Those Were the Days

I remember days when I used to actually read books, and write songs, and journal, and sit down at a piano or guitar for hours. Where did that time go? I even remember days when I would know exactly what I wanted to write in a blog, and I would write it. Most of the time I would be sitting alone at Starbucks, acting like the quiet artistic type. It was so much more inspiring to sit and think that people might wonder what I was writing.

Not that sitting here watching my daughter's eyes get heavy while she swings is not inspiration enough. I can't tell you how overwhelming it is sometimes to stare into her face, or see her grin, and know that this is my daughter.

I'll be honest; I get pretty caught up in the logistics of life these days, and I forget to just sit and observe. Maybe that's the difference between now, and back when I used to read and write and journal. I've always been an observer. I've always quietly placed myself a little outside from the action to watch, learn, and analyze. Now it seems like there's so much to do that I don't have much chance to look around.

I received one of those thought-provoking emails that was forwarded to 30 other people besides me. These are usually thrown right into the trash, but today I read (meaning skimmed) the words that were sent. (BTW, I'll probably die in 7 days for not sending the email to at least 10 people,... so, .... um, my bad). I honestly don't really remember what all it said, I just remember a line that was something like "we've learned to make a living, not a life."

I love that my favorite hobby is my career. I'm thrilled at the experiences and opportunities it has brought my way. Part of me, of course, wants to be "known" as someone who is important to my field. I had a strange observation yesterday of certain circles I used to be in, how they keep rolling, with different personnel; And I don't fit in anymore. Those circles were what I needed at the time, and I moved on. I think that's a healthy way to live and grow. I can't say that my "circle" right now is exactly what I was expecting for this point in my life. But, I also don't think my heightened sense of "entitlement" is of God, so I embrace where I am and what I'm doing as God's provision.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not upset that my career goals for age 27 look different than current reality. How stupid I would be to look at that and wonder where my life's purpose was ... when my life's purpose is 5 feet away in a battery-powered swing (I will NEVER understand why they can't just add a simple A/C adapter to these things).

I've talked about it before, and now is the time where I start speaking things that I know are true, but are harder to believe are true.

I do music. I am not music. "Musician" qualifies me as someone in this society who earns money to provide for a family. I don't do fatherhood, I AM a father. "Husband" is not an activity, it's an identity. In ten years, no one will care which CDs I played on, or which artists I've played for (as if anyone cared now), what will matter is how much love and peace is found in my home. What will matter is how much my daughter trusts me, and how close we are because of quality time spent together. What will matter is how in love I am with my wife, even after 11 years, in my late 30s (*shudder*). Yes, I admit I want my family to be proud of what I do, and what I've done, and continue to have reasons to be proud of my accomplishments. But more than that (naming it, claiming it here), I want for them to be proud of the love they receive from a dad who is there, who pays attention, who teaches, who leads, who provides, and who might be a little quiet and withdrawn at times, just observing the blessings that he has.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my own little family. I'm thankful for my dream girl, who liked me enough to marry me and combine our life's journeys. I'm thankful for my little dream girl, a complete surprise and an even more complete joy.

I'm also thankful for Flikr, and my ability to completely ruin a moment. :-) Have a good holiday! Eat more than you should!



I don't in any way consider myself a "photographer," but I do enjoy taking pictures -- hobby-style. I am finally working towards having equipment that comes close to capturing life the way I see it, or at least the way I want others to see it. These are some of my favorites so far. If you are an actual photographer, or know more about taking pictures than I do, I'd love to get some feedback. Even if you're not a photographer, I'd love to know what you think. After posting these, I've realized that I have alot of flower pictures. This is a recent development, something I hadn't really tried until a few weeks ago. I like the flower pictures, I might dive into that a little more. So, here they are:

I like pictures

It's been a while since I've posted, and I am sorry about that.

I'm going to try to give an update on everything in my life in one post, and show you a few pictures. 1, 2, 3, ... go.

I'm nearing 2 months as a worship leader at a church in Cypress, TX. It's been a pretty good time so far. I'm learning alot, but nothing that's really changing my views of worship, which is reassuring. I'm still convinced that church needs to be simpler than we make it. I'm not so sure God cares about production and presentation as much as we think. Something about man looking at the outer appearance, but God .... something about a heart, i don't know, i heard it once. So, needless to say (well, needless to me), I'm really working hard on heart issues at church. Hopefully the "success" we gain in those matters will overshadow any success or lack of success that we achieve in the numbers game. I can't tell you how lonely it feels sometimes to think that way.

Bella is the most amazing little girl ever, of course. She's starting to smile more and more, which is fun. A few weeks ago we took her to a pumpkin patch and got some great pictures with the pumpkins and in her kitty costume. She's 10 pounds and just got her 2 month shots yesterday. She did really great, and didn't cry too much (because Daddy was holding her). Later in the evening, though, she must've gotten sore or started feeling bad, because she was screaming. It was the first time she's cried like that, poor little thing. Today she's doing great, just swinging and sleeping.

I've had a crazy week. Wednesday night I got to play a pre-Latin Grammies gig at the House of Blues. Originally we were told that it was a party being thrown by Beyonce Knowles, for 600-800 people. I'm not sure how that got confused, because there were only maybe 125, and she wasn't one of them. I heard the next day that Latin Grammy rehearsal ran long, till 1am, so maybe some of those people were supposed to come. I don't know, I just got some fun stage pictures, so I'm happy.

The next night, Thursday, I got to play violin with a string ensemble in the Latin Grammies. We played with Tommy Torres. I'm still waiting to see if anybody posts it on Youtube, but nothing yet. It was a really long day, we were there 13 1/2 hours, and only played for 3 minutes or so. But, it was a great experience, and fun to see behind the scenes of a show like that. Gloria Estefan walked about 20 feet away from us while we were waiting to go onstage.

Bethany is an amazing mother. She went through alot in the last year, leaving her family and cleaving to me, moving in with a boy, having a child. Pretty big adjustments. I'm proud of her. I couldn't ask for a better wife and mother of our child. She's pretty, too.
On Monday we celebrate our first anniversary! I'm not even sure what to think about that. I figured it would be a whirlwind year, but had no idea our lives would change so much. We're looking forward to a trip to Ft. Worth Sunday, first to play a gig with the John Sherrill Band, then dropping Bella off with Bethany's parents so we can spend the day alone in downtown Ft. Worth. It's no Italy, but it'll do.

In other news, I got my car back after a month in the shop. I ended up getting a new engine put in, thanks State Farm for helping that happen. We're also trying to figure out a new living arrangement. Our cute little one bedroom, one bath apartment worked very nicely for the two of us, but is starting to get pretty cramped. I'm still loving the new Nikon D80 camera, and I think today I'll post some pictures I've taken. Talk to you soon!