Friday, January 11, 2013

My (Grandpa's) Ring

Around 1949 my Grandpa Egbert was a missionary for the LDS Church in the South-western United States.  While in New Mexico, he purchased a turquoise ring that he wore throughout the rest of his life.  He loved his ring.  The rest of the family loved his ring because we all loved Grandpa.  

After Grandpa died, my father became the new owner of the ring.  As my dad does not wear jewelry of any kind, the ring's last few years have been quiet.  On my recent trip to Utah I asked if I could "hold on to the ring for a little while," and my dad said yes.

Now that we are back in NYC I have had some time to think about this new heirloom and what it means in my life.  I emailed my Grandma Egbert asking her about some of the history, and I have been looking through family photos finding images of Grandpa with his ring.  Grandma told me that Grandpa always wore the ring on his right hand, and I came across some neat pictures (you might have to squint to see the ring).

I found a picture of Grandpa holding my uncle David:

One with him holding my dad:

I found another picture of him at his 50th wedding anniversary standing with his brother:

There was a picture of him studying:

And a picture of him with his wife and children:

The ring was with my Grandpa as he raised his children.  This ring was on his hand as he finished his schooling.  This ring was on his hand as he grew into the man we all loved.  

Now the ring is on my hand.  Grandma asked me to treasure the ring as he did, and I will.  This ring will be with me as I raise my children.  This ring will be on my hand as I finish my schooling.  This ring will be on my hand as I attempt to grow into the type of man he taught me to be.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012


Columbus Circle is one of my favorite places in the city.  This doesn't mean that I am some die-hard Italian or ignorant to the abuses that still continue in our post-colonial world.  It is just a great place to sit and watch the city go by.

We have been there a lot.

Summer 2010

Summer 2010

Summer 2011

Summer 2011

Summer 2012

Summer 2012

When people ask me where they should go, I always say to just head to Columbus Circle.  You have access to Central Park, Times Square, Lincoln Center, and 5th Avenue within easy reach.  There are plenty of benched to sit on with a great fountain circling the monument.

Yesterday we experienced Columbus Circle in an entirely new way-- in Christoper's living room.  

This art exhibit is one of the best things that I have done since being in the city.  We were only there for about 15 minutes, but it was incredible!  After climbing the scaffolding we entered into a room that was built around the 19th century statue.  Everything from the carpet to the wallpaper was intended to capture the iconic nature of NYC living and the fantastic world we are fortunate to live in.

I had a great time, and this visit was another great reminder of why I love living in this city.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Time Flies


It has been said that time flies when you are having fun, but it also flies when you are crazy in love.

It has been over one year since Kim quit her job, said goodbye to family and friends, sold off most of her belongings, and relocated to NYC from her happy life in SLC just to be close to her boys.  It has been a rough year; between drama with the other mother,  stressful jobs, cancer, school, and semi social isolation, we have had some tough days.  However, it has been a very happy year; with unlimited cuddle time, marriage, family adventures, and making new friends, this has been one of the best years of my life.

I am in love, and it just keeps getting stronger by the minute.

Thank you, Kim for making our house a home, for keeping your boys loved, and for making this grumpy old man smile again.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Some Enchanted Evening

I had an interesting night with my family yesterday.

We had decided to surprise Kim at work and took the train to see her in action.  While we were on the train Gabriel looked up at me and asked: "Daddy, why did you have tantrums with my mommy?"

I didn't see that one coming.

We got off the train and as we were walking I asked him where he learned about my "tantrums."  He said that his mom told him.  I asked what else she told him, and he had several more things to say.  I asked him how he felt when he heard about what happened, and he said it made him sad.

It made me sad too.

My marriage with Gabe's mom was not easy, nor was I a perfect husband.  Gabe's mom has valid reasons to not like me.  I will not dispute them.  I have spent too much time in therapy coming to understand the difference between guilt and regret, and when the time is right I will talk with him about the whole truth.  He deserves to know the mistakes that both of us made, but he also deserves to be a kid.  We divorced to create new, happier lives separately, not to relive past memories of sadness. I like to remind him how lucky he is to have two dads and two moms that love him so much, so why focus on the things I can't control?

Gabriel is forced to never forget a past that he cannot remember.

I put him on my shoulders and I promised him that when he was ready we would talk about what happened. Right now he doesn't have the right vocabulary to grasp the truth, and he will know the truth eventually

Don't worry, there were some funny parts to our evening too!

We made it to Kim's work, and Gabe saw Kim from the sidewalk and started pounding on her window.  While she finished up her day, we went to the park across the street to play.  When it was too dark to play any longer, we started walking to the bus station.  My phone started ringing, and it was Gabe's mom.  I asked him if he wanted to talk and he said no. I let the call go to voicemail.  In our most recent custody arrangement it states that both parents but make "best efforts" for phone contact every 48 hours.  As he was not even close to the 48 hour mark, I decided to not press the issue.  (Lately Gabriel's mom has sent me some emails claiming that I have denied Gabriel access to call her.  Through a series of electronic communications I repeated my stance that I would not force him to talk if he didn't want to.  When we get close to the time limit, I tell him that the judge wants him to call his mom, and he does.)

I asked him a couple more times if he wanted to call his mom, and suddenly he remembered something and wanted to call her.  This is a great relief to me because the more he talks to her, the less I have to.  They chatted for a few minutes, and at the conclusion of his call he asked her: "I get a treat, right?"


I couldn't figure out why he decided to cooperate so quickly, and then all the pieces came together.  After he hung up he told us that he gets treats if he calls his mom.  We just started laughing and told him that was nice.  That kid cracks me up.  He sees every opportunity as a negotiation, and he has no problem asking for a little extra.

We came home, bathed, read stories, cuddled, and had family prayer.  Gabe said that he was grateful for the "good love" that was in our family.  You know what?  So am I.  There is a good love in this family, and it gets better every day.

Some things make me sad, but they always seem to be overpowered by the things that make me happy, and my family always makes me happy.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Who doesn't love a barefoot boy?

One of the best parts of leaving the city is getting back to the basics of life.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Random Reflections

  • Utah is a great place to visit.
  • My family may have drama, but I still love them.
  • Humor can push out sadness.
  • Del Taco is AWESOME!
  • Never miss an opportunity to make a memory.
  • I like seeing my wife everyday.
  • Kids are silly, and acting like a kid is refreshing.
  • Tillamook ice cream makes me happy.
  • My sister  has a super-fun dog.
  • I like living in NYC.
  • My wife is adorable.
  • It is worth the extra money to get the extra legroom.
  • Don't run out on a conversation, even late at night.
  • Don't wear red around sports fanatics.
  • Always mention that the blue I'm wearing  is "Columbia Blue."
  • Forgive everyone.
  • Funeral potatoes can make a stomach smile.
  • Don't travel without my wife.
  • Schoolwork can wait.
  • Always order a few extra tacos.
  • Rizzo the Polar Bear rocks!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I guess that makes me Little Archie...

I come from a long line of Archies.  We don't follow the number system, and we have different middle names.  From Archibald Gardner to Archibald Egbert, there have been six of us passing the name on down.

At times it can get a little confusing when there are multiple Archies in the same location.  This is solved by a small tweak.  For a number of years my grandfather went by Arch, my father went by Archie, and I was called (and am still called) Archie Baby.  This was a good system.

If there was a call for "Archie" in our family home, we would simply ask "Big or Little?".  As I grew larger than my dad I was still the "Little" just to keep with the convention of age.  I didn't mind because I knew there would be a day when I would be the "Big Archie" and then I would be cool.

When I had my first son, it was important that I pass on the family name.  I did.  This equated to four Archies living within 1 mile of each other.  I didn't (and still don't) care what name he chooses to go by.  In fact, for the first year, I rarely called him by the same name more than twice in a row.  Eventually it just felt natural to call him Gabriel, and I added that to the rotation.

Now my little son has decided to start using Archie a bit more frequently.  I think that it is really cute.  People church or at the park will start talking to me about "Archie" and it takes me a few seconds to realize they are talking about my son.  I always ask them "did he tell you his name was Archie?" and they always reply in the affirmative.  The other day, Kim went to Gabe's school to get some information about his pre-k program.  When she told the office that she was Gabriel's step-mom, they just said "Oh, you mean Little Archie!".  I guess that the little one has decided that he likes "Archie" as a name.

I don't know how long he plans to use the name, and when I asked him about it the other night, he didn't have a solid response.  When I asked him if he wanted me to call him Little Archie, he said that he preferred to be called Big Archie.  He reminded me later that night in the middle of family prayer with a gentle tap on my shoulder and a whisper in my ear of "Big Archie" after I said how much we loved Gabriel.

This morning as he crawled in my bed for one last snuggle I told him how my family calls me Archie Baby, and he just laughed at the very thought of me as a baby.  He told me that I would be "Little Archie" and he would be "Big Archie."

The moral of the story: just call me Little Archie aka Archie Baby.