Stop Using Your Kids As An Excuse

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My wife and I discovered something after we had a child.  It’s really hard for us to ever hang out with anyone with kids.  Most of our friends are either single, or married without children.

Why is this?  Well, it’s pretty simple, we’ve found a lot of parents who use there kids as excuses of why they can’t do something.

As a parent now for 2 years I don’t understand this concept at all. My wife and I have a lot going on, between both of us working going to school full time, hitting the gym 5 times a week, plus my wife runs a non-profit, as well as her own business. This is aside from our blogging, e-books, and other projects we have going on.  Yes we are extremely busy, but we don’t know any other way.

So naturally we brought our child into the world expecting her to be a go getter.  And that she is.  When she knows we are going somewhere she runs and grabs her shoes, starts laughing hysterically and then proceeds to beat on the front door until we leave.  She loves to be on the go as much as her parents.  She is very used to going everywhere, she never meets a stranger, and has no fear of anything.

We love this, we want her to see by example how to live a full life.  As a dad it scares the crap out of me all the time when I hear crazy stories in the news, and I will probably be stalking her first boyfriend. But I want her to experience life, and experience it fully. I don’t want her to see her parents just wasting away time, watching TV and staying inside the house.  She is already learning this.

Kids are not an excuse not do things, they are all the more reason to do things.

What Scares You?

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We all can think of things that have a tendency to scare us. From things like heights, to snakes, to more difficult issues like being vulnerable, being honest etc.

It can be a scary thing to allow yourself to be vulnerable. After all isn’t that how people get hurt? Isn’t that how hearts get broken? Well in all honesty, yes.

But when we close ourselves off we may guard ourselves against getting hurt, but we also keep ourselves from experiencing some awesome adventures.

The truth is, yes, being vulnerable will hurt us at times, it’s part of the way life goes, but it will also bring us great joy. When we do get hurt we have to keep getting up and trying again, nothing good ever comes from staying down.

We don’t ever fully begin to live until we open up ourselves fully and embrace who we are, give ourselves the freedom to be vulnerable, and take the leap into vulnerability.  It’s scary, it won’t always be easy, but it will be worth it.

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.

Digging Deep

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Digging down into our personal lives hurts sometimes. It’s never easy to allow the crap that’s buried inside to come surfacing out.  We’d rather keep it locked away, we’d rather not talk about it, we’d rather lead everyone to believe that it doesn’t exist.

But it is there, down deep, where years of hiding, and forgetting has covered it up.  Like a dusty old box buried in the attic or basement.

When we start to uncover and start to pull the cobwebs off it hurts, like peeling a scab.  But there is good that come of it.  When we are honest with ourselves and with those around us about our mistakes, or about our mess-ups, it brings relief and freedom.

When we do this, if the people we open up to shun us, or turn their backs on us, they probably don’t need to be in your life.

It’s not worth hiding things.  Dig deep and get it out.  You’ll be glad you did.

Who Likes Conflict?

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I doubt many people would say they enjoy conflict.  In fact most people I’ve heard hate it.  Why is this?

We pay millions of dollars every year to go see blockbuster movies that are all based around some type of conflict.  We are enamored by TV shows that deal with what?  That’s right: conflict.

I know I hate conflict.  And I’m starting to ask myself why?

Shouldn’t I appreciate it?  Shouldn’t I look at it as an opportunity to also come to a resolution?

No conflict is not always pretty, it’s often ugly, it’s the furthest thing from glamorous. But if I simply change my thinking and my mindset on the cause and effect of conflict, will I begin to view it differently and respond to it differently?

I’m not 100% sure, but I am interested in finding out.

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.

Unless it Hurts

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There are certain things in life that just don’t get us where we need to go without pain.  Why this is I don’t know.

The whole process of working out is pain.  When you lift weights you literally are tearing your muscles.  It’s painful, it’s not a fun experience. I think if we could just naturally get built, or in great shape with a snap of the fingers we would do just that…..but in doing that we would miss out on a lot.

It’s the pain that builds us, not just in a physical sense, but it builds our character, our emotion, who we are as a person.

I can look back on things that have hurt me in the past, some of them were brought on by my own stupid decisions, others were caused by people or situations.  While I don’t relish the thought of those times, I know they have helped shape me into who I am, and for that I am grateful.

Use your hurt and pain to become a better person.

Seeing The Best

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It’s really easy to be judgmental.  Whether it’s social media, the news, our coworkers, there always seems to be someone doing something that we disagree with, or don’t think is right.

But that is okay.

What makes us all unique is our difference in opinions.  So what if our friend doesn’t see things the same way as us?  So what if our family member, likes this and we like that?

See the best in people, even if you don’t agree with what a lot of things they do, find something you can praise them for, find something to encourage them in.

Another thing that tends to be common is if we don’t argue our side of it then we think we are giving in to their viewpoint.  This is crazy!  Arguing a point isn’t going to make them change their mind, it’s just going to make both them and ourselves mad.

It’s okay to agree to disagree, respect people, respect their viewpoints, yes even if you disagree with them.  To them, their viewpoint is just as valid as your own.