And this is a blog dedicated to Mississippi Workers' Compensation
It has been over a year since I fired up the blogging machine, though the dates are not completely coincidental. Covid-19 has impacted everyone, whether it be through the loss of loved ones, financial impacts, mental stress, or even simply the loss of normalcy. I know I took for granted my normal routine, and I missed the mundane. Some of your lives have been impacted by Covid-19 in ways I cannot imagine, and my heart goes out to those of you who lost a loved one, in particular.
I would like to start off by saying Happy New Year, but I think it is too late into the year for that at this point. The year is already off and running, bringing with it the cold and rainy weather which traditionally follows January in Mississippi. While I thoroughly enjoyed the holiday season, I am always happy to get the tree taken down (we are now a fake tree family) and get the kids back in a routine.
Like many of you, I rarely take the time to sit back and appreciate things like I should. It is not until tragedy strikes that I take the time to count my blessings. Growing up in the 90s, my sports fandom from a basketball standpoint included the middle to end of the Jordan era, but I saw Kobe Bryant’s entire career. His tragic passing on Sunday was one that hit closer to home than others have in the past for me. I enjoyed watching him play, and while he certainly had his flaws personally, like many of us, his life post-basketball life is where he seemed happiest. After retirement, Kobe had essentially left the game of basketball until his young daughter, Gigi Bryant, became an avid player and fan. Kobe took her interest up as his own and became actively involved as a parent and coach.
Summer is finally over and Fall (Summer 2.0) is finally upon us here in Mississippi. Hopefully by the time Ole Miss is mathematically eliminated from bowl eligibility in football, it will finally feel like football season. Despite record high temperatures, it was an enjoyable Summer for our family, but it is nice to be back in the groove of things with school. Charlotte is back dancing and tumbling, while Sawyer is playing soccer, is involved in “ninja class” at school, and has recently taken on a now-nightly routine of howling at the moon before bed every night....
Summer is officially here, and for those of you living in Mississippi, it could be argued it started well before June. Sports are almost non-existent now and people are taking summer vacations. My little guy finished up his first year of t-ball which I helped coach. I had him batting left-handed all year and he did fine, but since the season ended, he’s been practicing right-handed, which is clearly the correct side for him. My future in coaching is clearly off to a slow start. Meanwhile, our princess recently had her dance recital, so we are slowing down from an activity standpoint until school gets started back.
For those of you who attended the MWCEA Conference in Biloxi, I hope the educational conference was of benefit to you. I had a chance to speak with many of you, several who told me they read the blog, and I always enjoy getting a chance to see those of you in the industry. Life is hectic these days and it is always good to have a chance to speak with the people I work alongside in a more relaxed environment. If you have not attended the educational conference before, I strongly urge you to plan to do so in 2020. Reach out to me if you have questions.
For those of you who were able to make our Markow Walker Seminar on February 13, we were glad to have you. It was a tremendous turnout (70+ representatives from both employers and carriers), and besides the in-firm speakers, we had Dr. Chad Hosemann of Capital Orthopedics, Ty Pennington of Rehabilitation, Inc. and Megan Garrott, Esq. (Senior Staff Counsel) from the Commission. For 2020 (Wow, it’s hard to believe that is next year. I expected flying cars by 2020.), if any of you have recommendations for speakers, please let us know as we are always looking to add to our lineup with speakers that our clients want to hear from.
Is it too late in the year already to say that? Oh well, Happy New Year. A lot has happened since my last blog, including the holiday season. As many of you know, I have a 3 year old son (Sawyer) and a 2 year old daughter (Charlotte), so the Christmas holidays were a blast at my house. Santa made his annual appearance at the Hawkins’ residence with a bag full of toys, despite the amount of times we weaponized Santa against the kids to behave throughout December!
While we enjoyed the holiday season, it can be a loooong break. As a kid, my dad was a catfish farmer. Sort of like my profession, I have the ability to work my own schedule, but am never really “off the clock”. When the kids were around the house too long, my dad would always leave to go “run birds”, as he would say. Essentially, he would shoot birds from the ponds trying to eat the fish. While it was a necessary part of the job at times, now that I am a dad and have young kids, I am quickly realizing he was just getting away from us for breaks. In hindsight, I can’t blame him. I love my wife and kids more than anything, but I was glad to get back in the swing of things with work and a schedule. Many of you can relate, I know!
This was the first year we actually went trick-or-treating with our kids, as they are 2 and 3. Sawyer went as Dash Incredible (The Incredibles), Charlotte went as some version of Poppy (Trolls), I went as Mr. Incredible (bonus costume to follow) and my wife went as herself, “mommy”, AKA my beautiful wife. Daddy gets to be silly and eat chocolate all night while mommy makes sure the kids don’t get sick eating too much candy and still take a bath before bed. Some of you can relate!
We rode through our neighborhood on the golf cart, going door to door, while I secretly hoped the kids would get the Halloween edition of the pumpkin Reese’s at each stop. I have no idea why they are so much better than the normal version, but I can eat my weight in them. Nonetheless, Sawyer would do most of the talking when someone actually answered the doorbell, but if candy was left unattended, Charlotte felt as though all the pieces were there especially for her. After filling both of their baskets with candy, Sawyer finally insisted we go home “to eat it all”. We still haven’t eaten it all, but I certainly gave it my best effort. Below are random pictures and a short video from our various Halloween adventures and parties.
School is back in full swing and it is officially Fall (though you would not know it from the 90 degree temps). My son (Sawyer) just started 3K, while the little one (Charlotte) is in 2K. It’s funny watching how fast they learn at this age. Sawyer is learning to draw numbers and letters while Charlotte now has the words and actions down to Baby Shark. Speaking of, that song/video has over 1.7 BILLION views on YouTube. While we are all grinding away at our desk jobs, some rich person is laughing all the way to the bank over a kid’s song that now just makes fun of the Ole Miss defense. Oh well.
In addition to Baby Shark, my family is eaten up with The Incredibles, and by my family, I mean Sawyer. For those of you unfamiliar, The Incredibles is a movie about a family of super heroes who have been cast as villains by society. Sawyer is Dash, the son in the movie, and I, obviously, am Mr. Incredible, the dad. Several weeks ago, The Incredibles 2 came to theaters, and Sawyer could not contain his excitement to see it. I decided to take him one Saturday while my wife and daughter had a girl’s night. Below is picture evidence of our adventure.
While the unrelenting heat is no indicator, the summer is slowly winding down and school will be back in session in no time. Considering my children are in day care throughout the year, kids going back to school to me only means more traffic for my morning commute. However, I am sure many of you are excited to send your kids back to school and restore some order in your homes.
We are back from our summer vacation. My wife and I took our kids to Orange Beach for a few days, which was much needed. I also needed a vacation from the vacation. As most of you know, I have a 3 year old son (Sawyer) and a 2 year old daughter (Charlotte). Irish twins, as some say. Anyway, as a family growing up, we took our vacation in the winter as my dad was a farmer and his work was too busy for us to take a summer vacation each year. When I would go to the beach with friends, I would constantly see families together building sand castles and burying one another, all while the dads drank beer. At least that was what I thought was going on.
Attorney with Markow Walker in Ridgeland, MS