April 22, 2014


We smiled as she pulled the paper from its roll. We laughed as she threw a streamer across the couch and we both said faster as she spun until she was covered like a mummy and the roll was an empty cardboard cylinder in her small hands. I helped her onto the couch as she asked and immediately searched for my phone to capture the moment; her mother would be home shortly and this was one of the many milestones in parenting where joy wins the battle over anger and it is impossible to be upset. I took more pictures than I would ever need to frame that day and sometimes I catch myself looking back through them like a short film, a movie where the actress pauses for effect between every scene, a comedy where the child on screen steals the show entirely.

I was excited when one of my favorite blogs highlighted the fun by featuring one of my favorite pictures of Madison, one of our favorite moments to date BUT imagine the excitement when Michael from Life to Her Years asked to include that same moment in his book!

Life Lessons for Dad: Tea Parties, Tutus and All Things Pink (in stores May 1, 2014 or available from Amazon here) is a collection of photographs and corresponding captions chronicling the special dynamic of the relationship between father and daughter. Featuring tips and lessons and advice that every father will come to model his parenting style after, this book will undoubtedly bring the underlying emotional journey of raising a little girl to the surface and with it... a few tears among a sea of smiles. For years, Michael has illustrated that fathers are an integral part in the childhood of their daughters -- the foundation of adulthood -- by posting pictures and inspiring quotes on his blog and now that same parental motivation is captured in book form to be flipped through and referenced and treasured in person. This is for the fathers of daughters and daughters of fathers and mothers married to fathers of daughters and parents of sons who now have daughters, in short this book is for everyone in one way or another. It's simply perfect. You'll read it front to back, you'll glance through it during the commercials of your favorite show, you'll read a few pages to her before bed, you'll share it with friends and family and then you'll read it all over again.

When our copy arrived and I turned to the page holding Madison's picture, I'm not sure what I was expecting her reaction to be but what I got was the same reaction I get every time she catches a glimpse of that image, the snapshot that sits framed on the coffee table in our living room...

I love that toilet paper picture, let's do it again.

April 21, 2014


The night before Easter, my wife and I wanted to do something exciting for the toddler in our home. We knew the endless photographs offering suggestions on Pinterest would inspire us, but before we resorted to pinned pictures from the boards of strangers we remembered this idea we stumbled across several weeks ago. However, we modified it a little. 

Thanks to a day or two of rain we were left with a soggy yard showing no signs of drying up before sunrise, so we opted for an indoor translation using “bud vases” and Nerds candy as our soil, we then let her plant three jelly beans in each and the next morning the jelly bean seeds had bloomed into lollipops (with the help of Easter Bunny magic, of course). 

She won’t always find these little moments as entertaining as she does now so I figure we better take advantage of them while we can and spark her imagination in the process. It may or may not be a coincidence that her mother loves jelly beans and I the Nerds so this tradition-in-the-making is a win/win for everyone involved.

April 20, 2014


For her, Easter started three days prior during preschool festivities when she mastered the hunt by returning from the playground with a bucket of plastic eggs. She sat at her designated seat surrounded by her classmates and nibbled on a Peep before devouring a cupcake. She practiced patience this weekend as her mother and I prepared our kitchen for the beginning of a tradition, for the coloring of eggs we plan to do again this time next year and the year after that. She woke Easter morning with an excitement in her belly, eager to see the evidence contained in a basket that an imaginary bunny left behind while she slept. She received a blue fish, a fish in a bowl delivered by a bunny, a solo fish she named Sassafras. We watched a movie the majority of the world has already seen and we pinched apart cinnamon rolls as our screen was filled with snow and ice from the animated palms of a newly crowned queen. We saw family and friends and sang Happy Birthday to a little boy who she says is cute every time his name is mentioned. Madison wished sentiments of Happy Easter Birthday whenever the opportunity presented itself slightly confused by the joining of two occasions within the span of 24 hours. We ate chocolate and cake and chocolate cake and we soaked in another day we have together all made possible by a stone that was rolled away, by a Man that had a cross to bear and a mission to return, Someone we pray to every night when we rest our head to pillow.

Happy Easter... it was happy indeed.

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