Dear Holly: You Decided to Put on Makeup Like a Big Girl… With a Marker at School!

3 years, 1 month.

Dear Holly,

You came home from school last week with your own makeup on. Apparently you took it upon yourself to use a blue marker at apply some eye shadow.

Even though it was a washable Crayola marker, it didn’t immediately wash off in the bath that night.

So that meant you got to enjoy your makeup for a few additional days before it finally disappeared.

Honestly, it really didn’t look that bad! I felt the color choice really complimented your hair and skin tone.

I’d much rather you pretend to put on makeup then to pretend to cut your hair.

 

Love,

Daddy

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Dear Jack: Your Week at Nashville Zoo Camp

8 and a half years.

Dear Jack,

You are one lucky kid. Last week, you got to spend 5 days of summer camp at the Nashville Zoo!

It was especially cool since you got to spend that time alongside your friend Duncan, who you have known since before you were born:

We were in birthing class with his parents back in 2010 when then two of you were still in the womb!

Needless to say, you had such a great time that we’ve already decided to send you back again next year.

Not to mention, your sister is already saying she wants to go in a few years once she is old enough!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: You and Our Jeep Wrangler are the Same Year Model of 2010

8 and a half years.

Dear Jack,

This makes the first time that our family has ever owned a vehicle that was made the same year that anyone in our family was born. Even growing up, when I was a kid, this had never been the case.

But sure enough, our new Jeep Wrangler just happened to be made in America the same year as you were born, in 2010.

That means that whatever age you turn each year, the Jeep will turn a year older along with you.

So now I have a 2010 son and a 2010 Jeep. I think that’s pretty cool!

Love,

Daddy

A Man Driving a Manual Jeep Wrangler is the Same Thing as He-Man Riding Battle Cat

Nearly a month into driving my 6 speed Jeep Wrangler JK Sport, I have come to the obvious revelation:

When I am driving my Jeep, it is virtually just like He-Man riding Battle Cat.

I realize there are much more practical vehicles I could be driving; like any Asian-made commuter car.

But for me, I would much rather drive my made in the USA 2010 Jeep Wrangler. Even if it’s not so practical to be driving a manual transmission in Nashville traffic. Even if I could definitely be getting better gas mileage driving a Prius. Even if it would be easier to fit two kids in the back seat of nearly anything else.

There is some scarcity these days regarding what percentage of the American population knows how to drive a manual transmission. There is even more scarcity for people who own a manual transmission Jeep Wrangler and drive it daily.

I feel like this is the equivalent of being able to remove the sword from the stone. Or being able to pick up Thor’s hammer.

It is a Jeep thing and I totally understand. It’s like having bragging rights about something so sacred in American culture, yet much of the population could not appreciate something so glorious yet so impractical.

When you drive a Jeep Wrangler, you not only drive a toy… you drive a beast.

This is a beast you must tame and teach to control; because after all, it is a wild animal.

You have to learn the beast and the beast must learn you. You must master the art of switching to the right gear at the right time, at any given second. You must know when it’s necessary to switch into 4 wheel drive. You must know which days are worth taking off the top- and which days are worth taking off the doors too!

Yes, this beast is able to drive across a river and through deep mud and up mountains.

I am He-Man and I ride Battle Cat.

Yeah, this is pretty much who I am now.

 

Dear Jack: Today was Your Last Day of 2nd Grade

8 and a half years years old.

Dear Jack,

Exactly a week after turning 8 and a half years old, today was your last day as a 2nd grader.

It’s also been one of those weeks where Mommy and I both noticed individually, and then announced to each other, that you seem bigger all of the sudden.

And I’m sure that is the case. With my birthday being in April, by the time I was 8 and a half years old, I was already a couple of months into my 3rd grade year.

You’ve got a fun summer ahead, including “Zoo Camp” for a week at the Nashville Zoo, as well as our upcoming family vacation in Lake Tahoe and Sacramento next month.

In a few more months, you’ll officially be a 3rd grader. But first, it’s time to have some fun summer adventures!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: I Will Remember These Sweet Days for You

3 years.

Dear Holly,

I’m not sure how much of your life as a 3 year-old that you will go on to remember the rest of your life, but I can tell you: These are the sweet days.

Everything you do is just so cute. So sweet.

Last weekend as our family was riding in our Jeep down a road where you saw cows out in the field, you announced, “It’s moo cows!”

Mommy and I looked at each other and said, “That’s sweet!”

A few seconds later, you looked out and saw a very small pond, then announced, “Water!”

Mommy I looked at each again, and with a little hesitation this time, laughed and still said, “That’s sweet!”.

That’s the moment we officially realized that these are the days when everything you do is just so sweet.

And since you’re not likely to remember most of what you’re experiencing now as a 3 year-old, with these pictures and stories I share each week, I am doing my best in real time to help you remember, years from now.

Love,

Daddy

The Hierarchy of Jeep Wranglers and Why I Refuse to Have a Stick Figure Family on My Back Window (and Have a Metallica Snake Instead)

As much it’s an important part of my identity not to be judgmental towards other people, I am willing to admit my weakness in this area:

I have tasted from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Real Jeeps Vs. Mom Minivan Jeeps. My eyes have seen the truth.

The truth is, while a Jeep Wrangler is still a Jeep Wrangler, there is definitely an understood hierarchy among those of us who drive real Jeep Wranglers.

A real Jeep is a 2 door with a manual transmission.

But if it has 4 doors with an automatic transmission, it is ultimately the coolest minivan for moms.

If the only way I could have obtained a Jeep Wrangler was to have gotten the 4 door with a automatic transmission, then I would have.

Fortunately… I own a 2010 Jeep Wrangler Sport 6 Speed. All black with black tinted windows. It’s the real deal.

When I think of the Mom Minivan Jeeps, I think of a stick figure family on the back window.

Not me. I don’t want to be cute.

Instead, I only have one sticker on the back window of my Jeep: The snake from Metallica’s Black Album.

(Buy Metallica’s Black Album here from Amazon.)

It’s send the right message. I drive the Metallica Black Album Jeep Wrangler.

To anyone who perceives that I cut them off in daily commuter traffic, they shouldn’t be surprised when they see my sticker.

To anyone who perceives that I am driving too slowly in front of them (because I am in the same line of traffic they are but I am trying to maintain my speed in 2nd gear without needless downshifting to 1st again because I creep up behind the care in front of me quicker than I had do), they shouldn’t be surprised when they see my sticker.

To any who perceives that I am going too fast or too rough, they shouldn’t be surprised when they see my sticker.

One of the ongoing themes of Metallica’s music is embracing that fact that as human being are not the “good” people we naturally assume we are; especially as we compare ourselves to others who we perceive has worse morals.

Songs like “Sad But True”, “Devil’s Dance”, “Am I Savage?” and “Master of Puppets” carry a theme of recognizing the we as individuals continue to give control over our emotions and decisions to other people and/or vices; as opposed to making the conscious decision to take control ourselves.

The Metallica Black Album Jeep Wrangler is amoral. The Metallica Black Album Jeep Wrangler is chaotic neutral. The Metallica Black Album Jeep Wrangler has no emotions.

So yeah, a stick figure family wouldn’t be a good representation of the identity of the driver of my Jeep; even if, somewhat ironically, there truly is a fun-loving American family of 4 riding inside.