Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

Love, heartbreak, and our humanity.

Love, Heartbreak, and our Humanity

Senior Year. High School. Creative Writing Class.

I walked hand-in-hand with my girlfriend as I headed for class. My Creative Writing teacher looked on as we said our goodbyes as we went our separate ways, already counting down the minutes until we’d see each other again during the next passing period. The bell rang and I sat down at my desk. There were seven of us in the class. To say we were an eclectic bunch would be an understatement.

Mr. Hughes (of the Great Celebrate the Lord Love Debate) completed his hall monitoring duties and began class.

“Was that your girlfriend?” he asked. At least, I think that was what he said. To be honest, I didn’t really think he was talking to me so I wasn’t really paying much attention because it felt like I was eavesdropping. But he was talking to me.

“She’ll break your heart, you know.” Thanks for the vote of confidence there, I thought. Then he clarified, “Because all relationships end in heartbreak.” And then he went about his business, opening up some kind of discussion about writing or storytelling or something along those lines.

I was really bothered by that statement. It felt so…dark. So…defeatist. Continue reading Love, heartbreak, and our humanity.

My smooth shave with the Gillette Fusion Proglide

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SmoothSummer #CollectiveBias #shop

#SmoothSummer Header

I recently decided it was time to try out a few new looks. Thanks to the Gillette Fusion Proglide, I was able to get an amazingly smooth shave as I experimented with different styles of facial hair. I have to be honest when I tell you that I approached this journey with a little bit of fear and trepidation.

Here’s why:

When I was in high school, I tried to grow a beard. I tried to grow a mustache. I tried to grow a goatee. During the final weeks of marching band season during my Senior year, my buddies and I decided that we’d show our focus and dedication to the Band by not shaving. By the time our final performance rolled around, each of us had a little bit of fuzz on our chins, but that was about it. Looking back, our efforts were rather funny. But we thought we were cool.

Things changed once I moved away to college.

Since Fall Break of my Freshman year of college, I have had a goatee. A lot of things have happened since I started sporting that patch of hair on my chin. I fell in love with (and ultimately married) an amazing woman. I graduated from college. We’ve added three children to our family. My children have never seen me without hair on my face. Throughout the years, we’ve been through the highest of high mountaintop experiences and the lowest of low valleys. I think it’s safe to say that my goatee and I have been through a lot together. But after having the same look for such a long time, I decided it might be time to say goodbye to the old style.

The Gillette Fusion Proglide is powered with FlexBall technology. What does that mean? Well, it means that this razor responds to the contours of your face like no other razor can. It means that you can get those tricky corners and edges without any tugging or pulling. It means no more stubble five minutes after shaving. Do you hear me? NO MORE STUBBLE! A smooth shave is something everyone in my family can appreciate. And that’s something worth celebrating.

Want to join in the celebration? You can find the Gillette Fusion Proglide at your local Walmart.
Gillette Fusion Proglide available at Walmart
Can’t get enough smooth faces? Check out these #SmoothSummer faces on Pinterest. I especially like the link to celebrities with and without their iconic facial hair. It’s amazing how different a smooth face looks, isn’t it?

Follow Hairspray and HighHeels’s board Smooth Faces of Summer on Pinterest.

In regards to my own personal facial hair journey? The jury is still out on which style I’ll stick with long-term. Of course, my wife and kids get veto power over any style that I choose, but I’m curious: which one do you like best?

The full goatee?

Goatee #smoothsummer

The “Three Musketeers” Look?

Three Musketeers Look #smoothsummer

A Soul Patch (kinda)?

Soul Patch #smoothsummer

The Mustache?

Mustache #smoothsummer

A Totally Smooth Face?

Clean Shave #smoothsummer

Whatever style I wind up choosing, I know that the rest of my face will remain smooth with the Gillette Fusion Proglide.

3 decisions I regret

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost
The Road Not Taken

Road Not Taken

We make decisions every day. Most of these decisions are rather inconsequential in the grand scheme of things – Do I want waffles or pancakes for breakfast? Should I get my gas at Speedway or Circle K? Should I wear argyle or striped socks? You know. Pretty mundane stuff.

But there are other decisions that we make that can stay with you forever. They can keep you up at night. They can haunt you in the middle of the day. They sometimes pop up in regular, everyday conversations. You can’t get away from these decisions.

I’m not talking about life-altering things like getting behind the wheel while you’re under the influence or choosing to marry someone. Those are life-altering decisions. I’m talking about other decisions. They might not alter the course of human civilization, but they still cause you to break out in a cold sweat when you think about what you did or didn’t do. They’re decisions you look back on and ask yourself, “Why? Why did I choose to do it that way? Why didn’t I choose to go the other direction as I stood at that fork in the road?”

As I look back on the decisions I’ve made, there are three choices that stand out. And when I think about them, I often wonder, “Man, why didn’t I take advantage of that opportunity?”

These were big decisions in my life. They’re landmarks on my journey of life. But they’re also relatively inconsequential in the grand story of life. They were fun things I could have done. I’m not talking about the really big regrets that I might have. You know, like dating that one girl in high school. Or cheating on a girlfriend while on a school trip out of town. Or leaving the youth ministry position that I had in Kentucky the way I did. Those are big things. They’re life-altering decisions that I’m not really dwelling on. Those things were much more complicated.

These? They’re more…simple…I guess. And I still regret them.

Simple Regret #1: The Corvette (non)incident

One weekend while at Milligan, my roommate’s parents were in town. You remember my roommate, right? Matt – aka Little Matt. He’s the guy who made us sit together on that one fateful Valentine’s Day evening oh so long ago.

Anyway, his parents were in town for the weekend. Through some kind of perk with his company, Mr. Good was able to drive a Corvette for his own personal use for a while. He brought it down to Milligan for the visit.

I don’t remember why I was in the car with them or where we were going, but I do remember Mr. Good pulling over to the side of the road. He put the car into park and turned around to say something to me.

“You want to take it for a quick drive?” he asked me.

I was shocked. I had a split second to make a decision. I didn’t know what to do.

So I said no.

I.said.no.

A college kid turned down an opportunity to drive a ‘Vette through the mountains of Tennessee. Are you kidding me? What was I thinking?

I had a headache that afternoon. So that was my reason. And while I understand that, it was a pretty lame excuse. Don’t you think?

I’m still kicking myself over that decision. It doesn’t really matter if I have other opportunities to drive a sports car like that. I still passed this one up like a bonehead.

Simple Regret #2: “Houston, we have a problem”

Remember when the space shuttle program was retired? I do. Because I passed up the opportunity to watch a shuttle land for the last time. Ever.

If you’re a longtime reader of this site (thank you for sticking with me, by the way), you might remember how I struggled with this decision quite a bit. I had some work-related responsibilities that I probably could’ve rearranged if I had pushed hard enough. In retrospect, I probably should’ve moved heaven and earth so I could go.

After all, they wound up firing me a few months later anyway.

When I mentioned this decision to Aiden a few weeks ago, he looked me in the eye and said, “What were you thinking, Dad?”

I’ve been asking myself the same thing ever since I skipped out on the landing.

What was I thinking?

Regret #3: “Go go go Matty…er…JOSEPH…”

The Spring musical during my senior year of high school was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. In the weeks leading up to opening night, it was decided that they needed some more guys to join the cast. An call was sent far and wide throughout the hallowed halls of Harry High.

I could’ve auditioned. Most of my friends were already in the musical – either in the orchestra or up on stage. It would’ve been fun. I already knew all of the songs. I had been listening to the soundtrack nonstop for at least a month. Maybe longer. I wouldn’t have had to dance, really. And that was a good thing. You really, really don’t want to see me try to dance. They just needed more able bodies to be an Egyptian guard or one of Jacob’s sons, or some other extra up on stage.

I didn’t do it. I didn’t even express any hint of interest at all.

There’s an amazing feeling when you connect with an audience while you’re performing. I’ve had it happen while playing my tuba. I have no doubt there would’ve been a similar feeling while standing on stage during my senior year of high school. And it would’ve been pretty special to have shared that experience with my friends who were already in the musical.

But I didn’t.

And I still don’t know why I didn’t even bother to try.

I think that’s what bugs me more than anything else. I didn’t even try.

Get your story off your chest.

What decisions have you made that you still kick yourself over? What makes you stay awake at night wondering what might have been? Sharing those stories can be therapeutic. But don’t life solely in the past. Learn from those missed opportunities and keep moving forward. Because we cannot change the things that happened in the past. We can only influence things that happen today. Let’s make today better than yesterday.

What are you doing to make your life better today?

 

1993? That was SO long ago

Seeger Chapel at Milligan College

As I’m sure you already know, the Hoosiers are Big Ten CHAMPS. And they aren’t sharing the title with anyone like they did back in 2002. This is the first time they’ve won a regular season title outright since 1993.

That was such a long time ago. But it was a very pivotal year for me.

Senior Picture
As I’ve mentioned before, Scott and Corri Brooks have a special role in my story because they were willing to invest time and energy into me as they continued to speak Truth into my life. They’re also a very crazy couple. Who in their right minds would think it would be fun to take a group of high schoolers into their homes every Wednesday evening? Who in their right minds would think it would be fun to take a group of high schoolers eight-ish hours away into the hills of Tennessee to visit their alma mater? I can’t think of many people who would honestly think of that as a good time.

Scott and Corri did.

OK…maybe they didn’t necessarily call it “fun”…but they did it. And that changed my life.

When we arrived at Milligan, we got a tour of the campus. I don’t remember how, but I came away with a free Milligan Buffaloes bandanna (and I didn’t even have to use twitter to win)!

After our tour, we went into the dorms to meet our hosts for the evening. I don’t know where the girls went, but the guys got to crash at Webb Hall. As we were dropping our sleeping bags and suitcases on the dorm room floor, I heard one of the guys we were staying with say to our campus guide, “We were thinking about taking them to Cheers.” Then he looked at us and said, “You guys want to go to Cheers with us?”

Remember, this was 1993. Everyone knew what Cheers was. It was where everybody knows your name.

It was also a bar.

“Um…” we said….”Sure?”

The next thing I knew, we were piling into a Webb resident’s car and heading off to the place where everybody knows your name. I must admit, I was pretty nervous. “What if they ask for ID? How are they going to let me in?” I thought to myself “And….what about the drinks? They’re not really going to offer me anything are they? I mean….this is a Christian college.”

Some of you might be rolling your eyes. That’s OK. I was pretty sheltered. By choice. I had access to alcohol in high school. I just chose to stay away from it. And I have no regrets. That’s why this was such a big deal.

My hands were shaking. I didn’t want to get busted. I couldn’t imagine having to try to call my dad and explain to him how I needed him to bail me out all the way down in Tennessee. That was going to be an unpleasant conversation, to say the least. But I also didn’t want to offend my hosts. After all, I was staying with them for the weekend.

We pulled into the parking lot and I wondered what was going to happen next. I checked my wallet. Yep. It still said I was under 21. This wasn’t going to end well. We met a carload of girls and started walking into Cheers. My hands were sweating. I tried to remain calm. I tried to find an “out.” I had no idea what they were going to do or how to sneak the whole lot of us in without someone questioning our age.

You have no idea how relieved I was when I found out that the Cheers in Johnson City, Tennessee, was merely a family restaurant with amazing cheesesticks.

A good, clean time was had by all.
My first visit to Milligan College

Then I had a good fall.

After an amazing weekend on an amazing campus, it was time to leave. Scott and Corri parked their van with the girls already loaded and ready to go. I was the last one to throw my luggage in the back of the van. As I closed the liftgate, I slipped in a puddle and got mud all over my jeans.

“Did you hurt anything?” Scott asked, trying not to fall over in laughter.

“No,” I replied. “Only my pride.”

And my pride was, indeed, wounded. You see, there was a girl on that van. I had been trying to impress her during the whole trip. Slipping and falling right in front of her definitely didn’t help matters, although I did manage to get her to go to prom with me. Kinda.

To add insult to injury, we listened to the IU game on the way home. They lost. To Kansas. In the tournament. Calbert Cheaney’s collegiate career was over. I was devastated. Let’s just say that I’m not hoping for a repeat of that game.

Fortunately, I had just discovered my new home. I knew I would be returning to Milligan as a student someday. I never really gave any other college a serious look. It was clear: I was going to be a Milligan Buffalo.

That trip was 20 years ago this month.

That was a long time ago. Or was it?

This is INDIANA (you have to watch these kids!)

I’m honestly not the biggest fan of This is Indiana, the unofficial IU video that went viral a few years ago. I just don’t like the song. That being said, I LOVE this video made by a class of third graders from Cold Spring Environmental Magnet School. Great job, kids!

I especially like the part where they share their dreams. Keep dreaming big, kids! And we’ll see you in 2022.

Speaking of IU…

Let’s go, Hoosiers! Beat Michigan tomorrow!