XXXI: Out of Sync


Today, as a whole, made absolutely no sense. It was some disastrous day, but man…it was a strange, very long one.

Note: Grab popcorn

Now, I love my job. It’s fun, exciting, and challenging. It is a job where I forget that, well, it’s a job. However, to access the office that is so dear to my heart it requires a 86 mile one way trip. Even with my lovely little Mazda3 that’s still a lot of ground to cover, nearing 180 miles a day. That means we, as a family, spend a lot of money on fuel. Continue reading

#getyourpraiseon


Here’s some hard truth for you (really for us)…

Since the demolition of the Kansas City Shock, and probably a little before that, Darco and I have been attempting to get finances back on track within our household. I want to let you know that if there is something that I struggle with greatly it is easily money management. When I don’t have any, that’s when I see everything that I could ever want to purchase. I know that I’m not the only one in this position, but I’m just showing you what goes on in my head. Continue reading

Mobile Minutes: Tax Return Oddities


To show you the type of lives that Darco and I come from…

We were thrilled to get our tax return late last week. For both of us it’s the most of a return we’ve ever seen [that's a #getyourpraiseon moment].

However, humorously [and I doubt she'll admit it], in the past couple days we tend to opening our bank account via our phones just to check, to see if the money is still there. While we do have a list of things that need to be addressed, paid for, etc…

The truth is…I think we’re afraid to spend money…

-D-

XO: Blogging Day


Note: Due to life; this post wasn’t completed until Wednesday. I hate these moments.

It’s Tuesday…

This is the day that I take for ‘blogging day’. I have several accounts now that I maintain creative content for on their blog pages. I’ve learned that it’s best to just sit down one day, and type the day away. This is my Tuesday, and I am just fine with this. Continue reading

XO: Running Weekend


I’m trying to keep my eyelids open as I type this…there may be typing with the eyes shut. Excuse the typos.

I have dirt on my hands and legs, something weird is throbbing in my right foot, and I have a rather epic sunburn.

Running season is here.

Today Darco and I finished our second 5K race of the 2014 year with a trail run through the timber along the Kansas River. We were not prepared for the trail [no pavement, literal trail], so needless to say we were rather ‘punk’d’ by today’s events. However, we survived for another day. Overall the weekend was a blur, fast, and tiring. Though I don’t believe that either of us regrets it. When life throws you a curve ball; family tends to be about the only thing that you have to rely on. This is the case as of late; we’re both trying to figure out ‘what is next’ after the collapse of the soccer team, some changes in her plan of action for work, and just life as a whole.

I tell you the truth; predicting your life events is just as worthless as predicting the weather. We’re definitely ‘minimizing’ life a bit. With the running going on; diet [what we eat, not starving ourselves...there's a difference] is vital, so that kicks out eating at restaurants. In turn that saves money, and allows us to work on repairing our expenses. It just requires a little extra self discipline.

My days Monday through Friday tend to be rather routine now; I’ll head to work. Stay there until 4:00 or 5:00. Stop at Jim and MC’s house to go run [country running is a must for me], and then I’ll head home around 7:30 or 8:00 at night. Between all of that is a cup of coffee, a lot of water, a few meals, and coconut water to hydrate. I’m 100% with this life. Basic focus points allow us to take care of requirements, while still focusing on dedication to a better self.

We work, we train, we get paid, we pay bills, and we repeat. Frankly, it’s just going to be that way for a while. There’s no point in adding debt to life when we have a unique opportunity to extinguish so much of it over the upcoming summer months.

It’s nice to have someone to fight the spending habits with. The truth is Darco is terrified of spending money if it doesn’t have to deal with bills, fuel, or food. I know there’s probably a huge majority reading this thinking, “Hey, that’s what I spend my money on too.”

I’m learning, painfully, that as much as we’d wish; we can’t run through life spraying, praying, and hoping God cleans up all of our problems and we never face consequences. Divorces, failures, out of breath 5K races can all be pulled back to mistakes made. More importantly is how we recover from the mistakes. Do we continue to be reckless, thinking, “Oh, God’s got it…”, or do we make adjustments to realize, “God expects me to be responsible with what I’ve been given”? At the moment, I’m learning the second one. Let’s face facts; since this website started God has blessed me with some pretty awesome people, travels, and adventures. It’s been a riot to be a part of His glorious plan, but He also expects me to be responsible. Something that I’m not a big fan of, but am learning [through running] that is a necessity for life.

Example: Looking at my training schedule this week I’m looking to hit between 20-25 miles worth of running. There’s no coach, there’s no gym, there’s no command. It’s just myself, my shoes, and the open road. No one is holding my feet to the fire; I do it because I know it’s required to become better at what I enjoy; running races. Life in general is no different; we have to practice self-discipline in order to have a better enjoyment of the life God’s given us.

I thought that I would hate this realization; knowing that I have to slow down, take inventory, get my house in order, and restructure life. A lot has changed and I haven’t taken the time to adjust to those changes. Part of it was denial, and part of it was just refusing to face hard questions. Nobody enjoys failure or rejection, but it will make one stronger later in life.

As for now, I’m off to bed. Cool analytic nerd stuff for work this week, training picks back up on Tuesday, and another beautiful week that God has given.

Oh…and here’s a fun shot from our ‘haul’ over the races this weekend:

All sorts of fun goodies from this weekend; including pretzels!

-D-

XO: So Long


So long…
And thanks for all the fish…

It only seems natural to use that quotation to define what this post was going to be about. I’ve known this day was coming, at first I tried to deny it, but in the end it became about acceptance and moving on to new adventures with life.

The Kansas City Shock is no more. Continue reading

Mobile Minutes: Kombucha


I’m not really sure how to say that word.

I’m also not really sure what on earth the thing is.

Technically it’s part of some gluten-free, yuppie drive drink that Darco grabbed at the grocery store ($3.50 for 16 oz).

It goes down your throat like snot.
It’s bitter like fresh raspberries [plus?].
It is frankly, rather repulsive.

However, I also get to see the joy on my wife’s face for trying something new, eating healthy, and making wise choices.

Sometimes it’s worth choking the stuff down.

On a similar, fun note:

Darco went grocery shopping tonight [hence where that...thing came from]. I was taking a nap at home, she woke me up while she was at the grocery store, nearly crying.
I thought the car had been hit, and she was in an accident.

She proceeds to tell me this:

The organic chicken was on sale at Hy-Vee for 2 for $6. So, we both knew I was going down there today to stock up because that’s a relatively good deal for the product. When I arrived I saw that the special price wasn’t posted. So, with the ad in my hand I went ahead and grabbed the chicken, thinking that I would explain the ad if the price didn’t show correctly.

Well, the price didn’t show correctly. So, the cashier calls over the manager. The manager tells me that since the chicken is not for the price as advertised that I get the chicken for free. So, we just had a grocery bill run from $70 to $23 total with a ton of chicken!

I’m still upset that I was half asleep and didn’t fully enjoy the moment. However, it is nice having plenty of chicken in the apartment. More importantly though is recognizing how happy my wife is with what occurred, her eating habits, and her dedication towards health.

I’m not just proud of her, I’m continually reminded as to why she means so much to me.

…off to go drink some of that stuff…

-D-

XO: “THAT” Christmas Letter


…I am officially becoming an adult with responsibilities…

Please take a moment to sigh with me.

*Le sigh…*

I suppose as it is proper to keep with the tradition, yet incorporate the new styles of life [technology], and being the ‘writer’ of the family, it’s been shown, my destiny, of writing the family Christmas letter.

Enjoy.

Hello Family & Friends,

Hanging out; we’re best friends.

Currently, while writing this I find myself in a strange, foreign world. Darco is sitting on a couch working on some accounting work, and Ollie, our cat, is roaming around the living room. Aiming to get in trouble I’m sure.

It’s been a whirlwind of a year for the Daugherty name. In the beginning of 2013 I, D, found myself in a relationship with a wonderful barista from Starbucks. I’d spoken of her before, but few of my family and friends had ever met her. We were attending a wonderful, small church in the middle of a cornfield, and we were preparing for the beginning of the Kansas City Shock. I was working at Subway, and for the past several months had been living in an apartment in St. Joseph. Darco was living with her mother in St. Joseph, and due to her health, we had already experienced some family frustrations in February with her winding up in the hospital. Darco’s mom was having problems exhaling the CO2 from her body, not good on the human condition it turns out.

Party out in the desert of Nevada!

February led to the first big adventure of Darco and myself. We boarded a flight, and went to Las Vegas, Nevada for a soccer meeting. This also resulted in a 8 hour [one way] trip to Reno, Nevada…and back, in a 24 hour time period. Somethings we learn the hard way, and making stupid trip like that would be one of those mistakes. March was the second round of tryouts for the Kansas City Shock, an incredible experience watching the future team come together through the tryout process [especially when you know nothing about soccer].

It’s incredible how fast things can change, and how dramatic they can be. In May our head coach for the Kansas City Shock stepped down, a week before practice was to begin. Quite the shocker, and praise be to God, we were able to find a coach the night that the former left. Life was a little stressful in May. Darco was working at Starbucks, and was also attending the University of Phoenix. I was working with Subway, and I had just completed a new experimental course through Subway showing that I mastered the understanding of management systems within the Subway corporation for franchises.

So…this happened!

On June 1, life started to become a bit more fascinating. I was asked to resign my position with Subway, ending a ten year commitment to ‘eating fresh’. While most people I do not miss from that job [honestly], I still am forever indebted to my mentor, Ro, for everything she did for me over the ten year time span. I think she’s retiring next year, and she was an incredible blessing while I tried to understand the corporate world.  It was quite the eye opener of figuring out what I should do next in life. The next day, while eating pancakes at the apartment, Darco and I decided that we would go get engaged. So, by the end of the week I had lost my job, lost my car, and became engaged to a beautiful woman. Life is strange like that. We had a short engagement, resulting in our marriage on August 2, 2013 at Missouri Valley Baptist Church.

Now, the first week of marriage was not easy. We were very tight on cash, and we had also learned that Darco’s mother was going to be evicted from her home. Not an easy task to figure out. MC and Jim pitched in, we cleaned up the house, and assisted in moving Darco’s mom to a new location in northern Missouri. During this process Darco noted that her cat, of who she loved dearly, was missing from the house [it was an indoor cat]. Of course, while cleaning the house I was speaking to MC about what we were going to do about the cat if it returned [hoping my mother would take the bait and adopt the cat]. It was at that point I heard this yell of joy from the back of the house, “OLLIE! YOU CAME HOME!”

We were going to adopt a cat.

So, now we have a three year old cat in our apartment with us. Most times he’s tolerable, and only between 8:00 PM and midnight is he a pill [he tries hopping on our flat screen TV...for fun].

Between leaving Subway and getting married, Darco and I watched the Kansas City Shock grow into its first season in the Women’s Premier Soccer League. We added a minority owner, Steve, and also added 101 acres of land to our portfolio. The goal is to develop this acreage into a soccer complex in the northern tier of the Kansas City region. Needless to say, this is quite the challenge. The team did well, we finished the season with a record of six wins and three losses within league play. We were the only new team to qualify for the playoffs, and halfway through July I found myself driving a passenger van into Ohio with a bunch of soccer players. Talk about a dream come true.

Why wouldn’t Starbucks be involved with wedding photos?

She always pulls the perfect shots.

Upon August, Darco and I had been praying for the direction I was to take my employment. At the same time, Jim had watched his plant shut down in St. Joseph and was in a similar situation. Thankfully, between Darco, myself, MC, and Jim we learned and saw how powerful and uplifting family can be. I went back into the classroom as a substitute teacher within the North Kansas City School District. Darco, on the other hand, continued her job at Starbucks, and was notified that it is time for her to move up within the company. Through several meetings, discussions, and surveys she’s quickly moving rank to become an assistant store manager in the company. The likelihood is that she has the opportunity to become an “ASM” before she’s even of age to consume alcohol. She continues to amaze me.

I started back into the classroom on the first day of school at Staley High School. Overall, in August, September, and October there were only two days each month that I wasn’t in the classroom teaching. The strain was obviously the gas mileage traveling every, single day. Darco and I started to discuss the potential ideas of moving to Kansas City. She would eventually relocate to a Starbucks in Kansas City, the substitute teaching was in Kansas City, and our soccer team is in Kansas City. To added coals to that fire it became known that a teaching position, full time, was about to open up at a school that I spent the majority of the time in. It, in many ways, was a dream job for me, and Darco was ecstatic also. Life was calming down, doors were opening, and everything made sense. One way or another, I would finally wind up in a classroom.

True Story: This electric sign was attached to a shirt that acted as a synthesizer to noise. It was epic.

I don’t think God wanted that door to open up too wide because He shut it rather quickly. A day before I met with the principal in that school to discuss this opening I met with a parent of one of my players. He wanted me to work with him on a project for a man named Mr. Kinney. Naturally, not to be selfish, I wanted to know what kind of pay I should expect…

This was a life changing opportunity.

Instead of teaching I wound up in a job maintaining the social media accounts of two Mazda dealerships, a engineering education firm, an office complex, and a real estate residential development. Jokingly, I get paid to operate Facebook accounts. Realistically, the portfolio I created with the Kansas City Shock paid off incredibly big. I have three offices that I float between in Lee’s Summit, Overland Park, and South Kansas City. This all took place during Thanksgiving.

Upon receiving my first paycheck I mistakenly took Darco to one of the dealerships with me, I had to correct a few photos, and then we’d go out on a date. While working on a photo my wife came to me and said, “What’s your social security number?” In a car dealership that can only mean one thing: financing.

It’s…so…shiny!

Incredibly, my wife went out and found out that we qualified for a wonderfully good deal from Mazda on a new car. So, two days later we drove off the lot in a bright red, 2013 Mazda3. If nothing else, the 41 miles per gallon impress me, but the car is wonderful. This adventure has led to new concepts, ideas, and plans with the Kansas City Shock that I can’t share…yet.

With so many things changing, so quickly we started making some internal choices as a family [Darco and myself]. We moved church bodies, which was very, very hard on both of us. We’re now attending a wonderful church in Smithville, Missouri with my parents. It was opened up more time with the family overall, something that was greatly missed. We also made an announcement to friends and family that we will, 100% certain, be moving to Kansas City in 2014. While St. Joseph has done so much for both of us, especially with Darco growing up here, it is time for us to move on.

As a brief recap: Darco’s up for promotion with Starbucks, I left Subway after ten years, started teaching, left teaching, is now paid to operate social media feeds, the Kansas City Shock actually started a real season, we adopted a cat, and wound up with a new car.

She’s pretty.

If this was 2013, I can only chuckle at what is to come in 2014 for “Club Daugherty”. As a reminder, we’re located online. You can keep up with our family adventures throughout the year at our Google+ page.

My His Grace Always Be Enough,
-The Daugherty’s-

…that wasn’t soooooo bad…

#getyourpraiseon


I was just given my first paycheck…

Largest sum I’ve ever seen in one setting.

Chance to gloat? No. Not even worth it.

Chance to give thanks? Absolutely, it’s not even really mine to begin with.

God is good, everlasting, and mind numbing. I’ll never understand what He even sees in me, but today I will celebrate in praise.

-D-

O: Blessed In Poverty


Before I start the story of my morning experience I want to make one thing very, very clear:

LePeep is the most overpriced, overrated breakfast joint that I’ve ever had the misfortune of dining at.

I had a meeting this morning at 7:30 AM CST an hour south of where I currently live, at the noted LePeep restaurant above. This was a large meeting, it was a business meeting, there was potential money on the table with the Kansas City Shock and I wanted to be sure I had everything perfect. Last night I had rehearsed, scheduled, printed, and outlined several key points of the meeting today. I wasn’t sure the overall direction of the meeting, but when moments like this come across, you always want to be ready. Right? Right.

I arrived at LePeep seven minutes ahead of time. Here’s what I knew about the individual I was meeting with:

  • Young
  • Business Owner
  • Involved in the startup community
  • Soccer fan
  • Ginger

Several things were in my favor from the get-go. Not once did I believe that this was going to be a walk in the park, but it appeared as if several key items were lining up. After the agonizing, stomach dropping seven minutes had passed in comes a young man driving a Tesla…yes…a Tesla. Quietly he parked, reversed, realigned, and parked again. He stepped out of the car in the standard Johnson County polo and plaid golf shorts [too much?], asked if I was indeed who I was and walked into the restaurant.

Red Flag #1: No smile.

Upon being seated we were giving coffee in a ridiculous fancy looking environment [recall that my 'eat out breakfast' joints have consisted of IHOP, McDonald's, and on special occasions Shoney's]. I took a look at the menu, couldn’t figure out half the garbage on the menu and politely ordered bacon and eggs.

While this was going on he was across the table, looking down, thinking, and then comes about the first question:

So, what is the Kansas City Shock?

Red Flag #2: This meeting had been booked for several weeks. I did my research on his business; he obviously did none on mine.

Somewhat calmly I went into the monologue of our program, #project813, and partnerships that are being established. I noted that we were not in Johnson County primarily, but wanted to focus on other areas of Kansas City. That’s when the first real pain set in:

I’m not going anywhere that far to watch soccer, sorry but that’s too far for me.

Red Flag #3: Anyone that’s concerned on distance is already in question in my book.

I went on to inform him about how we’re financed, what we do in our field of work, and what we’re looking for. He, of course, started his conversation on his business [computer programming] and clients. He stopped and asked:

Do you know what a client is? I didn’t think so. I work in high tech, it’s a difficult field to understand for many.

Red Flag #4: Attempting to talk over me with the knowledge of binary habits, coding, and application development is going to do very little to impress me. Besides, I know what a client [and a host] is.

Within the first five minutes of this meeting I could see that he wasn’t interested in anything that I had to offer. Now, a quick background on him [vaguely], he started a startup tech company from the ground up. Struggled greatly to meet bills, payroll, etc…but eventually sold the company for $128 million at age 23. Turned around and started a new company, of which he complained that his old company won’t even give a glimpse at to work with. He begins to inform me of the $100,000 per month they loose in revenue while looking for clients and how our modest budget looks trivial to him. He asked about marketing and sponsorship, and I informed him of where we go in that direction with each company. It was through this conversation that he drops a bomb on me [pardon the quoted language]:

Sorry, but you’re a man on an island. No one is coming to help because no one gives a %#@^ about what you’re doing.

Red Flag #5: [See Quote Above]

At this point I’ve gnawed through my bacon, and got the eggs out of their greasy plate and onto my fork. This was becoming uncomfortable and I wanted out. What had become so evident, and was so sad, was that an individual with that much money simply didn’t have the time of day to even dream of what the future held. He was my age and had no imagination. I’m talking about monumental moves with #project813 with him, and he doesn’t care. It doesn’t fit his desires, it doesn’t work in his business model, it doesn’t transcribe to success in his world. Everything was about him. This isn’t me complaining, this is me stating that I bow to no one except God, and it wasn’t going to start this morning.

With the coffee gone and the plates cleaned, with a smirk he stated:

Well, since I can’t help you; I can at least grab your meal, right?

I didn’t hesitate.

While at the register he asked how we had been connected together, and I gave him the individual who knew us mutually. A person that couldn’t stop talking about this man standing next to me with words of gratitude and hope. He had worked for him in the past, but after the first company sold, he went a different direction. That’s when, from the business side, I heard the most painful thing of the morning:

Who’s that? I don’t recognize that name, mustn’t have been important.

Red Flag #6: If you do not take the time to learn the names and the people that you work with, or work for you, your ethics are in question.

By the time I had gotten back into the car I was shaking because I was so angry. Furious. I wasn’t mad at God, but I was so, so angry at what money can do to an individual. One of the most frustrating things in life has to be when stereotypes are proven true. Rich, youthful guy who attempts to trump the world with his knowledge on one topic and deems those in the shoes he was once in…dirty.

It took me about forty-five minutes to calm down while driving home. The downside of the meeting puts serious pressure on me within our organization, but the bigger picture was much more saddening. I drove back north, feeling very beaten, and stopped by to chat with Jim and MC about the results of today. The pain was seen in their eyes as well; two hard working, industrial oriented people who give everything to come home with so little, just witnessed what the power of wealth can do to an individual.

I know that I’ve complained several times about being broke, not sure about resources, and even trying to make payments day-by-day. Nothing along those lines has changed, but do you know what I saw today that was most fearful? Out of the greasy eggs, plaid shorts, and silent Tesla?

I saw the potential of what I could become if I was given that kind of wealth. I’ve told Darco before that one of the several reasons that I’ll probably never be financially successful is because God knows that I’ll abuse that gift. Power is a dangerous, dangerous object.

I don’t need LePeep to make my day start on a solid note; I’ll continue to enjoy my Taco John’s and random food trucks. I’ll consider the local sports bar’s wings at .49 after 9:00 PM CST with Darco as a great date. I’ll forever love my second story, three window apartment with a non-operational garbage disposal and broken dishwasher. My rusty truck of 278,000 miles will forever be my favorite, and I’m grateful that Darco’s dented, scratched Pontiac gets such great gas mileage.

I’ll go to bed frustrated, but grateful in the same. Because I know that God can do great things when I’m blessed with poverty.

As for the Kansas City Shock?

God’s got it, and that’s all I need to know.

-D-