Stop. Look. Listen. Take in the Moments

Time moves fast. One minute, you’re sitting in the hospital doing your first skin-to-skin bonding with your brand-new baby girl, the next you’re taking pictures for the last day of Kindergarten. No, I’m not crying, YOU ARE.

Ever since Sophia was born–and again when Maddie was born–my life has changed. I know, what an obvious thing to say. Kids change your life, everyone knows that. But I’m not talking about the always going, never stopping, plans change at a moment’s notice kind of change.

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Building a Beach in a Box with the DIYZ App

Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with DIYZ. All opinions of apps and companies that help me complete DIY projects are my own.

Sand. It’s the worst. When it comes to the things that my kids love to play with that I hate with the fire of a thousand suns, the list has three items: sand, glitter, and play-doh. But sand, man, it’s the worst. It was great when the girls would only want to play in it when we were at the beach. But, with the invention of things like kinetic sand, they wanna play with it ALL.THE.TIME.

It gets everywhere. Outside. Inside. Upside. Downside. In short, the sand goes everywhere. Could that be because we didn’t have a proper place for them to play–AND LEAVE–said sand? I say yes. I hope I’m right.

So what’s a dad-of-sand-lovers to do? Answer: Sandbox. Continue reading

#KingOfSoup: How Idahoan® Premium Steakhouse® Potato Soups Transformed My Kitchen To A Steakhouse

I don’t know about you guys, but a night out at a steakhouse is one of my favorite dining experiences. Walking into a nice restaurant, and instantly hearing the faint sizzle of a steak on a grill, smelling the succulent scents of meats, potatoes, and fresh veggies. It’s just an experience that I love, every single time. There’s one problem. It’s.So.Expensive. And I’m not made of money.

So, what do I do? It’s a conundrum, right? Wanting to have that same experience of dining out at a nice steakhouse, without shelling out an arm and a leg. It’s no secret that I’m a steak and potato guy. It is, without a doubt, my favorite all-time meal. When Sarah and I want a treat, we grill steak and bake, mash, saute, etc potatoes. But, we’re also pretty partial to a great bowl of potato soup. Seriously, have you ever had really good potato soup? It’s awesome! Continue reading

On Depression, Anxiety, and Internal Battles

I do this thing. Outwardly, I’m fine. I’m the same fun-loving, laughing, everything-is-great Nick that most people know. They don’t know. And that’s fine. I don’t let them see what’s going on under the surface. Hiding from nearly everyone. They ask how I’m doing, I say I’m great.

What else am I supposed to say? That inside a part of me feels dead? That I feel like I’m failing in most areas of my life? That the stress and anxiety of providing for my family is tearing me apart? That I feel like I’m a fraud as both a husband and a father? That always worrying about other people’s problems has left me neglecting myself and my own needs? That my creativity has been sapped and my will to create is gone just like *that*? That I’m filled with anger and hurt from things I try to forget from years gone by? That trying to give the life that my wife deserves and my kids deserve feels impossible because I don’t have any love for myself? Continue reading

Rediscovering Quality Time with One Kid

Having two–or more–kids can be a whirlwind for some people. It is for us, it seems, more often than I’d care to admit. A lot changes when you go from one kid to multiple. You get so used to spending all your time with just one kid and they get used to spending time with you. Uninterrupted time where they are the sole focus. You’ll hear a lot of people tell you that you need to carve out time for that child once the second one comes. That they need your attention. Solo attention. But, that can easily be forgotten along the way. Continue reading

The Day My Life Changed Forever: The Dawn of Fatherhood #ThanksBaby

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Me and Sophia in her very early days.

Do you remember the moment? That seminal instant that you were told you were going to be a dad? Maybe you’re a to-be dad and just found out this week, this month, today. It’s a moment that is hard to forget. You know what other moment is impossible to forget? The birth of your child. That.changes.everything.

My life has never been the same since Sophia was born in February 2011. It changed even more once Maddie came along in August 2013. It’s hard to really wrap my head around just how much things have changed. I sit and I ponder what I did before we had the girls. What did I actually do with all that free time?

Me and Maddie in her early days.

Me and Maddie in her early days.

Yes, that free time was great. I could do anything I wanted. And waste hours on end. Now? The vast majority of my time is dedicated to Sophia and Maddie. Whether it’s taking the four hours required to get them to actually eat a meal, telling them to stop fighting over a toy, or convincing them that bedtime is a time for sleep–without Mommy or Daddy, that’s where my time goes. Oh, I really only just mentioned the tough parts didn’t I? While those things really do take up A LOT of time, they’re really the little inconveniences that come along with being a parent.

There is so much awesome that comes with being a dad. A million reasons I can say #ThanksBaby to my little girls. From the moment they were both born, there have been millions of laughs, lots of kissing boo-boos, SO MANY diapers changed. Inside jokes, outside jokes, dad jokes (ALL THE DAD JOKES), tears, kisses, silly games, cuddles, and everything in between.

Sisters meet for the first time.

Sisters meet for the first time.

What I never expected when I became a dad was that it would be how I identify. That’s really hard for me to believe. My life is about being a dad. For better or worse. Through all my mistakes, hiccups, and failures, being a father is who I am.

I will never, and I mean NEVER, forget the day we brought the girls home. I was terrified. We got Sophia in the car and I thought to myself “What now?! I’m in no way qualified to do this! WHAT IF I BREAK HER?!” With Maddie, I felt a little more at-ease than that, but damned if I wasn’t scared I’d break her too. Well, 5 and almost 3 years, respectively each, I haven’t broken them (ok, there was that one time I knocked Maddie down the stairs by accident, LAY OFF ME!)

This video created by Pampers is definitely worth a watch, too. If you want to see the kind of bond and relationship that comes about between baby and father at birth, this will show you. I love it. A lot.

What I do know, more than any other thing, is that no matter what I’m going to be there for these kids. Through all the tampers, frustrations, fights, future “I HATE YOU DAD” taunts, the giggles, the laughs, the love, and the amazing, I’m going to be there. Every step of the way.

If it weren’t for these two beautiful daughters, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this right now. I don’t even know what my identity would be. This is my chance to say #ThanksBaby to them both–for making me a father, for teaching me everything they teach me daily.

Yes, I got in the crib. OFTEN.

Yes, I got in the crib. OFTEN.

Just like I love thanking my daughters, I want to help spread that love to the masses. I’m doing that with Pampers–who honors dads for just being dads and thanks them for all the amazing things, big and small, they do to help little ones have a better, loving, more fulfilling life. 

Please join us by tweeting why you are most thankful for baby with the hashtag #ThanksBaby.

Visit www.pampers.com to learn more about Pampers products, join the Pampers Rewards program, and find ideas and information to help your baby get the most out of love, sleep and play.

Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad  and Pampers for this promotion.

I Will Literally Sleep ANYWHERE…Just Dub Me The #KingOfRest

Look, I don’t know about the rest of the you, but in my house sleep is a premium. What do I mean by that? Basically, that if I’m actually getting a full night of sleep then chances are my kids are nowhere to be found. Where could they be? Mayhaps, by some miracle they decided it would be a good idea to actually spend the entire night in their own bed. HAHAHA Who am I even trying to kid? They never do that. If they’re spending the night elsewhere, then a relaxing night of sleep will be had… minus the whole worrying if they’re behaving, or sleeping, or will come home sleep-deprived and miserable (like me most days!). Continue reading