Archive for April, 2009
There are a variety of reasons I hate hotels.
- They never get my pillow right. The ones they call firm, are nothing like the pillow I use that is as flat as your grandpa’s butt cushion on the rocker. I have been using it since I was like 13, come on now.
- They have terrible internet connections. This has been mitigated since my built in verizon card got installed in my work computer, but its still not home sweet comcast.
- The irons always have black marks on them. I don’t know about you…but this freaks me out. I’m terrified of leaving black marks on my shirt minutes before I have to head to an important meeting.
- You have a random person wading through your clothes on the floor to make your bed each day…Awkward, a bit? (i do the “do not disturb” basically 24×7 now though)
But the biggest reason of all…I don’t have Olivia to wake me up in the morning with her bubbly, attention demanding, personality: “I’M AWAKE…I’M AWAKE DADDY”
—On a side note, today was nice. Took liv to dinner, then Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory to get her a little somethin somethin for the sweet tooth (i’m pretty sure she has more than one). Then we quickly packed my bag and headed over her mema’s house where we hopped in the hot tub for 10 minutes in the rain…the temperature was like 98 degrees…please no emails about kids in hot tubs :) I left my girl there around bedtime and shot up here to MA for an 8am meeting tomorrow. Which means its time for bed.
On a side note…is anyone selling a 3 or 4 bedroom house in or near Monmouth county…with a basement? I’m seriously thinking it might be time to move. I need to relocate the anthem of hope office out of my living room…and the photography studio out of my dining room :)
***** NOTE: I deleted the adjective “weird” from the random person cleaning my room. I had no intention to say a person with this job is at all weird. I intended to say that the very idea of someoneyou have never met cleaning up after you is quite weird. I apologize for the unintentional offense.
I was asked to speak at Misty’s high school 10 yr reunion this weekend. This was the first speaking engagement I’ve taken since before she got really sick last year. I’ve turned a couple down, but this was the first I’ve actually done. It was nice, a bit rusty…but nice. You’ll see me out speaking much more in the coming months as AoH gains steam :)
Here is the MP3:
(if you aren’t from Calvary Academy, skip ahead to time 3:39)
Here are some images:
We finally pulled the trigger. Livi got bangs! It went well thanks to Heather’s brilliant lollipop distraction method…oh and her favorite show Word World on in the background :)
I just finished my taxes…well, an hour or so ago. It got me thinking…the only bad part about getting a few bucks back in a return is that you were dumb enough to let the government hold your cash all year and ear interest on it :)
Anyway, exciting news on http://anthemofhope.com today, if you want to visit.
Well, my little lady is just loving her new Flower Girl title. Tonight, we met up with some of the bridal party from Vanessa Joy’s wedding at an unnamed bridal store (I’d mention the name, but then I’d have to tell you how horrible they were to Vanessa tonight, and I’m not in the mood for that type of post).
I helped her get her dress on and she ran around the store like she owned the place. She kept saying “I like my dress…I like my dress”. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pictures. Just click the image below to visit the gallery:
On a totally different note, today Olivia dropped a new one on me. Driving home from the dress fitting, she said “I want Mommy back.” She has never said that…I mean, we have talked about Mommy a lot, but I don’t think she has ever said that. At the end, she was ok with knowing that we would see mommy someday. In a very unusual state of affairs, she had talked me into tears, but she herself was quite alright :)
If you have been around much at all you know of my Misty. Her life continues to impact me profoundly. But there is a small piece of this story that I have not yet told…none of you have heard this. I want to reach back half a year to the last day of our stay in the ICU at Monmouth Medical Center. I remember our room so vividly. I can feel the air blowing up from the vent on my back as I lean to rest from standing by her side. I can feel the texture of the ropes holding the tube in misty’s mouth…the tube that kept her breathing. I can remember the computer screen that we watched as her vitals slowly got worse each day. I can still feel her swollen cheek pressed against my lips and the softness of her hair growing back after we had stopped chemo. By all accounts, there was no hope. By worldly standards, there was nothing to find joy in. Yet, in the midst of that place…in the middle of the end, there was incredible peace. I still can’t qualify it, but I want to read you a note that I got from Misty’s best friend Ann:
Just wanted to tell you one of my observations and something that I will never forget. There was a great sense of Peace all around Misty those last months. Because of your focus on God, listening to Scripture, worship and prayer time, your house seemed to be covered in a great big blanket of peace. I experienced this most especially those final days in the hospital. I spent those days praying, reading the Bible, and worshiping with nearly every waking moment, but I still felt anxious and worried…Until I stepped into Misty’s room in the ICU. There…was peace.
But the peace isn’t what I want to write about today. I want to write about the source of the peace. See, those last months, Misty gave up fighting an earthly battle. I’m not saying she gave up – by no means. She gave up the earthly battle and took on a spiritual one. She began to run after God in a new way. In her pursuit, she found a peace that covered us. But let’s go back to that hospital room for a moment.
Misty’s brain had stopped working and we legally had to stop the life support. Accordingly, I had asked the doctor to pull her off the breathing machine…and he did. Misty’s heart began to beat more slowly…and more slowly still. But there was a song in the room. I am not speaking figuratively; this was a song that filled the silence between the beeps of the monitors and the quiet last prayers I uttered. The CD we were listening to had come to a song called “Running” by Klaus. Its words, I will never forget. (Click HERE to listen to the song)
I hear the voice, the voice of the one I love, He’s calling my name. I hear the voice, the voice of the one I love, He’s calling my name. He’s saying “Come up higher; you’ll hear the angels sing, come up higher my beloved. Come up higher and leave this world behind, you’ll find me to be beautiful…”
I am running, I am running after You, You’ve become my soul’s delight. I am running, I am running after You, here with You I find my life.
I didn’t plan that. I didn’t pick the CD because of those lyrics…in fact, I hadn’t even listened to them all that closely before. This was just a little gift from God that helped me find peace in the midst of this (there are others I might choose to share some day). But there, that night, my best friend died. She left us to the voice of Jesus calling her home.
Six months later and I’m literally sitting here on my couch holding a piece of that rope that I had taken off Misty’s face. It’s Easter, and as I think of how Jesus ran after our hearts, I’m remembering how Misty ran after Him. She trusted him like I’ve never seen anyone trust. That place that she got to is a place of glory I can only hope of reaching. And while my heart still breaks at the thought of not having her…I can’t help but smile at who she became…at the legacy she left for our daughter. That legacy is why there is still peace today for me.
Oh, one more thing. Three different people told me that the female voice on that song sounded like Misty. None of them knew what I’m telling you right now but they just heard the song and thought it sounded like Misty…and all approached me at different times. (Just another little gift)
Goodnight Misty. Happy Easter.
I’m slightly addicted to audio books. If you have been aroudn for very long, you will have inevitably observed this. I was thinking about this today beacuse I scheduled a work trip to Atlanta this month, so I will need to find a good book for the flight and time in the rental car. Well, the other day someone asked me where to buy them. Yes, this has always been a problem. You go into your local borders and all they have is 4 shelves of books by Obama, McCain, even Palin…and then some CS Lewis and the occaisional John Maxwell leadership book.
I have found a bunch on amazon over the years, but my latest favorite is:
I like it for a couple reasons. First, they have download options. When I need something last minute (this is 95% of my buying timeframe) its right there. Also, the flexibility of downloading as an MP3 saves so much time if you are ending up on an mp3 player. And most newer cards now support MP3s right in the dashboard CD player (I’m a big fan of this new feature). Oh…and they also give away a free book every month. It’s worth the visit just to grab the free book.
Well, since we have launched http://anthemofhope.com I have managed to get to sleep a little earlier, but life hasn’t slowed up all that much. Here are some quick bullets:
- Tim Barber (a fellow anthem of hope-er) and I met with the president of Valley Forge Christian College this week and he was overwhelmingly supportive. In fact, it was uncanny how much he was ready to endorse and support the movement. That was exciting. I’ll be speaking to the entire college there in the fall.
- On the home front: Olivia is cracking my up everyday. Lately, she has been saying “sucker” – thanks to her aunt – which, while I tell her not to say it, it takes all my strength to not laugh in her face. Imagine this well spoken 2 year old, dropping her sippy cup and coming out with “sucker!”.
- Also, April 5th was my brothers birthday. I love him quite a bit…many of you do too. Happy birthday justin :)
- I found this link from Courtney’s blog. Buy a shirt and feed an orphan for a month. Check it out: http://www.tinyrockstar.com/
Here is a note from olivia (you may have seen this already in the right hand column)
I stopped by the church of my childhood for opening night of their new play. One of my AoH team members is the technical director (good job tim).
Click below for some images from the show.
PS…I took liv to an easter egg hunt today. It was fun :)
Tonight marks the return of Friday nights (and saturdays) to my little girl. If you have been paying attention to the happenings of Anthem of Hope, you have probably wondered how much time I got to spend with Liv. Well…this month has been very busy getting http://anthemofhope.com off the ground, but it was just a season. Weekends are back to you my little girl :)
We went to the beach tonight (her request) then out for pizza (again, her request) and finished with a date to the Lighthouse for some italian ice. A bath and an episode of Word World and she is off to bed.
I caught a shot of her doing the ABCs. She can do it on her own…but wasn’t playing nicely for the camera tonight:
And, I’d like to challenge all my fellow dads…we can so easily get wrapped up in work, or hobbies, or especially something that we thing is a great cause. But these super busy seasons, are supposed to be just that…seasons. They should be the exception, not the rule. I know that often in my life, I could have done a better job of making Misty a priority over work or church work. The last couple years were not this way…but there were certainly times that were. I do regret that. Work will always be there…family won’t.
Anyway, enjoy the weather. It’s getting nice in NJ :)