Monday, January 15, 2018

Thank You, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today - with probably the weirdest timing ever - we celebrated this absolute champion of a man with a champion of a mission.

While the world stews about the ridiculously ignorant, vulgar, rude, ugly, narcissistic and racist comments from our "pretend leader" - we decided to take a break from using our voices (like we all should be doing) and spending some time reflecting on this amazing man that God built for a purpose.

When I look at him - I see each one of my kids in him...

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

I want my kids to feel empowered. Strong. Courageous. Bold.

"The time is always right to do what is right."

I want them to feel encouraged and inspired by REAL leaders - past or present - that they can look up to and emulate in their lives.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

I want them to be strong advocates for justice - always willing to call out a wrong when they see it.

Today was a most excellent day to dig into those traits and characteristics - like we have done on this day EVERY year for as long as I can remember.

And at the end of the day - over prayer time as a family - we thanked God for making Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and filling him with the Spirit that he did - one willing to speak up when an obvious wrong was being played out.

We salute his courage.

We salute his boldness.

We salute his willingness to sacrifice everything - life included - to stand for what was right.

And we thank the Lord for him because he set things in motion for our family to even exist in this country.

We know we've come a long way - and this past few days alone have shown us just how far we have to go.

In the spirit of Dr. King, Jr - we will continue to stand, continue to fight, continue to use the tools and voices empowered to us to shed light on the ever-increasing darkness around us.

And we'll do it cautiously and carefully - knowing full well that:

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

Sunday, January 14, 2018

My New Start With God

Mebrate Saidah is our DEEP, DEEP thinker.

Always has been... and not only is she a deep thinker... but she is full of empathy and compassion and the strong desire to chase God.

I am always so encouraged and inspired by her.

Last week when I picked Mebbie up from Sunday School - she had a big smile on her face and said: "Daddy - that was one of the best Sundays ever!"

I asked her why and she went on to tell me all about what they had done - and then she said, "And I got the chance to pray and write down this letter to God..." and she handed me this note that read:

"My New Start With God - by Mebbie

I feel like I am not spending a lot of time with You anymore and I want to come closer to You and I want to listen to everything You tell me.

And I want to start reading my bible more.

I want to think and read about You everywhere not just Awana and church."
And she was smiling from ear to ear!

It wasn't a bad thing - she saw this new year and new beginning as an AWESOMELY positive thing!

Mebski Love... your daddy is SO PROUD of you girl and imagine this if you can...

As much as I love you... your heavenly Father loves you infinitely more than that!

You're HIS daughter and you are so loved.

Never stop chasing Him, Mebbie!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The President's New Clothes

a re-telling of a classic story that is ALL TOO relevant these days!

The President's New Clothes
"Trust us" they said, "We make the finest clothes!"
"We cover leaders like you in the best - head to toes!"

Then they whispered out a secret and swore to him it was true,
Their clothes had special powers - and here's what they could do;

When a leader puts them on and wears them with great pride,
They reveal the truths around him that others may try to hide;

So he spread the word loud and he spread the word clear,
"If you can't see these threads you are dead to me here!"

"If you can't see my clothes that just shows what you know,
Or better yet - what you don't - and so then you must go!"

For weeks the people waited while the leader just hated,
Afraid to speak truth - all their breath was just bated;

He was reckless and crazy and oftentimes lazy,
And the truth spoken to him got dimmer and hazy;

For who in his circle would dare be the first,
To tell the "great leader" his clothes were the worst;

Or worse than the worst - his clothes just weren't there,
He was parading around like a fool in the bare;

With his head held up high and the rest - well - just sagging,
He was cocky, flamboyant, he was nagging and bragging;

But a child spoke up - in the midst of all the fuss,
He said "Sir put some clothes on you're embarrassing us!"

Who are you in this story? The kings men or the youth?
Which carries more weight - how you're seen... or the truth?

He's not a fan of what ya said about his birthplace, Prez...

Friday, January 12, 2018

Dear Mister President...

Dear Mr. President... I've been so hesitant to do this,
But your petulant sentiment is evident. So let's get to it;

And my hesitancy was never 'bout your presidency,
I had friends, ya see, down on bended knee...

Worshiping you like you were some worthy idol,
As if "Supreme Being Creator" was a part of your title;

And I love my friends. So I stayed outta the noise,
But then you said a little something 'bout my girls and my boys;

You opened your flapping mouth and let the words come on out,
Cuz ya thought you were in a meeting that no one would hear about;

And when the truth was heard, you're so narcissistic and vile,
Ya started tweeting and believing your own ridiculous denial;

And you've convinced yourself and all your followers,
Ya know - the thousands and thousands of kool-aid swallowers,

That you're a leader... and your brains not hollower,
Than the halls you're in, ya filthy self wallow-er;

It's like you woke up one day at the helm of a great country,
And thought to yourself, "Hmmm - how funny would it be?"

"If I drove this here place directly into the ground?"
"And I can do it - cuz I'm the most stable genius around!"

Man... shut up. Just shut up and stop talking,
Stop expressing contempt and ridicule... stop mocking!

Did you even count the cost of this? Running for these offices?
You've been a fountain of nauseousness in all of your caucuses;

A perverted purveyor of hate disguised as "Let's make it great!"
Subverted betrayer of state - despised for the lies you make;

You've made us the laughing stock of the whole entire globe,
There simply must be something off inside of your frontal lobe;

My 6 year old wont eat breakfast and often pees in his bed,
But he has way more sense than you do inside of your head;

And guess what, man? This is gonna make ya frown,
That 6 year old who's wiser than you? He's BROWN.

You're a racist bigot fool trying to run the USA,
But you're not fit for the role - go try on the KKK;

You'd be a wizard that's grand if you joined the Klan,
And have a blizzard of fans all around ya man...

And speaking of your fans - you've given 'em carte blanche,
To flaunt their hate around - and man your fans are staunch;

Committed to your cause and the lies that come with it,
Or committed to their own heart and the hate inside of it;

And worse than your fans are the silent middle grounders,
Afraid to raise their voice even a little - so they just flounder;

"If I denounce his crazy ways - will I then fly the coop?
Will I still get invited to my church dinner group?"

"What if I stand out when I stand up and shout?"
So instead... CRICKETS... and I'm left to doubt;

Where they stand or what they feel when they look at my crew,
Because my crew - if you ain't noticed - doesn't look much like you;

But you don't get this. And I don't think that you care,
You're more into blonde hair and complexion that's fair;

So you do you, chump. And I'mma keep doing me,
Counting years through my tears - we're down to T-minus three...

You don't wanna mess with an angry Mebbie and a tired Meron!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful

Went downstairs tonight to hug on my goofballs with the heaviest kind of heart after hearing some of the childish, racist, slurring, disparaging remarks our wonderful Narcissist-in-Chief made today about countries like the one where they were born.

And since we don't sugarcoat anything - and we want these warriors to hear things in our house - not from kids on the playground or in the halls at school - we told them what this champ of a man had said.

They are 9 and 10... and with no prompts from us - they were appalled.

The Spirit in their hearts doesn't allow them to NOT be.

They have a better and stronger moral compass than the man some people put in office to lead us.

We prayed strong prayers for their country. We prayed for Haiti, El Salvador, Liberia and a whole slew of other countries that we LOVE.

These girls need to hear their daddy praying about their birthplace - and all kinds of places - with love and a heart for the land and the people there.

He-who-shall-not-be-named represents EVERYTHING that is wrong with this world.


And my crew will hear real, raw truths from their daddy every single time.

And while this dope little homie was already snoozing - I prayed over him too.

I will protect my family at any cost. You are either with us and you've said it... or you are against us and your silence shows it.

One idiot's sh*thole is another man's paradise.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Some Mommy Daddy Time!

This goofy little girl has the absolute lowest tolerance to pain I have ever seen in anybody.

So today when I got a text from Laura saying she had fallen at school and hurt her wrist - I said:

"Go get her. I KNOW she is fine but we won't have these days ever again - you'll never have today's opportunity again to go grab her outta school and make her feel loved, cared for and safe."
And so she did.

Then it was time for Awana... and well - you know - that wrist was just REALLY hurting.

She was given the choice to go or stay home - but not to sit in front of some TV show - she could rest or read. She chose to stay home... and she texted me and asked where I was at... was I almost home?

I walked in - grabbed dinner - and sat at the bar beside her. She was smiling.

I asked her how her wrist was and she said it felt okay.

I looked at her and she started smiling again.

I said, "You didn't stay here cuz of that wrist did you... you used it to get out of Awana, didn't you?"

Never one to lie... she said, "Yeah... I did."

I asked her why cuz I know how much she loves going to Awana.

She thought about it for a second and said:
"I just really needed some mommy and daddy time. Just the three of us all together..."
Be still my heart, girl.

Me too, Meron. Me too.

We ran to the store together, laughed, joked and had fun for 90 minutes before picking up the rest of the crew.

Sometimes, ya just need some mommy daddy meron time!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Best Kept Secret

The weather in Colorado Springs... that's what I'm talking about here.

Best Kept Secret EVER!

When we moved here from the South - everybody thought we were moving to an Antarctic region... man they even had us believing it!

But that is simply not the case!

This weekend while I had friends in ATL bracing for ice, closed schools and freezing temperatures... what were these two doing?

Enjoying lunch outside in January looking MAD comfy!

Out here - we tend to get the best of both worlds!

It means we never pack up the rollerblades and bikes cuz ya never know what kind of weekend you're gonna have!

One weekend might have a snowball fight going on out there - and the next one we're in shorts and riding bikes!

And we LOVE it!

This isn't some weird fluke either... it's been pretty consistently awesome for the past 4 years!

Don't believe us...?


Monday, January 8, 2018

Dear Brighton...

The last 3 days I have been writing poems to the goofballs - and it just so happens that this 4th day falls right on the 10th year TO THE DAY that I got the call where we learned "Brighton didn't make it." Only seemed right to write him one too!

Dear Brighton... every single day I hear your whispers,
In the laughter of your brother and both of your gorgeous sisters;

I see your face, I see your smile, I see remnants of your short life,
In the love poured out daily by your mommy, by my wife;

I hear your name said by kids in the country we've grown to love,
At a school lovingly built by our Heavenly Father above;

I see a legacy preserved, I see babies are getting fed,
But I'll be honest - I'd trade it all to have you here instead;

That's the heart of a selfish daddy, Brighton... and I ain't proud,
Of the way it makes me look when I say that stuff out loud;

But I'd be lying if I acted like this heart of mine didn't long,
To see you here with us being goofy and singing songs;

To see you leave your toys on the steps - and not clean up,
Or throw your little arms 'round the necks of our golden pups;

To watch you thrive in sports, make friends and be a kid,
It breaks my heart in two knowing these things that you never did;

I long to read you the bible and introduce you to Jesus,
But let's be real - you know Him better than I do - and I see this...

In the way He uses your life almost every single day,
To fight injustice and bring smiles in all of these special ways;

Your time on earth was short, but the impact ya had was major,
You saved a family's hearts - made us all reach for something greater;

So when I have these kind of days where I wish you were here with me,
I look around and realize this - you're in EVERYTHING that I see.

Daddy loves you Brighton... can't wait to hug ya!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Dear Zechie...

Dear Zechie... come here homie let's have a chat!
I'm so glad that God had plans and Camp Hoffman is where you're at!

I was hurting Z! Under-repped by the majority,
Living life up in a house that felt like a sorority!

And yeah I love my girls - more than you could imagine,
But I needed a distraction to balance the passion and fashion,

And God sent you! In all of His fame and glory,
Placed you squarely in our hearts expanding the family story;

And look at you! You rolled with it like no other,
You're a phenomenal son and an outstanding little brother!

You brought crazy to the sane - check that - we were always crazy,
But you took crazy up a notch, me and mommy could not be lazy;

Yeah ya keep us on our toes, doing boy things that boys do,
Ninja Turtles, TV shows, hero toys and cowboys too!

But your very best part and we saw it from the start,
Is the way that you love and the depth of your heart!

You're only 6 - but your chasing Jesus daily,
If I could I'd write a song and bravely play it on the ukulele;

Cuz you're an inspiration - with all that you've beat in life,
All the hurdles placed before ya - all the drama, all the strife;

With courageousness... you boldly walked right up to 'em,
Grabbed your mom and my hands and confidently walked right through 'em!

I could go on for days dropping words here to describe you,
Just know this - when we needed a Zechie? God prescribed you.

Your my bubba, little homie, and I LOVE YOU!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Dear Mebbie...

Dear Mebbie... hold up, wait? Are you 9 already?
Seems like yesterday you were 3 and a little unsteady;

Unsure where you were headed, but surely braver than most,
Backed by a loving God and a global Heavenly host;

He put in motion a plan, you crossed an ocean to land,
In this crazy crew you're in - you helped the show to expand!

You inherited a sister... and your sister did too,
You couldn't resist her and she cherished becoming two;

You've taught me so much about love, strength and courage,
You're a blessing! And it's a privilege to watch you flourish!

You're creative, you are caring, you have your very own style,
You bring darkness into light with just a flash of your smile;

You're a deep thinking, Jesus loving, child of God,
With a heart for serving others that always leaves me awed;

You're a gift in your classrooms, both at church and at school,
You're not a legalistic junkie but ya follow the rules!

You know grace and give it often - so much like your Savior,
And you're a warrior for truth - hard-pressed to make ya waver;

You love your barbies, love your dolls, and ya like to have fun,
And when your brother needs a playmate - he knows you are the one!

You have a heart that beats in sync with the One who made it,
You're a joy to the core - and that's why I celebrate it!

You've made this family so much better and best believe this is true,
I would be a better person if I could be more like YOU!

Your daddy loves ya to pieces, girl!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Dear Meron...

Dear Meron... Hey there! It's me, daddy!
I wanna put some words to paper before this day gets past me;

Cuz you're 10 now... a whole decade has come and gone,
Seems like a couple minutes - can't believe it's been so long;

But time is fleeting and I wanna make sure you're aware,
How much your daddy loves you, how much your daddy cares;

You've been everything I needed, a harvest that God had seeded,
A cure for a broken heart that was ravaged and beat and bleeding;

You turned darkness into light, turned rain clouds into sunshine,
Opened up the world to a mind that was feeling confined;

You're the best love originator on either side of the equator,
And your existence alone has brought me closer to our Creator;

There's no ten year old that's greater and that I'd debate sir,
You're a smile radiator, you're a leader, a conciliator;

You're a friend who would defend her friends to the very end,
You're not pretend... you transcend ten... and daddy commends!

You'd be my first pick for dodge ball, kickball or four square,
And let's not pretend I'm not crazy jealous of your hair!

You have an outlook on life that is positive and joyful,
your cup is half full - even when empty - and you're so loyal;

you are a ruthless defender of your mommy and me,
And you've added a branch full of excitement to our family tree;

I just wanted to take a second to let ya know how I feel,
Never stop being you - cuz God made you the real deal!

Daddy loves ya, girl!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Style Profile... I said

"It always brings me back when I hear Ooh Child,
From the Hudson River out to the Nile,
I run the marathon til the very last mile,
If you battle me I will revile,
People always say my style is wild,
You've got gall you've got guile,
To step to me I'm a rapophile..."

Those who know... KNOW!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

T-Minus 4 Days and Counting...

What do you do when you're about 4 days away from starting your next round of Whole 30?

Ya snag a berry berry cobbler and some Blue Bell ice cream to surprise the goofballs with after Awana... that's what!

Me thinks they were pretty excited!

We're getting it all out of our system (or into our system I guess depending on how ya look at it!) now before we get super strict on the 8th!

Wanna do it with us? Give us a holler and we'll add ya to the Facebook group and cheer ya on!

Get in my belly, cobbler!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Taking My Girls to the Bar(r)

If ya popped the back of the Pathfinder this morning you would have seen THREE CamelBaks loaded and ready for use... which could only mean one thing...

I was gonna have some company on my favorite hill today!

That's right... we decided to end the holiday break with a bang by taking the girls to the Bar(r) with me...

Barr Trail that is!

They were super stoked... an enthusiasm that was beat only by my own super stoked-ness!

The weather was super beautiful blue skies and a balmy 35 degrees or so!


We totally took our time and enjoyed a ton of turning around and "OOOHHHING" and "AHHHHHING" at the view below us.

The young hawk-eyes with me even pointed out our car in the parking lot way down below!

They were pretty excited to learn we could see Garden of the Gods from there and even more excited to realize we were WAY higher than those high mountains and rocks in that park!

At the bailout trail we grabbed a seat on the bench and munched on some granola bars.

We had to mentally collect ourselves here - as this is the highest/farthest they had both ever made it.

The "bailout trail" is the last chance to get off the Incline and head down Barr Trail. I gave them the option to quit and they both answered with a resounding "NO WAY!"

So we all finished our snacks, drank some more water - and then headed up what I think is the hardest part - the steep steps from the bailout to the false summit.

And they KILLED IT!

So many people along the way encouraged them and gave them inspiration to keep on moving!

Thank you to everybody who did that!

I'll never forget the looks on their faces as they saw the actual top and made their way to it!

So much (deserved) pride - so many feelings of accomplishment.

I was one super proud daddy!

After we soaked in a bit of the sun and got a fellow hiker to snap a group pic of us... we headed over to Barr Trail for the 3 mile hike back down!

After doing this round trip with these two STRONG GIRLS - i have no doubt that they can accomplish ANY THING that they set their minds to!

This ain't some easy hike, folks!

And they did it with strength, no complaining and smiles the whole way!

The afternoon's work earned us all a drink AND a treat at our favorite Starbucks where we shared some stories of the trek...

Girls... you impressed the heck outta your daddy today!

Way to set a goal and tackle it head on!

I am so so so proud of the two of you!

You can come to the Bar(r) with daddy any time!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Well, Hello There... !

We toasted in a brand spanking new year this morning with sparkling apple-cranberry juice over our sausage balls and eggs!

So fresh and so clean!

This year is gonna be night and day from last year - we can feel it!

We escaped 2017 with our faith, our family and our sense of humor intact!


There's a 2017 recap coming soon - but for now - we're looking forward with eager anticipation of another year of doing everything we can to try and align with God's will for us individually and as a family!

We know He was with us last year and we are pretty stoked to see what He has in store for this year!

And when the going gets tough - cuz it will - we're gonna paste this face on and smile it down while pointing it all back at Him!

I love new years. New calendar. New organizer. New chances at new (and old) goals.

New opportunities to fail and to grow from those failures.

New years are at the top of my list of good things - right near new running shoes!

High five 2018... so far so good.