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Friday, June 26, 2015

Have You Been Checked?

I took today off of work. Ever since I came back to work after our newest little one was born I've thought to myself, at least twice a week, "it's lame that we have to work to get paid."

I totally understand the support the concept and program but it's still pretty lame. It's like having your appendix taken out. Sometimes we just have to do it but no one enjoys it.

This morning I went with Cami to her six week post-baby check up. She got the "green light" that everything's okay and she's all healed up. We can check her check-up off the checklist.

Going to the doctor is always an adventure, but not a good one. There's a lot of waiting, a couple of minutes of talking, you feel embarrassed and weird, and at the end they tell you that you owe them a bunch of money for the privilege of allowing them to treat you like a nuisance.

Anyway, I can really get off on a rant about the doctor's office Cami goes to. The doctors are great, the office isn't.

Back to the story. We're in the exam room and the nurse handles Cami a stack of sheets and asks her to undress and cover up (as best she can) with these sheets and that the doctor will be in shortly.

Twenty-five minutes later the doctor comes in, Cami has been loosely wrapped in sheets which I loved, but she is now chilly and uncomfortable, and gets the obligatory small talk out of the way and begins to examine Cami.

Any woman who has had a baby becomes very used to being poked and prodded and having stranger's hands in and on the most private areas of their body. How they don't feel violated is beyond me.

I am grateful for doctors and all that they know and do. Sometimes I just wonder if they perhaps forget that while they may be used to examining people's private areas for hours a day, the people being examined are NOT used to it.

As we're leaving the doctor's office I am marveling at this wondrous woman holding my hand and walking beside me. All that she risks and goes through to bring our children into this world.

Children are a miracle. The fact that they have mothers is the greater miracle.

Go tell your mom thank you (and if you and your wife have children thank her too!).

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Only Way to Success

A few years ago we had a very large tree in our yard get blown down in a windstorm. It was a mess to clean up but it gave us a little piece of ground where we could plant a garden.

The next summer we rented a rototiller and prepared the ground for a garden. We planted corn, carrots, watermelon, pumpkins, cucumber, and sweet peas. We got a few peas, the carrots never got big enough to eat, the watermelon, pumpkins, and cucumbers didn't grow, and the corn tasted really weird.

That season was a success only because we had persevered.

This spring we decided to again plant a garden. We turned up the ground, picked what we wanted to grow, and planted seeds. Two months later we have a thriving garden that provides plenty of food for the deer, rabbits, and our resident groundhog.

Thankfully, eating the food is not the main focus of the garden. The purpose of the garden is to give Cami and me an opportunity to teach the boys to work. So each Saturday the boys go out to the garden with us and we pull weeds as a family.

The other chore that the garden requires is watering. The last two weeks have been especially hot and dry here with just a little drizzle of rain every now and then and daytime high temperatures in the 90's.

I've been trying to go and give our plants some water each morning before I go to work to make sure that they don't get too dried out. However, this morning I didn't get to it before I had to leave for a meeting.

When I got home for lunch today the plants looked great. Normally when I don't water them in the morning they're pretty wilted by lunch time. But they weren't today.

You guessed it. My amazing wife had watered the plants. That's one of my favorite parts of being married, helping each other fulfill their responsibilities and keep their commitments.

Cami does a far better job helping me than I do helping her but I try. Ultimately, we need to do our best to help our spouse. We're partners after all and we can only succeed together.

What did your spouse do to help you today?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Elephant Rides & Amazing Women

There's a zoo in our county. It's not a large zoo but it's got some fun animals. Giraffes, tigers, alligators, and even elephants. On weekends you can ride the elephants (I haven't done it yet but I need to!).

During the month of June, as a display of customer appreciation (and probably to increase visitors), the zoo made Wednesday's free for all county residents. We've been trying to go all month as a family and it just never happened...until today.

I had to work so Cami suited up the four children and, armed with baseball caps, they journeyed to the zoo.

Cami was outnumbered, five to one. She evened the odds by inviting her little sister (who's 17) and her parents. Thankfully they went and helped her.

But the amazing thing is that she would have gone, and was planning to go, without them. All by herself. With five little boys. One of which is six weeks old.

Some would call that a kamikaze zoo trip. I would definitely crash and burn if I attempted it.

Not Cami though. I was eating lunch in our dining room when they pulled up. The kids piled out of the van and I ran out to kiss my gorgeous wife. And guess what? She was smiling. She looked happy, a little travel weary, but happy.

I can honestly say I do not know of another woman, or person for that matter, that would have made the trip to the zoo today...with five boys under the age of 90 degree weather...alone...with a six week old.

I married an amazing woman. The moral of the story? Marry an amazing person. If you're already married, make sure that you're married to an amazing person. If you don't know how to do that, email me (tyson @

Monday, June 22, 2015

Did You Get Lucky Today?

Last Thursday was a bit of a rough day for my sweet wife Cami. It wasn't a bad day, in fact, it was a pretty good one. But it was difficult.

She's sweet and helps me provide financially for our family. With five little male mouths to feed we need every penny we can get. So she often babysits other children to earn a few dollars. It's especially nice when she's able to watch little ones that our boys are friends with and with whose parents Cami and I are also friends. Such was the case on Thursday.

Let me interject here that my wife is a definitely a superwoman.

Thursday morning arrives and we go through our morning routine and I get ready to leave for work. I leave for a meeting in a neighboring town and a short while later the other children are dropped off. There are now nine children in our home (seven boys and two girls) all under the age of nine.

I come home to drop off the car after my meeting and walk into the home to see Cami with tears in her eyes hiding in the kitchen. The morning was already off to a rough start.

The children had found some diet Coke in our basement and decided it would be fun to run around with the bottle for a while and then open the cap.

Yep. Soda everywhere. And Cami cleaned it up.

She made the children help but, as anyone that's ever had small children can attest, that typically just makes more work.

When I walked in the door she had just finished cleaning it all up. My timing was perfect...well, perfectly wrong.

As I held her in my arms I was reminded that I married an extraordinary woman. She was watching nine small children! Two of them less than a year old! And she was going to be watching them all day long.

The rest of the day went much better (before I went to work me and the children had quite the talk about not making Cami's life more difficult but helping her).

But I keep remembering holding my beautiful wife in my arms as she shed a few tears in the kitchen and thinking to myself: "Holy cow, I married a superwoman. How lucky am I?!"

How were you lucky today?

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Why I Hate The Bachelorette

Cami and I just finished watching yesterday's episode of The Bachelorette. It's so dumb and after each season we swear we're not going to watch anymore but then we find ourselves sucked back in. It's probably genetic.

My parents are addicted too. So is Cami's little sister and her husband (though he'll deny it) and her older brother and his wife. I'm not sure what it is but we're gluttons for punishment.

So in yesterday's episode (**SPOILER ALERT**) Kaitlyn and the boys go to New York. The one-on-one date is at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Met. The group dates are with a hip-hop legend (I don't know his name, hip-hop isn't really my thing) and at the Broadway show, Aladdin. Kaitlyn and Chris (aka "Cupcake") end up getting to be part of the actual show too!

Other dates we've seen over the seasons are playing with monkeys, traveling to exotic places around the world, helicopter rides, bungee jumping, romantic picnics on deserted beaches, awesome trips to high class vineyards... and the list goes on and on.

The gifts that are given are often elaborate (a welded rose!?!?) or expensive, there is a lot of pressure to say exactly the right thing at the right moment, and the entire thing is just over the top.

And all of it makes me feel inadequate.

When was the last time you planned a date with your spouse that included a hot air balloon ride, a bottle of wine, a casual stroll through the countryside, and a picnic?

I've never done that. The closest I ever came to that was when Cami and I were dating and on Valentine's Day I made heart shaped bologna sandwiches and bought heart shaped brownies and walked with her to the little league field and we ate on the bleachers (she kissed me for the first time that night so it must have been a pretty good date). 

How can I compete with Chris Harrison (he's the host) and ABC's millions?

It's simple. I can't.

And that's the problem. I can't compete. The idea of romance that is being portrayed on this show is grossly distorting reality.

Romance is not a helicopter ride to a private beach in the Bahamas with a LOT of kissing all along the way. Romance is the selfless small and simple things that we do for each other each day.

Leaving a note on the mirror, sending a sweet little text message, staring longingly across the room at her/him. These are the truly romantic things; and they're realistic.

While I don't think anyone would disagree that a candlelit dinner on a private yacht after a day of swimming with dolphins wouldn't be awesome, let's be realistic. And that isn't.

Romance isn't the grandiose, expensive, and "once in a lifetime" things we do. Romance is the selfless small and simple things that we do for each other each day.

But it sure is fun watching that goofy show.

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