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Hurray for me, dammit!

Hurray for me, dammit!
I finally get it!

I think I finally understand why Dad kept this particular cartoon from a 1964 edition of Look magazine taped next to his bathroom mirror. Today, being my 52nd birthday (and I really don't feel like I'm much past 30), I'm able to take stock on who I am, what I've accomplished, and what I have yet to do.

All said and done, I think I've done pretty well for myself. And although I'm not one to "toot my own horn", I feel proud about the man I am today. Not perfect, of course, but that only leaves room for improvement.

I have a loving wife, two step-children who trust and believe in me, and a clear path looking ahead. And there's more to come, I'm sure of that.

Yeah... Hurray for me, dammit!

Click to play Podcast

Regrouping - and new directions

After letting the dust settle a few days, two things are clear:

1) Rebecca, Kenny and Brianna cannot come to live with me in Texas.

2) My family wants all of us to be together.

There's little left to say. Rebbie & I have discussed every alternative, but it all comes back to these points. We all want to be together as a family, and if Muhammad cannot come to the mountain, then the mountain must come to Muhammad. That's to say that I'm putting plans in place to move to Kansas.

I'm scared and concerned; there's absolutely no way I can find a job in Kansas where I'll be able to realize the earning potential that I've found in Austin, but that doesn't matter anymore. Rebecca's friend, Colette, put everything into perspective for me in a late night call a few evenings back. Rebbie, Kenny & Bri need me, but they're not going to say so. They want this to be my decison.

And thus, it's been made.

I don't want to be away from them any longer. We've been apart for too long as it is, hoping and believing that a better outcome would be ruled by the court, but things just didn't go our way.

I think I can make an "okay" living in Kansas CIty, not that I'll ever be able to make the income I can here in Austin. After all, there are only three hi-tech hubs in the U.S., and neither Topeka nor Kansas City are among them. My income there won't compare to what I can earn in Austin, so I won't be able to provide for Rebbie, Kenny & Bri as well as I could otherwise. The family budget will be tight, but money isn't everything. Family is, and they want me there with them. There's nothing more important than that.

That said, I'll just share that when Rebbie and I came to the decision that I'd move to Kansas, and that we'd get a home for the four of us, I heard the kids cheer in the background. That was cool. To hear their excitement was more than enough for me to know we'd made the right decision.

All said, even though it's not what we all had hoped for - or what we believe (even now) is really best for K & B - it's good enough for now. We'll make it work.

We lost... Sad

Just returned home. Things went badly for us. The court ruled that Kenny & Brianna must remain in Topeka. As long as Rebbie remains there, too, she will retain custody. If she moves away, their residential custodies go to their respecitve dads. Of course, Rebbie would never leave Topeka wthout Kenny or Bri, nor would I want (or expect) her to do that. The dads know this, too, and probably was elemental in their plans.

We told K & B (along with Grandma, Graddad & Unca' Dan) the outcome Monday evening. Rebbie & I were pretty emotional about it. The kids were visibly upset.

We're all very disappointed and saddened. I couldn't sleep at all, and had to fly back very early this morning. At noon Rebbie called to tell me that the kids were both so unhappy this morning that they have tummy-aches, and stayed home from school today. Mom & I aren't feeling much better.

We have some decisions ahead of us we'll have to make, but we're going to let things settle a bit so we have clearer heads.

This time, it seems that the legal system let us all down.