Day 173: Grand Opening

Today marks the end of a culmination of events.  We open my wife’s studio/workshop tonight in a Grand Opening.  Much of the last 6 weeks has been taken up with the hard work that has gone into it, particularly the last week.

I’ve actually missed two days of working out this week, making them the first time all year that I have failed in getting in at least some pushups/pullups/etc…  😦  I’m not real happy about that, but given the late nights and complete exhaustion I’ve had upon coming home, I have to accept it.

Today is the end of all of that.  I’ve already told her that I am “so ready for this to be over with”.  However, her hard work will pay off for her, and she has done a fantastic job.  I’ll post pictures tomorrow of the gala tonight.

In the meantime, in honor of her meticulous attention to detail, here are a few quick thoughts from Steve Jobs.

“When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.”


“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”


“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other opinions drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Day 66: Lessons From a Sick Mama

3:31 AM. 

(Why am I awake and staring at the ceiling?  He’s not crying, and neither of the girls are stirring.  So…why am I awake?) 


(Oh.  She’s puking.)


Sicky the stomach bug made a guest appearance at the house today, incapacitating my wife.  While no one else has gotten sick yet – knock on wood- an important lesson which we all learned as children was reiterated in a big way: Mammy matters.

I like to think I’m a good dad.  I change the diapers whenever there’s an opportunity.  I do most of the dishes.  I do most of the cooking.  I try to be home every day at a good hour and spend as much time with my kids and wife as possible.  I dote.  I spoil.  I discipline.

The fact still remains, however, that no matter what I do, I’m not Mommy.  I interact with my girls on a different level than she does.  Likewise with my son.  She (my wife) tells me about their cuddle sessions at night, in the rocking chair in the room, where the girls stroke her face and nuzzle and caress her hair before falling asleep.  In the same scenario, I get a hug, a kiss and a “I love you, Daddy” before they nuzzle into my chest and fall asleep.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining.  I cherish those drool marks just below the armpit.  I’m just illustrating the difference in my relationship from my wife’s.  My son doesn’t cry whenever he hears my voice but can’t see me, as he does with his mom.  He smiles and comes crawling to me whenever I enter the room, and I was the first one he officially “reached” up for, asking to be picked up.

I interact with the progeny in a different way from their mother.  In some cases I discipline more harshly, and in same cases I sneak them the cookies under the table.  My kids get some of what they need and require from me, and my wife provides the complement.  We are a tandem machine, running a household and raising kids in a soul-enjoined partnership.

And when the better half of that partnership breaks down…let’s just say bad things happen around the house.  Dishwashers break, snow remains unshoveled, diapers disappear in one room, only to reappear in another…get the picture?  I swear that I left the room for 5 seconds to turn off a tea kettle and when I returned, my son had the remote in his nose, my eldest was doing the Harlem Shake and my middle child had flown up to the top of the entertainment center.  And I still don’t know where the cheese stick went!

Weird things happen when Mom is sick.

Weird things happen when Mom is sick.

I’ve learned, and am still learning, that I can’t go through this life alone.

  • I used to think I could do my job by myself.  Now I’m learning that by asking for help I am far more efficient.
  • I used to think I could raise my kids just fine if I was alone.  Now I’m learning that I can only fill half their actual needs.
  • I used to think I knew all the answers.  Now I’m learning that I barely even know the questions.

See where I’m going here?

As fiercely independent as I am, I have needs that I can’t meet on my own.  On the rugby pitch, I rely on my teammates to get me the ball when I need it.  At home, I entrust my wife with bills and bank ledgers.   I trust FedEx.  I trust my car mechanic.  I depend on the weatherman.  I need, they provide.

We all have needs to be met throughout life.  Recognizing those needs is paramount to overcoming obstacles placed in front of us.  Some of the needs are tangible: a delivery, an answer, etc…  Some are abstract: knowledge, encouragement, and so on.  If you came to me tomorrow with a need, I might be able to assist you.  I might not.  It depends on what your need may be, and what my skillset is in relation to you.  I’ve received a half-dozen emails regarding my Overcoming Discouragment post this past weekend.  It seems the right words were written at the right time.  I’m just trying to do my part in encouraging you to seize control of your life.  I’ve been encouraged, I just want to pay it forward.


I’ve got a great bechamel sauce recipe, if you need it.

Today, my wife was sick.  Ergo my whole household was “sick”; it wasn’t functioning properly.  I need my wife.  She completes me, our house, and our family.  I want to be present and help anyone else who needs it.  If you need advice, a board to sound off on, encouragement, or tips on better bechamel sauce, I’m your guy.  Don’t hesitate to email, leave a comment, or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.  I respond.

Why?  Let’s put it this way.  The wife managed to get my car stuck in a snow covered driveway last week, and a good Samaritan driving by helped plow her out.  When we contacted him to properly thank him and give him something to show our appreciation, he simply replied that we pay it forward.

That’s why.  I just want to pay it forward.

As always: This is simply my journal as I try to better myself. I hope it inspires you to focus on yourself. Make 2013 YOUR year.
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Day 47: A Dinner Date, What is That?

Funny Wedding quotes

Last night my wife and I got to reconnect as a couple.   As part of a Valentine’s Day celebration, we lined up a babysitter and went out on the town for the night.  Side note:  With three kids who don’t sleep in,  “for the night” now means approximately 6-10:30pm. We both got dressed up, I in a shirt and tie, she in a dress I bought her for Christmas, grabbed a bite of sushi to start the evening, followed this up with a stop at our church’s annual Jazz Band Dance, and then finished the evening with a fancy dinner at one of the best-reviewed restaurants in town.

It was a lovely dinner and such a wonderful chance to spend time with the woman I dearly love.  We don’t get to do it often right now.  The kids are not yet old enough to leave them with a babysitter for extended lengths of time, so we wind up structuring our days and nights around sleep schedules.  Between the kids, the household chores and the day-to-day stresses, it is very easy to forget who you and your spouse are individually.


This is one of the goals my wife and I expressed to each other at our wedding – that we never wanted to lose sight of each other as we are.  The diapers come and go.  Bills will get paid.  Fights happen.  Summers and winters will fly by in the blink of an eye.  But thirty years from now there is only one person who I will be standing with in my arms, on a beach somewhere watching the sun set: my wife.

As much as I enjoyed last night, with the quiet conversation, eye contact and well-coiffed hair, I will continue to try to let her know every day that she is beautiful to me, regardless of the flannel pajamas or hoodies or baby spit-up.


Quick Blasts:  I’ve nearly finished Dracula, and am continuing to work my way through How to Win Friends… and have continued my devotional every day.  I made positive identification on another new species of bird in the backyard today, the Common Redpoll.  The finish work on the desk is nearly done.  I’ve run 19 miles so far.  My workouts have increased from simple pushups, situps and wall squats to a full routine of lifts and exercises, and I’m slowly seeing results.

As always: This is simply my journal as I try to better myself. I hope it inspires you to focus on yourself. Make 2013 YOUR year.
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