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

Mar 6, 2014 - No Comments

#FoodieChat

To Whom It May Concern:

Ever since you were in your mom’s uterus, we’ve known you liked food.  Like isn’t the right word.  Love, doesn’t convey the right sentiment.  You will eat.  Almost anything.  But, you really do have your preferences.  Before you were born, you’d get really excited when your mom would eat steak.  Yummy, seasoned steak.  A good home cooked meal, would make you super active in there.  And now, is no different.  Yeah, you’ll eat the food pouches, canned baby food, or various dry snacks.  But, when home cooking comes around, you’re all up in it’s business.

Today was a prime example of that.  You were fussy all day.  Barely ate or drank anything at the sitter’s house.  It was clear to us that your mouth hurt.  Which makes sense.  You’re getting your 1 year molars.  In fact, you now actually have all 4 of them, and you’ve got a month to go before you’re 1 year old.  Overachiever, that’s my boy.  Anyway, that was the story of your day.  When you got home, you were still pretty fussy.  But we knew you needed to eat.  So we grabbed a few food pouches out of the cabinet, and offered one to you.  You were excited to eat it.  So, we took the lid off, and you devoured it.  Within seconds.  I told your mom what I was planning for dinner, and my timeline, and set out to make the things I needed.  While in the fridge, I saw the seasoned chicken and beans I had made for you the other night.  I told you, and mom, that I was going to put it in the microwave for a few seconds to warm it.  You didn’t seem to notice, as mom was getting you into your high chair, to feed you the rest of your liquified dinner.  After the few seconds were up, I pulled the container from the microwave.  And that’s when you saw (and smelled it).  You were no longer interested in the pouch and puffs before you.  I won’t put your reaction into words in any way that does it justice.  But you screamed, oohed, ahhed, and reached for it.  If there was any reason to doubt you liked that food, it was erased in that moment.  So, your mom cut up the food into bite size pieces, and put them on your tray.  And you proceeded to ooh, ah, and excitedly down just about every crumb of the food on your tray.  And that, is today’s defining #FoodieChat moment.

Love,

Dad

Mar 5, 2014 - No Comments

Lent

To Whom It May Concern:

Growing up, the season of Lent was a foreign concept to me.  I knew what it was.  But, I was raised in churches that didn’t stress the bits and pieces of Lent I knew about.  My understanding of Lent was, that it was something my Catholic friends did.  Typically, they showed up to school one Wednesday with a smudge on their forehead and ate fish on Friday.  Some of them also gave up a personal bad habit, and cut back on it, or completely abstained, for the period of Lent.  Most of the time, they went right back to the activity they had given up.  I shouldn’t single them out.  Because, I did have other friends observe Lenten traditions.  You had the people who clearly didn’t have this issue before Lent, but were going to “give up sex” for Lent.  There were those who used Lent as a diet.  Others who seemed to give up something out of superstition, like they’d suffer bad karma if they didn’t.  They’d usually pick something that was not enjoyable, so they could “give up something.”

The church your mom worked at, when we met, observed Lent.  And for many reasons I won’t get into here, that didn’t impact me.  But, when we moved here, and started at the church we’re at, I was struck, that this “megachurch” observed Lent.  Talked about it a lot.  Did the whole “Ash Wednesday” thing.  It was totally foreign to me.  And, for the most part, it is.  I probably will never observe Lent, the way my youthful observations understood it.  To me, the few weeks leading up to Easter were just a way to look forward to the ultimate victory gained in the death, burial, and resurrection.  And, now, as a more mature adult, I know that neither myself, nor my friends, had a great grasp of the period of Lent.

Lent is the 46 day period preceding Easter, traditionally defined as 40 days of fasting, and 6 days of feasting.  Without placing utmost importance in the number 40, it is worth noting, that the Israelites wandered the wilderness for 40 years, the rains of the flood lasted 40 days, and Jesus, while fasting, was tempted in the wilderness over a period of 40 days.  There are also some, who believe that the 3 days Jesus was in the tomb, was a period of 40 hours.  Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, a day to serve as a reminder of our mortality.  The 6th Sunday in Lent, is known as Palm Sunday.  It’s a reminder of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem, in yet another way He was making it abundantly clear to the religious leaders, that He is God.  As he rode in on a donkey, people laid down garments, and small tree branches, like palm branches.  The Friday of that week, is Good Friday.  Which, if the story ended there, wouldn’t actually be good.  Good Friday, is the day of remembrance of Jesus death and burial.  And that next Sunday, Easter.  The resurrection.

This year, as our church prepared our hearts for the Lenten season, they discussed what Lent is about.  I’m not one for ritual.  I’ve seen it far to many times, in far too many people, myself included, that the ritual becomes the object of our obsession, not the object the ritual was designed to remind us about.  So, as our pastor started talking about it, my eyes glazed over.  My ears shut down.  Not because I think they’re wrong.  Not at all.  But because, in my preconceived notions, I wasn’t the least bit interested in partaking.  That’s when our pastor said, that, my traditional understanding of Lent, was wrong.  Oh, I’m wrong?  That perked up my ears. No one likes to be wrong, and I was sure I wasn’t.  I was already carrying on a conversation in my head discounting what ever points he could possibly come up with.

He’s going to say that the season of Lent isn’t about Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, that those didn’t happen this time of year.  Nope. He didn’t say that.  He’s going to say that we have to become vegetarians and can only have fish.  Nope.  Not that.  What did I just hear?  I think he said that my concept of what my Catholic friends did was wrong.  I can nod my head in agreement.  Oh, wait.  He just said my concept wasn’t complete either.  Lent isn’t about fasting from something.  Lent, the season, looks forward to the conquering of death.  The promise of eternal life.  The atonement of sins.  The change from Judaism, to Christ-followers, to Christians.  The dramatic paradigm change in worldview.  Again, the focus of Lent, isn’t what you are giving up.  The who you were.  The focus of Lent, is on what you use to replace that from which you fast.  The focus of Lent, is the change.  The new.  The new you.  The new covenant in Jesus blood.  Lent isn’t complete as just a fast.  Lent isn’t complete as just a feast.  Lent is best represented by the change in you, from the activity you pick up, as well as what you gave up.

This Lent season, I’m focusing on you.  Not that I’m not focused on you.  I have an understanding at work, that come a certain time, I’m going home.  It’s important to me to be able to see you, and celebrate your day, before you go to bed.  Most days, I’m home well before then.  Most days, I’m here to make your dinner.  Play.  Bathe you.  Tickle you.  Cuddle with you.  Be your jungle gym.  Someday, soon, we hope, go running with you.  So, what am I doing?  I like to spend my evenings on the computer.  I find it to be a way to relax, and shut my brain off.  I mean, really, have you seen the internet?  It looks like I’m not the only one who shuts off their brain while on the computer.  Instead, while I’m listening to the TV drone on, I’ll be blogging.  I don’t want you to think that these past few months, we’ve not thought this important.  Instead, I want you to know that your Mom and I, have only a set amount of energy each day.  And, we’d rather spend every last bit of it, making your today, the best today ever.  But, while today is important.  As your Dad, I want you to know that we’re continually focused on your tomorrow too.  And what better way to do it, than to write things here for you to read.  Someday.  And, as this first year is flying by, and nearly over, I’m sure that someday is far sooner than we realize.

Love you so much buddy!

Love,

Dad

Jan 5, 2014 - No Comments

May you never stop exploring

To Whom it May Concern,

I’ve been spending more time looking through pictures from your first year as I work on your 1year album.  I’m amazed at how much you have changed and at the same time, it is helping me to savor and capture the memories of the little things you do now.  I was amazed at how many moments I had already forgotten.  Scrolling through picture after picture (there are just a few– hahaha), I found myself with a huge smile on my face and a full heart.  Thank you for being you!

2014-01-05 0003bWeekends are a time that I savor.  I love taking time hanging out and playing with you.  You love toys, but you also love exploring and playing with whatever is around.  Today I poured corn in a plastic pop bottle to make a maraca.   Dad was working on a project and had some boxes on the floor.  You crawled right over and started exploring.  I could just watch you discover things all day.  You are so interested in what’s around you and trying to figure out how things work.  I am so proud to be your Mom.

I hope that even as you grow up2014-01-05 0007b you never stop exploring on your own.

I love you little man.

xoxo, Mom 2014-01-05 0009b

Dec 31, 2013 - No Comments

Cheers!

To whom it may concern,

At the stroke of Midnight (we will likely be sleeping) a new year will begin.  Technically the days won’t be any different; just as long or short, just as fun or boring, just as busy or relaxing.  The only thing that really changes is the number we scribble (or type) when we write the date. 2014.

A new year may not be anything “new” or “different” but it is a great time to reflect on the past 12 months and look ahead to the upcoming days and what we hope to achieve, change or experience.  This year I am not setting specific goals, but instead I am focusing on one thing – investing.   Not just in the traditional way you think of “investing”.   Yes, your Dad and I want to be wise with how we invest and spend our money so that we can have a stable future.  But when I think about investing in 2014 I think about how I invest in relationships, how I invest my time, how I invest and use my talents.   The reality is that YOU help me to realize that how in invest in all these things will effect who I am as a parent, a wife, a friend, a Christian, a daughter.  I want to be, above all else, investing my life in a way that will honor God and show you that life is so much more than just simply going through the motions, it’s about investing in life, living intentionally, and honoring the person God created you to be.

Thank you for reminding me what’s important this past year.  Cheers to a new 2014, let the adventures begin.

happy New Year vertical

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