I’m Back

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Back to normalcy.

It’s always bittersweet coming back from vacation, it’s always nice to get back to normal life and back in a routine, but it also sucks not being free to do whatever you want to in a day.

My wife and I got back yesterday from our cruise in the Caribbean. It was great to see our daughter again after a week away from her, and now the ten loads of laundry and grocery shopping begins.

We hit the ground running our first day back. College starts for both of us, back to work, meetings, and the like. Workouts were great on the cruise ship despite the small gym, the view made up for it.

I went unplugged for the week, naturally unplugged from phones and internet because on a cruise ship the price to get online could fund your own personal boat fund.

I love being connected with all of you digitally, but I will say I think we all need a break at least once a year from all forms of social media. It gives us a chance to refocus and renew, and that’s exactly what this vacation allowed us to do. This wasn’t the first cruise my wife and I went on. I think the thing we most like about it, is that we are completely free to come and go as we please. We are blessed with grandparents who watch our child for the week so we can be by ourselves.

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Free to laugh, to eat whenever we want, stay up however late, go to the gym whenever.

While vacation is awesome, the best thing about it, is getting time to reevaluate where you are in life, make new goals, new plans, new deadlines, so that you come back to life renewed, and ready to hit the pavement.

Vacation was amazing, and being back is equally so.

Unplugged

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Today I am heading to meet up with my parents where my wife and I are dropping off our daughter for the week while we go on a cruise.  While there are many things I like about cruises, one of my favorites is the ability to unplug.  Cell reception is nowhere, and I find myself leaving the cabin room without my cell phone all the time, (something I wouldn’t think of doing when I’m going out at home).

This next week I will not be posting.  I debated pre-scheduling my blogs, but really think it’s good to just be totally off the grid.

So I will be gone this week, catching up on some much needed away time, and enjoying being with my wife.  Hope everyone has a fantabulous weekend.  We’ll talk again in 9 days.

3 Years Ago

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Three years ago today I was married. Sometimes it doesn’t seem possible it’s been 3 years, and other times it’s hard to even remember life before her. I don’t think either of us had a clue what marriage would be like (who does when first married?)

We’ve been through so much in just 3 years, wonderful times, fun times, and hard times.  We’ve traveled to three countries, had a daughter, moved five times, managed a family, work, and full time college, had our ups and had our downs.

While I wish I could say that all the bumps of marriage are over with, I know that I have a lot to learn still in the road to discovering both myself and my wife.

I am a different person because of my wife (and I mean that in a good way).

I still can’t wait to walk in the door at the end of the day and see her, I look forward to seeing her smile and hearing her voice.

She is now as much as the on our wedding day my one and true love.  I love you Heather Parady. Here’s to 3 years I would never trade, and to all the years to come.

For Better Or Worse

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Marriage is incredibly hard. Anyone married knows what I’m talking about.  Anyone single, ask someone married if you don’t believe me.

There is a reason in wedding vows you say for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.  It’s not just because it sounds good.  It’s because in marriage you will go through the worst of times and the best of times.

When you get married you have a lot of expectations of what it’s going to be like. Mostly we get this from Hollywood and TV.  But think about, we don’t run into bank robbers, get into high speed shoot-outs and witness explosions every day like in the movies, so why would marriage be like the movies?

It’s not. It’s better.  It’s harder.

When you get married, everything you’ve ever done, and everything you do is exposed to your spouse.  There’s no more getting in your car and driving back to your place when you get in a knock down screaming fight, no more going for a late night drive where no one knows where you are, no more complete and utter independence.

Yes some things you do lose in marriage, but you also gain so much.

Marriage is hard, to say it was easy would be a flat out lie. It takes commitment, it takes telling yourself that no matter how badly the other person hurts me, or how much I disagree with them, I’ve made a commitment to love them, and I have to honor that.

Most of the time you don’t have to remember that, you love your spouse, you think they are it. But during those rough times….that’s why we have those vows, to remember, I committed to love this person through both my worst, and their worst.  It means loving when they don’t deserve it, not to get something in return, but because you are committed to them.  It means pointing out their qualities, not their faults.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is a marriage.  It takes work, it takes pain, but it is filled with rewards.

Long Week

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The week is finally over for me.  I don’t know why, but this week has been incredibly long. One of those weeks you are glad is over.  I don’t even fully know why.  Regardless though I am content now to be sitting drinking some coffee, and catching up on some social media and writing.

My wife is busy studying (grad school fun), and my daughter is trying to figure out how to put on her mommy’s shoes while watching Mary Poppins, her 2nd favorite movie (2nd only to The Sound Of Music, she has a thing for Julie Andrews).

Honestly I feel a little lazy today, and despite working on some taxes for my wife’s business and reworking our budget, I am not doing much at all today.

The crazy thing….that’s okay.  We all need some downtime every now and then.  It won’t last long.  Tomorrow I will be going a mile a minute, and hitting the gym harder than ever, but for now.  I am enjoying the stillness.

The Hard Days

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Have you ever had one of those days where you wish you could hide in bed all day? Sooner or later we all have one of those days.  We don’t really feel like going to work at the crack of dawn, we’re tired of our diet, or our exercise program.  We feel worn out, tired.

There’s one thing that really helps on days like this.  My wife and daughter.  Somehow they are more than enough motivation to be strong another day.  To work hard, to do my best to be honorable.

Sure that doesn’t mean every day I have it all together.  In fact rarely if ever is life all together.  Each day has its challenges, its hardships, its battles we must fight.

Don’t be afraid to be weak some days.  It happens.  Sometimes you do need to come home and take a nap, sometimes you do need a break and just rent a movie and chill with your friends, your loved one, or your spouse.

In fact it’s these simple pleasures that we find in those we love that make the hard days worth it.

Social Media Is Our New Girlfriend

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We have a tendency to lose ourselves in social media from time to time.  We forget that real life and real relationships are all around us.  We lose ourselves in trying to find out what all our friends have done today by reading their posts, rather than getting coffee with them.

We have a tendency to create our Facebook face, the parts that only the world can see, and hide all the parts we are ashamed of.  It’s easier, in a friendship you have to be real in order to maintain a strong friendship.  In social media you can be fake.

Sometimes we need to unplug.  When you come home after a long day work you don’t need to run to your laptop, you need to connect with your family, your significant other, or whoever you share your home with.

Don’t just post a status telling your friend you are thinking about them, call them up, set up a coffee date, go do something fun with them.

Social media has literally become like a girlfriend or boyfriend for many of us, and sadly at the expense of the important people in our life.

Social media is good, but don’t put it in a place it doesn’t belong.

Believe in Yourself

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Often times when we set out to chase our dream it doesn’t always go as planned.  Not the actual chasing of your dream part, but the remarks and criticism of others.

Others will not believe in your dream.  They will call you crazy, say you are being unwise, say you are being irresponsible, and many more things.  Now I’m not saying everyone, I hope that your spouse or significant other encourages you to fulfill your dream.

Most of the time this stems from people being to insecure or to afraid to go after their own dreams and so they feel that no one should go after their dreams.

Now if you have responsibilities such as a family and need to provide for them, that may adjust how you need to pursue your dream, while still maintaining your responsibilities, but otherwise, go after your dream, no matter your age.  Find what makes you alive and do it.  That thing you’ve always talked about and have always wanted to do, why not do it?  You have one life.  Are you going to wake up one day and say “I’m glad I didn’t try.”?  Or are you going to have regrets if you at least don’t give it a shot.

So go out there and try.  And please ignore the naysayers, they are everywhere, they don’t understand your dream and they don’t have to.  Be you, and believe in yourself.

 

Seeing The Good

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My coffee simmers next to me, Mat Kearney fills the room. My daughter is sitting on the couch staring at me, still waking up with that sleepy look in her eyes.  I’ll be out the door and off to work in 15 minutes.  Some mornings I really hate going to work, not that the job is terrible, just there are more important things I would love to do.

I work a Tuesday through Saturday shift, and I never realized how much I would miss out on with Saturday mornings.  Yard sales, spending time with my family, pancakes.  It’s the simple things I feel are stolen from me.

I am grateful for the good though, thankful for my job, that I can provide for my family.  That I can see them be happy and do the things important to them.  It is worth it, even though on this particular Saturday I really want to walk around in my pj’s and eat pancakes instead.

Give More, Love More

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In this crazy fast paced world, where it seems there are never enough hours in a day, it’s really easy for me to get caught up in thinking about just me and my family. While those are important things to focus on at times, there is more we have to look to.

There are so many people out there down on there luck, stuck in depression, just needing someone to offer a helping hand, a friendly smile, or a simply a sincere hug.

But in my daily race, how often do I miss those who are looking for a kind word?  How often do I miss the man who needs an encouraging word, the woman who needs a genuine smile?

It’s so important for me to slow down enough to notice that there are others out there who not only need, but deserve me to be engaged, who knows how I could change their day?