Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Favorite Part Of This Blog?

A classmate of mine told me today he was surfing my blog. This happens on occasion. This used to happen more frequently when I was more regular about posting, but as you all can attest, that is not so much the case anymore.

Anyway, he mentioned to me that he was surfing "Inclined to Recline" and I was like, oh yeah, that is my URL, huh?

And then I realized just how much I like that title. It's clever, isn't it? I think it's probably my favorite part of this blog I decided right then.

Over the last year and a half it's evolved a good amount. First, I don't post that often, which is something that I keep saying I would like to change and become more regular again. Second, I've gone to more of a journally-type blog and distanced myself a bit from politics and current events. Not that I've lost my taste for that stuff, but I have lost the taste for making it a public debate/rant.

But yeah, Inclined to Recline. I dig it. I think I'll stick with it for a bit. Readership is down, but thanks for staying with me this far. I'll try and keep up with it.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Adjustment

It's funny, last night Amy and I were talking about how fun it would be to only have Jane. It'd be so easy. She warms to people no problem so getting babysitters for her is no issue at all. We could go to movies frequently and do other things. She travels well as evidenced by our summer. She's just easy. One kid is easy to care for, especially if it's Jane. She's just wonderful.

We knew that adding another to the mix would make things more tricky. We knew that there would be an adjustment period of at least a few months. You just never know how these things go when you add kids to the mix.

The timing that we decided to go with also made it kind of interesting. Jane is still so young. To just about everyone, Jane really is still just a baby. Would it be smart to add on another baby given all of that? We still don't have any money, so it's not like that would be any easier.

The way we were talking last night, it almost felt like we were talking about having only Jane the way we talked about how it was being married without kids. Adding more to the mix just complicates things.

Regardless of whatever fantasizing we were engaging in, we still wouldn't have it any other way. It definitely is more tricky adding another child to the mix. Schedules are hard to line up. Just the logistics of getting out is trickier. We used to forget things all the time when it was just Jane, and now that happens just as often with Peter. Everything is just trickier.

But he's just the sweetest little guy. He's making more cute little baby noises now. He holds eye contact better and whether he is or isn't in reality, it really feels like he engages more. He's becoming more alive and I just love it.

I think the biggest payoff will start in about a year when Jane and Peter can play together. That relationship is sure to be tenuous at some times, but they will always have each other and there will be a growth in relationship building that will occur that couldn't have happened if we didn't have a second, let alone a second that is so close in age behind the first.

That's what I'm really excited for. This part right now is tricky. And I say all of this with a grain of salt because relatively, I still think Peter is pretty easy as far as babies go. Right now we are in the business of building our family and it comes with its challenges, but it's just so wonderful to have them both here with us now, even if there are other things, and good ones at that, that we have to forego for the time being.

Giving up good for something better. That's what it's about, right? And in my heart of hearts, I know that this is what's best.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Benefits of Travel

Recently a friend of mine had posted on Instagram a photo about his travels in LA and then asked the question, what is it that you like so much about traveling? I had a quick answer for him, but then I started thinking about it more and just wanted to expand it into a blogpost. My initial response to his question said something about how it becomes a growing experience for our little family as we get out and about and see different things. I've said this before on here, but I'll say it again, traveling becomes a real learning experience for all of us, even the babies. Jane has traveled to Phoenix once, Colorado once, Vegas twice, California four times, out to Michigan and back (and on five separate road trips while out there), up to Oregon, and flown to Mississippi and Seattle to then drive to Vancouver. You know what's even more amazing? She has done it all without the benefit of any kind of DVD player or video watching device. And until this last trip, we never even handed her our phones. She's become an amazing traveler and can pretty easily go 10 hours in the car with one or maybe two stops without ever really complaining. With this last trip to Colorado, Peter really did great. He barely made a peep, although at his age it might be even easier to travel. While it does come at a cost sometimes of sleep when we're all having to stay in the same room, or nap schedules get shifted, or whatever else, I think it's been invaluable for all of us to learn that we can pretty much go anywhere and do anything in spite of having kids in tow. It helps us as parents learn how to handle them better and gives them an opportunity to be more adaptive to their circumstances. (I won't discount what a huge benefit it is to have kids that are naturally pretty easy, but I won't say that they haven't also benefited from a little bit of coaching from life.) One other focus of our travels has been to see specific individuals. Last year we went and visited Greg and Laura in Mississippi. This past weekend we saw the Johnsons in Colorado. While both of those areas were interesting because they were mostly new to us, the real objective for each of those trips was to strengthen those relationships. We weren't really going for any objective other than just to spend time with those people, not to say we didn't end up doing fun things, but the point was spending time with them. Nothing beats having that individual time one on one with people, even being with them in the natural rhythm of their day to day lives, all of that just gives you such a better picture into their lives and helps you become better acquainted with one another. The last benefit of traveling that I'll mention is probably the most obvious one - it just does so much to get exposure to different things. I love so much that I have a wife that is so willing to endure the rigor of travel and the discomfort of being away from home in order to see and experience new places. Being in Michigan last summer was such an eye opening experience for us in so many ways. Traveling across the country and back, then all the way out and up to the Oregon coast, then down to California gave us such wonderful experiences to all share together. I don't know. I just love traveling. I can't wait to see the other new places we'll explore.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Road Trip Out To Michigan

Video of our road trip out to Michigan. This was the most daunting video project from last summer. I started with over 200 video clips and boiled them down to these 60 or so. This was a fun project though. The others should be easier from here on out.