Thursday, December 29, 2011

Daddy, is this baseball?

I have blogged about the movie Field of Dreams before and I won't repeat myself.  I will say that it is my favorite movie, a movie that I can't watch without crying.  It always makes me think of the great relationship that I have with my dad and how much I have always enjoyed having "a catch" with him.  If you watch the movie, you know that actually the main character didn't have a great relationship with his father.  In fact, the movie is about redeeming that poor relationship.  That one more chance that whether your relationship was great, or rocky, you wish you had to tell your father how you felt about him.  To tell him that while there might have been issues, you know he did his best- whatever that was for him.  As a father to hear that you are/were appreciated, regardless of all your mistakes, is about all you can ask for.  Everyone who has lost a parent has that same wish... for one more conversation

This Christmas, Mimi wanted to get my father in law a blu ray player.  I knew that I had to get him Field of Dreams for his first blu ray. A special gift from me to him.  While the movie means something very significant to me, I thought it could mean something very sentimental (different) to him.  As I was watching it for probably the 100th time, I realized it had new meaning to me too.  Watching Kevin Costner talk to his daughter about sports (in the movie) is a conversation that I have had tons of times already.  When you have as many girls as I do, I find myself having the same conversation over many different times.  My girls are all very well educated in sports.  To me, this movie has always been about my father, now it sort of makes me evaluate myself as a father.

The other day I was watching a football game with Reagan and Baylor Grace. Reagan asked if the team that was playing ever played the Chicago Bears.  Reagan knows four teams right now.  1) UK 2)Alabama (she likes their colors) 3) Chicago Bears and 4) Trinity.  She doesn't understand how they don't all play each other.  So, I was trying to explain the difference between Pro, College, and High School levels.  We were having what I believed to be a very good father-daughter-football moment.  I was loving this conversation.  At the end of my explanation, I was feeling really good about myself and my ability to educate my girls,  Baylor Grace leans over....big blue eyes sparkling..."Daddy, is this baseball?"

Pop and I got some down time this afternoon and we decided to finish Field of Dreams.  I hoped he understood the reasons why I gave him this movie.  It is so much more than a baseball movie.  The final scene hit me hard and like always, I was crying.  I can neither confirm nor deny that  Pop was crying as well.  It was a great moment and I feel that he truly understood why I gave him that movie.  Mission accomplished.

One of the last few lines in the movie is when the father asks his son, "is this heaven?"  Throughout the movie (and even that time) the response is, "no, its Iowa."  Then the son looks around, looks at his wife, daughter, his house, his ability to forgive/make up with his dad, and he thinks to himself...maybe this is heaven?  I understand what he means.  Sometimes I look at my girls and think perhaps this is heaven.

I was lucky as a son because of my father.  I know that as a father myself I have a long way to go but I also realize that those girls are the greatest thing I have ever done.  Not every father/son relationship is good but every father/son/daughter relationship is so important.  Watching the movie tonight was a great opportunity for me to reflect.  I wish that more movies moved you like Field of Dreams.  It really is like "being dipped in magical waters."

Sunday, December 25, 2011

We need an old priest and a young priest

Please watch this clip.  It pretty much sums up my entire Christmas Holiday.

Since this past Wednesday, all 6 of us have been sick.  4 out of 6 have thrown up, and now MaMaw is sick as well.  We have vomited in cars, beds, at the table, bathrooms, family rooms, just about any place you can think of. It has been at least 2 maybe 3 years since I have been sick and thrown up, but it got me hard two nights ago.  This version of Christmas isnt at all what we had planned.  The good news is at least we are all together.  I only hope that you are surrounded by people you love, and less vomit.  Merry Christmas and much love to all.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

An email for my Mom

As noted before, my mother knitted 400 scarves for service men and women in Afghanistan ( ) this past year.  She did 100 in honor of each grand baby, more than 1 a day.  To top it all off, she included a hand written note with each scarf, thanking them for their service.   Today she received an email from one of the brave men who got one of my Mom's gifts.

Dear Nina,
I recieved the scarf you made today.  I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for the scarf and your kind words.  It means a lot to the service men and women overseas to know that they are thought of, especially during the holiday season.  So once again I thank you and your family for keeping us in mind.  I wish you and your family the best through the holidays!
Semper Fidelis,
SSgt Bridges
3rd Bn 7th Marines

Mom, we are all so proud of you! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sorry for the delay.

Sorry for the delay folks, it has been a crazy few days. This past weekend was a great weekend.  Brooke and Austin left town and were nice enough to leave us their town home for the weekend.  My in laws came up for our last weekend in Lexington.  The main reason for their visit was on Saturday Hadley was getting baptized into the Church, something that is very important to me.  Plus, on Saturday night, the two big girls had a dance recital.  My parents came over, as did my brother.  We spent much of the day just laughing and hanging out.  It was like a whole lot of the weekends we were fortunate enough to spend together, when both her parents and mine were together.  However,  always in the back of my mind was the fact that I knew this may not happen too many more times.  What was seemingly something easy to arrange would be much more difficult in Chicago.  Regardless, it was a great time for all of us- despite UK getting beat in basketball.

On Sunday morning we had breakfast and Brooke's parents went South and we went north.  It was has been a 3 days of nothing but unpacking and reshuffling but the girls have adjusted amazingly well.  It is very nice to have every one up here finally.  Wednesday night at work the SAE Foundation had a Holiday gathering at the LMT, as a sidebar to welcome me into the new position.  It was an opportunity to meet new people, share time with old friends, and have my girls meet so many of the people that I talk about all the time.  It was a perfect storm where work and family merge into one.  I sort of think that is the best of both worlds.  When work is family, and your family is always welcome.  I am lucky I suppose.  I was so happy to have the girls there and of course, they were the stars of the show.  After the event I went to dinner at Fogo De Chow- an all you can eat Steakhouse.  This is a place my father-in-law would love, and a tradition I started 3 years ago.  It was a chance for a bunch of friends who don't see each other too often to reconnect over 12 different cuts of meat.  I ate way too much but I wouldn't have changed it for the world.

Its not too often where you can work and be with your loved ones at the same time.  Often SAE takes me away from the girls but last night we were brought together. 

On Thursday, after a long day at work, we had our much needed office gathering.  There, we awarded two women who work for SAE a newly created SAE award to recognize the women who help make our lives great.  It was long overdue and much deserved.  The gathering was a great time for all who came.  

Its been a long week and this weekend is much needed.  There is still so much work to be done but its nice to sit back and watch a little sports, a girl in each arm, and just relax.  I am so looking forward to the next few weeks and spending time with those that I love.  After all, that is what this time of year is all about.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A letter to Reagan-

This past weekend on ESPN Gameday seen here ,I was moved by a piece about an Oklahoma football player.  The players Dad had written him letters before every game since he was in the 7th grade.  The player died this past year and each game another defensive player has worn Austin Box's jersey.  One thing stuck out to me during the piece more than others.  Austin's father talked about how he feels that the letters showed a love that a father had for his son, and that the fact that his son had kept everyone of the letters shows how much respect the son has for his father.  My father always wrote me letters growing up.  It wasn't always game day, sometimes it was just a day that ended in y. The letters would come at all different times for all different reasons.  I don't have all of them, but just like Austin, I kept most of them.  Ive always wanted to be able to do the same for my girls as they grow, so in the event I am not here, they will have on paper how much their father loved them.  The good news is, Reagan can now read at an amazing level.  So my hope is that Brooke sits down with Reagan and allows her to read the letter below, 2011 style.

Dear Reagan,

I wanted to write you a note to let you know how much joy you have brought to your Mom and I.  Your PawPaw used to write me letters like this all the time.  First days of school, football games, big days, small days, or just because.  Now you are getting to the point where you can read, so I will do the same for you.  Reagan, I love you (and your sisters) more than life itself.  I would not trade you for anything in the world and I could not have asked for anything more in a child. I can remember the first time I ever held you in my arms.  I cried to the point that I couldn't even see you.  I was so overcome with emotion that both your grandfathers thought something was wrong.  From day one, you have been an angel. It hurts to watch how fast you have grown but there is an amazing beauty in that as well.  I am so thankful for what a big help you are when Daddy is away.  You are an excellent big sister, a beautiful little girl, a pure ray of sunshine.  You are also my best friend and I would rather hang out with you, than just about anyone else.  Nothing brings me more joy than giving you a big hug.  I never knew the power of love until I knew you.

All my love,