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A Day in the Life of Neil Foster

2:18AM I’m tossing and turning — I can’t get comfortable. It must be stress, or this new memory foam mattress. Does it really matter? I can’t get back to sleep.

5AM The alarm goes off, finally. Even though I’ve been awake for three hours, the sound still cuts through me like a knife. Michelle, my wife, runs her fingers over the nightstand until she stumbles upon the snooze button.

5:15AM The alarm goes off, again. Michelle immediately gets out of bed to make coffee. I play possum.

5:38AM My possum routine has expired. Michelle reminds me that TAKS testing is today for two of our boys. So I get up to prepare a healthy breakfast that only a true Texan can appreciate: Scrambled eggs, sausage, gravy and biscuits.

6:26AM Lights on in the boys’ rooms. I use my drill sergeant voice to wake them up. I have few pleasures. This is one of them. Grumbling every step of the way, they head for the kitchen.

6:35AM Breakfast time. The boys help themselves to seconds.

6:52AM I clean up the kitchen while the boys get dressed. Colin complains about the clothes my wife picked out. Harrison starts teasing Carter. It’s a usual morning at the Foster hacienda.

7:08AM After showering, I rush to my iPhone to check the work schedule … this greatly dictates my wardrobe selection. To denim or not to denim? That is the question.

7:10AM Michelle, Carter and Colin head out. (My wife’s the art teacher at their school.)

7:28AM I drop off Harrison and head to work.

8:18AM My dad calls to chat. It’s the only time of the day that he has a shot at reaching me.

8:45AM I pull into the parking garage at work, go up the elevator and immediately head for the coffee machine.

8:54AM Time to catch up on e-mails.

9:15AM-12:35PM I jump from four consecutive meetings.

12:35PM I heat up leftovers and go back to my office to catch up on more e-mails.

1:15PM A break is needed … so, I book travel arrangements for a new business pitch meeting.

1:45PM I call to schedule a haircut. My head’s looking way too shaggy.

2:05PM Another meeting.

2:35PM I stop by my co-worker Pat’s office for small talk. He’s one of the few people who share my warped sense of humor.

3PM My team presents new creative concepts to a client. We nail it! When the client’s happy, I’m happy. (What a great way to finish out the afternoon.)

5:15PM Again, I catch up on e-mails and text messages from my wife. The kids all had to get their teeth cleaned after school. With three boys, we utilize the assembly-line approach on everything.

6PM Race out of the parking garage to see if I can catch the last of Carter’s baseball practice. All three of my boys play sports — this makes scheduling really fun for my wife and me. We usually have practices three times a week, and games are typically on Saturdays. We have to split up most of the time. We also have to rely on some of the other parents to help us out when there are conflicts or when I’m out of town.

6:48PM I arrive just in time to watch Carter bat.

7:18PM Even though I prefer cooking (yes, I’m man enough to admit that I do the cooking), it’s too late now. We decide to grab sandwiches on the way home. I like to experiment and cook all types of food. My kids aren’t picky eaters. But I would have to say they like Asian the best. When we do go out to dinner, they’d rather go to a sushi bar than McDonalds. I like their adventurous taste in food, but it gets expensive. That’s a big reason why we cook at home so much.

7:52PM The kids start working on their homework. I read with Colin while Michelle works with Harrison on math. I suck at math.

8:30PM Shower time! One boy in each of our house’s bathrooms.

9PM And … bedtime — the most anticipated time of the day. Getting three boys to brush their teeth and into their beds is no easy feat, trust me.

9:06PM Michelle and I go to our room, get ready for bed, turn on the 9 o’clock news (we can’t make it till 10) and chat about the day.

9:23PM Michelle is asleep. I flip channels, wondering how in the world I could get anything done without her. She runs the home operation. And she runs it well.

9:53PM ESPN still on. I’m out.