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Saying goodbye to an old friend

Letting some friends go is really hard, some it is a blessing in disguise, and some your heart never really heals from.  I have had to say goodbye to a whole lot of people in the course of this life, some from death, some from growing up and growing apart, some from misunderstandings that never got resolved and probably never will.  It is a rare occasion in my life that I am the one to initiate the goodbye.  I value my friendships very much.  I have lots of friends from my childhood who I still talk to and love very much.  A week ago today, I said goodbye.  I am the one that severed the tie.  I am the one that walked away without looking back once.  Deep in my heart I will always love this friend, selfishly so.  There isn’t a day that I wake up that I don’t think of them.  I know with time that will go away and I will think of them less often, then there will be the day I realize that I HAVEN’T thought of them in weeks, and that will make me sad.  I remember the first time we met.  Another one of my friends introduced me in 7th grade, I was 14 years old.  At first, we didn’t get along.  Eventually though, we went everywhere together, totally inseparable.  We cruised in the car together, went to class together, had sleep overs, stayed up late figuring out the problems of the world.  This friend made me feel great always.  I would say that we were best friends for at least 15 years.  After college and the really scary phase of “early 20’s” had passed, I started to see this friend a little differently.  This friend was a little selfish, and really demanding of my time and money.  After marriage and two kids, it was a lot more apparent that there wasn’t room for the friend and my family.  I knew that this was the one friend of mine that my wife hated.  But how could I turn my back after 15 years?  It was harder than I thought it would be.  I have mourned a few friendships that have stuck with me for longer than a few days.  This one is one of those friendships.  I know there are some friendships that tear us apart, there are a few people that I would let back into my life still, some that I will always love no matter what distance separates us.  This friend, I have to just sever all ties, I have to say goodbye and mean it.  So dear can of chew, I will always love you, I will never forget the things that we went through together, I will never forget that you were always there for me with no questions asked.  You are bad for me and I can’t depend on you anymore.  I hope life treats you well. 

 

Love, Kylee

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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My Two Cents

I debated for a few days whether to post on or comment about the shootings in Connecticut.  I really went back and forth.  I guess since everyone is really blowing up cyberspace about it, I may as well post my thoughts about it.  I realize that everyone reading this will or will not agree with me, and that is ok.  I don’t want to change anyone’s mind, sway their thoughts or get them to do anything different.  It is simply a statement of what I see.  Here goes.

I think that it is tragic.  On all levels in all ways.  Tragic.  People lost their lives, not just the students and teachers that died, but families that must now figure out a way to go on, children and teachers that lived must now change their realities having seen and been a witness to such a horrible event, a community no bigger than the one I grew up in must deal with the camera being pointed at them directly for who knows how long, as a country we have to acknowledge that something this horrible has happened, can happen again.  Everyone is really emotional and involved in the debate about what happens now.  The truth is that this is a way to get our attention as individuals.  Is it because God is “not a part of schools”, is it gun control, is it the news and media sensationalizing tragedy and trying to be the first to interview grieving families and 10 year olds?  The answer is yes, to all of it.  We have to look at these things as reasonable people though.  Do we have to force Christianity on people?  No, we don’t.  Can we teach a child’s spirit from a young age that all people deserve love, respect and kindness?  Absolutely.  Those things are the basis for human morality, no just religion.  In the big picture we have to nurture who we are as spiritual beings and stop labeling these things. It is the same basis for taking away art, music and PE for children.  We have to nurture our bodies, minds and spirits.  When one part is missing, bad things happen.  If we take away specials classes, children won’t exercise, won’t imagine and create.  Then what do they have to read and write about?  As parents, we play such a HUGE role in this process.  Am I saying that video games are the anti Christ?  Absolutely not.  As a parent am I saying that we should pay attention to what our kids are playing?  Yes.  Am I saying that we should never let our children watch any TV or movies?  No, not at all.  Am I saying as a parent that we should be available for our children always and monitor what they watch, not just at home but by TALKING to them and asking how their day went when they come home from a friends house?  Yes, for gods sake talk to your kids.  Am I saying that no one anywhere should be allowed to own a gun?  No I am not.  Should we as a nation and as individuals realize that having guns around opens us all up to the possibility of some one, anyone, using these weapons for horrible things?  Yes, we have to acknowledge that as responsible gun owners.  Do I own a gun, no I do not.  Do I think that you shouldn’t be able to own a gun, no I do not.  We acknowledge every other danger in our lives, drunk drivers, driving while texting or calling on the phone, not wearing a seat belt, eating a diet too high in fat, not exercising, having matches, that a cook top can burn your kids, kids sleeping on their backs instead of tummies etc.  The list goes on and on about how we are responsible for everything else.  Guns are made for one thing, to shoot a projectile at a target.  We have to acknowledge that they are WEAPONS, that is all.  They are made to kill.  Does that innately make them bad or good, no.  The person using it makes it bad or good.  Just like everything else.  TV can be used to educate, or used as a distraction and babysitter.  It isn’t the TV that is bad or good, it is how it is used.  The person that uses something for bad or for good is what makes things a tragedy or a blessing.  The potential for harm is a perfect storm of a bad person and an item than has the potential to be used for harm.  Was the Connecticut tragedy possible because the guns were available to this person, yes.  We have to accept that.  Was  the Connecticut tragedy possible because a person wanted to do harm, yes.  We have to acknowledge that too.  So what is the answer?  I don’t know.  I don’t have an answer.  No one does.  We as Americans tend to be quick to point a finger.  Maybe we have to point that finger towards ourselves, all of us.  Was I anywhere near the shooting?  Nope, thousands of miles away.  Did I pull the trigger?  Nope.  Did I see someone suspicious and not trust my gut to call someone?  Nope.  Did I have a part in this tragedy.  Yes, yes I did.  I have a part in it by watching it on the news, by reading the list of those that were killed, by writing about it now.  Honestly, what are these words sent out on the internet going to do about preventing this from happening?  Not a damn thing.  What can I do?  Be there.  Be there for my kids, for my friends kids, for any kid.  I can cast my vote for teachers and education.  Lets face it, we pay teachers next to nothing for what they do.  Why can’t we all say yes, I am willing to spend more on my taxes if it goes to education?  For every kid, not just our own.  We can support groups that do good for mental health in our communities.  People may not know what to do if they have a child with mental health issues, if outlets are available and affordable, maybe more people can get the help they may need. We can talk, really talk, to our kids always.  Being a parent is really hard, accept it and rise to the challenge.  I can know in my life if I only do one thing right it will be to teach my children love and kindness, through my words and actions.  Does that mean strive to be perfect, no not at all, no parent can do that.  But I do want to raise my kids.  I want to teach them about life, about being a good person.  There is a strong possibility that I am full of crap, and that’s ok too.  The only thing I can really do is accept that I have a role in things that happen around me.  Including the happiness and safety of my family, the role I play in my community, my interactions with those around me.  Does any of this fix what happened?  Nope.  You can’t fix something after it is done.  All we can do is take the lessons learned and apply them to ourselves. 

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Almost 6 months later……..

The babies will be six months old on December 12th. Where did all that time go? All of a sudden they are sleeping through the night (most of the time), starting to eat more and more baby foods, rolling over, showing signs of teeth coming in…….I can’t remember where everything went over the past months. They don’t do that cute little newborn cry anymore, now it is loud and they are very aware they are doing it. Their eyes have settled into the color that they will be. They have major personalities now and they are so different from one another, but still very similar. Twins are strange beings by definition, they always want to know where the other one is, get upset when the other is upset, hold hands and talk and play together already. I feel like I am in their world, but most of the time I am an observer. It is almost like they have this big secret between them that no one else really understands. Everyone that we have met that has twins says that if we make it through the first year, we will be repaid. I can already see this becoming truth. They have someone built in that understands them and has been there with them from the first moment of life. I still can’t wait to see more of who they are come out. I know that our little Jojo will be a hard one to please, she doesn’t laugh easily, seems to really understand what you are saying even though she can’t communicate it yet and really is the most independent little thing I have ever met. She always wants her own “dance space” and will only snuggle on her terms, she is too busy for that most of the time. Her brother, on the other hand, will smile on cue, thinks everyone is hilarious, already KNOWS that he is a charmer, will always stop what he is doing to be picked up and snuggled and quite frankly prefers it that way. It really is weird how much you know about them when they haven’t even been around for that long. As for Cherylynn and I, we are tired. We are a happy kind of tired though, she falls asleep instantly at night and sleeps like a rock. I still get up a few times to check on the babies before I can fall asleep.  Once I fall asleep I am out for the count.  I can’t remember the last time we did something on a whim.  I really can’t remember the last time we slept in on a Sunday morning.  I hope that I can post something about them before they are turning one, but I won’t hold my breath.

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Twins = no time

So haven’t been able to share my thoughts in a REALLY long time. As Grant, a high school friend of mine, put it “babies are time vampires”. He is absolutely right. I woke up today and realized that my babies are almost two months old. Those thank you letters from our Canon baby shower are still sitting on the island in the kitchen waiting for addresses. The project that I started in the backyard to make a little patio and fire pit sits right where I left it months ago, we still haven’t been to the drive in once this summer and my wife goes back to work in a week. Where did the time go? My babies went from fragile little newborns to holding their heads up and sleeping through the night already. I am going to wake up tomorrow and they are going to be asking me to borrow the car and 20 bucks to go on a date. This however is a fantastic time, they are growing and learning so much so fast but I can still remember what it felt like to feel them kick in their mommy’s tummy. I can still remember how exciting and scary it was to watch them come into this world. For those of you that didn’t know, they were born on June 12, 2012, five minutes apart. Henry weighed 6 pounds and came out screaming. Josie weighed 5 pounds 14 oz and came out blue and a footling breech. It took 56 seconds for her to take a breath. I also took me 56 seconds to take a breath. A babies cry will never ever sound as good as the first cry she made. There are many things that no one ever tells you about becoming a parent, I think because in all honesty time makes you forget and that is a very good thing. For example, babies cry and poop a lot. As a normal adult human you know this even if you don’t have kids, but the truth of it is more than you can imagine. If you were the squeamish type before having kids, that goes out the window as well. Yes I have went to Target to get diapers and other household items needed and realized half way through my trip that I had baby puke down the back of my shirt. Normally this would have completely grossed me out, now I barely notice it. I have been peed on, puked on and pooped on and taken it all in stride. No one tells you that it will take you three hours just to pack the car up with them to go to the store to buy a tomato. No one tells you how hard it is to go back to work and leave them with someone else, even if you leave them with your spouse. No one tells you that you will never again feel like you did before kids, or that you won’t really want to. No one tells you how much respect you have for others that have done it before you, including your parents. No one tells you that you will have more conversations about poop then you ever have in your life before. Fortunately, as they get older, so do you. As they learn new things, so do you. When they are first born, you are a newborn parent as well. Everyday that passes you get better and better at your art form, and so do they. For those of you that have yet to receive your thank you note from us, I am so sorry. The time vampires that live in my house have made it impossible for me to get anything done! Sincere thank yous to all of you that have supported us and helped us along the way! To my friends about to go down this journey of parenthood, good luck! You are in for the ride of your life.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Things that I need to learn……

My life is headed to eternal chaos. This chaos can happen at any moment now. I feel like I am already being pulled in every direction and the big change hasn’t even happened yet. My lovely mother in law has agreed to completely change her life, move from CA to CO and live with us for at least the first year of the babies lives. Which is awesome. I won’t have to worry that the babies are ok, that their needs aren’t being met etc. Adding another person to the household can be stressful, even though it is wanted and appreciated. I have to re-learn sharing my space (which I can get very cranky about). I found it surprisingly hard to relinquish duties that I had solely taken care of for the past months. I hate that I have to cook diner every night, yet felt very strange not having to prepare food for my wife and I. I dread doing all of our laundry and hauling it all upstairs to put away (since I don’t want preggers going up and down the stairs to our basement) yet feel a little sad that I don’t have to make sure we have clean clothes. I am torn between being exceedingly grateful for the help (which I am) and feeling inadequate that I am no longer relied on to complete these tasks around the house for my family. Every single blog, book, rant etc that I have read on being the parent of twins say the same thing. If there is help available, take it. No one ever mentions how strange that can feel, especially when you are bit of a control freak and are used to completing an insane amount of things on your own. I have been compiling a list of things in my head that I really have to learn.

1. Realize that you cannot control everything, life is chaos and I just need to learn to live with that.
2. Allow others to help you, even when it hurts your pride.
3. Remember that “down time” means something different to everyone.
4. Remember that these babies aren’t just mine. They are a part of their grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends and family. Allow them to be a part of all of that.
5. Don’t focus on the stuff that annoys me that I can’t control. Focus on all the awesome stuff that is going on around me.
6. RELAX. The last lesson, but perhaps the biggest one for me. I am pretty sure that I have been running on pure adrenaline for the past two months at least. I have found that now I can’t shut off my brain even when I want to. I even dream about the things that stress me out. Life will absolutely go on whether I choose to settle down or not. I may as well enjoy it.

We have, at most, 19 days to go until our little ones are here. I know that many of these things I need to learn will come with time and the babies will teach me many of them. But for now, at least I am aware of them and can at least be welcoming to the changes and learn as I go.

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Almost there…..

We are just a few short weeks out from meeting our babies.  The doc said that everything is going so well that she will let the babies go until June 17th, and if they haven’t come on their own by then she will induce to get them to come on out.  Both babies are big and strong, which is such a relief.  I really can’t wait to meet them and see what they look like and what their personalities are like.  A lot of people have been asking me lately what I think about all the stir around civil unions in Colorado and the civil rights agenda that seems to be becoming a major issue everywhere this year.  I guess I am a good candidate to ask my thoughts since my family and I really encompass all the aspects of the civil rights platform.  Two chicks that are going to raise two babies.  One of us from a very “hippie” upbringing in California, the other from a “Leave it to Beaver” upbringing in a very conservative small town in Colorado.  Hippie mixed with Catholic, makes things quite interesting.  To answer the questions posed is a difficult task.  On one hand, I feel very deeply that no one can deny my rights and it is wrong for them to try and do so, especially when using something as personal as religion.  It can be very hurtful.  On the other hand, it is too exhausting to really give any energy towards the argument.  I have always had a group of friends that really span and stereotypes that are out there.  I have Jewish friends, gay, straight, Mormon, Catholic, Buddhist, white, black, Latino…..tall and short too. I think the best way that I can say I feel is that I am a fiscal conservative (except for education) and a social liberal.  It is a strange mix, that I will admit, but who says that I have to decide my feelings along party lines?  I don’t.  Because party lines don’t explain how I feel.  I really think that many in my age group feel that same way.  I am excited to see how things unfold as my age group becomes the group that is in power and making more of the decisions.  I think we are headed in the right direction, yes we take a few detours, but the right direction all together.  A friend of mine, who happens to be very conservative and a Mormon, worded it perfectly when we were having a discussion recently.  He said that he and his family just love people for who they are.  Which I know for a fact he does.  He said this while having diner with two lesbians who are pregnant with twins.  A perfect example of a person that actually lives what they believe.  When you approach life that way, it takes all the labels out of things.  It doesn’t matter what religion we are, what color we are or who we love.  Accepting and caring about one another because of who they are, not using who someone is to deny them is the direction that I hope our generation is heading.  When we really get down to it, I would rather talk about things that we can change, our economy, our education system, our environment.  Those are the things that we can truly have a say in.  I can’t change being gay anymore than someone can change being Latino or tall.  Our babies will be joining this world in a few short weeks, and I have to say that I see the positive things and feel that the world they will see will be a better one than I have seen. 

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

It has been awhile…..

I have been so busy. I guess you really don’t realize how much time it takes to have kids until you are right there. My time has been spent making sure that my now very pregnant wife is ok, preparing my house for the impending arrival of my little ones, working and chasing the ever elusive sleep. Add into that the amazing baby shower that our friends here in NOCO threw for us, spending time with mom and dad, it gets down right exhausting. I know that things are only going to escalate from here. Strangely, I am really ok with all of this. I can function now on much less sleep that I required before, I can go an entire day without eating (although grumpy when I have to). We are now roughly 66 days away from meeting our babies. A little over two months. It seems like forever and tomorrow all at the same time. I feel like I am living in a dream a lot. Like I am somehow living someone elses life. When I do get a free moment all to myself, I find myself running through a list in my head of all the things that I want to teach my children. Not the typical how to ride a bike or how to throw a spiral, those are there too, but the more important things. To be kind to others always, that family is first, that hard work really does pay off, that no one ever found the answers they were looking for by sitting on the sideline. I keep all of these little thoughts I have in a notebook. I have a list for my son and a list for my daughter. Let’s face it, some things are different for boys to learn and for girls to learn. For my son, never ever ever hit girls, even when they are asking for it. For my daughter, never be afraid to stand up for yourself and those around you, do the right thing even when others won’t. For my son, it is ok to show emotion and be caring. For my daughter, its ok to speak up and have a voice. Granted, many of these things are a true statement whether male or female. I worry and think about my babies constantly. I find it so strange that I am completely in love with them already, and we haven’t even met. All I really hope for is that I can be the best to them as I can. I know that I am going to make mistakes as a parent, I know that I won’t be perfect, I just hope that they understand how much they are cared about and loved. What more does any parent want really? Just to know that they made the best life possible for their kids, that is all we can really hope for in the end.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2012 in Uncategorized