Monday, August 31, 2015

51 days Act not in Anger

Little guy,
I have missed the last few days, far too much has been going on with the Renaissance festival to write every day, and yesterday I will be honest I was so warn out, I just did not take the time to write.
The Ren Faire was a blast, I had so much fun in Character, between announcing the Joust, doing knightings, talking to people about Henry VIII, and on Saturday getting some really fun pictures in costume as well as meeting a lot of new people, spending time with some old friends I do not spend enough time with, it was a great weekend. Yes, it was hot in my costume, but it was worth every minute being too warm knowing just how well it was going. between the guild, the Wolf Hounds, the Jousters, the Coffin maker, the musicians, it was a great weekend and a much needed distraction from the job search with some great people.
On Thursday I was going down to set up for the festival and got a call from Ogden regional, they wanted to interview me for a job and they called me again today to set it up for tomorrow. Hopefully it is only a sign of good things to come. Sometimes you have to do what you can and let things unfold as they will.

Today I want to talk to you about anger.
 There is a story about a Samurai who is sent by his master to find a man and cut him down for a crime that he had committed. When he found the man he told him why he was there, and the man spit in his face. At that moment the Samurai stopped and walked away as he knew that he could not finish his job. If he had done so at that moment it would be out of anger not his duty to his lord so he walked away. Be as that Samurai. If you are angry and upset, do not do things that you may regret later. Do the right things because they are the right things to do.

Last week for a few days I was depressed and angry about the University. Some of that came as ways I could "get them back for what they did to me." I racked my mind, thinking of things, ways I could show them, ways I could prove to them that they had made a mistake, ways I could get them back for the wrong I felt had been done to me but all it was was revenge. I could write bad reviews, I could do a thousand or more things to harm the jobs of the people who had let me go, but at the end of the day, that is not and cannot be my place. There is a beauty to karma in that it works itself, at the end of the day things that are coming will come.

Anger will eat you up from the inside, and more often than not the consequences will not come out as you plan or think it will. Revenge is never without consequences, and it will never make things right. Revenge comes out of anger and feeling that somehow the wrong done to you will be made better if the person who did it has a similar thing happen to them. Lets say someone kills your brother, does it make it better if you kill theirs? At the end of the day, you have 2 dead people but no one is made happy by the loss they suffer knowing that the other had to have the same thing done to them. Anger and frustration does not solve problems. Anger will come but that does not mean you have to let it rule you. You are always at choice about your actions. If someone makes you mad, it does not mean you have to hit them, you are in choice for the way you respond.

You will get angry sometimes, but do not forget that you are in control of your actions. Anger will come and sometimes will prove a great motivator to get things done, but you are in control of the way you act from it. Be as the Samurai, act as is your duty, but when it becomes something else remove yourself from the situation. Your motivation matters, know that some things will make you mad, but you alone are responsible for the way you act those emotions out.

You are not even born yet and I love you already kiddo.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

56 days My Henry

My Son,
As you will undoubtedly know at this time I am playing the part of Henry VIII with the house of Tudor guild at several of the local events. He is an imposing character but it has been important to me to understand him so I can understand who he was so I can get into his head and play it well, this is what I know.

Who was Henry VIII as I see him?
If I could nail down one thing that ran throughout his life I would say that Henry VIII was insecure about many things and as such went over the top to avoid the things he was scared of. His reign was never secure, he was always worried that someone else may have more power than he, and if that happened, we was worried about loosing everything that his father had fought for. He had acquaintances but never close friends short of his wives and even then perhaps not so much. Yes he was an imposing figure but in many ways he was also a sad one.

Henry was never supposed to be king. His brother Arthur was to take over for his father Henry VII. He was 11 when his brother died but all of that time he had not been ready for being king. His father died not long before he turned 18. After he was crowned king of England that he had 2 of his fathers advisers killed who may or may not have been embezzling funds from taxes. Why would he do that? Some point to it just being the beginning of a bloody reign where thousands were killed. I think he did it to keep good face to his people and show them that he was willing to right the wrongs of his father in order to do what was right for the country. It is also said that he did not run the country early on as much as he left much of it to his advisers. This makes sense to me in a way as he was 18 and did not want to be bogged down with running the country King or not, he wanted to do the fun parts of being king like having feasts, festivals, and playing sport and jousting.

Catherine of Aragon and the great matter: Henry needed to have a male heir. When his father came to the throne after Richard III died his claim to the throne was shakey at best. Henry was then the second son of a King who there may have still been doubt that he should have been in power in the first place. There were countless people in court and away from it who could claim that they had just as legitimate claim to the throne. Henry had to have a male heir because if he died without one it was questionable if his family would keep power of the throne. He was married to Catherine of Aragon for 16 years before he decides that he could not be anymore. In many ways Anne Boleyn was claimed to be the reason he pushed for it, but it had to be in his mind in some way that he NEEDED to have a male heir if the reign of his family was going to be secure. He felt as though he had been patient but he had somehow done wrong either by God, or there was something wrong with her as he had fathered another male child before this time through a mistress.

Henry did not like being told that he could not do something, so when the pope said he could not, he took matters into his own hands. There was a time in the history of Europe that it was not the kings and queens who really ran things but the Catholic church. This was a step back from ecclesiastical rule and into the rule of a nation being able to choose for itself what was right for them. The first crusades for example had nothing to do with the countries but had to do with the Catholic church essentially creating an army for themselves made up of knights from different countries to "reclaim the Holy Land" Henry was pushing back some of that when he left the church to create his own church. I am not convinced that he ever felt in his heart that leaving was the right thing to do, but it allowed him to shape the church in England moving forward and I am sure he loved that.

Anne Boleyn: I am sure that he loved her, but his patience was gone waiting for a male heir so he gave he much less time before looking for a new wife. I am sure that he had a spot in his heart for her, but she could not be his queen and he was worried that if he divorced her she would still wield power in court and that was not something he could handle. This is why so many people were killed for treason, they could not simply be removed from office and their lands and titles removed, or they could rise again and begin a revolution against him. If he was going to reign he had to keep control of things so he did not loose that power. This was also at the time when he had the last major jousting accident and being told that he could not continue was a huge blow to him.

Jane Seymour: I am sure that he loved her as well, perhaps not as much at first but definitely when she bore him his son. When she died just after giving birth the depression hit him hard. He finally had the son and the succession was finally secured but in so having he lost the wife who gave him that son and despite having Mary and Elizabeth the male heir was what he felt he needed to secure that.

After Jane, as I understand it was when he started eating so much. and his health got much worse. He was depressed, and when you are always worried about people trying to take your throne or plotting to do things against you it is hard to have friends and confidants with whom you can talk. He had that with his wives so far and sometimes with some of his advisers but in this case he was very alone and to that end he strove to fill the void with food and drink. Where once there had been sport to fill the time and could eat much as he was staying active, now thing began to pack on. That in addition with is leg wounds that never really healed he was a sad character indeed.

As for his other wives: Anne of Cleves was a political marriage that was just not what he hoped it would have been though it turned into a friendship. Catherine Howard was an attempt to capture some of his youth and vitality, but she was young and that proved to be her downfall.Catherine Parr was a reaching out for someone who could help care for him and be at his side. He may have loved her but so late in his life he was in such bad shape emotionally and physically that she was a friend to him, and could help in his care, but she was not his companion in the same way some of the others were.

All in all I think of Henry as a tragic figure. One who through bad circumstances ended up dying essentially alone. This was in some ways his own doing and in some ways a function of his inability to let people into his life or else be worried that they would work against him and bring his reign to an end. Some would and do call him a tyrant, but anyone in power wants to stay there, I do not agree with it all but he did what he felt he had to in order to keep in control. He died in pain, and I am not sure that at the end of his life his heart was in the split from the church but he had made his bed and now it was his to lay in. He presents some challenges to playing the part but I do what I can to understand him so I can do what makes sense for his character. It is not easy, but I do my best.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

58 and 57 days do the right thing and be good to people.

I am a few days behind on this blog so I will try to write on a few subjects tonight to catch up. I had a rough night last night and a rough morning this morning emotionally as this being unemployed thing is really starting to kick my butt. All that being said, I got up and went to the gym anyway it was a struggle and I did not feel good about it but I went anyway, then went home and worked on some things with the University that I wanted to take care of before too long like getting my vaccination record.

In talking to the Employee health clinic I was not only able to get my record, but the lady there whom I knew expressed her apologies and said that they missed me and my employees missed me even still. I also emailed my former lead worker and told her that if she needed anything I would always be willing to write a letter of recommendation for her. She said that it had been great to work for me and that though I did not work there still the staff still wanted to do something for you and she wondered if it would be OK to do so.

Here is the point I am getting to do the right thing and be good to people. These employees are not sad that I am gone because I was a tyrant. They are not bothered by my leaving because they are all worried about what may be next for them. I think that the sadness comes from the fact that they feel I treated them well. I have not in these lessons or blogs written anything about this but you must always strive to do the right thing no matter what the cost or challenge. In that you will touch peoples lives in ways that you may never know.

Open doors for people, do your best not to interrupt, say please and thank you, If you have to give an order do so politely. You may be amazed how far fairness and kindness can take you. There may be people who will challenge you on it, but do what is right because it is the right thing to do. Treat people equitably. If you feel you are wronged, seek redress, or at least make sure it is documented.

When I say do the right thing, I do not mean do it only because you know it will have rewards, I mean do it because despite the outcomes it was the right thing to do. Doing the right thing sometimes means doing things for the right reasons and motivations. If you open the door for a cute girl because you hope it may lead to her paying attention to you, you have just done the right thing for the wrong reason. If you take someone on a date and pay the bill because you hope that they will think you generous, you are doing the right thing for the wrong reason. Everything has some motive, make sure yours are clear before you do things. Do what is right because it is right and you wish to do it, not because you want something out of it and this looks like a venue to that.

Act as if the world owes you nothing and you will never be disappointed if it does not pay the debt. Your teachers, your friends, your lovers, no one owes you anything. Do what is right so that the doing is it's own reward. Help someone with their homework, or do something nice for someone not so you can win favor with them, but because you wish to do it out of the kindness of your heart. Then if there are rewards, they will come to you freely and unexpectedly. It is far better to live this way than to believe some one owes you something and then are disappointed if they fall short or do not agree. Do things so that the doing is reward enough.

 I do not know why my staff loved and were so loyal to me, just that they were. I was able to do so because I did what I thought was right by them, it did not always work but at the end of the day, they were good to me not because I made them fear me, but because they knew I had their backs. It was never about them owing me a good days work, it was about doing the right thing and letting the chips fall where they may. Do what is right and the world will do you right.
See you soon,

Sunday, August 23, 2015

59 days the good news

 On the 60 days blog I wrote about some of the not so good news for you, things that may run in the family on the not so good side. For this part I am going to talk about the other side of it. the good news.
Generosity and Compassion- They say you can learn a lot about a man by the company that he keeps, I think you can tell a lot about someone about the way they treat friends and family alike. Since joining the Stephenson family by marrying your mom I have had a couple realizations. If you go to any party they throw, or any party that the Hinckley's throw, you will know that if you leave any of those functions hungry, it is your own fault. This runs in the family. If you have a dollar and your friend needs half of it, then you give him that. If you have friends or family that need help, you do what you can, not because you are somehow doing it for good Karma, not because you are hoping that it gives you a debt later to call in, but you do it because it is the right thing to do. You are generous because it it is right, it is right to lift people up and it is right to come together and to share with family and friends.

Inner strength- While I talked about being stubborn, it is true, but the good news is with that, comes a lot of inner strength. When someone tells you that you can't do inner strength says you can if you are willing to work for it. Inner strength says, you can get knocked down but that does not mean you are out. It means that you can do things if you set your mind on it. There is a fine line between stubborn and being strong, Being stubborn says this is the way it is no matter if anyone proves otherwise. Being strong says I can and will prove otherwise. Stubborn is saying that your way is the only one that matters. Being strong is about saying my way is the best way for me, but that does not make your way wrong, but rather there are just different ways to get there.

Smarts- I am not saying that we are the smartest group of people around, but you have a lot of smarts in your head and in your family. I have no doubt that you will be smart. Ask questions if you do not understand something seek out the answers so you do. I am sure you are not a dumb kid, you will do some dumb things sometimes. everyone does. They key is to remember that you are not dumb, you do not come from dumb people.

You have a good family you are being born into. We have our flaws but so does everyone. They are good people, and I know that they love you already. You can tell a man by the company he keeps, you have friends and family that though they have not met you yet, are excited to meet you. You are the results of thousands and thousands of generations, just because you are born into something, does not mean that it is all you have to work with. Make yourself from what you have and if you need something more, seek it out. Take what you have, and decide what to do with it.

Love you kid

60 days control your flaws.

I did not write yesterday so today will be a 2 part one.

There is a good possibility based on history there are a few things you need to be a bit forewarned about, things that run in the family on one side or the other that will make some things harder for you. I am sorry but this is the way things are. Many of these things may run in the family, but that does not necessarily mean you are stuck with it and if you know how to manage things, you can overcome most of this. A few things to get out of the way.

Stubborn- There are plenty of people one one side of the family or the other, who are and always will be stubborn. Know that this is part of your family history, but also know that you are in control of it. Just because you have an opinion of something does not mean that it is the only way. Look at the other options, listen to other opinions than your own, who knows you may learn something.

Depression- I have talked about this one before but the scoop is that if you are having problems talk about it, write about it, but the most important thing is to remember that despite how it feels, you are not alone. And if you feel like you need professional help, let us know if you need help ask and we will get you some. It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help. It shows more weakness to not ask for help when you need it then it does to ask for the help you need when you need it.

Anger- If you are like me, you may have anger and aggression problems. If you turn out like me, you may also be able to do a lot of damage when you are angry, or excited, when you feel wronged or feel backed into a corner. There is a big difference between what you can do and what you should do. Learn it. Balance it, ask yourself is this the right thing to do before you act. They say that with great power comes great responsibility. Just because you can do something does not mean you should. Learn to control your anger, if you feel like you need to let it out, go and hit the punching bag, talk it out, build something. exercise. Keeping it under control does not mean bottling things up, it means that you choose how you are expressing it. Keep calm, if that means taking a breath before moving forward. it will behoove you.

These are down sides, things that you need to be aware of. Tomorrow (today) I will talk about the awesome things that run in the family.


Friday, August 21, 2015

61 days Birthing plan

Your mom went to a midwife appointment today and the midwife said that she thinks you weigh between 5 and 5.5 pounds and you still have weeks to go. She said she will allow you to get up to 10 pounds without issue, but at about a half a pound a week, we will see how things go. When I was born I weighed 13 pounds 12 oz, your mom was 10 pounds something. We have no delusions that you are or will be a little tiny baby.

I have not talked about our birthing plan in this blog but here it is in a nutshell. We are planning to have a natural birth in the hospital. There is a lot of information out there about the "best way" to give birth, how this is better than that and the like. When we were much earlier in the pregnancy we took a Hypno birthing class and in that class the instructor said something that I really appreciated. There were a lot of people in the room who were very anti hospital. She said each birth is your own and there is nothing wrong with what you are comfortable with and doing it your way.

I stand by that. I have had friends who had babies at home, and babies in the hospital and what I know is that the way that works best for the baby and the mother in their situation is what is best. We have considered many things home birth was one but at the end we decided that it was not right for us. That does not mean that it is not right for anyone, just that it is not right for us.

In as much as possible we are planning on going without medication. We have our reasons but we will leave it at that.
If everything goes well, I will help catch you, and clamp the cord and cut it after it has stopped pulsating.  For the first hour after you are born, we are not calling anyone or texting or posting it on social media. That is us time and it is very important to me that we have time just you and your mom and I. We plan on having you room with us at the hospital. We are so excited for you to get here and want to make sure that we do what we can to have your birth happen the way that feels right to us. What is important to us is that you are as comfortable as we can make the first little bit for you.

Last night, your mom and I talked about her taking a Ukulele class after you are born, I joked, that I could still teach fencing with you in one of the 2 backpacks I have for you. It was a joke, but in truth, I can coach with a baby strapped to my chest. Just not fight with you strapped to my chest. I cannot tell you how excited I am to have you here. It is seriously something that makes me so happy and so proud. It is a good thing it takes 9 months for a baby to be born, to me, this 9 months has been a great time to adjust my mindset so I can decide what being a father means to me, what it is I want for you, and to really get my head around the fact that in 61 days (give or take) we get meet you and I cannot tell you how happy I am for that day. It gets me through the rough times, and I am happy in ways I cannot explain to meet you.
See you soon kid.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

62 days Daily practices and their value.

This morning my phone app said that you are about the size of a coconut. (With it's husk I am sure) That is not the case, we know that you are longer than that because there are times that your mom is sitting on the couch, and we can feel you on both sides of her belly. It is soon now, just over 2 months to your due date which is as much a guess as anything. If your mom is right, you will be born later than that, but time will tell.

This morning I got up and ran through my workout program I have been doing. Last week I skipped 2 days. If I keep with it the rest of the next 51 days now I will end the program on the day of our next sword competition. It has been hard some days to get up and go, but I have done it because I need to, it helps me feel like I am starting my days out right. and makes the rest of the day go better.
I have talked about sticking to things when you say you are going to do it before, but this goes beyond work, or a job that you have. Sometimes when it comes to exercise or other daily practices there is a good reason to keep them going it feels better when you do.

Wake up every morning and do your hair, Brush your teeth, when it is time to do so shave, and wear deodorant. Make sure your clothes look good and are fresh and clean. What I have found over time is the days that I do all of this I feel better. Days I wake up and make my bed, and make sure the dishes are done or the house is cleaned up, I feel I can go into the world knowing that things are in order at home. Will it happen always? No. But if you can do it more days than not life becomes less stressful.

When I was growing up I remember my mom telling me to clean my room, or brush my teeth, or what have you. As an adult what I have learned is that when I do put things where they belong, I can find them easier when it is time to look for them and waste less time searching for them. I spend less time stressed because I can't find something. Turn this into your meditation. wake every morning and do things with intention. What I have found in my time here is that the days I do, turn out much better than the days I feel rushed or just skip it because I have other things I need to to. Make time in your day to reflect, take time in your day to attend to your personal grooming, and it will not let you down at the end of the day.

When I was 15 I went to school one day without brushing my teeth. That morning I saw a cute girl from one of my classes in the hall. She asked me if I had any gum. I said that I did not have any with me that I could share. She said that it was for me, and that my breath smelled bad. If you attend to these things daily you can avoid this sort of thing. It did not ruin our relationship as we were still friends, but it made me realize that just because I did not want to take the time it did not mean that other people would give me a pass on it. What I am suggesting is turn it into a daily practice that brings things to center, prepares you for the day, and starts things out right. Know where your things go and keep them there, so when you need them you can find them. start the day out right, and stick with it and you will find that despite anything else, it will help you keep on track. It may not make rough days not rough, but it will make things a little better and some days that is enough.

63 Days (a day late) an Interview

I really ought to have written yesterday but it did not happen. Yesterday, I went to the Gym, then spent the better part of the day cleaning and getting ready mentally for a phone interview I had with IHC.
I am not sure how it went, but I do know that I will know next week sometime if they decide to do a second interview, and from there if they decide to hire me. Time will tell for sure and I can only do as well as I can in the interviews but sometimes you have to trust yourself to give it your best and hope it all works out.
Yesterday there were some questions I was not ready to answer but they were asked anyway. I am not proud of the fact that I lost my job, it is has been hard, but when asked I will talk about the reasons I feel it happened. Ultimately, the causes aside, we have what remains the facts of it. So what do I know about this position?
I have been doing the same position for many years now. I had been at the University more than a quarter of my life, and have been doing this work  the better part of that. What makes me the right guy for it? I cannot say that I am, but what I can say is that I have experience with it. There were the same kinds of things I used to ask employees I was interviewing. Once years ago I did not ask these sort of questions and hired someone I should not have. Questions about the ability and willingness to do the work that the job requires. Yes, it comes up after they are hired, but people do not read that. So you have to ask things like "Are you comfortable working around sick, and ill people, cleaning up blood, urine, and feces?" This is the difference between medical and non medical staff. Medical staff know what they are getting into and have training for it. Custodians are taught it but are not always are choosing it as a career the same way that a nurse does or a doctor.
Custodians are often the unsung at a hospital. They provide a clean and safe environment for the staff, and patients. It is something that people do not appreciate unless they do see something wrong. You do not walk down a hall and say, "Man, that floor looks great" as much as noticing when it is not. The irony is that it is a job that when it is done well, you do not notice, but when it is not done well you notice. At a hospital, despite doctors and nurses doing their best to keep things safe and clean, if you get sick at a hospital, it is as much about how well the custodians did THEIR job as it is all the doctors or nurses.
I am not sure I will get this job, but I am doing my best to make sure I have the best chance I can and sometimes, that is what you can give. It was exciting, and I hope it works out, but I also know that at the end of the day, everything will.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

64 days, Internal strength.

"Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64?" You are now 64 days from us. You are starting to stick out and there are several times when your mom has me feel your arm or leg or what have you through her belly. I had a meeting today to talk about an event that we are doing at the Main Library in November. It sounds like it will be a great event but I have a lot to do in order to make sure it is all in place for it. Between that, working out for a long time today and riding my bike to the gym, it has been a busy day. Tomorrow I have a phone interview for a job at IHC. I am not sure if I will get it, but it is something.

Today, Inner strength.
At the gym over the last little bit, I have been doing this thing called the Heroes journey work out. It is pretty funny as it is made a lot like a role playing game or something so always has some fun things involved in it. Today, the "Oracle" told me I was not the Hero and had to prove it. This is a piece of paper, it is not someone staring me in the face and telling me I cannot do it, it is a line on paper. But I found myself fighting as hard as I could to prove the oracle wrong.
In life, there will be things you cannot physically do. Things that take your muscles, and mind and wits to an end.  But sometimes you will find that somewhere down deep, you have a little more and can press on no matter how you feel you have reached your end. Over the last few weeks, I have found that whether I feel I can keep going or not there is a deep place from which springs all of my energy and strength that I have just a little bit more to give when I need to. Do not doubt that you can give a little more.

Yes, sometimes it is not so. Muscles will fail, eventually but that limit may not be as quick and as soon as you think it is. There are 3 quotes I used to have at my desk:  a Chinese proverb that says "those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it" a quote from Henry Ford, "Whether you think you can or you think you can't you are probably right" and one more that said "the enemy of the best is often the good".Sometimes when you feel there are limits, you may be able to push on just a little bit further. You may surprise yourself.

But what is the value in that? There have been times when I was hiking and felt like I could not go on anymore. You keep going, keep trucking. What you will find is that the journey is worth the extra work you put into it, in fact, if you put in the extra work, when you get there you find that it is more worth it because of the hardship you came through. If it was easy, it would not be as worth it. At the gym, I am finding this is the case. When I am tired, feel like I cannot do one more lap or one more crunch, I find that with a little will power I can do that and more.

Your greatest strength will come from within, it is the core of you, it comes from somewhere deep within you. That you alone, can find, and no man but yourself can quench. You are capable of great things, but it is only you who will be able to decide it and prove it to others.

Love you Kiddo.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Day 65 Sometimes what you want, is not really what you are seeking.

Todays post is tied to yesterdays. In truth they are all related but this one is close to yesterdays.
Sometimes what you want is not the thing you need, sometimes the universe has bigger plans for you.
A parable: Once there was a little boy who wanted nothing more than to have a bright yellow rubber ball to play with. He asked his parents day and night to get him one, and was convinced that that thing alone would bring him joy and without it he was sure that he would never be happy. He believed it so much that even when the other kids in his school asked him to sing and play games with them he refused because the only way he thought he could be happy and have a good time was if he had a bright yellow rubber ball to play with. Finally after weeks and weeks of this his parents bought him the ball he had been asking for. He was ecstatic and took it outside to play with it. After throwing it across the yard, then running to catch it and throwing it to the other end, he decided that it was not all that he had made it out to be. He continued to play with it though as it was the only thing that he had wanted before now. One day as he was throwing it he threw it too far and it bounced into the street, where it rolled into the gutter and down the storm drain. He was crushed. He had lost the only thing that he had wanted and he began to cry. About that time some of the neighborhood kids were walking by and saw him sitting on the curb crying and asked him why he was crying. He told them the story of the yellow ball and how it was lost down the storm drain. None of them knew how to fix it but they did invite him to play other games with them and after a bit he started to have fun again.

There is a point when you will want things, desperately want things. in fact you know that only that thing will bring you the happiness you want. Maybe it is a bright yellow rubber ball, maybe it is to date the cute girl in class, maybe it is any number of specific things, the acquisition of which you are sure will bring you all the joy and happiness in the world. When this happens you become the boy who is obsessed with a bright yellow rubber ball. What you miss in it is that it is not that thing alone that you are truly seeking. For the boy in the story, it was not the ball that made him happy in the end it was playing games with the other kids that did it. Often we get so focused on the thing, our bright yellow rubber ball, that we don't see the opportunities around us to have fun and enjoy ourselves. If the little boy had been open to more than the ball, it may not have mattered if he got the ball, or more to the point, once he did, he would have had friends to play with it with.

We seek things in life because we seek an experience. We want to have fun, or to feel loved, or to feel that sense of accomplishment for reaching that goal. We desire it so much that nothing short of it will do. There is the error though. We think that through only that thing can we find the experience we desire. There is a funny truth to that though. If instead of seeking the thing, we seek the experience, we do things that feed that, the thing does not matter anymore, and funnily enough, the thing sometimes follows anyway. If the little boy had decided that he was going to have fun, when the kids asked him to play he may have gotten what he wanted long before his parents bought him the yellow ball.

That is not to say do not have goals. By all means have them, they are good things to set a course to, but realize that there is no one way to the top of the mountain, and you may find that what you thought was the only one is one, is one of many, and if you find the experience you seek, even the destination becomes less important. Seek the bigger experience, the bigger desire and then when it shows up, whether a bright yellow ball, or a friend asking if you want to play, you can see it for what it is, a chance to have the experience you desire. It may not look the way you thought it would, but it may give you more joy in the end than the thing you thought you wanted ever did. Create it in yourself and you will attract those things from life.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

66 Days, Sometimes it takes a break to get fixed.

Today we got up, had breakfast and hit the gym, then worked at the State Fair store. Your mom is starting to show and tonight there I felt some part of you through your moms belly. (We think it was a hand or a foot)
A few weeks ago, things were stable, I knew that when you were born I was going to take time off work, it would be covered by both insurances, and that I was able to provide for my family. It was important, it had a lot of meaning. Today I had a minor breakdown because that is not the case right now. As of today I am not covered by insurance under the University. It is tough, but it is what it is. Yesterday I did a video interview for a new job and with some luck I should have a new job before you are born. I do not know what it will be yet, but I do know that sometimes you have to have to trust that things will work out.
It is hard to be in this position little man, but sometimes, you have to free fall for a bit before the ground is underneath you again. It is hard to dwell in the uncertainty. It is hard to be in a place where you are not certain what the next step is. but sometimes you have to trust that it will worked out.

There are a few things that I know for sure. Some of which I have written about here. but this one is a little more tricky and a little harder than the others. Sometime you have to not know. It is from that void that answers come. You see, if everything is set, firm, and planned, and there is no room for deviation no room to do or try something different. I like to have my life pretty worked out, but sometimes you have to trust that the answers will come to you even if you do not know what those answers are.

It is like this: If you are taking a test on something you have studied for very hard, you may not remember the answer that the question is asking for. Sometimes you have to move on and think of something else and let the answer come to you. (It does not always work, but sometimes it does.) Or if you are set on dating someone and only dating them alone will do, you miss out on other people that may be a better match. Sometimes there have to be spaces where you do not try so hard, where you take a break and just be for a bit. A little silence to clear your head, or a little fresh air to get clear about things. Sometimes it takes a break to really get clear about things, this is especially true if you can't see what is going on because you are in the middle of it.

Years ago I met someone in college and we started dating. I have talked a bit about her, but that relationship was a turning point for me. When we were dating, I gave up a lot of things that were personal and important to me, so I could be with her. One day she mentioned that she was not sure she could marry a guy with earrings, so I took mine out. It was not healthy by any means because I put all of who I was into that relationship, only to find when it was over, that I had lost myself in the process. I did not, and could not see it until we had broken up. I could not understand what I had given up until I looked at things when it was over.

It is like a train going down a track. On that track, there is only one way to go, there is only one direction, and (at least in this metaphor) only a few destinations to go to. Now imagine an Airplane. In a plane you can fly wherever you want on many trajectories. Where a train or a car can only follow the roads and only those paths, a plane can fly over this house one day and a completely different house or route the next. There is nothing wrong with being a train. Having a plan is good, and knowing where you are headed is great, but sometimes you have to back up 10,000 feet and look at the lay of the land to see if that is where you want to be, and if not what you need to do to get there, sometimes you have to take a break and sometimes, those breaks are chosen for you and all you can do is to take a breath, step into the void and let the wind carry you to the next great adventure.

You may not know what is coming but you are always there so you know that somehow it will all work out. Be true to yourself, do not forget who you are, and the Universe will give you or show you what it is that you need, and sometimes what you want.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

67 days Why I coach.

Today I had sword again. It is a Saturday after all, and I got thinking about the things I love about teaching and coaching and what I loved about having a team. I don't always coach at sword, I am not always the coach at Fencing, but when I was working at the U I always felt like my job was as much coach as it was boss. 
To me, coaching is about building people up not tearing them down. Sometimes it can be tough. You have to balance on the blade between being tough, and being too soft. If you are too hard on people, they stop listening to you, they stop coming to you for advise, they go other places to learn what they need. If you are too soft, they do not get better, they do not learn, and in the end, they do not succeed. That is the balance you have to strike, that balance is the key. 
If you are too hard on people, they stop listening. If you are too soft, they do not listen. You have to balance it. When I am teaching I want the students to learn, to push themselves to strive to get better to be better. As a coach, as a teacher, and as a Leader, you must give them the tools, then stand behind them. As a coach, as a leader, you do not give up on people, you are there to help them get better. You stand in their corner and support them no matter how they are doing, no matter how things are looking. 
Coaching is about building people up. Sometimes you end up giving life advise when someone asks. Sometimes all you need to do is to be the guy in their corner. Leading people is like that you have to be firm, but flexible. Leading is about building people up so they can do better and be more. That is what teaching is about, that is what coaching is about, that is what leading is about, and though I do not know it yet, that is what I feel being a dad is about. 
Know that I will always be your corner guy, I will always support you, and though I cannot always say I will support everything you do, I will do my best to support what it is that you want to do. 
I coach because I see a need in the world for people who are willing to help develop people, who are willing to say that despite the odds, I believe you can do it and if I can help get you there, I will do all I can to do so. 
In reflection, one thing I miss at the U is my team. They were the best, and despite the problems we sometimes had, I was in their corner, and they were always in mine. Everyone needs that, everyone deserves that. I coach because I believe in my students and at the end of the day, I coach because it is an important job. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

68 days making a home.

You are now about 68 days from us. As we have gone through this pregnancy some things have been totally clear to me. No matter how much I want to always be on the same page with you, we will not grow up in the same way, we will not have the same background. When I was growing up, we moved quite a bit. That was a part of life. I went to the same schools, but we moved around some.
This is something I wanted to be different for you. We will not grow up going to the same schools, or the same hangouts, life will be different for you than it was for me. Not bad, just different.
That is the thing, time and place will change, I will do what I can to be there for you, to show you the same things I grew up with, the books and the places I did grow up. But they will not be the same for you as they will for you.
This is unique, it is something you will have, but others did not. My mom, and my Dad grew up other places. Your mom grew up in Spanish Fork and though you will see it and know it somewhat, it will not be the place you grew up. The building I went to elementary school was torn down years ago. I can show you places I lived when I was growing up but it is not going to be the same.
You will know Liberty Park, but I am not sure you will spend all the time I have there. You may not know the bakery that was around the corner from a house I lived in when I was in Jr High, but you will know different things, different places you like to go. Your moms dad grew up around the corner from our house, and where your Grandma Judy lives, but his neighborhood is not going to be the same as yours either. Time changes things.
I will do what I can to understand you, if you ever need to talk, It is not the same, but I will do what I can to relate to you. It is not always the same, but I will try to do what I can. I will do my best to raise you as best as I can and give you the best childhood you can have. It is our hope that I can make sure that you have the same room growing up that you have when you are born. It may not be the case, but I will do the best I can.
We have given it as much energy as we can. This is our home, and we are excited to have you come home to it soon.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

69 Days Some days are just like that. (being at choice)

Little guy.
I try to stay positive on this blog, to tell you the awesome things I can think about the world and things I feel you should know. Today falls in the later category.
You are now 69 days from us depending on who you ask. I like this count so have based the blog on it. In reality, you could be anywhere from 55 days to 85. We don't know yet.
I did not blog yesterday. I was busy working at the Renn fair booth at the Salt Lake County Fair, so I just missed it, things got in the way, some days are just like that. You may set your heart on something that no matter what, you plan on doing something and it just does not happen. This morning I got up with every intention of going to the gym, then going to volunteer, then do some things around the house. Things just did not work out that way.

This morning I realized that I needed to check with unemployment, and found out that I had quite a bit of work to do with them so I could be on track with things. I spent the time I was going to go to the gym working on that, then was off to the County fair to volunteer again. What can I say but that some days are like that. I called my HR rep at the U and found out that though I had not received my letter from them detailing my being released from my job, they gave me until the end of the day to file an appeal if I was going to do it. I was panicked, I was worried I did not have the time to do it, and if that was the case I could not appeal my firing. Some days you will be stressed. some days things will get you down, that does not have to mean all day but there may be times when it happens.

That does not mean you have to stay there. it just means that things may pile up and you will need to figure out how to get through it. The difference is that you are at choice with what you do with it. Today, at first I stressed. Then I thought on it, picked up the pieces and made a different choice. I spoke with the HR Rep, and worked it out so that I could work on it and could file it Monday instead of today (Thursday), Some things in life are negotiable, figure out what is before you change the rules, but always make sure that you are doing it the right way if you have to. If your teacher in school says no late work and you are not done, ask about it. Maybe it is a hard rule and you are better off turning in what you have. Sometimes it is a soft rule, but you will not know unless you ask.

Some days you wake up and things just feel rotten. Some days can start out like that, but you get to decide what you are doing with it. Is it going to be a bad day because you stubbed your toe first thing in the morning, or is it going to be OK at the end in spite of it. I am not saying that you will always decide to be on the bright side of things, it is OK sometimes to just not feel up to it, but always remember you are at choice.

I missed the gym today. I really wanted to go, but it did not work out when I did the things I did. I chose to do the stuff through unemployment I needed to do. Could I do it later? sure but that was my choice. I chose to honor my commitment to be where I said I was going to be, regardless of if I felt like it or not. I feel like you ought to be true to your word, so that's what I did instead. Yesterday I forgot to write until we were in bed so I didn't I am sorry for that, but I am afraid that too may happen some times. Some people may let you down, and you get to decide what that means in the future. If your best buddy is always saying that he will hang out with you every day and then doesn't you have a choice to plan on him, or not, or to plan on him maybe showing up but not get your heart set on it. The choice is yours.

If you have a friend who always steals your stuff, you can get mad because he does, or you can realize that he will and stop hanging out with him or giving him the chance to. You can still be friends but if you know he will keep doing it, even after you talk to him about it, at a certain point it falls on you for letting it keep happen. You are always at choice. Some days it will be harder than others to be happy, so you get to choose what you do with it. Not being happy is OK too, as long as you realize you are making that choice. You may not always be in control of the cards you are dealt, but you are always in control of how you play with them.

Day 70 be true to your word.

I am writing this on day 69 for day 70. I simply did not get to writing yesterday so after starting the day 69 blog I decided what today needed to be.
Be true to your word. If you say you will do something, you do it. Or change the rules with them so they are not expecting something that you will not deliver on. Tell the truth, and do not promise something you can't follow through on. People will respect you more if you do what you say you will when you say you will, rather than making big promises and falling flat on them.

Being true to your word, and telling the truth does not mean you have to be mean or rude about it, there is something to not saying everything that is on your mind all of the time. If you have to, be tactful but tell the truth in a way that gets people around to it. When I worked at the hospital, I had 23 employees under my supervision. There were times that I had to have hard conversations with them but I was worried about how they would feel about what I told them so I had to use a little tact to tell the truth so they got the message without getting offended. You may find that you have to tell someone that you would rather not play that game with them, so you say "can we play this instead?" In that you are saying you would rather play this than that, rather than saying "I think basketball is stupid and I hate playing it with you."

As to being true to your word, it goes like this. Yesterday, about halfway through the day I did not feel like volunteering at the booth anymore. I was hot and tired and it was not fun for me anymore. But I stayed with it because I said I was going to. Not everyone will be like that. You will meet people who flake out on you all the time. (God knows your mom felt like I was one of those at the beginning.) But when it comes down to it, no matter what others do, or don't do it is better to respect your commitments than to let how you feel run whether you can do things or not. Be someone that people can rely on, it will go a long way in life. If you say you will be there by 7 respect the people you have told you will be there by 7 to by showing up at the right time, (I prefer a bit early but same idea). If you are not sure truely then tell them that. People will respect you more for telling the truth about it, than for you to say you will then decide later that you do not feel like it.

Those times will happen. Eventually you will have to cancel a plan, but when you do, tell the people you have plans with, be true to your word and if you cannot tell the truth about it and let those who you gave your word to the decency of telling them that you have to do something different. It will go a lot further than just not showing up and no one understands or knows why. Better to tell the truth then to say you will and let someone down.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

71 days Keeping it here at home.

After talking about it the other night I decided that I would be making a beer to be done by the time we have one of our family baby showers. I have been brewing my own beer for a few years now. I do not always have beer on hand that I have brewed, but I do like to make it and from time to time enjoy one of my own beers. We have toyed with the idea of naming it something fun. Your mom has thrown out Proud Papa Stout, and Dirty Diaper stout. I am not sure what to call it but I can already tell from the happy gurgles in the vapor lock that it is on it's way to being another good batch.

I like brewing my own beer. At Thanksgiving I like to get our turkey's from my uncle Lynn who raises them every year. In years past we have put some money into buying a quarter or a half of a Cow or a pig. To me, it is all about buying things and making things close to home. I would rather spend a bit more at a farmers market and shake hands with the guy who grew the produce I am eating than to buy my apples at a grocery store and buy them from somebody I have not met or know. This is not always easy, and it does not always happen, but I like it when it does.

I would rather bake a loaf of bread and know what is in it, than to buy one at the store, it does not always happen but I prefer it when it does. I know who raised my Turkeys, I know my uncle Lynn is not giving them growth hormones to make them bigger. I know the 4-H kid who is raising his cow or pig as a school project is learning how to, and one day, I hope I can buy beef from him somewhere where I can shake his hand when I buy the steaks or hamburger.

As much as possible know where your food comes from. It matters. There was a time when you did not get fruit all seasons, You could not get a slice of watermelon in December. Some would argue that we have progressed. We are living in an age where I can get fresh salmon in Utah. But one has to ask with all the progress do we look enough at home for things. I can get Fresh Alaska Salmon, but is that worth the cost to the planet to ship it to me the same day? Maybe it is, maybe not, but I feel that we have lost something when we stop getting things at home.

The day we can't build a piece of furniture, or make our own clothes, or any number of a thousand other things we become dependent on other people. I am not saying that depending on other people is bad, it has created a world where we are incredibly connected and that is a very cool thing. But the moment where a hole on the seam of your shirt means you have to throw it out instead of fixing it we have lost something that our grandparents and theirs before them knew. The minute we use technology but do not know how it works we have lost something vital.

Learn how to make and build things, learn how to sew and work with wood, how to bake bread and make food from scratch. It matters because as long as it is not an entirely lost art, you are doing something so save it, and that alone is worth understanding and doing it for.


Monday, August 10, 2015

72 days what the Caterpillar calls the end the master calls a butterfly.

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a Butterfly" -Richard Bach

Since I am out of work and until I am back I am trying to stay busy everyday. To tell you the truth keeping busy is a way to keep me from going crazy or getting too depressed while looking for something new. This week I started a new process at the gym. I am going through a program called the Hero's journey. Beginning this week I stretched, did about a half mile of footwork drills, did my program, walked another half a mile, then relaxed in the pool. I have also made a list of things that I need or want to do around the house, so I can do things and feel like I am at least getting things done.

The program got me thinking about the Heroes journey. It is something that Joseph Campbell talked about. the idea is that the Hero leaves what is known and enters the unknown. While there they may have some helpers or mentors to teach them the way, often later they will go it alone without the mentor. At one point there is a death or transformation, and with time they return to the known transformed or changed. This is a theme that follows many world religions and many myths and stories.

In this case it had a particular meaning to me. Over time I have learned that whatever it is that you are given in life it has its own progression. If you hold on too long, it will be taken from you when the time is done. Years ago when I left my last job, it was very much that way. I had been unhappy at that job for years but it was time to let go that time it was also not my choice, but it turned out for the best as the Job at the University came along. I am not sure what the future holds for me, except that you and your mom will be there with me but I know something great is coming.

The point here is that sometimes to transform, you have to die to something to do something better or greater. With the Heroes journey it does not have to be a literal death, but is often a metaphorical one. In some cases it is a letting someone down or something failing. In Star Wars for example I would say it is when Luke Skywalker looses his had and finds out that he is the son of his enemy. It transforms him, literally changes him, In my case the loosing the job feels like a metaphorical death. But what has come from it is turning inward, and beginning to focus on exercise and myself for a time, At one time I thought that this was the worst time to loose my job, and in some ways that is so, but it also allows me the time to do what I need to in order to make myself ready for the change that your birth will be in my life. I can't say everything that will change, as I do not know it totally yet, What I do know though is that I have been giving things a deeper thought. How will I help form your experience of life? Who will I need to be to give you the best I can?

I do not know what the future holds. but I do know is that it will work out, and soon I will be able to see and hold you and that alone means the world to me.
Love you kiddo

Sunday, August 9, 2015

74 and 73 days Make a plan but don't be afraid to change it sometimes.

I like plans. I like drawing things out to their conclusion and having a road map so I know how I am going to get there. Then things like getting fired happen and everything goes off course.
Because of that, I am working on a plan as to how to handle things for the next little bit as I look for a job. I am going to be honest with you, applying for jobs is easy. You find something that you think you can do, and tell them you would like to be considered for it, that does not take a lot of time. Interviews can take a lot of time, taking tests with some organizations to be considered (I am looking at you USPS) can take some time, applying does not.
So what do you do with your day when you go from having 9 and a half hours for work between commute and working itself to having the need be 15 minutes of applying for jobs a day? That is where I need a plan. The key is to keep yourself busy with something. Keep your mind engaged and working. But always know what you are able to do and what you are not.
This week I am volunteering to help at the booth for the Renaissance faire at the Salt Lake County fair. I am doing it in part because they needed the help, but also in part because it will keep me out of the house a few hours on Wednesday and Thursday even if it is in costume. (Not that I mind that) I am also going to keep on my going to the gym everyday and am building a fitness plan to keep myself busy and working on myself and what sword stuff I can do for the next while while I do not have a job to fill that time.
Make a plan, it may not always work in the long run, but it will keep you at least headed in the right direction. As the old saying goes "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there."
Don't be afraid to change your mind or your plan.
Right now, things are tough for me in the making plans world. Everything depends on how quickly I can get back to work. I have things to do this week on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. These things are hard on my schedule and can't change. Unless... If I am able to get something new, if I am able to get an interview, or someone offers me a job, I need to take it even if that means changing my plan. Right now I am looking at being Henry VIII at the Renn faire, but if I have a job in 2 weeks that makes me start on a Friday or Saturday and I can't make it to the fun things, that is what I have to do. In the beginning of September is the Utah State Fair. I have been working for them now 20 fair's including volunteering. This last week I worked a few hours working on things in the store and plan on doing so most of the next Friday's until I have a job. UNLESS... If I get a job soon, (I was out of work 25 days when I was fired in 2006) The plan has been to work at the fair, but if I get something new before it starts I may have to work different shifts or we may have to change the schedule as that job is a seasonal one, and does not pay me as well as anything I am applying for. Make your plans but do not be afraid to adjust or change them if you need to.
Yesterday I taught sword class. Travis let me know late that he was not going to be there, so I took class. I made a plan that covered a lot of things I wanted to talk about and some new drills that I had thought up while at the gym this week. Some of them worked. Some of them did not work so well, so we had to change them. One of my students made a suggestion after one of them that was more of a transitional step that we could try and once we tried that, it worked better at least to begin with. After some discussion it was decided that both ways had their place, but one was a good first step to the other.
You are due on the 22nd of October or were initially. They are moving the due date around some but it is just a guess. If I set my heart hard on the 22nd and made sure I was off work on that date specifically (assuming I have a job) I may be disappointed to find out that you may not be born that date. You have to be flexible, some things change and if you do not go with them you are going to have a long time of trouble for it. I started at the University in June of 2006. I always thought that if I could hang in there, hold on until I was 65 I would be there 40 years. That was not in my cards I guess so now I have to make a new plan. and move forward having let the other go.

Life is not always easy kid, but if you are not willing to bend and flex with it, you have made it harder on yourself than it needs to be.

Friday, August 7, 2015

75 Days getting through it.

 It has been a tough week for me, but here I am. I am not sure how to talk about being let go from the Hospital but I have to say that there are ways to get through things. It has been rough but I am finding that the way I am able to make it through is to have some sort of regime to follow, some things that I can do every day to keep me sane.
In the mornings I have been getting up with your mom in the mornings and going to the gym. It is more about doing something, anything, to get through the darkness. Sometimes you have to keep moving.
I have been out of a job 2 days so far and there are times I am worried that I will not find something to give us the life we had when I was at the hospital. It has only been 2 days but I worry. truth is sometimes you will worry. Sometimes life will let you down. Before this week, I had plans, things I was going to do. Now some things have to wait. It does not make things easy. But you have to just keep going.
This morning I went to the gym, then spent a lot of time working at the fair store. It helped. By the time I got home as silly as it was, I felt a lot better. Sometimes you have to keep going. Even if you are just moving your feet on the treadmill.
I do not have a lot of suggestions or advise today except for that. Keep your feet moving and you will get through the rough stuff. I am not there yet buddy, but I know that if I keep moving something else will come along. I will not be putting off the things I was looking forward to forever, just for now.

Soon you will be born, and I can see you and sing songs to you and hold you and that means the world to me. Your dad is doing his best to make sure you have the things you need. It may be a sacrifice, After all the plan was to be able to spend weeks at home with you after you are born, and I want to, but I know that by that time, I either need a job, or need another way to pay the bills. so I may not be able to give you that. At least not at this point and it makes me sad, I had plans, but this threw everything off. My hope is that it is not forever.

The only way through is to keep moving.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

76 Days Surround yourself with good people. (clearing out the desk)

Today I did something that was hard but it had to be done, I cleaned out my desk at the University.
I did not imagine that it would be so hard, but as I collected my things, I found myself asking if things were  mine, or if they belonged to the department. Eventually I settled on some things but what I did not expect was many of my staff coming into the office to beg and plead with me to stay, as if I was making a decision and was not being moved on forcibly. There were tears, and finally I had to walk away.
Punchy, I have always prided myself in having a good team. The team that people want to be on. A team that wants to work together, and do all they can to help one another if they need to. The threw parties when it was my birthday, and came together to buy me gifts for holidays. This is not the first time I built a team. When I transferred to Day shift I built a team that I loved and who were loyal to me when they moved me, I shed a few tears as well. But this was different, before, I would still be there and though not the guy they reported to, I could still support them. This time, I do not get to see them and that is hard.
It is hard to loose people you care about. That is a part of life. what matters is that you have the time with them you do. I can only hope that these employees who I laughed with and helped when I could know just how much I appreciate each of them.
Surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed. People who will do all they can to help you if you need it because they know, that at some point, you will or have done the same for them. You get good people around you by being a good person. In work or school that means sometimes being picky about who you hire or hang out with. Keep the ones who work hard but want to see everyone succeed.
My employees were not crying today because they were faking it. If they did not feel like they had to say goodbye they would not have come down to say good bye. these were tears as real as my own. I will miss them. I hope they stay in touch, and maybe one day I can see them all again. They were my team, but more than that they were my friends and I wanted them to succeed above everything else. Make sure the people you keep are worth keeping, but always surround yourself with the ones who want you to do your best and who you want to do the same.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

77 days Good Bye to the U.

I can finally explain some of what has been going on the last few days. On Friday I was put on administrative leave at work due to some things that I felt I had taken care of but my bosses did not think I did. Friday was hard. Saturday it was hanging over me all of the day Sunday was the same. Monday was hell. I had a meeting at 3 to give my side of the situation. I woke up feeling good, then cleaned the house (your mom suggested it, and it helps me when I am nervous) At 11:00 I started to get ready, then waited and waited and waited to go there. When I finally was able to meet I feel like I covered it all and explained it all well and felt like there was a chance I may be able to come back to work within days.

By yesterday, I decided that I needed to do something, anything active to fill up the day. I decided since I have a gym membership and had some time, I would get up with your mom, drop her off at work, then spend some time at the gym before going home. By yesterday afternoon I had most of my todo's done and hoped that maybe sometime today there was a chance I would hear and hopefully could come back to work.

Today, I was less than optimistic, but I got up, went to the gym, ran some errands then I was able to go to your mom's appointment with the Midwife. I have not been able to go to many of these as I am always at work. When I got home I got the phone call. Tomorrow I have to go into work and clean out my desk. I am not looking forward to it, but it is something that has to be done.

The University has been more than a job to me. Since day 1 I have been proud to be a part of something bigger. To be helping people and with an organization I believed in. It was bigger than healthcare, it was my University, the team I cheered for, the organization I believed in and would do whatever I could to make sure it succeeded. It was a place that pulled me out of darkness on more than one occasion, gave me the help I needed, provided me a lifestyle that allowed me the ability to do other things I loved to do. I believed in the University of Utah and for 9 years it has been home. It mattered and I wanted it to succeed, I was helping people. The work I did mattered. Now I am not allowed to be a part of that anymore and that saddens and hurts me.

Now, I find that it is gone. The mission of helping people at least with this organization can't be mine anymore. I did not choose it, it was chosen for me. Sometimes life is like that you give it your all, you do what you can, and you still come up with nothing. It is hard. Harder than anything ought to be. To me, it is not just about loosing a job, it is my team, the people I worked to build up and pushed to be the best they could be. To do all we could to keep the hospital safe and clean. It was in part, part of my purpose. Now I am being told that despite the work, despite the fact that my employees enjoyed working for me. It was not enough. The work I did was not enough.

I am sorry son. I am sorry that I will not be able to be home with you on a paid time off because I did not do what I was asked to the satisfaction of my bosses. I am sorry that you will not know these people who were so excited to see you born even though they had never visited our home or spent any time with me away from work but somehow that is how things work.

I can only try to move forward and hope that I am able find something soon so that you can have the childhood you deserve. It has been a hard few days one that I hope for your sake you never have to go through.

I love you kiddo

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

78 Days Creating things from what seems like nothing.

Today I built a co sleeper for you that goes next to our bed. It was not a hard thing to build but I am pretty proud of it. Your mom and I both like to build and make things. There is something about taking a pile of wood, or fabric, or what have you and making it into something that is different from that. It may not always be the best, or something I feel I would sell in a store, but there is a lot of pride in building or making something for yourself. This co sleeper may not be around longer than a few months after you are born, but I feel very proud of how it turned out.
There are lots of things that I am sure will be around while you are growing up that were made by your mom, or her family, or me, or my grandma. Last week we made part of my Henry VIII costume from a basic design and the fabric we bought for it. Like making things out of wood where at one time you a pile of wood then with some work you have a throne, or a table, or a bench. Something that comes from the pile of wood suddenly becomes something you can use. Something that was once a piece of fabric, through some work, becomes something you can wear, or something to sleep under, or a curtain or the cover for that bench. There is a level of pride in seeing the finished product and knowing that you built it with your own hands.
Your mom enjoys making and decorating cakes. The same thing applies there. You have a pile of ingredients and when you are done you have a cake, or bread, or in my case, beer.
When I was growing up, we used to make and build all kinds of things. One afternoon when I was 11 I presented to my mom on why I should have a clubhouse, the next day your uncle Corey and I built a little clubhouse out of scrap wood we had at the house I lived in. It was not much, but we built it off the side of a shed, with a ox on the front that must have been for a Bathtub or something. It was a proud moment when we were done with it and I could say, I built that.
When I was in elementary school, over the breaks they had some classes that we could take and learn some things like wood working. One of the things I made in one of the classes was a pig cutting board that your Grandma Judy still has, the tail has fallen off, but it was something I make out of a piece of wood.
When I was a bit older, we made a lot of things our of Legos. Though they do not have the functionality of a cutting board or a chair or a bench, they are easy and fun to build with. Sometimes making something out of what looks like nothing definitely can be something to be proud of. Most of the time now, I make things out of wood. Your mom makes a lot of things out of food, or fabric but at the end of the day, there is really something to be said for seeing a piece of wood, or fabric, or anything and seeing more in it than it's current state.
That is the way it is for people too. Sometimes people may not look like much just like a piece of dirty wood, but to the person who can see that potential, and is willing to spend the time and energy, helping develop it, help shape it, goes the joy of knowing you helped make it happen.
Always look for the good, and look for the potential in things son.

Monday, August 3, 2015

79 Days It just has to work out.

I am in a hard spot and I can't talk about it for a few days at least. Ultimately though what I do know for sure is that regardless of how things look, how bad things feel, at the end of the day, things will work out. That is not to say that things always work out how you want them to, or how you expect them to, but sometime, eventually, they all work out. It is hard to say or to believe in but at the end of the day it all does work out.
Sometimes you may have to keep your eyes open to see what is next or where you go from here but at the end of the day, things do eventually work out. When I was still going to church and still studying to be a minister I was taking a class that I to finish it I needed to come up with the money to take it, and money to get to my oral panels. Because I did not have the cash to cover it all I threw it out there to the Universe or what have you, that if it was what was right for me to do, the money would show up. Before the end of the class between deliveries of furniture and random side jobs, the money did show up and I had things handled.
When I was almost 25, I lost my job where I had worked for 7 years. It was the 1st of June. I began at the Hospital on the 26th. I took a hit in pay, but I did what I needed to and I was back at work. It is not always easy. It was a scary time, but finally it was OK.
I am sorry that I can't say more about this, maybe one day I will explain better what is going on, but what I do know is that somehow, some way things will work out.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Day 80 Pets are family.

Little man.
The days just keep on rolling by until you will be here. Today your mom and I worked on some bookkeeping for the Utah State Fair Store and we tested out the inventory tool I built with some numbers to make sure that it all made sense once we have real numbers to go in. We also went swimming for the first time in a long time and it was the first time I got my beard under water, it is a weird sensation. It made my chin tingly it was definitely new. You will know me with a beard at first, but it took me a long time to be able to grow one so many things are new about it right now.

Today I want to talk to you about Family. not the ones you are related to or the ones that you claim as family, but the furry kind of family. (Though some of the others are furry too!)
When I was growing up, we always had cats. Maggie loved them so we sometimes broke the rules in our apartments to have cats around when we were growing up. As of now I have personally owned a few rodents, lots of Fish, a Turtle, and 3 or 4 dogs depending on how you count it. Of them all I loved the Dogs the most. (Though the Turtle was a conversation starter.)
We did not really have dogs at home when I was growing up but I always wanted one.  The Christmas after I turned 10 we got my first dog. Her name was Rebecca and she was a Chesapeake bay retriever/ golden retriever mix. We got her when she was a puppy and I loved her quite a bit. The problem was I wanted a dog, but was not really ready for all of the responsibility it took to train her and care for her. This was before your cousin Emily was born and she kept jumping up and was not as well behaved as she needed to be but I did not know how to train her or help her get better. She was not well house trained, and when we left her in the kitchen during the day, she broke several wooden spoons that we had locked the swinging door to the kitchen with. I would go to take her for walks and one night I put her leash on her before I tied my shoes and she chewed through it before I had them tied and was ready. She got out of the yard and we had to find her several times, on more than one occasion bribing her with bread, which she loved. We finally had to give her away, and one day when I came home from school she was gone. I remember today how bad I felt that I never got to really say good bye. I loved her, but despite thinking I was ready I wasn't.
For a long time, I had Hamsters and did alright with them. The thing about hamsters is that you have to make sure their bedding is clean all the time or it all begins to smell.  My first one was always chewing his way out of cages so I finally got him a glass one so he could not chew his way out.
I have had fish on and off, both at my Dads and eventually at my own place when I was in my 20's.

When I was living with your Aunt Mary in my 20's I decided it was time to get a dog again. Jodie Bear was a Border Collie mix, and was always up for an adventure. She and I went for hikes and I loved her. I never got her trained well and we did have problems of house training, but she was a great friend when things in my life did seem so good and she always wanted to play especially with the water when we turned on the hose. Mary had 2 different beagles during this time and while Jodie could run and hike for miles those 2 did not.
When I moved into my apartment I brought Jodie with me but it was hard on her. I did not have a kennel so when I was not home she was locked up in the bathroom. That was fine when all I was doing was working, but when I started dating and I would be out for longer it was much harder on her. One day I came home to a bathroom floor that she had ripped up because she was bored. I did all I could to keep her, for a time she lived with my Dad, but eventually it became too much and I had to get rid of her. I did it because I did not have the time to spend with her, I did not know how to take care of her, and ultimately, she deserved better. The day I had to give her away was one of the hardest for me, but I knew it what was best for her.

A few years later Aunt Mary wanted me to go to the pet store with her to adopt a puppy for her. I was not sure about it, but I went just the same. I will never forget the day we picked up Sam. He was a picture perfect little golden retriever puppy and Mary was in love with him. Everyone else who saw him loved him too, he was such a cute puppy. When she decided to move to Texas a month or so later, I decided that he needed to come live with me and he has ever since. This time, I did it right. We got a Kennel for him, I made sure he had toys to play with so he was not tearing apart things he shouldn't, this time things were different. I had problems at first house training him, but eventually the accidents got less and less as I learned his signs and figured out what he was trying to tell me and what ways we could make sure he got what he needed. When he was small he couldn't get up on the bed, so I got him a little foot stool to climb up with me. Sam has been my constant companion through thick and thin, good times and bad, since the day I brought him to live with me. I am not sure you will remember him but he is a great dog and I love him very much, he is sweet and wants nothing more than to be in my good graces and if there was ever a dog who would follow me to hell and back he would do so just to be by my side. The day we moved into the house was probably one of his favorite days as he loves to run and play outside. A few months ago we moved the furniture around in the living room and he has decided that if he is not with us, he favorite place to be is looking out the front window and sometimes barking at the people on the street.
When I met your mom Sketti was not in the picture yet. She picked him up a couple months after we met at her Family Reunion. He is a little turkey, but we love him. He loves me but he is definitely your moms dog. He is older and sometimes stubborn but we love him, and from time to time, when we can get him to play he is one of the silliest, perhaps most entitled dogs I know. He always tries to sleep at the top of the bed on our pillows and if not is stubborn about sleeping in between your mom and I. I was not always sure about him, but he loves me and I love this little dude.

Pets are a part of your family, and I could go on and on about the dogs who I have loved and were as near to me as much of my family. Your Grandma Judy just lost a dog that was one of the sweetest dogs I have known and I miss her terribly when I go to her house. They are family, and you have to treat them like that. It does not mean that you do not have to discipline them sometimes, but you have to be ready to take care of them. Take them on walks, play with them, teach them. Our dogs are our family, and long before I was your dad, I was Sam's dad. It is not always easy, but if you are going to adopt a dog you have to be ready to take care of them and do what they need you to do so they can have the full life they deserve. If you are not willing to do that, you are not ready to be a pet Dad. It took me a long time to get here, but when I knew Sam was different was when I would go to work, and despite wanting to go out or something after, I knew that I had to take care of him first, then do what it was that I wanted to do. I had to be willing to give up what I wanted for what he needed, I had to be ready to take time to teach him and to learn how he communicated so I could make sure he did get outside when he needed. Even now, years later, I do not always catch all the signs, but we have gotten better at communicating. A dog will be your constant friend and companion, but you have to be willing to put your wants aside sometimes so that they have what they need. It took me a long time to be a good doggy daddy but I am finally here. I only hope that someday you can have the same experience.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

81 days. Sometimes you have to fight for what you believe in.

Little guy,

There are some things I can't talk about that are going on right now. In a few days I may be able to fill more in, but as this is public, I have to hold some information back. What I will say is this. In life there are things you are going to find that you have to fight for.  You will be challenged, be told that you do not know or understand the matter you are fighting for, or why you are fighting at all. Regardless of this, no matter how it feels like you are backed up against the wall, you have to fight for what you believe in.
When I was in High school I was involved in one of those. I was in the East High gay Straight alliance. When I was a freshman in high school I had friends who were in the Gay/Straight Alliance so I joined in. Just after the club started the school board said we could not have any non curricular clubs because of that one specifically. There were all kinds of clubs that existed prior to it. There was a lot of demonizing of the GSA, stories about what we were doing in the club. If you want to know the truth, the GSA was a lot like any other group of teens when they get together. We talked about life, what was going on in our lives. It's purpose as I see it was to give gay students and their straight allies a place to talk about what was going on for them. Sometimes people just need a safe place to talk about things. During the time I was involved existed we lost at least one of our members to suicide. In my senior year, the president of the senior class wanted to help us, and we all agreed that it was about more than the one club.
During that time, we got called all kinds of bad names and were demonized by those who where against us. It was not always an easy fight. It was one that we saw numbers fluxuate as the media would put us on TV then stop, then come back. Sometimes you need to stand up for what you feel is right. There will be people who come and go to your cause. Sometimes you will not have allies, sometimes people will come to your side because it will make them look cool or something. Stand for what you believe in anyway.
Stand for what you believe in, but listen to both sides of the situation. It does not mean that you will switch sides, but it will mean that if you have to compromise you have somewhere to come from, and if possible it is better to compromise than to grasp so firmly on your side that both sides loose. Stand for what you believe, but do not be afraid to compromise when you can.
Sometimes you will be backed into a corner, you will be down and it does not feel like you can win, fight back anyway. You have to stand for yourself, if you don't, who else will? Stand up, but do it with respect for your adversary. Stand up, but do it the right way. Stand up, but do not be afraid of walking away when you need to. If it matters, if it is worth standing up for to you, do it. Stand up for what you believe in even if it feels like no one else is in your corner. If it is right to do, if it is important to you, stand for it.
If you see the little guy in the corner getting beat up, stand up for him. Everyone deserves to have someone in his corner. Stand up for what you think is right, because it is the right thing to do. Do not let them get you down, and remember down is not always out. Everyone loves a Cinderella story, but that is because the character rises out of the muck. If you believe in it, stand for it, stand with those who do, but never take yourself so low that you are afraid to look the other guy in the eye, you may not agree but that does not mean that they are any less entitled to their beliefs than you. Fight for your passion, do it the right thing, but always respect the other guy, you will be amazed just how far respect will bring you in trying to cross the divides.
Stand for what you believe is right, let the rest fall where it will. Not everything has to be your passion, and if it is important, others will stand for the ones you can't. but never be afraid to stand.