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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Love Thursday: Long Walks

When we first moved back to California, we promised eachother that we'd try to enjoy the weather here, getting outside as a family as often as possible. As such, for about two months now we've incorporated an evening walk into our schedule. The crisp evening air, cooling from an earlier warm afternoon, the sun setting over the mountains - it is a special time for our family.

Usually we set out just after dinner, at 6:30 and walk until the sun just sets at 7:30pm. Over the past few weeks our walks have developed into an actual route which takes us past our favorite houses in the neighborhood. My favorite house is a tudor style home with a swing hanging from the tree and bright colored flowers lining the edges of the perfectly manicured yard. The family that lives there appears to be about 5 years older than we are, and we often talk about our future as we pass by, making special note in my mind of that moment each time.

I look forward to this time together as a family all day long.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Brusha, brusha, brusha

Dylan may not savor the teeth brushing experience himself, but he sure enjoyed "brushing" his stuffed monkey's teeth.

Brushing Dylan's teeth.

And brushing his monkey's teeth!


Friday, April 20, 2007

Santa Anita Racetrack

There is a trackside, open-air café called Clockers' Corner at the Santa Anita Racetrack where you can go and have breakfast yards away from where the horses are training, mingle amongst world-famous horse trainers (Ryan recognized Bob Baffert there), jockeys, and owners as their horses go through their morning workouts.
Ryan, Dylan, and I got up extra early yesterday and met a few friends there for breakfast. Dylan ooohed and ahhhhed over the big horses galloping by. It was just as you'd imagine Southern California to be like: Palm trees and lush green grass, mountains arching up behind the track through the treeline, clusters of middle-aged rich guys smoking their cigars, watching the horses from time to time while drinking their coffee and reading the paper.
And to be honest, I'm feeling homesick for our horses. Growing up my family had two horses (Melody and Joy). They are now semi-retired and enjoying life up in Oregon on the coast. And so I haven't seen them for a couple years now.
Being around horses again made my heart ache to ride again. To breathe in the dusty mane of my Melody. To run my hands along her nose. To feel her legs gallop underneath us as we ride. And so our morning out at the racetrack was bitter-sweet for me. Horses were such a big part of my youth and young adult life. If I could have a piece of that again, I would. Maybe someday.
But for now I'm glad to have a new memory with my family. Introducing Dylan the wonder of horses with the power and gracefulness of their movements. And I'm so glad that he ooohed and ahhhed alongside my own heart.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Love Thursday: A boy and his kitty

These two are close.

At first I thought Thaddeus (our kitty who is more like a doggie) was watching Dylan eat his lunch. But then I noticed that Dylan was sharing his lunch with Kitty.

The love of a boy and his Kitty:

They cuddle.
They wrestle.
They even play with frozen veggies at lunchtime.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Dreaming a little dream

Ever wonder what our dreams really mean?
I mean, I wake up nearly every morning and try to figure out what my dream from the night before meant. Often the dreams are similarly themed: past choices, fears of the future and loss of loved ones, work...
But should I spend every morning pondering the meaning of what seems to be my mind sorting through it's deeper thoughts whilst I slumber each night?
Some people don't remember their dreams. Take Ryan. He wakes up each morning seemingly rested, not worrying about the jumbled storylines from the night before. I, on the other hand, toss and turn each morning, with rising worry. Why is this?
I prefer to wake up and not remember my dreams. On those days, I pretend that my mind had succeeded at sorting through all those subliminal worries and put them to rest, without bothering me in the process.
Those mornings are rare and treasured for me, like getting money back on your taxes.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

First Sentence

While I prepare to gather up a cuddly, post-bottle (his version of a martini, we joke) toddler for bed, Ryan and I melt in unison with Dylan's first ever, non-prompted, first sentence:
"Night-Night Daddy!"

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Friday, April 13, 2007


The lovely Mella nominated and tagged me today for the Thinking Blogger Award.

The rules of the award state that each blogger tagged needs to tag five other blogs that make them think. So here are my FIVE:

1. Mary at Owlhaven never ceases to challenge my thoughts. As a mother to 8 kids between the ages of 2 and 19, she always has something interesting and insightful to say. She's been nominated before for this award, I know, but I can't resist tagging her again.
2. Kathy over at Godfrey's Mama wrote this post a while back. And while I may be a bit biased as a fan of her new-ish blog (being that we work together and she's one of my closest friends), her writing weaves humor and deep thought in a way that I admire.
3. Ellen's posts at The Reign of Ellen are soulful and honest. She's battled depression, infertility, and much more. And she lets her readers peek into her heart with her writing in a way that really reaches out and touches them. See for yourself.
4. Julie over at And Katie Makes 3 writes about her journey as a mom, life as a graduate student, the battle between desire and reason, and could even make you think about a bowl of jello in a way you never thought possible.
5. Last, but not least is The New Girl, Tina, who I really enjoy reading because of how her posts makes me think about so many different things. Too many to list. Go read her blog and you'll see what I mean.

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Traditions

Today is a special day. And yet it signifies so many different things to so many different people. Some see it as a day for consuming boatloads of candy, dyeing eggs, easter bunnies, petting zoos, feasting on good food with family, and egg hunts. I enjoy all that just as much as the guy next door, but I want our focus to be on commemorating the resurrection of Jesus after his crucifixion. Sure, the candy and egg coloring parties are fun and exciting, and I loved watching Dylan discover the "hidden" eggs on our bi-daily hunts this weekend in our living room for plastic eggs filled with pretzels and raisins (ok, and a few jelly beans, cause you gotta let the little guy have candy here once in a while!)
But what does Easter really mean?

In years past we loved the Easter Sunrise Service that our church in St. Louis held in Forest Park. It was cold, bitterly cold, but awesome to watch the sun rise over the park, with the choir behind us belting out Halleluia.
If the weather itself didn't raise the hair on your arms, the music sure did. It was incredible.

I want Dylan to grow up knowing the origin of the traditions we embrace each year as a family. What does it all mean and where do these fun, yet seemingly silly, traditions come from?

Here is what I found out and what we plan to instill as our own traditions in the coming years:

Easter Eggs: In Medieval Europe, eggs were forbidden during Lent. Eggs laid during that time were often boiled or otherwise preserved. Eggs were thus a mainstay of Easter meals, and a prized Easter gift for children and servants.
Orthodox Christians in the Middle East and in Greece painted eggs bright red to symbolize the blood of Christ.
This year we dyed and decorated Easter Eggs with our friends Ana and Rowen (and made cookies).

Easter Bunny: Hares and rabbits have long been symbols of fertility. The inclusion of the hare into Easter customs appears to have originated in Germany, where tales were told of an "Easter hare" who laid eggs for children to find.
Dylan got an Easter Basket from each of his grandmas, which he has throughly enjoyed (and to be honest, Ryan and I were just as excited because that meant we could raid his candy this year. Because a 21 month old doesn't need too much candy, right?)

Easter Parades: After their baptisms, early Christians wore white robes all through Easter week to indicate their new lives. Those had already been baptized wore new clothes instead to symbolize their sharing a new life with Christ.
In Medieval Europe, churchgoers would take a walk after Easter Mass, led by a crucifix or the Easter candle. Today these walks endure as Easter Parades. People show off their spring finery, including lovely bonnets decorated for spring.
I want us to have a family tradition of taking a post-dinner family Easter walk around our neighborhood. Walks are an important and much looked-forward part of our daily, evening routine, and I think it would be a nice variation of the "parade" tradition. This year it is overcast and rainy here, but we will do our best.

Reflecting on our Savior's gift:
For our sinful pleasure, HE GAVE THE FATHER HIS PAIN.
For our violence, anger, and rebellion, HE GAVE THE FATHER HIS GENTLENESS.
For all our wrongs, HE WAS WRONGED.
And yet He loved us. AND YET HE FORGAVE US.

And that, my friends, is the bottom line. He died, and rose again, giving us the gift of life.

Happy Easter!

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Love Thursday

I love my wife and baby. It can't be said in a way more simple or more true! I love being a father and a husband, and I love our life together. Sure there are challenges and unknowns and worries, but I'd rather have my family with me while we go through them than do it alone. Life used to be about so many things, but recently I've found that it is really only about a few things: love, happiness, and togetherness.

Here is my recent favorite picture of the ones I love. Have a happy Love Thursday with the ones you love!

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Birthday at the zoo

For my 29th birthday...
We went up to the Santa Barbara Zoo yesterday.
We met my parents and my sister's family there, and enjoyed the day all together.

Our little family.
The boys (Dylan and his cousin Andrew, who happens to have the same birthday as me) were so cute together, holding hands as they toddled around the zoo together, looking at the penguins, lions, and giraffes.

Going down the slides together.
This past month at daycare, they had a zoo theme in Dylan's Busy Bees room. So it was pretty timely that we went to the zoo on the last day of the month. Dylan even made his first 'animal sounds' while we were at the zoo. When I asked him what sound a lion makes, he replied "rawrrr!"
After a few hours at the zoo, we all went to dinner at the Fess Parker Doubletree Hotel.

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