Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Bundle of Thankfulness

It's that time of year. Crowds. Lights. Santa. Shopping. It can only mean one thing: We have officially over-looked Thanksgiving as a means of "selling" Christmas to the average American. I'm glad my wife and I stand together in that we are not interested in Christmas music, putting up the tree, or decorating until Thanksgiving has passed.

Thanksgiving. A time to simply give thanks. A time to remember how we are blessed, who in our lives make living more enjoyable, and, often, who we miss.

I am thankful for a wife who loves me, first of all. That love sometimes includes picking up my dirty clothes, reminding me of all the things I forget, and never missing a chance to aggravate me when I'm pouty. Yes. Men get pouty. But a love that manifests itself the most when my imperfections shine like a new nickel makes me truly thankful.

I am thankful for a little boy who teaches me to love unconditionally. A boy that still calls me "DanDan" can mean so much without ever calling me "Dad". A boy who can push all your buttons and make you feel like not much you say gets through, but can make all the work worth the effort when he crawls into my bed at 2am because he can't sleep.

Thankful for a girl who changed my world 9 months ago and still amazes me when I see her. A girl who is sometimes if insatiable, bites me, pulls my leg hair, screams all the way home and still won't say "DaDa" can erase all of it when she cries for me to hold her or has her head buried in my chest while she snores.

Take the time to make sure this Thanksgiving is memorable for your family. This is by no means all for which I am thankful, but I have 3 good reasons to celebrate!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A "How Much Will She Weigh" Giveaway!!

OK. So I haven't posted in quite some time. I'm gonna up the ante with my newest post with a little giveaway.

If you don't know by now.. you are way out of the loop. My wife is pregnant. She's actually been pregnant for almost 9 WHOLE MONTHS. We are having a little girl whose name will be Adalyn Joelle Smith. We had "heated discussions" over a name for months it seemed like to find the perfect name for our little princess. Tonya wanted a name that was cute. I wanted a name that had value. (Not to imply that she didn't of course. But coming from a family of biblical names, I wanted our girl to have a name that would have meaning beyond letters.) Here's a break down of what her name means:

Adalyn - noble or kind. We hope to raise her to be gentle but to also hold herself to a higher standard than today's society. (Also, it was a name of rank in the feudal system. Although she may not ever have much on earth, she's already an heir to the King. Romans 8:17-18)

Joelle - feminine of Joel which means Jehovah is God or God is willing. This is a truth we will instill in her every day of her life. Understanding this truth is critical for every decision she will make in her lifetime.

Smith - it's mine and her mommy's last name. It also was a popular name of tradesmen. It's the most popular name in the United States and the UK. She will come from generations of godly men and women in our family. Although she may not have this name forever due to marriage, we hope the foundation and the examples set by our godly family members will influence her in so many ways to please the Lord in all she does.

Now, the giveaway. As we share our gift from the Father with our family and the world, we also want to make it worth your while to get involved. It's pretty simple.

Guess the weight of Baby Adalyn and we will reward you with a gift card of your choice to the store/restaurant of your choice. $15 for the one who gets closest above or below (in the event of a tie will we give each participant the above amount with the same terms). $25 for the one who guesses it on the nose. Simply comment below with your guess and we will email the winner to obtain information and announce it across the social networks.

Thank You for all your prayers as we continue to patiently wait for her arrival!! Good Luck!!

Also: Let me clarify. There will only be one gift card given away; not one for each. Your guess must be submitted through the comments below. It allows everyone to see all the other guesses to avoid discrepancy amongst the participants!

One More Disclaimer: Apparently you have to have a Google account or something of the sort to post a comment on here. I'm now taking guesses on Facebook. The comment guesses will not be deleted and will be open for everyone to see.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

M. Vick and What It All Means

This post was very impromptu and my thoughts were very scattered. But this is how I really feel about the Michael Vick situation.

Michael Vick - a talented, maybe the MOST talented individual to play football in the NFL. He brought crowds to ATL (myself being one of them), sold tickets, jerseys and was a marketing machine for many companies. He was a threat in the air almost as much as on the ground, and defenses had no answer for him as he was progressing thru his career. I was truly a huge fan of Vick (minus him flippin' off the fans on occasion and the ALL TOO OFTEN SEEN attitude throughout the ENTIRE NFL). M. Vick was on top of the NFL world. And he knew it.

But Michael Vick made a mistake. Michael Vick got involved with the wrong crowd. Michael Vick had people around him who weren't looking out for his best interests and were simply "mooching" off him due to his available funds and stardom. And Michael Vick was a grown man who made grown man decisions and paid grown man consequences.

As earlier posts have read, I'm a huge dog-lover. Mr. Vick's involvement in dog-fighting and animal cruelty repulses me. It makes me sick. To think someone could be so cruel to helpless animals to the point of using them for profit AND for entertainment is sickening. But Michael Vick was caught. And Michael Vick paid the price that the judge imposed on him.

But there's something interesting about this story that can be used in my spiritual life.

Daniel Smith is Michael Vick. Daniel Smith at one point in his life was on top of the world, living what he thought was a dream. Like Vick, I too hung out with people who weren't looking out for my best interests, but were using me as a tool for peer pressure and fitting in with the crowd. I was a young man, making boyish decisions.

My sin involved in those decisions was repulsive to God, as Michael Vick's "sin" was repulsive to me as well as millions of others. God couldn't look at my sin. It disgusted Him. But He forgave me. Just like He can/has/will forgive(n) Michael Vick. No matter what he has done, men still sin, and God is still God with a just, yet forgiving heart.

God is still the God of justice and wrath. But He is also the God of forgiveness, second-chances, and love. And they all come in due time. What's to say this won't change Michael Vick's life forever and he goes on to be a great story of redemption. Josh Hamilton did it.

So, instead of worrying about how soon Michael Vick (the football player) will return to the NFL, let's make sure Michael Vick (the man) is ready for eternity. Isn't that what matters?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Baby Bambi Episode

So, it was a typical day @ home. No work, no "real" to-do list (however, there are always things to do), and kind of just boring day.. until I went to check the mail.

After walking down the somewhat long driveway to get nothing more than bills and credit card offers, I return to the porch to spend a little time with my furry friends bc they hadn't seen me all weekend. I'm playing with Samson and Sophie while Hank is snooping around under t
he porch behind me.. nothing new; until I saw a little brown furry creature under the porch which was catching Hank's eye. It was Baby Bambi. Oh my gosh. Ok, we live in the country, we see things most city-folk aren't used to. Mice, spiders, wasps, among other things God has divinely created (although we are not commanded to like all of them, but simply understand their role in the food chain.. however, if they get too close, their role quickly becomes a target for the sole of my shoe or newspaper, whichever is closer.)

Back to my story.. I run and grab the camera, hoping it won't startle it and come back out. As soon as I turn it on - you know what it said.. "Battery Exhausted". Pleh! So I run and grab my phone to take some pics. Meanwhile, my dogs are having a hay day bc they are so curious, sniffing, licking, practically frightening this d
eer to death! They were really irritating me by this point.

Long story short, as of right now, I placed Baby Bambi just past the wood line at our house, and placed the dogs in the pen to give Mama time to find her baby. Just another wonderful day in the life of the Smith's. Living in the country, experiencing God's wonderful planet in our own backyard. It was really a magical thing to sit and hold and pet that little deer. And here are a couple of pics.

Baby Bambi awaiting her Mother!

My Dogs. Mad at their Daddy in the Pen.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Achieving Your Goals and Being Successful!

Tonight, with my Dad, I had the honor of hearing ex-Indianapolis Colts coach and Super Bowl Champion Tony Dungy give a motivating speech about reaching your potential, achieving your goals, and overcoming adversity. There aren't many people in our society that I feel honored being in the same room with but Coach Dungy is, even before now, in my Top 10.

He gave four crucial points in how he achieved his personal goals and I feel they are fitting to pass on to you and apply to my own life as well:

1. Set a WORTHY Goal
-Coach Dungy told a story about how he and his wife went on a date in Tampa and it fell during Spring Break. The date consisted of dinner and a trip to the theater and traffic was bumper-to-bumper for miles. "Let's just skip the movie and go to dinner instead, traffic is horrible," he told his wife. Her reply was: "Well, when you were in Miami on the way to the Super Bowl traffic was twice as bad, but you sat through it." He compared how sitting through traffic to get to a movie and Super Bowl were two totally different "goals".
Make sure your goal is something worthy of your time and energy. I may never sit through traffic to coach a Super Bowl Championship team, but grocery shopping on Saturday morning with my wife in buggy-to-buggy traffic better mean just as much to me.

2. Expect Adversity
-No personal goal is reached without challenges unless you set goals for yourself like: take out the trash, lose 10 pounds, or pick up after yourself around the house. Reach for things like: changing your attitude towards those with bad attitudes, or sign up for a triathlon within the next year and prepare for it. (And believe me, those being two of my personal goals have proven to be challenges within themselves.) The results only go one of two ways when you face adversity: success or failure.
-Part B to this would be: Don't dwell on adversity. A losing team never wins again until they have dealt with the failure and moved on. Deal with and Be Done!

3. Don't Let Adveristy Make You Want to Quit
-Quitting on yourself means you admit that you are a failure. And if you do quit, make sure it's because you couldn't do it and not because you didn't WANT to do it. Be honest with yourself here.

4. Rely on Something or Someone Other Than Yourself
-Yourself is the easiest person to quit on in the world. If you vowed to go to the gym three times a week, and you only went once, what's the typical response... probably something like, "well, I didn't make it this week, maybe next week I'll do better." Instead, try committing to going with a friend; having someone else depend on you should inspire you to fulfill that commitment. That's the problem I have with New Year's Resolutions. They're all about Me. Instead of resolving "I'm going to read more books this year".. get with a friend, buy the books you want to read. Or if you're Clark Howard, rent them from your local library... And each week, find time to get your friends together and talk about what you've read about in the books. (I'm trying to avoid the two words "Book Club"). In this case, if you haven't read you'll be left out of the loop and the guilt trip will be on you. :)

Achieving Your Goals is not easy, but it's not supposed to be either. Challenging yourself only makes you stronger when other life struggles come your way. Don't take my word for it.. but take it from the Super Bowl Champ.. Coach Dungy!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

If April Showers Bring May Flowers...

Then what do April MONSOONS bring?! I'm not kidding, yesterday was the worst weather of the year to date. Cold, rainy, hail storms, the wind even capsized our trampoline.. and to make it all worse, it was also the day my dad and I had to move my dogs' house to our house.

Ok, let's start with yesterday. 11am I leave to go to my parents' house in Summerville for the sole purpose of moving the dog house with a few other of my belongings as well. Well, we had to borrow a truck and tractor from two of the church members to make the move of the dog house possible.. it's a seriously built dog condominium.

The weather is great pretty much all morning. Slightly warmer, warm wind blowing occasionally, and the sun was perfect... until we finally get it loaded and headed to my house. After loading up my 3 dogs: Hank, Sophie, and Samson into my two-door coupe more commonly known as the Bullet, I'm driving to the house when it begins to rain..

Better still, when I get to my house my dad informs me that he has gotten stuck and we soon find ourselves trapped trying to unhook the trailer, find a place to hook a chain to the frame of our borrowed truck and use my truck to pull it out of the mud. By this time, we are soaked, muddy, not a dry stitch of clothing on us.

Recap of yesterday: My dogs were moved with their house to my house, dad and I got soaked and muddy from head to toe, and now we not only have one, but two vehicles stuck in the mud in the side yard of my house.

The best place to be in a hail storm, or storm of ANY kind is inside. I would say my dad and I took on Mother Nature last night (mainly because we had to).. and she definitely had no trouble curing us from playing in the rain anytime soon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Uncle DanDan

Yesterday was filled with great anticipation, anxiety, joy, laughter, and relief. I became an uncle to the cutest little girl, now named Elliot "Ellie" Gwen Smith. She was all of 4lbs, 2oz. , and 16.5 inches long. Apparently she knew we couldn't wait any longer and decided to make her glorious appearance to us at 5:15pm.

I won't give the play-by-play, but there were some complications with Stephy yesterday morning and they went to the doctor and after several hours of tests and just waiting the doctors thought it would be best that a cesarean section be done and now I am an uncle!! I can't wait to spoil her and just plain love her and watch her grow. It's funny when someone in your family has a baby and everyone begins to stake their claim! The inspiring miracle of childbirth itself is amazing to say the least.

And I can't finish this post without publishing a picture of this beautiful baby who is an absolute miracle!!

Elliot "Ellie" Gwen Smith!