Monday, January 31, 2011

Dear Brooke:

Dear Brooke (In this life),

I am finally writing this long overdue letter to you, I should have done this long ago.  I hope you forgive me for my method of communication. I almost never have a problem with words, yet I feel this is the best way to express how I am feeling.  This will be the first of my many apologies.  As I sit here tonight I cant help but think about how lucky I am to have you.  There is always talk of the 7 year itch in a marriage, I feel it.  I feel it in the opposite way.  Most of the time they say this is when couples get bored with each other and they start to opt out.  After being with you for 10 years I know now, more than ever, how much I need you.  The older I get the more I realize what is important.  I think for the first 4 or 5 years of our marriage I wasn't as sure.  Getting married seemed like the natural progression for us in our relationship but I wasn't always very happy.  You did your best to make a great home but it wasn't always right- at least in my mind.  I realize now that it is because in a lot of ways we were still figuring each other out and that was perfectually natural.  We got married out of love and it is because of love we fought through that forest.  I sometimes got angry when I shouldn't have, impatient when I should have just breathed, and didn't always treat you the way you deserved.  In fact I did a lot of stupid, regretful things,  I am so sorry for how thoughtless I was.  A few events happened to really open my eyes.  1st) the birth of Reagan.  It was the single most beautiful moment of my life.  I was put on this earth to be a father.  You have given me three (almost 4) of the greatest gifts possible.  While your body may not be the same (ha ha) I love you more and find you more attractive now because of all that than I did the day we got married.  I have heard that kids make a bad marriage worse and a good marriage better.  I know which one we have.  2) We moved to Lexington and were really on our own.  Being here we struggled that first year, in so many ways.  We didn't have two nickles to rub together and you were totally lonely.  It has been a pleasure to watch you make so many friends and really flourish here. After I left UK, I really lost a lot of my consistent social network.  You were all I had.  3)  I took the SAE job.  Being gone because of work made us change some things.  Most importantly we continued to grow together and lean on each other. Every day that I am gone I think about how much I want to be with you.  With that SAE job came promotions but with those promotions came stress like we have never seen.  There has been so much this past year that has made me stay up at night, sick to my stomach with anxiety, yet through it all you were there to comfort me.  I find myself more and more leaning on you.  From day to day operations, philosophical work questions, to making me feel better about awful situations, you have been my foundation.   We have come a long way because of the situations we have been in and thankfully I feel they have brought us closer together.  I love you more today than I did yesterday, and probably less than I will tomorrow.   Growing up, Dad was always my best friend and his place at my table will never be replaced.  Sam, John- both are great friends and sometimes I say best friend to describe them.  I joke that Reagan and I are bffs.  Truth be told you Brooke are my best friend, probably always have been, it just took me some time to figure it.  I think Dad can sit back and be thankful at me saying that.  He has always raised me to be a great father, he was a great example of that.  I think he can be proud of the job he did in that regards.  He has also raised me to be a good husband- with that knowing that in order for his son's relationship to work with his wife, she must be his best friend.  Somewhere it probably hurts him just a bit but its bittersweet.  And with that, he is teaching me another lesson.  Someday I will have to give our girls away.  I have to raise them- much in the same way he did me- in order for them to make good desicions so that when the time comes I can give them away.  Step aside, the hardest thing a Dad has to do.  I know Mom and Dad are thankful in the life partner I have and watching that makes everything better to them.  I dont know the future will bring but I do know this.  I promise to you to be a better man and a better husband than I have been.  To be the man you deserve.  You make me want to be better and do more.  You make me want to get out of bed and face those demons to give you the life you deserve.  You make a better man.  Thanks Brooke, I love you more than life. 

"If you live to be 100, I want to live to be 100 minus one day, so I never have to live a day without you"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thanks Rick!

I need to thank Rick P.  Before I do that (I suppose I already have), I need to say a few things.  I don't respect the man all that much.  It has nothing to do with him coaching that other basketball team.  I think- well at least I thought- it was great for their program and the state I live in that he was back.  Now, I am not so sure.  I could do a whole blog about how Ricky 3 Stacks has been a disappointment for the other school.  I think if you ask any of the other school's fans- if they had a rational conversation about it- they would have to agree.  Having said that, this blog isn't about his time at the other school- or really his time at THE school.

This blog is to thank him.  Back in the day when 3 Pump Chump was coaching at UK- UK regained a lot of fans from places outside of the Commonwealth.  He did a great job rebuilding this program (again not what this blog is about).  As a result of the notoriety, there were a lot of new outside fans to UK.  Those people that had very little connection to UK otherwise.  Despite what most NERDS want to tell you, sports sells most schools nationwide.  This is another huge benefit of having Coach Cal. UK went from around 20th on the cool scale in college basketball to literally, #1 by all records.  John Wall didn't hurt either.  But, back in the 90s 3 Pump did the same thing (he actually went to final fours and kept them, something Cal hasn't done yet).  Thankfully one of those random fans because of 3 Stacks was my good friend John Collias.  Growing up in Chicago, and a fan of all things sports, 3 Stacks really peaked JC's interest in UK.  So much so that John thought he was going to work for the basketball program under Coach Pitino.  Much to my disappointment (and John's) 3 Pump left for"greener" pastures the summer going into our freshman year at UK. Johnny had already decided to attend UK anyway-  and really my choice had nothing to do with the bball coach.  Personally, I am very thankful that John stuck with his choice to come to UK.  I actually didn't know John our first two years at school.  He was in one of those other fraternities (I would say dorky but I could also say ones that didn't get kicked off campus too) so our paths never crossed.  It wasn't until we got back on campus and I was obligated to attend some stupid IFC meetings did I meet John.

John was a very good leader.  I was shocked that a bunch of Southern dudes would listen to a Yankee Muslim but for the most part we did.  And to John's credit he got a lot accomplished and without question, was the second best IFC President at UK in many years.  Throughout his time as IFC President, he and I began to really form a strong relationship both politically and personally.  It did him good to have big ol mean SAE in his corner.  It did us some good as well.  But personally, I took John to be a good person- better than most.  That meant a lot to me.  John was actually someone to look up to.  Well not literally- unless of course you are from the Land of OZ- but figuratively he was. As a result we became good friends.

As you can tell too, John was always ripe for a good ribbing.  He took every joke that was made in his direction as a badge of honor.  Truth be told you could say whatever you wanted to about the man but when it came down to it he is an amazing friend. The word I most describe John with is loyal.  That is the most important word in politics, friendship, and life.  John is amazingly loyal.  He is the Godfather of one of my kids (my first was terrified of him) and has always been there for me whenever I needed him. Most importantly he always took care of Brooke on her (cough cough) drunken nights, and he cares deeply about my family.  I don't have a lot of people I consider my friend, JC is at the top of the list.  For that, I have Ricky P to thank.

PS  I forgot all about John's story from my bachelor party in New Orleans.  That is a blog in itself....another day.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What is love?

Him? Me? Me? Him? (turn it up)

What is love?  There are a lot of different loves. As I sit on the couch tonight watching American Idol with the girls I start thinking about how lucky I am.  There were some great singers on AI, some with some sad (amazing) stories.  All three girls were snuggled with either my wife, or myself- and I couldn't help but thank God.   I thought about the love in the room and I began to think about how different it was.  My love for my wife is one of the strongest loves I have ever felt.  I sometimes lose sight of that, or let other things get in the way.  When I think about what we have been through in our 10.5 years together, I cant help but be proud of where we are and what we have done.  When I look at my girls, I see my life.  It is a love you can't express in any blog.  You love them so much it hurts.  I thought about how my parents felt and there love for me, which in some ways is a different love than the others.  Love is a powerful word that maybe gets used too often but when it is in its purest form- it really can move mountains.  Love makes you get out of bed those mornings you don't want to.  Love makes you bite your lip at work because you know you have mouths counting on your paycheck.  Love makes you sign your name on a line, knowing that by doing so it might send you off to war.  Love, makes you take another round of chemo- makes you want to keep fighting for one more day.

The first type of love is EROS.  The butterflies in the stomach, the passion, most associated with the physical touch the need to have physical contact.  This can oftentimes be sexual and if that is all the relationship is, the relationship will fade.  I will never forget- one time standing next to a mentor of mine, a very attractive woman walked by.  I pointed her out and this "Coach" said to me, "You know what Boomer?  Someone is tired of f*cking her."  When you think about it, it is probably true.  Sexual passion (EROS) in a relationship is great, every relationship needs much more to make it last.  Eros can also mean just being touched and it doesn't have to be sexual.  Baby's need to be touched- they need the physical contact.  When we are done having kids, one of the things Brooke wants to do is volunteer at a hospital as a baby holder.  Simply put, babies need to physically feel love.  As we get old, sometimes we are left in nursing homes, abandoned by all those who "loved" us.  Often times what they need most is someone to hold their hand.  They just need to feel someone else.  This is Eros.

The second type is called AGAPE.  Agape is more a servants love, one based on someones needs, not wants.  God so agaped this world that he sent his Son, knowing he would be crucified.  Sometimes parents act this way with their spouses or kids.  If there needs to be an intervention, making this difficult decision is more of an agape love.  It is tough love, one that is not only difficult to actually practice but difficult to accept as well.  We should agape our enemies.

The third type of love is PHILIA.  Just like Philadelphia- Philia is the love of friendship, brotherly love.  The love that binds humans together by common interests.  I have a philia for many people I work with and went to college with.  Because of my Fraternity, I experienced this type of love, still do to this day, with people from all over America.  Unfortunately, this love is much like Eros, in the sense that it can fade over time.    It is subject to our surroundings.  Many of us had friends who meant the world to us at the time but later fell out of favor.  Sometimes it is because we move, sometimes it is because they move, sometimes we are in the same city but our souls move away from each other.  This is a great love though, if you have 3 or 4 people you share a true philia with- you are lucky.

The last version of love is STORGE.  This is the familia love between generations.  From me to Reagan, from PawPaw to me.  I feel that this is the love most important to me, one that I am most surrounded by.  I was raised in such a supportive family, I knew that no matter what- my parents would love me.  What an amazing, powerful, security blanket that its.  I could fail time and time again and they would tell me to try one more time.  I would win and win big, and they would remind me to be humble in victory.  No matter what I wanted to do, no matter how I wanted to live, they would love me.  It is a powerful thing.  As I looked at my family tonight I thought about the storge I hope they feel.  I can get after them one second for acting up but it doesn't mean I don't love them.  I  really got after Baylor for the first time tonight, and after about 2 minutes and a few tears, she was jumping all over me.  She knew that I still loved her.  I don't know what these girls will grow up to be, but as long as they make smart choices, take care of each other, and do their best, they will be loved.  Here they will always have their storge.

So, what is love?  Sometimes it is all 4 different types, sometimes it is just one.  A life without love is empty, a life with love is worth living.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

4:30 you know what your kids are doing?

Dear Lord,

I have been up since 2 this morning.  After an extremely long travel day back from PHX, I figured I would have no trouble sleeping.  I have given up on going back to bed tonight/morning.  I know I haven't publicly thanked you in a while, so I figure this is as good of time as any.  After all, you work the third shift, correct?

It is sort of funny, your help is in a lot of ways like money.  Internally we say, "if I can just get this (x amount) much money I wont need anymore."  Yet every time we reach that mark, we always want more.  I don't know how many times a free throw had been on the line and I promised to join the priesthood if it went in.  In reality I fully understand you don't really care about a sporting event (unless Notre Dame, Trinity, or UK are playing) but it never stops all of us for asking.  I also know that you have been extremely kind.  The peace in quiet I hear in my house will soon give way to music, talking, eating, walking, playing, screaming, crying, laughing, and love.  I feel so blessed to have those healthy girls.  It really is the best gift you can give and much better than beating Duke in basketball (although that is up there).  I also want to thank you for the one cooking in Brooke's belly.  Hadley had the hiccups last night- I'm not sure what I am going to do with a 4th girl.  If she is anything like Baylor Grace, you help us!  I remember when you and I talked, you know when we thought she was gone.  I prayed so hard to get her, then I prayed so hard to keep her.  Both times you answered, both times you were good.  I ask that you keep watching over them, guide them, and carry them if needs be.  Brooke is doing well and she is the "bestest." She isn't perfect (who is?) but in so many ways you have given me the perfect partner- why did I get so lucky?  If I think about all the things that can go wrong, I get paralyzed with fear or stay up all night (like right now).  So I trust in you Lord.  I know that means sometimes the free throw will clank off the rim (metaphorically speaking) but you will give me nothing we cant handle.

Like the money analogy, there is more that I pray for.  Yeah world peace is important, I wish everyone had a full belly, and Cancer sucks.  But I hope that you could throw a few breaks to my extended family and friends too.  Ones that will probably be reading this prayer to you soon.  Give good health to those who need it, money for those with bills to pay, peace for those whose life is a storm, and faith in you for those who have lost it.  Life is so much better when those around you are happy.  Sometimes those things that we all ask for wont really make us happy.  Even if the basket goes in, there is always another game or another season.  We promise to never ask again if this one thing comes true, yet we know it wont be too long before we ask again.  Human nature right?  Regardless, there is a lot going on and we could all use your help. 

I know there is probably more pressing issues but thanks for taking time to listen to me today.  I know you answering my prayers doesn't mean you will say yes but there is a reason for what you do.

Thanks- you are so very good,

PS- We play Bama tonight, no foul trouble on our part please!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What a good big sis!

I used to claim that my parents loved Patrick more than me.  I never fully believed it but I liked to play that card (for the record it never got much traction).  Patrick would always reply "they should, they have known me longer."  Or I would use the card that "I was an accident."  In which case my Mom would get overly defensive and claim I was her "special gift from God."  When these situations came up, Dad would always tell me that we love our kids equally, just in different ways.  I never really understood what that meant until I had my own kids.  I can say that is 100% true.

Reagan is my BFF.  Without question.  I have made my feelings and history with her very clear on my blog before.  She was seriously like 6 months old before I could look at her and not get emotional.  It never gets old to have her say "sit beside me Dad," in almost everything we do.  She is much like her Mom and that is probably why we get along so well.  Caroline is my sweet baby.  She will look at me at dinner and say "how was your day at work, Daddy?" What 3 year old does that? She always wants to make sure your food is good, that you know she loves you, and that you aren't mad at her. She is, in almost every way possible, me.  I told her as long as she is alive, PawPaw and Daddy will never be dead.  Then there is Baylor Grace.  She has the beauty of an Angel and the spirit of the Devil.  We have our hands full with that one.  All three we love with our hearts and would give our lives for them.  But my love for each is different.

I knew Reagan was going to be a great big sis the moment she met Caroline.  Reagan was only 16 months old when Caroline came.  Younger than Baylor Grace currently is.  She couldn't talk, barely could walk, yet now she had a sister.  You never know how kids will react to that, Reagan would no longer be an only child.  When Brooke was in that hospital bed, with Caroline in her arms (a place Caroline would be for like the first two years of her life), I will never forget the moment MaMaw brought Reagan in.  Reagan looked at her Mother, looked at her new sister, and leaned over and gave Caroline a big hug.  I wouldn't believe it if I didn't have it on tape.

Brooke and I are pretty convinced that we could leave for the weekend and Reagan would take care of things.  She knows the routine, she knows where the food is, she knows how to get everyone clean, she knows it all.  If it wasn't for the height thing- she would have it made.  We couldn't have gotten luckier with kid #1, she makes it so much easier on us.  She almost always does what she should and now requires her sisters to do the same.  Sometime not having enough empathy with the fact that they are younger and not as capable.  To Reagan, that isn't an excuse.  While its tough (for anyone other than her Daddy) to get an "I love you," or get showered with kisses from her- she is extremely motherly to her sisters.  It is very touching to see.

Attached is a picture from today as they watched Curious George on TV.  After I took the picture I asked Reagan if she was okay and she said no (like duh Dad), Baylor was sitting on her.  I then asked her why she didn't tell her to get off....she simply said she didn't really care. 

You love your kids equally but different.  I love the fact that Reagan is such a good big sister to those girls.  I love the fact that while stubborn like her mother,  like her mother she cares so much to make sure everyone else is taken care of.  If I give her more than one of something- she will give the others to Caroline and Baylor without being prompted.  This isn't something taught, this isn't something she picked up, it is just who she is.  How else would a 16 month old know to do what she did in that hospital room in 2007.  Its a good thing too, because she has had a lot of practice being a Big Sis.   

Monday, January 10, 2011

Our Rock of Gibraltar

Jimmy Buffet has always says before he sings the song "The Coconut Telegraph," that "if you don't want it printed, don't do it....or you might end up on The Coconut Telegraph."  I sort of agree to that philosophy with my blog.  I realized in all of my postings there was someone I had forgotten to post about.  In comparison to my two Profiles in Courage blogs, I don't think that category fits.  While this person is courageous, this person would not want to be compared to a cop or a soldier.  I have done blogs about friends.  While this person is a friend, this person is so much more than that.  I think glue is a word that best describes this person.  You might not think of that as a compliment but let me explain.

I have made no bones that my father is my hero, and was always my best friend.  He straddled the line between Dad and friend better than anyone could have.  Despite that, it was Mom who has always held things together.  Mom, is our family's glue.  Mom, is our Rock of Gibraltar.  Through good times and through bad, Mom always kept us together.  To this day, I love going home because she always makes me feel welcomed.  No matter what stress is going on, no matter how minuscule of a notice I gave her, she wants to drop everything to take care of her baby boy.  She has been loyal to my father for almost 50 years.  She was there day after day.  While Dad busted his ass at work, it was Mom who who shaped us the most.  She got the nickname "Iron Mother," but to be honest- I am not really sure how??  I honestly don't remember her being that hard.  Sure she spank us if we needed- but it never seemed to get that far.  She used the line "if you don't stop crying, I will take you out to the car and give you something to cry about."  A line I used today, but I don't remember her doing it that often.  She had the Vulcan under arm grip that I am trying to perfect but she never used it much.  She was like the perfect Ninja Mom.  A Ninja doesn't have to show other people they are a bad ass- they don't have to kick ass to prove that they can.  People just fall in line because they know.  That was sort of my Mom.  And of course she knew the line that worked on me the most "Don't make me tell your father."  She knew I didn't want to let down my father. 

As I got older, I changed.  Mom did too.  She became more emotional- more caring.  She knew she had done her job- hopefully well.  She knew she needed to mold us less and love us more.  And I held the magic ability to make her cry at the drop of a hat.  After all, I am her baby boy.  I learned a lot from my Mom but I think her greatest lesson to me was that of how to be a great parent.  She gave a lot for Patrick and I but I think her greatest gift was that of loyalty.  She showed Patrick and I what it means to be the glue to hold a family together.  A glue that all families need.  If they do not have that glue, they will not succeed.

I said the best word for Mom was glue...I was wrong.  The best word for Mom, is love.  And you know what, she makes one hell of a MaMaw.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Another video blog- a vlog

Im sitting here in a hotel room in Columbia, SC.  There are palm trees all around and the weather is not bad.  I have to bust butt to get out of here tomorrow night because it IS going to get bad.  Regardless, when I left this morning I was in a pretty bad mood.  No, it had nothing to do with UK sucking in sports today.  It was because I knew I had no weekends at home till March at the earliest.  I was a little depressed and had a long drive ahead of me.  I thought of playing in the snow with my girls this morning, I thought about how I would give anything to hear them talking in their rooms tomorrow morning, something that aggravated me earlier today.  Then I heard this song.  Yes it is a country song, but it hit me- resonated with me.  The premise of this song not only comes from my heart, it also lifted my spirits.  It helps me get through this time apart and motivates me to get home ASAP. 

They are the world that my world revolves around (turn it up)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A blog down many rabbit trails, I hope you can follow me.

For those of you who don't know, I am Irish(Irish Catholic of course).  After doing my family research I learned more than I could have ever dreamed of.  One of the things I learned was that we are mutts like most Americans.  Having said that, the heritage my father and I always claimed the most were A) Southern and B) Irish.  I was fortunate to have studied in Ireland while in college.  Thanks to a bet Dad made with me in the 7th grade, a bet he never thought he would have to pay up on, I was able to spend a month in one of the greatest places on Earth.  A few years later when Brooke and I got married, she entrusted me to plan our Honeymoon.  She wanted to go somewhere we may never go again.  So, since the phrase honeymoon originated in Ireland, I decided we should go there.

  Our Irish heritage comes from my Dad, through his mother, through her mother, and then her mother.  Mary Riley was her name.  My Granny had red hair, was a devout Catholic, and made sure Dad always remembered where he came from.  Dad worked hard to do the same with me and I in turn with my girls. 

Anyway, there are a lot of characteristics of being Irish.  One is you are emotional- check.  Another is you are quick tempered- check.  Yet another is that you the drop of a matter who is around- check.  And if you're Irish, and a singer, there is a small portfolio of songs we all sing.  Of course Danny Boy, The Old Man (listen to that song and tell me you don't start crying), Irish Lullaby, to name a few.  Sprinkled in a My Old Kentucky Home and Dixie, and you have the songs I sing to my girls.  Every night when I put the big girls to bed I sing a combination of the songs- normally My Old Kentucky Home, then Dixie, then Goodnight Sweetheart. 

My oldest and my youngest love for me to chase them around the house, screaming at the top of our lungs.  Caroline doesn't like it so much unless she can follow me around and yell at the others.  Downstairs we have the circle that I chase them around, the "Lexington Mile." Tonight we were upstairs with the long hallway. I normally get on my hands and knees and chase them that around barking like a rabid dog.  As I was doing so tonight I had flashbacks of when it was just Reagan and she could barely jog down the hallway. I thought about how Ive now done this now to all three girls, on the same long hallway.  I thought about how this house is more than just a house, it really is a home.  If someone could see the love and emotions shared in that hallway when I am chasing my girls, we would have no problem selling the house.  Anyway, after a while Baylor Grace had enough.  She went from laughing her head off to crying at everything in about a second.  The only thing that really settled her down was laying on my stomach as we sat in her rocking chair.  So naturally I began to sing.  I sang those songs that were sung to me and she didn't move.  In fact I thought she had fallen asleep.  I realized that was one of the first times I had done that with her and I began to get a little emotional.  I'm not sure which one of us enjoyed that moment more. 

I never knew my grandmother (Dad's Mom).  Dad says she used to rock him and sing some of those very same Irish songs that I sang to Baylor Grace tonight.  I knew as I was holding Baylor Grace that somewhere Granny ("God rest her Sainted Irish soul") was smiling down at me knowing that the lessons she taught her boy, were passed on to his, and being passed on yet again.

I dont claim to be a great singer, at times I may only be passable.  However, there are three girls who think I can sing better than anyone and want nothing more than for me to sing to them before they go to bed.  I am proud that two of them know the words to My Old Kentucky Home and Dixie before they could spell their own names.  Hopefully someday the lightbulb will go off and they will understand that the songs I sang to them had a significant meaning behind them.  The songs were selected with a very important purpose.  And maybe, just maybe, someday they will rock their kids and sing those very same songs.  

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It finally hit me...

I have a confession to make.  When I was a kid, I used to cry my eyes out Christmas night.  It wasn't because I had no more gifts to open, I was so sad about the season being over.  I love the anticipation of Christmas, the traditions, the splendor of it all.  I cried and cried those nights because I had to wait another 11 months for it to begin.  This is partially a tribute to my parents who always provided such a good Christmas for me when I was a kid, I simply hated to see it go.

I had been really good, putting on a brave face, but it hit me today (January 2, 2011).  See with the kids, the days before Christmas were amazing.  So exciting.  I didn't get sad on Christmas Eve because my parents were coming to spend the night with us.  It made everything so much better (yes they continue to produce great Christmas' for us).  We opened up our gifts, and afterwards, I wasn't sad.  While we had much to put together, I knew we were going to my parents house that night for dinner and more celebration.  We went and had a wonderful time.  That night though, I wasn't sad.  I knew the next day we were heading down to Nashville to have more celebration.  We did that Sunday, it was ANOTHER great time.  I wasn't sad though because the next day Brooke and I were going shopping/ staying the night at Opryland together.  It was a great night to lay around and not be parents.  After that night, I didn't get sad.  We had a good part of a week ahead still to hang out at my in laws house.  Something I love doing.  And while I spent much of the time on the couch, it was a great week.  We always love going down there.  The girls have a good time and we can relax a little there.  I didn't worry too much about work, I was just Dad all week.  We came home yesterday and I knew time was running out.  I wasn't too sad though because we still had a night together and all day Sunday before it was back to the real world.  Plus my parents were coming on Sunday so I had something to look forward too.

It hit me when they were here.  They were literally only here for 20 minutes.  I was sad to see them go so soon, and have been sad since.  No, I am not crying like I used too but I am a little down in the dumps.  This has been an amazing two weeks with the ones I love.  Looking back we had such a great time, anyone in their right mind would be sad to see it go.  Sure there is much to look forward to this year but you always wonder how many more breaks/Holiday seasons will be as magical, wonderful, as this last one was.

They say it is better to love and lost than never love at all.  Those of us who have had their hearts broken can tell you that the saying isn't true while the sting is still there but with time,  (when you look back)you begin to believe it.   Same thing is true with my past few weeks.  It hurts today because tomorrow the stress begins again.  But it makes me so thankful for those that I love and the time spent with them.  My kids continue to grow like weeds, and I cherish the time with both my sets of parents like gold. 

So today as we take Christmas down in my house, I am sad. I told Brooke though the countdown has begun until next Christmas.  I am an emotional guy, I know that. I feel sorry for my girls when they get married, I will be an emotional basket case!