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Oh Christmas TREE

December 24, 2016

With moving to our first farm there have been many firsts. I consider myself a city boy while my wife has farm blood running in her vein. It was only a matter of time until we made a move to a farm. Over Thanksgiving week my grandparents were in town, and the Friday after Christmas is when we always pick up a real Christmas tree. This year was different than normal years though. We happen to live up the steeet from the Allen Hill Tree Farm in Brooklyn, CT. Although the day was as cold as it has been all year we loaded up with hats and mittens to cut our tree down. We were blessed to have my grandfather with us even though he was craving warm weather in his home state of Florida we were able to have him join us.

Life is about memories, and cutting down this tree was full of them. My children were able to spend the day with their great grandfather at a tree farm filled with holiday cheer. My children watched people shake my grandfathers hand thanking him for being a veteran. I watched as I saw my kids begging him to come on a tractor ride while he was truing get the warmth back in his toes.  When we arrived at the plot of trees where we were dropped off I could hear my grandfather picking out the first tree he saw so we could get back to warmth of our house, but my kids had other plans. They wanted to search the entire field looking for the perfect tree. As I was under the tree I could hear the kids, Lachelle, and my Gramp laughing a lot. The didn’t see the smile on my face under the tree, but it was there. This tree will be one of my favorites. Not because it was too big for our house, and caused quotes from “Christmas Vacation” to happen as I trimmed it inside to fit. It will be one of my favorites, because of the memories spent getting the tree. 

Everyone talks about how Life is all about memories and experiences, but how much time is spent creating those memories. I’m thankful this season for my family who are up for adventures, and experiences. 

God bless everyone, and to all a good night!

As always if you’ve made it this far in my post thanks!

Active and Inactive Involvement

September 12, 2015

  
One of my favorite things to do while growing up, and through college was to lay in a tent listening to the fire spark, and the wildlife. Working more hours than not I find it really important to improvise activities with the kids. Now our backyard isn’t like the nights spent camping in the Adirondacks of NY, but it’s pretty darn close. There’s no car to be loaded, traffic to be stuck in, or leaves needed for “emergency” TP. When our  kids first asked to do this it seemed semi boring to me. However, no I get it. Our kids were used to Lachelle and I sitting by a fire while they were inside laying in their bed. Our Kids want like to be involved even after hours. 

So sitting by the fire it made think about that concept. I believe everyone wants a level of involvement whether directly or indirectly, and depending on the situation the level of involvement will be different. It’s a solid reminder that when with others to keep in mind that we shouldnt exclude people from being involved simply because they don’t seem to be an active participant. I often find they may be soaking in the moment or trying to learn from those actively engaged in an activity. Especially with kids.

Point of the story….get creative to keep everyone involved!

1 man blessed by 3 kids

June 21, 2015

Most that are close to me know I want to spend as much time with my family as possible. My wife works on Saturday nights catering, and that means it’s strictly the kids and I. When she first started working I used to think of it as 3 on 1. Now I think of it as 1 man blessed by 3. Today I took the kids to the beach to body surf. First off it is wild that my kids are old enough to do this without holding on to them, and secondly it’s great they aren’t old enough so they still randomly ask to hold my hand. I was searching for a natural sand castle shovel aka “sea clam shell” when my oldest daughter asked I would hold her hand while she tried to go deeper in the water. Part of me was taken back, because she still needs me for those moments. I know time is flying, and the more I see them growing the more I cherish those moments. 

So what do I want to do on Father’s Day. Pretty simple I want to spend time with the man who taught what a father should be. My dad. I also want to spend the day doing whatever my kids want, and I’ll enjoy every minute of it. 

For the children out their without fathers or with fathers that have passed know that I am sure if you had a father or if your dad was still alive he’d want to do the same thing.   

Something I Learned from my 6 year old

January 18, 2015

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Often times it’s easy to speak without thinking. Actually more so than not it’s easier to verbally vomit than to think before speaking. Likewise, it’s all easy to forget that our children are watching our every movement, what we say, and how we treat others. Tomorrow I turn 32, and I’m very excited about what’s in store. What I do know is that while celebrating my birthday today, and opening presents my oldest daughter taught me a lesson that dates back some 2,000 years ago when a woman took all that she had to buy perfume for Jesus. Some thought she was crazy, but she didn’t care.

Today while beginning to open presents Baylee couldn’t wait for me to open her card. As I opened her card I noticed two things. One the card was about me being a scary monster which made me smile because we play monsters in our house often (based on Disney’s Monster Inc not like a horror flick). Secondly I noticed in the card a dollar bill. To some that might seem meaningless, but not to me. The dollar she gave me was all that she has in monetary terms. I’ve spoken many times to my children about it being better to give than receive, and seeing this gift from my daughter reminded me of how important it is as parents to remember everything we do shapes the path for our children… EVERYTHING. Even when we’re tired we don’t have an excuse to say careless things. That dollar she gave me will never be spent, and forever will be a priceless reminder to me and all that will hear the story.

To everyone that read this far thanks, and to everyone in my life who’s been a great example thank you!

Glad their not turkeys

November 27, 2014

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Those that know me know Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year. Runner up is Thanksgiving. I was having a nice discussion with my wife last night about how everyone has something to be thankful for even if their life has nothing but “tragedy”. This is a short post today to say thanks to everyone who has been instrumental in my life whether pushing me to learn how to ride a bike, graduate both sets of college, or to help me keep pushing forward after our family lost my brother. Whatever our situation is focus on not being a victim of life rather focus on turning woes in victories. Easier said than done……depends on your desire.

Happy thanksgiving!

Off with the crib mattresses

November 9, 2014

IMG_3543There are a few things that manage to get me teary eyed. For those that know me I like to keep positive all the time, and for better or worse I don’t let people see me cry. Including my wife. Today we set up Austins first “big bed”, and put away the race car bed; as well as, the only crib mattress we have ever owned for all our kids. I was folding laundry after setting up Austins new despicable me bed, and there was the crib sheet. For whatever reason it hit me as I tossed the crib sheet into our savers pile (second-hand clothing store) that it was about the last real item that was still being used in our house from the infant stage. Some people are in a hurry to skip that stage, and on days I was too; however, I knew it was passing fast and tried to savor every second. It was then that I remembered sitting next to my brother on the plane heading hike in Colorado. The start of our families journey (or at the time the start of his and my vacation). One of the fond memories of him on the plane was knowing weeks prior to the trip we kept talking about how we couldn’t wait to have a few days away from the kids to breath. Then as soon as were on the plane we had several hours of only talking about the babies we missed at home.

The point I’m hitting at is to not be in a rush. With a society moving a towards everything needing to be “faster” it will only require all of us to really slow down to focus on those that are most important to us.

The photo is of my brother with Baylee at the Roger Williams Zoo. I still can’t go to the spot where the photo was taken without catching my breath.

3:15 am downtown Seattle point of view

October 17, 2014

downtownWe’re often comforted with our own daily “life” routine to a point where we forget how blessed we truly are. Again I said in my last blog when I say “we” I’m throwing my name in that to. Follow my train of thought I promise there’s a positive spin.

Think about the worst day or memory you remember. Now for most people it won’t take a large cup of coffee, mood lighting, and zen music in the background to pull that memory out of our mental vault. Actually I don’t think anyone would come up speechless. Actually the opposite is probably more common than not. A typical response would be “well that’s a tough question as there are so many to choose from”. Now take a few seconds, and think of your worst memory. A few things happen when you do this:
1 – You see your mind as you’d see a movie on TV that’s being rewound. (Sort of like a flash right? Those older to each of us continually say hang tight cause life goes fast. Well there you have it)
2 – You lock in the “worst” memory or the unfortunate occurrence that shaped your world view from that point forward.
3 – You then feel a rush of emotions. It may be sorrow, rage, anger, confusion, or regret.
Alright so take your worst day, and hang tight. This morning I left the hotel in downtown Seattle at 3:45 am to catch a red-eye back to Rhode Island. As I walked the to the parking garage 1/2 mile away I saw roughly twenty homeless people sleeping in various spots. Several people were already gearing up their addictive behaviors before the sunlight where it’s harder to hide. Then in front of me a person was sprinting wearing jeans and a winter jacket with a winter hat. I stopped in my tracks as the cops breezed by, and put the guy on the ground. That’s where this blog began.
Back to our “worst” day discussion. I can tell you that my worst day so far doesn’t compare to each of those
people I saw this morning (my worst day being with my brother when he fell to his death for those that haven’t read blog número uno). Point being realize how blessed you are at your current place in time. If the current place you’re at isn’t where you want to be then change your outlook. Statistics prove that people are quick to count the negatives, but the greatest book ever written poignantly states to count our blessings one by one.
Now I ask the counter to my original question. What’s the best memory you have in relation whomever is involved with your worst memory? You might remember in the movie Hook tinker bell telling the older Peter Pan to hold on to that happy thought so he can fly. Peter Pan in the movie couldn’t fly, because he was allowing all the bad memories to hold him back. Metaphorically that’s what we should each do. Hold on to the best memory we have, and make the lasting memory of our unfortunate experiences.
If someone asked me what’s my a memory that helps me to sidebar the memories of when my brother died it would be the following. As the memorial service began to fill I was full of emotions I had never experienced before. The church filled to a point where we had to set up an overflow. All of the people spoke of how he positively affective them. That’s my trumping memory. That I was blessed enough to have a brother that left such an impact on people. That memory has reshaped my outlook forever.
What’s your?
As always if you made it this far I hope the rest of your day is blessed!