My wife and I love short weekend retreats.  Oftentimes we wake up in the morning and leave with no destination in place.  We have discovered many wonderful little roadside attractions over the last 4 years.  These wonderful trips have created amazing memories for us and opportunities to meet some wonderful individuals along the way.

This past Labor Day Weekend was one such trip.  My wife and I decided last minute to get away and go in a direction we had never gone together.  We headed for Wyoming and the Tetons.  We were excited for the much needed time together hiking and enjoying the mountains as we always do in a new and majestic setting.   We anxiously left home and headed for the Tetons, just us and our baby girl.

The trip took an unexpected turn as we neared our destination, we had arrived just outside of a little town called…

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Bella Boo

Bella Boo

Your little heart

in rhythm with mine

healing my soul

with the passing of time

your laughs and your giggles

your smiles and your games

have burned in my heart

like a fiery flame

your love now consumes

each part of my soul

a heart once broken

has now been made whole

your smile is an anchor

held deep in my heart

your eyes and their sparkle

make each new day start

Daddy’s little princess

you will always be

for a heart once broken

has now been set free





What if it Were Your Last Day?


If today were the last day of your life, what would you do differently?  Say Differently? 

Would you act differently?  Be more compassionate? understanding? loving? kind?

Who would you talk to?  what advice would you give? What would you tell them?

Where would you go? with whom?

Imagine if we all lived our lives as though it were our last day on earth.  How much kinder and  gentler this world could be for all if we took a moment to focus on the same important items each day as if it were our last.

How many relationships would be saved? Families united and friendships strengthened?

Would the words we speak to our spouse, our parents, our children, neighbors and friends be more gentle and loving?  Would we be more certain that we express our love for them?  Would our words match our actions?

Would we be more patient and understanding with one another?  Would our children feel our love, not just hear the words?

Life is precious, life is short.  No one knows when their last day will be so we take for granted that there is always tomorrow to do what we should be doing today.  What if today is your last day?  Would those left behind truly know how you felt?

We all know the risks, we are all willing to take them and live knowing that there is a tomorrow.  For some however, tomorrow never comes.


Familiarity and Gratitude; the Challenge to CoExist


Appreciation is the expression of gratitude, particularly towards another person.  Oftentimes this expression of gratitude is shared with others when someone spends time serving another. 

We often find it simpler in life to express our appreciation for others who are not close to us, while refraining to share that same appreciation for those in our own families whom we have grown accustomed to taking for granted.  It has been said that familiarity breeds contempt, I believe it brings with it an unspoken expectation and lack of appreciation for others.

We neglect the phone calls, fail to return messages, fail to acknowledge and fall short of expressing appreciation for those we are most familiar.  Our expectations and frustrations are the highest with those we share a close familiarity to.  The ones always there are the ones least likely to be appreciated.  This taking for granted of others and failure to express appreciation to those whom we are most familiar oftentimes is the catalyst for rifts and dissensions within families.

The sudden realization of ones failure to express their appreciation floods with emotions over those whom are faced with a sudden loss of a loved one.  In these moments of grief and sorrow, the sad realization of ones neglect, the many missed phone calls, the many cold shoulders, the unspoken words, all driven from ones failure to appreciate and show the gratitude towards others with whom they share that familiarity.  The ones whom allow the familiarity to breed the contempt, the ones too caught up in their own world to share, the ones with high expectations of others and none for themselves all will one day face the sadness, sorrows and regrets that surely come when it’s at last too late.

Imagine if we were to show our appreciation and gratitude equal to the familiarity we share with others, how many families, how many friendships would thrive?

The Light in the Open Door


Last night I watched as my beautiful wife assisted a young woman whose life was seemingly out of control.  The chaos surrounding her was clear as she desperately reached out to family and friends for help.  Sadly, no one came to her aid as my wife sat on the curbside with this woman, despondent and alone. 

My wife listened to her as I patiently sat in the car off in the distance so my wife could do what she does so well, help others.  The domestic violence shelter my wife runs was full, no space available for this woman.  I watched with humble adoration as my wife sat and looked for alternate resources available in the community to help this woman, a stranger whom she had never met.

She sat with her for nearly an hour making numerous phone calls, and providing options for this young woman.  She assisted her in reaching her father and in finding safe harbor.

Finally, the time came for us to leave.  The sun had set and it was growing ever darker, we had to attend to our children at home.

My dear wife had provided resources, referrals, information, counseling and had made connections with her family.  This young lady was now informed of what she can do to obtain the help and resources available.  She knew where to go, how to get there and who to call.  My wife made certain that she had the means necessary to accomplish what she needed most in her life.

The choice was now hers, and hers alone.

I spent much of the evening contemplating the events that had passed that evening,  Our evening delivery had taken much longer than planned, yet my wife was placed in a position where she could serve someone in need.

I wondered much about this young woman, how she was doing and if she had taken advantage of the doors my wife had opened for her this night.

I also wondered if I myself, in times of need take advantage of doors that others have opened for me or if in my self misery, sadness and despair I have failed to step through the open door, instead remaining in my sorrow.

I wondered how often we remain in the darkness of our sorrow  when we no longer need to based upon our own unwillingness to step towards the light in the open door..

The Creature, Chapter Three; by Brider (My 12 year old son)


I sat crying on my knees, wondering what I may have just done.  Sadness was all around me.

Suddenly through my tears I heard an amazing sound,


I jumped to my feet and raced towards the voice calling to me.

Running as fast as I could, I was suddenly hit and knocked over, the horns on the big blue creature hitting me as I ran, its nostrils flared as It came for me.

Quickly, I grabbed for my rifle and shot.  I was shocked as I watched the skin grow back over the bullet hole.  The shot had made the beast angrier, he was throwing fish from the water at me with his horns.  He looked like he was going to charge at me.

Off to my right I could see Sarah and Ben, my heart jumped at seeing them yet I was focused on the immediate danger.  Suddenly Sarah tossed something to me yelling “hit him with this!”

I reached for the object, a spear made out of a sharp rock and a stick.

Quickly I picked it up, cocked my arm and threw it as hard as I could.

A direct hit the creature dropped as i raced to hug my kids.

BEN!  SARAH! I cried

DAD! they cried back.

We hugged a moment.

“Let’s get out of here!” I yelled

R O O O A A A R R R R !!!!!!!!

“Where do you think you are going?”  The creature roared as it climbed back to it’s feet.

“HOME!” I yelled as I looked for a way to escape.

I reached again for the rifle and began shooting at the creature, nothing.  The bullets had no effect, they weren’t working.

“DAD!  We need to run!  We need to get out of here!” Ben cried out.

We stood there, blocked with no way out and this creature moving towards us.

The Creature, Chapter Two; by Bridger (my 12 year old son)


Flight 296 now boarding to Egypt.  Nervously I boarded the plane for the long journey to find my kids.  I know they are there, somewhere in Egypt.  I will find them in this place.

Hours past and I finally arrived in Egypt.  I started to look around, trying to think of all the places I should look and where I should begin. 

I saw some towers off in the distance and felt the urge to run to them, I sprinted as fast as I could run to the entrance.  Quickly I entered the tunnel into the base of the towers where I was immediately swarmed by tiny blue creatures.  Their skin was slimy and they had horns on the top of their heads.

I grabbed my gun and begin shooting back at them as they continued to swarm, it seemed as though there were thousands of them.  I pushed through the mass of creatures as I searched the hallway for my children, calling out to them as I fought against these creatures. 



I kept shouting, scared and wondering if they were still alive and in this hole of death where no human could survive.

A dark realization and a wave of panic suddenly washed over me…


I screamed!

These creatures used to be human!  What if I killed my children when I was shooting my way through them?

What have I done?   I cried falling to my knees.



Many in this world have a view that a little white lie is ok.  That everyone does it.  When you ask them if they are honest they proudly proclaim YES.  Honesty no longer means to us what it once did.  Honesty is now “mostly honest”

I must admit that this can be one of the most daunting challenges in this world we live.  To be fully, completely honest in EVERYTHING.

When we strip away all the sugar coatings and rationalizations we encounter daily in our interactions with others, are we completely honest in ALL things?

Have you ever gone through a checkout line, gotten home and realized that the clerk failed to charge you for an item?   Have you gotten to the car to find extra change you shouldn’t have received?

Most of us have found ourselves in this situation at one time or another, many of us have returned the change or gone and paid for an item we weren’t charge for.

How about are we honest in our dealings with others?  Have you ever bought an item from someone who had no idea what that item was truly valued at?  You paid the “asking” price yet never mentioned the true value?  What about the contractor who you are certain underbid on a job that you know you should be paying more for?  Do you take the deal and run?  or do you offer to pay them more closely to what the work should get?

We live in a world all about taking advantage of a good thing, that includes one another.

Can we participate in this behavior and remain honest in all our dealings with others?  I believe that to be an oxymoron, an impossibility.  Honesty requires us to be upright and fair, taking advantage of others mistakes is neither upright nor fair. 

There is no right way to do something wrong.  The little white lie, the omission of truth or information, it doesn’t matter what it is, creates dishonesty amongst us.

What is Your True Value?


What are you worth?  Your true value?  Your time?  Talents? 

How many people truly understand what they are worth?  The time we spend in our lives spending a dollar to save a penny.  One can never truly get ahead in life if they don’t have a firm conviction on that their time is worth.

What is work?  We trade our time, talents, and expertise for money, yet in our own personal lives we fail to realize that same value.   We are continually underselling ourselves, not only with our employers but our families as well. 

Oftentimes in our desperation we allow others to take advantage of us and this in turn continues to keep us down.  We never fully realize our potential and our true worth as we continually accept others choices for us. 

We accept what others are willing to give us as we have no real faith in our own value.

How can anyone else see our true value when we can’t see it ourselves?

What we believe about ourselves, others will see in us.

Last night I received a quote for some work that quite frankly appalled me.  Although the quote was INCREDIBLY beneficial in my favor, it was absolutely unfair to the individual whom would be performing the work.

How can I see value in myself that I fail to see in others?

My wife and I rejected this man’s offer and then offered nearly double the quote for the work.  This man nearly cried as someone finally saw his value that he was unable to see for himself.

We have the power within us to determine our own value.  Our value will also increase as we see in others what oftentimes they fail to see in themselves.

Will you lift or crush those with whom you encounter in life?  This determines the most important value we possess..

The value of our soul.


The Creature, Chapter One; By Bridger (My 12 year old son)


You scared me when I was a kid!   You are not going to scare mine!

run inside guys


Come out here wherever you guys are.  I found you!   BOO!

…..For 3 years I’ve been looking for my kids.  Ben was 10 and little Sarah only 5 when they disappeared. 

I have been searching for them day and night, for three long years never  finding them.  My own parents really never cared for me much and I swore my children would never be able to say that about me.  I have searched the entire world, except for one last place..


That is where I will find them.

The hearts and strength are strong, I know they are there and I will find them.

My kids are everything to me…

I must find them…..