Wednesday, May 30, 2007

There and back again

Sarah and I had a great trip to Memphis, TN to get our little Natalie. We got there Thursday morning and since we didn’t get to see Natalie until Friday evening, we decided to drive down to Little Rock to visit my sister, Sharon and her family. It was really good to see them and get to spend some time with them. Their little boy Josh has grown so much! I can’t believe how big he is now. On Friday morning we all went to the Memphis Zoo, which I highly recommend going to if ever you’re in the area. I think my favorite part were the three tigers. One in particular seemed especially ornery and was trying to play with the other two.

At 3:30, we went to meet with our adoption agent and go over some last minute details and then it was on to get Natalie!! Woo-hoo! Sharon and Cory were able to come also and did a great job taking pictures and videoing. We had a little “Giving and Receiving” ceremony which was very special. Then they brought Natalie down and we got to hold her for the first time! She is SO tiny and has SO much hair! After a little while, she was cooing and actually smiling at us – very cute. We said goodbye to the cradle care family who had done such an awesome job of caring for her, and headed back to the hotel.

Since we had some time to kill Saturday morning, we drove to the hospital where Natalie was born to take a picture. We also got a picture of the “Graceland” sign (“Thank you, thank you very much”) and then did a little shopping at a local mall. Everywhere we went, it seemed all the women just “oooed” and “awed” over Natalie (understandably, of course.) Even when we went to the airport, the ticket agents were just going on and on about Natalie. It was kinda funny because our suitcase was over by 5 lbs and after I took something out, it was still over, but the ticket agent said “You’re fine. Well, technically you’re not, but you’re fine.” Thank you, Natalie! :)

Natalie did so well on the flights home. She slept on my chest the entire first flight and some of the next. In fact, the hardest part came when we tried to get OFF the plane. We had brought Natalie’s car seat onto the plane since it wasn’t a full flight and had strapped it on to the seat. Well, when I went to take the seat off the base to undue the seatbelt, it was stuck and wouldn’t come off!! No matter how hard I or a couple of other passengers tried, it just wouldn’t come off. Finally, I had to actually unhook the seatbelt from the plane seat itself to get it off, then reattach the belt. Hopefully it’s not a federal offense to dismantle an airplane seatbelt like that! I’m not a terrorist, really!!

The drive home wasn’t so pleasant. For the first hour, Natalie cried and screamed. Ugh. When we stopped to get something to eat, Sarah changed her diaper, fed Natalie, put her back in the seat and just like that, she was sound asleep! Natalie does not like sitting in poop! (I can’t say I blame her.)

Carlos was still up when we got home and was so excited so see Natalie. He had this big grin on his face and even got to hold Natalie. Jeremiah was so excited to see us the next morning and was fascinated by this new baby. Both Carlos and Jeremiah have done so well adjusting to Natalie. There have been some issues and I think it’s a combination of having a new sister and having us gone for a couple of days. But we’re working through those.

So here we go, adjusting to another little baby in the family. I hope I won't get wrapped around her little finger too much. :) For more pictures of Natalie, Carlos, and Jeremiah, check out Sarah’s blog (link over there -->)

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Man Hug

This is for the guys.

We’ve all experienced it. If you haven’t, you will. You see an old friend (another guy) one day while on your lunch break. Excited to see each other, you extend your hand for that “Hey, how’ve you been” handshake, but instead your friend opens his arms, clearly indicating he’s about to give you a hug. For a split second, you experience an intense feeling of awkwardness and you catch yourself almost doubting his manliness. But to refuse his hug might make you seem stand-offish and not all friendly. So you return the embrace, and quickly move on to catching up with all the details of your friend’s life. After the meeting, you go your separate ways, but all the while wondering both about your friend and about whether or not your friend is wondering about you. Should you have insisted on the manly, firm handshake? What’s wrong with a hug between friends anyway?

Fear not, fellow men. Worry no more. I am pleased to bring you what is perhaps the most comprehensive guide ever for giving the perfect Man Hug. Watch this video and you will no longer have to wonder about the appropriateness, the timing, or the technicalities of the Man Hug. Live free in this newfound wisdom.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Three!! :)

I think I’m still in shock.

One week ago today, we received the wonderful news that we have a little girl!! Natalie Grace was born on April 17, 2007 and is cuter than any little girl I’ve ever seen. Sarah and I have been praying for a little girl since we first decided to start the adoption process back in December. We’ve gotten to talk with the cradle care family a couple of times and know that Natalie is being well-cared for and loved. It was so neat to hear her tiny little cry over the phone. Lord willing, we will be traveling to bring her home within the next couple of weeks (!). Carlos has been so excited and to see him grinning from ear to ear whenever he talks about Natalie is priceless. I know that he will be the best oldest brother he can possibly be.

As I contemplate being a father of 3 (!), the magnitude of my responsibilities hits me more and more. I appreciate more and more the wisdom of other dad’s and learning from their experiences. I guess you could say it’s a commonality that makes me feel a connection with some other guy that I may not even know, but from reading his thoughts and experiences helps. That’s why I’m trying more to post my thoughts and general “Dad stuff” on my blog, in the hopes that it might help someone out there. One resource that I’ve come across recently is FamilyMan Ministries (link at the side, over there --->), run by Todd Wilson, and includes the Familyman Weekly e-mail (which I highly recommend). This website, in my opinion, is a great resource for dad’s everywhere. But don’t take my word for it – check it out for yourself.

Friday, May 11, 2007

This is a test

This is only a test. If this were a real blog posting, I wouldn't have said this is a test. Thank you. We now return you to your regularly scheduled surfing

Thursday, May 10, 2007

More Dad Stuff

This week, I went down to Greenville, SC for a Circulation Managers conference and thought it would be fun for Sarah and the boys to come along. Kinda like a mini-vacation for them. I got to go to some boring meetings and they got to do things like go to the zoo and the park. (Check out for more info and great pictures!) I enjoy having Carlos tell me about his day, especially when he does something new, even if it’s something that I think is relatively simple. So this week, Sarah, Carlos and Jeremiah came back to the hotel room and Carlos had some exciting news – he was finally able to go across the monkey bars all the way all by himself! Before now, he would always grab a hold of the first bar, stop, lose momentum and then drop. No amount of coaxing could get him to go further. He was so excited and couldn’t wait to tell me. And when I stopped, listened and was excited for him, he seemed all the happier.

Now, reading this you might think that this isn’t that big a deal. And it isn’t – to you or me. But it was a huge deal to Carlos. Sometimes I forget that he is just a little guy and there are so many things that he is just learning to do and is so excited that he wants me to share in that excitement. I have to remind myself of this and to be excited when he is and encourage him. I want him to always want to share with me what’s going on in his little world, because as he grows older, it’s not going to get any easier for him or for me. By being excited with him in his achievement, I showed him that what he does is important and that I care enough to be interested in the little things that make his day. The hard part is remembering all this the next time around. And it will come sooner than I expect it, I’m sure.

So, if there are any dads reading this, encourage your child in what he or she does, even if it doesn’t seem that big a deal to you. I’m sure it will mean the world to them.