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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I have moved!

It is time to move over to Wordpress.

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Monday, January 7, 2008

Gearing up for baby #4

We are six weeks pregnant.

This time around, Julie is really feeling it. She told me yesterday that while on the way to church she almost asked me to pull over three times to puke. I was so happy!

I feel bad for her, really I do, but I am so excited that she is this sick! The last pregnancy, two years ago, was not like this. Our little one was on the outside of the uterus, and by six weeks my wife was bleeding internally and in real danger.

That was then.

We are confident that things are where they should be this time around, and I am thinking we are having twins, because she has never felt this bad before. I say we, even though I know my wife is the one who is pregnant, but I have always felt very connected with our kids from the start. I love being a daddy. I love the responsibility of raising children. I love that I am the protector and provider. I absolutely thrive on it.

So when I say we - I really mean it like that. Children are a blessing. Sometimes they enter our lives easy, and sometimes they arrive to challenge us, but they are always a blessing.

I am still not over losing the last one. It honestly almost killed me, and I can't explain that to most men, but most women I have talked with understand it. It was the hope of what was to come that I miss, that is what creeps up and grabs me and sucker punches me out of the blue. Not just the hope of the life that our child was unable to complete, but the hope of that new life in us and our family. It just makes me sad, and I fear I will never be able to accept that there was absolutely nothing I could have done.

So I wasn't sure how I would feel about going down this road again knowing what "might" happen. We were not trying to get pregnant. We had been praying about adoption and wanted confirmation either way by January.

God is cool - eh?

There is no physical reason to think we could not have another successful pregnancy. Doctors gave us the green light, friends have been encouraging us, but it took God to do a work. Knowing a c-section is on the way for my wife, I have never pushed it with her. It is scary as hell to watch your wife get cut open, so part of me was okay with the decision to just wait it out. Now that we are pregnant, it just seems like the right thing, and we have the faith to know it will all work out.

Almost 2 years after losing our third pregnancy we find ourselves passing a painful milestone. The most amazing thing is we find ourselves getting over a bump in the road of life, a detour that ultimately lead to so much healing, a siding that allowed us to catch our breath and recover. We are making plans and thinking about names and wondering what it all means.

There are careers to consider and home schooling and piano lessons and income and moving, and, and it is just all so exciting!

We are blessed, simply blessed.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Friends come and go

video

My Dad sent me this video of a kiteboarder. Take note of the jet in the sky 10 seconds into the video.

Obviously this did not end well for that young man.

How to look good naked

Admittedly this is an odd thing to post about, but I was metro sexual long before it was in vogue to be one. I made my own clothing in the eighties for heaven sake, and to this day refuse to wear tennis shoes with anything other than an outfit that looks like I could run in. I never leave home without a belt and matching shoes and always smell good, really good. If all that was not enough to convince you, a secret motivation I have to lose some weight this year is so that I can buy new designer clothes at Ross. I am big enough to kill most men with my bare hands but would rather go shopping for clothes, write poetry, paint, or sing.

God has a sense of humor.

Even though I am built like middle linebacker, I have always struggled with body image. The self loathing comes in waves and I have never been able to fully understand it. I have been told that a poor body image is a normal effect of sexual abuse and can be difficult to pin down. Uncovering that hurt and getting healing from it is on the agenda for 2008.

If my email in-box is any indication, low self esteem is the number one issue for men and the number one issue for women is what men don't have! It is said in those cleverly craft3d m3ssag3s that what women are most concerned with is a phallus large enough to puncture their uterus. 4"- 6" which was adequate since Adam and Eve, has suddenly doubled to 8"- 10" and the message is if you don't measure up a pill will get you there in only 5 weeks!

"90% of women say they are unsatisfied with their partners size."

Really!? All the while I was told the main issues in marriage are money and infidelity. I guess the infidelity part is the women going out for a bigger... oh wait, men cheat 70% compared to women and the reasons women cheat are predominantly emotional. Imagine my shock to find out via email that women secretly want to be RotoRooted.

It all makes sense now.

Please.

I will admit that being bombarded by this stuff does not help my body image. Sure I think I would look better with more, but the truth is the number one way for a guy to add length to his twig is to lose that 2 or 3 inches of fat parka around it! Even though their wives have never complained, I am certain that most guys would agree that more must be better. We are fragile like that. We like to have the biggest fastest hardest longest loudest most expensive anything. It makes us feel secure and in control. The absolute last thing we want to feel insecure about is our boys, and God forbid if it is average!

In any case, wieners are not the point of this post. What is the point is that I can relate to the self loathing and pain overweight women carry as I watched this free episode of "How to look good naked". Carson is a bit flaming for my taste, but looking past that he has a great heart and did more good in 5 days with Layla than most people ever do for anyone else in a lifetime.

Granted, there is more to life than looking and feeling good but I think we overlook the impact that can have on us spiritually. We barely understand the physical side of life, are just getting a handle on the emotional side, and can't even come close to a consensus on the spiritual. We may find out that all three are equally important and God is equally concerned with all three.

I know from experience that if I can't love myself fully I will be hard pressed to fully love God. How can we love the creator if we hate the created? Loving ourselves enough to start taking care of ourselves can propel us to love God who in turn tells us how much He loves us which in turn causes us to love ourselves all the more.

I used to think this was selfishness and the ultimate form of faith was denial of self. Somewhere I picked up the lie that a life of disdain was somehow Godly and honored Him. That is garbage. There is certainly a point where self love, i.e. selfishness is wrong, but the motive for selfishness is a tough one to pin down. Most selfish people I meet are not selfish because they are complete - they are selfish because they lack.

If we are truly "full" and at peace with us the natural outflow is to take the love we have for ourselves and love our neighbors with it. Without exception, the times when I am selfish are times when I am hurting. Without exception, the times when I am loving and giving are when the world seems right.

If I hate me - the natural outflow is for me to hate others.

2008 is a year for me to look good naked. I am determined to get over myself enough to be happy in my own skin. I am determined to bare it all to help others. I am determined to stop wasting one more minute, one more hour, one more day obsessing negatively about ME.

Looking good naked is a great place to start and it is much more than skin deep. Our motives are naked before God. Our hearts are naked before God. Our thoughts are naked before Him as well.

Looking good naked should be the motive for everything.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The art of lying

I have been away from the office since the 21st of December.

It was the first time I have left on vacation and did not have to come in to fix a problem. Since I am the only IT person and the only one that knows how to read a user manual, I have job security like no other.

This time was different and it was unnervingly quiet over vacation. I think I received one cell phone call the whole week and not one work related call. Not one desperate call to inform me the internet was down, or that email was broken, or that all the files on the server mysteriously disappeared.

Nothing.

So here I sit, an hour and a half after arriving from a week away with everything completed.

For the rest of the week.

I have a small freelance project to work on that will take me all of 5 minutes to complete, but other than that I got nothin. Zip. Zero. Nada.

While sitting here contemplating what I could do for the next hour before leaving for my Al-Anon meeting, a conversation down the hall bumped into my consciousness. It was one of our sales weasels talking to a client. Apparently his vacation was not so uneventful, because I could hear the familiar backpedal of platitudes one gets while trying to save ones nether regions. Apparently his client had a firm grip on bits and pieces and was applying pressure.

A funny thing happens when faced with pain or even discomfort, we tend to do and say anything to get out of it. I have noticed this with my children, but obviously this behavior is not age specific as Mr. sales weasel was saying anything to mollify his client.

It worked. She bought the explanation that we use scales to count the number of sheets we deliver and that her shortage was simply a calibration issue, one that has never happened before.

If someone tells you "it never happened before" you can all but guarantee a Clintonesque "is - is" is happening to you. It may have never happened before in 2008, but shorting a client on product is a given in printing, especially this shop.

So as I sit waiting for the next project to drop out of the sky, our new "Christian" sales weasel down the hall has successfully summited the pinnacle of capitalistic virtues by painting with broad stokes. Although not technically a lie, certainly not truth.

Sales weasel has perfected the art of lying.

What does compromise cost in 2008?

Apparently 8% commission on a $500.00 print job.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

I am terrible at keeping secrets

Apparently this sort of thing is genetic, because Alex "hinted" the day he bought our iTunes gift cards what he was giving us for Christmas. "I was looking through the electronics department at Target, and it just jumped out at me, the perfect gift for everyone! I got one for each of you." He tried the old big box little gift thing but only because it was fun for him to think he was fooling us.

Elizabeth started angling for gifts to open on the 22nd and persisted until we basically gave in and let her open one on Christmas Eve. We usually do this anyway, but it was fun to make her think she got her way. Each night she would plead her case and snuggle up close to Daddy with those sweet hazel eyes but I am immune to her charm. I can't say the same for her mother, I am still a sucker when it comes to her.

Alex had been rummaging through the gift bags all week informing the recipient that they would "really like their gifts", so needless to say there were few surprises this Christmas.

But there was one!

And I can't tell you.

Because it is a secret.

So you are just going to have to wait until 2008 to find out.

Actually, I am going to have to wait until 2008 to find out as well so we will wait together.

Patiently.

Just to warn you I don't wait patiently so I may sneak a peek before I tell you.

That's just how I roll. Don't hate the player hate the game. Growing up in a household of 8 has imprinted the survival rule that it is every man for himself.

But if I find out before 2008 I will most definitely let you know!

not.

The lack of secret keeping may be genetic, but a funny thing happens with genetics.

Time changes them.

;)