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March 2, 2015


She smiles and I take a picture and I tell her how beautiful she is and days later I find myself scrolling through my phone, soaking in the random memories I’ve managed  to capture of my daughter. The other day, Allison was on my mind and I ran my thumb up and down the screen rolling through endless rows and columns of Madison looking for a picture of her mother, my wife, to stare at. There are very few pictures of her on my phone. There are very few pictures of her within my Instagram gallery and there are very few posts pertaining to her in this space. Granted those places are more about Madison, but there would be an injustice in documenting bits and pieces of our lives if I didn’t acknowledge one of the most important parts of us.

I said once before, if my daughter can be defined as the heart of our home then my wife is the pulse that runs through it. She keeps us going, she keeps me wanting to be the best man I can be and hardly ever receives the credit of doing so. Being absent in the pictures we have isn’t because she wasn’t there when they were taken, it’s because she steps aside. She steps outside the frame and lets our daughter have the spotlight, she steps behind the lens to capture the moments herself… of Madison, of Madison and myself. She steps aside and puts us first and, as any mother can relate, she does so because she loves us. She chooses to put herself last and, sadly, I’ve subconsciously adopted that mindset.

Admittedly, there have been days, maybe even weeks, where I’ve failed to compliment her as I should or acknowledge her place in our home or the load she carries with us, for us. Our days are littered with praise and adoration for the little girl we’re raising together and once her head hits the pillow, we give into the exhaustion of parenthood and full time jobs and maintaining a home and while we thank God for it all every night before our eyes close, I don’t thank her enough. With her, I spread the love thin taking for granted the investment I've made over the years while I lay it on thick with my daughter in hopes to deposit enough to build her confidence, to help her face the world with her head held high.

I found the picture above in my phone, one of the few with my wife in it and I realized I was enabling her. Somewhere along the way, I accepted her choice to stand on the outside instead of encouraging her to stand beside us as a part of the bigger picture. When Madison looks back on all the images from this time of our lives, I don’t want her to question where her mother was because she’s with us every step of the way. There’s no other place she’d rather be. While I tell my daughter what I love about her, Allison still makes time to do the same for me and if this picture proves anything it’s that I’m not doing that for her and that’s changing immediately because this journey without her as my co-pilot wouldn’t be nearly as exciting.

This photo isn’t cropping her out, it wasn’t edited that way; I did that unintentionally when I took it because I knew she wouldn’t want to be in it. I knew she would look back and ask why I didn’t ask her to move or manage to compliment Madison instead of herself… which is fine, that’s her prerogative and I’m guilty of the same crime when I see myself. However, if she’s not going to acknowledge how necessary and beautiful and important she is to this family then I’ll do it, I should be doing it, because I’ll be damned if it goes unnoticed. After all, the greatest thing any father can do for his daughter is to love her mother and I love her more than words could ever describe. Sure, she's the mother of my child... but she was my wife first.

February 26, 2015


It was her idea to use blueberries so I gathered several in a bowl and threw in a baby carrot for good measure before we suited up to brave the winter wonderland that was our backyard. Over the last 24 hours flakes fell from the sky completely covering our lawn in the process and after having snow cream as dessert before our dinner the night of, the next morning began our official snow day and we were determined to play in it until we could no longer feel our fingers.

In pink from the tip of her nose to the boots covering her toes, we made our way through approximately four inches of fluffy white snow (a blizzard by most North Carolina standards) yet far more enjoyable than the ice we received last week. We threw snowballs and we laughed and I spun her around with her feet in the air and she asked the one question every child asks when they see the ground covered as it was… do you want to build a snowman?

And we did. We built her first snowman within the restrictions of our fenced in yard against the threatening sun as it climbed overhead. We gave him blueberry eyes and blueberry buttons with a tiny carrot nose; he wasn’t your typical snowman, hardly round nor divided into thirds and without a pipe or a mouth to hold it. She patted him with her mitten covered hands until she was content with his shape and she stepped back to look and said “this is the best snowman ever”.

I buried any criticism I could find into a ball of snow and launched it at her belly. She let a loud laugh escape as if the blow forced it out and she tried to hit me back with a snowball of her own. We spent the next hour or so making angel impressions as we moved our limbs back and forth, we gathered snow into a pile at the bottom of her slide as a landing and before we went inside to thaw ourselves, I looked back at that little creation of ours and found myself agreeing with her…he really was the best snowman ever.


( read more from our past snow days in the posts below ) 
Let It Snow  |  Sometimes It Snows  |  Snow Days

February 24, 2015


Sometimes I catch myself standing in the doorway of her room to watch her sleep. Creepy? Sure, but it’s also a parental right and you’d be hard-pressed to find a mother or father who hasn’t done the same. There’s something about the quiet rhythm of her rested inhales and exhales that calms the entire house. Maybe it’s because the opposite is true when she’s awake, when she’s bouncing off the walls threatening to break through them to release the unexplained volume of energy a child contains. 

There are some days when she tests my patience and challenges my thought process and asks more questions than any one person could possibly answer, those days I find myself wishing away the hours until bedtime if only to catch a minute of solitude. Yet every time I catch a glimpse of her beautiful eyes hidden behind closed lids, a blanket draped over her legs with a stuffed animal somewhere near, it takes all my self control not to wake her up again. 

For every moment I thought she was a distraction, she proved to be my inspiration instead. For every moment I begged her to listen, I saw my words in her actions later. For every time she’s reminded me just how incredibly blessed I am to be her father, she has also solidified the truth that sometimes the happy endings we request in our prayers are answered and revealed in ways we can never prepare for. Sometimes I watch her sleep just to see the evidence of God’s handiwork. 

I can only hope her dreams are half as sweet as she is.

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