It’s time to make Life in the Fishbowl great again!

Make Life in the Fishbowl Great Again

This might be ill-advised, but I have a confession to make. This wasn’t intentional. And I’m sure it’s a pretty common occurrence. But it’s still something I need to confess.

I lost my voice.

I’ve spent so much time worrying about how many facebook likes my page has, how many clicks an affiliate link received, and how many people sign up for my email newsletter that I had kind of lost sight of why I even write on here to begin with. Don’t get me wrong. All of those things are important. I’m still working on building a community through the facebook page (although facebook is making it even more difficult…again) . By the way, if you haven’t “liked” that page – what are you waiting for? Go ahead. Like it. I’ll wait until you’re done. I think working with brands is important. And I’d still really like it if you subscribed to my email list.

I still think the email list is important, especially since FaceGooglebookTwitterGram can change the rules at any moment (and they do). So…why not go ahead and sign up for that, too?



But in the midst of all of this peripheral stuff, I feel like I might have lost my way just a little bit. I lost my voice. But I think I’ve found it again. So I’ve decided that it’s time.

It’s time to keep the main thing the main thing. I’ve been a storyteller all of my life. And that’s what I’m going to keep doing here. I’m going to tell stories.

It’s time to return to sharing my heart and my passion. I want to do big things. I want you to do big things. Live life big. Because it behooves us to live, right? So if even a little tiny part of this space helps inspire you to make a difference in your own life, the lives of those closest to you, or the lives of others around the world (and making a few memories along the way), that’s a huge win in my book. And since it’s my site, we’re playing by my rules from my book.

Will I still be publishing sponsored posts? Absolutely. I love working with brands and I really enjoy participating in their campaigns. In fact, I have a sponsored post coming up in about two weeks that I think you’re going to love. It was a lot of fun to put together. Will I ever be able to make a living off of sponsored posts and other brand partnerships? Probably not. And I’m quite OK with that.

It’s time. Now is the time.

It’s time to throw off the chains of whatever was holding me back. It’s time to keep improving and making this site the best that it can be, pursuing excellence with renewed vigor. It’s time to write about what I love more than writing about what I think I should be writing about because everyone else is writing about it. It’s time to use my voice again. It’s time to stand out and do something different.

It’s time to make Life in the Fishbowl great again!

Maybe I should put that saying on some buttons and pass them out. I could include the hashtag #ImWithMattdantodd.

I think this is a change we can all believe in. Are you with me? Let’s do something great together!

 

So what shall I do with @Just_Matt_?

No straight lines make up my life; And all my roads have bends; There's no clear-cut beginnings; And so far no dead-ends. Harry Chapin, All My Life's a Circle

One year ago today, I received an email from the HR Director, asking if I wouldn’t mind stopping by her office for a little “chat.” I knew what that meant. It was early Tuesday morning and very few people had arrived in the office yet. I knew exactly what that meant.

Less than an hour later, I was walking out to my car to get a box so I could gather up my belongings. It wasn’t a surprise, really. It had happened to a lot of people in recent weeks. In fact, I was starting to see a bit of a pattern. But it still left me a little disoriented.

I had just been fired.

I can say all I want about how this was a blessing in disguise and that I’m better off now than I was then. Those statements are true. And I probably said those exact things to people that day. Because I believed them. But this was still a rather significant change in direction for our family. And can I just say that this couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time?

A week before this event, we moved into a new rental.

A week before that, we had purchased a new (to us) van.

Two days after I was fired, Christy’s teaching job lost funding.

The day after that was the one-year anniversary of Dave’s passing.

Emotionally? I don’t know if there could’ve been a worse time for this to happen. There was all this excitement about new things like the adoption and the van. That excitement was mixed with sorrow and uncertainty as we didn’t exactly know where this road was going to take us. It’s kind of tough to know what’s happening next when both family members lose their jobs in the same week.

Of course, there never really is a good time to get canned. Is there?

Anyway, I promise I’m in a better place. Of course, I miss some of my former teammates. But I really do love my new jobs. And pretty much everything about my life is in a better place. A much better place.  So I’m not really carrying any emotional baggage like I did back when we moved to Greenwood.

Back when I was guest-posting and doing other digital promotion for my former employer, I had created a second twitter account. Y’all already know about @mattdantodd. Right? And y’all are already following me. Right? If you aren’t, you can go ahead and click on over there and do that. I’ll wait.

I promise. I’m waiting.

Done?

Good.

You might have known about @mattdantodd. But I’ll bet you didn’t know about @Just_Matt_. Well, now you do. And I’m looking for some input about what to do with this account. You see, @Just_Matt_ has kind of lost his way. I’d love to help him find his way back on track. There’s no need for him to end at a dead end. Is there?

So on this, the one year anniversary of my life taking an unexpected turn, I’d like to know what you think I should do with @Just_Matt_. Should I primarily promote this blog through him? I kind of do that already through my main twitter account. I’m really not sure what to do with him at the moment. But I’m open to suggestions. Actually, this is me begging for suggestions.

What should I do with this twitter account?

I could try to bribe you by saying the winning suggestion will get some awesome prize. But I really don’t have an awesome prize to give away. All of our extra money is tied up in adoption expenses right now. Remember?

I’ll figure something out. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your suggestions!

Oh, and that quote at the top of this post? Here’s the rest of the song. I think it’s kind of fitting for today. Don’t you?

It’s hot. And you need a cool #TwitterTuesday

TwitterTuesday

Yeah. You have to read the entire thread to get full glory of the tweet.

Speaking of cups….let’s take a moment and listen to the original Cups Song…

I know. It’s way too early for a musical interlude. But it was totally worth it.

Time to press on into cool #TwitterTuesday awesomeness (because it’s hot, Don!*)

My evil plan is working. Soon I will take over the world…mwahahaha

One of the many, many reasons tubas rock.

Nothing more to say about that.

Not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that I’m associated with Miley’s performance. It is what it is, I guess.

Thank you, Dr. King. Thank you.

Then the Hoosiers did this…

Unfortunately, this past Saturday was a different story. But that’s another post. An entirely different post.

I love my co-workers.

Yet again, Los knocked it out of the park.

So….what are you dreaming about? What God-sized dream has He given you?

Yeah. The crowd was electric. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Gonna recap that in another post. Probably tomorrow.

SO EXCITED about Indy Pop Con!

Thanks for checking in to this installment of #TwitterTuesday! Tune in next time where I might just include your tweet. Unless you aren’t on twitter. Then I won’t. Because I can’t. So maybe you should just get on twitter and follow me.

Whaddya say?

*If you have any connection to Evansville at all, you want to click that link. Trust me.

#TwitterTuesday: The Empire Tweets Back

It’s been a while – a looooooooonnng while – since my last #TwitterTuesday post. Sorry about that. Things have been rather insane and there were a few Tuesdays where I didn’t really feel it was appropriate to do a post like this. All that being said, I hope you enjoy nearly a month’s worth of my favorite tweets. And if you don’t enjoy them? That’s clearly your problem. 🙂


Ladies and gentlemen: my boss. She speaks truth.


Speaking of work….the office is clearly not the same without these three.


This pic made me smile. Still does.


Apparently, I’m Barnabas. Just so you know.


Best. book. idea. ever.


I see what they did there. Impressive. Most impressive.


Best of luck, Jordy!


I wish I had the time and talent to be able to pull off something like this. Well done, gentlemen.


Glad I’m not the only one who took so long to see it. Also glad it was such an enjoyable flick. Definitely one I’d watch again.


I blame Google. Seriously.

I know what you’re asking. Why a reference to Star Wars when none of the tweets are about Star Wars? I figure…why not?

Introducing a new feature: #TwitterTuesday!

twitterSo…I’ve decided to start sharing some of the tweets that I’ve favorited in recent days. Because…well….why not? I may or may not have stolen this idea from Pastor Daniel. But he’s stopped doing his favorite tweet posts so I think we’re all good.

Don’t expect this to become a feature every week, but expect #TwitterTuesday to make an appearance from time to time.

Enjoy.

You remember the video – right? Such a cool story!

…and all the people said, “A to the men!

You will be missed, Steven. In fact, you already are. Blessings on your new endeavor.

I do believe it can be said that Kahuna has, in fact, arrived.

Have you voted today? Why not? You can vote once per day per IP address and the voting ends this week! 

Go do it now! I’ll wait…

[still waiting….]

[waiting…]

Done? Good. Thank you so much!

I’m pretty sure she was showing off her boo-boo. We never found out how it happened, exactly. But we sure heard about it. All. week. long.

Thanks for sharing, Julie!

We made something similar. They were fabulous.

Agreed. Just reading this tweet makes me cringe.

https://twitter.com/TheRussian97/status/329781577519341568

My cousin speaks truth.

Dear Christy: Can we do this with our next family portrait?

Oh, Church Curmudgeon….you make me laugh. Probably because I have been in churches where I’ve heard people say very similar things. I don’t think I could’ve laughed then. I sure can now.

So excited for you and your family, Matt. Looking forward to seeing what God does through you and North Terrace Church of Christ!

“Reg-gie! Reg-gie! Reg-gie!”

Well, that’s all for today, kids. Keep your eyes peeled for the next installment of the trend that’s sure to be sweeping the nation very very soon: #TwitterTuesday!

Free lunch! Thanks, Jason’s Deli and #TuesdayTrivia!

Quarter Muffaletta and a Cup of Chicken Pot Pie Soup at Jason's Deli thanks to #TriviaTuesday

With that tweet, I won a gift card from Jason’s Deli. It took me several months of participating in the challenge, but I finally won!

It’s a beautifully ironic thing that my winning answer involved cucumbers.

I.
hate.
cucumbers.

OK. Maybe I hate cucumbers a little bit less now. After all, it’s because of cucumbers that I was able to have an amazing quarter muffaletta with a cup of chicken pot pie soup. It was amazing. And the sweet tea? Don’t even get me started on the sweet tea. Having lived in Upper East Tennessee, I’ve had my fair share of sweet tea. Jason’s Deli rivals the best of ’em!

Quarter Muffaletta and a Cup of Chicken Pot Pie Soup at Jason's Deli thanks to #TriviaTuesday

If you aren’t following them and participating in #TuesdayTrivia, then you really should. Who knows? Maybe you’ll win the next gift card. Go ahead and follow Jason’s Deli on twitter, too.

And while you’re at it, give me a follow. You never know what I might help you win. 😉

 I’m and I approve this message.

Guest Post: Bald is Mostly Beautiful by @BGKahuna

Recently, Matt asked me to write a blog post for his site. Since I was on the treadmill, I figured what a great time to compose this post. Being my first guest blog post, I wasn’t sure what to write, so I asked Matt.

He told me that I could write a letter to his wife on why she should go bald. I am not sure if this is a good idea. Partly because I have absolutely no idea what her head looks like. Head shape is a big factor to consider. If you have a lumpy head or odd-shaped head, it does not work that well. Me, I have some deep fat lines uses and because I can’t hit them with a razor, they look like racing stripes. I like to tell people that I am a tiger bald.

Another factor to weigh is how much your wife likes her hair. If she likes it a lot, bald may not be her thing. On a plus note, to will spend a lot less money on hair products. My hair air product costs have been reduced dramatically. To almost zero.  If you do decide to join our club, please donate your hair to locks of love.

Another awesome factor is that people will see your bald wife and totally think she is hard-core. When people see me and my gnarley fu manchu, they either stop and stare because I’m hard-core or because I look funny. I am starting to think it is because I look funny.

Dude, I just re-read your Twitter DM. I thought you wanted me to write a post about your wife becoming a bald. You wanted me to write an open letter to her on why you should shave your head. You should totally do it. Although, you picked the wrong time of year to join the club. Going into winter is the worst time to do this. Let me tell you this, cold rain totally sucks. Also, if a situation gets rough, the big, bald guy is usually the one people look at to go over and look intimidating.

Good luck.

BgKahuna

Court Jester of All Social Media

**As I mentioned earlier, this week is pretty crazy with the move and garage sale right around the corner. So I’ve asked a few people to fill in for me while I’m preoccupied with other things.

Thanks, Kahuna, for writing this – I think!

I had originally planned on posting a picture of what Christy would look like bald. I decided that I don’t really like sleeping on the couch very much, so I’m going to post a picture of me with a  shaved head instead (courtesy of the good folks at Bic4Good). Maybe I need to re-think this whole thing…

Bald is beautiful. Thanks Bic4Good (http://www.bic4good.com)

If you’re interested in writing a guest post for me this week, feel free to shoot me a DM on the twitter machine.

– Matt

This isn’t a Pity Party. I Don’t Want Your Pity

I promise.

This isn’t a post to try to get you to feel sorry for me.

This isn’t a post to present myself as a martyr.

This isn’t a post that’s shouting out “Woe is me! Look at how much craziness is going on! Please feel pity on me!”

This really isn’t a pity party that I’m throwing for myself. I just thought this picture was pretty hilarious.

No. That’s not why I’m writing this.

From the beginning of this blog some eight years ago, I’ve tried to be as transparent and authentic as possible. That’s just how things happen on Life in the Fishbowl. I haven’t held back when talking about death. I haven’t held back when talking about our church transition. I haven’t held back in discussing my struggles as a student. I didn’t hold back during our adoption journey or when Mihret was  in the hospital or that scary night in the ER.

I guess I’m going back through all of this to say that maybe it isn’t really a surprise that I’m about to tell you that things are absolutely bonkers around here right now.

Shortly after moving into our house, we began to notice a musty smell that just wouldn’t go away in the downstairs bathroom. It kept getting worse as the year went on. To make a year-long story very short, someone finally listened to us and it was discovered that the walls downstairs are covered in mold.

That happened about two weeks ago.

We’ve found another apartment. The owner is letting us out of our lease. We move one week from today.

So, we’re packing at a furious rate, trying to make the most of every moment we have. Some people from our church small group are coming over this evening – at 9 p.m. See what I mean? Every. single. moment.

Those moments have been hard to come by since we put our deposit down on the apartment on Monday. This week was playoff time for Aiden’s football team. They earned a first-round bye and faced their first opponent Wednesday evening. We knew all week that if they beat that opponent, they’d have a rematch with the team they upset on Saturday:

Aiden’s Hokies did win on Wednesday. In triple overtime. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see it.

Monday morning, we received word that my step-grandpa, Dr. Bloss, died in a car crash. This was shocking news, to say the least. Kevin and I drove down to Evansville to be with family during the events surrounding Thursday’s funeral. Even though I sat through his funeral, I’m still rather shocked by the whole series of events. Of course my heart goes out to Grandma, who has had to bury another person who was very close to her, but my heart also goes out to his children and grandchildren. This week was so full of heartbreak for them and I pray they keep clinging to hope as they begin to pick up the pieces.

So Christy was texting me updates throughout the game. I did the best I could to contain myself. I was in a funeral home, after all.

As you already know, yesterday was Mihret’s birthday. So I wanted to get home as soon as I could to be with her. I also got to see the end of the Hokies’ rematch game with the team they beat Saturday. The result wasn’t nearly as happy. Hokies lost, 14-0. Their remarkable season had come to an end. I was so impressed with their coach and the way he made sure they left the field with their heads held high. They had a great season.

So now we’re purging and packing. I’ve already given away some 60-70% of my ministry library. Even if I wind up in a full-time ministry position, I’m pretty sure I won’t use those books again anyway. So why not let someone else use them? We’re planning on hosting a HUGE garage sale on Friday and maybe Saturday. During that time, we’ll also be moving into our new place. If you’re interested in buying any of our stuff and would like more information, don’t hesitate to hit me up on twitter! Please come buy our stuff! 😀

Whew. I’m kind of exhausted just writing all of that. But no time for that.

Time to keep purging and packing. And following Pat McAfee’s advice.


Let’s make the most of every opportunity we’ve been given! You never know what tomorrow will bring.

Aiden’s #ColtsStrong Summer and a Cody Zeller sighting

It has turned out to be quite the Summer Sports Spectacular for Aiden this year. Not only did he start playing football, but he also wound up going to three different Indianapolis Indians games (without having to buy a ticket – thanks to a friend of his, the Greenwood Public Library, and Slingshot SEO!). But that’s just the beginning…

Colts vs. Bengals preseason game

Ready for the Colts vs. Bengals preseason game August 30, 2012
Grown up a little bit from last year, huh?

At about 10:30 yesterday morning, Christy texted me, asking if I thought it would be a good idea for Aiden to go to last night’s Colts vs. Bengals preseason game. Her aunt had extra tickets and invited us to go. Things fell into place rather quickly and Aiden and I wound up spending the evening with some very good seats, taking in the final preseason game of the season. It was cool to get to watch Antoine Bethea play because…well….keep reading…

Antoine Bethea Colts Skills Camp

Aiden suited up and ready for the Antoine Bethea Colts Skills Camp
Ready to play!

I like to tell people that I get paid to surf the Internet. It’s much more complicated than that, but I’m online and perusing social profiles a lot. While doing my job, I came across a tweet from the Colts talking about open registration to the Antoine Bethea Colts Skills Camp. So we promptly signed Aiden up.

Antoine Bethea handing the ball off to Aiden Todd
Who’s that playing quarterback? Oh, that’s just Antoine Bethea. No big deal.

He was in heaven. He learned some skills that set the foundation for what he’s doing on the field now. And it was free! Can’t beat that. Plus, Mr. Bethea made some fans for life in the Todd household. He played around with the kids and really encouraged them. He ran some drills with them (as seen above), and showed some genuine interest in the kids who were there.

I should mention that Antoine Bethea retweeted this status. Yeah. That’s some pretty cool beans.

I couldn’t fit all of the pictures from the Skills Camp on this post, but if you’d like to see more of what went on, you’re welcome to view the album here!

Distinxion Basketball Camp

Aiden and Cody Zeller
Cody was nice enough to pose for a picture with Aiden. All the Zellers were class acts!

What else is there to say about Cody Zeller that hasn’t already been said? Same is true about his brother, Luke. He and his family run a basketball camp called Distinxion. Aiden got to go to that this Summer, too! There’s more details about his experience here.

2012 was most definitely a Summer Sports Spectacular for Aiden!

I’m already a little bit nervous about what might be in store for him next Summer.

Turning in my ‘Man Card’

Follow mattdantodd on Pinterest

During several sessions at Blog Indiana, it was highlighted how Pinterest is beneficial in promoting your brand. So, I took the leap and set up a few boards, just so I could experiment with it. I’m using it as a mixture of research for my job and shameless promotion of my blogs. I’m not entirely sold on it, but you’re welcome to follow my boards as I stumble through it, trying to figure out what on earth I’m doing. How’s that for salesmanship? 😀

I promise you won’t find any crafts or decorating ideas (unless they’re awesome Star Wars things…like the Han Solo in Carbonite Desk) on my Boards (or whatever they’re called). I also promise I won’t connect this board with my facebook page. It also won’t be connected to my twitter updates. That’s just too much crossing the streams, which would be bad.

Man Card REVOKED

You might say I need to hand in my Man Card because of this. That’s OK. I probably should’ve turned that card in a long time ago. That’s what happens when the guys in the house are outnumbered 3-2 (Sorry, Aiden! Maybe someday we’ll even the odds). So here….go ahead and take my card.

But while you’re taking my card, go ahead and click that little button below. I promise I won’t tell the other guys. It’ll be our little secret.
Follow Me on Pinterest