My blog is still pretty young, and I’m still trying to discover exactly what I want it to become. So far, it’s about one part business to one part daddy blog. My goal for this site is to chronicle my quest for health, wealth, and happiness in a world gone crazy, so today, during this holiday season, I want to talk a little bit about how my family is finding joy in our Christmas preparations.

First, it’s important to note that we are Catholic, and we are pretty serious about separating the seasons of Advent and Christmas. Whereas most of the U.S. throws up their tree and lights as soon as Thanksgiving dinner is over, we recognize the four weeks leading up to Christmas as a time of preparation. We use this time to prepare our house and our hearts for Christ.

nativityThe Advent wreath comes out and the nativities are arranged. My wife has a wonderful habit of collecting nativities at thrift stores, so we set them up all over the place: we’ve got two in the dining room, one over the fireplace, two in the kitchen, and one in the bedroom.  And our tradition is to keep baby Jesus hidden away in a cabinet until Christmas and keep the wise men set up in the distance until the Epiphany.

To make our home a peaceful and welcoming place to celebrate the Christmas season, we spend extra time cleaning up the clutter that has accumulated over the months. We have an especially bad habit of piling junk on top of exposed surfaces. So far, we’ve managed to clean the kitchen, dining room, living room, bedroom, and the playroom (that was a heck of a junk heap!). All that’s left is tidying up the art room, which I started today but had to leave behind in order to tend to a crying Cobweb.

We just got our tree on the 19th and decorated on the 20th. Honestly, that’s still a bit early for my tastes, but we knew the rest of the week was going to be incredibly busy, so we took care of it early. If I had my druthers, we’d buy the tree on Christmas Eve morning and decorate it that night. It’s a Christmas tree after all, NOT an Advent tree. People always trash their tree by New Years. Well not us. We celebrate the holiday as an entire season, so the tree stays up for a good long while.

Today, my wife spent the morning baking 150 cookies–which is only lone-third of what she plans to make. You see, we decided to simplify gift giving this year among our friends. Instead of individualizing every single gift, we’re just giving bags of cookies to everyone. And boy does my Titania make some good Christmas cookies. For our nieces, nephews, and other youngins in our lives, we purchased a slew of sticker activity books for about a dollar apiece.

The preparation is almost done and soon the holiday will be upon us. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

How does your family prepare for Christmas? Leave a comment and let me know.


I apologize for the click-baity title, but I couldn’t help myself.

I mentioned elsewhere that one of my quests for wealth, health, and happiness involves finding passive income streams, and today I want to share with you a possibility I’ve discovered out there called local lead generation.

There are courses out there like Job Killers that are selling the secrets of this business model for thousands of dollars, and I have to say I am very intrigued at the possibilities. The basic gist is this: You build a website that captures the information of customers interested in services provided by local businesses, such as landscaping, dumpster rental, or epoxy flooring. And you target your website to a single city, for example Then, you work to get this website ranked really well in Google, ideally in positions 1, 2, or 3. People search on Google for “epoxy floorers in new york” or something like that, they find your website, and then call your number or fill out your online form. Once your website is generating a really decent number of leads, you reach out to real epoxy floorers in the area and ask them if they would like to buy these leads off of you. Maybe you provide them with a week for free just so they can see if the leads are actually any good or not.

From there, you rent your website out to the business, automatically forwarding every lead directly to them. $500 a month is probably a good minimum amount to charge for this service, but more expensive services, like dentists and roofers would likely pay you even more.

seo servicesSo, that’s the basics of how local lead generation could earn you hundreds of dollars off of a business you don’t actually own. You’ve probably already visited sites like this without even knowing it. Home Advisor doesn’t actually have an army of plumbers, roofers, and landscapers that covers the entire country, they just sell your information to the pros. Likewise, doesn’t own the properties it lists. They just connect you with real estate agents who are looking to sell. In the local lead generation model, you are just targeting very specific niches, such as does. These guys don’t really drive the dumpsters to your place. They just give your information to a legit dumpster rental company in Nashville. What you are really providing is web design and SEO services for small local businesses. You’re helping them to build and rank websites to generate more business. The beauty of this model is that the competition is very low. There are thousands of cities in the U.S. and thousands of businesses, so you’ll easily be able to find a niche that isn’t bloated with other internet marketers yet.

I don’t think I have the $7000 or so that Job Killers is charging (they don’t publicize their price, but that’s the number I’ve gathered with a bit of detective work). But, this is definitely a business model that I want to learn more about, as it seems easy and foolproof. Though, then again, you know what they say. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.


“I’m not going to be raising a child. I’m going to be raising an adult.”

These are the words of Hermann Jonsson in a Tedx talk he gave titled “And so I decided to become the world’s best dad.”

It’s only about 15 minutes, but it’s a worthwhile view for any man setting out to be an excellent father. When he learned that he was going to be a father, Hermann created a vision of the person he wants his children to become one day, a vision of the values he wants them to carry. From there, though, he realized that the only person who he can really control is himself. So, he decided to transform himself into the type of person he wants his children to be. If he doesn’t want his children to drink, then he mustn’t drink. If he doesn’t want them to watch hours of TV, he mustn’t watch hours of TV.

But even doing this won’t be enough. It’s not strong enough to be a strong role model for children, Hermann realizes that he also must work on COMMUNICATING this vision to his children. He does this by using communication hacks to send strong messages to his children. For example, when talking about his daughter’s artwork, he focuses on her NOT the art, and he gets physically down on her level. He also always allows his children to stay home from school when they tell him they can’t go. He doesn’t interrogate them to find out whether they are really sick or not. Instead, he takes the pressure off of the child and then seeks to learn the TRUE reason that his child doesn’t want to go to school. This builds trust between him and his children by sending them a message: “Come to me. I will listen, I will take you seriously, and I will respond.” Hermann fears that when parents are too quick to dismiss their children’s needs, anxieties, or emotions, they are shutting down the lines of communication that are necessary for proper parenting.

Listening to Hermann’s talk was a bit humbling. Sometimes when I am dealing with my own kids, I feel like a detective. Constantly trying to deduce their lies, outsmart them, and coerce them into obeying my will. I think my biggest takeaway to share with you from this video is that if you want your kids to grow up to be a better person than you are, you need to envision the goal, strive for it yourself, trust your kids, and build open lines of communication.