Sunday, December 07, 2008

Isn't It Ironic, Don't Ya' Think?

Being the rabid Cleveland Browns fan that I am, this football season has been a major disappointment. I never bought into the preseason hype that the Browns were Super Bowl contenders after a 10-6 season last year, but I never thought they would be this bad. I picked them to hover around the .500 mark. Not likely now. Over at, there are an interesting couple of articles that attempt to assess blame and come up with solutions. There are too many problems to narrow it down to just one thing. The incredible drop-off of Pro Bowl players from a year ago. The remarkable inability of the defense to tackle. The horrible clock-management and lack of creativity on the part of Romeo Crennel and staff (with the exception of the win against the Giants on Monday Night Football earlier this year). Derek Anderson going from stud to dud in the same amount of time he traveled the other direction. I agree with Terry Pluto that I don't think Savage is the problem. He writes: "Despite this dismal 4-8 season, the Browns do have better players than when Savage took over four years ago." But one thing is for sure: Braylon Edwards' inability to catch the ball - what wide receivers are paid to do - hasn't helped. He has, what, 17 drops on the season? Ridiculous! It made me remember this ad for fantasy football that aired a couple of years ago. Isn't it ironic?

Maybe he needs to play blindfolded...

Friday, December 05, 2008

What's Been Going On?

That's a fine question. There has been a lot going on lately. Novembers are usually pretty full in my world. They usually include a youth fall retreat, the National Youth Workers Convention, and often a trip home to Ohio for Thanksgiving. Some of those things still happened this year, but my November looked much different than I expected.

A couple of weekends ago, we did have our youth fall retreat at Logan Valley Christian Retreat in Ellington, MO. It was a great weekend! We had over 60 students attend and they all seemed to have a good time and take something away from the weekend. The highlight for me was to observe as the students went through the prayer labyrinth that we set up. It seemed that each student connected with a different part of the labyrinth and God met them each in a different way. We could have just done the labyrinth and it would have been a great weekend. But we did a lot of other stuff, too. Overall, a really good weekend.

The following weekend I was supposed to attend the NYWC with some of my volunteers in the youth ministry. However, the night before we were supposed to leave (Thursday night), Hanna got sick and we had to take her to the ER. It took a couple of days for the test results to come back, but it turns out that she had a urinary tract infection. In the meantime, I woke up on Friday morning at 3:00am with a horrible headache. No medicine helped the pain to go away. I was hoping to feel better and meet my volunteers in Nashville for the convention, but it never went away. Because of the pain, I couldn't eat or sleep and started vomiting that evening. Finally, after 25 hours of misery, at 4:00am on Saturday morning, I took myself to the ER. They performed a CAT scan on me and did a spinal tap and admitted me to the hospital. They figured that I had meningitis of some sort, either bacterial (the bad one, which can result in brain damage or death) or viral (mostly just annoying and painful), but they needed me to stay until the tests came back. The finally came back and confirmed that I did have viral meningitis. I was discharged on Monday with a regimen of pain meds (yeah, I missed the whole convention), which I have been taking ever since. Most of Thanksgiving week was spent in pain or a drug-induced fog. Fortunately, Marcy's mom and stepdad came into town for Thanksgiving. hey provided a lot of help with the kids so I didn't have to worry about Marcy having to do too much with me being laid up. They were already planning on coming for the holiday, so it worked out pretty well in the long run. I started back to work some this week, so I think it is soon to be behind me. Viral meningitis is always one of those things you hear about, but you never know anyone that had had it. I guess I can't say that anymore.

So, November was a little different for me. And now, I just got a call from Marcy who told me that Hanna has to go to the hospital on Monday to get checked out after her urinary tract infection. That's great, because we haven't spent enough time there lately. Pray for her, please.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Pope and Rolex

I just read an interesting article linked to by an e-mail I get from Neue Ministry. It compared the effects that consumer branding - particularly the Mac brand - and religion has on a person's brain. The author raises a tough question: If brands have become religions (which it appears that they have, in some cases - watch the 2nd video in the article), have religions been reduced to brands? If they have, I wonder what brand my religion / church has become, or yours?

Perhaps the bigger question is: Is Steve Jobs deity? (note: that was totally tongue-in-cheek; don't send me hate comments)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Dirty Jobs: The Early Years

If you enjoy Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs, you will love this video from earlier in his career when he was on QVC. I ran across it on the YS Blog. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Trick-or-Treating vs. Community

Yesterday marked my favorite holiday of the whole year: Halloween. I know, a good Christian's favorite holiday should either be Christmas or Easter, what with the significance of each. And I do agree that each of those are far more important, but as far as which holiday gets me the most excited based on the modern-day celebration of each, Halloween wins out. And now that I have kids, it is even more pronounced. I get totally jazzed about the idea of trick-or-treating with them and picking out costumes. This year I was determined that Colin would be Curious George, and on Sunday I was able to find a costume for only $10.00. Major score, and he was majorly cute! And last night to celebrate, we ventured to a local church that held a Tractor Treat, complete with games, prizes, free photos, hay rides, and of course plenty of candy. Colin had a blast, which meant that so did Daddy!

On my way home, I drove past what can be described as a well-to-do neighborhood. If I had to go visit a friend in that neighborhood last night, I would have been out of luck as the streets were completely lined with cars from visiting neighborhoods. I wondered, "What has happened to trick-or-treat?" 

Trick-or-treat used to be an opportunity to get together with all your friends from your neighborhood, compare costumes, and ransack our neighbors for candy. Sure, the goal was always candy and to have the best costume, but there was also a community element to the whole event. We couldn't have verbalized it that way as kids, but there was something fun about going around to all of your neighbors that you see every day and have them make comments about your costume. There was even one old guy that wore a different mask every year. One year, he wore the mask of a young, hot lady and he talked in a high voice. I still remember that now, thirty years later. I was sad when I had heard that he had passed away some years ago because he was a part of the community. He was my neighbor.

Today, trick-or-treat is nothing more than hitting up perfect strangers for candy, oftentimes strangers who live on the complete opposite side of town. You stake out the various neighborhoods to try to determine which one is the nicest. Then once you have determined that, you have to decide if they will be the most generous, and if not, you choose the next most prosperous area, or the next. And if your bag is not so full that you can't carry it anymore, the night has not been successful. And it doesn't matter if you don't have a costume; you can still go. I have had kids come to my door in the past with no costume at all, simply dressed in their normal street clothes, with their bags out expecting candy. The bottom line is, the one with the most candy wins. It's basically begging on really nice streets.

What happened to the community aspect? It doesn't matter if you don't get together with your friends. Who cares if you don't see your neighbors or trick-or-treat in your own neighborhood? What matters is the candy. That's all. Some could argue that I did the exact same thing by taking my son to a local church instead of going around my own neighborhood. That's somewhat fair, but he's also only 2 1/2 years old, and I thought the community that a church might provide might be preferable to a child that age than the normal Halloween environment. Perhaps I violated my own argument, but that would just defend it - that the community element to Halloween is going, if not already, gone. That it doesn't matter if your neighbors ever see you that night, or if you see them. When that crazy old guy in the neighborhood passes away, who will care? Possibly no one in the neighborhood because the community has evaporated. And I would suggest that it is just a reflection in society as a whole. Just my two cents' worth....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Four Unrelated Stories

Technically, two of the stories are closely related, as they involve Colin praying. And if you want to get even more technical, they are all related in that they are all things I have experienced. But on the surface of things, these are simply a few stories and musings from the past couple of weeks. I think I'll start with the two fairly related stories.

A little over a week ago, my dad was in town. Since there is not very much to do in The Cape (as my cousin-in-law likes to call it), we ventured to St. Louis to take the kids to the zoo. It was quite fun watching Colin get all excited about seeing the various animals, especially since he is now at an age where he can actually name many of them. While we walked through the African section, we saw many horned animals. Colin didn't recognize any of them, so he asked, "What's that?" quite frequently. My standard answer - because I didn't know much of the time - was, "It's a yak." I think I was the only one who was entertained by my response. Later that night, we were all pretty exhausted. As I was tucking Colin into bed, we prayed together as we do every night. I prayed and thanked God for all of the animals that He created that we saw that day, for the elephants, and the giraffes, and the tigers, and then Colin piped in with, "and the yaks!" That's right, Colin, and the yaks. Maybe I wasn't the only one paying attention to my responses.

This past Saturday, we took some of our students rock climbing at Giant City State Park in Makanda, IL. We had a gorgeous day, and 20 of our students participated in climbing any one of three different climbs and rappelling off of the 120 ft. cliff. After a while, some of the students started asking if I was going to climb. So I geared up knowing full well that this was not going to go well. I am in pretty miserable physical condition, and I know how weak I have allowed myself to get. The last time I rock climbed, it was on a man-made wall, and I made it about 2/3 of the way up the wall before I had to quit. This time would probably be worse. So I started up the medium climb. After a short time, one of our freshman girls blew past me on the difficult climb. Dang! But I kept going. From below, my belayer and Barry - one of our SIMYs who was also belaying - were shouting instructions up to me. All of the verbal encouragement in the world wouldn't have gotten me to the top, but the coaching was sure helping. Not too much later, another student caught up to me on the difficult climb. Dang! But he didn't pass me. I finally, after a really long time, made it to the top. WOO-HOO!!! I beat it! I seriously would have quit early on without the strong and informed coaching that I received from down below. I wondered later that day: How much better could I be doing in life in general if I had a 'coach'? A mentor who could walk me through the difficult times when I don't know where to turn next. Something to consider. (BTW, you can see pictures of our day at our Flickr site)

On Monday night, I was freezing at a soccer game at CHS. My phone rang around our normal dinnertime. Marcy was calling to tell me a story. Every night that I am home, we pray before eating dinner (or any meal, for that matter). Sometimes we let Colin pray, but usually have to help him. "God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food. Amen!" He does a pretty good job with this prayer. This night, I was not there to pray with them, so as Marcy prayed for the meal, Colin indicated that he wanted to pray for Daddy (that's me). So Marcy told him to go ahead and pray for Daddy. This is what he prayed: "God is great, for Daddy. Amen!" That's my boy!

I received an e-mail a couple of weeks ago from our Executive Director telling me - and a couple of the other pastors - that we needed to plan on attending the Staff-Parish meeting scheduled for Oct. 28th (last night). We needed to prepare a report detailing our job responsibilities. This seemed odd, since they are the group hat controls our jobs; I figured they knew what we did. Well, I knew Marcy would be out of town (in Seattle visiting her sister and her new baby), so I inquired how long to expect to be in the meeting so I could get a babysitter. I was told that I could go ahead and bring Colin to the meeting. Again, this seemed odd, to bring your child to a Staff-Parish meeting, but whatever. So after dinner at Culver's, Colin and I headed up to the church. One of our former students was there, so she volunteered to watch Colin while I had my meeting. I went in along with the other pastors. After a prayer, the head of the committee informed us that it was Pastor Appreciation Month, and that they had gifts for us. They brought in a duffel bag for each of us that represented our favorite teams: the Browns for me, the Pacers for another, the Sooners for another, the Seminoles for yet another, and the Cardinals for our senior pastor. It was explained to us that the small groups in the church had all gone together to shower us with appreciation. Inside my bag, I found a huge stack of cards from all sorts of people at the church, some of whom I know, some not so much. Also inside was some men's skin care products and a candle from Bed, Bath & Beyond, a t-shirt from Steve & Barry's, and numerous gift cards from Barnes & Noble, Outback, Panera, and Mollie's, just to name a few. WOW! I'm not sure that I have ever felt more appreciated in my life! Needless to say, I went to bed on cloud nine. Thanks, people of La Croix! It's good to serve with you..

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Black Eye

I never thought my first black eye would come at the hands - so to speak - of my 2 1/2 year-old...

On Friday night, Colin started playing a fun game with Hanna, who was sitting on my lap. Hanna would reach out and touch Colin's face. In response, Colin would let out a loud yell and fall down like he had just been hit. Over and over again he did this as Hanna and I just laughed. The next morning, Hanna joined Marcy and I in bed after she ate. A short while later, Colin woke up and climbed up with us, too. Colin, remembering the fun that was had the previous night, started playing the game again, with Hanna touching his face, and him flopping down into our pillows. Except that one fateful time, Colin decided to flop backwards. The back of his head crashed down onto my eyebrow, causing a significant amount of pain and the present bruising that you see above. It made for a good story at church this morning. I'm sure that this is just the first of many Daddy-hood scars that I will incur in my lifetime.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Is This Product Necessary?

I was looking at the YS blog this morning and came across a link for this product. It is the GoateeSaver, a guide that helps you shave the perfect goatee. Seriously now, is this product necessary?! Maybe my goatee is a little asymmetrical, but I'm not about to shell out $19.99 for the opportunity to make it perfect, all the while looking really silly. The sad part is that there are people that will pay the money and whoever it is that invented this will make some good money from it. Maybe I should copme up with some random, unnecessary product so I can make a little extra spending cash.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Technical Problems

The first couple of times I saw Obama and McCain speak I thought, "If we are voting on oratory skills, Obama will destroy McCain." And I've thought that until I saw this video. Obama's teleprompter goes down and here's what happens...

Breathalyzer = Classic!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Fantasy Football '08

It's that time of year again, when I reveal who I drafted in our church fantasy football league. Going into the draft, I had a difficult decision to make. I had to decide who was going to be my keeper. I had it boiled down to either Earnest Graham (RB - Saints) or Brandon Marshall (WR - Broncos). Both of them were free agent pick-ups, which meant that I would only have to sacrifice my last-round draft pick from this year's draft to keep either. They were each rated at about the same place on the big draft boards I read online, so it was a crap shoot. After much deliberation - and some help from my friend Brian - I chose to keep Marshall. Also, I realized that I started the night with the #5 pick (out of ten teams), which is not a desirable location. One pick earlier and I could have gotten one of the true stud RBs, but instead I got a tier three guy. But Portis has been nice for me in the past, so we'll hold off on the judgment calls until then. Now, without any further ado, here is my draft, in order:
  • Clinton Portis - RB (pictured here)
  • Andre Johnson - WR
  • Brandon Jacobs - RB
  • Derek Anderson - QB (also, if he loses the job to Quinn, or gets injured, I still keep the Browns' QB)
  • Calvin Johnson - WR
  • Fred Taylor - RB
  • Heath Miller - TE
  • Seattle - Defense
  • Anthony Gonzalez - WR
  • Kevin Smith - RB
  • Chester Taylor - RB (this was a block so the guy who had Adrian Peterson couldn't handcuff his pick in case AD gets injured - hee-hee!)
  • Nate Kaeding - K
  • Brandon Marshall - WR
The first game is Thursday night - Are you ready for some football?!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Thirties

I just had my last birthday in my 30's the other day. It allowed me to reflect on the last decade of my life, and wonder what the next year might bring. In my 30's, I:
  • Went to seminary
  • Graduated from seminary
  • Met, fell in love with, and married my lovely wife
  • Started a career in full-time youth ministry
  • Moved west of the Mississippi River
  • Bought a house
  • Got a dog
  • Had the two most awesome children in the whole, entire world
It's been a great decade! The 40's will be hard-pressed to beat it...but I still have a whole year before I have to think about that.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Consult, stupid!

As I was having my quiet time this morning - which has been increasingly not quiet with the addition of early-rising kids - I ran across this verse:

Joshua 9:14 - So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord. (NLT)

The context of the verse is a story of the Israelites being told by God to essentially rid the land of its inhabitants. But Joshua and the Israelites, instead of following that directive, made a treaty with a deceptive group of people who were playing themselves off as a hurting nation. In fact, the nation was not hurting, but instead were afraid of what Israel would do to them. When Joshua and the people found out that they had been lied to, they were true to their word and instead of destroying the people - like God told them to - they made them servants. They were basically deceived into not following God's explicit instructions.

It made me ask the question: How often do I not consult the Lord? Do I consult the Lord as much as I should with:

My marriage

My kids

My job

My career path

My finances

The use of my spare time

My temptations

My friendships

My lack of discipline is basically all areas?

Yeah, probably not (read: DEFINITELY NOT!). It smacked me across the face in the wee hours of the morning. My wife has desired for us to pray more as a couple, but even though she keeps asking, I don't consult the Lord. I work to plan out our youth calendar and I don't consult the Lord. Even this morning I thought, "Man, I really need to set aside the first few minutes of every day at work to consult the Lord." hen when I got to work, what did I do? Flipped on the computer and started checking e-mail. AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!! Why is it so difficult?!? It shouldn't be. But maybe the depth of my relationship with the Lord is not where it needs to be so that my first thought is, "Consult the Lord." Actually, not maybe, but definitely. Lord, remind me that you are there for me to consult.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Elmo's Not So Bad After All

My love and profound respect for Sesame Street has been renewed overnight. It had been tarnished quite a bit since it turned into the Cult of Elmo, but I find myself loving the Land of Muppets again. It all turned around for me during a short ride home from church last night. As we were riding home, Colin - who watches Sesame Street three times a week - was yammering away in the back seat. Marcy was apparently paying better attention than I was, because she looked at me and said, "I think he just counted up to twelve." I thought she was crazy, but I started him counting, and sure enough, he counted all the way up to twelve! I'm not sure if kids are supposed to do that on the eve of their second birthday, but as far as I'm concerned, it was pretty amazing. Thank goodness for a TV show doing the job of parenting that I'm supposed to be doing!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wassup! Revisited

A friend from my Asbury days let me know via Facebook that a radio station in the Lexington, KY area got a hold of this video that I produced while at the 'bury. Apparently, they have been playing it quite a bit on the radio, and according to my friend, it is "the talk of the town." I put the video together for a social function we had called The Night of Classic Game Shows as a commercial break. I figure this is a good excuse to resurrect it. This features some of the prominent Asbury professors, plus the seminary president at the time. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Where the Honk Have You Been?!?

Sorry blog readers - all three of you - that I have been so out of pocket recently. Starting with the blog we were doing for our church, I kinda got overwhelmed with everything. But I'm back! I know, you're excited. You ain't gotta tell me. Here's a bunch of what's happening:

Fantasy Baseball

We had our fantasy baseball draft last night. I'm pretty sure I got suckered in to be the chump of the league. A buddy asked me to be in it, and I said yes before I realized that each of the other teams would have three three-year keepers, and I was taking over a team that had two players left on it, neither of which were worth keeping. Plus, I had a difficult time with the website, since I have never used it before. So, those are my disclaimers going into the season in case I suck really bad. Here's my team:

C - Benjie Molina
1B - Albert Pujols (guaranteed now to pop that ligament in his elbow)
2B - B.J. Upton
3B - Ryan Zimmerman
SS - Troy Tulowitzki
LF - Hideki Matsui
CF - Vernon Wells
RF - Magglio Ordonez
Util - Kevin Kouzmanoff (3B)
Bench - Ryan Theriot (2B, SS)
SP - Erik Bedard
SP - Rich Hill
SP - Dustin McGowan
SP - Zach Greinke
RP - Takashi Saito
Bench - Shaun Marcum (SP)
Bench - Brandon Lyon (RP)
Bench - B.J. Upton (RP - in the process of dropping for another bat - didn't mean to draft him)

So we'll see how it goes...

Six-Word Memoirs

I heard an interesting story on NPR the other day. A story was told about Ernest Hemingway. He was approached in a bar by someone that challenged him to write a story using only six words. He came up with, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." Some authors got together and decided to compile six-word memoirs from people from all walks of life, writers and not, and put them in a book. It is called Not Quite What I Was Planning. The authors were on NPR discussing this book. And it got me thinking, "What would my six-word memoir be?" I had lots of time to think, driving back from Tulsa, but I have only come up with two so far:
  • Being a Daddy - better than imagined!
  • Living in Missouri, heart in Ohio.
It's not a lot, but it's a start. What would yours be?

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

What a weird weather year! We had two ice storms in February back-to-back, and yesterday a full foot of rain fell in Cape Girardeau. And it's still falling! This was the first time I have ever heard of a school being canceled because of rain. I am usually cursing the fact that we live on a hill because it's a pain to mow, but now I am thankful for that hill. Our basement would have been much worse if we lived in a valley.

And just because she's so dang cute and I haven't posted a picture of her in a while, here's Hanna:

Friday, February 01, 2008

Interesting Reading Options

I just noticed the interesting choices of reading materials that are currently in our bathroom. There are two books on the back of our toilet: My Utmost for His Highest and The Zombie Survival Guide. One the one hand, you have a timeless classic, a helpful guide to living life in all its fullness, and on the other, you have My Utmost for His Highest. What more do you need?

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Problem with God

Our church has started a blog to discuss some of the questions that are being raised in our current message series, The Problem with God, and I am one of the contributors. We asked our people before the series to invite their non-believing and maybe atheist/agnostic friends to come and dialogue with us. And at each service, we invite everyone to write down their questions about or problems with God and put them in a box as they leave, and we are doing our best to answer as many of them as we can. There have been, and continue to be, some fascinating and challenging discussions going on. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Fantasy Football Review

I had cause to look back at past postings on this blog and came across my fantasy football draft from this past season. Here's how my draft played out:
  1. Larry Johnson - RB
  2. Ronnie Brown - RB
  3. Donovan McNabb - QB
  4. Lee Evans - WR
  5. Plaxico Burress - WR
  6. Deuce McAllister - RB
  7. Vernon Davis - TE
  8. Mark Clayton - WR
  9. Alex Smith - QB
  10. Shayne Graham - K
  11. Vernand Morency - RB
  12. Bernard Berrian - WR
  13. Baltimore - D/ST
Now, here's my roster on the final day of the season:
  1. Derek Anderson - QB
  2. Earnest Graham - RB
  3. Fred Jackson - RB
  4. Chester Taylor - RB
  5. Fred Taylor - RB
  6. Bernard Berrian - WR
  7. Plaxico Burress - WR
  8. Anthony Gonzalez - WR
  9. Brandon Marshall - WR
  10. Vernon Davis - TE
  11. Phil Dawson - K
  12. San Diego - D/ST
  13. Indianapolis - D/ST
So let's see, my first two draft picks went out with injuries (and Brown was a stud before he went down); the third pick was less than great (except for the one week that I sat him) before I dropped him; my fourth pick did not live up to expectations; pick five, stud; pick six, nothing special; pick seven, dropped him and picked him up again; picks eight through eleven, not much to talk about; pick twelve had good weeks, but was handicapped by below average quarterback play; and pick thirteen was my keeper and was not good. 

My pick-ups did OK, for the most part. DA was great, most of the time (double bonus since I'm a huge Browns fan); my RB corps did alright, especially Fred Taylor; Marshall was a go-to R a good part of the year; and I had two good D/ST to choose from. Considering how pitiful of a draft it was, a sixth place finish, was not too bad. Here's hoping I draft better next year, though.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Touching Holiness

As I was reading the Bible yesterday morning - somehow, Colin and Hanna gave me a few minutes to do so - I came across a couple of verses that have never stood out to me before. In Leviticus 6, in the discussion about the grain offering and the sin offering, God tells Moses that anyone that touches them will become holy (v. 18 & 27). I have always known in the Levitical code that anyone that touches something that is unclean will then be considered unclean, but now I come to the realization that the opposite is true, that he who touches the holy will become holy. How cool is that?! Lord, help me to touch the holy. Help me to touch You!

Another thought that comes with that is that we are called to be holy in the New Testament. I wonder if anyone that touches me or comes into contact with me experiences holiness. Shouldn't they? Shouldn't they come into contact with me, or any follower of Jesus, and experience holiness? That is what we are called to be: holy. Unfortunately, I fear that others experience something far different in me: impatience, frustration, selfishness, etc. Lord, help me to be holy so that I can be holiness to the world that so desperately needs it.

Friday, January 18, 2008

A New Arrival!

This should have been posted several days ago, but things have been a little crazy around the Fitzpatrick household. You see, last Friday night, Marcy and I went to bed with Marcy feeling a little weird, not sure if she was having contractions or not. She didn't sleep well, and started timing contractions at 2:00am. They timed out at three minutes apart which, if you don't know about childbirth, means it's time to get to the hospital. However, the contractions were short in length, say 30 seconds or so. So she held out and woke me at 2:30am to confirm her times. She was right. She decided to take a shower and lay down. Now, the contractions were 1 1/2 minutes apart, which means it's about go time. But they were still short, so we called the doctor to find out what we should do. She told us to head to the hospital, which we did. I think we freaked out the security guards as Marcy kept having to stop and bend over from the contraction. We finally got upstairs and into a room at 4:23am. Marcy's contractions were very intense. She decided that she wanted to get up and sit on the birthing ball, but as soon as she sat up, a huge contraction hit and she had to lean on me. When it was done, she said, "I either peed the bed or my water just broke." The nurse confirmed that he water broke, which meant she had to lay back down. When the doctor showed up, she said two things: "I bet you feel pretty silly for calling me now, don't you?" and "Pay attention, Dad, because you might be delivering the next one at home." Not funny. Anyway, the contractions were quick and severe at this point. When Marcy rolled over onto her back, we could already see the baby's head. After a few pushes, out came the 5:09am! That's right, only 46 minutes after getting into the room, we had another baby. A baby girl! What a rush...with a lot of pain, of course. After a day or so, we finally settled on a name: Hanna (named after one of Marcy's grandmothers) Alice (name after my Grandma Alice). And she is a joy! She sleeps well, and so we feel fairly well-rested. And Colin has been absolutely sweet with her, giving her hugs and pressing his cheek against hers, all with a big smile on his face. So the Fitzpatrick clan grows by one more, and we are thrilled!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

More Millions Out The Window

Throughout the years, I have come up with ideas for inventions that would be so sweet that, if I could patent them, would set me up for life. I remember thinking once that if nothing sticks to Teflon, then why not coat cars in Teflon. That way, no dirt or bird poop would stick to them. I know, brilliant! Then I hear later that some car manufacturer decided to do this very thing by mixing Teflon in the paint. Dang! The problem with these great ideas is that I have no way to implement them. I guess I'm an idea guy; I need to meet an implementation guy/girl and we'll be all set. My latest "D'oh!" is this one. I once thought, "How difficult would it be to have a car that drives itself?" you could have sensors that track where the road is, as well as all the other cars and other obstacles. Now, GM is planning on making that a reality. If they can get it to fly - not literally fly - how sweet would that be? I've often thought that it would be most excellent to vacation in an RV, but I don't want to drive it. This way, I wouldn't have to! I could just set the computer, and Marcy and the kids and I could head to the back to play, sleep, watch movies, or whatever. Of course, this is assuming a lot on a youth pastor's salary...

Monday, January 07, 2008

That's a Children's Book?!?

I was reading to Colin this morning. We were reading Richard Scarry's Best Little Word Book Ever! and testing him on various words and objects. At the end of the book, we were reviewing body parts, and as we did, I noticed a list of other Little Golden Books that are available. As I read through them, I discovered one that seemed a rather strange choice for a children's book. Oh, there were the normal kids' titles: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, How the Leopard Got Its Spots, and The Poky Little Puppy. Then, out of nowhere, jumping off the page is Dr. Ruth Westheimer: Grandma on Wheels. That's Dr. Ruth, sex therapist, of the "If it feels good, do it" fame. Call me a prude, but she seems like an odd choice to be the subject of a children's book. I hear their newest release is Jerry Springer and the Tiny Frog.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2007: Year in Review

Now that it is 2008 officially - I know that by the sheer number of college football games that are on TV right now - it's time to look back on 2007 for some standout events, happenings, and themes:
  • Colin - He's probably the highlight of the year. It has been so much fun to watch him change from a baby into a little boy and develop a personality. We have experienced him standing, walking, talking, getting baptized, sleeping in a big boy bed (when he wants to stay in it), and wrestling. I never knew that being a dad could be this much fun and rewarding. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts to Baby Fitz #2, which brings us to:
  • New baby - One day, as I was working in my office, I heard some footsteps coming down the hallway, followed by Marcy's voice whispering (to Colin), "Take this to Daddy. Go see Daddy." I turned around as Colin walked toward me holding something in each hand. I looked to see what he was holding, and in each hand was a pregnancy test, both with + signs. I didn't quite hyperventilate, but I did gasp a bit. It's exciting and scary to imagine doing this all over again, especially knowing we have the bundle of energy known as "Colin" already residing here. Per Marcy's desire, we did not find out what we are having, so come January 17th or so, we will know if Colin has a little brother or sister.
  • Vacation - We took our first family vacation that did not include visiting family in Ohio. The three of us drove down to Gulf Shores, Alabama for a few days. Marcy loves the beach, which decided our destination. It was glorious for her! She usually likes to sleep in, but since it was the beach with beautiful sunrises every morning, she was up very early. Colin got pink eye on the trip down, so we got some good exercise on vacation trying to put his eye drops in. I am not normally a seafood fan, but we had the most tasty shrimp ever at a place called the Steamer, one of the only places along the Gulf to get seafood that is not fried (I was told by a local that they would deep fry a steak if you asked them to down there). All in all, it was a fun a restful time.
  • Sports - All in all, it was a fun - and heartbreaking - year to be a Cleveland and Ohio State sports fan. The OSU Buckeyes got to and lost the national title game in both football and basketball, the Cavs got to and lost the NBA Finals, the Indians got to and lost the ALCS, and the Browns fell just short of missing the playoffs due to a tiebreaker. A good year, yes. A frustrating year, also yes. In addition, it was sheer ecstasy to see Michigan lose to Appalachian State (arguably the biggest upset EVER) and then lose yet again to Ohio State.
  • Ministry - We have seen unprecedented numbers at youth group meetings, on youth mission trips, and at out 30 Hour Famine (which also raised more money for starving kids than ever before at our church - $7,500.00). We are always wrestling with the question, "How does transformation happen in the life of a student?" and the struggle of never having enough SIMYs (adult leaders). I have also had more opportunities to preach then ever, which I love to do. It hasn't always been an easy year for me, but overall it has been good.
I need to go reflect some more, I guess. I know more happened this year, but it's not coming to me. It must be the college football coma I'm in.