Sunday, July 26, 2009

I Traded in My Mustang for a Minivan

One of my favorite Andrew Peterson songs, "Family Man," starts out with these lyrics ("I Traded in My Mustang for a Minivan") to show how his life has changed since becoming a father. Well, I've never had a Mustang - and we still don't have a minivan, but I had a somewhat similar experience this past weekend. Though I'm definitely not a world-class mountain biker like my cousins, I still really enjoy getting out for a ride every once in a while. However, I also want to be able to take Caleb along with me on more leisurely rides - which meant attaching a child bike seat to the back of my bike. Since the seat we got at Goodwill isn't super easy to take off, this has effectively changed my "Mustang" bike into a minivan. Though I am excited to be able to take Caleb with me on bike rides now, it is undeniable that I am now the owner of a "daddy" bike.

As the "Family Man" song continues, he talks about the various ways his life has changed since becoming a father and some of the things that he has had to give up (including his Mustang). In the same way, I can see the numerous ways that having Caleb has changed our lives and made it a little more difficult to do some of the things we've enjoyed doing. With our five year anniversary coming up, it is definitely a lot more difficult to get away just the two of us. Last weekend, we did have the opportunity to take Caleb with us and return for the first time to the area where we spent our honeymoon nearly five years ago. Needless to say, it was a much different experience but it was also a lot of fun to hike a bit with Caleb while revisiting the memories we had of our time in the North Georgie Mountains. Though it is sometime easy to idealize the freedom and spontaneity of out lives before Caleb, I definitely feel that I can echo the conclusion of the song that though "this is not what I was headed for when I began, this was not my plan, It's so much better than." Anyways, I've included some recent pictures/videos below and you can go to if you want to listen to the song.

Caleb's first ride on daddy's bike
Hiking with Caleb is always an adventure - as he's not the most "linear" walker

On top of Fort Mountain in the North Georgia Mountains

Caleb expressing how much he loves hiking with his parents (especially when he gets a free ride on daddy's back)
Caleb having some bonding time with Grandma

Caleb showing off his pitching skills

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Staycations and Fireworks

With the current recession, it seems like taking a "staycation" is one of the hip things to do. Ideally, I think that it is a fiscally frugal way for families to save their money by spending their vacation time at home enjoying local attractions. Since staycations are in vogue, Sharon and I decided to have a mini-staycation of our own over the 4th of July. For us, it gave us the excuse to buy annual passes to Stone Mountain Park, which is only about ten minutes from our house. Since we've bought the passes a little over a week ago, we've already been three times - and are excited about trying some of the other things there. Sharon is especially excited about the unlimited use of the mini-golf course, and I'm looking forward to taking Caleb out on the pedal boats.

One of the things that Stone Mountain Park is most famous for is their laser-show, which we watched our first evening there. We were also pleasantly surprised to learn that Caleb doesn't have the aversion to fireworks that we feared he would have. The 4th of July fireworks show at Stone Mountain was pretty spectacular, and we really appreciated the fact that Caleb seemed to enjoy it as well. Although we had so many fun experiences that we could have photographed at Stone Mountain, Sharon and I have been pretty negligent in taking Caleb pictures. However - we did take a picture of Caleb during his first visit to CiCi's pizza - and his dad was really proud that he was able to get his money's worth at the all-you-can-eat buffet (which was pretty easy since he was free). Hopefully, there will be more pictures next time, as it is has been exciting to see him grow and learn new things every day.

Caleb cleaning his plate at CiCi's Pizza

Though this video doesn't quite show it - Caleb actually is pretty fascinated by our cuckoo clock