November 30, 2010

Follow The Rules


For the rest of my life, I promise to teach you [in some way, shape, or form] everything I know so that you can grow up to be a strong man of God and a leader for your future family. Starting from this point, I will document some "rules" that I have learned along the way in order to show you exactly what your old man is made of. Some of the rules will be serious, others will just be a little silly, and they'll come in no particular order despite the numbering system. However, I believe that you'll be able to apply all of them in some way sooner or later.

When you read these, take them to heart.

Your Dad

November 28, 2010

Week 36: Apple Cranberry Sauce

Family [Justin, Jessica, Mom, Jered, Charmagne, Uncle Rick, Auntie Marie, Jason, Eric, Anna + Charlie, Athena, & Sake]. 18-pound turkey. Ham. Mashed potatoes. Sweet potatoes. Green bean casserole. Broccoli and cheese casserole. Dressing. Apple cranberry sauce. Pumpkin pie. Apple pie. Football at the park. Post-Thanksgiving turkey noodle soup. Guitar playing. Card games.

We are thankful that Justin's mom's side of the family came down and shared Thanksgiving with us. As part of our usual tradition, we followed up our meal with a trip to the park for some touch football. Winded, significantly slower and less agile, we played furiously in an offensive showdown that ended with a good ol' fashioned tie game [Justin/Eric vs. Jered/Jason with Uncle Rick at free agent]. Does it get any better than that?

It does. Our Hokies beat down rival UVA (37-7) en route to our 10th straight victory. Virginia Tech has utterly dominated Virginia in football over the last decade.

On the home front, Ezra's car seat is now installed and inspected which only means that we're officially in the home stretch. We are now going to weekly doctor's appointments, and at any moment now, we'll be headed to the hospital. We can't wait.

November 22, 2010

Week 35: Give Thanks

Week 35 is capped with a foggy, fall morning picture in our back yard at 7:30am. On Saturday our Hokies beat rival, Miami, with a score of 31-17. If you haven't realized, this is our 9th straight win as we slowly made our way back into the good graces of the college football community.

Ezra will be here in no time, and we can't wait. We are thankful for our future son and Jessica's healthy pregnancy. We are also thankful for our committed marriage, our home, our jobs, our health, and our country.

This weekend we learned more about the origins of this holiday. During the early 1600s, there might not have seemed much to be thankful for, but those at Plymouth Plantation still gave thanks for what little they had. We learned that President Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday, and for the 147th time, we will observe Thanksgiving Day later this week.

Historically [and currently in this household], Thanksgiving was/is celebrated as a day of gratitude to God for family, friends, and everything He has provided. Let this be a reminder that we need to be thankful on a daily basis.

1 I love the LORD, because He has heard
my voice and my supplications.
2 Because He has inclined His ear to me,
therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.

6 The Lord preserves the simple;
I was brought low, and He saved me.
17 I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and will call upon the name of the Lord.

Psalm 116: 1-2,6,17

No official pictures for this week except for an update on our upstairs loft / den. Be sure to check out the pictures from Justin's work trip to Toronto in the previous post.

November 17, 2010

O Canada! (Toronto, ON)

Bienvenue a Canada. Well, not Quebec but Toronto, Ontario, home of the CN Tower and the beloved Maple Leafs, Raptors, and Blue Jays. The weather held up on Tuesday so I was able to get a few shots of downtown.

Two notable restaurants from the trip:
1) 360: CN Tower
2) Canoe

Onto some pictures. But first, a tribute to Pearson International Airport (IATA code, YYZ) featuring who else but Rush (Toronto locals):


[view from my room]

[32nd floor lounge for those with "status"]

CN Tower / La Tour CN

November 14, 2010

Week 34: Fall Season

It took a little while, but North Carolina finally got fall season into gear. This area usually takes a few extra weeks catch up with the mountains in western part of the state to reach the peak of fall foliage. This week the autumn colors were on full blast around the neighborhood so we're making sure to enjoy it while it lasts.

Our Hokies played an important game against UNC this weekend in Chapel Hill and came out on top with a 26-10 victory [our eighth win in a row]. Unfortunately, we weren't able to make it to the game despite it being in the next town over. We signed up for labor & delivery classes at WakeMed in Cary [AKA Western Wake / "Little" Wake], the hospital where Ezra will be born in a few short weeks. The classes were informative and eye opening to say the least.

Our friends, Jamie and Jennifer [sisters] hosted our church baby shower today at Good Hope, and we'd like to thank them very much for putting it together. We don't have any pictures from it, and in fact, not many pictures in general this week.

As promised, here are better pictures of the loft bookshelves. We put up what's left of our books after making a clean sweep of the house. The units are raised up above the base boards and are mounted permanently to the wall. In fact, the backs of the shelves are just white paint on the drywall; you can actually see that in last week's post. Between the bookshelves is a window seat that doubles as a storage chest [toy box], and Jessica will be making a cushion for it in the upcoming weeks. The lower bookshelves will eventually have baskets for more storage. Lastly, above the window is also a top piece that spans horizontally and ties the shelves together. Hopefully, the pictures give a better idea of their size and proportion to the room. Not long from now, we will get furniture and turn the space into a mini family room.

November 10, 2010

Our Subtitle

In case we ever end up changing blog titles in the distant future, let's keep the current one documented at least:

Singer Way
Justin & Jessica, then everything else.

No stroke of creativity here; the title is just our street name. We love our neighborhood, it has a nice ring to it, and it fits. If [when] we move to a new house one day, we'll just cross that bridge when we get to it. Choosing the right subtitle, however, proved to be a little more difficult and has more meaning.

The subtitle alludes to our shared principle that marriage is about a husband and wife first, then everything else next. [I should clarify that more so, we share the belief that having God at the center of our marriage comes well before the "everything else" part].

We have only been married a shade over two years. We don't claim to know a lot or everything about marriage. We don't even have kids running around yet, and we know that's a big curve ball. But we do know that the "secret" to our strong marriage so far starts with us being equally yoked as Christians and continues with the constant reminder that we are husband and wife first.

In one of the last episodes of Jon & Kate Plus Eight where their separation / divorce was looming, we heard both say the same thing in separate interviews: "I just want what's best for my kids."

[Yes, sadly, a quote from Jon & Kate Plus Eight, a show that Jessica used to enjoy watching. If there was to be Thursday night football on ESPN or Man vs. Wild with Bear Grylls, there was definitely some Brothers & Sisters, 18 Kids and Counting, or J&K+8 on at other times during the week.]

Back on point. That train wreck of a show started out as a husband and wife looking for a way to financially support their eight kids and ended up as a two people disagreeing about using their family to profit financially. As their marriage was on the verge of collapse, they simply echoed, "I just want what's best for my kids." We're about to be parents soon, and there's no doubt that we will want the very best for our kids but, there's no way we can utter those words within the context of our marriage.

We know that if we really what's best for our [future] kids, the best gift we can give them is a good marriage.

We need to make each other feel appreciated, encourage each other, and date each other.

[I just heard this today: date your wife or someone else will.]

November 8, 2010


In case you may have forgotten, our due date is December 26th. It's quite possibly the most common question both of us get. By far, the most common reply in response to our due date is, "Oh! A Christmas baby!" or "Oh that's right, a Christmas baby." While all we really care about is having a healthy Ezra, December 26th is not our first choice of due dates.

In a very short 7 weeks [maybe sooner], our little boy will be here. Nesting and remaining projects at home have a target completion date of Thanksgiving weekend. A trip to the fire station down the street to install the car seat is in order too. Maybe at that point everything will feel all too real.

At the moment, we're feeling an odd mix of anxiousness, happiness, worry, excitement, and a drizzling of panic. Something tells me those feelings won't really go away once he gets here.

So, why post a picture of a bag of flour and a pineapple? That's about how big Ezra is right now. At 33 weeks and 1 day, he is approximately 19-22 inches long [but currently curled up] and about 5 pounds. His only job for the next few weeks is to pack on the pudge. Coincidentally, we'll probably end up doing the same thing as the holidays get here.

November 7, 2010

Week 33: Family & Neighborhood Shower

November is birthday month. A milestone year for one but just another year on the way to the big 3-0 for the other. On the bright side, we're loving the fall season in North Carolina. It's jeans and long sleeves weather. Still warm enough for flip flops during the day but cool enough for VT sweatshirts in the morning and evening. It's pumpkin pie, deep fried turkeys, falling leaves, bundled nights, and the height of football season. And we're enjoying every second of it.

This weekend Jessica's family (mom, dad, brother, sister, future bro-in-law, & Keegan boy) came down from Blacksburg and Philly for some weekend projects and to take part in the baby shower held for us by our great friends and neighbors. We'd like to thank Sylvie and Heather for putting everything together [we love you guys].

Speaking of projects and birthdays, Jessica's parents gave us our early birthday present: built-in bookshelves in the upstairs loft. After spending all week designing, constructing, and prefabbing, Jessica's dad went hard at work this weekend by fitting and trimming them in. More [better] pictures will be taken once we've got everything all finished, but check out the quick, time-lapse video of the progress. We are so thankful, and they turned out perfectly. Eventually this loft will be our main hangout spot once Ezra arrives. Only a few short weeks to go. We say it all the time, but we'll say it again...we are blessed.

Bookshelf Project

Project Bookshelves from JY VPI on Vimeo.

Neighborhood Baby Shower