Monday, January 20, 2020

Even Her Breakfast Smiles

Mebbie just wakes up in the morning with a smile on her face and creativity in her soul!

This was the breakfast she made herself this morning!

I swear... the girl's smile is so infectious... even her breakfast smiles!

Never lose your joy Mebbie... the world needs it!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Zechie and His Head

This dude here... he never misses an opportunity to be the SILLIEST HUMAN ALIVE!

And if that means jamming a stuffed poop emoticon in your shirt to look like your own head... so be it!

We didn't really replace his head with that - he's still the same goofy Z-Dogg!

Stay... POOPY... Z-Dogg... stay poopy!!!

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Daddy... Look! They've Gotten Cuter!

Every day... EVERY SINGLE DAY... she says the same thing:

"Daddy! Come look! They've gotten cuter!"

And every day... I roll my eyes...

Except tonight though...

She may have been right!

Okay Meron... you win... today they ARE cuter!

Friday, January 17, 2020

My People

Sometimes ya don't have a picture for the blog and ya sift through the archives and find one ya never posted...

This is my crew... I'd walk through fire for them.

Grateful for my people!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Chief Weirdo

No... his head didn't spin completely around...

Even though sometimes I feel like it could!

Nope - this goofball was just rocking his shirt backwards!

He is ABSOLUTELY the chief weirdo of ll weirdos that exist... and I love it!

Stay oddly weird, Z-Dogg... it fits ya well!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

I'm Not Just... "The Black Girl" - I have a name...

"I'm not just 'The Black Girl' - I have a name."

That was Mebbie's response when a student referred to those around her by their given names but called her "the black girl."

She told Laura:

"I don’t want to just be known as ‘the black girl’. I’m Mebbie. And I told him that referring to me as that is racist."
Amen, Mebski Love... AMEN!

Say it again, Mebbie... louder... for the people in the back!

Mebbie was hurt, upset and ready to rumble!

Kidding... anybody who knows Mebbie knows she is bold... courageous... and willing to stand for what is right... but she'd never fight you over it!

She will... however... drop some truth and education on your head! And that's exactly what she did...

One restorative conversation later - and Mebbie had helped a truly ignorant peer understand racism, slavery, the hateful history our country embodies and why the thing he said to her was hurtful!

Tonight - this sweet girl was looking like this - and I asked her how things were and she said:
"We're all good now, daddy. We're friends..."
And THAT is the heart behind this precious little girl.

So, so, so proud of how she handled this. She stood for what was right. She engaged adults to help. She willingly had hard conversations that ultimately helped educate her peers.

And she held her head high the whole time.

Daddy is SUPER proud of you Mebbie - never stop standing for what is right!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

He Misses His Dad

I got the email this morning some time around 10:30. It was from Zechie's teacher and it said:

Zechie seems to be sad today. I asked him if he was feeling okay and he said he is sad. He said that he misses his dad. I told him I would send this email so that you all knew he was feeling sad.

If you have a moment to speak with Zechie send me a number that would be good to reach you today and I will have him call and chat if you think that would help.

I immediately emailed back with my phone number and the time I'd be out of the meeting I was in so Z-Dogg could call me.

When the phone rang and I answered it - my little dude sounded so tiny and sad.

Long story short - I had been out of town since last Thursday and when I got home last night - Z-Dogg and Mebbie were already sleeping. I did go in and wake them up and love on 'em - but he didn't remember...

So this morning he asked Laura when he would see me again - and she said "tonight after work" and some how... some way... dude took that to mean he would only ever see me again late at night when I wake him up in his sleep.

He was breaking my heart as he tried to explain it all.

I assured him this was NOT the case and we made plans for me to come have lunch with him at school next week.

He also assured me that he was now smiling and would smile the rest of the day for me... and tonight we got to hang out for a while too.

While it wasn't the truth - it was HIS TRUTH for a little while - and dude was upset.

So glad to see him back to normal crazy self tonight!

Daddy loves you, Z-Dogg! Forever and ever...

Monday, January 13, 2020

Welcome Home Committee!

I had been out of town since last Thursday... and finally got back to the house around 9:15 or so tonight.

The other two goofballs had gone to bed...

But not THIS girl!

Once a daddy's girls... ALWAYS a daddy's girl!

Thanks for the love, Meron - it's good to be home!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Straighten Up - Part II

Tonight it was somebody else's turn to sit through the couple of hours needed to straighten her hair...

And she was LOVING it!

Way to go mommy - for having the patience to give Mebbie a look at the real length of her hair!

Mebbie - no matter what your hair is doing - your beautiful heart shines through it!

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Three Merons

It ain't easy being braced up!

But Meron has been putting in the work to do her flossing and keeping her braces and teeth clean... even if it looks like it takes three of her!

Thanks for putting in the work, Meron!

Friday, January 10, 2020

The Literate Baller

Zechie asked me if he could have more than one goal for the new year...

Of course you can, homie!

He picked getting better at basketball and honing his skills at reading!

Super proud of this little dude and can't wait to see him thrive in both areas!

Do your thing, you reading baller you!

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Watch Out, Tony Hawk!

What does Mebski Love wanna focus on this year?

That's right...


And she isn't playing around either! She has been out in the driveway regularly trying to perfect some skills...

And she wants to hit the local skate park too to get comfortable with some of those environments on her board.

Watch out, Tony Hawk... Mebski Love is in training!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Feels Like Yesterday...

It feels like it was just yesterday.... it really does. But it wasn't.

It was 12 years ago.

12 years ago today... I was sitting in my office at home and the phone rang. It was weird... I remember an ominous feeling as I saw the caller ID was our adoption agency.

"Brighton didn't make it."

That's all I remember from that call. I had to call Laura at work then and tell her. We were a wreck. Lots of great people surrounded us that day and the days to come.

And here we sit... 12 years later.

3 beautiful kids have come home - all who know the name of their brother "Brighton" well. A school bears his name in Ethiopia where 600+ kids know the name "Brighton" well.

Brighton, my man... your legacy runs deep. You may have only been on this earth for 76 days - but your legacy far transcends that.

Last year I wrote this little poem about him... I'll always wonder "what if...?" but I think God's plan is probably far better than any "what if...?" I could ever imagine.

Dear Brighton...
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.

We love you Brighton!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Sing With Me

I love new years. They're like a brand spanking new sketch book - never touched or drawn in - just waiting to be filled up with growth and new things.

I asked the goofballs what they wanted to focus on this year. We don't do "resolutions" per say - but the new year is a great catalyst to focus on something you want to accomplish...

And for Meron... it's her singing.

The girl absolutely LOVES to sing. Loves her choir class. Loves music in general...

So this is her focus this year - improving in her singing and spending more time singing... in choir... in church... and downstairs on her stage!

I'm rooting for you Meron... I LOVE to hear you sing!

Monday, January 6, 2020

zElf... Come Back!

Yes... a photo a day for all of Christmas season can be exhausting!

But once the little dude is gone...

We really do start missing him!

And we had an all out blast this year doing it - this kid is one of the funniest littlest dudes around!

Only something like 320 days til we're at it again!

Come back little elf... we miss you!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Say Cheese!

This girl here has been saving up her money for a while because she has wanted to buy her own camera...

So over Christmas break she grabbed her cash - coupled with a few gift cards she had been given - and we headed to the store.

As luck would have it - the camera she liked and could afford - had been mislabeled by an employee - and she ended up getting a $180 camera at the advertised sale price of $109 (which was for the $129 camera)!

Score for her and for employees who just did the right thing on their own!

I love watching her creative little self look for things to capture in the beauty all around us!

And I'm no photographer... but I've been snapping pics for years now - and it has been fun sharing any tips I have learned over those years with her...

I love so much that she had an interest in something - saved up her money - and is putting in the work to get better at it!

An attitude and approach like that will take her far in life!

Keep snapping Mebbie - there is beauty ALL around ya!

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Straighten Up

Somebody wanted their hair straightened so badly that she was willing to sit still for like 3 hours while it went down!

Shout out to Laura for giving this girl a smile and for having the patience of Job!

This sweet thing KNOWS I love her natural, curly hair... but she also knows I love her no matter what her hair is doing!

Meron - your beautiful heart shines no matter what hairstyle you are rocking at the moment!

Friday, January 3, 2020

The Goofiest

The title says it all...

He really, really is!

One of the goofiest ever...

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Come On Ride the Train...

The goofballs got the game "Monopoly" for Christmas... and so tonight after the gym - we all settled down for some board game property investment!

And even though Mebbie was playing smart and flashing some money...

Only one of us had ALL FOUR RAILROADS!

That'd be ME. And I was more than happy to invite them to come and ride my trains!

No mercy around here - I easily won by double the next closest player!

Way to invest in those properties, guys!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

New Year Cheer!

All they wanted to do was "open up the bubbly fizzy stuff!"

They were super stoked about the sparkling cider...

And there are no 3 other people that I would rather ring in the new year with!

Here's to 364 more fresh and clean days... Lord help me not to squander them!

So fresh and so clean, 2020!