I love the snow. Most people do in moderation. Thursday night we went to bed with the hopes that we would wake up to snow. Friday morning we woke up to snow on the ground, the news of no school which meant no work for me, and no electricity. Fortunately we have a gas stove so Traci was able to make pannycakes and boil water for french press coffee (the best method for thick and manly coffee BTW). We got the girls bundled up and played in the snow. Addi lit up and stayed smiley the whole time we were outside. Here is a pic of my 3 super cute snow bunnies. What a fun day!
I love my daughters. Nothing warms my heart more than when they wrap their little arms around me or plant a big, wet kiss on my lips. Having children has been such a joy. Ryan & I both LOVE being parents to these two. They try our patience, they test our limits, make us want to pull our hair out at times…but gosh, its all so very worth it! To hear Addi sing as we ride in the car, to see Kamryn’s eyes light up when either Ryan or I walk into the room, to watch them dance all crazy together to music…its all priceless. I am thankful. I love my daughters.
I am blessed with a super cool wife. Thursday evening while I was mixing at my studio, Traci was at was at home planning a night away for us. When I got home she told me that on Saturday, we were going to drop the girls off with her mom and dad and head to Shreveport for a night away. She is great a coming up with cool things like this and arranging all the details. Jen was generous enough to hook us up with a super nice hotel room and “Gandma and Poppy” were more than willing to let the girlies spend the evening with them.
From Quitman It took about 2 hours to get the Shreveport LA, home of the “boats”. Riverboat casinos that is. We checked in, went across the river, walked around at the super cool boardwalk, ate at Saltgrass Steakhouse, played 20 minutes and 10 bucks of penny slots, enjoyed some Cold Stone Creamery Coffee with Heath bar, and was in bed by 10pm. It’s sad. We are such party poopers. We were away from all responsibility. No kids. No early morning appointments. Staying in a place known for late nights and crazy people. Bed by 10? Well, we like the quiet I guess.
We woke up Sunday, ran a few miles on the dreadmill, ate breakfast at the Hilton, and headed home around 9:30 to spend the day chillin with Add and Kam, watch the great games of the day, and eat 10hr slow cooked pork butt sandwiches. Awesome! Today, back to work. Ugh!
I always love this time of year with holiday food, memories, and time off. I am always glad to look into the rear view mirror and evaluate the year. What successes? What failures? It’s amazing how quickly the years pass. Amazing and yet disgusting, really.
2009 has been a great year for my family. We have come out of numerous “throw your hands up in surrender” moments and have been embraced by the loving hands of God time and time again. This time last year we had no idea what to do next or how we would eat the next week. With my job layoff right before Thanksgiving 08 and running our no-income-producing coffee shop, the only thing we could do was to keep focused on our awesome baby girls and other positive aspects of our life while steadily seeking the guidance of the Father. We sold our home and anything else we could just to lessen the monthly expense and to just make it another day.
2009 has brought great jobs, church and a cozy Tyler home. While we are in no means out of this financial valley, I feel peace. Real peace. Every single month our budget shows us to have an overwhelming negative balance. With 2 kids in full time day care, a gross credit card debt, 2 car payments and mediocre incomes, it’s not easy. Actually it impossible. It’s very difficult being the leader of a family that fails financially. It’s a thought that has hindered my sleep too many times. My family, my responsibility, my burden.
Or is it? We are instructed to place all of of our burdens on the shoulders of Christ who is far more capable to carry them. We are told to “Trust in the Lord with ALL your mind, heart, and soul.” EVERY SINGLE MONTH of 2009 our financial cup has been overfilled by Jehovah Jireh (My God the Provider). From studio and graphic design projects on the side, to gifts from family members and friends God has provided every time. One of the greatest things I have learned in 2009 is to… Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, mind and soul because every good and perfect gift is from Him. How AWESOME He is!
I have been looking forward to last Friday for months now. One of the best parts of working in higher ed is all the paid time off. Last Friday at noon was the beginning of my 16 consecutive days of Christmas break! My plans entailed running, PS3 and wii for the first few childless days till the family Christmas events. You know, time to myself in lala land. Well. Kamryn was sick on Saturday. I worked at Allaso Ranch on Sunday. Monday morning I got the girls ready for school as usual and Addi barfed. So, I took Kam to school and babied Addi (and mommy) all day and night.
Tuesday, a fresh day. All the things I wanted to do Monday will just be added to the fun of Tuesday! Not exactly. Addi still looked a bit weak and pale from yesterdays festivities and she said she was still “a little bit sick” so I let her stay home. Traci took Kam to school. I figured I might still be able to do a few things I wanted to do. I packed Addi in the car to make a trip to Target to get a few items and I got a call from Kam’s teacher saying that she had pooed all over her clothes and that I had to come get her. Great! So now both tiny tots are home screaming at each other, banging on drums, and fighting over books. Fantastic! So much for my few days of alone time. Fortunately I love the heck out of these tiny things and love it even when they disrupt my plans. Here is a pic of Addi this morning before our Target trip. She was happy she didn’t have to go to school today.
One of my favorite past times is playing Nintendo (is there any other) with my little brother Ross. Seriously since I was like 7 or 8 we had a Nintendo (NES) and were playing the primal-pixelated games of the late 80’s. Anyone remember the days of opening the original NES and violently pressing on the cartridge up and down, up and down, and blowing on the exposed circuit board? What about broken N64 controllers due to wearing out the joysticks while sniping Bond villains? Warming our souls around the radiating glow of Nintendo is and has been a great memory maker for the Dixon fam.
Owning every Nintendo system, obviously we like to game with the Wii. Every Tuesday night around 9:15pm, the 20 year tradition continues. Ross (in Minnesota) and his big “blubber”, me (in Texas), open up our MacBooks, get on iChat and log onto the online Wii network to play together. Be it Tetris, Super Smash Brother Brawl or others like Tiger Woods 10, we connect for a couple ours of trash talking or cooperative battles. It’s fantastic and in a mysterious theroputic way, very calming and refreshing to get to play with little “Rossy”. Definitely a highlight to the day. Here is a pick of him and me connected in the wonderful wireless world of Wii.
So I’m reading a book. Like an actual book. You know, one of those paper thingys with tons of pages and 2 shiny covers and no pictures kind of books. It (“Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters” by Meg Meeker) is DISTURBINGLY FANTASTIC! Given to me as a suggested gift from my ma-in-law, I’ve taken the challenge to dive into the reality of my tiny tot girls growing up to become tweens, teens, college students and eventually wives and parents of their own tiny tots. Tons of useful insight. It has already changed my perspective on so many things that I haven’t even thought about previous to reading. Intake. Process. Implement. Proceed.
I am about half way through and just finished a chapter about the grueling reality of premarital sex and the associated physical and emotional consequences. I’m disturbed. Their humble sense of self worth is my responsibility and the reason I must continue. It’s never too early to: Intake. Process. Implement. Proceed.
On August 3rd, myself, Ryan, my sister, my dad, and my brother in law are all running in the San Francisco 1/2 marathon (www.runsfm.com) & I could not be more pumped about it!!! Only 7 weeks left of intense training & we will be flying out. I absolutely can not wait. We have been training now for a couple of months and are up to 9 miles thus far. Tomorrow, we go to Dallas to run at White Rock Lake 10 miles. It will be challenging, but a beautiful setting! Its always good to change up the routes you run. Running the long runs in Quitman every week gets a little boring. Part of this San Fran race runs across the Golden Gate Bridge…how stinkin awesome is that? Woohoo…its gonna be a blast!!! If you have any tips on running long distances or advise, I’d love to hear about it.
This past Saturday, we went to the zoo w/my sweet cousins Christi & Staci & their families. We had a great time, minus the heat! Addi was a little timid at first & a little overwhelmed w/it all…but she did great. She LOVED the petting zoo. We walked up & there were goats…just goats. She says, “moose!” And I said, “No, baby those are goats.” So we go in and she pets them (gross by the way). She has a blast and then we get ready to leave & she yells, “bye moose!” She also enjoyed the bird room…she did try to grab a bird & it proceeded to fly into Christi’s face….which was hilarious. Kam slept most of the time, but woke up towards the end. She’s too young to care, but she seemed to have fun regardless. After the zoo, we went out to eat at an old school mexican food place in the older part of Tyler…it was very tasty. Fun day! Here are some pics of our day….