Caitlin and Mike - Tar Heels - Rec ChampsCaitlin - Julias Glasses - Tecumseh 2012I always wanted to be a father.  There was a time when I did not think that was going to happen; but, luckily, after some heartbreaking attempts it finally happened; February 15, 1995, Caitlin arrived.  Her birth changed my life; completely, I was responsible for another human being.  I have told the story before how prior to Caitlin’s birth I was never really afraid, but how I have been afraid every day since her birth.  I loved her from the moment our eyes met; I knew that I would give up all my next breaths for her to breathe one more time.  When she was young she was so guarded; looking at her photos she never really smiled big in her photos.  We found our bond over softball.  I started coaching her when she was 6 years old and would spend three seasons a year with her for the next 10 years.  The wins and losses have faded away, but I miss throwing and side tossing to her.  Today she has so many of my traits in her; she is direct and sometimes struggles to filter what comes out of her mouth, but she works so hard and has a genuine love for kids.  I think her time as a Tecumseh counselor really showed her love of kids; she was one of the counselors that made kids forget about the terrible weather and just have a good time.   Now, she is on the transition away from her parents having completed her first year of college.  Where ever she goes she will carry a part of my heart with her.

A and M - June 2012A and M - Sleeping - 1998On July 10, 1996 our family added my Irish beauty Ally.  She is not her sister and somehow she and I bonded over our love of music.  The picture of  us on the roof of my school during a fundraiser to put a teacher on the roof is my favorite.  As a child, Ally was sickly from milk allergies; it was during that time that we spent a lot of time together.  I would hold her a lot trying to bring her comfort.  As a child she had so much personality that she brought a smile to everyone’s face who got to witness a show from the bricks in front of the fireplace.  Now Ally was not destined to be an athlete; she hated the sun and sweating was not her thing; even though she was really good at setting up the snacks for the after game celebrations.  As Ally aged she discovered that she could sing and there is nothing I love more at the high school than their music programs.  It is in the performing arts that she has found a home at the high school.  I love watching every performance and musical that she has performed; when she is on stage my eyes stay focused on her (waiting for the *wink* when she finds me in the audience).  Now Ally wants to follow her father into teaching (she has a love kids); I would love for her to go into a STEM career field as she is math bright, but she needs to follow her heart.

I have been blessed by my two children. It has not always been easy, but my heart has never been so filled with love.