Monday, June 16, 2008

The Forrest Spence Fund

Our good friends, Brittany and David Spence have created the Forrest Spence Fund in memory of their son Forrest, who passed away on November 4, 2007.

The first annual Forrest Spence 5K race is being held in Memphis on Saturday, September 6, four days before what would have been Forrest's first birthday. There is an opportunity for people who cannot make it to Memphis for the race to be a "GHOST RUNNER" in the race to show your support for the Forrest Spence Fund, which benefits the Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center in Memphis. I hope you will all consider joining Tyra, Noah, and I on being "GHOST RUNNERS" in the race.

Here is some more information on the Forrest Spence Fund, and please visit the website for more stories, photos, and information on the race.

Goals of the Forrest Spence Fund

The Fund supplies a convenience basket for families with babies in the PICU who are facing an extended stay. Comfort items in the baskets include the following:

A handmade blanket
A roll of quarters for vending machines
Hand sanitizer
A stuffed animal
Children's books
A journal
The book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Child"
Baby socks
Baby hat
A card to decorate for the baby's bed
Snacks and water

The Fund also provides for stocking the PICU wish list with items such as:

Crib mobiles
CD players
Crib mirrors
Sound machines
Night lights
Stuffed animals
Goodies and treats for the PICU staff

Last year, more than 1600 children and their families were cared for in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center. With each child, there came a story. It is these stories - stories of courage, love, fear, uncertainty, healing, joy and sadness - that explain the impact that Le Bonheur and its staff can have on a child, a family, even a community and a kingdom.

Eatin' From a Spoon

On Saturday, we let Noah try his first few bites of rice cereal. Not surprisingly, he LOVED it! He got the hang of eating from a spoon almost instantly, and didn't even make much of a mess and he slurped the cereal from the spoon. It was fun to watch!

A great weekend

Thanks to everyone for that "Happy Daddy's Day" wishes. We had a great weekend, and it was so much fun to celebrate my 1st Father's Day as a Dad. We just hung out at home and relaxed most of the weekend, and watched a lot of golf on TV! It was always great to remember my Dad so fondly on Father's Day, and I think all dads have a special and unique connection with their sons or duaghters. Different than Moms, but special and unique in its own way. I now know what it means to look at my son and see myself and Tyra in him, and laugh at his personality and little quirks and feel so proud that he's our son.

I was really touched this weekend with all of the outpouring or love, stories, respect, and sadness for the passing of Tim Russert. Friends and colleagues commented almost in unison of his strong work ethic, preparation, and passion he had for life, but that what he loved most in his life was his wife and son, Luke. You could just feel the genuine sadness of the loss, but yet, the stories they shared of his life were so happy and touching. How neat that he made such a mark on so many people's lives, simply by being a good, caring, diligent, fair, and loving person---traits that were instilled in him by his dad, Big Russ! If you haven't already, take time to read Big Russ and Me and Wisdom of our Fathers, two great books that really express how much impact fathers have on the lives of their sons and daughters. This impact is immediate, tangible, and real.

The connection that I had with my dad is something that I will try to emulate every day between Noah, me, and our future children. How blessed we all are to trust in a God who loves us more than we can ever fathom----and it's because of His love for us, that we are able to love others. He is the source of all things pure, lovely, and holy---and fatherhood stems from these good things. I hope one day Noah can say the same things about me that I can say proudly of my dad, that Luke Russert can say of his dad, Tim, and that countless other sons/daughters can say of their dads!

Several of my closest and best friends have become dads this past year, and it's been such a blessing to share stories with each of them how life changes instantly, for the better. So, here's a toast to us Dads...let there never be a day when our sons and duaghters don't know how much we love them, their Moms, or our Heavenly Father through our thoughts, words, and actions.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy 1st Father's Day Eric!

It has been such a blessing to watch Eric grow into fatherhood over the past four months. I always knew that he would be the most amazing dad to our children, but now I actually get to see him in action.

Noah adores his daddy. Noah’s face lights up whenever Eric starts making goofy faces, singing silly songs or showing off some interesting dance moves. Eric has shared in every aspect of this incredible journey—from pregnancy to birth and all the uncertainty, anxiety and excitement that bringing a child into this world entails.

This slideshow is just a glimpse of sweet moments Eric and Noah have shared over the past 18 weeks. I look forward to the future knowing that Noah has such a wonderful role model in his father. Happy 1st Father’s Day Eric!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy Father's Day from Noah!

Happy Father's Day Grand Don

Remembering my Granddad on Father's Day

Daddy learning how to be a good dad! With Uncle Drew, Uncle Brent and Granddad

Monday, June 9, 2008

4 Month Doctor Visit

This morning was Noah's 4 month doctor check-up. Everything went great and Noah really seems to enjoy the doctor visits. He laughed, babbled (a lot), and enjoyed looking at all the pictures on the wall. Of course, he wailed for a minute or two when he got his shots, but then calmed back down and was fine. We got the "go-ahead" to start introducing small amounts of rice cereal twice per day, so that hopefully by 6 months old, he'll have the whole eating from a spoon thing down pat.

The past few weeks have been a lot of fun to watch, as Noah is now constantly rolling over from tummy to back and back to tummy with ease. He seems to now prefer being on his tummy so he can lift up with his arms and look at us. Of course, we applaud him and he enjoys being the constant center of attention and grins ear to ear after doing one of his rolls. Twice this week he's been on his belly when we get him out of bed. It's funny to see him on his belly, because he'll try so hard to move forward. He'll lift his legs up in the air (almost like he's skydiving) and rock back and forth but can't go anywhere. He's good at turning around in circles though.

We've also been moving his bedtime up earlier and he's sleeping about 9 1/2 hours a night now, which is nice. We were a little worried how he'd take to the earlier bedtimes, but he's really done well and still wakes up at about the same time. He's actually starting to wake up LATER in the morning now that his bedtime is earlier, even sleeping 10 hours twice this week.

We're so thankful that God has blessed us with a happy, healthy, and growing baby. Every day with him is a tremendous blessing! Here are his 4 month stats. He is well on pace to get some playing time on the defensive line for the VOLS this season!

Weight - 18 lbs. exactly (95th percentile)
Length - 25 1/2 inches (72nd percentile)

Here are some pictures and video from today's doctor visit that I took with my phone:

Ready to see the doctor

Playing on the you can see, he ripped the paper sheet on the table to shreds!

Friday, June 6, 2008

4 Month Highlight Video

Noah turns 4 months old tomorrow. Here are some highlights from a busy month of May!