Mike is an important part of this large family.
And an even more important part of this smaller family.
We first met Mike in the Fall of '96 and we could tell almost right away that we were going to see a lot more of him.
Tonight I conducted a phone interview with him for his birthday post. Here's how it went.
Hi Mike, how are you? Oh I'm fine.
Happy Birthday! Oh thanks!
I'm sorry it's two days late. Oh, that's okay. I mean you turn 40 almost every year right?
How does it feel to be 40? Uh, not a whole lot different. It hasn't bother me yet anyway.
Did you have a good day? Yeah I had a really nice day!
Did you do anything special? Let's see. I went to work and my sales reps sang happy birthday to me which was painfully awkward and Sarah brought me lunch which we ate in my office. Then after work the boys and I got haircuts and we went to Texas Roadhouse with my parents followed by cupcakes and presents at home.
Did you get any special gifts for your birthday? I got a travel coffee mug from Ethan, a candy cane filled with Hershey's kisses from Trey, a can cozy from Mary; and Sarah got me a heavy bag. What's that? It's like a punching bag that we'll hang in the basement. It's what boxers use.
What would you say have been the highlights of this past year? Highlights of the past year. Hmmm. That is a tough one. We moved so we've got more room to spread out.
You got Dash. Oh yeah Sarah got Dash that's true.
What are you looking forward to in the coming year? I'm about to take 11 days off.
Oh yeah and this year you'll be in Gulf Shores for the whole holiday. Are you looking forward to that? Yeah, it'll be relaxing. And, like I said, it will be 11 days which will be the most time I've ever taken off. Plus I won't have to fly in midweek.
What did you think was the best aspect of spending our holiday there? Well, it was certainly warmer.
And it was a much more active experience.
Much better right? Absolutely!
Thinking back, did you ever envision yourself as part of such a large family? No! No one in my family has more than two kids so I never envisioned having 20 plus nieces and nephews.
It's been fun right? Oh absolutely.
Where do you see yourself twenty years from now. I guess basking in the empty nest that will be my home.
What can you tell us about yourself that we haven't covered in this interview? Well, there's not much to tell. You love to golf. Yeah but we quit the club because I didn't golf that much last year. It's a littler farther away and I didn't get out there much. Maybe we'll find a place next year.
Also I'm finding that it's challenging to stay in shape or I guess it's challenging to not let my body turn 40.
Wow! I feel like you're in as good a shape as I've ever seen you. Yeah, when Ethan and Mary were in Cross Country, I picked up running again and started running trails at the parks and lifting weights so I am probably in about as good shape as I've ever been.
And that pretty well concluded our interview. But of course there's more I'd like to add about Mike. I don't think he has a shy bone in his body. He's extremely gregarious and loves a good time more than anybody. He's smart and perceptive and has the ability to see every issue from both sides. He's sensitive and understanding but he probably wouldn't admit to all that sensitivity. Most of all he's a thoughtful, conscientious, and stand-up guy! We think the world of him and we're wishing him a year that's even better than the 40 he's already had! Happy Birthday, Mike! It's late but it's heartfelt!