January 31, 2011

The Slow Lane

The year 2011 brings many changes for the Y Household. In all the commotion of the events of the past year, I have inadvertently strayed from a few of my key principles of daily living. Now is the perfect time to take a step back, get back to the basics, and slow life down.

Certainly, blog post frequency will take a hit. From this point forward, I am done the weekly schedule, and in theory, quantity will be replaced with quality. If you want to see more of us and Ezra, come down to sweet North Carolina and visit to catch up the old fashioned way. Spring is just around the corner, and the weather is beautiful here.

It's time to recharge and change the way I do things. While I'm not converting to minimalism [yet], there are many beneficial minimalist practices that I will definitely apply. Here are a few areas in my life that I will revisit.


I spend at least eight hours a day staring at a computer while at work, often more than an hour or two in the evening staring at a TV, and maybe up to an hour throughout the day in aggregate looking at my iPhone. Work is required, but the TV and iPhone are definitely not. When I take out time spent driving, sleeping, and eating, I haven't left myself much time for everything else.

[This graphic illustrates how Americans spend their time. It is really telling.]

I plan on dramatically reducing my distractions so I can focus more on family time, reading [sports blogs don't count], praying, thinking, and relaxing. See Leisure below.


I will be honest and say that 2010 was the worst financial year on record. While we made the most money in one year to date, the problem was what we did with all of it. We forgot who it really belongs to. [Hint: it's not us.] Never again. A complete overhaul is already in progress. Off the bookshelf: The Total Money Makover by Dave Ramsey.

With the previous lifestyle we built, it will certainly be very challenging. We are excited to see what God can do. We will do more with less. We will be smarter. And He will make it work.


Bringing Ezra into the world has brought Jessica and I closer to God than we have ever been, but it's not for the reasons you might think. If you want to know our story, just ask us. Today, our relationship with Christ is affirmed and renewed, and Jessica and I are even closer to each other as a result.


With all the freed up time, this year will bring loads of low or no cost entertainment. Once the weather gets better, you will find us spending most of our leisure time outside and at our local parks and trails. We will play more board games, cook and bake together, create our own entertainment, and work on simplifying our life.

January 23, 2011

Four Weeks Already

Time is flying. Our family bond is growing tighter. Ezra's hairline is receding with every bath.

In case you missed it, don't forget to check out the family portrait session in the previous post below.

January 21, 2011

Y-Family Photography Session

As mentioned last week, we had a photography session with local photographer, Heather Swanner, courtesy of our great friends, Michael and Kelly. The pictures turned out great, and Ezra is very photogenic, thankfully. Enjoy.

January 20, 2011

Humility and Earnest Industry

Rule 3: Be humble.
Rule 9: Hard work and a good attitude will take you a long way.

A two-for-one special, but they just go so well together. These rules apply perfectly to the workplace but should be extended to everything else in life. Unfortunately today, some link the character of humility with weakness. It is also true that there are many people who get to the top with arrogance, aggression, and even with an overall poor attitude. I can't even imagine how lonely of a world it is up there.

In reality, humility is powerful submission. It can build infinitely more than it will ever take down. It is the mark of a true gentleman, and it builds reputation the right way in the sight of those who matter most.

In everything I do (that has any real meaning or significance) I give 100% and find ways to be passionate about what I'm doing because my work and attitude is my testimony--a reflection of who I am and Whom I serve. Ultimately, humility and hard work are Biblical commands, and they're required. The volume of passages about humility is huge, but I'll end on a couple favorites.

And whosoever exalts himself will be humbled, 
and he who humbles himself will be exalted. -- Matthew 23:12

...Jesus called the Twelve and said, 
"If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, 
and the servant of all." -- Mark 9:35
But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, 
for My power is made perfect in weakness." 
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, 
so that Christ's power may rest on me. -- II Corinthians 12:9

January 16, 2011

Weeks 2 and 3 Catch Up

Happy Sunday, everyone. Bear with us while we try to make a few aesthetic adjustments to the blog--the posting section was widened to accommodate a slightly bigger post header picture, and all pictures are now rounded at the corners. The changes might be permanent. Or not.

It has been a crazy couple of weeks around here. Sleep schedules keep changing (growth spurt?), I'm fully back to work, and we had a couple of new "firsts" to report including:

  • Rolled over from stomach to back twice [at only 2 weeks old?]
  • Submerged bath, pictures below
  • First meal outside the house [Anna's in Downtown Apex]

Also, our great friends Michael and Kelly (Jessica's roommate from college), booked a photography session as a shower gift for us. The pictures turned out great and will be posted sometime next week. It really was a fantastic gift.

Week 2

First Tub Bath

Week 3

January 13, 2011

Flipped Upside Down

For the first time since we started this blog, we missed a weekly post. At this point with our adjusting to life with Ezra, you probably can't count on a timely or steady posting schedule. Sleep is pretty inconsistent for Jessica, I'm back at work, and we're still learning how to understand what Ezra is saying when he cries.

Parenthood is definitely not easy, but it has been rewarding. We love him like crazy and can't wait until he starts smiling, laughing, and can recognize us as Mama and Daddy.

Check out the fantastic pictures Jered put together:

 Here are other, not-as-good pictures. I'll try and catch up on taking more this weekend.

[First official picture with Grandma]

January 1, 2011

Happy First!

Happy New Year family and friends. We hope you have a blessed 2011. We are overwhelmed by the love and support everyone has given us over the past week.

We came home from the hospital on Monday, December 27th, and Jessica's family graciously has stayed with us to lend many pairs of hands. We are still working hard to figure out our daily (hourly) routine so times are definitely challenging right now to say the least. As new parents, we are still learning and practicing. Please continue to pray for us, particularly for Jessica's physical healing, Ezra's health, and all of our emotions. 

In the short time between feedings which happen every 2-3 hours (start to start), we have tried to document a few of our "firsts" over the last week of Ezra's birth.

First Car Ride Home

First Crib

First Christmas

First Pictures with Lola and Grandpa

Tummy Time (Dr.'s Orders) & First Pictures with Lolo

First Bath

First Time in the Canedy Cradle