While reading a dad blog that wasn’t mine, I stole the idea to do a year-in-review. There is only one problem: I don’t remember. There are some highlights that I remember, but I don’t remember everything. Maybe it is “Daddy Brain” that has been preventing me from remembering such high detail these days.
Nonetheless, there are some things I do remember.
- Dad Needs To Step It Up
First was how our family started off the year: in a hotel. Near the end of the year I found mold in our kitchen cabinets. I cleaned it up, which is not what is advised, but it came back a couple weeks later. I also noticed water on the outside wall of where I found mold. The next day Tasha had a cabinet guy come check it out, he found a burst pipe, and the next day our homeowner’s insurance had us in a Residence Inn. That was about January 3rd and that was cool for about three days.
We were there for two weeks.
The restoration company gutted our kitchen and the adjacent living room. There was water damage in the floor and a lot of the dry wall. The restoration company moved all of our stuff out in the living room and kitchen, removed all the kitchen cabinets and trashed them, and about half of the drywall in the kitchen and living room from floor to two and a half feet up was cut out and dried for three days.
The upside was that we got a new kitchen out of it, and the entire interior of our house was repainted. In the process, my mother-in-law talked my grandmother-in-law into giving us a gift so that we could redo one of our bathrooms. Since part of the house was already destroyed, why not destroy and make another part of the house pretty too. That was a nice bonus. That also worked out because it turns out the sellers of our house, who we suspect were trying to flip a foreclosure, did a quick redo of the shower in the bathroom we decided to redo and instead of building the shower with concrete they used dirt. The contractor we used got that surprise when he dug up the shower.
People live in worse conditions, so I am definitely not trying to compare our plight with those who actually suffer in other countries. It was an inconvenience, but we definitely had it taken care of rather quickly. New cabinets and countertops were all done by mid-March.
Good first quarter.
The only reason why we had it all done so quickly is because my wife was in charge, meaning she gets stuff done. She hates asking my opinion on things because I can’t make a decision. If it were left up to me, we would still be deciding if we really need cabinets at all in the kitchen. We could just stack stuff up and it would all be out in the open easier to find. My decision-making was already bad. Marriage has caused it regress even more since I don’t need to exercise it very much. My wife would appreciate it very much if I upped my game and helped out a little more in running the house. I should do that in 2016.
Guys, we can be really good at letting our wives run the house. We think they like doing it, they won’t say anything, most of the time, until the situation comes to a boiling point, then a trigger that we pulled by not deciding something simple like what’s for lunch sets her off, then we end up standing there with our shoulders shrugged and palms out asking, “What did I do?!” If she wants to take charge, she will. You already know that. The rest of the time, she’s waiting for you to take charge. Help set the family budget, make the reservations and send out the invitations for your kids’ birthday parties, make the dinner schedule for the week. Or start smaller by planning your date night for that week. What’s date night? Ok, pick the movie you and the family will sit down and watch together. Flex that “Dad’s the Boss” muscle a little. If you’re afraid she’s going to squash you if you flex too much, like I said, don’t worry, I’m sure she’ll squash you if necessary. In the meantime, I’m sure she’ll be happy she’s not doing the heavy lifting.
- Steady Eddie (but my name isn’t Eddie)
There is a lot I am missing, but life has been steady, which is probably why I don’t really remember it. God has blessed us, there is no question. Maybe the question should be, am I too comfortable? Do I need to do more and step out?
A lot of sermons at our church or sermons from podcasts I listen to have had a theme of stepping out of your comfort zone as a Christian and actually do the work God and Jesus has called His people to do. Being a Christian is more than just admitting so when I am asked, going to church on Sunday, tithing a small part of my paycheck to church, or putting a fish on my car. Christians are called to be a light to the world, and I think I am being called out of my comfort zone in that way.
I don’t know exactly how or where I need to do this. Personally, I just need to be open to God’s voice and call, and I need to keep my eyes open (that’s not an Asian joke). Sometime last year I would see a guy around the shopping center the girls’ preschool is in. After seeing him a couple of times, it seemed kind of clear he had nowhere to go. I never had the courage to talk to him or say anything to him. Then I didn’t see him for several months. Then he showed up again, and again I didn’t do anything. I was paralyzed by my own fear of what he would think of me instead of worrying about what God thought.
It’s time to be intentional with my faith.
- Karate Kiddos
Throughout the year Zoey has continued her karate journey getting all the belts ever. I want to say she started the year as an orange belt, which means she started as a pee wee with a white belt, earned a yellow then orange. So this past year she earned a purple belt and in November reached blue belt. At her dojo, for each belt the students learn an open-hand form, or kata, a weapons form, and sparring techniques and earn stripes to add to their belts once they master each. So Zoey has accomplished a lot this year, which is great. With the blue belt she has to senpai (pronounced “sen-pie”) some of the lower level belts, which means she is an assistant instructor to white belts. She is five and a half. Tasha and I are going to have to start learning karate just to make sure we can defend ourselves from Zoey.
Haley has also started karate, even though she is a little young. The age limit is at least three and half. She is only three, but the sensei has let her start since her big sister is there. And they have been waiting to get her into class. She’s been going and watching her big sister since she was an infant, and now it’s her turn. She has done well and has earned her stripes to be promoted to the advanced pee wee class. Early in December was the dojo’s Christmas tournament, and she earned a medal for doing her kata, Little Dragon. Soooooo cute! There have been a couple of Saturday sessions where she didn’t want to go because she doesn’t want to wear the karate uniform, the gi. Now, can you guess why she, a little girl obsessed with Elsa and Anna, wouldn’t want to wear a karate gi? Yes, that’s right: because it covers up her beautiful nightgown, sweater, or pants. To help accommodate this great concern of Haley’s, her sensei suggested that she find some sparkly pants or leggings to wear under her karate pants. Got that done and the crisis of not being glamorous at the dojo was averted. Although the next problem was the hair, and Tasha texted me a picture of Haley in karate class with a headband that had a flower attached to it. Makes sense, and whatever it takes to get them out there.
It wasn’t that long ago that Zoey was starting karate, and now she has earned four belts since then. Tasha would tell me about the lessons since I was at work about how Zoey could barely stay awake during her first classes because they were during nap time. Now both my kids are in karate and my older one is helping as an instructor. It is such a cliche, but it is so true: time flies. Have fun while you’re in it and be there. Be there in the moment. You won’t get the time back.
- Take In Every Moment You Can
One of the bigger milestones of the year was in August when Zoey started kindergarten. She started reading a couple of months before that, and, in true Asian-parenting fashion, we got her a math workbook and started working on that during our vacation. She’s kicking butt in kindergarten with most days coming home with a “Super Helper” pin or sticker. And she keeps reading! We tell her to stop or that she can’t learn anymore otherwise she goes to time out. She doesn’t believe me, but I really don’t like all this learning.
When I see her read, do math, or some other big-kid type of activity are the only times I wish she was still a newborn. It just baffles me every day when I take a moment to look at my kids and see them turn into people, people I might hang out with whether or not they were my kids or not. Remember because this, too, shall pass.
- Look And Leap
Tasha and I both started blogs, although hers is part of a business she started. She’s been in sales as a manager for most of her working career, and she has decided to start a sales coaching business for non-salespeople, or people who need sales skills but don’t have them. Her first client: me. I need a lot of coaching. Both of those things are not a joke. I do need a lot of coaching, and before she built a website to reach out to others, she was kind of practicing her coaching on me and encouraging me to be a better person. This was in an effort to improve on my communication and make me more promotable at work. Then she helped me start my blog and has been coaching me on goals to work on turning my blog into a business. Then she got a second client, a real client, which led to a third client, which has left me behind a couple of sessions. However, she still keeps writing checks for “coaching” in the memo from our account to her business account. Hmm…I need to talk to our accountant about that. Oh, no: her mom is our accountant.
Well, her coaching business is doing well. She started a podcast and has sales coaching materials out there that is slowly starting to get some notice, which is great. You can check out her site at emergesalestraining.com, if you’re interested. Like I said, sales skills for the non-salesperson. Like if you’re in direct sales or network marketing but don’t have a sales background, or sales is not natural for you, she would be able to help you. Or if you are a salesperson and maybe need help with referrals, she can help you out there. Or if you need me to be a better person because I’m a jerk to you, pay her to coach me.
In an effort to really get her coaching business going, Tasha took of a leap of faith and quit her corporate job and became self-employed. With the help of Dave Ramsey, the Good Budget app, faith, and good fortune, we saved up some money to cushion the blow of her not making money for a little bit while her business ramps up.
Faith has definitely helped both of us not worry about the loss of income for some time. That also makes it easier for me to be supportive, knowing God is in control. It also makes it easier knowing my wife is going to buy me an Aston Martin once she sells her business and/or franchises it. That’s my reward for being the breadwinner during this time. For the time she was the breadwinner, she has two kids, so don’t worry, the stakes are even.
And I, obviously, started a blog. I had been wanting to write more since forever, but I am not always self-motivated. Writing takes work, and playing video games, or just not writing, is a lot easier. But then I complain that I don’t have time to write. So Tasha, soon after starting her coaching business, encouraged me/made me as my coach to take more time out to write. So if you don’t like reading my blog, you can blame her for encouraging me to unleash my thoughts into the cyber world.
So 2015 is in the rearview. All is well the first weeks of 2016. Zoey is going to take a break a little from karate and play roller hockey for a season. The company I work for bought another company at the end of 2015, so that will be an interesting transition since I know some people at that other company. So that will be…interesting. The end of 2015 opens the door for some adventures in 2016. I think that’s it for my Dad LIfe this year. I hope 2015 was a good year for you, and I wish you a happy and bright 2016. I guess. I don’t think that is what people say to each other, but you know what I mean.
Have a Happy New Year!
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