Married Mondays — Holidays

Hey everyone thanks for all of the follows and like through out this series.  I have decided to take a couple week break to truly practice what I post.  I challenge you over the next few weeks to truly focus on your family and on your spouse most importantly.  Take time out for each other even though it may not seem like there is time.  Invest in each other, and make sure to show your love not through stuff, but through true dedication to working on your marriage and to building each other up.

Have a wonderful Holiday, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.

I’ll talk to you all again in January.

 

Married Mondays – Old School

Over the past few weeks, I know that I have repeatedly, wrote about shutting off your devices and spending good old fashioned quality time with your spouse and loved ones.  This week I want to step past just talking about things to do with your spouse and hit on things to do as a family.

As we get further into the holiday season, take time to focus on what truly matters most.  Many of us just finished up Thanksgiving, and still have days worth of left overs.  Many of us went out for Black Friday sales on Thursday and through the weekend, and many more of us will be spending time going through all of the Cyber Monday/Cyber Week deals.  These aren’t the things that matter.  What truly matters is looking at what you can do as a family to touch those around you.  Maybe, as a family, you can start a tradition of doing Operation Christmas Child(a little late for this one now,) Angel Tree, Toys for Tots, or working with one of the many other charities out there.  As a family we have made it a point to do something every year.  For less than you would spend on junk that you don’t need, you can use that on someone else.  We tend to fill our lives with stuff, and we retreat to our STUFF to make us Happy, but then we just need the newest thing, or the thing that is better than someone else’s.  And we get stuck in a cycle of want.  Let’s put it in perspective, the phone that many of you are reading this on, will cost you over $600 ($10-30/month at a time.)  If you feel that you can use that same phone for a year longer, what could you do for someone else, for another family, for someone in another county.  As a family take a moment to do something for someone else.  We are now a global community, from your house in the US, you can with a simple click, buy chickens for a family in another country.

This week’s title I took from the book my daughter is reading right now Diary of A Wimpy Kid : Old School.  It has taken her a little while to understand what it is really about.  From what I have seen of it so far is one of the things that I have been touching on over the past few weeks.  Stepping away from technology, actually communicating with words from your mouth, and enjoying what is around you.  Enjoying the outdoors, enjoying company, enjoying each other.

For our marriages and for our families, shutting down the electronics, and spending time playing, using your imagination, talking, and being present changes everything.  The past couple weeks, my wife and I have had the chance to just chill at the house after the munchkin has gone to bed.  It has been awesome to unplug, not watch a show or anything, but spend time together with the Christmas tree on.  We have been able to take this little bit of time to catch up with each other, and put into practice what I’ve been writing these past few weeks.

Also as we get further into the holiday season, I encourage you to make sure that you are taking time out as a couple and as a family, to refocus and rebalance your needs and wants.  Focus on the things that you can do together as a couple and/or as a family, that don’t involve the TV, computer, or game system.  Pull out an old board game, do something that requires imagination, and give them your full attention.  The worries of tomorrow can wait until tomorrow.  Don’t make you family, your spouse, your loved ones, compete for your attention. Go Old School, shut down and have family time.

A Happy Rambling Father’s Day

Right now as I hang out in front of the grill with the smell of cooking ribs I think about how thankful I am for my family.  That I have a loving caring wife, a wonderful daughter, these two are the reasons I’m a Father and celebrated today. My Dad and my father-in-law, along with some help(yeah that’s you Mom and Jazmina), did a good job raising me, my wife and sister-in-law. 

Both of these men have given me a Godly example of how to raise my daughter, provide and care for my family. I know I’ve said it numerous times before but I am so proud that my dad taught me things growing up that I still use today. I can build things, I can fix my own car, I can repair things in the house.  Growing up my dad wasn’t the wordiest, still isn’t but, he knew how to get to the point. Most of our must have father and son conversations can be summed up with ” don’t be an idiot.”  He always wanted better for me, and made me know that if I wanted something, I was going to work hard for it. 

Too many times today, we see fathers and families that just have children. It’s a world of I take my kid here and there I go to their games, I participate in their life. Participating in their life is not the same as being in their life. There are too many stories on the news today of young men, going out doing unspeakable things.  As a father, I want to instill in my child that I am here for her no matter what she does. I am also here to provide corrective measures as necessary. 

Too many times we over-compensate for our work schedules, or for the things we feel our dads did wrong. We take the I’ll do it differently approach to the extreme. All kids get a trophy now, everyone makes the team. We set kids up for failure. As kids we had to fight our own battles. If you lost you tried harder next time, you learned what you did wrong and fixed it for the next time. 

So I’ll end with this. Father’s be a great daddy today. Hold your kids tight, let them see you showing love to their mother, and be the daddy that they deserve.  

father in law bday
Be goofy
  
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Be willing to get your nails done
   

Be above the mix…

This past week, I had one of those moments where the most random thing just sparked an idea that I couldn’t shake.  “You need to be above the mix…”  I heard this in two different episodes of one of our favorite new shows, Empire.  Both times she was listening to a new track, and this was her suggestion, “be above the mix,” “Don’t hide behind the music.”

I just keep thinking of this in real life.  So many times in life we hide behind, what we want others to see and hear.  We are scared to stand out and be different.  To some comparing life to music production and songs, won’t make any sense, to others it’s going to click like it did for me.  When you listen to a number of today’s top songs, you will hear a lot of the same beats, you will hear the beats better than the lyrics, you hear words not lines.  Today songs come out, many sound the same, sale incredibly great, but the meaning is not there.  Songs are made to give people what they want to hear, they give that great beat to move to.

Many of us live our lives this exact same way.  We hide behind what we know others want to see or hear, we spend so much time doing what others want, we forget ourselves.  It’s the people who step up,  go above the mix, those that let their voice be heard, that speak clearly and with meaning and purpose, that are remembered.  These are the people who make a difference.

Are you willing to be above the mix and not hide behind the idea of who you are, but truly be you?  Are you willing to be the parent that says, my kid isn’t going to do that or I’m a parent not a friend?  Are you willing to be that husband that actually listens to his wife, that does the laundry and the dishes to give your wife a break?  Are you willing to be that friend, that slaps your best friend back to reality when they are just being plain stupid?  Are you willing to be that student, that stops the bully, that sets the example for the rest of the team, for the rest of the class?

Take just one day, and put yourself above the mix, put yourself above where others think you should be, and then prove why you should be there.  If you’re stuck in a hole, is up to you to grab the rope.  If your voice is far below the drum machine and the bass, you have to choose to move that fader up.  Others can put the equipment there, others can help only as much as you let them.  It is up to you to make the call to get it moving.

Have we failed them?

When it comes to our kids, I know that any of us would do anything for them.  We try to protect them in every way that we can, we try to give them a better life than we had.  In doing so, we have raised a generation of wimpy vultures.  Bullies today are not the same as bullies back in the day.  Back when I was in school if having to deal with a bully, it stopped at the end of the school day, and it was one maybe two people.  Now, you have groups of “mean kids”, that will pick on kids at school and then it becomes cyber bully time.  It no longer stops, even the kids that aren’t bullies at school become bullies behind a keyboard.  We all know that kids can be mean, and we also know that kids discover these behaviors from somewhere.

That is why no matter how much you want to blame the schools, the administration, coaches, etc., it starts at home.  Parents we need to be involved with our kids.  We need to be in our kids lives, not just being around, not just running them to their events, but truly involved.  We need to know who their friends are, we need to know what they are doing when they are out.  We also need to know who and what they are online.  With the illusion that our kids need to be themselves, and that they need to have their privacy, so that they are free to be themselves, we lose our kids to the world.  When as parents, we lose touch with our kids, or we excuse ourselves from their life, we have no right to blame others for what our kids do or don’t do.  Now don’t think that I’m saying to go read your kids diary or journal, but we do need to know what is going on in their lives.  Spend time talking to them, they aren’t going to be excited about this, but communication is key.

At the end of the day, our kids take after us. If we don’t parent our children, how can we ask others to do so.  We have to set a proper example for our children in all that we do.  If you find yourself always posting negative comments online, especially when it has nothing to actually do with you, or you never have anything very positive to say about anything, you might be encouraging your child to be a bully, both online and in real life.  If you are talking about things with your kids, and setting a proper example, maybe we can stop some of this senseless violence, bullying, and suicide among young people in our world.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays…

Yeah, I realize I’m a couple of days late on sending out Christmas cards, or maybe I’m really early with my 2015 ones…

This year I hope that you had a great time with friends and family.  I know that for some, this Christmas and the entire holiday season was bittersweet.  Maybe you lost a loved one this year, maybe it’s been a few years without them and this time of year brings back memories, that are hard to deal with.  But now is the time to take comfort in the fact that they are in a better place, they are free from the pain and sicknesses that they were dealing with here.  It sucks for us, and I mean really sucks anytime we lose a loved one.

This is why as much as you can spend real-time with your loved ones.  An I ❤ U, text isn’t the same as taking 5 minutes out of your day to pick up the phone and call somebody to see how their day was and tell them that you are thinking about them.  Take some time also this Holiday season to think about how blessed you are and what you can do for someone else.  Little things that we can change in us, can change things for someone else.  Add an extra $5 or $10 to the tip at the restaurant, pay for the person behind you in the drive thru, buy a gift card for the person behind you in line at the store and just tell the cashier to use it.  It can take 30 seconds to change someones day, don’t do it to make you feel better, think about how you would feel rolling up to the Starbucks window and your order had already been taken care of.  Now pass that feeling along…

Make this a pay it forward Holiday, and see how it feels to give and not receive.  Take time out to spend with your kids, spouse, family, and friends.  Put away the electronics, and spend real-time together.  Your email will be there later, that Facebook post will be readable later, that tweet will be there later, that Pinterest pin will be on 5,000 other boards too.

Kids say the darndest things…

It’s very true that our kids say the darndest, most brutally honest things, they get it from somewhere.  Everything our kids do, they have learned it some place, from someone, somehow.  A number of the things that they pick up, we don’t really mind, but it isn’t always the good things they pick up on.

Our kids look to us for what to do in social interactions and in all situations.  Face it, you talk to your friends and co-workers completely different than you do around your house with your family and children, well maybe.  None of us really think about some of the things we say or do, until they are repeated or done by our kids.  There are so many kid’s today that are constantly in trouble, either at school or even the police, because of poor guidance or honestly a lack there of.

We have to guide our kids in the right ways try our hardest to keep them from doing just really stupid things.  I mean yes there is a fine line from being an over-protective parent, a controlling parent, and a crazy, but that is part of being a parent.  Face it, as a parent you are to be a parent not your child’s friend.  Now don’t get me wrong, you need to be there for your children, but being the cool parent, isn’t always going to be the best thing for your kids.  Now I’m not saying that I’m “World’s Greatest Dad” and should teach classes on how to be a father, but sometimes you go somewhere and you just think – I’m not doing so bad a am I…

We all have seen the kids, that make you think I wish they were your kid, or make you want to slap their momma.  Pushing your kids to be respectful to others is one thing, but more than that, we have to push our kids to respect themselves.  Too many kids today are “depressed” but are so privileged they don’t know what to do with themselves.  We have pushed to far into the “everyone did great”, and the everyone gets a trophy mentality that there is no winner.  This is where the problem comes along when these kids grow up and become part of “the real world,”  if something isn’t handed to them, they don’t know what to do.

Let’s push our kids to respect themselves and others.  Let’s push to break our kids of these entitled attitudes.  Start the push from within yourself.  Let you kids see you working hard for what you have and what your family has, teach them the value of money, time, love, and true friendship.  Let’s see our kids change the direction of their generation and our world.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone. I want to just take a moment and thank everyone who has taken time to read my random thoughts through out the year. It has been a crazy year, with many ups, downs, and confusion but at the end of the day, we have always known that God was in control.

Take this time that you have, to spend time with those you love. Remember that this day and season is not about the presents, it’s about the time we have with family and the ultimate gift that God gave us many years ago.

Merry Christmas from the McGlone Family.

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Senseless….

I know that this may not make a lot of sense, and this post is so scattered.  But I just need to vent this….

This is the season that for many of us, is a joyous fun time.  We get together with family, we take small trips, we remember all that we have to be thankful for, we remember all of our blessings.  But as I sit here writing this, the father of a Kindergartner, and the Husband of a teacher, my heart is breaking for the families that have lost their children today.

This year in multiple senseless acts, too many people have lost fathers, mothers, children, friends.  I cannot even begin to imagine, the grief that these families are feeling as we come into the holidays.  Over the next few days, many people are going to try and link these acts to how the person was raised, or gun control, or the music they listened to, or a myriad, of other psychological things.  No matter what it gets linked to, the only thing that remains that there are now empty holes in too many homes.

Tonight across America, I know that there are parents holding their kids tighter, hugging them longer, grieving for those other families.  Also across America, many people are heading to churches to pray for those families, and to seek God in these times.  It is my hope and prayer, that for many of us we take this sobering experience, and realign our priorities.  Don’t let this be the one time this week, that you snuggled up with your kids and read a story, or had a “sleep-over.”  Don’t let this be the one time that you put away the cell phone, stepped away from email.  We need to examine what matters in our lives.

Life is way to short, spend what time you have with the ones you love.  And as we go into the Christmas holiday, remember what Christmas is really about.  It’s about God’s gift to us, His love for us, His Son.  Spread Love, spread Joy, spread Hope.  Remember, that no matter what we may feel or what the world may tell us, God is with us, even when it seems he isn’t, he is there.

God, I don’t understand why these things happen.  I just know, that these families need you right now.  Please send you Holy Spirit around them.  Be their comfort, Be their hope, bring them piece.  Help them as they go through these trying times, You are the Rock, and the Shelter.  You are our stronghold, Father, I praise your name through everything.  Amen.