Dear Holly: It’s Fun to “Do Nothing” at the House!

6 years, 4 months.

Dear Holly,

I love relaxing weekends where we don’t have to go anywhere; when we can just hang out as a family at the house and do whatever we feel like doing.

No errands. No shopping. No house cleaning.

Last weekend was a weekend like that.

I was so happy to see you and Mommy take some time to paint at the kitchen table, as I read through my current Enneagram book.

As as family, we are collectively artistic. And it can be easy to forget that when “real life” gets in the way of… real life.



Dear Jack: You Sleep in a Human Hamster Nest Now?

11 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

A few weeks ago, Mommy rearranged the furniture in our bonus room. We also got a new TV for that room; one that is new enough to have Disney+ on it.

That turned into “Movie Night” on Saturdays; which ultimately meant you and your sister sleep in the bonus room after you either watch a movie, or a few episodes of a Disney show.

However, it become this instead: You play computer games while your sister watches Disney.

To make things more comfortable for yourself, you built what I can only describe as a “hamster nest”.

I took a picture of both your nest and our pet hamster’s.

Yeah, pretty much the same thing.



“Fort Payne, Alabama” – Song 3 – Enneagram 6 Songwriter – Analyzing Lyrics – Themes of Belonging and Security

My 3rd song is a clearly a prime example of me, unknowingly at the time, showing my true Enneagram 6 identity: focused on belonging and security.

Released on October 29th, 2019, it had been nearly a decade since one the most monumental events of my life: My wife and I had moved back to my hometown on Fort Payne, Alabama; with our newborn son, without jobs, hoping and praying that our leap of faith and our new life would work out.

It didn’t. We last 9 months before we had to move back to Nashville, in humility.

This song was me accepting, in hindsight, that though I had moved back to my hometown because I saw it as a place of stability and security, it ended up being the opposite for me.

The irony, all these years later, is that my wife and I can easily work for home; wherever “home” happens to be. We could move back to my hometown again now and it would probably be fine.

However, because of living through that in 2010 and 2011, I now feel more stability and security where I live now in Tennessee.

Here are the lyrics:

“I was born and raised in Fort Payne, Alabama – Baptized and saved in Fort Payne, Alabama – I tried to move back years ago but it wasn’t quite the same – Time had moved too fast or slow and I couldn’t keep the pace – I moved out, I moved on, I found a new place to call home – But those Alabama back roads still show me where to go – I married a girl from northern California – Where they make the wine and they grow those big Sequoyahs – We planted our roots in Tennessee and we started a family – If you said this was my fate or fortune I think I would agree – I grew up in the southern Appalachians – Between Desoto Falls and Little River Canyon – If you called me Mother Nature’s son, I’d take it as a compliment – I’d trade a Lexus for an RV, a mansion for a tent – I spent the first 35 years of my life trying to know who I should be – All these puzzles pieces here, it’s more than I need – There’s a difference between who I used to be – Versus who I am now when I’m back in this town – Is this still the same place? Maybe I’m the one who’s changed”

So looking back on this song I wrote nearly 4 years ago, can you see the Enneagram 6? Can you see my longing for security and confirmation of my own existence?

Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

And now you can listen to the song, below, if you wish:


Dear Holly: Your 1st Week of 1st Grade

6 years, 3 months.

Dear Holly,

It’s official: You love first grade!

One of your best friends from your Kindergarten class just happens to be in your class this year too.

And despite not having your brother there with you at the same school, you are very confident in what you are doing.

A specific major change I see this year is that you don’t have your brother to boss you to the bus in time. So I have to pay attention to the clock now, to be sure you don’t miss the bus.

You are learning to become a little more independent and I am very proud of you!




Dear Jack: You Earned Money from Pet Sitting, Then Bought New Nike Shoes!

11 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

Last week, I drove you early each morning and later each afternoon to take care of your pet sitting duties in the next neighborhood over.

Your responsibilities included letting two dogs in and out of the house and checking on the two cats; as well as feeding them, along with the dozen or so fish in the aquarium.

Just like last time, you took your job extremely seriously. And you were paid well for your hard work!

Fortunately, your job payment was just in time for you to buy your new 6th grade shoes.

You are now the age where shoes are apparently a big deal- and very expensive.

But you didn’t complain at all, in learning that Mommy and I would pay for most of the expense of your new Nike shoes, but that you would have to take care of the rest.

You have asked me a couple of times now since, “Daddy, how can I get more pet sitting jobs?”