May 20, 2009

Quick update

Last time I posted an updated to the blog, I was a new father again and staring down the barrel of unemployment. "Mixed emotions" would be the running theme from Feb. 2006 to Feb. 2009.

These days, there's far more to celebrate. My "extended parental leave" wasn't as long as I had feared it would be. I landed a new, much better gig at the end of March for a company that competes directly with my former employer -- a fact that gives me no small amount of pleasure.

Folks often say that tough times come with a purpose. I have to believe that's true. My experience in the health care industry gained through my last job made me best qualified for this one. Moreover, now that I've landed, I can appreciate just how underemployed and un-challenged I was the past year or so.

In other news, family life is grand. Evan and Joshua are growing and healthy. Fatherhood, with all its challenges is sooooo rewarding -- even when Joshua is acting like the two-year-old that he is... Lisa's great too. She's getting ready to head back to work with her own set of mixed emotions, but we both know the boys will continue to do well at their day care -- which is awesome, by the way.

We celebrated our third anniversary in April with a little get away downtown Minneapolis. It was a great chance to reflect, celebrate all we've come through and to reconnect. We need to do that more often!

Can't believe Memorial Day Weekend is upon us. Stay tuned...

Feb 9, 2009

On to bigger, better things... (I hope)...

This week, I entered uncharted waters -- again. The morning I returned from parental leave, I was notified that my job was being moved to Michigan. I was given a week to decide whether I would move myself or take a severance. Suffice to say, we're staying put. My last day was Friday.

The decision means I'm joining millions of others in the unemployment line. The future is uncertain and pretty scary. But my now former employer gave me, essentially, a fair shake in terms of outplacement and transition. In the short term, we'll be fine.

All of that said, the situation stinks. The company had been very good to me over my 12+ year career there. I've had access to great people and great opportunities. For the first year and a half, my last assignment (3 years) was no different. I felt I was doing good work, valued and making a difference.

The past year and a half has been a different story, so shortly after we completed our move to Minnesota, I began an informal job search. Turns out, this is a very good thing, because now I've already got some momentum.

I sincerely believe that adversity breeds opportunity. It's hard to keep that focus, particularly when living through challenges, but I suspect that in due time I'll look on this experience the same way.

I also have a strong, wonderful wife. We've been through a lot together. I thank God for having Lisa, Joshua and Evan, and some really great friends to help me through what's ahead.

Feb 1, 2009

Brothers and birthday parties.

I don't have a great deal to post here, except that it was a busy weekend celebrating Joshua's second birthday, wrapping up my parental leave and taking in some good quality family time with Evan.

Here are some photos of the birthday parties, our trip to the Mall of America and Underwater World, and the boys getting down with their bad selves. (These are the highlights. Click through to see them all.)

Jan 29, 2009

An Evan update

As most of you know by now, Evan and Lisa are home. It was a long week. The night I last posted on Evan, he was taken to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). He came down with a case of pneumonia.

He received excellent care -- they knocked the infection out right away. Still, he took a while to recover. Rather than getting discharged that Saturday with Lisa, the hospital kept him admitted in the NICU until the following Wednesday.

For me, that meant countless trips back and forth to the hospital. For Lisa, it meant additional nights away from home. She had to stay there to nurse Evan. Thankfully, her stay was free. Of course, for Joshua it meant more nights with daddy and fewer with mommy. He missed her terribly... we both did.

But I was able to spend most days at the hospital stepping for care when I could and letting Lisa rest. I'm also thankful for all the friends and family who stopped by to help with Joshua, bring us some extra meals and provide us both with some needed company.

But that's all past us. It's safe to say Joshua LOVES his little brother. He gives him lots of hugs and kisses. And he greets me when picking up from daycare with "go see the baby?"

Like I said, he's going to be an awesome big brother!

We've also had some visitors in the past week. Without any further ado, here are the latest photos:
From Evan

Happy Birthday Joshua!

Even as we get used to a new routine with Evan, we're wishing our little Joshua a happy second birthday today!

When Lisa was pregnant with Joshua, I remember feeling uncertain but not scared about pending fatherhood. I was surprised how quickly I fell in love with the little guy. But I was downright shocked by how natural it felt to be a dad.

They say kids don't come with owner's manuals. I've never felt I needed one. With a few exceptions, he's been an easy going kid. Parentood has come relatively naturally. Still, I hope he doesn't confuse my easy-going nature as confidence.

On Joshua's second birthday, I've been reflecting on our time with him to date. He's such a bright, vibrant little boy. What's a father supposed to say, right? He's really much more than I ever expected and anticipated. It's fun to watch him learn and try to figure out how things work; to see a sense of humor develop; to watch him engage his world.

Quite simply, I'm amazed. And proud.

Happy birthday, Joshua... I know you're going to be as wonderful a big brother as you have been a first son.

Jan 15, 2009

The latest and greatest...

Just a quick update: There are some new photos! Click the image below to be taken to Evan's online album.

I spent yesterday at the hospital with Evan and Lisa. It was a great day. I forgot how nice it is to kick back and hang out with a new baby sleeping soundly on your chest.

Lisa is also doing well. She got up to walk around a bit and was feeling pretty good, with the exception of feeling itchy as the surgery pain killers wore off.

I left late afternoon to go pick up Joshua. I brought him to the hospital to see mommy and meet his new brother. He was excited to see "Mommy!" ... and then said: "with baby!?!"... He enjoyed patting Evan's head and giving him hugs.

My sister, Paula, and Lisa's folks also came to visit. It's so nice to have family around!

Here are those photos:
From Evan

Jan 14, 2009


Hi everyone!
Let it be said about the our boys: They set their own schedule.

Like his big brother, the new baby opted to not wait until his scheduled c-section, which would have been this afternoon. Lisa went into labor last evening. At 10:50 p.m. the latest addition to our family arrived.

I’m playing coy with his name, because we haven’t fully settled on one yet, but we’re leaning strongly toward Evan Franklin. His middle name is in honor of Lisa’s dad.

Evan is a strapping lad – 10 pounds, 9 ounces and 21 inches long. He’s healthy and, so far, quite happy. He and Lisa are recovering well. We’re looking forward to introducing him to Joshua later this afternoon. I know that he’s going to be an excellent big brother!

Thanks for all your thoughts, prayers and support!

Jan 11, 2009

Catching up

Well it has been awhile since I have posted to the blog. Kyle generally does much of the blogging. But I thought I would eek one in before the baby arrives. What can I say...the past few weeks have been rough as any mom to be in her last few weeks would probably say. This baby is going to be yet another boy on the larger side according to the ultrasound and the doctor's best guess. I would concur as I was quite a bit smaller in the belly region last time. This time around it is all belly weight again and, if I do say so myself, I am freakin' huge!!!! Sorry I have no pics to share but I think I will just keep those to myself until I am over the trauma:)

I will say that my one big positive over the past few weeks has been the tremendous support of family and friends. Kyle has been traveling a bit and I have had to rely pretty heavily on some of our friends to help us out during snowstorms and such. Special thanks to the Carson's and Topel's for snowblowing, shoveling and picking up Joshua from daycare while I was stuck in traffic for 4 hours. You guys rock!!! We had a great time hanging out with Topel's on New Year's Eve and I even actually made it midnight! First time in three years. Not too shabby for someone in her last couple weeks of pregnancy.

Also my awesome family came this past weekend for Christmas and we had a great time. Special thanks to Monica for helping out so much and to my mom who stayed with me while Kyle was gone so I wouldn't freak out so much. She was a huge help and Joshua really enjoyed the quality time with Grandma! I am very fortunate to have such great family on both sides and look forward to introducing the new guy to everyone this week (hopefully).

Last but most certainly not least a special thanks to my awesome husband, Kyle who puts up with all aches and pains and "I think I am really in labor this time" commentary. I know pregnancy can be tough on women...but hey...let's face is no walk in the park for the men either. Thanks Kyle for all your love and support. I am so glad to have you as the father of our children and as my husband.

So with only a couple days to go at the most I am anxiously awaiting the baby and nesting like mad. You should see the power cleaning and organizing I got done this weekend. It is quite ridiculous if I do say so myself. I even changed out all the batteries in all the baby stuff that needs them and organized the diapers and wipes.

It is funny to actually recognize doing it this time but man, I really want this place in order before the baby comes. Of course having a two year old makes that "order" last about 4 minutes. I kid you not...I put the same train blocks away at least 7 times this weekend:)