The keys

I took possession to the keys of my home on April 12th, 2021. I knew all along what this house would be like – we got to choose almost every fixture and color. We watched it go from just an empty field to a foundation to framing and finally to a finished product, suitable for humans to live in.

We spent many pandemic evenings and afternoons driving by and checking out the progress. I didn’t really envision life within the house. I just knew it would be an upgrade and get us into a spot where our kids would live among their school peers without having to be transfer students.

We had so many snafus towards the end from paperwork to incomplete build items to missed signatures. It almost became comical except this was my family’s well-being in the balance.

These keys are earned. They were never a privilege and never will be.

Here’s a timeline of how we ended things. I swear these things probably happen to people – but probably different people.

 

  • 30 days to Close Letter (email): February 24th – doesn’t seem feasible but YAY??%?
  • Blue Tape: March 27th – um…I think we used all the tape in Tennessee. It was NOT where we thought it would be for us to move in in 4 days.
  • Closing Date: March 31st  – well…the appraiser failed us to due to all of the blue tape and there still wasn’t a proper roof in front of the house and, and, and….some blue tape gone but still TONS left. Oh, and the painting look like I did it and not professionals. And oh yeah, an important document was not filed properly so…12 day delay to close with Good Friday not counting as a “work day”. Also…utility company cannot find conduit to connect Internet…
  • NEW Closing Date: April 12th – house looks livable (still blue tape spots missed but it’s good. Oh yeah, another document issue due to some crap…delay, delay, delay…but by noon-ish, I have KEYS in my hand
  • Move in Date: April 13th – movers lose lots of items – most of kids clothes giant comforter, my laptop bag (thankfully I removed the laptop)
  • Post Move- In: missing downspout in the front yard so when it rains, this one area just gets DUMPED on and turned into mud; no Internet for the first 10 days as they DIG UP THE FRESHLY PUT IN SOD to try to find the buried line; various other items  that pale into comparison with the first 2.

Daddy’s Little Ballplayer – Volume #2

Tonight was the boys turn to have his first scrimmage. I wasn’t really sure how he would do. Focus and patience aren’t too of his strong suits. He is on the same team with his BFF from 5 years of daycare so that helps with getting him there (their excitement at seeing each other an hour after leaving daycare is a thing to behold. He will literally stop whatever he is doing and go run up to her for a hug)

T-ball may have been more fun to watch than softball. There wasn’t S much pressure to hit the ball (even though Linc took a few wicked cuts and swung and missed). And with 5 and 6 year olds who mostly didn’t have a ton of experience, it was kinda like a comedy version of baseball – unless someone hit the ball directly to a base, no one was getting out.

The rules for the scrimmage were a max of 6 batters per inning and no one was called out. So everyone got to round the bases fully and get the swing of things (no pun intended).

Linc has some amazing speed. His hustle on defense surprised the heck out of me. He wasn’t afraid of going after the ball. He even tracked down a grounder – there was no follow up throw.

The best thing is…he didn’t complain once. Not about being hot or bored or anything. Even after a long day of preschool.

I’m really excited to see the growth this season as he picks up on the rules. He already knows all the bases although he can get stuck in that paralyzed zone trying to recall it all in the heat of the moment.

So proud of my #5 for Team Super Buys! Play ball!

Daddy’s Little Ballplayer – Volume #1

We signed the kids up for their first season of baseball this summer (I didn’t realize how much that would fill up the calendar!). I figured it was a safe enough sport during this crazy pandemic world we still live in and that my boy needed to at least have one season of baseball/tball under his belt. And when my daughter found out her best friend was playing, she decided to join in too.

As for Lincoln, he’s been known to have an outburst or two when things don’t go his way. I’ve seen 4 year old tantrums before; I’d put his up against anyone’s. When we would just play around in the yard and he would make an out, he’d run crying and screaming to the front porch or the edge of the yard and just sulk or cry huge tears. I fully expected him to do this when we started a league (his first scrimmage is next week so that will be in Volume 2 :))

Emerson had her first scrimmage tonight – Tuesday, May 18th, 2021. I didn’t have anything else to do so I helped out and coached third base. There was such a buzz around the field – kids, parents, siblings, the bright lights for the 7:10 start time. The kids did a great job getting all their equipment together and gathering in the dugout. They (mostly) paid attention in the field and listened to their coaches.

Watching your kid go up to bat is…something. I kept waiting to see where she was in the batting order and wondered how she would do. Nervous, jittery, anxious…all those words applied to ME. I think she was okay the whole time. She got up for her first plate appearance in the 2nd inning and there were 2 men on and 2 out. She took 2 pretty good swings (and 1 not so good) and struck out to end the inning. She didn’t make contact with the ball. She took it like a champ, got some encouragement from her coach, grabbed her glove and headed out to play the field. She wasn’t the first strikeout and she wouldn’t be the last.

Her 2nd at-bat came a bit later. She got to an 0-2 count and then barely fouled off what would have been Strike 3. I was getting a bit nervous and honestly, expected another strike out. But she took a swing and made contact! The ball didn’t make it back to the pitcher but it didn’t matter. She paused for what felt like forever before dropping the bat and taking off for first. I had a runner coming to me for 3rd base coaching that I needed to handle but she made it to FIRST. Her first hit in her first scrimmage! I couldn’t have smiled bigger!

She made it to 2nd base on her teammates next hit and was heading for 3rd when the last out of the inning was made. She told me later on she wanted to get to third so she could spend some more time with me (what a kid).

She started in the field at catcher and did a pretty decent job. She was able to dribble the ball back to the pitcher and she fell down once trying to grab a ball on the move but she shook it off well. She fielded a ball in the outfield and threw it back into the infield (“fielding” and “throwing” in the loosest sense of the word but hey, we know what to practice on now). She also had a few balls squeak past her in her various positions in the field but we’ll be working on anticipating where the ball is going too but hey, she’s only SEVEN and it was her first live action.

I am so so so proud of this girl – if you can’t tell from my writing. I honestly thought she might want to give in when she found out her and her best friend weren’t on the same team – and that would have been

 

 

Stories to Remember

For some reason, Emerson loves the story of how we initially thought out firstborn was going to be a boy and wound up being (surprise, surprise) a girl. Her.

I don’t know why she likes this story but she asks me to tell it at least once a month. Maybe I’m a better storyteller than I thought? Maybe my motions are funny to her? Maybe she likes showing me that I was WRONG and being a girl-Dad has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

Kid Sayings – #2,347

I am very, VERY behind on this.

  • When a show they are watching is split into 2 parts – “Dad, it comes with two”
  • “Oh, you baby you old people” or “Oh, you baby you young people?” (if you know us, you’ll get a laugh out of this :))

Love these two…so so so very much!

Carena 2021

A family’s home is important to them. Maybe not to others in the world but to the people that live in the house, it’s almost everything. A place of memories, of gatherings, of safety; of love; of tears.

Becky and I have been mostly quiet about our new home. Neither of us moved as kids. Our kids are now moving before they leave elementary school (or even enter for the little guy). But this move is so much about them and the availability it gives us to their community – and puts us so much closer to our own friends, our jobs, other people, activities we enjoy. It’s pretty much a slam dunk (though this is the exact opposite of where we thought we’d wind up) And I am so ready for this next phase of our lives to begin.
Thank you God for this. I never thought this was a possibility….so much of these last 10 years have been beyond anything I could have imagined.
I hope to share this home soon once we get a few boxes out of the way.
For us…it’s gonna be everything.

Lazy Sunday…during COVID

Ever since becoming a Dad, I made a promise. If my kids want to go to church, we will go.

This past Sunday, we were doing our normal weekend morning routine: kids destroying the house and me trying to get the sleep out of my eyes. It had been a busy week and the Titans were playing at noon and I was thinking about just having a chill morning (no church)

All of the sudden, E said “I want to go to church today”.  I hope I didn’t grunt and the first thing I said was “okay”. So we were off to the races.  I hadn’t planned on making them food so quickly or getting them both dressed (Lincoln wanted to come too). I had to figure out if we would allow them back into Gateway Kids for the first time since COVID started. Would one go? Would both go? So many decisions to make.

Of course, we got ready in record time and headed out the door.

I remembered something my Mom did as a kid that was such a small act but it was so consistent that it created a memory that has lasted. We went to church most Sundays growing up. Church was BORING. 1 service and there was no end time – it just ended when it ended. My Mom would always give my sister and me change or money to put in the collection plate. I had no idea what the money was for. I think I wanted the money so I could go buy a new toy or some baseball cards. I don’t think even in all the time I went to that church (even into high school) that I thought about what collections actually were. I knew what tithes were but I didn’t know that a church is kinda a business too (well, they DO have bills to pay).

Anyway, back to church. We are sitting in the old main sanctuary and watching service on a big screen. Just not ready to mingle with the main crowd – plus with both kids there, there was going to be some running around and screen time needed.

At the end of service, I gave them each a few coins to put into the collection plate. It was so busy after service that I didn’t get to explain to them the action and the way. But I will..

And hopefully, it’ll be a memory they will carry with them into their 40’s.

 

 

2020 School Year – A Start like no other

Covid-19 | New Scientist

What a strange start to a school year! All the “will they, won’t they” of July. Will school start in person? Will it be partial days or online? Will it be online or remote (yep, those two are different options). I’m glad my wife is a teacher and could help make sense of a lot of it but trying to figure out what to do with a wife and 2 kids all in different aspects of the WCS system was a stressor.
If there are words I could use to describe the kids in all of this, it’s these
  • Adaptability
  • Resilience
  • Fearless
My daughter’s school is staffed with amazing people – from the principal to her teacher. Every level of education is affected by this but a first grader teacher dealing with kids who had their kindergarten year cut short and have heard the words “virus” for months now and probably understand A LITTLE about what is going on. And then you add a teacher in a mask all day to it – and them wearing a mask themselves.
My son’s daycare has been equally great. My boy is more than surviving – he’s THRIVING. Big man on campus style. And he’s getting smarter and smarter by the day. I know boys socialize much later than girls but he has hit this amazing stride. I’m not sure he really cared about missing daycare or his friends during the March – May shutdown period.
My wife…she’s a Rockstar. Not much else to say other than that. But I will…she created a whole online curriculum for an extra class – and then did the remote stuff with Zoom for two weeks. And JUST as she was hitting her stride…hey, all your students are coming back on campus and you have to wear a mask all day.

The Williams World