Friday, August 28, 2015


sometimes I miss writing
Blogs and songs
but the truth is I write on people's hearts all the time
Pen to paper and publishing posts
Just the thought of them makes me smile

the story being authored on my heart
Annalisa's heart
Isaiah's heart
Ethan's heart
Owens heart
Xavier's heart
Anthony's heart
Monica's heart
Maria's heart
Is an epic

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mom's Mahjong

All Pongs = $0.10
All Chows = $0.10
Paningit = $0.10
Swole = $0.10
4 tiles same suit = $0.10
All Suit Up = $0.10
Back 2 Back = $0.10

Escalara = $0.25
7 Pairs = $0.25
Before 5th = $0.25

No Flowers = $0.10
13 Flowers = $0.10

Roll Dice
- Counter Clockwise
- Count Rollers First
- Count on wall away from you
- Serve counter clockwise

If you pull to win, it doubles everything.
If on roll, it's doubles, it all doubles.

First to 5 wins gets $0.50
A Major is worth 2 wins.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

4-6 year soccer games

different colored short cones: green, white, yellow, orange, blue, light blue
1' diameter multicolored rings
PUGG - pop up goals
Small Hurdles

Penny Tag in 25' x 25' grid
- tag w/ penny
- tag w/ penny & ball
- pass penny if tagged

Pirate Ship
- set up grid and the plank
- 'swab the deck' - roll ball back and forth under foot
- 'hoist the main sail' - pick ball up and throw as high as they can
- 'walk the plank' - weave the plank cones
- 'shark attack' - dribble ball to safe area

Buried Treasure
- hide candy under cones
- kids 'sail the seven seas' and find the treasure under the cones while dribbling the soccer ball
- they can only bring one piece of candy back to their 'treasure chest' at a time

Stuck in the Mud
- if tagged, pick up ball over head, make tunnel with your legs
- friend must put ball through your legs to be unfrozen
- "it" gets people stuck
- 25' x 25' grid
- kids help each other

- run from haunted house to haunted house about 90' away from each other without getting hit by ball... if hit, they turn from ghost to ghostbuster
- to call the ghosts out of the house the ghostbusters yell, "Who you gonna call?" and the ghosts yell, "Ghostbusters!" and run to the other haunted house
- can do a derivative of this with crabwalk
- can do another derivative with Aliens

Sticky Donut
- put the rings in a circle, each child stands in a ring
- "it" goes around the outside of the circle, tags someone and says sticky donut.... then they run opposite around the circle to get back to the ring...

- 3'x3' grid inside 25'x25' grid is racetrack
- kids dribble balls clockwise on racetrack, if the 'police' catch them, they get a ticket and get their ball kicked of the track

Use Pop Up Goals for scoring goals

Use Hurdles to jump over or put ball through course
- emphasize little touches

Mad Hatter
- run with cone on your head
- emphasize head up
- then with ball

Putter Pass for Prizes
- use the inside of your foot to knock the ball off the cone for prizes

Clean Up Cones
- dribble ball to get cones

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hey guys...
If you're sensitive to the cause of fighting against cancer AND you want to see the evolution of my fro from Pre-K through 8th grade AND you want to see how Isaiah's first piano recital went amongst other amazing videos/pictures/words...

I highly suggest you click on this link to donate to the American Cancer Society

After you donate you will receive access to the blog that contains all these wonders.

In the "Send a note to whom you are supporting" field, please include your email account because that is the email I will be inviting to read my private blog.

Shortly after you donate, I will take your email address and send you an invitation, you will receive an invitation email that begins with:
The Blogger user Human Amoeba has invited you to read the private blog: The Collectors, The Life Reflectors 2010.

Seriously, this is my way of feeling like I'm giving you something in exchange for the monetary favor you're doing for me in donating to Relay For Life and the fight against Cancer.
It's REALLY hard for me to just straight up ask people for money for any cause. So this is my way of deluding myself into believing I'm actually offering you something that's worth any amount that you were willing to donate. Please feed my delusions.
If you do consider doing this, please leave a comment on the blog, so I know you got access and I won't have to worry I messed up the invitation.

Thanks for reading this far,

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Changing the world is good for those who want their names in books, but being happy, that is for those who write their names in the lives of others, and hold the hearts of others as the treasure most dear."
- Children of the Mind, Orson Scott Card

I think I'm gonna name my guitar Haley.

I was listening to Jason Mraz's Curbside Prophet and one of the lines goes, "I commited to the licks"

I had a really nice dinner with Annalisa on Saturday after J got us free Red Wings tickets. We went to Chili's and discussed all the big things again. God, our marriage, the kids, where we are now, where we want to be. Eventually it came to love tanks. I re-read the 5 love languages book and a line stood out to me that said something like, "You'll know when your love tanks are full because you'll see it in the constructive and creative endeavors of the couple."

We discussed how amazingly crafty Annalisa is and I definitely encouraged her.
We then discussed my songwriting aspirations and Annalisa built me up with the most amazing confidence in my writing as well as expressed really good insight as to how I could get better.
Her encouragement was really really amazing, it made me feel inspired and thankful for her.

I realized I had to commit. I needed to commit to writing consistently, commit to the licks.


*Eric - don't forget that you told Annalisa that if you ever saw a hamper full of clean folded clothes, that you would make an effort to put them away where they're supposed to go.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

New Home

Kimmie moved downstairs and we were planning on moving Owen and the new baby into her room. I pulled off the baseboards to paint and found a small hole. In the small hole was carpenter ant frass. Carpenter ants had built a colony because a leak in the roof had softened the studs a little. All in all I ripped up 3 studs worth of drywall to expose the colony and kill it with Orthoboric Acid Dust. I'm taking quotes now to have the roof repaired, the studs replaced, and the drywall fixed. It could range in the thousands. It's basically a complete nightmare.

We had a doctor's appointment on Thursday, July 30th at 2:45pm to see if Annalisa's pregnancy was progressing. It wasn't... Her due date was July 28th so she was overdue. I was cool with waiting. You see, August 1st is the cutoff for soccer age. Basically, if you're born on August 1st, you'll be the oldest on your soccer team. If you're born on July 31st, you'll be the youngest on your soccer team. August 1st is the cutoff for soccer age. Look it up. So, when Annalisa hadn't progressed at all from the week before, and we set her induce date for Saturday, 8am, August 1st, I was cool with that. But Xavier, as if pre-emptively declaring he's up to all the challenges life and his brothers have to offer, had other plans.

We put the boys down around 9pm and I watched the second half of Watchmen with Annalisa. By the way, if you don't know what Redbox is, you need to figure it out. I love it. The movie finished and I went up to bed. Annalisa had been having some mini contractions, but nothing serious, she'd been having sporadic ones for a while. She went downstairs to play Minesweeper because Bejeweled Blitz was unavailable because our internet was down. It was then that her contractions got to be more regular and she determined that she had to start monitoring their frequency. It was 2:30am when she woke me and said, "We should probably go to my brother's, the contractions are 5 minutes apart and lasting for about a minute."

To be honest, it's not as jaw droppingly scary as it used to be. We're so much older than we were. So much more prepared. So much more ready. We had been praying for this moment for months, and all the other serious prayer warriors have had our back. It's amazing how spiritual stability and maturity can translate into emotional and even physical strength. Our plan was to go to Ryan's house which was only 10 minutes from Henry Ford West Bloomfield. All our other children were born at St. Joe's in Pontiac.

Henry Ford West Bloomfield. Maple Road, just west of Drake. Remember it if you're having a baby, you'll be glad you did.

Somewhere along the line the plan changed to going straight to the hospital instead of hanging at Ryan's until the right time. We got to the hospital, went to Emergency, went to Triage. At that point it was around 3:10am, being so early we missed all the construction traffic. Annalisa's mom met us shortly after in Triage. The contractions were getting pretty bad. The timing was:

Saturday, 7/31/09

2:30am - Annalisa wakes me because contractions are 5 min apart lasting a minute.
3:28am - admitted into Triage room 5 with bubbly Debra as our nurse. I shouldn't have had that protein shake with milk before I went to bed. Annalisa is 2cm dilated, 90% effacement. If she doesn't progress in the next hour, we might be sent home, because the contractions are strangely getting further apart.
5am - Progress! Yes! Annalisa was worried about this not being the real thing because of the cramps this time were in her back and not her legs, which was the case with the other boys. She's 4-5 cm dilated, and we were moved to Labor and Delivery Room 10 instead of being sent home. Dr. Capili was on his way. Annalisa was given a nubane IV to help take the edge off the pain.
5:30am - broke the bag of waters and the fluid was clear, which was good
6:18am - Annalisa's favorite part, the epidural was administered
6:25am - 7-8cm
7:20am - 9-10cm.. yes! Time to start pushing.
After a half an hour of pushing, there was progress, but not much. I had forgotten my only job of counting to ten during each push. I was just watching while I held her left leg.
Since it was determined that Xavier's head was a little sideways, the doctor suggested she lay on her side and try pushing that way. 2 pushes and 5 minutes after she laid on her left side...
7:55am - Xavier born!

Xavier Ambrosio Agustin
7 pounds 9.3 ounces
21 inches long

Right now, I'm blogging from Labor and Delivery Room 10. There's a wireless keyboard and a 36in. LG flat panel monitor. It's called the GetWell Network. Movies on demand, internet, TV. The nursing staff and doctors have been amazingly accommodating. I think in all my life I've never experienced so many people so concerned with our well being. This has been an excellent hospital experience and I don't want to take a second of it for granted.

Earlier today, I got all pensive and Annalisa asked what was wrong. I said, "There's nothing wrong. There's absolutely nothing wrong." I feel so incredibly blessed to be making that type of statement. I mean, I've got rotten wood and carpenter ant damage along with a leaky roof above Owen and Xavier's room. Annalisa was laid off on July 28th, her due date. I could literally lose my job at any point in time working at GM. The older three brothers seem to need more and more attention with every passing day that seems to get shorter and shorter.

And truly, there's absolutely nothing wrong. Truly truly I say to you. The peace that passeth human understanding is a storm in my center these days. Not because we have a new life that we probably can't afford. Right now, I'm reaping some of the fruits of the Spirit. At the beginning of this year I was trapped in a prison of my own making. Trapped in with bars of stress and anxiety about the future. I shared with my Bible Study that I was a mental and emotional wreck. Always worrying about losing my job. Always worrying about not spending enough time with the boys. Two Bible Study members heard my cry for help and answered with, "You should go to Confession. You should go once a month."

The merits of the Sacrament of Confession have been debated and argued throughout the centuries between Catholics and Protestants. Having grown up Protestant and now a Catholic, both sides of the argument dwell deep in my psyche. But having gone to partake of the Sacrament of Confession once or twice a month now for almost seven months, I can say that I understand a little more.

There's just something different about saying it out loud to another human being. All the worst things I feel I've done in the past few weeks, all the evil thoughts, all the sins I know of. There's just something about how the words leave the lips and fall on human ears. There's something different about the Act of Contrition. There's something different about hearing the words "absolve" and "Go with the Peace of Christ." There's just something different about it. Because of it, there's something different about me too.

Every week I'm accountable in The Struggle Against the Objectification of Women. I've named it just now because it's that rampant that serious. Males in this world sometimes don't even know that they're being destroyed from the inside out by something much much worse than cancer. It's like Cancer Soup for the Soul. That's what you're consuming when you're acting like every other consumer who eats up all the sexual innuendo in commercials, all the racy magazine ads, and all the gratuitous nudity in movies. I'm accountable weekly in The Struggle Against the Objectification of Women. It's that accountability that helps me in the effort to raise little men into real men.

Xavier means New Home.
The process of holiness is called sanctification.
This mind is cleaner. This body is cleaner. This temple is cleaner.

My home is damaged, Annalisa's job is lost, the economy is broken.
This Home is New.

Welcome Xavier, we love you so much, and I humbly accept the tremendous responsibility of being your father, and blanketing you with the Love from the only other Father who could love you more than me.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I've created a new blog!
In it, you'll find pictures of the family and the band I'm in.
You'll also find out what we're planning on naming our 4th child and the band.
I've also included some stories about a kid that I'm the father of.
Interspersed throughout the blog are very personal thoughts on God, Health, Family, being a husband and father, Pistons, etc.

You get all this for the low low price of contributing in the Fight against Cancer.
Just click on the link and contribute any amount you like.

Donate to Relay For Life

or paste this in your browser

In the "Personal Note to Whom You are Donating" field, please include your email account because that is the email I will be inviting to read my private blog.
I can only invite a hundred people to view this blog... seriously... so act fast!
The event is May 30th, 2009 and I will be updating the blog periodically up until the event. You will be able to view the blog until July 1, 2009.

Shortly after you donate, I will take your email address and send you an invitation, you will receive an invitation email that begins with:
The Blogger user Human Amoeba has invited you to read the private blog: The Collectors, The Life Reflectors.

Seriously, this is my way of feeling like I'm giving you something in exchange for the monetary favor you're doing for me in donating to Relay For Life and the fight against Cancer.
It's REALLY hard for me to just straight up ask people for money for any cause. I have nothing to offer except for myself. So I guess that's all I have to give and I hope you consider taking me up on my offer.
If you do consider doing this, please leave a comment on the blog, so I know you got access and I won't have to worry I messed up the invitation.

Thanks for reading this far,

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Creation and Service

These are some of the answers to the questions. Some of the most important answers.

Creation is the end result of the process. My whole life has spun towards creation. Often all the work I put in was geared towards getting some time at the end of the day to create. Everything has to be in place first. Then, if life was balanced and focused, then the bliss of creation. I endured college and my most cherished memories involved creating with my friends. Harmonies, beats, moves, lyrics, music videos, prayers, blogs, relationships. All end results of a child trying to create.
It's why parent's hearts rejoice at a drawing of a dog from their three year old. That child is doing what every inner being longs to do. For parent's, it's especially epic. It's your creation, creating.
Hearts and souls aren't inspired by the following of rules. Hearts and souls are moved by creation. Creation inspired by love and creation for the purpose of love is the ultimate joy.
A bouquet picked for mama. Habitat for Humanity. Isaiah, Ethan, Owen.

Service is the joy in the process.
Lives lived by choice in service to others are those most revered. A part of us wishes we could serve as well as we'd like too. The choice to serve has unlocked more paths to peace in me. If my soul is not creating or serving, it's not fulfilled. It can't sleep well. I've never known real sleep until recently. My life is lived in joyful service to my God, my wife, my children, my family, friends, my work. My body was more exhausted when I was merely serving myself. It's as if service to others possesses it's own energy source, separate from energy expended on self-gratification. Lately I've been trying to put Annalisa's needs above mine, and I can see her trying to be more sensitive to my needs. Life is so much better when it's lived like that.

My suspicion is that it's not money.
It's Creation and Service

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I believe that embryos are babies.
I am so so sad to my core that we will be killing babies in the name of research in Michigan.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Paint in the house:
Our room - Olympic Fragrant Cloves - Eggshell
Our room trim - Olympic Afternoon Tea - Eggshell
Dining room - Olympic Sauteed Mushroom - Semi-Gloss
Basement- Olympic Ship's Harbor - Flat
Living Room - Olympic Brick Dust - Semi-Gloss
Boy's Room - Olympic Easter Egg

Don't everyone rush to help us paint...just capturing the gallons I'm tossing out..
Google Reader testing testing again... I think it worked..

I just wrote this email to our parents. It's soooo... real. Hidden in the lines is anxiety and hope and prayer and worry and fear and love. Part of me wishes I made a lot more money so that I wouldn't have to be as anxious about this stuff. But then part of me is concerned with the sacrifices necessary to make a lot more money. Part of me is so content and happy that I feel like my heart will burst.


Money will getcha if you let it.

Please Lord, don't let it get me.

Hey guys,
I just wanted to let you know that I did open a 529 Plan for the boys. It's through the Utah plan because it had very low fees and was not too complex.

Check it out here.

The option I chose was Option 10.
It's outlined below.
New Investment Option
A new static investment option with more exposure to international equity funds will be
available to account owners October 1, 2008. This option results in the highest allocation
in international securities of any current UESP product:
• 70% in the Vanguard Institutional Total Stock Market Index Fund (VITSX)
• 30% in the Vanguard Institutional Developed Markets Index Fund (VIDMX)
This new investment option (Option 10 Equities—30% International) will provide
investors with greater access to the world market and growing regional economies.
If you want to give gifts to the boys that will help pay for their college and you're worried that Annalisa and I will just take the money and spend it haphazardly, the best way to do that is to:

Make a check payable to UESP
Send to UESP, PO Box 145100, Salt Lake City, UT 84114-5100
Include the beneficiary’s name and account number on the check
The beneficiary's name is: XXXXX and the account number is: XXXXX
Print out the gift notice at and just give that to the boys.

I can change the beneficiary whenever I want. Making 3 different accounts would have incurred more fees. The max that you can have in any account is $330,000. So far, we've saved $XXXXX total for all the boys. But that is just sitting in 3 separate savings accounts as emergency funds in case I lose my job. I haven't commited that money to UESP yet. I just opened the UESP account with $XXXXX.

Fidelity says that we'll need:
$138,000 to send Isaiah to U of M
$152,000 to send Ethan to U of M
$167,000 to send Owen to U of M

The puts us at $457,000 for all three.
Any help you want to give would be appreciated tremendously by us and the boys.

Thanks guys,

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Google Reader Testing Testing Testing

Monday, September 29, 2008

Annalisa and I went to Saltwater at MGM Grand Detroit for our 5 year anniversary.

We talked about how much we love being married to each other. Having thought very hard about it, I discovered that three of my top reasons for loving being married to Annalisa are:

1. The Food - I will concede that I have low standards. But I have to believe that even given that, Annalisa's culinary skills are still very high. Throw in my low standards and the fact that I would probably be living off of sandwiches without her, and her skills go off the charts.

2. Her sense of humor - Annalisa is SO much funnier than when I first met her. I don't know if it's because Ryan and Steen were such riots, that Annalisa's humor may have been drowned out. Or maybe she just wasn't that funny back then, and it was just enough for me that she was pretty and smart. But there are times now when she kills me. Some of her impressions put me on the floor. You'll never hear them because she's so shy. But her Shakira and Bella impressions always make me giggle.

3. Her work - Inspired passion is so sexy and captivating and cool to be around. I love that she works hard and that her work has focus and results that affect people's lives. I'm so proud of her work and the work she does.

Honorable Mention. Same page - The fact that we're pretty much on the same page. This is more of a comment on our relationship and our thought processes when it comes to raising kids. If I were to re-word it into an attribute related to Annalisa, I would say that it's her analytical skills. I love her ability to read what needs to be done, interpret not only what I'm saying, but the vibe I'm emitting, and formulate an intelligent opinion on how we should move forward.

Now that I'm in the zone of things I love about Annalisa, I think I'll keep writing.

Her shopping - before this would be way down on the list of things I like about Annalisa. But now I've seen over the years how really most of her purchases take into account our current financial situation while understanding what the house needs to operate. So it took a while, but I really think her ability to shop and find deals helps our family more than it hurts it.

Her face - I think she has the prettiest face in the whole wide world.

So clearly I love my wife and I've established that I think she's smart and wonderful and pretty.

With that said......

Ever see Forrest Gump?
At the beginning and end of Forrest Gump there are beautiful shots of a feather falling and rising through the air.

One day, Annalisa goes, "How'd they get the feather to do that?"

Monday, September 15, 2008

Isaiah started soccer two Saturdays ago. 9/6/08.
He plays with under the MicroStars. Practices are held at Oakland University. About 12-16 kids. $90 for 8 sessions. No real soccer games until he turns 6. Noah and Andrea are in it too. I’m thrilled with the way they’ve put together a fun way of introducing soccer to 4 and 5 year olds. I want to capture the little things they did here so that maybe I can play similar games with the boys at home.

Body Parts
Coach picks up the ball and says, “touch your nose” and touches the ball to his nose. The kids laugh and do the same. He then continues and touches the ball to a bunch of different body parts. He then says one body part and then touches the ball to a different part seeing which kids are sharp enough to notice. I like this game because it introduces the idea that the ball can touch many different body parts not just your feet.

Penny Tag
Basically playing tag inside a 15 x 15 square made of cones. When he tagged someone they would take the rolled up penny and they were “it”. After playing tag for a while, he then introduced the soccer ball into the game. Everyone had a ball and dribbled inside the square trying not to be tagged and still avoiding the other kids. I like this game because it gently introduces the idea of boundaries. That is, if the kids ran too far away with their ball, he would call them back into the square of cones. Also interesting to notice that he gave them no direction on how to dribble the ball. He just said get your soccer balls and dribble around and try not to get tagged.

Puppies in the Park
They then moved to playing pretend. Coach told the kids that they are walking their puppies through the park. The square of cones was the park, the soccer balls, their puppies. But they had to watch out for the mean park ranger who wanted to take their puppies if they weren’t on a leash. Coach was the park ranger and putting their puppy on a leash meant putting their foot on the ball and stopping it. The kids would then dribble within the circle screaming and laughing because whenever the park ranger got to their puppy and it wasn’t on a leash, he would kick it a little bit outside the square of cones, and the kids would have to go get their puppy and come back. After a few minutes of that, coach declared that he was now a lion, and that lions don’t care about leashes, they just wanted to get the puppy. So now coach was roaring and running around kicking out balls even if they had their foot on the ball. After that, coach stopped play, got rid of all the balls, and then asked the kids what their favorite scary animal is. He told them they were that animal and it was their turn to try and get his puppy. So dinosaurs, and dragons, and cheetahs were chasing scared coach around trying to get his puppy. This was a great game first and foremost because the kids had so much fun playing. While they were playing though, they learned how to try and stop the ball if they needed to, the whole while being cognizant of their surroundings and the ball simultaneously. The good lesson the lion aspect is trying to teach the kids is that they’ll need to put their bodies between the opponent and the ball to protect the ball. When they all chased coach’s puppy, that’s the beginnings of the one ball used in a real game.

Now the coach puts up larger cones spread around in the middle of the square and tells the kids the larger cones are fires and they are firemen. The balls are the buckets of water. They need to put out the fires. He would gather the kids in a corner of the square and then call for firemen. The kids would rush out of the corner dribbling their balls and kick the balls into the cones. Ball control and focus on a specific goal are learned.

That was the first practice. I thought they would play the same games at the second practice. Nope. The coach had all new games.

Now there were 4 sets of smaller squares of cones all arranged in a larger square formation. He declared each would be a restaurant. McDonald’s, Burger King, Dairy Queen, Wendy’s. He would ask the kids where they wanted to eat and they would decide on a place and dribble there. When they got there, someone would be declared the server and they would pass out the flat cones and pretend they were plates and pretend to eat off of them. They would do that and he would switch it up by declaring one restaurant but he himself would dribble to a different restaurant and then see which kids went which way. Dribbling skills and paying attention skills were developed.

Ghosts and Ghostbusters
Now there is one rectangle of blue cones about 15 yards away from another small rectangle of orange cones. The rectangles are haunted houses and the kids stand in the house without balls and are ghosts. Coach is standing between the two haunted houses with his ball and he’s the Ghost Buster. When he yells, “who you gonna call?!” The kids yell, “Ghostbusters!” and run from one haunted house to the other. While they’re running he tries to kick the soccer ball at their feet. If it hits them, they become Ghostbusters the next time. Slowly there becomes more Ghostbusters than Ghosts and the kids learn evasion tactics as ghosts and ball control when kicking as Ghostbusters.

Again, I’m thrilled with how they’re going about introducing game concepts to the kids.
When Isaiah laughs and plays like that, all my insides get happy.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Things I ate in my week long hiatus from my year long hiatus from deep fried foods and chocolate.

Hooters Wings, curly fries
2 of Kelly's caramel walnut brownies
9 Reese's Peanut butter eggs (small)
1 small twix
4 Boston Kreme donuts... these are the best... deep fried with chocolate
1 eclair
Arby's Homestyle Fries
McDonald's Fries
Shake Shack cheese fries
Wendy's Fries
1 DQ Small vanilla dipped cone
2 Snickers bars
1 Reese's Fast Break bar
Fries that Annalisa made
2 small bite size Milky Ways
1 Large Potbelly Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie
1 Ice Cream Sandwich
2 Peanut M&M packets normal size
A bunch of regular M&M's
7 donut holes glazed

gonna try and pull the fruits and vegetables lever this year.... I hope it goes well

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

What a great story.
Pierre and Amy got married this weekend.
Chrissy put it best when she said that she loved the fact that she expected the whole weekend to be really fun and exciting and great to see everyone again…. it was all that and more….
She was so right… it’s great to let your mind hype an event up and up and never have to be worried about being let down….. so the months leading up to the wedding were full of bliss and anticipation….
Bliss and anticipation. At 31 years old…when do you get that? When you were younger it was birthdays and Halloween. But the luster wears off after a while. At some point in time, Halloween becomes just candy that you give out. Birthdays are just mortality reminders.
Pierre and Amy’s wedding was to me what Christmas is to 5 year olds. Bliss and anticipation.
I was calling random people in the weeks before the wedding trying to hype it up and build energy. The Thursday before I was calling people and saying, “I’ll see you tomorrow!” because how often can you tell some people in your life that? There are so many people you would love to say, “I’ll see you tomorrow” to but can’t because it’s just not true. You won’t see them tomorrow. So it’s important to say it while it’s true… or else you’ll miss it…. And just like everything else it will have slipped through your fingers like sand.
Bittersweet. Twilight. Torn. The exact moment when day turns to night and night to day. Moments where intense happiness and sadness, joy and pain co-exist. Each new year brings higher levels in both directions. Being pulled in both directions with new levels of tension forces you to bear down and find your true center. Usually when that happens I’m forced to my knees to pray.
The time came. 4:45am my eyes blinked open. The alarm was set for 5am to get ready to leave to go to the airport to be ready for the 6:50am flight to Laguardia.
The sun would be out soon, but it was rising and setting inside me. Owen was in the crook of my right arm. Isaiah was on my left against the wall. Ethan on the other side of Owen. Sleeping.
We spent the night at Rob and Ellen’s so they could watch the boys on Friday.
It was time to leave the boys.
Again, I was never left alone. My parents never went anywhere without me. So I don’t know how this works really. I got up and paced around a little. Watching them sleep and snore quietly by the glow of the moon and nightlight. So much of me in one little bed. I was broken… torn. I knelt at the bed at their feet, folded my hands. Forehead to my hands to the sheets. Beseeching, imploring, begging, requesting.
Please God… please please take care of them… to be away and something catastrophic to happen while we chose to celebrate a million miles away would be too much to handle. You promised to never give me more than I could handle. Please don’t. Please watch over them. Blanket them. Enclose them. Hold them tight to Your chest when we can’t. Should something happen to us, please please God let them know that they were and are loved. Should something happen to them, hold me up and help me endure that suffering. I couldn’t even finish a Lord’s Prayer correctly because my mind was so anxious in those moments before leaving. Please God, please please please keep them safe.
I converse with my son’s hearts sometimes while they sleep. “Can I come?” whispers Isaiah’s heart to mine. There’s so much implied in that question. There’s so much involved. “Sorry buddy, maybe next time.” My heart whispers in reply. “Why not, daddy?” In these silent conversations I envision the answer being burned onto Isaiah’s heart. I feel the need to speak to a more mature Isaiah. “Isaiah, I love you so much. I have to leave and you have to stay because of many reasons. We need to celebrate the joining of two separate lives into one. Mama and Papa need to unplug, catch our breath, relax and laugh with old friends without worrying about diapers and juice. We can’t afford to bring all of you with us. Logistically, Isaiah, bringing you guys with us would be a nightmare. But mostly buddy, mama and papa need to rest.”
I wish his heart would answer, “Okay, papa, I understand.” But it didn’t.
I kissed their feet and told their hearts that I loved them. I wanted to promise them that mama and papa would be back soon. But I’ve lived long enough to learn that every day promises like that are broken. We live in this world and mama or papa doesn’t always come home when they’re supposed to. The only promise I can make is that no one will ever love you more than mama and papa do.
Good-bye my little sweethearts. My little men.
The part of their hearts that I converse with misses me. The other parts of them are thrilled to be at Noah and Elly’s house. Those parts of them don’t miss me so much. Noah is Isaiah’s best friend and my God son. I would say Elly is probably Ethan’s best friend right now. To me, dropping off your child to spend some time with their best friends, so that you can spend time with some of your best friends, is much more palatable than all the self torturing thoughts I was thinking.
So the sun inside me set and the sun outside was rising, and it was off to the airport in the Outlook. I had finished Twilight. Starting New Moon on the day of Breaking Dawn’s release. Traveling to the city where the author happens to be signing books. Stephanie Meyer. Google her. The media machine is gonna have a field day with her books. Said to be the next Harry Potter. A little teeny bopper for me, but whatever. Point is, I have something fun to read in the airport and on the plane.
When the plane takes off I say prayers. When the plane lands, I was so engrossed with Bella and Edward I was startled to feel the rumble. Sweeeeet. New York. LGA.
I packed: 3 boxers, 3 t-shirts, 2 shorts, suit. No one to impress. This crew loves me as I am.
Went to get the rental car. Made a reservation earlier that week through Hertz with AAA discount. $283 including taxes and fees for 3 days. !!!! That’s so expensive for 3 days! One thing I’ve learned is that a lot of times, it’s not about the cost, it’s about the feeling of getting a deal. I wanted the feeling of getting a deal. So I was emotionally prepared to pay $283 but since we had some time before Tracee landed, let’s call the other rental places. Called AVIS and they said with the AAA discount it would be $240 for 3 days. Woohoo! That’s still a lot of money, but it’s not the cost, it’s the feeling of getting a deal! Yes! Waited until Tracee landed and I wanted to call AVIS again to make the reservation to lock in my $240 deal. When I called, I decided to go into my spiel again… What’s the cheapest I can get a car from now until Sunday. “Well, we just started to run a special, and I can get you it for… $220.”
!!!! Woohoo!!! Double bonus day!!! The feeling of getting an uber deal!! Wheee!!!
White Hyundai Accent. Uberdeal. Let’s be real though, $220 for 3 days, that’s so expensive considering I want to buy a boat for that amount that will last me 30 years. But uberdeal double day feelings were too hard to beat. I was so happy.
When Tracee arrived the weekend officially began. This is what it was all about and what I imagine what we were all so excited for. To see faces we haven’t seen in so long and look at those faces and smile and have them smile back. Kimmie has meant so much to me and my family and to see her happy and with one of her best friends again made me so so happy. I have no comments on how much they email each other.
I am a genius and I printed off directions to and from Laguardia to the Andrews Hotel and to and from JFK to the Andrews Hotel. Kimmie and Tracee were the first to join my soon to be growing posse of people I was honored enough to pick up or drop off at the airport.
We wanted the first thing we did in New York was eat something authentically New York and indigenous to the area. So we did all this research and wanted to try some New York Ice Cream at this cute little New York French Bistro called Baskin Robbins. Pronounced, Baske Rohbaens, emphasis on the ‘baens’. It’s French or Franche if you’re elitist. And we were. It was around lunch time now so I got Pralines and Cream and Kimmie got a bagel and Tracee got Mint Chocolate Chip.
The French bistro was attached to this really sweet Russian/Italian place called Dunkin’ Donuts. Very chic. Nice atmosphere. New York is such a magical place.
It was here I learned that Tracee was Miss Michigan 3rd Runner up some time in her younger days. That explained the paparazzi. We left the quaint patisserie and made for the hotel. It was too early to check in so I asked the dude what there was in Great Neck that we HAD to check out. He said Bruce’s Bakery up the street. The area was about 5 notches up from Birmingham. Really really nice, but not very very expensive. Circling the hotel looking for a parking spot I had already spotted my favorite place in Great Neck.
The Gaze-Bo.

\gə-ˈzē-(ˌ)bō also -ˈzā-\
: a freestanding roofed structure usually open on the sides
Lined with flags, this model of Americana culture sat invitingly in the park amidst playgrounds, seat benches a mini water park and grass.
My heart was like, “Gazebo! Gazebo! Yaaayyy! Gazebo!”
But since Kimmie and Tracee were there, I was like, “Maybe we can hang over there.”
We chilled at the Gaze Bo and tried to re-enact movies that involved Gaze Bos. Tracee said the Sound of Music earlier and I was like, “yeah, haha” but I really couldn’t picture the scene. But when I walked to the gazebo and sat in the bench, I felt like I was sixteen going on seventeen and all the memories came rushing back of my days as a little girl in Austria, innocent yet fearful of the Auschwitz. We proceeded to do the turn kicks off the benches, you know, the turn kicks that capture the essence of new true secret love when trapped in the rain. Those kicks, except better.
After picking some Edelweiss, talking about a few of our favorite things and strolling around the park we proceeded to check out the shops and make our way to Bruce’s Bakery. Bruce’s Bakery was like we really didn’t know what we were experiencing while we were experiencing it, but we were aware we were in the presence of greatness. You knew the place was great because Bruce has a million pictures of himself handing celebrities their birthday or special event cakes. Many many celebrities. Got the award winning Challah French Toast and a mushroom, sausage, cheddar cheese omelette split between me and Kimmie and Tracee. People should split meals more often. Society here has inflated serving sizes. You’re getting more for your money! Um, no. You’re making me eat too much.
The food was fantastalicious. You know it was on when a waiter dropped off an assortment of square and circle pastries, rolls, and coleslaw before the meal. Who gives pastries out before the meal? Awesome. Bruce, baker to the stars, I applaud you. Tiny golf clap.
By this time we could check into our room.
“We upgraded your room for free.”
Ladies and Gentlemen!!! Welcome to Triple Super Uber Awesome Savings and Deals Days here in New York City!!! Where the Mike’s Hard Lemonade flows like So Co and lime, the rates get lower on rental cars every time you call back, and rooms upgraded for free because we feel like it!!!
Room 301. Not the sleep room.
Kimmie and Tracee went to get their mani-pedis. I had just enough time to enjoy the A/C and relax a bit on the couch before driving to JFK to pick up Chrissy and Jon G. Members 3 and 4 of my posse. I LOVE picking up and dropping off people from the airport. I love the excitement of seeing someone I haven’t seen in a while and how happy they are to be picked up thus marking the end of their airport experience for the time being and beginning of awesome time. I learned that Chrissy is looking fabulous despite a broken knee that she MUST stay off of because not playing outside in California should be a federal offense punishable by caning. She has to be fully healthy before she can play so she can play forever and ever. Jon G is a balling architect that is kicking butt in SF but is thinking about NY. Man I love these two. So chilled, so laid back, so good to go. Mission See Everyone is slowly being accomplished.
Amit and Alison arrive at the Hotel. More feel good feelings of feelings of joy. Room 215.
5:30pm Jon Yang arrives at JFK. I was debating on letting him cab it, but when I heard his voice I had to go get him. Jon G navigated. Time with this heavy thinker in a car is like gold to me. I would pay tons of money to talk with Jon and a few other people in a confined space. I wasn’t gonna let this opportunity pass. This was why I came. Back to JFK. Member 5 of the posse. Jon Yang and his life partner James Wang recently bought matching luggage. They’re really pretty. I love talking basketball with Jon Yang. We both know it’s just basketball. But we also know it’s so much more than basketball. Basketball can shape individual hearts and entire countries.
At this point, one of my worst fears for the weekend had already begun to manifest. Fracture. The A-Listers were in the city and trying to get together for dinner. Lynn, Palak, Jill, Steve, Sam, Dann, etc. You know, the REALLY good looking people. The people who make you wonder why you’re writing long blogs instead of working out or eating some green vegetable.
Hmmm…. A-Listers in the city or Panchos The Best TexMex since 1991.
I mean, there’s a reason I’m a C-Lister and it probably has a lot to with beef enchiladas.
I’m sure there was slight FOMO for all parties involved. But Panchos was the venue for the first group culinary culmination in my microcosm and it would more than suffice.
We talked about best friends and the definition of a best friend. We talked about some people’s need to define a person as a best friend and other people’s need to not. We discussed the dangers of labeling friends as “best” because of how emotionally vulnerable that leaves you. I loved it because I love best friends. You can tell so much of a person by their best friends in each stage of their life. But there are those who would rather not label friends as their best friends. I loved that too because it makes me try to think of different vocabulary and language to try and understand those people also. If you can tell a lot about a person from their best friend, yet they choose to not label anyone as their best friend, how can you learn as much about that person as you would if you knew who that person’s best friend was? If you can tell a lot about a person by where they live, but they don’t have a place they call home, how can you learn as much about that person as if you did lie on their bed and experience their home? How can you learn more, how can you connect more, how can you share more in less familiar circumstances? Is it really good to keep everyone at arms length because you choose to not be that vulnerable?
I put Jon G on blast to share with the group about his speed dating experiences because I’m so so curious about that whole phenomenon.

I split nachos with Tracee and beef enchiladas with Jon Yang. How is it that Jon eats just one meal a day? I think it’s genius if your body can do it. During the week I try and get by on like… 1700 calories a day….pump it to about 2400 on the weekends to keep the metabolism high….
I’m seeing all these parallels between Edward Cullen and Jon Yang. Noticed it all weekend. Devastatingly beautiful. Wise beyond his years. No need to eat food. No need to sleep at night. Unnatural interest in 16-17 year old girl’s lives.
I love all the new questions that old friends bring up without even trying. It’s like your mind gets in this rut, pondering the same things for so long… and friends you haven’t seen in a while are the perfect vehicle for drifting into new areas of thought again.
That’s the greatest part about getting together and breaking bread together. Or in this case crunching tortillas together.
We lingered and the time came to pick up Annalisa and Babbs. Right then, Kyle showed up like the baller he is. So tough, so cool, but just the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. He even offered to pick up them up from the airport because I must be tired. But I love picking people up from the airport… so I shot over to LaGuardia. On the way, Babbs tells me he’s stuck in Detroit. HUGE disappointment. I was so looking forward to picking up Babbs.
Annalisa got stuck next to big smelly I-don’t-know-what-personal-space-is guy. Annalisa really cannot handle that guy. But… her amazingly inspiring experience that she had at the American Cancer Society National Conference couldn’t keep her down. I LOVE when she’s inspired and excited about the people in her management that are striving so hard to find a cure for cancer. When was the last time you were inspired by and excited about your upper management? I love when she talks about great and moving experiences at work.
When we got back, I think Martin and Aileen were waiting for us. Aileen is beautifully 5 months pregnant with Alaya Hope Bruce. Martin pulled out this scrapbook and I think officially became the first guy I know to scrapbook. I REALLY wish I had that in me. The most I can do is take pictures with my Canon SD1000. He’s saving the ultrasounds and writing by hand in the captions. It is so awesome. They are such a beautiful couple and I am so excited for their baby to be here so I can hug and kiss her. Martin is so great about asking for advice for the weeks and months and years ahead. With all that Annalisa and I have learned about caring for babies, we are more than happy to dish out advice and opinions. Seeing Martin again was like another puzzle piece of my heart clicking into place for the weekend. I love where he’s at right now. 5 months pregnant with your first is no joke. Very intense time. Worried about exposure to smoke, hypersensitive to your wife’s needs, but still not wanting to sacrifice all that you are. I love that he’s in it because it’s another guy friend that understands that point in life. Annalisa and I kind of got into all that stuff earlier than our friends, so it’s great to be there for them now that they’re in it.
When Annalisa got to spend some real time with Chrissy my heart felt so full. She’s wanted that for so long and she really really misses her best friend. All of that plays such an important role in my life because if mama isn’t happy, nobody can truly be happy. So I loved that Annalisa and Chrissy got to spend so much time together this weekend. Breakfasts, pedicures, sleeping, dancing, pizza in the rain, all that.
Finally, maybe around 11:30pm Babbs called and arrived in Laguardia… oh yeah baby.. more quality time in confined spaces with juggerthoughts Babbs, Jon Yang, and Jon G…. that’s what it’s all about….. We jumped a little deeper into the best friend discussion and somehow, I think probably from Jon Yang coaxing, he got me talking in a different direction. I voiced my desire to talk about deeper things with this particular group of friends. I told him I kind of wanted to get into religion and politics. I wanted to talk about McCain and Obama, and abortion, and gay marriage. Jon Yang was all for it and Jon G voiced all the concerns my heart already had with such a discussion in these types of settings. It could blow everything up. People could leave the conversation emotionally charged and angry at other people’s mindsets. Before where there was gray area that we could all wade in and enjoy, those waters would be more distinctly black and white. Once there stood a person who you had the utmost respect for and now you only see another radical pro-lifer or choicer. Do we really want to risk that? Do we really want to risk all the love that pervades and permeates the group dynamic now? The line is precarious. It could all come crashing. Why then? Why risk?
Significant reward. For me at least. I have a Bible Study that I discuss these issues with but since we’re all studying the same things and trying to stay aware of what the Catholic Church is teaching, the all too important counterpoint is missing. The genuine and real other side of the story. The different vocabulary. The challenge. The deep and personal challenge that I may be living my life incorrectly and that maybe I should rethink my stance and that maybe I should change my ways. It’s that challenge I crave sometimes, not because I doubt my positions, but rather to see how strong my convictions are. The whole process in my opinion leads to more strength. Possibly and probably more breakdowns, but eventually more strength. That’s why I would risk. But it is a very significant risk.
I guess what I’m saying is that if we can’t talk about this stuff with our friends without all of it blowing up then I’m worried that the only people talking about it are the politicians…. And I trust their circle of friends far less than I trust mine. Potentially, we have an absolutely dominant think tank on our hands here. If we do, I want to tap into it. If we don’t, it’s scary to think about the love lost along the way.
Emotion is the key in these discourses. Too emotional and things break down. Not enough emotion and you may come off as not caring. Being in perpetual search of my emotional center is kind of what I’ve unwittingly subscribed to as a parent. So, rocking the boat on the water is not as difficult as it was when I was younger.
That’s what Babbs was getting into when he got in the car. Talking about talking. Conversing about conversations to come.
For some reason everyone loves Babbs. I don’t know anyone that thinks he’s a dick. He’s got such an incredibly sensitive soul. He makes himself completely vulnerable. That’s why I think the lows are so low with him and the highs so high. He’s one of my favorite people because he can disarm with his smile and his words. He listens and challenges and questions. He creates words that mesh into meaning on the fly. He weaves together past and present in stories that amuse and captivate. He’s probably one of the most likeable people I’ve ever met. And if you’re a pretty girl, he’s got you without even trying. I imagine girls imagine what it would be like to be with Babbs. I imagine my sweet jumper floating over his outstretched arm and anguished face hitting nothing but net. That to me is sexy.
So Babbs rounded out my posse for Friday. 4 perfectly wonderful runs to the airport. 2 to LGA. 2 to JFK. 4 times I got to see faces relieved and happy to see me. I live for it.
Everyone just wanted to see everyone. That’s all that they wanted. “What did you want to do this weekend?”…. “I just wanted to see everyone.” That’s it. That’s all we did then. We sat around the chill room and munched on pizza and laughed. I realized one of my goals for the weekend was to get to know Alison better. She was the youngest in the room and not affected by it at all. She’s half Columbian half Haitian and her parents had the same worries about her having an accent growing up as mine did. Apparently she has a beautiful singing voice, but I can attest that she has a beautiful conversational voice. Breathy yet light. She has to be careful in the non-profit world. It can be so difficult. Apparently upon meeting Amit for the first time, he communicated in a post script that they would be best friends. Yet he failed to mention to her that he used to clog. So their relationship thus far has basically been one big lie. Complicated, I know. This is also what I came for. This is also what I wanted and want more of as I sit in my cube.
After cuddling with Amit and Babbs under the covers a bit. They eventually left like the whores they are and I got to sleep next to my wife on the fold out bed.
Sleep. There are so many processes in your head that let you be aware of what needs to be done. At home, if one of the boys wakes up with a virus, I know which ER to bring them to and how long it takes to get there. In New York, that process is running but I don’t need it to because there is nothing I could do about it. So I shut it off. Multiplied by the hundred processes necessary to maintain three boys, and you’ve got something not dissimilar from a re-boot.
Oh, thank you PZ. Thank you Amy. Thank you for loving each other so much that Annalisa and I might get a chance to re-boot. Start, log-off, re-boot. Sleep.
Free continental breakfast. I’m all about ‘em. Kimmie woke up first. Tracee shared a ridiculous dream about her hairdryer breaking. Annalisa ridiculously told her not to worry because she brought hers. It was a dream, come on, that’s ridiculous. That’s what I woke up to.
I had to run. That’s what my body is used to doing. I love running in new surroundings and my body wants to anyways, so I ran. I asked a native where to run and he told me where another park was. I discovered another gaze-bo and a beautifully manicured baseball field. I had visions of playing kickball with my homeys. On a wonderfully muggy New York day, I ran about 3-4 miles.
This is it. The big day. The weather was nice but it started to drizzle during breakfast. I heard it might be an outdoor wedding…. Usually when I hear that, it’s usually not an outdoor wedding. So rain wouldn’t matter either way. There was all this debate over when the people dancing should practice. Things officially got crazy when Palak, Rudhir, Sam, Jill, Adarsh, Thripa?, and Thyda showed up. Yes…. More and more…. Rudhir helped me figure out what I should do about the boy’s childhood education when he should have been napping… Maybe I will go with the Michigan Education Trust and just take out a loan to pay for the boy’s 8 semesters. Got Soul? Snuck away to practice in a parking structure with the radio blaring. Love it.
Annalisa and Chrissy left to get pizzas and then…. Down pour… Monsoon style. I forgot to feed the meter after my run that morning so I got a parking ticket. That’s how I knew I was with Ann Arbor people. Went to get the girls and pizza. We feasted. Pizza was such a good call.
Suj and Stella showed in time for pizza. My goodness these two looked fabulous. Suj, I believe is a lawyer and Stella plastic surgeon. What? I instantly wondered what part of me I could enhance. Maybe better pecs like Suj.
As people got ready, I got a chance to take a picture with Sam. He was wearing a black tuxedo with the white tuxedo shirt untucked. That along with his mane and polka dot bow tie and green watch made him look so cool. Me? Gray suit, shaved head, blue shirt tucked in, yellow tie. Booooooring. He’s bringing sexy back and I’m setting sexy back about 50 years.
I guess while we’re on the self-conscious self bashing comparing myself to other people train, what’s up with Dann Lee? “Hey Dann, what’s up? I’m gonna go lift something heavy multiple times. Maybe a bushel of corn or a Volkswagen. How many times? Oh, I’m thinking 43 sets of 30 might get me to where you’re at.” He could be so mean and intimidating if he wanted to be, but he’s not, he’s kind and unassuming. It’d be easier to hate him if he was just meaner. But he’s not, so I love him. I just hate me and my flab.
The whole weekend was a testament to Amy’s genius. There’s no way that PZ could have been this smart. Shuttles to the ceremony/reception was perfect. People could imbibe as they pleased and not have to worry. I sat in the back of the bus with the other troublemaker kids. Called Lynn to see if Ed was going to make it. Her, Leslie, and Sharon were on their way, but Ed was hurting in Chicago.
The venue was amazing. Stone mansion like structure with deep brown wood floors and trim.
When I stepped outside to the back of the mansion, I discovered the extent to which an absolute crisis was averted. There were rows and rows of the beautiful white wooden chairs you see in movies facing a white arch laced with purple flowers and green vine. Under the white arch were the unity candles and a table. Through the arch you saw a beautiful field, past the field was a lake, past the lake was forest. THIS is what Pierre and Amy envisioned when they chose this place. This is what the monsoon a few hours earlier threatened to take away. Now knowing that this could all have not been here made the place immeasurably more magical.
Scott, Ant, JB, Shao, Poon, Jason Lee… pimped out and ready to go. Pierre and Amy rolling like thirty deep now. Their love reaching across space and time to reconnect smiles and lives. Looking around the room I didn’t know who to talk to because I wanted to talk to them all. Learn everything. Calm down. Just enjoy.
When we were called to go outside again and sit, I wanted front row seats. I really wanted to be there. Right in the mix, watching it all go down.
Leslie, Lynn, and Sharon arrived all looking amazing. Leslie has the sweetest and most caring heart. Lynn is hands down one of my best friends. Sharon I love to pieces even more now that I heard she helped Lynn try to choose wedding dresses. Lynn should be picking dresses with her best friend Connie and when that is difficult because they never see each other, I worry that my friend Lynn won’t have anyone to pick dresses with. Every girl should have girlfriends to pick wedding dresses with.
Then the most soothing honey dipped voice came through the speakers encouraging us to sit so the ceremony could begin. The officiant was this beautiful actress like lady that I swear could have been one of those models at the auto shows expertly telling you about all the new features of the BMW 7 series. She was graceful and practiced and warm. She comforted you with her smile, gaze and her maternal aura. She could casually tell you to jump off a cliff and you’d consider it because it sounded so nice when she said it.
There are very very few like Pierre. He’s concerned and caring and motivated. Armed with a great sense of humor and a laid back nature, it’s fair to say that everyone loves hanging with him. Throw in the fact that he’s a goof in front of a video camera, is an extremely hard worker, and arguably one of the top 3 dancers ever to come through FunKtion, and you’ve got a guy that can literally rock worlds. The combined caliber of the people who attended the wedding in my opinion is one of the greatest testaments to who Pierre is. He moves people. He moved me.
The little hug he gave his dad before walking down the rows of white chairs started me off. You could tell he’s a kid that dared to dream, and in the midst of the dream coming true, he was emotional. If it were easy I don’t think he would have shed a tear. But I know the stress and joy of a wedding. I know the love and sacrifice. Let the man be emotional.
But come on, pull yourself together man.
I loved it. His eyes were red and puffy when Amy descended from whatever cloud she was on to grace us with her smile. My goodness she was stunning. She was stunning on the wedding window website. She was stunning in the picture when you first walked into the mansion. She was stunning as she walked toward Pierre now. I told Amy Kuo later what I thought of Amy Wang’s beauty and she said she thinks it’s because her internal beauty matches perfectly with her external features, and that’s why she has that extra something people can’t put their fingers on. I think I completely agree. I went back to look at the picture of Pierre and Amy at the front of the mansion and I thought, “Dang dude, I love you man, but I have no idea how you got a girl as gorgeous as that.”
When the velvet voice returned she shared personal stories about Amy and Pierre, one of the comments she made stood out in my mind... it was the one about how Pierre never asked her to be someone she wasn't... He accepted her for who she was and never asked her to change her beliefs... These comments were so significant to me because of their history, why they broke up in the first place, and the hurdles they've overcome so far just to get to the point where they were now. I think Amy was wiping away his tears now or picking some dust off of his forehead. Man, she was a rock.
The exchanging of vows is always a big deal to me at weddings. Forever and ever and ever... no matter what.... that's essentially what they're saying. I love that part of the wedding because it makes me remember my vows, and all my promises to Annalisa. I squeeze her hand and think I'm gonna take care of her forever and ever no matter what.
The whole ceremony was classic movie worthy. The rain earlier really cooled the whole thing to a manageable warmth and humidity.
It should be noted that the best man did a great job of keeping the bored ring bearer in check and Amy Kuo and Steve also did a good job not crying. Now that I think about it, Steve did a great job all weekend. He is a perfect groomsman because he's so willing and incredibly able. Sometimes you got dudes that want to help, but just are good at it...Sometimes no one really wants to help... Steve was a great groomsman in my opinion.
When they walked back down the aisle as man and wife I was so happy for them and so excited for the rest of the night. Everyone was pretty much giddy at this point. Soaking in the moment and the sun, I moved inside to case the place again.
Yummy cheese noodles... probably tortellini was served... I was in line when Steve came to me with that look... I can never turn down friends when they got that look.... I don't know if it was genuine or not, but it looked like he needed me. In the end, he really didn't need me, it's just that he really wanted Annalisa and I to be part of the dance no matter how small the role, so he etched out a tiny little place for us. One that we could handle, and he knew it. So even though I told myself I wasn't going to dance no matter what because I didn't have the energy or time to commit to it, there I was, practicing a routine I hadn't practiced for about 6 years... I was so glad to have a tiny little part though because I loved seeing everyone slightly nervous. I love the feeling of being nervous and seeing grown professionals clearly nervous also. some six figure freaks that command board rooms are worried again about 8 counts.... amazing all the aspects of dance physically and mentally... There in a small alcove in a corner tucked away on the outside of the mansion, we did what we did so many times over in college. Sweated and crammed and got silly and serious before a big gig. At one point, Aileen asked me, "Is this how it was in college?" At that point in time, Shao was practicing with a drink in his hand while Jason and Dann were smoking while rehearsing. I said, "Yeah, but in college we didn't smoke and drink as much during practice." When these Koreans get together they are freaking hilarious. They drink so much and play off of each other so much, it's a great energy and so fun to be around. It was really amazing to see all these pretty girls dancing again also. Their collective beauty was really breathtaking. A sight to behold. I got a chance to catch up with Rollen also... he's working for a defense department... if his missile bay doors don't open... then the missiles can't fire.... oh my goodness he has an important job....
Dinner. Dinner was a riot. People could literally not stay seated. Pierre and Amy had us next to the music. Our crew took up at least 4 tables.... that's 40 deep at least. It was raucous. Wilson Phillips Hold On drew swaying and eyes squeezed tight with clenched fists and loud singing... Firehouse To Be With You did the same... Every time a Backstreet boy or NSYNC song came on I could see Stella, Scott, Steve, and Ant mouthing all the words at the next table along with Chrissy, Leslie, and Sharon 2 tables over... Multiple trips to the bar for my weak Peach Schnapps and sour mix drinks... except when the Koreans got ahold of me... then it was shots of SoCo and lime... Shao asked me if I wanted a drink, we walked to the bar, and all of a sudden we were knee deep in a conversation involving career, spirituality, and family. I loved it. Shao was loving the whole evening and the whole evening was loving Shao. I am so blessed to have him share his story with me and I can't wait to see what the future holds for him. It's hilarious that he's a successful 25 year old professional and Sam can make him feel like a 17 year old freshman again. One day I think he might go postal on Sam though. "I'm a grown ass man!!"
There were sooo many good songs being played at dinner. My tenderloin was good, Annalisa's bass was better, but Kimmie's duck was best I think. I like when JB fed Shao.
The energy at our tables was tangible and everyone just seemed to be so happy. Multiple toasts and lots of hugs and loud singing.
I was so curious about the dresses and the ladies did not let down. The polls were open and the dresses were beautiful. Jasmine and Sharon jumped out to an early lead with Jill close on their heels. Jasmine’s was this blue and gold swirly thingy with these two handle thingys in the back. Sharon’s was this simple deep blue with flowers on the bottom thingy. Jill’s was dark chocolate brown with this center sparkle thingy. Adarsh’s girlfriend, Thripa?, won best accessory with this large circle red characters emblem thingy.
The best man and maid of honor speeches were fantastic.
“I’m a snowflake.” Wow. I got no words.
Drunken uninvited speeches. I think these speeches have to be my favorite. I love it when Amit tells the old stories about how he founded FunKtion and 2XS by himself. They just bring back great memories of when I could be in the same room as him. Haha…. He was so worried he said stuff that made him sound like he started the groups himself. I personally didn’t hear him say anything like that. But clearly he was self conscious and drunk, so why not feed his fears? Drunken uninvited speeches though. I like.
I was hyper aware of the time slipping away all night. I would have love to press pause on that dinner. But it eventually finished and we were invited to move to the dance floor. Annalisa got emotional during the father daughter dance, and when she cries about stuff like that, it always sets me off too.
Rudhir and Palak’s vibe all night was pretty great to be around. You can kind of tell how into each other they are. Palak looked so happy and comfortable. Same with Rudhir. He was just the coolest guy in college and he still is. The fact that he seems to care for Palak and makes her so happy makes him that much more awesome. However, the Michigan Movement took a huge blow when Palak informed me that she had given up on Michigan. She couldn’t find a job there and moved to DC. I felt a deep sense of loss and exasperation when I heard the cause had lost Palak. I soldier on alone. Move to Michigan.
“By God, there’ll be dancing.”
Dancing. Gyrating. Shaking. Shimmying. Freestyle. Choreographed.
These are just a few of the words that describe what bound us all together in the first place. I believe that when two people engage in intercourse, parts of their souls are bound forever. That explains the intangible link that people feel with someone they’ve been intimate with before. Even though there’s no reason that many years later they should feel anything. There is no reason why I should feel drawn or close to these people anymore. I haven’t seen them in so long, and there is so much of each other’s lives that we’ve missed and were not apart of. But something happened a long time ago…. And we’re all bound.
Pierre’s Friends danced the crap out of a routine that spanned the ages. People were going all out. These are awesome gigs because there really is no chance of failure. You just dance your ass off, everyone screams for you because they love you regardless. You can’t lose really. I’m still so good at cheering for people when they dance. It’s a gift I think. I just love cheering for people when they’ve got their silly face or hard face of sexy sexy face on and banging out moves.
I know that Pierre and Amy appreciated it, and it was a great gift to get. I would give tons of props to Steve and Sam. They are really born leaders. I would follow them anywhere really.
Annalisa drank with peeps. I drank with peeps. I requested DeBarge and Cherry Wine. He played them. I don’t know who requested Let’s Hear it for the Boy, but damn that was a good call. During sexy sexy dance and grind time, I had to cool off, because the last few times I felt sexy I kept having kids and that’s getting kind of expensive.
There are really no amount of paragraphs that can capture how fun it is to dance with these guys. They are just so hilarious and silly and in touch with the music. Truly nothing could faze us. We were invincible again. Young.
As the night came to a close Martin and Aileen saved a wonderful surprise for me and Annalisa. They shared with us that we would be Ninong and Ninang to Alaya Hope Bruce. Oh my goodness. Annalisa started to cry, I lost it again. We were so happy and proud. We’re going to California for the baptism! I can’t wait to meet Alaya. I want to hug and kiss her and sing songs to her telling her how much Jesus loves her.
The time came to go home and I was seriously thinking about leading a coup on the DJ. Forcing the DJ to play music until we all passed out on the dance floor sounded so right to me. It was clearly our destiny to dance into oblivion. But the shuttles were leaving.
Kaking Lai. Jullo. Ba. Halekana. I forget the Korean one. Figures, the Koreans weren’t listening anyways.
But it was time to go back to the Andrews.
On the way back, I lamented with the driver about Kwame Brown going to Detroit. We stopped for alcohol and I bought 2 40’s of the good stuff. MHL.
Ed was in the lobby when we got back. Here’s why Ed is awesome. He just had the crappiest day, he missed the whole wedding, and didn’t get to spend any time with Lynn. It was perfectly within his right to act all bitter and bitchy. But he didn’t. He was cool, relaxed, sleepy but kind. Ed is awesome. I love how much he loves Lynn and I love that she’s happy.
Little by little people started falling asleep. We tried to play games but I think everyone was just tired. Ant was sawing logs and it was getting serious. So Jason and Poon asked, “Why so serious?” in their own special way.
It was late but I had some energy so I tried to make a push to the Gaze-bo. Babbs was going to come but he relieved himself in Amit’s room instead. Me, Amit, Jon Yang, Daniels, and Kangs went to the gaze-bo. I sang Part of Your World with Amit, Jon, and Daniels.
Sleep. Art Fair. Bruce’s Bakery. Gaze-Bo. Sam’s. Sam’s Helmet. Sam’s Scooter. Habana. Babb’s relieving revelation. “She told him to.” Spirit Airlines are poopy.
My goodness I had such a wonderful time. I feel a slight melancholy now that it’s over and it’s interesting to me that it took just about as long to write this blog as it took to experience the experiences. But anytime I’m inspired to write anything must be pounced upon. I have a serious FOMO when it comes to that. Again, I can really only attribute all that inspiration to the love between Pierre and Amy. I love to think that none of this weekend would have happened if they didn’t love each other so much. How can love between two people move so significantly so many others?
That’s love I guess.
That’s Pierre. That’s Amy.

Friday, August 01, 2008

A Father's Prayer
Build me a son, O Lord,who will be strong enough to know when he is weak,and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid;one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat,and humble and gentle in victory.
Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort,but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge.
Here let him learn to stand up in the storm;here let him learn compassion for those who fail.
Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high,a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men,one who will reach into the future,yet never forget the past.
And, after all these things are his,give him, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious,yet never take himself too seriously.
Give him humility,so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness,the open mind of true strength.Then I, his father, will dare to whisper,‘I have not lived in vain.'


Dear Lord, please please watch over them. Whisper to their hearts that they are truly loved and that mama and papa will be home soon.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Went to the Jason Mraz concert a few weeks ago at the ex-State Theater in Detroit.

It was epic. Arguably the best performance I’ve seen in person in my life. Right up there with Lauryn when Outkast opened for her here to kick off her Miseducation tour.

You know the slow song on one of your favorite albums that isn’t that great but you’re not gonna fast forward through it?

That’s Track 6: Love For a Child on Mraz’s new cd We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.

The other tracks are so much better and funner, sexier, and cooler. But this song has my favorite line.

“What about taking this empty cup, and filling it up with a little bit more of innocence, I haven’t had enough, it’s probably because, when you’re young, it’s okay to be easily ignored, I’d like to believe it was all about love for a child.”

Someone once told me you can never go back to just holding hands. The point in the relationship where holding hands is new and electric, euphoric. You’ve never known anything more, so holding hands right then was the best feeling in your life. Once the relationship takes the next steps physically, you can never go back.

First heartbreak. First disappointment in a best friend. First understanding that a parent is fallible. First funeral.

Once you lose innocence, it’s gone.

The worst is when you don’t know you’ve lost it. When did you lose your sensitivity to violence? There’s a part of you that knows that exposing yourself to too much gratuitous violence is not healthy. That’s your ghost of innocence whispering to you quietly from purgatory, asking you to remember.

My children were born into a post hand holding era. They entered past the first kiss, past 2nd base, past the first time, past the tenth partner. Welcome, dear children, to the part of the relationship where people get bored and start to take each other for granted.

There is no innocence in the abortion or gay marriage debates. Innocence is gone long before these conversations.

When Isaiah dances he gets so serious. Somehow with all the dancing around to songs we do in the house, when it comes to weddings, it translates into very very serious versions of robot kung fu spin dancing. I can see that he feels the need to move and shake and kick, but he is also hyper aware of the eyes on him.
My heart soars when I watch him dancing, running, or playing with the hose in the 3 dollar plastic pool.

Ethan wants so badly for you to read to him. Chickens stuck in mud. Dinosaurs in cars. Goofy catches a fish. He wants to point and name and be affirmed and hugged. He wants to hide and surprise and get the monsters. He wants to run and run and grab and wrestle. He wants to pray and eat and eat. Every time he lets me hold him and I get to put my chin on his head, I petition God to help Ethan break through all my shortcomings and build him up as strong as possible. His laughter is so pure. It’s like you could keep filling your heart up through your ears with the sound of his laughter and never get full. When kuya goes out of his way to make baby brother laugh over and over again. When the minutes go by filled with silly noises, faces, and giggles. These pictures painted against the backdrop of anxiety, money, natural disasters, the news… Internal emotional breakdowns out of thankfulness occur daily.

And Owen. My tiny little rewind button.

“I want juice. I want juice. I want juiiiiiicce.” , says Isaiah.
“Wan joos…wan joos…”, says Ethan

As Owen contently sucks his toes.

What a blessing it is to see what will be and what is simultaneously.

At a month and half, Owen was trying to connect. Calling you with his eyes, engaging you with faces, encouraging you to talk to him and smile to him. For this you get a big silly grin. A grin that tells you that you are recognized and appreciated. Today he is 5 months old. Yesterday he got into it with the pentapus that hangs from his baby gym. He grabbed his legs and gnawed on his feet then whined and fell asleep. He doesn’t need to be held. He doesn’t need to be cuddled. He just sleeps until his brothers wake him up and then passes out smiles like candy. He wants to talk so badly. You can tell in every ba-ba and coo and sigh. To hold him is to hold the best parts of life close to you.

To protect them is the definition of the preservation of innocence.

Dear God, please please watch over them.

We played our third soccer game on Wednesday. We played a mostly American team that was somewhat skilled and their endurance and speed lacked a bit. But it was enough to draw with us. 2-2. On the first game of the year we played a mostly French team but with a hodge podge other tall European players sprinkled in. I can honestly say that I’ve worked hard almost every day since last August trying to eat right and run and lift so that I can make a positive contribution to my team and not just be a defensive liability. The results of that work are almost indecipherable on the field if you were to watch me. True the steps I’ve taken forward have been small. But they are significant steps forward to me.

I’ve learned a few things.
I’ve learned that my ideal game shape is probably somewhere between 153 and 160 pounds. A lean, muscular 158 will probably put me in the best position to contribute.
153 is pushed off the ball easily. 163 is too slow.
I’ve learned that 6th gear is where you want to be. I can get mesmerized so easily with the ebb & flow of the game, that I forget to push at every stage. I even forget to will myself into 6th gear when I’m battling to create separation. 4th gear will make for a good showing and goals are so sparse in this game anyway that no one would think less if I didn’t put this ball away. Unacceptable. Keep that up and you’ll be in fourth gear your whole life. The model of mental mediocrity.

The answer to the question of whether or not you can get hunger back: Choice.

You choose to be hungry. Hungry at every stage in every facet.

People don’t say, “I choose to lose the close ones.” They say the same thing by saying, “I choose to have this 3rd cheeseburger.”

They don’t say, “I choose to play with less intensity.” They say the same thing by saying, “I choose to spend time doing yard work rather than going on a tempo run.”

Is it mediocre of you to choose training for a sport over spending time with family? Depends on the hat you’re choosing to wear. With the kids you’re Super Dad, on the field you’re Mr. Can’t Make the Run. On the field you’re a game breaker, but at home your kid’s flunking math.


Against the French/European team in the first game, we were tied 0-0 halfway through the second half. My team consists of stand out soccer players and phenoms. I am by far one of the worst players on the team. But I know that few on the team hungered to contribute as I did the past 10 months. Before I went back in, I totally prayed to God. Please God, I want so bad to score. I know I can do it, and they need me to. I’ve run so many miles. Please.
There was a scrum in the middle just outside the box, to create space for the phenoms, I’m a little wide on the right side. The ball comes loose, me and Carlo make eye contact, he splits the D… I one time it lower left just outside of reach of the keeper.

Just after the ball goes an inch past his glove, I turn and clench my fist, small air punch, eyes squeezed tight for half a second, something low and guttural escapes my mouth. Yes.

1-0. Small numbers, big for me. It was heaven to see the relief on the faces of the guys after finally putting one in the back on a team that we were dominating. First goal of the year. We ended up winning 2-0 and my only regret is that I didn’t do the little dance that Mark was doing when he scored. That would’ve been awesome. Would’ve bought me so much cred with the squad.

We lost the next game 5-0. At the end, one of the better players on the team, I think he’s 19 years old got mad at the ref, called him an effing retard. When the ref gave him the red, he took the red from the refs hand and flinged it across the field, all the while dropping F bombs directed at the ref. I was standing right there. Never seen anything like it in my life.

Tied last game 2-2. Couldn’t hold the lead. Kept getting up and they kept answering.

We’re 1-1-1 now. I love soccer the way I love all my old friends. I’m intensely loyal.


Yearning. Need.

The will to survive. The will to truly live. To recognize the moment for what it really is… a moment… and pour your whole self into it.

It’s easy for me to look at Sheed, and Rip, and Billups and watch and study the humanity of their movements and conclude that yes, indeed they have lost their hunger. The reason why it’s so easy for me to spot is because I know the look so well.

I lost it too.

Obsessive intensity. Borderline maniacal. An urgency to prove to yourself. So that one day you might sleep at night and know. Know that you mastered it. That you gave yourself and loved so deeply that being denied was not an option.

So that you could smile inwardly and be proud of the work you put in.

Slowly, ever so slowly, over time, the game started to matter less and less. My freshman year of college I woke up almost every morning and shot jumpers at the CCRB. The fire was there. I could not take the option of not improving. I needed it. Every nuance of the game. My game. Every ounce of brainpower. You study it. You understand it. You love it. Winning meant you gave your all. Losing was devastating.

Pick up. 3 on 3 tourneys. Ballin’ with your boys. FASA. Schoolcraft. Jedi. Classics.

Slowly the intensity faded. As responsibilities pile up, you’re forced to understand that it’s just a game. If it’s just a game, it’s little more than tic-tac-toe or monopoly. If it’s tic-tac-toe, then it’s all the same. Winners and Losers. You do your best and that’s it.

Your best. Once you start to talk about your best, chances are you haven’t kicked some butt lately. In fact you probably just got wiped up.

I think it’s safe to say I’m doing my best right now. Spiritually. Physically. Paternally. As a spouse.

But through lack of prayer, lack of the Word, lack of service and Sacraments, my relationship with God is suffering.

Through lack of focus, laziness, unwillingness to control my diet, I’m not reaching my potential physically.

Through excuses and an unwillingness to manage time better I’m not reading to the boys enough or playing with them enough.

Through conscious choice not to be sensitive, caring, and kind, I cut down my wife with hurtful tones, demeanor, words, and lack of thought.

So what good is my best if this is where it leads.

I want more than my best then. I want real results.

But this is me now. This is my frustration at the end of game 6. This is me recognizing that hunger and bodies start to fade. This is me understanding that Sheed, Rip, and Billups forgot what it’s like to be hungry. To go through the motions, make a good showing, and fool yourself into thinking you’ve given all you could give. This is me watching them and seeing me. This is me understanding what happened. It happens slowly over time.

I wish I could tell you for sure that I know how this ends. Can you win without hunger? If not, how do you get hunger back? I don’t know.

But I do know that it’s gotta start from the inside out.


Dear Lord… I love You so much… I’m so tired.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The top is a tough place to be. Just ask Toyota, which is now facing charges of worker right abuses, including the use of sweat shops and human trafficking. As we've reported before, Japan even has a word for being overworked to death: karoshi. Toyota plants are not immune to this stress-related disease, as workers at its plants have indeed suffered death due to working too hard. These facts have caught the attention of The National Labor Committee, which has an entire report worked up that alleges Toyota over-works and under-pays its Japanese employees and has ties to various unsavory Dictators. It's also been well established that Toyota does not want its American workforce unionized.

I'm just sayin'.

Did you know that if someone you love gets into an accident in a vehicle equipped with OnStar that 4 seconds later an OnStar operator will be in their ear saying, "I see here that you may have been in an accident, are you alright?"

Monday, June 09, 2008

Dodge Park 5K Results


placed 65 of 172

Bonked at 2.5 miles.... calf acted up...
Icy Hot rules

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Congratulations to Eric Galvez for being my 20000 email in my inbox!

Here's to 20000 more!

Monday, March 24, 2008,,id=179181,00.html

Fifth question from the bottom says:
Q. Will the payment I receive in 2008 reduce my 2008 refund or increase the amount I owe for 2008?
A. No, the stimulus payment will not reduce your refund or increase the amount you owe when you file your 2008 return.

I interpret this as: We are giving you free money to boost the economy.

But people are saying that if they give me $1800 this year in the stimulus package, that next year instead of giving me back the $9000 in the refund, they would give me back $7200.

Anyone know anything?

Friday, March 21, 2008

I am the Boy.

I am not the Tree, yet.

"Come Boy", she whispered, "come and play."

Isn't that all you would want for someone you love?
Especially a child.

My eyes well up when I watch my Tree give and give and give to the Boy.
Every time the Tree would have him believe it to be meaningless, but a piece of herself nevertheless. Truly, what happens when you've given your whole self away?

I want to shake that Boy bounding off with the branches. Wipe that smile off his face. "Don't you know what it took?"
"Don't you understand the sacrifice?"

That's not happiness on your lips, it's selfishness.

I am the Boy. And I am so so ashamed of it.
I can never be the Tree.
I can only try.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Martin and Aileen Wedding Dance

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Having 3 babies in a less than 4 year span makes Annalisa a super awesome pro. For me, I just wasn't as nervous this time around.

The background goes that the months leading up to yesterday were difficult but not over bearing... October was so difficult that I told Annalisa to try and wipe November clean of commitments... that was smart because December was difficult and January really picked up with respect to Annalisa working late.

I worked overtime this past weekend for the first time ever because of hot jobs. Isaiah threw up rice and egg into my hands on Sunday. Ethan has had a runny nose for a while. Annalisa got very sick with cough and a fever on Friday. Isaiah right now I'm told has a 103 temperature.
I've been taking tylenol for a headache.

I think it was Annalisa's illness that triggered the early labor.... It was 1/27/0 8 and she was due on 2/2/08. It was Sunday, but I was at work and Annalisa called saying that I need to emotionally prepare for the baby to be born this week because she felt some contractions..She woke from an afternoon nap on Sunday the 27th.... at 5pm.... she started to have irregular contractions from 5 to 6:30pm... more consistent contractions started at 6:30pm.... that is, the contractions were 6-10min apart lasting about a minute or so.... It's really important to pay attention to the length and duration because if they are not consistent enough or long enough, you might go to the hospital and they might send you home.... I was putting the boys to sleep when Annalisa told me at 10pm that she thought it was time.... Isaiah went nuts... he was so upset that we were leaving and he wanted to come with.... Kimmie, wonderful Kimmie, helped with the boys... she is so awesome...

10pm - leave for hospital
10:30pm - 4cm dilated and -2 station... this is great because they won't make us go home... yay!
11pm - admitted into a room
Nikki the nurse was this positive and uppity blonde that was so great during labor. Doctor Carla was this young African American woman with braces in glasses
11:30pm - moved to the room
11:39pm - IV administered
11:55pm - Started movie Step Up on the GetWell Network in the birthing room. awesome wireless keyboards on 28" flat screens mounted to the walls.
12:20am - 6-7cm! yes! we are flying through the dilation... exxxcccelent...
12:25am - Epidural administered... got in right under the wire... too far along in dilation, that is, 7-8cm.... and they won't give you the epidural anymore.... whew... drugs=goooood..
It's so funny how great the epidural is... Annalisa again goes from intense and terrible pain, to not even noticing if a contraction is happening.... awww yea.
12:42am - 10cm! Annalisa broke some speed dilation record with that one.... we're gonna push for 10min... like Ethan and this will be a done deal before Step Up is done... swwweeet.
12:55am - start pushing - break water

hmmmm.... not going so well... pushing isn't doing much....

1:30pm - Dr. Capili determines that the head is 45 degrees sideways which is why we're having trouble getting down the birth canal... Me and Annalisa's mom switch up.... I go from holding the leg and foot to counting to 10 by Annalisa's head... every contraction which is about a minute or so apart, Annalisa takes a big breath and then starts pushing for the 10 seconds I'm counting... when I get to ten, she takes another big breath and pushes, and then again one more time.... so 3 big pushes for 10 secs per contraction...
because Owen's head is cocked, Annalisa is given a bean bag to lie on face down and wiggle her hips to try and move the head the right way...

1:35 - movie Hairspray turned on on Get Well Network....awesome...

success! the babie's head has been turned the right way...
pushing is much more effective now...annalisa is now back on her back...

2:27am - Owen Ambrosio Agustin, 20".... there is a discrepancy between two written sources of the weight... one source says, 7lbs 6oz. the other source says, 7lbs 0.6oz.
sooooo... intrigue clouds the whole room...not really tho.

Owen is tiny and sweet and looks a little like Isaiah when he was a newborn... he's opening his eyes and his billyrubin is a little high which means he might be a little jaundice.... annalisa is feeding him now....I'm blogging from the wireless GetWell Network in our room.... room 506.... my parent's brought me a subway melt last night and Kimmie made cupcakes.... Kimmie covered watching the boys at night and my mom is covering watching the boys during the day.... it's 9am on Tuesday now and if all goes well we'll be going home in a few hours...

It's funny, I'm a little worried about work.... which means I must really care a lot because it pales in comparison to the importance of supporting Annalisa and the family right now....
it's also funny that Annalisa is itching to wrap up some stuff at work.... which is also an interesting statement considering the immense importance of the new baby.... Also, at her previous job, she took the last two weeks of work off before the due date of her pregnancy and this time she worked 'til the end..... so we're either commited employees with good work ethic, or we're insane workaholics with no perspective.....

I think we're just confident that we can take care of our boys, which leaves room in the mind to ponder more. Because if we were scared or fearful of our abilities to care for the family, I know for a fact we wouldn't be worrying about work.

I had a few experiences last night. The first came during Evan Almighty. When Morgan Freeman is talking to Lorelai.

"When people pray for patience, do you think I make them patient, or give them an opportunity to be patient? When they ask for courage, do you think I give them courage, or give them an opportunity to be courageous?"

He also went on to talk about the opportunity she has to stand by her husband in his crazy quest and how it was significant that the animals boarded the ark, 2 by 2. Side by side.

Side by side.

I was already a little worked up because of the profound way these notions touched me.

When the movie ended and right when the words The End showed on the screen and a kind volunteer knocked on the door and asked us if we wanted to partake in communion, I was overwhelmed.

We prayed and participated.
All the stress and difficulty of many situations was acknowledged and affirmed and cleansed in a way.
The non-serendipitous event of God coming to where I was amidst life.
Meeting me where I was.
I was moved at the gesture and thankful for the opportunity.

That's what we got, another opportunity.

Owen, I love you so much, and I'll try to be the best dad I can be.