Sep 8, 2014 - No Comments

PSA Volume 3

To Whom It May Concern:

You may remember PSA Volume 1 or PSA Volume 2.  You know, where we announced to everyone that we were expecting you, and whether you were a boy or a girl.  We didn’t do a PSA for your birth.  Instead in that case, we let you write your own blog post.  Well, this, is PSA Volume 3.  The next chapter. Read more »

Aug 3, 2014 - No Comments

16 months going on 16

To Whom It May Concern:

Today we celebrated you.  It was your day.  Not that most days aren’t your day.  But today especially.  Sure, it’s your quarter birthday.  So now you can hold up 1 and 1/4 fingers when someone asks you how old you are.  Not that you do that already, but that’s pretty much the only big kid thing you aren’t into of late.  You had spent a few days at Grammy and Pops’ house this week, so Mom could go to a conference for work.  I would have kept you here with me, but I was having to go into work at 4AM, and that doesn’t work real well for getting you to the sitter’s house.  It was a long trip for you, in a rental car, a not as comfy car seat, to a strange room, with strange noises, different light patterns, and a variety of other things that kept you from sleeping like you, and somewhat acting like you.  I missed you and your mom terribly.  We video called a couple of times.  And you’d light up when we’d talk.  You wanted to show me the toys you’d been playing with.  We’d make funny faces at each other.  You’d blow me kisses, play peek-a-boo, and flash me your million dollar smile.

All in all, you had a great time with Grammy and Pops.  But it was clear that you were ready to return home, and get back into your routine.  You do function well, when we try to keep you scheduled.  But, when you and Mom came home on Saturday it was to be a short stay.  When you came home, you and I went grocery shopping.  You had a melt down while we were out, but grocery shopping with dad is something you get very excited to do.  When we came home, you played, ate, and took a nap.  As soon as your nap was over, we left to go a birthday party for one of your friends.  The party was just over an hour away.  So it was more car rides.  And it was really late when we got home, and you had stayed up the whole time.

So, to show you some fun, dedicated to you, we decided that we’d do what you liked today.  We typically do things you like, but today was going to be about the things that make you super excited.  So, you and mom went for a walk this morning while I got ready for church.  And, at church, you went into the nursery.  To many people that isn’t likely to be a fun thing for a toddler.  But, as soon as you see your nursery room, and the toys you anticipate playing with, there’s no keeping you back.  You’re pushing, jumping, squirming, whatever you can do to get in that room.  You had a lot of fun playing.  But when Mom came to get you after church, you were just as excited to see her and leave, as you were to get there in the first place.

We ate, we played, and took you to a park.  You went down the slides.  Went swinging.  And loved running across a wooden bridge over the creek.  You loved making the stomping noise as you’d cross.  As well as look at the rocks and water down below.  Today, we let you be you.  And enjoy all the things you wanted to enjoy.  And part of doing so, means you show us how you’re growing up.  Today, you did a few things that showed us how much you’re watching, learning, and growing.  Yeah, your pajamas have been getting tighter.  Sure, you indicated that you wanted to try to go potty on the potty.  Ok, your vocabulary is easily 30 or so words, increasing exponentially every week.  But today, you did a few additional things.  You at one point were playing with Mom’s keys.  You shook the key chain and ran to the door.  As you were running, you were fumbling with the keys, separated a key from the rest, and held it between your thumb and forefinger, trying to stick it in the door lock.  You even turned the key a few times.  One of the times you indicated you wanted to use the potty (false alarm), we washed your hands after we were done.  After drying off, you sat on the counter, opened up the container of cotton swabs, selected one, and proceeded to put it in your outer ear, and swipe it around your ear.  Your Mom and I don’t do this to you.  We rarely do this when you’re around.  But, you’ve learned exactly what they’re for, and how to do it.  We were impressed and astonished.  And third, last for today, but not least, involves tonight’s dinner.  Sunday at our house is typically leftover night.  Tonight was no different.  We didn’t have enough protein left to serve all 3 of us, so I quickly cooked up some sausages.  Not your average sausage.  A smoky chicken andouille sausage.  Andouille is typically seasoned well, and tends to be on the hot spicy side.  As you probably know by now, I love spicy foods.  And when things are on the lesser spicy side, I don’t taste them as hot at all.  Your Mom has a very sensitive palate to spicy, so I let her taste the sausage before I give it to you.  She said it was hot, but since you were excited to try it,we’d let your try it.  And you LOVED it.  I gave you a small piece.  You devoured it, and signed for more.  I brought you a few more pieces, and before I could get back to the counter to slice some more, you’d polished off what I brought, and were “peesing” for more.  You ended up eating an entire spicy hot sausage for dinner.

So how does ghost pepper salsa sound?

Love,

Dad

May 4, 2014 - No Comments

The Gospel According to Sesame Street

To Whom It May Concern:

Today, your mom and I are dedicating you at church.  Child dedication is a symbolic gesture where parents make a promise before God to do their best to raise you up that you may choose to follow in their faith as well.  Acts 16:31 says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.”  That isn’t a statement that my faith, or your mom’s faith, is enough to save everyone in our household from our own disbelief.  However, our choice to truly believe.  To really believe it.  To take the Word of God to heart.  To live it out daily.  To share it in action, love, and word with others.  To truly act as if we believe it.  Will cause everyone else in our household to see how real it is for us.  Which will make them evaluate it, and apply it to their own lives.  Because if we live it out with conviction, it will cause you to truly investigate it for yourself as well. Read more »

May 4, 2014 - No Comments

The Never Ending Story: Faith

Tonight, your Dad and I will dedicate you in Faith. We are publicly committing that we, as your parents, will stand with you and raise you to know Jesus. You see, that’s all we can really do, is dedicate you and declare that is our commitment. It’s a dedication of Faith. What is faith? The Bible says this in Hebrews 11:1 (NIV): “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”. We are trusting in God that with His help we will be able to raise you to know and be surrounded by people who show you what faith is, so that when the time comes, whenever that is, you will be able to make the choice on your own. Nothing your Dad or I can do can make that decision for you. Scripture says in Romans 10:9-10 (NLT) “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.” We pray that we would be your guide on that journey. Tonight, along with a handful of people who have a daily/weekly impact in our lives, we will dedicate to live our lives in a way that point you in the direction of Christ. Today we commit to you to follow God’s command: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9
We dedicate you because we can’t lead you in the way of Truth on our own. We need God’s help and the help of those around us, family and friends, who God has blessed us with. Dad and I both have a faith journey of our own. You will have one unique to you as well. We can’t predict or control the path your life, or our lives will take, but we can commit it all to Christ and allow Him to guide our hearts and decisions. We want you to know what our faith history looks like and what has shaped our faith up to this day. What path that life has taken us to become who we are today. Blake, faith is a never ending story. But here is how faith has been a part of my life so far.
Read more »

Apr 2, 2014 - No Comments

While We Wait – A Reflection of Time Spent Waiting

To Whom It May Concern:

You will spend a lot of your life waiting.  You’ll wait for mom and dad to come rescue you from bed.  You’ll wait as we try to figure out what it is you are needing or wanting.  You’ll wait for us to make you food.  To change your diaper.  Take you to your play-date.  You’ll wait for the bus.  The teacher.  Your friends.  Letters, e-mails, or texts.  Birthday presents.  Christmas presents.  College admissions responses.  Your favorite song to play on the radio.  A TV show to come on.  You’ll wait in line.  You’ll wait your turn.  The red light to turn green.  A large part of life will be spent waiting.  It’s estimated that an average person spends 5 total years of their life waiting.

A year ago tonight, your mom and I were 28 hours into our final wait for your arrival. We were growing weary.  Not because we were tired of waiting for you to arrive, but almost the opposite.  We were so in a hurry to meet you and start our lives with you that we didn’t want to wait any longer.  We had a lot longer to go, just short of another full day.  We were so eager so meet you.  Just wanted time to speed up so we could start our lives together as a family.  Well, obviously, eventually, you did arrive.

And in the last year, time has flown by.  It’s hard to imagine that tomorrow is your first birthday.  We’ve been though so much as a family.  From bringing you home, as you were seemingly swallowed up in your car seat, to now, where you just seem so big in that seat.  And your mom and I have replaced it, with the next level of car seat.  The little itty bitty clothes we packed to bring you home in, that now look like doll clothes next to your current outfits.  We’ve seen you roll for the first time.  Sit up.  Crawl.  Stand.  Take a step.  Take many steps.  Drink a bottle.  Formula.  Homemade baby food.  Food pouches.  Solid food.  Hot dogs, chicken nuggets, taco meat, and spaghetti.  We’ve gone through thousands of diaper changes.  We’ve taken trips across the state, and to other states.  You’ve met your grand parents, aunt, uncles, and cousins, and a lot more of your extended family.  You’ve developed quite a personality.  In the past month, you’ve tried to put your own shoes on, your own shirts and pants.  You’ve taken off walking.  Sometimes baby running.  You eat chicken, beef, pork, salmon. You long to go outside.  You know your schedule and routine.  You’re growing up so fast.  The last year, and all your accomplishments, seem to have flown by.

And this is one of those times, I’ll be ok waiting.  I don’t want this time to pass by any quicker than it has to.

Love,

Dad

Mar 31, 2014 - No Comments

What we thought we knew

To whom it may concern,

I year ago tonight your dad and I were laying in bed giddy that this was the last night at home just is. At the time we thought we would meet you tomorrow during our scheduled induction on April 1. What we didn’t know was that you wouldn’t be here until 53 house post induction.

Contrary to your stubborn entrance, you have been a joy. What we didn’t know is that in those 53 hours of labor we would laugh, cry, pray, and I would be reminded of what an amazing Dad you have as he encouraged and supported me through those long hours.

I didn’t know that (as a boy) you would steal my heart in change my world to be a better woman, person, wife, mother. Each day your joy brings me a reminder of how blessed I am and how much bigger God is than any plans we could make. Thank you for being you! You inspire me to be more. You show me what life is about,
what love looks like, what it means to be joyful.

I love you little man. What I didn’t know is that by not knowing the “what ifs” there was space for God’s plan. His plan is better than I could have imagined and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Mar 10, 2014 - No Comments

Imagination Can Take You Anywhere

To Whom It May Concern:

Today, when you came home from the sitter’s you were very interested in playing.  Yeah, you perked up when Mom talked about loading you in the stroller and going for a walk.  But, you immediately went back to your play.  You grab your little cars, and roll them all over the living room, all the while making vroom vroom noises.  Sure, you learned that noise from your mom and I.  But, you mimic that noise, and play with your cars for a long time.  I wonder what you’re thinking about.  What places your imagination is taking you.  You really have a strong imagination.  You get so engrossed in your play, your noises, and where all your toys are, that sometimes you forget that your mom and I are even in the room.  Today was no different.  When your mom asked you again if you wanted to go outside and go for a walk, you jumped, slightly startled, as if you’d forgotten you were in the living room with us.  I love that your imagination is so strong, and can’t wait to play in the adventures your imagination creates.

Love,

Dad

Mar 10, 2014 - No Comments

Drive Time

To Whom It May Concern:

Today, well, this weekend you have refused your afternoon nap.  And Saturday, that really stunk.  You were cranky.  Tired.  Fussy.  Whiny.  And, bedtime couldn’t come soon enough.  You sulked through your bath.  You cried through dinner.  And, bedtime was a welcome relief.

Today, you were starting to follow the same pattern.  Your mom and I tried a few things to get you to sleep.  Many of the recommended methods.  You really are a good self-soother, so this inability to get to sleep really was bothersome.  After your mom fed you a bottle, we tried to get you to nap.  I told her that I was going to fill up my car with gas, and if the attempts proved futile, I was going to drive you around, so you could nap.  You always seem to fall asleep in the car.  You love to watch the scenery go by, and evidently counting trees helps you fall asleep.  So, while your mom rocked and fed you, I went to get gasoline, and daddy fuel- aka, mega loads of caffeine.  See, Sunday, is normally a dad relax and nap day too.  And we lost an hour of sleep last night with the time change.  So, I knew being tired was well within the realm of possibility.  So, when I got home, you were dressed in your coat and shoes, as you were unable to get to sleep.  And off we went.  Yeah, so we drove for a few hours, so you could nap.  I drove highways and interstates, to avoid as many potholes as I could.  And that was a great memory.  But that wasn’t the highlight of that event for me.

As we got off the highway to head back home, I let off the cruise control.  And the momentum change caused you to wake up.  You stirred a bit, and let out a few babbles.  Followed by a few whimpers.  I calmly let out my normal pattern of 3 shushes.  And you calmed right down.  You processed that noise you had just heard, and let out a soft “Dad?”  I quietly responded back to you, “Yes, Blake?”  And you let out an audible happy sigh, and and a giggle.  And that made my day.  Made my weekend.  Made me smile.  And permanently is written on my heart.

Love,

Dad

Mar 8, 2014 - No Comments

Lessons in Flirting From Your Dad

To Whom It May Concern:

Today, you showed mastery of a new word.  Flirt.  It’s not that you haven’t flirted before.  And it’s not that you haven’t been accused of being a flirt before.  Both are true.  Both never really happened at the same time though.  Today, as you and I were grocery shopping, you put your social, flirty behavior on display for all (the women) to see.  You smile your cute little smile.  You wave.  You stare at the women.  You act bashful when they say “Hi.”  Today though, there was a cute young lady who thought you were such a cutie-pie.  You smiled at her, non stop, until she came over to you to tell you how cute you were.  You then proceeded to get bashful, and buried your face in my arm.  I chided you to say hi, and you wanted no such part of it.  Being your dad, I excused your behavior, and made some cheesy joke.  Thanked her for saying you’re cute, and we went about our shopping.  You lifted your head back up, and I told you she was being nice to you.  You had been flirting with her, and when she flirts back with you, that you should be polite, maybe say hi.  You just continued to wave to every pretty woman who walked by you.  I thought you had ignored my advice.

When we went down the next aisle, we saw the same woman you had been embarrassed around.  This time, you were confident, smiling.  Waving.  Yelling “Hi.”

Yep.  That’s my boy.

Love,

Dad

Mar 7, 2014 - No Comments

Corny Friday

To Whom It May Concern:

You came home from the sitter’s house in a tuxedo t-shirt.  So your mom said today is “Fancy Friday.”  At my work, Friday is “Casual Friday.”  Won’t catch me in a tux, or tuxedo shirt at work on Friday.  Probably won’t even catch me in something you could call fancy.  Hardly ever.  So, Fancy Friday wasn’t an idea I could get behind.

Tonight, during dinner, we gave you a few kernels of corn.  You devoured it.  You had stopped eating the rest of your dinner offerings, and were really acting as if you were done.  Until we gave you some corn.  You are every last piece.  And then more.  And then more.  It’s hard to tell a child who wants to eat more vegetables that they can’t have more.  So, we let you eat, probably about 2 spoonfuls of corn.  So, I declared that Friday is “Corny Friday.”  And seeing as I’m full of cheesy dad jokes, it’s only fitting that I sponsor Corny Friday.

What do you do with a deceased chemistry teacher?  Barium.

When I was a young man, I used to stay up all night wondering what happened to the sun, then it dawned on me.

Why did the bear dissolve in water?  because it was polar.

Elbow slappers right there, I know.

Love,

Dad

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