Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Yesterday I was cleaning out the kids room and stumbled across the unexpected pull of an uncommon cohort: sentiment. This is not a common reaction for me to "things".  Kids scribbly artwork,"Awww so beautiful", later that night kid in bed, TRASH! That 36th lego I just stepped on, TRASH!  The microscopic doll accessory, TRASH! It's gotten so bad that when Meg or the kids can't find something there first reaction is, Papa probably threw it away. Don't get me wrong I love my kids creations, but there has to be a limit to the piles of scribbles :) So what was this magical item that lulled this buried emotion to the surface. It was this:

I know, confusion, what the heck is that? Many of you know since birth we have had to manage the "bump" on Phoenix's back. This is the first of many contraption we have made to do so. With this came rushing back all the emotion of the beginning of his life, which I don't often have time to feel.  It felt good to remember a piece of his story that has been absorbed into the odyssey of life. I wanted to give you a glimpse of what his back is like, cause I know many of you have never actually seen it.  I think it will help get a better glimpse into the day to day.

This is Phoenix a couple months after he was born


This is Phoenix last October right before we went back to Boston to get the rods removed. Poor buddy he was not doing well here.

So for a moment sentiment and I were aquantances, but now I need to empty the trash again.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Waiting Well

Waiting......we have to wait a lot! From the moment we burst onto the scene we have to wait.  As we journey through life waiting for things is a constant theme: waiting to get older, waiting to get married, waiting to have children, waiting for that promotion, waiting for our triple skinny latte, waiting for this particular season to be over. Some of things we wait for are no big deal, some of the things are a giant scary deal, and there is a whole lot in between. 

Recently many of you know Penelope was in the hospital for 10 days and had to have surgery to remove a mass from inside her small intestines. Waiting while your kid is in surgery is one of those really hard times of waiting. After the surgery the doctor brings you into a little private room to have a post-op conversation about how things went. We have been in so many of these situations through the years that Meg and I instinctively know when its about to be bad.  We always reach over, without saying anything or even looking at each other, and squeeze our hands tightly together. As we brace ourselves for the verbal assault, the doctor dives into her pre-rehearsed discourse. At some point in the middle, she says, "we think she has a rare form of cancer". The air felt like it got sucked out of the room, we both choked back tears, trying to stay focused on what was being articulated.  At the end of it we were left with, "we have to send the biopsy to the lab to confirm, it's going to take a week". 

Waiting a week to find out the fate of the path ahead is hard work! So we waited a week and then we had to wait another. I felt like my brain was fighting a constant onslaught of "what ifs" and theoretical scenarios, like you would a hoard of mosquitos on a summer night. Finally after two weeks, we got the news, NO CANCER! A sigh of relief, thank you God! While what happened is still a mystery, we don't have to walk this road that was certainly abounding with hardship and heartbreak. 

So its been a week since we found out and I got to thinking about how do you wait well? Here a few thoughts from having to wait a lot on many difficult things.

1. There is no grace for what is not real.  Trying to imagine or figure out what is next when it could literally go a million different directions is not helpful. Its like stepping out of the safety of your house into a hail storm. Whatever you are going through in realtime there is grace for that. 

2. Talk and Listen. While worrying is not going to help, talking and listening about how you are feeling can. This takes the burden off of your mind solely and brings balance to the weight of it all. 

3. Laugh! I know, how is that possible? Meg and I have this morbid, borderline disturbing sense of humor when we go through this stuff, it would probably offend you, but it is massively helpful to be able to laugh. Really you should just try and laugh a lot it makes everything better.

Thanks everyone for all your support through the ups and downs of our journey. 

- Mike