5 Random Thoughts On…

My blog I've ignored for 2 years while attending the Brandcenter

100th Post!

I wanted to mark my 100th post on 5RTO.com with a walk down memory lane and talk about how this site came to be.

First a little backstory.

My wife is beautiful. Not only in appearance but her soul. I know if more people looked at the world the way she does there would be less hunger, less pain and it would be overflowing with cupcakes. Her motto of “Go big or go home” can be seen in everything she does from the parties she throws to helping complete strangers everywhere all the time. She demonstrated this most recently when by traveling to Zambia to work with a nonprofit – Special Hope Network.

I was a tad apprehensive about her leaving for a couple of reasons. The one I said out loud was that she would be traveling to the middle of Africa, alone and bringing with her five large plastic totes of supplies for Special Hope. It was going to be a long rough trip, and I was nervous for her. Inside my head though I was worried about being left alone with the boys for two weeks. How would they do without her? How will they react when she’s not there the following morning? And most importantly how will I be without her?

You can get a taste of my anxiety with the first of a series of Facebook status updates that chronicled our adventure.


A couple of weeks after this post I dropped Mary and her huge plastic totes off at the airport. We decided that it would be better to not go to the airport to see her off. We figured that a long, sad walk back to the car with the boys would not be the best way to start our adventure. Instead, we opted for the Band-Aid approach where I pulled up in the minivan in front of Ethiopian Airlines, dumped out Mary and the totes and gassed it before the boys could fully process what was going on.


With Mary in the air on her way to Zambia, I finished off my first-day solo with the kids. It was a long day that had some bumps, but we survived. After I put them to bed, I sat down and wrote down my first ‘Random observations’ from the day.


A couple of days later we had a bad day. First, every time I woke my oldest up for daycare he became more and more incredulous. He couldn’t believe I was going to wake him up EVERY DAY. He would just shoot me a glare of “are you kidding me?” The second blow to morale was discovering that McDonald’s discontinued their Sausage McSkillet Burrito. That hurt me. Hurt me bad. Virginia lacks in the breakfast burrito realm, and the McDonald’s Sausage McSkillet was a cheap, easy substitute that I could grab anywhere. This particular morning I needed it more than usual. I don’t think I handled the news well.


The next day I sat down to compose a new set of “Random Thoughts.” This one was more upbeat. By now we have settled into a rhythm (and my mom started showing up every night to help with dinner and bathe the boys) plus it looks like I started drinking in bed around this time.


Then I had one of those curveball moments that makes me think there is a higher power at work….and that it’s fucking with me.


In hopes of slowing down the constant question of “When’s mommy coming home?” from my three-year-old, I drew a calendar on the chalkboard in our kitchen. I thought this would help him. He could cross off a square each night so he knew when she would return. Of course right after I made this I discovered that a three-year-old doesn’t have a firm grasp of the whole concept of “time.”


This was the final post of my adventure with the boys while Mary was in Zambia. After nearly two weeks I gained an incredible amount of respect for all the single parents out there. You do this every day, and I hope you know how amazing you are.


At the airport picking her up after a long, long flight. I think she slept for two days after we got her home. It was a well-deserved rest.

And no, despite what this picture looks like I am not texting during our family hug.

And no, despite what this picture looks like I am not texting during our family hug.

And no, despite what this picture looks like I am not texting during our family hug.
I started this site after Mary returned with the sole purpose of just writing every day (or as much as possible). I did this because I have always enjoyed writing and making people laugh. The feedback I received was tremendous and gave me the courage to branch out from snarky one-liners on Twitter or small paragraph Facebook posts. I just wanted to say to everyone that reads, comments, shares, likes (or dislikes and doesn’t tell me) anything I have posted in the last six months – Thank you.

I have loved working on this site and will no doubt continue to get plenty of inspiration from my kids, or my Saint of a wife.


You can read about Mary’s adventure on her Facebook page Mary Goes To Zambia. She’s going back in a year, and a half so stay tuned!

Also, please take a look at Special Hope Network. This is the organization that she went to work with and they are doing some amazing things. It is an organization that we believe in and support.


2 comments on “100th Post!

  1. elizabethmarieb
    February 27, 2014

    I love reading your blog, Ray, so thanks for keeping it up. And, thanks for all you BOTH do for Special Hope. You guys are the best.

    • raytolbert
      February 27, 2014

      Thanks Beth! But I’m not going to stop destroying you in Words With Friends.

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This entry was posted on February 26, 2014 by in Uncategorized.
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