Give that boy a hug

St Louis - To the Arch and back

As part of our preparation to adopt Little Man, Christy and I attended the Empowered to Connect Conference in St. Louis over the weekend. The conference was intense. It was emotional. It was well worth the time, effort, and energy it took to attend. I’m still processing a lot of the information and trying to implement some of the strategies. It’s going to take some intentionality on my part to make this shift in parenting style. But that’s OK. He’s worth it. So are the rest of our kids.

We decided to turn this trip into an extended weekend – kind of a mini vacation with the kids. While they had to endure a lot of sitting around during our time in the conference’s sessions, we tried to include some fun family activities while we were in the STL. Most of the places we visited were free, like the St. Louis Science Center, Bass Pro Shop (don’t knock it. It was as close to going to Six Flags as we were going to get on this trip), and the St. Louis Zoo. Christy and the big kids were going to go up into the Arch while we were in town, but due to time constraints and poor weather conditions, we had to skip that journey this time around. That’s OK. It’ll just give us another reason to go back to St. Louis very very soon.

While we were there, I started to wonder about our parenting style. Do you think Aiden wasn’t hugged enough as a baby? Or maybe he was hugged too much.

Bear hug

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Elephant hug

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Gateway Arch hug

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Obviously, the boy likes hugs. And that’s a good thing. So we probably hugged him just the right amount. 😉

But just in case, you should probably give that boy a hug next time you see him. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind.



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Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

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Mike Smith

Enjoyed this post. Is this a yearly conference?
PS: next time try City Museum, Transportation Museum, Grants Farm, and MO Botanical Gardens too!

Matt Todd

It was a regional conference. Not sure if/when it’s returning to St. Louis.

Thanks for the great tips! I’m sure we’ll visit some of them when we return so the kids can go up the Arch (and maybe I can get to a Cards game – missed Opening Day by one stinking day).