Thursday, January 26, 2006

Happy Blog Anniversary!

Yesterday my friend Craig Fisher celebrated his one year anniversary of blogging. To commemorate this milestone, he posted his very first blog entry. Well I started blogging the day after Fish, so I thought I'd follow his lead. Here is what I wrote one year ago today as I entered the blog world:

Why I Write

When I was in college, I took an English class in which we studied a book called Eight Modern Essayists. I loved the class and remember reading an essay by Joan Didion called "Why I Write." She encouraged the reader to say those words out loud, why...I...write. When you say them aloud the sound you hear is I...I...I. Why I Write. I, I, I. How conceded of us to think that anyone else would have any interest whatsoever in what we have to say. And yet here I am, marching into the land of the blog.

I will not blog daily as I have not the fortitude for it, but I hope those of you who see this will at least have to wonder about me, possibly re-evaluate me and at best get to know me pretty well. I like to laugh, I cry at Hallmark commercials, I love musical theatre AND sports, I have been married to the same woman for nearly nine years, we have a 3 year old daughter, and try as they might, my parents did not ruin my life. In fact, I have a fairly healthy relationship with them to this day.

That may not make me sound unique, but read it again in the context of our current culture and I think you'll find out that I am freakish.

Happy blogging! I look forward to future weirdness and truth.

It's been quite a year. Steph and I are headed toward out tenth anniversary, Rainey is four and she has a little sister (Emily Rose) now. I still enjoy blogging and I look forward to your comments whenever you feel inspired to leave one.

I've come to know some of you I might never have known if not for this silly blog thing. I've managed to reconnect with old friends and keep track of others who have wandered out of my daily life. Best of all, I've leaned on you when the road became difficult and I've felt your concern and prayers when I needed them the most. Thank you for all of that.

Here's to another year of weirdness and truth!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

History Channel

I love the History Channel! In the last week I have watched three wonderful documentaries on Abe Lincoln, Ben Franklin and John Adams. I knew quite a bit about Lincoln already, but his story still fascinates me. I knew very little about Adams and found his struggles both interesting and quite sad. But it was Franklin who grabbed my attention last week.

If you split his life into three parts, any one of them would be worth documenting and admiring. The first third of his life was spent becoming a very successful business man. He started with nothing and by the age of 42 had more money than he could ever spend.

So he retired and started the second third of his life. No big deal, he just invented the best way to heat homes (the Franklin stove), helped people see better (bifocals), and saved countless lives and whole towns by taming lightening (the lightening rod). Those are just a few of his inventions and he did not patent any of them. He said he just wanted to help make life better for others and he didn't need more money! Sounds down right un-American doesn't it?

After that, he thought he'd finish his life by working with George Washington to win the revolutionary war and set the tone for a new country. Just something to do in his old age.

Two particular things struck me while learning more about Franklin. The first is that his story along with many others reminded me that the USA no longer sends its best and brightest into public service. We send our richest and slickest. That made me sad.

The second thing that struck me was more encouraging. Franklin professed a belief in God, but did not claim allegiance to any one denomination. He did believe that churches were wonderful organizations because they helped people so, he contributed to every church building fund in Philadelphia. About 35 in all. It was customary at a funeral procession for the pastor of the deceased to lead the casket. Franklin's casket was led by 35 men of God from 35 different churches.

As much as we can learn from this wise businessman, this creative inventor and this respected elder statesman, it's his funeral procession that I can't get out of my head.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Just Because

1) The Bailey Girls of Hurst, Texas. 2) checking out Aunt Susan. 3) Papas Girls. 4) Aunt Lee Ann the nurse making sure all the parts are in the right place. 5) Owen Fisher preparing Emily to be a little sister. 6) Uncle JJ waiting to throw her to the puppies. 7) Rose and Emily Rose. 8) Cousin Reagan the experienced baby holder. 9) Big Sister givin' some love.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


As most of you know already, Emily Rose Bailey was born (or borned according to her sister) yesterday at 11:01 AM. 8 lbs. 6 oz., 20.5 inches long. As you can see, she is absolutely beautiful! There was no internet connection at the hospital or trust me, I would have blogged much sooner.

We are home now just a little over 24 hrs. since her birth. That is a testament to how strong my wife is, how low the baby was, how well the drugs worked and how much Stephanie HATES being in the hospital. Em and Big Sister Rainey are getting acquainted as are Emily and Ike the Super Weenie Dog.

We are so incredibly blessed to have healthy kids and friends and family who love us and have prayed us through the last couple of years. Thank you so much and thanks be to God the Father who loves us no matter what and who will not give us up!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

One Day More

A quick note to our unborn child:

Uncle! We Give! You win!

This baby refuses to come out, so we are planning to give a little help in the morning. We are scheduled to go in at 6:00 to induce.

The good news is we can plan for it and not be caught off guard.

The bad news is we really wanted to have it all happen naturally and we are already giving in to this kid!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Come On Already

I had a meeting this morning at 7:00 (no disrespect intended MLK), after which I called home to check on Steph. She was out of breath when she answered the phone. "Oh boy!" I thought. "Here we go!"

"Are you okay?" I asked.

"Yeah, I was just doing my aerobics workout." she replied.

One day past her due date and she's doing aerobics.

I met her at 11:00 for a sonogram. Baby looks good. Big feet, strong heart, probably around eight pounds. So what's the hold up? Hopefully we'll find out tomorrow at 10:00 when we see the doctor.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Due Date

Well, today is the due date! What do doctors know? Steph is busy making a rocket ship for Rainey out of the box the new crib came in. She's been sewing, baking and helping drain the water heater (we had to buy a new one today). We'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Prayers for Saint Nicholas

We walked a fine line at our house over Christmas. At all of four years old, Rainey is pretty sure Papa Noel is nothing more than a wonderful work of fiction made up to coerce naughty children to be nice, to create holiday jobs at malls for pudgy men and to boost the countries economy. At three, she had her doubts. At four, she all but told us she didn't believe. However, she is smart enough to know that a proclamation of disbelief could result in a decrease in gifts, so she wisely played along this year.

Now that the season is over, she seems to be on a quest to obtain a confession on the matter from her parents. Again, she is too smart to ask us straight out, but she is hinting around for some clues.

Earlier this week during bedtime prayers she prayed for Old Man Christmas:

God, be with Santa Claus (looking up at her Mother and speaking emphatically) Who we've NEVER seen!

Steph didn't say a word and managed not to laugh.

I don't know why Rainey is doubting. I keep asking her, "If you don't believe in Santa, what's next? Saying there are no fairies or unicorns? I don't know about you, but that's not a world I want to live in."

I think she's beginning to see the logic there.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Countdown Continues, Part Deux

How about that use of High School French in the title, huh? Madame Treat would be so proud! Steph has not progressed much. Sunday is the official due date. We go back on Monday if nothing happens before then.

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Countdown Continues

For those of you checking in on a regular basis for baby updates, this just in: No news is...well, no news. We go back to the doctor tomorrow, I'll let you know what he says. Thanks for your prayers. Keep it up!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Off to See the Wizard

I begin this new year making the normal resolutions that I probably will not keep and asking the same kinds of questions most people ask after evaluating another year gone by. I plan to exercise more, eat better, lose a few pounds, save more money, follow my life long dream to become an Olympic speed walker or synchronized swimmer, yada, yada, yada.

I'm wondering about my place in this world. Am I in the right job? Should we move to the country? What lies ahead for my children this year? How will we ever afford to send kids to college or retire? You know the drill.

I'm also very curious and reflective about how I see myself as opposed to how others see me. My wife tells me I have everyone snowed and she should know, after all I conned her into marrying me. But don't we all feel like we are faking our way through sometimes? Pretending we know what we're doing and then secretly breathing a huge sigh of relief when things work out? Was Billy Shakespeare wrong about the world being a stage and all of us merely acting our way through life?

And so I'm left to wonder, pray and look for the answers where I've always escaped to search out the truths of life: Musical Theatre (Ha! You thought I was going to say the Bible didn't you? Well, that's a good place to look too). If the world is a stage, then just maybe the stage has some answers for the world. If not, at least it's entertaining.

I've been listening to the musical Wicked a lot lately. Great show, cleverly written and well sung. It's the story of Oz and the relationship between Glenda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West before they became the people we all know from the Wonderful Wizard movie and play. One number that really struck me was when the Wizard was explaining how he came to be so Wonderful. After all, as we know now, he was only playing a role. He explains to the Wicked Witch (in an attempt to persuade her to reform) that he just wanted to treat the citizens of Oz as a family and make their lives as good as he could. And she could change and be anyone she wanted to be too. "So you lied to them" the witch replies. And here is what the Wonderful Wizard says:

Where I'm from we believe all sorts of things that aren't true. We call it - "history."
A man's called a traitor - or liberator
A rich man's a thief - or philanthropist
Is one a crusader - or ruthless invader?
It's all in which label is able to persist
There are precious few at ease with moral ambiguities
So we act as though they don't exist

So, I know that I am a complicated mass of contradictions and so are you. But I also know that if I can convince you to see me a certain way, you will be satisfied with that and will not want to examine me further because that would lead to all sorts of messes. I do the same with you and we go on fooling each other and willingly being fooled.

It's just easier that way, right? Yet, unlike the Wizard, not everyone sees me the same way. This is where it really gets confusing. I'm different things to different people and in the process of keeping up with all of my roles I risk losing my true identity. Does this make any sense to anyone else?

I know, I know, my true identity is in Christ so I can give up acting and just live for Him. Easier said than done. What do I do in those moments on my faith journey when I'm not sure if He is anything more than a man behind a curtain; simply a Wonderful Wizard that I believe in because at least its something to believe in?

Just thought I'd start 2006 off with some light hearted questions and thoughts. I'm off to follow the yellow brick road. If I have the courage and the heart, maybe He will reveal wonderful things to me this year (this is where you fill in your own joke about me not having a brain).