baby steps

no folks, I’m not pregnant. but there’s definitely been a pregnant pause out here in my wasteland of a blog. I’m trying to think of a great excuse why to explain my total abandonment of this site. and instead of excuses, we’ll just try the truth.

I’ve been uninspired. and overwhelmed. and mentally taxed. and physically exhausted.

now I know a lot of you just rolled your eyes and sighed.  that’s fine. your reaction belongs to you and not me.

truthfully, for quite a while now, I’ve struggled with writing- more because I wanted to be that great sensation that you all long for.  but in chasing that, I forgot the passion of why I write. I write for me. I write for what I believe in. and most of all, I write as a release of passion and pent up ideas/values/beliefs and love.

so I’m going to commit to once a week right now. because I seem to have so much to say- whether anyone reads or comments. and it may happen that I really don’t need a full scale blog but a Medium account to post my rantings.

but right now, let’s just take baby steps.

Happy 9th birthday dSwag!


Today you are 9.  NINE!  It’s the last year of single digits and I plan on living each of them fully with you.

I remember when you were born, born asleep- not quite ready for our hustle and bustle world.  You slept through delivery. That’s right. Slept clear through the next 2 days as well.  Then you woke up and partied so hard that they kicked you out of the hospital nursery that last night for being TOO LOUD. Not crying LOUD, just making noise LOUD.

At 3 months, you refused to roll and we took you to the doctor.  They told us nothing was wrong.  At six months, you refused to sit up and again, back to the doctor fearing the worst. They told us you were lazy. At nine months, you drug yourself around like a sniper and again, the doctor said “he’ll get up and run when he’s good and ready”.  You started running, not walking, at 13 months and you haven’t stopped yet. But when you do, you fall down fast asleep- and I’ll admit, that’s when I always have a camera ready.

when he sleeps its awesome...

when he sleeps its awesome… left to right: book sleeper, during the middle of mardi gras sleeper, in the middle of a fit sleeper and snuggler

You’ve always been that kid who is random. Random as in: no one can predict your next move or thought. Unlike your brother, you would say and do the most unexpected things.   It used to freak me out when you would do or say something extraordinary.  I would spend hours trying to decide exactly what you meant or what was happening inside your little head. Your dark eyes and inch long eyelashes make such pretty pictures.  

You’re a little guy- and you get that from my daddy and me. We aren’t a tall people. But you’re tough and scrappy and you don’t back down from anything. You laugh and you’re so very quick with a thought that it blows my mind- how street savvy and cool you truly are at such a young age.

You’re still my snuggler upon occasion. And although I know you’re way old enough to cross a street, I still reach for your hand every single time. Maybe it’s because letting you grow makes me grow- and I’ve been pretty alright where you’ve been for the last 5 years.  You have more personality in the tiny tip of your little pinkie finger- more than I’ll have in a lifetime.

You’re growing into such an amazing young man- it’s hard to let that happen.  You open my door for me and always check on me- when I’m sad or angry- you comfort me. I see you running rings around others in our household and wish I could bottle up all the love and energy you give, but I’d never sell it to anyone else.  I’m too selfish for that.

so much swagger, so little time...

so much swagger, so little time…

Happy birthday my little swagger-king, my d-money, my ninjadork. I’m going to try to live each and every single day of your nine’s with grace, dignity and reflection- keeping the best part of your snuggles for myself. You’ve created dozens of nicknames and personas and I plan on hugging each of them this next year.

All my love,


Happy birthday @cole_nlr


It’s the eve of your 12th birthday and your mom is a super-blogger-slacker. I couldn’t let the year pass without noting its significance.

You’re the kid we weren’t supposed to have. You’re also the kid who had such violent seizure we weren’t sure you’d survive. Not only did you survive, you came home weighing almost 10 oz more than you did when you were born.

You’re the kid that climbed a chain-link fence at the gentle age of 2 to get some gum out of the car. You’re the kid that never talked in 3 word sentences. When we asked where you got the fruit snacks, you said “i couldn’t find a grown up so i asked myself and i said it was ok”.

thing 1 (when he still had a tiny bit of baby fat)

thing 1 (when he still had a tiny bit of baby fat)

You’ve told me that my diets don’t seem to work, that we need to return your baby brother to the hospital before someone missed him. You’ve ratted yourself out before we could catch you. You’ll argue with a brick.

You’ve built a model black hole and an kickin Samuel Adams project. Just yesterday, you completed a super awesome mobile phone/string art project complete with jokes, facts, and a gameshow opportunity. You’ve built numerous businesses- including selling hose water to the roofers working next door and “crystals” to the early morning walkers. You helped define a new anti-bullying program at IHE and you’ve remained true to your friends even when you got your feelings hurt. You kicked elementary school’s butt and are working on middle school now.

Think of the children...

Think of the children…

We argue. We frustrate one another. We butt heads.

Until recently.

Until you spent a weekend in a batcave in the middle of Newton County.

Then i started to see changes.

A gentler, more reflective manchild. One who opens his arms more and accepts the mom hugs. Its like you started changing overnight and i find myself torn between this age of maturity and longing for the wildness of your childhood. You get the jokes now and you’re so funny.

You’re so loving and kind and super adorbs and handsome. Your heart is bigger than your vocabulary. You’re so quick to offer a helping hand or an awkward pat. And i realize that it means you’re growing up and becoming more responsible and that all that churchin that Ms Rhonda, the Wiselys and Mr Iggy invested prepared you for Mr Bobby, Mr Jerm, and Mr Charlie.



Youve got so much more figured out at your age than i ever did. I barely knew my name and more importantly, which hair barrettes i would wear. You’re secure in your faith and in running after Christ. You lead without making waves and love fiercely. Youre steadfast in your beliefs and in your passion for baseball, your friends, your education.

Happy birthday, Chief. I love you more than all the stars in the sky and all the chocolate on the earth. But I’m keeping you as a child for this last year and will try to remember to slow down enough to enjoy it before you officially become a “teen”.


its time to blame the teachers…

Warning: spoilers about the best teachers in NLR elementary schools. This post is 100% SNARK FREE.

It’s rare to have the perfect elementary school experience. I grew up over in the Spa City and attended 4 different elementary schools plus a private kindergarten. My situation was unique- death of a parent, shuffling in and out of schools until my dad remarried and we moved to Lake Hamilton- a district well known for educational excellence. Where I graduated from and was inspired by the holy trilogy of English teachers and the single coolest librarian ever to walk betwixt bookshelves. But more about them next week.

We moved into our house in Indian hills 2 full years before we had kids- not knowing a lot about the neighborhood or the elementary school but hearing that the school was “great”.

               Turns out, great is a gross understatement for amazing.
Because Cole has had 6 consecutive years of AMAZING teachers.
Continue reading


“Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else- through hard work.” (Vince Lombardi)

most people don’t go by nicknames in real life. they just don’t have the moxie or stones to pull it off. i know a few who have the confidence to do so- ridiculous sounding nicknames. and i’m blessed to have worked for several dynamic individuals.

scooter was one of those people- nicknamed and dynamic.

a bank president and self-made millionaire- a hard-knock life, street-smart, educated man. like charles dickens epic character. so vivid and charismatic that he must have been written about instead of real.

yep, a bank president named scooter. only in the south, right? Continue reading