The life of a baby is a busy one! In the past few months, Parker celebrated his first birthday, got his first hair cut, learned to walk and visited two countries! But most importantly, Santa brought him his very first ride - a bright blue Cozy Coupe! We can't wait for the weather to get warmer so he can start cruisin' the streets (or well, our driveway at least).
We welcomed our second baby boy, Evan Maddox, into the world on October 17th weighing 6 pounds 6 ounces and 20.5 inches long. He is such a wonderful addition to our family, and it is hard to believe he’s over 3 months old already. Eli is a proud big brother offering Evan stuffed toys and blankets to play with every morning. Evan is quite the observer and likes to watch big brother play. He is holding his head up quite well and offers lots of smiles and bubbles.
I’ve gotta tell you…going from 0 to 1 child was a breeze compared to the adjustments required when going from 1 to 2 children. It was a doozy! We are still figuring it all out, but seem to have hit a bit of a stride here recently. Hopefully we are finding our groove.
We are heading to Florida for vacation next month, so cross your fingers it all goes well with a toddler and baby in tow!
Even though the holidays tend to fill every day with shopping, parties, and preparation, my wife and I decided it would be great to add to the holiday stress by remodeling our kitchen! Before you label us as crazy, we did have a good reason to do so. We are preparing our house for sale and wanted to take advantage of sale prices on appliances and availability of installers.
Everything turned out great, but if you have ever lived through a kitchen remodel you know that it sometimes can feel like you are living the movie – “The Money Pit”. It seemed like sometimes the simplest of things we wanted to do would lead to something extra to make it work. A perfect example was the installation of our new double wall oven. When the installer came out and started to look at the old oven, he told me the electrical wire for the old oven connected at the top, but the new oven connects at the bottom. This led to a delay while we had an electrician come out to run a new wire. When he looked at the new oven he told me that our old oven had a lower amperage than the new oven. This turned into them running an entirely new electrical line from our finished basement (where the electrical panel is) up to the kitchen. To add to our delay (and misery), the new oven is shorter than the old oven, which meant building up the cabinet and refinishing the trim.
Despite these (and a few other setbacks) we are really quite pleased with how everything turned out. I hope your holidays were wonderful and perhaps a little less stressful than ours!
Every day is precious
I was very recently reminded the importance of a loving family, a strong moral character and the circle of life.
Last weekend my wife and I travelled to Atlanta for her cousin’s wedding. A young beautiful couple with an extraordinary story of how they met, their struggle with their long distance relationship and their perseverance to stay together. Clare, was well represented by her Cuban family, as well as her family from the United Kingdom. John’s family, is a blend of French Canadian & American. A wonderful group of people.
This story isn’t just about them. John’s father Gilbert, was placed into hospice the week preceding the wedding and passed away on Martin Luther King’s Day. We spent the evening, before the wedding visiting Gilbert so Juliette (my wife) and other family members could say “Goodbye”. I hardly knew Uncle Gilbert, but after each person told him how much he meant to them and what a positive impact he had on their lives, particularly during a difficult transition Juliette’s family went through, I was deeply affected. This was a man who was generous, kind, took great care of his family and his wife’s extended family in their time of great need. It was so sad to see his life cut short because of all the good he would continue to do if he was alive.
Uncle Gilbert, retired in February of 2016 and was diagnosed with Leukemia in July of the same year. He went into remission for a short period of time but the cancer returned. I think he was lucky, in that, he held on long enough to see one of his sons get married (thank you, Facebook Live) and to be surrounded by his family, the people that he impacted and hear their goodbyes.
The juxtaposition of John & Clare starting a new life together and a great man, Uncle Gilbert, being called back too soon, was something that sticks with me. No one knows how long any of us will be here. All we can do is: take care of your family and people in need, live a good & moral life, know that each day is a gift and make it a great day. See you on the other side, Uncle Gilbert.
Fun, family, and the flu are words that aptly describe our family’s holiday season. We had a quiet Christmas Eve with just our little family and Mark and I had so much fun watching the kids open their presents (it never gets old!).
Maribelle is 13 and it’s the first year she didn’t ask for anything remotely like a toy. It was clothes, shoes, and bath and body works. Campbell (11) got programs to aid him in his digital art endeavors. Jonas (7) wanted all things Nerf guns. I’m always in awe at how much they change from year to year.
Christmas afternoon was a constant stream of family and friends. At one point we had 30 guests. Phew! It was crazy but also so fun. Having a large extended family can be a lot of work but it’s worth it. Usually…
With all of those visitors, came a major flu bug that hit our family hard. Since then we have been tossing around sickness like it’s going out of style:).
Despite the illness, I have still enjoyed the start of this new year. Many get depressed as they pack up the Christmas tree and go through holiday withdrawals. But, I love the opportunity to reflect on the challenges I’ve over come and the things I want to do differently. 2017 was a challenging one but, like the flu makes you appreciate good health, the hard times make you appreciate the good.
I know that many of you have also been struggling with illnesses. I sincerely hope that February brings each of you improved health and much happiness.
Happy New Year!
On January 4th I celebrated my 10th birthday!! I enjoyed a extra special day with eggs for breakfast, fun with my friends at doggy daycare and a doggy sundae with my family at Dairy Queen! And contrary to most folks, I have been loving all of the cold weather and snow (they say I'm 100% Golden Retriever but I have to wonder if there's not a little Siberian Husky mixed in!)