Monday, April 06, 2015

My Son

My son...I can hardly say those words without my eyes filling up with tears
A boy...I've anticipated this moment for weeks, months, and years
We've been planning for your arrival, and praying for you too
Looking forward to your presence turning our pink house a bit more blue

All my life I've been surrounded by many strong women who care
Now all that love I've been blessed with I have a chance to share
Respect your mother and sisters, they love you more than you could know
They'll teach you, they'll encourage you, and they'll help you grow

I'll try to be an example of what it means to be a man
Do what it takes to show my love in whatever way I can
Please take my good traits but learn from my mistakes
Learn that a real man GIVES to others far more than he TAKES

A man should be a bold leader and stand for what is right
A man is humble and calm but knows when he must be firm and fight
Be honest and be kind; know that it's ok to cry.
Be curious about life; don't blindly follow but instead ask 'why?'

Your life has meaning and purpose; your life is in God's plan
You are meant to be right HERE right NOW and grow into a strong man
Words can't describe the feeling of seeing some of me in you
Please know your existence is meant to be and God's love for you is true

Caleb Preston Croxford
born Thursday, April 16, 2015 @ 2:26am
8 lbs. 2 oz., 20 in.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Cleanse: Week 11 - All the Flowers Have Died...

"...there is no morning dew. The crickets know no love songs, and I feel so blue."

For some reason when I was trying to think of a title for this post I kept going back to my memory of this clip from The Cosby Show. Thanks to the magic of the internet, here it is. It's weird the things that get stuck in your head, huh?

Most people have a junk drawer, or a junk cabinet, or a junk closet depending on your "hoarder level". I think at our house we have all three; but for this week's effort I decided to just tackle the catch-all cupboard right inside our front door.

They call it junk for a reason. I probably gave or threw away 50% of what was inside this cupboard and some of the things were unidentifiable. I'm sure I thought they were important at some point.

Taking up a huge portion of space hidden behind those unsuspecting doors were glass vases; remnants of random romantic efforts over the years. I quipped to Breck that if I wasn't so generous then we wouldn't have such a large collection of these vases gathering dust on the top shelf. She did a quick calculation and reminded me that there are at least 3 occasions per year that might warrant flower-giving; birthday, anniversary, mothers day (and that's not even including the countless "I'm-sorry-I'm-an-idiot" flower-giving occasions) and we've been married for 10 years. There were not 30 vases there.

I'm sure I've already given some away in the past.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Cleanse: Week 10 - In Defense of Clutter

For those who are counting you may have noticed that I missed a week of The Cleanse.

In honor of this article titled In Defense of Clutter I decided to take a week off and embrace my life in a household with 2 small children that is far from magazine-photoshoot-ready.

We're not a candidate for being on the Hoarders show anytime soon, so I guess we'll survive without purging any excess "junk" this week.

Never fear, my mission to reduce the clutter will resume shortly.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

The Cleanse: Week 9 - Contact Lens Wearers Unite! - or - Bald Men Unite!

Whether you like to admit it or not, each individual person from a married couple has some better genetic traits than others that they will get passed along to their children. For example, Breck has great eyes, teeth, and hair that we hope our girls will inherit; and I have...uh...

Oh crap!
Anyway, my eyesight without glasses is pretty terrible. Lucky for me some of the most successful architects wear/wore glasses. But just in case, I also wear contact lenses. For all you contact lens wearers (or former wearers for those lucky laser surgery folks) you probably know that almost every time you buy new lens cleaning solution or when you go to the eye doctor you also get a new contact lens case. Why do they do this? I'm not sure.

I've been wearing contact lenses for about 17 years; as you can imagine, more than a few lens cases have piled up in my bathroom drawers.

I can maybe make the argument for keeping 2 cases, but in the spirit of The Cleanse I decided to purge all but one.
Speaking of getting free stuff at the doctor. Even though my dentist knows I use an electric toothbrush he still gives me a new manual brush and mini tube of toothpaste after every visit. Again, a huge pile of these freebies has accumulated in my bottom drawer.

Out they go.

Not only have I never been to a professional salon for a haircut in my entire life (no offense Aunt Gaye...and thanks for all those free haircuts when I was growing up), but I've also had the same "haircut" for the past 10 years.
It's pretty easy to do myself, and doesn't require many tools. Unfortunately when you buy a set of electric hair clippers they usually come with about 57 extra attachments along with scissors, a comb, and a free coupon to Great Clips for when you screw things up at home.

I don't need all those extras cluttering up my drawer.

The female that I share the bathroom vanity with requires a lot more maintenance tools for her daily routine and didn't participate in this purge of bathroom clutter, so our vanity is now a bit lopsided. I hope it doesn't tip over.

Does anyone else read the words UNITE in the title of this post as UNTIE? Nope, just me? I guess dyslexia is another trait of mine that I hope my daughters don't acquire.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Cleanse: Week 8 - Goodbye Hello Kitty

Despite my best efforts to keep at least one square foot of toy-free space in our house, there seems to be a constant influx of new toys coming from somewhere. We've tried to emphasize to Skye on multiple occasions how fortunate she is to have so many fun toys to play with; that there are many little kids who don't have any. She seemed to sort of understand, so I decided to take it to the next level. I asked Skye if she'd like to give some of her toys away to kids who don't have any. To my surprise she was immediately enthusiastic about the idea and before the excitement wore off we quickly sorted through a large assortment of toys and set aside a pile designated for D.I. 

As the only male in the house I'm fighting a losing battle with 3 girls (5 if you count the dogs), to eliminate some of the PINK that has threatened to make our house look something like this:

and keeping Skye & Lucy's rooms from creeping ever closer to this:

So I made sure to include in the donation pile a Hello Kitty lego dollhouse thingy (accessories included) 

It was a few days before Skye and I made the trip to deliver the donated toys and as we approached the drop-off I worried that she would have second thoughts and cause a scene. All went well until we began driving away and I realized Skye's misunderstanding of the permanence of the donation process when I said:

"That was so nice of you to give your toys to some kids who don't have any," and her reply was, "Yah, but they'll give 'em right back, huh?"

Speaking of awkward parenting moments, isn't it funny how you don't understand the full hypocrisy of parenthood until you become one?

My favorite example of this occurred a few months ago when Skye was given a popsicle and instructed that she could only eat it at the table so as to avoid a spill on the living room furniture. She naturally threw a fit. When her mom gave the ultimatum that she either eat her treat at the table or Mom would take it away and eat it herself, surprisingly Skye chose option B and willingly handed her popsicle over to Mom. Breck then proceeded to eat the frozen treat while sitting on the couch.

Skye immediately noticed the injustice and pointed it out. I sat by witnessing the whole ordeal and laughed hysterically as Breck begrudgingly moved over to sit at the table.

My own personal threat at being outed as a hypocrite came when we recently purchased Skye a bucket seat to ride on the back of Breck's bike. Of course as responsible parents we bought Skye a helmet and enthusiastically encouraged her to wear it.

When I first started riding my bike about 5 years ago I bought a helmet and proceeded to wear it 2 times before allowing it to collect dust in the garage. I'm commuting to work riding around in slacks and dress shoes; Lance Armstrong I am not. Why do I need a helmet? Plus it was uncomfortable ("...not as uncomfortable as having a brain injury" Breck points out), so I never wore it.

Anticipating a potential issue, I bought myself a new, more comfortable, helmet at the same time I bought Skye's knowing it would be easier to encourage her to where one if Daddy wore one too.

It worked (even though mine is black and hers is...wait for it...PINK)

So I had an extra, dusty but barely used, helmet sitting in my garage that made the trip to the D.I. along with Skye's toy donations.

Wearing a helmet is not as bad as I thought after-all. At least I don't have to worry about helmet hair ;)

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Cleanse: Week 7 - These Shoes Used to be Made for Walking

Despite the fact that I sit at a desk most days for the majority of the day, I still do my fair share of walking: The dogs get their usual 1+ mile walk in the mornings; then I push the girls in their stroller the 3/4 mile to "school"; then (if I'm not riding my bike) it's either another 1/4 mile walk to the bus stop or if I'm feeling energetic -- and the weather is nice -- I make the 2 mile trip to the office on foot. 

As a result, the soles of my work shoes end up looking like this after not too long:
For whatever reason I sometimes have a hard time throwing the old shoes out after the replacements have been purchased. My inner hoarder at work, I suppose.

Obviously The Cleanse is a reflection of my turning over a new leaf; so into the trash they went -- along with a couple of pairs of yard work shoes that looked a bit like this:
As long as I was clearing off the shoe shelf, I decided to donate a pair of Doc Martins that I had occasionally worn, but not enough to wear out. I never really liked them as they were a little bit too long and kind-of turned up at the toes. I basically felt like I was wearing elf shoes.

Although maybe I jumped the gun a bit as things in the architecture field aren't going super well I have contemplated going back to school. Wearing these too-long shoes I'd fit right in at clown college.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The Cleanse: Week 6 - I Don't Adore This Door

I'm embarrassed as a human being and ashamed as an architect that the doorway into to my bedroom has looked like this for months:

I started this project with the best of intentions but then life got in the way. You know; two kids, full-time job, no money (again, 2 kids), oh, and the fact that I have no clue how to do electrical work (see those two light switches dangling out of the wall? They need to be re-wired in a different location).

So although the project process has been slow-moving, the original goal is still in place. I'm going to install a sliding door suspended from the ceiling that when not covering the opening in the wall will slide to the right and cover the area where the light switch now resides (thus the need to move the switches).

Anyway, there used to be a door there, and now there isn't. The new door (yet to be purchased) will need to be slightly different than the old one was. So I had an extra door on my hands cluttering up my garage that I needed to be rid of.

Despite the fact that this door had been cut down to an odd size in order to fit in our low-ceiling basement, I'd thought I'd list it on KSL to see if anyone might want it.

Wouldn't you know it, someone was willing to pay me $50 for this odd-size, used door with no frame or hardware. Done deal.

I'm really great at starting projects; demolition is easy. I just need some discipline to get the projects done. I keep telling Breck that I intentionally make her live in a construction zone for months at a time in order to make her better appreciate the completed projects.

The greater the suffering, the greater the reward. Right?

She's not buying it!