Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Love, Love, Love, Love, Love

Nine years ago I said, "I do" and life changed.

I am constantly thanking God for that.



We're in this together, that's for sure.  You are the one I want helping me up the hills and down the valleys, always there to make sure my foot lands firm.  

I love this life we have together.  I love it so much more now than nine years ago.

But more than I love our life, 

I love you. 

Friday, July 24, 2009


Did I mention that we love summer?

Thursday, July 23, 2009


This little guy had his first taste of cereal on Monday.

The verdict:  Yum.

By the third day though he wasn't feeling the rice.  So I made him some oatmeal.

After looking at a box of Gerber baby cereal I decided that if I couldn't pronounce at least half the ingredients maybe I should just make my own cereal.  

It was super easy actually.  

Steal cut oats (which I had).
Blended until it's ground into a powder.
1/4 cup oat powder with 3/4 cup water.
Simmer (while whisking) for 10 minutes.
Mix with milk until it's thin enough.

Baby tested, mother approved.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A day in the garden

Owen, owen, bubbles blowin,
How does your garden grow?...

Like crazy apparently.  

This little tomato plant had over 80 cherry tomatoes on it at last count.  

Vintage is so in right now.  

Does this count?

Hopefully Owen won't mind me airing a little of his laundry on the blog. 

We love summer!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thoughts on Fatherhood: Thinking You Know It All

This one could quite possible be called "Thoughts on Husband-hood" as well. Ok, ok... I'll get to the point...

We Men think we know everything. Rather, we think we should know everything. And sometimes it's not far from the truth. We need to be able to know how to hang drywall, lay flooring, fix the toilet, fix the sink, fix the oven, fix - well, everything, balance the checkbook, wire the TV/VCR/Cable, replace windows, change the oil in the car, replace tires, clean the pool, run a belt sander, perform all sorts of carpentry, fix the computers, fix the internet, write poetry, dance, cook a good meal, change diapers, kill bugs and rodents, pull teeth, tie knots, fish and hunt (or at least know the basics), first aid, fire building, tent setting-up, chop wood, fly kites... and basically save the world (all with a toothbrush and a roll of duct tape).

And that's only the abridged list.

You see, I'm not that guy in the picture above. I don't know about you other manly men out there, but I don't think I know how to do half of that stuff, not to mention even doing it well.

So what's a 'modern' man to do?

Whether it's being a good husband to Emily or a good father to Owen, there are these constant moments of realization where I just have to say, "I don't know what the heck I'm doing." The thing is, in contrast to that list above, you can't call a contractor or repair guy in to do your job as husband or father. There's no "that was easy" button. Besides, dry wall can be replaced or you can go without TV (yes, believe me, you can!), but another human being is a totally different thing altogether.

The best way to to kick back to some old school values... and pray for a little, well, A LOT of grace. Old school values never go out of style. You know, things like:
  1. keep your word
  2. don't take others for granted
  3. lean back and don't act hastily
  4. patience is a virtue
  5. be committed for the long haul
  6. know when to forgive someone and know when to hold someone accountable
  7. don't be a loner... you can't get it done on your own
  8. don't be a slacker... about anything
  9. the hard lessons are often the best lessons... don't shy away from them
  10. when you fall down, get right back up and keep fighting... no excuses
  11. Finally, love your wife, love your family... and above all, love God with all your heart, mind and strength. He's the ONLY thing that will get you through without getting tore up by life.
Then all those chores find their proper place... and stress levels drop... and life is crystal clear. And you end up doing not such a bad job after all.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Rock and Roll

Owen started rolling over last Tuesday.  It took a little motivation and a big streeetttccchh and - flop! - he was on his tummy.  

I've been experiencing a little self expansion lately, so I like to think I know what he's going through.  Starting school again and moving our little family to Baltimore has been a completely new experience for me.  And, something like Owen's recent foray into the new world of self-adjustment, it took a little motivation (by Jon), a little stretching of my faith, and - plop! - I find myself a week away from midterms.  

I'm glad that I don't have to know it all or see it all.  Obedience and trust.  Lately, I've been able to clearly see the perfection in how God weaves situations together - nothing is too trivial for His attention and I find complete peace knowing that He is the 'formwork' beneath everything I do, and more broadly - everything our family does.  

Complete peace.  Giving me plenty of time to enjoy my rock and roll star baby.

Quick Update

Well, we've both been a little bit busy lately so I haven't been keeping up with the blog as much as I'd like... there's news to report and I'll try to get it up soon (nothing earth-shattering, just cool stuff Owen is doing now).

In the meantime, some of my favorite pics of him from the past few weeks... enjoy!

Teething is no fun...

We like to read...
(well, he's really just tearing up the pages)

Sleepy in the car with mr. dude
(dude means worm in Arabic)

Still, what a handsome guy...

more stuff coming soon... including video!

Sunday, July 5, 2009


We love the beach!

Breakfast with a view...

Running, running, running...

Sandy castles...

Sandy Toes!

I am a beach bum so getting to spend Friday and Saturday at Sea Isle City in New Jersey was nothing but fun.  

And Owen was properly initiated with a toe wiggle in the sea.  Poor baby wasn't too keen on the cold surf.  

Thanks for the hospitality family!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

5 Happy Months!

Owen is 5 months old today.  

5 months of this boy...how awesome.

He is a laughing...
food adoring...
face touching...
toy grabbing...
bath loving...

wide eyed joy

Thoughts on Fatherhood: Where does the time go?

5 months have passed since our little Owen came into the world. He has changed so much, and so have we. I know it's cliche, but it's amazing to watch him change from day to day... each new sunrise brings new adventures and new things to learn.

Watching him grow and change and be fascinated by all that's around him has been a constant and growing reminder of what it means to be childlike.

Owen will take a long time to study something then suddenly he goes for it. Lately, it's been our food or something we're drinking, or basically anything that we have... he wants to hold and touch it as well. You can almost see in his expression or the look in his eyes that "I want to be just like you" face. And when he gets his hands on whatever it is... your cup, your spoon, dad's glasses... it's like there's a joy of just holding that thing and seeing what it feels like.

And I think... how much am I like that? How much do I take for granted the things that get placed in my hands every day? Where's my child-like-ness?

But then there's the other part... the short-attention-span part. After about 5 minutes, that wondrous thing he has is suddenly not all that wondrous and he's ready to move on to the next thing that dad or mom is holding.

And I think... how do I begin teaching him about valuing what he has and not always needing the next-best-thing?

(Of course, I remind myself that he's only 5 months ago... but how young is too young to start having those conversations... I've started already)

So five months old and he's more interesting and engaging with each passing day. Tonight he's sleeping on his stomach for the very first time. It makes my heart well-up with pride when I see him doing new things... growing up. I look forward to the walking and the talking... the running and the jumping... the bumps and the bruises... and finally reaching that place of manhood when he stands before me - on his own two feet - ready to take on life, with the strength of God inside of him... and our love and care supporting him.

I can't imagine how my heart will burst with pride that day.

For right now, I'm happy with his sleeping on his belly. Each journey begins with a first step... and he's on his way to becoming.