Dear Jack: The BB Gun Range at My 40th Birthday Party

10 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

This past weekend we hosted my 40th birthday party in Alabama at Nonna and Papa’s house. Amazingly, your friend Landon and his family drove there too; though they live in the neighborhood next to ours in Tennessee!

I know it was a lot of fun to be able to hang out with one of your best friends… in a different state, 3 hours away!

Papa and I set up a “BB Gun Range” for you and your friends to shoot aluminum cans at in the woods behind the house.

You guys thought it was hilarious when Landon shot a BB and it got stuck right there in the middle of an acorn.

And having an April birthday, I was so grateful it only rained that morning, and stopped an hour before the party began.

Otherwise, we couldn’t have opened the BB gun range!



Dear Jack: Teaching You to Beat Me at Monopoly

10 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

This holiday season, I have officially introduced you to the classic board game of Monopoly. Sure, we’ve always owned a set at our house, but it’s simply served as an easy way for you and your sister to keep each other entertained when Mommy and I need to get work done.

Prime example: When the Covid shutdown happened earlier this year.

But I decided to spend some of my own money on a nice Monopoly set for us to actually play together, by the rules.

It is no surprise to me that I’ve only beat you at Monopoly once so far.



Dear Jack: Decorating the Christmas Tree

10 years.

Dear Jack,

I think it was you who was most excited about putting up the Christmas tree this year. Granted, as Mommy pointed out, we have a ridiculously small tree for a family of four.

But still, it’s still big enough to (barely) fit all the ornaments we’ve collected together as a family.

You were so proud to be able to help me, as I had to climb up into the attic to bring down on the Christmas decorations.

Notably, our Christmas tree is mainly weighed down by all the ornaments you’ve made over the years.

Your sister has some catching up to do!



Dear Jack: A Dad’s Letter to His Son on His 10th Birthday

10 years old!

Dear Jack,

This year, I’ve become fully aware of this paradox: When you were young, part of me longed to see you as a grown boy; and now that you are a grown boy, part of me longs to relive those days with you as a young boy and toddler.

It has deeply, emotionally affected me this year.

With me being on a furlough for a couple of months due to Covid, I not only had more quality time at home with you than I normally would, but I also had more focused time to write new songs.

Through the nearly 2 week process of writing and eventually recording my song about you, “That Boy’s Been Growing Up on Me”, I broke down crying nearly every time I sang it.

In fact, the finished recording was one of the few exceptions where I didn’t break down crying.

As I myself am now only 5 months away from turning 40, I rarely lend myself to emotional responses. I  have evolved into a person who rarely utilizes access to my “emotional control box”. Largely, my quality of life has undeniably improved since practicing this habit over the past couple of years.

But the one exception is my family; especially in regards to us all getting older.

I couldn’t be prouder of the 10 year-old version of you. I got exactly what I wanted.

I’m nostalgic for the present, like it’s the past.

Happy 10th Birthday, Jack! To say “I love you” is a laughable understatement.



Dear Holly: Nostalgic for the Present

4 years, 5 months.

Dear Holly,

I feel like I have traveled back in time from the present, to better appreciate “the good ole days” right now with our family.

Especially being able to work from home since this past March, I have been blessed with much more quality time with you.

I appreciate our family’s life together so much now, in a way I never could before, that it’s like I am nostalgic for the present, before it even becomes the past.

Maybe I am seeing life in a new perspective now that I’ve only got 6 months left of my 30s.

I cherish my life with you. I’m not letting it slip by.