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On Friday we made a trip to Penn State University for PJ's football visit followed by a back-to-back trip to Texas A&M University after he received a last minute invite to a special event for the country's top recruits and commits at head coach Jimbo Fisher's house. 

It was 2:00am when we arrived home from Penn State. We had exactly 25 minutes to shower and be at the airport for our 6:00am flight to Texas. 

I've been to Texas a few times, but it was my boys' first trip. They were psyched for it. Without making a political statement, my 3 children and I are socially moderate and pro-choice, but we all believe in the strong conservative values that Texas stands for. 

Aggieland was amazing. My son is a very special young man and received his 8th D1 college scholarship offer while we were there. 

After visiting Texas A&M we spent a few days with my cousin at his 2,000 acre ranch in the hill country of Southern Texas. He's the banker who handles almost all of the major ranch transactions in the U.S.

It was great to see my uncle and all of my cousins who we do not get to see often enough. Distance never weakens us, and we naturally picked up with hugs, sarcasm, and breaking chops; right where we left off last time we saw each other. 

We will never forget these soul-satisfying days filled with fishing, hunting and eating what we got, swimming in the creek, shooting guns, racing ATV's, and the authentic conversations that happen only in the absence of cell-phones and life's everyday distractions. 

There is no Wi-Fi or cell service on the ranch and the technology vacuum presents an opportunity for real conversations. Life is so short and only moments like this remind us what is so important: our wives, children, and family. 

My cousin Stephen is a hard working man that puts his family first. By day he's one of the country's top bankers but he's also a fieldsman that could make fire from sticks and hunt his own dinner with a spear. Melissa is a strong and beautiful alpha-woman, the matriarch of the family. Their daughters and sons are beautiful people inside and out and they all tower at over 6ft. 

My Uncle Mike and his wife Lindy are the epitome of Texas class, the kind from the old TV series Dallas. 

Tonya and David and their kids are so kind. David manages an oil refinery near Houston. They are people who find happiness in the simplicity of life, a contrast to the common New York lifestyle. They are loyal, generous, and warm.

The sky is different down here. It is vast and endless and during the day it is a deep blue with wisps of cotton clouds floating effortlessly. At night the sky is the blackest of black and accompanied by such a silence that you can hear your own heartbeat. 

My boys are growing up. So much has changed, so much has stayed the same. I watch them wrestle over the last deer sausage and for who is driving the ATV. They take turns driving it up and down the riverbeds while we are here kicking up dust as they speed by the camp. A Morgan Whalen soundtrack plays in my head as I watch these moments of my life fly by.

I've had a life of ups and downs, love and hearbreak, but God damn I always manage to find the silver-lining every single time. If you are lucky, you know that no one loves better than me. 

If I died tomorrow I die a happy man. My cup is full. It always is. Life is what you make it.



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