Lost without her

20th anniversary selfie

A few months ago, Christy took Aiden and Aly down to the mountains in Tennessee. It wasn’t the same college I visited when I was his age – the one where I knew I was home the moment I stepped foot on campus. No. This one was in Knoxville. But I’m sure I’ll wind up sharing more information about this college at a later date because it made a pretty big impression on all three College Tour participants. This wasn’t Aiden’s first college tour. It wasn’t his last (he and Christy visited another college not too long after returning from Tennessee). And I’m sure there will be a few more along the way, too.

Shortly after they left, I had a realization. And no, it’s not that I’m old. We’ve already discussed that. Remember? There was also a pretty frank discussion about it here, too. But that’s not the point. We know I’m getting older. We all are, aren’t we?

No, this realization was much more significant, honestly. Not only was I slightly jealous of the three of them because my homesickness for the mountains is basically par for the course for me now, but I also found myself moping around the house like a lost puppy. Seriously. I was lost. When I went in to the office that morning, I still found myself in a daze. I was still lost. And that’s when it hit me between the eyes.

I’m incomplete without Christy.

Don’t get me wrong, my life has been wrapped up in hers for more than 20 years. I’ve known her for more than half of my life. Our hearts are interconnected. We’re woven together.

And I’m completely, utterly, and wholly lost without her.

This is really nothing new. I’ve known this for more than 20 years. But I haven’t been able to find the words to it for some reason.  And it’s not like this wasn’t the first time we had been apart. I mean, we’ve both flown halfway around the world without each other (you can read about those journeys here and here). We’ve spent weeks apart before. But it really hit me this time.

I guess this shouldn’t be a surprise. That’s what happens when you keep drawing closer to the one you love every day. Your lives get woven together. And when one isn’t there, you find yourself…lost…

Don’t get me wrong.

This isn’t some codependent thing. It’s more like a growth thing. We’re growing together.

While I don’t think I understand it completely yet (I might not ever understand it completely), I understand it more than I used to. And I definitely understand it more than I did some three decades ago when my Grandpa died.

my grandparents' wedding photo

I remember that day well.

I remember answering the phone. There was a somewhat frantic voice on the other end. I could hear commotion in the background. It was his sister inlaw asking for my mom.

I remember my aunt and uncle picking me and Kevin up and taking us to the mall. I bought my first Mike Warnke tape at Zondervan’s. I’m not gonna lie. I felt a little conflicted about it. Mike Warnke was a Christian comedian.* So I wasn’t sure if I should really spend my money on something that would make me laugh while I was still very sad that my Grandpa had just died a few hours ago. Such is the roller coaster of the human experience, though.

I remember while we were shopping, Mom was delivering the devastating news to Grandmama at work.

The thing I remember most, however, is how lost Grandmama was. Yes, she was in shock. But in retrospect it was like part of her had died that day, too. I didn’t understand that. And while I don’t know that I completely understand that today, I definitely have a better ideaof what was going on.

If I feel lost without Christy for just a weekend, I can’t imagine how lost Grandmama felt that day. My experience was but a taste. And I wasn’t too happy about it.

Drawing closer

As we continue this journey of life together, we’re going to keep drawing closer together. That’s the point of marriage, isn’t it? You know, the whole “leaving and cleaving” thing. And the whole “two become one” thing.

I’m going to be more and more wrapped up in her. Our lives will be woven together even more. I know it sounds cliche. But I’ve come to love and appreciate Christy more every single day we’ve been together. She completes me. And I can’t imagine what the next twenty (or thirty or forty) years will be like and how many new things I’ll keep discovering about her. I’m not gonna lie. I’m pretty excited about it.

There are times where I’ll feel lost without her. I know that. But the moments with her are all the more exhilarating – even the “dull” everyday moments. Because I’m falling deeper in love with her than I ever thought possible.

There will be days ahead where I am lost without her.

In the meantime, I’ll just get lost in her eyes.


endnotes

* He was pretty popular in church circles for many, many years. Until his much-publicized scandal. I was a big fan. If my memory is correct, the scandal broke just a few days after I saw him for the second (or maybe third) time live in Evansville. At the end of that concert, he had told the audience that he was actually born in Evansville. He also revealed that he had recently considered suicide. In hindsight, with the knowledge that the scandal was about to break and his house of cards was about to come toppling down, this isn’t a surprise. But it certainly was then. I’m glad he didn’t go through with it.

In a strange turn of events, I found myself sitting across a coffee table from him at a Christmas party in 1999. When he walked in the door, the host said, “Oh, Brother Mike is here. Praise God.” I had no idea he was referring to the Mike Warnke until I was face to face with him. I wasn’t sure what to say to him. So I didn’t say anything. I kind of regret that two decades later. So, Brother Mike Warnke, if you ever wind up reading this, thank you for making me laugh. You helped me get through a very difficult time of my life.

Supporting local small businesses in and around Indy

support small businesses in Indy

I’ve heard about the Tie Dye Grill for years. It’s been one of Indianapolis’s more well-known local small businesses. “They have the best tenderloin sandwich,” everyone told me. And this wasn’t necessarily hyperbole. In 2016, USA Today named the Tie Dye Grill home of the 6th best breaded pork tenderloin sandwich in all of Indiana. That’s a pretty impressive declaration. Because we take our breaded tenderloin sandwiches seriously in Indiana.

I was planning on giving Tie Dye Grill a try. But I never made it over there. And now I’m very sad to read this news:

Tie Dye Grill is closing for good. Now, even if I’m able to make it to their fine establishment before they close, I’ll only have the opportunity to have their famous breaded tenderloin sandwich once. Maybe.

But that’s not the main reason I’m sad.

I’m sad because I have seen firsthand the proverbial blood, sweat, and tears that go into running a small business. I have friends who have run their own restaurants. I have friends who run their own art studios. Shoot, even my dad’s a small business owner. And I know tons of marketing folk who run their own shops. They pour countless hours into their businesses. It’s their passion. But sometimes, it’s just not enough.

As the owner of the Tie Dye grill said,

“If you don’t support these small places, they’re going to be gone.”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want these small places to go away. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve done a pretty poor job of supporting our local small businesses – especially the restaurant scene. And the Indianapolis area has a pretty fantastic restaurant scene. Just check out some of the entries from Indy Food blogs like Into Indy and The Love Bungalow.

About a year ago, I wrote about my desire to help the “little guy” instead of “The Man” when it came to all things digital. But why does it have to be just about where I work? Why can’t I work more at supporting local small businesses? Especially local restaurants?

Here’s the answer: I can. I should.

So what’s stopping me?

Nothing, really.

What’s stopping you? Or are you already knee-deep in supporting local small businesses and restaurants? How are you supporting them? I need ideas, friends! This should go beyond the simple Small Business Saturday in November. It’s hard enough to run a local small business. What can we do to help?

I’m sorry, Tie Dye Grill. I could have done better. I SHOULD have done better.

I was a Blog Ambassador for The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. And it was amazing.

I was a blog ambassador for the Children's Museum of Indianapolis #BlogTCM #atTCM

I’ve been talking about this a lot, but I guess there’s a chance you might have missed it. Back in March, I started a little stint with The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. I had the amazing opportunity to write on their blog as a Blog Ambassador. It was a blast. Our family had fun checking out the newest expansion to the museum. And I learned quite a bit from their digital communications team during the process. They might not realize they were teaching me things, but they were. And while we’re talking about the digital communications team, let me say that I think they have the coolest jobs in the world.

Crowd at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis #blogTCM

As I’ve mentioned before, it seems like time is just rushing by. And it was just like *that* and my three month stint as a Blog Ambassador was over. KaputFini. It was a bit of a whirlwind. But, man…what a fun ride.

In case you missed them, here are the entries I was able to share with the fabulous readers of The Children’s Museum’s blog.

Matt Todd - Blog Ambassador for The Children's Museum of Indianpolis #blogTCM

My first post was a basic introduction of me and my family. Pretty standard as introductions go, I guess. I do wind up gushing quite a bit about how much I love The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. After you read all about it here, I’m sure you’ll understand why.

Matt Todd's Blog Ambassador post about baseball for The Children's Museum of Indianapolis #blogTCM

If I understand correctly, this baseball post was the most well-received post of my series of Blog Ambassador posts. That’s assuming facebook reactions are any indication. I wax poetic about memories of spending time with my kids on the baseball diamond. I do admit that I got a little misty eyed when I wrote it. You can read it here.

Matt Todd's Blog Ambassador post about racing for The Children's Museum of Indianapolis #blogTCM

Christy’s family has a long history with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. My history isn’t quite as long, but I still love the track. Since this post was leading up to May, I absolutely had to write about our racing experience at the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience at the children’s museum. Oh, and you can catch Aiden trying to steal some hardware. Check it all out here.

Matt Todd's Blog Ambassador post about soccer for The Children's Museum of Indianapolis #blogTCM

I called out a native Hoosier soccer star in this post. And he responded.

How cool is that?

 

Matt Todd's Blog Ambassador post about hockey for The Children's Museum of Indianapolis #blogTCM

In my farewell post as Blog Ambassador, I not only talk about the hockey exhibit and some cool artwork, I gush a little bit about the staff at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. And I meant every word of it. Still do. You can read it all here.

What a great experience!

I’m thankful to have had a small part of this amazing team of Blog Ambassadors. I hope you continue to check out their posts and then go to the exhibit! Who knows? You’ll probably see us there.

If so, I hope you say hello.

Our Crater Lake (“Contained”) Campfire at Philmont

When I worked at Philmont Scout Ranch in the Summer of 1996, it was horribly hot and dry. We encountered drought-like conditions in northeastern New Mexico that summer. In the days before backcountry staff scattered to our respective camps, there was a lot of discussion about the drier than usual heat we were experiencing. We talked about First Aid, emphasizing the signs and treatment of dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. We talked about fire safety. And it was emphasized that we needed to remain extra-vigilant because the entire ranch was basically sitting on a tinderbox, just waiting to go up in flames.

This was a far cry from the previous year. During my 1995 backcountry campaign at Beaubien, we were concerned about hypothermia. And flash flooding. And trying to keep our firewood dry. We half-jokingly referred to that summer as “Monsoon Season.” Everything was wet. We did have the occasional dry spell. And we took advantage of that.

Beaubien Crew sitting on top of our cabin at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimmaron New Mexico

Not so in 1996. Shortly after we scattered and campers had begun to arrive, conditions continued to worsen. Things got so bad that the governor of New Mexico instituted a ban on all open flames. No open flames meant no fire in the campfire bowl. How were we supposed to have our “Nightly Company Meetin’” if we didn’t have a campfire?

Andy, like a good engineer, came up with a solution. We simply put a small fire in a small, metal, portable bucket. The fire was contained within the bucket. We also had two buckets full of water nearby, just in case. I don’t know if our contained fire officially passed muster under the ban of “open” flames, but it sure appeared that way to us.

Crater Lake "Contained" campfire at Philmont in 1996

Now that Philmont is on fire for a second time this season, I’m not entirely sure if our “contained” campfire was the wisest decision on our part. But that was more than 20 years ago, I guess. So I’m not sure if it’s really worth getting worked up about now. That being said, I hope all current and future Philmont backcountry staffers follow both the letter and the spirit of a fire ban, even if we might not have entirely followed its spirit. Because it hurts my heart to see images of Scouting Paradise threatened by wildfire. Again.

I can’t imagine how disappointed the crews are. They had been looking forward to their June treks at Philmont all year long. For many, this was a once-in-a-lifetime event. And the Ute Park Fire forced Philmont leadership to suspend all backcountry treks in June and half of July. That had to be an agonizing decision. But I think we can all agree that it was the right decision.

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t stink, though. Because it does. It stinks for everyone involved.

In an attempt to, perhaps, shine a little bit of sunshine on this understandably gloomy time, I’ve managed to dig up some files from our Crater Lake Company Meetin’ (“Contained”) Campfire Extravaganza.

Fox on the Run

Fire on the Mountain

Georgetown

1996 Crater Lake staff at Philmont Scout Ranch

I understand that the current crop of backcountry staffers could run circles around us with their musicianship. I like to think, though, that we held our own as we blazed the (contained) campfire trail for future campfires. Even if we didn’t, we had one heck of a good time. So did the audience.

I hope you did, too.

My Mom’s Legacy

We arrived our church’s worship service a little later than usual.

I take that back.

We pulled into the parking lot at the same time we usually arrive at our church’s parking lot. The lot was more full than usual, though. Even all of the handicap spaces were taken. That’s what happens on Mother’s Day, I guess. After finally finding a spot,* Mihret and I hustled back to the Children’s Ministry area.

As you would expect, we entered the Children’s Ministry area a little later than usual, walking in while the children were gathered around the stage in anticipation of some singing and dancing. And there was Aiden, up on stage, preparing the Upper Elementary students for a time of corporate praise and worship.

He leads them in songs like this:

Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen Aiden lead kids in singing and dancing on Sunday mornings. We were a tag-team, of sorts, when we helped our church open a second campus.

A couple of mad scientists ready for church

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(That’s Aiden, Stage Right, in case you couldn’t tell)

It had been a while since I watched him lead. So I stayed for a few moments and soaked in the whole experience.

Aiden leading children's worship

And then it hit me.

I’m sure I was influenced by the fact that it was Mother’s Day, but I believe this was an important revelation. This is part of my Mom’s legacy.

I’ve talked before about my earliest memories: moving back to Indiana from Tennessee and visiting my newborn brother in the hospital. Many of the memories after that involve sitting in the pew at church on Sunday mornings.

Here’s what I remember…

I remember Brother Taylor’s booming voice when he preached. I don’t remember anything he said, but I do remember his voice filling the room. It’s doubtful that he would have needed a mic. After the service, he stood in the vestibule and shook everyone’s hand as they left. When one of us kids would come up to him, he would greet us with a stick of Big Red gum. That potent cinnamon gum still makes me think of him all these years later.

I also remember sitting by Brother Taylor’s wife during Sunday morning worship services. I’m sure she was a nice lady, but I wasn’t a fan. Because she made me behave while I was with her during the congregational singing.

Why was I sitting by the preacher’s wife? Well, I’m glad you asked. Dad was a Deacon and had some church leader responsibilities to conduct during the service.** Mom was usually up front. So someone had to watch me. And the preacher’s wife was elected on at least one occasion.  I remember Mom either accompanying the music by playing the piano or singing with the choir. I also remember her singing solos and with small ensembles at the subsequent churches we attended.+

Wherever we went, she was a worship leader.

And although I might be biased, I remember her being pretty great at what she did.

So as I stood there and watched Aiden lead a group of children in heartfelt worship, I thought of my Mom. I thought of Aly who serves wherever she’s needed in the Children’s Ministry. It could be rocking babies. It could be leading an Elementary Girls’ small group. Or it could be leading Preschool Big Group Worship Time. She has a big servant’s heart.

Aly the Pirate. #BantaAllstars

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She’ll jump in and do whatever is necessary.

Just like my Momma.

What a legacy.


*Not that I’m complaining. A full parking lot is a good problem to have. It’s a problem I would’ve been excited to have when I served as a Preacher.

**I think he collected and counted the offering, but that could be a story I told myself and still believe.

+I wish I had a photo of mom playing the piano at Bethany or singing in one of the ensembles at CFC. But that was before the age of everyone having a phone with them all the time and everywhere.

Long days and short years

This post about parenting, prom, and having your kids grow up contains affiliate links. That means I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on the appropriate links. You can learn more in my Disclosure Policy. As always, thank you for your support.

Some six years ago, I wrote a quick post about how I wished my kids would stop growing up so fast. After posting it, I had some second thoughts. I mean, part of my role as a Dad is to help my kids navigate this thing called life and to (hopefully) serve as a guide throughout the process. If I’m supposed to help them grow and mature and become strong, compassionate, confident, and passionate young men and women, then I should celebrate the fact that they’re doing just that. Right? I can’t really complain when they start showing that they’re maturing into the very people I hope and pray that they become.

So it seemed like it would be a little intellectually dishonest to pine for the days when my kids were younger while simultaneously encouraging them to keep growing. But here I am. And here you are. So here we are. We’re all in this awkward space. Together. Lucky us.

Here’s how we got here:

It really began a few weeks ago when old high school and college friends of mine started posting pictures. “Oh,” I thought to myself, “Everyone’s celebrating their younger siblings’ proms. How sweet.” Of course, it wasn’t their younger siblings’ proms they were photographing. It wasn’t nieces or nephews. And it wasn’t their distant cousins.

It was their own kids.

As I saw this countless stream of young adults dressed to the nines in anticipation of one of the highlights of their high school careers, I found myself asking one basic question:

When did this happen?

It was an honest question. Because whoever said that the days are long and the years are short really knew what he or she was talking about. I remember the long days after the sleepless nights. Some of those days, especially during seminary, were pretty tough. They certainly felt like they’d never end.

But they did.

Because shortly after my friends were posting pictures of their kids getting ready for prom, Christy and I found ourselves standing in a nearby city park, taking pictures of Aiden and his date.*

Aiden Prom 2018 Continue reading Long days and short years

My (somewhat) complicated history with Jesus Christ Superstar

This post about Jesus Christ Superstar contains affiliate links. That means I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on the appropriate links. You can learn more in my Disclosure Policy. As always, thank you for your support.

Christ the Redeemer for my Jesus Christ Superstar post

I’ve been a fan of the music from Jesus Christ Superstar ever since I was in high school. Since I first encountered Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera, I’ve had a somewhat complicated relationship with one of the more controversial productions about the man Jesus Christ.

Here’s how my story goes…

Basketball Pep Band

As with any high school basketball pep band, we had our go-to favorite songs to play during timeouts. Some of the favorites from our repertoire included You Can Call Me Al.* I seem to remember that some of our Saxophones liked playing it.

Another favorite was I Got the Music in Me.

Oh, man. That driving bass line was intense. As a tuba, I kind of had a love/hate relationship with this song. It was so fun to play that bass part. But if we happened to drag the tempo for even a split second, the entire thing could spiral out of control. So there was a lot of pressure to keep a steady beat. But we were The Tubas. We were up to it.

That’s what we told ourselves, anyway.

Then there was Jesus Christ Superstar.

The trombones played Judas’s part during the verses. They would always rush. A lot. It bugged me, but it was still a fun song to play. By the end of the song, things were almost out of control. We were probably playing the song more than three times faster than when we started. It was a borderline train wreck by the final note. But like I said, it was fun. Most of the time.

This was my first exposure to any music from Jesus Christ Superstar. I remember talking to dad about the song one night. At the time, I didn’t realize it was from a musical. I didn’t even know there were lyrics to the song. He recited a line from the chorus to me: “Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, do you think you’re who they say you are.” And he informed me that a couple of songs from that musical were actually pretty well-known in the 70s.

That shocked me for some reason. I can’t tell you why. How was it that a musical could have a popular song on the radio. I guess I had forgotten the whole “Memory” craze from Cats.

Selective amnesia, I’m sure. Continue reading My (somewhat) complicated history with Jesus Christ Superstar

Facebook Feed Monday. It’s back!

As with almost all my posts, this post about updates from Life in the Fishbowl’s facebook page contains affiliate links. That means I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on the appropriate links. You can learn more in my Disclosure Policy. As always, thank you for your support.

facebook Feed Update

You thought I forgot about my Facebook Feed update. Well, I didn’t. I just haven’t made the time to put one together. I told you, it wasn’t going to be a regular feature.

Yet.

Someday I might make this a regular feature. But for now, it’s just going to have to be sporadic. And maybe a little bit random. And I’m OK with that for now. I hope you are, too.

As always, don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter. That’s part of the reason I’m doing this whole feed update to begin with. Right? I mean, that’s how we’re going to stick it to The Man who seems to have been OK with some organizations accessing all your data, but isn’t OK with other organizations accessing it. Don’t get caught in the politics here. The fact remains that facebook has a gold mine of data. And someone’s going to exploit it, whether facebook wants them to or not.

But I digress. The point is this feed. So let’s get it started.

I should warn you. This edition has a whole lot of basketball in it. But that really shouldn’t be much of a surprise. It is The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, after all.

The Facebook Feed Madness of March Basketball (and other such things) edition is here!


This post was shared the night before Valentine’s Day. A lot happened on that day. Some of it was pretty horrific. I discussed this event in several posts, but I’ve decided to put them in a separate post that focuses on some of the people who were directly impacted by that horrible event. I’ll place the link here when it’s published.

Something else happened on Valentine’s Day. I think I already mentioned it here.


Speaking of my Alma Mater… Continue reading Facebook Feed Monday. It’s back!

This commercial has a familiar face or two

Screenshot from the Children's Museum of Indianapolis commercial

When I was in Middle School (Seventh Grade, I think), I was working at our Troop 322 Christmas Tree Lot when a photographer from the Evansville Courier & Press showed up. He took several shots of different things on the lot. Then he asked me to pull a tree through the tree wrapping machine. That photo, which I cannot find at the moment, wound up on the front page of the second section (the Lifestyle section?) of the paper.

When I arrived at school the morning it was published, I had several teachers come up to me and tell me they saw me in the paper. It was so cool. It might have been the highlight of my Middle School Years.*

Mihret got to do something even cooler.

A few weeks ago, she was invited to participate in shooting some video and having her picture taken for some promotional stuff for the new Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.** She had a blast. In fact, she said it was “the best time of my life.” I mean, I can’t really blame her. She got to play with some of the brand new exhibits. And she really liked participating in one shot in particular where she ran. And ran. And ran again. Over and over and over again. The director wanted to get one particular shot just right.

That spot wound up in the latest commercial for the new expansion. You can see Mihret in three separate shots in this commercial…

As soon as it started airing, Christy and I received facebook messages and texts about how they saw Mihret on TV. She’s super excited about it and has searched for the commercial on youtube several times. I’m sure she thinks she’s a big-time rock star now. And that’s OK. I think we already knew she was.

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Let me know if you have any trouble finding her in all three shots. I’ll be happy to point them out!

*OK, getting baptized was probably the highlight, but this one was definitely up there. It would have made the One Shining Moment highlight reel of my middle school experience, for sure.

**Speaking of which, did you catch my first post on their blog? You really should.

Well that was quite the February

Wow.

Even though February is the shortest month on the calendar, a lot happened in February 2018. A whole lot. Of course, we got to watch the Winter Olympics. Well…some of us didn’t, apparently. But we’re big fans of both the Summer and Winter Games around here. So we were definitely watching.

And too many horrific things happened in national, international, and local news. Even with the heartbreaking news we saw throughout most of February, I have to say that a lot of good things happened in our family during February of this year.

Night to Shine

I’d heard about Night to Shine before. I’ve had friends volunteer for this amazing event. Our Employment Team at work signed up to help run the karaoke feature at the event.

It’s not hyperbole to say that this night might have changed my life. It was definitely memorable. I’m doing it again next year, and I’m bringing my family in tow (except Mihret. She won’t be old enough). But I’m sure she’ll be an Honored Guest in a few years. And I’m so excited about that.

I had the honor of volunteering with my colleagues from work in the Karaoke Room at last night’s Night to Shine. While our Honored Guests were eating dinner, the volunteers had a chance to play around a little bit and sing a few songs. Having never sung karaoke before, I jumped at the chance to sing in front of an almost empty room. I can definitely see the appeal. Even for someone like me, who likes to stay out of the spotlight, there’s something inside that lights up when you’re on stage like this. I remember this feeling from every performance I ever had while playing the tuba. It awakens something deep within. Of course last night wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about my coworkers. It was all about our Honored Guests. And they OWNED the stage. I am blessed to have been able to clap and shout and sing and dance and party all night long with them. They grabbed hold of that spotlight and soaked in every moment. It was an amazing night and I’m already counting down the days to Night to Shine 2019. Oh, and thanks to Betsy for this fun picture. #karaoke #NightToShine #blessed

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Meet Shiloh!

Just a few days after Night to Shine, we introduced a new member to the Todd crew. We fell in love with a cute puppy with a heart-shaped nose. And, conveniently enough, we brought her home on Valentine’s Day.

We’re still quite solidly in the Puppy Phase, so whatever free time we might have had is now fully occupied with visits to the back yard to go potty and keeping puppy teeth off of couches, wall corners, and Mihret’s hair. But we also get lots and lots of puppy snuggles.

On most days, that almost makes up for everything else.

It’s a good thing puppies are so doggone cute. No pun intended.

A new driver!

It was bound to happen sooner or later…

At the BMV with Aiden after he earned his Driver's License in February

After canceling his first driver’s test because he was home with a fever, and then some scheduling drama at the BMV*, I was beginning to wonder if Aiden was ever going to have a chance to earn his driver’s license. But he did! And we’re quite proud of him.

A February to remember…

That’s a lot of good stuff in just a short amount of time. Right? We had quite the February, indeed.

I think it’s safe to say that we probably won’t have another February like this, with so many life-changing events, in a long, long time. Shoot. We might not ever have another February like February 2018 was.

I know. That’s quite a bold statement. All I have to say is that February 2019 is on the clock. We’ll see what it has in store for us next year.


*There was no record of his test getting rescheduled, so the time we thought he was scheduled to take the test was already claimed by someone else. Of course, we didn’t find this out until just a few hours before the test,  but the good ladies at the BMV in Martinsville, IN, found a way to squeeze him in…that was some fabulous customer service!