Tag Archives: Family

Dear Arizona – Month Eight (Family)

Dear Arizona,

Well dear, you are now eight months old. I can’t believe how much has changed since last month. This was such an exciting time for your mother and me, as we were able to celebrate your first Christmas with you. Although you will never remember it, it was truly one of the best Christmases I have ever had. (Don’t worry, dear ole dad took plenty of pictures to remember this!)

Before I start right in with telling you about how important I believe family is, I wanted to let you know about some of the things you accomplished this month. You had been eating solid foods, but your mother really stepped it up and you ate yogurt, bananas, chocolate pie (I know right?) and you started drinking water. Then you started talking more than just loud sounds and we will argue forever about if they were real words or not, but you are saying DaDa! I also get the occasional Daaaaaaad, sometimes you blurt out baba and nana but they are not really words, just sounds mostly. Still, it melts my heart when you say dada! Last but not least by any means, you started to crawl! It was so amazing to watch you crawl and I was there with you, of course capturing it all on video! Now that you are right at the 8-month mark, you are all over the place!

I titled this month “Family” for a reason. You see darling, I grew up in what I think was a very loving household. Now my dad was not always a big hugger type, but mom (grandma) was. This has rubbed off on me and I hug you and your brother a lot. I want our family to always be close. I want to celebrate holidays, birthdays, and special events. Yes they will be big deals! Along with that, we will be doing family activities as long as I am breathing. This will include adventures, sport activities, and doing things as a family. I believe this is important because because we get to bond, be close and enjoy each other. I want to avoid you or your brother sitting in your room on a computer or video game just ignoring the world. So when you grow up, when you get a family of your own, I hope you will understand and do the same with your family. I still have fond memories of all of the cool things we did and places we went. I want you to have those same memories.

With that said, this was your first Christmas in what I hope to be many in your lifetime. We did so much this year, not just because you entered our lives, but because we wanted to create memories for your brother with you and because it was just fun, cool stuff! Christmas is the ultimate time for family. So always remember that no matter what, we should always spend the holidays together no matter where we are living or how mad at each other we are. We are all we have, you, your brother, your mother, and me.

Your grandma (my mom) and I have had a Christmas tradition we created when she finally moved to Texas and I try to keep it every year. She loves looking at Christmas lights, so every year, we go drive around on Christmas Eve and look at lights and then go and eat. This year we had you and although you slept through the most of it, it was fun. We all crammed into the truck and went driving around Arlington. Then we went to downtown Fort Worth and saw the giant Christmas tree in Sundance Square. This year was special because we had both of your grandmothers with us.

We actually did a couple of new adventures, which may or may not become some of our family traditions, but they were fun. The first adventure was actually to head out to The Ballpark in Arlington, (yes the baseball stadium where the Texas Rangers play) and we saw more christmas lights. Your brother and I also went ice skating! It was a lot of fun and they also had man made snow we tried to take cool pictures in.

The next adventure we took was going on the Polar Express. Yes it is modeled after the movie (which we watched right before hand) and it was a ton of fun. You actually drank chocolate milk that Mrs. Clause brought us and you received your first ever Christmas Bell. By the way, the milk was special snow chocolate milk from the north pole made by Santa and his elves. After the train ride, we watched a show put on by Santa, Mrs. Clause, and his elves. I held you all night and you never stopped smiling!

The last adventure we took was to head out to Durango, CO and go skiing at Purgatory Ski Resort. We took a road trip from Dallas to Roswell, NM to pick up your brother and then we went to Durango the following day. Being 8-months old, it was quite a long trip for you in the car seat, but you as always, were just the best baby. Although you didn’t get to actually ski yet, we all did and we had so much fun. We made some memories we will never forget. These are the type of things I am trying to tell you to cherish and keep close to you for the rest of your life. We all laughed at each other, had fun and created memories I won’t forget.

Coming home you slept a lot and were such an angel, even though we stopped and did some funny things. We are a wacky family full of fun and spontaneous happenings. We stopped and took selfies in front of state road signs and we now have Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas added to the list. We also stopped in Amarillo, TX and saw Cadillac Ranch. It was not as cool as I remember, but we did get in more selfies and your brother managed to get his brand new white shoes full of mud.

You definitely had a busy month eight. More than anything I want you to know how much you are loved by everyone in our family. You have a brother who adores you and loves spending time with you, three grandparents who can’t get enough of you, a mother who loves you more than life itself, and me. Arizona, you are my baby girl, there is nothing on the planet that I would not give to you and nowhere I would not go to make sure you safe. I want you to know that I love our family and I hope you do to as you get older. I hope you grow up to love the weird, quirkiness of our family and the adventures we take. Family is the most important thing to me, please stay close with your brother. I know there is a good age gap, but as you both get older, stay in each other lives. Don’t wake up one day and have it been 25 years and you have not seen your brother in several years or just once a year. Be a part of each others lives. Talk on the phone, video call each other, spend time with nieces and nephews, and spend Christmas or at least Christmas Eve together. Create your own traditions and make them your own, pass them down to your children.

Love Dad.

Dear Arizona – Month Two (Hugs & Kisses)

Dear Arizona,

Two months and I can not begin to tell you how much you have changed my life. I will probably say this everytime I write a post about you this year, but everytime it will be true. I am still in awe of this little human I created with your mom and how you grow every day. I can’t stop hugging and kissing on you and when I am hugging you, I feel like I need to use my bear hug as a shield to protect you from everything.

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Wow…two months old and you are growing like crazy. It is hard to look back and imagine you being born at a mear 5lbs. It is the beginning of July and you already take after your mother and me. You love to be outside in the warm air and in the pool. You also love to be naked, which is probably par for the course because if it wasn’t for you kiddos, I would be too. Your mother and I love the sun also, we worship the sun in the summers and love the outdoors.

It’s been a busy month two for you, you ran with your mom in three (3) 5k races, finishing in 3rd place in one (age group), your grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, and you were at your first Star Wars laser light show and orchestra. You even slept through the fireworks!

I titled this months words of wisdom “Hugs and Kisses” because I want you to know one thing; always believe it is okay to hug and kiss others, especially family and friends. I grew up in a fairly affectionate family. We hug a lot, I still kiss my mom when I say goodbye and I always tell my parents and your mom, your brother, and you, that I love you. I want you to know that it is okay to have your heart on your sleeve. Hug your friends and more than anything hug your family.

HUGS

When I grew up in Michigan, friends didn’t hug each other all that much. It wasn’t until I moved to Texas where it was socially acceptable to hug your friends. Especially for men to hug, it makes some people uneasy, but I don’t care and if you are my friend, I will hug you. I want you to have a family of your own one day and I hop you hug and kiss your children. I hope you always know you were loved and that we show you as well as tell you. I hope you never outgrow hugging your dear old dad or never get too “cool” to do so. I remember in high school after my wrestling matches, I would always go up in the stands and hug my mom. When I got my first dirt bike, I ran and jump into a bear hug with my dad. I hope you do these things things as well.

We have a family of love, we hug, we kiss, we cuddle during movies, and we always let the others know how we feel, especially when leaving for the day for school or work. Just know it is okay and never be ashamed or embarrassed to tell us in front of others. I hope you always feel safe when hugging me or your mom and I hope as you become a mother yourself, you never stop hugging your own children.

Funny story I have to share, on the day you were born, I could not wait to hold you. In fact I knew all about the skin contact and how important it was to bond with your baby. When they asked me if I was ready, I was in the chair, with my shirt off (yes skin to skin is very important) ready to go!!

KISSES

First of all I want to tell you that there is nothing, I repeat nothing wrong with kissing people you love. As you grow older, you will understand more of what I mean. Now, when your teenage hormone self re-reads this, I am not telling you that is it okay for you and Johnny-boy to be making out in public, no that is not acceptable. What I am telling you is that you should not be afraid to kiss your mother or me when you say goodbye. To date, I still kiss my mother, your grandma, every time we leave the house.

When I was in high school, after everyone of my wrestling matches, I would come off the mat and head up in the stands and kiss my mom. I think after a while it became a superstitious ritual for me, but I still showed her love in front of all my friends…and guess what? Nobody cared or thought it was weird. As a matter of fact, I think it brought more of the team together, they started loving on their parents as well.

Lastly, I want to leave you with this. I will kiss your mother anywhere, anytime, period. I love her more than the air I breath. I want you to always know, that when you are in love, kissing in public is okay. Again, I don’t want people thinking you are weird and “making out” is not acceptable, but, hugging and kissing will always be okay. Don’t let anyone tell you different and don’t let some jerk boyfriend of yours change you to think this has to be done only inside the home and out of sight.

I love you Arizona,

Love Dad.

Dear Arizona – Month One (Singing)

Dear Arizona,

There is so much I want to tell you. So many things I can’t wait to do with you. I know I’m rushing things just a bit, but I can’t wait until you start talking and eventually singing. By the time you are old enough to read this, you will no doubtedly wonder why I feel this way. Well I can tell you this, singing in our family is essential to our everyday life.

As you grow older, you will soon discover how singing makes our family a happy family. Your dad loves to sing, in fact you can tell what kind of mood I am in just by the singing alone. I have been known to walk around the house just singing songs. I sing in the shower, in the car, and when I married your mother, my bachelor party was at a karaoke bar! (That’s where adults go to sing)

Your brother LOVES to sing. He sings every song that comes on the car and when we play music in the mornings, you will find him singing as well. One thing I hope you take from your brother is the love of all music and all types of singing.

Your mother has the most angelic voice I have ever heard. She sings you to sleep and just hearing her sing warms my head. Your mom loves to sing as well, she loves to karaoke and even though she thinks she sounds horrible, I love it. One reason I love her so much. When we drive in the car she harmonizes with me and we laugh a lot.

All we wanted was YOU!

As I told you before, your dear ole dad is a songbird. For me it started when I was young, I’ve always loved to sing. In high school I was in choir and I had the lead role in the musical “Grease”. I think I sound good and I’ve been singing karaoke since my college years!

One of my favorite things to do is sing to you. You may not remember it right now, but I sing you to sleep most nights, I make up songs and sing classics. One of my favorite songs to sing to you is “Sweet Child O Mine” by Guns N Roses. While I do love the original version, I sing to you a slower version, much like this video. The lyrics just fit perfectly with our family. In fact when I first started singing to you, I would cry just looking at you out of sheer happiness and being overwhelmed that you actually came into our lives.

Here is a version I really like:

Here is another version I also dig!

I know this is a long letter, but most of all I want to tell you, if you love to sing, then sing. It doesn’t matter if you sound good or not, express your joy in the world through song. Some people will say they whistle while they work, well I do both, but singing out loud while doing anything is fun and makes me feel good. Don’t listen to anyone who tries to take that fire or passion away from you. And if you don’t like to sing, well that’s okay too.

Happy one month old birthday sweetheart, I love you.

Love Dad.