Its been 8 great years so far. We have grown together so much along the way. I don't think that we could have every planned out our path to get where we are today 8 years ago. We did know one thing, that we would be here together. We fight whatever challenges come our way together. We can beat anything as long as we stick together on the same page. trouble comes as soon as we loose sight of that and work alone. Together we have grown so much more than either of us could have done alone. There are challenges that neither of us could have conquered alone. I cannot imagine myself facing these challenges with anyone else. I know that we can defeat whatever comes our way in the future, because together we are strong. I Love you Rhiannon Walker, Forever and Ever.
The weather outside lately has been rainy and dreary, making it difficult for us to get outside much. Yesterday there was a break of great weather. The kids and I took advantage of the opportunity. We got outside to go on walks, to parks, and even was able to try to fly a little bit, though it was a bit windy for flying.
Today I am grateful for having our housing maintenance taken care of for us. Our AC went out last night. We called them up this morning and they had it fixed by the afternoon. The relief of not having something else to contend with is ver nice. I didn't have to waste my time checking the simple things or worry that we are spending their minimum price to flip a breaker.
Kiddos are all back in school, and doing better. Wyatt is still running a bit slower than his normal 110% energetic self, but is hanging in there. I am grateful that we are back on track with a regular schedule and we are all able to do our own things that we need to throughout the day. I really enjoy being able to help everyone while they are down, but it really wears on me as everyone stacks up their down days back to back. It felt good to have some quiet time to get some work done and feel productive.
Lately has seemed incredibly busy. I feel like I just dont quite have enough time to the things done that I want to get done. Key word to remember is want. I am extremely grateful that my opinion is valued so much that it keeps me this busy. I am gratful that the things that need to get done, do get done. I am grateful that I am still able to get some of the things that I want to get done each day. Each day is a new one, with exciting challenges along the way. It's what keeps life exciting.
It's been a bit of a rough go in our family. Above the normal advanced someone or several of us have been sick nearly all winter. Rhiannon has seen the worst of the struggle with a very long running congestion. Through all of this we are here to support each other. The mental toll of being sick and tending to others who are sick takes a lot out of each of us. We are still able to work together, pick each other up and keep going. Some days are harder than others, some days we do not feel at our best be we still find the strength to help the others through. Yesterday Rhiannon helped me through a very rough time. I am so grateful for her abilitiy to dig into the menal stuff and help out. This is something that I find very hard to do. She is great at it. She is rally able to help me and the kids when we are feeling overwhelmed.
Lateley I have found myself inside of a few niche communities becoming very well respected for my opinion. I rememver back a few years as I started getting more and more in to programming, I joined these communities within my company. I came in knowing very little and obsorbing all that I could. I would seek out the advice of others when my google searches left me lost. Over the years I absorbed quite a bit of this internal knowlege base and a heap of knowlege from open sources. As the years have gone by many of the folks I looked up to are gone or absent from the community. I am finding others seeking my attention more and more. It is really an amazing feeling of respect when folks not only seek out your help, but respond back hours later with a big thank you and a check out the latest version that includes your ideas. I am also very grateful for those who have helped along the way, I cannot thank them enough, and owe my getting started on the path I am on to them.
The morning is early as I open the door and am greated with the fresh skif of snow. The perfect amount to go frolicing in. Not too much to make it difficult to walk, but enough to cover everything in sight. In the Afternoon Wyatt and I mustered up the courage to brave our way through some nearby trails. The adventure was exciting as we have not yet ventured these trails much since our move here. The trail we chose approached a nearby stream. We watched as the glassy smooth stream cut through the shear white snow, ran through the fluffy off white catails, and into the frozen lake. We continued to walk onto a park, where we had a long snowball fight in which I stood back and through snowballs at wyatt as he ran through the park. Wyatt won of course as it was nearly impossible to hit him as he dodged in and out of the equipment, and I would lose one point for each and every miss. Soon thereafter the sun was quickly setting and it was time to hit the trail home.
Today is Valentines day, and I have been getting all sorts of love from my family, and it is really amazing. Rhiannon helped the kids create this massive heart out of post it notes that include all the ways that the kids love me. The things they said were so sweet, and really made me feel good. It really reminded me of the difference I make in their lives every day. Rhiannon remade a sign that we used to have haning in our house. It has a saying that we always used to say " Forever and Ever". She made it really modern and it looks amazing. I also felt really good helping the kids give mommy a present, and giving the kids their presents from me. Since Ayla was home sick, I decided to bring her a single rose home. Seeing her face light up when she saw it was well worth it.
Today I am very proud of the reputation that I have buit. I am very well respected inside my community. My opinions are valued. I am known to be very reliable. I will deliver what I have promised on time, or give plenty heads up that it's not going to happen. I work in an organization that is very closed doors. Folks keep their knowledge to themselves, and are generally not willing to help others accross the organization without a kick back. I give out all of my best knowledge for free, and will at lease give anyone a few mintutes of time to point them in the right direction. I am really proud of where this has lead me, and the reputation I have gained.
This weekend we re-implemented the ticket system in our house. It is really supposed to help focus ADHD kids. The kids have been really responsive to it. Not only have they been really helpful to earn tickets so that they can have been cleaning up and doing nice things without being asked to. They have been arguing less, and playing cooperatively more. I really hope this is a sign of what is to come. I am really grateful to have a wife that understands this kind of stuff and can research the latest techniques to help them. She is just able to pick up and see things in kids that is far above normal. She is then able to research and implement things to help them that are very targeted to their needs.
I am so grateful that I am working in a space in which I can work remotely often. As a mechanical engineer I really struggled. Our team was really structured for onsite work, and did not play well for remote folks. Moving into data science, as long as I have a good connection to the data I need I can be productive from anywhere. Actually Sometimes I find there to be fewer distractions at home. Generally I work from home due to someone else's medical needs. Today was different, my voice is completely gone. This winter has been a rough one. I am so grateful that I can cancel all of my meetings, push them to next week and take time to heal. I can also put my head down and get some great work done without needing to use my voice.
I am very grateful that I have the freedom to learn the things I need to in order to advance my skills and grow my career. I am very stretched for time, just like everyone else, but I am able to get the things done that I need to and still find time for learning. I talk to some people that do not have the time. They are piled so high with tasks to do that there is no time to learn. I a grateful that my leadership sees value in it and do not really ask questions as long as tasks are being completed on time.
This morning Wyatt had a 2 hr delay. I still took Ayla to school on time. I did some work, but still had some time for fun on the MineCraft server. This is a new world that Wyatt named Nathan. We did a 20 minute mining session, and at the end wyatt found the first diamonds of the server. He was in a really fun mood, and we were chatting it up the whole time, working together towards a common goal. He was so cooperative, taking on tasks of his own, giving me tasks, divying up materials along the way to make sure each could accomplish their task.
Recently I have been thinking about all of the resources that have been available for me to learn. I am so grateful to have these at my disposal. Learning how to improve myself, and increase my productivity in the long run is a passion of mine. I spend many days spinning my wheels with something, but I am always learning. Even though those few hours were lost in the short term, in the long term I always come away having learned something. These small wins each day cumulativly add up to something that gives me a lot of productivity in my daily work and allows me to succeed.
We have been moved into the new apartment now for about 2 weeks, and I am really amazed how it feels to have simplified a lot of things along the way. There is a lot less clutter. Cleaning is a breeze. The kids are able to find their things and put them away with ease (for the most part). There feels to be much less of a weight in each room. Everywhere in the place feels light, clean, and easy to breathe. There is very little in the way of stress of clutter and cleanliness. The daily burden is quite minimal and everything can be cleaned up with very little effort.
It's the dead of winter, the cold January months, so cold in fact schools closed down for two days due to an arctic wind. For these two days Wyatt brought home homework to do at home. Nothing big just a few simple things. This really opened my eyes up to what teachers have to go through every day. It is really tough to get him focused on doing the work for very long at all. It is tough as an adult when you are sooo close to the end of the task to let go and give a break, or to let him do it his way when you know he is capable of doing better. For this I am grateful that we have teachers that are experts at working with kids like Wyatt to give him the best education possible, because without them I would loose my mind!
The Boxes are slowly disappearing, the laundry pile is creeping down to the final pieces. We are nearing the final stages of the move thanks to some great teamwork. We have been working though the day and late into the night, consistently putting the hours in. Each day we creep closer to our final goal that seemed like it would never come. Our things are slowly finding their way to their home, placed with care and precision. Getting all of our things that we love brings us joy. Some of these things were not seen since the last move. I cannot wait to see the day's progress.
We are tired, short on sleep, bodies tired from lifting, but we remain high on the excitement of what is to come. We are pushing through day by day to ensure that we meet our deadlines. Our kids are missing the amount of time that we play with them, and starting to struggle emotionally, heck I think we are all struggling emotionally. We have packed everything we own into a truck ready to move to a new place. All of our favorite things are packed in, not surrounding us, and not giving us the compfort that we are used to. This has been our life over the past week. Now we take a deep breath and appreciate all of the help we have recieved this week. The help that we recieved from our friends, to the landlords, my coworkers, and most of all each other. Our favorite things are starting to surround us in our new place. We have room, and time, to play. Some things are not yet set up, but enough is setup to breathe. Let's embrace the calm as we roll into the final phase of this move.
I am so grateful that even during a rough time, a time where I feel that I struggle to get things accomplished. I feel that I dont put the time in, people recognize me for my work. There are days that I feel that I cannot get the simplest of thing to work, and wonder what am I doing here, I feel like I dont know how to do what I need to, someone pops in to say thanks for my work for them. Sometimes I feel that I stretch myself too broad and I do too many different types of things to get good at any of them. Then someone comes my way to ask me how to do it because they know I am one of the few in our area that knows the full spectrum from end to end. These gentle reminders keep me going. They remind me that I can do it. They remind me that no everyone knows what they are doing 100% of the time. They remind me where I was, and where I am. They remind me of the progress that I have already made. They remind me that my goals are always changing and moving, but along the way I have reached so many. So today, tell someone about the great work that they did, and how it helped you. Tell them that you have confidence in their work and their hard work is appreciated.
We're officially moved into ouur new place today. I cannot thank all of our great friends enough for helping us get through the move. They helped us get the truck on the coldest and snowiest day of the year, pack it up in the snow, unload it, and return the truck. But they did not leave before helping with the kids's number one concern.... bunk beds. Last night two of them pulled a very late night to assemble the kids's bed so they could sleep. These kids have been talking non-stop for a long time about these bunk beds and they were so excited when they saw them.
Thank You everyone who helped us throughout our move!
Yesterday was packing day for a big move. We have been getting ready for a few weeks now... Rhiannon has been getting ready for a few weeks and I kinda helped. She really nocked this one out of the park. Everything was so well organized into boxes and labeled we were able to load the truck really fast. She has been pushing herself really hard for a few weeks now. We were both really impressed with how little the truck was filled. We got the largest size Uhaul and only filled it half way. We have had this same truck in the past, and filled it. We have expanded our family, and yet trimmed down on the stuff.
Yesterday we got a call from Wyatt's principal. It was something that I did not quite know how to deal with. These things are not in my wheelhouse at all! Rhiannon jumped right in and was able to talk to him and say all of the right things that he needed to hear. I was amazed at the way she was able to speak to him with positivity, gratitude, and most of all inspiration. She did not try to tear him down for what he did, but try to higlight the person that he was in those moments, and paint a picture of the person that he wants to be. I was just amazed at how she was able to translate what we wanted to see from him into his terms, and give great example of things that he would really care about. Hang in there mama we are on the right path to help him.
Today is kicking off as a pretty amazing morning so far. The whole family was in a really happy mood, even right after waking up. I enjoyed the start of sunrise running around with Wyatt at the bus stop, and continuing now while writing my gratitude and daily planning. Even though I was 10 minutes or so behind getting out the door this morning everything else has been going flawlessly, especially the most important things; family, mind, mood, and gratitude.
Alright I do not usually mix gratitude with material things, but hear me out here. Today is the second day with my new to me refurbished three year old phone, and I am really enjoying it. I wanted to pay cash, didn't want to pay $800, wanted good performance, and didnt really care about having the Latest show room floor tech. So far it is treating me really well. The biggest reason that I got a new phone was that my signal was cutting out, and with our crazy lifestyle with lots of emergencies that I need to respond to I need somehing reliable. Today I was at work and this phone had signal in places within my work that none of my last 2-3 devices could get signal in. I was blown away when I could walk anywhere in the building and hold a conversation with my wife. This gives me the confidence that my phone will have signal when I need it and I can respond to any emergency that I need to.
This morning we informed Wyatt's bus diver that we were going to be moving and this was his last week riding the bus with her. It was sad to let her know that we are leaving. She has done so well with him, and they have become the best of friends. He is the first one on the bus in the morning and sits right next to her. She is able to start her day off early with a level of energy that is only parallelled by him, which is something that he needs. He really attracts to positive people that can match his level of energy and enthusiasm for the day. I am so grateful for people like her, who can bring so much positivity and gratitude to our life. Some people are repelled by Wyatt's level of enthusiasm, so it is always exciting to see this.
Today I got a meeting invite with two folks that I do not usually get to interact with. The title, recognition for Waylon Walker... I am very excited to see what it is, and very grateful to have the chance to meet these folks in person. I do a lot of work that is not necessarily fit my job role, but is something that I know I have skills to do very quickly that many other folks do not. I fill many of these requests throughout the year, and every once in awhile I get a VERY nice thank you from the person, or their boss. I am grateful to be able to interact with these positive folks. It makes me feel really good, and like I am doing a good job. This particular on is different, and I will not know exactly what it is until Monday.
Today we are getting ready for our big move. I am very gratefull to have such great friends to help us pack up our junk, and get rid of the things we dont need. We started our minalist journey 2 years ago and during the last move we ended up with a bunch of boxes that were maybies that we are now getting rid of. Anyways. We just finished up a full day of prepping for a move, and our friends were so awesome. Everyone was super helpful, positive, encouraging and no complaints from anyone. Some even offered to take some things off of our hands as they would get more use out of them than we would in our new place, much better than seeing them hit the landfill.
Today was filled with Dr. appointments... and Wyatt was still out of school. Days like this can terrify my sometimes, but Wyatt was completely on board with it and we had a blast the entire day. We played minecraft pocket edition in the wating room in apt 1, followed by some errands, a wonderful family lunch. Then we played around a fountain at the last one, and it was a blast. As he had surgery a week ago it has been awhile since we played this hard... and stayed completely positive the whole time. We just went with the flow starting with some simple toys we had, to ninja moves, to an epic ninja Herobrine battle. These are the moments that I yearn for as a parent. Playing one on one, completely positive, in the flow, no fights, and having a blast.
This morning I was graced with the greatest mood that my son could possibly have. He was incredibly courteous, grateful, willing to do things on his own. He got himself dressed, put his own shoes on, and when I told him that we had an early morning Dr. appointment he did not throw a fit and was 100% on board with going. He was at the top of his game, and as happy as could be.
Watching his gratitude and positivity shine this morning was more thatn enough motivation to start my day off on the right foot.
These are the moments that we long for as parents, and it is important to not brush over them and forget them. It's important to to watch him grow into a great meaningful member of society. Watching his gratitude and positivity shine this morning was more thatn enough motivation to start my day off on the right foot, and we did. We dropped off Ayla at preschool, attended his Dr. Appointment then came back to play and continue our wonderful morning.
Recently the kids have really been into singing in the car with Daddy on the way to and from Preshool. It is so fun, because we are all belting it out so loud, and each take over for our special parts. It's interesting how Ayla has grown into liking it. For the longest time I thought that she did not like Wyatt and I being so loud, but she never complained about it. Then over the past week I noticed during some parts of the songs she is the LOUDEST one in the car. After each song the kids both ask, "Did I sing the whole song?", and I try to get super into it and have a very motivational Radio DJ style of voice encouraging them to continue and tell them how well they did.
during some parts of the songs she is the LOUDEST one in the car.
P.S. Its so awesome to see how into the Mac Lethal song they are. It has a really cool message about being kind to others, and treating everyone with respect.
2019 I will be more professional looking every day... not just when convenient and to kick it off I got my hair cut today. I have gone a few months now without a hair cut so I was pretty excited to get the shaggs cut down. It was very nice to just get out of the house and away for a short period and come back looking like $1M bucks. Rhiannon has been on me about my hair and my wrickly shirts in the past. No more, this is the year that I will keep up on it myself without needing my wife to hold my hand!
It's nearing the end of the annual shutdown. We have had a lot of illness running through the house over the course of the break, but the last couple of days have been very productive. We have been Spring Cleaning. We have cleared out a lot of unnecessary things, scrubbed the house, and packed up a lot of things in preparation for the upcoming move. It feels great to finally start to see some progress on these tasks after talking about them for so long.
Tonight was the last night of the big holiday vacation and I finally got that special moment with every single family member over break. It was Ayla's turn tonight. We had our break when Wyatt wanted mommy to play MineCraft with him and did not want daddy to play. Ayla's hair looked like a bird was trying to built its nest in it. We made our way upstairs with a spray bottle, comb, brush and a whole lot of excitement. We filled the spray bottle with water, and I let Ayla start going to town spraying everything in sight. Although it was explicitly stated that it would not be used for its intended purpose, detangling hair. Thats ok though as I was able to get some moisture in with my hands. I continued to do my first french braid on her. The first attempt was a fail as Ayla was moving too much and I lost it. The second attemt was a success. After this Ayla proceeded to water, brush, wipe, and comb daddy's har over the next hour!
I ran out of time, but I will still mention that she painted her first set of toes.
I research everything to DEATH. This includes my work. I am constantly looking for inspiration, and learning from others in how they do their work. I love seeing the results that can be achieved by someone who is dedicated fully to their craft, and try to understan how I can achieve 80% of that with 20% of the effort, so that I dont need to be a full time designer, front end developer, dev ops... you get the picture. Over the last couple of months we have had a Data Scientist on rotation in our group and its time to get it into production and start getting some feedback. As he is learning how the web works its cool to see the light come on for someone else, and have that ah ha moment. The web is an overly complicated beast these days with far too many options. It is
Every once in awhile its time to take a deep breath.. Seriously do it with me stop, take a deep breath, exhale. Understand that you cannot do everything. Sometimes life throws you a loop that is out of your control. Today was one of those days. Getting down to the end of the year I get really excited to work on my projects at work for me. I take full advantage of the reduced workforce, reduced desk stops, reduced chit chat, and I GTD. Getting down within the last week I am starting to prioritize projects to ensure I get everything done that really needs done while I have this time to ensure full productivity in the next year. My son stayed home sick and I was with him. As much as I wanted to stress out about the things I wasnt getting done we came to a comprimise. I was able to work from home for a good chunk of the day, but we also spent some time chilling together on our Minecraft server. It was really fun. We were working through projects together, taking out mobs, building structures, the stresses of life seemed to melt away for awhile. And you know what we both loved it.
There is no substitute for a positive personality. I am very grateful to have a super positive subset of folks that I work with every day, it really helps to cancel out the negative ones. I really like what Gary V. says about surrounding yourself with positive people, Keep only those who are positive arounnd you and let the rest go. I really struggle to completely shut out anyone from my life, but I do try to focus my interactions to those who are positive and uplifting. I will give nearly anyone who asks for help in a nice positive way 15mins - 1hr. Those who come and demand help with negativity are hard to give that time to. I do not seek them out for help, feedback, or to check in on them. Keep the positive ones close to you.
As this one is about positivity I find it odd that it went in a direction about negative folks and was on the edge of not really being a gratitude post. I guess thats what happens in a short/timed freeflow sometimes.
Lately there has been a rollar coaster running through our house. So much going on that its hard for everyone ot keep their head above water at all times. I am grateful that we all have remained on each others team. Sometimes when we fall we have to help ourselves back up, but it is really nice when there are others there to help us up. That's what family is for isn't it? It is amazing to see how others respond when they see you down and jump in with all they can do to help. I recently had a fall (mental), and after getting through it felt rediculous. It has really opened my eyes to how to help people, and how to spot someone who is just having a rough day. Most people do not have poor intentions, but they can come off that way when they are in a bad place. Spot these moments in someones day and try to pick them back up.
Lately I have been feeling great! Literally great. We have had a ton going on for awhile and its been a long time that I have truely felt this great. The benefits are astounding. They say that you can only help others when you are capable of helping yourself, oh how that is so true. I feel like lately I have been able to keep my cool and help everyone else much better than when not feeling on top of my game.
They say that you can only help others when you are capable of helping yourself, oh how that is so true.
Today is Thanksgiving here in the United States, what a great day to take a reflection on the past year, and think about what I am grateful for.
Ayla is a singing, speaking, yelling, and screeeeeming pro. Over this last year she has gone from nearly mute to graduating from Speech therapy! Her progress has been astounding, and seeing her now you would have no idea where she was one year ago. I would say she has some of the best enunciation I have heard from a 4 year old.
Wyatt got his CPAP, and has a plan to help him start sleeping better. We are all hoping for the best for this little boy. Fingers crossed that some sleep will help his ADHD.
I am also very grateful for where our marriage is and where it has came from over the last year. It has been rocky, but what relationship isn't we're people. But we have learned so much about each other, and continue to get better each and every day. I think that it's pretty amazing that we can take everything that life throws at us and stay on top!.
Ayla was born 4 years ago with her fair share of medical issues. Most of which are resolved... potty training continues to be a source of difficulty for us. We have relaxed and are letting her take the wheel at the moment. It is slow going, but every once in awhile she shows us a spark of hope that she will get it. Yesterday was one of those days. It is good to continue to let these moments revive our hope that she can do it and that when we are ready to push her again she will be ready to take charge.
Through everything we have gone through we have always came out on top. Nothing has knocked us down so bad that we cannot get back up. Some days it may feel like we will never recover, but we always do. Some days everything just is too much and is too overwhelming, but we find our way to the top. Some days we feel crushed, but somehow we find the strength to kick that boulder off of our chest and rise above. We are human, we have our good days and out bad days. Our bad days feel so low we think it may never end, but it always does. We rise back to the top and crush this thing we call life. Everyone has their own struggles that they deal with every day, and their own battles to fight. Next time your down, just remember it will not last forever and your day will come to crush it. We will stand strong, concour our enemies, and rise to the top.
Forever and Ever.
We recently (today) found out that that Wyatt has moderatly severe Sleep apnea. This explains a lot for him, and is a bit scary for us at the moment, and we are hoping for the best for him. We wouldnt have found out any of this if it wasnt for Rhiannon. She is an advocate for these kids like nothing else. The mom gene is strong wiht this one. When she knows something is wrong in her gut, she stops at nothing to find answers.
The past 6 years have taught me a lot about life. Especially about the most important part Family. Family are those who have your back at any moment, and you have their back at any given moment. 6 years ago we expanded our family when we brought our first child into it. Since then has been quite the journey. Throughout those 6 years every single one of use have had our ups and downs, but the others always have our backs and help us through anything. Not only is that sweet boy turning 6 today, but he is the one that needs a bit of extra attention right now. We have his back and will help him through his journey.
Today I am grateful for the fact that I have someone to talk about my problems with. Rhiannon is very influential when it comes to mental health. She has conconcoured several very difficult issues of her own and is able to guide me through mine. I am glad that we are able to talk through these things and come up with actionable things to correct.
Life remains a rollar coaster and these issues will come and go, new ones will rise and fall, old ones will creep in. It is important to keep someone like this who you can talk to. For me it is very difficult to identify what the root issue is to begin with let alone try to fix it. Recently I was really struggling and it came down to confidence/imposter syndrome. She was able to identify that, and point out some really amazing feedback that I have recieved as truth that I am achieving great standards, even if I dont feel that way when I am lost in the weeds of everything.
Today was Ayla's fourth birthday, what an adventure it took to get here. I am so grateful for how far she has came. Her medical issues are all resolved, her speech is on point, and she is overall a very happy and healthy four year old girl. Today we were able to celebrate her birthday at home as a family. She absolutely loved the presents that we got her. It was very fun to watch the excitement on her face all day long. She is very attached to her new toys and hasnt stopped playing with them yet. It has been a long journey for us to get here with us, and it was worth all of the effort!
Today I woke up to find a very inspiring note from Rhiannon. It was hand writtent front and back! In the note she talked about the stuggles that we have had over the last 2 years, and that while reading through her journal there was one thing that kept her going day in and day out, me. I have been there through the hard times for her. Yesterday I heard some news that was very sad for me to hear, and made me very unsure of the future. She left me this note to let me know that no matter what happens she will be there by my side and we will get through it together.
Today We had a playdate for the kids. While its good to get the kids out and interacting with others, its good for the adults as well. I am not typically one to spring up an event with other adults, so its great that the kids drive that for us. The adults were able to play a board game while the kids were playing. I am very grateful that I was able to get out and enjoy some time with other adults, and that the kids had a really good afternoon. The game we played was new to me and was a blast to play.
Its not something that is handed out by participation. Being part of the battle does not earn bravery. Defeating the odds, going into a battle with passion for the end result, and putting all of your heart into it. Thats what defines bravery to me. Last night I saw two family members give excelent examples of bravery. Last night was the preschool prom night. Ayla was unable to go, and Rhiannon was very passionate about going with Wyatt. She has not been feeling well, and being around lots of poeple can make it very difficult at times, but she did it. She was able to overcome the odds and make it through the prom for him. The other great example of bravery was Wyatt. While in a very excited mood, with a lot going on around him. He was able to stand by his mothers side, hold her hand, ask her if she was ok, and ask if there was anything he could do to help her through a rough spot. He was able to overcome his ADHD, take a deep breath and stand strong for his mother. This is not the first time that he has done this. He has been growing up into a brave boy lately.
He was able to overcome his ADHD, take a deep breath and stand strong for his mother.
I am very grateful that we have help with the kids when we need it on a moments notice. Today I came home with a migrane, and was able to rest up for a little while before helping them with bedtime. Rather than pushing though and being miserable, I was able to take a short break then proceed with a nice night with the kids and Rhiannon.
Yesterday Rhiannon and I were able to get some much needed time away for some very overdue haircuts. It was really nice to be able to just take off and leave the kids with friends on a whim. While it takes all that she's got to go anywhere I am still very grateful that she is able to get out of the house. It was nice to spend a dreary day out with her. Dreary days are the best because the air is always fresh and clear of most environmental smoke.
While it takes all that she's got to go anywhere I am still very grateful that she is able to get out of the house.
Over the course of the winter the kids and I have been creating trails through the woods behind our house. It has been really fun. The forrest is really thick with lots of small bits of brush, a stream, logs and various old junk. The kids have enjoyed having a place to get out of the house and stop around. It has been a great outlet for us.
Recently I have started running on them. I have been getting better and better. I feel like I am starting to get back inot a bit of shape where I am not winded within minutes, but can at least make a few laps. I find the trails really fun to run on, as I have always really struggled running on a track or even sidewalk. I am always looking for something to make it more exciting.
I have recently found a new podcast, The Ken Coleman Show, from the Ramsey network. I really like Ken's style. He recently talked about 2 two things that you should do everyday. Prepare and reflect. If you are not doing these things it is very difficult to progress in your goals. I really like how the gratitude journal works into the reflect piece of life. It brings me positivity and a chance to look back on the day. I like how I am able to reflect on the day, or last few days and find something positive that happened. It also helps me think about how I can improve myself. I am also reflecting throughout the day as I think about things that I might write about in the journal.
Today I am very grateful for all of the wonderful birthday wishes. I started off the day with two very excited kids. They couldn't wait to wake up, give daddy a big hug and wish him happy birthday today. My kids love them some birthday wishes and do all they can to make the birthday person feel special. Next the text messages started to roll in. It is nice to hear from everyone that I havent heard from in awhile. At night Scott Volunteered to bathe the kids, and get pajammas on them, while I was able to spend a bit more time with Rhiannon. Speaking of which...
I didnt forget the most special of all. Rhiannon, my beautiful wife, was a soldier today. She got up, forgone the medicine, and headed out with me bright and early to take the kids to Pre-K, get coffee, and run various errands. In which we ran into smoke on several occassions that nearly took her down. While I was out taking Wyatt to therapy, and picking up Ayla. She muscled through and finished my quilt, wrapped my presents, and cooked an amazing jumbalya!!
All in all this was one of the best days I have had in awhile, Thanks everyone!
Today has been a really relaxing day! I woke up this morning Rhiannon was with Ayla, and Wyatt was downstairs with some friends staying in the house, so I continued sleeping until I was ready to get up. After getting up I helped Ayla with potty training for awhile, in which we racked up 3 sticker! Then Wyatt and I went out sledding in this epic snow that we were blessed with today. It was a thick heavy, and perfect sledding snow. We built a tall takeoff ramp, and continued sledding for quite awile. It was a bit tiring from the weight of the snow, but it was super fun. The reason that I say that we were blessed with this snow is that the fires have stopped. Every trip we leave the house this past week has ended up with us running into a thick smoke from folks burning grass and brush. This landed us in the hospital once, and Rhiannon in strong pain the other times.
Let's face it we all know that credit cards are bad and we should not let them get out of control, but you know what life happens and when you dont have an emergency fund in order using one is better than being stranded with a broken car, or missing out on a very important family event. I am very grateful to say that today we not only do we have a good emergency fund in place, but we also have our last credit card paid off. I cannot explain how great this feels. We had stretched ourselves too thin and were using debt for emergencies for a few years, and it had gotten to the point that I felt like we were in an endless cycle that we could never get out of.
This would not have been possible without the help of several folks. First off Rhiannon, as if you are not on the same page as your wife with finances, you will never fix your financial problems. Second Dave Ramsey for showing us the light. And finally our friends who have supported us more than we can even thank them for.
Yesterday we had the great opportunity to meet with Leis from ramsey Solutions. We were very honored to be able to meet with such knowledgeable advisor as Leis. He confirmed many of the things that we had in our minds and was able to offer a few suggestions for us. Most of all I was really proud of all fo the work that Rhiannon has done to set up for the future. The meeting with Leis confirmed that she has done everything possible to set up for success. She had an answer for all of his questions, and had everything setup that he suggested. Her organizational skills have really paid off. I have a really good feeling that we are as well prepared as we can be and on track to succeed in the future. Thank you Leis for your time! It is greatly appreciated.
I cannot express how grateful I am for Rhiannon's smarts when it comes to raising small children. These things are complicated and only continue to get more complicated as they grow! There are times where I am just not quite sure what to do or how to handle certain situations, and she will come back with an answer that makes sense. Giving an understanding about how that would make the child feel in the moment and what it will do to them in the long term. As I am growing these understandings things are making more sense, but I still feel like I have a lot to learn when it comes to parenting. I am not only grateful that she takes the lead on the research and develops new strategies as they grow, but she is also able to present to me in a way that makes sense.
This morning Wyatt came into our room just as normal, chipper as can be ready to go. But something was different than normal. I felt like I had just hit the pillow. I grabbed a phone so that he could go watch something on his own, when I relized that it was 2:30AM. This is not out of the ordinary for him to have a few days that he is ready to go. We have learned that this is part of his ADHD and his mind is just running and ready to go. Fighting it only makes for starting off what could have been a good day on a bad note. I let him go downstairs and he stayed quiet for the most part and let everyone sleep. When I came down just before 6 he greeted me with cheer, let me have my coffee and we proceeded to have some special time. We build with magnet tiles, legos, played a game, and even went outside to continue carving our path through the woods. I cherish our special time together in happiness and am glad that we are learning to work with his disorder and have more good days like this.
Today I am strugging to come up with a new topic for my gratitude journal. I feel like I have written about many of the things I am grateful for recently. As I am sitting here with a nice display of color and listening to the frogs, from our kids's lighted sound machine of course. I realize that I am just enjoying this moment of peace. It is nice to not have to worry about anything for a few minutes and just let the words flow. I think this is why I enjoy doing this gratitude journal, becuase I feel a nice sense of peace after completeing it for the day. Sometimes the days are crazy, sometimes they are normal, sometimes they are quiet each day is new and none like the other. But whatever the day brings most of them have included this 5 minutes of peace for the last 35 days. Thank you Rhiannon for pushing me to start this journal.
Sometimes the days are crazy, sometimes they are normal, sometimes they are quiet each day is new and none like the other.
Today I am grateful that I am able to communicate with my beautiful wife Rhiannon. I am so glad that we are able to help each other out on our worst days, and keep going even after our bad moments. We are able to grow and build off of each other. I am grateful that we have an open and honest relationship that we are able to talk about anything. We have had a rough month, and will continue to have a rough patch until after Feb. 20. Its to be expected that we have these patches with her illness. I am really grateful that we are able to get through them together, so that we can enjoy the good days. Good days are coming, lets make the best out of the rough ones together.
Today started out like most days, morning routine, kids in the car and headed to preschool. Since Rhiannon got the January mug at Starbucks we have been stopping there for the morning coffee on the way to preschool. As we were leaving a police car came roaring from the parking lot lights on right behind us. There was an accident at the intersection right in front of Starbucks. Passing by the accident it clearly looked like one car took more damage than the other, and that it was from being hit by another car and pushed into a pole at a high speed. My heart goes out to them! It made me really grateful that we have not been in any accidents, especially because we typically drive down a very crazy road in the mornings. It is not uncommon to come accross accidents along the way.
This weekend was an abnormally warm January weekend, which meant that we were able to ge the kids out and moving more than normal. On Saturday we started to build Wyatt Walkers Walking path through the thick brush. Both kids were really into it and were guiding me through the thick brush letting me know where the path should turn next. Wyatt kept very busy with his tree pruners trimming the leftover branches.
On Sunday the kids and I went out to the skate park while mommy had a lunch date with a friend. Ayla enjoyed throwing a small frisbee off of the top of the pyramid while Wyatt rode his scooter and daddy's skateboard around the park.
Sometimes you just need a bit of help and it is hard to pick yourself up. This morning was one of those days. I just felt overwhelmed and like there was no stopping it. Rhiannon gave me a call and after talking through some things I felt a huge weight lifted. I wouldn't say that I was healed, but I would say I was on a good trajectory. It's really hard to battle things as a family. We are all in it together and that picking each other up will help everyone.
I am grateful that I have such great friends that are able to help us through a very difficult time. Today I am able to work and not have to worry about Rhiannon or the kids, knowing that someone is home with them. The peace of mind is invaluable when you have a family member with a severe medical issue.
Last night was a night that I had to run back into work late at night to run some analysis. I was able to get in and get it done fairly quickly, and it felt really good to have it done and not have to worry about it in the last hour before the presentation. I also stuck to my No More Death by powerpoint rule, and did not include an eye chart in the slides. This was something that I always said I would change when I took over the role, but never did. Now that I have vowed to never again break the principles of Death by PowerPoint I had to change.
Secondly my wife is a rockstar. She was up with our crazy son most of the night, as he was really struggling to sleep. He was just up and ready to go really early in the morning. I am grateful that I was able to get somme sleep, and really hope that she is able to get some rest while the house is quiet today.
I am not sure that time heals all wounds, but some wounds just take time. Yesterday during therapy Rhiannon finally had a chance to talk about some very tough topics. It was very tough to talk about at the time, and I did have a bit of a rough afternoon following the appointment. I am not sure why, but I just needed some space and time. Today I feel quite a bit better and am ready to start my day on a good note! I am not sure how long it will take for these wounds to heal but time will help.
I am very grateful that Rhiannon was able to give me some space and time yesterday after our appointment. I know that it is very difficult for her to see me down. I am also very grateful that she setup therapy for us and has given us this outlet to discuss topics like this. I am grateful that we were able to bring it up and talk about it with a neutral party.
CuttinScrap.com was released last night!!! I am very excited with how it is turning out. I am even more excited to see Rhiannon start using it and getting some more content built up. This is the by far the biggest front end project that I have ever done. I think most of all I really like seeing how much Rhiannon likes site. She seems blown away and has commented that she did not think that it would turn out anywhere close to this good. She would have been proud to own it either way just knowing that I built it for her. Seeing her face light up during each preview that we did really kept me going to finish.
On Thursday I got the call that Rhiannon had passes out during physical therapy. I went right to her therapy office to find her rehydrating in a chair. She seemed ok and that this would pass and be ok. When trying to get up again she passed out. Three days later we are back home from the hospital and she is still passing out. All we know is that she has cancer and she is struggling to keep her blood pressure up while standing. I am very grateful that we have the friends we have to take care of everything at home for us. Most of all I am grateful that we are able to keep it calm and collected. Too many folks get very worked up through these events and it is not productive. Our job is to remain calm, stay focused on the things that we are able to do that help her, and let the doctors do their job. We have enough doctors involved that if there was something to find, it would have been found. I really hope that we can get her back on her feet where she is not passing out everytime that she stands up. But for now, I am keeping my calm, staying positive, spending time with the kids, and doing the tasks that help us function through the day.
I am so grateful that I have Rhiannon in my life. Last night we were able to go out of our way to help a family member in need. I am so proud that she is able to stand up for what is right and help someone who really needs it. This family member was in a really dark place and Rhiannon was able to spot that and stand up to help her. This person really just needed someone there for her, to give her a hug, and not feel alone. I am so proud of Rhiannon for being able to hold this persons hand, and walk her to a better place in life.
I think there is a real sense of maturity that comes with being there yourslef and climbing out of that hole and realizing how much better life is on the other side if you can just put your head down, make some hard decisions and consiously control your life and direct it to where you want it to be.
Over the past few years we have recieved tons of support from other people. This is something that I am very grateful for and we would not be where we are today without it. Along our journey we have came in contact with some very generous folks. Yesterday was our opportunity to give a little back to another. One of Rhiannon's close friends boyfriends had passed away. While we did not know him very well, he meant a whole lot to someone who means a whole lot to us. I am very grateful that we were able to take the day off and make the long trip in good health.
This year I started a new position at work. Everything about it is enjoyable. Not sure if that is jut the honeymoon phase or not. I am working as a data scientist. Its exciting that there is so much low hanging fruit to be had. In my previous role as an engineer I was in a very established role. While this role was great, I really enjoyed it, and had no intentions of moving until this oppotunity landed in my lap. I felt like being in such an establishd role the job was to follow the processes that had been previously set up. Now being in a much less established role there is a lot more room for creativity. I like getting to work and really being excited to get to work creating things that add value to the organization.
Sometimes you just need some time to be a kid. Today was that day... it was a snow day. During which the kids were very generous at letting me work, but we were also able to have some quality moments. First of which happened at lunch. Wyatt decided that we were having pancakes, and the kids would help make them. I was really impressed at their cooperation. They did really well at taking turns putting ingredients into the batter, and stirring.
I was really impressed at their cooperation.
The second bit of kid time came late in the afternoon after the kids had a nap. We went outside to go sledding. They were both a bit crabby to get clothes on, but cheered up once we got outside. We all had a blast, Even Ayla who has had a terrible fear of the snow this year. She just stood in it for the longest time before warming up to it. Eventually she braved up enough, aka was forced on to the sled with daddy. She loved it! She was absolutely smiling ear to ear when we hit the bottom. From there on the kids took turns riding down with daddy for the next 2 hrs!
There is something special about having pure uninterrupted adult time with your spouse. Last night I went out with Rhiannon and we had an absolute blast. We went to the brand new brewery in town "Industry Brewing Company". It was absolutely amazing. The food was good, but the beer was completely flawless. There is just something beautiful about something that is so flawless. Each style I had was brewed to a T. My favorite of course was the "Industry Standard", a super hoppy pale ale.
Next we were off to the local big box quilting store to get some supplies for Rhiannon's next project on Cuttin Scrap. It was fun, we looked at a bunch of different stuff. And she was able to talk shop.
After that we were off to see the latest Pitch perfect movie. before we were able to do that I required coffee to stay up through the whole thing. So we went downtown to check out Zion coffee roasters for the first time. It was a beautiful shop that reminded me of Horizon Line Coffee in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. We finished the night off in the movies and headed home.
I am so grateful to be able to spend such quality time with my best friend. We have great friends that are able to watch the crazy kids. We are able to afford a simple night out. Lastly Rhiannon and I are getting closer than we ever have before.
Last night stared like any other night. Put the kids to bed, hang out with my Beautiful wife for a while, off to sleep, then Wyatt comes in at the wee hours of the morning ready to start his day. The only difference last night was that it was not the wee hours of the day, it was 11:30 PM. He was wired and ready to go as if he slept the whole night through. I am very grateful that I was able to tag team the situation with Rhiannon, as he did not go back to sleep. We were both able to get some rest through the night. It may not have been the best, but we were able to make the best out of a tough situation. In the Morning we had to take the van into the repair shop, and on the way home we were able to discuss some solutions to the problem when it happens in the future. Rhiannon was able to get the ball rolling with the pediatrician to see their recommendations. Man I love her, long before I would have even thought to go that route she had already sent the message out.
Breaks are a good time for refresh and focus on some other things. During this holiday break I have been able to spend quite a bit of time with my beautiful wife Rhiannon. I have really enjoyed helping her setup her new adventure Cuttin Scrap. It will be a nice creative outlet for her to combine her love of sewing and crafting with her love of speech and writing. I am really excited to see her get going.
We have also spent some time at nights playing games and watching YouTube. Its really nice to not have to worry about anything work related and focus on the family. The extra time has helped strengthen our marriage and allow us to discuss some things that have been on our minds for awhile. Now its time to start 2018 Fresh and Strong.
I love having those special moments of time with the kids. Today we had a few minutes to play before supper time, and we decided to go down to the basement to play some imagination action adventure game. The kids are really into minecraft at the moment so its always very centered around minecraft. Tonight there was an extra special moment where Wyatt on his own gave Ayla his brand new nerf gun to play with. At this point he has not alowed her to play with it because it was a new Christmas toy. She was extatic, and we all enjoyed running from her as she shot towards us. I thought it was extra special because we were all having fun and no one was arguing about who got the new toy. I am so proud of Wyatt, because he is really growing up and growing out of the not sharing phase. I have really seen him open up to share an play with Ayla in new ways lately. It really makes you feel like a good parent when you can watch them grow up like this.
I am currently in the middle of a week long holiday break. Its nice to take some time off from the everyday hustle to refresh the brain and focus on some other things. We are able to do quite a bit of traveling and see family that we do not get to see very often. I am able to spend more time with my wife and the kids. I have also started making a website for my wife. Its probably something that I would not otherwise have time to dig deeply into and make nearly the same progress as quickly.
The time in the car can be a nice time to connect. We have taken quite a bit of time to plan out Rhiannon's new adventure, CuttinScrap. It is a YouTube channel that will serve as her creative outlet, combining her love of speech and Drama with Crafting. I am really excited to see her find her voice and get into a rhythm with the channel. She is really excited as well. We have been doing a lot of planning and behind the scenes work and anxiously awaiting time to make episode 0.
This Christmas we had two events on Christmas day, with 5 hours of travel, and a final destination to sleep at. I am very grateful that we were able to get through all of the travel in one piece. THe kids had a blast! It was a very fun Christmas for them. Wyatt got his most wished for gift this year, Maui's hook from Moana. It was so fun to watch him open it. He was absolutely speechless.
I am glad everyone was able to enjoy the food. Both events were very accomodating to our family allergies. The first event was a potato bar where everything was kept separate and you could personalize your dish. The kids really just wanted to snack all day. At the second event they went out of their way to find dairy free butter to cook wtih. There were only one or two items that had dairy in them. It feels good to be supported by your family.
Good days are the best. I enjoy the days where everything seems to fall into place seemingly without effort. The air is clean and easy to breathe. The kids are cooperating. I am working on a project with my best friend in the world. I play with my kids, and we all have a great time together.
Today was one of those days. I spent much of the day helping Rhiannon set up the Cuttin Scrap channel. We are setting up a really nice area for her to work on a craft that she is very passionate about. It is the place that she has dreamed of for years. No its not perfect with the most space available, but it is the best with what we have got, and it is all hers. At the end of the day we were able to sit down and begin working through her website and socials.
It is the place that she has dreamed of for years.
I also really enjoyed getting to play in the fresh snow with Wyatt. He loved it. We shoveled it into big piles to jump in, threw snowballs, and just had the best of adventure. Ayla and Rhiannon came to the window to watch, and they laughed at us while we acted silly. Today was Christmas, one of the most magical days of the year to spend with the ones you love most.
I am grateful that we have been able to make it to my family for Christmas time. I am so glad to see how much fun my parents and the kids have together. They all get along so well. I am glad to see some of the changes that my parents are making to get through their tough times at home. They seem to be quite a bit happier that the past few times that we have been home. We all got some really nice gifts, and I am glad that everyone was able to at least get something that they enjoy, even if it wasn't much. The kids were so excited to see all of the gifts, and had such fun opening them. They have been playing with them all day. I am very grateful to see them sharing and having fun together rather than fighting over who gets what. Wyatt has really been stepping it up as a big brother, and even spent his own hard earned money to buy Ayla a gift!
I am very grateful to see them sharing and having fun together
A few months ago my wife and I decided to start going to family therapy, to talk about some things that we could see were only going to get worse without giving them some attention. This is the best decision we have made in our marriage. We have really learned to relate to the other person, and put ourself in their shoes. We are learning about how our actions effect the other.
This is the best decision we have made in our marriage.
Without taking steps in the right direction our marriage was heading downhill. Medical needs were taking precidence, and we were both fighing through a dark hole of depression. After the first session we saw great improvement. I am grateful that we took the steps to work on our marriage in such a dark time for us on every other aspect of life. I am grateful that we got a great therapist on first try. I feel like you rarely get a medical professional that works for you on the first try. I am grateful that we are both devoted to making it work, and have made great strides in our relationship. Most of all I am grateful to see how taking the right steps to strengthen our marriage has improved other parts of our life, and made it easier to handle events as they come up.
Last night we made a long trip back from my In-Laws. Which was a great day by the way. Sometimes we struggle with Wyatt's energy in a house with lots of breakable items, but he did great yesterday. When we got home Wyatt just finished up with a good two hour nap and was wired... at 11:00 PM. He was hungry, as he was too excited to play while at grandmas house and did not eat much. I sat up with him, we shared a peanut butter sandwich and got out a new pack of trolls characters and worked on finding all of their names.
When we got home Wyatt just finished up with a good two hour nap and was wired... at 11:00 PM
Moments like these do not seem to come often enough. I really enjoy playing with the whole family and the full level of craziness that it brings, but having a calm one on one time with one member of the family seems extra special. It was the perfect ending to a long day with lots of packing, travel, and excitement.
Today we are nearing the last week before Rhiannon's Next Treatment in chemotherapy. It was a rough day, she had a bad carcinoid attack last night and was on edge of another all day today. I am grateful that we were able to get in with a really good oncologist. The best in the area in terms of carcinoid cancer. I am really glad that he has a plan for us and it is helping get through most of the month between doses. Since it is such a rare type of cancer there are few knowledgeable in the subject, which just makes it that much better that we are in with the best. It allows us to have some really good days.