Morning by Morning (6/29/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Ryan’s constant singing and making up words to songs. I do this all the time, taking normal tunes and making up different lyrics. It warms my heart to hear Ryan doing the same.
  2. Krystal Chapman, one of my good nursing friends and Pepperdine alums. She brings so much laughter and good times and her faith is always present through her compassionate care. Happy birthday Krystal!
  3. The Pettit family, who lived down the street in Riverside. Chris and Sally were great people, great parents, and good friends to me. Their house was always welcoming, always friendly, and always full of laughter.
  4. Ryan’s rain boots and fashion style!
  5. Welcoming the people who love us into our house tonight for a housewarming party. It’s not about showing off the house, but letting our community bring warmth and laughter into our home. That is a gift.
  6. The love of soccer I have developed in the last 7 years. It didn’t exist before and that’s sad because I missed great activity in college, but it’s awesome now and is a blast to learn and play.
  7. Chill Saturday mornings.

Morning by Morning (6/28/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Liz and Ryan reading together!
  2. Chris Moore, my cousin and bowling friend. I love this young man a ton and love what he has endured and learned in life, and how he has a foundation of faith and family in the face of all that he has experienced. I respect him so much. Happy belated birthday Chris!
    Jessica Evey, a phenomenal nurse and caregiver and team player in the PICU. In so many ways she is a glue for what is going on, often an advocate for her patients, and always bubbly and full of joy. She is awesome and I appreciate what she brings as a nurse and friend! Happy birthday Jessica!
    Ryan’s independence going into school these days. He is so happy walking in on his own. So proud of how far he’s come.
    Warm sunshine all day today.
    The lovely book club and conversation on Wednesday night with young couples and singles at Bering. Ryan felt so comfortable and Liz and I enjoyed it.
    The gift of confession, both communally and individually as I recognize my own failures and sinfulness.
    The support of my parents and Liz’s parents during the process of wedding and home and becoming one.

Morning by Morning (6/26/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. John and Gina Rebman, and their welcome and encouragement cards to Liz and I. They are so fun and full of joy. Good good people.
  2. Amanda Wollam and Lauren Salinas, two nurse managers in the Heart Center who I have so enjoyed getting to know and laughing with. They have a light spirit but carry great wisdom as encouragers of their staff.
  3. Date night with Liz at Trevor Noah last week. We had a blast eating burgers before it and then laughing a ton.
  4. Making my first pour over coffee thanks to a Fathers Day gift of a Chemex from Liz. It was so good and exactly what I love!
  5. Learning more about heart surgeries and procedures from the PA’s and NP’s at TCH.
  6. Gearing up for the wedding with all planning, taste testing, address seeking, and excited shares of the date. Lots of little details which are not my strength but bring lots of joy.
  7. The connection and love that holds me and another parent when we pray together. It is an amazing blessing to do this time and again.

Morning by Morning (6/24/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Taking on the challenge of partnership and marriage with someone like Liz who is willing to deal with hard things and hard places.
  2. Lavender Kelley. Her open and engaging way of life, living her vulnerability through friendship and excitement for life, is all a blessing to me. I celebrate her presence in my life and in our PCN gatherings. Happy birthday Lavender!!
  3. Hearing a church pray by name for it’s hurting, wounded, grieving, and lonely.
  4. The summer reading program at Bering and the books we checked out for Ryan. I love this idea and love Ryan’s openness to this.
  5. Teaching Ryan to ride a bike and hearing Aidens encouragement of Ryan the whole way.
  6. Swim time with Liz and Ryan and Aiden. It’s such good time for us.
  7. The Heart Center of TCH which was named #1 in the country last week. Between the PICU and the CICU (cardio vascular icu), I see that work of healing and pursuit of the wellness of children and families. Front row seat goodness for me!

Morning by Morning (6/22/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The presence of God I feel with the laughter during a gathering of friends.
  2. Ryan’s LEGO love!
  3. Taryn Schuelke, who has been an incredible colleague at TCH. She has been a creative mastermind of providing compassionate support, effective bereavement support and programming, and an always caring friend. It’s been a true blessing to work with her. Happy birthday Taryn!!
  4. John Nickens, perhaps the best hospital admin I have ever worked with. He always made me feel valued and always just felt like a normal guy. Childrens of New Orleans is blessed to have you. Happy birthday John!!
  5. The joy and play of kids in summertime.
  6. A cleaned and washed car. Thanks Liz!!
  7. Getting a dining room table so we can begin hosting!

Morning by Morning (6/19/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Ryan’s abundant joy around the pool and beach. It is so contagious and full of blessing.
  2. An effective and quick surgery for Sherry Lucas. I’m glad it was good news, and pray for recovery and strength for her rehab. And it’s such an awesome thing to share a prayer and see her smile right out of surgery!!
  3. David Pipes. I am so blessed to have been shaped and encouraged and gifted with his wisdom. I celebrate and remember him as a dear man of God.
  4. My faith mentors- Steve Sargent, Nugget Skates, Richard Hughes, Ezra Plank, Paul Robertson, my grandmother, Mark Hamilton, Doug Foster, K Pipes, Caleb McDaniel, Teresa Childers, Will Decker, Winona Johnson, and Chuck and Cora Miller among many others.
  5. Baileys calm personality and comfort with Ryan’s energy.
  6. Chatting with other families during Wolfies Swim Class. Always great people.
  7. Cute cupcakes that look like hamburgers. Good catch Liz!

Morning by Morning (6/17/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. My Fathers Day weekend, which was full of good things that reminded me of why I wanted this journey in the first place. It included 3 completely full days of being focused on Ryan and quality time together. Loved it!
  2. Liz arriving home safely last night and being home. She had delay upon delay and finally got home very late. But we are glad she’s home!!
  3. Ryan’s expression of fear of the storm and then his expression of trust that as his daddy I would protect him from it. The lightning and thunder scared him, and the feeling that I could calm him in the face of it feels priceless.
  4. Caleb and Brandy McDaniel, and specifically their hospitality and flexibility with me to share their house with me as I started life in Houston back in 2012. I am grateful for them for many reasons but today I remember how their kindness enabled me to grow into my independent life post college. And they were good landlords but better friends.
  5. Celebrating all the fathers out there, and being inspired as a father by the fun pictures, sweet words, and amazing stories that I heard in person or I saw over Facebook or IG. It’s special to share the title of father with all of them.
  6. The Enneagramandcoffee account on Instagram. It fits me as a 9!
  7. The quietness of our home every morning before the sun begins it’s work.

Morning by Morning (6/15/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Liz having a great conference as she expands her already strong teaching skills. I’m grateful she has had a great time in NY, both learning and having some fun.
  2. Having a great friend like Stephen Lucas. He is so present and caring and willing to be flexible. And it is not lost on me that Ryan loves Stephen as an uncle, not just a friend.
  3. The power of a simple 5 minute visit in the hospital. My ministry is built on simple but connecting short visits that speak to a family- you’re not alone.
  4. Ryan going all week long in school without an accident. He has been doing well with sparing accidents the last 3 weeks, but to have none this week really felt positive. So we celebrated with some Legos!
  5. Making chocolate chip pancakes with Ryan. Father son mornings are pretty fun, especially on Fathers Day weekend.
  6. Liz’s thoughtful Fathers Day gift of a Chemex coffee maker. I love pour overs!!
  7. The ability to show up at the place I bought my SUV and get it serviced because I bought it here. It’s convenient and it’s nice to not have to buy anything this morning!

Morning by Morning (6/14/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The anniversary of a year for Liz and I. Our first date at El Tiempo, followed by coffee and dessert at Cafe Brasil, was just lovely and full of good conversation and fun. It set a great tone for us, and helped us bond when my car was broken into and my laptop stolen that night while we were in El Tiempo!!! But it was a good night, and I am so thankful to celebrate a year of dates, growing family time, and adventure together.
  2. The awesome Child Life specialists I have worked alongside and learned fromover the years at TCH: Theresa Edmunds, Lauren Hollis, Ashlee Titterington, Ashley Fairleigh, Alexis Johnson, Kayci Martinez, Julie Lawrence, and so many others. They have been a true blessing and humbled me with their liveliness, playfulness, genuineness, and amazing skills!
  3. Pleasant conversation and encouragement with my colleague Johnna this morning. I picked her up for work and it provided lovely time to catch up after her week away.
  4. Parking in a garage during the summer so my car isn’t blazing when I return to it in the afternoon.
  5. Waking up without an alarm.
  6. The water I kept drinking this morning. I needed the water and it was delicious.

Morning by Morning (6/13/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. My dads steadying presence and love filled hugs and on point dad jokes. I love my dad so much and appreciate the unique ways that I have been shaped by him and his way of being in the world. This world and my family are gifted with his presence. Happy birthday Dad!
  2. The brilliance of white clouds as the bright sun shines across the sky.
  3. Russell Braman, whose diligence as Jewish chaplain, fellow learner, and friend is always appreciated. Happy birthday Russell!
  4. Neil Cross and his enduring calmness amidst life. Happy birthday Neil!
  5. My weekly participation in a Heart Center parent support group. It’s a life giving our every Thursday.
  6. Ryan’s seriousness when he gives his little boy advice.
  7. Watching the St Louis Blues win the Stanley Cup. It’s been a joy to see a team that’s never won endure every round and bring the championship home to the city.