Monday, May 28, 2007

Random Thoughts

It's been a while since I shared my thoughts and/or what's been going on with us. Here are some random thoughts to catch you up:

1) Jen and Keegan are in Virginia for the week. I will be all alone which means I will have to cook for myself this week which is different from every other week because . . .

2) I really enjoy reruns of The Wonder Years. I am Kevin Arnold.

3) As much as she hates it, Jen is my Winnie Cooper.

4) Tomorrow is our anniversary. We have been married for 14 years. That's a long time. But it doesn't seem that long at all. It seems like just yesterday that I first spotted Jen turning up everywhere I went . . . soccer practice, away games in Ohio, Greek class.

5) Yea, I took Greek for the helluvit for a year in college. I was (am) such a nerd.

6) I listened to a great message on Matthew 28 from Rob Bell over the weekend. Bell is the guy behind the Nooma videos. If you haven't seen any of those videos, you really should. I have a few of them. My favorite is called "Dust." Fritchman has a few too if you want to bug him for them. Bell's church in Michigan has added its sermons as podcasts on iTunes. Check them out if you have the time and an iPod.

7) The Nysewanders need a car. If you know someone who has an extra one they might be willing to part with, feel free to help make the connection. If they have a Dodge Stratus, that would be a bonus.

8) My middle sister, Anita, is due to have her baby this week. I can't believe my sister is about to be a mom. I also can't wait to see her love Peyton like nothing else in her life (no offense Troy).

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Home from vacation . . . now we can rest!

We returned from our vacation yesterday. We had a great time, but taking a 16-month-old on vacation doesn't make for a restful break from the everyday. Regardless when Keegan went to bed, he was always up right at 7:00 a.m. -- with the sun. Oh joy. And with the other 3 kids there, he was too excited to nap well. Between wanting to constantly be around the older kids and the kids' inability to regulate the volumes of their voices -- like most kids their age -- nap times were few and far between. Despite our attempts to reason with him -- other parents reason with their toddlers, right? -- Keegan would not submit to his exhaustion and just sleep. So crankily, Kee trudged through the day dragging his mom and dad with him. Our respites did come though when he went to bed for the night, and we could enjoy some cold beverages in relative peace and quiet.

I guess it will get easier as we do this vacation thing again -- or maybe the trials will just change. But we look forward to watching K-Man attack our vacations with his boundless energy. We just may need to schedule some extra recovery days for when we return.

Below are some of the better pictures from the week.

I know I'm exhausted, but the water looks more interesting than the Pack-n-Play.

Raisins and bananas -- the snack food of champions!

Do you like my new Piggly Wiggly t-shirt?

My friend, Brooks, isn't impressed.

I'm going in -- not to take a nap -- I'm just tired of Daddy and his %$#@& camera.

Beautiful, ain't I?

Monday, May 7, 2007

Launch out into the deep water!

For a number of weeks before we left for vacation, one of my concerns was how Keegan would react to the sand at the beach and the ocean. See Jen grew up at the beach, so she loves it. Me? I grew up in the land of red clay. I hate sand. And up to now, we've noticed tendencies in Keegan that would lead one to believe he would be as fond of the sand as I am. I wouldn't care about that except Jen was so excited to bring K-Man to the beach. So yesterday, we took him down to the beach.

Of course, we bought the usual assortment of beach toys. Couple of pails. Couple of shovels. Couple of sifter things -- like we were going to make sand biscuits or something. We walked down the boardwalk from the back deck. We reached the sand, and he seemed to like the feel of the cold sand on his toes. He stopped to wiggle them in the powdery coolness. We kept walking toward the water. We found a nice spot where the soft sand borders on the area kissed by the waves. Here, Keegan sat down in the sand. Keep in mind, this is the same kid who won't sit down on the grass in the back yard or play in the dirt because he doesn't like how it feels on his hands. This same kid sat down and proceeded to throw sand all over the place. Jen had to sit upwind from him to avoid getting a wedding recessional of sand in her face. The sand ended up all over him. In his hair. On his face. All over his pants. He was content.

But we'd come all this way. We wanted to show him the water and see if he liked it. So we coaxed him up, and Jen walked him over to the water's edge. He squatted down to look at the waves as they ended just in front of him. He crept up a few steps. The wavelings touched his toes. He smiled and walked a few more steps up -- the water was over his ankles. With each new wave, he got more and more excited. But he didn't want to go out too far. He sat down on his knees and started collecting buckets of sand in his pants. But he loved the water hitting his belly.

I convinced him to get up and go with me a few yards farther out. I was holding him, and I was raising him up as each wave approached. After each crest, I would dip him down up to his neck. He loved it. Giggling. Laughing. When it was time to go in, we had to drag him back to the house.

When we were watching Keegan play in the water, Jen had a great insight. When he stepped off the boardwalk and touched the cool sand, Keegan was enjoying himself. When he sat down and started playing in the sand, he was content. When he took a few steps towards the water and dipped his toes in the water, he was exhilarated. When he walked out a little farther, the water washing up on his legs made him smile and screech in excitement. When I picked him up and carried him out past the breaking waves, he laughed as the water washed all over his body. And with each step he took, we enjoyed watching him stretch himself and find enjoyment in each new step.

It's not unlike our relationship with God. Some of us would be content to stay in the house and listen to the waves crash along the shore. Some of us like walking along the shore. Some of us walk at the water's edge. Some will go out until the water reaches our waists. Some of us might swim out to the sand bar in the distance.

The Lord offers us the ocean! He wants us to launch out into the deep water. He enjoys watching us stretch ourselves along the way, but He has more to give us if we'll trust Him as Keegan trusted me to carry him out past where the water was deeper than he is tall. The water is deep, but He won't let us drown any more than I would let Keegan drown. We can trust Him. Why don't we? He longs to hear us giggle!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Of spatial relationships and gender

We are on vacation for the week. But as you know, to go on vacation, you first have to pack what seems like everything you own. The week before we left, all I heard from Jen was that she didn't know how we were going to fit everything in our car. With Keegan, going on vacation requires bringing so much more stuff. There's the stroller -- not the one that folds up like an umbrella, either -- the jogging stroller that does collapse but only as small as an end table. There's the booster seat in lieu of the high chair. There's the pack-n-play which conveniently doubled as a stand for the portable DVD player which was enlisted around Dothan, Alabama in our quest for 20 minutes of solitude. But before we left, Jen didn't think that all of these things would fit in the car, despite my assurances. In the end, I capitulated and made the trip to Target in search of one of those top-of-the-car luggage carriers. Jen said some friends of ours bought one recently, and it worked very well on their trip. I was skeptical. I was envisioning one of those Griswoldian tumors on the top of the car.

So Saturday morning, I commenced with the packing of the car. Now generally, I don't subscribe to stereotypes, and I didn't conduct a scientific study. But anecdotally, I found some support for the notion that men do better with spatial relationships because I was able to pack everything in the car without having to put anything on top of the car.

We are down on the panhandle of Florida staying at a nice place on the water. Keegan's first trip to the beach in the warm weather. I'll have to tell you more about that tomorrow.