Month: March 2014

Memories of Mom #2

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Dearest Emi and Ava,

AJ and JJ - 1-17-2009I had a funny thought about your mom today.  You see, your mom and I had several little “things” that we would do for each other that were our own.  

As silly and little as they were, they were a constant reminder of how much we loved each other.  In fact, every time we did them, they were like little “I love yous” shared between us.

The one that came to mind today involved how much your mother loved crispy fries.  Crispy fries, crispy tots, crispy crowns, anything potato that had a crunch to it….she liked it.

Whenever we went out and ordered something with fries (or had fries at home) we would immediately start looking for the crispy ones.  I would then hand mine over to her and she would give me a smirk and a “thanks babe”.  As the meal progressed, I would find more and just hand them over.  It was kind of natural the movement that we had going on to pass off the crispy fry.  After all these years of doing it, it was pretty natural between us.  And…again, a constant “I love you”.

What actually made it more of an “I love you” was the fact that I love crispy fries too, but wanted your mom to have them because they made her happy.  Every so often, she would say, “You can have that one” and give me a smile, which meant “she loved me too”.

It may be weird, funny or silly, but having those little things between us meant the world to us.  I hope both of you have someone that you can share your crispy fries with one day.  🙂

I love you!  ~Dad

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Memories of Mom #1

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Dearest Emi and Ava,

I love running.  I’m not great at it and I don’t always run far, but it clears my head and helps me to focus.

This morning was the first morning that I ran since your mom went to Heaven.  It was nice to get out.  The morning was beautiful.  It was cool and crisp (perfect running weather).

While running I was thinking about your mom and how important it is to help you remember who she is and was.  I’ve been thinking about this for a while.  In fact, your mom and I talked about it some when she was still here.  But while running, I figured out that it’s going to take a variety of things to ensure her memory lives on.

One of those, that I resolved to do on this morning’s run, is to start posting on our blog a series called, “Memories of Mom”.  This will be the first of many.  I want to make sure we each capture memories while they are fresh so that they will live on vividly for the rest of our lives and for your children’s lives as well.

The reason I came up with this is because of something that happened on my run today.  Thankfully it happened on almost all of my other runs before too.  And as soon as it happened on this run, it made me think of your mom and smile.  Let me explain.

Super Hero familyYour mom was not a runner.  Although she was built like a runner with a long slender body, she really didn’t like it that much.  She said she could never get her breathing right.  She tried though and she did like running on the treadmill (which she could control and watch TV while doing).

While she wasn’t a runner, she was ALWAYS a cheerleader.  She always supported me (and you too Emi) in our running endeavors.  Training runs, races, buying cool looking race clothes, new shoes, etc.  She was always supportive.

In fact, she was always their at the races taking pictures and cheering us on.  Emi, I remember how proud she was of you when you ran your first 1 mile and how shocked she was at how fast you finished.  Then your first 5k  she was so amazed by how strong you were.

733817_4637492050890_1830594227_nShe championed me during all of my races and really helped me when I was preparing for my first half marathon.  My favorite memory was during the Bentonville half-marathon seeing her and you two girls standing at the dog park at mile 9.  I was so tired, but it lifted me up!  It still makes me smile today when I think of that moment.

What an inspiration she was.  What a support!

But what made me think of this while I ran this morning?  When I run, I use an app called Runtastic to track my runs and so friends can see my runs too.  It was no secret that your mom loved to sleep, but she always would always wake up, if just for a minute, and “like” my run on Facebook, which would cause a “GO GO GO!” sound to be played in my ears while I ran.  This morning, while running, I heard a GO GO GO and it made me think of her and smile.

Sometimes, my dears, its the little things that mean the most in life.

I love you! ~Dad

Why I Love My Church #5

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Digital Accessibility.

Photo Mar 09, 11 54 30 AM

April and I were traveling this last weekend to Little Rock to see family.  And instead of missing church, we watched it on my iPhone at crosschurch.com.

We’ve done this many times on Sundays where we are away or the family is ill or there is something keeping us from being there.  Super convenient.

Whether iPhone, iPad, Macbook, or by the web anywhere on any device, we are connected!!  Now, we MUCH PREFER to be there live and in person to see and worship with our church family, but this is a great “next best thing” if we can’t be there.

And this is just another reason Why I Love My Church!

I Am Always Amazed, But Never Surprised

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I’m always amazed, but am never surprised. While waiting in the car line at Ava’s school to pick her up, I was sitting quietly reflecting on all that’s going on with April.   And quite frankly, it was weighing heavily upon me.

Then all of the sudden my phone rings. It’s a friend from work that I haven’t talked to in a while. He let’s me know that he’s been thinking about and praying for us. He let’s me know that he’s been in the same place as me with his own wife. And reminds me of God’s love and purpose – specifically Romans 8:28. “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.”

I am always amazed, but never surprised that my God looks out for me and that His grace is sufficient for the moment.

Why I Love My Church #4

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Photo Feb 28, 6 32 19 PMDedication to the growth and support of men!

I think that a serious contributor to today’s social problems revolves around men not standing up and actively engaging in the role for which they were intended – to be husbands and fathers.  And society needs us not to just be husbands and fathers, but to be GOOD (or even GREAT) husbands and fathers.

But to be great (or even good) at ANYTHING, it requires practice, active engagement, example and instruction.  Since we just completed the Winter Olympics, think about this – how much time, dedication, practice and focus does it take to be an Olympian?  More than most of us can even imagine …..and that’s just to win a medal that hangs around your neck.

Well, I want to be an Olympian of a husband and father – so how much time should I put in to it?  An hour a day?  Two?  Or is it a lifetime of constant work to strive to be that level of a husband to my wife and father to my children?  I think you know the answer.  And the prize is worth so much more than a medal or prestige.

But I, like many, need help to get there, which is Why I Love My Church!  Not only do I constantly get great counsel and instruction, but I am able to see godly men model the behavior that I seek.  And they don’t say “look at me and do what I do”, they say, “Look at the Father and what He did – model that“.

This last weekend Cross Church held their annual NWA Men’s Conference and it was absolutely fantastic!  Over 1100 men in attendance!  Men speaking in to men’s lives.  Straight talk.  No punches pulled.  We don’t have time to talk around it anymore.  Our children’s lives, our marriages, and our lives depend upon it.  I could go on for thousands of words on the lessons I learned and nuggets I walked away with (and maybe I will in another post).

The point I want to make though is this – I Love My Church because it pours in to the hearts of men and challenges them to be godly men that seek God daily, love their wives, pour in to their children, and encourage and mentor other men.  For this, I am thankful and blessed.

Photo Feb 28, 7 27 33 PM

A Team April Favorite!

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As we go on this CANcer journey, I must say that we have an AMAZING GROUP of supporters!  And our supporters, young and old, encourage us in a number of different and special ways.

One of our favorites this week came to us in the form of an instagram video from Matt, Christie and Scarlett Martin!  We love it!  #GoTeamApril Scarlett Style!

Thank you all for your conitnued support!  #GoTeamApril

ScarlettGTA