We want to welcome you to our blog. We hope you find it to be entertaining, smile enforcing, and even inspiring at times. These are our moments.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Kicking her way to independence

It is hard to imagine a moment of pure joy and utter sadness within the same experience. I experienced one of those moments last night as my wife and I bathed Lorelei. It wasn't just a normal bath night. As we laid her in the baby bathtub with a small amount of water, she began to kick repeatedly. Her kicks led to water splashing everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Water splashed on the mirror, all over the counter, on me, on Ashley, and plenty on the floor. It was pure joy for Lorelei as she realized exactly what she was doing. Oh the laughter that followed those kicks was heartwarming. After each bout of steady kicks, she would pause, look over at us, give us that priceless smile, and then continue her playful kicking.

With every kick and splash, laughter increased for both Ashley and I. We realized how much fun our daughter was having and for that moment I, being the type A personality that I am, didn't have a care in the world. I didn't care that I was now soaked, there was water and soap all over the mirror, my socks were drenched from the water splashing over the sides onto the floor, and time was being spent not getting the job of bathing Lorelei done. Oh the insanity. It was definitely a moment of joy.

And then, reality sat in. As I looked at our daughter, I realized just a few months ago we couldn't even lay her in the actual tub. We had to use the small elevated platform that came with the bathtub. Now, she barely fits in the bathtub itself. So, there is some sadness that comes with the joy of the moment. While, I don't get caught up in the sadness, I can't completely expunge it from my mind. Every new accomplishment comes with a realization that her dependence on us is finite.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Super Mario: Video game icon to ultimate friendship igniter

We all know and love the super fantastic video game character (need I say Icon), Super Mario. I read recently he is the 2nd most distinguishable fantasy character in the world, 2nd only to Pacman. I tell you folks, Pacman has nothing on Super Mario's ability to bring together people and forge a friendship that will last a lifetime. How about that for 45 bucks?

What began as the very last, I mean very last (not so sure if I should spend that last bit of money) Christmas present to Ashley has quickly become the ultimate catalyst to a great friendship. Who knew that a video game could bring four people so close? Wait a minute. I know. God is always thinking about his plans for us even when we're not.

If you really think about it, it all makes sense why an awesome video game designed after the original 8-bit Nintendo Mario that now allows four people to play simultaneously would ignite a friendship. How clever the makers of this game must have been. Although, I can't help but think how this plan could backfire in some circumstances. Some would say it's insane to allow four people to run through a world filled with flying turtles, spike throwing cloudmen, flying fish, and fireball spitting plants with the ability to throw one another, bounce off each other's heads, and smush each other as the board closes in on the slower players. I say it's genius. The excited high fives as we beat yet another seemingly impossible level to the yelling and the blame that occurs just after the last person alive leaps into the molten lava as he/she sees the finish flag in sight are all part of the bonding experience that is Super Mario Wii. For us, maybe it's the game experience along with the coffee & brownie breaks and the lighthearted spiritual conversations that ensue after another level is completed that makes for such memorable moments. While the 3 and 4 AM nights may further sink us into permanent sleep deprived zombies, that is little sacrifice for the amazing friendship that has resulted from these nights.

So, for those who only thought Super Mario was capable of amazing jumps, stomping on turtles heads, and saving the Princess, think again. There is much more to the whole experience that has created memorable moments of joy and silliness for us and our new found friendship.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Humble moments: A bowl and a washcloth

Before I begin, I am wondering whether I should add “moments of humbleness” to the description of this blog. I don’t know if I will ever experience a more humble moment in my lifetime, but a part of me hopes that this may become a common occurrence, which will encourage me to add the category.

A few weeks prior, I had the pleasure of washing a lady’s feet. No, it was not my wife’s feet, although I would be happy to do so. It certainly would not have been as uncomfortable. Who was it, you might ask? Well, she was a complete stranger actually. Her name I will not reveal; one reason is because I only know her first name and second because I am not completely sure how to spell it. That is not important anyways. The importance of the experience is that I was blessed enough to be able to get down on my knees on the floor with a bowl of lukewarm water and a washcloth and perform one of the most humbling acts I can think of. For that very moment, I was able to physically emulate Jesus when he washed his disciples’ feet on the night of the Passover Feast. Now, please don’t think in any way that I am comparing myself to Jesus. I am simply stating that it is not often we get to (or choose to) emulate Jesus in such a way.

As I knelt down and she placed her feet into the lukewarm water, I felt a sense of panic and embarrassment because I didn’t know what to do. Then, I remembered that my normal day doesn’t include feet washing and it makes sense that I may be slightly nervous. So, I took a breath and prayed to God to help me through this because I didn’t want to make her as uncomfortable as I felt at that moment. I could feel my anxiety exuding from my body and I prayed that God would show me what to do. A sense of peace rushed through me in those short seconds and I began sprinkling the water over her feet and rubbing them down with my hands like I was a foot washing pro. I thanked God for the guidance, finished washing one and then the other, placed her feet on a soft, dry towel and patted them dry. Silence resumed, but that was okay. There was not a big need for conversation in those moments, so I let it be. I felt humbled, yet proud of myself for doing such a task. Then, God tapped on my shoulder and we reminisced about our two feet washing experiences.

To put things into perspective, let me set up two scenarios. In one scenario, an ordinary, sinful man kneels with a nice contemporary designed plastic bowl with rust colored swirls (probably purchased from Pottery Barn or somewhere similar), with carpet on the floor to cushion his knees, a nice hand towel, clean water that came from a sink, and a pair of already well kept, clean feet.

In the other scenario a man kneels, but not an ordinary man; a perfect man unlike the world has ever seen since. The Savior of the world knelt down as a servant on a dirt covered floor with a small handmade rag of some sort, water taken from a nearby stream or pond, a wash basin, and washed 12 pairs of the dirtiest, most calloused feet you could imagine. In those days, people wore sandals (if they were lucky enough to own a pair) and worked in the fields all day and walked on dirt roads. A bath was a luxury not everyone had the opportunity to enjoy and soap was not even a concept at that point in time. So, you can imagine the condition that these twelve pairs of feet were in. Beyond the hygiene issues associated with feet in those days, one of those pairs of feet belonged to a man who betrayed Jesus not long after Jesus washed his feet. Imagine willfully getting on your knees to wash the feet of a man you know is going to betray you. And yet he gladly did it, and would do it again without hesitation.

So while I begin to think about my humble experience as somehow virtuous, I try and keep things in perspective all the while thanking God I was able to share this experience with Him.