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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Big Thanksgiving post...

Every so often Kim and I take off for the palatial resort village of Ocala Florida....I'm kidding of course, the place is a sort of a dive but its middle ground for the Miami portion and the GA portion of the Goller family so we make it work. What's interesting about Ocala is that it is about 12 miles north of the largest "active adult" community (probably in the world) called The Villages. It's like old folk-a-palooza down there and retirees head down there in droves to do whatever it is that retirees that live in The Villages do.....that is your random tidbit of knowledge for the day.

Reese had a good time despite the fact that she was fighting a runny nose and a cough that has since become the croup. Sounds like a Dr. visit is in order on Monday. We had a big Thanksgiving day feast and had a great time chilling with the family. Pics by the tons below.
 Kim, Kerri, and Dittles

 Lance dipping his worm in the water....

Lance above prepping to stuff his face and Reese below trying to wrestle a ball to the ground.

Kristy poses for my pic, Celeste appears to be trying to move out of the view finder and Kimmy just didn't know I was shooting her rear.

 Reese corrals all of the balls but can't decide what to do with them.

 Kimmy and Nana

Little Jaxon grabs a ball from Reese - she shares her displeasure.

Jaxon looking happy but in reality he was stressing over something.

Celeste and Kristy keep doing their thing and Lance poses in the old man chair - this thing raises you up so you become incapable of getting up on your own.....Right Grandmother?

The most comfortable sectional in the world...and a gathering place for the fam. Reese appears to have lost something.
 Norma and Nana
So that's all of the Thanksgiving pics. Once we got back on Saturday, Kim and I started putting our stuff up and finished Christmas decorating. We lit the tree, hung ornaments and tidy'd up a little bit. Shortly before we left for beautiful Ocala, we ordered an Elf on the Shelf book and doll. You are supposed to name your Elf and then have fun with the idea that the Elf watches for Santa and makes sure you are good. Each night he leaves for the North Pole but comes back and watches from another perch in the house. The game is to find the Elf each morning and then sort of encourage better behavior - as Reese gets a little older maybe that will have an effect but quite honestly right now she doesn't seem to need the encouragement. She's awesome on her own.

Kim was reading the book to Reese this morning and I just had to take a few pics. This is priceless to a new Daddy.

Reese was loves the book and creatively, we named the Elf....Elfie. Yeah....creative stuff huh?! Reese was enjoying the "Tristmas tree" this morning by looking at all of the cool stuff on the tree. She is doing so good with all of the ornaments and is very gentle with them...of course we have to remind her.

Then she wanted to chill in the floor with Dadda.
Then out of no where, she wanted to try our Chocolate Grahams. This is HIGHLY unusual since she doesn't like to try new foods.

She stuffs her mouth full and reaches for another

Then Mommy has to do a mouth check to make sure she actually swallowed the cracker....she is bad about stuffing her mouth full of chow while still having stuff in there.

Finally, I want to request prayers for Kim's uncle John. John has had many ailments over the years that typically surrounded a back injury that just never got better. He became incredibly sick over the holiday and last we heard had been labeled with MRSA (pronounced Mersa) This is an incredibly hard to cure Staph infection and the infection appears to be internal versus on his skin which is more typical. Treatment of the infection includes the who's who of the very best antibiotics available to doctors. This is a serious problem and John will need many many prayers to make it through this. Just keep him in your thoughts for a while as well as his family - particularly his oldest kids, Ryan and Nicole. They have been saddled with making the toughest decisions about his well being and at their relatively young age, I just hope they can make informed decisions. We're praying for you guys....Love Adam, Kim, and Reese.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Have you ever really sat down and made a list of things you’re thankful for? As I started writing this post, I began to just do a mental checklist of “things” that I am thankful for…that turned into experiences that I am thankful for, people that I am thankful for, and then the simple stuff. The basics. Eyesight, smell, taste, I can walk and run. I can lift things or do things with my hands. The point is that if you started writing everything down….it would floor you what you take for granted.

We’re all guilty of it…taking things for granted that is.

We’ll see another situation in life and we quietly (if not reluctantly) thank goodness for grace that has steered us away from such an experience. That sort of “if not for the grace of God, go I” kind of thing. But sometimes you find yourself right in the middle of one of those circumstances when a seemingly dull life turns upside down for whatever reason. A collapse in judgment, a series of events that led you down a wrong path, a pure accident, a choice gone right….or terribly wrong. Sometimes you end up right where you are supposed to be and just in the nick of time. All things seemingly orchestrated by our personal decisions and God’s influence on our lives. Sometimes we're shaped by wonderful things and then other times we are shaped by fire and pressure.

I’ve been in some of those places this year. The perfection of Reese and the love that Kim and I have for her from the second we saw her…but then the sheer disgrace of bad decisions and poor judgment executed in tandem…The excitement of experiencing new places with Kim and Reese and the creation of new memories for our family…and then the stomach churning challenge that hits you from nowhere and when you least expect it.

These situations prompt responses and reactions from each of us but how should one react to these challenges? I mean sometimes a simple Thank you is in order and then in other situations, an acknowledgment of the situation and a heart felt "I'm sorry" is required. All too often our responses become very much canned and void of emotion. A thankful heart becomes calloused and somewhat expectant and then in other cases our words fall short of what is needed for closure or support. Think of it this way...Do you thank God every day that you wake up and something terrible DIDN’T happen and you can still see clearly or walk to the car? Do you thank God for that traffic light that held you up, causing you to be late to work, but ended up preventing you from having a head on collision? Do you thank goodness for something jarring you into clarity or do you just skip past it and not glean anything from the experience? What about the bad situation where someone forgives you and “I’m sorry” is all that you can muster. Sometimes “I’m sorry” needs to be lived…versus said. I learn lessons the hard way – I’ve moved on to the walking the walk segment of “I’m sorry” because I’ve said it before but now “sorry” needs to be seen.

My point in all of this is that many times we’re truly grateful for a set of circumstances or truly humbled by them as well and we not only need to say it…but live it as well. Sometimes we’ll simply mutter a Thank you or stammer around with an insincere apology or acknowledgment, but my desire moving forward is to say things with my actions.

This Thanksgiving I’m taking time to really reflect. We’ve had so many highs with Reese but we’ve also had some pretty good lows this year as well. I have a terrific little family that I am thankful for and I intend to focus on their joy this holiday season. I have a wife that has seen the very best of me and the very worst….and she still finds a way to love me. She has given me a wonderful little girl and she has given so much of herself in order to keep our relationship intact. We have a wonderful home (it is getting cramped with the little lady’s stuff everywhere) with great neighbors in a safe neighborhood. We have wonderful friends and a tremendous family to lean on. We’re still employed….although ready to pull our hair out. We have a pantry full of food and I’m warm and dry when I sleep. Nothing in my life is perfect. It’s far from perfect and I think striving for perfection is time wasted. I want to strive for just right because I can obtain that goal.

I mess up a bunch. From simple stuff to substantial stuff. I have a knack for mistakes and I’m proficient at their execution. God paired me with a woman that is better than I deserve even though she has every right to hate me and my ways sometimes. I wouldn’t blame her if she wanted to strangle me or worse. She has loved me, helped me, pushed me, and challenged me. She is a true example of unconditional love and this year, more than ever, I am thankful for that. I just want to be a good partner and a good father that shows his heart in his actions.

I love my little family…I have a good life and I’m thankful for it. Most of all, I’m thankful for forgiveness and I want to show that in the way I live my life from here out.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Holidays begin...

I've bought some Christmas presents....we have put up decorations in the house (in complete disrespect of Thanksgiving but we're going to FL for a day or so over the holiday and didn't think we'd feel like putting up a tree next weekend) I'm in the office typing this post while The Family Stone is on in the living room....a great holiday movie. We sat and watched both Charlie Brown specials that have aired. And tonight, we ate at the Hall Family Thanksgiving dinner....I type that in all first letter caps like it's an event but we just get together for a little chow and fellowship. Add all of this up and it signifies the beginning of the holiday season for our family.

I enjoy this time of year but I fully realize that some dread it. Some find reasons to make the holidays grim and negative but I'm not wired that way. I love the gatherings. I love the decorations. I love the smell of cold air - I'm pretty certain that it's not the cold air but the wood burning at neighboring houses that causes this "smell" of the holidays. I love the build up to Christmas and simply hate the let down of taking down the decorations and going back to normal. I push the boundaries of the Christmas rules tend to leave the tree up well into the month of January. I figure it's ok to do so afterward since there are folks already lit up tonight in our neighborhood. But no matter the timing....there is magic in the air and especially living through Reese's eyes - that magic is real.

I've been working on a Thanksgiving post for this next week to sort of set the season into motion and I hope that I can reach out to members of my family, my friends, and the complete strangers that read our blog. This is time to reflect and remember. It's also time to appreciate and to love. This little Hall dinner is becoming the starting bell for my favorite time of year and I'm so glad it's here. It came just in the nick of time this year.

This was one of the better shots of the night....I took alot of blurry pics because little Reese is moving like a streak of lightening now.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Random pic

Reese enjoying her favorite morning drink.....Nulk. (translated from Reesie-speak to Milk)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Another first!

I'm sure that all parents sit down and think about all the things they do for their offspring and at some point realize that every other parent in the world is sort of doing the same thing. So like tonight...we had a first for Reese and we reacted like she had won the Noble Prize.It was a simple first and it's feeling like more fluke than anything now, but its success and we'll take it.

Reese peed in the potty for the first time. It never happens the way you think it will....we weren't standing over her encouraging her to "go pee pee" and we weren't showing her how Mommy and Daddy are big kids and go pee pee too. Nope...the bath water was running, I was trying to get some stuff wrangled up for the bath, Kim was getting the normal spread ready and next thing you know...Reese had peed. She announced pee pee in the potty well before arriving to the scene but we didn't take her seriously. Yeah...whatever little bit. She's been sitting but not doing anything so we weren't real enthusiastic that a change was coming. Maybe that's the secret...not sure yet. We're not reading the pyscho babble pee pee instruction books yet so we're just as much a rookie as she is to the process.

Now....the potty episode was not followed with a "Hey...I gotta go again" before bed time but we'll take what we can get. I mean we pretty well through a party for the first one so maybe Reese was a little put out over the hub-bub and decided to just go the tried and true route for the last urination of the day. Either way....she went so we're very happy and hope to build on this as much as possible. YEAH REESE!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What is it?

This is a test. Do you see what I see?

First, I'll share that this is my neighborhood and the pic is not the greatest in the world but I was lucky to have gotten the shot off.

Second, I'll also give some back story about that day and the years of stupidity that preceded this pic. This was Saturday morning around 10-ish in the morning and I was sitting in my house, nice and warm wearing a long sleeve Tshirt and some gym shorts. I was surfing the web, playing some music for Reese and then I saw something....

Lance and I used to freeze our arses off to go hunting in the fall. Sure, the peace and solitude is nice and every now and again you get to see something and maybe even pull the trigger. That was in the country....I froze mornings and afternoons and the biggest buck I ever killed was a seven pointer.

Check this mess out....
This six point buck ran across my yard in FREAKING WOODSTOCK and I didn't even have to walk into the woods, freeze, I could poop in peace on my own toilet, and I still saw a six point buck from the warmth of my office. I prefer hunting in the suburbs much better than in Fairmount.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010

This was Reese's first "real" Halloween and I'm hesitant to even say that this was real. It was  more of a trial run for next year. Our little 19 month old has no idea what candy is or what the whole process is about but more than anything...she just enjoyed being cute. She was such a great sport about walking to all of the houses and everyone was so in love with her outfit - an awesome hand-me-down from Reese's little friend Addison. I think the girl's wore the flower outfit well.

The night started off pretty well but she didn't care for the neighbor's servant that stood outside....

She was slightly freaked out by him. As awful as it may seem, we got her out of there pretty quickly and got her calmed down over at Krissy and Steve's....but she was a little gun shy of Andrew's outfit - The Scream ghost face that squirted blood...wonder why - so I don't know that she thought Krissy's house was a safe haven. She was pretty cool throughout the process though. She never really said Trick or Treat like she was supposed to but the experience was more of the goal this time.

We had a good time with the neighborhood kids, Reese enjoyed running around and screaming like a wild indian.....and at the end of the night....she ran off into the night looking for the Gweat Punkin. Happy Halloween baby girl. You did awesome.