Friday, December 3, 2010

God knows what He is doing "The Life of A Dad"

Many times I wonder why God gave me 2 girls. I would like to have son (or a couple). I would like to teach him how to play ball, how to treat ladies, what it means to be a real man. Right now though God has given me 2 girls... Both are different from one another but both are definitely girls!...Last night God reminded me again that He is in control and knows what He is doing...

Abby and Madi got their dresses on and starting dancing around our living room to "Ball Music". Madi was dancing with the Cinderella doll and Abby was putting into practice all the moves that she had learned from her dance class. After I was able to get a few pictures off, Abby stuck her hand out and said "enough". I put the camera down and to my surprise Abby took my hand started dancing with me around the living room.

I was feeling a little under dressed so I went up stairs and got on a suit. Then I came back down stairs and finished my daddy-daughter dance. I thought about what if I had 2 boys... Man, a lot more stuff would be broken in my house and i'd miss out on all the "princess balls". "Thanks God for knowing what You are doing and what I need"

Here are some of the photos.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I ♥ Autumn, Yet it is the hardest season

colors, sun, and a chill in the air....
leaves changing and leaves falling
hay rides, pumpkins, trick or treat, happy turkey day,
cheering, jeering, celebrating, losing,
notre dame v. navy, hospital, death...
Four years later and I miss him more than ever...

"Dear Dad:
Thanks, for whispering an idea in Abby's ear today to start 'mud ball' game with her sister.
Did you laugh when you saw Madi covered in mud?
Or did you laugh more when Rebecca asked Abby
'How come your sister is covered in mud and you are not?'
I am sure that you whispered her answer: "mom, i can throw farther than she can"
I am sure you heard the laughs and giggles come from my girls
and I know it brought a smile to your face... Thanks!
I wish they could feel your strong hands wrap them up the way you used to with me.
I am trying to be loving, strong, caring, and all that you stood for in front of my girls.
I will never understand why you aren't here, but thanks for reaching out today...
In case I haven't said in a while... I love you and miss you!
Hope to see you soon!!!"

"Handsome smiles wearing handsome shoes,
Too young to say, though I swear he knew,
And I hear him singing while he sits there in his chair,
Now these autumn leaves float around everywhere."
(Autumn by Paolo Nutini)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Have Become My Father

This past Tuesday until Wednesday afternoon was one of the worst times that my family has had to endure. On Tuesday night my daughter's (Abby) beloved dog "Coco" escaped out our back yard (while I was home with Madi) and ran into the street. She was hit by a vehicle who never stopped and drove away. (Please keep in mind I was inside the whole time) I was changing Madi and getting her ready for bed time when all of sudden Watson (my dog) started barking and going crazy at the back porch. Then there was strange knock at the door. This is what I heard

Stranger: "Do you have a brown dog that has a microchip in her?"
Me: "Yes"
Stranger: "Well, someone just hit your dog in the street and someone else took her to the Emergency Room."
Me: "Wha... Wha... Wait what did you say?"
Stranger: "She was bleeding from her mouth... and someone took her to ER Vet Clinic"

I was home with Madilyn and I don't have a car seat for Madi in my car, so I had to wait for Rebecca to get home from Bible Study. The next thirty minutes seemed like forever. When I arrived at the hospital I met the wonderful Good Samaritans who brought Coco to the hospital. Then the assistant put me in a room where I needed to wait for the Doctor. Once the doctor arrived she explained that Coco had brain damage and was in shock and not moving and she was waiting for X-Rays to come back. It turns out that Coco's back was broken and the doctor didn't think there was anything that she could do for her. So I made the decision that no parent ever wants to be force to make. We had to have Coco "put down".

Then the doctor said "would like to see her and be in the room for the procedure?"
I said "yes" immediately. I thought that since the dog had been with my daughter through thick and thin it was the right thing to do. I can tell you that this was my third experience of being in the room with someone (thing) who was dying. First was my nephew (T.J.), second was my father (the worst day of my life) and now Coco. All I could think of was to thank her for being so loyal to Abby and being a great dog for my little girls. I pet her bloody face and said "Thank you and good bye"

When I left the hospital I was rubbing Coco's collar between my fingers in complete silence and unsure of what I was going to say to Abigail. (Of course Rebecca already broke the news to Abby).

Well, the next day Abby stayed home from School and I took the day off of work. She woke up and I believe the first few words out of her mouth were: "Daddy is going to take me on a Daddy/Daughter date to get a new puppy right?"

-Little side note-
When I was growing up I can not remember a day when I didn't have a dog in the house. There was one dog who was specially close to me named "Scrapper" (cause he had color patches on his fur). When Scrapper had to be put down because of illness. I believe that the very next day I had waiting for me in the living room a new puppy. My dad was the second biggest dog lover that I know. Me being the first.
Well, long story short: We have a new addition to the family:
Everyone in the Blogging World I would like to introduce you Elle (pronounced Ellie) or soon to be named "Ella Bella"

But Coco will be missed dearly. No other dog I know would greet me every morning and evening with a smile... Well, if there is a doggie heaven I know that they have a new resident... We love and miss you Coco

Dear Elle: "Welcome to our family... You have some big paws to fill"

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Nothing Better

At work I have a photo screensaver that pops up after a couple of minutes of the computer being idle. I have a specific set of photos that I like to have as the slide show. The slide show has mostly photos that I have taken or that I am involved with. So, recently I have been noticing a lot of the photos are of me and my daughters having 'a good ole time'. Some are of us playing football, or rough housing, some are of us at the beach. I had this thought the other day!
There is not one thing better in life then being a dad.
(Little disclaimer here: I am sorry if you don't have a dad active in your life currently. )

I am really grateful that I am able to be apart of my two daughter's lives. I love watching them learn, laugh, and love. The girls and I have been spending more time together lately and I believe that I am learning as much from the girls as they are learning from me. Through them God has been showing me what takes to be a child of God. It takes faith, patience, love, and grace. I am and will be forever grateful that God blessed me and my wife with these (and more God willing) wonderful gifts! Below are the photos from the our recent family vacation.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

That time of year again.

Standing: 5 feet 10.5 inches
Weighing: 235lbs.
(More on this later)

Last night my wife and I were discussing how we enjoy this time of the year. I stated that I don't
really like it, but when I think about it I am not sure that there is a time of the year that I enjoy more. I mean, Baseball is wrapping up (or making a big push to the playoffs) and Football is starting. In another month or so Hockey and Basketball will be starting. So let me profess right now! I do love this time of the year. The weather is getting a little cooler and nature's colors are starting to shine.

Well, this past Sunday Abby and I went on a Father/Daughter date to Wendy's (she for some reason has wanted to go there for a long time!) and then we stayed home from church with Madi (only Rebecca went). So what did we do? I taught the ins and outs of Football. Really just running and tackling one another. We ended the night with them taking baths and watching our favorite "The Lion King". I think the most fun part for the girls was getting to "tackle Daddy''. It was a great night.

Here are some of the photos of the girls playing football.

This is Abby coming to tackle me

Nice Catch!

Monday, August 9, 2010

She is leaving on Jet plane... Will be back again (in 10 months)

So there are a few things that we have become a very used to here in Maryland: First, it is always Sunny even on days when it is overcast, there will be a a few moments of sunshine somewhere in the day.

Second, when you live in this city you are expected to follow this city's sports teams. Like the Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Orioles, and whatever... (Justin is always getting grief)

Thirdly, for the last 6 1/2 years we have become used to having Aunt Sarah (Rebecca's sister) sitting to our right in our church row. Well, that didn't happen yesterday, I (Justin) looked over my right shoulder yesterday and I realized that Sarah was not there and won't be there for a while. She is off to Asia and doing some awesome work there. (Actually, it is a huge testimony of God's amazing grace, mercy and provision. Her entire support has come in... THANK YOU JESUS!!! )

I wanted to tell you that it has been great having her so close to our family for the past 6+ years.
I have loved watching my girls play, laugh, giggle, and learn with Sarah. She really has been the perfect Aunt for Abby and Madi. I know that my kids lives have been enriched far beyond what I may ever know. I guess this is a long winded way to say thank you to Sarah and that we will be praying for you and naturally we are going to miss you!!! Please go do awesome and amazing things!!! See ya in about 10 months or so!!!!

If I (Rebecca) could put an add in the paper it would say this: WANTED: One "temporary" Sister/Aunt in the Baltimore area, Must be able to tolerate and love my quirks, let me manage your finances, sew, bake, and most importantly, LOVE/SPOIL and babysit my children as if they were your very own....accepting applications immediately (which must be accompanied with a plate of homemade cookies) position will terminate next May then resume again the following August...If you are named Sharon or Rachel Lewis you need not apply...just move south ASAP!!!

It's not only a new page in Sarah's life, but in ours as well. We will miss her terribly and are trying to adjust to life here without her. At the same time, we are so happy for her and proud beyond words and release her to the awsome plan God has for her....and thank God for SKYPE!!