May 272014
 

I am sitting here today in a small conundrum. I had a post all ready to go about patriotism and teaching your kids pride in the country but I just couldn’t publish it today.
You see, the old cliche’s about how fast kids grow up is slapping me in the face like so many cold fish from that old Monty Python sketch. go ahead and watch it, it is only 15 seconds.

I have known for well, 10 years now that I someday will have a 10 year old. It was inevitable. Time doesn’t stop. I have been trying to talk about it a lot lately to get used to it. Today however, the big fish hit. We have been preparing for Leatha’s birthday party. Her first slumber party. Today is the day and it just hit me that my daughter is getting this close to being a teenager.

She is not too far away from driving and college. She is still 20 years away from a boyfriend though.;) I guess that having the new baby here is really putting some perspective on things. We now have all of our kids and the next babies that my wife and I will be playing with will be our grandkids. In 25 years or so. 😉

I know I am getting older, I finally don’t feel like a 14 year old kid most of the time, but I still don’t feel like 36.  I have finally given up on all of the assorted BS that kept me somewhat repressed and timid for all of these years.  I am only concerned with my immediate family now, everyone else is just there to bring gifts on holidays.

I know it has been said before and will be again, kids grow up fast.  10 years goes by like a flash, it seems like Leatha should be turning maybe 6, not 10.  Enjoy every minute that you can with your family.

Being a Stay At Home Dad has afforded me several opportunities to watch my kids grow and develop in those intimate moments when they think no one is watching.  It is a perspective that is very valuable towards finding great Christmas presents because I feel that I know my kids and their personalities fairly well.

Anyone can do it though.  Watch your kids.  Spend time with them.  Throw a ball around with them in the yard.  Let them help when you fix the toilet or patch the wall.  My son is very excited about the new belt sander.

All in all, I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.  I love my family and cant wait to see what happens when we have that 18th birthday party.

Have a great Weekend, go do something fun with your family.

-Justin

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May 272014
 

I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about the mountains.  How the mountains were calling me and John Muir. During the course of that post I said that my blog is calling and I must go, paraphrasing John Muir of course.  I had said that it would be a great t-shirt.  It still would be.

Today I wanted to write about commitments.  I know there are posts all over Blogistan about how to divide your time and do everything that you want to.  This is only partially about that.  We all have our commitments to our families, wives, husbands, kids etc.  We have work commitments.  We have housework commitments.  There are church and community commitments.  And, if we want a piece of this wonderful internet pie, there are commitments to our websites and blogs.

My blog is my second mistress.  My laptop is my first mistress and I dearly love the internet.  It is hard to budget the time to sit down and write and read blogs and comment on blogs and take care of the kids and cook dinner and do laundry and mop the floor, and entertain the wife, and on and on and on.  So where do you dig out the time to write?

The answer is wherever you can.  Forgo TV for a night, or a couple of hours.  Forgo watching the kids go to sleep.  Go to bed a bit later or get up earlier.  Ben over at 6aliens.com and James at the infopreneur both talk about this.  Carve out the time for your blog and your website.  There is a lot of time devoted to growing your blog and sometimes the web design gets pushed back.  Hard to read, cluttered sites do not bring back traffic.  Work on your site as well.

Tell your friends, “I can’t.  My Blog is calling and I must go.”  Tell your wife (only once in a while), “My Blog is calling and I must go.”  (Flowers smooth that over if you do it too much).  You can tell your kids the same thing, once in a while.

The hard part is figuring out when it is actually beneficial to just shut the laptop and let your blog call.  Devote everything you possibly can to your site so that it will make you money.  Throw everything you can at it so that you can have more time with your family when it is keeping its own head up.  It will still call to you, but not as loud.

When you are at that point, you can take off and go on fabulous vacations because you will be one of the pros like David Risley, or Darren Rowse, or John Chow even.  Your blog will still be calling, you will still go, but you can go from around the world.  John Chow likes to have all of his stuff online so he can access it from anywhere.  WordPress is like that as well.

My blog is calling and I must go, for I want to be a Pro.  I need the cash.

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below:

-Justin

May 272014
 
Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in Modoc Count...
Image via Wikipedia

This last weekend was the general Deer Hunt here in Utah.  We don’t have a huge season here like in other parts of the country so it is kind of a big deal.  I haven’t been hunting for several years and I was thinking about that this weekend.

I was sitting in the rocking chair feeding my 3 1/2 month old son and I started to wonder if I was being a good parent to my kids, not getting them out and into the woods for the deer hunt.  I wonder if I am slacking on my fatherly duties to teach my kids about the animals and what to do out in their environment.

I have written before about taking the kids out and teaching them to shoot, to pass along those traditions.  (Part 1 and part 2)I would truly like to see them love the outdoors as much as I do.  But, then there is the quandary.  It is really hard to take kids out where there are people with guns.  It is hard to take a 7 year old boy who is almost convinced he is a racecar (complete with actual volume sound effects) out into a place where you REALLY need to be quiet.

It is inconceivable to me to take an infant out into the cool October weather.  My sister got roped into a camping trip in October with her last baby and spent a week in the hospital with him.  Not pleasant.  All of that being said the argument can be made for “Why don’t you go by yourself?”  Here is my take on that.

The deer hunt is more than just going out and shooting at deer.  There is a whole social dynamic of being in a deer camp with others.  A deer camp can iconically be thought of as a group of men getting together and having a party before getting up early to hunt.

Now, there are women who hunt.  There are lots of them.    My Grandma was a better shot than my Grandpa, and he was damn good.  My aunts shoot and hunt.  Back in the day, it was necessary for food, not just sport.  But they still had a good time.  I am not taking anything away from women hunters, I would never try and stop a woman from being in a deer camp where I am.  I wish my wife would come hunting with me.

I know anyone can enjoy the outdoors.  But still, the perception is men.  Men bringing their sons to the woods for rights of passage.  I keep thinking I am slacking for not doing that yet.  I came to realize that I am not slacking, my sons just are too little to go right now.  I am impatient.

I was reading an outdoor magazine this last week and saw these 9 and 10 year old kids getting their first deer.  I thought, my daughter is 10, just like this girl who was in the magazine.  My daughter didn’t really care for shooting though.  Ok not her, but my 7 year old can come with me and get his by 8 right?  Wrong.  I have spent 36 years in Utah and didn’t realize that the law says you have to be 12 to hunt here.  I feel better now, I have 5 years to get him trained, and 12 to get my youngest trained.  If the girls want to come, they are welcome as well.

I would live to see a time when the whole family goes out and camps, the boys heading out for deer, the girls playing around camp and all of us perfectly happy.  But I have time for all of that later.

I came out of this reverie and realized that what was important right now was taking care of the kids.  There really is nothing better in this world than holding an infant, your infant, in your arms until they fall asleep.  They love and trust you completely.  I carried him to bed and while looking in his little face I knew that this was the time to be HERE, there would be plenty of time for the woods later.  I then looked across the room at his brother, and realized that I had work to do on him, but the imagination and fire of a 7 year old is nothing to put on hold.  He will only be like this right now.  It is something to embrace.

The woods will still be there when they get older and if we vote right, the politicians will not be able to stop us from carrying on the traditions of the past.  Open warning to all bucks in Utah, I am coming, and I bring the apocalypse, errr Cameron and Tristan.  Wait for us and grow big, so we can have a picture like the ones my grandparents had of their deer hunts in the ’40s.  I realize that I am doing just fine, there is plenty of time.

Now, if you will excuse me, I think I will try to go fishing.  They all like fishing.

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May 272014
 
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Image by DanielleCM via Flickr

Not that there was any way to avoid it, but I am sure you have noticed my lack of postings here on the Catharsis the past couple of weeks.  Call it lack of motivation, call it laziness, call it what you will, but I have been absent.  I hope that there is someone out there who is at least annoyed by that.

I have written something like this post before and I am sure  that if you remember those you are sick of it and are ready to unsubscribe.  Let me just say, please don’t.  I have ideas again and things to write about but my time is not balanced well at the moment.  I could blame it on a number of things including sick kids and a 7 month old who likes to wake up in the middle of the night, but the only person to blame is me.
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