second marriage

Wish I Was: A Song for Me and Kelly

I’ve loved The Avett Brothers since the first moment I discovered them. They connected with me like few artists have in my life. I thought the pinnacle of that was February Seven from the album The Carpenter. It reminds me of the way I feel about my children, and watching them grow up. It reminds me of meeting Kelly. I never thought they’d have another song that would affect me so completely. I was wrong.

Wish I Was is a new song they’re playing on tour and I’m sure it will be one of the highlights of their next album. As I was singing it tonight and watching this video for the 100th time, Kelly remarked that in all the times she’d heard me sing it she didn’t know it was the Avett Brothers.

So, for Kelly and everyone else that hasn’t fallen in love with it yet, here it is.


But I want you to know that it may be the Avett Brothers who wrote and sing this song, but it’s FOR me and Kelly.

The whole thing pretty much feels like I wrote it, describing exactly conversations we've had before about the way I feel about my Beautiful. She thinks I'm silly, but it's cute when I get to the part about being her sweater. ;)

This is the part though that I end up repeating the most though. For all my failures, large and small, I just sing this now and she's reminded of my pretty words and that they're all for her now.

I’m not a song, I’m not a sweater.

I’m not a fire. I’m something better.

I’’m a man in love, writing you a letter.

Will you take it? Will you keep it?

Will you read it? Believe it?

I love you. I’m sorry.

Joel's 100 Films in 2015: You've Got Mail

50. You've Got Mail

Watched 12/28/15

"There's no one else. But there's the dream of someone else." - Kathleen Kelly

I had that dream once too. When my first marriage was over, and I was picking up the pieces of my life, that dream was a bright spot of hope. I never thought I'd marry again, and I had no prospects for a real relationship even, but I imagined someone more perfectly suited for me. Someone who made me smile again, who filled my heart with joy and made me want to write letters (or at least lengthy and poetry filled emails) to.

I didn't know her then, and I wouldn't have believed my current life then if you'd have shown it to me, but my Kelly was that dream.

Last night, as I lay in bed rewatching "You've Got Mail" and Kelly lay beside me dosing off, I told her so as that scene in the movie came up. I don't know if it came off to her quite as romantic as it felt in my head, but I think she got the point.

This movie is many things. Horribly dated because of the technology, fairly pedestrian in its plot twists and turns and more than a little sappy and sentimental. But it's also charming, and funny, and such a beautiful story of people finding each other in spite of themselves.

One of a series of "Rom-Com's" that to me always felt more like "Guy Movies" ("Something's Gotta Give" being another good example of this) and it has been, since it's release, one of my favorite movies. In the years since I saw it last, that hasn't changed one bit.

So, as I finally go to bed next to my Dream, heres a sincere wish that you all get your dream one day.

5 stars

The Mother of Daughters

Today is a day that people like to pronounce their thankfulness and name its source. I find that I've got countless things to be thankful for. Friends who keep me honest and always make me laugh. A job that pays me fairly and consistently, and allows me to use my talents and pursue my interests. A family that supports me unconditionally and loves me immensely. A healthy body and a sound mind.

But this year I've added to my bounty. First in April when I married my Honeybun. Then last week when she gave me two beautiful daughters. A few weeks early and unbelievably small, but healthy and strong and the most unexpected of blessings.

I didn't want any more kids. And I never imagined that I wanted any girls at all but now that they're here, I can't imagine a world without them. I'm so thankful for my new daughters and the completeness they bring to our family of 6.

But this little post really isn't about the girls. It's about their mother. The titular "Mother of Daughters". That's a play on HBO's Game of Thrones and the "mother of dragons" one because we both love the show, but more because I like one of her other nicknames, and it fits my Honeybun just as well, "my moon and stars".

Kelly is an amazing woman, my best friend, my confidant, companion and my Moon and Stars. She's my rockstar and if anyone had any doubt about her awesomeness, the ease with which she handled the pregnancy and delivery should put it to rest.

As I've already said, I've got so much to be thankful for, but Kelly tops the list. Thank you, Honeybun, for loving me, for leading me and for letting me be the father to our wonderful little family.

Happy Thanksgiving, all.

The VUTT, or Why I'm Not Afraid of the Dark

I haven't written much in a while, and for people who enjoy my blog, I'm sorry for that. Honestly, I've been enjoying my summer, trying to set up several projects for launch in the fall, and take a little extra time with family. Then the family goes and gives me something to write about.Yesterday, Honeybun and I had our first ultrasound. We found out we were expecting the Monday night before our wedding (as hilariously detailed in Episode 54 of Two Guys, One Podcast), and we've been ecstatic ever since, researching baby names, filling registries, remaking the house etc. But we'd both been on pins and needles to SEE the kid once and for all. Honeybun talks about "verification". It's not that she doesn't believe she's pregnant (she's showing all the obvious signs, including having felt the baby move in the past few weeks), but just that sometimes she feels crazy because the symptoms and the hormones and the well...if you've ever been pregnant or lived with someone who has, you understand.

So there we were, smiling and starving for a look. When we got more than we'd bargained for when we SAW not one, but two bambinos. Twins, though there are ZERO sets of twins on my side of the family for generations back on either side, and just one set on Honeybun's side of the family. Twins, though Honeybun was on birth control (again, as hilariously detailed in Episode 54!) and I'd said we needed to wait AT LEAST a year or two before adding even one more member to the family. Twins. Oh my.


So what does that kind of information do to you? For Honeybun and I it was astonishment, then elation (holy crap, we'll get to do two kids, but all at once and still retire on time, woohoo!), then a little panic (holy crap, we're going to have to feed four children for most of the next two decades or so!), then a lot of nervousness and fear. As any parent can tell you, the vast UNKNOWN terrible thing is the worst part of being a parent. It sits on your shoulder, weighing you down as you go about your job and the carpool and kickball in the back yard. The vast UNKNOWN terrible thing (or the VUTT as I like to call it) is what replaces the boogeyman and monsters in the closet for grownups. The VUTT is what you read about happening to other people's children in the paper, the million different syndromes, conditions, diagnoses and labels that you fear your unborn child might have that will somehow make his/her way in life just a little harder, when you already know it's plenty hard enough. The VUTT is the bus accident you heard about in the next town over or the school shooting you saw on the news. It's cancer, it's diabetes, it's depression, it's Down's Syndrome it's Parkinson's disease, it's congenital heart failure and male pattern baldness.

It is the terrible secret of our genes and the cruel twist of fate and there is nothing that can be done about it.

The VUTT descended on Honeybun last night, in a full double portion, as befits the news of Twins. She'd feared and dreamed and hoped for our child already, of course, but last night just before we climbed in bed it hit her with all it had. She bent under the force, as I have time and time again. Parents, if you haven't cried a few tears thinking about all the ways you can't possibly hope to protect your kids, then I question your parenting. Or at least your humanity. But my Honeybun surprised me, as she has since the day I met her. She immediately saw the VUTT for what it is. Motivation. Listen to that scary little voice on your shoulder, feel it's weight from time to time, and then carry it for your kids. Make sure it keeps you from ever forgetting a seat belt, or a locked medicine cabinet, let it make you understand how important every moment with your children is, and how few there really are when you add them all up.

We created the boogeyman and monsters under the bed and in the deep woods to keep children in line, and perhaps Someone greater than us gives us the VUTT for the very same reason.

We're scared. And humbled. And excited. And blessed.

And thankful to everyone who's dealt with the VUTT or Twins or blended families or parenting before us. And thankful for the love and support we've already been shown. As Son #1 said about Honeybun and me getting married, "My family is getting bigger with love!"

Amen, kid. Amen.

From My Blog: June 15, 2008 A Letter to My Son

On my first Father's Day, I wrote my son a letter.It was as much about me and my dad as about my son and I. There's some good stuff in there, and it's nice to have it written down since five years later, I'm not much better at remembering to tell my loved ones how much I love them.

My favorite part of this is my wishes for Son #1 and of course now, they extend to Deuce and the upcoming Little Bit.

A great love, a great mind, a great imagination, a great friendship and a great spirit.

Son #1 and Deuce's mother and I may no longer be together, but my desire for my children to find their great love isn't diminished. I'm living proof that Second Act's often have the best parts, and Honeybun is more than I could ask for or deserve as a partner and wife. She's become a great mom too, or "Bonus Mom" as the boys call her sometimes. She's tender, firm, consistent and even better at anticipating their needs and freakouts than I am.

I've been blessed in my life so much with health and opportunity, friendship and love, this one almost feels like too much at times. But as I spend this Father's Day weekend preparing to become a Father all over again, it's Mom's that I'm thinking about most. The boys' mother. My mom. The boys new "Bonus Mom" and the wonderful Mother that my newest child will have when he or she gets here this Christmas.

Happy Father's Day weekend! Make sure you tell Dad how much you love him and miss him this weekend, but don't forget the Mom's that keep it all together.