stories, lessons, and a lot of nonsense

making memories

I have been busy all Summer, and most of the things that have kept me hopping will stay in my mind for a long time.  It’s been a Summer of memory making.  Here is a pictorial key to the big events of my Summer.  I thought, “Hey, if Bill Simmons could get me to go through a 20-page photo essay of his visit to the National Sports Collectors Convention, Maybe I can get people to go through many less pages of a photo essay of my Summer.”  I’m not sure if my reasoning is solid, since he’s kind of famous/popular, and I’m me, but here goes nothing.

Jonny Lang Concert

For Mother’s Day this year, I took Sarah to see Jonny Lang in concert.  The concert wasn’t until June 24, though, so it was our last date before I left for Nashville.  Sarah decided Jakob could come along, and that was her choice as the recipient of the gift, and I wasn’t about to argue.  8 more hours with my son before I left for a week?  Sure thing.

Todd did the same for Amanda, but their boys got to go play on a  lake with her family.  So it was just the 5 of us.

Mission Trip to Nashville

Before our trip, I put out a challenge to the students going: whoever brought the most cans for our mission trip can drive go to select my hairdo for the entire week of our trip.  Isaac won.  Here’s what happened:

I’m only halfway through the process here.  Now this would have been a good choice.  There are people who do this and think it looks good.  I would have just looked like a turd.

Things are starting to come into view.  Here’s the final product, the look I sported for 11 straight days:

I didn’t hold that facial pose for 11 straight days.  I really didn’t want it to stick that way.

23 students and 8 adults headed to Nashville.  We started our week at Crosspoint Community Church, where Pete Wilson preaches and Carlos Whittaker inspires people to worship.  It was nuts (in a good way).  Then we spent 4 days working in different areas of the community.  All in all, the kids did a lot of work and blessed a lot of people.

The Tigers Game

I had one day between the time I returned from Nashville and the day I went to a Tigers game with all of the Selph (and Joling) men, minus the two little guys, plus Troy, who fit right in.  The game was before I got to change my hair back, so that was nice.

Heading back out of the stadium after a good Tigers’ win.

Dan and I both bought capes off kids for $5 a piece.  The kid I bought mine from was my nephew Cedric.  Dan approached a total stranger with $5 and offered to buy his cape.  He made it out without being arrested.

The Fourth of July

Look closely.  I still hadn’t had my hair updated yet.  Poor Jakob was terrified this year.  He was fine last year, but it took several minutes and lots of hugging for him to calm down.  Strangely enough, it was the first time Sarah and I had ever gone to fireworks in downtown Grand Rapids.  I lived there most of my life, but I always went somewhere else.

Despite his night filled with terror, Jakob did a great job on the way back to the car.  We had to walk a mile and a half, and he held Sarah’s hand the whole way without complaining or trying to pull away.

The Selph Invasion

How many Selphs (and Jolings) live in Michigan?  I’m not sure, but of the ones I care about, there are 11.  How many were in town the first week in July (counting those that were already there)?  25.  We all migrated to my parents’ house for one afternoon, and it was crazy.

Family Pictures

We are not allowed to all be in Michigan without getting a huge family picture taken.  It’s one of my mom’s rules.  But taking the pictures of all of us at once is a special job, and not everyone can do it.  We had to call on Michael Elkins.

I can’t believe I fell for this. Steve told me to make that face that Chris Farley makes during the Zaggat’s skit.  I didn’t know till the next day what I had fallen for.  Shame on me.  I have to stay on point around my brothers.

This is pretty much how I was treated growing up.

Good pictures were taken, too, where I wasn’t being made fun of and or left out.

That’s everyone.

Jakob applauds Michael’s photographic skills.


I got to co-perform the wedding of Garren (who I’ve known since he was 3 years old and not 7 feet tall) and Lindsey with Jimmy, who was the youth pastor I interned for.  It was a throwback for me.  The groom, his best man, and his cousin (also in the wedding party) were all in my small group when I was just a young youth leader.  Scott, Jimmy, and I were all leaders together (with Jimmy being the big boss of the time).

The 10th anniversary

Sarah and I have been married for 10 years as of a week ago today (August 17).  We got married at the ripe old age of 19.  We have gotten ten years of marriage and one child in before our 30th birthdays.  Not too bad if you ask me.

For our first Christmas together as a married couple, Sarah and I went on a date to Tre Cugini.  She’s wanted to go back for several years now, but time, money, and sometimes geography has kept us away.  We finally made it back.

Dang!  My wife is pretty.  Did you notice?  Of course, you did.  I surprised her with a tigers eye ring in a gold setting.  In exchange, she’s giving me a ring she bought at Claire’s or Hot Topic that I really hate.

You didn’t really think a fatty like me would pass on showing you what I ate, did you?  I had a lamb shank with parmesan risotto.  I cleaned that plate, leaving only the bone.  Delicious.

South Haven Baptism

On Saturday, I got to baptize two friends, KC and Tree Folsom in South Haven.  I have now baptized their entire family, which I think is kind of special.  I have never baptized two people at once before (literally, one on each arm), and I really only did about 75% of the job on KC.  He had to redunk himself to finish it off.

I know I look weird in this picture – like most pictures – but focus on Jakob.  He loved the teeter totter in South Haven, and since it was all soft sand beneath him, Sarah allowed this to happen.  He’s pretty strong and has good balance, though, so she had no reason to be concerned.


We bought Jakob a sleeping bag, backpack, water bottle, and crappy flashlight on clearance last winter at Dick’s Sporting Goods for $5.  His sleeping bag looks like a football field.  I had tried once before to get him to sleep in it, and it didn’t work.  Two nights ago, it did.  We “camped” in his bedroom on the floor in our sleeping bags.  It was one of the best moments of my Summer, since he just about fell asleep rubbing my face with his hand.

Gratuitous picture of nothing important

If you’ve made it this far, you must love me or my family, or you have little to do.  To reward you, I give you this picture of a sign I saw in Jimmy John’s bathroom.  I believe it is the very sign ol’ Steven Anderson was referring to in his infamous clip originally called, “Pisseth Against the Wall.”  I didn’t even have to go all the way to Germany to see it.

And now you are caught up on my Summer to date.  If I had been faithfully blogging all along, you would have gotten to read an individual post on everything above, but if I had been faithfully blogging, it would have taken thousands of words to get my point across.  So, you’re welcome.


Comments on: "making memories" (2)

  1. Troy Milks said:

    I see you photo shopped my thumb out of the group pict at the Tiger’s game…

    • It seemed innocent enough. I didn’t even realize that by doing so, I completely cut you out of the pictures. I apologize.

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