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Philly

What a fantastic trip. The kids all found something they loved and we got to spend quality time together. Win, win, win, win, WIN!

Cheesesteaks – check

Hershey Park fun with friends – check

Downtown Philadelphia exploring – check

Happy and tired family every day – check

Rocky Steps – check

 

 

Linc at SIX

A few things about my little guy at this magical age

  • Kindergarten ready!
  • Soccer goal scorer
  • Loves the song ‘Waymaker’
  • Loves the Lego Avengers
  • Loves playing Xbox with daddy
  • Loves carbs and chicken nuggets
  • When in the bathroom, he always gets an extra paper towel and says ‘for someone else’
  • Always wants to go to other peoples houses for events, even if he just met them
  • Has such natural comedic timing – “this guy”

Never Say Never

No one would ever have called me “handy”. I could do all the stuff that requires a screwdriver and a hammer (mainly) and change light bulbs but build something from my spare hands? Nope.

I still remember trying to build a dog house when I was in either middle school or high school. I got the sides together but the top for the roof…I think I just left it because I couldn’t figure out how to connect the two.

With the help of a good friend (and the design help of a best friend), I was able to complete a swing set for my kids a few weekends ago. They love it and I love that I was able to make it for them. It’s not the most complicated thing in the world and one of the things I’m most impressed with is how good it looks stained but it’s OURS! I’ve already gotten some side attachments to increase the fun in years to come…and have looked at ways to make it bigger in the future (my wife may not like this idea).

I only write this to say…I could have never seen myself doing this before I became a dad or even as an adult. But never just sets limitations.

I’m already at work on a platform stand and am so happy with how it’s going so far (fingers crossed). I just won’t try to attach anything for the roof 🙂

42!

Wow…Really?!? 42! Geez….

Halfway to 84 I suppose?

 

We had an awesome day. Brunch at Liberty Common, Our Soup event at Nissan Stadium, some park play time, a Tiff Treats ice cream sandwich and a visit with my “niece” and her husband.

Full day. Full heart.

Before you call the cops…

Before you call the cops, I just want you to know.

The first thing I did today was push my sleeping son’s foot out of my face.

I was raised in the South in Memphis, TN.

I love the Tennessee Titans, Chicago Cubs and Tennessee Volunteers.

I’m a Christian (Southern Baptist to be precise).

I volunteer in Sunday School at my church.

I coach youth soccer.

I volunteered in my daughter’s kindergarten class room.

My favorite snack is Orange Slices.

I prefer vanilla over chocolate (and peanut butter over both).

I have 2 college degrees; both from MTSU.

I love my kids more than I ever thought I could – and that’s a lot.

I have been happily married for almost 10 years to a woman who loves me with a fiery passion.

If you saw me in my car, I might be jamming to Ludacris…or Hamilton…or the soundtrack to Bring It On.

I like to travel. I’ve only got 10 states to go before I have seen all 50. I’ve never been in a gang.

I hate that people could be threatened of me because of the color of my skin. If I could change that, I would.

I am a black man. I am a proud Black man. I am a dad, a husband, a cousin, a brother, a son and a friend. Does any of this really matter? No.

I just wanted you to get to know me better. Before you call the cops.

The Value of Things

Anyone who knows me probably knows I don’t place a lot of value on things. I’m  not one to try to keep up with the Joneses or wear the latest fads. I think I’d live about the same lifestyle if I ever won the lottery – with the exception of maybe attending a few more sporting events. I want my car to have 4 wheels and run and get me and the family from Point A to Point B.

As my kids have gotten older, I got a little sad at times that I didn’t keep more things from my childhood. The old Nintendo and Sega Genesis are long gone (I guess I sold them to buy baseball cards  years ago?) I think I’ve got my old Cub Scout uniform somewhere and a few trophies from youth sports but that’s about it. There’s no favorite teddy bear or stuffed animal – even my baseball card collection (that was massive) was liberated during my Mom’s move out of my childhood home.

But tonight..oh tonight..

During bedtime, my son brought me a book to read. It was “Oh, the Places You Go” by Dr. Seuss. Every time I see this book, I now immediately who gave it to me. Allison Phelps – right before high school graduation in 1998. You will know I’m going senile if I ever forget this fact. I’m sure I read it years ago (I had to, right?) but it seemed brand new. The edges are a bit ruffled from being moved no less than 7 times.

In reading it to them for bed and seeing her handwriting, it was almost an out-of-body experience. Just amazing how life works out. They didn’t get all the words and understated messages that the GENIUS of Dr. Seuss was laying out. But it was a beautiful look at where my life has taken me in the 23 years since high school and what their next 23 years may look like when they leave home (hopefully) and spread their wings. E would be 30 and L 28. Those ages seem almost…comical. I can’t imagine them as adults.

But they will be…and hopefully, they will have something from this childhood that I hope they remember as being at least decent to hold on to. And it may not be a thing….but hopefully it’s something.

 

PS. Of course, my “thing” isn’t something you can hold onto and snuggle at night and feel cozy in. But it’s a thing that means more than me than something tangible.

To thine own self be true.

Lincoln says – Summer/Fall 2021 Edition

He just informed me that our house has 3 bath tubs – 2 upstairs and 1 downstairs (yep, I was aware of that bud :))

 

“What, I’m not an octopus?” (when you are coming back from daycare pickup and work and he’s carrying his cup and you are carrying a coffee cup, backpack, work bag, purse, keys, wallet, etc)

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I can smell some Pringles” –  I was not aware Pringles had a scent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He’s been REALLY into football this season. When the players get together to huddle, he says “ooh, they are making up a plan”

 

Out of bounds is “out of balance” – I just can’t correct this one…

 

“Uh oh, he was going to die them” – about Camp Cretaceous and dinosaurs (a current favorite)

 

 

Soccer Coach Dad (x2)

I never thought I’d coach my kids soccer team. Sure, many other people assumed I would. I am just that kind of guy with my kids – the kind of person not as scared of putting himself out there and getting out of his comfort zone for his kids. Heck, sometimes just their very presence gives ME strength.

I got roped into coaching E’s team 2 years ago. An email came out saying a team had no volunteers and if someone was interested. My response back was “if absolutely necessary”. Next thing, I know I’ve got a team, a roster and practice plans. My emails asking for clarification went unanswered and that’s how I wound up co-coaching Team Force in 2019. Because I am who I am, I don’t do things like this lightly so I read all the rules and practice plans and made sure I knew the kids names and “scouted” who we were playing (I mean, checking WHO were were playing and when). It wound up being a lot more fun than I expected and we even got a CHAMPIONSHIP season out of it (that me and my girl had to miss because she got sick on the day of the last game).

 

 

 

 

Anyway, THIS season, I misread the layout and thought I’d be able to coach a single team for both kids. I couldn’t let my boy know that I coached his sister once and not him so I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone. I don’t know much about soccer so anything past age 8 and they would need a REAL coach. But I could do this.

Well,…turns out there is a 5-6 league and a 7-8 league so they were separate. But guess who got roped into coaching TWO teams?  And no assistant coach this time around. You got it!

 

 

 

 

 

The first games were today – 4 hours

on the pitch (hey, Ted Lasso taught me something!). It was Tennessee hot – Heat index of 99 at game’s end with barely any breeze. I was honestly nervous as all get out. COVID has kept me away from people and small talk and I was going to have to “perform” in front of 10 kids – and their watching parents.

(Oh, of course, my old friend major back pain had to make an appearance during the week also. I wasn’t able to run with the kids like I wanted to and it flared up a few times when celebrating with them after goals but I hope my kids learned a lesson in responsibility and commitment by seeing their dead ole dad out there – I  know Emerson knew how much pain I was in before getting to the ball fields)

As far as a first day, it went outstanding. We got two wins (but who’s counting) and the kids had a blast. My goofiness worked and everyone seemed to have an amazing time.  I’m excited to NOT have a game next week but ready to see them all again in 2 weeks.