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Facetime with Dad

My Dad wasn”t a fisherman, a hunter, a mechanic. He didn’t prefer to wrestle or play football. The only time I saw his poker face was when he was trying to figure out if he was going to believe the lie I was telling him. My Dad enjoyed watching the Cubs, Crocodile Dundee, and Andy Griffith. The only time he turned on ESPN was to watch PBA Bowling so he could get the curve technique of Pete Weber (this would pay off years into the future when they invented Wii Bowling.)

For all the things he wasn’t, I was reminded today with a flood of memories and tears of the things he was.

As a boy, I was a professional basketball player for the Chicago Bulls. (put that in the file labeled “things you didn’t know was possible”)

I remember playing for some time and my father rolling into the driveway.  He went inside like most days, except this time I heard the back door open.  Out he came in his white collar swag to make an appearance at the United Center a.k.a. my driveway. I had hoped he noticed my likeness to number 23, but I settled for the time we shared together.

Being a father now, I can appreciate the effort it took him to come home from a hard day of work and not go straight to bed. It takes a selfless act to get involved in a game of H.O.R.S.E. with a boy who thinks he’s Michael Jordan.

My father was also a great artist. I can recall getting up in his lap and watching him draw my face as a cartoon character. I would get to pick what my body was doing and it usually involved having giant muscles. When I wasn’t wanting to be like Mike, I drew pictures. My favorite tool is a wooden pencil with fresh shavings like a scene from McGee & Me (see: wall-mounted pencil sharpener, 1987). I wanted to be a great artist like my Dad. Later in life (middle school) we began practicing our signatures together. All three of us boys have a similar version of Dad’s signature still to this day.

My father was also a preacher. He could stand before anyone and speak about the gospel. I got to witness this on many occasions as a boy. Unfortunately, it came in between southern gospel songs, but nonetheless he preached from the Word. I want to be a preacher one day. I don’t know in what capacity at the moment, but I know it’s buried deep within my heart.

And I know where it comes from. Facetime with my Father(s).

-Aaron Haynes

High Low

No, High Low is not a game you play on a road trip with Coolio.

It’s actually a dinner time conversation starter we have with the kids.

Each person takes a turn saying their High and Low from the day. Usually, low’s include homework or chores, and high’s include “desert tonight!” or a new friend at school.

Yesterday, I took the kiddo’s down to our favorite spot for a little surprise swimming at sunset. We skipped rocks, snacked on desert apples and yogurt and watched the sun go down while splashing in the cool flowing river.  

I have to say that was definitely my High.

Image

The Company Meeting

A flashback moment from last year

http://davidandtrisomy18.blogspot.com/2012/02/company-meeting.html

#StrangerHi5s

The Story of #StrangerHi5s.

I started training for my first 5K race about three months ago.  During this time I would pass, or get passed by people looking just as determined.  So one day on the track I decided to branch out from the comfort zone.  I crossed my lane and yelled to my first stranger “We got this!” with my hand high in the air “slap”. With smiles on our faces I crossed back over to my lane and went on my way. And so it began #StrangerHi5’s.

One of my favorite Stranger High Five memories came right before Thanksgiving.  I had passed a woman who was fit for the Biggest Loser.  not an insult at all, but actually a compliment. Overweight and fed up.  She was determined.  Anyway, on this day I passed her as she walked at a steady pace, gave her the high five, again saying “We got this!”.  I made my turn at 1.5 miles and headed back to the office.  I passed her again, she said “hey that was fast, I’ve already walked 6 miles” I replied “still got a mile and a half back. Way to go. Keep the fight!”.  I ran up to the I-75 overpass and walked across it. By the time I got to the other side, she had caught up about ten paces behind, just within shouting distance, because the next thing I heard “Happy Thanksgiving! God bless you!” as she turned down her neighborhood.  “Wow” I thought. “And to think it all started with a stranger high five.”

This Ain’t Your Grandma’s Biscuits N Gravy!

I was recently  introduced to a golden treasure.  Our neighbor brought over a little taco salad wrapped in a biscuit.  Two things stood out to me: 1) It wasn’t messy AND 2) you could add your favorite toppings individually to satisfy the variety of taste buds.

Huge Shout Out to Nicole!

And so I was inspired to begin my holiday cooking.  Below you will find an easy-to-make, kid-friendly, no utensil required, mess-free recipe for a creation I call “This ain’t your Grandma’s Biscuits and Gravy” Biscuits and Gravy Recipe.  I also took this genius idea (thanks again Nicole) and made “This ain’t your Grandma’s Sweet Potato Pie” Sweet Potato Pie for a Thanksgiving desert.

Enjoy!

Cheers,

AH

In Memory of Caleb Adamyk

I was going to write about family and football for the season’s opening weekend, but then my heart shattered.  Football is the furthest thing from my mind now.

This blog is dedicated to the life of Caleb Adamyk.

I was met outside by a Shands Public Relations staff member.  He escorted me into the Shands Cancer and Genetics Center at the University of Florida.  We hurriedly walked down the hall to a classroom filled with first year med students.

As he ushered me down to the front row, I heard Jeanette speaking about the life of Caleb.  “He’s sassy…” and right on cue, Caleb made his sassy noise while Steven held him.

My eyes were fixed on this playful, even flirty toddler.

The slideshow of images filled with smiles faded in and out as Jeanette and Steven shared everything they could about their experiences with Caleb in order to bring Trisomy Hope to these future doctors.

When the Q and A session ended, I was introduced to members of Caleb’s medical team.  I was welcomed with open arms to their family and team.  Then I was introduced to Caleb.  I walked over to him and squatted down. This is the moment I will never forget.  I reached out to his tiny hand to give it a rub, and he grabbed my finger.  This was so huge to me.  I asked Jeanette “Did Caleb have clinched hands when he was born?” she answered “Yes, he just grew out of them” My mind raced – Caleb Adamyk had out grown a Trisomy 18 symptom.

I was just told by my doctors that David’s hands were clinched (a normal Trisomy 18 symptom).  So I never thought I’d get to have his hand wrapped around my finger.  I had been hurting about this.  I think Caleb knew what I was going through.  While holding my finger, he looked over at me and started smiling.  Granted his Mom was making the sounds that were funny to him, but I’ll take it.

All I could do was smile, because Caleb had just given this Dad a fight, a hope, he unlocked a much deeper place in my heart for my unborn son David.

When I got into the truck outside, I lost it.  What new hope I had.  I called Heather to tell her, as I could barely get the words out.  He had outgrown a lethal diagnosis symptom.

This was the first time I met Caleb Adamyk.

When David was born, Caleb was at the hospital as well. When Heather had to go to the ER, Caleb was up there too.

Caleb was greeted by angels this week.  His treasures in Heaven will be plentiful, for the warrior life he led here on earth.  He blessed many.  Including me.

Love you little man.

Caleb Adamyk

2009-2011  

The News Re: Caleb by Jacqui

The Photo Story by Jacqui

Football PREVIEW

With the football season just around the corner, I would like to discuss

“Being a Great Dad (and Husband) During Football Season”

I want to get some tips from Dads who have successfully balanced Date Nights and Fatherhood with SaturdayTailgating, Sunday Couch Time, and Fantasy Football Leagues.

I will be sharing my previous Epic Failure in trying to achieve this, along with my NEW strategy for this year.

I’m trying to get interviews from Football Greats/Dads such as Kurt Warner and Tony Dungy, but also would love to hear your stories and tips.

Contact me: aaronahaynes@gmail.com with your Epic Tips or even Epic Failures like I did.

All to learn from the mistakes and sharpen the iron on our journey to being EPIC DADS!

Cheers,

AH