Example

I have been pretty open about our journey that led to our first child Daniel. It was a bumpy road with a lot of twists, turns and scares…but at the end of the day we came home with our awesome little boy.

I think it is only natural around your first turns about two (which happened October 5th) that people start asking about number two. In a way, I guess that is actually flattering as you liked the first enough to think that we should have a second. If you said you didn’t want us to have one…that would be a sign!

Jenn and I started out our marriage with the plan to have two. We had both always wanted that. After the process began trying to get number one, we got the shocking realization that because of some issues for both of us, our actual chance of having kids was 3% on the optimistic side. Even still we decided to make a run at it again over the past year or more…and we came up empty. We made the decision to stop trying a couple of weeks ago.

It is ok though.

It wasn’t for a lack of trying. We even tried to step in artificially numerous times and that didn’t work either. Adding to that…we were getting this weird feeling that we might be intervening too much and trying to sort of play God forcing the issue. It didn’t stop us but we were starting to see it as a sign, so after a lot of trying and 5 failed attempts at getting it done medically…we were just done.

The weird part about this entire thing is that this decision was much harder to make after having Daniel than before. When we didn’t already have him, the decision was easy. Try everything possible until we had exhausted every possibility. There was no decision to make. We wanted a family and that was it. Now that we have Daniel, the real question became how far do we want to take this? Jenn and I both looked at each other and realized that the stress and uncertainty was weighing on us too heavily. There was a large part of each of us that kept trying and pushing because we thought the other one wanted to. After a long talk, we realized we were both tired and it was time.

Are we disappointed? Yes. Are we upset? Yes. Are we mad, devastated or ready to keep pushing at all costs? No. I think we have just come to grips that we are a one child family and we are really grateful for the gifts we do have in our life currently.

I know there is that “you never know…just when you stop trying!” that people love to allude to. The funny part is that we have said that to people in the past and we have actually seen that theory play out in real life several times. Jenn and I used to joke that we really just needed to relax and go down to Panama City, get hammered and we would come back pregnant! The high schoolers on spring break make it look so easy! Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple for us. There isn’t the “just when you stop” scenario for a multitude of reasons that I don’t really care to go into at this time. When you add in the really bad complications during the pregnancy with Daniel and the fact that we almost lost Jenn in the process of the delivery, this is more than likely a blessing in disguise. Jenn and I are just ready to get into the new house and get settled.

Daniel

Moving Forward

So enough of the sad stuff…

It has really been a great 2 years with Daniel. Jenn and I both feel that we were just meant to be this kid’s parents…we just aren’t sure why at this time. He has brought more joy into our lives than we could have possibly imagined. He literally keeps us laughing on a daily basis and he is always smiling. There isn’t a day that goes by that his laughter doesn’t just make everything alright around us. Even through selling our house, moving him into my parents basement then moving him again this week into the new house…he has taken all of the changes in stride and without issue. My parents spoiling the hell out of him for 3 solid months probably helped. The first two weeks in the new house is going to be detox!

Making this decision has not been easy but it is also a relief. The weight and stress that has been on us through the entire process is finally gone. We can start planning for the future and relax knowing we have our family. We are also going to try to make sure we don’t completing ruin D by making him the center of the entire universe! We have a great family and that is something to be very proud of. There was a time that we didn’t think having kids would even be possible and we would have given anything to even have one. That wasn’t that long ago and it is not forgotten.

It is really hard not to be happy. Even as I write this, I am looking at that picture in the pumpkin patch with a smile on my face thinking about how lucky and blessed we really are. So no #2…but a killer #1.

Many of you have read my post on “5 Years Ago Today – Things Were Much Different“. Here we sit…6 years past that infamous day that has forever changed my life and presented the path across which I walk now. After another year under my belt and careful recollection during this time of year, I yet have another point to present as we get busy living instead of getting busy dying.

Every year around this time I feel an amazing sense of gratitude for what I have and hope for the future. No…not some stupid logo and tagline to try to get elected for something, but true hope that progress and effort lead you down a path that is positive and life changing. For many people, they can not pin their lives on a single moment where everything changed. I can…and this is what I take away from it.

Sometimes Our Worst and Darkest Times Are Actually Gifts

There are periods or moments in our lives that feel terrible when you are entrenched in the grasps of darkness. Maybe you lost your job, your relationship fell apart or…like in my case…the wreckage of your life finally caught up to you in a split second moment. During this time, your only thoughts and feelings are negative. How am I going to get out of this? Can it really get any worse? I don’t know if I can handle this…

Somewhere in the bottom of despair, human survival instinct kicks in and we start the good fight. We start the job search, we get back out on the market or we start to assemble the wreckage and make something better of ourselves. With time, this effort does not go unnoticed and one day we turn around to find out all of our dreams have now come true. Everything we thought we had lost is now come back better than before through hard work and dedication to the cause.

None of this would have been possible if we were just floating on in life. It was built out of necessity as we had no choice. It was fight or flight time as that period or moment in our lives defined the coming years without us even knowing it. When we look back with hindsight 20/20, we now become thankful for one of the worst times in our lives as the gifts that were presented later down the time-line are some of the best we have ever received.

I say we in this article because I am not the only one that has experienced this. Whether it be small or drastic, each of us can pinpoint a moment in our lives that altered our path for the better when we thought we were actually at a roadblock.

What Has My Darkest Time Given Me?

Honestly…more than I could even dream of. I am now married to a beautiful, caring woman who is much smarter than I am. We have two dogs that keep us laughing day in and day out. I have an incredible circle of family and friends. I am the owner of a business that is growing by the day that is directly involved in everything I love.

Robb and Jenn in New York

Hemi and Hans

The future is bright for all of us. We just have to be willing to put in the work necessary to make our dreams a reality. We have to continue to fight forward using our past as a learning experience for the future. It doesn’t have to take a drastic event, but if you are in one of those or crawling your way out…know that the light at the end of the tunnel makes it all worth it.

Life is not perfect. There will be bumps in the road. But with a positive outlook and the willingness to put forth the effort…you will find that your wants and dreams were actually short sided as you receive more than you could have ever imagined. This is our one and only life…as such…we should always treat it that way.

To quote a friend of mine that beat Hotchkins Disease last year and is getting married this weekend…

I just breath different air now.

Today…we celebrate our Independence Day! This beautiful day in July is a day to remember for Americans as we remember the past and give thanks for the nation in which we live. For many, this day is filled with time with family, cookouts, Nascar racing, running events or watching the 1st stage of the tour.

Normally, I would spend this day out on the bike, but due to shoulder injuries…I am benched for the weekend. I am going to use this downtime to spend some time with my wife and crazy dogs as we enjoy this fantastic, sunny July afternoon. So whether you are spending the day at the pool, sitting in front of the tube white knuckling it in watching your favorite bit of sports action or widening that waist line eating your favorite form of red meat…have a great 4th of July.