Christian Ross

An open letter to my son

Dear Cohen,

I yelled at you today and of course, I shouldn’t have. You didn’t deserve it. 6-year-olds surely don’t. I’ll admit, I was frustrated with you but you were only the straw; I’m not exactly sure where the build up began but sadly the pressure released on you.

I love you. I have high expectations of you. And to be honest, they’re unrealistically high expectations. You’re advanced in so many areas that I often fail to remember that you only have six years or so under your belt. Wisdom doesn’t come overnight yet I often lay that burden on you like it should.

One of the most important things to me is that you turn out to be a better man than I am. That you make better decisions, that you relate better to people, that you set better examples. When I watch you stumble, I see patterns of my life which could potentially be where some of the unleashing stems from. I potentially get upset because I see you only mimicking my bad behavior.

Without turning this on you, here’s a few of areas that I’d love to get better about teaching you but for you to learn them, I know I have to model them.

I realize it takes a lot of nerve to ask for your patience with me as I get better with these things on a day where I potentially made you feel lower than low. I’m a work in progress.

 

Be others-centered.
I’m sure by now, you’ve seen me in action – I’m a classic one-upper. Many of my interactions with people in life go on while a good majority of my brain is working through what to say next. I’m a weak listener and I dish advice like a street-prophet. Even if I haven’t been there or seen that, I’ve got a story to match it. I’m prideful, vengeful, inwardly focused, and outwardly cynical. I’m like a mixed cocktail of the characteristics that most people avoid all stirred up into one.

Help me and join me in working each day to become less self-centered. Winning is fun but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. You know what matters? Building your brother up instead of tearing him down or repeatedly putting him in second place. Likewise, your mother has constantly traversed the waters of a husband that has all too often put his own interests first for almost 15 years. They both deserve better of us.

When I – and hopefully you by watching my modeled behavior – quit worrying about how we’re perceived, most of the following areas we need to work on should automatically resolve themselves…
(more…)

Make Your Bottle Count

Project7 has been a client of ours for going on probably 4-5 years now, we can’t get enough of them and hopefully they haven’t grown tired of us either. Their mission is ‘Products for Good’ and they are pioneers in the social entrepreneurship arena with a passion for making a difference. They’ve figured out a way to let you be a blessing to others just by making purchases you’re probably already making – gum, mints, water, etc.

We’re pretty stoked about their newest partnership just announced yesterday that will allow them to make an even greater impact on this world. From a marketer’s standpoint, I can’t think of a much easier partner brands with! Starting today, you can now purchase specially marked Project7 bottles of 7UP/Diet 7UP/Cherry 7UP/Diet Cherry 7UP and under the cap you will find a code that allows you to help make a difference in 3 easy steps:

Boom. Done. You just made an impact on this world.

To announce the partnership, they’ve created a pretty awesome stop motion video hand-drawn by one of my good buddies and all around talented guy, Darren Dunham. We’re really working hard to spread the word and would love it if you’d take 2.5 minutes to watch it and possibly even help spread the word about it! Would love to see this thing actually go viral and bring more attention to Project7 and all that they’re doing to bring change in this world. Shareable links below the video.

Make Your Bottle Count

Like it enough to share it?

If you’re the kind to post on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or any of the other places you reside on the net, the best link to use is probably: http://project7.com/7up

The video is on both Vimeo and YouTube so whatever tickles your fancy.

CreepySanta 2013

The US Thanksgiving holiday has passed which means it’s time for an updated Christmas playlist. As per the norm, it extends a little further than the standard Andy Williams and Bing Crosby (though those are classics and good in their own right) which you can find on most local, AM/FM Christmas stations.

If you’ve been around for any of the years past, you might notice that the last track is the same one I’ve closed with on multiple occasions… this is on purpose as I’ve convinced myself that it should probably close every Christmas compilation ever made. I’m not ready to call it the greatest Christmas track ever but I think its as solid of a piece of music you can get to finish an album.

New to this game and want to catch up? Hit the archives for past compilations. My apologies for the creepy Santa pictures, I’m not really sure how it all got started.

 

CreepySanta 2013 - A decent Christmas playlist for 2013 - http://christianross.net
Click the image above or link below to download.

CreepySanta 2013

Track List
1. Owl City (feat. TobyMac) – Light of Christmas
2. Jeremih – You’re Mine
3. Otis Redding – White Christmas
4. Matt Wertz – Snow Globe
5. Kelly Clarkson – Winter Dreams
6. The Maine – Ho Ho Hopefully
7. Newsboys – All I Want for Christmas Is You
8. Leona Lewis – One More Sleep
9. Cee Lo Green (feat. The Muppets) – All I Need Is Love
10. Jeremy Lister – Santa’s Lost His Mojo
11. Callie Moore – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
12. Catherine Feeny – The Christmas Song
13. Clyde Bawden & Jason Barney (feat. Cody Carnes & Ashley Hess) – Christmas with You
14. Train – Shake Up Christmas
15. KT Tunstall – Sleigh Ride
16. Brigthen – Merry Christmas, Baby
17. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – It Feels Like Christmas Time
18. The Ready Set – I Don’t Wanna Spend Another Christmas Without You
19. Kelly Clarkson – 4 Carats
20. Clyde Bawden & Jason Barney (feat. Ashley Hess) – Home for Christmas Eve
21. Neon Trees – Wish List
22. A Rocket To The Moon – I Believe In Us (This Holiday)
23. Troy Andrews – O Holy Night

Hanging Bunk Beds

*For those tl;dr folks, there’s some pictures down below.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of being in my house, you know that we’re a little cozy and limited on space. Most days I like it that way, helps me to keep my material possession desires in check. We’ve had the boys in the same room for a while now but were just working off of two Ikea Malm twin beds in different corners of the room. It was functional but not necessarily practical. Discussions of bunk beds were had on several occasions but neither myself or my wife could come to agreement on what those would actually be.

I’m not actually sure what the final straw was that made me really decide to make a change but sometime a month and a half or so ago, I finally decided it was time. Instead of going the standard Rooms-to-Go/Ikea/pressed laminate or particle board route, I wanted to do something a little more custom for them and after a bit of just Google-ing ideas, I felt like I found the right solution. Once again, discussions were had due to past examples of my “handi-work,” but I finally won over the person in charge of the house and she agreed to let me move forward.

It was a random Sunday evening when I sent my business partner Ryan a text message to let him know we were closing up shop on the following Monday; once he found out why, it didn’t take much to convince him. He was at the house around 8 or 9 that next morning and we quickly loaded up for the closest big box hardware store here in town.

The Build

We spent an entire day (with multiple Lowe’s trips), 30 some-odd pieces of standard 2″ x 4″ x 8′, lots of screws/bolts/anchors, and about 50′ of nylon rope to end up hanging two custom, twin-sized beds from the wall in our boys’ room. They’re quite heavy, more than I anticipated. They’re each anchored 5 or 6 times into wall studs and the ropes are anchored as well. My wife was pleasantly surprised when she got home to see that we both accomplished the task and they turned out decently as well. She still had concerns about them purely hanging so I added the steel pipe, corner stands under the free-hanging corner to ease her (and my) concerns.

In addition, I created some birch wood rails that slide under the edge of each mattress so they don’t come tumbling down in the middle of the night. The color of the birch matches the color of the 2 x 4’s pretty well. Finally, I created a solid, yet removable ladder to get up and down from the top bunk. It’s made out of some of the leftover 2 x 4’s from the project and is a nice replacement to the metal folding ladder I offered them for the first few days.

Final Thoughts

The boys love them and have been put on a scheduled rotation of who gets the top bunk, changing out each time we wash their sheets. It’s created more play space for them in their room and allowed us to free up the other bedroom in our house purely for guests and/or a nice open space for us to make the boys go play when they’re being a little too noisy!

Since I don’t normally get to work with my hands, it was a nice change of pace. I was able to create something custom for my family, keep the cost well below what we might have paid for a nice set of bunk beds, and possibly even restored a little confidence in my wife that might allow me to try another project down the road.

I’m sure there’s much more to say about the craftsmanship, the process, the tools, the legacy, etc but I’ll leave that for another day or possibly another writer.

Here’s a few shots of the finished pieces. If you want more details about our process or the plans for the beds, hit me up.

Hanging Bunk Beds