Wedding Bells

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Save The Date

This December will mark our 5 year wedding anniversary. I always tell her how I am the lucky one! Before we were married, and even now, we always look forward to receiving save the date cards from friends who are going to tie the knot. Always enjoying the moments we are able to share both as a guest or even as part of the wedding party.

I Do

However this wedding was different. On May 20, 2017, I watched as Sara said I Do to her husband Jeff. Our family is now a part of another family. They have welcomed us with open arms and have shown so much love to my little sister as one of their own.

The bride and groom in all their glory!

As her older brother, I always wondered when this day would come. Remembering when my old man picked me up from school on Friday 28, 1992. It was the day my sister was born (it was a leap year, she was lucky she wasn’t a leap year baby!). Since that day life has moved very quickly and many changes have occurred. The most significant being when dad passed away in 2005. I knew as Sara’s wedding day approached that missing him would be weighing on her heart and emotions.

Little did I know it would weigh heavy on me as well. A couple weeks prior to the wedding, Sara came to me asking if I would walk her down the isle. She surprised me with a new pair of Nikes. Inside the box was attached a letter. It read: “There is only one man who can fill dad’s shoes and that is you. Will you walk me down the isle?” Of course after tearing up, I said yes.

Sara, our mother LaDonna, and Chaddy Daddy

What is a wedding without the cutest flower girl in the world? Finley filled her role as flower girl perfectly (yes I am a bit biased here)! She looked absolutely beautiful. I caught myself wondering at times just how fast life would pass us by and Finley would be the bride walking down the isle. UGH!

Finley exceeding all flower girl responsiblities!

Isn’t she the cutest?!!?

Exit Stage Left

The wedding was a huge success. A lot of friends and family that I hadn’t seen in quite some time were also there. It was great being able to catch up with all of them. As you can probably imagine our late night ended something along these lines…..Finley becoming super tired, she even put on her own shoes and told us as parents it was time to go. This is coming from a girl who danced the night away and usually we have to pull her off the dance floor to leave 🙂

Jess and I walked hand-in-hand out of the reception, with Finley half asleep on my shoulder. As we drove home talking about the day our very own daughter would send out her save the date cards.

Let Them Be Little

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Congrats Grad!

The school year has come to an end by this point in 2017. Seniors are celebrating their achievements in high school.
Looking forward to take their next steps into college, the workforce or beyond. It’s been heartwarming seeing the excitement parents show as their son or daughter receive their diploma. As these seniors walk out of their high school gyms for the last time, many youngsters are just beginning to shape their lives, dreams and futures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Class of 2017

As parents to a four year old, we had the absolute pleasure of watching our little one graduate last week too! Her class performed songs, recited bible verses and the Pledge of Allegiance. Her mother and I were beaming with pride and joy watching our baby girl grow up right before us. Where did the time go? She was born, we blinked and she enters Kindergarten in the fall. Every cliche about kids growing up to fast has never been truer. I as an individual never understood them until Finley came into our lives and now it’s an overwhelming feeling to try and slow time down with her. Regardless, we as parents could not be happier watching her learn both in and outside of school. She literally is a mini-me of my wife and I but with a personality that brightens even the darkest days.

The Value of Moments

A quote by the famous Dr. Seuss helps put life in perspective, specifically life as a parent to a young child.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” – Dr. Seuss.

This is one of the main principles I created this blog for. To make sure we as parents, friends, and individuals take time to slow down and enjoy moments we easily take for granted.  I have to admit, I was choked up a couple times while watching Finley graduate from pre-k. As a parent we want the best for our kids but we also have to make sure we are working each day to better ourselves as parents. Our kids are sponges and see our best and worsts. Leave a legacy with your child that they want to pass down to their children someday.

At graduation last week, prior to the ceremony beginning, the song “Let Them Be Little” played in the background. Lyrics of “Let them be little, cause they’re only that way for a while. Give them hope, give them praise, give them love, everyday. Let em cry, let em giggle, let them sleep in the middle. Oh just let them be little.”

I leave you with this….the moments of them giggling and sleeping in the middle will only be here for a very short time. You will blink and these moments will become memories you look back on. Just in time for you to watch your little one walk hand in hand with their best friend out of their high school gym for the very last time.

Get Your Groove On

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I Need A Life Timeout

It feels like life has been moving in fast forward lately. I wish we could just hit pause or even the play button to slow things down a bit.  Between being out of town one weekend and having a fully booked weekend the next, life is flying by. I have to admit, some moments as of late are being taken for granted and not truly enjoyed. We are just crossing off items on our weekly ‘to-do’ list, making sure to not be late to the next event. Does anyone else ever feel like this? Thankfully this allows me to hit that pause button (if even for a brief moment) and reflect on just how awesome life is 🙂

Dancing Queen

This past weekend was probably the funnest weekend of the year so far. It was Finley’s dance recital. This included not just two performances by her but also a daddy-daughter dance! Yes, yours truly dusted off the dancing shoes and showed off my moves. She has been working so hard over the past 10 months. Yes, 10 months. Her dance class meets every Wednesday night (beginning in August 2016) for about 45 minutes. This was her second year in the program and it’s obvious she has a passion for dance! It’s been so much fun watching her learn and grow in these two years.

Her two performances she danced in, one was a ballet piece and the other tap. The theme for the whole recital was ‘Dancing Around The World.’ So as you can expect there were some unique sounds, dances and outfits! My favorite of the two performances was her tap. She was dressed up as the cutest frog in the world.

Finley is the 5th frog from the right; directly under the letter O.

The Spotlight Is Bright

The most fulfilling and enjoyable part of the recital was hands down, the daddy daughter dance. We spent six weeks practicing every Tuesday night. The song we danced to was a classic. It was ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ by Frank Sinatra. For those that know me, dancing could be considered my kryptonite. However, performing with Finley was one of the funnest dances I’ve ever been a part of. There was no shortage of smiles and joy on our faces. One of the funniest comments Finley made was actually a couple days after the recital. My mother in law told us both how much she enjoyed seeing us dance together. Finley’s immediate reply was, “Thanks. It was so much fun but I am still a better dancer than dad.”  I couldn’t argue with that. She might be only four but she has dad beat on the dance floor.

Such a rewarding weekend this past weekend. Finley’s dance recital on Saturday. Celebrating Mother’s Day on Sunday and words cannot express how much I love Finley’s mom. Jess is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me and I thank God for her each day!

Until next time,  don’t let life’s fast forward button get the best of you because as a parent you deserve the best!  You also have my permission to use those dancing shoes as much as you want. You’re kids will love every second of it!

 

 

 

It’s Wet Outside

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Rain Rain Go Away

This past weekend consisted of rain, more rain and even snow in some places! Mother nature reminded us that she is still in control. As thankful as we are for the moisture, seeing the sun today was a life changer. Despite the wet conditions all weekend, that didn’t stop us from making more memories.

Friday night was a daddy-daughter stay-in-night at home. We let mommy enjoy a girls night out at the movies. To say Finley was super-duper-over-the-top-excited about Friday night is a huge understatement. Our evening started with building a fort in the basement to watch movies out of. Of course her first movie selection was Aladdin. As an aging dad, there is something about rain in the evening that puts me to sleep. Right on cue I fell asleep halfway through Aladdin. Only to be awakened by Finley at the end questioning me why I fell asleep and with directions on which movie we were watching next. Within minutes The Little Mermaid intro was on the tv and we were settling back in the fort. What happened next is priceless……

It was about 9:00pm when The Little Mermaid started. I fought hard to keep my eyes open…..little did I know my co-pilot was fighting the same battle. Halfway into the movie, Finley sits up looks over at me and says “I am way to tired to be watching this. Let’s go to bed.” It was music to my ears. Movie off. TV off. Let the sleeping commence.

Photo credit to my wife as she found us catching some zzzz’s when she got home!

Party Hard

Saturday morning rolled around and I awoke with back pain. Finley and I had slept in our fort, on the SOO UNCOMFORTABLE basement floor. Side note…I remember sleeping on the floor being much more comfortable as a kid. Fast forward to age 31 and my body felt like I had gone 10 rounds against Rocky. Someone get a medic!! Of course Finley jumped up and hit the ground running….oh to be a child again!

Saturday’s headliner was a birthday party for one of Finley’s good friends. She was turning the big 4. One of the sweetest moments from the party was as the birthday girl was about to blow out her candles. (keep in mind, a lot of the kids there all were in an in-home daycare together for 1-2 years). Her birthday wish was for all of them to be able to take a nap together just like they did in daycare. So funny yet showed just how much they missed being together each day!

Craft Harder

Sunday. Still wet outside. Our morning was jump started as we went to church. Finley had a blast as usual in her Sunday school class. I hold high the importance of my child attending church and understanding truly who Jesus is and how much he loves us. It’s incredible to listen as Finley tells us what she learns each Sunday!!

After church, the usual routine of grocery shopping and running some errands ensued. I love my wife and I love my daughter but if there’s one thing I don’t love, it’s grocery shopping. Some day I’ll have someone do it for me….some day……

The best part of the day was soon after were got home from running errands. Finley was in a crafting mindset and I couldn’t wait to see exactly what she was going to construct. A 4yr olds brain is full of ideas…translating those ideas into crafts is a whole different story. As you can see below…with explanations….Vincent Van Gough, if alive, would be shaking in his boots after seeing these masterpieces 🙂

On the left you will see three figures as follows: daddy watching golf on tv, finley in the middle on the iPad, and mommy reading a book! On the right you see a majestic painting of the world!

We As Parents

Young minds are beautiful and parents should mold them with love. This past weekend is one I will cherish and remember forever. From one parent to another, don’t let the weather get in the way of creating memories with your children. Spending rainy weekends in a basement fort to holding a glue stick making crafts will have a larger impact on them then you can imagine.

Now where’s that medic…my back!!!