Category Archives: Thoughts/Opinions

Goodbye Is Tough

I met my Grandma shortly after I was born. I was actually lucky enough to have meet all my grandparents hours after I was born.  I was fortunate that all 4 of my grandparents were heavily involved in my life and I got to know all of them quite closely. I lost both my grandfathers when I was 15 and then I lost one of my grandmas a few years later. I consider myself blessed to have spent time with all of them hours before they passed.

My final grandma lived much longer. My last remaining grandparent quietly passed away in the early morning hours yesterday. Our 35 year relationship finally came to an end. As I think back, I realize she impacted me in a lot of ways.

Every summer, my sister and I would stay with her and my granddaddy while my parents worked. Monday through Friday my parents would drop us off on their way into work and pick us up on the way home. She would take my sister and I to the library to get books for the week. She was an avid reader and loved mysteries. Her love of mysteries rubbed off on me. She loved Indiana Jones and Rambo. We watched those VHS tapes so much I’m surprised they didn’t break. To this day the Indiana Jones franchise is easily my favorite movies. I believe Rambo is my sisters.

Smith Family

They had a pool and we loved to go swimming everyday. She taught us how to dive and how to jump into the pool without holding our noses. We would regularly take walks around their neighborhood and she instilled in us to stay on the sidewalk so we didn’t accidentally step in dog poop. To this day I make sure to stay on sidewalks. I could talk for days about the silly little things that make me think about her. She would always remind me to brush my tongue.

Growing up she wasn’t big on saying “I love you” instead she would always say “Be sweet.” That was her way of saying “Bye, I love you” and we all knew it. That was her thing. Be sweet. It became a thing to say in our family as part of goodbye. Recently as she was battling cancer she traded “be sweet” for “I love you.”

As her health and mobility has deteriorated in recent years she hasn’t been able to get around and be quite as involved in my life but she has always remained a huge influence and I imagine she will continue to be. I’m sad she won’t get to meet her 6th great-grandchild but I’m thankful she got to know her other 5.

All those summers I spent with her have left a lifetime influence on me. As December 20, 2015 came and went without much notice to most people, it’s a day I will never forget.

Be sweet Grandma, tell Granddaddy hello for me.

A Dad’s Guide to Packing for the Maternity Ward

As the days are counting down until our fifth baby is due I realized I needed to get my bag ready, the bag that I’ll take with me to the hospital when my wife goes into labor. It’s well documented what you need to take for mom and the baby but dad is often overlooked in all of this.

So I have decided to put together my Dad’s Guide to Packing for the Maternity Ward. Continue reading A Dad’s Guide to Packing for the Maternity Ward

6 Deadly Mistakes All Parents Make

Kids don’t come with a handbook and much of parenting is on the job training. Thankfully for all of you, I have learned a thing or two about being a great parent. As I prepare to become a dad for the 5th time I’ve decided I should share some of my pearls of wisdom with you.

Pay attention as I share this valuable knowledge.  So many parents think they are making good choices for their children but they are in fact making choices that could potentially have deadly consequences. I want to share with you some of the most prevalent mistakes I’ve seen parents make in the hopes that you can avoid them. You’ll probably want to take notes. Continue reading 6 Deadly Mistakes All Parents Make

Terrorists and Coupons

What is going on in the world?  I know my blog usually doesn’t have anything to do with world events but it seems silly to just type away pretending Paris wasn’t attacked 3 days ago. It’s a sad, scary and uncertain world we are living in today. The sophistication of the latest attack was virtually zero. A handful of men opened fire on a large group of innocent unarmed civilians in the middle of a populated city. This type of attack is going to be nearly impossible to prevent.

I’m sad for my children, the picture above was taken at dinner less than 24 hours before the Paris attacks. How do I maintain their innocence? How do I shield them from Continue reading Terrorists and Coupons

Camera Buying Guide

Five years ago my wife and I decided it was time to bite the bullet and buy an expensive camera. The problem was, neither of us really knew anything about cameras. I searched the internet for buying guides and was able to find a lot of technical reviews but most of that was over my head. I had a hard time finding a practical guide for non-photographers that gave me the info I needed.

Now that I have had five years to learn, largely by trial and error, I have decided to write the guide I wish I had read before I made my first purchase. Continue reading Camera Buying Guide