Living Out LOUD!

Some past ramblings. Not updated much.

Distractions

  Friends, we are distracted. This year has been a difficult year.  For me, literally the most difficult year I can remember having.  And, it’s only June. I could list all the issues/hurt that I (my family included) have dealt with this year.  I bet each one of you have something that could trump it one way or another.  Let me continue by saying,  it’s not about me. Last week, my heart was destroyed when a young man walked into a church in my hometown of Charleston, SC and killed 9 members (after sitting with them during a Bible study). Since then I’ve realized everything in my life that’s about ‘me’ is just a distraction. This is going to sound idealistic but we are called to love one another. Simply, love one another. I say “Simply” in a sarcastic-ish tone because love is never simple, or is it? Here’s what I’ve been working thru my mind since last week; The simplicity of love is made complex by the distractions in our life. We make love complex! Deep, right? Not really. We make love complex when we allow distractions to enter our mind. What are these distractions? Well, it depends on you. A few of the distractions I’ve noticed just the past few days that take away from loving others: The Confederate Flag The New Black Panthers Westboro Baptist Church “Christians” on Facebook Liberal Politicians Conservative Politicians Guns the Supreme Court “They/Them” Fox News CNN News I’m sure some of you have something to say about a few of those distractions and how they make you feel. Whether you like one or hate...

Building Love Update

Well, it’s been a good many months since we had the vision for Building Love.  It’s been a crazy road and many times just down right slow.  The IRS has no idea what efficiency means when processing and working with new non-profits.  Sorry.  That’s another long blog post.   🙂 Here’s the good stuff! The website is up and running!  We currently have 3 projects on the site with 6-7 more coming in the next month.  Really exciting times.  If you don’t mind, check out the site.  Share the site.  Get involved!  Check out the Building Love Website!!! Our Building Love crew is heading back to Nicaragua in late Sept thru early October.  We’ll be repairing some homes and working on a local AA house.  Alcoholism is a huge issue and we are proud to support the local AA and working on their meeting house. Interested in going?  Sign up on the Building Love website to stay up...

Forgiveness. It’s What’s For Dinner

  Wow. A new blog post. Something must have happened!!!  Yes, life has continued to happen. 🙂 A few questions about things in my life have surfaced lately and I figured it would be best to share. That way there isn’t any mis-information (or at least a little less). First off- I’m not perfect and I never have been. Shocker, right? Nobody is perfect on this earth but how we deal with the “less than perfect” people can define us. It can shape our attitudes and our daily experiences. However, this story about forgiveness isn’t about me. It’s about Renee. My wife of 21 years this week. She’s the hero of the story. Without her forgiveness there is no 21 years. Around 20 years ago, Renee and I got in an argument. It was big enough for me to storm out of the house for the night. Not a night I’m proud of at all. I won’t get into the details (if we are friends and you want the story I’m happy to tell you). We aren’t hiding anything but some details are meant for personal conversation. Renee and I dealt with that night several years ago. She forgave. No, it wasn’t that easy. Trust is hard to come by. Forgiveness and memories are not easy to deal with. Renee dealt with it all and she forgave me. We moved on and life was back to normal. Or so we thought. This past weekend we met a beautiful young lady named Morgan for the first time. She’s 18. She’s my daughter. She’s pretty awesome and we are excited to...

Nonprofit Startup Aims to Build Homes Where There Are None

Check out our new press release for Building Love! ————————– Franklin, TN (PRWEB) October 17, 2012 Innovative nonprofit, Building Love is setting out to build safe, simple homes in the areas of Central America hardest hit by poverty. With an initial goal of working in Nicaragua, the organization will partner with both the families receiving the homes, as well as other nonprofit and mission organizations to accomplish this goal. Funded by crowdsourcing, the organization hopes to meet its financial goal of $15,000 to get Building Love off the ground and building homes as soon as possible. Founded by Jason Bradford and Matt Tyler, Building Love is reaching across the world to provide shelter to families in need. Bradford was moved to do something following a trip to Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the world. After witnessing the living conditions of the people he visited there, he knew he had to act. “While in Nicaragua we met families living in homes as small as 15′ x 20′. Sometimes there would be 10 or more people sharing one house,” Bradford said. “We were particularly moved by a young expectant mother named Haley and her family, who asked us to help her complete her house, which would measure 15’x15’ upon completion. During that trip, we helped give Haley a house for her husband and two children, plus the one on the way. We then knew we could do more, and the idea for Building Love began to take shape.” “After analyzing how we could help provide additional housing to some of these people, we determined the cost of materials to finish the homes...

Building Love And Vinyl Records

Our Building Love campaign is in full swing! We’ve raised over $1200 in just 4 days and have a long way to go. Thanks to those who have given and shared. I’m simply in awe of the generosity! As a “founder” (sounds important but it’s really not) I realize that I too must give to this startup. I also realize that many will give in rough times because that is who they are and they know that building a home is important. You’ll notice I keep using the word “home”. To me a home is built by love with family members and friends, with laughter and tears, a home is what we choose to make it. A house… well is a house. It’s got walls and a roof and sometimes a floor. We are building houses but our focus is to build homes. As many of you know I’m an avid vinyl collector! My collection is well over 4,000 and I’ve decided it’s time to trim down to help Building Love. You heard it right. Trim it down. Over the coming weeks I’ll be putting groups of 10-20 records up for auction on ebay. The money raised will go 100% to the Building Love campaign (minus the ebay/paypal fees!). So my vinyl friends, get ready- there is going to be some great stuff coming up! If you interested in a pre-sale and would like to make a generous donation before hand, hit me...

Building Love

 In July I took my first trip out of the US. I went to Nicaragua with a team from Riverbluff Church in SC (where my dad is the pastor). It was a great trip and I absolutely loved it. First off, no I’m not planning a move- just working on some things that will allow me to go visit again. While in Nicaragua we met families (and their extended family) living in very small (15′ x 20′) houses and many times 10 or more people were sharing one house. We met a young expecting Mom named Haley who asked us to help her complete her house. We visited her place and she had 4 posts up and the house was going to be less than 15′ x 15′!  The size was not a concern because it was going to be hers. Looking into the specifics of this project we were able to find materials to finish the basics for under $500. Under $500 would give Haley a house for her 2 children, plus the one on the way, and her husband.  Insane! Being able to change someone’s life and potentially alter their entire family’s future, for the better, is what gets me excited about this. So, my mind goes out of control. How do I buy houses for these families? I want to help and I know people who’d be willing to help! Here’s How… After dreaming through this and long conversations with my buddy, partner, co-hort, surf-master, and friend, Matt, we believe we can make this a reality. The company is called Building Love and we’ve launched a...

Blogging. It’s so 2009.

My blog took a hit a few years back.  It was once an outlet for my interests, passions and just life-thoughts in general.  Now, I blog once every few months.  It’s not that I have nothing to say it’s that I’ve adapted to 140 characters or less when I have something to say.  Instead of trying to write short novels with deep thoughts to people who may or may not be ‘searching’ for it, I’ve just connected with like minds on Twitter and Facebook. So, I’m not really saying goodbye to the blog but I’m pretty sure a new format/layout/design that incorporates my ‘shorter’ thoughts is coming.  I have no idea what that means but I’m thinking thru...

40 Years Later & I’m Still Here

Today I turn 40 and so far nothing has happened to me.  Shouldn’t I get instant grey hair or something?! It’s hard to wrap your head around 40 years but  I just wanted to take a minute to thank all the wonderful people who have been a part of my life.  My parents, my wife, my sister, my in-laws, nieces/nephews, aunts & uncles, cousins and more recently my amazing kids. I have many friends who have walked various parts of my life with me and there is no way I can thank you each individually. Just know family & friends that I love you and I’m thankful for you.  I hope that I treat you in a way that you realize how important you are to me!  Here’s to another...

Let’s Try This Again

Last fall I was on a mission to lose weight, feel better and in general, live better to live longer. Then I was given so many excuses to discontinue it.  My grandmother passed away and seven days later my father-in-law passed away.  We were out of town approx 8 weeks and I just let the ‘healthy’ part of me get pushed down.  I eat when I get down or feel like I don’t have control.  I eat a lot.  After the ‘being out of town and grief’ excuses it was then the holidays and another excuse to wait for the new year to get back to business…  The new year came and went and I was out of town 2 of the first 3 weeks.  Again, another excuse. I can make an excuse for anything!  No more.  Today is day 1 of getting back on track.  I’m going to focus on the 4HB again.  It was so awesome last time and truthfully it worked great for me. Why do I need to publicize this? Nope, not looking for attention.  I’ve found that if I put it out in public I’ll hold myself accountable better-  I want to be able to say I’m doing great when I’m asked! Oh, and I’m turning 40 on March 2nd-  I’d like to lose 40 pounds (not by March 2- that’d be unhealthy!)…  so a 40-40...

Burnt. Out.

What’s your perception of me?  Do you know me mostly via Twitter or Facebook?  Are we real life friends too?  Do I have your phone number?  It’s late at night and I was just thinking of all the stuff that is going on and this holiday season.  This has been a heartache of a few months.  My grandmother and father-in-law both died within 7 days of each other in September/October  I’ve had countless other friends lose loved ones and truthfully its gotten to me. Many friends and acquaintances know me as this social, funny (at least try to be), entrepreneur, driven, busy, family dude.  And for the most part, I fill those roles…  however, I just don’t feel like any of that right now.  I’m burnt out.  I won’t call it depression because I’m happy and I love my family and the work that I get to do on a daily basis-  but sometimes, just being honest, I want to escape to an island with no computer, no phone, no TV and no internet.  Just me, Renee, the kids and a few surfboards.  A place with no cares and no ongoing to do list. As I look back to the beginning of 2011 I set out to spend more time with family and I feel like I’ve accomplished that.  However, a new adventure came up that I am stoked about but it’s just more stuff on top of all the other stuff.  I’m not independently wealthy so I’m not just gonna disappear.  I like what I do and I love the people that I get to work with-  it’s...

Thanks ‘T’ – This One Is For You

The past 5 weeks I’ve been in Charleston with family for work, vacation, my father in law getting ill then my grandmother passing away. We came home on Tuesday and we weren’t home 24 hours before we got the call that Renee’s dad (who I call ‘T’) may not have much time with us in this life. I took her to the airport immediately. The kids and I came down earlier today (Thursday).  After dealing with Nanny’s death last week I’m not sure I’m ready to deal with another one-  Especially with Emma and Emerson,  they are smart, they both realize something is going on but obviously at that age they are still figuring out death- heck, they are at the beginning of figuring out life ( I’ll argue that we never figure out life, I haven’t- I live, I love and I do it with all my heart and soul). I now sit in ‘T’s’ computer room, listening to him struggle to breathe a bit.  He’s taking morphine to relax but the bottom line is that his heart, lungs and other organs are slowly but surely beginning to fail.  Tonight we sat around and joked a bit, watched some football and then the ending of Road House.  Not intentionally but it was on.  I realize he is on morphine but I know he knew I was there-  I got the occasional, “where’s Emma and Emerson”.  I’m not so sure he’ll make it till the morning… so here I sit- more thoughts online. I remember the first time I met Renee’s dad- I’m pretty sure he had no clue...

Waiting For Death

***I wrote this late Friday night, in the process of proofreading Nanny passed away.  It was approx 11:45pm.  I’m thankful that she is at peace and in a much better place.  Thanks for the amazing support and outpouring of love-  we’re blessed to have amazing friends**** Have you ever waited on death? I haven’t until this past week. I don’t like it. I’m not saying I like for people to die suddenly but the waiting and not knowing part of death can seriously take a toll on your mind. It’s hard to focus. It’s hard to hear the phone ring. It’s hard to have conversations about when “it” will happen. No one knows. This is another mind dump. Before I begin, my family and I really appreciate the comments and support that we’ve read and seen both here and on Facebook (my dad drove so much traffic here the other day I figured he has some good friends) on my previous post. My grandmother, ‘nanny’, that I wrote the previously blog post is the catalyst behind a lot of thoughts lately but September in general has been a rough month for sickness and health issues for friends. At dinner the other night my dad said, “I guess there is a down side to having close friends…” – How true! Having people in your life that you care about and do life with eventually makes us realize the pain of sickness and death. Getting older has something to do with it as well. Here’s what I’ve heard/seen/experienced the past two weeks (no exaggerations): Nanny is given a few days to...

Death & Ramblings

I included the word ramblings in the title because that is what this is. It’s a mind dump of the past week. I apologize if it seems too personal or possibly a bit confusing. I’ll try to make sense. My first memory of death is January 1st, 1982. My papa died that night and it’s also the night Clemson won their National Football title. You know what is sad? I remember the Clemson championship game more than I remember anything about my papa dying. I wasn’t in the same town when he died because my parents left my sister and I with friends while they traveled to be with them. That’s it. I can’t recall the funeral. I can’t recall going to GA to even be at the funeral. I’m pretty sure at that time I became scarred and scared of death. The very idea of it. Fast forward 9 years to 1991. My great grandfather known as grandpa died. This was my first real experience of someone close to me dying. I was living with grandpa, my nanny Beck (my mom’s mom) and aunt in Union, SC (dare I say I was attending school at the University of South Carolina- please don’t let that get out, my heart has always been with Clemson but USC let me go to school near my grandparents). He and I would take weekly trips to Burger King and to a classic car dealer. He was in his 80s but begged me to let him buy a 1967 convertible Fiat Spider (they had a green one and a red one). I would have...

Bromance? What You Need To Know

Bromance is a term that was born in the 1990s by Big Brother magazine that reflected the relationship between skate boarders who spend a great deal of time together. The term has resurfaced in the past few years and really took off again after the movie “I Love You Man” came out… the movie is about a guy who has no close friends and is on the hunt to find that ‘special’ friend. A very funny movie! For the past 3 year I’ve taken a trip with the same guys. We’ve known each other a little over 5 years and it’s a rare thing to find guys that all get along and love the same things (well almost everything- I hate baseball and one of the guys hates the Beach Boys). We do this trip every year and every time we hear from other friends who want to go. We always have a conversation about feeling bad that we don’t invite others and we don’t want to be jerks but then we go and have fun and realize that there is a trust and security in the connection that we’ve all made. It’s not that we are jerks and just don’t want to include others- because we often talk about taking another trip and inviting the masses. That doesn’t happen and honestly I don’t think it would be the same for the other guys. I have a lot of friends (don’t read that as bragging) who I think would have a horrible time with us- even though they think they would love it. The inside jokes, the beer, the...

4-Hour Body Update : Week ????

I have no clue what week I’m on. I guess I could go back and check but the point is that I’m not counting anymore. The time spent focused taught me how to eat and exercise, so much so that it has become a lifestyle. Yes, I still have a big ole cheat day once a week but I’m also not as strict anymore. If we are out and I’ve had a good week I may just order that fried catfish or the occasional french fries. However, moderation is the key. My total weight lost while being ‘hardcore’ was 26 pounds. I’ve been able to maintain for the most part. I’m working out more so I’ve gained some in muscle but the smaller clothes are still fitting just like I wanted. Not a long note, just wanted to update how it went and how it’s going. I’m not officially off the 4-Hour Body just modified to maintain where I’m at. Which is happy. (that was pretty cheesy,...

9 Weeks & 23lbs Later: 4-Hour Body Update

Wow. I’ve been doing the 4-Hour Body for 9 weeks! I’ve been quiet lately about it but mostly because work has been busy. This week was the first week I just tried to maintain. I’ve lost 23 pounds in this time and have gotten much stronger and started running… which I love. Yes, I Jason Bradford, admit to loving running. I’m on the treadmill every night now. It’s addicting. The feeling of energy is something that I had long forgot about. No longer. I really love the 4-Hour Body program. I will admit to deviating this week, however I am still losing weight/toning. The object is to find something you can live with, maintain and not fail at. I feel like I’m at that point… I still have some fatty spots I’d like to lose so I’ll just keep working on them. Week 9 Update: Weight: 183 lbs Inches: (I keep forgetting to measure because I’m in a hurry to eat!)- maybe I’ll take them mid week next week. How’s it going with you guys?! I hope all is going good. I encourage you to keep it up, it works! If you need any help just let me know (I’m not an expert but happy to try and help!). Some have asked what my typical week is, so here’s an overview- Breakfast: Eat within 30 mins of getting up. Usually scrambled eggs with a few slices of tomato. I’ve also cooked pork chops, omelets and drank a protein shake. The point is to get protein in your system as soon as possible. Lunch: Lunch is usually a piece of...