#ThanksBaby For Saving Me

It’s said that the world is full of second chances, however; it’s also said you never get a second chance to make a first impression. These two sayings pretty much sum up how I feel I have fared over the last five years and two kids worth of parenting.
When my daughter was born last year, she was my second chance. She was a breath of fresh air. She was, and has continued to be, everything I dreamed it would be when my son was born five years ago…and then subsequently wasn’t. She is amazing. She showed me I was, in fact, capable of doing everything I felt like I failed at the first time around; that I am good parent. And yes, this may sound melodramatic, but I feel like she saved me in a way. Read more

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Boudreaux's Butt Paste: #KickingRash on Your Daily Annoyances

Kids are gross. There, I said it. For every moment someone wants to share some super-cute or adorable picture of their kid on social media, I think they should be forced to share at least 10 pictures of their kids when they’re not-so-cute.
You know, like when they have snot running down their face, or they’re sneezing without covering their mouth – which all parents know, somehow the spit from said sneeze ALWAYS lands on you…mainly in the facial region. Read more

To Be a Dad is to Be Flawed, and Loved

I’ve talked before how I wasn’t ever sure I wanted to have kids of my own. I was content in being selfish. I enjoyed not having any major responsibilities, outside of paying my rent, and having enough money to go hang out with my friends after the bills were paid.
Even after I started dating my wife; we would go on winery tours or weekend-long trips to Vegas at a moment’s notice like we didn’t have a care in the world. Because we didn’t. Then this funny thing happens. You get married, you start taking life a little more seriously; you start settling down, and naturally the conversation of having kids comes up. Even then, I wasn’t sure I wanted kids.
Read more

Potty Training: The Real Game of Thrones

It must be noted that this post was written a few months ago for a anthology submission. It was not accepted (clearly) so I am sharing it with you. We were in the throws of potty training at the time, and it was not going well. Let’s just say it was crap. Luckily I can report things are better; not much, but at least a little. Enjoy.
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I sit here, staring at you, while you stare right back at me. This is a dance we’ve done many times, and that defiant look in your eyes lets me know we will do this many more times to come.
You mother and I have tried everything to convince you of the benefits of not only using the potty, but of not urinating on or soiling yourself, yet somehow our days still end with a debate of whether we can salvage your undies or we should throw them out. You continue to refuse to use the potty; instead you seem to almost enjoy the feeling of the grotesque warmth of your bowl movements against your skin.
This time spent together has really helped me come to some valuable realizations; most importantly is that you are truly your father’s son. By that I mean you are a creature of not only habit but of comfort as well; and you see no reason to change.
This would explain why you still routinely run behind the chair in the living room to handle your business. Your mother and I, hearing the tell-tale strains and grunts of someone struggling with their daily download, call out to you and ask if you are indeed pooping and would like to try the potty, only to be met with, “OH NO, poopies!” Oh no indeed my friend.
It would also explain why you seem to only feel the need to poop when either we are just about to leave the house, or your mother and I personal favorite, right as we are putting food in our mouths. Because nothing caps off a hearty breakfast like your son grunting like a frat boy recovering from a bender the night before, and the wafting smell of last night’s dinner that would make a stranger think we feed you dead rats. How does a smell like THAT come from something as small as you?
And finally, now I understand why you only want to poop at home. Hey, this one I’m not too upset about. It definitely has made life easier on me and your mother. In your short three years we have happily never experienced a blowout while in public, and rarely have we ever had to struggle to find a bathroom with a changing table. My only request here would be that maybe you work in a dump or two a week at daycare. I mean really, we pay them enough to take care of you all week, let them handle some of the literal shit-work once in a while.
On occasion you toy with us by asking to sit on the potty, giving us just enough hope so when you predictably crush it, we won’t hurtle ourselves out of a third-story window. In a weird stroke of irony your favorite book to read right now is Everyone Poops; and you love reading it ass-naked while sitting on the potty, but you know what you’re not doing; pooping, so that book is a liar!
ede5w
All your defiance and insistence on not using the potty has given me great pause how you might handle difficult situations later in life; more specifically once you have left the comfort of the only home you’ve ever known and are on your own.
You see son, there’s a saying I’m sure you will hear many times in your life which is, “Either shit, or get off the pot.” This saying is designed to help someone make difficult decisions. To give them that boost when they are stuck, sitting there, much you like you are now. It’s meant to help that person accomplish what they once set out to do, once and for all.
You have two sides to this equation. On one side you have the choice to get off the pot, but getting off the pot is tantamount to quitting, to giving up, to not accomplishing what you came to do. Where on the other side of the equation you have….well, shit. Hold on, hear me out. Shitting equals success! That’s right, shitting on the pot is a positive thing, and is probably the only time in your life when shitting on something will be literally viewed as a good thing.
If I could impart any wisdom to you, not only as your father, but as someone who has experienced life a little bit longer than you have, and has had my fair share of shit or get off the pot moments, it is this:
Shit on the pot, Son!
In your still infantile stage of life you have certainly mastered the art of getting off the pot. I would not encourage you to make this your modus operandi when faced with difficult decisions as an adult.
Your mother and I will not always be there to help you. Sure, for the next 18 years while you still live at home we will be your biggest cheerleaders, as well as your biggest kick in the pants to get you moving. But the reality is, we’re not always going to be around to nudge you to make the right choice, nor should we be depended upon to make decisions for you.
Life is going to present you with ample opportunities to get off the pot; to play it safe; to not take the risk. I say, shit on that pot, Son; take a chance; jump off that cliff (NOT LITERALLY, that’s dangerous!).
I tell you this because while you have spent many of your early days (and I hope many more as you get older) looking up to me, seeing me in almost super-hero-like status, I would ask that you not be like me.
I spent much of my youth scared to take risks. I frequently played it safe, and rarely put myself out there. This led to taking jobs I did not like, simply to pay the bills, and not taking the time to really foster my passions in life. Of course meeting your mother and having you has helped to change that, but I certainly regret the time missed and the risks not taken.
Of course, not every shit is going to turn into a great opportunity, and yes your time on the pot will have been nothing better than a waste, but with every time you stay on that pot instead of getting up and giving up, you will gain valuable life lessons and experiences that you can never put a price on, and you’ll avoid a lot of stomach pains from gas and back up.
I know none of this will make any sense to you right now; I just hope one day when we do have this conversation, or more likely when you read all that I have written about you over the years, you understand that as your father, I just want to see you be the best shitter you can be.
But for now, please…just shit on the pot, Son….diapers are expensive.

Dear ScaryMommy, Marginalizing Dads is a Scary Mistake

Since becoming a father, I, like many people, have spoken up about dads playing more of an involved role in the upbringing of their children — as well as how this increased involvement is still not only being downplayed, but even ridiculed by so many. And being the kind of person who loves to whip out my soapbox from time to time, I never have a problem when it comes to defending fellow dads.
This year has been unofficially deemed the year of the dad. We’ve seen some pretty big strides taken to help break down the stereotypes of the idiot dad, but it still feels like we have a long way to go. For every hip and cool commercial, like #HowtoDad from Cheerios and the call to celebrate dads with Real Dad Moments by Dove Body Care, we still encounter examples of dads being marginalized on a daily basis. Some men even face particularly harsh criticism; such was the case with baseball player Daniel Murphy, who took off the three days of paternity leave granted to each player by the MLB to attend the birth of his son. Because that paternity leave conflicted with opening day, Murphy was subjected to major criticism by many in the media. Even long-time family traditions like apple picking are not safe from those who would like to drum up a laugh at dad’s expense. Don’t believe me, just look at the picture below: Read more

That Time My Marriage Almost Ended, And Why That’s a Good Thing

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In the fall of 2012, my 3 year marriage to the love of my life was moments away from being over. My wife and I had many heated arguments during which the dreaded word divorce was shouted with such anger that, to this day, I continue to wonder how we came out the other side.
But much like that dreaded first step into a cold swimming pool, I know it’s time I take a deep breath and step off the side of the pool if I ever want to enjoy the freedom and joy that comes from a refreshing swim. Yes, it’s going to suck at first, but in the end there is a much needed benefit. For me, right now, the benefit I’m looking for is the unblocking of my mind; a release from the baggage that continues to weigh me down and impact my well-being. Allow me to back up a bit before we move forward.
Like many first time parents, that first year of my son’s life was really hard on the Wife and me. For reasons we couldn’t pinpoint, our history of meeting in the middle and balancing out one another, was eluding us.
We dealt with a great deal of stress during October-December of 2011. My Wife sadly lost her grandmother, we had a scare at 20 weeks where we thought our son was coming early, family drama throughout the holidays, and finally a couple we associated with gave birth to their son about 5 weeks before us, and named him the same name we were going to name our son. Yes, it’s laughable NOW to think of how worked up we got over the whole naming situation, but try explaining that to an almost 8 month pregnant woman.
Having some distance, I am able to look back and recognize these were simply excuses for our troubles. The real reason we were having issues is because we weren’t communicating. Simply put, we weren’t talking, our communication was broken. At least not about the things that didn’t involve sleep training, feeding and diaper duty. We neglected to communicate about the stuff that mattered most: Us.
So fast forward almost a year later. Our son was very difficult in his first year. No, that’s not fair to him. He was typical baby, maybe a bit more cranky than others, but normal nonetheless. It was his parents that were not well.
Unresolved stress from the prior year, was now growing with the addition of new stress. It all continued to pile up – stress of a cranky baby, a very difficult bout of postpartum depression, my own person life-long struggles with depression. And thanks to the continued presence of social media, it felt as if all we saw were other couples with children the same age as our son bragging about how awesome life was, and how kick-ass they were at being new moms and dads. I swear to everything holy, if I saw one more “#Blessed,” coupled with a pictures of an angelic baby with smiling, seemingly well-rested parents, I was going to go on a homicidal rampage.
We spent more time sitting around hating the kind of parents/people we weren’t while being angry at each other, that we failed to invest even one second in our marriage and, even more importantly, ourselves.
We tried, on occasion, to be that better person and support one another, even in our supremely broken state. Most days, unfortunately it was an exercise in futility.
But, even in all our brokenness we knew we still wanted us to work. So we took steps to fix us. We sought outside help, and dedicated ourselves to being better with each other. Was it easy? No fucking way. But nothing good, nothing that matters ever is.
I bring all this up because the Wife and I were having a discussion while out to lunch recently – a discussion that floored me.
Wife: You know, I’m kind of thankful for all the crap we went through two years ago.
Me: How in the hell can you say that?!? What good can you possibly have gained from that? We threatened each other with divorce.
Wife: Yeah, but we didn’t do it. And besides, look at all the good in our life now. None of that would be here if we didn’t go through the dark times.
Me: Oh, bullshit. I just cannot agree. You don’t think we would be happy or in a good place if we didn’t almost ruin each other.
Wife: In a way, no, I don’t. Neither one of us would be on the path we’re on now without our rough time.
I left lunch in a fog of confusion and disbelief. How could she see what we went through as a good thing? Our son was almost a statistic of a broken home before he even knew what a home was. But as I sat with it for a while, I got to thinking that maybe she had a point.
Since her bought with PPD my Wife has worked very hard at changing her career/life path. She is now tirelessly working on becoming a birth educator and eventually wants to open a center for women that will focus on every need during pregnancy and post-natal; she explained that this is a path she most definitely would not have embarked on if we hadn’t experienced the rough period, especially if our experience was similar to the #Blessed people because the motivation to help others would have not been there. She also pointed out my renewed desire for writing as an example of how things have gotten better. Yes, I was writing/blogging before my son, but I had little direction. Now I have found that direction, started my own website (PapaDoesPreach.com) and have even formed relationships with other mom/dad bloggers. Many of those relationship have helped me see that parenting, as well as cultivating a marriage, is a rough and sometimes messy process, but at the end of the day both worth the effort.
From time to time friends have remarked how they think the Wife and I are the perfect couple, and how they one day hope to have what we have. They wonder how we do it, how we manage to be so great. I just hope after reading this, they now understand when I simply answer with, “it takes hard work” that I really mean it.
My Wife made the point during our lunch conversation that we should celebrate the fact that we’re better with each other. Are we perfect? Not even close. Do we still have room to be better? Of course – there is always room for growth. But all in all we are a team again. Before the pregnancy funk we made a promise to each other to always value one another the same way we did before we found out we were going to have a baby. Just as we did the day we said our vows to each other.
Because at the end of the day, “we were” before “he was”.

Parents Rejoice: Back to School is Here!

t’s time to head back to school, and I’m teaming up with Boogie Wipes to offer an awesome Back-to-School Giveaway for kids and moms!
Back-to-School giveaway from Boogie Wipes. Three winners will win a backpack and mommy clutch - full of school supplies, gift cards and Boogie Wipes. Ends August 22. Enter now!
Three lucky winners will receive a backpack stocked with school supplies (and Boogie Wipes) and a Mommy Clutch – full of everything moms needs (including gift cards!)

How to Enter

From following Boogie Wipes on social media to instagramming a picture of your favorite Boogie Wipes products, there are dozens of ways to enter – and a few ways to enter every single day.
Back-to-School giveaway from Boogie Wipes. Three winners will win a backpack and mommy clutch - full of school supplies, gift cards and Boogie Wipes. Ends August 22. Enter now!
Complete the form below to get started.
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Looking for Great Back-to-School Ideas?

Visit the Boogie Wipes blog for six back-to-school ideas for parents, plus a coupon to save on your favorite Boogie Wipes products.
Great back to school ideas for parents. Must read!
Good luck!
Giveaway is live Tuesday, August 5, 2014 until midnight on August 22, 2014. US and Canada residents only (excluding Quebec). Three winners will be randomly chosen and notified via email. PapaDoesPreach.com received no compensation for sponsoring this event, and is not responsible for the delivery of the prize. Prize delivery is the sole responsibility of Boogie Wipes.

Hitting Home: No One Has a Right to Be Violent

Domestic violence
As parents, we spend a great deal of time teaching our children the right ways to treat others. Much of those conversations involve statements about how we don’t push, kick, bite, or hit others because it is not nice and because it hurts people physically and emotionally. I know this because the wife and I are in the midst of full-on toddlerhood with our son right now, and these are constant conversations we are having with him.
Our son, like a lot of toddlers, doesn’t do well with having items taken away or being told “no” when he wants something, and sometimes his frustrations result in hitting one or both of us. Our response to such outbursts (currently) is to express our disappointment with his choice, then to walk away to another room. We try very hard not to scold him, but instead explain that he made a very bad choice, and that there are consequences to negative choices. Because life is all about choices.
During one of my moments of sitting in silence after an outburst this weekend, I was struck by an overwhelming thought: We spend so much time teaching our children that hitting other people is wrong, and how there is absolutely no excuse to hurt anyone. Yet, as I watched/read the news this past week, I found it dominated by a story of domestic violence and an overwhelming amount of justification for why it happened. So at what point exactly does all our teaching of nonviolence and care for others go by the wayside? When exactly is it that we, as parents, tell our kids that society has taken all that we taught about being kind to others, about there being no excuse to hurt anyone, about taking accountability for our actions, and thrown it right out the window? How do we explain that, if you have a certain status in life, society will overlook the harm you’ve caused to others?
Of course, I’m alluding to the story of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice’s violent assault of his then fiancée (now wife) in an Atlantic City hotel elevator back in February of this year. Rice is seen on video dragging his fiancée out of the elevator after (allegedly) striking her so hard in the face that it rendered her unconscious. While the public has not seen any video of the actual assault, Rice accepted a plea bargain in order to avoid trial of probation and anger management, yet he still entered a plea of not guilty. As egregious as his assault was, the NFL was right there to one-up Rice.
The NFL finally weighed in on the matter this past Thursday, and they handed down a suspension, as most fans expected. However, what was not expected was the length of the suspension: 2 games. That’s right, 2 whole games. Ray Rice was given a shorter suspension than linebacker Daryl Washington (Arizona Cardinals) and wide receiver Josh Gordon (Cleveland Browns) who have both been suspended for the entire 2014 season for multiple marijuana violations. So let me get this straight, partaking in marijuana use is somehow (by NFL math/rational) 8-times worse than violently assaulting, not just a woman, but your fiancée? Well, that message should really give a boost to that female fan base.
It’s already been said in a ton of articles, as well as on TV, but the NFL missed a major opportunity to send a strong message when it came to a growing demographic of their fan base. Look, I’m disgusted with the NFL, and not just because of the way they handled this situation, because this is par for the course for them, because I am no longer shocked by the NFL’s inability to care about anyone or anything outside of their business. Because that is what they are — a business, and it’s all about dollars to them.
What I AM in complete shock about and, frankly, appalled over is the overwhelming amount of victim-blaming that has come out over the past 4 days. It’s literally rivaling the amount of coverage from those calling for a harsher penalty.
The consensus line that is being used is, “We don’t know what happened in that elevator, but she shouldn’t have provoked him.” What?!? Are you kidding me with that kind of comment?
How did this line of thinking ever come to be, and furthermore, why are people giving it credence? News flash, people: IT’S NEVER THE VICTIM’S FAULT; THAT’S WHY THEY’RE THE VICTIM!
How the hell do we, as a society, switch rationales so quickly, from telling our children, “don’t hit, it’s not nice,” to “well, maybe they shouldn’t have provoked the person into hitting them”?
I grew up in a fairly abusive household. And not in the ways some might instantly assume. I wasn’t physically abused by an angry father, but instead by an angry single mother who routinely hit home (literally) that I had brought all of the abuse on myself.
Because of this, I have taught and will continue to teach my son (and any other children who may come along) that hurting others in never the right answer.
But it really saddens me, and frankly drives me a little mad, to see that there is a subset of our culture (especially in the media) who is actively working against me and other parents who are trying hard to instill non-violent values to our children.
Not even a day after the lackluster penalty for Ray Rice’s action was announced by the NFL, we already had our first case of foot-in-mouth disease by one such TV talking head.
ESPN analyst (and I use that term lightly) Stephen A. Smith, who is known for his brash and frequently over-the-top opinions, voiced his opinion on the topic and created a massive fire storm of backlash (click here to see a full transcript of his comments).
Smith literally lost any credibility he meant to gain within the first sentence of his diatribe when he said, “It’s not about him; it’s about you,” then went on to chastise victims (mainly women) by saying they need to do more to avoid provoking their attackers. WRONG!!
Smith issued an apology early Monday morning, attempting to clarify his bonehead statement by saying that in no way was he suggesting that women provoke violence. But in reality, that’s exactly what he did. ESPN even put him on camera with a female anchor who accepted his apology (as if she speaks for all women in the world) and had her deflect from Smith by aggressively shaming the NFL and calling for an apology on behalf of all women.
What’s worse, it’s not just men who are spreading these kinds of foolish and very dangerous ideas. Women are too.
Back in May of this year, the whole world was abuzz when video was leaked to the media of an altercation between Jay-Z and Solange Knowles in an elevator at the Met Gala.
Seriously, what is with people and elevators? Maybe take the stairs next time.
In the video, Solange is seen aggressively attacking Jay-Z, kicking and punching him, all while security attempts to restrain her and Beyonce stands by and watches. You know what you didn’t see — Jay-Z hitting Solange back. In fact, he defended himself by putting his hands up and attempting to deflect her attacks (take notes, Ray Rice).
As part of the media circus that followed this incident, the ladies of The View weighed in. One in particular, host Whoopi Goldberg, was adamant in her statement that Jay-Z had the right to hit Solange back, saying, “Where I’m from, if you hit anybody, they have the right to hit you back. If a woman hits a man, he has the right to hit her back. That’s why I don’t hit men.” Whether you agree or not, unlike Smith, Whoopi stood by her statement and even came out and defended it.
Allow me to counter using words similar to Whoopi’s: No one has the RIGHT to hit anyone, and if someone does hit you, you do NOT have the RIGHT to hit them back. I don’t care if you’re a man or a woman.
Now, I’m no historian, and I was a pretty awful student, but the last time I checked, knocking someone out (male or female) was not in the Bill of Rights, or the Bible, or the Koran, or the Torah, or any other place outlining basic human rights.
Now I realize that this is easier said than done, and if I was in a situation where I or a loved one was being attacked, there is a very good chance I’m going to strike back. But you know what the difference is? I would never say my striking back was my RIGHT; rather, it was my CHOICE. Ray Rice made a CHOICE to physically assault his now wife, and thus cemented his status as a D-Bag. Jay-Z made a CHOICE to not to hit Solange back, thus showing a high level of decency.
Victims are victims because someone else made a choice to hurt them; it was not their right. Life, is all about CHOICES, remember?
Enough is enough. It’s is hard just to raise a child in today’s society. Raising boys and girls to be well-adjusted, stand-up men and women is even harder.
Topics like physical abuse, rape, and an overall shaming of women that seems to still be alive and well in our society, are going to be heart-wrenchingly difficult to explain to my son when the time comes someday. As a man trying to raise another man, I refuse to continue or cultivate a culture of, “Well, she was asking for it” or “Well, she shouldn’t have provoked me.”
I will instead raise my son to make the CHOICE to be a good man.

Happy Anniversary to my Wife. Our love is like……Wood???

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On a rather hot July day five years ago; five years ago today in fact, my life changed forever. July 18, 2009 was a wonderful day filled with love and laughter that we shared with friends and family, alike… it was the day my Wife and I got married.
I can hardly believe it’s been five years already; we’ve actually been together for a little over eight. But truthfully, as I reflect back over the last five years, our wedding day feels like it was a life-time ago. So much has happened in our lives that has changed each one of us individually as well as a couple that I almost don’t recognize the two people in our wedding photos.
As always, I’ve spent the last month or so trying to come up with the perfect gift for my Wife, but to be honest I’m not very good at gift giving. Before you chime in with *typical guy* kinds of comments, let me tell you, I am VERY romantic. Take a look at what I did for my Wife on a not-too-long-ago birthday:
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It’s just that when it comes to gift-giving I struggle. When it comes to being on stage or entertaining a room full of people, or even writing, my creativity knows no bounds… but when it comes to the art of coming up with unique gift ideas, I’m clueless.
When I began my hapless gift-seeking pursuit by Googling gift ideas, I found out the 5th anniversary is the “wood anniversary”.
Great, that provided me no help at all. It did, however, inspire one suggestion for the Wife, in a brief meat-head man moment (those are some of my best btw) for a gift involving *wood *, but she simply pointed at our two year old son acting all toddler as hell at the table and responded, “No thanks, I’m good.” What can I say, I tried.
But in all seriousness, as I scrolled through lame idea after lame idea of gift ideas carved out of wood, or kitchen utensils made of wood that “All Women Must Have” (SERIOUSLY Amazon, are you trying to get me fucking killed over here?!?), I started to reflect back on the symbolism of the traditional anniversary gifts from the past four years of our marriage (although I put no stock in them at the time) were actually very fitting, and how this year’s meaning, wood, might be the most appropriate of all. Follow me here…. I’ll show you what I mean.
1st Anniversary – Paper
Has it been a year already?!? You most likely missed most of that first year because of the constant bragging to all your friends and coworkers about your wedding day and eventual honeymoon, only surpassed by the amount of time having tons of new marital sex, because no matter what anyone says, the sex is totally better after the I Do’s. One thing that is often overlooked in that first year of marriage is the delicate and fragile nature of your relationship. You’re both still learning each other, because despite what many may believe; I’m here to tell you that the title of “being married” changes EVERYTHING… there’s no going back. You’re playing for keeps now.
Our 1st year was very difficult for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, I was going through a very rough time emotionally, both personally and professionally. I was in a dead-end job where I was treated poorly every day, and my personal life was a mess because I wasn’t adjusting to our new life on the East Coast well. I missed the only home I ever knew (San Diego, CA), missed all my friends (making new friends as an adult SUCKS!), and I had a multitude of family problems that just wouldn’t stop. I felt I had no safe-haven to decompress and like I had no one I could talk/relate to that could brighten my perspective. The Wife tried to comfort me as much as she knew how, but I made home life pretty difficult at times. Needless to say, I wish I could have that time back.
2nd Anniversary – Cotton
Wow, that first one was fun, we should do that again! Now in year two you’ve begun to soften into your new titles of husband and wife, but mostly you spend a great deal of time simply enjoying each other, wrapped up and cuddling, like in a nice cotton blanket.
Many of the issues improved in our 2nd year of marriage. While we had great deal of ground to make up from our rough prior year, we did a better job at supporting each other. We began wrapping each other up in that blanket of love. I was eventually let go from my horrible job and my Wife was totally supportive in that situation. This year was filled with so much uncertainty that it felt really good to be comforted in the soft, cottony warmth of love. Our second year of marriage came to a close with a couple of high points: we took a vacation home to San Diego, I got a new job, and best of all we found out we were going to have a baby!
3rd Anniversary – Leather
Year three already huh? Congratulations, your relationship has become broken in like a nice pair of leather shoes. Wear those bad boys around with pride, and treat them well, because you’re going to have them for a while.
Boy… shoes are a great symbol for our third year because the new member of our family gave us little to no time to sit down. We were always up and moving with this kid. As for year three, I think the best way to describe it is, “One step forward and two steps back.” Shoes come in helpful with that saying too. Our son was not the easiest of babies, which made life for the Wife and I…..tricky. We openly admit we struggled as new parents, but keeping up with the shoe theme, we kept going forward on the journey. Sure, we hit some bumps (actually, some really big bumps) but we never stopped moving forward. Eventually we hit our stride and learned that this whole parenting (and marriage) thing is a marathon, not a sprint.
4th Anniversary – Linen
Year four; it’s time to change those sheets, and in our case, the scenery! By the time you reach year four of marriage you feel like you’re building a life with someone; a home built on love and joy.
After we survived the first year of our son, and were able to come up for a breath of air, we took a look around and decided we needed a change. We upped and left our cramped two bedroom apartment behind and moved. We spent the next year transforming our new house into a home… complete with new sheets. I had never lived in a house growing up, only apartments, so it’s been really cool to watch our son thrive here. He gets to run around, play in the yard and wander around the house… claiming every area as his own.
5th Anniversary – Wood
Around year five many couples may feel that the shine of newness is gone, and that things have become dull, much like old wood. However, the reality is that our marriage is not some dull stick. More accurately it is like a growing tree of love with roots that are strong, and deserves much respect.
In looking over this list of anniversary year symbols, there I have to say there are some really silly representations of love, and I place wood pretty close to the top of that list.
But the more I’ve thought about it, I’ve started to see the deeper meaning of the symbolism of wood. Our marriage has grown and grown over the past five years. It started out as a small, but pretty tree. It took on major storms to begin with and lost much of its beautiful leaves and flowers, but even as the storms raged on the tree stood strong, and would not be uprooted.
After the storms, the tree took time to soak in the joy of the sun and grow strong roots. Eventually as it grew, it even sprouted a new branch; a beautiful, and sometimes trying, branch.
Happy anniversary my love. I’m glad our love was planted together; went through the storms together; created a life together (in all meanings, a home and an actual person in the Boy), and like any strong piece of wood we keep riding the waves and never sink. I love you so much.
I guess wood isn’t that bad of a symbol after all. I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do for our 9th anniversary; what can I do with pottery?!?

Quo Vadimus…..I'm Speaking Latin Y'all

Few people speak, or even know much Latin these days – what, with it being a dead language and all. You might as well throw some Sanskrit out there while you’re at it. But then again I think if people really thought about it there are probably only one or two phrases they’re familiar with. Most people know “carpe diem,” which translates to “seize the day.” I’ve heard the phrase about a million times, but I have never really been one of those “carpe diem” types. But, one of my other favorites, and to be honest the only other phrase I know is “quo vadimus” which translates to, “where are we going?” Read more