Dad Life: Family

Life As A Stay At Home Dad

This may come as a shock to some of you, but I have found out something incredibly important… my calling in life is not, I repeat, is NOT to be a stay at home dad.  I mean Oh… My… Goodness.  This past Saturday Lindsay was out of commission over some stomach bug thing and by 11:30 my resolve was already wearing thin.  No truer words are about to be written: All you stay at home and single parents, I have no clue how you do it.  You deserve much more credit, praise, and help than you are getting.
My Saturday morning is usually a quite and relaxing morning for me, but when you are sent a barrage of texts from your wife about some “issues” she is dealing with, it makes for a unique start to the day and cues me up to know that I will be pulling a little more of the weight that day.  I think it should also be said from the beginning that I may not be the most nurturing person in the world, but we’ll get back to that later.
For the most part, Saturday started off without a hitch.  Lindsay wasn’t in dire straits and I was still able to take Sam to a Touch-A-Truck event in downtown Kennesaw.  I was super impressed with him because it only took about twenty minutes for him to warm up and touch all sorts of trucks and police cars.  He also got ton’s of free swag, including two balloons, because  in the midst of him reaching for a bike to play on, he released the first balloon to float magically away.

After getting all the stickers his shirt could hold, and stuffing his face with popcorn and his pockets with toys, we headed home.  As soon as I got home it was as if the wheels started to fall off.  I had to feed Emma her lunch, Sam became super talkative, I wonder where he got that from, Sam wanted a million and one things for lunch, Lindsay needed me to bring her something because she was feeling queasy, my stomach was growling, Emma was probably getting fussy, and as I looked around the house just seemed to be getting messier by the second.  Did I mention that it wasn’t even noon yet.
After lunch, I had to figure out something to do with both kids until I put them down for “naps.”  From after lunch, until I drove to Chick-fil-A to get Lindsay her chicken noodle soup for dinner, I have no idea what happened.  I mean I quite literally think the trauma of it all has blocked it from my memory. All I can seem to put together is that I Sam and I made something resembling meatloaf for dinner.

As the meatloaf was cooking in the oven, I took the kids to Chick-fil-A to get Lindsay her dinner and when I got back my world immediately got crazy once again.  The meatloaf was done 15 minutes early and I’m truly glad it didn’t burn. Since meatloaf must sound disgusting to kids I convinced Sam that it was really meatballs that we had made and he gobbled it all up.  During all of that is when I was trying to make dinner for myself and Emma and try to put the place back together.  As all of this is going down I hear Lindsay come down stairs, grab the T.V. tray grab her soup… oh yah, the soup I forgot to bring upstairs, and march slightly angrily back upstairs because I had completely forgotten to bring her her dinner.
The only thing that covered up that sin of forgetting Lindsay’s dinner is the fact that she got to watch me struggle more than usual as Emma was doing gymnastics as I tried to get her ready for her bath.
Now I know to some of you reading this little blog of mine that this is all old hat and you deal with it every day.  I realize some of you are laughing and saying “Finally, he knows that the #StruggleIsReal.”  I personally have no idea how my wife, and many others, deal with this every day.  I am so thankful for Lindsay and the fact that I get to go deal with adults everyday.
Lord, bless all these amazing stay at home and single parents because you know they need  it.

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: Family

Sweet Sweet Balentines Day

Now I know this post is coming over a week after Valentines day has ended, but I just had to share my son’s cuteness, the experiences my wife created, and the fact that I may be just a teensy bit jealous of my son.
Jealous about what you ask? Well, let me break it down for you. Remember back in the day when nothing ever went wrong and we went to our favorite place in the world…school? Well on Valentines day I am sure that we all remember going to school thrilled because we knew that we were going to be getting awesome Valentines from all of the kids in class. Sometimes you struck gold, depending on the size of your class. And yes, I may have just a teensy bit of a longing for those much sweeter and simpler times where you gave your special valentines an extra heart sticker. Ahhhhh, true wuv.

Outside of my jealousy, I must say that I am really loving the stage of life that my son is in, and the fact that he is so into helping.  The Saturday before Valentines day Lindsay brought out the Pillsbury Dough Boy cupcake mix and icing and made some cupcakes with lovely pink frosting and red and white heart shaped sprinkles. I wish I could post a video, but I have the basic wordpress subscription. It was of Sam pressing the Dough Boy’s belly because I taught him how to do the “whooooo whooooo” and “heeeee heeeee” sound.  It was so much fun and he did such a great job helping bake the cupcakes and creating his Valentines for his class.

One of the last things we did was we shared some of his creations with our neighbors and brightened some folks’ day.  It really is just the best thing in the world living in such a great neighborhood with fantastic neighbors.  #Blessed.

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.