Well, it's been almost 11 months since Benjamin came into this world, and boy - has he changed things! :) In looking back over this last (almost) year, I'm amazed at how much has happened, and where God has brought us. It's also incredible to have a child - it's more than I ever expected, and in a good way! It has challenged my thoughts, my actions, my heart, my spirit, and my body (yeah, tossing a 25+ lb 10.5 month old around, crawling all over the place, being crawled ON... whoa boy!).
This last year has seen so much, so many changes - mostly good, for that matter. Almost a year ago we were able to take Ben on his first road trip (at 3 weeks!) back to Colorado - Ft. Collins, where I was born. At the time, the trip was fantastic - it was GREAT to see all those things that I saw growing up, to visit not only Ft. Collins but all the things on the road between here and there. But as great as it was, I can say - sitting here writing this - that I wish with all my heart to be doing it again. The experience has grown in my heart, and in my mind, far beyond what it was at the time (and it was great then!). We're still (wow...) working on getting photos up online - but those'll be coming soon, so keep an eye on our Flickr account...
We purchased a house, which we are in the process of making a home... (*grin*). Our first order of business - which has taken several months - is to finish the basement. That will be my office, Janene's art studio, and a family space. I'm at the point in the project that while I'm still extremely excited about it I really just want it to be done. Don't get me wrong - it's going to be VERY nice. I've learned a ton of things, and even gotten some new tools out of the deal (YES!).
Janene has quit her job at Children's Hospital to be a full time mom, to do art, to work at the store, and to generally live a good, mom-like life. I've been offered an opportunity with a friend to get back into the web development world, and while it's taking me longer than I expected to get into it, I'm getting there. I do miss working daily on store stuff, terribly - but in time I'll be able to get back to that.
And through all of this is Benjamin. I've watched him grow from an infant to a little boy, and he's not even a year old! He's got 6 teeth (I think!), he's cruising around everywhere he goes, he's started saying mamamama and dadadada and all kinds of other cute but unintelligable things. He eats solid foods - actually, he'll eat pretty much anything, including cords, the cat, or mommy's work stuff. He laughs and giggles, and every single time my heart melts. He LOVES outdoors, and I simply cannot wait until summer hits to do some camping. I want to teach him to sit and enjoy a campfire, to appreciate nature more than he does now. To breath the fresh air and to love the freedom we have.
I've grown, from having Ben around. I see things differently. Things that never used to bother me do; things that I thought I was going to be fine with I'm now not. I'm working a lot of hours - more than I want to admit. And that's really, really tough - when Ben's around, I just want to hold him, to teach him, to laugh and play.
Janene went to her sister's house in Portland this weekend, and she took Ben with her. Every time he's gone away for more than the work day I have a hard time. I want to hear him, to see his smiling face, and to have him grin ear to ear and crawl away as fast as he can when he sees me, knowing I'm comin' for him.
All that, and far more, in only <11 months. Holy cow. What do the next 40 years have in store? All I know is that I look forward to every day, every step forward. I know it's not always going to be peachy - he'll reach a point where the last thing he wants is to have us around. I did. But now I LOVE seeing my parents (which happens ALL the time, so it's good I'm so fond of them ... ). I can only hope that I can be the dad that Ben needs, and that after those trying times, our relationship will blossom again. Until then, he'd better watch out... 'cause here I cooommmmmmeeeeeeeeee.......