Category Archives: Family

The Things They Don’t Tell You…

From time to time, if you’re lucky, you get to realize a “fond memory” being made as it is being made. Not very often do we get to write it down when it still is so fresh in our mind. So, I’m feeling pretty damn lucky right now and decided to put it to paper.

My little girl is growing so fast these days. In her routine of life, she’s slowing getting a little taller each day and her mind is exploring the world in such a fast pace. imageBeing close to Valentines day, she has a school project to transform a measly old shoe box into a grand Valentine’s receptacle where her class mates will share their good will and candy! She said to me “Dad, since you’re the only “real” artist in the house, can you help me decorate this, as she pointed to the future Valentine castle. I said, sure, let’s do it!

Later that night after she was securely tucked away into night’s dreamland, he mother said to me, “you know Ellie-Jane is starting to take a liking to boys.” I said with a smirk, “Really, where’s my gun, I need names?” As if she didn’t hear me, my wife went on to say “EJ really makes me smile as she said to me ‘mom, you know, I don’t think I’m ever going to find a real good boyfriend.’ Why’s that? ‘Well, I don’t think I’m going to find someone as good as dad.’ What do you mean? ‘Well, you know Dad’s so funny?’”

We laughed and talked and realized that our little girl is growing up way too fast. The whole conversation made me think that even little girls don’t tell you everything or is it we just don’t ask?

It’s pretty cool to hear it now and then to realize that these are the moments in life we live for, that we will remember.

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The Fountain Of Youth

2011-05-24 EllieJanes4thBDay 007My daughter turned four the other day. Damn, four years old already. Everyday since she adorned our lives with her presence I have seen a change in her.

I remember we use to wonder when she would sleep throughout the entire night, when would she walk, when would she would talk… So many milestones that we would see her go through!

Looking back at the four years with her seems like a blur. There are so many precious memories that will only come once for us with her.

But each day I’m with her I find something new to marvel at. She’s always on the go, always doing something, saying something, learning something, becoming something more today than she was yesterday! I think that as a parent if I give her the suroundings, encouragement, spiritual and physical nurishment, there is nothing she can’t achieve or become.

2011-05-28 EllieJaneBDayParty 033As adults we yearn for the days when our bodies weren’t so old, when our minds were fresh with excitement of a new day. Working for a living seems to put us into the rut of life where we never change our path, where we settle into the routine of life.

Sometimes when I look at my little girl I lament that she’s always changing, never “staying” with me in the rut and routine of the life that I live in. Sometimes I wish she would be that three year old forever.

But then I realize that she is my fountain of youth!

She shows me that everyday is a new day! A day filled with adventure, filled with new experiences, filled with new opportunities if I only CHOOSE to see them and to do something with them!

Hopefully, I think to myself, I can say around this world for another fifty or sixty years. The eighteen or so years that she is with me and my lovely wife is such a short time. But I will hold on to each moment, each day and each year! I will look forward to the changes of life that she will go through.

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He Doesn’t Work In Mysterious Ways

When I was a young man in college I had doubts. My mom and father’s relationship was a mess and our family life at that time was stressful. I guess asking God for clarity in times of stress is considered normal. I really didn’t know what to expect from him. But I do remember asking him “God, let me know you’re working in my life, let me know that you are real.” Maybe like so many humans I had accepted the notion that “God works in mysterious ways” and I could only hope that one day I would have understanding.

Jon Krieger, my college room mate at the time, dad was doing some consulting work and had been told by Jon that I was this computer guru. Mr. Krieger asked if I’d like some part-time work helping out with some computer/accounting issues and I said sure.

I didn’t know Mr. Krieger very well at that time, but one day after work we started discussing my personal life and the turmoil I was going through.  Mr. Krieger shared with me some of the hard times he had went through as a young man and shared with me his love for God. I remember him telling me how God had saved him and gave him a good life with his family. He and I talked for a couple of hours about life and God and somewhere during that conversation I realized that God was speaking to me through Mr. Krieger. It was as if a light clicked on and my mind was freed from the darkness of uncertainty. After so many prayers God was showing me that he is real, and contrary to popular belief, he doesn’t work in mysterious ways.

You see, God works through people.

Everyday, people like Mr. Krieger are vessels of God’s love.

Over the years Mr. Krieger and I became good friends and looking back today I know that God brought him into my life and with that he enriched my life more than I would ever know.

Jon called me yesterday and told me that his dad was in an accident. Today, he called me with the news that Mr. Krieger didn’t make it. Today I am saddened that I have lost a friend. But I know with no doubts that the life Mr. Krieger led was full of love and joy. Love for his wife, love for his son and his son’s family, and most of all love for his God.

The God that showed me one day in a parking lot that he is no mystery. The God that showed me through a mortal man that God is with us everyday and everywhere. The very same God that showed me that all we have to do is open our eyes to see him.

I will miss Mr. Krieger. But I know that he is with God and I rejoice for him and I am so thankful to God for bringing Mr. Krieger into my life.

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Not Just a Lump Of Coal

It’s been a while since I’ve written about my lovely baby girl Ellie-Jane. For some reason I’m not so public about her as I am about myself. I guess I’m respecting her right to eventually choose how public she wants to be with her life.

She’s been on my mind over the past couple of days, which got me thinking about children in general. You see, on Sunday she got a mosquito bite right under her cute little eye. Mom put some cortisone on it like any good mom would do and we put her to bed as we normally do.

Ellie-Jane Soar Eye 2009-06-09 003 On Monday morning my wife wakes me up with news that the baby’s poor little eye is swollen. I stumble into the baby’s room and sure enough her little eye was swollen. A couple hours later at the doctors office he tells me it isn’t infected. He said it might swell enough to close her eye, but not to worry that it will get better. He said she just had a reaction to the bite.

Update – 8/10/2009: Looking at my blog statistics I notice a lot of people get referred here from Google by searching for “mosquito bite under eye” or something similar since their child has the same problem. I researched a little and found that the reason mosquito bites tend to swell really bad for children is that their immune system has not had enough incidents of being bitten to defend against the saliva that mosquitoes ingest during their feeding (biting). Unfortunately, some people continue to have allergic reactions even after their immune system is exposed to sufficient bites. Here is a link to better information on the allergic reaction – http://allergies.about.com/od/insectallergies/a/mosquitoallergy.htm.

Not to worry. For me, I do a decent job of not worrying, but you can’t look at her eye and not feel bad for her. You just look at her and have this empty, sad feeling because you hate that she has this irritation to deal with – that she might be in pain.

But like she’s done since she was born, she amazes me with her resilience. She doesn’t complain about her eye. She listens to me when I ask her not to rub it. She listens to me when I ask her to sleep on her other side so it won’t swell even more. She just has this wonderful, loving spirit in the face of a crappy mosquito bite that’s made her look like Rocky Balboa.

With all of this going through my mind I started thinking about how this baby has changed my life and my perception of life. Like any proud dad when she was born and I first looked into her eyes I knew I loved her. I knew that I would love her forever and would do anything I could to fill her life with love and happiness. Unlike moms who carry and nurture a baby in the womb I think men have a space of separation from their new born children. For a woman a child is A PART OF THEM. You see, besides having an emotional attachment during the pregnancy, a mom shares her flesh and her blood with her child. She tolerates her body going through a total change to give her unborn child a hospitable, nurturing home for nine months.

But back to the current story. For me, the past couple of days has shown me that although I’ve loved my baby from the first moment I realized I would be a dad, I realized that everyday since she was born I’ve been falling more and more in love with her.

Each day she has taught me something about life and about myself. Each day she amazes me with something new. Her little phases like “Dadda do that no, no, no” or “dadda so funny” just bring a smile to me and my wife.

Ellie-Jane and Mommie Playing 2009-06-07 004Always searching for an appropriate analogy, I’ve been thinking that maybe children are like a lump of coal. You see, a piece of coal under pressure eventually turns into a diamond. And if you do a good job of raising your child they too can turn into a bright, glimmering diamond.

But after further contemplation I think I’m wrong.

You see, all children at birth are already diamonds. They sparkle and amaze, they bring brilliance and joy to our lives. They grow from helpless lumps of flesh and bones into beings of great minds and souls. They teach us about life and they teach us who we really are.

If anything, WE are the lumps of coal. They apply pressure and they demand from us life’s lessons and in return we learn to shine so that they may shine even brighter!

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Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

FamilyChristmas2008Around this time of year the greeting Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year are repeated numerous times as you meet friend and strangers alike. Wouldn’t it be just peachy-king if we always had the Merry Christmas and Happy New Year attitude towards each other all year long?

So, I guess I’ll try to spread the cheer for as long as I can until the man beats me down again in 2009 😉

From our little family to yours, may you have a very Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year throughout the entire 2009 year!

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The Value of Real Friends

I have found that true friends take time to find and take time to nurture. Luckily, I’m not famous or rich and don’t have to deal with many phony people approaching me trying to be my friend. I think if I ever won the lottery developing new friendships would be difficult. But, since winning the lottery or becoming famous is harder than getting hit by lightning, I guess I don’t have to worry about that.

But over the past few weeks I’ve had countless reminders that true friends are so valuable. My wife got a job offer recently and so we decided to pick up the family and move to Lake Charles, Louisiana. Since I grew up in Atlanta and lived there most of my adult life, most of my real friends are there. During the lead up to moving we had several send off lunches and dinners and although we knew we were moving away and talking about moving, it really didn’t hit that we were moving until yesterday.

After the packing, loading, driving, unloading, and unpacking got done, we sat down yesterday and realized during a conversation we were here, by ourselves, with no friends, no one to get support from.

And of course our friends have all called us, asking how we are doing and if we made it ok, to which I say we have and thanks for the well wishes.

I’m not the kind of guy to pick up with just anyone. It takes time for people to get me and it takes time for me to trust people and their intentions. My wife, I think she’s about the same. But since she’s a much nicer person than I, she has less trouble finding friends.

Although I think sometimes moving is a good thing and gives a person perspective, it can be difficult and hard to get through.

But at least I have my best friend and my new best friend with me. Together we can make a new life here, while not forgetting about the friends and family left behind.

As I try to remind myself… “Don’t worry about yesterday, or tomorrow, do what you can do today and tomorrow will be better and yesterday, well, it’s already done.”

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Baby Time – Baby Time Is Here!

baby02 So last night Melba dilated to about 3cm and patiently waited to see if she would continue to dilate. Around 8:00am with no more dilation occurring the doctor decided to do a c-section procedure. And let me tell you, from the time the decision was made at 8:00am baby Ellie-Jane graced the world with her presence at 8:32am eastern time.

If you’ve never seen a c-section it will blow your mind at how it is done. But let me tell you, when you have a good doctor working the procedure it is a like watching a work of art.

family01 So little baby Ellie-Jane is doing very well. She rolled out at 7 pounds 2 ounces at a length of 20 inches. Mamma Melba is tired and starting to feel the after effects of the whole ordeal.

All in all I would say today is a most excellent day! We have been blessed with a beautiful, healthy, bundle of love!

1st picture is Dr. Glander posing with American Idol 2027!

2nd picture is Ellie-Jane meeting her mother for the first time.

daddy01 3rd picture is me and Ellie after her oh so fun first bath!

4th picture is Ellie-Jane and mom after all the excitement of the day. Whew, they both look happy to be in the bed relaxing!

5th picture is of little Ellie-Jane enjoying a nap.

melba04 baby01

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