Sunday, December 30, 2007

Can't Complain About Blessings

Well, it's almost the end of another year. I look back at this year and notice that blogging definitely is no longer a priority. When you look at the number of posts I made in 2006 versus 2007, it's pretty obvious that work and family have taken priority. As I wave goodbye to 2007, I have to say that I'm glad to see it go. It's been full of change. Though I could complain about the bad parts of 2007, my wife and I have chosen to look at them as blessings. It's easy to consider difficult times as negative parts of life, but with the difficult parts of this year, I do have to say that God has not forgotten about my family. My folks told me that life is never fair and is never gonna be easy...and I can definitely say that to be the case. Here is a brief run-down of the year:

(a) The year started off with my wife learning that working and having my son at daycare didn't really work well. She would drop my son off at school and feel as though she was missing out on his development and all the milestones. At the start of the year, I was still traveling alot for work this put stress on my wife. She would have to work most of the day, pick up my son, spend time with him, put him to sleep, and then work in the evenings to document all of her sales calls. This put alot of stress on her and eventually the breakdown occurred. Though the prospect of losing a good portion of our income was daunting at first, we were able to come up with a budget that allowed her to stay at home with my son. From the day that we decided to let her stay at home, the stress has lifted off of her and she savors every minute with my son. She feels as though this is what God called her to do while the children are young. My mom did the same with therefore I can't really argue or complain. Seeing her happy and enjoying this time with my son is priceless...these are times that you won't get to re-live again.

(b) In April and May of this year, my wife noticed that a spot was protruding on my son's forehead (right between his eyebrows). This was something that we noticed somewhat when he was born, but the doctor said that it would go away. The more that my wife and I started to notice, the spot appeared to be growing. The spot felt like it was just a part of his skull and his pediatrician seemed to agree. Eventually, the doctor changed his mind and suggested that we visit a neurosurgeon to make sure that this wasn't anything to worry about. My wife and I took our son to the neurosurgeon in July and found out that my son had a birth defect called a dermoid. A dermoid is like a cyst that protrudes from the skull and occurs in less that 1% of people. The risk with the dermoid is that it can have a intercranial tail that can go through the skull and get mixed up in the inter-workings of the brain. So needless to say, my wife and I were scared out of our mind. We were able to get an appointment at LeBonheur to have a CT scan of my son's skull to determine whether the dermoid had a tail. Thank God that CT scan came back and showed that the dermoid did not have a tail. After receiving this good news, we had to make the choice as whether to have a plastic surgeon remove the dermoid. With the chance that the dermoid could grow larger and because we didn't want to have my son grow up and have children make fun of him, we decided to have the surgery done. We were blessed to find a surgeon in Memphis that has carried out special procedures like this. The choices were to either make three small incisions above the hairline and then take an endoscope through the top of the skull and remove the dermoid or else make an incision from ear to ear and then remove the dermoid after carrying out a mild face lift. As you can imagine..being parents..we chose the less invasive method and had the surgeon do the endoscope method. Luckily, the surgery was a success. The only risk with this method is that the dermoid could come back. This happens we are staying's all gonna work out.

(c) Toward the middle of the year, I was starting to learn that my corporate job that I've had for nearly 5 years was not working out. All of my bosses were very inconsiderate of the fact that I had a son and a family to worry about. About 95% of my superiors did not have families, no children, and were either divorced or gay. So needless to say, work was their life. I was receiving pressure to continue to put in 70-80 hour weeks and to keep up my travel schedule. I started looking for another job in May, but was not in a huge rush to leave. I wanted to find the right job with the right fit. Well, in August, my hand was put it nicely. I had my annual job performance review and received negative feedback because I didn't have time to do the multitude of outside extracurricular activities that they wanted. My reviewers were folks that made work their lives. They never once considered that I was able to balance work and would have thought that they would have wanted to put me on a pedestal since I was the only person in my position that had a wife and a child..and got all my work done. Well, apparently that wasn't good enough. I took the negative job review as a sign and decided to be more diligent in finding a new job. I worked with a great recruiter and found a job with a more family friendly company. The travel is much less, the pay is better, my hours are less, I don't have to work every evening and on weekends, and best of all, I get to spend more time with my wife and child. The new company also has offices throughout the Southeast. I was also given the opportunity to move back to my hometown. My wife and I are in the process of selling our home and hope to move back to my hometown in the next few months.

(d) In the middle of November, my wife found out some great news...she is pregnant with our second child. We were hoping to tell our families at Christmas, but she spilled the beans to her folks right before Thanksgiving. We are planning to do it the way we did with our first child..not find out the sex until the baby is born. This keeps things interesting..and it drives my mom

Well, I've probably bored many of you to tears. When I look back at 2007, I have to consider all of the difficult times to be blessings in disguise. Though it might not seem it at the time, there is someone who is looking over you at all times. I just hope that 2008 will be a little smoother than 2007.

Currently listening to:

Animal Collective
Strawberry Jam
Released: 9-10-07

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Best of 2007-Music

Best of 2007-The Music Edition

(in no particular order)

1. LCD Soundsystem-Sound of Silver
2. Velvet Revolver-Libertad
3. Spoon-Ga Ga Ga
4. Liars-Liars
5. Wilco-Sky Blue Sky
6. View-Hat's Off to the Buskers
7. Modest Mouse-We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
8. Foo Fighters-Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace
9. Apples in Stereo-New Magnetic Wonder
10. Jens Lekman-Night Falls Over Kortedala
11. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss-Raising Sand
12. Nine Black Alps-Love/Hate
13. Maps-We Can Create
14. Arctic Monkeys-Favourite Worst Nightmare
15. Of Montreal-Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
16. Sloan-Never Hear the End of It
17. Panda Bear-Person Pitch
18. Voxtrot-Voxtrot
19. Richard Hawley-Lady's Bridge
20. Patrick Wolf-The Magic Position
21. Twilight Sad-Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters
22. Jesse Malin-Glitter in the Gutter
23. Shins-Wincing the Night Away
24. Richard Swift-Dressed Up for the Letdown
25. Mando Diao-Never Seen the Light of Day
26. Junior Senior-Hey Hey My My Yo Yo
27. New Young Pony Club-Fantastic Playroom
28 Justice-Cross
29. Lucky Soul-The Great Unwanted
30. Josh Rouse-Country Mouse City House
31. New Pornographers-Challengers
32. Amy Winehouse-Back to Black
33. Arcade Fire-Neon Bible
34. The Horrors-Strange House
35. Fountains of Wayne-Traffic and Weather
36. Kings of Leon-Because of the Times
37. The Ponys-Turn the Lights Out
38. Jarvis Cocker-Jarvis
39. Lilly Allen-Alright Still
40. I Am from Barcelona-Let Me Introduce My Friends
41. Air-Pockey Symphony
42. Field Music-Tones of Town
43. Idlewild-Make Another World
44. Pop Levi-The Return to Form Black Magick Party
45. Bloc Party-A Weekend in the City
46. White Stripes-Icky Thump
47. Deerhoof-Friend Opportunity
48. A Place to Bury Strangers-A Place to Bury Strangers
49. Caribou-Andorra
50. National-The Boxer
51. Battles-Mirrored
52. Radiohead-In Rainbows