Dad Life: Family

No Ticker-Tape-Parade

Just the other day I accomplished my goal of getting to a certain weight. Yep, it was just about two months after my original victory date, but hey… I stinkin accomplished that goal and I should have been overjoyed.
Yes, should have been is what I just said.  Now don’t get imagesme wrong, I am super pumped that I reached the goal, but when I reached it there was no confetti that dropped from the ceiling, no balloons to kick around like a happy Bill Clinton, no banner with my before and after picture swung into view, and I didn’t win any show like “America’s Biggest Fatty” ( I only watch Hulu, Netflix, and The Bachelor so forgive me for not knowing the name of the show).
It was a strange feeling because once I hit the goal, my mind went to, “Well, what’s next?”  I know we all do that. Instead of being pumped with the accomplishment, we have a five second celebration and then try and work out what’s next.  The Fitbit app. I use to track my stats even told me to set a new goal right away. I mean how coconuts is that?
After having time to think over all of this and what God has been showing me this new year, I am reminded that when we create goals that are focused just on us, they are so pathetic and weak.  We need to think generationally as Stephen Mansfield talks about in his book, The Search for God and Guinness.  When we start to do that, we start to focus on something bigger than ourselves like as it talks about in Matthew 6:33 “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
What makes the fact that I accomplished my goal important is that it has built a foundation of health for me personally.  It also matters because as no confetti dropped from the ceiling, I was reminded of the real purpose of becoming more healthy and sacrificing so much to get there, and that is so I will be able to do whatever, whenever, with my kids.


Dad Life: Adventure

Creating Experiences

You know what makes life remarkable and memorable? Experiences.  I stinkin love a great experience.  It is a goal in my life to become halfway as good and intentional as my father- in-law.
One of the things he does so well is create experiences for his family.  This man is so passionate about it, he even bought a cabin for his family to use and create memories over the years.
Two memories come to mind as I think about creating memorable experiences.  The first memory happened around Christmas.  My wife’s side of the family got together, as all families do, over the holidays, and we had lots of fun eating great food and hanging out. Well, as it got darker outside, Phil, my father-in-law, told us that he had a surprise for the kids. Now the age range of kids goes from just a handful of months old all the way to high school, so some of them had special roles to play in this.  Phil took the kids outside and told them that he had worked together with an elf from the North Pole to create a little surprise for them, but they had to believe.  He got the kids to say “I believe” once… and nothing happened. He got them to say “I believe” twice… and nothing happened, but on the third time they all screamed “I BELIEVE!!!” and magically, Christmas lights turned on and revealed that the elf had flown all over the backyard leaving little treats everywhere that he landed. The treats ranged from cool light up bracelets, candy canes, to snowman poop, which was the crowd favorite.

The second experience comes more recently from a boy’s trip to the cabin. Now, I could literally talk about some amazing things God did that weekend in another blog post, and in fact, I most likely will, but for now I just want to talk about the experiences that were created to make it a memorable trip for Sam.
The cabin is in Ellijay, GA, but we needed to make a special trip to get a bird feeder for Pops’, what the grandkids call Phil, cabin. After we got the bird feeder we walked around the town and went in the little shops. The last shop in particular was the one of greatest importance though. That shop was Huck’s General Store. This is a kid’s dreamland. When you first walk in you have barrels, BARRELS I TELL YOU, of candy  of all kinds and from all decades, to the most amazing and cool toys you could think of. Well, as we walk to the back of the store we come to the section of Melissa and Doug toys, which if you don’t know what those are, let me do you a favor. Click on the name Melissa and Doug and go get you the best toys ever.

As Sam made his way to the back after seeing all the fantastical things in the shop, his eyes fell on one toy in particular, a wooden fishing pole with magnetic fish.  I mean how perfect is that?  Sam immediately latches onto the toy, won’t let go, and just goes on about “Fishing like Pops.”  Now I know Phil didn’t know if Sam would really pick out a toy, and a fishing one at that, but it was his plan all along to take Sam to this cool little store and he created the opportunity to do something special and fun by ending this trip with a fun gift.

These stories only make me want to step up my experience game and I hope that as the years  go on, I will grow in creating some great experiences for my family and for those in my life. I also know that creating magical experiences all starts with building a foundation of creating the opportunities to make them happen.

Dad Life: Kids

The Next Master Chef Jr.

Our little man just loves to help his mommy and daddy with whatever we are doing.  Everything from cleaning and fixing up the house, to cooking meals and baking treats.   In fact, he loves helping in the kitchen so much that Santa even brought our little man a play kitchen for Christmas. By the way, his play kitchen is nicer than our actual kitchen and has a subway tile backsplash and faux granite counter tops. Lindsay and I be straight jelly, which means jealous for you folks that may not be as hip to the jive that kids are using these days.
Every chance our little man gets to help Lindsay or myself in the kitchen, he is all about it.  He loves to pour ingredients and whip them all together.  It is one of the cutest things to watch him grab on of the kitchen chairs and push it over to the counter, climb on up, and be so thrilled to help.  I seriously hope that in the next year or two he is just as passionate about cooking and baking, because Lindsay and I will be leaving all of the cooking up to him.

Future Mrs. Stippich… #yourwelcome.

Dad Life: Legacy

Hopeful Legacy

Being intentional about building, sharing, and preserving the Stippich legacy is important to me.  I know the legacy that I am creating with my wife and kids may be a little different than the one passed on from my parents, but this is the one I believe God is drawing me and my family to.  It is a legacy built around community and story.
My heart is drawn towards sharing life with others and that is why I crave community.  I also believe that life is made infinitely better when doing life with others.
I love all of the mechanics to what makes a good story.  Truth be told, I used to be pretty arrogant and thought that I could help change other’s stories.  I  eventually came to the realization that the only person who can do that, is God.  What I can do though, is share in other’s stories and help others move along in their adventures.  Seriously, just typing all of this makes me giddy.
I want to grow this legacy of cultivating community and sharing in other’s stories.  I want to bring my kids into the fold and help them live it out and eventually pass it on as well.  I want them to cultivate community and learn how to best interact with others.  Now whether that means they become a ballerina, makeup artist, race car driver, stunt man, novelist, olympian or anything in-between, I just want them to be able to share in people’s stories within their calling.
Building, preserving, and passing on a legacy is an epic challenge, but it is one that I believe we all should readily accept. In fact, I would love to hear about the legacy you are building and how are you planning on passing it on and preserving it.

Dad Life: Kids

Best Little Helper

Over this past Christmas holiday, I had a few projects that were put on my honey-do-list.  The projects were not anything too scary, unless you consider my background with wiring in light fixtures, and I had the best helper one could ask for… Sam.
I love my son to death and I especially love his desire to be with his daddy and help me do all sorts of projects.  In fact, one of my favorite things to hear about is when Lindsay can’t do or fix something, Sam always says, “When daddy gets home.”  #dadwin
As I started saying a paragraph ago, my wife had lined up some projects for me, putting up a new outside light fixture and replacing two toilets, during some much needed vacation time.
The light fixture was actually fairly simple, and yes… I did turn off the correct breaker so there was no electricity running to it.  Sam wanted to be outside with daddy as I took down the old fixture and put in the new one so I figured now was as good a time as any to teach him basic wiring.  I kid I kid (Although he helped screw in the bracket that the light fixture attaches to.)

The second project of replacing the toilets went super smooth. In fact, I had a whole team of helpers for this project: Lindsay (my wife), April (my sister), and Sam.  Sam helped me take out the toilets and put in the two bolts that the base of the toilet attaches to and he even did the finishing touch of attaching the toilet seat on one of the toilets.  My sister wanted to learn how to remove and install a toilet so I jumped on the opportunity to show her and Lindsay did a great job helping as well, but back to the star of the story… Sam.

Sam was just a true champion over this holiday break and I love being able to have him help me with all sorts of projects, which is something my dad used to do with me.  I want my son to remember these times as being fun and so I want him to be as involved in this process as possible, even if it adds time to the project.  He just loves helping his daddy and it has been fun hearing him talk about his favorite new potty, and how cool the new light is. This kid… be still my heart.