When a house became a home

We couldn’t have been in our new house for more than a few weeks. My wife was seven months pregnant with our first child and I was working round the clock trying to put up wall paper and finish the baby’s room. I was working long hours during the day and then rushing home in …

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Saying no to “The Elf on the Shelf” and other traditions

I love the Christmas season for many reasons, but especially because of all the traditions. We decorate our house with a big tree with lights and ornaments that we’ve made or purchased over the years. Each ornament has special meaning. There’s the heart that I gave my wife to commemorate our first Christmas together and …

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Report cards: What not to say

I should have read the room better. If I had, I would have known to keep my mouth shut. My daughter pulled out her elementary school report card. She had been working hard over the past two months after a tough start to the year and sat with me on the sofa excited to see …

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Climbing a challenging mountain one step at a time

I look in my son’s room and find him sitting one leg scrunched underneath him, the other hanging from his chair, pouring over his computer screen and a nearby tablet. He’s been working on his homework for much of the weekend. As a junior, he’s got a heavy load with Pre-Calculus and two AP classes, …

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Tired daddy

I get up and walk downstairs to our kitchen to pour myself a cold glass of milk. I sit down at the kitchen table, the only light coming from a street light outside our house, and take a sip.  I can’t sleep.  My mind is racing with a million thoughts.  Crying baby girl In the …

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Fashion lessons from “The Rock”

Last fall my son raced down the stairs excited to go to his friend’s birthday party. He had been talking about the party all week. I looked at his outfit and tried my best to share his excitement, but also offer some fatherly advice. “Hmm, nice outfit. Are you sure you want to dress like …

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Honey, can you help me find my keys?

I’ve worn glasses since I was in fifth grade. I hated them at first, because they made me stand out and, trust me, no one in elementary school wants to be called "four eyes." In time, though, I got used to them, they're just a fact of life. I’ve had big ones, small ones, rectangular …

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It is what it is

I put my phone down in anger. I find anymore that one quick scroll or skim of social media or the day's news headlines can bring on the bitter taste of anger and sadness. I get frustrated that others can be so close-minded and selfish. I was still seething with anger when my wife, sitting …

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Learning new things during COVID-19

I’ve been married to my wife for more than 25 years. When you wake up next to the same person for that many years, you get to know them pretty well. In my wife's case, I've learned everything from her little idiosyncrasies like how she rubs her nose with the palm of her hand to …

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Moving past new-parent jitters

My wife rubbed the edge of her index fingertip along the top edge and leaned over to peek inside. She looked like she was out on a car lot comparing new cars—blue trim on this one, black on that one. Instead of cars, though, we were walking aimlessly through a local store comparing baby cribs. …

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