Lessons Learned from London and Paris

There are so many moments we took from this trip and I hope that each and every one of you reading this will get the chance to take a trip with your family like this one day soon. It really was better than I imagined it would be.

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When you take a trip like my family just did, you remember all the sights and sounds, but you look back and really learn from the time you spent together.

There were so many symbolic sights that I was able to learn from, and my family learned a lot too.

In my last post, I shared a lot of our time in London, England at the Olympics and told you about our visit to Paris, France after that. I hope you enjoyed that video, but I wanted to share a bit more today.

Keep reading, but check out this new video too! Be sure to leave comments; I love hearing from you.

If you are in Paris, you pretty much have to visit The Louvre … or so I’m told. They’ve got probably a billion dollars worth of artwork and pictures just don’t do it justice.

I wanted to share just a couple of examples that are etched in my mind forever after our trip.

There was this statue of a lion trying to bring down this man and it was massive. I was looking at it with my son, Spencer and I was able to use this statue to talk to him about how life is like this statue sometimes. People are going to try to bring you down at times, and at times bad things are going to happen. That’s just life. The key is how you react and how you handle those tough times that will separate you from the masses. You can’t let one person or one event define how your life plays out.

Being able to talk to Spencer about that in that setting was awesome.

Another super cool moment was during the Olympics, we got to watch the women’s gymnastics team win the gold medal for the U.S. We were sitting there cheering them on, but my daughter, Haleigh pointed out to me that once we knew they won we got to hear “our anthem.” It reminded me of how proud I am to be an American. It also reminded of how lucky I am to be an American. By the grace of God, I was born in a country where we encourage people to dream big and chase those dreams. Freedom!

I can’t express to you how amazing it was to see our flag raised and hear our anthem while our athletes were on top of the podium. They made the sacrifice, the extra effort and it paid off for them. When you do that and win, it changes everything. They set the example, inspired my children and inspired me. I came back wanting to do more, wanting to be better and I’m thankful I got to watch their big moment in front of the world.

Another moment that I’ll cherish is when we went to eat dinner at the Eiffel Tower in Paris on the last night of our trip. The Eiffel Tower was lit up and seeing my wife, Jane’s face when she saw it was incredible. I couldn’t help but think about all the things we’ve been through in the last 25 years. She’s always stood by me, she’s sacrificed for her family, did whatever she had to do to make things work. All those things we’ve been through have been worth it because of moments like this. Seeing her smile and have fun with her family atop the Eiffel Tower was a once-in-a-lifetime moment for me. That might have been the highlight of the whole trip for me. I know she will never forget it and I won’t either. That was a big deal for me.

There are so many moments we took from this trip and I hope that each and every one of you reading this will get the chance to take a trip with your family like this one day soon. It really was better than I imagined it would be.

Keep dreaming big. Chase your dreams. Don’t let that lion pull you down. Keep pushing and work hard. Inspire others and enjoy the ride.

I promise it is worth it when you get to share it with those you love most.


  1. Jim Wade Direct to Brent Abernathy
    Jim Wade Direct to Brent Abernathy
    August 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Andy, Thank you for laying you heart out and allowing me to see the genuin/REAL person and leader you are. I aspire to be like you. God Bless you and your family.

  2. Odie Anderson
    Odie Anderson
    August 21, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Hey Andy, although I get lost in my work OFTEN the reason it’s so important to me is I want to have those special moments, with my family. Having the opportunity, time and money to put a smile on the faces of my family is worth the fight. I appreciate your transparency and the way you shared your heart with us ALL. I don’t take it lightly and will work to emulate it. Thank you, for keeping the main thing, the main thing!

  3. Lorraine Smith
    Lorraine Smith
    August 23, 2012 at 11:27 am

    This is the most moving video I have ever watched. No reality show can top the real reality of life, love and happiness along with the freedom that comes from hard work. This moved me to tears for you are able to make one feel the love and bond you have to family. The lessons your children learn and the rewards they receive from their sacrifices they make so you can do your job as provider and head of the house are enormous.

    Even the small glimpses of their faces show that the family bond that you all share is sewn up on all corners. There is no way someone from the outside can break it and even bending it will be hard.

    The memories you all have from this trip as in all trips will be talked about for the rest of your lives. Over time you all will remember so many details that is covered temporarily from the biggest events. It will always be like reliving this trip over again and again with more details than any of you thought you would remember.
    You and your family are the greatest mentors anyone could ever hope for in their life time.

    Have fun planning your next get away. Glad to have you all back home where you can rest a bit and help us all meet goals like yours of our choosing. Thank you and your family for sharing your trip with us.

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