Happy New Year! I can honestly look back at 2017 and say that it was a year full of blessings. This year went by so quickly too. I guess I’ve been having so much fun that the weeks and months felt so short.
The last time you heard from me was on Thanksgiving. Since then we’ve had a lot of good fun and created a lot of memories.
For Thanksgiving we spent most of the day in Albertville, AL at my wife’s extended family’s house. They always put on a good spread. Her uncle Donnie showed us his Amazon Echo which is a voice activated speaker that responds to voice commands. I ended up having a lot of fun the last month when I picked one up on sale. I’ve set up different smart home devices in the house. Of particular use has been the smart light bulbs that respond to voice commands. That’s super helpful when you have a 20 lb little boy in your arms.
One big event this month that didn’t involve Randy that I feel is important enough to
mention briefly was the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Karen and I were able to go with a full row (yes, I preordered a whole row the second they went on sale) of our friends to see the movie. The fan reaction has been split. I don’t want to spoil the movie for you, but I’ll give you my generalized reactions coming out of the movie:
- I don’t believe anything they’re trying to make me believe about the storyline. There’s a lot of misdirection in The Last Jedi and they’re saving the big reveal for Episode 9. I kind of dig that.
- If you didn’t like The Last Jedi, I have a feeling it’ll end up one of your favorite when things come full circle in Episode 9.
I really hope that Randy will be big enough to go see Star Wars with me soon, but for sake of the other fans in the theater – I’ll be waiting a while. Randy did watch all of the other movies with me in preparation for me to go to the theater. He didn’t seem too interested except when Jar Jar Binks was on the screen. Hopefully he’ll learn better.
Randy’s been starting to eat a lot more real food this last month. We’ve started giving him really small pieces of adult food with caution. When he tried his first french fry he had nothing but pure joy on his face. In addition to that he’s tried potatoes, buffalo chicken dip (I had to apologize for that one), lemon, sausage cheese muffins, cheesecake, Demos’ soup, alfredo pasta, and other things I’m sure I’m forgetting. Randy’s mama also let him lick the spoon at Christmas with melted white chocolate. He’s really interested in anything that he perceives can be eaten.
Randy isn’t walking on his own yet. He’s crawling everywhere and will pull himself up on anything, One night I even heard Karen scream in the living room to come in and find Randy had climbed about four steps before we caught him. Baby gates are on order. He’ll take a few steps holding on to his walker. I know when he takes those first steps life will get even more fun. I’m not in a hurry but I don’t guess it matters what my feelings are on the matter.
Christmas is a lot more fun with a little boy. I’ve never disliked the holidays, but I was definitely more excited this year. I was excited to see what Randy would do when we put up the tree and what he’d think about the lights and the presents. He liked to pat the tree and grab the ornaments.
Christmas morning was a lot of fun. Randy eventually got the idea of ripping the paper off the boxes. Most of what we got him was the kid versions of our things that he likes to grab. He got a baby TV remote, a baby sized video game controller, and other little toys. The funny thing was though, he just liked the boxes and the wrapping paper. I’m definitely looking forward to Christmas at the end of 2018 when Randy is a little older and is more aware of what’s going on.
With the New Year we naturally consider this somewhat of a fresh start or a new beginning. We try and reflect on things that went well during 2017 and make resolutions to improve on some of our failings of the previous year.
Here’s the thing about resolutions, any time you want to change something for the better is a good time to do so. It might not be as trendy, but you never have to wait for a new year. A New Year does provide some manner of additional motivation and one’s mindset is perhaps more able to resolve to change for the better.
In 2018, I certainly hope to do a lot of things better.
I want to spend more time in God’s word. There’s not really anyone who couldn’t benefit from additional time spent meditating on God’s will for us. While I do study the Bible, I certainly can improve on this. It will only help to strengthen my faith. In particular I hope to spend some time focusing on the period of time when the children of Israel were going in to the land of Canaan and also the period of the Judges.
I want to improve my prayer life. This year our elders at church have tried to help us focus on prayer. We’ve had lessons and discussion on how to prayer and improve our prayers. I hope to take some of these lessons into 2018 and apply them. I want to do better about praying with Randy and teaching him the importance of a good relationship with God.
I want to love my wife even more. I love my wife now and always have. I don’t consider this something that I’ve failed at in 2017. However, I can resolve to set a good example in this regard in 2018. My son is going to learn a lot from me how to treat his future wife. I need to make that lesson one that’d be pleasing to God.
I want to give my son more attention. This isn’t to say that I haven’t paid attention to him this year. I most definitely have. However, I know this next year he’s going to really grow a lot and learn a ton of new things. He needs to learn a lot of those things from his father. This may require me to spend less time playing video games and other things that I spend too much time doing, but this is important to me.
I want to better manage my finances. This year has been a little tougher financially with the added expenses of a newborn. Formula and diapers are EXPENSIVE. I want to do well managing the income that I’ve been blessed with so I can be good example for my son in that regard. This may mean not upgrading my iPhone (1st world problems right?) or buying a lot of video games (I’ll leave the door open for one or two). More realistically, this may mean eating out less.
I want to lose some weight. Who saw this coming? Before we found out Randy was coming along you may remember that I lost a lot of weight, about fifty pounds. Since Randy has come along I’ve gained about half of that back. Eating healthy and exercise is something that’s only going to be effective if it’s a habit. Randy’s about to start picking up on habits. A lot of his habits he’s going to pick up from me, whether good or bad. With that as my motivation, I hope to set a good example for my son this year.
Will I look back this time next year and find that I was successful in my plans? Likely I will fall short in some areas but if I can make some progress in any of the areas mentioned it will certainly make a positive impact.
What are you planning to work on in 2018? Now is as good a time as any to make a change for the better. If I can make a suggestion to you, resolve to improve your relationship God. That kind of resolution will have a positive impact not just in 2018, but for eternity.