Monday, April 23, 2018

Our Bucket Lists


Recently, I was talking to someone about bucket lists. I hadn't ever thought of making one myself so I made a little one. Then I was thinking how fun it would be to compare my life to a bucket list if I made one as a kid. So of course, I helped the kids made their own lists for them to have when they grow up. :D They are pretty fun. Enjoy!
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Olive
Go to the fair
Be a tiger trainer
Have the funnest day at school
Be friends with all of my teachers
Talk like a bear
Invent a phone and give it to poor people
Lose two more teeth
Plan a picnic
Live in a orange house with black stripes like a tiger
Be a cheerleader
Get married
Do all the fun things like go to the beach
Work with dad at his work
Call someone on the phone
Wear a fancy hat
Adopt a nice dog from the pound

Titus
Invent a teleporter
Get a robot that pays me candy every two minutes
Be able to turn invisible
Learn about sharks and be able to talk to them
Drive a Lamborghini
Live in a house that has secret tunnels in the walls
Be a dad
Do a magic trick that no one can figure out
Find a shark egg
Have a shark tooth necklace
Get a tattoo
Fly with jet packs
Be a professional basketball player
Grow a beard like dad
Have big muscles
Be a good husband

Neela
Find Douglas (our dog) a wife
Discover the first real dragon and ride it
Go on a road trip
Own and run a farm full of animals
Be a third wheel on one of dad's dates
Ride an airplane
Have five kids
Marry a husband who spoils me
To help Douglas live forever
Ride a horse instead of drive a car when I grow up
Be the funniest actress in a play
Go skydiving and bungee-jumping
Have two pet bald rats and name them Jeffrey & Heffrey
Have my kids sit at the table for breakfast when I'm a mom. I'm going to be making delicious pancakes, but when I go to pour the pancake mix I trip over my dog and I spill the pancake mix everywhere and it gets all over all of us. Then we all laugh. I think that's my dream moment.

Stevie
Live in Michigan with my best friend Josie
See snow every winter
Become friends with everyone I meet
Have 6 or more dogs
Have at least 12 mutts or mixed breed dogs
Save dogs from the pound
Have a swimming pool
Invent a bicycle for dogs
Go to the Atlanta Zoo
Make clay figurines
Be the first person to visit every planet
Invent sandwiches for dogs
Bring Douglas to visit my class at school
Help an animal give birth and feed the babies with a bottle

Seth
Write a book based on my blog
Adopt a Corgi
Get married to my best friend
Complete my PhD
Start traveling in festivals and have a booth that gives out balloon animals for free to kids.
Have daily walks with my wife in the cool of the evening and just enjoy each other's presence
Travel the country in one massive road trip
Design a mural of all of my favorite drawings my kids have ever done and get it tattooed on me
Ride on a sailboat
Get another vw bus
Write and illustrate children's books
Visit Europe by train
Plant fruit trees
Spoil the crap outta my future grandkids


Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,
Seth

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

"Dear Future Wife,"

No. I’m not dating anyone. Also, this post idea might seem a bit strange (it did to me which is why I’ve put off writing it for months). However as I’m going to discuss in this letter the longer I’m single, the more confident I’m becoming in God’s plan for me. I love as more and more phases of this plan unfold. It’s just an exciting unknown at each step. One unknown is marriage. God knows I want to have a spouse so bad; however, He also knows the exact person and time for that person to walk into that role. In this letter I talk about some pretty specific character traits. For so long, I’ve been feeling these things are just me being picky. However lately I’ve realized that I’m not really describing the list of my “wants” of a potential, God showed me that these are the traits that my future wife already has.  He’s picked out one person special for me. And He’s picked out me as the someone special for her. My favorite part of this whole “letter to my future wife” idea is that I confident that if she were to write a “letter to her future husband” that she would be describing me! :D Isn’t God the coolest?

*Grammar Disclaimer- I’m going to be jumping around between past, present and future tense quite a bit. Honestly I despise writing like that, but I’m not really sure how to word my thoughts otherwise. Also, I’m typing this thing up as it comes to me, so please pardon other grammatical/spelling errors.*


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Dear Future Wife,

Well, if you are reading this I guess that’s a start huh? Hahaha. Just letting you know that this little letter is pretty sappy. Hahaha. I think you'll enjoy it though. So... who knows how old we are or what stage in life we are in. That being said, it’s comforting to know that wherever that might be we are in it together. When I sat down and starting typing this out, I had so many thoughts and emotions rush to mind. So I’m going to try my best to type this out and stay focused without getting too excited and going down 43 rabbit trails about how great you are.

First is, I’m unexplainably glad I waited for you. At the point of this letter, I have been a single parent for about 4 years. One might think that the longer I remained single that I would become increasingly worried about ending up alone and lower my standards. As the years past though, I’ve matured as a man. Growing closer with God and being more self-aware has really opened my eyes to exactly the type of woman I want to spend the rest of my life with. I can’t exactly put my finger on how, but when I knew it was you, I just knew. There are not many things I’m certain of in this life, but this is one of them. Just as I have been praying for my kids each day, I’ve been praying for you. More importantly, praying for myself to be the man you need me to be.

Second, I love that you are unashamedly 100% you. We’ve all heard the saying that boys tend to marry someone like their momma. Hahahaha. Well in this regard that’s very true. You remind me of my mom in this way. She’s never going to mask herself in any situation. There’s no acting or fake emotions. She’s just going to be her honest self regardless of situation, just as you are. I like that about you. Also, I think that’s why my mom likes you so much too :) Now let me explain some of the parts about “you” that I absolutely love. (Side note: I’ve known these would be the traits I would love about you from way before I starting writing this letter. As I said earlier, God’s refined me enough to know my purpose in life, just as He has been refining you for your purpose. That’s why I’m confident in these things. Just as each of us has our own purpose, we also now have a joint purpose. In my mind, these traits are so important to our joint purpose)
     -Empathy- I’ve met so many people that are empathetic in my life. It’s my favorite human trait, because it just oozes Godly love and compassion. You, however, are on a complete other level. It’s a constant process with you. It’s almost like a super power. I’m still amazed how you can read and feel others so well and every. single. time you encounter someone, you show them love how they need it. I’ve literally never seen you dismiss someone. To most this character trait would probably be more than they could handle, but you show such grace in using it to love others, I’m literally awestruck.
    -Determination- To be quite honest, I don’t know of a stronger turn-on than a hard working, resourceful woman. And seriously holy crap, you get stuff done. Before I really got to know you, I thought I was a pretty hard working individual. Hahahaha. And then I spent a weekend with you in complete boss mode. Normally, people are either more big picture or detailed oriented. As I’ve stated in this letter and will probably say many more times before I’m done writing is that you are anything but normal. Not only do you have the skills to create these amazing, picture ideas, you are also an amazing planner and “get things done” kind of gal. Each time we are talking about doing something, you either come up with or contribute AWESOME ideas that blow any idea I have out of the water. You are out of a scale from 1-10 for creativeness, you are an 11!! And once we get started on whatever we are working on (project, craft, job, etc.), you can think about 17 steps in advance and predict what we will need to do now in order to be prepared for then. I seriously love that about you.
    -Deep Emotions- You feel emotions on a deep, raw level. Whether it be a good or bad one, you feel it 100%. You just have such naturally robust feelings that life is never boring. Like everyone, you’ve had hard times in life. However, you’ve truly felt such intricacy in that pain/sadness that you’ve learned more about yourself than most probably would. You’ve trusted God when things were dismal and grown in faith and integrity. Not only do I love your deep, complex emotions but I also love that your non verbals are extremely telling. Never do you act rude or attention hungry when you are down, you are still so very kind but it’s evident you are upset.  You naturally act extremely clear on what you need and how you need it. If you are sad, it’s so easy to tell you want your space or would rather me come give you a hug. Finally, you have felt so much of the emotional scale in your life that you’ve learned how to calm your soul regardless what the world throws at you. You have an irresistible Godly serenity. Whether things are up or down, you maintain this joyful peace that always makes me ear to ear grin.

Third, I love how you are effortlessly layered with so many seemingly not matching character traits and watching them unfold into the truest form of uniqueness I’ve ever seen.  You are truly an enigma in the most amazing sense of the word. You can get dirty and sweaty working outside in your garden; however still look radiant. You are seriously tough as nails in so many areas of life, but still have a rare delicate and gentle spirit. You constantly talk about how not funny you are, yet you make me laugh so hard. Seriously, I don’t know if there has ever been a moment in the time we’ve spent together where you have thought “I’m going to make Seth laugh”, but you do it effortlessly. You are extremely thrifty and practical, but you have such a giving heart.  I’ve seen you sacrifice something for yourself because it cost too much money (literally maybe just a few dollars), but turn around and bless someone with something twice as nice as what you didn’t buy yourself. You have a meek and reserved spirit, but give passionate kisses. You are one of the most intelligent people I know, but you never puff yourself up with pride. You can know more than anyone in the room, yet you have so much wisdom that you know when it’s better to keep quiet and simply listen to what others have to say. You are adventurous, spontaneous, and exciting, yet you feel comfortable and relaxing. Every time I’m with you, it just feels like home. So serene….

Fourth, you allow me space and grace to transition from single parenting. Yes. We are a team. Actually, more than a team, we’re one now. Yet even that doesn’t negate the fact that I have four children from a previous marriage. Although you seriously love my children as your own, you also allow me to pour into them individually. You give me the space I need when I want alone time when any and each of them. It’s a truly self-sacrificing love that I can’t really explain with words. Not only that, but I’m transitioning from being a single parent for a long time. You and I both have learned to be independent. I love that we are learning to co-parent together. You are patient and kind. I truly can’t thank you enough. Finally, you don’t make an effort to “be my kids’ mom”. They have a mom, and in all the time I’ve known you, I’ve never heard you speak anything but love about her. As I continue to learn more about the fall-out of divorce, you continue to support me as my wife. When I get overwhelmed or frustrated, you point me to scripture. I love that Crissy speaks nothing about great things about you. She constantly tells me and the kids how blessed we are to have you in our lives. That truly speaks hugely about your integrity and character.

Fifth and finally, you are my person. I’m just blessed to have you in my life. No matter how long we’ve been dating, engaged, or married I still get super excited at random times when I think about you. Seriously, whenever you pop in my head I always get happy. Even in the middle of an argument, I have this overwhelming peace that you love me. I’ve been left before, and to be honest it took me a long time to recover from that. I trust you completely, which is something important to me I can’t stress enough. At times after my divorce, I’ve felt that I wouldn’t find security and peace in a relationship. I learned to block that fact that I was divorced and struggle with insecurity. However you encouraged me to use my experiences to minister to others, just as you have ministered to others who went through similar heartbreak you experienced.
 You aren’t perfect. I am well aware of your flaws, just as you are aware of mine. But the neat part of God’s match, is that we were wired to strengthen each other’s flaws. For example, you have a little fire in your belly that comes out from time to time. Honestly, I love a little feisty in my woman, but there are times I smile and calmly try to diffuse the situation. ;) Hahahaha. To be fair, I tend to avoid problems I don’t want to deal with. You have learned to step in and lovingly give me a nudge to deal with these things before they blow up in my face. I’m thankful for those little nudges.

I’m thankful for the sunshine you bring into my life.
Seth