marriage

KNOWING LOVE


This is a picture of my wife at 4 years old.

andrea-at-4

Every time I look at this picture, I smile and think to myself, “I wish I’d known her then. I would’ve been her friend!” Seriously, I would’ve friended her so hard. lol I would’ve rode bikes, made mud pies, endured protracted doll activites, discovered bugs in the yard, and listened to every fantastic tale her young mind could conjure. I would’ve done all of it. Gladly.

I used to lament the fact that I didn’t know her when she was younger. That is, until I understood something very important…

She is still that little girl.

That 4-year-old little girl lives inside of her. And every time she shares with me stories of her childhood, or introduces me to cousins she used to visit in the summer, or I sit and watch while she reminisces over faded, old photos of Canadian farmland, I learn more about her 4-year-old self… and her 13-year-old self… and any other year-old versions of her that I may not have witnessed firsthand. And I fall in love with each and every one of them.

Because they are all still there.

As I picture this beautifully blonde, rambunctiously creative, spirited little girl, I realize that I love and have loved… all of her, throughout time. It is impossible to separate the woman she is, from the girl she was. They are one and the same.

So I no longer wish I’d known her at 4-years-old, because… I do. I know her as a preteen in the school performance at Play Mountain Place. I know her as the high school graduate who set off on her first year at UC Santa Cruz. I know her as the coed who took a summer trip to a lake house with friends. And I know her as the woman who bought her first house in Pasadena. I know… HER.

Instead, I now wish that I will continue to know her until she’s 104-years-old. Because I can’t imagine a more amazing gift than over a century of knowing and loving someone like her.

Happy Valentines Day, my love. ❤

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Categories: marriage, personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Social Suffocation


Disc-LAME-er: There will be cliches, self-quoting, photos and a few words strung together to attempt an explanation as to why my last post was in January. But all that is lame. So…  how about we just enjoy moving forward from here? Work for you? Awesome! 😀

Okay, so let me start by saying that life can get the better of us at times. I’m not immune to its affects. It has certainly gotten the better of me. Well, at least it did back in January when I was laid off from my job of 6+ years. Lots of wonderful things have happened and I honestly meant to chronicle it all. But we all know how that turned out. 😛 I just hate the fact that when I finally come up for air, months have passed. 😦 So this is a public apology… especially to certain people who may have felt slighted by the circumstances of my life. I’ve been absent from most social media, with the exception of photos posted to Instagram that are cross-posted to Twitter and Facebook. (So follow me on those sites to stay up-to-date on my crazy, awesome life!) 😉

That being said… here’s what has been going on for the past 8 months.

January – I was laid off from my job. But instead of seeing it as a setback, my wife and I saw it as an opportunity. I’ve since gone back to school, working to obtain my degree in Human Development.JAN 10928856_10152855775201773_479394116374237407_n

February – We’ve been working together to homeschool our four younger children.I’ve always loved to teach, and now I can
play and active role in the overall education of my children! We alternate days of teaching the children and being full-time writers. We get to enjoy our children, as well as the beauty of each day.

FEB 1509885_10152936578756773_2315914500998318247_nThis month we also celebrated Aaron’s 8th birthday!

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March – My oldest son finished his run as the lead in USC’s “Six Degrees of Separation”. He was brilliant in the role and I couldn’t have been more proud.

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April – In April we celebrated, not just one, but two birthdays! A kid turning 2APR 10957005_10153012293131773_7301658854740171243_n

…and another turning 4.APR 11159983_10153060443701773_1136301091559878253_n

This was also the month that my amazing wife ran one of the most intense marathons! It was the SoCal Ragnar Relay Series! It consisted of 12 amazing women who came together to run all day and all through the night from Huntington Beach to San Diego! That’s like 200 miles! I was so proud of her and her team. We actually collaborated on a little video that chronicles the journey. You can view it here: Ragnar Relay – Lola’s Moving Co. Video.

May – This month, one of the highlights was my only daughter and I having another one of our Daddy/Daughter dates. She is just the most warm-hearted person ever, and I am so thankful that she is mine and I am hers. ❤

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June – As I mentioned briefly, we are both pursuing our dreams of becoming published writers! Well, this month we made that dream a reality by publishing my wife’s first (of many to come) book! She started working on it in March, and in about three months time, she finished writing it, and together, we self-published it through Amazon.com. It’s titled, “How To Shop Mostly Organic At The 99¢ Only Store” and it’s fantastic! It gives in-depth pointers on finding Organic, Gluten-Free and Non-GMO foods, so that you can live well and get the most out of your shopping trips to the 99¢ Only Stores. Click on the book to check it out. It’s available as both a hard copy and e-book!

Click here to purchase your own copy!

This was also the month that my second oldest son graduated from High School.

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He is now in his Freshman year at Fresno State University. Wow… time really flies. I can remember when he was 9 like it was yesterday…

Micah 2007-08

July – This month we enjoyed some good ol’ fashioned family time. You know, just being silly…

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…or roughing it in the woods, camping with 20+ family and friends from our church. It’s one of the things we most look forward to during the summer. This was our 5th annual camping trip and each year it only gets better.

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August – This month we sent our second oldest off to college, and finally had an opportunity to get away, just the two of us, for our wedding anniversary. The first time we’ve been able to do so in more then five years! We went to Ojai, CA and stayed at the Capri Hotel. It was a dazzling few days (with intense heat to match) that we both loved. 30 mile bike rides. Midnight pool swimming. Sushi for lunch and frozen yogurt runs in the evening. One of the best times I’ve had in like… forever! lol

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There’s a ton more I could say, but I’m hoping that this will help to spark my writing and get me back to being more consistent with my blog. Thank you for everyone who’s stuck around. I won’t keep you waiting like that ever again. 😉

Categories: family, marriage, personal, photos, relationships, stories, writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Listen Up Kids, Your Father Is An Idiot


…or so mainstream media would have every child believe. In the recently released, faith-based comedy “Moms Night Out“, audiences are asked to sympathize with the poor, over-worked, stay-at-home-mom’s attempt to have at least one night where, as my wife sometimes puts it, “no one needs me”.

Dumb DadsI get that. I really do. My wife is an AMAZING mother! No, seriously! Look up “Amazing Mom” in any dictionary and I guarantee, you wi… (ahem)

Well, I’m sure you get the point. I’m just saying that the concept of having a Moms’ Night Out is not lost on me. I often encourage my wife to go out with her friends and enjoy a much-needed, much deserved break from the fullness of parenthood that is our home. As a matter of fact, the MOMS Club my wife belongs to has a Moms’ Night Out at least once a month. Sometimes more if the moms are feeling particularly fried.

So when I first saw the title of the movie, I thought, “Cool! My wife really enjoys those each month! I bet this will be a great movie!” That is, until I saw the trailer. It serves up a good portion of cliche’ while attempting to draw you in with the following teaser:

"All Allyson and her friends want is a peaceful, grown-up evening of dinner and 
conversation - a long-needed moms' night out. But in order to enjoy high heels, adult 
conversation and food not served in a paper bag, they need their husbands to watch 
the kids for three hours. What could go wrong?"

Apparently, everything when you involve dear ol’ dad. The sad answer to that question provided in the film’s plot summary. A snippet of which (according to Wikipedia) explains to us that, “… their husbands attempt to care for the children with disastrous results.”

This trailer had the familiar stench of the highly derided “Dad Test” commercials by Huggies. I have no problem finding the humor in parenting. But it shouldn’t be used to downplay the importance and value of fathers.

Over the years there has been no shortage of articles from people who’ve felt the same way about Dumbing Down Dads and the Epidemic of Stupid Men and Useless Fathers. As an involved father of 6, I just find it disheartening that we are still fighting to redefine the role and establish the importance of the father in the home. This movie is one more step backward in this struggle. dumb-dad

In his review of the movie, critic Brian Orndorf says, “Less inviting is the suggestion that all dads are buffoons, unable to keep up with their children. Before the night is an hour old, Sean has a dislocated shoulder and Marco is a rattled mess, unable to juggle the basic needs of fatherhood while tending to a parakeet he’s brought from home. It’s ugly sexism in what’s trying to be a harmless feature, pandering to the female audience with a mean-spirited attitude toward men and their habitual boobery. “

Why are we perpetuating the notion of imbecile fathers who get in the way of moms and embarrass their children? Is it too much to ask that we instead focus on laughter caused by simple everyday folly that doesn’t imply someone is a buffoon who exhibits “habitual boobery”?

Or maybe I should just start posting my own videos of the movie making process that depicts writers, directors and producers as idiots who couldn’t come up with an original thought if their lives depended on it. :-/

Categories: commentary, family, marriage, opinion, personal | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Burning Down The House


I’ve seen some couples confuse deliberate embarrassment with playful banter.

They are NOT the same. Not even a little bit.

It’s like playing with matches in a tree house. If someone gets burned, the whole thing could go up in flames.

treehouse fire

Categories: marriage, personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Marriage and the Music Download


On Saturday, I wrote a song…

Or rather, a song was downloaded into my head. It was a total Neo inside the Matrix “I know Kung Fu.” moment. Although Saturday was the day I wrote the song down, it’s actually much older than that. Because, you know, the song was already written. It just hadn’t come to me yet. 😉

matrix-i-know-kung-fu

Okay, what do I mean by all this crazy talk?

Well, my wife could attest to the fact that several of the songs I’ve recorded over the years have been birthed through divine inspiration. These songs are typically a combination of experience and passion that have coalesced into this emotionally infused audio representation of God’s heart and/or my heart toward Him. This was one of those songs. Even though the lyrics are directed toward Him from me (or from others who can relate), it’s like God wrote it, but I was just the one through which he chose to bring it forth.

This happens on occasion. Far too infrequently I might add. I suppose that could change if I would sit down and listen more often. But I digress. Back to the song on Saturday…

Some songs come to me in pieces. You know, a title here, lyrics there, and maybe a melody somewhere down the line. But there are times when the song He gives me is so complete that it all comes to me at once… the words, the music, the melody, the tempo, the vocal arrangement, everything. When this happens, it’s done so with such ferocity that I can barely get it all down fast enough.

So it was that I performed this downloaded song, titled Fall On My Knees the very next day at church after Sunday worship. A snippet of it is posted here… (no disclaimers)

Fall On My KneesFall On My Knees

While I was singing, there was a point during which I was so overcome with emotion that I was very literally on the verge of tears (I didn’t include that part in the audio snippet ;-)). This sentiment was echoed by people who came up to me after service to thank me for writing and performing the song. They said it was as if the song was written specifically for them. In a sense, I think it was. It was written for everyone who is in the exact same place I was in. I was just happy to be used this way.

It’s a certainly a wonderful thing when your gift blesses God and his people. But I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the critical piece of the puzzle that was key to this all coming together… my wife. For if it weren’t for the fact that she insisted I take some time to myself on Saturday, occupied our small tribe of children for hours, and created an atmosphere that encouraged self-care and creativity, this would never have happened.

So to my wife I say… THANK YOU, with all of my ever-expanding heart. ❤

Categories: marriage, music, personal, relationships, religion, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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