Reliability – A Trait to Strive For

Reliable (adj): dependable, able to be trusted to do what is expected or has been promised

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about reliability, and my character in general. I take a look at myself, and I consider myself to be a pretty good man and husband. I’m kind, loving, and supportive most of the time. I’m fairly patient. I’m supportive and pleasant to be around (most of the time), and I try to make others happy. I work hard at work and am aspiring and working hard to progress to provide for my wife and my future daughter, Olivia.

Sometimes I feel like this is all I can really say about myself. I want to be amazing; I want to be the best husband and father possible. So, how do I change? How do I be the man I want to be? How do I be the man my wife and daughter deserve?

“We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.” – Richard G. Scott

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle

Consistency. Consistency is key. Doing what I say I will do, acting positively every day, fulfilling my responsibilities and following through on things I have set out to accomplish. This is what I must do. This is what will define me. I have resolved to define myself based on my actions, and will not stop refining myself. Ever.

So, who am I? What kind of man am I, and what kind of man do I want to be? I want to be loving, dependable, and selfless. To be what I want to be, I must consistently act in that manor.

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – R Collier

 

It’s a Girl!!

It’s a girl. It’s a GIRL. I’m having a DAUGHTER.

Yesterday was our momentous 20 week ultrasound, and it was quite possibly one of the greatest experiences of my life. Seeing our little angel, watching her wiggle and move around, seeing every last centimeter of our baby – from her tiny little toes to the tip of her head – was surreal and beautiful and heart warming.

Then it happened – our ultrasound technician asked if we were ready to learn what we were having. We nodded, looked at the monitor, and she started typing “I’M A GIRL!!!!!” on the screen. My heart was in my throat, I beamed with joy and amazement, and leaned over and kissed my amazing wife. I can’t even comprehend the flood of emotions that consumed me. “A girl… a girl!” I thought to myself, thrilled and anxious and amazed, all at once. Images of pony tails, big blue eyes, little girl laughs and screams started racing through my mind, imaging a life that will be here before I know it.

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Our sweet girl, Olivia. I’m already in love.

Thinking about bringing this little angel into the world, raising her right, teaching her about life, keeping her safe and protecting her from boys is a daunting thought. Will I be reliable? Will she trust me? Will she come to her mother and I when she’s in trouble? Will she talk to us? Will we raise her with a love of God in her heart?

When it comes down to it though, I know we will simply due the very best that we can every day. We’re going to mess up, and we’re going to learn. But the most important piece of the puzzle with our growing little family, is that we be present, we soak it in, and we love. And love we will. I may not get everything right – heck, I know I won’t – but I do know that I will love that little girl more deeply than I have ever loved anything in my life. She already has me wrapped around her tiny little finger.

And you know, love is a pretty good place to start. We can figure the rest out as we go.

Eyes of a Father

Great article about fatherhood! I love this.

Chris Martin Writes

I’ve been a Dad for thirteen years and seven months. It’s quite strange to be where I am now and glance backward through time to when it all started. Nothing can truly prepare you for one of life’s greatest responsibilities. No guide books or pamphlets can capture the feelings of excitement, joy, marvel, panic, and failure that are encountered along the journey. It’s a road littered with mistakes, a plethora of questions, and moments of pure victory. As with most things in life, it takes hard work and continual effort in order to be a successful father.

But what defines a successful father anyway? If our children grow up to become doctors or lawyers, does that mean we did something right? If a child ends up in prison for jacking cars, is that an indication that we failed? What we pour into our kids while they are young is vital…

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Snowy Days in Portland

Here in Portland, we’ve been hit with our first (and probably only) decent snow storm of this winter season. The weather has been amazing and brought so much beauty to the area, bringing us about 8-10″ of fresh snow in the last couple days, and it’s absolutely beautiful to me. The snow brings such a lovely calm and quiet, and has given my wife and I a great time to stay in and get cozy. 

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The neighborhood pond at out townhouse complex is beautiful, frozen solid and covered in snow.

So, for those of you that don’t live in Portland, let me educate you what happens when it snows around here. This is what happens in Portlandia: Step 1) A news report comes on saying we could expect 3-6″ of snow in the valley floor (which includes downtown Portland). This immediately creates panic. Step 2) The world comes to an end. Some schools even closed at the POSSIBILITY of snow. Step 3) It starts snowing. People freak. Schools definitely close. Oh, and nobody knows how to drive in this stuff. Like at all.  Step 4) Snowpocalyps.

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This is my baby, my incredible Subaru that was just simply built for this weather.

So that’s basically how it’s been since Thursday around here, and the 8″ or so of snow that we’ve had is actually a pretty substantial amount by Portland standards. Having a Subaru has been seriously awesome, considering I just got it on January 1. And hey, it’s been fun. My lovely wife and I have been enjoying it tremendously, and have loved thinking about next winter with our first baby. It’s going to be quite a journey. 

Why Sports Are Awesome

Superbowl XLVIII took place this last Sunday night. I’m not going to talk about the fact that my Seattle Seahawks absolutely demolished Denver. I’m not going to speak to Peyton Manning’s legacy, or the fact that he has a bad tendency to fall apart when it matters most. I’m not even going to speak about Seattle’s shut down defense and that they are poised for a real long run of success. Nope, none of that at all. No gloating here. Not one bit.

All jokes aside…

Growing up, Sports were paramount to me. There wasn’t a thing I looked forward to more than playing, whether it was organized or a pick up game of football in the street. I remember riding the bus home from elementary school, wearing a baseball hat, looking out the window at the fields we drove past, admiring the manicured infields of the baseball diamonds, simply waiting and smiling for when I would get home. I was blessed to know that my dad would be home when I got there, making me an afternoon snack, and that as soon as I was finished I would be able to run outside, meet my neighbors, and pick up a game of whatever sport was in season. I’d run outside, carrying my football or baseball glove, beaming. The only thing I loved more than these pickup games was competitive sports – coming to the field with my team and competing, for the love of the game.

Of course there are the obvious benefits sports give to a developing child – learning a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise, improved teamwork and leadership skills – but there are plenty of other lessons important to life that are learned on the field, or court, or pitch, or wherever sports are played.

I learned that in order to improve at anything, it takes hard work and practice. “Practice the way you want to play,” my dad would always tell me. Sports taught me that putting in hours of half-assed practice means nothing; it’s the hard work and the repetition, over and over again, trying, struggling, grappling to learn something new, that will bring out results.

I learned not to quit. I learned what it means to give effort when faced with defeat, that no matter how the game was going, I simply would not quit until the game was over. “Leave it all on the field – you can be tired later.”

I learned how to lose. Losing is important – it teaches us how to respond when things don’t simply go our way, because lets face it, they not always will. I was a sore loser as a young child, but years of sport taught me how to lose with grace and to take those moments as lessons. Seeing a losing experience as a lesson and a learnable moment is crucial. I learned how to bounce back.

Thinking about the person I want my soon-to-be child to become, I hope that my child will find joy and value and entertainment in what sports have to offer. Play because you love the game, and its amazing what you end up learning along the way.