Not Alone: Our Story of Child Loss

We were honored that our friends at Home & Arrows asked Amy to share her/our journey of losing our son Ethan (our 2nd child) at 20 weeks due to a condition called Hydrops Fetalis.

So many moms, couples, and families suffer through such a tough loss alone. Whether they struggle to talk about the tragedy OR those around them (family and friends) simply don’t know how to engage and respond in a meaningful way.

We hope that as you watch this video, it will encourage you or someone you know (please share) cope, as well as understand that even in the ashes of devastation, beauty can be found.

Thank you for taking the time to engage and share this story. It’s important to us that folks know they are not alone and that there is hope for tomorrow!

Written by Andrew Pino

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5 Life Lessons My Kids Inspired

IMG_3387Today I thought I’d take a few moments and share 5 “life lessons” I’ve learned on my fatherhood journey with my own kids. They’re in no particular order, but certainly some our bigger struggles for folks than others.

So, here they are…

Live In The Moment
Sure, you need to be mature and plan for some things but that doesn’t eliminate the value of living in the moment. Another way to say it would be, Be Present. So much of the fun in life can be lost when we are worrying about what’s next, or worse, just have our face in our phones. Look up and live your moments to the fullest. We only get to do this once. Continue reading

Overcoming The Mean Parent Voice

OS02003If you are a parent, you have done it. If you have a newborn, it’s not a matter of if, but when it happens.

Your precious child will stir anger up within you and you will use the mean parent voice. I really don’t know what else to call it because it sounds different in all of us, but the overarching fact is that it flat out sounds, well…mean. Some parents are screamers and yellers. Some are sarcastic or rude. Some parents belittle and accuse or are passively mean with their tone. Some parents have great self-control most of the time, but have random moments where like volcanoes they just erupt. It may not happen often, but when it does, everything in its path gets burned.

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Raising Grateful Kids

IMG_2995“I am NOT wearing jeans! I’m never wearing pants, EVER,” she screams as she collapses onto the floor in an absolute fit. <insert disciplinary action> Dresses only, thank you very much, for both of my girls right around the 3-4 year old mark. And while I don’t mind them wearing dresses a majority of the time, it’s not practical for the everyday…at least not our everyday. Pants and jeans were purchased for a reason and we are going to wear all of the clothes that we have with a grateful attitude, I explain for the 42nd time. She lets out a scream as I say this and collapses onto the floor again, mad as can be. <insert 2nd disciplinary action> After this scene is repeated another time (oh yes she did!), I got smarter. “Sweetheart, because you chose to continue throwing fits, being disrespectful and having an ungrateful attitude about your clothes, you have now lost your dresses, nightgowns and dress up clothes through Sunday.” <insert wailing and gnashing of teeth and a profuse amount of “I’ll never do that again.”> She, of course, did lose her “dress privileges,” but, an amazing thing happened…she stopped fighting me about the pants. It’s a small win, but I’ll take it!

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Your Title Is Dad, Not Friend

IMG_2617I know some of you may read that title and think “I want to be both” and while that concept is good in theory, it’s often poorly executed and leads to kids with issues.

We are called to be Fathers and lead our children in a way that glorifies God, our Heavenly Father. To model that, takes far more discipline then most of us guys want to exert. We’d rather just leave it to our wives to be “the mean parent” and we’ll be the hero, the cool parent, the fun one.

When we aim for “being a friend”, we miss the target God set before us altogether. It’s through you that your kids will learn discipline, patience, anger management, integrity, character, etc. (Moms don’t get upset, they learn this stuff from you too, but Dads/Husbands are called to lead their homes) Continue reading

The Power of Patience

AA018336Patience…just writing that word makes me feel guilty. I am the consummate “do as I say, not as I do” person, when it comes to patience. I can’t think of a time in my life, where patience wasn’t a battle for me.

This struggle wasn’t birthed out of being a spoiled brat, who got everything he wanted growing up. It isn’t spurred on by other people at all. Impatience simply seems to be part of my DNA. That’s not a copout. I’m not off the hook. I just realize that I have an addiction for getting things done and want everyone around me to be the same way.

There are pros and cons to this dilemma…

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