been (and continues to be) so patient and kind, no matter how nasty I get.  He cleans the bathrooms, cleans the house, takes care of the litter box, goes to the grocery, puts gas in my car, cooks for me, goes and gets chocolate (while making dinner!), anything I need, I know John will gladly do it.  I just wanted to "guest blog" and let him know how much I appreciate everything!  You are my helper, my best friend, and I love you so much!  

Cats are crazy

funny pictures of cats with captions

Monday, March 9, 2009

Harvey at 30

Harvey is coming right along. Sarah's at 30 weeks, and he is getting bigger. According to What To Expect When You're Expecting, his little brain is getting bigger. The book says, "starting this week, your baby's brain is starting to look like one."

That's good.

Here's my beauty. She's amazing.



Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ray (Freaking) Price

I was very privileged to hear music legend Ray Price speak yesterday, at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. He was being interviewed by WSM-AM personality, Eddie Stubbs, as part of the Hall of Fame's special "Family Tradition: The Williams Family Legacy" exhibit, detailing the legacy of Hank Williams and family.

Hank Williams played a huge part in bringing Ray Price to Nashville, back in 1951. 

The two were roommates for 8 months, during 1952.

Hank Williams died on New Years Day, 1953.

My view on country music was forever changed when I had the chance to be Ray's publicist, in 2005. The time I was able to spend with the man had such a major impact on me, that I completely quit making fun of a genre of music that I hadn't had much respect for before that. 

Ray Price is one of the most important American musical treasures we have, and ever will have. If you don't know much about him, I highly encourage you to check into this man's history and impact. He is truly one of the best.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hallelujah

I was doing some work earlier that involved this music video by my friend Krystal Meyers. It's a song called "Hallelujah."

Absolutely brilliant. The song is beautiful and I love this music video.

The emotional-ending gets me every time.



Monday, March 2, 2009

This Wrestler Thing Has Really Gotten To Me

I don't know if it's because I used to watch it so much growing up, or if it's because I feel like I'm actually in the process of really growing up right now. Either way, this movie, "The Wrestler," and the Bruce Springsteen song of the same name, have really gotten to me.

Back in 2003, when I first watched the music video for Johnny Cash's version of Trent Reznor's heroin-influenced song, "Hurt," I cried.

Amazing works of art come along frequently, but the ones that really stop you dead in your tracks, the ones that really make you think, the ones that you can't stop thinking about; those are rare.

This film "The Wrestler" has been on my mind a whole lot since the day I saw it. I blogged about it back on January 30, the day I saw it. Since then I've found myself thinking of life through the lens of Mickey Rourke's character. This guy who was (fictionally, but it doesn't really matter) on top of the world in his field, then pretty much lost it all.

He had it all. Then he lost it all. I don't want to spoil the movie if you haven't seen it, but what I'm saying is fairly obvious, just by watching the trailer.

But watching the movie in its entirety puts it together in a way that speaks volumes

Maybe it's a guy thing; I'm not sure. But I do know that as a man, the building-up of possessions, earthly-trophies and lots and lots of accolades, holds a firm place on my being. I wish it didn't, but it does. And that's why this movie, and these two songs have absolutely sobered my entire frame-of-reference.

Everything physical goes away someday. The things of this earth will crumble, they will fall. Spirituality is so important, because it's all that really matters in the end. I am a Christian, so it means a whole, whole lot to me, but even for non-Christians, it's tough to say there's no spirituality in this world. After loved-ones are gone, they live on in a spiritual-way around us. They are no longer physically with us, but we don't forget them. Their spirit lives on.

We worry about so many stupid things, and I know I'm not just speaking for myself on that one.

Things don't matter. Relationships do.

When you're not even able to perform your one trick anymore, who's going to be with you? 

Don't spend so much time pursuing things that will fail that you fail every one around you.

Here's the song "The Wrestler," from Bruce Springsteen. I recommend visiting YouTube to watch the actual music video.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Billy Joel and Elton John

We have tickets for the May 16, 2009 Nashville show.

Yes, Billy and Elton.

I'm a silly, crazy fan of both of these guys, especially Billy. If I'm able to go, it will be my seventh time to see each of them.

Taking Sarah to see both of them (especially together) is one of the most important things (to me) that I will ever take her to. The only other non-family event that would come close to this in importance would be a St. Louis Cardinals World Series game (hopefully in October, or any October to come).

Then there's this little guy named Harvey Logan Clore. He kinda tops the level-of-importance scale (his mom is on a scale all her own; one that can't be topped).

Anyway, yeah, he's due right around this concert. 

Oh, life.

I'm really keeping my fingers crossed that he (at least) waits to share a birthday with his Grandpa Tom, as the clock strikes midnight following the concert.

Taking Sarah to see Billy and Elton, followed the next day (or so) by Harvey's arrival - yeah, let's go for that.

There's some line about cake running through my mind.

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New Little Harvey

New Little Harvey

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