Awakening

Life has changed a lot over the past few weeks:

We got a new coffee machine at work. It looks like something from Star Trek, but it’s downright amazing. “Despicable Me 2” was dissed at the 2014 Oscars and didn’t win “Best Picture.” Finally, my incredible wife gave birth to twins on March 5th.

Parenthood

As evidenced by the dearth of blog posts and the dark circles under my eyes, it’s been a challenging three weeks. I’ve had a lot of fun topics that I wanted to write about, but I usually just fall asleep instead. Alas, I’m slowly crawling out of the shadows and starting to resume a normal life. A normal life that is so much richer now that I have two new partners in crime (and a house full of baby junk).  After three weeks of parenting experience, here are my initial thoughts:

1.  Mothers. You all deserve a round of applause. My goodness.

2.  To the man or woman who invented the pacifier, you are my hero. I’m not even kidding. Thank you. Now, can you figure out how to help a newborn keep one in his or her mouth?

3. I have often had doubts about the existence of God during various times of my life. I’m a critical thinker who appreciates facts more than feelings. However, I have no doubts when I realize that this…

Austin and Madison - The Start

…became this…

A Fantastic Beginning

4.  People often ask me how the babies are doing. I always respond by saying that they are still alive. They think I’m trying to be funny. I’m not. That is a big deal because we’re stumbling our way though this whole parenting thing.

5.  For a horrifying sixty seconds, we thought we were going to lose Madison. On her first day of life. She started to choke and began turning blue. We had been parents for about five hours and had no idea what to do. There were no nurses around. It was the worst moment of my life. Alas, she pulled through and she’s alive today, which, again, is a big deal. Oh, and now I’m insanely paranoid about any little mouth noise the babies make.

6.  These kids are in the 90th percentile for height and 30th percentile for weight. I wish I was that lucky.

7.  Austin and Madison each had a distinct and beautiful personality the moment they were born. Madison came out at 1:41pm. She wasn’t really crying, but her big, beautiful eyes were looking around with a bold sense of wonder. Since that moment, she’s never stopped soaking in all her new surroundings. You can tell she’s constantly thinking and learning. Meanwhile, Austin, just like me, spends his days eating, sleeping, and crying.

8.  This was the happiest moment of my life.

IMG_6480

 Not pictured: Austin screaming.

9. We have so many amazing outfits for these kids to wear. I had big plans for them to be dressed to the nines like ballers each day, even though they are just hanging out at home for a few weeks. In reality, the clothes selection process usually happens in the wake of a diaper explosion and the owner of said diaper is likely crying. A lot. His or her brother or sister is probably crying too. Thus, they wear whatever is on the top of the stack of clean clothes.

10. I’m struggling to find a healthy work/life balance. Hopefully paternity leave in a few weeks will help. I’m also finding it really challenging to find time to exercise, but really easy to eat way too much junk food.

11. Our poor dog is confused.

Napoleon Confused

12. I did not know what true fear felt like until a fussy baby has just calmed down at 3:00am and I laid him or her down to sleep and I crawled into bed. A minute later, as I lay staring towards a dark ceiling, I hear stirring and whimpering from the pack-and-play across the room. Will the baby fall back asleep or will the noise continue to build until a violent explosion of cries emerges?  The seconds feel like hours. Those moments have helped strengthen my prayer life.

13. Those first few diapers were horrifying.  So smelly, so sticky, so black.

14. I’ll be honest, when I found out we were having twins, my first response was to laugh. Then I nearly passed out. Then I wanted to cry because I thought my life was over. Now, despite the late nights and 150+ diapers a week, I realize that it was the greatest gift(s) I’ve ever been given (except for the purple Jordans Amanda got me for Christmas).

15. Seriously, let’s give the mothers a round of applause.

Meeting Mommy x2

Bye.

A Fantastic Beginning

I’m a dad now.

A Fantastic Beginning

The last five days have been some of the most tiring, stressful, paranoid, and intense moments of my life.

They have also been the best.

I know everyone thinks I’m this really tough guy, but I’ve got a sensitive side too.  I’m so in love with these kids and so humbled by the opportunity to be their dad, I’ve cried at least a dozen times over the past few days.  This world has so many adventures to offer, but there is nothing better than holding these kids in my arms.

I haven’t slept much over the past week, but I used some of my late-night free time to make a short video that captures some special moments from Day One.  Enjoy!

Thank You

The world is going to get a little sillier tomorrow.

Austin and Madison will be making their wet and slimy debuts.  I have so many different thoughts and feelings about this whole parenting thing, but I can sum everything up in one word:

Thankful

I’m thankful for a determined, beautiful, passionate, and inspiring wife who never takes life too seriously.

I’m thankful for two little babies who have helped show us the beauty and miracle of life in such a profound way.

I’m thankful to have a job full of understanding and supporting co-workers who emphasize that family comes first.

I’m thankful for the two police officers who showed me how to properly install a car seat.  I forgive them for being UNC fans.

I’m thankful for our families.  They have been so generous and so encouraging.  We could not do this without them.

I’m thankful for our friends who have children.  It is priceless to see that others have gone before us and survived this crazy adventure.  Your advice, tips, and warnings are infinitely appreciated and always welcome.

I’m thankful for a church full of blessed friends and dynamic pastors who inspire us to become better people, better servants, better spouses, and better parents.

I’m thankful for UVA’s basketball team.  There is no real connection to the babies here, but you’ve helped make 2014 a very special year.

I’m thankful for all the baby gifts we’ve been given.  Babies are loud, babies are messy, and babies are expensive.  The priceless generosity of so many friends and family have really helped out with the last category.

I’m thankful for Peanut M&M’s and chocolate milk.  You’ve been Amanda’s rock, encouragement, and friend-in-need over the last seven months.

I’m thankful for all the encouraging comments on this blog, on Facebook, and on Instagram.  It means the world to me and your thoughts and tips are cherished by us both.

I’m thankful for doctors and medical workers who are wonderfully skilled in their professions and patient enough to answer all our dumb questions.

I’m thankful for a God who loves us so much that He can use two broken people for something beautiful.

Most importantly, I’m thankful for 20% off Buy Buy Baby coupons.

Thank You

The Other Side of History

There are two sides to every story.  Of course, there is the story you read about in the news, history books, and Wikipedia.  However, to get to the real story, you need something else.

You need a rap video.

The History of the Supreme Court

It’s time to tell you a story.

The History of the Supreme Court

Here’s the good news:

(1)  I didn’t get fired.
(2)  I have two rookie co-workers who I persuaded to join me in this rap video.
(3)  I didn’t get fired.

Enjoy!

Some of the lyrics are pretty dope, in a dorky lawyer way, so I wanted to include them here.  Please do not cite these in a brief or research assignment. You will probably be disbarred…

In East Philadelphia, 1787,
America was born, the Constitution was written,
We won the war,
Now we were free,
Supreme Court was created in Article Three.
But a couple of guys,
Who were up to no good,
They said the power of the courts was misunderstood,
If Congress passes an unconstitutional law
What can the courts do?
Court said in Marbury to strike it down under judicial review.

The party didn’t stop,
McCulloch came next,
The states said their powers were greatest under the Constitutional text.
C.J. John Marshall, he took a long pause,
Then he ruled that the federal government is top dog under the supremacy clause.

For 100 more years the feds were feeling so good,
Then President Truman showed up in the neighborhood.
Seizing steel millz and cruising along,
Rapping bout how the President be so strong.
SCOTUS stepped in said – “Whoa, Truman, hold on,”
We got a three part test that gonna prove you wrong.

In 1954 Chief Justice E-Dub started laying down the law –
Civil rights for all the people –
Brown v. Bd. said separate is not equal
The Court didn’t stop there, civil rights couldn’t be ditched,
Loving v. Virginia – all races can get hitched

It’s a new century, Y2K, and Nov. 7, 2000 is election day,
Florida can’t get it straight and it’s a tie score,
SCOTUS said GW’s the winner in Bush v. Gore
2010 campaigns are back and SCOTUS don’t mind it,
Dropping mad cash for candidates in Citizens United.
2012 will healthcare get the constitutional axe?
John G. Roberts says “NO, we’ll just call it a tax!”

Fast-For-Ward a bit to the present day,
You be thinking “What’s the court gonna say?”
Well there’s Noel Canning v. NLRB,
Are recess appointments constitutional?  We’ll have to see.
Obamacare is back with Hobby Lobby
What can the government require of a private company?

That’s the history of the Supreme Court, as told by a lawyer rap band,
Now let’s give it up for the highest court in the land.