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Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
2 years, 11 months.
This week on Facebook I was introduced to a cool type of picture that parents can create of their kids.
I don’t know that it’s called, though.
So until I do, I’ll just call it a “collage profile.”
Featured here is the picture that introduced me to it. Granted, this is a professional picture, by my friend Joe Hendricks, who took Mommy and Daddy’s wedding pictures as well as our pregnancy pictures.
To me, this is the perfect example of how it should be done. A+!
The concept is simple: a picture of a kid, superimposed with various, random texts showing their name, age, and interests.
What a cool idea! I have no idea who thought of it first but I hear that it’s trending on Pinterest.
Just for the fun of it, I threw one together for you. Eleven days away from your 3rd birthday, I now have a better visual of the stuff you’re into during this exact stage of your life.
A few months from now, I assume some of these listed interested will be replaced with others.
But as for right now, I can preserve this sort of visual bookmark on your life.
While I’m sure this kind of picture can be created on several different websites out there, the one I used is Picfont, where I do all the captions for your pictures. I like it because it’s free and doesn’t require a login and password.
So whatever this trendy kind of picture is called, it’s something I should probably do every so often.
The fact that you currently like the color pink… I have a feeling that’s going to change in the next couple of years and then we’ll really have something to laugh about.
Well, assuming you’re reading this years from now… Yes, son… you used to love the color pink.
But mainly as it relates to monster trucks!
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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, facebook, monster trucks, parenting, parents, photo editing, photos, pink, Pinterest, trendy | Categories:
Nostalgia, The Dadabase
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
2 years, 11 months.
Sunday night, Mommy scrolled through the pictures on my personal Facebook page going back all the way to March 2005, when I first joined the social media website.
After doing so, she remarked, “Your Facebook pictures have obviously become a lot more mature since we got married and especially since Jack was born.”
She’s totally right.
I haven’t gone through the trouble of removing them yet, but at the time of writing this letter to you, there were still quite a few pictures of me posing for purposely stupid pictures.
Like the one where I am inmpersonating a pro-wrestler, with my shirt off, standing in front of a huge British flag.
Oh, and my hair is down to my chin.
Then there’s the one where I’m mocking the year 1976 where I have the same long hair, accompanied by a creeper mustache and an unbuttoned silky shirt.
And don’t forget the entire picture folder which contains several shots of me in Mr. Potato Head pajama pants pretending to fall down a flight of stairs.
Completely stupid, but at least on purpose.
But in the year 2005, I was a single, 24 year-old dude. That’s the kind of stuff I could put on Facebook and easily get away with.
Of course, back in those days, the only people were who my Facebook friends were people I knew from college and expected my deadpan sense of humor.
These days, everyone’s on Facebook- including semi-distant relatives, my former elementary school teachers, and church staff.
I can’t get away with being that goofy like I used to. It confuses people. I’ve learned irony, sarcasm, and dark comedy don’t quite translate on Facebook like they did when I was 24.
Even over the recent past several months, I have totally toned down my Facebook behavior in general.
It used to be that I would post fake status updates to see who would think I was serious. Turns out, more people did than I realized…
It used to be that I was more opinionated, but I realized it actually divided people and that’s not something I want to be known for.
So needless to say, my Facebook lifestyle has evolved.
I’m not saying I never have fun on it anymore, but considering that posting pictures of Mommy and me pretending to eat giant M&M’s at the Louisville Zoo are the new “crazy” pictures, I’d say I’ve defintely matured since the days of the long-haired guy posing in Mr. Potato Head pajama pants.
Now, my general rule for posting a picture of myself on Facebook is that you have to be in it too. “Selfie” shots now include you and/or Mommy.
I’m growing up, Son.
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Sunday, August 11th, 2013
2 years, 8 months.
Now that on Facebook I’ve stopped engaging myself in conversations or debates involving anything political, religious, or regarding a plant-based lifestyle, or curing cancer through Gerson Therapy…
Or being sarcastic and therefore confusing people, or posting phony status updates meant to mock the desperate cries for attention and pity that are so abundant, well… Facebook just isn’t that entertaining to me anymore.
And I think Facebook is a better place now, without me playing that role. These days all I do on it is just publish my letters to you and “like” peoples’ pictures.
So basically, I’m only on Facebook for 5 minutes a day, looking at my friends’ pictures to learn if anyone is having a baby or just went on a trip.
Or, by default, seeing pictures of them running in a half marathon.
Through that process, I’ve realized the nirvana I wish to achieve on Facebook:
To be one of those cool parents who runs half marathons and otherwise leaves the general public guessing on their personal opinions and lifestyles.
To be someone who Facebook friends ultimately only know through pictures with no captions.
I admire those people. I think they are cool. I wouldn’t mind being a little mysterious… (As if this helps!)
Lucky for me, today is Mommy’s birthday! (She and I are the exact same age for 9 months of the year; and that 9 months begins today.)
So yesterday, the three of us went to Fleet Feet so Mommy could try on some new running shoes, with the advice and direction of an expert. After all, she and I have had our old running shoes since before we were married over 5 years ago.
And for the past couple of years, she’s been telling me she wants to run in a half marathon.
Though I’ve always encouraged her to do so, there evidently was something motivating about this birthday that caused her to decide to take the plunge… by actually buying the official, right shoes for it.
So as Mommy was picking out her shoes, I turned aside to her quickly as the sales associate was checking the back of the store for a different size shoe for her:
“Hey, should I get shoes too, and join you in that half marathon?” I asked.
The rest is history. It seems like only yesterday… oh wait, it was.
Mommy is now the proud new owner of a pair of New Balance’s- and for me, a pair of Mizuno’s.
This is a pretty big deal for us. Mommy and I get to have a hobby! We get to be somewhat of experts on a thing.
Even if it’s simply running for a sort of long distance in a race we’re not actually trying to win.
In the process of buying these new shoes and doing YouTube searches on running a half marathon, I am now quickly becoming familiar with “front foot running.”(When you run in place, you put your weight on the front of your foot, not your heel. “Front foot running” is using the running-in-place model to move forward, to keep from permanently damaging your joints.)
I have to admit, I’m starting to feel pretty cool all of the sudden… on my way to be one of those half marathon parents!
Not that Mommy needs a new hobby to be cool. She’s way cool. And way beautiful.
Not to mention, she’s so sincere and giving of a person. You and I are so blessed to have her in our family of three. But you already know that.
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Friday, March 1st, 2013
2 years, 3 months.
A blog post on a Jewish parenting website went viral this week: “We Need To Quit Telling Lies On Facebook.”
It’s no surprise that since being published on February 25th, the post has already received 86,137 likes on Facebook and 611 comments.
This is because the author, Sarah Emily Tuttle-Singer, crafted an extremely clever, well-written, relevant article pointing out the potentially pretentious, yet edited-to-appear-familiar lives that we modern parents display on Facebook and social media:
“My life on Facebook is an airbrushed and Instagrammed image of my real life… I give everything a hipstacular filter to make the drudgery look interesting.”
She’s right the way she describes what she calls “Fakebooking,” even down to the part about making it look all we do in our free time is hang out in coffee shops.
I laughed when I read that because it seems like 25% of the stock photos I use of you are taken at a downtown coffee shop on a Saturday morning.
My preference is to present vague photographs of you, causing the viewer to try to subconsciously imagine the story behind the picture. Granted, I always correct the lighting and round off the corners, to help with the pre-fab nostalgic feel.
In other words, I am a living stereotype of what she describes. I am very self-aware of my condition. I Fakebook every day. Actually, I am the worst offender of Fakebooking I know!
However, I have no plans to ever stop.
Technically, as Sarah Emily Tuttle-Singer as puts it, I’m guilty of telling lies by omission.
It’s just that I choose to remember mainly the best parts of life and scrap the rest in my mental junk folder.
I don’t need a reminder of all the frustrating parts about my life. However, I think I do need a reminder of the good stuff.
So what I present in social media, as a parent, is typically edited to serve as a public scrapbook of the way I choose to remember my life personally and privately.
I emphasize the warm and fuzzy… the encouraging and redemptive… the random and quirky.
Meanwhile, I downplay the dark and depressing… the discouraging and doubtful… the boring and predictable.
Still, I feel there is nothing actually fake or deceptive in my presentation; just carefully polished and illustrated.
It’s like comparing the book version of The Lorax to the movie version.
As I mentioned earlier this week in “Facebook Status Updates About Men Who Cheat,” it’s very easy to find negative drama in the comments of my Facebook news feed. But for every comment that tells of a cheating boyfriend or husband, there’s a super positive comment by someone else is who is humbly bragging (oxymoron?) about how they have the best boyfriend or husband in the world.
Fakebooking helps balance out all the chaos in social media; for me at least.
I believe that the version of life we see is the one we choose to see. Like John Milton, the author of Paradise Lost coined it, “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”
Sure, I Fakebook daily. Or maybe I’m just choosing heaven over hell, everyday.
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Wednesday, November 7th, 2012
Yes, I actually voted. Because we all know Tennessee is a major swing state and my one single vote made the defining difference.
The truth is, the main reason I voted is actually because I would have a low self-esteem for the rest of my life if I knew I let an election go by and I didn’t go through the slightly annoying trouble of going out and voting.
It may sound a bit strange that the major motivating force behind me voting was to establish a consistent record for my son to see as he eventually gets old enough to understand the voting process.
But that’s exactly what happened on Election Day.
I want to be able to tell my son that my political beliefs are so strong that I have actually voted in every election since I was 18. So far, so good.
In the quick years it will take him to eventually upgrade from his Thomas the Train trike to his first real car, I will be setting a major example for him everyday along the way.
Basically, I want to brainwash, I mean, teach him the principles of why I support the political stance that I do. And I want to back it up with my actions.
It’s a pet peeve of mine to hear people complain that “they took prayer out of schools” when it’s our jobs as parents to teach our children to pray, in our homes.
Similarly, I get annoyed when people make a big deal about The Ten Commandments not being in courthouses when interestingly, those same people usually can’t even name all ten anyway. Again, if the Ten Commandments were so important to us, we would already memorize and apply them to our lives, teaching them to our children as well.
We wouldn’t need the government’s help in making our faith a powerful thing. Because our faith would be strong enough from the inside to radically change the outside.
I love reading religious post-election Facebook comments. They make me literally LOL, and that’s not a phrase I use lightly.
It’s like half of the post-election Facebook comments say something like, “Thank God! Hallelujah! Obama has been re-elected. Now the women, minorities, gays, and poor will continue to be cared for!”
The other half seems to read something like this: “Start praying for America! Obama being re-elected has officially begun fast-forwarding our nation into the Rapture!”
Here’s the funny and obvious thing I have to point out:
About half of the voters on my news feed who identify as Christians and who post on Facebook about it seem to be Democrats. The other half seems to be Republican.
Our nation will always be about 50% liberal leaning, 50% conservative leaning. Every couple of election terms, the undecided voters and swing states decide to switch back the other way for everyone else.
If suddenly 80% of the population converted to being Democrats, then by default the Democratic party would split into a more conservative and a more liberal sect. Same thing if Republicans became the majority. They’d still split.
Naturally, we find a way to make it to where we have a choice; where we find a side of the fence to relate. There is no easy middle, in order for our political system to work the way it has for so long. We evidently do better with checks and balances.
Neither Democrats nor Republicans are evil or stupid, even as some Facebook comments seem to relay.
I just know I can’t live the rest of my life thinking that half of the population is always wrong. Otherwise, my son would also begin to think that about the American population too.
To think that would simply be wrong; not to mention evil and stupid.
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