Patience: A Party 30 Years In The Making

Impatience doesn’t care about gender, race, or age and it reeks havoc on individuals, companies, and relationships.  My wife and I have had countless conversations and even arguments because one of us, usually me, is being impatient.  
It wasn’t until recently that we came to a realization about the word patience and how it relates to our lives.  A few months back we, along with so many others from Lindsay’s old neighborhood, were invited to a party to celebrate the marriage of the brother of one of Lindsay’s best friends from childhood.  As the day arrived, we packed up the family and went on the five minute drive to the neighborhood where my wife grew up. The home where the party was held was perfection.  It had gorgeous hardwood floors throughout and each room was perfectly furnished.  There was beer, wine, snacks, and desserts set up throughout the house and a local BBQ company had catered the event.  The backyard was beautifully landscaped and had a relaxing water feature and a stunning lake view to cap it all off.
As I mingled with the other guests, every single conversation would always turn towards fond memories from years gone by.  The memories would usually include how my mother-in-law taught their kids piano and stories about Lindsay and her parents.  This party, in every aspect, was perfection.
As we packed up the kids and started the five minute trek home, we talked about how beautiful the house was, how unbelievable it was to have refreshments all over, and how great the conversations were.  That was the type of party I wanted to throw.  I wanted to have the perfectly manicured landscape, food and refreshments flowing from all corners of the house, and conversations of moments long gone by.  As our tires hit our driveway, a different thought popped into my head.  That party, as perfect as it was, took over 30 years to execute.  It may have been a day of actual planning and follow through, but it took over 30 years for the whole thing to come together.
When the house was first purchased it wasn’t fully furnished with updated features throughout.  It took years to fully furnish, make updates and additions, to get the perfectly manicured landscape with that calming water feature. The conversations weren’t trivial because everyone had the base of 20 plus years of background.  About the only thing that didn’t take 30 years was the food and refreshments, but even having the ability to purchase them without blinking an eye takes years of putting money away so that you can have celebrations like these and not have to focus on the cost. 
In the weeks that have passed since attending this party, I have come to realize how I need to have the patience to see the small steps through.  When we look at the small steps taken over time, we get to see a big improvement. But in the midst of the shuffle, they don’t seem to matter at all. We all need to learn to deploy patience because it’s what helps give us perspective to see the impact we are making, and the legacy we are leaving.

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: 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

Boy's Night

Boy’s nights are looking a little different as of recently.  Ever since this little Georgia peach came into existence, things have understandably changed.
I remember when Sam and I would go on walks on a local trail that would lead to Town Center Mall and we would stroll around, look at books, get cupcakes, and play the night away.  Nowadays we are at home, snuggled up in mine and Lindsay’s bed watching Thomas for ten minutes before he realizes that Sid the Science  Kid is what he really wants to watch.  Ahh kids and their fickle little minds.
I loved taking Sam on long walks and doing fun little errands and adventures for boys nights, but I will be more than happy with little cuddles from this guy.

Here is a Pro-Tip for when this stage of life comes around for others though: Stay off the durn cell phone.  I caught myself about five minutes into watching Thomas, which sadly isn’t as great as I remember it, that I could technically hide my phone from his view and read up on things (scrolling through Facebook).  Even though this isn’t an epic moment or something he will probably remember, I want to be present.  I want him to know that I am focused on him and that this time I get means more to me than anything in the world.

Dad Life: Family

Firefighters and Unicorns

I’m going to come right out and say it, I stinkin love our neighborhood. Celebrating Halloween was so much fun.  It was crazy seeing the hoards of kids and parents walking up and down our streets.  We even had a couple of cul-de-sacs that had dance parties going on and all the houses joined together and had lots of food and candy to pass out for the kids.
The best part was not only continuing traditions from my wife’s childhood, cooking chili and hot dogs for dinner, but we were also able to create some new ones with some friends and family and also our awesome neighbors. I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS!!!

We honestly weren’t sure how the night would go, but Emma handled it like a champ and even fell asleep in Lindsay’s arms.  We also could not be more proud of our little guy.  He did such an amazing job ringing doorbells and knocking on doors to get that free candy. Plus he even said “Trick or treat,” and “Thank you” after he got his candy.  We raising this kid to be a polite mooch y’all.  Once he was done collecting his candy, he would turn around, point to the next house and say “Trick or treat dat house.” It was so much fun being a part of the Halloween festivities in our own neighborhood and seeing everyone get so into it.

As the night winded down, Sam was getting a glazed over look, but with each time we collected the candy he would say “one more house.” One of the cutest parts of the whole night though, besides our kids just being their adorable selves, is when Sam wanted to hold Pop’s hand the whole time as he walked from door to door.
I can’t wait til next year already and getting to walk around with our cute adorable crew.  This is just going to get better and better, and maybe one day, we can hit all 600 homes that are in our neighborhood. #Lifegoals