Why It’s Better To Create Than Consume

By default we are all consumers.  You don’t have to ever try to consume something.  it is in our nature to get what we want, whether that be food, clothes, tickets to an awesome event, scrolling through mindlessly on LinkedIn or other platforms. The real challenge is creating something that isn’t a humblebrag and actually adds value to those who read it.
Please, create something fun, create something intriguing, create something that sparks a new thought, even if its a potentially controversial one.  Think of a hobby you have, a conversation that made you think, an organization that you volunteer for and create something that isn’t focused on you, but brings light to something that you want the world to know about.
A word of caution, don’t only create content that makes you look awesome.  If you actually want to bring value to those around you, get beyond your big head and ego, and bring OTHERS value. What brings others value? Think about what brings brings them joy, stretches them in some capacity, or shines a light on something that could bring about a new passion or cause to fight for.  Don’t think too much about the content itself, and instead, take the words of the great company Nike to heart… “Just do it.”
(The 5 pics in this post are just random shots that added a visual element. They are nothing special.  Capture and create.)

She’s Two, Me Too, And Fathers:

I’m not sure how this happened, but she’s two.  My adorable little princess is two.
I know, every parent in the world says that every year their child gets a year older, but it’s true… I have no idea where all of this time went.  How in the heck is she two?
One of my favorite things to do, and this started when Sam turned one, is to reflect back on the year and get a 50,000 ft view of how I think it went.  This year with Emma was a blast.  She has started coming into her own personality, she has long dirty blonde hair, a belly that sticks out three feet after every meal, a passion for puzzles, and loves singing a “Whole New Worrrrrrrrrld” before bedtime while I pull her around on her blankie.
I feel that this past year was very foundational for our family.  Lindsay has done a great job figuring out all of this allergy stuff and has come up with some great guardrails for keeping Emma safe, healthy, and happy.  We have found freedom in what most people would consider a very scary prison.  Even though Emma’s allergies are prevalent and ever looming, she is full of fire and passion and I can’t wait to see what kind of princess she becomes.  Whether it’s Pocahontas and she jumps off of cliffs and saves two nations, or maybe she is a beautiful bookworm like Belle who saves a beast, or she could quite possibly be the best pastry chef like Tiana and battle dark voodoo warlocks.  Whichever kind of princess she ends up being, I just pray that she knows she is loved, adored, supported, has so much value, and her body and worth is not made up by what others may think of her.
(This post is now going to take a turn)  The #metoo movement has been at the forefront of our nation and it is awful and despicable hearing the stories that woman and men are coming out with.  When I hear these stories I don’t so easily blame the obvious.  Don’t read that as I am writing off what others have done, because I am doing anything but that.  What those men, and even some women, did to others so that they “could have an opportunity” is awful and should never have happened.
What I mean by the comment of “not so easily blaming the obvious” is that there is a whole group of people we are leaving out… fathers.  As fathers, we have absolutely failed our daughters.  When our daughters believe that the only way up in society is by offering their bodies or beliefs up so they can “get an opportunity” that falls on us fathers.  This #metoo movement has forgotten where it all started, and that is with dads not loving their daughters and letting them know that their value isn’t in their looks or what others say, but it is in what the Creator thinks of them.
I hope that as Emma gets older she feels loved, adored, safe, and that she’s strong and can conquer the world.  I hope that if something like this was ever brought up by a boyfriend or future employer that she would run to myself, her mother, a trusted friend or mentor and let us know what is going on.  I hate the fact that so many daughters didn’t feel confident in who they were and that there fathers didn’t instill a value that goes beyond their words, actions and accomplishments.  I know that as Emma’s father I am her biggest ambassador.  It is my sole responsibility to make sure that she is prepared to tackle this world and for her to know unequivocally that she is loved, adored, and valued beyond measure.  Right now that means I get to hold her tight, sing Disney songs and tell her I love her.  It also means that I have the honor of protecting her heart and showing her how she should be treated and respected. 
She’s two.  I’m not sure how that happened, but I do know that this princess is going to take the world by storm.  I also know that her “me too” won’t be the one of today, but it will be one of hope, accomplishment, success and an exciting life that isn’t at the expense of giving up her body or beliefs.