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.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Lower Lights

There is a great Christian hymn written in the late 19th century entitled "Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy."  I've included an audio portion below.   

The beacon from a lighthouse is not enough to guide a ship into harbor--we need more lights.  We are those lower lights.  We bring people home in reaching out and showing that we care.

This morning, one of those lights went out.

Gilbert Sims Capson, my grandpa, passed away after a lifetime of bringing ships home.  His light burned bright--brighter than any other I have seen.  He would be the first to deny any such accolades, but that is because he did not help others to gain recognition; he helped because he loved.  He knew what it meant to worry about paying bills, feeding children, and fixing a house, and he wanted to ease the burden of those who struggled.

I will miss him, yet I still feel a close connection.  I will remember him whenever I stop at a 7-11 to get a couple of sodas.  I will remember him when I see piles of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and apples. I will remember him when I pile my kids in the car and go for a long drive in the countryside.  

I will remember him by giving service.  

Saturday, September 08, 2012


A couple weeks ago, we bought Gabe a bow and arrow.  It is awesome.  It more like a slingshot, but the great thing about this toy is that he can't launch it hard enough to do any damage.  As we all know that my son is the greatest superhero of all time, this was the perfect accessory.  

It was too perfect.  It is so much fun to shoot the walls and other family members that we decided that one wasn't enough.

Then Kim and I decided that it wasn't enough to just have more weapons, we needed to plan an ambush against the world's strongest 4 year old.

Our plan was to catch him in the middle!  When Kim came home from work, she retrieved the bow I hid for her near the front door.  While Gabe went to say hello, I got my bow from under a pile of clothes in the bedroom.  

He was trapped!

Mission Accomplished!  

Friday, September 07, 2012

What I Can't Tell You...

Baby momma drama.

I believe that is the proper name for what I deal with.  For a long time I have kept my issues and frustrations with Gabe's mom secret.  As I wrote about in a previous post, she is his mother, and I don't want him to be in a position where he has to feel defensive about her.  I am a child of divorced parents and still don't like hearing anything negative about either one of them--from anyone.  So it has been my resolve to keep all my issues with her a secret from my family and friends, but this secrecy is difficult to keep especially when the stress starts to climb.

In keeping a secret, I lose my voice.

I want to be honest about what I experience because it seems a bit absurd to lie on a blog, but I don't want my extended family and friends to have any resentful feelings towards Gabe's mom.  I could keep an anonymous blog or make this one private, but I do not hide.  I am left with asking the people who read this to be respectful and understanding.  There is always more than one side to a story, and while I may attempt to be unbiased in my writing, it is an impossible undertaking.

The drama has always been there.  I made mistakes from the beginning.  Eventually the bad times were more frequent than the good times, and the end was inevitable.  Divorce does not mean failure.  I learned a lot from my times with her, but I am glad those days are behind me.  I am grateful that she pulled the plug.  I am a stubborn man and would have endured many more tough years, but now we are both in better relationships with fantastic spouses, and we have a great kid.

Gabe's mom recently remarried, and I am very happy for them.  Gabe's new dad is really cool, and there is so much that he will be able to teach him that I never could.  There are times when my son likes to test the waters here in this house and complain about his other family, and I just remind him that he is very lucky to have two moms and two dads that love him and want him to be happy.  He seems to like this idea, and I think that he will soon learn how awesome it is to have multiple birthday parties and Christmas celebrations.

My happiness for his mom doesn't mean that my relationship with my her is a good one.  I have heard through the grapevine about her angry facebook rants, and she isn't shy in pointing out my failures as a father.  Despite all of that, I can't say that I am angry at her.  Sometimes I want to be angry like when she did everything possible to take away my extra days with my son over the Summer.  It was after my second surgery, and I was keeping Gabe home from his preschool (although it would be a stretch to call it preschool) so we could spend time together.  I wanted time with my son, and she was worried about his academics.  She could also argue that it is important to have a routine for Gabe that involved less dad and more school, but I wasn't in danger of dying, and days home from school will be a rarity once he starts a real program.  However, she not only limited my time with him to three days every other week, she filed a motion in court demanding that my time be further restricted.  I was fortunate to have a wise judge who asked that we work out a better deal, and we did (well it was a better deal for me, but not for her as now we have an equitable amount of time with our son).  But even through all of this drama, I do not resent her.

Most days I feel sorry for her.

I can't imagine the level of her frustration that would make her want to take me to court.  Even with my limited time with Gabriel, the thought of going to court never occurred to me as I barely have enough money to take the subway to get there, let alone the money for an attorney.  I feel bad that her evening phone calls with Gabe are more like interrogations than pillow talk.  I feel bad that Gabriel is starting to ask me direct questions about his mom that I will eventually have to answer.

But then I remind myself that there is much in life that I cannot control.  I cannot dictate what my son will experience when I am not around, nor would I want to.  I am excited to watch him grow and learn from his loving parents.  I am excited to build a loving home that he can always return to for hugs, kisses, food, friendship, love, and acceptance.  I am thrilled to be in a healthy, loving relationship with my wonderfully, most awesomest, stupendously fantastical wife.

There was a time when the dark night of gloom seemed to never end, but now I am happy.

Genuinely happy.

I don't expect the baby momma drama to end anytime soon, but I already feel better knowing that I won't have to hide it any longer.