Here is one of the most personal posts I have ever wrote, and it’s on Christmas day. Enjoy.
Tis the season! A time filled with snow, family, food, pyjamas, board games, eggnog, photo ops, reading, making memories and being thankful for the blessings we have.
For me Christmas is a much anticipated time. I love the working up to Christmas as much as the actual day! That’s the reason why we set up our tree and decorate our house at the beginning of November. I truly believe that Christmas is best enjoyed in anticipation of what to come. That being said, for others Christmas is something they fear, dread and are anxious of. For my wife and I, last Christmas was a uniquely hard time for the both of us. We still didn’t dread or fear Christmas, but we were definitely anxious. See, four months earlier we lost our first child due to a miscarriage nine weeks into the pregnancy. It was an unimaginably hard time in our life as we had already been trying to conceive for a few years. But, you can read all about that story here.
Therefore, as we entered the Christmas holidays last year, we were obviously anxious to find out if a child was on the way. Every month of trying was a roller coaster of emotions as we hoped to see the two lines appear on the pregnancy test. It was the only gift we hoped for. Unfortunately we found out Christmas Eve morning that we would have to wait another month as there would be no baby. It was heart crushing to realize this only hours before we began the festivities with my family. We had a difficult time preparing to celebrate Christmas as another year was now going by without the sign of a child.
Only a few hours later, a Christmas miracle happened. We were visiting the Christmas Eve service at my brother’s church when this miracle took place. Now hold on, before you think I am going to get all weird on this blog post, hear me out. I was standing singing a carol when I noticed in the row ahead of me a few children laughing, ecstatic and inattentive as their minds were most likely flooded with the excitement of receiving gifts. It was then that the music faded in my mind and my thoughts turned to the hopes of being a father one day. Time didn’t slow down or anything like that, but that moment did seem to last longer than normal. As I imagined what it would be like to celebrate Christmas with my own child, a thought seared my mind with such clarity. It was as if someone turned a light on in my subconscious. The only way I can explain it was as if my mind received a text message, and the message said; “You will be a father by next Christmas!” I shook my head and knew what I had heard. It was a promise! It was hope! It was instant peace! It was the message of Christmas. A child will come! I have experienced moments like this before and knew that this was not a thought conceived out of my own intentions. It was divine. Now, I have thought a million times before about how I would love to be a dad before such and such time, but this truly was different.
I told my wife after the service, and she quickly reminded me that if you are going to be a father before next Christmas, I would have to be pregnant in the next few months. This was a detail I seemed to overlook in my excitement. I began to recant what I said, when my wife confidently said; “I believe it can happen!” Please understand, I am not someone who grabs onto thoughts or feelings and uses them as the rutter than courses my life, but this thought had brought hope and peace to us when we needed it most and for that alone, was a miracle.
We grabbed ahold of that promise with continued hope that we would one day be parents. We had no idea how long it would be, or how it would happen, but we believed it. We entered the new year making arrangements at the fertility clinic to start the process in February. We wanted to wait one more month to see if we could conceive without additional assistance, but knew it was time to pursue other options if need be. A couple weeks into the new year, my wife woke me up by waving a pregnancy test with two lines in my face. It had happened. A story that is better told here. We fast forward the story to this Christmas, and I was reminded last night as I stood and sung similar carols about the promise we received a year prior.
Christmas has always been a time for me to celebrate the birth of Jesus! This year I not only celebrate it as the birth of God’s son, but of my son! What a miracle, what a gift, what a Christmas!
In the early hours of this day, while you were sleeping, I was caged in the cesspool of illness, otherwise known as the waiting room at the Children’s Hospital. As I clock watched waiting for BabyNoob to get admitted for his dirty cough and worsening cold, I couldn’t resist myself. I had to blog, and therefore this uber random post was born. You may ask; what do you write about at 2am on your iPhone in limbo for a Doctor. It was an obvious choice as today marked the most publicized apocalypse next to Y2K.
Here are my three “Do Nots” during Doomsday.
1. Do not go all “World War Z” on your kid, they are not a zombie, they’re just on Christmas holidays.
2. Do not shut the breaker off to your house as a prank while your child is watching Netflix. No matter how tempting it may be, this may cause toddler pandemonium.
3. Do not change your newborns mobile to the tune of REMs; “It’s the End of the World.”
Well, I am glad we all made it another day. Enjoy your Christmas and live like tomorrow is always the end of the world.
As I awake this morning, I roll over and fumble for my phone checking the time. I’m relieved that I got to sleep in to quarter to nine on a Saturday morning. As I gazed at the time, my mind flooded with how 24 hours earlier Newtown was about their day oblivious to evil that was minutes away from happening.
Now, only a day later my heart continues to ache for the families, friends, and community of Newtown. This tragedy personally hit me hard, now that I’m a father. I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child to natural causes, or an accident, let alone to such a violent act as this. It’s unbelievable!
When stuff like this happens, it stirs up a plethora of emotions, responses, and conversations. It only takes a few seconds of watching the news for me to fill in the blanks for why I think this happened. I have realized I’m not alone to asserting my hurt opinion for this massacre. Each of us filter the pain of this event through the experiences of our lives. For the most part we are all united with similar feelings of sadness, anger, grief, and compassion. But where I have seen a chasm of differences is in our early responses to why this has occurred. Between my Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr feed the assertions of WHY are overwhelmingly broad. From gun laws, school security, poor parenting, extra curricular activities, law enforcement procedures, movies/video games, and even how only men are serial killers (this blogger has now removed that statement).
I know all too well, that I am the first one to jump to conclusions with countless topics. I have been more and more aware of how opinionated I am, and during these last few years of personal transformation, I am triggered by the same thing I am wrestling with; strong opinions. In addition to inserting our well meaning opinions, I have seen numerous attempts for people to use this tragedy as time to reinforce personal beliefs as a campaign. I am dishearten by this, as I don’t really care to hear about someone’s views on school safety during a moment like this. That being said, I know as well that each person is responding through their own experiences, and maybe school safety is dear to them. Nonetheless, is it appropriate to capitalize on their grief to reinforce your own judgements? I am no different, as I started this post with a bunch of assumptions to WHY stuff like this happens, only to delete those words shortly after.
For some this tragedy brings up topics of conversation, and for others it surmounts deep wounds from the past. Both are valid. There will be a time when conversations are necessary, but at this stage I am putting myself aside and allowing the victims and their close ones to grieve without the propaganda of WHY did this happen. I will never know WHY this happened but I can open my heart to those affected from this and ask myself the question HOW can I help those who are hurting in this horrible time? Perhaps I should write a letter, send a card, and continue to pray for those walking through the darkest time of their life.
Thanks for listening to my thoughts…
Comment below and let me know if you agree or disagree.
See, I have never rarely been described as overweight in the past. When my wife and I met almost ten years ago, I was a toothpick. Seriously, I was way too skinny for my own good. I looked like a skeleton with skin. I always joked about not having a butt, instead only having a top of the legs and a crack. By the time MommyNoob and I got married (six and half years back), I was maintaining a legit weight and healthy physique of 185 pounds. For my height, it was perfect. I never really fluctuated much over the last six years until this year. 2012 became the end of world to my normal ripped self… Ha.
And since my wife became pregnant in January of this year, it has been a downward journey of maintaining my epic man body (note the sarcasm). While gangnam style was climbing to the top of the YouTube charts, so was my body fat mass. I never realized that I would gain weight during my wife’s pregnancy, but yup I did. Almost 15 pounds to be exact. A few weeks ago, I weighed in at the heaviest I have ever been, 199 pounds, or equivalent to 796 quarter pounders. By the way, when you measure anything in quarter pounders, it increases the gross level by twelve.
That was the breaking point for me, I was not going to let myself tip the scale into the 200 twilight zone. So, this week DaddyNoob went back to the gym to get my fat lard in shape. I have been going every other day, doing the fat burn and as much as I don’t prefer getting up two hours earlier than normal, I know I need to. There you have it, I am publicly announcing my pursuit of the pre-pregnancy me. I will keep you posted and I promise that if I do some epic fail while running on treadmill, you will be the first to hear about it. Speaking of epic treadmill fails, enjoy this video…
If you are anything like me, getting in shape does not come easy. So, I needed an extra push to launch me into the workout mode.
Here are my top six ways that help motivate me to get in shape;
Run Forrest Run! Sign up to be apart of the Run Free 2013 marathon. Yes, I am doing this! You only have a day left to this with thousands of others around the whole world.
Cash In! Go to the gym with a friend and pay each other for every day you miss. No, I am not doing this yet, but a co-worker and I did talk about it. We may implement it if one of us misses a day.
Gut Shot! I like one video game; Call of Duty (Black Ops 2) and I made a deal that I can only play if I go to the gym, which I exchange hour for hour. So far, I have played the video game for less than two hours and owned it for three weeks. This is straight h-core.
Spill the Beans! Tell your wife/significant other that you are purchasing skinny jeans. She will either laugh, or tell you they don’t fit your body type. Challenge accepted, make those jeans look so hot, she will want a pair for herself.
Fifa! Go all world cup and make a goal for yourself. You can keep the goal personal, but make sure you write it down or tattoo it on your left butt cheek as a reminder.
Bonus Round! The last thing is to reap a reward for attaining your goal of man. I have already set a bonus reward if I loose so much weight before Christmas, it isn’t huge, but it is an additional pat on the back.
There you have it. That’s how I roll!
Some may think I am prematurely writing this post as I am only days into my workout regiment. You are completely right. But for all you naysayers, I am going hardthor with this body. Ha.
How about you parents; how have you bounced back after the arrival of a new one?