Dear Camille, Your First Christmas…

Dear Camille,

Your first Christmas was AWESOME! It was great for many reasons and one is because on Christmas day you turned NINE MONTHS old! We can’t believe how fast you’re growing. It’s so neat to see you learn and watch you think. If there is a way to pause you at this age just a little bit longer I’m going to do it. Everything is going by too fast. So it’s been bittersweet.

We put the Christmas decorations up right after Thanksgiving and because you can crawl now your mom and I thought you’d be pulling all of the low hanging ornaments off of the tree. To our surprise we made it all the way through Christmas without that happening AND THEN you suddenly became very interested in the glass ones. I must say, determination must run in the genes because you sure have it girl. There was nothing mommy could do to keep you from the gold ornaments. Just look at your determination!535346_702131521970_2497673959976117419_n
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You were given a lot of cool gifts including a little nativity scene, which you apparently thought was a nativity snack since all you did was chew all the pieces. Gram and Papa gave you pajamas that you’ve already worn multiple times. Nonnie and Papa got you some books, which you’ve also turned into snacks and plenty of toys (I’m sure to chew on as well). Your mom and I got you the best gift of all though! While Uncle Ryan was FaceTiming Gram and Papa so they could see you open your pajamas, we gave you a pajama shirt that we kept secret from everyone else. It said, “The Best big Sister.” That’s right, your mom and I gave you the gift of a baby brother or sister! 🙂 We are not sure when you are going to find out because your mom and I are in a debate as to whether we should find out early or when your baby sibling is born. I want to wait, but your mom can’t keep secrets from herself. So who knows when we’ll find out. I’ll tell mom that you said you’re on #teamwait with daddy. 🙂

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We also went to your great grandmother’s house for Christmas dinner and you got to see the most Christmas bows you may ever see in your life. There had to be several hundred of them! We took a tour of the house and you got to see all of the decorations and pictures of when daddy, Uncle Ryan, Aunt Emily, and Nonnie and Papa were little. We also were reminded of how great of a man your great grandfather was. I wish you had a chance to meet him and I really wish he had a chance to meet you. I took a picture of when President Reagan wrote him a letter for some jeans he sent someone on the President’s behalf. Your dad’s family used to own a clothing company that your great-great-grandfather started all on his own. Did you know that you come from a long line of hard working successful entrepreneurs? Well, you do. Maybe that’s why daddy always knew he’d start his own business. The best part is, mom and I get to build our business together and we do that by helping other people. 🙂 You’ll get to be a part of it soon my love… in 17 years and 2 months. 🙂 Can’t wait for you to read all these letters! We need to teach you how to read soon!!!

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Love,

Dad

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Dear Camille… It’s Been Months

Dear Camille,

It’s been months since I’ve written you to document your milestones. I’d like to blame it on the fact that your mom and I haven’t had a stretch of 3 or more hours of sleep any night the past several months, but honestly it’s because I haven’t focused on it. The good news is that I haven’t focused on it because I truly have just been enjoying watching you grow and learn. One day we are going to look back at all the videos I’ve taken of you and you’ll see how smart and funny you really are. Speaking of funny, you laugh ALL THE TIME! The video below is a perfect example:

See? I told ya. I bet you laughed again watching this. I’ve probably watched this one a hundred times!

Maybe while you’re cracking your mom up all day you can convince her to take a month milestone pick of you since we didn’t for the past few months. :/ Although she’ll probably be too busy making sure you don’t almost climb out of your crib again or get into EVERYTHING that you’re not supposed to and nothing that you’re supposed to. We didn’t even know you could pull yourself up in your crib. That was a surprise. We also didn’t know that you liked to eat the wooden railing of your crib. Maybe we’ll check and see if they have wood flavored baby food next time we go to the store. You’ve got to like it better than the peas and prunes baby food. Remember how you threw them up all over me? I smelled fantastic after that.

One thing that has remained the same since you were a tiny little bitty baby is that you still wake up with the biggest smile and are ridiculously happy in the morning! I think I know why you’re so happy and it has a lot to do with your mom. Did you know that she’s the most positive, encouraging, and faithful person that we know!? We know lots of people, but she takes the cake. Being around her as much as you are you can’t help but to let her positivity rub off on you.

You don’t know this yet, but you are a very blessed girl that your mom chose to be a full-time stay-at-home and work-from-home mom. Not many moms have the opportunity to be home with their Camille’s but yours does. She could go get a job if she wanted, but she decided instead to take the hardest job ever… taking care of and raising children full-time. Make sure you thank her for that every day.

Soon I will write you more letters with pictures of you growing up. You look JUST LIKE YOUR MOM! That means you’re beautiful and you even have way less teeth than her. 🙂 I’ll see you soon and when I do I’ll toss you in the air like you like me to do and carry you around the house on my shoulders. I know that’s your favorite.

Love,

Daddy

A List of Books That Can Change Your Life

Quite frequently I am asked for book recommendations on leadership and personal growth and development. So I decided to compile this list of books that are in no particular order. In fact, my favorite books are listed at #4, #15, and #18. This list is not finished and will never be finished. As I continue to read I will continue to recommend the books that I like. I’ve done you the favor of listing the links to each book on Amazon.

1. 20,000 Days and Counting: The Crash Course for Mastering Your Life Right Now– Robert Smith

I recommend this to everyone as the first book they should read when deciding to change their lives. It’s a great book that will leave you motivated and with a completely different mindset than before you started it. After reading this book I looked at everything in a brighter light and felt more control of my situation than I ever had before. We only have a certain number of days here on earth. The question is… what are you going to do with them?

20,000 Days and Counting Robert Smith Andy Andrews

2. The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success– Andy Andrews

This is another great book for people looking to change their current situation. It’s a fictional book based on the apparent end-of-life travels of the character David Ponder. During his travel he meets famous historical characters that both you and I know and gains a very important life principle from each of them.

the traveler's gift andy andrews seven decisions

3. The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class– Keith Cameron Smith

This is a short, yet profound book. As I read it I felt very convicted on acting and thinking like a “middle class” citizen. When you read this book it will become clear to you that simply acting and thinking like a millionaire will help you become one.

top 10 distinctions between millionaires and the middle class keith cameron smith

4. How to Win Friends & Influence People– Dale Carnegie

I cannot say enough about this book! Applying the simple disciplines that Carnegie mentions in this book will have people leaving a discussion with you feeling better about themselves and life in general. People will WANT to be around you all the time because you’ll make them a better person.

how to win friends and influence people dale carnegie

5. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You– John Maxwell

This is a MUST read book if you are looking to become a greater leader. It’s the #1 book you need to read on leadership. This book has led to me being a HUGE John Maxwell fan. Out of all of the books that he has written, this is the first one you should buy!

21 Irrefutable Laws of leadership john maxwell

6. The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness– Jeff Olsen

This is the book that started it all for me. It changed my thinking and will do the same for you. It made me realize that EVERY thing that I did either moved me closer to my goals or farther away. It’s the book that made me begin reading personal development and leadership books in the first place.

the slight edge jeff olson

7. The Science of Getting Rich– Wallace D. Wattles

If you have ever thought to yourself, “I don’t need anymore money. I make enough” or “I’m comfortable with my wealth right now,” then you need to read this book. You’re in for a BIG shock! When I first began reading it I thought, “Man, this guy is greedy and this book is just all about greed”… THEN I was awakened to the truth of what God wants for us and for others. Wattles uses Scripture to explain how The Lord wants us to earn as much income as we can.

science of getting rich wallace d wattles

8. Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job– Jon Acuff

This book involves a very hard concept for most to grasp. Jon Acuff explains the mindset and actions you need before leaving your current job (whether you like your job or not) and starting your dream job. If you are considering beginning your dream job, you have to read this book!
Quitter john acuff

9. The Top 10 Distinctions Between Entrepreneurs and Employees– Keith Cameron Smith

After reading Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires & The Middle Class, I began reading every book Smith wrote including this one. This is a quick read, but don’t think because it is short that t is any less impactful than other books on this list. Make sure this is one you get!

top 10 distinctions between entrepreneurs and employees keith cameron smith

10. The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective– Andy Andrews

There are too many great things I can say about this book. Andy Andrews describes his time as homeless living under a bridge and then meeting a man by the name of Jones who changed his life forever by being a “Noticer.”

the noticer andy andrews

11. The Greatest Salesman in the World– Og Mandino

This book will BLOW YOUR MIND at the end of it. It’s like one of those movies that is really good the whole way through and then you get to the end and your thought is “WHOA!” Trust me on this… you NEED to read this book.

the greatest salesman in the world og mandino

12. The Noticer Returns: Sometimes You Find Perspective, and Sometimes Perspective Finds You– Andy Andrews

Just when you thought Jones from “The Noticer” was out of sight, he’s back again to change more lives. This book is geared toward raising your children not just to be great children, but to become great adults. Andy is a master of teaching people how to raise children into successful adult leaders in society. Whether you have children now or may have children one day, you need to read this book as soon as possible to understand how to use “standards” to foster your child’s growth into an amazing adult.

the noticer returns andy andrews

13. The Final Summit: A Quest to Find the One Principle That Will Save Humanity– Andy Andrews

This is the sequel to “The Traveler’s Gift.” David Ponder is back to help save the world this time and has the help of all the great leaders this world has ever seen. This book is another mind changing motivational book that will make you spring into action.

the final summit andy andrews

14. Think and Grow Rich– Napoleon Hill

Talk about changing your thinking… that’s EXACTLY what this book is about. Hill explains how just changing your thinking can make you rich. I highly suggest this book to everyone who sits around wondering how they can get out of that financial hole and increase their wealth.

think and grow rich napoleon hill

15. Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths That Are Destroying Your Prosperity– Garrett B. Gunderson

This is probably my most favorite book on the list. Please see my two posts on this book to get a great idea of the value it adds:

killing sacred cows garrett gunderson

16. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!– Robert Kiyosaki

This book will help you think intelligently about earning income. There are several ways to earn money… some are wise and some are not. Kiyosaki explains which ways are the wise ways to earn income and why they are.

rich dad poor dad robert kiyosaki

17. Rich Dad’s CASHFLOW Quadrant: Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial Freedom– Robert Kiyosaki

This book dives a little deeper into the 4 quadrants you choose to be in as an income earner. It’ll help solidify your decision to be in the “I” quadrant as fast as possible.

rich dad poor dad cashflow quadrant robert kiyosaki

18. The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership-James C. Hunter

As I mentioned above, this is one of my favorite books on leadership. It takes place at a monasterial retreat and the main character learns from a very successful leader, who also happens to be a monk, all that he needs to turn his situation around not just with his business, but also with his marriage and family life.

the servant a simple story about the true essence of leadership james hunter

19. The Heart of Leadership: Becoming a Leader People Want to Follow– Mark Miller

This book has some of the same concepts as The Servant. It lays out exactly WHAT you need to be a successful leader and the most important leadership quality. It’s a very easy, yet impactful read.

the heart of leadership mark miller

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Dear “Cafeteria Catholics”…

Cafeteria C.

Over the last year there has been a major issue on my heart that I haven’t known quite how to share until now. Most of my friends know that I grew up in the Catholic Church, attended Catholic grade school, and even a Catholic college. Then, I fell away from the Church because even after all that Catholic schooling I didn’t know what I didn’t know. (*mainly because I have a very hard time paying attention for a time span longer than few minutes – thank God I found Spark)

I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

Over several years I took the time to challenge my faith – every bit of it. I challenged why the Church taught what it taught and asked as many “why” questions as I could. Throughout that process I heavily educated myself on not just the Catholic Church’s teachings, but also on the teachings and beliefs of other faiths including many Protestant ones. Through that process I’ve become much more in-tune with the teachings of the Catholic Church and am stronger in my faith than I’ve ever been. I thank my beautiful wife for constantly challenging me to be even stronger in it.

During my questioning phase I spoke with many Protestant friends and I heard on many occasions that they knew “Catholics” that weren’t living very holy lives and apparently had a poor reputation, which led my Protestant friends away from the Catholic Church. Needless to say, that was not a very comforting thing to hear. It especially wasn’t comforting because I knew exactly what they were talking about because I was at one time part of that problem.

I think everyone experiences the questions of “What church do you go to?” or “Are you a Christian?” at some point in their lives. I know I had been asked those questions numerous times. Now, I was not the model Catholic by any means and I wouldn’t even say a model man, but because I grew up Catholic and went to Catholic school I would always tell people I was Catholic. I claimed my Catholic faith like a badge of honor even when I wasn’t attending mass regularly, didn’t know what the Church taught, and when I was living a very unholy life. Ergo… my contribution to part of the problem I mentioned earlier.

Catholic non-negotiablesThis was the big issue with me and the big issue that I see a lot of today: I was turning people away from the Church because of the way I lived. I was a terrible witness and wish I had never told people I was Catholic on the many occasions that I had because I was a poor example of one. Well, just like when smokers quit smoking they begin to notice how terrible cigarettes smell and how unpleasant they are, when I re-dedicated myself to the Church I began to notice so many other people living the same way I was living. Now I see other “Catholics” claiming their Catholic upbringing like a badge of honor all the time and especially lately even with regard to the 5 non-negotiables (1. Abortion and subsets in that category including contraception, and in vitro fertilization/fertility treatments; 2. Euthanasia; 3. Same-sex “marriage,”; 4. Human cloning; and 5. Embryonic stem cell research). While there are MANY things you can disagree with in the Catholic Church, as a Catholic, those 5 things you cannot.

Here are a couple recent examples: First, I think everyone heard of the highly publicized Brittany Maynard physician-assisted suicide (euthanasia) case. If you didn’t then you most likely don’t have internet, a phone, television, etc. because it was everywhere. I posted a blog post about how euthanasia is intrinsically evil then posted it to Facebook and I had a ton of Catholic friends that argued with me saying that she should be happy and not have to suffer any pain.

The most recent example are all of my Catholic friends that have supported same-sex “marriage” by shouting victories in Facebook statuses claiming their support of it and even changing their Facebook profile pictures to depict a rainbow (which somehow now is a symbol for gay pride as opposed to a sign of a covenant from God). I believe this support was driven by compassion rather than a knowledge of and disregard of the Church’s teachings.

Some people believe that because Catholics don’t approve of same-sex “marriage” that they hate homosexuals. That is incorrect. This may surprise many people, but the Catholic Church actually teaches about same sex attraction. There is no hate in its teachings:

CCC 2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

 

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That’s the kind of stuff I’m talking about. (Quick side note… God did not teach us to not judge. In fact, He taught us HOW to judge). Catholics can disagree with MANY of the Church’s teachings, but NOT one of the 5 non-negotiables. Those are not open to your opinion, argument, etc. Not only can you not participate in OR even support them, as Catholics you have an obligation to vote against them and the political candidates that approve of them.

Catholic abortion pro life pro choice

It was very heartbreaking to see so many of my Catholic friends supporting same-sex “marriage” just because they want their homosexual friends to be “happy.” It’s heartbreaking mainly because that shows that many of my Catholic friends are not in-tune with their faith anymore or even worse never were – much like where I was. We as a society must realize that God did not tell us that we are here for our pleasure and to do whatever makes us happy. Nor did He put us here to show support for sin. We are created for much more.

So here is my request, if you are openly supporting any of the 5 non-negotiables, PLEASE do not be the type of Catholic I once was and send mixed messages about the Church. The bride of Christ, the Catholic Church, is unexplainably beautiful. When my wife and I discovered its true beauty we fell in a deeper love with Christ than ever before. I feel terrible for once associating my poor actions with the Church in the past and for turning people away from it. I only share this and make this request because I don’t want someone else to feel the shame I felt by doing so. I encourage everyone to grow deeper in their faith and be open to challenging it and to receive the challenging responses with an open mind.

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Marriage… How It Is Defined Now

Catholic marriage sacrament Christian

As I sit here and contemplate the decision of the Supreme Court on “same-sex marriage,” I’m realizing that I’m not very surprised with the opinion. Considering previous posts and my conservative views, some may expect this post to be hurtful, hateful, offensive, etc. I assure you it’s none of those, at least it’s not intended to be. I love my brother’s and sisters whether they are heterosexual or homosexual. I truly do. So before reading this post, please watch this short video:

I am expressing my concerns with where this world is heading without fear of offending anyone because that’s not what I’m trying to do. It’s time that the intolerant “tolerance police” become tolerant of other people’s views themselves. It’s time that we can speak openly, disagree, and still love one another, still talk with one another, and still be friends. It is okay for people to have a differing opinion than you. It is okay to disagree. You don’t have to hate them, ridicule them, de-friend them, etc.

This is not some foolish or ignorant debate, because it has serious consequences for our future generations. (2 Timothy 23) I would be slow to call a discussion of such an important subject foolish or ignorant. So as I explain the issue with SCOTUS’s decision, I hope you would understand my purpose by reflecting on these verses: “A slave of the Lord should not quarrel, but should be gentle with everyone, able to teach, tolerant, correcting opponents with kindness. It may be that God will grant them repentance that leads to knowledge of the truth, and that they may return to their senses out of the devil’s snare, where they are entrapped by him, for his will.” (2 Timothy 24-26) That is my intention with this post:

On June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) legalized what they call “same-sex marriage;” an act that many have declared has changed the “definition of marriage.” The claim that SCOTUS has changed the definition of marriage is in fact true… from a relativist point of view. What is relativism, besides “the most significant problem for faith and morals today?” Allow me to educate you by using a few examples:

Example 1: I tell you that “the world is round.” Then you tell me “that may be true for you, but I believe it is flat.”

Example 2: I tell you that “the sky is blue and that’s the color that we call blue.” You then tell me that may be true for me and many other people, but you are deciding that it is red and that’s what is true for you.

Example 3: I tell you that “marriage is a sacred sacramental union between a man, a woman, and God, which is more than just two people loving each other and a contractual piece of paper conferring governmental benefits on people.” You then tell me that you believe “God is love and because of that He would want everyone to marry whoever they love.”

With relativism you’re deciding what’s true to you, not what is actually true. In today’s society we are allowing people to make their own truths because we believe they should be free to believe what they want and are continually asked “who are we to judge them for believing what they believe?”

This is no more true in any other situation than in people’s beliefs on same-sex unions. So in fear of being seen as a bigot, a homophobe, a hate monger, among many other things, those that believe in what is called “Biblical marriage” are being suppressed from expressing the truth; however, as most of you may know, I’ve never been one to allow myself to feel suppressed. 😉

TWO POINTS:

1.The government should never had involved itself in the “marriage business” in the first place (heterosexual or homosexual).

2. SCOTUS has changed the “legal definition” that the government will use for “marriage.” That does not change what the Sacrament of marriage actually is. From the beginning of time, God designed marriage to be a sacrament between a man, a woman, and Him. That’s what it always has been and that’s what it always will be. It matters not what the government decides to define it as because we are not the government. We are the people. The people of God. Marriage has not been changed today my friends, nor will it ever. SCOTUS’s decision today is a perfect example of relativism. SCOTUS can redefine marriage for the government viewpoint to be a man and a woman, two people of the same sex, a person and a dog, a person and a tree, a person and whatever or whoever they love, etc. That will never change what marriage actually is and it’ll never change this definition:

“The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring, has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament between the baptized.” Canon 1055 §1 of the Catholic Church.

Catholic Sacrament Marriage

He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” – Mathew 19:4-6

So for all of you that are stressing or worried about two people of the same sex getting “married,” please don’t feel that way because of the fact that some people are now receiving a paper document acknowledging that union and receiving financial benefits from it. Instead, take comfort in that fact that marriage has not changed. Marriage is defined now as it always has been defined by God. No man, government, or court can change that.


I think Glenn Beck sums up the tolerance point very well:

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For further reading on this topic, please checkout: the Desiring God posts, So-called Same Sex Marriage and Why Homosexuality Is Not Like Other Sins.

If you want to read a hilarious response to the court’s ruling, read this: “I’ve Decided to Marry Bacon.

Dear Camille, Thank You For The Best Father’s Day!

Dear Camille,

You and mom made this Father’s Day so special! I’ll never forget it. It was very relaxing… just as I wanted it. Thank you for the most incredible breakfast I’ve ever had! I could eat those Paleo bacon and blueberry pancakes EVERY DAY! If you didn’t know by now, your mom’s cooking is DA BOMB! She said she’s going to teach you everything about cooking because she wants to see you on Master Chef, Jr. at the age of 8 (that’s the truth, #forreal). So when we start homeschooling I’m sure she’s going to make the culinary arts a mandatory course. 😉

Father's Day Breakfast Meal Paleo Blueberry Pancakes and Bacon Pancakes

I loved how you already have me figured me out too and there was no clearer way to show it than the way you did on Father’s Day. Your mom and I decided to record it the third time you pulled your little stunt. You know, the one where I’m holding you and you’re fine and the second I put you in your seat you throw a tantrum and then immediately stop crying right as I’m going to pick you up again. I’m sure you conveniently don’t remember that, so watch this:

As awesome as the breakfast and the entire rest of the day was, it couldn’t even come close to comparing how amazing it is to be your father. These last 3 months of being your dad have been the best 3 months of my life. You and your mom are always making me smile and laugh and are a constant reminder of how blessed I am to have you both in my life. You and I REALLY have to do it up right for Mother’s Day now because you and your mom really made me have such an incredible Father’s Day, especially with the gift from your Father’s Day photo shoot at Aunt Sarah’s.

First Father's Day

I love you little bean!

Daddy

The Stay-At-Home And Work-From-Home Mom: A Husband And Father’s Perspective

Mildred B. Vermont Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs... since the payment is pure love.

Before we even get to the meat of this post, I want to clarify that this post is about moms that have chosen to be stay-at-home or work-from-home moms. It is NOT about moms that choose to work instead of being home. So please don’t look for something to be offended by in this post because nothing in it is meant to be offensive. It is not a “Mommy Wars” post to say one type of mom is better than the other. It is simply my view of the moms that choose to stay home and raise their children.

The best thing that you can give your child is time

I guess I should let you in on a little background information so that you know this isn’t a new subject to me. As far back as I can remember, if I was home then so was my mother. She didn’t drop me off at someone else’s house or a daycare so that she could go to work (not that there is something wrong with doing that). She made the decision to stay at home and raise my sister, brother, and me. Since that was what she wanted to do, my father made sure that was possible and worked his tail off to provide her with that opportunity. My mom wanted to be the primary influence in our lives and because she was, even to this day, I continue to see her in things that I do, say, and believe. I’m 34 years old and I’m still catching myself saying or doing something I’ve never said or done before and I’ll say to myself, “Whoa, that definitely came from my mom.” I’ll be forever grateful for my mom making the decision to be home full-time because I know it kept me out of A LOT of trouble. Shoot, it might actually be a reason why I’m still alive now. Some of the stupid things boys get into can certainly be life threatening even with parental supervision and influence.

After growing up in a household where I always had my mother around and seeing the impact that it had in my life, I have always wanted to provide that opportunity for the woman that I would marry. I wanted to give her that choice like my dad afforded my mom. I’m not one of those guys that thinks if their wife isn’t “working” at some “job” then she’s not “pulling her weight.” There are more ways to help “provide” for the family other than earning income, which I will get to shortly. I did not know when this wife would come along or even if raising our children full-time is something that she would want. I just knew that when she came along and if she wanted to be home with our children full-time then I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps and provide her with that option.

"Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling...It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in, it is what God gave us time for." So at 33 years old I married the most perfect woman. She’s smart, HILARIOUS, loves God and has a strong faith in Him, she’s absolutely gorgeous, and is the most patient and kind hearted person I’ve ever met. And guess what… her life-long calling that she felt since she was a child herself was to be a mother. That’s what she told me she always wanted to be and I quote, “I’ve always wanted to be a mother.” When she said those words she didn’t mean that she just wanted to get pregnant and give birth to a child so that she could be called a mother. She meant that she wanted to be a mother in a deeper sense. She always felt called to be a mother as a vocation and took the role of motherhood very seriously. When my wife told me that, I knew that I was going to do whatever I had to do to make sure the bills were paid so that she could live out that desire. In March 2015 Mariah’s wish to be a full-time mother became a reality, thanks to AdvoCare. That’s when our daughter Camille was born.

From Day 1, my wife has been home with our sweet little girl. That’s what she wanted and I support her in that decision. There are several reasons why. The first of which is that our family ideals will be instilled in our child at a young age instead of someone else’s. I have seen time and time again instances where my friends’ kids pick up some bizarre activity, language, or even immoral teachings up from a daycare worker. I’ve also seen instances where my friends’ children have picked up bad habits from other children they share a daycare with. I’m not sitting here suggesting that we are going to shelter our daughter from civilization (even though I’m taking her to look at convents instead of colleges and making sure she becomes a nun – ;)) I’m simply saying that I believe that we are in a better position to teach our children right from wrong if we are the ones spending the most time with her. Let’s face it… if someone else is watching your child for the 8 hours you are at work and likely the 30 minutes to and from work (9 total hours) then there will be a massive competing influence in that child’s life. I’m also not saying that all daycares are bad or that they are even bad in general. All I’m saying is that they are not for us for the reasons stated above and among many other reasons because of the things I have seen in my line of work that has lead to some daycares being shut down, sued, and owners and employees of them spending time behind bars (you do NOT want me to explain the details of these crimes – you will have nightmares).

Proverbs 22:6: "Train the young in the way they should go; even when old, they will not swerve from it.

Proverbs 22:6: “Train the young in the way they should go; even when old, they will not swerve from it.”

I support my wife because I’m not sure I could do what she does. I actually can’t believe that so many moms choose to be home full-time or aren’t yet, but want to be. That has got to be the hardest job in the world. Not to mention you’re likely doing it on little to no sleep. I’ve had my alone time with Camille and I gotta say, taking care of her is much more difficult than my job. Now, with that being said, I’d still rather be home with her all day, but there’s no doubt it would be a much more difficult task to take care of her on no sleep than to practice law.

As I said earlier, there are more ways to “provide” for a family than just earning income. My wife provides our daughter with more than just diaper changes, baths, and nourishment. She provides her love and care, nurturing, gentle arms to fall asleep in, someone to read to her, constant attention when she’s awake and a watchful eye when she’s asleep, someone to pray with, someone to take her to the park in the middle of the day or to a mom’s group to play with other children, the primary influence in her life to teach her right from wrong and moral from immoral, a role model of faith and a love for God among many other things.

Your children need your presence more than your presents Jesse Jackson

Our daughter isn’t the only person she provides for. She also does a lot of the laundry, nearly all of the cooking (not because she has to, but because she genuinely enjoys it enough to look at it as a hobby – wait, who am I kidding? She actually does have to do it because we couldn’t live off of Paleo desserts, chicken, mixed vegetables, and sweet potato fries for every meal because that’s about all I got), and she routinely helps clean the house as well. The craziest thing is, she does it on very little sleep and she does it for FREE! It’s not a paid position in a monetary way; however, it is paid with love from both Camille and me. She’s a servant in the most wonderful sense of the word because she’s doing it out of love and to add value to our daughter’s life.

So to all you mom’s out there that have chosen to stay home with your children whether just to raise them or to do it while you work from home, cheers to you. You are doing something I honestly don’t know that I could. You are incredible.

I saw this piece on Time.com and I remembered it while writing this post:

A company placed this classified ad looking to fill a Director of Operations position.

The job had a mandatory 135+ hours a week of work and required the job holder to be on call at all times, day or night. Qualified candidates should have a knowledge of psychology, medicine, personal finance, culinary arts and basic technology skills. The job also had physical requirements: the ability to stand for hours, lift up to 75 pounds, be constantly moving and operate on little to no sleep.

While the nation’s jobless claims may have dropped to the lowest levels since 2007, 24 people responded to the job posting at Rehtom, Inc., even though the position offered no medical or dental benefits, no pension and no paid holidays, but did offer “infinite opportunities for personal growth and rewards.”

The 24 applicants were interviewed via webcam. That’s when they got the surprise of their life. The video is worth watching all the way to the end.