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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!

Teach them to dance in the kitchen

October 13, 2014

kas1One of life’s greatest firsts with my middle child occurred today as she sang in church with me while I played the guitar. The great thing about church is that its a place where imperfections are welcomed. As my close friend likes to say we are all “Perfectly Imperfect”. People today may have heard a few high notes out-of-place as my little kassy tried to keep up with her mother singing, and while smiling ear to ear as she sang I was reminded of the genuineness of our 4-year-old. A 4-year-old remembers a lot that has happened in their short time on life, but it’s not the “huge” worries we as adults harbor. Things a 4 yr old holds on tight to are experiences like someone shutting a TV off right as Dora was going to save a sea turtle or their marshmallow fell into the fire before they could slap it in between two graham crackers with chocolate (rightfully so I would get annoyed at that two).  What if we as adults tried for one full day to put aside the “huge” worries, and just focus on the present. I’m not casting stones on this I’m actually going to try this out as well. There are some climatic event in life that can’t simply be put away for a day, and those that know why this blog started know I get (for those that haven’t read my first blog). Yet I want to begin controlling the outlook for the day putting aside the “huge” worries that can damper anyone’s mood or outlook. Now it doesn’t mean we wake up, and pretend big events of life didn’t occur. What I mean is for instance when thinking about my brother it will be about a joyful moment not the joyless moment when notifying family members of him passing. To start this off I am going to keep a song in mind. A song that tonight I had my kids throw their hands to, and dance in the kitchen. The song is KEEP YOUR HEAD UP by Andy Grammer. The words I like are the following:

The glow that the sun gives
Right around sunset
Helps me realize
This is just a journey
Drop your worries
You’re gonna turn out fine.
Oh, you’ll turn out fine.

But you gotta keep your head up, oh,

And you can let your hair down, eh.
you gotta keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh.

As fast as the day ends so does our time on this earth so why not try downgrading the “huge” worries of an event that is out of our control with an outlook of hope and determination keeping our heads up……that is in our to control. A friend of ours smiles all the time,and its evident in her two girls and husband that she has purposed to keep her head up. I recently learned that she had lost both of her parents to cancer. It’d be easy for her to throw in the towel, but its evident she’s purposed otherwise (Thanks for the example to the unnamed person)

One last thought…………

kas2

Those around us need us to keep our heads up or how else will they know how to make funny faces. 

Parts of a wave in relation to grieving

October 6, 2014

lecount hollow I had started to mentally write this blog before I received a phone call from a friend whom I have only heard cry one other time, and that was when my brother passed away. He’s the type of friend that was there the day I came back from cremating my brother, and was there with my brother and I surfing hurricane swells. So although this blog is something I wanted to write a few days ago I now hope this helps my friend and his family who are suffering the loss of their loved one.

The past two weeks alone have a been what one might pen as invigoratingly draining. This is what I mean by that. In the past two weeks we’ve traveled well over four thousand miles. Some of the miles were work related, but the majority were family related. Some of the miles were as a result of a relative passing away, and some were as I said were miles spent working to provide for those rides. None the less miles are miles………..sort of. The miles accrued for work provide for some nice stories, and experiences that help to explain to some why I love what I do. However, the miles accrued with my family have provided memories that’ll last past my time on this earth. Through the miles we traveled we spent a lot of time with each other laughing, crying, and all around enjoying each others stories. Now to how that relates to the three parts to a wave……..

Parts of a wave Rosinski style not the actual parts as explained in class 😉

–  Laughing (Sitting on a board knowing that we’ll either be on top of underneath the wave)

– Crying (From laughing of either being on top of the wave or below the wave)

– Enjoying each others stories (Explaining to others how we ended up on top or why we were under the wave)

Parts of a wave as explained in class, but applied to those going through difficult or character building times

Still-water line – Part of the ocean not affected by the waves. There will be times during the difficult times (waves) where you remain unaffected. It will appear as if you had never lost someone. You will be sitting on your board legs gently gliding through 70 degree water with the sunrise beaming on your face. The grief of losing someone temporarily isn’t in the forefront of your mind. Its best to enjoy those times as we all know it won’t last to long. While in the “still-water line” stage its best to refuel your mind to better prepare yourself for the crests.

Crest – Highest part of a wave. The part of the wave that you as the individual physical push through to get as far as you possible can on your own. Reach with every stroke further through the current wave trying with everything that is in you to make it through the wave. All the while this typically gets you to the trough of the wave.

Trough – Lowest part of a wave. Your energy is zapped from the effort you used making it through what was seen as the toughest part of the wave. This is where its a blessing to have the help of the “wave” to carry you through to this part of the experience. I am speaking to the help of God, and those around you. Those that are closest to you. Those that when you arrive back from losing your brother know that its going to be the most difficult trip to Newport Creamery for ice cream, but do it because they want to. I was in the trough metaphorically speaking when this close friend asked me to get ice cream knowing that I wouldn’t even be able to leave his car due to the emotions let alone get out more than one or two sentences without feeling like my windpipes permanently shut.

How often and for how long each wave happens unfortunately mirrors actual ocean waves all to closely. For those that have never been to the ocean or don’t see it everyday what I mean is that there is no rhyme or reason to the waves for the most part. What I would say is that with me I know that I am most affected by the loss of my brother when I am tired. This again mirrors the waves, and surfing perfectly. Ask or watch any surfer, and you’ll know when one of them is zapped of energy.

Back to the parts of a wave as defined by me 🙂

Laughing – Its not healthy to laugh all the time, but it is the most important part as it is a sign that you are pushing through the worst parts of the wave.

Crying – Those that try not to cry only prove that its not possible. (That just made laugh typing that)

Enjoy each others stories –  I personally need to talk about my brother. I don’t want to act like he wasn’t my best friend. Same with all of you reading this who have lost loved ones. Don’t shun the stories. That’s how most people grieve is by talking and telling stories of their loved ones. It subconsciously helps that person hang on to memories, and not lose them. So let them tell the same story over and over, and enjoy that story with them like its the first time you’ve heard it. My wife is great at this. Shes heard me tell the story of bringing my sister to a Dave Matthews Concert when she was 10 or 11, and a man lighting his prosthetic arm on fire next to my sister while my brother and I laughed like crazy a million times over. Yet Lachelle (my wife) will still laugh and cry with me like it was the first time she heard it.

To those that read this I thank you, and assume if you made it this far it’s because you either “A” are a relative and know I’ll ask if you read it 🙂 or “B” it’s because you have lost someone. My heart goes out to those of you who lost that special someone today. My heart broke hearing one of my closest friends broken on a phone. All I can say is that he will be missed.

Back to our heritage!

April 22, 2014
My Family is everything to me!

My Family is everything to me!

I’ve told many the story of how we came about getting chickens, but there is more to the story. The short story is that while we were making homemade granola bars Baylee asked if we could make eggs. I replied sure would you like cheese in your omelette. She then replied no. Like can we make eggs from a chicken she said. Chelle said, “Greg you know me”. I knew it was time. Its like everything in life timing plays a huge part in all of our grand stories. Things fit better when the timing is right. I know this blog is a continuation from me talking about the death of my brother so I will state that there is no right time with death. Lets leave death out of this story.

When Lachelle smiled, and said Greg, “you know me”. I thought yes I do, and I know that I took you from good old farming Minnesota where your dad had cows/horse, and your family had acreage of farm land. It was time to preserve the Jibben lineage in our Rosinski household. After a few months of owning 14 chickens they are now a part of our lifestyle. We’re accustomed to using the fertilizer for our compost pile which then has been churned into the gardens. We let the chickens free range, and now there hardly any bugs in our backyard. Shortly we’ll have about 7 dozen eggs a week which the girls will learn the pleasure of giving. Yet right now I am enjoying seeing the kids having fun with the dogs, and chickens. It’d be a shame for the kids to come from a deep heritage of farming for them not to have a few chickens. Along the journey the kids have even become used to their chores. When I first met Lachelle, and would go to her parents house. Don (her father) would say, “come on Greg time for chores”. Me being a good ole Yankee thought alright time for laundry. He then handed me thick leather mitts, and a car-hart jacket then said, “you might need a scarff where we’re going to bed the cows”. I laughed, and thought aw yes it beez a bouts dat time. Now its me saying to the kids chore time. The chickens have helped instill a little husbandry into the kids, and get them outside. We as a society have gotten so far from our roots that the only farming most know is an ap on a cell phone. GET back to the roots of life! Get back to doing things as a family where there is engagement with each other. A huge problem our society faces is the disengagement that all of the new technology is creating.  I’m not saying go get chickens. I’m just saying get back to our roots where conversation at a dinner table was a priority not just around the holidays. Our backyard farm has done just this. It’s brought us closer where we hang out just sitting in the dirt just laughing.

Mile high Sand Dunes to a 2 year old

October 9, 2013
One last shot at the cottage

One last shot at the cottage

Coming back from a mini-vacation at our favorite cottage in Wellfleet MA (Cape Cod for those that don’t know the area). We go here to scoot away from the day to day to refocus on whats important……family. This trip was unlike other trips in that we never left the beach, and spent the evenings in the cottage making up games. Alright thats pretty typical for us. This time in all the chasing of the kids I saw the sun hitting my wife (shes gorgeous) down the beach as she was complete in the zone with her camera trying to get the perfect shot of pod of seals in the water. Thats when I heard the kids screaming with pure joy, and was reminded of how blessed I truly am. I turned around to see the kids were busy chasing each other up the sand dunes, and then rolling down them. I imagine that to a 2 year old a 100 foot sand dune must feel like if they reach the top God will greet them. It doesn’t take much with our family to enjoy a good time, and its important to me to keep fostering that lifestyle with the kids. I want the kids to know that with all of the materials in life that can occupy ones attention that simplistic enjoyments build lingering memories. During the trip the kids reminded me of the joys of burying yourself in the sand. Once I was covered the kids used me to play king of the mountain. To many fathers miss the beat with their kids. Fathers need to remember that you are a superhero to your kids. You are there to act the age of your kids at time, have some fun, and also be the voice of reason when needed. To many people grow up, grow old, and grow tired. My father has been a leading example on how a father should act. If you meet or speak with him all you have to do is ask him about the times we have taken his tandem kayak surfing while fishing lol.

PS This vacation started with a really exciting delay to the trip. My sister called to ask us to stick around until she came home. Her, and her boyfriend walked through the door, and let us know they are engaged. I couldn’t be more happy for them!

#fatherhood #cottage #wellfleet #joy # love #beach #saltlife

Navy cook

October 5, 2013

When a desert cook of a ship was asked by the admiral how he viewed his job the response was “I have the most important job on the ship”. The admiral was intrigued, and asked why. The cook replied that desert is the most important part of a meal. It keeps the moral high, and if troops don’t have high moral they will perform at a decreased level. If they don’t perform as well there effectiveness as a soldier will faulted, and could result in the death of someone. The admiral replied, and said sailor thank for your service to the USA.

As a father we have the same importance. If we allow for things to get in the way of the quality of our “desert” it will have an affect on the perception of us by either our children or spouses. Keeping our lives simplistic, and reducing our extended commitments is a way to increase the quality of our desert. Chelle and I, like my parents taught me, raise the kids to enjoy simplicity. It also helps us to reduce useless stress that is cause by having to many things taking our attention away from what’s most important.

It’s a short blog for a Saturday, but how is your desert your cooking turning out?