Book Jeff


Happy 2024!

It feels like forever since my last email in mid-December. The past few weeks have been a wild whirlwind. Lyndsey graduated. Three days later we got married. The next day we flew to Walt Disney World and enjoyed the Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Contemporary Resort, and a Disney Wish cruise. Now, it’s time to get the new year, and our new lives, underway.

While thinking about goals and resolutions for the new year, I want to take a moment and go back to our wedding on December 16. I shared a story that night that I now want to share with you.

Several years ago, I attended a coworker’s wedding and had the privilege of sitting next to a friend who brought her seven-year-old son along for the festivities. He was promised cake and that he would get to see a kiss. But as the ceremony dragged on, he and I both found ourselves getting impatient and antsy.

Finally, the officiant invited the couple to turn and face each other for the “exchanging of their vows.” Thinking he heard “vowels” instead of “vows,” my newfound seven-year-old friend shouted out for all to hear “A E I O U!”

The crowd erupted in laughter. It was an adorable moment and one I reflected on when making my life-long commitment to Lyndsey. What’s always stuck me about that story is how the boy wasn’t wrong. Think about it. Like the young boy, we all learned in school that you can’t have a word without a vowel. Guess what? You also can’t have a marriage without vows.

During our ceremony, I used that decades old story to provide the structure for my words, vowels, and vows to Lyndsey. Here is what my commitment looks like:

A=ALWAYS—Always adore you. Always admire you. Always appreciate you. Always remind you that Disneyland has the far better version of Space Mountain.

E=EVERY DAY—Every day put God at the center of our life. The center of our relationship. The center of our endeavors. Every day put a priority on having fun, living a great story, and living up to our purpose. Every day listen more while talking less—mostly because we all know how important communication is in a relationship. And partly to prove once and for all that you are the talker in the relationship (not).

I=INVEST—Invest in you. Your goals. Your family. Your success. Your dreams. Your career. Invest in rooting for your beloved Chicago Cubs…except, of course, when they are playing my Giants.

O=OVERCOME—Overcome the obstacles life will inevitably throw our way—just like we overcome those objecting to this day ever happening. Overcome our obvious age gap and show you how to age with grace, beauty, and wonder.

U=YOU—Make you my Main Street. Always remember your 80/20 rule. Eight for you and Two for me.

As the New Year gets underway, I want to challenge you to rethink how you approach your personal goals and resolutions. Words need vowels. Marriages need vows. What do you need to ensure you keep the commitments you make to others and yourself this year? Like relationships, resolutions can be hard. What’s harder is saying you will do one thing and then do…nothing. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen this year.

A E I O U can do it!

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