A Celebration of Life

The words of Mrs. Chronicles of a New Dad:

“Today we went to the beach to celebrate my dads first birthday not here with us, he would of been 67. The kids drew a picture and wrote messages in a bottle for Pop Pop and we cast it out to sea. We came to the area where he would always go and fish. I’ve never seen the sun shine like it did today so I want to believe he was there with us.” ❤️

A Mom’s Love

These three ❤️❤️❤️

“Love as powerful as your mother’s leaves it’s own mark.” #AlbusDumbledore #HarryPotter #SorcerersStone #JKRowling

Not much to say, some people are lucky and have great parents, moms/dads etc. But, Jax and Ollie are a lot luckier than a lot of people. They have this lady watching over them and there isn’t a better person for the job.

Scott’s Brats (The Lambeau Field of Aruba)

I feel like it’s been about 100 years since the last time I visited Scott’s Brats, a small beach front stand that serves authentic Wisconsin food. The best part is Scott, the owner, is a HUGE Packers fan.

His stand covered in Palm leaves and surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, but what stood out most (besides the amazing brats or Italian sausage on a Italian bread) was the Packers memorabilia and amazing license plates from all around the world, most depicting some sort of Packers saying. I took a picture with Scott before we left and told him we’d be back one day. I also asked him if I could buy one of his license plates. He told me he was still collecting them and the next time I came he’d give me one.

Well years later we came back. I had been telling the boys all about the guy in Aruba who loves the Packers. They were exited to meet him. Scott’s Brats is still standing, unfortunately no more Scott (he sold it to retire to beach life a few years back) and now that authentic Wisconsin food has a with a touch of Aruban flavor).

Matt, the new owner has kept the Packers memorabilia up and has added more license plates from all over Aruba. When I told him the story about the first time I met Scott, he grabbed a hammer, took down that Packers license plate from all those years ago and gladly handed it over to me. That golden “GOPACK” plate from “One Happy Island” will display nicely in the basement and remind me and the boys of our first vacation together, of the warm ocean, the hot sun, some great food and the fact that Packers fans are everywhere.

#GOPACKGO

Happy Valentine’s Day

In what seems like 100 years ago I met a young lady with the whole world in front of her. She asked for some help carrying things up to her dorm room and of course the gentleman that I was… Could not leave a damsel in distress. In all reality I volunteered to carry some water bottles up to her room… but so started what would become two children, two dogs, a house, some laughs, some tears and a whole lot of love.

There’s been work. There’s been more work. There’s been interviews that have led to more work. Work that’s lead to more work. And then after that there’s been work because the work we do needed more work to be done. And all that work sometimes leads to frustration, short tempers, and the need for a quiet peaceful night. And then you get home to these two amazing, loving, kind, beautiful children and everything is right in the world again.

There are times that are tougher than others, there are times where you can imagine where the last 18 years have gone. I remember continually limping into the orthopedic on crutches and depressed that my track and field career could be over… I remember her accompanying me time after time comforting me helping me through one of the worst times of my life at that point. I knew then she was the one… She was less confident for a while as she wouldn’t agree to be “my girlfriend.” That was until the cast came off and I thought things couldn’t get any better.

I remember sitting on the rooftop of the hotel in Wildwood. I remember being on the phone with my buddies, I remember the butterflies I remember the nerves I remember walking downstairs and being told by Jay and Brea that I better shave and put on something nice I remember sitting on the rooftop of the hotel in Wildwood. I remember being on the phone with my buddies, I remember the butterflies, I remember the nerves, I remember walking downstairs and being told by Jay and Brea that I better shave and put on something nice.

I shaved, I put on a purple Abercrombie polo, and I wore sandals. I was such a dork. I walked on stage, got up in front of thousands of people and asked the most amazing woman I’ve ever met to marry me. I’m still not sure if she actually said yes… but all these years later we’ve made it through a whole lot of stuff… good and bad… a couple of houses, multiple roommates, doggie hospitals, knocked out teeth, multiple wetlands violations, wiggle ball tournaments that led to broken vertebrae, parties that led to getting “iced,” winter power outages that led to sleeping like revolutionary war soldiers in front of a fire, baseball games, Football games, Backstreet Boys’ concerts (not my idea), glasses, contacts, Lasic surgery, great friends, great neighbors, great family members, a marriage that is stronger than ever… and most importantly… two of the most amazing children any parents could ask for.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” -Ferris Bueller

I’m glad we’ve taken the time to stop and look around a bit. You’re a better mother than I ever thought possible, you deal with my annoying personality daily and you’re not so bad to look at.

I love you more now than the day we met. Thanks for letting me carry your water bottles up to your room.

Love Always,

Me

…and Jackson

……and Oliver

………and Buster

…………and Max

Son of Poseidon 🌊

image

Photo Shoot #6738

Location: Crowded beach
Subject: Cranky 15 month old

Distrations: WT Wedding featuring women in wedding dress and cowboy boots, groom in plaid cargo shorts, NOFEAR t-shirt drinking BudLights.

So clearly the best parentinfg idea of the year is to bring a child who clearly hates the beach back to the beach for a photograph session.  We’ve done some less than intelligent things before as parents and we definetlely don’t stack up with the best “plan ahead” parents out there, but this might be the the one decision that sets us apart.

i just don’t know why he doesn’t like the water at the beach.  Loves the pool, loves the bath, hates everything else.  Maybe it’s the sand?  Maybe it’s the waves?  Maybe it’s just the 30 tons of litter that wash up on every damn beach now-a-days. I guess I’m not a huge fan of swimming with empty beer bottles, spare tires and someone’s steroid needle. (Luckily Hammonasset is a pretty clean beach).

Thank the lord for Pink Elephany Photography!  Staci is the most patient human in the world, and im not talking about being patient with a 15 month old… I’m taking about being patient with a 36 year old idiot father!

Jax was awesome! He loved the shells, and actual sat still and smiled for all his pictures… until this guy decided to pick Jax up by one leg and dangle him upside down for that all important “clowning around” shot. Well apparently children don’t like being dangled upside down over the open sea. Who woulda thought? Sorry dude.

So we luckily took some decent pictures before all the blood rushes to his head… Or before the wedding a few feet down from us shot off fireworks to celebrate their matrimony. Overall I think they came out pretty good. PINK ELEPHANT PHOTOGRAPHY always does a great job. Let me know if you want their contact info.

Here’s a few of the pictures. I’ll post the rest when we get them!!!

That’s Newport Livin’

The following events transpired over three days: August 3rd-5th… 

I need a vacation from our vacation. Don’t get me wrong getting away from the office and yard work even for a few days is great and all… It just might be more tiring than sitting in the office and doing yard work! (This was Jackson’s first time away since he started walking.)
Maybe we’re just the worst vacation parents ever, but bringing a one yet old to the beach is a nightmare. Honestly I don’t even feel bad for us, although my one beach day this year consisted of screaming at a tent that seemingly would give Bear Grylls fits and wiping sand out of every crevasse on this poor kids body). Those things I can deal with, a few deep breathes and a few IPAs make things a bit easier.

The kid hung tough though. He was a trooper… He definitely enjoyed the $17 chicken fingers and $9 water. He did not enjoy walking on sand that was hotter than walking on the surface of the sun. We made it through about two seagull attacks before calling it quits. I don’t think had ever been more excited to see his car seat.

I think we realized how really lucky we’ve been over the past 15 months (obviously because we have a healthy, happy baby) also because he’s been on a regular schedule and has been a great sleeper. We learned how a major change in schedule and being away from his own room and crib can effect a one year old… Because this kid literally went two days without sleeping!
That first night was something out of a Wes Craven movie. The screams muted the sounds of the ocean and tears washed away any hopes we had of getting any sleep. I think we handled it well and finally gave in about 2am, putting him in bed between us.

Aside: putting a child in bed with you is worse than anything I’ve heard… Not because “they get used to it and then become reliant on having parents in bed with him,” but because being in bed with parents = Amusement Park. I can’t believe how much energy a child can have at 2am. Where he called the power to complete hundreds of barrel rolls is beyond me. I think we fell asleep at 4:30- Steph on the bottom of the bed and me diagonally with my legs hanging off. 

You would think the next day he would be miserable right? Nope… Ball of energy… We walked the perimeter of the hotel what seemed like 12 times and he spent the rest of the morning and afternoon in the pool. Great thing about a baby with no sleep + sun + three hours of swimming = NAP.
THE FOLLOWING CONVERSATION TAKES PLACE IN REAL TIME:

IMG_6750

IMG_6751

He woke up at like 1:45 and started bugging out. So I picked him up and he passed out in the bed on me. I couldn’t move. I tried everything to get out. I considered gnawing my own arm off… But in the end I was finally able to wiggle free and at least move freely in my own room while the little man finally caught some Zzzzzs.

IMG_6760

He met his first vacation girlfriend… Monica… although it was tough he had to end it before we left… Long distance relationships are just to tough when you can’t even ride a tricycle to see each other!

IMG_6590

 

Overall, three days was just the right amount of time to get away.  Until next time, That’s Newport Living!