Monday, November 28, 2011


There is nothing quite so heartwarming as the sound of a baby's laughter. I've been a soft hearted guy my whole life. I cry during Field of Dreams, Shawshank Redemption, Rudy, even certain church songs get me. I'm easily touched by beautiful scenery and moments. But the sound of my daughter laughing like crazy when I play with her makes my heart happy. The kind of happy that makes you forget about every bad thing that has ever occurred for a moment. What a gift she is. I hope I earn her laughter for the rest of my life. I hope she always has reasons to laugh, and is not afraid to let the laughter flow. I hope we always can laugh together.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What I am thankful for

This year I have more to be thankful for than I believe I could list. I want to start with a few of the big ticket items.

- I am thankful to God for granting me the life I have, and the faith I grow. I'm far from perfect, but know I try every day to improve.
- I am thankful for my beautiful wife. I do not tell her enough, but she is the sail on my ship, she is my love.
- I am thankful for my precious daughter. I hope to one day earn the title your birth granted me...father.
- I am thankful for my family, the best family I could have ever been born into.
- I am thankful for my friends, years and years of good times, bad times and fun times have been shared with you.
- I am thankful for my job, this year employment was more cloudy than ever, and I appreciate being able to provide for my family.
- I am thankful for my dog, she's always happy to see me, and never questions a bad day.
- I am thankful for all the people not listed here, alive and dead, that have entered my life and helped shape who I am.

In the next year I plan on letting more people know they are valuable. I want to be more truthful, kind and helpful with my words.

I want to learn, laugh, grow and love...and help someone else do the same.

Monday, July 11, 2011

First Kiss

Tonight for the first time ever, my first kiss went to a woman other than my wife. Well she's under two feet tall, and weighs about eight pounds, but she was a sight for sore eyes after a long day back at work. Mom was a good second one too!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Best Week (and a half) Ever.

The was the best eleven days of my life. My beautiful wife and I welcomed our even more beautiful daughter into the world. I will spend a few more posts discussing the amazing week we've had. I am humbled by the experience. It was life changing to say the least, and I mean life changing. I simply cannot be the same person i was two weeks ago with this bundle of joy in my life. Every moment of every day I think of my little girl. I pray that I have the heart to raise a girl and always let her know Dad will always be her landing net. A wise friend of mine gave me a book with tips for fathers raining girls, the final page was foreign to me...I have way to much time for the other 377 pages...

Simply stated in this first post baby blog, I love my daughter, and I always will.

Monday, June 27, 2011


A small note to all folks in positions who have vendors, coworkers, peers that have to report to you. Be a professional, be a human. You can tell someone they need to improve their work without degrading. It never ceases to amaze me that small people in roles of any sort of power can love so much to berate instead of inspire a positive atmosphere. Being a jerk does not inspire the troops. Cutting people off who are trying to engage in progressive conversations just makes you sound more like an idiot. What do you do with yourself when you get home? How many times do you kick your dog?

OK, that's better. Just a minor vent. The new job is great, and this fella isn't one of us, we just had to survive him today on a conference call. One of my best coworkers said the vein in my head was fun to watch grow, so at least I could provide some entertainment! I can rest now.


Monday, Monday

Monday, it is Monday of the most exciting, nerve wracking week in a long time. I’ve already posted my prayer for patience, and welcome any prayers you can spare. But this post goes out for my dear wife. I believe in her, and I know she has the strength to get through the next couple days, and weeks. For a woman, birth has to be one of the most, if not the most, harrowing experiences of her life. I know my wife has excitement, fear and joy for the upcoming days. She is a tough woman, and has persevered through her share of life lessons both good and bad and come out better for the experience. But, even the most confident, most prepared or most courageous person can have moments when they need support. J has prepared, studied, prayed and steeled herself for this week. The last 22 months have given her all the willpower and strength she needs to get this done. Not only has J prepared herself, but she has prepared me. I’ve read a couple books, spent time in the baby store learning about products, most of which I never knew existed. I have learned so much about J over the last two years. She will be a great Mother. I hope and pray that I can live up to her expectations over time. With pregnancies, the man has a purely supportive role, and I think I have done a good job at that. Now the rubber meets the road, with baby I’m not simply supportive, I am active. Finally, and thankfully, we are now at the point where we become responsible parents. Well, parents first, we will work to earn the responsible tag. There are no books on being responsible, well except for the Good Book. There are no “parent” police in the house to make sure you are a good parent. There is no way to plan for the midnight, tired, frazzled moments when you don’t know what to do with your child. In these times I will look to the toughness and perseverance that my wife has displayed as an example. I will try to remember how she handled this ordeal up to now, and do what needs done with love and humility. Next Monday will be different than any other, and I look forward to the fun!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day for Fathers

Even though I have more than a few reasons to be called a father, today is an odd day for me. I have two Goddaughters, Erin and Molly, and I take my role with them very seriously. I also have Joseph, our little angel. But as folks in good spirit shook my hand, called and posted a Happy Fathers Day, I cannot fully accept it. I offer no disrespect to the three mentioned, but it's the one on the way that will fulfill this day in the future for me.

As I am days away from our first child, that we take home, I look around me for the examples I can follow. Many men have gone before me and done a great job, and a bad job. I want to do what is required to come out as one of the good ones. I am sure few, if any men go into this endeavor wanting to be the bad one. But want does it take to be the good one? Can I be as good, fair and loving as my Dad? Sure I love my wife, and I love my family, but this isn't enough. I pray that I will have what it takes, but prayer to be good is simply not enough either.

I pray for, and commit to work on, the following:

1. Patience. Patience for all the things my wife has to go through becoming a Mom. She is a beautiful person, and this road has been longer for her than one I could walk myself. I want to be there for her first, be the man she deserves, the man she can rely on, even when the baby is up in the middle of the night and we don't know what to do.

2. Patience. Patience for the little bundle that my heart pours joy for even now. I haven't met this child yet, but I know there will be difficult moments at the start. Crying, needing fed, and not being settled. I don't have the worlds longest fuse, and I don't work well when tired. I will need this patience when I am most susceptible, in the late hours. But, I also pray for patience for the next several decades. I know being not only a loving, but patient father will be needed over my child's lifetime. I know my parents patience was tested by me. I know I was difficult at times, but their patience has lasted 36 years so far, and now I can appreciate them even more during the approach to my becoming a father.

3. Patience. Patience for myself. I am my worst critic. I have been more difficult on myself than any other person possible. I know I will not do everything correct as a father. I'm sure, no father but the Father has been perfect. I don't plan on being the second. But, when I feel like I have failed, I need to be patient with myself.

These things I pray for, and will commit to this day. I look to my family, friends and wife for support. These tasks will not be easy, but I have not been more joyous to take on a challenge than I am right now.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Not far now Papa Smurf!

I can't help but write about the excitement I feel right now. In 12 days or so, my wife and I will have our baby, God willing. The sheer joy I felt on my drive in to work this morning was exhilarating. One note that crossed my mind is maintaining the joy. I know the baby will be a lot of work, and a lot of frustration. I just want to make sure I remember moments like now, a few weeks after the baby. I have no shortage of love for this kid, but I know the day to day of a first baby will be tough.

The wife and I often take a team approach to difficult things. Committing to talk first and be open about feeling so we don't get frustrated with each other. This will definitely come in to play with the baby. I'm not naive enough to think we can avoid some of the common trappings, but we should be able to give this baby our all, and become closer as a result!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


This past weekend was spent learning about things I knew very little about. My wife & I spent half the day Saturday in a breastfeeding class, and all day Sunday in a Lamaze/Child Birth class. In the middle of these classes we had baby shower. What a wonderful weekend of preparing for and celebrating the upcoming birth of our child. We still don’t know the sex, and will wait until this one comes down the chute to find out. I have to admit that my nerves are not relaxing as we approach the delivery date, but the nervousness is mixed in with joy and unbridled excitement. I cannot wait to meet this little one and pour every ounce of love upon the baby. I have visions of baby pictures, sleeping with baby on my shoulder, a cute picture with baby and our dog Ruby, all sorts of funny faces and pictures of baby resting on Mom’s chest. These will be our journal of the child’s life, great accompaniment to the memories we will cherish for this kid. All the worries seem to fade away when you just know you will do whatever it takes to take care of your child. Whatever parenting skills I don’t have, or knowledge I do not possess today, I know I will never stop going the extra mile. I do not believe these feeling to be unique to me either, I’m sure most conscientious parents do everything possible for their children.

Yesterday, I saw all of these memories for the child of a coworker. The pictures and videos we all want were on display on memory boards in a funeral home. I am at a new job, two months in, and a coworker I work with lost a daughter. His 14 year old daughter took her own life. I will not expand on any details of the reasoning in the young girls mind, for I did not know her, but the parenting aspect is difficult. As I waited in line at the calling hours, for over an hour to just get in, I witnessed such sadness. The faces of classmates, friends and family members were wrought with sadness. Picture after picture showed such a happy baby, young child and teenager. Beautiful family pictures, pictures of this girl at sports events, charity work, always such a pretty smile on. All the pictures I cannot wait to take for my child were on display throughout the hallways. I was overwhelmed with sadness. Leaving the why out of the equation, which will always be a question the family seeks an answer for, the how questions came to mind. How does a parent ever handle this? How do friends get over this loss? What can I do as a parent to prevent this sort of awful event from happening? Is there a way to avoid this from happening? I’m certain this girl was given all the love she could has been given by her family. The love was evident in all the memories on display, and on the faces of her Mom, Dad and older brother. They had the calling hours as a casual event, since that’s what she would want. Her casket was surrounded by soccer balls, a keepers jersey, band instruments, student of the month signs…everything. How does a parent notice any signs of this outcome in a child who seemingly lived a very full, happy American life? I normally do not like to pose question after question, but I have nothing but questions.

I’m sure the parents of this girl, sat in baby classes like my wife and I did this weekend. I’m sure they had wonderful generous gifts at baby showers from loving family and friends. I’m sure the parents promised to always take care of their baby, like we have. I just don’t have any answers for the outcome for this family. I’m certain they will never get over the loss, but instead just learn to live through the pain and memories. The only thing I can conclude is to treat each day as if it might be the last time you see a loved one. Treat each moment not like a picture opportunity, but as an opportunity to let those who you love know you love them. Don’t take time for granted. We have had this baby with us in utero for 34 weeks now, and I have loved the baby more every day. I want to be a good father, and know it will be work to earn that title, but I hope this experience will help me during times to come.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dear Joe

Dearest Joseph,

As your Mother and I approach your sibling’s birth, my thoughts often tend in your direction. We are doing so many things we were never able to do for you. I have built a crib, built shelves and bought some take home outfits for both a boy and girl. I wanted to do all these things for you. I guess that is the reason I have wanted to write you this letter, it is an apology of sorts. I never will forget holding you in my hands. Never. You hold such a special place in my heart, I cannot truly put down the feelings to words. What I want you to know is, no matter what we lavish upon our new baby, no matter how the child gets loved, no matter if the Grandparents spoil, no matter what we teach this child, our hearts will always remember you. You gave us the special understanding of how precious it can be to have pregnancy. Without you, we could not have been the people we are today. I feel like in some way we are betraying you. Like this should have all been for you, but I know this is my human emotion taking over. You will always be our little Angel, hopefully looking out for, and being a Guardian Angel for your soon to be brother or sister. You Mother has spent almost two years on this journey, and she could use a Guardian Angel like you to get her through the next two months too. I really missed you on opening day for the Indians; this is certainly something we would have done together. I read an article in the paper that day; it was about how opening day is bout family, not about the teams. Opening day is about the memories of family heading out to the game, heading out to have a hot dog and a pop together. Opening day represents the end of a long winter, and the eternal promise of spring. Your Mother and I are heading to our opening day, our moment when we can finally turn our backs on this long wither, and look forward to the warmth and promise of better days. Just know, this season change in our lives does not, and will never, include turning from you. Only with the memory and love we have for you are we strong enough to move forward. Only with the grace that God have given us (yes, through all this, it is still with His Grace), we are able to be as strong as we can be, and allow ourselves to be in love with this new baby. Only with the utmost love for you, are we able to see our new light. Thank you for giving us all your little body could give us. I will respect your strength and suffering by trying to be the best Father I can be. And maybe if you have the time, you can sit upon my shoulder from time to time, and be a Guardian Angel just for me.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Somebody knows what these dates mean...


Nuff said, 2011 is our year.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Two Boxes

What a difference a day makes. Monday January 3, I was happily employed, enjoying a well deserved day off with my wife. We caught a movie, Happy Potter 7 (Pt 1), and went to Home Depot to look at some models of commodes for the upstairs bathroom. We discovered a leak below the bathroom and knew we wanted a new seat anyway. I had just wrapped up the most successful year at my job, and worked right through the holiday to deliver the results. In general, this day was great for us to be together, talk about changes in life with the baby coming, and spend some time with just us.

Tuesday, I woke up refreshed and ready to hit the ground running at work. After all, I had a busy 2011 planned and really wanted to make an impact at work. Walked in the office early, as usual, and noticed all our directors in the conference room...not a normal sight. Actually, an almost never seen before sight...worry set in. I thought, OK if they're making changes, maybe this can work out for the best, stay positive. I turned the corner to walk toward my cube, and blammo, the next strike, a co-worker had his office closed with two empty boxes outside the door. The walls closed in a bit. I shed the winter coat, and turned around and there was a director asking if I had a minute. What if I said no, that thought came and went in a flash, and then the hammer dropped. Office closed, life changes in the exchange of two boxes.

The first thought that crossed my mind was how to call my lovely wife with this news. She was carrying our baby, and the last thing I wanted to do was stress her out. I collected myself, dialed her number and... voice mail. Crud, can't leave this news on a voice mail. She was now my only priority and I had to be gentle. I left a message something to the effect of "Hey honey, give my a call, it's important." I started removing reflections of myself from the, quotes, motivational items, fortune cookie messages, a dollar bill from a friendly bet with a former coworker. Former, that really isn't settling in at this point. I packed a few more random things, pens that were mine, calculator, just junk. I couldn't wait and called the wife back and she answered. What a humbling moment for me. Whether society has programmed it or not, I felt like I was letting my wife and future child down. The wife was kind and gentle and hurt for me, she is such a sweet person. I know I told her, her and the baby were #1 priority, and I would land on my feet somewhere, somehow. The HR director was as kind as he could be, and helped me carry my two boxes.

Immediately after, I met for coffee with some former coworkers and we talked about what just happened to us. The rest of the day I can't remember one thing I did. It's a difficult moment to try to justify what happened, not personalize being cut and make sense of it all. It took a few days, and may still be underway, but I'm not sure there is sense to be made. I do know that after the twelve months the wife and I had, I wasn't about to make this into more than it was. I have a child on the way, and a world full of opportunity in front of me. I'm doing my best to take a deep breath, and in the immortal works of Douglas Adams, Don't Panic!

Anger, fear, embarrassment, jealousy, bitterness and resentment are emotions that can fill up a person in this world. Events like a layoff can sow the seeds of these emotions in the proverbial boxes were carry from place to place, and job to job. I will chose positivity, humor and love to fill my boxes. Even if I only get my two boxes to fill in this world, mine will overflow.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Life Changed, Update Soon

Sorry, mostly to myself (my lead reader), that I haven't written much lately. I had a major life change a couple weeks ago, and really couldn't focus enough to blog. Suffice it to say a lot of great, funny, and reality altering things have happened recently. I will compile my stories and blog on them very soon.