2018 & Beyond

A new year is upon us.

For the past few months I’ve been pondering some thoughts regarding my energy, my time and ultimately, what I would like to exercise my concentration on. I want to announce some long needed changes to this site.

Most people hear the word “introvert” and equate it with shyness. If you’ve actually done any reading about it, you know that’s not the case. True introversion is a primary focus on one’s inner self, deriving value and meaning from that activity, as opposed to from the external world. Introverts can interact socially; they’re not afraid of social situations or interpersonal activities–rather they simply thrive more on solitary activities or with fewer people.

To the surprise of exactly no one who knows me, I’ve long understood myself to be this way. I’m totally capable of being social and thriving in those situations, but I prefer quiet environments, and more focused interactions with people. I also spend a non-trivial amount of time analyzing myself, my thinking, and my actions and trying to use this activity to learn more about myself, how I engage with the world around me, and how my actions affect other people.

I’ve always been a thoughtful person, even from a young age. But as I got older, different dimensions took shape and as my worldview continues to expand, the position where I place myself in the narrative of my life will often change.

Somewhere along the way I became interested in being someone on the internet. I started a blog, began using social media, and through those actions created an identity online, as so many of us have. It was great fun, I met a ton of terrific people, and explored new things with them. For about 10 years, it was a big part of my life, and somewhat how I defined myself as a person in the world.

But something changed in the past few years. I’ve found myself doing less online. Leaving social networks. Not publishing as many posts, and not beating myself up about it. All but disappearing from the public spaces I once inhabited, and reducing my voice to an occasional whisper in the dim of the dying night.

At the same time, I began focusing on other things. The balance of my life shifted. I began journaling even more, and making it a bigger part of my life than it had been. Actively reflecting more, and putting more effort into capturing my thoughts for myself. Talking about this with people, encouraging them to do the same. Always writing—because I do still love to write—but only for me, and not any other audience. Keeping those muscles in shape, but with a very specific purpose in mind. I use the app Day One on iOS and my Mac. I’ve talked about Day One to exhaustion but for good reason I believe. The app makes documenting your life so simple. The learning curve is close to nothing, and I truly believe the average person could use it and gain immense value in their life. So for the last time, go buy Day One right now… its like 2 bucks and fantastic.

I’ve tried to keep blogging, because I’ve had lots of people tell me they enjoy it when I do write, which is an amazing compliment and more than I could hope for. I mean, what better outcome could you have for writing something than for someone to say “I like that thing you wrote, thank you for doing that”?

But the fact of the matter is that I’ve lost whatever thing inside me made me want to write and put it somewhere on a steady basis, and I’m not sure why. I’ve lost the desire to do pretty much anything on the internet in any public capacity, and part of it is just who I am at the moment, and part of it is my ever-growing disenchantment with the rest of the world at the current time. So I’ve decided to just become an element of background scenery.

I wasn’t even going to write this post, but I figured I should. Because this isn’t me just being lazy and not blogging anymore, it’s a premeditated reflection on how I feel and why, what the effect of that feeling is, and how it manifests in my actions. Which exactly is the point. This is what I do. I’m just sharing this one with everyone, in case anyone gives a crap. (Presumably not, which is absolutely fine too.)

The internet is not the place it was when I started being really excited about it, and rather than stay here and complain about it like an old, cranky dude, I’m just going to leave it to other people for whom it’s still interesting.

I’m not disappearing off the face of the earth, I’ll still be around, and still work on deep, reflective blog posts that I enjoy sharing and hearing feedback on. I just don’t expect myself to churn in small post after small post. Week after week.

Like I mentioned in the beginning, the real life of less has already started for me. The discovery of minimalism and beauty of simpleness has already affected me greatly. It was only natural to reach my blog.


Hello Leo

At 12:17 PM December 26 2017, Leo arrived safe and sound. I’m not very smart, but I don’t believe blessings get better than this.

Liam – Age 6 / Disney 2017

Liam being 6 has brought many changes to our lives and his. First, Liam graduated k5 and made big strides in his last year at New Hope Christian Academy. After his summer break Liam would embark on his first huge challenge in life; changing schools. Not only changing schools, but in a big way, changing the type of school. He went from a small, private school to a much larger, public school. Lindsey and I were worried about this but unfortunately, we had little to no choice.

Liam surprised all of us with not only flourishing in the change, but doing exceedingly well at his school work. His resilience astounded me. He served as yet another great life lesson to me. I think we push aside young kids and our children and choose to write them off in so many areas in life, especially the life lesson department. For me, Liam keeps teaching me things. In his 6th year, He’s taught me change is tough but doable. This isn’t an earth shattering discovery. But a great reminder, especially when you see your own kid do it. He gave me strength.

As for this year’s video, there is an obvious change. The run-time. It’s long. 7 minutes plus. There is a reason for this. I don’t want to spoil it here. Just watch the video. Let’s just say I spent many long nights and early mornings at Disney’s Animal Kingdom hotel lobby editing and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

To a strong, resilient and gentle soul….Happy Birthday Buddy. We love you.

Baby #3

Well, this is a surprise.

I always thought eventually my fingertips would type the words “baby number 3,” just not now. Things happen in funny ways. A few weeks back Lindsey and I were out to eat celebrating for something totally unrelated to the title of this post. And then, with syllables sneaking out of her mouth, our lives changed. Again.

It’s not that we never wanted a third child. Far from it, actually. We often spoke of having 3 kids. I think we both were surprised when we learned indeed a third one was on its way, though. As with all surprising news, it took a while to digest all of this. Thinking about our new reality and spending some quiet nights really reflecting on what a third child meant for us.

I don’t claim to know much. If you’ve read this site long enough, you would know I’m a much bigger speculator and learner than teacher. But, after having two kids I know one thing for sure. I know having a child no matter what point in your life is a big deal. A tremendous responsibility and major undertaking. For me, raising my kids so far has been hugely rewarding. Rewarding in so many ways I can’t explain, and I don’t think I’ve yet fully realized.

To be completely transparent though, parenting has (easily) been the toughest job of my life. I have always been a person who believes in utilizing some sort of system. If this works, then do this. If that works then do that. I’d like to think I’m a minimal, simple, do what works type of person. Up until parenting, that has always worked well. To fast forward a bit, implementing systems and my kids just don’t mix. Liam and Luca are very fast moving targets and I constantly have to try new things in order to feel like I am an effective parent. Thats just real talk.

Being a parent has taught me one important thing though. Not everything needs a system or requires a script of some sort. If you really think about it, obviously being a dad or mom isn’t solved or made easier by searching for a system that works. Of course trying to be a perfect role model all day, all week and all year is going to fail. The one important lesson that being a dad has taught me is a simple one: sometimes you just have to roll with it, go with the flow, accept what God gives you.

So thats what Lindsey and I are doing; rolling with it. Don’t let my musings of worry fool you, I am blessed beyond measure to call myself a third time dad. Of course I feel a little nervous about it, who wouldn’t? But I say this; I accept the challenge! My diaper game will be on point! I will be a swaddler of the highest degree! My formula mixes will be efficient and accurate!

I don’t want to get to ahead of myself though, we are still in very early days. Lindsey is still in her first trimester. At this current moment, I am just trying to concentrate on being as helpful to her as possible. It’s amazing how you forget how taxing pregnancy is on the woman, though. Its like after the baby is born, all is forgotten about how rough and uncomfortable 9 months of a little human in the belly was. I just want to be helpful to her for these 9 months. Thats a good immediate goal, I think.

I wanted say all this to say we are thrilled and excited. Still a little surprised, but definitely thrilled and excited. I still consider it an unbelievable, larger than life opportunity to be a father. I have a great one and I always try to remember how thankful he was for us.

Truth is, there’s no greater honor to be called dad. Well, except being called dad 3 times over.

Starting Liam’s Summer Schedule!

Summer break is upon us! Today was the first day Liam’s schedule was put to the test. I am happy to report all went well! I was a little nervous about the time blocks and if I spaced everything correctly, but for the most part the day went smooth. More importantly, Liam seemed to enjoy it.

A surprise take away from today: Liam’s behavior was very good. Like, better than usual. He’s never a bad kid by any means, but he certainly has his moments, especially when we’re cooped up in the house. But today, he was a great listener and respectful all throughout the day. I came to a very early conclusion that this was totally based on attention given.

Today, the schedule structured the day around him. I think he felt that and responded in a good way. Although attention was still equally distributed to Liam and Luca. But it felt much more so on Liam because each part of the day was tending to him. Of course, this theory could all fall apart tomorrow, but I’m going with it for now.

Here is the schedule:


As you see from the pic, thats the schedule I settled on. I was little worried about some aspects though, I still want him to feel like he’s on summer break and his days be fun, but I don’t want him to think the whole day is a free for all. I hope it’s a good balance and he has plenty of time for fun and free time.

Let me take some time to explain and breakdown why I chose these specific events:

• Breakfast and Brush Teeth – Liam always has a hard time “remembering” to brush his teeth. What he doesn’t have a hard time remembering is eating breakfast, (its about the only words he could get out of his mouth in the early mornings.) So I decided to combine these 2 events. No excuses anymore Mr. Liam.

• Chores – A big one for us. We really wanted to instill responsibility for Liam this summer. I thought he was a tad bit young to handle a bunch of chores. I also didn’t want his day bogged down with work. So this was a good start I thought. We made him responsible for the 2 rooms he uses most, his bathroom and his bedroom.

• Outside Time – This was a no brainer for me and if we didn’t live in unbelievably scorching heat, we would be outside all day. Outside time is simple, go outside (early in the day) and do whatever. No rules except no hospital trips.

• Bible Lesson – I’ve always wanted to spend more time with Liam in the bible. The summer enables this for us. I’m not teaching anything extremely deep (nor do I know anything extremely deep), but we cover the popular stories and maybe some not so popular. I implemented a section at the end of Bible Lesson called “question time.” Where Liam could ask any question he wants pertaining to what we just learned. Question time was a big hit on day 1.

• Play Time –  A little break in the kinda busy morning. It actually served well today. It was a nice break for everyone. Also it gives me a buffer if I want to make lunch for the kids before 12. We had a little trouble today with understanding Play Time doesn’t involve TV. A couple bumps in the road. Thats ok.

• Lunch – Self explanatory except maybe some days we’ll go to special places. But most of the time it will involve getting out of the house and picking up some food from a drive thru. Not the healthiest option, but Liam loves picking places to go.

• TV Time – Liam’s time to watch whatever (per my approval) he wants on the TV. This doubles as time for Luca to take a nap and me to either chill out or write a little. Its 2 hours because, well its summer. Give me a break.

• School Lesson – One of the main reason I wanted to do a schedule for Liam the summer was to keep him connected to school things and keep his mind working. To not mentally check out essentially. I wondered how I could do an effective school lessons in the summer, though. I tried taking some of Liam’s homework throughout the year and after he was completely finished, erasing the paper and making digital copies. That seemed to work really well. I have about 20 pages of copies of homework sheets. So School Lesson involves 2 of those sheets per day and his reading book.

• Free Time – If, and I stress IF, Liam was a good boy and did a good job on both lesson times, then he can use free time to do whatever he wants, inside or out. Free time pretty much goes on until mommy gets home around 5.

So thats the rundown. Obviously, this is all early days, 1.0 software stuff. I guess I will see how this works and maneuver the schedule accordingly. But for now i’m sticking with it and hoping for the best as I walk the thin line between daddy and drill sergeant. Mental Note: more daddy, less drill sergeant.

Any ways, what was the point of this post? Oh ya…Day 1 over!

Happy Summer time!

Liam, the Graduate

I remember my first time dropping off Liam at K-3. To be completely honest, I was uncomfortable for a few reasons. Leaving him all by himself, with a bunch of kids he never met before. I was worried how the other kids were going to treat him. Looking back, I just didn’t want him to be scared or feel lonely. The memory of leaving him that day and just parking near the school for a half-hour has never left me.

We’ve come a long way, fast forward 3 years and here we are; Liam’s K-5 Graduation day. Sure, he’s had his struggles, but also triumphs. He’s come home stumped by his homework, only for him to work hard at it and overcome. He’s excitedly prepared for weeks in advance for his “Show and Tell” days. He’s had to deal with the struggles of having major allergies to common foods and watch his friends eat foods he couldn’t on a regular basis. He’s had to work extremely hard on his day to day behavior and has made great improvements. You name it, he’s gone through it in the past 3 years.

Liam’s learned so much in his time in Kindergarten. To list a few: coloring, recognizing shapes, reading, writing, writing in cursive, writing numbers, learning to count with fingers then counting from 1 to 100, learning bible stories, understanding how to tell time on a clock. Thats just the school side of things. On the personality side; learning to play with others, sharing toys and thoughts, letting people talk and having a conversation. Being nice to friends, showing respect to teachers. I also think school has made him a better big brother. Ever since he started K-5, he has been significantly friendlier to his little brother Luca. That’s been great to see.

Going back to what I was originally saying, I was nervous when he started. I guess thats just being a parent or guardian. But looking back, i’m not sure why I ever doubted Liam. He is a young boy with amazing perseverance. Truth is, whatever challenge Liam has had in his short life, he’s overcome and continues on.

Congratulations little buddy! You earned every bit of graduating Kindergarden. In your future, challenges will await, but you will overcome. If the past has taught me anything; you will continue to make your mother and I proud with your big heart and caring demeanor. Congrats on this super great day! We love you.

2 Days with Dad

It’s always extremely sad for me to say goodbye. I’m not a good “goodbyer.” We’ve spent the past two days with my Dad and Diane and it really has been such a great time. Since I’ve moved to GA, my family has been extremely good about coming to visit, especially in the beginning. Since I’ve been down here a while, their visits have tapered a bit, but I still really enjoy them. Seeing them never fails to remind me home is never a place, building or walls. Their visits frequently teach me how home is a reflection of familiar faces.

They arrived late Saturday afternoon and came over to hang out a bit. My dad brought this interesting contraption that should allow me to get every channel on my tv for free. I haven’t hooked this thing up yet, but I’ll keep everyone posted on that. Also, they stopped at a J. Crew outlet on their way and bought everyone some cool shirts, very nice and thoughtful of them.

We headed out to a burger place on the water. Jeremy, Cristen, Lindsey and I ate there some weeks ago and it was just a nice atmosphere; peaceful and good food. My Father, Diane and our gang ate up on the 2nd balcony deck. It was awesome. They seemed to really enjoy their crab cakes and, of course the view.

After dinner, we came back home and played catch with a stuffed animal monkey. It was pretty much pitch black out, but that didn’t stop us from having a good time. Liam especially loved every second of it.

On a side note, Luca took my to my dad extremely well! I was interested in how he would react to my father. He has only seen him a couple times. That didn’t seem to matter though. They got along famously. Come to think of it, we have a picture of my dad on the fridge and Luca has always pointed to it and said: “Nonno,” so I should of known better. He’s a sharp little guy.

Sunday was no doubt a hectic day. We had church in the morning which Diane and my Dad attended and then we headed straight to Amelia Island where we ate at Arte Pizza, good food as always. After eating way too much, we all walked around the shrimp festival which was on it’s last leg. I think we were there a few hours before they were shutting down. So cool to see people’s hard work and attention detail in the little booths.

After much walking we headed to my dad’s hotel room which was right on the beach so the kids could play a little before church at 6. They had a blast. My dad must have slid Luca down the slide over 100 times. Luca loved it.

After church our trip ended the way it was always meant to, at a hair salon giving each other haircuts and talking. It was a special way to cap off our two days together. It has become something of a tradition for us, me getting my haircut and then my dad constantly teaching me when I cut his. I don’t mind it one bit. It’s his way of showing me he cares. I always think to myself how important those moments are. They stick out to me so much more than others.

Like I mentioned earlier, saying goodbye is always very difficult for me. I’ve never been good at it. I don’t like distance. I never have. I understand technology makes things easier, and I’m thankful for it. But, nothing replaces actually being with my dad and listening to him talk.

The older I get the more I learn he was right about many, many things. And the older I get I am realizing what really matters in life. Spending time with loved ones who genuinely care about you. Even if it isn’t everyday at DiLeo Hair Studio in Naugatuck, CT, we could still connect and just be around each other once in a while. I’m thankful for those once in a whiles now, far more than I could ever express or anyone will ever understand.

Love you Dad. Thank you very much for taking some time and spending 2 days with us.

Liam’s Summer Schedule

Summer is near and that means one thing and one thing only…. I will be home with both my kids all day. I guess I should say this up front: I am very thankful to be able to spend the whole day with them. I know some parents wish they could.

But I will say staying home all day has its challenges. Especially with my oldest, Liam. Liam needs structure. Actually, maybe I need the organization more than him. Anyway, we both need some sort of schedule. So today I worked on an early draft of what our schedule will be for the summer.

This is basically a daily schedule that changes every half hour or hour. Like for example: 8:00am to 8:30am would be wake up and breakfast, etc. You get the idea. This year is a tiny bit more challenging though. Liam is older and Luca is actually mobile. So I have to figure in all the new opportunities of mischief that can and will occur.

Also, Liam needs to be challenged way more this summer. He’s a smart kid but 2 months of just watching “Wild Krats” or “Moana” isn’t gonna help his cause. To keep his brain active on school things I’ve made copies of his work sheets from school. They are blank and he could continually work on them throughout the summer. Also, I am going to have a reading slot somewhere in the day with random books. This doesn’t have to be a super educated time slot, maybe even comics or something fun like that.

I don’t know, the other side of me feels sometimes I am too hard on him. I don’t want to be that kind of dad. I just want him to not disappear into the tv abyss for the summer. I want him to learn and experience some new stuff this year. Making good habits is also important to me. Hopefully we could start on some good hobbies this summer and revisit them every summer. This is what I would like to be spending our time on.

I also wanted to include an outside activities slot per day. Maybe like an hour where we could just go outside and do whatever. No rules or anything like that. Just a fun time. The thought also crossed my mind to take part in some hobbies that he could see progression in. Like planting a tree and making sure we water it everyday. etc.

Who knows? I’ll keep a log of what ideas I came up with. What worked and what didn’t. I guess zooming out and looking at the big picture, the ultimate goal would be to keep his screen time less than an hour a day and his brain engaged. I mean, maybe some days he could watch a movie. But those would be special days.

Am I being too harsh? I really don’t want to be. I just want whats best for him.

New VLOG: Making Christmas

I have mentioned in the past I was going to do more with video production. Here is my first attempt. I always am fascinated with finding new ways to document my family life and keep things for memory. I wanted to try this and see how well it worked.

It was a fun little project. Its safe to say you can expect more to come. I’ve found they are a ton of work, but super rewarding.

Merry Christmas!

Liam – Age 5

Liam has grown so much in the past year… from playing video games and initiating super long question sessions to growing into a great big brother. It has certainly been a momentous year.

As time begins to go by fast now, I try to slow down things and realize how Liam was in the past, and how he is now. I try and be in the moment when I talk to him and really listen. I feel like everything formulating in his brain or coming out of his mouth at this point is original, wholehearted and sincere. He is curious about everything and has no boundaries imagination-wise.

Happy Birthday buddy. You may not remember every moment of being 4, 5, or 6 years old. But your mom and I will do our best to make the years fun, teach you new things and experience great places.

We love you.